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)
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Has God really said, “You shall not eat of any tree of the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, but not the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, “You shall not eat of it. You shall not touch it, lest you die.”’ The serpent said to the woman, ‘You won’t really die, for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took some of its fruit, and ate. Then she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate it, too. Their eyes were opened, and they both knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made coverings for themselves. They heard Yahweh God’s voice walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:1-8, WEB
You’ve heard the phrase, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” This is used for March, which is the most changeable of all the months. Sometimes March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion. Well, March is coming to Texas like a lamb. If the adage holds true, that means we are in for some shaky weather in a few weeks.
We had a minor cold spell this week, after a meteorologist suggested that “freezing” weather was over. I have noticed the city wildflowers are blooming, and I even planted some plants last weekend. However, winter can rear its ugly head as late as April even in the south, although it usually doesn’t linger longer than the early days of March. By the end of the month, the fields of wildflowers will be in full bloom. In northern climates, the temperatures can be mild early and still return to cold and snow. I remember a late March blizzard that dropped more than a foot of snow when I was a child in Pennsylvania. The change of temperatures during this month can be extreme and always unexpected. We can see snow and rain, cloudy skies, and sun, cold and warm, wet, and dry. It is not unusual for us to run the heat and the air conditioning in the same day. So, they say that if March comes in like a lion, then the end of the month will be mild and delightful like a lamb. But if March 1st is mild, watch out! The weatherman who thought winter was over for us could be very, very wrong.
The phrase is often used in other ways, not just the weather. Y2K was expected to come in like a lion, when all the computers went bonkers because of the change of the century. Yet, it came in like every other year. They used this phrase back them because words and phrases often take on new meanings or change over the years. Language can easily be made to mean something different. This is particularly true when it comes to religious and political language, which is why we have such a difficult time talking to one another. If I understand a word to mean one thing while someone else understands it to mean the exact opposite, we might think we are talking about the same thing, but we aren’t. No wonder we are so confused.
We are no different than human beings have been throughout all time. Even in the beginning, Adam and Eve were confused by the misuse of God’s Word by the serpent. He twisted God s gracious intention for Adam and Eve by making it seem like God was trying to keep the good things from them when He was keeping Adam and Eve from the very things that would destroy life in the garden. See, we think that knowledge is good, and in many ways it is. When it comes to weather, meteorologists have knowledge, but it doesn’t always help. Those who relied on the forecast of spring weather staying may lose plants they put out in their gardens. In the story of Adam and Eve, the knowledge they gained separated them from God. They were thrown out of the garden not because they did something wrong and were being punished, but because the knowledge they gained made them afraid of God. Can you imagine living eternally in the presence of someone you feared?
God knew that the tree of knowledge would make Adam and Eve afraid, and He told them not to eat so that they would remain in a healthy and happy relationship with Him. The serpent told them that eating the fruit would make them like God. That’s the problem! We can’t possibly be God, so when we see Him fully and wholly, we see that it is impossible for us to be Him and that makes us afraid. The words the serpent used seemed harmless, and actually seemed good, right, and true. And yet, in the end, it was a deadly mistake to believe it.
“In like a lion and out like a lamb” may not lead to deadly mistakes although in Y2K it made many people very afraid. I doubt we’ll see a winter blizzard in the next few weeks, but we will do what we can to be prepared for possible severe weather. As for the Word of God, our world is very good at twisting it to make it fit into their understanding of what is good, right, and true, so we are counseled to be aware, to trust God, and to do what He says or we’ll end up living a life of fear and possibly worse. What words or phrases are being twisted today that seem good, right, and true, but are in reality, dangerous to our life, our faith, and our relationship with God?
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“Oh come, let’s sing to Yahweh. Let’s shout aloud to the rock of our salvation! Let’s come before his presence with thanksgiving. Let’s extol him with songs! For Yahweh is a great God, a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth. The heights of the mountains are also his. The sea is his, and he made it. His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let’s worship and bow down. Let’s kneel before Yahweh, our Maker, for he is our God. We are the people of his pasture, and the sheep in his care. Today, oh that you would hear his voice! Don’t harden your heart, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers tempted me, tested me, and saw my work. Forty long years I was grieved with that generation, and said, ‘It is a people that errs in their heart. They have not known my ways.’ Therefore I swore in my wrath, ‘They won’t enter into my rest.’” Psalm 95, WEB
I consider myself a fairly intelligent and educated woman. Much of my knowledge is self-taught, but I am a college graduate and I read a lot. Yet, there is so much I do not know, particularly in the sciences. I can tell you that the sky is blue, and that it has something to do with particles in the air, but I can’t give scientific reasoning. I know that yeast is a living organism that makes bread rise, but how it works is beyond my understanding.
