Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2019 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.    ​Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 

Oh friends, there’s nothing more annoying, frustrating and depressing than waking up excitedly to greet the new day only to find a fresh coat of snow on the ground! Chuh! And it only gets more annoying, frustrating and depressing when you look out and see the small, weightless, white flakes still falling effortlessly to God’s great earth! I’m chuckling here, but you know that once the white stuff flies, lives will undoubtedly become more serious and dangerous, because it looks good when it just covers the land, but it can certainly be the devil’s associate when you have to venture out in it. 

It’s a good thing we have Jesus yes, that awesome shepherd, who leads and guides His flock with masterful precision…! Give Him some thanks and praise people, for He’s certainly deserving of it! And isn’t it strange, but certainly wonderful, how in the northern climes when the snow flies, that’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus? Glory be mih brethren! The ole fella’s getting excited…so yuh better hold me back! I need to do like Jeeves says, have a modicum of circumspection… 

Nah, I don’t think so. When you’re excited about Jesus, you just have to let it flow! (smile) So we going to do just that by continuing where we left off yesterday, talking about Jesus’ miraculous virgin birth, His supernatural conception in His mother Mary’s womb, the wonderful incarnation where He, Jesus, God, became flesh (incarnate) to come and dwell amongst sinful man, to personally experience our hardships and then gloriously deliver us from them through His sacrificial death on Calvary’s cross, His triumphant resurrection on that wonderful Easter morn, and then His ascension back to heaven to be our friend and advocate at the Father’s right hand! 

How could it get any better than that eh mih people? No way Jose! We now have another, newer and much better option than his satanic majesty. That’s why it’s so mind-boggling when people refuse to believe in Jesus, and even go so far as to blaspheme His holy name and try to kick Him out of our society! Steups! What stupidity! Anyway, they will get their comeuppance in due time, because as the ole people say; time longer than twine, and when the good Lord ready, in His time, He will make all wrong things right. 

Now yuh see, all yuh get me so excited that I’ve gotten away from what we suppose to be talking about! (smile) And that’s the momentous occasion when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her about her favoured condition with God and the virgin birth she would have. And having listened to Gabriel’s spiel with, no doubt, bated breath, Mary finally found her voice. ‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’ Oh what a most plausible question, back in those times that is. Today we do that all the time through artificial insemination.  

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35-36) And so it should be, because the sperm that inseminated Mary was of God the Father, and we characterize children by their fathers, so it’s a no brainer that Jesus should be considered the Son of God. (smile) 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:35. By a process we cannot explain, Mary will find herself with child through no human agency. Conceived by God, Jesus would be of sinless nature, though no less human due to that fact.’ Wow! Both God and man at the same time! How marvellous! That means He could appreciate our trials and tribulations because He also suffered them, though He did not sin! Isn’t our God wonderful and ever so imaginative and far sighted? That’s why his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. 

And to prove my point, listen to this bit of news that Gabriel shared with Mary to boost her spirit. ‘And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) Yuh see how our great God moves in mysterious ways? Elisabeth had been barren for all of her life, but like Sara and Hannah, in her old age she was blessed with one of God’s special people, John the Baptist; Christ’s forerunner; the one lighting His way, crying out from the wilderness: ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of God is at hand.’ (Matt. 3:2) 

Yeh friends, our God doesn’t leave anything to chance. He knew that when Mary heard of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, her spirit would be boosted. And in my humble opinion, there’s no more touching, heartfelt and faith-showing scripture than Mary’s answer to the mind-blowing info she’d just received. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Mama Mia! What faith and trust and surrender in such a young woman! Even today we’d have serious problems with such a situation. But can you imagine the negative connotations that held for her in a small Jewish town; betrothed, but unmarried and with child, and supposedly not her betrothed’s child either? But she didn’t whinge and whine; just said, so be it. I do hope that Mary’s story will speak to us today and raise our level of faith, because it’s such a faith inducing epic. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us who live and breathe to do His holy Will. As one, in strong voice, believing as we speak: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

Now don’t forget, we’re not to hoard those God-given blessings, but to share them generously with others! Much LOVE!

