Creekside Branch Opens Again

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 18 September 2020. Posted in Church News Hits 233

Creekside Branch Opens Again

On July 26, 2020, the Creekside Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ opened its doors for the first time since being closed in mid-March of this year. Despite participating in blessed and encouraging Zoom meetings, we longed for personal contact once again, sharing the love of Christ face to face. As the Apostle Paul said, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves."

As brothers and sisters came into the building, you could see the joy and excitement upon their faces. They were like children entering a candy store. Of course, they had to wear masks and sanitize their hands at the door, but they did not seem to mind. They were just so genuinely happy to be there. What was difficult for most was to refrain from shaking hands and embracing each other.

Peter’s Mother-in-law: Healed Right Where She Was

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Thursday, 17 September 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 170

Peter’s Mother-in-law: Healed Right Where She Was

This article is part of Sister Alena X. Ricci's series "Women in the Bible."

As Jesus was making His travels around, He went to Simon Peter’s house, where his mother-in-law was sick with fever.

Luke 4:38 says that “they besought Him for her.”

So Jesus stands over her, rebukes the fever, it leaves, and she gets up to serve them.

This woman gets healed and stands up to work.

With no fuss, no big deal.

She just simply is healed and goes back to work for those in her home.

Now I’m over here like, “Where’s the spectacle? Where’s the crowd? Where’s the big celebration of her healing?”

But that’s the best part of this story and the lesson I found hiding in plain sight: that Jesus’ miracles are wrought daily in our lives.

Let God Out of the Box (Moroni 6)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 16 September 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 165

Let God Out of the Box (Moroni 6)

Moroni 6 provides some instruction on church operation, including baptism, fasting and prayer, communion, and requiring repentance when sin is committed. The chapter concludes with a description of how the Nephites conducted their church meetings. We encourage our church meetings to be conducted in a similar manner today:

"And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done" (Moroni 6:9)

In other words, when we get together for a church meeting, it's not a requirement that we follow an exact script. Perhaps the Spirit may inspire a certain message to be preached on a given day. On a different day, perhaps more of a focus on prayer would be appropriate. On yet another day, singing praises to the Lord could be emphasized.

That Is a Very Bad Man

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Tuesday, 15 September 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 227

That Is a Very Bad Man

As a young child growing up, my parents always taught my sisters and me to be aware of our surroundings. I remember our mom talking to us about discernment, and knowing when God was alerting us to situations that weren’t good. That always stuck with me. And now, as a mother myself, I have taught our children the same thing.

I want to share a story with you.

About 15 years ago, I was out shopping with my sister, Sister Lisa Meador. My oldest son was a little over 2 years old at the time, and my middle son was just a baby. We split up in the store, and I had my oldest in the shopping cart with me, and Lisa had my little one with her.

Time to Let Go of the Small Child’s Hand

Written by Sister Sherry Creighton on Monday, 14 September 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 245

Time to Let Go of the Small Child’s Hand

Today's Miracle Monday is an experience of healing submitted by Sister Sherry Creighton.

My 16-month-old granddaughter, Gia, is a constant reminder of God’s goodness, grace, and mighty healing power.

Gia was born with a potentially life-altering virus. Early testing indicated she possibly would be unable to hear. Gia was anointed several times with her hearing in the left ear improving each time. After being anointed when she was 6 months old, her hearing was completely restored in one ear.

As she passed her first birthday, she was scheduled for a multitude of medical appointments. My daughter and her husband had great concern, as Gia was not yet walking and displayed a complete lack of balance. Normally, we would have assumed that she was just a child who would learn to walk a little later than other children, but it so happens that her father is an orthopedic physician, and when I saw how alarming this condition was to him, I knew I had to take it to the Lord.

Experiences Resound as Our Churches Reopen

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 11 September 2020. Posted in Church News Hits 333

Experiences Resound as Our Churches Reopen

Here are a few more brief reports of blessings experienced by branches that have reopened recently for in-person meetings.

The Levittown Branch enjoyed in-person fellowship on a Saturday evening with a sermon, anointing, and communion. The Spirit of God was felt in our meeting. In fact, at one point, a bright and intense golden shaft of sunlight blasted through the windows. It was so intense that it was noticed by all as the sanctuary was lit up and we had to adjust the blinds because the light was so bright. This is evidence of God's power. All in attendance were happy and blessed — there were even some hugs — with many expressing a desire to meet in person again soon.

Mt Laurel, New Jersey, held its first in-person "parking lot" meeting, and it was wonderful. The meeting consisted of a sermon, anointing, and communion. Testimonies were powerful and music played through a portable speaker. The saints present were joyous and blessed to be together again.

God of the Universe

Written by Brother Jared Scolaro on Thursday, 10 September 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 244

God of the Universe

My boss is a good guy, but sometimes it would seem I get lost in the details of his work. He often forgets what he has asked me to do and obligates me for conflicting tasks without telling me. When we have a meeting scheduled, he frequently gets called elsewhere and has to cancel at the last minute. And when I reach out with a need, he’s typically too preoccupied to get back to me directly, so he sends someone else to take care of it.

With all that my boss has going on, it’s completely understandable that I sometimes get lost in the shuffle. He’s running a growing business and wears a lot of hats, and frankly my role isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of the company. He's got bigger things to worry about.

Are We Able to Drink of the Cup? (Moroni 5)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 09 September 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 175

Are We Able to Drink of the Cup? (Moroni 5)

"Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?" (Matthew 20:22)

This was the question that Jesus asked His disciples when two of them were trying to arrange to have seats of honor right next to Him in the kingdom of heaven. The question had nothing to do with drinking an actual beverage from a cup. In this case, Jesus drinking from this "cup" meant that He would be giving His life for the cause. Jesus wanted to know if His disciples were willing to do the same.

