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Archive | Church Connection

Jesus is praying for you

Pastor Mike Shiery

Pilgrim bible church

West Pine Street • Cedar Springs

 

“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 

But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’” (Luke 22:31-32) (NKJV)

It was a somber moment. Jesus and His disciples had been celebrating the Jewish Passover with a meal that we now commonly call “The Last Supper.” Most of the men gathered there that night did not fully comprehend the momentous events which were soon to follow. Jesus would be betrayed, arrested, tortured, and executed. Those dark moments of seeming disaster would be followed by one of the most glorious days in all of human history, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. 

Against that background, Jesus took the time to specifically speak into the life of one of His best and most flawed followers. He knew that in the next few hours, Peter would deny and forsake Him, cursing and turning His back on the Man he had traveled with and worked with for the last three years. 

Peter was bold, braggadocious, zealous, hardworking, loving, impetuous, and inherently flawed. At the core of his nature was a shameful hidden secret. Beneath all his bragging and bluster, Peter had a cowardly streak. The man who once vowed to die for Jesus would in reality deny his best friend in order to save his own skin.

Knowing all of this, it is heartening to see that Jesus did not lash out in anger and revenge. Instead He spoke words of encouragement and love to Peter. Jesus knew that after the passion of the moment passed, Peter would be eaten alive with remorse and sorrow. So Jesus basically told Peter that when he was feeling most alone and worthless (as a result of his own stupid decisions), to remember that Jesus had prayed for him and would be willing to restore him.

It would do us well to remember that when we have failed and see only a trail of disaster behind us, that Jesus still loves us and is praying for us. He is the God of mercy and desires to bring restoration to your life. When the world looks at you and says, “It’s over,” God looks at you and says, “I’m not done with you!” No matter how dark your circumstances, remember that with God working in your life, there is always hope! Never resist His love.

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MARY JEAN HALL

Mary Jean Hall (formerly Mary Jean Scholten), Sand Lake, Michigan, age 69, passed away on July 14, 2018 into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with her family by her side. Mary Jean was born June 17, 1949 in Grand Haven. She was an active member of Pierson Bible Church. Mary Jean will be remembered for her zeal for Christ as she shared the good news on many mission trips, her love for the outdoors and gardening, and the joy she brought as she served others. On June 16, 1990, she married Danny Hall. Her husband of 28 years survives, as do her children, Shawnda (Dan) Brewer of Holland, Brent Scholten of Zeeland, Chad (Michelle) Scholten of West Olive; step son, Christopher (Carinn) Hall of Comstock Park; grandchildren, Bethany, Andrew, Ashley, Rebecca, Connor, Kyleigh, Trista, Hunter, Michaela, Dani, Leo; two great-grandchildren; and uncle, Roger & Rose Bush of Holland. Mary Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Wallace and Sarah (Bush) De Zwaan; and her son in law, Paul Hutt. A funeral service will be held on Friday, July 20 at 11 a.m. at Pierson Bible Church, 101 Grand St. Pierson, Michigan. Friends may visit with family on Thursday from 6-8:30 p.m. at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW and at the church from 10-11 a.m. Memorials may be made to Equest Center For Therapeutic Riding, Inc. Please visit Mary Jean’s personal web page to read more of her life story, leave a message or condolence at www.lifestorynet.com.

Arrangements by Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Grand Rapids

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JOANN J. JOHNSON

JoAnn J. Johnson, age 73, of Sand Lake, died Thursday, July 12, 2018 at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit. JoAnn was born June 29, 1945 in Wexford County, Michigan the daughter of Charles and Lillian (Rosenberry) Cass. She loved her church, The Springs Church in Cedar Springs where she was an active member. She enjoyed her grandkids and great-grandkids and always put others ahead of herself. Surviving are her children, Jackie Lee (Yvette) Johnson, Jr, Christina (Larry) Housler, Douglas (Shari) Johnson, Teresa (Matt) Johnson, Keith (Shawn) Johnson; many grandchildren, great and great-great-grandchildren; brothers, Don (Jan) Cass, Louis Cass; sister, Ellen Mills. She was preceded in death by her former husband, Jackie Lee Johnson Sr. and brothers, Charles and James Cass. The family greeted friends Tuesday, July 17 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was Wednesday, July 18 at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs. Pastor Chris Anton officiating. Interment East Nelson Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to The Springs Church.

