Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2020 Deuteronomy 32:4.

Deuteronomy 32:4.     He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 

Time to gather once more friends…and still mostly technologically. (smile) But who cares how we gather, once we gather to praise and worship the Lord on His day, knowing that He will be amongst us wherever and however we come to Him in humble adoration! And today we begin worship with a real golden oldie, ‘Rock of Ages Cleft for Me.’ And before we go further, let’s talk about a cleft. It’s a space or opening in a rock where one can hide. And in the context of ‘Rock of Ages,’ it is a metaphor for God, used as such throughout the Bible. 

The hymn was written by the Reverend Augustus Toplady in the seventeen sixties, after supposedly finding shelter from a thunderstorm in a cleft of a rock in Somerset, England. And though there’s no proof to substantiate this story, the website Hynary.Org tells us that ‘it does provide a vivid image through which to understand the hymn. Christ and His redemptive work on the cross are like that cleft in the rock, where we can find shelter from the deluge of sin’s guilt and power.’  And this one’s for you Scottie mih brother, because I know you like these golden oldies. (smile) 

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

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

And believe me friends, there is no better place to hide than in the cleft of Rock that’s our God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now let’s look at a few places in the Good Book where our God is referred to as a Rock. We’ll begin with Moses’ song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord; ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut. 32:3-4) 

And the scholars explain: 32:4-9. A faithful God and a faithless people are pictured. The Rock: The word is placed first in the Hebrew for emphasis. It emphasizes the stability and permanence of the God of Israel. His unchanging nature is contrasted with the fickleness of the covenant people.’ And is that ever so true my brethren; our great God never changes. He is strong and steadfast, the same yesterday, today and forever. No wonder later on Moses could truthfully declare (yeahhh!) to the people of Israel. ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’ (Deut. 33:27) 

Mama Yo! What powerful scripture from our powerful God! And if you don’t want to believe it, that’s your business, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will believe. And as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Now please children, please don’t make me a liar. (smile) And I like how several of these acclamations that God is a rock are found in songs of praise. Listen to this one from Isaiah. 

‘Open ye the gates that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah (Yahweh) is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages.’ (Is. 26:2-4) And we can’t end without this most appropriate scripture from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance. 

Hear Bruh David expatiate on his magnificent and magnanimous God nuh. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (fortress, stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:1-3) 

And that’s exactly what Bruh David did friends! And the Lord responded exactly as he said He would, saved him from his enemies. What does that tell us my people? That if we’re wise, we too will surrender our souls to Almighty God, put our most sincere trust in Him, then call on Him in faith to deliver us from our enemies and our problems. And we desperately need to do it right now, because our current problems are bamboozling us, we certainly can’t handle them on our own. Yes friends, our Creator and heavenly Father is the ONLY One who can help us in these perilous times. So let’s surrender and pray nuh. 

And we’ll go home with these beautiful and truthful words from the web site God tube. ‘Even when we may feel like we are all alone, Remember that God is always by our side and will never abandon us. (Heb. 13:5) He is truly our light in the dark and our rock that we can stand upon always. What an amazing feeling to be LOVED by such a kind Father and to give praise to His name with the beautiful hymn ‘Rock of Ages.’ Hearing the story behind the hymn made this classic song even more powerful. What a way to worship!’ My sentiments exactly! Much LOVE!

…oh the blood…the blood of Jesus…the only sure rock to stand on… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2019 Psalm 18:2.

Psalm 18:2.    ​The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) Oh friends, you couldn’t get any surer or more trusting than that! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2018 Psalm 18:2.

Psalm 18:2.   The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength; in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).

Ah mih people, it’s that day again, the Sabbath! That means it’s time for celebration as well as holiness. And we can begin by joyfully declaring, as the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

And while we do that, we can also be wending our way to the Lord’s house to fellowship with other believers, to offer up sincere prayers, worship and give thanks for all the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, as well as to hear His word and regenerate our confidence. Wow! What an awesome God we serve my brethren! 

