Excuse me are you listening? 7-24
Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dear Readers,

In the last edition December 7, 2008 - December 20, 2008, my teenage son, Gianni, wrote about bike riding.  But it was not his article that sparked something in me, it was an e-mail that I received from Pastor Edward A. Thomas of Antioch Church in Lansing.

Antioch Cares CDC a  501(C)(3) non-profit organization created in 2007 is a grassroots organization that offers hope through community outreach programs which target the vulnerable in the community such as low income families, as well as at risk youth. Antioch Cares applied for and received a (Smiles for Christmas) grant from the Capitol Region Community Foundation.

Antioch Cares Smiles for Christmas campaign is designed to put a smile the face of a  child during this the holidays by giving them a new bicycle and helmet.

The campaign also ties into the church's core values, which promotes healthy living. A recent press release stated, “Antioch Cares CDC will continue to support exercise at every turn, our goal is to promote physical fitness throughout the year whereby encouraging healthy eating and aerobic activities among our children”.

I fondly thought about the first time I saw my son, Amir, who is six, take his first ride.  I saw the look of determination in his face as we took the training wheels off. Every day he would ask us to ride his bike.  For a few days he struggled, but one day the rain had begun as a mist and Amir had the look of determination on his face.  I knew that look, it was it all too familiar “It's either me  or the bike”  look.
The joy that I saw in his face once his little legs began to pedal faster and faster made me smile.  I saw a look of independence as he glanced back at me for approval.  He was able to go beyond his previous bicycle boundary and quickly turned around.  He was showing me that he was a bit more responsible.

By the time he was finished riding his bike for the day, he was soaking wet.  However, he was happy.  That's what it is all about - being happy.

It was the kind of happy you don't feel as much when you become an adult and forget about the accomplishment of learning simple lessons.

I applaud Antioch and their effort.  They got a smile out of me.

Love and Light Always,

Rina Risper

P.S. Remember to be happy!


Would you like to e-mail us?  Have a press release or story idea?  Questions about obituaries?  Send us your questions and comments to:




Click here for regular advertising rates!!!

 Check out TNCP's Birthday Advertising!!!!

Custom-embroidered logo shirts and apparel by Queensboro

Support our advertisers. Follow the link to their site:

Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau