Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 May 2022 John 13:34.

John 13:34.      A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. 

Come on friends, let’s see some Christ-like smiles on those faces on this beautiful spring Thursday nuh! Christ is LOVE, the Good Book says so (1 John 4:8) and the first appearance of LOVE from us should be a smile! Yes, my brethren our Christian faith walk all begins with a smile, for when we realize all the marvellous and miraculous benefits we have in and from Jesus, and they all start to flow out of us, there must be a smile of joy accompanying them, otherwise, how are people going to know that we are happy in Jesus eh? 

So, if there is true joy in our souls, then it will show on our faces through a smile. And it’s sad, pathetic really, the number of sour faced, miserable, unhappy looking supposed Christians walking about the planet! Some of them falsely believing that they are pilgrims and pilgrims suffer, so they need to look like what the cat dragged in. 

But that’s not true friends. For even if you are a supposed pilgrim and life’s rough, with all the wonderful stuff that Jesus has given us and placed in our hearts and souls, the joy, which is the strength of the Lord and the fruit of His Holy Spirit that’s been planted in us and growing beautifully like the new spring grass, must manifest itself in our behaviour, starting with a big smile and a heavenly look on our faces. 

Remember what Jesus said about the stuff that comes out of a man? ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt. 15:11) And that’s how it ought to be with believers, the good stuff of Jesus coming out of our mouths and lighting up our faces with His joy. ‘As the song says: ‘Oh happy day, oh happy day, when Jesus, when Jesus washed, when my Jesus washed all my sins away!’ 

Now, that day and that action ought to be always percolating in our souls and spirits, and cause us to live rejoicing every day. And rejoicing means letting the joy in our soul and spirit being made manifest on the outside, beginning with a glow on our faces and Christ-like actions reaching out to those with whom we come into contact. That brings us to these fateful and very crucial words of Jesus to His disciples, when he said unto them. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one for another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yes, my fellow believers, the world will only recognize us as true disciples of Jesus if we show the LOVE He showed to us, toward each other. And sadly, that’s not happening as much as it should because many of us supposed Christians don’t even talk to one another because we are of a different religion or denomination, we have a different doctrine or some such nonsense. But the only doctrine in Jesus’ book is LOVE, and LOVE is an action-based reality, you can’t just talk it, but must show it, like Jesus said back there, if we want to be His true disciples. 

And He said it to them again later on. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) And I like how John sets it all out in his first epistle, when he talks about tests of true knowledge. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandment is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Oh my fellow saints, those words are ever so important in our walk of faith because they testify of our genuine knowledge of God, of true discipleship, which can only be accomplished by obedience to Christ’s commandments. It must be a conscious and enduring effort, for the true ‘test of knowing God’s LOVE is keeping His Word.’ And the scholars explain verse 6 thus. They say: ‘Even as he walked refers to Jesus’ earthly days. While no one can or need duplicate Jesus’ atoning ministry, His disciples are called on to imitate His devotion to God and compassion for others. See John 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:21.’ 

And just to refresh our memories, (smile) let’s look at those two scriptures. In John 13:15, Jesus says to the disciples after washing their feet. ‘For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.’ Then Peter corroborates that statement when he writes. ‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: Who when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.’ (1 Pet. 2:21-23) 

Oh my people, are we doing those kinds of things like Jesus did, or at least attempting to live that way? Hopefully, our answer to that will be a decisive YES! And if it’s not, then we are not living for Christ and are not His true disciples and need to change our lifestyles if we truly want to be made over in His image. And the great thing about Jesus is that when we truly desire and try to live for Him, He showers us with numerous blessings to help us do just that. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and when we declare them out loud, they serve to refuel and renew our hearts and souls, so that we can go out and do His work with new enthusiasm and LOVE. 

So, let’s declare them right now nuh, in loud and confident voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s up to us to go out and generously use those blessings to serve others, just as generously as Christ shares them with us. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but LOVE…that’s action…calls for sacrifice…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2021 Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24.     ​This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Well a pleasant Sunday to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s another beautiful day in the life! Our God surely knows how to make them, doesn’t He! And we also wish a blessed and Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, be they good, bad or indifferent! (smile) Oh, we know that our parents should be celebrated every day, but that’s not always possible, so we focus on one special day each year for each parent. 

Today is your day Fathers, so please enjoy it. So all around it’s a wonderful day! That means we can say like the psalmist did so sincerely, so long ago: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren in Christ! 

