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Tag Archive | "The Springs Church"

DONALD WHITE


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Donald White, age 95, of Cedar Springs, passed from this life on Monday, January 25, 2016. Don was born in Montcalm County, Michigan on August 9, 1920 to Vern and Hazel (Rogers) White. At a young age Don and his family moved to Ensley Center where Don was raised. On September 19, 1941 Don married the girl of his dreams, Audrey Brownell. The couple resided on a farm in Courtland Township for 71 years until Audrey passed on February 2, 2013. Don White was a horse man. There was a sign in front of their home that said, “Horses for sale, by Don White.” Don farmed his land almost to entirety with horses, only using a tractor to run the belts of the thrashing machine. Don traveled the state with his wagon and team of horses, appearing in various parades, but most notably the Red Flannel Parade in Cedar Springs. For many years Don and Audrey were members of the Draft Horse Club that met in Blanchard, Michigan. Don was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife; his granddaughter, Kelly Jean Brophy; seven brothers, Ben, Wayne, Roy, Alton, Floyd, Alvin and Bernard White; four sisters, Mildred Barnes, Frances Johnson, Pauline Rebecca White and Virginia Reed. He is survived by his three children, Suzanne (Jennings) Johnson, Bonnie (Tom) Reynolds and Donald White, Jr. and special friend, Judy Sailor; his grandchildren, Scott (Michele) Johnson, Brian (Julie) Johnson, Mark (Veronica) Allen, Julie Anne Johnson, Jason Van’thof, Molly Goodman, Jordan White, Rebecca Reynolds and Thomas Louis (Audrey) Reynolds Jr.; 26 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren. Don is also survived by his brother, Robert White; his sisters-in-law, Stella White, Hattie White, Yvonne White, Esther White, and Yvonne Brownell Hendrick and many nieces and nephews. The family greeted friends Wednesday January 27 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The Service of Praise and Thanksgiving for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ will be held Thursday 11:00 am at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant St., Cedar Springs. Pastor Wayne Cash and Donald’s son-in-law, Pastor Jennings Johnson officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to The Springs Church.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

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Don M. Miles


C-OBIT-MilesDon M. Miles 88 of Pierson, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, December 26, 2015 at the Grand Rapids Home for the Veterans. Don was born May 14, 1927 in Montcalm Township, MI the son of John and Bessie (Thompson) Miles. Don began his naval career on Nov. 10, 1947 and attained the rank of Machinist Mate Chief Petty Officer prior to his retirement on Nov. 7, 1968. He served during the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. Following his naval career he worked at Wolverine Worldwide for 20 years as a machinist. He was a member of the Cedar Springs American Legion. He had been an active member of the Cedar Springs Free Methodist Church (The Springs) where he was head usher for over 30 years. Don served Boy Scout Troop 222 of Cedar Springs for over 37 years, many of them as scoutmaster. Surviving are his wife Dawn, whom he married in 2000; children, Valerie (Howard) Mathewson, David (Elaine) Miles, Joseph (Mary Ann) Miles, Gloria (Kevin) Kizewski; seven grandchildren, Adam Clouse, Alan Clouse, C.J. Miles, Mikayla Mathewson, Kyle Stephens, Caleb Kizewski, Bryce Kizewski; two great grandchildren, Hunter and Cierra; sisters, Gertrude Coalter, Katherine (Reuben) Hoxsie, Patricia (William) Newman. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean in 1996; five brothers and one sister, Buddy, Sam, Bill, Walter, Norman, and Agnes Telder. The family will greet friends Tuesday from 9:00 am until time of service at 11:00 am at The Springs Church, 88 Grant St., Cedar Springs. Pastors Jennings Johnson and Wayne Cash officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Military honors by the U.S. Navy.

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

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How to have a worship-filled feast


The-Springs-blurred-webPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St., Cedar Springs

 

The famous “theologian” Andy Rooney had this to say about Thanksgiving: “The emphasis is more on what we have for dinner this Thursday than it is on any other holiday. Once you’ve given thanks on Thanksgiving, there isn’t much else to do but watch football and eat.”

Is that true? Is Thanksgiving just a quick prayer followed by food and football and maybe a little online shopping? Thanksgiving can be so much more; in fact, it is intended to be. More than food, more than football, more than door busters, Thanksgiving can be a day of worship, and a chance to share a meal in Jesus’ honor. But how?

