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Forgiveness is a wonderful thing

Cedar-Christian-ChurchPastor Ryan Black

Cedar Springs Christian Church

340 West Pine Street, Cedar Springs

 

 

 

Sometimes one of the hardest things to do in life is forgive. When you have felt some one has intentionally offended you or has purposely done something that negatively affects your life, this can lead us to hold grudges, bitterness and even hate against someone for what they’ve done. Some issues are easier to forgive than others. Some people are easier to forgive than others. However, according to scripture, neither the person, number of times they wronged you, nor the severity of the situation matters.  Forgiveness is a must for every Christian’s life, not only for a healthy spiritual life, but a healthy physical life as well.

This is perfectly laid out for us in Matthew 18:21-35. In this passage, one of Jesus’ disciples named Peter, asked Jesus how many times should we forgive someone who sins against us? Peter answered with the question, “up to seven times”? Jesus response is extraordinary. “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. This is telling us that no matter how many times someone does us wrong; we still need to forgive every time. Release them from their guilt.

The passage continues with Jesus speaking a parable about a king who forgives a servant’s large amount of debt because of compassion. The servant later refuses to forgive a smaller debt of another individual. The king finds out and is furious.  The debts that the king had previously forgiven now were to be paid in full. Jesus explains the point of the parable. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” In other words, if we want forgiveness from God we have to learn to forgive others regardless of what it is. Ephesians 4:32 reminds us of this same thing: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Forgiveness is needed for a healthy spiritual life. But it also plays a vital role in your physical well-being as well. The mayo clinic claims that refusing to forgive can cause anxiety, depression, loss in relationships and numerous other physical hardships.  We need to release any bitterness, grudges or hate towards someone for what they may have done to wrong us.

Forgiveness can be hard thing to do. But it’s something we need for our own soul as well as our physical bodies. It also helps release any guilt from the person that has hurt you. God loves us all so much and He wants to release us of our debts and our sins. When we release others from their debts then God is more than willing to release ours. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing!

 

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Money: What it’s good for

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

There is a single word that has overtaken contemporary US society, one concept that defines life in 21st century America: Security. Online purchases, firearms, national borders, airports, software, elections—none of these can be used in a sentence without the word “security” somewhere being invoked.

So much for the days when a statesman dared say, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Because now there is everything to fear. Cars, computers, houses, politicians, pharmaceuticals, and wars are all marketed with fear as the motivating factor. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to economics.

But to tell you the truth, if you are trusting your money to keep you secure, you probably should be afraid. Don’t get me wrong. We all need a few dollars to pay the bills. Even a handful of investments, mutual funds, and IRAs are good for as far as they go. They just can’t go far enough.

Why? Because once you have a little pile of dough you have to go on guard duty; perpetual protection mode, always on the wall, always peering out at the economic boogeymen, always defending, hedging, and hoarding. This produces mind-racing, palm-sweating, turf-defending worry, something about as far from peaceful contentment as one can get.

It’s as elemental as this, really: our level of peace will depend upon what we depend upon, no more and no less. If the source of our security and well-being is this world’s economic promises, we should hire better money managers, take more medication, and stuff more gold coins under our mattresses. But if our subsistence is Christ, then no, life will not be easy, but the source of his strength is endless and the peace he offers surpasses all understanding.

Now, this doesn’t mean we build a bunker, stockpile canned goods, and buy an arsenal. That’s just more of the same fear and anxiety run amok. No, we joyfully live in this world, but recognize it for how fragile it is. We see that ultimately it cannot meet our deepest needs.

That responsibility belongs to God, because it’s not a matter of if our stockpiles will fail us, it’s a matter of when. That’s not fear mongering, it’s simply stating that trusting Christ to give us what we need and sustain us is not nearly as dangerous as trusting a system that is bound to collapse.

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

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It’ll never be time for term limits on Congress 

V-Lee-Hamilton-web

By Lee H. Hamilton

It didn’t get much attention at the time, but the elections last November did more than give Republicans a majority in the U.S. Senate. Voters also added to the ranks of people on both sides of Capitol Hill who believe members of Congress should serve a limited number of terms.

Americans are frustrated with the federal government as a whole and with Congress in particular, and are searching for a simple solution. The notion that the bums could get thrown out automatically has great appeal.

I should say up front that you’re not going to hear a strong argument in favor of term limits from a guy who served 34 years in Congress. But I want to spell out the reasons for my bias, not because I think term limits are a burning issue in Washington—they’re not—but because I wish they were less of an issue for ordinary voters. Congress has a lot of problems right now, and term limits are a distraction from the truly hard work that needs to be done.

Term limits supporters believe that bringing in fresh thinking and new leaders on a regular basis will make Congress more representative. However, stripping voters of the right to re-elect a representative whom they’ve supported in the past does not make for a more democratic system; rather, it makes it less.

