The Blessing – Israel

I loved this version of The Blessing so much as it includes the very land from which this blessing came. Both the cinematic and vocal quality are beautiful but more than this; its core message needs to be heard over and over. Our world is tore and shaken and wounded in so may ways and so I pray again – May the Lord bless you and keep you this Sunday and may He give you peace through Jesus Christ both now and always!

Ringing Heaven’s Bell

Thank you for all the kind comments yesterday on my fire fly memories. That title and the story was still stirring my heart through the evening so I slept on it and started working on a bit of a verse this morning. I hope it may be a blessing to you both by a glimpse of childhood memories as well as a few aches and pains of aging. May you each have a blessed weekend and time of worship with brothers and sisters in your church.

And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. John 10:23
Catching fireflies in little jars was such fun
Summer evenings we played on in the night
And watched them in wonder as they flashed on and off
And Time froze as we laughed at their sight
Till out on the porch Granny rang the ship’s bell
Telling us it was time to come in
And we traipsed to the door and got ready for bed 
Still holding our jars in our hands

And I try to remember those long-ago days
And the joy of the flashing so bright
When the absence of friends who have long disappeared
Casts shadows creeping over that light

But off in the distance comes the sound of the bell
Of God’s promise of a river of life
And the leaves of the trees that grow there on its banks
Are for healing from sorrow and strife
And I see Jesus standing out on Heaven’s porch
His voice rings as He calls me to come
To leave to the past all those things that won’t last
And to joyfully start my way home!

Ringing Heaven's Bell by Peter Caligiuri 
copyright 2021 all rights reserved

Ringing the Bell

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Revelation 22:17 ESV

When I was growing up, my favorite place to play was in my grandparent’s ginourmous back yard. There on summer evenings, my cousins and I liked nothing better than catching fireflies in jars and then watching them flick off and on in what seemed a magical display. We would stay at our game, no matter how late the hour, until my grandmother went out on the back porch and rang the big ship’s bell that my grandfather brought home with him when he retired from the Navy. No matter how loud we were shouting and laughing or how far away we were, the sound of that bell let us know that the time for games was over and we needed to come in and get ready for bed.

Today as we were singing the hymn, “Softly and Tenderly” the words of the chorus suddenly reminded me my grandfather’s bell. I could almost picture Jesus standing out on Heaven’s porch ringing a giant bell as His invitation to “Come home, come home. You who are weary come home.” He is calling all of us, no matter what we are doing or how far we have strayed from God. The clear ringing of that bell is still lovingly and persistently calling us home. Today’s verse spells out, not only an invitation to come to God, but also the wonderful promise of a refreshing river filled with life that waits for us when we come in. Don’t hesitate or linger at catching fireflies, because it is getting late. If you can you still hear His bell ringing; then drop everything you are doing and come home!