Her offense was allegedly insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad. If executed, Noreen would be the first woman in Pakistan to be lawfully killed for blasphemy. Noreen has denied the charges but there’s a problem: The country's sharia system considers a non-Muslim's testimony to carry half the weight of a Muslim's, which made it difficult to defend herself in court.
But soon into his talk on Jan. 23 at Calvin College’s January Series, it’s evident why Louters, a faculty member of Calvin College since 1984, is more than “the crazy science guy who blows things up and makes test tubes glow in the dark.”
Q) Why did you decide to write The Case for Grace now?
A) I think this book is a natural progression from the other books. They set forth the evidence for Christianity and God, but this book adds the experiential component. If Christianity is true, you would expect that God would transform lives.
“Every year is different, and based on what is entered, the artists never disappoint,” said Eric Strand, First United Methodist’s director of music and the arts. “What the public sees is beautiful and provoking. It’s the kind of art that can illuminate and inspire and make us aware.”
One of the rules in fighting fair is to agree to resolve your issue instead of seeking victory. When your end goal in a disagreement is to declare triumph that means you want someone to lose. That's okay if you're watching your favorite football or baseball team, but it's not productive when your opponent is your husband or wife. In fact, you're not fighting an opponent but a member of your own team. Therefore your approach should be different.
Ted embraced the script once he had read it. He was impressed with the cast too. "I said, 'Okay, you know, Brian Bosworth is in the movie, playing opposite Mira Sorvino, who's got an Oscar.' He added that he had grown up watching Lee Majors, also in the cast, as is Cybil Shepherd who, according to Ted, is a larger than life person that "carries a big stick" and had them all laughing. And Sean Astin is a part of it too, and he has "great energy" said Ted, and is a "veteran" of acting experience and "just a great guy."
The reflective musician will give a keynote address at the conference, as well as perform in an open-to-the-public concert March 28 at VanNoord Arena.
Securing the high-profile Lecrae, who only recently performed on “The Tonight Show” on NBC-TV, is a coup for the biennial festival. The visit was announced last week by coordinating committee member Ken Heffner.
Jan. 27 is when 70 years ago Friedman was among 7,000 prisoners liberated by the Soviet Army from the Auschwitz death camp.
But, Friedman said, being liberated from the Third Reich’s atrocities has not emancipated her from the unsettling memories of the Nazi regime’s systematic mass murder of six million European Jews, known as the Holocaust.
“Did the Exodus really happen?” asks Mahoney in a short video on the website, FathomEvents.com. “That’s a question that led me on an incredible 12-year investigation.” We are not certain of Mahoney’s conclusions, but we do know that he wanted to examine the “physical evidence from a scientific perspective.” Referring to the audience of this film, he said, “We let them make up their own mind.” The documentary features a panel of experts sharing their point of view.
January started with a bang thanks to Winter Jam, the jam-packed Christian music tour featuring Skillet, Jeremy Camp and numerous other artists that filled Van Andel Arena back on Jan. 4. Read a review online. You can see a repeat of Winter Jam at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Feb. 21).
Other nationwide tours by well known artists such as Third Day, David Crowder and Matt Maher are coming through the area over the next several months.
It's an ethnically diverse area where salt-of-the-earth people live, where the marginalized poor can use a friend.
The West Side is where God has called Waalkes to live and minister to through the urban ministry he helped found in 2005 called Bridge Street House of Prayer (BSHOP). The name of the ministry is based on Isaiah 56:7, because BSHOP is where the hurting and outcast can experience the presence of God.
The mix of keynote addresses and panel discussions, the Forum will explore the growth of Christianity around the world and its implications for a fresh understanding of the Gospel. The public is invited to attend any or all of the events, and admission is free.
Ever notice how New Year’s Resolutions are often about how we wish we were different? Lose weight. Lower golf handicap. Watch less TV. Quit smoking. Quit drinking. Quit less-than-useful habit du jour. Get out of debt. Off-load stuff accumulating in the basement, the attic, the garage.
The moral of the story is that a lot of us want to improve ourselves and our lives, or at least our general condition. But we have this problem called the human predicament. As Pogo famously said years ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” It’s not family nor friends. Not our environment. Not even the economy that keeps us from fulfilling our dreams. It’s us.
"God is indeed completely sovereign over all dimensions of human engagement and activity," said Bradford, president and CEO of Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF), a nonprofit affordable housing provider that serves more than 2,500 families annually through its programs and services. "Christ's earthly ministry was preferential to the poor, the sick and for the outcast."
But few individual churches put as much effort into such a display as Jenison Bible Church, on 14th Ave. at 44th St. in Hudsonville.
