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Tag Archive | "The Springs Church"

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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Thank You


We want to thank our families, friends and neighbors for the many acts of kindness, flowers, memorials, cards and prayers. Thanks also to The Springs Church and Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home for their kind servies.

 

“Love the people God sent you – one day He is going to need them back – and we know not how soon.”

 

The family of Bruce Eldred

 

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Does the Bible really say that?


Pastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

 

The Bible is the most revered book in America, but it is also one of the most misquoted. Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches—all types of people—quote passages that sound like they are from the Bible, but actually aren’t in the Bible at all. These phantom passages include phrases such as “This too shall pass,” “Moderation in all things,” and “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” But probably the most quoted Bible verse that is not in the Bible would have to be “God helps those who help themselves.”

The phrase is often mistaken as Scriptural, but it appears nowhere in the Bible. The phrase actually comes from ancient Greek literature. It is illustrated by two of Aesop’s Fables. And it is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who used a variation of the phrase in his Farmer’s Almanac. And people commonly think the Bible says, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Ironically, the Bible actually teaches the exact opposite of this particular phrase. The truth is, God helps the defenseless and helpless.

Romans 8:26 (NLT) says, “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.” And Psalm 34:18 (NLT) says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

All throughout the Bible we find examples of how God helps us when we can’t help ourselves. If you take a close look at the Bible you see that many times God comes into helpless lives and makes the difference. Just look at the life of Jesus. Jesus dedicated His life to helping hurting people.

In Luke 4:18-19 (NIV/NKJ) Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

He doesn’t say the Lord has sent me to help people who have their act together. To help people who can help themselves. To help people who pull themselves up by their bootstraps. No. Who did Jesus come to help? He’s very clear. He says, “I came to earth to help five specific types of people: the poor, the brokenhearted, the imprisoned, the blind, and the oppressed.”

What do all these people have in common? They are hurting. Later on Jesus says a doctor doesn’t come to help the healthy; a doctor comes to help the sick. Jesus came to help hurting people. Story after story in the Gospels you see Jesus helping hurting people. Jesus says, “It’s what I live for. I am here to help the poor, the broken, and the blind.”

In all of our lives there is a point of helplessness. It may be a point of helplessness over a relationship that you can’t get right, or a financial situation that cannot be solved, or a habit that you just can’t seem to break. It could be a point of helplessness at a point of growth that you just can’t seem to grow through, or a confidence that you just can’t seem to get. You’d like to be able to parent better, but you just can’t break through that confidence barrier. You feel helpless.

Be encouraged today. God wants to help you at your point of helplessness. He doesn’t say He will only help you if you can help yourself. He says He will help you if you will trust in Him. If you feel a little hopeless today because you’ve been helpless for a long, long time know that God cares. He loves you. He is close to the brokenhearted. He wants to help you, and He will if you ask Him to.

 

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Beyond the Walls to hit the streets


Members of a Beyond the Walls team worked on trimming shrubbery at the Post last year. Post photo by J. Reed.

Members of a Beyond the Walls team worked on trimming shrubbery at the Post last year. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

 

Three area churches will join together to take their service beyond the walls this Sunday and reach out into the community.

Both The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant, and Solon Center Wesleyan, located at 19 Mile and Algoma, have done separate events in the past, and decided this year to join forces. Hillcrest Community, located on 18 Mile in Nelson Township, is also joining the event. Not only will all three churches do projects on the same day but they will be on the same teams.

“We just thought it would be good for the churches to do one day together—meet   others, work together and make an impact on the community,” explained Cherri’ Kerr, local missions pastor at The Springs Church.

Projects the teams plan to work on include visiting patients at Metron; roadside cleanup; city sign maintenance; planting flowers; greeting customers at the Wesco gas stations in Cedar Springs and Sand Lake; working at Alpha Family Center; visiting three Hope Network homes; building a sandbox for a family; handing out freezer pops to people; and more.

Leaders will meet at The Springs Church at 9 a.m. Sunday to get to know each other and what is expected, and then will head to Morley Park at 10:30 a.m., where all three congregations will do a short worship time together and divide up into their teams. They will then go out into the community to complete their projects, and return afterward to the park for a free lunch.

