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EPSON scanner imageWillis J. Tovey, Sr. 85 of Cedar Springs, died Friday, September 26, 2014 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Willis was born June 18, 1929 in Fremont, Michigan the son of Edward and Kathleen (Boulton) Tovey. He was a 30 year member of the Teamsters Union, enjoyed camping and coaching baseball. Surviving are his wife, Marcella (Hendrickson) whom he married on November 11, 1950; sons, Raymond (Janet), Willis, Jr. (Val), Larry (Diane), and Kenneth; 12 grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; 1 great great grandson; sisters, Mary Luce, Helen Hones, Ann Sams, and Rita (Harold) Loveland; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, 6 brothers, and a daughter-in-law, Brenda. The family will receive friends Friday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where a Rosary will be prayed at 7:30 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday 10:00 am at St. John Paul II Church, Cedar Springs. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment Graceland Memorial Park, Grand Rapids.


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


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Where will we go from here?

C-Cedar-Creek-Community-Church-LandscapePastor Dick Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta



We are so privileged to live in this time of history. The changes that have occurred, as mankind continues to discover and invent, are far beyond what anyone could have imagined just in my lifetime (70 yrs). We are on the upside of innovation, which all too often proves to have a downside, too. The prophet Daniel wrote, “But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge” (Daniel 12:4 NIV).

This appears to be a good description of our time in history. With developments in transportation, we see people being moved here and there all over the world at ever increasing speeds. We can get where we’re going much quicker, at ever increasing speed. Yet the downside is, at what cost? At what impact to our physical safety, our natural resources and to the environment?

Knowledge is increasing exponentially and data moves so fast that they’re going to have to come up with new words to describe the speed. Along with all the increase of power to build and utilize faster and better and bigger ways of life, there is the much politicized issue of climate change.

Jesus had much to say about a personal climate change. On one instance he specifically said to us, in his word, that one of the many signs of the end times would be, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12 NIV). Climate change isn’t only a global issue, but we see that even within the hearts of people, there will be a change.

I am reminded of times past when my son and I would head north to go deer hunting. Some of my least fond memories of those times are how cold it can be in the north country. We would leave our warm home to experience the frigid north. Sitting still in the wild often was a lesson in nature’s freezer effect on the body. We had to sit still and quiet in hopes of seeing a deer, with our ears freezing from exposure because we couldn’t hear through earmuffs, and it didn’t do any good to cover our ears with the frozen hands at the end of our frozen arms.

We are warned in scripture that in the last days, spiritual deafness will abound as people refuse to hear the word of the Lord. “Whosoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:13 NIV). Not only the ears and hands, but your feet feel like blocks of ice, numb from the cold, and you can’t walk them warm. We mustn’t stir or make any sounds, which can be a danger in itself as another effect of the cold is that you easily become sleepy.

Yes there is a time for rest, but when we allow spiritual coldness to settle into our being, the warmth of love is quenched. We must guard ourselves all the more as the wickedness that we see increasing can affect us to join the frozen chosen in spiritual indifference. When people grow cold in the Lord, they can’t sense the moving and wooing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that most will let their love grow cold in these last days, which will lead not only to apathy and indifference, but if we allow it to continue, will lull us ultimately into spiritual death.

“How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?” (Proverbs 6:9 NIV).

Are you feeling cold? Not in the flesh, but in your spirit? Let’s wake up while we can and let God bring life back into us and feel the warmth of his love and the power of the fire of the Holy Ghost.


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Come to the Table

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

October 5 is World Communion Sunday. It is an annual event, the first Sunday of each October, in which Christians worldwide celebrate our oneness in Christ. At the center of these celebrations will be, aptly enough, Communion. Some call it the Eucharist; the Lord’s Supper; the Sacrament of the Altar; or the Last Supper. The terms used by Christians are varied.

