Friday, September 25, 2009

It is about time

On Monday, September 28, the Detroit Tigers are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1984 World Championship team. A team that was considered one of, if not the best, Tiger teams of all time.

There will be many of the "Bless You Boys" in attendance as well. Alan Trammell (my favorite player), Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris, Willie Hernandez, Darrell Evans, Lance Parrish, Dan Petry and Milt Wilcox among others.

They are all going there for one thing. No, not to celebrate old memories. Not to celbrate the 84 team and what was accomplished. Not to get one more moment in the lime light either.

They are going there for one reason and one reason only, to see Sparky Anderson one last time. You see, Sparky doesn't get around much anymore, and this may be the last time they get to see him. And it may be the last time Sparky makes it back to Detroit, which brings me to my point.

It is about time......that the Detroit Tigers honor the man that managed my beloved Tigers for 17 years.

It is about time......that the Detroit Tigers show respect to the man that managed 1331 wins which is more than any other manager in Detroit Tiger History.

It is about time......that the Detroit Tigers showed their gratitude towards the man who captained the ship of the last Tigers team to win a World Series.

It is about time......that the Detroit Tigers made ammends to the man that Tigers fans love so dearly.

It is about time......that the Detroit Tigers made things right with the man that dearly loves the city of Detroit, its Team and its Fans.

It is about time......that the Detroit Tigers did the right thing and retire the #11 jersey that Sparky Anderson once wore.

It is about time!

Now, I don't know if the Tigers will retire his number or not on Monday. But in a season where Mike Illitch has done soooo many great things for the city of Detroit, here is his chance to put a cherry on top.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Every few weeks it is my turn to choose a topic for dicussion for my Friday morning men's bible group. This week it is my turn, so here is my friday morning discussion points. If you would like to find out more about the group, go to:

Having compassion for others is something that Christ called all of us to do, so I thought we would dive into a parable that I really don’t hear preached much…the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

The dictionary defines compassion as: sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it

Luke 10: 25-37
25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” 27 The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” 29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Parable of the Good Samaritan
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

1. Why do you think the expert in religious law wanted to “justify himself”?

2. How can we explain the religious professionals lack of compassion for the beaten up stranger?

3. Jews of that day despised Samaritans who were half breed of jews who intermarried with pagans. So why do you think that Jesus made the Samaritan the hero of the story?

4. Where do you suppose the Samaritan got his compassion for the victim?

5. According to this story, what does compassion look like?

6. When answering Jesus (verse 10:37) the religious law expert skirted around saying “the Samaritan” by saying “the one that showed him mercy” why do you think he answered the way he did?

7. There are more than 90 specific references to compassion in the bible. Most Old Testament passages are about God’s compassion towards His people, while most New Testament verses refer to Jesus having compassion for all of those in need. What do you think of that comment? Is there a difference between the old and the new? If so, why is there a difference?

Friday, September 18, 2009

D.C. Dances Around Tax Credit Extension

I keep getting questions about the First Time Buyer Tax Credit and if it will be extended. Although I don't have an answer to that yet, I thought that you would be interested to read this article from the AP.

Washington is being forced to take a hard look at the expiring $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit.

Nearly a dozen bills have been proposed to extend the credit past the Nov. 30 deadline, but the top decision makers are just beginning to weigh in.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid endorsed a six-month extension. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday that he hasn’t made a decision yet. And the White House economic team says it will make a recommendation to President Barack Obama by the end of Friday.

Extending the credit is a tough sell in some corners because so far the credit has cost an estimated $15 billion, twice what was projected last February.

Source: The Associated Press, Adrian Sainz (09/17/2009)

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Recent Conversation About U2

Recently, I mentioned to someone that I was going to an upcoming U2 concert. The response from this guy shocked me a bit. He said "I used to like U2 when they were a Christian rock band, I bet you did not know that they started that way before wandering off to where they are now."

