Devotional

Help Is Here

Written by Sister Stefanie on Tuesday, 06 August 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 404

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 836

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 407

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 425

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 427

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 370

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 1279

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 377

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 359

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?

Do I Really Need That Stuff?

Written by Brother Richard Lowman on Thursday, 27 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 418

Do I Really Need That Stuff?

As I write this, I am on a flight with my wife, Sister Gina, and our 6-year-old twins, Joshua and Rebekah. We are headed to the Pacific-Southwest Joint Conference in Arizona. This trip holds many firsts for us:

  • This is my first spiritual conference.
  • This is Gina's and my first spiritual conference together as a family.
  • This is the first time the twins have ever flown in a plane, and this is the first vacation we have ever taken as a family by plane. (Don’t judge too harshly — the kids are only 6.)

A while back, I wrote an article titled “The Landfill of Life.” At this stage in Gina's and my life, we are realizing many other firsts. We just sold our home, which was 5,100 square feet with six bedrooms, and we now lease a three-bedroom 1,700-square-foot house. We've had to reduce the amount of “stuff” we have, as we had two options: 1. Get rid of what we don’t need right now, or 2. Store stuff we might need one day when we move again.

A Pap-Pap Moment With the Lord

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Tuesday, 25 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 819

A Pap-Pap Moment With the Lord

One Sunday morning in the Mesa Branch, Arizona, Brother Pete Giannetti ended his sermon by encouraging us to have a Pap-Pap moment with the Lord. To back this statement up, he described how he spent the prior evening with his precious, newest grandson, Baby Leo. Baby Leo was getting fussy when his mom tried to put him in his car seat to return home. Brother Pete asked his daughter to give him a moment with Baby Leo.

Brother Pete took Baby Leo into his arms and sang a lullaby to him. This began to calm the baby, and his eyes started to drift to sleep. He asked Mom if he could hold the baby just a little longer. Then, Mom fastened Baby Leo in his car seat, and wouldn't you know it, he was calm and slept the whole way home.

Brother Pete's suggestion to have a Pap-Pap moment with the Lord resonated with me.

You Exhausted?

Written by Sister Stefanie Callens on Thursday, 20 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 472

You Exhausted?

It has been a day for me already, and it’s only morning still.

I feel like everyone’s been demanding of me — my daughter, the dog, clients, friends... It’s very possible that I am feeling this way because my 11-month-old didn’t sleep well last night and I am exhausted. I’ve already had a couple cups of coffee, but it hasn’t helped to shake my fuzzy head.

While thinking about how drained I am, my thoughts went to Jesus. And, honestly, I don’t know why, but I’ve never considered this before. How did Jesus feel during his three-year ministry?

He had to be exhausted!

Stand on the Truth

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Tuesday, 18 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 377

Stand on the Truth

When I was baptized at 14 years old, my dad gave me my own Faith and Doctrine book. My dad was never much of a writer; in fact, he always wrote in all capital letters when he did. (Haha.) It was a little joke we shared.

When it was my and my sister’s birthdays, my mom would write in our cards, and my dad would sign his name. So, when he gave me the Faith and Doctrine book and wrote something in it to me, it really meant a lot. It means a lot now, especially since he passed away 12 years ago this month.

I have run my fingers over the words that he wrote over and over throughout the years. His inscription was so simple but very powerful.

The Lonely Generation

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Thursday, 13 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 584

The Lonely Generation

Do you often feel lonely or isolated?

Even when you're surrounded by others?

It's possible that half of the people reading this article will respond, "Yes," according to a 2018 Cigna survey, which found that 46 percent of the 20k U.S. respondents reported sometimes or always feeling alone.

The survey came to a few other conclusions:

Spared from the Cliff

Written by Sister Lori Kimmel on Monday, 10 June 2019. Posted in Devotional Hits 345

Spared from the Cliff

Today's Miracle Monday comes to us from Sister Lori Kimmel, and it shows how our kids are in God's hands — even when they've grown into adults.

As I reflect on Miracle Monday, I can’t help but recall how God blessed me by sparing my son, Ryan.

In 2006, I told Ryan that I would take him anywhere he wanted to go after his high school graduation. He chose Israel because he wanted to touch base with those family roots. As we have family there, I agreed.

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