Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 November 2022 Psalm 122:1.

Psalm 122:1.        I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.

Once again friends, it’s time to gather round and lift up our voices and hearts in praise, worship and thanksgiving to our wonderful God! It’s Sunday, the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day, that makes it the most important day of the week! Let us not forget His warning, in no uncertain terms: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) 

And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing today, beginning, as we always do, with a song of praise. Today’s song is a li’l ditty we all know and LOVE, titled ‘Crying in the Chapel.’ Most of us might know the Elvis Presley version, but there have been numerous versions down through the years since Artie Glenn wrote it in 1951 for his son Darrell to sing. However, it apparently languished in a desk drawer for two years until Darrell, while still in High School, finally recorded it in 1953 with Artie’s Band, the Rhythm Riders. 

From the time it was released it became a favourite, possibly because of the deep sense of peace and contentment it radiates. I believe Elvis’ version in 1965 was the biggest chart topper, but today we’re going to do a version by the First Lady of song, Miss Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a more light and airy, bluesy, mid-tempo, but still very soulful treatment, not as dark and dirge-like as some of the other versions. (smile) So let’s open our hearts and voices and lift sacrificial praise to high heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord – 

Meet your neighbors in the chapel, Join with them in tears of joy, You’ll be happy with the Lord – You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way) Yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s exactly why we are gathered here today in the Lord’s sanctuary; so that we can get down on our knees and pray, have our burdens lightened and find the way, which leads directly through Christ Jesus. Remember His fateful words. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:8) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! No one can enter into the Father’s presence unless they first go through the Son, Jesus, for He’s the Father’s gate keeper. As the psalmist says of children in Psalm 127: ‘Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.) (Ps. 127:5) Yes, friends, that’s what Jesus does for His Father; speaks with the enemies that come to the gate and drives them off, unless they bow to His wishes. 

Now that’s where we come in. We were once enemies of the Father, but once Jesus arrived on the scene, His sacrificial death on the cross killed all enmity, brought reconciliation and forgiveness, and now we’re LOVING Jesus and bowing to His every wish. (smile) But on a more serious note my people, the words in today’s song ring oh so true that we can’t help but pay attention. Listen to them nuh: ‘You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! But when you turn to Jesus, then you’ll find the peace that passeth all understanding. That’s His peace. As He so clearly defines it. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Wow! There’s no peace on earth like Jesus’! 

And the good thing about it is that you don’t have to stand on no ceremony to receive it. As the song says: ‘ Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way.’ Yes friends, it’s that true and easy. Why yuh think Bruh David said in Psalm 122: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps. 122:1) 

And furthermore, it doesn’t have to be no fancy chapel, but ‘Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray.’ Oh my, my! And what happened there eh? ‘I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day.’ Plain and simple, straightforward, heartfelt communication. And what was the result of that communication? ‘You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord.’ 

Ah mih people, there are no tears like tears of joy, because they just refresh our souls, wash them clean, and bring contentment. But all of that can only be achieved when one is in strong league with Jesus Christ. Please remember that. The world and its evil sinful self cannot offer it. And before we end, I want to point out one very important fact in the song. ‘Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord.’ 

Oh my fellow saints, being of one accord, of one spirit, mind and agreement is ever so important in the Christian life. Bruh Paul thought it so important that he noted it in several of his missives to the churches. Like this one to the Philippians. ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation, solace) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (affection) and mercies (sympathy). 

Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE (showing no partiality), being of one accord (united in spirit), of one mind (the whole church with the same values and goals). Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (selfish ambition or conceit): but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem other better than themselves (regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself). Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (be just as concerned for the needs and problems of one’s brother believer as for one’s own affairs).’ (Phil. 2:1-4) 

Yes friends, that’s how Christianity ought to work. It seems the church at Philippi overall wasn’t bad, but there was some disunity and lack of harmony, which Bruh Paul needed fixed for his joy to be complete in them. And oh, is there ever a great deal of disunity and disharmony in the current church of Christ, that He desperately needs fixed for His joy to be complete. So please, I implore us, for our children and their children’s sake, let’s get together seriously and sincerely nuh, and start working on narrowing our differences and divisions, many of which are selfish and petty and can be easily corrected if we truly want to be sincere saints of Christ. Much LOVE!

…nothing will warm the cockles of Christ’s heart…like His church truly being of one accord…                                                                                                                                

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2020 Acts 4:12.

