Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2018 Psalm 18:2.

Psalm 18:2.   The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength; in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).

Ah mih people, it’s that day again, the Sabbath! That means it’s time for celebration as well as holiness. And we can begin by joyfully declaring, as the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

And while we do that, we can also be wending our way to the Lord’s house to fellowship with other believers, to offer up sincere prayers, worship and give thanks for all the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, as well as to hear His word and regenerate our confidence. Wow! What an awesome God we serve my brethren! 

And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song, to loosen up our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Word. Today’s song is an old but wonderful hymn titled ‘My hope is built on nothing less,’ written by Edward Mote back in the 19th century. And on a point of interest, have you ever noticed that many of our beloved hymns were written way back when. 

Maybe it says something about the level and intensity of Christian praise and worship back then. Anyway, let’s sing, with raised voices and truthful hearts. ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. 

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in ev’ry high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the ‘whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. 

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my fellow believers! The only real safe and secure foundation on which to build is on Christ, our Rock and our Saviour. Anything else is merely sinking sand, and it’s only a matter of time before the whole edifice erected thereupon crumbles. 

That’s why Bruh David could stand up and declare our Bit with utmost confidence, and so too can we many thousands of years later. ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength; in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).’ 

Ah mih breddren, mih breddren what immortal words of comfort and assurance! And if we have Jesus as our guiding light, then we too ought to be able to declare them with audacity and boldness, for Jesus is indeed all those things to those who sincerely and truly believe in Him. 

And if Jesus is so mighty then, Bruh David is indeed right to declare after our Bit. ‘I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:3) And he did call upon the Lord, and the Lord saved him. (Ps.18:.4-16) Friends, yuh see how much time and trouble our Lord took to save Bruh David from his enemies? It’s the same way that He will save us if we call on Him with right hearts and sincere spirits. 

Hear Bruh David again: ‘He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented (confronted) me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay (support). 

He brought me forth also into a large (broad) place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.’ (Ps.18:16:21) 

Oh my people, none of us have as many enemies or problems as Bruh David had back in his day, and if the Lord saved him out of them all, why would He refuse to do the same for us if we bow down and faithfully worship Him and keep His will eh? No reason whatsoever! 

That means it’s all up to us. If we want to see the goodness of God, then we have to do the things that will produce it. We can’t just sit back and expect it to fall in our laps. So let’s get serious and do our part of the partnership nuh, if we want so see fruitful results. 

Remember, we only reap what we sow. And if we don’t sow righteousness and LOVE, we won’t receive the Lord’s blessings. Much LOVE!

…For who is God…save (except) the Lord…or who is a rock…save (except) our God… (Ps.18:31)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2018 Ezekiel 19:10.

Ezekiel 19:10.   Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood (bloodline), planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.

HAPPY  MOTHER’S  DAY!

And then it was Sunday once again, our favourite day for worship, but it’s also a special Sunday where we celebrate the Mother figures in our lives. Those feminine towers of awesome strength and assurance, the backbone of our society. And in my search, I discovered a real appropriate and praiseworthy hymn dedicated to them. It’s called ‘Honour Christian Mothers’ and is sung to the tune of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ 

So let’s open today’s proceedings paying sincere homage to the matriarchs in our midst nuh. In full voice let’s sing: ‘(Chorus) Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God; Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord.) Following His commandments, showing us the way: LOVE and faith and kindness; teaching us to pray. (Chorus) 

“Let it be,” say mothers, trusting to obey, Finding strength, grace for every day. Challenges surround us, but we will not fear. God’s LOVE will sustain us, help, our cross, to bear. (Chorus) God be with our mothers who have gone before, certain of His promise: life forevermore. In His many mansions, LOVE again we’ll share, He will take away all sorrow, wipe away each tear. (Chorus) 

Honour Christian Mothers – Heaven’s gift of LOVE. Join with them in service to the Lord above. Follow their example, let your lights so shine – All will see your goodness, praise the One Divine. (Chorus) Onward, still, ye mothers, tho’ the time will come; Sons will leave their parents, daughters leave their homes. We’ll remain united, Mother’s legacy; One in LOVE and faithfulness, One in charity. (Chorus).’ 

