Master Arts Theatre Looking to New Home

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

MAT new - outdoor viewThe current Good News Baptist Church will be the new home of Master Arts Theatre. They're working carefully on the real-life script. And if all goes well, Master Arts Theatre (MAT) will complete the journey of taking the stage at a new location.

"There are so many advantages at this new site," said Tim Van Bruggen, executive director of the faith-based, community theater group.

Since 2001 Master Arts has labored in a small headquarters/performance space tucked away on 77th St. just east of S. Division Ave. The theater group rented the facility, did some renovations, and eventually purchased it outright. But over the years its limited audience seating, lack of storage, non-accessible areas and parking challenges combined to crimp the growing theater ministry.

Christian Is Not The Same As (Fill In The Blank)

Written by Dr. Rex M. Rogers on . Posted in Local

rexsat7Dr. Rex M. RogersIt should be obvious, but apparently it is not. "Christian," by which I mean naming Christ as Savior and living with a Christian worldview based upon Scripture, is not ipso facto the same thing as Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat, even gender, race, ethnicity, or nationality.

The degree to which one equates Christian with any of these is the degree to which he or she dilutes the power of Christian faith and the ability to critique and to speak truth to power.

First Century Christians knew this. On the one hand, the Apostle Paul enjoined Roman Christians to "be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established," and to not rebel, to pay taxes, and to give those in authority honor and respect (Romans 13:1-7). On the other hand, the Apostle Peter said, "We must obey God rather than human beings" (Acts 5:29), preserving for the faith its special higher station. Jesus referenced a similar thought saying, "So give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's" (Matthew 22:21).

Teen Author Urges Young Readers to ‘Stand Beautiful’

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

IMG 2903Chloe Howard has faced hard things in her 18 years. She was born with a club foot and has gone through several intense surgeries, yet she was always told by her parents "that I was beautiful and special and that God made me for a purpose," she said.

It wasn't until she was assaulted at her small Christian school that she saw her foot as something negative. When two girls forcibly removed her shoe and showed her foot to friends, they turned what Chloe always thought of as uniquely hers into an object of shame.

The police got involved and, eventually, the two girls stood trial. No asking for forgiveness, to apologizing, no moving forward. She was "Chloe the Victim," she says in her new book "Stand Beautiful: A Story of Brokenness, Beauty & Embracing It All," recently released by Zondervan. Until Chloe met Bono after her dad entered and won an online contest. Yes, that Bono.

That Bono said, "You stay available for work, and the work will wash over you."

Terry’s Picks: July 2018

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

EVENTSWest Michigan Christian News writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-related entertainment events over the coming month. Here are three highlights for July. Each is part of a greater community celebration.

Liz Haan’s Marie La Mode Boutique Follows Family Legacy of Faith in God

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Marie La Mode Cutline No. 1-1Liz Haan is an passionate fashionista. Liz Haan is a goal setter. Following the grand opening of her boutique, Marie La Mode at 910 Cherry St. SE in Grand Rapids, Haan set a weekly sales target for her 1,500-square foot store.

But at the close of a recent week, it appeared she would fall $400 short of that goal.

And then at the 11th hour, a couple walked into her women's clothing store and — wait for it — purchased $400 worth of merchandise.

But what the 29-year-old Haan gained wasn't just making ends meet, but another lesson in faith.

"I was worried and wasn't trusting You," said Haan. "You sent in a couple and it was perfect a little reminder You're still here still paying attention."

Baker Book House, KDL Join to Bring Popular Children’s Author to GR

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

KellyDePucchioMichigan author Kelly DiPucchio will visit Grand Rapids to read from and talk about her new book Super Manny Cleans Up! in a special event sponsored by Baker Book House and Kent District Library.

The event takes place at Cascade Township Park and will be a morning of stories, crafts, and park clean-up geared towards elementary-age children.

Super Manny Cleans Up! is second in the Manny series, with Super Manny Stands Up! published in 2017. DiPucchio is also author of bestsellers Grace for President, The Sandwich Swap, Antoinette and Gaston, among many others.

