web analytics

Archive | Church Connection

Where often is heard an encouraging word

Pastor Dick Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

 

The coming together with fellow Christians is stated in the scriptures as an act of mutual encouragement.  We read in the book of Hebrews, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV).

When as Christians, we worship together, pray together, and in general work together as a community, it is as followers of Jesus Christ. Being a Christian is about belonging to a community of faith, a group that is called to build each other up, and encourage one another. One wonders why we would need to be instructed to be an encourager; why would Jesus need to teach his disciples and us about having compassion and a heart toward encouragement?

I think we can safely say that answer lies in the fact that this is against our very nature.  We are often self-centered and selfish, and if something doesn’t touch our lives or the lives of our family and friends, then it’s not our affair and we choose to stay uninvolved. That is why Jesus had to teach his disciples about being encouraging, and why we still need the lessons today.

Yet, if we just look around us, it is apparent that there is a lot of hurt and discouragement. Where is the church of Jesus? Where are we making a difference with a little compassion here and some encouragement over there?  One thing that I have discovered in my personal life is that most encouragement is one on one. Of course there is a great need for the corporate involvement in some cases, but by and large our opportunities to encourage others occur more spontaneously as we follow God’s leading through this life.

God gives us numerous illustrations of encouragement throughout his word, and in one instance we read of a Christian in the book of Acts (Acts 4:36), a man by the name of Joses, who was given the name of Barnabas. The name Barnabas was interpreted as “son of encouragement,” a nickname given him by the apostles, descriptive of his inclination to serve others and willingness to encourage wherever it was needed.

The root meaning of the word encourage simply means, “to put courage into.”  God has created us in his image as social beings, something we see throughout scripture as God is all about relationships, as indicated in his institution called the church. In Hebrews we also read, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13 NIV).

God gives each of us opportunities every day to show our love for one another and our care and concern and support for one another to be encouragers, not for our glory, but to display his love for others through us. It is through our connection with Jesus Christ that we are connected to one another and our common union with Him produces our union with each other.

Everyone can use a little encouragement on a regular basis. May God help us to be men and women more like Jesus—bold enough to reach out and touch a hurting world with encouraging (putting courage into) words and acts in Jesus’ name.

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

MELVIN “JACK” HEISS

27C-obit-Heiss

Melvin “Jack” Heiss, 89, of Cedar Springs, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 1, 2016 with his family by his side. Jack was born September 16, 1926 in Solon Township, Michigan, the son of John and Emily (French) Heiss. He retired from Smith Industries in the late 1980’s working there over 35 years. He was an avid fisherman and hunter, had a wonderful sense of humor and was very compassionate and generous. He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church, Sparta. Mourning his loss are his devoted wife, Betty (Martin) whom he married on October 14, 1950; beloved daughter, Nancy Heiss Merritt; grandsons, Dan (Michele) Hilliker, Dennis (Michele) Hilliker; great-grandchildren, Andrew (Kayla), Aaron, Jacky, Emily and Stephen Hilliker; sister-in-law, Ellen Heiss; stepson, Robert (Judy) Hey and their families; many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Munson, Otto, Leland and Elbert; sister, Esther Clarke. The family greeted friends Wednesday, July 6 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was held Thursday 11:00 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, 1225 12 Mile Road NW, Sparta with viewing beginning at 10:00 am. Pastor Bryan Schneider-Thomas officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

PETER NAFFZIGER

 

In Loving Memory of our Dear Father and Grandfather, Peter Naffziger, who passed away 50 years ago on July 5, 1966.

If the world was ours to give we would give it all and more.

To hear your footsteps and see you come smiling through the door.

We cannot bring the old days back, your hand we cannot touch,

But we will always have the memories of the one we love so much.

Sadly missed by 

Children & Grandchildren

Posted in MemorialComments (0)

ALTON & IRENE WHITE

 

In Loving Memory of our Dear Father, Alton White, who passed away 51 years ago on June 14, 1965 and our Dear Mother, Irene White, who left us 41 years ago July 10, 1975.

Your memory to us is a keepsake,

With which we will never part.

Though God has you in His keeping,

We have you always in our hearts.

Sadly missed by 

Roger & Diane White

Posted in MemorialComments (0)

Thank you

 

To the Administration and Staff of Metron of Cedar Springs: Thank you all for the helpful, friendly care given to Gwen Perry. She was a gallant lady and each of you, in your own way, kept Gwen with us until God called her home. We will always remember your competent, loving care for her.

