Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 August 2018 Psalm 127:1.

Psalm 127:1.    Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain).

‘Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning! Everything’s going my way!’ Ah friends, I know that life is not always like a bunch of sweet smelling roses or sweet tasting cherries, but the important thing to realize is that we’re alive, and once we’re alive, there is hope that things can improve, especially if we’re true believers in Jesus Christ! Glory be mih people! 

There’s no better or greater avenue to live this earthly life than as followers of Jesus! Jesus has been so good to us, I don’t see how we can even think of not believing in Him, or rebelling against him. That’s utter madness! How else would we get atonement for our sins and a chance to spend eternal life with the Father in heaven eh, for there’s no other way to do that than through Him? 

And our Bit spells that out in spades. ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain).’ And whether you believe it or not, that’s gospel truth! 

Hear how the psalmist continues as he strongly advises the need of relying on God. ‘It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late. To eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.’ (Ps.127:2) Yeh friends, when your life is aligned with God’s you don’t have to stress and strain to make a living, and the Lord gives you restful sleep. 

And not only that, as the psalmist further details: ‘Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is their reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (warrior); so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.’ (Ps.127:3-5) 

Wow mih breddren! Yuh see how the Lord looks after us when we’re obedient to Him? Amongst other things, He gives us, or better yet, blesses us with lovely children, who stand up for us against our enemies and keeps our house going strong and prosperous! 

And the scholars offer this wonderful explanation of the psalm. ‘Psalm 127. The principle of this psalm is that all human efforts are in vain unless they have God’s blessing. This principle is applied to four areas: building a house (v.1a), guarding a city (v.1b), working long hours (v.2), and having children (vs.3-5). 

It is possible to accomplish all of these things without God’s blessing, but it is not possible to accomplish them purposefully and with eternal value without God’s blessing. The psalm includes, incidentally, two practical reasons for having children: they bring you joy, and they protect you. (v.5).’ 

Now what more can I say eh, except to shout out to my children: ‘Aye mih children, you certainly bring the ole fella joy! That’s for sure! But are you all going to protect me in the gate from the enemy? I’m sure you all will!’ (smile) And thus I can give out a big ‘Thank You and Praise Your Holy Name and Glory Hallelujah to Almighty God because my children will look after me in my old age!’ 

Ah friends, we are indeed blessed when we have children who will honour and protect us in times of need, and I have to acknowledge that my children do so. They’re not perfect, but if I want for anything, they do their best to help me. That’s all I can ask. 

Unfortunately, a lot of parents aren’t so blessed. Why? I don’t know. But as they say, you make the children, but you don’t make their minds. And Cousin Sol proffers a very important lesson: ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old (mature) he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6). 

Now that’s generally the case, but I’ve seen children raised in the fear of the Lord, who turn right around and follow Beelzebub. So what’s a parent do eh? Not much but pray and do their earthly best. The important thing though my faithful brethren is that we make room for God in ALL of our daily doings, for without Him in our lives we will not be as successful as we can be with Him in them. 

That’s simply indisputable truth! So please, let’s take that same wisdom we try to put into our children’s heads and use it for our benefit. It’s the only thing that makes sense. 

Now let’s go home declaring that wisdom for all and sundry to hear, in our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we were truly sincere in that prayer, then we now have to go out and action it, like Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…examples speak louder than words…so to make a real difference…our lives have to speak very loudly…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2018 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Well it’s a glorious Tuesday morning, and the world is unfolding as it should! Yeh friends, the Almighty is on His throne working things out for our good in His own inimitable style, purpose and time! And who can say Him nay eh? Nobody whatsoever! 

So let’s just say ‘Thank You Lord!’ and accept all that He hands us with simple faith and enormous trust nuh. Then we will walk through this turbulent and topsy-turvy world with the everlasting peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me, friends, there’s nothing better in this world that that! 

Currently, we do all sorts of stuff, spend money on all sorts of things to find peace, like vacations, shrinks, alcohol, retreats, pills, etc. etc. It’s amazing at the amount of time and money we spend these days trying to relieve stress and get peace of mind. Hn! 

