• 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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  • Breaking Free From Pride

    By Chris Bisaccia

    Even the Proud Knee Can Bend We are told at an early age to believe in ourselves. While having confidence in ourselves and our abilities is a good thing, when we begin to think of ourselves more highly than we ought that confidence becomes pride. Having pride is a huge hindrance for coming to God because when we think of ourselves as being the center of the universe there is not enough room for both God and our ego. Pride truly becomes a sin when we begin to worship ourselves and our achievements instead of giving thanks to God for what He’s done in our lives. When I think of pride in the Bible King Nebuchadnezzar comes immediately to my mind. He was the ruler of Babylon when the people of Israel were taken captive there. King Nebuchadnezzar is an …

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  • Breaking Free From Fear

    By Salina Iavarone

    I almost quit my job this week.  I was walking to the office entrance, getting ready to swipe my key fob at the door and there it was.  Staring at me.  With its eight thousand eyes.  Ok…maybe it wasn’t exactly eight thousand…maybe it was just eight. Whatever.  Right below the key fob pad was a spider in all its hairy legged glory.  Like the ugly old troll who lives under the bridge (bonus points if you sang that in your head), there would be no avoiding it if I wanted to get through that door. My first thought- Well, it’s been nice working here. In no way was I willing to get my hand in close enough proximity to that creature to swipe the fob and go through the door.  So, I stood there for a moment weighing the idea …

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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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  • Help! I’m Bored During National Anti-Boredom Month!

    By Sherri McGaffin

    Did you know that July is National Anti-Boredom Month? I love looking up unique holidays and celebrations. (See, only a couple sentences into this post and I have already given you one idea of what to do when you’re bored.) By definition, ‘bored’ simply means that you have nothing to do or have no interest in the activity you are doing. Boredom can strike at anytime, anywhere, and with anybody. I think it’s pretty safe to say that everyone has experienced boredom at some time throughout their life. Even people with busy schedules can find themselves bored with their routine. A few weeks ago Annie wrote a blogpost (“Don’t Waste Your Summer”) that was filled with great suggestions about how to keep your kids occupied during summer break. My post is different in that it targets adults (with or without …

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  • 1776

    By Betsy Fick

    The Fourth of July is probably one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. Maybe you attended a picnic and enjoyed some good food and good company. Maybe you saw an amazing firework display or watched a baseball game. No matter how you celebrated this national holiday, hopefully you took a moment to remember the historical significance of this particular date. Growing up, I loved school and learning and would have been hard-pressed to list a subject I didn’t like. However, I certainly wouldn’t have said that history was my favorite subject. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that history is quite fascinating and I really enjoy learning about the past! July 4, 1776. At some point in your life, you’ve probably seen an artistic representation of men in white wigs and colonial clothing signing the Declaration of …

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  • Life Isn’t Always An Amusement Park

    By Sherri McGaffin

    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV) My post this month is taking me on a ride to a new dimension. When our blog team met in March, we were going over the calendar for the upcoming months and the the amusement park theme for VBS was revealed to us that night. Upon hearing this I thought of the saying, “Life isn’t always an amusement park.” I proposed the topic and claimed it for my June post. I had several months to work on it, but here I am less than two weeks away from the publishing date and I have yet to decide which angle I want to take. After mulling over different possibilities, …

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  • Fair Is Where You Get Cotton Candy

    By Jessica Fackler

    ‘Fair is where you get cotton candy’. I must say this to my kids at least 4 times a week. It used to be more frequent but I think they are finally catching on. Or they are becoming better at hiding their arguments from me and don’t require my intervention. Either way, if you have kids, IT’S NOT FAIR has echoed in your home a time or two. Or in your car. Or in a restaurant. Or in a store… As adults, we know the hard truth that life is rarely fair.  When the health fanatic becomes ill. When the cheater wins the game. When the liar is the favorite. When the sinner is given grace.  ITS NOT FAIR. I think we all struggle at times with the thought of a God who would offer a murderer the same grace …

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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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