Melodies with Meaning: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Written by Sister Charity Lombardo on Thursday, 04 June 2020. Posted in Music & Singalongs Hits 271

Melodies with Meaning: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Here's the next installment of "Melodies with Meaning," where our columnists tell you about some of their favorite spiritual songs. Today, we're hearing from Sister Charity.

The world wants every piece of you.

The news: “Look over here!”

Politics: “No, me! Look at me!”

Social media: “Hi, let’s hang out for 10 hours. I’m sure you’ve got nothing better to do.”

Ya know who else wants every piece of you?

Jesus.

But the difference between the world and Jesus is that Jesus won’t get all up in your face about it. He won’t beg. He won’t yell. He won’t wave his arms in the air like those other distractions do, as their success depends on our attention. Jesus already won. And our success depends on Him. He simply waits till we’re ready, for us to come to Him, gently reminding us along the way that He’s still there.

There Are 2 Kingdoms — Pick One (Ether 7)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 03 June 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 261

There Are 2 Kingdoms — Pick One (Ether 7)

In Ether 7, Orihah (one of the sons of Jared) concludes his reign as the first king of the Jaredite people in the new land, passing the mantle to his son Kib. Sadly, things go downhill quickly after that, as two families then begin to compete for the throne, resulting in a series of kidnappings and murders and many temporary changes in who is king. Finally, they settle into two kingdoms:

"And the country was divided; and there were two kingdoms, the kingdom of Shule, and the kingdom of Cohor, the son of Noah." (Ether 7:20)

There were probably lots of people who thought this arrangement was wrong. Why should there be two kingdoms? We only need one. Perhaps there were even some who disliked both Shule and Cohor and would have wanted more choices. None of that mattered; there were two kingdoms, and each person had to pick the one they wanted to be part of.

Melodies with Meaning: My God Is Real

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, 02 June 2020. Posted in Music & Singalongs Hits 285

Melodies with Meaning: My God Is Real

Today is the first blog post in a mini-series of articles called "Melodies with Meaning." Our columnists are going to tell you about some of their favorite spiritual songs. Hopefully, these articles will leave you with a light heart — and maybe even a new favorite tune. Look for Melodies with Meaning throughout June.

In the early ‘90s, a little thing known as compact discs made their way onto the scene. Foreign as they seemed, it signified the dawn of a new era of music listening. And in the Pezzenti house, it meant a trip to the local electronic store to pick out a few CDs. Among the first? "Silent Night Gospel Christmas with Mahalia Jackson."

I’m not sure what made us pick that one out in particular. (Perhaps it was close to the upcoming holiday season? Perhaps it was the cheap $5.99 price? Perhaps we saw the classic song list and were intrigued?) Regardless, the mixture of seasonal and non-seasonal tunes became a staple of every Christmas and provided an uplift throughout the year. Discovering Mahalia’s voice is still among my top musical memories.

Directed in Worship

Written by Brother Gary Thompson on Monday, 01 June 2020. Posted in Miracles Hits 286

Directed in Worship

Today's Miracle Monday is an experience that Brother Gary Thompson had at the beginning of the Covid lockdown.

It was the Morning of March 15, 2020, fairly early in the coronavirus pandemic, and our region conference here in Michigan was cancelled. At approximately the same time we would've normally been singing praises to God and opening the Sunday service in prayer, I was a little down. I love gathering with the saints and everything that goes along with that, from singing to preaching, and all of that was taken away in a physical sense.

Feeling motivated to pray, I asked, "Lord, what do you want from me today?" In a voice to my heart (not audible), I was told to go read. I got to my bedroom, I was about to kneel in prayer and ask God for direction and understanding of whatever it was that He was going to have me read or study. Just before kneeling, I started to sing one of The Songs of Zion (I absolutely love The Songs of Zion. What a blessing they are.)

Hurry Home, Son

Written by Sister Arlene Buffington on Friday, 29 May 2020. Posted in Music & Singalongs Hits 275

Hurry Home, Son

Instead of our regularly scheduled Good Word Friday, we're bringing you the lyrics to No. 234 in The Songs of Zion. Following is Sister Arlene Buffington's testimony of how God delivered the song. We pray the lyrics are a blessing to you.

The High Road

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 28 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 435

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.

Happy Windsday! (Ether 6)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 27 May 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 244

Happy Windsday! (Ether 6)

If you (or your children) grew up watching "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," then you might remember the part when Winnie the Pooh goes to visit Piglet on a particularly windy day and greets him with a hearty, "Happy Windsday Piglet!" Piglet then gets picked up by the strong wind and nearly flies away.

Sometimes, when someone says that they can't see God, an explanation is offered that compares God to the wind — you can't see it, but you can see what it does. Jesus made a similar statement in John 3, comparing the Spirit of God to the wind — you can't see where it's coming from or where it's going, and you can't control it; it goes where it's going to go.

