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)
Everyone needs a time of rest, so I will be on vacation from June 14-28 and will not be posting new devotions. See you on the 29th!
“The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.” Mark 6:30-32, WEB
We have reached summertime, and many people are getting ready to travel. Families will go to theme parks. Campers will go into the mountains. Couples will go to the beach. Some vacations will be full of activities and others were will peaceful and relaxing. Vacations are a time to get away from the everyday and to experience new things. This summer may look different for many people because of the financial strains, but for others this summer could be the fulfillment of dreams. That’s what is happening for my husband and me.
We began planning in 2018. We paid in 2019. We were supposed to go in 2020. Of course, we all know what happened. Oh, people were able to travel, even at the beginning of the pandemic, but our trip was to Germany, and it was canceled. It was rescheduled for 2021, but that tour was also canceled. Now we have reached June 2022, and we are just about packed and ready to go. It was a long wait, but perhaps that will make the trip even more special. This particular vacation won’t be a relaxing time on the beach. We are part of a tour that will visit more than a dozen towns. We are going to eat our way through big cities and small towns from Frankfurt to Berlin. We’ll watch a five-hour play. We’ll climb hills and explore history. We’ll get to know a group of strangers who share a desire to know more about the people and places we will visit. I am sure we’ll come home exhausted. As they say, sometimes we need a vacation to get over our vacation.
The disciples had not been on vacation. Jesus sent them out into the world to share the Kingdom of God with people. Two by two they went out to be His witnesses with the authority to cast out unclean spirits and call people to repentance. They returned excited, telling Jesus everything they did. Jesus could see their exhaustion and tried to get them away to a quiet place to rest because the crowds were coming and going so that they couldn’t even eat. The plans were disturbed by the crowds that followed Jesus, and Jesus would not let them down. He began to teach because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus does want us to take time to rest, but we are reminded by this story that sometimes that time is not when we want it to be. Sometimes there is work to be done. We are going on vacation, but we are not leaving Jesus behind. I will not be writing my daily devotional for the next two weeks, but I promise that I will be looking for revelations of God all along the way so that I will be ready to write again, inspired by our experiences.
Jesus was not without compassion for the disciples’ need for rest, but the people needed to be fed, not only with bread and fish but with the Word of God. In the next few months, I am sure many of you will take a vacation of your own. It might be filled with busy adventures or with time to rest. As you go about your time away from the everyday, keep an eye out for the opportunities that Jesus is presenting you to share God’s Word with the people that cross your path. You might think that you just have no more to give, that you need to get away to a quiet place. But God might just be calling you to feed people in ways you would never expect. Don’t make excuses, follow Jesus’ lead and you might just see a miracle.
See you when I get home!
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“Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord, looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled by it, lest there be any sexually immoral person, or profane person, like Esau, who sold his birthright for one meal. For you know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for a change of mind though he sought it diligently with tears. For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and to blackness, darkness, storm, the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which those who heard it begged that not one more word should be spoken to them, for they could not stand that which was commanded, ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned’. So fearful was the appearance that Moses said, ‘I am terrified and trembling.’ But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the festal gathering and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel. See that you don’t refuse him who speaks. For if they didn’t escape when they refused him who warned on the earth, how much more will we not escape who turn away from him who warns from heaven, whose voice shook the earth then, but now he has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.’ This phrase, ‘Yet once more’ signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain. Therefore, receiving a Kingdom that can’t be shaken, let’s have grace, through which we serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:14-28, WEB
There are many legends that describe the life of the king known as Arthur. Some of these stories include mystical and magical helps, out of the ordinary circumstances, incredible situations that are beyond our own experience. There are a dozen places in England that claim to be the birthplace of Arthur, others that claim to be the sight of his burial. A number of castles are known for being Camelot or the sight of the round table. The history itself is fascinating, but there are so many conflicting facts that it is like trying to do a puzzle with pieces that will never fit together.
It is more likely that the historical Arthur is a compilation of several different men. Historic records don’t always fit the details of the stories, the man doesn’t really fit into the time and place where he was supposed to live. The clothes, the title, the wars are often from different eras. It really does not matter whether or not there was a real King Arthur; we can still learn from the legends.
What we like most about Arthur is that he was a ruler who led with power, authority, and mercy. He was known for using an even hand to deal with troubles in a time when the powerful served only themselves. Poverty, hunger, illness, and death reigned. Luxury was not as we know it today, but the wealthy had more than enough while the poor had nothing. It was commonplace for neighbors be in battle with one another, always fighting over the land. It was the peasants that paid the worst price in those wars because the rulers took everything as taxes to pay for their soldiers.
The legends of King Arthur paint a different picture in his kingdom. He did not rule with an iron hand but had a council of knights to help with the decisions. He did not judge according to his own best interest, but according to what would be best for all the people. The peasants, though still poor because there was no great wealth even among the rulers, had food to eat and a warm place to live. War played a part of the Arthur legends, but he was always fighting against the evil rulers who had no concern for the people. Arthur was known as a man of the people, a man to whom the afflicted could go for help. He was merciful and full of love.
Whoever the real Arthur might have been, he was not loved by everyone. Those who want power do not appreciate justice that threaten to their ambitions. Many tried to befriend Arthur to take advantage of his kindness so that they might get what they wanted. Others battled fiercely against all for which he stood. Despite these obstacles, Arthur stood strong and fought for what he thought was right. Those who were weak and helpless felt that they could approach Arthur for justice because he was a merciful king with power to make things right.
The people in the Old Testament approached God through the Law. They had to go through priests, through sacrifice, through righteous obedience to the rules of their faith. This was like trying to make an evil ruler happy just to get a morsel of bread. Even then, it did not work. The Law is impossible to keep perfectly, and the people struggled with their faith. In Christ we approach the King of mercy through grace. In today’s passage, the writer compares two mountains: Mount Sinai with Mount Zion. At Sinai, Moses trembled in fear and anyone, including the animals, that stepped foot on the mountain perished. At Zion, the city of God, the Church can approach God with through the blood of Jesus Christ.
It is easy to see why people would not want to follow the evil ruler who refused to even feed the starving and why it would be different with a king like Arthur. Arthur was merciful and was approachable. The same can be said about God, and this is true through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. He died that we might have life and have it abundantly. Why would we want to refuse to live a life of heirs to the kingdom of God when so much is given through grace? This God we know through Jesus is more than worthy of our praise and thanksgiving, manifested in a life of active service in His name.
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