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Posts with the category “from-the-pastor”

How are the Children?
by Pastor Anita on July 9th, 2024
Grand and terrifying Masai warriors of Kenya offer each other a traditional greeting- “Casserian Engeri.” It means, “How are the children?” They do not ask each other, “How are you?” or “How’s your day?” but rather they ask about the next generation. The Masai believe that monitoring the well-being of their children is the best way to determine the current state of their society and its future he...  Read More
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Playing for Jesus
by Pastor Anita on July 2nd, 2024
My heart has been heavy for days… because I fear for our nation. I watch our politicians bandy about the name of God. They wave the Bible as a political stunt and claim the faith as a means to a human end, to gain power and glory for themselves. We call upon God to bless America as if we are a chosen nation. But a deep read of the Old Testament and the history of ancient Israel- of the 10 tribes ...  Read More
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Pawns
by Pastor Anita on June 25th, 2024
When I was a child, my mother decided that chess was an essential skill for the development of the mind, so, out came the board, and the lessons commenced. Unfortunately, I was never an apt student of the game. My memories of afternoons spent sparing with my brothers always end with my King face down on the table. The last few days, I have been reading about chess, finding it much more fascinatin...  Read More
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Everyone loves a winner…
by Pastor Anita on June 18th, 2024
Well, maybe not the Celtics… I am a Philadelphia sports fan through and throughEagles, Flyers, Phillies, Union, and 76ers. I may not have grown up in Philadelphia, but I have become a fan of the sports in my adopted city. Last night I gave a passing glance at the Celtics’ victory in the NBA finals because they are my brother’s favorite team. Don’t ask me how a guy who grew up living all over the ...  Read More
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History Lessons
by Pastor Anita on June 11th, 2024
At dawn on June 6, 1944, American Rangers jumped off British landing crafts onto French beaches. They ran to the base of the cliffs and started to climb. Their mission was one of the hardest of the invasion- to climb the cliffs of Normandy to take out the enemy guns. They shot rope ladders to the top and began to ascend. When one ranger would fall another would take his place. Two-hundred and twe...  Read More
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Hello
by Pastor Anita on June 4th, 2024
Back in the day… He was a travelling evangelist, garnering crowds in Asian villages with Billy Graham-like zeal. The good news of Jesus was new to those majority Hindu gatherings. His proclamation of God’s grace was met with an enthusiastic response, one life after the next surrendered to Jesus. He followed those boisterous crusades with the hard work of developing faith communities where young di...  Read More
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Memorial Day
by Pastor Anita on May 28th, 2024
For most of us, Memorial Day is a day for parades, flag waving, and cookouts. For the nation, it is a day to remember those who gave their lives to protect our freedom. For me, it is the day I remember the soldier who lost his life to save mine… I know the story because it was told to me. I was too young to remember on my own, but my parents thought this story was so important they told it to me ...  Read More
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The Future begins today…
by Pastor Anita on May 21st, 2024
Sunday, there was JOY in the house of the Lord as fourteen teens took an important step in faith. Those gathered at Lenape Valley that day witnessed our Genesis youth lead worship and read snippets of their faith statements. In true beginner fashion, some lines were read too quickly, and some words were lost as youth strayed from the mic. Their voices quivered and their hands shook, but their exc...  Read More
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Start Counting
by Pastor Anita on May 14th, 2024
Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil 4:8 Paul was writing from a prison cell, and the people who received the letter were facing the harsh persecution of Rome, hell-bent on wiping out the growing ‘Christian problem.’ Knowing ...  Read More
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When the Neighbor You Have is not the Neighbor You Want (part II)
by Pastor Anita on May 7th, 2024
Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27 What’s in a name? Every parent instinctively knows the importance of a name. From the time they learn that a little one is on the way to the moment that their little one is placed in their arms, parents ponder the right name to give their child. Parents know that a name casts the first impression. Our family followed a Biblical theme in naming our childr...  Read More
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When the Neighbor You Have is not the Neighbor You Want (part I)
by Pastor Anita on April 30th, 2024
Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27 Every Christian, even many who have not darkened the door of a church in years, can quote Jesus’ teaching concerning our neighbors. Love thy neighbor is the standard expected. That standard is found not just in Christianity but in most major religions, expressed in different terms, but all coming to the same basic conclusion. We ought to love one another...  Read More
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Church and Union
by Pastor Anita on April 23rd, 2024
The Sunday before last, I had the opportunity to enjoy a little southern hospitality in one of the most beautiful cities in our nation- Charleston, South Carolina. Affectionately called “the Holy City,” Charleston is home not only to historic landmarks and amazing restaurants, but also to over 400 churches, some dating back to the founding of Charles Towne in 1670. One of those churches has been d...  Read More
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The True Cost of the Churchgoing Bust
by Pastor Anita on April 16th, 2024
I remember when going to church was the norm. Friendships were formed at church. Good parents brought their children to church. My mother told me I should meet the guy I would marry at church. (Sorry Mom, I met him at Penn State- We Are!) When you moved into the neighborhood, even before all the boxes were unpacked, you found a church. I know that I am dating myself… but many of you who read this...  Read More
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It’s Who You Know
by Pastor Anita on April 9th, 2024
Consider a situation in which two undergraduates are hoping to get the last spot in a specific graduate school program. Their grades are comparable, but one is best friends with the Dean of Admission's son. Who gets that last spot? It’s who you know… Consider a new job position open at a prestigious company. Two final candidates remain. One candidate may have a better educational background and s...  Read More
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Trust- the Light will dawn…
by Pastor Anita on April 2nd, 2024
Where will you be on Monday, April 8th at 3:23pm? The weather ap predicts a clear day in New Britain, PA, with a gentle breeze and temperatures in the low 60s to welcome an event that will not come again in North America until May 1, 2079. Step outside Monday, anytime between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. You will experience the development of this rare phenomenon, with the height, or perhaps the dark, of th...  Read More
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Finding Your Face in the Crowd…
by Pastor Anita on March 26th, 2024
Were you there…? That haunting question, from one of the oft sung hymns of holy week, brought me back to a family trip years ago to the Swiss Alps. There we fell in love with Lucerne, a quaint, picturesque city in the heart of the Swiss Alps, centered on a lake with ducks that dive deep into the water for their food. Those looking for an adventure can take a cable car ride to Mt. Pilatus for stunn...  Read More
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Just start cooking…
by Pastor Anita on March 19th, 2024
On March 12, 2024, a barge carrying 200 tons of rice, flour, lentils, and canned meats left Cyprus. It took three days for the ship, the Open Arms, to tow the barge 210 nautical miles across the Mediterranean Sea to a makeshift jetty constructed out of rubble off the coast of Gaza. The goal according to Jose Andres, the founder of World Central Kitchen: “to establish a maritime highway of boats an...  Read More
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In all things…
by Pastor Anita on March 12th, 2024
Four years ago…Reports splashed across our news feeds of a deadly virus that was rapidly infecting the nation. For days, the news media depicted the spread with maps dotted in red showing the virus quickly reaching epidemic levels- the East coast its last and certain target. As a pastor, I was on my knees for wisdom. Should Lenape Valley Church close our doors to protect our people from the potent...  Read More
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Retirement is the New Opportunity
by Pastor Anita on March 5th, 2024
The news came as no surprise… a bittersweet moment for every Philadelphian who loves the game. Yesterday, Jason Kelce announced his retirement after 13 years as the Center for the Philadelphia Eagles. Thirteen years, two Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl championship, six first team All Pro selections, Kelce ended his career with 156 consecutive starts earning him the Iron Man record for the...  Read More
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In a world where you can be anything… be kind
by Pastor Anita on February 27th, 2024
CBS- the initials not of a TV station, but of a brilliant young man… a Yale educated AllAmerican lacrosse player who went on to be a successful day trader on Wall Street. The demands of his day job never kept him from answering a text or making a call. His friends knew that he cared, that he would always put the need of another first. When an infection threatened to take his life, it was my privi...  Read More
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Salty Footsteps
