web analytics

Tag Archive | "Christmas"

Gift of Peace


Pastor Darryl Miller  

Sand Lake UMC, 65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC, 13600 Cypress, Ensley Township 

Too often we end the holiday season completely drained, both emotionally and physically. We then tend to call on God to refresh us, to restore our vigor and our lives to “normal.” But what if we were to ask God for restoration along the way? What if we planned into our busy holiday schedules time to draw closer to the reason for our celebrations? What if we were to decide now to have a spirit of peace despite the overwhelming pressure to live up to expectations to get the right gift, make all the parties, host dinners, send the cards, etc? That is what I would like to suggest.

During this special time, let’s decide not to let the pressures mount up but instead let the Child whose birth we are celebrating bring us the gift of Peace. We prepare our homes for the celebration by decorating so why not prepare our hearts for the celebration of our Lord’s birth, not with hectic lives but with hearts of peace and love. After all, the song says: “Love came down at Christmas” not to challenge us to get the right tree, but to have a spirit of peace and love that shows through the craziness of the world. One of my family’s traditions is to have a Christmas ornament hang in the house all year around. This reminds us not just at Christmas time but all through the year of the wonderful gift of Christmas. Sometimes I think we need this reminder in December most of all!

Another good reason for this approach is that many of our neighbors need something from us this time of year and if we are too wound up in our own schedules, we may miss it. Some have lost loved ones; for some this may be their first Christmas without someone close that they have lost. Others may not have heat, or power, or food. It seems every year our Ministerial association finds out about someone who has no heat or food, but hasn’t told anyone. If we checked up on our neighbors, we might learn about the need and find those who can help. But if we don’t check, we don’t know. If you are in need, don’t be too proud to ask for help, it is limited but it is out there. And if you are feeling lonely this season, check out your local church, we would love to spend some time with you! We will not be waiting at the door with a signup sheet for work that needs to be done and we will not hand you a membership form before you sit down. We will however extend to you the love and grace of Jesus and welcome you in God’s name. My family and our church families wish all of you a truly blessed and merry Christmas!

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

Peace on Earth


Solon-Center-Wesleyan-webPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs 

(just north of 19 Mile)

 

The holidays are here and that means families get functions, work parties, Christmas programs, and most of all stress! The holidays can be the “most wonderful time of the year,” and also the most painful for many people. For some people it will be the first Christmas without a loved one, the first Christmas without a significant other, the first Christmas without a warm place to sleep. Yet it is for many the best time of the year.

I love celebrating Christmas with my family and my loved ones, and I love giving gifts. I love seeing my children’s eyes light up when they get that thing that they never thought they would get. Of course we can’t give all of the things we would like to give, and my wife and I have basically given up on giving each other anything significant, though I always spend more than I promise to spend on her. As a pastor of a local church, Christmas is the second busiest season of the year next to Easter. So it is one thing after another, and it is the most stressful time of the year for me personally. Yet I still manage to find some peace at Christmas. The question is why?

Why can some people feel stress and some people feel peace? Why is this time of year the best of times for some, and the worst of times for others? I think the answer is the real reason for the season. The birth of Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, though some in the world would try to disagree. In fact, Jesus’ birth is the reason that we count the years on a calendar.  The term Anno Domini is medieval Latin, translated as In the year of the Lord, or AD on your calendar. He is the reason that we count time. When Jesus came to the earth He came to give us peace. In fact is says this in Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

I don’t think that peace means a life of solitude and a life free from stress and worry. In fact Jesus came into the world in a time of great unrest for His people the Israelites. They were under Roman rule, and they had lost the great power they once had. It was anything but peaceful for Israel and for Jesus. He was persecuted, beaten, mocked, and eventually crucified on a cross for doing nothing wrong. Doesn’t seem very peaceful to me! But He defeated death by His resurrection, and by showing us how to have peace “despite” our circumstances. He allowed us to believe that this kind of peace is possible.

