Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2015 Psalm 139:7‏

Psalm 139:7Whither shall (where can) I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall (where can) I flee from thy presence?  

Ah Friends, two very important people in my life have died in the last two days. Yesterday it was Jesus, the day before it was Gramps Schuller – Robert H Schuller (1926-2015), the visionary who melded Christianity with the Positive Thinking of Norman Vincent Peale.

 
Gramps Schuller was the man who began a church in Orange County in California in a drive in theatre, where he would preach from the rooftop of the snack bar, while his wife Arvella played the organ.  Then he went on to build a drive in church, and then the fabulous glass based Crystal Cathedral. How could you build a glass cathedral in California, with all it’s eartquakes and seismic faults, unless you had great vision and strong, positive faith in Almighty God?
 
I was introduced to him some years ago by my mother, via the Hour of Power programme on television, and I believe of all the ministers I’ve listened to He impressed me the most, both by what he said and how he said it. He was always enthusiastic and positive, and I know some people criticized him for that. But what’s wrong with having a positive outlook in Christianity eh?
 
What did Jesus preach about?  Believing in God, but you can’t truly believe in anything with a negative mind set. Jesus never went around sour and miserable and negative as a lot of Christians think they should.
 
And here is Gramps Schuller’s ‘Possibility Thinker’s Creed,’ or what some refer to as ‘The Mountain Mover’s Prayer.’  ‘Lord, when I face a mountain, do not let me quit. Give me the strength to keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, or tunnel underneath. And if my best efforts fail, give me the patience to stay and the perception to see the possibilities of turning my mountain into a gold mine with your help. Amen.’ 
 
Now tell me what’s wrong with that eh Friends? Not a single thing! It’s certainly the attitude we supposed Christians ought to adopt, instead of the lackadaisical, give up easily mentality that so many of us have. And I can still remember Gramps Schuller some years ago reading these verses from Psalm 139, including our Bit. The way he delivered them was very expressive, and oh so powerful:
 
‘Whither shall (where can) I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall (where can) I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there, If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.’ (Ps.139:7-10)
 
Oh Friends, that’s obviously gospel truth, but Gramps Schuller made you feel it. I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but as far as I am concerned the Hour of Power was the BEST programme on the tube when it originated from the Crystal cathedral! I say that because it was a beautiful visual production, and you got a wonderful blend of everything; religion and church, interviews with interesting people, and by far the BEST music. The Hour of Power Choir is still my favourite.
 
It’s sad though that in 2011 the Crystal Cathedral had to be sold into bankruptcy because of a large debt, family feuds and other internal wrangling. It just goes to show that even in the best, or most religious families, there can be serious problems. And who do you think bought the Crystal Cathedral and renamed it Christ Cathedral? The Catholic Church of Orange County California.
 
Anyway, the Hour of Power Programme is still on the tube, but comes from a smaller, ex-Catholic church, called Shepherd’s Grove. It is run by Gramps Schuller’s grandson, Bobby. It doesn’t make such a big splash, as it did in the Crystal Cathedral, but it’s still amongst the best and most wholesome viewing on the tube.
 
Dr. Schuller was also a prodigious writer, penning some 50 books, with at least five of them best-sellers on the New York Times list. He apparently passed away in a nursing home from esophageal cancer that struck him in 2013. Regular readers of the Bit know that I hold him in high esteem and often feature some of his stuff from the Hour of Power Devotional.
 
Here is a passage from yesterday’s journal. It’s titled ‘Winter’s Cold,’ and it says: ‘I never fail to remind new Christians who join our church that there are seasons in the spiritual life. For most people the beginning of the Christian life is a spring time experience. The icy sea of doubt is broken; a new life springs from a cold heart. No wonder people describe it by saying, “I’ve been born again!” This is the springtime season of the soul.
 
When the Christian matures through the disciplines, there is growth, sometimes painful, in exposure to the summer sun and wind, and finally the ripening of the fruit. The harvest season arrives and you offer to God the fruit of a life of service. And, strangely, it is after a period of fruitful service that the winter time comes.’
 
Ah Friends, how true that is, especially in Dr. Schuller’s life. After a long life of service to God and many successful seasons of harvesting good fruit, the winter of his discontent set in, through illness, family and financial problems. May he rest in peace with his God.
 
And we’ll end today with a scripture from Jeremiah that certainly validates our Bit and the verses that accompany it. The Lord’s talking about false prophets, and asks these questions? ‘Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.’ (Jer.23:23-24)
 
Oh Friends, our God is certainly a faithful, hands on, always right here by our sides God, not some fly-by-night, never present deity. And if we believe that He’s omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, then there’s no place in His universe that we can ever successfully hide from him.
 
Some of us foolishly try to do that though, but eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, they will find that hiding from our God is simply impossible, and will instead run to His outstretched arms and enjoy the comfort and LOVE that’s waiting there for whosoever wants to embrace it.
 
That’s basic common sense and a touch of godly wisdom thrown in for good measure! (smile) Much LOVE my brethren on this Easter Saturday morning!
 
 …just one more day…just one more day…so please wait patiently for it…with eager expectation…for it will come…the promise will come…it will not tarry…

 

 
 
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