Pastor’s Blog
Marriner Minute Blog

Pastor Marriner shares inspiring thoughts to encourage, minister, edify and empower you.

Celebrating Wisdom and Knowledge
August 01, 2017

This month, we celebrate wisdom and knowledge.  Both are recurring themes throughout the Bible… (Read more)

July 01, 2017

With graduation behind them, many of our youth and young adults will begin to embark upon a new journey in life—spreading their wings as theyemerge into independence.  (Read more…)
Fearless Fathers With Faith
June 01, 2017

Moody Monthly published an interview with a young, successful attorney who said: “The greatest gift I ever received was when my dad gave me a small box one Christmas. (Read More...)
Mothers Emerging Through Faithful Prayer
May 01, 2017

It’s been said that a mother carries a child inside her body for nine months, in her arms for three years, and in her heart for eternity. (Read more…)

Saving Mankind – Christ’s Act of Kindness
April 01, 2017

Complaining is easy, but deciding to do something to make a difference can be difficult, timely, costly and even overwhelming. (Read more…)
Making A Difference
March 01, 2017

Complaining is easy, but deciding to do something to make a difference can be difficult, timely, costly and even overwhelming. (Read more…)

Celebrating God’s Grace, Mercy and Love
February 01, 2017

Black History Month is a time to pay homage to those individuals whose shoulders we stand on.  It’s also a time to reflect on who we are and from whence we came.   (Read more…)
January 01, 2017

As we enter this ‘new era’, might I suggest that rather than focusing on who is President, those of us who call ourselves Christian, focus on who is King? read more…
REflections: From Tests to Testimonies
December 01, 2016

Tests can be hard pills to swallow.  Sometimes we simply refuse to accept that they are for our own good or benefit... Read More
November 01, 2016

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD.~ Psalms 31:24

Several years ago, researchers performed an experiment…read more

Restoration: Balm in Gilead
October 02, 2016

Restoration: Balm in Gilead Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? (Jeremiah 8:22) ~ NCV   Balm is an ointment or salve that reduces pain or heals sores.  The balm in Gilead was available in a territory of Manasseh, known for plants and herbs that were used to produce healing balms.  While the balm in Gilead is mentioned in Jeremiah 8:22, most of us are more familiar with an old spiritual hymn that references the balm in Gilead.  It goes like this: “There is a balm in G ... read more
REigniting the Fire / Pastor’s Blog –September 2016
September 01, 2016

 REigniting the Fire / Pastor’s Blog –September 2016 How many times have you sat down to a meal and—out of habit—quickly blessed your food with the same hollow, ritualistic words?  In our rushed everyday lives, our tendency is to take too much for granted.  Many of us take our loved ones, our freedoms, our jobs and, yes, even our God for granted. On the other hand, when life throws us a curveball or when we get bad news from our doctor, suffer the loss of a loved one, lose our jobs, or face a myriad of other fears, frustrations or unexpected catastr ... read more
REnewing the Spirit, Soul and Body
August 01, 2016

Pastor’s Blog/ August 2016 - REnewing the Spirit, Soul and Body The past few weeks—and indeed the past several months—have been challenging, heartbreaking and trying for many.  In addition to the ‘regular’ challenges of life, we have been bombarded with unprecedented animosity and divisiveness, as candidates vie for the highest office in our nation, lives have been lost at the hands of those paid to ‘protect and serve’, and law enforcement officers—just doing their jobs—have been gunned down for no reason other than the color of ... read more
July 01, 2016

GEN Y STRONGER BOLDER WISER I often say that our younger generation is wiser, but weaker and that’s through no fault of their own.  Many of us are raising or have raised a generation of young people with all the best intentions—we simply wanted them to have it easier than we did.  We wanted their lives to be more comfortable and, in the process, we sheltered them and failed to share our struggles with them.  In our desire to provide our children with a better and brighter future, many of us became fierce protectors, while others were just plain ‘enablers ... read more
REvival of the Heart
June 01, 2016

REvival of the Heart   Want to love others as God has loved you? Come thirsty. Drink deeply of God’s love for you. Ask him to fill your heart with a love worth giving! ~ Max Lucado Frequently we hear discussions (or sermons) about revival.  In fact, at Grove Church, we have themed 2016 as our Year of REsurgence (or revival).  Realistically, though, revival does not necessarily start or take place in the church; true revival starts within the depths of our hearts.   Revival means to be restored, quickened or delivered from something, such as illness or pai ... read more
May 01, 2016

