Stress less

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornDan SeabornSomeone once shared with me that the word stressed is desserts spelled backwards. But I don't think anyone finds anything sweet about stress. In fact, more often, stress leaves a sour taste in our mouth.

The more people I talk to the more I understand that we live in a world of stress. We stress over our children, we stress over our marriage, we stress over our job, we stress over our pets, we stress over our grass, we stress over our shoes, we stress over our hair and we stress over how much stress we are under!

I've discovered that pretty much everybody faces stress, so I wanted to provide you with a couple of tips and ideas on how you might deal with the anxiousness you feel.

Brittany Jacobson’s Created Free Ministry Earns Trust of At-risk Women

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Created Free No. 1Brittany Jacobson: “We love them where they’re at.” Brittany Jacobson was 19 years old when a Women At Risk (WAR) International conference she attended in Chicago gripped her conscience.

WAR peels away the underbelly of human trafficking so at-risk women and children can experience freedom from what the U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines as a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people that forces them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation.

"I felt really compelled to do something after we left," said Jacobson, now 24 years old.

Gaither Vocal Band & Friends Headline Concert

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Gaither Vocal Band 2017Bill Gaither (center) and the Gaither Vocal BandGospel music maven Bill Gaither keeps hearing the same comments each time there's a line-up shuffle in his famed Gaither Vocal Band.

"They say, 'Every time you make a change, we think...oh, you lost something special,'" said Gaither, 82, from his Alexandria, Ind. office.

"But they also say, 'You always surprise us...' And they are loving this current group."

After last year's departure of long time tenor David Phelps, singer Reggie Smith signed on with the Grammy Award-winning quintet. Smith is no stranger to Gaither's "Homecoming" array of artists – he and his wife Ladye Love Smith have sung with Gaither's wider group of artists for the last 18 years.

Master Arts Theatre Looking to New Home

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

MAT new - outdoor viewThe current Good News Baptist Church will be the new home of Master Arts Theatre. They're working carefully on the real-life script. And if all goes well, Master Arts Theatre (MAT) will complete the journey of taking the stage at a new location.

"There are so many advantages at this new site," said Tim Van Bruggen, executive director of the faith-based, community theater group.

Since 2001 Master Arts has labored in a small headquarters/performance space tucked away on 77th St. just east of S. Division Ave. The theater group rented the facility, did some renovations, and eventually purchased it outright. But over the years its limited audience seating, lack of storage, non-accessible areas and parking challenges combined to crimp the growing theater ministry.

Christian Is Not The Same As (Fill In The Blank)

Written by Dr. Rex M. Rogers on . Posted in Local

rexsat7Dr. Rex M. RogersIt should be obvious, but apparently it is not. "Christian," by which I mean naming Christ as Savior and living with a Christian worldview based upon Scripture, is not ipso facto the same thing as Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat, even gender, race, ethnicity, or nationality.

The degree to which one equates Christian with any of these is the degree to which he or she dilutes the power of Christian faith and the ability to critique and to speak truth to power.

First Century Christians knew this. On the one hand, the Apostle Paul enjoined Roman Christians to "be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established," and to not rebel, to pay taxes, and to give those in authority honor and respect (Romans 13:1-7). On the other hand, the Apostle Peter said, "We must obey God rather than human beings" (Acts 5:29), preserving for the faith its special higher station. Jesus referenced a similar thought saying, "So give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's" (Matthew 22:21).

Teen Author Urges Young Readers to ‘Stand Beautiful’

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

IMG 2903Chloe Howard has faced hard things in her 18 years. She was born with a club foot and has gone through several intense surgeries, yet she was always told by her parents "that I was beautiful and special and that God made me for a purpose," she said.

It wasn't until she was assaulted at her small Christian school that she saw her foot as something negative. When two girls forcibly removed her shoe and showed her foot to friends, they turned what Chloe always thought of as uniquely hers into an object of shame.

The police got involved and, eventually, the two girls stood trial. No asking for forgiveness, to apologizing, no moving forward. She was "Chloe the Victim," she says in her new book "Stand Beautiful: A Story of Brokenness, Beauty & Embracing It All," recently released by Zondervan. Until Chloe met Bono after her dad entered and won an online contest. Yes, that Bono.

That Bono said, "You stay available for work, and the work will wash over you."

Terry’s Picks: July 2018

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

EVENTSWest Michigan Christian News writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-related entertainment events over the coming month. Here are three highlights for July. Each is part of a greater community celebration.

Liz Haan’s Marie La Mode Boutique Follows Family Legacy of Faith in God

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Marie La Mode Cutline No. 1-1Liz Haan is an passionate fashionista. Liz Haan is a goal setter. Following the grand opening of her boutique, Marie La Mode at 910 Cherry St. SE in Grand Rapids, Haan set a weekly sales target for her 1,500-square foot store.

But at the close of a recent week, it appeared she would fall $400 short of that goal.

And then at the 11th hour, a couple walked into her women's clothing store and — wait for it — purchased $400 worth of merchandise.

But what the 29-year-old Haan gained wasn't just making ends meet, but another lesson in faith.

"I was worried and wasn't trusting You," said Haan. "You sent in a couple and it was perfect a little reminder You're still here still paying attention."

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.

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