Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 October 2021 Philippians 4:6.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING CANADA!

Philippians 4:6.     Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. 

Oh friends, is it ever good to awaken to another day, another Monday, another Thanksgiving Monday! And all God’s people said: ‘Thanks be to God, who keeps the breath of life flowing through our earthly bodies!’ And why does He do that? Because He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, which includes enjoyment of the day. That’s why we say: ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) Yes, my brethren, that’s the only way to go! 

And on this Thanksgiving Day of 2021, where life is somewhat rough, and we can’t gather as carelessly as we’d like, we ought to be thankful that we can even gather at all. Remember last year Thanksgiving Day was a most dreary time. No set of food and family and good cheer, all because of the Pandemic situation. So, there’s oodles of thanks to be given for just being able to get together more than last year. But please, please be careful. This thing is not over yet – far from it – and we still need to take as many precautions as possible to minimize further problems. 

And to show our gratitude for that improvement, let’s intone the opening verses of Psalm 105, subtitled – God’s wondrous works in behalf of Israel. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek ye the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.’ (Ps. 105:1-4) 

Now I am sure if we were doing that as much as we ought to, we would not be having half as many problems as we do! I am convinced that many of our problems stem from the fact that we don’t reverence and appreciate our Creator as we should. But this Thanksgiving time is the right occasion for us to turn back to Him, remembering all that He has done for us, and has promised to do. 

In the marvellous words of Bruh David: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) And are we ever so glad that this Thanksgiving we have sufficient food to eat. But having said that, let’s not forget there are many of our fellow brethren out there who don’t have enough, possible nothing at all to eat, and it’s our bounden duty to provide for them as best we can. 

That recalls the glorious day when many of the children of Israel heard the word of the Lord for the first time as it was read to them, by Ezra and his associates. Then Nehemiah, the Governor, said unto them: ‘Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 1:8) 

And is it ever my fellow saints! That’s why the enemy does his best to steal our joy. He knows when he gets us sad and downcast, it’s much easier to have us do his evil bidding. But not today mih bredrin, for today is a day of exceeding joy, and a time to remember our biggest blessing, our greatest gift and benefit. Like Bruh David said: ‘who redeemeth thy life from destruction.’ And yes friends, God’s greatest gift, His biggest benefit is that of freedom from the bondage of sin, of salvation through His free gift of grace, earned through the finished work of Christ. 

As Jesus puts it: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Glory be my fellow believers! If we are not thankful for anything else, we should be exceedingly thankful for that, because it’s nothing that we earned, or could ever earn, but though God’s infinite grace and mercy, it was bestowed upon us. And all we have to do is to believe in His Son! But so many of us stubbornly refuse to do it because of foolish pride and belief in the world’s evil systems. But there will be consequences for that stubbornness. 

And let’s not think that just because we call today Thanksgiving Day, that this is the only day we should give thanks. Absolutely not! Bruh Paul reminds us of that in his epistle to the church at Philippi, when he says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Oh my fellow believers, we wonder why we don’t have peace? Well, the answer is right there. We don’t take our requests to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. And there’s no better time than right now, for us to get wise and do just that. So, in sincere prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let’s make our requests known to Almighty God through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, let’s go and keep the promises we just made, if we want to see positive answers to our prayers and supplications with thanksgiving. Much LOVE!

..in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus…concerning you… (1 Thess. 5:17)                                                                                                         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2020 John 14:15.

John 14:15.     ​If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.

Sunday morning’s come down friends! And we’ll do what we do every Sunday morning, be it sunshine, rain or snow; get together and praise, worship and give thanks to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! Only thing is that these days many of us are worshiping and giving thanks through virtual technology because of the pandemic lockdown. Yes mih people, they may stop us from gathering together physically, but they can’t stop us from giving thanks and praise! And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise be to God!’ 

And with the Christmas season upon us, when we celebrate the earthly birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I thought it would only be right to open with a timely song, a Christmas carol we all know and LOVE; ‘O Come All Ye Faithful,’an adaptation of a Latin hymn Adeste Fidelis. It’s rather appropriate for this time as it ‘harkens to the biblical story of the birth of Christ. It is considered a reference to the shepherds, after hearing the angels singing, coming to Bethlehem to adore their new-born savior. Today this hymn signifies and celebrates our coming together in worship to adore the LOVING blessing of Jesus, as he sacrificed himself for our salvation.’ 

So let’s worship nuh, in strong soulful, harmonious voice. ‘ O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels! (Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.) God of God, light of light, Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb; True God, begotten, not created: (Chorus) 

O Sing, choirs of angels; sing in exultation O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above. Give to our Father, Glory in the highest! (Chorus) Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be the glory giv’n; Word of the Father, Now in the flesh appearing, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

And is Christ ever worthy of our adoration my people! For no one has ever done what He did; give up His heavenly position and come to earth in manly form, for the main purpose of sacrificing His sinless life so that we could become children of God, with all the wonderful benefits that entails. Mama Mia! What a Lord and Saviour! 

