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Archive | September, 2011

The Path of Least Resentment

Ronnie McBrayer

Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

Near Mpumalanga, South Africa, are the marvelous wild fig trees of Echo Caves. Researchers have followed the roots of these trees deep into the earth, the deepest known root system in the world. These trees have survived and thrived in an arid climate for decades, wringing hydration from the deep, rocky soil. This is a lesson for life, as you probably know a person or two not unlike the wild fig trees of Echo Caves.
Their environment is harsh. They have endured the drought of loss, injustice, and suffering. Their circumstances have been oppressive. The soil that life has given them is rocky and hard. Yet, somehow, they thrive. Their roots must be incredibly deep.
But deep into what? Maybe the Apostle Paul gives the best answer in a beautiful first century prayer: “I pray your roots will grow down deep into God’s love and keep you strong.” It seems that those who flourish in the worst of conditions are those who have a connection to God’s goodness and grace, and refuse to blame God for every wrong that life dishes out. They have rooted themselves deeply in his love, rather than in bitterness or resentment.
Granted, bitterness is the easy route, the path of least resistance that sends shallow, malignant offshoots in all directions. Our resentment feels so justifiable, so satisfying, especially when we flip through the catalog of past hurts, regrets, ways we have been mistreated or harmed, and the conniving, unjust treatment inflicted upon us by others.
But bitterness cannot hydrate the soul. It can only poison the water and prevent love and grace from soaking in. If we are going to get on with life and blossom in the desert of our days, it won’t be because we keep going back wishing things could be different, bemoaning how life has been so unfair, or repeating and re-repeating how someone did us wrong. The only way forward is by going deeper, deeper into the love of God.
In the smallest rift, the smallest crevice or opening in the hardness of life, that is enough to find the depth of God’s love and for that love to take root. Yes, it feels like groping along in the dark. It is slow, pulverizing growth, sometimes millimeter by tiny millimeter, but it gives us the life we need, life so much more satisfying than the bitter shallowness that resentment offers.

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

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Happy 70th Wedding Anniversary

Donald and Audrey White

Lifetime Cedar Springs area residents, Donald and Audrey (Brownell) White celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Monday, September 19th, 2011. Their family surprised them with a party in their honor on Saturday, September 24th at the White Creek Country Estates Club House. Don and Audrey’s children are Suzanne and Jennings Johnson of Cedar Springs, Bonnie and Tom Reynolds of Portland, Michigan and Donald C. White of Crystal, Michigan. They have eight grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandsons.

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Thank You

We want to say “Thank You” to our family, friends and neighbors for the wonderful surprise party held Saturday, September 24th in honor of our 70th wedding anniversary. We did enjoy visiting with everyone who came to wish us Happy Anniversary! Thank you for the beautiful cards and gifts we received.
Donald & Audrey White

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Mehgan Lee Krick

Mehgan Lee Krick of Imlay City, Michigan recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from UM Flint with a PT, DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy). In addition, she was awarded the Outstanding Student Clinical Excellence Award. Mehgan is the wife of former Pierson resident Ron Krick Jr. and the daughter-in-law of Ron Sr. and Mary Krick of Cedar Springs.

Montgomery and Jackson

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In Memory of Benjamin G. Hyrns

April 28, 1930 – October 4, 2004

We fondly remember so many wonderful times.

Wife Helen, Steve & Kathy, Sue & Bill
Grandchildren; Kamie & Stephen, Jason & Michelle, Ben & Mandy, Lindsey & Matt and Zeb.
Great-grandchildren; Benjamin, Faith and Hunter

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Raymond E. Fisher

January 30, 1921 – October 5, 2005

“Unforgettable,” that’s what you are.
We sure miss the fisherman and the fish.

Lily, Susan, Joe, Ed, Janie and families

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Mary Beth (Klooster) Opper

June 15, 1950 – September 26, 2000

11 years ago your life was cut short from us here on earth. You were given a much harder job to look over and protect us. We want you to know how much you are loved and missed.