I love the show “The Big Bang Theory,” but I confess that sometimes my brain hurts when I watch it because they talk about concepts that are theories to explain the unexplainable. Even though they do so in fairly simple language, physics tries to make the intangible tangible, and we are people who prefer to understand our world in concrete ways. Another subject that is difficult to truly understand is the concept of time. We know that we can watch a clock and a calendar to see time pass, but do those clocks and calendars really help us understand the passing of time? I once read an article about a scientist who was trying to answer the question, “What is time.”
In an interview, American theoretical physicist and philosopher Sean Carroll answers the question of whether he can explain his theory in layman’s terms. “I’m trying to understand how time works. And that’s a huge question that has lots of different aspects to it. A lot of them go back to Einstein and spacetime and how we measure time using clocks. But the particular aspect of time that I’m interested in is the arrow of time: the fact that the past is different from the future. We remember the past, but we don’t remember the future. There are irreversible processes. There are things that happen, like you turn an egg into an omelet, but you can’t turn an omelet into an egg.” Is your head swimming as much as mine? And this is the “easy” statement, which went on for several more paragraphs.
The hands of a clock and pages of a calendar show us the passage of time, but those are man-made ways to measure something that doesn’t exist in a tangible way. Human beings have determined that there are 60 seconds to a minute, 60 minutes to an hour, 24 hours to a day, 7 days to a week and 52 weeks to a year. We’ve made those measurements based on the observation of God’s creation: the passing of the heavenly bodies, the sun, the moon and the stars. Yet, when you read through the story of the creation of the universe, you discover that the heavenly bodies were not even created and set into place until the fourth day. Did time exist before the sun counted the days and the moon the nights? We know that time would pass even if we did not count the days, and yet we human beings needed some way to measure time.
Those man-made measurements are not perfect. Every day we lose a bit of time, so much so that every year we lose a quarter of a day. Instead of trying to make up that quarter of a day each year, we add a day once every four years. February 29 is the Leap Day. There is no February 29 three years out of four. The day simply does not exist. A few years ago, when the leap day was on a Monday, I a post on Facebook that asked, “If we had to add an extra day, why did it have to be a Monday?” No matter what we try to do, the system is not perfect. The true year as defined by the position of the earth and the sun is exactly 365.2422 days. This means that we must occasionally skip the leap year to readjust the adjustment. I know. If your head wasn't swimming before, it is now. So is mine.
I don’t understand time, but I believe that God has created the perfect universe and it doesn’t matter if we can measure it perfectly. The important thing to remember is that time passes. The Leap Day is a gift, time we would not have had without the extra day on the calendar. Yet, our time is not extended by even a minute by means of a calendar or watch. God has designed the world around us to move perfectly according to His good and perfect will. We can’t make it fit into our own understanding of time and space, especially since our own understanding is so limited that even the scientists can’t quite explain it.
This is why we seek God. Only He can control the days, weeks, and months, and only He knows the course our life is ordained to go. He gives life and He takes it. He guides and directs our footsteps. He gives us all we need to live in this world and the next. The day will come when we will not measure time because time will be beyond measure. Our God has mercy and grants us the forgiveness that makes us heirs to an eternal Kingdom that will never be defined by time. In His grace we will be forever in His presence, yet another concept that we do not understand with our brains. It is understood by faith alone.
How will you spend this day? Will you waste it with the normal routine of day-to-day living or do something extraordinary? The scriptures encourage us to count our days, and our Lord God has chosen this day, Today, to speak to our hearts and spirits. Will you hear and rejoice in His love and mercy? Or will your heart harden against Him, leading you astray? I pray that today you will see that the Lord is good and worship Him with your whole being. This day is a free day, a gift from God, just as each and every day of life is a gift from Him. By the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, do something extraordinary with this day in praise to God’s mercy, glorifying Him for His grace.
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