Acts 4:12.     ​Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
 

It’s the Sabbath Day friends! And hear what the Lord had to say about its observance through the prophet Isaiah nuh. ‘If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places (hills) of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.58:13-14) 

Glory be mih people! That’s how important the Sabbath is to our God! So let’s be wise and do as He says nuh, so we can enjoy His delights; yuh know there’s nothing that compares to them! (smile) And as always, we begin with a song of praise and worship, today’s being the ever popular hymn ‘I Need Thee Every Hour.’ But before we get into it, here’s the story behind it, according to the website GodTube. 

Annie Sherwood Hawks was an American poet and gospel hymnist who wrote a number of hymns with her pastor, Robert Lowry. The hymn by which Hawks is most widely known, “I Need Thee Every Hour”, was written in 1872. It is said to have been translated into more foreign languages than any other modern hymn at the time of her death. Hawks stated: — “For myself, the hymn was prophetic rather than expressive of my own experiences, for it was wafted out to the world on the wings of LOVE and joy, instead of under the stress of personal sorrow.” 

Lowry, who wrote the music, went on to say: “I believe it was the expression of her own experience. It came to me in the form of five simple stanzas, to which I added the chorus to make it more serviceable. It inspired me at its first reading. It first appeared in a small collection of original songs prepared for the National Baptist Sunday-school Association, held in Cincinnati, Ohio in November 1872, and was sung on that occasion.” Now, knowing some of its history, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise with strong, sincere, harmonious voices in a heartfelt and soulful rendition of this wonderful hymn. 

‘I need thee every hour, Most gracious Lord, No tender voice like thine, Can peace afford. (Chorus: I need thee oh I need thee, Every hour I need thee, Oh bless me now my Saviour, I come to thee.) I need thee every hour, Stay thou near by, Temptations lose their power, When thou art nigh (Chorus) I need thee every hour, In joy or pain, Come quickly and abide, or life is vain. (Chorus) 

I need thee every hour; teach me thy will, and thy rich promises in me fulfill. (Chorus) I need thee every hour, Most holy one, Oh make me thine indeed Thou blessed Son. (Chorus: I need thee oh I need thee, Every hour I need thee, Oh bless me now my Saviour, I come to thee. I need thee, Oh I need thee, Oh bless me now my Saviour, I come to thee…I come to thee…’ 

That was wonderful friends! And it is the living truth: we need Jesus so badly, that as He rightly says, without Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) And that’s the understatement of the ages! In the first place it’s only through Him that we can be saved. As Peter so boldly informed the high priest: ‘This is the stone which was set at nought (rejected) by you builders, which is become the head of the corner (chief cornerstone). Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:11-12) 

And as the scholars explain: ‘4:12. The name of Jesus Christ is the centre of contention (vs. 7, 10, 12) and ever will be. Salvation for the Jew and Gentile alike is exclusively through the name of Jesus Christ (cf. John 14:6).’ And here’s what that amazing and true scripture says: ‘Jesus saith unto him (Doubting Thomas), I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) What a confident proclamation! But it’s true, whether you believe it or not. 

And besides Jesus being our Saviour, He is also our Prince of Peace, through whom we get the divine peace that passes all understanding. (Phil. 4:7) Not the kind of peace that the world gives, but the one where we can rise above the circumstances that daily confront us. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) What awesome reassurance! 

And don’t talk about comfort and rest…Jesus is the everlasting fount of those things. He promised us through the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Oh friends, how can it be any plainer than that eh? 

And when we talk about comfort, we talking about His Holy Spirit that He sent to comfort us, to lead and guide us and help us have a close relationship with Him and the Father! Hear Him as He said to the disciples. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.’ (John 14:15-16) And that is exactly what He did. The Holy Ghost came on that Pentecost day after His ascension like a roaring wind with cloven tongues of fire and descended on the disciples and now indwells every believer! (Acts 2:1-14) 

Mama Yo! How then can we not need Jesus continually eh my people? He’s our ALL in ALL: Our God, Saviour, Prince of Peace, Comforter, Intercessor, High Priest, etc. etc.! Annie Sherwood Hawks definitely knew what she was talking about when she wrote that hymn! So in these difficult and dangerous times, let’s show true wisdom and come to Him in true trust and surrender nuh, for He is indeed the answer to ALL our prayers! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the ONLY name…for One Stop Shopping…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2018 Psalm 90:4.

Psalm 90:4.   For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night (three hours).

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! The awesome day we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship, worship and give Him mucho thanks and praise. So all roads ought to be leading to the Lord’s house today, especially when we consider what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) 

Yeh friends, the Sabbath is a day to find rest in Jesus, and you can’t find it unless you go to Him sincerely seeking Him. He’s just waiting there with open arms for us to come to Him. So let’s not keep Him waiting nuh. And today, we’ll begin the proceedings with an old favourite from the pen of Isaac Watts, ‘O (Our) God, our help in ages past.’ 

