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Archive | Church Connection


Pastor Bill Dixon

Solon Center Wesleyan Church 

15671 Algoma Ave, NE, Cedar Springs 

I can’t believe it’s a new year already. Last year flew by quickly. For some of you, last year was a great year. For others, last year was not so good. Maybe you lost your job, or had some major health issues arise. The list could go on. The point is you’re glad that last year is finally over. The good news is it’s a new year—a fresh start. Instead of talking about new year resolutions, I want to share a passage that I shared with our church this past Sunday, from Acts 2:42-47.  

The beginning of this passages starts off with these words, “They devoted themselves…” (Acts, 2:42, NIV). I want you to understand a few things: 1) The word “They” in this passage is referring to the early church, meaning, Jesus’ twelve disciples and the 3,000 plus other people who had made the decision to give their hearts to Jesus. 2) The word “Devoted,” means to be earnest towards something, to adhere closely to something. It means “exerting great effort to persist in doing something. It indicates action that is continuous and habitual” (D.L Moody). 

Now that we know what those two words mean, my question is, what were they devoted to? Luke goes on to tell us they were devoted to: 

1) The Apostles’ teaching. In other words, they were devoted to learning God’s Word. Why? They were hungry for truth. They knew that there was power in God’s word to not only transform their lives but transform others through them. 

2) They were devoted to fellowship. Meaning, they were devoted to worshiping together (Hebrews 10:25), hanging out together outside of church, and that they were devoted to being there for each other in sickness and health, and in the good and bad days. 

3) They were devoted to the breaking of bread, which refers to both celebrating the Lord’s Supper and having regular meals together. 

4) They were devoted to prayer. They were devoted to prayer because they knew that there is power in prayer. They knew that when God’s people prayed, God moved. 

5) They were devoted to being generous with their time and resources. The main reason why I believe that they were generous with their time and resources is because they realized that all that they had came from the Lord. 

6) They were devoted to living out their faith every day. It didn’t matter what others said or did to them, they were devoted to living out their faith every day in their homes, church, and out in public. They were not ashamed to be known as followers of the “Way” (Acts 9:1-2). 

Listen family, because the early church was devoted, the “Lord added to their number daily,” meaning that many more people became part of the family of God. 

If you take anything away from this short message, understand this: when Christ’s church is devoted, good things are going to happen. Good things like our relationship with the Lord and each other is going to grow deeper and stronger, and others are going to see Jesus in and through us, and by His grace, they too will put their faith and trust in Him and become part of the family of God. 

In this new year, I encourage all of us to be devoted.

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Robert J. Remer age 95 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, January 1, 2020 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. Bob was born February 1, 1924 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Donald and Inda (Powers) Remer. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II on a submarine tender in the South Pacific. He was a partner in the grain elevator in Cedar Springs and owned and operated Remer Bottled Gas. Bob was a member of the Cedar Springs Historical Society and Museum and helped to maintain the White Pine Trail. Surviving are his children, Don (Barb) Remer, Sue Brace; 5 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Donald Koster; nieces and nephew. Visitation and service was held Saturday, January 4 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs with military honors by the U.S. Navy. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

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

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In loving memory of Blanche Naffziger who passed away January 7, 1999, twenty one years ago. Nothing could be more beautiful than the memories we have of you. 

To us you were someone very special, God must have thought so too. 

The heavens now are brighter and memories grow more dear.

To our special mother, you’ll always be in our hearts forever.

Sadly missed by Children & Grandchildren

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“Where Shall We Look for Him?”

Rev. Bill Johnson

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs MI 49319

Christmas leaves too quickly for me. I want to stay in the miracle for the whole 12 days. So, I’m still wallowing in the Christmas spirit as we awaken to a new year.

