Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2015 Ecclesiastes 5:7‏

Ecclesiastes 5:7.   For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.

Ah Friends, it was Caribana Monday, so the ole fella had to celebrate, which meant a late night – early morning scenario! Well it wasn’t any real celebration, just doing my family thing a little later than usual.

Anyway, Caribana Monday did turn out to be a beautiful summer’s day after all! Glory to God! That means most of the festivities planned for the day were able to go ahead and the day wasn’t spoiled for the many out of town visitors and our residents who look forward so much to the weekend, and the Monday holiday in particular.

However, as the song says, ‘The party’s over my friends, time to call it a day,’ time to get up and go out and labour on this fine Tuesday morning that has been specially prepared for us with many new blessings, and mercies. Give God a shout of praise and thanks for His wonderful goodness to us undeserving children of men!

And all God’s children loudly declared: ‘All praise and glory to our great and wonderful God who makes a way for us when there seems to be no way, and who provides for our every need, when we come before Him in humble obedience! Amen.’

Now here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it ‘POSSIBILITIES UNLIMITED.’

And it goes like this: ‘I can count the seeds in an apple. But, Lord – you alone can count the apples in one seed! Some things are impossible, Lord! It’s impossible for me to see immeasurable, unlimited possibilities in one fertile idea. Praise the Lord. Amen.’

And that’s solid truth my people. We can see the small, finite stuff, but only Almighty God who created the heavens and earth, in His great wisdom and foresight, can see the unlimited possibilities in any given idea. Glory to God!

Consequently, we need to come before Him in sincere prayer and humble obedience for Him to point out the numerous possibilities in each fertile idea with which He has blessed us.

Oh, we can possibly envision a few in our own strength, but to get the real gist and gumption, (smile) of what He desires of us, we have to have serious communication with our heavenly Father.

In all of that though Friends, we still need to consider the wise words of our Bit. ‘For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’ Everlasting truth that my people!

And the scholars explain this section about hasty vows thus. ‘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 earth. God expects sincerity and meaningfulness in worship. He is not impressed with foolish vows…’

And believe me Friends, we do make a lot of foolish vows to God, especially when we are caught up in the heat of a moment’s anguish and concern. But long, long ago, Moses exhorted the children of Israel with the Lord’s desires.

‘And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to LOVE him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul. To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day, for thy good (benefit or welfare)?’ (Deut.10:12-13)

Yes my brethren, we need to ALWAYS remember that whatever our God commands, in the long run is for OUR benefit and welfare, not for His. I think we often lose sight of that most important fact, and thus murmur and complain unnecessarily when He asks us to do certain things.

Please remember that the Good Book is OUR lifeline to God, our guidebook, so that we can walk the straight and narrow path and eventually come to the throne of the Most High, reconciled and headed for salvation throughout eternity.

In His great and unconditional LOVE for us, He designed it so that we could find answers to whatever questions we might have down here on this frail and fallible earth. And many of us have problems we can’t solve because we don’t, we simply refuse to read that awesome Guidebook of Life!

But how can we know what God desires of us eh friends, if we don’t read His Word eh? We simply can’t. That’s why so much emphasis is placed on personal reading of the Bible. But as usual, too many of us are too proud, stubborn and arrogant to read it, preferring to decipher the whys and wherefores of life in our own strength.

However my people, that is undoubtedly a fool’s wisdom. What better way could there be to understand the ups and downs of life than through the words of the One who created life in the first place eh? None whatsoever!

And these words of Micah from times bygone, aptly paraphrase what the Lord expects of us. ‘He hath showed thee, O Man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God?’ (Mic.6:8)

Yes Friends, it’s that simple; not rocket science or any other great mind exercise; do good and righteous deeds and walk in humble obedience before Him.

What’s so difficult to understand about that eh? It might not be always easy to put into action, but we do need to understand what is required of us before we can consider doing it. And I believe that’s where many of us fall down; we simply don’t understand, or refuse to understand God’s requirements for this pilgrim’s journey called earthly life.

