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Archive | September, 2011

Hometown Hero

Pvt. Justin Lubben, a 2011 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, graduated on September 9 from the Marine Corp Recruit Depot in San Diego, California.
He is now headed to Pensacola, Florida, to train to be an aircraft mechanic.
Justin is the son of Merriea and Charles Lubben, of Courtland Township.

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Red Flannel Rod and Gun Club

By Fred Gunnell

The first organized Gun Club in the Cedar Springs area was identified as it is today: The Cedar Springs Red Flannel Rod and Gun Club. It has been very active around Cedar Springs for nearly 70 years providing community service in a wide range of activities.
The very first meeting of the club was in June 1952. Having no clubhouse, the members received permission from the school officials of the time to meet in a room at Hilltop School. Later, they met for some time in the new elementary addition of Hilltop. Several other buildings were utilized as meeting places during the early years of the club’s existence. The local police department provided its facility, which at the time was near the flowing well (at Maple and Main Street) and has now been demolished. The community building (at Elm and 2nd and now also gone) was also utilized for some time.
The first members, though small in number, 10-12 at best, worked diligently developing a set of bylaws that worked well for the times, and in fact, are still in place, although several amendments have been added to fit current times. The first set of bylaws was a page and a half, and the updated version is now many pages in length. A sign of the times, I suppose.
The first few members were Jim Townes, Ed Townes, Bob Townes, Fritz Townes, and Harold Brigham. Sometime later Randy Ream, Jerry Hall and Don Boezwinkle joined the club. Many others have been added to the roster over the years, but these three took on major leadership roles and continue to do so today. Other club members also provide leadership on special projects from time to time, which helps provide continuity in the activities of the club. Today club membership is about 70, and yes, we do have female members, thankfully.
As time went by, the club obtained the property on 18 Mile it is now housed on. With the help of Ed Townes and others, we were able to purchase 24-acres and later an additional eight acres for a total of 32 acres, according to Bob Townes. Ed Townes purchased some of this property for $700. The club paid him back $100 a year at 6 percent interest until the loan was paid off.
The original structure used for the clubhouse was moved there by the members and was 24 X 24 feet. Later a new clubhouse was built from trees on the property. Several club members convinced the city council to give the stone foundation of the demolished GR&I Railroad Station to the club and they constructed a fireplace from it. It was a labor of love and nice addition to the clubhouse.
As time went by, shooting ranges were added, a moving deer target, turkey shoot area and a trap house, which was a major project. An indoor archery range is now in place and used by many.
The club members have frequently volunteered their time and brawn for community projects, such as building cupboards, painting, and installing all the kitchen equipment in the community building.
For decades the club has been involved in and supported the Red Flannel Festival, and has also helped support organizations such as Little League, AYSO Soccer, Red Flannel Queen Scholarships, Tracks Magazine for CS fifth graders, Sportsmen Against Hunger, the Senior All Night party, and many other special requests.
On the Sunday following Red Flannel Day, the Queen and court are hosted at the club for a light lunch. An opportunity is offered to shoot some trap, and try their luck at the rifle and pistol ranges, and learn bow shooting. Safe use of the shooting devices is always covered, and the girls have proven to be attentive listeners and very accurate shooters.
At one time, the club had a fishing weekend for boys and girls on Cedar Creek, to teach kids how to fish. Ray Gordon, a civil engineer, showed the club members how to successfully dam up the creek from Main Street to just west of the flowing well drain pipe, so that the planted trout could not leave the stream until they were caught by the kids.
One of the largest events sponsored by the gun club is the yearly dream gun banquet. It’s open to all members and their families and the public at large. Attendees must purchase a yearly subscription of $90, and add another $20 for the banquet. Several hundred outdoor items are given out at the dinner as door prizes, and raffle tickets are sold for other prizes as well.
If one is interested in this gala event, seek out a member to purchase a subscription. Those interested in becoming a club member must be sponsored by another club member. Visitors are welcome at all regular meetings on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Call 696-3711 for more info.

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Two injured in Algoma crash

Two people were seriously injured in this crash at 13 Mile and Edgerton last week. Photo from WZZM13.com.

