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Thankful Thursday

8.22.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 8.22.19

Thankful Thursday is a rather ordinary day for me. As I look around, I pause to think about the moments in my day so far: busy, but not crazy. And to think about the events to come this evening: fun gatherings of celebrations with people I enjoy in my life.

Simple. Quiet. Exciting. Celebratory. Experiences ranging across the board. Each of these moments bringing life. Building memories. For all of it, I am SO grateful.

Getting to send love. Being blessed with receiving love. These are the treasures I tuck in both my heart and my memory as jewels that bedeck my life.

I have recently taken a couple of walks down memory lane coaxing tears of joy at the years and the memories I visit. On the brink of change, I am grateful this ordinary day and the chance to reflect. To remember. Both the good and the bad. To lift praise and gratitude for what was, what is not, and the unknown that will come. God was, is, and always will be there through it all.

As I draw near to him Galatians 5:22-23 reminds me “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” These fruits are delicious ways to enjoy life! I will keep turning my eyes to the Lord so He can keep molding me into the person He wants me to be. Because I know wherever He guides me, it is never ordinary – always extraordinary!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

8.15.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 8.15.19

Thankful Thursday brought me to my second yoga class. I have heard several friends and acquaintances share how yoga has been something they have greatly appreciated. Stress, being one of the major areas it helps to relieve, sure-footedly stands in our lives with the approach of school. So with an invite from a friend, wanting to proactively handle the current life stresses, and an impending migraine, I popped over to a local class.

During the class, we stretched and moved with the rhythm of our breathing. It was amazing how many areas of my body were being held tight. Grazed with the movement of inhaling and exhaling, my muscles were gently coaxed into release. As we repeated the motions, my body became more fluid through the movements and my mind more at peace in the present moment. (I have to admit my body popped and cracked as we breathed, stretched, and moved. But I felt so good at the end of class!)

Since class, I have thought about the wonder of this human body that we are in. Complex and intricately woven systems layer together for us to experience the mental, emotional, and physical. And when one area begins to experience pain or distress, other areas are also impacted. The class helped me find some movements to minimize my migraine, release the tightness in my body, and give my mind a moment of peace-away from stress and worry of all before me. Thus, relieving one area had a positive impact of relief on another area.

From spending mornings in God’s word to intentionally pausing my mind and body, I look to God and He meets me (and you!) with His wonders daily. Our bodies are beautiful wonders. I am grateful for the gift of this earthly body.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

8.8.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 8.8.19

Thankful Thursday is strolling towards the dog days of August. The hot, hazy weather building into passing rains that range from a light sprinkle of raindrops to the forceful sideways blown sheets of rain plummeting to the ground. Afterwards…calm breathing space takes over in the new situation of refreshment. Soaking up the gift of rain. Awaiting the glimmers of sunshine beckoning forth growth.

Each of these moments evokes emotions and memories. Peaceful, bored, worried, anxious, excited, anticipating the next moment in these acts of God. My responses to gifts offered each and every day. In reflection, I grow my appreciation for the wonders that surround us every moment.

Awe and wonder sweep over me during these moments of reflection. The vast array of complexities on all levels of this human being experience leave me humbled and grateful to witness, experience, and enjoy the beauty of all that is. Our capacity to experience all the wonders of life is truly amazing. And if this is what we get to experience on earth as God’s children, can you even begin to imagine what heaven will be like?

Take a moment this week and look around with a different set of eyes. The creator of all that is, of you, of me, made this world. Surrounded us with innumerable blessings. Notice them and enjoy!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

8.1.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 8.1.19

Today’s Thankful Thursday lands smack dab on the first day of August! A new month. Warm, fresh starting grounds for the future. Possibilities sprinkle the horizon. Creation awaits your voice.

Creating. It is a gift of expression. Each of us expresses ourselves in unique ways. Some through the creation of melodies of memories, smile-inducing aromas, sculpted pieces of beauty, adventures through the written word, and so much more.

I’ve had fun making some small changes to the graphics for these posts. Through the process of creating these, I am learning. It took numerous tries to get the pieces to the point they are at now. With each attempt, I learned, grew, and gained in knowledge and experience. I’m pretty tickled with them and hope that you can enjoy them too!

As you step into each day, express your voice through your special way of creating. Know that your first attempts will not be perfect. That is okay because hey, you’re human! You learn, grow, and gain knowledge and experience from each attempt. You get better each time around.

This week I challenge you to grow your ways of expression through creation. Play new melodies. Bake a new recipe. Craft a new scent for your diffuser. Use your art medium to create a new piece. Type 500 words a day towards your book. You’ve got this!

I’m thankful for the creations that have helped us have the lives we live today. And I’m excited to see the blessings that creations bring!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

National Night Out 2019

Gravel Hill will be at National Night Out on Tuesday, August 6 from 5 – 8 PM at Buck Swank Stadium 50 W Cherry St Palmyra PA 17078. Hope to see you there!

Thankful Thursday 7.25.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 7.25.19

This Sunday we celebrate Christmas in July. To do this during the hottest time of the year may seem rather odd. But it does amplify the meaning of Christmas: the gift of life.

Jesus offers us life free from sin through the gift of love. The choice to receive this gift is ours. When we choose to receive this gift, other faithful believers encourage us to build our relationship with God by getting into his word, The Bible. And as we grow in our own faith, we are then live it out by sharing gifts of life with others.

John 6:63 shares this: 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[a] and life.

