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Archive | Church Connection

RAYMOND & THELMA GILLESPIE

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June 21, 1921 – February 4, 2010

February 11, 1920 – June 23, 2010

We can’t believe it’s been 5 years.

We will never take for granted

How greatly we’ve been blessed,

For when it comes to parents,

Mom and Dad, you are the best!

You nurtured and protected us,

And taught us with great care.

And every time we’ve needed you,

You were always there.

Although our hearts are broken,

We know you’re in His care.

Your memory will remain alive,

Until we join you there.

We miss you every day,

Your Loving Family

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JAMES BERNARD CLOUSE

C-obit-Clouse-fcMr. James Bernard Clouse of Cedar Springs, Michigan, age 65, passed away into the arms of his Lord and Savior on Thursday, January 29, 2015. He was born to Robert and Betty Jane (Chulski) Clouse on Sunday, June 12, 1949 in Grand Rapids, and had been a life long resident of the area. Jim received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and later worked as a quality control engineer, a profession which he was exceptional at. He was also a veteran who proudly and courageously served his flag and country in the United States Marine Corps in London, England during the Vietnam Conflict. Jim loved many things in life. He was a great outdoorsman. He enjoyed fishing at the Pere Marquette River or deer hunting in the Upper Peninsula along the Paint River. He loved spending time with his family, being around his children, grandchildren, and his nieces and nephews. He also loved to tinker, always keeping a spotless garage. He was a selfless and altruistic man, putting others before himself, especially his family. His love for them was immeasurable. He was a loving father, proud grandfather, wonderful brother and uncle, and dear friend. His big-heartedness, kindness, and generosity will be deeply missed but fondly remembered by all those who knew and loved him. Jim is survived by his loving children Scott (Rachael) Clouse, Andrew (Karla) Clouse, Peter Clouse, Josh Clouse, and Kelly Clouse; adored grandchildren Lincoln, Paige, and Amber Clouse; siblings Dr. Robert (Carol) Clouse, Mary (David) Malecki, Michael (Cindy) Clouse, Gayle Barkey, Linda (Wesley) Ruwersma, Cindy (Neil) Kimball, and Diane (Ray) Weaver; and many, many nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; and nephew Gregory Clouse. A  time of visitation was held on Monday, February 2, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Jim was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home. There will also be a one hour visitation prior to the service.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford, www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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SHERRY ELLEN BIVENS

 

C-obit-Bivens-fcSherry Ellen Bivens of Howard City, age 48, passed away on Sunday, February 1, 2015 after being sick for so many years. She was born in Woodstock, Illinois to James Lamczyk and Charlotte Bivens in 1966. Sherry loved many things in life. She enjoyed watching NASCAR and other sports as well as watching the jewelry channel. She also liked Ford Mustangs. Sherry was a loving and devoted spouse, proud mother; wonderful daughter and sister, and dear friend. May her great sense of humor never be forgotten. She will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by all who knew her. Sherry is survived by her daughter Ashley; husband of twenty-seven years, Larry Huffman; mother Charlotte Bivens; sisters, Sue (Tom) Gwilt and Sonya (Joe Vega) Bivens; brothers Charles (Jean) Bivens and Bob (Becky Cunningham) Bivens; and her Yorkie Cassie. She was preceded in death by her father; and sister Brenda Lamczyk. There will be a memorial service for Sherry at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 7, 2015, at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. There will be a time of visitation with the family one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution in Sherry’s name to the American Diabetes Association, 1550 E. Beltline Avenue SE, Suite 250, Grand Rapids, MI 49506.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford, www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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GEORGE PECK III

 

