Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy New Year!

As we prepare for a new year, new goals and new projects, here are some helpful links to help make 2013 the best ever.

Stay Focused
Building A Platform
Smart Goals For 2013

Friday, December 21, 2012

Favourite Things Friday - Dec 21

Favorite Reads
This Is Beneath Your Dignity
If You Like It...
Why We Should Rest - Avoiding A Dust Bowl

Favorite Cat (a line I never thought I'd write)

Favorite Commercial Targeting Moms

Favorite Explanation Of Why We're Still Here

Favorite "Someone Is Getting Fired" Moment

Favorite Kid At A Christmas Musical

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of Year

It's that time of year again.

Time for Christians to start proclaiming...
the birth of Jesus,
the arrival of the awaited messiah,
hope and forgiveness,
the war on Christmas!

The freedom of speech/religion/choice that we enjoy in North America goes both ways. If we can post billboards proclaiming the arrival of Christ, why can't others post billboards celebrating Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice?

I'm pretty sure the wisemen didn't arrive to wish Jesus "Merry Christmas". Paul wrote most of the New Testament, and I doubt he and Barnabas/Silas ever had an ugly Christmas sweater party.

If you want to say "Happy Holidays" to me, that's cool. You want to write Season's Greetings on your storefront, be my guest.

I think it's time we stop focusing our energy on the "War On Christmas", and focus on spreading the message of hope and forgiveness, the real reason for the season.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Favourite Things Friday - Dec 14

Been a crazy week!

Favorite Reads
Sacred Cows in Church
Why Risk It Now
Leadership Qualities Found In Joseph

Favorite Public Service Announcement

Favorite Behind The Scenes

Favorite Christmas Production From A Church

Favorite Christmas Prank

Favorite New Christmas Song

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

James Reimer - Class Act

Last Thursday night I had the pleasure of hosting Faith Night With The Peterborough Petes with special guest James Reimer from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He might be the nicest celebrity/athlete I have ever met. Let me explain...

Usually (if autographs are an option) you stand in line, while the celebrity quickly signs whatever is put in front of them. They often have a 'handler' that tells people to move along and discourages any verbal interaction longer than 5 seconds. You get your autograph, but it's not a great experience.

James Reimer was not like that. He would talk to people as they approached the table and seemed genuinely interested in them. Even when asked "Why don't you guys and the owners just sign a deal and get back to playing hockey?", he responded with grace and a smile. We tore down the LIFE set-up and were heading out the door, and James was still sitting at his table talking to a fan. I'm telling you, that guy is a class act.

I'm still not a Leafs fan, but I'll admit I'm cheering for James Reimer now.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Monday begins a crazy new chapter in the life of AJ. 

Be there as we make history at 5:30am!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Watch The Ripples

Throw a small stone in to a still pond and it will make a ripple. A ripple that will continue to grow until it reaches the edges of the pond. No matter how large the pond, the ripple will always reach the edge.

Amazing how such small things can make such a big impact.

Sunday my right eye felt a little funny. Like there was something in it. I'd blink, and it would feel like a record needle was running across my eye. I tried to take a look and didn't see anything, so I brushed it off figuring my tears would wash it out.

Monday morning I woke up and the eye was a little bit swollen in the corner.

By Tuesday the entire eyelid had ballooned and I was now in a constant state of pain.

I called tele-health after dinner, explained my situation, and they said I needed to seek medical attention immediately. So Crystal called up her Mom, asked if she'd be able to watch Kai, and off we went to RVH.

3 hours later (quicker than I had expected) the attending physician gave my the scoop on my condition. Something got into my eye, a stye formed, got infected and caused my eyelid to balloon out and take on a purple'ish hue. He wasn't sure but said he hopes there isn't an abscess that would require me to come back and have a 'minor procedure' to remove it.

I left with some oral medication, eye drops and instructions to apply a warm cloth to the affected area every 2-3 hours.

Seems to be working don't you think?

TOP -Tuesday Morning
BOTTOM - Wednesday Morning
Amazing how something so small I couldn't see it, could have such a big impact.

So invite your neighbour to church this weekend.
Have some friends you haven't seen in a while over for dinner.
Offer your spouse some encouragement when you walk through the front door at night.

Small things can have a big impact. Stand back and watch the ripples.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - November 16

Favourite Reading Material
When Things Don't Go To Way You Saw Them Going
Jesus In Cougartown
The Real Enemy To Creativity

Favourite Exploitation Of A Senior

Favourite Thing To Try Next Summer

Favourite Kid In Church

Favourite RedBull Video (this week)

Favourite Movember Video

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Wonderdog Show

If you saw Scott Jackson's blog last week you already know, but there are some big changes coming for your friendly, neighbourhood Wonderdog.

