Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 December 2019 Philippians 2:8.

Philippians 2:8.    ​And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
 
Yes friends, it’s Sunday, that wonderful day of the Lord, and it’s also the Eve of the Eve of Christmas Eve! (smile) Only three more days to the Big One! And all God’s children sang a loud and grateful chorus of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanksgiving to the Father, for the Son born on that long ago Christmas Day: our Emmanuel, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!’ Oh my people, let’s never forget that that lowly and humble birth in that faraway manger was the BEST THING that ever happened to mankind, after Adam and Eve turned Paradise into hell with their sinful disobedience! And all God’s children said a loud and sincere ‘Amen!’ 

Anyway, we‘re here in the Lord’s house today to joyfully fellowship with each other, to praise and worship Him, hear His Word and receive a renewal of strength and confidence, so let’s begin as we always do with a song of praise. And I have to chuckle at the Lord’s method of getting my attention for what song He wanted to hear today. For the last few days I’ve found myself singing the last line of the verses in this particular song, the only one I knew anyway, (smile) and I just couldn’t figure out why this song came popping up into my mind and mouth when I didn’t know it very well and hadn’t heard it recently. But it eventually dawned on me that that was the song the Lord wanted us to sing today. 

And it’s a rather appropriate one too, titled ‘When a Child is Born.’ So let’s raise the roof of this house and heaven too, with our sweet, soulful and harmonious rendition nuh. Altogether now: ‘A ray of hope flickers in the sky A tiny star lights up way up high All across the land, dawns a brand new morn This comes to pass when a child is born – A silent wish sails the seven seas The winds of change whisper in the trees And the walls of doubt crumble, tossed and torn This comes to pass when a child is born – A rosy hue settles all around You’ve got the feel you’re on solid ground For a spell or two, no one seems forlorn This comes to pass when a child is born – 

( Talk – And all of this happens because the world is waiting, Waiting for one child Black, white, yellow, no one knows But a child that will grow up and turn tears to laughter, Hate to love, war to peace and everyone to everyone’s neighbor And misery and suffering will be words to be forgotten, forever)  – (Sing – It’s all a dream, an illusion now It must come true, sometime soon somehow All across the land, dawns a brand new morn This comes to pass when a child is born.) – (Repeat.) Yes this comes to pass when a child is born….when a child is born…when a child is born…’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers that was so sweet and touching that it brought tears of joy to all the eyes in heaven, especially Jesus’. He couldn’t have asked for better Birthday song! And what I especially LOVED about Him there is that He didn’t try to stop the tears of joy flowing. He just sat there with a sort of embarrassed look, like most of us have when we’re being serenaded, and let the tears flow freely. Then the Father hugged Him and whispered: ‘Happy Birthday Son! Thank You for all You’ve done.’ 

And Jesus, humble as always, and never wanting to take away the Father’s glory, quietly replied amidst His tears: ‘That’s okay Father. I was proud and glad to do it, because it was Your Will, and I was the only one who could do it.’ The Father with His tear-filled eyes, released Jesus from the bear-hug, took Him by the shoulders, looked into Jesus’ tear-filled eyes, shook His head in pride and wonder, then embraced Him once more in a tight bear-hug, saying: ‘What a wonderful Son You are, I am so proud of You!’ And all of heaven sang with and for joy at the open display of LOVE between Father and Son! 

Wow mih people! Can you imagine that most touching and dramatic scene! I tell you, NOWHERE can put on drama like heaven! (smile) And no, I’m not crazy or under the influence of anything else but the Holy Spirit! (smile) As the ole people would say, ah just selling it how ah buy it! So it’s no wonder that the Father desires all of us be like the Son, to follow in His footsteps, not be perfect, but as Christ-like as is humanly possible. 

And friends, I couldn’t find a more appropriate set of scripture to describe Christ’s earthly behaviour than these magnificent and oh so true words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of nor reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) 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. 2:5-8) 

And yuh know mih breddren, that’s all the Lord is asking of us too; to be humble and obedient to His will. And yuh see how He rewarded Jesus: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) Well friends, the Lord will also reward us if we do His bidding with humility, excellence and diligence. 

