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 12 February 2019 Psalm 107:29.

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to these wonderful words from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; They see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

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

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

So I know what the psalmist is talking about, and so do many of you, that’s why I’m amazed that we don’t do as he recommends: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

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

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

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

And I guess the answer can only be found in the immortal words of Jesus, when the disciples in their fear and terror during a stormy ship crossing, awoke Jesus sleeping quietly in the back of the boat, ‘saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:25-27) 

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

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

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

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2018 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26:   And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Well here we are again on a Sunday morning, hopefully getting ready to visit, or having already visited the Lord’s sanctuary to get our reassurance and strengthening for the upcoming week, through praise, worship, fellowship and hearing the Lord’s word.

And I like Bruh Paul’s reasoning in Romans 10, re those calling on the name of the Lord shall be saved, especially when he asks: ‘how can they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) That’s why we have preachers! (smile) 

But before we hear the word, let’s get into some hearty praise and worship to soften our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Lord’s dialogue. And today’s song of praise is one we all know and LOVE, titled, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand.’

According to Wikipedia, it ‘is a gospel pop song composed by Gene MacLellan and first recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray from her third studio album ‘Honey, Wheat and Laughter.’ 

Wow! I knew that our very own Canadian Songbird from down the East coast had sung it, but I never knew she was the first to record it. And since then it’s been recorded numerous times by all kinds of singers and musicians.

Today, we’re going to send up a blazing, brilliant, harmonious and magnificent rendition to our heavenly Father, showing our sincere gratitude for all that He’s done for us through His Son, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s bring tears of joy to the eyes and hearts of those in heaven as we sing: (Chorus: ‘Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea. Take a look at yourself, and you can look at others differently. Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.) 

Every time I look into the Holy Book, I wanna tremble. When I read the part where the carpenter cleared the temple See those buyers and the sellers were no different fellas Than what you and I profess to be. And it causes me shame to know that man is not what he should be. (Chorus: Put your hand in the hand…) 

Hey, my mama taught me how to pray, before I reached the age of seven When I’m down on my knees, hey, I’m close to heaven. My daddy lived his life with two kids and a wife and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do But he showed me enough of what it takes to see you through 

This is what he used to tell me… Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea Ya got’a take a good look at yourself, then you can look at others differently Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.’ 

Magnifico my brethren, Magnifico! The eyes in heaven are all filled with tears of joy! Glory be! And believe you me, that rendition was so sweet that the Father was singing along with us, not to mention that He is also grateful for the Son’s unwavering obedience in His plan to save our undeserving souls.  

Now hear the word. The story goes like this: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) 

The answer to that question is not rocket science friends, but is quite simple: the winds and the sea obey Him because He made them and still controls them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the words of the psalmist:

‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (don’t know what to do)

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

 Yes friends the seafarers know the Lord’s power, His all-around control of the wind and the sea, so they know to look to Him for succour in time of need. My brethren, we too should realize and acknowledge the Lord’s omnipotence and majesty and revere Him, surrender our lives, put our sincere trust in Him and His awesome Son, the man from Galilee, who rebuked the winds and the waves and caused them to be calm.

So let’s wise up and take His hand nuh; and hold it very tightly too, don’t ever let go!  It’s a no-brainer my people; the height of wisdom! Much LOVE!

..whose hand would you prefer to hold over Jesus’ eh…NOBODY’S…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2018 Psalm 107:29.

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

Oh mih people, I know that this Monday morning as many of us are struggling to get up and go to work under difficult circumstances, we are also asking; ‘Wherefore art thou sweet Jesus?’ You can include me in that lot. (smile) That’s because we expect Jesus to solve our every problem without any suffering on our part, or at least a minor amount. 

But He never promised that there wouldn’t be rough times. In fact, He told us to expect them, even if it’s only because we believe in Him. What He did promise is that He would see us through the storms of life, hold our hands, and bring us out safely on the other side. 

So let’s not get all up in arms against our Lord and Saviour if we are experiencing trying times this morning. Instead let’s put all our confidence in Him, in His faithful promises. For if He gave up His sinless life for us, why wouldn’t He help us through our dark times eh? And to help boost our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong voice and nuff sincerity. 

As one 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!’ 

Oh friends, it never ceases to amaze me how that prayer can cause the adrenaline to flow and our spirits to be lifted! So let’s be wise and ride it out nuh, do our thing for Jesus, whatever it may be, and stay strong under His protection and guidance, for He is the ONLY One who can truly protect us from the storms of life. 

Hear this telling and truthful scripture from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men – that includes our Bit. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet: so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Yuh see friends, the seafarers knew exactly what the psalmist was talking about, because they experienced it all the time. And I too can testify to that scripture, as I got caught out on the stormy Lake Ontario some years ago, and believe me, it was indeed a frightening scene. 

