Blog – Christ Church at Grove Farm

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09 Jun: Outside Looking In, Inside Looking Out

By Linda Santavicca Outside Looking In – Inside Looking Out “Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.” Lamentations 3:28 Not more than two months…

26 May: A Life Sentence

By Bruce Schlenke I’ve talked to a lot of Christian believers who have chosen a life verse from the Bible that is special to them. It may be a certain…

13 Feb: Be Still

Be Still. Everyone worries about things from time to time. It’s natural for some people (like moms). It’s a character trait of others. Worry can consume us. It can dig…

15 Jan: All the World Before Them

By Melissa Elizondo There’s this way random comments people make about kids and the families they come from can get inside your soul, keep you up at night, make you…

27 Nov: The Grateful Day

By Bruce Schlenke I believe Daniel to be just about the most consistently godly character in the Old Testament. And, I especially like his view of Thanksgiving Day, even though…

21 Nov: A Sword, A Lizard, and a Great Divorce

By Benjamin Potter “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come…

12 Nov: If God Is Our Superhero

By Melissa Elizondo Superheroes and I had a thing for a long bit. I still remember enough to grasp the sense of awe that pushed me in front of some…

31 Oct: Hitting the Right Chord

 By Gordon Ovenshine Why do we sing as part of worship? Why does music have such a powerful ability to affect our moods? What type of music enables us to…

16 Oct: Matching Requests

By Bruce Schlenke You know the pitch, and it’s a good one: “Please donate to the ABC Ministry or Community Charity before the end of the week, and your gift…

01 Oct: Just Tell Me Why

By Melissa Elizondo It’s really annoying when you’re in a situation when you know what you should do — and don’t do it. It’s especially exasperating when other people start…

24 Sep: Further Wanderings

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I would not learn what it had to…

29 Aug: Searching for the God of Grace

By Melissa Elizondo The woman comes up to us with her child asking for money. One of the guys my husband works with offers it to her. “She’s got children….

14 Aug: Through the Eyes of a Wanderer

By Clifford Cartwright “Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” –Walt Whitman  Leaving the small gravel parking lot, the dog runs ahead a…

31 Jul: The Corsage

By Cece Poister There was a time when “becoming a teenager” was a big deal. The magic number was thirteen and caring about it was more a girl thing. I…

24 Jul: Becoming

By Melissa Elizondo I used to be a girl, a daughter. My mother pressed dresses over my head, bade me go to school. My father told me to always say…

02 Jul: Never Forget Our Heroes

By David R. Brewer  June 6, 1944 is a date that should live in the memory of every American, the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of D-Day. Young men, most of them only…

13 Jun: The Desert Connection

By Melissa Elizondo Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will…

05 Jun: What God Might Say in a Graduation Commencement Speech

By Richard Curtis Hello Students. Congratulations on your great achievement. Whether you are opting for further education or a new vocation, there are three things I would like to tell…

23 May: Brien With an “E”

By April Icsman Although now I serve as the principal of Jubilee Christian School in Pittsburgh, I have spent almost 40 years in education in six states during many other…

09 May: Faith of Our Mothers

By Kris Ovenshine One hundred and twenty-two million calls are made each year to wish Mom a “Happy Mother’s Day.” One hundred and forty-one cards are sent with the same…

05 Apr: Give Us Today Our Daily Bread

By Len van Heest A couple weeks ago during our Wednesday Lenten series, Pastor Doug had a wonderful sermon on this phrase. Our Father in Heaven is generous. When I…

26 Mar: Seek His Kingdom First

By Len vanHeest In our Wednesday Lenten series, we discussed that our Father in Heaven wants an intimate relationship with us – A loving Father, slow to anger, and bounding…

13 Mar: The Edge and Beyond

By Tom Bender I have one piece of artwork on my office wall: the quote, “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.” I look at this framed quote…

27 Feb: Soul Sisters

By Kristianne Ovenshine Summer proved to be a season of wandering. My husband and I were searching for a church. I was looking for a women’s Bible study. All I…

15 Feb: Thankfulness Is the Song We Must Sing

By Matrid Harper In the lives of Christians, “Thankfulness “is the song we must sing in 2019. Psalm 113:2 “Blessed be the Name of the LORD now and forever.” (NLT)…

