In a Room Without Toys

Written by Brother Richard Lowman on Thursday, 02 July 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 408

In a Room Without Toys

As I write this on Mar. 31, 2020, life has suddenly changed in many major ways. The coronavirus is all over every news outlet and is all the talk.

Some things that have changed in life are:

  • Gina is homeschooling the kids. This is a BIG change.
  • I used to travel extensively for my job, and now I work from home.
  • We have not worshipped with our branch as we normally do.

Ever complained about your job? I have, and now I am thankful to still have a job and pray each and every day that it will last.

Ever complained about the church service going past an allotted time? I am guilty as well. Ever skip church to go to a sporting event?

Ever worshipped athletes, actors, fame?

Out-faith Your Fears

Written by Sister Erin Light on Tuesday, 30 June 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 431

Out-faith Your Fears

Recently, I got fed up with letting my emotions, fear in particular, get the best of me. But how does this keep happening? I thought that once I attained a certain invisible level in my Christian walk, then I wouldn't have fear or anxiety or other emotions that do me no good. I know God can do all things. I've seen His miracles. I've experienced answered prayers. I've witnessed healings. But today, it seems that I'm just not sure God knows how to handle this.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

Have you noticed in this verse that fear is mentioned as a spirit, and one that God did not give to us? That means we get to choose what we listen to — the spirit of fear, or the Holy Spirit within us.

F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real. This is more true than we realize; most of what we fear never becomes reality. And lately, it seems the opposition is working overtime to distract and dismay and despair the children of God.

No Matter What

Written by Sister Tayla Barbe on Thursday, 25 June 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 515

No Matter What

I am celebrating the 10th anniversary of being baptized this year. I have been reflecting on the past 10 years and everything God has done for me.

I was 12 when I asked to be baptized. People in the church and my family questioned if I really knew what I was committing to. I prayed about it all the time, and I knew God was calling me. I had to wait about three months before the ministry would baptize me, and I am extremely grateful for that time. I read scriptures, and I met with teachers from my branch to learn more about the church. I felt so close to God, and when I was finally baptized, I knew God was with me.

As I got older, I became very distracted from God and the church. I was letting other things control my life, and I focused on all the wrong things. I would still go to church but out of routine and not because I wanted to be there.

The High Road

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 28 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 588

The High Road

Allow me to take you down a road. It is not an easy one to travel. It is a silent ride while you hang on tight and hold back. It doesn't have a lot of rest stops, and it definitely has a speed limit. If you exceed the speed limit, you will be sorry, and there is a violation. It is not a road that is widely traveled. It may feel like you are on this road for miles before you reach your destination. What is the point of arrival? It is a view that is peaceful, serene, and filled with positive vibes.

The road has a name. It is called the high road. Have you ever been there? I have. It hasn't been comfortable or smooth terrain. Unexpectedly, there is construction. The construction site takes a first response along a detour. The diversion allows time to go out of the way, rebuild thoughts, and form the right response when faced with lots of congestion beyond one's control.

Say Hello to My Biggest Threat

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Tuesday, 26 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 439

Say Hello to My Biggest Threat

Say hello to my biggest threat. It's the biggest, baddest danger that I face.

It's not a terrorist attack. It's not a traffic accident. It's not cancer or job loss or bankruptcy. It's not that person who (always) makes me lose my temper. It's not even coronavirus.

My biggest threat ... is me!

In Romans 8, Paul puts external (outside) threats into perspective. Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril ... He says that none of that stuff can separate us from God's love. No external threat has the power to remove us from God's presence. No external threat can snatch away our crown of salvation.

The more I live, the more I'm convinced that the most dangerous threats lie within — not without.

The Hanky

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Thursday, 21 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 465

The Hanky

When our oldest son was a year and a half old, we found out we were pregnant. It was an exciting time, as we wanted to have a few children. My husband was in the Marines at the time, so we were stationed down in South Carolina. We weren’t living near any family, so we called our family members to share the good news. Everyone was excited!

That excitement was short-lived. When I went in for my first ultrasound at eight weeks, I had a feeling deep down that something wasn’t right, even before the appointment. It's funny how God can reveal things to us sometimes, without us realizing at first.

The doctor returned to the exam room I was in with a nurse by his side. They both had expressions on their faces that led me to believe that something wasn’t right. He told me I would be miscarrying. The pregnancy sac was there, but that baby hadn’t formed. I was heartbroken. Physically, I was there by myself that day, but I knew God was with me.

