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Archive | Church Connection

CAROLYN GREEN

C-obit-Green-fcMrs. Carolyn Green, age 88, left us on Sunday November 16th, 2014 surrounded by her adoring family after a short but valiant battle with cancer. Carolyn grew up in Ensley Center, Michigan, in the loving care of her parents who were dairy farmers. Carolyn was valedictorian of the 1944 class of Sand Lake High School. Upon graduation, she moved to Cedar Springs to live with Dr. and Ruth Branyan where she worked as a receptionist and practical nurse. She met her late husband, Tom Green, at a Bingo stand on Farmer’s Day in Cedar Springs. After a short courtship they were engaged on Christmas day, 1946, and were married on March 2nd, 1947. For several years, side by side, they owned and operated The Rockford Body Shop in Rockford, Michigan. Carolyn was an extraordinary seamstress, making matching dresses for her girls, prom dresses, wedding dresses, and everything in between. One of her favorite past times was playing penny slots at the casino. Their most enjoyable activity was camping with their grandchildren and spending time at Lincoln Lake. Tom and Carolyn enjoyed traveling together, often visiting their grandchildren wherever they went. Carolyn’s priority and joy in life was taking care of her family, putting their needs above all else. She was an example of unconditional love to all she met. Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, Glenn and Lillian Gillette, her brother Roger Gillette, and her beloved husband, Tom Green. Carolyn is survived by her children, Patricia and Phil Cranney of Morley, Holly and Jack Frey of Sand Lake, and Sherry Williams of Grandville; her “daughter” Penny Harvey; five grandchildren, Chad Cranney and Nicole Mason, Dirk and Nicole Cranney, Nicole and Mark Robinson, Tom and Krista Frey, and Wade and Elizabeth Green; nine great-grandchildren, Katelynn, Brooke, Sophia, Gage, Erika, Lane, Luke, Ethan, and Alexandria; and her great-great-grandsons, Ronan and Damian; brother, Ralph Gillette; nieces and nephews; and honorary granddaughters, Taylor and Allison. A funeral service for Mrs. Green will be Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 2:00pm at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street in Rockford with Fr. John Kirkman officiating. Relatives and friends met with the family at the funeral home on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 2-4 and 6-8pm. Interment will take place in Elmwood Cemetery in Cedar Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson NW, Walker, MI 49544.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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GORDON HENRY SHELLER

C-MEM-Sheller

April 16, 1936-November 18, 2010

4 years have passed, but not a day goes by that we

don’t think about and miss you. We are going to love you forever and ever, Amen.

 

Sad are the hearts that loved you

Silent are the tears that fall.

Living our lives without you,

Is the hardest part of all.

You did so many things for us,

Your heart was kind and true.

And when we needed someone

We could always count on you.

The happy years will not return

When we were all together, but

With the love within our hearts

You’ll walk with us forever.

So, if we could have a lifetime wish

A dream that would come true,

We’d pray to God with all our hearts

For yesterday with you.

A thousand words can’t bring you back,

We know because we’ve tried,

And neither will a million tears,

We know because we’ve cried.

You left behind our broken hearts

And happy memories too,

We treasure all these memories,

But wish we still had you.

So in the quiet cemetery,

Where gentle breezes blow,

Lies a beloved man who left us 3 years ago.

His place of rest we visit,

We put flowers there with care,

But no one knows our heartache

as we turn to leave him there.

Though his smile is gone forever

and his face we cannot touch,

Still we have the memory of the

husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa

that we loved so much.

His memory is our treasure

with which we’ll never part.

God has him in his keeping,

But we have him in our hearts.

With love from your family,

Sharon, Debbie, Dutch, Mike, Amanda, Monica, Gregory, Heather, Christopher, Joshua, Jordan, Nathaniel, Zachary, Mackenzie and Adilyn-Grace

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RONALD R. BURT

C-MEM-Burt-fc

December 9, 1955 – November 22, 2012

 

Wonderful memories of one so dear,

Treasured still with a love sincere.

In our hearts he is living yet,

We love him too dearly to forget.

