College Choir Spreading Music of the Gospel

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Gospel Choir led by Nate GlasperNate Glasper directs the Calvin College Gospel ChoirNate Glasper Jr. has watched the Calvin College Gospel Choir blossom in new ways in first year as leader of the ensemble.

"When I started as director (in July of last year) there were 38 members," recalled Glasper during a recent interview. "And this year that has grown to 67." (The Calvin group presents its annual fall concert at 3 p.m. Sun. Nov. 19 - see details below).

“The Garden” A Focus For Singer Kari Jobe

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Jobe Kari singing at the 2017 Dove AwardsKari Jobe performs at the 2017 Dove Awards The inspirational theme for Kari Jobe's latest album points to the view outside her home's back window.

"The Garden," centered by its vulnerable yet hopeful title song, captures an emotional journey which culminates in the realization of God's healing of the soul. (Jobe brings her musical tour featuring "The Garden" to 20 Monroe Live on Sun. Nov. 12 – see details below).

"My sister and I were pregnant at the same time – she was a few months ahead of me," recalled Jobe, 36, from her Nashville area home.

Smashburger Manager Credits Mel Trotter, God’s Peace for Straight and Narrow Life

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Tony Johnson No. 1Tony Johnson: “I made it because I surrendered.” Tony Johnson represents a "first" for Mel Trotter Ministries (MTM). He is the first former resident of this multifaceted ministry to the homeless who serves as a trustee on its Board of Directors.

"I made it because I surrendered; God changed my life," said Johnson. "I'm blessed. To surrender your will means taking yourself out. There's no pride, no arrogance. I serve the King."

Then, without hesitation, Johnson recites Proverbs 3 5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Avoid the Mulligan Mentality

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornIn the game of golf, if a player hits a shot poorly, at times he or she is allowed to take a gimme. Officially, it's called a Mulligan—the first shot is disregarded completely, like it never happened in the first place.

I worked with teens for many years, and in that time, one of the most frustrating aspects of my job was dealing with parents who had a Mulligan mentality, moms and dads who were using their kids' lives to make up for the past. It was as if the sons and daughters were do-over's—I really sliced that first one, but I'll aim better this time around.

Doves a New Spotlight for West Michigan Artist

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Malcolm S perf at 2017 Doves w HollynSteve Malcolm (center) performs at the Oct. 17 Dove Awards in Nashville Grand Rapids native and hip-hop/rap artist Steven Malcolm didn't win any of the three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards for which he was nominated.

But the experience of the Oct. 17 award ceremonies and surrounding activity left a strong impression.

"Last night was like a dream," he posted to Facebook followers the day after the Dove festivities.

Panel Reviews Lessons Learned From Segregated Christian School

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Panel 1From left: Johnathan Bradford, Chris Meehan, Rev. Duane VanderBrug and Rev. Reggie Smith. Denominational mores and entrenched racism yielded to scriptural inclusiveness following black parents' struggle during the turbulent 1960s to enroll their children in a segregated Christian school in Cicero, Ill, a suburb of Chicago.

The effort to unsuccessfully integrate Timothy Christian School — and the scriptural lessons learned from the fracas — was recounted at a recent panel discussion held at Calvin College's Chapel.

The 1960s dust up eventually birthed the CRC's Office of Race Relations.

Here Comes the Bill

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornSummer is a big season for weddings and it seems like our society has lost perspective on the price of nuptials. I recently learned that couples in New York are spending as much money on their wedding day as they would to buy a small house in the Midwest. That's what a survey by the website TheKnot.com revealed. The average wedding in New York costs around $77,000, while the cheapest place to get married is Alaska at an average cost of $15,000. Brides spend around $1,200 on a wedding dress while grooms only pay about $230 for their tux. The average cost of a wedding cake is about $560. It's no wonder that the cost of weddings has skyrocketed and why weddings are a 50 billion dollar a year industry.

Children’s Story Gaining Support to Take Flight

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

LuluBook CoverThe tale of a young African girl's trek to get clean water is whimsically told and illustrated in the forthcoming book "Lulu and the Long Walk."

"What I love about this story is that it allows parents to engage with their child on a serious topic in a lighthearted way," explained Joel Schoon-Tanis, the Holland-based artist who did the colorful pictures in the 32-page book.

The underlying topic is the lack of clean water in rural Africa. That circumstance forces many residents to travel long distances each day for a basic need that we take for granted.

The Story Behind Her Art Tells Tale of Paying it Forward

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Karen PetchauerKaren Petchauer stands near the two pencil drawings she created for ArtPrize Nine. The two color pencil drawings Karen Petchauer drew for ArtPrize Nine contrasts what Degage Ministries' building looked like in 1928 when it was the Moose Lodge and how it appears today.

But there's more to her artistic renderings than meets the eye when they were displayed on Degage's windows at 144 S. Division Ave. during the international art competition that ran from Sept. 20 to Oct. 8.

The drawings are homage to Degage Ministries when Petchauer found herself homeless and in need of positive ways to rebuild her life.

New Music Review: "Close"

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

MarvinSapp Close album cvr-hiGrand Rapids pastor and national gospel music artist Marvin Sapp celebrated the arrival of his 11th solo album with a listening party at his church in his hometown.

Sapp performed some of the songs on the new "Close" CD on Sept. 29 to several hundred fans and friends at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church on Madison Ave. SE.

Restoring News Media’s Credibility Must Happen Soon; Here’s How to Fix it, Urges Journalist

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Mollie Hemingway Mollie Ziegler Hemingway: “I would love to see the media repair our damaged credibility and I think it could happen and I wish it could happen soon.”The mainstream news media is long overdue for some serious soul searching, a journalist said at a recent Acton Institute Speaker Series.

The Acton Institute, 98 E. Fulton St. in downtown Grand Rapids, is a think tank whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist, spoke recently to a capacity audience inside the Acton Institute's Mark Murray Auditorium. She said the media repeatedly demonstrates it is out of touch with the time-honored values of the majority of its dwindling audience that looks askance at the veracity of its reporting.

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