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)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21, WEB
There is a story about Genghis Khan who was an awesome warrior and ruler of the Mongol Empire in the early years of the thirteenth century. He was on a hunt with a large party of friends and servants. He had a pet hawk that would hunt with him. The hawk was trained to fly above and seek rabbits or deer in the forest and swiftly attacking the animals from above. After a long day of fun with his companions, the king had not caught as much game as he expected. The party began to return home on an easy path, but the king decided to take another route. He let his hawk go to fly home as he was trained to do, and he set on a longer road. After some time the king became thirsty. He knew the paths in the forest very well, and was certain there was a spring nearby. It had been a dry, hot summer and the streams had long disappeared.
Finally the king found the spring, but even it was nothing more than a trickle. He took his cup and waited patiently as the cup filled drop by drop. Just as he decided to lift the cup to his lips, his hawk appeared out of nowhere and knocked it out of his hands. The king was angry, but picked the cup and began to fill it again. When it was half full, he began to take a drink and his hawk did it again. A third time the king tried to fill it, but this time he was prepared for the hawk’s attack. In his anger, he took out his sword and threatened the bird. He tried once again and when there was enough water in the cup, he lifted it to his mouth. The hawk came to attack but this time the king attacked first, killing his beloved pet. The cup fell out of his hand and fell into a crevice where he could not reach. He decided to climb to the source of the spring. When he reached the top of bank from which the water came, he found the pool and the dead, poisonous snake that had polluted the water. His beloved pet hawk was trying to save his life, but the king reacted to his anger in word and deed, which ended in tragedy.
The king reacted to the lifesaving actions of his beloved pet hawk with angry words and then violence. He let his anger and harsh words get the best of him, and he ended up with nothing - no water, no cup and no hawk. Anger is not the only thing that is revealed in words that can lead to an even greater response. The human heart tends toward greed, jealousy, lust, bitterness, strife and doubt and we show our tendencies by what we speak. In the case of the king, his anger was spoken, acted upon and he lost his friend.
Yet, it is not just the negative that can manifest in our mouths and actions. When we speak in love, mercy and peace, the same comes back to us. If only the king had called to his hawk, not in anger but in love, he might have realized that the hawk was protecting him from the danger in the water. Thomas Jefferson said that when we are angry we should count to ten before acting upon that anger. It all starts in the mouth. When we take that moment to think about our words, we are more likely to respond in a positive manner. Our words spoken in the heat of the moment will bring exactly what it deserves, the consequences of our anger, greed, jealousy, lust, bitterness, strife and doubt. It might mean death to ourselves or someone we love. The king learned the lesson in a very hard way. We have learned through scripture how words can bring good things, particularly when we praise the Lord our God. In that we find much blessing.
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“The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold, but Yahweh tests the hearts.” Proverbs 17:3, WEB
Art was always one of my favorite classes in school. I did all sorts of different projects over the years: painting, batik, cut paper, soft sculpture, clay, pointillism and other pen and ink, pencil, charcoal and pastel drawing and jewelry design. Some of the projects were fairly easy and others were more difficult. I never took the easy way out. I remember a pen and ink project that took me most of the school year because I used only stipple (small dots) and the picture was on a full sheet of poster board. I quickly finished the project which was a large butterfly, but when I was ready to turn it in, my teacher said, “I think you should do the background also.” He was right. Filling in the background made the picture more beautiful. I would have been happy stopping with the butterfly, but I was glad he pushed me further.
In another class I made a silver pendant that was shaped like a butterfly. I cut the shape with a tiny jewelry saw and then soldered a crown for a stone in the center. Then I began the hard task of buffing the silver until it was polished and beautiful. It took a long time, many layers of polish. Just when I thought it was done, my teacher encouraged me to continue. Over and over again I went back to the machine, each time the piece was a little better. When I finally reached the moment when I could see myself in the silver, I knew it was worth the extra work and I was glad the teacher pushed me to go the extra mile on the project.
It would have been much easier if I had just finished the projects when I thought they were done, but they never would have been as beautiful as they were with the additional time and work. The pen and ink picture still hangs in my living room, and I thank God for the extra push from my teacher. The necklace was one of my favorite pieces of jewelry for a long time, though I doubt it would have been if I had not polished it until it really shined. I didn’t know what was right for the pieces, but my art teachers did, and they encouraged me to take the projects to their limits.
The early days of the church were a time of discovery and discernment. Many people tried to define the different doctrines that would stay with the Church into the future. The early Christians needed to learn what it meant to be disciples of God, to establish the patterns and practices of the fellowship of believers. Some Christians felt that it was necessary for new believers to first become Jewish and then Christian, but others understood that God did not require that of believers. God does not see people as people see people. He sees our hearts and knows the potential for each of our lives. He purifies each of us according to His word and will, making us masterpieces for His glory. God’s love reaches beyond our expectations; no matter who we are He provides all we need to live in the faith He has given through the grace of Jesus Christ. He saves us and gives us the gifts of the Holy Spirit, not because we have done anything as required by men, but because He loves each of us as His own.
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