Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2020 Psalm 71:23.​

Psalm 71:23.    My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
 
And another Sunday has dawned; wet and icy and dark in the Greater Toronto Area! We did get that rain storm that was promised, and sincerely hope that it soon peters out to dry weather, because it has caused some damage in several areas. Unfortunately, I know that the inclement weather is going to be used as a convenient excuse not to attend the Lord’s sanctuary today and fellowship with other believers. 

But friends, we’re only doing ourselves a serious injustice when we stay away from church, unless it’s for a very good reason. That’s because we miss the camaraderie, the encouragement, the praise and thanksgiving, and the hearing of the Lord’s uplifting and guiding Word that such fellowship entails, and which allows us to leave the proceedings filled with trust and confidence in our omnipotent God! But to each his own. And as always, we’ll get the celebrations going with a song of praise. 

And today’s song is a wonderful one, officially titled ‘Hymn of Joy,’ but which most of us know as ‘Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,’ from its first line. Apparently it was a poem written by minister Henry van Dyke in 1907, inspired by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, with the intention of musically setting it to the famous “Ode to Joy” melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s final symphony, Symphony No. 9. 

Van Dyke explained the hymn thus: ‘These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ And therefore rather appropriate for today’s gathering! So let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony to heaven, with joy, hope, trust and overwhelming sacrifices of praise in our mouths and our hearts. 

As one awesome choir now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, Lift us to the joy divine. Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life. You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore Thee, Lord of mercy and of grace…We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy…’ 

And does our great and wonderful God ever bring us joy by the bucketful my faithful brethren! You also see the amazing sentiments we can glean from merely admiring God’s handwork in nature, making the hymn one of the most joyful in our English language hymnal! Oh, friends, our God is indeed exceptional; exuding trust, LOVE, hope and faithfulness in miraculous and enormous quantities! There is none other like Him in this universe precious people! 

That’s why the psalmist who penned Psalm 71 – A prayer for help in old age – could confidently declare: ‘I will praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they (mine enemies) are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps. 71: 22-24) 

Yeh friends, the old man had seen enough of God’s goodness and mercy in his younger days that he had ho hesitation in placing his utmost trust in Him during the winter of his days! Can we say the same thing? I certainly hope so! And just to stir us up some more, (smile) listen to Bruh David as he offers thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:1-5) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler and more straightforward than that! God’s goodness to the children of men is so wonderful, and the truth is, we don’t deserve any of it. But that’s the kind of magnanimous God He is! So please, I implore us, today, let’s spend some time pondering on His individual goodness and mercy and grace and forgiveness etc. etc. to us nuh, so that our spirits will be refreshed and our trust renewed, and thus give us the courage and confidence to go out and work diligently and excellently for Christ in this upcoming week. Much LOVE!

…remembering God’s goodness in our lives…raises our trust and faith in Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2019 John 1:14.

John 1:14.    ​And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us. (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
 

And since there are only seven days in a week, it is expected that we’d come back to the first one, Sunday, in a mere seven days time. (smile) Yeh, I know it seems to come around too quickly for our liking, but that’s the way our wise and wonderful God made it, so we had better learn to accept it with a good attitude. I think that the Lord, since He created us, also knew that our batteries would only stay charged for that long, so we’d not be of much use to Him unless we were recharged every week. And that’s why He chose Sunday as a day of rest, for us to come and fellowship and worship, and praise and give thanks and be refreshed and recharged so that we can go out in the following week with restored confidence and enthusiasm. 

Anyway, enough palaver, (smile) let’s get the show on the road. And today we’re going to open with one of our favourite Christmas hymns: ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing,’ that rousing number from the pen of the master hymnist, Charles Wesley (1707-1788). So what we waiting for eh? Let’s belt it out nuh, with strong harmonious voices and sincere hearts, as we think on Jesus’ First Coming at Christmas time. 

‘Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King: peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies; with the angelic hosts proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!” (Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King”) Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of the Virgin’s womb: veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the ‘incarnate Deity, pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel. 

