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Archive | Church Connection

GINA CRAMER

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In loving memory of my beloved mom, Gina Cramer, who passed away 17 years ago on June 18, 1998.

When the day turns into night,

And you’re way beyond my sight.

I think of you, I think of you.

When the night turns into day,

And you still are far away,

I think of you, I think of you.

And I always will, Mom. I miss and love you so much.

Your loving daughter,

Robin

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PENNY MARIE CASTINE

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June 22, 1988 to July 13, 2000

Deeply missed,

Dad and Joe (JoJo)

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Perseverance

C-East-NelsonPastor Herb VanderBilt 

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs MI 49319

 

 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4  

Based in this passage of scripture from the Book of James, I have had many opportunities for joy this past month. We are remodeling our daughter’s kitchen, putting in base cabinets, a pre-molded countertop and a new sink. Each step has been filled with multiple tests of patience and ability. And although there are a few existing challenges, there is joy in the finished product, and a growing in knowledge of the right and wrong way to plumb a sink.

James, however, is not talking about remodeling projects. He is speaking to the dispersed Jewish Christians who are struggling in the faith and dealing with the challenges of being a Christian. The letter is addressed to those Christians who have been scattered throughout the then known world and are far away from where they started and are learning that in order to live out their faith, there are many trials and temptations that come.

James is telling them and all of us that to have a mature faith, we need to expect trials. In fact, it is through these trials that a strong mature faith can develop. As we share our trials and temptations with each other, we also need to keep encouraging those who are going through a trial to keep trying.

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Trust the Coach

 

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

 

This year I’ve been coaching Little League baseball. It has been a lot of fun, because 12-year-olds experience the whole “Field of Dreams” mystique in a way that is lost on older players. They have learned a lot – about hitting and fielding – but also about faith.

In their natural state, these players don’t trust their coaches, evidenced by the fact that they refuse to follow our instructions. “Run!” the coach says. But they won’t budge. “Stay!” I scream, but inexplicably, they run. The admonition, “You can’t hit a fastball thrown above your hands,” is repeated for the umpteenth time, but they keep swinging as if swatting flies.

Twelve-year-olds, with minuscule experience, think they know more about playing the game than the old men who are coaching them. It all comes down to faith, for the challenge put to these players time and again is this: Trust the coach and do it his way?

That’s a lesson for everyone, not just for prepubescent boys. Life will always come down to doing things your way or God’s way. There’s nothing else. You will trust you—what you can do, what you can see, what you can predict, how far you can go—or you will trust God—in what he can do.

Sure, you can go all “Invictus” with life and be “the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.” Admittedly, it will be invigorating to face the storms alone, to navigate the waters solo, and to call your own shots; at least for a while, but eventually it’s simply exhausting. Or you can hand the responsibility for your life over to God and allow him to direct and do with it as he pleases.

Humanity has been managing its own destiny for more than a few millennia now, and while our knowledge and technical proficiency continue to grow, our measure of wisdom and common sense seems as stunted as ever. We manage only to hurt others, our planet, ourselves, and our future with greater speed and efficiency.

So the decision is left to make, a daily choice though it may be, either to continue with our destructive ways or entrust the control of life and life’s events to God, trusting him with all outcomes. If we truly believe, we will choose the latter—the life of surrender—because we are what we do, not what we say we believe.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

 

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In loving memory

23-mem-Gates-bwSTEVEN JOEL GATES

June 14, 1958 – July 1, 1990

Always remembered.

Always missed.

Mom & Dad and family

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RHONDA J. EADIE

23C obit Eadie PicRhonda J. Eadie, age 51, of Cedar Springs, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 5, 2015.  Rhonda was preceded in death by her mother, Beverly Eadie; niece, Rebecca Eadie and grandchild, Jordan Mourer.  She is survived by her beloved children, Kari (Jacob) Edwins, Kelli (Brandon) Mourer, Kevin (Kasie) Schuitman and Heather Hoskins; precious grandchildren, Grace Barnes, Jeremy Mourer and Noah Schuitman; father, Russell (Shirley) Eadie; siblings, Russ (Bridget) Eadie and Carlton (Stephanie) Eadie; nieces, nephews and all ya’ll.  Rhonda was employed with Delphi Corporation for over 20 years.  She enjoyed decorating cakes, traveling, going to garage sales and bird watching, but above all else, spending time with her family and friends.  Rhonda had a great love for her hometown and looked forward to the Red Flannel Day Festival each year.  She had a heart of gold, always gave the benefit of the doubt and found beauty in everything that surrounded her. Visitation was held at the Beuschel Funeral Home, 5018 Alpine Avenue from 2 to 4 p.m., and 6 to 8 p.m., on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.  A Commemoration of her life will be held at the Beuschel Funeral Home on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m., with visitation one hour prior to the Funeral Service, with Pastor Jim Smith officiating.  A procession to Blythefield Memorial Gardens, 6200 Brewer Avenue, will follow the Funeral Service.

