Monthly Archives

April 2020

Thankful Thursday 4-30-2020

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 4-30-2020

Thankful Thursday falls on the final day of April. Here in central PA, the cloud-filled skies drop various rates of rain to the earth’s surface below. The gray skies offer eyes a dismal view, but the old adage: “April showers bring May flowers” comes to mind and gives hope of the beauty we will see in the near future.

So while the rain falls outside, I hunker down inside to tackle tasks on my computer. This tool provides the platform to be a gift of communication. While the ability to share information and inspiration is only a click away, so too are the distracting rabbit holes of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and so on. When clicking into one of these application, the responsibility lies upon my shoulders to remember why I am using it. What am I looking for? Links for work? Ideas for personal inspiration? Or filling time without intentionally thinking about it?

When I think about each of these scenarios, I know it is all too easy for me to lose my focus. I need gentle reminders to snap me back into focus to accomplish the task at hand and the goodness of God before me. At the beginning of each day, I wake with a prayer of gratitude at the gift of another day and make time to read God’s Word (usually-I am human after all and it doesn’t always happen). Today’s verses were really good. Check them out: James 1:2; 2 Corithians 12:9; John 8:31-36. I choose to start this way with the goal of steering my thoughts, actions, and words to be aligned with how God wants me to live. Does alignment always match up and does my focus always stay there? No.

Adages, remembrances, and God moments mercifully nudge me back into focus. I reconnect with my why. Choosing to align with God’s Will for my life, I allow His glory to shine through my weakness.

I am grateful for God’s redirect when my focus and actions go awry. Eyes on Him. Praising His abundant goodness, guidance, and blessings.

Blessings to you!

Thankful Thursday 4-30-2020 Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to Sunday Online Worship at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. To know more about these services, click here. Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Wednesdays Be In the Light Activities at Gravel Hill are currently canceled; however, look for worship services online on our Sunday Sermon page.

New on Facebook and Twitter: A Moment To Praise and A Moment To Praise For Kids! posts from our worship leader, Joyce. You can search for our page by typing: Gravel Hill Church beside the magnifying glass. She will be sharing a small devotional, scripture, and worship song.

Weekly Wink 4.29.20

By | Weekly Wink
Weekly Wink 4.29.20

Sunday school participants keep your eyes peeled for scavenger hunts and answers from your teachers every Sunday and Wednesday. Want to be a part of the Sunday School group on Facebook? Search for: Gravel Hill UMC Sunday School. Click request to join.

You are invited! April 26: Sunday 8:00, 9:15, & 10:30 AM Worship (Sanctuary) Service will be available online under our Sunday Sermons. Sunday bulletin (Hill Highlights) via email – sign up here.

Weekly Wink 4.29.20 Ahead:

What day is it today? Our social media posts each day can help you answer this question!

Mondays: A Moment To Praise

Tuesdays: A Moment To Praise For Kids!

Wednesdays: Weekly Wink ~ update of events & happenings (as well as events on the horizon)

Thursdays: Thankful Thursday

Fridays: Sermon/Message Title & Scripture Sharing

Saturdays: Pastor’s Pen

Sundays: Online Worship

Tuesday 9:15 AM Ladies Bible Study (Room 201) continues its study of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. Return TBD.

On the Horizon:

Keep your eyes peeled for how Gravel Hill continues to live the our Easter message: STILL #GHEasterPeople

Ongoing Opportunities

Gift Shopping Made Easy! You can shop for gift cards while at home and benefit Gravel Hill. Purchases support the off-site Ministry Fund. Learn more about Gravel Hill’s Scrip Program by clicking here. You can start shopping now. Create username and password. Gravel Hill’s Enrollment Code is: 21L936DB32931.

Have questions? Please contact Tony.

Email Sign Up (Sign up to receive emails by clicking here. For weekly emails, check: Hill Highlights; monthly emails, check: Beacon Newsletters; for messages from the pastor, check: Pastor’s Pen.)

A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.28.20

By | A Moment To Praise
A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.28.20
Joyce Lochinger

Miss Joyce

Made For This!

