All posts in “Community”

Q&R: David Sidney, Transform Rockford

by Jim Killam | 8-minute read

 

In 2013, Forbes magazine listed Rockford as one of the most miserable communities in the United States. It was the latest in a decades-long series of slams by various national media.

Transform Rockford exists to change those perceptions, and to help our region become a Top 25 Community by 2025. By that, they mean as compared to other regions with 100,000 to 500,000 residents.

We spoke recently with David Sidney, executive director of Transform Rockford, about the spiritual components of this effort. Read More

Defeat the January gloom

by Jim Killam | 3-minute read

 

Here’s one way to fight the post-Christmas COVID doldrums: Get outside. So far, the January weather is not that bad. In fact, lingering snow and daytime highs just below freezing make for great sledding and skating weather. Social distancing is easy and this may be the only time when wearing a mask actually makes you more comfortable. Read More

Joy in the presence of fear

by Mary Harker | 3-minute read

 

“But the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for look, I bring you great tidings of great joy that will be for all people.’
Luke 2:10 (CSB)

 

When I hear the word fear, joy is not the next word that comes to mind. Read More

Darcie Eklund: A Run to Remember

by Jim Killam | 14-minute read

 

“There’s no greater feeling than winning a race.”
–Jeff Gordon, NASCAR driver

 

This is the story of a beautiful girl who won lots of races. It’s about a close family that grew around that girl and protected her, swords drawn. It’s about unconditional love, and a precious gift disguised to some as a burden. It’s a story that changed more people than we can count. Read More

Your Thanksgiving pregame pep talk

by Jim Killam | 5-minute read

 

Transparency alert: I wrote this article several weeks ago, before Illinois was begging its residents to stay home on Thanksgiving. With increasing numbers of us either sick or under precautionary quarantine, and most others heeding the guidelines (I hope), a traditional Thanksgiving just isn’t in the offing this year.

So, if you’re forging ahead with smaller plans, here’s a walk through a typical Thanksgiving itinerary. If you’re feeling blue about cancellations or Zoom dinners, parts of this might make you feel better about staying home this year.

 

The Warmup

The wardrobe. Unlike Christmas, no one goes out and buys a new Thanksgiving outfit. Business casual is a good bet here, although you’re likely to see everything from suits and ties to sweatpants. Pro Tip: Whatever your level of formality, go for the adjustable waistband.

The coat pile. It’s in the spare bedroom, on a bed with attractive throw pillows from 1976. Read More

Broken Mind, Katie Jo Sanderson

For Katie Jo Sanderson, much of her life as a teen revolved around cancer. Today, she looks back with gratitude … and with encouraging words for others dealing with anxiety. Read More

Election Prayer Guide 2020

With the election less than three weeks away, let’s value unity above unanimity. Please join us in prayer. Here’s a prayer guide from pastors Luke Uran and Chuck Rife. Read More

3 long runs in the same direction

by Kaylin Carlson | 3-minute read

 

I love to run. It’s my time to decompress, pray and just be with God in his creation, doing something I believe he’s created me to do. Back in March, I was praying for a way to bring joy to others during COVID-19. While I was running, an idea popped into my head to create a virtual run. I wanted to give people something to look forward to, to have fun with and to bless the community during these challenging times. I’d charge a small fee to participate, make the medals myself and we’d donate everything to charity. Read More