Previous month:
August 2008
Next month:
October 2008

38 posts from September 2008

Super-wife and I had same reaction to movie Fireproof-Never Leave Your Partner Behind

Go to the website for the movie Fireproof--Never Leave Your Partner Behind and click on the trailer for the movie.

See if you can relate to the story that's presented in the short clip for this movie that was released nationwide yesterday and was featured on the Dr. Phil show on Thursday.  

My wife and I saw the second showing of it yesterday at Celebration Cinema in Lansing (MI), where maybe two handfuls of people were in the audience.  Our reaction to the movie:  If you're married, about to be married or might get married in the future, go see the movie.

It's a good story that's told well and it makes a point that's valuable for everybody.  Marriages in this country are in a crisis mode just as much as our financial markets.  And the cost is just as great.

The movie is not preachy and it does not make any pitches for Christianity.  However, it points in that direction and leaves room for those who might not be comfortable going in that direction.

I'm walking my daughter down the aisle this next Saturday.  Would I recommend this movie to her and her fiance?  Yes. Yes and yes.  Make time for it.  Go see it and talk about it.  Or go see it on your honeymoon. 

I will post more about the movie and my reaction to it.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Flint (MI) gets $370 million GM plant for electric car's onboard generator

Flint (MI) is finally getting some good news from General Motors which turned the city from thriving to barely subsisting.  Check this Detroit Free Press story about how the company will build a $370 million plant there to build the onboard generator for Chevrolet's electric car, the Volt.

I wonder how many tax breaks the state and the city had to give to get the plant.  Anybody know?

, , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

To the U.S. Congress: My video blog urging them to go slow on the bank bailout

I listened to President Bush last night and I heard the earnestness of his words and his prediction of dire consequences if the bank bailout doesn't take place soon. 

But, the U.S. Congress needs to go slow.  It needs to do its job and vette this bailout from top to bottom.  I feel like this is being ramrodded through without proper examination by our elected representatives.

Move slow and make decisions based on information that you and others develop.  Here's my video blog about the topic.

, , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Check second video I made with my wife for third graders

My wife and I made her second video for her Mrs. Thorp's Third Grade Blog aimed at helping early elementary students learn more about word-making.  In it she uses inexpensive word blocks from a dollar store for her "Mystery Word" game. 

Parents can have fun with their children while helping them gain confidence and skill in word-making.  It's another building block in building reading skills.

I shot the video using my inexpensive and tiny Flip video camera.

I invite you to check out her blog and her second video. 

Third Grade "Mystery Word" Game from Wes Thorp on Vimeo.

, , , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Detroit Lions Matt Millen reportedly fired or quitting as president and general manager

What's next for the Detroit Lions now that Matt Millen has reportedly quit or been fired, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Can a new top guy for the NFL's Motor City team change the tone and direction of the team enough to make a difference yet this year?

The state of Michigan needs a positive return on investment for the millions that it invested in the Lions' stadium, Ford Field.

, , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

12 Days: My countdown to being a father-in-law

She's my only daughter and I'll be walking her down the aisle in 12 days so she can be one of the Joneses?

When we stop at the altar of the church where's she's being married I will ceremonially give her hand to Adam Jones who will shortly be my son-in-law. It's a life passage that super-wife and I are excited about and it's one that has produced a wave of memories about a little girl who has grown into a full-fledged woman.

These are a gift from God and a foundation for the creation of new memories where our family circle will shortly be enlarged. As an only child raised by a single-mom, I started fatherhood with a little less than minimal experience. But, I learned fast and I loved every second of it.

Taken from the hard drive in my head, I remember and in a random order:

  • When as a newborn and she would wake-up in the middle of the night, I would lay on our big couch with her laying on my stomach and with me reading to her from Time magazine.  Think there was a connection between her reading Time in college and now as a young professional.  Those were special moments.
  • Her first Halloween and where she got all dressed up and I took her in our neighborhood around a couple of blocks.  She held my hand and didn't let go.  Wow!  More special times.
  • When as an older infant, she sat in my chair in the old House Pressroom at the Michigan State Capitol.  One of the news photographers took her picture.  It's a treasure.
  • Her first ear infection when she wouldn't stop crying until we put her in her car seat and took her for a ride.  That's when my wife and I learned the importance of amoxicyllin.
  • When her heartbeat went down after her birth and a pediatric cardiologist raised questions about her making it through the night.  I was consumed with fear and didn't want to leave my wife's hospital room that night.  That's when I really learned about prayer.
  • When she was a toddler sitting in a shopping cart and she was getting impatient and I told her to hang on to her pants and she did literally. 
  • When I sat with her at the Father's Tea at her pre-school and we made sculptures with toothpicks and little marshmallows. 
  • How she lowered her lip and seriously bawled right after she was born.  She had a point of view then, as she does now.
I have more, but you get the idea.  She's special.  She always has been and I'm thrilled to see her begin creating her own family memories.

