Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2018 Ecclesiastes 5:2.

Ecclesiastes 5:2.   Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few.

 

Wow Friends, these Sundays come around so quickly that sometimes you don’t even have time to think! (smile) We just get up and go to church by rote, like robots, without preparing properly for it. And though it’s good to go to the house of the Lord and worship with fellow believers, I believe we should pay careful attention to these words of Cousin Sol writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: 

‘Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few.’ (Eccl.5:1-2) 

Yeh friends, we have to be careful when we go to church, not to get too caught up in the moment and make vows and promises we can’t or won’t keep. The scholars offer this explanation on the verses. ‘5:1-7. The emphasis on the passage is on the folly of an empty religious profession before a sovereign God: God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth. God expects sincerity and meaningfulness in worship. He is not impressed with foolish vows.’  

And sadly many of us don’t take worship seriously enough. But please, let’s not do that today. Instead, let’s lose the empty religiosity, and gather together with the sincerity and meaningfulness that our God expects of His faithful followers. And let’s begin by showing it in our song of praise, which today is possibly one of the master hymn writer Charles Wesley’s most popular: ‘LOVE Divine, All LOVES Excelling.’  

As one harmonious and melodious choir, let’s put our hearts and souls into it. ‘LOVE divine, all LOVES excelling, joy of heav’n, to earth come down, fix in us thy humble dwelling; all Thy faithful mercies crown. Jesus, thou art all compassion; pure, unbounded LOVE Thou art; visit us with Thy salvation; enter ev’ry trembling heart. Breathe, O breathe Thy LOVING Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast! 

Let us all in Thee inherit; let us find the promised rest. Take away the LOVE of sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty. Come, Almighty, to deliver; let us all Thy life receive; suddenly return and never, nevermore Thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, serve Thee as Thy hosts above, pray and praise Thee without ceasing, glory in Thy perfect LOVE. 

Finish then Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee. Changed from glory into glory, till in heav’n we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, LOVE, and praise.’ 

What a marvellous hymn my brethren! And we sang it with much fervour and sincerity too! I’m sure heaven was deeply touched! (smile) Now here is a brief explanation of the hymn from Wikipedia: ‘Like many hymns, LOVE DIVINE, is loosely Trinitarian in organization: Christ is invoked in the first stanza as the expression of Divine LOVE; the Holy Spirit in the second stanza as the agent of sanctification; the Father in the third stanza as the source of life; and the Trinity (presumably) in the final stanza as the joint Creator of the New Creation. 

Like many hymns, too, this one is a tissue of Biblical quotations, including “Alpha and Omega” (st.2) as an epithet of Christ, from Revelation 21:6; the casting of crowns before God’s throne (st.4), from Revelation 4:10; the promise that Christians shall be “changed from glory into glory” (st.2 and 4), from 2 Corinthians 3:18; as well as other, more general allusions.’ 

Whew! That’s what you call a brief, in depth, general explanation! (smile) But it all makes sense. Ah friends, today is also the day we celebrate as ‘Remembrance Day,’ in the British system, and ‘Veteran’s Day’ in the U.S. The day we remember all those who died fighting for our freedom and democracy. And believe me many many gave their lives on our behalf. So today we honour them with marches and speeches and memorials and services at their gravesites, etc. 

And this year it’s the 100 Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty that ended the first Great War. But we never learned from it, and unfortunately the celebrations are somewhat tainted, because those who survived all our wars, and the relatives of those who died, are finding it very difficult to get the monetary benefits, housing and medical attention that they deserve. Our governments talk a good talk on days like these, but when it’s time to get down into the trenches, it’s all hypocrisy. 

Just this past week the Canadian Government finally allocated a hundred and something million dollars that should have been paid to the veterans some time ago. And even with that allocation, who knows how long that will take to filter down to those in need. It’s the same poor attitude in the U.S. However, although we don’t treat the vets and their families as well as we should, at least we remember them in our prayers and ceremonies. 

And we’ll close with that ever-popular poem ‘In Flanders Field,’ written in their honour by Lieutenant Colonel John McRae: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED, and now we lie In Flanders Fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Ah friends, so many young men died in those unnecessary wars without having even lived life…But we thank them for their sacrifice and today we remember them, with LOVE and gratitude. Much LOVE!

…besides saying…lest we forget…what about saying…we won’t let it happen again eh…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2017 Psalm 84:11.

Psalm 84:11.   For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

 HAPPY  ARMISTICE,  REMEMBRANCE,  VETERAN’S  DAY!

Yeh friends, it’s the 99th anniversary of the Great War; the First World War; the war that was supposed to end ALL WAR! Hn! But they didn’t count on the Second World War less than 30 years later. 

And I seriously doubt that war will ever disappear from man’s agenda until our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ returns in all His splendiferous glory and takes control, for mankind from his fall, has been an angry, war-like animal. Peace and LOVE are only overlays, cover ups for his naturally aggressive and warmongering nature. 

In the United Kingdom they call it Armistice Day, in Canada Remembrance Day and in the U. S of A, Veteran’s Day. And we honour our fallen dead by wearing poppies on our clothes during this sad time of remembrance and awful waste of human life. 

And all over the world, this most famous war memorial poem, In Flanders’ Fields, is read on this day. It was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in May 1915, on the battlefields of Belgium, after the death and burial of one of his friends, Alexis Helmer by a German shell. 

Please remember with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED: and now we lie In Flanders fields! 

Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Ah mih people, sadly, there are even more quarrels and foes than when this poem was written. Man has not learned anything from the ravages of war. But we won’t linger on the topic of war, instead we’ll turn to a more uplifting subject, quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Here is the first one: ‘I Am Thankful For All Of Those Who Said, “No” To Me. It’s Because Of Them I’m Doing It Myself.’ And in some respects I can attest to that, because some of the things I am doing for myself now are because others didn’t want to do them for me. Refusal often leads to your getting up and doing stuff yourself. 

