Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 January 2022 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Ah friends, it’s a cold, partly sunny Saturday morning in my neck of the woods! And would you believe I’ve just learned a life lesson from two of God’s wild creations, a leopard and a lizard, looks like a small iguana. The iguana is trying to cross this dirt road and the leopard is trying to attack it, but every time the leopard comes near, the lizard’s tail flies out and lashes the leopard in his neck area, so he can’t get close to his prey. 

Now, sometimes it seems as though the leopard is getting closer so that he can grab the lizard, but this has been going on for almost ten minutes now, and they are halfway across the road, but no luck for the leopard. Every few steps the lizard makes, the leopard rushes in, but the lizard’s always ready for him. And that just reminded me of how persistent Satan is in trying to get us to do his evil bidding instead of Jesus’ goodwill. And we have to keep on persistently lashing him in the face to keep him away, otherwise we will fall prey to his evil desires. 

One would think that the leopard after so much abuse to his neck would go off and find some other easier prey to capture, but he doesn’t. And that’s the way his royal evil one operates, he’s constantly at us, through every means he can find, trying to break down our LOVE for Jesus. But with the grace, mercy, strength and powerful spirit of Jesus dwelling within us, we can keep lashing him, and driving him away. Let’s never stop doing that my friends, for our very lives, our eternal lives, depend on sternly rebuking the enemy. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday and we do have some quotes from our friend Anselm, as he tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one tells us that: ‘Being sad with the right people is better than being happy with the wrong ones.’ Now that seems to have a kernel of truth within it, for happiness merely reflects our current circumstances, and they can change from minute to minute. But the right people around us give life and hope for the future, and those right people will care for us regardless of our circumstances. 

That why it always pays to have the right folks around us, not the ones that just make us feel happy in the moment. Sadly though, not many of us in this current world are that blessed. No wonder so many lives are being wasted and lived in less than suitable conditions. 

That brings us to this next long, but ever so valuable quote. ‘Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So LOVE the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.’ 

Yes friends, that certainly resonates two of Jesus’ marvellous promises found in the gospel of John. First off is: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And the second is like unto it. (smile) ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Ah my brethren, Jesus Himself, speaking from personal experience, promised that this life would not be easy, not the bed of roses that so many of us believers expect. But in Him, we find the peace that we need to get us successfully through this earthly life. And that leads us to the following quote: ‘What seems like the right thing to do could also be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life.’ 

And we all know that’s no lie, for in this evil and ungodly world the right things are often the hardest to do, as we seem to be always fighting an uphill battle when we try to do right. But like the lizard and the leopard above, we must never stop trying to do right, because that’s what Jesus’ kingdom is based on, righteousness; the system of always doing right, even though much opposition comes against us. 

And that brings us to this last long, but ever truthful quote. ‘Get rid of the poor me syndrome. Instead of thinking of what you have lost, focus on what to do next. If you have lost your job, this is the opportunity for you to find another job or start another career. This is your chance to start your own business and become your own boss. You have accumulated many years of working experience and specialized in certain skills and you can make use of them.’ 

Now that’s the gospel truth my people, especially in these rough and overwhelming pandemic times brought on by the Covid -19 virus and its many variants. Now, all of us have suffered to varying extents, and sadly, many of us are feeling sorry for ourselves, due to the unfortunate circumstances which we’ve been thrown into through no fault of our own. And it’s expected that grief and sorrow will be experienced, but the problem is that we cannot allow self-pity, that poor me one feeling to overwhelm us and cause us to give up. 

Rebooting our lives will not be easy, but as we saw above, from those two quotes of Jesus from John’s gospel, He is the One who can bring us through this crisis and lead us on to a fruitful life. Remember what He also said earlier on in John chapter 14: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) And also remember, the glorious statement and promise He made in John chapter 8. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ John 8:12) 

That means we just can’t give up my people, for giving up does not exist in Christ’s vocabulary. Instead, right now, in these most unfortunate times, believers need to dig down even deeper in our souls, than we’ve ever down before, and let all the goodness, grace, mercy, strength and power of Jesus rise up in us, so that we can show the disbelieving world the fortitude and strength of purpose, joy and salvation, we find in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And that’s our sincere prayer for us all today! Much LOVE my fellow saints!

