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)
“At the end of ten days their faces appeared fairer, and they were fatter in flesh, than all the youths who ate of the king’s dainties. So the steward took away their dainties, and the wine that they should drink, and gave them pulse. Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. At the end of the days which the king had appointed for bringing them in, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them; and among them all was found no one like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. In every matter of wisdom and understanding, concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters who were in all his realm.” Daniel 1:15-20, WEB
Daniel was among the exiles that were taken to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar took a few of the young men from the nobility of Israel and train them in the ways of the Babylonians. When Daniel and his friends arrived in the palace, they were given good food and wine as well as an education in the literature and language of the people with whom they were living. Daniel refused to eat the food because it was offered to idols and it was not killed as per the Law of Moses. Instead of rebelling against the house of the king, Daniel made a deal with the official who was in charge of the young men. The official was concerned that the Hebrew diet would be unhealthy, but Daniel told him to give them only vegetables for just ten days as a test. After ten days, Daniel and his friends were healthier than the students who were eating the rich royal food. So, Daniel was allowed to eat according to his conscience.
Daniel and his friends stood on their principles and they succeeded even in the Babylonian world. They could have rebelled against everything they saw. Pagan literature is filled with references to things that probably would offend the Jews, yet Daniel learned these ways while holding on to the knowledge of Israel. The royal food was rich and delicious, yet Daniel ate only what was right in the eyes of God. He grew in wisdom and strength and the king often sought his knowledge in matters of the kingdom. In the end, it was not the learning or the fine food that gave Daniel or any of the wise men their gifts, but it is the Lord God Almighty who reveals things and gives all that is needed to live.
We end up in situations where people want us to conform to the way they do things. This can happen at work, in our neighborhoods and at school. Even in church there are expectations that we will do things one way even when we feel that some other way might work better. We need to remember Daniel. He did not want to be in Babylon, and he did not want to live as the Babylonians. Yet, God blessed him in that situation and he gained the respect of the king because he lived by his principles and obviously had the blessing of a powerful God. Daniel’s ways were different, but he did not rebel or become inconsiderate. He found a compromise that would both honor God and help him to succeed in that strange place. Who knows? Perhaps our neighbors will see that there is goodness to our ways and conform to the will of God.
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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. For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members don’t have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, if prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; or service, let us give ourselves to service; or he who teaches, to his teaching; or he who exhorts, to his exhorting: he who gives, let him do it with liberality; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:1-8, WEB
Clem Sohn was an American air show dare-devil who was an expert at a sort of game that the dare-devils played. These men would jump out of an airplane and wait until the very last moment to pull the rip cord on their parachute. The dare-devil who waited the longest “won” the contest. Unfortunately, too many received death as their prize. Clem was not satisfied with the thrill of the freefall or to glide through the air; he wanted to fly like the birds. He also wanted to do more than the other dare-devils, to be the star of those air shows. Clem performed his tricks as a young man in the 1930’s.
Clem was certainly not the first in history to try to find a way to fly. Leonardo DaVinci sketched plans for a glider, but winged men tried to fly in China, England, Greece, Spain and Turkey, too. The Wright Brothers succeeded in sustained air flight early in the twentieth century and began the age of aviation which saw incredible changes in technology. Like those who searched before, Clem studied nature to figure out a way to create wings so he could fly. Unlike many of those early inventors, Clem didn’t look to the birds for his ideas. He studied flying mammals instead. Flying squirrels and bats have anatomy much more similar to humans; they have wrists and elbows. So, Clem looked to them for the design of his wings.
Clem used airplane fabric and metal tubing, fastening them between his arms and the side of his jumpsuit. He sewed a tail fin between his legs. The wings were designed so that they would not open out too far and rip his arms from their sockets. The result was a bizarre looking suit that weighed just eight pounds. Believe it or not, the wings worked. Clem made his test flight a very public event. Hundreds of people were on-hand to see him jump out of his plane and fly. The crowds weren’t sure what was happening and feared for his life, but at the right moment, Clem opened his wings and he flew. He was able to control his flight; he somersaulted, banked left and right, leveled off, dove, and pulled up again. He pulled the cord on his parachute at just the right moment and landed safely on the ground.
He came to be known as Batman. The other dare-devils tried to copy his design and the batmen became the sights to see at those air shows. As a matter of fact, his suit is still the model for modern day wingsuits. Unfortunately, many of the dare-devils in those days lost their lives performing their tricks, including Clem. On April 25, 1937 at the age of 26 years old, Clem’s parachute did not open and then his back up parachute got tangled in his wings. He plummeted to his death.
I suppose there are many lessons we can learn from Clem’s life, but the thing that struck me is that after centuries of inventors looking at birds for their wings, Clem found the answer by looking at creatures that were similar in some ways to human beings. Those flying squirrels and bats had the proper foundation for human wings. By creating bat wings instead of bird wings, Clem was able to make the dream come true that inventors pursued for centuries made the dream.
As Christians, we need to ensure that we are looking at the right source to guide our lives in this world. We need the right foundation. Too many people, including Christians, conform to the world. This leads us on the wrong path; we end up on the road to destruction rather than the highway to heaven. God has called us to be like Him, to be perfect as He is perfect. We’ll never reach that goal in this life, but by constantly seeking Him and laying our lives on the right foundation, we’ll keep moving toward eternity. Yes, the ways of the world are very appealing. They seem to be right. They look like they will make us fly. It is only when we seek the ways of God that we’ll truly be blessed and He will be glorified as we take flight.
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