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Archive | Church Connection

ROGER G. CAVNER

 

Roger G. Cavner, 80 of Sand Lake, died Sunday, August 6, 2017 at his home. Roger was born May 31, 1937 in Sand Lake, Michigan the son of Emmett and Nina (Tisdel) Cavner. He had worked at Helms Lighted Pictures, Brick & Block Layer, Kelvinator, Cedar Springs Public Schools and was a custodian at Tri-County Schools for 29 years retiring in 2002. He had served as sexton for East Nelson and Punches Cemeteries for many years. He enjoyed working at the West Michigan Whitecaps as an usher from 2002 until now. Surviving are his wife, Joyce (Parker); children, Dawn Seif, Mark (Kim) Cavner, Brian (Susan) Cavner; grandchildren, Jessica (Andrew) Mercer, John Seif, Lauren (Chad) Williams, Brent and fiancee, Katie Esakson, Stephen, Matthew and Aaron; one great-grandson and one on the way; sisters, Kathleen (Leonard) Woodman, Patti (Philip) Starr; mother-in-law, Martha Parker; in-laws, Gerald Parker, Lucinda (Max) Cole, Reta (Charles) McKee; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Charles; father-in-law, Wendell Parker; son-in-law, Timothy Seif; grandson, Ryan Doyle; sister-in-law, Beverly Parker; nephew, Kevin Cole. The family greeted friends Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the memorial service will be held Thursday 11:00 a.m. Pastor Chuck Smith officiating. Interment East Nelson Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Meijer Heart Center.

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

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CHRISTINA M. JOHANSEN

 

Christina M. Johansen, 68 of Big Rapids passed and went to be with the Lord on July 31,2017 at Covenant Nursing Home in New Orleans Louisiana. Christina was born in Big Rapids, Michigan on August 2, 1948.The daughter of Roy and Ruth (Lavance) Hanson.She was a hairdresser, loving wife, mother, aunt, great aunt, and grandmother. She enjoyed being around her many friends playing dominos and cards. She also enjoyed being around and loving on her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. She was well liked and loved by everyone she met and made a lasting impression on everyone. Surviving are her children Timothy (Jennifer) Johansen of Muskegon, Tiffany (Collyn) Martinez of New Orleans, Louisiana; her three grandchildren Zane, Zander, and Xavier; her brother Lynnwood (Della) Hanson of Paris Michigan; sister Barbra Hanson of Traverse City; brother Bill (Deb) Hanson of Bay City Michigan. Also many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband Dennis and her parents. There will be a small service at Interment Park Hill Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. on August the 19th and then a Celebration of life at the Paris Snowmobile Club located at 22531 20 Mile Road, Paris Michigan at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation.

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The Spirit of heaviness  

Pastor Dick Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

 

Foretelling the coming of Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah really hits home with these words of promise: “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3 –King James translation).

There is a comparison being made here between a funeral and a wedding celebration. A funeral is where the Hebrews would have put ashes upon their heads in mourning, and some would have beat their breasts and wailed, while wearing sackcloth. Yet at a wedding, they wore beautiful garments, literally, garments of praise.

The point being that whatever you were feeling in your spirit and soul, whatever your mood was, would be reflected in what you wore. That is still the case today; Jesus taught on this—that Christianity is meant to be a wedding celebration and not a funeral dirge. I believe that what Isaiah is speaking to us today, is a revelation, an important key to get delivered from the spirit of heaviness.

What is the spirit of heaviness? First off, we’re not talking about a weight loss program like Weight-Watchers; the spirit of heaviness is spiritual. It is like a drudgery that comes over you, something generally unexplainable, not necessarily reflecting the circumstances that are around you. Some have described it as a numbness of the soul, more like darkness. The NIV translates it as spirit of despair. If you’ve ever been in desperation you can understand this.

Young’s Literal Translation says a spirit of weakness, which covers a whole lot of things, like how we can be weak in mind, weak in our emotions, weak in our actions, and even weak in our body.

If the real you, your human spirit that God breathed into you, if that is damaged, it will affect your whole being. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22 KJV). If there is something wrong with your spirit, it can even affect your body. What Isaiah is talking about is this human condition of the heart that is devastating, that makes us weak, that makes us frail, that makes us despair, that makes us want to give up on life, taking all the color out of life, burning life to the ashes.

