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  • Psalm 1


  • Relevant Docs: "Cookies"


  • Psalm 23


  • Relevant Docs: "Art"


  • Relevant Docs: "Coffee"


  • Relevant Docs "Legacy"


  • Acting Like a Tourist?


  • Trust


  • What About Change?


  • The Last Presentation


  • Signs


  • He Is


  • Just Thankful?


  • The Longest Christmas Journey


  • Relevant Docs: "Iron"


  • The Soldier Makes a Difference


Featured Articles

Musical Inspiration To Fill the Summer Air

jasonJason Crabb sings Aug. 13 in Grand HavenCampgrounds, conference facilities, and other venues in West Michigan are finalizing preparations for their summertime inspirational concert series.

Maranatha Bible Conference in Muskegon, Worship On The Waterfront in downtown Grand Haven, Sandy Pines Lakeside Chapel in Dorr, Gospel Music Barn in Hudsonville, and the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds on Lakeshore Dr. between Holland and Grand Haven all feature weekend concerts that are open to the public on a free-will-offering basis. (Details below).

And for Memorial Day weekend, the music is already underway.

Walk For Life Opportunity to Band Together in Prayer, Support Local PRC

prcwalk1Previously, Walk for Life started at Cathedral Square; this year’s begins at La Grave Christian Reformed Church. The Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) invites the pro-life public to take a walk with them over Father's Day weekend.

The PRC's annual Walk For Life on June 17 is an opportunity for people to band together in prayer, raise needed funds for the pro-life nonprofit founded in 1985 and experience the contrast between light and darkness.

"The Walk is about building awareness and saying to the community, 'We're here,'" said Jim Sprague, the PRC's chief executive officer.

Singer Brings Life to Her Music

plumbTiffany Arbuckle Lee (better known as Plumb) watched her best-known song take on a completely new meaning.

Plumb's 2012 power ballad "Need You Now (How Many Times)" - with its Psalm-like longing for God's help - was originally written about her struggles with anxiety, panic attacks and depression.

"But it was soon afterward that my husband and I separated," she recalled of the tumultuous period which her marriage eventually survived. "The meaning actually turned around for me and I became a listener to my own song. I now needed God more than ever before."

Plumb and her band perform Saturday May 20 at Rock the Coast, a two day Christian music mini-festival at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds also featuring David Crowder, Josh Wilson and others.

Molly Klimas Wraps Arms Around Women Caught in Unintended Pregnancies

prc 2017Molly Klimas: “I can’t imagine life without her. I have no regrets.” Molly Klimas was 20 years old and on the cusp of starting her senior year at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Indiana when she felt the need to keep a white-knuckle grip on the hope she wasn't pregnant.

That was 31 years ago.

Raised in a Roman Catholic family where she is the oldest of eight siblings, Klimas was engaged to her fiancé, Paul Klimas.

Affirmation Is Never Too Extreme

dan seabornI remember a night when one of our sons was sixteen-years-old and had told us that he would be home by 10:00. At 10:10, he was nowhere to be seen, and I was starting to get nervous. With every second that ticked on the clock, I worried more and more.

The typical parent, I assumed the absolute worst. I wonder how bad the accident was. Which hospital would he be in? I hope the other kids weren't hurt too.

Concerned, I dialed his cell phone. He answered right away, to my relief. Keeping my voice calm, I addressed the situation. "Son, it's a little later than you said you'd be home. Where are you?"

He hesitated. "Do I have to tell you?" he asked.

New Music Review: Forrest Wakeman

messesWest Michigan's multi-talented Forrest Wakeman has a new worship recording featuring a host of area musicians.

"Messes to Miracles" is a polished effort filled with contemporary ballads and anthems suitable for corporate or personal worship.

Wakeman, who has several advanced music degrees and is music director at Blythefield Hills Baptist Church in Rockford, wrote all the songs and co-produced the CD with long time area worship leader Andy Ferris.

Access of West Michigan Annual Hunger Walk Celebrates 40th Year of Supporting Good Food!

EVENTSTie up those shoe laces and grab your friends, the Access of West Michigan 40th Annual Hunger Walk is coming to downtown Grand Rapids on Sunday, May 7. Registration and food festival - including live music, a food truck, activities for kids and more - begins at 1:30p.m. at Park Church, 10 E Park Pl NE, Grand Rapids. The walk begins in stride at 2:15p.m.

