Today​’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2019 Romans 8:35.

Romans 8:35.   Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 

Well a fine Tuesday morning to all you beloved saints of Christ Jesus! Hope the Lord is blessing you and keeping your paths straight as you walk in obedience to His holy edicts. And if we’re not doing so well in our faith walk, then let’s declare some stuff that will help us remember God’s goodness and help us stand strong in these difficult times. 

So let’s acclaim some acclamations nuh! (smile) And as always, the first one is ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) Yeh friends, what’s the point of being alive eh, if we don’t enjoy the wonderful days and life that the Lord has so magnanimously granted us? None whatsoever! 

And on top of that we know without a doubt that ‘God will supply ALL our needs through His riches in glory through Christ our Lord and Saviour!’ (Phil.4:19) Oh glory to our great God, who knows what we need and supplies it to us. And with all of that we are imbued with such strength and power and contentment, that we can say with all surety and sincerity: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) 

Yes my faithful brethren, what ever we need to do, our great God, through His wonderful Son WILL give us the wherewithal to do it! Praise His holy name! And how can we forget this most wonderful acclamation? ‘If God be for me, who can be against me eh?’ (Rom.8:31) NOBODY friends! NOBODY can stand against us if God is on our side! Please remember that! 

And how about this one? ‘I am an overcomer through Christ!’ Oh friends, oh friends, that is such a strong foundation to stand and build our faith on that I have to quote these two relevant scriptures. John says it thus in his first epistle: ‘For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:4-5) 

What powerful and encouraging scriptures my people! Through Christ we’re so empowered that it boggles the mortal mind! (smile) And here’s what the scholars have to says about those verses. ‘5:4. Whatsoever refers to every believer born of God.’ ‘5:5. There is conquering power through this confession because God is sovereign over the world, and only through His Son does man have access to and find favour with God.’ 

Now that’s telling it like it is! If you’ve been born again with the Spirit of Christ, then you have the power to overcome any and everything that’s in this evil world! Remember too what Christ said: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) So if you’re a believer you have very good grounds to expect victory in your faith walk because of Jesus’ victory. 

Therefore, Bruh Paul was able to write these immortal words to the church at Rome. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35, 37-39) 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

Yeh friends, God is the GREATEST! And we are children of the GREATEST, so nobody can mess with us and get away with it! How wonderful to know that eh! And I’ll be nice and spoon feed us here with something that we should all already know and believe. It’s God’s purpose for us! ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Most definitely my fellow believers, for all of us who are called to God’s divine purpose for our lives and respond obediently, He will, in the end, work out everything for our good. We might not see or appreciate His workings right now, but as true believers, we can be sure that it will be all right in the end! Glory to God my people! 

Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and a true sense of purpose: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And now it’s time to go out and share that friendship and LOVE of Jesus with the many who desperately need it today. Much LOVE!

…when we’re down…nothing lifts us up…like God’s Word…that’s filled with all His wonderful promises…

P.S. I’m here chuckling because this wasn’t the lesson I intended to teach this morning…in fact I didn’t have anything in mind. (smile) But this is where I was led. Thanks to our ever-faithful God! And I believe it is encouraging and uplifting. Let’s hope you find it so too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2018 1 Peter 1:7.

1 Peter 1:7.    That the (genine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.
 

Ah friends, life can be so unfair at times eh! Chuh! For the past two weeks I was waking up to bright sunshine, blue skies, aquamarine surf rolling up on the shores, and tall coconut tress swaying gently in the cool North East Trade Winds, with refreshing island talk drifting up to my room. 

But all of a sudden, I got up this morning and looking out my bedroom window, somewhat cloudy skies, multihued trees and a set of dead brown leaves on the cold looking grass shockingly greeted my sleepy eyes. It certainly brought my system to a standstill. (smile) 

But there was one redeeming feature; my neighbour has a tall tree in his backyard, don’t ask me what kind, and it is covered in golden yellow leaves from head to foot! It looks real beautiful, could be a wonderful poster tree for the colourful fall season. 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella is back home, dressed in his old red spring jacket, sitting in his old chair before his aged desktop, and writing much more comfortably than I did for the last two weeks on my laptop in J.A. But that vacation has been enshrined in the top ones that the duchess and I have taken. 

