Thursday morning Sunshine is a free devotional newsletter produced by Rob Keller, Pastor Janice Burnett and myself (Peter Caligiuri). Pastor Janice is a nursing home chaplain in Western New York, I do volunteer nursing home ministry here in Florida and my friend Rob is a professional graphic artist and writer who lends his talents to Sunshine. If you would like to receive the pdf format of Sunshine please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be delighted to include you in our weekly mailing.
Giving Thanks by Peter Caligiuri
Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20 ESV In today’s verse the Apostle Paul tells us to be thankful for everything. Now without a doubt there were plenty of terrible things going on in the world in Paul’s day just as there are in ours. But the thankfulness Paul talks about is more than simply recalling the good things we have experienced. Instead, the gratitude that God has in mind is about seeing things as He sees them. We may see the potholes in the road but God sees the whole journey. We feel the cold of the winter wind while God sees the trees resting while they gather their energy for spring. We are angry over hurtful words spoken to us while God is giving us an opportunity to learn to forgive. We experienced the loneliness of the Covid-19 lockdown, but God was giving us time to remember what and who matter most in life. If we are able to see all of our family again this year, will we remember to tell them we love them and hold them close? But whether we are together or apart from our loved ones, the biggest blessing is that Jesus has promised to sit with us! God is good. We have much to be thankful for!
Giving thanks when things go well
Is an easy thing to do
But giving thanks when the chips are down
Is God’s will for me and you!
Yes, give thanks for ‘all things’ for, as it has been well said ‘Our disappointments are but His appointments.’” –A.W. Pink
Riddles in Heaven? By Rob Keller
Do you like riddles? Here’s one I thought was pretty clever: What runs around the yard day and night, but never moves or never gets tired? Give up? Well, you’ll have to keep reading to get the answer. Ready for another one? What has a beginning, but no end? To find the answer, just look in the mirror. If you are a Christian It’s you! The moment you received Jesus as your Savior, you were born into God’s family and began a life that will never end. Yes, some day we will leave this world behind and find ourselves frolicking on Heaven’s streets of gold, but that isn’t when eternal life begins. It starts right here and now. That’s because the eternal life that God gives us is not just about how long we live, but it’s also about how well we live. Now that our sins are forgiven, we can live in a close relationship with God. We have the privilege of talking with our Him (That’s prayer). Jesus calls us his friends. In God’s kingdom, our lives now have meaning and purpose. This new life fills us with deep peace and joy, no matter our circumstances. These are just a few of the blessings we are given as a “down payment”, of the full inheritance we will have in Heaven.
In Heaven, where we will live forever, we will receive bodies that will never grow old, get sick or die. There will be no pain or sorrow. We will join multitudes of believers worshipping around God’s throne. We will be reunited with beloved friends and family and gather around a table to share the most amazing banquet ever. God’s word gives us only little glimpses of what eternity will be like, but remember, it can start right here and now.
Did you figure out the first riddle yet? The answer is a fence! It runs around the yard, but never moves or gets tired. Life can be full of riddles but when we get to heaven every one will be answered at the feet of Jesus Christ!
The Lighter Side With Sue Hyson
The phone rings at the church parish, “Hello, is this Father O’Malley?”
“Yes it is.” The priest replied
“This is the IRS calling. Do you have a parishioner named Ted Houlihan?
“Well yes, Ted is a member of our congregation.”
“Did Mr. Houlihan donate $10,000 to the church?”
Father O’Malley thought for a moment and then replied, “He will!”
Sunshine News: This is the week for giving the 30-day Christmas Devotionals. If you do not receive one please let me know and we will work on getting a copy to you. It is great to welcome Sue Hyson back to the newsletter with her lighter look at life. For my blogging friends I have made Finding Jesus This Christmas available as a free download from 11-17-21 through 11-20-21. You may either search for it on Amazon as Finding Jesus This Christmas by Peter Caligiuri or follow the link below. Have a blessed week all!
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Psalm 107:8
We used to sing this verse as the chorus to a song based on Psalm 107. What I loved about the song was hearing how that every time God’s children got themselves in trouble (Just like me!) they would remember how good God was; cry out and He would come to their rescue! For we who have struggled through 2020 with its lockdowns, Covid-19 deaths and political upheaval it might help to take a look both at this Psalm and at the lives of the folks who celebrated the first Thanksgiving 400 years ago. Isn’t it funny how people thousands of years ago, along with those four centuries ago and us all have the same thing in common – problems!
Looking back it is easy to minimize or ridicule the struggles of others. Back in January many of us here in the United States probably thought our economy and future were secure and that things were just “Getting better all the time” to quote the famous philosopher Paul McCartney.
But we all are equally human and God sees to it that each of us comes face to face with our own limitations and sins. The trick is to remember that God still cares about us and that in spite of our failures He will always hear us when we pray. He not only heard the Israelites when they cried out, but He was also with the Pilgrims to comfort and encourage them after losing half of their people to disease over that first terrible winter. So when the following year they took time to give thanks they were able to celebrate because they remembered God’s goodness and not their loss. In the same way He will be with us today because; just as for the children of Israel and the Pilgrims, the greater our problem – the greater God’s solution. The deeper our sin; how much deeper still God’s mercy and grace. We must remember that on the very night when He was betrayed Jesus took the cup and gave thanks. How much more should we be thankful today as we look back to all that He has done? !
Othat men would praise the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to His children!