I'm nostalgic, but in a positive way.  God has blessed me big time with my wife, my daughter and my son.  As my daughter starts her own family, my wife and I will continue to change our perspectives as parents.  Our daughter's ready and we are too.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Here's why you should kiss your children, according to a Starbucks cup

When "super-wife" and I went to Starbucks in the Eastwood Town Center in Lansing, MI a few weeks ago, I saw this quote on my coffee cup.  Our kids are grown and our daughter is getting married soon.  When they were young, we kissed them a lot.  This quote says because of that they should kiss their own children.


, , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

This morning we went to a Rwandan mission church in the heart of mid-Michigan

When we left the worship service at Christ The King Anglican Church in Dewitt, MI this morning, both my wife and I looked at each other and said there's something special happening there.

Could there be seeds of a religious revival being planted just north of our state's capital city?

Christ The King Anglican Church (AMIA), Dewitt, MI

The church is part of the Anglican Mission In The Americas which is a mission of the Anglican Church in Rwanda.  It's conservative and evangelical and believes in the inerrancy of the Bible.

The local church-Christ The King-is led by Father Jack Lumanog, a young first-generation American of Filipino descent, who is filled with a passion to reach others with the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.  His sermons are gospel-centered and charged with practical application.

This new congregation that's less than two-years-old and which used to meet in south Lansing now meets in an almost empty outlet mall on the northern edge of the metropolitan area.

Are you looking to fill that God void in your life?  This is a place worth checking out.  It's still small, but you can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Today's sermon by "Father Jack"
was from the Parable of the landowner with the vineyard.  In today's world, it's a story worth getting excited about.  It points straight to a loving and patient God filled with mercy.

Take a listen and leave a comment about what you think.

, , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

My Sunday (Sep. 21, 08) morning online reading before church

My online check of news and other stuff has to be quick this morning because I got up late and I still need to eat and shower before going to church.  Here's where I've been:

  • Detroit Free Press story by Katherine Yung that maintains alternative energy is key to our state's economic recovery.  Interesting facts from the story:  In Hemlock, just west of Saginaw, there's "a billion-dollar plant expansion" for Hemlock Semiconductor which makes a parts that go into solar cells; the state has lost nearly 460,000 jobs since the start of 2000.  It's worth a read.
  • Philadelphia Inquirer column by Kevin Ferris who writes on concerns that rampant racism might keep Barack Obama from the presidency.  Ferris comments that voters might just be concerned that he's not ready to be president.  This will more than likely be talked about much more in the next month.
  • The Thicket at State Legislatures, a blog about legislative happenings around the country, poses of the dilemma of having to decide whether bloggers qualify as journalists who can cover their happenings.  This vital topic.  Do professional journalists have higher standards than bloggers who are usually more partisan?
  • The New York Post writes about how the stock market last week was 500 trades away from a total meltdown or Armageddon as they describe it.  If feds hadn't intervened the stock market could have lost 22 percent of its value.

, , , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Does Dave Bing, former Detroit Piston, have the qualifications to be Motor City Mayor?

I remember Dave Bing when he played for the Detroit Pistons from 1966 to 1975.  He always seemed class guy as a player and then as a businessman working out of the Motor City.

Now he says, according to the Detroit Free Press, that he's going to run for mayor of our state's biggest and most troubled city.

He's going to formally announce his candidacy in a couple of weeks and I'm anxious to hear more.

Does he have the qualifications? 

Can he take what he learned on the basketball court in business and transfer it to the operation of a city in need of renewal and revival?

Any thoughts about Dave Bing as mayor?

, , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

The challenge: How can I pay forward the affirmation from David Porter, Boomer In The Pew

How do you respond when somebody gives you a really nice compliment?

Yesterday, I had a big smile on my face from a post written by my good friend David Porter of Boomer In The Pew.  He recalled how we met, how we worked together on his blog for his business and how we've maintained our relationship through our blogs. 


He was very affirming of me as a person and wow that felt good.

