Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2020 Isaiah 30:1.

Isaiah 30:1.     ​Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering (devise plans), but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin (weave a web of sinfulness).

Well mih bredrin, we certainly off to a late start this Friday morning, and my humble apologies for that, but yuh know, unfortunately, we cannot always control the vicissitudes of life; the crazy ups and downs that life ofttimes forces on us. And you know the number one policy in the Lord’s economy is that you reap whatever you sow. Thus, it follows logically, that if I went to bed late, I would most certainly also arise from slumber late. And that’s the whole crux of the matter! (smile) Yeah, that’s why they say B.S. baffles brains, and is it ever so true. 

Now let’s see what the ordinary working man has to say on this long weekend Friday. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and another weekend is here. And this one special too, because is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Means no work for three whole days. Yeah! But can you imagine what the state of the Corona virus going to be after this weekend, it already reach higher than it’s ever been; seven hundred and something, almost eight hundred, in one day in Ontario alone! 

Wow! Only Quebec province higher. Blouse and skirt eh! People not listening, they not paying attention to the security and safety precautions, not wearing masks, not physical distancing, not washing deh hands and still partying in good sized crowds with people they don’t know. And with that Mad Hatter down in the U.S. encouraging the foolishness, although he claims to have it, yuh know this weekend going to be bad. Is a weekend where people accustomed gathering in large groups, and the irresponsible behaviour most likely to spread even more, so we bound to see a sizeable increase in cases and consequently deaths. Steups! 

But as they say, you can only talk to people, yuh can’t make them do the right thing! And that’s exactly why the pandemic still eating we alive, because not enough of us doing the right thing; too many of us doing the wrong one. And until we learn sense and change we ways, the virus going to keep on winning. 

Ah Lord eh! What it going to take for us to realize what happening and learn sense eh? Ah guess not until we catch the bloody thing we self and see how dangerous it really is – although that didn’t work with Trump. But thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends yes! At least me and mine don’t have to go out in the world and risk catching it for another few days, and this weekend we certainly going to give much thanks for all we blessings!’ 

Ah mih people, the words of the ordinary workingman are oh so true. People not listening, so we going to continue to feel. And in one of God’s mysterious moves, I just opened the Good Book and again it opened on Isaiah 30. But this time to the first verse, where the prophet is telling the people of Judah about the futility of relying on Egypt and not the God of their forefathers. Listen up: ‘Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering (devise plans), but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin (weave a web of sinfulness).’ (Is: 30:1) 

And isn’t that exactly what our society is doing; seeking counsel from everybody and everywhere else but from Almighty God, our Creator and Provider? And yuh know that doesn’t sit well with the Lord, for He desires His creation to turn to Him first when they need help. And unfortunately, we don’t seem to think we need His help. So, as we said above, we going to reap what we sow. And our harvest will come upon us, just like the Lord promised Judah. 

‘(They) That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth (have not asked my advice); to strengthen themselves in the strength of the Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt. Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion (humiliation) (Is. 30:2-3) And here’s another most appropriate verse from earlier on in Isaiah, when he’s talking about the blindness of Israel. ‘Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?’ (Is. 29:15) 

Ah friends, we have behaved the same way, and thus the same thing is happening to us right now; we are paying the price for our ungodliness, for being so presumptuous as to try to hide from, and simultaneously kick the Creator out of His creation! Hn! Please remember the debacle of Lucifer when he foolishly and pridefully tried to overthrow the Lord in heaven! He didn’t win…obviously, but got kicked out of his comfortable lifestyle to live in torment and anguish. (Is. 14) 

And NO ONE is ever going to win a battle of that nature. The Lord will always have the upper hand, so let’s get wise and instead of turning away from Him, turn to Him nuh. And we can begin doing that right now, through the awesome medium of prayer. So with the requisite change of heart, meaning repentance, and humility, let’s cry out to God through our Friday Chant. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now we believers have to go out and prove our faithfulness so that others can trust us, and consequently come to Jesus. Only faithful action on our part will ever change anything. Much LOVE!

…if yuh don’t hear…yuh going to feel…as simple as that…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2020​ 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
 
And the Easter Celebrations continue, though somewhat muted because of the Coronavirus pandemic. But do you think anything at all can stop we believers from celebrating Christ’s revolutionary resurrection that assures us of life after earthly death? No way Jose! Yes, we couldn’t get together physically like we are accustomed doing at such a joyful time, but it in no way lessens the importance and awesome promise of the amazing event and consequently celebrations and church services were held in all forms and fashions, with the help of our modern technology. 

