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Archive | Church Connection

Clyde Menefee

Clyde MenefeeClyde J. Menefee, 60, of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, March 2, 2014 at his home. Clyde was born October 6, 1953 in Grand Rapids, Mich., the son of Kenneth and Helen (Brown) Menefee. He worked for Steelcase for 25 years. He was an avid Tigers fan and enjoyed sports, reading, camping, fishing, gardening, mowing lawn, collecting coins and attending PowWows. Surviving are his wife, Luanne (Beach), whom he married on July 15, 1972; children, Chistina, Daniel and Dennis Menefee; grandchildren, Jeremy and Ryan Menefee, Abigail and Emilee Vernon, Mikala, Daniel Jr. and Schorian Menefee; great grandchildren, Tyanna, Layla, and Aiden; brothers, Kenneth Jr., Ernest, Francis, Jeff, Ronald, Robin and Richard Menefee. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 5-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where  services will be held Thursday 11:00 am. Pastor Gary Giddings officiating. Interment East Nelson Cemetery.

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

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Teresa Mueller

Teresa MuellerMUELLER- Teresa Catherine (Guoan) Mueller, age 73 of Cedar Springs, passed away Friday, February 28, 2014 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus in Grand Rapids.  She was born March 15, 1940 in Bay City, the daughter of Alfred and Gladys (Groulx) Guoan.  On April 30, 1960, she married Ernest C. Mueller, Jr.  Teresa was the life of every gathering, laughing easily and causing others to do the same. She was a longtime member of the Glenn Hill American Legion Post 287 Auxiliary in Cedar Springs.  She loved playing cards, especially solitaire.  She enjoyed gardening and ceramics.  She was a world class cook and baker and loved her dogs.  She religiously sent birthday cards to family and friends, and lived for family gatherings, especially Christmas.  Above all, she enjoyed spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.  Teresa is survived by her husband of 53 years, Ernest; children, Catherine (Dusty) Sult of Dowling, Lynn Mueller of Cedar Springs, Jean Smith of Cedar Springs, and Neil Mueller of Cutlerville; Paul Flannery, who was like a son to her; grandchildren, Michael Grotenrath, Daniel Grotenrath, Jennifer Haskin, Kimberly Smith, and Michelle Smith; siblings, Rita Simmons, George (Marlene) Guoan, Annie (Bill) Fremlin, Mary (Gary) Engel, Mike (Shelly) Guoan, Pete (Deb) Guoan, Jeannie (Don) Provoast, Janette (Tom) Mize, Ed Guoan, Louise (Tom) Nellenbach, Josie (Richard) Dorcey, and Patty (Greg) Keif; brother-in-law, Leonard Mueller; and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Joseph Guoan; brother-in-law, Clyde Simmons; sister-in-law, Nora Jean (Franklin) Phillips; and best friends, Colette Lund and Sheila Hendershot.  Funeral services will be held at 12:00 PM Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville, with visitation Friday from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM prior to the funeral.  Rev. David Bowering will serve as officiant.  Private interment will be in the spring at Courtland Township Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be given to Paws with a Cause, and messages of condolence may be sent via www.hurstfuneralhome.com.

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Carl A. Kranich

C-OBIT-kranich-webCarl A. “Sarge” Kranich, 86 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at Stonebridge Manor, Walker with his family by his side. Carl was born March 27, 1927 in Big Rapids, MI the son of Carl and Hazel (Porter) Kranich. He retired from the U.S. Army after 20 years of service and from the U.S. Post Office as a letter carrier. He loved Model T antique autos, auction sales, dancing and his grandchildren. Surviving are his children, Jacquiline (Steve) Lipski, Kim (Nancy) Kranich, Debora (Dave) Griep, Mark Kranich, Carla (Mike) Kelly; 15 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; sister, Etta Breggs; many nieces and nephews. The family will greet friends from noon to 1:00 p.m. on  Wednesday, March 5 and the service will be at 1:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Private interment Blythefield Memory Gardens. Military honors by the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard. Memorials may be made to Great Lakes Caring Hospice, 630 Kenmoor SE, Suite 200, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

