Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2020 Isaiah 30:1.

Isaiah 30:1.     ​Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering (devise plans), but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin (weave a web of sinfulness).

Well mih bredrin, we certainly off to a late start this Friday morning, and my humble apologies for that, but yuh know, unfortunately, we cannot always control the vicissitudes of life; the crazy ups and downs that life ofttimes forces on us. And you know the number one policy in the Lord’s economy is that you reap whatever you sow. Thus, it follows logically, that if I went to bed late, I would most certainly also arise from slumber late. And that’s the whole crux of the matter! (smile) Yeah, that’s why they say B.S. baffles brains, and is it ever so true. 

Now let’s see what the ordinary working man has to say on this long weekend Friday. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and another weekend is here. And this one special too, because is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Means no work for three whole days. Yeah! But can you imagine what the state of the Corona virus going to be after this weekend, it already reach higher than it’s ever been; seven hundred and something, almost eight hundred, in one day in Ontario alone! 

Wow! Only Quebec province higher. Blouse and skirt eh! People not listening, they not paying attention to the security and safety precautions, not wearing masks, not physical distancing, not washing deh hands and still partying in good sized crowds with people they don’t know. And with that Mad Hatter down in the U.S. encouraging the foolishness, although he claims to have it, yuh know this weekend going to be bad. Is a weekend where people accustomed gathering in large groups, and the irresponsible behaviour most likely to spread even more, so we bound to see a sizeable increase in cases and consequently deaths. Steups! 

But as they say, you can only talk to people, yuh can’t make them do the right thing! And that’s exactly why the pandemic still eating we alive, because not enough of us doing the right thing; too many of us doing the wrong one. And until we learn sense and change we ways, the virus going to keep on winning. 

Ah Lord eh! What it going to take for us to realize what happening and learn sense eh? Ah guess not until we catch the bloody thing we self and see how dangerous it really is – although that didn’t work with Trump. But thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends yes! At least me and mine don’t have to go out in the world and risk catching it for another few days, and this weekend we certainly going to give much thanks for all we blessings!’ 

Ah mih people, the words of the ordinary workingman are oh so true. People not listening, so we going to continue to feel. And in one of God’s mysterious moves, I just opened the Good Book and again it opened on Isaiah 30. But this time to the first verse, where the prophet is telling the people of Judah about the futility of relying on Egypt and not the God of their forefathers. Listen up: ‘Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering (devise plans), but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin (weave a web of sinfulness).’ (Is: 30:1) 

And isn’t that exactly what our society is doing; seeking counsel from everybody and everywhere else but from Almighty God, our Creator and Provider? And yuh know that doesn’t sit well with the Lord, for He desires His creation to turn to Him first when they need help. And unfortunately, we don’t seem to think we need His help. So, as we said above, we going to reap what we sow. And our harvest will come upon us, just like the Lord promised Judah. 

‘(They) That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth (have not asked my advice); to strengthen themselves in the strength of the Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt. Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion (humiliation) (Is. 30:2-3) And here’s another most appropriate verse from earlier on in Isaiah, when he’s talking about the blindness of Israel. ‘Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?’ (Is. 29:15) 

Ah friends, we have behaved the same way, and thus the same thing is happening to us right now; we are paying the price for our ungodliness, for being so presumptuous as to try to hide from, and simultaneously kick the Creator out of His creation! Hn! Please remember the debacle of Lucifer when he foolishly and pridefully tried to overthrow the Lord in heaven! He didn’t win…obviously, but got kicked out of his comfortable lifestyle to live in torment and anguish. (Is. 14) 

And NO ONE is ever going to win a battle of that nature. The Lord will always have the upper hand, so let’s get wise and instead of turning away from Him, turn to Him nuh. And we can begin doing that right now, through the awesome medium of prayer. So with the requisite change of heart, meaning repentance, and humility, let’s cry out to God through our Friday Chant. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now we believers have to go out and prove our faithfulness so that others can trust us, and consequently come to Jesus. Only faithful action on our part will ever change anything. Much LOVE!

…if yuh don’t hear…yuh going to feel…as simple as that…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2020 Genesis 2:17.