"WHAT?!" I replied. He then repeated his statement.

My "WHAT?!" was not in response to the Christian rock band remark, it was in response to the statement he was making about them not being a Christian rock band anymore and that they "wandered" off to where they are now.

Now, this is a very nice guy that I have gotten to know a bit, and he was not trying to be offensive at all. It was just an observation from someone that has not followed this band for several years after the band switched to a more edgier tone in the early 90's with Achtung Baby.

But still.......not Christian anymore.

He then stated that, "Just because Bono does good deeds for Africa, doesn't mean that he is a Christian." Which I agree with, but I stated that he needs to look at the lyrics of their songs.

Their most recent release, No Line On The Horizon, has been called "their most thoroughly Christian project to date" according to a theologian in Alabama as reported by The Christian Post. The article states that 7 of the 11 songs have a Christian tone to them.

If you look over the course of their history, there are dozens of songs that have either a Christian tone to them or even quote or interpret scripture. Yahweh, All Because Of You, Grace, Walk On, Stuck In A Moment..., Beautiful Day, If God Will Send His Angels, Stay, When Love Comes To Town, 40 (after psalm 40), I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For are just a few of the many many songs that could be put into that category.

One of their more recent songs "Window In The Skies" was not a hit, but is one of my favorites. It has lyrics such as: "The rule has been disproved, the stone it has been moved, the grave is now a groove, all debts are removed" is clearly about the Resurrection of Christ. "Oh can't you see what Love has done?, what it's doing to me?" "To every broken heart, for every heart that cries, Love left a window in the skies" These are incredible lyrics. There is too much evidence to suggest that they ARE christian to say that they are not. They could just as easily have made songs about sex and made their fortune, but chose not to.

I think what gets lost with people, is that Bono and the boys have chosen this route with their music and lyrics, is that they are not pastors or preachers. They are in fact, rock and roll stars who are just trying to deliver a message. They may not always be in tune with doctrine, but they have a well meaning message that is more on point then some Sunday sermons that I have heard. Here is a video that I really enjoy watching, maybe you will too:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Making Home Affordable" Picking Up Steam

Here is a new article about how the "Making Home Affordable" plan starting to gain steam. About a month ago I posted an article on how it was failing. Although Bank Of America is still lowest on the list, it should be noted that in one month they went from 4% to the 7% that they are currently at:

The Obama administration's $50 billion "Making Home Affordable" mortgage relief plan is picking up steam, with 360,000 borrowers, or 12 percent of the eligible group, signing up for a three-month trial mortgage modification.

"There are signs the plan is working," says Michael Barr, assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions. "But we can do better."

Bank of America has enrolled about 7 percent of its 836,000 eligible loans, compared with 25 percent for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Treasury Department’s decision to publish these numbers is driving the banks to do better. Lenders are "concerned about the report card showing them in a worse light than their peers," says David Stevens, assistant secretary for housing and FHA commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Nobody wants to be a low performer on that score card."

Source: The Associated Press, Alan Zibel (09/09/2009)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2009 Predictions For The Detroit Lions....1st Attempt

The following is my 1st attempt at making predictions for my 2009 Detroit Lions. OK, it might be a little far fetched. But why not have some fun with it!

Sunday, September 13. Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
The Lions have an amazing start to the game led by Culpeppers 11 for 14 start for 151 yards and 2 TD passes and are up 24-3 at the half. Brew Brees is knocked out of the game in the 2nd quarter after taking a hard hit by LB Julian Peterson. In the 3rd quarter Peterson again takes out the QB, this time Mark Brunell, on a blind side blitz and returns a fumble for a TD making the score 31-6. Joey Harrington then comes in and procedes to pass the Saints on to a 34-31 victory passing for 216 yds on a 15 of 17 performance with 3 TD's. Record after week 1: 0-1