Oh friends, I could not find out the author of those lyrics, but they surely are a terrific tribute to the Mothers that raise and LOVE us! And if you’ll remember people, yesterday morning I got up and went downstairs early on to get something to eat. Well here is what the Lord caused me to write about Mother’s Day, before I came back up to bed. 

‘Wherefore, O wherefore art thou Mothers? Is it because of the original sin that you have been given the painful and difficult, but ever so necessary task of bearing children in thy womb, birthing them in travail, then raising them in deceitful and cantankerous families? 

Well, whatever the reason, I want to acknowledge that you have done a marvellous, a fantastic job down through the ages, and your God and mankind are very proud of you. Therefore, we wish you ALL Mothers, a very happy, blessed and prosperous Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day Mothers! 

And you know, as tears well up in my eyes, my one regret is that my mother, Molly, is not here so I can share those fateful words with her. Oh, like all of us, she had her faults, but nonetheless, she was a mother par excellence! 

Yeh Mols, although it’s been almost seven years now since you went to be with Lord, the ole fella misses you, and is crying, as he seems to do every Mother’s Day without you. That’s the one time the tears come without any reservation whatsoever. (smile) 

And I’m surely sorry if I didn’t treat or appreciate you as well as I should have. But I know in your sweet soul, you’ve already forgiven me for that. So rest in peace, please Mols sugar. And I do hope that you are cavorting in heaven with Jesus and the angels, as is your right as a believer.’ 

Oh friends, there will always be some resilient guilt in us, as to whether we treated our mothers as best we could. But please don’t let it cause us grief, because we’ve already been forgiven for it, since that’s what good mothers do. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood (bloodline), planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.’ 

And although that scripture was meant to pertain to Israel, there are so few real references to mothers, all of which I have already used. I wanted something new, and this fits the bill perfectly, for that is exactly how mothers are. They are like a fruitful vines planted by nourishing waters, just bearing good fruit regardless of the circumstances. They are like fountains of living waters, always bubbling forth with goodness and mercy. 

One psalmist put it this way: ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home) and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.113:9) Yeh my brethren, we should absolutely praise the Lord for mothers, since we’d be completely lost without them. 

And I’m chuckling here as I come to the end of this Mother’s Day message, because it’s something I also wrote yesterday, though not under my own steam. The Lord played one of His tricks on me. Yesterday morning after I went back up to bed, He got into my head with all sorts of stuff for this message, and finally I had to get up and write it down. 

And this is what I wrote. ‘Son’s honour your mothers because they, or rather you are a significant part of them, since they bore you for nine painful, uncomfortable months, and it’s to them that your navel string was attached. And most likely they’ve played a most significant role in your life. So it behooves you to adore and revere them. 

Daughters, please endear yourselves to your mothers, because one day you might also be a mother. And since we reap what we sow, your child will probably treat you the way you treat your mother. 

And finally, let’s not only celebrate our Mothers on this one day of the year, but everyday of their earthly sojourn, for they have certainly put in their time and testimony to deserve it.’ Much LOVE!

…a Mother’s LOVE…is like the Lord’s…unconditional…always caring…and never ending…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2017 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.

‘Blow the trumpet, sound the horn… And welcome another ‘loverly’ Monday morn!’ 

Now that just raises a cacophony of negative noises in the background; hissing of teeth, cursing, and complaints like ‘Yuh mad or something boy? Where you ever hear them welcoming Monday as a lovely morn eh? Steups! Monday morning is more a pain in the butt than anything else yes!’ 

And I respond by saying that’s because we have not planned properly for it. We all know that after Sunday is Monday and we have to get up to go to work. So why don’t we prepare ourselves as needed to do so eh? I guess it’s just the innate contrariness in us. (smile) 

But anyway, we have the right prescription for any negative feelings you have this morning. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. And when we sing it lustily, it just chases away all those Monday morning blues. So let’s put down a real lusty rendition now nuh. 

‘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!’ 

Wow mih breddren! That was certainly lusty! And yuh see how it drove away all your negative feelings. So let’s get a move on, make hay while the sun shines and the irons are hot and get out into the feckless, fickle, foolish world and spread the good news, the wonderful LOVE of our Lord and Saviour, our fearless Leader, Jesus Christ. 

Yes friends, we can go out and battle the enemy mano a mano (man to man) because of the assurance we have in scriptures like our Bit. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.’ 