Hi kids and parents! I have to tell you about a great story I read this week. It’s about a very young nurse who decided to use her two weeks vacation to travel to a different hospital in a different town to help people who were not feeling well. On her last day working at the new hospital, she watched one of her patients who had been very sick turn the corner and get well! That patient turned to her and said, “Thank you! I love you!” The young nurse’s heart spilled over with joy!

When asked how the words from the patient made her feel, the nurse said, “I know that God put me here just for this moment. I know I was meant to help this person get well!”

I know that God put you here for a purpose, too. Even though you are young, you can do great things. I have seen some of your works in action. I know a lot of you are sharing some of your pretty amazing talents with your family and friends. For example, I love seeing your chalk art when I take my walks. I’m amazed at your parents’ pictures of them on Facebook too! I hear stories of how you have been helping your brothers and sisters with school work and helping with chores. It seems that for the most part, you have all been behaving! 😇I also love to check out the Gravel Hill Sunday School page on Facebook to see the ways in which you are all still “attending” Sunday school even when we can’t be together in church. You still have the desire to learn stories about Jesus and the good works He did! Way to go!

A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.28.20 in Scripture

You may find this hard to believe, but God has made you for greatness.  He has made you for good works, too.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+9%3A16&version=ICB

I’m so proud of all of you. You are listening to God even while we are having to live a little differently than before.  Not only that, but you are doing things in a positive way. You were made by God to do His work in this life and you are proving it! Keep it up, kids. You are a shining example of God in this world!

A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.28.20 in Song

Here’s a favorite VBS song from a few years ago. Enjoy and sing along!

https://youtu.be/jVKuOi3YEAM

A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.28.20 Learn More

Attached is a link to some amazing chalk art ideas. If you try them, have your parents attach a picture in the comments or on our Facebook page!

https://onelittleproject.com/sidewalk-chalk-ideas/

Keep using your talents to help share a smile and share God’s love. ❤️

Have a great week!

A Moment To Praise 4.27.20

By | A Moment To Praise

A Moment To Praise 4.27.20

Joyce Lochinger

Joyce Lochinger, Gravel Hill Worship Leader

Be still and know…

As most of the ladies in my Tuesday morning Bible study know, this is one part of scripture that I feel God has on repeat play, especially for me. In my everyday life, I tend to run ahead of Him and get myself into personal and spiritual upset and turmoil! When I step out without pausing and acknowledging God’s mighty hand in my life, I usually mess up and get myself into trouble. Anyone else have that happen in your life?

In those moments, I start to feel God tugging on my ear, hearing: “Joyce! Be still and know that I am God!”

A Moment To Praise 4.27.20 in Scripture

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+46%3A10&version=NIV

Usually, if I am paying attention and not distracted, I can settle myself down and reflect a bit on what I am actually doing, saying, or trying to accomplish. That’s the effect that this verse has on me. God grabs my attention and gently reigns me back in. Thank goodness for His loving patience with me.

Recently, I read an interesting article about this verse. It said that most of us interpret the passage from Psalm 46 in that way that I’ve been describing above. It’s seen as a quiet, peaceful reminder to settle down and be calm in His presence. Ah! That’s just what we need – calm. However, moving forward, if you read the rest of verse 10, the scripture reveals an even greater call from God to all of us. It is a not so gentle reminder that He demands us to exalt Him. He is to be greatly revered for who He is. He says I WILL be exalted among the nations. I WILL be exalted in the earth.

Be still and know…

He is so much more than we give Him credit for.  We only tap into a small part of His power in our lives. Yes, He is able to calm our racing hearts and help us relax on the craziest of days. Fortunately for us, He actually wants to help us in those times. More importantly, He wants us to know Him as powerful Lord over all things.

It is wise for us to remember His omnipotent rule in our lives and most importantly, in the world. He is to be exalted, adored, honored and revered. If we make it our goal to look to Him and remember all of these things and that He is always on our side as we live in this world, we will naturally have the ability to be still and know He is God. Let’s face it, He can handle the problems of this life, He can handle the problems of the world, and He can handle the problems of the universe. He can certainly handle the problems of my day!

