Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2020 Mark 4:41.

Mark 4:41.     ​What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?

‘I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me! Yes, I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me… I am under the rock!’ Oh mih people, mih people, I sure hope you all are under the rock with me yes, because when the storms of life come howling through, as they most certainly will, and are currently doing, under the rock that’s Jesus, in the shelter of His safe, LOVING and comforting arms, is the only place that true refuge can be found! Why? Because He is the ONLY one who can calm those hungry angry winds of the storm! 

Case in point; the evening Jesus and His disciples were in the boat crossing over the to the other side and a most fearsome storm arose, so that it threatened the lives of those on the water. But where was Jesus eh? Mark says: ‘And he was in the hinder part (the stern) of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto him, Master, carest not thou that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38) Doesn’t that just make you chuckle? This great storm is happening, the boat is tossing and turning, most likely taking in water, but our wonderful Lord and Saviour is in the back of the boat quietly and serenely snoozing away like nothing is happening. 

But Jesus knew exactly what was happening and knew exactly what He would do. So Mark continues: ‘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 it that ye have no faith?’ (Mark 4:39-40) And that’s exactly what He’s saying to us in these trying and very troubled times my people: Where is your faith eh? The faith you talk about so much when things are going well, but seem to lose when times get tough. 

And what was the disciples’ reaction to all that eh? ‘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 4:41) Oh my people, it was the Creator of the wind and the sea, so that’s why they obeyed Him! But unfortunately, although the disciples had seen Jesus do other miracles, their faith in the actual time of storm was not good enough. But that’s how Jesus operates; often questioning us in order to spur us on to deeper trust and faith. 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation of the scriptures here: ‘4:35-5:43. Jesus takes His disciples from the classroom to the laboratory. Having just taught that God’s power will cause His kingdom to grow to worldwide proportion and influence – the parable of the mustard seed – (4:30-32), Jesus now performs four miracles that demonstrate this divine might. God’s power is seen overcoming (1) the danger of a storm (4:35-41); (2) demons in a victim possessed (5:1-20); (3) disease in a woman physically ravished (5:21-34); and (4) the death of a little girl (5:35-43).’ 

But friends, we can’t be too hard on the disciples nuh, for as the scholars further state: ‘4:41. The fear must have been a mixture of reverential awe and real fright – it would be chillingly eerie to witness the instantaneous dissipation of a violent storm.’ And so it surely would be to all of us, regardless of how much we knew about Jesus’ divine might! But as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer says: ‘When God awakens you to His presence, everything becomes a whole lot more meaningful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Once you truly understand what’s happening with Christ in your life, your entire life takes on a whole new perspective. 

And talking about refuge in Christ and being under the rock, causes me to think of two interesting situations, the one of Moses, and the other of Elijah. Both were going through some difficult times in their earthly ministry. Moses prayed for God’s presence to lead him in the exodus of Israel from Egypt. He desired God’s assurance: ‘show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; And consider that this nation is thy people.’ (Ex. 33:13). And the Lord agreed. ‘My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ (Ex. 33:14) 

But Moses still was not satisfied, and later said: ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And he (the Lord) said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee… (but) Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift (cleft) of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.’ (Ex. 33:18-23) 

And I like this explanation that www.frankgantz.com/the-cleft-in-the-rock offers: ‘A cleft is a narrow space or split. This would have put rock under Moses’ feet, behind his back and on either side of him. In a sense he was wedged into this rock which would hold him in place and provide a stable base. From that vantage point he would behold the back of God’s glory.’ That makes sense doesn’t it. 

The same thing with Elijah; after killing the prophets of Baal he got tired and discouraged and ran away into the wilderness hoping to die. But God made him rest by a brook for a couple of days and fed him divinely. Then he went for forty days and nights in the strength of that food to Mt. Horeb and hid in a cave there. But the Lord called and asked what He was doing there and he claimed that he was tired and scared after being very zealous in doing the Lord’s work, but the children of Israel had forsaken the Lord and wanted to kill him. 

