Friday, July 30, 2010


Heading up to the cottage for a couple days.  See ya Monday.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I am married to an incredibly patient and gracious woman. 

I'm a lucky guy.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Birthday Cards, Balloons & Major Screw Ups

I screwed up today... HUGE!

It was Crystal's birthday today. Her 26th.

Since we work opposing shifts during the week, we celebrated on Sunday. We went to dinner at the Keg, went to see Eclipse (her choice, but I was interested) and I gave her a lounger so she can read out in the backyard (once we get grass). It was a great day.

I didn't see Crystal until dinner at her parents. When she got there I knew something was wrong. My happy greeting was met with sad eyes and a less than enthusiastic "hi".

Uh Oh.

A number of times over dinner it looked like she was fighting back tears. I asked her what was wrong, but she insisted there was nothing wrong. I knew otherwise but didn't want to press too hard. (That usually ends ugly.)

She always calls me at work to say goodnight. I didn't expect a call tonight, she had a bad day and probably just wanted to get to bed. Just after 10:15 the phone rang and it was her. I asked again what was wrong. Maybe she was tired, maybe she didn't feel like pretending anymore.

Turns out her birthday was pretty crappy. OK, really crappy.

She woke up and there were no flowers, no special breakfast, no card, not even a note to say "Happy Birthday." Just a drooling husband with bed-head, lying spread-eagle and snoring away half underneath the navy duvet.

She went to work and it was super busy. She described it as "tense." This meant their birthday lunch date was off. She emailed her husband to let him know the celebratory lunch wasn't going to happen and his response was "I'm sorry." Her husband was just leaving the church office (just up the road) when her lunch began, yet he did not swing by to pick her up and take her out.

Her cubicle at work was void of decorations, save for a couple balloons tied to her cork-board by her department head. It seems her birthday had been forgotten.

Just before her work day ended an email from her husband arrived in her inbox, claiming he had something that would "make her smile". It was the fifth season of Lost, that a friend had dropped off for them to borrow. Not flowers. Not chocolates. Not even a stuffed animal.

Maybe her birthday was forgotten. How could this happen? This was supposed to be a great day.

It was not.

And it was my fault.

I screwed up LARGE.

Almost 4 years into this husband gig and I'm nowhere close to getting it right.

The Fifth Commandment

Exodus 20:8 says: "Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."

The fifth commandment.

I break it all the time.

Like I said a couple weeks ago, I struggle with "rest".

Got into a good discussion with a friend at church today about the sabbath.  She maintained that taking a sabbath is not only good for you, but neccessary.  It's important to have one day each week where you DO NOT WORK. 

You don't have to sit around and do nothing.

You don't have to sit and pray for 24 hrs straight.

You just need to relax.

So tonight we opened the phones to you.  Do you observe the sabbath?  Overall, most of us don't, but we think we should.  So why not?  Why not take one day this week, and try it out?  Take it for a test drive.

Try it, and we'll talk again in one week.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Music Tuesday

OK, I know it's not the kind of new music Tuesday you'd hear on LIFE 100.3, but I've been discovering some pretty freakin good music lately that I thought I'd share.

Andrew Peterson
He released a new album today (Counting Stars), but he's not really a newcomer to the music scene.  His first cd made CCM magazine's list of Top 10 Albums of 2000.  His song Family Man was nominated for a Dove Award in 2004.  Despite his past success, I just discovered this guy a couple days ago.  Check out his debut single off his new CD - Dancing In The Minefields

Breanne Duren
She's been working with Owl City the past couple of years, and has recently released some music of her own.  My favourite is probably Daydreams.