And what better way to celebrate the Lord’s beautiful day and Father’s Day than by raising our voices in praise to the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Phillip Doddridge and made popular, became a gospel music standard in the 20thcentury by the Edwin Hawkins singers. You know that I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ So without further ado, let’s get into it nuh, in an up-tempo beat, with loud, joyful, harmonious voices, let’s rock heaven…oh, and don’t forget those wonderful background vocals, because that’s the heart of the song. (smile) 

All together now: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away 

(Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes friends, it is indeed a happy day! And as always, we did justice to our song of praise, because all heaven was rocking along, with us, singing and clapping…this time we even caught Jesus singing and clapping while doing a li’l two step shuffle off in the corner. You know He is usually shy and reserved and doesn’t get too caught up in the merriment, but today the energy and joy pulsating from the music was too much for Him to resist. 

And a couple angels who saw Him jigging, gleefully shouted out: ‘Go there mih Saviour! Show them you could step too, when you so desire!’ Obviously Jesus blushed, but He didn’t stop dancing. Ah friends, our Lord and Saviour is indeed a man of many parts, and He wants to get involved in everything that we do. So please let’s not try to leave Him out of any areas of our lives, because we are the ones who suffer when we do that. 

And I guess because today is Father’s Day, I ought to say something spiritual to the Fathers? (smile) And there are lots of scriptures that deal with the responsibilities of fathers. The most well-known one I guess is in Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, where he declares: ‘And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:4) 

And just to be clear on what Bruh Paul means, here are some explanations from the scholars.‘6:4. Fathers can provoke their children to wrath by injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse or abuse of authority. Nurture basically means “training,” here denoting spiritual education. Admonition is instruction that points out one’s responsibilities and duties. Of the Lord is in Greek a subjective genitive (names the subject of the action contained in another noun). This indicates that behind the parents’ rearing and instruction of their children stands the Lord as the chief teacher in child education. Parents do not raise children alone.’ 

Now that is something many of the parents of this generation need to learn; they cannot raise children in isolation from the Lord. Many are still trying though, and no wonder we have so many godless children in our society. Notwithstanding the serious absence of fathers in too many households. Remember friends, the father is the titular head of the family, and if there is no father present in a child’s rearing, or the father doesn’t do a good job then the child obviously suffers in the long run. 

That’s why Cousin Sol spells it out in Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Have you ever noticed how many young people who grew up in Christian homes, at some point stray from their faith, but eventually return to it when they see that there’s no other way to live a good life? I can personally testify to that. (smile) 

And a few explanations from the scholars re Cousin Sol’s words.‘22:6. Train up a childrefers to the total process of molding a child’s life…. Thus parental training should help children develop a taste for the things of God. The biblical pattern of effective parental training emphasizes a balance of instruction and discipline (cf. Eph. 6:1-4). 

The ideal parent is to be neither overly authoritarian nor overly permissive. Rather, he must balance LOVE and discipline so as not to provoke his child to rebellion.When he is old means simply, “when he is grown up,” or a mature adult. It does not refer to his elderly years. The verse stresses the simple principle that education in the home forms the man throughout his lifetime.’ 

And there is much truth to all that the scholars and Cousin Sol say, but it’s all much easier said than done, for as the old people will tell you, ‘you make the children, but not their minds.’ So you can try your best to inculcate God into them from their formative years, and yet they will still go astray. But nonetheless it is still our job, our responsibility, to teach them the things of God, regardless of what they choose to do with that info. The Lord will deal with them for their disobedience, and with us for ours, because too many of us parents have not given the children of this generation enough of God’s fodder. 

Remember what the Lord said of Abraham. ‘For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement (righteousness and judgement); that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.’ (Gen. 18:19) 

Oh my people, how many of us can the Lord give such glowing reports of today eh? Unfortunately, not as many as He should, for we have certainly fallen down in raising our children on the tenets of God. However, as the old people would further say, (smile), ‘where there is life, there is hope,’ so let’s not give up on them nuh. Let’s keep being living examples to our children, as well as reminding them of God’s Word and His will for their lives. Much LOVE!

…the foundation of a Christian family is…father, mother, children… and God…                                                                      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2020 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Oh friends, the Lord’s Day has rolled around once again, but sadly, this time His house, His sanctuary is desolate because of the Coronavirus lockdown. Thankfully though, that doesn’t mean He can’t bless us and make His face to shine upon us, because we’ll still be gathering to sing and praise and worship Him, though through virtual means, through the wonders of technology. 

