Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2019 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.    ​My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
 

Ah friends, it seems like one of those days where the ole fella is somewhat under the weather! And when your first job is to dress up in winter fashion and go outside to put the recycling bin on the curb, that certainly doesn’t endear the cold, dark and dreary morning to your tired and aching soul! (smile) And a couple of errant snowflakes floating down from on high doesn’t help maters either. But thankfully, we have the Supreme Being called Jesus Christ in our corner, so we don’t really have to worry about the weather or the state of our physical bodies, because He will brighten our spirits and our lives if we just ask Him sincerely! 

Give Him much thanks and praise yes mih people, because I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh! Especially on a cold, dreary morning when my mind is in the dumps and I don’t know what to write about… And how about that? By the time I could finish the thought of not knowing what to write about, I received an amazing direction: ‘Write about faith; in particular, Mary’s faith, when the Holy Ghost told her about having an incarnate birth, having a child without knowing a man.’ So how can I not LOVE and revere the Lord’s faithfulness eh? 

So we all know that Mary didn’t quibble or quiver when she heard the news which would have caused a million problems in her life. But once Gabriel explained the situation, and told her that with God nothing shall be impossible, she bowed to the Lord’s wishes. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) And you’d notice the awesome difference in standards of faith when you check out Zechariah’s response to Gabriel’s message re, he’d be the father of John the Baptist. 

He was in the temple burning incense as was his priestly duty. ‘And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zechariah saw him, (the angel of the Lord) he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not Zechariah: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord his God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ (Luke 1:11-17) 

Yes precious people, Zechariah was also informed of the good news of the upcoming birth in his family, and one would think that as an older, wiser and more worldly person than Mary, as well as a priest in God’s universe, his faith would have been at a higher level than hers. 

But listen to his response. ‘And Zechariah said unto the angel, whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken (advanced) in years. And the angel answering, said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to thee these glad tidings (this good news). And behold, thou shalt be dumb (mute), and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season (own time)’ (Luke 1:18-20) 

So Zechariah remained dumb until John’s birth. Meanwhile Mary, his wife’s cousin, who later came to visit and got such a great reception from his wife and unborn son (Luke 1:39-45) that her spirit was filled with such joyful faith that she could declare: ‘My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maidservant): for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the lowly). He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen (helped) his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.’ (Luke 1: 46-55) 

Wow mih people! Imagine a teen aged girl from a backwater town called Nazareth emoting so magnificently on the Lord’s behalf nuh! Today we call her speech’ The Magnificat!’ But that’s what happens when you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, regardless of your colour, class, creed, race, gender or age! (smile) So since we all now have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, let’s do as Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians nuh. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.’ (Eph. 5:18) 

Yes friends, as the scholars say: ‘5:18. The words ‘be filled’ here mean “be continually filled,” emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. A person filled with wine is under its influence, but God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Holy Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer.’ Amen, to that my people! 

And for those of us sincerely and consistently endeavouring to allow the Holy Spirit more of us, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms who and whose we are! All together now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ So let’s go out now and do just that nuh; trust Jesus and share his awesome LOVE! Much LOVE!

…to be filled with the Spirit…one must allow Him…to control one’s…thoughts, attitudes and actions…

P.S. I have to chuckle at how much I eventually wrote, when I didn’t know what to write. But that’s the Lord’s Holy Spirit for you! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 December 2019 Luke 1:45.

Luke 1:45.    ​And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.
 

‘Snow, snow, snow… Canadian snow!’ Yeah friends, yesterday it was just a mere veneer, (smile) and the day turned into a rather nice one. Today though it’s a full blown coat – white everywhere! (smile) And I guess it must have blindsided many commuters when they hit the road this morning, because I went to bed around 3, and there was none of that fresh stuff on the ground then. So please be very careful if you have to go out today. I know I’m not going anywhere! (smile) But since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Yes, Friday has shown up at long last! It’s been a roughish week; what with the children harassing me to get into the Cyber Monday nonsense, some bad weather and the boss in a sour mood…even more sour and snarly than usual, and for some reason I can’t sleep properly when the night come, so all day ah more tired than anything else. Steups! Don’t even have no enthusiasm for Christmas when I am usually a Christmas man, it’s my favourite season of the year. And then the wife been nagging me to put up lights and Christmas tree and what not. 

