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Minnia A. Hanes, 59 of Cedar Springs passed away October 22, 2015 in Grand Rapids, MI. Minnia was born November 10, 1955 in Sparta, MI, the daughter of George and Bernice Loughin. Surviving are her children, Cheryl (David) Finnila, Joshua (Kerri) Hanes and Jeremy (Carrie) Hanes all of Cedar Springs; grandchildren, Stephanie Finnila, Ethan and Allison Hanes and Alexander and Katherine Hanes; significant other, Daniel Towns of Cedar Springs and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded by her parents and several siblings. The family received friends Sunday from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. No formal services will be held. Memorials to donor’s charity of choice.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home.

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43C-mem-RhinebergerOctober 22, 2015

A memorial service for Dale Rhineberger will be held on November 7, 2015 from 1 to 5 pm at Pierson Bible Church, 101 Grand St., Pierson, Michigan.

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Answers to prayer

cs-united-methodistPastor Steve Lindeman

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St.

Cedar Springs, MI  49319


We learn in Scripture that Christ often spent time in prayer. We don’t always know what he prayed for, but we are told that Jesus would go to quiet places—to escape the crowds that followed him and go to the Father in prayer. What would he do then? After his spirit was revived during these quiet times, he set out, once again, to minister to the people. Jesus taught, healed the sick, fed the hungry and cast out demons. And he did all of these things with the power and authority that he had as the Son of God and with the power of prayer. Today, I think that we, as Christians, can sometimes get caught in a trap. We read the Bible and find teachings on prayer, like the words found in Matthew 21:22, “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” When we read this verse outside of the context of rest of the Bible, we might think that prayer is a test of faith, and if we don’t receive what we pray for, our faith must be suspect. Not true. When we examine Scripture closely, we find that prayers are not always answered in the way that we might expect. Jesus didn’t always get what he prayed for. When he asked for the cup to be taken from him (Luke 22:42), we know that it was not. Paul prayed for the thorn to be removed from his side (2nd Corinthians 12:7-9), but it was not. God heard these prayers but did not answer them how we might have expected him to. He did, however, transform them into something even greater.

We can learn something from the unanswered prayers of Jesus and Paul. They didn’t pray and then just sit and wait for an answer.  They prayed–going to God in faith–and then they continued their work. Their prayer was followed up with action. And though, sometimes, their specific prayers were not answered in the way we might have expected, we know that God responded to their requests by continuing to work through them so that his plan for history might be worked out.

It is the same for us today; we might not always get specifically what we ask for in our times of prayer. We might not understand why the answers to our prayers are not what we expect. Our response needs to be to keep praying. We must also continue to do good work, and to reach out to others with the love of Christ. For when we are faithful, God will work through us as he did with Jesus and Paul, and transform our lives, into something new and into something even better than we expected.

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42 obit -Levandowski

On the morning of October 19, 2015, Nathan Wayne Levandowski of Cedar Springs, Michigan, passed away in the loving arms of his wife Jennifer, as a result of injuries sustained after being struck by an automobile— he was 39 years old. Nate was born the last of three sons, to Wayne and Barbara (Schneider) Levandowski on August 17, 1976, in Saginaw, Michigan. He was a 1994 graduate of Heritage High School and had been a longtime resident of the Cedar Springs area. On May 20, 1995, he married his high school sweetheart and soulmate, Jennifer Lyn Kasparek. They created a beautiful life and family together with endless precious and wonderful memories in their twenty years of marriage. Nate and Jennifer were blessed with three amazingly smart, beautiful, sweet, and caring children; Katie Lyn, born on January 6, 2001, Brian Nathan on February 15, 2004, and Jacob Steven on April 17, 2010. Nate was a wonderful and loving father and family man. He loved his children more than anything on this earth, and was so proud of each one of them. He always took the time, every day, to talk to them, help with homework, teach them all the things he knew and liked to do, and also, to just be silly and have fun. Each one of them have many special memories of how he could make them smile and of the time they spent together. Nate joined the Spencer Township Fire Department in 2001, and was a volunteer firefighter, medical first responder, and rescue lieutenant. He loved helping people and his community and the many friendships he made through his seven years with the department. Nate was a loving and devoted husband, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, and friend. He was an intensely intelligent man who was known to be able to fix anything he got his hands on. Nate had a unique ability to look at any problem or situation, and know how to find a solution or make an improvement. He was a natural leader and many who knew him considered him to be a mentor and someone to look up to. Nate had many close friends and colleagues in his many years spent working at Dennen Steel Corp., and more recently at Big Rapids Products. He always considered his work colleagues as his second family. Nate was very dedicated to his work and took an immense amount of pride in every aspect of his job. He was also known by his colleagues as someone who put the people he worked with first— always asking how he could help them succeed in what they were doing, and more importantly, asking and listening to what was happening in their lives. Nate is survived by his beloved wife Jennifer Levandowski; three beautiful children, Katie, Brian, and Jacob Levandowski; mother Barbara Levandowski; brother Randall Levandowski; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other beloved members of the Levandowski and Kasparek families. He was preceded in death by his father, Wayne Levandowski; and brother Steven Levandowski. There will be a time of visitation from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 25, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Following visitation, there will be a time of sharing, scripture service, and a Last Call from the Spencer Township Fire Department at 8:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 26, 2015, at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, 4865 11 Mile Road NE, Rockford, Michigan 49341. Fr. Tony Russo will be presiding. There will also be a one hour visitation prior to Mass at church. Nate will be laid to rest in Courtland Township Cemetery. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to assist the Spencer Township Fire Department, 12131 18 Mile Road NE, Gowen, MI 49326.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home


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Pheasant season offers growing opportunities for hunters


With pheasant hunting just under way, the Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that there are a growing number of opportunities to take part in this treasured Michigan tradition.