Since 1977, the Hunger Walk has raised over $6 million for local and international organizations promoting a thriving food system through the support of thousands of individuals, businesses and congregations.

Chonda Pierce on May 5

EVENTSEmmy®-nominated comedian Chonda Pierce is set to bring her "Happily Laugher After" tour to Wyoming's Grand Rapids First Assembly of God (2100 44th St SW) on Friday May 5 at 7:00 PM. The best-selling female comedian of all time, Pierce will deliver an uplifting and encouraging night of joy and laughter, armed with her unpretentious Southern charm and laser sharp wit. The evening will also feature special guest acclaimed singer/songwriter Karyn Williams.

Church Planter Makes 137th Trip to Ukraine, Sees Revived Hunger for Gospel

rich c Rich Correll: “I look for people who have dirty hands and dirty feet.”There are a handful of reasons why Rich Correll is an unlikely person to make his 137th trip to the Ukraine to establish new churches.

By his own admission, when he launched Church Planters' Training International (CPTI) in 1992 as founder and president, Correll had no prior theological or church planting experience. In his earlier years he worked for Bethlehem Steel as a sales manager (1967-1988), selling the alloy to some of the area's largest manufacturers in West Michigan.

Plus, he doesn't speak the East Slavic native language, Ukrainian, nor does he dialogue in Russian that nearly 30 percent of Ukrainians speak, nor does he know any of the 40 minority languages and dialects spoken in the Eastern European nation.

Singer Doesn’t Mind Role as “Opener”

Feliz JordanJordan Feliz Since his childhood days, singer songwriter Jordan Feliz was aware of million-selling Christian music artist Michael W. Smith.

"My parents own every record he ever made," said Feliz, 28, of the veteran Smith. "I never thought I'd ever be able to share the stage with him."

The relative newcomer Feliz is an opening artist on Smith's current tour, coming to downtown Grand Rapids at 20 Monroe Live on Sat. April 29.

"I feel like my childhood experience of listening to CDs in my parents' car is being lived out right now," he smiled.

Smith, 59, needs no introduction to Christian music fans. More than two dozen albums, nearly three dozen No. 1 songs, and various collaboration projects have left an indelible mark for the Gospel Music Hall of Fame member.

Authors Record Year-long Experiment in Radical Change

year of small thingsThe Arthur and Wasinger families spent a year changing their lives a bit at a time; and together they recorded that year in the new book "The Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us" by Sarah Arthur and Erin F. Wasinger. The authors will speak and sign books at Baker Book House at 7 pm Thursday, April 27.

Arthur, author of several other books, originally pitched the book as one family's year-long practice of new monasticism in suburbia. Then Tom and Sarah Arthur met Erin and Dave Wasinger and asked them to be part of the journey.

"We formed a covenantal relationship with the Wasingers," said Sarah Arthur. "It's a whole different thing when close friends know what you're doing and challenge you, asking you the hard questions."

The goal was to engage in the 12 marks of new monasticism, a lifestyle espoused by the likes of Shane Claiborne and others.

Vander Kolks Leave for Lebanon to Alleviate Pain, Serve Local Church

vanderkolk8Rosa and John Vander Kolk are making their third trip to Lebanon. Dr. John and Rosa Vander Kolk will soon make the 24-hour flight to Beqaa Valley, Lebanon where they intend to alleviate the physical pain of refugees who've fled their war-torn homeland of Syria.

This will mark the Grand Rapids couple's third medical mission trip to the Middle East country when they leave April 28 and return May 6. John will head up the dental aspect of the medical Christian humanitarian trip, with Rosa serving as his dental assistant. Joining them will be two dentists, a nurse, two assistants, an emergency room doctor, an obstetrician, a physician's assistant, an epidemiologist and two interpreters.

Summit Addresses Needs of Single Parents

mattMatt HavilandMatt Haviland knows all about being a single parent. He's one himself, non-custodial parent to his 10-year-old daughter. He also knows parents like him have struggles that other parents don't.

Now single parents can find help and encouragement at the inaugural Midwest Single Parenting Summit, created by Haviland, founder of A Father's Walk, and Dawn Blocker VanderWerf, founder of Single Parent Missions. The summit takes place at EverGreen Ministries on May 12-13.

"We want single parents to know how loved and cherished they are by God, and that God hasn't forsaken them," said Haviland. "We want them to find encouragement in the sessions and through the people there and the teaching."

