Dear Class of 2020…

 
YOU DID IT!
 
Congratulations to all graduates and fellow Class of 2020 celebrators! We assume, for many, this is not how you pictured your senior year to look. Instead of senior class trips, proms, last-chance hang outs with friends, graduation parties, college prepping or post-college job interviews… many of us are still stuck at home. But, that doesn’t mean this time has been wasted.
 
You graduated! You have spent the last (insert number here) years learning, growing, working and striving to achieve your hopes, goals and dreams. For some of you, it was hard. For others… it was really hard. But you all are now here, together, and have completed a great achievement!
 
You now face a new stage of your life: Will you go to college? A tech school? Enter the workforce? Travel abroad (after Covid-19 of course)? There is no right and wrong choice (though if you weren’t very good at science in high school we’d encourage you to think some more before becoming a science major in college).
 
The most important choice you make, however, is if you will continue to allow God to speak into your life. Will you listen to His guiding and follow his direction? Will you pray to Him for clarity and help when you don’t know what to do? And will you continue to tell others about His goodness and faithfulness wherever He leads you?
 
There is no iPhone app, GPS device, road map or manual to show you all the steps and turns you need to make in your journey. But there is a Good Book that will help you find all the answers you need. It is our hope and prayer that you will carry that with you wherever you go, and trust in the God who walks alongside you.
 
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
 
Join us as we pray for each of these graduates: for their future, their hopes, their dreams and their aspirations; and for God’s word to guide their steps along the way. 
 
 
High School Graduates
 
Christopher Abdel-Malak
Graduating from: Spring Grove Area High School
Date of Graduation: May 29, 2020
Future goals or plans: I am majoring in Mid-Level Education teaching mathematics at York College
 
Murphy Altland
Graduating from: Spring Grove Area High School
Date of Graduation: May 29, 2020
Future goals or plans: To attend Millersville University and major in Technology and Engineering Education
 
Joshua Bloom, Jr.
Graduating from: Gilpin County High School
Date of Graduation: May 13, 2020
Future goals or plans: Welding school
 
Saige Cotterman
Graduating from: York County School of Technology
Date of Graduation: May 11, 2020
Future goals or plans: To travel, live on the beach and go to school to be a Marine Biologist. I would love to study sharks in their natural habitats.
 
Trevor James
Graduating from: Spring Grove Area High School
Date of Graduation: May 29, 2020
Future goals or plans: To join the Air Force ROTC program at Penn State and major in Architectural Engineering
 
Gage Johnson
Graduating from: New Oxford Senior High School
Date of Graduation: May 28, 2020
Future goals or plans: To find a job or apprenticeship as a CNC operator and programmer
 
Sophia Kline
Graduating from: Spring Grove Area High School
Date of Graduation: May 29, 2020
Future goals or plans: To attend York College of Pennsylvania and major in Accounting
 
Cassidy Meyering
Graduating from: Spring Grove Area High School
Date of Graduation: May 29, 2020
Future goals or plans: To attend nursing school at Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
 
Elizabeth Miller
Graduating from: Dallastown Area High School
Date of Graduation: June 2, 2020
Future goals or plans: Enter the workforce
 
Kayla Moul
Graduating from: Spring Grove Area High School
Date of Graduation: May 29, 2020
Future goals or plans: To attend HACC in the fall
 
Jonathan Wyrick
Graduating from: Spring Grove Area High School
Date of Graduation: May 29, 2020
Future goals or plans: I plan to go to Messiah College to earn a bachelor’s degree in Engineering 
 
 
College Graduates
 
Jon Schumacher 
Graduating from: West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Date of Graduation: May 8, 2020
Future goals or plans: I am hoping to secure a job in public relations and/or marketing with the hopes of forging my career in that field.
 
Amy Trump
Graduating from: Southern New Hampshire University
Date of Graduation: May 8, 2020
Future goals or plans: To be the Vice President for Human Resources
 
 
Congratulations, Class of 2020!
 

