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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, May 20, 2022

“Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthans 13:8-12, WEB

C.S. Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity”, “People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on “being in love” for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change – not realising that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last. The sort of thrill a boy has at the first idea of flying will not go on when he has joined the R.A.F. and is really learning to fly. The thrill you feel on first seeing some delightful place dies away when you really go to live there. Does this mean it would be better not to learn to fly and not to live in the beautiful place? By no means. In both cases, if you go through with it, the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for by a quieter and more lasting kind of interest… it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction. The man who has learned to fly and becomes a good pilot will suddenly discover music; the man who has settled down to live in the beauty spot will discover gardening.”

This loss of passion is even found in the life of a Christian. For example, many people have experienced one of those weekend retreats meant to build faith. The guests are church members who need a refresher course in what it means to be Christian in this world. It is a weekend of spiritual renewal and the beginning of a lifetime of walking in the light of Christ in a whole new way. I attended one a few years ago and recall the reaction of one of my fellow guests.

It was a young, troubled man who was overjoyed by what he heard, even glowed with faith and spiritual fervor. It was lifechanging for him; he made promises to live differently, to put aside his sinful ways and walk with Christ from that moment on. His joy was contagious, and we were all excited for his new life. Unfortunately, we all have to come down off the mountaintop when it is time to leave those weekends, and the passion fades away. Sometimes the person settles, as Lewis says, “a more lasting kind of interest,” but sometimes the person crashes like they are coming off a sugar high. That’s what happened to the young man, whose new life in Christ barely lasted a month before he was living as he had before the weekend. When the passion faded, so did his faith.

We love to see children who love Jesus. They sing “Jesus Loves Me” with abandon and are never bothered that they shout “Amen” a second to late at the top of their lungs. They talk about Jesus and love everyone. Sadly, we too often outgrow this innocent faith and become more somber about our Christianity. We live in a world that has put sexuality on the front page but prefers we keep our faith in the closet, and we quickly learn that life is easier if we hide our Christianity. We go to church and do what we can do to serve our neighbors, but we don’t wear our faith on our sleeves or use the words that will introduce others to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, this often means that the spark dies and we set aside the Kingdom for the world.

We don’t have to be passionate, yelling Amen or preaching on the streetcorners to live our Christian faith in this world. We must beware, however, that we don’t put out the spark that began when God embraced us with His grace because it is no longer fiery. Our faith does grow and change as we mature; our faith should grow and change as we mature. But we are reminded that just like that marriage that becomes new every day, so does our faith.

Paul wrote that the exciting bits of our Christianity isn’t what makes us a Christian. Love does. We might not be on a mountaintop every moment of every day, but God loves us to eternity and back, promising that the day will come when we will dwell forever in His presence, worshipping Him with a passion we can’t even imagine because we will know Him as we have not yet been able to know Him. Until that day, let us find the excitement of faithful love in new ways every day and never let it go.

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.

   heart2love4god [at] aol [dot] com   

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A WORD FOR TODAY, May 19, 2022

“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin. For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good. For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice. But if what I don’t desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the law that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present. For I delight in God’s law after the inward person, but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God’s law, but with the flesh, sin’s law.” Romans 7:14-25, WEB

I grew up on the east coast. When I was young I had a great sense of direction. I could come to an unknown corner and know by instinct which direction I had to turn to get to my destination. This was a good thing, since I held several jobs over the years that required me to travel to different locations to do my work. Some places were difficult to find, but I was generally able to find my way with little trouble. This was long before GPS.

Things were different when I moved to California. I never really understood the cause. Perhaps it was because the highway or roadway systems were different. Perhaps there were landmarks that reminded me of places back home that confused my sense of direction. However, I always blamed the fact that the ocean was in the wrong place. After all, I was on the west coast with the Pacific Ocean to the west, after having lived for so many years on the east coast with the Atlantic Ocean to the east. My instinct was confused, and I often thought south was north and north was south. I made way too many directional mistakes. As a matter of fact, I can honestly tell you that if I had to make a decision, I almost always made the wrong one.

There was an episode of “Seinfeld” during which George entered into a conversation with a pronouncement. He had realized that every decision he ever made was the wrong choice which is why his life was so messed up. He decided that day to live completely opposite to the leanings of his instinct. He began with his lunch. Instead of his usual tuna salad, he decided to have chicken. When he saw a beautiful girl at the counter, he not only decided to approach her, but he also decided to be completely open and honest with her. All this went against his better judgment, because he was at that point unemployed and living with his parents. She did not reject him; she even seemed very interested. For the rest of the show, George chose the opposite of whatever he would have normally done.

I think what I like most about Paul is his honesty. He is often harsh in his letters, saying what most of us think but would never say out loud. He is willing to call a sin a sin and to admit that he is the worst of sinners. In his letter to the Romans, he talks about his inability to be all he wants to be, the perfect Christian, a righteous person. He admits his frailty and his lack of control. He wants to do what is right and avoid what is wrong, but he recognizes and confesses his failure.

We look to Paul for guidance about how to live and serve God. Sometimes we put Paul on a pedestal, but Paul knew that he was not perfect. Paul knew his failures; he recognized his frailty. He knew that he was likely to do what is wrong. If Paul, who met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, did not have control over his own flesh, how do we expect to be any better? This is why we must always remember that God does call and ordain His Church to do His work in this world even though the Church is made of many fallible and imperfect members. We don’t have control: we do what we want to do which is not always what God would have us do. We can’t decide to do the opposite of our instinct and expect it to be the right thing. We are called to serve God; He can and will bring us to perfection, but it won’t happen in this life. We live in hope because of God’s lovingkindness. He is faithful to His covenant promises.

It may seem silly to think that living on the west coast would cause me to lose my sense of direction just because the ocean is on the wrong side. It is even sillier to think that George’s life would change just because he decided to have the opposite of tuna salad for lunch one day. What is the opposite of tuna anyway? What is the opposite of living the life we live? Is it even possible for us to decide to make the opposite decisions for every choice we have to make? Our unspiritual nature draws us to seek after things that are not beneficial to us. We are tempted, and fall under temptation, much too easily. It is the state of our being that we are drawn in a direction that takes us away from God. Thank God through Jesus Christ that He can and will deliver us out of our bodies of death.

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