Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2018 Isaiah 55:8.

Isaiah 55:8.   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Ah friends, when it’s not one thing, it’s always another eh? This morning I came down to write the Bit, already a tad late, to find that the bulb in the lamp over my desk had blown. But to complicate matters, when I tried removing the bulb, the glass part broke off from the metal part, leaving the latter in the socket. 

You can imagine my consternation, but with the Lord’s help and some mechanical ingenuity (smile) I finally extracted the metal part from the socket. But would you know that when I put in a new bulb, the lamp didn’t work. Steups! So I then had to go around the house looking for a lamp that could fit in the small space allotted for lamps over my computer desk. The old one was clamped to a bookcase over the desk. 

Obviously I had no more with clamps, so I have to make do with one sitting on top of the books, and the overhead room lamp, which itself isn’t very bright. I haven’t opened the Good Book as yet to see how I’m going to handle it, but yuh know what? I won’t let those li’l inconveniences steal my joy. I said it when I got up, and I’ll say it again: ‘This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!’ And I hope you will too. 

I know the workingman is surely doing that, because he’s been out early singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Another week of slave labour done! And now it’s the weekend…Glory be! It’s we time now! No more slave master constantly looking over we shoulder like we is li’l children and doh know how to do we work! Steups! Is we time now to party and do whatever we want to do, whenever we want do it! 

And yuh better believe that is exactly what we going to do, especially with the summer quickly coming to an end! As the man says in his song: ‘Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think…!’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! Mama Yo…Is party time! So let’s thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes and go out and enjoy we self!’ 

Yeh friends, we have to thank God for EVERYTHING, including bad breaks and frustrating inconveniences, for it’s only with His help are we able to overcome them in a sane and sensible manner. And in all truth, the workingman has such simplicity of soul and spirit that you can’t help but admire his commitment to partying. 

But unfortunately, or fortunately, as followers of Jesus, we are not allowed to go that far out on the limb to pick the juicy, succulent fruit that we all wish we could pick and enjoy. Hn! But it’s all for our eventual benefit friends, so that we don’t indulge in the carnal and lustful things of the world and give that fallen fool Lucifer a chance to get under our skin, and thus end up in Hades with him, facing eternal damnation and separation from Almighty God. 

And all God’s children gave a mighty and grateful shout of ‘Thank You Lord!’ And that’s why our Friday Chant differs from that of the workingman, though mostly in not going to extremes and continuing diligence in God’s work. So let’s chant it now with enthusiasm and sincere anticipation. 

All together: ‘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.’ 

Yuh see mih people, we too need to frolic and have fun, but we need to do it in a more restrained way, with some circumspection, as we reboot and get ready for next week’s labours. 

And all I want to point out today, is that though the Lord made us know what is what in our Bit: ‘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,’ He is still such a LOVING, kind hearted and compassionate Deity. 

After inviting everyone that’s thirsty to come to the waters and drink freely, and those without money to come and eat bread freely, and to stop spending our money on things that don’t satisfy us, (Is.55:1-2) He further promises. ‘For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir (cypress) tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.’ (Is.55:12-13) 

Ah friends, what a wonderful God we serve! Who else would make such magnanimous promises eh…and keep them too? Nobody else! And in closing, I just want to remind us that He said His word would not return void (empty or unfruitful), but would accomplish the purpose for which it was sent. 

And for His great mercy and grace, we can all sincerely and loudly sing: ‘Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen!’ Have a blessed day my brethren in Christ! Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can everlasting promises come true…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2018 Psalm 69:30.

Psalm 69:30.   I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Awright mih breddren, it’s Sunday once again, but a white one. I thought now was spring with all the beauty of nature set to erupt from the cold ground. But that’s not the reality of the situation, for from yesterday morning we’ve been grounded by an ice storm. And like it’s hit some of the U.S. Midwest too. 

All day long I could hear the ice pellets hitting against the windowpanes. And don’t be fooled by the covering of snow on top. It’s a solid ice foundation, which is even worse than the pure snow, very deceptive like our spiritual enemy. And it hasn’t stopped as yet. So please be careful if you venture out there today. 