Out in the middle of the lake in a relatively small boat, surrounded by four scared, drunken men. Only the skipper and I were sober, as the boat dangled up and down between the great waves. But obviously the Lord calmed the stormy waves, and I am still here to tell the story. 

I thought I had seen bad storms on the ocean, but that one on Lake Ontario took the cake. As I’ve said before, I’d read about the shivering of timbers on a boat in a storm, but that fateful day I experienced it in living colour. And let me tell you, it wasn’t one I’d like to experience again. 

And the best way to end today’s Bit is with this actual story of Jesus as he crossed the Sea of Galilee in a boat with His disciples. On the way over a violent storm arose, but Jesus didn’t budge, he remained asleep. However, the disciples were scared out of their minds and ‘came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matthew 8:25-27) 

Oh my fellow believers, we shouldn’t have to ask that question because we ought to know whom Jesus is – The Son of Almighty God, who made the universe and all therein, therefore He has control over it all. Consequently, He can also quiet the storms in our lives, if we would just let Him. Much LOVE!

…let God be God…in your life…that’s the only wise way to live…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to your faith be it unto you.

Oh mih people, what’s going on with the ole fella’s brain eh? How come I had us declare Thursday’s Blessings on Wednesday eh? And there I was boldly declaring it along with you all. And it never even struck a chord…

Hn, hn! I guess that’s why I had to go into the city for a brain scan this morning. (smile) And by the way, that’s why the Bit is so late. 

I went out partying yesterday evening down to the CNE to see local boy Jay Douglas and Jamaica’s first lady of song, Miss Marcia Griffiths, both of whom were excellent, unleashing sweet Reggae music on the Lakeshore. 

With the confusion down there, soccer game over and the regular Exhibition crowd, I never got home till around midnight, then had to get up early to go and get my noggin checked out, so time and energy was at the very minimum. 

And you know it wasn’t until around four in the afternoon yesterday that I realized my foopah (faux pas). But I have a great theory about it. The Lord in His usual mysterious and wondrous ways realized that some of us needed to declare our blessings, be thankful for them yesterday, rather than today, so that’s why He made me do it. Good try! 

However, it would be very interesting to know how many of you realized that I had the wrong day? I’m sure many of us just went along with it like sheep to the slaughter and never even noticed the error. But all I can do is ask your forgiveness and say ‘dem’s the breaks.’ (smile) 

And we’ll go now to our Bit, which we began using two days ago, but got sidetracked yesterday. They are the immortal words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to two blind men who wanted Him to restore their sight. ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ 

And those words still stand today as a testimony of our Christian walk on this earth. The stronger our faith becomes, the more we will see the movement of God’s hands in our lives. 

Now in our last message on this Bit, we focused on Jesus’ example of great faith, constantly turning to the Father for wisdom and advice in His earthly sojourn. Today, I want to look at some examples of great faith on the part of humans in the Bible. 

We’ll begin with the story of the roman Centurion who came to ask Jesus for healing on behalf of his sick servant, but when Jesus agreed to go to his house, the Centurion replied; “Lord, I’m not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant should be healed. 

For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great a faith, no, not in Israel.’ (Matt.8:8-10) 

Yes friends, the Centurion was a Gentile, who at that time had no place in Christ’s body, yet he recognized the power and authority which resided in Jesus, unlike His Jewish people. 

On the other hand, Jesus chastised His disciples when they were crossing the sea of Galilee and a storm arose, and they woke Him up afraid for their lives, ‘saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? 

Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:25-27) 

Ah friends, although the disciples had seen Jesus do other miracles, their faith was still rather small. That’s why sometimes we can’t get too annoyed with those today who find it difficult to believe in Jesus. 

But you’ll never believe, never earn faith until you stand up and get out of the boat like Peter did to walk on the water with Jesus. And even though Jesus rebuked him when his faith failed him and he began to sink: ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) It still showed that he at least had the initial faith to try. 

So many of us today don’t even have the beginnings of such faith, we refuse to step out of our comfort zone and take a chance. But friends, Christianity is not a comfort zone organization. Our leader Jesus Christ never took the easy way out, and He doesn’t want His followers to make that a habit either. 

As He said to the disciples: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh friends, if we are true believers in Christ and His work, then we ought to find assurance in those words and build our faith on them, and not be scared and anxious about what happens in the world.

Time and space have run out, so now I’ll confuffle the situation even further by having us declare our Wednesday Wail today. (smile) You know it doesn’t really matter on what day we declare what, as long as what we declare is faithful and true. So let’s blast off!  

‘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!’ 

No friends, I’m not thoroughly crazy, just trying to be of good cheer. (smile) Much LOVE!

…in the most disastrous of times…faith can bring peace to our souls…