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Tag Archive | "The Springs Church"

Community rallies to Breakthrough events



Many people here in Cedar Springs had never heard of the miraculous true story behind the movie Breakthrough, until last weekend. That’s when they not only got to see the movie, which is a Fox/Disney production now out on DVD—but they got to meet the real life characters as well.

L to R: Pastor Jason Noble, John Smith, and his mother, Joyce Smith shared their story with the audience at the Breakthrough events. Courtesy photos

The movie tells the story of the miraculous recovery of 14-year-old John Smith, who fell through the ice on a lake in St. Louis, Missouri in 2015. He was underwater for 15 minutes—and had no pulse for an hour. It was then that his mother prayed for Jesus to send his Holy Spirit and bring her boy back to life—and he did. But that was just the beginning of an amazing story.

A group of community leaders here in Cedar Springs wanted to give people the opportunity to see the movie and hear this inspirational story, so they created a weekend of events and brought the three main real life characters from the movie here to tell their story.

Last weekend’s Breakthrough events totaled almost 1,000 attendees. The events were coordinated by a Breakthrough Committee comprised of representatives from En Gedi, City Impact, Resurrection Life Church Rockford, and The Springs Church along with additional support from numerous community members, businesses, and organizations. 

The first of three events took place at the new community amphitheater located in the downtown Heart of Cedar Springs Park just west of the Community Library on Saturday evening. City Impact’s monthly worship service began at 5 p.m. A free roasted pig and hot dog dinner followed the service for the estimated 600 folks gathered. 

“It was a heart-warming site to witness the many community members and families sitting on blankets and lawn chairs surrounding the amphitheater and visiting with each other under perfect weather conditions,” said Sue Wolfe, and En Gedi representative working on the Breakthrough committee. “I believe this is exactly what was envisioned by all those who worked so hard on making the amphitheater a reality. Having this facility and working in partnership with existing organizations to provide free community-building events is part of En Gedi’s mission.” 

While waiting for the darkness to fall and the movie to begin, three of the real people featured in the movie Breakthrough spoke with the crowd and answered questions. A tapestry of miracles unfolded following John Smith’s accident, which were beautifully articulated by John, his mother Joyce Smith, and their then pastor, Jason Noble. John shared his story of struggling with being adopted, being rescued and brought back to life, and the loss of his opportunity to be a collegiate basketball player. Both his mother and pastor also shared their challenges and victories. 

“Our community is so fortunate to actually have three of the real people from this top ranked movie here to share their personal testimony. John is in his first year of college; Joyce has had some health issues; and Pastor Jason now lives in Oregon. Yet, they coordinated their schedules with a commitment to be here and share their walk of faith,” said Julie Wheeler, who was instrumental in making this connection and part of the Breakthrough Committee. 

Once it became dark enough and just prior to the start of the movie, the crowd paused, stood, and applauded in recognition and thanks for our local fire, rescue, and police officers. The movie features a heroic rescue by the St. Louis area fire, rescue, and police departments that set the stage to be reminded of the men and women who serve our community each and every day. 

The movie was then played on the 22-foot inflatable movie screen, donated by City Manager Michael Womack and his wife, Glenna. 

Sunday’s journey began with two worship services at Resurrection Life Church Rockford featuring Pastor Noble and the Smiths. After that, events took place at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Cedar Springs High School Auditorium, which included showing the movie, personal presentations, and the opportunity to ask questions. Ladies and Men of Honor, a partner with En Gedi, were on hand to share information about their faith-based program of developing honorable ladies and men. 

City Impact co-directors, Kelley Jo and Jonathan Bergsma, along with Sally Hart, Resurrection Life Church Rockford member, and Pastor Craig Owens, Executive Director for En Gedi’s free after-school youth center, were all instrumental with their leadership on the Breakthrough Team as well as securing funding and resources. 

“It was definitely a team effort to bring these events to Cedar Springs, which is what City Impact is all about,” explained Kelley Jo. “City Impact is an outreach organization for our community. I am grateful for all the businesses, organizations, and people who jumped in to help over the past weekend.” 

