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13 posts from March 2010

But would the new Chevy Volt pass the "Cousin Glenn" test?

I just saw this video of Robert Scoble taking a new Chevy Volt on a test drive where a GM employee sits next to him and explains what's new in driving an electric car.  I'm excited in a way that reminds me of new car time when I grew up in Bay City (MI). 

That time of the years in the sixties was an occasion and every young guy in town would sneak a peek in a dealers lot for covered vehicles waiting to be released.  I caught this excitement from my cousin Glenn  who was also my college roommate.  The Volt is bringing that back.  The video:

I just joined "Draft Joe Scarborough 2012"

I'm finding it harder and harder to get excited about politics, politicians and political candidates.  Too much "bullshit" as defined by Harry G. Frankfurt of Princeton as defined in his seminal work on the topic and titled, "On Bullshit."

How about doing a "sniffy-sniff" on Joe Scarborough of the MSNBC show Morning Joe?  He seems to have both feet firmly planted and seems to know how to avoid the polarizing extremes that seem to be so prevalent right now.

What are the upsides and what are the downsides of having him as the Republican candidate for president in 2012?  I joined the "Draft Joe Scarborough 2012" group on its website.  Has anybody read his book "Last Best Hope" and what do you think?


Pastor Paul Moldenhauer's blog is worth a "sniffy-sniff"

I needed to hear this about how I should start my day today and everyday.

It's from Pastor Paul Moldenhauer's blog about how to start and end your day with the last words that Jesus Christ had on the cross:  "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!"

It's another way of asking God, "Lord, may I be directed by you, guided by you, protect by you in what follows."

He was our pastor when we belonged to First Lutheran Church in Charlotte, MI.  He's now at St. Matthew's in Walled Lake.  He's a real what you see is what you get kind of guy.

As Gary Vaynerchuk would say about a wine, let's give it a "sniffy-sniff."  It's worth a click.

How many people knew about the corruption in Detroit and did nothing?

Reading yesterday's Detroit Free Press story about Bernard Kilpatrick, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's father, and the allegations about intense corruption still makes me feel nauseated as I eat my morning oatmeal.

But, I am haunted by the question of how many people knew about what was happening and did nothing?  Obviously, there were business people who knew because many are facing serious allegations about their attempts to get city business.

Does the new media in Detroit have functioning City Hall bureaus where they work the beat, get to know the people and get plugged into what's happening?  Probably not?

This story several years after the fact is enlightening and valuable, but should it have been gotten and reported much earlier.

Is this the year that the state of Michigan will go bankrupt?

It's the question that needs to be asked:  Is this the year that the state of Michigan will go bankrupt because of its inability to reach a consensus on the state budget?

What prompts the question is a blog post by Nolan Finley of the Detroit News who points to the states of New York and California which are unable to make their budgets.  They won't cut and they won't raise taxes.  What's next?

Finley predicts that because of their size and because of the size of their congressional delegations, they will get a federal bailout.

If Michigan gets to that brink, can it expect a federal bailout?  Would it want one?

Then what happens next for Michigan?  Bankruptcy?

I really like what Newark Mayor Cory Booker says about faith

I really like Newark (NJ) Mayor Cory Booker and what I've learned about him through Twitter and Facebook.  I'm anxious to learn more about him.  Is he a potential candidate for president?  Should he be?

Here's what he said on Twitter about "faith" this morning.  The quote about using a shovel really resonates.  Does anybody know what kind of job he's doing in Newark, a city that historically has had a very challenged reputation?


My chronic open glaucoma and how it scares me

I was diagnosed with chronic open-angle glaucoma several years ago and it's starting to scare me.

Why?  I went to my ophthalmologist last week for a pressure check and at the end of the appointment he shared with me that I had lost 70 percent of the optic nerve in my right eye, while I still had 80 percent in my left eye.

In my previous appointments, he had always assured me that it was really being managed and that going blind was not something that I needed to be concerned about as long as I took the eyedrops and kept my appointments.  And this is what I've been doing.

Then kaboom, he throws this factoid out about my optic nerve loss.  I knew that he doesn't have the kind of practice where he can carefully explain what these various facts mean and whether they will dramatically affect my visual future. 

I've been researching on the web for information about the optic nerve and the three drops I'm taking.

But, I'm concerned about what this means.  I will find some answers.

Are there other baby-boomers out there with glaucoma who have dealt with these communication challenges with their eye doctor?  Do we need to form a "tribe" where we can exchange information and experiences?  Is there one already out there and where do I join?


NOTE:  Click here and then scroll down to listen to part one of this sermon.

The sermons we've heard the past two weeks at Ada Bible Church about the "Grace of Giving" are not falling off my mental radar.  The text for Pastor Jeff Manion's teaching has been from 2 Corinthians 8:1-9

The story in a nutshell revolves around three churches and a famine in Jerusalem.  Two of the churches were in Macedonia and were undergoing severe hardships of their own.  They were in Thessolinica and Phillipi where they were struggling to survive, while the third church in Corinth was rich with resources.

