Today’s Script-Bit 14 March 2016 Psalm 79:9

Psalm 79:9.    Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away (provide atonement for) our sins. for thy name’s sake.

Awright mih people, the weekend is over, it’s time to rise and shine and get back to labouring, for Monday calls us to battle once again. Shake off the sleep and lethargy and get thee hither! (smile) There’s no time for pussyfooting and complaining, because the Lord’s work is out there waiting to be done. 

So to help us get in the right spirit, the right frame of mind, let’s deliver one of our best renditions ever of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one glorious, heavenly choir, let’s blow them away my brethren, put a spark in Jesus’ eyes and get the Father to dancing and thus even more eager to bless us than normal. 

All together now. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yes friends, yes! That was superlative! You could see the pride in Jesus eyes as He realized that we were poised for greatness today. And you better believe, we were so sweet that the Father had to come down of his throne and do a li’l two step jig. Glory to God! 

Yes mih breddren, it’s the right beginning to a new day, especially a Monday. So let’s keep that spiritual fire burning nuh as we go out into the evil and ungodly world, with expectant faith and hungry hope and do the will and work of Jesus!  

And today I have a quote to share, attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) the famous American architect, interior designer, writer and educator. And it says: ‘The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.’ 

And I definitely agree with that, simply because the longer you live the more you know and learn about life, especially if you are a Christian, for as you mature in Christ, you find life much more rewarding and interesting, despite its many problems and pitfalls. 

So for all of us who are getting older, entering the winter of our years, please let’s look at life with new eyes nuh, let’s expect that we will achieve the best each day has to offer, as we journey on, in and with Christ. 

Oh friends, the ole fella’s on a roll this morning. The Holy Spirit is working… no doubt about that… and our beautiful rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn just has the adrenaline gushing through my veins. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away (provide atonement for) our sins, for thy name’s sake.’ 

And that strikes me as being a rather appropriate one during this Lenten season, where the Lord did just what the psalmist Asaph asked;  ‘purge away ( provide atonement for) our sins,’ through the substitutionary, sacrificial death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on Good Friday. 

And you know what I particularly like about that plea? How Asaph invokes God’s sentimentality re His glory and His name: ‘for the glory of thy name… for thy name’s sake.’ We all know how touchy He is about His glory and His name, as He declares through Isaiah. ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is.42:8) 

Yes friends, nothing gets our God angry as not giving Him His rightful praise and glory. But Asaph’s plea was no doubt sincere as the heathen; the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and taken its citizens into captivity. The Lord had allowed this because of Israel’s backsliding and worshipping of idols. 

And he continues in the same vein. ‘Wherefore should the heathen (nations, gentiles) say, Where is their God? Let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging (avenging) of the blood of thy servants which is shed.’ (Ps.79:10) 

During a time of severe famine in Judah, the prophet Jeremiah also prayed a similar prayer to Asaph’s. ‘O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee.’ (Jer.14:7) 

Oh my people, I believe the very same thing can be said about our recent behaviour. We have tossed God out of our public institutions, with the worship of all sorts of man-made idols daily increasing, while parents no longer seem to instruct their children in the Word of God, which leads to their utter sinfulness. 

And I like how Jeremiah continues pleading for his people, although God tells him not to. ‘We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee. Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.’ (Jer.14:21) 

Oh friends, our society right now is in the same khaki pants that Israel was in back then, and only acknowledgement of our sinfulness and repentance will cause God to possibly relent from whatever calamity He has planned for us. And yuh better believe He has something big planned, if we continue our wicked ways, something that will eventually evolve out of all the relatively small stuff that’s happening now. 

All I can ask is that we wake up and do our best to turn things around, a.s.a.p. otherwise the ending will be real calamitous, and our children will bear the brunt of it. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s patience endures for long…but when it snaps…then come the fireworks…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2016 Psalm 77:13‏‏‏‏

Psalm 77:13.   Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?