We had a meeting this morning where I came in with 3 pages of ideas for the new show, and we slashed, cut and drowned a good chunk of them, until we ended up with what we hope will be a killer show.  I'm excited, because it's going to be a community project. Enlisting the help of some friends, listeners and fellow employees, The Wonderdog Show is starting to take shape.

There's still lots of work to do, but I'm excited. December 3 can't come soon enough.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Nov 2

Recommended Reading
Dreams & Associations
World's Greatest Job Posting
Job Satisfaction

Favourite Teddy Bear Ad 

Favourite Timelapse Of Hurricane Sandy

Favourite "Is This About Jesus?" Song

Favourite Trailer For A Movie About Paddleboarding & The West Coast

Favourite Inspiration To Be Awesome

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


"Ugh... I hate what they've done with halloween. It's become so commercial"
- Satan

Monday, October 29, 2012

Praying Boldly

We kicked off a new series at church yesterday, called BOLD. It's calling us a church community to invite more boldly, pray more boldly, and give more boldly.

To go along with the series, 3 weeks ago everyone at church was given a journal with 40 days of devotions, written by people who attend Connexus. We're about halfway through, and one thing has stuck out to me.

I don't pray bold prayers.

Sure I'll sing: "God you're big, you're massive, you're gigantic!" But I don't pray like He's as big as a job search or as big as a cancer diagnosis. I'll say: "God you're the author of life, you're all powerful, you're creative (I mean look at the narwhal)." But I don't pray like He is $20,000 big. He's maybe $18,000 big.
My prayers are always filled with meek disclaimers.

"Umm... maybe... if it's your will..."

"And if you don't want to... that's okay... sorry for asking..."

Read through the Bible and you won't see any weak prayers.  Perhaps God has been listening to my prayers and responding by saying: "Man Up! Grow a pair."

Daniel prayed bold prayers.

Joshua prayed bold prayers.

David prayed bold prayers.

It's time for us to start praying bold prayers. We serve a God that is bigger than a recession, bigger than a dysfunctional relationship, bigger than a medical diagnosis.

Let's begin to pray bold prayers.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Oct 26

This Week's Reading List
How To Guarantee Your Dream Fails
Two Different Spirits Guiding the Christian Church
Set Yourself On Fire

Favourite Marketing Campaign In An Elevator

Favourite Interview About Organizational Culture

Favourite Video Game Marketing Campaign

Favourite Musician Playing An Awesome Venue

Favourite Promo Video For An Item On My Christmas List

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Didn't Want To...

This morning we talked about something that you never intended on liking, but it happened anyway. We got a number of responses. From running, to playing hockey, to photography.

Eating beef liver even got some love.

The reason for the question was this song. I would never say I'm a fan of Matt Redman, so when I first heard this song my feeling was 'meh'. Nothing earth-shattering, but a decent song.

Then we started singing it on Sunday morning and it grew on me. Last weekend on the student ministry retreat it was part of the worship set and that was the clincher. A room full of students singing at the top of their lungs.

Now when the chorus hits I'm transported to another dimension. My eyes close and I'm a goner.

Ever had a song sneak up on you like that?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Food Fights, Bike Rides and One Crazy Weekend

I had the pleasure of spending this past weekend with a group of crazy grade 7 guys for Connexus' annual student ministry retreat.

What an amazing experience.

I've been a youth leader at the church since it started 5 years ago, and every year I'm amazed at the students that come through. This weekend we talked about God calling us to a life that is More Than This. Including conversations about 'how do you know what God is calling you to', 'can your calling change' and 'do you have to work for a church to do ministry'.

These kids are in grade 7!

A fun weekend, filled with epic food fights, muddy bike rides and some great bonding time.

Do you remember going on youth retreats? Any fun stories?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Oct 19

Favourite Reads This Week
Things Not To Worry About
Earned Retirement Or Hedonism?
Stop Waiting For God

Favourite Listener Call

Favourite Movie Promotion

Favourite Video That Moved Me

Favourite TED Talk (This Week)

Favourite iPhone5 vs Galaxy S3 Video

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lessons Learned From The Cuban Missile Crisis

It seems as though the topic of leadership has been pushed to the forefront lately.

With the upcoming election in the U.S., Ontario's Premier stepping down, and the Federal Liberals search for their next leader, leadership is an everyday topic of conversation.

I watched a documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis today (the Cold War fascinates me) and was struck by the leadership of JFK and Nikita Khrushchev. By all accounts, World War 3 should have broken out in the fall of 1962. In fact, some of the 'experts' featured in the documentary claim that if the scenario were to be run again, the majority of times war would be the end result.

Here are some of my observations from the film:

1 - Both JFK and Khrushchev elected to negotiate before they engaged with force.
How often do I jump the gun and go straight to the aggressive, in your face option? Communication allowed the 2 parties to hear eachother out, gain some understanding of where the opposition was coming from and possibly find common ground. I could definitely implement this in my life.

