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Tag Archive | "Easter"

In His rising, the life of all have risen

Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319


Finally, spring is here! Having many friends and relatives who live in warm parts of the country, whenever I visit them, they always ask, “When will you move here with us and stay in the sun-shining states instead of Michigan?”

My response to them is always the same. “Only in Michigan will you experience four distinct seasons and, after a long winter season, you will appreciate spring time. What happens during spring is a wonderful analogy to Easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.”

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, at all times to acclaim you, O Lord, but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously, when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.  Through him the children of light rise to eternal life and the halls of the heavenly Kingdom are thrown open to the faithful; for his death is our ransom from death, and in his rising the life of all have risen. Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory, as they acclaim: Holy Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts. . .  (Preface II of Easter, Roman Missal-Third Edition).

I would like to call your attention to what is highlighted in the prayer: the resurrection of the Lord has an impact on not just human beings, but on all. That is the faith of the Church! Christ’s resurrection changes all things for the good! Alleluia.

This is when spring in Michigan can help us explain the mystery of Easter. After a long winter, grass, flowers, and tree leaves appear again. It is refreshing! When you walk into your house, it seems like a new one! What spring does for the environment, the Resurrection of the Lord does even more so for the world. The Lord, the Creator of all, has entered the world and by his death and resurrection has redeemed the world. Nothing has been untouched in this earthly field by the resurrection of Christ.

The challenges us now is to listen to the teaching of the Apostle Paul: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Col 3: 1-4).

Our entire world has been changed by Christ’s resurrection. Let’s us focus on “what is above.”  Amen.


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It’s time for Easter Eggs

_N-Easter-eggsPost photo by J. Reed

The home at 3240 17 Mile, Solon Township, sports a sea of pastel colors at Easter time each year. Yvonne Cook, and her husband Mike, who recently passed away, have been decorating their yard with these colorful eggs for the past 10 years. Take a drive by and see for yourself!

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Approaching Easter 2016

By Pastor Dick Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church, 2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

Almost two thousand years ago, on the Sunday following the crucifixion of our Savior the Friday before, two women approached the sepulcher where Jesus had been laid, to make the necessary preparations for his dead body. We read, “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay” (Matthew 28:5-6 NIV).

For these friends of Jesus who came to the tomb, life and death would never be the same. This Jesus whom they loved and believed to still be in the grave, had risen from the dead, conquering death for us, our last enemy in this life.

Through the story of the resurrection and the promised Spirit of God, alive in us, we too must look at our own lives and answer for ourselves, “How do we approach Easter Sunday 2016?” Our answer has much to say in whether Easter makes a difference in our lives or not. How many Easters have we heard and heard again about the resurrection, and do we come to this day expecting to experience the same-o same-o, old routine? The women came to the borrowed tomb before sunrise on a Sunday, and surprise, the tomb is empty! Oh wow, like we haven’t heard this before!

Maybe we come not expecting anything more than what we’ve known before, after all, we know that God’s word is as Paul has written, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2nd Corinthians 1:20 NIV). It will be exactly as God has said it will be.

Then again, we may not spend much time reading our Bible, or attending worship services, but it’s Easter, and we know just enough to be curious, is there something there for me? Is there anything in the Bible or church that may make my life better? Our experience with Easter has always been good, but, what if we approached Easter 2016 with a heart that is open and expecting, exactly what, we’re not sure, but hoping that God will make the resurrection of Christ more of a reality in our lives?

If we come to Easter Sunday as people who have heard the story before, as people who can no longer be amazed, we will very likely leave the same way we came. We meet God where we are at. If we approach Easter in humility, repentant before God, knowing our absolute need for Jesus, he will never disappoint us. Christ’s resurrection is not just another story in the Bible, it is the central point in our faith as Christians.

How will we approach Easter 2016? Will this Easter be different? Are we willing to approach this day and the rest of the days of our lives, by joyfully allowing God to enter into our hearts, and begin a work within us that allows us to hear this story with spiritual ears, in a way we’ve never heard it before?

