Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2017 Psalm 107:29.

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

Well friends, it’s Saturday and there’s work to be done around the house, errands to run and shut in people to visit. Wow! For some of us it doesn’t seem like a day off at all, and we’re tempted to go to our place of employment, where we don’t work half as hard. (smile) 

But for some blessed individuals, it’s a much easier go; just sleeping in late, snoozing on the couch, idly flipping the channels on the remote,  watching golf and baseball, hockey and basketball, while sipping something cold and frothy and drowsily but sincerely saying, ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes mih people, some do have it easier than others. But since it’s Saturday, we also have to check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week. And he does have some excellent ones this week. 

Listen to this first one. ‘Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Problems are in fact opportunities for us to grow. Note that it’s only when we face adversity that we mature, especially in our Christian walk. 

And this next quote follows on naturally. ‘We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and create a life worth living, a noble life. Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.’ There again friends, we can’t escape pain or problems, but we can choose how to handle them; either by cringing and complaining, or by standing strong and using the adversity to our benefit. 

And this one also segues nicely to the one before. ‘You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.’ It’s all about attitudes my people; our attitudes to our problems can either make or break us. And this last quote just wraps it up nicely. ‘Being miserable is a habit; being happy is a habit; and the choice is yours.’

Oh is that ever so true my fellow believers! The choice is all ours. That means if we want to have a fairly happy and peaceful life we must choose attitudes that relate to happiness and peace. Remember with Jesus as our captain, we can remain calm in any storm. 

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

Ah friends that reminds me of a personal testimony to that situation. One day, some thirty something years ago, I ended up on a boat with some friends and coworkers who were headed for Rochester on the American side of Lake Ontario. To cut a long story short, going across the day was sunny and beautiful and we finally got to the American side, but up to now we haven’t reached Rochester. (smile) 

Through the obvious presence of the brown girl in the bottle and several strong imbibers, arguments broke out about continuing down the American coast to Rochester or returning to Toronto. The captain and owner of the boat eventually decided to come back to Toronto. This was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 

But lo and behold, on our way back a serious storm rose up against us and we could barely make any headway against it. And yuh better believe that prayer, for the first time in many a day, was forthcoming from several of the inebriated imbibers. It’s a good thing I wasn’t into the sauce that day, so I was able to help the skipper, while the others were rolling around, hanging on, giving drunken orders and praying. 

Now that day I learned a couple of lessons. The first one is that Lake Ontario can be very dangerous. I would be passing along the shore and see it kicking up and steups at it, saying it was nothing like the ocean I was accustomed to, and wondering how big ships like the Edmund Fitzgerald could sink and get lost in it.

But friends, that night I learned otherwise. For when the boat, I guess it was around fifteen feet long, mounted up the massive waves, I saw the good Lord in his heaven. (smile) And when it hit back down to the depths, between those waves, I felt the shivering of timbers! And that was the second lesson I learned; the actual feeling of shivering timbers. Before that night I had only read it from books. 

And believe me there was even mutiny amongst the group. For when we finally reached land on the Ontario side, somewhere around Cobourg, still many miles from our starting point, we had to stop for gas. At that point, some of the more inebriated ones wanted to use their money to take a taxi home, instead of chip in for the gas. 

But eventually cooler heads prevailed and we all came back together, arriving at our starting point around three o’clock in the morning, having left their around ten a.m. the previous day. And believe me, that was only a synopsis of the whole story. Like my family didn’t know where I was, hadn’t seen or heard from me for at least 20 hours, and the captain’s wife had the coast guard out looking for us. 

Can’t say I haven’t led an adventurous life – but with the grace of God always surrounding me! That’s why I can totally agree with the psalmist when he declares: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), to the children of men!’ (Ps.107:31) Much LOVE my brethren!

…without God…where would men be eh…so let’s give Him lots of thanks and praise nuh…and faithfully adhere to His law…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2017 Psalm 107:29.

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

And then it was Monday; that dreaded day of the workingman! But as we keep saying friends, if you want to eat, then you have to work. And if you want to work without too many problems, then you have to live a decent lifestyle. 

