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From the Pulpit: Pastor Ryan Black

Cast your cares on the Lord

Are many of your life activities worrisome? I believe the most obvious answer is yes! God recognizes and understands this hardship, which is why He tells us to “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22). Even many in the medical field would agree that “An anxious heart weighs a man down” (Proverbs 12:25).

If we look at the Bible, Christ speaks to us about letting our fears and uncertainties govern our lives. This is captured through a moment in the Gospel of Luke 10:38-42:

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” 

Don’t you think we can easily sympathize with Martha? At one time or another, we are like Martha overwhelmed by all the activities of our lives. We find ourselves trying to do what everyone else expects. We are going in many directions and then we become irritable, resentful and angry.

Christ’s gentle rebuke was for anxiety and distraction. We have no need to be anxious when we can go to the throne room of heaven and simply ask Him. Worrisome issues can lead to a separation from our spiritual life. God encourages us to balance our activities by adding prayer and Scripture with serving others. Surprisingly, when we add balance to our lives foolish anxiety vanishes. We don’t have to worry because we can simply let God know our needs. God does not want us wringing our hands with worry over things in this life.

Next time you find your day driving you crazy, give yourself a break. Take a deep breath and remember Our Lord’s rebuke and meditate on it.

Pastor Ryan Black

Cedar Springs Christian Church

304 Pine St. Cedar Springs, MI


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Fries with that?

Pastor Dick Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta


I would like to share a modern parable with you.

A man named James, wanting to do something special with Mark, his five-year-old son, asked if there was anything special the boy would like to do. He responded that he would like some McDonald’s french fries. As they drove to town, Mark told his dad he could almost taste the fries already. They parked and Mark excitedly headed for the door. When it was their turn in line, he told the person at the register, “I want a super-size order of fries.”

The anticipation in his son’s eyes was radiating as Dad took out his wallet and paid for the fries and a drink. Mark could hardly wait to sink his teeth into the fries as his dad said grace over the food, and eagerly started in on the fries at the word “amen.” James was overjoyed to see his little boy so happy over something so simple, and decided to join in the fun. He reached over to get a couple of fries for himself, and to his surprise, Mark quickly put his arms like a fort around the fries to protect them, saying, “No, these are mine.” Shocked, his dad pulled his hand back, not believing what had happened.

It was a disappointment that his son didn’t consider that he was the one who provided them. “I was the one who paid for them,” he thought. “I let him have twice as much as he would normally have gotten. Not only that, but I’m over 6 feet tall and over 200 pounds, I could just take all the fries if I wanted, or I could go back up and get so many fries he couldn’t possibly eat them all.”

As James thought about it, one or two fries really would not have made much of a difference for him that day. What he really wanted was for his son Mark to invite him into the wonderful little world he had made possible for his son. He  wanted his son to be willing to share the very blessing that he had provided.

In Luke’s gospel, we read that Jesus told a parable of a rich man whose land yielded a harvest so large that he could not store all the crops in his barns.  As a result, the man decided to tear down his current barns and build larger barns in their place. With the use of 11 personal pronouns (I, my, mine), he expressed one of the most selfish and self-centered passages in scripture.

Jesus concluded his parable with, “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21- King James Translation).

There is nothing wrong with wealth, as long as God is thanked and glorified, and the wealth is shared. Being rich is not a sin, being selfish is. Everything we have has come from God, and is a blessing. If we consider everything as coming from our own efforts, our possessions will be a curse.

Neither poverty nor wealth renders one immune from selfishness. Some poor people share unselfishly with people in need, while others hoard a piece of bread. The problem is not wealth but selfishness, a character trait of a sinful heart.

But “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, KJV).

Like that Dad James, God desires to sit down at the table with us for some fellowship. When God reaches over to use some of the blessings that He has given to us, let’s not say, “No God, these are mine. Go get your own.” Instead, let’s gladly share what He has provided.

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41c-wed-lenardson-web**photo by Mackenzie Jeanne Photography


Ricky Lenardson and Christine Ellis are proud to announce the marriage of their daughter Brittany Lenardson to Evan Lee Schumacher. Evan is the son of Michael Schumacher and Joann (Ignasiak) Uhl.

Brittany is a Cedar Springs 2011 graduate and 2016 Grand Valley State University graduate in Engineering and Evan is a 2008 graduate of Almont High School and a 2015 Grand Valley State University graduate in Engineering. They met while at GVSU in the engineering program. The wedding was held on September 24, 2016 in Imlay City, Michigan.

They are pictured with their “daughter,” Millie Schumacher.

Congratulations and may your lives together be blessed because you both are such blessings to everyone you know!

Love you both from Mom and Dad!

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October 15, 2003

God knows how much I miss you,

Never shall your memory fade,

Loving thoughts shall ever wander,

To the spot where you are laid,

Though absent you are ever near,

Still missed and loved, always dear.