I know that I’m not venturing out there for LOVE nor for money. Not in my mash-up state. (smile) I’m not even going to church this morning, I doubt my car tires can handle the traction, or lack thereof, and I know that the Lord will understand. They haven’t even cleaned the roads in the area. Saw one truck go up the road a while ago cleaning one half of the road. 

But friends that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate and praise our wonderful God and hear His reassuring word. And today I have a special treat to open our praise and worship, it’s an old Soca song from way back in 1985, called Magnificat, by the Calypsonian Penguin. I think it’s rather appropriate to be played in churches as what nowadays they call Contemporary Music. 

Google it and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And though you may not like the music, you can’t find any fault with the words, which are very appropriate for this Easter Season. So without further ado let’s burst into praiseful song with the ‘Magnificat’, in an easy rocking Soca melody. 

Listen to the intro of bells, organ and crackling guitar…then shout out: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ Now sing it again: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ 

Now let’s extol the praises of our God: ‘With joyous voices, my spirit rejoices. And my soul has soared, to magnify my Lord. For He took me so humble, And He made me His vessel. Oh yes, He chose me from all the rest. Nations from east and west will know I have been truly blessed.’ 

(Chorus: For He that is mighty has done great things, I can claim, Oh yes, He is risen, mighty, glory is His name. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah! – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah! (2)} 

From generation, unto generation, He has been the same, to all who hear His name. Never vengeful nor angry, He keeps showing His mercy, a mercy that comes from up above, filled with His precious LOVE. It’s a mercy I can tell you of. (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) 

And pride and conceit, from right in their front seat, with His arm so strong, the Master pull them down. Those who rich and have plenty, He send them away empty. But from the poor He don’t turn His face, Fills them with LOVING grace, And raise the humble to high place. (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) 

He has received well, His good servant Israel. If you serve Him true, He will receive you too. Just like he spoke to Jonah, Abraham and Elijah, He still talks to us everyday, In His own special way, Listen and you’ll hear what He says. (Chorus: For that he is mighty…. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah…!’  

Oh friends, what beautiful music and words of exaltation to our wonderful God. I know heaven was dancing and singing along with us. And I was listening to the song and rocking along while I was typing it. (smile) Now that brings us to our Bit; exciting words from Bruh David: ‘I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.’ 

Ah mih people, although I believe we might have used that Bit recently, I thought it was the most appropriate one for the ‘Magnificat.’ For our God LOVES nothing more than to hear us praise Him and give Him thanks for all He’s done for us, since that’s one of the reasons He created us. And I don’t think we do that sufficiently, or when we do, with a sincere enough heart. We seem to take Him and His LOVING-kindness too much for granted. 

But that’s wrong my brethren, because it’s only by His great mercy and precious LOVE that we still exist in this sinful, ungodly world. That means we ought to pay much more attention to our praise and worship if we truly want to reap the fruits that the Lord has set aside for us. 

As Bruh David says in his prayer for God’s help: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7) 

Oh friends, we can perform no greater oblation to our magnificent and magnanimous God, than giving Him endless thanks and praise.

And we’ll close with some more appropriate words from Bruh David. ‘But I have trusted in thy mercy (LOVING-kindness); my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’ (Ps.13:5-6) 

And that’s no lie my fellow believers, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with all of us, so let’s praise Him joyfully nuh and rejoice in His salvation, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…from the mouths and hearts of believers…ought to come unbidden…oodles of praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2017 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.   Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.

Add another one friends! Yes, add another blessed day to your earthy life. The Lord’s just overwhelming in His generosity towards us, for which we ought to be thankful. And it’s Friday too, thus the workingman is singing his song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday… And am I ever ready for the weekend! The waters (alcoholic beverages) going to flow like water…the food’s going to be so plentiful that it’ll just blow yuh mind… and the music loud and heavy, with the bass line just thumping through yuh heart… Bredder! It going to be a great weekend of simply partying….party, party, party! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I simply cannot handle that much partying…and I definitely don’t want that bass line thumping through my chest. I’ve felt it already, and it’s not a pleasant sensation. 

