A City to Settle In

Written by Brother Jared Scolaro on Tuesday, 14 July 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 112

A City to Settle In

Just over a year ago, I felt lost. I realized that I wasn't living the life promised to me by TV commercials and music videos; I was overwhelmed by a job that I didn’t love; I didn’t have much of a social life, and I could have stood to gain a few pounds at the gym.

It was time for a change, so I prayerfully asked God to direct me as I transitioned into a new career, sought opportunities to develop new friendships, and started establishing healthy habits.

A Life-Changing Lesson from a Lost Set of Keys

Written by Brother Larry Watson on Monday, 13 July 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 133

A Life-Changing Lesson from a Lost Set of Keys

Today's Miracle Monday is the first in our lost-and-found theme. Today, Brother Larry Watson shares a life lesson that he learned when he lost his keys.

I had recently moved to the Navajo Reservation after having accepted my first full-time teaching position at a nearby school. Young and single, I was full of idealism about my new profession and my recent calling into the ministry. But I had a problem. Well … actually it just seemed like a minor irritation at first, but it soon blossomed into what seemed like a major crisis — to me, anyway.

I couldn’t find my keys.

When they first turned up missing, it was no more than a little annoyance. I just misplaced them, I thought, and they’ll turn up by the end of the day. But they didn’t. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but it meant that I couldn’t use my car, lock my house, get my mail, unlock my classroom door ... well, you get the idea. It just didn’t make sense to me. Doesn’t this only happen to old folks after they begin to lose their memory? Not to me — I was still in my mid-twenties!

The POWER of Together

Written by Sister Charity Lombardo on Friday, 10 July 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 225

The POWER of Together

Today's article, by Sister Charity Lombardo, is the last installment of the GMBA Camp In series. Be sure to check the calendar below for today's closing event.

If I filled a backpack with my heaviest burdens, would you carry it around for me?

For a friend?

Or a family member?

How about a stranger?

This was the theme of the GMBA seminar class where I gave my life to the Lord.

I was 13 and knew nothing about most things. But after this class, one thing I knew for sure: I did NOT want to do life alone.

For me to tell you this story, we have to travel back in time 15 years.

The Mighty POWER of Prayer

Written by Brother Paul A. Palmeri on Thursday, 09 July 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 252

The Mighty POWER of Prayer
Today's article, by Brother Paul A. Palmeri, with significant contributions from Bro. Leonard A. Lovalvo, is part of the GMBA Camp In. Be sure to check the calendar below for today's events.

The year was 1970. I was 5 years old and attending my second GMBA Campout (with the 1968 event in Nauvoo, Illinois, being my first). At the time, a lot of adults and young people were very enthusiastic about recreation. In fact, the softball and volleyball events, as well as the horseshoe tosses, drew large crowds. In short, adult rec was a big deal at the early GMBA Campouts.

At that Campout in Canfield, Ohio, I witnessed the demonstration of the Power of God during an adult rec softball game that I still remember 50 years later!

God's POWER to Heal

Written by Brother Ricky Scaglione on Wednesday, 08 July 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 174

God's POWER to Heal

Today's article, by Brother Ricky Scaglione, is part of the GMBA Camp In. Be sure to check the calendar below for today's events.

To me, there is no easier way to recognize the power of God than to see a physical healing. I am blessed enough to not only have experienced a physical healing, but also one that coincided with my calling to baptism.

It all started on Thanksgiving 1999, playing football with family. I may have been small back then — my nickname was Sticky Ricky because I was stick-thin — but I was fearless when it came to sports. That backfired when I tried to tackle a cousin several times my size and ended up on the bottom of quite a large pile. Imagine one of those cartoon squashings, where the person at the bottom of a heavy load leaves an imprint in the ground … that was me. I was taken to the hospital and was eventually diagnosed with torn cartilage between my ribs.

This injury changed my life. I was in pain almost constantly. I was put on round-the-clock medication that precluded me from being able to attend public school. I physically could not sit down. This lasted for over eight months. I was anointed several times but never found any relief.

The POWER of Letting God In

Written by Sister Christine Martorana on Tuesday, 07 July 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 202

The POWER of Letting God In

Today's article, by Sister Christine Martorana, is part of the GMBA Camp In. Be sure to check the calendar below for today's events.

When I was in my early 20s, I struggled with an eating disorder, low self-esteem, and anxiety. For anyone who has experienced even just one of these things, you understand how debilitating it can be. You understand that deep-rooted feeling of never being good enough, the constant feelings of doubt and worry, the struggle to put on a good show — to look stable and secure when you are really feeling fragile and broken.

At least that’s how it felt for me.

I knew I needed help, and so I talked to my parents, and they helped me find a therapist. I started seeing her on a regular basis, and she introduced me to some really helpful techniques like mindfulness training and journaling. In my meetings with her, I started talking out loud about my issues for the first time, and I made some really good progress during these therapy sessions. Looking back, I am thankful that I was able to have counseling and that my parents were supportive during this process. Still, despite the positive steps I took, I felt unable to fully overcome my problems.

The POWER of Camp (at Any Age)

Written by Sister Stefanie Arcuri on Monday, 06 July 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 323

The POWER of Camp (at Any Age)

Today's article, by Sister Stefanie Arcuri, is part of the GMBA Camp In. Be sure to check the calendar below for today's events.

I was born and raised in The Church of Jesus Christ and started attending GMBA Camps as a baby. I am 31 years old, and I have been to about 26 GMBA Camps. There are so many blessings that came from all of those Camps.

