Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 October 2020 Mark 4:40.

Mark 4:40.     ​And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is that ye have no faith?

And after yesterday’s constant drizzle and cold dreary weather, who wouldn’t be glad to see a dry morning with plenty of bright sunshine amidst clear blue skies eh? Yeh friends, it was just one of those days that shouted out: ‘Today is a rainy day, just right for lazing around. So stay inside; don’t go out unless it’s absolutely necessary!’ And that’s exactly what I did: I stayed inside and had a lazy, rainy day at home. Although the duchess might beg to differ, because that’s the kind of day she feels I usually have anyway. (smile) 

But it’s Friday, amidst an abundance of sunshine in a short work week, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. And as always, he declares (awright!) with some vim and vigour: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui and the weekend is here! But brother, I must be getting old yes, because I’m never usually so tired, especially after a short work week like this one. It’s possibly all the turkey and stuffing and hops that I had over the Thanksgiving holiday last weekend. 

Yeh, it was a quiet Thanksgiving with only the immediate family because of the ban on big and unprotected gatherings that just give the Covid-19 more steam. And although the lockdown was tightened in some places, the virus numbers still haven’t dropped appreciably, because people still not taking the bloody thing seriously. And to make matters worse, yuh know whatever goes on in the U.S. we always copy some up here. So with all the foolishness that going on down there, is obvious some of it happening up here too. 

Yuh know the ole saying, ‘monkey see, monkey do.’ Well that is we up here in Canada. We like to say how we so different from the States, but it’s not as true as we claim nuh, because whatever they espouse down there, we seem to espouse up here too, just on a smaller scale. And things heating up down there with this election business, so expect it to heat up, up here too. 

Ah Lord eh? What is the world coming to eh? Why li’l common sense and godliness can’t prevail eh? Everybody just seem to gone crazy all at once! And yuh know what happens when the inmates ruling the asylum… Steups! All I could hope for is that me and mine stay safe in we li’l corner yes, and keep on thanking God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, these are indeed unprecedented times, and we are all searching for answers, but are we searching in the right places? Now that’s a contentious question, if there ever was one. (smile) Why you ask? Because there are too many differing opinions on our problems, people are too divided over the whys and the wherefores, and therefore no real improvement is possible. One side says this; the other says that; and the middle ground add their two cents worth. Meanwhile the negative problems keep steadily taking their toll. 

Even in the church, the bride of Christ, there is no unity on the subject, so some ignore the dire warnings and continue as normal, while others take a middle ground, and the rest shut down completely. I guess unity in the church is just wishful thinking on my part, since even in the best of times, Christ’s bride is divided and disjoined just like the outside world. But what’s supposed to set us apart from the world eh? Basic faith in Christ and His ability to handle all our problems. 

And that brings to mind the occasion when He and the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee and a great storm arose that threatened their lives. So all the disciples were scared out of their wits. But where was Jesus eh? Comfortably asleep on a pillow in the stern of the boat. And the disciples in great fear ran and woke Him up, saying, ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him.’ (Mark 4:38-41) 

Oh my brethren, we are going through terribly stormy times right now, and unfortunately, too many of us are behaving just like the disciples behaved back then. We’re scared and confused, our faith and trust in Almighty God has sunk to a rather low level because of the widespread suffering and collapse of our society. But God has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us, so we need to have faith, to stand strong against whatever storms of life come against us. That means we have to consistently read the Good Book and pray always, for we can only stand strong when the Lord’s Word is planted in our hearts and we are continually communicating with Him. 

So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant; let’s bare our hearts and souls to Him. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Saying the prayer is all well and good my people, but now we have to action it and actually behave like the faithful believers we claim to be. Otherwise, our prayers are useless. Much LOVE!

…but be ye doers of the word…not hearers only…deceiving your own selves… (James 1:23) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2020 1 Corinthians 3:18.

1 Corinthians 3:18.     Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world (age), let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Well can you believe it’s Friday! I can’t. As usual, the whole week has passed by and I haven’t done any of the things I claim I want to do. But what to do eh? (smile) I’m not going to berate myself unnecessarily, or feel terribly guilty – there will be a touch of guilt though – (smile) for in these unprecedented times, who knows what unprecedented and abnormal things will happen in our lives. The important thing is to stay connected with God, and to grow in wisdom and knowledge and obedience to His will and holy word and encouraging others as best we can. 

If we’re doing that, then I believe we’re fulfilling our purpose for this time when we can’t, or are not supposed to go out and about like we are, or rather were used to doing. And now that I’ve had my say, (smile) let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to share this Friday morning in the last week of September of this crazy and mind-boggling year of 2020. 

