Previous month:
July 2006
Next month:
September 2006

39 posts from August 2006

Holy crap, next week at this time I'll be sixty years old

Sixty is the new forty

It's a big fat cliche, but I'm awed by how fast life moves.  I used to relish in the fact that I was a member of the first class of baby boomers having been born in 1946.  My spot on a timeline was easily identifiable and was part of the tail end of a war that this country won with pride.

Turning sixty on August 31, next Thursday, has been a sobering nugget that has been swirling around in my neurons for more than a year and a half.  I realize in a much more personal way that I have more life behind me than I have ahead of me.  Ouch.

I'm not quite ready to pick out a cemetery plot, but I have been giving serious thought about what I want to do with the rest of my life, regardless of when my end date is.

Things I would change

Looking back there are a lot of things that I would change if I could.  I've made mistakes.  I've sinned.  I have had a big file case of transgressions.  I can identify with King David from the Old Testament who in Psalm 51 cried out to God for forgiveness.  David knew who he was and who he was not and he asked for help in changing. 

I feel the grace of God in forgiving me and I feel his hand in changing me layer by layer, like with an onion.  A big part of me is impatient at my rate of change. 

But, I'm concerned about making the best use of the life I have left

I'm still looking for my purpose.  I loved being a hands on dad, but the nest is empty.  My wife still works, but I'm retired from one area of my life that gave me more identity than it should have.

I feel like I still have plenty of productive potential left in me.  The challenge is identifying where. 

I do have some ideas that I've moved a certain distance with.  But the challenge is getting out in the arena and competing in a new area. 

I can see how people lose inspiration and motivation.  I've always been a caused oriented person.  I am a child of the sixties and of circumstances who has always tried to do something that involves making this world a better place to live in.

Getting pumped up

Finding a cause seems to be more of a challenge than it used to be.  Politics seems to be so hopeless.  It's more about holding power than helping people.  It seems to be all about the brand and very little about the content.

I have so much to be thankful for.  I've been blessed way more than I deserve.  I have a wife who means the world to me.  My kids are extraordinary.   Being part of a family has been the greatest privilege of my life.  I know that my position as husband and dad will continue, but it's transitioning.

But, I'm listening and waiting for direction on the next chapters of my life.  Where do I go from here?  I'm not really sure.

As the urgings move me, I want to use this blog to help me sort this out.

About my 60th birthday next week; how does one celebrate his or her six decades of life?  Lots of food and drink?  Maybe some, but I hope there are still some friends around.  I need to spend some knee time.  I have a whole lot to thank God for, believe me.  I'm blessed big time.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

A web challenge: Try to find Dick Devos' turnaround plan on his website

UPDATE:  I was wrong!  A friend pointed out to me that Dick Devos' Turnaround Plan was billboarded on the home page in a series of rotating pictures and headlines.  I missed it.  It's on the home page every few seconds.  Sorry.  (Aug. 24, 2006)

Dick Devos, Republican candidate for Michigan governor, has a turnaround plan for our state.  Supposedly, it has a lot of detail.  Try to find it on his website.  He needs a web professional to help improve the usability of his website.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Hillary Clinton does not have a blog on her campaign website

In this election cycle, Hillary Clinton is one of the few U.S. Senate candidates with a web domain name that's easy to remember.  It's  It's her name and easy to remember.  This is unlike many other candidates who have found new ways to make their sites hard to find.

By the way, she doesn't have a blog on her website.  Too much transparency for her?  I'm surprised that she's not a blogger.  I wonder about our U.S.Senator running for re-election, Debbie Stabenow. Does she have a blog?

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd is case study on earmarking fed money for your state

My guess is that our local member of the Congress, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers will never talk about the whole process of earmarking federal funds for special projects.  It seems like an insidious process where those who pay the money--the taxpayers--are left in the dark about how their money is spent.

Millions upon millions of taxpayers money has been spent on projects that are questionable and who whose legislative history are hidden from the people who should know, the voters.

Today's Christian Science Monitor provides a case study of how U.S.Sen. Robert Byrd has mastered the art of earmarks for his state of West Virginia.

In Michigan, at least, I think the media should hold the feet of the members of the Michigan delegation to the fire on this issue.  The mainstream media won't.  Perhaps, it needs to be the blogosphere. 