But what does it really mean when we sing about ‘faithful’ eh? First let’s look at some definitions from the Merriam Webster dictionary. ‘1: steadfast in affection or allegiance : LOYAL – a faithful friend. 2: firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : CONSCIENTIOUS – a faithful employee. 3: given with strong assurance : BINDING – a faithful promise. 4: true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original – a faithful copy. 5: obsolete: full of faith.’ And you’ll notice what they say about the last one; that it’s obsolete, but a lot of people still believe that’s what it means, and who’s to say them nay eh? (smile) 

So you see all the different meanings ‘faithful’ can have. They left out one word though; integrity, for you can’t be all or any of those things without integrity. And I like how Wikipedia explains it: ‘Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something, and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. It may be exhibited by a husband or wife who, in a sexually exclusive marriage, does not engage in sexual relationships outside of the marriage.’ 

Therefore, in our case we can say ‘faithful’ means that we remain unfailingly loyal to Christ, regardless of the prevailing circumstances. And that’s not an easy thing to do, especially in these rather turbulent and topsy-turvy times. But if we seriously want to be a faithful follower of Christ, then we must buckle down and do the things He commands us. Listen to His all-encompassing statement to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) 

Typical Jesus, plain and straightforward. No beating around the bush. And that’s what it means to be faithful; do the things that the person or organization to which you are faithful requires of you. And don’t forget this other requirement of being faithful to Jesus. ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his soul shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt. 16:24-25) 

That means friends, all that wonderful singing we did above does carry serious consequences if we truly want to observe and honour Christ’s call and be faithful. That’s not to say we should not enjoy the merriment and festivity of the season, but we should also consider the job we have to do, after all the merriment is over. Note, after the shepherds went and saw Jesus, they went back to guarding their sheep, though with a more joyful heart. Likewise, our hearts should also be joyful, as we go through this season of Advent, contemplating the importance of Christ’s birth and what it means to us in these modern times. 

And we’ll end with these appropriate words, but please don’t ask me where I got them from, because I don’t remember. (smile) ‘The encouragement to “come, all ye faithful, . . . to Bethlehem” situates the singer both among the shepherds who rushed to see Christ and in the great continuation of the “faithful” that have traveled to Bethlehem in a spiritual nature for over 2,000 years. Although today, we cannot actually witness Jesus in the manger, we can come to Bethlehem in a symbolic sense. We can be there in our imaginations as we allow the Christmas story to hearten our spirits.’ 

Yes precious people, let’s raise our spirits, be faithful and joyful in this Christmas season, despite the many troubles in our world. For that’s what Christians – faithful, steadfast and loyal believers in Jesus do, especially when one of His commands is to be of good cheer, because he has overcome the world! Much LOVE!

…the joy of the Lord is our strength… (Neh. 8:10) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2020 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Oh friends, the Lord’s Day has rolled around once again, but sadly, this time His house, His sanctuary is desolate because of the Coronavirus lockdown. Thankfully though, that doesn’t mean He can’t bless us and make His face to shine upon us, because we’ll still be gathering to sing and praise and worship Him, though through virtual means, through the wonders of technology. 

And because of all the strife, confusion, upheaval and discontent that’s currently running rampant in our world, I decided that we needed a real thankful and joyful song to open our worship today, something to lift our spirits and remind us of our God’s goodness and LOVING-kindness. And I’m sure you’ll all agree that there could not be a better song than this one to do it. I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

Yes mih people, up on point today is that 1967 gospel music arrangement by the Edwin Hawkins Singers of the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Philip Doddridge, which in the intervening years has certainly become a gospel music standard. Just check out YouTube and you’ll see the many different versions. And today we’re really going to get into it, giving it the full gospel treatment, with lots of hand clapping, the music rich and soulful and scintillating, with the tambourines jangling and the call and answer response right up front, for that’s what really lends the song its verve and chutzpah. (smile) 

So altogether now, in full voice, letting heaven know that we’re serious and sincere: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) 

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

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes mih bredrin, that was an awesome version! Heaven had no doubt that we were sincere! And this time, Jesus couldn’t just sit smiling shyly by the Father’s side…how could He when all heaven was dancing, singing and clapping too eh…including the Father? Jesus had to get up and do a li’l two step to acknowledge the praise and worship. And believe me precious people, Jesus deserves all of that adoration and reverence for the willing sacrifice; crucifixion on the old rugged cross at Calvary, that He made on our behalf! 

