Special Series

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 322

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.

Israel 2020 – Lesson 8: Israel in Pictures

Written by Brother Joel Gehly on Saturday, 14 March 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 429

Israel 2020 – Lesson 8: Israel in Pictures

Today, we're bringing you the FINAL installment in our Israel 2020 series, in which we share a few photos and memories from the trip.

 

Israel 2020 – Lesson 7: Fighting Over a Rock

Written by Brother Joel Gehly on Friday, 13 March 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 453

Israel 2020 – Lesson 7: Fighting Over a Rock

Today, we're bringing you the next installment in our Israel 2020 series, written by Church President Brother Joel Gehly.

When viewing Jerusalem for the first time and identifying the perimeter of Old Jerusalem, one specific building caught our eye: the Dome of the Rock. It is, in fact, very hard to miss because of its large golden dome. The Dome of the Rock is the third-most sacred area for the Islamic faithful. It was first dedicated in 691 A.D. and then refurbished around 1541. The Dome is built on a hill, specifically over a rock (a crop of limestone) and is more commonly known by the Jewish people and Christians as Mount Moriah.

“The air over Jerusalem is saturated with prayers and dreams,” wrote Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. I saw firsthand that this is true. Currently, these prayers and dreams seem to circle around today like a storm. To the Jews and Christians, this is the place — the rock — where Abraham proved his faith by preparing to offer his son, Isaac. Later, we read that King David built an altar on or near this rock and subsequently his son, King Solomon, erected a Temple to the Lord on this same spot of ground.

Israel 2020 – Lesson 6: Renewed Hope

Written by Sister Vanessa Watson on Saturday, 07 March 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 484

Israel 2020 – Lesson 6: Renewed Hope

Today, we're bringing you the next installment in our Israel 2020 series, written by Sister Vanessa Watson.

I am so grateful to God for our recent trip to Israel; it was so inspiring. Israel is truly the Holy Land and Jerusalem the Holy City, set apart by God to be the staging ground for the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ! What a blessing to go on this trip with Native friends and other believers around the U.S. who share our desire for the “Peace of Israel.”

One particularly moving event occurred at the Jewish Agency. All of us (28, plus our tour guide) were in the very room where Israeli officials voted in May 1948 to become the Nation of Israel. I don’t think it was a coincidence that Native American leaders were there as well as the President of our Church, Brother Joel Gehly. So, when Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez stated that he felt like he was coming home when he entered Jerusalem and that he felt a connection somehow with the nation of Israel and wanted to partner with them, I whispered to my husband, Brother Larry, that I felt history was again being made in that place, that I was seeing a glimpse of prophecy being fulfilled.

Israel 2020 – Lesson 5: Shabbat Shalom

Written by Brother Joel Gehly on Friday, 06 March 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 820

Israel 2020 – Lesson 5: Shabbat Shalom

Today, we're bringing you the next installment in our Israel 2020 series, written by Church President Joel Gehly.

A very special experience was offered to us when we were in Israel. After a very wet and chilly (but exhilarating) day of visiting sites in the city of Jerusalem, we boarded the tour bus around 6 p.m. for a short drive to a Jewish home. It was Friday evening, and as we drove the streets of Jerusalem, we observed that the normal activity level of the city was greatly diminished. Friday evening at sundown was the start of the Jewish Sabbath. As we entered the beautiful home, happy exuberant cries of “Shabbat Shalom” echoed over and over.

“Shabbat Shalom” is the special greeting between people, even strangers, said on Shabbat. The greeting means that one should have a Shabbat of peace.

To describe our evening, I suggest you first take a look at the short video at the bottom of this article. This will give you a sense of the home, the people, the table, the host, and the joy we experienced as we fellowshipped together with our Jewish hosts.

Israel 2020 – Lesson 3: Could It Be? Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Written by Sister Ruth Gehly on Friday, 28 February 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 645

Israel 2020 – Lesson 3: Could It Be? Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Today, we're bringing you another installment of our Israel 2020 series, written by Sister Ruth Gehly. Look for this series every Friday and Saturday for the next few weeks!

As our tour bus meandered its way through the Jordan Valley into the arid hills of the Judaean desert, our guide pointed out that short green grass was blooming on the sandy hills. This phenomenon typically occurs for a very short period of time each year. Yet, while we were there, a great blessing was occurring. The desert had been blooming for many weeks, a phenomenon that was not common.

Could it be that God’s hand is moving? Could it be that the time is drawing nigh for deserts to bloom again … for the life and spirit of a nation to be restored? Quite suddenly, an excited wonder — a need for something more — quelled from deep within. Very unexpectedly, tears slid down my cheeks.

Broken Silence

Dusk was closing in, and everyone was quiet. In those quiet moments, a song my childhood Sunday school teacher used to sing reverently broke the silence, calling our attention to what we were about to behold.

Israel 2020 – Lesson 4: Dedication and Determination

Written by Evangelist Wayne Martorana on Saturday, 29 February 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 404

Israel 2020 – Lesson 4: Dedication and Determination

Today, we're bringing you another installment of our Israel 2020 series, written by Evangelist Wayne Martorana. Look for this series every Friday and Saturday for the next few weeks!

