Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 November 2020 Psalm 56:3.

Psalm 56:3.     ​What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

Glory to God mih people! The sun’s shining brightly! And yes, as some killjoy notes, (smile) it’s somewhat chilly because our summery days are over possibly until next year. But in the broad scheme of things that doesn’t really matter because we ALWAYS have the One True Bright Light, Jesus, shining on us anyway! Give Him some thanks and praise for being so faithful in His light giving! 

And to cement our contention there, I just opened the Good Book to Psalm 56, Bruh David’s confident prayer for help, and these magnificent and reassuring words jumped out at me: ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps. 56:3-4) 

Wow mih bredrin! What surety in Bruh David’s words eh! That was his prayer, his contemplation when the Philistines took hm in Gath. Can you imagine us being in the midst of such a horrible, wicked enemy and declaring (yeahhh!) our unbreakable trust in God? It’s what we ought to be doing though. 

And remember that other time when the Amalekites burned Bruh David’s city in exile Ziklag and took all their families hostage, and his men were so grieved and eventually wanted to stone Bruh David because they blamed him, as though his family wasn’t taken hostage too? Remember what he did? The Good Book says it thus: ‘…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ (1 Sam. 30:6) 

Yes friends, that’s where Bruh David found his strength and his support, and why despite all his ungodly deeds, the Lord could still call him a friend and a man after His own heart. That’s simply because he always held the Lord in true reverence and adoration. The Lord knew that he was imperfect, but his heart was usually in the right place. And so should our hearts be my people, despite our sprinkling of evil and evil deeds. 

We should know that God is our major refuge and retreat, our stronghold and fortress, the only place that we can be sure to obtain succour in time of need. And this pandemic and strife-filled season is one of those times when we need to be totally God-centred, to turn to Him like no other time in our lives, because without Him we don’t stand a chance, like a snowball in hell, our goose is cooked! 

We desperately need to return to the times when these words of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – A cry against deceitful friends – stood true of our society. ‘As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice… Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 55:16-17; 22)

And that’s the gospel truth my people! If we call on the Lord in all sincerity, and live by His will and word, then He will never allow us to suffer want or need, because He has promised that! Remember this awesome promise? ‘If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ (2 Chr. 7:14) 

All I’m trying to say friends is that our world is in such a terrible state because it’s so fraught with sin and evil, and the only way we’re ever going to come out of this desperate and deadly state is by sincerely turning back to the Lord God Jehovah like our forefathers did! And if we don’t, then crapaud smoke we pipe! So it’s our choice. Do we give up the foolishness of Satan and this evil world and turn to the goodness of God? Or do we stay as we are and suffer the terrible consequences inherent in that decision? 

And just for argument sake, let’s hear these immortal and faithful words of Jesus concerning the subject nuh. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That’s it plain and simple my brethren! You seek God first, make Him and His kingdom your Number One Priority, and He will meet all of your needs! 

Like Bruh David said in his most famous writing, Psalm 23: ‘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 (waters of rest). 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.’ (Ps. 23:1-4) 

And Bruh David could write that stuff friends because he lived, he experienced them. It’s not to say that our lives will always be rosy and without problems, since we live in a fallen, evil world, but if we hang with the Lord, we will come out on top most of the time, and we won’t have to walk around in constant fear, but will be assured and comforted even in the tough times like now. But all I can do is talk, or write – I’m done now – (smile), but everyone has to make their own decision as to the path they are going to follow, and my job is to encourage us to follow Christ, the Lord and Saviour of this world. End of spiel. 

And am I ever surprised at the intensity I sometimes feel as the words pour out quicker than I can write them. But I guess that’s because I’m sincere about what I write. (smile) Anyway, for those of us who feel the same way, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings, letting all and sundry know how blessed we are in Christ our Lord. 

Altogether 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!’  

And if the Lord thought so much of us that He could give us those blessings undeservedly, then we can think the same of others and share them just as generously. Much LOVE!

…it stands to reason…that only the God who made this world…can save it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2016 1 Samuel 30:6b.

1 Samuel 30:6b.    …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Okay friends, this Sunday morning let’s begin our praise and worship with this joyous hymn, penned by Charles Wesley. It’s one we all know and treasure, so let’s raise our voices to the heavens in harmony and true surrender, believing what we sing. 

