Understanding Parables (Jacob 5)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 08 March 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 377

Understanding Parables (Jacob 5)

The New Testament records many parables related by Jesus. The Lord stated that He used this method — in which people or objects in a story represent other things — to communicate various spiritual truths such that only someone who was looking for the spiritual meaning would understand what He was saying. So, whereas one person might hear a story about seeking a pearl of great price as the pursuit of wealth, the spiritual person would understand that this story illustrates that the gospel of Jesus Christ is worth more to us than anything we have on earth.

The key to understanding a parable is to identify what each element of the story represents and what the interactions indicate. For example, in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15), a man gives half his wealth to his son who then goes out and wastes it all on “riotous living;” when the money is all gone, the son returns home and his father throws his arms around him and takes him back! Rather than thinking of the father as an enabler and the son as a deadbeat, we understand that the father represents God and the son represents you or me or anyone who has gone astray in life. When we put ourselves in the story like this, we gain a clearer understanding of God’s unconditional love for us.

Worth the Wait

Written by Sister Stefanie Callens on Tuesday, 07 March 2017. Posted in Devotional Hits 357

Worth the Wait

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

In a day and age of instant gratification, we dislike waiting. Waiting in line at the drive thru to get our morning coffee. Waiting to get results from a test (academic or medical). Waiting to see results from a new diet and exercise program we are starting. Waiting for God to answer a prayer.

Heeding the Call

Written by Brother Paul Pezzenti on Monday, 06 March 2017. Posted in Miracles Hits 709

Heeding the Call

Today is the first miracle for our March theme, which is "big decisions." We're sharing an experience submitted by Brother Paul Pezzenti about how he knew it was time to move his family from one branch of the church to another.

In August 1987 at an Ohio District Conference in Warren, I listened to Evangelist Fred Olexa open the meeting. After a powerful, spirit-filled message, he began to stress the need for missionary work within The Church.

Spread the Good Word: Mosiah 4:27

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 03 March 2017. Posted in The Good Word Hits 395

Spread the Good Word: Mosiah 4:27

Today's Good Word is a reminder that God's ways are ways of wisdom and order — not ignorance and chaos. This scripture is referring to how the church was supposed to provide relief for the poor and needy, but it can apply to most any of God's commandments to us.

Feeling Antsy

Written by Sister Ruth Gehly on Thursday, 02 March 2017. Posted in Devotional Hits 400

Feeling Antsy

When my dad was a little boy, he and his younger brother, Fred, were playing outside when all of a sudden Fred started screaming and running for home. High-tailing it as fast as he could, Dad raced to catch up with Fred in order to beat him home, all the while yelling, “I didn’t do it! I didn’t do it!”

In his mind, he wanted to make sure that it was clearly known that he had nothing to do with whatever the problem was. As it turned out, Fred had gotten himself into a very industrious nest of red ants, which proceeded to leave very large, painful welts on his legs that stung like the dickens for many days. Poor little guy!

Being a Commander (Jacob 4)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 01 March 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 326

Being a Commander (Jacob 4)

If asked to name great military commanders in history, you might think of names in American history such as George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant or George Patton. Perhaps you might think of names in world history like Alexander the Great or Napoleon Bonaparte. Hopefully, you'd also think of names in the scriptures such as Joshua, David, Moroni, and Mormon.

All of these commanders led large armies. In order to lead effectively, they had to be able to tell their soldiers what to do (command them). A great commander definitely influences the outcome of a battle, but the strength of the army is a huge factor as well. Commanding an army with little strength is not likely to lead to victory.

Break the Chain

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Tuesday, 28 February 2017. Posted in Miracles Hits 527

Break the Chain

My dad, the late Brother Tim Capone, had a dream before asking for his baptism. His dream has been one of the most impactful things in my life. I know some of you may remember this, and some may not, so I want to share it with you.

In the dream, my dad was walking on the top of a fence line, and on one side of the fence, it was beautiful. He saw family and church members on that side, and they were all smiling, and it was good. On the other side, it was dark and evil. He could hear the devil laughing at him.

Miracle Monday or Blessing Bit?

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Monday, 27 February 2017. Posted in Miracles Hits 703

Miracle Monday or Blessing Bit?

God still performs miracles today. Agree or disagree?

