Monthly Archives: March 2008

Turning Mourning Into Dancing

Ok, here’s a positive Michigan sporting blog post…

Guess which team Sports Illustrated is predicting to win it all this year? DETROIT TIGERS

Already assured of breaking an attendance record, our beloved Tigers look better than ever coming into the regular season. Even though I am fan of the under-rated Brandon Inge who’s gone now, I can not wait to watch the Tigers!

Last summer, Jim and I were able to catch the game at home when Kenny Rodgers came back pitching.  It was awesome. My first game at Comerica Park. We sat on the first base line and was greeted by some great weather and through the fourth inning were alone in our row. Awesome. I am hoping to get my hands on some tickets this summer as well. My hope is that I can take my kids to the park. I have lots of fond memories at Tiger Stadium when I was a kid, and would love to give that experience to my own kids.

Anyway, enough mourning about MSU and bring on baseball!!


Mourning in the Morning

Ok, I’ve waited until 5pm to write anything about my MSU Spartans loss to Memphis last night. It’s hard to see them loose, but I give all the credit in the world to Memphis they are a great team. They outplayed us in almost every aspect of the game. It’s a sad way to end Drew’s career, but like we always do, we will rise again next year.  (I mean, Izzo’s record is still 11 tourneys in 13 years with MSU after all)

I went to sleep shortly into the first half. I had an early morning meeting and couldn’t stay awake, even after two cups of coffee.

So, I’m prepping myself for an awards night with the kids. We are watching the “Nick Kids Choice Awards” tonight hosted by Jack Black. The girls have been waiting for weeks for this night. Bring on the slime.


I just put up a picture my dad took at Nick-a-Jack recently. I’m in bed right now freezing and in pain so I felt like it would do good to put up a nice, warm image to inspire me.


Update: Disabled Women Being Sued by Wal-Mart

CNN – story

JACKSON, Missouri (CNN) — Debbie Shank breaks down in tears every time she’s told that her 18-year-old son, Jeremy, was killed in Iraq.

Debbie Shank

Debbie Shank, 52, has severe brain damage after a traffic accident in May 2000.

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Even though the
52-year-old mother of three attended her son’s funeral — she continues
to ask how he’s doing. When her family reminds her that he’s dead —
she weeps as if hearing the news for the first time.

suffered severe brain damage after a traffic accident nearly eight
years ago that robbed her of much of her short-term memory and left her
in a wheelchair and living in a nursing home.

It was the
beginning of a series of battles — both personal and legal — that
loomed for Shank and her family. One of their biggest was with
Wal-Mart’s health plan.

Eight years ago, Shank was stocking shelves for the retail giant and signed up for Wal-Mart’s health and benefits plan.

Two years after the accident, Shank and her husband, Jim, were awarded
about $1 million in a lawsuit against the trucking company involved in
the crash. After legal fees were paid, $417,000 was placed in a trust
to pay for Debbie Shank’s long-term care.

Wal-Mart had paid out about $470,000 for Shank’s medical expenses and later sued for the same amount. However, the court ruled it can only recoup what is left in the family’s trust.

The Shanks didn’t notice in the fine print of Wal-Mart’s health plan
policy that the company has the right to recoup medical expenses if an
employee collects damages in a lawsuit.

Don’t Miss

The family’s attorney, Maurice Graham, said he informed Wal-Mart about
the settlement and believed the Shanks would be allowed to keep the
money. Video Watch this couple’s story »

“We assumed after three years, they [Wal-Mart] had made a decision to
let Debbie Shank use this money for what it was intended to,” Graham

The Shanks lost their suit to Wal-Mart. Last summer, the
couple appealed the ruling — but also lost it. One week later, their
son was killed in Iraq.

“They are quite within their rights. But I just wonder if they need it that bad,” Jim Shank said.

In 2007, the retail giant reported net sales in the third quarter of $90 billion.

Legal or not, CNN asked Wal-Mart why the company pursued the money.

Wal-Mart spokesman John Simley, who called Debbie Shank’s case
“unbelievably sad,” replied in a statement: “Wal-Mart’s plan is bound
by very specific rules. … We wish it could be more flexible in Mrs.
Shank’s case since her circumstances are clearly extraordinary, but
this is done out of fairness to all associates who contribute to, and
benefit from, the plan.”