George Peck III, 73, departed this life peacefully on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 in Wellington, Florida. Born in Grand Haven, Michigan on August 18, 1941, he was the beloved child of the late George Peck, Jr. and Irmagene VerBerkmos-Peck. George honorably served in the USAF from 1961 to 1965. He married the love of his life, Sharon Johnson, on January 10, 1974 and together they relocated from Michigan to Palm Beach County a few months later. George retired from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in 1999 as a Deputy Sheriff. He will be remembered as a loyal and good man that was dedicated to his family, country, fellow Deputies and community. George leaves many wonderful memories to be cherished by his wife, Sharon; daughter, Bobbi Peck; as well as extended family members and friends, including numerous “kids” he “adopted” and loved as much as his own. He was predeceased by his daughter, Becky Tamara Peck on January 4, 2001. Family greeted friends from 5 to 6 pm on Tuesday, February 3rd at the Palm Beach National Chapel, Lake Worth with a Celebration of George’s Life to follow at 6 pm. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of George to: The Broken Star Fund, 3228 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406. Condolences may be offered at www.palmbeachnationalchapel.com.

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ELLIS CARL PAGE

 

Mr. Ellis Carl Page of Cedar Springs, age 79 passed away Thursday, January 29, 2015. He was born in Muskegon, Michigan to Ellis and Bernice (DuPree) Page on June 15, 1935. Ellis worked for Thorn Apple Valley Meats for 34 years. He enjoyed his social time at the senior center, like playing bingo and the luncheons. Time with family and friends was very important. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him. Ellis also had a love for animals especially his canine companion Jake. He is survived by his children, Debbie Lewis, Richard McClure and Kathy (Marty) Hoogerhyde; 7 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great-grandchild. Ellis was preceded in death by his parents, and loving wife Betty in 2006. There will be a private graveside service for Ellis in the spring.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford, www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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DENISE TEESDALE GENTLE

 

Denise Teesdale Gentle, 52 of Sevierville, Tennessee passed away Tuesday, December 2, 2014. Denise worked at LeConte Hospital for 15 years. She loved the outdoors and especially loved her grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Gordon and Lillian Bassett, Newton and Ethel Teesdale. Her survivors include daughters, Chasity Young, Jennifer Teesdale; grandchildren, Renee Hughes, Charles Roberts; parents, Roger and Geraldine Teesdale; sisters, Debra Laws and husband Pat, DeAnna Huston; brothers, Kenneth Teesdale and wife Doreen; several nieces and nephews; special friends, Cindy and Chris Gaylord and Ronnie Elmore. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Atchley Funeral Home to benefit the family. A private service will be held at a later date in Michigan. Cremation by Smoky Mountain Cremation Center. Online condolences may be sent to www.atchleyfuneralhome.com.

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Life’s not fair and that’s okay

Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes  

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

 

 

Life’s not fair. No big surprise right? When children are formed in the womb, a DNA chip appears in their brains. Not many scientists recognize it, but every parent knows it’s there. It’s called the “life should be fair” chip. Every child is born with it—without exception. Every parent has heard their children utter the same phrase, “That’s not fair!” It happens with birthday cake (his is bigger). It happens at bedtime (he gets to stay up later). And so on. And it doesn’t get better as they get older. The life should be fair chip doesn’t disintegrate naturally.

I’ve done it, too. How about the stockings at Christmas? We put the exact same things in each stocking, right down to counting the miniature candy bars trying to be fair. Was that fair? No! It was equal. What about the child that doesn’t like Mounds candy bars?

We want life to be fair. We think life should be fair. When someone else gets called into the doctor’s office first, that’s not fair. When life doesn’t provide us with the abilities, possessions, talents, or opportunities others have, we cry it’s not fair. But no one ever promised life was fair, nor should it be. Herb Shaffer says in his book, “From Where God Sits,” That’s okay! Life’s not fair—never will be, wasn’t created to be, and that’s okay! God’s in charge, we’re His kids, He loves us all the same, but He does not promise that life will be fair. In fact, Jesus promised just the opposite in John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” If we insist on fairness and strive to get it on our own, we often short-circuit God’s better plan. What the enemy plans for evil, God will use for good. Don’t curse the bumps. They are what we climb on.

We need to stop complaining about our trouble. Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and say thanks to God for the troubles we don’t have.

