Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 November 2022 Psalm 122:1.

Psalm 122:1.        I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.

Once again friends, it’s time to gather round and lift up our voices and hearts in praise, worship and thanksgiving to our wonderful God! It’s Sunday, the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day, that makes it the most important day of the week! Let us not forget His warning, in no uncertain terms: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) 

And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing today, beginning, as we always do, with a song of praise. Today’s song is a li’l ditty we all know and LOVE, titled ‘Crying in the Chapel.’ Most of us might know the Elvis Presley version, but there have been numerous versions down through the years since Artie Glenn wrote it in 1951 for his son Darrell to sing. However, it apparently languished in a desk drawer for two years until Darrell, while still in High School, finally recorded it in 1953 with Artie’s Band, the Rhythm Riders. 

From the time it was released it became a favourite, possibly because of the deep sense of peace and contentment it radiates. I believe Elvis’ version in 1965 was the biggest chart topper, but today we’re going to do a version by the First Lady of song, Miss Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a more light and airy, bluesy, mid-tempo, but still very soulful treatment, not as dark and dirge-like as some of the other versions. (smile) So let’s open our hearts and voices and lift sacrificial praise to high heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord – 

Meet your neighbors in the chapel, Join with them in tears of joy, You’ll be happy with the Lord – You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way) Yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s exactly why we are gathered here today in the Lord’s sanctuary; so that we can get down on our knees and pray, have our burdens lightened and find the way, which leads directly through Christ Jesus. Remember His fateful words. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:8) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! No one can enter into the Father’s presence unless they first go through the Son, Jesus, for He’s the Father’s gate keeper. As the psalmist says of children in Psalm 127: ‘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. 127:5) Yes, friends, that’s what Jesus does for His Father; speaks with the enemies that come to the gate and drives them off, unless they bow to His wishes. 

Now that’s where we come in. We were once enemies of the Father, but once Jesus arrived on the scene, His sacrificial death on the cross killed all enmity, brought reconciliation and forgiveness, and now we’re LOVING Jesus and bowing to His every wish. (smile) But on a more serious note my people, the words in today’s song ring oh so true that we can’t help but pay attention. Listen to them nuh: ‘You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! But when you turn to Jesus, then you’ll find the peace that passeth all understanding. That’s His peace. As He so clearly defines it. ‘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.’ (John 14:27) Wow! There’s no peace on earth like Jesus’! 

And the good thing about it is that you don’t have to stand on no ceremony to receive it. As the song says: ‘ Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way.’ Yes friends, it’s that true and easy. Why yuh think Bruh David said in Psalm 122: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps. 122:1) 

And furthermore, it doesn’t have to be no fancy chapel, but ‘Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray.’ Oh my, my! And what happened there eh? ‘I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day.’ Plain and simple, straightforward, heartfelt communication. And what was the result of that communication? ‘You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord.’ 

Ah mih people, there are no tears like tears of joy, because they just refresh our souls, wash them clean, and bring contentment. But all of that can only be achieved when one is in strong league with Jesus Christ. Please remember that. The world and its evil sinful self cannot offer it. And before we end, I want to point out one very important fact in the song. ‘Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord.’ 

Oh my fellow saints, being of one accord, of one spirit, mind and agreement is ever so important in the Christian life. Bruh Paul thought it so important that he noted it in several of his missives to the churches. Like this one to the Philippians. ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation, solace) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (affection) and mercies (sympathy). 

Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE (showing no partiality), being of one accord (united in spirit), of one mind (the whole church with the same values and goals). Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (selfish ambition or conceit): but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem other better than themselves (regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself). Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (be just as concerned for the needs and problems of one’s brother believer as for one’s own affairs).’ (Phil. 2:1-4) 

Yes friends, that’s how Christianity ought to work. It seems the church at Philippi overall wasn’t bad, but there was some disunity and lack of harmony, which Bruh Paul needed fixed for his joy to be complete in them. And oh, is there ever a great deal of disunity and disharmony in the current church of Christ, that He desperately needs fixed for His joy to be complete. So please, I implore us, for our children and their children’s sake, let’s get together seriously and sincerely nuh, and start working on narrowing our differences and divisions, many of which are selfish and petty and can be easily corrected if we truly want to be sincere saints of Christ. Much LOVE!