As usual, he opens with an enthusiastic: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is here at last! Wow! It’s been a good week, nice warm September weather, with temps even in the mid 20’s. But it’s coming…yes people, winter is coming. The trees already bearing out that indisputable and unchangeable fact; they starting to turn colour. And are they beautiful colours; gold, brown, yellow, red… fall is the best, or rather most colourful season of the year. Like the Lord made it beautiful because He knew that winter was coming when everything would be cold as ice and look dead and dreary, so He wanted to give us something to perk us up before that happen. 

But that lead me to wonder what going to happen with this Covid-19 business, if it going to get worse with the cold weather and flu season? And the numbers now going back up again because people not observing the safety precautions. Steups! Like is only when we catch it, we going to learn. Yuh see the virus is no respecter of people, even the leader of the Federal opposition and his wife have it, as well as the leader of the French party. So what it going to take eh? Another lockdown. They done restrict gatherings in Toronto and Peel and Ottawa… Ah Lord eh! Thank God that me an’ mine doing we best to stay safe yes!’ 

Yes my people, that’s why I have serious concerns about the belief that mankind is the wisest animal on the planet. (smile) He certainly doesn’t show that in his everyday actions. That brings me to this interesting, and I believe appropriate bit of scripture from Bruh Paul’s first missive to the church at Corinth, when they were debating and divided over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or Apollos. ‘Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world (age), let him become a fool, that he may be wise.’ (1 Cor. 3:18) 

That’s good advice, for as Cousin Sol adds in his two cents worth: ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:7-8) And that’s the gospel truth friends! And if you’re wondering why, then listen to Bruh Paul’s explanation. ‘For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. for it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain (futile).’ (1 Cor.3:19-20) And there Bruh Paul is quoting Job and the psalmist. 

Job says of the Lord. ‘To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety. He disappointeth (frustrates) the desires of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprises (plans). He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward (of the wily) is carried headlong (comes quickly on themselves).’ (Job 5:11-13) And the writer of psalm 94 admitted: ‘The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity (futile).’ (Ps.94:11) So it wasn’t anything new that Bruh Paul was preaching. 

And he concludes: ‘Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours. And ye are Christ’s: and Christ is God’s.’ (1 Cor. 3:21-23) Immortal words of wisdom and truth friends! 

As the scholars explain: ‘3:21-22. For all things are yours: The one who belongs to Christ is a child of God, and his Father will do anything for him. The absurdity of their division over allegiances to any of these men is that God gave them “all” to the Corinthians.’ The same goes for us today; whoever is teaching us, they were ALL given to us by God, for His glory, not for us to be foolishly attached to them. 

Now let’s go home chanting our Friday Chant, asking God for His divine help in these turbulent times. With all sincerity now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now it’s time for us to go out and handle the situation like the faithful believers we consider ourselves. Much LOVE!

…anyone can plant…but it’s God ALONE…who gives the increase… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2020 Psalm 27:14.

Psalm 27:14.     Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.
 

Oh my people, please sing this soulful ditty with me: ‘One Monday morning, I won’t be around to answer the call. Ohhh…One Monday morning, I won’t be here, to answer the tolling bells of work. (Repeat) But while I’m here…while God’s awesome breath of life, still surges through my body and soul, I’ll do my best, to answer the call, of those tolling work bells, on as many Monday mornings as I can.’ 

Yes my brethren, as true believers in Christ Jesus that should be our heart’s desire. (smile) Not the opposite reaction, hardening our hearts to the tolling work bells, as so many of us practice in these crazy times. As the ole people would say, ‘work never kill anybody yet nuh…. But plenty people die from starvation when they don’t work!’ 

But be that as it may, in these unprecedented times, when many of us are mired in anxiety and want because of all the stuff that’s happening, and some can’t work even though they want to, we have to look at the situation in an entirely different light. Nothing that’s happened before has prepared us for the complexities involved, so we have to come up with entirely new ways of handling it. And we know that this too shall eventually pass, the problem though is how and when is it going to pass, and what will be the resultant situation when it does? 

Unfortunately, there’s only one Being right now who knows the answers to those questions, our omnipotent God, but in His infinite wisdom, He’s not telling. So our best shot is to bow down, surrender our hearts and lives to the Creator and Controller of our great universe; the Supreme Being who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His Spirit of life into us, and earnestly pray that He will extend a helping hand to our troubled world. He has said that when problems overwhelm our finite minds, we should turn to Him to get His supreme wisdom and guidance. 

So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s invoke our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy, grace and divine guidance in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

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

Yes friends, we’ve done the first part of our task; pray. The next part is to do whatever is in our power to help the situation, with faith and earnest expectation that our prayer will be positively answered in the near future. That brings to mind Bruh David’s prayer from Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. 

‘Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put (turn) not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (take care of me). 

Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain (smooth) path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty (violence). I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:7-14) 

Unfortunately, I can’t give any better advice than Bruh David’s my fellow saints in Christ. And it certainly worked for him, so I don’t see why it won’t work for us too. Much LOVE!

…in troubled times…God must be our FIRST refuge…