You can’t expect to be carnal and licentious and lustful all weekend, then get up bright and early and perky on Monday morning and head out. But many of us still do it, somehow expecting to make the same mistake and see an improved result. Sorry friends, it just doesn’t happen that way. 

But we have some help for you; it’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. It wakes you up, rejuvenates you, and gets you ready to hit the road, refreshed and energetic. So let’s sing it now nuh, with plenty enthusiasm and verve and chutzpah and all those other good things which enhance a song. 

In strong voice and perfect harmony: ‘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!’ 

Now that was good friends; a li’l bit raucous and rough, but certainly not lacking in enthusiasm! And most importantly, it brought a chuckle to Jesus, our choirmaster’s spirit. He appreciated the energy we put into it. So now we’re ready to go out and do battle with the infidel in Jesus’ name, because it’s only in His name are we ever going to be victorious! 

And today my brethren, we have a very interesting, truthful and awesome Bit, but before we get to it, let’s hear it in context. It comes from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. 

The psalmist writes: They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in the 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. 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 they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired heaven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Oh friends, what an omnipotent but merciful and magnanimous God we serve and worship! He has power to cause storms both on the seas and also in our lives, but He also has the awesome power to still, to calm those same raging storms! 

The important thing to note is that when the storms rage around us, and we stagger and reel like drunks, we need to call out to Him for help and mercy. And you’ll notice that’s exactly what we’ve done in our opening this morning. 

We’re faced by a storm of not wanting to get up to go to work, but we know we have to, so we cried out to Him in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and He mercifully gave us the grace and strength to go out and do His will. How awesome is that eh my people? 

There’s NO OTHER GOD LIKE OURS! In fact our GOD, IS THE ONLY GOD THERE IS!  Matter fix! (smile) 

So please, let’s not allow the storms, the trials and tribulations of life to get us down, or rather keep us down, for we have the most powerful Being in the universe as our God to turn to, and He has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us, once we stay under the protection and safety of His mighty wings. 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to Ethan the Ezrahite, as he talks about God’s sure promises to David from Psalm 89. ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

Yes my brethren, the universe is the Lord’s and all therein! Let us never forget that and like true and wise believers, act accordingly during the storms of life that we all must face. Much LOVE!

…when storms rage…let Jesus take the helm…for He is the best sailor there is…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2016 Psalm 107:29

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

So how goes it this beautiful morning eh, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ? I do hope that it is going well, but as usual, if it isn’t, then let me remind us that there’s no need to fear or be worried. 

We just have to take it all to Jesus, lay it at the foot of the cross, and He will take our burdens and instead offer us His comfort and His wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Remember His 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 (gentle and humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Yes friends, there’s no better invitation than that in the entire world! And if we’re wise, we’ll gladly take it whenever times become overwhelming. 

And if you’re in a full-blown storm this morning, then here is some more good advice from Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller) from our Hour of Power Devotional, to help you weather it. It’s titled ‘When I Face a Storm.’ I believe I’ve shared it before, but when it’s good, it’s always best to wheel and come again. (smile) 

So please pray with me. ‘You never promised, Lord, that I would be forever sheltered from stormy times in my life. You have promised that the sun will outlast the storms. You issue the grand command from outer space and the renegade storm clouds break up, scatter, and flee like hoodlums furtively racing from the streets, back to their hidden lairs in some forbidding alley. 

The bright stars come out to laugh again, like little children returning once more to safe streets for happy play. The sky clears. A huge, yellow moon sails once more calm and serene through the silent skies. 

Even as you restore peace after the storm, so will you bestow a renewed calm to my troubled mind through your peace-instilling presence that is surrounding me now. Your quiet and calming spirit is flowing within me now. My fear is gone! Thank you, Lord! Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that whatever fear we were holding is now gone and the calm and peace of Jesus is now controlling our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, like He promised. 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s further bolster our faith by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with lots of hope, vision and sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen’ 

Yes friends, that’s such an important declaration and distinction, one we need to carry with us at all times. For we are indeed God’s children, and no one can take that away from us. 