Wow! What a day it truly was when He washed our sins away, when He paid the Father’s steep price to cleanse and save us from hellfire and damnation! It was indeed the happiest day that mankind had ever experienced, and the best gift ever given to us after the Lord breathed His breath of life into our forefather Adam’s nostrils! As Jesus so rightly said of Himself: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that’s exactly what He did; gave His life for us on the cross, so that we could be reconciled to the Father and live…live forever! Glory be people! 

How amazing and sacrificial is that eh! And hear Him later on nuh: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) Mama Mia! What beautiful words of reassurance? 

And the scholars express it thus: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Can any other faith sincerely promise that? Absolutely not! And what’s so great about Jesus is not that He just washed our sins away, but He also taught us to how to watch and fight and pray! Glory Hallelujah! What a giant He is! 

And to add to all that, He taught us how to live rejoicing every day too! So why wouldn’t we proud of Him eh? And revere and adore and worship Him; as well as call Him Lord and Saviour? No reason whatsoever to do otherwise my fellow saints in Christ! 

But unfortunately I have to muddy the waters here, cause not all of His followers walk the talk that they talk. Too many of us don’t watch and fight and pray, nor live rejoicing every day, although our sins have been washed away and we’ve been guaranteed eternal life. Now isn’t that a crying shame, because it just makes Jesus’ sacrifice of no account if we keep on living that joyless, ungodly life. Remember what He also said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means we’re supposed to enjoy our earthly lives if we’re true believers, not live downtrodden and dismal existences. 

Oh my people, heaven begins here on earth if you’re a follower of Jesus, and we ought to be the happiest and most joyful group of people on the planet because of all that He’s done and promised to do in the future. So let’s get with the programme nuh, let’s change our attitudes, lift our heads and give God the glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for that’s why He sacrificed His sinless life! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a true believer…then you ought to be joyful…for the joy of the Lord is your strength… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2020 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.     ​…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well it’s a bright Saturday morning in my area, and there seems to be nothing new under the sun, (smile) as Cousin Sol said so long ago. (Eccl. 1:9). The vote counting and ridiculous claims and incitement to unruly behaviour is still happening down south in the U.S. What a ridiculous example is being set by a once proud and mighty nation eh! But I guess as the ole people would say, ‘after one time is two.’ 

And as it happens with men and nations, when we get too big for our britches, we generally end up falling to our knees in misery and discord. Anyway, we’re still waiting to see how the drama, that rodeo down there plays out. But however it does play out, one thing is for sure, the results and ongoing sentiments won’t be nice and sweet and friendly. (smile) 

Enough on that topic now. It’s Saturday, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. We only got three quotes this week, so that should make my life easier. (smile) And he is still prefacing them with ‘Positive affirmation: you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are.’ So I won’t repeat it the preface, but please be careful to remember that we are only awesome in and with Jesus in our lives. (smile) 

And the first quote is ‘I don’t need someone else to feel happiness.’ And that’s oh so true. Too often though we depend on others to do or say things to make us happy. But please note that happiness is a feeling, a feeling which can be turned on and off at a whim, or change of circumstance. It’s a frail and fickle state or emotion, ofttimes with no suitable or strong foundation to keep it flowing. However, we are quite capable of raising that feeling of ebullience on our own. 

It’s become a habit though, to claim that so and so has made me unhappy, or happy. But the truth is that no one can really make us happy or unhappy but ourselves. We hold the key to either situation, by allowing others to influence us one way or another. Now joy is a different thing. That comes from a strong state of inward satisfaction, a solid foundation, which doesn’t change with every change of direction of the wind or life, and which even in tough situations, like we’re now facing, keeps us strong and steadfast. 

And it’s under those conditions that we can claim the next quote: ‘I’m calm, happy, and content. My imperfections make me unique.’ Now let’s deal with the last part of that quote first. Our imperfections don’t need to make us unique nuh, because our Creator has already done that. He made us in His own image, (Gen. 1:26) He blew His breath of life into our nostrils, (Gen. 2:7) That means each and every one of God’s creation is a unique being! There are no two people exactly alike. 

As Bruh David so famously said in Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ (Ps. 139:14) Yes my people, we are all magnificent and unique creatures, but unfortunately not enough of us can lay true claim to the first part of the quote, because too many of us are not calm, happy and contented. Yes, the current situation of a pandemic and all sorts of strife is stressful and can tend to erode our calm and contented situation. 

However, if one’s foundation is built on Jesus, then friends, you can withstand anything, any kind of stress or strain or evil circumstance that tries to steal your joy and calm and contentment! For Jesus is our rock, our solid foundation! As Nehemiah said way back when, ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

Mama Mia! What a marvellous acclamation and truthful proclamation eh! (smile) That’s why joy and happiness are different. For true joy comes from having Jesus in our hearts, but happiness is from man, that’s why it’s ephemeral; short-lived, flaky, vapour-like, with no solid foundation. And years later, Bruh Paul put it bluntly to the church at Corinth: ‘For no other foundation can no man lay than that that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.’ Yes my people, Jesus Christ is the ONE and ONLY true foundation of this world. He built it, and if and when necessary, He will destroy it. No man can do it unless He allows it. 

