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Archive | Church Connection

JOHN G. ANDERSON, SR.

 

 

Mr. John G. Anderson, Sr, age 75 of Fenwick, Michigan (formerly of Rockford) passed away on Monday, August 11, 2014 at his residence. John loved to spend time with his family and people in general and to joke and tease. He was a master mechanic and enjoyed doing auto body work. He loved driving truck and taught all of his children how to as well. He was a collector of guns, loved to fish and read westerns. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Catherine (Horn) Anderson and a daughter Gertrude “Trudy” Barnes. John is survived by his wife of 56 years Mary Jane (Stray) Anderson; three daughters, Jane Marie (Gary) Bredeweg, Patty (Robert) Emelander, Penny (Randy) Covey; son, John (Brandi) Anderson Jr.; three brothers, Robert (Elaine) Anderson, William D. Anderson, R. Michael (Diane) Anderson; four sisters, Kean (Donald) Kaliniak, Isabelle T. DuMonte, Mary E. Anderson, Gertrude C. Patterson; grandchildren, 15; great-grandchildren, 10; Brother-in-law, Robert Stray; Brother-in-law, Merrill (April) Stray; Sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Jerry) Gibson and special grandson Adam Anderson who he raised. Visitation will be held Friday, August 15, 2014 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm & 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Fields-McKinley Funeral and Cremation Services, Newaygo Chapel. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:00 am at the Fields-McKinley Funeral and Cremation Services Newaygo Chapel with Father Pete Shaffer, officiating. Burial will take place in the Oak Grove Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Diabetes Foundation or Dialysis Foundation. Envelopes are available at the funeral home. Please share your memories of John with his family at www.fieldsmckinley.com.

Arrangements by Fields-McKinley Funeral and Cremation Services

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Larry Earl Carr

Mr. Larry Earl Carr, age 74, went to be with his Lord on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at home surrounded by his loving family. Larry was retired from CSX and an Air Force veteran. For more information regarding visitations or the funeral, please contact Pederson Funeral Home in Rockford (http://www.pedersonfuneralhome.com) or view the Grand Rapids Press on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

 

UPDATED: 8/15/2014

C-OBIT-Carr-LarryMr. Larry Earl Carr, Sr. of Cedar Springs, age 74, went home to be with his Lord on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, at home in the presence of his loving family. Larry was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 20, 1940 to James and Carolyn (née Woodward) Carr and had been a long-time resident of the Cedar Springs area. When he was still a teenager, Larry joined the United States Air Force, proudly serving his flag and country in the 1611th Air Transport Wing, stationed at McGuire Air Force Base, NJ. In 1978, Larry married the love of his life, Joyce Myrtle Stone, on Saturday, the 26th of August in Grand Rapids, MI. He also worked for CSX Corporation in Grand Rapids until his retirement. Larry was a kindhearted man, a jokester, and the kind of person always willing to lend a helping hand. Larry leaves behind his beloved wife of thirty-five years, Joyce; loving children Becky Mabin, Larry Carr, Jr., and Kim (Lee) Armstrong; step-son Rod Rathbun; twelve grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; brother David (Lois) Carr; sister Sherry (Tom) VanderPlow; sister-in-law Marilyn Stone; many nieces and nephews; and special friend Burt Smith. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers James and Tom Carr; and sisters Nancy Patrick, Carol Hatchew, Margie Aemisegger, Susie Wheeler, and Mary Kay Carr. There will be a time of visitation from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 17, 2014, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Larry will he held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 18, 2014 at Grace Evangelical Free Church, 4714 Thirteen Mile Road, Rockford, Michigan, 49341; Pastor Kevin Reed will be officiating; there will be a one hour visitation prior to the service. Larry’s family would like to extend a very special thank you to Katie and Erin with the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion and Stephanie and Sarah with Heartland Hospice, for the compassion, kindness, and care provided to Larry and his family. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to the Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson Drive NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534; or to the Grace Evangelical Free Church.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Real men

First-Baptist-church-currenPastor Jim Howard

First Baptist Church

233 S. Main, Cedar Springs

 

 

What is a real man? By the standards of today, a real man is someone who doesn’t exist except in the imaginations of those in Hollywood and the marketing industry. Supposedly, a real man looks like an Adonis, acts macho, and always wins. In reality, a real man is defined not by what he looks like, but who he is! Real men, for the most part, do not look like the latest “hunk” of a movie star or sports legend. He may not have rippling muscles, or stand over six feet tall, he may not even have a full head of hair. Real men are comfortable in their skin and have made their share of mistakes, and will make more.