On the serious side though, all of that is just too much. Where is our Maker in all of it eh? Shouldn’t we find some time for Him in all the ‘kerfuffle’ of the weekend? Surely we should! 

What about resting and getting ourselves ready to go back out next week and fight the good fight eh? None of that is contained in the workingman’s song, but there certainly is need for it, if we are to live well-balanced, godly lives. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is a much better tribute to the weekend. So let’s sing it with much gusto now nuh. ‘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.’ 

That’s much more realistic and sensible and doesn’t go overboard in any one direction, but keeps us balanced in God’s sensibilities. And it brings us to our Bit for today: ‘Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.’  

And yuh know what friends, until just now, I had no idea what the Bit would be. But as usual, I asked for guidance and then opened the Good Book… And lo and behold it opened unto the book of Jeremiah, and those were the first words that caught my eye. 

Yuh see how our God is faithful! And today He didn’t even have me searching for long. (smile) Some days He does though. So, as I keep saying, He won’t ask you to do something without giving you the wherewithal to do it. 

And in this particular case, though Jeremiah was having problems communicating with his people Israel, the Lord was still putting immortal words in his mouth. This section deals with Israel being like a drunken sailor come ashore; like the workingman above, with sin and virulent vice and ungodliness rampant in the nation. 

Therefore Jeremiah is crying out to his people, the warning words of their God. ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer.13:16) 

Oh my people, I believe the Lord is giving us the same warning today, because there’s no doubt that our world is as sinful, ungodly and licentious as that of Israel back then. I’ll even wager that we are worse than them. And if the Bible is our Guide Book for earthly living, then we ought to pay careful attention to such words of warning anytime our world parallels those gone before. 

And moreover, I believe that all the natural and man-made disasters that have been recently befalling our world are also warning signs from God. We can sit down and debate and contemplate all we want, but the truth of the matter is that Almighty God exists, and He does not cotton to sin in any society in His universe. 

And eventually, there comes a time, after giving that society time to repent and move away from their sinfulness, that He unleashes His awesome wrath on selfsame society, and either brings them to heel, or wipes them out completely. 

We just have to go back through history to see the many societies which became powerful and sinful, and not worshipping Holy God, that eventually became extinct. Some of them were so violently and rapidly wiped off the map, that we have very little information or artifacts from their ascendancy here on earth. 

Oh my people, all I’m saying is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Let’s take in front before in front takes us nuh. Let’s take God’s warnings seriously and change our sinful ways, before He obliterates us in His anger. 

As the psalmist recommends in Psalm 96 – A call to praise God: Let’s ‘Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. 

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen (gentiles) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps.96.7-10) 

All I can say friends, is that for our own sakes, we had better take that wise advice, otherwise…crapaud will eventually smoke we pipe! Much LOVE!

…a word of warning to the wise…is sufficient…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

So friends, it’s Monday…But the good news is that both in Canada and the U.S it’s a public holiday. In the U.S it’s Columbus Day, celebrating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in the 1490’s. Meanwhile, in Canada, we’re celebrating our Thanksgiving Day with feasting and festivity, and hopefully thanks and praise to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s recently showered down on our land.  

Let’s also be thankful that hurricane Nate did not do much damage to the part of Louisiana that it passed over yesterday. Ah Lord eh! Hopefully this will be the last storm for this year, for the area could not handle much more disaster. Don’t forget to include in our prayers those who have recently suffered serious setbacks and that they are on their way to recovery and rebuilding their lives. Remember too the ones who are still undergoing trials and tribulations.  

And let’s hope that all this unexpected calamity serves as a wake-up call for us to repent, to forsake our evil ways and get back into the good graces of Almighty God, for it’s difficult not to consider the unparalleled circumstances that have recently afflicted us as a warning from Him. So let’s pray that we will take the warning to heart and wisely make amends for our sinful ways, and once again make Him the undisputed God of our society. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, which means that in our 24/7 society, some people must go to work, regardless of the public holiday, and there’s no time harder to get up and go out to labour than on days like these, when the majority of people are off. So let’s send them out on a high note with a wonderful rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

In strong voice now, with lots of enthusiasm: ‘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 as always, the voices of those not going out to work are the loudest and most raucous since many of us have already been celebrating for the past couple days. (smile) And whether you like it or not, I have to remind us of Granny’s warning; that drunk or sober we need to mind our business very closely, as too much celebrating can make us cross over the Christian boundary line without even noticing it, thus giving the enemy a gleeful chance to invade our space, something we want to avoid at all costs.  