2 - They sought wise council, but ultimately did what they felt was right in their gut.
It sounded like Kennedy's advisers were all over the map. Most wanting to invade Cuba, lay waste to the Russians forces, and teach the enemy not to mess with the mighty United States. Despite their advisers insistence otherwise, Kennedy and Khrushchev both elected to forego retaliation and believe the best of the other leader. Their council claimed that to not attack would be a sign of weakness, but they realized the decision was ultimately theirs to make, and they would live with the consequences of their actions.

3 - You have got to be lucky to be good.
They got a number of lucky breaks that kept the two countries from going to war. From the early detection of the Soviet arms being built up in Cuba, to the submarine commander surfacing his vessel prior to launching a nuclear weapon. They got lucky.

I can't imagine what life was like over those 13 days. To be on edge, knowing that just 90 miles off the coast the enemy was waiting with dozens of nuclear missiles, waiting for the order to attack.

If you have the time this week, check it out. It's a very cool, interactive documentary with so many layers. I plan on going through it again and watching all the special features.

Let us know what you picked out of the film.


Monday, October 15, 2012

To Infinity & Beyond

Not sure if you caught it yesterday, but we were glued to our tv to watch what might be the most epic marketing campaign in history.

RedBull (the energy drink company) financed the dream of Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner: to set the record for highest freefall.

As the door to the capsule opened, my heart began to race. This just got intense.

As Felix walked out onto the platform and the overhead shot was stunning. He stood there for a moment, reflected on the occasion and uttered: "I know the whole world is watching now. I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are... I'm coming home now." And with that, he simply stepped off the platform and began to fall.

The first 10 seconds were absolutely amazing. I couldn't believe what we were watching, and I will never forget that moment.

I'm not sure how it compares to watching Neil Armstrong land on the moon, but it was a truly remarkable event that is forever etched in my memory.

The BBC Recap

The Jump
The Jump From Felix's P.O.V.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Oct 12

Favourite Reading Material
Infomercial Characters That Need To Get It Together
10 Ways To Experience Bizarre Natural Phenomena
Who Pulled The Trigger

Favorite Commercial For... Batteries?

Favourite Talk About Poetry

Favourite 4 Year-Old

Favourite Slo-Mo Video

Favourite Video About A Product That Likely Won't Be Around In 5 Years

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Running Together

We were at my parents' for Thanksgiving last weekend and stayed overnight to avoid a drive back north with a tired and (potentially) grumpy baby.
My sister had completed the CIBC Run For The Cure run last weekend in Toronto, so I asked if she wanted to go for a run the next morning to work off some of the prior night's feast. She agreed and said we'll do a 5K.

"No problem" I thought.

So the next morning we had a quick breakfast and made our way to the track for our little 5K. I started strong, keeping up with her spry 22 year-old legs, but by lap 3 I was sucking wind and it was no longer fun. By lap 5 (just past 1/3 of the way) I was ready to pull the chute.

But I didn't.

Know why?

She wouldn't let me.

She kept me accountable. Cheered me on. Encouraged me.

It's the same in all areas of our lives. Business, personal, spiritual.

Who's running with you? Who is cheering you on and keeping you from pulling the chute on life?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - October 5

Favourite Reading Material
Stop Trying So Hard & Follow Your Passion (From Inc)
Remembering Names (from Doug Fields)
Collecting For The Homeless (From Creative Criminals)

Favourite Dad (Other than my own)

Favourite iPhone Game

Favourite Stop Motion Video

Favourite Thing I Learned This Week

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

5 Songs I Can't Stop Listening To

5 Songs I Can't Stop Listening To

5 - Of Monsters & Men - Little Talks (Straight up fun tune)
4 - Casey Darnell - Our Great God (On my Sunday playlist. Pumped to have him lead at church this Sunday)
3 - Switchfoot - Souvenirs (I've been listening to Vice Verses for a while, but this one snuck up on me a couple weeks ago)
2 - Seth Condrey - Furious (originally a Jeremy Riddle song. Probably my favourite song from Sunday morning)
1 - Mumford & Sons - Lover Of The Light (The entire album is amazing)

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Fork & 2 Paths

Have you ever been on Facebook, looked at your friends' photos, (from their summer vacation, trip to Europe, pub nights at college, etc), and had your eyes opened to the fact they are likely hurting, broken people?

When we encounter a situation like that, I think (as Christians) we can react in one of two ways.
A fork in the road, with 2 paths to choose from.

In Luke 18, Jesus tells the story of a deeply religious man who goes to the temple to pray. To his left he sees a tax collector and begins to thank God that he is not a cheat, a liar, an adulterer like the man off to his side. In other words, he begins to condemn the tax collector and by comparison believes he is justified before God. He sees the brokenness in this tax collector's life and looks down on him with a 'holier than him' attitude.

