Devotional

Focus on Him

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Thursday, 26 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 270

Focus on Him

When we feel afraid...focus on HIM.
When we feel uncertain...focus on HIM.
When we feel anxious...focus on HIM.
When life gets heavy...focus on HIM.
When Satan tries to whisper fear...focus on HIM.

With everything that’s going on right now, the human in us can start to feel afraid. But, we know that all things are in God's control. We know that we must stay prayerful and faithful and trust in Him always. No matter what.

A few years ago, I had a dream I want to share with you.

Sustaining Miracles

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Thursday, 19 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 289

Sustaining Miracles

Recently, a morning devotional I read suggested Mark 6 for further reference. There you’ll find the familiar story of Jesus’ miracle of feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes. After satisfying the crowd with this special meal, Jesus sent the people back home and His disciples out to sea while He went to a mountain to pray.

When evening came, the disciples’ ship was in the middle of the sea, and Jesus saw them “toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them; and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them walking upon the sea” (verse 48). When the Lord made it into the ship and the wind ceased, the disciples “were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.”

The first word I thought might be a modern equivalent of “sore amazed” is "gobsmacked." "Gob" is slang for mouth, so being left gobsmacked is much stronger than ordinary surprise; it rises to the level of jaw dropping, being left utterly speechless or otherwise stopping someone dead in their tracks. Who wouldn’t feel sore amazed (or gobsmacked) at witnessing Jesus coming to their ship in that manner?

Someone's Gotta Go in the Cave First

Written by Sister Erin Light on Tuesday, 17 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 304

Someone's Gotta Go in the Cave First

On one of our family trips to Hawaii, we found ourselves driving around the island on our way to go snorkeling when we saw two people appearing suddenly, as if they came straight out of the ground. Always curious, Mom told Dad, "Pull over. Let's see what they're doing."

By the time we pulled over, the couple had gotten into their car and drove off. Curiosity still not satisfied, Mom walked around this barren field of lava rocks and stumbled upon the entrance to a lava tube! (A lava tube is a long, hollow opening where lava once flowed underground — like a volcanic eruption sprung a leak — and eventually cooled off and dissipated, leaving behind a long hollow cave.)

Mom motioned for us to come over and I feared she was off on an exploration. All I could do was start to worry, and very loudly too. "Mom, there are no signs here. I don't think we're supposed to go here. Mom, it's not even marked; we don't know if it's safe." She didn't even reply to my concern, totally unfazed and confident. She just started climbing down the rocks into the cave.

Letting Go of Control

Written by Sister Tayla Barbe on Thursday, 12 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 303

Letting Go of Control

I always thought I had some sort of control over most aspects of my life. I tried to think out every possibility and figure out a solution just to be sure I was completely prepared. I thought this was working for me, and I was happy living in my little bubble of control. I started to pray about doing more in my branch and church. I thought maybe I would teach a few Ladies' Circle and MBA classes. I didn’t want to do anything too wild because I needed to maintain control. Of course, that didn't go as planned.

It’s funny; when you start asking God to give you things to do, He automatically pushes you out of your comfort zone! About a month into me praying about doing more, I was asked to be the assistant camp director for Southwest Area MBA (SWAMBA) Campout for 2018. And that meant I would be the camp director for 2019. It was a huge responsibility, and I know how much this campout means to everyone. I’m not a very good public speaker and it was something that I thought wasn’t meant for me to do. I was beyond nervous, but I felt God’s Spirit, and I knew He wanted me to do this.

He Is Still Good

Written by Sister Mallory McNamara on Tuesday, 10 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 324

He Is Still Good

“…and if not, He is still good.”

This little phrase stopped me in my tracks — my selfish, wanting-it-my-way tracks.

This phrase is all about attitude.

It’s been proven that having a positive attitude can positively impact our lives. This is no different in our spiritual lives.

When we ask God for things, there is often a waiting period before we get our answer. Days. Months. Years. Decades. You can learn a lot about yourself in situations where you have to be patient. Where does your mind go?