And the day that the working people LOVE so much, Friday, has finally rolled around again. That’s why there are so many glorious and joyous shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! I couldn’t make it even one more day in this slave work nuh! At last the weekend! My time to play and do whatever I want! Oh thank you ever so much Lord for Fridays! Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And in these trying times of early waking up and much travelling to get back and forth to work with all the traffic jams and otherwise, you can understand the sentiment of the ordinary working man. And though we are entitled to do whatever we want with the weekend, there is a wise and a foolish way to use it; the latter involving excessive partying and frivolity. 

But listen to the better and wiser way to use our weekends as we chant our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Now doesn’t that make much more sense as to how we use our weekends? It surely does! We get a better balance of life, including the strength and refreshed spirit so that we can work diligently the following week. 

And today my fellow believers in Christ, I want to share with you a prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. This one is titled, ‘A Prayer for Change.’ And I know that many of us are in dire need of change (s) in our lives. So please pray with me. 

‘O God, when a life has been so richly blessed as mine has been, it’s not right for me not to be laughing! I confess that I am responsible for my moods. I have no right to selfishly indulge in negative feelings of self-pity. 

It’s time for me to change my mental dial, Lord. You are helping me. This will be the moment when the sun breaks through the parted clouds, and the springtime returns after winter. Thank you, Lord! 

The dreary, depressing, disconsolate mood disappears like the morning mist in the glowing sunshine of your LOVE. And joy moves in! And hope begins to build up within me! And a beautiful feeling of LOVE starts to surround me! Thank you, God, for the great things you are doing within me now in this moment of prayer. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, I do hope that depressing mood has lifted and the hope, joy and LOVE of our heavenly Father has once more captured our lives, because it’s definitely what we need to confidently face the challenges and calamitous circumstances of this dangerous and evil world! 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which shows us that that very change in our moods and thinking are quite possible because of the outstanding, magnificent and omnipotent God we serve and worship. ‘Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?’ 

And I know that some of you are tired hearing about how great our God is, but my brethren, that’s exactly what makes Him our God; His greatness! And until we fully understand just how great and wonderful He is, we will never be fully able to surrender, to give our entire beings into His wonderful care. So just bear with the ole fella nuh, (smile) you know I’ll never lead you astray. 

And we’ve seen over the past few days how our God played with Pharaoh until he let the Israelites go, and all the wonders the Lord did during their exodus from Egypt and those in the wilderness too. Now we come to one more marvelous wonder where water was miraculously supplied. 

As usual the Israelites were complaining, this time about the lack of water. And as was his wont, Moses cried out to the Lord for guidance and direction. The Lord told him to take his rod and the elders with him and go on before the people. 

‘Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

And he called the name of the place Massah (lit. Tempted), and Meribah (lit. Contention), because of the chiding (contention) of the children of Israel, and because they tempted (tested) the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?’ (Ex.17:6-7) 

Oh friends, what a foolish and ignorant people! After all the signs and wonders that the Lord had done in their sight, they still doubted His presence and His power! Chuh! 

The truth of the matter though is that we can’t be too harsh on the Israelites, because we are doing the exact same thing right now. We are doubting and turning away from God in droves, aided and abetted by the wiles and deceitful half-truths of the prince of darkness, who rules this current evil world. 

The only difference here my people, is that the Israelites saw God’s miracles first hand, but we only have second hand accounts of them. But nonetheless, we have seen our Christian societies grow and prosper when were a truly Christian people. 

So what has happened to change our outlook so drastically eh, that we’re now trying our best to take God completely out of our lives? Oh friends, that is indeed a fool’s wisdom! 

How many times during the course of history have we seen societies that have grown great while serving and worshipping the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and when they got too big for their britches, the Lord took away His favour and protection and they eventually wasted away, ignominiously fell into the bowels of history? 

