Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2011 Romans 12:12‏

Romans 12:12.   Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.

Oh Friends, it’s about 6.15 a.m in West Hills, California, and as I sit at my office window, (smile) hearing sirens wailing in the distance, I can see the day breaking outside. It’s supposed to be another sunny day in California, as most of them are, with temps in the mid eighties. Well, fortunately, or not, I don’t have any adventures to tell about today because I spent yesterday at home. I hope to have some today though. (smile) I had planned to go back to Zuma beach yesterday and leave a note or some contact info just in case some Good Samaritan happened to find my ring and turn it in. Very unlikely yes, but with our  great and wonderful God, not impossible. Oh, one thing; as the Good Book says: ‘The stone which the builders refused (rejected) is become the head stone of the corner (chief cornerstone) (Ps.118:22) Meaning that the pool which I rejected two days ago, I ended up embracing and enjoying yesterday. Ah Friends, you just have to LOVE how our God operates yes! Anyway, let’s consider our Bit now: ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing (steadfastly) in prayer.’ My people, that’s the true believer’s life in a nutshell! If we follow that simple prescription, we will do very well in the eyes of our Lord. Our greatest attribute and/or asset is hope; faith in our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God. We constantly hope for a better place, better people and a better world, which is ultimately heaven, so we should rejoice that there’s truly a pot of gold at the end of a believer’s rainbow; namely life with Christ forever more. This is how Jesus put it: ‘Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.’ (Luke 10:20) And all God’s people raised a mighty shout of joy and gratitude to heaven! Yes my brethren, no greater, no sweeter thrill exists on this earth than to know that your name is written in the Resurrected Lamb’s Book of Life! ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ The only problem though is that before we can get there, we have to stay patient and persevere through the tribulation that will surely bombard us in this evil, ungodly world. But that’s easier said than done Friends, especially in this current generation, because our world has reached heights of depravity and wickedness unimaginable in our parents’ times. But again, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has an answer for that: ‘In your patience, possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21 :19) And to help us do that, we need to to keep ‘continuing instant in prayer.’ Yes Friends, above all, we need to stay in constant communication with our heavenly Father! That’s all important because it’s where we derive the strength and wisdom to keep keeping on, both through the good and bad times. But unfortunately that’s a major stumbling block in too many believers’ lives these days. Oh my people, if we’d only talk to our God more, our lives would run much smoother, not necessarily easier, but we’d be able to bear whatever comes against us much better than we’re doing at present. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to our Saviour’s advice: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) Oh Friends, please let’s try and improve those essential aspects of our lives nuh: rejoicing in the hope that there’s a better world to come; persevering in spite of our trials; and standing strong and steadfast in prayer. It’s only by doing those things that we can make a positive impact on this evil world and further God’s kingdom. Much LOVE!…to be a true true believer…one must have plenty hope…plenty stick-to-itiveness…and pray plenty…
P.S. Ah Friends, the Lord does indeed test our spirits in some tough ways yes! I knew that this was going to be a memorable holiday, but definitely not in this fashion, for in the middle of writing this Bit, I got a phone call from home informing me that my mother had died. There wasn’t much I could do but continue writing, staying patient in tribulation, as I’d just been advising others. It obviously hurts, but I have to look at it from the perspective that she’s in a better place now, with Jesus, whom she LOVED and admired so much, and instilled the same feeling in me. She was indeed a godly mother… and the ole fella will miss you a whole lot Molls’ baby, but them’s the  breaks. For those of you who read the Bit and knew her, when I get back home, I will contact you re arrangements for her funeral. Much LOVE!


Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2011 Romans 12:12

 Romans 12:12.       Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.

