• 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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  • A Song of Praise

    By Lisa Nuss

    “Praise the Lord!” or “Praise God!” How many times have you said some version of this phrase? It’s a staple in the Christian vocabulary! God answers a prayer, things are going well in your life, a family member comes to know Christ as Savior – all of these things are good reason to praise Him. But have you ever stopped and really thought about what you’re saying? What does it truly mean to praise God? The English word praise means to express approval, admiration, respect, and gratitude. There are multiple Hebrew words that translate to praise in the Bible; here are a few: Yadah – to praise, give thanks, or confess; to lift or throw arms upward in praise and surrender Hallal – to praise, glorify, boast Zamar – to make music or sing praises Tehillah – to praise vocally …

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  • Rise Up and Become

    By Lisa Nuss

    Yesterday was a baptism day at GT, and I love these days! Watching people declare their faith in Jesus inspires me every time. It also reminds me of my own baptism day many years ago. At eleven years old, I understood that it was a significant moment in my life because I was declaring to everyone in the church that I believed in Jesus and was committing to live my life for Him. What I perhaps understood less at the time but much more so now was that I was committing to become more like Jesus every day of my life. EVERY day. Of my ENTIRE life. That’s quite an undertaking – a lifelong process with a goal that can only be fully attained in heaven. Some people might ask, if that’s the case why bother striving for it? I …

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  • Rise Up and Listen

    By Salina Iavarone

    I sat in a purple chair for a good five years.  Fun fact- back in the day, the chairs in the worship center were purple, not gray, there was only one parking lot, and certain members of the staff had more hair.  I won’t mention any names, but I don’t think I have to 😉  P.S. My husband had more hair then too!  Ha!  I would come in week after week, or maybe not even that often, and sneak out at the end wanting to leave unnoticed.  Unnoticed… the irony is not lost on me.  God was doing something in my heart for sure.  I could barely listen to a message without erupting in tears at some point, and making me highly suspicious that the pastor was either straight up stalking me without my noticing or illegally reading my mail.  …

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  • 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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