And because of all the strife, confusion, upheaval and discontent that’s currently running rampant in our world, I decided that we needed a real thankful and joyful song to open our worship today, something to lift our spirits and remind us of our God’s goodness and LOVING-kindness. And I’m sure you’ll all agree that there could not be a better song than this one to do it. I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

Yes mih people, up on point today is that 1967 gospel music arrangement by the Edwin Hawkins Singers of the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Philip Doddridge, which in the intervening years has certainly become a gospel music standard. Just check out YouTube and you’ll see the many different versions. And today we’re really going to get into it, giving it the full gospel treatment, with lots of hand clapping, the music rich and soulful and scintillating, with the tambourines jangling and the call and answer response right up front, for that’s what really lends the song its verve and chutzpah. (smile) 

So altogether now, in full voice, letting heaven know that we’re serious and sincere: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) 

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) 

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes mih bredrin, that was an awesome version! Heaven had no doubt that we were sincere! And this time, Jesus couldn’t just sit smiling shyly by the Father’s side…how could He when all heaven was dancing, singing and clapping too eh…including the Father? Jesus had to get up and do a li’l two step to acknowledge the praise and worship. And believe me precious people, Jesus deserves all of that adoration and reverence for the willing sacrifice; crucifixion on the old rugged cross at Calvary, that He made on our behalf! 

Wow! What a day it truly was when He washed our sins away, when He paid the Father’s steep price to cleanse and save us from hellfire and damnation! It was indeed the happiest day that mankind had ever experienced, and the best gift ever given to us after the Lord breathed His breath of life into our forefather Adam’s nostrils! As Jesus so rightly said of Himself: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that’s exactly what He did; gave His life for us on the cross, so that we could be reconciled to the Father and live…live forever! Glory be people! 

How amazing and sacrificial is that eh! And hear Him later on nuh: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) Mama Mia! What beautiful words of reassurance? 

And the scholars express it thus: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Can any other faith sincerely promise that? Absolutely not! And what’s so great about Jesus is not that He just washed our sins away, but He also taught us to how to watch and fight and pray! Glory Hallelujah! What a giant He is! 

And to add to all that, He taught us how to live rejoicing every day too! So why wouldn’t we proud of Him eh? And revere and adore and worship Him; as well as call Him Lord and Saviour? No reason whatsoever to do otherwise my fellow saints in Christ! 

But unfortunately I have to muddy the waters here, cause not all of His followers walk the talk that they talk. Too many of us don’t watch and fight and pray, nor live rejoicing every day, although our sins have been washed away and we’ve been guaranteed eternal life. Now isn’t that a crying shame, because it just makes Jesus’ sacrifice of no account if we keep on living that joyless, ungodly life. Remember what He also said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means we’re supposed to enjoy our earthly lives if we’re true believers, not live downtrodden and dismal existences. 

Oh my people, heaven begins here on earth if you’re a follower of Jesus, and we ought to be the happiest and most joyful group of people on the planet because of all that He’s done and promised to do in the future. So let’s get with the programme nuh, let’s change our attitudes, lift our heads and give God the glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for that’s why He sacrificed His sinless life! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a true believer…then you ought to be joyful…for the joy of the Lord is your strength… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2019 John 14:6.

John 14:6.    ​I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.
 

Sunday, oh Sunday…the day of the Lord! Time for our weekly fellowship friends, where we meet in the Lord’s house and renew our spiritual strength by giving Him thanks and praise, listening to His holy Word while encouraging and exhorting each other to LOVE and good deeds on Christ’s behalf! Blessed be His holy name, and we His beloved children! 

And today, as we do each Sunday, we’ll open the proceedings with a song of praise and thanksgiving; an 18th century hymn written by English clergyman, Philip Doddridge. In 1967 it was given a gospel arrangement and recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers…and the next thing you knew, it was an international hit! We know it as ‘Oh Happy Day!’ So let’s belt it out with the appropriate enthusiasm and ecstatic feeling, because when you’re a true believer in Christ, every day is a happy day, especially Sundays, when we gather and fellowship together in the Lord’s sanctuary, be it a majestic cathedral or a humble hovel. 

The important thing is not our physical surroundings but our spiritual togetherness, for as Christ so faithfully promised: ‘For wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) That means He’s right here in the midst of us this Sunday morning as we sing His praises and give Him exceeding thanks! So altogether now, as though we really mean it, with all the call and answers and everything. Let’s make it truly lively and happy. 

‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day 

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day)!’ 

Oh friends, you better believe that it was the happiest day of mankind’s history when Jesus washed our abominable sins away! There’s nothing in this evil world to compare to that, because it means reconciliation with our heavenly Father, salvation and eternal life…Glory to God my faithful brethren! And on top of all that, Jesus taught us some real important things; like how to watch, to fight and pray, and live rejoicing every live long day! Bless His holy name my people! That’s why He’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

No one’s ever done anything greater for mankind in the annals of history. Wow! His selfless, sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary turned the whole world upside down, and His teachings have brought life and light to millions of lost and persecuted people. How can we ever thank Him eh? In truth, we can NEVER fully repay His awesome gesture, but we can satisfy His simple desires by surrendering our souls to Him, obeying His teachings, and believing in Him sufficiently to place our trust and the outcome of our eternal lives in His nail pierced hands. 

No wonder He could tell doubting Thomas in no uncertain terms: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ And that was no idle boast my people, for as the scholars point out: ’14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He IS the way.’ And so indeed He is friends! If you don’t believe and trust and obey Him, then you’ll never see the Father’s face, or dwell with Him throughout eternity. That’s just a natural fact, for there are only two options in this life, the Beelzebub way, or the Jesus way. And believe me, you don’t want to go the way of the former. 

Oh sorry my brethren, how could I forget that Jesus was also the Light eh? Steups! John said it thus: ‘In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:4-5). And the scholars tell us: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

And Jesus Himself said it thus: ‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.’ (John 12:35-36) Yes friends, we all know that we cannot walk safely or purposefully in darkness, but when there’s light…oh we can do so much!  And if Jesus is light, then it’s only logical to follow Him, if we want to walk in light. 

The long and short of the story then precious people, is that Jesus is the End All and Be All of this world! In fact He is the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Light! Glory be! So how can you not follow Him eh? That would be rather foolish of you; the height of stupidity…and I know that you’re neither foolish nor stupid! Much LOVE!

…the way to eternal life…can only be found by walking in the true Light…Jesus… 

P.S. Don’t worry about Friday and Saturday, we won’t lose any days. I just didn’t have the energy to write them yet, and I didn’t want to miss out on Sunday. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2019 Joel 2:21.

Joel 2:21.   ​Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.
 

Here it is friends, Sunday, the first and best day of the week! Time to rest as well as time to fellowship with other believers in the house of our omnipotent God! Glory be my people! There’s no greater honour and privilege than giving God glory, praising Him and exalting His holy name with other believers! 

Some of us look upon it as work, as an unnecessary burden and a hindrance to our worldly way of life, but for your information my brethren that’s the main reason God created us in the first place; to worship Him, to pay Him obeisance in all that we do. So let’s cut out all the rigmarole nuh, and if we’re physically able, let’s get ourselves to church sometime today and praise and worship and adore and exalt our most wonderful God! 

Now let’s get the proceedings going with this wonderful song written by the English clergyman Phillip Doddridge in the latter half of the 18th century. It’s a song we all know and LOVE, especially this gospel arrangement by Edwin Hawkins, recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers back in the late 1960’s, eventually becoming an international hit and a gospel music standard. 

So friends, let’s lift our voices, our eyes and hands, our hearts and souls to heaven as we worship God with the rather appropriate words and sentiments of ‘Oh Happy Day!’ And don’t forget to make the call and response sweet, for though the words are meaningful they are mostly repetitive, and it’s that back and forth communication that truly livens up the song. 

So enough talk, let’s sing: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day 

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed  (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day 

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day). Oh, happy happy dayyyy…!” 

 Oh friends, oh friends, that was wonderful! All heaven was singing and dancing with us! It’s one of those songs that you can’t help feeling in your soul and responding favourably to it. And don’t think that the Father wasn’t swaying and singing too nuh, because there’s nothing He likes better than a good song of praise! Bless His holy name! 

And there’s no doubting that the day Jesus died on the cross was indeed a happy day for us, because as the song says, He washed all our sins away, paid our sin debt in full! Wow! And if that isn’t cause to be happy, I don’t know what is nuh! Yes my faithful brethren, forgiveness of sins is the greatest gift that we can ever receive! And Jesus in His amazing LOVE and selflessness provided it for us! 

Note He sacrificed His sinless life for us, bore our sins on the cross at Calvary so that we could have His righteousness and be reconciled to our heavenly father, from whom we were then estranged through the partition of sin. Therefore we ought to gratefully and gracefully accept His offer and continuously show our thanks by living sincerely for Him and His cause. How could we do otherwise eh, after all He’s done for us? 

