Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2019 Hebrews 12:14.

Hebrews 12:14.    ​Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

 

Welcome to another hot and hazy day in Kingston, Jamaica my dear people! I don’t know if it’s just cloud cover, dust from factory outputs, or a combination of both, but the haze they generate keep preventing me from seeing the nearby harbour and the distant mountains properly! But yuh know what? I’ll take it over the cold weather every time! (smile) And I hear that you all might be having snow, lots of it, for Thanksgiving next week. Hn! Just make sure it’s all gone by the time I get back oui! (smile) 

But it’s Friday all over the world, and what happens on a Friday? Working people sing their weekend song of short freedom. So let’s hear what the workingman has to say today nuh. And as always, he’s quite vocal: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend! Mama Yo! Is party fuh so! From tonight, right back to Monday night! Might’n be even able to go to the slave driver work on Tuesday nuh, cause ah all partied out… 

And so it should be, because is Thanksgiving weekend, so we have to give plenty thanks for all we have…and giving plenty thanks involves having plenty parties. So we can all shout: ‘Party! Party! Party!’ Yeh it’s going to be a hot time in the land this weekend, what with all the gobble gobble (turkey) on the table, the pumpkin pie and what have you! And the drinks going to flow like water too! Yuh better believe that! Brother, the Lord surely not going to be able to say we not thankful nuh! Give Him thanks for Fridays and weekends that we have a li’l freedom to do we own thing!’ 

Yeh friends, it’s all meet and right to celebrate and give thanks for our many blessings, but as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t be like the ordinary workingman and go way out on the limb, we have to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, ah beg yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ And yuh better believe if we don’t mind our p’s and q’s the devil going to mind them for us, getting into our business and screwing them up even more than we already doing. That’s why our Friday Chant is not as ebullient and effusive as the workingman’s song. We take a somewhat more serious look at the situation. 

So please chant with me now nuh in all sincerity: ‘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.’ Yeh friends, let us enjoy ourselves, but with a modicum of circumspection, as butler Jeeves would say. 

And following on from that, we come to where we left off in the scriptures yesterday, re Hebrews warning against disobedience. The author wisely tells us: ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail (fall short) of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane (godless) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat (food) sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited (wanted to inherit) the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.’ (Heb.12:14-17) 

And what does all of that mean? Hear the scholars: ‘12:15. Root of bitterness accurately portrays the nature of bitterness. First it is hidden, but when it is discovered its noxious roots have spread and it springs up as something much bigger and more destructive (cf. Deut.29:18).’ That’s gospel truth friends; the roots of bitterness spread far and wide and fast like a cancer! ‘12:16-17.Profane person: This profanity (Gr. bebelos) involves far more than one’s speech; it is a quality of one’s life. The author sees this quality exemplified in Esau, even though Esau was not a vile man. In fact, he was less of a crook than his brother Jacob. 

The author accurately focuses on the one area that revealed Esau as profane – the selling of his birthright. To “profane” is to regard something as unhallowed, to treat something sacred as common. Being totally concerned with his temporary and material needs, Esau gave them priority over his rights as the firstborn son and his responsibilities as the heir to the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant. (Gen.25:29-34). The result in Esau’s life was that afterward, when he wanted the blessing, he was rejected. He repented with tears, but the situation was irrevocable.’ 

Ah mih people, many of us like to take the easy way out, then regret it, and try to turn it around, but unsuccessfully. It’s like burning a bridge behind you, then wanting to go back the same way you came. That’s ofttimes impossible. So please let’s think before we act nuh, and thus not get ourselves in those untenable and often irreversible situations. 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘Be not wise in your own conceits (estimation). Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:16c-18, 21) 

And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul, then listen to Bruh David from way back when: ‘What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.’ (Ps.34:12-15) 

What more can I say eh mih people? Not a whole lot. Bruh David and Bruh Paul said it, so who am I to say them nay eh? So let’s be wise and sensible and godly and do like they advise us nuh, because anything else will just bring disaster. Much LOVE!

…blessed are the peacemakers…for they shall be called…the children of God… 

P.S. The first of the big parties, the Gala, is tonight. So as the man said…Party fuh so! But with Granny’s warning in mind. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2019 1 John 1:4.

