Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 May 2022 Proverbs 6:20.

Proverbs 6:20.      My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law (teaching) of thy mother.

HAPPY  MOTHER’S  DAY ! 

And thankfully, another Mother’s Day has come around. It’s one of the best days in the calendar, because on that day many Mothers receive the kind of LOVE, treatment and appreciation that they ought to receive all year long. And it’s rather sad and disgraceful that in these supposed enlightened times, that women are still generally being treated like second class citizens, like servants and slaves. 

In many countries of the world, they have no rights whatsoever, they are beholden to the males in the family, who take advantage of their glorified manly positions and abuse the women folk with absolutely no thought to their welfare. But those are sins that men will eventually pay for, because God is like a mother to us, and He has a special affection for mothers. 

Anyway, on this Mother’s Day Sunday we are going to open our worship with a hymn specially dedicated to the Mothers of this world, appropriately titled ‘Honour Christian Mothers,’ and it’s sung to the wonderful tune of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ So, let’s remember the mainstay, the very foundation of our families, as we belt out this tune, offering up sincere sacrifices of praise in their honour. 

All together now: ‘Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God, Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord, Following His commandments, showing us the way: LOVE and faith and kindness; teaching us to pray. (Chorus: Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God, Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord.) “Let it be,” say mothers, trusting to obey, finding strength and courage, grace for every day. Challenges surround us, but we will not fear. God’s LOVE will sustain us, help, our cross, to bear. (Chorus) 

God be with our mothers who have gone before, certain of His promise: life forevermore. In His many mansions, LOVE again we’ll share, He will take away all sorrow, wipe away each tear. (Chorus) Honour Christian Mothers—Heaven’s gift of LOVE. Join with them in service to the Lord above. Follow their example, let your lights so shine—All will see your goodness, praise the One Divine. (Chorus) Onward, still, ye mothers, tho’ the time will come; Sons will leave their parents, daughters leave their homes. We’ll remain united, Mother’s legacy; One in LOVE and faithfulness, One in charity. (Chorus: Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God, Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord… Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord.’  

Oh friends, mothers are indeed the most important part of our families. They bear us in their own bodies for nine months, then painfully give us birth, ofttimes promising never to repeat the process, (smile) but soon do it again, because they LOVE children and it’s part of their godly heritage, their godly cross to bear. Then they nurture us all through our formative years, doing things for us that only mothers can enjoy doing. They teach us about LOVE, caring, compassion, humility and all the other important things we need to know. 

Most of us learn how to successfully live this live through our godly mothers. That reminds me of my own mother Molly, who went to be with the Lord some eleven years ago, because it’s she who taught me all I knew about life and LOVE in my formative years…and was still trying to teach me even in my adulthood. (smile) But that’s how mothers are. 

And I like how the ESV version of the Good Book describes mothers in Proverbs. ‘Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” … (Prov. 31:25-29) 

And in these turbulent times many women are doing double duty, without complaining too, that’s working both within the home and outside it too, so that their families can make ends meet. And don’t think that we are doing something so great on our own initiative by honouring mothers nuh, because that was one of God’s first directives to the children of Israel in the Ten Commandments. It boldly and purposefully reads: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Ex. 20:12) 

Yes sir, it’s right there in the Good Book! And if you think that was only in the Old Testament, then look again for Bruh Paul repeats it again in his letter to the Ephesians. ‘Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother: which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.’ (Eph. 6:1-3) Oh my brethren, honouring, obeying respecting and giving reverence to our parents is indeed called for by God, and it’s the first rule that God gave His people, that bore an attached promise; long life on the earth. 

And in Cousin Sol’s teaching on wisdom in Proverbs, he continually exhorts us to pay serious attention to what our parents teach us. For example: ‘My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law (teaching) of thy mother… For the commandment is a lamp; and the law (teaching) is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.’ (Prov. 6:20, 23) It is therefore imperative that we listen to our parents if we expect to live a successful life. 

And although the father is technically the head of the household, it’s often the mothers in the families who teach us the right way of living. That’s sort of become their duty, their legacy, down through the ages. A duty and legacy they’ve usually borne with honour and compassion, although it often costs them dearly. But that’s what a mother’s LOVE is all about; giving unselfishly of herself to her family. 

