Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2011 Job 23:10‏

Job 23:10.     But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 
 
Oh Friends, isn’t wonderful when you talk to someone you haven’t spoken to in ages, only to discover that they also have a strong faith in God and an earnest desire to serve Him, like you do? It sure is! Yesterday I called an old friend to offer my condolences on the unfortunate and sudden passing of one of his children, and you wouldn’t believe the enthusiasm we both expressed in living for God. It was certainly a revealing and refreshing moment for me. Now here’s a quote from Robert Nathan that gives us some good insight into living this earthly life. ‘Give thanks for sorrow that teaches you pity; for pain that teaches you courage – and give exceeding thanks for the mystery which remains a mystery still – the veil that hides you from the infinite, which makes it possible for you to believe in what you cannot see.’ Those are true words my people! We can’t always run away from problems, or be always courageous either, but whatever fear we feel, we’ve got to handle it with inner strength, which means entrusting it to our heavenly Father, invoking the power of the Holy Spirit, because strengthening us is one of His many purposes. That brings us to our Bit, where poor Job, beset by calamity and fickle friends, proudly proclaims: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ Oh Friends, what a stirring moment it would be in heaven, if most believers could say that with authority and true sincerity! Anyway, yesterday we looked at scriptures on the first part of our Bit: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take.’ Today, let’s check out some on the second part: ‘when he hath tried me, I shall come forth like gold.’ First up are some words from Bruh David in a prayer for protection against oppressors. ‘Thou hast proved (tested) mine heart; thou hast visited me (searched me out) in the night; thou hast tried (examined) me, and shalt find nothing (evil): I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.’ (Ps.17:3) What confidence my brethren! Bruh David really had it going on with the Father! Now listen to these heartfelt words of the psalmist in talking of the great works of God: ‘For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us: thou hast tried (refined) us, as silver is tried (refined). Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.’ (Ps.66:10-12) Wow Friends! Those truly are encouraging sentiments! Please believe them, for they are true, and let’s write them indelibly in our hearts, because they are words for all believers to live by. And finally words from James, who puts it this way: ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (has been proven), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE Him.’ (James 1:12) Yes mih people, trial and testing are an integral part of our earthly journey with Jehovah God, for that’s what brings us more like Jesus. It certainly isn’t an easy row to hoe, but as men of faith have proven, witnessed and testified down through the ages, if we totally trust and surrender our lives to the Lord’s will, though He tests us harshly and constantly, He will eventually bring us out safely and we’ll be much the better for it. That’s His promise. Please believe it, for then your perspective on this earthly life will be greatly enhanced. Much LOVE!…placing our lives entirely in the Father’s hands…that’s the wisest decision we can ever make… P.S. There certainly can be no complaints about the Bit’s length today. (smile) Much LOVE!
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2011 Job 23:10‏

