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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

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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)

A WORD FOR TODAY, January 31, 2023

“Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if a huge millstone were hung around his neck and that he were sunk in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of occasions of stumbling! For it must be that the occasions come, but woe to that person through whom the occasion comes! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire.." Matthew 18:5-9, WEB

We used to live near a carwash that had one of those signs where they put messages for the passing traffic. They put up Happy Birthday messages and other congratulatory notes, special deals and money saving offers. They even put up words of inspiration. One message was a bible reference from the book of Exodus. “Do not make anything an idol,” the sign says, quoting Exodus 20:4.

Ironic, isn’t it? Many people, especially those who are willing to pay the high cost of car washes, tend to idolize their cars. Except for our homes, our cars are often the most expensive thing we own, so we want to take care of it. It is not just maintenance, however. We put a lot of work into finding the perfect car and a lot of money protecting it. Some people spend hours every weekend ensuring that their car is shiny and clean. Now, we can’t live without our cars. Most realty websites include a “walkability index,” which helps buyers know if that location is vehicle dependent. We need our cars to get to work, school, and leisure activities. I could walk to a grocery store, but I couldn’t buy very much because I would have to carry it home.

Many families have a car for every driver. I can’t imagine life without a car of my own. I am thankful for the freedom my vehicle gives me. I have put a lot of time and energy choosing the perfect car. I love my car, but I do confess that I’ve wondered if it is time to think about something new. I recently found a small spot of rust, and there are some stains on the upholstery. I probably won’t buy a new one because I am happy to not have a car payment in my monthly bills.

I hope I don’t idolize my car, but it seems like we spend a lot time concerning ourselves with the price of using a car. How many conversations have you had about the price of gasoline? Have you changed your life in any way to ensure that you will have enough money to fill the car this week? An idol is any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion, something beyond yourself for which you are willing to sacrifice, even at the cost of someone or something else. The ancients were willing to give their children to the gods so that the gods would bless their harvest. In other ages, the religious were willing to give their time, money and energy to appease the gods and seek their blessings.

The irony of the carwash sign is that the business itself exists for the care of cars, feeding a difficult temptation: idolizing our cars. Some people visit the carwash on a regular basis, at least weekly, to ensure their vehicle looks its best. So, while the carwash people are caring for the spiritual welfare of their customers and those who see the sign, they are at the same time leading us into temptation, drawing us into the trap of putting our cars above other things and people in our lives.

Exodus 20:4 is part of the first commandment given to Moses by God on the mountain. We are to have no other gods besides God. This means that we should not make idols of anything. Now, the car wash owners did not consider the irony of their post. They probably never thought of a car being an idol. I don’t think any of us do. Yet, we are reminded that in our daily walk with Christ, it is up to us to keep God first in our lives and to do whatever we can to help our neighbors with their daily walk. It is good stewardship to care for our cars. We just have to remember to put our things, whatever they are, in their rightful place behind our God without making sacrifices that will affect the lives of our neighbors in a negative way.

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.

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A WORD FOR TODAY, January 30, 2023

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence. For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him, and through him to reconcile all things to himself by him, whether things on the earth or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:15-20, WEB

I made a painting that I called “Colossians 1:17.” I began with a black canvas, and I taped a cross in the upper right-hand corner. Then I covered the canvas with every color I had, using a dry brush technique that looks almost like chalk. I covered the canvas with swirls of color, which I wanted to look chaotic and yet as if it was all coming together into something beautiful. As I was painting it, I thought about the creation of the world, and how God spoke, and everything came into being. After I finished applying the colored paint, I removed the tape to reveal the unpainted cross. Christ was there before the creation of the world; He has always been present in the midst of it.

I called the painting “Colossians 1:17” because is one of my favorite Bible verses. Paul writes, “He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.” Some scientists recognize that no matter how much they know about life, the universe, and everything, there are still mysteries that we cannot fully explain. It is in this humble admission that they called the force in an atom that holds it all together the “Colossians Force.” Those who are much smarter than me might be able to give some scientific clarification, but there really are things in God’s creation that we’ll never fully understand.

I found this at a physics website. “The nucleus of the atom contains positively charged and neutral particles-to use a simplistic model. Mutual electrostatic repulsion between the like-positive protons would drive the nucleus apart if it were not for the ‘strong force’ which binds the nucleus together. There is thus an active force imposed on the universe, which actively holds the very atoms of the material world together moment by moment, day by day, century by century. Similarly, accelerated electrons circling the nucleus should quickly radiate all their energy away and fall into the nucleus unless there exists an invisible energy source to counteract this.” ( Some scientists are willing to accept the understanding that the invisible force that holds the atom together is God.

Christ is the image of the God we cannot see. He is the Word made flesh, the God of creation dwelling with us. He was there when God laid down the foundations of the earth and it was through Him all things were made. In Christ we see that God did not make the world and disappear, but that He has been with us always, planning even in the beginning the redemption that was to come. Everything is His, and through Him we are re-created and reconciled to God our Father in heaven, part of the body of Christ and blessed with eternal life in Him. One day we will be face to face with our Lord Jesus, and then we will inherit all that has been promised. Until that day we can know that we are never far from Christ. As a matter of fact, He is the very force that holds us together, even to the very atoms in our body. It might be a mystery, but that’s ok! Faith means trusting that God takes care of the things we will never be able to control.

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.

The Birth of our Saviour

The Story of our Saviour's Passion

The Crucifixion, a fictional perspective

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