As the psalmist so avidly proclaimed long ago. ‘The stone which the builders refused (rejected) is become the headstone of the corner (chief headstone). This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.’ (Ps.118:22-23) Ah my fellow saints, Jesus came to earth to build His kingdom, but oh so many rejected and abused Him, and He even quoted that scripture in His relating of the parable of the wicked husbandmen. (Matt. 21:42) 

But thankfully, down through the ages, mankind has slowly woken up to the reality that Jesus is the only real Saviour available to ease hurts and pains and bring joy and gladness to the soul, and we have begun accepting Him as the foundation of our lives, though certainly not on a wide enough scale, so no wonder the minions of the evil one now have the world in grip, in a strangle hold, and causing endless strife and negative commotion. 

But my brethren, if Jesus is in our lives, then we will be okay, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and to work everything out for our good eventually. And He’s awesomely faithful in keeping His promises! So if things are rough right now and we are hurting and wounded and seeing no avenue for healing, don’t worry, come to Jesus, just as you are, and He will gladly accept and heal you. 

And that brings us to the last quote: ‘I’m allowed to take the time to heal.’ Oh hurting ones, fear not, Jesus is the original Healer, and He will take His take His time with ALL those who come to Him for succour in sincerity and truth! Hear His Great Invitation nuh: ‘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) 

And that’s the gospel truth people! Only in Jesus can a body find true joy and rest and healing and salvation! So please accept him today nuh. He’s knocking at the door to the hearts of ALL men. For your benefit, open up your heart and let Him in nuh. It will be the wisest decision you’ve ever made! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the only place for ONE STOP shopping…He satisfies ALL your needs and wants…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2020 John 3:16.

John 3:16.     ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Oh friends, it’s so good to finally awaken to a li’l sunshine after all the wet, dreary mornings of this past week! I believe this is the first time all week, although some of those days have eventually morphed into sunshiny ones. And just for your info, yesterday the sunshine won the victory! Glory be! It turned into a warm and windy day. So warm that I couldn’t sit on my porch in my shirtsleeves in the afternoon for very long because the sun was actually burning me. (smile) 

Imagine that nuh, in late October, in these northern climes. I guess it’s what we’d call a true Indian summer’s day. But the rain did come back late in the evening, and the dark clouds are now tussling out there with the sunshine for superiority, so it’s another watch and wait and see, just like we ought to be doing with our faith in Almighty God. (smile) But enough with the weather scene, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And it seems like Anselm was on a positive affirmation kick this past week, (smile) because every quote begins with the words: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are,’ which is then followed by the positive affirmation. So we’re not going to repeat the first part, just the affirmation itself. And just as a gentle reminder, you are an awesome being if you are a follower of Christ Jesus, meaning that He is in you, and you are in Him! Glory Hallelujah! 

And the first positive affirmation of your awesomeness is: ‘I’m in control of how I react to others.’ Now that should be a very true statement, especially if we’re followers of Christ, because Christ was always in control of His reaction to others, and we need to follow His example. Look at how the Pharisees and other groups mocked and jeered and harassed and finally killed Him. But you never heard Him react with the same venom that they hurled at Him. And what were some of His dying words on that old, rugged cross? ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) 

And these words from the website Gotquestions.org, provide an interesting explanation of that particular situation.‘Jesus looked down from the cross upon a scene that must have been distressing to Him. The Roman soldiers were gambling for His clothing (John 19:23-24); the criminals on the crosses to either side of Him were reviling Him (Matt. 27:44); the religious leaders were mocking Him (Matt. 27:41-43); and the crowd was blaspheming Him (Matt. 27:39). 

Surrounded by this most unworthy lot, Jesus prayed for them. “Father, forgive them” is a prayer of unmatched mercy and LOVE. It is important to note that Jesus’ prayer, “Father, forgive them,” does not mean that everyone was forgiven, unilaterally, without repentance and faith. It does mean that Jesus was willing to forgive them —forgiveness was, in fact, the reason He was on the cross. The words “Father, forgive them” show the merciful heart of God.’ 