Jesus knew and appreciated the importance of mothers so much that on the cross, shortly before He gave up this earthly life, He saw His mother standing next to John, the disciple whom He LOVED. ‘He saith unto his mother, woman, behold thy son. Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.’ (John 19:26-27) 

Yes friends, Jesus made sure that His mother was looked after when He was gone. And that’s how we ought also to be; make provision for our mothers, for without their LOVE and hard work, we would not even exist, much less have a long and joyful life in the land that the Lord God has given to us. And I’d like to think that Jesus’ provision for her, was another of the many things which Mary treasured in her heart about her remarkable, eye-opening experiences with her wonderful Son, like the Good Book says in Luke 2:51. ‘…but his mother kept all these saying in heart.’ 

And so she should, because she had been given possibly the toughest role a mother ever had, especially in the emotional department, but one that she executed with grace, strength and faith. And so do most mothers. So please let’s celebrate them not only today, but each and every day of their lives, for that’s the Lord’s command! Much LOVE!

…without mother’s…there’d be no children…and thus…no LOVING families… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2018 Ezekiel 19:10.

Ezekiel 19:10.   Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood (bloodline), planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.

HAPPY  MOTHER’S  DAY!

And then it was Sunday once again, our favourite day for worship, but it’s also a special Sunday where we celebrate the Mother figures in our lives. Those feminine towers of awesome strength and assurance, the backbone of our society. And in my search, I discovered a real appropriate and praiseworthy hymn dedicated to them. It’s called ‘Honour Christian Mothers’ and is sung to the tune of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ 

So let’s open today’s proceedings paying sincere homage to the matriarchs in our midst nuh. In full voice let’s sing: ‘(Chorus) Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God; Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord.) Following His commandments, showing us the way: LOVE and faith and kindness; teaching us to pray. (Chorus) 

“Let it be,” say mothers, trusting to obey, Finding strength, grace for every day. Challenges surround us, but we will not fear. God’s LOVE will sustain us, help, our cross, to bear. (Chorus) God be with our mothers who have gone before, certain of His promise: life forevermore. In His many mansions, LOVE again we’ll share, He will take away all sorrow, wipe away each tear. (Chorus) 

Honour Christian Mothers – Heaven’s gift of LOVE. Join with them in service to the Lord above. Follow their example, let your lights so shine – All will see your goodness, praise the One Divine. (Chorus) Onward, still, ye mothers, tho’ the time will come; Sons will leave their parents, daughters leave their homes. We’ll remain united, Mother’s legacy; One in LOVE and faithfulness, One in charity. (Chorus).’ 

Oh friends, I could not find out the author of those lyrics, but they surely are a terrific tribute to the Mothers that raise and LOVE us! And if you’ll remember people, yesterday morning I got up and went downstairs early on to get something to eat. Well here is what the Lord caused me to write about Mother’s Day, before I came back up to bed. 

‘Wherefore, O wherefore art thou Mothers? Is it because of the original sin that you have been given the painful and difficult, but ever so necessary task of bearing children in thy womb, birthing them in travail, then raising them in deceitful and cantankerous families? 

Well, whatever the reason, I want to acknowledge that you have done a marvellous, a fantastic job down through the ages, and your God and mankind are very proud of you. Therefore, we wish you ALL Mothers, a very happy, blessed and prosperous Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day Mothers! 

And you know, as tears well up in my eyes, my one regret is that my mother, Molly, is not here so I can share those fateful words with her. Oh, like all of us, she had her faults, but nonetheless, she was a mother par excellence! 

Yeh Mols, although it’s been almost seven years now since you went to be with Lord, the ole fella misses you, and is crying, as he seems to do every Mother’s Day without you. That’s the one time the tears come without any reservation whatsoever. (smile) 

And I’m surely sorry if I didn’t treat or appreciate you as well as I should have. But I know in your sweet soul, you’ve already forgiven me for that. So rest in peace, please Mols sugar. And I do hope that you are cavorting in heaven with Jesus and the angels, as is your right as a believer.’ 

Oh friends, there will always be some resilient guilt in us, as to whether we treated our mothers as best we could. But please don’t let it cause us grief, because we’ve already been forgiven for it, since that’s what good mothers do. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood (bloodline), planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.’ 

And although that scripture was meant to pertain to Israel, there are so few real references to mothers, all of which I have already used. I wanted something new, and this fits the bill perfectly, for that is exactly how mothers are. They are like a fruitful vines planted by nourishing waters, just bearing good fruit regardless of the circumstances. They are like fountains of living waters, always bubbling forth with goodness and mercy. 

