Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 
Yes, we’re somewhat tardy this morning, but through no fault of mine. Let me make that abundantly clear! (smile) I went to bed early…well yes and no…but I was up early, had to go and do some blood work though, that’s why we’re running a tad behind. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a prayer, one of my favourites, something I’ve shared before, doubt you’ll remember it though. (smile) But it’s one done by the Life-Study Fellowship Group in Noroton, Connecticut, some years back. It’s titled, ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the prayer has as it’s Bible promise: ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.” (Ps.107:8) And do we ever need to do that my fellow believers in these sad and trying  times. So please pray with me. 

‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2020 I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, what a marvellous prayer! I think it covers all the bases: gratefulness for guidance and comfort in times of trouble; encouragement and support when necessary. As the old Bill Wither’s song says, ‘Lean on me when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on!’ Now that’s exactly what our God does! And we can surely do that with all confidence because He is an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God! And because of His LOVE…oh my people, my people, because of God’s unending, unconditional and unsurpassed LOVE, we find the strength to keep going even in the most difficult of times! Glory Hallelujah! 

As the Good Book says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Mamma Yo! With a God like that, who else do we need eh? Not a single soul! For our God is more than enough to meet our needs. Again, as He promised: ‘God will meet all of my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus!’ (Phil.4:19) Wow! But yuh know the best part of that prayer is the peaceful moments experienced when we’re all alone with our Maker in prayer. 

Oh friends, there’s something we experience when we’re communing with Almighty God, our heavenly Father, that cannot be truly defined or put into words. I guess the best we can do is call it peace, or the all encompassing Jewish word ‘Shalom!’ And when you’re talking to him, and know for a fact that He’s listening to you closely, and sincerely cares for you…why wouldn’t He eh, when He made you? A feeling of utmost quiet and stillness and calm, even when it’s rough, comes over you. 

Remember too, the Lord is also the Best Confidante we can ever have. He doesn’t tell our ‘secrats’ to anyone, and we can bring EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to Him in prayer, because He’s interested in EVERYTHING that concerns us, be it big, small or intermediate! That’s the kind of caring and considerate God we serve and worship my people! I know some of us wrongly think that we can’t bother God with small, supposedly unimportant stuff, but He’s truly interested in it all! Just as we like our children to bring even their most personal problems to us, so does our heavenly Father want us to bring ALL our problems to Him. 

Remember, He’s not only our God, our Creator, our Judge and Saviour, but also our Father…and Friend, and He does desire to perform fatherly and friendly duties for and with us! Give Him much thanks and praise my breddren, for He so worthily deserves it! As the psalmist so rightly declares: (steups!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’  And do we ever need to thank the Lord for all the blessings He bestows on us, especially the most important one; our Lord and  Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Oh we can never give Him enough thanks and praise for that nuh, because there isn’t enough in all the world to ever make up for Jesus! Bless His holy name! That’s why I’m encouraging us to really get with the programme this year of 2020 my fellow believers, for it’s a watershed year, a year that will make or break us, a year that will set the tone for all the other ones to come! That’s why Christians have to seriously and truly come together in these perilous times, because everything depends on us; the fate of our children and our world rests solely in our hands; placed there by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ when He gave us the Great Commission: 

‘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: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the very end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And yuh see how kind and caring our Jesus is? Although He’s given us a big and important job to do, He’s also given us the tools to do it, through his Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and by whom He also keeps His promise to be always with us. 

So friends, on this first Tuesday of our new year, let’s sincerely declare (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, just who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts! ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ Now, as we’ve just promised, let’s go out and tell them about our Lord and Saviour, His undying LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the Lord…He satisfieth the longing soul…and filleth the hungry soul with goodness… (Ps.107:9)

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2019 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.   Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 

Monday, O Monday! We LOVE you dearly, but please go away and come again some other day nuh! Now that would indeed be nice, but it’s just a tad impractical, for whatever you call the first day of the work week, we will have problems with it. It’s just the nature of the beast. I’m talking about us, not the day. (smile) 

But thankfully, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have something that can cure whatever first day of the working week blues we have. It’s called prayer, the most powerful force on God’s great earth! Through prayer, we communicate with our Maker and Provider and He satisfies our needs. And today’s prayer is most appropriately titled, our ‘Monday Morning Battle Hymn!’ So let’s get to it without any further dilly dallying nuh. 

All together now in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, I can feel the Holy Spirit of God moving in me now, raising the level of my enthusiasm and conviction…and I’m sure you can feel it too! That’s the omnipotence, the amazing power of our awesome God to transcend reality, and have His Spirit move in our lives. And with that increase in power, and faith, we can now go out and transcend the world by doing wonderful stuff in Jesus’ name! 

Oh glory to our great God my brethren! Give him much thanks and praise for His amazing goodness, grace and mercy to the undeserving children of rebellious and disobedient man! That’s why the psalmist so adamantly proclaimed: Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 

For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (prisoners); Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned (despised) the counsel of the Most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. 

Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (broke their chains in pieces). Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps.107:8-15) 

Yes friends, we can’t ask for a more wonderful Deity than the One we already have! Which other supposed god gives us second, third, fourth…and such numerous chances to change our rebellious nature and thus come out of the bondage of sin that that rebellion imparts on us eh? None other than the One True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

He’s so wonderful, that regardless of how long we’ve been in rebellion towards His holy counsel, when we do call on Him with sincere hearts, even in our darkest times, times when we’re under the shadow of death, He responds with LOVING-kindness? And furthermore, even though we rebel against Him, He’s faithfully promised: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

What more can we ask for eh friends? Not much, for that’s the ultimate in promises! And we know that if nothing else, our God is faithful to keep His promises, for they are not given idly, like the promises of men! And the psalmist felt our Bit so keenly that he introduces it four times in the psalm. (vs.8,15, 21, 31). 

Now hear how Bruh David adds his two cents worth to the equation nuh, (smile) from Psalm 108 – Israel looks to God for help. ‘O God, my heart is fixed (steadfast); I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp: I myself will awake early (awaken the dawn). I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 

For thy mercy (LOVING-kindness) is great above the heavens (skies): and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.’ (Ps.108:1-5) 

And that’s exactly how our great God should be praised and exalted my fellow believers! Unfortunately though, in these very evil and ungodly times we’re not even coming close to the standard of praise and exaltation truly needed.

So please friends, I’m imploring us to truly sit up and take notice of how good God treats us, especially with the free gift of salvation and eternal life through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ! Let’s be truly thankful nuh, because we have so much to be thankful for! Much LOVE!

…you can’t just talk thanks…like LOVE…you’ve got to show it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2017 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.     He maketh the storm to calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Well friends, it’s Saturday and there’s work to be done around the house, errands to run and shut in people to visit. Wow! For some of us it doesn’t seem like a day off at all, and we’re tempted to go to our place of employment, where we don’t work half as hard. (smile) 

But for some blessed individuals, it’s a much easier go; just sleeping in late, snoozing on the couch, idly flipping the channels on the remote,  watching golf and baseball, hockey and basketball, while sipping something cold and frothy and drowsily but sincerely saying, ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes mih people, some do have it easier than others. But since it’s Saturday, we also have to check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week. And he does have some excellent ones this week. 

Listen to this first one. ‘Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Problems are in fact opportunities for us to grow. Note that it’s only when we face adversity that we mature, especially in our Christian walk. 

And this next quote follows on naturally. ‘We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and create a life worth living, a noble life. Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.’ There again friends, we can’t escape pain or problems, but we can choose how to handle them; either by cringing and complaining, or by standing strong and using the adversity to our benefit. 

And this one also segues nicely to the one before. ‘You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.’ It’s all about attitudes my people; our attitudes to our problems can either make or break us. And this last quote just wraps it up nicely. ‘Being miserable is a habit; being happy is a habit; and the choice is yours.’

Oh is that ever so true my fellow believers! The choice is all ours. That means if we want to have a fairly happy and peaceful life we must choose attitudes that relate to happiness and peace. Remember with Jesus as our captain, we can remain calm in any storm. 

Now listen to the psalmist as he tells his story. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships; that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm to calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Ah friends that reminds me of a personal testimony to that situation. One day, some thirty something years ago, I ended up on a boat with some friends and coworkers who were headed for Rochester on the American side of Lake Ontario. To cut a long story short, going across the day was sunny and beautiful and we finally got to the American side, but up to now we haven’t reached Rochester. (smile) 

Through the obvious presence of the brown girl in the bottle and several strong imbibers, arguments broke out about continuing down the American coast to Rochester or returning to Toronto. The captain and owner of the boat eventually decided to come back to Toronto. This was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 

But lo and behold, on our way back a serious storm rose up against us and we could barely make any headway against it. And yuh better believe that prayer, for the first time in many a day, was forthcoming from several of the inebriated imbibers. It’s a good thing I wasn’t into the sauce that day, so I was able to help the skipper, while the others were rolling around, hanging on, giving drunken orders and praying. 

Now that day I learned a couple of lessons. The first one is that Lake Ontario can be very dangerous. I would be passing along the shore and see it kicking up and steups at it, saying it was nothing like the ocean I was accustomed to, and wondering how big ships like the Edmund Fitzgerald could sink and get lost in it.

But friends, that night I learned otherwise. For when the boat, I guess it was around fifteen feet long, mounted up the massive waves, I saw the good Lord in his heaven. (smile) And when it hit back down to the depths, between those waves, I felt the shivering of timbers! And that was the second lesson I learned; the actual feeling of shivering timbers. Before that night I had only read it from books. 

And believe me there was even mutiny amongst the group. For when we finally reached land on the Ontario side, somewhere around Cobourg, still many miles from our starting point, we had to stop for gas. At that point, some of the more inebriated ones wanted to use their money to take a taxi home, instead of chip in for the gas. 

But eventually cooler heads prevailed and we all came back together, arriving at our starting point around three o’clock in the morning, having left their around ten a.m. the previous day. And believe me, that was only a synopsis of the whole story. Like my family didn’t know where I was, hadn’t seen or heard from me for at least 20 hours, and the captain’s wife had the coast guard out looking for us. 

Can’t say I haven’t led an adventurous life – but with the grace of God always surrounding me! That’s why I can totally agree with the psalmist when he declares: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), to the children of men!’ (Ps.107:31) Much LOVE my brethren!

…without God…where would men be eh…so let’s give Him lots of thanks and praise nuh…and faithfully adhere to His law…