Job 23:10.    But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
 
Oh Friends, do you ever feel like you’re on a never ending treadmill of pain, heartache, grief, sorrow and suffering, with only a few small windows of joy in between? Well that’s what life is often about. And in many cases there’s nothing we can do to change it. But luckily for us believers, we have Jesus to hold on to, to help and guide us through both the pleasant and unpleasant facets of life. It’s not easy being righteous in this evil, ungodly world, for sometimes when we’re trying our best, that’s when troubles befall us like rain. In anguish, we cry out to God, but He doesn’t answer, doesn’t seem to be there in our time of great need. So we feel lost and abandoned. But Friends, that’s the furthest thing from the truth, for God has promised to be with us always, (Matt.28:20) and also to never leave or forsake us. (Heb.13:5). And we all know that He faithfully keeps all His promises. So when we’re seeking Him and can’t find Him, then it’s possibly because of our sin, or He’s testing us. And if we’ve been fairly righteous, then it shouldn’t be our sin. We have a perfect example of that kind of dilemma in Job. He felt that he was doing a decent Job in obeying God’s will, and he was, but Lucifer talked the Lord into testing him, and during his time of calamity, he cried out to God, searched diligently for Him, but to no avail. As he says: ‘Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him. On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him, he hideth himself on the right hand (turns to the right), that I cannot see him.’ (Job 23:8-9) Yes my people, there’s nothing more disheartening than sincerely seeking God but being unable to find Him. However, as true believers, we’re inbred with His Holy Spirit, there for our help, guidance and protection. That Spirit never leaves or abandons us, instead it helps us to hang on, boosts our faith in Almighty God when things get rough. Thus in those times when we feel alone and abandoned, we ought to invoke the power of the Spirit, then rise up and say like Job does in our Bit: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ Yes my brethren, though Job’s friends felt that his life was riddled with hidden sin, that’s why such terrible calamity befell him, Job felt totally different. He knew that he sincerely tried to maintain a righteous attitude towards God, and felt sure that no terrible sins would be found if the Lord tested him in the fires of refinement. He would come out strong and shiny like gold. Now is that the way we feel today? It’s how we ought to. But unless we’re truly tying to live a righteous life, we won’t be able to say it with any sincerity, and since God reads our hearts, unless it’s reflected there, our words will be in vain. Now our Bit can be divided into two parts, the first being: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take:’ And that’s an undeniable fact Friends! The Lord knows all our comings and goings, nothing about us is hid from Him. So let’s check out a couple of scriptures that highlight that aspect of our Bit. In the very first Psalm, ‘Blessed are the righteous,’ the psalmist proudly declares: ‘For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:6) Then in Psalm 139, talking of the everlasting presence and power of God, Bruh David offers these immortal words: ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compasseth (comprehendeth) my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.’ (Ps.139:1-4) Yes my people, our God knows all about us since He created us and planned our lives, and He will never abandon us, though sometimes He hides His face from us, we can’t feel His presence. ‘Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.’ (Is.45:15) But usually those are times of testing; He’s trying to find out how sincere we are about LOVING, trusting and surrendering ourselves to Him. So in those lonely, troubled times Friends, please take heart, stand steadfast and strong, knowing that our God will never leave or forsake us, in fact, when we can’t go on any more, then He will carry us. I can tell you from personal experience that He’s a most wonderful God, so please don’t ever loose faith and trust in Him. We’ll continue this Bit tomorrow, God willing. Till then, please walk safely in His LOVING grace. Much LOVE!…when in the sands of our troubled times…only one set of footprints we see…that’s when our LOVING God carried us…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2011 James 4:10‏

James 4:10.    Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
 
Oh Friends, it’s a new day and new manna is being showered down from heaven! Yesterday’s manna is of no use today. Only the goodies that were made especially for Tuesday 28 June 2011 are viable today. So if you want any, you have to get up and get it. Remember, the early bird gets the best worms. (smile) Oh my brethren, whenever I sit and contemplate the goodness of our God, I can’t help but think how amazing He is, and how lucky we are to worship not only such an omnipotent Deity, but One who is also so magnanimous. Just look at all He’s done for us nuh! First creating us, then continuing to LOVE us unconditionally, providing, guiding and caring for us despite our disobedience and rebellion against Him. And then the crowning glory; sending His only Son Jesus to sacrifice His sinless life, so that we could be cleansed of our disgusting sins and be reconciled to Him. Wow! What a great and wonderful God! And having considered all that, it just makes me feel grateful and real humble. The problem though is that the world does not value gratitude and humility as much as it does arrogance, self-centredness and pride, and since we have to live in it, it’s obvious that some of its values will rub off on us, possibly not all the time, but for sure occasionally. Now the only way to beat the pressure of the world’s proud and lustful values is by following the advice James gives in our Bit. ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ And that’s no lie my people! When you embrace the Lord, acknowledge His sovereignty and live an obedient life, He will cause you to rise higher in your endeavours, often higher than you expect or imagine. That’s the kind of God He is to those who are obedient to His will! It’s also true that the world will put you on a pedestal if you come out proud and boastful in recognition of your earthly accomplishments. However, the big difference between the world’s lifting up and that of God is that when your Achilles heel shows up, or someone else comes along that seems better, the world in it’s fickleness will knock you off that pedestal so fast and furious, you won’t know what hit you. But when the Lord elevates you, you will stay elevated, provided you stay humble and grateful, and don’t behave like it was all your doing. For believe me people, if you get too big for your breeches when the Lord lifts you up, He will pull you down even quicker and more painfully than the world. Nothing’s basically wrong with being acknowledged for our earthly accomplishments, but we have to ensure that we give God the glory for it, and not try to take it personally. Being humble in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s system is of the utmost importance, because pride seems to annoy Him more than anything else. And why is that? Because pride totally shuts Him out of our lives, we don’t take Him into account in anything we do, and He explicitly made us for the exact opposite purpose; to be very involved in our lives. Now let’s hear some scriptures that deal with the subject. In Job 5:11, Eliphaz, when rebuking his friend, says that one of the great things the Lord does is ‘To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety.’ Later on, Eliphaz also declares: ‘When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up (exaltation); and he shall save the humble person.’ (Job 22:29) Then James, in paraphrasing Prov.4:34, says: ‘God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ (James 4:6) Peter used those same words in 1 Pet.5:5, then boldly declared: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7) Oh Friends, all those men of great faith knew back then that true humility was a necessity in being a believer, and it still is today, especially with the current prevalence of arrogance and pride in our society. And I’ve saved the best for last; the words of Jesus Himself: ‘But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased (humbled); and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted (lifted up).’ (Matt.23:11-12) Yes my people, there’s no denying that a humble attitude is of great importance in the Lord’s kingdom, so please let’s try and acquire it nuh. Too many of us believers are behaving like the world behaves; proud, lustful and arrogant, which, in the Lord’s good time, will sadly lead to our eventual painful downfall. Much LOVE!…a word to the wise is usually sufficient…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2011 Matthew 11:30‏

