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Robert N. “Bob” Fankhauser, age 89, of Grand Rapids formerly of Sand Lake and Trufant, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on May 5, 2020. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lucille “Lucy”; son in law, Alan Vickery; sisters, Anna Marie Brocht, Ruthanne Fankhauser; brother, Jack Fankhauser and granddaughters, Amanda and Krista Fankhauser. Bob is survived by his children, Denise and Al Strong, Denny and Wendy Fankhauser, Marcia and Jim Carrier, Darice and Charles Robertson, Doug and AmyJo Fankhauser, Ryan Fankhauser; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters, Rena “Bea” (John) Niepoetter, Mary (Bob) Elsey; brothers, Stanley “Sam” (Gladys) Fankhauser, Paul “Bud” (Sylvia) Fankhauser, William “Bill” (Ruthann) Fankhauser and Charles Fankhauser, as well as many nieces and nephews. The service to remember and celebrate Bob’s life is Saturday, Aug 15th 11:30 a.m. at Grace Community Church, 9920 Reed Rd, Howard City, MI For those who wish memorial contributions to a ministry of their choice will be greatly appreciated. To share a memory or sign the guestbook visit www.heritagelifestory.com.

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Celebration of Life


A celebration of Annie’s life: Ann Denise (Bailey) Longcore, June 15, 1956-March 17, 2020. To honor Annie’s wishes not to mourn her loss, but, to have a grand party of family and friends at her home, 22519 Kimball Rd., Sand Lake. An open house celebration will take place on August 15, 2020 from 2:00 pm-6:00 pm. Food, drink, and music will be furnished.

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EPSON scanner image

September 12, 1960 – August 4, 2018


Those we LOVE don’t go away.

They FLY beside us every day.

Love You Lots

Dad, Husband, Kids & Grandkids

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Thank you

The family of Leon E. Avery would like to express our gratitude and thanks for all the love, prayers and cards given and shown to our family during Leon’s sickness and passing. Also, thanks to the neighbors that assisted in helping to move Leon when we could not do it physically, the neighbors so thoughtful in bringing food and beverages prior to and after Leon’s passing, and to the members of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church for their meals.

Janet Avery

Deb & Harold Yancey

Nancy & Ed Johnson

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God’s law brings blessing

Pastor Jon Huizenga

Today’s article is based on Deuteronomy 22. Please read it when you get a chance. It is packed with law. Lots and lots of law!

It has laws on what to do when your neighbor’s livestock gets out. It has laws on how men ought to dress and how women ought to dress. It even has laws on what to do with a bird’s nest. And yes, even laws on sexual immorality.

Law is so good, so necessary, and so helpful. I do not always appreciate the law telling me what to do, but in the end, I find that God’s law is just the right thing for me and the people I love.

The other day my wife found a baby’s pacifier on our sidewalk. So, she took a little stick and poked it in the ground so she could hang the pacifier on it alongside the walk. A couple of days went by and I saw a neighbor walk by pushing a stroller. He reached down and took the pacifier and immediately saw it belonged to his child.

Such a small gesture by my wife, and yet it is exactly what we see in Deuteronomy 22. Here we have another list of laws that when followed bring blessing to the community and promotes the holiness of God.

I need to love the law of God more! It is so good.

The law of God says to love others:

If you see your neighbor’s sprinkler head is broken, tell him.

If you see your neighbor’s dog get loose, tell him. And if our neighbor is gone, catch the little pooch and take care of him for the day.

If your neighbor doesn’t have a generator when the power goes out, run a line to his house so he can keep his freezer working.

These are just basic laws we should not even need. But we do.

The Law of God promotes His holiness.

The text before us teaches us that if a woman is raped, she should receive justice

The text before us teaches that if a couple sin they should face the discipline of the church to keep the fellowship holy.

The text tells us that men should act like men. Women should act like women. This is God’s will.

