Monday, December 31, 2012

You Got That Wright?

Jeffrey Wright uses wacky experiments to teach children about the universe, but it is his own personal story that teaches them that God still loves like crazy. This guy is my new hero. Enjoy!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

New Fave Christmas Vid?

This is one my new fave Christmas vids. Enjoy!!!

O Little Town of Bethlehem?

I love this look through modern Bethlehem interviewing Palestinians and Israelite's about Jesus. Take 5 minutes to enjoy!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 Fortune Christmas Card Quiz?

1. Which actually happened?
A. Lydia spent 2 days in the hospital for abdominal pain but is okay
B. Josh became a teenager
C. The kids did their homework without complaining
D. Both A and B

2. What did Mike’s church do this year to show people that God loves them like crazy?
A. Hosted internet safety and free computer classes for the community
B. Hosted Valentines for Toledo concert benefiting the School for Autistic Learners
C. Helped raise $18k to combat human trafficking in NW Ohio
D. All of the above

3. What did Mike do in 2012?
A. Joined the Executive Committee for the TV show Faith for Today
B. Attended Biker Camp Meeting without a motorcycle
C. Helped Haven of Hope make-over the homes and lives of two families in NW Ohio
D. All of the above

4. Jackie...
A. Loves her new job as a gastrointestinal nurse in the hospital
B. Saw Matthew West and Casting Crowns in concert
C. Got in a low speed fender-bender but is okay
D. All of the above

5. What was Joshua and Lydia’s favorite movie?
A. Brave
B. Wreck-It-Ralph
C. Dolphin Tale
D. All of the above

6. Joshua [age 13] loves:
A. Playing Minecraft on the computer
B. Reading the Owls of Ga’Hoole
C. 7th grade @ Toledo Junior Academy
D. All of the above

7. Lydia [age 10½] loves:
A. Sleeping with her nearly 1 year old black and white toy poodle Bianca (Barkley still sleeps with Josh)
B. Gymnastics at the Y
C. Her new braces
D. Both A and B

8. Mike & Jackie...
A. Made the kids wear our class jackets to our high school reunion
B. Took the kids camping in our new pop up
C. Took the kids to a Pathfinder Camporee
D. All of the above

9. Mike’s favorite books read include:
A. You Lost Me by David Kinnaman
B. Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg
C. Smart Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey and Greg Link
D. All of the above

10. What else did Mike’s church do?
A. Taught What Oliver Eats classes on health and wellness
B. Hosted a Kidz Crazy Car & Truck Show
C. Raised $1k for Hurricane Sandy Relief
D. All of the above

> 7 Fortunate—WTG!!!
> 5 Unfortunate—There’s no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1)
> 3 A misfortune—Better luck next year!

This Christmas Card is also available in color with pictures and links @

➘  Please keep in contact!!!

facebook: mike4tune
iTunes: Toledo First
twitter: @mike4tune

➘ Answers: They're all D!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Jesus Wept?

Our Heavenly Father, this morning our hearts are broken. As is yours. Once more, evil appears to triumph. And once more, lives have been lost. When Jesus was born, yes, the angels sang. And the shepherds rejoiced. But today we also remember that Matthew 2:18 says a voice was heard in Ramah weeping and mourning for her children and refusing to be comforted. Because when Jesus was born, children died when a mentally unstable man ordered their deaths in Bethlehem.

And again this week, when we should be singing and rejoicing about the birth of Jesus, instead we are mourning because adults and children died when another mentally unstable man killed kids in school. How long O Lord can we take this? How long O Lord can you? We know Scripture says in Ezekiel 33:11 that you take no delight in the death of the wicked, so we know you take no delight in the death of the innocent. But God, sometimes, all we can do cry.

So Emmanuel, come and comfort your people like you promised you would. Remind us that Jesus got angry at evil too. That you’re weeping with us. And that when we are weak, by God’s grace, we can be strong. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Kept Right?

Recently, I reminded some children in a daycare that when Jesus was born, the wise men gave Him three gifts (Matthew 2:11). So I asked them if three Christmas gifts were enough for Jesus, would three Christmas gifts be enough for them as well. Surprisingly, most of them said yes! One said "no". So I asked how many would be enough, and he said 500! (I think he knew what I was going to say next). Christmas is about Jesus' birthday not yours. What if we taught our children this? And used any additional monies we've previously spent on ourselves at Christmas and donated it to a local non-profit organizations? Some of the faves I support include The Daughter Project (combating human trafficking in Toledo), The Eden Garden Orphanage (currently serving 37 orphans in Haiti), and Haven of Hope Toledo (making-over the homes and lives of people in NW Ohio one family at a time). If we did, years from now, would our children remember the Christ of Christmas more easily as adults? Would they become less materialistic? Would they learn to hold more loosely the things of this earth since their real home is in heaven? I hope so. Because Jesus has a wish list too. And one of them is to allow Him to be formed in each us including our children. Christmas kept right can help us do this.

The Serious Shepherd?

One of the most popular images of Jesus is as the "good shepherd" (cf. Psalm 23:1-3; John 10:14-15). And while that metaphor of a good shepherd carrying his lambs and gently leading the others to still waters certainly conveys the love God has for us, the "serious shepherd" should convey the same the thing. Because shepherd imagery was often used of kings. King Cyrus of Persia is called a shepherd in Isaiah 44:28. King David too in Psalm 78:71-72. Even the uninterested counselors of King Herod told him after their encounter with the wise men before Jesus was born that they should be looking for a serious shepherd king of Israel. In Matthew 2:6 they quoted Micah 5:2 saying, "Out of you [Bethlehem] will come a ruler who be the shepherd of my people."

Jesus readily embraced the serious shepherd role as well in Matthew 25:31-32 when he said, "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." Which probabaly sounded to some an awful lot like what Ezekiel 34:17 said hundreds of years earlier. "And as for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says to his people: I will judge between one animal of the flock and another, separating the sheep from the goats."

As we near Christmas, and remember that Jesus came the first time to lead us like a good shepherd, it would be wise of us to remember that one day soon He will be returning as our serious shepherd. To finish what He started. And reward those who have been his good and faithful servants. Isaiah 40:10 says it this way, "Yes, the Sovereign LORD is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young." Aren't you glad Jesus is a good but serious shepherd?

For more info on Jesus as shepherd, see the book Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus p.46

The Future of Education?

This 10 min video suggests that in the year 2020, most colleges and universities could no longer exist. Tuition becomes obsolete. And degrees irrelevant. Even if the dates and details are wrong, this is the direction education is going. How will we adjust?