Genesis 2:17.    ​But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

‘Monday, Monday…Oh how I hate that day!…Come Monday morning, I’d wake up crying…Monday Monday!’ Ah friends, many of us older folks, please note I said older, not old folks, (smile) will remember those words, or some facsimile thereof (smile) from the hit song by the Mamas and Papas released in 1966, and which has become something of an institution over the years to denigrate Mondays. Thus to this day, some six decades later, Monday is looked upon as an outcast, as the poor relation, the devil day of the week, simply because it heralds the start of our work week, cuts into the good times we’ve been having over the weekend. 

But if we want to eat, some of us have to work. It’s as simple as that. And in these uncertain and turbulent times, when life is so fragile, we need a lot of help just to make it through each day. But the good news is that we have powerful help, reassuring help, our omnipotent God! So let’s communicate with Him nuh, through what we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting Him know that we desperately need His divine favour and succour. 

As one strong voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. Our anxieties have even deepened in the last few days because some restrictions have been lifted, and more of us have to go to work now. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have 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, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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 all of that sounds good and proper, but yuh know what friends, we are our own worst enemy. And why do I say that? Because of the gross irresponsibility a lot of us are showing in these dangerous and unpredictable times. Good example; yesterday, Sunday, with the recent lifting of some park restrictions, and with the wonderful weather and temperature conditions, the small Trinity Bellwoods Park in the south western part of the city of Toronto saw several thousands of people picnicking and partying there, with no regard whatsoever to the terrible backlash  their irresponsible behaviour could provoke, as we still don’t have a proper handle on the virus that’s holding us to ransom. 

The only way we can control it right now is by physical distancing, which obviously wasn’t being practiced in that park yesterday. And in the U.S. on their Memorial Day weekend, there have already been numerous incidents of crowds on beaches and in parties in parks and elsewhere causing controversies with the authorities. And no doubt there’ll be more on the holiday today. 

So what’s a body to say to that kind of irresponsible behaviour eh? Yes, it’s hard been locked down for a long while, but which do we prefer, to be safe and somewhat stir crazy, or free and easy and dead eh? And it’s not like people aren’t dying in large numbers from the Covid-19 disease. So why this crazy reaction? We really shouldn’t be surprised nuh, because flouting rules and regulations seems to be the natural nature of man. Look at how our forefather’s Adam and Eve screwed it up in the Garden of Eden when they had it so good. 

Yuh know is one, ONE simple rule the Lord gave them: ‘And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat freely: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ (Gen. 2:16-17) Oh friends, according to the scholars, ‘2:16. The Hebrew words expressly emphasize, ‘you may eat to your heart’s content, of every other tree but that one in the middle.’ 

But as they say further: ‘Note Satan’s subtle assertion in 3:1. As he focused on the “one” tree they could not eat from. In so doing, he excluded the abundance in this verse.’ Yuh see how the ole serpent smart; he teased them with the one thing they couldn’t have, ignoring the abundance of all the other things they could have. And that’s the exact way we are still behaving to this day. We ‘re never satisfied with what we do have, but are always in search of what we don’t have, but think we ought to. 

It’s simply a combination of greed and stupidity. But when we suffer the necessary consequences, then we hold our heads and bawl; ‘If I’d only known eh…’ But you did know because it was spelt out in spades, but you chose to disobey it. And with Adam and Eve, death was a sure thing if they disobeyed. But Satan again weaved his deceitful web around them by blatantly denying God’s promise and saying to Eve: ‘Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (God), knowing good and evil.’ (Gen. 3:4-5) 

And yes technically speaking, their eyes were opened. ‘But the problem was that their eyes were opened to behold all things in the light of their own sinfulness. They would have a fixed moral nature like God; but it was fixed in sin, not righteousness. They knew good, but were unable to do it; and they knew evil, but were unable to resist it. There has always been the temptation to be like God. Here it suggests that God is holding something back from Adam and Eve.’ 

Yuh see how Satan could tie us up with unsaid suggestions or intimations. And today, unfortunately, we still falling for his deceitfulness, just like Adam and Eve. Nothing’s really changed nuh friends, we’re still disobedient to the rules and regulations of both our heavenly Father and our earthly leaders. And yuh know what? The same thing, certain death is forecasted for many of us if we insist on being disobedient! Much LOVE!

 …for dust thou art…and unto dust shalt thou return… (Gen. 3:19b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2020 Galatians 5:13.

Galatians 5:13.    ​For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another.