…when tough times come…that’s when tough people…Jesus’ people…get tough and get going… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2021 Philippians 2:11.

Philippians 2:11.    And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

​​Gather round friends, gather round! It’s time to give thanks and praise to our magnificent and magnanimous God on His special day, Sunday, when He rested from all His labour, having created this wonderful universe and all therein in six days. Bless His holy name my faithful brethren, as we get together to hear His word and offer up songs of praise and worship. And yes, we are still gathering by technological means, although we are now allowed a few more people in the physical church, but it’s still not enough to warrant opening up. 

And today, we are going to open the proceedings with a hymn by John Newton. Yes, the same John Newton (1725-1807) who wrote the awesome hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ and several hundred others, after being a slave trader then finding grace and salvation with Almighty God. The website Hymnary.org, offers us this brief insight into Newton’s life. They say he “was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven.

His licentious and tumultuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton’s conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. 

In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide-surveyor in Liverpool, England, Newton came under the influence of George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley and began to study for the ministry. He was ordained in the Church of England and served in Olney (1764-1780) and St. Mary Woolnoth, London (1780-1807). His legacy to the Christian church includes his hymns as well as his collaboration with William Cowper (PHH 434) in publishing Olney Hymns (1779), to which Newton contributed 280 hymns, including “Amazing Grace.” 

Ah friends, that just goes to show the power of God’s grace. He can take the biggest sinner and turn him into the greatest saint! And although we often try to run from Him, when He’s really ready for us, we don’t stand a chance! (smile) And I can tell you that from personal experience. Yuh see who the Lord put Newton with in his latter years; the abolitionist William Wilberforce. That had Newton plugging to abolish the very same abominable trade in which he was previously involved. And then the Wesley brothers, amongst the founders of the Methodist Church, and finally turning him into a priest and hymn writer. 

So my people, let’s wake up and acknowledge that it’s futile to run from God, but ever so wise and sensible to run to His always open and welcoming arms, as we sing this other wonderful song penned by John Newton, another of our church favourites, titled ‘How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.’ And does it ever sound sweet mih bredrin. Therefore, let’s just take a moment and roll it around our tongues nuh, as we quietly and proudly say: ‘Jesus…Jesus.’ (smile) Yes, it’s a name that just trips off the tongue my people! 

Now, finally, let’s sing; in a medium tempo, with great gusto and sincerity, let’s raise our harmonious voices to high heaven. ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest.

 Dear name! the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place. My never-failing treasury, filled. With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend. My Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, My Way, my end, toaccept the praise I bring. How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought; but when I see you as you are, I’ll praise you as I ought. Till then I would your love proclaim with every fleeting breath; and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death.’ 

Oh friends, only the amazing and awesome grace of God can cause a human being to write such authentic meaningful and true words! And without a doubt, there’s no other name in the universe that can do or accomplish the things that the name of Jesus can. As Newton so eerily writes: ‘It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest.’ 

Wow! Which other name in this universe can do all of that eh friends? None whatsoever! That’s because Jesus is all these other things to us: ‘the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place, My never-failing treasury, filled, With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,’ There again my people, no other person in this whole wide world can fulfill all those aspects of a human’s life. Only JESUS! 

Why, you ask? Because He poured out His sinless lifeblood for us on the cross at Calvary, to pay for our sins, showing the wonderful LOVE He bore towards us. And when He rose triumphant from the grave, then He most generously invited us to come to Him for rest and solace, safety, grace and mercy, salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven for all eternity. Now why wouldn’t I jump for joy when I hear that sweet and beautiful name of Jesus eh?

Oh friends, I want to quote some scripture to back up all I’ve said, but time and space will only allow me to do a few. So here goes. Right up front, Jesus lets us know: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Right away friends, we see that to get eternal life, one must believe in Jesus, otherwise, no dice! 
And if you did not get that, then He clears it up even further with these immortal words: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) That sets the stage right there; nothing to do with God is possible without belief in Christ Jesus! 

