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Archive | November, 2010

GriefShare: surviving the holidays

The holidays can be stressful during the best times, but coming on the heels of losing a loved one, they can be especially difficult. Pierson Bible Church, 101 Grand St., Pierson, hopes to offer some encouragement through a grief support seminar they are offering on November 20, at 6:30 p.m. called “GriefShare: Surviving the holidays.” There is no charge for the event.

The seminar features practical suggestions and reassurance through video interviews with counselors, grief experts and other people who have experienced the holidays after a loved one’s death. Topics include why the holidays are tough, what to expect, how to prepare, how to manage relationships and holiday socials, and using the holidays to help you heal.

The seminar is not just for people going through grief, but also for family and friends for insight on how to help those that are hurting.

For more info, call Paula at (616) 636-5680.

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God will provide

A young woman brought home her fiance to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man.  So the father invites the fiance to his study for a drink.
“So what are your plans?” the father asks the young man.
“I’m going to be a Bible scholar.” he replies.
“A Bible scholar. Hmmm,” the father says. “Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she’s accustomed to?”
“I will study,” the young man replies, “and God will provide for us.”
“And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?” asks the father.
“I will concentrate on my studies,” the young man replies, “and God will provide for us.”
“And children?” asks the father. “How will you support children?”
“Don’t worry, sir, God will provide,” replies the fiance.
The conversation proceeds like this, and each time the father questions, the young idealist insists that God will provide.
Later, the mother asks, “How did it go, Honey?”
The father answers, “He has no job and no plans, but the good news is he thinks I’m God.”

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Memories of Niels Anderson

I am very sorry to learn of Niel’s passing. Here is my personal tribute to a very good man.
When I came to Cedar Springs City Hall in 1991, Niels was the first person to stop by my office and welcome me to the city. During my 5 year stint in Cedar, Niels was a true mentor and what I appreciated the most was his calming demeanor. We lost a legend. God bless Niels’ family.

Frank Walsh, City Manager
St. Joseph, MI
Cedar Springs City Manager 1992-96

I remember when I first met Niels & Edna, in July 1974. I was fresh out of graduate school and came to Cedar Springs to start the Adult, Community Education and Recreation Program. One of the first challenges I encountered was letting the community know about all the new opportunities available through its school system. I visited The Clipper offices on Main Street to find out what it would cost to have them print our newsletter.  And, as they say, the rest is history.
Niels gave me a price for printing our newsletter. Remember, this was my first encounter with “real world” business prices…I had sticker shock! And then Niels made me a remarkable offer for a small town businessman—he said he’d help save our district money by having me assist with the layout of the newsletter! I had never done anything like this before, but was willing to give it a try. He showed me how to use the typesetter. It printed long strips of words that were then pasted on to big layout sheets. Nothing like computer-generated newspapers of today. I was amazed at the huge machines and detailed work that was hidden behind the front office wall of this wonderful little newspaper! We published many newsletters in this manner until the new school program was well-established and financially secure. I then bowed out and left the printing work to the true experts.
This was the first of many, many generous gestures I witnessed Niels extend to our schools and community. He was a selfless and dedicated community servant. He set the example of a true believer in all that was good and hopeful. His legacy continues…

Lovingly & Respectfully Submitted,
Claudia Mabie, Solon Township

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Roger on Main StreetTaken for Granted

So many little things. Like safety razors. I seldom draw blood. What was it like when we had only straight razors?  I’d be afraid of those. And, did women shave their legs before safety razors?  It was only in 1904 that King Gillette patented his razor. Before that, what a way to start the morning!
Gravity! We take it for granted but how would you pour morning coffee without it?  Think about it. The coffee pot wouldn’t stay put (and neither would you); you couldn’t put coffee in the pot. And then your cup would float away. And all this would happen when you have NO caffeine circulating in your veins.

Making a Living

An investment advisor went out on her own. As business kept coming in, she realized she needed an in-house counsel. She began to interview young lawyers.
“I’m sure you understand,” she started off with one of the first applicants, “that in a business like this, our personal integrity must be beyond question.” She leaned forward. “Mr. Mayberry, are you an honest lawyer?”
“Honest?” he replied. “Let me tell you about honest. My father lent me $25,000 for my education, and I paid back every penny the minute I won my very first case.”
“Impressive. And what sort of case was that?” asked the investment advisor.
The lawyer looked her square in the eye. “He sued me for the money.”