I’d like to share three secrets with you for turning an otherwise traditional Thanksgiving meal into a worship-filled feast.

Secret #1: Read a Thanksgiving Psalm together after you sit down to the table and before you say grace.

Colossians 3:16-17 (NLT) says, “Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use His words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.  And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

One of the ways you can turn your Thanksgiving meal into an opportunity for worship is to incorporate Scripture into it. Reading a Thanksgiving Psalm before the meal lets the words of Christ live in your hearts and sets the table for a worship-filled feast. Some great Thanksgiving Psalms from the Bible include Psalm 30, 32, 34, 40, 66, 100, 116, and 138.

There are lots of ways to do this. Here are two: everyone gathered could read the Thanksgiving Psalm together in unison, or one person could read it out loud for the whole group. Be creative and have fun.  After you read the psalm, go around the table and have each person share what they are thankful for.

Secret #2: Give thanks before and AFTER the meal.

Deuteronomy 8:6-10 (NLT) reads, “Obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and fearing Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with springs that gush forth in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley, of grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, olives, and honey.  It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking…When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.”

I’m assuming most of us give thanks before our Thanksgiving meals. But the idea of giving thanks afterward may be foreign to many of you. Giving thanks after a meal is a tradition that has been lost by most Christians, especially Protestants.  But it is a tradition that goes back to the earliest believers, and to Jewish practice as well. Tertullian, a famous early church theologian wrote, “We do not recline at a banquet before prayer be first tasted; in like manner prayer puts an end to the feast.”

Jesus Himself gave thanks before and after meals. We see Him modeling this at the Last Supper where He gave thanks for the bread at the beginning of the meal, and gave thanks for the cup at the close of the meal.

We get our word “gratitude” from the word “grace.” So saying grace before or after a meal literally means to give thanks or to give gratitude. After we have finished eating and our stomachs are full, it is only natural to express our gratitude to God for all He has blessed us with. Like Deuteronomy 8:10 says, “When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.”

This year you might want to start a new Thanksgiving tradition of giving thanks after your done eating in addition to saying grace before your meal.

Secret #3: Make your meal a time for serving others, sharing love, and seeking reconciliation.

A quick sprint through the New Testament shows how thankful Paul was for his brothers and sisters in Christ. Romans 1:8a (NLT): “Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…” 1 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT): “I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts He has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3 (NLT): “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”

Thanksgiving is a great time to follow Paul’s example and share with others how thankful we are for them.

The truth is, for Christians this should be a daily practice, not just once a year on Thanksgiving. Acts 2:46-47 (NIV) describes how the first Christians lived a thanksgiving lifestyle on a daily basis.

“Every day they continued to meet together in the Temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

From the beginning Christians have broken bread and eaten together.  The act of breaking bread together is rich with symbolism. Jesus broke bread with His disciples at the Last Supper, making it symbolic of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Jesus fed a crowd of 5000 people with broken pieces of bread from 5 loaves, making it symbolic of care and compassion.  In the Old Testament the ritual of breaking the Passover bread symbolizes God’s power to deliver His people.

Thanksgiving incorporates all of this symbolism. It is a time for forgiveness and reconciliation, a time for care and compassion, and a time to give thanks for all that God has done to save us.

Turn your Thanksgiving meal into a worship-filled feast by having each person share what they thank God for in another person at the table.  Again there are lots of ways to do this, so be creative.  As dishes are being passed the person who is passing could tell the person they are passing to what it is about that person they are thankful for.

At the end of the day, our Thanksgiving meals should always be held in Jesus’ honor.  Jesus was the guest of honor at many meals.  I’m reminded of Matthew’s party, the meal at Zacchaeus’ home, when Jesus visited Mary and Martha’s home, and when Jesus visited Peter’s mom.

For those of you who are really extreme you might consider leaving an empty chair at the head of your table to symbolize that this meal is in Jesus’ honor and to remember that He is present with you.

This year, try some of these ideas to turn an otherwise traditional meal into a worship-filled feast. By incorporating Scripture, prayer, serving and sharing into your Thanksgiving meal you can do just that.

