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Frank Eugene Gilbert


Frank Eugene Gilbert, 94, of Grant, passed away on June 19, 2015 with his wife by his side. Frank served his country in the United States Army.  He worked for Van’s Plumbing and Heating until his retirement. Frank was preceded in death by his first wife Hazel.  He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Frieda Gilbert (VanderMeulen), children, Janet Tindel,  Gordon (Pat) Gilbert, Kathy Gilbert, Frank (Lori) Gilbert, Jr. stepchildren,  Gary (Cathy) VanderMeulen, Cheri (Monte) Shears, John (Barb) VanderMeulen,   14 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.  Visitation will be held  Sunday, June 21, 2015 at Fields-McKinley Funeral and Cremation Services Grant – Chapel and one hour prior to the service at the church. Services will be held 2:00 pm  Monday, June 22, 2015 at Ensley Baptist Church with Rev. John Fields officiating.  Burial will follow at Crandell Cemetery with full military honors.  Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Michigan or Ensley Baptist Church.  Please share your memories of Frank with his family at www.fieldsmckinley.com

Arrangements by  Fields-McKinley Funeral and Cremation Services Grant – Chapel

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Rebecca Boggs


Rebecca Boggs (Kiko), of Cedar Springs, Michigan, passed away on June 18, 2015. Becky lost a long and hard fought battle to leukemia. Becky spent many years as an X-Ray Technologist before retiring early so she could spend time with her family, garden, and travel with her husband and friends. Becky is survived by her husband of 41 years, Rick; children Anthony and his wife Christina Boggs of Rockford and Melissa Boggs of Warren; grandchild Benjamin; and all of her siblings. Becky was preceded in death by her parents Herbert and Ruth Kiko of East Canton, Ohio. A memorial will be held at the families home in the coming weeks to celebrate her life. Becky lived a wonderful life and will be missed dearly by everyone she knew. She touched the lives of those who loved her and her lessons and teachings will be carried on for generations to come. From the cheerleaders she coached, to her co-workers, to her family and friends; all would agree that she was a great person who had an upbeat, fun personality, and was a joy to have as a part of their lives. We all wish Becky the best on her journey and look forward to seeing her again.

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Lyle Edwin Fisk passed away June 14, 2015. Surviving are his daughter, Sandra Fisk; brothers, Ross Fisk and Doug Fisk; and sisters, Ann Borsma, Dora Polega; also, 4 grandchildren, Todd Fisk, Tom Himebaugh, Nicki & Lyle Frahm; several great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. A memorial and luncheon will be held at the VFW on Main Street in Sand Lake at 11:00 a.m. On Saturday, July 18.

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Paul R. Atkinson


Paul R. Atkinson, age 71, of Newaygo, MI passed away on Monday, May 25th at his home. He is survived by his daughters, Heather Jones and Dawn Bowman; former wife, Jacqueline Baxter Clark; grandsons, Joshua Reese and Nathan Jones; siblings, Sheryl Batcheler and James Atkinson; several nieces, including Sarah Atkinson, of whom he was especially fond. His faithful companions, Duke, his Basset Hound-Lab mix and his cat Sheena, were with him till the end. He served as an MP in the Army during the Vietnam era, and was a kind and caring man who enjoyed photography, nature and the outdoors. A memorial service is to be held on Saturday, June 27th at 10am at his former home– 9522 E. New River Drive in Howard City, MI. All who knew him are invited to attend. In lieu of sending flowers, please make a donation to the Humane Society of the United States @ www.humanesociety.org

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Paying for your raising


By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

Have you ever heard the phrase: “Paying for your raising?” It is the parental cycle of karma, I think. All the sins of your youth and all the ways you hurt your parents, come home to roost in your own children. My father told me regularly that I was going to “pay for my raising.” I didn’t believe him, and now as the father of three teenagers, I still don’t believe him.

I read recently that a child born into a middle-income family this year, excluding the cost of college, will require nearly $250,000 to rear to adulthood. But it costs a lot more than that, believe me!

You can’t pump the serotonin you burned up back into your parents’ brains. You can’t undo all their gray hair, heartburn, and high blood pressure that you caused. Because of you, they had extensive counseling sessions, hormone therapy, and sleepless nights.

Your parents experienced guilt, law enforcement interventions, miserable teacher conferences, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. You did this to your parents! We all did; your kids will do it to you—and there’s no way to repay any of it. Thankfully, there’s no expectation to do so, because most of us would endure all these heartaches again and again for the sake of those to whom we gave life.

