Devotional

Every Single Word

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Wednesday, 26 August 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 1763

Every Single Word

Recently in Sunday school, our teacher prompted, "Say anything that comes to mind when you hear the word faith."

So, people started saying things like "what you can't see" and "trust."

But our teacher stopped and wrote the word "scripture" on the board.

And we all nodded in agreement. I mean, of course we have faith in what the scriptures tell us.

More Than Coincidence

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Tuesday, 18 August 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2718

More Than Coincidence

The testimony portion of a meeting in The Church of Jesus Christ is an opportunity for people to publicly thank God for His goodness in their lives. Today, the day I'm writing this, a sister told us about a situation at work she struggled with and how she gave it over to God and it soon rectified. She said, "You might call it a coincidence, but I want to thank God ..." and went on to praise the Lord for caring for her circumstance and hearing her prayer.

I've heard it said that a coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous. Maybe that's true, but like my sister, I want to be more diligent about not allowing God's mercies and interventions in my life to remain in obscurity, glossed over or shrugged off.

Culture's Crumbling Conscience

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Thursday, 13 August 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2270

Culture's Crumbling Conscience

It's no secret that American society is rife with sinful stuff. Our culture promotes some seriously icky forms of entertainment — there wouldn't be porn movies and strip clubs without a market to support them, right?

And the current cultural climate condones all sorts of things that scripture calls sin: adultery, fornication, homosexuality, abortion, greed, pride, and the list goes on.

Many people believe the government isn't taking a stand on these matters. Worse, many worry that the government isn't going to protect religious freedoms much longer.

These social and political issues are alarming to say the least.

Are You Content in Your Blessings?

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Wednesday, 12 August 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2156

Are You Content in Your Blessings?

This article is part two of a two-part series.

Author's Note: I hope that you enjoy this. I believe that this idea is critical to our faith and our impact that we have as believers outside of the church walls.

Let me begin with a question:

Is contentment a blessing?

My answer is yes. As I discussed yesterday, contentment means that I can stop and appreciate the blessings that God has given me. Contentment means that I can understand the impact of what God has done in my life.

Define Your Blessings

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Tuesday, 11 August 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2143

Define Your Blessings

This article is part one of a two-part series.

Author's Note: Before the actual article begins, I would like to introduce you to this two-part series on the idea of "blessing." It was our Sunday school lesson recently, and it's had me thinking a lot, and I'd like to share some of my conclusions with you readers.

We started our Sunday school recently with the concept of "blessing." The first comment was from a brother who said that we're blessed because we have roofs over our heads and food on our tables, and that's very true.

But that is a physical state.

And I (as well as our teacher) am of the belief that being blessed is a mental state.

Extra! Extra! Change of Heart for Leadership Families

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Thursday, 06 August 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2217

Extra! Extra! Change of Heart for Leadership Families

Editor's note: We hope you enjoy this imagined newspaper story based on Mosiah 27.

Zarahemla — This weekend marks a major turnaround for the children of King Mosiah and High Priest Alma. For some time now, the king's sons, Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni, along with Alma's son, Alma Jr., have been secretly trying to destroy The Church of God.

That's all changed.

According to eyewitness reports, Alma Sr. gathered a multitude to show what happened to these young men. He told those in attendance that King Mosiah's sons brought an unconscious Alma Jr. to the palace two days earlier. According to their own testimony, they were walking down the road a few hours earlier, and an angel of the Lord appeared. Afterward, Alma Jr. was unable to speak or move.

In the Midst of the Storm

Written by Brother Andrew DiNardo on Wednesday, 05 August 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2361

In the Midst of the Storm

There are moments in the midst of the storm when all I feel like I can do is throw up my hands. It doesn't always make sense. I don't always understand or have all the answers — or even some of the answers for that matter.

What about those moments when waiting feels like too much to take? Or the trial or temptation just seems too much to handle? Are we just left to our own defenses? Satan wants us to believe so, but Christ loves us way too much for that to ever be the case.

If I read in James 1:5-7, it gives the key to finding help for those moments:

Our First Priority

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, 04 August 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2022

Our First Priority

Priorities.

We talk about them a lot.

Spending time with our loved ones. Finishing the projects at the office. Saving for retirement. Watching the newest episode of our favorite television show.

We rank them in our own way, and our days are usually spent with one of them at the top of our mind.

But what about our relationship with the Lord? Shouldn't that come first? I hardly think we would have committed this verse to memory if it wasn't meant to be.

