9/11: Pause and Remember

Now nine years past, the pain of September 11, 2001, seems like such a distant memory. But as always, the anniversary ought to be honored and observed -- in compassion for those most directly affected, in humble gratitude for noble sacrifices, in righteous resolve for peace through strength, in eternal vigilance for God's great gift of liberty. Take a moment today to pause and remember. Previous reflections on 9/11: 2009: Personal recollection 2008: Never Forget 2007: The next Tuesday, 9/11 2006: Prayerful resolve … [Read more...]

Major League Commissioner Bud Selig Should Recognize Tiger Pitcher Armando Galarraga’s Perfect Game

WHEREAS, on June 2, 2010, at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga masterfully pitched a game against the Cleveland Indians in which he indisputably retired each of the first 26 batters he faced in succession with exactly 80 pitches thrown (62 strikes, 18 balls); and WHEREAS, Tigers centerfielder Austin Jackson made a tremendous, over-the-shoulder running catch off Indians second baseman Mark Grudzielanek for the first out of the ninth inning; and WHEREAS, with two outs in the top of the 9th inning, the 27th batter, Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald, grounded the ball to Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who in turn flipped the ball to Galarraga, who clearly touched the bag with his … [Read more...]

Memorial Day Reflection

One of our pastors shared this story from the pulpit yesterday morning about the late Medal of Honor winner Captain Ed Freeman, who put himself in harm's way to rescue many young wounded American servicemen in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. Dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who gave their lives in the military service to help preserve our freedoms: Spend a moment today to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day, and find a way to show your appreciation to a military member, veteran, spouse or family member. And God bless America! … [Read more...]

RIP, Ernie

Tonight I am at a loss for words. The great Ernie Harwell -- to all of us who grew up with his voice and grew up to love Detroit Tigers baseball, simply "Ernie" -- passed away today at age 92, after a long bout with cancer. If you want to know why I'm choked up with tears, here's a start: My September 2009 posting: Thank YOU, Ernie Harwell A full-length obituary in the Detroit Free Press And a fitting, in-game eulogy by fellow baseball broadcasting legend Vin Scully: … [Read more...]

Lexington and Concord, 235 Years Later

While a certain Democratic ex-President has been trying to exploit the memory of today's terrible 15th anniversary to take a political cheap shot at millions of Americans, I prefer to commemorate a different anniversary. Two hundred thirty-five years ago today, American patriots at Lexington and Concord ignited the cause of liberty on American shores. What was nearly unthinkable on April 19, 1775 -- a ragtag band of Patriot colonists winning the hearts and minds of many countrymen, the support of the French crown and securing independence from Britain -- eventually came to pass. But the heroism of the farmers and craftsmen in small Massachusetts towns who stood tall against General Thomas Gage's Redcoats, including of the dozens who … [Read more...]

Ernie Harwell, David Benke, and Appomattox: Making Today Memorable

Today -- April 9, 2010 -- will go down as a memorable day. First, my native state of Michigan officially declared it Ernie Harwell Day in honor of what looks very much like the legendary Hall-of-Fame baseball broadcaster's last Detroit home opener with us (and bless the Tigers, they beat Cleveland 5-2). Can't say it enough: Thank YOU, Ernie Harwell. I've also learned that lawmakers from my adopted home state of Colorado have declared today David Benke Day, in honor of the selfless, heroic teacher at Deer Creek Middle School who doubtless helped save student lives from a deranged gunman. I'm honored to have met both of these fine, humble men, and am glad to know they share the same commemorative day. They are both most deserving, each in … [Read more...]

Easter: He Is Risen

Luke 24:1-9 1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 "He is not here, but He has risen Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise … [Read more...]

Good Friday

Meditations for Good Friday: Luke 23:44-47 44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent." … [Read more...]

Michigan, My Michigan: A Personally Meaningful Civil War Video Tribute

No political blogging this morning. Instead, a great video tribute to Michigan soldiers who served in the Civil War, with historical music provided by actor and native Michigander Jeff Daniels: It's hard for me not to be moved by this tribute, having studied the U.S. Civil War so extensively, having traveled to so many of its battlefield sites, having four ancestors who served in the War (including three who died in the service -- one in the 9th Michigan Volunteer Infantry), and having my alma mater Hillsdale College so prominently represented in the 4th Michigan and other regiments:A higher percentage of Hillsdale students enlisted during the Civil War than from any other western college. Of the more than 400 who fought for the … [Read more...]

Dr. David Benke: Hero

Update, 3/1: Jeffco Public Schools has posted a response letter from Dr. Benke. I think it about says it all. The story of the heroism of Deer Creek Middle School math teacher David Benke is a compelling one. A Jefferson County schoolteacher like many others who went to work yesterday, placed into an unexpected moment of high stress and great danger to those around him, he acted as we all would hope to act under similar circumstances. His initial action to stop the shooter at Deer Creek very well may have saved lives. By all accounts, he also is a man far less interested in his own instant fame than in the well-being of his students who were subjected to this violent attack. For all these reasons, it is fitting and proper to … [Read more...]