Singer Takes the Field for Local Concert

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Heath. Brandon standingBrandon Heath Singer-songwriter Brandon Heath is no stranger to stepping up to the plate for a concert in a baseball stadium.

"Honestly, those are some of my favorite summertime gigs," said Heath from his Nashville home. "I do at least one a summer."

Heath will do a pre-game concert June 29 at Fifth Third Ballpark before a West Michigan Whitecaps game.

Earlier this summer Heath performed at the home of a Whitecaps rival, the South Bend Cubs in Indiana.

"They gave me some cool Cubs swag," he recalled. "I wasn't able to sing the National Anthem for them that day, but I promised to come back and do it another time."

The Death of Discussion

Written by Dr. Rex M. Rogers on . Posted in Local

rexsat7Dr. Rex M. RogersDuring the U.S. Presidential campaign, back in February 2016, I stopped posting political content on social media. I just quit cold turkey.

Before this I'd tried to post about issues. I didn't mention just one but always several candidates, attempted to be non-partisan, never spoke negatively of the previous Administration, and in no way attacked Democrat or Republican candidates or otherwise use my social media to campaign. In retrospect, I guess I was naïve. I actually tried to conduct a discussion about important issues. Usually, it didn't happen.

I found that people didn't read the nuances of what I said, and they didn't discuss the issue. Mostly, they reacted emotionally, defending their partisan view and/or candidate—who I had often not mentioned—and frequently did so with rancor not found in my posts. People used my nonpartisan social media post as a platform to rant or to proclaim the virtues of their candidate, even when this had nothing directly to do with the issue content of my post.

Two New CD’s Offer Musical Contrasts

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Billboard of Steven Malcolm albumBillboard of Steven Malcolm's albumWest Michigan has produced a number of inspirational music artists through the decades.

But two of our favorite sons - Steven Malcolm and Kevin Max - have released new recordings which are claiming their spots on the musical spectrum.

‘Little Miracles’ Exemplify Rademakers’ Malawi Connection

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Malawi Connection No. 1Serving people in need are a characteristic quality of Jim and Sandy Rademaker’s faith. Guess who's coming to stay with us for a while?

It's a question Jim Rademaker would explain to his wife of 51 years, Sandy, when he called their home 20 years ago to let her know a man from a southeast African country would end up on their doorsteps.

What neither of them knew then is the man from Malawi would eventually become the conduit for broadening God's love in some very tangible ways.

Starting in 1998, the Grand Rapids couple launched a nonprofit they initially dubbed the Malawi Project — later renamed in 2006 the Malawi Connection — that made is possible to build water wells, plant trees that's later made into charcoal, provided AIDS and agricultural ecosystems training, launched the beginning stages of solar power, built medical clinics, helped stem a food shortage, established micro loans for businesses and scholarships for girls' education.

Portrayal Captures the “Larger Than Life” C.S. Lewis

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

McLean Max as CS LewisMax McLean as CS LewisHis conversion did not come with a flash of light or a singular brilliant insight.

Rather, the journey of professor/author C.S. Lewis from atheism to the Christian faith was a 23 year process. It eventually led to his standing as one of the chief Christian apologists of the 20th Century.

The transformation is carefully and wonderfully portrayed in the one-man play "C.S. Lewis On Stage: The Most Reluctant Convert" by actor-playwright Max McLean, coming to Grand Rapids' DeVos Performance Hall on June 16.

I Don’t Know What To Do

Written by Editor in Chief on . Posted in Local

dan seabornDan SeabornI continue to meet many people who say to me, "My situation or circumstances seem hopeless and I don't know what to do." I want to dedicate this article to those of you who continue to seek to grow as a person and in relationships with your family, even in what appears to be a dire or hopeless situation.

First, let me applaud you for your commitment to making your family healthier. There are many people who wouldn't even try to change and would simply give up. By taking time to read this article, I know that you're committed to wanting to grow in your relationships at home.

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