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Tag Archive | "Hillcrest Community Church"

Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Head Start for Kent County

Apply today! North Kent Head Start a high quality preschool program is taking applications. No cost to families. 3 year old – full day classes. Family support – transportation (in most areas). Nutritious meals and snacks. Child Health and Development screenings. Accommodations for children with disabilities. Families must meet eligibility guidelines. Complete an application on our website www.hs4kc.org or call 616-453-4145. #28,29b

Potluck Picnic, Movie and Sidewalk Sales

July 14,15 : Christmas in July Community Potluck Picnic and Movie in Morley Park: The fun starts Friday, July 14th at  6 pm in Morley Park. This year the Cedar Springs area Chamber of Commerce has decided to add a community potluck/picnic to the Christmas in July movie in Morley Park event. This is a free event where everyone is welcome. Bring the family down & a dish to pass and enjoy dinner and yard games in the park before the movie starts! This year’s Christmas in July movie will be “Arthur Christmas”. Saturday July 15th over 90 businesses & vendors will participate in Christmas in July Sidewalk Sales. #28b

Sing to the Lord

July 16: 2nd Chance will be having gospel hymn sing on Sunday, July 16th at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). Music will be provided by Deb and Larry Eadie and the message shared by Ron Parson. Invite your family and friends. The Sing to the Lord hymn sings will be every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. Sing to the Lord hymn sings will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #28b

Dinner at the Legion

July 17: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Baked Chicken dinner on Monday, July 17th , from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies, salad, roll, dessert and drink. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #28

VBS at Ensley Baptist Church

July 17-21: Ensley Baptist Church, 7077 E. 120th St., Sand Lake will be hosting Vacation Bible School, “Camp Kilimanjaro” an epic expedition through Proverbs, July 17 thru 21 from 9 am to 12 noon. Ages: pre-K thru 6th grade. #28

Alan Kazam – Magic Show

July 18: If it’s fun, laughter and unforgettable memories you’re looking for, then come watch Alan Kazam, a professional magician who has been delighting audiences with his unique brand of magic for over 20 years. Presented by the Cedar Springs Community Library on Tuesday, July 18th from 1 to 2 pm at Cedar Springs Middle School, corner Northland Drive and 16 Mile Rd. #28

Celebrate Recovery Tent Meeting

July 18: The weekly (Tuesday at 6:30 pm) meeting fo the nationally recognized program Celebrate Recovery will be a tent meeting outside on Tuesday, July 18th at Hillcrest Community Church, 5993 – 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Phone 616-696-9333 for more information. #28

Michigan Blood Drive

July 18: A Michigan Blood Drive will be held on July 18th at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church from 12:30 pm until 7 pm. Members of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club will be grilling hot dogs for all those who attempt to donate. Chips and a drink will be included. Summer is a particularly slow number for donors but a high demand for blood. Each donation has the potential to save 3 Michigan lives. The Blood Center thanks all the people that donate at the Cedar Springs blood drive. #28

VBS at Cedar Springs UMC

July 24-27: Come and discover your Super strength with us at “Hero Central!” We’ll have lots of fun – including crafts, games, stories and much more. Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main Street. July 24th to the 27th from 6 to 8 pm. Find registration forms on our website, www.cedarspringsumc.org, outside of the Sanctuary or in the church office. Contact Sally Johnson with any questions at 616-788-8225 or email: sallex58@gmail.com. #28,29b

VBS at Resurrection Lutheran Church

July 24-28: Vacation Bible School at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 180 Northland Drive, Sand Lake will be held July 24th – 28th from 6 to 8 pm. Ages 4 years old to sixth grade (entering). For registration information, please email churchresurrection@yahoo.com or call 616-636-5502. #27-29b

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

July 4,11,18,25: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #26

Family Movie Night “The Shack,” Free movie!