And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song, to loosen up our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Word. Today’s song is an old but wonderful hymn titled ‘My hope is built on nothing less,’ written by Edward Mote back in the 19th century. And on a point of interest, have you ever noticed that many of our beloved hymns were written way back when. 

Maybe it says something about the level and intensity of Christian praise and worship back then. Anyway, let’s sing, with raised voices and truthful hearts. ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. 

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in ev’ry high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the ‘whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. 

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my fellow believers! The only real safe and secure foundation on which to build is on Christ, our Rock and our Saviour. Anything else is merely sinking sand, and it’s only a matter of time before the whole edifice erected thereupon crumbles. 

That’s why Bruh David could stand up and declare our Bit with utmost confidence, and so too can we many thousands of years later. ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength; in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).’ 

Ah mih breddren, mih breddren what immortal words of comfort and assurance! And if we have Jesus as our guiding light, then we too ought to be able to declare them with audacity and boldness, for Jesus is indeed all those things to those who sincerely and truly believe in Him. 

And if Jesus is so mighty then, Bruh David is indeed right to declare after our Bit. ‘I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:3) And he did call upon the Lord, and the Lord saved him. (Ps.18:.4-16) Friends, yuh see how much time and trouble our Lord took to save Bruh David from his enemies? It’s the same way that He will save us if we call on Him with right hearts and sincere spirits. 

Hear Bruh David again: ‘He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented (confronted) me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay (support). 

He brought me forth also into a large (broad) place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.’ (Ps.18:16:21) 

Oh my people, none of us have as many enemies or problems as Bruh David had back in his day, and if the Lord saved him out of them all, why would He refuse to do the same for us if we bow down and faithfully worship Him and keep His will eh? No reason whatsoever! 

That means it’s all up to us. If we want to see the goodness of God, then we have to do the things that will produce it. We can’t just sit back and expect it to fall in our laps. So let’s get serious and do our part of the partnership nuh, if we want so see fruitful results. 

Remember, we only reap what we sow. And if we don’t sow righteousness and LOVE, we won’t receive the Lord’s blessings. Much LOVE!

…For who is God…save (except) the Lord…or who is a rock…save (except) our God… (Ps.18:31)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2018 Psalm 28:7.

Psalm 28:7.   The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Ah mih people, 2018 has certainly come roaring in like a ravaging lion with a wicked winter storm mashing up the East coast of North America, after we’ve already been in a deep freeze for the past two weeks. 

Boston is apparently a mess from snow and flooding caused by surging sea tides. Places in Florida that have not seen snow in decades have certainly seen it now. All the snowbirds that left Canada to winter in Florida must be pretty annoyed. 

They’re calling this extraordinary winter storm a ‘Bomb Cyclone!’ Why I don’t know, but it’s certainly living up to its name. Let’s hope that my li’l area doesn’t get any of it, because all we’ve been seeing and feeling recently is white and cold! Hn! 

But I must say that the ordinary workingman does have an extraordinary resilience to this type of weather, for it has not stopped him from boldly declaring his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend reach at last! So it cold and snowy, so what? Is winter in the north country, that’s what it’s all about! 

We not going to let a li’l bit of snow and cold stop our partying, stop us from enjoying we two days off from slave labour! Hell no! We going to go outside and play in the snow, then come inside and warm up with some hot toddies! (And his beady eyes twinkle at the thought) What a wonderful weekend it’s going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah Lord eh! I daresay that not all of us are feeling that way. Definitely no playing in the snow…but the hot toddies…well…maybe… (smile) Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which runs somewhat contrary to the workingman’s song, because our emphasis is not on play and our carnal appetites. 

‘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.’ 

Oh friends, it’s not that we Christians don’t or can’t have fun, but fun is not our goal; working and living for Jesus is. And though that includes having fun, it also means being more focused and cautious about overstepping certain boundaries that can get us in serious trouble. And some of that trouble can have serious lifetime consequences. So it’s not advisable for believers to just go overboard in their leisure time. 