One psalmist put it this way: ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home) and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.113:9) Yeh my brethren, we should absolutely praise the Lord for mothers, since we’d be completely lost without them. 

And I’m chuckling here as I come to the end of this Mother’s Day message, because it’s something I also wrote yesterday, though not under my own steam. The Lord played one of His tricks on me. Yesterday morning after I went back up to bed, He got into my head with all sorts of stuff for this message, and finally I had to get up and write it down. 

And this is what I wrote. ‘Son’s honour your mothers because they, or rather you are a significant part of them, since they bore you for nine painful, uncomfortable months, and it’s to them that your navel string was attached. And most likely they’ve played a most significant role in your life. So it behooves you to adore and revere them. 

Daughters, please endear yourselves to your mothers, because one day you might also be a mother. And since we reap what we sow, your child will probably treat you the way you treat your mother. 

And finally, let’s not only celebrate our Mothers on this one day of the year, but everyday of their earthly sojourn, for they have certainly put in their time and testimony to deserve it.’ Much LOVE!

…a Mother’s LOVE…is like the Lord’s…unconditional…always caring…and never ending…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2015 Luke 2:33‏‏‏

Luke 2:33.  And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

Well Friends, it’s Old Years, New year’s Eve; 2015 is on its last legs. And it’s a day that many of us have been looking forward to, hoping to come out from under its suffocating shroud and shadow into a new year that promises so much. 

But let’s remember friends that a new year is just another day, and nothing much changes from one day to the next. And though we might have several areas of our lives that need upgrading, let’s not burden ourselves with too many resolutions. 

As I said sometime before, there’s only ONE that we really need to make, and that’s being a stronger and more faithful follower of Jesus!  

When we accomplish that, everything else will fall into place. So just enjoy the partying and don’t be overly concerned about New Year’s resolutions, just concentrate on Jesus, and everything will be fine. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, because I want to finish this series of messages on Mary today. ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.’ 

Ah mih people, what an interesting and no doubt sometimes frustrating experience Joseph and Mary had as Jesus’ parents. And none was more frustrating than this one. We’re talking about the time when Jesus was twelve and his family went up to Jerusalem as usual for the feast of the Passover. 

Because of the big gathering of the extended family from Nazareth, when they left for home they automatically thought that Jesus was in the company of his relatives. But unfortunately he was not. When they realized this they turned back to Jerusalem. 

And the Good Book details it thus: ‘And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the midst of the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors (teachers), both hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.’ (Luke 2:46-47) 

Wow! Imagine a twelve year old reasoning intelligently with the rabbis and teachers of the Jewish nation nuh. That also begs the question where did He eat and sleep and wash for those three days? Hn! 

The scholars explain that last verse by saying: ‘2:47. This may be due not only to Jesus’ person but also to a careful upbringing by His parents. The Old Testament placed great responsibility on parents to saturate their children’s minds with Scripture. (Deut. 6:7).’ 

And yuh know what my people? That responsibility has never been cancelled! It’s still our duty today to inculcate the Scriptures into the minds of our children. It’s jut that we have shrugged it off. That’s why our children are the godless way they are right now, and we have no one else to blame but ourselves. 

But anyway, can you imagine the concern, the anxiety Jesus’ parents must have had, no doubt blaming them selves for not paying closer attention to his whereabouts? Unlike a lot of us today who don’t know where our children are, and don’t seem to care. 

And the Good Book continues the story: ‘And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us (done this to us)? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (anxiously). And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (know) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:48-49) 

Ah Lord eh! Imagine at twelve years old talking to your parents like that nuh! Hn! Some of us would have been begging Santa to bring us some new teeth. (smile) 

The scholars explain that bit of impropriety by saying: ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’

I guess you could quite rightly say that, although at twelve years of age it does seem a bit much. 

However the Good Book goes on to say: ‘And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’ (Luke 2:50-52) 

Poor Mary and Joseph didn’t know what was really happening, and though Jesus went home with them and seems to have behaved properly after that, Mary still kept all those things in her heart, and no doubt pondered them regularly. 

And again, like after His circumcision, we see that Jesus grew strong and wise and found favour with everybody. 

The scholars tell us there: ‘2:52. The picture is one of consistent and well-rounded growth. There follows a gap of nearly two decades in Jesus’ life. When we see Him again, He is prepared for the task set before Him.’ 

