• Veterans Making a Difference

    By Eric Stoudt

    Challenges Facing Veterans We have all heard the stories. We have all seen the movies about the brave men and women who serve our country. Maybe a story from a relative that served in Iraq influenced you, or a movie like Saving Private Ryan. Real people lived through the wartime situations depicted by stories and movies like these. Our fellow Americans have fought to protect the freedoms of that make our country great. We might not know each person’s story or the details of the sacrifices they have made, but these heroes walk beside us every day. We pass them in the produce aisle or pump gas at the next nozzle over. We sit next to them at restaurants and wait in lines behind them. Sometimes, they sit on city sidewalks, with pain and hurt in their eyes and we …

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  • Why I Wear the Same Shirt Every Single Sunday

    By Eric Stoudt

    What I Thought More effort than I ever imagined goes into a Sunday morning service at GT Church. When I sat in the seats as someone new to the church, I assumed Pastor Bryan threw together some notes throughout the week and picked out the best Saturday afternoon. I figured the worship team practiced the songs, but I would have guessed Pastor Dan finalized everything just before walking out on the stage. I thought both men relied more on talent than preparation. I was wrong. Sunday services take up to 6 months to plan and it takes more than two people to plan them. What I Learned I became curious about the church and started asking questions. Many of my answers included phrases from the church’s mission statement. I understood mission, vision and corporate values from classes in college, but …

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  • Cash for Clunkers

    By Eric Stoudt

    Salvation is like a “Cash for Clunkers” 1994 Dodge Ram work truck; 300,000 miles, bald tires, black oil on the dipstick and completely out of gas. Coasting it into the last spot on the dealership lot, the owner was finally trading it in. Cash for Clunkers was a federal program from 2009 designed to spur the economy. If certain model cars and trucks, produced in specific years were traded in on new gas efficient models, then the government guaranteed a preset value at the point of sale. The enticing part for the consumer was the condition of the vehicle didn’t matter. The federal allowance was valid as long as the car qualified and the dealerships that traded the cars were able to cash the government checks, passing on the savings to the customer. Gas guzzlers from everywhere were being traded …

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  • When God Breaks Your Heart

    By Eric Stoudt

    What Breaks Your Heart? I remember being a kid and changing the channel when I saw UNICEF commercials come on TV. I may not have fully realized it at the time, but I think on some level, I knew I was more fortunate than the kids in the videos. Maybe I felt I couldn’t help them. Maybe it was guilt that I felt. Maybe I just didn’t like any commercials. I don’t remember my exact thoughts. I only remember changing the channel. I wasn’t born into a wealthy family and they aren’t perfect either, but I never had to worry about where I would get my next meal. The house I grew up in wasn’t huge, but it was always a safe place, where the water always ran and the lights always turned on. The family car wasn’t brand new, …

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  • Baneasa Community Center

    By Eric Stoudt

    In March of 2015 Lynn Koch led a ladies missions team to Romania, partnering with GT Church’s very own missionaries, Mike and Ana Dascalescu. The team ministered to the women living in the poor and depressed southeast region of the nation including the town of Baneasa. Lynn and her team used their skills and abilities to help fulfill the needs of the local women. They ministered through women’s tea events and medical outreaches while sharing the Good News to a people group desperately in need of Jesus. During their stay, Mike and Ana presented their vision to build a community center. The team visited the site that the future building was to be constructed. In visiting the empty lot, the team could feel the Spirit of God at work in Baneasa. Lynn tragically passed away in the months that followed …

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  • Fourth Time is a Charm

    By Eric Stoudt

    Research shows that New Year’s resolutions almost always fail. My failure point is usually right around the second week of January. In years past I’ve even blown it on New Year’s Day, by piling the roasted pork and mashed potatoes way too high, then dousing the pile with a big scoop of gravy. Other times I would try a “small” piece of each pie on the table to get a sampling. A new thought came to me this year, “My 34th birthday is in February and I’m still wrestling with the same 34 lbs I’ve always battled against.” At the same time, I began hearing public service announcements on the radio giving warnings about obesity and pre-diabetes. I know they were applicable to my situation. This perspective gave me renewed feeling of conviction to do something about it. I’ve always …

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  • Breaking Free From Selfishness

    By Eric Stoudt

    “I signed up to write a blog about breaking free from selfishness.” I said to my wife. “Bahahahaha! Are you going to tell everyone what not to do?!” she responded. “Yeah, I think so.” I replied while laughing along. This was the conversation heard in my house when I came home from a writer’s team meeting and it has stuck with me. Since then I have been asking myself the question, “Why would I sign up to write about a topic that I continually struggle to overcome?” “If selfishness is a struggle for me than it must be a struggle for others. By casting light on this area of my life in being honest and transparent, maybe it will help someone else too.” In my answer I can find tiny subtleties of selfishness. I signed up to write about selfishness …

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  • GT Stories: Art Vallely

    By Eric Stoudt

    On Sunday mornings you can find Art Vallely at the Missions Hub. Located to the left of the Sacred Grounds Café seating area, he may be answering questions about upcoming GT trips or providing information for local Missions events. From the Missions Hub, Art can sign people up for prayer chain emails, get them information packets about GT Missions or demonstrate how to email a GT-supported missionary from one of the nearby kiosks. Art and his family have been coming to GT for the last two years. His oldest daughter, Danielle, was the first to attend when she came with a friend. After the service she excitedly told her parents and sisters that, “You have to check this place out.” The family followed Danielle’s advice and they have been attending regularly since. They quickly fell in love with GT’s Sunday …

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  • Missions and My Family

    By Eric Stoudt

    The word Missions in my home usually centered on topics like military endeavors, Tom Cruise movies or the frustrating task of finding the hottest new toy for a child’s Christmas present. That has changed drastically over the last four years and it all started when we began attending a “Missions Minded” church. We had an idea of what the Mission of the church looked like, because we heard stories and met people who went on Missions trips. We knew that some people grew up to become missionaries just like any other job, but that is where our impressions of church Missions ended. That was until God got a hold of our hearts and we started seeing Missions in a new way. Our first gifts toward missions started shortly after we began attending GT Church, when we found out about the …

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  • 5 Ways to Appreciate Dad this Father’s Day

    By Eric Stoudt

    Dads are a lot different than moms in the way they relate , understand and communicate with us, so I couldn’t just change all the pronouns in from last month’s Mother’s Day article. (Full disclosure, I considered it, and I did copy and paste a little bit.) These manly suggestions for appreciating dads aren’t based on anything mushy like love languages just the cool stuff we enjoy. 1.) Do something with him that he likes. Men can be more relational when there is a common activity taking place. This is why men enjoy getting together for things like fishing trips and sporting events. Whatever dad’s hobbies or interests are, the companionship of a shared experience with you is something that can really speak into him. 2.) Allow him to teach you something. Dads love to feel like experts and they …

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