Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2019 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.   ​He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 

‘When the storms of life rage all around me, I have no cause to fear, because I have Jesus, the storm-calmer walking beside me. And if He chooses not to calm the storms when I desire, He calms my fears, so that I can ride out the storms with a peaceful soul. Praise His Holy name!’ 

Yes friends, more stormy weather is forecasted for these parts today, but as we said above, that we believers can face any storm because we have the great storm-calmer Jesus Christ, living within us and working for us. So though we may be physically discombobulated, our souls stay calm and free, evermore praising His holy name. 

But nonetheless my brethren, this weather see-saw is ridiculous yes. And not only in terms of the weather itself, but more so of my having to put up with all of it. Brother! I promised the Duchess that we’re not spending a whole winter up here again, because the weather is just too crazy, and being locked up inside for long periods of time is definitely unhealthy for us old folks. (smile) 

And despite whatever ailments I have or doctor’s appointments, from next year we’ll spend some time out of this inhumane climate, getting the sea, salt, sand and sunshine we need to brighten our latter years. (smile) And since we’ve been talking about storms all morning, we might as well continue on the topic with some encouraging words from the Good Book. 

Listen to these wonderful words from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; They see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Yeh friends, that is exactly how it is! I can tell you from personal experience about riding those stormy waves in a li’l boat out on Lake Ontario many years aback. I can personally attest to the mounting up to heaven on the big waves, then being dashed down in to the deep. I always used to read about the trembling, the shivering of the timbers, well that day I discovered what it really meant. 

When the boat dropped from the top of the high wave and landed splat on the bottom, you could feel everything just shake like an earthquake. And on board that day were drunken men, thankfully I wasn’t one of them, but they prayed, possibly like never before in their lives, and the Lord eventually brought us through to calm waters. 

So I know what the psalmist is talking about, and so do many of you, that’s why I’m amazed that we don’t do as he recommends: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

That is only common sense my people, if we agree that God is the Creator and Controller of this universe. But we look real foolish when we spout that info, then go against all that the Lord stands for! We ought to be praising and exalting Him, with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, because that is the major reason we were created in the first place! Not to doubt and ridicule and blaspheme His holy name! 

Now listen to how Isaiah puts it in the 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) 

Oh my people, we are the redeemed! That means we’re supposed to be strong and glorify the Lord who caused us to be redeemed through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary! So why aren’t we doing better eh? Why are we allowing Satan and his evil cohorts to take over and rule our souls eh, when Jesus paid such a high price for us? 

And I guess the answer can only be found in the immortal words of Jesus, when the disciples in their fear and terror during a stormy ship crossing, awoke Jesus sleeping quietly in the back of the boat, ‘saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto 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.8:25-27) 

And that after being with Jesus for so long and seeing all the miracles He performed! But we’re doing the same thing today, so we can’t really judge them. Anyway friends, for those of us who are trying to be faithful and true, let’s go home today declaring (phew! wrong again) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with a strong sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

And the next step is to go out and share that trusting friendship and awesome LOVE with the folks who don’t know or have it. Much LOVE!

…in the time of storm…ONLY Jesus can bring a sense of calm…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2018 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.    He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Oh mih people, I know that this Monday morning as many of us are struggling to get up and go to work under difficult circumstances, we are also asking; ‘Wherefore art thou sweet Jesus?’ You can include me in that lot. (smile) That’s because we expect Jesus to solve our every problem without any suffering on our part, or at least a minor amount. 

But He never promised that there wouldn’t be rough times. In fact, He told us to expect them, even if it’s only because we believe in Him. What He did promise is that He would see us through the storms of life, hold our hands, and bring us out safely on the other side. 

So let’s not get all up in arms against our Lord and Saviour if we are experiencing trying times this morning. Instead let’s put all our confidence in Him, in His faithful promises. For if He gave up His sinless life for us, why wouldn’t He help us through our dark times eh? And to help boost our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong voice and nuff sincerity. 

