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Archive | March, 2015

En Gedi fundraiser sets new records

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The 2015 En Gedi auction set new records in attendance and funds earned last Friday, March 20, during the non-profit organization’s annual and only fundraiser held at the Cedar Springs High School cafeteria.

The evening started with gourmet appetizers and dessert being served while the approximate 120 attendees visited and browsed the wide variety of items on the silent auction tables. At 7 p.m., auctioneer Kelly from Art Smith Auctioneer began to close bids on each table with a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm.

Trey Reed and Ellen Pike managed the Plinko game while others sold raffle tickets for a new television.

There was a short presentation sharing the En Gedi highlights from the youth center, high school 5th quarter activities, and community events over the last year. Volunteers and Youth Center Director Craig Owens and Assistant Director Joseph Gross were recognized and thanked for their leadership.

They also debuted a recently created DVD showing what the  6-8th grade students liked about the free after-school program held at Red Hawk Elementary School.

Then, the auctioneer conducted a segment allowing attendees to sponsor a “student-for-a-year,” which  brought in $3,880.

This was followed by a live auction of 10 specialty items allowing bidders to compete for the prize.

The total amount earned at the auction was approximately $45,000, which includes corporate sponsorship from CS Manufacturing.

“We have a tremendous group of caring business professionals and community members who again came out in support of the En Gedi mission to serve the youth and build families within Cedar Springs,” said En Gedi Board Member and Event Co-chair Kevin Pike. “This is the 4th year of this event. This year’s outcome certainly exceeded our expectations. We will now be able to continue our services and expand on some opportunities. Our entire En Gedi Team would like thank everyone who so graciously donated to and attended the event as well as those who mailed cash donations,” he said.

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Easter services 2015

EasterBasketGod wants a relationship with you. Take time to worship at one of the following churches during Holy Week next week and let God prepare your heart to celebrate the joy of Easter!

CEDAR SPRINGS

Community Good Friday Service 

April 3: You are invited to join together in worship with the churches of Cedar Springs for our community Good Friday service at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3, at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant Street, Cedar Springs. Children’s programming provided through 4th grade. This program is being sponsored by the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association.

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 5: Resurrection Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m.

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Please join us as we celebrate our Lord’s life, death and resurrection.

March 29: Palm Sunday Worship at 9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

April 2: Maundy Thursday Worship with Holy Communion and Tenebrae worship service at 7:00 p.m.

April 3-4: A time for individual prayer 9:30 a.m.a to 5: 30 p.m. Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

April 5: Easter Sunday Sunrise service 8:00 a.m. Breakfast in Fellowship Hall (free-will offering) at 8:30 a.m. Easter worship with communion at 10 a.m. One service only. Call 696-11-40 for more info.

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024-18 Mile Rd. NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 5: Easter Morning Worship at 9:30 a.m. w/ Easter Brunch following.

First Baptist Church

233 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 3: Good Friday Service at 6:30 p.m.

April 5: Easter Sonrise Service at 8:30 p.m.

Easter Service at 10:45 a.m.

Maranatha Baptist Church

12786 Algoma Ave. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 5: Sunrise Service at 8:00 a.m, Easter Breakfast at 8:45, and Easter morning worship at 10 a.m.

Pioneer CRC

3592 17 Mile RD NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 5: Easter morning worship at 10 a.m.

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma Ave.

Cedar Springs, MI  49319

April 4: Saturday Easter Eggstravaganza, egg hunt and more 1 – 2:30 p.m.

April 5: Easter morning Worship Services at 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.

St. John Paul II Catholic Church 

3110 17 Mile Road NE

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

www.jp2-mqa.org

April 2: Mass of the Lord’s Supper Holy Thursday: Mass at 7p.m.

April 3: Good Friday: The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord 12 Noon

April 4: Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil at 8 p.m.

April 5: Easter Sunday: Mass at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 5 p.m.

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant Street

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 3:  Community Good Friday Worship Service at 6:30 p.m.

