Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

The family out for a Star Wars viewing!

Christmas is weird for a lot of reasons.  Honestly a lot of the traditions don't make a lot of sense if you think about them.  We bring a tree indoors, put lights on our houses and eat too much.  How did the celebration of the birth of Christ turn into this?  I am not sure.

Anyway, here's the great thing about the holiday...I get to see my kids and brother and sister in law and my niece, and spend time with them and do fun things!  If we had no other attachments to the Yuletide, this would be worth it to me!

Rose and I tried to raise our tots with an appreciation for God and faith and I love that we can get together and thank Him for all that we have.  My kids are a blast to be around and we always have fun and there is no real drama.  I think they enjoy being around us to, so that's awesome.  My brother and his family are always a good time and since we live closer it's great seeing them more often!

This year we all headed out to the cinema to take in our traditional Christmas movie "The Force Awakens".  It was a second viewing for all of us but my son...we had to keep spoilers at a minimum!  I liked the movie better the second time around!  Great film, fun for all!

We got to play Aggravation and a new game called "Exploding Kittens"'s a card game, so no animals are harmed!  We watched movies and played video games and ate too much!  Now they have all gone back north and the house is quiet again.  Ahhhh

Good times!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Checkmate, Satan!

The other day I was at a friends house and they had a nativity scene on their coffee table.

To me it looked like a chess set!  

When I was younger, my friends and I were chess freaks!

My parents got me a chess set for Christmas one year and I joined the chess club at school.  I would lay in bed and imagine strategies before drifting off to sleep.  I even had a chance to play a Russian Master!  He came to our local library and played about 20 of us all at once.  He would make a move on one board and move to the next, all while chain smoking!  I was fifth to the last to be eliminated.  It was because I was not paying attention, I was chatting with my friend and I looked up and The Master was waiting for me to make a move, I made one real quick without thinking it through and it was all over!  I had no long term game plan and I got distracted!  That's why I lost.

Getting back to the Nativity scene.  Imagine the game!  Wise man takes Joseph, Mary moves two spaces and this Camel is now in trouble... 

It's a funny thought, but there is a real deep truth to it.  Just like chess, the plan of human redemption took a long time to play out and was planned well in advance.

For Jesus, the Savior to be born, a lot of different elements had to come together at just the right time. All the pieces had to be in place, the strategy had to be worked in just the right way.  


Here is another thought...

When I would play chess with my friends, we had a rule that if you moved a piece you could keep your finger on it until you were sure that was the move you wanted to make.  I feel like God has His finger on us sometimes to.  Only we are the ones making the move!  He holds us and says "Are you sure you want to do this?".  It's nice to know that as we play this game called life, that the Master has his finger on us while we move across the board.  

There is a game plan for our lives!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Changes

Jasmine and Brett

Alex and Jess

Victoria and Jay

It's a weird year.

This will be the first Christmas for Rose and I where all the kids don't live with us.

Sure, they are coming over for the holidays and there will be lots of fun, but afterwards everyone will go home again.

It's odd.  It makes you remember all the times when they would tear around the house and open gifts!

Good times.

I am glad that they are out there, making their own way in the world.

I am glad when they come back to!

Can't wait to see you guys!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Would Jesus "shun" someone?

I have a question about a scripture, it's Matthew 18:15-17

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Jesus speaks here about relationships where one person does something clearly wrong.

There is a process explained where the issue gets worked out, but if it doesn't, it says you are too treat that person like a pagan or tax collector.

Most times I have heard that scripture talked about, it was strongly implied that we are to totally cut ourselves off from that particular person. In other words to "shun" them.

I was reading this Sunday morning and something occurred to me. Jesus would never advocate for us to hate anyone or to ignore anyone using the "silent treatment". 

So what did he mean?

I was thinking about this and then I realized that Jesus was KNOWN for hanging out with "pagans and tax collectors"!

Luke 15:1
Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.
Matthew 9:10
Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.

Interesting eh? Then I saw THIS ONE:

Matthew 9:11  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?"

Seems to me that Jesus was not "shunning" them. It WAS a different kind of relationship, but it was not one of exclusion. It was not "I'm holy and you're dirty rotten sinners."

It has made me re-think how the church is taught about relationships where someone does something wrong.

I know some of you reading this will immediately start thinking about the situation in Corinth. (1Cor Chapter 5) 

 I thought of that to. 
How does this relate to that situation and what are YOUR thoughts on this?

Leave me a comment!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Church History

Above is a picture of my church.  It's Bradford Community Church.  It's great.

I have been going to Bradford for about a year and a half.  What happened on the way there is the subject of my blog for this week...

Let's start with a joke...

There was a man who was stranded on a desert island for many, many years. One day, while strolling along the beach, he spotted a ship in the distance. This had never happened in all the time he was on the island, so he was very excited about the chance of being rescued.