Matthew 11:30.      For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
 
Oh Friends, that beautiful, long awaited day, Monday is finally here! It’s dawning bright and sunny in all God’s glorious splendour! So let’s be up and at ’em, resume the battle in the trenches of work, like the good soldiers of Christ that we are. Okay, so you think I’m crazy…and I might just be, but we ought not to dread Mondays the way we do. Instead we should embrace it as a chance to come our diligently fighting for Jesus after our short respite on the weekend. But be that as it may, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get us going. Let’s sing in full voice now, so that the enemy’s strength and the walls of his spirit will come tumbling down like the walls of Jericho. And all God’s people vociferously sang: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ Yes mih people, I know that Mondays are rough for many of us, but there’s nothing we can do about, so instead of stressing ourselves out over it every week, we need to be better prepared and ready for it. One of the great downfalls of believers is that we moan and groan too much about things over which we have no control, like beginning a new work week on Mondays. We can gather all our spiritual armour right by our bedsides before we go to bed on Sunday night, just to remind us of the next day’s importance. (smile) But the problem is that we try to cram so much activity into our short weekend, that on Monday, we’re even more tired than we were on Friday. We are living in a very stressful world, but as believers we have the immense benefit and privilege of working with Jesus which ought to have us better grounded than we are. As He so rightly says in our Bit: ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.’ So why are we still dreading Mondays? Simply because we have not fully surrendered ourselves to Jesus and His approach to life. If we had, then we would not be so fearful. Hear John tell it like it is: ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.’ (1 John 5:3-5) Yes Friends, we need to stop being fearful of the world and all its evil. And the only way to do that successfully is to completely surrender, put all your trust, ramp up your faith to the max, in Jesus, the One who so selflessly and sacrificially died for us, so that we could be cleansed from sin, receive salvation and enjoy eternal life in the Father’s presence. We have the best example of total surrender in Jesus, who always acceded to the Father’s will. Listen to His agonizing prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane the day before His crucifixion. ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) And a short while later He said it again: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:42) Oh Friends, surrendering to the Father’s will is also our duty as believers, so please let’s follow Jesus’ example and do it to the best of our ability. Much LOVE!…heaven is awash in smiles…when earthly children totally surrender to the Father’s will…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2011 Psalm 145:18‏