April 5:  Easter Sunday Morning Services at 9:45a.m. & 11:15a.m.

Have you heard about NBC’s new A.D. TV series? Jesus’ death and resurrection changed the world—but it’s just the beginning of the story!  Learn more as we dive deeper into the stories from A.D. with inspiring messages and video clips from the TV series. For more information visit our website www.thespringschurch.info or call 616.696.2970. We are located at 135 N. Grant St. in Cedar Springs. We hope to see you at The Springs this Easter!”

ROCKFORD

Community Good Friday Service 

April 3: The community is invited to worship together on Friday, April 3, at 7 p.m. at Bella Vista Church, 5100 Belding Rd. NE, Rockford. The theme is “The Seven Last Words of the Cross.” Sponsored by the Rockford Ministerial Association.

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake NE, Rockford, MI 49341

April 2: Maundy Thursday 10:00 a.m. breakfast

April 4: Saturday Easter Eggstravaganza – Egg Hunt Noon-12:30; Games, Crafts & Hot Dog Lunch 12:30-1:30 p.m.

April 5: Easter morning worship at 10:00 a.m.

Grace Evangelical Free

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford, MI 49341

Saturday, April 4: Free Family Easter Carnival 10am -11:30am (Egg Hunt to follow @ 11:30am)

Sunday, April 5: Easter Services- 10:45am

Holy Spirit Episcopal Church

1200 Post Drive, Belmont

April 2:  Maundy Thursday 7:00 pm – The Last Supper and Stripping of the Altar

April 3:  Good Friday 7:00 pm – Stations of the Cross

April 4:  Holy Saturday 7:00 pm – The Vigil of Easter with Champagne Reception

April 5:  Easter Sunday 9:00 Breakfast;

10:00 am – Easter Resurrection Worship

Rockford Springs Community Church

5815 Fourteen Mile Rd, NE; Rockford, MI  49341

April 2:  Maundy Thursday 7:00 p.m.

April 5:  Easter morning worship at 9:30 a.m.

SAND LAKE

Good Friday Walk and Remember

April 3: Walk to each of the Sand Lake Village churches and listen to the thoughts of characters who experienced the crucifixion first hand. From noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3. Begin at the Catholic Church (1 W. Maple), then visit the Full Gospel and Resurrection Lutheran Churches, and end at Sand Lake United Methodist, with light refreshments after. Families and children encouraged to come.

Church of the Full Gospel

180 E. Lake St., Sand Lake, MI 49343

April 5: Easter Service 11:00 a.m.

Mary Queen of Apostles

One W. Maple, Sand Lake, MI  49343

April 1:  Wednesday of Holy Week Stations of the Cross 7 pm

April 3:  Good Friday Service 3 pm

April 5:  Easter Sunday  7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. (Easter Egg Hunt following the 9:30 am Mass)

Resurrection Lutheran Church

180 S. 3rd St., Sand Lake, MI 49343

(616) 636-5502

March 29: Palm Sunday Service 9:30 Am ~Easter Egg Hunt following the Worship Hour.

April 3: Good Friday Worship Service 7:00 PM

April 5: Easter Morning Breakfast 8:30 AM

April 5: Easter Morning Worship Celebration 9:30 AM

Sand Lake United Methodist Church

65 W. Maple Street, Sand Lake, MI

April 5: Easter SONrise Service 8:00 a.m. Breakfast to follow around 8:45 am.

South Ensley United Methodist

13600 Cypress, Sand Lake, MI 49343

April 5: Easter Worship and communion 10:55 a.m.

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10 tips to safely sell a car online

CAR-Ten-tips

(BPT) – Looking for a new set of wheels? Need to raise some cash for a home improvement project? Heading back to college?

Last year, a whopping 42.5 million used cars were sold in the United States, many by private owners. And 94 percent of those transactions involved an online search, according to leading online car website CarSoup.com.

While the Internet has made it easier than ever to buy a used car directly from a private party, buyers and sellers need to take precautions to ensure their safety and to prevent fraud.