All together now: ‘LOVE divine, all LOVES excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down; Fix in us thy humble dwelling; All thy faithful mercies crown! Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure unbounded LOVE Thou art; Visit us with Thy salvation; Enter every trembling heart. 

Breathe, O breathe Thy LOVING Spirit, Into every troubled breast! Let us all in Thee inherit; Let us find that second rest. Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be; End of faith, as its Beginning, Set our hearts at liberty. Come, Almighty to deliver, Let us all Thy life receive; Suddenly return and never, Never more Thy temples leave. 

Thee we would be always blessing, Serve Thee as Thy hosts above, Pray and praise Thee without ceasing, Glory in Thy perfect love. Finish, then, Thy new creation; Pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation  Perfectly restored in Thee; Changed from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place, Till we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, LOVE and praise.’ 

Ah mih people, what a beautiful hymn! And it resonates with so many practical aspects of our faith, of our everyday lives. For instance it talks about, ‘take away our bent for sinning.’ Now I can’t think of a better desire than that!  Then we sang ‘set our hearts at liberty.’ Oh how good that would be – freedom from the restrictive chains of sin! 

And then we’d truly be a ‘new creation… changed from glory to glory…lost in’ the awesome wonder that’s Jesus, as we serenade and praise Him with true LOVE! 

Oh friends, I guess that’s what you’d call the perfect Christian. Unfortunately though, too many of us don’t even come close to being perfect. For one thing we still speak with forked tongues, and still desire to wallow in the mire of the things of the world, instead of the things of Jesus. 

Remember, we’re just supposed to be in the world, but not a part of it. And that can sometimes get difficult and confusing, but please remember too that our lives are in the best hands that exist – Almighty God’s. And nothing is too hard or too difficult for Him to do on our behalf. 

So when the pressures of life get to us, we feel all alone on a desert island and no human help seems to be forthcoming, it’s Jesus we need to turn to. We need to do as our Bit says: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Yes friends, when Bruh David’s people wanted to stone him because their families had been taken captive and their city burnt, he had no alternative but to encourage himself in the Lord, to let his faith rise up and seek God’s strength and wisdom.  

The Good Book tells us: ‘And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.’ (1 Sam.30:8) And so said, so was it done! 

Bruh David pursued the marauding Amalekites with his six hundred men, but along the way, at the brook Besor, he left two hundred behind who were too weak and faint to go on. And as the Lord would have it, they found a young Egyptian slave whom the enemy had left behind because he was sick, and after feeding and reviving him and promising not to slay him, he led them to the Amalekites camp. 

‘And when he (the slave) had brought him (David) down, behold they (the Amalekites) were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. 

And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.’ (1 Sam.30:16-18) 

Yuh see friends what is possible when we totally surrender our lives to the Lord and place our complete trust in Him. If Bruh David had just sat around moaning and groaning like the rest of his men, they might probably have ended up stoning him. But instead, ‘he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’  And why wouldn’t he eh? He’d be rather foolish not to, after all the wonders and miracles that the Lord had previously done in his life? 

Now that’s where a lot of us fall down my people. When times get real rough, we tend to forget God’s promises and all that He’s already done for us. But that’s the time when we need to remember His many blessings and mercies, so that our faith can be lifted, our trust in Him strengthened, and our circumstances turned around through His wise guidance. 

And I want to close with this example of Bruh David’s godliness and generosity.  After they defeated the Amalekites and returned with all the spoil, the selfish ones who had fought declared that the two hundred, who had remained at the brook of Besor, should only get back their families and none of the spoil. 

But Bruh David overruled them. ‘Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the Lord hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand.’(1 Sam.30:23) Then he made it a law from henceforth that all should share in the spoils of war. He also sent some of the spoil back to the people of Judah who had suffered at the hands of the Amalekites. 

And the scholars offer an interesting take on Bruh David’s doings there. ’30:26-31. David’s sharing of the spoils of the victory over the Amalekites not only assured them of his gratitude for their friendship and help during his days of flight from the presence of Saul, but would convince his allies of his loyalty, despite the time spent with Achish (the Philistine king). Moreover, it would prepare their hearts for his soon-coming kingship.’  

Ah friends, that’s what Christianity is all about; integrity, character and sharing the spoils God has blessed you with, especially if you’re a leader! Much LOVE!

