Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 January 2022 Psalm 34:19.

Psalm 34:19.       Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.    

Well friends, after today our sanctuary will be closed again for another few weeks. As a result of the unnerving spike of the Omicron virus, the government has further clamped down on lots of stuff. And though our worship service would not have been much affected, the leadership of our denomination decided to play it safe and shut all their sanctuaries until things lighten up.

So from next week, we will be back to only technological means of worship. And to set us off on the right foot for this last Sunday of physical worship, is a most appropriate song titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ Now that anchor is Jesus my people. And it does hold, if you believe it will.

The song was born in 1992 from the frustration and rough times of a burned our pastor Lawrence Chewning, a time when his wife also had her third miscarriage. It led him to take a six month sabbatical, most of which he spent playing the piano and talking to God, and during those moments of reflection and prayer, he created the song. Eventually, Chewning mentioned the story of the song God had given him to singer Ray Boltz, who remodelled it and released it in 1995.

And with that inspiring story under our belt, let’s sing a soulful, heartfelt, mid-tempo version of  ‘The Anchor Holds,’ letting all heaven and earth know that we are indeed sincere in our sacrifices of praise this day of the Lord. ‘I have journeyed, Through the long, dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone, Sight unknown And yet His eyes, were watching me. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.

I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams, I’ve even held them in my hand, But I never knew, They would slip right through, Like they were only grains of sand. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Oh, I have been young, but I am older now, thank the Lord, And there has been beauty, that these eyes have seen, But it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that’s where God proved, His LOVE for me.

The anchor holds, though my ship is battered. The anchor holds, though my sails are torn. And I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.  I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Thank You Jesus! I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.’

Oh my people, it’s easy to sing the very moving and inspirational words of the song, but it’s much more difficult to put those words into action in our lives. However, with each storm we face, with Jesus as our anchor and helmsman, our faith in Him grows, and it becomes a tad easier to do each time. And though it’s not the most desirable aspect of our Christian faith, it’s only through personal experience that we are able to grow and come up higher.

And I know that we have all faced experiences that seemed like they would hit us for six, but when all hope seemed lost  and we got down on our knees during the raging storm and held on for dear life to that solid anchor called Jesus, we were able to successfully battle the stormy seas in a battered ship with torn sails. Oh my faithful brethren, only the anchor named Jesus can cause us to accomplish such eventful deeds under such trying circumstances! That’s why it’s ever so important, so necessary to have Him as a major part of our lives.

And why is that you ask, (smile) despite all that we’ve just spoken of? I believe Bruh David puts it best in Psalm 34, where he confidently declares: ‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto (near to) them  that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked : and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate (condemned, held guilty). The Lord redeemth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (condemned, found guilty). (Ps. 34:17-22)

Now, I personally can’t find any arguments with those sentiments, but just in case you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to his son, Cousin Sol, reputedly the richest and wisest man who ever lived. He says in Proverbs: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (calamity).’ (Prov. 24:16) Yes friends, as the scholars’ so rightly tell us: ‘The righteous man always recovers, but the wicked man faces permanent destruction.’ And yes, it might not happen right away, and we ought not fret about the ways of the evil doers, just continue doing what we know is right.

Now, if you still don’t believe in God’s power to hold you up in times of storm, then listen to the prophet Micah, as he talks about God’s concern for His people. He warns: ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be light unto me.’ (Mic. 7:8)

And we are going to end with one powerful example of how the Lord looks after His people and catches the wicked in their own snare. Remember back in Babylon when the king’s right hand man, Haman, plotted to eradicate the Jews and built a gallows fifty cubits high to hang his hated enemy, the righteous Mordecai, Queen Esther’s uncle? You can read the whole story in the Book of Esther. But just listen to what eventually happened to the wicked Haman. The Good Book says: ‘So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified (subsided).’ (Esth. 7:10)

Yes my fellow saints, Haman was what you call hoisted on his own petard, that’s injured, or done in by the same thing he created to injure or do in someone else. So please, please, let that be a serious warning for us. The wicked will get their comeuppance in the Lord’s time. It’s His solemn promise, and we all know that He keeps every promise He makes. Much LOVE!

