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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