‘And he (the Lord) said, Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord: (1 Kin. 19:1-11) And an earthquake happened, but the Lord was not in it. Then a fire, but the Lord wasn’t in that either. ‘…and after the fire a still, small voice (delicate whispering voice). And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering (entrance) of the cave.’ And there the Lord spoke with him, strengthened and reassured him, then sent him back to continue his ministry. (1 Kin. 19:11-18) 

Yes friends, when we are weak and discouraged, and think we can’t go on, the most desirous place to be is in the comfort of God’s arms, in that safe cleft of rock on the mountain top that shows His mighty power. He will give us the peace and calm and the reassurance that we all need at times, to continue to be of service to Him here on earth. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 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 now it’s time to put those words into godly action! Much LOVE!

…the best place to recuperate…in the LOVING arms of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 March 2020 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.    ​He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 
Ah friends, this late night and early morning business will eventually kill me yes! (smile) But that’s just the nature of the beast. Some of us are made to be early birds and others night owls. It just so happens that I fall amongst the latter, but still have to get up and write the Bit at a decent hour. And to make matters worse, the computer is slow, guess too many people are on the internet with so many things shut down. And rather unwisely (smile) just now I agreed to a restart for an update, when I had other options, but it simply stood there spinning its wheels, so I had to shut it down and reboot it. 

Ah Lord eh! The things the enemy talks us into doing! (smile) But not to worry, with the Lord’s awesome help, we will accomplish whatever He sends us out to do. And on this bright and sunshiny Saturday morning, it’s His pleasure to keep us all safe and sound from whatever our ever-lurking foe throws against us! So let’s remember to give Him much thanks and praise for being our wonderful guardian Shepherd, especially in these unusual and abnormal calamitous times, so suddenly precipitated by the Covid -19 virus. And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord for His absolute kindness to the children of men! His mercies are new every day and endureth forever. Amen!’ 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here’s the first one. ‘It’s not about money or connections, it’s the willingness to out work and out learn everyone. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting quote, and there’s lots of truth in it. However, I’m not so sure about the out working and out learning everybody else. 

We must be diligent and excellent in our endeavours, but I think it’s somewhat impractical to always be trying to out work and out learn everybody around us. I believe we’re wasting valuable time and energy in the competition aspect, which could be better used in other areas. But we must always try to learn from our mistakes and do better the next time around. 

Now hear this one: ‘There is always one more thing to learn.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. Whilst there is life, there are always things to be learned! And despite our age, the old folks say that we should try and learn at least one new thing each and every day. Why? Because learning is the basic foundation of life! If you don’t learn, you can’t live life successfully. 

And that’s the problem so many of us are having nowadays, believers included; for whatever reason, we’re not upgrading ourselves sufficiently in the things that matter most in life; the things of God. Please note Cousin Sol’s words in Proverbs. ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto (acquire) wise counsels.’ (Prov.1:5) 

That brings us to this next interesting quote: ‘When you can’t control what’s happening challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.’ Now that’s something for all we believers to hold on to very tightly. Yes my people, it’s all about attitude; our attitude towards prevailing circumstances. How we respond to those circumstances, especially those over which we have no control, is what’s going to make or break us. Responding to things like anger, rejection or abuse with the same attitude does us no good whatsoever. 

Forget the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth saying. Jesus said to LOVE your enemies, and forgive those who do us wrong. And that’s wisdom of everlasting proportions, for responding in kind is only going to prolong the negative circumstances and cause even more confusion and adversity. Remember Bruh Paul’s invaluable words to the church at Rome: ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17a, 21) 

Yes friends, it’s always better to come up over whatever is challenging us with a positive, godly attitude, than a negative, ungodly one. There is simply more good energy in the positive and godly attitude, and it will help us to better handle whatever is coming against us. And there’s no better time to apply it than RIGHT NOW with the serious problems that our world is facing! And this last quote, shows that our friend Anselm is on top of things. (smile) ‘As we deal with the Coronavirus, remember “To ride out your storm”.’ 