Are our hearts as merciful, do we show that forgiving and graceful attitude? That brings us to the next positive affirmation. ‘I’m courageous and stand up for myself.’ Yes, we ought to be courageous and stand up for ourselves. But again friends, we can only do so much on our own. We need Jesus as our backer, our titanic force that stands beside us and victoriously confronts all who come against us. What did Jesus say? ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! Without Jesus, there’s not a whole lot we can do successfully. Remember too, the Lord’s admonition to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. Having told him that only through meditating constantly on His word, could he be prosperous and have success, (Josh. 1:8) He followed it up with: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) 

Yes friends, we can stand up strongest and be the most courageous when Jesus is an integral part of our lives. And along with that comes this next positive affirmation: ‘I choose peace.’ Oh Mama Mia people! That’s a glorious truth! For when we are imbued with the spirit of Christ, peace becomes a natural by-product. Yeah! And the peace we find in Christ is not only awesome but also incredible, and it’s a kind of peace that we can’t find anywhere else. Wow! Here how Jesus characterizes it nuh. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:26) 

Ah mih people, when the peace of Christ reigns in us, we’re neither troubled nor afraid, we can go through all sorts of troubles, like we doing right now, and yet still be at peace, because Christ’s peace is one that passes all understanding, all human reasoning. It’s a divine peace. And you know what that brings with it? This positive affirmation: ‘I deserve to have joy in my life.’ Yes precious people, joy is the fulfillment of Christ’s promise in our lives. Remember His immortal words? ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) 

Oh my fellow saints of Christ, having life and having it more abundantly means enjoying our earthly life, hard though it may be at times, and not waiting until we get to heaven to enjoy it. What’s the purpose of Christ sacrificing Himself for us eh, and reconciling us to the Father, if we don’t enjoy that bountiful blessing down here? And remember too these marvellous words: ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) That’s why the enemy is always seeking to steal our joy, cause he knows that without it we can be easily defeated. Like Samson when Delilah cut off his locks became weak, so we become weak when we lose the joy of the Lord. 

And all of the above leads us to this last positive affirmation: ‘I am worthy of LOVE.’ And isn’t that the most glorious, awesome, indisputable truth? It surely is! As sons and daughters of God, heirs of God with Jesus, how can we not be worthy of God’s greatest attribute, LOVE, eh? Remember the main reason Jesus gave for coming to earth to save us? ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) 

Yeh mih bredrin! It’s LOVE that moved God’s heart toward us while we were still sinners, and it’s LOVE that makes the world go round, and it’s LOVE that we don’t have enough of in this current world, why our society is in such shambles and steadily going down into the mire of hell. So let’s perk up, be courageous and stand up, for and with Christ, and show LOVE, for the devil cannot defeat us when we’re joyful and strong in Jesus. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now…is LOVE, sweet LOVE…not just for some…but for everyone… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2020 Matthew 5:14a.

Matthew 5:14a.     ​Ye are the light of the world… 
 

Yes, we’re disappointed because there’s still no corporate worship on this Sabbath Sunday, but since we’re true and faithful followers of the great, powerful and imaginative Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will find a way to worship and celebrate the Sabbath while physically distancing! (smile) No doubt about that my people! And we’re not worried, because we know that some day, as soon as the Lord is good and ready, all these present troubles will pass. And all God’s children gave a loud and positive shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! This too shall end!’ 

But until it does, we have to keep worshipping through technological means, and to tell the truth we still get to do most things, except the physical gathering and touching. But enough talk…we come here to worship not engage in idle chatter. (smile) And as always, we open with a sacrifice of praise, today’s hymn being titled, ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ And to tell the truth, I didn’t even know that was the correct name until I looked it up yesterday. I always knew it as a local spiritual ditty called, ‘A li’l more Oil in My Lamp,’ sung in some of the more evangelical churches, that got the spirit moving and the feet dancing. 

And so, in honour of that ‘Ole Time Religion,’ we going to sing it that way. I hope you like this one, mih pardner Scotty… hope it brings back memories. (smile) So let’s get the hands a clapping and the feet a dancing and voices in full, harmonious throat, as we sing praises to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! 

‘A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. A li’l more oil in my lamp, I pray. A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. Keep it burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, I pray. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. A li’l more joy in my heart, I pray. A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. A li’l more faith in my heart, I pray. A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, that was indeed a rousing rendition. It reminded me of how the Pentecostal Church where I grew up would be humming and jumping when they gave praise. But I guess to each his own, and I don’t think the Lord refuses any kind of praise, once it’s sincere. And I have one person’s view point on the benefit of the song. ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ 

And believe me friends, it certainly gives us spiritual food for dark and tough times! When we seek to have more, light, LOVE, joy and faith in our hearts and souls, it does inspire us to rise above our earthly problems and also receive divine guidance and wisdom to do the work that Christ desires of us. And right now I’m seeking some of that divine guidance and wisdom to know where to go from here. (smile) And I believe this is where I’m being guided. 

The first place is to the parable of the ten virgins; five who were wise enough to take extra oil for their lamps, and five who were foolish not to do so. We are expected to be like the first five; wise and take oil with us when we go to wait for the bridegroom at the wedding feast, so that our lights don’t go out if He takes a long time to come. Remember, Jesus expects us to be bright, shining beacons to the world: As He clearly says: ‘Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a; 16) 

And to do that in an excellent and diligent manner, as the song says, we need other things; like LOVE. And hear Jesus on the subject: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Oh friends, that seems clear and straightforward! But does our behaviour tell that story? Not nearly enough as it ought to! 

