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Archive | March, 2018

Amazing hope

Pastor Inge Whittemore

East Nelson Church

9024 18 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

 

Easter is coming! I remember looking forward to it as a kid because it meant Easter baskets, candy, those little fluffy yellow chicks with wire legs and feet, and then there were the marshmallow peeps–yum! That’s what Easter meant to me even though I was a life-long church going kid.

That’s because the story of Jesus rising from the dead was way too difficult to wrap my mind around. I didn’t really even understand death since I didn’t know anyone who had died. 

Now, I’m a whole lot older and have lived through many things. I understand the finality of death and the amazing hope found in the resurrection of Jesus. Why? Because I no longer feel condemned by the things (sins) I’ve done. I can live without regrets and guilt because Jesus handled it! Those things are behind me, gone, wiped out, buried and forgotten by God because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  

I know that God will provide. Any doubts I have I can bring to God. I can bring them to God and I don’t need to be afraid because God has shown amazing compassion to even those who really doubted (think Job or Thomas, who even required that Jesus show his hands and feet). If God loved those big doubters, He will surely love me.

I also know that I have a peace that has overcome the fears I’ve had. I know that my redeemer lives and because of that all my fear is replaced with awe, wonder and faith. I know that I can pray and I will be heard by a God who is so loving that he gave his only son for me. When I struggle, Jesus knows what that’s all about because he lived a human life and when I bring those struggles to him he gives me peace through the Holy Spirit.

See, if you are struggling, feeling overwhelmed, worried or fearful please understand that Jesus knows your heart and wants to step into it and conquer those difficult feelings. He creates a new heart and continues to work inside of each of us. We are new creations because of Jesus.  

That’s why Easter is exciting!

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RICHARD D. TOMPKINS

Richard D. Tompkins, 65 of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at home surrounded by his family. Mr. Tompkins was born September 11, 1952 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the son of Richard and Barbara (Knoll) Tompkins. He enjoyed gardening, his tractors, hunting in the U.P., and hanging out with his brothers. He loved his grandkids and was known as grandpa candy. Surviving are his wife, Shirley (Miller); children, Brooke Scott & Marshall Dillon, Brian (Kelly) Tompkins, Bridget (Jeff) Johnson; grandchildren, Elly (Cody), Emma, Etta, Nick, JR, Ainsley, Autumn, Peter, Jase, Zach, Gracie, Abby; mother, Barbara Tompkins; sisters, Cheryl (Alfred) Dines, Nancy (Rocke) Pennington, Susie (Tim) Price; brothers, Jim (Patty) Tompkins, Ray (Yukiko) Tompkins, John (Denise) Tompkins; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father and in-laws, Jarvis and Gladys Miller. The family will greet friends Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until time of service at 1:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation.

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

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AUDREY E. EARHART

Audrey E. Earhart, 89 of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at her home. Audrey was born February 26, 1929 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Edward and Letha (Kesler) Weaver. She graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1945 and served her country in the Women’s Army Corps during the Korean War. She worked at the General Motors Alpine Avenue Plant for 30 years retiring in 1989. Surviving are a sister, Lily Fisher; brother-in-law, Edward Earhart; nieces, Jeanne Fisher, Susan Hood and Janie Ream; nephews, Edward Fisher and Greg Earhart; many great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Ray in 1998; a brother Cedric Weaver and a very special nephew, Joe Fisher. A graveside service with military honors will be held Friday 11:00 a.m. at Greenwood Cemetery, Grand Rapids. 

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

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BURDETTE “BURLEY” HELENIUS

Burdette “Burley” Helenius passed away peacefully on March 24, 2018 after a lengthy illness. He was born October 4, 1946 in Grand Rapids to William and Ardella (Opperman) Helenius. He worked for General Motors for 36 years as a welder maintenance leader and was a skilled tradesman at heart. He was a veteran of United States Air Force and served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1967. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved nothing more than being out in the woods hunting or being in his boat, on the ice, or in the river fishing. He loved playing tennis, going bowling, and watching baseball and football. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne; his sons, Laars Helenius and Kyle (Dana) Helenius; his brother, Sidney (Nancy) Helenius; his step-siblings, Randy (Gloria) Crump, Diane (Walt) Dunbar, and Donna Korstange; six grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, step-father, Ralph Crump; sister, Vawn Punches; step-sister, Linda Crump. The family met with friends Wednesday, March 28 at Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where a memorial service is being held Thursday, March 29. Pastor Bruce Wilson officiating. Interment Rosedale Memorial Park. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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

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LYLE J. SIPPLE

Lyle J. Sipple of Cedar Springs, Michigan, age 88, passed away on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. He was born to Lyle Sr. and Ila (Kirby) Sipple on December 21, 1929, in Cedar Springs, Michigan. Lyle’s passion in life was working 46 years with Wolverine World Wide. He enjoyed MSU sports, the Detroit Tigers, investing in the stock market, traveling, his dog Bailey, listening to country western music, and mowing the lawn. Lyle is survived by his sister, Gerry Gorby; children, Jim Sipple, Marie Schwab, George Drye; grandchildren, Eric Schwab, Marcie Schwab and Kevin Graw, April Hirdes, Nick and Tiffany Drye, McKenzie Drye, Heath Drye, Jared and Susanna Drye, Derek and Ashley Drye, Joe and Sydney Drye; great-grandchildren, Marlene Grace and Austin James; dog, Gigi. A time of visitation was held on Friday, March 23, 2018, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The memorial service for Lyle was celebrated on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at Rockford United Methodist Church, 159 Maple St., Rockford, MI 49341. Pastor Ken Bremer officiated. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to, Make A Wish Michigan -7600 Grand River Ave. Ste 175, Brighton, MI 48114, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital- 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or Shriners- Office of Development, Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford 

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HARRY ROBERT ROSS SR.

