Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2021 Psalm 42:5b.

Psalm 42:5b.​       Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

Welcome to Easter Tuesday friends! And the in-crowd place to meet today is in the town of Buccoo, in sweet Tobago, where Goat Races are the featured event of the day…and has been for many, many years! It’s become so big, that they even built a stadium just to hold it! Awesome! But who knows if it’s going to be happening in this pandemic time, with the lockdown that’s currently in place? 

However, given the ingenuity of my people, I wouldn’t vote against it happening, though in some reduced form and fashion, especially since I understand that Tobago is now the new playground for Trinidad, as the citizens can’t go further afield. Yes people, when it comes to partying, you can’t beat a Trinbagonian to find unique ways and means to bring it to fruition! 

But what we all need, so much more than partying is to cultivate an intense longing for Almighty God, our Maker, Controller. Deliverer and Provider! That’s because He’s so awesome, so LOVING and compassionate, so protective of His people, hides us from the rain, heals us when we’re broken…! What else do I need to point out for us to understand that our God is great and greatly to be praised eh? And that the number one purpose for which we were created is to praise and worship Him, to have a most excellent communication between the Creator and the created! 

Wow! My God is awesome! He’s the giver of salvation, author and finisher of our faith, high priest of our church…and so many other wonderful things! And instead of partying in the evil sense of the word, we ought to be rejoicing in the righteous way that speaks of Jesus; of His most awesome deliverance of sinful man in this Easter Season! No one else could do the miraculous deeds that He’s done. So we ought to celebrate His mercy, holiness, His forgiveness, grace and wonderful, unconditional LOVE for us, instead of bowing to the evil fool Satan and desiring to enjoy the pleasures of sin, instead of the righteousness of God! 

So what we should be doing, as I said earlier on, is cultivating an intense longing for our awesome God! In these trying and troubled times of worldwide sickness and strife, only a return to God in true and sincere repentance can solve them! Yes my brethren, like the Sons of Korah sing in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – let’s do the same nuh, let’s celebrate and worship our graceful, merciful and awe-inspiring God. So let’s lift our hands, as we lift our voices in prayer. 

‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast).’ (Ps. 42:1-4) 

Yes friends, in earlier times we would go to the Lord’s sanctuary and praise His holy name in song and prayer. But then, as we became successful and prosperous, we began moving away from the very source of our success and prosperity. We forgot that it is the Lord who allows us to get wealth and prosperity, and instead began trying to turf Him out of our society. And now that immense strife and sickness have befallen us, we’re wondering what happened, how such a plague befell us? And the simple answer is that we turned away from God and began praising the devil instead. So now that we can’t find remedies for our awful predicament, we’re wondering what to do. 

But like the sons of Korah asked so long ago: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted with me?’ (Ps. 42:5a) Today friends, the correct answer to the problem is still: ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps. 42:5b) Yes my people, that’s the only sensible answer there is to our current troubles…hope in the God of our forefathers! 

Hear the sons of Korah continue with their praise nuh. ‘O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill (the mount of) Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts (waterfalls): all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 

Yet the Lord will command his LOVING-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones (the shattering of my bones), mine enemies reproach (revile) me; while they say daily (all day long) unto me, Where is thy God?’ (Ps. 42:6-10) 

And yes, my fellow believers, the heathen are at our throats every day with that question. And that then leads us to ask ourselves: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?’ And what’s our reply? ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my giver of salvation) and my God.’ (Ps. 42:11) Oh friends, let’s praise His holy name! Let’s look back over our lives and see where the Lord has brought us from, the mighty and magnificent things He’s done for us, and realize that He can, and will do the same things for us, once we are obedient to His word and will! 

And I like this explanation from the scholars about the overall effects of psalms 42 and 43, which in some Hebrew texts are joined together. ‘Using the refrain Hope thou in God as a marker, the poem yields three stanzas. First, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for God (42:1-5); second, his sad lament and dejection before God (42: 6-11); finally, his sure confidence in God (43:1-5). The three stanzas reveal the changing moods of the psalmist: from longing and regret to perplexity, then to trust and assurance. If only every downcast soul could end up in that third stanza!’ 

