Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Curse of the Gentleman's Cup!

One of the most fascinating things I enjoy doing is watching someone else decorate a Christmas tree. There is an art form attached to it and it rivals, in my mind anyway, a master sculpture, musician, or artist at work. The coordination of all the colors, decorations, room placement, and presents can be a site that is awe inspiring, skillful, and magnificent. The decorating of the tree can last hours and bring tons of personal satisfaction with its completion. On the other hand, the decorating of a Christmas tree can also bring frustration, anxiety, and an irritable disposition that can turn the whole project into one big headache!

Just recently, I happened to stop by the Medrano household for my weekly cup of coffee and visit. It is an enjoyable time for me as I leave all the problems of pastoring behind, slip into the Medrano house, have a nice warm cup of java, and torment Donna and her guests with my lame humor and demanding personality. On this particular visit, Donna unfortunately committed one of the most egregious sins one could commit - the coffee was not made or ready for an uninvited guest! This foible of common decency brings with it a curse - a curse that is known to all in Downriver Christian Community Church as the Curse of the Gentleman's Cup!  The curse began eons ago while I was at college and brings with it disaster after disaster to the one who violates it sacred observance!

The curse began at a dinner table in Ypsilanti when my common group of friends were joined by a new person seeking a place at our college dinner table. This place was reserved for only those worthy enough to know us and to be allowed into our close circle of fellowship. One day, we were joined by a "new prospect" who had never sat by us in the past. When dinner was over, he was required to go and get hot coffee for everyone at the table. This was an initiation into our group and showed the rest of us that the "new prospect" had the "right stuff" for hanging out with us. On this particular day, the "new prospect" refused to go and get coffee for the rest of us. His behavior was met by gasp and horror because he had violated the code of the gentlemen's cup! There could be only one response to such a brazen defiance of the code - judgment! As soon as the "new prospect" sat down, someone was walking behind him with hot coffee and accidentally tripped over a leg of a chair. The coffee they had been holding was now spilled over the "new prospect." Our entire table buckled in laughter at the "new prospect" and his new aftershave aroma of coffee.

The very next day, the "new prospect" was given a chance to redeem himself after dinner by going once again to get us a coffee. The "new prospect" once again refused the request and defiantly sat down at the table. Approximately 10 seconds passed when someone with red pop walked behind him, tripped on a chair, and spilled the pop all over the "new prospect." Once again the table erupted in laughter and ridicule...and so the Curse of the Gentleman's Cup came to be feared and respected.

Now Donna's lapse of judgment in regard to the curse was not going to bode well for her household that day. Donna tried to ward off the curses impact by immediately putting on a pot of coffee, but it was too late. The curse had already been set in motion. As I sat in the living room talking to Donna and waiting for the coffee to brew, her husband, Eddie, sat down and joined in the conversation. Our conversation was directed toward Donna's Christmas tree, which had been decorated with great care and love, when Eddie got up and went over to get a closer look at the tree. I watched Eddie as he meticulously searched the Christmas tree looking at each and every ornament, asking Donna who they were for and how long she had had them. He then got a puzzled look on his face and asked Donna, "Where is my ornament? You know, the one for my Charlie Brown Christmas tree?" Donna had a look of confusion and great concern on her face and told Eddie that she did not know where his Charlie Brown ornament was.

Eddie continued to look for his ornament as his Charlie Brown tree sat barren on the Medrano dinner table. The tree was just like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree in the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon special. As Ed continued to look, he grew more and more animated. "Where is my ornament?" he repeated over and over. Like the sound of the citizens of Whoville singing on Christmas morning, Ed's complaining grew louder and louder! "Where is my Ornament?!"  For 20 minutes, Eddie searched for his ornament like the old woman in the Bible searching her house for her lost coin. "It's got to be here," he said over and over. I noticed Donna grow more and more uncomfortable with each passing moment. "Donna, where did you put it?" he continued to ask and demand of her over and over. "It's a large red shiny one with an Ohio State emblem on it..." Eddie muttered to himself. Finally, Donna worked up the nerve and said, "Eddie, I think it got broken last Christmas...!" There was a momentary pause of shock and awe on Eddie's face at the sound of Donna's words. "What did you say?" Eddie quietly asked. Again Donna said, "Eddie, I think it got broken last Christmas season!" "Nooooooooooooo," yelled Eddie, "not my Charlie Brown Ohio State ornament!" Ed melted on the floor in anguish like the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz, distraught over his precious good luck ornament and the fond memories it supposedly held for him.  

