Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2020 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.    ​and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

One more Monday…and one more day to dance around our turbulent and disaster ridden world! And though it would be easy to lose hope and give up, and get lost in the ungodly shuffle, that’s one avenue we cannot…must not go down, if we desire to successfully make it through to the end. And that applies especially to us believers in Christ Jesus, since He has placed an eternal moratorium, a total prohibition on giving up. Instead, He’s advised us to hold on to Him tightly – be the fruitful branch sturdily attached to His vine – and He will eventually fulfill all the promises He’s made – it’s simply a matter of time. 

So although dancing in these crazy times is indeed a difficult exercise, let’s remember how we felt when we first got saved nuh, when we first learned of all the sacrifices Jesus made for us and the promise we made to follow Him for the rest of our lives. Nothing has really changed, except we’re facing a few more trials, which He already warned us about. But please remember, He also told us not to worry about any of it, because He had already settled the matter in a victorious manner: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

But we do need to see out the trials in a strong, faithful and steadfast manner. Yes, that’s not an easy requirement, but with His omnipotent help, it’s very doable. As Bruh Paul declared in his prayer for the church at Philippi: ‘I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making requests with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:3-6) 

Yes friends, there’s no doubt that the Lord will keep working in and on us until the day Christ returns. So let’s not be afraid or lose hope. But we also have a part to do in the whole partnership. And our part includes keeping hope alive, growing in faith, through reading His Word, prayer and fellowship. So let’s do some of that right now nuh by going to Him in prayer for comfort and sustenance through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

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 recently 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!’ 

And there’s no doubt that the Lord heard our plea and will respond favourably in His time. Until then though, we have to wait patiently on Him. As Bruh David says in Psalm 27: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) And we all know Bruh David practiced what he preached, and the Lord lifted him up, and He will do likewise for us, if we endure steadfastly to the end. 

Now here is another energizing and reassuring promise, this one from Christ Himself. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me: for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) Oh my brethren, what a wonderful bit of scripture, known as the Great Invitation! It couldn’t get any better than that. But you have to accept it; it doesn’t just fall into your lap. 

However, here’s the piece de resistance, the most important part of the whole show; it’s found in what is known as the Great Commission: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: most and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) 

Yes friends, that just puts the icing on the cake! Jesus promises to be with us from the time we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour till eternity…whenever that might be! Reassurance from the most reassuring person in the universe! Again though, it’s up to you to accept and believe it. So let’s be wise and do just that in these calamitous times nuh, and thus quiet our hearts and minds. Much LOVE!

…what good is a gift…if one doesn’t accept it eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2020 Proverbs 26:27.

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 May 2020   Proverbs 26:27.
 
Proverbs 26:27.    ​Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon (roll back on) him.
 

Well, well, well! Wonders never cease, but daily they increase! Yes friends, the ole fella actually went to bed early last night, before midnight, and thus got up fairly early this morning! Hn! Strange, but true! And I must admit I definitely don’t feel as tired as in the past few days when I burned the midnight oil. But as a creature of habit, it’s hard to change your modus operandi in mid-stream. (smile) But I won’t say never, because when you’re working with and for our omnipotent God, anything is possible. 

Now it’s Friday, and another beautiful summer-like day seems to be in the offing, so let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. And he does cry our with some of his old enthusiasm: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! It was good to go back to work…though ah tired like ah dog now, because I haven’t worked in such a long time. The body’s no longer accustomed to that kind of hard work. And it’s a good thing it was a short week too, with the Queen Vic holiday on Monday. Don’t know what I’d do if I really had to work the whole five days nuh. 

And yuh know what, although we complain when we have to work, this week everybody was happy to come back to work. And I think my lockdown was tough…Hn! Some single fellas had it real rough because they had nobody to talk to, and some of them middle aged and doh have no real computer skills either, so like it was lonely as hell for them. Even the slave master was happy and somewhat pleasant! But it just shows you the real value of real work for our human race. We wasn’t made to just sit around and twiddle we thumbs and live like parasites off of others. 