As one 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, it never ceases to amaze me how that prayer can cause the adrenaline to flow and our spirits to be lifted! So let’s be wise and ride it out nuh, do our thing for Jesus, whatever it may be, and stay strong under His protection and guidance, for He is the ONLY One who can truly protect us from the storms of life. 

Hear this telling and truthful scripture from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men – that includes our Bit. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet: so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Yuh see friends, the seafarers knew exactly what the psalmist was talking about, because they experienced it all the time. And I too can testify to that scripture, as I got caught out on the stormy Lake Ontario some years ago, and believe me, it was indeed a frightening scene. 

Out in the middle of the lake in a relatively small boat, surrounded by four scared, drunken men. Only the skipper and I were sober, as the boat dangled up and down between the great waves. But obviously the Lord calmed the stormy waves, and I am still here to tell the story. 

I thought I had seen bad storms on the ocean, but that one on Lake Ontario took the cake. As I’ve said before, I’d read about the shivering of timbers on a boat in a storm, but that fateful day I experienced it in living colour. And let me tell you, it wasn’t one I’d like to experience again. 

And the best way to end today’s Bit is with this actual story of Jesus as he crossed the Sea of Galilee in a boat with His disciples. On the way over a violent storm arose, but Jesus didn’t budge, he remained asleep. However, the disciples were scared out of their minds and ‘came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 

And he saith unto 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!’ (Matthew 8:25-27) 

Oh my fellow believers, we shouldn’t have to ask that question because we ought to know whom Jesus is – The Son of Almighty God, who made the universe and all therein, therefore He has control over it all. Consequently, He can also quiet the storms in our lives, if we would just let Him. Much LOVE!

…let God be God…in your life…that’s the only wise way to live…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2017 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.     He maketh the storm to calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Well friends, it’s Saturday and there’s work to be done around the house, errands to run and shut in people to visit. Wow! For some of us it doesn’t seem like a day off at all, and we’re tempted to go to our place of employment, where we don’t work half as hard. (smile) 

But for some blessed individuals, it’s a much easier go; just sleeping in late, snoozing on the couch, idly flipping the channels on the remote,  watching golf and baseball, hockey and basketball, while sipping something cold and frothy and drowsily but sincerely saying, ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes mih people, some do have it easier than others. But since it’s Saturday, we also have to check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week. And he does have some excellent ones this week. 

Listen to this first one. ‘Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Problems are in fact opportunities for us to grow. Note that it’s only when we face adversity that we mature, especially in our Christian walk. 

And this next quote follows on naturally. ‘We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and create a life worth living, a noble life. Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.’ There again friends, we can’t escape pain or problems, but we can choose how to handle them; either by cringing and complaining, or by standing strong and using the adversity to our benefit. 

And this one also segues nicely to the one before. ‘You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.’ It’s all about attitudes my people; our attitudes to our problems can either make or break us. And this last quote just wraps it up nicely. ‘Being miserable is a habit; being happy is a habit; and the choice is yours.’

Oh is that ever so true my fellow believers! The choice is all ours. That means if we want to have a fairly happy and peaceful life we must choose attitudes that relate to happiness and peace. Remember with Jesus as our captain, we can remain calm in any storm. 

Now listen to the psalmist as he tells his story. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships; that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm to calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Ah friends that reminds me of a personal testimony to that situation. One day, some thirty something years ago, I ended up on a boat with some friends and coworkers who were headed for Rochester on the American side of Lake Ontario. To cut a long story short, going across the day was sunny and beautiful and we finally got to the American side, but up to now we haven’t reached Rochester. (smile) 

Through the obvious presence of the brown girl in the bottle and several strong imbibers, arguments broke out about continuing down the American coast to Rochester or returning to Toronto. The captain and owner of the boat eventually decided to come back to Toronto. This was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 

But lo and behold, on our way back a serious storm rose up against us and we could barely make any headway against it. And yuh better believe that prayer, for the first time in many a day, was forthcoming from several of the inebriated imbibers. It’s a good thing I wasn’t into the sauce that day, so I was able to help the skipper, while the others were rolling around, hanging on, giving drunken orders and praying. 