[Refrain] Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die, born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King” Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King” 

Ah friends, that was indeed a rousing rendition of that ageless ditty! Now I’m going to strive to show Wesley’s mastery of the scriptures by pointing out some of the timeless and important verses he used to cobble the whole thing together. We’ll take it stanza by stanza. In stanza one he relies on the words of Luke and 2 Corinthians. ‘And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. ‘ (Luke 2:13-14) 

‘And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit (that is), that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them (forgiving them): and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor.5:18-19)  And was that ever a wonderful day when Christ was born and the Lord removed all hostility caused by sin, between Himself and mankind and thus allowed a renewed and right relationship! 

And for the second stanza, he uses verses like this one: ‘Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under elements of the world (the rudimentary teachings of the law). But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.’ (Gal. 4:3-5) In God’s time, He sent His Son, born of a woman, under the law, to die for our sins. 

And the second verse also reflects this potent scripture in John. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us. (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:14) Yes Friends, through Christ’s incarnation (miracle birth), the world saw the Father in all His glory, through the Son, who was both human and God at the same time! 

And we all know where the beginning of verse three hails from; the mighty prophecy of Isaiah: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.’ (Is. 9:6) And Malachi is also in there: ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).’ (Mal. 4:2) 

Then these words from Philippians also play a part in Wesley’s thinking. ‘Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made of himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:6-8) And this verse from 1 Peter also seems to have some bearing on the last stanza. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet. 1:3) 

So my Christian brethren, you see that a good knowledge of God’s word is an invaluable tool in our lives! If Wesley didn’t know the Good Book as well as he did, he’d never be able to write such a marvellous and all-embracing hymn. That’s why we have to strive diligently to learn the Word, for only when it’s safely ensconced in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, are we able to work wonders on God’s behalf. Much LOVE!

…Christmas is only the beginning…of our heavenly journey…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2019 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).

 

Hear it comes friends, the big day, Sunday; the day of the Lord! And it’s time to gather in His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, to sing and praise His holy name, hear His Word and be refueled for another week. And as always, we shall open the proceedings with some music of praise, aptly titled ‘Rock of Ages.’ Yes friends, we’re talking about that beautiful Christian hymn written by the English Pastor, Augustus Toplady in 1763.

And the Hymnary.org site informs us: ‘There is a legend that Augustus Toplady was inspired to write this hymn after finding shelter from a thunderstorm in a cleft in a rock at Burrington Combe in Somerset, England in 1776. While evidence to support that story is lacking, it does provide a vivid image through which to understand the hymn. Christ and His redemptive work on the cross are like that cleft in the rock, where we can find shelter from the deluge of sin’s guilt and power.’ 

And I wonder if during that storm Augustus ever considered the similarities when the Lord passed before Moses on Mt. Sinai, when He gave him the Ten Commandments, (Ex.34 & 35) and Elijah in the cleft of the mountain when he ran away from God, after Jezebel promised to kill him. (1 Kin.19:10-15) We’ll never know until we get to heaven and ask Augustus. (smile) So let’s sing his wonderful hymn nuh. As one strong, sincere voice, in sweet, harmonious tones.

‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labors of my hands can fulfill thy law’s demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die. Wash me, Saviour or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee…Let me hide myself in thee…let me hide myself in thee….’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, Almighty God is our refuge and our rock! He’s at once the source of our protection and our strong tower.  We hear it loud and clear in Moses’ song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut.32:3-4)  

And as the scholars explain: ’32:4-9. A faithful God and a faithless people are pictured. The Rock: The word is placed first in the Hebrew for emphasis. It emphasizes the stability and permanence of the God of Israel. His unchanging nature is contrasted with the fickleness of the covenant people.’ 

Unfortunately though, nothing much has changed with us, today’s covenant people; we’re still fickle and faithless. But thankfully our God does not change, but remains the same yesterday, today and forever! And if you don’t believe me, hear Bruh David declare it from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance.

‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. 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). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) Oh friends, you couldn’t get any surer or more trusting than that! 

And Isaiah echoes those same sentiments in his Thanksgiving for God’s mercies. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.’ (Is.12:1-2)

Then in his hymn of praise, he solemnly and surely declares: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (Rock of Ages).’ (Is.26:3-4) Yeah mih people, our God certainly deserves the name Rock of Ages!’ 

