Oleander Tea

Written by Sister Patty Ignagni Machnik on Monday, 31 August 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 712

Oleander Tea

We hope you enjoy today's Miracle Monday, submitted by Sister Patty Ignagni Machnik, which describes how God protects us even when we are not aware of it. (This experience connects strongly to last week's Miracle Monday — not planned!)

Sometimes God answers our prayers even before we know we need to pray.

On the morning of June 26, 2020, I arose, prayed, and then walked into the kitchen to make some tea. I have a large electric kettle in which I boil water. Every morning, I pop open the top to empty the water from the prior day. If it's a small amount, I discard the water, but if there is quite a bit, then I use it to water my plants. I don't really look inside the kettle except every month or so when I descale it.

Spread the Good Word: 3 Nephi 22:13

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 28 August 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 278

Spread the Good Word: 3 Nephi 22:13

Good Word Friday theme: Peace

Today's Good Word is for anyone who has ever felt forsaken by God for a time. This whole chapter, as well as its parallel in Isaiah 54, is a promise to Israel, but it speaks to anyone who has gone through a dry spell in life. After a period of longsuffering, God promises that His peace will come and "put joy where the pain had been."

This chapter uses the image of a barren woman to paint a picture of desolation, affliction, and inner tumult. Then, it describes how God uses her to bear children — so many that she sings for joy and must get a bigger tent to house her offspring. And the best part is this — God promises a future of unending peace for her and her descendants:

God Is Making Us Brave

Written by Sister Christina DiCenzo on Thursday, 27 August 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 303

God Is Making Us Brave

Lately, in our Zoom meetings, our Lord has been speaking the message “Stand Tall.”

Not only are these the first two words of the Songs of Zion “In the Army of the True and Living God,” but throughout scripture there are times when the Lord asks His children to be brave in Him. Brave to stand on His promises even when we may be in situations that may be uncomfortable or out of the ordinary for us.

The world's views and voices are certainly being heard. Are our views being heard, or are the Lord's words and views being heard and seen in our lives? In my own personal walk with the Lord, by prayer for His help and guidance and by leaning into His Word and promises, I am made braver.

Do my knees still shake in certain situations when I am put to the test? Yes, they do! However, now I am quicker to go to the Lord in prayer, and I do not stop going to the Lord until I feel His peace.

Stir Up the Gift of God Within You (Moroni 3)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 26 August 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 273

Stir Up the Gift of God Within You (Moroni 3)

How would you respond if you were asked what it means for someone to be ordained?

Perhaps you would say it means that someone is becoming a minister. That's partly right, although people can also be ordained into other positions such as Teacher, Deacon, or Deaconess, so it's not just about being a minister.

You might try to describe it as some type of promotion. But that can't be it — it makes it sound like some members are higher up than other members, and that's not consistent with the teachings of Christ. In fact, Jesus said, "whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant" (Matthew 20:27).

You might think of it as someone being honored, but that's not exactly it either. That would mean that we're being recognized for our accomplishments whereas the scriptures say that God ordains us "not according to our works, but according to his own purpose" (2 Timothy 1:9).

Although it's not about being personally honored, it is in fact an honor to be given the opportunity to serve God in an ordained office. The scriptures do describe it this way, adding that "no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God" (Hebrews 5:4). Hmm, being "called of God" — there's a definition we can work with.

In the Middle of It

Written by Brother Jared Scolaro on Tuesday, 25 August 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 1111

In the Middle of It

Have you ever felt like even after praying and praying about that tough situation in your life, you still see no sign of improvement? Like you’ve waited and waited, but it still feels like too much to bear? Where is God’s deliverance in these times?

“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.” (Psalm 34:17)

Many times, God moves His hand in an obvious and powerful way to deliver us from our circumstances. Other times, He sees fit to deliver us in our circumstances by renewing our strength, even when nothing around us seems to be getting better.

God Protects (Even When We Don't Realize It)

Written by Sister Ruth Batson on Monday, 24 August 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 216

God Protects (Even When We Don't Realize It)

Today's Miracle Monday is a testimony of protection from Sister Ruth Batson.

