Today​’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2019 Proverbs 16:9.

Proverbs 16:9.   A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
 

Well at long last it’s Friday, the day we’ve been waiting all week for! Consequently, many spirits are on the rise, just thinking about all the free time and fun time that’s on the horizon. And as I sit writing here at the desk in the Hyatt Regency hotel room, I have a varied set of images to engage my eyes. 

Right out in front of me is a lovely view of the Port of Spain seascape. Up close, the harbour is dotted with what looks like old. cargo ships. But then the expanse of sea extends right to the horizon, revealing different shades of blue under the somewhat cloudy early morning sky. Meanwhile to my left, is the port itself, with a jumble of different types, colours and shapes of ships, and the early morning buildup of the busy Port of Spain traffic down the Wrightson Road artery. 

And the fancy high rise building on my immediate left is the Parliament Building, where our leaders gather to supposedly discuss high matters of state, but too often end up behaving like a bunch of rowdies on the street corner! If that’s the example the supposed leaders set, what else can they expect from their constituents but the same unruly, disorderly behaviour eh? Unfortunately, that seems to be the modus operandi of most elected bodies all over the world! 

Anyway, I don’t have any set plans for the day, so we’ll just play it all by ear. I’m in T&T, so any number can play! (smile) And since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the workingman has to say in his song nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Another week of back breaking work done, and I have a li’l time to mihself now! And believe me, I’m going to use it well; to eat drink, sleep and party, and make some plans for next weekend, which is Easter weekend! 

Might even go to Tobago, if I could get a ticket, and enjoy the many activities that happen over there at Easter time. Things like goat and crab race, boat races, and parties all over the place. Tobago is the place to go for Easter in these parts. But that is next weekend, still have to enjoy this weekend first…and believe me I’m going to do it, in style and fashion too. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, don’t know how I would survive otherwise nuh!’ 

Ah friends, we all would like to let it all hang out like the workingman, but as true believers in Jesus Christ, we have to toe a li’l tighter line, so that the enemy doesn’t have a chance to get inside our souls and work his evil, ungodly business. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and enjoy ourselves too, just not as leggo beast as the workingman. So let’s chant our Friday Chant to show our thanks for Friday nuh. With strong voice and true sincerity: 

‘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!’ 

Yeh, it’s not as boisterous as the workingman’s song, because we have to play it a li’l closer to the vest, but it’s still thankful and joyful and give us lots of leeway. (smile) Oh, the duchess is ready to go out for breakfast, so I’ll have to stop here for a while. Soon come! 

Well I’m back finally after some hearty local breakfast at the Breakfast Shed, just up the sidewalk from the hotel. It’s a group of about ten small businesses under one broad enclosure serving local food. And the food good, so they doing good business. And most importantly, the duchess enjoyed it, so I’m happy. (smile) 

And today I’ve been led once again to the wise words of Cousin Sol for our Bit. ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ And is that ever so true my people. As the old people would say, ‘man plan, but God laugh!’ That’s because He knows who is the real guide of our footsteps – He himself! 

As the scholar’s explain: ‘16:9. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ No doubt about that friends: the Creator of man is sovereign over him and can disrupt our best laid plans with a simple nod. And Cousin Sol says it this way later on: ‘There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.’ (Prov.19:21) 

And I know that many of us can attest to that, for over the years we’ve made so many plans of our own only to see them sadly jettisoned by the Lord. Now hear how Jeremiah puts it. ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.’ (Jer.10:23) 

And if all of that is true, then we have to come back to Cousin Sol’s words and ruefully ask: ‘Man’s goings (steps) are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?’ (Prov.20:24) He obviously can’t because the Lord is controlling it all, and His ways and thoughts and plans are so much higher than ours. 

But let it be known that our great God never leaves us in a lurch, in a place where we are without hope, thus this great promise of His through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you and expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

How can you beat that promise eh friends? Only possibly with this one from Bruh Paul: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) So friends, please don’t despair when our plans are thwarted by God, for He usually has something better in mind for us, and it will ALWAYS be for our good! Much LOVE!

…God’s promises are never idle…but are meant to lift our spirits…give us hope…and strengthen our faith…

 

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Today​’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2019 Habakkuk 3:18.

Habakkuk 3:18.   Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
 
Oh friends, let me apologize right at the beginning for the late start to the Bit, but I went to bed late last night and then the early morning sleep was so sweet and satisfying that I just could not resist the tempting offer of it’s siren’s call: ‘Sleep one more round…just sleep one more round…before you get up!’ 