RECONNECTING WITH OUR INNER GREATNESS “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness…is largely a matter of conscious choice.”  ~ James C. Collins—Author of “Good to Great:  Why Good is the Enemy of Greatness.” God has blessed each of us with gifts, talents and abilities that no one has but YOU!  Some have been given extraordinary or tangible gifts for the world to see and embrace, while others have been given subtle, but meaningful gifts such as discernment, or uncanny gifts of encouragement or intercessory prayer. & ... read more
From REjection to REsurrection
April 01, 2016

From REjection to REsurrection During the last Sunday in March, we commemorated the resurrection of Christ. While today we honor and celebrate His resurrection, this was not always the case. In Mark 6, there is an account of Jesus visiting His hometown with His followers. On the Sabbath, as He entered a synagogue and began to teach, the Bible tells us that many of those who heard Him were 'astounded', and that they were offended.  Some asked, "Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary?” Jesus was amazed at the people's lack of belief in Him, noting, "Prophets are not withou ... read more
Giving Gods way
March 01, 2016

Periodically the Powerball Lottery jackpot soars to an amount that creates a buying frenzy across the nation.  With dreams for a better and bigger life, folks stand in long lines for a chance to become the next big winner. As the media fuels the hype by asking these lottery winner hopefuls about their plans for the money, invariably some will say, ‘First, I’m going to pay my church tithes.’  I often find myself wondering if they currently pay their tithes because I believe that if you don’t pay your tithes while you are in a ‘canoe’ you probably ... read more
What’s love got to do with it?
February 01, 2016

Grove’s theme for February is a catchy title that is shared by recording artist Tina Turner’s song and biopic.  It is said that this song is Turner’s ‘freedom anthem’ after she finally left an abusive relationship with her then-husband, Ike.  In this song she questions the fact that her relationship is empty of real love and that it’s the physical (Eros) love that has held her captive.  True love does not hurt.  True love is not abusive.   While the love that Turner refers to in her song is more akin to lust, she makes it clea ... read more
RESURGENCE: Pressing Toward the Mark
January 01, 2016

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.~ Philippians 3:14 The onset of the New Year comes with a myriad of emotions—excitement, hopefulness, renewed aspirations, a sense of anticipation and determination to start anew.  People often REnew their commitments, set new goals and start off the year with enthusiasm and the mindset that this will the year of change, the year of a breakthrough or sometimes just a  better year.  You need only visit gyms or fitness centers in January to see how crowded they are as people—with al ... read more
The ‘RE’ of We— Making a Positive Impact Together
December 01, 2015

“RE” means ‘again’ or ‘again and again.’ it originates from the Latin language and is often used as a prefix to indicate once more, afresh or anew.  As we prepare to close the door on 2015 and welcome in 2016, I encourage each of you to ponder the “RE of We.”  In other words, what are those things—relationships, promises, prayers, goals or commitments—in our lives that ‘we’ need to change, REdefine, RE-energize or REvisit to make things better, bigger, bolder or bearable?  Simply put, we may need a ‘ ... read more
Rejoicing Anyhow
November 01, 2015

We have all seen or read news accounts of individuals whose lives are shaken by horrific loss or tragedy.  Oftentimes we are in awe of their vow to move forward, forgive or their determination to help others, in spite of their own devastating circumstances or loss.  Many of us have experienced situations and trials that challenge us to muster strength or courage we did not know we had to push forward, remain steadfast, and to get up and not give up.    Life is beautiful and it is a gift from God, but those of us who have lived long enough also understand that there are da ... read more
I Am The Miracle!
October 01, 2015

One of my favorite congregational affirmations is “I am a walking, talking, living, breathing miracle!”  That’s why I appreciated “Miracles in Motion” as last month’s Pastoral Anniversary theme.  However, I must admit that sometimes I wonder if we really believe those words and embrace them, or if are we just repeating them out of habit. It’s all too easy for us to say something, but believing it and living it can sometimes be difficult.  Do others see the ‘miracle’ in us and, more importantly, are WE approaching life in a ... read more
E3: Stepping Into Success
September 01, 2015

