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 the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered. He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit’s mind, because he makes intercession for the saints according to God.” Romans 8:26-27,WEB
You have probably seen a photo of a pastor sitting in a booth that looks like Lucy’s psychiatric booth in the cartoon “Peanuts.” Lucy is willing to give psychiatric help for a nickel, but the pastor has changed the sign to say “Spiritual Help 5 cents.” Others have taken the idea and opened similar booths offering prayer or theology debate.
When the pandemic started over a year ago, I thought about that booth and considered putting one in my yard. I live on the corner of two streets where many people were walking regularly. I thought it would be fun to offer prayer for my neighbors, but it didn’t come to be because it would not have been practical. While we have a lot of people pass by, they don’t come at regular intervals. I would have to sit out there all day to even have one or two people visit my booth.
I wanted to do something for the neighborhood, so I began putting out little trinkets for the children and for anyone who wanted one. Over the past year I’ve given away coloring books and crayons, silk flowers, jingle bells, and many other things. In the beginning I put out some pens and cards and invited those visiting my corner to leave their prayer requests. This was easy enough in the Texas summer because it never rains, but as fall rolled around and the chances of rain went up, I had to find a different way.
I eventually purchased a clear plexiglas box which I have hanging on the railing by my sidewalk. There is a pen and paper inside, and the neighbors are invited to leave their requests. A few have come back to leave thanks and reports of answers. One woman early in the pandemic had lost her job and asked me to pray. A few days later she left another note to tell me with joy that she got a great job. Several mothers have asked me to pray for their adult children who have wandered off the path of faith. Many have asked for prayer for health. One little girl asked me to pray that they would get to go back to school. It has been a privilege to pray for each one.
I received a note yesterday that said, “Thank you for praying for my family. Please continue. Thank you!” I was keeping all the prayer requests and returning to them, but the amount of paper hanging on my storage unit became overwhelming, so I got rid of them. So, I don’t recall the original prayers for that family, but I realized that it doesn’t matter. God knows. What is truly remarkable about this whole thing is that strangers are willing to share their deepest worries with me, trusting that I will take their requests to God. I have met and talked to a few of them; they appreciate what we do to lift the spirits of the neighborhood.
We don’t have to do anything big to make a difference. Oh, big organizations might impact more people than I will ever reach, but we can change the world one person at a time. It might not be practical for everyone to put a prayer request box outside their house, but there are a million other little things we can do to impact one person’s life. The best thing we can do is to pray. We don’t even need to know the needs of those for whom we are praying because God knows. Stand in front of your house and pray for the people in the houses you see. Sit in your car for a few minutes outside the grocery store and pray for the people who are rushing by. Pray for the people whose posts appear on your facebook feed. Give them and their worries, whatever they are, to God and ask Him to touch them with whatever grace they might need. You’ll never know the impact your prayers may have, but that’s ok. Pray anyway and trust that God hears and is making a difference in their lives.
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“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger and take you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:31-40, WEB
My husband has a job that has always been possible remotely, so the pandemic lockdown did not affect him in that way. We set up an office space for him, and he easily transitioned to working from home. He occasionally went into the office, perhaps once every few weeks, to use the equipment or to get some supplies. Sometimes he went just to get out of the house. He was often there alone. A few months ago he started going into the office more often, once a week or so, and others were beginning to join him. A few weeks ago some of them decided to meet in the office a couple times a week.
We have two cats. It was surprising to them when Bruce was home all the time, but they quickly got used to having his constant presence, especially Sammy who has always loved Bruce more than anyone else. Bruce’s occasional trips to his office were hard on Sammy who wandered and cried all day searching for his buddy. It is getting easier. I suppose he is getting used to the idea of Bruce being gone once in awhile. Someone recently said, “Millions of pets are soon going to have to face reality again.” My cats aren’t the only ones who have gotten used to our constant presence in the house. They aren’t the only ones that will struggle as they are left alone.
For their human friends, however, the return to something close to normal is a relief. As much as we love our pets, we also need human companionship. I was reading an article about “touch starvation.” We went over a year without being able to give hugs or even handshakes to the people we meet. A nurse who was interviewed for the article talked about her need to take a shower after work before she could even touch her children. Her children learned the importance of that process after work and they reminded her to “get the hospital germs off” as soon as she walked in the door.
The article talked about more than touch salvation. It has been surprising how hard it has been to not have encounters with strangers. No one realized how vital those brief greetings are for our mental and emotional health. I don’t know about you, but my attitude and mood is boosted when I have even the briefest conversation with someone at the grocery store. We didn’t stop going to the store, but we did withdraw from chit chat. We stayed in our bubble, whether it is at home or in our own personal space out in the world, and we lost touch with the people who share our little corner of the world. We have been moving that direction for a long time because of cell phones and social media because they keep us from personal interaction, but the past year has made it worse because we were thrust into isolation. Experts are realizing now how unhealthy this has been.
We know that touch and connection are important in our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The bible gives us many examples of how we are made part of something when we come to faith. We are built into a building. We are joined in a body. We are born into a family. We are attached to a vine. Thankfully many churches are returning to more regular gatherings so that we can be physically present again. However, this need for touch and connection goes beyond our life in the Kingdom of God. After all, how will we ever gather new stones, join new bodies, welcome new family, and graph new branches if we never connect with others. We may even miss the opportunity to serve our Lord if we neglect those brief encounters that fulfills our human need for touch and connection.
A quick “Hello,” a brief smile, or a mundane conversation about the weather or a new product may not seem very holy, but each one is an opportunity to change someone’s attitude or mood. You never know what impact that might have on the rest of their day. They might just share that goodness with others they meet. They may go home to their family with a peace or joy that spreads in the house. The change of attitude might just open them to the possibility of hearing the Gospel. Jesus calls us to make connections, to do simple good works that will glorify God. Jesus finds joy when we touch our neighbors whether it is physically, emotionally, or materially, because it reveals to the world the grace of the God we follow and serve.
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