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32 posts from May 2005

Finding a mayor for Lansing, MI

My city--Lansing, MI--is at the front-end of selecting a mayor for a new four-year-term.

Our newspaper--the Lansing State Journal--this morning has a front page story about the local UAW Council endorsing a young state senator--Virg Bernero.  As a discerning reader, I ask myself, "So what?"  Why is it important that the leadership of all the UAW locals in Lansing with the exception of one endorsed Virg?

The rationale was that Bernero was better prepared to lead this city that's on the ropes.  But, they never share how or why he's more prepared.   You know, what concerns me . . .

Continue reading "Finding a mayor for Lansing, MI" »

Citizen journalism in the state of Virginia

Local news is being covered in two Virginia cities surrounding Washington D.C. by citizen online "newspapers". It's open-source journalism.  It is a possible anwwer to local newspapers who are shy about living out their historical responsibilities of bringing truth to their readers.  By the way, the new online local news outlets are called  I'd be anxious to hear what you think.

Baby-boomer retirement--a personal report

I'm into my fifth month of collecting a pension.  I'm a member of the first class of baby boomers having been born in 1946.  My dad got out of the U.S. Navy and my parents had me about nine months later.  My generation represents lots of people and they've started to retire.

I vaguely remember a book from the late sixties or early seventies called Passages.  It was about different life stages.  I feel like I've been through a bunch of them and now I'm getting ready to enter into senior citizen status. 

Continue reading "Baby-boomer retirement--a personal report" »

Lansing (MI) City Council needs to be challenged

I couldn't believe it when I read the column by Derek Melot in the Lansing State Journal about Lansing City Council members getting full-medical and dental coverage as a fringe benefit for their part-time service.

Wow.  What arrogance on the part of Lansing City Council members.  Lansing is a declining mid-sized city in a ton of fiscal trouble.  It's built around GM plants and is the State Capital of Michigan.  Both entities are in financial trouble and average folks around here are starting to feel the squeeze.

Lots of people caught in this economic vise are left without any kind of medical coverage.

Continue reading "Lansing (MI) City Council needs to be challenged" »

The mother of my children--Gladys Thorp

Img_0050The two most important people in my life happen to be women, my wife and my mother.

My wife, Gladys, is also the mother of our two children.  She's a true gift from God.  She loves unconditionally, because she knows and feels the love of Jesus Christ.  Our kids, Krista and Justin, reflect her love and, mine, too.

The best part of my life has been being part of a family, our family.  I love being a husband and I love being a dad.  And, it's so easy when you have the perfect wife who at the same time has been the perfect mom.  Okay, maybe not perfect, but as perfect as you'll get on this earth.

Gladys is a reflection of her mother, Catherine, who died last year.  She's worthy of mention which I will do later.

But, it's off to church after a shower.  And, then to Applebees for a Mother's Day lunch.  We have our small group bible study at our house tonight.

Mrs. Frieda M. Thorp, my mother

My mother, Frieda M. Thorp, maiden name Moll, was a saint.

She was born in 1909 at her ancestral home in the Thumb of Michigan, in one of the small four corners, called Gagetown or Bach, one of those.  Her life revolved around her family of six brothers and five sisters, her family farm, the nearby Lutheran church and school and lots of lard work and hard times.

On this Mother's Day, the memories of her are still there in bold relief, but fading somewhat.

For me, she was a world-changer, a difference-maker.  She loved me unconditionally, always.  My father, Claude H. Thorp of New York, was an idiot.  He didn't love unconditionally.  I'm not sure he knew how to love.  But my mother sure did.

Continue reading "Mrs. Frieda M. Thorp, my mother" »

Why I Don't Go To Church--Whole RBC Newsletter

I couldn't find the newsletter on the RBC site, so here it is from their e-newsletter:

If I’ve learned anything about going to church, it’s that there are plenty of reasons not to go.

I’ve visited enough churches all over the world to know that human nature is the same in Kuala Lumpur as it is in Kalamazoo. Since there are no perfect churches, see if you share my thoughts when I say:

1.  I don’t go to church expecting to see a group of people consistently reflecting the attitudes and values of Christ.

Oslexterior I’ve seen enough of myself in church sanctuaries, meeting halls, and boardrooms to know that we all are at varying degrees of spiritual growth or regression. Some of us are like noisy newborns. Others are showing signs of spiritual senility. Most are somewhere in between, trying to figure out why we are acting like mere men and women rather than mature members of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:3).

All of this would be disillusioning to me if I didn’t find that the New Testament depicts the first-century church in the same condition of imperfection (Revelation 2-3).

Continue reading "Why I Don't Go To Church--Whole RBC Newsletter" »

Why I don't got to church by RBC

Thank-you Mart DeHaan of the Radio Bible Class in Grand Rapids, Mich. for writing your newsletter last month on Why I Don't Go To Church.  It's so important to have your expectations based in truth and reality.

DeHaan writes that he doesn't go to church expecting to:

  • See a group of people consistently reflecting the attitudes and values of Christ.
  • To hear music that will lift everyone to the same level of worship.
  • See men and women consistently giving one another the mutual honor and consideration they deserve.

Continue reading "Why I don't got to church by RBC" »

Listen to the Real Voice of Truth says Casting Crowns

Pict0044It was early on a Saturday morning and I hadn't had my fourth cup of coffee yet, but I still tried to listen to this song my pastor played for our men's group at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Lansing, Mich.  The song sounded okay, but my ears and my heart were not working together at that moment.

Well, Pastor David Maier blogged about it and he included the words.  The song is Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns.  Several weeks later, I read the words and then hurried over to Apple's iTunes and put down my virtual 99 cents to download it.  And I'm glad I did.  This past week, it has literally a God-send.

When the voice of doubt and questions was knawing at me, I listened to it and then listened again and then again.  I might even get an i-Pod so I can listen to it some more.  I can learn.  I'm trainable, but early on a Saturday morning, stuff comes slower.  But, I got it now.  Thanks to Pastor Maier.