As a child, I remember the kids’ choir (I still sing some of those songs to my kids) and games and making friends. As a teenager, GMBA Camp was a place where I built friendships with people from all over the country, felt the Spirit of God for the first time, and where I was baptized.

GMBA Camp was held in Saginaw, Michigan, in 2002, and it was Wednesday morning in seminar. I felt God calling me that day and had the elders lay hands on me, asking the Lord for confirmation of what I felt. The minister who was praying for me said he could physically feel the Spirit of God in me as he lay his hands on my head. I was baptized the next morning by my grandfather. For the following few years, I used Camp as a rejuvenation for the year to come until the next Camp.

The POWER of 'In'

Written by GMBA Officers on Saturday, 04 July 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 174

The POWER of 'In'

Today is the official start of the 2020 GMBA Camp In! Since we cannot have our annual in-person campout this summer, the GMBA has arranged a week full of online events that the young people can attend while homebound. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for a calendar of events.) That includes daily blog articles from guest writers that touch on the camp's theme: The Power of God.

Today's welcome article comes to you from the GMBA Officers, Brothers Jim Lambert, Lucas Martorana and Jason Monaghan.

“...for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)

When you think of GMBA Campout, there are many things that may come in your mind: maybe it’s the excitement and anticipation of making travel plans or filling out the registration form, writing down your roommate requests. Maybe it’s that feeling of arriving on campus and following the “GMBA Campout” signs to the check-in location. Maybe your mind jumps to the moments of greeting and meeting brothers and sisters that you haven’t seen in years, while having suitcases and bags in both your arms. Maybe it’s the moment in your seminar class when walls begin to crumble, the feeling of being part of the GMBA choir, or the late-night conversations you have in the hallways outside of your room.

Spread the Good Word: 2 Corinthians 3:17

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 03 July 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 193

Spread the Good Word: 2 Corinthians 3:17

Good Word Friday theme: Freedom and liberty

It's the first Friday in July, and we're kicking off a new theme for Good Word Friday: freedom and liberty. Tomorrow, as a matter of fact, we celebrate Independence Day. Two-hundred and forty-four years ago, the American colonies declared independence from Great Britain. The members of the Continental Congress had no idea that those 13 colonies had the potential to one day become the largest, most powerful, and most prosperous nation on the face of the earth.

We encourage you to think back on your own personal independence day — the day that you declared your independence from satan and the power he held over your eternal soul. You swapped that tyrannical ruler for a loving, merciful Father, and — oh, what joy!

In a Room Without Toys

Written by Brother Richard Lowman on Thursday, 02 July 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 185

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?

Don't Shoot the Messenger (Ether 11)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 01 July 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 334

Don't Shoot the Messenger (Ether 11)

If you've ever delivered a message on behalf of someone else, then you're probably familiar with what can happen if the message is upsetting to the person who receives it. It's entirely possible that the person may direct their anger about the message toward you, even though it didn't really come from you. It's at times like this that the appropriate thing for you to say is, "Don't shoot the messenger."

In Ether 11, God sends a message to the Jaredite people who have fallen further and further into iniquity. His message is that "they should repent, and turn unto the Lord, and forsake their murders and wickedness" (verse 1). The people He uses to deliver the message are referred to as prophets (by definition, a prophet is a messenger of God).

Not surprisingly, the people who hear this message don't receive it well. Not only do they reject the message, but they literally kill the messengers. One wicked king "caused that all the prophets who prophesied of the destruction of the people should be put to death" (verse 5).

Out-faith Your Fears

Written by Sister Erin Light on Tuesday, 30 June 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 232

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.

Spread the Good Word: Psalms 103:2

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 26 June 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 267

Spread the Good Word: Psalms 103:2

Good Word Friday theme: Sharing your faith

Today is our last scripture on the theme of sharing your faith. Scroll up, read this verse again, and ask yourself, what does it have to do with sharing my faith?

This verse is telling us to be grateful, to not forget all God has done for us. When we are in tune with how good (how great) God has been to us, that overflows into a real relationship with Him, and that overflows into a ready testimony for anyone who will listen.

No Matter What

Written by Sister Tayla Barbe on Thursday, 25 June 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 343

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.

We're Done Living in Captivity (Ether 10)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 24 June 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 384

We're Done Living in Captivity (Ether 10)

In Ether 10, the leadership of the Jaredite kingdom changes hands many times, sometimes peacefully and sometimes by force. Toward the end of the chapter, one of the kings is deposed and forced to live in captivity for the rest of his life. It doesn't sound like he was actually living in a dungeon, though; most likely, he was under some type of stay-at-home order or some type of arrangement that limited what he could do or where he could go.

The same captivity for this family lasts for the next four generations. Finally, a man named Com decides he is done living in captivity, and he goes out and reclaims the kingdom, living out the remainder of his days as king of the land.

Many of us have experienced living in some type of captivity during our lifetime.

Most recently, we have all experienced the stay-at-home orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. What has kept people in captivity during this time? Some combination of being willing to follow the rules and guidelines issued by lawmakers and health experts, as well as some level of fear associated with the virus. As we see the rules and guidelines being relaxed somewhat, the only thing left that will keep us in captivity is fear. As followers of Christ, let's allow our faith to overcome our fear. Let's reclaim the kingdom — returning to church and whatever else the Lord has for us to do, trusting that He will be with us.

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