Then we all know how Bruh David characterized Him: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps. 23:1-6) 

That’s simply talking about the perfect shepherd my people! And finally, as to Jesus’ glory, Bruh Paul had this to say: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth.And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’(Phil. 2:9-11) 

What else can I say eh friends? Jesus is the Greatest; El Numero Uno; Number ONE! And if you don’t know that already and sincerely acknowledge it, then please do so as soon as possible, otherwise, crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!
.

..to sweeten a sour soul…just call out…Jesus…Jesus… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2020 1 Corinthians 1:3.

1 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 
 

Yes friends, it was indeed a late one, after five, and you know it’s not easy getting up with a mature body like mine, (smile) and then I had to do a couple of things before I got started, so we’re way behind the eight ball this morning. But not to worry, the Lord’s Word is NEVER late, it might be a bit tardy in our estimation, but in reality, it’s NEVER late! And now that we’ve made that crystal clear, (smile) let’s get right into the heart of the matter; prayer, the  refreshing and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, words that have stood the test of time and are ever so valuable to us in our current time of desperate need.

 So Lord, I pray that ‘Unto the church of God, in all parts of the universe, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:’ (1 Cor. 1:2) That applies to us my people! We are numbered amongst the saints of Christ, and corporate prayer, prayer for the entire church, ought to be a most important aspect of our prayer lives. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:2. Sanctified in Christ Jesus could be rendered “made holy by virtue of your relationship with Christ Jesus.” Here Paul has special reference to the Corinthians’ right relationship with God. They are set apart for God’s special use. His aim in the epistle is to bring the Corinthians’ actions and lifestyle into closer harmony with God’s expectations for those He has made His own.’ 

Ah my people, ALL of that applies to us today too! Through our belief in Christ Jesus, we’ve also been made holy and set aside for God’s personal purpose, but our relationship with him needs to be improved a whole lot. Our actions and lifestyle definitely need to be brought into closer harmony with His high expectations of us. We’re way below what’s expected of us, and that’s not a good sign. 

However, as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf (concerning you), for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind (short) in no gift; waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 1:3-8) 

Please note my brethren that Bruh Paul doesn’t just pray for the people of Corinth to have wealth etc. but more to be filled with the grace and knowledge of God so that they can live up to the principles of the gospel that they have received. And believe me in these trying and ungodly times it’s grace and knowledge that we need more than ever to stand up for the gospel and promulgate it all over the world, which is our bounden duty! 

Hear the explanation the scholars offer on the verses above. ‘1:3. Grace…and peace: In the former, Paul contemplates all that is understood by God’s gracious unmerited favour as it is extended to sinners. The latter has in mind benefits that fall from the exercise of God’s LOVE.’ Oh my people, those two things, grace and peace and are ever so much more important than wealth and power, and in several of the epistles that’s what Bruh Paul prays for his readers to have. And I believe that should also be a big part of our prayers too. 

‘1:7. While gift has a wide variety of meanings, here it probably has reference to spiritual gifts, a theme developed later in the epistle.’ ‘1:8. Confirm (strengthen, establish, make firm): Historically, the gospel has been confirmed on them. Now they anticipate the prospect of that blessed event when Jesus Christ shall also confirm them blameless before the throne of God.’ Ah faithful saints in Christ, that is the exact position in which we find ourselves. The gospel has been confirmed in us, as indisputable truth, and now we too are waiting for the final revelation of Jesus when He brings it all into reality! 

And I like how Bruh Paul ends his greeting with words of assurance: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) Now that’s something we can also hold on to in these disturbing and dangerous times… ‘God is faithful!’ And plenty of us can testify to that from personal experience, so why don’t we exhibit it more in our daily lives eh? 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:9. Unto the fellowship of his Son: The term “fellowship” includes both union and communion. The Corinthian believers had been brought into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly, this great truth implies that they had been brought into communion with one another. Here in a nutshell is the theme of this this epistle.’ 