A Moment To Praise 4.27.20 in Song

Attached is one of my favorite praise songs that helps me feel the all-encompassing power that God has for me in my life! He helps me to realize that I can be still and safe, resting in His powerful arms.

https://youtu.be/NJpt1hSYf2o

Thankful Thursday 4-23-2020

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 4-23-2020

Thankful Thursday musings drift to artistic creations that bring beauty and blessing to life. Most specifically, music. As I sit here typing, stands of melodious notes drift to my ears. My body relaxes so my brain can focus on the task of communicating my thoughts.

For that music to get to my ears, pause and consider the composer who crafted the tune I’m hearing and all of its refinements. Next the musicians who learned how to read musical compositions and apply the years of practice spent honing their craft. Also think of the sound crew (forgive me – I don’t know all their technical terms.) The ones that know the proper settings to record the best possible version of a song for the future listener to enjoy. All of these people (and more that I don’t even know I missed on the pathway to the production of a well-recorded song) bring together their gifts to create a blessing for another life.

Their creation blesses my life. Often times when different songs play, I instantly revisit an earlier moment in my life. The songs that come together to create the soundtrack of my life bring me many happy memories.

And times like now, their creation helps me focus. Hopefully to share some inspiration for you to pause and consider the creations of others that bless your life. From those blessings, thoughtful pauses allow space for creation from our own talents and gifts. When those creations are shared, the flow of blessings continues to abound in goodness. We continue to be #GHEasterPeople.

Thankful Thursday 4-23-2020 STILL #GHEasterPeople

Be inspired. Keep creating. Share your blessing. Record your daily movement with a picture or a video. Post your pictures and videos and tag them: #GHEasterPeople . Follow the hashtag: #GHEasterPeople to see all who participating in the virtual worship.

Blessings to you!

Thankful Thursday 4-23-2020 Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to Sunday Online Worship at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. To know more about these services, click here. Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Wednesdays Be In the Light Activities at Gravel Hill are currently canceled; however, look for worship services online on our Sunday Sermon page.

New on Facebook and Twitter: A Moment To Praise and A Moment To Praise For Kids! posts from our worship leader, Joyce. You can search for our page by typing: Gravel Hill Church beside the magnifying glass. She will be sharing a small devotional, scripture, and worship song.

Weekly Wink 4.22.20

By | Weekly Wink
Weekly Wink 4.22.20

Please see our home web site page for an updated message.

You are invited! April 26: Sunday 8:00, 9:15, & 10:30 AM Worship (Sanctuary) Service will be available online under our Sunday Sermons. Sunday bulletin (Hill Highlights) via email – sign up here.

Weekly Wink 4.22.20 Ahead:

What day is it today? Our social media posts each day can help you answer this question!

Mondays: A Moment To Praise

Tuesdays: A Moment To Praise For Kids!

Wednesdays: Weekly Wink ~ update of events & happenings (as well as events on the horizon)

Thursdays: Thankful Thursday

Fridays: Sermon/Message Title & Scripture Sharing

Saturdays: Pastor’s Pen

Sundays: Online Worship

Tuesday 9:15 AM Ladies Bible Study (Room 201) continues its study of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. Return TBD.

On the Horizon:

Keep your eyes peeled for how Gravel Hill continues to live the our Easter message: STILL #GHEasterPeople

Ongoing Opportunities

Gift Shopping Made Easy! You can shop for gift cards while at home and benefit Gravel Hill. Purchases support the off-site Ministry Fund. Learn more about Gravel Hill’s Scrip Program by clicking here. You can start shopping now. Create username and password. Gravel Hill’s Enrollment Code is: 21L936DB32931.

Have questions? Please contact Tony.

Email Sign Up (Sign up to receive emails by clicking here. For weekly emails, check: Hill Highlights; monthly emails, check: Beacon Newsletters; for messages from the pastor, check: Pastor’s Pen.)

A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.21.20

By | A Moment To Praise
A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.21.20
Joyce Lochinger

Miss Joyce

Good guys always finish last!

Hi Kids and parents!