Yeh friends, the ole fella was a sucker for that appealing temptation! (smile) But remember he’s only human and can’t be expected to resist everything that comes against him. And I know that you’ll understand and forgive me, because you are also subject to just such temptations. Praise the Lord! (smile) 

But it’s Friday and the workingman is there chomping at the bit to declare (phew…wrong again) his clarion call, so let’s hear him nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s looming large on the horizon! The March Break also finish, and everybody who went away packing up now to come back home to school and work! 

Steups! Don’t know why they make such a big to do over it nuh, because is just one lousy week, and as soon as yuh get where yuh going, yuh have to pack up and come back again! But it wasn’t a bad week here, the temp wasn’t that cold and I went out a few times with the children, so that kept them happy. 

But the backbreaking work still continuing…the slave driver not letting up at all, especially since business picking up now. Brother! He just hungry and greedy and dying to get as much work done as possible! He even offering overtime on the weekends…

But that is his problem yes! I work hard enough during the week, the weekend is for me to party and spend li’l time with mih family. If the slave driver value money over his free time and family, then later for him yes! I’m going to thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth my people; many of us value money over spending time with our families and resting ourselves. But that’s not always wise because it breaks down everything; your family relationships as well as your own health.

So please, let’s not run down the dollars and cents, as so many of us are still doing, to the detriment of our families and ourselves. If the ordinary workingman can see and understand that principle, why can’t we believers, supposedly of wiser intellect see it too eh? 

But anyway let’s chant our reply to the workingman’s song, which wasn’t as far out on the limb today as it usually is. Our Friday Chant is still more conservative and sensible and in line with Jesus’ desires. So all together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes friends, we need to remember that we have certain borders and stop points that we ought not to go over unless we want the ever lurking enemy to get a foothold in our business and mess it up even more than it’s already messed up. (smile) We need to be always on our ‘p’s and q’s, because he is always on his. 

And he’s no more voracious than in this Lenten season when he knows that we’re all seeking spiritual upliftment with fasting and praying and meditating a bigger slice of our lives than normal. There’ nothing he would like better than to get us off course on our spiritual journey. That’s why my fellow believers we have to do like the prophet Habakkuk says in his song. Even though times are very rough and trying: ‘Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’  

Wow friends! A few simple but powerful words can make a lot of difference to our spiritual selves! And why was Habakkuk intent on being so joyful even though his situation might be less than satisfactory?

Because: ‘The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds (deer’s) feet, and will make me to walk upon mine high places.’ (Hab.3:19) And yes friends, that’s as good a reason as any, and better than many, to put one’s everlasting and sincere trust in the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel! 

 Hear how Isaiah puts it when he declares (wrong again – going to have to stop using it) his good tidings of salvation to Zion. ‘I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.’ (Is.61:10-11) 

And friends, if you are indeed a true believer in Christ, you won’t need any other promise than that to convince you to stick with Jesus ALL THE WAY TO ETERNITY! No other supposed deity can even dream of making such a promise, much less of keeping it like Jesus will!

So let’s be courageous and steadfast and run the race that God has planned for us nuh. If we stick together and look to Him, we WILL WIN in the end! Much LOVE!

…though the storms of life billow around us…we’re sure of one thing…that Jesus is right in the middle of them with us…Praise His Holy Name…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2019 Psalm 30:12.

Psalm 30:12.   ​To the end that my glory (my soul) may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever.
 
Aye mih people, what’s this world coming to eh? Supposed friends are so faithless and fickle nowadays that it’s not funny! Hear my story: Just recently that panacea for all ills, sleep was my best friend, at least that’s what I thought. Anytime I put down my head, I would fall asleep shortly thereafter. But recently; within the last week or so, it’s been a completely different story; I sleep for a few hours, then suddenly wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed and can’t get back to sleep regardless of how hard I try. 

Case in point; I went to bed about 12.30 last night and by four o’clock I was up. I went to the bathroom, then got back in bed, and just turned and tossed because sleep had deserted me. Now I don’t know whether that was the work of the enemy, or simply the Lord telling me to get up and write the Bit, but I was adamant that I wasn’t getting up at such an ungodly hour of the morning. 

