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Archive | November, 2015

How to have a worship-filled feast

The-Springs-blurred-webPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St., Cedar Springs

 

The famous “theologian” Andy Rooney had this to say about Thanksgiving: “The emphasis is more on what we have for dinner this Thursday than it is on any other holiday. Once you’ve given thanks on Thanksgiving, there isn’t much else to do but watch football and eat.”

Is that true? Is Thanksgiving just a quick prayer followed by food and football and maybe a little online shopping? Thanksgiving can be so much more; in fact, it is intended to be. More than food, more than football, more than door busters, Thanksgiving can be a day of worship, and a chance to share a meal in Jesus’ honor. But how?

I’d like to share three secrets with you for turning an otherwise traditional Thanksgiving meal into a worship-filled feast.

Secret #1: Read a Thanksgiving Psalm together after you sit down to the table and before you say grace.

Colossians 3:16-17 (NLT) says, “Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use His words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.  And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

One of the ways you can turn your Thanksgiving meal into an opportunity for worship is to incorporate Scripture into it. Reading a Thanksgiving Psalm before the meal lets the words of Christ live in your hearts and sets the table for a worship-filled feast. Some great Thanksgiving Psalms from the Bible include Psalm 30, 32, 34, 40, 66, 100, 116, and 138.

There are lots of ways to do this. Here are two: everyone gathered could read the Thanksgiving Psalm together in unison, or one person could read it out loud for the whole group. Be creative and have fun.  After you read the psalm, go around the table and have each person share what they are thankful for.

Secret #2: Give thanks before and AFTER the meal.

Deuteronomy 8:6-10 (NLT) reads, “Obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and fearing Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with springs that gush forth in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley, of grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, olives, and honey.  It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking…When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.”

I’m assuming most of us give thanks before our Thanksgiving meals. But the idea of giving thanks afterward may be foreign to many of you. Giving thanks after a meal is a tradition that has been lost by most Christians, especially Protestants.  But it is a tradition that goes back to the earliest believers, and to Jewish practice as well. Tertullian, a famous early church theologian wrote, “We do not recline at a banquet before prayer be first tasted; in like manner prayer puts an end to the feast.”

Jesus Himself gave thanks before and after meals. We see Him modeling this at the Last Supper where He gave thanks for the bread at the beginning of the meal, and gave thanks for the cup at the close of the meal.

We get our word “gratitude” from the word “grace.” So saying grace before or after a meal literally means to give thanks or to give gratitude. After we have finished eating and our stomachs are full, it is only natural to express our gratitude to God for all He has blessed us with. Like Deuteronomy 8:10 says, “When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.”

This year you might want to start a new Thanksgiving tradition of giving thanks after your done eating in addition to saying grace before your meal.

Secret #3: Make your meal a time for serving others, sharing love, and seeking reconciliation.

A quick sprint through the New Testament shows how thankful Paul was for his brothers and sisters in Christ. Romans 1:8a (NLT): “Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…” 1 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT): “I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts He has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3 (NLT): “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”

Thanksgiving is a great time to follow Paul’s example and share with others how thankful we are for them.

The truth is, for Christians this should be a daily practice, not just once a year on Thanksgiving. Acts 2:46-47 (NIV) describes how the first Christians lived a thanksgiving lifestyle on a daily basis.

“Every day they continued to meet together in the Temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

From the beginning Christians have broken bread and eaten together.  The act of breaking bread together is rich with symbolism. Jesus broke bread with His disciples at the Last Supper, making it symbolic of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Jesus fed a crowd of 5000 people with broken pieces of bread from 5 loaves, making it symbolic of care and compassion.  In the Old Testament the ritual of breaking the Passover bread symbolizes God’s power to deliver His people.

Thanksgiving incorporates all of this symbolism. It is a time for forgiveness and reconciliation, a time for care and compassion, and a time to give thanks for all that God has done to save us.

Turn your Thanksgiving meal into a worship-filled feast by having each person share what they thank God for in another person at the table.  Again there are lots of ways to do this, so be creative.  As dishes are being passed the person who is passing could tell the person they are passing to what it is about that person they are thankful for.

At the end of the day, our Thanksgiving meals should always be held in Jesus’ honor.  Jesus was the guest of honor at many meals.  I’m reminded of Matthew’s party, the meal at Zacchaeus’ home, when Jesus visited Mary and Martha’s home, and when Jesus visited Peter’s mom.

For those of you who are really extreme you might consider leaving an empty chair at the head of your table to symbolize that this meal is in Jesus’ honor and to remember that He is present with you.

This year, try some of these ideas to turn an otherwise traditional meal into a worship-filled feast. By incorporating Scripture, prayer, serving and sharing into your Thanksgiving meal you can do just that.