Oh Friends, I’m here today to testify! To testify that our Lord God Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is indeed an exceedingly great God! Not only in terms of His might and power, but also in the beautiful, LOVING manner in which He raises His children. Oh my people, the Lord’s trying to tell or teach me something, but obviously I’m not listening or learning. The long and short of the story is this: You all know I was in Vegas over the weekend, having a good time, being truly blessed. Friends, when I stop and think about the way complete strangers have been treating me, I can only conclude that it’s been the hand of God, and say: ‘Thank you Lord!’ I’ve said that countless times since my vacation began. And now, as I write this Bit from a comfortable home office, somewhere in sunny California, with a nice view of trees, houses and mountains, I have to give even more thanks. Yes Friends, I am in California, don’t ask me where, not too far from L.A though. Anyway, I left Vegas yesterday around lunch time in a rented car…I even got an upgrade for the same price as the smaller car – the Lord’s hand of blessing again – so I was able to travel in the comfort I’m accustomed to. (smile) The Duchess, Cousin Sharon and I headed down through the Mojave Desert, cruising in comfort with the tunes playing and good camaraderie happening. We arrived at our host’s, the couple whose wedding we attended in Vegas, at around 5.30. It’s a nice, comfortable place with a pool that the host invited me to sample, but no, my mind was set on salt water. The family came over and the atmosphere was enriched. But Mr. Hot Stuff was intent on going to the beach. I so badly wanted to see, taste and feel the salty air and the saltiness of the ocean, tomorrow would be no good. I hadn’t waited for four years for a dip in the sea, then come so close, and yet wait another day. So my host gave me some directions and away I went, by myself. I didn’t have any real problems finding Zuma Beach, but asked for directions a couple times just to be sure I was going the right way. I got there about half an hour after setting out, exhaled a long sigh of thanks as I gazed out at the wide expanse of almost empty beach and the mighty Pacific Ocean extending as far as the eye could see. Unfortunately the water seemed a bit rough, but like a stout trooper I headed across the beach to the water’s edge, passing a man and a woman, the only two people close by, using metal detectors, searching for whatever in the sand. Uncharitably, I wondered what they expected to find. To tell the truth, I was disappointed when I saw the waves angrily frothing up the shore, and when I put my feet in the water…Brrr! was it ever cold! In fact, the whole beach area was much cooler than the interior. A young couple passed by and I asked if people actually swam in that cold water. They said yes, and often it was cooler than that, so I should just go for it. Well there was never any doubt that I would check it out, having come from so far and waited so long for it. So I got up my gumption and waded into the frothing shore breakers up to my waist. Now I don’t remember if I sat down voluntarily or if the waves threw me down, but I was suddenly enveloped by the roiling water. I tried to stand up, felt one knee pain and buckle under me, so I simply sank back down into the water. After a few more waves washed over me, I finally managed to stand up, chuckling at my sorry self. But that chuckle was short lived, for the Lord in His contrariness immediately drew my attention to my left hand and my missing wedding ring. And the hurtful part is that I considered leaving my watches and rings at home, but only left the watch, reasoning that the rings would not fall off. Obviously I was wrong. Oh Friends, that sudden realization that my wedding ring of almost forty years was gone, most likely forever, was painful and I cried out to the Lord, more in sadness and disappointment than anger. I knew there was a reason for it, though I couldn’t fathom it. I also knew the Duchess would be angry because I’d lost the first one about two months after our marriage and she’d dutifully replaced it with this one. My argument was to be; well this one lasted almost forty years. (smile) Another thing, remember those two people I saw with metal detectors on the beach and my uncharitable thought? Well I had to laugh, because now when I needed them, I looked around and they were nowhere to be found. Hn! The Lord at work again! I eventually went back into the cold, frothing water, spent about fifteen minutes splashing and being thrown around by the waves, couldn’t swim though because there was never a calm enough moment to do so. By the time I left Zuma, it was growing dark, and my soul was sad, bemoaning the loss of the ring, not the monetary value – though with the soaring price of gold it was probably worth much more then when we bought it – but for the sentimental and emotional value. But if I thought that was the end of my problems…Chuh! The fun had just begun. I navigated my way back through the canyons to the highway and got off at the right exit, then got lost. Hn, Hn! I drove around for about fifteen minutes trying to find my bearings, causing all sorts of traffic problems. Thought I had the number for my hosts, but couldn’t find it. Then while driving through a plaza, my host called me on my cell phone, but I couldn’t tell him where I was, so I went into a pizza joint in the plaza to see if they could help, but in the middle of our conversation my phone died. One of the drivers finally gave me directions, with which I found an area I recognized and headed home. But then I realized that I knew the main turn off but not the secondary one. I knew I had to go up a hill, but couldn’t find anything like that. Eventually, while driving around lost and aimless, I saw this older white woman out walking, so I stopped and asked for her help. This time it’s dark, I’m in a pair of tight short pants, barefooted, hair unkempt, possibly looking real weird and scary, but surprisingly, with no hesitation, she asked for my address so she could go and look it up on the map. Just then I also found my host’s phone number tucked away in my pants pocket, so I went into the house and suggested we call instead. She agreed and dialled the number for me. The directions proved that I wasn’t far from home, but instead of making a right turn, I should have made a left. So I thanked the lady and her husband, who’d been poring over a map, guardian angels sent to guide me safely, then continued on my way. But though I followed the directions, I still couldn’t find the place. My bladder was bursting and I was beginning to get irritable, so I just decided to drive back to a nearby plaza, find a phone somehow and ask someone to come and get me. But as usual Friends, when the Lord’s in control of your life, good things happen when needed. Just as I drove into the plaza and parked, my host pulled up beside me. The problem stemmed from poor communication; he told me to take the first left, when it should have been the second left. But as they say, all’s well that ends well. The family was happy to see me back safely, and the Duchess was so overjoyed by my safe return that she claimed the loss of the ring was an anti-climax. Thank you Lord! Ah my people, I was so hot to trot, had to go to the beach immediately, that I never considered the Lord might have wanted me to stay home and enjoy the family fellowship instead. There’s a lesson in waiting patiently on him, and I paid a price for not doing so. A price, though not disastrous, but steep enough to bring me to my senses. But also Friends, please note that at every step of my misadventure, the Lord provided someone or something to guide me safely. And that’s the beauty of our God: though we walk contrary to His Word, and He decides to instil some discipline, it’s never too much to bear, and there are always guardian angels hovering around us for protection. So why are we so afraid to embrace Him and wholeheartedly surrender our lives to His divine guidance eh? Much LOVE!…wait patiently on the Lord…and in His time…He will give you the desires of your heart…  P.S. It’s very late and long, but life and some computer problems tripped me up. And better late than never. (smile) Much LOVE!




Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2011 Jonah 2:2‏

Jonah 2:2.  And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

Aye Friends, is Monday, that very special day in our lives! (chuckle) Now don’t shoot the messenger. I’m only telling you the real reality of the situation. We can’t do anything about it, so we might as well just learn to grin and bear it. And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle hymn, with much gusto now. ‘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!’And yuh know what Friends? That blends exceedingly well with our Bit today; that haunting cry of Jonah’s, for mercy and forgiveness: ‘And said, I cried by reason (because) of mine (my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard (answered) me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.’ Wow! What an awesome God we worship my people! Out of the large fish’s body, which seemed like hell to Jonah, he cried out in despair and repentance to our God, and that mighty Being heard him. That means He’ll certainly hear us when we cry out to Him in true repentance from this hell on earth that we’re now experiencing? And no doubt Friends, we in North America definitely cried out for mercy in the last few days with hurricane Irene beating down on us, because that’s when most of us remember and /or find time for God. But He’s such a wonderful God and Father, still filled with LOVE for us, He heard our heart rending cries and took pity on us, his sinful, rebellious children. That’s why Irene didn’t do as much damage as expected. I sincerely hope that all of us offered heartfelt thanks and gratitude for our timely reprieve. Yes my brethren, when we call to the Lord with sincere hearts, He hears us and responds. As the psalmist says: ‘I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.’ (Ps.120:1) I also hope that this life threatening experience will draw many of us back to the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD, and we won’t return to the same idolatrous and lustful behaviour we were involved in before Irene shook us up. But knowing our penchant for sin, once the danger has passed and the memory begins to fade from our minds, I’m sure many of us will slowly gravitate back to our old ungodly habits, until the next time disaster comes a courting. But Friends, though our God is a most merciful and forgiving God, He’s also a God of justice and truth and He won’t allow us to keep on being rebellious indefinitely, the next time He might just turn a blind eye to our unfaithful entreaties. Bruh David truthfully said: ‘O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.’ (Ps.65:1) But that doesn’t mean we must only pray and call expectantly on God in the rough times. Our heavenly Father expects us to be constantly in touch with Him, not only when the heifer dust hits the fan and we want Him to bail us out. Oh my people, we’re like deaf ears ‘pickney’; we only listen when the roof caves in on us, but then it’s often too late. Please, let’s not go back to our sinful, ungodly ways. Remember I said yesterday that Irene was a wakeup call for our evil world, especially North America. I therefore implore us to take this whole thing seriously and let’s begin making much needed, good and godly changes to our lives, for if we don’t, we might not be as lucky the next time. Much LOVE!…he who hath ears to hear…let him hear…else he’s going to surely feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2011 Ephesians 5:20‏

