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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 October 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.     Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Come on down my fellow believers in Christ Jesus, it’s time to get together and worship on this the Lord’s Day! And today we have a wonderful song to open our praise and thanksgiving session. It’s an old favourite titled ‘CRYING IN THE CHAPEL.’ The story goes that Artie Glenn wrote the song in 1951 for his son Darrell but left it in a drawer for two years, until Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie’s band the Rhythm Riders. After some rejection, it finally became a local hit and was then picked up by other artists. 

There have been numerous versions over the years, but my favourite has always been Elvis Presley’s, that is until yesterday when I was listening to some other versions and came upon one by the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, simply known as Sissel. Her version blew me away with its simplicity and the uniqueness of her voice, as she is supposedly one of the world’s best sopranos. 

And it seems like I’m not the only person who’s been impressed by her version, for in the comments section of the video, Cliff Glenn, Artie Glenn’s oldest grandson writes: ‘Sissel.  I have never heard this beautiful lady sing Crying in the chapel till just now. Wow! my grandfather would have loved her version. My grandfather actually wrote this song in 1951, stuck it in a drawer for 2 years, until my dad, Darrell Glenn recorded it in 1953. I’ve heard an unbelievable amount of different versions in my life, including my own. but never one soooo beautiful, “sorry dad, and Elvis. is this lady single by any chance, lol!’ 

Unfortunately, she is not Cliff. (smile) And please don’t think that Sissel is a newcomer to music, although her version was recorded sometime in the 1990’s, since then she’s sold some 10 million albums of all kinds of music. And just one more accolade before we sing, this from another admirer. ‘Angelic. The sweet siren like sound I had only previously heard from Elvis’s back-up singer- Kathy Westmorland.’ (smile) 

So now that we know Sissel is easy on the eyes and can also sing, let’s do her version. Unlike Elvis’s soulful but dark version, hers is soulful but joy-filled and bright, like a sparkling spring morning, as opposed to a dark winter evening. Therefore, without further ado, let’s fill the fall morning air with sacrifices of praise to heaven. 

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

Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way)…yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Yes friends, it’s short but sweet and soulful, touches you right down in the very depths of your being! And that’s because it’s oh so true. We can find peace, contentment and the lightening of our burdens in God’s house, in prayer, since that’s what He invites us to do. Please note Jesus’ Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Oh my people, it could not get any better than that…but it does! (smile) Listen to Jesus again, as He offers even more incentive to accept His way of life, when He proclaims: ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35) Yes, Jesus is the bread that gives life, spiritual and eternal life. You can’t get those from anywhere or anybody else, for He also lets us know with supreme confidence: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

So what is left that Jesus can’t give, or doesn’t provide eh? And what about peace and comfort and good cheer you ask? Oh, He has all of that covered too. Hear these marvellous words of encouragement. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And if you still desire more encouragement, then listen up as our Lord and Saviour gives it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And indeed He has, by taking away the keys of hell from Satan, through His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension to heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Wow, mih bredrin! What more can you ask eh? Nothing! 

But our Saviour Jesus is ever so generous that He offers us even more than that, as He faithfully promised the disciples, and consequently us. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. The Spirit of truth… I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16-18) And that promise was fulfilled on Pentecost Day when the Comforter, the Holy Ghost fell upon, baptized all the believers in the upper room, and thereafter indwells ALL believers. (Acts 2:2-4) 

So you can see Jesus has all the bases covered. He’s left nothing to chance. It’s just for us now to accept His Invitation to come to the Father through Him, to receive salvation and eternal life. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity my people, so please, please, let’s not waste it nuh, for the only other option available is eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, and that’s the worst mistake we can ever make, for the wages of sin is death…eternal death! Much LOVE!

…and…lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt. 28:20) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8