…what a wonderful world this would be…if our faith was as big as Mary’s…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 

And hopefully we’ve made it through Black Friday in one piece… not having spent too much unnecessary money, or gotten into too much unnecessary debt! (smile) And hopefully there weren’t any violent episodes to endure. Haven’t heard of any so far, but man’s nature being what it is, I’m sure there were some tete a tetes! Couldn’t get the accentuation right. (smile) But you know what I mean; some close encounters of the human kind, literally head to heads. Anyway, Black Friday is history now, so let’s concentrate on Saturday, whatever colour it may be. That means turning to some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I like this first one: ‘If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.’ We’ve got to realize that not all of us can be doers of great things; that’s left for only a small percentage. But if we’re not included in that august lot, it doesn’t mean we can’t be great. We just need to do the small things that come our way in a great and excellent manner! That’s what Jesus asks of His followers; diligence and excellence in all we do! And believe me, the greatness that the world thrusts upon us is not all it’s really cracked up to be; for once it’s found our Achilles heel, with even greater speed than it lifted us, the world can tear us back down again. But when Jesus lifts us up in our small doings, it’s for keeps! 

Then there’s this: ‘Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.’ And is that often ever so true! Like we were saying earlier in the week ‘Someday we will…!’ But if we keep putting things off, someday might never come. We do have to check out the Lord’s take on the situation before jumping in though; that’s what they call wisdom, (smile) and if He doesn’t set up any obvious roadblocks, then it should be all engines full ahead! Remember what they say about procrastination: it is the thief of time. And time is not something we have an inordinate or never-ending amount of. So ofttimes we just have to go for it! 

And that’s the text of our next quote: ‘You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.’ Now that’s true too. But one word of caution; please, please make sure you check it out with the Lord first; it only takes a few seconds to do that! Have no fear. If it’s totally wrong, He’ll let you know. And if He doesn’t say anything, it might just be that He has a lesson for you to learn. (smile) And we can paraphrase all of those quotes with this one: ‘Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.’ 

Sadly though people that’s a major failure and fault of our current world; we’re always telling each other what they can and can’t do from our puny and limited human imaginations. Just think of all the great strides we’ve made in our society, I’m sure that many of them were unthinkable until some brave, gifted and daring soul decided to seriously knuckle down and do them despite the negative voices of the doubting Thomas’s shouting ‘you can’t do that’ in their ears. But you know the One we limit the most, it’s our great God! 

We claim that He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-present; meaning that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present, but the truth is that our faith is still sadly lacking when we need Him to do big, seemingly impossible things for us. Remember Jesus said that ALL things were possible with the Father! And if we’re true believers, then we ought to let that show up in our everyday lives, through faith in His power and grace and mercy, through belief in miracles! Yes, He still does those; not necessarily as big as He once did, but I know He does many small ones in each and every life, we’re just not looking for them, or thinking of them as such. 

How yuh think we woke up this morning eh? Just by chance? Certainly not! It was the Lord’s compassion and mercy; His miracle that kept us alive through the night and then opened our eyes to a beautiful day. So please let’s stop selling ourselves and our great God short. Remember we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! 

And as always, we try to save the best for last. (smile) ‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! We just have to look at all the different types of societies that exist, or once existed in our world; communism, democracy, socialism, dictatorship. All of them began as ideas and were reinforced by words until they became reality. But the greatest change ever brought about by ideas and words is our own Christian faith. 

Mama Yo! Just look at what the words and ideas of Jesus wrought in our world nuh! Hear Him to the disciples before He went back to heaven: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Wow mih people! What a splash that Great Commission has made in our world! Twelve men believed; took Jesus’ words and commission to heart and went out and changed the world! That’s the sterling power of words and ideas. And as true believers in Christ, we’ve also been given that Great Commission, for the WHOLE WORLD has not yet been converted, or heard of Him. So please let’s take the baton, the flaming torch from those who have gone before us, and go out and help change the world! That’s our Great Commission too! Much LOVE!