The Springs Church provided movie-goers with popcorn and had offered their fellowship hall as a back-up in the case of inclement weather on Saturday. Cherryl Rosenberger, The Springs Church office manager, also served on the Breakthrough Committee. 


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Things can become clear


Pastor Dallas Burgeson

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs


You know what’s reallyhard a lot of days? Discernment. What is right and wrong in some of the situations we find ourselves in?

You know why discernment is so hard? There are probably many reasons, but here are just a couple:

First, good luck finding any person who always does right and never does wrong. Check out Romans 3:10 on this. We can’t trust one single person to always do the right thing! Aleksandr Sozhenitsyn, the famous author who endured terrible things in Communist Russia, tells us that “the line between good and evil is never simply between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ The line between good and evil runs through each one of us.”* 

Second, you and I often tend to think we already know what’s right and wrong in mostsituations. Because of this, we don’t generally build any “feedback loops” or “checks and balances” into our lives that would teach us to recognize opportunities to change our minds about any number of things. 

Which brings up the question: Do we really want to know what’s right or wrong? If so, there is hope, but also a challenge. The Bible, which in many ways is the basis of our discernment, is a still pretty large and challenging book to find simple, Google-style “answers” for the kinds of questions with which life seems to regularly confront us. But read it–you’ll get there. Work at it. Ask for help. Few things in life are more worth your time and energy.

But for today, let me offer this: The prophet Micah wrote the bible book that bears his name when things in his world were at least as confusing as ours are. He writes to a group of people who had a background of seeing God do some amazing things for them. Because there was this history, God used Micah to create a feedback loop for these people—a way that He could give them clarity in their fog.

Here’s the catch, though. God has some things to say in Micah chapter 6 that they’re not going to want to hear. It starts with reminding them of all the ways that He had looked out for them in their history. They would’ve recognized these old stories immediately, and would’ve then realized that they had forgotten God. Then, Micah asks a very important question: 

“What can we bring to the Lord [because of all this]? …the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” 

Reading Micah’s seven chapters will begin to show you what God calls right, merciful, and humble. The 10 Commandments in Exodus 20 and the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 will, too. 

Things can become clear. Just don’t forget Him.

*See p. 38 of N.T. Wright’s Evil And The Justice Of God, IVP, 2006.

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The End of the world as we know it


Pastor Dallas Burgeson | The Springs Church | 135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs

Over the years I’ve had questions—some of them my own and some of them being asked of me—about the end of the world. This makes sense, I think. When things strike us as being “final,” it’s good to try and figure out what the details of “final” might mean.

In Mark chapter 13, verse 2, Jesus makes a statement about the buildings in Jerusalem that sparks questions of finality from a few of His disciples. What’s interesting (if a number of Bible scholars are right in their educated guesses) is that the book of Mark was written probably just a year or two before the most important of Jerusalem’s buildings—the Jewish Temple—was completely destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Apparently, the disciples’ questions about finality were starting to be asked at a pretty opportune time.

Jesus’ disciples were wondering whether certain outward signs meant they were getting close to “the end of the world.” New Testament scholar Ben Witherington says that the destruction of the Temple obviously wasn’t “the end of the world,” but it certainly was “the end of a world.” While Jesus taught that a whole new world was opening up in Him, to the Jewish way of living that depended upon worshipping God in that Temple, the end of that world was unthinkable, and still is. 

For all of the ways that Mark chapter 13 may cause us to want to figure out the signs of our times and determine when “The End” is coming, most scholars actually agree that only a very few verses in that whole chapter have not already been fulfilled. In regard to the prophecies that remain to be fulfilled, Jesus shared in Mark 13:32 (NIV): “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.”

