Educator Tills Education’s Soil With Biblical Botanical Roots

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

AMDG Architects Speaker Series cutline No. 1David Smith: “The Garden of Eden is an image where society is working, before everything gets destroyed.”David Smith sees a strong bond between the Garden of Eden and education. Apparently, John Amos Comenius also understood the connection, even though he lived centuries before Smith was born.

Smith works the dual role as director of Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning and director of Calvin College's graduate studies in education. He recently spoke at AMDG Architects' July Speaker Series about the relationship between gardens cultivating people's moral, spiritual and virtue through education.

Digging Deeper With Lifehouse

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Lifehouse jw 2nd from rLifehouse (l. to r.) Ricky Woolstenhulme Jr., Bryce Soderberg, Jason Wade, Steve Stout Singer-songwriter Jason Wade of the band Lifehouse never dreamed his song "You and Me" would become a wedding standard.

"That's a song I wrote when I proposed to my girlfriend when I was 19 years old," recalled Wade during a conference call from the band's Los Angeles recording studio.

"It didn't show up until our third album six years later."

The melodic song was one of mainstream radio's top hits of 2005 and re-established the band's impact made with its 2001 debut smash, "Hanging By A Moment."

"You and Me" still echoes at nuptials around the country. "We've played it ourselves for at least three weddings," said Wade. "And we've been asked to help guys propose on stage when we play it at shows.

Hudsonville-based International Needs Serves as Jesus’ Hands, Feet Worldwide

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

International Needs Cutline No. 1 International Needs president/CEO Michael Cooper stands on a rooftop in Nepal last November. Michael T. Cooper gets around.

So far, he's journeyed to 14 or 15 countries since becoming president and CEO last October of Hudsonville-based International Needs.

In the future, the ministry's big tent goals will take him to various nations in the world, including Turkey, Nepal, Burkina Faso in West Africa and Columbia.

That's to be expected when you're head of a multi-prong ministry like International Needs, founded in 1974 by Ray Harrison.

"I love being around folks from around the world," said an enthused Cooper. "We have staff and national workers spread across the globe, where we pray and dream with them in how they're going to reach their countries and fulfill their vision to spread the gospel."

Band Members Testify To New Life

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Adams Road Joseph Warren (left) and Adam’s Road Joseph Warren and Adam's Road are on a new mission.

Warren and his fellow band members are all former Mormons. And now they're presenting their musical testimonies of a newly-found gospel salvation message.

"We're just trying to put the gospel to music and to share our stories," said Warren, 32, by phone from a concert stop in rural Vermont.

The ex-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (better known as Mormons) have carved out their own path as they've embraced Christian orthodoxy and proclaimed it publically. And it has come at some personal cost.

A Mile In Your (old) Shoes

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornLet me tell you, we're talking about a really big "if."

If I think about it long enough and hard enough, I can remember what it was like—what it was like long, long ago—to be a kid.
If.

For starters, the piano practice was torture. I'd be sitting there, plunking out tunes on black and white keys even though I thought my fingers looked much better on the orange of a basketball.

And my mom, the human metronome, would sit beside me on the bench, tapping the end of a pencil against the piano to help me keep rhythm. It drove me crazy.

If it wasn't piano lessons that had me in misery, it was homework—hours of multiplication, history, and grammar keeping me away from the South Carolina skies that were calling my name.

Radio Team Now In New Ministry Pursuits

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

mcAce McKay (left), and Jeff Veley"Yes... Jeff and I are saying good-bye to you," JQ-99 (WJQK-FM) radio personality Ace McKay told listeners on their June 29 afternoon show.

After two and a half years as on-air teammates, McKay and co-host Jeff Veley both left their duties on the local contemporary Christian outlet at the end of June. Breaking the surprising news proved difficult.

"Don't you make me weepy," Veley warned McKay during their bittersweet announcement which both said was made with "heavy hearts."
"You guys (listeners) are family," Veley added.

CeCe Winans Showcases Long-Awaited Album

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

winansEver wonder how a music artist with a 30-year performing career chooses songs for a concert tour?

“Some people may be shocked,” advised gospel singer-songwriter CeCe Winans. “But I’m singing every one of the songs from my new album on this tour. I want people to hear all these new songs.”

“Let Them Fall in Love” is the veteran artist’s first all-new collection in nine years. She calls them “songs that everyone can learn something from.” It’s another milestone in a decades-long inspirational-gospel career, which included many years in a successful R&B-gospel duo with her brother BeBe Winans.

Cece, 52, brings her music to DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids on July 13.

Bethlehem Lutheran Opens Intergenerational Center

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

b1Pastor Jay Schrimpf is Bethlehem Intergenerational Center’s executive director and Susan Davidson is its director.Senior adults and children can significantly benefit from one another, but too often don't get the opportunity to interact. Bethlehem Lutheran Church is helping to bridge the generational gap thanks to its recent opening of the Bethlehem Intergenerational Center (BIC).

The BIC offers combined and enhanced day care for young children and seniors, building on the church's 46 years of experience in child care and education.

Terry's Picks: July 2017

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

EVENTSHow about taking a little drive this month? Visit one of our outlying area venues and see a free-will offering concert in an informal setting. West Michigan Christian News writer Terry DeBoer has some suggestions in that direction for the month of July:

Truth, True Truth, Truthiness, and Post-truth in America

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

rexsat7Dr. Rex M. Rogers American culture is actively forgetting what it used to believe.

That truth is objective and knowable reality – that truth is not defined by gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, partisanship, Left or Right political philosophy, culture, might, I.Q., riches or poverty, beauty or brawn, feelings or preferences, or even religion per se.

In the 1970s, the late Christian philosopher Francis A. Schaeffer coined the intentionally redundant phrase "true truth" to remind the emerging morally relativistic culture that truth is not subjective. It is not something we can pick and choose. Truth is absolute. Truth stands outside all of us.

A generation or two hence, American culture is racing pell-mell toward full-on relativism. Now, no one, no entity, nothing can be trusted because everything is reduced to power and rights, not truth.

New Music Review: Close

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

msaapGrand Rapids pastor and national music artist Bishop Marvin Sapp has released a brand new song from his forthcoming album.

"Close" is the type of gospel ballad which has faithfully delivered his musical testimony in years past.

Sapp, 50, is co-founder and pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church on Madison Ave. SE in Grand Rapids. But he's also a nationally renowned, award-winning gospel music artist.

A keyboard-based anthem, "Close" takes advantage of a live setting and a background singing choir as the verses and chorus positively point beyond current troubles to a fulfillment of a divine plan.

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