And so I lay there sleepless, turning and tossing, until about 6.45, when I finally got up, had a hot shower, dressed for church then came down to write as much of the Bit as I can before going to church. Ah Lord eh! But how can I be expected to live a balanced life eh, if I don’t get sufficient sleep? (smile) Don’t worry though friends, we won’t belabour the point, especially in this year of 2019, where our complaining is going to be minimal. Hear that…? 

Instead, we’re going to be obedient and do what we ought to; go to the Lord’s sanctuary and fellowship with other believers; praise His holy name, give Him much thanks, listen to His word and just revel in all the goodness and mercy He has to offer. So saying, let’s belt out this Fanny Crosby song titled, Praise Him, Praise Him,’ which ‘celebrates Jesus as our “blessed Redeemer” and praises his amazing gifts of salvation and redemption.’ That will soften up our hearts and make us more receptive to His amazing, encouraging and reassuring word. 

All together now: ‘Praise him! Praise him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth – His wonderful LOVE proclaim! Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory, Strength and honor give to His holy name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children – In His arms He carries them all day long: (Refrain: Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness! Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!) 

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered and bled and died; He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified! Sound His praises – Jesus who bore our sorrows – LOVE unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong: [Refrain] 

Praise Him! Praise Jim! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth for ever and ever, Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet and Priest and King! Christ is coming, over the world victorious – Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong: [Refrain]’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what powerful and uplifting words and sentiments! Jesus is so important to us eh, that we can’t even begin to consider the ramifications! (smile) Our Saviour, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Salvation and pathway to the Father! And we could go on and on… That’s why we ought to esteem Him so highly and praise Him as much as possible. 

As Bruh David so emphatically declared in Psalm 30 – A thanksgiving for deliverance from death. ‘Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth (sackcloth of my mourning), and girded me with gladness.’ (Ps.30:11) Oh friends, that’s exactly what Jesus has done for us: taken us out of the depths of Hades and made us a new home in heaven on high! Glory Hallelujah! 

That’s why Bruh David emphatically continues: ‘To the end that my glory (my soul) may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever.’ Oh my people, my people, that’s how we ought to be; constantly singing praises to Almighty God, being thankful and spreading His word and miraculous deeds to all and sundry! Not being silent and keeping it all to ourselves as so many of us do! 

However, I’ve got to go now, the duchess is ready to take me to church. Can’t keep her waiting now. (smile) Soon Come… 

An hour and a bit later, we’re back. Had a good fellowship, just no singing at this early morning service. I’m singing in the Bit. (smile) And Bruh David continues his entreaty and promise to give the Lord thanks and praise in Psalm 35 – A prayer for rescue from enemies. ‘I will give thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much (a mighty) people.’ (Ps.30:18) Now that’s what ALL believers ought to be doing, not being fearful and timid and refusing to spread the good news of Jesus! 

And hear how Bruh David ends that psalm: ‘Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all day long.’ (Ps.35:27-28) 

Oh friends, if we sincerely favour Jesus’ cause, then we ought to be glad and shout for joy and magnify His name and speak of His righteousness and sing His praises all day long! That’s what a faithful follower does! So let’s get serious and do what we know we ought to do nuh. That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…let everything that hath breath…praise the Lord…shout Hallelujah…praise ye the Lord…shout Hallelujah… (Ps.150:6)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2018 Isaiah 9:2.

Isaiah 9:2.   The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
 
And then it was Sunday…Christmas Sunday…Yay! Just imagine friends, only two more days and it’s here; one of the biggest and best days ever in the history of mankind; the day when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory Hallelujah! Give the Father much thanks and praise for sending His only Son as a human to dwell amongst us and show us His holy ways! 

And as always, when we gather in His sanctuary on a Sunday we open with praise and worship, exalting His name and softening our hearts so that we can receive His holy Word. And today we’re singing that magnificent and well-known, traditional Christmas hymn, ‘Silent Night’ (“Stille Nacht” in its original German). 

‘The song was originally a poem written by pastor Joseph Franz Mohr and composed by his friend Franz Xaver Gruber in early 19th century Austria. Pastor Mohr desperately needed a carol for the Christmas Eve midnight mass that was only hours away, and he hoped Gruber – a school teacher as well as the church’s choir master and organist – could set his poem to music; he composed the melody in just a few hours on that Christmas Eve. 

The melody used today (a slow, meditative lullaby or pastorale) is slightly different from Gruber’s original (a moderato tune in 6/8 time and siciliana rhythm), particularly in the final strain. The English translation we most frequently sing today was written and published by Episcopal priest John Freeman Young in 1859, who translated three verses of Mohr’s original six.’ 