Rough Times and God's Will: Redux

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Tuesday, 19 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 392

Rough Times and God's Will: Redux

As I was pondering what to write for this article, I was led to review old submissions, as maybe something I'd written previously would apply today. This one was written over six years ago in March 2014. Applying to today’s situation might be an understatement. I’ve left it as it was originally written and hope it brings a blessing to you. May God bless and keep you is my prayer.

Have you ever experienced a rough time in life? I know I have. In these cases, there was at least one small moment, if not many, where I wondered why it was happening. It's human nature to question it. But quickly, the Spirit kicks in and reminds me to trust in God. There has to be a purpose to the situation, especially if the cause is something outside of my control.

I'm sure many people reading this have had times like these: maybe a loss of a job, sickness, etc. When times like these happen, I know God's will is better than my own. I know that if I leave it to Him, He'll see me through to a brighter tomorrow. He's done it with others before, so I know He can do it for me.

It's About Time

Written by Sister KarenJo Pandone on Tuesday, 12 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 445

It's About Time

It’s March 5, 2020, and I just read Sister Dianne Maddox’s blog titled “Redeem the Time.” As I read her blog, I began to take inventory of my own life and if I'm making the most of it.

We all have bucket lists, whether we want to admit it or not — traveling, achieving a goal, learning a specific skill, etc.

Recently, I lost a very dear friend of mine, which has impacted my goals. She was just a year older than me, always healthy, busy in the background working for our branch, and a major support to her family. One evening, she ended up in the ER, and three weeks later to the day, entered Paradise.

That was a wakeup call for me. Suddenly those things on my bucket list are not so important. Oh, I still want to take that Alaskan cruise, but I’m now realizing my mortality.

What Does Prayer Mean to Me?

Written by Sister Tayla Barbe on Thursday, 07 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 582

What Does Prayer Mean to Me?

There is always a textbook definition for everything, but prayer is something so special and personal that it can take on different meanings for different people. Today is the National Day of Prayer, and I got to thinking, what does prayer mean to me?

Prayer is something we do every day, and it’s so easy to slip into a pattern. I realized that a big reason why I'm praying is because it's what I'm supposed to do, not because I'm wanting to commune with God. I think we have all been at that point in our spiritual lives where there is just so much going on that we forget how meaningful and special prayer is.

Right now, there is so much fear and uncertainty going on. COVID-19 is something no one has really experienced before in our lifetime or could’ve prepared for. No one knows exactly what to do, and things are changing every day. I felt scared to lose my job, scared for the health and well-being of my family and friends. I knew I had to keep praying and reading my scriptures, but I was letting the things of the world and my fear overtake that.

I would talk to my friends and family about my fears, but I didn’t pray (talk) to God about it. Then, I felt so overwhelmed and scared that I knew I had to cry out to God because nothing else was helping me. I prayed about everything that was bothering me and for other people’s needs. I put my whole faith and heart into that prayer, and I felt better. My fears were still there and everything didn’t magically go back to normal, but I knew God would take care of everything. I thank God for that experience.

Lovest Thou Me More Than These?

Written by Brother Larry Watson on Tuesday, 05 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 417

Lovest Thou Me More Than These?

As many of you know, my wife and I were blessed to be able to join the group that traveled to Israel in February of this year. I have submitted an article on the trip to the Gospel News for publication in an upcoming issue; however, I wanted to share a brief highlight in this blog on more of a personal note.

During one of our bus stops, we gathered together in a beautiful garden overlooking the Sea of Galilee. There, on top of the Mount of Beatitudes, we listened intently as our tour guide read excerpts of the Sermon on the Mount. When they turned to me next, I felt humbled to be given the honor of leading the devotional from that sacred site. The Lord had already laid on my heart a message uniquely linked to the panorama that lay before us. It had, coincidentally, emerged from the convergence of two experiences, one of which related to the Holy Land and the other, Navajoland. Let me explain:

Canine Joy

Written by Sister Christina DiCenzo on Thursday, 30 April 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 635

Canine Joy

Today, we're bringing you a special devotional from guest writer Sister Christina DiCenzo.

I love to worship the Lord! I do it by singing songs to Him and sharing my days in communication with Him, at times, in my closet expressing my gratitude, love, and adoration for Him. This is when I feel His presence most.

