"I've been in it since the very first one," Sapp said of his part in the annual 10-day festival sponsored by Gilda's Club of Grand Rapids.
But in the 2016 version the married father of two is actually headlining a show – scheduled for March 19 at Living Word Christian Center.
"They came to me and said, 'You've always brought (other comedians) in, why don't you headline this year?'" said Sapp, 45. "And I said...that would be sweet."
Up to 20 prisoners a year from any of the 31 prisons in the Michigan Department of Corrections system can apply to earn a bachelor of arts degree in ministry leadership. The program is a joint venture between Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary.
"I've taken a look at the Bible from beginning to end on what it has to say about longevity," said Harvey, 85, whose background includes former president of Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland, dean of students at Hope College in Holland and vice president of William Rainey Harper Community College in Palatine, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, and author of Christian books.
WM chief executive officer Greg Kelley officially cut the ribbon inside WM's new facility at 4200 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park, amid appreciative applause, which was then followed by two prayers, one said in Arabic and the second in English.
The leader and co-founder of Grand Rapids Lighthouse Full Life Center on Madison Ave SE was already scheduled to speak at a February revival at a church in Flint. But when the city's plight with dangerous lead levels in its water supply came to light, Sapp knew something else needed doing.
"We can't sit idly by and watch this.....and not do what we can to help," he said.
And so Sapp's congregation raised funds and sent to Flint a semi-trailer of 17,000 bottles of water which were distributed by The Church of the Harvest on Flint's northwest side (truck and delivery were donated by Corrigan Transportation).
Vander Meer said the 90-year-old building located at 1975 Jefferson Ave. SE will be used for its Community Recovery Counseling Center (CRCC), a 12-step recovery ministry that addresses a host of addictive and mental health challenges from a biblical perspective. CRCC is open to the public and provides counseling for all ages. An average of 150 to 200 people avail themselves to CRCC.
Vander Meer’s son, Mark, is CRCC’s founder and director.
Interestingly, Lincoln remains the only president who used the name Jesus Christ rather than simply God in his public utterances. And his Second Inaugural Address delivered March 4, 1865, stands as one of the most impressive theologically infused orations in American political history.
On a recent Grand Rapids morning, Rick Hopkins found himself with an unanticipated opportunity for ministry. His story reveals the blessings that can come when you act on the Spirit's prompting.
Rick made the following Facebook post after his unusual morning: "I just had one of those moments where God became very real. I went into work even earlier than normal today and got there at 6:30am. The coffee machine at work was busted. It's never been busted. So I decided to drive to Biggby near Beltline and 28th, one that I don't normally go to.
"We women carry so much with us – the weight of family, children, work, caring for husbands or parents and trying to be the glue of the family," said the singer-author-speaker from her Nashville, Tenn. office.
"This will be a chance to get together as girl friends and let it go for a day or two, and see the surprises and challenges in realizing that we're not alone, and to see how God can show up for us in this moment."
The Feb. 12-24 juried spiritual arts festival will display artwork submissions from 190 artists who live within a 150-mile radius of First United, located in downtown Grand Rapids at 227 East Fulton Street.Admission to Celebration of the Arts is free and open to the public.
Layne, president of the Michigan chapter of Pilots for Christ (PFC), flew Emmons to Michigan in 2011 at the request of his sister. Between the drugs to manage his pain and the disease itself, Emmons was not always coherent.
1. Thin Ice- Irene Hannon
2. Mermaid Moon – Colleen Coble
3. First Hostage- Joel Rosenberg
4. Cold Shot – Dani Pettrey
5. War Room – Chris Fabry
6. Cup of Dust- Susie Finkbeiner
7. Always Watching – Lynette Eason
8. Two Steps Forward – Sharon Brown
9. Restoration – Wanda Brunstetter
10. Sensible Shoes – Sharon Brown
He has witnessed his hometown reduced to rubble and shattered glass. Yet through it all, God had a plan, Raheb said recently at Calvin College’s January Series, which marked its 29th anniversary this year.
By standing up for victims of violence, labor and land-rights abuse and government corruption in Honduras, organizations around the world, including Transparency International and the United Nations, are increasingly recognizing VerBeek, Association for a More Just Society (AJS) as a pioneer in achieving justice for the poor, said VerBeek, director of Calvin College's Justice Studies semester in Honduras and co-founder of the AJS, a Christian justice organization that focuses on Honduras. VerBeek recently spoke at Calvin College's January Series.
Speaking recently at Calvin College's January Series, Salguero shared the stage with his wife, Jeanette, who translated his message from English to Spanish.
The Tennessee native comes to Grace Community Church in Hudsonville on Sat. March 26. The day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is ideal for a concert based on the themes of his recent album and book "A Violent Grace: Meeting Christ at the Cross."
The album draws from several of his previous songs dealing with Christ's passion, death and resurrection. Long time fans will recognize such titles as "Ride On to Die," "Love Crucified Arose" and "Known By The Scars."
Barber, who spoke during Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Calvin College’s January Series, delivered a passionate appeal for missions boards and churches to reexamine the reasons why mostly-white leaders are recruited to accomplish the Lord’s work, specifically to spread the gospel abroad and help the underprivileged in the United States.
The result of that desire is Spangler's new book "Wicked Women of the Bible" (Zondervan), which digs deep into the lives and times of 20 women from Eve to Mary Magdalene.