But in saying that, we have to realize that ‘Success Does Not Consist In Never Making Mistakes, But In Never Making The Same One A Second Time.’ We all make mistakes, but when we keep making the same one(s) over and over, then something’s definitely wrong with our modus operandi. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘Your Life Only Gets Better When You Get Better.’ Truth in a nutshell people! Then there is this one: ‘Think Big And Don’t Listen To People Who Tell You It Can’t Be Done. Life’s Too Short To Think Small.’ 

Now there is much to be said for that, but to a certain extent we also have to recognize our limitations, although with our awesome and omnipotent God, anything at all is possible. Glory to God! 

And I like this last quote: ‘Trust is like an eraser, it gets smaller and smaller after every mistake.’ Now isn’t that the gospel truth! Every time we abuse the trust others have in us, the supply gets lower, until it just plain runs out, and they don’t trust us anymore, regardless of what we say or do. 

In fact, we’re lucky to get more than one chance at that state of trust. The only place where second, third, fourth and even fifth chances are possible without condemnation and disgrace is with the Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven, earth and all therein. 

As our Bit tells us: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ 

But even then, in general, He expects us to walk in His will, not in disobedience all of the time. But you do have chances to repent and confess and be forgiven. And though His trust in you won’t diminish, you will feel the consequences of disobedience, you will be chastened in some form and fashion. 

But He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you! You have His ever-faithful promise on that.  As Bruh David so rightly declares in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. 

‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:8-10) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler than that. So today, as we remember the fallen, and ponder the unfortunate ravages of war, let’s be wise nuh, try and walk uprightly, and reach out to our God with penitent and contrite hearts; seek Him in all honesty, so that He can bless and forgive and restore our fallen world. That is heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…seek…knock…ask…and you will be answered…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2016 John 15:13.

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE  hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Well friends, it’s Friday, and many of us are singing our Friday jig: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! At last it’s our time to do as we please. No more massa looking over we shoulder to see what we doing. It’s our time to fly, as high as we want to; to touch the sky even. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

But as always, that jig is a little too expansive with room for things that ought not to be indulged in. And we have our Friday Chant that offers a much better, healthier and godlier perspective. 

So let’s chant it now nuh. ‘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 Christian brethren, that’s a much better way to use the weekend. Behaving like leggo beast, with all sorts of licentiousness and ungodliness isn’t appropriate behaviour for a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ. So as Jeeves would say, let’s moderate our behaviour with a modicum of circumspection nuh. (smile) 

Now this Friday is a special and somewhat melancholy one in man’s memory, as we celebrate Remembrance Day, in honour of all those brave people who died in the Great Wars, especially the First World War. We remember those who gave their most precious possession, their lives, so that we could have a basic freedom in our lives. 

Now unlike what some think, freedom isn’t just granted, more times than not it has to be fought for. And those brave men and women did just that for us. So it’s essential that we remember them and give many thanks for their Christ-like behaviour, as least one day in every year. 

And in their honour, I’d like to share the world’s most famous War Memorial Poem, ‘In Flanders Fields,’ written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on the morning of May 3 1915, at the battlefront during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium. 

Please read with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED: and now we lie In Flanders fields! 

Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Oh my people, the many wasted lives created by that war eh! Young people died by the thousands. We claimed there’d never be another war like that, yet some thirty years later we’re fighting another World War, and several smaller ones after that. 

Steups! Mankind just seems to like war yes; innately he is a warmonger, rather than a peacemaker. 

And on this Remembrance Day of 2016, I believe that our Bit serves as a most appropriate reminder of all those deaths. Listen to Jesus, as He talks to His disciples about LOVE and friendship. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ 

And that’s indisputable, irrefutable, gospel truth! Yes my precious people of God, those soldiers laid down their lives for us, so that we could have the opportunities we now have and to continue their efforts to have a free world. They have passed the torch to us. 

It’s just like Jesus laid down His life so that we could have salvation and eternal life and show others the way to Him. 

However, though we seem to appreciate to some extent the loss of lives back in the war, we don’t seem to particularly like or adopt Jesus’ words before our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) 

Now, if friends give up their lives for us, because they LOVED us, in keeping with Jesus’ commandment, we ought to LOVE and cherish those who remain. But unfortunately, in these times of worldwide anger and strife, the true meaning of the word LOVE is still eluding us. 

We tend to talk it a lot, but seldom do the acts required of it. How can we call ourselves true Christians then eh my brethren, when we are not following the commandment of Jesus? 

Now hear how John puts it in his first epistle. ‘Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good (goods), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion (heart) from him, how dwelleth the LOVE of God in him?’ (1 John 3:16-17) 

That’s a very good question, friends! And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘3:16-17. The standard for our LOVE is God’s LOVE in Christ, who died for us. LOVE that observes need, and does not act to minister to it, is NO LOVE at all. Bowels of compassion in modern English would be “heart,” proceeding from our inward core of awareness and action.’ 

Ah mih people, sadly that does not happen in our poverty-stricken and sickly world as much as it ought to. That means we are falling down as Christians. Anyway, let’s close with the words of Bruh Paul while explaining to the Ephesians, the ways of a believer. 

‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph.5:1-2) 

I couldn’t have said it any better, so please friends, let’s see if we can’t ramp up, improve the incidence of true LOVE in our lives and our societies nuh. It’s the ONLY thing that will stop our world from the current free-fall that it’s currently in. Much LOVE!

…true LOVE is the motor that should drive our lives…