And if you don’t believe me, hear these encouraging words from Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb. 10:35-36) Please think on that friends, and let it motivate us to do God’s work today…and everyday from henceforth! Much LOVE!

…he that comes to God…must believe that He rewards…those who diligently seek Him… (Heb.11:6b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2019 Matthew 8:27.

Matthew  8:27. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

 

Sunday, oh Sunday! Blessed Sunday! Time to go to God’s sanctuary and give Him praises; sing Him songs of worship and adoration, while fellowshipping with other believers and opening our hearts wide to hear, accept and digest His Holy Word, so that we can be refreshed, strengthened and renewed in our faith! What a time it will be in God’s house! Singing and dancing…with joy and good cheer overflowing!

And to get us started on that hallelujah trail, we going to sing a soulful piece of gospel music written by Mary A Baker. I first heard this rendition a couple of days ago while looking through You Tube for a song for today. It’s by a Black Gospel singer named Jessy Dixon. Don’t know if you all know him, but this was the first time I had ever heard about or seen him. He’s tall, dark and handsome, and a natty dresser too…and can the brother ever belt out a gospel tune like back in the good old days!

He reminds me of Wilson Pickett singing ‘In the Midnight Hour.’ That’s for the ole timers. (smile) He has some videos on You Tube with Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming Festival. Check them out if you want to see him. But friends, from the time I heard his rendition of ‘The Tempest is Raging!’ with great music and outstanding background vocals, I knew that was our song of praise and worship for today!

So no more talk, let’s get right into nuh! Let’s raise our hearts, heads, hands and voices to high heaven in pure, simple, unadulterated soulful gospel mih people! As one harmonious choir now: ‘Master, the tempest is raging, Oh, the billows are tossing high. The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, Oh, no shelter, no shelter or help is nigh – Carest thou not that we perish? How canst You lie, How canst thou lie there asleep, When it seems like each moment so madly is threatening?

Oh, A grave, a grave, a grave in the angry deep? Get up Jesus because! The winds and the waves shall obey thy will. All You got to say is, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace be still, Peace, be still. Whether the wrath, the wrath of the storm-tossed sea, Or demons, or evil men, or whatever it be. No water can swallow the ship wherein lies, the Master of the ocean, the earth and sky. They shall all sweetly obey thy will, If You say, Peace, peace, peace, be still.

The Lord will give you peace! He wants to give you peace! In the midnight hour, When there’s nobody else there, God will give you peace. When you feel lonely, You have someone who will give you perfect peace! He’ll be your friend, yes He will. The Lord will give you peace, If you’re looking for peace, In all of your needs, In all of your days, Get down on your knees and talk to Jesus! Yes, whatever the Lord says, there will be peace, there will be peace, there will be peace. For He knew it, Yes, He knew it, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace be still…’

Oh mih people, you can’t beat a good piece of gospel soul nuh! That’s because it really comes from the heart! When our forefathers were suffering during the days of slavery, that’s all they had, all they could do was cry out in heartfelt agony to the God of the same people who were enslaving them. And the Lord eventually hearkened unto their cry, like He had done for the Israelites so many years before down in Egypt land, and set them free.

That’s why soul is such a powerful instrument of music and prayer. And we did a wonderful job there just now! (smile) All heaven was in tears…tears of joy, as we lifted up, exalted the Prince of Glory in soulful song! Oh friends, there’s nobody like our Jesus! Nobody else whom the raging seas and howling winds will obey, when He says just three, simple words to them, ‘Peace, be still!’ That’s the awesome power He possesses as the Creator and Controller of our universe!

And we all know that this earthly life is not only filled with physical storms, but also with figurative raging tempests, that tend to disturb and oftimes capsize our earthly equilibrium, and leave us lost and oh so forlorn. But yuh know what friends, there’s no need to let those storms of life beat us down when we have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, for He’s sincerely promised to safeguard us from the storms and the evils of this world.