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Digital Footprint

So here we are going into six full weeks of isolation and we are all ready to get out! I mean, there’s only so much you can do in your house, right? If only we could get out of our houses; if only we could go unrestricted to the store; if only we could go back to work, or back to school or back to church… THEN we would be able to make a difference. To make a change. To help others. To serve as the hands and feet of Christ again.

Do you know what a digital footprint is?

A digital footprint is a trail of data you create while using the Internet. It includes the websites you visit, emails you send, and information you submit to online services. A “passive digital footprint” is a data trail you unintentionally leave online (IP address, approximate location, and search history for example). An “active digital footprint” includes data that you intentionally submit online (sending emails, leaving an online review, or posting to social media).*

Do you know what YOUR digital footprint is?

We all are undoubtedly online more often then ever now. Again, there’s only so much you can do in your house, right? So we seek an outlet online. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But what if we decided to use this time and the technological resources that God has blessed us with (because most of us would have gone insane if we were stuck in isolation without internet, social media and Disney+) to continue to make a difference and continue to be the hands and feet of Christ?

If your digital footprint was a literal trail of footprints in the sand, where would it guide people? Would it simply show people the latest TV series on Netflix (what the heck is Tiger King anyways?!), or would it show people a Bible study series on RightNow Media? Would it just be an endless scroll of celebrity news and gossip, or would it be books and articles talking about how to be a better Christian in today’s world? What if our Pinterest boards were full of ways to share the Good News of Christ with our neighbors from our own house windows and doors? (CABC’s children had an excellent and fun DIY craft during Easter Family Fun Day 2.0 that did exactly this.) And what if our Instagram accounts didn’t just fill up with well-filtered selfies, but instead filled up with the real beauty that God made in nature all around us. Would our bank accounts just show another toy or movie purchased to help keep our kids stuck at home occupied, or would it show a donation to Compassion Ministries to help keep a child across the world fed and safe? We may not be able to go and volunteer at our favorite local charity, but those of us still working and receiving a paycheck every week can help support our favorite local charity financially instead.

Just because you are limited in where your physical footprints can go right now, does not mean you are limited in what your digital footprint can do! Therefore, just as Christ said to His disciples during the Great Commission, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age^.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

 

* https://techterms.com/definition/digital_footprint

^ This author would just like to state that we are not subtly suggesting we are at the end of the ages right now. We do not know when that day is coming. We just wanted to finish the verse. 🙂


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10 Scriptures for Overcoming Fear & Anxiety

from Dr. Carol Tanksley’s Overcoming Fear and Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare
special thanks to Barb Schumacher for gathering this together for us and helping to share some encouragement for us all!

 

You know the Bible says “Don’t be afraid.” But sometimes anxious thoughts and feelings seem to overtake your heart and mind even when you don’t want them to. There are plenty of helpful scriptures for overcoming fear and anxiety.

Cooperating with God to overcome worry will involve many things; caring for your physical health, optimizing your lifestyle, learning to take charge of your thoughts, and practicing standing firmly on God’s side in the controversy between good and evil. And without question one of the most powerful tools you can use in this journey is God’s Word.

Here are just ten verses of Scripture (to get you started) for overcoming fear and anxiety to put in your mind and heart, with some brief commentary. Meditate on these Scriptures, and your mind and emotions will become freer and more positive.
 
 
Make it an activity: Consider copying this devotional and cutting out the Scriptures, or write them on cards, and place them around the house to remind you of God’s faithfulness during this Covid-19 crisis. As Dr. Tanksley writes, “God’s got this!” We can trust in Him!
 
 
 
  1. Fear is NOT from God.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”   2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV

Fear is a natural human response to many things, but it does not come from God. When you feel fear, you can know that it is not God speaking. The mind God has promised you is clear, strong, and more than able to deal with whatever He allows into your life. You can claim that sound mind today.
 
 
  1. God’s got this!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God.”   Philippians 4:6 MEV

Anxiety is the most common human mental health disorder, but as a believer you don’t need to stay there. God’s got this! His shoulders are big enough to carry anything you need. Most things you worry about you cannot change anyway, so why not leave them in the hands of the One who can do whatever you need.
 
