Hurry up turtle you’re smack in the middle Of the road and we’re so late today Turn left or go right and step on the gas Hurry up and get out of our way! But He didn’t speed up he just turned with a smile And said “Pleasure to meet you my friend. This sky is so blue and the sun is so warm Take a look it soon comes to an end. But I couldn’t stay calm and I fussed and I fumed And I laid on the horn with a beep Till I turned and I saw by the side of our path Baby robins in a nest fast asleep Then I bowed and I prayed - So ashamed yet so glad For my turtle friend’s wisdom and grace For I saw God was giving a place for my rest And His courage and strength in that place! Wait for the Lord, be strong and let you heart take courage wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 ESV
Thursday Morning Sunshine is a revised version of our free weekly newsletter called The Sunshine Newsletter and distributed to a growing number of long-term care facilities. The staff consists of Pastor Janice Burnett, Rob Keller and myself – Peter Caligiuri. We believe that Jesus remembers and values people in every chapter of their lives. If you would like to receive a free pdf version contact me at email@example.com We purposefully have not copyrighted the material so you may pass the pdf edition on to anyone who could use a bit of Sunshine.
He Watches Sparrows by Peter Caligiuri
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. Matthew 10:29
In Jesus’ day sparrows were common and held value only for what brief use anyone might have of them. Sometimes I have wondered, why Jesus tells us that God watches sparrows. After all God is everywhere and He also watches eagles, lions and even alligators (We have 1.3 million of them in Florida)! But unlike animals with talons, claws and teeth, sparrows have no offensive weapons. Instead their only hope is that in the moment of danger they will fly to safety.
Have you ever felt like a sparrow? Apparently, many of Jesus’ listeners did. They had been oppressed by Romans, exploited by their own religious leaders and despised by the rich. But when Jesus came, they hung on His every word because He was someone who loved to spend time with them and who invited them to come to Him. Have you ever considered that God also loves spending time with you so much that He sent His own Son with the invitation to share eternity with Him? That is an invitation without an expiration date because the God who watches sparrows also watches you and me.
A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows – Saint Francis Time is not measured by the years that you live but by the deeds that you do and the joy that you give - Helen Steiner Rice
Are You Thirsty? By Pastor Janice Burnett If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. John 7:37b NIV When you are thirsty – I mean REALLY THIRSTY – what satisfies your thirst in the middle of a hot summer day? Or if you wake up in the morning and your mouth is cottony dry, and you realize that you just have to drink something, do you like lemonade or iced tea? For me, there’s nothing that will quench that kind of thirst like ice cold water! Jesus was on a long journey with his disciples as they walked through Samaria. The Jews disliked Samaritans, but Jesus thought differently. He had a plan – He wanted to meet a lady with a different kind of thirst. Just as we would be worn out from a long uphill walk, Jesus was also tired, hot, and thirsty, so He stopped to rest. He was sitting by a well but he didn’t have a bucket to get any water out so when a Samaritan woman came for her water, Jesus asked her for a drink. It’s funny but as we read this story we see that Jesus never got His cup of water! He knew His physical thirst was less important the woman’s spiritual thirst. In fact, she was shocked that He would even talk with her. Yet she was fascinated by His offer of a living water that anyone could drink and never get thirsty again. Then Jesus asked the woman to go and get her husband (even though He knew she had five previous husbands, and the man she was living with was not her husband.) His knowledge of her personal life convinced her that He was the promised Messiah who was offering Himself as a well of living water that would never dry. Jesus still offers everyone this same living water today. Drinking of this water means never thirsting spiritually again. Are you thirsty? The Living Water Jesus gives is waiting for you today!
God’s way of dealing with us is to throw us into situations over our depth, then supply us with the necessary ability to swim – Catherine Marshall
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3 KJV
I always loved owning a pick-up truck, but that blessing brings with it the fringe benefit of being asked to help every time one of your friends moves. So on a chilly winter day, as I was stacking as many boxes, bags and other assorted things into my truck as possible I wondered again why non-truck owners assume that pick-ups are capable of hauling living room sets, refrigerators and washing machines all in the same load. By the third trip I was just hoping we were on the last run when we got around to some final boxes. To her credit, our friend Susan, had already transported her dog, a couple of cats and a fish tank in her car. But along with her last boxes were two large cages with her parrots. “Can they ride up front with you?” Susan asked me as I started carrying out the first.
“I don’t know, I think there is only room for one.” I wearily answered. So after plopping bird #1 on the passenger seat and buckling him in, I proceed to wedge bird #2 in between boxes in back and covering him carefully with a blanket. “He’ll be fine! ” I assured her with an unconvincing smile. Ten miles down the road I was hoping my words of comfort would be true as the temperature of Northeastern Pennsylvania in December is a bit lower than their native Brazil. Parrot #1 who rode up front dozed off in the warm cab and napped most the way to his new home. But as I pulled in front of Susan’s new place I was just hoping that Parrot #2 was still alive. As quickly as I could I jumped out, unlashed his cage, and gently carried him into the house. When we pulled back the blanket, thankfully we discovered that our parrot was fine, but cringing in silence, fearfully looking around, wondering what the heck just happened!
Those feathered friends reminded me of my own journey with Jesus. Unlike myself, Jesus has plenty of room for me to ride up front in his cab. If I choose, I can journey close by His side, can listen to His voice, and leave the driving to Him. But for all kinds of different reasons there are times when I decide to ride in the back. I am still in the same truck headed in the same destination, but on those trips I am missing the joy of traveling close to Jesus. I don’t need to be trembling at every sound and frozen in fear till the moment God pulls back the blanket in heaven. He has room up front for everyone who knows Him as Lord and Savior, which is why He said, “Don’t let your heart be troubled.” He has given us all the privilege of asking, “Father, I believe in you and love you with all my heart. Can I ride with You today?” He is delighted to carry every one of us, up front and close by His side!