But it won’t happen just like that. You have to turn to him and invite Him into your life. Or if He comes knocking on the door of your heart, then you have to open it and let Him come in. As He so politely offers: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev.3:20) You couldn’t want for a better offer than that friends.

But getting back to our song for today, we all know the real life incident it was based on. The Good Book relates it thus: ‘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) That really said something negative about their faith though, especially after seeing Jesus do countless miracles; healing people, feeding thousands with a few loaves of bread and fishes, even raising Lazarus from the dead.

But don’t look down on them for their lack of faith, because we’re just as bad today. And we have even more information and revelation than they had. But we still don’t make enough use of Jesus and His amazing but ever so faithful promises, and still get rather anxious and distraught when the storms of life come against us, instead of feeling the peace and calm His lead and guidance can bring.

Oh friends, all we’re doing is spoiling our lives by refusing to take Jesus as seriously as we ought to. So please, please, let’s wake up and discover the inevitable joy of a close walk with Him. That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…who alone can calm the storm…with only three simple words…JESUS…!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2019 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.

 

And the rain fell with a vengeance, for much of the day! And it wasn’t the measly drizzle we’d been getting for the last li’l while, but full blown showers accompanied by booming claps of Thor’s thunder and threatening bolts of fiery lightning! The sun would come out for a li’l while and you’d think, ‘Yes, the rain’s over!’ But that would be a wasted thought, for shortly thereafter the rain would come pouring down again. Chuh! 

And that’s the worst kind of rainfall, because it just leaves you in limbo, never knowing what it’s going to do! But the good thing is that was yesterday, Saturday, today is Sunday, a different day completely, so let’s hope the weather will be different too. (smile) And it looks different, bright, but with some scudding clouds. 

But even if it’s the same, please, don’t let us allow it to stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to celebrate His day, the Sabbath, to give Him praise and thanks, to hear His faithful and wonderful Word, and receive His enabling blessings, without which we can’t successfully navigate the storms and trials of this earthly life. And as always, we’ll begin the celebrations with a song of praise and worship to lighten our souls and prepare our hearts to hear His Word. 

And today’s song is a fairly new one, written in the second half of the 20th century, by one Artie Glenn, but was popularized by one Elvis Presley. So let’s get serious, soulful and sincere as we raise up our voices in praise and thanksgiving to heaven, through the words of ‘Crying In The Chapel’ It’s a soulful morning friends, so let’s feel it in our hearts and souls and trill as one harmonious songbird. (smile) 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel, The tears I shed were tears of joy, Now I know the meaning of contentment, And I’m happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel, Where humble people go to pray. I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger, As I live from day to day. I’ve searched (I’ve searched) and I’ve searched, But I couldn’t find, No way on earth to gain peace of mind. 

But now I’m happy in the chapel, where people are of one accord (One accord). Yes, we gather in the chapel, Just to sing and praise the Lord. Oh you’ll search, and you’ll search, but you’ll never find, No way on earth to gain peace of mind. Take your troubles to the chapel, get down on your knees and pray, Then your burdens will be lighter, and you’ll surely find the way, Yes, you’ll surely find the way!’ 

People oh people! Such simple but heartrending words of absolute truth! Wow! And we sung it so sweetly that all heaven was moved to tears! Don’t you just like it when we move all heaven to tears? Of course, because it means that we’ve done something, touching, sincere and truthful! That calls for another ‘Wow!’ this auspicious Sunday morning. 

But on a serious note though, it’s certainly amazing how the sentiments in such a short and simple song could be so true. For example; the tears many of us shed when we go to church are usually ones of joy, because something happens within our souls and spirits and we’re lifted up, we become contented through the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us and renewing and refreshing us. 

And yuh know what? We don’t have to go to no big cathedral to search for God and pray, because we’ll find Him just as well in a simple chapel, where the folks are humble, because that’s one of the requirements of coming to Him in prayer. And we not asking for a whole lot usually – well some of us are (smile) but simply to grow stronger each day as we live in the presence of God’s amazing grace. 

