Reflections from the Front Pew
A couple years ago we had a choir for Easter. Our Easter choir sang “Living Hope” by Phil Wickham on that beautiful Easter morning of 2019. So much has happened since that day. In the past year, it seems we’ve all been searching for hope: hope in a vaccine, hope for “normal”, & hope that God’s really still in control.
As I was looking for a new song to sing with all of you after Easter this year, I decided that “Living Hope” should be it. The words of this song tell the Easter story, from the cross to resurrection; the roaring lion rising from the silent grave. But there’s even more than that.
How great the chasm that lay between us.
How high the mountain I could not climb.
In desperation I turned to heaven,
and spoke Your name into the night.
Then through the darkness Your loving-kindness
tore through the shadows of my soul.
The work is finished the end is written
Jesus Christ my living hope.
Have you ever seen this picture of the cross “bridging the gap” between God and you? And on that cross is the name JESUS CHRIST, our living hope.
Who could imagine so great a mercy,
what heart could fathom such boundless grace.
The God of ages stepped down from glory
to wear my sin and bear my shame.
The cross has spoken I am forgiven.
The King of kings calls me His own.
Beautiful Savior I’m Yours forever.
Jesus Christ my living hope.
Phil Wickham uses these words: “God has rescued us from a place that we could never have rescued ourselves. Our future was death, but Jesus came in and brought life.” The story of the cross; the story of the resurrection.
Hallelujah praise the One who set me free.
Hallelujah death has lost its grip on me.
You have broken every chain.
There’s salvation in Your name.
Jesus Christ my living hope.
~Joni Wagenmaker, Director of Music & Worship
Check this out…
How Do I Pray? Prayer doesn't have to be complicated. And there is no single right way to do it. “How Do I Pray?”, a free ebook from the ReFrame Ministries Prayer Team shows you six ways to reinvigorate your prayer life. It’s yours free at reframeministries.org/ways-to-pray.
~ MaryAnn Mellema
Faithful Family Verse of the Month
We are using a designated verse(s) in some way during worship on a monthly basis. Our hope is that this verse will go home with you, and be in your heart and mind during each month. You will find our monthly verse in the bulletin, on the website and used in various ways during the month. Let’s keep digging into God’s Word together.
April: Hebrew 11:1
Hearts & Hand…
Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matt. 5:16
Sarah Cousins sends her thanks and gratitude for the generous contribution Calvin Church has provided for her Young Life Ministry in Spain. She has to raise part of the money for the ministry herself and is well on her way to achieving her goal.
Thanks to those of you who have helped to fill the Easter baskets for our Special Friends. They are stuffed with so many tasty and useful items that will be very much appreciated by those receiving them. Our Special Friends are always so pleased to be remembered by all of you!
The Calvin Cadets and Gems have each made something special to put in the Easter bags. The Cadets made wooden crosses, and the Gems are contributing colorful Easter pictures. Thank you, Gems and Cadets! We appreciate the thoughtfulness you always show toward our Special Friends, and they love using the items and seeing your creativity!
Scheduling for the April Meal Ministry is now in progress. If you can help by providing a meal, please contact Rosemary Datema or sign up on Calvin's Facebook page. Thanks to all who continue to support this important ministry.
A note of appreciation to Mary Lane who continues her ministry of phone calls to widows in our church family. Her cheery phone calls are a day brightener for those receiving them.
Our next meeting will be held in the Fireside Room on Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1:00 P.M. You are welcome to join us!
~ Antje Waldo
Books Added to the Church Library
Intervention (Intervention Series Book 1) by Terri Blackstock
Barbara Covington has one more chance to save her daughter from a devastating addiction, by staging an intervention. But when eighteen-year-old Emily disappears on the way to drug treatment—and her interventionist is found dead at the airport—Barbara enters her darkest nightmare of all. Barbara and her son set out to find Emily before Detective Kent Harlan arrests her for a crime he is sure she committed. Fearing for Emily’s life, Barbara maintains her daughter’s innocence. But does she really know her anymore? Meanwhile, Kent has questions of his own. His gut tells him that this is a case of an addict killing for drugs, but as he gets to know Barbara, he begins to hope he’s wrong about Emily. The panic level rises as the mysteries intensify: Did Emily’s obsession with drugs lead her to commit murder—or is she another victim of a cold-blooded killer?
