Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2018 Psalm 90:12.

Psalm 90:12.    So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom.)

Oh what a beautiful day this Monday will be in most of North America friends! Yes, that’s because it’s a public holiday. In the U.S. it’s the Presidents Day, honouring its Presidents. And in most of Canada it’s being celebrated as Family Day, although a few provinces call it by a different name. 

So that means it’s been a long weekend, with NO WORK today for many of us, but ample time to party and/or rest, whichever catches our fancy. (smile) Thank the Lord that we don’t have to get up and join the rat race today! 

But you know that our society has become such that it never really shuts down, it can’t afford to if we want to live our current lifestyle, so on public  holidays some people always have to go to work while others enjoy a pleasurable day off. Yeh, life’s not fair, but God is good! 

Consequently, or rather, especially on a day like this, we need to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to quell any jealousy and resentment that might arise in the spirits of our fellow believers who have to go out and labour today, while we remain at home and enjoy the good life. So let’s belt it out now in our strongest and most harmonious voice. 

‘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!’ 

Hn, hn! Ah friends, the voices might have been strong, but rather hoarse and definitely not harmonious. But Jesus understands, He knows the state of our hearts…and our livers. (smile) And as always, it’s the ones who are not going to work who are the loudest and most disharmonious. I wonder why eh?

I just hope that our unfortunate brethren who have to work today have been well fortified by our singing and that the adrenaline is flowing through their bodies, making them eager to go out and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus’ name.  

And as for those of us who are staying at home, please be responsible, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ That’s because we don’t want to give the enemy a chance to get into our spirits, and we will have to go out to work tomorrow, and if we’re all tired out and mashed up from too much celebration today, we’ll be of not much use to Jesus then. So remember, exhibit a modicum of circumspection, for it will serve you in good stead in the long run. End of sermon!  

And as I was looking for an appropriate Bit, this verse from Moses’ Psalm caught my eye. ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom.)’ Now here I’m taking Moses’ words literally, wanting to know how long our lives will be. 

But that is something we’ll never know until the fateful day arrives. That means we have to be smart and live wisely every day! If we knew when our time would be up, many of us would choose to live carnal and worldly lives until just before we leave, then come running to God for forgiveness. But that’s not possible, so if we want to end up in heaven with Jesus, we have to live right, RIGHT NOW, since He can call us home at any moment in time. 

Bruh David also sought to know his end, in Psalm 39 – A prayer for self-understanding. ‘Lord make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.’ (Ps. 39:4) Yeh friends, in terms of the big picture of the universe, we are indeed frail. 

And Bruh David continues: ‘Behold thou hast made my days as a handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best is altogether vanity (vapour).    Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain show (as a shadow); surely they are disquieted in vain (make an uproar for nothing): he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.’ (Ps.39:5-7) 

And isn’t all of that the living truth my people? It surely is! Our lives are vapour- like, here today and gone tomorrow. We pile up riches not knowing  who is going to waste them away. And like Moses declares of God: ‘For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.’ (Ps.90:4) A thousand years to God is like one day to us. Hn! That just goes to show how flimsy our lives are, especially in comparison to God. 

So having noted all of that, what’s our next move eh? Like Bruh David says: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’ (Ps.39:7)  Oh friends, that’s wisdom at its zenith, so please, let’s be wise and do it nuh. Much LOVE!

…hope in God…should be the bedrock…the very foundation of our lives…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2018 Romans 5:19.

Romans 5:19.   For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Monday, Monday! What a beautiful sounding name for a beautiful day! And I know that some of you think I’m being facetious and flippant, or I’m just crazy, or even both, because I’m calling Monday a beautiful day, when hordes of you despise the very name Monday and what it entails. 

But friends, regardless of how much we might dislike Mondays and what it means, or stands for, we can’t get away from it. So why keep on trying to fight it eh? Why not just make peace with it, knowing that every week it’s going to come around and we will be miserable, because we’re tired and don’t want to get up to go to work. 

