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Arwin Edward Bremmer, age 89, of Cedar Springs passed away Friday evening, December 28, 2018 from the results of a stroke. Arwin and Nancy (his wife of 68 years) are together again and at peace. Ed lived his whole life in Cedar Springs, except for the time he spent as a Corporal in the Army. He was part of the Medical Corp in southern Germany. While there Ed purchased the first of his many cameras. He became an avid photographer taking thousands of pictures of people and events. He particularly enjoyed photographing wild flowers on Drummond Island with his wife Nancy along. He loved everything about the outdoors, especially all the creatures of the woods. His knack for taming wild animals and birds was wonderful. He had a mischievous sense of humor and was fiercely competitive being a great athlete in his youth. Ed was an excellent debater often playing the devil’s advocate. His conversations and presence will be sorely missed by his family. Surviving are his children, Tim (Karen) Bremmer, Dean Bremmer, Molly (Jeffrey) Bayuk; grandchildren, Lisa (Bobby) Jackson, Ethan Bremmer, Bryan (Jennifer) Bremmer, Hillary Pierson, Benjamin Bayuk, and Spencer Bayuk; great-grandchildren, Kyle and Taylor Jackson; brothers, Rex (Kathy) Bremmer, and Arden (Denise) Bremmer; in-laws, Shirley Gumina, Fred (Carolee) Gunnell, John (Mayda) Gunnell, Camilla (John) Teusink; many nieces and nephews. The family greeted friends Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.

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

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by Pastor Dick Nichols, Cedar Creek Community Church, 2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

If you are reading this article, then you have made it through what Charles Dickens would call “it was the best of times, the worst of times…” Not that the season advent should in any way be identified with the worst of times. One thing most of us can agree on is that Christmas is a time of giving.  

There is no better time than now to consider how blessed humankind is that giving is characteristic of God, and the greatest gift that could ever be given; a gift promised from the beginning and fulfilled in the first century AD. Scripture tells us “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,” (Galatians 4:4 King James version). A time that Jesus says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 KJV).

Throughout history, God has shown his extravagant desire to give grace and faith, the greatest being what we celebrate at Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, who brings the promise of hope, peace, joy and love. But why don’t we see more evidence of these in a world that is suffocating in bad news? Why don’t we hear more good news?   Maybe you’ve wondered some of the same things.  

I have been allowing my thoughts to consider how much of the billions of gifts given and received just might be identified by the recipient as being in the category of what was he or she thinking?  This is one of the main reasons that this new season has morphed into our culture: the season of re-gifting.  Statistics show that this has become more than just an occasional time for a few people; it’s a celebration of its own.   

There was a time when returning a gift to the place of purchase and re-gifting were done quite secretly, with just a smear of guilt because it seemed so inconsiderate to reject something that someone has put thought and expense into purchasing. Now, according to polls, more than 40 percent of Americans own up to having returned or regifted in the last two years, a trend that will only increase with time.  

As Christians, we are known to have a history of murmuring that “Christmas isn’t like it used to be,” or some other phrase we may have learned, like “people have forgotten the Reason for the season.”  Now, today is the time to start working toward the next celebration of Christmas. God’s gift of salvation, to be born again, is the ultimate gift for mankind. Jesus stepped away from the majesty of heaven to touch and heal this broken, sin-sick planet, coming as a helpless and vulnerable baby, to die for the pardon of our sins. This is a gift that keeps on giving.  

You see, there’s more! God’s gift of grace is the basis and foundation of the story, “God so loved the world,” but like any gift, the transaction isn’t complete until the recipient (us), receives and keeps the gift given. The wonderful thing about God’s giving is that even though we have received his promise, God’s gift is one we can re-gift repeatedly. His salvation freely given is enough that his promise is for “whosoever;” the promises of hope, love, joy and peace, can be found only when the gift is truly received in our heart.  

