Spread the Good Word: Matthew 11:30

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 06 September 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 498

Spread the Good Word: Matthew 11:30

Today's Good Word starts a brand-new theme, which we've named "Simplify." This isn't about simplifying your possessions (decluttering) or your schedule (saying no more). Instead, it's about simplifying your mindset — how you think.

Do you ever feel like life is more complicated than it's supposed to be? There are so many conflicting views, opinions, and data points floating around in our minds, and it's all very noisy and chaotic. Sometimes just the act of thinking alone in a quiet room can feel weighty and leave you heavy.

Today's verse tells us that the load of discipleship is light. Or, it should be.

New Priorities

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Thursday, 05 September 2019. Posted in Testimonies Hits 541

New Priorities

Today's article by Brother Rich Nath is another installment in the series, "The Day He Found Me."

June 20, 1993, GMBA Campout at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA. That’s the day the Lord called me. The story actually begins the day before. Someone told me, “You know, they preach baptism at camp.” I laughed and said, “That’s the furthest thing from my mind. I’m going to play football with the guys.” The priorities of a 15-year-old aren’t always what we would hope them to be. I admit that when I left for camp that Saturday afternoon, baptism was nowhere near the top of my priority list.

Sunday morning at camp, we had a very nice meeting, and the young people sang a few songs. The only one I remember was, “A New Name Written Down in Glory.” Throughout the day, that song stuck with me, but I didn’t think anything of it. It was a catchy tune, and I kept humming it. We had dinner, and I got ready for the evening meeting.

A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit (3 Nephi 9)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 04 September 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 321

A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit (3 Nephi 9)

In 3 Nephi 9, the Nephites deal with the aftermath of the great destruction that occurred at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. As they sit in total darkness, the voice of Christ is heard across the land by all of the people. Jesus points out that all of the destruction is the result of the sins of the people — He then tells them how they need to proceed at this point in order to be forgiven of their sins. Now that Jesus has served as the final sacrifice, the Law of Moses has been fulfilled and sacrifices will no longer be necessary. Instead, the people are now instructed to make a different type of sacrifice:

"And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost" (3 Nephi 9:20)

What are a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and what do they have to do with serving God?

A Certainty in My Heart

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, 03 September 2019. Posted in Testimonies Hits 275

A Certainty in My Heart

Today's article by Sister Natalie Shawver is another installment in the series, "The Day He Found Me."

I never really had any doubts that I would one day make a decision to join The Church of Jesus Christ.

Born into the Gospel and raised by godly parents, I wanted to make a commitment like they had — and also welcome true joy into my life. I never questioned whether it was the right choice to make or not; I simply just wanted to ensure I was making it at the right time, as it isn’t something to be taken lightly.

In 2002, the Cincinnati Branch was blessed to host a Youth In Action (YIA) tour. Many young brothers and sisters from around the country came to spend a week with us passing out fliers, inviting the community to various events we held, and uplifting our small group. I was fortunate to meet new friends and spend a week with others who held the same beliefs as me (even though I wasn’t baptized yet).

Lord, Strengthen My Faith

Written by Sister Stefanie Arcuri on Monday, 02 September 2019. Posted in Miracles Hits 254

Lord, Strengthen My Faith

Today's Miracle Monday is a story of anointing submitted by Sister Stefanie Arcuri. We hope it brightens your morning on this Labor Day weekend.

Last summer, I was thinking to myself during the week how I'd never been anointed and immediately received a healing.

I was praying and told God that if my faith was lacking, please strengthen it because I completely believe He has the power to heal any affliction.

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 40:3

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 30 August 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 526

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 40:3

If you can't play an instrument, read music, or even carry a tune, then this Good Word series on music may not have been your cup of tea. But, don't lose heart. Today's verse describes a "new song" from God that anyone can "sing," even the musically challenged.

What is that new song? It's praise to God. It's the song of redeeming love. It's amazing grace.

"He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord."

It will never be a song that tops the charts, but it will resonate with those who are seekers of truth. It's a song that can never be wholly ignored. It's a song that inspires awe. It's a song that draws people to God.

When Is My Time?

Written by Sister Mallory Batson on Thursday, 29 August 2019. Posted in Testimonies Hits 793

When Is My Time?

Today's article by Sister Mallory Batson is the first one in our fall series called, "The Day He Found Me." For the next few weeks, you'll hear stories from our columnists of how they asked for their baptisms. We hope that these articles inspire you to think back on the day you were baptized — or forward to the day you will make the commitment.

How will I know that it’s my time?

That is the one question about baptism I could never get answered to my satisfaction. What I heard most was “You’ll just know,” and for someone as analytical as me, that answer drove me crazy.

The day I asked for my baptism, I wasn’t thinking about baptism at all. It was Sunday at GMBA conference in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and frankly, I was only there to see my friends. I had met some of my very best friends at campout the year prior, and I asked my parents to take me anywhere I knew they would be.

When the Lights Go Out (3 Nephi 8)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 28 August 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 255

When the Lights Go Out (3 Nephi 8)

Today, we're going to go over some steps you need to take in the event of a power failure in your home. What do you do when the lights go out?