Ben Rector
Ben is a newcomer to the scene, just releasing his second album (Into The Morning) earlier this year.  My favourite song is likely Disarm, but since I couldn't find a video for that one, here's another gem - Moving Backwards

Paper Route
Paper Route formed 6 years ago, but have just recently started to make waves in the music scene.  They were named one of the top 10 bands to watch in 2010, and (what put them on my radar) are admittedly one of Jon Foreman's favourite bands.  Look for them on tour with The Almost and Switchfoot in the near future.  My favourite song? - Carousel

Any others I'm missing?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mud Volleyball

This past weekend I had the chance to "work" one of my favourite events of the summer, Mud Volleyball.

Gentle Shepherd Community Church has been organizing the tournament for the past 22 years, I was last there 5 years ago. Youth groups from across Ontario travel to Flesherton each year to take part in this tournament, and this year was no different.

Crystal and I were put on one of Gentle Shepherd's "fun" teams. (ie: not their best) After winning our first game, we lost the second to last year's champs from St Paul's. It was after the second game that Crystal was recruited by the Gentle Shepherd "A-team" because they needed another girl. Crystal was pumped! (She loves to win more than most people)

I remained on the B-team, and we ended up in 3rd in our division. Crystal and the A-team won their division and made it to the finals against the defending champs.

The championship game was a battle. Long rallies and momentum swings in abundance. When the final point was scored the host team from Gentle Shepherd were victorious. Their first win in almost 15 years.

Despite the fact my team didn't win, it was a win for me. The rain held off, we rolled in the mud and made some new friends. All in all, a good day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Social Media... Here To Stay?

There are people who believe social media is just another fad.  That Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will soon go the way of the 8-track, furby and skip-it.

I disagree.  I believe Facebook and Twitter have, and will continue to revolutionize the way we communicate, interact and market.

Ford's unveiling of the new Explorer is a perfect example.  Car companies used to unveil their new products at car shows.  Ford has elected to launch their new edition of the Explorer on Facebook.

Yes, Facebook. (Link HERE)

How will does this affect the way churches/ministries/radio stations connect with their audience?

As Bob Dylan said: "The times, they are a changin'"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Art & Culture

I am very much a visual person.  I hear a song, and I picture what sort of scene it would work in.  What are the characters doing?  What emotions does the scene evoke?  How is the camera interacting with the actors?

One day I'd like to make shortfilms/documentaries.

When I see churches using video, it excites me.  We're starting to embrace art once again.

One day the church could again be on the cutting edge of the creative movement.

INTEGRITY MUSIC PROMO LOOP from Barton Damer on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Last week Crystal and I made plans to go to a movie.  No big deal right?


It was a difficult decision.  Do we go check out Toy Story 3 (which we heard was fantastic) or do we go see Inception (which I thought looked really cool).  Since I couldn't decide, I decided to ask the Twitterverse.

The response was overwhelmingly in favor of the new Leo DiCaprio flick.


I don't want to give anything away, but GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Be Still


For some people their ideal vacation would be sitting on a beach somewhere warm for 5 days straight.  Not me.  Maybe it's because our family vacations growing up consisted of organized busy-ness.  We'd have an itinerary to follow.  Disney on Monday, Epcot on Tuesday, Busch Gardens on Wednesday, and on it went.  We wanted to experience [insert destination here] and we had a plan to make sure it happened.

Maybe that's why yesterday was a frustrating day for me.  I don't get a lot of free time, so I like to plan out what time I have to maximize a) time enjoying the nice weather, b) time with Crystal, c) time with friends & family, d) time travelling/exploring/experiencing smoething new, e) time accomplishing something with my life.

Looking back on yesterday, I didn't accomplish much.  Went to church in the morning, took a nap and watched a movie.  Pretty sad isn't it?  I had almost an entire day off and I had nothing to show for it at the end of the day.

Crystal says it's good to just "do nothing" every once in a while.  I disagree.  I've only got so many days on this earth, I want to squeeze as much out of them as possible.  I want to come to the end of my life and be able to say I emptied the tank.  I gave it everything I had.  I didn't waste any time that was made available to me.

In Psalms it says we are to "be still."  We are command to observe the sabbath. 

