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Tag Archive | "Calvary Assembly of God"

Spring (time) cleaning


Pastor Craig T. Owens

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

www.cscalvary.orghttp://craigtowens.com

 

 

 

Now that it appears that—let’s cross our fingers—Spring has finally sprung, many people will be throwing open the windows, airing out the house, and cleaning up some things that have accumulated over the long, icy winter. Ah, yes, the annual rites of spring cleaning!

One place that lots of things accumulate is our schedule. Between sports schedules, church activities, music lessons, grocery store trips, making meals, parent-teacher conferences, birthday parties, and so many other things, our schedules are packed chockfull.

In our relationships love is typically spelled “t-i-m-e.” So if you don’t have enough t-i-m-e to express your love, perhaps some spring cleaning is needed.

A few things to remember:

(1) Time is finite. You cannot call a time-out, you cannot bank up some time for another day, you cannot slow down the clock. Once you commit to something, that time is gone forever.

(2) It’s okay to say “No.” A friend of mine recently shared this thought: Whenever you say “Yes” to anything, there is less of you and your time for something else. So make sure your “Yes” is worth the “less.” If the “less” is t-i-m-e with your loved ones, please say a guilt-free “No, thank you.”

(3) Make your “Yes” mean yes. If you do decide to commit to something, then honor your commitment. Jesus said, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37). And wise King Solomon warned, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).

(4) Time is your servant, not the other way around. Make your time work for you; don’t be a slave to the clock. A good indication that you’re the slave and not the master is that feeling like you are always running late for everything. Cut out some non-essentials like TV time or countless Facebook hours so you can make t-i-m-e for what’s really important.

Happy Spring (time) Cleaning!

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Joy! Joy! Joy!


Pastor Craig T. Owens

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

www.cscalvary.org

http://craigtowens.com

 

 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare Him room,

And heaven and nature sing.

Joy is not something that melts away, it is unaffected by circumstances, remaining rock-solid. Joy is what the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem brings us. 

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy.

On the day Jesus was born, the angels sang about peace on earth. Jesus Himself said that He didn’t come to condemn us, but to save us. Jesus came to be our Savior, which is another reason for great joy!

No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found.

Jesus Christ’s Advent among us was the fulfillment of a promise given all the way back in the first book of the Bible. God the Father said Jesus would come to wipe out sin, and sorrow, and reverse the curse, turning it back into a blessing for all who would put their faith in Jesus. What joy to have all of the negatives turned into positives! 

I hope you will discover—or rediscover—the joy that the birth of Jesus brings. At Calvary Assembly of God, where I have the privilege of pastoring, we are talking about the joy and the light that came with Jesus Christ’s birth. If you don’t have a home church, I would love to have you join us over the next couple of Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

Joy! Joy! Joy! Let it reign!

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How do you memorialize?


Pastor Craig T. Owens

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

www.cscalvary.orghttp://craigtowens.com

 

Memorial Day is just as it sounds: a day for memorializing. It is important for us to remember the past, and honor our heroes, or else, as George Santayana said, “Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it.”

So without discounting Memorial Day at all, I’ve been wondering about how to create memorials for the other 364 days of the year. A year ago I gave myself the challenge of writing down three unique things everyday for which I was thankful. I did this publicly on my blog so that everyone could see my list of 1095 things as the year progressed. That was helpful, but perhaps not the most practical.

Then I read this verse in the Bible about a memorial. The Israelites had just accomplished something great with God’s help, and their leader Samuel wanted to make sure that they never forgot how God had helped them. So the biblical account says, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far has the Lord helped us’” (1 Samuel 7:12).

Samuel set up a stone, and he named it. (By the way, the word Ebenezer simply means “helper.”)

So this is what I’m doing to try to memorialize the blessings for which I am grateful. It might be a coffee mug that memorializes a special family trip, or perhaps a bookmark that a child made for you on Father’s Day. Or, maybe it’s a dried flower from the wildflower arrangement your daughter picked for you.

The point is not what the “stone” is, but the memory or blessing it signifies. Set it up and name it. And then express your gratitude for it every time you see it or use it. I have found that we can never count our blessings too often, nor can we ever be too grateful to the God who provides them.

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Mingle with Kris Kringle



Mark your calendars now for Mingle with Kris Kringle—the  annual holiday tree lighting ceremony in Cedar Springs, where families gather to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season!
The event will be held on Friday, December 2, at the corner of Main and Ash Street in Cedar Springs. This year, the event is being organized by Cedar Springs Area Parks and Rec Director Amanda Gerhardt, and Pastor Craig Owens, pastor at Calvary Assembly of God.
There will be a living nativity beginning at 5 p.m. with actors and animals. They will be joined by actors from the upcoming play “A Christmas Carol,” who will sing Christmas carols. The tree lighting will be at 6 p.m. when Santa arrives. Afterwards, children may stay and pet the animals as they wait for their turn to see Santa. Activities may also be set up in the United Methodist Church to keep little ones busy.
The details are still coming in, so watch next week’s Post for the final details!

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T.G.I.T.


