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Archive | Church Connection

God’s Christmas List

Pilgrim-Bible-webBy Rev. Mike Shiery

Pilgrim Bible Church

West Pine Street • Cedar Springs

 

“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) (NKJV)

The Advent and Christmas season is one of the most blessed times of the year. As we celebrate the arrival of Heaven’s Christmas Gift, we exchange gifts with those we love. If we are honest, most of us would admit that there is a list of things we would like to receive. We may not share that information with anyone, but the list does exist.

I believe that God too has a list of desires. If we were to ask Him what He wants for Christmas, I wonder what He would ask for?

Probably the first thing on God’s Christmas list would be the desire for room for His beloved Son. When Jesus came to earth some 2,000 years ago, there was no room for Him in the inn. It sometimes seems that little has changed over the centuries.

Multitudes still have no room for Jesus. He is not welcome in the classrooms of America. He is not welcome in the courtrooms of our land. He is banned from many city squares at Christmas time.

There is room for Santa Claus and his reindeer, room for Frosty the Snowman and Jack Frost, room for all kinds of traditions and legends, but in our increasingly humanistic society there s no room for the sacred Son of God. It seems to me that God would indeed wish that there was room for His Son in Christmas. After all it is His birthday that we are celebrating.

I’m not advocating that we get rid of the fun legends and traditions that accompany the Christmas season. Keep on enjoying them. But in the midst of all the fun things that we add to the celebration, keep the Reason for the celebration front and center.

God is looking for room for His Son in the heart of every human. It is time that we welcomed Christ to our world. At this festive season, open the doors of your mind and heart and let Christ come in and transform you and fill you with His joy. Then you will truly be able to sing the words Isaac Watts:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King!

Let every heart prepare Him room, 

And Heaven and nature sing.

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Abigail “Abby” Sanderson

c-obit-abby-fc

September 2007 – November 27, 2016

Abby lost her life while venturing across the street on 16 Mile Road, between Northland Dr. and White Creek, Sunday morning, November 27, 2016. She was a golden labrador that enjoyed 9 years loving her family Mike, Belinda, and Autumn Sanderson of Cedar Springs, as well as anyone who would pet her. She was a unique soul, that loved to carry your shoes for you and bring you her bowl when she was hungry. She was more than a pet, she was a family member and friend.  Our Abby Girl will be missed every day.

A graveside memorial service was held in her honor.

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DAWN R. KELLY

In Loving Memory

DAWN R. KELLY

January 30, 1965 – December 4, 2012

As I sit in heaven

And watch over you everyday,

I try to let you know with signs,

I never went away.

I hear you when you’re laughing,

And watch you when you sleep.

I even place my arms around you,

To calm you as you weep.

I see you wish the days away,

Begging to have me home.

So I try to send you signs,

So you know you’re not alone.

Don’t feel guilty that you have

Life that was denied to me.

Heaven is truly beautiful,

Just you wait and see.

So live your life, be free,

And know with every breath you take,

You’ll be taking one for me.

Loving and missing you,

Your Family

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JOE A. FISHER

 

April 16, 1950 – December 5, 2013

Always on our minds,

Forever in our hearts.

Three days, three months,

Or three years.

We miss you the same

and still shed tears.

Our hearts ache to spend one more day with you.

To hug you, kiss you, and hold you close.

Always on our minds,

Always in our hearts.

In loving memory of the wonderful Husband, Father and Grandfather you were.

With love, Jeanne and Family

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Thank you

The family of Jerry Avery would like to thank everyone for your prayers, cards, visits and kind words. Thanks for the memories.

May God bless you,

Peggy

Mike & Denise & family

Tim & Kim & family

Janet & Leon & family

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Orrin Edward Robinson, Jr.

orrin-robinson-1480070217Orrin Edward Robinson Jr., went home to his Lord and Savior Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at the age of 82. Born December 15, 1933 in Grand Rapids, Orrin was the loving son of Mary and Orrin Robinson and the eldest brother of Robert Robinson and Sharon Frederick. On June 1, 1957, Orrin married Rose Cook and they had four children of their own, Cindy, Orrin Jr. “Bud”, Mary, and Cheryl. He started work at the Kent County Road Commission, 30-plus years in over the road trucking where he formally retired in 1991. During retirement he drove school bus for Cedar Springs and then to Algoma Christian. He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs. Orrin loved meeting at Big Boy Restaurant every Wednesday morning with his nephew Eddie Cook and longtime friend Allen Beach. He loved to watch old western and war movies and NASCAR. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He was preceded in death by his mother Mary (Sadowskas) and father Orrin Robinson. Surviving is his wife of 59 years, Rose Marie (Cook) Robinson; his children, Cindy and Ken Vander Jagt, Orrin Jr. “Bud” and Melissa Robinson, Mary and Bill Blanchard, and Cheryl and Ron Karger; 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; his brother, Robert (Judy) Robinson; his sister, Sharon (Rick) Frederick; and his nieces and nephews. There will be a time of visitation with the family from 6-8 p.m. Monday, November 28, 2016 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe St., Rockford, MI 49341. Funeral services for Orrin will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at the First Baptist Church, 233 S Main, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. There will be a time of visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Rev. James Howard and Rev. Robert Smith will be officiating. Private Burial will take place afterward in Elmwood Cemetery in Cedar Springs. Memorial Contributions may be given to the American Heart Association.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home