06 Feb: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

By Gordon Ovenshine The Apostle Paul urges Christians to accept change, especially past disappointments, and remain faithful as we move headlong through life. “One thing I do: forgetting those things…

28 Jan: Known by God

By Ben Potter I was listening to the radio the other day, and the radio host was talking about New Year’s Resolutions. She said that one of the most popular…

26 Dec: A Friend Request

(Matthew 1:18-24) By Linda Santavicca Thanks to social media, we can access anyone anywhere at anytime. Strangers, with perhaps one mutual friend in common, will befriend anyone for no reason…

19 Dec: Beyond Conception

By Bruce Schlenke The reality of Christmas is really uncommon and simple. I know, we seem always to decry the commercialization of the Advent/Christmas season, even though our own commercial…

13 Dec: For Instants

By Ed Sciulli Recently, I was reading an article that detailed how the actor Tom Holland learned he was cast as the new Spider-Man. After coming to the US to…

04 Dec: Christmas 1956

A Short Story by Cece Poister Every year we would get our Christmas tree from the Knights of Columbus who had a lot at the end of Third Street just…

28 Nov: Get Out of the House and Come Home

By Benjamin Potter Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.. – 1 Peter 2:11 When…

15 Nov: The Joy of Grandparenting

By Gordon Ovenshine My family is filled with drama, crying, comedy and love. There are medical people who do medical things, and a hurricane is always lurking offshore and about…

29 Oct: Put Some Dirt On It

By Dave Brewer Many men like myself were raised in the era of John Wayne movies, or we have seen his movies on television. We had dads who told us…

10 Oct: God With Skin

By April Nevels Icsman A six-year-old girl awakens in the middle of the night. It is storming and dark. She runs to her parents’ room and wants to stay there….

04 Oct: God, What Is Next?

By Jared & Deb Ott See this bag of trophies? It was one the curb for the garbage truck to pick up. My wife spotted it on a walk in…

23 Aug: Black Velvet

By Cece Poister My maternal grandmother (whom we called Maw) came from Scotland when she was seven years old. One well known characteristic of the Scottish is frugalness. Maw was…

15 Aug: The Grill and the Gospel

By Ed Sciulli It’s summertime and therefore peak grilling season. Although to be honest, I tend to grill in every season – rain, snow or shine. I attribute this to…

05 Jul: God’s Beauty

By Bruce Schlenke Having a brother who lives in San Francisco means we get to vacation in California every so often. The last time we traveled there, my wife and…

13 Jun: A Tribute to Fathers

By Dave Brewer As Father’s Day approaches, it makes me think of the time that I went to the National Center for Fathering. As attendees, we were asked to describe…

29 May: Into the Hands of a Woman

By Linda Santavicca On 60 Minutes, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce (one of the fastest growing tech companies) was interviewed about his latest and greatest decision. Benioff was challenged by…

16 May: Clearing the Table

A Short Story by Cece Poister Like most families in the fifties and sixties, we ate dinner at the same time every night and sat down as a family to…

03 May: A Neighborhood Journey

By Bruce Schlenke I saw a man of older age taking a “walk” with his wife in our neighborhood. He was in a motorized wheelchair. I’d not remembered ever seeing…

21 Mar: Children Are a Gift

By Dave Brewer Several years ago I knew a distinguished medical doctor who was asked if his home could be shown for an open house to the community because it…

28 Feb: Connecting the Dots

By Dave Brewer Why do so many people get it wrong, and fail to connect the dots when it comes to diagnosing and solving the problems of society like addictions,…

07 Feb: The Best “Yes”

By Lyndsey Piccolino “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your…

26 Jan: An Open Letter

There are defining days within our lives, good or bad. For me, June 14, 1979 is one of those. It marks an end of innocence. In a few short weeks,…

16 Jan: Mary

A short story by Cece Poister As a doctors wife, back in the 60’s, it was deemed inappropriate to have a paying job, which left me bored and restless for…

28 Dec: Christ Is Our Hope

By Dave Brewer The lyrics to the Christmas song say, “It’s the time of the year when the world falls in love.” The world falls in love because the Christmas…

20 Dec: The Measure of Christmas

By Bruce Schlenke How do you measure time? I set my watch by the little ‘beep’ sound on the radio station at the top of the hour. I suppose people…