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Trick or treat in Cedar Springs


Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

It’s only two days until Halloween—are you ready for a night full of fun? Does the thought of greeting scores of trick or treaters make you break out in a cold sweat? Forget staying home! Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the Annual Cedar Springs Area Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun begins at 4:30 p.m. with trick or treating at area businesses up and down Main Street, some side streets, and 17 Mile until 7 p.m. Special events include a haunted library at the Cedar Springs Library at the corner of Cherry and Second from 5-7 p.m.; a haunted school house at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum on Cedar Street in Morley Park from 5-7; Calvary Assembly of God will have lots of games and candy and prizes at the corner of Main and Ash from 5-7 p.m.; the Kent County Sheriff Traffic Squad will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the Cedar Springs firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and The Springs Church will host Trunk-or-Treat from 6-8 p.m., in their parking lot at the corner of Maple and First Street, along with a giant slide, and refreshments.

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God has the power to provide


The-Springs-blurred-webPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

 

If I were to ask you, “What are you lacking today?” You might say, “I need more energy… I need more money… I need more emotional support… I need a job.” Chances are you have a shortage somewhere in your life right now. All of those things that you’re lacking in your life really happen for a reason. You don’t know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.  Sometimes God allows a shortage in your life to show you that He has the power to provide whatever it is you are lacking.

This was true for a prophet in the Old Testament named Elijah. The Bible tells us in 1 Kings chapter 17 that during a 3-½ yearlong drought “the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.  You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.’ So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land” 1 Kings 17:2-7 (NIV).

What is a ravine? A ravine is a natural rut. It’s a long, narrow gorge. Ravines are dark, cold, and lonely. In Hebrew, Kerith means “cut off.” And Elijah was cut off from everything—his friends, social interaction, and what was happening in the world. He was all by himself.

You might be in an emotional Kerith right now. You’re going through a time that seems dark and cold and deep and lonely.

During this time, God supernaturally provides for Elijah in an unusual way. He has ravens bring food and drop it down to him. This is not exactly gourmet food. Where do birds get their food? Off other people’s plates. They find a little piece of meat here and a little piece of bread there. For a year, Elijah’s eating leftovers at best. At worst, he may be eating a dead carcass that they picked up somewhere. So this is not exactly a Sandals vacation. He’s in this pit, and his only support is from God. He has food that God has provided from the ravens, and water that God has provided in the brook. Remember: You don’t know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.

Then in verse 7 it says “The brook dried up.” Maybe you are in a situation right now where the brook has dried up in your life. The money’s not there. The friend isn’t there.  The support isn’t there. The energy isn’t there. Your health isn’t there. Things have dried up in your life.

What do you need to remember when the brook dries up in your life—relationally, emotionally, financially or whatever? You need to remember that God allows brooks to dry up to keep me from depending on the brook.

Elijah was in this rut for a year. It would have been very easy for him to just forget about God and focus on the birds and the brook, because they are supplying his needs. He doesn’t have to work; it’s all right there. The birds bring the food and the brook gives the water. If you depend on a bird every day to drop food down to you, week after week, month after month, for a full year, pretty soon you’re not thinking about God.  You’re thinking about, “Is the bird on time?” And if the water is coming down the brook each day, you might just start to assume it’s always going to be there.

So God says, “Whatever you’re trusting in, if it’s not Me, I’m going to turn it off. You’ve been trusting in your job for your security; we’ll just turn that off.  You’ve been trusting in your health; we’ll just turn that off.  You’ve been trusting in a friend; we’ll just turn that off.”

God says you must trust in Me and Me alone.

So what are you lacking in your life right now? What do you need that has dried up?  Whatever it is, God has the power to provide it. Trust in Him. The Bible promises in Philippians 4:19 that “God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (NIV). Why don’t you take a moment right now to pause and pray and ask God to meet that need in your life?

 

 

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Blessing of bicycles connects kids with bikes


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By Judy Reed

The first Blessing of the Bicycles at The Springs Church last Saturday, June 6, was all organizer Johna Alexander hoped it would be.

“It was awesome,” remarked Alexander, “a fantastic event. Of the 50 used bikes that were donated, we only had 10-12 left. So we connected a lot of kids with bikes.”

They also gave eight brand new bikes away.

They also tried to fit kids with helmets. “About 60 percent of the kids got one,” she said.

N-Blessing-of-the-bicycles2Dozens of kids and parents showed up to take advantage of the free bicycles, helmets, face painting, and other goodies. On hand was the Kent County Sheriff Department, Cedar Springs Fire Department, and Rockford Ambulance.

