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Waller-Slocum

C-engage-Waller

Gordy and Lauri Waller, of Sand Lake, are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Jacklyn Waller, of Howard City, to Justin Slocum of Howard City. Justin is the son of Don Slocum, of Howard City, and Mechelle Merlington, of Grand Rapids. Jacklyn is a 2003 graduate of Tri County High School and Justin is a 2004 graduate of Tri County High School. A June 27, 2015 wedding is to take place in Big Rapids, Michigan.

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Joan C. Reed

C-MEM-JoanReed2Joan C. Reed

August 7, 1931—May 13, 2004

If roses grow in heaven

If roses grow in heaven, Lord

Please pick a bunch for me.

Place them in my Mother’s arms

and tell her they’re from me.

Tell her I love her and miss her,

and when she turns to smile,

place a kiss upon her cheek

and hold her for a while.

Because remembering her is easy,

I do it everyday,

But there is an ache within my heart

That will never go away.

With love from your family

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Your attitude determines your altitude!

Pastor Craig Carter

North Kent Community Church

1480 Indian Lakes Rd.

Sparta, MI 49345

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-).

Last week, I was in a meeting with a couple good friends. We were mentoring a group of 7th and 8th grade boys together. One of my friends was sharing this principle, “your attitude determines your altitude!” He encouraged all of us to check our attitude about others and life in general. He pointed out how our attitude truly does influence how far we will actually go in life.

Since that meeting, I have not been able to get that thought out of my mind and heart. Recently, life has brought a number of difficult circumstances and situations in my life that have certainly affected my attitude. I have realized again, that it’s my choice about how I decide to react. The above verse found in Colossians 3:1-2 came to mind. I was reminded how important it is to “set” my mind and my heart on the “things above.” This means to be heavenly minded, or to think on what the Word of God say’s, not on the things of earth, or the circumstances around me. So how have I found this verse helpful to me? First, I noticed Paul said, “If you have been risen with Christ…” That means “if” you are a Christian, or you have been born again, you are a new creature and you have a new nature! Your old nature and self, no longer control your life or thoughts. You have to power of Christ living in you and can “rise above” above a negative attitude. These circumstances do not have to get me down!

Secondly, Paul said to “Set” our mind and heart on things above. The word “set” means to determine or purpose to do it. It is a decision of our will. We can, as Nike says, “Just do it!” No excuses, purpose to set our mind or thoughts on godly things. Purpose to focus on truth, scripture that encourages and build us up, not on the negative thoughts of the world or our circumstances. Philippians 4:8 reads, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Paul says change what your thinking! Change your sights, aim higher!  Increase your altitude by changing your attitude!

The other day I heard a story about a military pilot who was testing a new plane. The inside of the plane was not finished out, and one of the face panels was off. While in flight, he noticed a big fat rat gnawing at the wires. He knew he had a problem. So he radioed down to the control center, “Hey guys, we have a problem.” One of the commanders replied, “This plane is designed to fly at high altitudes, so immediately drive the plane high in the atmosphere, the rat will not be able to stand the pressure and will pass out or die.” So, that’s exactly what the pilot did and the rat immediately stopped chewing on the wires. The pilot saved both his life and the plane. The moral of the story is, drive the plane of your life higher! Set your mind and heart on godly principles and God’s Word. You want to rise above the negative circumstances? You want to “kill the rats” gnawing at your life? You want to avoid an emotional crash? Drive your plane higher! Instead of staying mad and angry about life and its circumstances, forgive and trust God.  Instead of being selfish because things are not going your way, be generous and bless someone else who is worst off than you! Instead of being stubborn, admit you were wrong and seek forgiveness and restoration in your relationships. Instead of complaining about the government and politicians, pray for them. In essence, stop stooping down to the behavior of others, choose to rise above it. Take the high road, be godly and set your mind and heart on things above.

In close, I leave you with this thought from my former pastor and mentor. He often asked,“Why do choose to walk with turkeys, when you can soar with the eagles?” Remember, your attitude will determine your altitude!

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Unconditional love not unconditional surrender 

 

 

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

We are a nation fond of building stone monuments to the past, and the past we are most quick to memorialize is our history of war. An index of major US monuments reads like a catalogue of conquest. Our most iconic memorial of stone is Arlington National Cemetery. Hundreds of thousands have been buried there, and in a few short decades, it will reach capacity.

It is right to honor the men and women buried in those places, but we do them a disservice if we do not remember them in such a way as to stop filling the ground with the fallen dead of war. Or, at the very least, to reduce those numbers; to learn from the cycle of history, and work furiously to end our dependence upon warfare.

On this Memorial weekend, let us fervently honor those who unselfishly gave their lives, but let us vigorously refuse to glorify the violence that took those lives. After all, “War,” as the often maligned William T. Sherman said, “is hell. It is folly, madness, a crime against civilization. And even its success is over dead and mangled bodies with anguish and lamentation.”

For me to say “war is not the answer” is to do more than quote a Marvin Gaye song. It is to confess faith in Christ as the way to peace and reject the false promises of war. War promises us that when the last battle is fought, the last bomb is dropped, the last enemy is slain, and the last soldier is put to rest in sacred soil, then we will have a world at peace. Yet, war is waged without end, and our cemeteries continue to fill.

The world we want—a world where swords are beaten into plowshares, where mercy and justice flow down like the waters, where every tear will be wiped away from our eyes, and where there will be “no more death or sorrow or crying or pain”—is the world constructed by the unconditional love of God, not the unconditional surrender of our enemies.

So let us gather at our cemeteries and memorials of stone, around the tombs of the known and unknown who gave their lives. And as people of faith, let us also gather around another stone—the stone rolled away by the power and love of Christ, the only love that will bring peace to the world.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

 

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West Michigan Hawks profile: David Lange

 

S-West-Michigan-Hawk-David-Lange-in-his-MRAPBy Shae Brophy

Meet the owner and head coach of the West Michigan Hawks, David Lange. Lange has spent the majority of his life in Cedar Springs, graduating from Cedar Springs High School in 2007. He knew that when the idea of the Hawks came together, Cedar Springs was the only place he wanted to call home for the Hawks.

“When I decided to start this franchise, I knew for a fact that Cedar Springs would be the perfect place,” said Lange. “The love for football in this city is outstanding! The thing that makes me most proud about this city is the amount of support shown by the community.”

Coach Lange has already started the process of creating bonds with the city, as well. The Hawks have been very active in community projects, despite the fact that they have not been around for more than a few months. “It is a requirement to give back to the community if you want to wear the Hawks jersey,” Lange explained. “We have helped with the cleanup along the White Pine Trail, as well as picking up trash along the highway. Our next goal is to help a child who is fighting cancer. Ideally, we would like to raise funds to be able to help with hospital expenses.”

Lange knows a thing or two about giving back. Lange is a veteran of the United States Army, having joined the National Guard in 2007 right out of high school as a 19 Delta Cavalry Scout. In 2009, he decided to transfer to active duty, and was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While on active duty, he also served a 12-month deployment in Basra, Iraq. “My biggest takeaway from my time in the Army was how important teamwork is. Every mission that was carried out was a team effort. I relied on my teammates as they relied on me to keep one another safe, and to play my role in the mission to be successful. I use these same techniques from the Army and apply them to this football team, in order to build teamwork and trust. Without teamwork and trust, you can never be a successful team.”

When preparing the team for a game, Coach Lange says that there are quite a few advantages of being a first year team. “Nobody really knows what a first year team will be bringing to the table, which makes us very difficult to prepare for. Our guys are really coming together and starting to gel as a team.” Preparation is another one of Lange’s strong points, as you could guess because of who his main idol in life is. “My role model would have to be (UFC fighter) Georges St. Pierre. He is without a doubt a true champion, and a great role model both in the cage, and in life. He strives for excellence, while remaining humble at all times. Nothing but class.”

Every home game for the Hawks this season will be on a Saturday evening, and the West Michigan Hawks would like for you to come out and watch their games! Added Coach Lange, “Our fans are just as much a part of the team as our players. We strive to make our games family friendly, and a fun environment! What better way to spend a Saturday evening than under the lights at a football game!”

