Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 October 2021 Philippians 4:6.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING CANADA!

Philippians 4:6.     Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. 

Oh friends, is it ever good to awaken to another day, another Monday, another Thanksgiving Monday! And all God’s people said: ‘Thanks be to God, who keeps the breath of life flowing through our earthly bodies!’ And why does He do that? Because He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, which includes enjoyment of the day. That’s why we say: ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) Yes, my brethren, that’s the only way to go! 

And on this Thanksgiving Day of 2021, where life is somewhat rough, and we can’t gather as carelessly as we’d like, we ought to be thankful that we can even gather at all. Remember last year Thanksgiving Day was a most dreary time. No set of food and family and good cheer, all because of the Pandemic situation. So, there’s oodles of thanks to be given for just being able to get together more than last year. But please, please be careful. This thing is not over yet – far from it – and we still need to take as many precautions as possible to minimize further problems. 

And to show our gratitude for that improvement, let’s intone the opening verses of Psalm 105, subtitled – God’s wondrous works in behalf of Israel. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek ye the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.’ (Ps. 105:1-4) 

Now I am sure if we were doing that as much as we ought to, we would not be having half as many problems as we do! I am convinced that many of our problems stem from the fact that we don’t reverence and appreciate our Creator as we should. But this Thanksgiving time is the right occasion for us to turn back to Him, remembering all that He has done for us, and has promised to do. 

In the marvellous words of Bruh David: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) And are we ever so glad that this Thanksgiving we have sufficient food to eat. But having said that, let’s not forget there are many of our fellow brethren out there who don’t have enough, possible nothing at all to eat, and it’s our bounden duty to provide for them as best we can. 

That recalls the glorious day when many of the children of Israel heard the word of the Lord for the first time as it was read to them, by Ezra and his associates. Then Nehemiah, the Governor, said unto them: ‘Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 1:8) 

And is it ever my fellow saints! That’s why the enemy does his best to steal our joy. He knows when he gets us sad and downcast, it’s much easier to have us do his evil bidding. But not today mih bredrin, for today is a day of exceeding joy, and a time to remember our biggest blessing, our greatest gift and benefit. Like Bruh David said: ‘who redeemeth thy life from destruction.’ And yes friends, God’s greatest gift, His biggest benefit is that of freedom from the bondage of sin, of salvation through His free gift of grace, earned through the finished work of Christ. 

As Jesus puts it: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Glory be my fellow believers! If we are not thankful for anything else, we should be exceedingly thankful for that, because it’s nothing that we earned, or could ever earn, but though God’s infinite grace and mercy, it was bestowed upon us. And all we have to do is to believe in His Son! But so many of us stubbornly refuse to do it because of foolish pride and belief in the world’s evil systems. But there will be consequences for that stubbornness. 

And let’s not think that just because we call today Thanksgiving Day, that this is the only day we should give thanks. Absolutely not! Bruh Paul reminds us of that in his epistle to the church at Philippi, when he says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Oh my fellow believers, we wonder why we don’t have peace? Well, the answer is right there. We don’t take our requests to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. And there’s no better time than right now, for us to get wise and do just that. So, in sincere prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let’s make our requests known to Almighty God through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please 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!’ 

Now, let’s go and keep the promises we just made, if we want to see positive answers to our prayers and supplications with thanksgiving. Much LOVE!

..in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus…concerning you… (1 Thess. 5:17)                                                                                                         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2019 Psalm 78:7.

Psalm 78:7.   ​That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
 
And if you think that the showers of blessings from heaven haven’t been cascading down, then you’re sadly mistake! (smile) It’s been going on for most of the night! Yeh friends, the ole rain is continuing its onslaught against the land, and still causing serious flooding in several areas around the country. Please, let’s pray for those unfortunate citizens, and help in whatever way we can, for we never know when our number is going to play, and then we need help too. 

And one unhappy camper is our ordinary workingman, as he sings his Friday song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes, but more bloody rain again! Last weekend was the same blooming thing; rain and more rain! And during the week too! Most days I had to be wading through the thing to get to the slave master job…and he doh care if hell or high water come, he want you to reach his slave job on time…and yuh can’t even tell him that yuh sick nuh, else he want a doctor note and all that chupidness! 