Not Making a Living

Fred, at Independent Bank, told me the story of a lady who opened a hair salon but couldn’t seem to attract customers. Unfortunately, she went out of business. She had named her place, “Curl Up and Dye.” (I wish she’d asked me first.)

Making a Newspaper

While many other newspapers are in the doldrums, the Post is planning to expand. While keeping our print edition, we’re working on details of an “e-edition” as well. It will be the entire weekly paper available on-line or on hand-held devices.
We’d like to offer it first to subscribers (at a reduced price). These are mainly out-of-towners who get the Post mailed to them. It will also be available locally for those who want it. Format of the Post e-edition will be much the same as that offered by the Grand Rapids Press.

Making Offerings

A hat was passed through the church to take up an offering for the visiting minister.
Presently it was returned to him … embarrassingly empty.
The parson inverted the hat and shook it meaningfully. Then, raising his eyes heavenward, he prayed, “I thank you, Lord, that I got my hat back from this congregation.”

Last Words

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas.

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Fall OK Blue All Conference athletes


Front row, right to left: Trevor Hemry, Sommer VanDyke, Amanda Balczak, Katie Weiler, Jessice Titus, Megan Rosenberger, Chiara Colla

Congratulations to the following athletes for being named the 2010 Fall OK Blue All Conference Athletes:

Volleyball: Megan Rosenberger
Boys Cross Country: Connor Mora, Alex Bray
Girls Cross Country: Katie Weiler, Amanda Balczak, Jessica Titus, Sommer VanDyke
Tennis: Brent Cavner
Football: Tyler Baker, Trevor Hemry, AJ Olszewski, Andrew Klompstra
Soccer: Ron Fisk, Zach Hawkins, Kyle Szirovecz, Robert Klein

The following were named Honorable Mention:
Football: Shane Bratt, Brandon Flanagan
Soccer: Bo Cook, Miko Javinomi
Tennis: Kent Yokom
Volleyball: Chiara Colla

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A buck for his birthday

Austin with deerMost people would feel they’d been shorted if they only received a “buck” for their birthday. But not Joel Austin. Joel, a former business owner in Cedar Springs (Austin Lumber, Cedar Creek Sporting Goods), loves to hunt, and his daughter, Mindy Abbott, has seen many deer hanging up over the years. But this year was different. Joel, who is semi-retired and works part time for Solon Township, has not been bow hunting for several years due to back surgeries. But this year he went hunting on his 69th birthday (November 9), on a friend’s farm in Six Lakes., where he got this buck. It was his first time using a crossbow, and he was quite happy with the accomplishment. “They don’t grow many like this one around here,” he said. “It’s a once in a lifetime shot.”
Congratulations Joel!

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Safety tips for hunting season

Michigan’s fields and forests are now alive with blaze orange hunting gear. Sheriff  Stelma wants both visitors and residents of Kent County to know some important safety rules before setting out to deer camp.

Your hunting license and the identification used to purchase it (Michigan driver’s license, identification card, or DNR sport card) must be carried with you at all times while hunting.

All hunters must wear an item of clothing (hat, cap, vest, jacket, or rain gear) in “hunter orange”; it must be the outermost garment; and it must be visible from all sides. If it is camouflage, at least 50 percent of the garment must be orange.

Hunting hours begin approximately one-half hour before sunrise and last until approximately one-half hour after sunset.

Safety zones include all areas within 150 yards (450 feet) of an occupied building, house, cabin, barn, or other farm building. You may not hunt in this area or shoot at any animal within this area, unless you have the written permission of the property owner.

It is illegal to drink alcohol or use intoxicating drugs before hunting.

Sheriff  Stelma also wants hunters to take the following precautions to prevent injury or death while hunting this season:

Familiarize yourself with the area where you will be hunting

Never assume you are alone in the woods

Never assume other hunters are acting responsibly.

If sitting against a rock or tree, make sure it is wider than your shoulders so you are not mistaken for a target.

Be 100 percent sure of your target before shooting.

Sheriff  Stelma urges all hunters to act responsibly this season. “Reacquaint yourself with Michigan’s hunting laws and follow these safety tips to prevent a tragedy from happening this year.”

For more safety tips Sheriff Larry Stelma encourages residents to visit the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association website at www.misheriff.org where you can sign up to receive monthly newsletters.  Founded in 1877 the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association is the oldest law enforcement organization in Michigan.