Anyway, enough preaching; (smile) here is our Bit: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ And that’s the awesome truth my brethren, as Bruh David found out during his rough times. Who else are we going to turn to in our time of need and trouble eh? Obviously the One who made us and still cares for us! 

Bruh David said before our Bit: ‘Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.’ (Ps.28:6) And it only makes sense to turn to someone who hears your cry for help. And we’ve seen throughout the Good Book that it was to the God of his forefathers that Bruh David turned when the enemy came a calling. 

Hear him from Psalm 18 – A prayer for deliverance. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1:3) 

What powerful sentiments my people! But that’s because Bruh David didn’t only turn to God in times of need, he kept Him in his heart ALL the time! And that’s why the Lord saved him from his enemies. Oh friends, it’s the same thing the Lord desires of us; to be with Him all the time, not just when life gets rough to remember Him and cry out for help and expect it to come right away. 

Please note that Bruh David was not exempt from trials and tribulations, he had more than his fair share, but the Lord made sure that he came through them safely. Likewise friends, we will experience trouble and heartaches in our lives, but if like Bruh David, we stay anchored in the Word and faith of our great God, then He will also bring us through the fires of our lives unscathed. 

Remember how he brought out the three Jewish boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, without them even smelling of smoke. And more importantly, while they were in the furnace, king Nebuchadnezzar saw four people in there. Obviously the fourth was either the preincarnate Christ who often appeared in the Old Testament, or an angel of the Lord sent to protect them. (Daniel 3) 

So my faithful brethren, it only makes good sense, it’s eternal wisdom to place our trust in the One who created us and still cares for us. And there’s no better way to end today than with the ever-faithful promise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Words to live by my people! Much LOVE!

…with the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in us…there’s  absolutely no need to be afraid…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2016 Joshua 1:6a.

Joshua 1:6a.   Be strong and of a good courage…

Oh friends, ‘I’m getting better! I’m getting better!’ All thanks and praise and glory be to our most awesome and wonderful God! 

Yeh mih people, the cough and cold and consequent asthma that’s been bothering me for the past week is easing up…Glory to God! I can now breathe a lot easier… All thanks and praise be to the Most High who heals and comforts us in our time of sickness! 

Now here is something interesting and uplifting from my P.S. I LOVE YOU Poster, which I’ve probably shared before, but it’s so nice, we just had to do it twice. (smile) . 

It tells us that ‘The people on our planet are not standing in a line single file. Look closely. Everyone is really standing in a circle, holding hands. Whatever you give to the person standing next to you, it eventually comes back to you.’ 

And it would certainly be wonderful if we were all really in a circle holding hands, then there wouldn’t be as much anger, strife and all the other negative options that are currently flooding our world. But the last part is gospel truth though my friends; whatever we give out, is what we’ll get back, like a boomerang…and more than we gave out too. 

So if we sow negative stuff, we will reap more negative stuff than we sowed. However if we sow positive vibrations, then our reaping will be more positive vibrations…exceeding abundantly. So please, let’s concentrate on sowing positive vibes as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ desires of us nuh, not the many negative ones that we’re currently sowing. 

And to show the positivity, the passion and enthusiasm that we have for life this Wednesday morning, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail passionately and exuberantly, with hungry hope and expectant faith. 

Wailing: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’  

Oh that’s such a glorious feeling my people; feeling God’s astounding breath of life flowing through our frail and fragile bodies, making us strong and able to fight the enemy to the death! 

Yes my brethren, we definitely can’t afford to look back at all the stuff that’s already happened in our lives, because our best days are still ahead of us, through that amazing future which Jesus has planned for His people. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful, ‘Thank you Jesus! We praise and bless your Holy Name and give You sincere thanks for all that’s You’ve done, are doing right now, and has promised to do for us later on! Amen!’ 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ 

And I LOVE how it’s so short, but yet so powerful… ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ When you declare it, it just seems to lift you up and move you in a positive direction. And do we ever need much strength and courage in these turbulent and difficult times! 

