Monday, November 28, 2016

Congratulations Kim Metzer - by Rod Kalajainen

On Sunday, November 13, our own Kim Metzer, who is Director of Adult Ministry and Groups, was recognized in a Service of Celebration and Blessing for completing the Michigan Area School for License as a Local Pastor.

What that means is that Kim has been participating in numerous learning experiences for the year or more designed to help her live out her calling to lead a local church as pastor.  She will now be available for appointment to a local church by Bishop David Bard when and where there is a need.
Kim has felt, for some time now, God calling her to a more specific local church ministry – serving as a pastor of a local congregation.  She will continue to serve on our staff at Redeemer until an appointment becomes available.

We celebrate this step in her journey and her commitment to lead God’s people in a local church.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beautiful Drive Days of Colorful Season - by Olga Chulakova

 In one of the October services at church it started with a small red leaf and warm words about the beautiful autumn. Pastor Rod’s words brought back beautiful pictures to my memory. I also had the good experience from recently seen autumn pictures.

I was invited to go on a short trip up North to see the colorful beauty in nature. At first it was Highway 127. As we turned onto M-15 our conversation slowed down, because our attention was drawn to the trees. The road was surrounded by colorful trees. Sometimes I took pictures with my camera, but more often my eyes fixed the beauty in my memory and I continued to see it and feel their attractions for a long time.
They were taking my breath away. The trees seemed even better than the others. The appearance was different and colorful: green, light-green, yellow, orange, red, deep red, brown, plus many shades and all together they looked like they were doing a bright round dance.  Especially beautiful were the aspen, whose silver trembling leaves gleamed and played with the wind. 

It was so beautiful. My breath was taken away. I took pictures with my eyes. And then I kept it in my memory. The roads changed but the beauty was continuing. The coming evening started to mix these beautiful colors into one dark color.

Morning returned to us our great feelings. This morning was exceptional!  The sky was blue and gray.  The drizzling rain started but the sun continued to shine. The rainbow appeared and then two rainbows. They were so bright that I started to pray thankful for God’s creation.

Beauty is a source of inspiration,
Nature is my friend that arouses a verse
Being close to beauty is my desire,
Because beauty was created by God.

Pleasing to me are the mountains,
Prairie, farmland, river, pine forest,
Creating images dear to my soul
In nature there are many wonders .

The sky is blue with clouds
I pray among beautiful surroundings
And thank the God in the universe
For beauty it’s magnificent diversity.

How is beautiful our Michigan!
Olga Chulakova

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Celebrating Jesus' birth - by Sue Campbell

Halloween has come and gone, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and right after that it will be time to begin the Advent season.  While it may seem like we’re trying to rush right into Christmas, it truly is the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ as the songs say.  One of the highlights of our Children’s Ministry year is the annual celebration we call:  Night in Bethlehem. 

This will be our 9th year and everyone is invited to come on December 4th from 5:00-7:00pm.  We’ll begin with Christmas songs sung by our Kids Praise groups – 4 & 5 year olds and 1st - 4th graders, followed by a puppet performance by some of the middle school students. Then, the rest of the evening is spent in our version of the town of Bethlehem. 

The Bible records that Bethlehem was crowded with people, including Mary and Joseph, who were required to register in their hometown for the Roman census.  Well, our Redeemer Church building has been crowded as well!  So, this year, we’re excited to expand the outskirts of Bethlehem from our gym and lobby areas to other parts of the church building. There will be tents and tables with lots of crafts for the kids to make, snacks to eat and a photo area with biblical costumes and props for taking family pictures.
Sometimes the reason we celebrate Christmas gets lost in the busyness.  Night in Bethlehem is a great opportunity to join family, friends and neighbors in celebrating Jesus’ birth.  Hope to see you all here!   

Monday, October 24, 2016

Knowing Things - by Ben Barnes

I have an ever-growing pile of books in my office that I’d love to read.  Every morning, I sit down at my desk and that pile of books stares at me, growing a dusty coat, just taunting me quietly.  I enjoy reading, not because I enjoy taking the time to read, but because I enjoy learning.  Every teacher I’ve ever had would disagree with that, so let me rephrase.  I enjoy knowing things.  And quite often, reading leads to knowing things.  The pile of books in my office bothers me because I just never seem to have the time to dig into any of them.  I’m busy completing daily tasks of rehearsing with the worship band or editing videos or making sure that Sunday morning services are worshipful for the people that come to Redeemer.