The two poor churches begged to help the needy in Jerusalem.  They gathered an offering from the little they had.  The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church asking them to contribute to help the church in Israel.  He pointed to the two churches and how they gave out of their scarcity and not out of their abundance.

The two poor churches knew and appreciated what they had already been given.  They were giving from the grace they had already received.

What does this mean to me in my everyday life?  I'm thinking about that. 

It was 28 years ago today that I was introduced to the best job in the world

I can't believe that my favorite daughter, my super-pumpkin and the mother of my unborn grandson was born 28 years ago today on St. Patrick's Day.  The day means a whole lot more than consuming a Shamrock Shake at McDonalds.

I was introduced to the best job in the world, fatherhood.  It ranks far above anything I've ever done.  Why? For much of my life, the word dad or father made my stomach turn sour.  My dad flunked at being a father. Much of my life was defined by his absence.  I never saw myself moving into the father role.

Then I met the right woman who became my wife and the fatherhood adventure started.

The day was March 17, 1982 at Sparrow Hospital when I was in the delivery room with my wife who went through the labor and delivery experience like a champ.  Dr. Rajan announced that I had a daughter and I knew that I had another woman in my life, my daughter.

As an only child, I had held a baby rarely.  But when my daughter was born I had to force myself to give her up to my wife or to a nurse.  At the hospital, I took a class on how to diaper, bathe and wrap her.  When I did it, I felt more proud than any class I took in college.

Since then the memories are voluminous.  I was involved in the shaping and nurturing of another life. Hers.  Nothing beats being part of a family.  I love it.  I love her.

Two big memories from my life involve her.  I remember pushing her down the hospital hallway in a bassinet from the recovery room to the nursery.  Wow.  And then I remember walking  her down the aisle when she was married.  Another big wow.

Now she's going to be a mom in a few short months.

To my unborn grandson's dad:  Adam, enjoy every minute of being a father.  Whenever I doubt the presence and goodness of God, I just look at my kids, your wife and my son, Justin.

Happy birthday Krista and God bless the three of you big time.

Follow Pastor David Maier on Twitter

Dave Maier is the president of the Michigan District of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod and he's on Twitter where he's worth following.  He can be reached here where you can find his tweets:

He's a real guy with a family, a pastor and the head of a large church body in a very troubled part of the country.  He's youngish, a cancer survivor, has a young son who's a cancer survivor and he's hitting his stride as a micro-blogger.  He reeks of hope in Jesus Christ.

He also has a blog, Fighting Forward, that's worth adding to your Google reader.  I invite you to join my friend and former pastor in a conversation about life and about where real hope lies.


Stuff to read when I get home from church today

Very shortly I will shift my attention to a bowl of oatmeal with bananas in it, a cup of Weight Watchers yogurt and a toasted english muffin and then a shower before I go to church.  Here's what I want to read when we get home:

  • Detroit Free Press story about how more than 500,000 homeowners in Michigan owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth and many are just walking away even though they can afford them.  I would rather read about the Detroit Tigers, but this is important.
  • Detroit Free Press story about what Michigan can learn from California about dealing with legal medical marijuana for health purposes.  A local marijuana smoking club has started in Williamston just east of Lansing.  More will come, I'm sure and they will be located near homes, schools and churches.  What can local government do to protect residents?
  • Grand Rapids Press story about Jeffrey Malmberg, a 40 year-old who is accused of killing his girlfriend's two year old daughter.  He tells a local reporter that he's not a monster.  This is part of a larger issue about how well kids are being protected by their parents and by the state.  
  • Cyberbrethren blog has a great post that's a reminder after I read all this stuff today that shows the struggles that lie ahead for everybody, including and especially here in Michigan.  Don't let the churchy language throw you.  Read it and then read it again.  Let it settle in before you toss it off as a bunch of God-talk.  I need to be reminded of what it says and what it means for my life.

Will our local churches be packed this Easter?

These days it's easy to forget about Easter.  Here in Lansing (MI) there are plenty of churches and I wonder how many will be packed out on April 4 when the Christian church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.

My guess is that there will be more people in church than usual on Easter Sunday, but they won't be packed out.  Why?  

Given the fact that so many people are jumping from one thing to another for hope in the future, you would think they would grab onto the Easter message and not let go.  Look at the realities of today. People are struggling to find work and to make a living.  The prospects that this will get better are a toss-up at best.

I'm at the very front end of the baby-boomer generation meaning that in less than two years I will depend on Medicare for health care.  The future of health insurance has never been more iffy.  Social Security looks like its going to go bust which means that I need to find a replacement for that portion of my income.  And my life is easy compared to so many.  

Is Jesus and what he did on Easter the only real thing left that gives real hope that we can count on?  

Yes, yes and yes.

You would think that the people of the church would be going door-to-door inviting people for Easter.

If you're looking for hope, try it out. The hope is real and it's free.