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Tag Archive | "Grace Evangelical Free"

Could anyone use some comfort?

By Kevin Reed, Senior Pastor
Grace Evangelical Free Church
4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford

2 Corinthians 1:3,4a; 7:6 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction… …But God, who comforts the downcast…”
Life is tough! That’s probably the understatement of the century. Everywhere we go we run into people who are hurting, people who are depressed, people who are downcast, people who are having a tough time with life. You know, that may even describe how you feel. I know in my life there are times where I just feel downcast.  It may be a physical struggle, an emotional struggle, a relationship struggle, a financial struggle, or maybe even a sin struggle. But, regardless of what the struggle, we are left feeling just flat out downcast. We may wonder why we continue to fight the battle, we may wonder if there is any victory for the battle, and then there are times where we may just wonder if it’s even worth it.  What do you do when you feel like this? What do you do for those you love in your life who are feeling like this?
I may not have all the answers for a lot of life’s tough questions like this one, but I do know the God who has all the answers.  The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians that Almighty God comforts those who are downcast, and Scripture even goes as far to testify that God is the God of ALL COMFORT!!  The Greek word used in these verses for comfort literally means “to call near”.  My friends, at the times when we are feeling the lowest, at the times when we are feeling like no one understands and no one cares, God does.  As a matter of fact it is at those times when we are downcast that God is inviting us to come near.  He is opening His arms and inviting us to come find comfort and shelter in His embrace.  The cares of this world that once seemed so big are suddenly drowned out by the embrace of our Heavenly Father.  As He hugs us and holds us it is as if there is not a care in the world that could ruin that moment.  We find in Him all the comfort and strength we need to deal with the “tough stuff” that life throws our way.  There is no situation He is not in control of and there is no person who is downcast whom He cannot and will not comfort!  He truly is the God of all comfort and He is calling all the downcast to come near and rest in His arms.
Where do you run when you find yourself downcast? Do you try and fight the struggle on your own, or do you take shelter in the arms of the Almighty? Where do you point people who are downcast? Are you always trying to find the right word to encourage them, or the perfect piece of advice for them? Don’t! Simply point them to the One who is calling them into His embrace. Could anyone use some comfort? The arms of God are wide open, let us find ourselves lost in His embrace, and let’s leave the struggles to Him.

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A community united in worship

By Judy Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

It was a historic moment in Cedar Springs on Sunday, August 31, when at least eight different churches in the area joined together for a community worship service at Morley Park. “We weren’t Methodist, or Baptist, or Pentecostal, or Christian Reformed, or any other denomination,” explained one worshiper. “We were just Christians, worshiping as a community, and remembering what we all had in common, rather than what separates us.”

“It was awesome,” remarked Pastor Kevin Reed, of Grace Evangelical Free Church. “It was good to see so many people come together. There was a lot of energy. People were excited about worship.”

The event, called United—a community for one! was put on by the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association, with Reed as organizer. He estimated that at least 500 people attended, and maybe more. “I was extremely pleased with the turnout for our first year of doing this,” he noted.
Unseasonably cool temperatures and morning clouds may have kept some people away from the outdoor event, although the weather cleared and the sun came out when the service began. “Nobody prayed harder than I did that the weather would be good,” said Reed with a laugh. He said that next year they might use a tent.
A worship team made up of worship arts pastors and musicians from various churches led the singing. It was followed by messages from a couple of different pastors, and several pastors offered prayer for specific community needs. Churches represented included The Springs Free Methodist, Cedar Springs United Methodist, North Kent Community, Crossfire Ministries, Solon Center Wesleyan, Grace Evangelical Free, Pioneer Christian Reformed, and the Journey. Hillcrest Community joined in activities later in the afternoon.
After the worship service, there was a free picnic, games for kids, and a dunk tank where parishioners could dunk their pastor for a donation. There was more music later in the afternoon.
The offering that was taken raised over $1,000 for the En Gedi Youth Center, and the pastor dunk tank raised $130 for the Alpha Family Center.
Reed said he had nothing but positive feedback from those that attended, and some would like to see it happen more than once a year. But Reed isn’t sure whether that will be possible. “It was a lot of work,” he explained. But they would like to do it again next year, and they hope that sense of community lives on all year long.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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