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TIMOTHY RAMA

 

Timothy Rama, 59 of Sand Lake went to be with the Lord on Monday, November 23, 2015 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus after a long battle with cancer. Tim was born September 7, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Leo and Mona (Vicchio) Rama. Surviving are his sister, Diane (Larry) Jenkins; brothers, Dan, Jack, and Jeff Rama; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Mike in 2013. Cremation has taken place and there will be no services.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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Happy 100th Birthday

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KENNETH BECKER

An Open House celebrating Kenneth Becker’s 100th Birthday will be held on Saturday, December 5th from 2 to 4 pm at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Meyers Lake Rd., Rockford. Please join us in celebrating his centennial birthday! It would make it very special for him to see all his family and friends come by and share cake and ice cream with him. Hope to see you there! (No presents please, your presence is present enough.)

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MCC’s alumni & friends choir presents Händel’s Messiah 

Members of Montcalm Community College’s Alumni & Friends Choir practice for the Messiah concert.

Members of Montcalm Community College’s Alumni & Friends Choir practice for the Messiah concert.

December 5

SIDNEY – Area musicians combine their talents to present a performance of George Frideric Händel’s Messiah on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center. Admission is free.

“This is a special holiday tradition that has been performed in our community by local musicians every few years since the mid-1970s,” said Valerie Vander Mark, MCC Performing Arts Coordinator and concert producer. “Years ago it was sponsored by the Creative Arts Council, and I felt it was very important to continue the tradition. The most exciting thing about it for me is the different blend of talent that we get each time we perform it. Though Händel wrote this great work over 250 years ago, and we perform the same music each time, it is always a new mix of singers and instrumentalists, so it is never the same performance twice.”

Randy Masterson, of Saranac, will perform a tenor solo during the Montcalm Community College Alumni & Friends Choir performance of Messiah.

Randy Masterson, of Saranac, will perform a tenor solo during the Montcalm Community College Alumni & Friends Choir performance of Messiah.

Greg Vander Mark, of Greenville, is directing this year’s performance. He is also the director of the adult choir at the First Congregational Church in Greenville.

Händel composed Messiah in 1741 in just 24 days. It was first performed in a concert given for charitable purposes in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1742. Händel conducted the performance in person.

MCC’s Alumni & Friends Choir—a community choir made up of approximately 70 singers from the area—will perform the concert.  Former area music teachers Jean and Keith Hudson have selected musicians for the orchestra and have been rehearsing with them.

Soloists include Karen Lincoln, of Alma; Jeanne Haenisch, of Belmont; Deb Dieckman, Mark Dombroske, Ryan Garlick, Julie Momber, Larry Moss, and Valerie Vander Mark, all of Greenville; Marian Flynn of Mecosta; Cynthia Karaba of Sand Lake; Randy Masterson of Saranac; and Deborah Baldwin and Katrina Nelson, both of Sheridan.

For more information, contact MCC Performing Arts Coordinator Valerie Vander Mark at valv@montcalm.edu or (989) 328-1218.

 

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Searching for great Michigan Apple recipes

 

*ENT-Searching for great recipes Mich apple logoMichigan Apple Committee sponsors amateur recipe contest

 

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Apple Committee (MAC) is looking for talented amateur cooks to submit their favorite Michigan apple recipe for the 2015 Michigan Apple Amateur Recipe Contest. The contest will run December 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015. To enter, see the contest rules and details at http://www.michiganapples.com/Recipes/RecipeContests.

“Michigan apples are a versatile food; they add great flavor to any dish,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “We are hoping Michigan’s tasty apples will inspire amateur cooks to get creative and develop something unique and delicious.”

Entries will be judged based on taste, originality, preparation and apple significance. Recipes that are easy to follow and where Michigan apples have a major role in the flavor of the dish will be important considerations. The three highest scoring recipes will receive a KitchenAid®, 250-Watt, 4-1/2-Quart, Stand Mixer, which is an approximate retail value of $250. Contest winners will be notified by Jan. 25, 2016.

To be eligible to participate, residents must be at least 18 years of age, and not a professional cook, chef, baker or home economist. Recipes must use Michigan apples. Entries should be typed on an 8 ½” x 11” paper, and must include the contestant’s name, address, phone number, email and a Michigan apple variety recommendation. No Granny Smith apples can be used. A full list of Michigan Apple varieties can be found at www.MichiganApples.com/varieties.  Entries can be mailed to the Michigan Apple Committee at 13750 S. Sedona Parkway, Suite 3, Lansing, MI 48906, or emailed to Staff@MichiganApples.com. Mailed entries must be received before Dec. 31, 2015, and email entries must arrive before 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 31, 2015.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit www.MichiganApples.com.