Isaiah gives us the solution: the garment of praise. How do you get it? Like every provision of God, you’ve got to go and get it. It is free, given by grace, you don’t have to buy it or earn it, but you do have to come and get it by faith. Jesus has bought it with His own blood, and God, by grace, is handing it to us. But we, in the midst of our despair, have got to come up to the throne of grace and say “I need that garment, Lord!” There is something for us to do; we’ve got to wrap ourselves up in praise, “I had a coffee with a friend,” “somebody blessed me,” or “I had a nice walk today.” Thank you Lord, thank you!

Isaiah said he will give you beauty for ashes. We all know what ashes are; it’s what is left after all the fuel (joy) is burned out. God knew we would be burnt by life’s experiences. But he also knew he could replace that burnt out mess with something beautiful. Rather than anointing our head with ashes, he wants to anoint our head with the oil of joy.

Bill Gaither wrote the song that says: “Something beautiful something good; All my confusion He understood; All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife; But he made something beautiful of my life.”

This may seem simple, actually it is, but it’s profound. You are wrapping yourself up in the garment of praise and thus, overcoming the spirit of heaviness. If you wait until you feel like praising, you’re not going to break through. You take your God-given will and say, “I will praise God.”  There is power in praise, medicine for a merry heart, take it many times a day.

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JERRY L. CADARET

Jerry L. Cadaret, 79 of Kentwood, died Sunday, July 30, 2017. Jerry was born May 16, 1938 in Toledo, Ohio the son of Paul and Ona (Lydick) Cadaret. He graduated from Godwin High School and served his country in the U.S. Army from 1959 – 61. He worked for A.J. Sparks Belting and was a member of the East Nelson United Methodist Church and a life member of the Doric Masonic Lodge, Grand Rapids. Jerry enjoyed bowling, fishing, hunting, traveling and camping. He was a hard worker and always put his family first. Surviving is the love of his life, Shirley (Tisdel) whom he married on June 2, 1961; children, Brenda (Tom) Voisin, Beverly (Roger) Carlson, Jeremy Cadaret and Susanne Aldridge; grandchildren, Cathleen Honeysette, Kenneth (Emily) Mol, Benjamin (Olivia) Mol, Christen (Chris) Chapin, Jacob (Lindsey) Mol, Timothy Mol and Christina Dean, Mackenzie Cadaret and William Ball; great-grandchildren, Reece, Randal, Brooklynn, Emma, Grayson, Ethan, Zachary, Autumn and baby Lucas on the way. The family received friends Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Thursday 11:00 a.m. Visitation Thursday from 10 – 11 a.m. Pastor Inge Whittemore officiating. Interment East Nelson Cemetery with military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to East Nelson United Methodist Church.

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

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SHIRLEY ANN POPE

Shirley Ann Pope age 82 of Cedar Springs passed away Saturday, July 29, 2017 surrounded by her family at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Shirley was born April 24, 1935 in Ludington to the late Bernard and Selma (Murawski) Swantek. Surviving is her loving husband of 64 years, Keith; children, Denise Smith, Keith (Dixie) Pope Jr., Mark Pope, Bill (Angela) Pope, and Duane Pope; grandchildren, Chad, Kenny (Courtney) Fisk; Sherri (Ron) Potes, Nicholas (Angie) Pope, Ross Pope, Katie (Asa) Khoury; Abby, Cody, Colton, Alexis Pope; Megan Vanbeek, Travis Parker, Tyler Pope, and Wyatt Magoon; great-grandchildren, Chase, Archer, Iva, Mabel, and Owen; brother, Richard Chesney; sisters-in-law, Joyce (Irv) Hanna, Dee (Clinton) Mack, Beverly (Bob) VanderHeide, and Joanne Chesney; and brother-in-law, Art Curtis. She was preceded in death by her brother, Daniel Chesney; son-in-law, Irvin Smith; sisters-in-law, Yvonne Adams, Joan Curtis, and Bonnie Chesney; and brother-in-law, Ken Pope. The family received friends Tuesday, August 1 at 10 a.m. until time of the service at 11 a.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, Fr. Peter Vu officiating. Interment was at Solon Township Cemetery. The family would like to thank the staff at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and Great Lakes Hospice for their excellent care. Memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans Home and Great Lakes Hospice.