And would you believe that if we truly followed Jesus’ advice, our lives would be filled with that unsurpassable blessing called joy? And not the joy of this world, but Jesus’ special kind. ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 13:11) And later on, He again told the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) And let’s not forget ‘that the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So without it, we’re weak, fragile and unable to do His work properly. 

That brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, but the first one we need to acquire, and the one that keeps us keeping on; faith. That ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yes friends, buoyed by hope, we achieve faith; assurance in the New Testament, and this brings us to a certain and sure conviction in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Obviously we can get deeper into all of those topics, but hopefully this will suffice for now, will serve as a catalyst to keep us strong and steadfast in prayer, with LOVE for each other, like shining lights filled with joy, and doing the best we can in these turbulent times. Much LOVE!

…to know Christ’s joy…and LOVE…and peace…is to accept Him forever…as Lord and Saviour…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2019 John 15:11.

John 15:11.   ​These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
 

What a lousy, miserable, pain filled night! Yes mih first born, the ole fella complaining! (smile) And I’m sure if you had a night like I had, you’d complain too! Can’t find a comfortable position in which to sleep, because everyone I try, some ole broken down joint cried out in anguish. Then having to get up every couple hours to go to the bathroom, courtesy of the radiation treatment. 

Steups! Is a good thing this radiation nonsense finish this week yes! Couldn’t handle no more of it nuh. Is since May I’ve been going down to the hospital every blooming day for the treatment. Now is July, time for it to done oui! And the sad part is that I try to stay away from the pain killers, since I’m already a walking pharmacy (smile) but this morning I had no choice, had to get some of father’s li’l helpers to keep the ole bod moving sprightly. And that’s my rant for this morning! (smile) 

Now here is what we should all be having…JOY! Yes friends, that’s the watchword for today – JOY! And we’ll check it out from a poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Please pray with me: ‘JOY! My favourite word. Circumstances may determine my happiness But, Lord, You determine my joy. Joy is sweetly honest. No wonder the minister said: “You can’t hide joy if you have it – You can’t fake it if you don’t.” Who can manufacture it, Lord? Joy is Your creation. Who may have it? Anyone who asks. Thank You, Lord For JOY!’ 

Yes mih people, JOY is of the Lord! And as the poem says, anyone one who wants it can have it, they just have to ask for it! Now are we asking the Lord for joy? Or are we merely living with happiness determined by our earthly circumstances? I certainly hope we are doing the former because that is what Christians ought to have; it’s what Christ died for us to have. 

Hear these immortal words of our Lord and Saviour nuh, while talking to the disciples about Him being the vine and they the branches, who need to stay connected to Him, if they expect to grow and thrive. ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his LOVE. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:10-11) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that! The joy of Christ in us enables us to handle any situation that comes against us with wisdom and steadfastness. We don’t get wishy-washy because of our circumstances. Now hear some more of Jesus talking to the disciples on the subject of joy. At one stage He told them this li’l riddle: ‘A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.’ (John 16:16) 

Obviously the disciples were confused and muttered amongst themselves over what His words meant. And Jesus, sensing their confusion, explained it to them. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail (labour) hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of (has given birth to) the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born into the world. 

And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:20-24) 

Ah mih people, words of true wisdom and enlightenment from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Words that have stood the test of time and are still applicable to these evil and troubled days! Just knowing that with Jesus in us, and we in Him, and being sure that He will come again to take us home, to be with Him in paradise forever, ought to be such a great motivator for us to live and die for Him. 

And when you add that last piece about asking for anything in His name and the Father will grant it…Hn! Our lives ought to be overflowing with joy everlasting! For no other faith, religion, or whatever you choose to call it, offers that kind of assurance and satisfaction. Now obviously Jesus is not referring to asking for selfish, ungodly stuff, but things that fall under the Father’s will. 

Too many of us though use those words to ask for selfish, ungodly stuff, and when we don’t get it, rail against God and His word. But please remember that God is not sitting in heaven like a doting grandfather to just give us any and everything we want. He has a universe to run, and doesn’t have time for our selfish, childish, petulant needs. We have a serious part to play in this world, so please friends, let’s play it nuh. 

And as the Bible verse attached to our poem says: ‘Don’t be dejected or sad, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh.8:10) And that’s the gospel truth friends! That’s why the enemy always targets our joy in his attacks. He knows that if he can take away our joy, then we’ll become weakened, like Samson, when Delilah cut off his hair. (smile) 

And with all of that encouragement and assurance running through our souls, spirits and bodies, let’s go home now, joyfully declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday mantra, gladly telling the world who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, what joy our sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world will bring both to us down here on earth, and to those in heaven above! So let’s get out there and share it nuh! Much LOVE!

