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)
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place for all generations. Before the mountains were born, before you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. You turn man to destruction, saying, ‘Return, you children of men.’ For a thousand years in your sight are just like yesterday when it is past, like a watch in the night. You sweep them away as they sleep. In the morning they sprout like new grass. In the morning it sprouts and springs up. By evening, it is withered and dry. For we are consumed in your anger. We are troubled in your wrath. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. For all our days have passed away in your wrath. We bring our years to an end as a sigh. The days of our years are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty years; yet their pride is but labor and sorrow, for it passes quickly, and we fly away. Who knows the power of your anger, your wrath according to the fear that is due to you? So teach us to count our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Relent, Yahweh! How long? Have compassion on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work appear to your servants, your glory to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us. Establish the work of our hands for us. Yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:1-17, WEB
I have heard a commercial on the radio for the past few days. The announcer suggests that because Saturday is a special, rare day, then we should give something special and rare to those we love. Since February 29th only happens every four years, we should give diamonds to celebrate.
The concept of time is difficult to understand. We know that we can watch a clock and a calendar to see time pass, but do those clocks and calendars really help us understand the passing of time? I once read an article about a physicist who is trying to answer the question, “What is time.” In an interview, Sean Carroll answered the question of whether he can explain his theory in layman’s terms. “I’m trying to understand how time works. And that’s a huge question that has lots of different aspects to it. A lot of them go back to Einstein and space/time and how we measure time using clocks. But the particular aspect of time that I’m interested in is the arrow of time: the fact that the past is different from the future. We remember the past but we don’t remember the future. There are irreversible processes. There are things that happen, like you turn an egg into an omelet, but you can’t turn an omelet into an egg.” Is your head swimming as much as mine? And this is the “easy” statement, which went on for several other paragraphs.
We know time passes because we watch the hands on the clock and the pages on the calendars turn, yet those are man-made measures of something that doesn’t exist in a tangible way. We have determined that there are 60 seconds to a minute, 60 minutes to an hour, 24 hours to a day, 7 days to a week and 52 weeks to a year. We’ve made those measurements based on the passing of the heavenly bodies: the sun, the moon, and the stars. Yet, when you read through the story of the creation of the universe, you discover that the heavenly bodies were not even created and set into place until the fourth day. Did time exist before the sun counted the days and the moon the nights? We somehow know that time would pass even if we did not count the days, and yet we human beings find it necessary to measure time.
Those man-made measurements are not perfect. Every day we lose a bit of time, so much so that every year we lose a quarter of a day. Instead of trying to make up that quarter of a day each year, we add a day once every four years. February 29 is the Leap Day. There is no February 29 three years out of four. The day simply does not exist. No matter what we try to do, the system is not perfect. The true year as defined by specific positions of the earth and the sun happens in exactly 365.2422 days. This means that we must occasionally skip the leap year to readjust the adjustment. I know. If your head wasn’t swimming before, it is now. So is mine.
I don’t understand, but I believe that God has created the perfect universe and it doesn’t matter if we can measure it perfectly. The important thing to remember is that time passes. The Leap Day is a gift, time we would not have had without the extra day on the calendar. Yet, our time is not extended by even a minute by means of a calendar or watch. God has designed the world around us to move perfectly according to His good and perfect will. We can’t make it fit into our own understanding of time and space. We can’t even work to make ourselves perfect, let alone the creation.
This is why we seek God. Only He can control the days, weeks, and months, and only He knows the course our life is ordained to go. He gives life and He takes it. He guides and directs our footsteps. He even gives us all we need to live in this world and the next. The day will come when we will not measure time because time will be beyond measure. Our God has mercy and grants us the forgiveness that makes us heirs to a Kingdom that will never be defined by time. In His grace we will spend eternity in His presence, yet another concept that we do not understand but by faith we believe.
If you would like to contact me, please use the following address, replacing the bracketed words with the symbol. Thank you for your continued interest, prayers and messages of encouragement.
A WORD FOR TODAY is available daily through a mailing list at yahoo.groups. Visit the link below and you will receive the WORD in your box Monday through Friday.
“For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19, WEB
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is having a poinsettia in the house. These beautiful flowers bring color and life to our homes. I still have a poinsettia at my front door that I purchased weeks before Christmas. It is beginning to look a little rough, but has lasted much longer than I ever expected. Despite their beauty, we know that the poinsettias we buy for Christmas will last a season and will be put into the trash as the leaves begin to fall. After all, they are really nothing but a weed.
Poinsettias were named after Joel Poinsett, a US statesman who brought them to America after visiting Mexico. These weeds are found in the wild, and can grow up to ten feet high. They are found growing on the sides of the road. Over the past few centuries, these plants have been cultivated into the beautiful flowers we purchase as gifts or for ourselves over the holidays. The flower is not what we think. We look at the beautiful red, salmon or white ‘petals’ and think this is the flower. They are not. They are bracts or modified leaves. The flower is actually the tiny yellow centre of the plant. It is possible to keep these flowers alive from year to year, but that takes more care than most people are willing to give. So, these weeds last a season and are tossed in the garbage heap.
I suppose the same could be said about the beautiful wildflowers that are beginning to grow along the roads in Texas. Those flowers are really nothing but weeds, and yet we go out of our way to see and photograph them. See, a weed is simply a plant that is in the wrong place. We do not think a poinsettia in a beautiful pot is a weed, but we might if we saw one growing in the middle of our pristine lawns. The same is true of the wildflowers. Fields of wildflowers are beautiful, but some can be poisonous to livestock in a rancher’s field. They also can invade a farmer’s field, destroying the yield of his crop. The wildflowers that are allowed to bloom are quickly mowed away at the end of the season so that the ranchers and farmers can go about their work.
Unfortunately, we often deal with people as we do those Christmas poinsettias and the spring wildflowers. We see their beauty and enjoy them until we start to see the imperfections. We begin to see things we do not like. We see the habits that drive us crazy. We see their faults. We see the ways that they do not agree with us in ideas or practices, and we even get angry with them. It becomes even worse if they do something, willingly or unwittingly, that hurts us. We distance ourselves from them when they are no longer the beautiful flower that we first knew. How easily we cast away our fellow man when their leaves begin to fall! Like those poinsettias, we do not work to keep those relationships alive.
Thankfully, God does not cast us away. We are rooted in His love. He sees our hearts, and knows our true selves that are ignored by the world. As we begin to fade, He nurtures us so that we might grow more beautiful for His glory. We were reminded of this yesterday as we received the ashes of repentance and mortality. Though we really are not perfectly beautiful, we are sinners in need of a Savior, Jesus Christ walked the journey to the cross to make us right with our God. By His grace we have life, nurtured in His Word and transformed by His forgiveness. Our leaves will continue to fall and one day we really will die, but God will not throw us away. He will work with us in this life until the glorious Day when we will join Him in eternity. And then we will never die.
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