Sunday, September 20. Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Dante Culpepper gets off to a horrible start throwing 3 interceptions in the first half with one being returned for a TD. Culpepper has a better 2nd half and finishes the game 13 of 28 for 142 yds. with 3 int's and 1 TD. Brett Farve has a fair performance going 15 of 21 with 2 TD's for 172 yds. The real story of the game is Adrian Peterson who rushes for 183 yards on only 15 carries. Vikings win in a sleeper, 31-10. Record after week 2: 0-2

Sunday, September 27. Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions
Coming into the game, the Lions have a record of 2-13 against the Skins since 1983 with both wins coming in Detroit. Culpepper gets off to another rough start going 2-11 for 8 yds. before the Lions crowd starts chanting for Matthew Stafford. Culpepper responds by throwing 2 TD's to Calvin Johnson before the end of the first half to tie the game at 17. In the 2nd half, it is all Clinton Portis, as he runs like the wind through the Lions defense and ends up with 192 yards rushing and 3 TD's on the day. Culpepper finishes the day 18 of 40 for 168 yds and 2 TD's. Final score: Redskins 38 and the Lions 24. Record after week 3: 0-3

Sunday, October 4. Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
The Lions do their best to take advantage of playing in Chicago during warm weather. Culpepper has a good game going 21 of 28 for 225 yds and 2 TD's. Kevin Smith has his first good game of the year rushing for 104 yards on 21 carries with a TD. Jay Cutler looks a little lost with his new team going 12 of 25 for 138 yards. Devin Hester though is the story for the Bears. He returns a kickoff in the 2nd quarter 98 yards for a TD and then returns a punt late in the 4th quarter 67 yards to tie the game at 27 and put it into OT. The Lions lose the coinflip, where Hester promptly returns the opening kickoff 102 yards for a TD. Bears 33 and the Lions 27. Record after week 4: 0-4

Sunday, October 11. Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions
Culpepper has to leave early in the 2nd quarter with a hamstring injury after a 15 yard run for a TD. Matthew Stafford comes in and experiences how fast the NFL is with a 12 of 27 performace with 2 int's. The Steelers build a big lead of 35-9 before putting Charlie Batch in to sit on the lead. The Lions score another TD in the mop up duty. Confused Lions fans start chanting "Fire Millen" not realizing that he has been gone for a year. Final Score: Steelers 38 and the Lions 16. Record after week 5: 0-5

Sunday, October 18. Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Once again, the schedule makers were kind to the Lions by letting them play in Green Bay during warm weather. Culpepper returns for the Lions and goes 15 of 20 for 173 yards and 3 TD's before having to leave with another hamstring injury, this one much worse. Stafford comes in and performs better going 7 of 11 for 96 yards and a TD. In the end though, the Lions are on the wrong end of a bad pass interference call late in the 4th quarter and lose on a last second field goal. Final Score: Packers 30 and the Lions 28. Record after week 6: 0-6

Sunday, October 25. ***BYE WEEK***
In an attempt to turn things around, the Lions bring in Wayne Fontes as a special consultant during the bye week. He immediately suggests bringing back the Run and Shoot offense.

Sunday, November 1. St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions
In a battle of winless teams, this serves as Detroit's best chance so far to win a game. Matthew Stafford gets the start as Culpepper is steal trying to heal his hamstring. Stafford seems at home in Detroit's new Run and Shoot offense going 22 of 33 for 267 yards and 3 TD's. Calvin Johnson continues his great season catching 8 passes for 124 yards and 2 TD's. Kevin Smith runs for 114 yards. Detroit wins in a laugher 41-10. Lions fans are so excited that they set cars on fire outside Ford Field. Record after week 8: 1-6

Sunday, November 8. Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks
Cocky coming off their first win in over a year, the Lions look unprepared in their cross country trip to Seattle. Stafford gets off to a horrible start going 3 of 13 with 4 int's before being pulled for a hobbled Culpepper. In the 4th quarter, the Lions put Drew Stanton in the game and he promptly goes 7 for 7 for 52 yards and a TD. But it is way too little too late as the Lions get blown out 45-13. Record after week 9: 1-7