 

In loving memory,

Sharon, Heather and Linsay

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Thank you

Thank you to all the voters from the City of Cedar Springs. I appreciate your votes and support from our community.

 

Rose Ellen Powell

City Councilmember

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Thank God Anyhow

Pilgrim-BiblePastor Mike Shiery

Pilgrim Bible Church

West Pine Street | Cedar Springs

 

 

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls–

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NKJV)

What do you really know about the first Thanksgiving in America? There is much more to the story than what most people realize. In 1620 there were 102 Pilgrims; 56 of them died due to starvation, disease and the cold winter. In 1621, 46 Pilgrims and 91 Indians met to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and for the preservation of their lives. Those people had every reason to be depressed and discouraged, but they were thankful anyhow.

The keywords found in Habakkuk 3:17-19 are “though” and “yet.” Habakkuk is saying, “I sure don’t understand all that is happening, but I am going to thank God anyhow!” Let’s look at these verses and see that regardless of how things may look on the surface, we have a reason to “thank God anyhow.”

We can thank God that His sovereignty never changes. Habakkuk 3:17-18a reminds us that circumstances change, but God never does! We may not be able to rejoice in our situation, but we can always rejoice in our Sovereign. Habakkuk is painting a bleak portrait of the future, but he looks away to a God who is always the same.

He is the One we can depend on in desperate times, we can trust in troublesome times, we can believe during unbelievable times, and we can lean on Him at all times! We may not always know what He is doing, but we can always trust Him to do what is right.

Habakkuk 3:18b tells us that we can thank God for our salvation. Things might be bad in this life, but things do not affect my salvation. Salvation does not depend on things going well, salvation. Salvation does not depend on things going well, salvation rests solely on the grace and power of God! Life is uncertain at best. One phone call or doctor’s visits can changes everything; salvation is eternal in nature.

Thank God that His strength never collapses. Our strength does not lie within us, the Lord is our strength. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV). When we are unable to stand, He enables us. When we can’t go on, He helps us. When we are in the deep valley, He leads us to higher ground.

“Deer’s feet” and “high hills” speaks of the mountain tops where the deer is free from the dangers found below. Habakkuk is telling us that God enables him to rise above his circumstances and the God gives him the strength to stand above the battle and enjoy freedom in the Lord!

When life happens and we are left reeling with the impact of bad news and tragic events, lets choose to thank God anyhow. As Larry Petree wrote years ago:

Thank God for the valley I walked through today, 

Thank God all my burdens were lifted away, 

Thank God for the mountain I’ve had strength to climb, 

And when the sun just won’t shine, “Thank God.”

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Count your blessings

by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

In the churches of my youth we sang an old hymn entitled, “Count Blessings” at every Thanksgiving service. I can still recite the first stanza from memory: “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed; when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost; count your many blessings, name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”

A Sunday School teacher once challenged my Primary Bible Class to do exactly as the song implored: “Count your blessings.” She handed out sheets of wide ruled notebook paper accompanied by fat, yellow, #2 Ticonderoga pencils. A dozen eight-year-olds went to work listing all of our heaven-sent assets.

Have you counted your blessings lately, naming them “one by one?” I know all the big things would be on the list: family, nation, shelter, food, children or grandchildren. But to list all of our blessings, even the little things, would take a considerable amount of time, longer than a brief Sunday School lesson would allow. Still, it’s worth the time to make such a list. Maybe you could start with A and work through the alphabet to Z, concentrating on the little, often assumed, godsends.

I’ll get you started: Air conditioning. Band aids. Coffee. Distilleries (particularly those in Canada). Electricity. Football. Garrison Keillor. Hamburgers. Ireland. Jackson Hole. Krispy Kreme. Live Oak trees. Music. Newspapers. Online banking. Picnics. Quinoa. Refrigeration. Smoked Almonds. Tennis. Urinals (the ones that flush automatically). Vacations. Willie Nelson. X-Rays. Yogurt. Zyrtec.