 
  1. Don’t borrow tomorrow’s troubles.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:34, NIV

We cannot see the future, and the unknown is often scary. Keep your primary focus on what God has given you to do today rather than mulling things over in your mind that you do not have control over. Tomorrow will be ready for you when you get there because God, who exists outside of time, will already be there. He holds all your tomorrows in His capable hands.
 
 
  1. God is with you. Don’t be afraid.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 MEV

The Bible contains hundreds of “Fear Not’s”, admonitions to not be afraid. God must have known that we as human beings would need that kind of reminder! If Jesus was standing right in front of you, would you be afraid? He has promised to be with you always. He IS with you right now, just as much as if you could see Him with your physical eyes. There is no need to fear.
 
 
  1. Give your anxiety to Jesus.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7 NIV

The Greek word translated cast is very descriptive. It’s the same word used to describe how the disciples threw their garments over the donkey Jesus would ride into Jerusalem. (Luke 19:35) Do that with your anxiety today. If necessary, write your worries on a piece of paper, and then throw them into a river or leave them at the altar at your church (or tear them up and put in the trash – Miss Barb J). Such a physical act symbolizes casting all your worries onto Jesus, and leaving them there.
 
 
  1. When love comes, fear leaves.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”      1 John 4:18 MEV

If you want to be free from fear, go where love is. Who can you connect with today that leaks out love? A family member, a friend, a fellow believer? God is the ultimate Source of all love. God IS love. (1 John 4:8) The more time you spend in His presence, letting His Word and His love fill your mind, contemplating Who He really is, the less room there will be in your mind for fear.
 
 
  1. Jesus promised peace in the midst of trouble.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 NIV

Jesus promised His followers both trouble – and peace. As long as we are in this world we will experience trouble. Right now that trouble is great! Sometimes we face trouble of our own making. Much trouble is the crossfire we experience during the final stages of the conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. But we can gratefully experience His peace regardless of our circumstances.
 
 
  1. God’s peace can point the way.

“Let the peace of God, to which also you are called in one body, rule in your hearts. And be thankful.”   Colossians 3:15 MEV

When wrestling with a big decision, fear and anxiety can keep your mind swirling and upset. Is there any point, any small space, in which you feel a measure of God’s peace? What decision would you make from that place? Thinking in that way can help you stop worrying about things you can’t control or what other people may think. It will help you take a step away from fear and anxiety and toward thoughtful action.
 
 
  1. Run into God’s arms, and hang on!

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath you are the everlasting arms; He will drive out the enemy before you, and will say, “Destroy them.””  Deuteronomy 33:27 MEV

Do you remember when your child (or a child) would run into your arms when they were anxious or afraid, grabbing your neck and holding on for dear life? Your presence could make monsters disappear and booboos get all better. In God’s arms is our place of safety. When anxious or afraid run into His arms through worship, grab ahold of Him and don’t let go. You are never more protected than when resting in His arms.
 
 
  1. With God on your side, other’s opinions don’t matter.

“So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’”  Hebrews 13:6 MEV

Fear and worry about what other people think or what they will do holds many of us back. But who are “they” anyway? When we can come to the place of living our lives before an audience of One, everything else becomes much clearer. And God’s got this! With Him on our side, the response – good or bad – from other people becomes much less important.
 
 

May Jesus bless you with His gift of peace today and every day.

 

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Do You See What I See?

by Jess Slenker
 
Yes, I know this is a line to a Christmas song. Yes, I know this is a Lenten Devotional. But when God shows you something, you don’t question it. This title has been going through my head for a little more than a year now. I really wish that everyone could see what I see.
 
I have the opportunity to teach the little ones who come to Christ and I get to see His light shining through them. As I’m typing this, so many faces are flashing in front of me and it moves me to tears. It’s all because of what God has done in their lives. The thing that amazes me the most is how unashamed they are to share the Gospel. So many times I have been teaching and looking at their precious faces and expressions and can see how much they truly love God.
 
