Devotional

Wait, That's Not Lotion

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Tuesday, 27 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 438

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.

Just Breathe!

Written by Brother Ryan Lesperance on Thursday, 22 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 405

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!

The Church Is a Garden

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Tuesday, 20 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 501

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!

The Best Laid Plans

Written by Sister Ruth Gehly on Thursday, 15 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 233

The Best Laid Plans

Many years ago, the university where I work unveiled a master plan for the physical development of our campus. With proper planning and financing, renovations and changes have been methodically rolled out in order to define the fingerprint of our urban campus, improve the student academic and residential experience, and meet the ongoing needs of our workforce. Amidst all the change, my department has remained located in a very old building with the understanding that there would be a move at some future date.

Fast forward to May 2019, well past the “future date” we had hoped for. My coworkers and I were suddenly evacuated from our rapidly aging building because of unexpected issues. Grabbing our personal belongings, we quickly vacated the premises and were temporarily relocated until resolution could be made.

The Forgiveness of the Lord

Written by Brother Richard Lowman on Tuesday, 13 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 274

The Forgiveness of the Lord

For many of you that know me well, much of what I will say will ring true with you, and you may even recognize yourself in this writing. I pray that this writing starts us all on roads to forgiveness and unity within our branches and within the Body of Christ.

Recently, I confess, I have been offended within the Body of Christ by individuals. In their defense, many may not even know they offended me. This has caused great pain in my family and within my soul. This has caused me to refrain from the cleansing power of taking sacrament.

Since I came to The Church (officially), I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to many of the branches and have made tremendous friendships and have some mentors who love me enough to gently — or not always so gently — steer me back in the right direction.

Hummingbird Promises

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 08 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 334

Hummingbird Promises

In adopting a new routine of exercise, which involves walking to and from a nearby park, I have become acquainted with the hummingbird pictured here in this article. Actually, I don’t know if it is the same hummingbird I see every morning, but I do see at least one hummingbird and sometimes two flying in and out of one particular tree.

Since moving to Arizona, I have seen many hummingbirds and have grown very fond of them. I am enamored with how small but fast they are. Obviously, the certain tree where I spot them has a food source that they enjoy, which is most likely nectar.

Immediately, I am reminded of Matthew 6:26: “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

Help Is Here

Written by Sister Stefanie on Tuesday, 06 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 314

Help Is Here

“Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
'Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
And save me from this road I'm on
Jesus, take the wheel”
Carrie Underwood

I know my last few blog posts probably might make you think that I am not handling life as a mom well. And some days that certainly feels the case. When my daughter was 5 months old, after much prayer, I decided to expand my personal training business by buying a training studio. I am loving it and am living my dream, but some days, it’s a lot.

And then you throw in a teething, needy 1-year-old into the mix, and my mental and physical exhaustion is more than I feel that I can handle.

Warriors for God

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Thursday, 01 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 651

Warriors for God

This weekend, I helped out at one of my husband's race events. There were men and women there from a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor, empower, and motivate our nation's wounded military and law-enforcement veterans through physical, mental, and emotional rehabilitation. It touched my heart when I saw them all because they were not only going to participate in our race, but they would also be doing other extensive training there, too.

Some had lost limbs while in combat overseas. Some were injured while in the police force. One man was partially blind in one eye from a bomb explosion while serving a deployment. And some had injuries that we couldn’t "see."

Prayer Changes Everything

Written by Sister Erin Light on Tuesday, 30 July 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 336

Prayer Changes Everything

A few years ago, my mom gave me a small plaque that has three words on it: Prayer Changes Things. Easy to read; easy to comprehend ... but was it? I’m beginning to understand the many deep meanings of what “Prayer Changes Things” entails.

First, I marvel at the great power of a prayer; through prayer, God can change our hearts in ways we never imagined. It can affect someone halfway across the world. It can defy medical science by healings of the body or restoring of the mind. God can also choose not to, because He knows better, and that’s OK as well.

Prayer can also be wonderfully intrusive. I can offer to pray for you, and whether you want me to or not, I can still proceed to pray for as long as I want. It’s my prayer; it’s my conversation with God. Here are two dramatic examples:

Kleenex Lessons

Written by Brother P. on Thursday, 25 July 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 329

Kleenex Lessons

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

I recently watched a guy get a Kleenex out of the box in the nursing home where I work. You ask; “How could you possibly learn a lesson from a guy wiping his nose?” Well, let me tell you.

