Monthly Archives: December 2006

I believe in God

I believe in God,
I follow Jesus
Rabbi, Teacher, Self-Sacrificial,Miracle-Man
Life Giver, Wine Maker, Water Walker, Love
I believe in the Spirit
Counselor, Encourager
Guide, Reminder
I believe in people
that they can be better
grow change
learn love
mission renewal
give create
inspire friendshipIn this way, I can believe in you all.


My Apple New Year’s Resolution,zzounds/MacBookPro17_PFopen_PRINT-8b55fb0a7421d76b25c173a156c39257.jpg

The year was 1983. This was the last year that I made a “New Year’s Resolution.” In fact, my resolution was to never make another one. Well, 2007 will be the first time that I will make one breaking a long standing tradition.

What is it?

I resolve that 2007 will be the year I FINALLY switch from PC to Mac. I fell in love with mac’s in college. All my writer and artist friends used them. I used Mac’s pretty exclusively early in my college life. (in fact, that college brokered a deal with Apple the year after I left to give each freshmen a apple computer along with their tuition)

Then, I switched colleges. My new college in Michigan was completely PC. In fact, my first year the “lap” consisted of 4 IBM machines. That summer, the college installed 25 new PC’s in a larger room. By my senior year, the entire campus was wired and had three full computer laps and fiber optics in each room! I worked as a computer tech a couple of summers and from that time forward, I’ve used only PC’s.

That’s not the end of the story. From 2001, most of my Emergent friends started getting Mac laptops and touting to me how awesome they are. (other than Tony who had a sweet tablet pc – I wonder if he still uses that?) Last year, my friend Doug came over here to Michigan to speak at Springhill, and while we were hanging out, he showed me his mac laptop…and I was enthralled. For years, I’ve read Adam Walker Cleve’s blog, and have been salivating from afar of his Mac journey. I have been telling all my friends that I have “mac envy” and it’s a condition I intend to cure.

I can no longer live with PC’s. I have to have the easy, and the creative edge that comes from Apple. In fact, if you are out there Steve Jobs, maybe you can one-up Microsoft and send a macbook pro my way with the Core 2 coming out? I promise to not sell it on Ebay…in fact, I will make you ANOTHER resolution….if I get a MacPro laptop, I PROMISE to tell everyone who’ll listen how great it is. That’s it, I promise. (Hell, I’d do the same for a refurbished one)

So steve if you are out there…..can you make a dream come true?

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Inagural Invite


Melody and I recieved our governor’s inagural ball invites in the mail today. This is the first invite we’ve ever recieved. We had both joined the “re-elect granholm” campaign, which is why I suppose we recieved it. We also got a Christmas card from the first family this year (so did Jes and Katie!). We are pretty thrilled and are discussing wether we can attend or not.

On a related note, we just realized that we scheduled Mel’s eye exam at the same time as the funeral procession for President Ford in Grand Rapids. So, it looks like we and the kids will be standing on the street route while the casket drives by. I told the girls today that when I was 5yrs old, I got to see president Ford speak in Durand,MI on his rail-campaign. While I can’t remember the exact details of the event, i do remember clearly sitting on my dad’s shoulders and seeing Ford speak. I also remember the pride that people felt that Ford was from Grand Rapids. My sister Tami and I were talking about it last night and were talking about how many things are named for President Ford in Grand Rapids. (the airport, the hall at GRCC, the ballroom downtown, the highway, and of course the museum where he and Betty will be laid to rest. Last night I stayed up to watch Wood TV8’s special memorial to him. It was pretty touching.

In any event, due to the funeral, Jennifer Granholm has toned down the inaguration out of respect for President Ford. It sure is a somber time in Michigan. (the warm weather doesn’t help to make it feel ‘normal’ either).

Does Jesus believe in me?

John 1:43   Button-favorites-add Button-mail

Philip and Nathanael Follow Christ

43The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.”

 One of the biggest distinctions between Jesus the Rabbi and others, is his choosing his own disciples.