Ah Lord, when the nonsense going to stop eh? I’ll live with it during the week, but come the weekend, that is my time to play…and I can’t play in endless rain, especially when the weather just getting warm! Steups! But I guess we have to be thankful for small mercies yes! I don’t have to go to work for two whole days, and it might just give me some useful time with the family, instead of being out and about palavering and partying. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes mih people, at least the constant rain is causing some of us to stay at home, instead of being out and about. That just might do something to improve family relationships, or too much time together might just spoil them…who knows? But anyway, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which is somewhat more restrictive than the workingman’s song, because our Leader, Jesus Christ, wants us to be a tad more finicky in our comportment and deportment. (smile) 

So as one loud voice now, let’s chant: ‘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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we too are entitled to fun and games, but just a li’l more cautiously, so we don’t allow the evil one to invade our space. But rest and relaxation are also important, otherwise we won’t be able to fulfill our duties properly next week. And just like the slave master, Jesus is also a stickler for workers being on time and doing their duties diligently and excellently. So there you have it! (smile) 

And today I think we need to read and remember the words of Asaph, as he expressed them in Psalm 78. ‘Give ear (listen), O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 

For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare (yes!) them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.’ (Ps.78:1-7) 

Ah friends, those are mightily important words! Words that we too ought to know and do! In the olden times there was no written Bible or anything like it, that means the history of the people had to be told orally, handed down from generation to generation. And that’s how the stories in the Good Book managed to keep going until they reached a time that they could be written down. 

But the inherent commandment, well it’s not really inherent, but totally spelled out, is that one generation should enlighten the next about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, His character and good works towards sinful mankind. Moses told it to the Israelites when they came out of bondage in Egypt. The Lord told it in spades to Joshua (Josh.1:8-9) when He made him the leader of Israel after Moses’ death, before they actually went into the Promised Land. 

And it’s been handed down from generation to generation after that, until it has come to ours. Unfortunately though our generation has made a sad mess of things. We have not adequately instructed our children in the ways and means of Almighty God, that’s why so many of them are lost and gone astray, have no solid foundation on which to build their lives, and are so susceptible to any nonsense that some charismatic person promotes.  

I don’t know if a generation in modern times has been so ungodly, been so badly taught, or not taught at all, as our children. And there’s nobody to blame but ourselves. We’ve allowed this ungodly and secular society to take God out of the schools and other places, where there was at least a smattering that the children could access. But even worse, we the parents of this generation have stopped going to church, have stopped teaching the children at home. 

Remember charity begins at home, and it’s our responsibility to teach our children, not the schools or the church! But as parents we have become soft and sappy, afraid of our children, letting them have their own way, assisted by the numerous worldly things that are constantly spewed at them! 

Chuh friends! We’ve done a bad job raising our children in a godly manner. There are no doubts about that! But we’ve still got a li’l time left, so please, please, let’s do what we can with our children, but more than ever, work on our grandchildren, so that the Word of the Lord won’t be lost to the following generation. 

Remember how the Word was lost to the children of Israel when they went into captivity in Babylon, and a whole generation heard it for the first time when Ezra and Nehemiah read it to them. (Neh.8) I sincerely pray that that won’t happen to our children, and our children’s children! In Jesus’ name! Amen! Much LOVE!

…how sad…if our generation caused the Word…to be lost to generations to come…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well my people, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day! But today is a special Sunday; it’s Thanksgiving Sunday in our wonderful country of Canada! Yes friends, this our Thanksgiving weekend, so we will be even more joyful and grateful in the Lord’s house today, as we give Him all the praise and glory and thankfulness that our hearts can produce for the awesome blessings He has bestowed on us over the past year. 

Oh, we’ve had our problems like everybody else, but I’m pretty sure that the blessings have outweighed the calamity. That’s why we have chosen to open with this old hymn of praise and thanks, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ written by Bishop Thomas Ken in 1674, with the additional chorus and words for verses 2 and 3 added by Michael Schroeder some years ago. 