Immediately, he built a fire on the beach and generated as much smoke as possible. It worked! Soon, the ship was heading his way. When the ship was close enough to the island, a dinghy was dispatched to investigate the situation. The man on the island was overjoyed with the chance to be rescued and met his saviors as they landed.

After some preliminary conversation the man in charge asked the man on the island how he had survived for so many years.

The man replied by telling of his exploits for food and how he was able to make a fine house to live in. In fact, the man said, "You can see my home from here. It's up there on the ridge."

He pointed the men in the direction of his home. They looked up and saw three buildings. They inquired about the building next to the man's house and he replied, "That's my church - I go there to worship on Sundays."

When asked about the third building, the man replied, "That's where I used to go to church."

Maybe you can relate.

I was raised in the Catholic tradition.  My parents were catholic and that's just what we did.  Mass was on Sunday morning and we three brothers tried to sit still through it all.  We had almost the whole ceremony memorized, because it did not change much from week to week.  

Our church was Holy Family Catholic Church on Murray Street in Wallaceburg.

When I reached an age where I made a decision that Catholic church was just not for me, it caused quite an uproar in our household.  I felt bad about it but, when you're a teenager, you are starting to make life decisions on your own, and for me that was one of them.  If I had to turn back the clock, I would have done things differently and been more respectful to my parents, but it is what it is.

I went to several different churches in Wallaceburg, Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal, United.  I never really settled into just one.

When I left the small town for the big city of North Bay to go to Canadore College, I was supposed to go back to Catholic Church because I lived with my Aunt and Uncle and they were Catholic.  It was respectful thing to do since I was under their roof.  It lasted for a while, but again my young and foolish ways caused a big stink.  I found another church I wanted to go to and made my decision known.  A line was drawn and I ended up moving out on my own!  Oh the memories!  My mom on the phone, begging me to stay put, me "making a stand".  It was not fun.

The church I went to in North Bay after that, was to me, the best thing ever!  The people were friendly and really loved the Lord.  Their music was lively and exciting.  We would pray every morning.  Church was Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night to!  There were home groups, outreach nights on the streets and even a Saturday night coffee house!  Church activity soon took over all my spare time and my studies suffered.  I left the dream of working in Christian television and instead threw myself into whatever the church had going on.

This part of the story is a cautionary tale about church and church stuff.  Some things that are good can turn bad.  This is what happened to me.  In my eagerness to be the best Christian I could be, I surrendered certain areas of my life over to a very strong and narcissistic form of leadership within the church and the larger fellowship it was a part of.  It was only after I began to question the things I was a part of, that I realized there was a lot of manipulation going on and not much Christian ministry.  Sadly these things happen out there and the more you do your homework, the more protected you will be from going through anything like this.  That's a whole other blog topic for another day...

My family and I eventually left that organization and were without a church for a bit.  We DID have a home bible study in our home with a few of the other families who were also hurting from spiritual abuse.  That bible study grew into another church in North Bay.  Our building was a movie theater downtown!  It was fun times!  

Eventually (and I am skipping a lot here) we ended up in Sudbury, where I began to attend another great Church called All Nations!

The All Nations Dome

The pastor is Jeremy Mahood, who has an amazing story and a rich heritage within the community.

Pastor Jeremy Mahood

All Nations is currently building an amazing domed church!  All Nations has a great congregation and does so much for the city.  Every year they put on the Living Nativity on the grounds of Science North, with the final performance on Christmas Eve, complete with fireworks as the angels sing Hallelujah!

And now that we are in Barrie, I am blessed to be part of Bradford Community Church where some wonderful friends of ours go.  It's a church that values relationships and reaches out to the city in unique ways!

I pray you find a caring group of believers to link up with!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Geek Awakens!

I have a bunch of stuff in my man-cave.

Most of it is science fiction stuff.

It just sits on a shelf and I admire it.  I guess that's the point of collecting isn't it?

The other day, I thought, each of these things tells a story.  Two stories really.

First there is a story behind why it exists, then there is story about why I like it and want it in my home.

I collect things because I personally feel drawn to them, not just because I have to have every little thing.

If there is no emotional connection to something, why waste time and money on it?

I decided to make a video about a few of my items and share the stories behind them.

This one is about a lightsaber that I bought for my son!

If you like it let me know!

Monday, November 16, 2015

When Church Is Different!

Church this Sunday was...different.

First off, our worship team is expanding so more room on the stage is needed.  In order to accommodate this, the drums were moved to the baptismal tank!  It was my turn to play and it was my first time drumming inside what is essentially an empty tub!

But that wasn't the most surprising thing about the service...

Usually a church service runs according to a set agenda.  Music, announcements, offering, more music, preaching, prayer and then dismissal.