So when you are out shopping and that person snatches that last Furby, or when that crazy uncle comes to the family gathering and starts that political argument, or when you realize that this will be the first Christmas without that special someone, you can have peace.  Peace in knowing that someone loved you so much that they came from Heaven, from their rightful throne, and gave up all their rights so that they could come and serve you and show us how to love others. Christmas is all about giving to others because you have been given the greatest gift you could ever receive—the gift of Jesus, the gift of love, and the gift of eternal life!

 

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

Celebrate the joy of Christmas at one of the churches in our community:


 

Dec. 14, 21, 24:  Solon Center Wesleyan Church invites you to attend our special Sunday Christmas services beginning with a Children’s program, called “What’s in the Manger?” on Sunday, December 14. We’ll continue to celebrate the coming King on Sunday, December 21. Sunday services are at 9:30 & 11:15 am. And finally, a Christmas Eve Candlelight service celebrating the birth of our Savior will be held on Wednesday, December 24 a 6 p.m. Come enjoy carols and a family atmosphere of worship and praise! Please join us! The church is located at 15671 Algoma Avenue. See more about the church online at www.scwchurch.org. 

December 14, 21, 24: Join us at The Springs Church as we celebrate the birth of Jesus with our Advent message series, First Christmas: Stories from the Birth of Christ, on December 14 and 21 at 9:45 and 11:15 a.m. Nursery and Kids church provided for kids up to 6th grade. Then celebrate with us at our Candlelight Christmas Eve Service, December 24, at 7 p.m. Children are invited to wear their pajamas. Feel free to come as you are. Don’t forget to invite your family and your friends, too! The church is located at 135 N. Grant in Cedar Springs. For more information visit our website www.thespringschurch.info or call 616.696.2970. We hope to see you at The Springs this Christmas!

Dec. 14, 24, 25, Jan. 1, 4: Mary Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in Sand Lake will have an intergenerational gathering called “Journey to Bethlehem” on December 14, from 6-7:30 p.m. It is a time filled with Scripture and activity, families are asked to bring a snack to share. Our Christmas Eve/Christmas Mass schedule is Christmas Eve 7:30 p.m.; Midnight Mass and 8 a.m. Mass on Christmas; our New Year Day, Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, Mass is at 9:30 a.m. (Thursday Morning). On Sunday, January 4 at noon, we will have an Epiphany Celebration which includes pageantry, music, potluck and prayer. Please bring a dish to Pass. Regular Sunday Mass Schedule is Saturdays 4 p.m., Sundays 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. May your Advent season be a time of refreshment and your Christmas time be joy-filled. The church is located at 1 W Maple Sand Lake.

December 14, 24: Resurrection Lutheran Church welcomes you on Sunday, December 14, at 9:30 a.m., as the youth of the church perform in a play entitled Christmas Comes To Lickety Split, and as we also sing Christmas carols together. On December 24, at 7:00 p.m., join us as we celebrate the birth of Jesus at a Candlelight Worship Service. We are located at 180 Northland Dr. Sand Lake, Mi. For any questions please call 616-636-5502.

December 21: Grace Evangelical Free Church invites you to our Christmas service on Sunday, December 21, from 10:45 a.m.-noon. Our children will be performing during the morning service. The church is located at 4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford.

December 21: Hillcrest Community Church of God welcomes you on Sunday, December 21, at 10:45 a.m., and on December 24, at 6:30 p.m., to enjoy an Unplugged Christmas.  The cast is trying to put on The Biggest, Brightest Christmas Show Ever, to win a Contest, and the power goes out. Come and see what happens next! Come and sing Christmas Carols, and have hot chocolate, coffee and Christmas goodies. Come and join in on the Celebration of the New Born King! We are located at 5994 18 mile Rd, Cedar Springs, MI. For more information please call 616-696-9333.