Kerr said that anyone from the community who would like to help should come to Morley Park at 10:30 a.m. and they can join a team. “Everyone is welcome,” she said. Anyone coming may want to bring lawn chairs, or a blanket, and sunscreen.

“I’m so excited we’ve been able to pull this together,” remarked Kerr. “I’m looking forward to it.”

The event will be held rain or shine. If it is dangerous—if there is severe weather—it will be canceled. In the event of rain, the lunch will be held at The Springs Church. For more info email Kerr at office@thespringschurch.info.

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Police seek info on vandals


N-Vandalism1Vandals hit several areas in the City of Cedar Springs with black spray paint sometime after 10 p.m. Sunday evening, February 16, but before 6 a.m. Monday morning.

Vandals defaced the south side of  The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant Street with the numbers 666, an upside down cross, a series of letters, and foul language.

N-Vandalism2They also targeted a car parked in the public lot behind the Kent Theatre; the old Cooper’s Dry cleaning building at 30 E. Elm Street; and street signs at Oak and Park.

If anyone has any information on this malicious destruction of property, they should call Cedar Springs Police at 696-1311. Police also ask the public to keep a watchful eye out for possible malicious activity.

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Do you want to be successful?


TheSpringsPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

 

 

Do you want to be successful? Successful at work, successful in your relationships, in your marriage, as a parent, successful in life? We all want to be successful. I’ve never met anybody who wanted to be a failure in life. The problem is we often define success the way our culture defines success. Our culture tells us if you want to be prosperous and successful, you need to work hard. If you work hard and rise up the ladder and push it to the grindstone, and if you’re willing to do what others won’t do, you will be successful. There’s nothing wrong with working hard; the only problem with working hard in order to be successful is that you can work hard at the wrong thing. You can give your life to something that you shouldn’t give your life to. You can spend all your time doing something and the thing you’re doing isn’t the thing that God created you to do.

Our culture also tells us if you want to be prosperous and successful you need to make a lot of money. Again, nothing wrong with making a lot of money, but the trouble with gauging success by the amount of money you have is that there is always someone who will have more. Besides that, you can lose your money at any moment. If you tie success to money, and the money goes away, your success is gone. And beyond that, you can’t take your money with you when you die anyway. So if success is based on how much money you have, and you leave it all behind when you die, then at the end of your life you haven’t been successful. A lot of people confuse wealth with success. You can be wealthy and be a failure at life. Your net worth is not the same thing as your self-worth. The two don’t go hand in hand.

But our culture tells us if we work hard and make a lot of money will be prosperous and successful. We’re also told if we want to be prosperous and successful we need to invest well, we need to live in the right neighborhood, we need to drive a certain car, we need to have a particular look, and we need to know the right people. And again, there’s nothing wrong with any of these things, but the problem with saying that good investments, and a nice house, and a name brand shirt equals success is that you can have all of those things and still miss the point of why you are here on planet earth.

What if success is something different, and what if the path to success is something altogether different?

After Moses died, God tapped Joshua on the shoulder and said, “I want you to be my replacement for Moses. This would be the ultimate test of Joshua’s life—to see whether or not his leadership was sufficient for the task that God challenged him with. Do you think Joshua wanted to be a successful leader? Of course he did, just like you want to be successful. In Joshua 1:8 God told Joshua how to be successful. He said, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (NIV).

God says if you want to be successful you need to know My Word. That’s not what I would have guessed. I would have thought He would have said, “Joshua, if you want to be prosperous and successful, if you want to take the Promised Land, if you want to defeat all your enemies, you will need to be the strongest and have the best weapons and work really hard, and work over time, and invest well, and meet the right people and make the right connections.” But that’s not what God told him.  God said, “If you want to be successful don’t let My Word depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night, and be careful to obey everything in it.”

Here is true success in life: To stay in the Word of God until we find the will of God so that we can walk in the ways of God. God has a different way of defining success than we do. We define success in what you have, what you achieve, what you own. God doesn’t define success that way. The Scripture makes it clear that God defines success in different ways—right living, peaceful relationships, being in harmony with God and other people. That’s success in God’s eyes, and it is only found through knowing and living the Word of God.  My encouragement to you this week is to spend some time in God’s Word so you can be successful in the things that truly count.