What She Is Becoming

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Thursday, 30 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 1965

What She Is Becoming

I've done it, and no doubt every person reading this has, too — looked at a picture of yourself or a loved one from the past and compared it side-by-side to a recent photo or the reflection in the mirror.

A Facebook friend posted a picture of her daughter as a toddler next to one of her four years later. She tried to express and process, as we all do, disbelief at the speedy effects of time in her child's life. Her comments ended with something that really resonated with me. She said, "I love what she is becoming."

Blogger's Choice: Time to Level Up

Written by Sister Erin Light on Wednesday, 29 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2671

Blogger's Choice: Time to Level Up

Today's Blogger's Choice highlight is from Sister Erin Light. She chose her article "Time to Level Up," originally published on April 30, 2013.

She says, "I like when God's inspiration surfaces to 'connect the dots' from our lives to His Word in peculiar ways; this article, for example, is a fun throwback to my 1990s childhood, reliving a familiar pastime!"

I will forever be grateful to my parents for making sure my childhood was chock-full of books, museums, and the great outdoors of trampolines and jungle gyms.

That being said, I secretly knew that when we took an airplane flight, Mom would reach into her purse and pull out the elusive Nintendo Gameboy, complete with "Super Mario Land 2." After takeoff, I'd have a precious hour to fight my way past acrobatic bears and zippy turtle shells until it was homework time and the video game disappeared until the next vacation.

Godly Gifts

Written by Sister Karen Watford on Thursday, 23 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2111

Godly Gifts

When I was young, I heard much talk about the gifts given to men from God and desired to receive a gift also. While visiting in Pennsylvania, my brother had many in-depth scriptural conversations with Grandpap, who had been an elder in our church for many years.

After one of these discussions, my brother requested that Grandpap bestow or confer a gift on him like men of old did in the Old Testament. While praying, Grandpap was led to ask for two certain gifts for my brother. When my brother came home and told me about it, I was so happy for him and desired for Grandpap to do the same for me.

Taking the Gospel Where It Is Not

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Tuesday, 21 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2230

Taking the Gospel Where It Is Not

We recently had an evangelist ordination in our branch, and one of the definitions I heard is that an evangelist is someone who brings the Gospel where it is not.

And I like that definition because, in my mind, I immediately started thinking of those in Africa or in Nepal or the poverty I saw for myself in Guatemala City.

It was stressed, however, that this definition doesn't just apply to places that aren't Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It applies at home, too.

But what we didn't mention is that when we say, "An evangelist is someone who brings the Gospel where it is not," the "where" does not just mean a place or a group of people. It can mean a single person — literally anywhere.

Which Kind of Pray-er Are You?

Written by Sister Erin Light on Thursday, 16 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 7726

Which Kind of Pray-er Are You?

This is part two of a two-part article. See yesterday's post for part one.

Yesterday, I confessed that I'm often more of a Prayer Worrier than I am a Prayer Warrior. Today, I'm going to share a few other examples of different prayer "personalities."

As you think about them, I hope they encourage you to explore your own tendencies regarding prayer in an effort to draw closer to the perfect pattern: "pray without ceasing" (#lifegoal) and daily communication with God.

Note: "Pray-er" (noun) Person who prays.

Prayer Warrior or Prayer Worrier?

Written by Sister Erin Light on Wednesday, 15 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2295

Prayer Warrior or Prayer Worrier?

I've begun to realize that my prayers have a tendency to be driven by my worries. "Dear Lord, please help me so I don't _____," and "Dear God, I worry ____ in my life won't work out."

I know I'm supposed to be a prayer warrior, but sometimes I find that I'm more of a "prayer worrier."

My life is full of what-if scenarios and the anticipation of what might go wrong next. I expect rough patches. I stress and try to plan in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. I struggle to release control, and I worry if God will answer me the way I think it should be handled.

Blogger's Choice: Spinach Pie

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Tuesday, 14 July 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 1999

Blogger's Choice: Spinach Pie

Today's Blogger's Choice highlight is from Brother Jerry Valenti. He chose his article "Spinach Pie," originally published on December 4, 2012.

He says, "I chose this article because I think it's a good illustration of how we need to make sure the primary ingredient of The Church (God) is not left out of our worship services. As a side benefit, nobody makes spinach when I visit their homes now."

Some years ago, I was in Detroit, Michigan on business, and the group I was with decided to go out to dinner in an area of Detroit known as Greektown. I was somewhat concerned as I'm not someone who typically likes to experiment with different cuisines, and as I started looking over the menu, my worst fears were realized as I desperately searched for something I thought I could eat. I finally settled on an entrée known as spinach pie.

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