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Archive | Church Connection

Happy Birthday Leona

C-B-day-Wainright-webLEONA WAINRIGHT


Come celebrate with us on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Pierson Village Hall, 190 Grand Street, from 2 to 5 pm. We will be serving cake, coffee and punch. Cards only please!

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October 6, 1953 – March 2, 2014

Husband, Father, Grandfather

One year ago you went to be with The Lord after a long, hard battle you fought against cancer. We all miss you dearly.

Love, your wife Luanne Menefee; children, Christine, Daniel, Dennis; grandchildren, Jeremy, Ryan, Abbie, Emilee, Mikala, Daniel Jr., Schorian; great-grandchildren, Tyanna, Layla, Aiden

We love and miss you.

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Lora G. Castle

Lora G. Castle, 87 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at Metro Health Hospital. Mrs. Castle was born October 2, 1927 in Lakeview, MI the daughter of Thomas and Carrie (Mumby) Culver. She retired from Wolverine World Wide and was a longtime attendee of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Surviving are her children, Nancy (Dennis) Buck, Bill (Judi) Castle; son-in-law, John (Barbara) Hausman; grandchildren, Melissa (Dean) Cushman, Bill (Helene) Castle, Jr., Patrick (Jeanette) Castle, Scott (Erin) Buck; great-grandchildren, Kyle, Shaylee, Lindsey, Joshua, Justin and Conner. She was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd in 1998 and a daughter, Beverly Hausman. The family will greet friends Saturday from 11:00 am until time of service at 1:00 pm at the United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main, Cedar Springs. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Interment Reynolds Township Cemetery, Howard City. The family suggests memorials to the United Methodist Church or Faith Hospice, 2100 Raybrook St, SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

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

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Let the water settle



By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

A desperate executive sought the counsel of an old guru who lived in a mountain cave. The executive was living a hurried life and was frustrated. The holy man listened to his guest, then retreated deep into his cave, returning shortly with a basin.

He scooped water from the muddy little stream passing by the mouth of the cave and offered it to the executive to drink. The executive rejected it, even though he was very thirsty from his journey. The water was too dirty.

After a while he offered the water again, but this time, all the silt had settled to the bottom of the basin and the water was pristine. The man drank it. The wise man then asked, “What did you do to make the water clean?” Answer: “I didn’t do anything.”

“Exactly!” said the monk. “Your life is troubled; it is disturbed and muddy because you are always allowing the water to become agitated. Only when it is calm will you have peace. Be still and let the water settle.”

I don’t have to convince you that this world is a noisy place. Talking heads, viewpoint shows, 24-hour news, analysis on every hand, opinions like armpits. Court is always being held, comments are always being made, and there is a constant eagerness to share the oh-so-correct perspective. There’s always someone bloviating about something, and the pandemonium is so saturating it seeps into our souls.

Jesus, once instructing his disciples, called the noise “babble.” It is foolish rambling, tedious chattering, words that continue to stack up, but never really mean anything. You have to get away from it. It will be good for you—not to mention how everyone else will appreciate it as well.

I have a friend who noted recently that the words “listen” and “silent” are spelled with exactly the same letters (I had never noticed this) and he thinks they mean the same thing. I could not agree more. Stillness is the quickest way to hear God and find true peace.

Learn to turn down the noise. Learn to cultivate some distance from this clamorous world, because distance is a good thing when it comes to things and people who are harmful. Learn to keep the raucous environment that is contemporary society at arm and ear’s length, and you might begin to let the water of your own soul peacefully settle.

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

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Barbara F. Pierce


Barbara F. Pierce of Cedar Springs passed away peacefully in the care of At Home Memory Care in her home on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. Barbara was born December 26, 1921 in Honolulu, Hawaii as Barbara Frances Smith. She was the mother of seven to Louis Patrick, Margaret Anita, Cynthia Sue and Martin Edward; grandmother and great grandmother and friend to many. Barbara was both mother and father to her children. She allowed her children to make their own mistakes but never said, “I told you so.” She was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon Harvey; sons, Donald, Michael and daughter, Patricia. She always had the best looking lawn in town. She was a hard worker, homemaker, gardener and all around beautiful person. Barbara loved going for walks or riding her bicycle around. She also loved a nice day when she would pull out her convertible, put the top down and put the pedal to the metal, letting her hair blow in the wind. She would like us to think of her, not gone but forever remaining in our hearts. We would like to thank At Home Memory Care for taking great care of our beautiful mother/grandmother. The family received friends Monday, February 23 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Interment Elmwood Cemetery.

