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Archive | Church Connection

ALTON and IRENE WHITE

 

In loving memory of our dear Father, Alton White who passed away 53 years ago June 14, 1965 and our dear Mother, Irene White who passed away 43 years ago July 10, 1975. You filled our hearts with happiness and gave us all your love. For all the years we shared with you, we thank the Lord above.

Sadly missed by

Roger & Diane White

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So no one can boast

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford

 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” Ephesians 2:8,9.

I have read those two verses hundreds of times. They are go-to verses when it comes to describing how someone is saved. They tell us that our rescue comes by grace and is applied through our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is usually my understanding of these verses, but recently I read them and was struck by the last phrase of verse 9, “so that no one can boast.” The process that God chose to use to save us was used for a reason, and that reason is so that no one can boast. In other words, the gospel and the process by which we are saved is such as it is because it is designed to eradicate something from our life, and that something is boasting. 

Boasting is defined as “to speak with exaggeration and excessive pride, especially about oneself.” I believe this is one of the greatest temptations that we face as Christians today. We want others to think well of us. We want others to know about our greatest accomplishments. We want others to take notice of all the great things in our life. If we are not careful we can easily find our lips filled with conversation about ourselves, and not the One who made our lips to speak of His greatness. The gospel at its core reminds us that we have nothing to boast about except to boast about the Lord. We have not been saved by anything other than an act of scandalous love called grace; it’s not something we deserve and our only contribution was a simple act of faith, therefore we have no reason to boast, except to boast in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:28-31).  

The world we live in doesn’t need to see or hear more about our gifting or our accomplishments, they need to see and hear more about the One who came to rescue them. As redeemed children of the Most High, our conversation should be filled with less about us and more about Him. And when we do happen to get recognized by the world for something we have done, we should be quick to not boast in ourselves, but instead use the opportunity as a chance to boast about our Savior!  After all, He alone holds the power to save!  

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“Live by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16)

Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd

Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

616-696-3904

 

June is the time that we celebrate commencement exercises of our high schoolers. This is a time of joy and excitement for all! 

To the families, especially moms and dads, you probably watched your son/daughter graduate with joy and amazement. It probably seemed like it was just yesterday that you held this newborn child in your arms and now he/she is about to enter the world as an adult. As an uncle of five nieces and nephews, I now begin to share this joy and amazement with my brothers and sisters as my oldest nephew just graduated from high school. Thank you to all parents for accepting the gift of life and being a good steward of such a gift.

To the graduates, some of you will continue your education in colleges/universities; some will enter the work force; and some will take time off to explore the world and discern God’s plan for your life. What an exciting time! Many of you will be on your own for the first time. Not living under your parents’ roof will provide a certain sense of freedom. You are still their son/daughter, but now you will be making your own decisions. With this freedom comes with great responsibility. I encourage you to make wise choices for all the actions in your life. 

How does one make good choices in our life? “Live by the Spirit” (Gal 5:16) is the advice of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians. This is good advice. When we live according to the guidance of God’s spirit, our lives will bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit as well. The apostle continues:  “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (5:22-23).  

Ask yourself these questions when making decisions: Is this choice motivated by love for God and others? Will it increase joy for those involved? Will it preserve a sense of peace in the environment? Will it be an act of kindness and an expression of generosity? Will it be a faithful response to God’s love and relations with others? Is it an act of gentleness and shows my maturity in overcoming selfishness? If the action does not lead to these fruits, then it is not living by the Spirit and therefore, not a good choice.

Congratulations to all the graduates! May you live by the spirit so as to find true happiness in the exciting journey ahead of you! May you bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit and transform the world, which is filled with the “fruits of the flesh” (Gal 5:19-20). Graduates of 2018, you are called to be salt of the earth and light of the world (Mt 5: 13;14).   Amen.

In addition to being the priest of St. John Paul II Parish, Cedar Springs, Father Lam also proudly serves as Pastor of Mary Queen of Apostles Parish, 1 W Maple Street, Sand Lake, MI. 49343. Phone 616-636-5671.

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KATHERINE J. VERHEEK

 

Katherine J. “Jane” Verheek, age 91, of Coker Creek, Tennessee and formerly of Greenville, Michigan went home to be with the Lord Thursday, June 21, 2018 at her home while surrounded by her loving family. She was preceded in death by her husband, George J. Verheek; parents, Emerson and Amelia Bulcher Brown; sisters, Arlene Dielman and Margaret Moss and sons-in-law, Frederick Philippus and Ronald Kroes. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan then for 40+ years Greenville, Michigan was home where she partnered with her husband in “Three Seasons RV Park”. The last 4 ½ years Jane has lived on a mountaintop in Coker Creek, Tennessee with her daughter, Merrisue and late son-in-law, Ron. Jane loved her family and God. A Christian woman of deep faith, Jane can now rest peacefully. She is survived by her daughter, Carol (Richard) Engstrom of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; son, Gary (Sandra) Verheek of Winter Haven, Florida; daughter, Merrisue Kroes of Coker Creek, Tennessee; son, Jeffery (Susan) Verheek of Greenville, Michigan; sister, Eleanor Kiley of Chicago, Illinois; 11 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews and her special friend for Monday morning telephone calls, Carol Scott. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date in Coker Creek, Tennessee. If you are unable to attend, you may sign the guest registry on our website at www.myersfuneralhometn.com.

