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)
ďLet 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, ĎHe has scattered abroad, he has given to the poor. His righteousness remains forever.í 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!Ē 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 Jesusí 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 ďSt. Josephís Table.Ē 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, Iíve 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 donít 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. Thatís 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 ďSt. Josephís TableĒ 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 Godís love by caring for that little baby in every way. During this season of Lent, let us remember Godís love for us and let us share that love with others.
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ďThis is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and donít tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we havenít sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.Ē 1 John 1:5-10, WEB
I have to admit that I did not give up much for Lent this year. I havenít been playing some of my video games. I have added several devotionals to my daily readings, giving up some of my time to spend in Godís Word. And I have been doing meat-free Friday. You might think that this last one isnít a big deal; after all shouldnít we all be able to eat humbly just one day a week? As it turns out, Friday is the day I usually try to go out and do something fun. I thought about inviting a friend to lunch this week. Then, just as I sat to send the invitation, I remembered that today is Friday. I have promised not to eat what I want to eat at the restaurant I want to visit. I will have to wait.
God would forgive me. As a matter of fact, I didnít keep my promise last week. A friend and I got together on Friday for a trip to the art museum and then went out for lunch. Friday is the only day we can get together and we hadnít done it in a long time because of her schedule. I felt it was more important to enjoy the fellowship with my friend. I could probably make the same reasoning this week, but I knew I should remain faithful; I can go to lunch another day next week or wait until after Easter.
I failed to live up to my promise. Iím sure many of you have done the same. Did you eat a piece of chocolate or get a cup of coffee? Did you open that game app or miss a day or two of reading? We are more than halfway through Lent. As a matter of fact, we have just over two weeks. If you failed at keeping your fast once, did you give up? Did you decide that because you couldnít do it, you shouldnít even bother to continue trying?
Thatís the thing about sin. We know we do what we should not do. We fail daily to live up to the expectations of God. Sometimes we think, ďWell, Iíve failed anyway, it doesnít matter anymore.Ē Even worse, we accept Godís forgiveness and keep on doing what we know fails to honor God. Just because we fail once does not mean that we should go on sinning. There was nothing wrong with me having lunch with my friend; it was a good thing. What was wrong was that I did not live up to my promise.
We are going to sin; it is part of our nature since the beginning of time. During Lent, Iím sure many of you made promises to fast. We will try to live up to our promises, but we fail. We will try to live more Christ-like lives, but we fall. What we need to remember is that Christ died that we might be forgiven so that we can go on to another day of trying to be better. Whatever we do wrong, we can start each new day with a clean slate when we offer our confession and receive His grace. Our troubles lie in the fact that we too often refuse to believe that we have done anything wrong. Confessing our faith also means confessing our sin, that we might receive that which Christ has done and live according to His good and perfect Word.
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