Devotional

Leaving the Waters of Baptism

Written by Sister Karen Watford on Wednesday, 04 February 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 1728

Leaving the Waters of Baptism

Numerous times I've heard that we must not stay by the waters of baptism because we are to grow in Him. Last night, as I was thinking on this and comparing it to the growth of my sons, "Following God" from "The Songs of Zion" came to mind.

When a child is born, he is kept close to the parents' hearts until he becomes strong enough to crawl and walk. As the child grows and strengthens, he ventures out a little from his parents by crawling and then walking. In order for the child to grow to his potential, the parents have to let go of the child's hand when he can finally stand. Because the child is still learning, the parents stay nearby and watch to keep him from harm. Sometimes the parents rush to his rescue. Other times, the parents allow the child to learn lessons from his mistakes.

The S-Diet in Action

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Tuesday, 03 February 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 3020

The S-Diet in Action

In a recent blog, we read about the S-Diet, the Spiritual Diet. Sister Betty had a self-test with six questions. One in particular played out in my life that very day. As I read the article and got to No. 3, "Do we praise God in all things, good or bad?" I thought that I did that pretty well. As the day went on, I got a "pop quiz" to see how I would react.

I was no more than five minutes from home, getting ready to exit the freeway, when the "bad" happened. The truck in front of me ran over a piece of 4x4 particleboard and literally caused it to fly right back into me. I was in the exit lane and had nowhere to go. I hit the brakes and swerved left, but it was too late. I hit the piece of wood going between 60 and 70 mph.

God's Unopened Messages in My Inbox

Written by Sister Erin Light on Wednesday, 28 January 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 1869

God's Unopened Messages in My Inbox

Distractions, the great divider of attention... the cause of driving accidents, burned lasagna in the oven (the horror), and thousands of lost hours playing Candy Crush or updating Pinterest.

I am distracted more often than not. And the concept of multi-tasking is a myth. Research confirms that the brain can only concentrate on one task at a time, but our minds are somewhat effective at switching tasks rapidly to give us a feeling that we are efficiently handling multiple things at once.

Dream the Dream

Written by Sister Barb Nuzzi on Thursday, 22 January 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2498

Dream the Dream

Dream a dream, and each step brings you closer to living that dream.

Can my mind be boxed into little tiny thoughts and hopes, longing for small expectations day after monotonous day, or can I live with a dream, wrapped in joy, with an eye on the prize. I want to set my mind free. No walls, no barriers, no confines — just wide open sky.

The S-Diet

Written by Sister Betty D’Orazio on Wednesday, 21 January 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2390

The S-Diet

"Dieting" is the key word today, along with "better nutrition," "watch the fats," "lowering our cholesterol," and "exercise." This is very good advice for healthier living. And we need to keep this in check. But I would like to talk about a different diet, one that is also necessary for a healthy and long life.

This is our spiritual diet, or S-diet.

Floored (Again)

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Tuesday, 20 January 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 1970

Floored (Again)

Let me give you a disclaimer before you read this article:

The brothers and sisters in my branch give me reasons each and every Sunday to realize and understand better just how deep the family of God is.

The Sunday when it was announced from the pulpit that the Lord had opened the door for me to meet the family of God in Guatemala, I had so many handshakes and hugs of congratulations after the meeting.

God's (Good) Plan for 2015

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Wednesday, 07 January 2015. Posted in Devotional Hits 2240

God's (Good) Plan for 2015

I'm a planner, for sure. I can appreciate spontaneity, but, in most situations, I like to know what to expect. I want to know what hotel I'm staying at on vacation. I want to know what kind of food the restaurant serves before I get there. When I get paid, I want to know ahead of time where the money is going.

How about you? Are you a planner?

Two Oft-Overlooked Christmas Values

Written by Sister Enza Pusillio on Wednesday, 31 December 2014. Posted in Devotional Hits 1877

Two Oft-Overlooked Christmas Values

Happy New Year's Eve! On the last day of 2014, we leave you with one lingering thought about Christmas. Sister Enza reflects on two values that are integral to Christmas but often overlooked.