It definitely is not number one. That place of honour permanently resides in one we took some fifteen to twenty years ago, in the same Jamaica, but we stayed in a town house somewhere down in the Parish of Trelawney. And brother, the things we did; climbing Dunns River falls, rafting down the White River and numerous other tours. 

But I guess the highlight was boating up some river in the night with flambeaus, flaming torches all around, and drums beating in the distance, going to a night time barbecue somewhere along the river bank. Sorry, don’t ask me any more, because it seems I was totally wasted that night. (smile) The things we do when we are young eh! 

But in my maturity and brokenness, I was still able to do one amazing feat; walk up the winding, dangerous nature trail to the Blue Hole Waterfall, and then walk back down in my flip-flops. And I would indeed be foolish to take all the credit, or rather any of it, because it was the Lord who carried me back and forth on His strong, massive, magnificent shoulders. 

If I had known what it was like before attempting it, I doubt I would have done so. So please give the Lord all the glory, because in my weakness, His grace and strength were more than enough to see me through. Glory to the wonderful Deity we serve! 

And on that note of thanksgiving, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that certainly describes my life in the past couple of years. It’s titled ‘Don’t Stop Lord.’ Please pray with me. ‘Lord In asking You to make me whole I certainly didn’t know What I was in for. You have ransacked me Until I sometimes feel There is nothing left. But don’t stop Lord Please don’t stop! I’m trusting that the product Will be worth the process.’ 

Yes mih breddren, when I asked the Lord for healing, I surely didn’t know the paces He would put me through. And if I had known, I can’t say for sure that I would have asked for it. But since we’ve come so far, it’s too late to turn back now. And even if I don’t feel like crying out to Him to continue, the wise and sensible thing to do is let Him finish the renovations and refurbishment, because as Bruh Paul confidently told the Philippians: 

‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) Yes my brethren, once the Lord begins working in us, He never stops until the job is done, even if it takes till Jesus’ Second Coming. So please don’t ever give up on Him! 

And the Bible Promise for the poem above is also our Bit. ‘That the (genuine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.’ 

Oh friends, the Lord puts us through some tough trials to simply test our faith, to see how committed we truly are to Him. But He only does it for a ‘season,’ a short time. And if we stand strong and steadfast, He will bring us out of the testing fire, stronger, purer and more mature, like when gold and silver are burnished. 

As James says: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.’ (James 1:2-3) And patience, re perseverance, is something ALL believers need to acquire, and sadly, it cannot be acquired without going through tough times. 

So please friends, let’s all try and bear up under whatever adversity comes against us, knowing that our ever-faithful God will not give us more than we can handle, and in any case will help us through the fire and the flood. And it’s going home time, so let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose, proudly letting the world know who and whose we are. 

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

And to be true to our word, let’s go out now and share the wonderful LOVE and compassion of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus is not easy…but praise the Lord…it is certainly very rewarding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2018 Ecclesiastes 3:12.

Ecclesiastes 3:12.    ​I know that there is no good in them (nothing better for them), but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

 

Whoever said that yesterday was going to be a ‘riney’ day eh? What a joke! By mid-morning the sun had come out, not in all its glory, but strong enough to make it a sunny day, all day. Luckily too, or rather blessedly, before going for those tests yesterday, I realized that I had done something which would have negated them, so I had to cancel them, and just spent a lazy, hazy fall day at home. (smile) 

Wow! Aren’t those types of days delicious? They surely are. But like everything else in life, we can’t have them too often else the sheen, the ‘delicioso’ will wear off and they’ll become routine and mundane. What words of wisdom my brethren! The ole fella’s waxing philosophical this morning. Hn! 

And here is an interesting li’l prayer I recently got from a Daily Bread Devotional. ‘Please pray with me: ‘Father in heaven, please help us to remember that anything that frightens us comes with an invitation to find the strength of knowing and trusting you.’ Now that’s a most important fact to remember friends! Whenever we’re afraid, we have an open invitation to run to our Father and cling to Him and thereby receive the strength and trust inherent in His awesome power! Glory to God! 