As part of my prayers at the end of the day, I routinely thank God for His love and protection. It's possible that I may have had a near-accident that day or found myself in some sort of danger that He clearly protected me from. But do we ever really think about how many times in one day that God protects us even when we don’t know we’re in danger?

Back in February, I had become ill with what I assumed was the flu. Starting with a sore throat and progressing to body aches, fever, three days of laryngitis, and then double pink eye, I was as sick as I could remember being in a very long time. It probably lasted a week to ten days from start to finish. I went to the doctor when I developed pink eye and was given an antibiotic and some drops. I had Bob anoint me on Sunday morning since I was unable to go to church, and within a couple of days I was feeling much better.

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 72:3

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 21 August 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 767

Spread the Good Word: Psalm 72:3

Good Word Friday theme: Peace

Today's Good Word talks about peace coming from the mountains and hills. I live on a mountain in Arizona. People who live in the fiery valleys flock to our mountain in the summer to find refuge from the blistering heat. They enjoy cool, fresh air. There's clear spring water. If they hike along one of the rims, they can refresh their perspective with a view that extends far and wide. After the sun goes down, the sky reveals just how many stars there are for the seeing.

Many people come here for a type of peace. To get away from "real life" for a minute. But, their time on the mountain eventually ends.

House or Home?

Written by Sister Mallory McNamara on Thursday, 20 August 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 544

House or Home?

I love home renovation shows. It’s fun to see an out-of-date house stripped to its studs and built back up with shiny new appliances, modern furniture, and fresh paint. I love to watch with my husband so we can take notes on designs and styles we would want to include in our future home.

There is a saying often used on these home improvement shows, and I’ve found it rings so true — a house is made of up of the four walls surrounding you, but a home is made up of the people and love found inside.

Scripture tells us that our body is a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). When we allow Jesus into our hearts, we are providing Him a dwelling place, a place to reside. Essentially, we are His house. Our hearts are the four walls (two ventricles?) in which Christ has chosen to live. Will it stay a house, or are we taking the time to make it a home?

Bestowal of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 2)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 19 August 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 630

Bestowal of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 2)

When you give your life to the Lord at the waters of baptism, you answer two questions. First, you affirm that you repent of all the sins you've committed up to that point. Second, you promise to serve God for the remainder of your life.

The repentance process consists of experiencing a deep sorrow for the sins you've committed in the past as well as a true desire to do better in the future. Assuming you are truly repentant — and you shouldn't be getting baptized if you're not — the first of the two questions is the easier one, as it's simply an affirmation of what's already occurred. Yes, I repent. Done, check it off.

The second question? Well, since that deals with the future, I can't really check that one off until I take my last breath on earth. And, as much as I may be sincere today with that promise, the reality is that things in my life will change over time, and I will face significant challenges to live up to my promise. Sounds like I'm going to need some help with this one.

The good news is that God recognizes that we need help to live up to this promise, so He provides it in the form of the Holy Ghost — our own personal portion of God that resides within us. The Holy Ghost teaches us what we need to know to be successful in serving God and prompts us to do the right thing (or not do the wrong thing) in various situations that we face in life. It is an indispensable tool in serving God.

Are Your Roots Tight?

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Tuesday, 18 August 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 220

Are Your Roots Tight?

"Do you miss living in Ohio?" I often get asked.

The first words that quickly slip off of my tongue are "I MISS gardening!"

"But Florida is beautiful, why can't you garden there?"

"It's not the same; everything I plant dies."

Not to brag — trying to keep in mind James 4:6 "God resisteth the proud" — my yard in Ohio won the City Beautification Award! When I think back on the missteps I made when it came to gardening after we moved to Florida, I hang my head in shame. It took me a year or two to realize that there was no need to yearn for Mother's Day to run to the nursery, prune my perennials, spread mulch, and more. And just in case you're wondering, "knee high by the Fourth of July" means nothing to Floridians.