"I wanted to do something more in depth because I'm always looking for fresh ways for myself and others to engage with Scripture," she said. "The Bible can be intimidating, but it's also life giving and life changing."
It contains four new tunes, plus a re-make of one of its earlier songs.
The EP opens with the musical plea "Let's Not Forget," a reminder of the sacrifice of Christ for our salvation. Its straightforward message is framed with a rockin' chorus that sets it apart.
With each chunk of time that comes and goes, parents often find themselves emphasizing different concepts and principles with each phase. Sometimes it can take months and years for these ideas to catch on, and in the process parents get stuck using the same old phase-phrases:
Instead, a Lifetree Café meeting offers people an opportunity to watch a video or PowerPoint presentation about a current affairs topic and discuss their viewpoints about it while sipping a cup of coffee and munching on a snack. No one at these meeting criticizes another person's point of view or waves a judgmental finger.
1. Painter's Daughter – Julie Klassen
2. First Hostage- Joel Rosenberg
3. Sensible Shoes- Sharon Brown
4. Come Rain or Come Shine- Jan Karon
5. Two Steps Forward – Sharon Brown
6. War Room – Chris Fabry
7. Cup of Dust- Susie Finkbeiner Photograph – Beverly Lewis
8. Taken- Dee Henderson
9. Thin Ice- Irene Hannon
10. Story Keeper – Lisa Wingate
"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.
Some of the music artists are making return visits.
Since its founding in 2006, SowHope's programs have impacted more than 56,000 impoverished women living in 15 Third World countries.
Hope for a prosperous future
By "impoverished," Dailey Brown is referring to women who earn $2 a day or less.
"We were discerning God's leading," said Hoos. "The Lord said to move out here to Holland. We didn't know exactly what we would do. We thought maybe we'd enroll in a Bible college."
"Unemployment is very low, but that doesn't tell the whole story," said Fletcher Cochran, executive director of EaRN. "We still have people in transition who want to identify the vocation that is right for them and develop search plans."
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.
It's for that reason GLM recently launched its initiative called Keep GR Warm.
This is not the first year GLM has accepted donations of coats, blankets, gloves, hats and socks, said its executive director Stuart Ray.
Between the three locations of the multi-site, Grand Rapids area church there are nine Christmas Eve services at times ranging from noon to 10 p.m.
"Because we are trying to reach people who typically don't attend church, we spread the service times out during the day to make it convenient rather than expecting the family to adjust their schedule around us," said Ken Nash, director of multi-site/worship and a teaching pastor.
The interdenominational Christian ministry – which for 20 years has hosted arena gatherings for women featuring prominent speakers, authors and music artists – is planning its first ever cinematic event at theatres nationwide, including multiplexes in Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon and Kalamazoo (see details below).
During 2015 Women of Faith (WOF) presented its "Farewell Tour" which included many of the ministry's most popular presenters such as speaker/authors Patsy Clairmont and Luci Swindoll and singer Sandi Patty.
The Christian music artist will perform more true-life-story songs from his latest CD, "Live Forever."
"The whole record theme is about moving forward," said West of songs such as "Day One" and "World Changers".
West's last three albums have all been based on testimonies found in true stories sent in by fans – gleaned from the tens of thousands of emails, letters and messages he's received. Many of the resulting songs have been assisted by videos introducing viewers to the people involved. Two examples are "Hello, My Name Is" (about Jason, a reformed drug addict) and "Forgiveness" (a mother who forgave the drunk driver who cuased a car crash that killed her daughter).
All the merchandise cost $5 or less, said Liz Warners, Degage's volunteer and development coordinator. Items for sale range from comforters to coffee makers, soaps, cleansers, hairnets, hygiene products, candles and underwear.
"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring..." Wait, wait, wait. See, that's what most people think of when they remember the Christmas story. But that's not the authentic account of Christmas.
1. Two Steps Forward – Sharon Brown
2. Taken – Dee Henderson
3. Painter's Daughter – Julie Klassen
4. Cup of Dust- Susie Finkbeiner
5. Story Keeper – Lisa Wingate
6. Chasing Sunsets – Karen Kingsbury
7. Photograph – Beverly Lewis
8. Come Rain or Come Shine – Jan Karon
9. War Room – Chris Fabry
10. Steams of Mercy – Lauraine Snelling
They are quick to say their dancing serves a higher purpose, which will be self evident when they are their young colleagues perform a Christmas favorite titled, "The Promise."
"Christmas Object Lessons" offers 45 Scripture-based lessons that help children (and adults) keep Jesus at the center of the season. From bells to cookie cutters, holly to ornaments, from snowmen to wrapping paper, author Verna Kokmeyer offers a short story, Scripture verse, discussion question, prayer and simple activity to add depth and meaning to these classic objects.
"I love that object lessons can make complex, theological concepts simple and easy to understand," said Kokmeyer. "Then, when you see that object later you remember that lesson."
Kokmeyer is no stranger to object lessons. She's been writing books full of them for two decades. She's written object lesson books for toys, animals and sports, with "Object Talks from Sports Kids Love" recently republished by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas ($9.95). LPC also publishes "Christmas Object Lessons" ($9.95), which is available locally at Baker Book House, 2768 E. Paris Ave. SE.
"My love for marginalized people and my passion to have churches reach out and realizing what Crossroad Bible Institute is doing so well are the reasons I sought this position," said Blystra, who in September was unanimously tapped by CBI's board of directors to serve as the nonprofit prison ministry's executive director.
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