Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2019 Psalm 107:25,29.

Psalm 107:25,29.   ​For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 

And it’s another Saturday in T&T! Glory be! And under a slight cloud cover, which hopefully will soon be dissipated by the bright, rising sun, the wonderful blue-green expanse of sea still lies before me, dotted with nondescript vessels in the foreground, but in the background, in its vastness, seemingly stretching out to forever over the horizon! Wow! What a mouthful! But I like it, and I do hope it conveys the beauty of the picturesque scene in front of me. (smile) 

Well we didn’t do anything of note yesterday, just hung around the hotel and rested, until in the late afternoon a couple of family members came to visit. They ended up taking us down to Petite Valley to get some roti. But imagine that nuh, nowadays yuh have to drive all the way to Petite Valley to get a decent roti. In my time, you could get a good roti on almost every street corner. But as they say times change and so do ways and people and situations. And for the record, the roti was good! (smile) 

But as we usually do on a Saturday, let’s take a gander at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘If you spend your life working, sleeping and doing the basics… Congrats! You’ve just wasted your precious life!’ 

Well…that’s somewhat of a toss-up. You need to do the basics of life, including working and sleeping, but just doing barely enough to get by, deprives you of some of the most enjoyable aspects that life can provide. So it’s always necessary to go the extra mile, take a risk, if you truly want to enjoy your life to the fullest. 

And the next quote advises: ‘The big lesson in life is never be scared of anyone or anything. Say what you want to say and do what you always wanted to do. You will never reach your goals if you are always scared of taking the next step.’ There is a fair amount of truth in that statement, and yes we shouldn’t be scared of anything or anyone in this life, because our great and wonderful God has not given us ‘a spirit of fear, but of power, of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) 

However, we can’t just go bulldozing through life to get our way. We need to be careful what we say and to whom, for our words will eventually come back to haunt us, like a boomerang comes back to the thrower. Remember, that there is much power in our words, and as true believers in Christ we have the responsibility to be accountable for our words. So don’t be scared to push ahead, but do have a modicum of circumspection! (smile) 

But we got to take a break go for brekkies now. The duchess is ready. Soon come! 

Back some three hours later after a filling breakfast over the road at the Radisson Hotel and a short nap. Must have that nap! (smile) And talking about quotes. Let’s not forget this one: ‘Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. If you hang on to things for too long, you will end up hurting yourself.’ 

Gospel truth that friends! People and things come and go in our lives for a reason or a season, but when their time is up, please don’t try to hold on to them because you will miss the next good thing that God has earmarked for you. And I’ve had to learn that from hard experience. Yeh mih breddren, when God closes a door, don’t try to push it back open, because He won’t open the new one unless you allow the last one to close. 

And the last quote says: ‘Rise above the storm, and you will find the sunshine. Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.’ That’s for certain sure friends. Above the storm clouds there is sunshine, and not all storms come to make our lives miserable and difficult, but some do come to clear the way. Remember the saying, there’s always a calm after a storm, and that’s gospel truth, as you would see if you look back at the storms you’ve had in your life. 

But friends, the only way to continually rise above the numerous storms that come against us, sometimes out of the clear blue sky, is by hooking your cart to the storm Maker and storm Calmer, Jesus Christ! No doubt about that people! Listen to what the psalmist says: ‘For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…’ And when we cry out to Him for succour: ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ (Ps.107:25, 29). 

If you believe that God created the universe and all therein and is still in control of it, then you should have no problem in believing His awesome power to create and calm storms, both literally and figuratively! Isaiah puts it thus in his 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) 

That’s how our awesome God deals with the figurative storms in our lives. And per the literal storms, hear Bruh David: ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

And if you want to see that in literal action, check out Matt.8:23-27 where Jesus was crossing the sea in a ship with the disciples and a raging storm arose, so much so that they began to take in water and the men were terribly afraid, but Jesus meanwhile was fast asleep in the back of the boat. When they woke Him up and made such a fuss, He berated 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.8:26-27) And so they should, because He created them and controls them! 

Ah friends, unfortunately storms are an essential part of life, and the ONLY way to handle them with suitable aplomb and patience is by having the Lord Jesus Christ as your guide and pilot in this life and the one to come. That’s wisdom and understanding of the most awesome kind! Much LOVE!

…when Christ is our pilot…storms don’t scare us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2016 Psalm 103:11

Psalm 103:11.   For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him.

Once again friends and neighbours, on this bright and beautiful Sunday morning, I’m coming to you from my little cottage by the sea in sweet Tobago, aptly called ‘Sea Breeze.’ (smile) 

Got back here late last night. And is it ever so good to be back home in Tobago again! As they say, there’s no place like home. And this is my home away from home right now. 