We tend to overlook, forget, or simply ignore this seminal bit of scripture, the Lord’s advice to Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh.1:8) 

That my friends, has been, and will always be a society’s guideline to success. We see it in the very behaviour of the Israelites; when they adhered to God’s Word, they prospered; when they didn’t, they suffered serious calamity. 

May we today understand this principle and do our best to adhere to the Word of our great, mighty, sovereign and omnipotent God, because that is wisdom to the nth degree. Much LOVE!

…it’s ever so foolish to turn away from the ONE who created you…in His…might, power and image…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2016 Psalm 78:11

Psalm 78:11.    And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had showed them.

Once more friends, once more into the breach on this cold, frosty Monday morning in mid-January! As good soldiers in the victorious army of Christ let’s get a move on! Remember the early bird catches the worm. (smile) The LOVE Revolution calls! And like any good leader, our Field Marshall, Jesus Christ is already at the front lines reconnoitring the enemy’s positions. 

So let’s not be found wanting in these crucial times nuh, let’s get on with the task bequeathed to us; that of spreading God’s Word, His faithful, unconditional LOVE, His tender mercies, His everlasting  grace and His endless forgiveness! 

And all of God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

And with that bit of energizing, let’s take it one step further by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with even greater pomp and pageantry. (smile) 

As one now:  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Beautiful friends! That was beautiful! Jesus was in His essence as He conducted us. Heaven even gave us a standing O and called for an encore! Mama Mia! What a morning it’s turning out to be! 

Ah mih breddren, we serve such a wonderful God that I don’t know how people can turn away from Him. But sadly they are doing it, and recently in droves too, lured by the glitzy and glamorous come on by Lucifer and his evil minions.  

Unfortunately though, it’s only after they are caught in that evil web that they realize it’s all a façade, a trap from which it is very difficult to break free. They can’t do so without the help of Jesus, and it’s our job to win them back, as well as those who never believed, by the way we walk and talk and glorify His holy name. 

That means we obviously can’t be like the Israelites of old, who turned away from God ‘And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had showed them.’ 

Now that is so mind boggling, I can’t even imagine it! Hn! In spite of all the miracles he did on their behalf, from down in Egypt to the provision of manna and meat in the wilderness, they still turned away from him. They must have been a really hard-headed and stubborn people – just like so many of us nowadays. So God, in His anger, slew some of them and made the lives of the remainder futile and calamitous. (Ps.78:33) 

Now let’s listen in as Asaph continues his story in Psalm 78. ‘When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and inquired early (sought diligently) after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.’ (Ps.78:34-35) 

Ah friends, at last they smartened up and learned on which side their bread was buttered.  I ‘ve been hoping and praying that the same thing can happen in our society today; that we can wake up and realize from whence comes our help, our prosperity and good life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be happening. 

However, we cannot give up hope, for there’s no giving up in Jesus, we just have to continue talking our talk and walking our walk as we have been instructed to do, and the Lord will do the rest. 

And Asaph writes on: ‘Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right (steadfast) with him, neither were they steadfast (faithful) in his covenant.’ (Ps.78:36-37) 

Yes friends, the repentance wasn’t really true, it was just lip service. And I suspect that a lot of that is happening today. Many of us are merely paying lip service to God, while our hearts are truly lusting after the things of the world. Oh precious people, we can’t fool God, because He looks at the state of our hearts, rather than just listen to the words of our lying lips.  

However, He’s such a wonderful Deity that Asaph tells us: ‘But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. How oft did they provoke (rebel against) him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.’ (Ps.78:28-41) 

What a slap in the face eh! In spite of all God’s goodness, His chosen people rebelled against Him several times on the journey through the wilderness. But in His compassion and wisdom, He did not fully destroy them, just made them wander in the wilderness for forty years until all those who had come out of Egypt died. Not even Moses entered into the Promised Land. Joshua and Caleb were the only two of the original lot who did so. 

So my fellow believers in Christ, let’s remember that though the Lord might not destroy us for our constant disobedience, He will find other ways to make us pay.  Much LOVE!