…Jesus doesn’t want to come back…until EVERY living soul on earth…has had a chance to hear His words and ideas…and be saved…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2019 Psalm 89:6.

Psalm 89:6.    ​For who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?
 

One more morning…one more wet and cloudy morning! But, as always, Christ will see us through it successfully if we ask Him nicely. (smile) Yes, He is our Lord and Saviour, Guide and Navigator, so there is no One better to ask, since He’s the most adept at the job! Give Him praise and thanks for His awesome help my fellow believers! For as Ethan the Ezrahite said in his contemplation of God’s sure promises to David: ‘For who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?’ 

And the correct answer to that question is ‘Absolutely NOBODY!’ And for that very reason: ‘God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’ (Ps. 89:7) And isn’t that the living truth, although so many of us are not giving Him the reverence that is His deserved due. Oh my people, how can we claim t be wise when we are working against our Creator, the most powerful entity in the universe He created? That’s not wisdom, that’s utter stupidity! 

As I recently saw someone explain the difference between stupidity and foolishness: the last is making a wrong decision when you don’t know all the facts, but the first is making the wrong decision when you do know all the facts. And that’s exactly what’s happening with our world today! We all know that God is Creator and King, but yet we refuse to honour and adore Him and live by His rules. Instead we listen to the lying and most stupid Beelzebub, yes he was totally stupid for thinking He could overthrow God, the very one who created him. 

And we’ll reinforce that statement with the truthful words of Bruh David: ‘Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.’ (Ps. 86:6-7) Oh friends, in the day of our trouble can we call upon the stupid, lying and deceitful devil to help us? I don’t think so, because he doesn’t have even one iota of the stupendous power that our great and wonderful God possesses! Satan can’t make any new beings or creations; he can just titillate and titivate whatever the Lord’s already made. (smile) 

That’s why Bruh David could confidently continue and sincerely proclaim: ‘Among the gods there is none like unto thee. O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.’ (Ps. 86:8) And friends, if we don’t believe that deep down in our innermost being, then we’re just as stupid as the supposed prince of darkness! For hear what is going to eventually happen in this going ungodly world. ‘All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God ALONE.’ (Ps. 86:9-10) 

Oh precious people, please pay particular attention to that last statement, for it is the gospel truth, and those who don’t believe it do so at their very peril. And long before Bruh David, Moses said it thus in his song of praise: ‘Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods (the mighty ones)? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.’ (Ex. 15:11-13) 

Tell me friends, could Lucifer separate the Red Sea and allow the children of Israel to cross over on dry land? Could he then close it back up and drown Pharaoh and his mighty army? What about feeding the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness with manna, and not letting their clothes or shoes wear our eh? No way Jose! The lying and deceitful and stupid devil could not do any of those things, because he is basically powerless, he just relies on our foolish thinking and behaviour to do his evil deeds. 

Now listen to King Hezekiah, when he received a letter from the king of Assyria, threatening war and utter destruction. Hezekiah’s first and very wise action was to take it to the temple and spread it before the Lord, showing his total dependence on Him. Then he prayed: ‘O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.’ (Is. 37:16) And we all know that the Lord answered Hezekiah’s prayer by sending His angel to destroy the army of the Assyrian king Sennacherib, without Hezekiah lifting a hand. (Is. 37:33-38) 

That’s the mighty, magnificent and ever-faithful God we serve my brethren! And we can’t close without some words from Bruh Paul. (smile) He’s speaking here in regards to Christian freedom and brotherly obligations, in particular, eating food sacrificed to idols. ‘As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we (live) by him.’ (1 Cor. 8:4-6) 

That says it all friends! So let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And the only proper response to that Mantra is to go out and action those statements, share the LOVE of our friend Jesus! Much LOVE!

…who can outdo the Creator of this universe…NO ONE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2019 1 Samuel 2:3.