1 John 1:4.    And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
 
And was it ever a beautiful day yesterday…a perfect representation of what a typical summer day should be – bright, warm sun, blue skies, birds singing merrily, and a cool breeze to keep it all refreshing! And this Canada Day Monday is supposed to be an exact replica of yesterday. So there should be nothing like rain to rain on our parade, (smile) and celebrations all over this beautiful country should go off without a hitch, this one hundred and fifty second year of our blessed existence! 

 

But let’s remember right off the bat to heed Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, for heaven’s sake, please mind yuh business!’ And yes, I know yuh tired hearing it, but is only for your good, because when we celebrating too heartily, we tend to lose our sense of balance, both literally and figuratively, (smile) and morality, as well as right and wrong just go flying through the window, and in comes the enemy to make us do stuff we’ll seriously regret when we regain our balance. 

So do celebrate, but as Jeeves would say, with a modicum of circumspection, please keep one eye open all the time! And I feel for those of you who have to go out and labour this loverly Monday morn, but them’s just the breaks, you need to put food on the table. Doh worry, your day will come, and then you can laugh and croak hoarsely as we declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to boost our spirits, chase away the evil one and lighten our load.  

So altogether 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 as always, those who don’t have to go to work today, and most likely have been partying all weekend were the loudest and most raucous. But it did lift our spirits and get us enthused enough to go out and do Jesus’ work with a healthy and wholesome attitude! 

And to boost us even more, listen, as I do like John in his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ Oh mih breddren, how wonderful is that eh? The ole fella writing you so that you could be full of joy! (smile) 

And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13, but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’ 

Yes friends, knowing Christ, and walking with Him does bring a great sense of satisfaction and purpose! And who would know that better than John eh, as he walked personally with Jesus here on earth, and reminds us that his is an eyewitness account, (vs.1-3)  not hearsay like so many others. Anyway, here is John’s secondary purpose in writing his first epistle. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

And all Christ’s followers cried out with a loud voice: ‘Praise His Holy Name! For He is indeed worthy of praise!’ And without a doubt our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of our praise my people! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about all of that nuh. 

‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus: John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good: there is thus no or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ 

‘1:6.Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ And unfortunately, we do have too many of those hanging out in the church these days. But we just have to leave them to God…and their consciences, if they have any left. 

‘1:7. “God is light” (vs.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf.Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth, for it is by the shedding of Jesus’ blood that we were set free from sin! His sacrificial blood paid the overwhelming price, the gargantuan debt for our sin. And that’s why it’s ever so important for His followers to recognize the exceeding great value of blood in our freedom and thus work sincerely and diligently to make it worth Jesus’ while by living good with each other and spreading the good news of His gospel! Much LOVE!

…if blood doesn’t flow…sin can’t be forgiven…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2019 Romans 12:17.

Romans 12:17.   Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men.
 
Ah my fellow believers, what an anti-climatic situation! Yes, in the heat, in the heart of our Easter Celebrations, the most important event in our faith, or rather the most important event in man’s history since the Creation, Easter Monday rolls around and many of us have to go back out to labour for our daily bread! 

Chuh! How unfortunate that the evil and ungodly world doesn’t consider Easter important enough to make the Monday following a public holiday. But some of them do think that it’s okay, in fact quite right to massacre Christians in their churches and elsewhere at Easter, as was so shamelessly done this past weekend in Sri Lanka! Ah Lord eh! When will the foolishness end eh? 

But let’s leave that topic alone for now and consider the importance of what happened at Easter time; the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ from the grave! Glory to God! And yuh know what friends, even though the ungodly world would like to trample on our physical celebrations, they can’t trample on the joy that the resurrection of Jesus Christ stimulates in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! Absolutely not!!! And yes we need three exclamations marks there! (smile) 

For by God’s great grace, mercy and forgiveness, they can’t destroy the assurance of our own resurrection, and the ever-faithful promise of salvation and eternal life that Jesus’ triumphant victory over hell, death, the grave and our arch-foe Satan provides! Glory to God my people!

Give Him overwhelming praise and thanks for the overwhelming and unconditional LOVE He showed for us undeserving sinners when He sacrificed His only, sinless Son so selflessly for us on that old rugged cross of Calvary! 

So today, even if you’re out labouring, please keep that joy and assurance flowing freely and joyfully as you go about your tasks diligently and excellently, as Jesus desires of His followers.

And yes, you might have needed this a tad earlier, but it’s NEVER too late to pray. So let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with the gumption, confidence and enthusiasm that Easter Sunday has raised up in us! 

Altogether 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!’ 