He says be ready for The End, regardless of when it might come. This calls less for eyes that are open to the signs of the times, and more for eyes, ears, hearts, hands, and minds given over to all of the things Jesus asked of us in so many other places: prayer, care for the widow and the orphan, love of neighbor, being holy as He is holy, and so on. Be ready

But hear this, too: biblical calls to “Be on guard” and “Keep alert” had another function. They were originally written to be an encouragement. Some of you may have recently experienced the end of the world as you always knew it. Someone passed away. A job or relationship ended. Jesus wants you to know something: A whole new world can open up in Him.


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Hometown Happenings


the Table at The Springs Church

Meals are served every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at The Springs Church on the corner of Oak and Grant. All are welcome to theTable to enjoy this meal that is being shared with us! #50,51b

Revival Services at Pilgrim Bible Church

Dec.9-16: Join us for Revival Services at Pilgrim Bible Church, 361 Pine St., Cedar Springs with Evangelist Rev. John Case. Special music provided by Bro. and Sis. Case. Sunday, December 9th thru Sunday, December 16th. Service times are Sunday, December 9th at 10:45 am and 6 pm. Monday – Friday at 7 pm. Sunday, December 16th at 10:30 am and 6 pm. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Elwyn Joslin at 616-862-3435. #49,50b

Christmas Bake Sale at Independent Bank Sand Lake

Dec. 14: Homemade goodies for your Christmas gatherings or just for your sweet tooth. Friday December 14th  from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at Sand Lake Independent Bank (corner of Northland and Lake Street). Offered by Sand Lake United Methodist Women. #49,50b

Cookie Walk – North Kent Presbyterian Church

Dec. 15: North Kent Presbyterian Church will host its 20th Annual Christmas Cookie Walk Saturday morning, December 15th from 9:00 am to noon (or until gone). Just $8.00/box or 4 boxes/$30.00…Public VERY welcome! Choose your own selection from more than 25 varieties of delicious homemade Christmas cookies. The church is located at 6175 Kuttshill Drive NE, Rockford (1 block west of Wolverine Blvd., north of Rogue River,  just north of Blythefield Country Club.) Come early for a great selection! Cookies make great gifts for neighbors, teachers, mail carriers, and friends, too! For further information contact our church office at 616-866-2230 Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. #49,50p

The Story of Christmas

Dec. 16: The Story of Christmas (music & drama) will be presented on Sunday, December 16th at 10 am. Hillcrest Community Church of God, 5994 – 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs, 616-696-9333. Come and see #JesusChangesEverything. #47-50p

Michigan Blood Drive

Dec. 18: Tuesday, December 18th at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church located at 140 S Main Cedar Springs. The drive is will go from 12:30 pm until 7 pm. To schedule an appointment visit https://donate.miblood.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/99606. Don’t forget that homemade cookies will be provided by the Cedar Springs Women’s Club. #50

Ready for Reindeer @ KDL

Dec. 20: Traveling all the way from the North Pole (via Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farms), live reindeer will be visiting the library. Dress warmly and don’t forget the camera! Thursday, December 20th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #50

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SHYANNA DAWN BOWLIN


Shyanna “Zaedyn” Dawn Bowlin passed away unexpectedly on Monday, September 10, 2018. She was born on March 31, 1997 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2015. Shyanna loved singing and photography. She also enjoyed wood burning, hunting, nature camping and being outdoors. Shyanna is survived by her mom and dad, Crystal and John Deason-Johnson; her father, Aaron Bowlin; her siblings, Breonna Deason-Johnson, Eve Deason-Johnson, Mercedez Deason-Johnson, and Trevor Winn; her grandparents, Sherri and Mark Sias, Diane Johnson, Shelia Bowlin and Fred Smith; her great-grandma, Sharon Cramer and her great-grandma, Rita Bowlin. She is also survived by her aunts and uncles, Linda Gritzmaker, Donny and Amiee Smith, Jay Cramer, Alisha and Steve Brooks, Jimmy and Tabetha Johnson, Tony and Brandy Johnson, Shante Deason-Johnson, Chrissy Franscico, Brie Willmer; her great aunts and uncles, Terry and Kitty Cramer, Tom and Dee Cramer, and Lee and Darlene Frost; and her extended family, Amanda and Nate Winn, Dawn Smith, Amanda Watkins, Chris Gritzmaker, Nick Dean, and Miah Rodwell; her cousin Samantha Cramer and many more cousins. Shyanna was preceded in death by her great-grandpa Keith Cramer 2014; her great-grandpa Bill Bowlin 2018; and her grandpa Bruce Johnson 2018. A memorial service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at The Springs Church, 135 N Grant St NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Pastor Dallas Burgeson will be officiating. A potluck luncheon will follow the memorial service at church.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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God’s meal volunteers needed