So let’s just try and go with the flow nuh. (smile) Monday rolls around, you simply say to yourself, if I don’t work, then I won’t eat, and let words to that effect propel you out of the warm, cozy bed. Although, if we’d use the weekend as sensibly as we should, we’d never have the Monday morning problem. But that’s another sermon for another day. 

Right now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to give us our wake up call, so that we can get ourselves together and get back in the rat-race we call society and fight tooth and nail on behalf of Jesus. 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!’ 

Oh friends, how wonderful that prayer is at causing the adrenaline to speedily course through our bodies! Let’s not waste it nuh, but use it to improve our momentum and all around good vibes, as we begin this new work week, working steadfastly with and for Jesus. And believe people, there’s no better person in the entire world to work with or for than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! And if you have to ask why, then you’re not a believer. But I’ll tell you anyway: because of all the wondrous things He’s done for poor, lost and despicable sinners like you and me. 

Listen as Bruh Paul explains Jesus’ major accomplishment to the Roman church in our Bit. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, just like the whole world was plunged into sin and darkness by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, likewise the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ enables all who sincerely desire to be reconciled with God, to bask in the brilliant light of Jesus, be considered righteous in God’s holy eyes. 

That’s because Jesus took upon Himself ALL our sins, the Lord burdened Him with them on the cross at Calvary, and instead, like the true Saviour He is, He gave us His righteousness. Wow! What a Champion is our Jesus! There is NO ONE like Him in the universe: not even close! 

Hear how Bruh Paul describes him to the Philippians nuh. ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made of himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:6-8) 

Yeh friends, Jesus was God incarnate, man in human form, but didn’t make a big fuss over it. Instead He chose to be a servant, to be obedient to His heavenly Father’s will. Even though it was a catastrophic situation, He withstood the shame and the ‘sufferation’ and sacrificed His sinless and holy life on the cross for us, so that the Father could forgive and wash away our horrible sins!  

Now that makes Him an awesome giant in my eyes. And yuh know what, the Father felt the same way: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Mama Mia! I can’t find words to express my feelings! Jesus is just too great for words! And as we go up against the enemy today my faithful brethren, let’s remember that nuh; meaning the enemy can’t do us any real harm unless we allow him to do so. He is a defeated foe, crushed to smithereens by our Jesus and he is just trying to hold on through lies and other deceptive means. Please don’t fall prey to him today. Much LOVE!

…bend your knee…and speak His name with reverence…for Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of ALL…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2018 Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5.   Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Ah friends, it looks like it’s going to be a bleak and cloudy day in my neighbourhood, with very little, or no sun at all… But thank the Lord, the SON is always on fire, always shining brightly in the lives of His followers, so we don’t have to worry about the physical aspects of our surroundings.

That’s why, like the psalmist of old, we can confidently proclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’

And not only believers are rejoicing in the day, but also the ordinary workingman, as he sings his Friday song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Wow! The weekend’s here at last, and party time has begun! It’s going to be party time right through until Monday morning…Who cares if we go to massa work tired and stale drunk eh?

Massa doh really care about we, he just wants to milk the juice out of our bodies, in return for a measly pittance, so why should we care about him and his work eh? Look nuh man…just thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, and enjoy yuh blooming self, because nobody else is going to do it for you!’

And my people, there is a whole lot of truth to that last statement. Nobody is going to enjoy yourself for you. That is your responsibility. However, we Christians differ to the workingman in how we enjoy ourselves. They go to the fleshly extreme, but we do not. Under Jesus authority, we have guidelines and boundaries to respect. That’s why when we chant our Friday Chant, it sounds so much different to the workingman’s song.

So let’s sing it now nuh, in all sincerity and truth. ‘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 it’s obviously more difficult to adhere to that state of affairs than the workingman’s easy, carnal attitude, but with God’s help we can certainly do it. Remember, our wonderful God does not ask us to do anything that He does not give us the wherewithal to do it. So though it might seem difficult, and indeed be difficult, under His auspices we will certainly be able to perform any task that He asks of us.