Anyway, this morning I’m bringing words of LOVE, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, understanding, grace, and blessings from our heavenly Father; all the attributes of which He is the Supreme Possessor and Giver. 

And all God’s people declared loudly: ‘Thanks be to God, who gives us generously of all His attributes!’ And we all know that as gospel truth friends! 

Now I’ve got a lot to share today, so let’s begin right away with this quote from our friend Anselm, who delights in inspiring us to live a better tomorrow. And this rather appropriate quote tells us that: ‘Believing is seeing. You gotta believe something will happen for you before you see it. Have faith in the process of getting there.’ 

And that’s ever so true my people! In Christ’s realm, you have to believe it before you see it. With Christ, believing is seeing, not like the world thinks, that seeing is believing. That’s where those two great attributes, hope and faith come in; for without them we can’t believe without seeing. 

And to help us along in that regard, Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) from his Hours of Power Devotional tells us about our EQ as opposed to our IQ. 

Now our IQ or Intelligence Quotient is naturally related to our intelligence. However, our EQ or Emotional Quotient is related to our hope and faith. Gramps defines a high EQ as ‘a heart that has strong faith, unquenchable hope, and passionate LOVE.’ 

Glory Hallelujah! Oh how I wish that all God’s children were blessed with such a high EQ! Unfortunately though, we’re not, but fortunately it is indeed possible and very necessary that we build up that high EQ. And that is all a part of what out Bit is about; trying to keep us focused on God, His Word and His plan for our lives. 

Now remember though, that the Bit IS NOT sufficient reading and studying material for a child of God. It is a useful catalyst, but we all need to get deeply involved in the Word and fellowship with other believers on our own. That’s the only way we’ll ever truly grow to a likeness of Christ, achieve a high EQ, which is our basic objective. 

Now I haven’t kept you all up to date on my recent activities, sorry about that, (smile) but I can only write what the Lord directs me to write. And thankfully He’s given me some room for that today. 

Well you all know that I was in Trinidad for the last few days. You also know I went to the Southland by water taxi and had a great time. 

On Friday evening we also had a rollicking time as some friends and family gathered with me in the lobby bar area of the Radisson Hotel where I was staying. The hotel has a happy hour every Friday evening from 5 to 7, but our happy hour lasted from about six to eleven. Hn, Hn! 

We laughed and talked and drank and munched some chicken wings the hotel provided, shared old memories and made some new ones that we can share at a later date. Glory to God! 

I saw a couple of friends whom I hadn’t seen since I left the UWI Mona campus in Jamaica in 1969. Brother! That’s something like 45 years. But what I like about these old friendships is that though we don’t see each other often, when we meet, it’s just like we saw each other yesterday, we pick up from right where we left off. That is what true friendships and relationships are all about! 

Enough about my activities though. I’ll leave yesterday’s activities for tomorrow though, because it was truly an eye opener for me, and will take up too much time and space. 

So let’s get to our oh so wonderful, encouraging and edifying Bit. ‘For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him.’ 

Yes Friends what a wonderful analogy to show how great God’s mercy is towards those of us who revere and worship Him – as high as the heaven is above the earth! Wow! That’s pretty high! So just imagine how much LOVING-kindness He has stored up and pours down on us nuh. 

And all I can say in response is: ‘All glory and honour be to our magnificent and magnanimous God who is so interested in our welfare, in every aspect of our lives!’ 

The problem here though is that many of us have a problem in truly believing that Almighty God, that great entity on high, can be interested in our plain and simple, lowly and mundane lives. But my people, He truly does. He made us and has a big stake in everything that happens in our earthly sojourn. 

Listen to how Bruh David continues in Psalm 103, from which our Bit is taken. ‘As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it (remember it) no more. 

But the mercy (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear (revere) him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.’ (Ps.103:15-17) 

Ah mih breddren, our God’s mercy spans time from whenever it began to whenever it ends, if ever, and is available to all generations during that time. What more can we ask eh? Not a whole lot, except His guidance and strength to keep on LOVING Him and being obedient to His holy will, so that we can keep on enjoying His (LOVING-kindness.) 

Yes friends, it is somewhat of a conundrum; we have to LOVE and obey God, but at the same time we do need His strength, wisdom and guidance to do it. Yuh see how we’re inextricably tied up with our Creator! 

And we’ll end with these wise words from Bruh David. ‘Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers (servants) of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.’ (Ps.103:21-22) 

Now that’s wisdom for all the ages! Much LOVE!

…yes…we do have free choice…but to wander away from God…means we’re not using that free choice wisely…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2016 Nehemiah 8:10c‏‏

Nehemiah 8:10c.    For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Hello there my faithful brethren, the ole fella’s in Trickidad (Trinidad); in the great metropolis of Port of Spain, the island’s capital! Glory to God! 