Oh friends, that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to teach us these past tough days; we need to ride out these stormy times. And the ONLY WAY to do that successfully is through faith, trust and surrender in Almighty God! For He creates the storms, and He also calms them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these scriptures. Ethan, the Ezrahite, in his contemplative psalm – God’s sure promises to David, puts it thus: ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

Now hear the words of the psalmist from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. ‘For he commandeth and rasieth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.’ (Ps.107:25) And when we in fear, reeling to and fro, cry out to Him. ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ (Ps. 107:29) Mama Mia! What a most powerful and merciful Deity we serve and worship my faithful brethren! 

And we all know or ought to know (smile) the famous story of Jesus and the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee and the terrible tempest that arose and how the disciples were so scared and awoke Jesus who was sleeping comfortably in the stern. And His immortal words to them: ‘Why are ye so fearful, O Ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt. 8:26-27) 

Oh my people, that’s not rocket science, it’s simple logic: The Lord made the seas and the winds, and still controls them, so when He speaks to them, it’s obvious they respond the way He wants them to. What a pity that His greatest creation – mankind – doesn’t respond in the same obedient manner to His will and wishes! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus is your life pilot…then the inevitable storms…won’t be disastrous…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2020 Matthew 8:27.

Matthew 8:27.    But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’
 
And on this first day of February, in the leap year of 2020, some snow did fall in my area, not a whole lot, but enough that we can say snow fell. (smile) Yeh, it looks bad if you’re in winter and there’s not even a touch of the white stuff on the ground. Hn, hn! And I didn’t even know that this was going to be a leap year until recently when I checked out the February calendar and saw 29 days. I had to look again to make sure that I was seeing right. 

Times surely have changed yes! Once upon a time a leap year was a big thing, all sorts of stuff was supposed to happen in one, you’d hear that news all over the place. But now, no one seems to pay much attention to it; nobody’s even mentioned it to me in passing. Don’t even know if the young people nowadays know what’s a leap year, or how it comes about. We have so much bloody information now that it’s hard to choose what to read or listen to, and more importantly, what to believe (yeah!). 

But anyhow it’s Saturday, so let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week in his sincere effort of aspiring to inspire us. And this first quote is ever so appropriate because it’s exactly what Anselm is trying to do with us. ‘The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.’ Yeh friends, the Christian’s bounden duty is to try and lift up, encourage, and inspire those around us to come up higher in anything they choose to do. 

Remember the motto of Jesus’ people is ‘diligence and excellence.’ We have to work sincerely at stuff, and do it in an excellent manner, not wishy-washy, like is so common nowadays. Our jobs and lives might be difficult, even unfair, but Jesus still desires a solid and sincere effort from us. For in His dominion, ‘Failure is impossible.’ And that’s an indisputable fact. Jesus doesn’t hold with failure at all. There’s absolutely no giving up in His kingdom! 

As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity).’ (Prov.24:16) And according to the scholars: ‘24:16. The righteous man always recovers, but the wicked man faces permanent destruction.’ Yes friends, if you check out Jesus’ dictionary you won’t find the words ‘failure’ or ‘give up’ in it. Because He’s the Master of Everything; the possible as well as the impossible! 

And if you are a part of His dominion then you need to think like Him and behave like Him, and remember that through Him we can do ALL things, because He strengthens us! Then there’s this next quote; a dandy: ‘A good thing to remember is somebody’s got it a lot worse than you do.’ And is that ever gospel truth my people! We might think we have it rough, but believe me, a lot of other people are usually having it rougher, much rougher than us. 

I remember complaining to my mother when things were rough with us, and she’d tell me, yes, times were tough, but they were a lot of people even worse off than us. In my youthful naivety I couldn’t believe that was possible, but as I went around the neighbourhood with a greater awareness, I was surprised to see many families living  worse off than we were. And now, when you think of the rampant poverty, homelessness and sickness in our Western Society, we complain about how bad it is, but just check out the numerous societies and cultures on the other side of the globe who have it much worse than us, and tell me in which one you’d rather be. 