Now let’s look at some scripture that enables us to stand strong and be of good courage. The verse right before our Bit says it all. God says to Joshua: ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

What a wonderful promise that is friends! And the great thing about that promise is that it’s also meant for us in these desperate times. We don’t need to fear or fret because our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and we know that He’s ever faithful to ALL of His promises. 

Now hear Bruh David tell it like it is from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 

Ah friends, what hope, faith and trust Bruh David showed in the God of his forefathers! And we all know it was not misplaced, because the Lord indeed saved him from his enemies and supplied all his wants and needs. In the same manner my fellow followers of Jesus, the Lord wants to bless and keep us, but we need to be obedient and faithful to Him and his word. 

And we’ll end with some more powerful and uplifting words from Psalm 18. ‘As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried (proven): he is a buckler (shield) to all those that trust in him. For who is God save (except) the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.’ (Ps.18:30-32) 

Indisputable, incontestable, irrefutable, undeniable, unequivocal, gospel truth my brethren! So let’s write it indelibly in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies nuh, so that we can be strong and courageous in our walk of faith! Much LOVE!

…the Lord gives strength and courage…to those who seek Him sincerely…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 May 2015 Psalm 16:11

Psalm 16:11. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Aye Friends, my most humble apologies for the Bit being this late. But it was just one of those mornings: I couldn’t roll out of bed as early as I wanted, and when I did roll out, all the aches and pains seemed to gang up on me, so I was moving around like a real old man for a while. Hn, Hn!

Don’t know if that’s the harbinger of rain or what, as some people seem to think, though we could certainly use some and it’s a tad cloudy outside. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes in the later days of one’s life, especially when you’re beset by the wonderful disease called arthritis.
 
And my lovely allergies have also decided to act up this morning. Chuh Steups! But realistically you’ve just got to grin and bear the adversity and trials, because you can’t do anything much about them.
 
However Friends, the important thing in all of that is that I know that my Redeemer lives! Glory to God! He died, was buried, then rose again from the grave, in the process defeating hell, Lucifer, death and the grave. Glory Hallelujah!
 
So though the body is aching and getting on in years, the spirit is well, it’s beautiful, and remains ever- young, and I can comfortably abide in all the great promises of Jehovah God, for I know from personal experience that He will faithfully keep them and never leave nor forsake me.
 
Wow mih breddren! As I keep saying, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! There’s none other like Him in the universe. And how could there ever be eh? No two beings could have such awesome power and exist together. As the old people would say, ‘two man-rat can’t live in the same hole!’
 
Hn, hn! Haven’t heard that one in some time, but it’s the absolute truth! And just to show what I’m talking about, check out this scene for May, from the One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin.
 
It’s titled ‘The Promise of Abundant Life.’ And it says: ‘Lord, you always bring ultimate good to those who LOVE you. May I never surrender to the false conclusion that you have no more for me than what I already have.’
 
Oh Friends, it’s ever so important that we keep our hopes up, be prisoners of hope always and forever, and never give up on the awesome potential and LOVING-kindness of our great and most merciful God!
 
For as the promise on which that poem is based, which is also our Bit, taken from a contemplation of Bruh David, where he wisely proclaims: ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’
 
Mama Mia! Now why would I want to walk away from such a Deity eh? One who shows me the way to live righteously, in whose presence I find everlasting joy, and who has innumerable pleasures for me to enjoy from now until eternity?
 
Steups! I would be real foolish my brethren to walk away from such a wonderful God, especially when I know that He always keeps His promises.
 
But sadly, a lot of mankind are doing just that; walking away from Jehovah God right into the waiting arms of an evil and dangerous Lucifer. That’s a fool’s wisdom, my people. For what can Lucifer do for us that the Most High God can’t do eh? NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
 
Nothing but fool us with some material things that don’t last and a few earthly and fleshly pleasures that will only have us end up in hell, and thus endure everlasting separation from Almighty God. Steups! And that’s the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human soul.
 
