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.
*Open Eyes Christmas Concert – A good dose of holiday hip-hop, with dance, DJs and spoken word featuring Beacon Light (aka Brandon Clahassey) and other area artists starts at 7 p.m. Fri. Dec. 11 at The Edge, 735 Ritzema Ct. SW, Grand Rapids. The Edge is a hip-hop church where Beacon Light is a worship leader. "Open Eyes" is the title of his forthcoming album. Other performers include Steven Malcolm, Mark Evans, Edify and Michael Nobody, all centering on a Christmas theme. Tickets range from $5 to $11.54. For more information visit online.
Musical director Chris Hansen says the annual "Hark Up" Christmas presentation is subtitled a "Symphonic Celebration of Hope."
"We have 35 string players with us, including the (Hudsonville) Unity Christian Orchestra," he said of the student ensemble directed by Sara Jager. Other guests include violinist Susan Mora of the GR Symphony, cellist John Smith and violist Brysien Beer.
The "Hark Up" production features hundreds of singers, dancers, instrumentalists and multi-media in an original show called "Sing A New Song," and is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5 and 3 p.m. Dec. 6 in DeVos Center for Arts and Worship at Grand Rapids Christian High School.
A welcome addition is Marvin Sapp, a Grand Rapids pastor (Lighthouse Full Life Center Church) as well as a national recording and performing artist.
His song for the collection, "Holy," is taken from his Christmas album of two years ago, "Christmas Card."
The descriptions rapidly roll off the tongues of the inmates incarcerated at the Kent County Correctional Facility who've immersed themselves in the Forgotten Man Ministries' Biblical Life Principles Pods (BLPP), or "God Pods," as the inmates are known to call them.
Whichever term is used, the goals flow in the same direction: Showing men and women deep change is possible if they give the Lord a chance to operate in their lives, inside and out.
Gospel singer Tiff Joy takes the platform at 6:30 p.m. Tues. Nov. 24 at Revolution Christian Ministries, 5301 28th St. Ct. SE. No tickets are necessary.
Tiffany Joy McGhee (Tiff Joy is her stage name) burst onto the gospel music scene two years ago as the songwriter and soloist on "Amazing," a radio hit for Ricky Dillard & the New G's. The celebrated tune was nominated for both Grammy and Dove Awards and won a 2015 Stellar Award as Song of the Year.
“Anytime I meet someone who has been touched by a song or whose story intersects with the music, it’s a great reminder,” said the artist of the goal of her music ministry. “That doesn’t get old because it’s why we do what we do – to see lives change,” she added.
Battistelli is currently on a concert tour with fellow artist Matthew West which comes to Zeeland Sat. November 21.
“When I was in the streets, I didn’t care,” said the soft spoke Moore, 25, who now lives in a refurbished home and plans to marry his fiancé. “When I went to church, it was overwhelming because they always talked about judgment.
Son of None is the brainchild of Joshua E. White, a local singer-songwriter who had previously released a solo project.
White takes listeners on a transformative journey throughout the 10 songs on this collection - from the prologue hauntingly telling of "the monster (of pride) inside me" to the closing epilogue ("Some Days") which earnestly celebrates belief while acknowledging the battle with unbelief.
The willing audience at his Nov. 7 concert was able to read the verses aloud from the giant arena screens, completing a great introduction to Tomlin’s song “Psalm 100.”
There was no sermon or even an extended meditation during the artist’s 15-song, 89 minute presentation. But the scripture in his lyrics provided a warm and hopeful message amidst the worshipful themes.
1. Come Rain or Come Shine – Jan Karon
2. Photograph – Beverly Lewis
3. Two Steps Forward – Sharon Brown
4. War Room – Chris Fabry
5. AD 33 – Ted Dekker
6. Sea Keepers Daughter – Lisa Wingate
7. When Love Returns – Kim Vogel Sawyer
8. On This Foundation – Lynn Austin
9. AD 30 – Ted Dekker
10. Ties That Bind – Kim Vogel Sawyer
Craker's book, "Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me: What My Favorite Book Taught Me About Grace, Belonging & the Orphan In Us All" (Tyndale House Publishers Inc.), weaves the literal sense of the word "orphan" with the fallout that's let loose when rejection and desertion strikes our emotional and spiritual core.
Here are three highlights for November:
It comes from his early days as a relatively unknown singer in his native Texas. As his songs caught on and started being sung in various churches, he would be invited to come and lead congregations in worship. Thus he started "chasing" his songs.