“I’ve talked to businesspeople who feel their job is to plant their feet in pews, write a check and stay out of the way,” said Seebeck. “But business is a calling from God.”
The movie is huge, featuring lavish costumes, and sphinxes. When the Hebrew people begin their exodus from Egypt it looks every bit like there are six thousand of them, thanks to CGI. Both Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton are sufficient in their roles as Moses and Ramses, but they don’t fill the long shadows of Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner.
But the number of times the film veers from the biblical account is staggering. Here are just a few examples: there is no voice that comes from the burning bush. We see a young boy show up, begin talking to Moses, and he declares, “I Am.” This may be representative of God telling His people to come as a little child, but this scene is definitely not to be found in the Bible. Also, we do not see Moses kill the Egyptian that was beating a Hebrew slave. Instead, Moses kills several people in unaccounted for slayings. He does not demand, “Let my people go,” either. The plagues just start up, the first one being the water turning to blood. The way it is depicted happening? Crocodiles eat several men and their blood apparently infects the water and soon there is blood everywhere.
Advances in technology have allowed us to be bombarded with continuous messages nearly every second of the day. Many of them are positive but there are a fair number that are negative. During this politically-charged and economically-challenged year I feel as though because of the things coming into my life, my ears, and my mind I have been reminded that more than ever, I need a Savior.
“I wish my ministry wasn’t needed,” said Smith, executive director of PastorCare West Michigan (PCWM). “But I know it is.”
PCWM is intended for pastors, their spouses, and full-time ministry leaders such as youth and Christian education directors who need someone like Smith to come alongside them to help them through their ministerial rough patches. Smith accomplishes this through what he calls “confidential coaching.”
But there are still plenty of opportunities to join a musical celebration of the season at a number of different West Michigan events.
For an arena-sized experience, gospel music maven Bill Gaither and his Homecoming artists mark the Christmas spirit in a big way at 6 p.m. Sat. Dec. 13 at Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids.
Not only will Gaither sing with his Grammy-winning Vocal Band (featuring tenor David Phelps), but he’s brought along fan favorites such as The Isaacs, The Martins, soloist Charlotte Ritchie, funny-man (and former Vocal Band member) Mark Lowry, among others.
A local choir, coordinated by Chris Hansen of Hark Up Ministries, will sing background on many of the songs.
“Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” is a powerful, in-depth course on God’s heart for all nations and His Kingdom purpose for all Christians. In fourteen sessions with fourteen passionate, experienced instructors you will gain a fresh perspective on the biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic aspects of God’s global cause.
The story takes place on Christmas Eve, 1941, just eighteen days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Sanders family is performing at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in North Carolina, just as they had done for the past several years. This year, however, is a little different. The country is in the midst of World War II and the family’s son, Dennis, will be leaving home to join the Marines in just a few days. The play is filled with laughter and song, but yet effectively expresses the deep emotions involved when a loved one goes off to war. The story also shows the concern the average citizen had knowing that the rationing of many items was imminent. But, as the playbill states, this musical is designed to “get your toes tapping, your voice singing, and your heart soaring in reminiscence and old-fashioned joy in the Lord.” The cast certainly accomplishes this goal with their talents and enthusiasm.
You had to wonder: after local singer-songwriter and worship leader Tommee Profitt signed deal as a major record label producer/songwriter, would he have any time to complete a collection of his own music for a new release?
But his (and fans’) patience have been rewarded with “Deeper,” a two-years-in-the-making combination of worship themes and heartfelt lyrics set very much in pop arrangements – some on a grand scale.
*“Women's Christmas Tea” – Susan Sorensen is the special guest at 3 p.m. Sun. Dec. 7 at Maranatha Bible Conference, 4759 Lake Harbor Road, Muskegon. Sorensen is women’s ministry coordinator at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids and co-author of the 90-day devotional “Praying Through Cancer: Set Your Heart Free From Fear” (Harper Collins). Her holiday message parallels a familiar Christmas carol. Worship leader is Sarah Whaley, chapel coordinator at Cornerstone University. There will also be a special presentation by the Muskegon Rescue Mission. Tickets are $20 general ($15 for Maranatha members) and available at www.vacationwithpurpose.org. (231)-798-2161.
Financial hardship is an especially thorny problem for homeless parents who fear loosing custody of their children because they have no fixed address, according to Cheryl Schuch, executive director of the nonprofit interfaith ministry, Family Promise of Grand Rapids (FPGR).
“The idea is like a more intimate setting rather than in an arena,” said the inspirational artist by phone while on a tour bus traveling to Louisville, Ky.
It’s really about having things a little more broken down and allowing yourself the time to tell the stories behind these songs,” he said.