That’s why our Bit, in the words of Cousin Sol, so strongly advises us to: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’  And if you are a serious and sincere believer in Jesus Christ, then that is indeed the epitome of wisdom and common sense! No matter what organization you belong to, you must exhibit confidence and trust in your leader, otherwise you’re wasting your time in being a member of that organization.

No wonder the psalmist also tells us in Psalm 37 – God’s works and wisdom: ‘Hear attentively the noise of his voice (thunder), and the sound that goeth out of (the rumbling that comes) out of his mouth. He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning (light) unto the ends of the earth.

After it a voice roareth; He thundereth with the voice of his excellency (his majestic voice); and he will not stay (restrain) them when his voice is heard. God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.’ (Ps.37:2-5)

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! Our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God does numerous things that our puny, finite minds cannot dream to understand. That’s because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. That’s why He is God and we are mere mortals. Therefore we’re not to get presumptuous and try to do our own thing if we claim to be subservient to Him.

And after our Bit, Cousin Sol continues his wise advice. ‘In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth, straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. (Prov.3:6-8)

Oh friends, there isn’t a wiser piece of scripture in the entire Bible. If we simply follow those four verses (Prov.3:5-8) we will never go wrong. But let’s end with these words from the prophet Jeremiah as he talks about the knowledge of God being man’s glory.

‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice), and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24)

Ah mih people, words straight from the Lord’s mouth to us. So please, in our wisdom, let’s try and live the way He desires of us nuh. Much LOVE!

…to live a godly life…LOVING-kindness…justice…and right living…must be essential aspects of our lives…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 February 2018 Proverbs 14:23.

Proverbs 14:23.   In all labour there is profit: but the talk (idle chatter) of the lips tendeth only to penury (poverty).

Yeh friends, it’s white and beautiful out there, but please don’t be fooled by that beauty, because it’s a deceitful beauty, worse than the hissing forked tongue of a viper! At least you can see and/or hear the viper, but one never knows what the snow has hidden underneath that beautiful appearance. 

So after all the white stuff that fell yesterday, please be careful on the roads this morning, because it’s definitely going to be a mess out there. The commute to work will be even longer and more dangerous than normal, so, if possible, please leave home earlier than usual, and be wary of the other drivers on the road. 

Now, to get some much needed adrenaline flowing through our body this cold and snowy Monday morning, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which always works wonders on us. 

With plenty gusto 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!’ 

Wow! That surely lifts our spirits. But be careful now, don’t let that rush of adrenaline make us go overboard, become too self-confident and screw up on the other side of the ledger. (smile) Oh yes, we are indeed capable of moving swiftly from one end of the spectrum to the other with a burst of adrenaline; from being slothful and lethargic, to being swift and overconfident. 

That brings us to an interesting, but ever so true Bit, taken from the wise words of Cousin Sol.‘ In all labour there is profit: but the talk (idle chatter) of the lips tendeth only to penury (poverty).’ There is no doubt whatsoever my people, about the truth and wisdom in those few words. 

And there is no better example of it than our current society. I doubt that there has ever been an age of man’s evolution where there has been so little enthusiasm for work and so much idle chatter like there is right now. And we can lay it all at the feet of modern technology. 

We certainly have the ability to communicate better and faster, but the meat of the meal, the underlying substance of what we have to communicate has not improved or increased in like manner. We now talk more nonsense than we talked before, and too many of us just talk for talk sake. 

But an interesting side to all of that, another sad fall out from our increased power of communication, is that we might communicate more through technological devices, but we don’t actually talk to each other as much as we should. I’m sure you’ve seen a group of supposed friends, at say a restaurant together, but nobody is talking to nobody, because they are all busy doing whatever on their latest model of communication technology. 

I’ve even seen LOVERS, more engrossed in their tablet or I-phones than in their supposed LOVED one. Now that just boggles my imagination. Have things changed since my time? Am I missing something? I remember in my time, your full concentration would be on your LOVED one. You didn’t want to take your eyes off of them. You listened intently to every word they said. Steups! Now they don’t even seem to talk to each other. 