Approach God with an open heart, and hear with childlike amazement, God’s eternal truth in Jesus Christ!

He is risen! Indeed!

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This Easter, give toy bunnies, not live ones 


From the Kent County Health Dept.

Baby bunnies and chicks grow up to be rabbits and chickens. Before you decide live Easter pets would be a cute gift for your kids, be sure you do plenty of homework. Adults should consider the life cycle, as well as health and safety issues, of giving bunnies or chicks to children for Easter. The Kent County Health Department recommends giving children toy stuffed animals instead.

“Those who adopt these pets should be aware of the responsibilities and the health-related concerns that come with these pets—both human and animal health concerns,” according to Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Municipalities may have restrictions on adult

chickens. Be sure you know what the legal or neighborhood association requirements are before you buy chicks.”

Every year, the Kent County Animal Shelter receives dozens of unwanted rabbits from people who can’t care for them. The shelter no longer takes in unwanted or stray chicks or chickens.

Raising chicks and other poultry is popular and can be safe, but in recent years, there has been an increase in Salmonella outbreaks in humans. Salmonella is common in baby poultry and spreads from contact with the birds or their environments. Birds with Salmonella may appear healthy, but in humans, the bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramping, fever, and dehydration. Illness can last for up to a week and can be serious in young children, older adults, or those with weakened immune systems.

Children under the age of five should have adult supervision when handling chicks or chickens. Be sure to wash your hands and your child’s hands thoroughly after handling chicks or chickens. Don’t let children snuggle or kiss chicks. And never allow chicks or chickens into bathrooms, kitchens, or areas where food is

prepared, stored, or eaten. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information at http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/.

Rabbits can live seven to ten years. Pet rabbits have specific health needs, special diets, and must live indoors. While they can be very social with the right care and supervision, they don’t like to be held or cuddled. Releasing a house-raised rabbit into the wild leaves the animal vulnerable to predators.

If giving or receiving plants for the holiday, make sure they stay out of the reach of any pets. Some items, such as lilies and daisies, can be toxic to pets. For a complete list, check out: www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants.

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Every Bunny Loves Easter

Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests

Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests

Basket goodies and more for your celebrations

(Family Features) With Easter just around the corner, everyone is hopping to the candy aisle to pick up tasty treats. Celebrate the fun of the season with special sweets that everyone will enjoy.

With the never-ending selection of Easter candies to fill your baskets and dessert spreads, picking the best can be difficult. In fact, the National Confectioners Association ranks this springtime celebration as the nation’s second top-selling candy holiday.

A new addition to the candy aisle this spring includes a Nestlé Crunch candy line inspired by Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts characters, including Charlie Brown and Snoopy. These whimsical products join Nestlé’s existing collection of chocolate and sugar favorites that are sure to inspire creativity with gift baskets, egg hunts and sweet treats.

Also new this year, candy lovers can feel better about the chocolate they’re choosing. Nestlé Confections & Snacks has announced the purchase of certified, sustainable cocoa equal to the amount needed to produce the entire Easter chocolate collection for the season through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, Nestlé’s global commitment to sustainable cocoa.  For the first time, U.S. consumers can purchase any products from Nestlé’s chocolate Easter collection and know that their purchase supports Nestlé’s commitment to better cocoa farming practices, improving social conditions and ethical sourcing.  All of Nestlé’s Easter chocolate collection will feature a Nestlé Cocoa Plan logo on-pack to help you make a choice this Easter that is delicious and sustainable.

EAS-Every-bunny2Do you have an Easter gathering to host or attend? Hop into the kitchen and whip up this simple recipe for Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests. Featuring Nestlé NestEggs, the bite sized NestEggs are available in a variety of flavors including Nestlé Crunch, Crunch Creamy Caramel, Crunch Peanut Butter and Butterfinger, providing plenty of options to please every palate.

For more Easter inspiration visit www.Facebook.com/NestleCrunch or www.Facebook.com/Butterfinger.

Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 21 minutes

Servings: 30

Wax paper

1 2/3 to 2 cups (11 to 12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Butterscotch or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cans (5 ounces each) chow mein noodles

30-60 Nestlé NestEggs, any flavor

Line trays with wax paper.

Microwave morsels in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. The morsels may retain some original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Stir in peanut butter until well blended.

Add chow mein noodles to morsel mixture; toss until coated. Using ice cream scoop that measures about 2 rounded tablespoons, scoop and drop onto prepared trays then immediately shape into nests. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, place 1 or 2 candy eggs in each nest. Store prepared nests in covered container for up to 1 day.

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Easter services 2015

EasterBasketGod wants a relationship with you. Take time to worship at one of the following churches during Holy Week next week and let God prepare your heart to celebrate the joy of Easter!


Community Good Friday Service 

April 3: You are invited to join together in worship with the churches of Cedar Springs for our community Good Friday service at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3, at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant Street, Cedar Springs. Children’s programming provided through 4th grade. This program is being sponsored by the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association.

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 5: Resurrection Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m.

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Please join us as we celebrate our Lord’s life, death and resurrection.

March 29: Palm Sunday Worship at 9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

April 2: Maundy Thursday Worship with Holy Communion and Tenebrae worship service at 7:00 p.m.

April 3-4: A time for individual prayer 9:30 a.m.a to 5: 30 p.m. Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

April 5: Easter Sunday Sunrise service 8:00 a.m. Breakfast in Fellowship Hall (free-will offering) at 8:30 a.m. Easter worship with communion at 10 a.m. One service only. Call 696-11-40 for more info.

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024-18 Mile Rd. NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 5: Easter Morning Worship at 9:30 a.m. w/ Easter Brunch following.

First Baptist Church

233 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 3: Good Friday Service at 6:30 p.m.

April 5: Easter Sonrise Service at 8:30 p.m.

Easter Service at 10:45 a.m.

Maranatha Baptist Church

12786 Algoma Ave. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 5: Sunrise Service at 8:00 a.m, Easter Breakfast at 8:45, and Easter morning worship at 10 a.m.

Pioneer CRC

3592 17 Mile RD NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 5: Easter morning worship at 10 a.m.

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma Ave.

Cedar Springs, MI  49319

April 4: Saturday Easter Eggstravaganza, egg hunt and more 1 – 2:30 p.m.

April 5: Easter morning Worship Services at 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.

St. John Paul II Catholic Church 

3110 17 Mile Road NE

Cedar Springs, MI 49319


April 2: Mass of the Lord’s Supper Holy Thursday: Mass at 7p.m.

April 3: Good Friday: The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord 12 Noon

April 4: Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil at 8 p.m.

April 5: Easter Sunday: Mass at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 5 p.m.

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant Street

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

April 3:  Community Good Friday Worship Service at 6:30 p.m.

April 5:  Easter Sunday Morning Services at 9:45a.m. & 11:15a.m.

Have you heard about NBC’s new A.D. TV series? Jesus’ death and resurrection changed the world—but it’s just the beginning of the story!  Learn more as we dive deeper into the stories from A.D. with inspiring messages and video clips from the TV series. For more information visit our website www.thespringschurch.info or call 616.696.2970. We are located at 135 N. Grant St. in Cedar Springs. We hope to see you at The Springs this Easter!”


Community Good Friday Service 

April 3: The community is invited to worship together on Friday, April 3, at 7 p.m. at Bella Vista Church, 5100 Belding Rd. NE, Rockford. The theme is “The Seven Last Words of the Cross.” Sponsored by the Rockford Ministerial Association.

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake NE, Rockford, MI 49341

April 2: Maundy Thursday 10:00 a.m. breakfast

April 4: Saturday Easter Eggstravaganza – Egg Hunt Noon-12:30; Games, Crafts & Hot Dog Lunch 12:30-1:30 p.m.

April 5: Easter morning worship at 10:00 a.m.