So without further ado, let’s raise our hearts, heads and voices heavenward as we offer up praise, worship and thanksgiving to our amazing and ever-LOVING God!  ‘O (Our) God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. 

Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. O (Our) God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Oh my people, what we’ve just sung is oh so true; every word of it! And they say it was based on Psalm 90, the psalm of Moses, and that seems to be also true, as Moses declares with unerring truth: ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)

Mama Yo! What words of indisputable truth! Before God even formed the world He was God! And since He made Israel His people, they found refuge in Him, when they were wise! And who should know better than Moses eh, since he led God’s people out of bondage from Egypt to the Promised Land, and communicated God’s laws to them during that fateful trip through the wilderness. 

And as Moses continues: ‘Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night (three hours). Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up, in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.’ (Ps.90:3-6) 

Yeh friends, in terms of time, one day to us is like a thousand years to God, since time has no real reckoning with Him. And as Peter corroborates in his message on living in the hope of the Lord’s coming: ‘But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet.3:8) 

Then we come back to Moses, who declares: ‘The days of our years (lives) are threescore years and ten (seventy); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength (boast only) labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’ (Ps.90:10)  

All of that just means friends that our lives are like vapour, we exist for moment in God’s eyes then we are gone, like the grass that grows in the morning and dies in the evening. And even if we live fourscore (80) years (29,200 days) that to God is like 29,200 years. Imagine that nuh; to us 80 years is a big deal, but to Almighty God, it’s a mere flash in the pan. (smile) 

The long and short of the story though friends, is that we are very finite, while God is infinite, plus He is our God and Creator and if we are smart we will hold on to His strong and mighty hand. And Moses was qualified to talk about death and all the other stuff since he saw a whole generation of Israelites perish in the wilderness for their disobedience. 

Thus, when he beseeches God, we ought to listen, to pay serious attention. ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom)…. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.’ (Ps.90:12,14) 

And we’ll close with some immortal words of Cousin Sol. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she hall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4:7-9) 

Truer words were never spoken my brethren! So please, please, let’s seek wisdom and understanding through the Lord’s word, which leads to obedience, then we’ll be bestowed with the grace and glory we so greatly desire. Much LOVE!

…the only real wisdom that man needs…is to be obedient to his God and his Creator…everything else is foolishness…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2017 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Sabbath Day; the day for gathering and fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, where His ardent followers praise and worship His holy name! It involves hearing His wonderful word which brings peace, strength and assurance to our tired and fragile souls, while filling His house with glorious song! Oh what a pleasure, a gift of grace it is to be able to worship Almighty God in freedom, with a strong sense of purpose. 

However, many believers around the world have to do it in hiding, afraid of serious persecution, but standing strong on His faithful promises, they do it nonetheless. And as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips this Sunday morning, I want us to think about all those who are not free to worship as we are, and pray that the Lord will give them that freedom someday soon, or at least keep them safe from further persecution.

Now let’s raise the roof with loud and harmonious voices, as we sing that blessed hymn ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’  

‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free. (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion For more than conqu’rors we are! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus…) His Word shall not fail you, He promised; Believe Him and all will be well; Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.)’ 

Oh friends, what words of perfect assurance! If your soul is weary and troubled, and floundering in perpetual darkness, then Jesus is the One to turn to for relief. He died that we might live, might have eternal life, so there is NO ONE better to offer us comfort and safety and light in this tragic world. As the song says: Turn your eyes on Him, look Him straight in the face, and all of a sudden the worries and problems of this world will begin to recede. 

What a tower of strength we have in Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, our Prince of Peace, our High Priest, our heavenly Intercessor, our unmatched Messiah! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE my brethren: the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! In Him, majesty and holiness reign supreme! But what is even more important, is that He knows our fears, and can empathize with us on our pilgrim’s journey, because He faced the same things in His brief sojourn here on earth. 

That’s why He is such a Champion, such a Leader and could utter the words of our Bit to His doubting disciple Thomas with the utmost sincerity and truth. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ 

And if you want to see why he could truly say that, then read Isaiah 53, where he describes the ‘Suffering Servant,’ a foretelling of what Jesus would suffer. I’ll just remind us of the last three verses. ‘Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise (crush) him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 

He shall see of the travail (distress) of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil (plunder) with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’ (Is.53:10-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s what Jesus suffered on our behalf, and therefore earned to right to say what He said. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ’53:10-12. It pleased the Lord to bruise (from daka; “to crush”) him refers to the same condition in verse 5 (utterly crush Him for our moral iniquities). Put him to grief reads “pierce” Him in the Dead Sea Scroll copy of the text. His seed refers to those who will come to believe in Him. An offering for sin (asham, “guilt offering”) involves the trespass offering described in Numbers 5:5-10. 