E3: Stepping Into Success Educating, Equipping and Empowering Wealth, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases. ~ Swahili proverb On the heels of our Back to School worship service and cookout, we want to embrace education, recognizing that it is truly the key to success. As parents and educators, we have the awesome responsibility and privilege to educate, equip and empower (E3) our youth; preparing them to not only step into success, but also seize the opportunities and possibilities before them with boldness, determination and confidence!   Today ... read more
Loving You—Spirit, Soul and Body
August 01, 2015

Over the past several months, we’ve explored the Spirit, Soul and Body during Tuesday noonday and Wednesday night Bible study.  The focus of this study  was not only to show that we are triune beings, created in the image of God, but that each part—spirit, soul and body— manifests itself in our decisions, state of mind, attitude and our relationship with God.  Further, when there is balance or synergy among the three, we are able to live our best lives. As a brief recap, the Spirit side of us relates to God.  We relate to God through our communion o ... read more
Emerging Stronger
July 01, 2015

You’ve often heard me say that some of us don’t look like what we’ve been through.  One of the great things about our  Christian journey is that while we know we will experience trials and tribulations, as we grow in our faith, we come out on  the other side of our pain, struggle, storm or trial, stronger.  What’s more, those ‘cloudy day’ experiences become our  testimonies to others and a reminder to us that God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. As believers, our challenge is to e ... read more
Loving, Laughing, and Living
June 30, 2015

There’s a sense of joy, lightness and free spirit that comes with the onset of warmer weather.  As we shed the heaviness of winter, our thoughts quickly turn to summer, fun and relaxation.  This lightness of spirit that accompanies spring and summer is a welcome reprieve from the cold, mundane of winter.  We eagerly anticipate graduations, vacations, family reunions, bar-b-ques and/or stay-cations as we rejuvenate our minds and bodies. While the seasons shouldn’t dictate our lives or our attitudes, there is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying life and pres ... read more
Grove's Theme for May is "Keys to the Kingdom"
May 01, 2015

Keys to the Kingdom How often have we seen celebrities, athletes or hometown heroes presented with ‘keys to the city’?  These ceremonial ‘keys’ are typically bestowed on individuals in recognition of their success, contributions or achievements.  They are given as a reward or tribute for accomplishments—symbolically giving those honored access to everything and/or everyone in the city.  As Christians, we too, can receive ‘keys.’ These keys do not require any extraordinary fete or achievement; all that is required of us to receive &lsqu ... read more
Grove’s theme for April is “Victor or Victim”
April 01, 2015

  The observance and celebration of Resurrection Sunday commemorates Jesus’ victory over death.  We serve a risen Savior-a living God! Because of Him, we are victorious.  Each of us has the power, free will and authority to be victors and not victims. Unfortunately, there are some victories that we fail to conquer or receive because we do not take authority over them.  In other words, we do not receive, appreciate or fight for them.  One of the prerequisites to victorious living is forgiveness.  If we are bogged down from carrying the weight of an unfo ... read more
Grove's Theme for March 2015 is "BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING"
March 01, 2015

BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING “I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you . . . and you will be a blessing to others.” Genesis 12:2 (NLT) How many times have you heard people say that they are “blessed?” While things may not be exactly as we want them, in our world today, we are blessed to have so much and so many freedoms and privileges that other countries do not.  Unfortunately, too often when we speak of blessings we tie them to tangible items such as finances or other visible forms of wealth and abundance.  The fact of the matter is, as we pre ... read more
Grove's theme for February is Honoring the Past to Celebrate the Future
February 01, 2015

Honoring the Past to Celebrate the Future Each year during February, we honor and pay homage to the myriad of contributions of African Americans—past and present.  This year, with the emphasis we are placing on families, honoring our past, to celebrate the future is even more significant.  Far too many of our youth have little or no inkling of the struggles and sacrifices of our ancestors—those who fought for them to have the rights to which they feel a sense of entitlement. And, while there is enough blame to be shared for this lack of knowledge of African American hist ... read more
Grove's theme for January is Preparing for Greater
January 01, 2015