He died for us, taught us how to watch and fight and pray and live rejoicing everyday…yes friends every day! Now isn’t all of that stuff to be joyful about? It surely is! And we’d certainly be foolish and unwise if we didn’t accept it as such and be joyful about it all! We have absolutely no reason to be unhappy and dissatisfied with the Lord, for He’s lived up to every promise He’s ever made. 

Look at what He promised the Israelites in our Bit through the prophet Joel after they had come back to Him in repentance. ‘Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.’ And He most certainly did! The greatest being the unconditional LOVE He bore us and expressing it through Jesus, which gave us the forgiveness of sins, and then salvation through His amazing grace! And I’ll say it again; NOTHING can be greater than that friends! 

Hear how Moses blessed the tribes of Israel before his death. ‘Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency (majesty)! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee (submit to you): and thou shalt tread upon (tread down) their high places (places of pagan worship.’ (Deut.33:29) And that’s exactly what happened to Israel when they were obedient to the Lord. 

And we’ll end with Bruh David’s take on the subject from Psalm 144: ‘Happy is that people, that is in such a case (state): yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.’ (Ps.144:15) And if Bruh David was saying that long before Jesus came, can you imagine how much better it got when Jesus came? Oh friends, if I have to read and spell that for you, then you don’t really believe nuh! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Jesus…ought to be constantly rejoicing…and showing it too…simply because of the wonderful gifts He’s given us…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2018 Exodus 15:26b.

Exodus 15:26b.   …for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
 
And then it was Thursday- Recovery Day! Glory be! Yes friends, the Big Day came and went without any major problems…Give thanks! And now I’m on the road to recovery, with a metal-based device implanted in my body to assist my somewhat less than sturdy and stable heart in doing its life-keeping job! 

Give our heavenly Father much praise and thanks my brethren, for He answered all your fervent and righteous pleas, prayers and supplications, by bringing me safely through what seems like a successful surgical procedure. At long last I’ve become a dues paying member of the Bionic Man Generation! (smile) Glory to God! 

What else can I say eh, but give Him much deserved thanks and praise; let all the earth exalt His Holy Name! That magnificent, magnanimous Deity who so LOVINGLY and tenderheartedly created us from the dust of the earth, then so generously breathed His breath of life into our mortal bodies! 

Ah mih people, I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I’m awfully glad to be alive, with no serious complications, and the Good Lord, through His medical disciples, has possibly prolonged it somewhat. I hope it’s at least fifteen more years, like He gave King Hezekiah when he was supposedly on his deathbed. (smile) 

But whatever it is friends, be it one day, I will be eternally grateful, because He’s had many opportunities to take me home and didn’t. That tells me I still have work down here to do on His behalf. In fact, every time we awaken to a new day means we still have work to accomplish for the Lord our God! We’re not just down here to populate the earth and enjoy its fine fruits, but also to add something to it. 

Anyway, as Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) likes to say, ‘my best days are still ahead of me!’ And I truly believe that because the Lord has put so many desires in my heart and I haven’t even accomplished half of them yet. For as Jeremiah says: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by living waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:7-8) 

That brings us to our main concern today; healing. And what better way to acknowledge it than by accepting the Lord’s word promised through Moses at the bitter waters of Marah, when He brought the Israelites out of Egypt many moons ago. If they would heed His word and be obedient to His will, He would bring none of the diseases that He allowed to befall the Egyptians: ‘for I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ Words of absolute truth my brethren! 

The Lord is our Creator, Controller, Provider and many other things, amongst them Healer! Thus His majestic Hebrew name: Jehovah Rapha – the Healer, the Restorer, the One that makes new! And there are so many instances of His healing prowess in the Good Book. Hear the beginning of His message to Hezekiah, through Isaiah, when He told Him that his time was up. After Hezekiah prayed sincerely to the Lord, reminding him that he had walked before Him in truth and righteousness, and he wept great tears. 

The Lord stopped Isaiah before he had even left the palace compound, saying to him: ‘Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. And I will add unto thy days fifteen years: and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.’ (2 Kin 20:5-6) 

Now I’m not in Hezekiah’s class, but I have tried my best to walk in truth and righteousness, prayed and wept, just like Hezekiah did, and it appears that the Lord is in the process of healing me. So who am I to question His word eh? Now let’s hear some more healing scripture. 