…true faith means…never giving up…even under the greatest adversity…because our God is always there to help us…

 

 

 

 

 

 1 Samuel 30:6b.     ‘…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’

And then it was Saturday; the day for household chores and grocery shopping for some, while for others it’s just a lazy, lying around day, doing nothing much of anything. For those blessed to be living in tropical climes, it might be a picnic or some outdoor sport or just lying in a hammock below a shade tree.  

Or if you’re in Tobago, you might just be getting ready to go up Calder Hall and get some of Brother Kirby’s rich, tantalizing and nutritious soups. That would certainly go down well on this chilly Saturday morning. How lucky can some people get eh? (smile) 

But not so in these northern parts, since it’s too cold for the usual outdoor sports and picnics, while it’s not cold enough to go skiing or outdoor skating. But to his each his own; all of us have different agendas and timelines, so let us do whatever we need to do, with God uppermost in our hearts and minds. 

And on that note, let me share with you a rather wise offering this past week from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. Listen up, as he advises: ‘Compare yourself with yourself. Not with others. Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation. There are always people ahead of you. Most likely quite a bit of people. And a few of them are miles ahead. So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.’ 

Words of absolute wisdom my people! The worse thing we can ever do is compare ourselves with others. We all know about keeping up with the Joneses, which is a real killer in terms of physical wealth and material lifestyle. But it’s even worse when we try to compare our personal accomplishments with those of others, even those in like fields and professions because the playing fields are never level, are never the same. 

Some start out with a gold spoon in their mouths, some with silver, others with brass, and many with no spoon at all. So comparisons are seldom ever oranges with oranges, but oranges with different fruit. It never pays to measure your accomplishment with others, because more often than not we fall short of the other person’s attainment and then get discouraged, jealous and even angry, which doesn’t help us any. 

Then on the odd occasion when our accomplishment is better than others, we’re liable to look down on them with pride, conceit and contempt. That doesn’t help us either friends. The truth is that others will always be both ahead and behind us in accomplishments, and comparisons on either end will only bring us negative results. 

So as Anselm advises, if we so badly want to compare, let’s compare ourselves with our selves; take stock of our own accomplishments as we grow and mature. We have all the right tools at hand to measure ourselves against ourselves, but not against other people.  

That finally brings us to our Bit: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Oh friends, what a potent piece of scripture in only a few words. 

Hear the story: Bruh David is running from Saul, whose avowed intention is to kill him. On this particular instance he’s living in Philistine territory in a place called Ziklag. The Philistines are preparing to make war against Saul and Israel and Bruh David goes with his rag tag band of men to help. But the Philistine counsellors distrust him, so they send him back to Ziklag. (1 Sam.29) 

Lo and behold though, three days later when they get to Ziklag, they discover that during their absence the Amalekites have invaded the city and burned it to the ground. The really sad part though was that all their families had been taken away captive. The Good Book tells us that ‘Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.’ (1 Sam.30:4) 

Then, though it didn’t seem possible, things got even worse: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and for his daughters.’ (1 Sam.30:6a) It didn’t matter to them that Bruh David’s two wives had also been taken captive; they were just concerned about their own families. At those times the innate selfishness of man usually comes to the fore. 

And that’s where our Bit comes in: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Ah friends, what a moving and powerful scripture. It’s something that we should all remember and keep deep in our hearts, for when circumstances come against us and there’s no man to stand with us, then we need to encourage ourselves in our God, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us even when things hit rock bottom. 

That brings to mind another instance of the Lord’s providence, this one with Bruh Paul. As he says to Timothy: ‘At my first answer (defense) no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.’ (2 Tim.4:16-17) 

Yes friends, there will be times when everything and everyone will seem to be against us, but that is not the time to give up. Instead, that’s the time for us to encourage ourselves in the Lord, to remember all His promises and the good things He’s done for us in the past and call upon Him with strong, expectant faith and hungry hope, knowing that He will not disappoint us, will never leave us in the lurch. 

Now I know it all sounds fine in theory, and looks good on paper in black and white, but when push really comes to shove, it’s a horse of a different colour. That’s why we need to do our utmost to build our faith in Almighty God, because it’s only with real strong faith can we handle those situations, and not be totally overwhelmed by them. 

