Special Series

The Real Reason for the Season

Written by Sister Stefanie Callens on Wednesday, 16 December 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1603

The Real Reason for the Season

Today's post is part of a special series of Christmas articles. Each writer was given a photo and tasked with writing a spiritually minded article inspired by that image.

With all the stress and hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I am pretty positive that all of us have encountered or will encounter someone whose face matches that of this dog’s. And, most likely, we will feel the same way too, at some point or another.

Being a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ, I should try hard not to show this side to others, especially those who I've shared my testimony with. 'Tis the season to be joyful and cherish my loved ones — not to be a scrooge or a grinch.

Wrapped in Love

Written by Sister Betty D'Orazio on Tuesday, 15 December 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1072

Wrapped in Love

Today's post is part of a special series of Christmas articles. Each writer was given a photo and tasked with writing a spiritually minded article inspired by that image. Sister Betty's picture is "Home for Christmas" by Norman Rockwell, 1955. 

"Oh, that hug felt so good … Merry Christmas Mom and Dad!"

Family is so important, whether it’s the holidays, or just a normal visit or get-together. And hugs mean love. The picture shows smiles, happiness, and "I am so glad you are here." It evokes a lifetime of memories for me. Christmas is a time of laugher, presents, food, decorations, and the list goes on.

And then I think, “Wait a minute, what about someone who has no family?" Who then wraps them in love?

Runaway Christmas

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Monday, 14 December 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1460

Runaway Christmas

Today's post is part of a special series of Christmas articles. Each writer was given a photo and tasked with writing a spiritually minded article inspired by that image.

I've never made gingerbread cookies, but I do have this amazing copy of "The Gingerbread Man" in my collection of kids' picture books. (Yes, I actually do have said collection.)

I'm crazy about the illustrations in this particular book, but the story seems rather strange, don't you think? This old couple decides to bake a gingerbread boy. (Here they are giggling over the prospect.)

Gingerbread 2

Dodge the Christmas Blues

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Thursday, 10 December 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1138

Dodge the Christmas Blues

Today's post is part of a special series of Christmas articles. Each writer was given a photo and tasked with writing a spiritually minded article inspired by that image.

Maybe this is how you feel as the holidays grow closer and finally arrive. The hustle and bustle of shopping, cooking, cleaning, and company visiting just start to overwhelm. Maybe it just doesn’t feel like Christmas — or worse — the season resembles the Griswold's more than the Walton’s.

Either way, you find that you just want to find a safe place and cry it out. We’ve probably all been there, or close to it, at least once in our lives. What helps me to stay out of this trap is keeping close to the real meaning of the season. We all know that it’s not about presents, food, or trying to impress the in-laws with how clean our house is. It’s about one simple thing … LOVE.

Christmas Joy

Written by Sister Enza Pusillo on Wednesday, 09 December 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1533

Christmas Joy

Today's post is part of a special series of Christmas articles. Each writer was given a photo and tasked with writing a spiritually minded article inspired by that image.

Christmas is a wonderful time of hope and joy reflecting on Christ's birth and salvation coming into the world. We even sing "Joy to the World," yet I can’t help but wonder about, Mary, His mother. We read and know of her story in Luke 1.

She was a young girl of probably no more than 15 or 16 years at most, engaged to Joseph, used to bring forth Jesus, Son of the Highest, because she was highly favored and blessed among women.

Spare Change

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, 08 December 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1644

Spare Change

If you missed yesterday's post, today is the start of a special series of Christmas articles. Each writer was given a photo (Sister Natalie's is of a bell-ringer) and tasked with writing a spiritually minded article inspired by that image.

When I was young I collected my spare change in a giant purple Crayola crayon bank. Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters would get tossed in each week. Clink, clink, clink.

Soon, the bank would get heavier and heavier, the coins adding up (literally).

It seemed like such a small effort — dropping a penny or two into the bank. And yet, after a few months it made me a tiny fortune.

'Picture This' Christmas Kickoff

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Monday, 07 December 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1296

'Picture This' Christmas Kickoff

When you think of Christmas, what is the first picture that pops into your mind?

Is it this?

Christmas collage1

Or maybe this?

Christmas collage2

Or perhaps something more along these lines?

Christmas collage3

Or does the picture have something to do with this?

Christmas nativity

Kids' Question of the Month – November

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Monday, 30 November 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1412

Kids' Question of the Month – November

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Miracle Monday to bring you the November Kids' Question of the Month. We got a ton of responses!

