Category: Features

Meditations – July 11, 2018

By  Pastor Todd Holman   St. Paul United Methodist Church, La Porte City
Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (James 1:2,3 NASB)
Let no one say when they are tempted, “I am being tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He himself does not tempt anyone. (James 1:13 NASB)
One of the most challenging things we are called to do daily is examine ourselves. If we desire to change or grow in a positive and healthy way we must develop a sense of self reflection. James reminds us of no better way to grow than through reflecting on the various trials that we encounter through testing. However, in sharp contrast is the idea of temptation. As James opens in chapter one he demonstrates the difference of understanding temptation and testing. Ironically while both are not Godly, they systemically are the products of trials we face.
John, who struggles with making the right decisions in his life, finds himself in trouble with the law on a routine basis. He’s not a bad young man, but he does hang around people who lead him into the wrong things. A friend asks him to stash a bag of marijuana for him. John gets caught with it and is facing serious charges only to find his friend denies ever being part of it. The day comes when John’s eyes and heart are open to Christ. As John attempts to make sense of his past with his new-found faith, he claims that God led him into all the things that brought trouble in his life, so that he would find faith in Christ. This is unfortunately how many people tend to deal with bad decisions. It crescendos into a refusal to take responsibility for the things we often do. James reminds us, God can not be tempted, and does not tempt anyone.
God is not to blame for the negative things that happen to us. God is the solution. Granted, life may be a struggle, and extremely difficult at times, and yet the everlasting promise is that God is always there watching over us and guiding us. When we claim faith in God through Christ, testing will come in life. It is the choices that define who and what we are living for when we make them. I pray that you all take time to reflect and examine yourself, so that you may find a righteous and prosperous life being guided and led through the hope of love and peace in Christ.

Hawkins’ Happenings – July 11, 2018

By Jolene Kronschnabel, Library Director
Hawkins Handcrafters get to work on Thursday, July 12, from 1-3 PM.
Make and take crafts for our Summer Reading Program are Friday, July 13, from 1-5 PM.
Solar oven S’mores! Use solar energy to make a tasty, sweet treat in a pizza box on Monday, July 16 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.
Music Grab Bag, the second in our series of Summer Reading Programs, is on Tuesday, July 17, at 6 PM, when Jen Bistline presents a “grab bag” of musical surprises.
Paws, P.I. shows at 1:15 PM on Wednesday, July 18. Rated PG, family movie, plays 1 hr. 26 min.
Play BINGO with us on Thursday, July 19, from 2-4 PM. Have fun and win small prizes!
Music in the Park, made possible by a grant from the Walmart Foundation, is on Thursday, July 19, from 6-8 PM. Bring a picnic supper and your chair, and enjoy music by the group 4 Guys & A Gal. For a donation you can have a dish of ice cream with proceeds benefiting the community project to preserve local history by digitizing The Progress Review. Invite your friends!
Complete crafts any time between 1-5 PM on Friday, July 20, during our Summer Reading Program craft day.
Explore the ways to change speed and direction of moving objects during the roller coaster program on Monday, July 23 at the Summer Science STEM program. Sessions are 1 PM for preschool-2nd grade, and 2 PM for grades 3rd-5th.
The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland, by Dan Berry, is the Book Club selection to be discussed on Tuesday, July 24, at 1 PM.
The third in our series of Summer Reading Programs is on Tuesday, July 24, at 6 PM. Experience an Instrument Petting Zoo with band instructor Mike Bistline.
Birds of Paradise is the movie on Wednesday, July 25, at 1:15 PM. Rated PG, animation, plays 1 hr. 22 min.
Adults can Color and Connect on Wednesday, July 25, from 6-8 PM.

Freckles’ Adopt a Pet – July 11, 2018

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 Sammy and I am a female Catahoula Leopard Dog Mix. I am house trained, six months old and looking for a good home to share with other dogs or cats and children. I LOVE to play, play, play and looking for a fenced yard and play mates to love me back. Come visit me soon!
For more information about adopting a pet, contact: Cedar Bend Humane Society, 1166 W. Airline Highway, Waterloo, Iowa 319-232-6887  –

Freckles’ Adopt a Pet – July 4, 2018

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.
Catarina is an adult female Tiger/Domestic Short Hair mix who came to Cedar Bend as a stray. She is about 15 months old and is a laid back, independent, sweet and curious little lady. For more details please contact Cedar Bend Humane Society at (319)232-6887. Her adoption fee is $35 which includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, worming, microchip, and a start on flea/tick prevention.
For more information about adopting a pet, contact: Cedar Bend Humane Society, 1166 W. Airline Highway, Waterloo, Iowa 319-232-6887  –

Meditations – July 4, 2018

By Pastor Todd Holman, St. Paul United Methodist Church
To one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to that person it is sin. (James 4:17 NASB)
I recently shared in the privilege to participate in the annual Vacation Bible School held in our church. I am amazed and impressed with the leadership and their organizational preparation for what is an exciting week for approximately 50 young children within or related to our community. One of the overriding themes amongst leadership and recited repetitively during the week is how wonderful it is to serve God and the children simultaneously. It is a great revelation to see the loving and caring hearts of the people here reaching out to others in the Spirit of doing what is right and pure in motivation.
In contrast, the above Scripture in James is the tail end of a chapter in which the writer calls out the selfish motivation and worldly gain that hinders most people’s spiritual life. The chapter carries the overtone of selfish ambition that inhibits people and their relationships.
For example, throughout many years of ministry I have had nominal, non-practicing, or ex members of the church contact me seeking help in their personal relationships. Their desire is to fix shortcomings or faults of the other person. This angle is an attempt to manipulate the other person by wielding the “power of God” to gain the upper hand.
There is a great deal of selfishness involved when a person seeks counseling to not better themselves, but rather to call out the faults in other people they are partnered with in some way shape or form. The writing of this chapter carries the overtones of some business relationship in which people are taking advantage of one another or seeking personal gain at the expense of others.
We all maintain a variety of relationships in our day to day life. James reminds us that these relationships can only be whole and fruitful when it is about serving one another by the will of God. When we only attempt to serve ourselves and our position, it systematically destroys our relational trust with God and each other.
Take care to look after one another in service and love.
God’s blessing,


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