Oh friends, by the enthusiasm, gravelly voices and slurred words, I can tell that I’m not the only one caught up in the throes of excitement and celebration of this most wonderful Easter Season! As always, those of us not going to work are rather vociferous on these occasions, but please remember Granny’s warning, ‘Sonny boy, please, please, ah beg yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

Yes my brethren, at times like these the evil one and his evil cohorts are out there seriously trolling for believers who might slip and allow them a foot or toehold into their righteous souls. So we do have to be careful and curtail our celebrations with a modicum of circumspection. 

But coming back to the massacre of Christians recently in Sri Lanka, it seems like it’s open season on believers these days. All over the world somebody or other is killing believers for no apparent reason other than that they believe! Hn! And to tell the truth, I think it’s high time that we retaliate in kind, because these people only understand one thing, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, in other words, violence! 

Are we going to be continually led like sheep to the slaughter with no resistance? I certainly hope not! Oh, I know our faith and the Good Book says: ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men.’ But that’s extremely difficult friends, when the enemy is killing us with such joy and gay abandon with no one doing anything worthwhile to stop them! 

There must be something we can do to curtail this offensive and sinister state of affairs. It’s obvious that the governments of supposed Christian countries aren’t really interested in doing anything but talk when these senseless murders occur, because they soon get back into bed with the same offenders in search of money and power. So it’s definitely up to us believers to stand up in some form and fashion and do something about it. 

But then again we are constrained by our faith as to what we can actually do, for the Good Book purposefully says: ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom.12:21) Now that’s a real hard row to hoe friends, but we just have to find some way to mitigate this senseless slaughter of our fellow believers in certain parts of the world. 

And please don’t ask me how, because you’ll just get me in trouble with the Lord! (smile) But some of you deeper and better thinkers than me, will have to come up with something, else the nonsense will just continue unabated…and possibly get worse, as the enemy begins to believe they have an open license to do their evil work. Much LOVE!

…the darkness and evil of Good Friday…has now been overcome…by the light and goodness of Easter Sunday…please…in Jesus’ name…let’s keep it going…

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2019 Psalm 107:25,29.

Psalm 107:25,29.   ​For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 

And it’s another Saturday in T&T! Glory be! And under a slight cloud cover, which hopefully will soon be dissipated by the bright, rising sun, the wonderful blue-green expanse of sea still lies before me, dotted with nondescript vessels in the foreground, but in the background, in its vastness, seemingly stretching out to forever over the horizon! Wow! What a mouthful! But I like it, and I do hope it conveys the beauty of the picturesque scene in front of me. (smile) 

Well we didn’t do anything of note yesterday, just hung around the hotel and rested, until in the late afternoon a couple of family members came to visit. They ended up taking us down to Petite Valley to get some roti. But imagine that nuh, nowadays yuh have to drive all the way to Petite Valley to get a decent roti. In my time, you could get a good roti on almost every street corner. But as they say times change and so do ways and people and situations. And for the record, the roti was good! (smile) 

But as we usually do on a Saturday, let’s take a gander at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘If you spend your life working, sleeping and doing the basics… Congrats! You’ve just wasted your precious life!’ 

Well…that’s somewhat of a toss-up. You need to do the basics of life, including working and sleeping, but just doing barely enough to get by, deprives you of some of the most enjoyable aspects that life can provide. So it’s always necessary to go the extra mile, take a risk, if you truly want to enjoy your life to the fullest. 

And the next quote advises: ‘The big lesson in life is never be scared of anyone or anything. Say what you want to say and do what you always wanted to do. You will never reach your goals if you are always scared of taking the next step.’ There is a fair amount of truth in that statement, and yes we shouldn’t be scared of anything or anyone in this life, because our great and wonderful God has not given us ‘a spirit of fear, but of power, of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) 

However, we can’t just go bulldozing through life to get our way. We need to be careful what we say and to whom, for our words will eventually come back to haunt us, like a boomerang comes back to the thrower. Remember, that there is much power in our words, and as true believers in Christ we have the responsibility to be accountable for our words. So don’t be scared to push ahead, but do have a modicum of circumspection! (smile) 

But we got to take a break go for brekkies now. The duchess is ready. Soon come! 

Back some three hours later after a filling breakfast over the road at the Radisson Hotel and a short nap. Must have that nap! (smile) And talking about quotes. Let’s not forget this one: ‘Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. If you hang on to things for too long, you will end up hurting yourself.’ 