Pastor Barry Briggs also said a blessing over the bicycles.

“I consider it a success,” said Alexander. “I would love to do it again next year.”

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Overcoming your fear of risk


The-Springs-blurred-webPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

 

Everybody can identify with fears. We all have them. Fear is universal. Some of us have fear of the dark, fear of falling, fear of lobsters, fear of falling on lobsters in the dark. Fear of the words “Some assembly required.” But the fear I want to talk about is a specific fear: the fear of risk. This fear keeps you from the opportunities that God wants to do in your life and through your life. The truth is we don’t seize many of the opportunities God lays before us because we’re afraid to take the risk.

For me, I fear talking to people that I’ve never met before. Strangers. I don’t know, maybe it’s the root word—strange. Here’s the thing, not talking to strangers is keeping me from opportunities to meet new people. The reason I know these are missed opportunities is because I have friends who talk to strangers and they always have these great God-stories. “I talked to this one guy. I’d never met him. We were at the mall. I invited him to church. I ministered to his family. We went on a cruise together. Now I’m in his will.” That kind of stuff! I never have those. Why? Because I’m afraid to talk to strangers that I don’t know.

Let’s turn the mirror on you. Let’s talk about your fears. What step are you afraid to take that would result in depth or closeness to God? The one that you know in your heart if you were to take that step things would change. Maybe, if you are honest, you’re afraid to be pushed out of your comfort zone. Or maybe you’re afraid to forgive someone who’s hurt you. Or maybe you’re afraid to ask for help for one of your relationships.

Peter is a great example of someone in the Bible who saw an opportunity, took a risk, and seized the opportunity. One day, as Peter was heading into the Temple to pray, he saw an opportunity to heal a man who was lame from birth. Peter healed him in Jesus’ name, which, as you can imagine, drew a large crowd and created yet another opportunity for Peter to share the Good News. In Acts 3:12 it says, “Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd” (NLT).

Like Peter, God wants us to see the opportunities He lays before us, take a risk, and seize those opportunities. Here’s how: You need to first identify your personal fear. If you determine what that fear really is for you then it shrinks. It doesn’t mean you’re over it.  It just means it’s exposed and manageable.

Once you identify it, the second thing I’d encourage you to do is then confess your fear of risk to someone. Admitting that you are fearful of risks is hard to do, but once you get it out in the open others can support you.

So first, you admit your fear. Second, you confess it to someone else. Then third, take one risk—just one—that will challenge your fear. Then soon after, take another. What is that? That is facing your fear. This week let me encourage you to face your fear of risk head on by looking for a God-sized opportunity, taking a risk, and seizing the opportunity. And watch as God begins to work in you and through you.

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Halloween Happenings


Halloween-leadin

Check out some of the fun, fall activities going on in our area for Halloween!

 

MCC Haunted Indoor Forest

Oct. 24, 25: Montcalm Community College Art Club hosts a Haunted Indoor Forest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Instruction North Building, on the college’s Sidney campus. A $2 donation is suggested.

Harvest Brains at Sand Lake/Nelson Library

Oct. 25: Program for teens, at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, October 25. Save your brains! Build a survival bag, practice your aim, and learn what it takes to stay alive during a zombie apocalypse. The library is located at 88 Eighth St., Sand Lake.

Harvest party

Oct. 25: Cedar Creek Community Church, at 2969 14 Mile RD NE Sparta, will host a harvest party on Saturday, October 25, from 5-8 p.m. There will be hayrides (using straw due to allergies), pumpkin painting, dunking for apples, cake walk, games, face painting, soup, hot dogs, popcorn, and lots of fun! All are welcome. Call 866-9829 for more info.

Pumpkin Carving and Lit Trails Walk

Oct. 25: Pumpkin/Carving and Pumpkin lit trail hike from 5-8:30 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, on Saturday, October 25. Suggested donation is $8 per person or $30 for family of four or more, including pumpkin to take home. (No one turned away for inability to pay. This donation helps keep HCNC operating.) Pumpkin carving from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and pumpkin lit walk through our spooky Enchanted Forest from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Friendly enough for your toddlers. Non scary animals will be on display in the forest, weather permitting for the mock-animals). Includes pumpkin to take home or leave at the center for the wild animals to munch on. Dress up as your favorite nature character. Open to all ages.