It’s just like when a young child is walking with his or her parents and anything along the way frightens them, they quickly run and grab on to one of their parents because they know that there is strength and security to be found in them. Our situation with our heavenly Father is no different. And we’d be extremely foolish not to use the amenities He’s provided for our well-being. 

So having said all of that, what’s next eh? I really don’t know. (smile) But as always, wisdom dictates; when in doubt, check the Good Book. Give me a minute to do that and see where the Lord leads us… 

And talk about faithfulness! Our God is truly ever-faithful! I randomly opened the Good Book a minute ago, and lo and behold it opened unto Ecclesiastes 3, the famous chapter where Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher, talks about a time for everything. 

And there I saw this most inspiring and reassuring declaration. ‘I have seen the travail (task or endeavour) which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it (with which to be occupied). He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world (eternity) in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh (does) from the beginning to the end.’ (Eccl.3:10-11) 

And the scholars explain that last verse thus: ‘3:11: The world is better translated “eternity.” God has given man a desire for eternity and perpetuity; therefore man cannot be satisfied with what is merely temporal. Man’s quest for the eternal, however, is frustrated by his finite limitations.’ 

And that might very well be so my brethren, but nonetheless, as Cousin Sol acknowledges in our Bit: ‘I know that there is no good in them (nothing better for them), but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.’ 

Yes friends, our God made us to enjoy the beauty and fulsomeness of his universe, not to suffer incessantly in an evil world. We do have to endure some suffering and some testing to build our faith, but overall the Lord wants His people to have joyful lives and earnest and wonderful communication with Him, else why would He make all that beautiful stuff in the universe eh? 

And Cousin Sol continues: ‘And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.’ (Eccl.3:13) And indeed enjoying the fruit of our labour is God’s gift to us. Note though, he said, ‘our labour,’ not someone else’s! (smile) 

That reminds us of Jesus statement that ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) Yes my brethren, throughout the Good Book we see that the Lord fully intended for us to enjoy His universe, it’s just that our natural desire to embrace sin and its evil ways that has derailed us. 

And I want to point out an important point in our Bit; we are not only called to rejoice, but even more importantly to do good! It’s all a part of enjoying the fruit of our labour, and generally speaking, our labour won’t bear much good fruit if we don’t sprinkle it with good doings. 

Listen to this heartwarming story the apostles tell about Jesus. ‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.’ (Acts 10:38) 

Yes my faithful followers of Christ, God is also with us: we have His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and also the power that Christ had, thus to be truly Christ-like, we also have to go out and do good. And why do you think we’ve been as extremely blessed as we are eh? It’s so that we can do good by sharing them. Now let’s go home declaring (spelled it right, glory to God!) our Thursday Blessings, showing the world what can also be theirs if they embrace Jesus. 

All together in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

What a blessed life we live my brethren! Now let’s go out and share it with the less fortunate, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…half the joy in having blessings…lies in sharing them…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2018 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.    ​I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

 

Oh mercy, mercy me! Another medical journey into that confused, misguided and badly governed city of Toronto! Hence the early publication of the Bit. But it’s all to my benefit, so cheers! Let’s have a shot of caffeine to celebrate the occasion. (smile) 

Oh, this great adventure in sickness is drawing to a close…at least I think so, so hopefully it won’t be much longer before I stop having all these medical appointments. At least they will be much fewer and further between. That’s my prophetic declaration! (smile) 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, that we all could use this fall morning. It’s titled ‘Fear Not.’ Please pray with me. ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear not.” Surely You would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would You command it so explicitly If You could not keep me from fearing. 

God, You have given me a Fear Not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. Lord, when David cried to You, You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my Father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than you were to David.’ 

And NO, God will NEVER turn away or be less kind to one of His very own children! That’s His ever-faithful promise! So we can be assured that whatever fear that’s troubling us, if we take it to God in prayer, we will receive relief and succour from it. 