Lyle Perry, Jr. and Family

Posted in Thank YouComments (0)

Lost Hours

Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.

by Thomas Mann

Posted in Church ConnectionComments (0)

Dale G. Anderson

C-OBIT-andersonDale G. Anderson, 62 of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, June 28, 2016 doing what he loved, riding his motorcycle. Dale was born July 27, 1953 in Chicago, IL the son of Richard and Marion (Pyne) Anderson. He was a truss assembler for 43 years. Dale was a stubborn, rough neck, loving and caring biker. He so loved his granddaughters that he had their names tattooed on his arm. Surviving are his wife of 38 years, Elaine; daughter, Lacey (Nathan) Wright; grandchildren, Kayda, Avalon, Harlynn; mother, Marion Anderson; brother, Raymond Anderson; sister-in-law, Donna (Robert) Greenland; five nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father and parents-in-law. A memorial gathering will be held Sunday, July 10 at 1 pm at Morley Park, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Kent County.

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

 

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

LILA MAE WOODHULL

LILA MAE WOODHULL

June 28, 1915 – July 2, 2001

Gone are the days we used to share,

but in our hearts, you are always there.

Love always,

Gary and Barb Woodhull

Larry Woodhull

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Posted in MemorialComments (0)

GWENDOLYN CLAIRE PERRY

 

26C-obit-PerryGwendolyn Claire Perry, 88, of Cedar Springs, passed away Tuesday, June 28, 2016 and went to be with her Lord and Savior. Mrs. Perry was born November 5, 1927 in Hamilton, Canada the eldest daughter of Rev. Alfred Clare and Edna (Jefferson) Motyer. She was preceded in death by a brother and his wife, Derwin (Imogene) Motyer; son, Lee Perry; granddaughter, Emily Perry; brother-in-law, Douglas Ehman. Surviving are her husband, Lyle Perry Jr. whom she married in 1949; children, Lyle III (Ellen) Perry, Lizabeth (Dennis) Boe, Lenn Perry, and Lonn (Ruth) Perry; grandchildren, Jessamine (Dustin) Spulak, Max and Chace Perry, Johannes (Elizabeth) Boe, Nicholas (Desi) Boe and Suzy (Jared) Goulart, Aaron (Rachael) Perry, Joseph Perry, and Nathaniel Perry; great-grandchildren, Kalysta and Jaiden Vorase, Ailie Biddle, Braxton Perry, Ole and Thorren Boe, Dodger Boe, Lilija and Annika Goulart; sister, Shirley Ehman; several cousins, nieces nephews and friends. Mrs. Perry graduated from Howard City H.S. and from Bronson Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Kalamazoo, Michigan. As a Registered Nurse she practiced her profession at the State Hospital in Kalamazoo and in hospitals in Plainwell, Lakeview, Greenville, and Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was a member of the Howard City Methodist Church, later attended St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Trufant, Michigan and then became a member of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. She was formerly a Brownie Scout Leader, President of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club, and a President of the Cedar Springs H.S. Band Boosters. She regularly attended the alumni reunions of the Howard City H.S. and of Bronson Methodist Hospital School of Nursing. She enjoyed attending meetings of the Cedar Springs City Council, and often contributed comments and opinions during council meetings. She enjoyed her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She took occasional trips to Canada to visit a favorite uncle, Selby Douglas Jefferson and to greet relatives and friends there. Being born in Canada, she had warm feelings toward anything English or British. She became a citizen of the USA in September 1941. The family will greet friends Friday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be Saturday 10:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Interment Reynolds Township Cemetery, Howard City. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

ALTHEA CHRISTINE SWIFT

 

26C--obit-SwiftAlthea Christine Swift passed in her sleep early on the morning of June 25, 2016, and has gone to be with her Heavenly Father. She was born on August 9, 1923, to John V. Johnson and Nora Carlson Johnson and graduated from Kent City High School. She was confirmed in Mamrelund Lutheran Church in Kent City and was a devoted lifelong member of that congregation. In the 1940s, she worked as a telephone operator at Michigan Bell Telephone Company. In 1950, she and her husband Leon Swift bought their farm on Swift Street in Cedar Springs (Courtland Township) and built their family and business together there. She was preceded in death by her husband; her brothers Edwin and Arnold; her sister Norma; and her daughter-in-law Dawn Feikema Swift. She is survived by her sister Imogene (Gene); her sons Roger and Lawrence David “Larry” Swift; her grandchildren Jon, Katie, Elisabeth, Travis and Tyler Swift, as well as many nephews and nieces, their children, numerous cousins and many dear friends. Visitation was on Monday, June 27, 2016 from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Funeral Service was held on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. at Mamrelund Lutheran Church, 4085 Lutheran Church Road, Kent City, MI 49330. Pastor Leonard Dahlgren officiating. An additional visitation was held at the church for the hour prior to the service. Interment in Courtland Cemetery, after which, there was a luncheon at the Courtland Methodist Church, across from the cemetery.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)