In Bruh David’s words: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies.’ (Ps.103:2-5) And the psalmist declares: ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds (sorrows). (Ps.147:3) Yuh see friends, our great God heals all sorts of illness, not just the physical kind. 

And here is Jeremiah’s cry to God for healing: ‘Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.’ (Jer.17:14) Yeh friends, whenever the Lord God is our true praise, our wounds will be healed. I can vouch for that! 

 Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings in strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ And the purpose of all those blessings is to share them with the less fortunate. Please remember that! Much LOVE!

…oh happy day…when Jesus healed…when He healed all my ailments…in His own way…

P.S. Yeh the Bit is late, since I didn’t get home until around 3 p.m. But let’s be thankful that we even have a Bit nuh! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2018 John 10:10b-11.

John 10:10b-11.   I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Awright my believing brethren, what shall we say about this day eh? ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ And what else? That this is the Lord’s Day and we WILL go to His sanctuary to give Him much praise and thanks, to celebrate our blessed lives and fellowship with others of the same belief! 

We shall also listen to His Word, let it seep into our hearts and souls, and consequently have our spirits refilled with God’s LOVE through His Holy Spirit, so that we can walk tall and strong, proud and confident, when we depart from His sanctuary! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, our God is indeed worthy to be praised! And there’s no better way to praise Him than in song: He enjoys it, and it brings the best out of us. And today’s song of praise is a favourite gospel song from a few years back, one we all know and LOVE; it’s simply but oh so meaningfully titled ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

It was written by the gospel singer Edwin Hawkins, and first recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Unfortunately though, Edwin Hawkins died a few weeks ago, but in conjunction with his choir, he left the world a wonderful legacy in song. I also saw a wonderful rendition of it on You Tube by Ray Charles and the Voices of Jubilation choir. Oh, Ray was so worked up that on his way off the stage he stopped at least three times and did a Happy Day dance! 

So let’s open our hearts and mouths and allow our voices to soar to high heaven with these few simple but oh so meaningful words. Remember, half the beauty of the song is in its call and response style, so let’s call and respond in all sincerity and truth nuh, letting our magnificent and magnanimous God know how deep is our joy, in having the wonderful privilege of worshipping Him. Hn! I hope that makes sense. 

But anyway, enough talk, let’s sing: ‘Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (oh happy day) 

Oh happy day (oh happy day) He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, how could we not be ecstatic eh, when Jesus washed away our sins, cleansed us with the blood He shed on Calvary? He also taught us how to watch, to fight and pray and live rejoicing every day! Glory be! We’d be foolish and ungrateful if we didn’t appreciate His stellar and selfless efforts on our behalf. 

Just look at what our Bit says: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ And that’s exactly what Jesus did my brethren! He gave His life so that we could enjoy abundant living in concert with the Father; redeemed, made righteous once again, with salvation and eternal life the end benefits. 

That means Christians ought to be the happiest people on Planet Earth…and show it in our behaviour too. For why would anyone want to come to Jesus if we claim to have so much wonderful stuff when we believe in Him, but our attitudes and demeanour are sour and miserable and definitely don’t reflect the joy we talk about so much eh? 

If our everyday lives aren’t filled with hope, happiness and heavenly thoughts and longing then we’re not true believers and/or Jesus sacrificed His sinless life in vain. Please friends, let that not be the case, because it would break both the Father and Jesus’ hearts. 

So please let’s make every day a happy day nuh; watching for His promised return; fighting the many evil enemies who want to discredit Him and turn us away. But they don’t know that when we get on our knees, both literally and figuratively, and pray to the Father in His name that the battle is as good as won! Glory Hallelujah! 

And with all of that good stuff, the rejoicing just comes naturally. Ah mih people, we have so much to look forward to when we sincerely make Jesus our Lord and Saviour. And when our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then we’re sealed forever as a child of God, our bonds are so ironclad that nothing, or no one can ever break them. That’s how powerful association with the Lord and His heavenly host is. 

So today, let’s step right up to the plate and hit the devil right out of the park for a large home run. That’ll show him to mess with Jesus’ people! Much LOVE!

…as a believer in Jesus…we’re promised joy for ever more…now who in their right senses would refuse that eh…

 


 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2014 Isaiah 61:3

Isaiah 61:3.   To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Oh Friends, it’s a nice cool Thursday morning in early summer! And what does the ole fella have to say for himself? Not a whole lot nuh. I went to bed late, reading a novel, then had a rough night, turning and tossing, dreaming all sorts of stuff. But luckily though, it was all pleasant stuff, no nightmares, nothing scary… Thank the Lord for small mercies!
 
