Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2018 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26:   And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Well here we are again on a Sunday morning, hopefully getting ready to visit, or having already visited the Lord’s sanctuary to get our reassurance and strengthening for the upcoming week, through praise, worship, fellowship and hearing the Lord’s word.

And I like Bruh Paul’s reasoning in Romans 10, re those calling on the name of the Lord shall be saved, especially when he asks: ‘how can they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) That’s why we have preachers! (smile) 

But before we hear the word, let’s get into some hearty praise and worship to soften our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Lord’s dialogue. And today’s song of praise is one we all know and LOVE, titled, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand.’

According to Wikipedia, it ‘is a gospel pop song composed by Gene MacLellan and first recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray from her third studio album ‘Honey, Wheat and Laughter.’ 

Wow! I knew that our very own Canadian Songbird from down the East coast had sung it, but I never knew she was the first to record it. And since then it’s been recorded numerous times by all kinds of singers and musicians.

Today, we’re going to send up a blazing, brilliant, harmonious and magnificent rendition to our heavenly Father, showing our sincere gratitude for all that He’s done for us through His Son, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s bring tears of joy to the eyes and hearts of those in heaven as we sing: (Chorus: ‘Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea. Take a look at yourself, and you can look at others differently. Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.) 

Every time I look into the Holy Book, I wanna tremble. When I read the part where the carpenter cleared the temple See those buyers and the sellers were no different fellas Than what you and I profess to be. And it causes me shame to know that man is not what he should be. (Chorus: Put your hand in the hand…) 

Hey, my mama taught me how to pray, before I reached the age of seven When I’m down on my knees, hey, I’m close to heaven. My daddy lived his life with two kids and a wife and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do But he showed me enough of what it takes to see you through 

This is what he used to tell me… Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea Ya got’a take a good look at yourself, then you can look at others differently Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.’ 

Magnifico my brethren, Magnifico! The eyes in heaven are all filled with tears of joy! Glory be! And believe you me, that rendition was so sweet that the Father was singing along with us, not to mention that He is also grateful for the Son’s unwavering obedience in His plan to save our undeserving souls.  

Now hear the word. The story goes like this: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye 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.8:23-27) 

The answer to that question is not rocket science friends, but is quite simple: the winds and the sea obey Him because He made them and still controls them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the words of the psalmist:

‘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 (don’t know what to do)

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

 Yes friends the seafarers know the Lord’s power, His all-around control of the wind and the sea, so they know to look to Him for succour in time of need. My brethren, we too should realize and acknowledge the Lord’s omnipotence and majesty and revere Him, surrender our lives, put our sincere trust in Him and His awesome Son, the man from Galilee, who rebuked the winds and the waves and caused them to be calm.

So let’s wise up and take His hand nuh; and hold it very tightly too, don’t ever let go!  It’s a no-brainer my people; the height of wisdom! Much LOVE!

..whose hand would you prefer to hold over Jesus’ eh…NOBODY’S…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2018 Psalm 107:29.

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

Oh mih people, I know that this Monday morning as many of us are struggling to get up and go to work under difficult circumstances, we are also asking; ‘Wherefore art thou sweet Jesus?’ You can include me in that lot. (smile) That’s because we expect Jesus to solve our every problem without any suffering on our part, or at least a minor amount. 

But He never promised that there wouldn’t be rough times. In fact, He told us to expect them, even if it’s only because we believe in Him. What He did promise is that He would see us through the storms of life, hold our hands, and bring us out safely on the other side. 

So let’s not get all up in arms against our Lord and Saviour if we are experiencing trying times this morning. Instead let’s put all our confidence in Him, in His faithful promises. For if He gave up His sinless life for us, why wouldn’t He help us through our dark times eh? And to help boost our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong voice and nuff sincerity. 

As one 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!’ 

Oh friends, it never ceases to amaze me how that prayer can cause the adrenaline to flow and our spirits to be lifted! So let’s be wise and ride it out nuh, do our thing for Jesus, whatever it may be, and stay strong under His protection and guidance, for He is the ONLY One who can truly protect us from the storms of life. 