And believe my brethren, just like the church at Corinth, today’s church is too divided and dysfunctional over too many petty and ungodly matters. And we desperately need to come into much better communion with each other if we’re going to serve our earthly purpose(s) with diligence and excellence. I don’t think any of us can doubt that fact with a sincere heart. But nonetheless, for those of us who are truly trying, let’s go home declaring (oh no!) our Thursday Blessings; the magnificent and magnanimous gifts the Lord has so generously bestowed on us, so that we can do His work down here. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share them generously but safely! Much LOVE!

…he who sows in peace…shall reap an abundant harvest of grace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
 

Well just imagine that nuh; no goat races this Easter Tuesday in Buccoo in sweet Tobago! It almost amounts to sacrilege! (smile) I don’t think that those races have been cancelled more than a handful of times ever since I was growing up there in Tobago. But today, the stadium – the only one in the world I believe that was built specifically for goat races will be empty, and no setta parties with loud music and plenty dancing will grace the beautiful seaside village of Buccoo, on this the most important day of their year. 

But what to do eh? Coronavirus has spoken: ‘thou shalt be locked down, if thou wantest to prevent my worldwide spread and ghastly destruction!’ And so, what worldwide war has not been able to do; a tiny, but rather deadly and virulent virus has succeeded in doing; shutting down the world! But friends, let us never forget that the Creator and Controller of this wonderful universe is still sitting on His heavenly throne running things, and thus this virus business will end eventually, but in His time, because He has a purpose for allowing it. 

So we just have to believe and have faith and carry on as necessary until then, for this too shall pass, as so many other disasters have, it’s just a matter of time. And to help us do that, here is an encouraging poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘My Personal Rainbow!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, right now I struggle with clutching fear. Waves of agony pour over me as I face the darkest moments In my life’s history. But my conviction still stands firm: You are my God!’ (Glory Hallelujah my people!) ‘And though I cannot predict my future Or even tomorrow I am sustained by the reminder That the longest storm The world has ever known… And the worst… Came to an end one clear-sky morning. It was true for Noah It will be true for me. Though as yet I see no deliverance I watch I wait I expect My personal rainbow!’ 

Mama oh Mama! And do we ever believe and expect to see that beautiful rainbow with it’s wonderful pot of gold at its end! Why, you ask? The answer’s simple: because the Lord God Almighty promised it, and He does not renege on His promises. They have ALL been faithfully executed since the beginning of time and will continue to be faithfully executed… until the end of time! And there’s no doubt about that because He has said so unequivocally in His Word. ‘And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

And if you don’t believe that, then you don’t LOVE God, and you’re not called according to His purpose! Simple as that! And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working ALL things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15). To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.” 

That’s why, as true believers, in these most trying and fearful times, we are not afraid. Yes, we are concerned, and we do pay strict attention to the rules, but fear does not take us over and make us like jelly – flapping and flubbing around uselessly. And that’s also because our great ‘God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE (His most significant attribute), and of a sound mind (discipline and self-control).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

And with all of that solidly planted and growing in us friends, we need not be afraid of what will and can happen to us, but are able to take it all in stride as we lean and depend on the Lord, our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God to defend and protect us as He’s faithfully promised to do. Consequently, as Bruh Paul continued to Timothy: ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou (a) partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (before time).’ (2 Tim. 1:8-9) 

Yes friends, God has called and saved us with a salvation through Christ that we definitely did not deserve, but did it for His own purpose; basically, His endearing, unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us! So if we truly believe, then we need to take up our cross and follow Christ, unashamedly, through all the afflictions of this life, knowing the wonderful reward of eternal life that awaits us. And if all of that doesn’t move you, or reduce your fears and anxiety, (smile) then listen to these other most reassuring verses from Psalm 37; Bruh David’s declaration on The true state of the wicked. 

‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass… 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:1-5; 7-9) 

Brother! What wonderful advice! And the good thing about it all, is that Bruh David is not speaking from hearsay, but from personal experience! So for those of us who truly believe, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

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

The natural next step is now for us to go out and do just that – share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…man was made by God…to LOVE…and be LOVED…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2019 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 

Yes mih people…we’ve been granted one more day of God’s tender mercies and inexhaustible compassions! And though we may not know why, we can be assured that there’s an important reason, because the Lord does have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates and leaves breathing here on earth. 