And after so long apart, the physical distancing and no shaking hands or hugs was somewhat hard, but for the safety of all, we managed. Leh we hope that people stay responsible and we don’t have to go through another lockdown nuh! I couldn’t stand it!  Oh brother, you’ll never hear me curse work again nuh! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And that’s what I like about the ordinary workingman; he always tells it like it is, no setta B.S. and beating about the bush, but straightforward and to the point. And I do hope and pray that we stay responsible with the lifting of some of the restrictions, because that’s the only way we’ll avoid a second wave of illness and another lockdown. And having said all of that friends, let’s now add our two cents worth of hope and encouragement to the ordinary workingman’s as we humbly, but confidently come before our merciful Creator with our Friday Chant. 

As one now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some from work, as some of us went back out this week, but a lot still from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 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 have to 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 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!’ 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful world this would be if we’d just stop being selfish and greedy and trust wholeheartedly in the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator and Provider! But we have free will, free choice, so we can do whatever we want. The trouble is that we like to do as we please, but can’t stand to pay the resulting consequences, because friends, there are always consequences to our every action. As Cousin Sol wisely points out: ‘Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon (roll back on) him.’ 

And when we do, or plot to do evil, it usually ricochets or boomerangs back on us. That’s why the Jamaican saying, when yuh dig a pit, yuh should dig two, one for yourself too. And we have an exceptionally good example of this from the Good Book, in the story of Esther. ‘So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified (subdued).’ (Esth. 7:10) As they say in, it’s Hamlet, I believe: ‘He was hoist with his own petard (small bomb)’ Yeh, he was hurt by the very thing he made to hurt someone else! 

And Bruh David says it so plainly of the wicked in Psalm 7. ‘Behold, he travaileth with iniquity (walks in sinful ways), and hath conceived mischief (trouble), and brought forth falsehood (encouraged lies). He made (dug) a pit, and digged it (dug it out), and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief (wicked scheme) shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate (the crown of his own head).’ (Ps. 7:14-16)  Fear not my brethren, the wicked will receive their just comeuppance in due time, the Lord has promised it, and we all know He’s a stickler when it comes to keeping His promises. 

That’s why Bruh David ended Psalm 7 with these wise and awesome words. ‘I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.’ (Ps. 7:17) Yeh friends, wisdom decrees that we do the same in these turbulent and troubling times! Much LOVE!

…you can’t run from your wrong doings…for they usually come back to haunt you…at some stage of life…and when you least expect them…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2020 Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:4.    ​And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
 

Thank you Queen Vic (Victoria) for this holiday Monday, although we can’t celebrate it as we usually do in outstanding form, (smile) mainly because of the lockdown, the physical distancing and severe cleansing measures made necessary by the Coronavirus pandemic. But not to worry, we will get in some celebrations, just not as much as we usually do. We certainly won’t let your day go by without honouring your strength, positive attitude and good governance. That’s why they say B.S. baffles brains! (smile) 

Ah friends, in some of the old British Crown Colonies we’re celebrating a public holiday in remembrance of Queen Victoria (1817-1901). She ruled Great Britain from 1837 until her death in 1901. Her 63 years on the throne was the longest of any of her predecessors. And though a little more than five feet tall, she was reputed to be saucy and outspoken and not easily cowed, thus the prosperity of Great Britain during her reign. And who knows how she would have reacted to our current circumstances, but we know that our first reaction today ought to, and will be prayer, because it’s the most powerful too in our tool box. 

So without further ado, let’s get to our Monday Morning Battle Hymn nuh… And I can’t help but chuckle as I remember how we touted it as the antidote for all that ailed us. Now it’s still very useful, but this Covid-19 stuff has brought it up somewhat short. But nonetheless, the One to whom we pray is more powerful than whatever is in the world, and He can change everything by simply lifting a finger, so there’s no shame if our prayer takes a while to be answered. So altogether now, in confident humility, let’s call on our great God for grace and mercy in these disastrous times. 

‘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!’ 

Ah precious people of God, right now we’re in some treacherous times, times like we’ve never experienced before. Times of pain and sorrow, sickness and death are manhandling us, the Grim Reaper seems to be in every corner of the universe at the same time, with no sure end in sight, well man’s end. But I want to remind us of two things; the first being that while there is life, while God’s breath is flowing through our bodies, there’s always hope that things will get better, especially if we walk in sincere obedience to His will. So let’s not fret and fuss and fear too much. Let’s have faith in our God to answer our prayer for healing in His own time. He’s always been faithful, so why should He change now eh? 