More on this tomorrow friends, the Lord in favour. Till then let’s stand strong in our faith and keep looking to Christ for all our needs. He will meet them all. Much LOVE!

…only the powerful arms of Christ…can lift us from the very depths of despair…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 November 2014 Deuteronomy 8:18

Deuteronomy 8:18.  But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
 
And finally, it was Friday…!
 
And sadly there’s that first touch of that feared white precipitate (snow) on the ground in my area. Chuh! Now granted it’s only a light dusting, but snow in any form is deceitful and dangerous, so it’s always wise to keep a watchful and wary eye on it. (smile)
 
Anyway, it’s a warning that it’s now in my neighbourhood, and it’s liable to overwhelm us at any time, oftimes at very inopportune ones.
 
Nonetheless, with the realization that it’s Friday, an unbelievable amount of laughter and joy permeates the work place. Everybody is high-fiving each other and boldly declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! This labouring soon done, and we going to party away the weekend!’
 
Not so fast Friends, not so fast. Remember the weekend is not only for levity, but also for rest, renewal and some serious communication with our heavenly Father! So please back off somewhat on the party scene, because that’s why we’re always tired and miserable on a Monday morning, unable to get up on time to go out to make our living.
 
And to help us with that problem, let’s chant our Friday Chant in loud voice and sincere spirit. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes mih breddren, as good, ole Jeeves would say, we have to temper our enthusiasm for the weekend with a modicum of circumspection. (smile)
 
But it is certainly true; we do have to dial back a tad on the party scene, and give God a bigger piece of the pie, a greater amount of our attention, for remember, all that we are, and all that we have, comes from Him, not always directly, but He is indeed the source, the fountainhead of ALL our blessings!
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ Words of absolute truth, my people!
 
And the scholars corroborate this: ‘8:18. God…he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant: Yahweh alone gave Israel the ability to get wealth, and the blessing the nation enjoyed was the result of His covenant with the people and was the outcome of His promise to their forefathers.’
 
Now Friends, though we fall under the new covenant with Jesus, the source of everything is still the same; Almighty God…Jehovah Jireh – the Lord our Provider. Yes Friends, it is indeed our Creator who enriches us with ALL things!
 
As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’ (Prov.10:22) And who should know better than Cousin Sol about wealth and God’s goodness eh, since he is considered the wisest and richest man ever?
 
And if you don’t believe Cousin Sol, then listen to Abraham’s servant to Laban, Rebekah’s brother, when he was sent out to find a wife for Isaac. ‘And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses (donkeys).’ (Gen.24:34-35)
 
And there’s no doubt that Abraham was indeed wealthy, both in earthly goods and spiritual enlightenment! And those things could only have come from one source; the great and wonderful God he diligently served and sincerely worshipped!
 
Now here’s another noteworthy example of God’s ability to increase earthly wealth. There came a time when the Lord caused Isaac to dwell in Gerar, the land of the Philistines. But for fear that the men of the place would kill him and take away his beautiful wife Rebekah, he lied and said that she was his sister. Like father like son eh? Brings to mind when Abraham lied that Sarah was his sister. (Gen.12:10-20)
 
But as so often happens our lies are eventually found out, and it’s rather interesting how Isaac’s lie was discovered. One inauspicious day, the king of the Philistines, Abimelech, happened to look out a window of his palace, and lo and behold what does he see? He sees Isaac sporting with (caressing) Rebekah. (Gen.26:6-11)
 
Obviously this caused some contention between Isaac and the king. However, after it was all settled, here’s what the Good Book says: ‘Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received (reaped) in the same year a hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed (grew) great, and went forward (continued prospering), and grew until he became very great.’ (Gen.26:12-13)
 
Yes my people, in spite of Isaac’s deceit, the Lord blessed him very much because He had a sovereign purpose for him to fulfill, one he could only do from a position of power and wealth. Now please don’t take that as a reason for us to be deceitful. (smile) The Lord might not look down on us so kindly.
 
But be sure if wealth and power are required for us to do the work He’s planned for us, then wealth and power will be granted us, because He IS the ultimate source of ALL good things! I implore us to remember that today, and therefore live to suit. Much LOVE!
 
…constantly meditating on God’s Word…and being obedient to it…is of paramount importance in a believer’s life…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous…and then thou shalt have good success… (Josh.1:8)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2014 Psalm 56:1

Psalm 56:1.     Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. 