Psalm 145:18.     The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
 
Well a good Sunday morning to all you beautiful Friends and Neighbours in Christ! The new provisions of God, this new day, are being disseminated at this very moment to all who truly seek them. And while we are being richly blessed, it’s only right that we should remember others not so fortunate and do stuff to benefit them, though we may never see or know about it. In support of that statement, let me share a quote from my ‘I LOVE YOU’ poster, which says: ‘Do for others with no desire of returned favours. We should all plant some trees we’ll never sit under.’ And that’s the living truth my brethren! We should all aspire to do good deeds; some with hope of future blessing, but also some without thought of future reward. And yuh know, those are usually the ones that please our God the most. It reminds me of the story about an elderly man who planted a tree that took many years to grow and bear fruit. When asked why he did it, since he would most likely not be around to enjoy its fruit and shade, he simply replied that it wasn’t planted with his enjoyment in mind, but for that of some unknown person(s) in the future. Now that’s the epitome of selflessness, a lesson many many of us believers still have to learn because we insist on following the selfish, greedy ways and patterns of the world. Remember though that we ought to be in the world, but not of it. (Rom.12:2; 1 John 2:15) However, the only way to do that on a successful basis is by continually doing as our Bit advises: ‘The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.’ Yes Friends, we have to keep calling out to the Lord for help to handle the evils of our world; evils like selfishness, greed, anger, resentment, bitterness, hate and violence, otherwise we’ll get caught in the trap, fall into the pit of evil that the enemy has dug and set for us. As Moses said to the Israelites when exhorting them to obedience of God’s laws. ‘For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh (near) unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?’ (Deut.4:7) And the emphatic answer is NONE! Ah mih people, many of us want and expect God’s attention, but it doesn’t usually happen until we call out to Him, unless we purposely seek Him. He’s always there, right close by, but does not get involved unless we ask Him to, cause He’s a God of choices. Now the next important thing is that we can’t just go to Him and ask for whatever we want without a sincere heart; a heart that truly recognizes Him as Lord and Saviour. Selfish, greedy motives will be readily discovered since it’s our hearts that He searches and listens to, not merely the pleas of our mouths. Jesus said it quite plainly to the Samaritan woman at the well: ‘But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.’ (John 4:23-24) Oh Friends, to be true believers we must seek God on purpose, with truth and a right heart, otherwise we’re just fooling ourselves, our religion is vain and useless. So today, let’s ponder those two aspects of our lives, determine the intensity of our desire to know and seek God, and the rightness of our motives when we come to Him, then try our best to improve them, for there’s room for improvement in all of us. Note too, it’s all for OUR benefit, not God’s. Much LOVE!…remember…God is not there to serve our selfish purposes…but we’re here to serve His righteous desires…  P.S.  And my reason for the Bit being late today – I went to church, seeking God and fellowship with other believers, simply trying to practice what I preach. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2011 Psalm 146:3‏