Sunday was a day where not much of that mattered because God took care of what He wanted to do outside our set plans.

We sang a song called "No Longer Slaves" by Bethel Music.  In light of the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris recently, it just seemed that the song lyrics connected in a very specific way.

The goal of church, I believe is to make a "God Connection".  This can happen at any time during the week of course but when we get together on Sunday, there is that extra dynamic of corporate faith that makes church what it is.

During the service, Pastor Shane Fitch recognized that God was doing something out of the ordinary, and we as a worship team just stayed on the platform and played.  He did not preach a message.  He simply allowed God to move and we all stayed in that place for a while!

I believe many people who were there experienced a new level of freedom from fear.

Here is the song, I hope it does the same for you!

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Blessed Anniversary!

My wife of 28 years, Rose Gale!

It's been 28 years since Rose and I said "I do".

The story of our marriage is unusual and is still being told.  I will bring you up to date if I can.

We met in church, in North Bay.  I was in college and she was working for an insulation company.

I was a skinny brokenhearted person who wanted to throw my whole life into this thing called Christianity.  She was just as enthusiastic about God, and it caught my eye.  She was so bold about her faith, it was attractive!  She was stunningly beautiful.  Wow, did I have a shot?

We began to date (with the official sanction of our and I knew I should scoop her up before anyone else figured out how awesome she was!

I took her out for Italian food and then we took a walk to the North Bay waterfront, where we braved the rocks to sit on the very edge of break-wall of the harbor next to a guiding light for the boats.  (A fitting description of marriage now that I think about it!)  There I opened a ring box and popped the question.  She said "Yes"!

All I knew about marriage could have fit into a tube of chap stick.  I was so clueless.  It's embarrassing now to think about how much I did not know before jumping into it!  I have apologized to Rose many times for not being more prepared and less selfish, but we have lived and learned!

In our 28 years we have had three wonderful kids, we've moved 19 times, had 14 vehicles, recovered from injuries and surgeries, had plenty and had little.

We are now empty nesters and are off on our new adventures together.  It's a new stage of life and I am blessed to have Rose with me as we walk the road together!  We support each other in our weaknesses, encourage each other to chase our dreams and trust God for the future!

Happy anniversary, Rose!  I love you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lest We Forget

My mom and her dad sharing a laugh at the Legion. 
Today we thank and honor those who serve in our military.

My grandpa, Charles Benn was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion.  If you don't understand what the Legion is, they are an organization that supports Canada's war veterans.  They also are involved in communities and do tons of service work.

My grandpa was a fixture at the local branch in Wallaceburg.  It was his second home you could say.

The Legion is situated downtown where the river forks.

Grandpa loved to make the property look amazing.  He was an avid gardener and his green thumb was evident in the summer as beautiful flowers adorned the building and the grass was neatly trimmed.  When he passed away, a memorial garden was planted there in his honor, with a stone monument that has his name on it.

The Legion building in Wallaceburg.
My memories of the Legion include having fun catching carp in the Sydenham River during the annual summer fishing derby, and a tug-of-war competition where the rope was strung across the river.

Because Grandpa Benn was part of the Legion, I learned about the wars.  During Remembrance Day he would march with other members at the cenotaph during ceremonies.  He did not go overseas to see action, he participated by staying here as part of the forces, none the less, he was proud of his service.

This Remembrance Day, think about those that served.  Think about what it would have been like.  It was a very different world during the world wars.  People thought differently and were perhaps more engaged in world events.  I hope we can do the same in the times we live in and then years from now, our veterans will still have the honor they deserve.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


I have discovered a fear I've had and how to deal with it, but it's given me another one!

Remember YOLO? You Only Live Once? Now there is FOMO. Fear of missing out.

It happens when there is information overload, particularly online.

So many friends on Facebook, so many shows I haven't seen, you become occupied with keeping up on things just so you don't become out of the loop.

“I fear others are having more rewarding experiences than me,” “It is important that I understand my friends' ‘in jokes,’” and “Sometimes, I wonder if I spend too much time keeping up with what is going on.”.

If someone says "Did you see...?" and you fear you haven't...that's FOMO.

I confess, I love to cruise through the news feeds of Facebook and see what people are up to.  I like seeing pictures of their kids and photos of their holidays.  It's great to be able to share life like that!  I don't have anyone in my feed that I feel is abusing being there.  I skip most political rants lengthy religious "devotions" that seem to be cut and pasted, but for the most part I enjoy seeing the day-today stuff that's posted.

What can be a problem is when I feel like I need to post SOMETHING just to be a participant.  I feel bad if I have not "checked in" somewhere to let everyone know who I am hanging out with.  I fear that I am letting my group of online friends down by being absent.  I fear they may even wonder what I'm up to!