Ephesians 5:20. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh Friends, it’s another beautiful, hot, sunny day in Vegas, with temps of over 100 expected again. But that doesn’t seem to faze the crowds at all. They might say it’s hot, but nonetheless continue on their merry way rejoicing. It’s now shortly after 8 a.m on Sunday morning as I sit writing this in my room overlooking the city, gazing out the big plate glass window at the marvellously sculpted, semi-circular mountain range in the distance, towering over the very flat land that lies before it. I believe the mountain range is the Colorado Rockies. Unexpectedly though, thegreat contrast between the two land masses brings to mind the  great differences between our God and us: We are like the flat land, and He is the towering mountains; strong, infallible, immovable, just, true and faithful. Then a feeling of warmth, of thanks and praise rises in my soul. And my people there are lots of things we need to give our great God thanks and praise for; the first big occasion this morning being that Hurricane Irene did not cause as much damage or loss of life as expected on the U.S. east coast. And all God’s people raised a mighty, but humble and grateful cheer to heaven! Yes Friends, it could certainly have been worse, and thankfully Irene has lost a lot of her power and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Let’s hope she doesn’t do much, if any damage to beautiful Eastern Canada, where she appears to be headed now. But she still did enough damage and inconvenienced so many millions of people in the Eastern U.S. that it will take some time for things to return to some semblance of normalcy. And that’s exactly why Bruh Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, re the ways of a believer, stresses the words of our Bit. ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Oh Friends, whatever happens, it’s essential that at all times, under all circumstances, we’re in a thankful mode concerning our God. Yes, thanks for life, health, wealth and all the other good things we enjoy,should always be on our lips. And in the rough times, we should thank Him for His faithful promise to bring us through those valleys of the shadow of death into the bright sunshine of life, like with Irene, for remember: ‘We know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) Now listen to Bruh David’s take on constant thankfulness: ‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) Yes my people, that’s the way we believers ought to consider and glorify our wonderful, merciful and forgiving God! But sadly, too many of us don’t consider Him at all, or just remember Him when we have problems we can’t solve in our own strength. That’s definitely not the way for a true believer to behave. Unfortunately though, the modern world with all its strains and stresses, it’s torrid pace of life, finds us concentrating too much on ourselves and the world, on making a living, and not enough on God. We need to slow down Friends, spend some more time smelling and admiring the roses, enjoying the things of God, being in constant companionship with Him. That’s the only way we’ll live long and prosperous lives. Lusting after the terminal things of the world, trying to emulate the rich and the powerful, only puts us under abnormal stress, stress we certainly don’t need. So Friends, with Hurricane Irene fresh in our minds, and all the problems she’s caused, less though than she could have, let’s get serious and turn seriously to our God nuh; the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD! He created us, He provides for us, He dearly LOVES us, but He will also judge and punish us for our sinful, ungodly behaviour. What will it take for us to wake up and realize the disastrous road we’re walking? Will we be obstinate and rebellious until the promised fire and brimstone rains down on us? Won’t we recognize that Irene was a major warning signal from God that our society is too idolatrous, wicked and evil and continue our ungodly ways? Who would ever have thought that one day the great metropolis of New York, the city that never sleeps, would be evacuated because of a little thing like a hurricane? None of us really, but it happened. And Friends, all the disasters that are happening close to home now are wake up calls from the Lord. He’s getting tired of our evil, ungodly shenanigans, and if we don’t put a stop to them, He will. It’s not my word, but the Lord’s, and they can be found in the Good Book, that fabulous tome of wisdom and guide to the good and prosperous life! Please my brethren, let’s learn from the mistakes and painful examples of other societies who forsook and forgot God in their times of prosperity, then were forsaken and destroyed by Him. Please, let’s not allow that to happen to our society, let’s return to Him with truly repentant hearts, and receive His mercy, grace, forgiveness and LOVE! Much LOVE!…if you don’t hear…you will surely feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2011 1 Timothy 1:19‏