Chuh! Usually, she don’t have to badger or bully me to do that. But this year ah just not in the mood for all the Christmas stuff. Don’t know if I’m just getting old and tired, or I need a long vacation in a hot climate, with sea, salt, sand and rum! Now there’s an interesting idea! It’s really sparked my interest. How wonderful it would be to get away from this cold, snowy weather for a while eh! But right now that’s just a pipe dream because I can’t afford to take the whole family away, and I can’t just go by mihself. So I’ll just have to come back down to earth and say, Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui, hoping that I can get some proper sleep during the weekend, and that my normal enthusiasm for Christmas will return after that!’ 

Ah friends, the vagaries of life and the weather eh! We never know when whatever will hit us and just change our mood and attitude, but once we hold on tightly to Jesus, no mater what we go through, we know we will come out of it okay; no burning in the fire, or drowning in the flood. None of us are immune from such situations, but we at least have a more positive song to sing come the weekend, what we call our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it now nuh with sincere thanks and strong sense of purpose. 

As one voice: ‘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!’ At least when we’re down in the dumps, we have a great God, Helper and Comforter to cry out to. 

And I think it’s necessary for us to continue with Mary’s story to see just how the Lord administers His faithfulness to those who faithfully do His work. Remember yesterday we saw where Mary accepted the Lord’s will without a hassle. But then the Good Book tells us: ‘And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zechariah, and saluted (greeted) Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation (greeting) of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me (why is it) that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation (greeting) sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.’ (Luke 1:39-44) 

Oh friends, what a great dramatist is our God! Knowing that Mary would need human help and confidence and support in the unenviable task He had given her, He sent her to her cousin Elisabeth, who, in her own lesser way, was tasked with God’s holy will. For, hitherto barren, she was then carrying John the Baptist, the forerunner of Mary’s child, Jesus. And the Master Dramatist set it up so skillfully through the Holy Ghost, that when Mary greeted Elisabeth, her eyes were opened to God’s proposed doing, and the unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy in her womb, cause he also felt the godly connection. 

And who says our wonderful God doesn’t move in strange, mysterious and awesome ways eh! But they always have a useful purpose. Now hear these interesting words that God also put into Elisabeth’s mouth for Mary’s encouragement. ‘And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is our God eh! From Mary’s acceptance of her task, He began encouraging her and building her faith even more. Thus after hearing Elisabeth’s prophecy, she was able to declare the awesome words of faith we know as ‘The Magnificat!’ 

‘And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maidservant): for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed…’ (Luke 1:46-48) Unfortunately friends, we don’t have space or time to record all of Mary’s words on that most auspicious occasion, but you can read them in Luke 1:46-55. Then the Good Book adds this important info: ‘And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.’ (Luke 1:56) 

So the Lord allowed Mary to spend a good while with Elisabeth so that she could be further encouraged. And He does that with all who work sincerely for Him my brethren. I can tell you that from personal experience. Without His awesome help and encouragement I could not write this Bit everyday. So whatever God has given you to do, please don’t despair, call out to Him for help, if needs be, and He will faithfully offer it. You can better your bottom dollar on it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…working for the Lord…might be hard…but it’s certainly adventurous and awe-inspiring…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 December 2018 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.   And Mary, said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.
 
Ah mih people, a word of warning to the wise: if you’re walking with or working for Jesus, please be prepared for totally unexpected stressful and rather eventful situations to crop up at any time! (smile) Case in point: Yesterday afternoon I was here at home taking it nice and easy…no, that’s not completely true. In fact I was miserable and grumpy because the ole aches and pains were having a heyday in my ole body. 

Then around four o’clock I received this phone call from a lady in the MRI Department of St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto informing me of a scheduled appointment at two thirty this morning. I was quite surprised because both the hospital and the doctor who ordered the MRI had neglected to inform me of that appointment. 