1 Samuel 2:3.    ​Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy (arrogance) come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
 

It’s Tuesday morning and the ole fella is somewhat pained up in both body and soul! (smile) I guess that’s because I went to bed too early last night and did not get up during the night to do anything constructive. Oh, how I envy those blessed people who can lie in their beds for ten hours or more! Me, I’m lucky if I can get to four or five without the old aches and pains starting to act up. And I know that, but last night I was just too lazy or tired, or whatever to get up, so now I’m feeling the consequences of my actions. (smile) 

Yes friends, there are always consequences to our actions, be they good or bad. And one of the sad things about our society nowadays is that we don’t stop long enough to consider the consequences before acting. And to make matters even worse, when those unthought of consequences of our unwise actions backfire on us, we’re quick to blame everybody and everything else but ourselves! No wonder our society is going to Hades in a hand-basket! When you don’t think of consequences before acting, and can’t accept the blame for the resulting negative stuff then the society is indeed in a bad way. 

That reminds me of one of Uncle Charles’ (Charles Stanley) favourite sayings: ‘You reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow!’ And that’s just how it is in God’s economy.  And the most unwise, no, let’s not clothe it in purple robes, but show it for what it really is; the most stupid and foolish decision this society has so far made is to take God out of our lives; out of our schools and public places! And quite correctly, we are now reaping the consequences of the foolish seed we’ve sown. Just look at our world; at how strife-filled and strife-torn it is; there’s negative upheaval all over the planet; with a new age of dictatorship coming to the fore; while both natural and man made disasters are proliferating like never before! 

Do think this is just happenstance friends? Trust me, it is certainly not! Remember our God moves in mysterious ways, and He has not given up control of His universe, that means His hand can be in anything. Please remember the adversity He brought upon His chosen people, the Israelites, every time they rebelled against Him. Now why wouldn’t He do the same thing with us eh? That brings us to our Bit, which comes from the Song of Hannah, the prophet Samuel’s mother, after the Lord had ended her barrenness. ‘Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy (arrogance) come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow believers! Listen to what the Lord told Samuel later on when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons and Samuel admired the big, good looking son Eliab. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) Ah mih people what’s wrong with us eh? Why are we so stubborn and hard-headed eh? Why can’t we realize that the Lord’s hand is upon us in our foolish rebellion? 

Please take note of these significant words of the psalmist: ‘Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.’ (Ps.49:20) Oh friends, we’re supposed to be the crème de la crème of God’s creation, but when we reject His solemn word and rebel against His will, then we’re just like the wild beasts who cannot think, and thus perish in their ignorance. And there are so many scriptures that remind us of God’s power and righteousness, as well as man’s foolhardiness. Let’s check out a couple. 

Hear Isaiah, as he talks about Judah, being a sinful nation. ‘The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or fed trough): But Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.’ (Is.1:3) Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any better than that nuh! We are indeed a sinful nation, who don’t know where our bread is truly buttered, and sadly, we don’t even consider our actions regarding it. We just blunder ahead foolishly; like a horse with blinkers. And Jeremiah’s words still ring true today: ‘And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:3) 

Unfortunately, those words bring a sad chuckle to my soul, as we now face a diabolical debate over truth with Trump’s behaviour in the U.S. And Jeremiah continues later on: ‘Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait (inwardly he sets his ambush). Shall I not visit (punish) them for these things? Saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?’ (Jer.9:8-9) Personally, I think the answer to that is a resounding ‘YES!’ And the Lord has already set it in motion with all the adversity that’s happening in the land, despite the overall prosperity. 

Now for us true believers, let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And if yuh serious, then now is time to go out and share that LOVE and friendship of Jesus with the unfortunate others who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…there’s none so blind…as he who refuses to see…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2019 Exodus 20:3.

Exodus 20:3.    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

Ah friends, it’s Tuesday and the ole fella is at a loss for words! Yeh, it’s true! It doesn’t happen often, (smile) but it does happen every once in a while. I guess it shows that I’m just a man with all the human frailties and weaknesses and only with God’s supernatural help can I successfully carry out all my assigned duties. I guess it’s also a good testimony for believing in a LOVING, merciful and graceful God! 