Heartside Ministry’s New Executive Director Knows Homelessness Firsthand

heartsideTendai Masiriri: “We subscribe to radical hospitality. In other words, we meet people where they are and try to improve their lives.” Tendai Masiriri personally knows what it's like to live on the streets, fending for himself day in and out in his homeland of Zimbabwe. His unsettling days of survival serves as a motivating reason for becoming Heartside Ministry's new executive director.

Masiriri was 15 years old when his father died in 1985, leaving him no other choice but to try to care for himself, he said.

"I didn't have anything," said Masiriri. "I know what it means when people are struggling and want to get out of it. They have the same desires as anybody else. They hope like anybody else.

Outcry of Worship Voices Comes to West Michigan

outcry2Kim Walker-Smith (3rd from l.) and Jesus Culture It may be hard to believe, but Jesus Culture singer-songwriter/worship leader and recording artist Kim Walker-Smith was kicked out of her high school choir.

"My teacher thought I was really rebellious and would not let me re-join again at any point in high school," said the singer of the incident during 9th grade. "So all the musical things I did was with stuff outside of school," she recalled.

In college when the hopeful singer first auditioned for the school worship team...she was turned down.

Easter and the Southern Cemetery

dan seabornWhen I was growing up as a boy in the South, there was a cemetery on a little hill beside the country church my family attended. It was an old cemetery, with sunken squares of grass and crooked headstones popping out of the ground, creating a scene you'd expect to find in a Frontier novel or something.

To me and most of the kids I knew, that cemetery had an eerie mystery about it—the kind only a graveyard can offer. It was exciting in a spooky sort of way.
Still, my friends and I taunted our fears in that place. We played games there because it always made the hairs on the back of our necks stand up a little. And every time we were in that cemetery, we were constantly aware that death was just beneath our feet.

Every time, that is, except for one day each year, when we all lost sight of the graveyard's creepiness for a few minutes.

President of Colson Center for Christian Worldview Warns Against Tsunami of Social Change

stonestreet1John Stonestreet: “Without the image of God you have no grounding for anything approaching universal dignity.” Pop quiz: What does it mean to be created in God's image and likeness?

The average churchgoer might reply people resemble God because of their abilities, including the knack to be rational and to communicate. This is known as the functional viewpoint.

Others might says that we don't resemble animals' behavior and thus must be a reflection of the Almighty, also called the relational perspective.

Original Video Leads Easter Worship

nortonLucas Visscher appears in the special Easter video Bridge Bible Church in Norton Shores created its own video to introduce worship on Easter Sunday morning.

"The theme is 'Alive and Well,'" said worship pastor Brad Spead of the morning's message.

Using a poetic, spoken word approach, the video encapsulates the salvation story from creation to redemption all in 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

"My goal is to put truth, theology and Scripture in front of the congregation in unique ways," said Spead, 28, of his larger-than-life video script. "I wanted to emphases certain phrases and passages people would recognize, but presented in a different way."

Suspense Novelist Shares Her Love of Story

Pursued-Book CoverLisa Harris is more than a writer of suspense; she likes to add a little romance to her action-packed plots. Her newest novel "Pursued" released April 4 and is third in The Nikki Boyd Files series published by Revell, a division of Grand Rapids-based Baker Publishing Group.

"All the Nikki Boyd plots take place within 48 hours, because the first 48 hours are the most important in solving a crime," said Harris. "There is more suspense than romance in these books because how much romance can you have in 48 hours?"

Retired Army Chaplain Urges Restorative Help for Veterans’ Moral Injury

Herman Keizer Chaplain (Col.) Herman Keizer, Jr.: “As long as it stays isolated and compartmentalized, it will remain unresolved.” Herman Keizer, Jr. still remembers the intense pain coursing through him after falling out of the open door of a Huey helicopter nearly 47 years ago while he was serving as a U.S. Army chaplain in An Khe, Vietnam. The aircraft had lost its tail rotor, forcing Keizer to tumble 150 feet to the ground, breaking both arms.

Despite the bad breaks, he eventually he healed and regained the use of his limbs.

But healing isn't as obvious for active duty soldiers and veterans grappling with the destructive consequences of moral injury, a term that's not as well trod as post traumatic stress disorder but just as problematic.

New Book’s Message Focuses on Uniqueness of Each Child

kateKatie Newell thinks in images, which plays well in her role as a graphic designer but plays even better in her new role as an author. Newell wrote and illustrated "I'd Rather Be A Dragon," a picture book that focuses on finding positive qualities and each child's uniqueness.