And that’s just the first list that rolled from my mind, a stream of consciousness! This list could be reproduced a thousand times over with little thought, just observation, because blessings constantly rain down upon me. God’s ever-present grace surrounds me, if only because I am fortunate enough to live at a time and in a place like this.

It’s not that complicated. Take the time to look around your life and count your blessings—one by little one—if you dare. Give thanks to God for what you have, what you have experienced, for the grace you have received, and for the people you have known.

Try to remember that Thanksgiving is more than a holiday, more than a day off, more than a circled date on a calendar. It is a way of life. Remembering this might change your perspective about things. It might change your attitude. It just might change your 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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JOHANSEN – MARTINEZ

C-ENG-Johansen-MartinezMrs. Christina Johansen is pleased to announce the engagement of her daughter Tiffany Johansen to Collyn Martinez. Tiffany is a graduate of Cedar Springs High School and Central Michigan University. Collyn is a graduate of the University of Louisiana and Jufetst. A November 22nd wedding is planned. They will be living and working around New Orleans, Louisiana.

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CHARLENE PIERCE

C-MEM-Piere

 

In loving memory of our Mother who passed away 2 years ago, November 17, 2012. Your memory we treasure, Mother!

 

Love and miss you,

Susan, Marjorie and Tommy

Lonny and Tammy

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WILMA M. SCHALK

EPSON scanner imageWilma M. Schalk, 77 of Henrico, VA formerly of Cedar Springs, died Friday, November 7, 2014 in Virginia. Mrs. Schalk was born on July 10, 1937 in Canton, Ohio the daughter of Harold and Ottillia (Branch) Karns. She was a homemaker and worked for her husband at their Veterinary Clinic. She loved spending time with her family, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and had enjoyed camping and horse racing. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star. Surviving are her husband, Dr. Lawrence Schalk; children, Debra (Dean) Parker, Robert (Dennise) Schalk, William (Leah) Schalk; grandchildren, Johnathan Schoommaker, Sarah, Samuel, and Savannah Schalk, Jason (Cyndi) Parker, Julie (Bob) Robinson, Jeremy (Haley) Parker, Rebbecca (David) McDonald, Laura, Kristin, and Ryan Schalk; 13 great grandchildren; sister, Barbara (Jerry) Dennis; brother, John (Raylene) Karns; cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents. The family will greet friends Friday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where services will be held Saturday 11:00 am. Pastor William Schalk officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Virginia, 1700 Bayberry Court, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23226.

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

 

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Our security

Pastor Herb VanderBilt 

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024  18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs MI 49319

 

Ephesians 6:10-18: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 

It is a dangerous world today and it seems that our foundation of security is being challenged. We live in the most advanced and prosperous country in the world and yet a little thing like a virus has shaken our security. When I saw a picture of the protection suit that Ebola health care workers have to wear it reminded me of the words from the apostle Paul to the little struggling church in Ephesus, who was not struggling with a virus but with evil. Today we still struggle with dark forces that keep us from connecting with God and each other.

The image portrayed in the text from Ephesians is roughly the armor that was worn by foot soldiers at the time, but we can also apply it to the protection gear that we see on the news every day. One of the issues with the previous failure of the hazmat suit was it left open skin exposed, and in Paul’s description he reminds us that we need to put on the full armor of God.

I tried to imagine what this kind of armor is. In ancient times it was hard and tough materials like leather or steel, but in our metaphor today it is high tech polymers and plastics that are designed to be water-proof and germ-proof but at the same time light weight. In other words, the armor of God does not have to weigh us down or be a burden. In fact, the armor of God that Paul is talking about to this little church in Ephesus is invisible to the eye but is something that we feel surrounding us.

Each piece listed on the suit of armor is important. Even the Hazmat suit, as we have found out, is not perfect and has some gaps. And so it is with our defense against all of the hazards of this world today. I think that is why Paul reminds us not just to hide behind our shield but to stay vigilant, stay alert and keep praying in the spirit. The true enemies in this life are not germs, viruses or even bad people; they are those temptations that we face every day that try to separate us from God. The Apostle Paul reminds us in the letter to the Romans that not even death can do that. With His armor in place, nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ.

 

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