Such love has a name. It is the Hebrew word, “Chesed,” usually associated with God’s fatherly love for his children; a word that has no easy English equivalent. Some call it grace, mercy, or kindness, but these attempts fail. “Chesed” is all of these things and more; it is the central Hebrew virtue to which all acts of charity and goodness are attached.

One rabbi, explaining so plainly, says, “When a person works for an employer, and then he gets paid, that pay is really a recycling of his own deeds. It isn’t love. It isn’t kindness. It is earned. But an act of ‘chesed’ cannot be recycled. It is something given or granted without cause.”

Parenthood is based on this kind of unfailing, non-recyclable love. It is an act of steady, secure, unshakable, unearned, uncaused, and sometimes unappreciated compassion. That’s nothing that you or anyone else can pay back, even if you wrote your dad a big fat check for Father’s Day this weekend. He could use the money, I’m sure, but he would do it all over again for the sake of love.

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

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In Loving Memory of 



July 18, 1929 – June 18, 2005

You have been gone ten years. We miss your smile and the twinkle in your eyes. You will always be in our hearts and memories. We love you and miss you.

Your wife, Geraldine.

Love you Dad and Grandpa

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In loving memory of my beloved mom, Gina Cramer, who passed away 17 years ago on June 18, 1998.

When the day turns into night,

And you’re way beyond my sight.

I think of you, I think of you.

When the night turns into day,

And you still are far away,

I think of you, I think of you.

And I always will, Mom. I miss and love you so much.

Your loving daughter,


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June 22, 1988 to July 13, 2000

Deeply missed,

Dad and Joe (JoJo)

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C-East-NelsonPastor Herb VanderBilt 

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs MI 49319


 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4  

Based in this passage of scripture from the Book of James, I have had many opportunities for joy this past month. We are remodeling our daughter’s kitchen, putting in base cabinets, a pre-molded countertop and a new sink. Each step has been filled with multiple tests of patience and ability. And although there are a few existing challenges, there is joy in the finished product, and a growing in knowledge of the right and wrong way to plumb a sink.

James, however, is not talking about remodeling projects. He is speaking to the dispersed Jewish Christians who are struggling in the faith and dealing with the challenges of being a Christian. The letter is addressed to those Christians who have been scattered throughout the then known world and are far away from where they started and are learning that in order to live out their faith, there are many trials and temptations that come.

James is telling them and all of us that to have a mature faith, we need to expect trials. In fact, it is through these trials that a strong mature faith can develop. As we share our trials and temptations with each other, we also need to keep encouraging those who are going through a trial to keep trying.

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Trust the Coach


By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer


This year I’ve been coaching Little League baseball. It has been a lot of fun, because 12-year-olds experience the whole “Field of Dreams” mystique in a way that is lost on older players. They have learned a lot – about hitting and fielding – but also about faith.

In their natural state, these players don’t trust their coaches, evidenced by the fact that they refuse to follow our instructions. “Run!” the coach says. But they won’t budge. “Stay!” I scream, but inexplicably, they run. The admonition, “You can’t hit a fastball thrown above your hands,” is repeated for the umpteenth time, but they keep swinging as if swatting flies.

Twelve-year-olds, with minuscule experience, think they know more about playing the game than the old men who are coaching them. It all comes down to faith, for the challenge put to these players time and again is this: Trust the coach and do it his way?

That’s a lesson for everyone, not just for prepubescent boys. Life will always come down to doing things your way or God’s way. There’s nothing else. You will trust you—what you can do, what you can see, what you can predict, how far you can go—or you will trust God—in what he can do.

Sure, you can go all “Invictus” with life and be “the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.” Admittedly, it will be invigorating to face the storms alone, to navigate the waters solo, and to call your own shots; at least for a while, but eventually it’s simply exhausting. Or you can hand the responsibility for your life over to God and allow him to direct and do with it as he pleases.

Humanity has been managing its own destiny for more than a few millennia now, and while our knowledge and technical proficiency continue to grow, our measure of wisdom and common sense seems as stunted as ever. We manage only to hurt others, our planet, ourselves, and our future with greater speed and efficiency.

So the decision is left to make, a daily choice though it may be, either to continue with our destructive ways or entrust the control of life and life’s events to God, trusting him with all outcomes. If we truly believe, we will choose the latter—the life of surrender—because we are what we do, not what we say we believe.

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


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