Arrangements by Myers Funeral Home, Tellico Plains, Tennessee

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JOHN BLUE

 

John Blue, 77, of Cedar Springs, Michigan passed away peacefully at home on June 12, 2018. His wife, Deloris, of 58 years, was by his side. John is survived by his children; Lora, Rodney, Jody and Shawn. Also surviving are 10 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. As he wished, cremation has taken place. Please join the family to celebrate John’s life on July 12, 2018 from 4 to 8 p.m. at White Creek Country Estates community building.

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Michael J. Flintoff III

In memory of 

Michael J. Flintoff III

May 1, 2018 – May 12, 2018

I never knew I could love so much,

until the day I felt your touch.

I softly kissed your cheeks

And from under your lashes I saw you peek.

Your sweet smile and soft laugh

Little memories that will always last

You taught me in your short time

That not every heart is kind

We only had a little while

I’ll remember ever heartbeat, every smile.

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Conflict: the great distraction

Pastor Kristi Rhodes

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

One thing everyone will come face to face with at some point in their life (some more than others), is conflict.  Sadly enough, it has the power to destroy relationships, friendships and even entire families. Just imagine the devastation it causes churches, which only distracts from the very purpose for their existence.

While watching a National Geographic episode on animal communities in the wild, it reminded me of the safari we were on in Africa a couple years ago. There were very large herds of antelope and other various animals. Normally they are very alert to predators. However, as two of the antelope began to fight, others in the herd seemed to become absorbed in the fight and soon they were oblivious to the fact that there was a lion prowling around just watching for an opportunity to attack.

This is the very picture that God paints for us in His Word. He tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour! This spoke to me as a strong warning for the Church. In the church, when we fight one another, we become distracted and vulnerable to attack. The more people that get distracted by getting involved in various disputes, the less effective we become for God’s Kingdom in ministry.  

I see it on a more personal level with individual families. If Satan, the enemy of our soul, can keep God’s children distracted by fighting each other, we won’t be fighting him. He will be able to just prance in and devour our young, weak and vulnerable. Then we wonder, how did this happen?

Life here on earth involves many battles in which God promises you victory through Jesus Christ. There are always going to be challenges, difficulties and problems to solve. Still there are times when they intensify, and we seem to be coming under major attack. Martin Luther King said that the ultimate measure of a person is not where we stand when things are going great, but where we stand in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy.   

There are many verses in Proverbs as well as throughout the Bible that contrast the “wise and the foolish.” A few things I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) 

  • Avoid unnecessary quarrelling—don’t sweat the small stuff or the disputable matters.  
  • Seek wise counsel; not just anyone who will listen. Don’t involve others in your disagreement. Gossip is another ugly distraction.
  • Trust that God can bring good out of evil. Turn it over to Him and follow His lead.
  • Strengthen one another. Pray for each other.

Let’s be vigilant as God instructs us. Focus on what unites instead of what divides.

We need unity in the family of believers, united in Christ for battle against the real enemy. Less fighting each other and more fighting the real enemy. That’s where we truly belong!

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GINA CRAMER

January 21, 1932 – June 18, 1998

Twenty years ago I lost my best friend, my mom. 

Nothing has felt right since that day. 

I miss you so much, Mom, sometimes the pain is just too much.

I love you, Mom.

Your loving daughter, Robin

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WANDA REYBURN

 

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal. Please join us for a celebration of a life well lived. A memorial service will be held in memory of our beloved Mother, Wanda Reyburn, at the Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home in Sparta, Michigan, on July 14th, 2018, at 11 a.m. followed by a lunch at the Sparta Community Center at 12:30 p.m.

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EVELYN J. MAXSON

Evelyn J. Maxson 88 of Cedar Springs, died Saturday, June 9, 2018 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Evelyn was born January 23, 1930 in Evanston, Illinois the daughter of Ellsworth and Florence (Lee) Norton. She was a longtime Cedar Springs resident and had worked at several area restaurants including the A&W Drive-In and baking pies for many years at Kelly’s. She enjoyed listening to music, ice cream and watching traffic go by. She loved her family and grandchildren and hosting family gatherings at holidays and during the Red Flannel Festival. Surviving are her children, Steve (Mary) Maxson, Randy (Robin) Maxson, Dave Maxson, Pat Bartaway, Mike Maxson; 18 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter-in-law, Cindy Maxson; brother, Frank Norton; sister, Marilyn Tennant. The Maxson family would like to thank the staff at Metron of Cedar Springs and Hospice of Michigan for their care. The family greeted friends Tuesday, June 12 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service was held Wednesday. Pastor Tim Mauriello officiating. Interment Maple Hill Cemetery, Charlotte. Memorial contributions may be made to WGVU Public Television and Radio.

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

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