At least in ours there seems to be some smidgen of hope for better times and conditions, but in many of those others there’s not even a smidgen of hope for anything better. Many were born into abject poverty, sickness and homelessness and will live and die the same way. So when you think you’re having such a bad day, and times are so rough, just think about those other more unfortunate people, and gratefully say, ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

And this last quote succinctly informs us: ‘Anyone can take the wheel of the ship in calm water but it’s not so easy when it’s not calm water. You can’t just enjoy the good times, you have to be resilient in the tough times.’ And that word ‘resilient’ seems to have faded from our vocabulary and lifestyle in these modern days, for the words backbone and belly which make us resilient are non-existent. 

There’s never been as much complaining and whining in our world as there is now, even in the midst of great prosperity! Partly because we have allowed the young generation to grow up in an easy and non-sacrificial manner, no chores before or after school, always getting what they want, so now when real life hits them, they can’t cope with it. They think they are owed an easy life, have an inalienable right to it, because we the parents didn’t raise them right, and God is usually the furthest thing from their minds. 

But friends, it’s only in and through Jesus that we can acquire the parts to stand strong when life comes against us. And one of the best examples of that occurs when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee and a violent storm arose. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:24-27) 

Friends, Jesus is the man who made the winds and the seas, that’s why they obey Him! He is also the man who made us in His own image, that’s why we ought also to obey Him! Despite the free will He gave us, it behooves us, it’s the epitome of wisdom to believe and obey Him, because He is the ONLY one who can right the ship, or better yet calm the storms, the raging seas and gusting winds that inevitably confound our lives in this fallen world! Much LOVE!

…I’ll say it again…Jesus is the answer…to EVERYTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2019 Matthew 8:27.

Matthew  8:27. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

 

Sunday, oh Sunday! Blessed Sunday! Time to go to God’s sanctuary and give Him praises; sing Him songs of worship and adoration, while fellowshipping with other believers and opening our hearts wide to hear, accept and digest His Holy Word, so that we can be refreshed, strengthened and renewed in our faith! What a time it will be in God’s house! Singing and dancing…with joy and good cheer overflowing!

And to get us started on that hallelujah trail, we going to sing a soulful piece of gospel music written by Mary A Baker. I first heard this rendition a couple of days ago while looking through You Tube for a song for today. It’s by a Black Gospel singer named Jessy Dixon. Don’t know if you all know him, but this was the first time I had ever heard about or seen him. He’s tall, dark and handsome, and a natty dresser too…and can the brother ever belt out a gospel tune like back in the good old days!

He reminds me of Wilson Pickett singing ‘In the Midnight Hour.’ That’s for the ole timers. (smile) He has some videos on You Tube with Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming Festival. Check them out if you want to see him. But friends, from the time I heard his rendition of ‘The Tempest is Raging!’ with great music and outstanding background vocals, I knew that was our song of praise and worship for today!

So no more talk, let’s get right into nuh! Let’s raise our hearts, heads, hands and voices to high heaven in pure, simple, unadulterated soulful gospel mih people! As one harmonious choir now: ‘Master, the tempest is raging, Oh, the billows are tossing high. The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, Oh, no shelter, no shelter or help is nigh – Carest thou not that we perish? How canst You lie, How canst thou lie there asleep, When it seems like each moment so madly is threatening?

Oh, A grave, a grave, a grave in the angry deep? Get up Jesus because! The winds and the waves shall obey thy will. All You got to say is, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace be still, Peace, be still. Whether the wrath, the wrath of the storm-tossed sea, Or demons, or evil men, or whatever it be. No water can swallow the ship wherein lies, the Master of the ocean, the earth and sky. They shall all sweetly obey thy will, If You say, Peace, peace, peace, be still.