So with joyful hearts and thankful spirits, let’s raise our voices to heaven offering sacrifices of praise in thrilling song. Sing it my people! ‘Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17) Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21) Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14) Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) Praise to the Father praise to the Son Praise to the Spirit Three in One. (Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4) Praise to the most high God we sing. (Psalm 136:2) Praise to our Savior, Lord and King. (2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 74:12) 

{Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, (Psalm 96:2) Praise our God, for our God saves. (Psalm 68:20)} Let every mouth the Lord proclaim. (Psalm 145:21) Let earth and heaven sing His praise. (Psalm 96:11) Let every knee before Him bow, (Romans 14: 11) Great is our God, the Lord of all. (Acts 10:36) {Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, Praise our God, for our God saves.} Praise, God from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ 

Oh friends that was wonderful! You could see the tears welling up in the Father’s eyes, so touched was He by our thankfulness. And you’ll notice that in this version they gave us the scripture verses from whence the words came, and I chose to leave them in the first time around, for those of us might want to check them out. 

And we all know that in times of indecision, so often our first choice is our best. And so it was with our Bit. It was my first choice… and then I had doubts, so I checked out several other scriptures. But the Holy Spirit brought me right back to this one, as being the best choice for today. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

These were the words of Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem, after they had finished repairing the walls and houses and Ezra the scribe had read from the Book of the Law written by Moses for the people in the public square. That generation of Israelites had never heard the Word before. And when they were done, ‘Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh.8:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we ought to have on hearing the wonderful Word of our magnanimous and magnificent God read out loud, especially on a special day like today. Can you imagine how those people felt on hearing the Word for the first time? Hn! The elders had to tell them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’(Neh.8:9b)  

I just wish that many more of us could be so moved when we heard the Word, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, without much emotion. That leads me to a New Testament scripture, where Bruh Paul, is writing to the Corinthians, about Death being swallowed up in victory. Then a couple verses later he makes this awesome statement of truth. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:57).  

Oh friends, without the great and unconditional LOVE of God towards us, shown by the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for our sakes, we’d have very little, if anything to be thankful for today. So having had the Word of the Lord read to us, and the joy of His Spirit flowing through us, let’s go home and do as the Israelites did on that faithful and fateful day. ‘And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh. 8:12) 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s eat and drink and be merry this Thanksgiving weekend because it is our just due from all our labour. But let’s remember two important things. First off, let’s not get too carried away in our celebrations, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ We don’t want to give the enemy any chance to invade our spirits.

And the next thing is to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are, and like the Israelites did, send portions to those whom you can send to, for whatever the Lord has given us was meant to be shared. And for those far away, the many suffering from all the recent natural disasters, donate whatever you can to help, and also remember them in your prayers, for you never know when you might end up in their situation and need the help of others. Much LOVE!

…Thanksgiving…a special time to give thanks…and show thankful LOVE…  

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2016 Nehemiah 8:10c‏‏

Nehemiah 8:10c.   For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

And then it was Friday… 

And we all know what happens on Fridays – the people rejoice with shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend’s here at long last, and we can say to hell with work for two days! Party time mih breddren! Oh thank the Lord for Fridays yes!’ 

Ah mih people, I won’t even bother to say that that is not the best use for us to put the weekend to. (smile) I’ll just say let’s chant our Friday Chant so that we can get a better perspective on our two days off. 

As one now: ‘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.’ 

Now that makes a whole lot more sense than just partying away the two little days off we have, then going back out to work next week tired and miserable and complaining. I do hope that eventually most of us learn the right way, for until we do, our lives will keep on being dysfunctional, filled with complaints, resentment, anger and a sad lack of true joy, and that’s definitely no way to live.  

And to further help us in living functional and joyous lives, here is a quote from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Listen up: ‘You’re going to be okay. This pain you feel is going to pass. Maybe not this moment or today or tomorrow, but sometime soon. The hurt will fade. Don’t give up before things get better. You may be wounded, but you aren’t broken. You can and will heal.’ 