 

The Springs Church will soon be joining the St. John Paul II Catholic Church to offer free meals for anyone who wants to join us. 

This will be a community event offered on Thursday nights at The Springs Church. In order to serve these friends we will need YOUR help. If you would be willing to be part of this amazing outreach, come to a meeting on Sunday, Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m. at The Springs Church, on the corner of Oak & Grant Streets. We would love to share how you can be part of reaching many with minimal commitment. Many hands make light work! This is a great opportunity to serve our community in an impactful way. For more info, contact Cherryl at the Springs Church 616.696.2970.

We hope to see you there!

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JOANN J. JOHNSON


JoAnn J. Johnson, age 73, of Sand Lake, died Thursday, July 12, 2018 at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit. JoAnn was born June 29, 1945 in Wexford County, Michigan the daughter of Charles and Lillian (Rosenberry) Cass. She loved her church, The Springs Church in Cedar Springs where she was an active member. She enjoyed her grandkids and great-grandkids and always put others ahead of herself. Surviving are her children, Jackie Lee (Yvette) Johnson, Jr, Christina (Larry) Housler, Douglas (Shari) Johnson, Teresa (Matt) Johnson, Keith (Shawn) Johnson; many grandchildren, great and great-great-grandchildren; brothers, Don (Jan) Cass, Louis Cass; sister, Ellen Mills. She was preceded in death by her former husband, Jackie Lee Johnson Sr. and brothers, Charles and James Cass. The family greeted friends Tuesday, July 17 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was Wednesday, July 18 at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs. Pastor Chris Anton officiating. Interment East Nelson Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to The Springs Church.

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

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Courtland family loses home in fire


The home of Brian and Melissa Weber was destroyed in a fire early Sunday morning in Courtland Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

A Cedar Springs family is trying to rebuild their life after losing their home and most all of their possessions in a fire early Sunday morning.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Galen Green, Courtland Township Fire was dispatched to 7272 15 Mile Road, just east of Myers Lake Road, on a structure fire, about 7 a.m. Sunday, July 1. 

The owners, Brian and Melissa Weber, were in Minnesota and heading back home from vacation. Their young adult children, Zach and Mackenzie, both in their 20s, did not go with them. Zach was sleeping on the couch at the time of the fire, and Mackenzie was at a friend’s house.

Green said that the family dog woke Zach up. Brian confirmed that.

“Our dog had to bite Zach to get him to wake up. She saved his life,” he said.

Zach suffered some smoke inhalation, and was treated at the hospital and released.

Six fire departments battled the blaze: Courtland, Oakfield, Cedar Springs, Spencer, Sand Lake, and Algoma. Green reported that one firefighter went through the floor, but was ok.

According to Courtland Fire Chief Steve Mojzuk, he went through the ruins with the Michigan State Police Fire investigator. The cause of the fire was undetermined. 

The Webers have been going through the ashes, trying to find mementoes and family treasures. Brian said that Melissa found 80 percent of their photos, including their wedding photos, that didn’t burn. He found part of his grandfather’s Civil War gun. But what he is most glad about is that his family is alive. “The rest of it is all just stuff,” he said.

In the days following the fire, people from the community have come forward to help the Webers start to get back on their feet. “This is so humbling. They say it’s easier to give than to receive and it’s true,” said Brian. “We really want to thank The Springs Church, Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church, and all the friends and community members who have donated to us; and Deputy Fire Chief Galen Green and his crew and all the other firefighters,” said Brian.

