Monday, April 25, 2016

Pick up the trash...

This weekend in Barrie was the annual Spring Into Clean event, where hundreds of dedicated citizens grab yellow garbage bags and pick up trash all over the city.

It got me thinking about something pretty spiritually deep.  I hope you can track along with me on this one.

Our cities and side roads are wonderful places of scenic beauty.  All it takes is a stroll along a trail or ride on a bike path to realize that we live in a spectacular area.  The problem is that, through carelessness, people who live in the very place they enjoy, cause it to become littered with garbage.  The very thing we walk and drive through every day becomes less attractive by the refuse WE dump there without thinking!

Can you picture this?  "Ya, come to Barrie...(munch munch)...this is a great place...(munch munch) beautiful...(chew chew...swallow)..."  Then the person tosses an empty donut bag out the window of the car!  Everything you just said gets forgotten.

Just as unbelievable as that seems, we do it to OURSELVES to!

I've always believed that the Gospel, the good news, when presented properly is the most attractive message on earth.  Jesus believed this and had the crowds to prove it.  Who can say no to a God who loves you so much, nothing stood in His way to make sure you could have a relationship with you?  It's attractive!
As a believer in Christ, YOU are attractive, you are beautiful!  Why?  Because you have been lifted from a load of guilt, shame and pain!  You have access to joy that nothing in the world can give you! You can have little or you can have much, it does not matter, the joy is the same.


There are times when we can allow our own beautiful landscape of New Life get littered.

We toss out the empty coffee cup of a bad attitude.

We casually drop the cigarette wrapper of malicious gossip.

We can even dump the trash can of entitlement!

All of these things litter an otherwise attractive landscape of a Godly Christian life!  It's there underneath the garbage but it's up to us to pick up the debris so others can look and see the wonderful work of the Master Gardener! 

Well, maybe this is too deep for a Monday morning, but it's got me thinking.  I've been picking up some of the spiritual trash that has been in my heart for too long now.

That's the other danger of not picking up the litter;  you can just get used to seeing it there and you don't realize how disgusting it looks!  It reminds me of every episode of "Hoarders".

Take a moment today and grab a trash bag and do a walk through of your heart.  If you see a LOT of junk, don't worry, we are in this together and we can all pitch in to help!

You are a beautiful landscape of grace!

(Whoa! Did I just say that?)

Monday, April 18, 2016

House Concert and House of God

Weekend Recap!


After a lazy morning, Rose and I headed out to to some shopping errands and worked on the house the rest of the afternoon.

When the evening rolled around, we headed out to the Oro Station Super City Resort and Casino for a house concert at the Scott and Janice Villa de-Musica!

The place was packed as we were entertained and led in worship by Drew Brown!

Drew has a soulful voice and some of his songs can be heard on LIFE.  He even threw in some Peter Gabriel tunes!  He was backed up by two friends on guitar and percussion.  During his break, Scott asked me to do some comedy and I was happy to do so!  My first private show!

Drew came back and closed the night with some worship tunes and some inspirational thoughts!

Drew Brown and band!

Drew Brown setting up the next tune.

View of the band from the highly coveted sofa seating!

I shared my comedy in between sets.
After the concert I picked up a copy of "Herding Kittens" written by Scott.  The book shares the story of his three year journey, managing Anthem For Today.  I started reading it after the concert and I got about halfway through before I realized I should get some sleep!


We started out early because we were booked to speak on behalf of LIFE at Christian Victory Center in Port Perry!

The LIFE booth goes to every church visit!

My message is called "The Force Awakens"

Gesturing is an effective speaking skill!

The worship time was great, the people loving and caring to!  My message is titled "The Force Awakens" (I hope no one steals the name...) and I talk about how God's word is the most powerful "force" in the universe!  I also encourage people that God is always working in our lives even if we don't see it because His word is like a seed, and the miracle of the seed happens underground, away from our sight!

It was a blessed time and we got to tour a bit of Port Perry.  We ate a yummy lunch at the Piano Cafe in the downtown, then stroll the walk.  I ended up with a silk Tommy Bahama shirt from a local clothing store!  Perfect for enjoying the sunshine!

An end of the day ice cream topped off the activity and we called it an afternoon!

Exhausted a bit...but happy!

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened...