Gospel truth that friends! People and things come and go in our lives for a reason or a season, but when their time is up, please don’t try to hold on to them because you will miss the next good thing that God has earmarked for you. And I’ve had to learn that from hard experience. Yeh mih breddren, when God closes a door, don’t try to push it back open, because He won’t open the new one unless you allow the last one to close. 

And the last quote says: ‘Rise above the storm, and you will find the sunshine. Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.’ That’s for certain sure friends. Above the storm clouds there is sunshine, and not all storms come to make our lives miserable and difficult, but some do come to clear the way. Remember the saying, there’s always a calm after a storm, and that’s gospel truth, as you would see if you look back at the storms you’ve had in your life. 

But friends, the only way to continually rise above the numerous storms that come against us, sometimes out of the clear blue sky, is by hooking your cart to the storm Maker and storm Calmer, Jesus Christ! No doubt about that people! Listen to what the psalmist says: ‘For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…’ And when we cry out to Him for succour: ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ (Ps.107:25, 29). 

If you believe that God created the universe and all therein and is still in control of it, then you should have no problem in believing His awesome power to create and calm storms, both literally and figuratively! Isaiah puts it thus in his song of praise by the redeemed. ‘Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:3-4) 

That’s how our awesome God deals with the figurative storms in our lives. And per the literal storms, hear Bruh David: ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

And if you want to see that in literal action, check out Matt.8:23-27 where Jesus was crossing the sea in a ship with the disciples and a raging storm arose, so much so that they began to take in water and the men were terribly afraid, but Jesus meanwhile was fast asleep in the back of the boat. When they woke Him up and made such a fuss, He berated them: 

‘Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’  (Matt.8:26-27) And so they should, because He created them and controls them! 

Ah friends, unfortunately storms are an essential part of life, and the ONLY way to handle them with suitable aplomb and patience is by having the Lord Jesus Christ as your guide and pilot in this life and the one to come. That’s wisdom and understanding of the most awesome kind! Much LOVE!

…when Christ is our pilot…storms don’t scare us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Ah friends, it’s a sad day when bodily aches and pains contrive and conspire to drive you out of your bed! But that’s what came against me this morning. I got up around 5.30 to go to the bathroom and found I could barely walk the few feet to it. And that’s after going to bed around two thirty in fairly good shape. Every joint was crying out in resistance. Then when I went back to bed I couldn’t find a comfortable position to get back to sleep. 

But with the Lord’s help I weathered it and did get some more spasmodic rest. However, the aches and pains in my back, both knees, both hips and both shoulders refused to go quietly into the sunrise, (smile) and I eventually got up somewhat earlier than I had planned. 

But brother, what an ordeal! And I’ve been taking the pain pills fairly regularly. So why this painful episode now eh? Steups! But yuh know what? The aches and pains won’t keep the ole fella down for long. He’ll rally and fight back. And with the Lord’s help we’ll win, because the Lord has promised that nothing that comes against us will conquer us. Glory be! 

And it’s Friday, Caribana Friday to boot, Toronto’s big day in the worldwide spotlight, so you know the workingman will be out and about blaring his song to all and sundry! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Caribana Friday! A long weekend…and official time to play true leggo beast! 

Yuh going to see we out on the boulevard tomorrow in we pretty costume…with the music blasting…and we doing we thing, getting down and wining, showing off we bumbulum and having a rollicking good time! Oh people, oh people, is Caribana weekend, the summer soon done, time to get out and have some fun, and thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends, especially the long ones!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, we must give thanks for our days off from labour, but we don’t need to go that far out on the limb like the workingman, where the evil one can easily get a foothold in our affairs. But like Jeeves says, a modicum of circumspection is necessary. 

And it’s strange how life changes as one gets older. At one time Caribana was a big deal for me. Now I don’t even remember that it exists. That’s because I can’t handle all the walking and jammings again, as well as it has lost its flavour. It’s not as nice and authentic as it was before. 

I’m not even enthusiastic this year to go to the Steelband Competition, the only aspect I support these days. I haven’t even heard from my buddy Bas, who usually goes with me. But who knows what will happen. It’s still early times. And don’t tell me that I’m getting old and cold, because I’m not. (smile) 

Anyway, in response to the workingman’s song, let’s chant our more sedate and less frivolous Friday Chant. As one 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!’ 

