Old Posts – from the Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy Time

What to Do? What to Do? What to Do?

Every time I’ve heard that series of three questions, (typically at church) it always makes me pause and think about it in three ways: What to do?? What is God showing you that you need to do to follow him? Let’s look at three things in Micah 6:8 that God tells us we need to … Continue reading What to Do? What to Do? What to Do?

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The Church and Donald Trump

The following is a quote from an article in Politico magazine. In it, they summarize some things but they also quote the current President a number of times. “On Tuesday, President Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacists. On Wednesday, he blamed suburban, low-income people of color for “ruining this American dream.”  The comments represent … Continue reading The Church and Donald Trump

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Breaking a Promise

I told myself I wasn’t going to do it. My kids agreed it was a good idea to stay away from it. My cousin proved by his comments on my Facebook posts that it wasn’t going to be easy. But, I’m currently attending a seminar at church (well, from my basement) on healing racial trauma.  … Continue reading Breaking a Promise

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Lecrae

Remember that part in the Bible where the Good Samaritan sees a man in the road hurting and before stopping to help he said, “Before I help, do I fully agree with his philosophy?” “Let me wait until I know the full story.” “What did he do to end up in this situation, maybe he … Continue reading Lecrae

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Colin Kapernick was Right

From John Pavlovitz

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Rage

www.cnn.com/2020/09/10/politics/trump-bob-woodward-rage/index.html “That’s not an either/or! And even if it was an either/or, it still wouldn’t excuse what Trump did. He didn’t just downplay the virus. He openly mocked mask-wearing, one of the only proven tactics we have to mitigate the spread. He pushed hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the virus, even though the FDA revoked its emergency use … Continue reading Rage

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An Open Letter to My Friend Bill…..

AN OPEN LETTER TO REPRESENTATIVE BILL HUIZENGA“ Dear Rep. Huizenga, Twenty to twenty five years ago, if we had met for lunch or at a golf course or at a title company office, I would have greeted you with a “Hey Bill,” or a “Hi Bill!” There were certain people I did business with where … Continue reading An Open Letter to My Friend Bill…..

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It’s okay….

What’s okay? The news? Nope The crime figures? Nope The fact checker results when politicians give speeches? Nope The most recent Covid statistics and the grief and pain that they represent? Not a chance The anxiety ridden discussions that take place on places like Facebook as parents wrestle with big questions about this school year. … Continue reading It’s okay….

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“Chik-Fil-A”

I need to tell you a story about some chicken…… It also has to do with my daughter.   She started college a “few years back” and discovered that she didn’t want to do what she thought she did.   So she stepped back from school and took some time to figure “things” out.   … Continue reading “Chik-Fil-A”

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Mediocre White Men……

Let me build the “surroundings” for you. This is another incident that happened in the drama that Oprah Winfrey produced called “Queen Sugar.” It is a drama that is written from the standpoint of people of color in Louisiana and the struggles they have. It is surprisingly adept at pulling you into the lives and … Continue reading Mediocre White Men……

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What have YOU learned from Charlottesville?

I wrote this 3 years ago tonight after a worship service/prayer service/time of lament at my church, Madison Square in Grand Rapids. The Things My Church Taught Me about Charlottesville AUGUST 14, 2017~ TOM VANDERWELL If you have been following my writing at all, you know that I attend a multi-cultural church in Grand Rapids. … Continue reading What have YOU learned from Charlottesville?

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These are…..

‘These are the times that try men’s souls…..” by Thomas Paine, written during the Revolutionary War. I remember, after 9/11/2001, hearing people say that then as well. I think both of them, while dramatically different can lay claim to that statement. And I think that the time we are currently in is exponentially more confusing, … Continue reading These are…..

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Hard

“It’s Hard…..” “It’s Hard to Stare at the Pain But it’s harder to pretend like the pain isn’t even there.” That quote comes from one of the main characters in Oprah Winfrey’s TV Show, “Queen Sugar.” I’m sorry that I don’t remember who said that – I was too busy scribbling it down so I … Continue reading Hard

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Hooded Sweatshirts

They don’t teach this in pre-adoption parenting classes. (At least I don’t know any that do). If you know any that do, leave their contact information and details in the comments, please! The article below spells it out very well, but it is an area of adoptive parenting that the adoption “industry” deserves a failing … Continue reading Hooded Sweatshirts

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“Your” “Unwise and Untimely”

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.”  Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. wrote that. Okay, think about that sentence a bit.    “While confined…..in the Birmingham city jail,”   Do you know anyone who willingly allowed themselves to be arrested because … Continue reading “Your” “Unwise and Untimely”

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On Being Uncomfortable

On Being Uncomfortable Last night I was scrolling through Facebook and reading some news, reading some of what some particular authors said, reading some of the funny things my friends do (Looking at you, LeMarr and also Todd).   I came across an article that a number of the leaders of/in not only my church … Continue reading On Being Uncomfortable

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For Such a Time as This?

Martin Niemoller – post WWII Concentration Camp Survivor First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not … Continue reading For Such a Time as This?

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What is the Fourth of July

from the descendants of Frederick Douglas.

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The Power of Hamilton

(note from Tom – this was written by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle and posted on her Facebook page.   It has be reposted here (without permission) with full credit to her for her willingness to share the truth about our times.)   You can find more from and about Rachel at https://www.facebook.com/rachelecargle Quote from Rachel Elizabeth Cargle – … Continue reading The Power of Hamilton

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Letters From a Birmingham Jail

“While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.”” Dr. M.L. King Jr.” For those of you who don’t know, when Dr. M.L. King Jr. was in Birmingham for the protests there, he was arrested and put in jail.   While he was in … Continue reading Letters From a Birmingham Jail

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