A Greenville resident and a Howard City man were both hospitalized last Friday morning after their vehicles collided in Algoma Township.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Jonathan Sutton, 38, of Howard City, was traveling southbound on Edgerton about 6:38 a.m. Friday, September 16, in a 2009 Chevy Silverado, when he ran the stop sign at 13 Mile Road and collided with a a 2003 Chevrolet Impala traveling westbound on 13 Mile.
Both drivers were seriously injured. Sutton, who was seat-belted, suffered serious internal injuries. The driver of the Impala, a 42-year-old Greenville resident, was not seat-belted and suffered critical injuries.

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Man arrested for business burglaries

Thomas Andrew Hathaway

Kent County Sheriff Detectives have been investigating numerous business burglaries and recovered a large amount of stolen property on Sunday, September 11.  The thefts occurred in Muskegon, Ottawa, and Kent Counties and have been occurring for weeks.  The businesses range from hydroponics to computer repair and video rental stores.
Investigators served a search warrant on the suspect’s residence on the northwest side of Grand Rapids on Sunday morning. The suspect was taken into custody while he sat at the trunk of his car sorting through hundreds of video games that completely filled his trunk. Detectives are now sorting through the property to identify victims of the thefts and return the merchandise.
Thomas Andrew Hathaway, 27, was arrested and charged with three separate accounts of Breaking and Entering a building. Bond was set at $50,000 on each charge.

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Fantastic Fridays are back

The time of year is here for school to start early release days at to enable our teachers to have professional development—and that means that Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation is offering Fantastic Fridays again! This is an after school program on the 11 early release school days for children in grades 1st-5th.  Some parents may not be able to pick up their child or they may need additional options for having their child monitored for the extra period of time.
The program was developed to fill those needs and goes well beyond just a daycare program to being one that includes educational activities.  Each Friday will have a different theme, where the participants will have lessons prepared by a certified teacher and will also get to have interaction with guest speakers and activities. These Fridays will be filled with team-building activities, healthy snacks, educational material and lessons, and craft projects for the child.
On the 11 Fridays, the students will be escorted to Red Hawk Elementary and arrive by 2 p.m., and they will be actively engaged in the program until 5:30 p.m. Students will need to be picked up and signed out by that time.  The program is available for all eleven Fridays or on a pay as you go situation for each individual date. Families that qualify for free or reduced school lunches will be eligible to receive a full or partial scholarship by contacting the department and filling out an application, which is located on the 3rd floor of the C.S. Public Schools District Office (aka-Hilltop Building).
The program also gives high school students a chance to volunteer and assist with escorting students, leading activities and so much more. They can volunteer by contacting the high school volunteer coordinator or contacting the department at 696-7320 or emailing the director at director@csaparksandrec.com.

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Lessons from Lazarus

Pastor Ryan Black
Cedar Springs Christian Church
340 West Pine Street, Cedar Springs

From the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, we learn certain lessons. The first lesson is about reason. You cannot have radical faith until you’ve exhausted all reasonable solutions. Mary and Martha didn’t send for Jesus until they’d done everything they could do for Lazarus. Be reasonable; if you can do it for yourself, God won’t do it for you. For example, unless you are willing to change your diet and start eating right, how can you go to God with confidence for healing? Unless you are willing to put the needs of your spouse above your own, what’s the point in praying for a happy marriage? James writes: “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18).
The second lesson is about relationship. Some folks only turn to God when they have a crisis. Prayer is a foreign concept to them until they have a car wreck, or their marriage falls apart, or they lose their job. Then, incredibly, they say, “God, why did you let this happen?” It’s hard to go to someone when you’re in trouble, if you’ve spent no time building a relationship with them. Jesus often spent time at the home of Mary and Martha, eating at their table. They were givers, not takers. “It was that mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick” (John 11:2). When you love the lord to that extent, you can go to him in faith knowing your needs will be met.
The third lesson is about relinquishment. As long as you believe you can handle the problem on your own, you will not reach for the miracle-working power of God. You have to be in a situation so terrible that you pray the prayer of relinquishment: “Lord, I’ve done all i know and things aren’t getting any better. So I’m through trying to fix it. I turn it completely over to you. I don’t know how you’re going to handle it, but I know you love me and want only what’s best for me. So here it is, Lord; it’s all yours.” This is not a prayer of defeat; it is one of total trust. David wrote: “Though i am surrounded by troubles…the Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, o lord, endures forever” (ps 138:7-8 ).
Before leaving the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, here are two more lessons: the fourth lesson is about radical faith. When somebody is dead and buried, that’s as “final” as it gets. To believe God in the face of such a situation requires radical faith.  Until this moment, Martha had “if only” faith. “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). But then she began to realize what Jesus could do, and moved to “even now” faith. She said to Jesus, “but even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Radical faith says, “Lord, I believe that my future can be greater than my past, that you can turn the situation around and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, that nothing is too hard for you.” Radical faith in the face of radical circumstances brings radical results.

