Responding to Trump and his Charlottesville remarks: What would Jesus do?

This is me.

Is this a good time to ask the question:  What would Jesus do?

I'm sickened by what President Trump said about the Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups.  He doesn't represent me and a whole lot of other people in their thinking about people who look different than them and who come from different ethnic backgrounds.

In my mind, it all comes back to Jesus Christ and the life he lived.  First, Jesus was a Jew.  Do the white power types know this?  Yet many of them call themselves Jesus followers.  How do they explain that?

In the past there used to be uniting figures who could bring people of all types together.  One was Billy Graham, a world famous evangelist whose son Franklin has assumed leadership of his ministry.  But, it should be noted that he is an unabashed supporter of Trump.  

What's next for this country?  Does Trump need to step down?

This country needs to cleanse itself from this evil way of thinking and acting.

What would Jesus do?

I skipped out on Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy last night to witness part of Jesus' trip to Jerusalem


Ada Bible Church sermon notes
Some of my rough notes from last Sunday's sermon at Ada Bible Church


It was just before 7 p.m. last night and I felt myself being pulled away from watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, two television shows that give me a minimum mental workout.  Like a dripping faucet that you can't shut off, I kept hearing last Sunday's sermon by Pastor Jeff Manion at Ada Bible Church.

His current sermon series is on the Five Days of Jesus that lead up to the day that he is crucified.  He is essentially retelling that part of the story from the Bible and trying to show how it gives us a window into the heart and actions of the person we celebrate on Easter Day.  Keep in mind, he's human and he is also God.  He's God in skin.

While I heard on the TV, contestants telling Pat Sajak, give me this or that letter, I read about Jesus passing through Jericho and then going over to the Mount of Olives where he paused to look down on Jerusalem.

During the sermon, Jeff Manion said, it was his prayer that during the sermon series that we would understand him more, that we would feel some of the same things he felt, see some of the same things he saw and that we love and trust him more.

I really want to give this a chance.  For far too long, my view of Easter has been numbed by hearing it all my life.  I need to concentrate more on the "so what" of what happened as recorded in the Bible.  My view of Easter started to be shaped by a Bible story book read to me when I was a small child.  The problem is that it probably hasn't changed much as I have gotten older.

Here's a link to a clip from the sermon.

This Bible story book was given to me as a child in 1950.
My Aunt Mable Moll gave me this Bible story book in 1950 My views of God and Jesus were shaped by these stories.


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.

John Piper, pastor and author, Twitters on Obama school speech and abortion

John Piper is a well-known pastor and author who has a ministry called Desiring God.  He also has a blog and he Twitters.  In two unrelated tweets, he weighs in on Obama's speech to school students today and on abortion:

  • President Obama's speech to the children feels like an answer to my prayers. I hope my daughter hears it.
  • Racism is serious. Abortion is more serious. Racism might lead to lynching. Abortion is lynching.

Lutheran Schools: Can they survive?

Img_0031This is a shot of my improvised workstation at the Lutheran Education Association (LEA) National Convention in Indianapolis where I am blogging from.  I am here as part of my main ministry at my church--Our Savior Lutheran Church in Lansing, MI.  as the chief support person for its third grade teacher who is also my wife. 

My history with Lutheran schools predates my wife.  I graduated from eight years of Lutheran schools.  For six years, I attended Mt. Olive Lutheran School in Bay City and for my last two, I went to Immanuel Lutheran also in Bay City.

With our changing culture, parental preferences for schools are changing.  Many don't see the distinctive part of a Christian grade school education and few schools do a good job of promoting what they have to offer.

So, I have been wondering. . .

Continue reading "Lutheran Schools: Can they survive?" »

Trackback demo for Fighting Forward

Our Savior Lutheran Church is a church on the cutting-edge of using a new technology to communicate with its members and to reachout to those looking for answers. 

Blogs are an important piece of this.  They can be incredibly interactive and can weave a disparate group of people together in some pretty serious discussions.

Trackbacks go from one blog to another and are a great way to let somebody know that you've read their blog post.  It goes from your blog to their blog and back again with its various and easy to use links.

By the way, thanks for the sermon today about Doubting Thomas.  I appreciate your explaining how I have a license from the Bible to doubt from time to time.  But, you also provided the encouragement to seriously go for the answer. 

I'm anxious to hear reactions from others.  Comments and trackbacks are a good way to do it.

All churches should be multi-racial; yes or no?

This is a good topic to get a heated argument started.  It's almost like there's a black God and a white God.  There's black churches and white churches.  Hmmm...I've always seen something wrong with that and I'm white. 

It's really rankled me.  I live in a mixed neighborhood in Lansing, MI and there seems to be a real wall between the races.  And, this wall is especially high in the church.  It seems to be there on both sides.  Nobody is willing to break the ice.  Maybe, I shouldn't care.  It's not my problem, according to a lot of my friends.

I don't feel they're right.  It is my problem and theirs too.  Look at the current issue of Christianity Today, April 2005 and its cover story about All Churches Should Be Multiracial.

Continue reading "All churches should be multi-racial; yes or no?" »