The Lord will give you peace! He wants to give you peace! In the midnight hour, When there’s nobody else there, God will give you peace. When you feel lonely, You have someone who will give you perfect peace! He’ll be your friend, yes He will. The Lord will give you peace, If you’re looking for peace, In all of your needs, In all of your days, Get down on your knees and talk to Jesus! Yes, whatever the Lord says, there will be peace, there will be peace, there will be peace. For He knew it, Yes, He knew it, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace be still…’

Oh mih people, you can’t beat a good piece of gospel soul nuh! That’s because it really comes from the heart! When our forefathers were suffering during the days of slavery, that’s all they had, all they could do was cry out in heartfelt agony to the God of the same people who were enslaving them. And the Lord eventually hearkened unto their cry, like He had done for the Israelites so many years before down in Egypt land, and set them free.

That’s why soul is such a powerful instrument of music and prayer. And we did a wonderful job there just now! (smile) All heaven was in tears…tears of joy, as we lifted up, exalted the Prince of Glory in soulful song! Oh friends, there’s nobody like our Jesus! Nobody else whom the raging seas and howling winds will obey, when He says just three, simple words to them, ‘Peace, be still!’ That’s the awesome power He possesses as the Creator and Controller of our universe!

And we all know that this earthly life is not only filled with physical storms, but also with figurative raging tempests, that tend to disturb and oftimes capsize our earthly equilibrium, and leave us lost and oh so forlorn. But yuh know what friends, there’s no need to let those storms of life beat us down when we have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, for He’s sincerely promised to safeguard us from the storms and the evils of this world.

But it won’t happen just like that. You have to turn to him and invite Him into your life. Or if He comes knocking on the door of your heart, then you have to open it and let Him come in. As He so politely offers: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev.3:20) You couldn’t want for a better offer than that friends.

But getting back to our song for today, we all know the real life incident it was based on. The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) That really said something negative about their faith though, especially after seeing Jesus do countless miracles; healing people, feeding thousands with a few loaves of bread and fishes, even raising Lazarus from the dead.

But don’t look down on them for their lack of faith, because we’re just as bad today. And we have even more information and revelation than they had. But we still don’t make enough use of Jesus and His amazing but ever so faithful promises, and still get rather anxious and distraught when the storms of life come against us, instead of feeling the peace and calm His lead and guidance can bring.

Oh friends, all we’re doing is spoiling our lives by refusing to take Jesus as seriously as we ought to. So please, please, let’s wake up and discover the inevitable joy of a close walk with Him. That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…who alone can calm the storm…with only three simple words…JESUS…!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2019 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.   ​He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 

‘When the storms of life rage all around me, I have no cause to fear, because I have Jesus, the storm-calmer walking beside me. And if He chooses not to calm the storms when I desire, He calms my fears, so that I can ride out the storms with a peaceful soul. Praise His Holy name!’ 

Yes friends, more stormy weather is forecasted for these parts today, but as we said above, that we believers can face any storm because we have the great storm-calmer Jesus Christ, living within us and working for us. So though we may be physically discombobulated, our souls stay calm and free, evermore praising His holy name. 

But nonetheless my brethren, this weather see-saw is ridiculous yes. And not only in terms of the weather itself, but more so of my having to put up with all of it. Brother! I promised the Duchess that we’re not spending a whole winter up here again, because the weather is just too crazy, and being locked up inside for long periods of time is definitely unhealthy for us old folks. (smile) 

And despite whatever ailments I have or doctor’s appointments, from next year we’ll spend some time out of this inhumane climate, getting the sea, salt, sand and sunshine we need to brighten our latter years. (smile) And since we’ve been talking about storms all morning, we might as well continue on the topic with some encouraging words from the Good Book. 

Listen to these wonderful words from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; They see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Yeh friends, that is exactly how it is! I can tell you from personal experience about riding those stormy waves in a li’l boat out on Lake Ontario many years aback. I can personally attest to the mounting up to heaven on the big waves, then being dashed down in to the deep. I always used to read about the trembling, the shivering of the timbers, well that day I discovered what it really meant. 

When the boat dropped from the top of the high wave and landed splat on the bottom, you could feel everything just shake like an earthquake. And on board that day were drunken men, thankfully I wasn’t one of them, but they prayed, possibly like never before in their lives, and the Lord eventually brought us through to calm waters. 

