Consider

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29 ESV

One of the earliest memories I have of mom is her typing furiously on her Royal typewriter at the kitchen table. The melody of the tapping keys, punctuated by “ding” at the end of each line often, soothed me to sleep when I lay down for naps. Whenever mom wrote another book, she first began with research, which I think she liked the best. Being a Sci-Fi writer, she wanted to make sure her background on the people, planets and space travel actually fit with real science. In one of her books there were people who got around the way bats do, by their hearing. So, she studied braille, talked with blind people and asked them a million questions. Then after months of brainstorming, researching and outlining she began the rough draft with pen and paper. Because mom never had an office, the tall stacks of paper sat in piles on end tables, her nightstand or any handy flat surface in the house. Then came the second draft, on a thin cheap paper called onion skin. The wonderful nature of onion skin is that any attempt at erasure invariably leaves a hole in the page! This, mom meticulously edited, crossing off paragraphs here and there and filling the margins with notes accompanied by circles and arrows. Finally, after months of work, she was ready to break out the higher quality bond paper and begin her finished manuscript. The typing on the final was slower and mistakes were gently erased, with the correct letter carefully typed over the spot. Yet even after all the work that went into her manuscript, the journey from an idea to a book was not over. I still remember the day when she received the acceptance letter for her first book. You would think this might be a time of celebration, but far from it. The publisher was ready to publish the book only on the condition that she cut the book down from 500 to 250 pages. Mom burst into angry tears, shouting various things about the editor and then sat down and began her work again. Thinking back, I am amazed how anyone wanted to be a writer!

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In today’s world of word processing that cuts and pastes and autocorrects while smoothly and silently generating text, we move too quickly. We breeze through thousands of words, without taking time to consider the details. When Jesus tells us to consider the lilies of the field, He is saying more than just, “Don’t worry be happy!” He is telling us “Slow down enough to notice the lilies.”  Instead, we speed ahead, forgetting that God when spoke lilies into existence, He didn’t hurry. He carefully designed their root system and leaves and, chose the color of the blossom for every variety. Yet we rush past what God has given us, not only in His creation but in the lives of the people around us. He is commanding us to slow down, so we can see the beauty of people and flowers, noticing every detail and hovering like a hummingbird, appreciating its sweetness. Only then can the peace of God will flow into our minds as we consider, linger and trust that God has every detail of every day under His amazing and loving control!

The Greatest Story That’s Ever Been Told!

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Matthew 6:31-32


Free from the love of money
And free from the fear of loss
Free from the fear of all others may say
Is peace found at the foot of the cross


For He calls us with all of our hearts to believe
And trust from the depths of our soul
In His promise to always be right where we are
The greatest story that’s ever been told!

Where sinners like me find acceptance
In God’s family of orphans and tramps
And the love of a Savior who shed blood for me
Says’ “I love you no matter the cost!”

And the morning shines bright with His presence
And His promise is better than gold
For He calls us with all of our hearts to believe
The greatest story that’s ever been told!


The Greatest Story That's Ever Been Told 
by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2021 all rights reserved

			

The Journey of Two Parrots

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!

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