My criteria for posting has a few general rules.  It must be one of the following:

a)  Relateable
b)  Fun
c)  Educational
d)  Inspirational
e)  Engouraging
f)  Thought Provoking

This way I feel like I am not wasting anyone's time.  (When they are online...wasting time!)

Ironically I discovered this fear called FOMO online!

I have a new fear...missing out on more helpful studies!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Matrix Control


Ah, The Matrix!

I have learned so many spiritual lessons from this movie!

Every now and then I pop it in the DVD player and re-watch it.

The biggest lesson for me comes from the fact that The Matrix itself is a form of control.  It's a way for the "machine world" to keep the human population believing that they can make choices, when in fact the computer simulation is running the whole thing behind the scenes.  The illusion is that we have a choice.

I know I am getting deep but bear with me.

I subscribe to the idea that there IS another world, a spiritual world where just the opposite is true.

The Genesis account lays out the fact that mankind has been given "choice" as his most unique quality over animals and even nature itself.  Everything else in this world acts on instinct or seasons, but we humans can act outside both.  We can choose hate over love, death over life or weather to have pizza or prime rib.  We have choices to make every day.

I hear your question loud and clear..."Why do we have free will if the creator has a plan already, are we not prisoners to it?"

Not if you don't want to be...and prisoner is a poor choice of words.  Was the marble that gave us the beautiful statue of David prisoner to Michelangelo?  No it was waiting to be made into an expression of the artist.  Get it?

Anyway I know I am a little cerebral but my point is this.  I believe there is a loving God with a master plan, but within that we have the ultimate privilege of choice.  We are the ones who steer our fate.  Want to be better at what you do?  Choose to do it and make steps to get there.  Want a better marriage?  Choose to have it and make a plan to build it.  Want to be free from fear?  Think of your biggest fear and face it with boldness.

It's up to you....

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Git 'er Done!

It's a popular saying, made famous by "Larry the Cable Guy".

"Git er Done!"

I want to share some thoughts about doing "things".

With life happening at faster and faster pace, sometimes we can overlook doing quality work over just "getting it done".

Quality Work vs Just Getting It Done

Which would you rather have? Do you have to choose?

I have had to learn the lessons of work in the course of my life and here's what I have found.

Quality work gets rewarded with...more work! (And financial rewards to) What this means is that, when more work is sent your way you have to be very careful not to take on too much, because that can lead to just trying to get it all done. This is where quality can go out the window if you are not careful.

I have often been self-employed and I have had to scale back on what work I could do, so I could instead keep the quality up.

So heed my words young the best work you possibly can, but do not compromise quality for the sake of "getting it done."

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mission Impossible

Here's a comforting thought.

It is impossible for God not to love you.

When we think of impossible things, things that cannot happen, God not loving us is one of them.

Just the fact that God is love, that should show us how he could never stop, he would have to change who He is!

If we're going to believe in Him we have to believe this about Him to.

God hates things, don't get me wrong. He hates something we do, but He will always love US!

Do people take advantage of this and abuse His love. For sure.

We are children of God and kids get into all kinds of trouble.

I was asked this weekend if one of our kids turned out to be a horrible criminal, would we still love them and visit them in jail?

Well, ya. As long as we are welcome. We always hope for the best.

I don't see any way we could not respond to Gods love, it's so amazing!.

Consider today, what God's love is and who He is...I think you're day may look different afterwards.

1 John 4:8  New International Version

8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Movies and Lift Locks!

Another busy weekend!

Saturday night it was off to Wasga Beach to show the movie "Do You Believe?" at Wasaga community church.  This film packs punch and I was fighting back man-tears near the end.  If you get a chance to come out and see this movie...DO IT!  For a full list of showtimes and locations click here.

Sunday we were off to Coboconk to speak at Faith Tabernacle!  Pastor Dave welcomed us warmly and I even got to sit in on the drums for worship!  We played "How Great Thou Art" with a real country flair!

I know you're asking what "Coboconk" means.  No it's not a variety of nut or a cartoon sound effect.  It means "gathering of the gulls"!  I did not see any gulls, but we did see lots of Canada geese!  The area is beautiful and I think I will be back after the leaves begin to change.

Another sight on the way to Coboconk, was the Kirkfield Lift-Lock.  This was fascinating and I did not have a whole lot of time to explore, but again, I'll be back!

Hope to see you at the next LIFE 100.3 event!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Can We Talk?

These were words made famous by comedienne, Joan Rivers.

She used them in her raunchy comedy, but I think they have quite the significance when it comes to prayer!

You may be wondering about prayer.

Maybe you're new to it or maybe you just have not done it in a while and are wondering how to start.

It's pretty simple.