So now that we know something about the song’s origins, let’s sing it with heartfelt praise and gratitude nuh. As one earthly choir now! ‘Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night, holy night, Shepherds quake at the sight; Glories stream from heaven afar, Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born! 

Silent night, holy night, Son of God, LOVE’S pure light; Radiant beams from thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth. Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, our Saviour’s birth changed the world like nothing before it ever has! As the prophet Isaiah declared long before it happened: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ 

Yes my people, Christ’s birth brought the light of heaven to earth where many were living in darkness and evil. And unfortunately, two thousand years later, too many of us are still living in darkness and evil! 

And Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, when he had regained his voice, after being struck dumb for not believing the angel Gabriel’s promise of a son in his old age, (Luke 1:11-20) also spoke of God’s redemption of His people, on the day that John was presented to the Lord. 

‘And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (a Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David; As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 

That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.’ (Luke 1:67-75) 

Yeh friends, please note those provisos: ‘serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our lives.’ God’s promises weren’t any fly by night stuff; they had a definite purpose behind them!

And if you don’t believe, then the scholars point us to ‘1:73: See Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-6; 22:15-18).’ Yes friends, that’s a list of the promises God made to Abraham, every one of which He kept! Please check them out for yourselves. I just did! 

But Zechariah was not done with prophesying. Having spoken of Jesus, he turned to his son, John: ‘And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins,

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring (Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:76-79) 

That’s why John is known as the forerunner of Christ; he was sent to prepare the way for Christ’s coming. And the scholars give an interesting explanation of ‘1:78: Dayspring means “dawn” and figuratively refers to the coming of the Messiah. The clause should be translated, “Dawn from heaven will visit us.” That is the Messiah from heaven will come to help us. God’s messianic deliverance is often expressed as the bursting forth of a great light.’ 

Ah mih people, this Christmas season, as we celebrate Christ’s birth, please, please let’s allow that great light to burst forth in our lives nuh, so that we can be delivered out of all the darkness that currently covers us! Much LOVE!

…for with thee is the fountain of life…in thy light…shall we see light… (Ps.36:9)  

P.S. Yeh, it’s somewhat late, but I had to go to church first…And anyway, it’s still enlightening! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2018 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.​     …who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…

I don’t understand it nuh people. I went to bed around one this morning feeling fairly decent, but got up at seven with pains raging through the ole bod. Steups! I thought sleep and rest were the panacea for such ills, not the ‘bringer on’ of them. (smile) But what can you do eh, but grin and bear it? I guess it’s all a part of our earthly faith walk. The Lord doesn’t want us to get too relaxed and contented, so He tests us as soon as we get up. 

And yuh know what mih breddren? We going to pass that test; pass it with flying colours to boot! And with the Lord’s help too! Because that’s the wonderful kind of God He is: He not only gives us the tests, but also gives us the wherewithal to pass them! Glory to our Most High God! There’s none other like Him! And it looks like the wicked windstorm that rampaged through Southern Ontario yesterday has now quietened down. 

Oh friends, all day yesterday, into the late hours of the night, the wind just raced through the place, causing damage and power outages in several areas. Up around the capital city of Ottawa, they even had a tornado. Hn! I sat down on my bed and watched the wind just tear through the poor trees all day long. Had them dancing a merry, tiresome jig. But the trees were strong. Many times I thought they would fall, but they stood up strong, and this morning they seem none the worse for wear. 

Now that’s the way we Christians ought to be my brethren; stand up strong and steadfast to all the adversity that comes against us, especially when we have the Creator’s faithful promise to stand with us through thick and thin! 

And since it’s Saturday, it means we have to look at the quotes sent to us this week by our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what’s happening with him, but this week, we only got one quote from him again. However, it is an interesting quote, which says: ‘Shame hates to have words wrapped around it. If we talk about it, it loses its grip on us.’ And that’s generally true. 

But friends, shame is possibly the second biggest problem we believers face, except for fear. The enemy uses fear and shame to quench our brightly burning lights that are supposed to shine in God’s favour. And way too many Christians fall prey to the falsehood of shame. 

And here is a perfect example of it. I know a Christian family that is going through some relational problems. One member of the family is acting up, his addiction causing him to behave very wild and irrational. I went to visit them earlier this week, but unfortunately what I took away from the talk and the visit is that shame over the family member’s behaviour is overwhelming. 