So, the law points out sin. It defines it. The culture of the day may not like it. But God’s

Law does not change.

Finally, the Law of God points us to our need for Christ’s forgiveness.

The grace of God helps us see that when we break the law of God, He is there to forgive us through Christ. I am glad it is grace that helps me see I am a law breaker. Grace calls me with a word of love, peace, and hope.

May the Law of God speak to us today, in our own hearts, in our homes, and in our communities so that we will learn to love and not hate. May it help us forgive. May it help us see our daily need for Christ. Thank you, Lord, for your Law.

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Discernment? Apply now!

Pastor Thomas K. Schmidt 

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma Ave NE, Cedar Springs

Discernment is a necessary principle to apply to our lives in these days. The news has exploded with people taking negative action. Action that is demoralizing and degrading. Protesting is not necessarily a negative action but when protests are acts of disgrace and not honoring to God, they begin a downward spiral of disobedience, destruction and demoralization.

Discernment is an aspect of spiritual growth. All of us should be on the journey of spiritual growth. Spiritual growth can only take place when we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Spiritual growth comes about by Surrender to God.  Surrender is an act of obedience which seeks God’s will for our life. It is saying “yes” to God as the Holy Spirit purposely provides opportunities to follow God’s plan for us individually.

Spiritual growth is application of God’s Word in a personal way.  It is the application of prayer, listening to God to act according to His plan.

Spiritual growth is vision. Vision to be enlightened to the needs of others. Vision to see that a difference can be made. Vision of light penetrating darkness.

Spiritual growth is evidenced by engagement. Engagement of not only seeing the needs of others but taking action so that all people are honored as God’s creation.

The Apostle Paul calls us to a spiritual growth that includes discernment in our daily walk with God. To the people of Philippi Paul declared And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV).

Discernment needs to be pursued.  

My mother lives in another state and when traveling to visit her there are moments while traveling long distances the hunger pangs get my attention and a decision is made to seek out a restaurant to satisfy the desires of my stomach.  

Discernment is stopping to recognize a need or allowing the Holy Spirit to open our minds eye to action that is necessary to follow.

We can actively practice discernment by asking questions: “Does this honor God?” “Will God be pleased with my actions?” “What can I do that will help and not create more conflict?” Discernment will cause a rise of perception much like active yeast activates the ingredients in bread to rise.

Also, discernment that is pursued and practiced will be evidenced in how we perform obediently to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The desires of evil are to distract us to be self-satisfied, self-centered, and self-gratified. A continual surrender to God will keep a focus on His will and His way which prepares our spiritual soil for growing truth and discerning right from wrong.

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July 27, 1930 – July 9, 2012

In loving memory of our father and grandfather, who passed away 8 years ago. 

We will always remember the happiness and fun times you brought to our lives. 

Love, Mike, Sarah and Terry, Jane and Nick, Jenna and Sean, Brian, Luke, Jake, and Molly

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New pastor at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

Pastor Larry French joined Cedar Springs United Methodist Church as a Local Licensed Pastor (LLP) on July 1, 2020. His start in ministry was as Director of Youth Ministry at Chapel Hill UMC in Portage, and as Director of Emerging Ministries at Milwood UMC. His most recent appointments before coming to Cedar Springs was as Pastor at Gobles and Almena United Methodist Churches. 

Larry and his wife Sharon have been married for 23 years and have three daughters, Amy, Morgan, and Haley. Larry and Sharon enjoy Christian camping and have led summer camps for both Middle School and High School youth at Wesley Woods and Lake Louise camps respectively. Larry is passionate about fighting food insecurity and mission work in the local community as well as across the country and abroad. Please feel free to text/call Pastor Larry at 616 -551-9280 or email him at pastorlarryfrench@gmail.com.