Psalm 146:3.    Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
 
Oh Friends, the ole fella had a hard time getting up again this morning, thus the tardiness of the Bit. (smile) But today, at least I got up feeling refreshed, vibrant and alive, not mashed up like yesterday. Believe me, I’m trying to bring my life back to a pre-surgery time, though right now I’m obviously not doing such a brilliant job. But with God’s help, I know we’ll get there eventually, hopefully sooner than later. Anyway, here’s an encouraging story I’ve been meaning to share, but kept forgetting. A few afternoons ago I was listening to WACK 90.1 F.M, the Culture Crazy Radio Station out of T & T. Now at the beginning of the afternoon drive time, somewhere between two and three o’clock, the new announcer began playing some beautiful West Indian Gospel music, and listeners were calling in to tell him thanks and to keep up the good job. This one man though, called in and had a low level dispute with the announcer, re his godly selections. At that moment in time, it appeared that he wasn’t too thrilled with God because his place, I don’t know if it was his personal home, or the general area where he lived, was flooded. But right then he didn’t want to hear any God centred music. What really amazed, pleased and encouraged me though is that several people, internationally and locally, called up afterwards, taking him to task. Bravo fellow believers! Poor man. He didn’t realize that in his time of catastrophe, it was then he needed God the most. We can’t get too annoyed with him though, for that’s exactly how too many of us believers still behave. When things are going great, we’re all hyped up and God filled, but as soon as things turn sour, we get sour too and begin doubting, wondering if God is really all He claims that He is. Well Friends, I’m here to tell us this summer Saturday morning, that doesn’t feel nor look like summer, that out great and wonderful God is truly what he declares…and even more. What we have to realize is that life isn’t always going to come up smelling like roses, and when it doesn’t, that’s the time we most need our faith in Jesus, so that we can stand steadfast and strong and fight through the adversity with His ever-present help. As Job so rightly said, we can’t expect good all the time and no bad. Life just doesn’t work that way. (Job 2:10) And it’s quite easy to be faith filled when things are going right, but it’s in the times of adversity that we find out exactly how strong and sincere our faith really is, and discover, sometimes much to our chagrin, the true mettle of our inner man. Oh Friends, the ole fella’s enjoying writing this Bit because it’s one of those where the Spirit ‘s guiding me on a loose rein, allowing me to pour out my heart on the matter, whatever that might be. (smile) We obviously don’t have a Bit as yet, but we will be guided to a suitable one when the time is right…which I think is now. So here goes. Hallelujah my brethren! Two minutes later we’ve found our scriptural direction! Isn’t the Lord good to those who trust in Him? Most definitely! And that’s the title of Psalm 146: ‘The Blessedness of trusting God.’ Yes Friends, that’s the gospel truth! As our Bit so rightly declares: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation).’ Why? Because ‘His breath goeth forth (his spirit departs), he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.’  (Ps.146:4) Isaiah says it this way: ‘Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of (why should he be esteemed)?’ (Is.22:2) It’s a fact people, that man’s help is fickle and faithless, therefore not to be trusted. His comprehension of spiritual things is low, he has no real control over his life and he’s guided mostly by selfish and worldly motives, so you never know which side of the fence he’ll end up on. He can promise you help this very minute, then next minute his body dies and his thoughts disappear into thin air. So how can you trust such a one eh? But on the other hand, the Good Book tells us, and we know for sure that it doesn’t lie: ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:’ (Ps.146:5-6) So when we opt for Almighty God instead of man, that’s where we show our wisdom! And once we do that, we automatically come to the conclusion that our thoughts, behaviour and attitudes should fall into line with the psalmist’s, and like him, we sincerely proclaim: ‘Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah). Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.’ (Ps.146:1-2) That says it all Friends! So please, let’s consider and ruminate on these scriptures today, for they will bring great peace and calm to our mundane, troubled lives, if we do. Much LOVE!…in praising Almighty God…there ought to be no lack of enthusiasm…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2011 Isaiah 5: 27‏