And the second is for us to remember this magnificent promise, though it be for another time: ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ Oh my fellow saints in Christ, we are indeed shaking it rough today, and most likely will do so for the near future, but we have God’s faithful promise that one day, when the New Jerusalem comes down to earth, that all the sorrow and pain and death and crying will be no more! Now isn’t that something great to look forward to? It certainly is! 

Remember too that earth is not our real home, we’re only pilgrims down here, but heaven, or wherever Jesus is, that’s our real place of abode, where we’ll spend eternity with Him. Remember the basis of our faith and eternal life is Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As He said to Martha after Lazarus had died: ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (John 11:25-26) 

Now friends, that’s the trillion dollar question we all have to ask ourselves today? Do we truly believe in Christ’s resurrection, and that we will live triumphantly with Him in the glorious end? If so, then we cannot allow today’s problems to frighten us so much that we give up. Remember the words ‘give up,’ are not found in Jesus’ vocabulary, and consequently not in that of His followers either. 

So please, I implore us this Monday morning in the middle of May 2020, during this time of pandemic, let’s stand strong and steadfast for Christ nuh! He sacrificed His life for us, the least we can do is stand a li’l pressure and hardship for Him, especially when we know for a fact that He who is in us is greater than he that’s in the world, and that our great God will eventually work all our problems out for good, because we sincerely LOVE Him and are called to do His work! Much LOVE!

…when fear knocks at our hearts…send faith to answer it…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2020 Proverbs 2:6.

Proverbs 2:6.    ​For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 
 
So here we go again…another Monday morning still held hostage by the pandemic! But at last there is some good news in my province of Ontario – there’s been some easing up in the lockdown situation, with some places being allowed to open…Whoopee! At least it’s a step in the right direction, although some of the businesses can only do curbside pick up. And most of the parks will also be reopened today. But that doesn’t remove the necessity for physical distancing since we still don’t have a proper handle on the virus, and no way of stopping it from spreading but by keeping a safe distance away from others. 

So a lot of us who were clamouring for the lockdown to be lifted, have now gotten a window of opportunity, let’s see what kind of responsibility we show moving forward. Too many of us still think the virus is a joke, or not as serious as made out, but if we don’t show serious social responsibility then we’ll just be hit by a second wave of the virus, which threatens to be worse than the first one. 

Friends, our leaders are trying to balance the price of staying home and saving lives physically, but possibly having the quality further deteriorate, and reopening the economy and running the risk of losing many more lives to a further spread of the virus. They don’t know the right answers, so they are trying to do what they think is best for us all in the long run. That’s means they are depending on us to help them, be responsible and don’t go overboard in our actions, but use wisdom and common sense, so that we can eventually defeat this Covid-19 virus that’s causing us so many problems. 

And how do we find that controversial thing called wisdom? By diligently seeking it as silver and gold, and searching for it as for hidden treasure. (Prov. 2:4) And where do we seek it from? From the Lord God Jehovah! As the supposed wisest man who ever lived, Cousin Sol so wisely and plainly says: ‘For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth (stores) up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler (shield) to them that walk uprightly.’ (Prov. 2:6-7) 

And Cousin Sol personally proved that theory when, on ascending to Israel’s throne after Bruh David died, The Lord asked him in a vision what he desired? After claiming that he was a child (inexperienced) and did not know how to go out or come in, and the responsibility of governing so many people was tough, (1 Kin. 3:7-8) he finally said. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.’ (1 Kin. 3:9-10) 

Yuh see friends, God was thrilled that Cousin Sol didn’t ask for riches or honour or glory, but for understanding and knowledge and guidance to rule His people. Thus God said: ‘Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen (prolong) thy days.’ (1 Kin. 12-13) 

Oh my people, you see the magnanimity and the magnificence of our God! Cousin Sol asked for wisdom and guidance, but He also gave him honour and glory and riches and long life, if he walked in his father’s footsteps! That’s the way our Lord operates! He’s generous to a fault if we walk in tandem with Him and are obedient to His will. So having taken in all of that, let’s now go to God in humble but confident prayer that we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and ask for wisdom and guidance to handle the current storm that’s just blowing us away. 