But regardless of the theological technicalities involved, it’s how we come to the table that is more important, I think. We must be careful with the familiar observance not to lose the wonder and sensation that Christ has given himself for us and the world. And we must endeavor to welcome all followers of Jesus to share the elements of bread and cup, especially those followers who we consider outside our particular tradition. All should be welcomed.

I was reminded of this when I recently attended an Episcopal service where a dear friend is the minister. It was a magnificent experience of sights, sounds, and beautifully orchestrated liturgy; so much unlike anything of my own Christian tradition, and infinitely more formal than my freewheeling approach.

It took me a while to catch on and to catch up. I sluggishly stood, always a few seconds behind the crowd, and wound up standing alone, dropping to the pew after everyone else took their seat. I fumbled with the order of worship, never able to find the readings or the songs on time. After the homily, and a number of other confusions, the invitation was offered to receive Holy Communion.

Finally something I understood! But I wondered: “Will I be welcomed?” because churches have tons of rules about who can and can’t participate—even fellow believers. I gladly discovered that the invitation was for all. Even those who felt out of place had a place at the table.

As I knelt at the altar, I was joined by a young family—dad, mom, and three small children. The youngest, four or five years old, stood right beside me at the rail, too short to kneel. I looked at him and smiled. He smiled in return, wiped his wet lips with the back of his tiny hand and coarsely whispered, in a voice that could have been heard at the back of the sanctuary, “This is going to be good!” And it was, because it’s always good to be welcomed to the table.

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



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Thomas A. Davis

EPSON scanner imageThomas A. Davis, 86 of Cedar Springs, died Friday, September 26, 2014 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. Tom was born June 8, 1928 in Muskegon, MI, the son of Joseph and Ruth (Boudin) Davis. He served in the U.S. Marines during World War II and had been past commander of the Cedar Springs American Legion. He was a member of Mary Queen of Apostles, Sand Lake. He enjoyed jokes and playing jokes on people, playing cards, and was noted for the pink flamingos in his yard and his ear muffs. Surviving are his wife, Clara; children, Bruce Davis, Nancy Davis, Anthony (Linda) Davis, Donald (E.T.) Davis, Ronald Davis, Laurie Whalen, Mark (Terri) Ritter, Gary (BJ) Ritter; 30 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; special “sisters,” Sandy (Chuck) and Sally Jo (Alan). He was preceded in death by a daughter, Susan; and two grandsons, Jacob and Drew. The family will receive friends Wednesday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. A memorial mass will be celebrated Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at Mary Queen of Apostles, Sand Lake. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society or Mary Queen of Apostles.

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Maranatha Baptist Church announces new pastor 

Rev. Scott and Susan Sloan.

Rev. Scott and Susan Sloan.

Rev. Scott Sloan assumed the pastoral leadership of Maranatha Baptist Church, 12786 Algoma Ave NE, Cedar Springs, on September 7. Pastor Sloan comes to Maranatha after 15 years of ministry in Fruitland, Utah. He and his wife, Susan, have three adult children and one grandchild. He is a graduate of Spurgeon Baptist Bible College in Florida. Among other interests, he is a very active outdoorsmen and avid hunter.

There was an Installation Service on September 21. Rev. Timothy Teal, a longtime friend and mentor to Pastor Sloan, brought the installation message. Rev. Teal is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Alto, Michigan.

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Learning to pray

Pastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs



Prayer may be the least understood, yet the most powerful action in a Christian’s life. It’s not just reciting a few trite religious words; it’s communicating with the God of the universe who wants to have a relationship with you.

I was thinking this week, why prayer is so difficult for people? Here’s what I think: We’ve had limited exposure to authentic prayer. The bottom line is this—a lot of us just don’t know how to pray. We haven’t been taught how to pray. Maybe the only time we’ve even heard prayer was around the Thanksgiving table or something like that. And because of that we don’t know how to pray or what to say. The reality is prayer is just telling God what’s on your heart.