But isn’t it somewhat troubling that despite all the assurances and commands of our heavenly Father, re not to fear, we’re still such a fearful people? ‘Fear not!’ was one of the most used phrases by Jesus in His earthly sojourn. And when He said, ‘O ye of little faith,’ meant that we were also fearful, because faith dispels fear. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; the immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 34: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ Yeh friends, simple, but ever so life changing words! And those from a great man of God! 

That means, although we should not be always afraid, when those times arise, we should NEVER be afraid to call on our helpful and ever-faithful God for help. Note, Bruh David said, he called out in desperation, and the Lord heard and helped him. And He WILL do the same for each and every one who calls out to Him in all sincerity and truth! 

And this is how Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:4-10) 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and ever grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for his everlasting goodness to the children of men!’ Yes friends, we know it’s the truth, even though we don’t always follow it! 

And that ‘fear’ we’re talking about is not ‘fear’ in the sense of being physically afraid of God, though we should have a touch of that because of the awesome things He can do, but it’s a sense of reverence, of acknowledgement of His strength and power and goodness and LOVE towards us. 

And the scholars offer this interesting comment on ‘Psalm 34. The historical background of this acrostic psalm (Hebrew poem of which the lines begin with the successive letters of the alphabet) is related in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. (Bruh David flees to Gath from Saul’s many attempts to kill him.) It bears all the marks of the testimony of one who narrowly escaped death, just as the passage in Samuel describes. As such, it contains the praise and testimony of the one who was redeemed  (vs.1-10) and the seasoned instruction that can stem from such deliverance (vs.11-22).’ 

Now let’s hear some of that seasoned instruction: ‘Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good: seek peace and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:11-14) 

That’s wise advice indeed from someone who experienced it! So let’s remember that today nuh, as we go home now declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we’re truly sincere, we’ll go out and share it all with others, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…between fear and faith…there’s Jesus…Glory be…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Ah friends, one never knows what each passing moment of each day will bring nuh! Here I was planning to come down and write about the bright and stunning day that was happening in my neighbourhood and the upcoming long Labour Day weekend. But as it recently seems to be too often the case, I open my e-mail and find news of an obituary. Steups! 

Now this one isn’t for a personal friend of mine, but someone who played an important part in my life some fifty years ago…boy some of us are sure getting long in the tooth. (smile) The gentleman I’m talking about is H.E. Cedric Lanyon Harper, St. Kitts and Nevis High Commissioner to Jamaica (1930-2018). 

My association with him took place when he was the Warden of Irvine Hall, the Hall I was associated with on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He was a big man, both in girt and height, and good be gruff at times. His bristling moustache also lent an air of intimidation to his naturally serious demeanour. A lot of the students, including me, didn’t like him and his rules for the Hall. 

But you know what? When push came to shove, he turned out to be white knight in shining armour. Hn! I’m talking about when I could not pay my tuition fees in my last year, which meant I couldn’t take my final exam, he lent me the money from the Hall’s coffers. And for that I will be eternally grateful, so should you all be too, because then you might have never known me. (smile) 

Ah mih people, just another example to show that we should not judge the book by its cover. My condolences go out to all of Mr. Harper’s family and friends as they mourn his passing, but hopefully celebrate his apparently generous and giving life as a teacher and able representative for his country of St.Kitts and Nevis. 

But the workingman is not going to let us forget that it’s Friday, as he joyfully belts out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And a long weekend too – Labour Day! Mama Yo! All the people who labour and work hard will be celebrating the few benefits we have because of the brave resistance of so many who’ve gone before us. Yeh breddren, we have to stand up for we rights, slavery done long time ago, otherwise the greedy and hard hearted slave master going to push we right back into it. 

But he can’t stop we from celebrating how we want to on we time though. So on this last weekend of the summer, we going to throw the biggest party of the summer; nuff food and drink, music, marching and singing songs of freedom! Oh brother! What a party it going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, especially the long ones and them!’ 

Yeh friends, it is the last long weekend of summer, which means closing up the vacation cottage up north! Come next week it’s back to school and back to work for those who took vacation with their children. And as believers, we too will celebrate the Labour Day long weekend, just not as boisterously and lasciviously as the ordinary workingman. And our Friday Chant is also much more subdued and responsible than his song. 