That brings us to our Bit, the words of Nehemiah to the people of Israel after they had rebuilt Jerusalem and had heard for the first time God’s Word read from His Holy Book by the scribe Ezra. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

It was indeed a day of rejoicing for those Israelites, many of whom had recently returned from captivity in Babylon and were enjoying freedom for the first time in many a day, if not the first time in their lives. We should also be in rejoicing and sharing mode, but more importantly, making sure that we give God His rightful deserts of thanks and praise for bringing us to this high standard of living, for it’s only through His generosity and magnanimity that it’s possible.  

Remember what we sang yesterday? ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow…’ And that’s the truth in spades! For as the Good Book tells us: ‘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.’ (Deut.8:18)  

Yeh friends, the Lord brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt and kept them in the wilderness for forty years, then enabled them to go into the Promised Land and take it over. Without His help, none of that would have been possible. Likewise without God’s help, our current prosperity would not have ever been realized. 

So I’m imploring us, that as we gather today, with friends, families and neighbours, let’s spend some time remembering and talking about the goodness of God towards us, and giving Him appropriate thanks and praise, glorifying and exalting His precious name, for each and every one of us has so many things to be thankful to God for in this our earthly journey. We didn’t reach this stage of evolution through our own efforts, but through God’s blessings. Consequently we ought to show the necessary gratitude. Much LOVE!

…it’s not about eating and drinking…but giving thanks…to be able to eat and drink…there is a big difference…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well my people, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day! But today is a special Sunday; it’s Thanksgiving Sunday in our wonderful country of Canada! Yes friends, this our Thanksgiving weekend, so we will be even more joyful and grateful in the Lord’s house today, as we give Him all the praise and glory and thankfulness that our hearts can produce for the awesome blessings He has bestowed on us over the past year. 

Oh, we’ve had our problems like everybody else, but I’m pretty sure that the blessings have outweighed the calamity. That’s why we have chosen to open with this old hymn of praise and thanks, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ written by Bishop Thomas Ken in 1674, with the additional chorus and words for verses 2 and 3 added by Michael Schroeder some years ago. 

So with joyful hearts and thankful spirits, let’s raise our voices to heaven offering sacrifices of praise in thrilling song. Sing it my people! ‘Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17) Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21) Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14) Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) Praise to the Father praise to the Son Praise to the Spirit Three in One. (Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4) Praise to the most high God we sing. (Psalm 136:2) Praise to our Savior, Lord and King. (2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 74:12) 

{Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, (Psalm 96:2) Praise our God, for our God saves. (Psalm 68:20)} Let every mouth the Lord proclaim. (Psalm 145:21) Let earth and heaven sing His praise. (Psalm 96:11) Let every knee before Him bow, (Romans 14: 11) Great is our God, the Lord of all. (Acts 10:36) {Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, Praise our God, for our God saves.} Praise, God from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ 

Oh friends that was wonderful! You could see the tears welling up in the Father’s eyes, so touched was He by our thankfulness. And you’ll notice that in this version they gave us the scripture verses from whence the words came, and I chose to leave them in the first time around, for those of us might want to check them out. 

And we all know that in times of indecision, so often our first choice is our best. And so it was with our Bit. It was my first choice… and then I had doubts, so I checked out several other scriptures. But the Holy Spirit brought me right back to this one, as being the best choice for today. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

These were the words of Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem, after they had finished repairing the walls and houses and Ezra the scribe had read from the Book of the Law written by Moses for the people in the public square. That generation of Israelites had never heard the Word before. And when they were done, ‘Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh.8:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we ought to have on hearing the wonderful Word of our magnanimous and magnificent God read out loud, especially on a special day like today. Can you imagine how those people felt on hearing the Word for the first time? Hn! The elders had to tell them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’(Neh.8:9b)  

I just wish that many more of us could be so moved when we heard the Word, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, without much emotion. That leads me to a New Testament scripture, where Bruh Paul, is writing to the Corinthians, about Death being swallowed up in victory. Then a couple verses later he makes this awesome statement of truth. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:57).  