And if that is not written deep and indelibly in your soul, then you are in trouble. For without the backing of Almighty God we cannot successfully fight the evil prince of this fallen world and his numerous evil cohorts. But with God sincerely entrenched in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, we can move mountains! 

Remember how Jesus put it to His disciples when they could not heal an epileptic man? ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence unto yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you.’ (Matt.17:20) 

Ah mih people, we certainly have to believe, if we want to achieve. Now let’s check out a couple of other scripture passages which reassure us of God’s help and place of refuge in times of trouble.  First up are these verses from Psalm 33 – Praise to the Lord for his creation. 

‘Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps.33:18-22) Please note the psalmist’s sentiment in the last verse – for God’s mercy to fall on us in proportion to our hope in Him. As we sow, we shall reap. 

And we all know the famous words of Psalm 121 – God’s sustaining power. ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 

The Lord is thy keeper (protector): the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve (keep) thy soul. The Lord shall preserve (keep) thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’ (Ps.121:1-8)  

And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! What a mighty God we serve and worship!’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers. So with that assurance bubbling up in us, let’s go out now and fight the good fight with Christ, as we battle diligently in His LOVE Revolution, to retake the world from the evil prince of darkness. Much LOVE!

onward Christian soldiers…to fight…to fight…and to keep on fighting…with Jesus at our helm…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2017 Psalm 121:2.

Psalm 121:2.    My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

And then it was Saturday… and the rains have stopped…though for how long, no one knows. Yes friends Friday was a wonderful rainy day! (smile) I left home to go to my appointment in the city around eleven in the morning, but did not get back home until four thirty in the afternoon, and all throughout that time it rained steadily.

At one stage they were even talking about closing the main north south highway, Don Valley Parkway because it runs near to the Don River which overflows its banks and floods the highway when there is a lot of rain. And strangely enough there wasn’t as much traffic as I expected going into the city yesterday. It was harder traversing the downtown roads than the highway. I guess the rain kept a lot of people away. 

So Jesus and I just rode in companionable silence, looking out at the bleak and dreary landscape, listening to the variety of beautiful tunes emanating from the stereo system, smiling at each other when a particular tune that we liked blared forth. Oh my brethren, it’s such a pleasure riding with Jesus, I just wish more of us would consider it. You’d never go back to riding alone. 

Anyway it’s Saturday, which means we have to check out some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, whose avowed aspiration is to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Listen to this first one: ‘Plant your garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.’ Yeh, we ought to have a big hand in building our own lives, not merely waiting for others to boost us…with God in attendance though. 

And that leads to this: ‘Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.’ Oh so true my people! We should NEVER allow ourselves to be bullied period! And again, I would add, define yourself…but with God’s wise help. (smile) 

Now hear this last quote: ‘People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.’ 

Now I agree that we should not allow our circumstances to control us, but we must also be very careful in trying to manipulate circumstances to fit our agenda, for they can very often run contrary to God’s plans for us. So again I will have to add a caveat to the quote: do nothing without talking to God first. That’s wisdom 101 my faithful breddren! 

That brings us to our Bit, which espouses that very wisdom. ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.’ 

Yes friends, we saw that in yesterday’s reading of Psalm 121. And if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then that should be the overriding factor in every one of your decisions. For if the Lord made the heaven and the earth, then whom else would you logically turn to for help eh? Obviously the great Creator!  God should always be our FIRST counsellor, not our LAST, as so many of us unfortunately tend to make Him. 

Now let’s check out some scripture that wisely advises us to keep God first place in our lives. Listen to Moses as he blesses the tribes of Israel before his death. ‘Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency (majesty)! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee (submit to you); and thou shalt tread upon (down) their high places (places of pagan worship). (Deut.33:29) 

Ah friends, those same circumstances pertain to us today, provided we are obedient to God’s law. But since we are so blatantly flouting it, what else can we expect but negative consequences; calamity and disaster.  

And the psalmist puts it this way. ‘Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps.33:20-22) 

And you’ll notice I highlighted that last piece, because there is a rather important proviso contained therein; as we hope and believe in and obey the Lord, He will bless us proportionately. We will only reap what we sow. 