Contrast that to the story in Mark 6. Jesus had been so busy touring that he and his disciples hadn't even had time to eat. He suggested they get away to some place quiet so they could rest and recharge. But as they got in the boat to head out to Tranquility Island Resort & Spa, the crowd on shore began to follow them. His disciples told him to tell the crowd to head into town and leave them alone, after-all  they were tired from being preaching rockstars. The Bible tells us Jesus had compassion on the lost and broken people, so he got out of the boat and fed the 5,000 with some bread and a couple fish.

Quite the contrast. The first guy looked down on the lost and broken guy beside him, while Jesus had compassion.

So how about you? When you see those Facebook albums filled with evidence of poor choices, how do you see the person?

Do you look down on their behavior? Maybe even judge them?

Or do you look at those photos and feel compassion for a lost, hurting and broken person?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Sept 28

Good Reading
No Drama Policy (from Donald Miller)
Teaching Your Kid To Argue (from Jay Heinrichs)
Phil Vischer from Story 2012 (notes by Justin Wise)

Favourite Slam Poem

Favourite Bad Lip Reading

Favourite NHL Lockout Rant

Favourite Surprise Ending

Favourite Real Life Re-Creation Of Playing With Hot Wheels

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lazy Farmers

I used to think farmers were some of the hardest working people in the world.

Last weekend I was talking to my friend Matt, who works on a farm. I mentioned that I'd like to work on a farm for a week, to get the feel for what it's like, but no longer because I hear it's incredibly hard work.

His response?

"No it's not. Thanks to technology, we hardly do any work now."

Excuse me?

Apparently with the advances in modern technology, a GPS drives the tractor, a machine harvests the grain, a computer sorts the potatoes and the human oversees it all.

Those lazy farmers!

But as I thought about it, we've all become lazy.

Scott Jackson loves to point out that when he started in radio they played "carts" on the air. The DJ would have to find the right cart, cue it up, and start play at the right time. Mix in taking phone calls and  sounding like a star when the mic is on, and Scott claims he'd be soaking wet with sweat by the end of a show.

Now the DJ has a computer that finds the song on a hard-drive, cues it up and starts it when the preceding song ends. All the DJ has to do is turn the mic on and be awesome.

Sounds even lazier than Matt the farmer.

No, farming isn't as difficult as it used to be; but they still work harder than a radio DJ, so I'll just keep my mouth shut.

How has technology made your job easier?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Distractions & Double Rainbows

I was on way to speak at InsideOut Orillia last night when I looked into the sky and saw the most incredible rainbow I have ever seen. This thing was super bright, and made it fully across the sky.

As I pulled up to the red light at 90 & 27, I took a closer look and noticed a muted twin taking up residence just left of the brighter rainbow.


I reached over to the passenger seat and grabbed my phone, opened up Instagram and snapped this shot.

I begin to write a clever caption for the newly minted photo, when I felt a [WHAM] from behind. I checked my rear-view mirror to see what caused the commotion, and saw nothing. As a put my phone back on the passenger seat, I snuck another glance in my mirror and noticed a man in a motorcycle helmet staggering around my rear. I quickly unsnapped my seatbelt and hopped out the door.

"Hey, you ok?" I inquired of the mystery man.

He removed his helmet and slowly replied: "Yeah man, I was just looking at the rainbow. I'm sorry."

After a two or three additional exchanges similar to the first, I pulled my car forward, dislodged his bike and offered him my phone number if he needed anything. 

He started up his bike, and went on his way. No damage to either vehicle. 

Can't say the same about his pride though.

Ever had a weird encounter on the road?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Sept 21

A mixed bag of favs this week.

Favorite Posts
The Expert From Afar (from Phil Cooke)
Are You Hurting Your Own Cause? (from Harvard Business Review)
4 Biggest Time Traps In Your Life (from Sanders Says)
Stop Trying To Look Cool (from Jon Acuff)

Favourite Bus Ad

Favourite Place To Play Hockey

Favourite "How'd You Get That Past Security?" Moment

Favourite Explanation For Cutting Your Sister's Hair Off

Anything catch your eye this week?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I've mentioned before my love for podcasts. Perry Noble's Leadership podcast is easily one of my top 5. This week Perry releases a new book, Unleash!, and I was sent an advance copy to check out and review.

I wasn't sure what to expect. I like his podcasts and his messages, but as a writer? I didn't know what to expect. Overall, I was impressed. 

Unleash! is similar to Mark Batterson's In A Pit With A Lion or Erwin McManus' Barbarian Way in it's overall feel. Encouraging the reader the leave their life of normalcy, push past the fear and doubt, and unleash the life God has for you. Overall a solid, enjoyable effort.