 

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Thanksgiving fun

 

Q: Why did the police arrest the turkey?

A: They suspected it of fowl play.

Q: Why did they let the turkey join the band?

A: Because he had the drumsticks

Q: What happened to the Pilgrim who was shot at by an Indian?

A: He had an arrow escape.

Q: What’s the best dance to do on Thanksgiving?

A: The turkey trot

Q: What kind of music did the Pilgrims like?

A: Plymouth Rock.

Q: Who is not hungry at Thanksgiving?

A: The turkey because he’s already stuffed!

Q: Why can’t you take a turkey to church?

A: Because they use such fowl language.

Q: How do you keep a turkey in suspense?

A: I’ll let you know next week.

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot

Nov. 26: Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church invites you to stretch your legs Thanksgiving morning before tucking them under the dinner table. Gather at the Rotary Pavilion in downtown Rockford, Nov. 26th at 9:30 am; walk the White Pine Trail (or run if you must) as far as 12 Mile and back; then enjoy a cookie and hot beverage before heading on your way. Bring a non-perishable food item donation for the North Kent Community Services food pantry and put your name in a drawing for a fresh, home-baked pie. #47

Free Christmas Card Class

Nov. 28: Join the FREE Christmas Card Class at the CS Library, Saturday, November 28th. Kits to make 3 classy cards for those special people in your life. Age-appropriate kits for children, as well. Must be at least 6. Sessions start at 10:15 and 11:30 am. Space is limited so reserve a place today! By phone: 616-696-1910 or by email: ced@llcoop.org. #47

Advent by Candlelight

Nov. 29: Advent by Candlelight for ladies of all ages. The theme is Mary Christmas. Sunday, November 29th from 6 to 8 pm at Mary Queen of Apostles Parish Center in Sand Lake. Bring an hors’ devour or a dessert to share. Please RSVP 616-636-5671. #47

Sand Lake Tree Lighting

Nov. 29: Sand Lake’s Tree Lighting celebration will be held on Sunday, November 29th at 5:30 pm. Come enjoy the Lutheran Preschool concert and carols. Everyone welcome! #47

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Dec. 1,8,15,22,29: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #47

Super Why at KDL

Dec. 1: Join us for stories, music, crafts and activities during this special Storytime celebrating the PBS characters of Super Why. For ages 6 and younger. Tuesday, December 1st at 6:30 pm at the Spencer Township Library, 14960 Meddler, Gowen, 616-984-5680. #47

Live Indoor Nativity

Dec. 4,5: The Sand Lake United Methodist Church, 65 W. Maple St., will present a Live Indoor Nativity on Friday, December 4 from 6 to 8 pm and Saturday, December 5 from 1 to 3 pm. Experience the gift! $47,48p

Annual Cookie Walk

Dec. 5: St. Peter’s Ladies Guild’s Annual Cookie Walk will be Saturday, December 5th at 310 E. Division in Rockford from 9 am until the cookies are gone. The cookies are sold by the pound and you pick the combination. This is the perfect time to pick up cookies for the holidays. Proceeds help our Mission Projects throughout the year. #47,48p

Craft Show at Resurrection Lutheran

Dec. 5: Resurrection Lutheran Church, 180 Northland Drive, Sand Lake will be holding a Craft Show on Saturday, December 5th from 9 am to 2 pm, 30 vendors, bake sale and raffles. Great food! See you there. White elephant. #47,48p

Holiday Marketplace

Dec. 5: Get a good start on your Holiday Shopping at the Greenville Area Senior Citizen Center, 715 S. Baldwin, Greenville, during their Holiday Marketplace, taking place on Saturday, December 5th from 9 am to 3 pm. Dolls, marionettes, crafts, quilts and baked goods, crocheted little girl aprons, doll clothes, toy trains, Shep Shapiro carved apple heads, holiday décor, and much more. Free parking and entrance is in rear of building. This event is part of a citywide holiday celebration. #47

Wild Game Dinner

Dec. 5: The Kent City American Legion Post 123, 14111 Ball Creek Ave., Kent City, is holding a Wild Game Dinner on Saturday, December 5th starting at 5 pm with hors d’oeuvres, supper at 6 pm. Cost is $10.00. Various items will be raffled, including a Mossberg Patriot SSL with scope and 50/50s. Need not be present to win. Come enjoy good food and support the Legion. The public is welcome. License #R34380. #47

CS All Night Party Night with the Griffins

Dec. 19: Join the Griffins and Cedar Springs Senior All Night Party at the Griffins LEGO Night game on Saturday, December 19th at 7 pm at Van Andel Arena. Members of the Senior All Night Party will be selling Throw for Dough pucks on the concourse until the middle of the 2nd period. Tickets are $15 in the Upper Level and proceeds support the Cedar Springs Senior All Night Party. Tickets must be ordered by December 8th. For questions, please contact Lindsay Wolfarth – lwolfarth23@gmail.com – 616-255-4055. #47,48p