Altogether now: ‘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. And now, with the easing up of the lockdown, more people than those previously considered essential also have to go to work, and understandably, we’re all somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

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!’ 

Oh precious people, our God is a faithful God, and if our hearts were sincere in that prayer, then you know He’ll answer it in the affirmative and give us wisdom and guidance and strength and courage to face the adversity we’re now experiencing. So let’s go about our business today nuh, the Lord’s business, carefully, but also with sure faith and strong trust in His faithfulness. That’s how we’ll conquer this Coronavirus! Much LOVE!

…wisdom in our hearts…brings discretion to preserve us…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2020 Deuteronomy 31:8.

Deuteronomy 31:8.   ​And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
 
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
 
Oh my fellow saints in Christ, these are certainly rough times we are currently experiencing yes! For the umpteenth Sunday the Lord’s sanctuaries are closed on His day. And today, on Mother’s Day, many mothers will be alone and lonely with no friends or family around them, to celebrate their special day…all because of the lockdown made necessary by the Coronavirus pandemic. Today is also a somewhat sad day for some of us due to the passing of our great friend of St. Francis Anglican Parrish, the Rev. Dennis Doloff. 

He wasn’t our Parish Priest, but he attended many of our functions and preached a few times for us when our regular priest was unavailable, all from the confines of his wheel chair. Despite his physical setbacks, he was a most encouraging, enlightening and humorous soul, quick witted and always ready with a joke. We of St. Francis wish his family our sincere condolences and grieve with them, though we’re all glad that his suffering is now over and he’s in a much better place. 

So today, as all those storms come against us, it is ever so appropriate that we sing this wonderful song: ‘Ride Out Your Storm.’ It’s good assurance and strength for all of us. We’re letting the enemy know that we’re not giving up, we’re going down fighting and celebrating because we have the Most High God as our refuge in any and all the storms of life. Isaiah said it thus: ‘For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:4) 

So with that in mind, let’s raise up our voices in sacrificial praise and thanksgiving, singing the up-tempo reggae version of this popular gospel song done by the Jamaican Artiste, George Nooks. And the band played…and the voices rose in sweet harmony… ‘Don’t give up, just ride out your storm. You’ve been in the storm and it seems like forever. And your nights of confusion have been too long. Your ship has lost anchor, and the storm’s got you drifting. Just hold on to Jesus And ride out your storm 

(Chorus: Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. You’re hurting now, but your morning is coming…Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm) Remember His promise, He said I’ll never forsake you, though the waters are troubled, they’ll do you no harm. Don’t give up the battle for your answer is coming, just hold on to Jesus, hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Ride out your storm God is still there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. I know you’re hurting now but your morning is coming, Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. 

Oh Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. Although you’re hurting now, your morning is coming, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. You know He’ll never leave you, so just hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Hold on to Jesus…and ride out your storm.’ 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! There’s no better person to hold on to than Jesus in the time of storm my people. Remember when He was crossing the sea in the ship with His disciples and a great storm arose, and it looked like the boat would capsize, and the disciples were scared to death. What was Jesus doing then eh? Snoozing quietly in the back of the ship. Hn! Hn! 

The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And the disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:25-27) Those disciples really didn’t have much faith nuh mih bredrin. Having seen Jesus do all the earlier miracles, they shouldn’t have been so scared. 

But we really can’t get on their case too much because we do the same thing nowadays too. Despite the many miracles the Lord has worked or wrought in our lives, we still get scared and doubtful and anxious when storms and life’s difficulties come our way, instead of calmly taking it all to God in prayer and trusting that He will at least walk through the storm beside us. And please don’t forget the Lord’s marvellous promise through His prophet Isaiah: ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ (Is. 43:2) 

Please remember that friends: whatever we go through, our great and faithful God is always right there beside us! And ofttimes He does even better than that. Listen to Moses on His behalf, as he gave over the Israelite leadership to Joshua. After warning him to be strong and of good courage, he continues: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ Mamacita! Our God doesn’t only walk with us through life’s storms, He goes one better, goes before us to clear the way for us. 

