Battered and Bruised

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornDo you have days where your face feels swollen, your eyes are like slits from being half shut and your body aches all over? You feel beat up and yet no one has laid a hand on you? It's one of those days where either a group of negative issues has been piling up or you are emerging from a litany of several days where you've dealt with very difficult issues. Emotionally, you feel battered and bruised.

Some of us do a good job of hiding it. We may cake on a little make up to brighten our face. We wear a bright colored shirt to try and offset the dark feeling in our soul. We laugh but it's just a sound not an expression of joy. Some people reading this article right now are dealing with a battered and bruised spirit. And sadly, in many situations, the source is a complex family situation. Even if the culprit is outside your family, the effect it has on you will affect your family. That's why I want to offer a few suggestions that may help encourage you through the process.

‘Plantation Jesus’ Spells Out How to Forgive, Walk Toward Unity

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Plantation Jesus Cutline No. 1Skot Welch: “Christians need to understand when one part of the body suffers, we all suffer.” While Skot Welch's long-time friend, Rick Wilson, lay in a hospital bed fighting for his life, the two made a pact.

"When I met him in the hospital and he told me of the diagnosis, he said, 'If I go to heaven, you need to finish the book and if I stay, I'll finish it,'" recalled Welch.

Wilson died of lung cancer March 5, 2014. And while he had wrote the majority of the book titled "Plantation Jesus: Race, Faith, & A New Way Forward," Welch was left with the daunting task of completing it and thus fulfilling his promise.

Welch and his wife, Barbara, are lead pastors of the Kentwood campus of Stones Church. For eight years, Skot Welch co-hosted with Wilson the radio program, Radio in Black and White, which discussed multiracial, multicultural and multiethnic relationships and featured live callers.

New Music Review – Cameron Blake

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Cameron Blake Fear Not CD higher resLocal church worship leader and singer-songwriter Cameron Blake's latest CD has been garnering attention in a variety of places.

"Fear Not" – his third solo effort – features numerous guest artists in its addressing the sticky topic of fear. It sends out a call to look to love as a solution.

Blake (his given name is Cameron Warne) leads worship and is serve team leader at River Rock Church, which meets at Rockford Christian School on Belding Rd. NE. But his probing, contemporary-folk tunes have touched ears throughout the area's mainstream music community.

Cold-war Espionage Offers Significant Takeaways for Christians Today

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Greg Forster cutline No. 1JPGGreg Forster said Whittaker Chambers’ found his true purpose in life when he surrendered to the Lord. “By turning to God, he was discovering who he really was,” said Forster. Whittaker Chambers risked his career, reputation and family when he disavowed communism and walked away from working as a Soviet spy.

Nowadays, his conversion to Christianity exemplifies why the only way to live life is by God's principles and not humankind, a conservative scholar said recently as guest speaker at the Acton Institute's Lecture Series.

Chambers (1901-1961) was a senior editor for TIME Magazine who wrote the autobiography Witness, initially published in 1952 that has since been reprinted, which details his life as an agent in the Fourth Section of Soviet Military Intelligence from 1932 to 1938, where he coordinated espionage activities with high-ranking United States government officials. Witness explains Chambers' exodus from communism and his conversion to Christianity.

TobyMac Digs Into Hits Deep

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

TobyMacSinger-songwriter TobyMac suggests that the name of his "Hits Deep" tour has a double meaning.

"It's supposed to be 'hits' all night long," he said of his long catalog of top-charting Christian radio tunes. "But it's also songs that have hit listeners in a deep way – that's always the hope for my songs," he added during a recent phone interview.

At age 53, Toby McKeehan (his given name) has the luxury of a rich musical history, with seven solo studio albums to his credit. The latest is the Grammy-winning "This Is Not A Test," which offers a half dozen hits for his current concert set list.

Concerts a Key For Faithful Fan

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Cooper John and VanderMayRob VanderMay (right) and John Cooper Rob VanderMay can tell you that ten times is not enough.

For the tenth time the Kentwood resident saw the Christian rock band Skillet when they headlined the Winter Jam tour last month at Van Andel Arena.

Now he'd like to see them for Number 11 - when the band performs in Muskegon April 28 along with For King & Country.

"Yeah, I'd say Skillet is my favorite artist," said VanderMay, 29, as he recalled the band's booming, pyrotechnic-flavored Jan. 7 set that filled Van Andel to the rafters. Featured were classic tunes such as "Whispers in the Dark" as well as their very latest, "Feel Invincible."

Love Me or Love Me Not

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornIt's summer and flowers are in full bloom! As a young boy I remember picking flowers for a particular girl I liked. I would sit on the grass, check to be sure none of the guys were around and begin to pull off the petals one by one. As I plucked, I would repeat a series of phrases in a sing-song voice, "she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not," until all the petals were gone. The very last petal would tell me whether she loves me or she loves me not.

Summer-time Awakening Institute Stimulates Teens’ Worship Gifts

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Awakening Institute Cutline No. 1This year’s Awakening Institute is June 10-15.Holland-based Hope College adjunct associate professor in the music department Jim DeBoer is the founder and director of Awakening, a weeklong focus for students entering grades 10th through 12th in the fall who want to hone their worship gifts to use in the church.

This year's Awakening is June 10-15 and costs $500 per student. Scholarships are available. Tuition includes lodging at Hope College, food, a T-shirt, water bottle, backpack and busing students to different locations.

New Music Review: “The Second City – Part 1”

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Malcolm Steven cd cvr - second city pt 1The busy West Michigan native Steven Malcolm has released "The Second City – Part 1," the first of four extended-play projects scheduled for 2018.

Calling the four new songs "an ode to my past," Malcolm says these selections are his most biographical to date.

His father was a Jamaican immigrant who was deported when young Steven was just 10 years old. The elder Malcolm had been born in Montego Bay, also known as "The Second City." But the title also refers to the transformed new life found in Christ (a brief video testimony is available online.

Baker Book House Sells Eerdmans Inventory at Discount Prices

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

booksReaders looking for bargain prices on unique books will find shelves of surprises at a sale running Feb. 12-17 at Baker Book House.

Baker Book House purchased thousands of titles left over after Eerdmans Bookstore closed in late 2017. Now Baker is offering those books at 50 percent discount during the week-long event. Students can get an additional 10 percent discount with a student ID, and all sale guests can register to win a $100 shopping spree at the store.

"We're excited that we were able to purchase the Eerdmans volumes, and to offer them at discount prices to our customers, " said Sue Smith, manager at Baker Book House. "There is a rich mix of inventory that will be of interest to a wide range of readers."

Economist: Children Need Two-Parents, Not ‘Irrational’ Sexual Revolution

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Jennifer Roback Morse cutline No. 1Jennifer Roback Morse: “The conscience is developed inside the family and this is completely compatible with Christian teaching.” The sexual revolution touted unbridled freedom and pleasure, minus the consequences.

But economist Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Lake Charles, La.-based Ruth Institute, a nonprofit to end family breakdown by energizing survivors of the sexual revolution, sees sexual "liberation" that became widespread in the 1960s to 1980s in a far different light.

"The sexual revolution is irrational, it is impossible and it cannot stand on its own," Roback Morse said recently at the conservative think-tank, the Acton Institute. "It requires force and a lot of propaganda. Just because it's ridiculous doesn't mean it's harmless. It's a totalitarian movement that no Christian should have anything to do with."

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