Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2015 Ecclesiastes 12:1‏‏

Ecclesiastes 12:1.    Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not (before the evil days come), nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them.

HAPPY  FATHER’S   DAY!
 
Oh Friends, welcome to a most auspicious day in the annals of mankind! (smile)

And why do I say that? First of all, we’re alive and doing relatively well. Then it’s also Sunday; the day we gather together to sing and praise and worship and glorify our wonderful God and Creator. Thirdly, it’s the first day of summer in the northern climes… And triumphant shouts of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ reach up to heaven for that blessing.

Yes my people, I know that the winter and spring seasons have been long, spiritually and emotionally tiring and just flat out disgusting and depressing. Now we expect to have at least have a couple months of constant sunshine and warm weather. Although we might soon start complaining that it’s too hot. (smile) But that’s just the nature of the beast.

And last but certainly not least, today is Father’s Day. Wow! If all of that doesn’t make this an auspicious occasion, well then I don’t know what does.

And I’d like to wish ALL the Fathers around the world a Happy Father’s Day! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a good, bad or indifferent Father, today is your day, so please enjoy it.

Now I don’t intend to preach a sermon about being a good father, (smile) but just highlight scriptures that point the way. Before we get to that though, just let me say that good fathers are definitely worth their weight in gold; as economic providers, as well as emotional and spiritual guides.

The father is supposed to be the head of the household, the one with the God-given authority to lead and guide the family with a fine balance of LOVE and discipline as we saw in the scholars explanation yesterday.

Sadly, that is not an easy task, and not all men are capable of doing it, or are even willing to try. And that’s when and where the main unit of society, the family, begins to deteriorate. And once that bed-rock foundation goes, then the society itself will eventually crumble. Unfortunately we’re seeing a lot of that, in fact way too much of that deterioration nowadays. 

Men aren’t standing up to their responsibilities as they should, thus leaving the mothers with too much to do. And though mothers are great, can withstand plenty pressure, they are only human and can only do so much with so little. So all I’m asking us men to do is to please accept our responsibilities as fathers, to live up to the expectations that the name implies.

Children weren’t brought into the world by mothers alone, and if, as many of us are, such big, prideful, egotistical men when we impregnate the ladies, then we ought to be just as big and proud and conscientious to help raise the children that we bring into this evil and godless world. End of sermon. (smile)

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not (before the evil days come), nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them.’ And we couldn’t find a more appropriate one for this Father’s Day message, because it’s all about teaching our children about the things of God.  

Remember yesterday we highlighted this scripture from Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6) Well that’s what being a father is all about.

And earlier on in Proverbs, re a Father’s wisdom, Cousin Sol declares: ‘Hear ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law…. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

When thou goest thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered), and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it (do not travel on it) turn from it and pass away.

For they sleep not, except (unless) they have done mischief (evil); and their sleep is taken away (they are robbed of sleep), unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining (bright) light, that shineth more and more (ever brighter) unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.’ (Prov.4:1-2, 10-19)

Ah mih people, those are some of the things a father ought to be teaching his children; showing them the two ways of living this life, the wise and godly one, and the wicked, ungodly fleshly manner.

Now let’s end with these famous words of advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph.6:1-4)  

Yes Friends, it’s a two way street, but it all begins first with the Father, who must teach the children the right and godly way, which includes spiritual education as well as responsibilities and duties. Sad to say, we have not done a good enough job of that with this current generation, that’s why they are so ungodly and irresponsible.

Fathers, and mothers where necessary, please let’s try and improve that nuh, for without those strong foundational building blocks our children will be lost forever. Much LOVE!

…the home is the training ground of the young…and what they learn there…they will practice outside… 

P.S. Friends, will somebody please slap me upside the head for being too lazy to type the headings anew every day, and then making matters worse by forgetting to change the date on some of them. I did it again yesterday.

Chuh! I know many of you don’t notice it, but when I do, it just drives me crazy, because it means I am not doing as excellent a job as I should on the Lord’s business. Anyhow, I know the Lord and you my readers will forgive me, let’s just hope that I can forgive myself. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2015 Ecclesiastes 12:1‏

Ecclesiastes 12:1.   Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not (before the evil days come), nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them.

 

Warm and sincere greetings my beautiful Friends, on this Saturday morning in June, the last day of spring! Yes, tomorrow is listed as the first day of summer, so let’s hope it does come up like summer, (smile) although I don’t mind these cool days that we’ve been having recently. Anyway, there’s not much we can do about the way the weather shapes up on any given day, so we just have to take them in stride and make the best of them.

And talking about taking things in stride, here is an interesting quote from the Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), the famous American essayist, lecturer and poet of the 19th century. Ralph reputedly said: ‘We do not live an equal life, but one of contrasts and patchwork; now a little joy, then a sorrow, now a sin, then a generous or brave action.’

And that’s the absolute truth my people! Our lives don’t flow smoothly from one day or moment to the next, but are constantly moving up and down; from good days to bad ones, from successes to failures, from joy to sorrow and back again.