We just enjoyed Christmas, a time when we — and the world as a whole — celebrate and honor the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

We reflect on what it means. It is a time with expressions of joy and thoughts of peace on earth because love and redemption came to the world by way of a tiny baby born in a manger, Emanuel, God with us. We sing "Joy To The World," "Hark The Herald Angels Sing," and "O Come All Ye Faithful" while we ponder on Mary and Joseph and the birth of our Lord in a manger.

The Season of –ING

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Thursday, 18 December 2014. Posted in Devotional Hits 2254

The Season of –ING

Recently, our Sunday school teacher in Irvine said of Christmas, "It's the season of –ING." Immediately, I thought, "YES!"

ShoppING
CookING
BakING
PlannING
WrappING
InvitING
OrderING
CleanING
TravelING
DonatING
HostING
SocializING

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

Written by Sister Jill Kovacic on Wednesday, 17 December 2014. Posted in Devotional Hits 2864

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

Amid the many celebrations on Christmas Eve, in various places by different people, there is one thing that remains constant: love.

Dr. Clement C. Moore never expected to be a famous writer. Even if he did dream of earning fame for his pen, he probably thought it would be because of his Hebrew dictionary.

Dr. Moore had a wife and children and liked writing poetry for them, even more than he liked writing his Hebrew dictionary. He actually wrote a whole book of poems for them.

No Words Needed

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, 16 December 2014. Posted in Devotional Hits 2562

No Words Needed

One of my favorite ministers repeated this mantra during a sermon when I was young, and it has remained with me ever since:

Preach the Gospel. Use words when necessary. (Shout out to Brother Randy C.!)

It's a simple idea with great depth. Talk about Jesus...but just with your actions. No scripture references; no big debate — just the way you carry yourself day to day. How is this possible?

Sharp Words

Written by Brother David Nolfi on Thursday, 11 December 2014. Posted in Devotional Hits 2124

Sharp Words

Proverbs 27:17: "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

For those that have a favorite knife for food preparation: If the blade is dull and needs to be sharpened, a sharpener is used. The sharpener is often a hardened metal with a course finish that can restore the sharp edge to the cutlery instrument.

Sometimes a friend [someone who has our interest at heart] may confront us with an issue that is difficult or delicate to discuss. The words presented may be rough, they may scrape us the wrong way, we may not agree.

Is There Really Peace on Earth?

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Wednesday, 10 December 2014. Posted in Devotional Hits 2557

Is There Really Peace on Earth?

There are a lot of famous Christmas scriptures, but do you remember the super-memorable line the angels declared to the shepherds on Christmas night? They said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14).

The phrase "peace on earth" is one of the most oft-used Christmas catch phrases. It's emblazoned on greeting cards, wrapping paper, and glass ornaments.

But, did Christ really bring peace on earth like the angels said He did?

Year-End "Thank You" Notes

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Tuesday, 09 December 2014. Posted in Devotional Hits 2932

Year-End

Since we're in the final month of 2014, I was thinking back over some of the blessings experienced by the brothers and sisters in the Levittown Branch over the past year. In the style of a popular TV show, I'd like to write out some "Thank You" notes to express my appreciation for these blessings.

THANK YOU Lower Bucks Hospital

for putting Sister Jessica and Amy together in the same hospital room.

(Sister Jessica shared the gospel with Amy who began attending church and is now a baptized sister as well.)

Thank God for Fleas

Written by GospelBlog on Wednesday, 26 November 2014. Posted in Devotional Hits 3490

Thank God for Fleas

In honor of Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, we're publishing an excerpt from Corrie Ten Boom's autobiographical book "The Hiding Place." It's a spot-on illustration of what it's like to give thanks in everything (1 Thes. 5:18), even misery. It's kind of long but worth the read.

At this point in the narrative, which takes place during WWII, Corrie and her sister Betsie have arrived at the Ravensbruck concentration camp, where they are assigned to Barracks 28.

We lay back, struggling against the nausea that swept over us from the reeking straw...Suddenly I sat up, striking my head on the cross-slats above. Something had pinched my leg.

"Fleas!" I cried. "Betsie, the place is swarming with them!"

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