21 Nov: The Joy of a Thanks-Giver

By Bruce Schlenke When I was a boy, I was a grudge-giver. My mom and dad would make me give a nickel of my meager allowance each week to the…

09 Nov: Instagram | Eternalgram

By Linda Santavicca “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:8a) Scrolling through my Instagram account, I came across numerous selfies of familiar faces standing…

02 Nov: Reformation Day

October 31, 1517 Wittenberg, Germany. Convicted in his heart of the corruption and brokenness of the church, the professor of moral theology at the Wittenberg University decided to make public…

19 Oct: The Importance of Supporting Your Pastor

By Dave Brewer All through history God has used pastors to shake up the status quo, to call his people to repentance, to turn the world upside down. The Apostle…

26 Sep: Repentance … In Three Words

By Ed Sciulli Words matter. The Rabbi Abraham Heschel once said “Words…create worlds.” So, if the words we use create the worlds in which we live, then the definition of…

17 Aug: A Pastor’s Response

Recently I was in a discussion with a friend regarding the racial issues plaguing our country today. Our conversation centered around what is the biblical response for us as Christians….

18 Jul: Two Words

By Cece Poister Saturday mornings at our house were not a time to sleep in. We had weekly and seasonal chores to do. Mow the lawn, change the sheets, dust…

04 Jul: The American Story

By Dave Brewer The Story of America is a priceless heritage that at one time was a central feature of every elementary school in the country. We started the day by…

22 Jun: Do Not Move the Ancient Boundary Stone

By Richard Curtis  “Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors.” Proverbs 22:28  I was first introduced to this scripture at the commencement speech for the…

07 Jun: Hobos

By Cece Poister  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,…

16 May: Tunnels

By Bruce Schlenke Sometimes there are periods in our lives that we perceive as dark or narrowed by difficult circumstances. The world seems to have closed in around us. We…

26 Apr: Martha, Martha

By Linda Santavicca  _____________________________________________________ “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2) Ever since…

15 Apr: The One and Only

By Bruce Schlenke —— Is Jesus not enough? This isn’t a question for persons outside the Christian faith. People who do not “have” Jesus, i.e. who do not trust in…

29 Mar: Fake News

By Dave Brewer —– The Bible teaches us that we Christians are in a spiritual battle against the forces of darkness, so we are called to live loving lives of…

14 Mar: The Gospel of John Confirms God’s Old Testament Promises to Abraham

By Richard Curtis “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1b NIV God’s desire for Abram (later to be called Abraham) is a model of God’s…

02 Mar: Year-Round Thanksgiving

By Deb Ott ——— I am a fan of the holidays, especially the time between mid-November through Christmas. It has been fun to watch friends do a “30 Days of…

15 Feb: The Fleeting New Year

by Bruce Schlenke  ——————– By the calendar we are officially halfway through winter. You are now correctly dating your personal checks. Punxsutawney Phil is warmly back in his lair. Where…

01 Feb: Re-Purposed for a New Year

By Linda Santavicca  —————— A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way? (Proverbs 20:24) For me, every New Year is an opportunity…

23 Jan: Arnie Palmer’s Roots

By Dave Brewer —– Almost everyone knows the story of the King of Golf- Arnold Palmer. He is a legend in western Pennsylvania, and throughout the world of sports. He…

27 Dec: The Roadtrip

By Deb Ott —–  It’s a couple days after Christmas. Mary and Joseph have just finished a monumental road trip on a donkey with no good rest stops with a…

20 Dec: Name That Tune

By Annalee —— Merry Christmas! Can you believe it?! How is it nearly upon us? I hope that in all of the hustle and bustle you’ve been able to sit…

15 Dec: Generosity Transforms You

By Dave Brewer ——–There are people who curse television and people who rejoice in it. For decades millions of children across the country anxiously awaited to see Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood…

07 Dec: The Best Christmas Ever

By Dave Brewer _______ My favorite Christmas was when I was ten years old, and I ran out to find a beautiful brown and white Basset Hound puppy under our…

23 Nov: Giving – To Relinquish With Grace

By Linda Santavicca — Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians…

16 Nov: Sing a New Song

By AnnaLee I’ve been singing since I could talk. I would drag around a little stool when I was a kid. I’d find anyone who would listen, stand on my…