Sunday, November 15. Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
After Brett Farve decided to retire again, the Vikings offense has a hard time against the Lions suprisingly strong defense producing only 128 yards of total offense. Culpepper is starting again for the Lions and has a respectable 13 of 20 day for 138 yards with no turnovers. After the game when asked about the impressive defense, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz says that it was a new defense suggested by consultant Wayne Fontes called "The Silver Streak". Final Score: Lions 13 and the Vikings 9. Record after week 10: 2-7

Sunday, November 22. Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions
The Lions, after winning 2 of 3, play before their first sell out home crowd of the year. Kevin Smith responds with his best game as a Lion rushing for 214 yards and 3 TD's. The Browns offense cannot seem to do anything against this new "Silver Streak" defense that the Lions are using as they only have 78 yards of total offense and only 4 first downs the entire game. The Browns score their only points off of a fumbled punt return which results in a field goal. Final Score: Lions 37 and the Browns 3. Record after week 11: 3-7

Thursday, November 26. Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
The Lions decide that the future is now for Matthew Stafford and announce that as long as he is healthy, he will be the starter for the rest of the year. Stafford has a huge game in front of a national audience in the Run and Shoot offense. Stafford passes for 348 yards and 3 TD's, all to Calvin Johnson. Kevin Smith has another good game running for 132 yards and Detroits "Silver Streak" defense holds the Packers to 174 yards of offense in a 38 to 9 win. After the game, William Clay Ford announces that all coaches and front office personnel have been fired and that Wayne Fontes will take over all positions within the organization since he seems to be the greatest football mind that Mr. Ford has ever known. Record after week 12: 4-7

Sunday, December 6. Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals
The only starter left from the Bengals opening week lineup is Carson Palmer, as the rest of the starters are either hurt or on suspension with the exception of Chad Ochocinco who decided to retire, change his name to Esteban Ochocinco and play soccer professionally where he dominates and leads his team to the championship. The Lions offensive and defensive schemes are too much for a depleted Bengals team and the Lions under new Coach Wayne Fontes win 31-12. Record after week 13: 5-7

Sunday, December 13. Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens
The Lions get off to a good start leading 17 to 3 at half time, but a season ending injury to Calvin Johnson in the 3rd quarter slows them up in the second half. With Johnson out, the Lions only score 3 points in the second half but manage to eek out a win 20-17. After the game, Wayne Fontes announces that Herman Moore has agreed to come out of retirement and sign with the Lions for the rest of the year. Record after week 14: 6-7

Sunday, December 20. Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions
Rookie QB Matthew Stafford is having an incredible game going 22 of 24 for 249 yards and 4 TD's when he suffers a season ending injury in the 4th Quarter. Kevin Smith breaks the 1,000 yard mark on the season, and the signing of Herman Moore proves to be big as he catches 12 passes for 133 yards and 2 TD's. The Lions squeak out a close one over the Cardinals 34-31. GM/Coach Wayne Fontes announces after the game that the Lions have signed Eric Hipple to come out of retirement for the rest of the season. Record after week 15: 7-7

Sunday, December 27. Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Smith pulls a hamstring in the 1st quarter that will keep him out the rest of the season. After Culpepper falters, Hipple comes in and passes for 189 yards on 12 of 17 passes with a TD. 49ers head coach, Mike Singletary, was kicked out of his 2nd game this year for entering the field of play and tackling another teams player. Record after week 16: 8-7

Sunday, January 3. Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
In a glorious return, Barry Sanders comes out of retirement and runs for 278 yards on only 12 carries with 4 TD's. Eric Hipple continues his good play passing for 198 yards and Herman Moore catches 10 passes for 117 yards as the Lions go on to dominate the Bears 45-10. After the game, Wayne Fontes is named executive and coach of the year. Record after week 17: 9-7
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