1 Timothy 1:19.    Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.

Oh Friends, sorry for this being so late, but like the three hour time difference between Toronto and Vegas finally got to me. I just could not get up this morning. And seeing that I’m now living on Vegas time for the next few days, it might appear late to many of you, though to me it will be normal. But getting down to more important matters: Friends, our North American world is a mess! What with a serious hurricane on the East Coast and a heat wave on the West, things are pretty bad. Hurricane Irene seems to be mercilessly battering the East Coast, and temps in Vegas and the surrounding area will be over a hundred for another day, with no sign of it cooling down for the week. But the heat certainly doesn’t stop the Vegas strip from humming, as it was last night. Checked it out myself, but though the buildings are nice, the whole atmosphere is a tad too gaudy, superficial and excessive for my liking. And sadly, the people who could possibly least afford to lose money, are the ones giving it to the casinos in droves. But who am I to judge their business eh, when I can barely handle my own? (smile) Anyway, the more important matter right now is the mass evacuation of the East Coast, especially the shutting down of New York City. Wow! Who would have ever thought it? Irene must be really considered a high level threat for such ominous warnings to be issued and dire actions taken. Please, let’s pray for all those caught up in it. And for those of you who read the Bit, I sure hope you can do so today, whatever your situation, and that it will give you some much needed encouragement, help you keep your faith strong so that you can successfully ride out whatever problems you’re currently encountering. Now turning to our Bit: ‘Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (rejected) concerning faith have made (suffered) shipwreck.’ Yes my brethren, that holding of faith is an extremely important aspect of a believer’s life. In fact, it’s our spiritual life support system! Bruh Paul thought it essential to warn Timothy of it in the battle against evil because some of their fellow believers had either made light of or rejected the gospel, only to suffer irreparable damage afterwards. Unfortunately Friends, the same thing applies to our times. Many of us have either completely rejected the gospel of Christ, or have been merely luke warm about our faith and have  indeed suffered some serious setbacks because of it. Who knows if much of the calamity we’re presently undergoing, in all walks of life, might even be a result of our collective sinful, ungodly living? In any case people, it’s time for all men to turn to God, to repent of our sinful, evil ways, and gratefully accept the forgiveness, the mercy and saving grace of our wonderful, ever-LOVING God. It’s time to be wise and faithful! As James so wisely advises: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:13-16) Yes Friends, that’s the sure prescription for whatever ails us! And believe me, a lot of negative stuff is ailing us these days! But with strong faith in a faithful God, we can conquer anything that comes against us. And just to remind us of our God’s faithfulness and our wisdom in trusting Him, let’s listen to these very encouraging words of Jeremiah, when he was going through some very rough times. ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:21-23) Please hold on tightly to those words and the great hope they signify, my people! Whatever storm we’re going through right now, whether it be literal or figurative, the Lord God Almighty, Creator of the heavens, earth and all therein, He will see us through it all, if we cling to Him in sincere faith! So let’s just hang on to Him for dear life, and He will never let us down! Much LOVE!…the only remedy for fear…strong faith in Almighty God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2011 Luke 7:50

Luke 7:50.     And he (Jesus) said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee go in peace.

Surprise Friends, it’s Friday! The day we’ve all been anxiously waiting for to begin our weekend. And Surprise, Surprise the ole fella’s the one shouting the loudest ‘T.G.I.F! Thank God it’s Friday!’ Why? Because I’m writing this missive to you at 3 a.m. from the fifty-fifth floor of the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas! Yes Friends, the ole fella’s in Sin City U.S.A! Wow! I’m writing while looking out at the bright lights of the famous Las Vegas Strip. I haven’t seen much of the action as yet because I only got here a few hours ago and Trump’s a couple blocks away in quieter surroundings. I left T.O. at 9.p.m Thursday and got here four hours later at 10 something. The miracle of modern travel! And who says the Lord doesn’t move in mysterious ways eh! Tell dem deh lie, for He certainly does! I’m not sure if it was Paladin the old TV movies, who used to say, ‘Have gun will travel, but I’m certainly saying now: ‘Have Bible, have laptop, have passport will travel! (smile). I didn’t have the last two before, so I couldn’t go anywhere far and write the Bit, neither could I leave the country without a passport. But then the Lord in His wonderful kindness surprised me with a laptop from my children for Christmas. Then I heard about my wife’s cousin getting married in Vegas, and after having two passport forms sitting in front of me on my desk for over two years, I suddenly got the Spirit, filled out one and took some new passport photos, and voila! A couple weeks later I had all the necessary requirements for travel! Friends, that just goes to show when we wait as patiently as we can on the Lord He will eventually give us our heart’s desires, and in many cases better than that. Now I don’t know what He has planned for me in Vegas, but I know it’s not gambling,(smile) because I don’t have the desire or the funds, but I’m definitely here with an open mind, and deep down I feel that this will be a holiday to treasure in my memory chest. But enough about me, let’s get down to the Lord’s business and 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.’ And that my people can only be accomplished if we have true and strong faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, fully acknowledging that He is who He says He is, and can do what He says He can do. Faith is the most critical component of Christianity, as Jesus so vividly points out in all His doings, per example our Bit: ‘And he (Jesus) said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.’ Now here are two more examples of Jesus testifying that strong faith is of the ultimate importance in Christian maturity. The first is when He healed ten lepers while passing through a village on His way to Jerusalem. They cried out to Him from a distance: ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass that as they went, they were cleansed.'(Luke 17:11-14) But the sad part of this story is that only one of them, when he realized that he’d been healed, ‘turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And he fell down on his face at his (Jesus’) feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.’ (Luke 17:15-19) Yes Friends, only one out of the ten was grateful enough for their healing to turn back and thank the Master, and that a stranger, a Samaritan – with strong faith.Hn! But don’t turn up your noses in disgust and superiority, for many of us do the same thing: the Lord blesses us and we don’t have the good manners to say even a simple ‘Thank you Lord.’ Our final example of Jesus using faith as His basis for healing comes from the time He was approaching Jericho and a blind beggar sitting by the roadside heard the commotion and asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. ‘And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.’ Those around him told him to shut up: ‘but he cried the more, thou son Of David, have mercy on me.’ Jesus then commanded that they bring the blind man to Him, then asked him: ‘What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.’ (Luke 18:35-43) Ah Friends, what a pleasure it is to see people giving our great, generous and merciful God thanks and praise for His many blessings! Unfortunately, we don’t do it as often as we should in these godless, sinful times. Please, let’s rectify that situation nuh. The problem though is that too many of us nowadays have only the talk it faith, not the real feel it faith, so we don’t ask or believe as strongly and with enough purpose as we should. So obviously strong, true faith is sadly lacking in far too many believers today, and only as we rectify that problem, will God’s kingdom be furthered as it should. From Vegas with Much LOVE!…faith…in Jesus…is the power that moves mountains…that turns them into molehills…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2011 Luke 7:50‏