Toby will still have his full band complement with him when he visits DeVos Performance Hall on Nov. 23. Even his turn table DJ. But with a smaller drum kit, scaled down lighting and stage sets and a simpler approach, the artist will have a little more space and time to spill out the origins of many of his chart-topping songs.
I remember the first time my boys threw a ball and our daughter played with her baby doll at our home on West 20th Street. It was wide-bodied and flat as though a giant, from on top of a beanstalk, had stepped on it. Yet, despite how widespread it was, it is the warmth and coziness that are my fondest memories.
“She’s rocking it out,” a beaming Christopher said of her daughter. “She’s so smart.”
Smart and very much alive.
There was a time during Christopher’s pregnancy when she was a hair’s breadth away from having an abortion. All her reasons seemed valid, she told herself. She was only 20 and single, with no clue what the demands of motherhood entailed.
“Any number of singers can join,” said Chris Hansen, the Grand Rapids music director who is heading up the local choir effort.
“We’re hoping for about 70 or 80, but we can have as many as possible.”
The Dec. 13 concert features stellar artists such as the Grammy-winning Bill Gaither and his Gaither Vocal Band, sibling trio The Martins, the bluegrass-inspired Isaacs and funnyman Mark Lowry among others.
Roersma worked for a few local shops before his wife’s uncle approached him about starting his own company. “I had planned to work for someone else the rest of my life,” he recalled. The uncle had finances and passion to fund the startup, but no practical auto body work experience. Another partner provided a building. Roersma supplied the experience, and the three drew up papers and started Carlisle Auto Body thirty years ago.
Lesson learned: Ray’s intentions were good but the results were anything but.
Looking back on that day in the summer of 2009 — the same year he became Guiding Light Mission’s executive director — Ray says he received a sobering lesson in what’s really required needed to help homeless men discover a better way of life.
Majors stated he was the old man of the group. “I’m 57 now,” he joked, then added, “Actually, you need to invert those numbers.” The 75-year-old Majors thrilled audiences in the seventies with his portrayal of astronaut Steve Austin, who was critically injured in a test flight and became a cyborg, given replacement parts by the government including two bionic legs, a right arm, and a bionic eye which could zoom in on far away objects. “I’m not doing any more shows with the word ‘The’ in front of it,” he joked. “No more ‘The Big Valley’, ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ or ‘The Fall Guy.’ I used to run my butt off. Now, I move in slow motion!”
“It’s a good question,” he told a reporter by phone during a late October interview. “We’re doing a mix of songs as we figure out a way to showcase a bunch of stuff and I think we’ll come up with a pretty cool evening.”
Smith, who turned 57 last month, said he plans to do several songs from his “Sovereign” album - a “pop” worship project released early this year.
“I think the song ‘Sky Spills Over’ is one of the highlights,” said the artist. “It gets one of the bigger responses of the night. But probably the best song on the record is one called ‘Sovereign Over Us’ based on the fact that what it says is so powerful.”
About 30 Latino pastors and lay students associated with Instituto Biblico Ebenezer in Holland (Bible Institute Ebenezer) will gather Monday nights at the Reformed Church in America affiliated Western Theological Seminary to study classes in Bible, evangelism, pastoral care, Christian education and the Bible.
Wedgwood provides a wide range of social services here in West Michigan in areas of abuse and neglect, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, learning difficulties, sexual abuse, school expulsions and other areas involving hurting children, youth and families.
Tickets are now on sale for “A Christmas With C.S. Lewis” featuring actor and Lewis impersonator David Payne. (Details below).
Payne captures the spirit of Lewis in this one-man show, drawing from the author’s extensive books, journals and memoirs to humorously yet profoundly share his insights.
American politics is replete with examples of leaders who turned out to be less than advertised. Herbert Hoover was a highly successful businessman; he'd get the country's economy moving. But the Great Depression overwhelmed him. Richard Nixon ran on a "law and order" theme. Need I say more?
In a real sense, Ellis’ self-propelled jaunt represents a victory lap for what the Lord has accomplished in the valley of her life.
“I live by the promise of Jeremiah 29:11,” said Ellis, referring to the Old Testament Scripture which affirms God’s plans to prosper His people with a hope and a future.
*“The Discredibles” – That’s the title of the dinner-theatre production at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7 and 8 and 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9 (drama only) at Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, 6727 Kuttshill Dr NE, Rockford. This original play (the title is a spoof on “The Incredibles”) features an unlikely band of underworld villains who plan “comic capers” of crime while dodging the authorities and creating all sorts of international chaos. The comedy is directed by Blythefield director of worship ministries Vicki Modert. Dinner theater tickets are $15, theater-only on Nov. 9 are $3 and $2. More information at http://www.bhbconline.org/dinnertheatre or call Christy at 866-9597 x134.
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