Some back story...
Back when I was the weekend news guy at KICX, Scott Jackson asked me to write an article for MORE Radio.  My topic was "being real" on the air.  I offered some advice about getting in front of real live people to sharpen your radio skills.  I mentioned that I had taken drama in high school and had been in a number of plays.  One of the final comments I made in the article was that someday I would like to try stand-up comedy.
Fast forward to a few months later and I am now full time at LIFE 100.3 and I attend a comedy night event in Barrie with the Street Team and meet an actual clean comedian!  His name is Wil Twynstra.  I took this as a sign from the Lord that when you ask for opportunities, they come your way, so get ready!
I told Wil that I would like to try this whole comedy thing.  He invited me to be part of a fundraising night for Arise Christian Academy.  I would be an amateur performer.  
I was excited and horrified all at the same time!
I did it and I did not die!  As a matter of fact, I had a blast!

This brings us to today.

The Circuit was founded by Timmy Boyle about five years ago.  He has a vision to create clean comedy hubs in cities around Ontario.  A place where you can go out with your family and have a good time and not be concerned about the content.  Right now there are five stops on the tour.  Barrie, Sarnia, Chatham, Guelph and Brantford.  The tour runs every two months or so.  He has had many outstanding comedians headline the tour and he opens up the show to aspiring new comics who want more stage time. He also acts as a mentor.  I have been a part of four of these shows in Barrie.  Each time you get about seven minutes to perform.
I had the bright idea in February to go along with the tour to all five cities. Timmy said "Yes"!  I would only need to take two days off from LIFE (My "day job" which I love!).  So I began to prepare.
The headliner for this tour was, Max Winfrey, a stunt comedian from Orlando, Florida.  He is a veteran of 30 years in show business.  He's done Disney theme parks and cruises, corporate events, private shows and was even on Americas Got Talent.  Wow!

Tuesday, April 5 2016.  First Baptist Church, Barrie.

Night one of the tour and I am really pumped up!  I have practiced and I have added some things I think are killer to my set.  LIFE station manager, Scott Jackson has done some radio spots to promote the show and the Street Team is there to!  Me and Wil Twynstra are the opening acts. I have seven minutes...I do twelve!  You might think that's great, but you would be wrong!  In comedy, you have to stick to your time.  My mistake was adding a couple of last minute things that I thought were killer, but did not really fit within the "theme" of my set.  Some adjustments must be made!

First night of the tour in Barrie.  First Baptist Church.

Next up was Wil, then we were all awestruck by the performance of Max Winfrey!  I could hardly believe what I was seeing!  This guy held the crowd on the edge of their seats with his juggling and witty banter!

Max on his 6ft unicycle, juggling and taking requests!
Max is the real deal and I think we all clapped a layer of skin off our hands!  Impressive and very professional!  A great time!

Timmy Boyle, Max Winfrey and me after the Barrie show.

Wednesday, April 6 2016  The Rock Family Church, Sarnia

Night two of the tour and I have trimmed my set a bit more. Timmy did not kick me off the tour, so that was good!  Just kidding.  I think he understands the process of learning and allowed me to grow.  The repetition of doing it for five straight nights would help with that!

Night two in Sarnia!

Another killer show from Max in Sarnia!

After the show, Rose and I drove to Wallaceburg to visit my mom and brother.  I was born and raised in Wallaceburg and left the small town to fulfill my dreams of a broadcasting career!  We had a great visit and I treated my mom to a home cooked breakfast of Eggs Benedict!

Thursday, April 7 2016 Emmanuel Baptist Church, Chatham

Night three brought us to Chatham and it was a very special show for me because I had so much family there!  My mom, brother, niece and aunt were in the crowd as I did my seven minutes as the warm up comic!
Max used a lot of kids in his act!

Timmy Boyle hosting the Chatham crowd.

The church in Chatham had a huge sanctuary which helped the show I think.  The crowd was really into it and it was another fantastic night!

Friday, April 8 2016  Parkwood Gardens Church, Guelph

Wow this was the night that I was told would be the real experience of being on a comedy tour.  The Guelph church has been a big supporter of Upstanding Comedy and is the flagship of the tour.  It did not disappoint.  The place was packed!  Over 200 by my count and everyone was excited about being there.  It was also the show that had the most performers!  I was up first and followed by, Evan Dunne, Jared Groenwegen and Jim Tice.  Jim was officially coming out of retirement (sort of) as a comedian.  He was honored by fellow comedians, Matt Falk and Leleand Klassen by video.