As Eddie lamented the loss of the ornament, I couldn't help but think that the Curse of the Gentleman's Cup had struck again and was a sign to him of impeding doom and disaster for his Ohio State Buckeyes in their championship game against Michigan State. If only Donna had the coffee ready when I arrived, I'm sure that ornament would have been found intact and ready to be placed once again on Eddie's Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I'm also sure that his Buckeyes would have beaten Michigan State in the Big 10 Championship football game and would have allowed Ed to once again thumb his nose at all Michigan and Michigan State supporters. But the curse said otherwise!

As we celebrate the Christmas season this year, may we concentrate on the many blessings we have and the great memories that accompany those blessings. Like the care and joy that goes into decorating a Christmas tree such as Donna's, may we put even forth a greater effort in our witness for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we reflect His character and passion this season and not get caught up in personal disappointments like Eddie Medrano. May God richly bless you and your families this Christmas season - and GO BLUE, GO STATE!

A Medrano "Merry" Christmas!

Eddie had a Christmas bulb
and it was as red as it could be,
He looked and looked for it upon,
his 2013 tree.

He searched and searched 
with all his might,
but the bulb was not there at all,
It made ole Eddie cry and cry
and hit his head against the wall

"I loved that bulb!" ole Eddie cried
"It was as shiny as it could be'"
with an Ohio State label on its front
for all the world to see.

I need that bulb for sentimental reasons
and luck for my beloved Buckeyes 
and if I don't find that bulb
someone's gonna die!

But the bulb got broken last Christmas season
it fell upon the floor,
and shattered into a thousand pieces
and now it exists no more!

O, somewhere in the Medrano house,
the coffee smelling strong,
 Somewhere Donna's grandchildren are playing
with their new toys by the back door.

Somewhere Donna's cooking
and making food to eat
But Eddie's bulb is gone for good
and his beloved Buckeyes got beat!  

Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hitting The Trifecta!

When I was in high school, I went to the horse race track with a couple of close friends. I had never been to a horse race and had no idea what to expect. The only thing I knew was that I was going to win a lot of money there by betting on the winning horses in each race. What made my plan fool proof was the fact that one of my friends who was going with me to the track had a father who knew the horses like the back of his hand. My friend's father went to the track every day and had even given his son some winning tickets from the previous day to cash in for his own personal use. His only request was that when his son went to the track, he was to "box" in three horse in a certain race in order to win the trifecta.

A trifecta for those who do not know is a race in which a person who bets must correctly pick the top three finishers in the race. You can bet on the exact order or you can "box" in your three picks. "Boxing" in your picks means that it does not matter what order the horses come in as long as those three horse finish in the top three spots. The odds for getting the horses in the correct order in a regular trifecta are astronomical while getting the horses to finish "boxed" is high but not unreasonable. The payout for a regular trifecta pick is much higher than a "boxed" pick but both payouts will bring dollar signs to one's eyes and a bankroll to one's wallet.

When we got to the race track, I placed a couple of $5 bets on different races and lost them all. My horses did not even come close to winning the races even though they were the "favorites" according to the racing forms I had or the drunks I was sitting next to. When it came time for the trifecta race, I was going to bet the three horses my friend's father had picked, but I was going to "box" them in. If I won, I stood to win $27,000 dollars! Having lost about $20 already, I was only going to spend $5 more since I didn't have much more money to waste on a sport for which I was quickly developing a bad taste in my mouth. I asked my friend for the horses information that his dad had given him but he refused to give it to me. He then launched into a filibuster about how gambling was wrong, that he wasn't even going to waste his fathers money on the picks he had given him, and that we should understand that playing the horses was one of the dumbest things we could do with our hard earned money. Well, his lecture worked, and I was shamed from betting on the trifecta along with his dad. As the race began, I was rather proud of the fact that I was not going to lose any more money on the horses and I sat there smugly laughing at all the fools who were wasting their hard earned cash on these dumb horses.