So let’s accept His largesse with a good attitude nuh, and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) And that is wisdom personified, for as the ole people would say, you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and we all know that our God would never grant us bad stuff. So let’s get out there and enjoy the day, be it rain, sun, sleet, or shine! 

And you’ll also notice that although it’s Saturday, the ole fella is up rather early. Chuh! I went to bed late but got up a couple hours later and could not go back to sleep, so after turning and tossing for about forty-five minutes, I decided to just get up and begin enjoying the day. (smile) And a part of that is reviewing the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better and brighter tomorrow. 

Listen to this first one: ‘Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.’ Now I accept the first part without reservations, but not the second, because like many of us, I’ve learned from personal experience, that if you leave life to do its own thing, then it will more often take you downhill than up. And that’s because life in this fallen world is basically a negative implication rather than a positive one. Simply notice how hard you have to try and formulate and keep positive thoughts and actions, whereas the negative aspects come in droves, completely unbidden. And if the evil and negative Satan is the prince of this world, then that’s to be expected! 

But hear this: ‘Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.’ Now that I have to chuckle at, because I’ve found that happiness more often sneaks out of the door you’ve left open than it sneaks in. In the first place, happiness is such an ephemeral and intangible thing that it’s here today and gone tomorrow. And when you’re happy, you tend to leave doors open, rather than close them, because life is so wonderful…and that’s when happiness escapes, like a thief in the night! 

And that leads us to this quote: ‘Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.’ Now that’s more like the truth! You certainly can’t leave happiness to the whim of chance, or it will have you up and down like a yo-yo! You have to grab happiness by the horns and keep it under heavy manners, because as soon as you’re not looking, it’s liable to slip away unnoticed. So happiness is a state of mind you consciously acknowledge that you will embrace. 

And this next one tells us: ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ And is that ever true my faithful brethren! That’s because, as we said at the beginning, God has a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, and usually that doesn’t mesh with the one we desire to have. And I can personally testify to that. 

Yuh think the Bit you’re reading now is my idea? Definitely not! I never envisioned myself as a writer of scriptural stuff, but apparently that was the Lord’s plan, and though I fought it, He eventually won the battle. And here’s a li’l secret; He’ll always win, if He really desires to. 

So please, don’t do like I did. When He comes to you with some idea that you don’t like, don’t laugh because you consider it implausible, or fight it too hard, because He won’t give up, but will make life so miserable and unbearable that you will eventually give in. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He’s faithful to a fault. Anything He asks you to do, He WILL enable you to do it. Just look at my example; when I began writing the Bit, I didn’t know anything, now I know too much. (smile) 

And I always try to leave the best for last. ‘Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s also how it ought to be with followers of Christ? And there’s no more beautiful promise in the scripture than that found in these wonderful words of Jesus. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Jesus was there comforting His disciples, assuring them that all He said would come to pass, and He would be back to take them with Him some day to a beautiful place, an eternal home, He called heaven. Now hear the scholars’ thoughts on that marvellous place: ‘14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities in heaven include singing (Rev.15:3), worship (Rev.5:9), serving (Rev.2:17), ruling (2 Tim.2:12; Rev.22:5), fellowship with others (Matt.17:3), and eating (Rev.2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev.22:4), a life of rest (Rev.14:13), a life of service (Rev.22:3), a life of growth (Rev.22:2), and a life of worship (Rev.19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Rev.21:1-5; cf. Matt.24:33.)’ 

Oh friends, in light of all that wonderful info, please, let’s make a serious and solemn pact, that we’ll all meet in heaven one day to celebrate with, praise and worship our great and Triune God. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…heaven…or hell…you choose…by whom you believe in…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2019 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.
 

All I can say this cold, wet and dark October morn is ‘Thank the Lord!’ The Canadian people have not completely fallen for the vague, insincere rhetoric of the Conservative Party in yesterday’s election. Yes, they did give the returning Liberal Party a minority government, but I sincerely believe, better the devil you know than the one you don’t, especially with the dictatorial, slash and burn Conservative government we already have here in the Province of Ontario! 