Isaiah 5:27.     None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday! A cloudy looking one in my area, but nonetheless all around the world voices are thankfully chorusing ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ looking forward to the upcoming weekend. So without further ado, let’s chant our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ Ah Friends, I don’t know if anybody needs that healing, cleansing and rejuvenation this morning more than the ole fella nuh. That’s because yesterday I decided to reintegrate my old body into the general society. It’s been five weeks since my surgery, time to be up and about in the world. The main reason I chose yesterday for that auspicious occasion though was because a choir, The Music Amateurs, from sweet Tobago was up here and putting on a concert in downtown Toronto. Now how could I pass up the opportunity to hear beautiful voices in song from God’s little acre eh? (smile) In addition to that, the choir director has over the years been my teacher, friend and mentor, but we hadn’t seen each other in a long time, so that seemed to be the ideal time to renew the friendship and meet each other’s families. The music was obviously fantastic! What else would you expect from a choir that has won the prestigious ‘Lions’ Trophy’ as the Most Outstanding Choir in T & T’s National Biennial Music Festival, the last four times, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. The guest artist, Macomere Fifi, the reigning Calypso Monarch of Canada, a born and bred Tobago gal, was also wonderful! However, on the downside, I don’t know if I could have chosen a worse day to go into Toronto. Steups! I left home around six p.m, but did not get into T.O. until after seven. Oh brother! Every major artery seemed to be a parking lot; eight and twelve lanes of traffic just standing still or merely crawling along. Then coming back home, around ten fifteen, it was almost the same thing. And that seems to happen everyday in many cities of the world. How could the workforce not be tired, disgruntled, resentful and nowhere near as productive as they should be when they have to sit in traffic for hours every day, five days a week? But instead of trying to solve that major problem, our brilliant governments and greedy company executives are more concerned about cost cuts and increased profits at their individual companies, when simply reducing the traffic problem would go a long way towards bettering those figures. And I can say this, because after all that sitting down; two hours in the concert, and three in a cramped car in stop and go traffic, when I got home last night I felt a tiredness like I haven’t felt in a long while. Granted I’m not in tiptop shape, but anybody who has to go through that stuff every day will never be as productive or enthusiastic as they should be. That tiredness further disrupted my already disrupted sleep patterns and I struggled to get up this morning, the reason why the Bit’s so late. It brought to mind the words of an old Prince Buster song, though the circumstances here were entirely different. (smile) ‘It was a rough night…It was a hard night…I feel so mash up today…’ Yeh mih people, the ole fella feeling real mash up this morning, but since we have such a wonderful Saviour in Jesus Christ looking out for us, we know that that too shall pass and we need to press on regardless. And as I am penning these words, I am already beginning to feel better. ‘Praise the Lord!’ Now lemme see if I can find a Bit to suit this. (smile) Today seems to be a real smiley smiley day. And why not eh? Smiles are good for both the body and the soul. No problems mih breddren! I found a Bit in no time at all! It was right there waiting for me. Oh the goodness of our God! It’s one of His faithful promises: ‘None shall be weary nor stumble among them: none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of (belt on) their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes (strap of their sandals) be broken.’ So Friends, even in all the doom and gloom, the destruction of the faithless, the wicked and His backsliding people, the Lord interjects a ray of hope for the righteous. ‘For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is still stretched out.’ (Is.5:25b) Please remember that my brethren. Though we may invoke the Lord’s wrath and anger by our sinful, ungodly behaviour, there is always, I repeat, there is always a chance, no, not a chance, but a sure hope of forgiveness and redemption if we acknowledge our transgressions. But we have to do that while we’re alive here on earth, like RIGHT NOW! So please, let’s be wise and turn to the One who so LOVINGLY moulded us and breathed the breath of life into our frail bodies, so that at the end, when our bodies return to the dust from which they were made, that breath of life will return to the Father and live with Him forever. Much LOVE!…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2011 Psalm 122:1‏

Psalm 122:1.    I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.
 