So I know what the psalmist is talking about, and so do many of you, that’s why I’m amazed that we don’t do as he recommends: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

That is only common sense my people, if we agree that God is the Creator and Controller of this universe. But we look real foolish when we spout that info, then go against all that the Lord stands for! We ought to be praising and exalting Him, with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, because that is the major reason we were created in the first place! Not to doubt and ridicule and blaspheme His holy name! 

Now listen to how Isaiah puts it in the song of praise by the redeemed. ‘Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:3-4) 

Oh my people, we are the redeemed! That means we’re supposed to be strong and glorify the Lord who caused us to be redeemed through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary! So why aren’t we doing better eh? Why are we allowing Satan and his evil cohorts to take over and rule our souls eh, when Jesus paid such a high price for us? 

And I guess the answer can only be found in the immortal words of Jesus, when the disciples in their fear and terror during a stormy ship crossing, awoke Jesus sleeping quietly in the back of the boat, ‘saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:25-27) 

And that after being with Jesus for so long and seeing all the miracles He performed! But we’re doing the same thing today, so we can’t really judge them. Anyway friends, for those of us who are trying to be faithful and true, let’s go home today declaring (phew! wrong again) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with a strong sense of purpose: ‘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 next step is to go out and share that trusting friendship and awesome LOVE with the folks who don’t know or have it. Much LOVE!

…in the time of storm…ONLY Jesus can bring a sense of calm…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2018 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26:   And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Well here we are again on a Sunday morning, hopefully getting ready to visit, or having already visited the Lord’s sanctuary to get our reassurance and strengthening for the upcoming week, through praise, worship, fellowship and hearing the Lord’s word.

And I like Bruh Paul’s reasoning in Romans 10, re those calling on the name of the Lord shall be saved, especially when he asks: ‘how can they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) That’s why we have preachers! (smile) 

But before we hear the word, let’s get into some hearty praise and worship to soften our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Lord’s dialogue. And today’s song of praise is one we all know and LOVE, titled, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand.’

According to Wikipedia, it ‘is a gospel pop song composed by Gene MacLellan and first recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray from her third studio album ‘Honey, Wheat and Laughter.’ 

Wow! I knew that our very own Canadian Songbird from down the East coast had sung it, but I never knew she was the first to record it. And since then it’s been recorded numerous times by all kinds of singers and musicians.

Today, we’re going to send up a blazing, brilliant, harmonious and magnificent rendition to our heavenly Father, showing our sincere gratitude for all that He’s done for us through His Son, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s bring tears of joy to the eyes and hearts of those in heaven as we sing: (Chorus: ‘Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea. Take a look at yourself, and you can look at others differently. Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.) 

Every time I look into the Holy Book, I wanna tremble. When I read the part where the carpenter cleared the temple See those buyers and the sellers were no different fellas Than what you and I profess to be. And it causes me shame to know that man is not what he should be. (Chorus: Put your hand in the hand…) 

Hey, my mama taught me how to pray, before I reached the age of seven When I’m down on my knees, hey, I’m close to heaven. My daddy lived his life with two kids and a wife and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do But he showed me enough of what it takes to see you through 

This is what he used to tell me… Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea Ya got’a take a good look at yourself, then you can look at others differently Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.’ 

Magnifico my brethren, Magnifico! The eyes in heaven are all filled with tears of joy! Glory be! And believe you me, that rendition was so sweet that the Father was singing along with us, not to mention that He is also grateful for the Son’s unwavering obedience in His plan to save our undeserving souls.  

Now hear the word. The story goes like this: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) 

The answer to that question is not rocket science friends, but is quite simple: the winds and the sea obey Him because He made them and still controls them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the words of the psalmist:

‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (don’t know what to do)

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

 Yes friends the seafarers know the Lord’s power, His all-around control of the wind and the sea, so they know to look to Him for succour in time of need. My brethren, we too should realize and acknowledge the Lord’s omnipotence and majesty and revere Him, surrender our lives, put our sincere trust in Him and His awesome Son, the man from Galilee, who rebuked the winds and the waves and caused them to be calm.