December 24: Calvary Assembly of God and Pastor Craig Owens invite you to our annual Candlelight Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. Hot chocolate, Christmas carols, a special Christmas story for the kids, and a reminder of why we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We are located at 810 17 Mile Road (2 miles west of Algoma Avenue). More details on our Facebook page or on our website http://cscalvary.org

December 24: East Nelson United Methodist Church, 9024 - 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs, will be having a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 7 p.m., in celebration of the birth of Jesus. Please join us!

December 24: Celebrate and contemplate the birthday of a King on Christmas Eve, December 24, at 7 p.m., at Courtland-Oakfield UMC, 10295 Myers Lake NE. We’ll lift our voices with the angels and ponder the mystery of God’s grace by candlelight.

December 24:  Please join us at 7 p.m. for a traditional Christmas Eve Worship service with music and Holy Eucharist at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church. We are located at 1200 Post Drive NE, Belmont, at the intersection of Post & Pine Island drives, 1/4 mile west of Exit 95 (Belmont) of US Route 131. Visit us online at www.holyspiritbelmont.org or www.facebook.com/holyspiritbelmont.

December 24:  Rockford Springs Community Church invites you to join us for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Wednesday, December 24 at 9:00 p.m. Rejoice at the birth of our Savior with fellow believers! We are located at 5815 -14 Mile Rd NE, Rockford, (2 1/2 miles East of US 131).  For questions, please call 616.696.3656.

 

Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments (0)

Post to collect toys for needy


-N-Toys-for-tots-TrainLogo

Would you like to do something special for families in need this Christmas? You can partner with us to provide toys for needy children in Kent County. The Post is participating in the Toys for Tots program again this holiday season, as a drop off site for toys.

Toys for Tots is a volunteer organization whose goal is to collect new, unwrapped toys for kids 0-16, and distribute them to children who would not otherwise receive a gift during the holiday season. Toys for teens are always especially needed.

The program runs through the first two weeks of December. Just bring a new, unwrapped toy to our office at 36 E. Maple Street in Cedar Springs, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you can’t make that time, call us to make other arrangements.

Together we can make this Christmas special for many children!

 

 

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Freedom from worry this Christmas season


CS-United-Methodist

Pastor Steve Lindeman

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St.

Cedar Springs, MI  49319

 

 

 

I am currently reading the personal memoir of Thomas Oden, who is one of the leading Methodist theologians of our time. In the book, he makes a statement that can be helpful for us during this Christmas season.

“… Christian freedom centers on being freed from anxiety about the future through the act of trusting in God who transcends our gods.”

As we enter into this season of Advent, and as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, this is something that we would all do well to remember. We may feel weighed down by the worries of this world but we need to remember that we are freed from the power of worry and doubt and anxiety when we trust in God.

Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:25-34 that we are not to worry about the things of this earth because we are called to “… strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This puts Christmas into a different perspective, doesn’t it?

I could make a long list of all of the stressors that pile up on me during this joyful season. All of our lists might include such things as not having enough time to attend the church Christmas program, not having enough money to buy the toy that your child has asked for, spending the holidays with family members who are ill, or folks that you may not get along with … and the list goes on.

Instead of worrying about these things—the same things that are listed in the 6th Chapter of Matthew—focus on the manger instead, and what this infant means. As you work your way through this season of Advent, prepare your heart to make room for him. Focus on the things that are important as taught by Christ. If you need a daily reminder, and most of us do, read the 6th Chapter of Matthew every day as we approach December 25. It only takes a few minutes, and it will help keep things in perspective.

Be reminded, today, that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives and Lord of the world. As our lives seem to spin out of control, remember that he holds our future in his hands, and that we don’t have anything to worry about. The power of God is greater than any other god that this world has to offer.

I wish you well and I wish you a season of peace.

 

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

Seats and Feet Drive


 

 

Help North Kent Community Services deliver a memorable Christmas to children and teens in northern Kent county by donating socks (all sizes), underwear (all sizes), pajamas (sizes 0-3 months to adult XXL), hats and gloves (all sizes) and personal care items (toilet paper, soap, deodorant, etc…).