And we might find some for a while in those dubious avenues. But since they depend mostly on cumstances, they obviously don’t last long, and once you get back into the milieu of life, all those stressors come back against you and break down your walls of peace again. It’s just a never-ending negative cycle. 

However my brethren, however, when we find peace in Jesus, the true peace, all those things are rendered obsolete and useless, because the peace that our Lord and Saviour offers is a whole different kind of situation. Listen to how He puts it to the disciples, and consequently to us, in our Bit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

What reassuring and confidence building words my people! The kind of peace that Jesus gives us is entirely different to the peace that we get from the world. His is a heavenly peace that doesn’t fluctuate in times of storm or times of calm. One is able to stay steadfast and strong through all of life’s unnerving and disastrous circumstances. 

Now wouldn’t you rather have that kind of unmovable peace than the unsatisfying kind we get from the world? Of course! But then you have to put your trust, surrender your life to Jesus to get it. 

And hear how Bruh Paul describes to the church at Philippi, the kind of peace we get when we let Jesus be the guiding beacon of our lives. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) Mama Mia! What a beautiful state of affairs mih breddren! 

And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and His ability to cope with and solve it. 

Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

And so too the word ‘guard’ should be highly appreciated by us today, because in spite of the free society we supposedly live in, there are more guards, private and public, armed and unarmed than I believe we have ever experienced before in our type of society. Everybody seems to be fearful and guarded…everybody except true believers who have truly received the peace of Christ that passes all our human and finite understanding. 

Now none of what goes before means we should not be concerned or that fear won’t ever come upon us. It just means that we will be able to handle whatever comes against us with the wisdom, grace and help of God. We won’t always be in a tizzy at the slightest uneven part of our earthly journey. 

And we have Isaiah’s song of praise declaring it in spades: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is.26:3) 

And what can be more soothing and reassuring than Bruh David’s immortal words that end Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God. ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:8) That says it all friends: To find true peace, put your trust in Jesus! 

So let’s go home now boldly proclaiming our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And we know the corollary to that is to action those words; truly go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world. Much LOVE!

…it deserves saying again…true peace can only be found…in Jesus…

P.S. And after reading the Bit, I’m chuckling here friends, because I just realized that it pertained to me a whole lot, was a kind of testimony of the way my life has gone in the last year and a half. What with all the sickness and otherwise and the growth in faith and patience. Oh, I’m still a work in progress, but a much quieter, peaceful, faithful and trusting work. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.   Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Welcome friends to another marvelous day in God’s extensive repertoire of marvelous days! (smile) 

As always, He was up bright and early to blend all the necessary ingredients, like grace, mercy, compassion, LOVE, forgiveness and understanding so that He could offer us just the kind of day He had earmarked for this Wednesday January 25th 2017. 

Wow! What a wonderful Deity we serve and worship my people! As we keep saying, there’s none other like Him! How could there be eh? No two beings could possess all those awesome attributes in such amazing quantities! 

And in consideration of all that, let’s pray this wonderful prayer written in 1968 by Annie A Zeidman, co-founder of the Scott Mission in Toronto, a Christian non-denominational charity for the homeless. 

‘May the Lord grant you Special grace to LOVE Him, special strength to serve Him, special peace in Him to rest, special faith to know Him best. May no war alarm you, may no evil harm you. May your sheltered dwelling stand, roofed with joy, beneath His hand.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that just beautiful! And we just prayed it for each other. Glory to God! 

And all of that just enhances our ability to do what Bruh Paul calls for in our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’  

Oh what a joyful and positive bunch of people we Christians are eh! (smile) And so we should be, because we have the Lord God Jehovah, Creator and Controller of this great universe providing all our wants and needs for us! 

As Bruh David confidentially proclaims in Psalm 23: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (lack).’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! 

Now here comes the proviso after our Bit, from Bruh Paul. We must rejoice, however: ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:5) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. 

The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. His imminent coming as judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all of his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. 

Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And verse 6 says: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) 

And this is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. 

The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

Now when we do all of that, what happens eh? ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Wow mih brethren! What an awesome promise if we follow the Lord’s word! 

