Even the Storms Are for Our Benefit

Written by Brother Jared Scolaro on Monday, 12 October 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 789

Even the Storms Are for Our Benefit

Today's Miracle Monday is a blessing shared by Brother Jared Scolaro in response to our prompt, "Share an experience regarding missionary travel."

I was blessed to tag along on a missionary trip to Colombia in May 2015. In the days leading up to our departure, the weather forecast predicted rain every day of the trip, which was concerning because our primary means of transportation was on foot.

Thankfully, God had other plans.

Spread the Good Word: Jacob 4:10

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 09 October 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 466

Spread the Good Word: Jacob 4:10

Good Word Friday theme: Seek

God is our Creator and Father. The universe is the only thing large enough to be His throne. Our tiny planet is His mere footstool. He exists outside of time and space. His love knows no limits, and His mercy is boundless. He is truly Great!

Yet, so often, we persist in patronizing Him. As today's scripture says, we seek to counsel the Lord, meaning, we like to advise Him as to how He can best serve us.

Why Trials Happen

Written by Sister Erin Light on Thursday, 08 October 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 633

Why Trials Happen

Today's article is submitted by Sister Erin Light. It's based on a class prepared by her mother, Sister Carolyn Light, on James 1:1-12. The theme is "Reasons for Trials," and the article reads a bit like a lesson outline. It uses this passage in James to shed light on one of the toughest questions in Christianity: "Why does God let bad things happen to His people?"

One of the best tests of spiritual growth and maturity is trouble. When believers go through personal trials, they discover the kind of faith they really possess. Trials not only reveal our faith, but they also develop our character.

The book of James tells us, "The trying of your faith worketh patience." Patience is enduring faith, faith with staying power, faith that overcomes. Verses 1 to 12 speak about trials and tests that come into our lives from outside circumstances. God is trying to produce in each of His servants "faith that overcomes," that endures, that has staying power. Far too many who start out following Christ fall by the wayside when temptations and trials come. God is trying to produce an inward change by allowing and even ordaining outward trials to build in us an overcoming faith.

God wants us to understand that trials in life are not uncommon (Mt. 5:10-12; 1 Pe. 4:12). If you are going through trials right now, realize that God is not picking on you (1 Cor. 10:13). He has a purpose!

The Power of Positive Thinking (Moroni 9)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 07 October 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 413

The Power of Positive Thinking (Moroni 9)

Found on a popular medical website:

"Positive thinking is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. It can have a big impact on your physical and mental health. It doesn't mean that you ignore reality or make light of problems. It simply means that you approach the good and the bad in life with the expectation that things will go well.

Some physical benefits of positive thinking may include longer life span, lower blood pressure, lower chance of having a heart attack, greater resistance to illness, better stress management and better pain tolerance. Mental benefits may include more creativity, clearer thinking, greater problem-solving skill, better mood, better coping skills and less depression."

One man in the scriptures who was a master at positive thinking was Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Israel.

In Genesis 39, Joseph finds himself sold into slavery by his own brothers. It would have been easy for him to bemoan his fate and stoke his anger over how unfairly life was treating him and how his own family members had betrayed him. Instead, he focuses on being the best slave he can be and winds up being put in charge of the entire household.

Seasons

Written by Sister Mallory McNamara on Tuesday, 06 October 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 279

Seasons

We’ve made it to fall. A new season. The leaves are changing colors, the weather is getting cooler, and pumpkin everything is in every store everywhere. I enjoy the end of summer solely because I love fall so much. I happily trade T-shirts and flip flops for hoodies and scarves.

Wouldn’t it be nice if every season was our favorite season? If I lived in a place where it was perpetually fall, I wouldn’t have to deal with the heat of summer or the bone-chilling cold of winter. I could be comfortable all the time. But I often wonder if I would enjoy fall as much as I do if it weren’t for the heat and cold of the other seasons. Would I take the perfect weather and comfortable clothes for granted because I don’t know any different?

An Angel in the Dark of Night

Written by Sister Patty Kerby on Monday, 05 October 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 412

An Angel in the Dark of Night

Today's Miracle Monday is from Sister Patty Kerby, where she responds to our prompt in which we requested experiences about angels.

I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ for 42 years. Throughout my life and years in the church, there have been many people (earthly angels) that have come to my aid and to my family in times of need. This particular instance happened many years ago.

I was attending the Yucaipa Branch in California at the time. The church building was located about an hour from my house. I was driving by myself to a Wednesday night service. At that time, I had no cell phone — I cannot imagine myself without one now. The road that I always traveled was part freeway and part scenic winding road through mountains.

Spread the Good Word: Luke 11:9-10

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 02 October 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 434

Spread the Good Word: Luke 11:9-10

Good Word Friday theme: Seek

It's October, and we're back to our regular Good Word Fridays, and the new month's theme is "Seek."

We are all born seekers, don't you think? From the moment we enter the world, we're asking for something that we cannot obtain for ourselves. No matter how capable we become of providing for our own natural needs, there's always something to seek.

The key is seeking in the right direction. So often, we seek answers where there are none to be found. Worldly wells may yield a few wet buckets, but they always run dry. When we go to God with our needs, when we seek for Him to provide, He does. Today's scripture says so.

Sanitizing

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Thursday, 01 October 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 247

Sanitizing

For the last six months, I have carefully wiped my groceries with sanitizing wipes before I bring them into the house. I am constantly wiping the steering wheel of my car, and don’t you dare enter my house with your shoes on! Thanks to my new addiction to hand sanitizer, my hands are dry and often smell like a bottle of bleach.