And yuh better believe that there is no other way of finding peace on this ungodly earth than through the auspices of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That’s for sure! As He unambiguously told the disciples, and consequently us: ‘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.’ 

Yes friends, the peace we get from Jesus is nothing like what this world has to offer; it’s an out of this world kind of peace, that ONLY He possesses and ONLY He can bestow! And that’s why we end up being contented and cry tears of joy in the chapel! And the best piece of advice there is to take ALL your troubles to God’s sanctuary, or really anywhere quiet and convenient, get down on your knees and pray; unburden your heart before Him, and He will lift your burdens and show you the way. 

Just listen to Jesus as He makes this wonderful offer to ALL those who are weighed down and burdened nuh. We call it the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly (humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

How can you ever beat that offer eh friends? Nobody has ever offered anything even close to it. And yes, I do know that when things seem too good to be true, they usually are, but that’s in the lying and deceitful world of Satan, not in Jesus’ realm! He is God and has no cause to lie! And better still, He also has the power to perform whatever He promises! All praise and glory to His Holy Name! That’s why this song, ‘Crying in the Chapel’ is so perfect in its simplicity and truth! 

Oh how I wish more of us supposed believers would take hold of the simplicity of Jesus’ message and just run with them! It would make all of our lives so much easier. Our Lord and Saviour is not a complicated man, and His pronouncements are not complicated either. All He asks of us is to believe and obey! Is that so hard to do my people? Not at all! 

So this Sunday morning, let’s take a serious and sincere stand nuh promise ourselves to just live and work for Jesus, in whatever manner He desires of us! That’s the unadulterated, God-given wisdom of heaven, by which earth should be guided! Much LOVE!

…to whatever question you might ask…Jesus is the answer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28:   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

Sunday morning coming down, heading for the house of God, with hearts a flutter, souls and bodies flushed with excitement to hear His holy word, sing praises unto Him, and thank Him for the gift of fellowship amongst believers. What can be better than that eh friends? Nothing really! For sincerely worshipping God in company with other believers is one of the greatest experiences a Christian can attain on this earth! 

You really can’t put it into words, you have to be there to see and experience it for yourself.  So let’s have joyous fellowship this morning nuh, beginning with some praise and worship, through a hymn written in 1880 by Will Lamartine Thompson (1847-1909). And it’s one we all know and LOVE! 

And according to Wikipedia, Evangelist Dwight L Moody liked it so much, that once when he was in the hospital and Thompson came to visit him, he declared: ‘Will, I would rather have written “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.” Now that was truly praise for the song, because Moody did do a lot of good and godly things in his life. 

But nuff talk now, the Father and the whole host of heaven are waiting to hear our song of praise and thanksgiving. So let’s get soulful and trill it up in rich, harmonious voice and sincere hearts, causing tears of joy to flow down the cheeks of those up there. ‘Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me; see, on the portals He’s waiting and watching, watching for you and for me. 

(Refrain: Come home, come home; you who are weary come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, O sinner, come home!) Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, pleading for you and for me? Why should we linger and heed not His mercies, mercies for you and for me? (Refrain: Come home, come home…O sinner, come home!) 

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, passing from you and from me; shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, coming for you and for me. (Refrain: Come home, come home…O sinner, come home!) O for the wonderful LOVE He has promised, promised for you and for me! Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, pardon for you and for me. (Refrain: Come home, come home; you who are weary come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, O sinner, come home…come on home!)’ 

Yes friends, we certainly stirred up the emotions this morning with a wonderful, soulful rendition of that marvellous hymn! Brother, the words are so realistic – I never really paid them that much attention before, but they do tell the story of Jesus and our sinful souls in living colour! 

And He’s just standing at the door waiting for us to come home to Him, like how the Father had an eye out for the Prodigal Son and ran and met him as soon as he came into sight. Hugging and kissing him, and not letting him get a word in edgewise. Yes mih breddren, that’s how Jesus is anxiously waiting to greet us! 

