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 I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly." Ecclesiastes 7:25, NIV
I don't know why, but I have been thinking of a friend from a long time ago. We were friends because we had a great deal in common, although we didn't live near one another. She was from a town a couple hours away, but we belonged to chapters of the same organization and saw one another often at meetings. We were the same age and were both named Peggy. We loved the organization to which we belonged and we worked hard to make it even better. Even our hobbies were similar.
That's why I was devastated the day I heard that my friend Peggy was killed by a drunk driver. She was just sixteen years old, a new driver on her way to her job. The drunk driver hit her so hard that she died instantly (the only silver lining), her car was unrecognizable and so was she. Peggy was not the first person I knew who died, but she was the first who was killed by the actions of a selfish, stupid, useless human being. Her death was very hard on me; I was depressed for a while, and though I never seriously contemplated suicide, I wanted to die.
A few years later I had a similar encounter, but obviously mine ended much differently. I was working in New Jersey, traveling to different parties to do quality control for a mobile disc jockey company. I was making a left turn, at the green arrow, right in front of a police station, when a drunk and drugged driver hit my car. The car spun around several times before it came to a stop in the middle of the intersection. You never know what might have been, but I believe that my seatbelt saved my life. I had an unopened can of soda on the seat beside me which flew into the dashboard and exploded. That could have been me. Thankfully, the driver hit only my rear passenger fender, and though I was quite shaken by the accident, I was able to drive away from the scene. The other drive was arrested by the officer that just happened to watch the accident happen right in front of him.
I guess it would be no surprise to you, then, that one of my favorite commercials from the big game last night was the one from Budweiser starring Helen Mirren. She's one of my favorite actresses and she was so perfect for the part. "Hello," she says, sitting in a fancy restaurant. "I'm Helen Mirren, a notoriously frank and uncensored British lady." She goes on to talk about how she just can't understand how anyone still drives drunk. "If you drive drunk, you -- simply put -- are a shortsighted, utterly useless, oxygen-wasting human form of pollution, a Darwin award-deserving selfish coward." She finished her rant with a word of grace, "Now, the chances are you're a fun, solid, respectable human being." And then a word of advice, "Don't be a pillock."
You may have been a little offended by my calling the drunk driver who killed my friend a "selfish, stupid, useless human being. I learned a long time ago that we should not call someone stupid. It isn't very nice to say they are selfish or useless. Isn't it funny that the lovely and sophisticated Helen Mirren used all three of those words in the commercial? Of course, she found a much nicer word (mostly because most Americans don't have a clue what "pillock" means) for the word "stupid." As much as we probably should not use words like "stupid," it is the perfect word to describe those who drive drunk.
I agree that we must be careful about the language we use, particularly when describing another human being. Sometimes, however, it is important to call a thing what it is, as we saw so eloquently in the Budweiser commercial. A duck is a duck and a person who drives drunk is definitely a pillock. We might think that our sin, no matter what it is, does not harm our neighbors. Fortunately a majority of drunk drivers somehow make it home in one piece without the accident that steals someone we love from this world. Most people who drive buzzed are really fun, solid, respectable human beings. However, we are reminded that all it takes is one moment to change our lives forever. Don't be stupid; instead, seek wisdom and live accordingly, for God calls us to live for the sake of others.
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"Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word; that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me. And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that thou didst send me, and lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me. Father, I desire that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world knew thee not, but I knew thee; and these knew that thou didst send me; and I made known unto them thy name, and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou lovedst me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:20-26, ASV
I have an organizational arrangement that I like to call chaotic order. I know that's an oxymoron. As with many people who live in a cluttered and chaotic world, I claim I know where everything is, that I just need to find it in this pile or on that shelf. That works, sometimes. Most of the time, however, I begin looking and realize it doesn't look like I remember it or it got moved the last time I cleaned. I usually find what I seek, but it sometimes takes much more time than I planned.
That's what happened to me yesterday as I was organizing my bible study materials. The class I'm teaching at church is more free-form; we are talking theology (the study of God) while we look in depth at scripture. It is free-form because we aren't using any published materials, but I spend hours preparing so that we can fill our time with informed conversation. That's what I want from the group; I want us to discover God's Word together. But even so, it is important that I have some background to get us going and to fill in the quiet moments.
I do a lot of research, and I often print information so that I have it handy. I also have pages of handwritten notes taken as I wandered through the scriptures or listened to a lecture. As I was preparing a notebook for future class topics, I knew I had certain pages that would help with one topic I'm planning. I began looking through my notebooks, which number in the dozens, for a couple specific pieces of paper. In the process, I realized that my chaotic order would be a challenge for anyone who comes after me. Yet, I hope that all that paper does not simply get recycled, but is organized into my own theological legacy.
Clearly that is an overly optimistic goal, just like my wish to have one of my paintings hanging in a museum someday. It isn't that I really strive to leave a legacy, but that I hope my work picking through God's Word will continue to inspire and transform people long after I'm gone. See, I want my love for God to last in this world long after I'm loving God in eternity. We don't do this just for ourselves; we live and believe and share for those who will come after us. We all leave a legacy with our faith; we all leave those behind who have seen our love for God and who share that love with future generations. If my research helps someone grow in love and faith someday, then God has certainly been a blessing to me and through me. That chaotic order is filled with God's grace as He has continued to reveal Himself to His people in His Word, and through those notebooks, I pray, future generations will know the love of God that dwells in them through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
Scripture on this page taken from the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible which belongs to the public domain. Some scripture on this site taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
As you may be aware, I also write a weekly devotional on Wednesday called "MIDWEEK OASIS." For those of you who are familiar with lectionary scripture sources, MIDWEEK OASIS is based on the 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. We are now using the lectionary for our A WORD FOR TODAY texts. This devotional is posted on Wednesday, at both A WORD FOR TODAY and 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