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October 2005
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31 posts from November 2005

Jesus bought this clown a burger

Believers in Jesus Christ:  Have you ever struggled with sharing what He means to you?

Here's a great first person story about how Jesus bought this unemployed guy a hamburg and how this woman and her kids provided a potent, first-hand witness of Jesus Christ.

Gov. Granholm: It's time to appoint ombudsman in the MI Office of Ombudsman for Children

Former State Rep. Lauren Hager is right about Gov. Granholm needing to appoint an ombudsman for children in Michigan.  The position has been vacant since May and in this Detroit Free Press column, Hager explains the importance of this position and the urgency for having it filled.

The Michigan Office of Children's Ombudsman can be a lifeline for kids who are at-risk for abuse and neglect.

Michigan lawmakers fight to display Ten Commandments

There's another story in this morning's Lansing State Journal about how certain Michigan lawmakers are fighting to have the Ten Commandments displayed in the State Capitol Building.

The Associated Press Story reports on a Michigan Capitol Committee meeting where the issue was discussed.

Is this issue worth the fight?  I believe that fights need to be picked carefully and I'm not convinced that this will have any lasting effect.  It seems to be an exercise in legislative pugilism.

People in Michigan are looking for hope.  There's so much uncertainty that you can cut it with a knife.  The Ten Commandments are the law and they show that we need help.

I propose that there be a manger scene, like there used to be on the State Capitol lawn.  Now that's worth the effort.  Scoffers will react with volume, but it will provide a chance to show and testify the location of the only true hope.

It's a classic case of law and gospel.  People need to hear about Jesus and they need to hear the testimony of the believers around them.

Attorney General Mike Cox's explanation of affair is not enough

Yup, there it was on the Michigan Legislature's website.  Our state's compiled laws state clearly that adultery is a felony. 

I looked this up after reading this morning's Lansing (MI) State Journal and a story containing excerpts from an interview with Attorney General Mike Cox who self-disclosed an extra-marital affair he had.  With his wife at his side, he made the disclosure at a news conference.

Chris Andrews, the longtime State Capitol reporter for the State Journal, asked Cox to comment on a reader comment that the AG's admission showed that he committed a felony.  That sent me to the online version of the Michigan Compiled Laws where there's a law that states adultery is indeed a felony.

Cox's answer was insufficient, in my opinion.

Continue reading "Attorney General Mike Cox's explanation of affair is not enough" »

A mid-Michigan grandma with Parkinson's writes kid books about being a grandparent

Found this story about a mid-Michigan grandma who writes kid's books in this morning's Lansing State Journal. Janet Sinke is a 54-year-old former hospice nurse who believes that her disease is the best thing that ever happened to her.  It led her to these special books about the all-important grandparent-grandchild relationship.

She has a special view of life and the circumstances that everybody faces at one time or another.  Her books are self-published and available at Barnes and Noble.

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Ron Dzwonkowski of the Freep nails it; politicians need to put Michigan before party

I've not always been a big fan of newspaper editorials, but Ron Dzwonkowski of the Detroit Free Press nails it when he writes that Michigan's political establishment, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the State Legislature are letting it's people down.

In essence, he says, that Michigan's politicians are putting party and elections before what's best for Michigan.

I've seen it up close and personal as a retired employee from the Michigan Legislature and I've noticed this rancid political atmosphere particularly in the last seven years since we've had term limits.

Each politician is out for him or herself and each party only cares about winning.  At least, that's the appearance.  It's hard to read each politician's heart, but you can look at the product of their work and you can match up what they say with what they do.

Voters need to take heed and to take action and demand more of their political representatives. 

Continue reading "Ron Dzwonkowski of the Freep nails it; politicians need to put Michigan before party" »

Toyota overtaking General Motors; what does this mean

I opened up the Detroit News this morning and almost threw up when I saw this story about Toyota outgunning GM in the automotive world.  For a guy who grew up and lived almost all his life in Michigan this is astounding news.

Is this inevitable?  We were able to put men on the moon when we all worked together.  Do we have to lose our manufacturing supremacy to another nation and, the irony, is that it's a nation that attacked us way back when?

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Black Friday in Lansing, MI with my favorite son

Flickr Photo

Joining the Black Friday crowds in Lansing was fun the past two years.  The Daily Grit son, the Undercover Geek, and I really enjoyed doing it together.  It was kind of like an aggressive game of paint ball or walking along Grand River Avenue in East Lansing after a MSU basketball loss.

Last year going to the Meijers on West Saginaw was so incredibly experiential.  After braving the early morning shoppers in the merchandise aisles, I felt I could brave anything.  Then we'd be onto Best Buy where lines waiting to checkout looped around the store a couple of times.

This year we got to Best Buy about 45 minutes later than usual.  It was disappointing.  There was only was line around the store and all the aisles seemed pretty navigable.  Meijers at 8 a.m. or thereabouts seemed pretty tame.  I've seen Saturdays that were more crowded. 

Now some said that the shoppers mayhem came earlier.  Best part was doing it together.  We stopped at the nearby Beaners before starting and then had a bagel at Panera Bread at the mall.    It was a good time.  I'd do it again with him.

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Having a thankful attitude in Michigan's uncertain economy

Would you be able to give thanks for:

  • Losing your job
  • Getting cancer
  • Having rebellious kids
  • Being seriously ill

Coming off a really nice Thanksgiving, I'm trying to concentrate on the state of my thankfulness.  I've got it and have had it pretty easy compared to many if not most people.

Under what circumstances are you allowed to stop being thankful?

To be thankful, do you need health, money, happy family, freedom and warm weather?

Lansing State Journal columnist John Schneider says that thankfulness is an attitude and he tells about why he wished he had learned that earlier in his life.

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Christmas and political correctness at Michigan's State Capitol

Are you sick of Christmas?

