Thank God for freedom by PASTOR LARRY ROWLAND Rockford Baptist Church The late President Ronald Reagan loved to tell of a conversation that he had with a Russian delegate at a summit meeting. President Reagan had summarized the political atmosphere of freedom in our country by telling the delegate that any American citizen can walk into the White House, slam his hand on the desk of the President and say, “I don’t like the way Ronald Reagan is running the country.” Now we recognize that President Reagan was exaggerating the case, because there is tight security surrounding the White House prohibiting just anyone from walking into the chief executive’s office. But his point illustrating the freedom of expression that we have as American citizens was not lost on the Russian delegate who responded in a defensive manner. “Well, I can do the same thing in my country. I can walk into the Kremlin. I can slam my hand on the desk of our leader and I can say, ‘I don’t like the way Ronald Reagan is running the country.’” How many times do we take the glorious freedoms that we have as American citizens for granted? We have freedom to express ourselves without fear of reprisal, we have freedom to travel where we want to go, we have freedom to pursue the occupations that we feel would most fulfill us, and we have freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience. I would encourage you to take a moment today to thank Almighty God for the privilege of living with freedom and liberty in this great land of ours. And why not put those freedoms into practice by worshiping in the church of your choice this Sunday?
Thursday, Sept. 24 Blood Drive—1 to 7 p.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall, 310 E. Division, Rockford. Seniors “Out to Lunch Bunch”—Enjoy lunch at Maxfields Restaurant (on your own), stopping at Mary’s Bakery for Amish baked goods and Klackles Orchards for apples on the way back. Cost is $2 for the bus fee. For reservations and bus pick-up times/locations, call Marcia at (616) 863-6322. Friday, September 25 Fall Plant Sale—6 to 8 p.m. at Kent Conservation District office, 3260 Eagle Park Dr., Grand Rapids. Preorders taken from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15. For more information, visit www.kentconservation.org. FREE Petting Farm—11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Bishop Hills Elder Care, 4951 Eleven Mile Rd., Rockford. For more information, call Katie at (616) 866-2002. Saturday, Sept. 26 Rockford Farm Market—8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October 31, in the South Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring Michigan-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers and plants. Annual Fall Craft Show—9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 310 E. Division, Rockford. For more information, please go to www.stpetersrockford.org or call (616) 866-1818. Pancake Breakfast & Archery 3-D Shoot—7 to 10 a.m. at Sparta Hunting & Fishing Club, 13218 Long Lake Dr., Sparta. Cost for breakfast is $4 for adults, and $2 for kids 14 and under. Archery shoot cost is $6 for adults, or $3 for kids 14 and under. For more information, call Jim at (616) 887-8771. Breakfast Fundraiser—7 to 10:30 a.m. at Honey Creek Inn Restaurant, to benefit the Rockford varsity dance team. Enjoy scrambled eggs, biscuits & gravy, sausage links, coffee, orange juice and water. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for kids, and a $15 family max. Sunday, September 27 Fall Festival—10:30 a.m. at Bostwick Lake United Church of Christ, corner of Belding Road and Young Avenue, Rockford. Worship will feature music by the Micah MacLaughlin Group. Everyone is then invited to lunch, outdoor games for kids, and the raising of the Festival House on the church’s front lawn. Monday, Sept. 28 Grand Rapids Audubon Club Meeting—6:30 p.m. at Cornerstone University, Bolthouse Hall, Room 100 (enter off East Beltline). John Mugg, instructor of environmental studies at Michigan State University, will present “Birds in Paradise: Diversity in the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Hawaii.” Guests are welcome. Free admission. For more information, […]
Oktoberfest: A Celebration of Fall by JEANNE BRIGGS If this is your first foray into the wild world of Oktoberfest partying, get ready for a fun-filled ride! Oktoberfest parties are actually quite simple to put together… all you need is a boisterous bunch of friends, a stockpile of German beers, and plenty of belly-pleasing German food. Oh… don’t forget the polka music. Let’s party! German Onion Pie 4 thick slices bacon, diced 2 cups peeled, chopped yellow onion 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 9-inch pie shell, unbaked Preheat oven to 400F. Sauté bacon. Remove bacon to paper towels and drain most of the fat from the pan. Add onions and sauté until translucent but not browned. Set aside to cool. Beat eggs and sour cream and mix in the flour. Stir in salt and pepper. Prick the bottom of the pie shell with the tines of a fork. Spread onions and bacon over bottom of pie shell. Pour the sour cream mixture over the top. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake 15 to 20 minutes more, or until pie is nicely browned. Serve hot. Serves 6. German Applesauce Meatloaf 1-1/2 pounds ground beef 1/2 pound ground pork 1/2 cup finely diced onion 1 cup applesauce 1 cup bread crumbs 3 tablespoons ketchup 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a loaf pan. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Place mixture into prepared pan. Bake 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Drain off fat and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn loaf out of pan and slice for serving. Serves 8. German Potato Salad 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced 3/4 cup chopped onion 2 teaspoons salt 3/4 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup cider vinegar 3 tablespoons white sugar 3 tablespoons dried parsley Ground black pepper to taste Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add peeled, cut potatoes; cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add onions. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, sugar, parsley, […]
Some words on words “Teen-agers” is becoming a passé term. More and more I hear this age group referred to as “young adults.” Doesn’t seem like a good substitute to me. Shouldn’t “young adults” be out making a living? I can remember when “young adults” held down serious jobs, got married, and began raising families. I’m not grumbling about this. It’s the nature of language to change with changes in society’s perception. It wasn’t so long ago when being “gay” meant you were cheerful and friendly. However, I’m not so happy with the term “senior citizen.” I stuck with describing myself as “middle-aged” for a long time. When people began laughing about it openly, I finally stopped. Since then I’ve been looking for something a little more complimentary, something that recognizes not just the creaky movements and the white hair, but the wisdom acquired in a lifetime. The best I’ve come up with so far is “experienced citizen.” On the other hand, it would probably be contracted to “ex-cit.” And that sounds too much like “exit.” I’m open to suggestions. Hang in there! A group of senior citizens were sitting around, talking about their ailments. “My arms are so weak I can hardly hold this cup of coffee,” said one. “Yes, I know,” said another. “My cataracts are so fuzzy I can’t even see the coffee.” “I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,” said a third, to which several nodded in agreement. “My blood pressure pills make me dizzy,” another went on. “I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,” observed an old man. There was a short moment of silence. “Well, it’s not totally bad,” said one woman cheerfully. “At least we can still drive!” Warning A burglar broke into a house one night. He pointed his flashlight around, looking for valuables. When he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from out of the dark: “Jesus is watching you,” it said. The burglar nearly jumped out of his skin. He clicked his flashlight off and froze. After a bit, when he heard nothing more, he shook his head and continued. Just as he pulled the stereo out so […]
Award-winning nature photographer and Rockford resident Stacy Niedzwiecki will be competing in ArtPrize 2009. Her Michigan Moments photo series will be displayed at SanChez Bistro, a popular downtown Grand Rapids restaurant located at 38 West Fulton. Niedzwiecki’s images are an inspirational journey through the most picturesque locations in the Great Lakes State, from backyard settings, local parks and beautiful lakeshore areas. The artist invites her audience to experience peace and tranquility found in the natural splendor so unique to Michigan. Her ArtPrize entry features a series of large gallery-wrapped canvas giclée prints, paired with a multimedia screen presentation along a 36 foot wall on the second floor mezzanine level of the restaurant. Artists from across the country and 24 other countries are competing in ArtPrize. Niedzwiecki hopes that her work will have enough “hometown appeal” to viewers that she will land in the top ten finalists. “My goal is to carry the flag for West Michigan and the things that are so wonderful for those of us living here,” Niedzwiecki says. Voting for ArtPrize contestants begins the opening night Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. and will continue through Wednesday, Sept. 30. On Thursday Oct. 1, the top ten ArtPrize artists will be announced at which point the public will then vote for the placement of those ten artists. In order to vote, the public must register at an official registration location. There are 14 places throughout downtown Grand Rapids. For details on voting and how to register, visit www.artprize.org/vote. For an entire afternoon of ArtPrize fun, Niedzwiecki suggests a good day to plan a visit will be Sunday, Sept. 27. The venues located in the Heartside district are collaborating on a special neighborhood “Strolling Brunch” event. Some venues will be serving complimentary food items and have a cash bar available from noon until 4 p.m. Niedzwiecki, along with other artist, will be present to discuss their work. Other opportunities to meet the artist at SanChez will be available throughout ArtPrize—visit stacyn.com/artprize/events for the schedule of appearances.