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Don’t Pray for Rain

Ronnie McBrayer

Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

I’ve made a habit lately of studying the Amish. The Amish (and their cousins the Mennonites, Brethren, and a few other groups) are lovers and active makers of peace. They value simplicity above almost any other thing. They love their families and community, and they have a profound trust in God. This trust, employing a good Amish-German word, is called “Gelassenheit.”
“Gelassenheit” is usually translated as “submission” or “to yield,” but it is so much more. It is a total letting go. It is a relinquishment of the self. It is a “thy will be done” kind of life – not a blind, hopeless fatalism, but a defiant and restful faith in God. One Amish farmer summed up “Gelassenheit” saying, “We don’t pray for rain, but we are thankful to God when the rain arrives.” This perspective gives the Amish a completely different understanding of “the will of God” than most of the Christian universe.
Many of us have been taught that “God’s will” is this magic be-all-end-all, which, if discovered, can end all the angst and indecision of life. So we chase after and fret over what God wants us to do, thinking there will be complete and total disaster if we miss the secret plan he has for us. We twist and writhe in the anguish of our decisions, never feeling good about any choice we make.
Maybe we can take a cue from the Amish and neutralize the mystery of finding and doing God’s will. Maybe we can learn to simply trust God with our life and our circumstances. Maybe, if we keep hitting the wall, we can stop, listen, and trust for a while. Maybe we can learn to yield our own wills, or at least stop using God’s name to sanction our decisions.
Here is the thing the Amish can teach us: Rather than trusting an exact path and direction for your life, just trust God with your life. After all, God is bigger than your plans, stronger than your failures, and never fails to reward those who seek after him. You can find peace by quit trying to figure out what to do for God and simply rely upon God.
Meister Eckhart wrote: “God wants no more from you than you letting go of yourself. Then you can let God be God in you.” If that’s not God’s will, then I don’t know what is.

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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Summar “Sunshine” Storm Rowland

Stacy (Sturtevant) and Troy Rowland announce the birth of their daughter Summar “Sunshine” Storm Rowland born on August 23, 2011 at 5:46am in Big Rapids, MI. She was 22 inches long and weighed 9.8 pounds. She is welcomed by her big brother Gunnar Stone Rowland, grandparents Paul and Robyn Sturtevant of Rockford and Bill and Karen Rowland of Cedar Springs, great-grandparents Bonnie Rowland of Cedar Springs, Beverly and Carroll Emmorey of Cedar Springs and Nancy Klingenberger of Lehigh Acres, FL.

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Karsen Kenneth Roelofs

Brent and Sarah Roelofs, of Cedar Springs, are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Karsen Kenneth. Karsen was born on September 5, 2011 at Spectrum Health Butterworth at 11:54 pm. He weighed 8 pounds and 3.2 ounces. He was welcomed home by his sister, Alyssa and brother, Trentyn.

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Pat and Russel Merlington


Pat and Russel Merlington of Cedar Springs are celebrating theit 50th Anniversary on September 22, 2011. Their children are Debra Cumings & John Rutherford, Jenifer & Aaron Smigiel; grandchildren Joshua, Matthew, Shana, Shamar, Becker, Marcus, Amanda, Brandon, Tiffany, Kaylee, Destiny & Liberty; great-grandchild Noah. Mr. & Mrs. Russel Merlington will be celebrating their anniversary in Las Vegas, Nevada and they will welcome any cards. Please send to: PO Box 244, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Their secret to a long successful marriage is a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Its not the years in a life, it’s the life in the years.”

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