As one would expect, I was definitely in no mood to go into the city at that ungodly hour of the morning for an aggravating and annoying test that I thought I had seen the last of. And if I had had the implant as scheduled last week that would have been oh so true, because once you have metal in your body you can’t do them since they interact badly with the magnets that govern the procedure. So I cancelled the appointment. 

But after thoughtful consideration with the duchess, I called and reinstated it, figuring that might have been why the Lord in His infinite wisdom had the surgery cancelled last week. So lo and behold, at two thirty this morning, there I am, I’m lying on a narrow plastic board, ensconced in a tomb-like plastic structure, with a machine making this infernal racket in my head. But I’m accustomed to it now. I just pray when I get in there to mitigate the claustrophobic effects, then I’m fine. I’ve even been known to doze off in there. (smile) 

The one eventful and unexpected reaction though, was the one I had to the radioactive dye that they injected in to my blood stream. I’ve had it before, and all I’ve gotten was a bad, metallic sort of taste in my mouth. But brother, this morning, soon after they injected the stuff and pushed be back inside the machine, I had a physical reaction that I can’t properly describe; like I was heaving, my stomach was pumping up and down, and I just kept swallowing feverishly. I almost pressed the emergency button in my hand. 

I don’t even know whether I cried out to God or not, I was so surprised at the reaction. But after a couple of minutes the awful sensation passed and I finished the test without any further problems. Believe me though, that’s the last time they’ll ever inject that stuff knowingly in my body! 

I had fully intended to write the Bit when I got home, but at minutes after four, I decided to rest instead, then had to force myself to get up to go to the eight thirty service, then decided to rest when I got back, because I wasn’t fired up enough to write the fiery Bit I had planned to write. 

But as always, man’s plans go awry in the Lord’s eyes, for I could not find a comfortable position in the bed, and my mind was just spinning around with the things I wanted to write. So after half an hour of unsuccessful rest, I just decided to get up and come and write the Bit, come what may. And as you can see, it’s definitely not fiery…not even close! But that’s where I’ve been led by the higher powers. (smile) 

And since we’re lacking time and space to provide that fiery Bit, (smile) as we continue Mary’s faithful and steadfast story, let’s simply do what she did so long ago; ‘proclaim the Lord’s greatness with characteristic humility and grace,’ by singing what’s become known as ‘The Magnificat.’ The name comes from the first line of the Latin text: (“Magnificat anima mea Dominum”) Please sing with me, in loud voice and with sincere hearts, these memorable words of Jesus’ mother as she expresses her joy: 

‘My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name; And His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him. 

He has shown might with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.’ (Luke 1:46-55) 

Glory be mih people! What wonderful words and sentiments of praise and thanksgiving! Mary was an indeed an exemplary woman and believer for one of such tender age. But I guess when the Holy Spirit is moving in you, all things are possible regardless of age! 

Now here are a couple of interesting points from the Loyola Catholic web page. ‘After Mary gives her famous consent to becoming the Mother of God, — “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38) — she goes “with haste” (1:39) to help Elizabeth, who is delighted to see her. Clearly Mary, in hastening to help her cousin, is focused on service to others. In this way she glorifies the Lord in reflecting (and “magnifying”) His goodness and LOVE. And, of course by becoming the Mother of God she will help Him redeem us for our salvation in His Passion!… 

Speaking of magnifying, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once referred to our Blessed Mother as being like “a magnifying glass that intensifies our LOVE of her Son.” Note that Mary’s joyful claim that “all generations shall call me blessed” in no way takes away from her humility. If she seems to boast here, it is much as St. Paul does later on in scripture when he says “whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord” (2 Cor 10:17), that is to say, in God’s work being done through us.’ 

And we’ll end with these soul-seeking words: ‘How about you? Does your soul magnify the Lord? We may never be able to approach Him from Mary’s level of sanctity as the Mother of God. Still, we are all called to be saints nonetheless. Your good example, like our Blessed Mother’s, can help others in their spiritual growth. Do people see Christ’s LOVE and goodness in you? Are you letting God work within you to accomplish His will? Let Mary help give you the graces you need to follow her Son and His Church in praying the Magnificat.’ 

Oh friends, I can’t say it any better than that nuh! Much LOVE!