In a spectacular scene described in Acts 2, there were 120 disciples of Jesus sitting in an upper room on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had been crucified and had resurrected. Perhaps these disciples were unsure of what to do at this point. "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting" (Acts 2:2) and the Holy Ghost swept into the room, filling all the people there. Now, they were ready to go out and turn the world upside down for the cause of Christ. It was a happy "windsday" indeed!

Say Hello to My Biggest Threat

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Tuesday, 26 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 305

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.

Business Trip vs. Missionary Trip

Written by Brother Phillip Benyola on Monday, 25 May 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 290

Business Trip vs. Missionary Trip

Today's Miracle Monday is Brother Phillip Benyola's testimony of how God provided work for him in a time of need.

I was living and working in Indianapolis in April 2005, and I was asked to travel to Missouri for business on a Tuesday. I was concerned about this trip because I was also scheduled to leave for a missionary trip to Dominica on Saturday morning, just a few days later. I expected to drive back from my business trip and arrive home late Wednesday night. I knew it would be stressful, but I also knew there was plenty of time to do both; however, the meetings did not go as planned at the customer site, and they needed me to stay longer than planned to make some changes to the product we were providing. For obvious reasons, this caused me some alarm, but I knew that even if I didn’t get home until Friday, I could still make the missionary trip without a problem.

But on Friday, things went from bad to worse. The customer asked me to stay through the weekend to make the necessary changes. Of course, I was unable to do that unless I forfeited my obligation to the missionary trip, which involved another brother traveling with me. As Friday evening rolled around, I was panicking. I told the client that I could not stay over the weekend, that I had another commitment and had to leave. Of course, I was a wreck, knowing the consequences that I would face for making that decision. I arrived home after midnight and frantically packed for my 6 a.m. flight.

Spread the Good Word: Matthew 10:20

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 22 May 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 377

Spread the Good Word: Matthew 10:20

Good Word Friday Theme: Abiding in His Spirit

We've all been there ... you're going about your regular business, and then suddenly, surprisingly a huge spotlight shines straight down on you — uh-oh — and you've got to open your mouth and say something. And you're not at all prepared. Your mind cannot land on any correct words. Your mouth hangs open (or maybe zips tight) and ... silence.

Think back to the last time you were ambushed by a moment like this. Maybe your boss approached you with a dizzying demand. Or your child finally asked that question you've been hoping he wouldn't. Perhaps it was when your neighbor said, "Tell me more about your church."

The Hanky

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Thursday, 21 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 347

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.

The Power of God — Not to Be Denied (Ether 5)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 20 May 2020. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 258

The Power of God — Not to Be Denied (Ether 5)

In Ether 5, Moroni shares some instructions for the man (Joseph Smith) who would receive the plates with the engravings of the Book of Mormon narrative and would be used to bring it forth to the world. The instructions include:

  • Don't try to access the sealed portion of the plates, which contains the revelations of the brother of Jared (as described in the previous chapter, these will not be accessible until sometime in the future).
  • Feel free to show the plates to the people who will assist in the work of bringing forth the information (the testimony of eight of these people is included in the first few pages of the Book of Mormon).

There is a third point, but it is not really an instruction but rather more of a prophecy:

"And unto three shall they be shown by the power of God, wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true." (Ether 5:3)

Rough Times and God's Will: Redux

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Tuesday, 19 May 2020. Posted in Devotional Hits 272

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.

God Is on the Job

Written by Guest Writers on Monday, 18 May 2020. Posted in Testimonies Hits 731

God Is on the Job

Today, we're bringing you three Miracle Monday testimonies about how God provided work for His children.

Submitted by Sister Renee Scolaro, Mesa Branch, Arizona

In my mid-teens, when I would hear the ministry preach about our church's mission to take the gospel to Israel, and especially the tribe of Joseph, it resonated within me, and I wanted to be part of it. Upon applying for college, I asked the Lord to allow me to use my skills to serve Native People.

In 1986, an opportunity presented itself to move to Arizona. I began to search for employment at a nearby reservation and was directed to inquire at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, where I was immediately offered a position. I’ve been blessed with 34 years of continuous employment, exclusively in Indian communities.

Spread the Good Word: Ephesians 2:18

Written by GospelBlog on Friday, 15 May 2020. Posted in The Good Word Hits 362

Spread the Good Word: Ephesians 2:18

Good Word Friday Theme: Abiding in His Spirit

Have you ever had your heart set on attending an event, such as a concert, sports tournament, or conference, but your hopes were dashed by two little words: Sold Out.

Imagine standing outside the entrance to the theater, theme park, or stadium, knowing that all the magic is happening just a few steps away ... so close! But you can't cross the threshold without a ticket. And there are none left for you.

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