Mind you, I've got a natural bent towards this type of message.

In particular, the chapters on The Great American Lie and More The We Can Handle were especially awesome.

Here are some tweetable quotes that stuck out to me:
- God is not after our begrudging submission. He is after our joy.
- If you are in Christ, you are loved because you are His. Not because of anything you’ve done.
- One of the quickest ways to forget what God says about me is to focus on what the enemy says about me.
- Forgiveness is not achieved but rather received.
- No matter what circumstances we face, they don’t change who God is. He is still God.
- Understand that information about Christ doesn’t always lead to intimacy with Him 

No matter where you are at in your walk with God, I think this is a solid read. (Church and ministry leaders especially) A great first effort from Perry Noble.

I plan to dive in a little deeper and really chew through this book in the near future.

Check out the website for the epic trailer and a sample chapter.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Mystery Of "God's Will For My Life"

Last week the CRTC announced their decision in regards to the vacant 88.1 frequency in Toronto. Trust Communications applied for it, but the CRTC awarded the license to fellow Barrie broadcaster Rock 95.

Rock 95 applied for an indie station offering exposure to unsigned, local talent. I can't argue with that. It'd be nice to see ToTell, Bleeker Ridge, Jill Jambor and Bob Charters get some radio love in Canada's largest market.

Needless to say the vibe around LIFE was pretty dark once we heard the news. We believed this was our time. Christian radio was going to become a reality in Toronto.

Thousands of people prayed.

Scott felt God's hand and calling on this application.

People prophesied that Christian radio would happen.

So what happened?

Scott wrote a post questioning everything leading up to the decision, and asking a question I think we all wrestle with: how do you really know what God wants you to do?

I don't think there's an easy answer.

I'm in the middle of a stage where I'm asking the same question. God, what do you want me to do? I haven't received a clear answer, and in the absence of a clear answer, you begin to look for answers in all sorts of things.

You seek wise council and they encourage you to pursue it. During worship on Sunday you get a tingly feeling, that must be God telling me to go for it. You encounter a roadblock and you think to yourself: Is this a sign? Maybe this is God telling me to stop? Maybe this is just Satan trying to slow me down and get me to give up? You begin to look for signs in all  sorts of places and pray you get a burning bush moment, or that a voice wakes you up in the middle of the night to give you a definite answer.

No such luck.

So what does God want me to do with my life?

I think unless God clearly speaks to you in one of those miraculous moments, it doesn't matter what you do. We need more Christians who are plumbers. We need more Christians who are film-makers. We need more Christians who are police officers.

I believe God is more interested in who we become, than what we do as a vocation.

He has given you talents, passions and abilities. If you use those in a God-honoring way, I don't think it matters if you are a lawyer, carpenter or mechanic.

So how do you know if it's God or the hot wings you ate last night? You'll never be sure. All you can do is look at scripture, make sure it lines up, and go for it.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I wish I had a better answer, but until I get my own burning bush that's the best I've got.

Thoughts? How do you know if it's God's will for your life?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - September 14

Favourite Potential Nutritional Development

Meet our President | Nutrition Science Initiative from Nutrition Science Initiative on Vimeo.

Favourite Way To Wait At A Traffic Light

STREETPONG from HAWK Hildesheim on Vimeo.

Favourite Radio Commercial

Favourite "I Hope He Is Wearing Diapers" Moment

Favourite Discussion On Spiritual Depth

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BFF Returns!

It's that time of year again, the Barrie Film Festival is just over one month away!

Tonight was the volunteer information meeting at Barrie City Hall. A hot, sweaty group of volunteers packed into the Huronia room just outside of council chambers for a standing-room only run-down of this year's festival.

A quick explanation of the 10-day festival schedule. Parties, after-parties, the short-film competition, the education series, the director's brunch. So much more than just the 25 films being screened.

To be honest, I'm really excited about the 2012 festival. With each year my involvement grows, and I love it more.

Weird how that happens huh?

The more invested you are,
the more ownership you take,
the more connected you become,
the more your heart leans into it.

We could apply this to our spiritual walk, but that's another post in itself.

Bottom line: If you are into movies & film (even in the slightest) you need to check it out. You may, or may not, recognize some of the titles, but I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy the films regardless.

Even better if you can combine a movie screening with one of the after-parties, or special events.

You can get more info HERE.

See you at the festival!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Sept 7 Edition

Favourite Motivational Video
Part 1

Part 2

Favourite "Whoa" Moment

Favourite Airline Ad

Not Sure I Can Use The Word "Favourite" Here, But It Is Incredibly Moving

Waking Up from Jonathan Reisinger on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


As you may know, I am a reader. Mostly non-fiction, but the odd work of fiction captures my attention (Hunger Games)

There are a handful of authors I enjoy more than others, and I have read all their material. Erwin McManus, Malcolm Gladwell and Mark Batterson to name a few.