Why else is it difficult? We think I’m not important enough for God to listen to me. I mean, after all, I can’t even get the cable guy to listen to me.  I call and he puts me on hold. And I wait. And I wait. Then, when I finally talk to the cable guy, what happens? He can’t even pinpoint a time when he’ll be here. “Sometime between sun up and sun down,” he says. So you stay home all day waiting for him to show up, you leave for five minutes for lunch, and he jumps out from behind the bushes where he was hiding and puts a note on your door that reads, “Sorry I missed you. I’ll be back… maybe.” We have those experiences all the time and we think, “If people don’t even want to talk to me or listen to me why would God?” But God isn’t like the cable guy. What you have to say is important to God. If you were important enough for Jesus to die for, you’re important enough to be heard.

We also believe that prayer doesn’t work because, when we’ve asked God for things in the past, He didn’t answer. Or He didn’t answer them quick enough. We are so into instant answers. We think God is like a vending machine; we put in our prayer request, push a button, and out drops an answer. And, because God doesn’t answer prayer that way, we think prayer doesn’t work.

The truth is God does answer prayers. What I’ve found in my own spiritual journey is that a lot of times God answers prayers based on what I need, not on what I want. I want a lot of things that maybe aren’t in God’s big picture and best plans for me.

The Bible tells us in Psalm 66:20 (NLT), “Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw His unfailing love from me.”

Prayer can be learned, so let’s get practical. Here’s a couple suggestions:

Call on God first. What does that mean? It means that tomorrow morning, when you wake up, have these words be the first words that come out of your mouth, “Good morning, God.” Just try it. Start out your day tomorrow in prayer.

Get alone. Have a place where you talk to God. Maybe it’s in your car, maybe it’s in the shower, or maybe it’s in your bedroom. Find a place where you can get alone with God and just talk to Him.

Prayer doesn’t have to be awkward or confusing or uncomfortable. In fact, it’s not supposed to be. You can learn how to pray. Maybe learning to pray is the next step you need to take.

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40th Anniversary




Dave and Cyndy Lange of Cedar Springs will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday, Sept 28 2014. Married in Ludington in 1974, they have lived in the Cedar Springs area for the past 22 years. Previously, they lived in Texas, Georgia, Connecticut, and all over Michigan. They have four children; Jennifer and Jon Waters of Belmont, Jamie Lange of Belmont, Amanda and Tony Wright of Greenville, and David Lange of Grand Rapids, and 10 grandchildren. A family dinner followed by a Caribbean cruise is planned to celebrate.

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One year ago, you left us, but you will never be forgotten. The heart always remembers loving and being loved.


We miss you Mom & Grandma

Your loving family

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Memorial Service For BRUCE SMITH


A Memorial Service for Bruce Smith will be held on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 2 pm to 5 pm at his home, 15173 Stout Ave., Cedar Springs.


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C-obit-FifieldMarguerite L. Fifield 93 of Pierson, died Friday, September 19, 2014 at Spectrum Health United Memorial Campus, Greenville. Mrs. Fifield was born March 1, 1921 in Sand Lake, Michigan the daughter of Robert and Esther (Anderson) Flintoff. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold in 1986; daughter-in-law, Mary; and grandson, Wayne. She enjoyed bingo, quilting and puzzles. Surviving are her children, Robert and friend Lynn, Richard (Alice), Bonnie (Gary) Woodruff, Gary (Dixie), Jim (Sherry), Roger (Nance), Mary (Rix) Robinson, Gerald, Wayne (Terri), Janet (Gerald) Skelonc, Nancy (Jeff) Olsen, Dennis, Donnie, Patty (Jack) Price, Mark (Annette); 33 grandchildren and spouses; 63 great grandchildren; 6 great great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. The family received  friends Tuesday, September 23 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services were held Wednesday 11:00 am. Pastor Joel Cooper officiating. Interment Pierson Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Friends of the Michigan Veterans Home.

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


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