…to God be the glory…through Jesus…the Son…                                                                                                                                                                          

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 August 2021 Proverbs 24:16.

Proverbs 24:16.      For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity). 

And it seems like it’s going to be another glorious summer Saturday in August! O give thanks to our wonderful God for the many wonders of nature He’s created for us to enjoy! Ah friends, the splendour of the bright noonday sun, the exhilarating colours of the heavens, the flowers, the birds, and all the other bright hued components of nature, just prove that our God is not only omnipotent but also has a great eye for beauty, is indeed the artist for the ages! Give Him much thanks and praise! 

And having done that, let’s get down to brass tacks now, checking out the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week. And the first one says: ‘I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.’ Now that’s a statement that ought to be true of all of us my people! We should always try to be true to ourselves and not capitulate to the wishes and desires of others, regardless of who they may be and their position in our society. 

But, unfortunately, it’s a situation to which many of us fall prey. We accept the rightness of others over that of ourselves and go around thinking much less of ourselves than we ought to. Believe me though, the worse thing we can possibly do in this life is to go around disliking ourselves. And as to the more intense sentiment of abhorring ourselves, brother, that should never ever even enter our minds because that just kills all the joy in our souls. 

Remember, you have to be with yourself every minute of every hour of every day, and abhorrence of oneself will certainly play a big and most likely negative part in the formation and structure of your life. Please do not forget the second great commandment as pronounced by Jesus: ‘Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thy self.’ (Matt. 22:39) And if you dislike or abhor yourself, logic dictates that your LOVE for your neighbour will be poor to non-existent. 

Then we have this interesting quote: ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’ And that’s ever so true! Children are young, malleable and pliable and can much more easily be formed or conformed to the image we desire, than trying to change those already set in their ways. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. 

Now it’s not that you can’t, but it’s ever so difficult to teach someone set in their ways and thinking new skills, especially if the skillset needed is completely new to them. That’s like teaching older folks to use a computer in these modern times, where almost everything is computerized. But you’ll note how quickly children acquire those same computer skills, because they have nothing else to compare it to, or nothing to throw out before they can embrace it. 

That brings to mind this scripture from Jesus, where he explains greatness. ‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 18:3) Meaning that we must all become like children, humble, malleable, teachable and willing to receive and accept His word without a lot of resistance. Just threw that in as a li’l food for thought. (smile) 

Then comes this quote: ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.’ And that’s for certain sure! If you want any kind of power at all, in any sphere whatsoever, you will always have demands made by the very same power you wield! Just look at political leaders, teachers, judges, doctors, etc. They all wield some kind of power, but that same power demands that they do certain things, follow certain rules and behave in certain ways. 

Even dictators, who supposedly can do what they want, are still constrained by that very power in certain circumstances. It’s also true of the lowliest rank of power, like the captain of a kindergarten team. You may pick whom you desire, but you still have rules to follow. (smile) So for those of us who desire power so badly, that we are willing to sell our souls for it, please realize that power itself is a very demanding and ofttimes very intractable (ungovernable) mistress. (smile) 

And the last quote advises: ‘You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.’ Oh, so true, so true, my brethren! And that applies ever so much to Christians, because in Christ, there is NO giving up! Yes my fellow believers, there are no words like defeat or give up in Christ’s vocabulary. You might lose, but you are NEVER defeated, which means you NEVER give up! And Cousin Sol lays it on the line for us: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity).’ (Prov. 24:16) 

Yes friends, the believer in Christ may fall many times, but he gets back up every time and continues the good fight in Christ’s name. Hear how the prophet Micah puts it nuh: ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.’ (Mic. 7:8) Truer words were never spoken or written my fellow saints in Christ! We are always expected to stand up again when we stumble, and we can do that because we have the wonderful power of Christ, whereby ‘We can do all things, through Christ who strengthens us!’ (Phil. 4:13) 

But friends, I think it’s also important that we note the other side of the coin, so to speak. Cousin Sol tells us: ‘Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him (it seems like evil in his eyes), and he turn away his wrath from him.’ (Prov. 24:18) 

Oh, I know it’s not easy, but despite our successes, we are not to laugh at out enemy’s demise or calamity because it is liable to displease God, who doesn’t like us crowing or boasting of our supposedly superior efforts and achievements, especially since He is the one that enables us to rise and be successful. So, in closing, let’s remember to never give up, to get back up each time we fall, but also don’t boast or laugh at our enemies’ problems, for our God doesn’t like it. Much LOVE!