It felt good because I value our friendship and I really respect this guy.  When I'd go to his office I'd enjoy sitting in his waiting room where he had a regular "Letter From My Heart" written to his clients.  What I read showed a very transparent and a very caring person.

Then he moved to Arizona where he started his blog Boomer In The Pew.  Because I was feeling the same tugs and searching for the same things, I felt a new connection to him. 

He's on an incredible journey to get to know our creator and his son, Jesus Christ, in a more personal way.  Dave's digging and delving and praying and he's writing about it.

And he takes time to give a shout to the blog world about his friends.  I felt good after reading his post about me.  He respects me and counts me as a friend and as a brother in Christ.

I learned something, again, from this.  I need to pay it forward.  Who can I give an affirmation to today in person or through the blog?

Thanks Dave!

, , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Two different views about Twitter, one from a pastor and one from an attorney

Do you think Twitter is useful or is it a waste of time?

Here are two points of view, one where a pastor thinks micro-blogging like Twitter is waste of bandwidth and the ultimate expression of Internet silliness and the other from a New Orleans attorney who used it to track friends struggling with Hurricane Ike.

The pastor is the Rev. Paul McCain who has the blog Cyberbrethren
and who quotes what he describes as a great article on "Twitter hate."  The pastor says, "I found it (Twitter) to be the ultimate expression of Internet silliness."

On the other end is Ernie Svenson of New Orleans who has the blog
, Ernie The Attorney who describes the how and why of using Twitter during hurricanes or other crises.  He and his friends on the Gulf Coast have lived through some tense times with the various natural disasters and communication has been a lifeline.

Question:  Why is Twitter useless in the eyes of this influential pastor and useful in the eyes of this attorney who lives in an area that has experienced one natural disaster after another?

For those not familiar with or who still don't understand Twitter, check out this video from Lee Lefever who reduces it to really simple terms and makes it relevant:

, , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Thumbing through the online newspapers and stuff on Friday, Sep. 19

As the day is starting here in mid-Michigan, here's what I'm reading online on a cool Friday morning:

  • Our Daily Bread devotion for today from Luke 2:46-52 where Jesus stays behind at the temple in Jerusalem to learn from God the Father. We are to be learner-disciples by keeping our hearts open to God's teaching.  Yesterday, walking through our southwest side Lansing (MI) neighborhood, I listened on my iPod to a great podcast from James McDonald of Walk In The Word from Habakkuk 3.  As our world goes through some real wierdness and tough times, that chapter shows the overwhelming power of God.
  • Been Thinking About blog from Mart De Haan of Radio Bible Class where he's been continuing series of posts on what the Bible says about forgiveness.  He delves into the seeming contradictions and gets lots of conversation with the comments.
  • AP story where Michelle Obama asks her audience and voters not to vote for a candidate because he or she is cute.  I'm not voting for John McCain because he's cute.
  • AP story about Michigan Legislature proudly hailing passage of an energy bill that will raise prices for electricity for consumers, lessen competition between suppliers and require increased use of renewable energy.  Republicans supported it.  Is that kind of a tax increase?
  • Lansing columnist Tim Skubick writes about how there's a growing lack of trust between state lawmakers, the governor, lobbyists and the media.  This affects decision-making in a big way.  See if you can spot the places where Skubick takes God's name in vain.  
  • Detroit Free Press writes about how financial market meltdown is affecting Michigan.  Note in the middle of the story comments by Mackinac Center for Public Policy economist David Littman predicting a recession next year.  Also, auto companies will struggle to get funds they need to get out of the muck and mire they are in.
  • USA Today story about how our country has thrown aside its advice to other countries facing economic crisis.  Our advice to others had been to let the market solve the problem and get government out of the way.  As we nationalize more and more of the financial market, we are throwing free market advice out the window.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

About Me: Some things you should know about Wes Thorp

After rereading my "About Me" page, I was bored and I could see the reader going "blah, blah, and more blah."

So what captures the essence of my identity, who I am now, where I've been and where I want to go? 

Here's basic facts:

  • I'm married to a recently-retired third grade Lutheran school teacher,
  • Proud father of two grown children,
  • A member of the first-class of babyboomers,
  • A former veteran staff member of the Michigan Legislature,
  • A former newspaper reporter,
  • A graduate of the Michigan State University School of Journalism,
  • A child of a single-mom who was a real survivor and knew how to love unconditionally,
  • An owner of two Chevy's both old, a Malibu and a Lumina,
  • A former in-prison volunteer under the auspices of Prison Fellowship for almost 20 years,
  • A Barry Goldwater conservative who believes that personal freedom is vital,
  • A struggling Lutheran who's tired of the lethargy and lukewarmness of the church,
  • A son who has memory of meeting his father only once and was instantly disowned,
  • A seeker who's looking to nurture his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
This blog started as a trial run with blogs just about four years ago.  There's a lot of stuff on this blog that nobody would be interested in, including me.  However, there might be some stuff that strike a spark.