 

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Christmas Concert at The Springs Church


HOL-Springs-Christmas-Concert

The Springs Church Worship Team is hosting a Christmas Concert at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant Street, at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 20. You will hear some of your favorite, fun Christmas songs and experience some great entertainment for the whole family. Let us help get you in the Christmas spirit! All proceeds will go to the church’s Bless The Children ministries to help kids in our community with clothing and other needs. Tickets are $3 a person or $10 a family. For more information please call the church office at 696-2970. Don’t miss out on this wonderful Christmas event!

 

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A Spooktacular Halloween


Trunk or treat at The Springs was a big hit with trick-or-treaters. They offered a kid carnival, lots of candy, and free hot dogs, donuts, cookies, cider, hot chocolate and coffee. Photo by Landon Prater.

Trunk or treat at The Springs was a big hit with trick-or-treaters. They offered a kid carnival, lots of candy, and free hot dogs, donuts, cookies, cider, hot chocolate and coffee. Photo by Landon Prater.

 Trick-or-treaters on Main Street during the Spooktacular on Halloween night. Photo from the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

Trick-or-treaters on Main Street during the Spooktacular on Halloween night. Photo from the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

It rained during the day and into the evening last Thursday, October 31, but that didn’t keep the little ghouls and goblins away. And that’s a good thing—because the businesses and churches in Cedar Springs were ready for trick-or-treaters!

More than 40 businesses, churches and non-profits were part of the Halloween Spooktacular last week, which was put on and organized the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. The evening included a haunted house at the Cedar Springs Museum’s schoolhouse, storytime at the library, a scavenger hunt and lots of trick-or-treating. While some outdoor events were cancelled because of the weather, The Springs Church moved its Trunk or Treat and kids carnival inside, and estimates that about 1,500 people flowed through their doors over the course the evening.

The Post was one of the many businesses handing out candy, and we thank you for coming to see us! Check out our Halloween album at https://www.facebook.com/cedarspringspost

 

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New Red Flannel royalty crowned


Pictured (L to R): 2012 Court member Jordyn Nichols; 2013 Court member Hannah Sommer; 2012 Queen Dani George; 2013 Queen Alexis Lucarelli; 2013 Court member Julianne Schut; and 2012 Court member Kellie Spahr.

Pictured (L to R): 2012 Court member Jordyn Nichols; 2013 Court member Hannah Sommer; 2012 Queen Dani George; 2013 Queen Alexis Lucarelli; 2013 Court member Julianne Schut; and 2012 Court member Kellie Spahr.

Thirteen Cedar Springs area juniors vied for the title of 2013 Red Flannel Queen last Saturday evening, September 28, at Cedar Springs High School. Winning this year’s top honor was Alexis Lucarelli, daughter of Brett and Nikki Lucarelli. Her 2013 Red Flannel Court includes two Hannah Sommer, daughter of Charles and Joelene Sommer, and Julianne Schut, daughter of Joel and Chris Schut.

“All the girls did a fabulous job and we could tell each one of them worked so hard throughout this whole process,” said 2nd Vice President Anna Nozkowski. “They looked beautiful as they graced the stage in their gowns and business attire. Very charming and sweet young ladies.”

This year’s pageant director was the 2007 Red Flannel Queen Kaleigh Rosenberger. “She did a wonderful job,” remarked Nozkowski. “It was very well organized and put together.”

The pageant was fun and entertaining for both the audience and the contestants. Nozkowski said one of the highlights of the evening was a local group from The Springs Church, who sang a funny song called, “We are the pirates who wear Red Flannels.”

The Queen and her court will all receive scholarship money for being chosen to represent the Red Flannel Festival. Donations for the Scholarships given to the winners will be received until June 2014. Please send your tax‐deductible donation to RFF Queen Scholarship Fund, PO Box 43, Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or go online to their website donate through PayPal.

 

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The Springs Red Flannel Bounce Bash


_RED-The-Springs-Red-Flannel-Bounce-BashRed Flannel Day, October 5

 

Question: What’s red, sails through the air, and has a smile a mile wide? Answer: Your kids at The Springs Red Flannel Bounce Bash! The Springs Church will have five different bounce houses set up in their parking lot at 135 N. Grant Street, for kids of all ages, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Red Flannel Day. And that’s not all—there will be free food as well. Free inflatables plus free food = free fun! So get your bounce on and head over to The Springs! For more info call 696-2970.

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