The new e-book, “How to Safely Sell Your Car,” available on Amazon as well as through CarSoup.com, offers a number of specific tips on how to safely sell your car online, as well as suggestions on selling your car faster and for top dollar.

“Thousands of people safely sell their cars online every day, and you can too,” says Brian Bowman, chief technology officer of CarSoup.com. “Selling safely is the best way to make the most money and ensure a great sales experience for you and your buyer. The key is trust. The more trust you can build, the more satisfaction both parties will experience with the transaction.”

To sell your car safely and quickly online, Bowman offers these tips:

1. Go where the serious car buyers are. Avoid rummage-style websites and advertise your car on well-known, trusted websites that appeal to serious auto shoppers. For example, 54 percent of the active shoppers on a dedicated auto website like CarSoup.com buy a vehicle within 90 days.

2. VIN numbers reduce risk. Advertise your car with dedicated auto shopping websites that require a vehicle identification number (VIN). These websites help prevent fraud by matching the VIN numbers of cars advertised on their websites with public records to spot cars that have been reported stolen or cannot be legally sold.

3. Write an honest ad. The secret to preparing a great online ad, says Julie Spira, America’s cyber-dating expert, whose online advice is featured in the book, How to Safely Sell Your Car, is to clearly state what’s in it for the buyer and why you’re selling. Like online dating ads, Spira says, use lots of photos, add a heart-warming or funny story, and be honest to avoid surprises.

4. Ask lots of questions. Ask the buyer lots of questions, both by email and phone. Carefully listen to find out if your car will help fulfill their needs. Listen for evasive answers to questions about the buyer’s current driver’s license and auto insurance. Do a quick online search for the buyer’s name and location to check for any legal problems.

5. Don’t get too personal. When talking to a potential buyer, avoid revealing your address and other personal details. Don’t post photos of yourself with your car, or photos that show your home or valuable contents in your garage.

6. Get your paperwork ready. Have all of your paperwork (title, bank lien, driver’s license, car insurance, etc.) in order before meeting a buyer to finalize the sale. Tell the buyer to bring a current license and proof of auto insurance.

7. Meet in a public spot. Suggest meeting in a neutral public spot, during the daytime, to make you both feel safer. Invite a friend along and let the buyer know this ahead of time. If the buyer doesn’t have, or won’t let you review, their driver’s license and auto insurance card for the test drive, skip it. There will be plenty of other buyers, but there is only one you.

8. Remove personal items. When you clean your car for the test drive, clear out all valuables, including items in the trunk. Do not leave your wallet or smartphone in the vehicle.

9. State, up front, the test-drive route. Clearly state the test drive route and allotted time you have before getting into the car with the buyer. Sit in the backseat of the car to make the front of the car feel less crowded for the buyer during the test drive.

10. Complete the sale at the DMV. The sale of your car is not complete until you transfer the title of your car to the new owner, says Bowman. If a buyer takes possession of your car before the title is legally transferred, you will be held liable in the event that the buyer gets into an accident.

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A March to Madness

Solon-Center-Wesleyan-webPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs 

(just north of 19 Mile)

 

 

As I sit writing this article (which is late), I am wearing my Michigan State sweats and State Gymnastics t-shirt. I love March Madness, especially when my Spartans are playing as well as they are this year. But I don’t like madness in my life. I’m what you might describe as a control freak. I prefer to over-achieve, and I don’t like to fail.

I really don’t like to miss deadlines, and I stress out about letting other people down. Why is this article late? The first reason is the busyness of the Easter season. Throw in an auction for En Gedi on Friday, two weddings on Saturday, and my life is crazy busy. The second is an unforeseen tragedy.

The first is a matter of planning and stress control. For pastors the Easter season is one of both tremendous joy, and tremendous stress. Easter is the highlight of the Christian calendar, and the pinnacle of the church year. Some might call it Super Bowl Sunday for the church. When you plan ahead, it’s manageable. But tragedy strikes when you least expect it, and there is really no way to prepare yourself for it.

