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.

Music/Festival Event Has Something For All Ages

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Our Rock   band photoLowell Webster (l.) and his band Our Rock are part of a band festival June 9It can't quite be called a "traveling festival package," but Lowell Webster has helped assemble the ingredients for numerous music-based festivals over the last several years.

"For us it's a ministry opportunity, and it's for everybody," said Webster, whose classic rock/Christian band Our Rock is headlining the event. "It's a chance for the bands to play, but both before and afterwards to meet and talk to people. Really, it's an outreach for spreading the gospel."

The Band Festival 2018 is set for Sat. June 9 at South United Methodist Church on S. Division just south of 44th St. It features a number of bands, solo artists and family entertainers as well as activities.

Churches, Christian Artists, Get In on Festival Fun

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

pavlovasPavlova – A tasty dessert available at Festival of the Arts Coleen Young was busy last week doing some final preparations. Her church – United Church of Wayland – was getting ready to host a food booth at Festival of the Arts, June 1-3 in downtown Grand Rapids.

"Today I was checking on things like getting propane for the grills and making those other last minute purchases," said Young of readying the booth which is selling Australian cuisine. Most notably, povlovas. "Those are baked meringue shells filled with non-dairy whipped cream, blueberries, strawberries and kiwi fruit," she explained of their mainstay menu item.

United Church is just one of 10 churches (among other non-profits) that are staffing food booths during the weekend, raising funds for their various ministry efforts.

Is Your Stock Rising?

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornDan Seaborn My stock fell hard the other day. I watched it happen. I thought that I had made some good choices in regard to my investments. But my stock fell and it fell hard.

Oh, I'm not talking about money. Did you think I meant the Dow Jones? No way! I'm talking about me. I made a decision with my family and I thought I made the right choice. I was pretty sure, in fact, that the case I was making that was proving my point was really going to make my stock rise. In other words, make them really believe in me. But instead, I shot myself in the foot and my stock plummeted. I made the wrong call, the wrong decision and it was a disappointment to my family.

Gospel Quartet Singer Going Solo

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Visser Jim 2018-1 Gospel singer Jim Visser Jim Visser is in a transition time.

The founder-singer of the West Michigan-based Faithful Journey Quartet is branching out into a solo music ministry and will leave the quartet at the end of the year.

"I had thought about doing solo music... but figured it would never happen. I'm a quartet guy," said Visser, 53, from his Lowell area home.

"But it was a process – including struggling with God – and it was laid on my heart and God gave me some good music," he added.

Now the suburban Wyoming native, who runs a construction business, has a solo CD and dozens of concerts under his belt. But he continues to sing in Faithful Journey with Scott Roon, Dennis Deters and new tenor Tom Corkins.

"Scott, Dennis and I have been together the whole seven years in the quartet," reflected Visser. "This is not an easy decision (to leave) and I did not take it lightly."

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