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DNRE sharing deer information through new communication tools

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) will be using two new tools to share up-to-date deer harvest information during the firearm deer season. Both of the tools emerge from the new Michigan Deer Management Plan, which was adopted in May 2010. These tools will help enhance public engagement in and awareness of deer management issues.

The first is a new all-inclusive deer website that was created in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University (MSU). The website covers everything from basic deer biology to hunting regulations to the newest deer research. The site is available at http://deer.fw.msu.edu/ or through the DNRE website at http://www.michigan.gov/deer.

“We are excited about this partnership with MSU,” said DNRE Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “Deer is a flagship species in Michigan and we want to provide the most current, easy to find information that we can to our Michigan citizens.”

Information between the new deer site and the current DNRE site will still be linked, but resources and expertise available through MSU will allow for more flexible web formats for delivering content.

“This is a great example of our active partnership with the DNRE,” said MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Department Chair Mike Jones. “We partner with the Wildlife Division on many projects, and share a common interest in informing the Michigan public about wildlife research and management; the website will be a great way to make valuable information about white-tailed deer easy to find.”

Concurrent with this website launch, DNRE’s Wildlife Division will be providing short, timely updates regarding hunting conditions and experiences during the 2010 firearm deer season over Twitter. Twitter is a website, owned and operated by Twitter Inc., which offers a social networking and microblogging service. This service enables its users to send and read other users’ messages called “tweets.” Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page.

This mechanism will allow hunters, members of the media, and other interested citizens to see brief reports on hunting conditions and hunter numbers, hunter perceptions and deer sightings, and check station activities from around the state. Wildlife Division staff in the field and working at DNRE deer check stations will provide reports that will be posted near real-time. These updates will also be logged on the new deer website. Twitter users may follow the DNRE Wildlife Division “@MDNREWildlife,” or search Twitter for updates tagged “#MIdeer2010.”

“Our use of Twitter will serve a dual purpose,” said DNRE Deer and Elk Program Leader Brent Rudolph. “It will provide an obvious and immediate benefit to our followers on Twitter, but will also help us manage the flow of information from around the state to be compiled and summarized in more formal reports and press releases.”

Each year, DNRE provides updates for the public on the first few days of the firearm deer season and then provides a preliminary estimate of the firearm harvest soon after the season closes. Final estimates of harvest and participation from all seasons are generated using a mail survey of a sample of licensed hunters that is not finalized until the following spring.

To learn more about Twitter, visit http://twitter.com/ or the DNRE’s Wildlife Division Twitter page at http://twitter.com/MDNREWildlife.

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From the Pulpit

North Kent Community Church

1480 Indian Lakes Rd. Sparta, MI 49345
Pastor Craig Carter
Church Phone #: 550-6398
Service Time: Sunday’s @ 10:00am
Nursery & Children’s Ministry provided.

Hear us from Heaven

Chron 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (NIV).
Have you ever felt like God is just not listening? I know I have felt this way many times and I am sure you have as well. However, it is a comforting and reassuring message to know that God does, as this verse states, “hear us from heaven.” From this verse, we also see two benefits from a God who listens. We see forgiveness and healing. When I think of forgiveness and healing granted together, I am reminded of a story in the bible involving a man who was paralyzed. Mark 2:6-12 reads:
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
First of all, I would like to draw your attention to verse 10, where Jesus asked the question, “Which is easier?”  The truth is that to Jesus Christ neither is easier.  Nor is the other more difficult for Him to perform. They both are easy and available to be granted.  If you have yet to experience either, may you know they are both simple and easy to receive. All you need to do is ask.  The Bible says, “we have not, because we ask not.”
Secondly, notice their response, “this amazed everyone and they praised God.” This man’s healing and forgiveness not only affected himself, but also those around him. The forgiveness and healing of God caused other to praise Him. They were amazed! That’s because forgiveness and healing are amazing things provided by an amazing God!
On Sunday, November 21, at 6 p.m., the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association is hosting its Annual “Community Thanksgiving Service” at Solon Center Wesleyan. It is a time where members of our various churches throughout the community come together collectively to “Give Thanks” for God’s amazing grace. We always have people give testimonies of the forgiveness and healing power of God. For us, it is a clear statement that God does still “hear us from heaven.” We, as a community, like the witnesses of the paralyzed man who was forgiven and healed, praise God together. It is a time in the presence of God, like no other, and we do not want you to miss it.  So, please come out and be a part.  Look for our informational ad in this week’s Cedar Post!