Footnotes: John 6:63 Or are Spirit; or are spirit

One way of gifting life to those around us is through the words we share with them. An extremely powerful way of giving life is by looking for how God is using another person and then sharing with them what you have seen. It maybe as simple as, “I noticed how you waited to hold the door open for the family that was coming in behind you. Nice job!” Or it could be as touching as, “You were very helpful to that person as you took  time to sit with them and enter into conversation. It would have been easy to head on your way. Well done.” I am so thankful for the many people throughout my life who have spoken words of life to me. These words have been nourishment to my soul and encouragement to journey forward.

This week I challenge you to notice how God is using people around you. Speak words of life and encouragement to them. Spread these gifts of life like it is Christmas!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

National Night Out 2019

Gravel Hill will be at National Night Out on Tuesday, August 6 from 5 – 8 PM at Buck Swank Stadium 50 W Cherry St Palmyra PA 17078. Hope to see you there!

Thankful Thursday 7.18.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 7.18.19

2019 FFF 5K

Here in central PA a heat wave has taken hold of the area. When outside, the direct sun versus shelter in the shade offers a marked difference. Given an option between the two, I choose shade right now.

Our backyard brims with mature trees offering a shady respite each afternoon. Here of late, I find myself gravitating to our patio. Often accompanying me are a book, glass of water, and technology for work. I gratefully soak up the warmth on my skin, the new thoughts from my book, and peaceful sounds from the backyard encouraging this moment to slow down. Savor the peace. Appreciate the gift of the present.

This desire to seek shelter in the shade is also expressed in the Bible in Psalm 121:5. “The LORD watches over you- the LORD is your shade at your right hand;” The Lord is our refuge. He watches over us, caring for us. He is both with us in the present and preparing a future for us.

As we look to the future, here is one way we can be an instrument for God preparing for the future of ourselves and others: participating in the annual Fall Feeding Frenzy. Sign up to be a part of the Fall Feeding Frenzy. You will help the Caring Cupboard support local families through your participation and better or maintain your health through the preparation.

Look to the Lord for his guidance and direction. Seek shelter in his care. And both find the good and be the good in the world around you this week!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 7.11.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 7.11.19

2019 FFF 5K

With the warm weather and bright skies, I often find many of my neighbors outside for a walk or a run. As I see them, I find myself smiling and lifting prayers of thanks that I am surrounded by and witness to folks using their abilities of movement keep their bodies healthy. As they are moving their bodies, God’s creation sings it’s sweet song of encouragement.

Need a reason to be someone who moves? Sign up to be a part of the Fall Feeding Frenzy. Not only will you have a goal to work towards with your movement, but you will also help the Caring Cupboard support local families through your participation. Now that is a win-win-win!

How awesome to help others by moving your body in ways it was built to be used! Move your body and make a meal happen. Check out the physical surroundings: breezy beaches, whispering pines, or waving fields of grain. Each of these scenarios and more bless us as gifts from our heavenly Father. I am so grateful for each of these gifts and the thousands more that I know I am NOT EVEN AWARE EXIST!

Get outside. Take note of your natural surroundings – these are a gift FOR YOU! Soak it in. Receive the blessings awaiting your attention. Move into these spaces and enjoy!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 7.4.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 7.4.19

Today’s Thankful Thursday celebrates the “birth” of the United States of America. A nation known to others as a place of freedom and opportunity. Where hopes and dreams meet with opportunity to create a better life.

In reading my devotions this morning, Paul shared words of encouragement to fellow believers. In Galatians 5:13 he shares: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh: rather, serve one another humble in love.” In Christ we are free. Recognizing the gifts and talents bestowed upon us, we use them to be a blessing to others.

As you gather together to celebrate our freedom as Americans, remember the freedom that is offered to all: Our salvation! The greatest gift we can ever accept. Given to us by our heavenly Father through his son, Jesus Christ.

I hope today you lift double the prayers of gratitude: for our national freedoms and for our salvation.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 6.27.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 6.27.19

Today’s Thankful Thursday lands on the final evening of Vacation Bible School. All who attended VBS this year were focusing on some basic and important lessons. The overarching theme: ROAR! Life is wild. God is good!

Each night they paused to recognized different emotions we face in life:

When life is: Unfair. Scary. Sad. Good.

In each of these phases, GOD IS GOOD!

We can take comfort in knowing God is always with us. He loves us. And our joy will bubble out from us as we celebrate who God is, no matter our circumstances.

If you want to see that joy in person, you are invited to join us for worship on Sunday morning as our Vacation Bible School crew helps to lead worship. As we come together in worship, their contagious joy will bubble over to greet you. It will remind you: LIFE IS WILD. GOD IS GOOD!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 6.20.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 6.20.19

On this eve of the summer equinox, I am having a thankful Thursday for summer. All that summer holds from warmth and laughter to backyard moments and flickering fireflies. It beckons us to slow our pace. Soak up the good. Enjoy the treasures of time we have with the people around us.

Truly these moments are gems waiting for us to notice. Look at the person beside you. The smiles you share cause these gems moments to shine. When strung together with your other shared moments, they become a stunning piece of jewelry gleaming with the jewels this relationship brings to your life.

Pause and enjoy the cup of coffee or tea with a friend. Revel in your shared memories. A laugh or two just may bubble up as you revisit those moments. Your heads may shake in awe and wonder at the times you shared together.

Take a moment for to see the jewels of your life: the relationships that bring you life and love. Thank God for these blessings! Make some time to add more jewel moments to your future.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.