07 Nov: What Beliefs Should Christians Look For in Candidates For Public Office?

By Richard Curtis I am the Lord God Almighty, and I approved this message.  “… whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…”  Matthew 20:26b  “And what does the…

31 Oct: Fear and Loathing in American Politics

By Ed Sciulli This is not a political post. This is NOT a political post. THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL POST. Now that we have that out of the way…

20 Oct: Why Character Still Matters

By Rev. Dave Brewer At one time developing character was a primary goal of the public schools and the Boy Scouts. The 1920 Boy Scout Handbook included a list of…

13 Oct: Small Worries. Big God

By Linda Santavicca “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life…

06 Oct: This Is [Our] Father’s World

By Clifford Cartwright This is my Father’s world,O let me ne’er forgetThat though the wrong seems oft so strongGod is the ruler yet. I was called to a meeting last…

29 Sep: Who’s the Boss?

by Richard Curtis One day when my children were young they were having lunch in our breakfast room when their conversation turned into an argument. My wife and I were…

21 Sep: Here’s Why You Absolutely Must Be Born Again

By Holly Campbell When you were in your mother’s womb, before your first birthday, you looked altogether different than you do now. That cataclysmic birth moment was the beginning of…

14 Sep: Serving the Lord In Difficult Times

by Matrid Harper During difficult times, we must be steadfast in service and praises to our God and be thankful for the strength to persevere. We cannot serve the Lord…

09 Sep: One Day Forever

By Linda Santavicca Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3 The alarm goes off. It’s 6:30…

31 Aug: Fixing Our Eyes

By Sarah Manges “These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time…when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.” Psalm 104:27 My…

24 Aug: Cheers to My Pastors for Preaching on the Creed

By Holly Campbell The famous author Dorothy Sayers published a book in 1948, entitled “Creed or Chaos.” It is full of swashbuckling bravado. The kind of writing I just love…

17 Aug: The Sound of Forgiveness

By Richard Curtis It is humbling to learn adult lessons in life from children and dogs. When I was still single and had moved into my first house in a…

11 Aug: Run the Race Well For Christ Jesus

By Matrid Harper The athletes from around the world have gathered in Rio de Janeiro to compete for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Medals will be awarded in events ranging from…

03 Aug: In the Medium of God’s First Creation

By ed sciulli On most days, I play the role of production manager. I serve others by solving problems, applying solutions and trying to keep things as organized as possible….

27 Jul: Harmony

By Pastor Bob Mason Ephesians 4: 1-6“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble…

21 Jul: God’s Grace Is Sufficient

by Matrid Harper The grace of the LORD is so sufficient for all those who seek Him. He made it clear that all who faithfully seek Him will always find…

13 Jul: Picture Perfect

By Linda Santavicca Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? (Job 38:4) Ever go to a five-star restaurant, where you dine on a fabulous, over-priced meal and then the…

06 Jul: Knitting Our Communities and Our Hearts Together

By Deb Ott I am so glad I had the opportunity to go on the June 2016 Encounter Dominican mission trip with our church.   People ask me how it…

28 Jun: Hope

By Steve Nicholas Hope is something we all need and never want to lose. Hope gets us through the darkest days and loneliest nights. Hope let’s us know that all…

17 Jun: The Orlando Massacre

By Holly Campbell The Orlando Massacre is bone chilling in its proportions.  The largest mass shooting in U.S. history did not come from the hand of a mere psychopath, but…

15 Jun: Praying for Orlando Isn’t Enough

By Ed Sciulli We are getting too good at this. We have had way too much practice. Our national post-tragedy response routine. We collectively cry out at the shock and…

01 Jun: No Substitute for Blood

By Richard Curtis This sign hangs on the wall at the Central Blood Bank in Moon Township where I donate blood. Did you know that modern medical science has not…

19 May: What in the world is a “blog”?

by Pastor Jared Ott This was my first reaction to our communications department when they said “we should have a church blog”. Outwardly, I tried to play it cool, like…

14 Apr: Welcome!

Welcome, friends, to Cross Thoughts. This is a blog. Our blog. A place wherein our pastors and other leaders can share thoughts/experiences/questions about God/faith/humankind. A place to think and be…

18 Mar: Opportunity In Adversity

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