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Archive | August, 2011

Knowing the condition of the flock

Pastor Jim Alblas
Pioneer Christian Reformed Church
3110 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

One of the great things about living in a smaller town, such as Cedar Springs, is being familiar with the people of the town. Running into the same people over and over again creates a sense of familiarity and appreciation. When I go to the grocery store, I look forward to having my groceries scanned by people whose names I’ve learned and whose hard work I’ve come to appreciate. Or when I go to the bank I enjoy making transactions with tellers who recognize me and ask how my family is doing. My personal favorite is when Shirley, one of the friendly door greeters at Meijer, spots the redbox dvd in my hand, and even though I’m alone, knows its for the kids and mentions how she hopes they will enjoy it. However, despite getting to know some of the people in town, the relationship only goes so far. Simply put, there’s only so much dialogue we can have in our brief encounters.
Sadly, I think sometimes that’s how it is in the church. While we know each other and appreciate the people whom we attend services with, often times our relationships with fellow believers are of the surface variety. Sometimes we keep to ourselves and don’t strive to develop our friendships with one another. But this is not how God wants us to live. In Proverbs 27:13 we find an interesting verse that applies to this concern. It says Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds. Since the original audience was people who frequently dealt with sheep, goats and other farm animals, the teaching was there to remind them that if they knew their flock well and took care of them, they would experience great blessings. The flock would provide for them good things such as milk, clothing and food. Though not as many of us interact with these types of animals in our day-to-day lives, the passage still very much relates to us. As believers in Christ, together we make up a flock and it is our call to know the condition of the members of it. In other words, we should be investing in the lives of those we share that common faith with.
One of the reasons that we need to know what’s going on in each others lives is because our condition changes from week to week. People are not like the books on my shelf that stay the same; sometimes people are doing well and other times they experiencing difficulty. Checking in with people and getting to know them helps us to better care for one another and it deepens our relationships. Jesus once asked His disciple, Peter, if he loved Him. When Peter answered yes, Jesus told him to then love and take care of His sheep. While some take that to mean that it’s the job of the leaders in the church such as the pastor, elder or governing board, its actually the responsibility of all the believers. Galatians 6:2 says Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Similarly, Colossians 3:16 says Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. We are each other’s sheep and when we strive to put aside surface relationships and dig deeper, just like the original audience, we will find wonderful blessings. When I think about the nourishing food and drink that the goats provided, I think about how today our caring words strengthen each other and help us to keep going strong. And when I think about how the sheep provided clothing, I think about how we clothe one another with words of comfort and care.
And while this is something that we should work on, especially with the people that we see regularly in our home churches, its not limited to just them. On behalf of The Cedar Springs Ministerial Association, I’d like to invite you to a service of unity this Sunday morning at 11 a.m. at Morley Park. Many different congregations in town will be joining together for a special service of praise, worship and messages from God’s Word. Not only will this be a great time of Christian worship, but it’s an excellent opportunity afterwards during lunch to take the time to get to know the condition of a member of the flock you haven’t met before. Perhaps for some it will be the start of a regular practice. If you’re relationships with other believers is somewhat distant, strive to get closer and experience the joy that comes from walking with one another closely.

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Julie Ream of Cedar Springs, and Jake White, of Cedar Springs, are happy to announce they will be joined in marriage on September 24, 2011 on the bride’s family farm. Julie is a 2003 Cedar Springs High School  graduate and a 2007 Baker College graduate and is the daughter of Dennis and Janie Ream of Cedar Springs. Jake is a 2004 Cedar Springs High School  graduate and is the son of Robert and Beth Pawloski of Cedar Springs and Jerry White of Pierson. A reception will follow the wedding at the bride’s parents’ home.

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Dale C. Morey

July 14, 1943 to August 29, 2006

Dad, it’s been five long years since we last hugged and kissed you.
God saw that you were getting tired and cure was not to be. So he placed his arms around you and whispered, “Come with me.” With tearful eyes we let you go as you slowly slipped away. Although we love you dearly; we could not make you stay. Your precious heart stopped beating, hard working hands laid to rest. All your wonderful memories will be kept the best. For this, God has proved to us, he only takes the “Best.”
There isn’t a day that goes by without you in our thoughts. All the memories we shared will never be forgotten. And in our hearts we know you will always be by our side, making sure we follow down the right path leading to you. One day we will all be reunited with you up in heaven with Our Lord and Holy Father.
Until then, you are still missed and loved here on earth.
Until we meet again…..your loving family: Minnie, Bob & Cheryl, Nathan, Trevor, and Tyler, Mario & Kris, and Mason, Jenny & Steven, Madeline and Brice.