"We all have different qualities that make us who we are," said Newell, who lives in Lowell with her husband and three children ages 6, 8, and 10. "The world will do a good job pointing out the bad, but if we focus on the good the bad doesn't weigh us down so much."

Rock the Coast Returns

rockAfter a three-year hiatus, the inspirational Rock the Coast event has re-emerged in West Michigan at a new location and with a new outlook.

Set for May 19-20, the Christian music mini-festival has moved south from Muskegon to Holland at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds. "Reaching out to a new audience in the Holland area should give us the ability to see the event grow," said festival director Kevin Newton, spokesman for Alive On The Lakeshore, the non-profit group behind the event.

The organization already produces the Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon, which has drawn more than 50,000 persons over its four day schedule each August.

Sidewalk Advocates For Life Serve as Christ’s Hands, Feet to Mothers, Unborn

lisa (left to right): Lisa Snow and Margaret Murphy offer life-affirming alternatives to abortion to women who are about to enter the Heritage Clinic for Women. Lisa Snow doesn't consider herself to be an outgoing person.

Yet on Wednesdays you'll find her standing outside of the building at 320 E. Fulton, clutching pro-life literature and praying that the women and girls who intend to enter the Heritage Clinic for Women (HCFW) to abort their preborn children will give her the time of day.

Margaret Murphy breathes the same prayers and intent as Snow's. She stands in front of the same clinic's sidewalk on Thursdays.

Brown’s Sensible Shoes Series Expands, Continues to Draw Readers

shoesReaders familiar with Sharon Brown's Sensible Shoes novels will find the same deep heart and love for Jesus in Brown's third in the series, "Barefoot: A Story of Surrendering to God." She continues the spiritual formation journey of familiar characters Mara, Charissa, Hannah and Meg.

"My goals for this book and series are the same as they were in the beginning: that readers would encounter God as they read and that the books would cast a strong vision of what community can be like," said Brown, who lives in Ada. "I longed for the characters to be a reflection of our own fears and hurts and changes."

The four women meet at a spiritual retreat—all there for different reasons and at different places spiritually—and embark on a journey that cements their newfound friendship as they each grow closer to God.

A Red Light, Green Light Marriage

dan seabornFor a long time, red lights had a distinct way of causing dissention in my marriage. If you would've taken my wife and me and put us in any intersection that had a traffic light, you would've had the potential for an explosion of an argument.

I guess you could say I'm one of those guys who's easily distracted. If I'm driving and I have to stop at a red light, my center of focus scatters all over the place. I glance at the people in the car next to me, I watch squirrels and birds intently, I check out nearby architecture, I try to read the fine print on litter at the side of the road. Basically, I give my attention to everything but the colored circles dangling above the intersection in front of me.

Yeah, I'm that guy. Sorry if I've kept you waiting.

New Music Scoop Review: Wayburn Dean

dean Wayburn Dean West Michigan singer-songwriter Wayburn Dean is back with a new collection of inspirational  songs titled "Redeemed."
The former Acappella group member has a distinguished solo career, with multiple albums containing tunes which reached national charts.

Dean's latest effort (once again done in collaboration with his wife Janae) continues his track record of well-crafted, inspirational music featuring his soothing and soulful voice.

For example, the medium tempo "It's a Miracle" takes a pop setting with its smoothly sung tale of the miraculous power of God. The album's title song similarly benefits from the singer's silky vocals wrapped around the song's central message.
Another highlight is "Before the Throne," a slow ballad which is closest to Dean's former accapella sound with lush yet pointed background vocals.

Different Kids, Different Love?

dan seabornDan Seaborn There's no doubt that each of my four kids takes after me in their own unique way, just like each one takes after my wife too. There's also no doubt that all four are vastly different from the two of us—and from each other.

The apples didn't fall far from the trees, but it's fair to say they've rolled away a little. So as a parent, I often have to remind myself that my children—my own flesh and blood, the ones I've helped to nurture and raise—are people, just like anybody else.

They're real people, which means I have to work to relate to them just like I work to relate to others. Which means that the relating won't always feel like second nature.

Just like anybody else on the planet, each of my kids has a personality that I both enjoy and endure. They make choices I admire and argue about. They hold opinions that match and disagree with my own. Their attitudes I cheer for and despise.