It also weakens Congress. If you take power away from a senior legislator, that power does not evaporate. Instead, it flows to the bureaucracy and the President. Serving productively in Congress is a tough, exacting task. It demands a deep knowledge of the issues that confront the country, a keen eye, backed by years of experience, for the ways in which executive agencies can go off track, insight into the ways in colleagues might be motivated to shift their positions, and the hard-earned wisdom to forge common ground among competing interests and ideologies.

Kicking members of Congress out of their seats just as they’re gaining the ability to legislate effectively and oversee the government responsibly is tantamount to demoting Congress to the status of a minor agency. Term limits are not the solution to the real dysfunction that besets Washington. They reduce the choices of voters, shift power to the executive branch, and move representative democracy in the wrong direction.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

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Learned from a snowman

All I need to know about life I learned from a snowman….

  • It’s okay if you’re a little bottom heavy.
  • Hold your ground, even when the heat is on.
  • Wearing white is always appropriate.
  • Winter is the best of the four seasons.
  • It takes a few extra rolls to make a good midsection.
  • There’s nothing better than a foul weather friend.
  • We’re all made up of mostly water.
  • You know you’ve made it when they write a song about you.
  • Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize!
  • Avoid yellow snow.
  • Don’t get too much sun.
  • It’s embarrassing when you can’t look down and see your feet.
  • It’s fun to hang out in your front yard.
  • Always put your best foot forward.
  • There’s no stopping you once you’re on a roll.

 

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

 

Fish Fry

Jan. 23: The American Legion in Cedar Springs on the corner of Main and Beech Streets, is hosting a fish fry on Friday, January 23rd from 5 to 7 pm. Fish, fries, coleslaw, dinner roll, coffee, punch and dessert. $8 per person, all you can eat. #3

 

TOPS weight loss support group

Jan 27: 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 weigh loss goals! Weigh-ins 8:15-9am, meeting starts at 9:15am. In case of inclement weather, meetings are cancelled if Tri-County or Cedar Springs schools are closed. Call Barb at 696-8049 for more information. #3

 

Help Promote Literacy

Feb. 3: The Literacy Center of West Michigan has scheduled and information session on Tuesday, February 3rd for prospective volunteer tutors. This session is held at 6:30 pm and lasts one hour. It allows persons interested in becoming volunteer tutors to fund out more about the Center and its literacy programs. At the end of the session there will be an opportunity to sign up for tutor training. By training people to be tutors, the Center can offer one-on-one reading help to adults asking for assistance in reading or English as a Second Language (ESL). You do not need to speak another language to tutor ESL. The Center is located at 1120 Monroe Ave., NW, Suite 240, Grand Rapids. Please call 616-459-5151 (ext. 10) to register. #3

 

Make a Valentine

Feb. 7: Free Fabulous Valentine Fun – Create and make the sweetest card to give to a loved one at the Cedar Springs Public Library on February 7th. Two sessions available: 11 am – 12 pm or 12 pm to 1 pm. Call 616-696-1910 or stop by and sign up at 43 W. Cherry Street. Good for all ages! #3

 

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Eugene “Spud” Ensing

Ensing, EugeneMr. Eugene “Spud” Ensing of Rockford, age 88 went home to his Lord and Savior Saturday, January 17, 2015. He was born in Grand Rapids to Gerritt and Dorothy (Hart) Ensing in 1926. Spud served his county and flag in the US Navy during WWII and in the US Air Force during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He retired from the US Air Force in 1968. After retirement he worked for Northern Air and Herman Miller’s flight department. In his spare time he volunteered for many organizations, such as the Cedar Springs Historical Society, as a flag marshal for Sports Car Club of America and Championship Auto Racing Teams. Spud also was a member of International Plastic Modelers Society, a charter member of the Smithsonian Air Museum, and a member of National Naval Aviation Museum. In his lifetime he also visited 127 countries and all 50 states. Despite all these achievements and interests, one of the most important things to him was spending time with his family. Eugene will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his family and all who knew him. He is survived by his loving children, Priscilla (Fred) Finch, Gordon (Connie) Ensing, Deborah (Mitch) Millhuff, Donald Ensing; grandchildren, Shannon Finch, Shawn Finch, Meghann (Sean) Evans; great-grandchildren, Haley Finch, Zoe Evans, Sammy Evans; step-mother of more than 60 years, Ethel Ensing; brothers and sisters, Donna (Ensing) Alverson, Gary (Jan) Ensing, Tammy (Bill) Heydens, Marlene (Eddie) Vasquez, Dale (Debra) Ensing, Kevin (Deena) Ensing, Steve (Shari) Ensing; brothers-in-law, Barney Townes, George Allington, Larry Squires; and many nieces and nephews. Eugene was preceded in death by his parents; loving wife Alma (Weller); and sister, Eleanor Squires. The Funeral Service will be 11 am Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S Main Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. There will be a time of visitation from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N Monroe Street, Rockford, MI 49341. In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S Main Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or Vista de la Montana United Methodist Church, 3001 E. Mira Vista Lane, Tucson, AZ 85739 or National Naval Aviation Museum, 1750 Radford Blvd., Suite C, Navel Air Station, Pensacola, FL 32508 or The 390th Memorial Museum, 6000 East Valencia Road, Tucson, AZ 85756.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home

