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Archive | Church Connection

Living Unafraid

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

In the late 1800s, an outlaw began burglarizing the Wells Fargo stage coach line. The bandit would wait in a narrow pass, and at just the right moment, would emerge dressed in black, a hood over his head and brandishing a double-barreled shotgun. To match his appearance, he had a deep baritone voice that caused his victims to melt with fear. This terrifying gentleman bandit was nicknamed “Black Bart.”

Wells Fargo finally arrested him in an extravagant apartment in San Francisco. When they removed his dark, menacing hood, Black Bart was not seven feet tall, like some of the witnesses had claimed. He was not young and rugged. He wasn’t a bloodthirsty bandit.

He was Charles Boles, a handsome, well-educated, sixty-year-old clerk too timid to ride a horse or load his gun. Black Bart used the most effective and crippling weapon in his arsenal: Fear. But when unmasked, he was nothing people said he was. He was just an unarmed, deep, shadowy voice in a dark empty suit.

I’m not naive; the world around us is dangerous. Yet, the living Christ has shown this world for what it is: Powerless against those who are in him. This doesn’t mean the world will not hurt us. It does not mean that some of the things we fear won’t take place. It simply means that nothing in this world can finally or completely destroy us.

Imagine that your life is a chess match or a football game, if you like. There comes a point in any such game, as C.S. Lewis pointed out, where the decisive move is made. Yes, the game continues, but it might as well be over, as the final outcome has been determined.

The decisive move in God’s universe came at the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Yes, life goes on. We struggle. We suffer. We wrestle with our phobias and try to keep our fears at bay. But we have hope—not fantasies that the world isn’t the way it actually is—but assurance that Christ has overcome the world, leaving so much that would terrify us as an empty threat.

In these perilous times, we do not have to lose our heads. The power we have been given and the love we have been shown flows from the Providence who is larger than our fears, and when we live in Him, we can live unafraid.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

 

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ROBERT ALLEN JOHNSON

 

Robert Allen Johnson, 76, passed away peacefully in his sleep early Thursday, June 25, 2015. Bob was born January 28, 1939. Bob lived most of his life as a resident of Courtland Township. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1957. He retired in 1992 after 30 years at General Motors Fisher Body plant on 36th Street. He loved farming and his family. Bob had a stroke in January, 2000. Although life was never easy after that, he always had a smile on his face. He was the kindest and gentlest person you would ever meet who cared deeply about others. He was preceded in death in 1997 by his father, Wesley. He is survived by his mother, Elna, whom he loved dearly. She was his primary caretaker. He is also survived by his children; Bob and Paula Johnson, Tim Johnson and Kathy Kay, and Kathy and Ken Coleman. Bob has three grandchildren, Ryan Coleman, Kate Coleman and Logan Armstrong. He is also survived by his sisters Joyce and Dick Kastas and Judy and Jim Idziak and their families. The family thanks the Green Acres of Standale family who took care of dad the last few months of his life. And also the Porter Hills home health care nurses who took care of dad at home before Green Acres. The family greeted friends on Sunday, June 28 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where services were held Monday, June 29. Pastor Robert Eckert officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Paws With A Cause, 4646 Division St, Wayland, MI 49348.

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

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PETER NAFFZIGER

 

In loving memory of our dear father and grandfather, Peter Naffziger, who passed away 49 years ago July 5, 1966.

As long as hearts remember,

As long as hearts still care,

We never part with those we love,

They are with us everywhere.

Sadly missed by

Children and Grandchildren

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ALTON & IRENE WHITE

 

In loving memory of our dear father, Alton White who passed away 50 years ago June 14, 1965, our dear mother, Irene White, who passed away 40 years ago July 10, 1975.

We cannot bring back the good old days,

Your hand we cannot touch,

But we will never lose the memories of you

We loved so much

Sadly missed  by

Roger & Diane White

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Robert Allen Johnson

Robert Allen Johnson, 76, passed away peacefully in his sleep early Thursday, June 25, 2015.  Bob was born January 28, 1939.  Bob lived most of his life as a resident of Courtland Township.  He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1957.  He retired in 1992 after 30 years at General Motors Fisher Body plant on 36th Street.   He loved farming and his family.  Bob had a stroke in January, 2000.  Although life was never easy after that, he always had a smile on his face.  He was the kindest and gentlest person you would ever meet who cared deeply about others.   He was preceded in death in 1997 by his father, Wesley.   He is survived by his mother, Elna, whom he loved dearly.  She was his primary caretaker.   He is also survived by his children, Bob and Paula Johnson, Tim Johnson and Kathy Kay, and Kathy and Ken Coleman.  Bob has three grandchildren, Ryan Coleman, Kate Coleman and Logan Armstrong.  He is also survived by his sisters Joyce and Dick Kastas and Judy and Jim Idziak and their families. The family thanks the Green Acres of Standale family who took care of dad the last few months of his life.  And also the Porter Hills home health care nurses who took care of dad at home before Green Acres.  The family greeted friends on Sunday, June 28 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where services will be held Monday, June 29. Pastor Robert Eckert officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Paws With A Cause, 4646 Division St, Wayland, MI 49348.

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

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Two state-record fish caught in West Michigan

White Perch Record: This 2-pound white perch was caught by Cindy Lou Cordo, of North Muskegon, on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) this spring.



