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Tag Archive | "Richard Nichols"

Why?


Pastor Richard Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta


Some things never change: tragedies happen. Luke’s gospel records that during Jesus’ time on this earth, tragedies happened.  We read: “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-3 King James Version).

We have no other gospel account to refer to, so to take what we have, “Jesus answering,” would indicate that there was some question of “why, Jesus?” Similarly, even today, we try to make sense out of tragedy. For example, the September 19, 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City left 168 dead with hundreds more injured; also, the tragedy of 9/11, along with numerous mass shootings, which appear senseless. 

However, people still rise up to accusingly ask: “Where was God?” There are three truths we should begin with: 1) God is sovereign; 2) God is good, and 3) evil is present in the world. Basically, our thoughts (translate opinions) is that if God is good, such things wouldn’t happen.  

Human nature is quick to form an opinion, which can be one of the most dangerous things in life, unless it is formed by the word of God. We want to believe that old adage: “What goes around, comes around,” which is what appears to be the prevailing opinion in Luke’s writing.  It was a common belief at that time that good people have good things happening in their life, while these Galileans, were obviously sinful and this was God’s judgment on them. 

In an unexpected way, Jesus mentioned the Tower of Siloam that fell, killing 18 people, and questioning “… think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?” (Luke 13:4b KJV). In other words, do you think these also got what they deserved?

There is no simple explanation for why good and bad things happen to all people; the faulty part of our formed opinions is that we presume to judge God’s goodness. It’s easy to form an opinion or take a position that sin and sinners can be judged on a scale of one to ten; to draw a line to connect catastrophe with God’s judgment.  

This is essentially to judge God’s judgment, a liberty that we take at our own jeopardy.  Again, there are three truths we should begin with: 1) God is sovereign; 2) God is good, and 3) evil is present in the world. Peter writes, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2nd Peter 3:9 KJV).  

Jesus’ words “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” were spoken in love, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV). When we repent, we acknowledge we need a Savior, and tragedy can be a motivator to know God’s truth. God sent his Son, and men crucified him because of their sin-formed opinions; yet God still seeks to save the lost today. “Whosoever” is for all of us. 

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Ryan James Christopher Dalton


35C obit Dalton

Ryan James Christopher Dalton, 24 of Rockford, died Thursday, August 27, 2015. Ryan was born March 20, 1991 in North Hampton, Massachusetts, he graduated from Cedar Springs High School Class of 2009. He was very smart, charismatic and carefree and loved his family. He loved the Boston Celtics and enjoyed music and writing it. Surviving are his mother, Tammy Dalton; father, Paul Kuzmeski; brothers, Jason (Vicki) MacLeod, Eric Thomas; sister, Presley Nichole Dalton; nieces and nephew, Aalyais, Ayanna, Aiden; aunts, Rebecca Sefton, Wanda Turner; uncles, Jimmy Williams, Doug Dempsey. The family will greet friends Thursday, September 3rd from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where services will be held Friday 11:00 am. Pastor Richard Nichols officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the funeral home to help with expenses.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home 

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Mary E. Siebert


 

Mary E. Siebert, 85 of Cedar Springs, passed away Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at Spectrum Health Blodgett Campus. Mrs. Siebert was born July 17, 1929 in Granite City, IL the daughter of George and Sarah (Patterson) Brown. She had been a bank auditor and later enjoyed hobby farming with her husband. She was a member of Cedar Creek Community Church and their Ladies Auxiliary Club. She was an avid golfer and bowler. Surviving are her children, Geraldine Myers, Robert Siebert, Donna Kaye Smith, Roger George Siebert; 8 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; 1 great great grandson; brother, Ray (Rosemary) Brown; sister, Donna (Owen) Arney. She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer in 2001; granddaughters, Tonya Gail Siebert and Paula Lynn Silliman; brother, George Brown. The family will greet friends Thursday from 9:30 am until time of service at 11:00 am at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Richard Nichols officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs.

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

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Trusting in God!


Pastor Richard Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”  (Proverbs 3:5-6 King James translation).

This is a truth that evaded my understanding for too many years of my life. I discovered (admit), it isn’t always easy to understand God’s love and concern for each of us when we are living in the moment of those events that call us to lean on God’s promises. Proverbs 3:5-6 is so meaningful, because it reveals the truth of God’s love for us.

I hope that some of what I have learned in this Christian walk will benefit others. There are times when it takes years to even begin understanding the whys of life, and some things I am convinced that I won’t understand at all in this life. Then too, there are events in life that will still hurt even though I understand better later. An old hymn title assures us “We Will Understand it Better By and By.”  My comfort and peace is in knowing that God is always there, even when I can’t see him through my circumstances.

So why trust God with all our heart as scripture tells us? Well, I’m glad someone asked.

For one thing, God is good! His character is such that he only wills and allows what is ultimately good.

We read in scripture “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV).

One of my shortcomings is that I sometimes measure God’s goodness more on my emotions of the moment, rather than on the basis of his truth. For instance, there are times when I have thought, “God is not fair,” when in actuality, I was thinking “God is not fair to me.”

Our emotions can change like the weather, but God never changes. What I should be questioning is why I am questioning God. God is righteous (just), and quite frankly, I know that any righteousness or rightness that I may have only comes from him, so listening to his word is always my best option.

Second, God is love! His character is such that his deep love is the motivating factor and controlling influence of his heart toward us. That is why I can trust Him with all of my heart, because I know that his love can never fail.

Third, God is in control! Regardless of what it looks like to me at the moment or what I think, God is in control of everything I go through! If I didn’t believe that, I would be emotionally and spiritually a wreck. Today I can have confidence in this new year that I am always right in the center of his loving hand of mercy, protection and care.  I desire to be more trusting and closer to him every day.

There is so much more I could share of my relationship with God, the blessings along with the trials, my failures and God’s successes but I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much I love the Lord and trust in him. It is my prayer that you, too, may know in your heart the peace of a relationship with our loving God of Truth.

 

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