President of Colson Center for Christian Worldview Warns Against Tsunami of Social Change

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

stonestreet1John Stonestreet: “Without the image of God you have no grounding for anything approaching universal dignity.” Pop quiz: What does it mean to be created in God's image and likeness?

The average churchgoer might reply people resemble God because of their abilities, including the knack to be rational and to communicate. This is known as the functional viewpoint.

Others might says that we don't resemble animals' behavior and thus must be a reflection of the Almighty, also called the relational perspective.

Original Video Leads Easter Worship

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

nortonLucas Visscher appears in the special Easter video Bridge Bible Church in Norton Shores created its own video to introduce worship on Easter Sunday morning.

"The theme is 'Alive and Well,'" said worship pastor Brad Spead of the morning's message.

Using a poetic, spoken word approach, the video encapsulates the salvation story from creation to redemption all in 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

"My goal is to put truth, theology and Scripture in front of the congregation in unique ways," said Spead, 28, of his larger-than-life video script. "I wanted to emphases certain phrases and passages people would recognize, but presented in a different way."

Suspense Novelist Shares Her Love of Story

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

Pursued-Book CoverLisa Harris is more than a writer of suspense; she likes to add a little romance to her action-packed plots. Her newest novel "Pursued" released April 4 and is third in The Nikki Boyd Files series published by Revell, a division of Grand Rapids-based Baker Publishing Group.

"All the Nikki Boyd plots take place within 48 hours, because the first 48 hours are the most important in solving a crime," said Harris. "There is more suspense than romance in these books because how much romance can you have in 48 hours?"

Retired Army Chaplain Urges Restorative Help for Veterans’ Moral Injury

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Herman Keizer Chaplain (Col.) Herman Keizer, Jr.: “As long as it stays isolated and compartmentalized, it will remain unresolved.” Herman Keizer, Jr. still remembers the intense pain coursing through him after falling out of the open door of a Huey helicopter nearly 47 years ago while he was serving as a U.S. Army chaplain in An Khe, Vietnam. The aircraft had lost its tail rotor, forcing Keizer to tumble 150 feet to the ground, breaking both arms.

Despite the bad breaks, he eventually he healed and regained the use of his limbs.

But healing isn't as obvious for active duty soldiers and veterans grappling with the destructive consequences of moral injury, a term that's not as well trod as post traumatic stress disorder but just as problematic.

New Book’s Message Focuses on Uniqueness of Each Child

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

kateKatie Newell thinks in images, which plays well in her role as a graphic designer but plays even better in her new role as an author. Newell wrote and illustrated "I'd Rather Be A Dragon," a picture book that focuses on finding positive qualities and each child's uniqueness.

"We all have different qualities that make us who we are," said Newell, who lives in Lowell with her husband and three children ages 6, 8, and 10. "The world will do a good job pointing out the bad, but if we focus on the good the bad doesn't weigh us down so much."

Rock the Coast Returns

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

rockAfter a three-year hiatus, the inspirational Rock the Coast event has re-emerged in West Michigan at a new location and with a new outlook.

Set for May 19-20, the Christian music mini-festival has moved south from Muskegon to Holland at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds. "Reaching out to a new audience in the Holland area should give us the ability to see the event grow," said festival director Kevin Newton, spokesman for Alive On The Lakeshore, the non-profit group behind the event.

The organization already produces the Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon, which has drawn more than 50,000 persons over its four day schedule each August.

Sidewalk Advocates For Life Serve as Christ’s Hands, Feet to Mothers, Unborn

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

lisa (left to right): Lisa Snow and Margaret Murphy offer life-affirming alternatives to abortion to women who are about to enter the Heritage Clinic for Women. Lisa Snow doesn't consider herself to be an outgoing person.

Yet on Wednesdays you'll find her standing outside of the building at 320 E. Fulton, clutching pro-life literature and praying that the women and girls who intend to enter the Heritage Clinic for Women (HCFW) to abort their preborn children will give her the time of day.

Margaret Murphy breathes the same prayers and intent as Snow's. She stands in front of the same clinic's sidewalk on Thursdays.

Brown’s Sensible Shoes Series Expands, Continues to Draw Readers

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

shoesReaders familiar with Sharon Brown's Sensible Shoes novels will find the same deep heart and love for Jesus in Brown's third in the series, "Barefoot: A Story of Surrendering to God." She continues the spiritual formation journey of familiar characters Mara, Charissa, Hannah and Meg.

"My goals for this book and series are the same as they were in the beginning: that readers would encounter God as they read and that the books would cast a strong vision of what community can be like," said Brown, who lives in Ada. "I longed for the characters to be a reflection of our own fears and hurts and changes."

The four women meet at a spiritual retreat—all there for different reasons and at different places spiritually—and embark on a journey that cements their newfound friendship as they each grow closer to God.

A Red Light, Green Light Marriage

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornFor a long time, red lights had a distinct way of causing dissention in my marriage. If you would've taken my wife and me and put us in any intersection that had a traffic light, you would've had the potential for an explosion of an argument.

I guess you could say I'm one of those guys who's easily distracted. If I'm driving and I have to stop at a red light, my center of focus scatters all over the place. I glance at the people in the car next to me, I watch squirrels and birds intently, I check out nearby architecture, I try to read the fine print on litter at the side of the road. Basically, I give my attention to everything but the colored circles dangling above the intersection in front of me.

Yeah, I'm that guy. Sorry if I've kept you waiting.

New Music Scoop Review: Wayburn Dean

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

dean Wayburn Dean West Michigan singer-songwriter Wayburn Dean is back with a new collection of inspirational  songs titled "Redeemed."
The former Acappella group member has a distinguished solo career, with multiple albums containing tunes which reached national charts.

Dean's latest effort (once again done in collaboration with his wife Janae) continues his track record of well-crafted, inspirational music featuring his soothing and soulful voice.

For example, the medium tempo "It's a Miracle" takes a pop setting with its smoothly sung tale of the miraculous power of God. The album's title song similarly benefits from the singer's silky vocals wrapped around the song's central message.
Another highlight is "Before the Throne," a slow ballad which is closest to Dean's former accapella sound with lush yet pointed background vocals.

Different Kids, Different Love?

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornDan Seaborn There's no doubt that each of my four kids takes after me in their own unique way, just like each one takes after my wife too. There's also no doubt that all four are vastly different from the two of us—and from each other.

The apples didn't fall far from the trees, but it's fair to say they've rolled away a little. So as a parent, I often have to remind myself that my children—my own flesh and blood, the ones I've helped to nurture and raise—are people, just like anybody else.

They're real people, which means I have to work to relate to them just like I work to relate to others. Which means that the relating won't always feel like second nature.

Just like anybody else on the planet, each of my kids has a personality that I both enjoy and endure. They make choices I admire and argue about. They hold opinions that match and disagree with my own. Their attitudes I cheer for and despise.

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