Winter Break Day Camp

Dec. 21-23 & 28-31: Send the Kids to day camp at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16190 Red Pine Drive, Kent City, during the Holiday Break. Program runs the duration of the two week break (no camp on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day). Multiple curriculums will be covered from crafts to animal interactions and showshoeing and ice skating (weather permitting). Make gifts and Christmas decorations, enjoy the fireplace and hot cocoa! $55 per child 5 and over (all 7 days of the program). Bring a sack lunch (cocoa will be provided). Register online www.HowardChristensen.org or call the office 616-675-3158. All camps require 9 students minimum to be held. #47

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Man dies in crash with semi

N-Fatal-crash1-woodtv

A Greenville man was killed Monday when his vehicle crossed into the path of a semi on 14 Mile Road, west of Northland Drive. Photo from woodtv.com.

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

A Greenville man died on Monday, November 16, after his vehicle collided with a semi truck in Algoma Township.

According to the Michigan State Police Rockford Post, Jimmy Lee King, 35, of Greenville, was driving westbound on 14 Mile Road, west of Northland Drive, when his vehicle crossed into the path of an eastbound tractor trailer early Monday afternoon.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured.

Algoma Township Fire and Rescue, Rockford EMS, and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department all assisted MSP at the scene.

King is survived by his wife, Shawn, and their two children, Daylyn and Landon, of Greenville. Visitation with the family is from 12-1 p.m. Saturday at Christiansen Cremation Funeral Care, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville, with a memorial service immediately following.

 

 

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Cedar Springs grad shot and killed

Rebecca Sisk Diaz was shot and killed Sunday, November 8. Her husband, Humberto Diaz, has been charged in her death.

Rebecca Sisk Diaz was shot and killed Sunday, November 8. Her husband, Humberto Diaz, has been charged in her death.

Husband charged in her death

Humberto Diaz

Humberto Diaz

The husband of a 2007 Cedar Springs graduate has been charged with first-degree murder in her death and is being held without bond in the Oklahoma County jail in Oklahoma City.

Rebecca Sisk Diaz, 26, was shot and killed on Sunday, November 8, about 5:48 p.m. in the far southeast part of Oklahoma City, where she lived with her husband, Humberto Diaz, 30. Oklahoma City police officers and Oklahoma County Sheriff deputies responded to a 911 call, reportedly from the husband, saying he had shot his wife.

Police found her dead in their home.

According to an interview that Rebecca’s mother, Debra Sisk, gave to News9 in Oklahoma, she had spoken with her daughter earlier that afternoon, and Rebecca reportedly told her mother that she had to leave her husband, because of his abuse.

Neighbors later reportedly heard the couple arguing.

According to the News9 article, Rebecca also has four children that were removed from the home in August due to Humberto Diaz waving a gun around and making threats.

Rebecca’s family and friends created a gofundme page to raise money to bring her back home to Michigan to be buried. Visitation will be Saturday, November 21, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 at Arsulowicz Brothers East Mortuary, 937 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, with a service to follow at 2 p.m.

To see how you can help Rebecca’s family, visit her gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/ex9hhndg.

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Police officers honored 

Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit, was presented with a shield of faith by Randy Badge (right), with the Men of Honor program. Photo by T. Bauer.

Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit, was presented with a shield of faith by Randy Badge (right), with the Men of Honor program. Photo by T. Bauer.

By Tim Bauer

On Thursday, November 12, Sgt. Jason Kelley, who is stationed in Cedar Springs with the Kent County Sheriff Department, attended an after school program to speak to a group of our middle school young men about courage. The program, headed up by Randy Badge, is called Men of Honor. (There is also a Ladies of Honor program). It focuses on reviving chivalry, honor, courageous leadership, and moral excellence in the next generation, by utilizing a three-pronged strategy of camps, conferences and curriculum. The group wanted to honor our local police officers for their selfless service within the greater Cedar Springs area. By putting into action what they have been taught, the group hopes that other communities will hear about this and do the same thing.

A Shield of Faith was presented to Sgt. Kelley, and the rest of the officers stationed in our city, as a token of appreciation for their daily commitment to protect the citizens of our community. Badge, a teacher at Cedar Springs High School, believes in the vital importance of teaching timeless principles of integrity and character in those who will become our next generation of leaders. Thank you Randy Badge and Sergeant Kelley for your invaluable service to our community. The citizens of Cedar Springs salute you!

To find out more go to http://themenofhonor.org/.

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