July 8: Based on the bestselling book, “The Shack.” Free Admission, free popcorn, free lemonade and reasonable soft drinks. Showing at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall, Saturday July 8th at 7:00 pm. #26,27b

Southern Gospel Concert at East Nelson UMC

July 8: Internationally known touring group, Keepers of the Faith Quartet, will be at East Nelson United Methodist Church, 9024 – 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs on Saturday, July 8th at 6:30 pm. You don’t want to miss this amazing group of singers. Their message is certainly powerful and their music superb. Please come and invite your friends for an evening of inspiration! The concert is free; a love offering will be taken. For more information call 616-696-0661. #26,27p

Cedar Springs Youth Football SIGN-UPS

July 11-27: Flag: 4-7years olds / Rocket: 3rd-6th grades / Middle: 7th-8th grades. Skinner Field: Tues & Thurs 7/11-7/27 5:30pm-7:30pm. Contact: April Victorson (616)890-5869 csyflsecretary@gmail.com. #19-26b

VBS at Hillcrest Community Church

July 17-21: Incredible & Amazing VBS Thrills coming to Hillcrest Community Church, 5994 – 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs, July 17 – 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Ages 3 through 5th grade will enjoy exploring God’s Creation. Our Amazement Park theme will culminate with a special carnival fun night on Friday, July 21st at 6:30 pm. You will also want to come on Sunday, July 23rd at 10 am for VBS Sunday. All kids will be singing and sharing. Register online at hillcrestcommunitychurch.blogspot.com or call 616-696-9333. #26

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Why is this happening?


Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than facts. It’s more important than the past, education, money, circumstances, failures, successes, or what other people think or say or do. It’s more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It’ll make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we’ll embrace for that day. We cannot change our past or the fact that people will act in a certain way. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude I’m convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.” 

~Charles R. Swindoll

Just a few months ago, our youngest son, Branden, 27, was diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare form of lymphoma requiring aggressive chemotherapy treatment. A mass the size of a softball invaded his chest pressing on vital organs. His wife was due to deliver their second child almost any day when they got the news. Treatment began immediately. The day before he was to be admitted at Butterworth for his first 5 day round of chemo, his wife was admitted at the same hospital resulting in emergency C-section, giving birth to their daughter. A few hours later, Branden went downstairs to begin treatment for cancer.

Since this journey began (early February), Branden has undergone three surgeries,  a collapsed lung, emergency bedside chest tube insertion, a viral infection, a very serious bacterial infection, as well as being separated from his family every three weeks for a week at a time.

I know there are people who are worse off. That’s not my point. Here’s my point. Long before the first diagnosis, Branden has and continues to praise God. He says this is just a miracle waiting to happen. If anyone has the right to ask, “Why is this happening?” he does. However that question has never crossed his mind. Instead, his question is, “How can I bring glory to God through what is happening?”

He knows God has the power to heal him instantaneously, but says, “If God will be glorified more by me going through this journey, then I’m willing to walk through whatever He needs me to for His Glory!” God’s goodness doesn’t change because our circumstances have.  As people visit him in the hospital, they continually share that they went to bless and minister to him, but instead, he blessed and ministered to them. As this journey continues, so does his peace and trust in God. Whatever the outcome, he wins!

One of his favorite verses for strength is Joshua 1:9 (NIV): Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Whatever you’re facing, remember:  Peace is found in the ability to see God’s presence, perceive God’s power, and focus on God’s plan in spite of the obstacles.

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

Craft & Vendor Show at Hillcrest Community Church

Apr. 29:  On Saturday, April 29 the Hillcrest Community Church (5994 18 Mile Rd.) will be hosting the Spring Craft & Vendor Show from 9 am – 2 pm. It is an opportunity to experience a time when you can set aside the fast paced world and slow down, enjoy some coffee or tea, browse the craft tables, enjoy a relaxing lunch and visit with friends. Mother’s Day is coming soon and this is a great opportunity to shop for mom. We will have flowers, hanging baskets and ferns too. #17

Huge Adoption Fundraiser

Apr. 29: Rockford Reformed Church is hosting a HUGE Adoption Fundraiser Garage Sale for a local family in the Church Gym (4890 Eleven Mile Rd.) on Saturday, April 29th from 9 am to 2 pm. There will be a $5 bag sale beginning at 1 pm. Please join us for a great sale to support a great cause – tons of kids items, clothes, home décor, quality large furniture items and much more! #17p

Payton Christian in Cedar Springs

Apr. 30, May 1: Payton, an 18 year old actress/model/non-profit director/speaker, will share her testimony on Sunday, April 30 at North Kent Community Church, 1480 Indian Lakes Rd. NE, Sparta, MI 49345 at the 10 am service. At 5:30 pm Payton will speak to the youth at the community wide screening of “I’m Not Ashamed.” Monday, May 1 at 2:45 pm, Payton will speak to En Gedi Youth Center at Red Hawk School, 204 E. Muskegon St. Cedar Springs. For more information contact Pastor Craig Carter, Senior Pastor of North Kent Community Church, 616-550-6398. #17