…nothing will warm the cockles of Christ’s heart…like His church truly being of one accord…                                                                                                                                

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2016 Philippians 2:5

Philippians 2:5.  Let  this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.
 

Well mih people, it’s Monday; Carnival Monday, and the craziness has begun!

 
J’ouvert (the opening) must have been something else, but I did not go to the stuff down at Crown Point here in Tobago, or watch that in Trinidad on the tube. The duchess didn’t want to go and I was somewhat concerned about my left knee, which isn’t as bad as it was a few days ago, but still not as good as it should be.
 
And to tell the truth, what I saw down at Crown Point last year didn’t thrill me; it was just noise and people walking about. The mas wasn’t impressive at all. So I don’t believe I’ve missed anything at all. Hopefully though, by tomorrow my knee will be feeling good enough for me to go into Scarborough and watch some of the Tuesday mas. Obviously it’s not as good or as big as that in Trinidad, but it will do. (smile)
 
Yesterday after writing the Bit, I went up to the Hotel Magdalena for Brunch. They serve a good West Indian brunch on a Sunday. The food was good, but like all the stuff I’ve been eating since I’m here it did not thrill me. For some unknown reason, although they taste good, the victuals just haven’t been turning me on. Most of the time I’m just eating
for eat sake.
Anyway, after that I came back home, bloated and tired, (smile) rested, then watched the 50th Super Bowl. As usual it was more hype than substance. A real ugly game too; too many penalties, turn overs and simply a defensive match up. It might have been good to some, but I like to see offense.
 
Then I watched some under 19 World Cup Cricket, where the West Indies were playing Pakistan in Bangladesh. Now that was more interesting, because the West Indies have a couple of fast bowlers who do look promising for the future. Let’s hope they do live up to that promise, as the West Indies have been at the bottom of the table for far too long.
 
I don’t know how it ended because after falling asleep on myself a couple times, (smile) I went to bed, but the West Indies were in a superior position at the time, so I hope they prevailed and got into the semi-finals.
 
However my people, I know that not all of us have the blessing of no work today, so let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much gusto. And those of you who don’t have to go to work, please lend a healthy enthusiasm to the singing, so that our brothers and sisters who have to go and labour will be truly encouraged.
 
All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  
 
That was good my people. Our choirmaster, Jesus, wasn’t thrilled, but satisfied. So those of you who have to work, please go with the Lord and do his bidding with strength and wisdom.
 
Meanwhile, those of us who intend to party, please do so with a modicum of circumspection, heeding Granny’s wise and timely advice: ‘Drunk or sober, please mind your business,’ because this is a time when the ole scoundrel Lucifer is in his element, for he knows that come carnival time, we’re not as careful as we usually are and are more liable to do things we shouldn’t do, and open up a spot for him to invade our souls.
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit which will help us with all those things. ‘Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’
 
And what does that mean. Listen to the scholars: ‘2:5. Let this mind be in you means literally “keep thinking this,” that is, constantly maintain this attitude within yourselves. The “mind” or attitude the Philippians are to maintain is spelled out in verses 2c-4, which constitutes harmonious living. Paul informs his readers that the same attitude of verses 2c-4, which they are to retain within themselves, was also in Christ Jesus.’
 
Ah my brethren, this chapter deals with the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, so before we get to the particular attitude Bruh Paul is asking us to have, let’s put it all in context, so we can better understand it. He begins the chapter thus. ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies.
 
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Phil.2:1-4)
 
Yes friends, those are the basic things Bruh Paul’s talking about when he writes our Bit: Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’ And it is also expected that we will do likewise.
 
Now I don’t want to make the Bit too long, knowing your penchant for sound bites, (smile) so we’ll stop there for today. Tomorrow we’ll get into the meanings of the various words and phrases, so we can better understand what it’s all about. Till then, please walk safely with God, and enjoy your day to the full. Much LOVE!
 