GR Dream Center Starts With Request: Can I Be Your Friend?

Dream Center Leah and Greg Molchan co-founded the Grand Rapids Dream Center in August 2014. Greg and Leah Molchan have witnessed the Holy Spirit use some unconventional methods to open a person's heart to Him. Yes, that includes toilet paper.

"There was a woman in her 50s who lived a life of being a crack cocaine addict for 20 some years and was prostituting herself," said Leah. "She prayed for toilet paper that morning and we showed up with toilet paper. I knew her heart was softening and God was telling me to seek her out and I'll rescue her."

The Molchans are co-founders of the Grand Rapids Dream Center (GRDC), a movement-based, mission-focused ministry they launched in August 2014 that mobilizes volunteers to meet people's spiritual and physical needs.

Casting Crowns Unveils the “Next Thing”

casting crownsCasting Crowns features lead singer Mark Hall (center). (Drummer Brian Scoggin is 3rd from left) Brian Scoggin of Casting Crowns said his band's latest album "The Very Next Thing" really comes into the spotlight on their current tour. "We're playing nearly half of the songs from it during the concerts," said the drummer from his home near Macon, Ga.

"That's hard to do when you've got eight records of songs with everybody having their favorites they want to hear."

The million-selling, inspirational-pop band visits Van Andel Arena on March 23 with guest artists Danny Gokey and Unspoken (details below).

The title song "The Very Next Thing" sums up the album's theme: don't wait for the grandiose thing you'd like to do for God someday – just do the very next thing He asks.

Local Christian Bookstores Step Up As Family Christian Closes Doors

bakerBaker Book House Two Christian bookstores, Baker Book House and Kregel Parable Christian Stores, are eager to fill the void left by the impending closing of three local Family Christian Stores locations.

Family Christian announced late last month that it would close its nearly 250 stores around the country, almost two years after filing for bankruptcy. It is unknown when the local stores—on 28th Street, Alpine Avenue and 44th Street—will finally shut their doors.

Kregel Parable and Baker Book House are remaining open.

Profits Earned Respecting Scriptural Principles are Part of God’s Design, Plan

annAnne Rathbone Bradley: “There’s never been more hope that we’re going to eliminate abject poverty.” Anne Rathbone Bradley displayed on a projection screen a photograph of the Russian Federation's first president, Boris Yeltsin, who in 1991 visited a grocery store in Houston. It's clear in the picture he is captivated by the array of popsicles on display for sale.

"He's depressed and overwhelmed by what he sees," said Rathbone Bradley, vice president of economic initiatives for the biblical advocacy think tank, Institute for Faith, Work and Economics (IFWE), based in McLean, Vir. IFWE's mission is to inspire Christians to embrace a biblical understanding of work and economics, exemplified by greater creativity and increased human flourishing.

Local Gospel Quartet Still Searching

faithful Lead singer Jim Visser (2nd from right) and his group are looking for a new tenor singer The classified ad was straightforward it its pitch: "Local gospel group looking to fill position of tenor....currently taking auditions...." read the listing in the local Advance newspaper.

It's a small part of a larger search: The Faithful Journey Quartet has been looking high and low for a new tenor singer for over six months.

"Yes, we've been seeking in many different directions," said Jim Visser, lead singer and manager of the West Michigan-based group. "We've put a message on a (gospel music) magazine posting board, I've placed notices with some of the larger local churches, and other gospel quartets in the area know that we're looking," added Visser, 52.

Good vs. Evil is Theme of Local Author’s Debut Novel

samparkerLocal author Samuel Parker credits three things as genesis of his debut novel "Purgatory Road," released earlier this year by Grand Rapids-based Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

First was a trip he and his wife took to Las Vegas. They rented a car a drove into the desert outside the city. Second, Parker is a fan of Westerns—novels and movies—and dreamed of setting a novel in the west.

Third was a John Donne sonnet titled "Batter my heart, three-person'd God," in which Donne believed that he couldn't change until he was ravished by God.

"The idea of beating the good into someone really got to me," said Parker, who lives in Walker with his wife and twin sons.

Pine Rest Launches Pax Crisis Response

vanderpolPine Rest’s Bob VandePol: “There is no greater honor than to be there for people on the worst day of their lives.”Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services recently launched Pax Crisis Response (PCR), a new service for people who need to know how to recover from the aftershock of a crisis.