Dinner at the Legion

May 1: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Baked Chicken dinner on Monday,  May 1, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be baked chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #17p

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

May 2,9,16,23,30: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #17

Parent and Child Yoga @ KDL

May 4: Amber Kilpatrick – founder of Mindful Vinyasa School of Yoga & creator of The Mindful Classrooms Project – will be hosting a special Parent & Child Yoga session, perfect for young children. Come learn about yoga and try a few poses. A story is included! The library has a limited number of yoga mats. First come, first served. Please bring your own if possible and join us! Thursday, May 4, 6:30 pm,  at the Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #17

Carnival Bingo

May 6: Come join the fund and help the North Kent Senior Citizens Association raise money to help pay for their furnace. We will have a baked good sale going on and chances to win gift baskets as well. So come check out the Senior Center, 44 N. Park, Cedar Springs, and have a great time playing bingo! Only 25 cents for 3 bingo cards per game to play. #17,18p

3rd Annual Kentucky Derby Party

May 6: Watch the Kentucky Derby, listen to music by Gordon Thayer Band, enjoy a Mint Julep, food, raffle, and silent auction. Pick your favorite horse. Saturday, May 6th from 4 to 12 midnight at Sparta Moose Lodge, 11510 North Division, Sparta. Benefit to support 2nd Chance School a school for troubled teens of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin. Questions? Call 616-293-2150. #17,18p

Discover Small Museums

May 6,7: “Spring Into the Past” and discover the small museums of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network, including Cedar Springs Museum, Rockford Area Museum, Oakfield (Twp) Museum and Plainfield Township’s Hyser Rivers Museum in Belmont. These and 25 other member museums from Hastings to Edmore, Plainfield to Sunfield will be open from 11 am to 5 pm for your convenience. Pick up one at any member museum. Ask about the new Tri-River Quilt Trail too. #17

Pierson School Reunion

May 13: The Pierson School Reunion will be held on Saturday, May 13th from 9 am to 12 noon at Pierson Bible Church, 101 Grand St., Pierson. Contact Dick Pierce or Francine Sherman, 616-550-4547. #17

Christian Women’s Retreat

May 13: The Carousel of Life – Strategies for Navigating Today’s World. Speaker – Leslie Anne Wood, Transforming Faith Ministries. Do you feel like you’re on a carousel? Life is spinning round and round and first you’re up and then you’re down. The music plays louder and louder. Let me off! But we can’t get off; we must learn how to ride the colored horses of life. We can do this with faith and perseverance and God’s help. Saturday, May 13, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Settlement Lutheran Church (1031 S. Johnson Rd., Gowen). Cost is $5 and includes registration, wake up coffee, snacks, and a light, healthy lunch. Register by Sunday, May 7 by calling Linda Hansen at 616-984-5557 or mailing her at 13680 Sprague St., Gowen 49326, or by emailing linda13680@sbcglobal.net. #17


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Your mission in life


Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes  

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Do you know your life mission? Have you given much thought to your mission in life? People sometimes spend their whole life searching for what gives them purpose, hope, value and fulfillment. If you’re looking in the wrong places, you only find disappointment, frustration, bitterness and envy.

Jesus had a mission. He knew what His mission was. He never lost sight of His mission, no matter what was going on around Him and to Him. He always kept the main thing, the main thing. He didn’t allow anything to distract Him from His mission. There are several places in the Bible where we find His mission clearly stated. Do you want to know what it was, and still is? Jesus quoted scripture from Isaiah chapter 61:1-3 among other places, regarding His mission in life. He said, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, to preach good news to the poor. He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to comfort those who mourn, provide for those who grieve, exchange beauty for ashes, gladness instead of mourning, praise instead of despair” (NIV). Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He was passionate about His mission. The impact of His three years of ministry will reign for all eternity.

Jesus said in John 14:12: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (NIV).

So then, what are you deeply passionate about? It’s that thing that when you get to talk about it, you begin to speak faster and your voice goes up an octave! You begin to get excited. Where is your greatest impact? What are you best at? The place where all these intersect, is your personal sweet spot. God created everyone for a unique purpose. He has created everyone with unique gifts and talents. No one on earth is exactly like you in every way. Even twins may look alike but are not exactly alike in every way.