And we’ll end with these interesting verses from the prophet Hosea, as he foretold Israel’s destruction. ‘O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? And thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.’ (Hos.13:9-11) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh, and His wrath is not something we really want to experience. But if we continue down our current road of disobedience, believe me, we will eventually feel it. So true wisdom dictates that we repent and return to the godly ways we once followed, if we want to enjoy the Lord’s grace and mercy. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2013 Deuteronomy 28:1

Deuteronomy 28:1.    And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee high above all nations of the earth.
 
Ah mih people, in this rough and rugged world, when it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another yes. Now yesterday my allergies were bothering me, but I beat them off. Today though, I couldn’t get up. Like the ole body was more tired than I thought.
 
However, as the old people would say; better late than never. So if the Bit’s a tad late, please bear with the ole fella, let your tender mercies and forgiveness, your Christian compassion come to the fore, as you remember that he’s only human and thus very fallible. (smile) And that’s why they say B.S. baffles brains!
 
But I have an interesting acclamation to share today. It comes from Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen), so those of you who deal with him might have already seen it, but for the many who don’t, it’s very useful to share.
 
And Bubba Joel excitingly declares in the title: ‘TODAY IS MY DAY! God has destined me to be a barrier breaker! He created me to be uncontainable. I have talent and potential given to me by the Creator of the universe. There are seeds of greatness inside of me. Today, I choose to break free from a limited mindset and enlarge my vision.
 
Today, God is taking me places I’ve never even dreamed of before. Today, God is fulfilling His purpose and destiny in my life. Today, I will experience His favour like never before in every area of my life.’
 
Yes Friends, we all need to enlarge our vision and change our mindset to one that expects God’s favour, His goodness and mercy, every day of our lives, otherwise we’re more than likely to short-change ourselves.
 
Oh I know that lots of people cry down what’s generally called prosperity and positive thinking, but why not embrace it instead eh? Jesus said that He came to earth so that we could have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
 
So what does that mean eh? It surely doesn’t mean we should live poor, downtrodden lives. But neither does it mean that every believer will become filthy rich in worldly goods and live high on the hog, as some preachers preach, and some believers believe. I think it means that generally speaking, true believers will live a decent, above average life.
 
For as our Bit so wonderfully puts this everlasting promise of our great and wonderful God: ‘And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee high above all nations of the earth.’
 
As usual Friends, our God’s pronouncements are plain and simple: obey, and you’ll be blessed. ‘And all these blessings shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.’ (Deut. 28:2)
 
Ah mih people, how wonderful He is eh! He even goes on to spell out in more detail, the many fabulous blessings He has in store for us, if we obey His rules.
 
‘Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body (offspring), and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine (cattle), and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store (kneading bowl). Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
 
The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten (defeated) before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Deut.28:3-8)
 
Oh my brethren, what’s in that not to understand eh? But being foolish, rebellious, prideful, think we know it all, trusting in our own sub-par provision, we’ve turned from the Lord. And what’s the result? We’re obviously reaping what we’ve so stupidly sown with our disobedience; poverty, sickness, economic distress, war, strife, and all other sorts of disasters and calamities.
 
But do you think we’ll even for a moment sit down and seriously ponder the situation? Oh no! Because Beelzebub has us in grip, we’re so firmly ensconced in the palms of his hands, we can’t escape his evil hold, for we’ve sold our souls to him for the worthless treasures of this soon to be destroyed world.
 
And we’ll end with this simple, straightforward, but oh so important verse of scripture. ‘The Lord shall establish thee a holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.’ (Deut.28:9)
 
Oh Friends, it can’t get any simpler and more straightforward than that! So please, today, as true believers in Jesus Christ, let’s all pluck up our courage, pick ourselves up from wherever we’ve fallen, and believe God for a good and decent life, if we follow His dictates. 
 
And it’s not like we haven’t seen it played out just as He said, all down through the centuries; from the days of Jewish prosperity, to their calamities when they disobeyed, right down to our earlier prosperity when we were a more godly people, to our now divisive, disaster and strife torn world, as we’ve become very idolatrous and disobedient.
 
So it’s not like the words of the Good Book haven’t been played out and found to be true. It’s just that we’re obstinate, rebellious, prideful and foolish.
 
So please my people, let’s try and make some wise changes nuh, once again becoming obedient to God’s Word, starting TODAY! That’s wisdom of the most immense proportions. Much LOVE!
 
…if you want to disobey…then know that you’ll surely pay…and pay large too…