I mean, are you sick of the paranoia about the birth of Jesus Christ that results in removing everything that refers to him from any part of the Christmas celebration?

That's what the Lansing State Journal's John Schneider writes about this morning in his column.  In front of the Michigan State Capitol Building there has always been a big Christmas tree.  There used to be a manger with the baby Jesus, along with Mary and Joseph and others.  That has changed.

Michigan no-longer has a Christmas tree.  It has a Holiday Tree.

  •   What's the practice in your area?
  •   Have we gone overboard in trying to be sensitive to everybody's feelings?

What about people who say "Merry Christmas" or do they say "Happy Holidays" instead?

  •   Have we gone too far?

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General Motors fights for its survival

Decisions being made now by our governor, the state legislature and by our business leaders will shape this state for generations.

Take this package of stories from today's Detroit News.? General Motors has always been the economic foundation of Michigan.? That's changing.?

  • So what will replace General Motors in Michigan?
  • Are GM employees in Michigan prepared for the inevitable changes in their lifestyles?
  • What are the options for employees who lose the security of a good auto plant job?
  • Is it possible for all the different, but affected groups to pull together to work this thing out?

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Dr. Randy Carlson--get his Word on Relationships Commentary

Because I grew up in a single-parent home as an only child, I knew I faced challenges when it came to relationships of all kinds, especially the opposite sex.  I learned through the ups-and-downs of daily experiences.

Getting advice and counsel in this area as a kid and even as an adult was hard and just about non-existent.  My church was of no help and aunt and uncles had their own families and during the fifties and sixties and seventies, there wasn't much talk about relationships.

That's why I recommend Dr. Randy Carlson's FREE Word on Relationships Commentary. He tackles one relationship issue each month and does it from a biblical point of view.   But, just as important, it contains practical principles that you can use in your everyday life.

For example this month's issue is on Helping Hurting Friends.  On first glance, three things stand out in this issue.  He calls them Helper Hindrances:

  1. Don't be a counselor--You're a friend, not a counselor.  One role is different from the other.
  2. Don't be simplistic--Guard against giving overly simplistic answers.  Randy points to Job and his friends.
  3. Don't be biased--Don't over identify with your friend's problem to the point where you lose your objectivity.

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Christmas in public schools and in the public square

Public schools are really gun shy and paranoid about allowing any reference to Christmas.  This involves everything that happens in the classroom to the school at-large. 

What are your rights to deal with this antipathy in public schools about Christmas?

You can find a full list of links with resources on coping with this anti-Christmas attitude in this piece from Focus on the Family.  If you or someone you know is dealing with this, it's worth checking.

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Before loved ones die, let them know how you feel

The author shares how during the final hours of his mother-in-law's life, they took time to share what she meant to them. It's from Focus on the Family and is an important read for anybody facing the death of loved one, especially aging parents.

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Get the Black Friday store ads now online, according to Freep's Mike Wendland

Do you try to take advantage of the sales on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving?

Fighting the crowds to get the best bargains that are advertised with the local newspaper can be a competitive experience.  The aggressiveness of shoppers in mid-Michigan on that early morning is legendary.

Mike Wendland, the tech columnist for the Detroit Free Press, writes about how to get a sneak peek at all the major ads now.  They're online, believe it or not.  And he mentions some of the strategies people use to get those unbelievable bargains.

It's worth a look.

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School concert song in Detroit area dissing blacks needs to be discussed

This whole issue of race relations bugs the snot out of me.  I live in a mixed urban area where people seem to get along, but I've experienced a distance between the races.

You can go so far, then there's a wall.  I know that it's not because of a lack of problems involving racial understanding and sensitivity.  But, nobdy seems to want to talk about the issue, whether black or white.

Then I saw this story in today's Detroit News about a middle school in upscale Berkley, MI in Oakland County,  just north of Detroit.  The school is having a concert where one of the songs is "Pick A Bale of Cotton."  An 11-year-old student said she felt the song glorified the days of slavery when African Americans were forced to the fields to pick cotton.

As a performer in the concert, she protested and her dad echoed her concerns and the school district appeared to blow them off. 

The pretty-much all white school comes off as disrespec tual and insensitive to what happened to our African-American brothers and sisters in the past. 

  • Should this whole issue be talked about more?
  • Should the concert continue to incloude "Pick A Bale Of Cotton" ?

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Blackberry 8700 video blogged by Mike Wendland of Detroit Free Press

My eyes went right to the Blackberry 8700 on the Detroit Free Press homepage this morning and the review written by their tech columnist Mike Wendland.

The new machine is worthy of a serious look, but what really caught my eye was Wendland's video blog where he also presented his review.  That's the first time I've seen a video blog in a local newspaper.

What are some of the favorite video blogs?

I'm anxious to follow the development of this form of blogging.


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Will more algebra classes help brighten Michigan's economic future?

Michigan's school chief, Mike Flanagan,  is about to propose expanding the number of subjects required for graduation from high school.  Most of the changes will revolve around advanced math and science for high schoolers.

His proposal will go to the Michigan Legislature.

How do you feel?  Will that help cement our economic future?  Are our kids ready for this change or will it just encourage dropouts?

Go to today's Detroit News story about it and be sure to vote in the cyber survey about the proposal.


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Detroit auto industry faces its own Hurricane Katrina

I think the church in Michigan needs to add an item to its Sunday prayers:  Actually, it's a collection of items about this state's economic transition from being a manufacturing economy where the automobile reigned supreme, but no longer.

The Great Lakes State appears to be headed for some historic changes and it could negatively affect a lot of people.

The Detroit News gives specific details in it's story about the Black October for the auto industry.

How can all the affected parties in Michigan be brought together to minimize the pain and pull us through this time of change?

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