Oh Friends, it’s a gloomy Thursday morning in my area after lots of rain and stuff last night. But since we’re pilgrims on this earth, we’ve got to diligently plod on despite our circumstances. And though the day seems gloomy, our spirits are definitely not; they’re soaring with joy, because we know that all the good things like blessings and mercies that God gives us each new day are waiting for us to gratefully accept. So we say a bright and appreciative, ‘Thank you Lord!’ And our Bit today contains one of the best ideas we can ever have or put forward, and putting it into practice only enhances it a hundred fold. ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ Wow! What a glorious sentiment! What better place to go than to God’s house eh? To sit and talk, meditate and communicate with Him in His own appointed place. What an awesome opportunity and pleasure! That’s why going to church is so highly recommended to believers. There’s just something different and unusual about being in God’s house; a feeling, a presence that we don’t or can’t seem to get anywhere else. The scholars believe that this psalm was written after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem: ‘Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of (as a testimony to) Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord. For there are set the thrones of judgement, the thrones of the house of David.’ (Ps.122:4-5) Yes my Friends, to give thanks to our amazing and wonderful God is one reason we go to church, but also to fellowship with other believers, for there is strength in numbers, and to find peace and comfort in our souls, for sometimes the aura of God just seems to be more plentiful in His house than anywhere else. Now let’s look at some scriptures which show that going to the tabernacle, temple, church, sanctuary, whatever you call the place where God has set up shop, so to speak, has always been, and will continue to be, a very important part of believers’ lives. Listen first to the master prophet, Isaiah, talking about the day of the Lord: ‘And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ (Is.2:3) The prophet Micah, in reference to turning swords into ploughshares, says the same thing in Chap.4:2, almost quoting Isaiah word for word. And Zechariah, in talking of the promised restoration of Jerusalem, boldly proclaims: ‘Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people(s), and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another saying, Let us go speedily (continually) to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.’ (Zech.8:20-22) Oh my people, that promise, like all the others of our most faithful God, was kept; Jerusalem was restored and even to this day, though it’s embroiled in turmoil and strife, thousands of people make pilgrimages to God’s city every year. How great is our God eh? Now all of us can’t make pilgrimages to Jerusalem, but we can certainly go to our local church, tabernacle, sanctuary or temple where God has established a physical place of communion and restoration for us. And if by chance you don’t believe me, (smile) then check out Jesus’ itinerary when He walked amongst us here on earth. No one spent more quiet time alone, communicating with the Father than Him. That shows our great need to do likewise. He also never missed an opportunity to preach and teach in the temple, and wherever He found Himself on the Sabbath, He always honoured the Father by going to fellowship in that area. So how can we do any less eh my brethren? In closing, let me share a saying which declares that ‘sometimes an empty church has more room for God.’ Now, from personal experience, I’ve found that to be quite true. Fellowship with others in church is right and good, but sometimes our individual spirits just need some one on one time with the Father in His house with nobody or nothing to distract us. Unfortunately nowadays churches, like most other public buildings, are locked up when they’re not in use. But if you’re ever lucky enough to pass by an open church, just step inside and sit for a while. Oh Friends, you’ll be amazed at the quantity and quality of vibes you’ll receive just sitting there quietly drinking in God’s holy and peaceful presence! Till tomorrow then mih people, our God in favour, please walk safely with Him, for He’s our strong rock and sure salvation. Much Love!…there’s no feeling so pleasurable and uplifting…as private communication with Almighty God…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2011 Ephesians 5:19‏

Ephesians 5:19.    Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
 
Oh Friends, morning’s a rising, so please prepare yourself to receive all that God has prepared anew for you; fresh mercy, forgiveness, blessings, LOVING-kindness etc. etc. It’s all yours, just there for the asking and taking! Anyway, earlier on, when I came down to write the Bit, I had no idea what I was going to write on, but as always, asked for guidance. And it’s oftimes strange and amusing how God answers our pleas. Today He answered mine by having me glance at one of the several fortune cookie pronouncements that I have on my desk. This one boldly declared: ‘A cheerful heart makes its own song.’ Now that’s a fact with which we cannot argue! That then led me to thinking how so many believers’ hearts are hard, stony and not cheerful, which in turn guided me to our Bit: ‘Speaking to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.’ Oh Friends, our hearts are considered the bastion, the stronghold of our faith, from which all else flows; meaning that if they are not right, not in tune with our God, then our lives cannot be right either. And one of the ways to ensure that our hearts stay tender and pure is by talking to ourselves and others, repeating psalms, hymns and other spiritual material. That way we encourage and instruct each other by godly means, thus constantly renewing the cheerfulness of our hearts, and consequently our faith. And a very good example of that is when Bruh Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi. The Good Book notes: ‘And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises (were praying and singing hymns) unto God: and the prisoners heard them.’ (Acts 16:25) What a perfect way to communicate the gospel under less than perfect circumstances! And we all know what happened after: A sudden earthquake shook the prison, opening all doors and loosening the chains of all the prisoners, but none escaped. And when the warden, having seen the catastrophe, was about to commit suicide, Bruh Paul stopped him. Then later that same night, he and all his earthly family were baptized into the spiritual family of Jesus. (Acts 16:26-34) Wow! What a moving story! One only our God can produce! But it all began with the singing of psalms and spiritual songs, finding a way to keep the heart cheerful and in tune with the heavenly Father in poor, downtrodden circumstances. And when we’re not talking to others on a godly basis, we still need to be singing and making melody, giving praise and thanks in our individual hearts to our great God. Now sometimes that’s the most important part of it all; keeping our own hearts cheerful when we’re alone and under pressure. It’s not always easy to do when life and its numerous adversities bear down upon us with their full weight. But as James advises: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? let him sing psalms.’ (James 5:13) Yes Friends, the best way to lift our sagging spirits is through prayer. And when they’re lifted, the best way to keep them cheerful is by singing spiritual songs. Now our talking and singing of spiritual songs might never produce the amazing and miraculous results that Bruh Paul’s and Silas’ did, but for sure it will help others, believers as well as non-believers. And above all, it will keep our own hearts, soft, tender, true and cheerful before our God. That will then leads us to: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:20-21) In other words, that cheerfulness produced by the Holy Spirit in our hearts will keep us continually being grateful to God for all He’s doing in our lives, and we’ll also have good relations with other believers, all based on what’s pleasurable in God’s eyes. So today my brethren, let’s promise ourselves to try and bring some cheerfulness to our own hearts and then of others around us, so that human lives will be uplifted and Almighty God praised and glorified. Much LOVE!…the only antidote for a cheerless heart…JESUS…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2011 Job 40:4‏

