Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 January 2022 Psalm 34:19.

Psalm 34:19.       Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.    

Well friends, after today our sanctuary will be closed again for another few weeks. As a result of the unnerving spike of the Omicron virus, the government has further clamped down on lots of stuff. And though our worship service would not have been much affected, the leadership of our denomination decided to play it safe and shut all their sanctuaries until things lighten up.

So from next week, we will be back to only technological means of worship. And to set us off on the right foot for this last Sunday of physical worship, is a most appropriate song titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ Now that anchor is Jesus my people. And it does hold, if you believe it will.

The song was born in 1992 from the frustration and rough times of a burned our pastor Lawrence Chewning, a time when his wife also had her third miscarriage. It led him to take a six month sabbatical, most of which he spent playing the piano and talking to God, and during those moments of reflection and prayer, he created the song. Eventually, Chewning mentioned the story of the song God had given him to singer Ray Boltz, who remodelled it and released it in 1995.

And with that inspiring story under our belt, let’s sing a soulful, heartfelt, mid-tempo version of  ‘The Anchor Holds,’ letting all heaven and earth know that we are indeed sincere in our sacrifices of praise this day of the Lord. ‘I have journeyed, Through the long, dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone, Sight unknown And yet His eyes, were watching me. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.

I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams, I’ve even held them in my hand, But I never knew, They would slip right through, Like they were only grains of sand. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Oh, I have been young, but I am older now, thank the Lord, And there has been beauty, that these eyes have seen, But it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that’s where God proved, His LOVE for me.

The anchor holds, though my ship is battered. The anchor holds, though my sails are torn. And I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.  I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Thank You Jesus! I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.’

Oh my people, it’s easy to sing the very moving and inspirational words of the song, but it’s much more difficult to put those words into action in our lives. However, with each storm we face, with Jesus as our anchor and helmsman, our faith in Him grows, and it becomes a tad easier to do each time. And though it’s not the most desirable aspect of our Christian faith, it’s only through personal experience that we are able to grow and come up higher.

And I know that we have all faced experiences that seemed like they would hit us for six, but when all hope seemed lost  and we got down on our knees during the raging storm and held on for dear life to that solid anchor called Jesus, we were able to successfully battle the stormy seas in a battered ship with torn sails. Oh my faithful brethren, only the anchor named Jesus can cause us to accomplish such eventful deeds under such trying circumstances! That’s why it’s ever so important, so necessary to have Him as a major part of our lives.

And why is that you ask, (smile) despite all that we’ve just spoken of? I believe Bruh David puts it best in Psalm 34, where he confidently declares: ‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto (near to) them  that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked : and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate (condemned, held guilty). The Lord redeemth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (condemned, found guilty). (Ps. 34:17-22)

Now, I personally can’t find any arguments with those sentiments, but just in case you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to his son, Cousin Sol, reputedly the richest and wisest man who ever lived. He says in Proverbs: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (calamity).’ (Prov. 24:16) Yes friends, as the scholars’ so rightly tell us: ‘The righteous man always recovers, but the wicked man faces permanent destruction.’ And yes, it might not happen right away, and we ought not fret about the ways of the evil doers, just continue doing what we know is right.

Now, if you still don’t believe in God’s power to hold you up in times of storm, then listen to the prophet Micah, as he talks about God’s concern for His people. He warns: ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be light unto me.’ (Mic. 7:8)

And we are going to end with one powerful example of how the Lord looks after His people and catches the wicked in their own snare. Remember back in Babylon when the king’s right hand man, Haman, plotted to eradicate the Jews and built a gallows fifty cubits high to hang his hated enemy, the righteous Mordecai, Queen Esther’s uncle? You can read the whole story in the Book of Esther. But just listen to what eventually happened to the wicked Haman. The Good Book says: ‘So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified (subsided).’ (Esth. 7:10)

Yes my fellow saints, Haman was what you call hoisted on his own petard, that’s injured, or done in by the same thing he created to injure or do in someone else. So please, please, let that be a serious warning for us. The wicked will get their comeuppance in the Lord’s time. It’s His solemn promise, and we all know that He keeps every promise He makes. Much LOVE!

…to God be the glory…through Jesus…the Son…                                                                                                                                                                          

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As one now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some from work, as some of us went back out this week, but a lot still from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please help those of us who have to go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

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

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

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

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

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