Redeem the Time

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Thursday, 05 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 270

Redeem the Time

The date is December 21, 2019, and as I sit at my kitchen table early this morning, I read a message requesting prayer for Brother Paul Palmieri. I love Brother Paul’s testimony of being called into the Gospel. It’s short, simple, and succinct. He was at college, sitting in a chapel service, and he heard the voice of God say, “Redeem the time.” He knew it was his time to be baptized. I won’t go on, since it’s not my experience to tell, but he has shared it on enough occasions that those three words stuck with me. “Redeem the time.” We “sing of our Redeemer,” Jesus the great redeemer. Have you been redeemed? In churchese or church-speak, we hear the word "redeemed" often. But out of church, we may not hear it every day, (unless you’re a big Amazon shopper and you have points to redeem).

“Redeem the time” has had a different meaning for me this week. Remember, I said today is December 21, 2019? On December 27, 2019, I am scheduled to have life-altering surgery. I hope that by the time you’re reading this article, I will know if the surgery was successful. But let’s get back to the subject.

Be a Froot Loop

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Tuesday, 03 March 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 278

Be a Froot Loop

The clever poster pictured here caught my eye one day as I walked with my students in the hallway of the school where I teach. As you can see, it is handmade. The student who designed the poster was working on a character formation project. There is a lot of wisdom in these few short words, and here is my take.

When my daughters were younger, I was “that” mom who really monitored their sugar intake. As long as I did the grocery shopping, our pantry was lined with Cheerios and other low-sugar cereals; you know, the "mom-tested brand.” Yes, that’s right. We consumed plain-old Cheerios, not even the Honey-Nut kind. Froot Loops were definitely a treat, and we always found them at a morning breakfast buffet in a hotel. To my daughters, they were the “hotel” cereal. At a hotel breakfast buffet, given a choice, they would certainly pass up the Cheerios and gravitate towards the Froot Loops.

Walking Blind

Written by Brother P. on Thursday, 27 February 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 296

Walking Blind

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

My job is walking people in a nursing home. I often have students with me, such as a nursing assistant, or physical therapy students. In those cases, my job is to teach the students how to transfer and walk with the residents. Occasionally, the patient is completely blind.

So, I tell the student to put a gait belt on the patient, and I say that the patient is completely blind. Then, without further instruction I say, “Let’s go."

Growing in the Way

Written by Sister Cindy Henderson on Thursday, 20 February 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 299

Growing in the Way

As parents, we are accustomed to attending parent-teacher conferences and receiving feedback about our children’s performances in school. We converse about each child’s strengths, weaknesses, and possible next steps for growth in these time-measured appointments. Fortunately, we have never had to hear disappointing news. Today, after reading the Dec. 17, 2019 article, "More Than Just Playing Piano," I am reminded of the reason why this is so.

On different occasions when I’ve engaged in less formal conversations with colleagues at our children’s elementary school, I’ve heard the following comments: (Mind you, there have been a few less glowing ones.)

Are You Content?

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Tuesday, 18 February 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 290

Are You Content?

Contentment (noun): A state of happiness and satisfaction.

Am I content in life? At my job? In my marriage? In my spiritual life? Do I find myself feeling happy and satisfied with how things are going?

Or, do I find myself feeling restless, lonely, and unhappy? Is there a void that needs to be filled?

God wants us to feel joy and happiness. All good things come from Him. We know that this life will also bring us sadness and grief, but joy comes in the morning. He will comfort the brokenhearted and those that mourn.

His promises are real. His love is real. When we start to feel those voids, or those feelings of uncertainty, I believe those are from the evil one. They are a red flag of what the source is, and we need to immediately turn to the source that can heal. God will give us the peace and comfort needed.

The White Bull

Written by Sister Charity Lombardo on Thursday, 13 February 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 396

The White Bull

In my first year as a working writer, I learned about a thing called “The White Bull.”