As we prepare for Easter, we are walking with Jesus as he approaches the cross. He tries to prepare His disciples for the tragedy that is about to befall them. I like to call it a March to Madness. Something is going to happen to them and it’s going to be devastating for a while (3 days to be exact). It’s going to test their resolve at the very core of their being. Though Jesus tried to prepare them for what was to come, they really didn’t get it. How could they?

This Sunday we will be celebrating “Palm Sunday,” where Jesus comes into Jerusalem triumphantly on a donkey and the people cheer and they love Him. They throw palm branches on the ground, and they shout, “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” But soon those triumphant shouts of joy will turn to jeers and calling for the authorities to release the criminal Barabbas, instead of the Son of God, Jesus. The disciples must have been dumbfounded. How could this be? Why is this happening? What is God doing? How could He let this happen?

Then Jesus does something in the garden of Gethsemane that I think is key to this whole thing. He’s praying to His Father, and asks Him, is there another way? Can you take this situation from me? Then Jesus says, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

I’ve found that in situations that I find myself in, especially the difficult ones, that there is something bigger in play. God is always trying to teach me something bigger than myself. We cannot avoid tragedy no matter what we do. Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” You are guaranteed trouble, but I think despite these tragedies God wants to teach you something, as he did Michigan State basketball player Travis Trice, when he became ill in 2012 with a virus that no doctor could diagnose. He was sick for 8 weeks and lost 20 lbs. Travis said that while he was sick, he got a newfound outlook on life, and every day had new meaning. He saw God’s hand on his life, and his healing. In his illness there was a greater thing at work.

I believe that God wants to work in your life and my life in the same way, though we don’t always understand it. You can take comfort in 1 Corinthians 13:12, which says: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

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More than a change of scenery

 

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

 

“Repent” is a religious word I’ve heard most of my life, and to this day, it still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand with fright. As a child, I heard the call to repent burst from the lips of many a revival preacher.

With the evangelist’s bulging carotids, burning eyes, and angry finger pointing, I could feel the fires of hell licking at my heels. I repented every chance I got (whether I needed it or not). But for most, this kind of intensity is reserved for the sandwich-board-prophets of our time with the declaration that “The End Is Near.”

Still, we should not be robbed of a good word. But what does it mean? It means we must change our minds or turn around. It’s shorthand for starting over, to completely forsake one way of life and take up another. Repentance means our suspicion is replaced by compassion; vengeance is replaced by forgiveness; those we despised because of their race or color or gender are now accepted; and where there was greed, now is found generosity.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine went out and bought this huge, grotesque recreational vehicle that was a rolling luxury home. Satellite television; queen-sized bed; stainless steel appliances; Berber carpet; surround sound. This vehicle was a technological masterpiece, and I was scandalized.

If you’re going to go camping, go camping. Strap on a backpack. Hike a few hills and feel the burn in your thighs and in your lungs. Eat out of a can. Sit around a campfire. Sleep in a tent with a stream lulling you to sleep. Swat bugs. That’s camping. So I said to my friend, “Russ, you can go to the woods and never leave home!” He answered, “That’s the idea.”

We live our lives the same way. Yes, we need to change some things—our attitudes, our priorities, our biases. Instead, we often just rearrange the furniture, change our surroundings a bit, or adjust the landscape. We succeed in taking our dysfunction down the road with us, never experiencing anything that resembles transformation.

Repentance is not about saying a prayer or complying with the wishes of some wild-eyed preacher. It is about conversion. It is about a fundamental change in who you are, not just a change of scenery. Ultimately, it is about becoming who you were always made to be.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net and listen to his talks by clicking on his YouTube channel.

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ROBERT E. HIBBARD

12C-mem-Hibbard-webROBERT E. HIBBARD

September 1, 1936 – March 28, 2007

We miss you.