The Hawks have completed the non-conference portion of their schedule. They will open the conference portion of their schedule on May 30, against the Battle Creek Coyotes. The game will be played at Harper Creek High School, in Battle Creek, and will begin at 7 p.m. As always, you are encouraged to make the trip with the team to watch West Michigan semi-pro football at its finest!

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Red Hawk boys track takes second at regionals

 

The Cedar Springs boys track team finished second to Grand Rapids Christian at the Houseman Field regional meet last Friday, May 15. Qualifying for the MHSAA State Finals were: Remington Sawade in the pole vault, MavRick Cotten in the long jump and 110m hurdles, and Austin Sargent in the 1600m and 3200m runs. The state finals will be held on May 30, at Zeeland High School.

Other athletes earning valuable points in the meet were: Jaron Spencer in the discus; Caden Burrows in the shot put and discus; Mike VanAssen in the pole vault; Taylor VanDyke and Nikc Jackson in the high jump; Justin Jones in the 800m run; Alex Douglas in the 110m hurdles; the 400m relay team of Lane Gott, Austin Basso, John Todd and Cotten; and the 4x400m relay team of Sargent, Sawade, Todd and Jones.

The team will move on to the Pioneer and Daily News Invitationals before the individuals conclude their season at the state finals.

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Fly Zone

OUT-Nature-niche-Ranger-Steve-Head-ShotBy Ranger Steve Mueller

 

Flying animals have their own flight zones but they can change with weather conditions. Last week I was called regarding a Common Loon stranded in a farm field. Loons are very heavy birds and must run on the water for a considerable distance to become airborne. It is impossible for them to take flight from land. They cannot even walk on land because their legs are set back too far and their chest rests on the ground.

People told me the loon appeared to be ok and was calling from the field. Immediately I wondered if it hit a power line and tumbled to the ground. We headed for the site to determine how to help it. Thirty minutes lapsed between the time people left the bird and we returned. The bird was gone when we returned.

Other people had been watching and perhaps someone transported the loon to water. It is wonderful to help wildlife but people should know that it is illegal and often dangerous for the wildlife. It is best to call the Michigan DNR or a wildlife rehabilitator.

Many birds can be observed at this time of year but it is more likely to hear them. Each species has its own “fly zone.” Some remain high in the tree canopy and are very difficult to observe, like the Red-eyed Vireo or Cerulean Warbler. To see a Cerulean Warbler I suggest attending the Cerulean Warbler Festival at Michigan Audubon’s Otis Sanctuary near Hastings, during the first weekend of June. Look at Michigan Audubon’s Website for details.

Some birds like the American Robin and Eastern Phoebe are commonly seen in our yards. Robins fly from vegetation to lawn and forest floor in search of a meal. Phoebes perch near open areas and “hawk” insects by flying out to capture insects in the air and return to a perch. Protect healthy nature niches in home yards by avoiding chemicals that create a monoculture of grass. Allow other plants to grow among the grass because they support a variety of life essential for native birds and it allows them to find enough insects to feed the young. A picture perfect lawn is a sterile desert to wildlife.

On cool sunny days I often see insects in a very narrow fly zone, within inches of the ground. You might need a jacket but when you bend feel how warm the air is close to the ground. It might surprise you how many insects are present in that narrow fly zone close to the ground. I watched White-crowned Sparrows outside my window that appeared to be feeding in that narrow zone. I could not see anything they could feed on.

I went outside and got close to the ground to see what might present. There were massive numbers of minute flies much smaller than mosquitoes flying just above the grass. The sparrows were feasting on the tiny morsels. It seems they would not get adequate nutrition from such tiny creatures but volume counts.

On chilly days, butterflies stay close to the ground to take advantage of the thin thermal blanket of air warmed by the sun. When wind is present, the thin area close to the ground is even more important. Insects do not have internal heat regulation like we do. They must depend on the surrounding environment to provide their heat.

By using behavior that keeps them in warm fly zones, they can survive unless a bird finds them concentrated in fly zones. Even then, an abundance of insects allows enough to survive to reproduce, provided we allow our yards to become healthy nature niches for insects and birds.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433 or call 616-696-1753.