So why do we still insist on fooling around with the things of the world, of the prince of darkness eh my people? I really don’t know nuh. I guess it’s partly because of our innate sinful nature and our child-like desire for bright lights and flashy baubles and bangles, none of which really have any substance, but are simply false fronts, facades to hide the evil and non- substantive stuff that lies behind the bright golden curtain.
 
Remember Friends, all that glitters is not truly gold!
 
Now let’s check out some scriptures that reinforce the wisdom of our Bit. And we don’t have to go far, just a couple Psalms over to 18, where Bruh David is giving thanks for deliverance from his enemies. Listen to these wonderful words of faith and encouragement my brethren!
 
‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength. In whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 
 
Oh Friends, that’s the only wise way to live this earthly life! And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to Jesus, as He delivers His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.
 
‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14)
 
Oh my people, what more can I say eh? Not much, except to give us some thoughts on the subject from the scholars. ‘7:13-14. The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (vs.13-14); two trees (vs.15-20); two professions (vs.21-23); and two foundations (vs.24-29). This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought.
 
Enter ye in at the strait gate (narrow) means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (John 6:44).’  
 
Oh Friends, that’s heavenly wisdom in a nutshell! Please, pretty please, let’s go out and practice it nuh, let’s put it into action in this ungodly world, so that we can glorify our heavenly Father, and ensure that we won’t be separated from Him eternally. Much LOVE!
 
…sincerely living for Christ in these trying times…is the only wise and sensible way to go…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2014 Psalm 118:28.

Psalm 118:28. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

Oh Friends, it’s a brand new day! Glory Hallelujah! A brand new day filled with new mercies, new blessings, and new forgiveness! Wow! And to make matters even better, we’re alive to enjoy it all! What a most wonderful Deity we serve and worship my people: the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING God!
 
So let’s give Him some thanks and praise, as we loudly and boldly proclaim these wise words of the psalmist in thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation. Please declare with me: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)
 
Yes my people, let’s enjoy the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our magnificent and magnanimous God today and everyday, as long as the breath of life is flowing through our mortal bodies. That is simply wisdom and common sense, for if He grants us all those things, we’d indeed be foolish not to enjoy them.
 
And believe me, for whatever reason(s), some of us are indeed foolish enough not to enjoy the blessings of God, thinking it wrong and sinful to enjoy what the Lord has provided. Nothing could be further from the truth my people!
 
Why would the Lord provide all that wonderful stuff if He didn’t intend for us to enjoy it eh? And why would Jesus, our great Lord and Saviour declare that He had come to earth, so that we could have life, and have it more abundantly eh, if He didn’t mean for us to be joyful, even in the rough times? (John 10:10)
 
So Friends, I implore us to stop having these foolish ideas and thoughts about enjoying life nuh. We’re supposed to have heaven right here on earth; standing steadfast and strong while doing God’s work – and enjoying it too, not living beggarly and miserable.
 
And believe me again, if we are truly doing God’s work, with the peace of mind that He provides, then we will truly enjoy this earthly life, regardless of the many dangers, disappointments and troubles with which it is fraught. End of sermon! (smile)
 
Ah mih breddren, it never ceases to amaze and amuse me how the Holy Spirit will give me a starting idea, then let me run with it, or rather, help to let it flow smoothly! I would therefore be wrong, foolish and disobedient, if I didn’t enjoy and appreciate that blessing.
 
And you know there’s no greater tragedy for a writer than writer’s block! Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t allow me to suffer from it too often and for too long. Then I’d really be up heifer dust creek. (smile)
 
And Friends, our Bit this morning comes from that same Psalm 118, where the psalmist is giving thanks for the Lord’s salvation. And it’s a rather appropriate Bit too; highlighting what our behaviour ought to be, as it boldly and rightly declares: ‘Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.’
 
Oh Friends, what words of joy, LOVE, obedience and truth! If we do that sincerely, on a continuous basis, then our lives will be forever enriched and blessed!
 
And it’s mostly because we’re not fully and sincerely embracing that bit of gospel truth that our lives and our world are in such a disastrous mess. We are trying desperately to remove God from all aspects of our society, but that’s a fool’s wisdom my people.
 