John 15:16   Button-favorites-add Button-mail

16You did not choose Me, but I chose you …

 As many of you may know, this was truly remarkable for that day. Simply put, Rabbi’s did not go seeking disciples, rather disciples saught out Rabbi’s and pleaded to speand 24hrs a day, for years with their Rabbi in order to become like them. (and in truth, many of those who requested this honor were turned away!). Even more remarkable, Jesus goes out to tiny villages to seek out tradesmen that had not passed the test of having what it took to become a Rabbi. These guys were workers, not dumb by any means, just not necessarily with the passion to move on to discipleship. So, as we see with Peter, James, John and Andrew…Jesus doesn’t JUST mean “follow me,” but as Ray Vanderlaan says, “I believe in you. I believe that you have what it takes to become just like me.”

 What does that look like today? Perhaps we Jesus followers should stop asking (first) if people believe in Jesus, but if they could believe that Jesus believes in them?

I’ve had a handfull of people in my life who’ve said “I believe in you.” Each of these people had a radical affect on my life. Most recently, a group of people in Grand Rapids said, “We believe in you” and my life is currently changing. Imagine the impact of hearing the call from Jesus on these laborers! I believe you have what it takes.

Sometimes I wonder if we have an unrealistic expectation that EVERY person that follows Jesus has what it takes to be a disciple, I mean a real disciple. Someone who lives, breathes, 24 hours a day the passion to become like Jesus. The custom of the day took into account that most people who loved God didn’t have what it takes to be a disciple. They weren’t expected to have the same grit, education, passion as the few who were chosen. But again, we don’t live in  1st century Israel right now do we? This was a time that the word of God was only available at the local temple. Today, Bibles are readily availeable. Then, people lived in such proximity and with culture, economy, social structures to live in tight community. We don’t. Our ideas of community tend to be individuals that choose to meet together regularly. This is a very different idea of “community” back then. So, what can we really expect in this era?

Maybe we need a new definition of disciple and community. maybe we need to acknowledge their traditions, and reinvent them for our time. Maybe we can raise the expectations of following Jesus and at the same time make them better fitting to our internet driven lifestyles. What does it look like for us to live in community and rethink theology together, and as a communtiy, make our communities better than they were when we got there?

Ipods bring Itunes to its knees!

Man, apparently SO many people recieved Ipods for Christmas that on Monday and Tuesday of this week found incredibly slow download times and error messages not even letting some people in! (and yes, I am STILL Ipod-less. ) Here’s a story about it….Maybe not even the visonary Steve Jobs couldn’t forsee the popularity of the Ipod?

Search Terms

I find it odd to discover how people find their way here. Yesterday, the top search engine prop was from a google search for “how to convert people to jesus” – (I expect this was from my post on “who would jesus convernt?”) and another was a search that said – “ron martoia wife.” Now, that one disturbs me. I’ve only met Ron’s ex once, and don’t believe I’ve ever even talked about her nor ron on this blog once. I hope that Ron doesn’t find that offensive, I am certainly not one to gossip about things I know nothing about. My only connection to Ron is mutual friends, meeting a couple times, and I wish him nothing but blessings on his venures with my dear friends Denise and Brian (as church consulatants).

Anyway, I thought it was a strange way for people to find me.

Today was pretty rough. I had to go to Lansing to get my leg braces repaired. On Saturday, I looked down and realized that all the screws and springs had fallen out of my right brace! So, I had to go get them worked on. Then, stopped by my old office down the road and barely made it home due to my weakness. I had the girls in the back, so I think their presence and my internal protective nature helped keep me awake!

So,  I hope you are enjoying this weird space in time between holidays.


Goodbye President Ford

Michigan native, President Gerald Ford passed away yesterday. Throughout his political life, he never forgot his roots in Grand Rapids. NPR gives a good snapshot of his life, personal and public.

After growing up in Grand Rapids, President Ford attended the University of Michigan where he was a great football player who had interest from two NFL teams. In stead, he went on to study at Yale University. After, he came back to GR and practiced law before entering his political life.

GR has always had a great deal of pride when it comes to Ford. The Gerald Ford Museum is a must see when coming to town (as you drive on the Gerald Ford highway).

He will be missed, and his passing is hard on Michigan.

Goodbye sir.