And yuh know most of us are weary and tired with this evil old world, so why are we tarrying and lingering when Jesus is calling us to come home eh? Let’s wisely heed His mercies, His promises, His pardon nuh for all the sins we’ve committed. There’s no better solution to our dark and damnable situation than that! And time’s flying by, not waiting on us, shadows are gathering and deathbeds are in the offing, so why not accept Jesus’ wonderful offer to come home to Him eh? No good reason whatsoever! 

And friends, I don’t know what scripture Johnson used to write that hymn, but believe me, I don’t think there’s a better and more appropriate passage in the Good Book than the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.(Matt.11:28-30) 

Yeh friends, if you don’t know anything else about Jesus, that passage of scripture ought to have you looking towards Him for some answers to your sorrowful situation. How can you not consider it eh? No other supposed deity is so earnestly and tenderly calling you to come into their fold like Jesus is doing. All the other supposed deities want a whole lot of stuff from you, but all Jesus wants is your LOVE and your belief in Him. Yuh better believe He won’t have to ask me twice! (smile) 

So friends, what’s stopping you from coming to Jesus eh? Whatever it is, please don’t let it, because it’s not worth passing up Jesus’ invitation! Nothing on the face of this earth is worth that! Remember, the earth and all therein will pass away at some time or the other, in the Father’s time, but the LOVE and mercy and pardon and forgiveness enshrined in Jesus, which leads to eternal life will NEVER pass away! 

That’s gospel, gospel truth! It’s better than having plenty money in the bank or plenty material possessions, because those will rot and be destroyed over time, but faith and trust and belief in Jesus will last for eternity. So please, please, I implore you, come to Him today nuh; relieve yourself of your heavy burden and get some fruitful rest. 

Jesus is simple, but powerful, and also kind, LOVING and gentle! There’s so much you can learn from Him. And as He says, His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. That means you will not be asked to bare any heavy loads or toil till you’re totally exhausted. 

And John says it thus in his first epistle: ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome).’ (1 John 5:3) And if anybody should know about Jesus’ commandments, it would be John, who spent so much time with Him and wrote so much of the New Testament. So don’t take my word for it, take John’s! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is listening to Jesus…and doing as He asks…

 

 

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 26 October 2018 Ezekiel 20:19.

Ezekiel 20:19.    I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgements, and do them.

Aloha one and all! It’s Friday morning in Kingston, J.A! Glory to God! We’re alive and kicking, and very grateful for that fact! Ah mih breddren this will be another holiday of unforgettable memories! Chuh! When I sit in my rocking chair and reminisce, this will be definitely one of my favourite reminiscences.

Yesterday morning I took the Knutsford Express from Mo Bay to Kingston, and after a three and a half hour drive through some lush green and beautiful mountain scenery, amongst which large, beautiful homes nestled, we arrived in the hustle and bustle of Kingston Town. Brother, has it ever grown and gotten busier since my days some fifty years ago! But you can never mistake the unmistakable, unique flavour of Kingston, because it has a flavour all its own.

My sister from my other family (smile) picked us up at the Bus Depot, and after taking us to lunch at a quaint J.A. restaurant, don’t remember its name, she left us in her apartment to rest.  And it’s a good thing that we did rest, because when some of the old U.W.I class of 69 began to show up, it got real hectic real fast! Now we’re all seniors many times over, but just like you couldn’t beat our indefatigable energy back in 1966-69, you still can’t beat it now!

And brother, did the old memories and reminisces fly! Most of us looked vaguely familiar to how we were back then, but there was no mistaking the camaraderie and friendship that three years at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica Campus bred! And the best part is that most of those who showed up were in the Social Sciences Faculty, so we didn’t only share social but also work related experiences.

Oh, by the way, if you added up the years of the dozen or so people that showed up, you’d probably come close to the thousand year figure. (smile) But all of us looked good and prosperous. Now that total would have even higher if several of our classmates hadn’t gone home to be with Lord a li’l bit early.

And I want to thank my big sister Maureen from my heart and soul for putting this amazing gathering together, because I hadn’t seen most of those people since I left the campus a half century ago. Just like how she looked after me in my campus days by writing my notes for the many lectures I missed, gone gallivanting somewhere about the country with friends – and I mean copying the actual notes from her notebook to mine, she’s still looking out for me fifty years later. The Lord bless her wonderful soul!