We know that Jesus told us to pray by starting out saying, Father.

But then I have found this to be true...

When you go for counseling or to the doctor or a teacher, they almost always say, so, what's on your mind?

They want to know those things that right there on the top of your thinking.

Not a bunch of other stuff...what's just eating you at the moment, so we can get that out of the way.

It's no use talking about other things when you have something eating you.

So why not try that today when you pray.

What's on your mind?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Some Thoughts

This morning we awoke to the sad news that a little two year old girl was found dead, apparently murdered.

I cannot fathom the motivation behind a crime like this...what a world.

My heart hurts for those who have been deprived of this happy little life.

It has me thinking though about a popular saying supposedly based on the bible.

Maybe you have heard it...

"God won't give you more than you can handle..."

This quote is no where in the bible but at times like this, it's often heard in order to bring comfort in the midst of chaos.

I think we ALREADY live in a world that is too much to handle.

Horrible, horrible things happen every day.  Things we cannot even imagine or choose to ignore.

But they happen nonetheless, and yet we continue to live on.

This is the world we live in, it's awful and beautiful all at the same time.

How do we live here?

Suffering is universal to all.  The degree of heartache varies from person to person.

I can only conclude that we have to be here for each other to get through it, and to hopefully prevent anything like this from ever, ever happening again.

Monday, September 14, 2015


If you have been around church or Christian circles you may have heard the word "broken".

Broken before the Lord.

Do I understand this, no, but one aspect of it I do, and I think many of us do, is being brokenhearted.

Things didn't work out the way you thought, or someone has betrayed you or left you.

That pain is no fun, sometimes you think a physical injury would be easier to handle.

Here's the cool thing...this was a center piece of Jesus ministry, and it continues today.

He healed many physical ailments to be sure but what did he use as the center scripture of His mission?

The scripture he based his ministry on is Isaiah 61:1 He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.

Psalms says, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.He cares and he can help it heal.

You can know, that in that pain, God is there to help you heal it, because He said He would.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

FanExpo 2015!

Part of being a geek is that you not only have an interest in a particular genre of sci-fi or fantasy, you are also keenly aware of what goes on behind the scenes to bring these stories and characters to life.

I don’t know why but I have always wanted to know who plays a character and how they went about creating that personality. Some of the most fascinating are the actors who provide voice talent to cartoon or video game characters.

I am the guy who watches the credits to see who it was who stood behind a mic in a soundproof room and read a script that before they read it was just word on a paper, but when they are done, it’s a story.

This past weekend I again got the chance to go to FanExpo in Toronto. It’s a huge convention of all manner of sci-fi, fantasy, comic book and video game fans! There are booths full of artwork, props, costumes and t-shirts. There are areas to meet the stars and get an autograph, but one of my favourite parts is the Q&A time with the actors. This year I only wanted to go to two seminars and both were with Tom Kenny, the voice behind the character of Spongebob Squarepants!

If you had kids in the late 90’s you know who Spongebob is better than most! The character is an eager sea sponge who is an employee of the Crusty Crab diner. He works with his neighbour, Squidward, who he annoys to no end. He also has a best friend who is a starfish named, Patrick. Spongebob has a high pitched voice, full of optimism. His laugh is like the sound of a porpoise.

I love unique characters and Spongebob is definitely one of those, so I was looking forward to getting up close to the man behind the voice!

Tom was part of a talk about the cartoon Adventure Time, in which he also plays a role. I don’t follow the show and I don’t really understand it so I had to endure most of the chit chat without a clue!

It came to Q&A time and I jumped up to ask my question behind a couple other kids at mic at the side of the auditorium. I asked someone connected with the event if I could ask a quick question about Spongebob, even though the talk was supposed to be about Adventure Time. She said it would be OK. 

My turn came and my heart was poundings! I asked him about an episode where he sings a silly song, one part of the song seems like it was from someone else so I wanted to know if he did it all! (We sing the song with the kids and it’s an inside joke thing with us) I actually did the voice in my question! Holy Cow!

Tom answered that he did do the whole song and proceeded to sing it, much to the delight of the whole crowd who cheered!


I stepped aside so more kids could ask other questions including one star-struck 15 year old girl who wanted to marry Tom!

It was a great time and Tom came over to the edge of the stage after to get quick pictures taken and to shake hands. One hand was mine! Cool!

He was so gracious with everyone and really had to be dragged away to do another thing.

FanExpo is a crowded event that can be frustrating to deal with at times, but it’s always so much fun!

Until next year!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Make Someone Cry!

Let's do some deep thinking about what it really takes to change lives.

I watched a video on YouTube, where a guy pays for peoples groceries as they are in the checkout, pats them on the shoulder and says, God is good...and then beats it out of there, leaving them stunned.