I guess I have some work to do.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Social Network

I had this trailer come across my desk earlier today.  It's a biopic about Mark Elliot Zuckerberg.

Name sound familiar?

Not only is he a thousand times cooler than Tom Anderson, Mark Zuckerberg is the founder of a little website called Facebook.

I'm actually pretty interested to see this film.  October 1, book it baby.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Smell Like A Man... Man

If you haven't heard by now... you likely have a life.

Last night the Old Spice (Isaiah Mustafa) guy was shooting video responses to people's tweets and posting them on YouTube.  I'm not sure whose idea it was, but it was pure genius!  The buzz they are getting is crazy!

I'm a fan of good advertising, and this is priceless stuff!

Here are some of my favs.

They are doing it again tonight! LINK

Stupid Rules

This past Sunday I went to my church for the first time in a couple weeks.  Having been out of town the past couple weeks, I had no idea what series we'd be working through and had no idea what awaited me Sunday morning.

Turns out we're in the middle of a series called Twisted.  Sunday Andy Stanley spoke on stupid rules... sort of.  On how we feel free to disregard rules if we think they are stupid. 

Rules like:
- Speed limit is 100, but it should be 120 so I'm going to ignore it. 
- The government already takes enough of my money so I'm not going to declare ALL my income on my taxes.
- No personal calls on company time, but it'll only take 5 minutes.
- EVERYONE is downloaded music and pirating software.

I've always been someone who has trouble with rules, (I think it's part of the way God made me), so the message hit home.  Maybe a little too close.

I hate/love it when I go to church and God punches me in the gut.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Born Again

To say the Newsboys are "Born Again" is a bit of an understatement.  The release of their 15th album marks a new chapter in their legacy.

I used to be a big fan of the Newsboys.  Back in the Not Ashamed, Shine & Going Public days, with John James at the helm.  When John James elected to leave the band, (Peter Furler moved from the drum-kit to the mic), my love for the band left as well.

The Newsboys were no longer a rock band, they had morphed into yet another worship band.  I guess it's bound to happen right?  You're teenage fans become 35 year-old moms with kids and a minivan.  You've got to change with them.

But with the addition of Michael Tait to front of the Newsboys lineup, they seem to have returned to their rock roots.  It makes me smile.

While I'm not ready to move them back into my top 10 favourite bands, I enjoyed the heavier side of "Born Again". 

Well done fellas.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Boys Of Summer

One of my favourite things to do in the summer is go to a baseball game.  Doesn't matter who's playing, there's just something about sitting in a sunny ballpark, eating a hot dog and some peanuts, watching a ball game.  It's a magical experience.

We scored some sweet seats to the Jays game tomorrow (row 6 behind the Jays dugout), so Crystal and I are going to make our way down to the Rogers Centre and see if the Jays can rebound from the beating they took today at the hands of the Red Sox.

I'm not as passionate a Jays fan as I was back in the day, but a day at the ball park is always good.

Especially when the forecast is for sunny skies and 26.  Let's hope they open the lid tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dreams Into Reality

Tonight I had Aaron Murphy and Stephen Greenwood from Travel Talk join me on The Slam, and while their web-show is very entertaining, it is what it means for the rest of us that excites me. 

Anyone can live their dreams

10 years ago there is no way Travel Talk could happen.  No way a trio of guys, fresh out of college, could make a short-form show and have it seen by people around the world.  But that's the beauty of the interweb and the freedom of information/entertainment/media we currently experience.

You want to make a show about travel?  You want to put write and direct a short film?  You want to release a song you wrote?  You want to share your artistry with the world?  You can do all that, and there is no limit to the amount of exposure your work can get.  You can see your dreams become reality faster, cheaper and easier than ever before.

Three guys, armed with a couple of cameras, a macbook and a sense of adventure can put together a 10-15 minute show on a shoestring budget and have it seen by people around the world. 

Amazing times we live in.