…though living for Jesus…can be sometimes difficult…we still experience joy…unbelievable joy in doing it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2018 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:9.    Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every other name.

 

Aye mih breddren, is Monday, that great day of the week that causes us so many problems. But since we can’t get rid of it or get around it, we need to learn to live with it. And we better had learn to do that early in life because we’re going to be bombarded by a whole lifetime of Mondays. (smile) 

And one of the best ways to do that is to prepare for it by fellowshipping with other believers on Sundays to raise our level of peace and joy, for remember the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh.8:10) And then on Monday, begin the day by acclaiming this wonderful acclamation: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)  That ought to set you on the right path. 

But just in case it doesn’t, then you can join with us in singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which I’m sure will get you going, because it’s the antidote for whatever ails you on Monday mornings. (smile) So without further ado, let’s get with the programme and sing; sing in unison with whatever enthusiasm you can muster. 

‘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, fellow children of God, yuh see how that has brought a whole different outlook to the Monday morning! I told you it would. Now you’re feeling ready and able to go out and do battle with entire world with Jesus as your Field General! All glory to His holy name! For that’s how His Holy Spirit works wonders in our lives! 

Remember too that there is awesome power in the awesome name of Jesus as Bruh Paul informs us in our Bit.  ‘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) 

 Ah mih people, you couldn’t get any better than that! What an honour the Father bestowed on Him for His obedience and humility and selfless sacrifice for going to the cross on our behalf! Yes friends, the name that is above all others is ‘JESUS!’ Please remember that, for your eternal life depends on it! Because if you don’t call out to Him for help, for mercy, forgiveness and saving grace before you depart this earthly life, then sorry…crapaud smoke yuh pipe! 

You’ll be sadly headed for eternal damnation with Lucifer and his evil minions. And as I keep saying, that’s the worst fate than can ever befall a human soul! So please look to Jesus. I plead with you to get truly acquainted with Him so that you can call on Him in times of trouble and need, because His name is definitely the most powerful in God’s magnificent universe! 

And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul or me, then listen to what Jesus says about His name. ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) Who else can make such a statement and live up to it eh? NOBODY! 

Now hear this: ‘And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.’ (Matt.19:29)Again, who can make such dazzling and daring promises and keep them eh? ONLY JESUS! 

For as Peter said before the High Priest: ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:12) And that’s the gospel truth! 

And if you still don’t believe (smile), then check out this statement of Jesus. ‘And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:23-24) 

There you have it friends, right from Jesus’ mouth, and He does not lie. So it’s all up to you now, to seek earthly joy and eternal life by calling on the most powerful name in the universe. But as for me and mine, we will be calling on Him in true faith. Please let wisdom be your guide, and do the same. Much LOVE!

…I am the WAY…the TRUTH…and the LIFE…no man comes to the Father but by ME… (John 14:6)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2018 Psalm 144:9.

Psalm 144:9.   I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery (harp) and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

To go or not to go? That is the question: whether, on this summer Sunday morning, I should stay in my warm, comfortable bed, roll over and go back to sleep, or make a determined effort to roll out, get dressed and go to the Lord’s sanctuary, to praise and worship, give thanks and fellowship with other faithful believers? 

Hn! Oh friends, I daresay that many of us are facing that question, or have already faced it. Let’s hope that your reaction was, or will be the wise one; getting up and going to church. And while there you sincerely open your heart and soul to your heavenly Father, and you also take in all that He has to offer, so you can leave there stronger, more faithful and full of confidence. 

And today friends, in our li’l get together, we’re going to open the proceedings the way we always do, by softening up our hearts in song, making them more receptive to God’s word, by first giving Him thanks and praise. And we’re going to do exactly what our Bit tells us to do: ‘I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery (harp) and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.’ 

Oh what a joy it is to sing unto the Lord my brethren, especially a new song, one that He hasn’t heard us sing before, because then He is eagerly looking forward to the praise we have to offer. Yuh know that’s one of the reasons He created us; to praise Him? So let’s not keep Him waiting any longer nuh, let’s belt out this new song with strong voices and sincere hearts. 

As one soulful choir now: ‘(Chorus: Sing a new song unto the Lord, Let your song be sung from mountains high. Sing a new song unto the Lord, Singing Alleluia! Alleluia!) The Lord’s people dance for joy. O come before the Lord And play for Him on glad tambourines and let your trumpets sound. (Chorus) 

Rise, O children from your sleep your Saviour now has come. He has turned your sorrow to joy, and filled your soul with song. (Chorus: Sing a new song unto the Lord, Let your song be sung from mountains high. Sing a new song unto the Lord, Singing Alleluia! Alleluia!) 

