Category: Features

Meditations – July 17, 2019

By Pastor Mike Ashman     Zion Lutheran Church – Jubilee, rural La Porte City
Dear Friends,
This past week I have sat in classes in all morning, from 8 AM to almost noon, with a break for chapel in the middle. So far, I have found the experience refreshing (not that I do not miss the people or my cat) or my garden that is getting weedier by the moment. I feel a great sense of community as people feel welcome. We have some visitors who just stop off the street for a cup of coffee, or these days a glass of cold water. People are greeted with a smile and a sign of peace. We have former students wanting to unwind for a day, or maybe two or three.
Some days I ponder about people’s concept of church – what it means to them. Some people come in order to escape the world, in a universe filled with such division and pain; people are desperately looking for a place of wholeness and community. Other conceive of the church as a starting point. One church I am told has a banner that reads, “Mission Field” which is read as one leaves the sanctuary. Christ sends us out as hands, feet and voices into a broken creation.
Some outside regard the church as a place for the holy and righteous, they feel like just do not fit in as they have a number of dents and scars from life. From our perspective, we have a number of imperfect people, in fact of all of us. Some have open wounds that are still painful to touch – others hide their scars, but that does not mean they are not still here. We have just come to realize that there is a healing balm here that we cannot find elsewhere.
If you visit our congregation to look around, you will find a beautiful sanctuary. But, not without flaws. Some corners you will find some peeling wall paste. Some places might have acquired some dust. And up in one corner of the church, you will find a spot where the church almost burned down. You need to look closely, but its’ there. Perfectly imperfect, just like us who worship there.
I have always believed in the sense of community we find makes all the difference. Christ calls us into transformative ministry, where the rubber hits the road. We should therefore challenge ourselves and our community to remain open to everything around us, to see Christ in the other. You – We – can make a difference and our community of faith can have an impact on individuals and our community. May Christ grant you the strength to be the change.

Hawkins’ Happenings – July 17, 2019

By Jolene Kronschnabel, Library Director
Have fun and win small prizes playing BINGO on Thursday, July 18, 1:30 to 3 PM.
Friday, July 19, is a Summer Reading Program craft day from 1 to 5 PM.
Let’s explore orbits, the amazing science behind the forces that keep us on planet Earth, on Monday, July 22, at the Summer Science STEM program provided by the Black Hawk County Extension Service. Sessions are 1 PM for preschool-2nd grade, and 2 PM for grades 3rd-5th.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, is the Book Club selection for July. Read the book and join the discussion on Tuesday, July 23, at 1 PM.
All adults should Color and Connect on Tuesday, July 23, from 6 to 8 PM.
The Spiderwick Chronicles plays at 1:15 PM on Wednesday, July 24. Rated PG, action/adventure/drama, 1 hr. 36 min.
How many crafts can Handcrafters craft if Handcrafters can craft crafts? Find out on Thursday, July 25, from 1 to 3 PM.
From 1 to 5 PM on Friday, July 26, kids can drop in to make crafts at a Friday Summer Reading Program craft day.
We have coffee on Mondays from 8 to 10 AM.
Did you know it has been 50 years since man first walked on the moon? We can’t wait to show you just how amazing this accomplishment was on Monday, July 29, at the Summer Science STEM program provided by the Black Hawk County Extension Service. Sessions are 1 PM for preschool-2nd grade, and 2 PM for grades 3rd-5th. 
The third in our series of Summer Reading Programs is on Tuesday, July 30, at 6:30 PM. The Grout Museum is bringing their Star Lab, a portable planetarium, so you can view the nighttime sky indoors.
A Dog’s Way Home is the movie on Wednesday, July 31, at 1:15 PM. Rated PG, adventure/drama/family, 1 hr. 36 min.

