Devotional

Comfort Through Song

Written by Sister Mallory Batson on Tuesday, 14 August 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 150

Comfort Through Song

We all go through tough times. None of us are immune to them. In the moments I feel weak or uncertain about what’s to come, I turn to God for comfort. I want to know He is there, that He’s listening, and He has a plan. God most often speaks to me through song, so I put together a list of 10 hymns that give me comfort when life gets hard.

10. My Lord Can

I love the many examples this song provides of what God can do. We often find ourselves with problems to which we can’t fathom a solution, but God can. He can do the impossible.

Father of Lights

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Thursday, 09 August 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 285

Father of Lights

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17)

Recently our family spent a warm summer evening together at a lantern festival. For these events, participants gather at a local county fairground in a wide-open field with blankets, lawn chairs, coolers, and picnic baskets listening to live music until the sun sets. Each person is given a paper lantern to decorate with personal dreams, wishes, inspirational quotes, and doodlings. At dusk, tiki torches are lit and the excitement begins.

There is a small square fuel cell at the base of each lantern. Once it's lit via the torch, the heat expands and fills the lantern to be released glowing against the night sky.

My Place

Written by Sister Colleen Moore on Thursday, 02 August 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 247

My Place

When the doctor placed my firstborn in my arms, I knew my life would never be the same. I stared into the sweet eyes of this baby boy, and I felt like I was staring into the eyes of an angel. The pure innocence was breathtaking. This baby that I had carried inside of me was now in my arms, and I knew I would do everything I could to protect him.

I felt that same exact feeling when our second son was born, and then our daughter. It's a feeling that is so hard to put into words.

Doors That Close

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 26 July 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 338

Doors That Close

Did you ever have a door literally close in your face? Recently, this happened to me both literally and figuratively. First, here is the literal version.

I was with my family in the Pittsburgh, PA, airport preparing to depart on a flight. We just had a very blessed time at the April General Church Conference. After checking in our luggage, I did not hear the gate number indicated by the agent at the counter. I followed my family, lugging my personal items and lagging behind their quick strides to the train that transports passengers to the concourse where the gates are located. My whole family boarded the train, and as I attempted to get on, the doors immediately shut.

Cachexia of the Soul

Written by Brother P. on Tuesday, 24 July 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 312

Cachexia of the Soul

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

According to Merriam-Webster, "cachexia" is “general physical wasting and malnutrition usually associated with chronic disease.”

In the nursing home, this word “cachexia” is a diagnosis that we see given to a person who is skinny beyond belief. We often call a skin-and-bones person “cachexic” (which is not really a word).

Turning Your Mess into His Message

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, 10 July 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 316

Turning Your Mess into His Message

Do you ever wonder why you’re going through a particular trial or hardship? I do. Lots.

I especially wonder when it’s something incredibly difficult for me. Like the time I had an anxiety attack in an airport and I thought my throat was closing, never to open again. Or the time I lost my job due to a company reorganization. Or when I had delivery complications with my son.

In the midst of those situations, I often felt as though God was far from me. But, He also gave me wisdom to understand that somewhere, buried deep in that overwhelming tribulation, there was a lesson. What was He trying to show me, I wondered?

Turbulent Flights Lead to Clearer Skies

Written by Sister Rachel Alessio on Thursday, 05 July 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 325

Turbulent Flights Lead to Clearer Skies

I hate turbulence. Turbulence during a plane flight is the root of my flying anxiety. I’ve gotten past sitting next to strangers and flying by myself, but I still haven’t gotten used to turbulence. There’s something about bouncing up and down at 30,000-ish feet in the air that’s unsettling for me. Most of the time it doesn’t last very long, and I’ve always landed safely on the ground, but in those brief moments, my heart starts to race and my mind runs through every possible worst-case scenario until the bumpiness passes.

The more I’ve thought about my flying anxiety, the more I’ve been able to relate it to other aspects of my life. As I live from day to day, it’s not always smooth sailing. Sometimes new obstacles or turbulent bumps mess with my daily routine, and I have to figure out how to navigate my way to calmer, clearer skies. The moment turbulent winds disrupt the smoothness of the flight, and my stomach drops while I white-knuckle grip my armrests, the only thing on my mind is “Lord, keep me safe. Lord, get me through this. Lord, You are in control.”

Do Work!

Written by Brother Ryan Lesperance on Tuesday, 03 July 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 300

Do Work!

Most mornings, my wife, Gina, gets our kids ready for school.

Every once in a while, I get the pleasure of being a part of the Monday-through-Friday morning routine. My son, Gianni, is 6 years old. When I tell him to put his clothes on, he lays on the floor completely flat on his back, whines that he is too tired to put his clothes on, and wants me to dress him while he makes zero effort. He doesn't want to do a thing. He just wants me to take his pajamas off and dress him as he just lays there. I don't mind helping him get ready, but I need to see a little effort on his part. Nothing huge … maybe just stand there?