When we serve in our sweet spot, our service never feels like work. When you operate in your sweet spot, it energizes you. What do you do that energizes you? What drains you? Knowing what you’re not created for is just as important.  Operating outside of your sweet spot for extended periods of time will suck the life right out of you. You will find peace and fulfillment in your life when you seek and agree with God’s plan and unique purpose for your life. After all, He is the only One who knows why He created you. Apart from Him, it is impossible to discover our purpose. Our mission in life is to fulfill our purpose. Our value is not found in the things of this world. In God’s eyes, we are worth more than anything this world has to offer.

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

VBS at Huggard Bible

July 17-20: Huggard Bible Church, 8860 – 20 Mile Rd., Sand Lake, will host “Ocean Commotion, Diving into Noah’s Flood” from July 17th to the 20th , 6:30 to 8 pm, registration at 6 pm. 3 year olds to 6th grade. Questions: 616-636-5561. Hope to see you there. #27,28p

Dinner at the Legion

July 18: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Baked Chicken dinner on Monday, July 18th, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be baked chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #28p

VBS at Hillcrest Community Church

July 18-22: What happens when we go underground into the darkness of a cave? We learn to rely on the only Light that can overtake whatever darkness we face in life! Jesus! At Cave Quest Vacation Bible School from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, children from age 4 years – 5th grade will discover how to call on God’s Light to brighten any darkness they may face. Please visit our Facebook event at Hillcrest Community Church of God for more details and registration information. Please feel free to stop in at Hillcrest at 5994 – 18 Mile Rd. We have office hours on Wednesday and Thursday each week, or call the office at 616-696-9333 to RSVP. #27,28

Hosts Needed for Chinese Students

July 19: Looking to go to China, but can’t afford it? We’ll bring China to you. Network 153 and Pine Ridge Bible Camp are hosting 73 Chinese students from Lu He International High School in Beijing July 19 thru August 8. They’re traveling to Grand Rapids to be immersed in English, while attending Pine Ridge Bible Camp August 1-6. We’re looking for host families who would open up their hearts and homes. A $150 stipend, will be given to each family per student hosted to help defray costs. Contact Tim Bauer for more information at (616) 799-4935 or at network153usa@gmail.com. #25-28p

Michigan Blood Drive

July 19: Hot dogs are back! Michigan Blood Drive on July 19th at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church from 12:30 until 7:00 pm in the Church gymnasium. Summer is a particularly hard time for the blood supply so the need is greater. To thank you, the ladies from the Cedar Springs Women’s Club will grill a hot dog for anyone attempting to donate. You have the potential to save 3 lives. It is a win-win situation for all. The Blood Center thanks all the people that donate at the Cedar Springs Blood Drive. #28

Fill the Truck to Support Tiffany’s Tiny Cat Rescue

July 23: Boy Scout Troop 222 will be collecting donations on Saturday, July 23rd in the Tractor Supply parking lot from 9 am to 2 pm. Items needed include food (Purina Cat & Kitten Chow), litter, cat care products, cleaning & laundry products, paper towels, and old blankets/sheets/towels. For more information or to arrange alternate drop off time, please contact Laurie at 616-304-9929. #28,29p

Cookie Chaos at KDL

July 25: Calling all teen chefs to our crazy, chaotic cookie decorating competition. You just might become the Cookie Chaos Champion, although everyone wins when there are cookies to eat! Pre-registration required, 877-243-2466. Monday, July 25th at 1:30 pm at the Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #28

Fallen Heroes Golf Outing

July 30: The 7th Annual Fallen Heroes Golf Outing will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, July 30th at North Kent Golf Club. $70 per person includes golf w/cart, and steak dinner. Grand prize is a fishing trip for 4 with Hillbilly Charters, Grand Haven, Hole-In-One Contest, 50/50 raffle and other contests and prizes. Contact North Kent Golf Club 616-866-2659. Monies raised will be donated to the Veterans Memorial Park in Cedar Springs. #28-29p

Register Now For Free Hunter Education

Aug. 9: To register for firearm Hunter Safety Classes at the Red Flannel Rod & Gun Club, call Jim Pope at 231-834-5545 after 6 pm or 616-634-3167. Classes at the Club, 7463 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, will be Tuesday, August 9th, from 6-9 pm,  Thursday, August 11th, from 6-9pm,  Saturday, August 13th, from 8 am-4 pm. Class size limited to 40 students. #28,29p