Pre-show crowd!

Doing my set in Guelph.

Evan Dunne, Me, Jared Groenewegen, Timmy Boyle and Jim Tice
Again Max Winfrey was amazing!

Max Winfrey on his unicycle!

Saturday, April 9 2016  Brant Community Church, Brantford

The final night of the tour was in Brantford in a church basement room that was both warm and cold!  It was spacious and full of old style hardwood.  The ceilings were high but the performance space was a bit limited.  I know I would not have wanted to ride a six foot unicycle around that place, but Max did it!

I had the act down cold at this point!

Host for the night was James Mac Neil!

Me, Max Winfrey, James Mac Neil and Alex Bouman

For this show I went on second!  A fellow by the name of Alex Bouman was up first and played the ukulele and told one-liners!  Fun!  I went next and the crowd was very responsive.  I had my set down to exactly the time I needed and it went like clockwork!  James Mac Neil was the host for this night because Timmy Boyle was away doing a fundraising show elsewhere.
I was sad to be done the tour but also happy to have been able to do it!


A band may tour and do four or five songs as a warm up act.  A comedian gets seven minutes!  It's all over pretty quick!  Preparation is the key!

Comedy improves with repetition.  I had practiced my set for a month after deciding what would be in it, but nothing compares to being in front of a live audience for 5 nights.

The pros are pros for a reason!  Learning the give and take of a crowd of people is an art form!

Faces of people in the audience don't always tell you how they are enjoying the show.  Some folks just look serious ALL THE TIME!

Comedy is defiantly something I enjoy!  Being on the radio is what I love most, but as a supplement to what I do on the air, comedy is a fabulous outlet!  

I can't wait to do this again!

Thanks to LIFE 100.3 for allowing me to follow this weird path!  Scott Jackson have been very supportive and it's appreciated.  Thanks to everyone who came out to the shows and had a good time with us!

Finally a big thanks to my wife Rose, who has been my biggest supporter! I love you!

I would love to see you at the next show!  The tour is back in June!  

Go to to get your tickets!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Comedy and Moose Meat

This weekend was pretty busy for my wife and I!  We are empty-nesters and I think we are making the most of it!
On Friday we were once again part of a comedy fundraising event for our youth group at church.  We called it Comedy Overflow because the youth are needing extra funds to make the trip to Overflow 2016 in Waterloo.  It's a huge gathering and the kids get to hear great messages and enjoy live bands as well as get encouraged in their faith.  We set the date for the show to be April 1, because it just seemed appropriate as April Fools' Day!

Me doing some warm-up jokes.

Wil Twynstra was a featured comedian!

Not sure how I ended up as a janitor in BOTH the improv sketches...

It's our second fundraiser show for the church and this time around, attendance was a little down and we did not raise as much money. There are a few reasons why we think it could have been better attended and for next year we are discussing a few new strategies, but everyone that came had a great time! I have to thank youth leader Jonathan for going along with the idea, sound man Ivan Kers for being quick on the draw! Thanks to Rebecca for looking after graphics, and a big thank you to all who came out!

On Saturday, Rose and I went to Uxbridge Baptist Church to attend and help out with the Heart to Heart fundraising dinner.  This event was raising money to bring teams to remote Northern First Nations communities in need of vital supplies and spiritual care.  The particular villages were Fort Hope, Weagamow and Curve Lake.

Myself, Louisa Gillespe a drummer and throat singer, Community Pastor Kathy McIintosh and her husband David.
The night began with a meal of traditional First Nations foods including moose stew, duck, rabbit and fry bread!  Good stuff!  We then auctioned off some cakes made by the team members who will be travelling to the various communities in May.  I described the cakes while professional auctioneer, Neil Bacon got everyone to open their wallets!  He did a good job and a large amount was raised.  (We left with a lemon meringue!)
After the food and auction there were presentations by two First Nations pastors and some traditional drumming.  Uxbridge Baptist is a dynamic place and LIFE 100.3 is is proud to be able to connect and promote their ministry.