Ah mih people, NO talk is just as bad as TOO MUCH talk! It could even be worse, since you won’t even know what the other person is thinking. And please don’t tell me about communicating through the technological devices when you’re in the same space as the other person. 

And another anomaly that has arisen from this communication revolution is that what began as having a mobile phone, so you could talk anytime and anywhere, has now morphed into having a technological device to use for sending messages. Many people don’t even use the phone aspect of the device any more. 

Ah Lord eh! But who am I to fight it eh? All I know is that I won’t let it control me like it does so many of us. And we’ll end today with another interesting take on our Bit from Cousin Sol. ‘A fool uttereth all his mind (vents all his feelings): but a wise man keepeth it in (holds it back) till afterward.’ (Prov.29:11) 

Please friends, as we go out today, to do the Lord’s work, let’s ask Him to help us to be wise and not be foolish, and thus spoil our witness for Him. Much LOVE!

…there’s a fine balance between…what we talk…and how much we talk…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2018 Psalm 107:29.

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

Oh mih people, I know that this Monday morning as many of us are struggling to get up and go to work under difficult circumstances, we are also asking; ‘Wherefore art thou sweet Jesus?’ You can include me in that lot. (smile) That’s because we expect Jesus to solve our every problem without any suffering on our part, or at least a minor amount. 

But He never promised that there wouldn’t be rough times. In fact, He told us to expect them, even if it’s only because we believe in Him. What He did promise is that He would see us through the storms of life, hold our hands, and bring us out safely on the other side. 

So let’s not get all up in arms against our Lord and Saviour if we are experiencing trying times this morning. Instead let’s put all our confidence in Him, in His faithful promises. For if He gave up His sinless life for us, why wouldn’t He help us through our dark times eh? And to help boost our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong voice and nuff sincerity. 

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!’ 

Oh friends, it never ceases to amaze me how that prayer can cause the adrenaline to flow and our spirits to be lifted! So let’s be wise and ride it out nuh, do our thing for Jesus, whatever it may be, and stay strong under His protection and guidance, for He is the ONLY One who can truly protect us from the storms of life. 

Hear this telling and truthful scripture from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men – that includes our Bit. ‘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 (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) 

Yuh see friends, the seafarers knew exactly what the psalmist was talking about, because they experienced it all the time. And I too can testify to that scripture, as I got caught out on the stormy Lake Ontario some years ago, and believe me, it was indeed a frightening scene. 

Out in the middle of the lake in a relatively small boat, surrounded by four scared, drunken men. Only the skipper and I were sober, as the boat dangled up and down between the great waves. But obviously the Lord calmed the stormy waves, and I am still here to tell the story. 

I thought I had seen bad storms on the ocean, but that one on Lake Ontario took the cake. As I’ve said before, I’d read about the shivering of timbers on a boat in a storm, but that fateful day I experienced it in living colour. And let me tell you, it wasn’t one I’d like to experience again. 

And the best way to end today’s Bit is with this actual story of Jesus as he crossed the Sea of Galilee in a boat with His disciples. On the way over a violent storm arose, but Jesus didn’t budge, he remained asleep. However, the disciples were scared out of their minds and ‘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!’ (Matthew 8:25-27) 

Oh my fellow believers, we shouldn’t have to ask that question because we ought to know whom Jesus is – The Son of Almighty God, who made the universe and all therein, therefore He has control over it all. Consequently, He can also quiet the storms in our lives, if we would just let Him. Much LOVE!

…let God be God…in your life…that’s the only wise way to live…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2018 Isaiah 25:4.

Isaiah 25:4.   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. 

Ah friends, we’re sailing on the good ship Sunday, towards the sanctuary of God, where we will fall on our knees and praise and worship Him, give Him innumerable thanks, exalt His holy name and glorify Him without ceasing! 

Wow! What a time we will have in the sanctuary as we fellowship with each other, encourage each other, hear God’s word and bury it deep in our hearts, and souls, and eventually leave the sanctuary fortified with His strength and confidence, able to withstand whatever comes against us. And please remember the immortal words of the psalmist; this is the day the Lord hath made, let us all rejoice and be glad in it! That’s both wisdom and common sense friends! 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with worship in sweet song. This morning we’ll sing a Christian Gospel tune titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ It was originally written by a pastor, songwriter called Lawrence Chewning. Apparently the year of 1992 became known as the year of sorrows for him and his family. 