And if all of that is so, then why does Nehemiah’s prayer for his people Israel, so long ago, still resonate very loudly today in our ultra evil and oh so ungodly society eh? Listen to what Nehemiah prayed, way back then nuh: ‘We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances), which thou commandedst they servant Moses.’ (Neh.1:7) 

And my people, that prayer is ever still so valid today, because it’s exactly what we’re doing, just on a larger scale than the Israelites. I think our ills are even worse than theirs, for I don’t know if they were literally trying to force God out of their society, as we are surely doing, and not just ignoring Him. 

But whatever it is, our renunciation of God is bringing us calamity, and like the Israelites, will continue to bring us calamity, until we stop it, or He just does away with us, as He’s done with so many other, greedy, foolish, prideful and arrogant societies who had the gall to deny His majesty and superiority over the universe He created. 

I simply don’t understand why we think that the Lord won’t eventually bring us to our knees like he did other ungodly people. Let’s remember that if he could send Israel, His special people, into captivity and allow their enemies to defeat them on several occasions because of their unfaithfulness, He can…and will do the same thing to us, who don’t bear a special mark like Israel did! 

Oh friends, please listen to these warning words of Moses concerning idolatry, when the Israelites were still wandering in the wilderness. ‘For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. When thou shalt begat children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves (act corruptly), and make a graven image, or the likeness of anything, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke him to anger; 

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it (live long in it), but shall be utterly destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.’ (Deut.4:24-28) 

And that’s exactly what happened to the Israelites when they turned against the God of their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And do you remember the first Commandment God gave to the Israelites, and consequently to us. ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ What’s so difficult to understand about that eh? 

Then, as the scholars inform us: ‘Israel’s 10 northern tribes were deported in 722 B.C, by the Assyrians, and the southern tribes were taken by the Babylonians, beginning with Daniel, in 605 B.C. They were later dispersed in the days of the early church.’ So if the Lord could do that to His special people when they became unfaithful, why won’t He do it to us eh? 

No reason why not my people. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah? (Genesis 19) At the height of their depravity, sinfulness and wickedness, the Lord brought them down with fire and brimstone! And believe me, our society has gotten just as sinful, depraved and wicked, if not worse! So the writing is on the wall! 

However my people, we serve such a wonderful God; a God who keeps His promises! Listen to Moses as he continues his warning; ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. 

When thou art in tribulation (distress), and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days (coming of Christ), if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient to his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.’ (Deut.4:29-31) 

Praise His holy name my people! For even when we are at our worst, He will hear and receive and revive us if we turn back to Him in all sincerity and truth! And we saw this happen with the Israelites several times. And not only with His special people, but also with places like Nineveh, when He sent Jonah to warn them and they repented. (Jon.3) So friends, there is still a window of opportunity open to us, if we take God’s promise of repentance and run with it! 

And though He’s a patient and longsuffering God, His patience and longsuffering will eventually boil over if we keep up our current ungodly and sinful behaviour. It might not be in our time, but our children’s and their children’s, if we teach them to disobey and revile and ridicule God’s pronouncements. I therefore implore us to be wise and change our evil ways, right about now, provided we want to live long in the land that God gave us. 

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

And if our hearts are true, then we will go out and do just that! Much LOVE!

…constant disobedience…will eventually bring…certain punishment…

P.S. It’s a good thing I didn’t know what to say! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2019 Psalm 34:4.

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

Good news and bad news friends! The bad news first: My PSA level did not drop to ZERO, as I had desired! But the good news is that it did drop a fair amount, enough for the medics to decide I don’t have to do any more radiation therapy at this time! Wow! Praise His holy Name my people! We will just monitor it and see how it goes over the next few months. 

And in keeping with that fear that so many of us have today, about cancer or whatever else it is that threatens us, in this evil and ungodly world, I have some wonderful news and ideas for us to stay fear free. We’ll begin with this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, appropriately titled ‘Fear Not.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear Not.” Surely you would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would you command it so explicitly If you could not keep me from fearing. God, You have given me a Fear not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. 

Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. Lord, when David cried to You You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than you were to David.’  

And no my people, if you cry out to Him, He will not be less kind to you than He was to Bruh David! The important thing is to take it all to Him, cast all your care and fear upon Him, for He cares for you! As you can see He’s already provided all the ‘Fear Nots.’ Now it’s we who must make the next move and come to Him in heartfelt sincerity and truth, so that He can bless and restore us. 

And to add to all that, let’s listen to Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional as he talks about ‘Courage from Faith.’  He says: ‘The Bible is filled with commands to be courageous. Someone counted the “fear nots” in the Bible and discovered that there are 365 verses with this divine command – one for every day of the year! 

Verses such as: ‘Fear not…When you pass through the waters…they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned…For I am the Lord you God. I will be with you.’ (Is.45:1-3) ‘Be strong and of a good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ (Josh.1:9) 

‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of LOVE and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’ (Matt.17:20) …Observe now how faith is the force that sets you free to succeed.’ 

Yeh friends, FAITH is the great mover and shaker in a believer’s life! As the Good Book so wisely informs us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

Yeh mih people, it’s all about FAITH! And faith only comes through first believing, then surrendering one’s life to God, then trusting Him to take us through all the rough times we face successfully. Until we totally give up our lives to God, we’ll never be able to have much faith. He wants ALL of us, not bits and pieces that we choose to surrender. He can’t paint a proper picture, or build a perfect structure if we only give Him some of us. 

And even more importantly my people, faith is only built by going through hard times, when we have to buckle down and truly believe His words, ‘DO NOT FEAR!’ And like everything else we do in life, the more we do that, the better we become at it, and the stronger our faith grows! Glory Hallelujah! 

Now hear how Bruh David said it in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the Righteous. ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear (reverence) him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him.’ (Ps.34:4-9) 

Mama Mia! What encouraging words! And remember friends, when Bruh David talks, he doesn’t talk from hearsay, but personal experience. So there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t believe his word and do as he says and did! And now that we’ve conquered our fears, (smile) by completely surrendering our lives to Almighty God, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

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

So having said it, let’s go out now and do it nuh my precious saints of Christ! Much LOVE!

…fear is Satan’s tool…while faith is Christ’s…and that’s undoubtedly the stronger one…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2019 Psalm 55:22.

Psalm 55:22.    ​Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be shaken (moved).
 

And so we move on to Tuesday…  Brother, what a day that turned out to be! Up bright and early, in time to get out and catch the nine o’clock hotel shuttle to the waterfront, although our hotel is right on the waterfront. (smile) But it’s a convoluted trip to get where we wanted to go, to the docks for the ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent some 18 of his 27 years in prison, having been sentenced to life, for treason by the white apartheid government. 

We bought our tickets at the Mandela Waterfront Museum, then had breakfast at a small café nearby. At ten thirty we boarded the small ferry, Sea Princess for the trip across the Cape Town Bay (Atlantic Ocean) to the Island. By the way, the ferry was full. That’s one thing about South Africa; they’re certainly mining the tourism aspects of their first Black President in a big way. That includes the Apartheid Museum in Joburg, which seemed to me to be more of a shrine to Mandela than a history of the fight against apartheid. 

Anyway the ferry trip took approximately thirty minutes to the island. Once there, we boarded a bus for an excursion around the small island, can’t remember the exact size the guide on the bus told us, but definitely not more than about 5 square miles. Apparently the island had been first a leper colony before being turned into a prison. 

Then after the bus tour, we were dropped off at the prison gates, where an ex-prisoner took us on a guided tour of the prison, showing us the old prison enclosures that were supposed to hold thirty something prisoners on double bunks, but often held fifty. That still holds true in many of today’s prisons, where overcrowding is still a serious problem. 

Then we were shown the small cells where Mandela and some of the leaders of his organization spent most of their prison time; a concrete enclosure, possibly six by six, overlooking a courtyard, containing a bunk and a red bucket for waste material. 