  It’s a new year! What are you looking forward to, looking to do better, or leaving behind?  In other words, how are you preparing for greater in 2015?  Perhaps your ‘greater’ is finding new employment, purchasing a home, going back to school, becoming debt-free, starting a daily exercise regimen, getting more involved in ministry, or simply embracing you.  Whatever or however you are preparing for greater, I applaud you! During New Year’s Eve services at Grove, we afforded people a unique opportunity to ‘lighten’ their load by ste ... read more
Grove's theme for November is "Celebrating What You Have"
November 01, 2014

Celebrating What You Have Too often we become so busy with life that we forget—or just don’t take time—to celebrate what we have.  In our quest to get more, do more or be more, we sometimes become so focused on the future that we lose sight of the blessings already before us.  Most of us would be hard pressed not to come up with SOMETHING to be thankful for…life, a roof over our heads, health, food, family, friends and even our jobs. When members of our congregation went on the missionary trip to Kenya last year, I was struck by the appreciation dem ... read more
Grove's Theme for October is "Healing Broken Hearts"
October 01, 2014

Healing Broken Hearts “Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days—when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great—and you turn to God alone.” ~ Pastor Rick Warren Whether you suffer the loss of a loved one, go through a painful divorce, struggle with a wayward child, or are betrayed by a friend, at some point, each of us has or will experience broken heartedness.  The remnants of a broken heart can fester, poison, blind or bind you from moving on with ... read more
Grove's Theme for September is "E3 (Educating, Equipping & Empowering) Stepping Into Success"
September 01, 2014

E3  Stepping Into Success Educating, Equipping & Empowering   As summer winds down, in September we turn the page to another chapter—children returning to school or college, and thoughts about those things and events that autumn and winter bring.  I hope that you were able to take time over the last few weeks to rest, rejuvenate and relax with purpose, as we prepare to wrap up the final quarter of 2014.  For the past several years Grove has hosted a Forward to School event to get our youth thinking positively about going back to school.  Our overall fo ... read more
Grove's Theme for August is "Relaxing with Purpose"
August 01, 2014

Relaxing With Purpose Be still. Those words are the opening command in Psalm 46:10a—"Be still, and know that I am God.”  They challenge us to be calm, don’t worry and be emotionally still. It may also call for us to be physically still and stop doing so much!    Most of us do not know how to be still.  We are busy running here and there, with technology shaping—and sometimes dictating— our lives.  Between work, family commitments, chauffeuring the kids to their various activities and events and church, we don’t have time or don&r ... read more
Grove's Theme for July (Youth Month) is "SWAG" (Someone Who Adores God)
July 01, 2014

Do you have swag?  Is it in your walk, talk, the clothes you wear, or is it just your attitude?  Speaking of which, as Christians our SWAG (Someone Who Adores God)—or the demeanor, attitude and that which we present to the world—should be pleasing to God.  And, with so many negative images and messages in today’s media, it’s important for us to remind our youth that they can present their SWAG in a positive and godly manner. Every year during July, we focus on a theme and host activities geared to youth, and this year is no different.  Durin ... read more
Grove's theme for June is "Living Your Best Life"
June 01, 2014

 “Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” ~ Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) With the recent passing of Dr. Maya Angelou, these words from one of the most phenomenal women in our time are poignant and appropriate for June’s theme—Living Your Best Life.  To that end, this month I challenge each of you to weed out negativity and seek to devote yourself to personal excellence and fulfillment—no excuses!     As friends and family member ... read more
Grove's theme for May is "Reaching for the Sky"
May 01, 2014

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." ~ Harriet Tubman   If an uneducated, slave woman who endured seizures, severe headaches and narcoleptic episodes throughout her lifetime can be immortalized in history for leading hundreds of slaves to freedom via the underground railroad, surely there are no limits to what we can accomplish with faith, vision and determination. Today, all around us are examples of individuals who had visions and goals greater than thems ... read more
Grove's theme for April is "Overcoming the Wounds"
April 01, 2014

Overcoming the Wounds "While sickness of the spirit is caused by what we do, sickness of the emotions is generally caused by what is done to us. It grows out of the hurts done to us by other persons or some experience we have been exposed to in the past. These hurts affect us in the present, in the form of bad memories and weak or wounded emotions. This, in turn, leads us into various forms of sin, depression, a sense of worthlessness and inferiority, unreasoning fears and anxieties, psychosomatic illnesses, etc. Included in this are the present-day effects of the sins of the parents in t ... read more
Grove's theme for March is "Worshipping Through Giving"
March 01, 2014