Meditations – July 10, 2019

By Pastor Mike Ashman   Zion Lutheran Church – Jubilee, Rural La Porte City
I have returned from my last picking of the strawberries. The Lord has been abundant this year. Yet we hoped for a couple more harvests to tide us over until the raspberries would start to ripen. It has been a very good year.
With the beautiful berries, very large and bright red, I have taken the very best of each harvest and shared them. Not the smaller leftovers. Yes, the largest most plump berries I could find. We still had more than enough for a couple weeks of strawberries with ice cream and angel food cake every night. Mom also made ten or so jars of jam, not to mention the many three cup containers we froze for the upcoming winter. God is good.
I was once told that the most productive time is right after we get up. We ply several cups of coffee – a good meal – then head off for the daily grind. We head into our work with the best that we have to offer. This makes me ponder about what we give to God, the stewardship of ourselves. All too often, the people of church hear stewardship, and expect the passing of the plate to follow. But there is indeed a call from God to be good stewards of our selves – our very lives.
I think back to the times I spent talking to children about their spiritual life. I ask them about their prayer life, and I receive this glazed look. After some prompting, they will say that they pray when they are afraid, when they need God’s help. All too often, I think this remains true for many people. When sailing the ship of life, prayer only enters in when the whole thing starts to sink (like the sailors of Jonah’s boat); we pray when things are going bad.
Now I will say that it is important to turn to God at these times. But if we truly believe in giving God our best (how about taking some of our morning drive time? – you know the time when we are at our best), and be stewards of that time. Write a card to someone, just because. Share a cup of coffee at the local bakery, pay it forward. Or just simply smile. And also give thanks; offer a prayer of thanks – it’s a matter of time – and we have plenty of time as a gift from God.

Freckles’ Adopt a Pet – July 10, 2019

Freckles and The Progress Review encourage potential pet owners who are loving and responsible to consider adopting a pet from the Cedar Bend Humane Society.
My name is Moo; how do you do? I am a Domestic Short Hair adult male cat whose vaccinations are up-to-date and I am neutered. I came to Cedar Bend as an owner surrender and am about 3 years old.
I am a happy cat, with a goofy, sweet, adventurous spirit that would love to be loved by you.
For more information about adopting a pet, contact: Cedar Bend Humane Society, 1166 W. Airline Highway, Waterloo, Iowa 319-232-6887
cbhsadoption@mchsi.com  –  www.cedarbendhumanesociety.com

Hawkins’ Happenings – July 10, 2019

By Director Jolene Kronschnabel
Build Lego creations using a space theme on Thursday, July 11, from 1 to 5 PM.
Make and take crafts for our Summer Reading Program are Friday, July 12, from 1 to 5 PM.
Earth is just a tiny dot in the universe with more to explore in our solar system and other galaxies! On Monday, July 15, learn the skills scientists use when they make new space discoveries at the Summer Science STEM program provided by the Black Hawk County Extension Service. Sessions are 1 PM for preschool-2nd grade, and 2 PM for grades 3rd-5th.
Other Worldly Animal Adaptations with the Blank Park Zoo is the program on Tuesday, July 16, 6:30 PM. Meet animals from the zoo and learn about their “otherworldly” adaptations.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the movie on Wednesday, July 17, at 1:15 PM. Rated PG, animation/action/adventure, 1 hr. 57 min.
Play BINGO with us on Thursday, July 18, from 1:30 to 3 PM.
Complete crafts any time between 1 and 5 PM on Friday, July 19, during our Summer Reading Program craft day.
Why are the sun and moon always the same distance from Earth? Let’s explore orbits, the amazing science behind the forces that keep us in the perfect place to live, on Monday, July 22, at the Summer Science STEM program provided by the Black Hawk County Extension Service. Sessions are 1 PM for preschool-2nd grade, and 2 PM for grades 3rd-5th.
Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, is the Book Club selection for July. Read the book and join the discussion on Tuesday, July 23, at 1 PM.
Adults can Color and Connect on Tuesday, July 23, from 6 to 8 PM.
The Spiderwick Chronicles plays at 1:15 PM on Wednesday, July 24. Rated PG, action/adventure/drama, 1 hr. 36 min.

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