Grace Evangelical Free

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford, MI 49341

Saturday, April 4: Free Family Easter Carnival 10am -11:30am (Egg Hunt to follow @ 11:30am)

Sunday, April 5: Easter Services- 10:45am

Holy Spirit Episcopal Church

1200 Post Drive, Belmont

April 2:  Maundy Thursday 7:00 pm – The Last Supper and Stripping of the Altar

April 3:  Good Friday 7:00 pm – Stations of the Cross

April 4:  Holy Saturday 7:00 pm – The Vigil of Easter with Champagne Reception

April 5:  Easter Sunday 9:00 Breakfast;

10:00 am – Easter Resurrection Worship

Rockford Springs Community Church

5815 Fourteen Mile Rd, NE; Rockford, MI  49341

April 2:  Maundy Thursday 7:00 p.m.

April 5:  Easter morning worship at 9:30 a.m.


Good Friday Walk and Remember

April 3: Walk to each of the Sand Lake Village churches and listen to the thoughts of characters who experienced the crucifixion first hand. From noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3. Begin at the Catholic Church (1 W. Maple), then visit the Full Gospel and Resurrection Lutheran Churches, and end at Sand Lake United Methodist, with light refreshments after. Families and children encouraged to come.

Church of the Full Gospel

180 E. Lake St., Sand Lake, MI 49343

April 5: Easter Service 11:00 a.m.

Mary Queen of Apostles

One W. Maple, Sand Lake, MI  49343

April 1:  Wednesday of Holy Week Stations of the Cross 7 pm

April 3:  Good Friday Service 3 pm

April 5:  Easter Sunday  7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. (Easter Egg Hunt following the 9:30 am Mass)

Resurrection Lutheran Church

180 S. 3rd St., Sand Lake, MI 49343

(616) 636-5502

March 29: Palm Sunday Service 9:30 Am ~Easter Egg Hunt following the Worship Hour.

April 3: Good Friday Worship Service 7:00 PM

April 5: Easter Morning Breakfast 8:30 AM

April 5: Easter Morning Worship Celebration 9:30 AM

Sand Lake United Methodist Church

65 W. Maple Street, Sand Lake, MI

April 5: Easter SONrise Service 8:00 a.m. Breakfast to follow around 8:45 am.

South Ensley United Methodist

13600 Cypress, Sand Lake, MI 49343

April 5: Easter Worship and communion 10:55 a.m.

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Easter bunny visits the library

N-Easter-bunny-at-library1-webKids in Cedar Springs are excited about Easter. It was easy to tell that last Friday, April 11, when ninety-five kids and adults visited the Easter Bunny at the Cedar Springs Public Library.

Inside they had three different craft stations, stories, a basket full of Easter Eggs with candy treats. Outside was a mama goat with 2 babies (just born one week ago), four other small goats, baby chicks and four different kinds of bunnies, all courtesy of Cindy Karafa and Double K Farms.

“This event came about because Cindy suggested it,” said Library Director Donna Clark. “It turned out so well, we are going to make it an annual event.”

When the Post interviewed the Easter Bunny after the library event, she said that she really enjoyed the children in Cedar Springs and wanted to thank them for the pictures with her.


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The Mike Cook home at 3240 17 Mile, Solon Township, is a bright spot at Easter time each year. The Cooks have been decorating their yard with these colorful eggs for the past eight years. Luckily they didn’t lose them in last Saturday’s storm. Take a drive by and see for yourself!


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An Empty Tomb is not an Empty Promise

by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

“The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault” aired almost three decades ago this week, and at the time, it was the most watched syndicated television show in history. The charismatic host of the show that evening promised the unveiling of long-kept secrets, the unknotting of historical mystery, and priceless artifacts from where Capone once lived. That host was Geraldo Rivera.

Yes, before he had his nose broken on daytime television; before he had fat sucked from his buttocks and shot into his forehead; before he was sent packing from Afghanistan for disclosing the location of US troops; and before that viral shirtless selfie on Twitter, Rivera had long ago revealed how ill-advised some of his decisions could be.

With 30 million people watching to see mysteries solved and questions answered, the vault was opened revealing nothing—unless you consider an empty gin bottle to be of historical importance. The opening of Capone’s treasures was a story as empty as the vault.