Are there enough Michigan bloggers who care enough to demand answers to the question of where our representatives stand on this issue?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Daily Kos writer says terrorism victims not many compared to traffic accidents

In the Daily Kos, Dark Syde says the threat of losing life and limb to terrorism is all a matter of perspective.  Do you agree with:

Heart disease and cancer will claim about 1.5 million American lives
each and every year. As far as accidental deaths (~100,000/year), motor
vehicle accidents far and away lead the pack (+40,000/year), with
accidental poisoning and falls in place and show1.
You can play with those stats all kinds of ways. But the bottom line is
that over the course of a civilian lifetime, the odds of falling victim
to Al Qaeda rank somewhere between falling off a ladder to your death
and being struck by lightning inside your home. 

How does Al Qaeda compare with past threats?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Should you respond to anonymous commenters on a blog

On my post about the chair of the MI Republican party, there's an anonymous comment that deserves a response.  The commenter made a good point that needs to be examined further.

But, click on the link for the Gander Gardner and there's one post and no name. 

Hey, there's no reason to be shy about your identity.  Everybody has a right to their opinion.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Is MI State Supreme Court being hyprocritical about judge accepting football tickets

Derek Melot, editorial writer and columnist for the Lansing (MI) State Journal is right about raising the question Michigan's State Supreme Court and its discipline of a local judge for accepting football tickets from a lawyer.

This judge, Michael Haley of Midland, took two University of Michigan football tickets, from a lawyer to practiced in his courtroom.  And, the judge got punished for it.

Melot raises the point about the justices who ruled and all the money they receive as campaign contributions from lawyers who practice before them.  The system stinks and it looks like, smells like and talks like hypocrisy to me.

Time to let the governor appoint state supreme court justices?

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Christian ministries are in the judicial cross hairs

Judicial activism strikes at an effective prison ministry in the state of Iowa.  The ultra-left took Prison Fellowship to court to challenge its InnerChange Freedom Initiative and won.  What a shame!

I've been involved in prison ministry for almost 20 years and I've gotten to know hundreds of inmates around the state.  Most recently, the state of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Corrections has been racheting up its efforts to make it harder and harder for volunteers to be involved.

Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family provides some informative resources.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Let's welcome Joe Lieberman into the Republican Party

Some of the mushy thinkers in our party who have a left-wing tilt are saying the party should welcome Joe Lieberman after being bounced off the Dem ticket in Connecticut.  No way, says Human Events.  Lieberman's a nice guy, but he's know Republican.  He's ultra-left Gore Democrat.

He's of  the same liberal stripe as our two U.S. Senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Saul Anuzis is right about Michigan Democrats being left-wing hawks

Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis writes in his blog about the Democratic agenda in our state.  He says when they talk about being hawks that they mean something different.  Look at Gov. Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and I agree.  Saul says:

When Democrats talk about being “hawks” they are referring to swooping down on the taxpayers and picking their pockets.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,
powered by performancing firefox

Two young missionaries in Bamako, Mali adopt twin girls

I met Tom and Amanda, two young missionaries in Bamako, Mali with the Christian Missionary Alliance through their blog.  I found it just before I left  on a short-term mission trip there in March.

While there we met at the mission house where our group was staying.  They are really impressive people who are making a difference in a very underdeveloped part of the world. 

And, I see that they continue being "world-changers" for these two little girls.  Read the story in their blog.  It's pretty amazing.  I really owe them an e-mail.

They also helped our group find a broadband internet connection so we could do a live webcast to our churches back home.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Internet access and tech tips from Lee Lefever as he travels the world

Because our church has a group of 17 guys traveling in South Africa right now and who are struggling with internet access, I got distracted by this post from Lee LeFever about net access from Thailand.  He also talks about how he was able to use his cellphone for moblogging.  Really good stuff.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Reading the newspapers, etc. before church

Here's some links to news I've read before church this morning:

  1. The three young guys arrested with more than 1,000 non-traceable cellphones while buying more in Caro in Michigan's Thumb are from Texas.  They were making their purchases at the local Wal-Mart.  (AP story from Lansing State Journal)
  2. Target of the three guys arrested in Caro, MI may be have the state's Mackinac Bridge, according to local cops.  (Detroit Free Press story)
  3. Michigan families are struggling to pay for college as tuition climbs higher and higher.  (Detroit Free Press)
  4. Detroit Free Press online poll shows 70 percent support for statewide ballot question to guarantee consistent level of funding for public schools.
  5. Michigan parolees have tough time finding employment.  (MLive story from Booth Newspapers Lansing Bureau)
  6. Congress is addicted to pork by Newt Gingrich; How does paying for the World Toilet Summit sit with you?  To get the rest you have to pay Newt $5.95 a month for his premium podcasts.
  7. The blog-Wide Awake Cafe-says good 2008 Republican ticket might be Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.
Time to take a shower.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Three terrorism arrests made at Wal-Marts in Caro in Michigan's Thumb

This is way too spooky and scary.  Caro, Michigan is in Michigan's Thumb and it's big attraction is a Wal-Marts where three Arab-American types were arrested for mass purchases of Trac cellphones. They had an additional 1,000 phones in their car. 