One sorrow after another hit them and finally Lawrence, depressed and discouraged, was left burnt out, so he took a six month sabbatical from his pastoring duties and during that time began playing the piano more, in an attempt to get closer to God. In this sorrowful time he read stuff about the long dark night of the soul, when it seems you just can’t find God anywhere, and also experienced that emptiness for a while. 

Then, one day, in his many hours of playing the piano, he discovered that he was writing a song, a song that was coming from deep down in his soul. It was so touching that it provided him with therapeutic help in his depression and discouragement. But the song was some ten minutes long. However, a couple of years later, he offered the song to his friend, Christian singer songwriter, Ray Boltz, who edited and recorded it and made it a hit. 

Ah friends, ‘The Anchor Holds’ is one of my favourite Gospel songs because I can testify to the truth of those immortal words. And if you’re a true believer, so too can you. So let’s offer it up through the sacrifice of our lips now nuh, with appropriate reverence and heartfelt sincerity. In glorious harmony: ‘I have journeyed Through the long dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone Sight unknown And yet His eyes were watching me (Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn) 

I have fallen on my knees As I faced the raging seas The anchor holds In spite of the storm I’ve had visions I’ve had dreams I’ve even held them in my hand But I never knew They would slip right through Like they were only grains of sand (Chorus) I have been young But I am older now And there has been beauty these eyes have seen But it was in the night Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved His LOVE to me. 

(Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn. Ohhh yes, The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn).’ 

Ah mih people what words of truth and encouragement! And it’s only when we are going through a stormy period in life that we can write such heartfelt words. You’ll notice too, that it’s during the storm that God proves His wonderful and unconditional LOVE to us, more so than when the seas are calm and quiet. 

Because that’s when we need Him the most, when we discover that our efforts are too puny to withstand the storm that’s bruising and battering us. And only when we take refuge in His safe harbour, when we allow Him to anchor our hearts and souls in the sheltered bay that’s His awesome LOVE and grace that we truly find rest and rejuvenation for our troubled, storm-filled lives. 

Oh what a wonderful God is our God! No wonder in Isaiah’s song of praise by the redeemed the survivors of the Great Tribulation exalt the Lord, lift their voices in praise to God for His protection. ‘O Lord, thou art my God: I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap (a ruin); of a defensed (fortified) city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built (rebuilt). 

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.25:1-4) 

Yeh friends, our God runs things; He controls it all. So in your time of need, who are you going to call eh, who are you going to run to for refuge? Almighty God, if you are wise! As the old reggae song says, ‘You’ll run to the rock for rescue, but there will be no rock.’ But if you run to the Creator of the universe, you’ll find Him ready, willing and able to offer help. 

As Isaiah prophesies about Jerusalem’s glorious future. ‘And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow (shade) in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert (shelter) from the storm and from rain.’ (Is.4:6) 

Oh friends, there’s no better place to hunker down in stormy times than under the wings of our heavenly Father, just like chicks hide under the mother hen’s wings when it rains, for under there we are guaranteed safe passage through the storms of life. Much LOVE!

…through the heartache…through the storm…take my hand precious Lord…lead me on…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2018 Psalm 16:8.

Psalm 16:8.   I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

And another one bites the dust! Yeh people, another of my associates from university days in Mona, Jamaica, has apparently gone home to the Father. Dr. Emmanuel Griffith M.D. passed away yesterday in a nursing home in South Trinidad. He’s been sick, partially paralyzed for a number of years, initially felled by a stroke, and another stroke carried him home. 

One thing’s for sure; Emmanuel Griffith, better known as ‘Griff,’ a Trini South Boy, LOVED life. Tall, dark and full-bodied, with his thick black frame glasses, he was loud and talkative, but friendly, and was always ready for a party or a lime. He was good people. Once he became your friend, he’d do anything for you. Some of you who read the Bit knew Griff, possibly even participated in some of his hijinks, because he also liked his pranks. 