As my One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness says: ‘A wholesome life, a productive life, a good life – whatever we call it – is not a shimmering length of perfectly woven cloth. It’s more like a patchwork quilt set together by resourceful hands. We cannot choose to discard a bad experience or a poor decision; instead, we piece it into the total colourful work that is life.’

And that’s absolutely more truth there my people! We can’t completely ignore the less than stellar experiences and/ or decisions we make over a life time, but have to weave them into our consciousness, because they are all a part of our lives, they make us what and who we are.

Yes, our lives are just like a patchwork quilt made from many different experiences. I guess the old fogeys would remember those beautiful patchwork quilts that existed when we were growing up.

Yes Friends, our lives are ones of contrasts; contrasts that we have to take and turn into unique and beautiful patterns, if we want to truly enjoy our days on planet earth.  

Now my brethren, let’s turn to another insightful quote, this one our Bit, from the Good Book as penned by Cousin Sol in his role as Preacher and Teacher. ‘Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not (before the evil days come), nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them.’

That’s certainly wisdom and common sense, because remember that though Sol is writing about things that happen in old age, it’s advice that’s actually meant for the young. We ought to remember and pay serious attention to our God while in the springtime of our lives, because when the winter comes around we possibly won’t be interested in life, or even able to enjoy it.

Now let’s address some scripture that highlights and supports the contentions of our Bit. Cousin Sol himself, in Proverbs gives us the gold standard. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.

And the scholars explain: ’22:6. Train up a child refers to the total process of moulding a child’s life. The word ‘train’ (chanak) comes from the root word meaning to “put into the mouth” and implies the idea of conditioning the palate. Thus, parental training should help children develop a taste for the things of God.

The biblical pattern of effective parental training emphasizes a balance of instruction and discipline (cf. Eph.6:1-4). The ideal parent is to be neither overly authoritarian nor overly permissive. Rather, he must balance LOVE and discipline as not to “provoke” his child to rebellion.

When he is old means simply “when he is grown up,” or a mature adult. It does not refer to the elderly years. The verse stresses the simple principle that education in the home forms the man throughout his lifetime.’

And that last sentence Friends is the gospel truth! The foundation that we receive at home will go with us throughout our lives, and if that foundation is not built on a solid, godly footing, then we will most likely drift and waiver and be double minded and insecure for most of our lives.

Remember the old saying; ‘Charity begins at home.’ It’s ever so true my people, for if we aren’t taught properly at home, then we won’t be able to behave properly outside of it. And unfortunately that is what has happened to a large part of this current generation; they haven’t been taught properly at home.

For whatever reasons, be they the busyness of their parents’ lives, or their fear of offending the children through proper discipline, or simply parents who don’t care, the youth of today are sadly unprepared for godly living today. 

And we’ll end today with a great example of godly parenting. This deals with Josiah, one of Judah’s kings. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined (did not turn aside) neither to the right hand, nor to the left.

For in the eight year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places (places of pagan worship), and the groves (wooden images), and the carved images, and the molten images.’ (2 Chr.34:1-3)

Now Bruh David was not Josiah’s biological father, just his forefather. And I don’t know how Josiah got so godly, because both his father Amon and his grandfather Manasseh did that which was evil in the Lord’s sight.

The scholars tell us: ‘34:2. Josiah is commended as a godly king whose faith took a straight course and who was unequalled by any Judean king in his concern for the law of God (cf. 2 Kin.22:1-2, 23-25).’

Ah Friends, how many young people of today would ever be so brave and godly eh? Not too many. And we only have ourselves to blame, because we didn’t do a good enough job raising them.

However my people, it’s not too late, we can still make some amends for our less than stellar parenting by keeping on trying with our children, though many are now set in their ways, but also by doing right by our grandchildren, the next generation. That’s our only hope to reverse the ungodly process that’s now in place. Much LOVE!

…it’s true you make the children…but you don’t make their minds…however you can be a major influence on them if you sincerely try…

 

 

 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2014 Psalm 107:1

Psalm 107:1.   O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.

Oh Friends, the first day of summer 2014 wasn’t bad at all nuh! It got up to about 24 or 25 degrees Celsius, with bright sunshine and a nice, cool breeze. Only hope that will be the norm for the rest of the season yes.
 
Hn, hn! That’s what they call wishful thinking. But if we don’t have hope, what’s the point of living eh?
 
And this Sunday morning my people, we have a wonderful Bit from Psalm 107, God’s wonderful works to the children of men, which does exactly that; give us lots and lots of hope.
 
The psalmist opens his prayer of praise with a powerful and indisputably true statement: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’
 
With that fact my brethren, there can be no argument whatsoever! And why is that? Listen to the psalmist proclaim his reasons: ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
 
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps.107:2-7)
 
Yes Friends, those are indeed the actions of a most LOVING and merciful God!
 
Thus the psalmist logically declares: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps.107:8-9)
 
Likewise, in Psalm 106, Israel sins against God’s LOVE, a psalm of national lament, the writer wisely advises in his opening verses: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter (express) the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgement (justice), and he that doeth righteousness at all times.’ (Ps.106:1-3)
 
And that my Friends, is all gospel truth! So let’s remember it, and put it into practice nuh, for it will only benefit us greatly.
 