One of my favorite books from Mark Batterson is In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day. The title is taken from a story that has its beginning, middle and end in one verse in II Samuel.

The entire book is fantastic, but I particularly enjoyed the "Lion Chaser's Manifesto". This belongs on the wall in my office.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Chase the lion!

Any quotes, mantras or manifestos on your wall?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Aug 31

Fav Way To Find An Intern

Fav Workout

Fav Music Video

Fav Train Enthusiast

Fav Way To Get Down A Mountain

Friday, August 17, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Web Finds

Favourite Music Video About Snack Food

Favourite Endorsement Offer To Come From London 2012
Usain Bolt

Favourite Pizza Delivery Vehicle Contest

Favourite Article On Living A Bigger Life
4 Ways to Stop Missing Out on Life for Work

Favourite Reason To Visit Cedar Point Next Year

Favourite Accidently Amazing Video

Did you find anything amazing on your journey across the web this week?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dreamers, Innovators and Status Quo

Amazing how being a parent changes EVERYTHING.

Last week I watched a show I had PVR'd earlier this month, Josh's Idea. The show follows the life pro wakeboarder Josh Sanders as he tours, works, rides and comes up with crazy ideas.

In the episode I caught, he builds a 200+ ft rail, attaches it to his houseboat and sets a world record for longest railslide.

The idea came together, mainly thanks to Josh's Dad, who drew up the blueprints and built the rail. The show spent some time on Josh's Dad, talking about how he has helped Josh turn his ideas into reality. From a ramp into a foam pit in their backyard, to opening a board shop, to becoming a Supra boat dealer for Australia, his Dad helped him to achieve these goals.

As I watched this show, I wasn't thinking about how sweet rail-sliding a houseboat would be, I thought: "that's the kind of Dad I want to be for Kyler."

I don't want to be a wet blanket on his dreams and ambitions. I don't want to squelch the dreamer inside of him. I want to help him work towards making his dreams and ideas a reality. Sure some of them might fail, but failure isn't final.

It's the dreamers who change the world.
It's innovators that put a dent in the universe.
I want to nurture that spirit in Kyler, not push him towards the status quo.

I want to be the kind of Dad that rebuilds Lightning McQueen to be better than before.

P.S. - I had (and still have) a fantastic father, who always told me to go after it. I am so thankful for him.

Fellow parents: How has parenting changed you?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Apps

Before diving into the smartphone market in April, I went 7 years with a cell phone that could make phone calls and text using T9 word. I told myself: I don't need a smartphone. But now that I have one, I don't know how I lived without it for so long.

So, this week I'll hilite 3 of my favourite apps (outside of the ones found on my homescreen)

If you have never watched a TED talk, you are missing out. They are inspiring, thought-provoking, educational, funny and amazing at the same time. Some of the world's premier thinkers, and some lesser-known geniuses share their expertise/theories in a 20 minute or less video. It's amazing.

It's kind of like Pinterest, but solely for the home. Ideas for the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, backyard. Inspiring architecture, interior design, furniture. I'm kind of addicted.

This handy little app tells me how far I ran, plots it on a map, and also has a coaching feature that will tell me when to run, and when to slow down for a walk. It will pull a playlist from my iTunes and provide me with musical inspiration when I start to hit a wall.
It also allows me to build a "street team" of people who can see how I'm doing and offer encouragement, or a kick in the butt if need be.
Overall a useful app.

Got any useful app suggestions for us?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Fantastic Finds

Favorite Surf Vehicle

Favorite Paralympics Promo

Favorite Upcoming Movie

Favorite Medley From A Broadway Musical

Favorite Way To Make Some Money Off Your Friends

Friday, July 27, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Advertising

I've always loved advertising... done well.

There's something beautiful about a clever billboard, tv ad or radio commercial. Sadly, most companies simply do what everyone else does, making most advertising mediocre. 

But every once in a while, creativity is allowed to incubate and something magical happens.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You Have A Gift To Give The World

I want you to think of a movie that moved you.
Maybe a song or album that impacted you.

That cost someone something.

Everything that moves you, impacts you, benefits you, gives you life... cost something.
That movie had to be written, pitched, financed, directed and produced.
That book had to be written, edited, printed and distributed.

For you to receive, someone had to give.
For you to benefit, someone had to sacrifice.
For one person to say: "it meant so much to me.", another person had to break themselves open and pour themselves out.

For us to receive forgiveness, Christ had to pour himself out. We celebrate this when we take part in communion.

When the Romans 12 says we are to "present our bodies as living sacrifices", could it be God asking us to break ourselves open and pour ourselves out?