The phrase he shall prolong his days indicates that the Servant’s ministry will not end with His violent death, and certainly implies His resurrection. The pleasure of the Lord refers to God’s ultimate purposes which will be accomplished by the atoning death and resurrection of the Servant. His intercession refers to His high priestly ministry, by which He makes intercession on the basis of His own substitutionary death.  The chapter ends with the glorification and exaltation of the Servant of the Lord.’  

And so it very well should my people! Hn, hn! I’m chuckling because I used some poetic license there, switching the position of the last two sentences because I thought it a better ending. Christ should be glorified and exalted at the end, that’s the proper climax! (smile) 

Anyway friends, that’s just an inkling of what Jesus suffered for us, so we could be set free from sin and receive everlasting life. Shouldn’t we therefore show Him much more appreciation and gratitude? Of course we should. So let’s do better than we doing nuh! All of us can improve in some area(s) of our lives that will exalt and glorify Jesus much more than at present. 

Remember it’s in OUR best interest do so, since Jesus doesn’t really need anything from us, but we desperately need lots of stuff from Him! So please let wisdom and common sense abound! Much LOVE!

…He knew NO sin…but was made the bearer of ALL sin…FOR US…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2017 Psalm 92:1.

Psalm 92:1.    It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.  

Oh friends, this Sunday morning, the first after Resurrection Sunday, we’ll lead off with our Bit, because it comes from a song for the Sabbath Day, and is simply the most appropriate way to begin our fellowship. 

‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High. To show forth (declare) thy LOVING-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery (lute, or lyre); upon the harp with a solemn (harmonious or melodic) sound. For thou Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the work of thy hands.’ (Ps.92:1-4)  

And having said all that, now let’s give thanks and sing praises to our wonderful God whose care and compassion for us can NEVER be matched. So let’s allow sincere sacrifices of praise to emanate from our mouths as we sing this Charles Wesley favourite ‘Jesus LOVER of my Soul.’ 

In full voice now, in harmonious and melodic sound: ‘Jesus, LOVER of my soul,  let me to thy bosom fly, while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high; hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last!  Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. 

All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing. Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art; freely let me take of thee; spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity.’ 

Oh my fellow believer, there’s no safer place of rest and refuge in this universe than in the bosom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He is the safest of safe havens, the best guide in stormy times and the most trustworthy of all Beings! Through Him ONLY is the free gift of grace with salvation and eternal life found! 

He is the only true conduit to our heavenly Father, as well as our Chief Intercessor in the court of heaven. What a mighty Being is our Jesus; King of Kings and Lord of Lords, whom the Father exalted for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf at Calvary, giving Him the name above all other names, and before whom all knees must bow and tongues declare that He is Lord of all, to the glory of God! Hallelujah my faithful brethren! 

No wonder the psalmists declare that our God is worthy of infinite praise and thanks. Listen to Psalm 147 – Great is our God and of great power. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely (beautiful)’ (Ps.147:1) And singing praises to out magnificent and magnanimous God is indeed pleasant and beautiful! Why? 

Hear the psalmists declare it. ‘The Lord doth build up Jerusalem; he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds (sorrows). He telleth (counts) the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (limitless). The Lord lifteth up the meek (humble): he casteth the wicked down to the ground. Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God.’ (Ps.147:2-7) 

And if our God is so great and wonderful and powerful and does all the things the psalmist says, then we should indeed sing His praises with much gratitude and plenty thanksgiving! 

And if all of that did not move you, then hear these immortal words from Psalm 135 – The greatness of the Lord and the vanity (futility) of idols. ‘Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the name of the Lord; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord. Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise ye the Lord, for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant (it is indeed). For the Lord has chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar (special) treasure. For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.’ (Ps.135:1-5) 

And if you believe all of that friends, then you ought to be singing much praise and thanks to your heavenly Father! And we’ll close with these momentous words from Psalm 33 – Praise to the Lord for his creation. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (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 of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:1-5)  

And that’s today’s message my people. Please take it to heart in all wisdom and sincerity, for it is the gospel truth! Much LOVE!

