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32 posts from November 2006

At Wal-Mart this year, there will be no Happy Holidays, just Merry Christmas

For the last several years, it has been almost impossible to find Jesus Christ in any of the Christmas sales of retail establishments, both big and small.  Apparently, Wal-Mart is changing that this year.  They say they will do a full-court press on presenting and not backing away from the reason for the season.  Right on, Wal-Mart.  Now other retailers need to join them.

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Sad news about the death of CBS' Ed Bradley, a monument to good journalism

When I was in journalism school at Michigan State University, I looked up to guys like Ed Bradley of CBS News who died with leukemia.  He knew how to report in a way where he wasn't part of the story.  He let viewers make up their own minds.  The guy was a giant in journalism.  I don't see any with feet big enough to fill his shoes. 

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Indiana's U.S. Rep. Mike Pence: Will he be next House minority leader?

U.S. Rep. Mike Pence is regarded as a man of integrity and values.  This Indiana congressman will reportedly run to be the next minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Is he the right man to help Republicans re-vision themselves and refocus their values?  Would he be a good choice?  His official congressional website has a blog.

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Republicans lost elections because they ignored pro-family values voters, says Dr. James Dobson

Did voters on Tuesday night reject the pro-life, pro-family values voters in the Republican party or did the party lose because they moved from their anchor with these voters?  Listen to Dr. James Dobson and his people and their analysis of the election.

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AARP's take on how election results will affect baby-boomers and retirees

Baby boomers and retirees will be affected by Tuesday's election results, according to the AARP.  Democrats will dump plans for private savings accounts for social security and will try to sweeten the pot for seniors and seniors-in-training.

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Will jobs being cut at Ford's Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne ever come back

Two days after the end of a grueling campaign for governor in Michigan, there's this story in the Detroit News about how Ford Motor Co. is planning to cut a shift at the Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne.  This is where the super-big SUV's are made.  Demand for the vehicles has dropped dramatically.  Seven hundred jobs could be lost.  Car buyers can't afford this product anymore.

With the auto industry, this is where the rub comes in.  What are they doing to find and build vehicles that consumers do want to buy?  Prospects for that don't seem very promising right now.

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University of Michigan president takes Michigan voters' ban of affirmative action to court

Michigan voters disapproved of affirmative action at the polls Tuesday by 58 percent to 42 percent, but that's unimportant to University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman.  She's taking the voters' clear decision to court.  In this morning's Detroit Free Press, she said:

"We will not be deterred," Coleman told cheering students and faculty gathered on the U-M Diag.

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Pastor Rick Warren has serious advice on how to maintain moral integrity in ministry

How can ministers and ministry workers avoid the fate of Ted Haggard and others who fell to prey to moral temptation?  Pastor Rick Warren provides seven suggestions which deserve a close look:

  1. Never consider yourself above temptation.
  2. Keep a close watch on your spiritual temperature.
  3. If you're married, maintain your own marriage.
  4. Develop healthy outlets for emotional and sexual energy.
  5. Guard your mind.
  6. Remind yourself regularly of the damaging consequences of moral failure.
  7. Take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

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Talking with my pastor about using wikis in the church

I had coffee this afternoon with Pastor Roy Olsen from my church, Our Savior Lutheran in Lansing, MI.  He watched Robert Scoble's video on giving a demonstration of JotSpot and its various components.  He saw some serious possibilities for using it to enhance communication inside the a mid-sized church and its church school.  Anybody have experience using wikis for a ministry?

Does Michigan agree that election validates Gov. Granholm's work on state economy?

This Detroit Free Press story quotes newly re-elected Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as saying yesterday's election results validates that she's doing a good job in restoring our state's economy.  Do you agree?  Is that what the voters were saying or were they voting against the Republicans for change?

Christians should be outraged by Michigan Republicans use of the cross

In the mail yesterday, we received a piece of political literature from the Michigan Republican Party that should arouse the ire of anybody who believes in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It was so offensive that Michigan Republican Chair Saul Anuzis should apologize.

One side was devoted to a big picture of the singer Madonna shackled to the cross.  Let's put this in perspective.  The cross is a sacred symbol for Christians.  Their hope and their eternal future was decided by what happened on a cross.

The Michigan Republicans sent this piece to emphasize how electing Democrats would enlarge the universe of evil in our state.  They were using the cross for political purposes.

That's wrong.  That's wrong period.  It should not have happened.

I am not what journalists would describe as a Bible-thumper.  I don't feel I'm better than anybody else and I don't use the Bible to score points in a political argument.

But, I firmly believe that my identity comes from that cross.  I'm a saved sinner first and foremost.

The Republicans were using  sacred Christian symbols for political purposes.  That's wrong.  Nothing can justify that.  I know how the followers of Islam must have felt because of the Danish cartoon.  I feel used and cheapened.  But, by the grace that came from a cross, I can forgive.

Waiting to pick-up my wife and listening to the post-election chatter in mid-Michigan

It's time for me to break my fast from political talk here in the heart of mid-Michigan where Republicans took a historic thumping at the polls.  I'm listening to the chatter as I wait to pick up my teacher-wife. 

People I'm hearing just wanted a change from what has been the Michigan Republican's slash and burn practices against political opposition.  They are tired of it big time. 

I don't hear the working class folks outside my wife's classroom making enthusiastic noise for the Democrats.  They were voting against Republicans and particularly Dick Devos and his constant barrage of smears against Gov. Jennifer Granholm and anybody else who was a Democrat.

They share this with a conviction that I've seldom seen.  They are sick and tired of negative political campaiging.  They wanted a change.

The Democrats in Michigan won because the Republicans gave it to them. 

How did the Michigan Republican Party go so askew?  Could it start with the leadership?  I think the question needs to be examined in the next several weeks.