Most say thank you and are bewildered, others break down crying and that's what I want to talk about.

We are all just one act of kindness from tears.

Someone could do something for you that no matter how tough you are, you'll weep like a baby.

What could we do for someone that would touch them in such a way?

That would be worth it, I think that'ts how Jesus did it.

Interestingly, God got all the credit for something that a human mortal did!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Attitude Change

I'll be honest, I am not a dog lover.

I know this upsets some people, but that's just the way I am wired.

Maybe it has to do with my childhood. Dogs would nip my heels while I rode my bike on country roads.


The sound of a dogs bark is like scratching fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

What to do?

Sometimes just a little adjustment in the way you see things can make all the difference. 

So, I have decided to change the way I hear dogs barking.  

To me I am going to hear it as shouts of  encouragement.  

I don't know what they're saying normally but I am going to translate it as, "Todd you're doing great!  Todd, you are so good looking!  Todd, you can do it!  Get out there and follow your dreams!"

So now, I can tolerate those loud piercing blasts of sound, because it's doing me good!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ask A Pro

Ever get advice from a pro? It could be financial, relational or even spiritual.

We all need to learn from someone else how to do life. There are teachers for every level.

Imagine being in front of Jesus.

You get to ask Him a question or ask Him to explain something.

In the gospels, people did this all the time.

I wonder if you have ever had that pleasure of being in the same room as someone who you knew, likely had the answer to the question you have been asking. Someone who could explain things to you in a way you could understand and relate to.

Jesus did this, he never ignored anyone or said hey come back tomorrow, I have to think about that one!

He had an answer, not everybody liked his responses, but He had one.

Sometimes he told a story, and it would have the answer in it, or sometimes He would ask a question back to the person, so they would think about what they were asking.

Isn't that great?

We can still ask to this day!

Today, ask a pro!

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Spiritual Nudge

Have you ever had a spiritual nudging?  Did it turn out to be right?  Was it a lifesaver?  It was for this guy!  
A St. Louis police officer said it was God who told him to put on his bulletproof vest, the decision that saved his life. 

The officer, who asked to remain anonymous for the safety of his family, said he was sitting in his personal vehicle working his side job providing security. It was a hot night and the office had taken off his bulletproof vest when he saw some non-suspicious looking folks walking down the street and he felt a prompting to put the vest back on.

“... the hairs on my neck stood up," he recalls, and at that point there was a voice that told me grab my vest. I know it was God." 

That decision ended up saving his life.

A short time after the officer put his vest back on, two vehicles, one of which held the three individuals the officer had previously seen, pulled up directly in front of him and a man in a black bandana got out of the car with a gun. 

The man opened fire on the officer, hitting him in the chest. The officer fired back, and the man fled the scene on foot while the car drove away.

Those nudges may not be as dramatic as this story is, but what if we could all tune in to that Voice?

Maybe God is always talking to us like this, we just have too many other voices blocking Him!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I like sci-fi.

But, hey, I am also a rational guy to.

I don't think there is anyone else out there in the universe, although I think it's fun to think about.

When I heard this story, I really started to wonder how a brilliant mind could be so wrong...

"Renowned physicist and atheist Stephen Hawking and Russian-born billionaire Yuri Milner this week announced an ambitious bid to combine vast computing capacity with the world's most powerful telescopes to intensify the so far fruitless search for extraterrestrial life. Milner says "The scope of our search will be unprecedented: a million nearby stars, the galactic center, the entire plane of the Milky Way and 100 nearby galaxies.""

This search would involve $100 million dollars!

Even Dr. Evil would be amazed at this!

If other intelligent life existed, they would tell us this...

"Use that money to help those living on your own planet before you come knocking on OUR door!"

Seriously, if your family was suffering and you could ease that pain, but instead you used the resources to go on a hunt for your neighbors who live a billion miles away, who you have never met or even know if they exist...wouldn't that be INSANE?

I find it amazing that people can throw away such an opportunity to help mankind on such foolishness!

God help us.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I read this article online and it made me think.

It's happened I think to all of us, we see some wild story online and think wow, I have to share that, it's so spectacular!  
Then we find out it was a hoax and we feel a little embarrassed!  
Stories involving pastors being arrested, end times economic news, health stories and fantastic archaeological discoveries sound really amazing and urgent, but are more often than not just hearsay or satire, meant to shock or scare people. 
 Christians have to be careful because we are in the story sharing business you might say.  It's what we are called to do.  SHARE Jesus.  
So if you have been caught, here is what you can do...(Ed Setzer - Christianity Today)
1. Post a retraction.
Admit you were wrong: "Hey friends, I posted a story about _______ this weekend, and it turns out it wasn't true! Be on guard and don't believe everything you read out there! I’ll be more careful next time."
2. Don’t excuse it by saying, “Well, it might be true.” Or, “Well, there is something like that." "Or, well, it will be true soon."
No, you were wrong. You fell for a hoax. Say it and move on.
3. Be less gullible next time.
Wisdom is valuable. (See Proverbs)

Don't Post What You Can't Confirm

Have you ever been fooled?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Is Reality TV Hypocritical?