In Grand Rapids during the 1960’s, there were elaborate Christmas displays in the department store windows downtown. The scenes in the windows would annually draw hundreds of young and old to peer at the fascinating, colorful decorations, adding delight for those who needed a break from battling crowds inside the stores. Those scenes came to mind as I reflected on a story in Tracks in the Straw, a collection of Christmas meditations (Ted Loder, Innisfree Press, Inc. 1985, 1997). In one intriguing story, Loder gives us a fresh perspective on the Nativity Scene. He tells of a street in South Philadelphia named Lombard Street, where homes, eateries and small shops exist side by side. In the block between 22nd and 21st streets he recalls a row house with the whole front window jammed with a manger scene. Compared to other houses on the block, at some point the residents of this house had enlarged the window to twice its original size—perhaps to accommodate this exhibit. The painted figures were about three feet tall, he says, and each figure glowed because it was lit from inside. There was a group of shepherds, three wise men, angels and assorted animals. They were all gathered around Joseph and Mary, who were side by side, looking outward, just about where an onlooker might be standing on the sidewalk. How strange! This familiar story was being given a different twist.

What were the creators of this scene trying to say? If you stayed long enough, you might figure it out. There was no manger; no infant Jesus in the scene. 

The creators of that window display were showing an atypical creche in order to make a point. The street is the manger, and if you were standing there looking into that scene, you were standing in the stable, perhaps right next to the manger itself. 

The glowing figures were looking expectantly out on the street for the Christ child, out on the street where the reality is; where the beasts are motorized, the creatures’ milk comes in cartons and plastic bottles; and the wool of sheep is woven into the suits or overcoats worn by the passersby; shepherds are sleeping on steam grates, wise men are dishing out food in soup kitchens; some folks are carrying political protest signs or joining coalitions or serving in churches, doing what they can to change things so someday there might not be homeless people or hungry children or addicted parents.

Is this a true picture of the nativity? Is this the world into which God sent the Son? Is this indeed the world that Christ came to save? Is this where, if the Christ is to be born at all today, he must be born—on Lombard Street, or Main Street, or on every street, everywhere?

On the fireplace mantel in our home, at this time of year, rests a delicate, beautifully crafted creche. Likewise, another holds center stage on the altar table in our sanctuary. This is not wrong. These silent scenes are reminders of what is precious, what is God-sent not just at Christmas, but the whole year round. And yet, the fact is that Jesus was born into conditions much like ours, where politicians argue, travelers seek shelter and children go to bed hungry. The world into which God chose to be born was, and is not made of delicate statues protected by window glass. It is the real world, a world in need of a Savior. The Good News is we live in just the right place—the perfect place—for Christ to be born once more. And we are in the manger.

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Happy 21st Birthday


January 4, 1999 – 2020

Wow, you’re 21! 

May your special day be filled with love, laughter, and great memories. You deserve to have all your dreams and wishes come true.

Always believe in yourself and aspire to be the best you can be! 

Love, Mom and Dad

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Richard M. Reed Sr.

In loving memory

Richard M. Reed Sr.

October 9, 1933-January 4, 2004

The Fallen Limb

A limb has fallen from the family tree.

I keep hearing a voice that says, “Grieve not for me.

Remember the best times, the laughter, the song. 

The good life I lived while I was strong.

Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you. 

Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through. 

My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.

Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.

Continue traditions, no matter how small.

Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls

I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.

Until the day comes we’re together again.”

Author Unknown

It’s been 16 years, but we still miss you and think of you everyday.

Love, your family

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Michael A. Smith 77 of Rockford, MI passed away, Thursday, December 26, 2019 and now resides in Heaven. Unfortunately left behind after almost 54 years is his wife, Patricia; two sons he proudly fathered, Andrew Smith of Langley, VA and Eric (Melissa) Smith of Jenison, MI; his beloved grandchildren, Alexis, Courtney, Austin and Brianna of Jenison. Preceding him in death were his twin grandbabies, Andrew and Alex Smith and parents, Russell and Eileen (Toenjes) Smith. He served two tours in Vietnam in Navy Seabees and struggled with cancer and side effects of Agent Orange. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends but will be remembered for all the ingenious ideas and inventions he was always working on. His favorite saying until the end was, “There is no such thing as can’t,” and that was the way he lived his life. If there was no path, he made one. The family greeted friends Wednesday, January 1 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was Thursday, January 2 at Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, 6727 Kuttshill Dr. NE, Rockford. Pastor Louie Konopka officiating. Interment Altona Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Blythefield Hills Baptist Church or Faith Hospice.