White Perch Record: This 2-pound white perch was caught by Cindy Lou Cordo, of North Muskegon, on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) this spring.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed two new state-record fish for black buffalo and white perch. This marks the second and third state-record fish caught in 2015.

The state record for black buffalo was broken by a fish caught by Sage Colegrove of Muskegon on the Grand River in Ottawa County Sunday, April 12, at 1 a.m. Colegrove was bowfishing. The fish weighed 44.54 pounds and measured 38.50 inches.

The record was verified by Rich O’Neal, a DNR fisheries biologist in Muskegon.

Black Buffalo Record: Sage Colegrove (right) holds on to his new state-record black buffalo, with help from friend Richard Laing (left). The 44.54-pounder was caught on the Grand River in Ottawa County.

Black Buffalo Record: Sage Colegrove (right) holds on to his new state-record black buffalo, with help from friend Richard Laing (left). The 44.54-pounder was caught on the Grand River in Ottawa County.

The previous state-record black buffalo was caught by Joshua Teunis on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) June 15, 2014. That fish weighed 41.25 pounds and measured 38.25 inches.

The state record for white perch was broken by a fish caught by Cindy Lou Cordo of North Muskegon on Bear Lake in Muskegon County Saturday, April 18, at 4:30 p.m. Cordo was baitcasting with a spinner. The fish weighed 2.0 pounds and measured 13.57 inches.

The record again was verified by Rich O’Neal.

The previous state-record white perch was caught by Aaron Slagh on Muskegon Lake (Muskegon County) Jan. 21, 2014. That fish weighed 1.93 pounds and measured 13.25 inches.

State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

For more information on fishing in Michigan – including a roster of state-record catches, visit Michigan.gov/fishing.

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Fire Scarred

First-Baptist-church-currenPastor Jim Howard

First Baptist Church

233 S. Main, Cedar Springs

 

Some years ago, it was my privilege and joy to vacation in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming. As we traveled and marveled at God’s handiwork around us, I couldn’t help but notice the ravages of the forest fires that plagued the west.

As we moved through South Dakota and Wyoming, we witnessed firsthand two forest fires, one in each state. As we moved northward, away from one of the fires, and stopped in Casper for the night, we could still see the smoke, from fires hundreds of miles away. And then, while we visited Yellowstone National Park, the burned over ground from some years ago was still evidenced by the charred and fallen trees.

These sights were sobering in terms of what fire can do to the countryside.  The more I thought about it, the more it reminded me of the seared condition of the human heart. God tells us that the human heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). Paul tells us of the “seared conscience” in 1 Timothy 4:2. Sin has a way of disrupting, undermining and destroying relationships, and even ourselves.

God in heaven is very much aware of what sin has done, namely, to separate humanity from Himself. Because of His love for humanity and desire to reconcile man to Himself, God has provided a means of reconciliation. John the Baptist looked up and saw Jesus coming and told those around him, “behold the lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.”  (Jn. 1:29, NKJ) Paul shared with the Roman church, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9, ESV)  And Dr. Luke tells us in Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (ESV)

While I once looked with wonder at the Rockies, I now look at a child of God with Awe!  The miracle of creation is beyond description but the miracle of salvation is out of this world!

The burned over areas of Yellowstone are now growing and teaming with life once again. The scarred trunks of trees stand in mute testimony of the fire that once ravaged the land. A born again child of God will often stand in mute testimony of what our God can do. We may be scarred on the outside, but there is most definitely new life on the inside. Do you need this new life? Have you been ravaged by the sin of this world? Are you looking for something or someone who can and will make a difference in your life? Then, give yourself to Jesus Christ today—don’t delay!

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JOHN & KATHERYN ROGALEWSKI

50th wedding anniversary

25C-anniv-RogalewskiJohn and Katheryn Rogalewski

John and Katheryn (Bryant) Rogalewski, formerly of Sand Lake, are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on June 26, 2015. They were married in 1965 at Huggard Bible Church. They have been blessed with three daughters; Karol and Tom Niederer of Newaygo, Kimberly and Lee Olsen of Howard City, and Kristine and Tom Mayo of San Diego. They have four grandchildren; Hunter, Karlee, Paige and Colin. They plan to observe their special day with a dinner and immediate family. They are also celebrating with an Alaskan Cruise to commemorate their five decades together.

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RON & JOAN RYKERT

60th Anniversary

RON & JOAN RYKERT

Ron and Joan (Yanke) Rykert were married on July 9, 1955 in Amble, Michigan. They have lived in Cedar Springs for over 30 years. They have been blessed with four children, eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren. A 60th Anniversary “Open House” will be held in their honor on Sunday, July 12th from 2 to 4 pm at the Courtland Township Hall, 7450 -14 Mile Rd. NE, Rockford, Michigan. Stop by and say Hi!

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REV. KENNETH E. CURTIS

C-MEM-CURTIS

Rev. Kenneth E. Curtis passed away June 27, 2005.

You spoke to your community and your family every Sunday from  the pulpit and throughout the week, you were there – involved, visible. Even when you retired from “active ministry” and became a full-time grandpa, you were there for us. It’s been a decade without you in our sights, nor have we heard your voice and yet we do hear that voice in our hearts. It speaks of the strength of family and in our God – that He will never forsake us, nor give us more than we can handle. Yes, there have been times we could have used your gentle reminders,we are left here human after all. Thank you for sharing, your time and being an inspiration to us and your community.

We love and miss you,

Ken, Andrew, Kaitlyn, Curtis

Mary and Merrill Barrett

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