Since 1979, the Wyoming-based consulting organization, also known as the Christian Learning Center, has come alongside Christian and Catholic Schools and churches to show them how to nurture inclusive communities.
"I was crying when the ambulance came and took my father far away from our home," Brother Nathan said recently during a book signing of his new release, Love Casts Out Fear: A Jihad Survivor's Journey From Revenge To Redemption" co-written by David Culross (BakerBooks).
Terry: Your concert tour is coming to West Michigan on Oct. 25 (details below), and it’s based on your latest album, ‘Cathedrals.’ Tell me about the response so far to the new songs and the tour.
1. Photograph – Beverly Lewis
2. War Room – Chris Fabry
3. Two Steps Forward – Sharon Brown
4. Cup of Dust – Susie Finkbeiner
5. Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis
6. Come Rain or Come Shine – Jan Karon
7. On this Foundation – Lynn Austin
8. Sensible Shoes – Sharon Brown
9. Streams of Mercy – Lauraine Snelling
10. Love Everlasting – Tracie Peterson
There were 41 categories of all styles of Christian/gospel music recognized at the ceremonies, co-hosted by Erica Campbell and Sadie Robertson. The festivities will air at 10 p.m. Sunday Oct. 18 on the TBN network (WTLJ-TV channel 54 in West Michigan).
"I would die if I ever had to completely give this up 100 percent," said the singer-songwriter-producer-worship leader.
"It's just our final publicly promoted concert as the Tommee Profitt Band," he said of his Fri. Oct. 16 performance (details below).
A decade later, the Christian book publishing world continues to undergo changes, but this much remains clear to Beals: readers possess an ongoing hunger to move them from where they are to where they can belong in their walk with Christ.
It was created by the "Kroeze Krew" which consists of Kuyper College president Nick Kroeze, his sons Nicholas and Nathan, and son-in-law Chet Glass.
Art Prize officials Sunday (10/4) announced the leaders after the first round of public voting in four art categories in which 377, 302 votes were cast. Round two voting continues until Thursday night Oct. 8. Winners will be revealed in ceremonies on Friday evening, with the winning entry's artist(s) receiving $200,000 (details on how to vote online.
The October 9 gala at the Amway Grand Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids includes a reception and dinner, music from gospel star Karen Clark Sheard and guest speaker Bishop J. Delano Ellis of GUF, a group of Christian ministries which includes the Lighthouse church.
Formal ceremonies marking Sapp's new role were held in July at the organization's annual meeting in Jacksonville, Fla. "That was a grand affair with all of the litanies that go along with consecrating a bishop," said Sapp, 47.
Potter’s House Superintendent John Booy said the school closed the sale on the former Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church, located at 811 Chicago Dr. SW, in Wyoming, on Aug. 31 for $375,000. He does not expect the school to be in debt long-term. At press time, donors have all but paid $7,200 on the purchase price, Booy said.
The building was constructed in 1950 when it was then known as Grandville Avenue Christian Reformed Church and was renamed Roosevelt Park Community CRC in 1994.
- New Music Review: Rick Hopkins
- Quentin Schultze to speak, sign at Baker Book House
- Terry’s Picks: October
- This Year’s ArtPrize is Fount of Inspiration, Testament to Faith
- Grand Rapids Church Joins In On “Art Prize”
- Spreading “Flavor” to Africa: Local Woman Shows Heart For Mission
- Master Arts Theater Names New Director
- ‘Sensible Shoes’ author to talk about, sign second novel
- Training Event to Focus on Worship Volunteers
- City on a Hill mission grows with purchase of neighboring building
- Terry’s Picks: September 2015
- Pauls’ Moms’ Cookies Finds Tasty Way to Support Degage’s Open Door Women’s Center
- Take the Dare, Don’t Compare
- Area Concerts to Feature Dove Nominated Artists
- CD Review: “Sparkle” by Jasmine Hurtado
- Iranian’s Thirst for Truth is Quenched, Now Works so Muslims can Embrace the Gospel
- “Cross” Music Event Highlights Area Christian Artists Ministries
- Living Threads Entwines Memory Quilts with Overseas Support
- City on a Hill Makes Possible for Ministries to Shine Light, Usher in Good Deeds Locally, Worldwide
- Film Tie-In “Millennial Tour” to Appear at Unity Festival
- Terry’s Picks: August 2015