I believe inside each of us lurks a desire.
A passion.
A calling.
Something you were made to do, that the world desperately needs. It is where you find your joy.

Sometimes in church world we are told if we really love Jesus, we should deny those passions. If we truly want to serve God, we need to repress those passions and desires.
You need to go into the heart of that passion, that desire, because God put it in you.

What is it that will get you up in the morning?
Is it art?
Is it justice?
Is it writing?
Is it running a business that is defined by integrity?

We need to experiment.
Try this and try that.
And discover what it is, that when you do it, you are alive.

The world needs the gift of you.

Sometimes the best way to find your passion is to ask: "What pisses you off?"
What makes you say: "Somebody should do something about that!"
Maybe that somebody is you.

You're saying to yourself, "But nobody is doing that."
That's why we need you.

There is a dream, a passion, a gift God has put inside you. Go for it.
It might be difficult.
People around you might not understand what you're doing.
They may call you crazy.
It will cost you something, but you might just change the world.

Like Walt Disney said: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, July 16, 2012

Baby, I'm Amazed

Anyone who knows me and my wife, knows I married up.

She's smart, funny, talented, compassionate, hard-working... I could go on, but I'll stop there.

One of Crystal's most impressive skills is her ability to write parodies of songs on the radio. This talent/passion has kicked into high gear since we had Kyler.

She has written a number of songs about our firstborn, most of which (despite my encouragement) have gone unrecorded.

One song stands out from all the rest, and it's a song that was one year in the making. With some help from BBR Studios (her brother), she presented Born This Day at Kyler's first birthday party last weekend.

Turn up your speakers and enjoy!

I think she's got talent. Maybe the next Weird Al?


Friday, July 13, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - YouTube

My favourite find on YouTube this week. I was laughing out loud.

Anyone else identify with this?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Being A Jerk & Perspective Bombs

About 2 months ago I signed for the AMP'd program at Barrie Athletic Club. It's a 3 month, super intense workout that the head trainer uses with the pro athletes he trains. It's tough.

Our 6am group consists of 4 guys who showed up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. Seeing the guys 3 times a week, you start to build a relationship with them. Start to feel more comfortable with them. They've seen you sweat, struggle to breathe and curse the trainer just quiet enough that he can't hear. 

You've bonded.

About 2 or 3 weeks ago one of the guys stopped showing up in the morning. No announcement or warning, he just stopped being there. It was weird at first, but you get used to it. Before he disappeared, we'd chirp each other. He'd make comments about how sitting behind a microphone all day, had me in bad shape. He'd tell me I need to get a real job if I want to keep up with him. 

"If your legs ran as much as your mouth, you might be able to do this without passing out."

***NOTE: Guys aren't good at expressing their feelings, so we resort to sarcasm and put-downs***

Fast forward to Monday morning, and the dude was back! So naturally I chirped him back.
"Was the workout too tough for you?"
"Did you give in and do the ladies class instead?"
Instead of the usual good-natured smile in response, he scowled and politely told me to go... someplace hot.

WHOA. What got into this guy? What's his problem? I decided to just avoid him for the rest of the morning. (Something I learned from living with Crystal. If she's grumpy, give her space.)

This morning he was in a bit better mood, but I elected to forego the chirps and be friendly. He still didn't seem to be his usual, jovial self. I told myself: "Maybe he's just tired."

After our workout we're sitting in the hot tub and I find out his wife was diagnosed with cancer and started treatment in Toronto 3 weeks ago.


Instantly everything changed. I didn't see him as a crotchety old man anymore. He is a husband who is hurting. "Until death do us part" has suddenly taken on an entirely new meaning for him.

I secretly wished I could sink to the bottom of the hot tub and have the jets suck me out and transport me back into the change room without him noticing.

I was reminded how blessed I am to have a healthy wife and child.

How blessed I am that I can get up early and have the energy to workout 3 days a week.

How blessed I am to have a relationship with this guy in the midst of his hurt and pain.

Lord, I pray you'd give me the opportunity to be your voice in this guy's life. That I can be there to stand alongside him in his pain and uncertainty. I pray that I could play a small part in the redemption story you are writing in his life.

Amazing how a little perspective changes everything huh?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Little Man!

A great first birthday, complete with presents, balloons and rainbow cake!

The first year has been much tougher than I expected, but also much, much more rewarding than I expected. I hear other people's horror stories, and I think we got lucky, Kai is a great kid.

Looking forward to many more birthdays!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Non-Church Podcasts

Time for another edition of Favorite Things Friday.

I love podcasts. If I'm driving for an extended period of time, I plug my iPod in and listen to a podcast (or two). My car has become a learning hub on wheels. Here are my Top 3 (non-church) podcasts:

Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
I love leadership podcasts. I listen to Perry Noble and Dave Ramsey, but Andy is my favorite. His podcast is so practical, and he doesn't come off as arrogant, like some others do. He is leading one of the most progressive churches in the U.S., so he must be doing something right.