But unfortunately, so far, that modern technology has not been able to come up with an answer for the virus that’s causing us so much devastation, grief and heartache. But also, as true believers and followers of Christ, whom we believe can do anything, we keep hoping and praying and believing that a cure, an antidote, will soon be found. Yes friends, we are indeed ‘prisoners of hope.’ (Zech. 9:12) And speaking about ‘prisoners of hope,’ I recently read an article by one Joshua Ryan Butler with that exact title, and he had a rather interesting characterization of ‘hope.’ 

He says: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into the now – an explosion of life into a world marked by the death. It changes everything.’ And is that ever so true! Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection certainly catapulted us into the future, showing us God’s great, preordained plan for our lives. And there is no better verse of scripture that describes that situation than these words of Peter: 

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ And has Jesus’ resurrection ever given us hope for the future, for salvation! The scholars explain: ‘1:3-2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.” Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’ 

But remember what Joshua said in his definition of ‘hope’ above? It ‘breaks in from the future and transforms today.’ That means we don’t have to wait till we die to enjoy the benefits that Jesus died for us to have, but can begin enjoying heaven down here on earth right now! As Jesus said: ‘The thief cometh not but (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) And that’s the beauty of the Christian faith and life! We also have a now, as well as a then. 

The only problem is all of that doesn’t just happen automatically; there are some requirements, the first one being Jesus’ directive to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God…. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3, 5) So if we don’t meet that requirement, then we can forget about salvation through Jesus. Then we have to believe in Jesus as the Way, the Truth, the Light and the Life. All of which gives us hope that leads and morphs into faith, which makes us strong and keeps us going. Glory to God, my fellow believers! 

And now that we’ve said all that, let’s turn to the operating system of the situation; the real work horse of the Christian life, the ultimate means of communication with our Saviour and Father; prayer! Yes friends, prayer is our very life blood! Without it we’re just lost and alone; but with it, in God’s company, we’re powerful and NEVER alone! So let’s talk to our Father right now about our greatest need at this current time nuh; relief from the Covid-19 pandemic. Yes, in strong voice, with confident humility (smile) let’s cry out to Him for help through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Easter Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

And now that we’ve fulfilled one aspect of our role in our covenant, our partnership with God, let’s go out and do the rest, basically living for Jesus, with supreme hope and faith in our hearts. And as He has faithfully promised, the Father will do the parts we can’t do. Much LOVE!

…without living hope…and strong faith…one can’t live for Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2020 Isaiah 40:1.

Isaiah 40:1.    ​Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
 
Well Friday’s rolled around again friends. What’s happening eh? I guess it’s the same old, same old. No work for most, too much for a few, and very little play for anybody. But for the foreseeable future, that seems to be the new state of affairs, so we’d better get accustomed to it. And since it’s Friday, let’s get straight to the workingman’s song, because he’s just dying to get a word in sideways. (smile)

 ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend here! But is not the same nuh, because there’s no work to go to, or come home from, and every day is just the same. So the weekend doh really mean nothing. Steups! It really playing havoc with mih mind yes. I can’t handle this every day is the same thing business. You can only do so much when yuh lockdown in a small house with small children and a tired wife. Never thought I’d miss going to the slave master work, but I do. 

At least it use to give me a sense of purpose, like I was doing something useful. But now, what ah doing eh…with this Corona virus thing that shut down almost everything? Not a blooming thing! Ah tired watching tv…and besides all yuh see on the so and so television is more bad news about the virus, so why watch that and drive mihself more crazy than I already am eh? Steups! And ah can’t drink mihself stupid every day either. The children tired too playing with the same ole toys and driving deh mother mard. 

And though the weather been nice this past week, you could only spend so much time outside because it still fairly cold, and yuh can’t go the park or anything so. Ah Lord eh! What we going to do? Ah guess we just have to grin and bear it and hope they find some cure for this bloody thing soon oui! Else we going to have a whole world of even madder people than before…for those who manage to survive it.’ 

And isn’t there a lot of truth in the workingman’s statements. Boredom and aggravation have begun setting in for many people. And being continuously locked up together is certainly going to cause problems in some families, especially the larger ones living in smaller homes. Being constantly underfoot is not something we humans handle very well. But we’d better learn to handle it, because this virus doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. 

And yuh know what? We believers in, and followers of Jesus Christ are the ones expected to be in the forefront of the battle, leading the way through our good and faithful example! Being fruitful examples of salt and light to a hopeless and disbelieving world! Yes friends, that’s what Jesus expects of us. And the first step in our battle is to talk to our great and merciful God, give Him thanks and ask for guidance and direction and divine relief from our misery. So let’s do so now by chanting our rejigged Friday Chant, in strong and confident, but humble voice. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s up to us Christians to stand up strong and steadfast, leading the way, so that the world can see what true faith looks like, and realize that it’s ONLY through Jehovah God that hope and life exist. And hear these words from our comforting Deity that speak to the bleak situation at hand: ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably (comfort) to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished (ended), that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.’ (Is.40:1-2) 

Oh friends, ONLY through sincere trust in the Lord can we receive true comfort. Remember Christ’s Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Oh precious people of God, who else has ever had the parts to make such an offer eh? NO ONE BUT JESUS! Because He is the ONLY ONE who can make that offer come true! And that offer is still open, and is even more relevant in these disastrous times than ever. So please be wise and accept it. 