And as I sit here writing this, looking at her in the kitchen washing stuff from last night’s party, my eyes just flood with tears of joy and thanksgiving because she’s still the same warm, giving, caring and LOVING person she was all those years ago. So how can I say that I’m not amazingly blessed eh, when the Lord has brought such beautiful people into my life? It would be a certain lie, and the Lord would just cut me down to size.

Chuh! I had to stop there for a moment because I got all choked up. And is the ole fella getting choked up a lot on this vacation! (smile) But it’s Friday and we can’t leave out the workingman’s song for two straight weeks. So what’s he singing this bright, sunny, pay day Friday eh?

As usual, he opens with his thanks for Friday: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend here at last. Oh bwoy! Is also payday weekend, so you can imagine how the food and the waters going flow! Hope some of we not foolish enough to blow it all on drinks and pleasure and not pay we rent and we bills and buy food for we pickney them! It good to party and enjoy life when we work hard all week, but we must do what we need to do first. Mama Yo! I done pay mih rent and mih larder full, so is time for me an’ mih friends them to drink up the waters and stuff we face with food, as we thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends!’

Yes mih people, it’s all right to have fun after you have taken care of your immediate responsibilities. But still the workingman allows too much freedom for the enemy to infiltrate his soul. That’s why we believers have a different weekend song, we call our Friday Chant which keeps us rooted and grounded in the straight and narrow way.

So let’s chant up the usual storm, in unison 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 keep up our diligence in the spiritual battle against the evil enemy. And the Lord has sent us this reminder this October morning. ‘I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgements, and do them. And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.’ (Ezek.20:19-20)

Ah friends, the Lord is crying out to us in heart felt sorrow to come back to Him, to give up our evil ways and the worldly idols we’re now worshipping. Remember when He warned the nations long ago, they did receive punishment when they refused to listen. So I don’t know why we think it would be different with us. The Lord is LOVING and gracious and merciful and forgiving… but only for a time. When you continue in willful disobedience, you will pay a harsh price.

Unoo see all the natural disasters that happening in the world today? So let’s wake up and smell the caffeine nuh, and return to where we came from nuh, when life was so good; the LOVING arms of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Please friends, please let wisdom prevail! Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) is wont to say…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…words to live by…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2017 Luke 1:37.

Luke 1:37.     For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And then it was Christmas Eve! Yeh friends, Christmas Eve, the day before Christ’s birth, aren’t you excited? (smile) We should be my people, because it’s around this time two thousand years ago we received the greatest gift ever. The Son of God was born so that He could save sinful man, whom His heavenly Father LOVED with such a great LOVE that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, so that His human creation could be saved from hell fire and damnation. 

Glory to our Most High God my brethren, for there is no other Deity who would have ever dreamed of doing something like that! So my fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday, as we gather in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him, to give Him thanks and exalt His holy name and receive His mercy, grace, forgiveness, strength and confidence to face the upcoming week, let’s show our sincere gratitude and overwhelming LOVE by singing our hearts out with unspeakable joy and supreme gladness. 

And the song we’re going to offer up in our sacrifice of praise is the old but ever true and much liked standard, ‘O Holy Night.’ Apparently it was originally written in French, but was later translated to English, and has the distinction of being the first Christmas Carol to ever be played on the radio in 1906. So with sincere feeling now, as we raise our voices to high heaven. 

‘O holy night, the stars are brightly shining; It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born! O night, O holy night, O night divine! Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, Here came the wise men from Orient land. 

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger, In all our trials born to be our Friend! He knows our need; to our weakness is no stranger. Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Truly He taught us to LOVE one another; His law is LOVE and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His Name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy Name! His power and glory evermore proclaim! His power and glory evermore proclaim!’ 