Can you imagine the bosom buddies Scheer and Ford in power at the same time? The Lord forbid! Anyhow, let’s be thankful for small mercies! And we’ll leave the political question right there, because I know there will be many varying opinions. I just wanted to give my two cents worth. (smile) 

Let’s turn instead to a much more important matter; God’s timing… And yes, it did play a part in the election because He still controls all that happens in His universe, but right now we’re talking about His timing in our personal lives. So we’ll begin with a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. 

He wisely advises: ‘Don’t try to rush God. Mountains don’t move overnight. Give God time to work His miracles. I have seen God dissolve resentments, resolve frustrations, fill lonely hearts with new LOVE, and wash away hurts like a new wave washes away scars on the sand scratched by children’s sticks. God can get you out of a rut, onto a new road, and over the mountain that seemed impassable, if you will be patient.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my believing brethren! I can attest to it from personal experience…no, personal experiences! (smile) Ah friends, so often I’ve tried to make things happen in my own strength and failed, then just leave them up to God and see them come through miraculously. So I’ve finally come to accept the fact that if it’s not happening when and how I want it to happen, to just leave it alone and let God do what he does best…run His business! 

Now it’s not an easy attitude to come by, but it surely is a smart one. And furthermore, what I always had problems with was God’s actual timing of His appearance; it was more last minute than first. But truthfully, so far I’ve NEVER seen Him arrive late! Glory to God! And I guess that is simply another method to test our faith and trust in Him. 

So if right now you’re in the heat of a situation that is driving you crazy, please do as Gramps Schuller says: ‘Be patient; God is working everything out. At the right time and in the right way everything will evolve beautifully.’ Yes sir, it will! As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.’  

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate the fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or the “elect.” 

And I’ll spoon-feed us (smile) with the reference to Job. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ Job 13:15) Now that is a scripture verse that we all know and claim, but the problem is can we live up to that standard of unquenchable faith when the chips are down? When it seems like God has turned against us, can we still trust Him like Job did? 

Oh, I know it’s not easy when your world seems to be falling down all around you, to actually rest and wait in and on God. But with His help it is possible my people. And that’s when our faith is really tested and we see how strong it really is. Now here is some excellent advice from Isaiah, it’s something we also know, but have a hard time putting into action. 

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-30) 

Oh my people, what greater promise can we ask eh? But we also have a part to play in its coming true – be patient, wait on the Lord and His timing. That’s eternal wisdom! Now let’s go home declaring (yeah) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong, sincere voice:  ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And the natural consequence is for us to now go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s timing is perfect…to those who wait patiently…in faith…and expectantly on it…

Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyobrien50.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2019 Psalm 145:18.

Psalm 145:18.    ​The Lord is nigh (near) unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

 

Aw, come on nuh friends, no lagging and foot dragging this morning nuh! Is Monday, and we should be full of vim and vigour, eager to get out into the world and fight the Lord’s battles! What’s this yuh tired and not up top scratch nonsense eh? That means you didn’t go to church yesterday and worship and praise God with other believers, else you’d be up bright and early just dying to get out and fight for Jesus. 

But regardless of your situation, we’re not here to condemn you, but to help you. So please don’t feel too badly, just join us in sending up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we ask the Lord to strengthen and inspire us to go out and do His work. Altogether now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. 

It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And here’s what I like about that particular prayer…before you even finish saying it, you start feeling good; enthused, encouraged, confident and well able to go out and fight a good fight in Christ’s name! Glory be my people! So let’s go out now and do just that nuh. And as we do, let’s remember Bruh David’s fateful and famous words from Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious. ‘The Lord is nigh (near) unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s why we can sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in humble sincerity and know that He will hear and also answer us! As Bruh David continues: ‘He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy.’ (Ps.145:19-20) 

Gospel truth that friends! And we know that Bruh David is talking from personal experience there, not merely hearsay. And many of us have also had the wonderful experience of experiencing God’s mercy and LOVING- kindness, so we too know first hand that those words are absolutely true! So there is no need to fret or worry about whatever comes against us. 