My favorite part of teaching is talking about salvation. Those who have declared Jesus as their Savior have the biggest smiles on their faces! You can see they want everyone else to experience that same love they know.
 
I sometimes joke that I’d like to wear a camera because I want everyone else to see what I see. I am so honored that I get a glimpse at what God sees. I see the outward expression of what is on the inside, but God gets to see their hearts.
 
Just like kids, we make mistakes, get off path, and do things we ought not to do, but God sees our hearts and that we believe in who He is! He doesn’t see that ugly human nature; He sees our smiling faces beaming with His love and grace. Each day we grow closer to Him and more like Him, just like our children. I am so proud of the kids I have the privilege to spend time with and God uses them every day to teach me new things about Himself! Do you see what I see, or better yet, do you see what God sees?
 
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

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Destructive Little Foxes

by Melissa Myers
 
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song of Songs 2:15 NIV)
 
When my daughter Sara was a toddler, we developed a ritual for the times when her feelings would be hurt. She would come to me and, in sobbing wails, explain some insult from one of her playmates. I would kiss my finger, touch it to her heart, and then place a Band-Aid over it. The tears would immediately stop and she’d bounce away to play, never recalling the incident again. If only our emotional wounds were so quickly resolved in our adult lives!
 
Most of us hold our emotions close; we don’t want to appear weak or overly sensitive. Too often, it’s the little unspoken offenses (foxes) that build into a destructive result. Bitterness and the inability to forgive can consume a relationship. This is especially true within the church, where we hold a higher expectation of being loving and sympathetic. It’s never a good feeling to learn that you’ve offended someone and it may seem easier to avoid an awkward conversation when you feel insulted. However, when the air is cleared, our relationships are spiritually stronger and we are freed from the burden. Being vigilant in mending our wounds strengthens the church and encourages good fruits. Certainly not every minor insult need addressed, but when a thought becomes pervasive, we need to conquer it before it takes root.
 
As a sensitive person, I have learned that getting beyond a hurt is a conscious choice. When I invited God into the process, I was amazed at how easy it is to accomplish. Thankfully, we have God’s promise to “bind up our wounds” if we turn it over to him. There is strength in being vulnerable enough to acknowledge a hurt, share it, and most importantly, release it to God.
 
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 NLT)
 
Is there an offense burdening your heart today? Are you willing to step out in faith to resolve it? Will you accept your loving Father’s promise to heal?
 
“All of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted and keep a humble attitude.” (1 Peter 3:8 NIV)
Father God, give me the courage to show a tender heart and make amends when I’ve wounded a friend. May I have your strength when I need to bring an offense to light. Cover our wounds and make a path to peace as we seek to love one another.

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Bummer Lambs

by Pat Bentzel
 
Ever since Pastor Todd did several sermons about Psalm 23 last year, I have started to read more about sheep and how the shepherd cares for them. The analogies of how sheep are cared for by the shepherd has given me a better understanding of what my Lord wants me to know and do. I really enjoyed the story of a bummer lamb from author Sheila Walsh in her book, Loved Back To Life:
 
Every once in a while, an ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. There are many reasons she may do this. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. Once an ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind. These little lambs will hang their heads so low that it looks like something is wrong with its neck. Their spirit is broken. These lambs are called “bummer lambs.” Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die, rejected and alone.
 
So, do you know what the shepherd does? He takes that rejected little one into his home, hand-feeds it and keep it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to his chest so the bummer can hear his heartbeat. Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock.
 
But that sheep never forgets how the shepherd cared for him when his mother rejected him. When the shepherd calls for the flock, guess who runs to him first? That is right, the bummer sheep. He knows his voice intimately. It is not that the bummer lamb is loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it. It’s not that it is loved more, it just believes it because it has experienced that love one on one.
 
So many of us are bummer lambs, rejected and broken. But He is the good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heart beat. We may be broken but we are deeply loved by the Shepherd.
 
Our good shepherd is always working in my life and loving me!
 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

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