We claim to have been redeemed by the spilled blood of Christ, through His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, so why aren’t we more thankful and moving closer to Him eh, instead of being obnoxious, ungrateful and trying to distance ourselves from Him?
 
If we truly believe that we are indisputably redeemed, then we ought to be singing praises like redeemed people; praises like Isaiah’s declaration: ‘O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.’ (Is.25:1)
 
Yes Friends, those are the kinds of words that ought to be emanating from our hearts, souls and mouths. Not the simpleton, worldly foolishness that we’re now spewing forth in this oh so talkative age, when we really have nothing much to talk about because our lives are dull, bland and miserable.
 
As 3 Canal would say, we have no real business, so we keep on minding the business of others, glorifying man with his Achilles heel, putting him on a flimsy pedestal instead of Almighty God. Oh my brethren, it’s high time we got some business of our own, by turning to our mighty God for help, and start glorifying Him, rather than mortal, worthless, fickle, feckless, untrustworthy man!
 
We should be singing the Lord’s praises like His obedient servant Moses did: ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise Him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex.15:2)
 
And we’ll end with more worthy words of praise, this time from Bruh David, another of God’s obedient servants. And just as I was about to write those last few words in my rough draft, the lights flickered out for a couple seconds.
 
Chuh! It’s a good thing I wasn’t on the computer, then I might have lost some stuff and be sorely disappointed. Consequently, I’ll take it as a positive sign, (smile) and continue in God’s direction. Therefore, please declare with me, my Friends and fellow believers, these words of thanksgiving for deliverance, as Bruh David saw it.
 
‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (lit. my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3)
 
Now that’s wisdom from on high, my brethren! So let’s go out today and put it into practice, put it to the test nuh; praise and magnify our most worthy God, and see if our lives don’t improve substantially. Much LOVE!
 
…a believer’s faith is only as strong as…the sincere thanksgiving in his heart…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2013 Psalm 116:1

Psalm 116:1.    I LOVE the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, the ole fella shame! Why? Because the end of this month marks the second anniversary of my mother Molly’s death, and yesterday was the first time I went to look for her in her new resting place.
 
And though I have lots of excuses – like the weather, the distance, the traffic, work, and general busyness, I believe the most prominent reasons were truly laziness, forgetfulness and a lack of sufficient commitment.
 
What a crying shame! Yes, I certainly agree. But yesterday with the urging of the Spirit, I decided it was definitely the day I would do my long postponed sonly duty. And as the Lord would have it, everything worked out perfectly. I had a couple of errands to run in Toronto, and since I was finished by midday, I just headed north on the Don Valley and on to the 404.
 
And strangely enough, in death, as well as in life, the only real guilt I feel over my mother is not visiting her as often as I believe I should have. But not to worry Friends, though the ole girl obviously wasn’t thrilled by my long absence, she understood that the son she bore so long ago was merely human and thus liable to possess many faults and frailties, and she readily forgave me. Praise the Lord!
 
But that’s the kind of person she was. And in my opinion, sometimes too willing to forgive, as we’ve had arguments over the years, when people close to her did her wrong, and she didn’t make a big fuss over it.
 
Anyway, we had a good visit, as I stood over her gravestone in the cool of the cloudy afternoon, surrounded by the well-manicured lawns of the cemetery.
 
And on an aside, the difference between cemeteries here and those in the West Indies have always fascinated me. In the West Indies you wouldn’t be caught dead (smile) in a graveyard just chatting or admiring the scenery, because we have a certain amount of fear or dread attached to it back there and they’re not as well kept.
 
But here the cemeteries are some of the most beautiful and well kept places on God’s earth, and it’s very easy and comfortable to even just walk through them.
 
But getting back to my visit. Mols and I chatted about the current happenings in my family’s life, and we also reminisced about bygone days, when it was just the two of us against the world. And believe me, there were some rough times.
 