I’m a finisher! I need things to be finished and when things will be finished. Good things or bad things, it doesn’t matter.  I need to know! Things I don’t like to wait for: presents, vacations, holidays – just to name a few.  🙂 I don’t like having a disagreement with someone, I need to know that it is over, and all is still well with that person. I think you get my drift. Bottom line is I like to know when and how things are going to turn out! I guess I am impatient.

A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.21.20 in Scripture

Our scripture for today tells us that God is not only the finisher, but He was first and He is last and He will come again!

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+1%3A8&version=CEB

God has it all figured out – do I really have to be so impatient to know every minute (small) detail?

“I need to trust” is more the thought on this day. God tells me He is control and He is holding me in his hands. I have nothing to fear. Just live my life and glorify and honor him! I can do that. I also need to remember the saying “good guys finish last”…God has promised us that he will finish what He started so many years ago. All we have to do is be ready for Him and we will be taken care of by His protective heavenly arms. He has the whole world in His hands, and that includes me! Amen!

A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.21.20 in Song

https://youtu.be/1M0DyNYz5gI

A Moment To Praise For Kids 4.21.20 Learn More

For some fun with the alphabet (because alpha- omega is from the Greek abc’s) click on this link for ideas for the abc game!!

https://www.tripsavvy.com/im-going-on-a-picnic-game-3267652

Have a great week!

A Moment To Praise 4.20.20

By | A Moment To Praise

A Moment To Praise 4.20.20

Joyce Lochinger

Joyce Lochinger, Gravel Hill Worship Leader

Choosing Joy!

Hi Everyone!

Tomorrow, I will be celebrating a birthday. Notice I didn’t say which one 🙂 Instead of choosing sadness or thinking about the things I won’t be able to do, I am going to choose joy and focus on the blessings that this strange season we’re in has brought to me. I am purposefully going to think about this place we are in with the quarantine and the blessings that I have experienced.

First off, I have both Shawn and Shay home with me, and we are all cohabitating very well together! I know that even though they aren’t with me, Jenna and Victor are safe and healthy in Pittsburgh. None of us have to leave our houses for work. Thank you, Lord.

My family – mother, mother-in-laws, father-in-laws, and my siblings are well, as are my nieces and nephews! Again, I thank you Lord! I have been able to take long walks with my daughter and husband and not have to rush because of an activity or work. We have had many great talks while we walk, put together puzzles, or played double dominoes. And we have had some silly times of laughter and joy!

A Moment To Praise 4.20.20 in Scripture

Yes, I am finding joy even in the midst of a different reality right now. How can there be joy? Well, I go to my absolute, favorite scripture for that answer. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love this scripture. Psalm 139:1-18!

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139%3A1-18&version=NIV

David is talking to the Lord. He is saying that God knows all of the little intricate details about his life. God knows what David thinks and where he goes. David speaks of all of these things in verse 1-12. Then he says: “Lord, you have created my innermost being! You knew me even before I was born.”

How can this not bring me joy? I’m not talking about happiness that only lasts for a moment, not a smile which comes and goes in minute, but residing JOY! Joy that fills me all the way, deep down in my heart.  Joy because of the knowledge that God has loved and cared for me even before I was born of my mother and father. This type of joy causes us to know that no matter what the world does or doesn’t do, we are special to God. And if we have accepted Him as our own personal Savior, we are covered. God has set a place aside for us, where we can eternally be with Him!

So, will I miss having a special dinner out, having birthday cake, having a visitor or two for my “special” day? Maybe I will! However, one thing I do know for sure is that if I choose to focus on the joy that God has given me through His Son’s life and death on the cross, I will have no reason to feel like I have missed out on anything. In fact, I will remember that I have been given everything and more!

As an aside, in case you forgot how human David was, continue reading the rest of Psalm 139, verses 19-22.

A Moment To Praise 4.20.20 in Song

I’m sharing a song that is an oldie, but listen carefully to the words. It applies to our lives today and every day! Trade in all of the stuff that bogs you down and choose the joy of the Lord!

https://youtu.be/dfR4pI_ZJdY

As a final note, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who are essential workers who do not have the luxury of staying at home and working. Thank you isn’t even enough to say! My prayers are with you!