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David D. Platt, age 82, passed away late Friday, July 17, 2020 at home.  He was born on April 19, 1938 to Charles and Edith (Groner) Platt in Grand Rapids, MI.  In his earlier years, Rockford was home for David, he graduated from Rockford high school in 1956.  He then moved around West Michigan for a while before settling in Grand Haven the last few years.  He was a proud veteran, serving his country in the US Army.  David was a jack of all trades, but was a dedicated employee to Wolverine Worldwide, where he worked for about 27 years.  On May 13, 2000 he married Marla (Rasch) Fritz in Rockford, MI.  Together they cherished 20 years of marriage filled with love and laughter.  David had a passion for RC airplanes and boats and enjoyed sharing his love for them to anyone who would listen.  During his youth, he also enjoyed fishing and roller skating.  He was huge fan of classic country music and taking motorcycle rides.  David later upgraded from his motorcycle rides to taking his grandchildren for rides on his “blue hot-rod” mobility scooter.  He was a unique character with a humorous personality who knew how to make the most out of life.  He was a loving and vivacious soul who will truly be missed.  He will always be remembered for all the smiles and laughter he brought to every gathering.  He is survived by his wife, Marla Platt; two children, Vickie Platt and David (Amy) Platt; mother of his children, Lou Platt; five step-children, Sara (Jeffery) Finan, Caryn (Matt Smith) Rasch, Susan Rasch, Jonathan (Nicole) Rasch and Jessica Kurek; 12 grandchildren, Jeffery, Desirae, Claire, Ari, Briar, Ida Mae, Tuesday, Dylan, Simeon, Josie, Delaney and Morgan; and three great-grandchildren, Natalie, Jasmine and Parker.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Edith Platt; two sisters, Violet Robinson and Jeanne Brantner; and four brothers, Robert “Bob”, Ted, Howard and Alvin “Buck”. Memorial contributions in David’s honor can be made direct to the Wounded Warrior Project.  

Arrangements entrusted to The VanZantwick Chapel of Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services, 620 Washington Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417.  Share memories with the family online at www.sytsemafh.com

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Leon E. Avery age 86 of Cedar Springs died Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at his home. Leon was born July 5, 1934 in Cedar Springs, MI, the son of Donald and Caroline (Townes) Avery. He served in the US Army. He was Worshipful Master of Cedar Springs Lodge 213 (4 times), a Member of OES Job’s Daughters Bethel 86 Dad. He retired from the Kent County Road Commission after 41 years. After his retirement he worked at Great Day. Leon served on the Cedar Springs City Council for 20 years and the Cedar Springs Fire Department for 25 years. He is most recognized as Mr. Red Flannel driving the Keystone Kop truck for years and was a Keystone Kop for 54 years or more. He is survived by his wife, Janet; daughters, Deb (Harold) Yancey, Nancy (Edward) Johnson; grandchildren, Amber (Eric) Anderson, Mandy (Josh) Tomlinson, Michael Leon (Brandy) Yancey, Mallory Johnson (Christopher Kieda), Mark (Julie) Johnson, and Harold (Jeannie O’Malley) Yancey Jr; great-grandchildren, Brooke (Taylor Krulek) Mason, Chloe Mason, Rebecca Mason, Mia Hurtado, Isabelle Yancey, Michael Leon Yancey Jr., Chase Johnson; great-great-grandson, River Leon Krulek; sister-in-law, Peggy Avery; nephews, Michael (Denise) Avery, Tim (Kim) Avery, Philip (Janet) Stanton; nieces, Ida Clement, Donna Kay Stanton; special niece, Dawnette (Steve) Roberts; special friends, Mark Strypko, Rick and Judy Fisher. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Carl (Joseph), Jerry, David Avery; sister, Madeline Piasecki; sisters-in-law, Verna Stanton, Jean (Violet) Avery; brothers-in-law, Donald Stanton, Stan Piasecki; special uncle, Edward Townes. The family greeted friends Sunday, July 19 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. A private family service was held Monday, July 20. Pastors Larry French and Darryl Miller officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of donor’s choice.

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

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