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Archive | Church Connection

The Trick to the Treats

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

That faint noise you hear is the sound of pint-sized spooks gathering on your lawn. They will soon be knocking at the door, plastic pumpkins outstretched. Spare yourself the tricks and give up the treats – the unhealthy, sweet, nougat-filled goodies in your cupboard. Keep your stinking apples, raisins, toothbrushes, and granola bars. In a few short years the tykes will have to turn in their costumes, so don’t deprive them of this rite of childhood passage.

This doesn’t mean adults don’t get in on the fun. Americans spend nearly $3 billion each Halloween, not on adorning their children for the festivities, but on themselves. Adults love to play dress-up, it would appear, and not just in October.

We all hide behind masks, masks we have worn for so long, we forget the real person who lurks beneath. We so over-identify with our dress-up characters, that is the roles we play in life, that when the roles change—and they will change—we experience miserable frustration.

One Halloween my son dressed as the cartoon spaceman Buzz Lightyear for Halloween. It was fun—“To infinity and beyond!”—and that’s how long I thought the boy would wear the costume. In his mind, this wasn’t a temporary role he was playing. Buzz Lightyear was who he really was. Every time he had to lay aside his costume, it was the proverbial end of the world with weeping and gnashing of teeth. It was as if he was losing himself, as if he couldn’t live apart from that imaginary facade. Of course the real him was beneath that rayon spacesuit—everybody knew it—except him.

This is a common affliction. We build dramatic images of ourselves, who we think we are, who we should be, what we should accomplish, and once constructed, these have to be maintained and protected. We never let a tear or a crack show in our veneer, and the mask to which we cling slowly becomes a prison. We go through life kicking and screaming every time a perceived threat begins to pull at the hem of our make-believe cape.

Here’s a better way: Fulfill the roles that God, fate, or life has assigned to you. Fulfill them with gusto. But never accept the masks you must wear as a substitute for the person you really are; that’s the trick to a sweet life.

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

 

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JOHN J. GOLLER

C-obit-GollerMr. John J. Goller, aged 89, formerly of Rockford passed away Friday October 17, 2014. He was born June 16, 1925 in Solon Township, attended the former Briggs School and Cedar Springs High School. During WW II he served with the 35th Division, US Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church, V.F.W. Post 3946 and Glenn Hill American Legion Post 287. Surviving are his wife Peggy; his sons and their wives John M. (Debra) Goller and David (Deborah) Goller; his grandchildren Andrea (Erich) Staman, Lynee’ (Pete) Buhl, Aelise Goller, Amy (Steve) VanBeekom, John D. Goller, Kathleen Goller; he was preceded in death by two brothers and one sister. Funeral services for Mr. Goller were held on Tuesday October 21, 2014 at 11:00 am in the Rockford United Methodist Church. Visitation was held on Monday, October 20th from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Pederson Funeral Home. Those desiring an expression of sympathy are asked to consider with the Rockford United Methodist Church or the Michigan Home for Veteran’s, 3000 Monroe N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home

www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

 

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Thank You

I want to thank all my friends, neighbors and loved ones for all the acts of kindness shown me since my surgery and the complications caused by it; for all the calls, cards, food, visits, etc. I especially thank Helene for caring for my flowers and my family for their loving care. It meant everything to me.

God bless you all!

Joan Wainright

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John J. Goller

GOLLER,  Mr. John J. Goller, aged 89 formerly of Rockford passed away Friday October 17, 2014.  He was born June 16, 1925 in Solon Township, attended the former Briggs School and Cedar Springs High School.  During WW II he served with the 35th Division, US Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  He was a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church, V.F.W. Post 3946 and Glenn Hill American Legion Post 287.  Surviving are his wife Peggy; his sons and their wives John M. (Debra) Goller and David (Deborah) Goller; his grandchildren Andrea (Erich) Staman, Lynee’ (Pete) Buhl, Aelise Goller, Amy (Steve) VanBeekom, John D. Goller, Kathleen Goller; he was preceded in death by two brothers and 1 sister. Funeral services for Mr. Goller will be held on Tuesday October 21, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. in the Rockford United Methodist Church.  There will be a time of visitation on Monday, October 20th from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home.  Those desiring an expression of sympathy are asked to consider with the Rockford United Methodist Church or the Michigan Home for Veteran’s, 3000 Monroe N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home

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Maurice Fay Carr

Mr. Maurice Fay Carr, aged 63 of rural Howard City, Ensley Township passed away Monday, October 13, 2014. Maurice was born September 4, 1951 to Archie Owen and Bernetta Jane (Pickard) Carr in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He enjoyed anything to do with the outdoors especially fishing.  One of his greatest joys was to watch his grandchildren play sports such as football and wrestling.  He was retired from Keeler Brass but kept busy doing side jobs as a handyman/construction worker. Maurice was preceded in death by his father and mother.   He is survived by his sons Roger (Carrie) Carr and Dennis (Julie) Carr; a daughter Mollie (Ron) Spencer; 10 grandchildren; a brother Rodger (Mary) Carr; sister Genevieve Ogg.  Also surviving are his significant other Judy Bratcher and her family who Maurice treated as his own.  Private services will be held.