One day, in worship, it came to me very clearly, "You bring Me joy." Wow. I can bring the Lord joy? As days passed, I pondered and prayed, "Lord, how exactly do I bring you joy? Show me, what exactly do you mean by that?"

One day I was feeding my very particular dog, Buddy. I have to hand feed him when he tries a new food. The Lord showed me how sweet he was at patiently waiting, as I would tear off a bite-size piece of soft dog food and feed him. It seemed to be in slow motion. I took it in. Buddy kept looking at me and then the food, but he waited patiently till I felt ready to give it to him.

The longer he patiently waited, his sweet eyes looking at me, then at the food, expecting me to feed him ...the more he brought me joy.

The Lady Who Felt Sorry for Me on Thanksgiving

Written by Brother P. on Tuesday, 28 April 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 445

The Lady Who Felt Sorry for Me on Thanksgiving

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

A big part of my job is helping people in a nursing home to walk, but sometimes I learn lessons that could have been preached from the pulpit at church.

I went to work this last Thanksgiving morning, and a little lady that I walk with told me that she was very sorry that I had to come into work on Thanksgiving, and unless I am remembering it wrong, I believe I saw her eyes water a little.

Let me first tell you about my great sacrifice. I went into work to walk with a few people for a few hours on the morning of Thanksgiving. Afterward, I had Thanksgiving dinner with my family — and my family puts on a Thanksgiving that would out-Thanksgiving most others. Lots of food, lots of family, sometimes even games and some time to talk about our blessings.

Finding Joy in the Ordinary

Written by Sister Mallory McNamara on Thursday, 23 April 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 503

Finding Joy in the Ordinary

I think everyone would agree with me when I say we are living in extraordinary times. As I am writing this, we have been confined to our homes, unable to see family and friends, some of us not working. We have been pushed out of our routines.

Do you miss the ordinary? Work, dinner with friends, going to see a movie? Things like that sound so luxurious now.

Did they sound luxurious before this pandemic hit our world? Probably not. They are things we were used to, things we expected. They are the ordinary things we took for granted.

Virtue or Virtual?

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Tuesday, 21 April 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 894

Virtue or Virtual?

During the past few weeks, the word "virtual" has taken on new meaning for me. I have been forced to provide virtual teaching for students, attend virtual meetings with colleagues, supervisors and parents, do professional development virtually, and the list goes on. I am sure that many of you have joined me in this virtual world, trying to do our jobs and accomplish daily routines in a different way. Things that take me a few seconds in person have taken me hours to develop online.

The face-to-face contact that virtual technology provides, when it is live, allows us to see each other’s facial expressions, body language, etc. Also, I am grateful that on a Sunday morning, through live streaming, my family and I have had the opportunity to gather around our television via computer and still hear the word.

These are the benefits of our virtual world, but here are some cons. I have to record lessons on video. For a few minutes, I speak to my students with excitement. Immediately, I can turn my excitement off with one button, “Stop.” In reality, or in person, there is no Stop or Pause, because I know from their expressions, body language, or immediate questions when they don’t grasp what I am teaching, and I reframe it and pull out all my tools until they understand.

My job is to teach students to read and comprehend. Interestingly enough, Merriam-Webster defines virtual as “being on or simulated on a computer or computer network.” Merriam-Webster also defines it as being “a hypothetical particle whose existence is inferred from direct evidence.”

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Written by Sister Dianne Maddox on Thursday, 16 April 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 517

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

He's got the whole world in His hands.
He's got the itty bitty baby in His hands.
He's got a-you and me brother in His hands.
He's got a-you and me sister in His hands.

He's got the whole world in His hands!

I can’t think of a time when this happy little song has made more sense, because I can’t think of a time, at least in my lifetime, when the entire world has been so impacted by one thing. As this song states, He, being Jesus Christ, has the whole world in His hands. Not just you, not just me, not just The Church of Jesus Christ, but the whole world.

I’m sure by now you know I am referring to the coronavirus. The virus that has turned our lives upside down and inside out. A virus that has changed history and caused confusion, concern, anxiety, unrest, and so many other unpleasant emotions. Ironically, this ugly disease that has caused so much grief and pain in our world has also united our world.

I can be chatting with a customer service rep from any country in the world and say, “Stay safe and healthy,” and he or she will know exactly why I said it. Our often divided world is united in defeating this virus. We are all on the same side. “I don’t want the Coronavirus to be eliminated!” said no one ever, in any place or in any language.

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