…whatever you sow…is exactly what you will reap…so you can’t sow disobedience and expect to reap salvation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2015 James 4:8‏‏

James 4:8.     Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. 

And then it was Saturday; a supposedly rainy day. But who knows eh? We’ve been promised some showers of blessing for the longest while, but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of heavenly water for at least two, possibly three weeks in my area. It’s been cloudy at times, but not even rain-clouding dark, and the strong winds we’ve recently been having have blown those wispy rain clouds away. (smile)

They remind me of the story of Elijah when he prayed for rain in Israel. On the seventh time Elijah’s servant went to see if any rain was in the offing per Elijah’s prayers, he came back and reported: ‘Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.’ (1 Kin.18:44)

That was the beginning of an abundance of rain for Israel, but no such luck for us. Anyway, it’s still pretty early in the morning to despair, for with our God’s omnipotent powers anything can happen at any time,  in the blink of an eye.

But here’s an interesting general prayer that we can say every morning when we arise. It’s attributed to Norman Grubb (1895-1993), a British Christian missionary, writer and theological teacher. Please pray with me. ‘Good morning, Christ. I LOVE you! What are you up to today? I want to be a part of it! Thank you, God. Amen!’

Now my people, isn’t that simple and straight to the point? It certainly is. And it does help to get you connected with the Father as soon as you get up, before any evil and negative thoughts can enter your still fragile and not wide awake mind and spoil your day. And that’s all it takes Friends, something short and to the point to get us running on the correct spiritual track.

But before we can get to that, we first have to put into operation the words of our Bit, where we’re born again and can have that kind of ongoing relationship with Almighty God. ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.’

Yes my people, it’s of the utmost importance that we have a close personal relationship with the Father, through the Son, Jesus Christ, while being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And we can only do that by repenting of our sins, cleansing our hearts and turning over a new leaf, becoming a new creation in Christ.

Now listen to how Peter deals with the matter. ‘Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned (sincere) LOVE of the brethren, see that ye LOVE one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible (perishable) seed, but of incorruptible (imperishable), by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

For all flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the (spoken) word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ (1 Pet.1:22-25)

Yes Friends, Peter is there repeating the words of Isaiah 40:6-8, where  mankind is likened to the grass that sprouts up bright and fresh in the morning, but soon withers and dies, especially when the hot sun beats down on it. And that’s the absolute truth!

But unlike that short-lived grass, the word of our Creator lives for ever, through the gospel being preached throughout the earth; the good news of his Son Jesus Christ, who was sacrificed for us on Calvary’s cross, then rose again in glory and ascended to heaven, where He now sits on the right hand of the Father, advocating for us.

Wow! What an omnipotent, but magnanimous God we serve and worship my brethren! It just can’t get any better than that, though a lot of us seem to think otherwise. But as I keep saying Friends, refusing to accept God’s grace and mercy and His free offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, which ultimately leads to eternal life, is the wisdom of a fool. And there surely are a lot of fools in this evil and ungodly world.

Anyway, enough of my carping, or proselytizing (smile), whichever one catches your fancy, and listen instead to an explanation by the scholars on the topic at hand. ‘1:23. Being born again (lit., “having been born again”) refers to all believers having been regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, which communicates His offer of salvation to mankind. Thus our salvation rests, from the human perspective, upon OUR willing reception of that offer.’

Yuh see Friends, it all depends on us willingly receiving God’s wonderful offer, that’s why I capitalized and highlighted ‘our’ above. The Lord has done His part by putting the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ on the table, so like any contract that is worthless unless there’s offer and acceptance, we now have the opportunity to accept or reject God’s offer.

However Friends, in this case, rejection of the Lord’s offer will bring disastrous and calamitous consequences, namely eternal separation from Him, and eventual death and damnation. So as far as I can see, with my limited human reasoning powers, accepting God’s offer is the wise thing to do.