Ah Friends, the Big Day, Caribana Saturday is finally here! And I don’t know why, but in the past week or so, there’s been a persistent bug in my ear, urging me to go down to the parade this year. I haven’t been for the last couple of years due to the condition of my ole knees and my lost enthusiasm for what the parade has morphed into.
 
And I was seriously considering it, but after the traffic problems I experienced going into the city last evening to check out the Pan Alive Steelband competition, I very much doubt that I’m going. With the major highway shut down to just two lanes right around the site of the parade, can you imagine the traffic jam that’s going to be out there this morning? 
 

People are already having problems getting into area with the closure of a major bridge, the Burlington Skyway, due to an accident on Thursday evening. Anyway, I’m suffering from Caribana Friday-itis…Hn!
 
And NO, I’m not referring to the after effects of inebriation – I’m too old and wise for that (smile) – I’m just talking about tiredness from a busy day and not getting to bed until after three this morning, hence the lateness of the Bit.
 
And I’m not even going to say much about the Pan competition either, because this year I found it to be rather mediocre. The attendance wasn’t as great as it usually is, and only ONE band out of the 13 that played really moved me – Pan Fantasy.
 
And to make matters worse, just as the last band, Pan Masters came on stage, they put out the main stadium lights, the ones focused directly on the band. Steups! What utter nonsense eh! So it was eleven o’clock, the byelaw wasn’t going to be in jeopardy for another five or ten minutes! Chuh!
 
So the poor band had to play in the darkness, with only the backlights of the stadium on. The fans couldn’t even see them. That just soured the whole situation for me, and I got up and left before they were finished. Subsequently I don’t know the results of the competition.
 
However, the organizers have to accept a large share of the blame, because they know about the eleven o’clock byelaw, though I can’t ever remember seeing it so rigidly enforced, but a show that was billed to start at six p.m. didn’t get underway till about 7.45, almost two hours after the announced starting time. Unfortunately I was one of those who rushed down there for six o’clock.
 
Anyway that’s all over and done with now, time to move on. Let’s get some ‘I CAN’ affirmations to counteract the prevailing sense of tiredness and lethargy nuh.
 
So please say with me: ‘I CAN do ALL things through Christ. God has new opportunities for me. I’m not settling for where I am now, I’m stretching myself and pursuing what He has put in my heart! God’s plan for my life is greater than I could imagine, and I’m determined to be who He wants me to be. This is my declaration of what I CAN do through Christ.’
 
And now that we’ve declared it, my fellow believers, let’s go out and make it reality nuh. For it doesn’t make sense to declare something, then not do it.
 
And that affirmative declaration of what I CAN do through Christ, fits nicely in with our Bit; a cry of Bruh David when the Philistines took him in Gath. (1 Sam.21:11)
 
‘Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up (hound me): for they be that fight against me, O thou Most High.’ (Ps.56:1-2)
 
Yeh Friends, daily, without fail, Lucifer and his evil cohorts come against us, trying to devour our spirits, to make us feel frail, feeble and inferior. But with our omnipotent God, we know that all things are possible!
 
Therefore, when the enemy comes against us, we can say a confident prayer for help, as Bruh David did: ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-4)
 
Oh my brethren, my brethren, what simple but powerful words of faith and trust! Bruh David certainly knew on which side his bread was buttered! That’s why the Lord blessed him so much, despite his nefarious activities.
 
Can we truthfully say those words? We ought to. When the enemy comes against us, do we with hungry hope and expectant faith turn confidently to Almighty God for help, guidance and/or succour? I certainly hope so Friends, because it is ONLY in our heavenly Father that there is rest and freedom from the manipulations of the evil one.
 
Listen to Bruh David’s great faith at work: ‘When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.’ (Ps.56:9)
 
Oh my people, that is a declaration of faith that ought to be written in the depths of our souls, and then given voice through our mouths, as well as action through our behaviour, EVERYDAY that we’re alive on planet earth, since it’s gospel truth for ALL believers!
 
We need to be sure and confident enough in our God to be able to stand on His promises. For as the Good Book says: ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom.8:31)
 
And the glorious answer to that my fellow believers is NOBODY!
 