Luke 7:50.   And he (Jesus) said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Oh Friends, our world is being bombarded from all sides. Two days ago, an earthquake of magnitude 5.9, centred in Virginia, struck the Eastern U.S. but it was felt all the way up to Toronto. That area of the U.S. has not experienced anything of that magnitude for a long time. Then last night, Southern Ontario suffered through numerous harsh thunderstorms, featuring heavy rain and many pretty bursts of lightning. Luckily, the tornado warnings for the area did not come true. And by the weekend, the first major hurricane of the season, Irene, presently bashing the Bahamas, is slated to hit the U.S and Canadian East Coasts, no doubt unleashing further destruction. What does it all mean eh Friends, this sudden spate of natural disasters? Some say it’s Armageddon time, others say it’s not. Who knows for sure? Only the Lord in His high heaven! But what I do know is that this is a time for true repentance and a wholesale return to diligently serving and worshipping the Lord God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the magnificent, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Deity who created us, still LOVES and looks after us despite our sinful, wicked ways. Oh my people, our once beautiful world is being destroyed in great part because of our evil, ungodly behaviour and attitudes. And only through a strong faith in Almighty God can this serious and rapid decline be halted. Our Bit says it loud and clear: ‘And he (Jesus) said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.’ Yes my brethren, it’s the woman’s strong, bold, daring faith that saved her. She was willing to sacrifice her time, money and possibly freedom to enter the Pharisee’s house and minister to Jesus. How many of us today would be willing to dare such bold conduct eh? Not too many I suspect. But as we noted yesterday, it’s that overpowering, overwhelming kind of faith we need in these troubled times, if Christ’s kingdom is to be enlarged. Note too, that every time Jesus did any miraculous healing, He always made sure to base it on the person(s) faith, as we saw with the woman in our Bit and the two blind men yesterday. Let’s look at a couple more examples. First up is the story of the Canaanite (Gentile, heathen) woman, whose daughter was demon-possessed. She cried out to Jesus to heal her daughter, but He didn’t reply until the disciples begged Him to send her away. ‘But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet (good, right) to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.’ (Matt.15:24-27) Jesus was here telling her that He came to save the Jews, not the Gentiles, and it was wrong to take what rightly belonged to the Jews; ‘the children’s bread,’ and give it to their pet dogs, (the Gentiles). But the woman had an answer for Him; namely that dogs eat whatever falls from their master’s table anyway, so it didn’t make much difference. She knew exactly what was possible through Jesus’ power although she was a Gentile, and persevered until Jesus could no longer refuse her request. She had passed His test of faith. ‘Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee as thou wilt (desire). And her daughter was made whole (well) from that very hour.’ (Matt.15:28.) Isn’t it strange Friends, how the ones Jesus came to save first, the Jews, refused to believe, but the heathens believed without as much urging? Here is another, even more touching example of great faith; the woman who was plagued by an issue of blood for twelve years, having tried many doctors and remedies without any success. Now on this particular day, Jesus was on His way to see the sick daughter of Jairus, one of the leaders in the synagogue. When the woman heard that Jesus was passing through her town, with nothing left to lose, she decided to go out and see if He could heal her. Unfortunately, the crowd that followed Jesus was so large, it seemed hopeless. (Mark 5:21-26) But she too, like the Canaanite woman, persevered and pushed through the crowd until she touched Jesus’ clothes: ‘For she said, if I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole (healed). And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:28-29) And though it seemed a trivial, inconsequential moment, Jesus felt His power drained by her touch, and turned about in the crowd and asked who had touched Him. The disciples were surprised by the question in such a large crowd, but Jesus knew that something special had happened and continued looking around the crowd for the culprit. ‘But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole (healed) of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:33-34) Yes Friends, it’s all about faith; belief, trust and surrender! And we’ll end with another pertinent example. Right after the woman was healed, news came from Jairus’ house saying that his daughter was dead, so there was no need to bring Jesus to see her again. But when Jesus heard that, His words to Jairus were: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:36) Oh my people, that truth still stands today! Let’s take hold of it and run with it nuh, for it’s the ONLY way that our woes will be lessened and our children’s children assured of a brave and bright new world. Much LOVE!…trust and obey…for there’s no other way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2011 Luke 7:50‏