The race began with no expectations from me, but quickly brought about a sense of impeding doom. The three horses that my friend's father had picked were leading the race! Well, the race was still along way from the finish, and I was sure that those horse would tire and fall to the back of the pack. The race went into the final turn and those three horse were still in the lead-by a long distance! As the horses crossed the finish line, they were in the precise order that my friend's father had picked them! I sat there dumbfounded and in a complete daze! Needless to say, my friend was in a complete daze also because he did not bet the horses his father TOLD him to bet! I kept looking at the finish board in the infield of the track with the number $27,000 flashing over and over. If I had only listened to my friend's father and followed his advice, I would have had more money in my pocket than I could imagine. But, no, I had to listen to my friend who knew as much as I did about horse racing! I was sick to my stomach and so was my friend. I was absolutely furious with him because of his "wise advice." I was sure at that point that his father was going to be even more angry.

Christmas season brings with it a lot of voices dispensing advice on what we should and shouldn't do during this beautiful time. A wonderful treasure remains for those who listen to good advice and disappointment and frustration for those who listen to bad advice. Experience in making those decisions can make a big difference in how we will either enjoy or suffer during this Christmas season. At Downriver Christian Community Church, we have provided some "wise advice" for getting through the holidays this year with the trifecta of  love, joy, and peace that only Jesus provides. Check out the website for the Advent season devotionals and church member's ponderings. Make this season special by reading the scriptures and watching the videos daily-I guarantee-you will hit the trifecta of blessings instead of the slough of despair!

Merry Christmas & stay holy, my friends!

Pastor Don

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Military Intelligence?

Many of you may well remember the old 1960s television show Lost in Space. The show revolved around the travels, tribulations, and triumphs of the Robinson family as they drifted around the universe in search of Alpha Centauri or for a route to take them back to earth. When they begin their mission, they were sort of like Noah - sent out to search for a new world in which humanity could start over again. As the Robinson family began their journey, their spaceship is throw off course from the extra weight stowed on the ship in the form of Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith is a saboteur of the mission and has accidentally gotten trapped on board the Jupiter 2 as it embarks on its quest. The computers do not compensate for the extra weight, and the Jupiter 2 is sent hopelessly and uncontrollably off course into deep unexplored and unmapped space. Hence the title of the show - Lost in Space.

One of my favorite "characters" on the show was the robot that accompanies the Robinson family on their mission. Programmed by Dr. Smith at the start of the journey to destroy the Jupiter 2 once it was in space, the robot became the trusted companion and defender of the Robinson family as they encountered one form of alien life after another. Anyone who watched the show knows the robots famous warning when danger was near - Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

A time has now come that we as Christians need to heed the robots warning of Danger, Will Robinson, DangerRecently, Fox News reported that there had been a "pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood Texas where those in attendance were informed that evangelical Christians and Tea Party members were a ’threat’ to the nation and any soldier donating to those groups would be subject to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice." Never mind that Fort Hood was the horrific scene of "workplace violence" when Maj. Nidal M. Hassan, a radical Muslim, murdered 13 fellow soldiers in November 2009. Instead of focusing on and sounding warnings about radical Islam infiltrating the ranks of the U.S. military forces, intelligence agencies, or the U.S. government itself or the spread of anti-American propaganda within the plethora of Muslim mosques now springing up like poisonous weeds all across the fruited plain, the U.S. Army has now painted a target on the backs of American Christians with the intention of suppressing or destroying any type of criticism or resistance to the current administration's vision for our nation.


Seeking to implement their vision of what America should be, those now wielding power in the courts, academia, the press, military, or government are eliminating the "old order" of things to establish the "new order." Socialism, or humanism, is no friend of Christianity and will fight with all its might, fair or foul, to marginalize, demonize, or outright destroy any challengers to its position as the dominate worldview of the land. All challengers will be crushed, and Christianity is its number one threat and challenger.