And we’ll end with this interesting message I got through social media yesterday. A lot of it floating through the airways is nonsense, but I thought this was interesting enough to share. It reads: ‘I don’t know who wrote this, but it’s beautiful. We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another. Suddenly Disney is out of magic. Paris is no longer romantic, New York doesn’t stand up anymore, the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty. 

Hugs and kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents and friends becomes an act of LOVE. Suddenly you realize that power, beauty and money are worthless, and can’t get you the oxygen you’re fighting for. The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it’s sending us a message: “You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters.” 

Yes friends, the world was fine until God made man and woman, and they in their stupidity chose to move away from their Creator. And it will be fine again if He removes us from it through this current pandemic. Throughout the ages, it’s always mankind who has been the fly in the ointment. Everything else unfurls as God planned it. And here’s how He’s planned it; thankfully with our benefit in mind: 

‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:10-11) 

Oh, how beautiful are all the promises of our wonderful God! So today, please, please, let’s be wise and take them sincerely and seriously to heart nuh, and thus move forward strong and steadfast, as He desires of us! Much LOVE!

…God is ALL we need…especially in the times of calamity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2020 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.    ​And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).
 
So we starting off the week in panic mode eh, because of the Corona virus… Almost everything shut down…and in many countries too. And on a point of interest, I wonder how the Corona Beer is doing in these times eh? (smile) Is it selling more or less? Are they still producing it? Strange, but I haven’t seen or heard any mention of that in any of the many news reports. 

But seriously though, what’s going to happen now eh? Who knows? Only the Most High God! And very few of us seem to be paying Him any attention at all. What a pity, because He is the One who holds everything in the palms of His hands. In times of panic we’re supposed to run to our Maker, but too many of us seem to be running elsewhere! But, as with most things, when we finally run out of our own solutions, we usually turn to Him as a last resort, instead of the First Resort! 

Anyhow, be that as it may, the situation’s so bad that some of us don’t have any jobs to go to, especially if you’re part of the gig economy and your place of employment is shut down due to government edict, and if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Hn! What a bam bam eh! Some of us with full time jobs might be blessed enough to get paid to stay home, but I believe that will most likely be the minority. And for those of us who must go out into the fray… Oh, we can’t call it that any longer, since half the world is locked up inside, (smile) many are frightened because of the possibility of contracting the virus from others we meet. 

So what’s the solution eh? That ought to be obvious. We were just talking about our First Resort in times of trouble…the Lord God Jehovah, call on Him for help, turn to Him in sincere prayer. It’s been the number one resort since our faith was born. And hear the Lord to Cousin Sol nuh, when they dedicated the first temple: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr. 7:14-15) 

And that promise still stands firm and faithful to this day. Listen to the scholars. ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’ Ah friends, what more can I say eh, especially if, as too many of us think, the Old Testament is no longer of any value to us? 

Then I’ll just have to reinforce it with verses from the New Testament! (smile) The first being from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ And Jesus didn’t only talk the talk, He also walked the walk. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) And if you still need convincing (smile), then listen to Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

And if you think that’s a bit much, then let the scholars explain. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to rejoice (vs.16), to pray (vs.17), to give thanks in adversity (vs.18), and by despising prophetic utterances (vs.20) inspired by the Spirit.’ And we won’t worry to get into Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to pray for all men, and all in power, and that men should pray everywhere (1 Tim. 2:1-8), we’ll just get into some prayer of our own. I’ve sort of rejigged our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. (smile) 

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’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Some of us still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we know that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to your Word, but we know that you are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we humbly come to you now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as the politicians, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a masterful antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Well that’s the best I could do on short notice. (smile) But please, I beg us to remember that we’ve promised to turn from our evil ways and be more obedient to God’s Word, and if we don’t keep our promise, He’s liable to just let another plague strike the earth, cause He’s still in control of all that happens down here. And remember too that the Lord looks at our hearts, our motives before moving into action, so mere words without sincere, heartfelt motives won’t move Him. Now let’s hunker down and do our part, whatever that might be, faithfully trusting the Lord to do His. Much LOVE!

…prayer…the most powerful tool in our faith box…