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Unexpected Gratitude

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

The dictionary defines “thankful” as “feeling or expressing gratitude; being appreciative.” Paul tells the believers in Thessalonica that it is God’s will for us to give thanks in all circumstances. I am not sure about you, but I don’t find it that hard to be thankful when everything in life is going good, but I really struggle when life is hard to find reasons to be thankful. I believe, though, that in these tough seasons of life, that our “unexpected gratitude” is what God is really seeking, because in our thankfulness even when life is hard, God is most glorified. I have been thinking about this a lot lately as the season of Thanksgiving is upon us. My thoughts have been directed to three very distinct realities that all of God’s children can be thankful for regardless of the circumstances we are facing in our lives.

1. Our Salvation Provided through Jesus Christ. God has taken care of our greatest need. At one point we were all separated from God because of our sin and there was nothing we could do to remedy the situation. So, God stepped in and sacrificed His Son in our place so that we could have his life! No matter what is going on in our lives, this reality is secured once and for all for all those who put their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2. The Indwelling of God’s Spirit. God didn’t just come to this earth, remedy our situation, and then leave us on our own. He has promised that all those who put their faith in Jesus will receive the Holy Spirit as the seal of our salvation and the power through which we can live the life of a disciple. No matter what circumstances we are facing in life, we are promised to have the very presence of God dwelling in us to comfort us and guide us.

3. The Gift of God’s Word in our Language. There have been many attempts over the years by various enemies of the cross to destroy the Bible, but God has sovereignly overseen the preservation and protection of His Word.  As a result, we are able to have the very words of God in our language that we can run to at any time. In this Holy Book, we find everything we need pertaining to life and godliness, we find everything we need to know about God and His character, and how He lovingly cares for us.  This truly is a gift that no trial on this earth can take away from us!

As we journey through the ups and downs of this holiday season, let us not forget that regardless of what we’re going through, we have so much to be thankful for!  I pray that we will find ourselves being able to express gratitude even when life is hard because after all, it is God’s will for His children.

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Thank You

I want to thank each of my friends and family, everyone for all the caring and thoughtfulness shown me in so many ways, as I have been recovering; especially Helene, who took such beautiful care of my yard, and helped me through everything in so many ways. There are no words to express my appreciation. Love you all!

Joan Wainright

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Jane Elizabeth Thomas

c-obit-thomasJane Elizabeth (Marsh) Thomas, 81, of Bass Lake, Gowen, passed away quietly on November 17, 2016, in her home surrounded by her loving family.  She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Sylvia Mae Robinson and Walter Munson Cole; her husband of 32 years, Alvin Thomas; her beloved son, Thomas Marsh; her brothers, Waldo (Buddy) Cole, James (Pen) Cole and Robert (Pleck) Cole and her twin sister, Joanne Hysell.  She is survived by her six daughters, Vicki (Chris) Nelson, Bobbi (Doug) Bittenbender, Sandy (Steve) Pike, Linda Miller, Kimberly Brown, and Sara Ortiz; her 15 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren; and her sisters, Susan Walker and Barbara Schondelmayer.  Jane’s daughters wish to convey their sincerest appreciation to the wonderful Care Team from Kindred Hospice for the love and attention shown to their mother in her final days.  A private family memorial service will be held for Jane’s immediate family.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Jane can be made to Kindred Hospice, 625 Kenmore Ave SE, Suite 115, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49546.  Hurst Funeral Home is serving the family, and memories and messages of condolence may be shared at www.hurstfh.com.

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Jerry Lynn Avery

c-obit-averyJerry Lynn Avery, 77 of Cedar Springs went into the loving arms of his Savior on Thursday, November 17, 2016 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born March 19, 1939 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Donald and Caroline (Townes) Avery. Jerry had a thirty four year career as a police officer, serving in the Kent County Sheriff’s Department and before that, the Cedar Springs Police Department.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing, flying, bicycling and time with his grandkids. He was a member of Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church and the Northwest Soaring Club of Frankfort where he served as an instructor.  He was also a member of the Bad Bikers Bicycle Club, where he was known as the “Baddest Biker”. Surviving are his wife, Peggy (Beals) whom he married on November 12, 1957; sons, Mike (Denise) Avery, Tim (Kim) Avery; grandchildren, Sarah (Jordan) Brygal, James (Jessica) Edwards, Andy Avery, Jessica Martin, Jamie Jeffries III, Samantha Avery, Shelby Avery; 12 great grandchildren; brother, Leon (Janet) Avery. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Joe (Jean) Avery, David Avery; sister, Madeline (Stan) Piasecki. The family will greet friends Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be held Monday, Nov. 21 at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church. Pastors Bill Johnson and Chuck Smith officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the church or Faith Hospice.

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