This isn’t meant to be something we keep to ourselves, it’s meant to be a gift from such an extravagant God, that when we give of the love he has given us, it can’t diminish the love we have received from God.  By my simple calculations, if we would truly take this to heart, we have over 350 days before Christmas rolls around again, and if we desire to see Jesus in the Christmas season, then this is ample time to make a world of difference. How Christmas plays out depends on what people do with the gift God has given. 

Jesus is the one gift meant to be re-gifted, over and over. The message of Christmas is love and forgiveness; God’s peace that passes understanding, bringing love, joy and hope to those who freely receive.  We can’t fix the past, but we can surely be about our Father’s business today.  

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Steven J. DeMull, age 59, of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, December 23, 2018 at his home. Steve was born July 24, 1959 in Cedar Springs, MI the son of John and Helen (Crowley) DeMull. He loved his granddaughter, dogs, farming and tractors. Surviving are his wife of 28 years, Diane (Davis); son, Simon; granddaughter, Laney Furhman; mother, Helen DeMull; siblings; in-laws and their families. The family will greet friends Saturday, December 29, 2018 from 5-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the MS Society.

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

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Tammy Kay Baker

Tammy Kay Baker, age 56, of Gowen, died Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at Spectrum Health – Butterworth Campus. Tammy was born September 21, 1962 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Thomas and Charlene (Frantz) Pierce. She was a chef, loved animals and enjoyed farming with her father when she was younger. She was an awesome mom and would do anything for her kids. Surviving are her husband, Jay; sons, Timothy Pierce, Jace Baker; granddaughter, Jacelle Baker; sisters, Marjorie (Rick) Knapp, Sue (Ron) Knapp; brothers, Lonnie (Connie) Pierce, Tommy (Mindy) Pierce; nieces and nephews. The family greeted friends Wednesday, December 26, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. A luncheon followed at the Cedar Springs American Legion Post. Memorials may be made to the family to help with funeral expenses.

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Harry Clair Benedict, age 81, of Cedar Springs passed away Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at the Laurels-Mt. Pleasant. The family will receive friends at Clark Family Funeral Chapel, 114 S. Bradley Street, Mt. Pleasant, on Saturday, December 22, from 1-4 p.m. Cremation will follow visitation. Harry was born December 5, 1937, in Grand Rapids, the son of Harry and Viola (Brenner) Benedict. He was married to Janice Hysell. Harry truly enjoyed working and was the manager at the Marathon/Admiral Gas Station in Cedar Springs. He was a race car driver and loved to race. He was meticulous in caring for his lawn and garden. Harry also enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping. Harry is survived by his loving wife Janice Benedict and other family members, including son Randy (Pam) Benedict of Sand Lake; step-children Michelle (Tim) Cook of Howard City, Jeff Elliott of Howard City and Roni (Curtis) Travis of Mt. Pleasant; 13 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; and good friend Jerry Brown. Harry was preceded in death by his parents; great-grandson Robert DeFoy, Jr.; sisters Betty and Laura Faye; and daughter-in-law Kimberly Elliott. You may view Harry’s obituary online and send a condolence to the family at www.clarkfuneralchapel.com.

Arrangements by Clark Funeral Chapel, Mt. Pleasant

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David G. Carlson, age 83, of Cedar Springs, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at his home. Dave was born December 25, 1934 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Harry and Lois (Addison) Carlson. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving from 1954-56. He loved farming with his father and throughout life. He was a business owner and operator in Cedar Springs and a member of the United Methodist Church. He was a loving husband, dad, grandpa and great-grandpa. Surviving are his wife, Nancy (Benham); children, Mark (Lynne) Carlson, Shelly Brooks; grandchildren, Ashley (Aaron) Whalen, David (Rachel) Ducat, Ben (Samantha) Brooks, Dakota (Katie) Carlson, Dillon (Angela) Carlson; great grandchildren, Leah, Isabelle, Lily, Mariano, John, David, Kylie, Hunter, Harper, Everly; brothers, Robert Carlson, John (Faye) Carlson, Richard Carlson; sister, Arlene (Richard) Pierce; brother-in-law, Ferd (Elizabeth) Benham; sisters-in-law, Irene (Jim) VandePoel, Charlene (Gordy) Kerr; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Joan Carlson. The family will greet friends Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be Friday 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Heartland Hospice or the United Methodist Church. 