As the psalmist so rightly and wisely says in support of those words: ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:5) And that elicits a li’l smile and chuckle from me, as I was somewhat late in getting up and was worried that I wouldn’t finish the Bit in time for me to do some other things that need my attention this morning. 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! He never leaves us in the lurch, nor fails to reassure and encourage us! Wow! So how can we not LOVE Him with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds eh? We’d be real foolish not to! For listen to the psalmist again: ‘Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (innumerable, without count). The Lord lifteth up the meek (humble): he casteth the wicked down to the ground.’ (Ps.147:5-6) 

And please note people, it’s not the same psalmist who is saying all those wonderful things about our God, but different ones, so there must be some truth in their assertions. And if that’s so, then we ought to respond thus: ‘Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. 

He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy (LOVING-kindness). Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.’ (Ps.147:7-12) 

Yes my people, the Lord is indeed worthy to be praised! There’s absolutely no doubt about it! So on this chilly autumn morn, as we go out to do His bidding, let’s praise Him nuh! Let’s glorify Him, let’s extol His wonderful attributes and exalt His mighty name, for there’s nothing our God likes better than hearing His praises being sung! Much LOVE!

…praise Him…praise Him…all you His saints in glory…praise Him with loud voice…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2019 Romans 11:33.

Romans 11:33.    ​O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!

 

Yes, it was a ‘riney’ day yesterday! It drizzled all day long into the evening hours. And the way it looks damp and gloomy out there, it looks like it just might be another ‘riney’ day today! And the ‘riney’ is just my way of trying to copy the accent  – it seems like Scottish brogue – of the man in the radio ad. ‘It was a riney day…blah, blah blah!) (smile) 

But enough blather, we have plenty of interesting and wise info to share today…not like I don’t share plenty good and interesting info every day! (smile) And the first set of info is this quote from Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773). ‘Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, KG, PC was a British statesman, diplomat, man of letters, and an acclaimed wit of his time.’ 

These wonderful words of advice are attributed to him. ‘Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.’ Oh me oh my! What awesome words of wisdom! And I’m sure they will resonate with many of us this Wednesday morning! 

With me for sure, as I look back at the desk behind me cluttered with unopened mail and all sorts of other paper work that I should have taken care of some time ago. Ah mih people, laziness and procrastination are the work of the devil! Every moment that we’re alive is so precious that we ought to endeavour to use each one productively for Jesus. 

And having said that, here is this interesting and wise poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s short and sweet, and titled, ‘Never Too Late.’ Please pray with me: ‘Sometimes, dear Lord You work so slowly!’ And the answer to that childish, faithless complaint comes back ever so simply but most provocatively: ‘Tell Me, dear child Have I ever been too late?’ 

And who says I don’t admire the Lord’s wit eh! Because that’s the gospel truth! I know it from personal experience because that’s the only problem I have with Him; His timing just seems to be so different from mine. But then I do have to admit, like many of us ought to; though He too often comes just in the nick of time, He’s NEVER late! 

And to tie that all together, let’s turn to Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional, something appropriately titled ‘Impatient Dreamers.’ Please read with me: ‘What is the single quality that more than any other identifies those who succeed? It is patience. Impatient dreamers will look for painless shortcuts and cheap discounts on the price of success. 

And failing to spot the expedient paths, unknowing, impatient dreamers will too often, too easily, and too painfully turn away from the divine dream. Later, when it’s too late, they will discover that in choosing the painless, easy road they were in fact going down a primrose path to boredom, shame, emptiness, failure, poverty. If only they had not been afraid of the discipline that the dream demanded!’ 

Oh friends, what gospel truth all of that is, especially in these times of everybody looking for the easy life, where laziness, and procrastination abound in times of plenty! Where discipline is a much dreaded and very seldom invoked word! I’m sure all of us can attest to some of Gramps Schuller’s harsh admonitions, because working and living for Jesus does desire a whole lot of patience and perseverance, of taking the high, difficult road, and not the low easy one, of going the extra mile when it all seems futile! 

Our current society is a now for now one! We want everything in a rush, like even yesterday! No one wants to wait for anything. But the truth of the matter is my people, that the ones who have a li’l patience and perseverance are the ones who get the best deal, not the ones who rush headlong into life without proper thought. Yes, we must be prepared to take advantage of opportunities that come along unexpectedly, but rushing into stuff is not Christ like. (smile) 

And our Bit for today is the Bible Promise of our poem: ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!’  Yes friends, the wisdom and knowledge of God, and of Him are so deep and unfathomable, that our puny minds can never attain to understanding them! 