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

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Jerald Ray Magoon Sr.

Jerald Ray Magoon Sr., of Cedar Springs, passed away December 25, 2019.  He was born to Clare and Gerda (Gritzmaker) Magoon on August 3, 1948 in Grand Rapids, MI.

Jerald came home to the farm as number fourteen of fifteen children.  Which I am sure made life interesting to say the least.  He grew up to be an avid outdoorsman who especially enjoyed hound hunting and drowning a worm occasionally.  He enjoyed spending time with friends having a beer.  And was never caught without his trusty pack of Winstons.  Later in life, he enjoyed bird watching, observing a well arrayed flower bed with all its beautiful colors and reminiscing with friends of times gone by and telling lies about hunts of yesteryear.

Jerald is survived by his four children, Jerald Magoon Jr. (Emily), Rebecca Starr (Roy), Shaun Magoon (Tonya), and John Magoon, ten grandchildren, Jhordan Magoon, Renee Flowers (Magoon), Tyler Magoon, Jordan Caudill, Joshua Magoon, Camantha Magoon, Dakota Vanscoy, Marjorie Starr, Jason Magoon, and Olivia “Ollie” Starr; six and a bun great grandchildren; two brothers, Clare Magoon Jr., and Jim Smigiel; eight sisters, Inez Hough, Pat Seymour, Lillian Dines, Marie McClary, Betty Hilbrands, Joyce Paige; and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, John, Jim, Jerry and Carl Magoon; two sisters, Elsie Utter and Susan Porter.

There will be a time of visitation from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Friday, January 3, 2020 at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street, Rockford, MI 49341.  There will be a second visitation from 12:00 pm until 1:00 pm Saturday, January 4, 2020 with the service to immediately follow at 1:00 pm at Pierson Bible Church, 101 Grand Street, Pierson, MI 49339. Pastors Tom Ekkel and Kim Hough presiding.

Those wishing to offer an expression of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to Pierson Bible Church or to the family to offset any funeral expenses.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.https://www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Gerald J. Kelly Jr. age 88 went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, December 20, 2019 at Samaritas Senior Living in Cadillac. Jerry was born November 24, 1931 in Benton Harbor, MI the son of Gerald and Eleanor (Yagman) Kelly Sr. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, camping and traveling with his family. He loved the Lord and talking to people about his Lord and Savior. Surviving are his sons, Craig (Finley), Dale, Ken (Heather); sister, Marilyn Kelly; brother-in-law, Norris Kranich; sisters-in-law, Flora Helling, Clara Maddox, Charlene VanWyk; four cousins, Jacqueline Nice, Patricia Hansen, June Vanko, Ronald Capen; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice in 2015. The family will greet friends Friday, December 27 from 12:00 p.m. until time of service at 1:00 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 980 N. Morey Road, Lake City, MI. Pastor Brian Algie officiating. Interment Mesick Sherman Cemetery. Military honors by the U.S. Navy. Memorial contributions may be made to Gitche Gumee Bible Camp, 5189 Garden City Road, Eagle River, MI 49950. 

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

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Steven G. Hyrns, age 68, of Sand Lake passed away, Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family. With his faith and strength in God, Steve fought a courageous and hard battle with merkel cell carcinoma. He graduated from Tri-County High School in 1969. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and then had to fight the effects of this rare cancer from Agent Orange exposure. He was a carpenter and member of the Local 100 Carpenters Union for 45 years. Steve was an avid hunter and outdoorsman, enjoyed playing the banjo and seeing his family have fun. He was a loyal, honest and dedicated man. Surviving is the love of his life, Catherine (Mulholland) whom he married on April 14, 1973; children, Kamie (Stephen) Hyrns McGuire, Jason (Michelle) Hyrns, Benjamin (Jennifer) Hyrns; grandchildren, Benjamin, Faith, Hunter, Hudson, Jolene and Stella; sister, Susan (Bill) Bryant. Steve is loved and will be greatly missed by many. The service was held Saturday, December 21 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastors Larry Young and Doug Bergsma officiating. Private interment in Coral Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the BKH Jr. Care Fund for his grandson, Benjamin.

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

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