Now that day I learned a couple of lessons. The first one is that Lake Ontario can be very dangerous. I would be passing along the shore and see it kicking up and steups at it, saying it was nothing like the ocean I was accustomed to, and wondering how big ships like the Edmund Fitzgerald could sink and get lost in it.

But friends, that night I learned otherwise. For when the boat, I guess it was around fifteen feet long, mounted up the massive waves, I saw the good Lord in his heaven. (smile) And when it hit back down to the depths, between those waves, I felt the shivering of timbers! And that was the second lesson I learned; the actual feeling of shivering timbers. Before that night I had only read it from books. 

And believe me there was even mutiny amongst the group. For when we finally reached land on the Ontario side, somewhere around Cobourg, still many miles from our starting point, we had to stop for gas. At that point, some of the more inebriated ones wanted to use their money to take a taxi home, instead of chip in for the gas. 

But eventually cooler heads prevailed and we all came back together, arriving at our starting point around three o’clock in the morning, having left their around ten a.m. the previous day. And believe me, that was only a synopsis of the whole story. Like my family didn’t know where I was, hadn’t seen or heard from me for at least 20 hours, and the captain’s wife had the coast guard out looking for us. 

Can’t say I haven’t led an adventurous life – but with the grace of God always surrounding me! That’s why I can totally agree with the psalmist when he declares: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), to the children of men!’ (Ps.107:31) Much LOVE my brethren!

…without God…where would men be eh…so let’s give Him lots of thanks and praise nuh…and faithfully adhere to His law…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2017 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.   He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

And then it was Monday; that dreaded day of the workingman! But as we keep saying friends, if you want to eat, then you have to work. And if you want to work without too many problems, then you have to live a decent lifestyle. 

You can’t expect to be carnal and licentious and lustful all weekend, then get up bright and early and perky on Monday morning and head out. But many of us still do it, somehow expecting to make the same mistake and see an improved result. Sorry friends, it just doesn’t happen that way. 

But we have some help for you; it’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. It wakes you up, rejuvenates you, and gets you ready to hit the road, refreshed and energetic. So let’s sing it now nuh, with plenty enthusiasm and verve and chutzpah and all those other good things which enhance a song. 

In strong voice and perfect harmony: ‘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!’ 

Now that was good friends; a li’l bit raucous and rough, but certainly not lacking in enthusiasm! And most importantly, it brought a chuckle to Jesus, our choirmaster’s spirit. He appreciated the energy we put into it. So now we’re ready to go out and do battle with the infidel in Jesus’ name, because it’s only in His name are we ever going to be victorious! 

And today my brethren, we have a very interesting, truthful and awesome Bit, but before we get to it, let’s hear it in context. It comes from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. 

The psalmist writes: They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in the great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired heaven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Oh friends, what an omnipotent but merciful and magnanimous God we serve and worship! He has power to cause storms both on the seas and also in our lives, but He also has the awesome power to still, to calm those same raging storms! 

The important thing to note is that when the storms rage around us, and we stagger and reel like drunks, we need to call out to Him for help and mercy. And you’ll notice that’s exactly what we’ve done in our opening this morning. 

We’re faced by a storm of not wanting to get up to go to work, but we know we have to, so we cried out to Him in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and He mercifully gave us the grace and strength to go out and do His will. How awesome is that eh my people? 

There’s NO OTHER GOD LIKE OURS! In fact our GOD, IS THE ONLY GOD THERE IS!  Matter fix! (smile) 

So please, let’s not allow the storms, the trials and tribulations of life to get us down, or rather keep us down, for we have the most powerful Being in the universe as our God to turn to, and He has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us, once we stay under the protection and safety of His mighty wings. 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to Ethan the Ezrahite, as he talks about God’s sure promises to David from Psalm 89. ‘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) 

Yes my brethren, the universe is the Lord’s and all therein! Let us never forget that and like true and wise believers, act accordingly during the storms of life that we all must face. Much LOVE!

…when storms rage…let Jesus take the helm…for He is the best sailor there is…