Oh friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but the ole fella needs that message, that encouragement badly! Now deep down I do know that things will improve health wise, as I’ve already had an inkling of it, but still, when the aches and pains strike out of the blue, with no apparent provocation on your part, it does try your spirit. 

That’s why we need to keep our focus steadfastly on the Lord and His tender mercies and LOVING-kindness, so that we won’t give in to the always nagging temptation to give up! And that’s why our Bit is ever so important: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

And did I ever have my joy renewed yesterday friends! We took the water taxi from Port of Spain to San Fernando, a cool hour’s ride along the coast of Trinidad. There, a couple of friends met us and drove us through Sando (San Fernando), then down to their home in Point Fortin. 

Oh, is the southland ever busy! Brother, the cars are numerous, with all sorts of traffic jams, and then others just swooping by under less than safe circumstances. We saw the highway that was never completed, ostensibly due to lack of money, aided and abetted by serious corruption. Ah Lord eh! 

We also saw the Pitch Lake; that mass of regenerating pitch, (asphalt) from which I understand we export, but don’t use ourselves. Anyway it was a very interesting tour, with all sorts of big and beautiful homes along the way, as well as older, not so big ones. 

The people are crying that the times they are hard, and no doubt they are for some, but looking at some of what is going up, one would deduce that there is money, and plenty too, in certain echelons of the society. 

Nonetheless, we had dinner at a wonderful new establishment called Clifton Hills Resort, situated next to the beach. A small hotel, not yet functional is also situated on the property. It’s well landscaped, the food was delicious and the service excellent. 

Then our friends drove us all the way back to Port of Spain, at least an hour and a half drive. The new Uriah Buzz Butler Highway made it a little easier. And wonder of wonders, as I was going up to my room I saw a hockey game on in one of the little booths in the lobby, and I obviously shouted for joy, because I’ve been in a hockey wilderness for three weeks now. 

I was just in time to see the third period. And although my team, the Detroit Red Wings lost against the Pittsburgh Penguins, I felt like a thirsty man does when given a drink of water. (smile) 

Now let’s end with the rest of the story re our Bit. ‘And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha (Governor), and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 

Then said he unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace (be still), for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh.8:9-12) 

Oh friends, how I wish that we could be so joyful when we hear the word read to us because we understood it. So many of us don’t even pay attention, much less understand. 

Then again, we can get all sorts of advice, but we all have to make our own decisions, let’s hope we make the right ones today, especially that of closely following our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for that is indeed the wisdom of all time. Much LOVE!

…in our times of merriment and joy…let’s not forget to share with the needy…for as Jesus said…in as much  as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren…ye have done it unto me…  (Matt.25:40b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2016 Nehemiah 8:10c‏‏

Nehemiah 8:10c.    For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Hello there my faithful brethren, the ole fella’s in Trickidad (Trinidad); in the great metropolis of Port of Spain, the island’s capital! Glory to God! 

I came down by the ferry yesterday afternoon, a smooth two and a half hours’ trip, to see some friends and family I haven’t seen in ages. The last two years I’ve been here, I never really visited, just changed planes at Piarco airport to Tobago, and changed planes on the way back to Canada. 

I’m staying at a hotel right overlooking the water front, not far from the ferry dock. This foolishly led me to ask a chap there yesterday if I could walk to the hotel. ‘Oh yes!’ he declared. ‘It’s just a small walk to the Radisson,’ pointing out the building in the foreground. 

And having walked from the hotel to the ferry docks when I was here the first time, some four years ago, I knew it wasn’t that long. But back then I didn’t have a heavy bag in one hand and a suitcase in the other, neither was the sun as hot. 

So see me and the duchess walking down Wrightson Road in the busy four o’clock traffic, pulling our suitcases along a rough sidewalk, then having to cross over the busy road to get to the hotel. Hn! I just chalked it up to being my daily exercise. But never again! That’s all I have to say. (smile) 

The hotel is comfortable, not as big or as expensive as the Hyatt across the street. One of its more endearing features is the revolving restaurant at the top. We had dinner up there last night. The food was good, and while dining we spun a whole 360 degrees, which allowed a wonderful view of Port of Spain and its environs brightly lit up in the clear night sky. 