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

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JOSEPHINE (COOPER) SMITH

Josephine “Jo” (Cooper) Smith passed away in Harrisville, Michigan, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Pamela and Dale Dellar, on July 2, 2018. Prior to moving to Harrisville, approximately a year ago, she resided in the Cedar Springs area nearly all of her life. Jo was born August 28, 1926 in Harvard, Michigan. She was the daughter of Walter Cooper and Anna (Mersnick) Atkins. In 1944 she graduated from Cedar Springs High School, having worked as a housekeeper/nanny while attending there as a student. Jo married Alan P. Smith of Stanton, Michigan, on May 11, 1946, and enjoyed nearly 35 years of marriage until Alan’s death in 1980.
Following graduation, she worked at Consumers Power Company in Greenville, Michigan. She left her work when the first of her four children was born. She returned to work, “outside her home,” in 1967, for Holton’s LP Gas Company in Cedar Springs. She started as a clerk and was later promoted to office manager. She retired from full-time work in 1992, but continued to work part-time. Following her retirement, Jo renewed her interest in dancing. She developed many friendships while attending dances in Sparta, Trufant, Six Lakes, Conklin, Parnell, and anywhere that was convenient for her to drive.
Jo had a passion for cooking and loved baking pies and homemade rolls. For years her family enjoyed her Sunday dinners, which would usually include her famous green salad. This family tradition continued well into her 80s, only ending when she was no longer able to cook. Family was the most important thing in her life.
Josephine was preceded in death by her husband, Alan; father, Walter; mother, Anna; and dear sister, Kathleen Bitely.
She will always be lovingly remembered by her surviving son, Larry Smith of Cedar Springs; daughters Linda (John) Ranney of Grand Rapids; Pamela (Dale) Dellar of Harrisville, Michigan; Sue (Kurt) Mabie of Cedar Springs; grandchildren, Ryan (Koree) Mabie of Grand Rapids; Kelly Jo (Jason) Horricks of Mackinac Island; Kristy (Calvin) Gibson of Manistee; Michael Mabie (& Tina Van) of Grand Rapids; and Kevin Newland (& Laura Herweyer) of Minneapolis; great-grandchildren, Makenna & Megan Horricks; Michael Davis; and Emerson & Failla Mabie. Surviving siblings include Donna Atkins; Gary (Maxine) Cooper; Frances Cooper; and Leon (Barb) Atkins. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews. A special thank you to Barb (Robinson) Garvon for her devotion to and loving care provided to our Mother.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Thursday, July 26th, at 1 p.m. at Spencer Township Hall, located at 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen, Michigan, with Pastor Julie Schneider-Thomas officiating. A luncheon will be served following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Jo’s memory be made to Hospice of Michigan-Alpena, 145 N. State Ave., Alpena, Michigan or to a charity of one’s choice.

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Love is all we need

Pastor Inge Whittemore

East Nelson Church

9024 18 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

 

“What the world needs now… is love sweet love. That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” I bet the tune came to you! Dionne Warwick sang the song back in 1968 and it was really needed in that turbulent year when Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were killed. The Vietnam War was raging, and protests and riots filled the streets. This song about love pierced through the cacophony of anger and anxiety of those days.  

The funny thing is that someone recently sang that song at an event I attended and the words rang true again. The song is needed in these turbulent times of discord and division. It seems as though this is a time when no one knows what to believe anymore. No one knows whom to trust.

But love transcends time and is something to hold onto. It is in a simple answer that Jesus gave to an inquiring expert wanting to know which law was the most important. He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself» (Luke 10:27 NIV).

He simplified all the rules and laws into these two things. Love God. Love people. He didn’t qualify it in any way. It was and is a wide open entreaty to everyone and is as relevant today as ever.  

Love for God and neighbor is like two sides of one coin. They are two different things yet they are one. Still, we all know that love is complicated. It is a lot of different emotions and actions. Here are just a few ways to look at this complicated thing called love.  

Love is a function of surrender. Loving God is surrendering our will and our hearts and our trust to God. Surrendering to God means we set aside our own plans and look for God’s plan for us. The good news is that God wants the best for us! When we love God, it means we place our humble trust in Him and show others that God can be trusted with everything in our lives. The more we surrender to God, the more our human nature is replaced by a nature that looks more and more like Jesus.

Love is a function of commitment. We might feel warmed with gratitude when we consider all that God has done for us but love is more than being thankful. It is a stubborn, unwavering commitment to God and others. To love our neighbor is to imitate God by taking their needs seriously just as God takes our needs seriously.