And though they talk about praying and all the other believer’s tools, they are still in too much of a feeling sorry for themselves mood, thinking too much about what will happen to them. Their faith hasn’t risen to the top like it should. Oh I know you must consider those things, but your faith is supposed to help you come up over them. And yes, your family member is making a fool of himself, and you deeply regret it, and are concerned, but you didn’t do anything to be ashamed of. 

What others think seems to be of paramount importance. But who really cares what others think eh? They have the same problems and sometimes worse! I have always been somewhat irked at that behaviour. If I didn’t do something, why should I clothe myself in shame eh? It’s just the devil’s work! But hear the worst part of the story, in my opinion. 

Now I know they are short on money, and they know that I know that, but yet when I offered some to help tide them over, the mother refused it. And when I asked why, she claimed that it made her ashamed. And that with a disabled child to look after and only one family member working. Chuh! It hurt my heart. And though I argued some about it, with words like you can’t eat shame or pay your bills with it, I quickly realized that it was a matter best left alone. 

Oh my people, how can you turn down a few dollars from a close friend when you are in dire straits because of that foolish and senseless word called shame eh? I know what it is to be hungry and in need, and sometimes it’s an affront to refuse a friend’s help in those situations. But you can’t legislate the behaviour of other folks. 

And to end we’ll just highlight two instances where shame played a great role in the Good Book. The first is the first instance of it in the world, with Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. ‘And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (girding coverings).’ (Gen.3:7) Then when the Lord came looking for them later on, they were afraid and hid. Why? ‘…because I was naked…’ (Gen.3:10) 

Yuh see friends, before their eyes were opened, there was no shame, no reason to hide from God, but once the enemy intervened, they became ashamed of their nakedness. And then there is this magnificent verse from Hebrews containing our Bit: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Yes friends, there couldn’t be anything more shameful to a Jewish man than being crucified butt naked in front of the whole world! If he had seriously considered the shame involved in His crucifixion, He wouldn’t have done it. But for our sake, and the wonderful rewards that awaited Him, Jesus threw out the thing called shame and went to the cross like it was nothing. 

Likewise friends, we ought to get rid of, overcome the twin deaths of fear and shame and take up our crosses as positively as Jesus did, and march on to victory in His awesome and holy name! That’s what being a true believer in, and follower of Christ means! Much LOVE!

…shame is just fear in disguise…

 

    

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 August 2018 Psalm 127:1.

Psalm 127:1.    Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain).

‘Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning! Everything’s going my way!’ Ah friends, I know that life is not always like a bunch of sweet smelling roses or sweet tasting cherries, but the important thing to realize is that we’re alive, and once we’re alive, there is hope that things can improve, especially if we’re true believers in Jesus Christ! Glory be mih people! 

There’s no better or greater avenue to live this earthly life than as followers of Jesus! Jesus has been so good to us, I don’t see how we can even think of not believing in Him, or rebelling against him. That’s utter madness! How else would we get atonement for our sins and a chance to spend eternal life with the Father in heaven eh, for there’s no other way to do that than through Him? 

And our Bit spells that out in spades. ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain).’ And whether you believe it or not, that’s gospel truth! 

Hear how the psalmist continues as he strongly advises the need of relying on God. ‘It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late. To eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.’ (Ps.127:2) Yeh friends, when your life is aligned with God’s you don’t have to stress and strain to make a living, and the Lord gives you restful sleep. 

And not only that, as the psalmist further details: ‘Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is their reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (warrior); so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.’ (Ps.127:3-5) 

Wow mih breddren! Yuh see how the Lord looks after us when we’re obedient to Him? Amongst other things, He gives us, or better yet, blesses us with lovely children, who stand up for us against our enemies and keeps our house going strong and prosperous! 

And the scholars offer this wonderful explanation of the psalm. ‘Psalm 127. The principle of this psalm is that all human efforts are in vain unless they have God’s blessing. This principle is applied to four areas: building a house (v.1a), guarding a city (v.1b), working long hours (v.2), and having children (vs.3-5). 

It is possible to accomplish all of these things without God’s blessing, but it is not possible to accomplish them purposefully and with eternal value without God’s blessing. The psalm includes, incidentally, two practical reasons for having children: they bring you joy, and they protect you. (v.5).’ 

Now what more can I say eh, except to shout out to my children: ‘Aye mih children, you certainly bring the ole fella joy! That’s for sure! But are you all going to protect me in the gate from the enemy? I’m sure you all will!’ (smile) And thus I can give out a big ‘Thank You and Praise Your Holy Name and Glory Hallelujah to Almighty God because my children will look after me in my old age!’ 