Hear this telling and truthful scripture from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men – that includes our Bit. ‘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 (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet: so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Yuh see friends, the seafarers knew exactly what the psalmist was talking about, because they experienced it all the time. And I too can testify to that scripture, as I got caught out on the stormy Lake Ontario some years ago, and believe me, it was indeed a frightening scene. 

Out in the middle of the lake in a relatively small boat, surrounded by four scared, drunken men. Only the skipper and I were sober, as the boat dangled up and down between the great waves. But obviously the Lord calmed the stormy waves, and I am still here to tell the story. 

I thought I had seen bad storms on the ocean, but that one on Lake Ontario took the cake. As I’ve said before, I’d read about the shivering of timbers on a boat in a storm, but that fateful day I experienced it in living colour. And let me tell you, it wasn’t one I’d like to experience again. 

And the best way to end today’s Bit is with this actual story of Jesus as he crossed the Sea of Galilee in a boat with His disciples. On the way over a violent storm arose, but Jesus didn’t budge, he remained asleep. However, the disciples were scared out of their minds and ‘came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye 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!’ (Matthew 8:25-27) 

Oh my fellow believers, we shouldn’t have to ask that question because we ought to know whom Jesus is – The Son of Almighty God, who made the universe and all therein, therefore He has control over it all. Consequently, He can also quiet the storms in our lives, if we would just let Him. Much LOVE!

…let God be God…in your life…that’s the only wise way to live…

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2016 Psalm 107:29

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

So how goes it this beautiful morning eh, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ? I do hope that it is going well, but as usual, if it isn’t, then let me remind us that there’s no need to fear or be worried. 

We just have to take it all to Jesus, lay it at the foot of the cross, and He will take our burdens and instead offer us His comfort and His wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Remember His Great Invitation: ‘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 (gentle and humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Yes friends, there’s no better invitation than that in the entire world! And if we’re wise, we’ll gladly take it whenever times become overwhelming. 

And if you’re in a full-blown storm this morning, then here is some more good advice from Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller) from our Hour of Power Devotional, to help you weather it. It’s titled ‘When I Face a Storm.’ I believe I’ve shared it before, but when it’s good, it’s always best to wheel and come again. (smile) 

So please pray with me. ‘You never promised, Lord, that I would be forever sheltered from stormy times in my life. You have promised that the sun will outlast the storms. You issue the grand command from outer space and the renegade storm clouds break up, scatter, and flee like hoodlums furtively racing from the streets, back to their hidden lairs in some forbidding alley. 

The bright stars come out to laugh again, like little children returning once more to safe streets for happy play. The sky clears. A huge, yellow moon sails once more calm and serene through the silent skies. 

Even as you restore peace after the storm, so will you bestow a renewed calm to my troubled mind through your peace-instilling presence that is surrounding me now. Your quiet and calming spirit is flowing within me now. My fear is gone! Thank you, Lord! Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that whatever fear we were holding is now gone and the calm and peace of Jesus is now controlling our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, like He promised. 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s further bolster our faith by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with lots of hope, vision and sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen’ 

Yes friends, that’s such an important declaration and distinction, one we need to carry with us at all times. For we are indeed God’s children, and no one can take that away from us. 

But on the other hand, we also have a responsibility to behave like children of God, so that the world can see what He’s like, through the living examples of our lives. We need to have the fruit of God’s Spirit showing brightly through our godly behaviour. 

And just in case we’ve forgotten what’s the fruit of the Spirit, let’s refresh our minds. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness). Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Oh my brethren, those are the things the heathen ought to see in our lives! That’s the only way we can ever make a good and fruitful impact on them. All our words are meaningless unless and until we back them up with true action! 

That brings us to our Bit, taken from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. But first let’s set the scene. ‘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 (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a 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). 

Yes my precious people, the same way the seafarers cry out to God in times of storms on the sea, the same way we ought to cry out to our heavenly Father when the vicissitudes of life, our ever-changing circumstances, overwhelm us. And as promised, He will calm the storms and bring us safely to the haven of His LOVE.  

Oh friends, there’s none other like our great God! That’s why the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

There’s nothing more I can say friends, except to implore us to do as the psalmist and Jesus wisely advise: before anything or anyone else, turn to your omnipotent and merciful God in times of trouble. Much LOVE!

…why turn to impotent man in times of trouble…when we have an omnipotent God to turn to…