…thou art good…and doest good…teach me thy statutes… (Ps.119:68)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2015 Psalm 25:12

Psalm 25:12.       What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

Well Friends, once again we’ve come around to Sunday; the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day, the day of rest and fellowship, the Sabbath Day?And what does the Good Book say about it: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Ex.20:8) And that’s otherwise known as the 4th commandment. And what did the Lord do to it? ‘The Lord blessed the Sabbath and hallowed it.’ (Ex,2011b)

Yes my people, the Lord blessed the Sabbath and made it holy, which makes it a special day, one in which we should show bountiful respect and reverence to Almighty God, our Creator and Strong Provider!

And we usually do that by resting, by spending time with our families, as well as congregating to worship and fellowship with other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary, or wherever it’s safe and appropriate. That’s where we get our spiritual batteries recharged and replenished, and our faith, courage and confidence strengthened, so that we can handle another week of work and whatever else comes our way.

And strangely enough, possibly through God’s mysterious workings, I was just reading an article on the Sabbath, and the author was saying that a lot of stuff, of illness that we’re diagnosed with is technically inaccurate, for our basic problem is rest. We don’t rest enough, neither do we observe the Sabbath day as much as the Lord would like us to, that’s why we’re so stressed out, impatient and angry.

And he does have a point, for before almost everything was running 24/7, and we wanted everything now for now, we had time to rest, to fellowship with other believers and to spend fruitful time with our families. We won’t that stressed or impatient – in fact stress wasn’t even a high subject on our radar screens as it is now – because our souls, bodies and spirits had adequate time to rest and be renewed.

I remember when I first came to Canada, some forty odd years ago, nothing much opened on a Sunday and sports events began sometime in the afternoon, so that everybody had a chance to go to church and possibly have family time together.

Unfortunately though, a generation later, all of that has changed. Almost everything now is opened 24/7 and thus we’re too busy or tired to go to church, or even communicate with our immediate families, unless it’s by one of the many new forms of social media.

What a sad state of affairs my brethren! Nowadays, families, or rather households seldom eat or gather together like families. We’ve forgotten the old adage that families that eat and play together, stay together.

Oh Friends, I don’t know how we can successfully get back to reuniting the smallest and most important group of our society, the family. But I do know that if we don’t try and revive it, as well as rest and rejuvenate ourselves properly every week, our society is just going to keep going to hell in a hand basket, as it currently is.

So for all our sakes, I implore us to start getting back to the old meaning of family nuh. Well there really is only one true meaning of family – a LOVING, caring, responsible, energizing, encouraging, tightknit unit of society.

It’s obvious we can’t shut down most of the stuff that’s now open seven days a week, but we can certainly put forward greater efforts to make time to be together, both as blood families and church families, especially on the Sabbath day, so that we can at least keep one of the Lord’s commandments in this evil and ungodly world.

And the good, or rather great thing about it all, is if we do that, then the Lord will teach us what he wants us to learn, as our Bit declares: ‘What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.’ Gospel truth that, Friends! For the Lord will gladly teach His ways to anyone who truly revers and respects Him. Why wouldn’t He eh?

And Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘His soul shall dwell at ease (in goodness); and his seed (descendants) shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear (reverence) him; and he will show (cause them to know) his covenant.’ (Ps,25:13-14)

That’s simple logic my brethren, for we all behave like that with earthly organizations and earthly leadership, by gladly teaching our ways to those who desire to follow us. And we’ll close with these beautiful sentiments on the subject from Psalm 31, where Bruh David declares his trust in the Lord.

‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence (the secret place) from the pride (plots) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord: for he hath showed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city.’ (Ps.31:19-21)

Yes Friends, that’s the kind of awesome protection and help we have to look forward to when we place our faith and trust in Almighty God!

So please let’s show some wisdom by returning to His fold if we have left it, or by simply strengthening our belief in His power, faithfulness and unconditional LOVE for us, so that we can step out in faith and do a better job for Him than we’re currently doing.  That’s truly wisdom from heaven. Much LOVE!

…trust and faith in Jesus don’t come easily…but when they do come…the rewards are wonderful…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2015 Colossians 3:13‏

 Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Aye mih people, it’s the first day of a new week; Sunday, the Day of the Lord, the Sabbath Day, that day when the Lord rested after creating the universe and all therein.

In it we are supposed to rest, relax, gather together for fellowship, to recognize and respect His power and glory, adore His magnificence and majesty, with worship, praise and thanksgiving. It is therefore most fitting for us to declare, that this is the day the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it!

Yes Friends, everything that draws breath this morning ought to be thanking and praising our wonderful God for His mercy, forgiveness and LOVING-kindness.

Let’s hope therefore that we all attended His sanctuary and fellowshipped with other believers, sending much praise and thanks to heaven and receiving strength, faith and comfort, for that’s also a part of worshipping.