And as luck would have it, I met a lady at the Calypso show last weekend who remembered me from one of those tough times, when we lived downstairs of her aunt out in Bacolet. But the wonderful thing about Mols is that I never heard her complain. It was always my well-being that drove her wagon train.
 
Yuh know, I thought I’d cry when I went to visit her, but funnily enough, the opposite happened, we did a lot of laughing. That should not have surprised me though, because from my earliest recollections she was always a cheerful person.
 
We visited for somewhere between twenty minutes and half an hour, during which time we prayed the prayer of St. Francis, as we always did when she was alive. Then she blessed me, and I sincerely promised not to let so much time go by before I visited her again.
 
I also promised to try and walk in such a way as to not besmirch her good name, basically fulfilling the words engraved on her tombstone. ‘To truly follow Christ, One must walk, talk, live and LOVE good – as she did.’
 
And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Though she was not one of those holier than thou persons, she did live as Christ-like a life as most of us will ever do.
 
So okay Mols baby, Sonny boy has done his mea culpa’s, and his conscience has been assuaged, cleansed, (smile) time to turn to our Bit now. ‘I LOVE the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.’
 
And that my brethren is the usual and normal reaction of most human beings; to LOVE and cherish those who help them. But sadly in this evil world, there are many whose selfishness and greed propel them to take advantage of those who treat them good. Steups! That just reminds me of one such situation my mother encountered when we lived out in Bacolet.
 
Anyway, the psalmist continues: ‘Because he hath inclined his ear unto (listened to) me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed (surrounded) me, and the pains (distress) of hell gat hold upon (took hold of) me. I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
 
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped (saved) me. Return unto thy rest; O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps.116:2-9)
 
Yes my people, that is indeed the nature of our magnificent God! The souls of those who continually seek Him and call upon His most worthy name will be delivered from persecution and even from death.
 
Bruh David recognized that fact from young and made it his habit to live for the Lord. Thus he was later able to declare in Psalm 18: ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).’ (Ps.18:1-2) 
 
Oh Friends, those are extremely strong and passionate words! But if you are a believer, then they ought to be also true of you! And just supposing they are, meaning that you have received mercies and blessing from Almighty God, how can we thank and honour Him for those oftimes undeserving benefits eh?
 
As the psalmist confidently declares: ‘What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.’ (Ps.116:12-14)
 
Yes Friends, the only proper way to thank our wonderful God is to live a life that honours Him, and spread His Word and His LOVING-kindness to all we meet. And if at all possible, shout your LOVE for Him from the rooftops, so that the whole world can hear you! (smile)
 
Now that’s not only wisdom, but courage, faith and trust! Much LOVE!
 
…the challenge of our earthly existence…to truly LOVE our God…sincerely LIVE our Faith…and zealously SPREAD His Word…
 
P.S. It’s a bit long and a bit late, but the important thing is that it comes from the heart. Much LOVE!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2013 Psalm 18:2

Psalm 18:2.     The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).
 