But that’s why it is important to make good memories in your young days. And Griff mih brother, we certainly made some good ones back in those youthful times. I can look back now and chuckle at the many nights you had me walking the dark, back roads of Kingston, after the busses had stopped running, trying to get back to the Mona campus, because I had naively allowed you to talk me into accompanying you to see a lady friend. 

But in hindsight now, it seems that even back then, the Lord’s hand was actively involved in my life, because it’s on one of those night excursions that I initially got involved with the lady who would eventually become my wife. Brother! I can’t believe I’m talking about 50 years, a half century ago. 

I know we lost touch once I left the Mona campus and returned to T&T, and by the time you came back to T&T, I had migrated to Canada. But over the years through a mutual friend, I’d occasionally hear revelations of your still crazy life. But who am I to judge you eh brother? I haven’t been the greatest either. 

And now your body will be returned to the dust from whence it came, free of all the pain and earthly sorrow, but thankfully your spirit will be free to roam the halls of heaven. I know that you will enjoy that! Happy roaming my friend! My condolences go out to your family and friends, left behind to mourn and celebrate your life. 

Yeh people, it’s a fact that as you get older you find your friends slowly dwindling. Over the last few years I can count at least six of my friends going home to be with the Lord. And just this past week an older friend and I were discussing the situation, because he had just come from the funeral of one of his already few friends. 

But that’s life! We’re only here for a short time, and hopefully we’ll all meet up again in the wild blue yonder when Jesus comes back for us. But until then, we just have to grin and bear what ever befalls us on this evil earth. 

And the wisest way to do that is by leaning on Jesus, as Bruh David says so eloquently in our Bit, while seeking preservation and blessing. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.’ And that my friends is not only the absolute truth, but also indisputable wisdom! Glory to God! 

Whenever we sincerely look to, partner with Almighty God, we place ourselves in the very best position to have an abundant and joyful life, despite the adversity and calamity that will inevitably crop up on occasion. Nobody faced more adversity than Bruh David, but when he placed his sincere trust in God, after our Bit, he was able to say with great conviction: 

‘Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer (allow) thine Holy One (Jesus Christ) to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:9-11) 

What absolute confidence and trust in Almighty God, Bruh David shows there my fellow believers! That’s the kind of trust and surrender and confidence each and every Christian ought to have. And I think I’ll just order the reading of Palm 16, as today’s homework, (smile) so you can understand the scholar’s explanations thereof. 

‘Psalm 16. The attitude of the righteous man is described in life (vs.1-8) and death (vs.9-11). In life, his attitude is one of trust (v.1), gratefulness for God’s goodness (v.2), delight in God’s people, (v.3), separation from idolatrous worship (v.4; cf. Ex.23:13; Deut. 12:3), satisfaction in God’s gracious provisions (vs.5-6), praise for the Lord’s counsel (v.7), and steadfastness in spiritual devotion (v.8). 

In facing death, the righteous man rejoices and is hopeful (v.9). He is confident that God will preserve him from the decay of death and that death will not result in his corruption (v.10). Rather, he will travel down the path of life, that is, the path leading to life, which will terminate in God’s joyful presence (v.11). David’s confidence in his ultimate destiny is valid for him (and for all believers) only because Christ has travelled down that path and paved the way for all who believe in him (Acts 2:25-28).’ 

Oh friends, it could not be said any better. So if we’re wise, we’ll try and live that lifestyle, as it’s the optimum one available here on earth. And by the way, Acts 2:25-28 is only Peter’s paraphrasing of vs.9-11 in his big sermon on Pentecost day. Now let’s go home declaring our stellar position with Christ Jesus. 

In all sincerity and truth now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we truly believe, then we know that there is indeed a glorious future ahead with Jesus Christ for all those who believe in and obey Him! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…  

P.S. Yeh, it’s long and late, but nonetheless very worthwhile! (smile) 

 

 

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