And now with that affirmation boldly declared, let’s go home with some more faith building words from Bruh David: ‘In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
 
Thy vows are upon me (are binding upon me), O God: I will render praise unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?’ (Ps.56:10-13)
 
Yes Friends, our great and wonderful God will surely deliver us in times of trouble, so that we can walk faithfully with Him, to continue praising and glorifying His Holy Name here on earth!
 
So let’s continue to stand strong and be numbered amongst His most awesome soldiers of faith nuh, for it’s the wisest action a human being can ever take! Much LOVE!
 
…faith in God is great…but it doesn’t come cheaply…it is paid for with the exacting price of experience…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 May 2014 Psalm 56:9

Psalm 56:9.    When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.

Oh Friends, it’s a brand new day – Monday! And much to my surprise, there wasn’t as much hissing and sour invective thrown my way. And I gratefully thanked God that His people were finally getting the idea that Monday was a day to be celebrated, not cursed. (smile)

And Friends, do I ever have a good quote for us today – one that’s so appropriate that it will knock your proverbial socks off! When I read it, I couldn’t help but chuckle, and immediately knew that I had to share it.
 
It comes from my old Devotional for People with Chronic Illness, and is attributed to one Elise Maclay. From the info available, I believe the Elise Maclay we’re talking about was an author of successful books like ‘Green Winter, and the Art of Bev Doolittle’ published in the 1970’s.
 
Anyway, she reputedly said, ‘…I was the breadwinner. Only I didn’t WIN the bread, I worked hard and earned it.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! We don’t win the bread, we get up off our rear ends and work hard for it! And that’s exactly what this first Monday morning in May 2014 is calling for! So let’s get up and get a move on nuh, let’s get out into the evil and ungodly world that awaits us and do our damndest, our best for Jesus! Remember Jesus desires and expects excellence from His followers!
 
And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty moxie. As one great choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
Aw shucks Friends, that rendition was the greatest nuh, it only raised polite clapping from the heavenly hosts! Anyway, I’ll chalk it up to our still being somewhat sleepy, and assume that by the time we get ready to hit the road, the Holy Spirit will have caused us to be in full Christian bloom. (smile)
 
Now let’s look at our Bit for this beautiful spring morning. ‘When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.’
 
Words of indisputable truth my brethren! Faithfully proven after they were sent heavenward, by Bruh David’s eventual escape from the Philistines at Gath and his mortal enemy, Saul!
 
That’s why Friends, it both amazes and disappoints me that Christians don’t use prayer more often, despite claiming to be so in touch and in tune with God. If we look at the lives of all the great people of faith, one common thread stands out above all else; their great dependence on and use of prayer.
 
Even Jesus, God incarnate, didn’t make a move without talking to His heavenly Father. So why are we so ashamed, afraid, and reluctant to pray eh? Is it that we don’t truly believe in the efficacy and effectiveness of prayer?
 
James spells it out in spades for us: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:16)
 
Oh my people, it’s time for us to wake up to the true and very awesome power of prayer! When we cry out to God in sincere prayer, He hears us and answers. Listen to how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 118; Thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation.
 
‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. (Per the scholars, that’s the middle verse of the Bible) It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps.118:5-9)
 
More words of indisputable truth Friends! And we know it. So why don’t we adhere to them eh? Ah Lord eh! I guess only the Lord in His high heaven really knows why we are the stubborn and unwise way we are yes!
 
And we’ll go home with some immortal words of advice, of heavenly wisdom from Bruh Paul to the Roman Church, words which we all know, but don’t follow as closely or rely on as we should.
 
‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:31-32)
 
Yes Friends, if the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God, Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein is in our corner, then who can successfully challenge us eh? NOBODY!
 
So please let’s not only plant that true, wonderful seed deep in our souls, but let’s also act on it today, by stepping up our prayer lives and calling out to our heavenly father, at ALL times, and for ALL things! That’s what he sincerely desires, and it’s also the epitome of wisdom, my people! Much LOVE!
 
…it’s foolish, unwise, and a downright lie…to claim to be a Christian…and not be thoroughly immersed in the Word of God and sincere prayer…

 

 

 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2014 Psalm 56:9

Psalm 56:9. When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.

Well Friends, possibly the most renowned of Tobago’s sons has been laid to rest in its rich and fertile soil. We’re talking of Arthur Napoleon Raymond (A.N.R.) Robinson (1926-2014).

