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)
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:12-16, ASV
I am preparing for the only craft fair I usually attend as a vendor. It benefits an organization that I support, so I’m willing to spend the time, energy and money to go. Even if I don’t sell very much, I know that I’ve donated to the cause. I usually make enough to buy a decent meal at the end of the day. I never make enough money to make it financially worthwhile, considering the costs of materials and display, but it is a fun day and a chance to share my gifts with many people. I have the opportunity to share my thoughts on prayer and faith as I show my prayer beads and paintings.
I don’t do these on a regular basis because of the logistics. I am collecting everything I need, and the pile gets larger with every thought that comes to my mind. I have shelves for display, a box full of tablecloths and easels. There are boxes full of paintings, clocks and other items. I have a rolling cart with trays for my prayer beads. In the end, my car will be full and I’ll somehow have to move it all from house to car to booth and then from booth to car to house. Even if I sold out of everything, I would still have to carry all my display items. It is a lot of work and by the end of the day I am exhausted.
It is interesting to mingle with the other vendors at events like these. This particular craft fair has numerous booths put up by local church women’s groups. They work all year making items to sell, usually have baked goods and some sort of craft items. They are well supported by other church members and hungry visitors who can’t resist those homemade baked goods. Many of the other vendors, however, have the same complaint at the end of the day: it wasn’t worth my time. Most of them return year after year even though they are disappointed. I think, sometimes, they just like to grumble.
I understand their feelings; it is hard to put that much work into a day and come out of it without making some money. This is how some of these vendors make a living and a failed day can be devastating, especially if they’ve driven a long way to be there. They become quite angry and lay the blame on poor advertising. They grumble about the frustrating customers who are very complimentary and say they’ll come back, but they never do. Or those who spend a lot of time inspecting ever item, figuring out how it was made so that they can steal the idea. Or those who say things that they do not even realize are rude or insulting like, “I really like that; maybe I’ll try it myself at home.” Or, “I could do that.” Or worst of all, “My nine-year-old has made pictures like that.” I’ve actually had people ask about my process or where I get my materials. I don’t mind sharing ideas, but I can’t continue to pursue art if no one is willing to support me by buying my pieces.
So, perhaps there is a reason to complain, but I remind myself at the end of the day that there is a greater purpose to my presence. It is, first and foremost, a chance to support that ministry. It is also a chance to teach people about prayer and about being creative. Finally, I never really know what seed might be planted in the heart of someone who needs to know Jesus. The difference between me and most of the other vendors is that I see the day as an opportunity for ministry while they are there to pay their bills.
We all have things we do and have to do that are difficult, that are worthy of grumbling and disappointment. We have tedious jobs or exhausting tasks to complete. We have work that does not seem very worthwhile. In the end we think we haven’t accomplished anything because we have not reached a specific measure of success. Here’s the thing: we don’t know what God might actually accomplish, so if we go into all our work, and fun, with the attitude that everything we do can glorify God, then we will find that even the disappointments are blessings.
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“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that aught be written unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief: for ye are all sons of light, and sons of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep, as do the rest, but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night: and they that are drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, since we are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God appointed us not into wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore exhort one another, and build each other up, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, ASV
I made toast to have with my breakfast this morning. The rest was finished and already served while the bread cooked in the toaster. All I could do is wait. When I knew it was nearly finished, I waited right by the toaster, watching for it to pop. Even though I was watching and ready, knowing it would pop at any moment, the toast made me jump and cry out when it did. I laughed at myself because it shouldn’t have surprised me. I knew it was coming!
That kind of thing happens all the time. I am pretty good at guessing what will happen in movies, spoiling the surprise for myself by predicting what’s coming next. I don’t watch them anymore, but I used to like the slasher movies like Friday the 13th or Halloween. With those, of course, it was fairly easy to know when to expect something would happen because of the movie. Everyone knows that when the soundtrack hits a peak, the slasher is going to jump out from behind the bush or slam into the door. We know, and yet we always jump and cry out when it happens. The movie makers know exactly how to build to that expectation and then make you wait that extra second as your adrenaline comes back down and you take a breath before it hits. It is in that moment after you expect it that you let your guard down and are surprised.
I’m ready for Jesus to come, aren’t you? There are some days when “Come, Jesus, come” is my mantra. It isn’t that I don’t love living, but there are some days when it seems the only solution to all the world’s problems is for Jesus to come and finish His work. There are some days when I think, “Surely this has to be the day, Jesus can see that we need Him right this minute.” Of course, people have thought that same thought for two thousand years.
My next thought, however, is the important one. “Jesus is here; He is here in me.” I remember that I am the one (and so are you) who has been called to speak His word and be His hands until that day when He will truly come again. It is tempting to sit and watch as we wait, living in the expectation of His coming. It is tempting to think through the promises and to determine the timing. It is tempting to think that we will know He is coming before He does. It is good to be prepared, but also to remember that no matter how prepared we are we will still be surprised when He comes.
I would have been much better off starting my toast while I was cooking my other food; it still would have popped unexpectedly, but I wouldn’t have been so focused on it and I would not have thought I knew exactly when it should pop. The same is true about the coming of the Lord. We might want to think we know the moment it will happen, but the truth is that our expectations are for the moment we think it should happen. Whenever He does come will be a surprise for us, so we would be better off doing His work as we wait, continually sharing His word with the world so that more people will be prepared for that moment. Jesus does not want any to be lost, and He has called us to take His hope to the whole world.
He will come again, and we will be surprised when it happens, but let’s not be so caught up in the waiting that we will jump and cry out when it does but instead receive Him with the joy of seeing the fulfillment of all His promises.
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