So friends, this Sunday morning, regardless of what is coming against us, please, I implore us, let’s be strong and of good courage, for we have all those faithful promises of our faithful God to hold on to. He never said that it would be easy, but He would bring us through it, just like He brought the three Hebrew boys out of the fire unscathed, not even smelling of smoke, the same way He brought Daniel out of the lion’s den unharmed. That means we cannot allow the heathen, the unbeliever, or even our fellow believer to look at us and derisively say, ‘O thou of little faith!’ 

And a Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women out there, for you are the backbone and major source of faith in most of our families! Without you, our faith would be even less than it is. Much LOVE!

…the best pilot in stormy waters…JESUS…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2020 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.    ​ It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
As the tumbling tumbleweed tumbles; as the cycle of life cycles; so do we saints in Christ live in concert with our omnipotent Creator! Wow! What magnificent imagery! That’s why they say B.S. baffles brains! (smile) It’s Monday morning friends, and we’re alive and kicking, so regardless of what tragedies are happening in our world, let’s give much thanks and praise to the Almighty that we’re not too badly off, and most of us are fairly safe, have a roof over our heads, and are well-fed! 

Many others around our world are having it much rougher than us and they’re not complaining, so we shouldn’t either, although, unfortunately, that has recently become the prevalent nature of our privileged, entitled and irresponsible society. And the best way to live in concert with out Creator is by communing with Him through the medium of prayer. So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, recently reworked for this pandemic time. As one, strong, humble, but confident voice, let’s come before His heavenly throne in sincere prayer. 

‘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. 

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!’ 

Yes, precious people, I’m sure the Lord heard our prayer because I know that our hearts were quite sincere, for we are awfully anxious and scared of the somewhat unrelenting stranglehold that the Coronavirus currently has on our world. But please, let’s remember what we said above in our prayer, about repentant hearts. We need to show that in our behaviour, keep our promise, if we expect the Lord to keep His and heal our world. Remember Cousin Sol told us yesterday not to make promises, especially to God, and not keep them. (Eccl. 5:4-5) So let’s work sincerely and diligently on that repentance nuh. 

And to help us do that, hear are some encouraging words from the prophet Jeremiah when he was lamenting the sins of his people Israel, who were then going through a rough time for their sinful disobedience. It seems like everything and everybody was against them. And at one stage Jeremiah declared (steups!): ‘I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into (made me walk in) darkness, but not into light. Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day…’ (Lam. 3:1-3) Then he goes on to tell of the many things Israel had suffered at the Lord’s hands. (Lam. 3: 4 13) 

And furthermore: ‘I was a derision (laughingstock) to all my people; and their (taunting) song all the day. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering (remember) mine affliction and my misery; the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled within me (is bowed down).’ (Lam. 3:14-19) 

Ah friends, Israel was in real bad shape, like we are today, and I know a lot of us are lamenting over our many problems, many of which have befallen us because of our sinful and disobedient attitude towards God. But if we continue listening to Jeremiah we’ll discover that things are not as bad as they seem or can get. 

‘This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:21-26) 

Oh my people, please, let’s do like Jeremiah and remember that our God is a great God nuh, compassionate and merciful as no one else. It is because of that compassion and mercy that we are not destroyed, as we deserve to be. And moreover, each new day, He brings new mercies and compassion to the table because of His overwhelming and unconditional LOVE for us. He is indeed a faithful God, and we need to be faithful too if we really want to see all the good things He has in store for us. 

And the scholars tell us that ‘real faith is more than inner belief, even more than whole-souled committal. It is a condition of the soul marked by such a stable character and attitude of total trust that the believer’s whole life is imbued with consistent, responsible service to God (cf. 1 Sam. 26:23; Ps. 37:3-6). From the biblical standpoint, true faith results in faithfulness in one’s life.’ 

Yes friends, faithfulness in this sinful word is not an easy row to hoe, but with the Lord’s help and our determination, we can certainly do much better than we’re currently doing. Much LOVE!

…blessed is the nation…whose God is the Lord… (Ps. 33:12)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2020 Matthew 22:36

Matthew 22:36.    ​Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?
 
‘May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, Brad May wins it in overtime….!’ That was the memorable call of announcer Rick Jeanneret on April 24 1993 when tough guy Brad May scored the overtime winner in the hockey playoff game between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. But ‘Mayday’ is also an internationally recognized radio word to signal distress. May 1, is also celebrated as May Day, a rite of spring with flowers, maypole dances and other gaiety. 