Ah friends, we are indeed blessed when we have children who will honour and protect us in times of need, and I have to acknowledge that my children do so. They’re not perfect, but if I want for anything, they do their best to help me. That’s all I can ask. 

Unfortunately, a lot of parents aren’t so blessed. Why? I don’t know. But as they say, you make the children, but you don’t make their minds. And Cousin Sol proffers a very important lesson: ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old (mature) he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6). 

Now that’s generally the case, but I’ve seen children raised in the fear of the Lord, who turn right around and follow Beelzebub. So what’s a parent do eh? Not much but pray and do their earthly best. The important thing though my faithful brethren is that we make room for God in ALL of our daily doings, for without Him in our lives we will not be as successful as we can be with Him in them. 

That’s simply indisputable truth! So please, let’s take that same wisdom we try to put into our children’s heads and use it for our benefit. It’s the only thing that makes sense. 

Now let’s go home declaring that wisdom for all and sundry to hear, in our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. All together now: ‘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 if we were truly sincere in that prayer, then we now have to go out and action it, like Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…examples speak louder than words…so to make a real difference…our lives have to speak very loudly…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2018 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Well it’s a glorious Tuesday morning, and the world is unfolding as it should! Yeh friends, the Almighty is on His throne working things out for our good in His own inimitable style, purpose and time! And who can say Him nay eh? Nobody whatsoever! 

So let’s just say ‘Thank You Lord!’ and accept all that He hands us with simple faith and enormous trust nuh. Then we will walk through this turbulent and topsy-turvy world with the everlasting peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me, friends, there’s nothing better in this world that that! 

Currently, we do all sorts of stuff, spend money on all sorts of things to find peace, like vacations, shrinks, alcohol, retreats, pills, etc. etc. It’s amazing at the amount of time and money we spend these days trying to relieve stress and get peace of mind. Hn! 

And we might find some for a while in those dubious avenues. But since they depend mostly on cumstances, they obviously don’t last long, and once you get back into the milieu of life, all those stressors come back against you and break down your walls of peace again. It’s just a never-ending negative cycle. 

However my brethren, however, when we find peace in Jesus, the true peace, all those things are rendered obsolete and useless, because the peace that our Lord and Saviour offers is a whole different kind of situation. Listen to how He puts it to the disciples, and consequently to us, in our Bit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

What reassuring and confidence building words my people! The kind of peace that Jesus gives us is entirely different to the peace that we get from the world. His is a heavenly peace that doesn’t fluctuate in times of storm or times of calm. One is able to stay steadfast and strong through all of life’s unnerving and disastrous circumstances. 

Now wouldn’t you rather have that kind of unmovable peace than the unsatisfying kind we get from the world? Of course! But then you have to put your trust, surrender your life to Jesus to get it. 

And hear how Bruh Paul describes to the church at Philippi, the kind of peace we get when we let Jesus be the guiding beacon of our lives. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) Mama Mia! What a beautiful state of affairs mih breddren! 

And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and His ability to cope with and solve it. 

Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

And so too the word ‘guard’ should be highly appreciated by us today, because in spite of the free society we supposedly live in, there are more guards, private and public, armed and unarmed than I believe we have ever experienced before in our type of society. Everybody seems to be fearful and guarded…everybody except true believers who have truly received the peace of Christ that passes all our human and finite understanding. 

Now none of what goes before means we should not be concerned or that fear won’t ever come upon us. It just means that we will be able to handle whatever comes against us with the wisdom, grace and help of God. We won’t always be in a tizzy at the slightest uneven part of our earthly journey. 

And we have Isaiah’s song of praise declaring it in spades: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is.26:3) 

And what can be more soothing and reassuring than Bruh David’s immortal words that end Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God. ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:8) That says it all friends: To find true peace, put your trust in Jesus! 

So let’s go home now boldly proclaiming our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘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 we know the corollary to that is to action those words; truly go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world. Much LOVE!

…it deserves saying again…true peace can only be found…in Jesus…

P.S. And after reading the Bit, I’m chuckling here friends, because I just realized that it pertained to me a whole lot, was a kind of testimony of the way my life has gone in the last year and a half. What with all the sickness and otherwise and the growth in faith and patience. Oh, I’m still a work in progress, but a much quieter, peaceful, faithful and trusting work. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

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