"Crisis" carries with it an elastic meaning, said Bob VandePol, Pine Rest's executive director of employee, church and school assistance programs. Whether it's because of violence, suicide, a pastor's ethical failure, tragic death, or a natural disaster, the common element with them all is there's an immediate need for constructive direction.

Ada Bible Church Pastor Pens Third Book

thinkPastor Jeff Manion has learned the virtue faithfulness in life and ministry. He's served at Ada Bible Church for 33 years; he's seen individuals serve year after year after year, exhibiting faithfulness in even the smallest things.

Manion has preached and taught on faithfulness through the years, mostly touching on it as part of other topics. "But people responded to it," he said. "The material touched a nerve, and seems like a topic that has resonated."

His new book "Dream Big, Think Small: Living an Extraordinary Life One Day at a Time," recently released by Zondervan, speaks to faithfulness in everyday life.

Christian Writer’s Group Offers Skill-Building, Encouragement

wordwA Word Weavers writers group at a recent meeting Writing is often a lonely pursuit.

Sitting by a desk or on a couch with a laptop, tablet, or legal pad waiting for inspiration. Perhaps struggling with a string of phrases or sentences. And then wondering what interruption will pop-up next to divert the attention from the task at-hand.

Here's a possible solution: Search out others who share your passion for writing and face similar writing challenges...join a writers' group!
"I believe that every writer needs to be in a group of their peers who understand the writing process," said Kathy Bruins, president of the faith-based Word Weavers of West Michigan. "That's where real feedback will be given with a goal of making their writing better."

John 10:10 Guides The Hope Project’s Battle Against Sex Trafficking

hope1THP’s Julia Koch: “People won’t support a mission or project if they don’t believe the problem exists.” They are lonely, afraid and abused, a modern day version of slavery that operates under a veil of darkness. But there's hope.

The Muskegon-based outreach and education ministry, The Hope Project (THP), 185 W. Laketon Ave., makes possible hope and healing for the women and girls ravaged from sex trafficking, while spreading awareness and prevention within the West Michigan community.

John 10:10 is its guiding principle: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Outcry Returns to West Michigan

Daigle Lauren2 Lauren DaigleThe worship music-based Outcry Tour, the largest "worshipping tour" in Christian music, visits
Resurrection Life Church in Grandville on Mon. April 24.

This year's Outcry line-up is somewhat scaled back from the 2016 version which played in Van Andel
Arena. But the Elevation Worship Band and Jesus Culture are back, along with award-winning singer-
songwriter Lauren Daigle. Pastor-authors Steven Furtick and Levi Lusko are also on the bill.

Daigle, 25, is one of the hottest names in Christian music. The title song from her debut album ("How
Can It Be?) won a 2015 Dove Award as Song of the Year – the same year she won a Dove as top artist.
Last year the album was nominated for a Grammy Award and the Louisiana native won Doves for top
songwriter and artist of the year.

New Paradigm Needed to Make Senior Adults’ Years Their Best, Say Encore Alliance Leaders

tomcEncore Alliance vice president Rev. Tom Couch said senior adults’ problems are not going away any time soon.Older adults face a growing number of trials. The nonprofit ministry, Encore Alliance of Greater Grand Rapids (EAGGR), has an ambitious program intended to make their later years rewarding.

But it requires helping seniors clear some challenging hurdles.

Rising healthcare costs, isolation, obesity, binge drinking and an increasing rate of sexually transmitted diseases are a handful of issues that promise to tarnish senior adults' golden years, according to a EAGGR-sponsored seminar that was attended by 45 community leaders at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corp Community Center.

Painter Tom VanDerKolk operates business with integrity

vdk Tom VanDerKolk: “The biggest key is putting others first.”Tom VanDerKolk is no stranger to humble beginnings. Nearly 26 years ago, the energetic VanDerKolk grabbed a bucket, brush and a four-foot stepladder and painted a home in Wyoming for $400.

Fast forward to today: VanDerKolk is president of Grand Rapids-based VanDerKolk Painting Inc., an industrial, commercial and residential operation that has a staff of 30 employees. Twenty-four of them are painters, rounded out with estimators, an office manager, and a field supervisor and shop manager. Sales this year is projected at $4 million.

Part of the revenue outlook is because VanDerKolk recently acquired Kooi Industrial Painting, a Grand Rapids industrial sand blasting and painting services company founded in 1927, whose notable projects include the Calder in downtown Grand Rapids, the Sixth Street Bridge, and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
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