Amongst his many achievements was first and foremost being the third Prime Minster of Trinidad and Tobago (1986-1991), during a crucial period in the country’s life. A.N.R. also served as the country’s third President from 1997-2003.

His credentials were impeccable: attendance at Bishops High School in Tobago with excellent grades – Hurrah for Bishop’s High! (smile) Obviously my Alma Mater too – followed by a Law Degree from London University, then one in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from one of the twin ivory towers of learning in the U.K; Oxford University.

And you know that high level of education and excellence doesn’t surprise me, because although I didn’t know A.N.R personally – he had already left Tobago to study abroad when I was growing up – I did know most of his family who lived close to me, just at the junction of Main and Fort Streets, right below the Scarborough Methodist School.

And the one member I knew best of all was his father, an ornery, old-school headmaster, from whom I took private lessons on evenings after school. I believe it was to help me pass the then College Exhibition Exams to get into High School. And you better believe the old man was a hard task master and disciplinarian!

That urge and drive for education and accomplishments must thus have been cultivated in A.N.R. from an early age. I believe the old man’s discipline was legendary in Castara, where he was an Elementary School Headmaster.  

A.N.R was also instrumental in the founding of the People’s National Movement Political Party (PNM), which brought T&T to Independence in 1963, under the Prime Ministership of another of the Caribbean’s brightest and best, Dr. Eric Eustace Williams.

From early on, A.N.R was seen as the heir anointed to Dr. Williams, but a falling out seems to have occurred, serious enough to make him quit the PNM and found his own political movement the Democratic Action Congress (DAC), which, after several affiliations with other movements morphed into the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR), which led to him finally becoming Prime Minister in 1986.

I was always a bit miffed with him though for quitting the PNM when he did, believing that despite the falling out, he would have become P.M much quicker and make a better leader than those then in the party. And I was proven right, because after Dr. Williams passed on, both the party and the country began falling apart under lesser leadership and talk of much corruption in high places. But what else is new eh? For that’s certainly the in-thing these days!

Anyway A.N.R’s most famous moment must have been during the 1990 attempted coup by a Muslim group, who held him and several of his Cabinet members hostage in the Red House, the Parliamentary Building, for some six days, where he was beaten and shot in the leg for reputedly telling the army to attack the building in full force, instead of stopping the attack as desired by his captors.

It’s interesting and amusing that though A.N.R. always had that cherubic, innocent-looking, boyish face, it seems he could be very controversial and autocratic under that pacific appearance. Internationally, he appears to be recognized for the proposal that eventually led to the founding of the International Criminal Court.  

Ah Friends, there’s neither time nor space to list A.N.R’s many accomplishments. Like all of us, he was an imperfect and thus fallible human being, but the important thing is that he was not afraid to stand up for what he believed was right. That’s about all we can ask from any of us.

But let it be said that he did Trinidad and Tobago proud with both his personal achievements and his many years involved in public service. A.N.R, I’m sure your father would have been proud of you, as all we Tobagonians are. May you rest in peace in the land of your birth.  

And now that we have laid A.N.R to rest with the pomp and splendour he deserved, let’s see what our Bit has to offer. ‘When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.’

Ah mih people, what a cry of assurance from Bruh David! He wrote Psalm 56, a confident prayer for help, when he was under tremendous pressure, when the Philistines took him in Gath (1 Sam. 21) after having fled from his chief enemy Saul. Can you imagine his distress? Then to write those words, along with these, his faith in the God of his fathers must have been immense.

‘In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon (binding upon) me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?’ (Ps.56:10-13)

And my fellow believers, we all know that the Lord delivered Bruh David from the hands of both the Philistine king and Saul! Now the question is whether we are so immersed and mature in our faith that when circumstances come against us, we can cry out without fear, with such surety to Almighty God?

Ah mih people, that is the status of faith to which we need to work towards, and eventually achieve, if we truly want to see God work in our lives, and the lives of those around us. I’m sure Bruh David’s men took courage from his lead. They all knew the dreadful situation he was in, but when they saw his strong and steadfast reaction, they too were encouraged to stand strong and steadfast.

And my brethren, as true believers in Jesus, that’s something we desperately need to do in these modern times; show our strong faith when things aren’t looking so good, so that others can draw inspiration, strength, faith, courage and sustenance from our actions.