Jim Shank said he believes Wal-Mart should make an exception.

“My idea of a win-win is — you keep the paperwork that says you won
and let us keep the money so I can take care of my wife,” he said.

The family’s situation is so dire that last year Jim Shank divorced Debbie, so she could receive more money from Medicaid.

Jim Shank, 54, is recovering from prostate cancer, works two jobs and
struggles to pay the bills. He’s afraid he won’t be able to send their
youngest son to college and pay for his and Debbie’s care.

needs the money more? A disabled lady in a wheelchair with no future,
whatsoever, or does Wal-Mart need $90 billion, plus $200,000?” he asked.

The family’s attorney agrees.

“The recovery that Debbie Shank made was recovery for future lost earnings, for her pain and suffering,” Graham said.

“She’ll never be able to work again. Never have a relationship with her
husband or children again. The damage she recovered was for much more
than just medical expenses.”

Graham said he believes Wal-Mart
should be entitled to only about $100,000. Right now, about $277,000
remains in the trust — far short of the $470,000 Wal-Mart wants back.

Refusing to give up the fight, the Shanks appealed to the U.S. Supreme
Court. But just last week, the high court said it would not hear the

Graham said the Shanks have exhausted all their resources and there’s nothing more they can do but go on with their lives.


Jim Shank said he’s disappointed
with the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case — not for the
sake of his family — but for those who might face similar

For now, he said the family will figure out a way to get by and “do the best we can for Debbie.”

“Luckily, she’s oblivious to everything,” he said. “We don’t tell her
what’s going on because it will just upset her.”

Tiny Dancer

This means I miss Jes and Katie.

Living Like Jesus is Alive

So I began to read the book, ” Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel ” by Luke Timothy Johnson today. In the opening of the book, Johnson proposes that Christianity in its essence dares to believe that Jesus is alive. Not alive in the sense that his teachings live on, not alive in the sense that modern Christians carry his like-ness but actually alive. Yet, not alive as He was before, but something other.

It’s a beautiful reminder to me. While the claim of the resurrection is difficult to believe, it appears as though the writers of the first texts after Jesus time on earth all fervently believed that Jesus had indeed come back to life. Yet, not like a corpse who was dead and has returned to life (like others in the Bible text) but one who conquered death and became Spirit/Live. One who continues to inform who we are, and guide where we go.

If we follow someone who has died, we simply read the Word of that person as if it is all past-tense. Some new information comes along and we think, “oh, that’s interesting. that’s what he/she was thinking at that time” and other post-thoughts. If we interact with a live person, that person changes, that person can move, that person isn’t thought of as past, but as present and future. Is this how we interact with Christ still? Do we live as though Jesus continues to live?

I admit that I fall into the trap of post-life Christ Christendom. I tend to look at Scripture as an inspired book that is more historical rather than what I truly profess – that it is part of God’s revelation that we too play an ongoing role. I admit that I will look at the historical Jesus more than I do the present Jesus. I have focused more on his life as a finished work than a work in progress…making my faith-life a finished work rather than a work in progress.

I have some very intelligent friends who disagree with my faith in a living Jesus, and respect and love them dearly…but, the living Christ is a deeply personal faith to me and I need to re-center my life on Him. Not that I’ve abandoned Jesus in my current life, but feel like I should make an effort to keep my eyes focused not just on what Jesus did, but on what he is doing, and going to do.

Wal-mart sues disabled woman

In a huge PR move, Wal-Mart Inc. is suing a former employee who was hit by a semi 8 years ago who lost her short-term memory and now lives in a nursing home. At the time, as an employee of Wal-Mart and a part of their health benefits. They paid her medical expenses quickly, but then after the couple won a lawsuit from the trucking company, Wal-Mart is now asking for their money back. How much? $460,000! Just about all of what the couple made in the suit in order to pay for her on-going medical care.

But it gets worse. Last year, the husband had to divorce her in order to get Medicare to pay enough to take care of her. THEN, she lost her 18 year-old son in Iraq and she can’t remember his death.

Now, Wal-Mart has every legal right to do this. It is in their health plan clause that if the employee recoups any earnings from an outside settlement related to the illness or injury, Wal-Mart reserves the right to recover expenses. But this seems a little heart-less to me.

Nice wal-mart, nice.

Go to Cnn.Com and see the full story on Debbie Shank.