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Weekly fishing tip 

OUT-Weekly-fishing-tip

Taking great catch-and-release photos

Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?

1. Wet your hands before you handle the fish—that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (aka slime) the fish has coating their body.

2. Remember a fish cannot breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.

3. Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, that way if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water—not on a hard surface.

4. While holding a fish do not pinch or squeeze it and do not stick your fingers in its gills.

5. Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.

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Fishing report from the DNR

 

As of May 14

SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA

St. Joseph: Fishing has slowed.  Pier anglers are catching a few freshwater drum and catfish when using crawlers on the bottom. Boat anglers are catching a few trout and salmon but the fish are scattered in 40 to 180 feet.

St. Joseph River: Is producing crappie and the occasional walleye.

South Haven: Pier fishing was slow for all species. Boat anglers are still catching lake trout in waters 60 feet and deeper.

Grand Haven: Fishing has slowed. The water is cold and fishing pressure has been slow because of the weather. Pier anglers are casting spawn for steelhead and brown trout. Some are throwing cast nets for alewife to use as bait however few were caught. Boat anglers were trolling in 25 to 75 feet of water with short coppers and lead core with small spoons in orange or gold. Perch fishing has slowed as the fish are beginning to spawn. Try the 60 foot holes with spikes, wigglers and minnows.

Grand River at Grand Rapids: The steelhead run has slowed however the fish run off and on during the spring depending on water temperatures. Smallmouth bass and suckers are dominating the daily catch.  More catfish are being caught as well.  No reports of any walleye caught at the 6th Street Dam.

Lake Lansing: Is producing some crappie. 

Jackson County: Many anglers are catch and release bass fishing.  Panfish activity picks up with the warmer weather and some anglers were getting near limit catches.

Clinton County: Lake Ovid is producing some crappie. A few catfish are being caught in the Maple River.  

Muskegon: Very few anglers have been fishing the piers. Boat anglers reported slow catch rates as the water is too cold.  Most are trolling between the piers with small spoons. No perch to report.

Muskegon River: The steelhead run is starting to come to a close but the brown trout fishing has picked up.  Small walleye have been caught right along with a fair to good number of bass.

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Rockford Ambulance paramedic wins award 

Kevin Nawrot, a paramedic/FTO with Rockford Ambulance, was named the 2015 Michigan EMS Practitioner of the Year.

Kevin Nawrot, a paramedic/FTO with Rockford Ambulance, was named the 2015 Michigan EMS Practitioner of the Year.

The Michigan EMS Practitioners Association has named Kevin Nawrot, a paramedic/FTO with Rockford Ambulance, the 2015 Michigan EMS Practitioner of the Year.

“Kevin has quickly climbed the ranks to become Lead FTO and has proven to be a great role model to everyone that comes into contact with him,” said Matt McConnon, Operations Manager at Rockford Ambulance.

While Nawrot has a record of achievements during his tenure at Rockford, he is most notably known from a call that came in May 2014, when Nawrot was the lead provider and witnessed a cardiac arrest. He and his team worked on the pulseless patient for over 55 minutes.  Once at the hospital, the patient regained pulses and was treated by the hospital staff.  The patient was able to make a great recovery and was discharged home with minimal deficits.

“To walk out of the hospital after 55 minutes is very unusual,” reported Dr. Todd Chassee during a media interview in May 2014. Chasse had cared for the patient at the hospital.  “Without their efforts, I don’t think the patient would be here today.”

Rockford Ambulance has a cardiac arrest survival rate of 50 percent, higher than the national average of 33 percent.

The EMS Practitioner of the Year award recognizes an individual for his/her excellence and outstanding achievement that they have accomplished in the emergency medical services. Qualifications for the award include:

Hold a current license either as a Medical First Responder, EMT, Specialist, Paramedic, or Instructor-Coordinator

Licensed for a minimum of two years in the State of Michigan

Continually promote the profession of EMS through innovation and leadership

High personal integrity and character on and off the job.

The Michigan EMS Practitioners Association is the state’s largest professional association for licensed EMTs.

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