But on the other hand, we also have a responsibility to behave like children of God, so that the world can see what He’s like, through the living examples of our lives. We need to have the fruit of God’s Spirit showing brightly through our godly behaviour. 

And just in case we’ve forgotten what’s the fruit of the Spirit, let’s refresh our minds. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness). Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Oh my brethren, those are the things the heathen ought to see in our lives! That’s the only way we can ever make a good and fruitful impact on them. All our words are meaningless unless and until we back them up with true action! 

That brings us to our Bit, taken from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. But first let’s set the scene. ‘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 they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30). 

Yes my precious people, the same way the seafarers cry out to God in times of storms on the sea, the same way we ought to cry out to our heavenly Father when the vicissitudes of life, our ever-changing circumstances, overwhelm us. And as promised, He will calm the storms and bring us safely to the haven of His LOVE.  

Oh friends, there’s none other like our great God! That’s why the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

There’s nothing more I can say friends, except to implore us to do as the psalmist and Jesus wisely advise: before anything or anyone else, turn to your omnipotent and merciful God in times of trouble. Much LOVE!

…why turn to impotent man in times of trouble…when we have an omnipotent God to turn to…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2014 Psalm 107:1

Psalm 107:1.   O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.

Oh Friends, the first day of summer 2014 wasn’t bad at all nuh! It got up to about 24 or 25 degrees Celsius, with bright sunshine and a nice, cool breeze. Only hope that will be the norm for the rest of the season yes.
 
Hn, hn! That’s what they call wishful thinking. But if we don’t have hope, what’s the point of living eh?
 
And this Sunday morning my people, we have a wonderful Bit from Psalm 107, God’s wonderful works to the children of men, which does exactly that; give us lots and lots of hope.
 
The psalmist opens his prayer of praise with a powerful and indisputably true statement: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’
 
With that fact my brethren, there can be no argument whatsoever! And why is that? Listen to the psalmist proclaim his reasons: ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
 
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps.107:2-7)
 
Yes Friends, those are indeed the actions of a most LOVING and merciful God!
 
Thus the psalmist logically declares: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps.107:8-9)
 
Likewise, in Psalm 106, Israel sins against God’s LOVE, a psalm of national lament, the writer wisely advises in his opening verses: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter (express) the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgement (justice), and he that doeth righteousness at all times.’ (Ps.106:1-3)
 
And that my Friends, is all gospel truth! So let’s remember it, and put it into practice nuh, for it will only benefit us greatly.
 
The prophet Jeremiah also, in talking about the reviving of Judah, LOVINGLY proclaims: ‘The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land (the captives of the land to return), as at the first, saith, the Lord.’ (Jer.33:11)
 
How can we not LOVE and revere such a magnanimous, forgiving and merciful God eh my people? We’d be extremely foolish not to!
 
And we’ll close with some similar words and sentiments from Bruh David’s song of thanksgiving after the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
 
And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.17:34-36)
 
Yes Friends, let’s praise the Lord God, our Creator, Provider, Shield and Strong Fortress, today and everyday nuh, for He is the ONE, who causes us to draw breath and to live lives of comfort, prosperity and security. Much LOVE!
 
…praise, gratefulness and thanks to Almighty God…should be an integral part of the believer’s lifestyle… 
 
P.S. Wow! Is it ever short today! (smile) So please don’t complain if it’s long tomorrow. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2013 Isaiah 54:17

Isaiah 54:17.   No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me.
 
Oh Friends, it seems like I owe my poor, departed mother another apology on this Sunday morning, the first day of September 2013. Not only did it take me almost two years to go and visit her, it seems that I was so taken up with T&T’s Independence celebrations yesterday, that I failed to mention it was also the second anniversary of her going to be with the Lord. I guess the ole fella’s simply showing his age and human frailty. (smile)
 
Thanks for reminding me Di, although as I told you, it wasn’t a complete forgetting, because the flowers on the altar at church today will be donated in her memory. And you know Mols sugar, that whatever nonsense or mistakes your Sonny Boy might make, he will NEVER forget you!
 
