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Archive | July, 2011

Roses in December

Rev. Mike Shiery
Pilgrim Bible Church
West Pine Street • Cedar Springs

“Blesssed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the untgodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night.”

The story is told that J.M. Barrie, the distinguished author best remembered for giving us Peter Pan, once received a strange invitation to address a student body. That day the students were to be permitted to boo, hiss, and gernerally heckle any speaker they disliked. But he accepted the invitation. Standing before an audience whose obvious reslessness indicated a stormy time ahead, he began his speech with the words: “God gave us memory that we might have roses in December.” It caught the attention of the students and they listened quietly.

It may be that Mr. Barrie had in mind the December of old age. Certainly nothing is more beautiful than the chastened wisdom, the peaceful reveries and the grateful recollections of one whose face is turned toward life’s sunset. The memories of days gone is precious to those who have more sunsets behind them than before them. Memory is one gift of God that even death cannot destroy, and if we have invested in producing good memories we can cherish them and they can help sustain us even during difficlut times.

But December is not a matter of age or circumstance. Perhaps never before has there been so much loneliness, sorrow, and sin. All across the globe humanity is awash in a sea of despair. Yet there is peace in the midst of life’s storms. God’s Word offers His children “roses in December.” To delight in the law of the Lord and to meditate on it day and night; to think on whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely – this is the secret of peace and quietness, those roses in December.

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Born to be wild

Ronnie McBrayer

Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

When primitive Christianity first began to take root, it wasn’t known as “Christianity.” The first Christians referred to their movement as “The Way.” The earliest disciples saw themselves, not as part of new religion, but as travelers in the Way of Jesus. This “Way,” consequently, was something active and dynamic, bound to the living Christ. It was not some dead religion seized with rigor mortis. The passing of the centuries, however, has seriously muted this fact.

According to researcher William Hendricks, over a million Christian adults leave the church every year. Many do so “not because the church is too spiritual,” he says, “but because the church is not spiritual enough.” Large swathes of Christianity have traded the untamed vitality of its Founder for something far more domesticated. Somewhere deep within us, we know this is a tragedy. Our spiritual instincts tell us that there is something more, something deeper, more radical and more alive than the safe, sterile, status quo of the religious institution. We know we were born to be wild.

Once, while on a wildlife expedition near Yellowstone, I observed a party of hunters stalking several hundred elk on a game refuge. These animals circled and panicked like proverbial fish in a barrel as the hunters closed in. Finally, one of the big bulls in the herd decided that he had had enough. He stampeded between two of the would-be trophy-takers, the space no wider than a sidewalk, and when he did, the entire herd followed. Hundreds and hundreds of animals ran for daylight, and in minutes, the herd had completely disappeared into the Wyoming woods.

These beautiful animals have lost a good deal of their habitat, but they have not lost their instincts. They still heed the wild and wonderful call of the wilderness, forsaking the false safety of the “refuge” for life with fewer fences. Granted, life in the wild is full of predatory dangers as well; but at least it is life outside of a man-made cage. Jesus, it appears to me, wants us to have this kind of freedom, for he did not come to start a religion. He came to start a spiritual revolution. Jesus did not come to show us how to build cathedrals or ecclesiastical refuges. He came to show us how to live. Jesus did not come to fence us in, but to set us wildly and wonderfully free.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated faith columnist, speaker, and author. His books include “Leaving Religion, Following Jesus” and “The Jesus Tribe.” Visit him at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

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Tyler J. Robinson

Nathan and Nicholas Robinson would like to announce the birth of their baby brother, Tyler J. Tyler was born May 12, 2011 at 7:52 pm at St. Mary’s Hospital. He weighed 9 pounds and was 22 inches long.Proud parents are Bob and Julie Robinson. Proud grandparents and great-grandparents are Dean and Deb Parker, Bob and Karen Robinson, Otto and Winnie Ford, Dr. Lawrence and Wilma Schalk and Dorcus Jenson.

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Ron & Wanda Thompson

40th Anniversary Ron & Wanda Thompson

Friends and family of Ron and Wanda Thompson are invited to their 40th Anniversary party on July 30, 2011 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm at Huggard Bible Church 8860 21 Mile Rd., Sand Lake, Michigan.

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Thank You

I want to thank all who sent cards or came for my 90th Birthday, and for my family for making it a special day.

Ralph Wolfe

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Congratulations Jordan Gebhardt

Montcalm County 4-H Fair 2011 Grand Champion Beef Showman and Grand Champion Market Steer.
Special thanks to buyer Lee Story for supporting Jordan and 4-H!

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Marvin T. Powell

June 23, 1925 to July 23, 2007

This day is remembered and quietly kept
No words are needed.
We shall never forget.
For those we love don’t go away
They walk beside us every day.

Sadly missed
By your family

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Roger on Main StreetBig bad wolves

Our laws protect wolves. Up north, some people want them off the endangered list so they can be hunted. They claim wolves kill deer; they want the deer all to themselves.

This problem has a simple fix: Our legislators should pass a law requiring that wolves stick to eating rabbits. We humans get the deer.

Our lawmakers seldom listen to me. Maybe it’s because I’m not rich.


Big bad national debt

Politicians suck up to rich people. The rich have lots of money to donate to re-election campaigns for people who will do them favors. An idea has occurred to me:

Even in times of financial crisis (such as now, with the national debt limit fight) certain lawmakers resist taxing the rich. Even when the consequences are dire (such as now, with our nation’s credit rating at stake with potential harm to all of us ordinary folks), certain lawmakers resist taxing the rich.