Oh friends, what beautiful sentiments, filled with eternal truths, while offering loads of assurance for the believer. I sincerely hope that tears of joy were flowing down all our faces as we sang those exquisite words. For how could it be otherwise eh, when we’re celebrating such a joyful occasion? And friends, the whole story of Christ’s birth is so incredible, that only a superior being could have worked it out so efficiently and competently and dramatically. 

That takes us to our Bit:  ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ Those were the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, Christ’s mother, after he informed her that she would bare God’s Son through the auspices of the Holy Spirit, and that her hitherto barren cousin Elisabeth, in her old age, was also pregnant.  And what I LOVE about Mary is that despite her young age, throughout Gabriel’s information session she never got riled or overly excited. Of course she was somewhat concerned and confused as Gabriel appeared out of the blue and began to lay such weighty matters on her. Her only real question was how was she going to get pregnant without knowing a man? 

And once Gabriel explained, she was fine. ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (One) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35) I must say that Mary was pretty mature for her age and background. If an angel suddenly appeared now and told that a teenager, she’d either run away screaming in fright, or hurl vicious and angry words at the messenger. But Mary’s response at the end of the conversation was simply: ‘Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Ah friends, I’m not sure that Mary would have been so relaxed if she had known the immense heartache she would have to face by being the mother of the Son of God. But nonetheless she held up under all the stress and strain of her position fairly well. Obviously the Lord gave her the wherewithal to stand strong and face the adversity, as He does with us all, when He gives us a job to do. 

So fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday of 2017, with our world in a complete mess, let’s try and spend some serious time contemplating the mystery and the miracle of Christ’s birth, and how it affects our lives today nuh.  And consequently, what we need to do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, because if we are to be true followers of Jesus, and for His birth, death and resurrection to truly mean something, then we should always be in the process of becoming more Christ-like and setting a good Christian example to others. That’s Christ’s desire and our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…ALL things are possible with God…you just have to study Christ’s life to see it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 September 2017 Isaiah 11:6.

Isaiah 11:6.   The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Come on friends, it’s Monday, time to roll out of our sleeping bags and get ourselves together to go and labour. We had the chance to rest and relax over the weekend, and it’s our fault if we didn’t do so. Now both the Master and massa are calling out our names for work this morning. 

Oh, I know Mondays are hard for many of us, that’s why we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to liven us up. So let’s sing it now with as much enthusiasm as we can muster. You’ll be surprised at how it will drive away your Monday morning blues. 

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!’ 

Yes friends, that’s the antidote for Monday’s apathy!  (smile) And as the adrenaline is now rushing through our bodies, let’s take advantage of it nuh and get going, for there’s plenty kingdom work to be done. 

Ah mih people, the times they are rough, and getting rougher by the minute, and there are still lots of lost and unsaved souls in the world. That means we have plenty work ahead of us; convincing the many unbelievers that accepting Christ as their Lord and Saviour and living for Him is the wisest thing they can do. One of the things we can point out to them is the everlasting peace that will envelop the world when Jesus sets up His eventual kingdom. 

Our Bit paints such a lovely picture of those times. ‘The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.’ How beautiful that is to the mind’s eye! That’s the total opposite to what’s happening today. And even we believers can take heart from that awesome promise of our great God. 

And if you believe that is just ‘jestering,’ on God’s part, then hear Him promise the same thing through Hosea to the Israelites as He woos them back, because of His great LOVE for them. ‘And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break (shatter) the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. 

And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgement (justice), and in LOVING-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. (Hos.2:18-20) 

What awesome promises friends! Only the omnipotent Creator of the universe can make such promises! And if you’re thinking, well that was oh so long ago, who says it still hold true? Then listen to the Lord’s promise in Revelation. 

John confidently declares in his vision of the new heaven and the new earth: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Oh my brethren, if that doesn’t touch you deep down in your soul and bring tears of joy to your spirit, then I don’t know what will nuh! For that means all sin and it’s ugly, negative derivatives, would have been wiped out and we’d be living in peace and eternal harmony with our wonderful God right there with us! Mercy, mercy me! I really can’t think of a better situation than that!  