Yes my people, in Jesus organization, we don’t behave like the world, that’s ruled by the prince of darkness behaves. As Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘I have manifested (revealed) thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them (to) me; and they have kept thy word… I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine…

And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (Judas Iscariot); that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray NOT that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:6, 9, 11-17) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important Jesus thought we were? He spent the whole of chapter 17, 26 verses praying for us. Even for the believers who’d come down through the ages (vs.20). He asked the Father not to take us out of the world, but to keep us filled with His joy and to set us apart from the world, so we don’t get too contaminated by it. 

Now we do have to be in the world, otherwise how would we bring the lost and suffering to Him eh? But we don’t have to be a part of the world, meaning doing the things the world does, or living the way it does. We’re special friends. And we need to know it and behave accordingly! 

As we said yesterday, we’re ambassadors of Christ, therefore we have to behave in a special way, a way that glorifies and exalts His Holy Name. And we definitely can’t do that by behaving the way the world behaves. So let’s up the ante nuh, let’s raise our level of excellence in doing Jesus’ work, otherwise we won’t be His fruitful and efficient ambassadors, like we’re supposed to be. Much LOVE!

…serving Jesus in this evil world… is not easy…but it sure is worthwhile…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2018 1 Chronicles 28:9a,b.

1 Chronicles 28:9a,b.   And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind…

                                      HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!

Aye mih people, the ole fella is way behind the eight ball this beautiful Father’s Day Sunday morning! Hn, hn! Although I went to bed very early, by my standards (smile) I found it very difficult to get up this morning. Don’t know why. But I managed to crawl out of bed and make it to the early church service as usual, and now am back, and don’t know what to write. 

But the Lord is faithful, and I know that He will show me what to write. However, in the Good Book, there are only a few references to Fathers the way I want them, and I’ve used them all up already. I want something new and fresh. But yuh know what? The Lord is the Boss, and it’s His will that’s going to eventually prevail. 

So if He says write the same old thing again, probably because we didn’t get it the first few times, (smile) then that’s what I’m going to write. I have enough disobedience on my record already. Now let’s turn to some praise and worship, some singing, to loosen up our hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. 

And today we’re going to belt out an ole favorite written by Maltbie Babcock, (1858-1901) a Syracuse born Presbyterian Minister, and it’s titled ‘This is my Father’s world.’ So let’s raise our voices to heaven, loud and sincere, in sacrificial praise my people. 

‘This is my Father’s world, And to my listening ears All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas– His hand the wonders wrought. This is my Father’s world: The birds their carols raise, The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise. 

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere. This is my Father’s world: O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world: Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King: let the heavens ring! God reigns; let earth be glad!’ 

Ah friends, this indeed our Father God’s world, so why should our hearts be sad eh? No reason whatsoever, but many hearts, especially young ones are sad, because they have no earthly father to cuddle and comfort and lead and guide them. Fathers are supposed to be an important part of a family but unfortunately in our society too many families lack fathers, and of those that have them living in, too many have not risen up to the standards expected of them. 

But enough of my preaching, remember I did not want to regurgitate the ole same ole. (smile) So while searching for a suitable Father’s Day Hymn, the Lord in His great faithfulness and amazing wisdom showed me two articles that dealt with the subject of Father’s Day, and I want to reproduce them both here for us. 

The first comes amazingly from a Facebook site, and it says: Father’s Day is a joyous occasion when children express thanks to their father for always being there. This occasion is one of the most eagerly awaited in all parts of the world. 

On this day, children give greeting cards and gifts to their father and spend the entire day with him. People take the opportunity to recognize what all their father has done for them and appreciate his genuine care and concern. One of the ways to express your true feelings for your father is through meaningful hymns. Read on to find some popular hymns for Father’s Day.’ 

I read on and came up with ‘This my father’s world.’ (smile) Yeh friends, Father’s Day is supposed to be a joyous day, but the part of the above article that hurts is that in so many homes, the father is not always there, so the children can’t celebrate with him and appreciate his genuine care and concern. 

And the next article comes from the Christian Media Magazine. And that says: ‘Father’s Day is more than just a day to honor the men that helped bring us into the world, but it is a day to celebrate the men that made us who we are today. This very important day is designed to acknowledge and offer praise, appreciation as well as gratitude to men we call fathers, whether it be by blood relation or mentorship. 