As He so eloquently puts it in the mouth of His servant Isaiah: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is.55:8-9) Matter fix mih people! (smile) I just like how the Lord doesn’t beat around the bush, and simply tells it like it is! You either LOVE it or lump it! 

And now, please listen carefully to the corollary to all that we’ve spoken about this morning from Gramps Schuller on ‘Impatient Dreamers.’ ‘The people who win in life are the people who have harnessed the power of patience. You can move a mountain, Christ said – but He didn’t say how long it would take.’ End of story! 

So then, let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our unbeatable position in Christ! Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday!

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And just a reminder that if we stay the course, that future will be even more glorious and remarkable and amazing than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord…or being his counselor…hath taught him…? (Is.40:13)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast (struck) down, but not destroyed: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2019 Psalm 107:29.

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

‘When the storms of life rage all around me, I have no cause to fear, because I have Jesus, the storm-calmer walking beside me. And if He chooses not to calm the storms when I desire, He calms my fears, so that I can ride out the storms with a peaceful soul. Praise His Holy name!’ 

Yes friends, more stormy weather is forecasted for these parts today, but as we said above, that we believers can face any storm because we have the great storm-calmer Jesus Christ, living within us and working for us. So though we may be physically discombobulated, our souls stay calm and free, evermore praising His holy name. 

But nonetheless my brethren, this weather see-saw is ridiculous yes. And not only in terms of the weather itself, but more so of my having to put up with all of it. Brother! I promised the Duchess that we’re not spending a whole winter up here again, because the weather is just too crazy, and being locked up inside for long periods of time is definitely unhealthy for us old folks. (smile) 

And despite whatever ailments I have or doctor’s appointments, from next year we’ll spend some time out of this inhumane climate, getting the sea, salt, sand and sunshine we need to brighten our latter years. (smile) And since we’ve been talking about storms all morning, we might as well continue on the topic with some encouraging words from the Good Book. 

Listen to these wonderful words from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; They 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) 

Yeh friends, that is exactly how it is! I can tell you from personal experience about riding those stormy waves in a li’l boat out on Lake Ontario many years aback. I can personally attest to the mounting up to heaven on the big waves, then being dashed down in to the deep. I always used to read about the trembling, the shivering of the timbers, well that day I discovered what it really meant. 

When the boat dropped from the top of the high wave and landed splat on the bottom, you could feel everything just shake like an earthquake. And on board that day were drunken men, thankfully I wasn’t one of them, but they prayed, possibly like never before in their lives, and the Lord eventually brought us through to calm waters. 

So I know what the psalmist is talking about, and so do many of you, that’s why I’m amazed that we don’t do as he recommends: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness, 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) 

That is only common sense my people, if we agree that God is the Creator and Controller of this universe. But we look real foolish when we spout that info, then go against all that the Lord stands for! We ought to be praising and exalting Him, with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, because that is the major reason we were created in the first place! Not to doubt and ridicule and blaspheme His holy name! 

Now listen to how Isaiah puts it in the song of praise by the redeemed. ‘Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:3-4) 

Oh my people, we are the redeemed! That means we’re supposed to be strong and glorify the Lord who caused us to be redeemed through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary! So why aren’t we doing better eh? Why are we allowing Satan and his evil cohorts to take over and rule our souls eh, when Jesus paid such a high price for us? 

And I guess the answer can only be found in the immortal words of Jesus, when the disciples in their fear and terror during a stormy ship crossing, awoke Jesus sleeping quietly in the back of the boat, ‘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.8:25-27) 

And that after being with Jesus for so long and seeing all the miracles He performed! But we’re doing the same thing today, so we can’t really judge them. Anyway friends, for those of us who are trying to be faithful and true, let’s go home today declaring (phew! wrong again) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are. 

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

And the next step is to go out and share that trusting friendship and awesome LOVE with the folks who don’t know or have it. Much LOVE!

…in the time of storm…ONLY Jesus can bring a sense of calm…

 

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