…lording it over others…taking pleasure in their stumbling…displeases our God…                                                                                                                             

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                    

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2021 Psalm 73:26.

Psalm 73:26.     ​My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (the rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Oh friends, it’s such a wonderful feeling to wake up and realize that our heavenly Father has given us another day of life, one filled with His awesome blessings and LOVE! Let’s not misuse such an unbelievable gift nuh, because if we don’t show the proper attitude and gratitude, one day He might just decide not to allow us to wake up to another beautiful day. You know He has the power to do it. And believe me, that would be to our detriment not His. 

So every morning that He’s kind enough to open our eyes to the world, evil though it may be, let’s give Him sincere thanks and praise for that awesome blessing, so that He may continue our earthly journey and empower us to do His work with excellence and powerful faith! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

And today we’ll talk about something that’s of great concern to so many of us in these very trying times, where many of us are seeing our lives fall apart before our very eyes, and are thus terrified as we slowly and ofttimes with no apparent recourse, journey down the sorrowful path we call failure. Yes friends, the fear of failure in this pandemic time is very real. In fact, many have already suffered, succumbed that terrible indignity through no fault of their own. So how do we combat this real demon that’s stalking so many of us eh? 

To begin, let’s get a few facts about what constitutes failure or what we believe it is, from the writings of Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. He says: ‘Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure…It does mean you haven’t succeeded yet. Failure doesn’t mean you have accomplished nothing…It does mean you have learned something. Failure doesn’t mean you have been a fool…It does mean you had a lot of faith. Failure doesn’t mean you have been disgraced…It does mean you were willing to try. 

Failure doesn’t mean you don’t have it…It does mean you have to do something in a different way. Failure doesn’t mean you are inferior…It does mean you are not perfect. Failure doesn’t mean you’ve wasted your life…It does mean you have a reason to start afresh. Failure doesn’t mean you should give up…It does mean you must try harder. Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never make it…It does mean it will take a little longer. Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you…It does mean God has a better idea.’ 

Oh my people, all those words of Gramps Schuller are gospel truth. What the world terms failure is nonsense, because failure only happens when we give up. But until then, we always have a chance to succeed. And if you’re a believer in Christ Jesus, then it automatically behooves you to NEVER GIVE UP, because there is NO GIVING UP in Jesus! 

When the world says that we’ve failed, all it really means is that we’ve got to start again, try again, for success very seldom comes with the first, second or even third try. Just ask people like Walt Disney, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. All of them failed numerous times, but they kept on trying, and eventually succeeded. What’s the children’s song? ‘It’s a lesson all should heed, Try, try, try again; If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try, try again; Then your courage will appear, If you only persevere, You will conquer, never fear! Try, try, try again.’ 

That’s the awesome truth of the situation my brethren. Failure wants you to give up, but success calls for you to keep on trying, to persevere, to endure. And yes, many of us know all that stuff, but we have never gone through a time of worldwide sickness and strife like we are now experiencing, so there are no concrete examples to follow, and thus we are at a total loss at where to turn, when everything bad seems to be coming our way. 

‘Fear not,’ friends. Those were the words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ continually used to those around Him when their faith was low or non-existent. He also said: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ (John 14:1) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter. Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instructions about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.’ 

And yuh see what a difference the apostles made with only promises, several of which have long come true before our time – like the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, answered prayer, spiritual power and His awesome peace – and we now enjoy them as normal aspects of our Christian heritage. So friends, when we turn to Jesus, failure should not be a part of our makeup, because we know that He never gave up, He fought through all the shame and disgrace and persecution on our behalf, and expects the same of us. 

Remember, we are His ambassadors, and as such, we have to represent him properly. And my fellow believers, there are so many scriptures in the Good book that encourage us to not give up, to stand strong and endure. Let’s look at a couple nuh. Hear Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘For a just man faileth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity). (Prov. 24:16) Yuh see that people? The one who sincerely believes in Jehovah God keeps getting up EVERYTIME he falls. 

