• Rise Up and Battle

    By Lisa Nuss

    Rise up and battle! Sounds like a great rallying cry from a movie, right? When I think of the word “battle,” I picture two armies meeting in the middle of a field or the great battle scene from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. While that may not be the kind of battle that most people will ever experience, we all do battle in our everyday lives, even if we don’t realize it. I’m not talking about physical battle, but spiritual. We all have the same enemy in spiritual battle – Satan, who is also referred to in the Bible as the serpent, the devil, the thief, and the enemy – and his goal is to stop the kingdom of God from advancing around the world. In 1 Peter 5:8, it says the devil “prowls around like a roaring …

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  • Rise Up and Unite

    By Salina Iavarone

    What a crazy time it’s been in the world these last couple months. Ok, that may be grossly understated.  I find myself waking up each morning bracing myself for whatever tragedy awaits us today.  Do you do that too?  Do you open your phone or turn on the tv in the morning with the thought, I wonder what’s going to happen today?  I don’t think our parents grew up that way… honestly, I really don’t even remember ever feeling that way prior to September 11th, 2001.  Something seemed to shift in our world after that…or maybe something just shifted in me?  But here we are, day after day.  Devastating hurricanes.  Destructive earthquakes.  Mass shootings. Racism running rampant. A country divided unlike ever before.  It seems like every day it’s something new and we are left hurting as a world, as …

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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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  • Rise Up and Build

    By Lisa Nuss

    When I hear the phrase “Rise Up and Build,” my mind automatically pictures a construction site. And it’s fitting, because in this sermon series we are going to be taking a closer look at the book of Nehemiah which tells us how Nehemiah rallied the people of Jerusalem to rebuild the walls around the city in just 52 days – certainly a large construction project! Now, I am not an architect or a carpenter, and I have very little ability when it comes to using tools. In fact, when I want to hang a picture on the wall, my tools of choice are 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips or hooks! While I may not have a great deal of construction know-how, I do know that just about anything well-built has a solid plan behind it. I can relate to the …

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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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  • Ask Anything

    By Salina Iavarone

    My husband loves to sing.  LOVES to sing.  In the shower, on the lawn mower, in his car at the top of his lungs to a catchy tune in a language he doesn’t speak with the windows down for all to hear, it doesn’t matter.  This does not however, in any way imply that he actually can sing.  Love for something and the ability to do it well are two very different things.   Incidentally he also loves golf.  Nuff said.  With singing he falls somewhere in the “making a joyful noise” category.  And while we’re here, I’d like the record to show that this is written with his FULL PERMISSION and the promise that this will not end with us in couple’s therapy. The first year we both got saved and started attending church regularly, I can remember him “singing” …

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  • Paying for College

    By Sherri McGaffin

    Next to a house, a college education is probably the biggest investment you will make. The average cost of a four-year degree at a public university is around $40,000. Depending on the major selected, that is more than some recent graduates will even earn their first year out of college. If you think that is a big chunk of change, the average cost of a four-year degree from a private school is $134,000. That’s more money than most people will ever earn in a year. With this kind of price tag, how is it possible to attain a higher education without taking out a massive student loan? When I went to college, I knew nothing about scholarships, grants, student loans, or the myriad of other options available to pay for a college education. So how did I pay for my …

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  • All Things

    By Lisa Nuss

    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Said as a cheer, along with hand motions, I memorized Philippians 4:13 as a young child at a sports-themed VBS one summer. While I may not remember all of the motions that went along with it, the verse has stuck with me. And although I can still rattle it off without even thinking about it, it has come to mean so much more than just an encouraging rally cry of “You can do it!” So often, we use that verse to encourage someone who is struggling, but many times we use it in the sense of, “If you pray and rely on Christ’s strength in you, your dream will come true!” or, “You should never say you can’t do something, because in Christ you can!” These sentiments come from good …

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  • For Good

    By Salina Iavarone

    I can still remember the day the pain started.  I was folding laundry that October morning in 2012, and I quickly noticed that my shoulder hurt.  Before you start feeling too badly for me, please know it was not exactly going to break my heart to set the laundry aside.  But a couple of weeks and a couple of doctors later I was in blinding, excruciating pain from my shoulder to my fingertips. It was an all-consuming pain. Twenty-four hours a day.  No relief. And it was consuming me. It was a couple of months later that I walked into a specialist’s office in Philadelphia carrying the shredded remains of my career in my hands, along with a boatload of unrelenting pain, and many failed attempts at diagnosis and treatment, praying that they could fix me.  I wanted to sit …

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  • Self-Improvement Month

    By Alina Rodriguez

    Have you ever seen a group of runners jogging on a trail? Do you remember the person who was lagging way behind all of the others? Well. That would be me. Around two weeks ago, I started to run with the cross country team for my school. And, you guessed it, I’m typically dead last. Honestly, I don’t feel terrible about it. I do my best. Even though a runner in a group feels some competitive drive, cross country isn’t really about beating your teammates. It’s about surpassing what you did yesterday, even if it’s hard. Looking back on my first day of running, I see what I was doing wrong. I was constantly stopping and starting, because I wasn’t in shape enough to hold a fast pace. I had to drastically slow my running to be able to maintain …

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