And we’ll close with these wonderful and oh so true sentiments from the Godtube site: ‘ Even when we may feel like we are all alone, remember that God is always by our side and will never abandon us. He is truly our light in the dark and our rock that we can stand upon always. What an amazing feeling to be LOVED by such a kind Father and to give praise to His name with the beautiful hymn ‘Rock Of Ages.’ That says it all precious people of God! 

But we’ll reinforce it with the advice of Bruh David. (smile) ‘Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed (descendants) of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him (hold Him in awesome reverence). All ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him he heard.’ (Ps.22:23-24)  

So let’s go home today, renewed and refueled, trusting in the Lord God, our strength and refuge, who will always hear us when we cry out to Him, for He is indeed our Salvation. Much LOVE!

…true salvation…can only be found…in the Rock of All Ages…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2019 John 14:6.

John 14:6.    ​I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.
 

Sunday, oh Sunday…the day of the Lord! Time for our weekly fellowship friends, where we meet in the Lord’s house and renew our spiritual strength by giving Him thanks and praise, listening to His holy Word while encouraging and exhorting each other to LOVE and good deeds on Christ’s behalf! Blessed be His holy name, and we His beloved children! 

And today, as we do each Sunday, we’ll open the proceedings with a song of praise and thanksgiving; an 18th century hymn written by English clergyman, Philip Doddridge. In 1967 it was given a gospel arrangement and recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers…and the next thing you knew, it was an international hit! We know it as ‘Oh Happy Day!’ So let’s belt it out with the appropriate enthusiasm and ecstatic feeling, because when you’re a true believer in Christ, every day is a happy day, especially Sundays, when we gather and fellowship together in the Lord’s sanctuary, be it a majestic cathedral or a humble hovel. 

The important thing is not our physical surroundings but our spiritual togetherness, for as Christ so faithfully promised: ‘For wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) That means He’s right here in the midst of us this Sunday morning as we sing His praises and give Him exceeding thanks! So altogether now, as though we really mean it, with all the call and answers and everything. Let’s make it truly lively and happy. 

‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day 

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day)!’ 

Oh friends, you better believe that it was the happiest day of mankind’s history when Jesus washed our abominable sins away! There’s nothing in this evil world to compare to that, because it means reconciliation with our heavenly Father, salvation and eternal life…Glory to God my faithful brethren! And on top of all that, Jesus taught us some real important things; like how to watch, to fight and pray, and live rejoicing every live long day! Bless His holy name my people! That’s why He’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

No one’s ever done anything greater for mankind in the annals of history. Wow! His selfless, sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary turned the whole world upside down, and His teachings have brought life and light to millions of lost and persecuted people. How can we ever thank Him eh? In truth, we can NEVER fully repay His awesome gesture, but we can satisfy His simple desires by surrendering our souls to Him, obeying His teachings, and believing in Him sufficiently to place our trust and the outcome of our eternal lives in His nail pierced hands. 

No wonder He could tell doubting Thomas in no uncertain terms: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ And that was no idle boast my people, for as the scholars point out: ’14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He IS the way.’ And so indeed He is friends! If you don’t believe and trust and obey Him, then you’ll never see the Father’s face, or dwell with Him throughout eternity. That’s just a natural fact, for there are only two options in this life, the Beelzebub way, or the Jesus way. And believe me, you don’t want to go the way of the former. 

Oh sorry my brethren, how could I forget that Jesus was also the Light eh? Steups! John said it thus: ‘In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:4-5). And the scholars tell us: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

And Jesus Himself said it thus: ‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.’ (John 12:35-36) Yes friends, we all know that we cannot walk safely or purposefully in darkness, but when there’s light…oh we can do so much!  And if Jesus is light, then it’s only logical to follow Him, if we want to walk in light. 

The long and short of the story then precious people, is that Jesus is the End All and Be All of this world! In fact He is the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Light! Glory be! So how can you not follow Him eh? That would be rather foolish of you; the height of stupidity…and I know that you’re neither foolish nor stupid! Much LOVE!

…the way to eternal life…can only be found by walking in the true Light…Jesus… 

P.S. Don’t worry about Friday and Saturday, we won’t lose any days. I just didn’t have the energy to write them yet, and I didn’t want to miss out on Sunday. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2019 Ephesians 5:19.