And now I’m here to write the Bit, seeking heavenly guidance to write something sensible that will help us all; that will motivate, encourage and keep our focus steadily on Almighty God, our LOVING Creator and generous Provider.
 
And in keeping with that task, I’ll just remind us that our task on this great earth is to take hold of God’s grace, to endure our afflictions with patience, without growing weary, knowing that in His own good time, our heavenly Father will perform, establish, strengthen and settle us.
 
We must be of good courage and wait with patience and perseverance, hungry hope and expectant faith on our wonderful and most faithful God. And all God’s people said a delightful ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, we ought to, because that is all simply gospel truth! And why is that so? Because every worthy name named in the Good Book, had their trials and tribulations, their ups and downs, their tests and passages through the fire to check their true mettle.
 
And those who stood steadfast and strong, who passed the tests – obviously with God’s help – were subsequently rewarded By the Most High God Jehovah.
 
Oh my people, we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and expectations. However, when we do acknowledge our shortcomings, confess our sins and return to being obedient to His will, He is most magnanimous to forgive and forget.
 
Oh what a great God we serve and worship! He delights so much in our repentance, that He’s promised there would be future glory in Zion, with good tidings of salvation:
 
‘To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’
 
And was His great and holy name ever glorified when His Son Jesus fulfilled the first part of His everlasting promise!
 
We’re just waiting now, with patience and perseverance, hungry hope and expectant faith – yes, I do like those terms – for that fateful day when, as Isaiah promised in the Lord’s name: ‘Violence shall no more (longer) be heard in thy land, wasting (devastation) nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
 
The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. The sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw it self: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
 
Thy people shall also be righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his (its) time.’ (Is.60:18-22)
 
Oh Friends, what a glorious day that will be eh!
 
And if you don’t believe Isaiah, then listen to those same promises reiterated by our faithful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to John in His Revelations: ‘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.’ (Rev.21:4)
 
Oh Glory Hallelujah! I can’t wait for that day my brethren! No more aches and pains – Wow!
 
And furthermore,  hear this on the New Jerusalem: ‘And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev.21:22-23)
 
Oh happy dayyyy! When Jesus washed… When Jesus washed… ALL my sins away…!
 
As the scholars explain: ’21:22-23. There is no temple in the city, since both the Father and the Son will be present in their fullest manifestations. Its light will be provided by the Shekinah glory of God and of Christ (cf. Ex.3:3-4; 24:15-17; 33:14-16; Luke 2:9; 9:29; Heb.1:3).’
 
Plenty of scripture references tocheck out Friends. (smile)Now that’s not all: ‘And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
 
And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh (causes an) abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.’ (Rev.21:24-27)
 
Mama Mia! Oh my brethren, the imagined sight of that, through the eyes of faith is just working on me, stirring me up! (smile)
 
And there’s more: ‘And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in (on) their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle (lamp), neither light of the sun; for the Lord giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.’ (Rev.22:3-5)
 
Oh my people, that is what awaits us at the end of the day, if we bear our burdens and yokes, already much lightened by our Saviour Jesus Christ, with patience and perseverance, hungry hope and expectant faith! There’s absolutely nothing better than what He’s promised!
 
So please, let’s get serious nuh, let’s buckle down, pull up our britches, pull up our socks, and whatever other cliché there is concerning improving our behaviour, and just live for Jesus, as He desires us to do. That’s wisdom of untold benefit! Much LOVE!
 
…Let’s LOVE our God…LIVE our Faith…and SPREAD His Word…that’s all He asks of us…
 
P.S.  Oh my Friends and fellow believers, I do hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. There was a smile on my face and joy in my heart from soon after I began writing it, and saw where it was headed. Hope it brings a smile to your faces too and produces a fire in your hearts for Jesus! Please have a most blessed day walking safely and talking intimately with Jesus! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2013 John 1:29

