• Who is the Son?

    By Craig Daniels

    How small do you feel compared to God?  How does anyone approach and make contact with the Creator of the universe?  Who is this Supreme Being who spoke our world into existence and who formed us out of the dust that He created?  Who is the One who holds all power and has unquestioned authority? Our human minds simply do not have the capacity to fully comprehend Him.  He is not bound by the limits of our reasoning, and He can’t be confined or contained in any box that we try to put Him in.  So what hope is there that we could ever relate to Someone who totally overwhelms us in comparison? The hope is found in God’s Son.  Jesus is God made into human form and He gives us an easier context with which we can relate to …

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  • Who is the Father?

    By Lisa Nuss

    We started a new sermon series at church yesterday titled, “Who is God?” That’s such a big question, isn’t it? Ask ten people, and you may hear ten different answers! As Christians, we believe in the Trinity – one God that exists in three distinct persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), each being fully God, but only one true God. Confusing? It certainly can be. An analogy that I’ve often heard used to try and make this idea easier to grasp is that of an egg. There are three main parts to an egg – shell, white, yolk. All three parts are different, but all still egg, and together make up one egg. Now, any analogy can only take you so far in understanding. Studying what the Bible has to say about all of this is the most important way to …

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  • Christmas Traditions

    By Annie Fox

    Each year, I carefully place each piece of my nativity set in a very particular spot so it looks perfectly spaced. Jesus is in the middle, of course, Mary and Joseph are on either side, an angel is behind them, wise men to the left, and shepherds and animals to the right. This year, however, my two-year old, Harper, had other plans. After putting her to bed one night, I walked through the living room and noticed something changed. Mary and Joseph were no longer respectful of Baby Jesus’ personal space. You see, my little two-year old thought it odd that a baby’s mommy and daddy would be placed so far from him. So she “fixed” it and squeezed the three figurines as close together as they could get. Forgive me for reading symbolism into everyday life, but I couldn’t …

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  • From Awful to Awestruck

    By Craig Daniels

    The life of a shepherd was not always an easy one. It could be a very lonely journey, as shepherds found themselves spending great quantities of time by themselves or with other shepherds on isolated hills or in remote pastures away from the flow of the everyday life of their culture.  Many shepherds were actually looked down on and some were even despised.  They were the ones that the more cultured people tried to avoid coming into contact with.  It took a unique type of person to be a shepherd, someone who was humble and not afraid to be alone; someone who was fulfilled by caring for vulnerable animals that were prone to wander. Shepherds were ordinary people like you and me and experienced many of the same problems that we face – although some of their problems may have …

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  • From Awful to Overawed

    By Salina Iavarone

    Like many Berks Countians, we make it a point to take our kids to Christmas Village every year.  Mind you, we’re smart about it.  We go on a Monday or Tuesday early in the evening when there’s no line because AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME TO SIT ON 183 FOR TWO HOURS.  For some reason, the temperature is always a little colder there, the hot chocolate is a little better, and there’s just something about the place that brings merriment to the hearts of all who partake of it.  I ADORE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS PLACE. But we all know what the best part is.  Let’s say it together… The best part is when you come over the hill and first see all the lights from the road. It’s amazing.  It’s inspiring.  It’s awe-full. In fact, as a child, that was the …

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  • Finding Awe in the Awful

    By Lisa Nuss

    It’s December and Christmas is just around the corner! I’ve always loved Christmas – the lights, the smells, the joy and awe on the faces of children. Here’s the thing – joy and awe aren’t just for the kids, or at least they shouldn’t be! However, sometimes it’s easier to see the awful than the awe. Fighting traffic and crazy drivers trying to get the year’s hottest toy for your kids, the first Christmas without someone you love, another holiday fighting with your family around the dinner table. While family can be great, it can also be really hard. And yet we know that Christmas is supposed to be all about the birth of Jesus. How do we reconcile that? The New Testament opens with the story of the first Christmas. It doesn’t begin with a star, an angel, or …

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  • A Song of Lament

    By Annie Fox

    Have you ever found yourself in Pity City? You know the place—it’s where you find yourself when it seems like everyone else is happier and more fulfilled than you. And worse yet, many of those happy, fulfilled people don’t really seem to deserve to be so happy and fulfilled. After all, you’re the one who’s been faithful. You’re the one praying the right prayers. And you’re the one who deserves for God to open the floodgates of heaven to pour out all his blessings! YET, they seem to prosper while you struggle. It’s hard. And it’s okay to drive through Pity City from time to time, but don’t ever park there. The writer of Psalm 73 understood these feelings when he wrote, “Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I almost …

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  • What is Worship

    By Craig Daniels

    I love reading the book of Psalms.  This portion of the Bible runs the complete gamut of human emotion from the high peaks of praise and exhilaration to the lonely valleys of betrayal and despair.  The writers of Psalms open up their hearts for us and pour out the raw feelings of life that are hidden there – both the good and the not-so-good.  We have all been at these same places in our own journeys and that is why Psalms resonates so deeply with us.  There is incredible truth in the book of Psalms and many treasures that can be taken and used in our personal lives. Psalms chapter 95, verses 1 – 7 calls out to us and invites us to approach God and to get caught up in worship.  These verses are written out at the end …

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  • A Song of Thanksgiving

    By Chris Bisaccia

    The book of Psalms ends with chapter 150, and it’s a psalm of praise to God. It’s short but meaningful. “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! 2 Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! 3 Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! 4 Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! 5 Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. 6 Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!” With Thanksgiving approaching I think this is a perfect Psalm for us to reflect on as a church. I don’t know about you, but every Thanksgiving I think about all that God has done in my life that year and appreciate the …

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  • A Song of Deliverance

    By Salina Iavarone

    Sometimes I read things in the Bible and I just don’t get it.  I hope I’m not the only one here.  And I know the Psalms were written as man’s expression to God about what he’s feeling, what he’s experiencing, voicing his praise and complaints to God.  And I know that we’re supposed to be able to relate to the Psalms because of that.  But can I be honest?  Sometimes I just can’t relate to what I’m reading.  “I will sing your praises before the gods…” Whaaaa?   Now the flip side of that is that I LOVE a challenge, and when I read something in God’s word that I don’t get, my go-to response is: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.  The best part about that challenge is that I know that if I ask God to help me understand, to open my eyes …

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