‘May day, May Day, May Day, May Day…!’ That was the shout my Friends, from an announcer in the city of Buffalo, some years back when the winning goal in a hockey game was scored by a player named Brad May. It’s one of the celebrated calls in hockey and serves as a fitting opening for today’s Bit on this first of May. Some of us old fogeys might also remember the opening days of May when we’d dance the Maypole at the annual May fairs. But I guess all those simple, enjoyable things in life have now gone the way of the dodo. Please remember too my people that May 1st is also an important day in the annals of the Labour Movement, when marches and other celebrations took place to celebrate the awakening and upliftment of the working class from the tyranny of those who owned the means of production. Unfortunately, like many things having to do with Labour, those May 1st celebrations have been relegated to the minor leagues now, but as a group, we have to be very careful because the greedy owners of industry are trying to push us back to the bad old days when Labour was woefully exploited and oppressed. And if we give them the chance, they will do just that, because they have no social conscience, and will make even healthier profits by cutting the benefits and wages of the ordinary working man … that is those who have a job, or can get one. The owners of industry don’t give a hoot about the poor, ordinary people who slave for them in their sweatshops. Just witness the disaster last week in Bangladesh, where a structurally unsound building that housed several garment factories collapsed with thousands of poorly paid, exploited workers inside. And it’s not like the owners didn’t know that the building was unsound, they just didn’t care enough to stop the operations, and therefore their enormous profits to try and fix it. And that’s the prevailing attitude these days, not only in the more impoverished countries, but also in the supposed first world nations. Why do you think all this work has been outsourced in the first place? To bolster the bottom line. The cheapness mentality that has recently invaded our society is partly to blame for the sweatshops and other disturbing actions. No longer do we expect to pay a decent price for a decently produced product. Now we expect a good product for next to nothing. That doesn’t ever happen Friends! We seem to have forgotten the old adage, attributed to Confucius: ‘Good thing no cheap, and cheap thing no good.’ Undeniable truth my people! Nowadays even some of the expensive things are no good, so what do we expect from the cheap ones eh? Have you noticed that all the rage these days in downsizing is to either cut the working man’s wage and give him more to do, or lay him off, though his wages are a pittance compared to that of the high and mighty C.E.O, whose remuneration keeps escalating, though the companies they run, keep losing enormous sums of money? The truth is, if they’d fire some of the useless, bloated, top echelon, they’d have enough money to pay the poor man a decent wage, one that he can live on, for now, even those who work several jobs, still have to use food banks and kitchens to make ends meet. What a crying shame Friends! It just speaks of the cruel inequality of resources that are becoming more unequal every day. The rich are getting richer, and the poor, poorer every day! But unfortunately, the social aspect doesn’t ever enter the equation, just the bottom line and the top echelon salary structure are all that matters. Fortunately though, the poor man has a powerful advocate, someone who truly cares about him and will consistently and continually fight on his behalf. Here’s how Bruh David describes Him in our Bit, taken from a Psalm of Thanksgiving for deliverance, when he was delivered from the hands of his enemies. ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).’ And that’s the God awesome truth, my brethren! The Lord God Jehovah is the ONLY ONE who will fight for us tooth and nail, the ONLY ONE who will never leave nor forsake us, the ONLY ONE to whom we can take all out troubles to and be assured that we’ll get a fair hearing, and some action on our oppressed behalf. Oh Friends, are we seeing the Lord in the same manner, the same light that Bruh David saw Him? I surely hope so, because if we’re not, then things will surely turn sour and disastrous for us. And we can see it happening throughout the world now, with God either absent from the hearts of a majority of the population, or He’s being made a mockery of by the surging and prevalent evildoers. Oh my brethren, we can’t allow this ungodly trend to continue, else Christ’s church will eventually be destroyed. It’s already been held in low esteem by many, the next step will be total extinction, if we don’t fight back with all the tools and weapons available to us. And where do we find the wherewithal to fight back? From our great God obviously! Bruh David spells it out again for us in Psalm 28 – A prayer for God’s help. ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7) Oh my people, he believed that and based his whole life on it, and though it wasn’t an easy life, it turned out to be a rather successful one. We’re still talking about him and reading his words thousands of years later. The same way, my brethren, if we base our lives on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, we too can be successful in this earthly life. As I keep saying, it won’t be easy, but it will always be interesting. Remember, Jesus never took an easy step in this world, so if we’re going to emulate His character and lifestyle, then most likely our journey won’t be a bed of roses either. But yuh see how the Father lifted Him up for His obedience and faithfulness to His purpose, so that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He’s the mighty One, the Lord of all! Well Friends, it’s the same way the Father will lift us up and reward us for our persistence, faith, trust and surrender to Him. And eventually, we’ll al be able to say, like Bruh David: ‘But I have trusted in thy mercy (LOVING-kindness); my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’ (Ps.13:5-6) Yes my fellow believers, that’s the wise and sensible attitude we need to adopt today, if we want to be successful in this our pilgrim’s journey down here on planet earth! Much LOVE!…only in Christ Jesus…can man be assured of…truth…equal rights…and justice…