You are welcome to use the writings on these pages or pass them on to others who might find a touch from God in the words. Our purpose is always to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you everything, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring these words to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom its been shared. All rights reserved. Peggy Hoppes
Christian Bible Study Pages
Travel PagesSalisbury Plain
Our Lord is so good, He grants us many blessings. We can see Him in the daily course of events, in our homes, our jobs, our lives. I pray that these words help you to grow in your faith and recognize His hand in even the most mundane circumstances.
The picture to the right is of a Celtic Chapel located in Cornwall England. This building is approximately 1700 years old, and contains a holy well known for its healing powers.
(Click for enlarged)
“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Relent, Yahweh! How long? Have compassion on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work appear to your servants; your glory to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:12-17, WEB
We are going on a vacation. I going to take my laptop, but I am not planning to write during my time away. Several of the days will be in the car, and the other days will be busy with having fun. Though I could do it, I’ve made the decision to take a break from this work. I have struggled with this over the years, never wanting to disappoint my readers. “What would they do without me?” I would wonder. Silly, isn’t it? The world goes on, the sun still shines and God still works in the world without us.
I worried that I’d lose readership, but I never really considered the advantages of fully immersing myself in the vacation. I don’t get paid to write this devotional, so I don’t think of it as a job. “Why do I need a vacation?” Well, we all have reasons we take trips. Some are for pleasure; others have a purpose like visiting family. This trip is to celebrate the graduation of our daughter, but we are taking extra time for fun.
I was reading an article that gives good reasons why we should take a vacation. The question put before the author was whether or not vacations were biblical. After all, it seems like the idea of a vacation is a rather modern phenomenon. He began with this: “Jesus was all for the ‘getaway.’” The author quoted Mark 6:31. The disciples had just returned from their time of ministering and they were tired. The crowds were still following, looking for more from them. They couldn’t even have a bite to eat. “You come apart into a deserted place, and rest awhile.” He gave them leave to go away for a time of relaxation and refreshment.
The author talked about how vacations relieve stress and make us more productive. See, we tend to work ourselves to the core and we can easily get burned out if we don’t take time away from our work. Writers suffer from writer’s block. Artists have trouble getting inspired. Accountants can find the numbers just begin to blur. Jobs with high stress can cause physical problems. Jobs with strange hours can be exhausting. We can easily get to the point that we hate our job and we just want to quit. Burnout causes irritability and anger. No one wants to work with us when we reach that point.
However, if we take an occasional vacation, we step away and find a new perspective. We rest and get well. We remember why we loved our job in the first place. Studies have shown that people are reinvigorated after a vacation and they get more done. We are much better stewards of our time and resources when we have had a chance to rest and renew. We are far more creative, too. We get to see something different when we leave our own little corner of the world and go to the forest or the beach or a new city. For a writer like me, a vacation can give me a wealth of new stories.
It is vacation time. As school comes to an end, many people will get into their cars or onto airplanes to go see something new. They’ll worry about their jobs. “Will my coworkers realize that I’m not really that important and will my bosses think that they can easily replace me?” Perhaps instead of worrying, we should all think about these advantages. We’ll be better off in the end because we have found rest and rejuvenation. We’ll go back to the job with new ideas and excitement. We’ll be healthier and happier. We’ll be ready to take on the world. So go, rest, and be well. The world won’t stop spinning if you step away from the controls for a minute.
From our Christian perspective, that vacation might just give us a glimpse of our God in a way we might never expect. It is an opportunity for us to renew our relationship with God as have more time away from the worries of the world. We might just discover that our time away will help us to love and trust God more. Even if our vacation is not filled with scheduled times of worship, time in God’s creation and among God’s people will remind us of God’s amazing grace. Then we can return to our little corner of the world ready to do His work in new ways.
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“Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith.” Romans 12:1-3, WEB
Bruce and I are getting ready to take a road trip to Minnesota to see our daughter graduate with her Master’s degree. Unfortunately, the price of gas seems to be steadily rising. This is partly due to the time of year, but also due to world events. I laugh because I wrote about this several years ago and I was complaining at the price of gas then, too. Fortunately, my prediction then did not come true. I thought the price would go much higher and that we’d see those high prices forever. It is nearly a dollar cheaper now than then, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop complaining. The price this week jumped twelve cents a gallon in a matter of hours. Gas is relatively inexpensive in Texas; I can’t imagine what we’ll pay along the road.
I remember cringing the first time I had to pay over two dollars a gallon. I can remember even remember paying ninety-nine cents. That was a long time ago, but still within my memory. I’m sure a few of my readers have memories of even cheaper gas. Can you remember cringing when the price went to a dollar? Two dollars? Do you recall the hope you had that it wouldn’t go over three dollars? We’ve had moments when we prayed that it would stay at four dollars. I don’t think any of us are expecting to ever see a dollar a gallon gas again. Perhaps we’ve even lost all hope for two dollars. We were close just a few months ago, but now we are steadily headed toward three.
It changed the way I live. I once rejected a part time job because I knew I would spend more than half my paycheck for the gas to get me to the job. With other job expenses, it would cost me money to be employed. I was less likely to jump in the car and drive to the other side of town to go shopping or have lunch at a favorite restaurant. My husband and I are even moved our current house just to get him closer to work, to save him money on gas and time in the car.
How do we get to the point that we accept what was once considered unacceptable? Could you imagine the uproar if gas had jumped twelve cents in a few hours when we were paying a dollar a gallon a few decades ago? We groaned when it went up a penny. Now it is not unusual to see the price jump a quarter over a week or two. We still groan, but not quite as loud. We’ve come to expect it and we have transformed our lives in acceptance.
What else have we accepted and conformed to in this world? I watch television and think to myself, “That wouldn’t have been acceptable a few years ago but now it is the norm.” Our children are forced to grow up too fast and too early. Food packaging is getting smaller while prices are getting higher. Things and people we have taken for granted are disappearing because they are being replaced by technology.
Most of these things do not matter. We pay more for everything today than we did thirty years ago. Some of the old ideas were out of date. There are so many advantages to modern technology. Change is not an awful thing. It is not always bad to conform to what’s happening in the world around us. But the question we ask today is this: where do we draw the line? How far can we conform before it changes even the deepest parts of our spirit? How much can we accept before it changes even our relationship with God?
The following links provide some specially chosen scripture that tell the stories of the Birth and Passion of our Lord as Saviour Jesus Christ, as well as a fictional perspective of the Crucifixion. Spend time in God's Word, read about His life and learn of the wonderful gifts He has for you. Know Jesus Christ and honour Him today. Thanks be to God.
When researching, I use several versions of the bible, including the New International Version and English Standard Version. Due to copyright restrictions, I have not included quotes for the scriptures on some of the archives, but highly encourage you to open your own bibles to read the scripture passages for yourselves. Where scripture is quoted, it is usually the American Standard Version or World English Bible which belong to the public domain. Any other versions used in quotes are identified.
The devotion posted on Wednesday is based on the Lectionary texts used by millions of Christians each Sunday. The Lectionary consists of four texts: an Old Testament passage, a Psalm, a passage from one of the Epistles and a Gospel text and follows the church calendar. Archives for these writings are found at Midweek Oasis.
You are welcome to use these words to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you these gifts, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring them to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom you've shared it. Peggy Hoppes