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

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RALPH D. LOVELESS

C-obit-LovelessRalph D. Loveless, 92 of Rockford, went to be with his Lord and Saviour on Monday, February 24, 2014 at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Ralph was born February 2, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the son of Richard and Irene (Axford) Loveless. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corp serving during World War II. Known as “Ralph the Entrepreneur”, he has successfully started six businesses. He was a Real Estate investor and developer, licensed builder, auto body – paint sprayer, advertising and sign painter, and an artist specializing in oil and sketching. He was rated #1 salesman in every position. Ralph competed in the Senior Olympics for five years winning numerous gold, silver and bronze medals. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Surviving are his wife, Marjorie (Olgetree) whom he married on May 22, 1945; children; Evelyn Bearss of Grand Rapids, Dave (Elaine) Loveless of Rockford; grandchildren, Mark (Jennifer) Loveless, Dawn (Wes) Thrasher, Ginger Schafer, Eric (Angela) Bearss; 12 great grandchildren; brother, Milton (Joann) Loveless of Florida. He was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Thomas Bearss; brother, Neil Loveless. The family will greet friends Saturday from 11:00 am until time of service at 12 noon at Rockford Baptist Church, 221 Courtland Dr., Rockford. Pastor Garry Koon officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery in the spring. Military honors by the U.S. Army. Memorial contributions may be made to Mel Trotter Ministries, 225 Commerce Ave. SW. Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

 

Arrangements by Bliss Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Joel Stone

February 26

 

Happy 35th Birthday Joel.

We miss you!

 

Love, 

Mom and Dad, Jake and family

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Shhh! Quietude

Pastor Dick Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

 

This winter is truly one to be remembered; we have been given weather at record or near-record levels. But if we only remember this winter for snow, wind, ice and cold, we may be missing out on something even more unusual… quietude. Quietude is defined as “a state of stillness, calmness and quiet in a person or place.”

As I am writing this, there is a stillness in this room, away from the hustle and bustle of what I have become accustomed to as a normal day.  Yet outside, the wind and snow are anything but calm and still. The contrast between outdoors and indoors today leads me to believe that all too often I shortchange myself with all the commotion, noises and hubbub that I surround myself with in life.

I speak for myself today, but I am also confident that even though quietude is something we are generally uncomfortable with, it would certainly be a pleasant place to visit more often for everyone.  It is true that sounds can be a comfort, I’m thinking of the words we exchange in verbal communication, or the sounds of a wonderful piece of music being played, and the sounds of children playing. The prophet Isaiah wrote in God’s word, “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest” (Isaiah 32:18; New International Version). This pretty well describes a desirable state to be in when we communicate with God.

That scripture paints an ideal place to be, but that isn’t something we will ever experience 24/7 in this life. This isn’t to imply that we can’t visit there occasionally. When we have a choice, we would choose quietude over noisiness when we want to have a conversation with someone we really want to hear from. It is God’s desire that we know he is with us, and if we desire his presence and assurance, we need to be where he speaks, that by avoiding distractions, we can confirm his voice.

While I look outdoors today, it certainly doesn’t appear to be a picture of quietude, and still here on the inside I am at peace, inside from the winter storm, but also inside myself even though life is still making quite a stir.

Some noise is imposed upon us, especially in public places, and yes there are times those noises can be enjoyable, even comforting as we are assured we are not alone. But we can also know that we are not alone in quietude. “He says, be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  The Lord almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:10-11 NIV).

We should be about devoting ourselves regularly to times of seeking God in silence and quietude. “I say this because I know what I am planning for you, says the Lord, I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future” (Jeremiah 29:11 The Inspirational Bible).

Did you hear that?

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All That Once Was Good

by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

“Pitchers and Catchers report!” It’s as sure a sign of the coming spring as erupting dandelions. Yes, the return of baseball is a bellwether of warmer days, even if baseball itself should expect a somewhat chilly reception these days.

Critics say the games are too long and tedious. Smart, run-scoring strategy has been replaced by brutish free-swinging for the cheap seats, say baseball’s purists. And don’t even get tongues wagging about that Yankee third baseman.

For my own part, I’ve had a suspicion about the game for some time. After the players’ strike of the mid 1990s I lost faith. The more recent scandals involving performance enhancing drugs and the obscene amounts of money paid to mere mortals for throwing and striking a rawhide ball have done nothing to reclaim my confidence. And have you taken your kids to a game lately? To park, $30. For tickets, $75, $60 for sodas and snacks. And forget the souvenirs. I can’t swing that kind of cash.

What makes all of this so difficult to take is the fact that some of my fondest memories center on baseball. Some of my fondest memories were also made at church; in the little “church in the wildwood” of my formative years.