Trunk ‘r Treat at Courtland-Oakfield UMC 

Oct. 25: It’s our fourth annual Trunk ‘r Treat for kids of all ages. Saturday, October 25, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake NE. Candy outdoors; hot dogs & baked beans indoors.

Trunk or Treat at East Nelson UMC

Oct. 25: Bring your kids and come “Trunk or Treat” at East Nelson UM Church, 9024 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs on Saturday, October 25 from 5-7 p.m. Warm up with hot chocolate and sloppy joes. Games and fun for all.

Fall Festival  

Oct. 29: Fall Festival for all ages at the Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs on Wednesday, October 29, from 6:30- 8 p.m. For families with children 5th grade and under. Games, prizes, snacks, boy and girl door prizes and candy, candy, candy! The church is located on Algoma, just north of 19 Mile Road.

Nightmare on Cherry Street

Oct. 30: Calling all 4th to 6th graders!  You are officially invited to come to our “Nightmare on Cherry Street” party at the Cedar Springs Library! The fun, games, and food will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 30 and go until 7:30. Registration is required, so come into the library to sign up or call 616-696-1910

Trick or Treat Trail Walk

Oct. 31: From 3-5 p.m. on Halloween, bring your kiddos by Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, to take a short walk down one of our trails to collect some candy, so we don’t get tricked!

Cedar Springs Spooktacular

Oct. 31:  The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses and churches in Cedar Springs are sponsoring the annual Main Street Halloween Spooktacular on Friday, October 31. Some of the free events include: spooky storytelling and crafts at the Cedar Springs Public Library, 4:30 p.m.; a haunted school house at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park 5-7 p.m.; a Kids Carnival, hosted by Calvary Assembly of God 5-7 p.m.; Trick-or-Treating at local businesses between 5-7pm; and Trunk or Treat at The Springs Church from 6 to 8 p.m. (see more details below).

Kids carnival

Oct. 31: Calvary Assembly of God will be presenting a free carnival during the Chamber of Commerce’s Spooktacular event from 5-7pm on Friday, October 31. The carnival will be at the corner of Ash and Main Street, next to DJ Nails, and will have lots of family-friendy games, with prizes and candy.

Haunted school house

Oct. 31: The Haunted School House is back this year at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park from 5-7 p.m. again. Nolan Patin has worked up another fun spooky event for the museum. We do adapt our spookiness when young children are coming through and will be handing out treats.

Trunk or Treat at The Springs

Oct. 31: Creative costumes—check. Oodles of goodies—check. Lots of giggles and loads of fun—doublecheck! You’ll experience it all at The Springs Church at Trunk or Treat on Halloween night from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be lots of candy for the taking, carnival games, a giant slide, and refreshments. It will be fun for the whole family, and a safe, well-lit environment for kids. The church is located at 135 N. Grant St., in Cedar Springs.

Traffic Squad/Fire Department

Oct. 31: There will be cider, donuts and candy at the Cedar Springs Fire Department on Maple Street from 5 to 7 p.m. or while supplies last.

Halloween Hospitality Center

Oct. 31: Warm up station at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs, on Friday, October 31, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Serving hot chocolate and popcorn, everyone is welcome to join us.

Halloween party – Courtland Fire

Oct 31:  Stop by the Halloween party at the Courtland Fire station #2, 9535 Myers Lake road from 5-9 p.m. Games, snacks candy, cider, coffee,  car trunks with treats welcome. Sponsored by women auxiliary, and many stores in the area.

Family Harvest Celebration

Oct. 31: Pine Ridge Bible Camp invites you to its annual Family Harvest Celebration on Friday, October 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. This free event includes hayride, games, puppet show, cider, donuts and trip through Treat Town. Please bring a bag for collecting treats. It is a fun night for the whole family. Costumes welcome but not necessary. Please no witches, ghosts, monsters, etc. Pine Ridge is located just 5 miles east of town at 8415 17 Mile Rd. Call 616-696-8675 for more information.

Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church

Oct. 31: Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church, 4780 Cornfield Drive, Cedar Springs, from 6-8 p.m. There will be games and prizes, candy for the kids, hot dogs and chips available.

Ghostbusters at the Kent Theatre

Oct. 31, Nov. 1, Nov.2: Don’t let the Halloween weekend go by without spending some time at the Kent Theatre. A special showing of Ghostbusters will be on the big screen October 31, November 1 and 2, in celebration of Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary. Now in digital format, watch your favorite ghost busting team in action! Showing Halloween night at 6 and 9 p.m., Saturday at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. and Sunday at 3 and 6 pm. Tickets are only $3.00.