This guy, let’s call him Frank, is relatively young and had a stroke some years back. This stroke left Frank without the use of his right arm, impaired use of his right leg, and made it difficult for him to talk.

Beware of Vampires

Written by Sister Charity Lombardo on Tuesday, 23 July 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 341

Beware of Vampires

And for today’s class, we’re going to learn about vampires.

Yes, vampires.

Not the suck-your-blood-on-Halloween kind.

We’re talkin’ the suck-your-spiritual-energy kind.

Let’s begin.

Recently I read a book on creativity called "Show Your Work" by Austin Kleon (highly recommend). In one chapter, he references a fellow named Picasso. Maybe you’ve heard of him. Kleon says that some people thought Picasso was a vampire, as he was known for sucking the energy out of everyone he met. As his granddaughter, Marina Picasso, put it, “He squeezed them like a tube of oil paint.” He poked and he prodded till their stories came pouring out; then he stole them for inspiration. Friends and acquaintances agreed: after a hang with Picasso, they felt anxious, nervous, and depleted, while Picasso went back to his studio to paint all night with their energy. Just. Like. A vampire.

The Queen of Sheba: She Wanted to See for Herself

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Tuesday, 16 July 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 282

The Queen of Sheba: She Wanted to See for Herself

I've read the Queen of Sheba story many times, and I have read it through the eyes of Solomon — that this woman comes, and it's his duty to uphold the gift of wisdom that God had blessed him with.

But how different is this story if I read it through the eyes of a woman who was so intrigued and astounded by the gift of wisdom, by God’s hand, that she had to come and see it for herself?

Imagine this foreign, “pagan” queen hearing tales of this king who rose quickly and successfully, who had an incredibly prosperous kingdom. Imagine someone coming to her court to tell her of how Solomon had solved the dispute between the two mothers, and imagine this older, more experienced queen being completely floored by the wisdom that this young king had shown.

What Is a Woman of God?

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Monday, 15 July 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 973

What Is a Woman of God?

Today, we're welcoming back a familiar voice to the Gospel Blog. Sister Alena Ricci is returning to share with us what she has learned by studying the women of the Bible. This is the first in a series of future posts that will each feature one female from Scripture. Today's article gives some personal background on why Sister Alena embarked on this scope of study, and tomorrow's article will be the first of her character profiles.

When I first started this project, I went in with the mindset of learning what a woman of God looks like. And, yes, I could just head over to Proverbs 31, but I have never done well by learning from a sort of hypothetical set of ideals (but more on this wise woman later). Instead, I wanted to see what every woman was like, their mistakes and their triumphs, their sins and the grace that they received from God.

It’s important to note that there are a lot of other women in Scripture that I could highlight, but the articles I’m sharing with you are about the women that I deeply connected with, the ones that I felt I gained something substantial by studying their stories, thoughts, feelings, faith, etc.

Well-Watered

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Thursday, 04 July 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 328

Well-Watered

I spend a lot of time having internal debates. I think about things a lot. Probably too much. In fact, I know I think too much because many nights it takes me far too long to fall asleep.

One of my biggest ongoing conundrums is whether I should speak up or stay silent, take action or stay still. Thoughts like, “Will it really make a difference if I share my opinion about such-and-such topic?” or “Will so-and-so’s behavior change because I spoke to them about it?” One moment I’m lying in bed feeling incredibly bold (“Yes! I will say something tomorrow!”) and the next the complete opposite (:: begins to hum “Let It Go” from Disney’s "Frozen").

When I think about what the Lord instructed us to do in these kinds of situations, I immediately turn to the Golden Rule. He said in everything to “do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12).

Is The Church a Real Community?

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Tuesday, 02 July 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 297

Is The Church a Real Community?

Have you ever wondered why God set up the church? Why can't we just serve Him as individuals?

God set up the church for many reasons, and one of those was to connect each believer to a vibrant, functioning whole (the body of Christ as described in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12).

The church is supposed to be more than an efficiently running machine; it's designed to support and nurture each of its members, heart, mind, and soul.

But, what's the difference between the community of the church and those that we find at work or school, or even, say, Crossfit, or Facebook?

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