Our family pooch, Snoopy, despises baths. She avoids them like the plague. She needs to be bribed with everything short of a sacrificial squirrel. Beagles should be the national dog. They personify the qualities that you should see in people.
33 posts from July 2005
It would easy to look back at this past weekend's Promise Keepers event in East Lansing, MI at Michigan State University and be critical. I could point to:
- The lack of response from our guys at a fairly big Lutheran church in Lansing was fairly impressive. Men's ministry has never quite made it at our church. I think the leadership and the guys feel they don't need it.
- PK's anemic attempt to organize a local committee to promote and coordinate local churches stood out like a sore thumb to those who were involved.
But, without putting spin or PR b.s. on the weekend, I feel that I can say emphatically that the "glass was full and overflowing." And, that had to be a God thing, not something engineered by men.
Is this guy an argument for part-time legislatures around the country or not? This Pennsylvania lawmaker has a bill to require our doggies be placed in a seat belt or crate while traveling in a car. He came up with this grand idea after he asked constituents for ideas for new laws. And this is the best he could come up with. God help the Republic.
I just read that Judith Miller from the New York Times was being jailed for refusing to name her source in a story about the CIA. What she's doing is just as bold and courageous as any other fighter for freedom and liberty in this country.
Some thoughts that come to my mind about her actions:
- Christian radio shrink James Dobson should do a program about her and her actions and about the courageous stand she's taking to keep this country strong. He has savaged the news media in the past and he needs to educate people about the important role they play and how we need a strong news media in this country.
- This country needs a national shiled law to protect reporters from being forced to divulge confidential sources. Such a law is just as important as any missile shield or any home security law.
- Judith Miller makes me proud to have been a former journalist. The profession has shrunk in its professionalism and in its standing. She raised the bar again, ala Woodward and Bernstein.
- The news media needs to be awoken from its slumber and start playing the role it was intended to play in this country. They need to be the ones who shine lights on those who would rather work in the dark and in the process reduce the quality of our self-government.
The flip side of the PK brochure has three interesting questions about why men don't go to church, at least lots of men don't go to church:
- What is it about modern Christianity that is driving men away?
- Jesus was a magnet for men, but our churches repel them. What's changed?
- What do rival faiths inspire male allegiance while Christianity breeds male indifference?
Late last week, I got a brochure in the mail from Promise Keepers about how men are not going to church. I got this about a week before a big PK events comes to our area at the Breslin at MSU.
It states that Christianity is short on men:
- The typical U.S. congregation draws an adult crowd that's 61 percent female, 39 percent male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.
- On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America's churches.
- This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, chuirchgoing women will worship without their husbands.
When we were walking Snoopy, our rockstar dog, we walked by Lansing Mayor Tony Benavides' house and still no U.S. flag on his front yard flag pole. It was the same on Memorial Day. I don't expect the Mayor to be a frothing at the mouth patriot-type, but he needs to lead the way in showing the colors during these trying times. What gives Mister Mayor?
The U.S. Census Bureau details what the Fourth of July means to the economy in 2005.
Promise Keepers will bring their conference to my neck-of-the-woods--East Lansing, MI and MSU--this next weekend and I'm looking forward to it. I've been to 10 PK events since I attended my first in Indy in 1994 where I was totally taken aback by the number of men attending and by whole experience.
Since then, I have attended several PK events with my son, Justin, in several parts of the country and each one has been special. These include: Two at the Silverdome in Pontiac, two at Soldier Field in Chicago, one at the Thomas Mack Center at UNLV, one at Joe Louis in downtown Detroit, one at the Van Andel in Grand Rapids, last year in Indy and Stand In The Gap in Washington, D.C. I forgot that we also went to one at the Palace in Auburn Hills.
When we first started going, I'm sure that Justin could relate to very little of the practical, day-to-day spiritual content at the conferences. He's now 21 and can probably relate to just about all of it.
I will talk about this whole PK experience in coming posts as I prepare myself for this weekend.
Dads in arrears on child support is epidemic in Michigan and their inaction leaves scars that will leave an imprint for generations. Dr. Ken Canfield of the National Center for Fathering describes Fathering Court in Kansas that seems to have a focus to help, rather than threaten. I'm anxious to follow their results.
Before I retired as a staffer from the Michigan House of Representatives, I spent a lot of time working on issues relating to child protection. That's why my antenna went up immediately when I saw this story from the Detroit Free Press about an almost two-year being scalded to death. The state's safety net for such kids is problematic to say the least.
A legislator needs to request an investigation by the Michigan Office of Children's Ombudsman of the state's role or non-role in the care of this at-risk child and the lawmaker needs to keep their feet to the fire to ensure that it's thorough at that something is learned from this death.
The littlest things like two teenage boys wearing baseball caps to church can cause an uproar with a church and the pastor can be caught in the middle. It's a real life issue that a Montana church faced in a story told by Christianity Today.
After I put away my Bible and my copy of RBC's Our Daily Bread, I opened the online version of the Detroit Free Press and first read a good story by their religion writer David Crumm about local religious leaders and how they get together with God in the morning.
It was interesting and gave a glimpse of what's important to these faith leaders. Too bad, he didn't do the same for the everyday believer in the pew.