Luke 7:50.    And he (Jesus) said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Ah Friends, it’s amazing how life can suddenly change from one instant to the next! We’re talking in particular here about the town of Goderich in Southern Ontario, which proclaimed itself as ‘the prettiest town in Canada.’ Hn! Well not anymore nuh! That wonderful distinction was made null and void at around 4 p.m last Sunday afternoon when a violent tornado, possibly the worst ever seen in these parts, savagely tore though the lakeside town. Packing winds between 250 and 300 km/h, the tornado ravaged the pretty town in minutes, leaving it looking like a war zone. Luckily, it seems that only one life was lost in the tragedy, but it just urgently brings home the need for us to live as close to God as possible, because we don’t know when all the good things we enjoy and take for granted will suddenly come tumbling down. And that certainly has been the experience of many towns and cities across North America this year. Now yesterday we spoke of the unexpected passing of Jack Layton, the Leader of the Opposition in the Federal Government, which drew a great outpouring of LOVE. It seems that he knew his time was short and over the weekend drafted a last letter to Canadians. Here are some excerpts: ‘Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change… My friends, LOVE is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be LOVING, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.’ Oh Friends, those are words of absolute truth! And furthermore, they don’t only pertain and apply to Canada, but to all the world! With so much strife, fear and hatred polluting our world, those are the things we need to predominate if we ever want to see better days. LOVE, Hope, Optimism; in other words, FAITH, and lots of it, is needed to bring serious, positive change to our strife torn planet. No wonder Jesus’ pronouncement in our Bit: ‘And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.’ And that’s a fact! The woman didn’t only have much faith, but also a bold, daring, confident faith, otherwise she would not have dared to enter the rich Pharisee’s house uninvited, knowing her low social status and all the negativity it entailed. Then having the chutzpah to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears, dry them with her hair and anoint them with the fragrant ointment could only come from a great inner commitment. Oh my people, that is exactly the kind of daring, committed faith we are expected to have, and need to have if we are to make any serious headway in these troubled times. Without that strong confidence in our God, we’ll be beaten down and rendered useless by the enemy’s continuous assault. Remember, he doesn’t give up, is always on the prowl, so we need to ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ (1 Pet.5:8) Or as the old people would say: ‘Drunk or sober, mind yuh business.’ (smile) And on the matter of faith, where Jesus was personally concerned, listen to His modus operandi. This example concerns His healing of two blind men, who followed Him and cried: ‘Thou son of David, have mercy on us. And when Jesus was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened;’ (Matt.9:27-30) Yes Friends, Jesus could do anything, but He first desired His subjects to believe and have faith, and the amount of their faith dictated whether their wishes would come true or not. And nothing has changed since then. We are still required to have faith pertaining to all that we do and ask for. Without it, our deeds most probably won’t flourish, and our requests won’t be well considered by the Almighty. So please my brethren, let’s ramp up our faith nuh. Let’s take it to a higher level so that we can accomplish more in Jesus’ Name. Amen! More on this tomorrow, our God willing. Till then – keep the faith steadfast and strong! Much LOVE!…remember…all things are possible…only believe…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2011 Luke 7:50‏