Oh friends, without the great and unconditional LOVE of God towards us, shown by the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for our sakes, we’d have very little, if anything to be thankful for today. So having had the Word of the Lord read to us, and the joy of His Spirit flowing through us, let’s go home and do as the Israelites did on that faithful and fateful day. ‘And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh. 8:12) 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s eat and drink and be merry this Thanksgiving weekend because it is our just due from all our labour. But let’s remember two important things. First off, let’s not get too carried away in our celebrations, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ We don’t want to give the enemy any chance to invade our spirits.

And the next thing is to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are, and like the Israelites did, send portions to those whom you can send to, for whatever the Lord has given us was meant to be shared. And for those far away, the many suffering from all the recent natural disasters, donate whatever you can to help, and also remember them in your prayers, for you never know when you might end up in their situation and need the help of others. Much LOVE!

…Thanksgiving…a special time to give thanks…and show thankful LOVE…  

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2017 Psalm 55:16.

Psalm 55:16.   As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.

‘Alive! Still alive! Still alive and kicking! Give God the glory!’ Yeh friends, the ole fella is still alive and kicking! What an honour! 

That means God still has some plan for me to accomplish. And though I might not be kicking as healthily and actively as I’d like, once I’m alive, I have hope that things can get better. But if I’m not alive, things can’t get any better here on earth. (smile) 

So let’s praise our wonderful God and give Him much, much thanks for everyday we open our eyes to a bright new morning with Jesus the focus of our lives. Glory to God! 

So it’s Friday and the workingman is overjoyed at his short stint of upcoming freedom, and understandably shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday mih breddren! No more labour till Monday! We going to laugh and sing and party like there was no tomorrow…

For who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow anyway! So let’s party up a storm and enjoy the fruits of we labour nuh like Cousin Sol, the wisest man ever, advised. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend oui!’  

And Cousin Sol did advise that my friends, but I don’t think he meant for us to go overboard with it, as the workingman seems to advocate. I believe he would have liked to see some boundaries, boundaries that did not allow the enemy to get into our lives. 

He’d much prefer a statement along the lines of our Friday Chant, which advocates a tad more circumspection. So let’s give voice to our Friday Chant nuh…declare it like we truly mean it. ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, I guess that’s what you’d call erring on the safe side (smile). But there is an enormous benefit to it; spending more time with God and less with the enemy! And anytime we can do that, we’re winning the battle of life. 

That brings us to our Bit; the proclamation of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – the cry against deceitful friends. In the midst of it all, he faithfully and boldly declares: ‘As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.’ 

What awesome faith my brethren! How many of us boldly make such declarations when the trials and tribulations of life are coming against us eh? Not as many as should, I’d dare to say. 

When times are good, we talk a good talk, but when they get rough, the exact time when we desperately need God, too many of us forget Him, give up hope and allow the ever-lurking enemy to confuffle us even further. That’s foolish, unproductive and ungodly behaviour my fellow believers, which severely detracts from our faith walk. 

Instead, we should be declaring powerful acclamations like Bruh David did after our Bit: ‘Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.’ (Psalm 55:17) Yeh precious people of God, when our prayers are constantly being floated up to heaven, we are assured of more assurance in our faith walk. (smile) 

That’s why Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) And the scholars tell us that ‘the constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude (even) in the face of adversity.’ 

What more can we ask eh friends? Not a whole lot. To be grateful in the rough times is the mark of a true believer. And Bruh Paul also exhorted Timothy to prayer when he wrote. ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

So again we see that prayer should not only be constant, but it can be done anywhere, preferably ‘with a pure life without disputes.’ 

