A Community Newspaper for the way we live



Marlon Furtado

What sets the Bible apart from all other books? The fact that it’s been on the #1 Bestseller list more than any other book? That’s true, but that’s not what I’m after. How about the fact that it’s been translated into more languages than any other book? Also true, but there’s something else. Is it that the Bible is a collection of writings over the course of 1500 years by 40 authors from all walks of life? The Bible is definitely unique in that way, but it’s not what I’m looking for. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado


God is a brilliant mathematician (the real Creator of the Laws of Physics). Therefore, it seems like a mistake to think He follows a simple 1+1=2 equation in our lives. What I mean by this equation is that some people think God always rewards good behavior with good conditions and punishes bad conduct with bad circumstances.

You hear this formula whenever someone responds to a bad circumstance with the question, “Is God punishing me for something I did?” Some people will Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

It’s a little anticlimactic to watch the ball drop in New York on New Year’s Eve knowing it’s a rebroadcast from three hours earlier, and after you’ve seen all the fireworks go off hours earlier in Australia or Japan or London. I wish it turned 2019 at the same time everywhere. Having so many time zones is so confusing. Here’s a simple test: what time is it right now in Frankfurt? In India? In Japan? What did I tell you, confusing, huh? If it weren’t for smartphones and their apps, we wouldn’t be able to keep it all straight. Continue reading

Mickie Natonick

Apple of His Eye Charity: prayerful hour

One hour? Do I have one hour? Well, I could eat lunch…or I could text a friend…or play “Words with Friends.” I could run my many errands, and drive over to Starbucks and get a quick coffee…but did I hear that there are some people meeting for an hour to pray?

My friend who runs Apple of His Eye Charity, felt compelled to open their office each day for prayer. One hour, Mon- Fri. from noon – 1pm. Who would come? Who would give up their lunch hour to pray for the orphan, widow, poor and forgotten around the world?

Tj was called to start this charity through a penny she found on the ground while running. She had been arguing with God about taking the next step, but God definitely got her attention during this prayer run. At first, she dismissed the dirty penny as worthless Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

We three kings of Orient are;

Bearing gifts, we traverse afar,

Field and fountain, moor and mountain,

Following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of night,

Star with royal beauty bright,

Westward leading, still proceeding,

Guide us to thy Perfect Light. Continue reading

Grandparents’ joy, Christmas edition

Wayde and I absolutely love being grandparents. Our hearts stop when Jordana and Johnathan reach out their little arms to us, when they cry out, “GiGi…Papa!” I’m constantly taking pictures. I want to record, to remember every moment. They grow up so fast. So, I got our pictures taken for Christmas; it was a beautiful morning. We had gotten up early to make sure we were ready in time, gathering some last-minute items to hopefully hold the babies’ attention so we could obtain that perfect picture. As we pulled up to the tree farm, I could just make out the top of the camper through the trees. I was excited to see the scene that our photographer, Kristi Crawford, had created for this season’s shoot. She did not disappoint us. It gave the feeling of being on a cozy winter holiday, far away from all the complications of life. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Ask people on the street for their opinion about the Bible and you’ll probably hear four very different answers. One response will likely state that the Bible is a good history book but not to be applied to modern life. A second group discounts the veracity of the Bible because it contains accounts of miracles, which puts the Bible in the same category as fairy tales. A third group of people thinks the Bible is only a rule book, giving moral advice that may be unrealistic for today. And a fourth group believes the Bible to be God’s love letter to every person of every generation in every culture. Do any of these responses sound like yours?

If I was asked today, I’d be among this fourth group. But this hasn’t always been the case. Until I was nearly twenty I lived as though the Bible was completely irrelevant to my life. I had absolutely no interest in its content. What changed? One night I heard that after I died, Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

I’d like to suggest that there is a common misconception among us Christ-followers. I hear it when someone says, “I’m a better person since I’ve come to know Christ.” What we mean is that we don’t do the same outward things that we did before surrendering to Christ. Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with being happy that we don’t do the same things that once brought us shame and embarrassment. But that doesn’t make us better people than those who haven’t come to know Christ and His forgiveness yet.

This error is insidious because it gives the impression that we don’t struggle with sin as much anymore. This leads to the misconception that we don’t need Jesus daily as much anymore. In effect, we’re thanking Jesus for our ticket to get in the door of heaven, but we’re also implying that we can handle the rest of life fairly well on our own. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Most of us don’t like the term “surrender”. It reminds us of our younger days when the playground bully had us in a headlock and taunted us to give up. On a much larger scale, wars rage between countries until one of them finally capitulates to the other. Surrender is always an admission of defeat. And no one likes to admit defeat.

But surrendering isn’t always a bad thing. It all depends on to whom I’m surrendering. It’s not a bad thing if it’s to God that I give in and stop fighting. Every Christ-follower experiences an internal battle between two opposing sides, his old nature and the Spirit of God. Notice what Galatians 5:17 says, “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” There is a conflict, a battle, because my old nature is still proud and selfish and wants my will to be done more than it wants God’s will. Like it or not, life seems to be a series of lessons to teach me to surrender my plans and my will over to God so that He can accomplish His plans through me. Continue reading

Connie McClellan

Sandy Snavely

Masterpiece – The Art of Finishing Well, began with a call on the hearts of two women who said ‘yes’ to producing a conference for women over 50.
Nearly a year later that call was brought to fruition, as approximately 250 women gathered together at Grace Community Church for an full day of heartfelt worship led by Maxine Lawrence and her incredible team of musicians, two keynote messages by Connie McClellan and Sandy Snavely, who drew life-changing messages from the life of Paul, whose letters to Timothy set the hearts for all of God’s women on finishing well. Continue reading

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