…let Mary’s soul be in us… to glorify the Lord…let her spirit be in us…that we may rejoice in God our Saviour… (St. Ambrose)

P.S. Yeh, it’s long and late, but ti’s all for Christ…and ever so worthwhile! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2013 Psalm 89:1

Psalm 89:1.   I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
 
Oh Friends, on this cold and windy Saturday morning in this 2013 Christmas season, with a severe snowstorm in the offing, I’ve been directed to remind us of two highly important things in this our earthly lives.
 
Now the first reminder is that the Bible is God’s Holy and unchangeable Word to us, still fresh as when He first gave it, many many centuries ago. And if we read it, we will most certainly find God’s wisdom laid out in its pages.
 
And that’s not only divine truth my people, but also a major part of why we’re not, as a society, attaining more successfully to wisdom. We’re simply not reading God’s Word enough, so how can we ever hope to become truly wise eh? For without true wisdom we cannot successfully navigate the deceit, the lies, the evil machinations and all the other negatives that come against us in this godless world.
 
And the second thing I’ve been guided to point out is that ‘One truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man!’ Now isn’t that also the God-awesome truth my breddren? It surely is! And besides, it’s the most important truth you’ll hear today!
 
And what does all that add up to eh? When we are filled with God’s wisdom and truth from His Word, it enables us to lead a good and sensible life. As Cousin Sol so wisely declares: ‘For wisdom is a defence (a protective shade), and money is a defence: but the excellency (advantage) of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.’ (Eccl.7:12)
 
And that’s definitely more divine truth my people! A lot of stuff might be good or bad for us, but when we have excellent knowledge through God’s Word, of the workings of the world and this earthly life, then it puts us a step or two ahead of those without it.
 
Oh Friends, this crazy, evil and ungodly world unfortunately has us putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. That means we do everything else first, then if we have a spare moment, and feel so inclined, we might just open the Good Book and quickly peruse a few pages. But that’s ever so wrong my people! The Good Book should ALWAYS COME FIRST in our deliberations!
 
For logically speaking, if it’s so full of wisdom and knowledge and understanding and all those other good and useful things, how can we go out into the current two-faced world and lead a wise and sensible life without first consulting that mighty tome of God’s directives eh? Ole Sherlock would certainly have considered that an elementary observation my brethren. (smile)
 
And having done as directed, let’s turn to our Bit: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’
 
Now that, my Friends, is one of the many worthwhile things regular reading and studying of the Good Book will have us consistently doing. And there’s nothing like singing the praises of our most wonderful Deity, whose faithfulness and LOVING-kindness has been proven from time immemorial, right down to this very day.
 
And I know that many of us can personally testify to that irrefutable, incontestable fact. And just to prove that all we’ve said above is the absolute truth, let’s look at some scripture on the topic from God’s Holy Word.
 
And we’ll begin with some verses form that epic bit of writing, Psalm 119, where the author boldly proclaims: ‘For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled (stands firm) in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth (stands). They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.’ (Ps.119:89-92)
 
And that, my fellow believers still applies to all who populate the earth today!
 
Now hear this short but mighty verse from the prophet Isaiah, re comfort and trust in the Lord. ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.’ (Is.40:8)
 
Oh mih people, mih people, what strong, faithful and comforting words!
 
And if you think that the Lord didn’t truly imbue Isaiah with such a worthy insight, then listen to God Himself, through His Son Jesus, tell it like it truly is. ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt.24:35)
 
There’s no need to say anymore my brethren, for you’ve heard it straight from the horse’s mouth, Jesus Christ incarnate, who WAS, IS and WILL ALWAYS BE the Creator and Supreme Ruler of this universe! 
 
Nuff said for today, my Friends. Now let’s spend some time pondering what we’ve read and heard and hope that it will encourage us to come together more often with our heavenly Father, reading and studying His Word, and also baring our souls to Him, so that we can all attain to greater wisdom, for that’s what He truly desires of all His human creation. Much LOVE!
 
…Wisdom is the principal thing…therefore get wisdom…and with all thy getting…get understanding…  (Prov.4:7)