And according to the scholars, when that takes place: ‘A primary purpose of redemption will be accomplished: the complete fellowship of God with His redeemed people. In the eternal state, there will be no tears, death, sorrow, crying or pain. Everything will become new. God’s promises are true, and He is always faithful to His Word (cf.19:11).’ 

Beelzebub can’t promise anything remotely resembling that friends, so please let’s wake up and get a move on for Jesus, as the time for His return is drawing nigh – it gets closer every day. And who isn’t saved by then… well… crapaud smoke them pipe! Much LOVE!

…to live and work for Jesus…is the wisest decision ever…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2017 Habakkuk 3:18.

Habakkuk 3:18.   Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Well my people, it’s another brand new day, filled with grace and mercy from our magnanimous God! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord for your undeserving grace and mercy towards us! We LOVE You and adore and praise Your Holy Name!’ 

Yes friends, we’d be very foolish if we did not sincerely mean those words, because the Lord looks at the motives of our hearts, not the words of our mouths to judge our sincerity. 

To tell the truth friends, the ole fella is not in the greatest shape this morning; tired from too much running around and lack of sleep, with my back aching. I even had to go and dig out my old back brace. 

Chuh! It’s so annoying when you’re given medication to solve one problem but it also causes another. It doesn’t seem as if there is any medication around these days without numerous side effects. 

But I’m hanging in, fighting like a good soldier, (smile) holding on tightly to ‘God’s Promise’ in this prayer. I don’t remember where I got it from, and most likely have shared it with you before, but it’s powerful and assuring enough to be shared again and again. 

Please pray with me: ‘I will not fear; God is always with me. I will not doubt; God is always in control. I will not despair; God is always good. I will not falter; God is always watching. I will not fail; God is always victorious! Amen!’ 

Yes mih breddren, let’s hang on to those reassuring words of faith and add them to the awesome words of our Bit, so that our spirits can be lifted high, and our deeds and actions glorify our wonderful God. 

‘Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, our LOVING heavenly Father has provided us with such amazing, such beautiful stuff, that seldom should a doubt come to our hearts, or a tear to our eyes. And even when tears do come, they should mostly be tears of joy for His LOVING-kindness towards us. 

Oh, we all go through hardship and suffering, but in those times we desperately need to hang on to the ever-faithful promises, like in the prayer above, of our mighty God! 

Unfortunately though, a lot of us talk it but don’t feel it when the times get rough. That’s because we don’t sincerely believe them in our hearts. I can tell you from personal experience that if we do believe God’s promises, we’ll bear the rough times a lot easier than if we don’t. 

As some of you know, I’m going through a pretty rough time right now with several medical problems, whose outcomes are still up in the air, and it’s only by hanging on to the promises of God that I’m able to bear up successfully under the constant strain. 

It’s the Lord’s mercy and grace that are carrying me to the numerous doctors and tests which seem to take up a lot of my time. No, it’s not easy, but if we sincerely ask the Lord for help, He will give it to us. The only drawback to all this, is that you must experience it personally to truly believe it. (smile) 

But enough about me, let’s get to some scripture that enhances our Bit. Listen to Isaiah as he delivers to the Israelites, the Good tidings of salvation to Zion. 

After assuring them of the Lord’s good intentions towards them (v.1-9), he heartily declares: ‘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 her 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) 

What an awesome promise my people! Only our omnipotent and ever-faithful God can make such outstanding promises and then fulfill them. 

And He certainly has begun to fulfill that one with the amazing coming of Jesus, and all the mind-blowing benefits that He brought to the table. So how can we not rejoice and be glad in the salvation of our awesome God eh? 

If we are sincere believers, then we ought also to be joyful and grateful followers. The one, by just its very nature, demands the other. Now let’s go home raising even higher, the bar of our joy and contentment by declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

‘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!’ 

Yes friends, let’s believe that deep down in our hearts and souls, because it’s the awesome truth, then let’s go out and share the bountiful and undying LOVE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with the rest of the world as He instructed us to do. Much LOVE!

…true believers are happy, contented people…who desire greatly… to share the source of their joy…Jesus…with others…

 

 

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