And there’s no real reason why all of us can’t find true trust and reassurance in our great and mighty God! We all know His amazing, omnipotent power, and have all experienced some good and awesome benefits while walking in strong tandem with him. So why shouldn’t He do it again, if we sincerely seek Him and His awesome will for our lives? No reason whatsoever! So, for those of us who sincerely believe and diligently try to live for God, let’s go home now declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are. 

Altogether now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out into the confused and godless world and gladly share Jesus’ awesome LOVE and friendship, so that we can overcome our ever so pressing problems! Much LOVE!

…our problems will diminish…in direct proportion…to our sincere longing for God…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
 

Well just imagine that nuh; no goat races this Easter Tuesday in Buccoo in sweet Tobago! It almost amounts to sacrilege! (smile) I don’t think that those races have been cancelled more than a handful of times ever since I was growing up there in Tobago. But today, the stadium – the only one in the world I believe that was built specifically for goat races will be empty, and no setta parties with loud music and plenty dancing will grace the beautiful seaside village of Buccoo, on this the most important day of their year. 

But what to do eh? Coronavirus has spoken: ‘thou shalt be locked down, if thou wantest to prevent my worldwide spread and ghastly destruction!’ And so, what worldwide war has not been able to do; a tiny, but rather deadly and virulent virus has succeeded in doing; shutting down the world! But friends, let us never forget that the Creator and Controller of this wonderful universe is still sitting on His heavenly throne running things, and thus this virus business will end eventually, but in His time, because He has a purpose for allowing it. 

So we just have to believe and have faith and carry on as necessary until then, for this too shall pass, as so many other disasters have, it’s just a matter of time. And to help us do that, here is an encouraging poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘My Personal Rainbow!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, right now I struggle with clutching fear. Waves of agony pour over me as I face the darkest moments In my life’s history. But my conviction still stands firm: You are my God!’ (Glory Hallelujah my people!) ‘And though I cannot predict my future Or even tomorrow I am sustained by the reminder That the longest storm The world has ever known… And the worst… Came to an end one clear-sky morning. It was true for Noah It will be true for me. Though as yet I see no deliverance I watch I wait I expect My personal rainbow!’ 

Mama oh Mama! And do we ever believe and expect to see that beautiful rainbow with it’s wonderful pot of gold at its end! Why, you ask? The answer’s simple: because the Lord God Almighty promised it, and He does not renege on His promises. They have ALL been faithfully executed since the beginning of time and will continue to be faithfully executed… until the end of time! And there’s no doubt about that because He has said so unequivocally in His Word. ‘And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

And if you don’t believe that, then you don’t LOVE God, and you’re not called according to His purpose! Simple as that! And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working ALL things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15). To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.” 

That’s why, as true believers, in these most trying and fearful times, we are not afraid. Yes, we are concerned, and we do pay strict attention to the rules, but fear does not take us over and make us like jelly – flapping and flubbing around uselessly. And that’s also because our great ‘God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE (His most significant attribute), and of a sound mind (discipline and self-control).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

And with all of that solidly planted and growing in us friends, we need not be afraid of what will and can happen to us, but are able to take it all in stride as we lean and depend on the Lord, our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God to defend and protect us as He’s faithfully promised to do. Consequently, as Bruh Paul continued to Timothy: ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou (a) partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (before time).’ (2 Tim. 1:8-9) 

Yes friends, God has called and saved us with a salvation through Christ that we definitely did not deserve, but did it for His own purpose; basically, His endearing, unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us! So if we truly believe, then we need to take up our cross and follow Christ, unashamedly, through all the afflictions of this life, knowing the wonderful reward of eternal life that awaits us. And if all of that doesn’t move you, or reduce your fears and anxiety, (smile) then listen to these other most reassuring verses from Psalm 37; Bruh David’s declaration on The true state of the wicked. 

‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass… 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:1-5; 7-9) 

Brother! What wonderful advice! And the good thing about it all, is that Bruh David is not speaking from hearsay, but from personal experience! So for those of us who truly believe, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

The natural next step is now for us to go out and do just that – share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…man was made by God…to LOVE…and be LOVED…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2016 Deuteronomy 31:8

Deuteronomy 31:8.   And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

And then it was Tuesday my friends – Easter Tuesday! Now that means it’s also time for the great spectacle of goat races in Tobago! 