 

Pederson Funeral Home www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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CHARLES V. DUBRIDGE

C-obit-dubridge-webCharles V. Dubridge 85, of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at home with his family by his side. Charles was born July 21, 1929 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Henry and Mildred (Loree) Dubridge. He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II and had been a draftsman at Fridgidaire in Greenville, retiring in 1990. His family was very important to him and he was a great father and grandfather. Surviving are his children, Wanda (Roger) Kleinjans, Tom (Char) Dubridge, Chuck (Linda) Dubridge, Rob (Angel) Dubridge; daughter-in-law, Ellen Grifhorst; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; brothers, Robert (Bonnie) Dubridge, Leon (Helen) Dubridge; sister, Nyra Goetzel; sister-in-law, Dorothy Dubridge; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Evah in 2003; brothers, Harry, Lynn, Don and Flinton; sister, Lucy Vidro. The family will greet friends Thursday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where a Rosary will be recited at 7:30 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday 11:00 am at St. John Paul II Church, Cedar Springs. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment with military honors will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sand Lake. Memorial contributions may be made to Gentiva Hospice, 2221 Health Dr. SW, Wyoming, MI 49519.

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

 

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OTTO J. FORD

C-obit-Ford-webOtto J. Ford 91, of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, October 12, 2014 at Lincoln Square Assisted Living, Grand Rapids. Otto was born May 18, 1923 in Quincy, Michigan, the son of Cecil and Luella (Newberry) Ford. He served in the U.S. Army, in the Pacific Theater, during World War II and was a member of the Cedar Springs American Legion. Following the war he came back to Cedar Springs and worked in his father’s gas station on Main Street. He also had been an auto mechanic for Jack Hough Ford and later worked on the grounds crew at the Grand Rapids Golf Club. Surviving are his wife, Winifred, whom he married on August 14, 1971; stepsons, Dean and Deb Parker, Dale and Jeny Ransom; grandchildren, Amy Ransom and Dana Aspinall, Jason and Cyndi Parker, Rick and Rene` Martin, Julie and Bob Robinson, Jeremy and Haley Parker; 9 great-grandchildren; sister, Greta Ackerly; sister-in-law, Inez Ford; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Lloyd and sister, Marjorie. The family will greet friends Friday, October 17 from 1:00 pm until time of service at 2:00 pm at Mamrelund Lutheran Church, Kent City. Pastor Leonard Dahlgren officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Mamrelund Lutheran Food Pantry.

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

 

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Barry W. Harrold

C-obit-Harrold-webBarry W. Harrold 71, of Cedar Springs, surrounded by family went to be with our Lord, Thursday, October 9, 2014. Barry was born August 5, 1943 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the son of George and Lillian (Laski) Harrold. He served his country for 6 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, stationed in Sault Ste. Marie. There he met and married Phyllis, his loving wife of 51 years. He retired from Old Orchard Brands in Sparta, Michigan. Barry was a kind and generous man, who gave freely of himself to others. His wonderful charm was admired and appreciated by all who knew and loved him. Surviving are his wife, Phyllis (Kravis); children, Darren (Wendy) Harrold, Kelly (David) Kivell, Faith “Georgie” (Steve) Beeman, Rebecca (Isaac) Mallory; seven grandchildren; sister, Jackie (Tom) Gibbs. He was preceded in death by his parents. The family greeted friends from 1:00 pm until time of Memorial Mass Monday, October 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm at Our Lady of Consolation, Rockford. Rev. Fr. Tony Russo presiding.

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

 

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DONALD TIBBE

41-C-Mem-Tibbe-web

October 15, 2003

 

I pray you’ll be our eyes,

And watch us where we go.

I pray we’ll find your light

And Hold it in our hearts.

Help us find a place,

Guide us with your grace,

Give us faith so we’ll be safe.

Sadly missed by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

 

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Peanut butter pews

Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes  

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

Over the years, I have had the privilege of being used by God to help many people, marriages, and families through some very hard seasons in their lives. Too often, people get stuck in a bad place and really struggle to find a way out. In many cases, some have resigned themselves to give up, believing there is no hope.

As a pastor, my calling is to point them to the hope—Jesus Christ—who is the hope of the world! There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain and restore hope to those who seem stuck in a bad place. Each new assignment brings its own challenges, but none that God can’t handle, for those who will trust him with the outcome in every situation.

As I was preparing my most favorite sandwich in the whole wide world (Jif peanut butter and almost any flavor of jelly), I was meditating on one of the most recent victories. I was in awe of God, praising Him for His power and thanking Him for trusting me with His precious child. I am amazed yet again of His amazing power to transform relationships for His glory.

The peanut butter on my sandwiches is always quite thick (yum) and I dropped the knife in the middle of the peanut butter and it stuck there. I got the knife out and cleaned the peanut butter off, then the lid to the jelly dropped on the peanut butter and stuck there. My thoughts went to—“hmm, I would like to get stuck in a sea of peanut butter.” Then I was reminded of how often we can get stuck in a good place, too!

We can get so comfortable in our peanut butter pews that we don’t want to go out and reach those who are lost or hurt, depressed, confused, or struggling in relationships, stuck in hopelessness. We can even become a hindrance to those who do. Those who won’t leave their comfort zone have lost sight of why the church exists in the first place. We dishonor God when we refuse to be used to expand His Kingdom.

When God has redeemed us and healed our broken relationships, healed our past hurts and scars, restored our dignity, and written our names in the Lamb’s book of Life, we should be so thankful that we want to help others. Just before Peter would experience the lowest point of his life thus far, Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:31-32, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Peter was stuck in the worst place of his life—betrayal of his Lord—until he remembered Jesus’ words. Jesus’ powerful words restored Peter who in turn helped restore and strengthen his brothers. Let us be found faithful to Jesus’ Great Commission to “Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19).

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