The pew bottoms were made of wooden slats that creaked and groaned during the service, pinching this little boy’s behind and picking holes in my mother’s pantyhose. On August nights I can recall the fiery summer revivals in that old house of worship – fiery in preaching and temperature – as I struggled to understand all that was going on.

Was this church “better” than what I have experienced as an adult? Probably not. Was it simpler, more sincere? Probably so. Major League Baseball and much of the church in America have arrived at the same place. Both are more driven by market and commercial forces than by a true sense of what they are. We are all the worse for it.

Terence Mann in “Field of Dreams,” may have captured the sentiment best. Standing in that enchanted cornfield-turned-baseball-diamond, he says, “They’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon…along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes…This field, this game: it’s a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good; and it could be again.” May it be so.

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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Do you want to be successful?

TheSpringsPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

 

 

Do you want to be successful? Successful at work, successful in your relationships, in your marriage, as a parent, successful in life? We all want to be successful. I’ve never met anybody who wanted to be a failure in life. The problem is we often define success the way our culture defines success. Our culture tells us if you want to be prosperous and successful, you need to work hard. If you work hard and rise up the ladder and push it to the grindstone, and if you’re willing to do what others won’t do, you will be successful. There’s nothing wrong with working hard; the only problem with working hard in order to be successful is that you can work hard at the wrong thing. You can give your life to something that you shouldn’t give your life to. You can spend all your time doing something and the thing you’re doing isn’t the thing that God created you to do.

Our culture also tells us if you want to be prosperous and successful you need to make a lot of money. Again, nothing wrong with making a lot of money, but the trouble with gauging success by the amount of money you have is that there is always someone who will have more. Besides that, you can lose your money at any moment. If you tie success to money, and the money goes away, your success is gone. And beyond that, you can’t take your money with you when you die anyway. So if success is based on how much money you have, and you leave it all behind when you die, then at the end of your life you haven’t been successful. A lot of people confuse wealth with success. You can be wealthy and be a failure at life. Your net worth is not the same thing as your self-worth. The two don’t go hand in hand.

But our culture tells us if we work hard and make a lot of money will be prosperous and successful. We’re also told if we want to be prosperous and successful we need to invest well, we need to live in the right neighborhood, we need to drive a certain car, we need to have a particular look, and we need to know the right people. And again, there’s nothing wrong with any of these things, but the problem with saying that good investments, and a nice house, and a name brand shirt equals success is that you can have all of those things and still miss the point of why you are here on planet earth.

What if success is something different, and what if the path to success is something altogether different?

After Moses died, God tapped Joshua on the shoulder and said, “I want you to be my replacement for Moses. This would be the ultimate test of Joshua’s life—to see whether or not his leadership was sufficient for the task that God challenged him with. Do you think Joshua wanted to be a successful leader? Of course he did, just like you want to be successful. In Joshua 1:8 God told Joshua how to be successful. He said, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (NIV).

God says if you want to be successful you need to know My Word. That’s not what I would have guessed. I would have thought He would have said, “Joshua, if you want to be prosperous and successful, if you want to take the Promised Land, if you want to defeat all your enemies, you will need to be the strongest and have the best weapons and work really hard, and work over time, and invest well, and meet the right people and make the right connections.” But that’s not what God told him.  God said, “If you want to be successful don’t let My Word depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night, and be careful to obey everything in it.”

Here is true success in life: To stay in the Word of God until we find the will of God so that we can walk in the ways of God. God has a different way of defining success than we do. We define success in what you have, what you achieve, what you own. God doesn’t define success that way. The Scripture makes it clear that God defines success in different ways—right living, peaceful relationships, being in harmony with God and other people. That’s success in God’s eyes, and it is only found through knowing and living the Word of God.  My encouragement to you this week is to spend some time in God’s Word so you can be successful in the things that truly count.

 

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MELDON S. PITT

C-Birthday-Pitt-webHappy 90th Birthday

MELDON S. PITT

February 23, 1924

 

WWII veteran joining the ranks of the few who are still around.

Celebrating his 90th Birthday!

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WALTER KILTS

Happy 87th Birthday

WALTER KILTS

 

Walter Kilts will be celebrating he 87th Birthday on March 2nd. If you would like to participate in a card shower, send cards to: Walter Kilts, Cedarfield Community, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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