So let’s wise up and take His hand nuh; and hold it very tightly too, don’t ever let go!  It’s a no-brainer my people; the height of wisdom! Much LOVE!

..whose hand would you prefer to hold over Jesus’ eh…NOBODY’S…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2017 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.   He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

And then the snow came…white and plentiful! (smile) Yes friends, it does look beautiful out there, with the area all covered in white. It began yesterday afternoon and is scheduled to go in to tomorrow, Wednesday. 

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at the airport. They haven’t even gotten around to cleaning the lanes in my area as yet, so much of the white stuff has fallen. And it’s not only snowy but cold too. The temperature in my neck of the woods is around minus 11 Celsius. Hn! 

And the best part of the whole scenario is that I am scheduled to go into the big city of T.O. for an M.R.I. on my heart this morning at 11:15. Well what do you know? That doesn’t seem to be happening nuh! 

With my supposed heart problems, I’m definitely not going to fight the treacherous roads and weather to go into the city. And they can charge me the hundred dollars for not giving them 2 business day notice of cancellation, which I’ll fight anyway. 

And on top of all that, I’ve been fighting a cold all weekend, which today has morphed into a cough. So I obviously can’t go and lie quietly in their disgustingly loud machine for the half an hour or forty-five minutes that it takes. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I do want to get the procedure done, but not under these unfavourable conditions. End of tirade! (smile) 

And before we get into our Bit, here’s an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. It says: ‘If you are doing your best, you won’t have to worry about failure.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Once your mind is focused on excellence, you won’t have time to consider failure. And if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, then that’s even more of a gospel truth, because with Jesus on our side we can’t fail! 

We might make mistakes and feel like failures, but since with Jesus there is no giving up, and since failure only comes when you give up, then through pure logic, true believers never fail. Ah mih people, I know it’s a tad convoluted, but it’s all true. (smile) 

Now here is our Bit which resounds with everlasting truth. ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ 

Yes my fellow believers that’s indeed what our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does! Yesterday we read about the metaphorical stuff before our Bit about sailors drunkenly reeling around in storms on the sea, today we’ll read about the real McCoy. 

Listen to Luke’s account in the Good Book. ‘Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he (Jesus) went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over to the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 

But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled (filling) with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him (Jesus), and awoke him, saying, Master, Master, we perish. 

Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered (marvelled), saying one to another, What manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and the water, and they obey him.’ (Luke 8:22-25) 

Ah my people, it was the same God-man who created the wind and the water, so obviously when He spoke to them they would listen to Him! And Jesus is asking us the same thing today: where is our faith in Him in the midst of all our storms of life? 

Do we run afraid to Him, or are we faithful enough to believe that He is already in the midst of them with us, working them out for our benefit? 

Now the latter just shows more maturity, but the important thing is that we come to Him in all aspects of our lives, be they stormy or not. For He is the ONLY ONE who can truly calm anything that’s happening with us. 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘8:23. The Sea of Galilee is surrounded by mountains. High winds sweep down suddenly from these heights, whipping up the sea.’ 

‘8:25. It was a struggle f or the disciples, as for others, to come to grips with the person of Christ. Witnessing His mighty works helped, but a personal faith commitment still had to be made. The decision would not have been an easy one.’ 

No my people, it would not have been easy for those disciples way back then, seeing this ordinary looking man calming the wind and the sea. 

It’s still difficult for many of us today, even knowing what we know, with all the trappings of the New Testament and the teachings down through the last two thousand years. Imagine their dilemma nuh! 

And we’ll go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra in all sincerity and truth. As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Oh precious people, how wonderful it is to be the beloved of God and the friend of Jesus! Glory Hallelujah! Now let’s go out and share it with the world as He desires nuh! Much LOVE!

…Jesus is simply the answer to …EVERYTHING…   

P.S. I just called the hospital and cancelled my appointment, and they didn’t charge me the hundred dollars. Glory to God! Only thing is that the next available appointment is in May. But who knows, by then I might not even have a heart problem, the way our mighty God works in mysterious ways. (smile) Much LOVE!