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)
ďTherefore we donít faint, but though our outward person is decaying, yet our inward person is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory, while we donít look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.Ē 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, WEB
Autumn begins at 1:50 a.m. Central time Saturday morning when the sun crosses the celestial equator. Most of the time there is no noticeable difference between the last day of summer and the first day of fall; there certainly wonít be this year as we continue with record heat and drought. A few years ago during a similar weather year, a cold front moved through in a coincidentally timely manner over the state of Texas. The high temperature on that autumnal equinox came at midnight but by early morning the temperature began to drop dramatically. By 4:18 p.m. when the sun crossed the equator, the temperature was chilly and storm clouds dropped desperately needed rain. That year we went to bed in the summertime and woke up to autumn weather. It was lovely to have cool, rainy weather after a harsh and uncomfortable summer with record heat and a lack of rain. It was a pleasant surprise, but it was an unusual experience; it would be nice if it happened again tonight but isnít in the forecast.
Life rarely happens instantaneously. Time passes slowly and the weather generally changes gradually as time passes.
There are a few miraculous stories of people coming to faith. Paulís story is one of those. He was a devout Jew, working to stop the progress of the Church. He was persecuting the early Christians, perhaps even calling for their death. One day, on the way to another town to destroy another church, Paul had an encounter with the Living Christ. It is an amazing story; Paul was changed dramatically by that meeting and he became one of the most successful evangelists of all time. He began church after church in city after city and his letters have helped define the church. Thousands came to know Jesus as they listened to his sermons and teaching. It was a sudden change. There was a turning point in his life; we know the moment he was transformed.
Can we say the same thing about you? There have been times when I have had sudden changes in my faith and life in Christ, but I never had that miraculous turning point moment. I grew up in the church, learned about Jesus at Sunday school and regular worship from a young age. Like the changing of the seasons, I canít say that one day I was not a believer and the next day I was. There are those who have a sudden and miraculous transformation from hopelessness into hope, faithlessness into faith, unbelief into belief. But most of us simply experience subtle changes from day to day, month to month, year to year. From the first time we heard the Word of God until today, we have been slowly growing in grace and faith toward the day when we will be fully changed into His likeness.
Paul had a miraculous moment, but then he grew in faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ, transformed daily by Godís grace. His life was not always pleasant. He suffered for his faith, and in that suffering, he was changed. Life following Christ is not always sunshine and roses. Sometimes it is dreary and wet and cold. Sometimes we face doubts and anger and pain. We donít understand why we would have to face suffering. The world wants us to doubt our faith, to reject Godís grace, to turn around and walk another path.
Paul reminds us not to lose heart. Our faith is not something we can create or destroy; it is a gift from God. We live in that faith day by day, as we are slowly transformed into what God has promised we will be. Cold, rainy weather is temporary, and even if the cool damp weather of fall were to begin today, spring will come again. We might have moments when God seems distant, perhaps even missing from our life, but it is in those moments when we learn to look forward to that which isnít seen, to rely on the One who is always near even when we canít see Him.
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ďNow to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to him be the glory in the assembly and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.Ē Ephesians 3:20-21, WEB
One of the places we visited while we were in England was the Royal Air Museum at Duxford. This museum was once a bustling air force base that was used extensively during both World Wars. In recent years, it has been filled with tourists viewing the amazing display of military and civilian aircraft as well as other military vehicles. In one hanger, you can walk through one of the original Concords, one that was used for testing in the early days. Another building is filled with tanks and other land vehicles. They have exhibits that show what it would have looked like back in the day. You can take rides on historic airplanes. There was even a building that held bits and pieces of every sort, junk that they used to rebuild the airplanes.
There has been an American military presence in England for over eighty years. Our numbers are dwindling as bases are closed, but there is still a significant number stationed there with work to do. Since the US Air Force has played an important role in many conflicts around the world, the Royal Air Museum felt that there should be a specific place to honor the American service members who have fought not only for America, but also the world.
The American Museum at Duxford is an incredible building. Its unusual half dome shape seems to disappear into the earth. The roof is made of concrete. The strength of the material is necessary to support the many planes that are suspended from the ceiling. This building is a masterpiece of logistical engineering, as there are many planes, each carefully placed or hung for the best possible vantage point.
The centerpiece of this display is a B-52. This is a very large aircraft, one that will not fit through the front door of any building, even unassembled. The planners overcame this difficulty in a very creative way. First, they laid the foundation of the building. Next, they parked the airplane on the foundation. Finally, they built the building around the plane. They had to be cautious with every step, because an accident could destroy the plane. After the building was complete, they moved the other planes into place. It is incredible to see how carefully they are all placed, and you canít help but wonder how they managed to maneuver the planes into the building with the B-52 in the center.
Our Christian faith has been built since the beginning with the same care from our Creator. He laid the foundation in the Old Testament stories and prophecies. Next, He moved in the centerpiece, our Lord Jesus Christ. Finally, He built the Church around the work of our Lord, carefully placing every detail in His precise design. The American Museum at Duxford is a beautiful new building. Some would say the church would be better described as the old building filled with junk. In some ways it is. But just like the volunteers at Duxford, who lovingly build new craft out of the old parts, God is constantly building new out of the old. God is incredible, and to Him belongs all the glory. One day, the junk from the old building may just be hung in a new museum as the centerpiece. And one day, our imperfect, perishable bodies will dwell in eternity in the presences of God, sharing the glory of Jesus forever.
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