You can't get any more rural and middle America than Caro.  This is close to home and it's a real heads-up that we are at war with people who want to do us harm.

I am glad that our authorities are on the ball and caught this.  Way to go and thank-you.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Emma would make a good New York State Assembly-person

She's a friend of my son's who has just started a blog about the quality of urban life.  Her name is Emma and she lives in Rochester, New York.  She's a thinker and a leader.  Sounds like somebody who would make a good member of the New York State Assembly.

World Trade Center movie is a reminder that we are at war

My wife is an elementary school teacher, so we are trying to get in movies before it's back to lesson plans and that sort of thing.  That's why we went to see the first showing of World Trade Center here in Lansing.

At the risk of having the left-wing appeasement crowd think that I'm intolerant of the point of view of the guys who flew the planes into the twin towers, I was reminded by the movie that we are at war.  And that reminder was underscored on Thursday with the arrest of the terrorists who were planning to blow-up passenger planes over the Atlantic.

I'm really happy that President Bush and leaders like U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman are taking this war seriously.  Our future is being decided by how they respond. 

I opt for a future that protects us from terrorists.  Their threat is real.  World Trade Center reminded of that and so did the events in Britain.

You can't negotiate or appease your way out of the gun sights of somebody who is trying to kill you. 

It looks like, smells like and talks like the Taliban, right here in Michigan?

Before the United States liberated Afghanistan from the control of the Taliban, I remember their soldiers whipping people with big sticks for not looking or talking the right way.  It was chilling to see video of them in action.  Residents of that country had to act and speak in a prescribed way or they were made to conform.

For far too long, I got sucked into believing that liberals in America believed in real tolerance for all points of view.

I was wrong.  Look at  If you disagree with them or if you have resources or if you believe in Jesus Christ, then they put on their robes and do a virtual ride to beat you into submission to their point of view.  They are scary.  If you don't believe me, then try to leave a comment.

Tell them that you are a conservative Republican and that you listen to Focus on the Family and Dr. James Dobson. 

It's sickening.  They make no pretenses about searching for the truth.  It's their own narrow point of view or nothing.  Wow.  Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Getting our short-term mission team wired in South Africa

If I tag this post the right way, there's probably a better than even chance that somebody in techno geek land out there can help my church's short-term mission team in Middleburg, South Africa.  I believe there are two Middleburg's in South Africa and they are in the one closest to the center of the country.

They are 17 guys who are holding baseball clinics for the youth of that part of the country.  They are introducing them to the game and giving them a chance to develop and hone their skills. 

Our guys from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Lansing, MI are also sharing their personal testimonies about what drives their lives and what gives them hope and comfort. 

But, here's the problem:  Our guys took an Apple Power Book with them to send photos and blog posts home.  They are having trouble finding an internet connection.  They would also like to do a live webcast from their location to one of our church services.

There must be some way to wire them up from their location.  They have not been able to find an ISP.  Their hotel has dial-up for the hotel computer and that seems to be it.

Can anybody in the techno sphere out there offer any suggestions?  Point them in a direction?  There's tons of people back here in the states trying to follow their trip.  There's some really young guys and some older.  They're great group who are just trying to share what gives them hope.

They are truly trying to "pay it forward."  They just want to give away some of what they've already  gotten.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren: Has it made any difference?

I've read Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life from cover-to-cover a couple of times.  After it was published, I saw people take armloads of the book out of Sam's Club for gifts and small groups.  And in the prison where I've volunteered, I've seen packed small groups of inmates studying the content of the book.

Still I'm not clear if the book has made any difference in the lives of individuals.

In my circle, most of my friends have read it at some point.  It may have been part of a 40-Days of Purpose in their church.  They may have picked it up in an airport or gotten it  as a gift.

But, I still wonder if the book brought individuals any closer to lining their lives up with God's purpose for them. 

Are there any anecdotes out there?

Technorati Tags: , , ,

powered by performancing firefox