Vicious Cycle (Intervention Series Book 2) by Terri Blackstock
When fifteen-year-old Lance Covington finds an abandoned baby in the backseat of a car, he knows she's the newborn daughter of a meth addict he's been trying to help. But when police arrest him for kidnapping, Lance is thrust into a criminal world of baby trafficking and drug abuse. His mother, Barbara, looks for help from Kent Harlan-the man whom she secretly, reluctantly loves and who once helped rescue her daughter from a mess of her own. Kent flies to her aid and begins the impossible work of getting Lance out of trouble, protecting a baby who has no home, and finding help for a teenage mother hiding behind her lies. In this latest novel of suspense and family loyalty, bestselling author Terri Blackstock offers a harrowing look at drug addiction, human trafficking, and the devastating choices that can change lives forever.
Downfall (Intervention Series Book 3) by Terri Blackstock
Although Emily Covington has kicked the drug addiction through rehab, she knows she has a lot to prove. Her behavior through years on drugs makes it hard for her family to completely trust her. Then the police discover a homemade bomb under Emily's car and she also discovers the wife of one of her friends was murdered that same morning, she knows things are deadly serious. But who wants Emily dead? And why?
True Light (Restoration Series Book 3) by Terri Blackstock (1 & 2 are already in the church library)
Now eight months into the global blackout, the residents of Oak Hollow are trying to cope with the deep winter nights and a gnawing hunger from food shortage. The struggle to survive can bring out the worst in anyone.
Dawn’s Light (Restoration Series Book 4) by Terri Blackstock
As the electronic pulses that caused the power outage finally come to an end, thirteen year-old Beth Branning witnesses two brutal murders. She narrowly escapes the killer and runs away in terror. But he knows who she is, and it's just a matter of time before he comes after her. Torn between fear and compassion, Beth tries to help the grieving wife of one of the victims. But will her bravery cost Beth her life? As the power begins to be restored, the Brannings face their toughest crisis yet. Will God require more of them this time than they're prepared to give?
Double Minds by Terri Blackstock
As talented singer/songwriter Parker James struggles to make her mark on the Nashville music scene, she finds the competition can be fierce - even deadly. When a young woman is murdered at the recording studio where Parker works, Parker is drawn into a mystery where nothing is as it seems. Unraveling the truth puts her own life at risk when she uncovers high-level industry corruption and is terrorized by a menacing stalker. As the danger escalates, Parker begins to question her dreams, her future, and even her faith. Does stardom even matter anymore?
Private Justice (Newpointe Series Book 1) by Terri Blackstock
A serial killer is stalking the small town of Newpointe, Louisiana, and fireman Mark Branning is worried sick! His rocky marriage with Allie has led to a separation, but with a psychopath now on the loose, he realizes just how much he still loves her---especially when he discovers that Allie is next on the killer's list!
Chosen People (Chosen People Series Book 1) by Robert Whitlow
During a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her four-year-old daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child. Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, typically uses her multi-language skills to represent international clients for an Atlanta law firm. When her boss is contacted by Jakob Brodsky, a young Jewish lawyer aggressively pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of the family under the US Anti-Terrorism laws, he calls on Hana's expertise to take point on the case. After careful prayer, she joins forces with Jakob, and they quickly realize the need to bring in a third member for their team, an Arab investigator named Daud Hasan, based in Israel. To unravel the case, this team of investigators goes from the streets of Atlanta to the alleys of Jerusalem, a world where hidden motives thrive, the risk of death is real, and the search for truth has many faces. What they will uncover will forever change their understanding of justice, heritage, and what it means to be chosen for a greater purpose.