Remember, it’s not only what we say, but even more importantly, what we do, that inspires others. So please, let’s keep on keeping on, like good ambassadors of Christ in this ungodly world, so that we can bring lasting change to it – destroy the evil powers with the LOVE Revolution of Jesus! That’s eternal wisdom Friends! Much LOVE!

…when problems arise…a true believer…in true wisdom… runs first to God…not to man…for help and succour…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2014 Isaiah 2:8

Isaiah 2:8.    Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.
 
Oh Friends, can you believe it’s already the 2nd of January 2014? (smile) And I’ve made one mistake already. I put 2013 in the big heading above instead of 2014. But the ole fella’s only human, and that kind of error is usual until the new year really gets into our systems. 
 
But my people, on a more serious note, the Christmas season is coming to an end, and I’m pleading with us, please, please, let’s not allow the kindness, mercy, peace, forgiveness and LOVE that we’ve shown throughout this joyous time to die. Let’s not allow it to turn back to the evil, the anger, the hatred, resentment and other negative emotions that we had, and exhibited before Christmas began.
 
It’s obvious that we can’t LOVE everybody, every minute of every day, but we definitely don’t have to descend back to the level of dislike, disgust and depravity that we were at in 2013. It’s high time we come up higher for Jesus’ sake!
 
And here’s a word, a reminder, re coming up higher, from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). He calls it the Possibility Thinker’s Creed. And Possibility Thinking my Friends, is just faith at work, because as believers, we need to see the world through the eyes of faith.
 
So let’s remember and truly believe that: ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ 
 
Yes Friends, let’s start this blessed and prosperous year of 2014, by sowing those seeds of possibility thinking, of faith, deep into the rich and fertile soil of our hearts, souls and minds!
 
Now let’s turn to our very first Bit of this new year. And it’s a very serious Bit my people. ‘Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.’
 
Oh my brethren, Isaiah could surely have been writing about us, instead of the Israelites of old! Why? Because we too have such a multiplicity of idols in our lives these days, that it’s not funny. Remember too, the definition of an idol; anything we place before God in our lives.
 
And that covers a multitude of things Friends, because we seem to place all the material things of the world, as well as all its evil, obnoxious and vexatious policies before the Creator and Controller of the universe. I don’t know how many times we must be reminded that our God is a very jealous deity and wants us to bow down to no other supposed deity but Him. And surely not those that we’ve made with our own hands!
 
It also seems that we’ve completely and conveniently forgotten Jesus’ promise, that if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that all the stuff we need, material, spiritual, emotional and whatever else, will be provided to us by our Heavenly Father! (Matt.5:24-34)
 
Please read that again my fellow believers, so that it can sink into our minds and spirits, and thus be manifested in our conscious actions. It’s the only way we’ll ever remove the idolatry from our lives. 
 
And just to show how all this idolatry could backfire on us, we’ll recall one occasion from the Good Book, where the Lord turned His back on His chosen people, Israel.
 
‘And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth (Baals and Ashtoreths), and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served him not.
 
And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.’ (Judg.10:6-7)
 
Yes Friends, the Lord allowed their enemies to humiliate them.
 
‘And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. And the Lord said unto the children of Israel, did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines?
 
The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry (out) unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation (distress). (Judg.10:10-14)
 
What more is there to say my brethren? Not much. The children of Israel knowingly and wilfully abandoned, turned away from the God of their fathers to worship pagan gods and man-made idols. And the Lord, as promised, punished them severely.
 
Now tell me, why do you think that our individual societies, and our world in general are in such a mess eh?
 
It’s simple Friends; we too have turned away in droves from worshipping the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD, who created us, who LOVED us so much, that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be a propitiation, a human sacrifice for our sins.
 
And now, like foolish sheep, we have all gone astray, forgotten Him, and instead turned to idols of our own making. So what else can we expect but disaster and calamity eh?
 
Please ponder on these things today, my fellow believers, and then let’s make a strong and serious effort to overcome those sinful attitudes that we know displease our God. If we don’t want to do it for our sake, then please do it for the sake of our children and those who come after us.
 
Let us not allow it to be said, that our generation caused it all to fall apart. It’s not too late… if we begin RIGHT NOW! Much LOVE!
 
…when will we ever learn…that disobedience to God’s will…will ALWAYS bring serious consequences…