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

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

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

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

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

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

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

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

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

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

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

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

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

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

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

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

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.

Bridge Street Mission School Strengthens, Deepens Faith

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

BSHOP Mission School cutline No. 1Ryan Waalkes is Bridge Street House of Prayer’s director.Bridge Street House of Prayer's Mission School is not intended for young people who prefer to chill in a coffee shop with their friends or check out the latest Facebook posts. It's deeper and more satisfying than all of that.

Rather, BSHP's Mission School is an eight-month discipleship program that immerses students ages 18 to 29 people into a life of mission. They learn what it truly means to hunger for Jesus, affirms BSHP director Ryan Waalkes.

Concerts Taking Shape in 2017

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

429 Building 429 performs Jan. 28 in ZeelandOnce again West Michigan's Christian concert scene began January with a winter blast – a Winter Jam blast, that is. The annual 10-band concert tour hit Van Andel Arena on Jan. 8 headlined by David Crowder.

The tour also marked the Van Andel debut of young faith-based rapper Steven Malcolm, a Wyoming Park H.S. grad whose new album debuts Feb. 17. (see previous article)
 
Let's check the post-Winter Jam list and see what's ahead.

More Articles...

Related Articles

Click an article to view the list of related articles.


Sign up for our eNewsletter

No Worries - we will NOT use your email for anything other than receiving West Michigan Christian in your inbox.

captcha 
faith-buttonPlease consider helping us by contributing to our publication. 

Donate directly or advertize your business on this site or in our newsletter.  It reaches thousands across West Michigan.