Love is a function of compassion. Compassion for others is the reflection of God’s loving compassion for us. It is having an interest and concern in the welfare of our neighbor. It is the generosity of giving of ourselves; not just money but concern, interest, time and involvement. 

We humans search for love because we are made in the image of God and God is love. When we read deeply into the scriptures, when we don’t simply take a thin slice at them we discover that every action that God has taken toward humanity is because He loves us. So let us surrender to God, commit our lives, and be compassionate to others as we work to live the way of Jesus Christ in all we do. Love is all you need.   

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CHRISTINE LYNN SCHOEPPE

March 26, 1953 – June 10, 2018

Christine “Chrissy” Lynn Schoeppe, age 65, of Maricopa, Arizona passed away into eternal life with her family by her side on Friday, June 10, 2018. Christine was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Lyman and Joan Gates, of Cedar Springs, Michigan. She was preceded in death by her brother, Steve, and father, Lyman. She is survived by her mother, Joan, and brothers, Curt and Bryan, along with her husband of 18 years, Jay. There are also may aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws and dear friends. Chrissy will be dearly missed by everyone she came in contact with, a loving and caring person who never complained about anything or anyone. She loved traveling with her husband Jay, as they were always seeking adventure in the USA and abroad with warmer climates in the winter months, and making many friends along the way. She was wonderful homemaker, cook, and gardener and truly loved to do all things with a positive attitude! A memorial gathering will be held at the Rockford Community Cabin on Sunday, August 19, from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m., 220 N. Monroe, Rockford, MI  49341.

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Thank You

We would like to thank everyone who has been so generous with their donations of food, money, clothing, household items and more since we lost everything in a fire on July 1. We would especially like to thank Courtland, Cedar Springs, Oakfield, Spencer, Sand Lake, and Algoma Fire Departments; Rockford Ambulance; The Springs Church, Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, and Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church; our dear friends Duane and Tiffany; our neighbors Laura and Don DeLange; the Klco family; Cedar Café; B&B Beauty Salon; The Cedar Springs Post; and so many others who have helped us. We could not get through this without you! You’ve turned a tragic moment into a blessing from the Lord. Thank you all so much!

Brian, Melissa, Zach, and Mackenzie Weber

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CAROL GOETSCH

 

Carol Goetsch, age 77 of Howard City, passed away on July 3, 2018 at Metron of Cedar Springs.

She was born April 18, 1941 in Greenville Michigan, the daughter of Tom and June Mulkins Sutphen.  During her working years she worked as a bus driver and hair dresser as well as working with her husband and family for many years on their tree farm. She enjoyed time with her family as well as training her horses. Surviving are her mother June; four children, Deborah (Michael) Ensley, Mark (Camie) Goetsch, Bruce (Lisa) Goetsch and Arno Goetsch (Significant Friend – Michelle).  Also, seven grandchildren, Bradley, Ashley, Ryan, Adam, Jessica, Kyle & Aleshia and nine great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert, her father Tom, and her brother Tom. Memorial services will take place on Saturday July 7 at 10 a.m., luncheon following, at Heritage United Methodist Church with Pastor Terri Cummins officiating. The family will greet friends from 9 a.m. until time of service.  

Arrangements are entrusted to the Heckman Funeral Home of Howard City.

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GARY LEE RITTER

Gary Lee Ritter age 57 passed away Sunday, July 1, 2018 with his family at his side. He was born in Big Rapids on October 30, 1960 to Alan and Clara (Ten Eyck) Ritter. Gary was very mechanical, he could fix and build anything. He always put his heart and soul into his family, work and community. Gary literally gave the shirt off his back when someone needed it! He loved his family and will be greatly missed. Gary is survived by his loving wife of 37 years B.J.; daughters, Erica and Laura (Adam) Birks, Christy; grandsons, Oliver and Jamie; brothers and sisters, Bruce, Tony, Don, Ron, Nancy and Laurie; sister-in-law, Teri Ritter; the Stone family and many nieces and nephews. Gary was preceded in death by his son, Jacob; parents, Alan Ritter, Clara Ritter Davis and Tom Davis; brother, Mark and sister Susie. The family will meet with friends Sunday, July 8 from 2-4 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. There will be no funeral service. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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

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PETER NAFFZIGER

 

In loving memory of our dear Father and Grandfather, Peter Naffziger, who passed away 52 years ago on July 5, 1966. A lifetime of thanks, Dad, for teaching us the importance of being myself and doing my best, for standing by us and find my way in a complicated world, and for loving us no matter what. 

Sadly missed by

Children & Grandchildren

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