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6–7.   Have you heard the story about the man who attended church with his family. As they were driving home afterwards he was complaining about everything. He said, “The music was too loud. The sermon was too long. The announcements were unclear. The building was hot. The people were unfriendly.” He went on ... read more
Grove's theme for February is "Lest we Forget…"
February 01, 2014

Each year, Black History Month is set aside to acknowledge, celebrate and commemorate the achievements and strides of African Americans in our country.  During this month, we focus on the contributions and successes of those upon whose shoulders many of us stand.  Were it not for them, some of us would not have the degrees we hold, the careers we enjoy, the houses we live in, or any of life’s basics that we take for granted.   That said, it’s important for us to approach Black History Month from a spiritual as well as historical perspective and ask ourselves WH ... read more
Grove's theme for January is "Stepping Into a Brighter Future"
January 01, 2014

When the clock struck midnight marking the beginning of the New Year, some were on their knees praying, others were celebrating, or watching television.  As we enter into this New Year, many of us are amazed that another year has passed.  To some, 2013 flew by and to others it dragged on endlessly.  It’s all a matter of perspective.   Time HAS gone by, but the Lord willing, my prayer is that we look to 2014 as a new opportunity, another chance to do and be better, and that each of us commits to stepping into a brighter future.  Let’s purpose in our he ... read more
The Hope of Christ
December 25, 2013

  In this season of celebration of the birth of Christ, we must not assume that everyone enjoys the spirit of gaiety, love and laughter that often accompanies and sometimes dominates during the Christmas season.  There are people—in the church and in our neighborhoods—who approach the holidays with dread, sorrow and even loneliness.  Perhaps they are grieving the loss of loved ones, going through personal trials (financial, mental, physical or otherwise), or maybe they are just feeling alone and depressed. However, we feel—as Christians—our hope sho ... read more
Grove's theme for December is "Experiencing Real Love"
December 01, 2013

  In a recent interview, Rev. Al Sharpton, in a very poignant and tearful moment, shared that ‘real love’ is when someone invests in you with no expectation of ever receiving a return on that investment. He was speaking of his mother who died several years ago of Alzheimer’s, never realizing his achievements or having any memory of him, but before her memory loss, she loved and supported him unconditionally.   Mothers do that.  They love their children through it all—unconditionally.  But there is One that loves us more than even our mothe ... read more
Grove's theme for November is "Sharing Your Hope"
November 01, 2013

  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   What hope do you have?  As Christians, our hope should be in Christ, but what does that mean to you and how do you demonstrate or share that hope with others?  Are you so heavenly bound that you are no earthly good, or do you seek ways to share your hope with others through your actions? Recently, four Grovinians gave of their time and talent to journey on an exploratory mission trip to Kenya.&n ... read more
30 Day Loyalty Fast
October 16, 2013

  How loyal are you to God? Do work, family and life sometimes take priority over your time or walk with Him? Do you treat God as if you are in a love relationship with Him, or as if He is a genie—someone you call upon when you need something? I invite you to devote your life to God—in a very private and personal way—for the next 30 days.  I am calling it a Loyalty Fast.  Some of us started on our loyalty fast journey a week ago, but if you are just reading this, and like the idea, join us—your 30 days can start now—TODAY!  Also, if you w ... read more
October's Theme is: Healing…Mind, Body, Spirit
October 01, 2013

  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23   In the Bible, we are reminded of the importance and significance of peace and healing in relation to the body, mind and spirit.  So why then is it that in our everyday lives we sometimes forget, neglect, fail to seek, or pray for healing?  Many times our tendency is to try to deal with these issues on our own, ignore them in the hopes that time will heal wounds (mental, physical or spir ... read more
September's Theme is Educating, Equipping and Empowering
September 01, 2013

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela.  These remarkable words attributed to Nelson Mandela have played an integral role in my life and my commitment to education.  As I celebrate 24 years of preaching the gospel, central to that milestone has been not only my desire to learn and grow, but to encourage and empower others to appreciate the merits of education and seize every opportunity to learn and grow. Education continues to be at the heart of what we do at Grove—whether it’s encouraging me ... read more
Our theme for August -- The Good Life: Health and Wellness
August 01, 2013