Also, I offer prayers for all of those who are struggling with health, finance or family issues during this time. My hope is that you will feel God’s loving arms embrace you and you can begin to heal.

And for all, I will continue to pray for God’s joy to fill your soul. Amen!

4-16-2020

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 4-16-2020

Thankful Thursday has us another week along under our stay-at-home order. Feelings of restlessness, frustration, and irritation slowly build. News of the loss of loved ones or people we actually know getting sick with the virus call for our prayers. How do we handle all of this?

In a great book by Tommy Newberry, he shares the wisdom that “emotion” is eighty six percent “motion.” So if we choose to remain in our current physical position, mental state, and spiritual status, we will not grow to the place God calls us. To grow, we must move!

How do we do this under a stay-at-home order? Look for workouts online. Do yoga or Pilates. Break out in a dance party for some physical movement. To exercise your mind, try an online class. Complete crosswords, puzzles, sudokus, or Ken-Kens. Lastly, but most importantly, moving in spirit. The Word awaits us with wisdom and direction. Several apps online make the Bible accessible if you don’t physically have a Bible in front of you. God anticipates your prayers. Lift them up including all your areas of life you want to share. Cover your friends and acquaintances too- God love hear his children pray for each other! In positively connecting with others, we become the hands and feet of Christ. We do this by sending cards, typing a text, or calling the one on our mind.

4-16-2020 STILL #GHEasterPeople

After Christ was resurrected, He remained on the earth for forty days before Ascension. As the Gravel Hill community follows the stay-at-home order and parallel to Christ’s time on earth before ascension, I encourage you to move your mind, body, and spirit as each day we continue on as STILL #GHEasterPeople . Be the hands and feet of Christ.

Record your daily movement with a picture or a video. Post your pictures and videos and tag them: #GHEasterPeople . Follow the hashtag: #GHEasterPeople to see all who participating in the virtual worship.

Move towards God each day. Your consistent movements will grow you. Use your motion to create a new emotion. Through our actions, we praise God and give glory to Him!

Blessings to you!

4-16-2020 Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to online worship this Sunday Sunrise at 6:45 AM and Easter Celebration at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. To know more about these services, click here. Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Wednesdays Be In the Light Activities at Gravel Hill are currently canceled; however, look for worship services online on our Sunday Sermon page.

New on Facebook and Twitter: A Moment To Praise and A Moment To Praise For Kids! posts from our worship leader, Joyce. You can search for our page by typing: Gravel Hill Church beside the magnifying glass. She will be sharing a small devotional, scripture, and worship song.

Weekly Wink 4.15.20

By | Weekly Wink
Weekly Wink 4.15.20

You are invited! April 19: Sunday 8:00, 9:15, & 10:30 AM Worship (Sanctuary) Service will be available online under our Sunday Sermons. Sunday bulletin (Hill Highlights) via email – sign up here.

Weekly Wink 4.15.20 Ahead:

Find us online through our social media posts each day (this may help answer the question: “What day is it today?”):

Mondays: A Moment To Praise

Tuesdays: A Moment To Praise For Kids!

Wednesdays: Weekly Wink ~ update of events & happenings (as well as events on the horizon)

Thursdays: Thankful Thursday

Fridays: Sermon/Message Title & Scripture Sharing

Saturdays: Pastor’s Pen

Sundays: Online Worship

Tuesday 9:15 AM Ladies Bible Study (Room 201) continues its study of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. Return TBD.

On the Horizon:

Keep your eyes peeled for how Gravel Hill continues to live the our Easter message: STILL #GHEasterPeople

Ongoing Opportunities

Gift Shopping Made Easy! You can shop for gift cards while at home and benefit Gravel Hill. Purchases support the off-site Ministry Fund. Learn more about Gravel Hill’s Scrip Program by clicking here. You can start shopping now. Create username and password. Gravel Hill’s Enrollment Code is: 21L936DB32931.

Have questions? Please contact Tony.

Email Sign Up (Sign up to receive emails by clicking here. For weekly emails, check: Hill Highlights; monthly emails, check: Beacon Newsletters; for messages from the pastor, check: Pastor’s Pen.)