Ephesians 5:19.    ​Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
 

Well, well, well, if it isn’t that wonderful day called Sunday! The one where we ought to visit the Lord’s sanctuary to give Him thanks and praise and fellowship with other believers, hear His holy Word and receive strength to face another daunting week in this evil and ungodly world. Unfortunately though the ole fella is unable to do that since he’s way out in the wilds of northern South Africa, with no TV or internet. But the Lord knows his heart and will hear whatever prayers I send up to him this day. (smile) 

So, obviously without access to the net, I can’t get words for a song, therefore we’ll just have to sing our own individual songs. (smile) As Bruh Paul says: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.’  And as James declares: ‘Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? Let him sing psalms.’ (James 5:13) So since we’re all merry, let’s sing psalms nuh…and we don’t need any internet to do that. (smile) So let’s sing this rather appropriate psalm # 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony: ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (his mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet (cornet): praise him with the psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah!)’ 

Yeh friends, anything, or anybody who draws breath in this crazy world ought to give the Lord God Almighty much thanks and praise just for that fact alone, because it is through His omnipotence and generosity that we are even able to draw breath, much less enjoy all the other benefits! Anyway, my Sunday began with a 5.a.m. wake-up call from our guide Fortune, so we could get to the Lodge for coffee and take off on the morning game drive by five thirty. 

Well there we were heading out in the dark at five thirty in the crisp morning air, hoping to see at least one of the big five we had not yet seen. And the big five are: elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and hippos. So far we’d seen the first two, but no trace of any of the other three. And believe me, driving out in that Land Cruiser in the darkness, especially as Fortune drives, is something else, because he slashes through and over the thickets with gay abandon. I learned early on, in my co-pilot seat, to keep my hands inside and move towards him when he began slashing through the brambles and numerous thorn trees. (smile) 

Unfortunately, we rode around the rough trails for a while without seeing anything besides some smaller animals, like guinea hens and impalas, or what they call McDonalds, because they have a big black, capital ‘M’ stenciled on their rear ends, that resembles the McDonald’s sign. (smile) What we did see however, was the spectacular rising of the early morning sun, coming up blood red above the eastern horizon, while the big, full moon still stood fairly high in the western sky! And as the Almighty God who made them so wisely planned it, the former eventually rose higher and commanded the day, while the latter decreased in stature and soon disappeared altogether. 

Sometime during that game drive though, the word came out that some lions had been seen, and we journeyed to the spot, joining two other groups of people. Now check out this scene. It’s my favourite of the whole trip. The male lion is lying quietly in the shade, barely discernible because his coat is so much like the brown, dry grass, while the female who seems to be in heat (it’s mating season) prances by him, goes off a li’l way, then lies down. Soon the king of beasts comes, mounts her from the rear, does his thing…and it’s all over in like five seconds. Then he casually strolls off and lies down below a shade tree, while the female moves off a short distance. 

It’s said that they have to copulate every twenty minutes, but I don’t think the lady waited that long, then she came back to the gentleman lying quietly below the tree, pranced around him, rubbed her rear end on him, and made all kinds of entreaties. But the ole boy was having none of it. He just lay their stoically, head held high in the air, till the lady got tired of not so subtlety making her intentions known and walked away to lie down on an incline where he could see her, and prostrate herself in all her glory. And I had to laugh, because a couple of minutes later, the ole boy just put down his head and apparently went to sleep, completely ignoring the lady. 

This just goes to prove the falsehood of the oh so prevalent and prevailing theory that a man never refuses a woman, that he will undoubtedly fall for all of her sensuous wiles and tricks! Let that be a lesson to you women! (smile) Man is not always as foolish and gullible as he seems! We left the scene shortly after the ole fellow put down his head, indicating that no further action was going to happen for a while, and eventually got back home around minutes to nine, had breakfast then went to sleep. We even told them not to prepare lunch because we were all so tired and filled with food. We’d come for high tea at four, before going out for another drive at four thirty. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much on that drive besides what we’d already seen. We went driving along the river, over and through the brambles and thickets, with Fortune’s dexterity, looking for hippos or leopards, but failed to see any. Then it was back to the lodge in time for supper. Oh, can you imagine I fell asleep on the way home driving through those rough roads with all the noise, with Fortune driving one handed while shining his spotlight from side to side with the other. I was surely surprised by that. Just goes to show how tired the ole fella was. Tomorrow’s another day though! Much LOVE!