It's my chronicle of life as I live it, read about it and think about the future.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Read this if you think you'll live to be 50-60 years old or if you're that now

If you're between 50 to 60 years old, I would invite your comments and insights in response to a post from Dave Kurt who writes a really interesting and well-read personal blog.

This is a guy who is in his 30s, revels in being a family guy, has a job that requires him to travel a fair amount and who wants to be known as somebody who serves others.

In this post, he writes about what he wants his life looks like when he hits the 50s and 60s and when he's an empty-nester and a grandfather.

He's thought about this and you can see his focus and his vision for where he wants to be at that point in his life.  He lists 12-pretty specific goals.  I'm impressed and his list seems like an exercise worth emulating by others.

His list includes both silly and serious items, but I'm sure they reflect his personality and his values.

QUESTION:  For those who have made to this empty-nester and grandparent phase, did you think through where you wanted to be when you were younger?  For those who are younger, have you thought about or are you doing that now?

, , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Learn from Houston blogger about daily life after natural disaster

What's it like to live in a major metropolitan area like Houston that just experienced a huge natural disaster in the form of Hurricane Ike?

Go to Houston attorney Tom Kirkendall's blog, Houston's Clear Thinkers, where he chronicles his observations about doing life in the days after the storm.

His posts about the hurricane read like a first-person account from a trained journalist.  It's interesting and informative.  Thanks to Ernie The Attorney of New Orleans for the call out about the blog.

, , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Obama's plans could be big obstacle for GM's new electric-powered Volt

Nick at shares another perspective about GM's revolutionary new vehicle, the electric-powered Volt.

He raises question's about Barack Obama's plans to raise a variety of taxes that would affect new alternative fuel vehicles like the Volt.

Plans for the Volt are exciting, but it has to make it into production.  How could plans to raise taxes affect those plans?

Hey, a footnote--Nick says that the engine for the car will have a 150-horsepower engine and it will seat four.  For those wondering how this new technology will work, check out this pretty easy-to-understand illustration.

, , , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Lansing (MI) Mayor Virg Bernero needs to explain why Detroit's getting new Volt assembly plant

Our town, Lansing (MI), is a proud General Motors car town.  People here still get excited about the Oldsmobile brand which was born, headquartered and produced here.

So, why didn't our area here is mid-Michigan get the new production plant for GM's new electric car, the Volt, which is scheduled to be available in dealers' showrooms in late Nov. 2010?

The Detroit Free Press says in a story
yesterday at this high-tech vehicle will be built at the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant complex if it's able to successfully negotiate incentives with the state of Michigan.

Mayor Virg Bernero is always front and center at Lansing City Council meetings and other functions about his aggressive recruiting of jobs for this area.

Why aren't we getting this?  There might be a perfectly understandable answer, but he and his administration need to be straight forward about whether they knew about it and what they did to get it.

Can our area recruit suppliers who will make components for this new technology?

I don't ask this to make Bernero defensive, but to better understand how serious of a player our city is in recruiting new automotive technologies.  I know we've had some success.  But, this electric car is a whole new arena and we need to be in the competition to get it.

Anybody agree?  Disagree?

, , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Production Version of GM's Electric-Powered Volt looks like good family car

There was plenty of buzz this morning at Lansing's (MI) Flap Jack Restaurant about GM's new electric car, the Volt, which should be in showrooms by the end of 2010.

The almost excited talk about this new Chevy powered by lithium-ion batteries reminds me of the sixties when many guys would purposefully drive by a dealership everyday to get a glimpse of a new model.

One of the guys pointed me to the online version of Car and Driver for photos of the  production version of the Volt.  Hey, this looks like a potential family car, a middle-class vehicle. 

The concept car looked less everyday and more appealing to those with the funds to make the big car purchase.

The production version doesn't look sexy.  It looks like Car and Driver described it,  a nondescript compact with a front that is unmistakably Chevy.

Anybody else hearing buzz about this new vehicle with the dramatically new technology?

, , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.