He certainly is, and thus set to cause His poor mother more grief when they lock up Him up for sedition and blasphemy. How do you think she felt when she saw or heard about His beatings and scourging and the crown of thorns upon His head, traipsing back and forth between Pilate and Herod like a common criminal, being made a pappyshow instead of a royal show? 

And how do you think she felt when she saw Him faltering under the heavy load of the cross, struggling up Calvary’s hill? 

But most of all, what do you think it did to her very heart and soul when she saw her wonderful son, all battered and bruise, impaled on that wooden cross, His life blood slowly ebbing away in the hot noonday sun? 

I’m sure it brought back to her memory the fateful words of Simeon some three decades before, re the division and anguish His life would cause, but especially the words ‘(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also).’ (Luke 2:35) 

And I guess what must have hurt Mary the most is that she couldn’t do anything about her son’s situation, because deep down inside she knew that that was His destiny, that is what He was born for. 

And regardless of how His earlier acts might seem, Jesus did have a soft spot for His mother, because He knew that was the only one who even had an inkling of His true earthly purpose. 

Listen to the Good Book. ‘Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he LOVED, (John) he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.’ (John 19:25-27) 

Ah mih people, though Jesus caused Mary some worries in His life, in His death, He made sure that she had somewhere safe to go, like all good sons ought to. 

That brings us to the end of Mary’s story, and I do hope that I was able to bring home to us, just how important she was and is to our faith, for without her strong and unbroken faith, the story of Jesus might have turned out differently. 

Now let’s ring out the old year and ring in the new, prepared to embrace Jesus even deeper in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Much LOVE!

…there’s no human LOVE…to beat a mother’s LOVE… 

P.S. Friends, I know it’s long, but I couldn’t shorten it without having it run on for another day. You can’t have it both ways. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2014 Judges 5:7

Judges 5:7.    The inhabitants of the villages (village life) ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.

                                          HAPPY  MOTHER’S DAY !

Well Friends, once again we have come to that memorable day in springtime when we pay tribute to Mothers. And what shall we say to honour them today eh? Well, first let’s say that they are usually like a breath of clean, fresh, pure spring air, as opposed to the oppressive heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. They just seem to have that pick me up character built into them. They are usually so refreshing when everybody else is dragging and down in the dumps. They just have the natural ability to lift expectations and emotions.

Now here is something that recently struck me. Mothers, or the female of all the species are more akin to, more like God than males, in terms of their inherent characteristics. In the sense that they have reproductive capacities, can create and carry life, and provide succour and nourishment for their young, nurturing them through their childhood, and even into their adult years. Mothers possess an uncanny sense of wisdom, even without any formal schooling.

They generally give good guidance and show their children the true paths they ought to tread. They are usually imbued with a greater sense of dedication, patience and perseverance and restraint than men. In fact the fruits of the Spirit – LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (faithfulness) are more likely to be found in mothers than in fathers. In the human family, it’s usually the mothers who teach the children the ABC’s of life, and keeps the family tightly knit and together.

In other words, she is basically responsible for bearing, birthing, raising and caring for the children and the family as a whole, oftimes while also working outside of the home. And you better believe Friends, that’s a major responsibility, one that requires a big juggling and balancing act, a feat which most men would not be able to handle. I guess that’s why the Lord made them emotionally stronger, more understanding and LOVING than men.

But unfortunately, Mothers, women on the whole, still don’t get the recognition they deserve from society. In numerous places, all over the world, they are still being treated like second class citizens, like chattel. And it’s not only in the supposed backward, third world countries that this happens, but also right here in the first world countries, women and mothers are not given their full due and rightful respect.

We see that in the fact that they earn less than men while doing the same job. They are seldom promoted to meaningful jobs in the upper echelons of the big companies. And if they do get a bligh, it’s often a token appointment that doesn’t really carry much weight or responsibility.

Oh don’t get me wrong, nowadays a few women are breaking through the glass ceiling, but still not in sufficient quantities, definitely not in proportion to their numbers involved in the work force. And they still bear the foolish stigma of being unable to be a mother, a wife and a career person at the same time. Consequently they are still being fired or passed over for promotions during times of pregnancy. Steups!

And sadly, ladies and mothers, men are not the only ones to blame for this sad state of affairs. Some of the blame has to be laid at your doorstep too; possibly for not being pro-active enough and standing up for your rights, allowing men to still treat you as footstools and sexual objects.