by Pastor Anita on February 20th, 2024
A confession… Sunday morning, I was in a rush… so many last-minute details to refine before worship. I am a perfectionist in a business that defies perfection, yet that does not prevent me from rushing into the church building early on Sunday morning to attempt the impossible. In the front door, through the lobby, down the hall, and into my office… I dumped my briefcase, purse, and assorted suppli...  Read More
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LENT
by Pastor Anita on February 15th, 2024
It’s that time again… but what does Lent really mean?Lent is the season in the church calendar that calls believers to prepare heart and mind for the embrace of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and his Easter victory. Since the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, the practice of honoring a 40-day period of fasting and prayer has been a part of the Christian tradition for many believers. That 40-day discip...  Read More
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The Bowl
by Pastor Anita on February 6th, 2024
What’s in a bowl? This morning my bowl held Corn Chex swimming in cold milk. Hopefully for lunch my bowl will hold some hot soup to ward off the chill of the day. And tonight, my bowl will contain a simple salad dressed in a garlic vinaigrette. Friday, our granddaughters are coming for a sleep-over party, so my bowl will be a part of a cooking adventure that is more sweet than healthy. Webster’s D...  Read More
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Danger of the Single Story
by Pastor Anita on January 30th, 2024
Consider the danger of the single story… In 2009, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a TED Talk on the “danger of a single story.” It has become one of the most watched TED Talks in history with over 35 million views. Adichie grew up on the campus of a Nigerian University where her father was a professor and her mother a university administrator. At the age of 19 she moved to Philadelph...  Read More
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For Glory--- For God
by Pastor Anita on January 23rd, 2024
If you are an Eagles’ fan, this season had a painful end leaving many of us a bit disheartened. But if you love the game, there is still much excitement to enjoy as teams vie for football glory. Last weekend offered us two blow-outs and two fierce battles. While you may have nodded off while the Ravens trounced the Texans, and again when the Lions showed the Buccaneers the door, the Packers-49ers ...  Read More
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Crowd Mentality
by Pastor Anita on January 18th, 2024
What do Iowa caucuses… Buffalo football… NY City Christmas lights… and Taylor Swift have in common? Curious?Consider the case of those Iowa caucuses…Those of us who vote in a primary state… who want to get in and out as quickly as possible… who walk past those who are campaigning at the poll site refusing to listen because we have ‘already decided’… and truth be told would choose to stay home and ...  Read More
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The Final Scene…
by Pastor Anita on January 9th, 2024
Jeremiah is often called 'the weeping prophet' because the devastation of God's chosen people was so painful to him. Jeremiah and his people wept as victims of hate, but what do we do if our hand has touched the sword? In the complexity of the world today, am I victim… or perpetrator… or mere spectator of the horror? And if spectator, have I no place in God’s plan for the redemption of this world?...  Read More
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Children of the Light
by Pastor Anita on January 2nd, 2024
In Him was life, and that life was the light of all. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5 I love Christmas lights…I know for many of you, January 2nd is a little late to make that declaration, but I can’t help myself. I just love Christmas lights! I love understated homes that are decorated with warm, white lights gently draped across their bushes and...  Read More
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ReSounding…
by Pastor Anita on December 19th, 2023
Have you ever seen someone yawn… not just a little catch of air… but one of those deep, face-contorting yaaaaaaawns that defies you to look away? Do you chuckle inside as you observe that long draw of air and hear the little squeak at the end of the yawn? You wonder… have the demands of that last-minute Christmas list robbed her of sleep… or perhaps, like too many of us, the concerns of the day ha...  Read More
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All I Want for Christmas…
by Pastor Anita on December 12th, 2023
We learned years ago that presents come and go, but a shared experience can last a lifetime. That realization came to us when our children reached their teens. Suddenly, birthday and Christmas shopping became a nightmare of teenage whims and social expectations that we seldom navigated with success. Presents offered by well-meaning parents were often met with disdain, or worse yet indifference, le...  Read More
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Have you heard hoofbeats?