Mike Hyatt is relatively new to the podcast game so it's not as polished as some podcasts you may listen to, but the content is great. You want a personal growth podcast? This is it. Career, family, personal health, leadership and entrepreneurship; its got it all.

As the title indicates, this podcast covers whatever Tim & Kevin feel like talking about. New technology, books, hot start-ups, food, apps, etc. They don't post very often (latest episode is from November of 2011), but the episodes are always entertaining and inspiring. I think Tim Ferriss is the most interesting man in the world. Seriously, read up on this dude.

Got any podcasts to add?

Any others we should be checking out?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

I've been a volunteer at the Barrie Film Festival for the past 3 years, and have loved every minute of it. It's no secret that I'm a fan of the indie, documentary and under-the-radar films we showcase each year. While I enjoy being a volunteer and helping out, I left last year wanting to do more. I mentioned it to one of the organizers and hadn't heard much until last week, when I was invited to sit on the Special Events Committee.

Our first meeting was last night at Donaleigh's Irish Pub. I walked in as the new guy (the only guy), totally unprepared for what was to come. The meeting began and it was off to the races. We started with the kickoff party, people throwing out names of caterers and musicians. We had already planned the look, feel and vibe of the night, assigned duties and moved on to the next event by the time I wrote down the date. 

It was unreal!

These people had clearly done this before.

We were barely five minutes into the meeting and I was already feeling in over my head. "What am I doing here?" The people around the table are all hyper-connected business owners that seem to know everyone!

We need a jazz band, one woman's husband is in a jazz band.

We need food, one woman owns a catering business and knows all the other caterers and restaurateurs in town.

We need decorations and flowers, another woman is friends with the owners of a floral shop.

One person would throw out an idea, and another would build on it before the initial idea had finished. These 6 women were acting as one collective entity. I wish I had taped it.

The meeting lasted about 90 minutes, and we (they) planned 6 major events. It was unlike any event planning meeting I've ever been a part of. I made some small contributions, but mostly watched in awe as the machine began to roll.

I left with my head spinning, in awe of what I had just experienced.

Over my head? Probably, but it was fun.

Ever been there?

When is the last time you bit off more than you can chew?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Canada Day Edition

It's the return of Favorite Things Friday!

In honor of Canada Day this weekend, my 3 favorite places in Canada.

We took family ski vacations out to Kelowna in my high school years, and I fell in love. Nestled in the rocky mountains, with warm weather down by the lake (even in winter) and an hour drive into the mountains for fresh powder. It's an unreal place, and easily my favorite place in Canada.

Crystal and I went to Quebec City 2 years ago for our anniversary and both loved it. It felt as though we were walking around the street of Europe. I'd find myself pulling Canadian money out of my wallet and thinking: "it's so weird that they accept Canadian money here." The European vibe, food and awesome price make it #2 on the list.

Whenever LIFE has an event in Muskoka I volunteer. I can't pinpoint one specific thing, but I love spending time in Muskoka. Whether it's enjoying a coffee at Seven Main, lunch at Just Crepes, or a scoop of Marty's World Famous Buttertart ice cream, Muskoka is a beaut. The fact I have lots of friends to visit in Muskoka helps it rise up to #3 on my list.

Your turn. What's your favorite place to visit?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where'd You Go?

Without much warning, 8 and a half weeks ago I disappeared. I'm sorry for scaring some of you, but I was given an amazing opportunity that I couldn't say 'no' to.

Crystal had this crazy idea that I take the final 8 weeks of parental leave, and she'll go back to work.

8 weeks of vacation in May & June? Sure!

I don't think she offered to be nice. There was an ulterior motive.

It was no vacation, the first week or two was intense! Here I was, thinking Crystal just watched tv all day while the baby entertained himself or slept. Not even close.

There was laundry to do.
Baby food to make.
Grocery shopping to do.
Meals to cook.
A house to try and keep (somewhat) clean.
PLUS a baby to entertain/play with/educate/watch.

Once I got over the initial shock of how much work needed to be done, I really started to enjoy it. Kyler and I would go to the park, play in the backyard, go grocery shopping together and play with his toys.

It was amazing how much he grew up in those 8 short weeks. He's climbing (up and down) stairs, laughing and playing more, walking along furniture and even communicating via grunts and finger points.

Now that the 8 weeks is over, I look back and have a much greater appreciation for the work Crystal did for the first 10 months, and I feel like Kai and I have bonded in a way that might not have happened had I just worked over those 2 months. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Will I miss being a stay-at-home dad? Yes, but coming in to work provides a nice break in my day. 
(Just kidding Scott, you keep me plenty busy.)