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Tag Archive | "Jon Huizenga"

God’s law brings blessing


Correction: On last week’s “From the pulpit” article, we had the wrong pastor listed as the author. We are re-running the article with the correct pastor and church this week. The message is the same, and the words are still wise, no matter who wrote them, but we like the original author to get the credit (and I’m sure he does, too)!

Pastor David VanderMeer

Rockford Springs Community Church

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.

Posted in From the PulpitComments Off on God’s law brings blessing

A new pastor in town



Jon Huizenga of Rise Up Church

Jonathan Huizenga is originally from California but found his way to Grand Rapids, Mich. to attend Calvin College and later Calvin Theological Seminary. While he was at Calvin, he met his wife Sam (Joyce) and today they have four married children and five grandchildren.

Jon and Sam started coming to Cedar Springs about a year ago. They started coming because there was a growing sense amongst the regional Christian Reformed Churches that God wanted the ministry of Pioneer CRC (now closed) to carry forward.  Jon responded favorably when he was asked by the regional churches to plant this new church in Cedar Springs, now known as Rise Up.

Jon has a lot of good experience starting new churches. After graduating from Calvin Seminary in 1987, he was called to plant a new church in Jacksonville, Fla. where he stayed until the year 2000. After Jacksonville, they move to Rockford, Mich., where they planted another new church called River Rock. Jon was the senior pastor at River Rock for 18 years. In 2019, Jon began the work of planting a third church—Rise Up.

You may recognize Jon’s picture because he spends considerable time all around town. In fact, you may have already spotted him hanging out in one of our coffee shops, always ready to enjoy a conversation with someone new. Or, maybe you’ve chatted with him at a school function. Or, maybe you’ve rubbed shoulders with him at one of our town planning meetings.  

Jon and Sam now live in Cedar Springs after building a new house on Dio Drive. They wanted to live in town so they could be close to the people they love and serve.  

I hope you get a chance to meet Jon. If you do, you’ll discover that he loves meeting new people. If you have time to chat, I hope you have a chance to hear the beautiful vision he has of gathering all the people of Cedar Springs into a community that reflects the deep compassion and unconditional love of Jesus.  

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North Kent Pastors got talent


Pastor Craig Carter, of North Kent Community Church, rapped for the audience. Photo courtesy Wise Photography.

Pastor Craig Carter, of North Kent Community Church, rapped for the audience. Photo courtesy Wise Photography.

Local clergy sang musical parodies, danced righteous medleys, rapped with soul, and dazzled with Tae Kwon Do on Thursday, September 24, to raise funds for individuals in need throughout northern Kent County.

The second annual North Kent Pastors got talent event featured a spirited, yet friendly, competition of church leaders, from Rockford, Sparta and Cedar Springs. Close to 500 spectators and dozens of sponsors came to cheer on the pastors and pledge contributions to North Kent Community Services (NKCS).

More than $65,000 was raised, after expenses, for food and educational programs.

Pastor John Huizenga, of River Rock Church, tried some moonwalking. Photo courtesy Wise Photography

Pastor John Huizenga, of River Rock Church, tried some moonwalking. Photo courtesy Wise Photography

“We are grateful that these talented pastors graced the stage to help us raise these funds for families in our community,” said Claire Guisfredi, executive director at NKCS. “North Kent Pastors got talent continues to bring together a host of area leaders and generous community members to make a difference for so many of our own neighbors struggling simply to get by.”

The pastor that won the Judges’ Pick was Pastor Jon Huizenga, from River Rock Church, for his rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”

The pastor that won the popular vote was Fr. Mark Peacock from St. Patrick Parnell for performing a musical parody about Pope Francis.

North Kent Community Services is located at 10075 Northland Drive, at 12 Mile. For more info on NKCS, visit them online at http://nkcs.org/ or call 616-866-3478.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union

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