Pat & Children

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LOIS JEAN HOLTON

 

Lois Jean Holton went to be with her Lord and Savior Thursday, March 19, 2015. She was born June 15, 1924 in Cedar Springs, Michigan to George and Alice (Sprague) Looman. She graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1942. She was married to Keith Holton on August 24, 1944 by Keith’s father, the Rev. Peter Holton. Lois is survived by her three daughters, Georgia (John) Mareska of LaPorte, Indiana, Doreen (Barry) Chapman of Mason, Michigan, and Alice (Martin) Cottle of Sault Ste. Marie; sisters-in-law, Jeanie Looman of Long Beach, California, Lois Larson of Cedar Springs, Michigan, Glenna Thompson of Naples, Florida; brothers-in-law, Truman Hinton of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Earl (Donnalee) Holton of Grand Rapids, Michigan; cousins Jerry and Donna Wilcox of the Sault, and a special niece, Sandra Simmons of Cedar Springs. She is also survived by four grandchildren; Joshua Mareska, Jeremy Mareska,  Robert Vincent and Tamara Chapman, three great grandchilren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service was held on Wednesday March 25 at the First United Presbyterian Church with Pastor Mark Gabbard officiating.

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RACHEAL LEE ZACHOW

In Memory of

RACHEAL LEE ZACHOW

A little mite so full of love

Who stole my heart when she arrived

My heart’s full of happiness for the time that we shared

And for all of the reasons I had to care

That love has never wandered away

For it is here, forever to stay

Now 15 years have come and gone

The age that she was when God called her home

She shall rest in peace, sweet little “Sis”

For the memories of her are still held so close

Love Aunt Judy

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Frandsen – VanSetters

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After a romantic proposal on the shore of Lake Michigan on Christmas Eve of 2013, Michael VanSetters and Andrea Frandsen will become husband and wife on April 11, 2015. Michael and Andrea will be married at Crossroads Church in Rockford with a reception to follow at Rockford Sportsman Club. Michael is employed by MOS, a division of Xerox. Andrea is employed at Fifth Third Bank in Grand Rapids.

May God bless you both on your wedding day and your married life together.

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Six tips about employee business expenses

 

If you paid for work-related expenses out of your own pocket, you may be able to deduct those costs. In most cases, you claim allowable expenses on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. Here are six tax tips that you should know about this deduction.

1. Ordinary and Necessary.  You can only deduct unreimbursed expenses that are ordinary and necessary to your work as an employee. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate and helpful to your business.

2. Expense Examples.  Some costs that you may be able to deduct include:

• Required work clothes or uniforms that are not appropriate for everyday use.

• Supplies and tools you use on the job.

• Business use of your car.

• Business meals and entertainment.

• Business travel away from home.

• Business use of your home.

• Work-related education.

This list is not all-inclusive. Special rules apply if your employer reimbursed you for your expenses. To learn more, check out Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. You should also refer to Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.

3. Forms to Use.  In most cases you report your expenses on Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ. After you figure your allowable expenses, you then list the total on Schedule A as a miscellaneous deduction. You can deduct the amount that is more than two percent of your adjusted gross income.

4. Educator Expenses.  If you are a K through 12 teacher or educator, you may be able to deduct up to $250 of certain expenses you paid for in 2014. These may include books, supplies, equipment, and other materials used in the classroom. You claim this deduction as an adjustment on your tax return, rather than as an itemized deduction. This deduction had expired at the end of 2013. A recent tax law extended it for one year, through Dec. 31, 2014. For more on this topic see Publication 529.

5. Keep Records.  You must keep records to prove the expenses you deduct. For what records to keep, see Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

6. IRS Free File.  Most people qualify to use free, brand-name software to prepare and e-file their federal tax returns. IRS Free File is the easiest way to file. These rules can be complex, and Free File software will help you determine if you can deduct your expenses. It will do the math, fill out the forms and e-file your return – all for free. Check your other e-file options if you can’t use Free File.

Visit IRS.gov/forms to view, download or print IRS tax products anytime.

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