Anyway Mothers, today we’re not here to condemn, but to praise you for being the strength, the backbone of our families and therefore our societies. We’re here to praise you for your fortitude and courage, for the many times when all seems lost, but somehow or other you get a tight hold of the reins and restore some semblance of order, along with a sense of purpose and encouragement.

I’ve learned from a young age that the male of the species might be physically stronger – and I’m not even sure about that – but in all other respects, the female of the species wins out. Oh we know that mothers are not perfect, some of them are even downright disgusting, but we have to realize that they are only human and thus suffer from all the human frailties and weaknesses.

But overall, mothers are truly the ones who make the world go round fairly smoothly with their kindness, their LOVE, their nurturing, their encouragement, and all the other little but ever so important things they do. And our Bit points that out so nicely. ‘The inhabitants of the villages (village life) ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.’

Yeh Friends, Israel was a mess under most of the judges, until Deborah rose up as a mother and shepherded them back to some form of godliness and decent community life. You can read her story in Judges 5.

And hear these choice words from the psalmist, re God’s mercy. ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home), and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.113:9)

And we see examples of that all through God’s Word; e.g. Sarah (Isaac), Hannah (Samuel), Elizabeth (John). So it’s obvious that the Lord has a soft spot in His heart for women who are unable to conceive.

Anyway my people, I hope this all makes sense. I just wanted to do something a little different, especially since I have a great appreciation for mothers, having had six of them. Yes my brethren, the Lord blessed me with six different motherly women to look out for me during certain rough periods of my life. And believe me, all six mothers were beautiful persons, treating me with such LOVE and tender care, that I don’t know how I would have made out if the Lord had not brought them into my life at those most appropriate times.

And looking back on my life now, I can definitely see the Lord’s favour working in my favour. What a great thing hindsight is eh! Oh, if foresight was only half as good!  

Obviously my birth mother Molly was the first, and she did her best to give me a decent life. Thank you Molls baby! They wouldn’t know some of the stuff you went through to provide for me nuh, and I’m truly sorry I didn’t appreciate your efforts before I did.  It’s amazing to think that it’s almost three years since you left us to sing in the heavenly choir, but sonny boy is trying his best not to sully your name and genuinely good character. (smile)

You know I won’t ever forget you, but sometimes I miss you, especially when I need someone to talk to, for you were truly my best Friend. I could bring any problem to you and know that you wouldn’t judge me. Ah Molls sugar, the tears are welling up in the ole fella’s eyes as I remember you and some of the interesting though often difficult times we went through. Not to worry though, the good Lord is looking after me.

And Friends, I won’t even bother to get into the problems that many mothers have, like little or no help from fathers, ungrateful and disobedient children etc. because it is all well documented. I’d just like us all to work together in the true spirit of Christianity, reflecting Christ’s character to help mothers, to help women all over the world to have better lives than many of them are currently having.

And yuh see how important Jesus’ mother was to Him, for even as He was dying on the cross, He made provision for her to live with John. (John19:25-27) So why can’t we mortal men appreciate our mothers too eh?  And parents were considered so important by God, that He included them in His basic commandments for living. ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Ex.20:12)

And we’ll close with a most fitting story based on an old song I believe was sung by Shirley Caesar, called No Charge. It begins with a mother being in the kitchen and her young son comes in and presents her with a list of all the chores he’s done and how much he is charging her for doing them.

The mother is obviously disappointed, but turns over the paper and writes stuff like, for carrying you for nine months – no charge… And she lists all the things she’s done for him since he was first conceived in her womb, and at the side of each there was the statement – no charge. And at the very end there was some thing like – in short…for my LOVE…THERE’S NO CHARGE…

And that my Friends is what a Mother’s LOVE is all about! It’s free, given from the heart!

And when the youngster reads his mother’s note, he cries, turns the paper over to his side and writes across it – Paid in Full.

So today my people, let’s truly honour our mothers nuh, for without them and their LOVING-kindness, our lives would have been even more difficult than they were. Much LOVE!

…the best reflection on earth…the closest image to the heart of God…that’s a Mother’s LOVE…unconditional and freely given…  

P.S. Yes Friends, I know it’s long, extra long (smile) but, like a Mother’s LOVE, it comes from the heart. Much LOVE!