Today we’re thinking about taking a water taxi to San Fernando, the big city in the southern part of the island, but we’re not sure of that just yet. And as I look out my eleventh floor window in the early morning, I can see people already moving about, and that Wrightson Road is also fairly busy. 

But on a more important note, how many of you noticed the nonsense I did yesterday eh? Ah Lord eh! Lucifer must have been really playing games with my mind, for in all three headings I had the Bit listed as ‘Nehemiah 10c.’ Now what is that eh? Only the Lord alone knows. 

And in editing the Bit, I usually read it at least three times before sending it out. Steups! I don’t know what happened to me yesterday, if I was just rushing to get it done so I could get to the ferry on time or what. And sadly, it’s only this morning when I looked at it again, something clicked in my ole brain and I realized the mistake. Chuh! It just annoyed me, because I dislike making such fundamental mistakes. 

Anyway, yesterday is history, today’s a brand new day, filled anew with our wonderful God’s brand new mercies and compassions. As the prophet Jeremiah wisely and truthfully says in his Lamentations: ‘They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:23) Glory be! So I’ll forget about that mistake, and just hope I don’t make any more such glaring errors. (smile) 

Now let’s continue with our Bit: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ And indeed it is, for without His peace and grace and LOVE steadfastly in our hearts, we’ll not have any long lasting strength to withstand the numerous wiles and lies of the enemy. 

So yesterday we saw where Ezra, the priest began reading the law of Moses to the people. ‘And he read therein before the street (plaza) that was before the water gate from the morning (it was light) until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.’ (Neh.8:3) 

Oh my people, I just wish that statement could be made about us when we go to church or anywhere that the Lord’s Word is spoken. So often, so many of us are guilty of not paying attention to the reading of the Word, both aloud in church and in our own daily devotions. 

But yuh know friends, when we don’t pay proper attention, we’re not doing God anything nuh, because He already knows the Word, for He wrote it. But we are doing ourselves a great injustice when we don’t concentrate and meditate on it, because it’s His guideline for our successful earthly living. 

But moving on: ‘And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit (platform) of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah etc.…  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up; and Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. 

And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua etc… and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law; so the people stood in their place. 

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense (expounded the meaning), and caused them to understand the reading.’ (Neh.8:4-8) 

Now there were others there explaining and interpreting the Word to the people, most of whom were hearing the actual reading of the Word for the very first time in their lives. 

And the scholars offer this footnote. ‘8:7-8. In verse 7 the men gave the sense of the law (caused the people to understand) and then in verse 8 translated or read…distinctly from the Hebrew into Aramaic, the only language some of the people may have understood (cf. 13:24; Ezra 4:18). This would be the first mention of what developed as the Targums, or oral paraphrases of the Law, which were later written down.’ 

Now isn’t that behaviour of the olden people, very contradictory to ours when we hear the Word being read? It surely is, possibly because we’ve heard it a thousand times before, so we don’t pay particular attention. We allow the worldly saying that familiarity breeds contempt to seep into our souls. 

But that’s not right friends, we all should be as familiar and attentive to the Good Book as we possibly can, because that’s where our guidelines for living are ensconced. 

Now today, let’s ponder our personal familiarity with, and attentiveness to God’s Word, and with His help, try to improve it nuh. For that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t read and study the Guidebook of life…how will you know the guidelines for living…how to live life eh…

P.S.  I fixed the Scrip-Bit Blog from yesterday, so it’s perfect now. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2016 Nehemiah 8:10c

Nehemiah 8:10c.  For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 Oh welcome my brethren to another interesting and satisfying day of life on God’s great planet Earth! 

And as we keep saying, there must be a reason for us to have awakened this morning. So, after giving God some thanks and praise for bringing us through the dark night of sin into the glorious sunshine of Jesus, let’s get with His plan for our lives right away nuh. 