I’m therefore urging us to do so as quickly as possible, if possible right now, because the time for Jesus’ return is imminent, and once He returns in majestic splendour and awesome might, that offer will be taken off the table…forever. So please take my wise advice and seriously get involved with Jesus. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made. I guarantee it! Much LOVE!

…to be separated from Christ…for all eternity…is the biggest mistake  a man can make…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2015 Psalm 22:9 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 22:9.      But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.

Aye Friends welcome to this turbulent, tempestuous Thursday morning, the last day of April! It was just one of those nights. I don’t understand it myself. I went to bed a few minutes later than usual, but also got up several times during the night and couldn’t go back to sleep, couldn’t find a comfortable spot to set my aching body so that that beautiful elixir sleep could overtake it.

I guess many of you old-timers experience that at one time or the other. But it’s definitely frustrating, especially when you fall asleep at the time to get up. But you know what Friends?

It’s all a part of living this earthly life. And when you have that marvelous Saviour of ours, Jesus, walking with you, you can afford to grin and bear it, because you know that He knows what you’re going through, since He went through some serious pain and torment Himself, and that eventually He will work everything out for your good.

Glory to God, my people!

And as an adjunct to that, listen to this quote attributed to Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959), the screen and theatre actress, member of the prominent American Barrymore family of actors, whose distinctive style made her the ‘first lady’ of the American theatre. Ethel is reputed to have said: ‘You grow up the day you have the first real laugh – at yourself.’

And isn’t that the truth my brethren! Until we learn to laugh at ourselves, our mistakes, our troubles and our good times, we’ll never conquer the internal muse that tends to lead us to sadness and heartache and complaining whenever things don’t go our way.

As my One Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness reminds us: ‘It takes fewer muscles to laugh than to cry. We’ll breathe easier and deeper, and we’ll be much more content when we laugh… for laughter helps us to put things into perspective. It lends HOPE and meaning to life.’ 

And that’s the absolute truth Friends! But there are some things that we just can’t laugh at, like the destructive and disastrous state of our world. In the past couple weeks we’ve had hundreds of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean ocean, heading for the perceived balmy shores of Europe, in search of a better life than the calamitous one they had left behind.

Then there was the sudden eruption of a dormant volcano in Chile, combined with riots in Baltimore and a devastating earthquake in Nepal. Hn! And that doesn’t take into account the numerous wars and rumours of war, the seemingly never-ending strife that’s going on all over God’s beautiful planet.

Ah Lord eh! What a mess we’ve made of this wonderful Earth! But Friends, as we keep saying, while there is life, there is always HOPE!

That’s because our Creator has instilled that wonderful emotion in us from day one, as declared by Bruh David in our Bit. ‘But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.’

Yes my people, our great God knew the plans, the good future He had in store for us, so He made us with that little something termed HOPE, which causes us never to give up, never to simply lie down and die when times get rough, but to always have a spark of fire, like a pilot light going in our souls.

Now that’s a very good description of HOPE there my Friends, never thought of it before. But a pilot light never goes out, it just keeps burning quietly in the background; always ready to burst into flame when it’s needed. That’s the way HOPE operates in our souls; always there ready to burst into positive action, even though the surrounding circumstances might indicate differently.

So Friends, I’m here grinning like a Cheshire cat, because to muddy the waters even more, my allergies seem to have chosen this particular time to act up. There’s been a steady stream of sneezing and blowing for the last few minutes. But I’m practicing what I preach; I’m just grinning and bearing it all, because I know that all those things will eventually pass, fade away! All praise and glory to God!

Now let’s see what the scriptures have in store for us today, re that invigorating and renewing feeling called HOPE. And what better way to start than with these encouraging words of the psalmist, as he prays for help in old age.

‘But I will HOPE continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth shall show forth (proclaim) thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers (limits) thereof.’ (Ps.71:14-15)

Yes Friends, that’s exactly how believers are expected to behave; always HOPING, and always proclaiming God’s righteousness!