We all long for the ‘good life’—a life of leisure, that is stress-free, with no problems; where everything is wonderful.  Unfortunately, that’s not reality. In real life, we do or will have stresses, concerns, illnesses and events that throw us for a loop.  How we handle those challenges, concerns and stresses is important as individuals and as Christians. Did you know that stress has been linked to the six leading causes of death:  heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide?  In today’s socie ... read more
Our theme for July is "YOLO" (You Only Live Once)
July 01, 2013

You Only Live Once (YOLO) If you are over 25 you may have never heard the expression YOLO, or perhaps you have heard it, but don’t know what it means.  YOLO is the acronym for You Only Live Once, a phrase made popular by the hip-hop artist Drake (ask your teen).  The essence of YOLO is that it is a battle cry for young people to push the envelope by going to the extreme or doing whatever feels right at that moment—‘YOLO.’  The idea behind it is—since ‘you only live once’—you should live a dangerous and exciting life without regret ... read more
Happy Father’s Day
June 15, 2013

Happy Father’s Day “Every child has a hole in his soul in the shape of their father,” Roland Warren, President National Fatherhood Initiative Okay, let’s be real—dads don’t get the same respect, recognition and esteem on Father’s Day that moms do on Mother’s Day.  And, while we could address the elephant in the room—one out of every three children in the United States is being raised in a fatherless home—l choose to focus on, honor and pay tribute to those dads who are commited to making a positive difference in the lives o ... read more
Worth the Wait is Worth Checking Out
June 06, 2013

It seems that every time we turn on the news, all we hear about is our youth gone awry—from creating chaos in Virginia Beach during College Beach Week, to mob scenes near MacArthur Square, and gun violence in all our neighborhoods.  While no one refutes that there are many reasons for our youth acting out, not ALL our youth are in the streets creating havoc and engaging in illegal activities.  Many are doing positive things—enrolled in honors’ programs, attending college, working or volunteering, and engaging in team sports. Sometimes it appears that the &lsquo ... read more
Our theme for June is “Embracing the Journey”
June 01, 2013

Each month we present a theme designed to challenge you in your faith and encourage you to action—like Becoming an Overcomer or Reaching for Greatness. June is a little different. This month, we only want to remind you to embrace the journey. Most people enjoy summer.  With the kids out of school, summer is a time of fun, vacations, and lots of outdoor activities.  It provides us with a wonderful time to reflect, relax, exhale and appreciate life. Understanding that life doesn’t change just because it’s June; we still have an overabundance of responsibilities at ... read more
Happy Mother’s Day
May 10, 2013

Perhaps this quote says it best, “Love is blind because my mother started loving me before seeing my face.”  So begins a mother’s love that continues throughout and beyond a lifetime.   How many times have we seen 7-foot athletes give shout outs to their mothers on television, or witnessed stars walking the red carpet with their moms on their arms?  No matter how far we go in life or who we know, mothers always hold a special place in our hearts.   Whether mom is a birth mother, surrogate, adopted or otherwise, the love that she feels for her child is ... read more
Grove’s theme for May is “Reaching for Greatness”
May 01, 2013

When we think of greatness we normally think prestige, wealth and power— characteristics often associated with celebrities or other high profile individuals--but that kind of greatness is frequently fleeting and temporal. There is greatness within each of us.   Money, fame and special abilities may offer temporary fame— and even long term for some, but Daniel Webster (of dictionary fame) understood greatness from a religious standpoint.  He said, “a solemn and religious regard to spiritual and eternal things is an indispensable element of true greatness. Men ma ... read more
Establishing Kingdom Health and Growth
April 23, 2013

Grove is one of the largest African American churches in Portsmouth.  We are proud of our history and our heritage but, that aside, with kingdom growth, comes kingdom-sized or gargantuan responsibilities.  God has blessed Grove, and with that blessing comes great accountability.  Along the way, Grove has earned a reputation for being a church that meets the needs of people in our community.  As such, from the pulpit to the pew, we must periodically examine ourselves to ensure that we are just not ushering in new members to increase our numbers, but drawing new members to t ... read more
Our theme for April, "Becoming An Overcomer!"
April 01, 2013