Pastor Craig T. Owens
Calvary Assembly of God
810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs
www.cscalvary.org

On Friday morning all around Cedar Springs, people will force themselves out of bed by saying, “T.G.I.F.—thank God it’s Friday!” But why not change that to this: T.G.I.T. – Thank god it’s today!
I did a quick search in my Bible concordance, and I noticed something very telling. The word today appears 203 times; as opposed to tomorrow, which only appears 56 times. The word now shows up nearly 1200 times; but later only appears 83 times. In God’s eyes, clearly today is the day, and now is the time. T.G.I.T. – Thank god it’s today!
In the Old Testament Moses wrote a song about T.G.I.T. It’s in Psalm 90: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:12, 14, 17 New International Version).
So make today and everyday T.G.I.T. – Thank god it’s today!
Do something memorable today… do something life-altering today… do something kind for someone today… do something for God today and He will establish the work of your hands.
I love the words of Mother Teresa: “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is life, fight for it!”
Here’s to a great today! T.G.I.T.!

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Dinner that’s more than dinner


Pastor Craig T. Owens

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs
www.cscalvary.org

The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told Him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. (Mark 6:30-32, NLT)

Sometimes dinner is more than dinner.

Jesus recognized this. He wanted to get away with His friends just to have a quiet meal and some meaningful conversation.

In many ways our lives are as busy as those who tried to talk with Jesus. In the hustle and bustle of over-filled calendars, after-school activities, and the constant bombardment of TV, computers and cell phones, we don’t even have time to eat together. And the biggest victim is our kids. Just like Jesus’ followers were longing to spend time with Him, your kids are longing to spend time with you.

So set aside time for dinner this week.  In fact, set aside as many days in the week as you can. Turn off the TV and cell phones and iPods, and just enjoy each others’ company.

Check out the advantages of simply eating together:
•    Families who eat dinner together eat healthier.
•    Families who eat dinner together have higher communications skills.
•    Children in families who eat dinner together perform better academically.
•    Children in families who eat dinner together are less likely to try cigarettes, illegal drugs, or alcohol.

Mom and Dad, dinner with your kids is way more than just dinner. It’s an investment in their future that will return incredible rewards! So when you make time for dinner, you’re making time for something far greater than just food.

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Library Corner – December 2010


By Donna Clark, Director
Cedar Springs Public Library

November and December are such festive months, holding great anticipation of warm family gatherings, good food and fun.  The City invited us all to “Mingle with Kris Kringle” on December 3, and that we did!  The “Town Square” was full of happy families, all present to enjoy the live Nativity Scene provided by the Calvary Assembly of God, and the lighting of the Christmas tree.
Local businesses welcomed families for games and activities at the United Methodist Church after the tree lighting. The Library set up a table full of Christmas-themed books, and we set up a cardboard “fireplace with chimney” and provided Santa’s bag full of toys (a tennis ball inside a fuzzy stocking hat) and let dozens of children take a turn at throwing that bag down the chimney!
Holiday blessings are already pouring into the Library. Seventeen area women who serve on the committee for the Annual Women’s Community Christmas Tea provided one such blessing. Visitors to the tea were invited to bring books to donate to the Cedar Springs Public Library, and 108 books were donated, valued at $983.91!  The Library was able to use about half of the books this year and the rest are boxed up and ready to be shared for the education of area youth. We so appreciate the support and resourcefulness of our community!
Also, two or three new computers are being donated in the memory of Lois Arthur, who passed last year at 94. Lois was a lovely lady, fine and kind, with joy in her laugh.  I think she would be glad that her neighbors and friends will be able to do better resumes, job searches, homework, email, etc. online with much-needed computer upgrades.
On December 9 we had 16 persons come to fashion holiday greeting cards with long-time volunteer, Gabrielle VanScoy. Cards were precut and easy to assemble.  Everyone left with 5 new cards.
December 11, 51 gingerbread houses were decorated by area children and even a few adults.  Yes, those houses went out of here looking very festive indeed. We had 114 people in the library that day.  It was a good reminder to keep asking Santa for a new library!
Preschool story times are bringing in families with little ones every Tuesday morning from 11:15am-12pm and every other Friday morning.  Ms. Shannon chose “Stinky the Skunk” as this year’s mascot. Every Story Time child will be getting a Christmas card from Stinky wishing them all a very merry and “stinky” Christmas.  You must remember that stink is a good wish coming from a skunk! If you want to have fun with your children and grandchildren, consider joining Ms. Shannon at the CSPL next year!
The Library has programming for adults, too – our monthly Book Discussion Club meets every 3rd Monday night from 7-8pm. January 17 join us for the movie of the book we are reading, “Mistress of Spices,” by Chitra Divakaruni.  Call the library for location of the movie evening and snacks!
On a very exciting note, the Library Board voted to join 24 other Lakeland libraries in the capability for Cedar Springs library cardholders to be able to use the downloadable audio books and ebooks. Starting January 31 you will be able to download to Windows, Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Sony Reader, nook, Windows Mobile, Android and BlackBerry and MP3!  Go to Lakeland.lib.overdrive.com to enter the Digital Catalog and Download Center to see what we have to offer as the 25th library to join OverDrive.  To check out what OverDrive is, go to Overdrive.com and choose “Digital Library Reserve” and click on “View an Online Demo.
Lastly I want to take a moment to remember some very special people who gave so much to our community and way of life when they were here.  Six such people have passed from this life, leaving behind them many gifts of love and financial blessing to our community library.  They are Helen Gilchrist, Niels Andersen, Amanda Kruse, Jari Morris, Tom Bliss and Lois Arthur.  Together donations in their individual memories add up from October to December to $5,665!  Monies are designated for various needs like the new library fund, large print books, books on CD and new computers.  Pick up a new book, listen to a new audio book, work at one of the new computers…take a moment to be grateful for the lives of these great people who are loved and admired by those who knew them.

From our Hearth to Yours, have a wonderful Holiday Season full of love and meaning!
Donna Clark, Library Board and Library Staff

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