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

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KOURTNEY ANN BENNETT

Kirk Bennett and Lacey Wyn of White Cloud are welcoming home their daughter, Kourtney Ann. She was born July 24, 2017 at 2:43 a.m. Little Kourtney weighed 7 pounds and was 21 inches long. Proud grandparents are Karen and Gene Bennett, Betty and Larry Wyn. Great-grandparents are Ann and Ken Mitz, Leona and Art Bennett, Linda and Lloyd Combs. Great-great-grandparent is Christina Wright.

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Thank You

It is with a grateful thanks to you all, for the special care you all gave me during my illness. I’m unable to call each of you by name as I’d probably omit some of you and this would not do. The prayers, the cards, the calls, the visits, the chores done on my behalf are all a part of my thank you.

Sincerely, 

Lois Houghton

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JOYCE A. EMPIE

Joyce A. (Bremmer) Empie, a lifelong resident of Cedar Springs, passed away Wednesday, July 12, 2017. She was born December 20, 1930 to Morise and Vera (Porter) Bremmer in Cedar Springs, Michigan. She leaves behind her daughter Jomay (Bob) Brand; grandchildren Dana Brand, Justin (Nikki) Brand, and Katie Brand along with great-grandchildren Gavin, Maddie, and Harper. She also leaves behind to cherish her memory her brothers Arwin “Ed” (Nancy) Bremmer, Rex (Kathy) Bremmer, and Arden (Denise) Bremmer; and several nieces and nephews. Joyce was preceded in death by her husband Stanley, her brother Jack, and parents Morise and Vera. Joyce worked at Beach Elementary for many years and enjoyed camping, hunting and spending time with her family. In High School she was a member of the choir, Future Homemakers of America, a cheer leader for three years and a member of the Red Flannel Queen Court. A memorial visitation was held at Pederson Funeral Home after cremation had taken place.

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Have I got Good News for you

Thomas M. Doherty, Superintendent

North Michigan Conference Free Methodist Church, USA

Writing for The Springs Church

 

Have I got “Good News” for you! As Christians, we are the people of the “Good News,” but I wondered if we understand all that is meant by “Good News.” Yes, Jesus came to earth to become one of us. Yes, He lived a perfect life and died for our sins. And yes, God the Father raised Jesus from the dead.

Many of us believe and have acted on Romans 10:9-10, “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (ESV).

We have confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior; we have asked for forgiveness of our sins and are saved from the penalty of those sins.

When this happens, the bible tells us that we become a new creation. We become something new and wonderful “in Christ.” Recently, at a bible camp, I tried to teach five lessons about what the bible tells us related to who we are “in Christ.” I only got through two of the lessons because there is so much. Therefore, I can’t say everything that I would like to say in this article.

The bible says that we who have asked Christ to be our Savior are pure, holy, and blameless. It tells us that we are children of God and have been given an inheritance that is reserved for the firstborn. God dearly loves us, and we are to help others experience that same love (Ephesians 1:4, 1:11, Colossians 3:12, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

The word grace in the New Testament means more than graciousness. It literally means that the God who lives in us will move on our hearts to express his character. What does that mean to us? It means that we do not need to be controlled by fear, anger, hate and bitterness. We do not need to be controlled by habits, or impulses or additions. As we let God have control in our lives, his character shines through.

We don’t have to let our tempers get the best of us, or addictive behavior rule our lives. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus quoted a passage from the Old Testament that said that he was anointed to proclaim the good news; to proclaim liberty or freedom to those in captivity; recover sight for those who are blind; and to set at liberty those who are oppressed (ESV).

In Christ, we are a people who can thrive not just survive. Salvation is not just for when we die, it is for life now.

Let me encourage you when you read your bible to look for those phrases, “in Jesus,” or “in Christ.” Embrace all of the blessings God has for you.

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Good Gravy, Look Who’s Gonna Be 80!

SHIRLEY MERLINGTON

Friends and family are invited to an open house to wish Shirley Merlington a happy 80th birthday on Sunday, July 23rd from 11 am to 2 pm at the American Legion hall in Cedar Springs. You don’t need to bring gifts, just your smiling faces!

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