Job 40:4.    Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
 
Oh my beautiful Friends in Christ Jesus, the new day’s dawning and the heavens are opening, getting ready to pour down the daily blessings and goodness of the Lord God Jehovah on the children of men! When you awaken, please go to Him with gratitude and thanksgiving and prayerfully receive your portion. That will set your feet on the right path for your daily journey in this mish-mash world, and allow you to travel in God’s most exquisite and LOVING company all day long. And that’s the gospel truth my people! Wow! What an honour! Beginning each new day with the Lord certainly helps us to handle the problems we encounter with more strength, wisdom and courage, than if we just relied on our own anaemic power. Remember, without Him, we are nothing, and can do nothing. And having poured out those general words the Spirit put in my heart to share with you, (smile) let’s continue looking at our Bit, where God had to drape up Job and bring him to his knees, ere he finally humbled himself before his Creator. ‘Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.’ Now yesterday we heard Ezra’s prayer of confession, re the Israelites sins. Today, let’s listen to Job’s response to God’s challenges. ‘I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee: Wherefore I abhor (deplore) myself, and repent in dust and ashes.’ (Job 42:5-6) Yes Friends, Job finally submits to God. Per the scholars: ‘He has a new awareness of the wisdom of God’s hidden plans, a new sense of the limits of his own wisdom, and a new sensitivity to his own sin. He admits that his has been a limited perspective, and he totally submits to God’s will and authority.’ What an awakening my brethren! One that is necessary for all believers to come to before we can truly appreciate the great God we worship and thus dutifully and confidently do His will. It’s not an easy task, as Job discovered. But I’m here to remind us that all things are possible when we work with the Lord. Now let’s look at the second part of our Bit, which is perhaps even more important than the first: ‘I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.’ Oh Friends, if the majority of believers would do this, both literally and figuratively, our world would be such a wonderful place! Why, you ask? Because it’s oftimes our too quick to open mouths and consequent thoughtless words that breed a great amount of friction, strife and resentment, which only lead to hatred and violence. To improve the situation, WE MUST STOP AND THINK BEFORE WE TALK! It’s therefore to our great advantage to contemplate these important scriptures on the subject. ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he’s) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless).’  (James 1:26) And there’s more: ‘Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter (forest) a little fire kindleth (sets ablaze). And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue (the tongue is so set) among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature (existence); and it is set on the fire of hell.’ (James 3:5-6) Yes mih breddren, that’s the enormous power our tongues, mouths and words wield, and why we need to control them so carefully. And it’s not that Job didn’t know better, since he earlier acknowledges that others held their peace when he addressed them in his glorious past. ‘When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street (took my seat in the plaza)!….The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth. The nobles held their peace (the voice of the nobles was hushed), and their tongue cleaved (stuck) to the roof of their mouth. When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness (approval) to me.’ (Job 29:7, 9-11) Ah mih people, in these perilous times it’s of the utmost importance that we choose our words very carefully and also humble ourselves before Almighty God, because He is the only real source of hope we have to extricate ourselves from the awful mess we’ve made of our world. Much LOVE!…to be suitably humble…one’s tongue must be suitably bridled…

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