Windows of Opportunity for Faith-building

Written by Sister Renee Scolaro on Monday, 02 November 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 679

Windows of Opportunity for Faith-building

Today's article comes to us from Sister Renee Scolaro, who reflects on the many times the Lord built her faith throughout childhood and adolescence. 

What is a “window of opportunity"? Oxford defines it as “a favorable opportunity for doing something that must be seized immediately.”

According to one source, windows of opportunity for children are optimum periods for specific areas of development. These are the times when learning in a specific area can develop at an incredible rate. These windows are only effective if there are effective environmental stimuli with which the child can interact. Most of these windows make it easier for a child to learn a certain ability. If a window is missed, it doesn’t mean that a child can’t learn a new skill, it just means that it will take more effort.

Spread the Good Word: John 14:27

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 30 October 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 442

Spread the Good Word: John 14:27

Good Word Friday Theme: Fear Not

November is soon upon us, and we're here with a new theme for Good Word Friday: Fear Not.

Today's verse is taken from John 14, where Jesus is observing passover with His disciples in the upper room. At this point, Jesus has just made a few troubling predictions:

He is going to die — soon.
One of the disciples will traitorously betray Him.
Peter will deny Jesus three times before sunrise.

Talk about bad news. I think we all know what it's like to hear bad news and feel afraid— it is 2020 after all. Just imagine what the disciples must've felt knowing that death and betrayal were at the very doorstep. Did they shake with fear? Did their minds whir in confusion? It's one thing if the bad news is hypothetical or likely to happen at some uncertain future time. It's different when you know it's most definitely going to happen to you.

Writer’s Block

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Thursday, 29 October 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 339

Writer’s Block

You may not believe this after having read my blogs over the years, but the truth is, sometimes I get writer’s block. Yep, even experienced writers who seem to find the words no matter what can’t always put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I often sit and stare at a blank screen wondering what I have to offer or where my next blog will come from.

Oh wait … I know where it will come from. Or better said, Who it will come from.

Since my participation in the Gospel Blog committee began in 2012, I’ve been blessed to receive text messages, emails, hugs and kind words for my writing. Each compliment and, “I needed that,” comment goes straight to my heart. I’m blessed that you are blessed—and I’m honored to use a talent that God gave me for my career for The Church.

Be a Zealot for Jesus

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 28 October 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 310

Be a Zealot for Jesus

Today begins a series of 12 blog articles on the original 12 Apostles of Jesus. Similar to the Book of Mormon articles, each of these articles will include a little bit of information about one of the Apostles and then some type of application for our own service to God today.

One of the most unheralded Apostles of Jesus is a man named Simon. This particular Simon is distinguished from Simon Peter by being referred to as either Simon the Canaanite (Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:18) or Simon Zelotes (Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13). In this particular case, the title of Canaanite doesn't mean he was from Canaan (which would have made him a Gentile) but it's actually a translation of the word "Kananite" which comes from the Hebrew word "qanai" which means "zealous." The name "Zelotes" also means "zealot," so this Simon can best be referred to as Simon the Zealot.

Based on this title, it can be inferred that Simon's background would include being involved as a zealot for various political causes of the day. You can picture him giving fiery speeches, trying to enlist as many people as possible for his causes, perhaps even leading riots against those who opposed his causes.

Joanna: First to Tell

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Tuesday, 27 October 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 279

Joanna: First to Tell

This article is part of Sister Alena X. Ricci's series on the Women of the Bible.

In studying Joanna for this blog, she has quickly become one of my favorites. Vastly overlooked, hers is an incredible story, and I hope that you go and read it for yourself (in Luke). It’s not long, but it is so amazing to me.

Joanna was a wealthy and well-connected woman in Herod’s court, with a life of more power and luxury than most other women mentioned in Scripture. At some point, Jesus had healed her, and she began following Him in His ministry, providing for anything He needed out of her own pocket.

The Bible never mentions if her faith hurt her life, but guess what?

That doesn’t really change her story, because whether or not it did doesn't affect or change the fact that even with the escalating risks of faith, she faced them unflinchingly.

She didn’t care; she was going to follow Jesus no matter what.

A Day With My Friends

Written by Sister Pat Valenti on Monday, 26 October 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 310

A Day With My Friends

Today's Miracle Monday story is a testimony submitted by Sister Pat Valenti about God's perfect timing and perfect provision.