Items can be dropped off at Alpha Omega Coffee, Cedar Springs City Hall, Family Cuts N More, Kin of Hope, Cedar Chest, Cedar Springs Library, Geek Worx, Take 2 or at any business with a Seats and Feet Drive sign in the window!

Donations will also be collected by the Christmas Tree at the Chamber’s Come Mingle with Kris Kringle Event in downtown Cedar Springs on Saturday, December 6 from 1:00 to 6:00pm.

Please contact Patricia Troost at (616) 635-1196 or patriciatroost43@gmail.com if you have any questions or would like to help.

Posted in Arts & EntertainmentComments Off

Ice storm 2013


There was no doubt we were going to have a white Christmas after enduring freezing rain and seemingly continuous snowfall since last weekend. The freezing rain we experienced last weekend began late Thursday night (December 19) or early Friday morning, cancelling hundreds of schools. It continued into Saturday and Saturday, causing cancellation of Saturday events and Sunday church services all over Michigan. We continued to get winter weather advisories all through Christmas week.

As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, 73,500 Consumers Energy customers remained without service. Since noon Saturday, the storm has caused more than 368,000 outages, or more than 20 percent of the utility’s 1.8 million electric customers. They said it is the company’s largest Christmas-week storm in its 126-year history.

Counties most affected by electric interruptions were: Barry (8,856); Calhoun (1,369); Clinton (5,241); Eaton (6,092); Genesee (28,573); Ingham (7,118); Ionia (2,673); Kent (451); Livingston (3,319); Oakland (1,163) and Shiawassee (9,780).

The estimated power restoration schedule for the hardest-hit areas is:

Thursday: Eastern and western Kent counties, including greater Grand Rapids;

Friday: Kalamazoo County;

Saturday: Portions of Barry, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham. Livingston, Oakland and Shiawassee counties.

Consumers said restoration times may be affected by additional storm activity, additional damage and as damage assessments are collected. Consumers Energy also is monitoring expected warmer temperatures that could cause additional damage to the electric system. They said that temperatures in the upper 30s to lower 40s late Friday and into Saturday in some parts of the state will melt ice now coating tree branches, causing them to snap into power lines, and perhaps cause additional customer outages.

 

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off

Gingerbread houses a hit


N-Gingerbread-webFamilies flocked to the Cedar Springs Public Library last Saturday, December 14, to join in the fun tradition of making gingerbread houses for Christmas.

According Library Director Donna Clark, 107 people came to the library, with 28 children decorating the houses with either parents or grandparents.

Posted in Featured, Hometown Holidays, NewsComments Off

American Legion presents checks


N-American-Legion-checks-webThe Cedar Springs American Legion Glen Hill Post #247 presented checks last week to both the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association and the Cedar Springs Community Food Pantry.

Legion Commander Bill Gregones presented Pastor Craig Carter, of the Ministerial Association, with a check for $200, to help with the requests they receive at Christmas time.

Gregones presented Pastor Mary Ivanov with a check for $100 for the food pantry, which is located at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, where Ivanov is pastor.

The American Legion makes the presentations annually, and also donates $200 to the Salvation Army.

Posted in NewsComments Off

Letters to Santa


SANTA-Natalie

SANTA-snowman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________________________

Dear Santa I want a

3 DS a i pad a i pod

a magic kit

Justin BiBer perfume

a puppy

 

But I most want my

Grandma Dee

She is up there whith you

please please please

Santa

 

PS.

Love Rylee

Brace

 

__________________________________________

 

Der Satul I No

I Fora I Fon

But I wot a

I Pod

 

Love

Kaylee Muree

 

I love You

 

Rylee is MeN

 

I wot a Dog

and I wot a I poD

I wot peroofom

 

I woot a puppy

Santa and

a I paD

Justin Bevrv

and do Not raDool

reD HiS LeDSwu

 

Are You MaJit

Yes Are No

 

Sorry  For Being NaugHty

__________________________________________

 

SANTA-Reindeer

Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments Off