With all our love,
Your family

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Apple Dumpling Sale
Now: Apple Dumplings made by The Women of Courtland-Oakfield UMC. Available frozen, $2.50 each or 6 for $12.00. Call Dyllis with questions and orders (616) 874-7862. #38,39

TOPS weight loss support group
Oct. 4: 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.

“I Am a Loon” Family Nature Program at CSUMC
Oct. 5: Join us at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church on Wednesday, October 5 at 6:45 p.m. for this program that will excite youth and adults about the lives Common Loons. Loons live on lakes in northern Michigan and some are now nesting in lower Michigan. Bring your family from kids to grandparents for the slide program narrated in the first person. Pictures will acquaint us with the food, water habitats, shelter, and living space needed for loon survival. Learn about volunteer Loon Rangers, and bring your questions and stories. The program is hosted by Howard Christensen Nature Center and presented at CSUMC by Ranger Steve (Mueller). Pizza dinner is served at 6:00 p.m., and a free-will offering is accepted to cover the cost of the meal.  #39

Used Book Sale
Oct. 8: Great used books at bargain prices! Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Saturday, October 8, 9 am – 1 pm. Spencer Township Branch, 14960 Meddler.  #39

Flea Market
Oct. 8: Flea Market on Saturday, October 8 from 9 am – 2 pm, rain or shine at East Nelson UM Church, 9024 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. Collectibles, treasures, miscellaneous household items, much, much more.  #39

New Faces at Old Solon Center Wesleyan Church
Oct. 9: Open House – Sunday, October 9, 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma. Lots of fun things to do, live music, car show, cider and donuts!! Come check us out!! #39

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” presented at the Kent
Oct. 14-16: “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” by Clark Gesner and based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles Schulz will be presented by the Cedar Springs Community Players at the Kent Theatre on October 14 – 15 at 7:30 PM and Sunday October 16 at 3:00 PM.  Tickets for children 12 and under are $8.  Presale adult tickets are $12 and are available at Cedar Springs Chase Bank and Cedar Springs Library.  Adult tickets are $15 at the door.  Children attending the show may have the chance to win a “Peanuts” character stuffed toy!  Mark your calendars for this family fun show!  #39

Acoustic Instrumental Group
Oct. 10: Come join us for worship and fun through Christmas music. Monday evenings from 7-8:15pm October 10 thru November 28 at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. For more information call Keith Caldwell 616-696-1246. #38,39p

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Cookies in Heaven

An elderly man lay dying in his bed, when he smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. He followed the smell, and finally leaned against the doorframe and gazed into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. Hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies were spread out on the kitchen table. Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?
Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted; the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth. The aged and withered hand trembled as he reached for a cookie at the edge of the table. Just as his hand closed over the cookie, his wife smacked his hand with a spatula.
“Stay out of those!” she scolded. “They’re for the funeral.”

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Get your pet microchipped for $20

National statistics show that as many as eight million animals end up in shelters every year, and only 15-20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are returned to their owners. One of the ways to increase the chances of finding your lost pet is having it microchipped.  Kent County Animal Control takes in 30 animals a day, and many do not have any identifying tags.  The Animal Shelter is offering a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to make sure your pet can be identified.
Starting October 1st, Kent County Animal Control will offer walk-in microchips for the public, with just a $20.00 fee. “Our hope is to encourage responsible pet ownership,” says Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department.
According to research in an October 2009 ScienceDaily article, “the return-to-owner rate for cats was 20 times higher and for dogs 2 ½ times higher for microchipped pets than were the rates of return for all stray cats and dogs that had entered the shelters.”
We remind anyone with a microchipped pet to make sure their address and phone number is up-to-date, in case the pet goes missing.  Also, the Animal Shelter has dozens of pets looking for a good home right now.  If you know of someone looking for a furry companion, tell them to come see us!

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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