 

Well friends and neighbours, today is the day of the big snow storm! According to the weather forecasters Southern Ontario will experience oodles of snow from around midday today! And if we do, we can’t really complain nuh because we haven’t seen much of the white stuff so far this winter. But let’s hope and pray that they’re wrong, as they so often are, (smile) and that at least the quantity won’t be as much as forecasted, some 50 centimetres. And that is a lot of snow, which will just cause numerous problems, problems that we can do without right now. 

One last thing about the expected storm: it is blowing in from the south, down in the U.S. Yeh, contrary to popular opinion many of the storms we experience up here, both rain and snow, come from down south and don’t always flow the other way. Not because we’re further north, means that we’re automatically colder and given to more bad weather. In fact, the U.S. often has more bad weather than this blessed northern state! (smile) And since today is Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Unfortunately, it seems like he’s only sent us two quotes this week. I can’t find anymore, even checked my deleted files to see if I had deleted any by mistake. So we’ll just have to make do with those two, the first of which says: ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.’ And that’s ever so true! We can never get power, real or imagined, over anything or anyone without some kind of demand being made on us. 

Look at all the high-flying people; athletes, celebrities, politicians, the wealthy, leaders of any type, be they countries or organizations; they all have power, but with that power always comes some sort of responsibility from which they cannot get away. Even as parents, we have power over our children, but we also have a responsibility to raise them right. Now those in power might use it inappropriately and don’t fulfill the responsibility inherent in their positions, like so many are doing nowadays, but believe me, that responsibility will seek them out, and oftentimes cause them to lose their power. 

Ah friends, power is akin to a ravenous beast; it might give you a head start, but it’s always there, nipping at your heels, knocking at your door, ever ready to take it away too. So remember if power is something that you seek, be very careful, because from the outside it looks glorious, but it’s also like a snake in the grass, ready to bite you, to trip you up in a moment. In other words, power cannot be trusted! 

And the next quote simply says: ‘Whatever happens, take responsibility.’ Now if our world would only accept that simple statement eh, what a wonderful place it would be! But sadly, these are the days of irresponsibility; a lot of it fuelled by the hideouts and platforms provided by the  social media scene. Nowadays very few of us are ready to take the blame for our own actions, instead we keep looking for others to pass the blame to. It’s become a sad reflection on our society. Even in the halls of power, amongst international leaders, the blame game is also being played out on that big stage. So what do we expect from lesser mortals then eh? The same kind of irresponsible behaviour. 

But yuh know friends, as the old people would say; do yuh do, but remember the chickens always come home to roost! In other words, have your fun, but your sins will eventually find you out; a day will come when you have to pay for them. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You’ll reap what you sow…more than you sow…and later than you sow.’ 

However friends, as true believers in Christ, we’re called to be different to the world. Christ has set us free, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed, (John 8:36) but we’re not to use that freedom irresponsibly. As Bruh Paul warned the Galatians: ‘For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.’ (Gal. 5:13-15) 

Sadly though, we’re doing the opposite of Bruh Paul’s advice; using our liberty in Christ to hate and war with and devour and consume each other. But here’s an interesting take from the scholars on the Liberty and Responsibility of Christians based on 1 Cor. 9:19 ‘One of the results of redemption is the liberty of the believer. Christians are free from depending on the law and free from the bondage of their old nature. Christian liberty releases us to accomplish all our potential. But that liberty should not be abused to justify hedonistic behaviour. 

Although believers live in a state of freedom, concern for reaching others with the gospel and helping weaker believers grow will result in voluntary self-restraint in areas that might offend others, or hinder our efforts in reaching and helping people. Illustration: Paul referred to the example of eating meat offered to idols. He had the freedom to eat such meat, but he suggested that believers abstain because the practice acted as a stumbling block for weaker believers (Rom.14). Application: Believers should act responsibly in exercising their liberty if they wish to be most effective in service to Christ. (First Ref. Lev. 25:10; Primary Ref.. 1 Cor. 9:19; cf. Matt. 7:7).’ 

Yeh friends, though we are free to act as we please, we must always consider how we use that freedom, not take advantage of it to sin, or to hurt others who are not as strong in faith. Let’s ponder on that today nuh, and see how we shape up in the freedom scene, and obviously ask the Lord to help us come higher. Much LOVE!

…freedom is wonderful…but it’s not easy…for it also brings a lot of responsibility…