And we’ll give the last word to Cousin Sol in his capacity as the Preacher. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14)

That says it all Friends! So please, let’s be wise nuh, and go out and do just that, so that we may glorify our Great God and lay up storehouses of treasures in heaven for us to enjoy at a later date. That is true and simple wisdom. Much LOVE!

……be not hasty…consider thy words and thy works…before a just, holy and righteous God…

P.S.  Would you believe that just when I was ready to send out the already late Bit, my trusty sidekick, my desktop computer froze on me, and I had to reboot it? Ah Lord eh! The trials and tribulations we have to endure in this life eh! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2015 1 Thessalonians 5:17‏

1 Thessalonians 5:17.   PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!

Ah Friends, I wish I could say that it was a bright and beautiful morning in my neck of the woods. But unfortunately I can’t, because it ‘s damp, like some rain fell a while ago, and it’s cloudy.

But you know what, as fellow believers in Christ, we don’t have to allow the weather or anything else really to dictate how we feel, to control our emotions and our behaviour, since in Jesus we have the great I AM, the wonderful Saviour who gives us His peace and wisdom and guidance and blessings anew each day.

That’s whom we must take our direction from, not the things and powers of this world. For remember what Peter and the other apostles told the Jewish council when they upbraided them for preaching Christ crucified and resurrected, after being warned to cease and desist? ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.’ (Acts 5:29)

And the scholars explain here: ‘5:29. Peter is not sanctioning civil disobedience, as he makes clear in his first epistle (1 Pet.2:13-17; cf. Rom.13:1-7). We are to obey civil government, but when it goes contrary to the explicit commands of God, we must obey God and be ready to suffer the consequences.’

So please lets remember that and keep our focus on Jesus. And here’s a nice little ditty (smile) from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is titled ‘MY DELIGHT!’

And it says: “You are My Delight…” This dear God You said to Jesus At the moment of His baptism There in the river Jordan. He is Your Son I am your child Forever related to You through Him. Baptize me dear God In the river of Your LOVE Your Joy Your Power Until with deep and widening gladness You can say to me Your chosen child “You are my delight.”

Oh Friends, what a delightful wish! It’s one that all God’s children can desire, for it causes us all to become more Christ-like, which is the Father’s intention anyway. And the scripture promise for that ditty is: ‘The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing LOVE.’ (Ps.147:11, NIV) 

And that’s the indisputable, gospel truth my people! Our most LOVING God wants us to be delighted in dealing with Him and the things of His realm. And one of those things that delights Him and should also delight us is prayer; prayer that brings us to a close relationship with Him.

That’s why Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians in our Bit, and consequently us to PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:17-18)

And the scholars have an interesting note to that last verse. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’

Yes my brethren, even when times are rough and we don’t see any way out, we still need to have a prayerful attitude, because our God has promised to make a way for us to bear whatever comes against us, when there seems to be no way. (1 Cor.10:13) So we have to keep that attitude of prayer always with us as Jesus did.

Luke tells us that on the night before His crucifixion: ‘And he came out, and went, as he was wont (accustomed), to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.’ (Luke 22:39-40)

And that Friends, also applies to us today. We ought to keep praying that we enter not into temptation. And that doesn’t mean we should not be beset by temptation, because we will always be while on this wicked earth, but that we won’t fall into or give into it.

And we all know what Jesus did after He told the disciples that. He went apart and prayed to His Father, desiring Him to take away the cup of the crucifixion, if it was His will. And Jesus prayed so hard and intensely that His sweat seemed like ‘great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:44)

But we all know too that Jesus bowed to the Father’s will ‘nevertheless not my will, but thine be done,’ (Luke 22:42) although He knew that things were about to get real rough. Like wise Friends so are we to bow to the Father’s will for our lives, even though we know that serious adversity is in the offing.