Are you an overcomer?  What have you had to overcome? For some, maybe it was disappointment, abandonment, divorce, or health challenges —where others may have had to overcome, bitterness, financial hardship, the passing of a loved one, or unforgiveness. No doubt each of us has had to overcome some challenge, obstacle or trial at some point in our lives.  We have had to discard baggage, release anxieties, forgive or say good-bye to some things (or people) in our lives, in order to move forward or overcome, so that we can experience freedom, peace and restore the joy ... read more
Glorifying God Through Giving
March 01, 2013

What does it mean to glorify God through giving? Very simply, it means to show Him appreciation, adoration and affection.  With that in mind, every Christian knows that God doesn’t NEED anything from us; He desires, requests and requires some things of us as His followers, but ultimately, the decision to honor, obey and glorify Him lies with each of us. When we think of giving, most of us naturally think of money.  And, rightly so; money is important.  We cannot accomplish kingdom work without it. It would be impossible for us to meet the needs of people in our church o ... read more
Keeping that Lovin’ Feeling
February 13, 2013

As we approach Valentine’s Day thoughts turn to love. When we love someone we enjoy spending time with him or her, and we like talking with and finding ways to demonstrate our love to that person. Unfortunately, sometimes that love fades, or we start to take that love for granted.  We find ourselves spending less time with the person we love, communicating less frequently and missing opportunities to show our love. Sometimes our relationship with God is like that.  If we are honest, when we first entered into a relationship with Christ, we talked with Him a lot (prayed), spe ... read more
February's theme: Remembering the Legacies
February 01, 2013

Names like Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are familiar to most of us.  We grew up hearing about their legacies and contributions to Black history.  While it is important for us to remember and commemorate the legacies left by these and other history makers, let’s also remember that  each of us has the opportunity and the obligation to create and leave our own legacy. One of the basic definitions of ‘legacy’ is “anything handed down from the past, such as from an ancestor or predecessor.”  A legacy does ... read more
Martin Luther King Jr. Observance
January 17, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday was January 15th, but we observe it nationally on January 21st.  It’s been 45 years since his life was cut short at the hands of a gunman, but Dr. King left his mark and his dream with many of us. While most people know his most-quoted speech, “I Have A Dream,” and some believe that with the election of President Barack Obama, that dream was fulfilled, Dr. King spoke many other prophetic words that we should all become familiar with and challenge ourselves to make them become our reality. For example, Dr. King also said, &ldq ... read more
90-Day Tithing Challenge
January 04, 2013

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”—Malachi-3:10             By now you have probably heard about our Tithing Challenge.  We are asking you to be prayerful about tithing and, if you are so led, try it for 90 days.  Test God, as He commands us in Malachi 3:10, by tithing.  ... read more
January’s theme is “Investing in Ourselves”
January 03, 2013

                The New Year typically brings with it the sense of new beginnings—a time to start over, do it better, do it right, forgive, forget and move forward.  It is also a time when people tend to make resolutions or promises to change.  Some people resolve to start a daily exercise regimen, others vow to drop those extra pounds, and some view the new year as an opportunity to make a career switch, go back to school or any myriad of other changes—all intended to help us improve or invest in ... read more
Valuing and Enriching Relationships in December
December 14, 2012

In this season of giving, and as we reflect on the true meaning for the season, this is good time to reach out to others who are less fortunate, broken, disillusioned and hurting.  Too often, we get caught up with the busyness of life to stop and think about our relationships and how we can enrich them and/or help others.  At Grove, we strive to value and enrich relationships throughout the year as we work diligently to meet the needs of people.  We accomplish this in a number of ways—from providing food baskets to food insecure families, to our partnership with a health ... read more
November 09, 2012

Throughout the Bible we are told that we never need to fear. Those of us that know God can have a confidence that He is big enough to handle any challenges that come our way. There’s nothing that’s going to happen in your life today that you and God cannot handle! David was a man who could have allowed fear to greatly affect him. He faced tremendous attacks from his enemies. His story is one of constant challenge. But he knew the security that had been provided for him through his faith in God. In Psalm 34:4 David wrote: “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and deliv ... read more