It’s just another of God’s basic laws; when we give we receive, just like whatever we sow, we reap. So let’s hope that we all gave plenty and sowed much good seeds, so that we will be truly blessed.

The Lord made sure that I got up on time this week, and I went to the small but comfy and homely and beautifully decorated St. Francis church close to me down the road in Bon Accord. Obviously I encountered people who knew me from way back when, even from Elementary School, from High School and from the days when I lived up Darrel Spring Hill and one of my cousins, Stanley Beard was there too.

They were a very welcoming congregation, so I felt right at home. It was a good service with obviously a close knit group. There wasn’t a band or organ to play music, simply a couple of tambourines and a drum, but the voices were raised magnificently in praise and worship. That’s the way we ought to raise our voices in sincere celebration to our wonderful and merciful God!

As the scriptures say: ‘By him therefore let us offer up the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to (confessing to) his name.’ (Heb.13:15)

Oh Friends, the Lord was surely happy with the sacrifices of praise offered up to him this morning in that little church in Bon Accord!

Re adventures, nothing much happened yesterday. I went to the beach in the evening, for a li’l dip, watched the golden sun sink below the horizon, then went looking for souse and black pudding. The lady who we went to look for apparently didn’t come out again this weekend, but we found another lady selling souse down in Buccoo, so I wasn’t completely disappointed. And it didn’t taste bad at all!

After that I watched the Leafs win their first game in some 11 tries. And all the Leafs faithful must be shouting ‘Glory Hallelujah’ this morning!

And they going to kill me with bake and saltfish in Tobago oui! I say that because they had a food sale after church this morning, featuring, yes, bake and saltfish, which I came home and had for breakfast. I’m not really complaining though, just making a statement, because I do enjoy the local food.

Wonder of wonders, they had two collections, passed the offering plate around twice! The second to put towards some much needed church improvements. And nobody griped or seemed to mind. They just gave what they could afford.

Hn! I don’t know if we’d get away with that in my St. Francis church back in Canada. But I guess though we are all supposed to be Christians, we all think differently about the church of Christ.

But it’s time to get with our Bit on the all-important topic of forgiveness. ‘Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’

Yes my brethren, it’s ever so important that we practice forgiveness. As we saw yesterday, it releases us from tension, resentment, hatred and bitterness. It frees up our souls, brings us peace, while unforgiveness only causes negative tension and harmful emotions. Remember we are the ones it hurts most of all, not the people we refuse to forgive.

It’s not always easy, because some hurts can be really terrible, and cause much pain, but it’s always in our best interest to forgive, for it releases us from the pressure building up inside of us. For want of a better comparison, I’ll liken it to a burp. (smile)

Yuh know when you burp, you release the pent up gas in your body, well it’s the same with forgiveness. When you forgive, you release the pent up negative pressures in your soul. And besides being healthy for our emotional and physical well-being, forgiveness is also rather important for our spiritual enhancement.

Now here are some interesting and important words on the subject from the scholars. ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 (bowels of mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering), signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually.

As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’

And all that’s absolute truth, so please remember it when we get into disagreements with others. Now listen to Jesus tell it like it is: ‘Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

And when ye stand praying forgive, if ye have aught (anything) against any: that your Father also which is heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ (Mark 11:24-26)

Oh my people, that says it all! If we don’t forgive, our God won’t forgive us. That couldn’t be any simpler or clearer. And please note that when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, a significant aspect of what He taught, which we know today as the Lord’s Prayer, deals with forgiveness. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) So as in the proportion to which we forgive, so will we be forgiven.

There’s no more to say Friends! Three of the basic laws of God are: give and you will receive, you reap what you sow, and if you forgive, you will be forgiven.

Simple laws my brethren, but often difficult to execute in this sinful, ungodly world. Therefore let’s put out best efforts forth to obey them in a positive manner nuh, so that our lives will be blessed. That’s wisdom of the heavenly kind! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness is a cleansing and soothing balm…for both body and soul…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2015 Psalm 138:7

Psalm 138:7.    Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
Oh Friends, it’s February 1st, and another beautiful day in Paradise! The sun’s shining, the birds are singing, as the leaves flutter in the cool breeze and the calm sea laps against the shore! And it’s the Lord’s Day to boot; the Sabbath, the first day of the week!

That means gathering together, fellowship, worship, praise, thanksgiving, and sincere acknowledgement of God’s majesty! Or as the song on the radio’s saying, ‘Lift up the name of Jesus!’

Sadly though, the ole fella’s still somewhat under the weather. The coughing has subsided, but my chest is still tight. Chuh Steups! I need both of them, because I’m tired with it! Can’t tell when last I’ve had this asthma stuff so badly and so long nuh.  I can’t even handle the heat down here.