The Duggar family, HAD a reality show on TLC.

The network permanently canceled the family’s enormously popular 19 Kids and Counting show.

They said it this way...

“After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting. The show will no longer appear on the air.  The recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection.”

The story is all over the news.  If you want to read the HERE.

Is it wrong of me to think that the cancellation of a reality show because it GOT TO REAL is a bit hypocritical?

This is reality TV...bring us REALITY!

What's the reasons behind their problems, how are they working them out?  

This is what it's supposed to be about!

At what point does reality TV lose sight of what it is and become selective?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Vacay 2015

My wife, Rose and I like to travel together. 

I am usually pointing out the window constantly, trying to get here to see things before we pass them by!

So, with much excitement we set off on “Holiday 2015”!

I can be spontaneous when it comes to making plans for time off.  Ya, sure it’s all well and good to have some kind of outline when you plan a vacation, but I think you should allow some room for discovery.  This was my plot for our week off in July.

July is awesome.  I always like June, because summer is just ahead of you, but for me it all seems to come together in July. 

Our “plan” started on a Saturday morning with an ultimate destination of a Golf Club in Oungah, Ontario, near Wallaceburg, to be part of a family friends annual golf tournament wrap up dinner at Country View Golf Club by 6pm.

More on that later…

I pointed our Ford Focus in a westerly direction, hoping to arrive at Lake Huron at some point.  We had seen Lake Ontario the previous Thursday after a quick trip to the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto, (A cool place, you should go!)  so we, or rather, I, thought it would be poetic to see another Great Lake on our way!  We traveled along 27 South to Cookstown, and then shifted west along 89 through Alliston, Rosemont, Violet Hill, Shelburne and on to Mount Forest.  All the way we were impressed by the rolling hills and valleys.  There were many opportunities to just gaze at the outstanding landscape.  It seemed like we were always up high and looking down!  Along with the terrain, we noticed that residents kept their yards looking so beautiful.  Lawns were neatly trimmed, flower gardens were abundant and the odd house even had a fun water feature.  I wished we could stop and tell each person that we travelers really enjoyed their labors!

We shifted highways in Minto.  Now we were on 87 and moved through Harriston, Gorrie and on to Wingham where we hopped onto highway 4 because at this point I decided we would shoot for Goderich!

Maybe some slasher films were shot here?

A brief stop in Belgrave brought us to a place that had unusual bird houses in the yard.  They were huge and very detailed!  We snapped a couple pics and then stopped at an antique radio shop.  The owner, Gary gave us a tour and some interesting history about the radios in the store.  I gathered that he was a Christian man because of the scripture material available on the brochure tables.  We did not bring that subject up because he was already very talkative and helpful and we were on a mission.  If we were to talk about the Lord, we would have been there a LOT longer!  Gary suggested that if we wanted to take a scenic journey to Goderich, we should instead head down 20 and then turn on 1.  This would take us through Amish country!

Old Tyme Radio

Gary explains the history of an Edison invention!

A wall of radios!

A memory of days gone by!

The Bat Radio!

Check one, two...

On our trip through Amish country, we saw the work ethic of the local farmers.  They labored in the hot sun, taking hay off the field in a horse drawn wagon and cart, with nothing more than a huge pitchfork!  It was exhausting just watching them.

It was a short trip to end up in, Goderich, which calls itself the prettiest town in Canada.  It was pretty, no doubt there!  We had never visited the place and were impressed by the layout of the downtown.  It’s circle roundabout, with the courthouse in the center.  We stopped at the tourist centre, then off to the harbour/beach.  Lake Huron was a very deep shade of green.  There is a lot to see so we toured as much as time would allow.  After an ice cream, we had to jump back in the car and surrender to the GPS for the balance of the journey.  I figured that I had had my fun and now it was time for some “serious” travelling!

Fountain in Goderich.

It was a beautiful day!

Gonna come back and eat here someday!

Prop fin from a huge boat!

Visit to the waterfront harbor.

According to the Garmin, we would get there just in time for the post-golf dinner and surprise my mom!  She was aware we were coming down to the area for a visit, but we had to be very secretive about exactly what day, because it was supposed to be a surprise!

We were so glad that Mr. GPS pointed us down 21 and along the lake.  We meandered through beautiful Bayfield, St Joseph and Grand Bend.  Eventualy we picked up the 402 and then the 40 through Sarnia and finally to my brothers place just East of Wallaceburg.  We all greeted each other and then headed out to the Golf Club to surprise Mom!