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

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Joyce Reyburn (Ziemann) age 86, loving wife, mother and grandmother passed into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on October 8, 2016. Joyce graduated from Godwin High School and then graduated from the Beauty School in Kalamazoo. She then became a cosmetology instructor at the State College of Beauty in Grand Rapids. Joyce changed careers and drove bus for Kenowa Hills for 20 years, where she retired in 1984. Since retirement, Joyce spent many winters in Arizona. Joyce is survived by her husband of 63 years, Gordon Reyburn, children Greg (Toni) Reyburn of Arizona, and Pam (Glen) Jurick of Wyoming, Michigan. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, Nick and Deb Bettes, Zack and Julie Reyburn, Mitchell Bettes, Ryan Bettes, Kent and Sarah Reyburn, Shontelle Hyde and MCO Officer Danielle Collins, and seven great-grandchildren. As was Joyce’s wishes, cremation has taken place and interment will be at the Fort Custer National Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan. A private memorial service will be conducted at a later date for members of her family.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Jerome R. Miller, 68 of Cedar Springs, died Friday, October 7, 2016 at Faith Hospice – Trillium Woods. Mr. Miller was born March 5, 1948 in Iowa City, Iowa the son of Fred and Velma (McLaughlin) Miller. He retired from Kool Flow of Kent City. He enjoyed flying RC planes, boating, camping, traveling and jigsaw puzzles. He was a member of the Eagles in Sand Lake. Surviving are his wife of 21 years, Nancy Ann; sons, Brett (Michelle) Miller, Ron (Heather) Miller, Travis (Heather) Miller; stepchildren, Deborah Wood, Ronnie Seabolt, April Seabolt; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The family greeted friends Sunday, Oct. 9 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service was held Monday 11:00 am. Pastor Bruce Wilson officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice.

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

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What makes us vulnerable to tempation?

The-Springs-blurred-webPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St., Cedar Springs

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13 NIV). Many times we wait until we get into tempting situations and then we pray, “Lord, lead me out of temptation.” But Jesus taught us to pray in a different way—“Lead me not into temptation.”

How can we avoid being lead into temptation in the first place? Here’s what works for me: I must identify what makes me vulnerable.

Notice I didn’t say identify what tempts you. You already know what tempts you. What you may have never thought through is what makes you vulnerable to that temptation? What makes you weak? What makes you susceptible?

Jesus said in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (NIV).

Notice you can’t just pray; you have to watch. So when Jesus says you are to pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” he’s saying that’s not even enough. Besides praying you also have to do some watching.

You have a pattern of vulnerability. You have certain people, places and things that make you more vulnerable to giving in to temptation, that make you more likely to be led into temptation. To “watch” means to identify what makes you vulnerable. You need to identify your pattern.

Let me give you five questions you need to ask yourself:

First ask yourself, “When am I most tempted?” You’re going to find you’re more tempted on certain days of the week than others. Maybe a certain time of the day. Maybe you’re tempted when everybody else is in bed. You need to figure out when are you most tempted.

Next ask, “Where am I most tempted?” It could be at work, at your neighbor’s house, in the kitchen. Do you get tempted at a convenience store? At a sports bar? At the beach? A lot of you get tempted in front of a computer. You need to know your area of vulnerability.

Three, “Who is with me when I’m most tempted?” Am I most tempted when I’m alone?  Or when I’m with friends who lead me in the wrong direction? Am I most tempted when I’m with my co-workers? Or when I’m with a crowd of strangers and I think nobody would know me? Am I tempted with my family? Identify who makes you vulnerable.

Four, “What temporary benefit do I get if I give in to the temptation?” Let’s just admit it—sin is fun. If it were miserable nobody would do it. The Bible even says there is pleasure in sin for a season. In other words, it doesn’t last. So what is the temporary benefit I get when I give in to temptation? Do I get comfort? Excitement? Joy? Pleasure? A false sense of confidence? You need to know what’s the benefit when I do this.

The fifth thing you need to ask is, “How do I feel right before I’m tempted?” You need to know what your emotional triggers are. Is it frustration? Stress? Is it when you’re bored? Lonely? When you can’t sleep at night? You need to know what feelings make you vulnerable.

Figure out what your pattern of vulnerability is. Ask yourself who, what, when and where you get tempted. Then watch out for those situations. Avoid those situations. Don’t allow yourself to be led into those situations and you will find freedom from the traps that so easily ensnare.

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Tony and Daneille Borntrager announce the birth of their son, Jacob Ari Borntrager.  Jacob arrived on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 10:34 am at Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Indiana. He weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and measured 20.5 inches in length. Maternal grandparents are Dan and Donna Clark of Cedar Springs.  Paternal grandparents are Larry and Mary Borntrager, with loving mention of Meredith, deceased mother to Tony . (Onesie pictured was a gift from the Red Flannel Festival to celebrate new grandson of 2016’s Grand Marshal, Donna Clark)

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50th wedding anniversary

40c-anniv-hansenJOHN & JOYCE HANSEN

Celebrating our Anniversary. Please join us to celebrate 50 years on Sunday, October 9th, 2016 from 2 to 5 pm at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, Michigan.

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Happy Birthday to our Dad/Grandpa

Russ Durst

October 6, 1935

Love you and miss you.

Your kids and grandkids

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