It’s what Ernest Hemingway called the blank page staring back at you, waiting to be filled up. It comes with a side of pressure, fear, and uncertainty (fun!) and it’s something every writer understands. Because it’s intimidating, staring into the unknown. Whether you’re starting from scratch or continuing a story you’ve been working on, sometimes you’re just not sure what’s ahead.

I was reminded of The White Bull because, well, I faced it yet again as I sat down to write this blog. I won’t lie, inspiration was not striking. Topics were not coming to mind. Even after praying, I didn’t know what God wanted you to hear. And then it hit me. It was right there in front of me (quite literally, staring back). Suddenly He had me identifying all the White Bulls in my life — big, scary, empty unknowns — and reminding me how He’s conquered each one.

Hot Dogs, Get Your Hot Dogs

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Tuesday, 11 February 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 286

Hot Dogs, Get Your Hot Dogs

Several years ago, the Ft. Worth Branch started holding periodic hot dog outreaches on Saturday mornings. They’d hand out a free lunch, consisting of a hot dog, a single-serving bag of chips, and a bottle of water, to whoever wanted it.

The young people held signs up at the main intersection to attract people down the side street to the branch, and there was plenty of help cooking and serving. Some of the most important jobs were interacting with the guests. You don’t want to invite people to the church building and never talk to them.

So there were saints who primarily struck up conversations with those who came, listening to them, giving them a shoulder to cry on at times, and sharing a testimony of how God got them through a similar matter. The elders were there and did these things, as well as offering prayer and counseling to those who wanted it.

Emilio the Breakup Kitten

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Thursday, 06 February 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 358

Emilio the Breakup Kitten

I’d like to preface this blog post by saying that I believe God created animals — all animals — for a purpose. Whether it’s to provide sustenance, emotional support, or act as our mode of transportation or protectors, animals have assisted individuals both throughout Scripture and in our Church over the years.

With that said, I’d like to now tell the story of Emilio, my breakup kitten.

In the spring of 2012, I was dating a man who I believed was “the one.” We discussed marriage and he even attended church services with me as our relationship progressed.

And then one day, out of the blue, he broke up with me — which, consequently, broke my heart.

I became incredibly depressed, not understanding why this event took place. But God knew. And, I believe, He saw that I needed something cuddly and cute to help with the mending — something like a tiny kitten.

Taking Frosty Forward: A Winter Musing

Written by Brother Ken Lombardo on Tuesday, 04 February 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 253

Taking Frosty Forward: A Winter Musing

It’s that time of year (here's where we'd insert the musical notes emoji) when all the winter songs that come out in November are suddenly dropped because Christmas is over. It always disturbed me when the secular radio stations that are so quick to give us “Joy to the World, the Lord is Come” in early November are so intent to revert back to their worldly mindset on Dec 26, while we all still have the holidays in our home decor and in our hearts. 

Some of the casualties of this “rush away from Christmas” (as I like to call it), are those sweet, winter songs whose lyrics have nothing to do with Christmas: take "Let it Snow," for instance. 

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful” is just as relevant — in fact probably more so — in February as it is in December. Especially for those of us who live where it snows. 

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Tuesday, 31 December 2019. Posted in Holidays, Devotional Hits 430

Happy New Year’s Eve!

September 28 is my New Year’s Eve. My life was changed on September 29, 1974 when I chose to follow Jesus and be baptized. If you’re under the age of 30, that seems like a lifetime ago; it’s the “olden days” to you. When my kids were young, they asked me if everything was black and white when I was growing up. Like color hadn’t been invented yet! I laughed and said, “Of course not.” But were more things black and white in 1974? Possibly, but that’s a completely different subject… let’s get back on track.

So, happy New Year’s Day to me every September 29! When is your New Year’s Day? Is it just another day that rolls by, or do you stop and think about the commitment you made the day you gave your life to Christ? I was speaking with one sister, and she couldn’t remember the date she was baptized. I was kind, so I didn’t say anything, but I wanted to say, “Do you forget your natural birthday?” (For those of you who know me, that took great restraint because I tend to be sarcastic.)

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