Mom and her bestie, Aggy at the golf course.

70th birthday cupcake!

Me and my brother, Martin, chillin!

Country View Golf Course is fairly new.  I remember when it opened in the 80’s and enjoyed a round every so often with my cousin after a shift at the factory.  The tournament was put on by my mother’s high school best friend, she does it for her family and it is in its 25th year!  After a lot of prompting, my mom finally went to the dinner, and found out we were coming!  Surprise!  Dinner was great and we had fun watching people attempt Karaoke and dancing to the DJ’s tunes. 

It was off to Wallaceburg after that for some much needed “road-rest”.

Plans for the next few days only involved fishing and sitting on my brothers dock!  He has a beautiful place at the fork of  Running Creek and a link to The Snye.  If the water levels cooperate, you can take a boat right into town, or head out to the “big” river, the St. Clair, and the off to wherever you want!

Martin’s property is a long and narrow strip of land dotted with various varieties of trees that make it feel like a slice of paradise.  It’s quiet to!  He and his wife Tracy recently started keeping some laying hens in the backyard, so you also got a farm-like vibe!  It’s a really laid back place to visit and I am so thankful we were able to hang out and pull in some fish and eat some steak!

Relaxing on the dock in Wallaceburg.

Jasmine caught a perch!

The Martin and Tracy Estate, view 1, towards the house.

Looking toward the river.

Martin is a pro!

Mostly, we caught very small perch, but the odd time you could hook a pike, bass or sheephead!

It was a lot of fun and truly relaxing.  It’s great to be able to catch up with family in the sunny months of summer, but of course, these times don’t last and we had to say goodbye and head out on the road again!

Sad goodbye!

My wandering instincts this time set our course East along 15 to Kent Bridge Road and then south west to Rondeau and Lake Erie!  Wow, our third Great Lake!  The provincial park charged for full day parking and we only wanted about 10 minutes, so we wound down the road to Rose Beach to check out the water and snap a few pics.

Lake Erie at Rondeau.


From there we followed highway 3 along the lake through Morpeth, Palmyra, New Glasgow and Wallacetown.  We love taking in the Victorian style homes along the way and tried to snap a few pictures out the car window…unsuccessfully!

Our destination was Port Stanley, because we were told it was the place for fish and chips!
Port Stanley is a port town, obviously.  Boats were abundant and there was even a railway you could take a tour on!  (It was closed!)  We walked the picturesque streets, admiring the touristy look of the buildings and the hospitality.  We toured the beach, which was almost deserted!  (It WAS a weekday)  We chase a restaurant with a view of the harbour and ordered up some Lake Erie perch.  It was fun to eat fish right from the lake in front of you, all while watching fishing boats come into port with their catch!

Our view from the restaurant, the harbor!

Victorian home!

The train takes you out for a tour.

Some history.

Empty beach!

With full bellies we hit the road again on our way to, Sparta! (Not the one from the movie!)  It’s a little crossroads place with a cluster of antique shops which we sadly had to bypass!  We were on our way to a place called Winter Wheat.  It’s an artsy spot that was recommended by Martin and Tracey.  As expected, it was a funky blend of country art and original items all set into a country farm location.  We did not buy anything but signed the guest book with a plug for LIFE 100.3!

THIS is Sparta...not that other place.

Winter Wheat entrance.
Main building at Winter Wheat.

Love the colors.

Very bright and cheerful.

This is what you see when you walk in...

Those are tea cups...

All made of metal...

Some inside stuff.

Camera lamp?

A backyard escape.

Sign the book...


After, Sparta the skies began to cloud up a bit and we drove through some rain on our trek north to St. Thomas.  We stopped for a quick coffee fix and then on to the JUMBO memorial!  Jumbo was a famous circus elephant with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily shows.  He was tragically killed after being hit by a train in St. Thomas!  It was a cool bit of history.  Speaking of death, I noticed that St. Thomas had a lot of cemeteries!  Not sure why that is, but it seemed that around every corner, there was another one!  Nice place though.

Let's talk about the elephant in the room...

Jumbo size!


After St. Thomas it was time to hand the navigation back to Mr. Garmin, who put on the boring but quick route on the 401 East towards Toronto and then the 400 North back to Barrie.

Did I “unplug” for the holiday?  No, not really.  I checked in on Facebook once in a while and scanned the odd e-mail.  I would rather be up to speed when I get back rather than try to catch up on things all at once.

I did get to finish reading a book I had started on to.  

I rested well, ate well and am ready to get back at it!

Thank you to everyone who extended their hospitality to us!

We can’t jet off to tropic locations at this point in our lives, but there is so much to see and do right here in Ontario!