Friday, April 25, 2014


Sickness is such a difficult thing to understand.  It amazes me how you can be healthy for so many years and then be hit with an illness so fast.  A few years ago I was diagnosed with a hernia.  It was very painful, required surgery, and I was able to make a full recovery.

Last summer I was was diagnosed with a kidney stone.  In case you're wondering, the pain is as bad as everyone says it is.  I never once thought I'd be lying on the floor groaning in pain.  But, once again, the kidney stone passed (enough said), and my life has been normal ever since.

While both situations caused extreme discomfort, they were treatable.  The sicknesses that are much more difficult must be the diseases with no cure.  I had a friend who watched his grandfather's mental state completely deteriorate because of Alzheimer's disease.

While the bible never promises us a healthy life, it does say that He, "works for our good... (Romans 8:28).  I know, not an easy verse to hold onto when you are in severe pain or even watching a loved one in pain.

It is interesting to see how God works though.  Laura Story certainly tried to help us understand through her song Blessings

Sure, God can use a song.  He can use people and I think he can use other means too to encourage.  After all, He is God. Keep a Kleenex nearby if you watch this next video.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Stop Stewing

As I watch my three-year-old grow up, it refreshing to see how he handles life on a day to day basis.  He does not see it as a series of stressful events to, "make it to the weekend," as I hear so many people say.  Instead, he lives life from one moment to the next.  Now, before you say, "I wish I was young again, life was so easy back then," remember that life isn't as easy as you remember it to be.  You ate what mom and dad gave you, lived by their rules, could not eat chocolate for breakfast, etc.  To a child, those events can be catastrophic...for at least a few minutes.  Then, in some miraculous way, they move on.

You would think by we would have figured out that stressful situations are a fact of life.  But instead so many of us stew about day to day events and hang onto them.  With each day, the burden gets heavier and heavier.  God did not intend for us to live that way.  Everyday I seem to meet with people who are tied up in a ball of stress.  Hopefully this song will help!

Friday, April 11, 2014


This weekend I get to fill in for Scott Jackson on the Retro Show.  It's hard to believe that songs I grew up with are now considered Retro.  I remember seeing Whiteheart on The Freedom Tour, Geoff Moore & The Distance On The Home Run Tour (Big Tent Revival was just starting out and opened on that show), and Allies seem to make an annual trip to Saskatoon (where I lived) to put on a show.

I can still remember Rick Florian of Whiteheart wearing his ripped jeans, cowboy boots, and purple silk shirt up on stage.  But I also remember that each of the bands took time to share a message, almost a sermon for part of the show.  Life has a band was more than touring and a wardrobe, it was a calling.

I have a four month old and a three year old.  It will be fun to hear what bands they'll be listening to in a few years.  In the meantime, they are stuck listening to MY favourite "retro" tunes...ha ha!  Do you remember these?

Whiteheart - Sing Your Freedom

Geoff Moore & The Distance - The Vow

Big Tent Revival - What Would Jesus Do?

Friday, April 4, 2014

What I Learned From Michael W Smith

From a listener's perspective, the world of radio might seem like a place where all you do is listen to music, go to concerts, and meet superstars.'re right :)

Earlier this week, Evan Duran and I attended a press conference with some Toronto area pastors, Christian bookstore owners, and some media.  I guess there were about 30-40 people all together.  It was very intimate.  Michael was around to promote the release of his upcoming worship album called Sovereign.  It will feature a studio cd and live DVD.  He took a few minutes to talk about the album (coming out May 15) and also took some questions from the audience.  One of the guests asked him about his definition of success.  Here is what he has accomplished in the last 30 years:

A three-time Grammy Award winner, has earned 40 Dove Awards. Over the course of his career, he has sold more than 13 million albums and recorded 29 No. 1 Hit songs.  He is an American Music Award recipient; he was also named one of People magazine's "Most Beautiful People."

Needless to say, I was curious to hear what he had to say.  He reflected on an early point in his career when he had not yet been signed to a record label.  He was tired, dejected, and discouraged.  He prayed a prayer that basically said, God, if you don't want me to do music, I am ready to do something else.  It was at that point of surrender when Michael's career began to change.  He and Kathy Troccoli were the first two artists signed to Reunion Records, and the rest is history.

Over the past 30 years Michael believes that God has taught him to view success in a unique way.  Here it is:

1) God's Grace - By definition, grace is the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done.  Michael doesn't know why God picked him to travel the world and sing, but he is grateful for the opportunity.

2) Humility - James 4:10 says, "Humble yourselves and He will lift you up."  Michael said he has enough stuff.  He doesn't want anymore.  He wants to give away as much as he can and let God use him as He sees fit.  (Side note: Michael said you if you went to his house it would be tough to find his 40 Dove Awards.  Most of them are hidden away in a cabinet).

3) Isaiah 58 - His new calling is to serve the poor.  He has worked with Bono to try to eradicate AIDS in Africa, he is heavily involved with Compassion International, and started Rocketown in Nashville, (  It is essentially a drop-in centre for youth.  He visits often and knows many of the regulars by name.  He told the story of one teenage girl whose mom is a drug addict and her father is in jail.  Michael's exact words were, "Who is going to take care of her?  You don't have to go across the pond to find the mission field.  It is where you live."

What a great challenge.  For a guy who could probably retire and just play golf everyday for the next 40 years, I was inspired to learn that his work is not finished.  In fact in many ways, it has just begun.