It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.

That's the lesson that Madam Blueberry learns in one of my favorite "Veggie Tales" episodes.

Although it's been years since I watched it with our kids, whenever I hear the word "thankful" my brain instantly fires up this song in my head...

"Because a thankful heart is a happy heart,
I thank God for what I have,
That's an easy way to start..."

Click here to enjoy Madam Blueberry's "Thankfulness Song," and read on to learn what makes our little ones' hearts happy and thankful! (We told them they couldn't answer "my parents" — too easy!)

Kids' Question of the Month – October

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Thursday, 29 October 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1137

Kids' Question of the Month – October

When I was a little girl, Sister Lucy passed out butterscotch candies to all the kids in church. At region meetings, you'd find a pack of Wrigley's gum in Brother Buzzy's handshake.

Brother Jess and Sister Ruth gave me quarters to buy cheeseburgers after midweek church services, and when I was older, took me to GMBA campouts when my parents could not.

Sister Yolanda taught me how to make gnocchi. These are just a few of my fondest memories of my church family loving me.

Kids' Question of the Month – September

Written by Sister Vicki Ali and Sister Michelle Watson on Wednesday, 30 September 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1538

Kids' Question of the Month – September

When I was a kid, I could never understand how grown-ups could just sit around — for hours! — and just talk to each other … without even playing a game or pulling out a solitary toy. What strange creatures! And will I ever be like them someday?

That's why it always surprised me to learn that I had something in common with an adult. I remember admiring the older brothers who were artistically inclined — like me! — and the sisters who liked listening to "The Little Mermaid" soundtrack just as much as I did.

Kids' Question of the Month – August

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Tuesday, 25 August 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1552

Kids' Question of the Month – August

Not too much is written about the early life of Jesus. After the account of His glorious birth, His childhood remains a mystery until we read about Mary and Joseph leaving Him behind in Jerusalem when He was 12 years old.

As a parent who has survived various lost child incidents at the mall, the zoo, and Walt Disney World, I can relate to the anxiety Mary and Joseph must’ve felt when they realized Jesus was not with them after they left the big city. My emotions while one of my kids was MIA ran the gamut of paralyzing fear, immense relief upon seeing my child again, frustration at their constant wandering, and even shame at my less than stellar attentiveness to the most precious things in the world to me when it was my job to protect. I wonder if Mary and Joseph were worried about what God would think of them after they lost His only Son?

Summer Reading Challenge Wrap-up

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 07 August 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1244

Summer Reading Challenge Wrap-up

To all of you who completed the Summer Reading Challenge, congratulations! We hope you recieved many blessings during your journey through the four gospels. 

We had over a dozen people tell us that they planned to participate. So, our question to ya'll ... how did you do? What did you learn?

Kids' Question of the Month – July

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Tuesday, 28 July 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1553

Kids' Question of the Month – July

If there’s one parent-ism I’ve said to our kids a zillion times, it’s this: “You might not agree or understand this now, but someday you will.”

It’s different than “Because I’m the mom (or dad) and I said so,” although that’s been heard in our home too. Less dismissive and authoritarian, the first statement stems from a parent realizing (usually after intense bargaining) that no amount of explanation will satisfy the child and the awareness that he/she is not developmentally ready to fully grasp the gravity behind your decision or action. Born out of great love, it implies the child needs to trust you enough to accept what they do not like or understand at the moment.

Kids' Question of the Month – June

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Tuesday, 30 June 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1557

Kids' Question of the Month – June

You may notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here
It's because we're a family and these folks are so near
When one has a heart ache, we all shed a tear
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear

I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God
I've been washed in the fountain cleansed by his blood
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod
For I'm part of a family — the family of God!

Announcing the 2015 Summer Reading Challenge!

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 05 June 2015. Posted in Special Series Hits 1996

Announcing the 2015 Summer Reading Challenge!

It's back again for the third year running — the Summer Reading Challenge.

In 2013, we read the entire Bible in three months. In 2014, we tackled the Book of Mormon. This year, we're doing a 60-day deep dive into the four gospels.

We're starting this Monday, June 8, and we'll wrap up on August 6. We hope the leisurely pace gives you the time to really savor these beautiful scriptures. We've even built in a handful of catch-up days so that you can get back on track if you fall behind.

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