Our Old Bibles

Our old Bibles never die
They just sit on shelves
Waiting for the day when we
Will read them for ourselves

For when the word of God is planted
In a listening heart
It grows a little day by day
Till thoughts and actions start

To change as Jesus comes to rule
In ordinary ways
His love replacing selfishness
And hopelessness with praise

Our Old Bibles by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2022 
all rights reserved. Use by permission only. 

Perfect Peace

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You. Isaiah 26:3 NLT

We live in a culture so completely soaked in information, entertainment and media of all kinds, that the slightest interruption of our internet leads to frustration, anger and even panic. The idea of what the Bible calls perfect peace seems far – very far away. Sensing the loss of peace, you may have already tried a media fast or even shut off your cell phone for a while. But just like fad diets, these attempts usually fail dismally and though they give us a momentary breath of peace they rarely lead to change. Today’s scripture points out that the true lasting peace we long for only comes from God. Ultimately victory in a culture of information and communication frenzy comes only by our connecting on the deepest level with Jesus Christ.

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So how can I do that? Church services, while uplifting seem only like an island of safety a sea of turmoil. One step out of the sanctuary and I find myself pulling out my cell phone to check for messages or missed calls. So here is a word of advice. Start with small steps like enlisting the help of a friend (in my case my wife). Schedule prayer time and Bible study with that someone else on a daily basis so it doesn’t all depend on you. There is nothing shameful about needing others to walk by our side. Right away you will have conflicts as you readjust your use of time, but don’t give up. The perfect peace God has promised is worth it. As Pastor Rick Warren put it, “Keep moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering!”

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Binging on God

The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners;  he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. Psalm 146:8-9

Maybe in the midst of the Corona Virus crisis we have lost hope as a nation because we have looked in all the wrong places. People joke about binge watching Netflix and YouTube; but when was the last time you heard anyone say, “Let’s binge read the Bible this week”? Or “Last night we binged on prayer till midnight.”? We are waiting on checks in the mail from the government, wishing the cruise ships could sail again and cheering on our favorite sports team. But our empty ships and stadiums; and empty public treasury, have yet to turn us as a nation to God who alone is the only true source of hope.

This is the first Sunday of the New Year and the first week of 2021. Why not turn off Netflix, football and the cooking channel and dedicate it as a kind of first fruits offering to binging on Jesus? He is our best hope and our helper forever!