It seems that the ex-convict’s return to work as a guide at the prison was very cathartic, purging and cleansing for him. He recalls that on his first day on the job, he didn’t know what to say, but as the people began asking questions, he finally found his voice, until now, his unsettling experience as a prisoner there, doesn’t bother him like it once did. After that we walked back to the dock and boarded the ferry Madiba 1, (Mandela’s Xhosa clan name) and returned to the mainland. 

We got back around minutes to three, and little did we know then that the fun was just about to begin, (smile) because our next stop was supposed to be Table Mountain; that big, awe inspiring block of stone standing at the back of Cape Town, whose top seems absolutely flat when looked at from below. We got a taxi from the docks that drove us up the steep winding road to where the activities actually began. 

That meant joining a long line to purchase tickets, then joining another long one to get into an elevator to get to the cable car station. Once there, you then had to wait for one of the two cars to come back down from the brow of the mountain, because there seems to be only room for one at a time at the top. From down there though, against the great expanse of stone, the cars looked like playthings moving up and down on bits of small string. 

But they were actually big and solid, the bottom parts painted red, while the top was made of solid glass, holding at least twenty people, riding on solid cables of some strong substance. And as you went up or came down, the flooring slowly spun around, allowing a good overall look at the breathtaking landscape. And the top of Table Mountain is not flat at all! (smile) It’s hilly and rocky! 

But they have trails around which you can walk and see Cape Town and its environs down at the bottom, or the conjunction of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on the other side. And the ole fella, with an extraordinary burst of energy, climbed all over and around it. (smile)  Any, which way you take it though, the sight is indeed breathtaking! And the South Africans not making joke with their tourism nuh, for as you walk around, there are several small glass enclosures at the top telling you about the history of the mountain and it’s colourful flora and fauna. 

The sad part though is that we had to wait some forty minutes, join another long line, to catch the cable car back down. By then it was after six, possibly closer to seven. Our taxi dropped us back at the waterfront, where there’s this big mall. Obviously the duchess wanted to go and look around, but I stopped in at Musica, a music shop, where a wonderful lady called Mary began playing me some wonderful South African Music. 

As I told her, I couldn’t come to South Africa and not get some South African music, especially after berating my young daughter for not bringing any for me on her trips to the Motherland. So there I was standing with earphones on my head, listening as the lady played. And each one she played, I told her to put that aside, and the pile slowly grew. 

Some one hour later, I looked around and saw the duchess standing next to me. Obviously she wasn’t thrilled because she had been waiting for me down the mall. But she knows that the music always comes first! Eventually though I bought a whole pile of C.D’s, won’t say how much, or at what price, so some people won’t get on my case, (smile) but I’ve got plenty of good listening ahead of me. 

Then we went down to the other end of the mall, ate some Thai food, then got the 9.15 shuttle back to the hotel and bed. Oh one other beautiful sight I forgot to mention: on looking out of my room, the harbour looks like a necklace of jewels with all the bright lights shining around it, and the marina right at the foot of the hotel. 

Oh friends, that was indeed one of the best, the busiest and most interesting days of my life. And I know some of you who know me personally, and know that I’ve been frail and sickly the last three years, must be wondering how I did all of that without falling down. Well it’s best said first by the words of Bruh David in Psalm 55: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be shaken (moved).’ 

And secondly from the oh so appropriate words of the poem ‘Footprints’ by Margaret Fishback Powers: ‘He whispered. “My precious child, I LOVE you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings When you saw only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you.’ And all I can say to that is a loud and proud ‘Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, for when I look back at that day, I’m sure that only one set of footprints was visible on the path that I trod, because the Lord physically carried me! Wow! He’s ever so good to those who LOVE and trust Him! 

Now let’s go home acknowledging who and whose we are through our Tuesday mantra: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And now, if we’re sincere, we’ll go out and do just that! Much LOVE!

…by sincerely trusting our heavenly Father…we can do so much more…more than we can ever ask or imagine…

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