HARRY ROBERT ROSS SR.

May 17, 1938 – March 15, 2018

Sparta, MI

Surrounded by his loving family, the weakened and suffering body of Harry Robert Ross Sr. went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, March 15, 2018. He was born on May 17, 1938 to Rolland and Leafa Ross of Comstock Park, Michigan. He will be greatly missed and is survived by his four children, Treasa Ross-Anible (Dave), Harry (Rob) Robert Ross Jr. (Lisa), Dean Ross (Vicki), Carla Ploegstra (Kelvin). He had 11 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Harry was preceded in death by his sister Ina Mae of Muskegon, brother Donald Ross of Comstock Park. A private celebration of life is being held for the family. 

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50th Anniversary

 

JOHN & GAIL (CHILES) MEEUWES

of Sand Lake are 

celebrating 50 years 

of marriage

March 29, 2018

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ROBERT HIBBARD

ROBERT HIBBARD

September 1, 1936 to March 28, 2007

Yesterday was the day 

Eleven years ago,

You left this world,

The greatest sorrow we have known.

Father, we know you’re watching,

We know you’re looking down,

We know that every day,

You are always around.

Love your family,

Pat, Jennie, Bobby, Kathy, Theresa, Denise, Shell & Mike

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Tax-time tips in the final stretch of the tax season

(BPT) – The April 17 tax filing deadline is quickly approaching. While many are excited about the possibility of a tax refund, nearly 1 in 3 taxpayers waits until April to file their return. Whether filing online or meeting with a tax professional, H&R Block shares three tips to help make the final stretch of the tax season less daunting.

1. Get organized

Keeping good records is the foundation for everything else because you can’t deduct what you haven’t documented. Take the time to complete a paper chase and find all tax and financial documents and related information needed to file a tax return. It may be easier to use a customized tax preparation checklist to help you make sure you aren’t missing important documents. Missing tax documents can lead to missing out on tax benefits you are entitled to claim.

Consider starting with your previous year tax return, then track all income and receipts, and finally document each. After that, separate business-only bank accounts and credit cards to make it easier to keep good records and file accurate tax returns. Remember to secure paper and digital records in a safe place like MyBlock, and make sure you back them up too.

2. Don’t overlook credits and deductions

The tax refund is the single largest financial transaction many taxpayers will have in a year. The stakes can be high and mistakes can be costly, especially when it comes to life changes – getting married, having a baby, buying or selling a home, sending a child off to college or retiring. Not understanding how these life changes can impact your return causes many taxpayers to make mistakes and leave money on the table. In fact, the IRS announces annually that approximately $1 billion goes unclaimed in federal tax refunds.

Most taxpayers file their taxes using the standard deduction, but you may be eligible for a variety of deductions or credits that could possibly save you more, including:

* Education benefits: Federal tax credits can help offset the costs of higher education for yourself or your dependents – depending on your academic program, what year the student is in, etc. To qualify, you must pay for post-secondary tuition and fees for yourself, your spouse or your dependent.

* Earned Income Tax Credit for lower-income workers: Twenty percent of eligible taxpayers, particularly lower-income workers, do not claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Keep in mind that eligibility may fluctuate based on financial, marital and parental status, which may cause taxpayers to be ineligible one year, but eligible the next. Also, people tend to overlook the EITC because they may not earn enough income to have to file a return. Remember that the EITC is a refundable credit, so even those who don’t need to file a return can still claim the credit.

* Itemizing deductions: Itemizing can save taxpayers hundreds of dollars, as only 1 in 3 taxpayers itemize, but millions more should. Owning a home is often the key that unlocks itemization, but some taxpayers with high state taxes and charitable contributions may also be able to itemize.

3. Avoid common filing pitfalls 

Selecting the wrong filing status can affect which credits and deductions you are eligible for, the value of your standard deduction and your tax bracket. In addition, common clerical errors such as mixing up names, forgetting to include information reported on your W-2, 1099 or other forms, or even making mathematical errors can also affect your tax benefits.

Not filing at all is even worse – as the penalty for not filing a tax return is 10 times greater than the penalty for not paying in full. The best way to avoid this penalty, which could add up to 25 percent to your tax bill, is to file a completed tax return or apply for an extension. An extension to file is not an extension to pay any taxes you might owe. To avoid a penalty, you will need to estimate what you owe and pay at least 90 percent by April 17.

To ensure you get the maximum refund without delay this year, or if you find yourself filing incorrectly, visit hrblock.com for more information, to make an appointment with a tax professional or to start your own tax return online for free.

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Withholding calculator reflects changes in new tax law

 

To help taxpayers, the IRS updated the special Withholding Calculator tool on IRS.gov to reflect changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December.

With most employees seeing withholding changes in their paychecks, the IRS recommends taxpayers use the Withholding Calculator to do a “paycheck checkup.” This will help taxpayers check that they are having the correct amount of income tax withheld from their paychecks.

Doing a checkup can help protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time in 2019. Some taxpayers might prefer to have less tax withheld up front and receive more in their paychecks, which would reduce their tax refund next year.

The IRS encourages everyone to check their withholding as soon as possible, but it’s especially important for these people to use the Withholding Calculator to make sure they have the right amount of tax withheld:

  • Two-income families
  • People with two or more jobs at the same time or who only work for part of the year
  • People who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit
  • People who claim older dependents, including children age 17 or over
  • People who itemized deductions in 2017
  • People with high incomes and more complex tax returns
  • People with large tax refunds or large tax bills for 2017

Remember, the Withholding Calculator does not ask the user for personally identifiable information, such as name, social security number, address, or bank account numbers. The IRS does not save or record the information the taxpayer enters in the calculator.

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