Arrangements by Beuschel Funeral Home

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What’s on your mind?

Grace-ChurchPastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford

 

Jesus. Jesus is on my mind. Do you ever sit back and wonder how he did it? How did He live day in and day out, completely surrendered in obedience to the will of His Father, and never sin? He loved people perfectly. He walked around literally with the weight of the world on His shoulders, yet He never threw in the towel. He never exploded at someone because of stress. He never said an unkind word or, for that matter, thought an unkind thought about anyone. He never got His priorities all mixed up. He wasn’t distracted or discouraged by the things of this world because He was focused on a mission that was bigger than this world. And in the midst of being this amazing Superman, he promised that if we would just come to Him, He would give us the rest and peace that we desperately need, along with the wonderful promise that He would then carry our burden for us. Does that make any sense? Why would He do that for us? Why would He do that for me?

As I sit and ponder Matthew 11:28-30 and try to apply it to my life, the words of this old Hymn keep running through my mind, and I suddenly realize, that it truly is this simple. It goes like this…”Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” The key to what I need isn’t a solution for all of my problems, and it isn’t a better way to manage all my stress. The key to what I need is so simple that it is contained in one beautiful name…JESUS! And the only thing he requires of me is to “come.” I don’t need to bring anything, I don’t need to do any work, I don’t even need to get everything in order, I simply need to “come.” He’s saying, “come to me and I’ll give you the rest you need,” “come to me and I’ll take care of that heavy burden you’re struggling to carry,” “come to me and I’ll exchange all that struggle and stress for peace and joy,” “come to me and you’ll find everything that you need!” The invitation is simple. “Come!”

So, what’s on my mind? Jesus. And suddenly everything else that seemed so big and so important and so needy, grew strangely dim. Thank you Jesus!

Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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Keep moving

 

 

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

Imagine that you are on your way to a much anticipated beach vacation. After hours of hard traveling, you rub your bloodshot eyes and see a glorious sign that says, “Beaches.” You are overjoyed. But how strange would it be, if when you saw that sign you immediately stopped the car and began unloading all of your vacation wares, as if you had actually arrived at your destination?

How bizarre, if you and your family started setting up beach chairs and umbrellas, if you began unpacking coolers, baiting fish hooks, and slathering on the sun block right there beneath the sign? Would it not be false to start calling and texting everyone back home to tell them that you were safe at the beach, when in fact you were only camping at a mile marker along the way?

Of course it would, yet many people of faith do exactly this sort of thing when it comes to reading their Bibles. They see the Scriptures as the end of their spiritual journey, not the road sign along the way, pointing them to a much more magnificent destination. What exactly is the Bible pointing us toward? In a word, Jesus.

In one of the more lofty concepts of the New Testament, John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and was God. That Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The true Word of God, by the Bible’s own testimony, is not a written document. It is a Person. It is the one we call Jesus. Thus, the Bible is always pointing to him as the supreme authority for faith. He is “The Word of God for the People of God.”

Let there be no doubt, road signs will point you in the right direction, but you can’t camp out in the median. If you do, you might get run over; distract other travelers along the way; create a good deal of confusion; and you certainly aren’t going to get anywhere. In fact, you’ll miss out on what this journey is about.

It is right to be called “People of the Book,” that is, lovers of the Bible. But let us remember that we are not Biblicists, because the Bible itself isn’t the end of our convictions. We are Christians, followers of Jesus who are always heeding his voice and moving in his direction, the author, sustainer, and perfecter of our faith.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

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65th Anniversary

65th Anniversary

22C-anniv-Frandsen122C-anniv-Frandsen2ALBERT & BETTY FRANDSEN

Albert and Betty Frandsen will celebrate 65 years of marriage on June 21, 2015 from 1 to 4 pm at Spencer Township Hall, 14960 Meddler Ave, NE, Gowen, Michigan, 49326.

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50th Anniversary

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C-Anniv-Pierce2DICK AND ARLENE PIERCE

Dick and Arlene Pierce are blessed to celebrate their 50th anniversary on June 14, 2015. They were married June 12, 1965 in the Courtland-Oakfield Methodist Church in Courtland Center Township, Rockford, Michigan. Dick’s uncle Rev. Lawrence Lewis performed the ceremony. Their children are Carmen (Keith) Corbin of Noblesville, Indiana, Wayne (Christine) Pierce of Cedar Springs, Michigan, and Jeff Pierce of Pierson, Michigan. Their grandchildren are Catelin, Madelin and Brielle Pierce and Isak Corbin. They will celebrate with an “Open House” June 14, 2015 from 1 to 5 pm at Pierson Bible Church CMB Fellowship Building in Pierson, Michigan. Please, no gifts.

The secret of their success is “Knowing the Lord is in control.”

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