How could I eh, after the wonderful relationship we shared for sixty something years, especially since it was an experience chocked full of LOVE? For as Cousin Sol says in his Song, your banner over me was one of continuous LOVE! That’s not to say there weren’t some tumultuous times, but they were few and far between and never lasted very long.
 
And I’m not the only one who thinks that time is going by rather quickly, because everybody I tell that she’s been gone to Paradise for two years now can’t believe that it’s already been that long.
 
That’s why, my fellow believers, we can’t afford to dilly-dally with the work we’ve been commissioned to do for Christ here on earth, since we can be called home unexpectedly at any time. And what are we going to tell the Father when He asks why we didn’t do a better job eh, that we didn’t have enough time?
 
No Friends that’s not going to pass muster, because he’s going to turn back the clock and show us all the time we wasted being involved in sinful worldly endeavours, when we could have been spreading His Word.
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me.’
 
Now a lot of us claim that promise, and so we should, but as with a lot of other scriptures, we take them out of context, and only use the parts that seem beneficial, while conveniently forgetting the other aspects. And in this particular promise, we always seem to leave out the very important proviso: ‘This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord…’
 
Yes Friends, if you’re not a servant of the Lord, then that promise is null and void! And furthermore, whatever righteousness we might have, doesn’t come from our own efforts, but from the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator and Provider. And having straightened that out, (smile) let’s look at some scriptures that fortify that, no, those awesome promises, because we’re promised physical, vocal and spiritual protection with righteousness.
 
Wow! And people still refuse to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! How unwise and foolish!
 
Isaiah himself tells us, re Ariel (Jerusalem; lit- lion of God) and her enemies, that though the Lord distresses Jerusalem, yet in the end:  ‘And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel (Jerusalem), even all that fight against her and her munition (fortress), and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.
 
It shall even be as when a hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite (still craves): so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.’ (Is.29:7-8)
 
And just before our Bit, Isaiah trills thus to God’s everlasting LOVE for the children of Israel, and those who follow His commandments.  ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
 
Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument (weapon) for his work; and I have created the waster (destroyer) to destroy.’ (Is.54:13 -16)
 
So my people, there’s nothing to fear if we are walking obedient to God’s will, for as we’ve seen, He has promised on several occasions to protect us from our enemies when we so do. But unfortunately in these evil, turbulent and dangerous times, we have forsaken our God, have not even taught our children His Word. So what else can we expect but disaster, calamity and misery eh?
 
I don’t know if there’s ever been a time in man’s history, even during the two great wars, where mankind has been engaged in warfare on so many fronts at the same time. The scale of fighting might not be as large as in the two world wars, but we have many more nations inflamed in both external and internal strife. It’s possibly easier to pick out the few nations that are not involved in some kind of deadly strife.
 
Oh Friends, when are we ever going to learn eh? The Most High God created us, and though He’s given us freedom of choice, He still retains overall control. And He has continually warned us to keep His commandments, to serve and worship Him in sincerity and truth, while also providing glaring examples of the disastrous happenings disobedience can bring.
 
So it’s up to us now Friends to rally round the cross of Christ and try to drum some sense into the hard, stubborn minds of our fellowman. That is if we want our children and future generations to live in a somewhat peaceful world. 
 
And in closing, I know that some people try to knock the Old Testament, saying it’s out of date and of no use now. But my brethren, that’s a fallacy, pure foolishness, because the Old Testament is the setting, the foreshadowing, for fulfillment by the New Testament. And throughout the New Testament you’ll find Jesus and all the disciples and apostles quoting important scripture from the Old Testament.
 
So please don’t listen to anyone who tells you that nonsense! You can’t properly understand the New until you understand the Old, just like you cannot tell where you’re going, until you know where you’ve come from. Much LOVE!
 
…our earthly pilgrimage may be rough and rocky…but if we concentrate on walking with God…then though we occasionally stumble…we’ll never fall…that’s the Lord’s faithful promise…