Luke 7:50.    And he (Jesus) said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Oh Friends, it’s a sad day in Canada; actually a day of mourning, for Jack Layton, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, died yesterday of that dreadful scourge cancer. He was one of the few half-decent politicians in the country. And I say half-decent because nowadays the very word ‘politician’ bears connotations of dubious, distrustful qualities. Jack Layton though, seemed to stand up for what he believed in, ostensibly, the working-man. I guess when we talk about life being unfair, he could be the current poster boy. For years his NDP party, branded the voice of labour, languished in the nether regions of Parliament, with only a handful of seats compared to the mighty Conservative and Liberal parties. However, in last year’s Federal Elections, the NDP, with Jack at its helm, shellacked the once powerful Liberals to at long last become the country’s official Opposition Party. As a man though, he was not immune to human frailty, having had hip surgery recently and previous bouts with cancer. But he seemed to be doing okay, walking around with his cane, until a few weeks ago, when he took a hiatus from the leader’s job to concentrate on wrestling the cancer that had resurfaced. He vowed to be back soon, but unfortunately, the cancer obviously overwhelmed him. Ah Lord eh! Just when he’d reached the pinnacle for which he’d laboured so long and hard, he was struck down. Just when he’d achieved the status and power where he could arguably make a worthwhile difference, at fifty something, in the prime of his life, he was denied the opportunity to show what he could really do. It does seem grossly unfair, but as believers, we need to remember that in spite of whatever unfortunate things happen in our lives, our God was, is and will always be a good God. And that’s the gospel truth! Please offer up some prayers for the Layton family in their time of grief, and also some for our great country, that a capable leader from the opposition benches will soon emerge to provide godly guidance, and be as much a foil as possible to the authoritarian government currently in power. Now turning to our Bit: ‘And he (Jesus) said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.’ Oh Friends, the word ‘faith’ or ‘strong belief’ was a necessary characteristic in all of Jesus’ earthly doings. The particular instance in our Bit deals with the time Jesus was dining at Simon, a wealthy Pharisee’s house, when a woman, a known sinner, appeared uninvited with a flask of fragrant ointment. She washed his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, then anointed them with the sweet smelling ointment. (Luke 7:36-38) Obviously the hypocritical Pharisee was upset, but Jesus, in His own inimitable manner, straightened out Simon with the parable of the creditor. (Luke 7:41- 47) Then Jesus told the woman: ‘Thy sins are forgiven.’ (Luke 7:48) Hn! That only further stirred up the company of diners, with each silently pondering: ‘Who is this that forgiveth sins also?’ (Luke 7:49) Ah my people, faith is the very basis of our Christian existence. When Jesus tried to teach His disciples forgiveness, (Luke 17:1-4) their response was; ‘And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine (mulberry) tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’ (Luke 17:5-6) That just goes to show how strong even a little faith can be! Unfortunately though my brethren, Christian faith is not something that can be taught. One can be directed to it, and given glowing examples of it, but in the long run, faith is an individual thing that must be personally experienced, built through complete trust and total surrender, hardship and misfortune, through humility and steadfast belief in the gospel of Jesus and the great Triune God we worship. And since we desperately need it to live a successful Christian life, it means that we have to make a conscious decision to put our noses to the grindstone and labour on – in faith. Oh Friends, time and space have run out, but we’ll continue this topic tomorrow, providing God’s in favour. Till then, keep the faith – steadfast and strong! Much LOVE!…Jesus…the perfect example …of faith personified…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2011 1 Timothy 2:8‏

1 Timothy 2:8.     I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday! Yes, the day we all LOVE to hate! But please remember that hate is a word that’s not supposed to exist in the believers’ vocabulary, nor the negative emotion it produces, in our hearts. So with that in mind, let’s suck it up nuh, and get out into the wicked world and fight for what we claim to believe in. Now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get our adrenalin flowing. ‘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!’ Ah Friends, that dovetails nicely with our Bit: ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ Bruh Paul intends that believers in every area must pray. And my people, I sure hope that wherever you were just now; at home, school, work, the park, library, on the bus, or anywhere else, that you prayed our Monday Morning Battle Hymn without shame, disgrace or hesitation, but with much enthusiasm. Jesus our Saviour gave us the perfect example of praying any and everywhere when He prayed His last earthly body prayer from the cross. ‘Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…’ (Luke 23:34) Regardless of our geographical position or location, all people infused with the Holy Spirit of Christ must pray; be it at a given time, or whenever necessary, but pray we must. And how ought we to pray? By ‘lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ What does that mean? Basically by living a holy and righteous life, from which things like constant anger, bitterness, doubts and disputes are absent. The psalmist in his exhortation to praise, puts it thus: ‘Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.’ (Ps.134:1-3) Oh my brethren, a believer’s greatest tool on this earth is prayer, because it’s our main source of communication with God. Note how Jesus constantly talked to His Father in heaven, for that was where His strength and power ultimately came from. Consequently, we must not be afraid to use it at any time, any place or in any situation, for only as much as we talk to God, will He talk to us. So if we truly desire to hear from Him, let’s pray – anywhere and everywhere – as the occasion warrants – without fear – but in steadfast faith – bubbling over with godly enthusiasm! Much Love!…prayer is the element…that binds us to God…like crazy glue…


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