And as pertaining to prayer, Jesus is again a perfect example. When promising the Holy Spirit, He tells the disciples: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’(John 14:15-16)

And later on Jesus prays for the disciples. ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.’ (John 17:9) And Jesus was so brilliant and beautiful that He even prayed for us: ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.’ (John 17:20)

Oh my people, what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have. Imagine Him having the foresight and also the goodness of heart to pray for those who would believe in Him through the words of the disciples and other teachers when He was long gone! Wow! How can I not LOVE Him eh!

Ah Friends, prayer should be such an integral part of our lives, like breathing, we should always have it on our minds. Like Bruh David says in Psalm 109: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ (Ps.109:4)

Yes my people, giving ourselves unto prayer is one of the wisest and most beautiful things we can do in this life. It’s wisdom that truly comes from heaven! Much LOVE!

…at the time of decision…or indecision…our first urge should always be …to pray…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2014 Judges 5:7

Judges 5:7.    The inhabitants of the villages (village life) ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.

                                          HAPPY  MOTHER’S DAY !

Well Friends, once again we have come to that memorable day in springtime when we pay tribute to Mothers. And what shall we say to honour them today eh? Well, first let’s say that they are usually like a breath of clean, fresh, pure spring air, as opposed to the oppressive heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. They just seem to have that pick me up character built into them. They are usually so refreshing when everybody else is dragging and down in the dumps. They just have the natural ability to lift expectations and emotions.

Now here is something that recently struck me. Mothers, or the female of all the species are more akin to, more like God than males, in terms of their inherent characteristics. In the sense that they have reproductive capacities, can create and carry life, and provide succour and nourishment for their young, nurturing them through their childhood, and even into their adult years. Mothers possess an uncanny sense of wisdom, even without any formal schooling.

They generally give good guidance and show their children the true paths they ought to tread. They are usually imbued with a greater sense of dedication, patience and perseverance and restraint than men. In fact the fruits of the Spirit – LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (faithfulness) are more likely to be found in mothers than in fathers. In the human family, it’s usually the mothers who teach the children the ABC’s of life, and keeps the family tightly knit and together.

In other words, she is basically responsible for bearing, birthing, raising and caring for the children and the family as a whole, oftimes while also working outside of the home. And you better believe Friends, that’s a major responsibility, one that requires a big juggling and balancing act, a feat which most men would not be able to handle. I guess that’s why the Lord made them emotionally stronger, more understanding and LOVING than men.

But unfortunately, Mothers, women on the whole, still don’t get the recognition they deserve from society. In numerous places, all over the world, they are still being treated like second class citizens, like chattel. And it’s not only in the supposed backward, third world countries that this happens, but also right here in the first world countries, women and mothers are not given their full due and rightful respect.

We see that in the fact that they earn less than men while doing the same job. They are seldom promoted to meaningful jobs in the upper echelons of the big companies. And if they do get a bligh, it’s often a token appointment that doesn’t really carry much weight or responsibility.

Oh don’t get me wrong, nowadays a few women are breaking through the glass ceiling, but still not in sufficient quantities, definitely not in proportion to their numbers involved in the work force. And they still bear the foolish stigma of being unable to be a mother, a wife and a career person at the same time. Consequently they are still being fired or passed over for promotions during times of pregnancy. Steups!

And sadly, ladies and mothers, men are not the only ones to blame for this sad state of affairs. Some of the blame has to be laid at your doorstep too; possibly for not being pro-active enough and standing up for your rights, allowing men to still treat you as footstools and sexual objects.

Anyway Mothers, today we’re not here to condemn, but to praise you for being the strength, the backbone of our families and therefore our societies. We’re here to praise you for your fortitude and courage, for the many times when all seems lost, but somehow or other you get a tight hold of the reins and restore some semblance of order, along with a sense of purpose and encouragement.