Today I will start a three part series on what Real Men Are, from the Word of God. Note what God says in 1 Cor. 1:27-28 (ESV), “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.”

History records for us the stories of men and women who would not stand out in a crowd, yet turned their world on its ear. For example: John Adams, Nathan Hale, Mary Draper, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, etc. Are we prepared to make a difference in our generation?

This initial devotional will deal with becoming Men of Courage. I will make note of five points that make for men of courage. First, real men recognize their disobedience and rebellion. Our culture has created a mindset that says that I’m not a bad person and that a loving God will overlook my sin. We have become a self-indulgent generation and choose to disobey God’s instructions. We must come to grips with this and acknowledge the fact that I, and I alone, am responsible for my actions and the sin that is a part of my life (unlike King Saul of old 1 Sam. 15).

Second, real men accept the consequences of disobeying God. God will chasten those whom He loves (Heb. 12:5-14). Our disobedience has consequences (Jms. 4:9; 2 Cor. 7:9-10; Ps. 32) that are often found in our emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual lives. Symptoms that we try to explain away, but yet are very real, such as bitterness, discouragement, anger, jealousy, exhaustion, substance abuse, impatience, critical spirit, etc.

Third, real men understand that there is a time factor!  The longer we choose to ignore the Lord, the more bad decisions we are going to make. As long as we continue to listen to ungodly advice and follow the wrong compass in our decision-making, the deeper into the quicksand we sink.  There is a real danger of waiting too long. Paul told Timothy there was danger that our conscience would become seared, which means burned or insensitive to stimulus (1 Tim. 4:2). There is also the danger of settling for the good when you can have the best (Eph. 4:17-24).

Fourth, real men defeat the Arthur Fonzarelli syndrome. The Fonz couldn’t or wouldn’t say the words, “I was wrong.” We need to own up! Don’t make excuses or try to pass the buck. We need to fess up! This isn’t a pride issue (1 Jn. 2:15-16). We need to catch up!  Don’t let things accumulate, keep short accounts. We need to give up!  Surrender control of your life to the One Who holds all your days. We need to check up! Take a look at your daily habits and routines that may be setting you up for failure. We need to grow up! Start moving down the path to spiritual maturity in your relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to look up! Remember the principle of Mt. 25:21 and being faithful in the little things. God’s forgiveness is immediate. And we need to make up! Here we need to ignore Hollywood again and the words of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, “never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness.” A sincere apology may be in order; make it sincere and a reality.

Finally, real men are men who are after God’s own heart! Remember King David? He lived for 18 months thumbing his nose at God. What about his sin? After he repented, he was forgiven (2 Sam. 12:13). There were consequences, but God forgave him, and his life was turned around and counted for something once again. He was indeed, a man after God’s Own heart!

You can spend your life any way you like but you can only spend it once. Listen to the words of Joshua who led the people of Israel into the promised land. Joshua 24:15: (ESV) “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

 

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The Man behind the curtain

 

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

 

What do Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, have in common? Seventy-five years ago this week, these towns hosted the first public release for one of the greatest films ever—The Wizard of Oz.

I love the scene where Dorothy and her friends return to Oz’s throne room with the Witch’s broomstick, confirming that their assignment is complete. But the Wizard rebuffs them. He is about to renege on the handing out of home, brains, hearts, and courage.

Then, in the midst of booming voices, thunderclaps, and lightning bolts, Toto scurries over to a mystical shower stall and pulls back the curtain. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” the Wizard warns. But the game is over. There is no great and powerful Oz. There is only Oscar Zoroaster Diggs from Omaha, Nebraska.

This scene reveals the truth on so many levels. There is nothing to be afraid of—especially when it comes to God. We have been told that God, the “Wizard,” is more terrifying than all the dangers of the world. We know we need God and all that he offers, but we might as soon throw ourselves out his palace window to escape his terrors than to remain in his presence.

Yet, this is all smoke, mirrors, curtains, and megaphones, for Jesus has done something even the legendary Toto could not accomplish. He doesn’t just pull the curtain back, he tears it asunder, showing us a God who isn’t playing games or hiding his true identity.

God is a compassionate, loving, heart-sick parent who refused to keep his distance from us, who decided he would no longer allow his name or reputation to be misrepresented, but would present himself as a mere mortal, that he might enter our sufferings and undo the chaos of his creation.