…giving thanks and praise…for simply drawing breath…should be a top priority…..

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2019 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.    ​Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
 

Well another week has passed my people, and we’re right back at Sunday! Imagine that nuh! And we still alive and going strong, thanks to our wonderful God! And it means that one more time we have to gather in fellowship to give Him thanks and praise for His outstanding mercy and grace this past week, as well as for Him to strengthen our faith, renew our confidence and raise the levels of our joy, so we can do the important work of His salvation ministry in the upcoming week. And all of that is just to say, that today is Sunday, and we ought to find ourselves in church sometime today to celebrate the Lord’s Day with other believers. (smile) 

So without further ado, let’s get our proceedings underway nuh, as usual with a song of praise and worship, exalting the Lord in the highest, just like all the heavenly host constantly do. And today we’re going to sing a contemporary Christian tune by Mat Redman (Matthew James Redman (1974 -) an English Christian worship leader, singer-songwriter and author. And today’s song is his best-known composition, the two-time Grammy Award-winning single, “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”. It’s a wonderful song, with great lyrics and melody, so let’s raise our voices in prayerful, sincere song and let our great God know how much we LOVE and appreciate Him. In rich, sweet and perfect harmony now: 

‘(Chorus) Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul, Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name.) The sun comes up It’s a new day dawning It’s time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass And whatever lies before me Let me be singing When the evening comes (Chorus) Bless the Lord oh my soul……I’ll worship your holy name) You’re rich in love And You’re slow to anger Your name is great And Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing Ten thousand reasons For my heart to find. (Chorus: Bless the Lord oh my soul…I’ll worship your holy name) 

And on that day When my strength is failing The end draws near And my time has come Still my soul will sing your praise unending Ten thousand years and then forevermore… forevermore. (Chorus: Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul, Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name. Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul Worship His Holy name Sing like never before Oh my soul, Jesus, I’ll worship Your Holy name, worship your holy name…worship your holy name.’ 

Oh mih people, such sweet exaltation to Almighty God, that the four beasts that surround the heavenly throne joined us in worship, as well as the elders up there; they fell down before the Lord on His throne, cast their crowns before the throne and lustily sang along with us. (Rev.4:8-10) Wow! Who says that there isn’t spontaneous joy in heaven when the Lord is sincerely praised down here on earth eh? And yuh know the Lord just swallowed up all the praise, because there’s nothing He likes more than praise. And He very well deserves every bit of it too. 

And nobody knew that better than Bruh David and the other psalmists, that’s why they could write praiseful words like: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations…Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted.  For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:1,15-18) That’s Ethan the Ezrahite expounding there on God’s sure promises to Bruh David. 

Then you have Bruh David himself declaring, (steups!) in thanksgiving for God’s mercy: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:1-5) 

And if all that isn’t reason enough to thank the Lord and praise and exalt His glorious name, then I really don’t know what is nuh! That’s why we ought to keep doing what the writer of Psalm 33 so wisely advises: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.’ And is it ever my people! And that’s one of the reasons the Lord created us, to sing His praise and glory! 

As the psalmist continues: ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery(lute) and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.’ (Ps.33:2-4) Oh friends, what more can I say eh? Except to quote some more of Bruh David’s words for you. (smile) 

‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) 

And that’s exactly what we did this morning friends, magnified the Lord, exalted his name together…and there is joy in heaven…as well as down here on earth! Let’s keep that awesome joy going nuh people, as we continually praise and magnify God’s holy name. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…rejoice in the Lord always…and again I say…rejoice… (Phil.4:4)

 


Today​’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2019 Job 19:25.

Job 19:25. For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day (at last) upon the earth:

 

It’s that day and time again friends; Sunday and time to meet in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship, praise and give thanks and hear His Word, and thereby receive assurance and confidence to handle the upcoming week. And with the Easter season still resounding powerfully in our hearts minds, bodies and souls, it’s most appropriate for us to open today’s session with this glorious hymn that tells of Jesus’ awesome work on our behalf.  