Why must Christianity be fought by these people you may ask. The answer is very simple - Christianity provides a view of the world that is diametrically opposed to their current view of the world and life. At every point, Christianity challenges the presuppositions and ideas of these people with God's infallible Word. God defines everything and is the source of all truth and knowledge. However, mankind has thrown off the definitions and restrictions that God has established and has defined its own terms and sanctions concerning life. It is this war of ideas that Christians find themselves engaged in with a winner-take-all prize.   

When Christian and conservative groups are singled out by the U.S. military and our political leaders for scrutiny as potential domestic terrorists, the real terrorists - by default or purposefully - are supported and encouraged in their destructive mission. We can only wonder from what source our military and cultural leaders are getting their misguided intelligence in the promotion and instituting of these ideas and laws. As our country's cultural institutions continue their slide away from God and his law, may we recognize the very real threat we as Christians pose to those in power and the increased political, legal, and possibly physical pressure we may face in the days ahead. We do not wage war with weapons of this world, but we battle with spiritual weapons provided by God himself that are mighty to defeat every thought or law that takes a stand against God and His anointed. God himself can and will fight His own battles with an intelligence no man, nation, or military can fathom. Psalm 2 prophetically and succinctly states that to be at war with God is not the "intelligent" thing to do.

Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

May we be wise in our thinking and kiss the son, fear the Lord, and serve Him with total devotion. Let us take refuge in Him and His mighty power and celebrate His everlasting rule with trembling, confidence and great joy!
Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Doctorate in Absurdity!

Question: What happens when you cross a pig with California Governor Jerry Brown?
Answer: Nothing! There are some things even a pig won't do! 

If you think that some of our politicians couldn't possibly get any worse in their personal and professional lives or enact sweeping legislation devoid of any reason or common sense, it's time to think again. Governor Jerry Brown of California just lowered the bar of lower expectations. On September 30th, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law in the state of California a law that allows non-physicians to perform abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy! This new law was not only signed by the Governor, but it was also passed in both houses of the state legislature with overwhelming support. Also supporting and hailing the passage of the bill was the champion defender of safe, legal, and rare abortions - Planned Parenthood.

For years, we have been forced fed the liberal mantra of safe, legal, and rare in order to enact and justify abortion as the law of the land. However, now we can rightly dispense with all pretenses of "concern for the mother's health." Many of us were never taken in by the left's pious-sounding platitudes when the topic of abortion was discussed in the public arena, but a vast segment of Americans still feigning empathy for young women with "unwanted pregnancies," clamored for "humane laws" that would protect these "victims" from the back alley butchers. Forget about the back-alley predators preying on young, gullible, and defensiveness women, the predators have been welcomed into the abortion clinics with open arms and with the blessing of the state politicians and the California Medical Association. We don't need no stinking doctors.

Amazing to me is the fact that the new law was backed and pushed forward by the California Medical Association. This group is comprised of physicians and health "professionals," who - according to the organizational history listed on the group's website - will: Confront the challenges of rampant quackery, epidemics of contagious disease, and a desperate need to establish standards for the profession, physician leaders of the time called upon their colleagues to help them form the Medical Society of the State of California (as it was called back then) "to develop, in the highest possible degree, the scientific truths embodied in the profession." 

What a bunch of hogwash! I guess allowing "clinicians" - whatever and whomever that term may describe - who have been trained for a couple of weeks in preforming abortions are now medically competent enough to preform this relatively "minor surgery" and are fully supported by the CMA and their professed vision and mission statement. Prior to this law being enacted, only licensed "doctors" could perform an abortion because of the great medical and psychological risk associated with the procedure! Forget all that, we are now being told that this is such a "minor" and "safe procedure" that "doctors" - with all their training and schooling - can stand idly by while someone with very minimal training can do their job as well as they could. Talk about creating new jobs and stimulating the economy.

As I thought about this new law and the support it had from Planned Parenthood, the California Medical Association, most of the legislators, and every leftist or progressive supporter, I wondered why these groups would support such an idiotic and dangerous law for women. Weren't these groups looking out for the safety and welfare of women like we had been told ad nauseam over the years? Of course, the answer to that question has always been apparent to anyone with an ounce of intelligence. Abortion, in case you did not know, has never been about a woman's right to choose or about making abortion safe, legal and rare. It has been about the control of certain groups of people and about making MONEY. Margret Sanger, Planned Parenthood's founder, made no bones about her desired purpose to see legalized abortion the law of the land in order to control certain minority groups. Read her history and the history of Planned Parenthood if you want more information about this infamous, bigoted, genocidal elitist group.