Being thankful is a state of mind. Use what God has blessed you with to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Life’s not fair, and that’s okay. When we accept that truth about life, it gets much easier to handle. We will accept the difficulties we are handed as a normal part of life instead of believing something is wrong when unfairness comes. Sometimes those who don’t deserve it are going to get things we never do. But by tossing out the lie that life should be fair, we give God the opportunity to make us grow from the unfairness into better people instead of bitter people. That’s when the life should be fair chip begins to disintegrate—and we can get on with doing life the way God designed us to do it.

 

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Will Practice Make Perfect?

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

In the coming week, the nation will gather at Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania for a uniquely American observance. The event is Groundhog Day, of course, as with bated breath we watch Punxsutawney Phil materialize from his cozy burrow.

Groundhog Day makes me think, not of plump rodents, but Bill Murray. It was more than 20 years ago that he starred in the now classic comedy film, “Groundhog Day.” He plays weatherman Phil Connors, given the assignment of covering the Gobbler’s Knob festivities. Somehow he gets caught in a time warp and must relive Groundhog Day over and over again in an agonizing time loop.

Internet nerds have watched this movie thousands of times, and painfully parsing all the events and dialogue have calculated that weatherman Phil Connors stays trapped on Groundhog Day for almost 40 years. Why? The point seems to be personal transformation. Connors must remain where he is until he is a changed man. There is no going forward until that work is done.

Forty years seems to be the magic number, for that is exactly the amount of time spent by the children of Israel in the wilderness. You may know the story: Moses is commissioned by God to save his people from Pharaoh’s slavery. Plagues commence. Miracles ensue. Deliverance arrives (this would make a great movie).

But the former slaves don’t know how to live as a free people. They complain, revolt, commit mutiny, and foolishly long for the false security of their chains over the constant vigilance of their freedom. They are trapped and remain as such, for forty years until the “stiff-necked,” stubborn, generation had been replaced by those ready to be free.

If we review the trajectory of our lives, we are likely to find a few common denominators in all we have experienced. That’s because there’s probably a few major lessons that God is trying to teach us, a couple of persistent chains he is attempting to break. God allows life to repeat itself, over and over, until we do the hard, inner work of the soul.

Wandering the desert is a necessity and repeating difficult lessons is required, as some things can only be learned in the hard places. But how long we replay and relive those lessons is more or less up to us. There comes a time to “get it,” and to get on with it.

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

 

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Ellen June Middleton

Mrs. Ellen June Middleton of Cedar Springs, age 87 passed away Tuesday, January 27, 2015.  She was born in Millbrook, Michigan to Herbert and Elsie (Oberlin) Decker. She enjoyed dancing, traveling, winters in Florida and the challenge of putting puzzles together.  However, her greatest joy was spending time with her family. Ellen is survived by her loving husband Harold “Buck”; sons, Alan (Betty) Palmer, Rob (Ethel) Palmer; step-children, Steve Middleton, Jerry (Laurie) Middleton, Mary Jo (Bill) Weidenfeller, Karen (Kevin) Grattan; 12 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; and brother, Cecil Decker. She was preceded in death by her parents; 10 brothers and sisters; and step-son, Ronald Middleton. There will be a memorial visitation for Ellen from 1 – 4 p.m. Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe St., Rockford, MI 49341. In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to Heartland Hospice, 3230 Eagle Park Drive NE, Suite 200, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. There will be a graveside service for Ellen in the spring.

Pederson Funeral Home

www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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FINCH – REEDER

C-ENG-FinchEugene Jr. and Lori Finch of Cedar Springs are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Chelsea Jean to Michael James Reeder II. Michael is the son of Rita and Michael Berndt of Grant, Michigan and Michael Reeder and Deb Campbell of Greenville, Michigan.

Miss Finch is a 2011 graduate of Cedar Springs High School and is employed at the United States Postal Service. Mr. Reeder is a 2011 graduate of Sparta High School and is employed at Wynalda Packaging in the Information Technology department.

A September 2015 wedding is planned.

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