Our daughter, Maria, has been blessed to be able to attend special needs programs in our local school district for most of her life. However, last year, she turned 21, which meant she was no longer eligible for these programs. Instead, we were tasked with finding a day program for her or else she would have nowhere to go and nothing to do each day. It turned out that finding a suitable program was more difficult than we had anticipated.

Days and months passed, and no suitable program seemed to be available for her. After each disappointment, I was getting more confused and feeling very abandoned by God. We had asked our friends, family, brothers, and sisters to pray that God would provide the right program for her. Why wasn't the Lord hearing our humble prayers on behalf of this sweet, innocent angel He gave to us?

Spread the Good Word: 1 Nephi 13:17

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 23 October 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 314

Spread the Good Word: 1 Nephi 13:17

Good Word Friday theme: Seek

Today, we wrap up our last scripture on the theme of "Seek." It's wonderful to seek God's will in our own personal lives — we're supposed to; it's good and right. But is there more beyond that? Does God have plans for the world at large?

Yes! There's a bigger plan for those who have eyes to see it. And today's verse says that there's a great blessing for those who desire (seek) to be part of that plan.

What are we looking forward to? The restoration of Israel, the destruction of everything unholy, the building of Zion, the glorious returning of Jesus, the end of the world as we know it and (perhaps) the unfolding of all mysteries.

What You Focus On

Written by Brother P. on Thursday, 22 October 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 379

What You Focus On

This article is another installment in Brother P's series, "Lessons From the Nursing Home."

I work in a nursing home, and much of my job consists of getting people out of bed and walking them around. One particular guy that I had to work with had post-polio syndrome, which affected his left arm and leg. He called himself "gimpy" because of the residual deficits he endured most of his life. And just before you start to feel bad for him, let me tell you, it gets much worse.

He reports that because of his gimpy-ness, he decided to cope with life by turning to drugs. (And let me just interject with an emphatic “Say NO to drugs! Don’t even start!”) The result of the drugs was a stroke that left his “good” right arm and right leg almost completely useless.

The chances of this guy ever walking again were quite slim, but he put Olympic-sized effort into walking again. After several months of working, buckets of sweat, many failures, and an unceasing, unwavering drive, he was able to traverse about 250 feet on a single walk.

Who Are You Voting For?

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 21 October 2020. Posted in Culture/Society Hits 634

Who Are You Voting For?

Let's begin this topic with a little bit of trivia: We currently have approximately 3000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ living in the United States with no more than 500 living in any single state. Since all elections in the United States (including for President) are determined by voters within each individual state, what do you suppose is the likelihood that our church membership will affect the outcome of any of the national elections this year? If you answered virtually zero, you would be correct. Why do I point this out? For two reasons:

  1. You can trust that the purpose of this article is not to convince you to vote for any particular candidates on Election Day. Quite frankly, I have more valuable ways to spend my time than trying to affect the votes of a few hundred people in an election that will be decided by hundreds of thousands of votes.
  2. Just as I have no reason to try to influence members of the church as to how to vote, neither do any of you have any reason to try to do so. The upside is zero and the downside is exactly what the devil wants — broken relationships and division within the body of Christ. Social media makes it very easy to expound our views but hopefully, we can realize that such expounding (regardless of who we are supporting and how insightful we may think our comments are) is only hurting The Church of Jesus Christ.

So, who are you voting for this year? What criteria are you using to make your decision? For myself, I have to confess that I actually have a very simplistic way of deciding how to vote. It's based on scripture such as this:

A Time of Harvest

Written by Brother Jared Scolaro on Tuesday, 20 October 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 368

A Time of Harvest

When I was in high school, I became addicted to an online game called Farmville. Like many online games, Farmville is free to play, but for just a few dollars you can purchase special perks.

I always considered myself too wise to spend real money on a game that would arguably add no real value to my life. Instead, I spent hours each day carefully planting and harvesting virtual strawberries and eggplant, secretly applauding myself for outsmarting the game’s incessant marketing schemes.

See, in high school I had a tight income, so I kept a tight budget. I accounted for every dollar, setting aside funds for the things I valued, with not much left over. I realized that any purchase I made beyond what I had budgeted for would require sacrificing something else, and Farmville just didn’t make the cut.

