Loving Words by PASTOR SCOTT SWIX Hope Community Church A couple of years ago there was a wonderful animated movie called “Up” in which a house is carried away by thousands of helium balloons to take the old man and the young scout on an adventure. No one balloon could do it, but put enough together… and you could fly. The idea of each of those balloons helping lift the house is a bit similar to how the words we choose and use help lift our relationships with others and help them fly—or drag them back down to the ground. Think of each caring, loving, encouraging word as one of the balloons. It provides lift. Each negative word, each insult, each put-down, each word of anger drags the relationship back into the mud again. What’s worse, studies have shown that negative words weigh more than loving words lift up. Seems that we remember those mean words longer. It takes 10 words of encouragement to balance one harsh one; sometimes even more than that, depending on what was said. It’s hard to believe and trust the nice things someone says if we keep hearing nasty ones as well. Well, there’s lots of wisdom in keeping our tongues in check and our words to ourselves. The Bible’s book of Proverbs is full of great advice and reminders of the damage that harsh words cause and the benefits of loving ones, such as 12:18, “Reckless words pierce like a sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing,” and 16:23, “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth,” which are just two of many. Jesus reminds us that what comes out of our mouths really defines us. But in this electronic age it isn’t just the spoken word. One on one, live, we can have enough trouble. Texting and instant messaging appear to make us choose worse words—the person isn’t right there with us, and folks say things that they wouldn’t say in person. Verbal bullying in online social media is another example, where blogging and website “comment” sections take it even further. Reviews of these remote and often anonymous electronic forums show them often full of extremely judgmental, disrespectful and insulting responses—all to people we don’t really even […]
April 5 2012
SCHOOL BEAT Be the Change by PRINCIPAL LARRY WATTERS Parkside Elementary School In the past few months as many adults were struggling with sticking to their New Year’s resolutions, a group of Rockford fourth-grade students were presented the opportunity to resolve themselves to making a difference in the world. Their task was to take two dollars and use it in some way to change the world. Students were to create an action plan, independently or with a group of other students, and share it with their parents as to who they were going to use their money to change the world. Students brought their plans back to school to share with the class. Over the next few weeks they enacted their plan to reach their goal. Within their plans students were to identify a charity to which their efforts would benefit. Local organizations like North Kent Community Services, Crash’s Landing, and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital were beneficiaries of the students’ generosity. Other beneficiaries include national charities like the American Heart Association and Ronald McDonald House. Some students decided to act more locally and contributed to a child’s double lung transplant. Some students promoted “change wars,” others sold homemade candies, yet others asked friends and relatives for donations to add to theirs. One group of boys pooled their money and purchased colored string, which they fashioned into “friendship bracelets” that they sold to friends at church and sporting events. They raised over three hundred dollars to donate to the Special Education Advisory Council to benefit their efforts in our community. While the fundraising efforts were impressive, the real impact was not monetary. It was the lesson learned in conducting such an endeavor. This is simply expressed by one student’s efforts to use the two dollars along with his allowance to save up to buy a shovel to help the elderly neighbors with their driveways. A very involved grandparent approached me the other day to thank me for the work of the fourth grade that chose to take on this project. He was not only impressed with the lessons that were learned in the planning and enacting a plan to benefit charity, but the lessons in making a difference and learning that there are worthy causes helping […]
Alex Quinn, a 2011 Rockford High School graduate, was selected to serve on the National Youth Leadership Committee. This committee participated in the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration representing America’s next generation of leaders. Each of these student leaders, young athletes and entertainers is inspired in a personal way by President Reagan’s vision of freedom and the example of his leadership. Together they have earned 18 Olympic medals, 11 NCAA All American selections, five NCAA championships, two certified platinum records, and numerous other awards. Last August, Quinn was named an inaugural GE-Reagan Foundation Scholar at a special ceremony held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. During the visit, he was selected to role-play President Reagan in a dramatic simulation exercise on whether to invade Grenada, as Reagan did more than 20 years ago. Quinn was awarded a book on Ronald Reagan’s life, signed by Nancy Reagan, and a $40,000 scholarship for his studies at Harvard. GE-Reagan Foundation scholars are among America’s foremost young leaders who use the formative experiences of their youth to lead, serve and pursue a life of purpose and significance, both individually and for their communities. While at Harvard, Quinn is co-director of Harvard’s Program for International Relations, and volunteers as a coauthor and teacher for an International Relations course taught to Boston area high school students. He is part of select group of Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge students, who will volunteer to teach in China this summer, alongside students from leading Chinese universities.
After coming off a very successful tournament in Ann Arbor, the Rockford varsity girls continued their winning ways and defeated West Ottawa 15-4 on Monday evening, March 26. The Lady Rams have multiple offensive weapons and they were on full display with goals coming from six different players. Leading the way for Rockford with five goals apiece were Casey Wolfer and Adrianna Craft. As expected, the girls turned in a fine defensive effort, which seems to be the cornerstone of this year’s team. The Lady Rams are certainly defensive minded, but you would never know that after a dominating offensive performance against Grand Haven with a final score of 10-2. At the end of the first quarter, Rockford took a commanding 4-1 lead with two goals from Craft, a goal from both Morgan Longberg and Abby Finlayson. An additional goal was tacked on by Maddie Levine in the second quarter and the girls never looked back. Another strong performance was turned in by Ellianna Raymand in goal, limiting Grand Haven to two goals. With a conference record of 3-0, the Lady Rams are building confidence but will certainly be tested with a tough OK Red conference schedule ahead of them. The girls will be back in action on April 10 at Grandville.
Rockford varsity boys lacrosse is underway, and the Rams have faced two opponents thus far, putting them at 2-0 for the season. The Rams hosted the Vikings of Haslett on Saturday, March 24 for the opener. The first game of the season started out with an exciting come-from-behind overtime win of 6-5. The Rams opened the first quarter of the game moving a bit tentatively. Haslett scored the first two goals of the game on man-downs, with Rockford in the penalty box. The Rams soon answered on their own man-up, as Mitch Newton scored a pretty goal with an assist from Joe Belliel. The Vikings scored again late in the period to the end the first quarter with a 3-1 lead. The Rams got rolling right away in the second period when Newton scored again, this time unassisted. The Rams then tied the game with a nice underhand shot by Jesse Siegel, assisted by Blake McDonald. The two teams left the field tied 3-3 at the half. Haslett roared back into the second half with two quick unanswered goals, leading the game at 5-3. With just 7.4 seconds left in the third, Kane Wolfer scored off a rebound shot, leaving the Vikings with a one-goal lead. The fourth quarter was a tug of war, as both teams buckled down their defenses and had opposing goalies making great saves. With just 1:18 left in regulation, Kento Nakano fired a laser shot top of restraining line, tying the game and sending the Rams’ opener into overtime. In overtime, the Rams controlled ball movement. Nakano scored the game-winning goal with just 1:38 left. Nakano was assisted by Newton for the goal. Connor Flynn registered nine saves in goal and Ryan Hartnagel led the defense with two caused turnovers and five ground balls. Tuesday, March 27 turned cold and cloudy as the Rams hosted Catholic Central for a night of lacrosse. The Rams steamrolled to a 13-1 victory. All facets of offense and defense were on display, as Rockford controlled the game from the offset. Eight Ram players scored and assisted throughout the match. Newton led the scorers with four goals and two assists. Belliel followed with three goals and an assist. Nakano contributed two goals and two assists. […]