Promised Land (Chosen People Series Book 2) by Robert Whitlow
Now married, Hana and Daud are establishing their life together in the United States. They cannot safely return to Israel because of threats to Daud. Hana is perfectly fine remaining in the United States, working for a law firm in Atlanta, especially when she learns she is pregnant. But Daud can’t shake the call to return home to Israel, even if it makes him a walking target. Hana is helping her boss plan a huge Middle East summit in Atlanta when Jakob Brodsky, her old friend and former co-litigator, asks for her help with a current case. His client is attempting to recover ancient artifacts stolen from his Jewish great- grandfather by a Soviet colonel at the end of World War II. Because the case crosses several natural borders, he knows he needs Hana's knowledge and skill in getting to the bottom of what happened to these precious artifacts. Meanwhile, Daud is called in to help the US intelligence agencies in extracting a Ukrainian doctor from a dicey situation in Egypt. While overseas, he can't resist the call to Jerusalem and sets off a series of events, putting thousands of people in danger, including his wife and unborn child.
Deep Undercover by Jack Barsky (Non-fiction)
When the Russians first recruited Jack Barsky as a young East German graduate student, he was a true believer in the Communist cause and was ready to serve undercover in the U.S. But ten years after his mission began, the KGB ordered him to return, and he realized his allegiance had changed. Determined to outwit his KGB bosses, Barsky decided to stay in the U.S. with the people he loved. In this fascinating memoir, the former KGB agent tells the story of his turbulent inner world, the secret life he lived for years, and the discovery that radically changed his future.
GENESIS (The Rational Bible Commentary) by Dennis Prager
Why do so many people think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is outdated? Why do our friends and neighbors – and sometimes we ourselves – dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things? This explanation of the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, will demonstrate that the Bible is not only powerfully relevant to today’s issues, but completely consistent with rational thought.
~ Lois Veenstra
Birthdays: The following people are celebrating their birthdays in April/May…
Apr 1 – Tom Veldman Apr 15 – John Dantuma
Apr 1 – Mark VanderMeulen Apr 15 – Jonathan Culver
Apr 1 – Randy VanDonkelaar Apr 15 – Ella Kempf
Apr 3 – Jerry VanWoerkom Apr 16 – Lance Karum
Apr 5 – Paula Vanderstelt Apr 20 – Scott Huyser
Apr 5 – John Wickerink Apr 21 – Sam VanAndel
Apr 6 – Steve Boomer Apr 21 – Joshua Datema
Apr 8 – Jon Hoogstra Apr 23 – Tim Culver
Apr 9 – Ruth Keessen Apr 27 – Mary Doctor
Apr 10 – Dave Dora Apr 28 – Amy VerMerris
Apr 10 – Noah Dethloff Apr 30 – Ted Hewitt
Apr 11 – Barb Peterman
May 1 – Kirby Swords May 17 – Owen Milkamp
May 1 – Greg Kamp May 19 – Sheri Byers
May 4 – Barb Masussen May 20 – Ric Scott
May 4 – Bill Sorensen May 20 – Kevin Datema
May 5 – Doug LaFayette May 20 – Maddox Mellema
May 6 – John Wyn May 21 – Dee Scott
May 6 – Andrea Heeres May 21 – Kathy Jansen
May 6 – Rosemary Datema May 22 – Audrey Kingsott
May 8 – Cheryl Veldman May 27 – MaryAnn Mellema
May 8 – Lou Gifford May 27 – Andy Swords
May 9 – Wendy Hoogstra May 27 – Aiden Kempf
May 10 – Chuck George May 27 – Julia Best
May 10 – Linda Bos May 29 – Desiree Culver
May 10 – Bonnie Bergman May 30 – Trudi Van Tol
May 13 – Jeane Smit May 30 – Char Reed
May 16 – Marilyn Vanderlinde May 31 – Paul Wilson
May 16 – Holly Gould May 31 – Sue Milkamp
Anniversaries: Our best wishes to the following couples who are celebrating their anniversaries in April/May (50+ years together)…
Chuck & Marge Gillette celebrating 50 years on April 3.
Don & Juanita Fowler celebrating 60 years on April 8.
John & Virginia Dantuma celebrating 59 years on April 14.
Mark & Bonnie Meengs celebrating 51 years on April 25.
Al & Elaine VanDonkelaar celebrating 68 years on April 30.
Kirby & Karen Swords celebrating 59 years on May 26.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.