Sand Lake Fire Department

Oct. 31: The Sand Lake Fireman’s Association will host their annual Halloween festivities at the fire station at 2 Maple Street in Sand Lake from 6-8 p.m. There will be games, a bounce house, prize drawings, goody bags, cider, donuts, and coffee. There will also be a costume contest. Judging is at 7:15, must be present to win the contest. Call 636-8854 for more info.

Trick or Treat at Meadowlark

Oct. 31: Meadowlark Retirement Village in Sparta loves having trick or treaters. Their doors will be open from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 31. The residents can’t wait to see all the kids dressed up! Meadowlark is located at 65 Ida Red Ave, Sparta. Call 887-8891 ext. 102 for more info.

 

 

 

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Trick or treat in Cedar Springs


 

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

It’s only one week until Halloween—are you ready for a night full of fun? Does the thought greeting scores of trick or treaters make you break out in a cold sweat? Forget staying home! Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the Annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun starts at 4:30 p.m. with spooky storytime at the library, at the corner of Cherry and Second. That is followed by trick or treating from 5 to 7 p.m. at Main Street businesses.

The Kent County Sheriff Traffic Squad will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the Cedar Springs firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will host a haunted school house at the museum in Morley Park. Calvary Assembly of God will host a carnival at Main and Ash, and The Springs Church will host Trunk-or-Treat from 6pm-8pm, in their parking lot at the corner of Maple and First Street, along with a giant slide, and refreshments. For more info, see ad below.

N-CSHalloweenSpooktacular

 

 

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Learning to pray


Pastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

 

 

Prayer may be the least understood, yet the most powerful action in a Christian’s life. It’s not just reciting a few trite religious words; it’s communicating with the God of the universe who wants to have a relationship with you.

I was thinking this week, why prayer is so difficult for people? Here’s what I think: We’ve had limited exposure to authentic prayer. The bottom line is this—a lot of us just don’t know how to pray. We haven’t been taught how to pray. Maybe the only time we’ve even heard prayer was around the Thanksgiving table or something like that. And because of that we don’t know how to pray or what to say. The reality is prayer is just telling God what’s on your heart.

Why else is it difficult? We think I’m not important enough for God to listen to me. I mean, after all, I can’t even get the cable guy to listen to me.  I call and he puts me on hold. And I wait. And I wait. Then, when I finally talk to the cable guy, what happens? He can’t even pinpoint a time when he’ll be here. “Sometime between sun up and sun down,” he says. So you stay home all day waiting for him to show up, you leave for five minutes for lunch, and he jumps out from behind the bushes where he was hiding and puts a note on your door that reads, “Sorry I missed you. I’ll be back… maybe.” We have those experiences all the time and we think, “If people don’t even want to talk to me or listen to me why would God?” But God isn’t like the cable guy. What you have to say is important to God. If you were important enough for Jesus to die for, you’re important enough to be heard.

We also believe that prayer doesn’t work because, when we’ve asked God for things in the past, He didn’t answer. Or He didn’t answer them quick enough. We are so into instant answers. We think God is like a vending machine; we put in our prayer request, push a button, and out drops an answer. And, because God doesn’t answer prayer that way, we think prayer doesn’t work.

The truth is God does answer prayers. What I’ve found in my own spiritual journey is that a lot of times God answers prayers based on what I need, not on what I want. I want a lot of things that maybe aren’t in God’s big picture and best plans for me.

The Bible tells us in Psalm 66:20 (NLT), “Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw His unfailing love from me.”

Prayer can be learned, so let’s get practical. Here’s a couple suggestions:

Call on God first. What does that mean? It means that tomorrow morning, when you wake up, have these words be the first words that come out of your mouth, “Good morning, God.” Just try it. Start out your day tomorrow in prayer.

Get alone. Have a place where you talk to God. Maybe it’s in your car, maybe it’s in the shower, or maybe it’s in your bedroom. Find a place where you can get alone with God and just talk to Him.

Prayer doesn’t have to be awkward or confusing or uncomfortable. In fact, it’s not supposed to be. You can learn how to pray. Maybe learning to pray is the next step you need to take.

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