I’ve learned from a young age that the male of the species might be physically stronger – and I’m not even sure about that – but in all other respects, the female of the species wins out. Oh we know that mothers are not perfect, some of them are even downright disgusting, but we have to realize that they are only human and thus suffer from all the human frailties and weaknesses.

But overall, mothers are truly the ones who make the world go round fairly smoothly with their kindness, their LOVE, their nurturing, their encouragement, and all the other little but ever so important things they do. And our Bit points that out so nicely. ‘The inhabitants of the villages (village life) ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.’

Yeh Friends, Israel was a mess under most of the judges, until Deborah rose up as a mother and shepherded them back to some form of godliness and decent community life. You can read her story in Judges 5.

And hear these choice words from the psalmist, re God’s mercy. ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home), and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.113:9)

And we see examples of that all through God’s Word; e.g. Sarah (Isaac), Hannah (Samuel), Elizabeth (John). So it’s obvious that the Lord has a soft spot in His heart for women who are unable to conceive.

Anyway my people, I hope this all makes sense. I just wanted to do something a little different, especially since I have a great appreciation for mothers, having had six of them. Yes my brethren, the Lord blessed me with six different motherly women to look out for me during certain rough periods of my life. And believe me, all six mothers were beautiful persons, treating me with such LOVE and tender care, that I don’t know how I would have made out if the Lord had not brought them into my life at those most appropriate times.

And looking back on my life now, I can definitely see the Lord’s favour working in my favour. What a great thing hindsight is eh! Oh, if foresight was only half as good!  

Obviously my birth mother Molly was the first, and she did her best to give me a decent life. Thank you Molls baby! They wouldn’t know some of the stuff you went through to provide for me nuh, and I’m truly sorry I didn’t appreciate your efforts before I did.  It’s amazing to think that it’s almost three years since you left us to sing in the heavenly choir, but sonny boy is trying his best not to sully your name and genuinely good character. (smile)

You know I won’t ever forget you, but sometimes I miss you, especially when I need someone to talk to, for you were truly my best Friend. I could bring any problem to you and know that you wouldn’t judge me. Ah Molls sugar, the tears are welling up in the ole fella’s eyes as I remember you and some of the interesting though often difficult times we went through. Not to worry though, the good Lord is looking after me.

And Friends, I won’t even bother to get into the problems that many mothers have, like little or no help from fathers, ungrateful and disobedient children etc. because it is all well documented. I’d just like us all to work together in the true spirit of Christianity, reflecting Christ’s character to help mothers, to help women all over the world to have better lives than many of them are currently having.

And yuh see how important Jesus’ mother was to Him, for even as He was dying on the cross, He made provision for her to live with John. (John19:25-27) So why can’t we mortal men appreciate our mothers too eh?  And parents were considered so important by God, that He included them in His basic commandments for living. ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Ex.20:12)

And we’ll close with a most fitting story based on an old song I believe was sung by Shirley Caesar, called No Charge. It begins with a mother being in the kitchen and her young son comes in and presents her with a list of all the chores he’s done and how much he is charging her for doing them.

The mother is obviously disappointed, but turns over the paper and writes stuff like, for carrying you for nine months – no charge… And she lists all the things she’s done for him since he was first conceived in her womb, and at the side of each there was the statement – no charge. And at the very end there was some thing like – in short…for my LOVE…THERE’S NO CHARGE…

And that my Friends is what a Mother’s LOVE is all about! It’s free, given from the heart!

And when the youngster reads his mother’s note, he cries, turns the paper over to his side and writes across it – Paid in Full.

So today my people, let’s truly honour our mothers nuh, for without them and their LOVING-kindness, our lives would have been even more difficult than they were. Much LOVE!

…the best reflection on earth…the closest image to the heart of God…that’s a Mother’s LOVE…unconditional and freely given…  

P.S. Yes Friends, I know it’s long, extra long (smile) but, like a Mother’s LOVE, it comes from the heart. Much LOVE!