New Music Review: "Close"

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

MarvinSapp Close album cvr-hiGrand Rapids pastor and national gospel music artist Marvin Sapp celebrated the arrival of his 11th solo album with a listening party at his church in his hometown.

Sapp performed some of the songs on the new "Close" CD on Sept. 29 to several hundred fans and friends at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church on Madison Ave. SE.

Restoring News Media’s Credibility Must Happen Soon; Here’s How to Fix it, Urges Journalist

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Mollie Hemingway Mollie Ziegler Hemingway: “I would love to see the media repair our damaged credibility and I think it could happen and I wish it could happen soon.”The mainstream news media is long overdue for some serious soul searching, a journalist said at a recent Acton Institute Speaker Series.

The Acton Institute, 98 E. Fulton St. in downtown Grand Rapids, is a think tank whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist, spoke recently to a capacity audience inside the Acton Institute's Mark Murray Auditorium. She said the media repeatedly demonstrates it is out of touch with the time-honored values of the majority of its dwindling audience that looks askance at the veracity of its reporting.

Grand Rapids Church “Outstanding Venue” Finalist at Art Prize

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

bloodline“Bloodline” is an Art Prize 3-D finalist displayed at Monroe Community Church. An Art Prize juror called it "a perfect surprise" and "a breath of fresh air."

Monroe Community Church on Monroe Ave NW just north of downtown Grand Rapids is one of five finalists for the Art Prize "Outstanding Venue" award. Juror Larry Ossei-Mensah selected the finalists from among 170 venues participating in the annual arts competition, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city each year.

"As far as we can tell, we're only the second church ever to be recognized with this 'shortlist" designation," said Steve Fridsma, the church's Art Prize team leader.

New President Eyes a First for Kuyper College

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Patricia HarrisDr. Patricia Harris: “It’s obviously a challenge but God will be glorified and our students will flourish.” When Dr. Patricia "Patti" Harris becomes Kuyper College's fifth president Oct. 12, it will mark a milestone in the school's 78-year history.

Harris also will become the first female to helm the school — or perhaps not.

According to Harris, who's been Kuyper's provost since 2013, that distinction should go to Johanna Timmer, who founded the newly formed Reformed Bible Institute in 1939 — later renamed Reformed Bible College and now Kuyper College.

Local Artist’s Song Takes On Serious Issue

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Kali Joy - bridgeKali Joy has premiered her new music video.Singer-songwriter Kali Joy's new song carries a somber confession: "If I hadn't met you, I'd be dead right now."

The delicate ballad faces the issue of suicide, and how God can use caring friends to intervene in a troubled life.

The artist said she started writing the song two years ago after a conversation with a friend.

Art Prize Tree Provides Biblical Connection

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Trees Will ClapThere's at least one entry in this year's Art Prize in Grand Rapids that brings a scripture verse to life.

It's a large, tree-like sculpture that actually gives forth the sounds of applause, echoing the refrain of Isaiah 55:12, "....the trees of the field will clap their hands."

"That verse has always been a favorite of mine," said Dave Vander Molen of Grandville, creator of the wood, metal and plexiglass work.

"I love that image of a tree....it has spoken to me for a number of years."

Thinking about Vern: A Personal Reflection on the Late Vern Ehlers

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

vernVernon J. Ehlers was a scientist, educator, politician, photographer and gardener. But after the August 15, 2017 passing of the former West Michigan Congressman, I reflected on a special connection I felt with this gifted man that resurfaced throughout the years.

Any formal biography of Ehlers lists his hometown as Pipestone, a city in southwest Minnesota. Actually, that's the location of the hospital where he was born and the county seat where birth records are kept. His "real" hometown was in nearby Edgerton, a small Minnesota community of around 700 at his 1934 birth.

Northeast-side Congregations Partner to Form One Church with Two Campuses

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

northvewThe auditorium of the Northview campus of BHBC was completely renovated.Blythefield Hills Baptist Church in Rockford and Northland Baptist Church in the Northview area are coming together in a partnership in which Northland becomes the Northview campus of Blythefield Hills (BHBC).

"We've been in the process of extending ourselves to befriend and partner with a number of churches, particularly smaller churches that don't have as many resources," said lead pastor Matt Zania. "We opened the door to a relationship with Northland; Ben Phebus, the pastor, open the door to a multisite partnership."

Sunday, September 17, is the official kickoff of the new partnership, with long-time BHBC pastor Don Pearson taking on the role of Northview campus pastor.

Mission India’s New Location Signals ‘God is in This Whole Project’

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Mission India No. 1Mission India’s new address is 1142 44th St. SE, Kentwood.Next year will mark a milestone for Mission India when it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Another high point arrived sooner when the nonprofit recently relocated from its Grandville location to a 9,500-square foot building in Kentwood at 1142 44th St. SE.

Its new digs equate to about 500-square more space where a staff of 42 work at what is Mission India's world headquarters; another nine regional directors work off-site.

"We could have renewed the lease (in Grandville) but we wanted to see what was available," said Mike Jackson, Mission India's vice president of finance and administration. "This one came up here and in the right price range for us."

Eerdmans Announces Fall Warehouse Sale

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

erd25Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company opens the warehouse doors for its first Fall Warehouse Sale on Sept. 8-9, inviting buyers to take advantage of deep discounts on many Eerdmans titles.

"We invite people to shop in our warehouse and see what's in there, and also visit the bookstore to see the specials there," said Scott Watson, bookstore manager.

Hundreds of titles will be 60-80 percent off, and all Eerdmans titles will be at least 50 percent off, Watson said. The bookstore's usual discount of 20 percent will apply to books by other publishers.

Diagnosis: In-Law Syndrome

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornOnce again, cold and flu season is again about to be overcome by a mysterious disease. This new disorder is caused from marriages that have occurred over the summer. It is typically the busiest bridal season.

All of this means one key thing: there's a whole new batch of parents out there who are going to be newly exposed to the life-threatening grips of In-law Syndrome.

In-law Syndrome (ILS) is a unique disease that appears in parents whose children are married. Parents whose children are unmarried seem to be largely unaffected by ILS; however, in some instances the onset of the disease is premature, brought on when a child gets engaged, begins dating, or (in most severe cases) develops a crush on that other kid in the playpen.

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