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 am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh it away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he cleanseth it, that it may bear more fruit. Already ye are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:1-8, ASV
My mother was not the best housekeeper. I have inherited her disinterest and disdain for the work, although I do try to keep the clutter to a minimum. There’s some dust on the furniture, and the carpets could always use a vacuuming, there are dishes in the dishwasher and laundry waiting to be washed. I have piles of papers on my desk, and my art studio is disheveled because there’s always a project or two or five in the works. But I try to keep things under control, partly because I would hate for my kids to have to deal with the mess when I die.
That’s what happened after my mom died. It is the bittersweet task of those left behind to go through the things of our loved ones when they die. It is sad they are gone, but sweet as we share our memories through the things they owned and loved. Sometimes we discover secrets, both good and bad; we cry and laugh and wonder. “Why did she keep this?” Why did he keep this here?” “What are we going to do with it all?”
My mom had two rings, and it was important for us to find them that day when we were going through her things. My mom always wanted a big diamond ring for her finger. She worked very hard for a very long time, saving her money until she could afford it. In the meantime, she purchased a cubic zirconia to have the appearance of a diamond. She finally was able to purchase the rock of her dreams, and she wore it with pride because it represented her perseverance, thriftiness and labor. Sadly, in the end she could not wear the rings. They didn’t fit very well, and she was concerned that they would be lost when she moved into the nursing home, so they were left at the house.
We looked for her rings when we went through her things. One was very easy to find; it was securely placed in her jewelry box with her other jewelry. We had no idea if that ring was the true diamond or the cubic zirconia. We looked for a long time, but eventually found it tucked into the corner of a window sill. Again, we did not know which ring it was. We might assume the true diamond was safely kept with the other jewelry, but we had no way of knowing for sure. We aren’t gem experts and could not see a difference. There was a possibility that this ring found on the sill was the true diamond. I could even picture my mom sitting on the chair nearby, taking off her precious ring when it began to bother her, and placing it in a place she would remember. She never put it on again. We took the rings to a jeweler, who told us indeed that the ring we found on the window sill was the true diamond.
The most common definition for the word “true” is “agreeing with the facts: not false.” We usually think of it in terms of words or statements. The book of John is filled with uses of this word in this form, as John defines Jesus’ words, witness and God’s promises as true. But the word can also mean “real or genuine.” John also uses the word numerous times in reference to the character of Jesus. He is the “true light,” the “true bread,” and the “true vine.” See, in the history of God’s people, they had light, bread, vines and an understanding of God. But those things were incomplete; they were given as a foreshadowing of the true One who would come. The lights in the temple served a purpose, but the true Light was Christ. The manna served a purpose, feeding God’s people from heaven, but Jesus is the true bread. Israel was often referred to as the vine, tended by the Master. We are grafted into the vine that is God’s people, but we are grafted into the true vine: Jesus Christ.
We can have many Christian friends, be a part of a church, work through a Christian non-profit and do many good and wonderful things, but if we are not part of the true vine, we can do nothing. Are all Christians part of the vine? It is not my place to judge, however, it is important that we remember that there are both cubic zirconias and true diamonds in the body of Christ; they both look so real it is difficult to tell the difference. We can’t guess based on where they are found: sometimes the true is left cast off in a corner while the false is securely placed where it belongs. But we can live our life attached to the true vine, trusting that God will help us to bear good fruit, sharing His grace with all people so that all will become a very real part of His kingdom.
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“Now therefore, my sons, hearken unto me, And depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, And come not nigh the door of her house; Lest thou give thine honor unto others, And thy years unto the cruel; Lest strangers be filled with thy strength, And thy labors be in the house of an alien, And thou mourn at thy latter end, When thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, And my heart despised reproof; Neither have I obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was well-nigh in all evil In the midst of the assembly and congregation.” Proverbs 5:7-14, ASV
There’s an internet meme that shows a list of ages with the attitude a child has for their mother. As children, we love our moms. “At ten years: ‘Whatever!’” As teenagers we think our moms are so annoying. We can’t wait to get out of the house when we are young adults. As we get our feet wet in the world, we realize how much our moms have done for us and we admit that they were right. By our middle ages (after we have our own children) we are sorry for the way we treated our moms when we were teenagers. We begin to feel the loss as they get older and we worry about the day they will leave us. And then, when we reach that age in our own lives, we recall all the great memories, missing them all the more as we long to join them in heaven.
We definitely do not appreciate the advice and lessons that our moms have for us when we are at that age of discovering our own independence. We are certain that our moms do not understand. They can’t possibly know what we know or see the world through our point of view, so how can they tell us what we should do? We do not realize that our moms, even though they lived in a different time, experienced the same wants, the same doubts, the same questions. Our moms know what it was like to try to stand on their own two feet, to search for purpose, to agonize over the temptations of the world. They’ve lived through it, survived it, and learned a few lessons. Our moms just want to help us avoid the consequences that they experienced when they made the wrong choices.
I use Mom as an example here, but we all go through periods of our lives when we do not think that anyone can give us any advice or teach us anything about anything. A photographer friend whose photos could us a little tweak here and there won’t even listen to suggestions that would make the photos incredible, or would give a little guidance for future photos. In today’s proverb, the teacher is giving the young man a bit of wisdom about adultery. The temptation of a woman can be overwhelming, especially when a man is young, and her seductive speech is “smoother than oil.” How can a man ignore her? Why would a young man ignore her?
While we might not be dealing with this particular temptation, throughout our lives people have warned us about many things. We should listen. Those who have come before us know and understand the consequences of falling for the temptations of the world. Our teachers give us the truth, even if we are not willing to listen. They only want what is best for us, like our moms, and we should listen. We think we know more than our teachers, but in the end we discover that they were right because we end up dealing with the consequences. In the end, when we are left in ruins from our poor choices, we will cry out with the wish that we had listened and followed their advice. So, let us listen to our teachers, whether they are our mothers or someone we’ve met along life’s journey, and realize that they are speaking with God’s voice, God’s wisdom, to help us be the best we can be.
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