The coming of Jesus into the world was the coming of God into the world. And the cross of Jesus, in all of its foolish glory, did not change God—he has always been in love with humanity—it changes us. With no heavy curtain obscuring our perspective, we see that God is more gracious, more wonderful, more welcoming, and more loving than we previously imagined; there is no reason to be afraid of him. This is not a fanciful measure of “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” It is the place we call home, and there’s no place like it.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

 

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Billy L. Morris

Billy L. Morris

Billy L. Morris

Billy L. “Bill” Morris, 82, of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, August 10, 2014, at his home. Bill was born November 12, 1931, in Cannon Township, MI, the son of James and Edith (Hess) Morris. He had worked for the Kent County Road Commission for 37 years, and had been a member of Solon Fire Department and the North Kent Snowmobile Club. Surviving are his wife, Wanda (Parker), whom he married on September 9, 1950; children, Ann & Larry Cornell, Curt & Julie Morris, Charlene & Bill Fifield; grandchildren, Nutasha Tolsma, Jon, Theresa, Brett, and Katelyn Fifield, Michael Morris, Laurissa Cornell, Vikki Berry; great-grandchildren, Chevelle, Jordan, Amari, Kadence, and Brody; sister-in-law, Rosemary Morris. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, James and Phillip. The family will greet friends Wednesday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services will be held Thursday 11:00 am. Pastor Gilbert Morris officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice, 4500 Breton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

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George E. Frost

32C obit FrostGeorge E. Frost, 86, of Rodney, passed away on Sunday, August 3, 2014 at his residence. He was born August 19, 1927, in Lansing, the son of George and Helen (DeWitt) Frost. During World War II, he served with the US Navy, stationed in Guam. Following his discharge, George returned to Lansing, and on May 16, 1951, he married Doris Jean Wade. The couple then moved to Cedar Springs, and George worked as a machinist for Michigan Wheel in Grand Rapids until retiring in 1989. During this time, he also served on the Algoma Township Fire Department, and retired from there as the Assistant Chief. He was a member of the Moose Lodge. Doris preceded George in death in 1989, and he moved to the Big Rapids area in 1999, where he had lived since. Surviving are four sons; George (Judy) of El Paso, Texas, Lee of Trufant, Robert (Barbara) of Rodney, and Archie (Elaine) of Coldwater; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was also preceded in death by his daughter-in-law Sue, two brothers, and three sisters. Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m., Thursday, August 7, 2014, at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids, with his family greeting friends beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday. Following cremation, burial will be in the Algoma Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions in his name may be left at the funeral home. Share a memory or express condolences at www.mohnkefuneralhome.com

Arrangements by Mohnke Funeral Home, Big Rapids

 

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Irene L. Wulff

C-OBIT-WulffIrene L. Wulff, 95, of Rockford, died Sunday, August 3, 2014 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Irene was born April 10, 1919 in Saranac, Michigan the daughter of James and Della (Schreiner) Hamblin. She enjoyed her flowers and gardening, music in the park, coffee with the girls, fishing and camping. Surviving are her children, Linda & William Mason, Leon & Cecilia Hall, Bill & Sue Hall; stepson, Dean & Brenda Wulff; four grandchildren; ten step grandchildren; ten great grandchildren; one great great grandson. She was preceded in death by her husbands, John Hall and Art Wulff; children, Bonnie, Charles and Richard; three sisters and two brothers. The family greeted friends Wednesday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services will be held Thursday 11:00 am. Pastor Jennings Johnson officiating. Interment Fairplains Cemetery, Sparta. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 957 Spaulding Avenue, SE, Ada, MI 49301.

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

 

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What it Takes to be content

Rev. Mike Shiery

Pilgrim bible Church

West Pine St. • Cedar Springs

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 

I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV)

Thomas Watson once said, “Discontent keeps a man from enjoying what he does possess. A drop or two of vinegar will sour a whole glass of wine.” Charles Spurgeon painted the other side of the picture, “A little sprig of the herb called content put into the poorest soup will make it taste as rich as the Lord Mayor’s turtle.”

It isn’t what we have, but what we enjoy that makes for a rich life, and the wise person understands that contentment is not having everything we want, but enjoying everything we have. It is ironic that Americans enjoy the highest standard of living, but concurrently have such an astronomical level of discontent.