Snoopy Banks and Little White Envelopes

Written by Sister Ruth Gehly on Thursday, 28 June 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 334

Snoopy Banks and Little White Envelopes

When I was in the fourth grade, I celebrated my birthday party on the Gateway Clipper riverboat in downtown Pittsburgh. At that party, one of my friends gifted me a Snoopy bank, which to this day remains in pristine condition and sits displayed on a bookshelf in my guest bedroom — a fond reminder of that special time and my childhood. It also brings to mind some of the important lessons I learned growing up.

As a little girl, my parents instilled in my sisters and me the value of work and the importance of giving. There was great significance in our contribution as individuals and as members of the family. Some of what we did was simply expected — brushing our teeth, washing our hands, saying please and thank you, making our beds every day, hanging up our towels after our bath, putting our dirty clothes down the laundry chute, keeping our shared rooms straightened, doing our homework, etc.

The Manna-fest Word of God

Written by Brother Jordan Champine on Tuesday, 26 June 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 297

The Manna-fest Word of God

"And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live." (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Heaven's corn (Psalm 78:24) supplied to Israel during their wilderness experience was a mighty miracle of God's provision to sustain them along the way. This supernatural act was so important that God commanded a portion of the manna to be preserved within their holiest possession, the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 16:34). It stood as an emblem of Israel's continued dependence on God and His ability to provide. Yet, as the above passage reveals, God purposed a greater divine truth to be showcased through their immediate need. Spiritually, we need the Word of God like our body needs food.

Holding My Father’s Hands

Written by Brother Richard Lowman on Thursday, 21 June 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 362

Holding My Father’s Hands

My wife, Sister Gina Lowman, and I are visiting a beach in South Padre Island, Texas. This is an island that is 11 miles north of Matamoras, Mexico and is surrounded by water on both sides. The island is about 1 mile wide and maybe 10 to 11 miles long, surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on both sides.

Our 5-year-old twins, Rebekah and Joshua, are here with us, and we have been enjoying the beach every day. Our twins have had two years of swimming lessons and are excellent swimmers. On most days at home, you will find them swimming in the pool. The can jump, dive, go under and hold their breath, and are truly competent swimmers.

Four Instructions for a Successful Marriage

Written by Brother Thomas D'Orazio on Tuesday, 19 June 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 348

Four Instructions for a Successful Marriage

Yesterday, we treated you to the first part of a wedding sermon. Today, you get the conclusion!

There are many scriptures related to the union between a man and woman, but I will just touch on two. In 1 Corinthians 7:2, it states, "…let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due goodness: and likewise also the wife unto the husband."

Ephesians 5:25-33 reads, "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it … So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church … For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh … let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she love her husband."

In these scriptures we find four important instructions that form the bedrock of any good marriage:

What's So Special About Marriage?

Written by Brother Thomas D'Orazio on Monday, 18 June 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 378

What's So Special About Marriage?

Today and tomorrow, we're bringing you a two-part article on marriage. The article was submitted by Brother Frank Natoli, who says, "Recently, I witnessed a marriage and enjoyed the sermon so much that the words appear below as a testament to the sanctity of the ordinance of marriage that we hold so dear." The following wedding sermon was given by Brother Thomas D'Orazio.

Since the beginning of time, God never intended man to be alone. In the beginning, God created man in His image and set him in the perfect place of Eden. This place had everything man could ever want. Food and water were abundant. There were trees and grass and animals all around. All of nature was at peace with one another, and the presence of God Himself walked and talked with man.

However, God realized that something was still missing.

Approved and Proven

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Tuesday, 12 June 2018. Posted in Holidays, Devotional Hits 450

Approved and Proven

With Father’s Day approaching, my thoughts are drawn to my father, who left this earth to be with Jesus in 2014. Naturally speaking, my dad’s life taught me many things. He worked a LOT to keep my childhood happy and carefree, so I inherited a strong work ethic, learning to work hard and save for things in life. As a kid, though, I didn’t understand why lights always had to be off when we left a room or why the refrigerator door or front door to our house couldn’t remain open because “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “we don’t live in a barn,” as just a few examples of perplexing things fathers say to kids.

As a rebellious teen, even more things my dad said and did wore on my nerves. I often viewed him as annoying and sometimes getting in the way of what I wanted to do and hopelessly not able to understand my world. I failed to see him as the foundation of my security and well-being in the tireless daily contributions my parents both invested in our family.

Strength Test

Written by Sister Erin Light on Thursday, 07 June 2018. Posted in Devotional Hits 331

Strength Test

I attended a conference recently and heard a motivational speaker talk about strengths and weaknesses, and I was surprised at what I heard:

"Strengths are not what you’re good at. Weaknesses are not what you’re bad at. We’ve all been raised to believe that our strengths are best judged by the success we achieve. If that’s the case, then a strength is the same as performance. But we instinctively know that’s not true. If you’re like most people, you have some activities or tasks you do well, but hate doing. You have the ability; you can do it. You just wish you never had to do it again because it drains you. Such activities cannot be called strengths. They are weaknesses. The simplest and best definition of a strength is 'an activity that strengthens you.' And the proper definition of a weakness is 'an activity that weakens you' — even if you’re good at it." (Marcus Buckingham, motivational speaker)

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