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Kenneth Cooper

Kenneth Doyle Cooper, 82 of Cedar Springs, passed into glory Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at his home with his family by his side. Mr. Cooper was born August 17, 1929 in Harlan, KY the son of the late Walter and Della (Wilson) Cooper. He was a veteran of the Korean War serving in the U.S. Army and was a member of the Cedar Springs American Legion. He also was a Shriner and a past master of the Lisbon-Crescent Masonic Lodge #229. Surviving are his children, Jim (Sue) Cooper, Robert Cooper, Debbie (Bob) Rozela, Bill (Yvonne) Cooper; step children, Sharon Drake, Charlene Livermore, Lee Gregg; 10 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; 2 great great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and special friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn; daughter, Mary Jo Cooper; granddaughter, Michelle; sister, Jean Stanford. The family will receive friends Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where a Masonic Service will be held at 7:00 pm. The family will greet friends Friday from 10:00 am until time of funeral service at 11:00 am at the funeral home. Private interment will take place at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Grand Rapids. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family to offset funeral expenses.

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Ruth Mae Cooper

Mrs. Ruth Mae Cooper, age 84, passed away on Thursday, August 18, 2011, surrounded by her loving family. Ruth was born November 11, 1926, to Glenn and Edith Joslin near Anamosa, IA. She went to a small school in Stone City, IA, and came to Grand Rapids at the age of 17 for a two-week vacation with her sister’s family. After two weeks, the country girl decided she liked the big city so she got a job at Joppe’s Dairy Bar on Plainfield Avenue. There she was introduced to Royal “Pete” Cooper who was only 16 years old. They dated until April 6, 1946, when they married and were blessed with a family of 3 girls and 3 boys. She is survived by her husband, Royal “Pete”; her 3 daughters and 3 sons, Helen and Steve Smith of Sand Lake, JoAnn and David Fowler of Petoskey, Nancy Samsel of Cedar Springs, Kenneth and Debbie Cooper of Rea, MO, Donald Cooper of Sparta, and Dale Cooper of Rockford, all of who survive. Ruth also leaves 13 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a daughter-in-law, Jeanne Cooper of Sparta. Ruth wrote a neighborhood news column called The Edgerton Events, for many years for the Rockford Register and then The Rockford Squire. Ruth’s family has a lot of praise for Metron of Cedar Springs. She and her family enjoyed a lot of country music at the old McDonald’s in Cedar Springs, Harvest Way of Sparta, and the Rockford Ambulance guest room. Relatives and friends met with the family at the funeral home on Sunday, August 21st, from 2-4 and 6-8 PM. The Service for Mrs. Cooper was at 1:00 O’clock on Monday, August 22, 2011, at the Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor Craig Bryan officiating. Interment in Blythefield Memory Gardens. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Patient Activity Fund, designated for hair dressing at Metron of Cedar Springs. Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Inc., Rockford, www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Roger on Main StreetDon’t sweat the small stuff

The person behind you in the supermarket runs his cart into the back of your ankle.

The car behind rides your tail while you’re slowing down to find an address.

You open a can of soup and the lid falls in.

Your tire gauge lets out half the air while you try to get a reading.

There are always one or two ice cubes that won’t pop out of the tray.

The car behind you blasts its horn because you let a pedestrian finish crossing.

You set the alarm on your digital clock for 7 p.m. instead of 7 a.m.

You rub on hand cream and then can’t turn the bathroom doorknob to get out.

People behind you in a supermarket line dash ahead of you to a counter just opening up.

Sweat the big stuff

The future of America may depend, permanently, on who we elect to Congress in the next election. The next Congress must include enough members willing to negotiate and compromise, or our paralyzed government will continue to sink us.

Our wars in the Middle East are nearly a decade old and American troops are still being killed there.

These wars were funded with borrowed money and we’re now up to our ears in the resulting debt.

Deregulation and greed have strangled our economy.

The Feds need more money and that means more taxes, like it or not.

We are beginning what promises to be a long and nasty Presidential campaign.

Father and son, #1

Six-year-old Alex complained to his mother, “ I’ve got a stomach ache.”

“That’s because your stomach is empty,” she replied. “You’d feel better if you had something in it.”

That afternoon Alex’s dad came home complaining that he’d suffered from a bad headache all day.

Alex perked up. “That’s because it’s empty,” he said. “You’d feel better if you had something in it.”

Father and son, #2

Ben was returning from the farmers market with a crate of chickens his farmer dad had entrusted to him. All of a sudden, the box fell off his wagon and the door fell open. Chickens scurried off in every direction. Ben was a determined boy; he walked all over the neighborhood and scooped up the wayward birds. Hoping he had found them all, he returned home, pretty sure he’d be scolded.