Yes my brethren, it’s time to get us down to Buccoo and enjoy an afternoon of goat races and great partying at possibly the only stadium in the world built to host that sport. Only in T&T, you say! 

They had a small offering while I was there the other day and it was really enjoyable. I hadn’t seen goat races in many a year. I vaguely remember the last time as being completely wasted and partying down the place with a friend’s sister on the verandah of a house near the track. 

Ah Lord eh! Those were the days! In those times they had individual parties at houses that surrounded the track. But now, progress has come along, and it’s held in a brand new state of the art facility, with all the amenities; food, drink, music, etc, all in one place. So don’t hesitate to check it out. (smile) 

And since Today is Tuesday, it’s of the utmost importance that we declare our Tuesday Mantra, with sincerity, joy and a true sense of belief and purpose. 

All together now: ‘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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s exactly who we are, the beloved of God; a fact that NO ONE can take away from us. So as many of us go back out to work after the long Easter weekend, let’s hold that thought, that fact, close to our hearts, and let it empower us as we go about our day, doing the Lord’s work. 

Let’s remember too that Jesus is our friend, in fact our BEST Friend; one who sticketh, stands closer with us than a brother, as Cousin Sol says in Proverbs 18:24. And basically, all we are called to do is share His LOVE with the world. Now that shouldn’t be too hard to do, should it? (smile) 

Unfortunately though, our world today is not interested in true LOVE, the agape, the brotherly kind of LOVE that Jesus desires to share. But friends, we’ve got to keep on keeping on and pursue our vocation to LOVE with a strong, never-ending zeal, for that’s what makes us true believers and followers of the triumphantly risen Christ! 

Now here is something from our One Year book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is titled ‘At Such Times.’ 

And it says: ‘God, there are times In the midst of heartache and heartbreak When there is no comfort, no solace Anywhere at all. There are times When in my crumbling state of mind I feel I can no longer endure – Not for a day, not even an hour. 

It is at such times, O God That I draw heavily upon Your unfathomable LOVE. At such times I implore Your transforming peace. At such times I live By the power and promises Of a Father who cares infinitely more Than I can begin to grasp or comprehend. Today, dear God, is a “such time.” 

Oh my precious and beautiful people of God, I’m sure that resonates so truthfully with us all, because there are times in all our lives when we feel lost and alone, and Almighty God is the ONLY One who understands our situation, and the ONLY One who can provide us true solace and comfort! 

So let us never be afraid, ashamed or whatever, to call upon our heavenly Father for His peace and LOVE, because He’s always there, ready and able to help us. 

And the Biblical Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ 

Yes friends, our God made that promise through Moses oodles of years ago, and it still stands even to this day! 

And all God’s people loudly declared: ‘O heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises! We don’t always put our full trust in them, but deep down we know that they are solid, solid as a rock, and that You will never renege on any of them, because You are a faithful and true God. 

Please help us to stand more securely on the many promise You have made to us over the years, for that is the only way we will ever successfully handle the evil and ungodly world that now surrounds us. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.’ 

And one of the best-known instances of our God going before His people and neither forsaking nor failing them is this passage from Exodus when the Lord took the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. 

‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex.13:21-22) 

And please note the last verse there friends. I believe the writer added it to assure us that God did keep His promise for the long haul. And we’ll close with these words from the scholars re the pillars of cloud and fire. 

’13:21. This glowing cloud was the shekinah glory of Yahweh, which later filled the tabernacle (40:35) and then Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:10), and finally departed from the temple and the city just before the Babylonian captivity (Ezek 8-11). 

This “glory of the God of Israel” will not return to Israel until the second coming of Christ (Ezek.43:1-7), at which time the glowing cloud will once again cover God’s earthly people (Is.4:5). It guided the people through the wilderness, assured them of God’s presence, and protected them from the Egyptians (cf.14:19-20).’ 

Oh friends, what a faithful and mighty God we serve. Please never let us forget that. Much LOVE!

