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)
“In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?’ Jesus called a little child to himself, and set him in the middle of them, and said, ‘Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.’” Matthew 18:1-4, WEB
I have a bookshelf filled with children’s books. Some of those books were mine when I was a child. Then I bought many books for my children. I haven’t stopped buying children’s books even though my kids are grown and they do not yet have children of their own. I found an adorable book in the Easter department at a store that I purchased just last week. It doesn’t matter that I can’t share it with children right now; I will some day. For today, I still pull books from that shelf to read. You’ve probably seen at least a few devotions based on some of those books. There’s something special about the way writers of those books can tell stories that entertain children but also speak to the hearts of adults.
I read an article from a writer who has rediscovered the joy of reading children’s books. Bruce Handy writes, “One of the unexpected joys of parenthood, for me, was reencountering books that I had loved and that, much to my relief, I found I still loved. Reading bedtime stories to my kids was – not always, but often – like revisiting a favorite old neighborhood after many years and finding not only that it hadn’t been chain stored into submission or paved over altogether but that it was far more interesting and complex than I knew.” He wished some of the great characters were remembered the way we do the characters in classic literature. He warned that it isn’t always a wonderful experience, but encouraged his readers to revisit those great stories and listen to the lessons they still have to offer us as adults.
Bruce also talked about the disappointing day when his kids began reading for themselves. It is our goal as parents to give our children everything they need to become independent adults, including the love of reading. Yet, we hate to let go of them, to watch them lose their innocence. As they grow older, they lose touch with the joys of childhood.
It is good for us to read books written for adults as we get older, but let us never forget the joy of those simple stories that we loved as children. It might seem odd that Jesus would tell the disciples that they should be like little children. We pray, study and worship so that we might mature into a deeper and fuller faith, but Jesus calls us to be open to His Word, to receive it like a child. He encourages us to receive it with innocence and faith. All too often our search for God is not about the relationship but rather to have knowledge and a better understanding of God. We will never fully understand, but if we become like little children and receive Him with joy, we’ll grow ever closer and will see more clearly God’s love and mercy and grace.
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“Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in everything, may abound to every good work. As it is written, ‘He has scattered abroad, he has given to the poor. His righteousness remains forever.’ Now may he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; you being enriched in everything to all liberality, which produces through us thanksgiving to God. For this service of giving that you perform not only makes up for lack among the saints, but abounds also through many givings of thanks to God; seeing that through the proof given by this service, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the Good News of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all; while they themselves also, with supplication on your behalf, yearn for you by reason of the exceeding grace of God in you. Now thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:7-15, WEB
I mentored a little girl in third grade at one of the schools in Little Rock. One day after spending some time alone together, we joined her classmates for lunch. They all gathered around, seeking the kind of attention my friend gets every time I visit. The children asked me about my family and were surprised that I had been married to the same man for over 14 years. Most of these children came from broken homes, homes with missing or even abusive fathers. There are few that know what it is like to have a loving father, one who takes care of his family.
Today is the day we commemorate the life of Joseph, the earthly father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though we hear little about him in the Gospels and nothing during Jesus’ adult life, there is enough information to know that he was a faithful guardian. He took Mary as his wife after she was found pregnant was a sacrifice. He was most likely ridiculed for this decision, losing any respect he may have had by taking a fallen woman as a wife. He cared for the spiritual development of the child by presenting Jesus at the temple according to the law. He gave up any established business contacts he might have had by running off to Egypt for a few years to protect this child. He journeyed to Jerusalem for festivals as any righteous Jew would do. From what we see, Joseph made a good father.
There is a Sicilian tradition that remembers Joseph in the midst of the season of Lent. They combined the disciplines of fasting, almsgiving and prayer by inviting the poor to a dinner called “St. Joseph’s Table.” The tradition began during the Middle Ages when there was severe drought in Italy. The prayers raised for rain were accompanied by promises to honor God and St. Joseph with a feast. The prayers were answered, rain fell and the famine was over. So, the people held a great feast in gratitude to God for His blessings in the town square and the poor were invited to come eat their fill of the food offered. Today, the feast is still celebrated as an act of thanksgiving for prayers answered.
I began mentoring because I have been greatly blessed by a wonderful family, and I wanted to share that with a child who may not have it. As it turns out, I’ve adopted a whole class full of children to love. God blesses us for a reason, so that we might be a blessing to others. I don’t think it is a good idea to go around promising God that we will throw a feast if He will answer our prayers. It is like the person who promises God to donate a portion of a lottery if only He would make their ticket a winner. That’s not the way God works. He needs nothing from us, not even our promises. He answers prayers according to His good and perfect will. However, though “St. Joseph’s Table” began that way, God honors those feasts thrown by those of a right heart, those who generously give of the harvest in thanksgiving to God.
God chose Joseph to be the earthly guardian of our Lord Jesus Christ. He blesses us to be a blessing, gives so that we might give, and loves us so that we will love one another. Joseph responded to God’s love by caring for that little baby in every way. During this season of Lent, let us remember God’s love for us and let us share that love with others.
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