I'm 140 words into this blog, and I still haven't gotten to the meat. So, why have I spent 140 words writing about gardening in Ohio versus gardening in Florida? Because I finally found success!

Reassurance and Peace (When I Really Needed It)

Written by Sister Marilyn Scolaro on Monday, 17 August 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 460

Reassurance and Peace (When I Really Needed It)

Today's Miracle Monday, submitted by Sister Marilyn Scolaro, is especially for those of us who need a little extra reassurance that God is in control.

October 7, 1990, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the Howard Johnson motel. Yes, my husband and I were attending General Church Conference. Our 17-year-old son, Christopher, was home in Michigan and working at McDonald’s, his first job. It was also the first time he was left alone for the weekend. I told him to call me at the motel (no cell phones then) when he got home from work no matter what time it was, so I would not worry.

Well, at 2:30 a.m. I woke up realizing he had not called me yet. Concerned, I called him at the house from the landline in the motel, but I got no answer. I kept calling till finally he answered. He said he had to work very late, and when he got home a strange car was parked the wrong way in front of our house with no one in it. This was very unusual in our neighborhood.

Spread the Good Word: Alma 7:27

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 14 August 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 295

Spread the Good Word: Alma 7:27

Good Word Friday theme: Peace

Can you use a little peace in these troubled times? Today's Good Word is about God's peace entering our lives.

The verse is the final goodbye that Alma gives to the people of Gideon at the conclusion of a sermon in which he explains who Jesus Christ is and outlines the basics of having faith in Christ. Alma perceives that the people of Gideon accept his words, and so he prays for peace to rest upon the people in every area of life — where they live, what they own, and their families. (Those are some of the areas of life that worry us most. Wouldn't it be amazing for peace to reign in them?)

What's Your Spiritual Temperature?

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 13 August 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 313

What's Your Spiritual Temperature?

"Ninety-seven," said the medical assistant, "You may enter the office."

I have heard these words quite often in the past few weeks. I am not permitted entry to certain establishments without first getting my temperature screened. Even my dog got his temperature scanned today when I took him for grooming.

In a few weeks, I will be scanning students' temperatures as they enter school as part of a daily safety protocol. My body temperature is usually on the low end. Yes, 97 is normal for me, but according to a recent virtual sermon called "What is Your Spiritual Temperature?", given by Apostle President Joel Gehly, 97 would be considered a low spiritual temperature.

Brother Joel encouraged us to have a high spiritual temperature for the Lord and even used the word "fever."

Thank You, Mormon and Moroni (Moroni 1)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 12 August 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 283

Thank You, Mormon and Moroni (Moroni 1)

As we begin the final part of The Book of Mormon, I want to express thanks to two of the men who made it all possible. Mormon, for whom the book is named, spent a good part of his life going through thousands of pages of Nephite history to produce a readable history for us (from 1 Nephi through Mormon chapter 7). After his death, his son, Moroni, picked up the project and completed the Nephite history (Mormon chapters 8 and 9) and then abridged the Jaredite history (Book of Ether). Moroni may have thought this was the end of the project, but the Lord had other plans:

"Now I, Moroni, after having made an end of abridging the account of the people of Jared, I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished…[so] I write a few more things, that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brethren, the Lamanites, in some future day, according to the will of the Lord." (Moroni 1:1,4)

The Book of Moroni is the compilation of the "few more things" that Moroni writes with the additional time that is granted to him. While it would be easy to be consumed by his own problems (the Lamanites are trying to find him to kill him), Moroni chooses to use the time that remains in his earthly life to work for the Lord. It's a great example for any of us to follow.

The 100 Hall

Written by Brother P. on Tuesday, 11 August 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 264

The 100 Hall

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

In the nursing home where I work, we have a hallway that is locked. The 100 hall is for people who are confused and may walk out of the building and get lost. There are four other halls where patients can come and go as they want.

A large portion of my job is to walk with people. I often take patients from the other (open) halls and walk them onto the 100 (locked) hall. The reason I do this is because I want the residents in the 100 hall to have more stimulation and different things to look at, and it often gives the person I am walking with a new perspective on their own health.

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