I wish I were rich. Then I’d know for sure if this idea of mine has a grain of truth to it.


Sunday school wisdom

A Sunday school teacher asked the five-year-olds, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all the money to church, would I get into Heaven?”

“No!” said the children.

“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into Heaven?”

“No!” said the children.

“Then how,” said the teacher, “can I get into Heaven?”

Together, the kids replied, “You gotta be dead!”


License plate wisdom

While driving with her daughter and her husband, a woman noticed that the car ahead of them had a rather odd vanity plate.

“That’s weird,” she said, pointing to it. “Why would anyone want to boast about mold on their car?”

“Call me crazy,” said the son-in-law after deciphering the phrase, “but I believe it reads ‘FUN-GAL.’”


Help desk wisdom

A caller gave the help desk technician her computer’s serial number.  He scanned a database of registered users and said, “I see you have an Aptiva desktop unit.”

The caller shrieked and said she’d be right back. When she returned, the technician asked if she was all right. “I guess so,” said the woman. “But if I’d realized you could see me, I never would have telephoned in my nightgown.”


Warm enough for you?

Many of us live here in the temperate zone because of the change of seasons. We especially love summer: swimming, sun bathing, picnics, the green outdoors. At the moment, though, I hear whines and complaints.

It’s my duty as a newspaper columnist to offer perspective: The blistering heat WILL go away. In the not-too-distant future you’ll get heavy loads of snow on your roof, slippery streets, black ice on the highway, soaring heat bills, and frostbitten hands when you fill your car’s gas tank. Mother Nature always comes through. Don’t worry, be happy.

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July is national blueberry month

July is almost over, but it’s not too late to enjoy some fat, juicy, delicious blueberries for national blueberry month! Did you know that over 18,000 acres of blueberries are grown in Michigan, the largest blueberry-producing state in the U.S.? Michigan grows more than 20 varieties. They are a favorite at farmer’s markets, and in regular grocery stores, too.

Blueberries are considered a super food. They are the fruit that is highest in antioxidants, and are an excellent source of Vitamin C and fiber. They are also a good source of Vitamin A and iron.

Eat fresh blueberries within a week after purchasing. Store berries in the refrigerator in a covered container. Do not wash until ready to eat. For long-term storage, place completely dry berries on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic freezer bag or container.
Below is a recipe for those watching their sugars and carbs. You can have your blueberry cheesecake and eat it too!

Blueberry cheesecake for carb counters

From the U.S. highbush blueberry council


2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs*

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

2⁄3 cup granulated non-nutritive sweetener

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Sour Cream Topping, recipe follows

Blueberry Sauce (recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 375°F

Spray bottom and side of a 9-inch pie plate with vegetable cooking spray

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and tilt to cover evenly

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, eggs, milk, granulated sweetener and vanilla until smooth

Carefully pour into crumb-coated pie plate

Smooth top

Bake until set in the center, 18 to 20 minutes

Cool 10 minutes

When pie is set, spread the Sour Cream Topping over the top

Bake 7 minutes longer

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack

Chill until cold

Serve with Blueberry Sauce

Sour Cream Topping

In a small bowl, stir 1 cup sour cream, ¼ cup granulated non-nutritive sweetener and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Blueberry Sauce

In a medium-size saucepan, over medium heat, stir 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries with 2 tablespoons granulated non-nutritive sweetener and 1 tablespoon each lemon juice and water until berries are soft, about 5 minutes


Quick notes

Per portion (including 1-½ tablespoons blueberry sauce): 413 calories; 13 g carbohydrate; 36 g total fat (22 g saturated fat); 1 g fiber

* Note: Breadcrumbs are optional If made without breadcrumbs, subtract 1 gram carbohydrate per portion

Number of servings (yield): 8

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Two more reasons to eat local

The Post has challenged readers the last two weeks to try some of our local farms and farm markets, in a quest to eat local.  We’ve given you four good reasons to try it out, and this week we’ll give you two more.

Reason #1: Taste the difference.

At a farmers’ market, most local produce has been picked inside of 24 hours. It comes to you ripe, fresh, and with its full flavor, unlike supermarket food that may have been picked weeks or months before.

Reason #2: Know what you are eating.

Buying food today is complicated. What pesticides were used? Is that corn genetically modified? Was that chicken free range or did it grow up in a box? People who eat locally find it easier to get answers. Many build relationships with farmers whom they trust.

Reason #3: Meet your neighbors.

Local eating is social. Studies show that people shopping at farmers’ markets have 10 times more conversations than their counterparts at the supermarket. Reason #4: Get in touch with the seasons.

When you eat locally, you eat what’s in season. You’ll remember that cherries are the taste of summer. Even in winter, comfort foods like squash soup and pancakes just make sense–a lot more sense than flavorless cherries from the other side of the world.

Reason #5: Discover new flavors.

Count the types of blueberries offered at your supermarket. Did you know that Michigan has over 20 varieties? You’ll probably only find one type in the grocery store. And what about lettuce, cucumbers, onion, peppers and squash? There is sure to be several types you haven’t tried, but can find at the farmer’s market.

Reason #6: Explore your home.

Visiting local farms is a way to be a tourist on your own home turf, with plenty of stops for snacks.
(Info from www.100milediet.org.)

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