The prophet Jeremiah also, in talking about the reviving of Judah, LOVINGLY proclaims: ‘The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land (the captives of the land to return), as at the first, saith, the Lord.’ (Jer.33:11)
 
How can we not LOVE and revere such a magnanimous, forgiving and merciful God eh my people? We’d be extremely foolish not to!
 
And we’ll close with some similar words and sentiments from Bruh David’s song of thanksgiving after the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
 
And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.17:34-36)
 
Yes Friends, let’s praise the Lord God, our Creator, Provider, Shield and Strong Fortress, today and everyday nuh, for He is the ONE, who causes us to draw breath and to live lives of comfort, prosperity and security. Much LOVE!
 
…praise, gratefulness and thanks to Almighty God…should be an integral part of the believer’s lifestyle… 
 
P.S. Wow! Is it ever short today! (smile) So please don’t complain if it’s long tomorrow. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2014 Acts 5:39

Acts 5:39.      But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
 
Oh Friends, please give this glorious Saturday morning a resounding welcome, as it heralds the first day of summer in the memorable year of 2014! And let’s hope and pray that it treats us much better than the last winter season did. But please don’t hold your breath, because I believe that once the summer truly gets going, it will be a scorcher. (smile)
 
But as I keep reminding us, once we’re hanging out with Jesus, we will be able to handle the crazy summer and whatever else comes against us. And all God’s people mouthed a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Jesus!’
 
Yes Friends, we do indeed have a lot to be thankful to Jesus for; things like redemption, reconciliation, salvation and eternal life. ! Now how could we not be eternally grateful for all that wonderful stuff eh? Oh… and please don’t forget that most practical gift of His Holy Spirit, which indwells every believer and gives us the wherewithal to come up over all our problems, be they large or small.
 
And Friends, today just might be your lucky day, for we might just be finished with the messages on the Holy Spirit today. And I can hear some sighs of relief in the background. But don’t jump for joy too soon, because there’s no guarantee of that, (smile) for we have to go and move as the Spirit dictates. Just like how we saw the apostles’ move yesterday, through the Spirit’s leading, telling the Jewish council to their hypocritical faces where to get off. (Acts 5:29-32)  
 
Today we’ll look at what happened after that dressing down by the fired up apostles. ‘When they (the council) heard that, they were cut to the heart (furious), and took council to slay them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor (teacher) of the law, had in reputation among (held in respect by) all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space (for a little while);
 
And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching (regarding) these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed (followed) him, were scattered, and brought to nought (nothing).
 
After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing (census), and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.’ (Acts 5:33-39)
 
Oh Friends, what wise advice from Gamaliel! Now here are some notes from the scholars: ‘5:34. Gamaliel was a respected Pharisee, a prominent teacher at Jerusalem, a member of the Jewish high council (the Sanhedrin), and the teacher of Paul.
 
Jewish tradition states that Gamaliel’s grandfather was Hillel, the prominent rabbi who represented the liberal wing of the Pharisees in opposition to the more rigid, and conservative wing led by Shammai. When the lives of the apostles were in jeopardy before the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel quieted them with his persuasive and pragmatic speech. Gamaliel is mentioned only twice in Scripture: Acts 5:34 and 22:3.’
 
Yeh mih people, Bruh Paul was a student of Gamaliel, so you can see where he got some of his persuasiveness, some of his lawyer’s skills from. And some more notes from the scholars: ‘5:36-39. Many false messiahs have arisen through the ages, as Christ Himself predicted (Matt.24:5). These have all died and have amounted to nothing. Gamaliel cites two such cases from his lifetime to discourage any rash actions against the Twelve.
 
God in His providence uses this to protect His servants. Gamaliel’s advice must not be regarded however, as biblical precept. False teachers do not inherently cease with the passing of time. Paul, one of Gamaliel’s own students (22:3), did not follow or teach this principle. We are to note, rebuke, and oppose false teachings (cf. Rom.16:17; 2 Thess.3:6; Jude 3).’
 
Now there’s no doubt about that Friends! We ought to expose and clarify false teachings as soon as we become aware of them.
 
And how did the rest of the Jewish council respond to Gamaliel’s suggestion eh? ‘And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.’ (Acts 5:40-41)
 
Oh my brethren, are we willing to suffer such pain and shame for Jesus’ sake? We ought to, although that’s easier said than done.
 
But listen to this last verse: ‘And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus (as the) Christ.’ (Acts 5:42)
 
Oh praise the Lord and the power of His Holy Spirit! Why?  Because it was the mighty power of God’s Spirit that enabled the apostles to withstand the brutal physical punishment, then go right back out and do what they were commanded not to do.
 
Ah mih people, how I wish that many, many more of us would thumb our noses at the evil, ungodly leaders of today, and just keep on doing God’s work, whenever the law of the world contradicts God’s Word. So please, let’s all try and do better in that aspect of our faith walk nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…remember, it is always better to obey God rather than man…and He will help us to stand the consequences…