And since today is Wednesday, it means declaring our Wednesday Wail with much vim and vigour. (smile) As one wailer now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes friends, life is all about looking forward to a glorious future with Jesus! As they say; our best days are still ahead. And I do believe that. And how can we not be ever-thankful for the beautiful breath of God’s Spirit that’s flowing through us to give us what we call life eh! 

Now today I want to share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. Don’t know if I’ve shared it before, but if I have, it’s certainly worthy of another go round in this dark and dismal world. 

He asks the question ‘Are You Happy?’ But I want to change it to ‘Are you Joyful?’ because happiness conveys a sense of now for now pleasure that soon fades, pleasure as the world sees it, not the long lasting joy that comes from a true relationship with Jesus. So in this passage, wherever we see ‘Happiness,’ let’s read it as ‘Joyfulness.’ 

So here goes: ‘Happiness – that deep inner strength that is made up of courage, faith, hope, and peace. Mix them together and you have happiness! Happiness – the courage to hang on in the face of severe adversity! Happiness – the faith that God will have the last word, and it will be good! Happiness – the hope that, even though you can only see the shadow, someday the clouds will clear away and the sun will shine again! 

Happiness – the quiet sense of self-esteem that comes when you know you have done your best. Happiness – the assurance that you have been merciful and kind to enemy and friend alike. Happiness – the quiet assurance that God will be merciful and kind to you, too. Happiness – the beautiful belief that this life, no matter how difficult it may be, is not your final destination.’ 

Oh what beautiful, words, thoughts and emotions my people! Especially knowing that our final destination is heaven, to live with Jesus forever! ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:4) 

And all God’s people loudly and proudly declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Thank the Lord for the promise of heaven!’ 

And that’s all fine and dandy my friends, but the truth, the reality is that we can’t have all those things, all that happiness, all that joyfulness here on earth, unless we are walking faithfully and steadfastly with Almighty God! 

And you ask why? Simply because, as our Bit says: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

And that my people is an indisputable fact! We cannot be truly happy or joyful for any length of time, unless the Lord’s joy is running through us. The Lord’s joy comes from a sense of inner peace, of expectations edged with faith in God’s promises, and the practical LOVE He showed to us by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for the atonement of our sins! 

No other faith can boast of those things! That’s why Jesus is the Truth, the Life, the Way and the Light that lights up this world of darkness! 

Now some of us might not know where our Bit comes from, or how it is tied in to the scriptures, so let’s go back in time. The Israelites had recently returned from exile in Babylon, and having settled themselves in their homeland again, in the seventh month they came together to celebrate and thank the Lord. 

‘And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street (plaza) that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the scribe brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding upon the first day of the seventh month.’ (Neh.8:1-2) 

Now friends, I think it’s very important that we listen to the scholars’ explanation here. ‘8:2. The time was the Feast of Trumpets (Lev.23:24) and was about September 27, 444 B.C. This was the most sacred of the new moons, and commenced the final month of the religious festivals (Lev.23:23-25; Num.29:1-6). The concept of understanding was important as Proverbs 1:2 indicates (cf. Ex.12:26-27; Deut.4:6; 6:6-9; 31:12-13). 

Mindless superstition was the mark of paganism (“They have not known nor understood.” Is.44:18-20), and had been the downfall of apostate Israel (Hos.4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”). Notice the stress on understanding in verses 2-3, 7-8,13.’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly what’s happening to our world today! We are suffering from a lack of knowledge and understanding of God, just like Israel was back then. Paganism is rearing its ugly head more and more, no wonder our world is going to hell in a hand-basket like happened to the apostate Israel! 

What do you think happens when a society, a nation, a world turns away from Almighty God eh? Obvious calamity! 

Oh my people, look at the number of places, cities and societies cited in the Bible who were destroyed because they had turned from worshipping and serving the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, including His chosen Israel several times. 

What makes us thing that our turning away from Him now will end any differently eh? And I’ll leave us to ponder that question today. Much LOVE!

…apart from Almighty God…mankind is doomed to destruction…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2013 Deuteronomy 26:11

Deuteronomy 26:11.    And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite (priest), and the stranger that is among you.
 