Yes my people, that’s the way it ought to be! The Lord is good and merciful and LOVING, so His people should show their appreciation and gratefulness by dancing before Him with joy! That reminds me of when Bruh David danced before the Lord with all his might when they brought up the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Sam.6:14) 

And the Lord just LOVES His music, so it’s a no-brainer that we should play happily and sweetly on our musical instruments and thus bring Him pleasure. So let those tambourines jangle, the harps sing and the trumpets sound out! An’ yuh see, even the song says we must rise up from our sleep, because our Saviour, Jesus has come! Glory be! 

And what’s even better, is that He has turned our sorrow to joy, and filled our souls with song! Mama Mia! How can we beat that eh friends? No way! And as I keep saying, with a Saviour like Jesus, and all that He’s done for us, we Christians should be the happiest people in the world! Joy should be our watchword; ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength,’ (Neh.8:10) And since we know that salvation has been granted and eternal life is waiting in heaven, our earthly life should be just one big sing along! (smile)  

Like the Good Book says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp; sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (a shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:1-5) And there is no disputing any of that my people! 

And now hear Bruh David in Psalm 40 nuh –Praise for answered prayer. ‘I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings (my steps). And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ (Ps.40:1-4) 

Ah friends, that’s the power of trusting in the Lord: you cry out to Him in patient and sincere trust, and He raises you up, and puts a new song in your soul, so you can praise Him even more! Glory to our heavenly Father! 

And we’ll end with this wonderful advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

We couldn’t get any better advice than that nuh friends, so let’s take it to heart and put it into action today nuh! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing our God LOVES more…than us giving Him sincere thanks and praise…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

So friends, it’s Monday…But the good news is that both in Canada and the U.S it’s a public holiday. In the U.S it’s Columbus Day, celebrating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in the 1490’s. Meanwhile, in Canada, we’re celebrating our Thanksgiving Day with feasting and festivity, and hopefully thanks and praise to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s recently showered down on our land.  

Let’s also be thankful that hurricane Nate did not do much damage to the part of Louisiana that it passed over yesterday. Ah Lord eh! Hopefully this will be the last storm for this year, for the area could not handle much more disaster. Don’t forget to include in our prayers those who have recently suffered serious setbacks and that they are on their way to recovery and rebuilding their lives. Remember too the ones who are still undergoing trials and tribulations.  

And let’s hope that all this unexpected calamity serves as a wake-up call for us to repent, to forsake our evil ways and get back into the good graces of Almighty God, for it’s difficult not to consider the unparalleled circumstances that have recently afflicted us as a warning from Him. So let’s pray that we will take the warning to heart and wisely make amends for our sinful ways, and once again make Him the undisputed God of our society. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, which means that in our 24/7 society, some people must go to work, regardless of the public holiday, and there’s no time harder to get up and go out to labour than on days like these, when the majority of people are off. So let’s send them out on a high note with a wonderful rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

In strong voice now, with lots of enthusiasm: ‘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!’ 

And as always, the voices of those not going out to work are the loudest and most raucous since many of us have already been celebrating for the past couple days. (smile) And whether you like it or not, I have to remind us of Granny’s warning; that drunk or sober we need to mind our business very closely, as too much celebrating can make us cross over the Christian boundary line without even noticing it, thus giving the enemy a gleeful chance to invade our space, something we want to avoid at all costs.  

That brings us to our Bit, the words of Nehemiah to the people of Israel after they had rebuilt Jerusalem and had heard for the first time God’s Word read from His Holy Book by the scribe Ezra. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

It was indeed a day of rejoicing for those Israelites, many of whom had recently returned from captivity in Babylon and were enjoying freedom for the first time in many a day, if not the first time in their lives. We should also be in rejoicing and sharing mode, but more importantly, making sure that we give God His rightful deserts of thanks and praise for bringing us to this high standard of living, for it’s only through His generosity and magnanimity that it’s possible.  

Remember what we sang yesterday? ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow…’ And that’s the truth in spades! For as the Good Book tells us: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut.8:18)  

Yeh friends, the Lord brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt and kept them in the wilderness for forty years, then enabled them to go into the Promised Land and take it over. Without His help, none of that would have been possible. Likewise without God’s help, our current prosperity would not have ever been realized. 

So I’m imploring us, that as we gather today, with friends, families and neighbours, let’s spend some time remembering and talking about the goodness of God towards us, and giving Him appropriate thanks and praise, glorifying and exalting His precious name, for each and every one of us has so many things to be thankful to God for in this our earthly journey. We didn’t reach this stage of evolution through our own efforts, but through God’s blessings. Consequently we ought to show the necessary gratitude. Much LOVE!

…it’s not about eating and drinking…but giving thanks…to be able to eat and drink…there is a big difference…

 

 

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