Step 1: Determine whether there has been a power failure.

Look around you. What do you see? If nothing, then you can be reasonably certain there has been a power failure.

Step 2: Seek an alternative source of light.

If you have candles or flashlights in your home, now is the time to use them. If you don't have any of these — well, think about the parable of the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins (Matthew 25) and decide which of those you're identifying with right now.

Wait, That's Not Lotion

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Tuesday, 27 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 664

Wait, That's Not Lotion

For those of you that shop at big box stores, such as Sam’s Club or Costco, you may be able to identify with this true story.

On a recent shopping trip to Costco, I walked past a sample cart that had products such as hand lotion, age-fighting creams, etc. I usually don’t have a problem passing up the chicken tenders or the latest pasta samples, but this one stopped me in my tracks. After all, the last thing I want is dry, wrinkly skin.

Since there was no one manning the station, I pumped a small amount of what I thought was hand lotion into my hand. The bottle was labeled "trial," so I knew this would be OK. As I tried to rub the lotion into my hands, they became sticky, not smooth and silky like I had imagined.

God's Speedy Response

Written by Brett Rozzelle on Monday, 26 August 2019. Posted in Miracles Hits 678

God's Speedy Response

Today's Miracle Monday is an answered prayer (with uncanny timing) that comes to us from Brett Rozzelle.

I woke up one morning with a great deal of pain in my mouth. When I looked in the mirror, my cheek was quite swollen. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with an abscess. I was given antibiotics for the infection. After a few days of taking the antibiotics, I still was in a lot of pain. The pain had increased to the point where I had to call out of work for a day.

While I was home from work, I called Brother Jerry Valenti and asked if I could come to his house to be anointed. The first thing I did was gross everyone out by showing them a photo on my phone of the infected area. (It was all white with a lot of pus.) I was then anointed for my condition, and then we sat down and began having a discussion.

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 98:4

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 23 August 2019. Posted in The Good Word Hits 330

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 98:4

Today, we're putting a different spin on our Good Word theme of music and song. This psalm tells us that the earth itself — the natural world — makes a joyful noise to the Lord.

Musicians make music, yes, but this verse implies that God's other creations are also designed to "praise" Him.

If you take a moment to think, you'll probably be able to recollect many times when you've heard sounds in nature that are so lovely that they could be on par with a song.

Just Breathe!

Written by Brother Ryan Lesperance on Thursday, 22 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 621

Just Breathe!

Mark 8...

22. And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

23. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

24. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

25. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly

On the first go around, the blind man saw men as trees ... very interesting!

Raising the Dead (3 Nephi 7)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 21 August 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 238

Raising the Dead (3 Nephi 7)

In 3 Nephi 7, the government that has been in effect since the time of Mosiah shuts down, as the chief judge is murdered once again and the Nephite people split up into various separate communities (or tribes), each with its own laws. Each tribe considers itself an entity unto itself — all other tribes are enemies — and nobody is willing to take direction from anyone else.

Nephi, perhaps assisted by his brother Timothy, goes among the people to preach repentance and faith in Christ to them. Miracles are performed so the people can witness the power of Christ. Yet, they are unmoved and, in fact, become very angry. They even take Timothy and stone him to death! Nephi responds by raising his brother from the dead!!

Now, it would be a nice ending to say that the people were converted after witnessing such an obvious display of the power of God — someone being raised from the dead. However, that's not what happens. Other than a few who are converted, the people continue down the evil path that leads to their eventual destruction in the next chapter. Sad to see people so enslaved by the enemy that even witnessing the raising of the dead can't free them.

The Church Is a Garden

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Tuesday, 20 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 731

The Church Is a Garden

I am a plant nerd. I inherited a green thumb from my grandma who taught me about houseplants and bought me terrarium kits while I was growing up. I filled my first apartment with plants I propagated and shared with friends. Recently, a co-worker gave me a cute little Pepperomia started from one she'd been growing for a long time from a cutting I gave her over 20 years ago. How cool to think it came back to me — like a plant grandbaby of sorts!

When we bought our first home, my interests expanded to what I could plant outdoors. Going to the nursery every May is my absolute favorite shopping day of the year. My family knows I’ll be gone for hours contemplating my selections and come home with a minivan full of herbs and flowers ready to welcome the season. When everything is in place in the yard and in beautiful containers, it makes me so happy to see the results!

God's Got My Back

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Monday, 19 August 2019. Posted in Miracles Hits 337

God's Got My Back

Today's Miracle Monday is a testimony of miraculous healing sent to us by Sister Dianne Maddox.

A few months ago, I found a lump on my back. I ignored it for a while, hoping it was nothing serious and would just go away. I was speaking to a sister who is a registered nurse, and the subject of my lump randomly came up.

She strongly encouraged me to see my doctor, which I did. The doctor said that it was a cyst that needed to be removed since this type of cyst could cause very serious issues. She referred me to a surgeon whom I saw later that week.

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