And we won’t forget to mention Jesus’ advice on the subject. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ’18:1. To faint means to “lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ Exactly the message I’ve been trying to covey my fellow believers. 

Now we’ll close with a powerful example of what we’re talking about. It’s about Daniel, when his enemies plotted against him and had the king sign a law that forbade anyone to ‘ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.’ (Dan.6:7b). 

They knew that the only way they could get to Daniel was through his God. But Daniel was not perturbed. The Good Book tells us: ‘Now when Daniel knew that the writing (written decree) was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a (that) day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime (had been doing all along). 

Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.’ (Dan.6:10-11) 

And we all know the story how Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den but the Lord stopped them from harming him. 

Oh friends, examples like Daniel have been placed in the Word to encourage and uplift us, so that we too can take courage in the efficacy of prayer. Please, let’s use them productively nuh, like our caring and compassionate God intended. Much LOVE!

…to pray…and yet to pray…and still yet to pray…that is the answer…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2017 Jeremiah 13:16.

Jeremiah 13:16.   Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

Aye friends, top o’ the morn! Now yesterday’s cloudy beginning turned into a beautiful sunny spring day, let’s hope that today’s cloudy start will also turn into a majestic ending. 

But yuh know I’m beginning to dread opening my e-mail on a morning, because I’m been bombarded with too much unfortunate news. 

Yesterday I opened it and heard about my friend Jackie’s death. Today I open the e-mail and find out that she’s to be buried tomorrow at 11 a.m. exactly when I have an appointment with my heart doctor. Chuh! 

And this is not just an ordinary, routine appointment, but one to do some technical stuff to see if my heart has improved over the last few months. So you can imagine the quandary that I’m in; I don’t want to miss Jackie’s funeral, but I do want to know what’s happening with my ole ticker. 

Anyway, I’ll just leave it all in the Lord’s hands and see how He works it out. But this morning we’re going to pray a prayer that I discovered on one of my office walls last night while looking for something else. 

And I have to laugh at the Lord’s mysterious workings, because this is a prayer that I ought to see every time I enter the office and go to sit behind the desk. But I obviously don’t. 

Ah Lord eh! I believe I’ve shared it with you a long time ago, but is it ever so appropriate for these trying times in which we’re currently living! 

So please pray with me: ‘Dear God: I want to thank you for what you have already done. I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards; I am thanking You right now! I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better; I am thanking You right now! 

I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me; I am thanking You right now! I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears; I am thanking You right now! 

I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves; I am going to thank You right now! I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet; I am going to thank You right now! 

I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job; I am going to thank You right now! I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief; I am going to thank You right now! 

I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed. I am thanking You right now! I am thanking You because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I am thanking You because Father, You haven’t given up on me! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, what a beautiful prayer! Our God is just so good! And the important and amazing thing is that He’s so good, ALL THE TIME! Oh Praise His Holy Name my people! 

And if we’d give our wonderful God thanks and praise more often than we do, our lives would be so much better, but we’re just stubborn and hardheaded, and just seem to make our lives harder than necessary. 

And I like how this prayer just fits nicely with our Bit. ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ 

Now our God doesn’t want to cause darkness in our lives, but if we’re continually disobedient, we leave Him no choice. It’s just like us with our children; we don’t like to punish them, but constant disobedience does call for some harsh consequences. 

Hear how the psalmist puts in Psalm 96 – A call to praise God. ‘Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth his salvation (proclaim the good news of his salvation) from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen (nations), his wonders among all the people. 

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 

Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due his name: bring an offering and come into his courts. 

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him all the earth. Say among the heathen (nations) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps.96:2-10) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the majesty and magnificence, the power and glory of our great God! Please, let’s give him the reverence and honour that are His rightful due nuh. It’s only common sense and wisdom to do so. 

Now let’s go home with our hearts filled with joy and reverence, praise and thanksgiving, as we declare our Wednesday Wail in unison and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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!’ 

Oh friends, let’s keep looking forward to that glorious future with Jesus nuh, for He is indeed the TRUTH, the LIGHT and the WAY! Much LOVE!

…in the LIGHT of Jesus…true believers overcome darkness…

 

 

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