Yesterday it was a bit rough going out in the day. Couldn’t stay out for too long, had to hurry back to my cool air conditioned quarters. I have to laugh yes, because up north all I could talk about was salt water and sunshine, and now that I’m here, I can’t handle the sunshine and I haven’t had much salt water either. Hn, hn, hn!

So I’m disappointed, but not worried. The Lord’s agenda is obviously different to mine. But I know He will come through for me eventually. I’m also disappointed that I didn’t get up in time to go to church this morning. I’ll have to find something on the television for me to hear the Word.

And they are playing a song on the radio about what Grandma use to say. And I’m hearing some sweet ole time sayings, amongst them, my favourite, ‘crapaud smoke yuh pipe; and when yuh prayer, move yuh feet; long rope for magre goat; short rope for the fat goat.’ Only in T&T! I also woke up with my back aching after … well I did sleep for a good while last night, so that’s understandable.

Re adventures: Nothing much happened yesterday. After I finished writing the Bit yesterday, I went out to pick up the duchess from the hotel where she had gone to have breakfast. But as I got out to the car, she appeared out of a taxi. She couldn’t wait on me any longer. What’s new eh! (smile) But thankfully there was no disagreement over my tardiness.

We went to the mall, still no sim cards in one place, and the other one was closed. So we’re really incommunicado by phone, because the land line isn’t working either. Apparently when they built the compound they laid the cables for phones and TV in the ground, and since it’s right by the sea, it seems the cables get wet and cause reception problems.

But yuh know I’m not bothered by the incommunicado problem nuh, because I can’t do much talking or laughing anyway. But I truly am tired of not only feeling, but also hearing the so and so wheezing in my chest! But them’s the breaks! As I keep preaching, I just have to grin and bear it.

We went down to Stumpy’s Emporium, sort of department store, where I bought some clothes hangers, then we bought some fruits from a roadside fruit stand and made a short stop at a friend’s bar on the main road, only to say hello, because the heat was killing me.

Somehow the talk of souse and black pudding came up, and she told me that a lady came out every Saturday evening with those mouth-watering delicacies at a place near to me. So after an early supper on the deck, we headed out for Kats, only to find that they had stopped selling there.

I was directed to another place, a Pennysaver’s Supermarket in Carnbee. So we went through the back roads and got there to hear that the pudding and souse show was on Friday’s not Saturday. However they came out at another Pennysaver down in Canaan, closer to me. So we headed down there.

Now that seemed to be a factual thing, because I found a customary fellow waiting for them too. We waited for about an hour, while the duchess went walking through the stores in the mall, and he told me about the rampant corruption devouring the country. It’s really a sad story.

Oh, and I just heard on the news about a woman in Trinidad setting her ex on fire when he came to her house where she was with another man. Ah Lord eh!

The long and short is that I didn’t get the much anticipated souse and pudding. Steups! Apparently the woman who made the stuff was sick. And that’s been the only food I truly felt for since I’ve been here. It reminded me of my youth, living up Main Street, where every Saturday evening, before we went to the cinema, we waited for this lady to come down the hill with the succulent souse and black pudding.

Anyway, we came home and I ate ice cream and cake and watched the Leafs lose to Philly. Their fourth shutout in five games. After being one of the highest scoring clubs, the goals have dried up under this new coach’s defensive system. And it’s not like they aren’t getting chances, but they’re either missing the net or running in to hot goal-tending.

And that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) Just like I’m sticking to our Bit: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’  

Words of indisputable truth my people! And all of us who have walked with Jesus for some time will be able to testify to that! For our God has promised to be with us wherever we are. He will never forsake or leave us. (Heb.13:5)

And nowhere has it been stated as succinctly and sweetly as in Psalm 23; the comforting and encouraging words of Bruh David. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) Godly words to stand strong on my brethren! And in these trying times we need stuff that we can hold on strong to.

And we’ll end with these mighty words of the sons of Korah, from Psalm 44- Former deliverances and present troubles. ‘Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread (trample) them under that rise up against us.

For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah. (Ps.44:4-8).

Yes Friends, our magnificent and faithful God has saved us before, and He will do so again. So there is need to worry or doubt His abilities and his faithfulness. Let’s stand strong and boast in His name all day long! That’s the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…Jesus did not die…so that we could live worried and afraid…but confident and powerful…with steadfast trust in His LOVING-kindness.

