Freedom by PASTOR MICHAEL CISLER North Kent Bible Church As we approach our nation’s Independence Day, it causes me to pause and give thanks for the freedom that is available to us. I am thankful for the many who have served and sacrificed in the past to allow that freedom. I am thankful for those who serve and sacrifice today to continue that freedom and to attempt to provide it for others. I am thankful to those who have led within our governmental offices in all levels to first lay the groundwork of this freedom and then to uphold it. I am thankful that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. I am thankful also for the freedom available to us in Jesus Christ, the son of God, the Creator. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” In Jesus we have freedom from the result of sin, which is death, through the promise of the resurrection. We also have freedom from the bondage of sin, the yoke of slavery mentioned in Galatians 5:1. Sin in our lives can become a bondage that we feel we can’t get away from. We can struggle and struggle against it, but feel like we are not breaking free from it. The reason for this is that by ourselves we can’t save ourselves from sin; we need to turn to Jesus to break free from that which holds us. In Hebrews 12:1-2, we find these words, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” We see here the truth that sin easily entangles us and the importance of turning our focus to Jesus. As we celebrate our nation’s independence this week, I hope for you both the thankfulness for the freedom we have in this country and joy and freedom that is available in Jesus.
Articles by Squire News
Whether you are a little one itching to decorate your bike in red, white and blue, a parent willing to run along side, or a Rockford resident or guest who loves a parade and patriotism, plan on heading to downtown Rockford on Saturday, July 4, for the third annual Children’s Bike Parade. Festivities kick off with a 1:30 p.m. registration and line-up in the South Squires Street parking lot. The parade is open to those 12 and under; bikes, strollers and big wheels are welcome. Parents and families are encouraged to attend/assist children as needed. All children will receive a small parade gift for participating, plus three prizes will be awarded for “best dressed bikes.” At 2 p.m., Rockford Police will lead participants along the parade route (north on the White Pine Trail to Squires Street Square and back). Also included in the festivities is a Bubble Gum Contest, held at The Sweet Tooth on East Bridge Street. The parade is sponsored by the HEART of Rockford Business Association members with special assistance offered by Aunt Candy’s Toy Company, Gumballs and Overalls, A Charmed Life Nail Salon, J.T. Stitchery and Frame Shop, and Rudy Kazoody’s.
America’s last king Every Independence Day we wave the flag for our Founding Fathers who led the revolution. This year, in the renewed spirit of fairness, let’s say a few additional words about the guy on the other side, King George III of Britain. Down the centuries, he’s been portrayed as a loony in lace cuffs. Actually, he was a pretty stable ruler in between bouts of what medical experts now think was the blood disease porphyria. (During his sick times, yes, he acted like a lunatic.) We’ve regarded him as a tyrant. In that day and age, however, ruling their colonies was what European monarchs did. North American holdings represented a big investment and a large part of British lands; little wonder the king didn’t let them (us) get away without a fight. And, as European rulers go, King George was a fairly moderate landlord. George III got utterly bad press for at least 150 years after the launching of the U.S.A. Nowadays, historians don’t roll their eyes about him quite as much. Who knows? A more recent George in American history may get some of that revisionist history he’s been hoping for, although it’s never quick in coming. As he said in May 2008, “I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” Despite wars and financial and political downers, our country, 200+ years later, is still a going concern guided by the Constitution put in place by our founders. I am proud to be an American. Happy Fourth of July, everybody! Speaking of history… They opened the time capsule last Saturday. The high school class of 1984 had buried it. When it was buried, I had recently re-started a newspaper that I called The Rockford Squire to continue the tradition of the Rockford Register. Over the past 25 years there have been ups and down with the Squire. For profits and pay it was mostly down, and for hard work it was always up-but it has also been the most satisfying job I ever had. I got to know lots of people in the community and I generally knew what was going on around town. We did a story on the capsule when it […]
Who qualifies to receive Social Security benefits? My wife, Deb, looked around our yard the other day and noted that our yard was an example of nature gone wild. The peonies have never had more flowers and those flowers were large and magnificent. All of the varieties of hostas are huge. There were flowers on lilac bushes that haven’t had flowers on them in years. The decorative crab apples had lots of blooms and it seems like the branches have grown a foot a day. The shrubs have more fresh growth on them than I have ever seen. Deb is hoping the cosmos, begonias and impatiens she just planted will grow as well as the rest of the plants in our yard. Even the lawn looks great. It’s funny, but I buy the same amount and type of fertilizer from Pete’s Ace Hardware every year, apply it in the same manner every year, and apply it at the same time every year. Some years it just seems to work better than others. Being a tax professional and not a trained green thumb type person, I have no idea of how that is possible. If I put the same figures into a tax return using the same forms, I am going to get the same answer every time. However, my lawn seems to look different every year. Of course, the one variable that I don’t have to contend with on my tax returns is something called the weather. It’s been a cool spring with lots of rain lately. It must be perfect growing conditions, at least in my yard. I want to finish up my articles on Social Security by making a few general points and then going over the survivor’s benefits rules. Today, there are approximately 50 million people who receive a monthly Social Security benefit. According to the Social Security Administration, that monthly benefit on the average replaces approximately 40 percent of their retirement income. Obviously it’s going to be a tough go if the taxpayer’s only retirement income is his/her Social Security benefit. Most people do begin drawing at the age of 62. However, there are some rare individuals who continue working past the age of 62-past the age of full retirement of […]
Talaski-Griffin Kate Talaski and Todd Griffin, both from Denver, Colo., will be united in marriage on October 10, 2009. The bride is a graduate of Rockford High School and Ferris State University. She is the daughter of Mike and Marcia Talaski of Rockford. The groom is a graduate of Shelby High School and Ferris State University. He is the son of Al and Becky Griffin of Shelby, Mich.