                                                   HAPPY  U. S. THANKSGIVING  DAY!
 
Well a Happy Thanksgiving Day to all our Friends and families south of the border! Today is the big day in the U.S. Possibly the most celebrated holiday on their calendar, where friends and families come together to give thanks for whatever they have it, be it much or little.
 
The sad part though is that too many have too little and too few have too much. But whatever we do have Friends, we need to be thankful for it.
 
As our Bit says, from the instructions of offering of our first fruits to the Lord: ‘And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite (priest), and the stranger that is among you.’ Please note that it includes EVERYBODY; even ‘the stranger that is among you.’ 
 
And I just LOVE the scripture from Nehemiah, after Ezra and the priests had read and explained the Law of Moses, which most of the people had never heard before, and they wept after hearing it.
 
‘Then he (Nehemiah) said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto the Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh.8:10)
 
What I LOVE about that scripture are the inspired words; ‘and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared.’ Oh my fellow believers, that is supposed to be a big part of the Thanksgiving Holiday, or for that matter, ALL holidays! We need to learn to share with those who have less than us, because it is a Biblical instruction.
 
Note this verse, when the Israelites came out of Egypt, and were being told about certain feasts and how to cook the food and where to eat it.
 
‘And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to place his name there.’ (Deut.16:11)
 
EVERYBODY was supposed to be included! But unfortunately as the years rolled along and we became more selfish and greedy people, we have tended to forget about those the Lord takes special interest in; the poor, the widows and the orphans.
 
The same message is sent in Esther, after the Jews defeated Haman and their enemies in Babylon, and instituted the Feast of Purim. Mordecai instructed them to keep the feast; ‘As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day (holiday): that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions (presents) one to another, and gifts to the poor.’ (Esth.9:22)
 
But sadly, these days the poor are generally forgotten. Thanksgiving has become another big commercial day. It’s all about sales and money. As soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, we now rush over to the stores to eagerly await Black Friday, when stuff is supposedly marked down tremendously.
 
Yes Friends, some stuff might be marked down, but others might also be marked up, because the merchants know that once you’re in the store for one cheap item, you’re more than likely to buy much more at higher mark-ups.
 
And the wild animal, leggo beast behaviour on display at these sales is truly disgusting. Many of us don’t even really need the stuff we line up for and rush and push to buy. But just because it’s on sale, we decide we must have it. That’s the kind of mentality the merchants have developed in us. Ah Lord eh!
 
And talking about the leggo beast behaviour, one woman claims she saw two other women fighting in a store over one object, while the security people stood around looking at them, no doubt in astonishment. Each woman had a hold on one end of the object, pulling and pushing and tugging and shouting angrily at each other.
 
And do you know what that must have object was? An electric toothbrush. Steups! 
 
And then after Black Friday comes Cyber Monday, another big sales day. Chuh! It’s all about merchandising these days!
 
Now even the Canadian merchants are getting involved in the nonsense as a way of stopping Canadians form going south to spend their money. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much good that is going to do nuh, because they say that even with the travel time and expense, the exchange rate and the border hassles, it’s still worthwhile to go south and shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Ah Lord eh!
 
Anyway Friends, enough of my whatever you choose to call it. I just hope that in all our business we remember the true purpose behind the holiday, and do give thanks to Almighty God for all that’s He’s done for us and provided us with.
 
Let’s also remember to share with the less fortunate, because that’s what Jesus is all about, and if we’re to be His true followers, we need to display the same empathy.
 
And we’ll end with some wise words from Cousin Sol on the topic. ‘I know that there is no good in them (nothing better for them), but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.’ (Eccl.3:12-13)
 
And that my brethren is gospel truth! So please let’s act accordingly and thus give Jesus a good Thanksgiving present. It’s heartfelt wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…I’m giving thanks…for all I’ve got…I’m giving thanks…whether or not…I’m giving thanks…for the life in me…I’m giving thanks now…  (From the song ‘Giving Thanks’ by Beres Hammond)