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

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Responding to “50 Shades” 

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford

There has been a lot of commotion around the release of the movie “50 Shades of Grey,” which follows the very popular book by the same title. There are a wide variety of opinions as to whether or not Christians should watch this movie or read the book, and, as you can imagine, there are Christians on both sides of the argument. But the issue we face isn’t the release of this movie; rather, the problem facing Christians is with combatting the culture of sex that we live in.

Arguing with people or bashing/petitioning the release of the movie will not solve the problem. As Christians, we can’t expect the world to have our standard of morality, because they don’t know our God who has defined our standard.  If we want to combat our culture, which seems to glorify rampant sexual immorality, we must first start with ourselves. Instead of pointing the finger at the world’s immorality problem, we need to get ours in check. Listen to these words:

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality, that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NIV).

So, as Christians, how do we combat the culture of sex that we live in? We live pure lives! Christians need to stop looking at porn. Christians need to stop having sexually dysfunctional marriages. Christians need to stop committing adultery. Christians need to stop having sex before, outside of, and in addition to marriage. Christians need to exalt and glorify Jesus in their sex lives. Only then will we begin to combat our culture that worships sex.

So, the next time you find yourself getting into a heated conversation with someone who doesn’t have God’s standard of morality, remember this: they need to meet Jesus, not have your moral standard self-righteously imposed on them. I am not saying we should remain silent; maybe just change what’s on the channel before we turn the volume up.

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Enough really is enough

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

Last summer an unfortunate woman was found dead in the basement of her Connecticut home. The first floor of her house had collapsed on her under the weight of all the stuff she had accumulated over the years. Her possessions, stacked to the ceiling with only a narrow, labyrinth-like pathway through it all, quite literally smothered her.

This is a dramatic example, of course, but accumulating those things that fall outside the realm of the necessary, will take your life just as certainly. Jesus said it like this: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, but store your treasures in heaven. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else.” These words are directed at every packrat, collector, hoarder, attic squirrel, and garage-gatherer among us. If you aren’t using it, you don’t need it. Hang on to it, and it will take your life from you.

I’ve often said that the most deeply spiritual thing that some of us could do is have a garage sale; or sell a property, or dump a portfolio; because our spiritual lethargy is the direct result of carrying too much baggage, trying to manage too much stuff. We have too many possessions, too many obligations, and it’s a recipe for misery. When we simplify, we are doing much more than getting rid of the weight of physical possessions. We are making space to breathe, to thrive, to live.

By giving up some of the things we hoard, we aren’t losing, we are gaining; gaining freedom to pursue life. This was Henry David Thoreau’s motivation when he retreated to the woods of Walden Pond. He lived there for two years wrestling with the question, “How much is enough?” and more importantly, “How much does it actually cost a person to obtain his or her possessions?” He rightly concluded that the cost of a thing is not the financial price tag attached to it. It is the amount of one’s life it takes to get it.

Thoreau said, “Very little is actually needed to live well and to be free. Simplify, and once you have secured the necessaries, then you can confront the true problems of life with freedom.” And there Thoreau brings us to the universal human ambition: We all just want to be free and happy. But getting more won’t get it done, because more and more of what is not good for you will only smother you.

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

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Happy Birthday



February 17th

Grandma, we think

50 is Nifty!

Happy Birthday from Deven, Jayden and Ethan

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In Memory


January 16, 1931 – February 22, 2010

Those we love can

Never be more than

A thought apart.

As long as there is memory,

They’ll live on in the heart.

Your loving family

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Marjorie (nee Bird) Bailey

Grandma Bailey joined Grandpa in Heaven on Friday, February 13th, 2015. Grandma was greeted with hugs from David, Wes, Tim and Michael.

Grandkids; Tracy, Jim – Jackie, Penny – Charlie – Molly, Scott – Mac, Jason – Nick, Aaron – Holly – Sara – Lee, Lisa and Ben will be greeting with other family and friends on Friday, February 20th and Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home in Cedar Springs from 2 – 4 pm and 6 – 8 pm. Grandma’s memorial service will be Saturday February 21st at 11 am. Family will meet with folks Saturday at 10 am until the service.

God blessed Grandma and thru her, us.

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