The disciples answered, "We are able!" It didn't get them the seats of honor in heaven, but Jesus was glad to hear that His disciples were that committed to the cause — many of them did in fact eventually give their lives for the cause of Christ.

Some time later, during the last supper that Jesus shared with His disciples, the disciples literally were able to drink out of a cup that represented the blood that Jesus would spill as He gave His life for the cause. On that occasion, Jesus took His cup of wine and "gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:27-28).

VBS Still Goes On, Just a Little Differently

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Tuesday, 08 September 2020. Posted in Church News Hits 256

VBS Still Goes On, Just a Little Differently

The summer months are typically the time when many of our branches and missions hold Vacation Bible School. This year, though, like many other activities, VBS (in person) was a casualty of the pandemic.

But as we have witnessed over the last six months, the Lord has continued to inspire His people with new ways to meet via the technology that we’ve been blessed with. How fitting it was when a virtual VBS was suggested. Children's Sunday School had gone virtual since the branch closed, so why not VBS? The ministry agreed, and a committee formed.

In about a month’s time, everything was set up and ready to go. The entire Church was invited to attend. Children from across the country participated, from Pennsylvania to Florida to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Over 30 attended throughout the week. They had five evenings of music, lessons, skits, videos, and games.

Bread, Burns, and Blessings

Written by Sister Tracey Cuerrier on Monday, 07 September 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 196

Bread, Burns, and Blessings

Today's Miracle Monday comes to us from Sister Tracey Cuerrier, as she describes a miraculous healing that God did for her.

For me, there has been at least one advantage to the shelter-in-place order throughout the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Because of the shortage of several grocery items (especially one of my favorites, bread), I decided I would hone my bread-making skills!

One day, two loaves of bread were ready to be taken out of my oven. In my haste — in hindsight, lack of good judgment — I attempted to pull both loaves of bread out of the 450-degree oven at the same time. I had safely placed the one loaf in my left hand on the counter, and I almost had the other loaf in my right hand on the counter when the hot pad slipped, and the loaf pan fell on the backside of my entire forearm like a hot iron press. I was burned instantly from my wrist to the bottom of my elbow.

Within minutes, panic set in as I saw my skin already swelling and blistering. On top of all that, I was home alone. I can truthfully say — as much as I am no stranger to pain, suffering from chronic back pain even now — this burn was pain like I’ve never experienced. It was excruciating! I was literally crying out to the Lord in debilitating pain!

God's Peace and Protection for the Reopening Branches

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 04 September 2020. Posted in Church News Hits 304

God's Peace and Protection for the Reopening Branches

We're interrupting our regularly scheduled Good Word Friday for the month of September in order to bring you a series of articles about the church's reopening coordinated by the Native American Operating Committee (NAOC). The articles will chronicle the reopening of several branches — how, when, why? — and also share some experiences that have happened in these branches.

Today, we're starting with the Metuchen Branch in New Jersey. Here's their story...

There’s Just Something About That Name

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Thursday, 03 September 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 395

There’s Just Something About That Name

I’d like to start this blog with a simple request: Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. And, whether you choose to do this audibly or silently, please sing the simple melody of “There’s Just Something About That Name.” Be sure to focus on each word and let them sink in (I know you know them). But, just in case your memory has slipped, here are the lyrics:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus … there’s just something about that name.
Master, Savior, Jesus … like the fragrance after the rain.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus … let all heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s something about that name.

If you’re like me, you either have tears in your eyes (or rolling down your cheeks), a smile on your face, and peace in your heart from that simple act (or all of the above). Not a bad way to start your day or pause in the middle of it, right?

What Is It? It's the Bread of Life (Moroni 4)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 02 September 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 691

What Is It? It's the Bread of Life (Moroni 4)

After being led out of Egypt by Moses, the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and then found themselves in a wilderness with no source of food for such a large group. However, God provided for them by sending down a kind of bread from heaven. It began appearing one morning in the form of small round things on the ground.

"And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat." (Exodus 16:15)

The word "manna" is said to derive from the Aramaic phrase "man hu" which means, "What is it?" When you fit that back into the verse above, it becomes clear that the Israelites referred to this mysterious substance as "What is it?" since they didn't know what it was. However, Moses does let them know that this was the bread that God had provided for them.

Sarah: God's Good Work Will Prevail

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Tuesday, 01 September 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 150

Sarah: God's Good Work Will Prevail

Today's article is another installment in Sister Alena X. Ricci's series "Women of the Bible."

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. *sigh*

Now here is a woman I understand.

She is a completely imperfect person.

She is very human. Very normal. And her reactions are disturbingly close to what I could see myself doing.

But more importantly, she is an example that God can use literally anyone for anything.

In studying Sarah, I broke her story into three major points, and they all converge on one major theme.

That God’s promise and His good work will prevail in our lives no matter what.

Oleander Tea

Written by Sister Patty Ignagni Machnik on Monday, 31 August 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 539

Oleander Tea

We hope you enjoy today's Miracle Monday, submitted by Sister Patty Ignagni Machnik, which describes how God protects us even when we are not aware of it. (This experience connects strongly to last week's Miracle Monday — not planned!)

Sometimes God answers our prayers even before we know we need to pray.

On the morning of June 26, 2020, I arose, prayed, and then walked into the kitchen to make some tea. I have a large electric kettle in which I boil water. Every morning, I pop open the top to empty the water from the prior day. If it's a small amount, I discard the water, but if there is quite a bit, then I use it to water my plants. I don't really look inside the kettle except every month or so when I descale it.

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