Depraved mankind will always make laws and behave contrary to the expressed will of God because - like Adam and Eve - mankind wants to be like God - establishing their own standard of what constitutes good and evil. The further a society slips away from God and his holy standard, the more the profane will become the acceptable and the unimaginable become the common. When a society begins to allow and sanction non-doctors to perform serious medical procedures is there any other outrageous en devour that politicians will not keep their hands off of or allow?  Is the day when the patients run the asylum now upon us? Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, and Dr. Howard - you're needed in Emergency - NOW!

Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Nutty Professor!

College Life! It used to be when students went off to college they were being prepared for a career, a calling, and a contribution to society for its betterment. Parents worked long, hard hours and extra jobs while saving every penny in order to give their children a chance a making something better out of their lives. Few children had the resources available to them years ago to complete four to eight years of education. Most students went into the work force or the military since college was a pipe dream they would never experience. However, if a student had the resources to attend college, most universities prided themselves in giving the student the best education possible. Education was the ticket out of mediocrity and would open exciting new doors of opportunity and advancement toward the American dream. Professors prided themselves on adherence to strict academic standards and discipline all the while cognoscente of the responsibility entrusted to them by parents. But something drastic began to happen on college campuses and in classrooms over the course of the last 100 years. It began slowly, but built up steam like a runaway locomotive, wrecking everything and anything in it destructive path.

Professors began to see themselves not only as dispensers of vocational knowledge and direction, but also as evangelists of various and revolutionary political ideas that they believed would transform the world into a unimaginable utopia. Since these professors saw themselves as elitists who understood the world much better than the "average Joe," they set out to create a world fashioned in their own images. Over the years, these professors gained incredible influence not only on college campuses, but also their acidic and unrelenting influence spread like a cancer through the political, educational, and cultural landscapes. Instead of strengthening and supporting the ethics and values that most parents, churches, and societies taught dogmatically to their children, professors criticized, undermined, and ridiculed traditional values and beliefs and introduced foreign ideas that found young minds eager to listen but slow to think! A close inspection of almost any college environment and curriculum today would prove to any honest inquirer that political indoctrination, not education, is the order of the day!  

Recently, on the first day of the school year, a professor at Michigan State University was videotaped in his classroom by a student recording the lecture for further study. When the professor launched  into a political diatribe, every word was captured by the marvels of modern science and placed onto YouTube for all to watch. His lack of tolerance and respect for other political views illustrate the hypocrisy common among academic types who espouse tolerance and respect only for their particular viewpoint. The amazing thing about this professor's rant was the fact that he teaches a creative writing class and not a political science class. New students arriving for their first day of class, expecting syllabuses and information about what the classroom material and course entails, were treated instead to a "nutty professor" routine that made the Jerry Lewis character seem normal, hip, and non-threatening in comparison. Watch the following video for what passes for education in many college classrooms throughout the country today.

The education of children is an aspect of life that has long been recognized by secularists and elitists as a key element in the creation of a particular kind of society. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, "The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will become the philosophy of  government in the next." Unfortunately, the society many have in mind is devoid of Christ, His holy law, or any type of influence by Christians. Having successfully neutralized and marginalized Christians in education, the modern day education establishment has built its secular tower of Babel and defend it with a zealous righteousness that would put most Christians to shame. As Christians engage in a cultural and religious battle royal, we must continue to push back against this Philistine onslaught and retake the strongholds of the culture back from the enemy. There is no neutrality in education - a religious viewpoint will always be presented, whether openly or covertly, with the seeds of its destructive power planted ready to be watered and nourished by others with similar viewpoints. May we continue to raise up a generation prepared to recognize and challenge these "nutty professors" no matter where we may encounter them or the threats we may face. Like Shammah who stood alone bravely in a lentil field against a hoard of Philistines, may we stand strong, defiant, and assured that God will fight for us, even against nutty professors!

Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don