But, am I as careful with what goes into my head? Do I look at everything I consume in such great detail to see if there are germs — a.k.a. sin — attached to it? Am I allowing “germs” to invade my spiritual life? Are things sneaking in so quietly that I no longer notice them? I can’t see the germs on my groceries, but I can guarantee you that I do everything I can to keep them from going into my refrigerator or pantry.

Am I as conscientious about my spiritual life? Especially now, when so many of us yearn for the closeness of face-to-face church meetings, hugging our spiritual family, singing with one another praises to our Lord, am I doing what I can to keep my spirit clean and germ-free?

He's Got the Little Tiny Baby in His Hands (Moroni 8)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 30 September 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 384

He's Got the Little Tiny Baby in His Hands (Moroni 8)

A gross error. Solemn mockery before God. Awful wickedness.

What terrible sin is being described by all of these strongly worded terms? Believe it or not, these terms are used in Moroni 8 to describe the practice of baptizing little children.

Wow, is it really that bad to do this? After all, isn't baptism the way that people become members of the church? What's wrong with getting the children started early? Is there really any harm in this?

Well, let's first make sure that we understand the purpose for baptism. It's not just to become a member of the church. Rather, it's what people do when they are ready to repent of all of their sins and turn their lives over to Christ. Little children cannot do this. As the Lord states in this chapter, "Little children…are not capable of committing sin" and "I came into the world not to call the righteous but the sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick" (verse 8).

What Emojis Would Jesus Use?

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Tuesday, 29 September 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 564

What Emojis Would Jesus Use?

Think about how many times a day you may use an emoji as you virtually interact with others. My go-to emojis are smiley faces 😊, hearts 💗, thumbs up for OK 👍, and praying hands for sending prayers 🙏.

Scriptures record numerous examples where Jesus felt many of the same emotions we do, yet He did not sin. This proves that it is expected to feel emotions. It is the response to emotions that is precarious.

Let’s look at some examples in the scripture where Jesus felt emotions while in the flesh. Can you imagine which emojis Jesus would use to express his emotions in the following examples?

Our Home's Guardian Angel

Written by Brother Wayne Martorana on Monday, 28 September 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 452

Our Home's Guardian Angel

Today's Miracle Monday is from Brother Wayne Martorana, where he responds to the prompt we sent out, asking for testimonies about angels.

This experience was one of the first that the Lord gave me as a young man that began to shape my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I was 12 years old, several years before I would make my covenant to serve the Lord, my parents were planning a family vacation to drive to California to meet with many of the brothers and sisters of The Church as well as some of our natural family.

Stay United in Reopening

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 25 September 2020. Posted in Church News Hits 459

Stay United in Reopening

Right around the Fourth of July, the ministry of the Lakeside Branch in Arizona was faced with the question of reopening the branch for in-person Sunday services. Needless to say, the branch ministry put a lot of thought and prayer into deciding when to reopen and how.

This is how it happened for our group.

It was a blessing to connect virtually with our branch — and many others throughout the church — during the shutdown; however, it did not compare to seeing one another face to face. When we were given permission to open, we wanted to give those who were ready and willing the opportunity to meet. 

Our re-opening theme was "Stay United."

Presiding elder Brother Michael Watson says, "We felt that prioritizing in-person church was something that we needed to do. We had a strong desire to open the branch for anyone who felt ready to attend, while extending love and grace to those who decide to remain home."

Don't Reach for the Rattlesnake

Written by Brother P. on Thursday, 24 September 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 451

Don't Reach for the Rattlesnake

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

My daily occupation is to help nursing home patients walk. Once, we had this guy who was very confused. Whenever I was walking with him, he would point at any little speck of paper or anything on the floor, and he'd then ask me, “Do you see that rattlesnake?” Then he would say, “That is a rattlesnake.” Then he would reach for it, and I would have to hold on to his belt, or he would fall over while reaching for the snake.

Of course, you'd have to be a bit confused to see a speck of paper and think it is a rattlesnake, but I believe that you'd have to be a bit more confused to reach out for that snake!

To Judge or Not to Judge (Moroni 7)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 23 September 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 572

To Judge or Not to Judge (Moroni 7)

"Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matthew 7:1)

 

"My brethren, it is given unto you to judge" (Moroni 7:15)

How do we reconcile the two scriptural statements above? One appears to directly contradict the other.

It's possible that you've heard the above verse from Matthew quoted in various situations. It usually goes something like this:

Follower of Christ: "This type of behavior goes against the Word of God."

Person engaging in said behavior: "The Bible also says, 'Judge not, that ye be not judged'!"

Hard to Build, Easy to Destroy

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Tuesday, 22 September 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 428

Hard to Build, Easy to Destroy

I'm in my backyard with my two sons, who are 3 and 5 years old, and I decide that I'm going to be Creative Mom. I gather pine needles, sticks, rocks, pinecones, and a few tree leaves that have already turned bright yellow. The boys and I kneel on the paving stones in our backyard. We pick a circular paver, and I begin to make a face with the found objects. Rocks for eyes. Pinecone hair. Twig nose. Those yellow leaves? A handsome bowtie. The boys help a little, but they mostly watch as I assemble the face.

When we're done, my oldest (big smile on his face) enthusiastically asks, "Can we mess it up?"

"Sure," I say, a little deflated.

It took maybe two minutes to make our little portrait, but in two seconds my boys' feet have scattered the needles, rocks, and cones to the four corners of the yard.

It's so much easier to destroy than to build.

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