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Can You Tell the Sex of a Deer by Its Track?

deerBy J. Wayne Fears

“The only sure way to know if a deer track you’ve found is that of a buck or a doe is to see that animal standing in its track,” Dr. Bob Sheppard of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, an avid bowhunter and bowhunting instructor, says. Although most wildlife scientists agree with Sheppard, Bob Zaiglin, a certified wildlife biologist in Texas, explains that, “Knowing the lay of the land is more important to bagging a buck than seeing deer tracks. But some experienced hunters can distinguish a buck by the size of the track and more importantly by the spread of the feet.” Joe Hamilton, a certified wildlife biologist, QDMA’s (Quality Deer Management Association) founder and the organization’s Director of Education for the South, believes that, “In much of the East, when a hunter spots a big track on the ground, more than likely he’s looking at the track of a large doe. In many areas, the does are allowed to live longer than the bucks, become bigger as they get older and make larger tracks. However, in regions with snow, sand and/or mud, the buck may drag his feet and/or make deeper tracks.” Dr. Harry Jacobson, retired professor emeritus of Wildlife and Fisheries at Mississippi State University, states that, “If the tracks are very large, then a good chance exists that the tracks may have been made by a buck. But generally speaking, determining the sex of deer from tracks is very difficult.”

Can does have bigger tracks than bucks?

According to Dr. Jacobson, sometimes deer populations are so badly managed that hunting pressure eliminates a large majority of the bucks, whereas the does are treated like the sacred cows of India, allowed to put on heavier body weights and reach much-older-age classes than the bucks do. “That’s why often a doe’s track will be bigger than a buck’s track in places where the deer herd contains does that are older than the bucks.”

Can You Tell the Weight and/or Physical Condition of a Deer by Its Track?

Charles DeYoung, a research scientist and professor emeritus at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, mentions that you can note some general characteristics about deer, if you see their tracks side by side, particularly if one track is a fawn’s and the other a buck’s. But, “Generally you can’t determine this, unless you’re an Apache.”

Can you tell from the tracks whether the deer is walking or running?

Dr. Keith Causey, a retired professor of wildlife science at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., says, “Usually you can tell whether a deer is walking or running by the distance between the tracks, as well as whether the toes are spread on the impact from running.”

Does seeing the dew claws as part of the track indicate a buck has made it?

Horace Gore, a long-time wildlife biologist, answers this question with, “No. Often the size of the animal and the medium the track is being placed in will determine the depth of the print and whether or not a dew claw is apparent in the print. In soft mud or clay, even the track of yearling deer may reveal a dew claw. In a freshly-plowed field, the print of a dew claw can be present as part of the track. However, a very-large buck walking across rock or hard clay may not leave a big track at all or a dew claw print in the track.”

Why is finding a deer trail with tracks in both directions important to your success?

Dr. Sheppard has learned that finding a trail with tracks going in both directions often signals he’s at a deer hot spot. “One of the best places to find this type of trail is in a funnel region where the terrain is necked-down by two-different types of converging habitats. Deer will move back and forth along this trail all day to get from one section of woods to the other part of the woods.” Horace Gore mentions that, “A trail like this means the deer probably are going to a food supply and coming back to a bedding ground. If the tracks only are going one way, then you don’t necessarily know what the deer are doing.”

How important is locating deer tracks to a successful hunting plan?

“Obviously, you want to see some deer tracks to reassure yourself psychologically that there are deer around,” Zaiglin mentions. “But on many places with dry, rocky terrain, like southern Texas and Mexico, you won’t see any tracks, even though plenty of deer may be in an area.” Gore believes tracks can be very important to a deer hunter’s scouting successfully. “If you’re scouting a spot looking for trails and deer sign but don’t find any tracks, probably no deer are in the region.”

Can you identify the track of a deer and continue to hunt that same deer from its track?

Gore is skeptical about a hunter’s ability to determine that one particular track has been made by the same deer year after year. “If the deer’s track is exceptionally big, you may be able to say year after year that the same deer has made the track. But the deer will have to be an unusually large track.”

The main function deer tracks perform is to notify you that a deer has walked through a place at some time in the past. Discovering deer tracks is no guarantee the same deer will walk back through that region again. Generally deer tracks do not tell you the sex or the size of the deer. To learn more about deer and their habits, go to www.jwaynefearsbrand.com, and see information about my “Deer Hunter’s Pocket Reference” book.

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