The Webers do have insurance and are planning to rebuild. They are currently staying in a home in the area. 

The Post has been collecting donations of clothing, cash, gift cards, and other items for the family. If you have something you’d like to donate, please give us a call at 616-696-3655 or contact us via Facebook messenger and we will check to let you know if it’s needed.

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Start Here


Pastor Dallas Burgeson

The Springs Church 

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

 

Jesus said this in John 15:14-16 (NIV): “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 

Three verses. A person could find a lot to think about in any of the three: The analogy of servants and masters. The idea that I could actually be God’s friend! The pregnant possibilities in the statement that “…whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” So many directions you could go. But instead, let’s hold these thoughts all together and see what happens.

Friends of God are people who are already in the process of doing what God has asked them to do. Because of this, they are not only doing but being something very different in comparison to other people. If I’m reading my Bible clearly—both following its threads from the front cover to the back and noticing the details in this book and chapter—I  think that much of the “everything” that Jesus was learning from His Father had to do with both being and doing.

Who was being honored in every moment? Jesus always found His purpose and His identity in His Father. Where was the next leg of His mission going to take place? Jesus was always present with people, and yet was always on His way somewhere. Who was the next person or group of people who needed to hear a fully-dressed Good News? Who was the next person or group of people who needed desperately to experience the presence of the living God? These, I believe, were the preoccupations of Jesus, and so He told those closest to Him “…go, and bear fruit…

But He also made sure they understood that they were supposed to pursue “fruit that will last.” How many of the things you’re doing today will actually last? If you’re not sure many of them will, it seems to me that you need to find a stopping point in your busyness to reorganize your priorities.

Jesus has already done everything necessary to make you a friend of God. Are you prepared to do everything He asks of you? God’s Spirit is very interested, willing, able, and present to guide you in doing things with your life that will have permanent significance. There is a Bible with God’s words recorded in it that will give you structure and insight into how all this works. And there are churches full of God’s friends all around you, trying to do these same things. Are you wondering where to start with God? Start here.

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Is there hope?


Pastor Dallas Burgeson

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St., Cedar Springs

 

When you pick up the newspaper, are you often struck by the weight of what’s in it? Violence, political unrest, an unending clash of values…the temptation is to believe that these issues have never been seen before in all of history, but this just isn’t true. To read history from all over the world is to realize how commonplace so much of this has been since the earliest times.

Take a look at the biblical book of Judges as an example, written over 3,000 years ago on the other side of the world. You would be hard-pressed to find stories with more bizarre plotlines than these. It starts out describing pretty normal events, but as it progresses, things take a downward spiral as it races to some of the very lowest places humanity has ever been. I challenge you to do a read-through sometime soon, and see if you don’t agree.

So why I am I telling you all this? Well, for one, if Christianity ever seems to you to be hopelessly out of touch with today’s realities, I want to give you at least one good reason to question that common assumption. But beyond that, if you’re already reading today’s headlines, I want to challenge you to look at them from a perspective with the wisdom of hindsight—of “been there, done that.” If life is sometimes just going to be hard, wouldn’t it pay for us to know how to walk through it with insight, direction, and—hopefully—grace? I think so.

If you take the time to read Judges, you will probably notice how things from the story of Abimelech (chapter nine) onward start to snowball with the complexities of the evil that is happening. The questions that become important for us, then, are:

How does a society pull out of a nosedive when this “chain-reaction” of evil starts to take place in our own time?

What values and character traits have to rise up when chaos begins to reign?

These questions are addressed seriously and in deeper detail throughout Scripture. They aren’t questions that should make us wring our hands and worry; there are already plenty of people doing that. No, this is an opportunity to steep ourselves in the words of Jesus, and then… put them into practice: 

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” –Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV).

God’s People were built for this. Through Jesus, light and hope for the world can begin in us.

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