But even with all of my careful budgeting, it never occurred to me that I was pouring something far more precious than money into my imaginary farm. Because even though my monetary income may have felt tight, I was, and still am, living on an even tighter “time income.”

Blessings That Sparkle

Written by Sister Barbara (Henderson) Weiner on Monday, 19 October 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 692

Blessings That Sparkle

Today's Miracle Monday comes to us from Sister Barbara (Henderson) Weiner, who is relating an experience of her mother, Sister Dorothy Henderson who passed away in 2016. This is her testimony.

Sister Dorothy was baptized at the age of 16 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ all the days of her life. She lived her life for the Lord and found immense joy in this.

When Sister Dorothy's mother, Sister May Burgess, passed away, she inherited her diamond wedding ring. One day while at work, she was washing her hands at the sink, and her ring must have slipped off her finger.

Spread the Good Word: Alma 39:14

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 16 October 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 429

Spread the Good Word: Alma 39:14

Good Word Friday theme: Seek

Worldly wealth. Fame and privilege. Status and power. Beauty and admiration. Oh, the vain things we seek! We know deep down that none of these will bring true happiness. Yet ... what percentage of life is dedicated to worldly gain? What part is dedicated to spiritual gain?

Today's verse says that the "vain things of this world" aren't worth the seeking. It's something that we need to remind ourselves of on a daily basis because the vain things of this world can be so irresistible and enticing.

Growing in Faith or Growing in Fear?

Written by Sister Christina DiCenzo on Thursday, 15 October 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 490

Growing in Faith or Growing in Fear?

Natural pain in our bodies is an indication or alarm to let us know that something is wrong. Something in our bodies is weak or wounded and needs attention.

Could fear be an indication that we may be spiritually weak or that something is wrong in our beliefs that needs attention? In other words, do we need God’s word of truth, just like we need medicine? To feed our minds and kill whatever brings us fear?

Fear is a powerful tool that Satan can use on any and all of us — and he does. Fear paralyzes, debilitates, and kills faith in an instant. It is a reaction.

“Do not be afraid,” appears in the Bible 70 times, and this does not include variants such as “fear not,” and “do not fear.”

A stronghold is defined as a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack. Are our minds fortified with God’s truth or Satan’s lies? If we often experience fear, could there be a lie that the enemy has planted in our minds that is causing it?

Trusting in God (Moroni 10)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 14 October 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 607

Trusting in God (Moroni 10)

The Book of Mormon ends with a challenge to the reader to trust in God. We will end this blog series with the same challenge to our readers.

What does it mean to trust in God? Does it mean that we give God assignments and trust (expect) that He will make things work out the way we want them to? If you've ever tried doing this, you know that it doesn't really work that way. Those who think it does work that way often wind up losing their faith when they conclude that God is not trustworthy when He doesn't give them what they ask for.

Trusting in God is really about trusting Him for the outcome in a given situation. It means that we put something in His hands and trust that He will work things out in the proper way, whatever that is. When we pray, we usually request specific outcomes to our situations and, when the outcome is what we requested, we rejoice and praise God. However, when the outcome is not what we wanted, if we truly trust in God, we will seek to understand why it worked out the way it did and ultimately trust that God allowed things to happen the way they did for some good reason, perhaps known only to Him.

The Lost Tribe of Manasseh

Written by Sister Sandy Capone on behalf of the NAOC on Tuesday, 13 October 2020. Posted in Church News Hits 473

The Lost Tribe of Manasseh

We are living in a time where the words of the prophets are coming to life! Events we are seeing indicates that the dispersed people of Israel may well be beginning the process of going home!

In northeastern India, there is a community of people that goes by the name Bnei Menashe. They were exiled from Israel by the Assyrians 2,700 years ago and are descendants of Manasseh.

Their ancestors first traveled all the way to China and stayed there for several centuries. You can see the Chinese influence in their features. Ultimately, they had to leave China because of religious persecution. They went south and then west until they settled in northeastern India. Separated geographically from Israel, they maintained their traditions, passed down orally from father to son. It is said they always longed for Zion, for Jerusalem and Israel. The only thing that kept them connected to Israel was their faith, plus the customs and traditions handed down through the generations.

<<  1 [23 4 5 6  >>