P.S. Going to find the Word on the tube, then later go up by Magdalena for their Sunday Brunch, and possibly watch the Super Bowl in the evening. That’s good enough for me, as the day might be hot again. Look at me running from hot sun eh! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2015 John 10:14

John 10:14      I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 

Well here it is again Friends, the first and most important day of the new week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, or day of rest, fellowship and family togetherness! And it’s the most important day because it sets the tone and tenor for the remainder of the week. How you set up and use your Sundays, usually determines how your Monday to Saturday will go. That means we have to pay particular attention to what we do on Sunday, if we want to have a focused, persevering, prosperous and godly week.

 
So let’s begin by going out to church today nuh, joining in worship and praise, adoration, devotion, gratitude and thanksgiving! That will warm the cockles of God’s heart, as well as open up our souls and spirits to His awesome wonder and LOVING-kindness! It’s what we call, in today’s parlance, a win – win situation.
 
And talking of win- win situations, the best one ever is when Jesus gave His life for us, in atonement for our sins. Some might consider us the big winner in that relationship, but Jesus also won because for His obedience, He was exalted by the Father with a name above all others, as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the One to whom all knees will eventually bow, and all tongues confess that He is Lord indeed, to the glory of the Father. (Phil.2:9-11)
 
That brings us to our Bit, the same as the last couple of days:  ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’
 
Oh what a most encouraging statement my people! We all know the LOVE and care that a shepherd shows for His flock, so if Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, claims to be our shepherd, how can we brook any argument about it eh? We’d be worse than foolish to deny Him that right, and ourselves, His tender LOVING care!
 
Unfortunately though, a lot of us unwisely do just that, and if we don’t wake up soon and realize our terrible mistake, we will eventually face death, eternal damnation and everlasting separation from our heavenly Father. And let me tell you my brethren, that is the worse fate a human being can ever suffer!
 
Now listen to Jesus as He continues His discourse on the topic, after our Bit. ‘As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (Matt.10:15-16)
 
Oh what a glorious day that was Friends, when Jesus united His two folds, the Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) which includes you and I! His sacrificial, substitutionary death on our behalf fulfilled that promise! And again I ask, why would I, being of sound mind and reason, turn away from Jesus wonderful invitation to come to Him and lay down my heavy burdens, and refuse to be brought under His easy yoke, to bear His light burden? (Matt.11:28 -30)
 
In light of all that we’ve said and know for a fact, that certainly doesn’t make sense to me. And I just adore these next verses where Jesus expounds on His authority, obedience and closeness to the Father. ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (Matt.10:17-18)
 
Oh Glory Hallelujah! Yuh see my fellow believers, that close and beautiful relationship that Jesus has with the Father, is the same kind that we can have with Jesus, and by extension, with the Father too. Wow! So why ‘dis’ Jesus eh, and refuse His LOVING entreaties? That’s nothing but a fool’s wisdom!
 
Now hear this explanation from the scholars, re those last two verses: ’10:17-18. Jesus does more than predict His crucifixion and resurrection. He also shows that He has the power to lay down His life and take it up again, once more asserting His deity.’
 
So all those people who believe that Jesus was just a push over for the faithless Jews and cruel, arrogant Romans who crucified Him are totally wrong! In fact, that was the singular purpose for which He came to earth in human form: to die so that we might live!
 
As He said to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane when the Roman soldiers came to arrest Him. ‘Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me (provide me with) more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?’ (Matt.26:53-54)
 
If he hadn’t fulfilled the Father’s plan, then we’d still be lost and gone astray, facing death and eternal separation from our Creator. And though it hurts, breaks my heart, to know the pain He bore on our behalf, I’m glad that He was true to His purpose. Now if only we, His followers could be true to ours… what a wonderful world this would be!
 
And do we ever need a whole lot of improvement in our troubled and diseased world my brethren! That’s the task that Jesus has set before us – live a life that causes the unbeliever to turn to Him in repentance and conviction, so that they can receive His free offer of salvation and eternal life.
 
So Friends, are we going to get real serious and sincere about that task this new year and do our best to further Jesus’ LOVE Revolution?  I certainly hope so, because if we don’t, our beautiful world will just keep falling further and further into the depths of hell, until there’s no turning back. And what will that do to our children and their children eh? I leave that for each of us to ponder on, then hopefully do the right thing to correct the woeful situation in which our world is floundering right now.
 
Remember Friends, Jesus is depending on us to help alleviate the sad state of confusion and evil that’s currently reigning. Please, I implore us, to take up the gauntlet and fight the good fight to the death. That’s what a good and true soldier in Christ’s army is expected to do. Much LOVE!
 
…our bounden duty here on earth…is to live a life worthy of Jesus…so that others may see it…and come to faith in Him…

 

 

 
 

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