…to become Christ-like…we first have to think like Christ thinks…it all begins in the mind…
 

 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2014 Ephesians 5:21

Ephesians 5:21.    Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
 
And then it was Thursday – the day before Friday – the day before the weekend. Wow Friends, the weekend’s almost here! Give thanks and praise! (smile) Yes my people, we ought to always give thanks and praise, not only for stuff like the weekend, but for ALL things, be they good or bad!
 
As Bruh Paul so wisely advised the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) Yes mih breddren, thanks and praise are always in our best interest, no matter the situation!
 
And the word for today from my almanac (smile) is ‘REFLECT.’ The quote comes from Peter Drucker (1909-2005) He was the Austrian–born, American writer, professor and management consultant who set the management world afire in my days. He’s often referred to as ‘the Father of modern management.’ In my time, you couldn’t study management without reading Drucker. I must still have a book or two by him somewhere here on my shelf.
 
Anyway, the quote is: ‘From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.’
 
And that’s indisputable truth my brethren! For when we first sit and reflect on what’s happening in our lives and around us, instead of just jumping in willy-nilly to some situation, we do produce much more effective actions.
 
And today, I want us to consider our Bit in the spirit of reflection. ‘Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’
 
Yes my people, let’s ponder its meaning, then consider our individual efforts in doing what it advocates. Are we truly submitting ourselves to each other in reverence to God?
 
Or as the scholars describe it: ‘There is mutual submission, that is, showing deference to the wishes of one another, as long as that to which the believer submits is in the fear of God, which is to say, in accord with what pleases Him.’
 
Oh Friends, as true Christians, that’s how we ought to be living our lives. But unfortunately I don’t think we are doing that to any great extent. Instead we are allowing the dictates, emotions, ungodly actions and motives of the world to permeate our relationships. That’s why there is so much animosity, resentment, and all the other negative things to be found today in the body of Christ; His supposedly august church.
 
And that unity of effort is one thing Bruh Paul harps on, knowing its great importance. To the Philippians, he writes: ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (affection) and mercies (sympathy),
 
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Phil.1:1-4)
 
Yes that’s a mouthful, but here are some explanations from the scholars: ‘2:2-4. Fulfill ye my joy (or, “Make my joy complete”). Paul rejoiced over the Philippians (1:3), but his happiness was incomplete, owing to some disunity and lack of total harmony among them.
 
The Greek equates what, to Paul, constitutes “complete joy” with the readers being like-minded. This means “living in harmony” with one another. That is, the Philippians can “fulfill” the writer’s “joy” by living in harmony among themselves. But what does such harmonious living entail?
 
Beginning in verse 2 and continuing through verse 4, six participles spell out and clearly define what it means to “live in harmony”: (1) having the same LOVE toward one believer as shown toward another, without partiality; (2) being of one accord; that is, they are to be united in spirit; (3) of one mind; that is, the whole church is to have the same values and goals;
 
(4) let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; for selfish ambitions or conceit; (5) let each esteem other better than themselves; that is, each is to regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself; and (6) look…every man also on the things of others; that is, each is to be just as concerned for the needs and problems of his brother as he is for his own affairs.’
 
Yes my brethren, though Bruh Paul was generally happy with the Philippians, there was some disunity among them that displeased him. I hate to think what he would feel about the church today, for there is so much disunity and dissension, that it’s feeding on itself and every day creating more of the same.
 
Oh my fellow believers, Christians were meant to live in harmony, with Jesus Christ as our sounding board, as our most worthy example! Yuh see how the early Christians lived after the Holy Spirit was endowed on all believers! That’s how we ought to live!
 
Oh I know that we are only human and that the society is bigger and somewhat different, but even so, with the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling within us, we ought, and can definitely come up much higher than we’re currently doing.

Remember Jesus’ motto is ‘Excellence in all things!’ And we’re definitely not being excellent in church unity and harmony.
 
So today my people, I’m pleading with us to try and do better, to come up higher, not only for our sakes and for those of our children, but more so for Jesus, since we are His representatives, His ambassadors here on earth, and we’re not doing such a great job in His name. Let’s sincerely seek to improve nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…oh…if there was even a tad more unity in Christ’s church…His LOVE Revolution would be much further along to completion…