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)
“I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables. But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5, ASV
Here’s the question for today: Why do I hate the sound of my own voice on recordings? I think this is something we all experience because the sound is never the same as what we experience when we speak. We hear ourselves much differently than others do. We often blame the difference on a bad recording, but the reality is that it is only on the recordings that we actually hear ourselves as others hear us.
The scientific explanation is perhaps more technical than would be of interest to my readers, but it has to do with the fact that we hear ourselves in two ways while the world only hears us in one. See, when we make a sound, the sound waves are transformed into an electrical impulse in the ears of the listener that is ‘heard’ by the brain. The same sound is processed twice in our own brains. We hear the sounds through our ears from the outside just like others do, but we also hear the sounds from the inside. The physical act of speaking causes a contraction of muscles that creates an extra vibration in the ear that affects the sound that the brain hears. Your voice only sounds like your voice to you. Everyone else hears it like you do on that recording.
When I read this, I thought about all those people who try out for the talent and singing shows, especially those who do not really have a good singing voice. It is possible, even probable, that the inner effects of singing on the person’s ears make them sound like they have a decent voice. We laugh and wonder how they could possibly think that they would qualify for the show, but we do not really know what they hear. They get so upset with the judges, claiming that they have no idea what they are doing. “I am the best singer in the whole world!” they say, which makes it more entertaining for us. I know, we shouldn’t be laughing at people, but I’ll confess that the audition episodes are my favorite part of those shows because they make me laugh.
We always wonder how they could get to the point of auditioning, after all, haven’t they heard their own voice? Well, scientifically we know that they are probably hearing it differently. Shouldn’t they have recorded themselves in practice? They can justify the difference with excuses like bad recording equipment if they do not understand the science of hearing. Many of the contestants insist that they have had many people tell them that they are good. “My mom thinks I am the best singer in the world.”
Therein lies the problem. It is good to be supportive and encouraging to those who are trying to find their place in the world. It is good to lift them up with praise and to stand behind them as they test their gifts and abilities. We must help people discover what it is that God has given for them to do. Unfortunately, that sometimes means being brutally honest. Sometimes it means telling people that they are not what they appear to themselves to be.
See, if we pursue a vocation that we are not gifted or talented by God to pursue, we ignore our true calling. So, if we spend our time trying to become the next rock star, we can’t discover the incredible blessing of doing God’s work. It is a self-centered way of thinking. We need one another to keep us on the right path, and that will at times require us to tell them help those we love to avoid a path that was not meant for them, even if it means telling them a truth they don’t want to hear.
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“Oh sing unto Jehovah a new song; For he hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and his holy arm, hath wrought salvation for him. Jehovah hath made known his salvation: His righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the nations. He hath remembered his lovingkindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel: All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise unto Jehovah, all the earth: Break forth and sing for joy, yea, sing praises. Sing praises unto Jehovah with the harp; with the harp and the voice of melody. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the King, Jehovah. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein; Let the floods clap their hands; Let the hills sing for joy together before Jehovah; for he cometh to judge the earth: He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.” Psalm 98 (ASV)
Today is the first day of school around here, at least for the public schools. The news reporters were at several brand new schools around the city this morning interviewing the staff about the upgrades in the buildings. The traffic reporters were busy watching the highways for the extra traffic that threatened to make the commute more difficult. The weathermen were making recommendations for how to dress the kids on this hot and humid day. The promise of back to school has been seen in the area stores with stacks of new notebooks, crayons and folders for sale. The latest Facebook memes have pictures of excited parents celebrating their freedom for another nine months.
Even the teachers are excited on this first day of school. They are looking forward to a new beginning with a room full of fresh children. They hope that this year will be the best ever, that the children will be excited about learning. Teaching is a tough job, especially for the younger grades. The classrooms are very diverse, with children who love to learn and those who would rather spend the day getting in trouble. Many of those children have not yet been diagnosed with the disabilities or they live in a world that is very difficult. Children in broken homes or with abusive custodians do not do well in school. They fight any authority, even those who have a sincere love and concern for them.
It gets so much harder as the year goes on. The teacher can sometimes overcome the child’s difficulties, but even the best teachers find it impossible to deal with some children. The school day becomes less than an educational opportunity as the teacher has to find helpful ways of transforming those children. At the same time those teachers must continue to encourage and teach the other students. It is a thankless job and sadly we are more likely to see the failures than the successes.
They will be in our prayers for the next few weeks and parents will celebrate with joy that their children have a teacher who will care for them this year. There will be a few parents who will volunteer to help in the classrooms or with after school activities. Other than that, most of those teachers will be left alone to deal with everything that happens in the classrooms, forgotten except when there is a problem. Those same teachers will be inundated with gifts of “#1 Teacher” mugs at the end of the year and a few will be remembered with “Teacher of the Year” awards. By then they will be burnt out, desperate for summer vacation.
Perhaps we should remember them on a daily basis through prayer and constant encouragement.
Isn’t it funny that we often treat God much like we treat those teachers? Oh, we are thankful for all that God has done, but don’t we think about Him more when there’s trouble and ignore Him when things are going well? Don’t we look focus on what He has done while we forget that He is active in our lives today?
Today’s psalm is a song of praise and thanksgiving for the good things God has done. The psalmist tells us about those things: about how God has won the victory over Israel’s oppressors and how He has saved them from exile. The psalmist calls us to sing about God’s faithfulness and His lasting love for His people that is lasting. We can praise God by telling others about the great things God has done. The psalmist tells us other ways. We can sing a new song. We can sing praises with a harp. We can sound trumpets. The creation even gets involved with the heavens and earth joining in the noise of praise. The sea roars, the floods clap their hands, the hills sing.
We praise God in so many other ways, also. We gather in worship together, hear the Word together and study the Bible together. We gather in fellowship and at meals. We celebrate the sacraments. Our worship and praise does not stop at the front door of our churches, however. We praise God when we share a word of hope with someone in distress and when we give a cup of water to the thirsty. We praise God when we pray for the healing of the nations and our neighbors. We praise God when we tell His story and introduce others to the saving grace found through Jesus Christ our Lord. As we do so, let’s remember that our thanksgiving is not just for those things from the past, but for everything God is doing and will do in our lives. We are most thankful for the one thing that He has done that will not be fulfilled until the end: our salvation. While teachers deserve our thanks every day, God does even more. He has done great things for us and will continue to do so for eternity.
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