Through the years, I have often had the desire to visit the Holy Lands in Israel and walk the paths that
Christ and His disciples did, fulfilling their ministry, establishing The Church, and administering to the people. However, I did not know that I would ever have that opportunity. The invitation came from a very unlikely source, the Gathering of Tribal Nations leadership, and culminated very quickly. 

As an aside, please pray for the leadership of this organization who some Church members have befriended. We have shared with them and many others on this trip that many of the aboriginal people of the Americas are descendants of Joseph of Egypt from Old Testament times. They have been receptive to listen to our scriptural explanation but want the Lord to show them directly in order for them to be proponents of this message. Certainly, this thing is not too hard for the Lord to accomplish!

Israel 2020 – Lesson 2: Draw Israel to Christ

Written by Brother Joel Gehly on Saturday, 22 February 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 696

Israel 2020 – Lesson 2: Draw Israel to Christ

Today, we're bringing you the second installment of our Israel 2020 series, written by Church President Brother Joel Gehly. Look for this series every Friday and Saturday for the next month!

We were in northern Israel, perhaps less than 5 or 6 miles from the Lebanon border, and stopped at an area identified as Caesarea Philippi. This place is in the northern hill area of Israel and it has a water spring at the base of a cliff that is one of the three identified springs that begin the Jordan river. It was here at Caesarea Philippi that part of The Church mission statement resonated within me and I saw the work clearly.

The Mission Statement of The Church includes the wording, “to draw Israel to Christ” and “through an effort” focused on the Native Americans of North and South America. The meaning of the words is important to consider.  As we visited Caesarea Philippi, we were reminded of the interaction between Jesus and His disciples. The question was asked (Matthew 16), “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”  Peter replies to the question, and Jesus affirms that they (the disciples) had received of the Father both knowledge and faith. The disciples were “drawn” to Christ in faith, and they had witnessed the power of the Son of God.

Israel 2020 – Lesson 1: Thanksgiving

Written by Brother Joel Gehly on Friday, 21 February 2020. Posted in Special Series Hits 776

Israel 2020 – Lesson 1: Thanksgiving

Today, we're pressing pause on our regularly scheduled Good Word Friday to bring you the first installment of our Israel 2020 series, written by Church President Brother Joel Gehly. Look for this series every Friday and Saturday for the next month!

A small group of brothers and sisters from The Church was invited to join a tour of Israel sponsored by the Gathering of Tribal Nations and the Alliance of Christian Women for Israel.  The Gathering of Tribal Nations (GTN) is an organization comprised primarily of Native American people who have a zeal for Jesus Christ and a loosely defined belief that, in some way, the indigenous people of the Americas have a bond with Israel and the Jews. The Alliance of Christian Women for Israel is a small collection of dedicated women who have a great love for the land of Israel and are committed to assisting the people of Israel.

The tour group consisted of eight Navajo and two Cree (Manitoba) indigenous individuals, twelve gentile pastors and friends of Ron and Tyda Harvey (GTN), plus the six of us from The Church. Included in the Navajo group was Mr. Jonathan Nez and his wife. Jonathan is the current president of the Navajo nation. Mr. David Harper, accompanied by his wife (Cree nation), was a Grand Chief of many tribes in Canada. The Gentile friends of Ron and Tyda Harvey were all charismatic Christian people who have a passion for Israel and the work of the Gathering of Tribal Nations.

The actual tour of the country included almost three days in the northern area of Israel around the Sea of Galilee, and the remainder of the time was spent in or around Jerusalem. The activities every day kept us very busy, and we were very blessed to see a large portion of the country. The tour guide who accompanied us was a very knowledgeable Jewish man who had an incredible ability to weave Jewish, Christian, and world history throughout the many areas we visited.

Standing on the Promises

Written by Sister Vicki Ali on Thursday, 05 December 2019. Posted in Special Series Hits 579

Standing on the Promises

Today's article is another installment in our series of childhood church memories. Today, Sister Vicki Ali recollects how her definition of "cool" has changed since she was a teenager.

I didn’t dig deep into my earliest church memories, but I dialed back to my preteen years and came across a good one to share. At this age, church services could be highly entertaining to an immature brain. The sport of Church People Watching provided many moments of uncontrollable muffled laughter as friends and I witnessed things like a sister returning to the front pew during the service with a trail of toilet paper stuck to her shoe. There were also poorly timed burps and other funny noises from old and young humans, and once a Sunday school Christmas program momentarily dissolved into melee when two kids got into a physical brawl front and center on stage. All of these — certainly America’s Funniest Home Video worthy moments.

However, the most amusing church memory I’ll share occurred when my family and I attended the Roscoe, Pennsylvania, location of The Church of Jesus Christ for several years. I dreaded the hour ride to get there, crammed in a car with my siblings and parents, which also included stopping to pick up my grandma and another elderly sister. Did I mention the last two passengers always wore very strong (often conflicting) floral perfumes? After escaping that misery, I was glad to settle into a pew with my new friend, Robyn. Robyn was four years older than me and super cool. She was kind enough to tolerate awkward me sitting there, as I admired her weekly lip gloss and nail polish choices, and we doodled in notebooks. So what significant event stands out from this pew memory?

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