But that doesn’t mean we can’t get enthusiastic about it, so let’s chant up a storm nuh! All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, when we work and live for Jesus, it just means that we’re a tad more responsible, more heavenly minded than earthly minded, but not so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. (smile) We have to be careful not to give the enemy any room to come into our lives and corrupt them. 

That means we always have to be on our p’s and q’s, constantly on the look out for his sly, deceitful and reasoned approaches, like the one he used on Eve in the Garden of Eden. That’s why Peter so forcefully reminds us in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! The ole crook Lucifer is always on the lookout for any toe or finger hold he can get in our lives. So continuing in the admonition of Peter: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh, I know some of us are going to say, knowing that others are also experiencing temptation doesn’t help me any. And that might be true. But hear this: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s exactly what will happen. After a bit of sufferation, to prove and strengthen our faith, the Lord of all grace and mercy will bring us out strong and steadfast. You can bet on it. Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.’ (1 Pet.5:11) Much LOVE!

…trials and tribulation…they are simply God’s way…of testing and strengthening our faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 April 2018 Psalm 146:2.

Psalm 146:2.    While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Here I am again my brethren, writing from the ninth-floor neurological section of St. Michael’s Hospital in the great city of Toronto. I could have written the Bit before, but at first I was somewhat on the lazy side and slept out the whole morning, then in the afternoon my family came, as well as the families of the other three patients in the room, so it was somewhat noisy and inappropriate. That’s why I wanted a private room, but apparently they don’t have any here. But that’s okay, we’ll manage with the Lord’s help, as always. 

Now it’s somewhat quieter so here we are on a Sunday, of course opening with praise and worship, something from Frances Crosby called ‘Praise Him!’ And do I ever have cause to praise our great God, so please do it with me. In strong voice and sincere hearts let’s sing at evening song. (smile) ‘Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory; Strength and honor give to His holy Name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children, In His arms He carries them all day long. 

(Refrain: Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness; Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song! Praise Him!) Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died. He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows, Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong. 

(Refrain) Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever; Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King! Christ is coming! over the world victorious, Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong. (Refrain)’ 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONE and ONLY ONE! That’s why I’ve decided like the psalmist did, that ‘While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.’ 

We can’t do any better than that my people, but we can surely do worse. Like the psalmist continues: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (human being), in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, (his spirit departs) he returneth to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.’ (Ps.146:3-4)

And that’s no lie, as we all know. But what some of us refuse to realize is what the psalmist says after that. ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgement (justice) for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. 

The Lord looseth (gives freedom to) the prisoners: The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord LOVETH the righteous: The Lord preserveth (watches over) the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down (makes crooked). The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy Gods, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.146:5-10) 

And that penultimate sentence is the gospel truth friends. Our great God will reign for ever, because there is none else like Him. He made the world and all there is, so how can anybody or thing be greater than Him eh? No way Jose! And until mankind truly realizes that fact, we’ll always be in trouble. But our God is also merciful and magnanimous. He doesn’t want to punish or get rid of us all who don’t live according to His rules and regulations. 

Listen to Bruh David, as he explains: ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us for our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more (not remember it). But the mercy (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.’ (Ps.103:8-17) 

Yes, my people, that’s the wonderful kind of God we serve and worship. Let’s shout it out to the world, to the many who don’t know Him, or simply refuse to accept Him because they think He is otherwise than He really is. And the best way we can do that is by sharing His LOVE and mercy with the unfortunates of the world. You know what we need to do, so I won’t belabor the point. (smile) 

In closing I’d just like to say thanks to all of you who have written in with your prayers and good wishes. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and appreciate them all. Please keep on reading the Bit and letting it be a catalyst for your LOVE walk with Jesus. Much LOVE!

…there is no better walk…than that with Jesus…  

P.S. To my St. Francis Parishioners, sorry I had to miss our Spring Fling on Saturday night. I just know that it was most excellent, because that’s how we party. Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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