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

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Thank you!

To all my relatives, friends and aquaintances,

I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year! I am sorry I am unable to send out cards this year due to illness. I would also like to thank everyone who has been helping me by bringing me meals, running errands and giving of their time.

Merry Christmas to all and a very healthy and prosperous New Year!

Thelma (Goodell) Morris

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Cayden Timothy Bond, of Middleville, passed away on Friday, December 14, at the age of 16. Cayden was born on August 8, 2002 in Grand Rapids, the son of Brian and Deana (Hawley) Bond. As a sophomore at Thornapple Kellogg High School, Cayden liked playing on his computer, poker, chess and playing the guitar. He liked spending time with his family going up north and enjoyed tubing, fishing, collecting unusual rocks and was always up for finding a new adventure. Cayden’s kindness and thoughtfulness will always be cherished by everyone that knew him. Cayden will be lovingly remembered and dearly missed by his parents, Brian and Deana Bond; sister, Amanda Raelynn Bond; grandparents, Jim and Donna Bond, Tim and Jen Hawley; great-grandfather, Raymond Brenner; many aunts, uncles and cousins. Cayden’s family will receive friends on Thursday, December 20, 2018 from 3 to 8 P.M. at the Beeler-Gores Funeral Home, Middleville. His memorial service will be conducted at 6:00 PM on Friday, December 21 at Gun Lake Community Church, Pastor Dan Beyer officiating. Memorial contributions to Michigan Association for Suicide Prevention will be appreciated. Please visit www.beelergoresfuneral.com to share a memory or to leave a condolence message for Cayden’s family.

Arrangements by Beeler-Gores 

Funeral Home, Middleville

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July 30, 1931 – December 18, 2005

In loving memory of my Dad, who passed away 13 years ago. Not a single day goes by that I don’t think of you, Dad; sometimes with a smile or sometimes with tears. I miss your presence in our home. You will always be my beloved Papa Smurf!

Love from your daughter,


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Rev. Dallas Burgeson | The Springs Church | 135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs

Words. There are a lot of them. And I’m not talking about the ones in the dictionary, but the ones being spoken all over the place in the world. In our homes.

These words can be a problem. Proverbs 10:19 explains part of the issue: “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.(NLT)

James talks about another part of the problem with all those words that are often being so carelessly spoken into the air: “…a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.” – James 3:4-5 (NLT).

Can you see the truth of this at work? In the world? In your home? As a pastor, I’ve learned to recognize how words set stuff on fire—yes, out in the world as well as in people’s homes, but also from positions of leadership.

Most of my ministry career has involved holding a certain level of authority, but also sitting one step below the position where “the buck stops.” I think this has allowed me to observe from a unique perspective just what happens when a leader says things. I knew long before I came to The Springs that the tongue can start things on fire, and it seems to me now that part of a pastor’s job is to start the right things on fire, and then to avoid lighting lots of other things.

Figuring out what is “too much talk” is tricky sometimes, depending upon on who you are, what your relationships look like, and what you need to do in life. Too many words in your close relationships or at work can be a real problem, but sometimes not speaking enough can be trouble, too. I’ve learned I have a tendency to not encourage people enough: my wife, my kids, my leaders, my congregation. That takes more kind words, and I don’t always speak them when it would really help if I did. That, and fewer harsh ones.

This time of year during the season of Advent, we start looking again for a Savior to come into our world and save us. And when He comes to us in a manger, the Gospel of John says He comes as a warming Word (check out John 1:1-5 for more on that). The prophet Isaiah told us ahead of time just what our Word would be like:

“He will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle” (Isaiah 42:2-3).

Jesus knew how to do words. He was and still is our warming Word—starting the world on fire, yet never burning the wrong things.

Lord Jesus, come to us again this season. Replace our careless words with goodness and light, we pray. Amen.

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