Paul, Apostle for Christ is a Remarkable Movie

Written by Edwin L. Carpenter on . Posted in Local

Capture12Paul, Apostle for Christ features a striking performance by James Faulkner as Paul. Reverend, serious and focusing on the love of Christ, Faulkner nails the role. The use of scripture is well utilized throughout the film. Instead of reading the words of Paul, we hear him utter them. A few members of the underground church want to attack the blood-thirsty Romans. Paul tells Luke, played by Jim Caviezel (who played Jesus in Passion of the Christ), "We cannot overcome evil with evil. Only good overcomes evil." He also gives the almost identical quote which is taken from Romans 5:20, "Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds". Paul continues to emphasize the love of God, especially when dealing with those who seek vengeance.

God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness makes a great point: God is Still Not Dead!

Written by Edwin L. Carpenter on . Posted in Local

Capture11This third film in the God's Not Dead series takes a different approach this time around. The first two in the series focused on fighting for one's religious beliefs and freedoms. This one is more about forgiveness and loving people, even when they don't agree with your view of God. God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness deals with a story about the struggles between today's liberal society and the church. Pastor David Hill (David A.R. White) has been at St. James church since he was a kid and his dad pastored the church. Now, he is the pastor. He is challenged by Hadleigh University and his friend, Thomas Ellsworth (Ted McGinley), who represents the college. Ellsworth and the college want to enforce an eminent domain policy and seize the land the church is built on in order to add on to their college buildings. Pastor Dave isn't ready to leave, and he refuses to back down—at first. Normally a mild mannered man, Pastor Dave winds up in jail.

Candace Cameron Bure events nearly sold out at Baker Book House

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

candacecameronburewebsiteCandace Cameron BureCandace Cameron Bure, actress and author of the new book "Kind is the New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously," will visit Grand Rapids and Baker Book House on April 25-26. The star of "Full House" and "Fuller House," as well as numerous Hallmark movies, will meet guests at several event at the bookstore.

"Response to the announcement of Candace's visit was huge," said Sue Smith, manager of Baker Book House. "It was so big that we scheduled several additional events."

Bure was originally scheduled for a Q&A/book-signing on Thursday, April 26. The 250 tickets sold out within four hours, according to Smith, with more than a thousand people indicating on bookstore social media their interest in attending.

Top Fiction Authors to Meet Readers at first Fiction Readers Summit

Written by Hannah Howe on . Posted in Local

conferenceFifteen top Christian authors gather on May 11-12 for the inaugural Fiction Readers Summit at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Baker Book House in Grand Rapids. Authors including Mesu Andrews, Dani Pettrey, Colleen Coble and others will participate in panel discussions and meet readers.

The event will feature Christian authors whose work covers a wide swath of genres including historical, contemporary, romance and mystery. Local authors participating in the event are Susie Finkbeiner, Sharon Garlough Brown, Tracy Groot, and Lynn Austin.

C.S. Lewis Portrayal Coming to Grand Rapids

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

mclean Max bwActor-author Max McLean A stage play probing the spiritual journey of famed author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis is coming to DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids on Sat. June 16. Tickets for "C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert" went on sale Monday April 9.

The creative force behind the one-man production is actor Max McLean who wrote the play and assumes the title role. The script is gleaned from Lewis' books and essays throughout his academic and writing career in his native Great Britain. His best-known work is the popular "Chronicles of Narnia" series, but he has a rich catalog of theological volumes such as "Mere Christianity" and "Miracles." He died in 1963.

Celebration…Good News, Continuing Themes for Irish Band

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Rend CollectiveChris Llewellyn (middle) and Rend CollectiveA point to ponder: what did the Irish born-and-bred band Rend Collective do on St. Patrick's Day this year?

"We were actually playing a show that day, and we even taught some Irish dancing," said lead singer Chris Llewellyn during a late March phone interview. "We had to bring the party for St. Paddy...it's up to the Irish."

Celebration has always been high on the Rend Collective priority list. And a joyous thread winds throughout the faith-based group's latest album, "Good News."

Billy Graham Was The Same in Public and Private, Says Cornerstone President. But Who’s Next in Line?

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Joseph Stowell Billy Graham cutline No. 1Joseph Stowell: “Everything he was in public, he was in private and more in fact.” Evangelist Billy Graham, who held his first evangelist crusade in 1947 at the former Civic Auditorium in Grand Rapids, was humble and genuine, said the president of Cornerstone University, who served on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association board for about 12 years.

Whether preaching to a throng of people at his evangelistic crusades or engaged in a private tête-à-tête, his character was consistent, Cornerstone's Joseph Stowell said of Graham who died Feb. 21.

Debut Novelist Pens Tale of Love and Mystery

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

Joanna Davidson PolitanoJoanna Davidson Politano, who lives near the Michigan/Indiana border, is drawing fans thanks to her debut novel Lady Jane Disappears. Aurelie Harcourt, whose father died in debtor's prison, takes over his serial novel writing under the pen name Nathaniel Droll. Droll is one of the most popular writers in Victorian England; but as Aurelie continues her father's story, she bases it on family with whom she is sent to live—but who have no idea it's their guest exposing their world.

Ann Byle: Tell us a little about your writing journey and your debut novel "Lady Jane Disappears."
Joanna Politano: The novel evolved as I wrote it over nine months or a year. It started out as a fun thing I did during my daughter's nap time, then became a more formal project. I had decided to set aside my publishing goals to raise a family but God said no. He said, "It's noble but not what I want you to do."

Imagining the Power of A Song

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

MM-Press-seated tableMercyMe, (from left) Barry Graul, Nathan Cochran, Bart Millard, Robbie Shaffer, Mike Scheuchzer "I Can Only Imagine," the award-winning, inspirational hit song, has been around for two decades.

Now re-popularized by a new movie of the same name, the uplifting ballad continues to be the trademark of singer Bart Millard and his band MercyMe.

"It's like the song that won't go away," smiled Nathan Cochran, bass guitar player of the band during an interview from Dallas, Tex. "But it's a song that is really special to us and we're not complaining about that at all." 

Third Day One More Time

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Third Day - hier rez w 3Third Day (from l.) Mark Lee, Mac Powell, David CarrThird Day, the Christian music pop-rock band with a 25+ year history and numerous hit songs and awards, is saying farewell. The band has scheduled a final, 12-date concert tour this spring, which includes a June 22 stop at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids. But tickets, which went on sale Fri. March 9, are hard to come by
.
There was the usual ticket "pre-sale" period for a day or so prior to the "on sale" date. Pre-sale is limited to select fans or others who have a special ticket purchase code with only a small number available.

The general public went online fast and furious at 10am March 9 – but many soon saw the post on Ticketmaster.com: "Oh-no! These tickets went fast and we're unable to find more right now." More recent visitors to the ticketmaster website also saw prices above face value.

Hire for Hope Founder Grateful Safe Haven Ministries Helped Her Replace Distress for Courage

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Hire for Hope cutline No.1Ashley Ward donates 10 percent of her revenue to Safe Haven Ministries because she wants to help abused women realize they can be more than they currently are. Ashley Ward has many reasons to smile.

In early 2017, the 28-year-old launched Hire for Hope LLC, her socially conscious recruiting firm that helps fill mid- to senior-level positions for West Michigan companies.

It's been so successful that she recently hired her first full-time employee, with an eye on adding one or two more staff members by the end of this year or early 2019.

To help accommodate her growth, Ward has plans to move her recruiting business out of her home office in Rockford and relocate it to downtown Grand Rapids.

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