Bestselling Authors Launch New Books at Story Hour

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

LittleMole8Children's story hour at Baker Book House plays host to two top children's authors, both with new books to share. Crystal Bowman and Glenys Nellist will be at the bookstore on Thursday, March 19, at 10:30 am to read from their new books with Easter themes.

Nellist, who lives in Dearborn, is author of "Little Mole Finds Hope," newly released by Beaming Books. It is the gentle tale of Little Mole, who is feeling bad inside and doesn't know why. His wise mother realizes he needs hope and takes him on a journey to find hope in a flower bulb, bare branches, and a chrysalis.

"I wanted to explore the idea that there is hope but sometimes it's hard to find," said Nellist. "Hope is found in the dark places like a bulb under the soil. It can be found in the darkest places."

Trauma Survivor’s New Book Offers Help, Hope, Healing

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

addictedPaula Jauch's past threatened to undo her. Her childhood filled with neglect, abuse, addicted parents, learning struggles; her teen years in a gang and as a young mother of two; her years in an abusive relationship. By age 21, she had three children and was struggling to survive.

Then one day she shut herself in the closet of her home in Las Vegas, Nevada, and contemplated suicide. Her son, age 6 at the time, opened the door and cried, "I hate you, Mommy. All you do is cry." It took a child's honesty and nudge from outside herself to cry out, "If you are real, I need to know you now!"

God came to Paula Jauch that day and changed her life. Not immediately and not without lots of work on her part, but today Jauch is a different woman intent on helping others overcome their pasts.

Mel Trotter Ministries Partners with JC Films for Movie to be Filmed in Grand Rapids

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Cutline No. 1Mel Trotter Ministries in downtown Grand Rapids is partnering with a faith-based production company to create a film tentatively titled "One Life at a Time." The movie's focus is to give God glory and tamp down the misconceptions of homelessness in West Michigan.

The movie will be produced by JC Films and filmed entirely in Grand Rapids. It will star Dean Cain, best known for playing Clark Kent/Superman in the TV series "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman."

Magic in the Church?

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Flom Justin circular cardsJustin Flom "You wouldn't think magic and that kind of entertainment would be done in church circles," admitted Justin Flom, a world-class magician who has "Christian magic" shows in his repertoire.

Flom, just 32, has appeared internationally, on network television, concert/entertainment tours and at large corporate events.

"But when I'm in a church I use magic to communicate a lesson, kind of the same way Jesus used parables."

And so he does, even though his "stories" contain elaborate slight-of-hand effects and quicker-than-the-eye manipulations.

"My church shows are family-friendly and a wild, fun time," he said. "But there is a special moment when I get to talk about why I do the things I do and what I believe."

Visual Art in Worship: A Model of Collaboration

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Jupp ReginaArtist Regina Jupp was a presenter at the Calvin Symposium on WorshipArtistic expression in the church is often associated with performing: music, dance or drama.

But the visual arts – painting, sculpture, use of fiber, cloth and linen, photography, graphic arts, etc. - also come into play in glorifying God and emulating his creativity.

And Regina Jupp knows – that in the church - a collaborative effort is key to the process.

"The more people involved the better," said Jupp, a Chicago-area artist and church/non-profit consultant..

Calvin Gospel Choir Celebrates South Korea Trip

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Calvin U gospel choir partuicipate in Korean church worshipThe Calvin U. gospel choir participates in worship in a South Korean church "Our motto in this group is that it's not just a choir but a worship experience," said Nate Glasper Jr, director of the Calvin University Gospel Choir.

And Glasper and his singers have taken that motto to new heights after completing a 15-day performing trip to South Korea. They returned Jan. 20.

"In all the places we sang it was ministry and it was worship," said Glasper, 36. "We sang at 11 worship services; and to sing and engage in congregational worship was probably the major highlight of the entire trip."

More than 30 singers from the choir participated in the tour, held during the University's academic interim. Although their itinerary was well-planned, there were several impromptu moments.

Year-round Woodland Drive-In Church Welcomes People to ‘come as you are.’ 50th Anniversary Planned in June

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

wood1Pastor Traci Parker holds a photo depicting where Woodland Drive-In Church was once located. Wind, ice and a fresh powdering of snow greeted worshippers during a recent Sunday morning that made driving to Woodland Drive-In Church a bit of a white-knuckle experience. But that didn't stop hearty souls like Solomon McSwain from getting out of bed and giving God praise.

"I chose the drive-in church because it's outside and it gives me a peace of heart," says McSwain, a Grand Rapids resident who's been attending the drive-in church for about a year. "My sister introduced me to the drive-in church. And the first time I went here, I fell in love with it so I've been coming here ever since."

Marvin Sapp’s Next Project In Sight

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Sapp Marvin and kids at Grammys Jan 2018Marvin Sapp (2nd from right) and children Marvin II, Mikaila and Madisson at the 2018 Grammy Awards Grand Rapids native and former local pastor Marvin Sapp is recording his next album at his new church home.

The Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Ft. Worth, Texas will be the site for the project, which is aiming for a Feb. 21, 2020 recording session.

"This recording is special to me because I'm doing it in my new home – literally and figuratively," said Sapp, 52, in an earlier interview.

Crowder Gets Into A (Winter) Jam

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Crowder D. Van Andel 2019David Crowder opened for MercyMe last October at Van Andel ArenaDavid Crowder likes to glean musical knowledge from a variety of sources. And the singer-songwriter – who headlines this year's Winter Jam tour – has discovered a way to get more of his original songs into his limited stage time on the multi-artist concert bill.

"I've learned from the Reach Records guys down here in Atlanta...like Lecrae and Andy Mineo...they're able to run through like 20 of their songs in 15 minutes," said the Crowder of the faith-based hip-hop artists.

"It's all about how to truncate songs and hit spots that feel the moment, get the high points and move onto the next one.

It's a technique he said he'll use in this year's tour which opened Jan. 10 and comes to Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on Jan. 19.

Music and More Targeting West Michigan This Year

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Daigle Lauren seatedLauren Daigle visits Van Andel Arena in March Few observers can recall such a crowded wintertime Christian music concert schedule this season with all the national artists coming through West Michigan.

There's an average at least one show per week headed our way through the month of April! And that doesn't include local or regional acts or concerts yet to be announced.

Van Andel Arena events include the annual Winter Jam experience on Jan. 19 (headlined by David Crowder, whom we will be featuring soon in a separate article) and singer-songwriter Lauren Daigle on March 12. By the way, Daigle's song "You Say" was recently calculated by Billboard as the No. 2 chart-driven "Hot Christian Song" of the past decade (topped only by Hillsong United's "Oceans: (Where Feet May Fail").

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