Now listen to Peter, the rock, in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and HOPE to the end for the grace (rest your HOPE fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet.1:13)

What marvellous advice my people!

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s HOPE involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up his kingdom.’

Now Friends, it’s time for us to ponder all that we’ve heard this morning, to digest it, then act wisely on it all. That’s the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…gird up the loins of your mind…then spring into action…it’s the Jesus way…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2014 1 Peter 3:13

1 Peter 3:13.    And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday…! And by gosh, I hear a group of people loudly declaring; ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday! Yeahhh! Time to go back to work! I can’t wait to get back out there and do my thing!’ 
 
Mama Mia! Am I hearing right I wondered in great concern. Yes Friends, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. And I gladly thought; they must be believers in Jesus Christ, because only such devoted followers would be so happy to go back out to work after a weekend of rest and good fellowship with other believers!
 
Okay, so I was dreaming, since most of Jesus’ people are still grouchy and complaining on a Monday morning. And the people thanking God for Monday was a group of partying Irishmen, dressed in green, from head to toe, already deep into their figurative cups, while literally holding up their green containers with green beverages, getting an early start on the St. Paddy’s Day celebrations.
 
Happy St. Patrick’s Day my people! So don’t forget to be attired in green today, having your green cup filled with your green beverage, as well as your green, three-leafed shamrock, and your personal leprechaun (Irish fairy) as you celebrate the Irish culture. That’s the legend of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who supposedly drove all the snakes out of the country, while converting the pagan hordes there to Catholicism.
 
One interesting part of the legend is that St. Paddy used the three-leafed shamrock to teach the people about the Holy Trinity; the Three in One aspect. Now that sounds like an excellent idea, as it’s always more beneficial to use stuff that people are accustomed to, to help them understand other stuff, like Jesus used the sheep and shepherd analogy to teach the Jews, since they were a sheep-herding nation.
 
However Friends, though you don’t like to hear it, on all such days of much celebration, it’s very advisable to keep Granny’s advice right up front: drunk or sober, mind your business, because those green beverages can pack a mighty wallop and cause us to open a space for the roaring lion Beelzebub to enter and disrupt our lives.
 
And now, after all that whatever you want to call it, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn the same way those Irishmen were singing in my dream – in a loud voice, but with much better harmony. (smile)
 
As one harmonious choir now, let’s sing: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
Yes mih people, let’s burst out now on an unsuspecting and non expectant world, showering them with LOVE and kindness, the hallmarks of Jesus!
 
For as Peter so rightly asks in our Bit: ‘And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?’ Nobody should my brethren! But in these very evil, selfish and ungodly times, anything is possible.
 
That’s why Peter, in talking about suffering and reward continues thus: ‘But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy (blessed) are ye: and be not afraid of their terror (threats), neither be troubled; But sanctify (set apart) the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer (a defence) to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (reverential awe):
 
Having a good (clear, void of offence) conscience that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation (conduct) in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing than for evil doing.’ (1 Pet.3:14-17)
 
Yes Friends, it’s not always easy serving Jesus, but we have to stand strong and do what He desires of us, not considering the suffering we might endure down here on earth, but casting our eyes heavenward, with expectant faith and hungry hope, knowing that the rewards there will be worth all the suffering down here. And in that respect too, it’s always better to suffer for good rather than bad stuff, although it just doesn’t seem right. But that’s the way Jesus operates. 
 
And on that point, here is a note from the scholars’. ‘3:17. In the will of God we are sometimes called on to suffer for well-doing as a testimony to others.’
 
For as we said the other day, examples that people can see, always work better than words that they can only hear. Now with all of that firmly planted and entrenched in our hearts, souls and minds, let’s go out into the crazy, troubled, calamitous, disaster laden world and show them what Jesus’ people are really all about; that we are made of much sterner stuff than they think! 
 
