Model and Local Author Create New Book that Addresses Core Issues Women Face

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

Reitz YouAreBeautiful HCAshley Reitz seemed to have it all: an active modeling career, traveling all over the world, and starring on FOX's reality television show Coupled. But for this "curve model," it wasn't enough.

Now Reitz reveals her life-long struggle with body image, self doubt and insecurity in her new book "You Are Beautiful: A Model Makeover from Insecure to Confident in Christ," recently released by FaithWords.

"When I was in high school, there were certain themes that kept popping up in my life, things I struggled with. I felt God tugging on my heart and felt I'd go into women's ministry at some point in my life," said Reitz, who is moving from Florida back to Michigan, where she grew up, this month.

Lakeshore Author Pens, Illustrates Christmas Picture Book

Written by Hannah VanKampen on . Posted in Local

snowglobeCatie Cordero is many things: chicken owner, blogger, fiction writer, mom, wife, actress. With the release of her new book comes another title: children's book author. The Magic Snow Globe is a children's picture book about Willow and Wendell Potter and their journey of discovery of what Christmas is really about.

Cordero was inspired to write The Magic Snow Globe by the rise of the internet and smartphones, and the effect of both on kids' imaginations.

"I see a trend happening where young children are on their phones or tablets and are constantly bombarded by technology. Whatever happened to people just reading?" Cordero said. She made this observation many times, to which her husband responded, "What are you going to do about it?" Thus, The Magic Snow Globe was born.

Terry’s Picks: December 2017

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

EVENTSWest Michigan Christian News writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-based arts and entertainment events over the coming month. Here are three highlights for December's Christmas season. Others are mentioned in his earlier article.

A Time to Say Thanks

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornA few years ago many retailers started the tradition of opening their doors on Thanksgiving. Black Friday was no longer enough of a jump start on holiday profits. These stores offer such magnificent deals that even the most loyal Thanksgiving proponents consider sneaking away for a chance to buy that big screen TV at a ridiculously low price. Every year it seems a petition goes around on Facebook to stop these retailers, but so far that has not been successful.

I'm not writing this article to settle any debates, but rather my goal is to talk about the meaning of this day for you and your family. Maybe it will help you decide whether you should shop till you drop or give in to a tryptophan-induced nap on Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s Beginning to Sound A Lot Like…….”

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Hark Up Horns Big BandThe Hark Up Horns Big Band It's time again for our annual Christmas concert preview. And as usual there are plenty of seasonal events to choose from.

The "season" actually backs up into November, but this listing will concentrate on those which actually occur in December.

The month starts up with a blast from "Hark Up" with four performances Fri-Sun Dec. 1-3 at DeVos Center for Arts and Worship at Grand Rapids Christian High School.

Safe Haven Ministries Expands Role in Battling Domestic Abuse

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Executive Director Megan HopkinsExecutive director Megan Hopkins displays a rendering of Safe Haven Ministries’ future facility. Safe Haven Ministries (SHM) has provided a refuge for women and children who've fallen prey to domestic abuse for nearly 30 years.

Building on its wide-ranging approach to solving emotional, spiritual, physical and financial abuse and sexual assault are new initiatives intended to amplify its capacity to provide hope and healing to those maltreated.

New executive director

Megan Hopkins was tapped as SHM's new executive director, a role she's held as interim executive director since May.

College Choir Spreading Music of the Gospel

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Gospel Choir led by Nate GlasperNate Glasper directs the Calvin College Gospel ChoirNate Glasper Jr. has watched the Calvin College Gospel Choir blossom in new ways in first year as leader of the ensemble.

"When I started as director (in July of last year) there were 38 members," recalled Glasper during a recent interview. "And this year that has grown to 67." (The Calvin group presents its annual fall concert at 3 p.m. Sun. Nov. 19 - see details below).

“The Garden” A Focus For Singer Kari Jobe

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Jobe Kari singing at the 2017 Dove AwardsKari Jobe performs at the 2017 Dove Awards The inspirational theme for Kari Jobe's latest album points to the view outside her home's back window.

"The Garden," centered by its vulnerable yet hopeful title song, captures an emotional journey which culminates in the realization of God's healing of the soul. (Jobe brings her musical tour featuring "The Garden" to 20 Monroe Live on Sun. Nov. 12 – see details below).

"My sister and I were pregnant at the same time – she was a few months ahead of me," recalled Jobe, 36, from her Nashville area home.

Smashburger Manager Credits Mel Trotter, God’s Peace for Straight and Narrow Life

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Tony Johnson No. 1Tony Johnson: “I made it because I surrendered.” Tony Johnson represents a "first" for Mel Trotter Ministries (MTM). He is the first former resident of this multifaceted ministry to the homeless who serves as a trustee on its Board of Directors.

"I made it because I surrendered; God changed my life," said Johnson. "I'm blessed. To surrender your will means taking yourself out. There's no pride, no arrogance. I serve the King."

Then, without hesitation, Johnson recites Proverbs 3 5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Avoid the Mulligan Mentality

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornIn the game of golf, if a player hits a shot poorly, at times he or she is allowed to take a gimme. Officially, it's called a Mulligan—the first shot is disregarded completely, like it never happened in the first place.

I worked with teens for many years, and in that time, one of the most frustrating aspects of my job was dealing with parents who had a Mulligan mentality, moms and dads who were using their kids' lives to make up for the past. It was as if the sons and daughters were do-over's—I really sliced that first one, but I'll aim better this time around.

Doves a New Spotlight for West Michigan Artist

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Malcolm S perf at 2017 Doves w HollynSteve Malcolm (center) performs at the Oct. 17 Dove Awards in Nashville Grand Rapids native and hip-hop/rap artist Steven Malcolm didn't win any of the three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards for which he was nominated.

But the experience of the Oct. 17 award ceremonies and surrounding activity left a strong impression.

"Last night was like a dream," he posted to Facebook followers the day after the Dove festivities.

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