…the God of Israel…faithful and true…is His name and nature… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness. Just too much late night Easter Monday partying. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2014 Proverbs 16:16

Proverbs 16:16.    How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Oh Friends and neighbours, it’s Easter Tuesday, time to get ready for the races! 
 
What races, you say? Steups! How yuh mean what races eh? The goat and crab races down Buccoo in Tobago of course! Down by the famous Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool! 
 
That’s a celebration that’s been going on for as long as I can remember. Can’t remember much of the last one I went to long ago though, for I was so inebriated, so black up with fire-water it wasn’t funny. Hn, hn! All I can vaguely remember is a friend’s sister and I partying down the place in one of the many house parties they use to have back then. Ah Lord eh! 
 
But the celebration seems to have grown so much now, that when I was in Tobago earlier this year, I discovered that they had built a stadium just for those races. Only in T&T you say! (smile) 
 
Anyway my people, it’s oh so necessary that we keep the peace, LOVE, joy and fellowship of this Easter Season going on for as long as possible – at least till Jesus returns – for as we’ve been saying, it’s the most important aspect of Christianity – the foundation on which our faith is built! 
 
It is where we derive all our benefits from – benefits like resurrection, salvation and eternal life. It is only the spilled blood of Jesus, which paid for our abominable transgressions that made it all possible. So please let’s remember that, keep it at the forefront of our minds, and consequently walk with a spring in our steps, and a joy in our hearts that declares: ‘Saved – through the blood of Jesus Christ!’ 
 
And that’s why our Bit is so important in the overall scheme of things my brethren. It points out to us the most meaningful things in this life – wisdom and understanding! ‘How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!’ 
 
And that’s an everlasting truth my fellow believers, because those are the things which keep us wisely, sincerely and securely joined to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Creator and Controller of this great universe and all therein! Now just think how foolish it would be if we didn’t have good communication with our great God and Maker eh! 
 
That’s why Cousin Sol informs us right at the very beginning of Proverbs: ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto (acquire) wise counsels.’ (Prov.1:5) 
 
And as the scholars so rightly explain: ‘1:5. The wise as well as the untaught can learn from this book.’ 
 
And that’s gospel truth Friends! Whatever the state of your learning, your academic standing, you can always learn even more from the Book of Proverbs and the Good Book as a whole! 
 
Then a few lines later, Cousin Sol solemnly warns us: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov.1:7) 
 
And how very true that is my brethren! The fools of this world utterly despise wisdom and instruction! That’s why they reject Jesus Christ and Jehovah God and will eventually perish for their lack of wisdom and foolish disobedience. 
 
And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. 
 
The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 
 
Yes Friends, we’ll certainly be wise to look upon the greatness, the majesty of Jehovah God with reverential awe, for He is ever so much mightier and wiser than us, but His LOVE and magnanimity towards His faithful children know no bounds! 
 
Wow! What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! It always boggles my imagination when I sit and contemplate His might and power, His mercy, grace, forgiveness, LOVING-kindness and the beauty of this universe He created! 
 
Therefore, how can I not LOVE, adore and magnify Him eh? It’s just impossible my brethren, especially after having experienced so much of His undeserving favour throughout my earthly life. 
 
And we’ll conclude today’s message with these wonderful, wise and uplifting verses from Proverbs Chapter 4. Cousin Sol declares in living colour, the importance of wisdom and understanding. 
 
‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4:7-9) 
 
Oh my fellow believers, all I can say to that is a loud, positive and glorious ‘AMEN!’ 
 
Now let’s go out and put it all into practice and action today my brethren, because that is what will keep us on the straight and narrow path, in close communication with Almighty God! And doing that, is certainly heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…oh how good and pleasant it is…to learn about the living God…then reverence and venerate Him with all our life-blood…    
 
P.S. Please excuse the tardiness of the Bit. I guess I celebrated too much last night, thus got up late this morning. Then there were a couple of things I had to do, which took up more time than I bargained for. But as a friend of mine likes to say: ‘It’s all good!’ And it’s also better late than never. Brother, it really short today too! (smile) Much LOVE!