And last but not least, May Day, May 1 is also a day to celebrate workers rights, ‘commemorating the many historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement,’ and it’s a holiday in many of the approximately 66 countries in which it’s celebrated. Although, according to one web site, the recognition of the Labour Movement is not celebrated on that day in the country where it all began, the U.S. In both the U.S and Canada Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. 

So May Day is really many things in our modern society. And I guess May 1 2020 will also go down in history as the May Day that the Coronavirus pandemic kept us all indoors, with no real celebrations of spring, or labour rights, or anything really! (smile) But them’s the breaks mih people, we just got to grin and bear them! And I wonder how the ordinary workingman is taking it all eh? 

Here’s how: ‘Chuh! Ah tired saying TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui, because it don’t really have no more real significance. Every day is just like the one that went before, and the next one that coming. Nothing different to look forward to. Hn! Never thought I’d ever miss going to work nuh! But such is life. Ah guess when yuh accustomed doing something for so long, to just drop it without no warning for so long does bring some yearning for it. The slave master must be livid too since his business shut down completely and he not making any money. 

But I know he home resting comfortably, not having any real wants, because he personally could afford the shut down, is the people who working for him that can’t afford it. And sometimes now, when I see the protests about going back to work it gets me angry, and I want to join in. But the sensible part in me warns me that we need to take things easy and sensible, because if we open back up too soon, this virus chupidness could just resurrect its deadly head again! Steups! So who really have the answers eh? Hope they find a way to stop it soon yes, else we might just have riots in the street, with so much people not having much money or food to eat! Ah Lord, what’s next eh?’ 

And did our ordinary workingman hit the nail right on the head there mih bredrin! Things are indeed getting somewhat tense this last meeting. But as I said yesterday, our leaders are damned if they do, or damned if they don’t! Because there are so many people calling for either the lockdown, or reopen action, they really find themselves in a rather tough situation. It’s certainly a tough time to be a leader, and history will merely judge them by the eventual results, without any consideration to the many unknown variables that were then playing out. 

But my fellow saints in Christ, we have one solid answer, or starting point for it all; that most satisfying form of communication between ourselves and the impregnable fortress we call God; we talking about prayer! So let’s get to talking to Him nuh, through our rejigged Friday Chant for this Covid-19 season. All together now, as one strong voice, with sincere and pleading hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. 

But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 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 use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also 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 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!’ 

Ah friends, we just have to keep on praying and hoping and eagerly and expectantly waiting in strong faith for God to move, while doing whatever little we can do to help the situation, be it stay at home and observe social distancing, or be out there on the front lines standing strong and steadfast, if you’re an essential worker! There’s only one thing we can be sure of; this too will pass, as so many other tragedies have. We just have to wait for God’s time. 

And the Good Book opened this morning to this most appropriate scripture, the words of the Lord our God through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen (prophets) over you, saying, hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.’ (Jer. 6:16-17) 

Oh my people that accounts for a lot of our problems right there! Our stubborn disobedience and hard-heartedness has made our lives unnecessarily difficult. And when you factor in our sinful, foolish and impossible effort to remove God completely from our society, it just makes our situation even worse. And God said it quite plainly through Jeremiah. ‘Hear, O earth: behold I will bring evil (calamity) upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.’ (Jer. 6:19) 

And the Lord did indeed punish Israel for not obeying Him. So why yuh think He won’t do the same to our ever so sinful and disobedient society eh? And please don’t tell me any foolishness about that was the Old Testament! For neither do God’s laws nor His nature change! The only thing that has really changed from the Old to the New Testament is Jesus coming and allowing us to be saved and our sins atoned for by grace and His precious blood, rather than animal blood sacrifices. The Ten Commandments are still the Ten Commandments, regardless of whether we faithfully teach them or display them publicly. 

And likewise, the answer to the sarcastic, pompous and tempting question: ‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?’ Per Jesus, it’s still the same as it always was and ever shall be: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22: 37-40) 

Precious people, until this world starts acknowledging that Almighty God is its Creator, Provider and Controller and that we need to admire, reverence and exalt His Holy Name, while walking in sincere LOVE for each other, our world will never know real or true peace and contentment! Much LOVE!

where there is no vision (divine revelation)…the people perish… (Prov. 29:14a)

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