Lakeview School Alumni Banquet

Sept. 11: The Lakeview School Alumni (this includes any former Lakeview School student from  2016 and earlier) and retired teachers are invited to attend the Annual Alumni Banquet to be held at Lakeview High School on Sunday, September 11th.  The cost is $15 per person with open house at 11 am and dinner at 1 pm. We will be honoring the Class of 1966 on their 50th Anniversary and the Class of 1956 on their 60th Anniversary. Reservations must be made prior to September 2nd be sending payment with your name, maiden name (if applicable) and year of graduation to: Noreen Badge, 11872 W. Dickerson Lake Rd., Trufant, MI 49347, phone 616-984-5616. Questions may be directed to President Pat Hadrich, 616-984-2938. Come join the fun and you may be the winner of some great door prizes. Please spread the work to out-of-town classmates. #28

Bus Trip to Lansing

Oct. 4: On Tuesday, October 4th at 12 pm Franklin Graham’s Decision America is coming to Michigan’s Capital. I am hoping to find 40 people willing to commit $25 each to hire a bus to Lansing’s Capital where the event will take place. America is at a critical crossroad in its history and I believe that only through prayer can we turn people’s hearts and minds back to God. In prayer we are neither Republican or Democrat, of one denomination or another. We are believers who are willing to set everything aside to humble ourselves before God and ask Him to heal America. We will be praying for our local, state, and federal government leaders, for God’s protection over our Military and Police Officers. Please join us. Questions? Contact Kathryn Bremmer 616-696-0591. #28,29p

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Weathering the storm


Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes  

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

Greetings Cedar Springs! As I write this article, we are driving straight toward the storms raging through the Midwest states. The destruction ranges from Texas—Oklahoma—Kansas—and Nebraska, with multiple tornados touching down. There have even been sightings of tornados with multiple vortexes! Wild, I know! Then there was 8 inches of golf ball size hail in Colorado Springs, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from our destination. The freeway was even shut down temporarily. Then the clouds lifted and the sun came out shining bigger and brighter than I’ve seen it in a long time. It was beautiful!

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like that with the storms of life? Just when you think you made it through a terrible storm, another one springs up that’s even worse than the one you just survived!

God has given you a mission in life and never intended for you to accomplish it without Him.

You have to keep going even when you want to quit. Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom said, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.” It all depends on where your focus is. We need to focus on what God is doing for us instead of what Satan is doing against us.

There will be tough days on this journey called life. You have to believe that God has your best in mind even when you can’t see what He’s doing. And you have to trust God even when you don’t get what you want!

Rick Warren said, “We all know from personal experience that faith doesn’t exempt us from problems. It’s easy to trust God when life is going well and we feel strong. But faith develops in the valleys. When our dreams shatter and we feel helpless, that’s when we have to believe in God’s power and presence.”

Jesus said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matt.9:29). If you want God’s help, you must trust Him and believe He has the power to accomplish more than we can ever ask or imagine.

We must also realize that God’s ways are higher than our ways and He doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to. Still we must trust His plan. He loves us more than we can even imagine. God is still good, and that will never change. Jeremiah 29:11-12 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Let’s come to God with a dump truck full of faith. God’s power and ability far outweighs the amount of our imagination!

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ILENE R. SCHOONMAKER


 

Ilene R. Schoonmaker, 89 of Cedar Springs, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday, February 5, 2015 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. Mrs. Schoonmaker was born June 27, 1925 in Belding, Michigan the daughter of Glen and Lela (Brooks) Losinger. She graduated from Howard City High School in 1943, had been a Girl Scout and Boy Scout leader and enjoyed gardening. She loved Jesus dearly and was a member of Hillcrest Community Church where she was a Sunday School teacher and had served on the Board. She was a strong pillar in her family. Surviving are her children, Marsha Porter, Joan (Randy) Hughes, Donald (Enya) Schoonmaker, Paula (Bill) Splitstone, Joseph (Sue) Schoonmaker, Pamela Ussery, Alma Katherine (Doug) Terrill, Lila (Daniel) Hodges; 29 grandchildren; 66 great grandchildren; 9 great great grandchildren; brother, Carl Losinger; sisters, Helen Bassett, Elnor Addington. She was preceded in death by her husband, Finley in 1968; son, Steven; daughter, Linda VanSplinter; one grandson; five great grandchildren. The family greeted friends Monday, Feb. 9 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was Tuesday at Hillcrest Community Church, 5994 18 Mile Road, Cedar Springs. Pastor Kristi Rhodes officiating. Interment Reynolds Township Cemetery, Howard City. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hillcrest Community Church.