I must confess that Easter can sometimes leave us feeling like Geraldo. On Resurrection Sunday we gather with the sold-out crowd and hear the report of Jesus coming back to life. “He is risen!” we are told, and his resurrection gives “hope for ourselves, for the world, and for the future.”

But is this a publicity stunt? How can one man’s resurrection centuries ago make any real difference within the scope of eternity? Isn’t this a metaphysical fraud used to boost Christianity’s ratings? Answering similar objections, the Apostle Paul wrote, “If Christ hasn’t been raised, then our faith is worthless.”

Unafraid to soften his words, Paul goes on to say that without Easter, Christianity is a farce; eternal life is a promise built on overhyped lies; God’s grace has been misrepresented; and those who adhere to the faith are as pitiful as Geraldo in a warzone (that line is not a quote from Paul, though he might have appreciated it).

Nonetheless, in rising from the dead, Jesus signaled that he would redeem humanity by overcoming all enemies, even death, and return the universe to wholeness. He will bring all of God’s creation back to life, making “life worth the living,” as the old song goes, “just because he lives.” So we confess this hope: “Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” An ambitious confession? Yes, but confession that the tomb is empty is far more than an empty promise.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.




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Winning treats to please kids and adults this Easter

EAS-Winning-Easter-treats-1-webFamily Features


When you think of Easter goodies there’s a good chance the flavorful jelly bean comes to mind – a big hit with kids young and old. But, because flavor preferences change with age, it stands to reason that not all Easter gifts are created equal.

So, how do you navigate the taste bud temperament of loved ones so everyone will receive special Easter treats they love? With more than 100 flavors of jelly beans under their belts, Jelly Belly Candy Company has an idea of what types of flavors will be more popular with both kids and grownups.

“When we talked to kids, we learned that the more complex or exotic the flavor, the less likely they were to enjoy it,” said Lisa Brasher, executive vice chairman and a fifth generation candy maker for company.

As a renowned candy expert and author of “Candy: The Sweet History,” Beth Kimmerle added, “Classic flavors like apples and berries are typically the most popular with the younger crowd. Adults crave the more adventurous flavors.”

Understanding age and preferences

Flavor innovation keeps a company like Jelly Belly on its toes. As people age, their taste buds mature and become more open to those complex flavor profiles children shy away from. The coconut flavor is a great example of this.

“Although our panel of kids gave coconut low scores, when you look at adults who purchase our jelly beans, it’s is a very popular one,” explained Brasher.

EAS-Winning-Easter-treats-2-webFlavors for everyone

By taking the feedback from children of all ages into consideration, the jelly bean company assembled its youthful Kids Mix, a collection of 20 flavors kids love. The mix makes it easier for anyone to pick winning flavors like cotton candy, berry blue and watermelon for Easter treats. More adult-friendly flavors like licorice, cinnamon and buttered popcorn are purposefully absent from the mix.

According to Brasher, there was one surprise among the company’s findings, “We were shocked when caramel corn didn’t crack the top twenty flavors with the kids,” she said.

One sweet agreement

Despite their palate differences, kids and adults can agree on one thing—very cherry is their top pick. It’s the most popular Jelly Belly bean flavor in America, placing among the top two since its debut almost 40 years ago. For a brief period, it was upset by buttered popcorn and fell to the number two position, but it’s been consistently the winning flavor since.

“I don’t see that changing any time soon,” said Brasher.

Treat tips

When it comes to giving the best Easter treats, keep these tips in mind:

For the little ones: Give them what they want. Stick to tried and true fruity flavors and other kid-friendly tastes like cotton candy and toasted marshmallow.

For the grownups: Go with complex flavors and new flavor experiences, such as the unique offerings of chili mango, draft beer and cappuccino.

Save and celebrate: Be sure to hold onto your favorite jelly bean flavors to enjoy on National Jelly Bean Day. This year, it’s just two days after Easter on April 22nd.

Use these gift tips and you’ll see many smiles on Easter morning. For other flavorful ideas, visit www.jellybelly.com.


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