Now hear the scholars. ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and his ability to cope with and solve it. 

Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

And so it should still be greatly appreciated by us today my fellow believers, for the Lord, or His Word, NEVER changes! And do we ever need release from fear and anxiety in this crazy, strife-filled world of today. 

However, since we are true believers and don’t fear, then we can thankfully go home now faithfully and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together 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!’ 

Now let’s put all those statements in to true action nuh, because that’s the only way others will recognize us as true followers of Christ. Much LOVE!

…to serve humbly…is to be like Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2016 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.    Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Oh friends, what a great day it is to be alive! If you’ve read the obits and haven’t seen your name and/or your picture there, then you are one of the blessed ones! (smile) 

And everyday we open our eyes and greet a new day, we ought to be immensely thankful to the Father of all grace and mercy for enabling us to partake, to participate in whatever activities He has planned for us. 

And believe you me, He does have activities planned for us, that’s why we’re alive and kicking today. So please let’s do whatever we’re called to do today with a true sense of purpose and of responsibility. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let me share a wonderful quote with you – I’m pretty sure I’ve shared it sometime aback, but it is truly worthy of sharing again in the restless and troubling times we’re currently undergoing. It’s taken from my One More Day Devotional – Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. 

It’s the last stanza of a poem written by Amy Michelle Pitzele. And it says: ‘So never let a cloudy day ruin your sunshine, for even if you can’t see it, the sunshine is still there, inside of you, ready to shine when you will let it.’ 

Words of great truth my brethren. But can you believe that Amy was only nine years old when she wrote the poem? No wonder Jesus quoted Bruh David in Psalm 8:2: ‘Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings (infants) thou hast perfected praise?’ (Matt.21:16) 

Yes friends, wisdom is not allotted only to the mature and elderly, but also to the young. As the Devotional says: ‘Life seen through the eyes of a child can be serenely simplistic. Where does a child get that kind of wisdom and that depth of understanding?’ From our heavenly Father of course! 

Remember too what Jesus said to His disciples when they were turning away children from coming to Him. ‘Suffer (allow the) little children; and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 19:14). It just goes to show that childlike faith and innocence and trust are major aspects of our Christian life. 

And the Devotional also tells us: ‘We can struggle to keep the child in us alive. We, too, can recognize that even when the cloudy days come, the sunshine – our smiles, our hopes, our dreams – is still there, ready to beam at a moment’s notice.’ 

So friends, regardless of the weather, let’s make sure that the personal sunshine that’s within us, shines today nuh, as we go about doing the work of Jesus. And all God’s children said ‘Praise the Lord!’  

Now let’s further ramp up our faith by declaring our Wednesday Wail with plenty enthusiasm and sincerity. ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, what a joy it is to feel God’s breath of life flowing through us as we work for Jesus and focus on the wonderful future He has in store for us! It can’t get any better than that my brethren! 

However my fellow believers with all of that comes the responsibility and life changing words of our Bit. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

That means that whatever we say will have repercussions, and according to the words we speak, those repercussions will either be good or bad, and we’ll have to answer for them come the judgement day. As Cousin Sol so wisely informs us: ‘Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles.’ (Prov.21:23) 

Meanwhile, James declares; ‘For in many things we offend all (all stumble). If any man offend not (does not stumble) in word, the same is a perfect man, and also able to bridle the whole body.’ (James 3:2) Unfortunately though friends, none of us is perfect, which means we all stumble and offend to some degree with our words. 

But that doesn’t mean we necessarily have to shut up and say nothing, or only utter a few words. It means though that we have to do more listening, and then think carefully before we speak. That’s the only way for us to eat good fruit from our words and not bad ones. 

And we’ll close off this topic with more of Cousin Sol’s wisdom. ‘He that keepeth (guards) his mouth keepeth (guards) his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.’ (Prov.13:3) And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! 

As the scholars explain: ’13:3. The reward of cautious speech is fuller life and the avoidance of unnecessary trouble.’ 

Oh friends, I couldn’t put it any better! Now let’s go out today and earn rewards through our cautious speech nuh, for that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…words are so powerful…that they are what the Lord used…to create the universe and all therein…