John 1:29.     The next day John (the Baptist) seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Holy Saturday, and Jesus is resting quietly in the tomb of the rich man, after being crucified between the two thieves to fulfill the scripture: ‘And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…’ (Is.53:9a) He’s storing up His energy, so that bright and early tomorrow morning, Easter Sunday, He can rise up in full force and defeat those wicked and cruel, but oh so inferior enemies; Lucifer, death and the grave. And all of God’s people gave a mighty shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Now Friends, I believe some of you might have taken umbrage (smile) at my wishing us all yesterday a happy Good Friday, wondering what could be so happy about a day of such cruelty and injustice. Granted it was a real sad day for those early Christians who didn’t understand what was happening. But for us, who luckily have the understanding from two thousand years of church history, it is somewhat different. For though we don’t, or didn’t want Jesus to die, please understand that without His death on Good Friday, there would have been no Easter morning for you to celebrate and be happy. When only happy circumstances make us emotionally happy, then we’re thinking like the world. But my brethren, for a true believer it’s not only our worldly circumstances that can make us happy. And the happiness – possibly happiness is the wrong word, since it denotes more of a reaction to outward circumstances. A more appropriate word might be joy, that constant levity in our souls, regardless of our outward circumstances. Even gratefulness or thankfulness might be more appropriate to the situation, for we’re not talking about a jumping up and down type of moment, but a deeper, more controlled emotion, whereby Jesus died to set us free from our ghastly sins. And if that isn’t something to be enormously grateful, thankful and joyful for, then I certainly don’t know what is! Why? Because it’s the most significant event in man’s history after God created us, but then was forced to kick our foolish, gullible and rebellious fore parents out of paradise in the Garden of Eden. And unfortunately, since then, that bequeathed foolish, gullible and rebellious streak in us has been uppermost in our history. And until Jesus came, there was very little opportunity to turn it around, even if we felt so inclined. And our Bit perfectly describes the whole enchilada. ‘The next day John (the Baptist) seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ The reference to the lamb there, brings into play the sacrificial lambs slaughtered for Passover and other Jewish feasts. The scholars add that ‘Some suggest that this may allude to the scapegoat (Lev.16), or to the suffering servant (Is.53:7) We dealt with that yesterday. I guess it could actually refer to all of them, for remember the Lord required blood sacrifices of His chosen people, Israel, as some form of payment, atonement for their sins. But here now, comes Jesus, the Son of God, the sinless one, to pay the rather steep price of sin for the entire world. Now isn’t that a genuine reason to be much more than saddened at His death? Why do you think it’s called Good Friday? Because it’s the day on which the best thing since creation ever happened to man! All his evil deeds have been paid for; from the beginning of time, right through to eternity. It was certainly done in a most cruel manner, but the reason behind it was the greatest token of true LOVE ever expressed! And in our 3 hour service yesterday afternoon, what do you think the youth group sang? ‘Oh Happy Day! When Jesus washed…When Jesus washed… He washed all my sins away.’ Remember also what Jesus told His disciples in the last days: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) So where is that good cheer eh Friends? It’s supposed to be our constant companion, like the Holy Spirit. And remember too that Bruh Paul instructs us to ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:4-5) Not only is Jesus’ return imminent, but also His Spirit is always close by, thus we shouldn’t be afraid and anxious abut anything. Anyway Friends, I’m getting away from my original intention, to get into some scriptures that highlight Jesus’ basic purpose here on earth; to atone for the sins of the world. It begins with Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering servant in chapter 53:11, that we quoted yesterday, which ends: ‘for he shall bear their iniquities.’ Then it advances to our Bit, and the actual act of sin payment, when Jesus declares on the cross: ‘It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.’ (John 19:30) Bruh Paul then takes up the baton and runs with it full speed, first telling the Corinthians: ‘For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.’ (1 Cor.15:3) Then he informs the Galatians: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God and our Father. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Gal.1:3-5) Next up is Peter, who declares: ‘Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness: By whose stripes ye were healed.’ (1 Pet.2:24) John then announces in his first epistle: ‘My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1 John 2:1-2) And finally, John ends the race on a winning note in Revelation, when he greets the seven churches in Asia. ‘And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (born) of the dead; and the prince of (ruler over) the kings of the earth. Unto him that LOVED us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.’ (Rev.1:5) And all God’s people gave out a mighty and joyful shout up to heaven: ‘Oh Thank You sweet Jesus! We LOVE and adore You!’ Oh Friends, with all that scripture shoring up the strong foundation of the purpose of Christ’s death, how could we ever argue with it eh? No way Jose! And again I want to remind us in Bruh David’s famous and fateful words, that though ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’ (Ps.30:5b) And believe me my brethren, tomorrow morning will indeed be a most joyous morning! Just wait and see. Much LOVE!…though reality may cloud our sight with sadness…looking through the eyes of faith…gives us a 20/20 vision of joy…