It’s something written by Samuel Medley way back in the mid-18th century and awesomely titled ‘I know that My Redeemer Lives!’ And isn’t that the God-awesome truth? It certainly is, because our Jesus rose triumphantly from the grave on Easter Sunday to live for evermore as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Glory Hallelujah! So let’s shout it out in perfect harmony with the sincerity that only true belief in Jesus can bring. 

Voices strong and sweet: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives; what comfort this sweet sentence gives! He lives, He lives, who once was dead; He lives, my ever living Head. He lives triumphant from the grave, He lives eternally to save, He lives all-glorious in the sky, He lives exalted there on high. He lives to bless me with His love, He lives to plead for me above, He lives my hungry soul to feed, He lives to help in time of need. 

He lives to grant me rich supply, He lives to guide me with His eye, He lives to comfort me when faint, He lives to hear my soul’s complaint. He lives to silence all my fears, He lives to wipe away my tears, He lives to calm my troubled heart, He lives all blessings to impart. He lives, my kind, wise, heav’nly friend, He lives and loves me to the end; He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing; 

He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King. He lives and grants me daily breath; He lives and I shall conquer death; He lives my mansion to prepare; He lives to bring me safely there. He lives, all glory to His name! He lives, my Jesus, still the same. Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives, “I know that my Redeemer lives!” 

Oh friends, oh friends, that was a wonderful rendition, filled with pure, unadulterated soul! It was so sweet and sincere that all heaven joined in and Jesus blushed as we sang of His wonderful and well deserved accolades, and the Father reached out, took both His hands, squeezed them, and whispered a heartfelt ‘Thank You Son!’ Oh what a wonderful moment in the kingdom of God! 

And my people, it’s not like we’re singing untruth; it’s all true, and wasn’t granted free by the Father either, but was sacrificially earned by Jesus. He paid a high price with His sinless life in a tortuous crucifixion, so He deserves all the pomp and glory and exaltation. Let’s look at a few of the things He’s done and is still doing for us nuh as entrenched in the words of the song. 

He died, but rose triumphantly, is still living, and will live forever more exalted in heaven on high! And what’s His purpose for living? To bless me with His LOVE, to plead my sinful case with the Father, to feed my hungry soul, to be my help in time of need, to satisfy all my needs through His riches in glory, to guide me, comfort me when I’m weak, listen to my soul’s complaints, to silence ALL my fears, wipe away my tears, as well as to calm my troubled heart! 

And don’t forget the blessings He bestows, and the wise friend and brother who never leaves me in the lurch and will LOVE me to the end! Mama Mia! Could there be any more that our Lord and Saviour does for us? You bet your bottom dollar! Remember, He’s also our Prophet, Priest and King, the One who allows us to draw breath each and every day! 

And don’t forget, because He lives, we too will live, in those mansions He’s preparing for us! And how can we not laugh and sing uproariously when we experience the sweet joy of the sentence: ‘I know that My Redeemer lives!’ We’d be unfaithful and foolish to do otherwise! 

And believe you me, we are not the only ones who knew that they had a Redeemer! Way, way back in time, old Job knew that. Even though the Lord humiliated him, when he had done no real wrong, brought him to his knees with untold trials and tribulations, to prove his righteousness to Satan, so much so that his friends and family deserted him, and he’s left to seek pity, he maintains his righteousness by declaring (Steups! wrong again): 

‘Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever.’ (Job 19:23-24) The scholars put it this way: ‘But from the depths of degradation he expresses the confidence that if his case could only be recorded for posterity, future generations would judge him favourably. Furthermore, he knows confidently that he has a Redeemer. One who will champion his cause and vindicate him.’ 

And he proclaims it in no uncertain terms: ‘For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day (at last) upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh (resurrected body) will I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold; and not another; though my reins be consumed (how my heart yearns) within me.’ (Job 19:25-27) 

He could not have said it any plainer than that! And it just lets us know that the Old Testament people also believed in the resurrection of the human body, although they might not have had as much physical evidence as we do. 

The long and short of the story though, is that all who believe, both the dead and those alive, shall rise ‘to meet the Lord in the air (the Rapture): and so shall we ever (always) be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.’ (1 Thess.4:17b-18) Bruh Paul said it, and he should know, so please be comforted my people. Much LOVE!

…there is only ONE Redeemer…His name is JESUS…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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