“Dad, the chickens got loose,’ Ben confessed sadly, “but I managed to find twelve of them.”

“Well, you did real good, son,” the dad said. “You started out with seven.”

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This week’s happenings

United Community Worship Service
Aug. 28: On the last Sunday in August all of the churches in the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association unite for a city wide worship experience. Come out to Morley Park at 11am and enjoy uplifting songs, inspiring messages, games for the kids, free lunch and a live worship concert. Check it out @ www.unitedcedarsprings.com. See you there! #33,34b

TOPS weight loss support group
Aug. 30: Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weight loss goals! Exercise 8-8:30am (optional), weigh-ins from 8:30am – 9am and the meeting starts at 9:15am. Call Martha at 696-1039 for more information. #34

Senior Lunch at Pine Grove Community Church
Aug. 31: We’re having a picinic August 31. Are you 60, or more? Well then come join us for hamburgers, baked beans, corn and other tasty delights all served buffet style. You’ll find our picnic tables set up on the corner of M-82 and Beech Ave. Come on join us at noon in the Family Life Center and bring a friend or two. We’d be real happy to see you. #34

Red Flannel Day Talent Show tryouts
Sept. 7: Looking for talented kids of all ages. The Red Flannel Talent Show is searching for singers, vocal groups, dancers, instrumentalists and variety acts for the Red Flannel Day Talent Show on October 1st. Come in and show us what you got. Tryouts on Wed. Sept. 7 at 7pm at the Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. Cedar Springs. So, get together with friends and family and plan your act now. If you have any questions, please contact Len by email, len@laphoto.com or 231-750-2337. #34

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Men vs. Women

Woman’s Quote of the Day:
“Men are like fine wine. They all start out like grapes, and it’s our job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something we’d like to have dinner with.”
Men’s Counter-Quote of the Day:
“Women are like fine wine. They all start out fresh, fruity and intoxicating to the mind, and then turn full-bodied with age until they go all sour and vinegary and give you a headache.”

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Even if you’ve never been to farm market or hate vegetables

Picture perfect setting: A recent Saturday morning at the “soon-to-be” (hopefully) America’s Favorite Farmers Market in downtown Rockford, MI.

by Cliff and Nancy Hill

Listen up people. When the fat lady sings next Wednesday evening (Aug. 31) at 12:00 p.m. midnight, the America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest will be over.
Rockford’s Farm Market has been clinging to the lead in this nationwide contest for the past 8 weeks. Not only do we lead overall in all market size categories, more importantly, we also lead in our small market size category.
Our opponent, Venice, FL, is wily. Their strategy in this contest has been to hang just behind Rockford in vote totals and then overnight close the gap. We are fearful of what might occur in the final hours of voting on August 31. Remember we are talking about Florida, the state of the “hanging chads.”
To those of you who have already voted, we thank you! However, your support is still needed in these final days and hours of the contest. We ask you to use your considerable social media networking skills to reach out to any and everyone to also cast their votes for Rockford’s great farm market.
This contest has become somewhat more than farm market vs. farm market.  It has somehow morphed into a state vs. state competition of bragging rights. With two farm markets in Michigan (Rockford and Manistique, in the U.P.) vying for titles in their respective market size categories against two farm markets in Florida (Venice and North Port). We ourselves like to think of this as a contest between “Pure Michigan” and “Alligator Alley.”
Now for one very last time let’s win two for Michigan. If you haven’t voted, go online to: www.farmland.org/vote or simpler still, visit the Rockford Farm Market this Saturday (your last opportunity to vote in person) and add your vote to the more than 4,000 that have already been cast. We need your vote to prove that Rockford’s Farm Market is truly America’s Favorite Farmers Market.

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Colorful caterpillar

We recently received a photo of an unusual looking caterpillar that was found by Wendy Conely, of Solon Township. She wondered what type of caterpillar it was.

We guessed it to be a cecropia moth caterpillar, and naturalist Ranger Steve Mueller, of Cedar Springs, confirmed it is indeed a cecropia moth larva. “If it was crawling about, it is probably looking for a place to spin a cocoon,” said Steve. “It will over winter and emerge in May if kept outside. If the cocoon is kept indoors it will emerge as an adult early and will not find a mate for reproduction.”

Ranger Steve is the state coordinator for Michigan and Utah for the national database of Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA), a citizen science website. He said it was a good year for the silk moths, and he received several photos of adult moths that people submitted to document the species for their county.

“When people submit a butterfly or moth record, I verify the identification and then it is posted on the national database,” he explained.

Anyone can take photos and submit them to BAMONA, no species knowledge necessary. To learn more, or to get involved, visit www.butterfliesandmoths.org.

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