And may the Lord bless and keep us, give us His wisdom, peace and strength to fight the good fight in His Holy Name! Much LOVE, my fellow believers!
 
…when a man’s ways please the Lord…he maketh even his enemies…to be at peace with him…  (Prov.16:7) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 March 2014 Proverbs 21:17

Proverbs 21:17.    He that LOVETH pleasure shall be a poor man: he that LOVETH wine and oil shall not be rich.

And then it was Monday, Friends… Carnival Monday! And at 4.a.m on a warm summer’s morn, the party-goers are starting to pour out into the streets from the all-night fetes, impatiently waiting for the steelbands to get organized and start jamming some pan to get J’ouvert, the first session of the big road party underway. Mama Yo! Fete fuh so!

Yes mih people, that’s what’s happening in T&T and various places around the world right now, in preparation for two days of pan  and brass and mas out on the streets; two days of letting go, two days of uninhibited pleasure  dedicated to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and partying, before settling down to a strict Lenten Season.
 
Meanwhile, I’m out here in the cold, on the outside sadly looking in. Steups!  But not to worry Friends, I don’t mind missing the mas itself because in my opinion it’s not half as good as it used to be. What I miss is the heat of the sun.
 
Anyway mih bredden, one word of warning, please go easy on the pleasure, not too much bacchanal or ‘Luciferous’ type of pleasure, (smile) for as Cousin Sol so wisely advises in our Bit: ‘He that LOVETH pleasure shall be a poor man: he that LOVETH wine and oil shall not be rich.’ 
 
And there are absolutely no words to describe the truth of that statement my people!
 
Now generally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with pleasure, for as the Good Book tells us: ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist.’ (Rev.5:11)
 
That shows our God is not averse to pleasure, that’s why He made nice things; first for Himself, then for us to enjoy. However, when the earthly pleasure reaches a point of excess, it’s no longer suitable for believers.
 
And there’s plenty of evidence, much research from way back, done by Cousin Sol on the topic. He had great wealth, much wisdom and plenty time, so he decided to conduct a practical and personal experiment on the subject; to try and prove the value of much earthly pleasure.
 
Listen to him in Ecclesiastes: ‘I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove (test) thee with mirth (gladness), therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity (futility).’ (Eccl..2:1)
 
Yes Friends, Cousin Sol found that too much earthly pleasure, or just living to enjoy earthly pleasure is vain and futile! You can read the rest of his documentation on the experiment in Eccl.2:2-11)
 
The scholars also have some good info on those verses. ‘2:1-11. Solomon pursued fulfillment through pleasure (vv. 1-2), wine (v.3), great works (vv. 4-6), wealth (vs.-8), aesthetic and artistic pleasures (v.8), and fame (v.9).
 
All of these failed to bring lasting satisfaction to the wisest man of all time, yet people three thousand years later are still trying them in search of enduring fulfillment. Musical instruments (v.8) translates an uncertain Hebrew word and possibly refers to a harem or group of concubines.’
 
So yuh see mih people, Cousin Sol tried it all, but found that embarking on a life of earthly pleasure is nothing but a fool’s wisdom! Hn, hn! That phrase seems to be popping up quite often these days.
 
But unfortunately so many of the things that are popular today, like the scholars say, belong to that category, and that’s a major reason why our world is so disastrous, calamitous and cataclysmic.
 
And no, I haven’t forgotten that not all of us can go out on the streets and party today, most of us still have to go out and slave for Massa. So to help us do that, as well as keep the evil emotion of jealousy out of our hearts and souls (smile) let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great gusto.
 
All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
And on that note, we’ll close for today. Now with the adrenalin running, let’s go out and fight a good fight in Jesus’ Name, make Him ever so proud of us. Much LOVE!
 
…oftimes…too much pleasure…sadly turns into plenty pain…so party hearty…but remember to mind yuh business… 
 
 
 

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