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

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Life’s not fair and that’s okay


Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes  

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

 

 

Life’s not fair. No big surprise right? When children are formed in the womb, a DNA chip appears in their brains. Not many scientists recognize it, but every parent knows it’s there. It’s called the “life should be fair” chip. Every child is born with it—without exception. Every parent has heard their children utter the same phrase, “That’s not fair!” It happens with birthday cake (his is bigger). It happens at bedtime (he gets to stay up later). And so on. And it doesn’t get better as they get older. The life should be fair chip doesn’t disintegrate naturally.

I’ve done it, too. How about the stockings at Christmas? We put the exact same things in each stocking, right down to counting the miniature candy bars trying to be fair. Was that fair? No! It was equal. What about the child that doesn’t like Mounds candy bars?

We want life to be fair. We think life should be fair. When someone else gets called into the doctor’s office first, that’s not fair. When life doesn’t provide us with the abilities, possessions, talents, or opportunities others have, we cry it’s not fair. But no one ever promised life was fair, nor should it be. Herb Shaffer says in his book, “From Where God Sits,” That’s okay! Life’s not fair—never will be, wasn’t created to be, and that’s okay! God’s in charge, we’re His kids, He loves us all the same, but He does not promise that life will be fair. In fact, Jesus promised just the opposite in John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” If we insist on fairness and strive to get it on our own, we often short-circuit God’s better plan. What the enemy plans for evil, God will use for good. Don’t curse the bumps. They are what we climb on.

We need to stop complaining about our trouble. Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and say thanks to God for the troubles we don’t have.

Being thankful is a state of mind. Use what God has blessed you with to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Life’s not fair, and that’s okay. When we accept that truth about life, it gets much easier to handle. We will accept the difficulties we are handed as a normal part of life instead of believing something is wrong when unfairness comes. Sometimes those who don’t deserve it are going to get things we never do. But by tossing out the lie that life should be fair, we give God the opportunity to make us grow from the unfairness into better people instead of bitter people. That’s when the life should be fair chip begins to disintegrate—and we can get on with doing life the way God designed us to do it.

 

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Peanut butter pews


Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes  

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

Over the years, I have had the privilege of being used by God to help many people, marriages, and families through some very hard seasons in their lives. Too often, people get stuck in a bad place and really struggle to find a way out. In many cases, some have resigned themselves to give up, believing there is no hope.

As a pastor, my calling is to point them to the hope—Jesus Christ—who is the hope of the world! There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain and restore hope to those who seem stuck in a bad place. Each new assignment brings its own challenges, but none that God can’t handle, for those who will trust him with the outcome in every situation.

As I was preparing my most favorite sandwich in the whole wide world (Jif peanut butter and almost any flavor of jelly), I was meditating on one of the most recent victories. I was in awe of God, praising Him for His power and thanking Him for trusting me with His precious child. I am amazed yet again of His amazing power to transform relationships for His glory.

The peanut butter on my sandwiches is always quite thick (yum) and I dropped the knife in the middle of the peanut butter and it stuck there. I got the knife out and cleaned the peanut butter off, then the lid to the jelly dropped on the peanut butter and stuck there. My thoughts went to—“hmm, I would like to get stuck in a sea of peanut butter.” Then I was reminded of how often we can get stuck in a good place, too!

We can get so comfortable in our peanut butter pews that we don’t want to go out and reach those who are lost or hurt, depressed, confused, or struggling in relationships, stuck in hopelessness. We can even become a hindrance to those who do. Those who won’t leave their comfort zone have lost sight of why the church exists in the first place. We dishonor God when we refuse to be used to expand His Kingdom.

When God has redeemed us and healed our broken relationships, healed our past hurts and scars, restored our dignity, and written our names in the Lamb’s book of Life, we should be so thankful that we want to help others. Just before Peter would experience the lowest point of his life thus far, Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:31-32, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Peter was stuck in the worst place of his life—betrayal of his Lord—until he remembered Jesus’ words. Jesus’ powerful words restored Peter who in turn helped restore and strengthen his brothers. Let us be found faithful to Jesus’ Great Commission to “Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19).

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