• Why A Volunteer Firefighter

    By Megan Stubblebine

    My husband is a first responder, a volunteer firefighter to be more specific. While it’s not my calling it was a pleasure to learn more about God’s plans for his life and his own thoughts and feelings during the short time he has been involved with our local company.   Why a Volunteer Firefighter? Clint explained that during his early adulthood and while training to work aboard a cruise ship he had to undergo a level of fire and safety training before he could be employed, he reflects on that being the experience he needed to have the resolve and almost personal burden to attempt to give back to whatever community he would eventually settle in. While it certainly took some time to settle into a new community back home, nearing his mid thirties Clint didn’t become a volunteer firefighter …

    Read More

  • Sirens

    By Craig Daniels

    First responders are incredible people.  They are trained and available and can drop whatever they are doing to go to the scene of an accident or a crisis and begin to bring order to chaos.  I like what Pastor Bryan says about first responders – while everyone else is running away from disaster, the first responders are running towards it.  It’s assuring to know that there are people out there who are willing to step into the middle of trauma and assist in bringing resolution. It is shocking how quickly things can flip from peaceful or even mundane to immediate crisis mode without any warning at all.  Disasters seem to jump out of nowhere and quickly become the center of attention.  A little over a year ago I found myself in a situation like this and was very thankful for …

    Read More

  • Living Courageously // A Lesson from David’s Mighty Men

    By Chris Bisaccia

    As humans, we all look up to and admire men and women of courage, in other words heroes. We flock to movies that show larger than life heroes, who despite all the challenges that face them manage to emerge victorious. Personally as a young boy, I loved reading and watching stories of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. These knights, these brave warriors, gathered around this great king they believed in. They followed Arthur and alongside him accomplished great deeds. I didn’t really make the connection until recently but King Arthur and his knights mirror another group from ancient Israel, King David and his Mighty Men. It’s easy for us to overlook David’s Mighty Men and just focus on David and the events of his life, but I think it would be a mistake for us to …

    Read More

  • Going Home

    By Craig Daniels

    My mother-in-law passed away this past October.  It was a very unsettling time for my family, and it left us reeling and searching for a foothold on a path that had suddenly started to shift.  She was in her seventies and had been in and out of the hospital several times during the past few years.  We thought that this time would be the same as the others, a week’s stay and then back home to normal life.  But this hospital visit turned out to be the last one, and the clock that kept track of her allotted time on this earth had run out of hours, minutes, and seconds. Sadness descended on us during that time and along with the aftershock came the onslaught of a million things that suddenly demanded our attention and had to be attended to. …

    Read More

  • Recognizing Your Mom as an Individual

    By Jessica Fackler

    I am probably the worst person in the world to offer mother-daughter relationship advice.  In fact, I’m absolutely terrible at navigating my own dynamic. But over the years, I have learned a few things about this fickle female fraternity.  I’d like to share with you some lessons I’ve learned, some tactics I’ve tried, and some prayers I’ve prayed. It all began with love: Whether you are joined at the hip or you keep at an arms length distance,  your mother loves you. All of you. No matter where you go or how far she pushes you away, she loves you. She may not even realize it. She may never say or show it, but the love is there. You were created by a loving God. Whether or not she is able to translate and articulate that love does not mean …

    Read More

  • 5 Ways to Appreciate Mom this Mother’s Day

    By Eric Stoudt

    If you’re like me you have a mom, a mother-in-law, a mother to your kids, and a grandmother, maybe Mother’s Day can be a little confusing. Here are some suggestions for appreciating all the moms on their special day based on the 5 love languages. 1 // Serve Her – Do something for your mom. Moms spend years sacrificing their own lives while putting their kids first. They spend countless hours cooking for us, cleaning and caring for us. Take the opportunity to do something for her without the expectation of anything in return. Maybe that looks like cutting her grass, painting her bathroom or cooking her favorite meal (spaghetti works too, if that is the limit of your kitchen skills). 2 // Tell Her – She may not hear it often enough. Often times we get lost in the day …

    Read More

  • GT Stories | Kate Kramer

    By Angie Piskorski

    God is so good!  All.  The.  Time!  Every so often we get a small glimpse into our Father’s heart and just how much he loves us.  This give me goose bumps; the kind that are Spirit filled and you feel as if you are actually sitting in God’s physical presence.  A few weeks ago, I had the divine blessing to meet Kate Kramer as she shared the most beautiful story of motherhood, love, and amazing grace.  As she shared her heart, I saw a living example of the beauty within the plans and purpose God has for each of us.   As a young married couple, Kate and Scott Kramer attended a weekly young adult small group.  During one of their weekly gatherings, the group watched a video and discussed God’s calling to care for the orphans and widows (James …

    Read More

  • One Touch

    By Heather Huber-Miccio

    Don’t be afraid; just believe. – Mark 5:36 I used to hear the gun in our house talking to me. I used to drive my car and think I could gently swerve into a poll, or off a bridge.  I could imagine floating away through the acceleration and just letting it happen. I took a razor and held it at my wrist, applied pressure, and knew with a bit more force it could be done. The voice whispered to me and urged me on.  It was charming and smooth, so convincing; yet, when I was nearing the edge another voice chimed in that pulled me back for a moment.  The battle of this dialogue was exhausting, confusing, wooing, and dark. Days on end forcing myself out of bed was onerous and simple acts of life felt like impossible tasks – …

    Read More

  • Blinding Light

    By Alina Rodriguez

    I could feel my instructor’s eyes on me as my fingers searched for the keys. I stumbled over notes, my fingers struggling to find their places. It was a joyful piece, but my emotions were disconnected from the music. Nervousness overcame me. I couldn’t do this. Not without Miss Lidia.  My fingers trembled, and one slipped onto the wrong note. I could feel my new teacher wince. Focus. Focus. Remember what she taught you: ‘“It’s just you and the music, Verity… relax. Nobody else is here. Be confident. You love this song. Express what you’re feeling through the music.” I took a deep breath and started playing. My eyes widened as I flawlessly executed the song for my mentor.’ I was on the verge of tears. I couldn’t play without her; the woman had been there for me all of …

    Read More

  • Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress

    By Betsy Fick

    I’m kind of a crier.  Ok, that’s an understatement.  I’m really more like a human faucet.  Just ask my husband.  I can cry about anything….something adorable, something sad, just out of sympathy if someone else is crying (even in a movie).  And when I’m stressed?  Well then I can just get weepy. But sitting in a puddle of your own tears when you feel like one more straw and your back will break isn’t exactly the healthiest way to deal with stress…or is it? Honestly, that cry, getting it all out, probably feels really good.  And it’s necessary in a lot of situations.  Well, all situations if you’re me!  But there are also other ways to handle stress that can help you go from a faucet to productive.  Identifying what works for you is essential to these tips, but here …

    Read More