 

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Donna M. Reed

C-OBIT-reeddonnaDonna M. Reed 80 of Sand Lake, died Friday, January 16, 2015 at her home. Donna was born December 30, 1934 in Sand Lake, MI the daughter of John and Ivah (Riley) Shick. She worked for General Motors Plant #2 on Alpine Avenue for 30 years. She was the first Village of Sand Lake Queen in 1952 and enjoyed being a Grandma Helper and making cookies for Sand Lake Elementary School. She had a special love for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Surviving are her sons, Randy, Ken (Judy), Rick (Nancy); eight grandchildren and their spouses; 11 great grandchildren; sisters, Arlene Wesche, Bev (Phil) Wesche, Verna (Dick) Wesche; brother, Fred (Carol) Shick; brother-in-law, Don (Della) Reed; close friend, Sue Cohen; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Orvin “Chub” in 2010; brothers, Harvey and Bob. The family will greet friends Sunday from 2-4 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where services will be held Monday 11:00 am. Pastor John Dawson officiating. Interment Sand Lake Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice, 2100 Raybrook St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

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Vacant lot to get new life

Digging began this week on a new house to be built at 40 E. Maple. Post photo by J. Reed.

Digging began this week on a new house to be built at 40 E. Maple. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

 

A lot with historical significance in the City of Cedar Springs, but has sat vacant for five years, is getting a new lease on life.

On February 7, 2010, a once beautiful and elegant old house that had been turned into apartments was destroyed by fire. The house at 40 E. Maple, located on the southwest corner of Maple and First, had long ago been the home of Sally Wall, who for years had sewn the city’s famous Red Flannels both in her home, and then later, in her remodeled barn next door at 36 E. Maple (which is now the Cedar Springs Post).

The previous house at 40 E. Maple was destroyed in a fire five years ago. Post photo by J. Reed.

The previous house at 40 E. Maple was destroyed in a fire five years ago. Post photo by J. Reed.

When the house burned, in the wee hours of the morning, it was a total loss, and what didn’t burn was torn down. There were a few inquiries into the lot; but nothing serious until last year, when Inner City Christian Federation, an organization similar to Habitat for Humanity, decided it would be a good lot to build a home on for someone who needed it. Their mission is to “provide housing opportunities and services that encourage family responsibility and independence, thereby helping to build stable communities.”

“I like to call us Habitat on steroids,” joked Don Fredricks, Construction Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator for ICCF. He also happens to be a licensed builder. “We have a whole education department that they go through,” he explained. He said potential homeowners are educated in home maintenance, how to manage credit, family values, etc. “They have to know the why and how to take care of a home,” he added.

N-40-E-Maple-blueprint-3The house will be a three-bedroom, two-story home, similar to others in the area. The house will face Maple Street, with the driveway off First. Digging out the basement began this week.

“We really wanted to start this last year, but it didn’t work out,” said Fredricks.

He said that with the cold weather, the first few stages would be subcontracted out instead of using volunteers. “We will be subcontracting the framing, roofing, siding, mechanical, electrical and heating work. With this cold weather, we need to make sure it’s done correctly.”

Volunteers will be needed when they start on the trim, carpentry, painting, landscaping, etc. If anyone would like to volunteer for that, they are welcome to call Fredricks at (616) 336-9333. He said they are shooting to be done by the end of June, or the end of August. “The way our financing works, the owner has to be working at the time, and since she works for a school, she doesn’t work during the summer,” he explained.

The owner of the home will be a single mom who lives in the area. Fredricks said there is definitely a need in the area for this type of housing.

“The County has been after us for years to do in the rural community what we normally do in the inner city,” he explained. The catch is that the community has to have city water and sewer, so it can’t be just anywhere. They also built a few homes in the City of Lowell several years ago. “Cedar Springs and Lowell both seem to be the two communities that could really use this,” he noted.

They are also looking at a city-owned lot on Pine Street. That will still have to be approved by the City Council, however. City Manager Thad Taylor said it would be taken up at the next City Council meeting.