by Pastor Anita on December 5th, 2023
Several years ago, my mother-in-law invited the family on a Disney cruise to celebrate her 80th birthday. Grandmother Bell was the matriarch of a rather large family- 10 children, with accompanying spouses, and 30 grandchildren. Her birthday was always a big event, so most of the family gladly joined in a week-long celebration on the cruise. Dinners were lively with boisterous laughter from our co...  Read More
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Considering Others
by Pastor Anita on November 28th, 2023
Today, in the afterglow of Thanksgiving, I give thanks for the faithful witness of our mission partner, Bruce Main. In 1988, God inspired Bruce Main and Tony Campolo to begin an outreach to the children of Camden, NJ. Thirty-five years later, Urban Promise impacts the lives of hundreds of children from preschool to young adult, with a thriving school, after school and summer programs, leadership t...  Read More
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Rosalynn Carter
by Pastor Anita on November 21st, 2023
The tributes are pouring in for First Lady Rosalynn Carter, wife of the 39th President of the United States. Born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith on August 18, 1927, in Plains, GA, she married her childhood sweetheart when she was just 18 years old. For 77 years, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter lived together, worshipped together, and worked together. Rosalynn was never just the ‘wife of,’ living in the shadow o...  Read More
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Soli Deo Gloria
by Pastor Anita on November 14th, 2023
We have all received the invitation in the mail… to an event intended to raise funds for a worthy cause. Perhaps one of the earliest such invitations was sent by King David almost 1000 years before the birth of Jesus. He called the leaders of Israel to the palace, treated them to a feast, and then invited them to invest in the building of a Temple to honor Yahweh. The funds raised that evening gav...  Read More
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A day in the life…
by Pastor Anita on November 7th, 2023
Lenape Valley was hopping this weekend… It all began on Friday night when our GrandFamilies gathered to enjoy a meal and share the challenge and joy of raising grandchildren. I am thankful for Beth Jester’s vision and leadership that creates a safe-haven for these families. When I arrived at the church mid-morning on Saturday, the New Britain Car Show was already in full swing. Classic and vintage...  Read More
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All Hallows…
by Pastor Anita on October 31st, 2023
As I write, a snuggly Ewok from Star Wars, and a bookish Belle fresh from her dance with the Beast, and Winnie the Pooh’s mopey friend Eeyore are getting ready for a stroll through the neighborhood in search of candy. Sound familiar? Every year we send our children out like beggars vying for sweets to pack in their lunches. When I was a child, my brothers and I competed with each other, not for th...  Read More
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When Life Happens…
by Pastor Anita on October 24th, 2023
I am a planner… most would call me Type-A, and not always as a compliment. I concentrate on the details, believing that success, and often beauty, is found in the details. Imagine what happened in my mind when our daughter and now son-in-law announced their engagement… a list immediately formed. This wedding would be one year in the planning, but a lifetime in the dreaming. This occasion would dra...  Read More
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Let the little children come…
by Pastor Anita on October 17th, 2023
We picture the scene of Jesus surrounded by little ones, some cradled in his lap. The disciples want to dismiss the children as interruptions, but Jesus insists that they are ‘precious in his sight.’ That’s the ‘what a friend we have in Jesus’ image we all love. We want to imagine that we, too, are among the little ones he welcomes. Now picture the scenes that have flashed across our TVs and inter...  Read More
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The Holy Land at WAR
by Pastor Anita on October 10th, 2023
Before sunrise on Saturday, terror from land, sea and sky rained down on Israel. This surprise attack happened at the end of the seven-day Jewish celebration of Sukkoth that commemorates God’s protection of Israel as they fled slavery in Egypt 3000 years ago. Families were gathered to enjoy the holiday when air raid sirens sounded to warn of an attack. As 1000s of missiles were launched into Isra...  Read More
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The two shall be one…
by Pastor Anita on October 3rd, 2023
I witnessed a miracle on Saturday… a miracle I have dreamed about for years. I have witnessed this miracle again and again, for the last 40 years. Yet, to stand in the chancel of All Saints Church as both mother and pastor, I was overwhelmed with God’s gift. Many marvel at Jesus’ first miracle in turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana, but that miracle pales in comparison to the union of h...  Read More
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