Pheasant hunting season runs Oct. 10-31 in the Upper Peninsula in Menominee County and portions of Iron, Marquette, Dickinson and Delta counties; Oct. 20-Nov. 14 in the Lower Peninsula; and Dec. 1-Jan. 1 in selected areas of Zone 3 in the southern Lower Peninsula. The bag limit is two male pheasants daily, with four in possession. A base license is required to hunt pheasants.

“A few years ago Outdoor Life magazine rated Michigan’s Thumb among the top 10 places in the country to go pheasant hunting, which points to the fact that pheasant hunting is still alive and well in our state,” said Al Stewart, DNR upland game bird specialist. “The DNR and our partners are making progress toward creating more quality pheasant hunting opportunities with the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, a collaborative effort to revitalize Michigan pheasants.”

The Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative aims to create small-game hunting opportunities, increase wildlife populations, improve hunter satisfaction and help Michigan’s economy. Landowners can get involved – and can get technical and financial assistance—by forming cooperatives to create and enhance pheasant habitat.

“It has been exciting to see what the MPRI coalition of partners has been doing over the last few years to improve pheasant habitat, pheasant numbers and pheasant hunting in southern Michigan,” said Bill Vander Zouwen, Pheasants Forever representative and Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative Coalition co-chair. “For example, the DNR bought 917 acres and improved thousands of acres on state game areas, Pheasants Forever provided 75,000 acres of habitat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture farm programs provided nearly 100,000 acres of habitat, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helped landowners improve close to 3,000 acres. I am really looking forward to seeing what the next five years will bring.”

The best counties for pheasant hunting are in south-central Michigan to mid-Michigan and into the Thumb. There are some localized concentrations of birds elsewhere, based on habitat availability. Stewart advises hunters to look for warm-season grasses, especially idled farm fields. Late-season hunters can have success in cattails and shrub lands adjoining picked agricultural fields.

Hunters may be interested in the recently published 2015 Michigan Ring-Necked Pheasant Status Report. The report, along with more information on pheasant hunting and the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, can be found at mi.gov/pheasant.

The DNR asks hunters to help monitor pheasants and quail in Michigan by becoming a “hunter cooperator” and filling out a survey form, which provides important information about the status of these game birds. The form should be returned by Oct. 28 for the early season, and by Jan. 5 for the regular season.

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10th Anniversary



October 8, 2015

Jack and Riley Lesperance renewed their wedding vows for their 10th wedding anniversary. Officiating was Pastor Kristi Rhodes.

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October 15, 2003

He has gone across the river

To the shore of Evergreen.

And we long to see his dear face,

But the river flows between.

Someday, sometime, we shall see

The face we loved so well.

Someday we’ll clasp his hand,

and never say farewell.

Sadly missed by his wife, children

grandchildren and great-grandchildren

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Brian D. VanEnk, 50, of Sand Lake, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at his home. Brian was born June 10, 1965 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Robert and Joan (Zwak) VanEnk. He was a software engineer at Burke Porter Machinery for 26 years and was a member of Ensley Baptist Church. Surviving are his wife, Susan (Fagerman) whom he married on October 24, 1992; children, Steven, Grace, and Annalise; mother, Joan VanEnk; sister, Carla (Ted) Ooyevaar; parents-in-law, Gus and Norma Fagerman; sisters-in-law, Karen (Tom) Knorps, Julie (Gary) Turner, Janice (Rob) Smith, and Karen Fagerman; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert VanEnk and a brother-in-law, Mark Fagerman. The family will greet friends Wednesday from 5-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be held Thursday 11:00 am at Ensley Baptist Church, 7077 E. 120th St., Sand Lake. The family will greet friends starting a 10:00 am. Pastor Timothy Decker officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Ensley Baptist Church.
Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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You give them something to eat

C-East-Nelson-UnitedPastor Herb VanderBilt 

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs MI 49319


“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 

Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 

“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children” Matthew 14: 13-21.

 According to the Gospel of Matthew, the beheading of John the Baptist changes the scope of Jesus’ ministry. Up until this time, Jesus was teaching and leading his disciples through some important lessons.  The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of lessons about not only discipleship but also some practical advice on how to behave in the vision of the kingdom that Jesus describes. Many of these sayings have been incorporated into our everyday speech like “turn the other cheek,” “eye for an eye,”  “salt of the earth and others. Also, up until this time, Jesus has been doing everything, he has healed the sick, cast out demons and is teaching about what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.  So it must have been somewhat surprising to the disciples when they tried to get rid of the hungry crowds, Jesus does something different. He puts the disciples in charge. Jesus turns the tables and says, “You give them something to eat.” The disciples, of course, are dumbfounded and look at themselves and then to Jesus and said, essentially, “We can’t feed them, we don’t have enough food.”  Of course, Jesus shows them they are wrong, what they have is enough.

As we encounter this world we live in, we, too, are sometimes at a loss for how to make disciples for Jesus Christ. We complain that we don’t have enough, we don’t  have the right kind of church building, the right music, the right community.  We would like to do more for local missions such as the food pantry, Second Chance School, or Kid’s Hope but we think we just don’t have enough.  Our text today disagrees with our assessment; we do have enough if we allow Jesus to be at the center of all we do. Jesus has entrusted us with bringing the Good News to those who desperately need to be fed and with Jesus’ help we do have enough.  You give them something to eat.


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October 5, 2005

10 years have passed,

but seems like yesterday.

Always loved,

Lily and families

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