Christian Environment is Centerpiece of Adult Foster Care Nonprofit, David’s House Ministries

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

davidshouseDavid’s House Ministries president Casey Kuperus shares a moment with resident Kerry while listening to music on her record player. Nestled in Southwest Wyoming is a seven-acre development where hope and faith dwell for those with development disabilities.

Founded in 1987 by Rev. Jay and Lois DeBoer, David's House Ministries (DHM) provides physical, spiritual, emotional and social care for 40-plus people with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries or mental illnesses.

A full life

The goal is to give them as full a life as possible, according to Casey Kuperus, president of DHM.

"What we're doing is providing care at home and support needed for folks not able to live on their own," said Kuperus. "They all have either development cognitive impairments and many have physical impairments as well. Our goal is that this is their forever home which is sometimes different for other group home models that are out there."

Zach Williams: Story of A Rescue

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Williams Zach w wife at 2019 Grammys Zach Williams and his wife Crystal at this year’s Grammy Awards "I'm ready to play some new music and ready for people to hear the new songs," said singer-songwriter Zach Williams. "And to see how God is gonna speak through them and use them."

Those new songs are contained in his brand new album "Rescue Story." And the tale woven by the new collection starts with the title track.

"For me, that's maybe the most personal song I've written...It closely follows my own story,"

said Williams by phone from a concert stop in Lubbock, TX. The anthem cries, "You were the voice in the desert, calling me out of the dead of night...You are my rescue story."

The new song is already a rising fixture on Christian radio.

Another of the tunes is "Slave To Nothing," once again referring to his changed outlook. "People are gonna bring up things about your past," noted the artist. "But God is doing a new work in my life."

MercyMe: Poised for New Music

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

MercyMe-Press-standing informalAn informal moment with Bart Millard (center) and MercyMe Although staying fairly busy, it's been a while since the inspirational-pop band MercyMe had a top ten hit on Christian radio.

"It's probably good to go 'dark' for a little bit....people are getting tired of us," joked lead singer Bart Millard during a recent phone interview.

But now the Grammy-winning, platinum-selling band is embarking on its "Imagine Nation Tour" which stops at Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena Oct. 13 .

The band's trajectory was changed with the release of last year's movie, "I Can Only Imagine." The film, bearing the name of the band's signature song, told Millard's life story involving his early estrangement and eventual reconciliation with his father.

It was a surprise hit, grossing $17 million its opening weekend in theatres eventually garnering more than $80 million worldwide.

Devotional, Songs, Offer Path to Healing and Hope

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Norquist Becky-2Becky Nordquist There are two main things Becky Nordquist wants grieving parents to know: "Your baby's life matters, and you are not alone."

Nordquist, a wife and mother as well as singer-songwriter/worship leader, has written a new devotional book and recorded two original songs. They're combining to enable a season of comfort and help for parents who have suffered miscarriages or infant loss.

The book carries the title of one of her songs, "Before We Said Hello."

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Showcases the Life of Mr. Rogers,

Written by Edwin L. Carpenter on . Posted in Local

mrrogerspicMr. RogersI was curious as to how Tom Hanks would portray Mr. Fred Rogers when I attended an advance screening of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I needn't have worried. The two-time Oscar winner captures the spirit of the children's host who emphasized kindness during his years as a TV host. Hanks sounds similar to Rogers without overdoing it—it is a subtle and nuanced performance. His kindness and warmth shines through and even Rogers's widow, Joanne, shows up in the beginning to introduce the movie and says she believes Mr. Rogers would have been very happy in knowing Tom Hanks portrayed him.

Singer Expanding Gospel Music Ministry

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Visser JIm 2019Jim Visser Gospel singer Jim Visser has been laying a foundation for his emerging solo music ministry. And the Lowell, MI resident is seeing the fruit of his labors.

"I'm averaging two good weekends a month with my performance schedule right now," said Visser, 55. "And I'm hoping after the first of the year to build on that."

For seven years Visser was a lead singer with the locally-based Faithful Journey Quartet. But as he began to do solo concert dates, he felt God calling him in that direction and last year he officially ventured out on his own. He has already recorded two solo albums, and has done concerts around Michigan and beyond.

“Anne of Green Gables: The Musical” – a play review

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

AGG 1 Anne and MarillaAnne (Eliana Gonzalez) speaks with a stern Marilla Cuthbert (Pam White) in the Master Arts Theatre production “Anne of Green Gables: The Musical” photo credit: Rae Kruithof Who in the world could ever stand up to the irresistible, irrepressible, red-haired, pigtailed, wide-eyed Anne of Green Gables?

Certainly not her on-stage rivals, challengers and others. Nor anyone in the opening night, full house crowd in Master Arts theatre.

The indefatigable Anne – unrelentingly and lovingly portrayed by young local actress Eliana Gonzalez – won over everyone's hearts with a spirit that took her high above her circumstance. And the audience was happy to go along.

The well-known, early 20th Century story tells of an orphaned girl mistakenly sent to an adopting farm family which had actually requested a boy. The tale has seen several stage and screen adaptations over the years. But this musical version sprinkled with choreography especially highlights the whimsy and emotion of small-town life in the remote Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Band Charts New Waters

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Smallbones with DollyJoel (left) and Luke Smallbone of For King & Country share an informal moment with Dolly Parton on the set of their new music video “God Only Knows” You never know where a song can take you.

The pop-rock duo For King & Country, featuring brothers Luke and Joel Smallbone, topped the Christian music charts this year with "God Only Knows." The hopeful ballad from their latest album tenderly tells of the love of God as a resource for the soul troubled by life circumstances.

But then country music superstar Dolly Parton heard the song and it has found a whole new life: a new recording, music video and millions of new listeners.

Trips to S. Korea Hearten Calvin Seminary President

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Cutline No. 1-3 calvinCalvin Theological Seminary president Jul Medenblik holds a wooden cross he received while visiting South Korea. Rev. Jul Medenblik is a bridge builder.

Since becoming Calvin Theological Seminary's 7th president in 2011, Medenblik has jaunted to Egypt, Nigeria, China and Indonesia. Earlier this year, he traveled for the 7th time to South Korea.

It's at this country in East Asia where Medenblik met with alumni from Calvin Seminary which is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church in North America, as well as connect with prospective students. The seminary offers five masters degrees, six certificate programs and two doctoral degrees. Distance learning is available.

Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World

Written by Dr. Rex M. Rogers on . Posted in Local

drrexDr. Rex M. RogersIt’s not rocket science to observe that Christianity is losing its influence in the American public square.

Unless you’ve lived in a box the past few years, this statement comes as no surprise.

Then again, it’s an axiom of human behavior that we tend to think “our day” is or was the “Best of times” – fond, if often over-stated memories of our youth - or the “Worst of times” – our bad experiences exaggerated with little perspective on what others have endured, at home or abroad. Historically speaking, we’re generally incorrect on both counts.

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