Jesus Culture Brings More Worship Songs

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Walker-Smith KIm  studio shotKim Walker-Smith of Jesus CultureSinger-songwriter Kim Walker-Smith had a few minutes to spare for a phone interview. "I'm taking advantage of some respite time while my children are sleeping," said the mother of three from her Sacramento, Calif. home.

Walker-Smith is part of Jesus Culture, a worship band firmly connected to a church of the same name. The band members were about to embark on a new tour coinciding with the release of their latest album, "Living With A Fire." (The tour comes to West Michigan on Oct. 16....see details below).

New Music Review: Jeremy Hoekstra

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Learning the Hard Way - Cover ArtWest Michigan singer-songwriter and worship leader Jeremy Hoekstra has released a new song that provides commentary on his recent life experience.

"Learning the Hard Way," is actually a cover version of a song by the band Gin Blossoms. But the lyrics resonated with Hoekstra in light of his family's struggle with his wife Lindsay's persistent health issues.

The couple has walked a protracted trail of doctor visits, tests and insurance squabbles.

The keyboard and acoustic guitar-based anthem has fairly bouyant pop rhythms. Yet the words tell of an uncertain journey in which "we're just too close to quit."

Basking in CityFest’s Afterglow: What’s Next?

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

CityFest Cutline No. 1-1A combined 33,000 people attended the Sept. 8-9 CityFest to Ah-Nab-Awen Park. The recent two-day CityFest West Michigan drew a collective 33,000 people to Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids that resulted in more than 2,000 making commitments for Christ. But now that the evangelistic outreach is finished, the larger question remains: what happens next?

Cornerstone University president Joseph Stowell, who served as the CityFest's co-chair, said the evangelistic outreach, produced by Portland, Oregon-based Luis Palau Association, succeeded in crossing denominational lines by bringing 435 Grand Rapids-area churches and nonprofit ministry organizations to work in unison toward one goal.

New Music Review: Tiffany Coverly

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Tiffany Coverly EP coverSinger-songwriter Tiffany Coverly has issued the lead single/video from her forthcoming extended play (EP) recording. The song she selected to front the self-titled project is a version of the For King & Country song "Joy."

Initially the song was proposed by her vocal coach, Anthem Lights singer Spencer Kane. "The more I listened to the lyrics, the more I realized how much it resonates with us as Christians," she said. "It's about choosing joy above our feelings." (See and hear the rhythmic track online.)

Tiffany is the wife of Christian illusionist Tom Coverly. And she officially released her music video just before the end of August when the couple re-located from the Grand Rapids area to Gulf Shores, Ala.

“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is well worth seeing

Written by Edwin L. Carpenter on . Posted in Local

Unbroken image from imdb"Unbroken: Path to Redemption" is a stirring film, which touches the emotions and offers hope at the same time. Based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand, and the true story of Louis Zamperini, the film powerfully tells the story of the former Olympian who lands back in America after he is freed from being a P.O.W. This sequel to "Unbroken" picks up where that film left off, with this one focusing on Zamperini's salvation, following his battle with alcohol and his bitterness toward the Japanese prison guard who beat him while he was incarcerated. This faith-based film definitely focuses on the spiritual life of Zamperini, much more so than the first film. And it features Billy Graham's grandson, Will Graham, as the world renowned evangelist, Billy. Zamperini's life changes when he attends an L.A. tent meeting held by Graham. His wife, Cynthia, a Christian, keeps at Zamperini to attend. His drinking is destroying his family life, including putting a damper on the birth of his first child. So, after Cynthia's unflagging perseverance in urging Louis to attend, he finally caves in and does. In a dramatic moment in the film Zamperini is literally walking out of the meeting when Dr. Graham himself tells him there is no running from God.

Art Prize A Connection for Churches

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Blessed“Blessed are” – The expressive painting is an ArtPrize entry displayed at First (Park) Congregational Church Sally Lundquist is happy to see this year's ArtPrize entries going up on display at her First (Park) Congregational Church in downtown Grand Rapids.

A year ago, the congregation wasn't sure it would be a venue for the 2018 art competition.

"We were all concerned about our sanctuary repair project, and weren't sure it would be completed," said Lundquist, Art Prize committee chair for the historic downtown church at 10 E. Park Pl. NE.

The church's large social hall, usually filled with temporary gallery walls for ArtPrize displays, was still being used for worship during the first part of September as sanctuary repairs were completed.

Capernaum Campers Demonstrate Leadership Skills

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Sara Webb Cutline No. 1Sara Webb’s 13-year-old son, Malachi, was not a Capernaum camper but served as a volunteer, nevertheless and made friends. “They’re fun people,” said Malachi. "What might the church look like if people with profound and complex intellectual disabilities were conceived of as disciples with a distinct vocation—a calling given them by Jesus?" author John Swinton.

While the summer camp season is in the rearview mirror of history, Sara Webb is filled with the conviction that hope springs eternal.

The reason for Webb's optimism is because of what she experienced with a group of young adults with cognitive disabilities at a four-day discipleship camp at Timber Wolf Lake camp in Lake City.

Upcoming CityFest to Mingle Sports, Music, Kids’ Fun with Messages of Hope

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

CityFest Cutline No. 1Luis Palau has spoken to more than 30 million people in 75 countries.The Sept. 8-9 CityFest West Michigan promises to be an inspirational blend of liveliness.

Think of the two-day faith-based gala at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids as part heart-pounding concert, part sports derring-do, part kid-friendly amusement, with a healthy dose of a ageless human essential: the Gospel of hope.

In other words, CityFest is more of an emphasis on making it a festival than the crusades previous generations have known.

Admission is free and the start time is 3 p.m. for both days.

Crowned Free’s Fashion Line Funds ‘Massive Need’ to Restore Victims of Human Trafficking

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Crowned Free Cutline No. 1Heidi VanderWal: “God has spoken supernaturally through this whole journey.” Heidi VanderWal purposely keeps a journal next to her bed.

The direct sales entrepreneur keeps pen and paper at hand because she never knows when a concept will unexpectedly sprout in her mind that she can use for her custom fashion business named Crowned Free that her and a friend founded.

The ideas VanderWal says she receives from God are vital because they are fused to Crowned Free's mission of helping survivors of sex trafficking.

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