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Tag Archive | "Tom Holloway"

“Could that Happen Here?”


Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway
Solon Center Wesleyan Church
15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs
(just north of 19 Mile)

As I look at the events that are taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, it makes me ask the question, “Could that happen in Cedar Springs?” Have you thought about that? Or do you just assume that something like that could never happen here? I think it would be foolish of us to think that something like that couldn’t happen here; but at the same time, I believe that the things our community is doing is building in safeguards so that those kinds of things won’t happen here.
What are the safeguards in our community? The first is that we are truly a community. We are a group of people that values a greater sense of purpose. The idea is that there is something larger than our own personal interests. The fact that 8 or 9 churches can come together on a Sunday morning and forego their own offerings and take one large offering and give it to the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association to help the hurt, and needy in our community is proof.  Think about that for a second–that’s like taking your family’s paychecks for the week and giving it away to someone or something other than your own needs.  Yet, the cell phone bill still comes, the groceries need to be bought, the lights need to stay on, the mortgage payment still needs to be paid, and for the churches the staff still needs to be paid.
That is enough to make church people and leaders squirm and to not get involved in something bigger. But after six years of doing “United,” the churches continue to close their doors to meet in the community. If you’ve never been a part of a church then you might not see that as a big deal, but it shows that there is a common unity and a trust in this community that isn’t prevalent in a lot of other communities.
The second safeguard that we have in our community is a sense of leaving Cedar Springs better than we found it. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave our community better off than it is now. I want to know that when I’m dead and gone that I helped make our little corner of the world better than I found it. Do you know that we have a Community Building Development Team? What is their goal? To make the community better by working together with the current resources, and to remember the past by honoring it, and also building community buildings that will be the highlight of the community.
Why are they doing that? Is it to put their name on a building, or to get a pat on the back? Not at all. They are doing it because they know that an investment in the community that builds community will enhance living in Cedar Springs, which will lead to more families choosing Cedar Springs over other communities.  Which also means more of a tax base, more resources to spend at the local stores, more students to help build more and better schools, and more and better athletes that will enhance our already great sports teams.
When many people are in a time in their life where they can just sit back and relax, those people are seeking to develop the place where we live. When we see that others truly care about a larger purpose, it builds trust when others would seek to divide us.
The final safeguard that I believe is in place is simply the Lord. In a time in the world when it’s not popular to claim the name of Jesus, I believe that our community is proud to claim His hand on us. I have seen so many times that God has had His hand on our community it blows my mind.
Jesus was asked what the most important law was and He told them that it was twofold. The first was to love God, and the second was equally important. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. In other words, we need each other in order to be right with God. It’s more than just living your own life, and doing all of the right things. It’s much bigger than that. There is a larger purpose in mind.
The original question was, “Could what happened in Ferguson happen to us?”  I believe if we in Cedar Springs continue to love and serve our God, who has been so generous to us, and to put others ahead of ourselves, it can’t happen here.

But it’s up to us individually, and also collectively. So the next time you are tempted to think bad about someone or their actions, trust that they have your best interest at heart. It’s up to you!

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Turn around


Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs (just north of 19 Mile)

 

As I write this article I am coming off of preaching my “Mother’s Day” sermon, and trying to encourage the mothers in our church to turn around and take notice of the things around you that you might miss. Not the kinds of things like a spot on the carpet, or the dust on a ceiling fan. Instead we are talking about the things that aren’t obvious until you put on a new type of lens—a spiritual lens you might say.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth tells them this…

2 Corinthians 3:15-18 “15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

When we turn to the Lord, when we make a choice to follow after Jesus, we get a gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we receive that gift, the lens that we look through will change. That lens will allow us to see with new eyes, and we will then be able to see what God wants us to see, not only about ourselves (it does that in the form of encouragement when we need it, correction when we need it, and joy when we need it) but it also gives us a heart for others.

What I challenged the mothers in our congregation to do is the same thing I’m challenging you with today. Who needs your attention? Who needs encouragement? What or who have you been avoiding, even though you keep feeling this prodding to get involved? Turn around and get involved.

I think that once you see with new eyes, you will see a change in not only the things you see but the person you are becoming. You will not only affect the change in those around you, but the change will be in you. There are so many needs in the Cedar Springs community, so many hurting and needy families and children. What is God calling you to get involved in? How can you help? How can you be the change agent in those that God is putting in your path?  Turn around and look with new lenses!

 

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March Madness


Rev. Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church 

15671 Algoma Ave, Cedar Springs

 

As a sports fan, I love all kinds of sporting activities but most of all, “March Madness.” Though I don’t go in on any pools, my family all fills out their brackets and we battle each other for the title. I still can’t believe that my wife won last year after not knowing a single thing about college basketball, other than the fact that the best collegiate basketball team is the Michigan State Spartans!

The NCAA Tournament is the most exciting sporting event because of the opportunity for some unknown team to come up and make a huge run. We love to root for the Cinderella team. Why is that? We love to root for the underdog because we have it in our mind that the powerhouse is bad and the underdog is good. This goes back to the greatest underdog of all time, David vs. Goliath.

David, this young teenager with only a sling and a stone goes out against the 9-foot tall champion Goliath from Philistine. I’m taking some liberty here, but I would guess that down deep in their hearts, everyone was cheering for David (even the other Philistines). I believe it is just in us to root for the underdog because we all see ourselves as the underdog. So I think that everyone was rooting for David in this battle, except for one, and his name was Saul.

Saul was the King of Israel and had the most to gain from this victory, yet we see the first recorded “sarcasm” in the Bible. We find it in I Samuel 17:32–37. “32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”

“Go, and the LORD be with you.” In other words, “Good luck buddy!”

We know the rest of the story; David succeeds in defeating Goliath with his slingshot and a stone. But what gets sometimes lost is that David will go on to do great things and receive great honor for defeating Goliath, and this will make Saul extremely angry and jealous. In fact Saul will become increasingly miserable and bitter the rest of his life.

The ironic thing is that Saul had all of the things that people strive for. He was tall, dark, and handsome.  He had great power. He was the first King of Israel. He had God’s blessing. He had all of the tools to be successful. But he lacked one thing—humility.

When Jesus came to the earth, He was fully God and fully man. He was God’s Son, He had the knowledge, He could do all kinds of miracles, He had the right to demand and get anything He wanted. Yet we read in Philippians 2:5—11 that He chose to make himself nothing, He humbled himself.  When we humble ourselves, God will lift us up. In a few weeks we will celebrate the greatest story of all time—Jesus resurrection, where He defeated death. This is the ultimate comeback story. This is when “March Madness” turns to “April Gladness.”

Get out to your local church, or find one if you don’t have one, and celebrate the greatest spectacle, the power of Jesus’ resurrection. Join with me in praying for our community and our community leaders as we go through this great Easter season! And “Go State!” (Sorry, I had to do it!)

 

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Thank You


Thank you Solon Center Wesleyan Church, Pastor Tom Holloway, the committee members and all those who helped make our celebration of ministry such a great success and such a God-honoring day.  We would also like to thank the community for their love and support throughout these past 12 years.

Pastor Doug, Rhonda,
Stephen & Joshua DiBell

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