 

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Coming full circle

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Jason VanDyke started with the Cedar Springs Unit Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Jason VanDyke started with the Cedar Springs Unit Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

New deputy starts in Cedar Springs

By Judy Reed

 

Twenty-two years ago, Jason VanDyke, then 24, was a fresh-faced graduate from the criminal justice program at Grand Rapids Community College. He worked as a part time deputy at Wayland, Allegan and Martin, and decided to put in for the full-time position in the City of Cedar Springs. He was one of 70 applicants.

Scott Brown got the full time position, and VanDyke was hired part time, then soon changed to full time. He worked for the Cedar Springs Police Department until 1996, when he hired on at the Kent County Sheriff Department to be able to pursue more opportunities. He’s had plenty of opportunities and experience there, and the opportunity they offered him this year was to come back to Cedar Springs. And he couldn’t be happier.

“It’s a privilege to be able to come back and work here again,” remarked VanDyke. “It’s a great community; a hard-working Red Flannel town.”

While at the Kent County Sheriff Department, VanDyke worked as a patrol officer, worked on the E-Unit, and on the tactical and SWAT teams from 1996 to 2003, and worked in the detective unit from 2003 to 2006. He went back out on patrol in 2007, and then did community policing from 2008-2009. From 2009 to the present, he patrolled northern Kent County. VanDyke grew up in Wyoming, and attended Grandville High School. But that side of the county is not where his heart is.

“All of my years on patrol except one, I patrolled this area,” he explained. “It was a choice. This is where I want to be. I’ve lived up here since 1992. It’s my home.”

This newspaper clipping shows Jason VanDyke (far right) when he was first hired on as a part time officer with the City of Cedar Springs 22 years ago. On the left is Officer Scott Brown, and in the middle is former Chief Marv Weinrich.

This newspaper clipping shows Jason VanDyke (far right) when he was first hired on as a part time officer with the City of Cedar Springs 22 years ago. On the left is Officer Scott Brown, and in the middle is former Chief Marv Weinrich.

When VanDyke heard about the Sheriff Department’s proposal to do policing in Cedar Springs, he was excited for the community. “I knew they could offer more services, programs, education, community policing,” he said. But he also knew all the officers, and was glad to hear they would be hired on. “They’re good officers. They know what they are doing. They just need training in the way the county does things,” he added.

VanDyke said he had put in a bid to work in Cedar Springs next year, and then when Ed Good transferred to court duty, a slot opened up for full time here right away. He started full time for the city on Monday, January 12. “I’m really happy to be working here,” he said.

While out on patrol in the northern Kent County area, he covered eight townships. “It was busy to say the least. It’s nice to be in a smaller community, where you know people, and it’s a little slower-paced,” he said.

VanDyke has been stopping at the schools and other places to introduce himself. “Everyone’s been friendly,” he remarked.

And, while VanDyke doesn’t want to make his work personal, he has a heart for the people in Cedar Springs. “I’m just glad to have the opportunity to do something positive for the community,” he said.

 

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CBDT begins cleanup on new property

Members of the Community Building Development Team began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land

Members of the Community Building Development Team began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land

Nick Andres working the chainsaw.

Nick Andres working the chainsaw.

The Community Building Development Team, a local non-profit looking to make a positive difference in Cedar Springs, began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land.

The clean up along the White Pine Trail and storage area that previously belonged to Tony Johnson, located at the west end of Maple Street, began on a cold and windy January 10, when a bunch of supermen from the area got to work. Nick Andres, Kurt Mabie, and Dave Ringler, from the Community Building Development Team, pulled the event together. The West Michigan Hawks, a semi-pro football team in the Minor League Football Alliance league and based in Cedar Springs, brought 10 of their finest guys to help out. Several other men from the community came along for a total of nearly 20 guys wielding chain saws and basic brawn to cut down trees and brush.

Everyone got started at 9:00 a.m. and had made a huge dent by 11:30 a.m. Dave Ringler and Rose Powell opened the Brewery and former Red Flannel Festival offices for a warm place to eat and Little Caesar’s Pizza of Cedar Springs donated enough pizza to feed everyone.  Dave provided beer (of course!) and Rose provided hot chocolate. There was also pop and coffee for all the workers.

CS Manufacturing recently purchased the property from the Tony Johnson Estate and plans to donate a portion to the CBDT. Permission from the appropriate organizations had been granted to the CBDT for a clean-up prior to Saturday’s work.

There will be lots of other opportunities to work together as a community to plant rain gardens and stream buffers, clear land, clean up Cedar Creek and much more. You, too, can join the team of volunteers working under the name of Community Building Development Team and help to make a positive difference in Cedar Springs. The team meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in the board room on the 3rd floor of Hilltop School at 6 pm. Facebook fans can also “Like” the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team or check out the website at CSCommunityCenter.org to get information as it becomes available.

 

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