Real contentment is a jewel to be treasured. Contentment is possible to possess despite circumstances which may not be what we would choose. As is always the case, real contentment is only truly possible if we base it on the foundation of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Once we have that relationship, we must fervently maintain a freshness in that relationship. If we do not maintain a vibrant relationship with Christ then dissatisfaction, discouragement and division will spring up and discontentment results. If we keep a fresh relationship with our Savior contentment results because we are confident in the sovereignty of God to work our good in our lives.

So how do we keep a fresh spiritual walk with God and thereby stay content in a world gone mad. I believe some answers to that question are found in Psalm 1. In this passage of Scripture we are given a picture of trees growing on riverbanks, bearing fruit and exhibiting strength.

Psalm 1:1 teaches us that we are to separate from the mindset of the world. To do that we must have our minds renewed and think on things that are good and pleasing to a clear conscience.

Psalm 1:2 characterizes the contented Christian as one whose mind is saturated by the Word of God. A contented Christian has a view of life which springs from the Bible. Such saturation with the Scriptures is the secret to satisfaction in the soul.

Psalm 1:3 says that we are to be situated by the water, which is a beautiful picture of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God’s supply of grace is inexhaustible and when we are living according to the tenets of the Bible it makes us contented.

Personal contentment in one’s soul results in proper perspectives, priorities and progress. Even in today’s chaotic events, we can still prove the truth that Godliness with contentment is great gain.

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The Man Behind the Curtain

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

What do Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, have in common? Seventy-five years ago this week, these towns hosted the first public release for one of the greatest films ever. “The Wizard of Oz.”

I love the scene where Dorothy and her friends return to Oz’s throne room with the Witch’s broomstick, confirming that their assignment is complete. But the Wizard rebuffs them. He is about to renege on the handing out of home, brains, hearts, and courage.

Then, in the midst of booming voices, thunderclaps, and lightning bolts, Toto scurries over to a mystical shower stall and pulls back the curtain. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” the Wizard warns. But the game is over. There is no great and powerful Oz. There is only Oscar Zoroaster Diggs from Omaha, Nebraska.

This scene reveals the truth on so many levels. There is nothing to be afraid of – especially when it comes to God. We have been told that God, the “Wizard,” is more terrifying than all the dangers of the world. We know we need God and all that he offers, but we might as soon throw ourselves out his palace window to escape his terrors than to remain in his presence.

Yet, this is all smoke, mirrors, curtains, and megaphones, for Jesus has done something even the legendary Toto could not accomplish. He doesn’t just pull the curtain back, he tears it asunder, showing us a God who isn’t playing games or hiding his true identity.

God is a compassionate, loving, heart-sick parent who refused to keep his distance from us, who decided he would no longer allow his name or reputation to be misrepresented, but would present himself as a mere mortal, that he might enter our sufferings and undo the chaos of his creation.

The coming of Jesus into the world was the coming of God into the world. And the cross of Jesus, in all of its foolish glory, did not change God – he has always been in love with humanity – it changes us. With no heavy curtain obscuring our perspective, we see that God is more gracious, more wonderful, more welcoming, and more loving than we previously imagined; there is no reason to be afraid of him. This is not a fanciful measure of “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” It is the place we call home, and there’s no place like it.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

 

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Get out there

C-East-Nelson-UnitedPastor Herb VanderBilt 

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd. • Cedar Springs MI 49319

Psalm 104:1-5: “Praise the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants. He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.”

I know that the marketing campaigns have already reached the supermarkets and retail outlets with the plaintiff cry that it is time to go back to school. Well some of us are not ready for summer to be over just yet. In the words of one of the cruise line commercials, August is a time to “Get out there!”

This afternoon we got on the bikes and hit the trail. With all that is going on in our lives it just seemed right. We live in an artificial environment inside a dome of television, Internet, Facebook, and email.  While any one of these by themselves is not bad, one thing that they all have in common is that they are never ending.

When I grew up and we watched late night television, there came a point in the programming where they would show the flag, play the national anthem and then the screen went fuzzy. It was over for the day.

Now we live in a world that is seemingly non-ending. The television will play all night, email keeps coming in, people are constantly posting on Facebook, and you can shop at Meijer 24 hours a day. For some of us that means that we have lost our Circadian rhythm, or the internal clock that tells us when to be active and when to fall asleep.

One way to reset the internal clock is to get out into nature and allow God’s creation to anchor us once again to the foundation of the earth. August, with its long days and mild weather, is the perfect time to reset our body and soul, before all the business of the school year begins again.

Get out there!

 

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