I came down by the ferry yesterday afternoon, a smooth two and a half hours’ trip, to see some friends and family I haven’t seen in ages. The last two years I’ve been here, I never really visited, just changed planes at Piarco airport to Tobago, and changed planes on the way back to Canada. 

I’m staying at a hotel right overlooking the water front, not far from the ferry dock. This foolishly led me to ask a chap there yesterday if I could walk to the hotel. ‘Oh yes!’ he declared. ‘It’s just a small walk to the Radisson,’ pointing out the building in the foreground. 

And having walked from the hotel to the ferry docks when I was here the first time, some four years ago, I knew it wasn’t that long. But back then I didn’t have a heavy bag in one hand and a suitcase in the other, neither was the sun as hot. 

So see me and the duchess walking down Wrightson Road in the busy four o’clock traffic, pulling our suitcases along a rough sidewalk, then having to cross over the busy road to get to the hotel. Hn! I just chalked it up to being my daily exercise. But never again! That’s all I have to say. (smile) 

The hotel is comfortable, not as big or as expensive as the Hyatt across the street. One of its more endearing features is the revolving restaurant at the top. We had dinner up there last night. The food was good, and while dining we spun a whole 360 degrees, which allowed a wonderful view of Port of Spain and its environs brightly lit up in the clear night sky. 

Today we’re thinking about taking a water taxi to San Fernando, the big city in the southern part of the island, but we’re not sure of that just yet. And as I look out my eleventh floor window in the early morning, I can see people already moving about, and that Wrightson Road is also fairly busy. 

But on a more important note, how many of you noticed the nonsense I did yesterday eh? Ah Lord eh! Lucifer must have been really playing games with my mind, for in all three headings I had the Bit listed as ‘Nehemiah 10c.’ Now what is that eh? Only the Lord alone knows. 

And in editing the Bit, I usually read it at least three times before sending it out. Steups! I don’t know what happened to me yesterday, if I was just rushing to get it done so I could get to the ferry on time or what. And sadly, it’s only this morning when I looked at it again, something clicked in my ole brain and I realized the mistake. Chuh! It just annoyed me, because I dislike making such fundamental mistakes. 

Anyway, yesterday is history, today’s a brand new day, filled anew with our wonderful God’s brand new mercies and compassions. As the prophet Jeremiah wisely and truthfully says in his Lamentations: ‘They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:23) Glory be! So I’ll forget about that mistake, and just hope I don’t make any more such glaring errors. (smile) 

Now let’s continue with our Bit: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ And indeed it is, for without His peace and grace and LOVE steadfastly in our hearts, we’ll not have any long lasting strength to withstand the numerous wiles and lies of the enemy. 

So yesterday we saw where Ezra, the priest began reading the law of Moses to the people. ‘And he read therein before the street (plaza) that was before the water gate from the morning (it was light) until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.’ (Neh.8:3) 

Oh my people, I just wish that statement could be made about us when we go to church or anywhere that the Lord’s Word is spoken. So often, so many of us are guilty of not paying attention to the reading of the Word, both aloud in church and in our own daily devotions. 

But yuh know friends, when we don’t pay proper attention, we’re not doing God anything nuh, because He already knows the Word, for He wrote it. But we are doing ourselves a great injustice when we don’t concentrate and meditate on it, because it’s His guideline for our successful earthly living. 

But moving on: ‘And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit (platform) of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah etc.…  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up; and 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. Also Jeshua etc… and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law; so the people stood in their place. 

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense (expounded the meaning), and caused them to understand the reading.’ (Neh.8:4-8) 

Now there were others there explaining and interpreting the Word to the people, most of whom were hearing the actual reading of the Word for the very first time in their lives. 

And the scholars offer this footnote. ‘8:7-8. In verse 7 the men gave the sense of the law (caused the people to understand) and then in verse 8 translated or read…distinctly from the Hebrew into Aramaic, the only language some of the people may have understood (cf. 13:24; Ezra 4:18). This would be the first mention of what developed as the Targums, or oral paraphrases of the Law, which were later written down.’ 

Now isn’t that behaviour of the olden people, very contradictory to ours when we hear the Word being read? It surely is, possibly because we’ve heard it a thousand times before, so we don’t pay particular attention. We allow the worldly saying that familiarity breeds contempt to seep into our souls. 

But that’s not right friends, we all should be as familiar and attentive to the Good Book as we possibly can, because that’s where our guidelines for living are ensconced. 

Now today, let’s ponder our personal familiarity with, and attentiveness to God’s Word, and with His help, try to improve it nuh. For that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t read and study the Guidebook of life…how will you know the guidelines for living…how to live life eh…

P.S.  I fixed the Scrip-Bit Blog from yesterday, so it’s perfect now. (smile) Much LOVE!