I think many of you would agree that this statement is true. We see evidence of God all around us — in the beauty and order of the natural world, in the love we share with the saints, in the Holy Spirit that works on and in us when we hear or read His word.

But there are times when this "evidence of God" becomes strikingly clear in our lives. Something extraordinary happens, and there's no satisfactory explanation other than God moved on our behalf.

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 46:1

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 24 February 2017. Posted in The Good Word Hits 426

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 46:1

Today's Good Word describes God as a shelter and stronghold. Have you ever felt like you needed a refuge from life's storms, whether they be troubling circumstances, deteriorating relationships, or crushing disappointments? So often we try to simply escape our troubles — via entertainment, work, or by other means — rather than let God protect and deliver us.

The Element of Surprise

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Thursday, 23 February 2017. Posted in Special Series Hits 386

The Element of Surprise

This article is Part 5 of Sister Natalie Shawver's series “Born and Raised”…Or Not.

It’s been said that the Lord can come into our lives like a rushing, mighty wind. We may not be expecting it, but He touches each of us in just the way we need — and sometimes, to the surprise of those around us.

Take, for example, Brother Bob Batson, Cincinnati-Morrow Mission, Ohio.

After attending the Niles, Ohio Branch in 1978 with his girlfriend, Sister Ruth Genaro, Brother Bob decided to take Sister Ruth up on her invitation to visit the Lorain Branch with her family.

Blessed are the Pure in Heart (Jacob 3)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 22 February 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 368

Blessed are the Pure in Heart (Jacob 3)

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8)

These words were spoken by Jesus Christ as part of His famous Sermon on the Mount. The statement is one of a series of statements in which Jesus pronounces different blessings on various types of people (pure in heart, poor in spirit, merciful, peacemakers, etc.).

Something that is pure is something that consists completely of the same material with nothing else mixed in. If the material is something of value, then the more pure the object is, the more valuable it is. For example, a gold bar that is pure gold is worth a lot of money; however, if there are other materials mixed in, the bar is worth less — even if it looks the same on the outside.

Practicing Patience

Written by Sister Rachel Alessio on Tuesday, 21 February 2017. Posted in Devotional Hits 433

Practicing Patience

Right now, my life is in this constant stage of waiting. I’m waiting for May 6 because I’ll finally be done with college (for now!). I’m waiting for the first week of July because I’ll be back at GMBA camp with all my out-of-state friends and family. I’m waiting to move out, to buy a new car, and to find the person I get to spend the rest of my life with. I’m waiting.

The difficult thing about waiting is that I live in a society where everything is instant. If I hear a song on the radio and like it, I buy it on my smartphone and play it in a matter of minutes. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I ask Siri or Google it and get the answer immediately. If I find something I like, I can buy it with one click on Amazon, and two days later it comes in the mail. Patience is hard to practice when I live in a world of instant gratification.

Immediately Delivered

Written by Sister Cindy Henderson on Monday, 20 February 2017. Posted in Miracles Hits 440

Immediately Delivered

Today's Miracle Monday was submitted by Sister Cindy Henderson, and it highlights the power of prayer and God's healing touch.

Have you ever been immediately delivered from a physical affliction? Today, I share a blessing times three. Back in 2000, I was in the chemotherapy phase of treatment for breast cancer. A few months into the treatments, I found myself getting weaker, lacking energy, and extremely fatigued. My husband had carefully altered his work schedule so that I was not left alone for any long periods.

Spread the Good Word: 1 Peter 5:7

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 17 February 2017. Posted in The Good Word Hits 420

Spread the Good Word: 1 Peter 5:7

Today's Good Word reminds us that God is always there to shoulder our burdens. The adjacent verses in 1 Peter 5 encourage us to be humble, sober, and vigilant. We don't have to do this in our own strength. God gives us what we need to keep His commandments — what a comfort!

Doing Battle Against Spiritual Starvation

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Thursday, 16 February 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 464

Doing Battle Against Spiritual Starvation

Have you ever gone so long without reading scripture, praying, fasting, attending church, or [insert your own] that you just "got used to it" after a while? At first, you felt like something was missing — maybe you even felt guilty for not doing whatever it was — but then it became normal? After enough time passed, you didn't even miss it.

I think we've all experienced this. We think, "I can't remember the last time I read scripture (or other spiritual thing)."

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