Most people believe that Father’s Day is only about giving gifts, but seem to ignore the fact that this holiday is meant to strengthen the distinct bond of a relationship between a father and his children. Being a father is a blessing directly from God and is God’s gift to us.’ 

I couldn’t put it any better than that friends. And we’ll end with one of the best pieces of advice ever given by a father to a son, that of Bruh David to Cousin Sol. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.’ (1 Chr.28:9) 

Now Bruh David was by no means perfect, and most fathers are not, but their advice can be worth much more than children can ask for or imagine. It upholds the ole saying; ‘do as I say, but not as I do.’ I know that can sometimes be seen as hypocritical, but the important thing there is to guide the children aright, even though our personal examples leave something to be desired. 

And I thought I’d be regurgitating the same ole, same ole! Hn! Glory to out great God and His awesome faithfulness on this Father’s Day! Please enjoy it with a modicum of circumspection, having Granny’s warning in mind. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ Wiser words were never spoken my people! Much LOVE!

…The Lord is King…let the heavens ring…God reigns… let earth be glad…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2018 Psalm 90:12.

Psalm 90:12.    So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom.)

Oh what a beautiful day this Monday will be in most of North America friends! Yes, that’s because it’s a public holiday. In the U.S. it’s the Presidents Day, honouring its Presidents. And in most of Canada it’s being celebrated as Family Day, although a few provinces call it by a different name. 

So that means it’s been a long weekend, with NO WORK today for many of us, but ample time to party and/or rest, whichever catches our fancy. (smile) Thank the Lord that we don’t have to get up and join the rat race today! 

But you know that our society has become such that it never really shuts down, it can’t afford to if we want to live our current lifestyle, so on public  holidays some people always have to go to work while others enjoy a pleasurable day off. Yeh, life’s not fair, but God is good! 

Consequently, or rather, especially on a day like this, we need to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to quell any jealousy and resentment that might arise in the spirits of our fellow believers who have to go out and labour today, while we remain at home and enjoy the good life. So let’s belt it out now in our strongest and most harmonious voice. 

‘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!’ 

Hn, hn! Ah friends, the voices might have been strong, but rather hoarse and definitely not harmonious. But Jesus understands, He knows the state of our hearts…and our livers. (smile) And as always, it’s the ones who are not going to work who are the loudest and most disharmonious. I wonder why eh?

I just hope that our unfortunate brethren who have to work today have been well fortified by our singing and that the adrenaline is flowing through their bodies, making them eager to go out and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus’ name.  

And as for those of us who are staying at home, please be responsible, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ That’s because we don’t want to give the enemy a chance to get into our spirits, and we will have to go out to work tomorrow, and if we’re all tired out and mashed up from too much celebration today, we’ll be of not much use to Jesus then. So remember, exhibit a modicum of circumspection, for it will serve you in good stead in the long run. End of sermon!  

And as I was looking for an appropriate Bit, this verse from Moses’ Psalm caught my eye. ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom.)’ Now here I’m taking Moses’ words literally, wanting to know how long our lives will be. 

But that is something we’ll never know until the fateful day arrives. That means we have to be smart and live wisely every day! If we knew when our time would be up, many of us would choose to live carnal and worldly lives until just before we leave, then come running to God for forgiveness. But that’s not possible, so if we want to end up in heaven with Jesus, we have to live right, RIGHT NOW, since He can call us home at any moment in time. 

Bruh David also sought to know his end, in Psalm 39 – A prayer for self-understanding. ‘Lord make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.’ (Ps. 39:4) Yeh friends, in terms of the big picture of the universe, we are indeed frail. 

And Bruh David continues: ‘Behold thou hast made my days as a handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best is altogether vanity (vapour).    Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain show (as a shadow); surely they are disquieted in vain (make an uproar for nothing): he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.’ (Ps.39:5-7) 

And isn’t all of that the living truth my people? It surely is! Our lives are vapour- like, here today and gone tomorrow. We pile up riches not knowing  who is going to waste them away. And like Moses declares of God: ‘For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.’ (Ps.90:4) A thousand years to God is like one day to us. Hn! That just goes to show how flimsy our lives are, especially in comparison to God. 

So having noted all of that, what’s our next move eh? Like Bruh David says: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’ (Ps.39:7)  Oh friends, that’s wisdom at its zenith, so please, let’s be wise and do it nuh. Much LOVE!

…hope in God…should be the bedrock…the very foundation of our lives…

 

 

 

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