This morning, I was hit by two scriptures that speak to my pile of books and my daily tasks.  Ecclesiastes 1 is a lament from the King of Israel that says ‘Much learning earns you much trouble.’  And Matthew 6 tells us to store up treasures in Heaven instead of treasures on earth.  I guess my take-away from those two very different ideas would be this:  Knowing things isn’t going to last.  But helping people glorify God on a Sunday morning (and beyond) certainly will. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Who Do You Trust More Than Anyone in the World? - by Susan Jensen

 – When someone asks us that question we have a tendency to answer with, a parent, a spouse, a grandparent… someone we’ve spent a lot of our life with. But I’m guessing since you are reading a blog from Redeemer Church in DeWitt, you already have a sneaking suspicion who I’m referring to. God of course. Let’s face it, look at His credentials. The Alpha and Omega, Creator of everything that is, All Knowing, Healer, Protector, King of Kings and the list goes on. Why wouldn’t we trust Him more than any mere mortal? But real life sneaks in, we get busy, we get distracted, and we fall into a routine based on our mortal efforts and independence instead of relying on God’s plan for our lives and the path He lays out in His Word.

Sound familiar, maybe it’s time to hit the refresh button. Pastor Rod is preaching through a series this fall called “Something Greater”.  Join us each Sunday for messages that relate to our everyday lives by showing us the call to something greater that God has placed on those who have gone before us.
Leave the routine behind and follow the path to something greater.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

By Faith - written by Kim Metzer

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.

Hebrews 11:1-2 (The Message)
I’ve preached a message on faith four times over the last year in four different venues.  Each time I’ve used this message I’ve tweaked it so that it is relevant to the particular congregation I’m in front of.  I find that each time I’ve delivered it, instead of being bored by it; I’ve learned something new or had a new insight. 

There’s been several points in my life that I would not have been able to go forward had it not been for extreme faith that God is with me even in, especially in, the low points.  Having faith is not something that can be taught, it must be demonstrated and I was fortunate to be surrounded by people living faith filled lives during my formative years which provided this unseen foundation.
It is by living out our faith that we become an example to those around us.  What are you doing this week to demonstrate that you’re living a faith filled life?  What step of faith could you take right now that will take you out of your comfort zone and make you rely on God? While Hebrews 11 gives us several examples of big steps, leaps really, of faith (Abraham trekking towards the promised land without a map, Noah building a giant boat on dry land, Sarah believing she could bear a child while in her 90s, etc.) our steps don’t have to be that big – we just have to take one!  It could be as simple as picking up a volunteer shift here at Redeemer or as audacious as committing to going on a mission trip to Haiti. 

Comment on this blog with your step of faith so that we can inspire each other!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Awesome Sauce!!!! - by Ron Bekkering

One of my favorite things to eat is Chicken Wings. I especially like them Hot!  Like rub your eyes and they hurt hot. I have friends who make the best hot sauces. Awesome sauces! Sauces are what can make your meal. A savory Hollandaise sauce, a delicious barbeque sauce, a succulent sweet and sour will all do the trick! Well, last Wednesday morning, the youth of the world celebrated See You at the Pole.  See You at the Pole day – it’s about one simple act—prayer. This is an opportunity for students to pray for themselves, their teachers, their grades, the world, etc.… This movement started over 25 years ago and I have been plugging kids into it since I got into ministry in 2002. Here are three reasons we have been a part of this movement.

Christian students discover that they aren’t alone. When they gather at their school’s flagpole on that morning, they meet a bunch of people from other churches; kids they otherwise might not have known were believers. One of the neatest things I heard when we were at Herbison  Woods praying was a little girl say, “I didn’t know there were that many kids here that loved Jesus.” That’s a good thing!

The community takes notice. In an environment that is anything but friendly to Christianity, students who are willing to gather together to pray for their schools is a remarkable event. What I mean here is that when kids are walking by or coming to join, there are lots of looks. Lots of questions, but it has been happening at DeWitt schools for so long that kids and administration at the schools understand and respect it. A neat thing I saw at both the High School and Herbison Woods were the huge walk up crowds. I saw kids jumping out of cars and sprinting across the parking lot to join the High School circle. I watched as kids got of their parents car at Herbison and cautiously walked into the circle to join it. That was awesome!

Prayer is effective. Ultimately this is it!!! Prayer changes hearts, opens doors, and creates movement. Any time we can encourage students to pray, we’ll be engaged. Having opportunities for students to openly share their faith and pray for each other is just another thing we believe strongly in the Student Ministries of Redeemer. Covering each other in prayer is great!

So over 60 kids showed up to eat breakfast with us before their school day started and as we got to the High School, the Jr. High School, and Herbison Woods we witnessed, by rough count, 132 students from the community of DeWitt pouring their hearts out in prayer! And let me be the first to tell you, in the world we live in, where it seems Christianity is under attack, to see these guys and girls standing for what they believe in…that’s awesome sauce!!!  God is good!