Now hear Asaph, the psalmist in his famous Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness, where he found himself envying the wicked their prosperity, until he went into God’s house and understood their end, and thankfully concluded. ‘My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (the rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from (are unfaithful to) thee. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare (hn,hn) all thy works.’ (Ps. 73:26-28) 

Yes my fellow saints, it is indeed good and wise for us to draw near to God and put our trust in Him, for He’s the Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein, and our fate is in His hands. So now, for all of us who acknowledge that indisputable fact, let’s go home declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most excellent position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it’s a fact that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. So let’s hold on tightly to Jesus my people! Much LOVE!

…keep looking to Jesus…and failure will not overtake you… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2015 Psalm 55:22‏

Psalm 55:22.   Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).

Well Friends, that long awaited day, Friday, is finally here! And most of us are already shouting ‘Glory to God! TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here, especially this one; this Thanksgiving weekend! Brother! The partying and giving of thanks will be memorable! Thank You again God that it’s Friday!’ 

Ah Friends, what can I say eh? Not much really. This is indeed the weekend we in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving Day. We do it in October, unlike the Americans, who do it in November. And I have a little secret to share with you. I begun my celebrations yesterday, because it was the duchess’ birthday… 

And don’t even venture to ask how old she is! (smile) Remember a lady doesn’t tell her age, just like she doesn’t kiss and tell. Oh I can just feel the fire and brimstone ready to fall on I, if I ever divulge that bit of information! (smile) But I’m a tad smarter than that. Anyway, the celebration wasn’t anything big, just a small family gathering, so there was no need to go overboard. 

Now, I would be rather amiss if I did not remind us of Granny’s ever so important warning at times like these. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

Oh Friends, I know that it can be a bit of a drag, but it’s a good drag, reminding us not to get ourselves involved in any thing ungodly, or anything that will give the deceitful Lucifer even a toehold in our affairs. And that’s quite easy to do when we let our hair down and behave like we don’t have a care in the world. 

Anyway, as usual, to give us a better perspective on how to spend the weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant with a serious sense of purpose nuh. Altogether now: ‘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.’ 

That’s more like it my people! As Jeeves would say, just a modicum of circumspection. And since we can’t ever hope to avoid or resist the tempter on our own, we need to do as our Bit so wisely advises us. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Remember yesterday, we saw what Bruh David had to say about the situation in Psalm 37; Fret not thyself over evildoers, but Trust in the Lord…Delight thyself in Him…Commit thy way to Him…Rest in Him…  

Yes my people, when we do those things we will come up over the enemy EVERY time! 

Later on in the Psalm he also made this confident proclamation: ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. 

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread. He is ever (always) merciful, and lendeth; and his seed (descendants) is blessed.’ (Ps. 37:23-26) 

And Bruh David should know whereof he speaks, because he rose from humble beginnings to be Israel’s most powerful king, not in his own strength, but in the Lord’s! Likewise my brethren, we can also rise from humble beginnings to great heights in God’s realm if we accept His Son Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and faithfully follow His commandments. 

Now listen to Cousin Sol’s take on the subject from Proverbs. ‘Lay not wait (do not lie in wait), O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil (assault) not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity).’ (Prov.24:15-16) 

Sure words of wisdom from Cousin Sol my brethren! Regardless of how many times the righteous falls, the Lord will always pick him back up again! What a wonderful promise! 

And we’ll end with these wise words from Peter. ‘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) More words of truth and wisdom my people! 

And here’s a li’l something extra from Peter, that’s especially appropriate for this Thanksgiving weekend. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen’ (1 Pet.5:8-11) 

That’s Granny’s warning in the long form! (smile) Now Friends, let’s go out and put all that we’ve learned today into action nuh, so that we can all be assessed as the righteous seed of God, for in that there is abundant wisdom! Much LOVE!

…on whom would it make the most sense…to lay all our cares and concerns on… than on the Creator of this universe…the omnipotent Jehovah God…who controls the world…and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…who died to pay for our sins…