Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2017 Proverbs 3:35.

Proverbs 3:35.   The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.

So people, Labour Day Monday is here at last, and there’ll be celebrations all over the world, ostensibly in honour of the ordinary working men who fought and died for the rights that we so blessedly enjoy today. The sad part is that lots of the young folks don’t know, were never taught about the arduous struggle their forefathers had to go through to bring us to where we currently are. 

All they know is that Labour Day is a time to party, and for many others, an occasion to make mas on the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. And I can’t complain too loudly because at one time I also made the Parkway my Labour Day Monday haunt. But like most of the other carnivals around the world, back then it was much more colourful and entertaining, with real mas costumes, not a bikini bra and bottom and a headdress of feathers. 

There would also be many big music bands, not mostly D.J’s. It was an opportunity to see people you hadn’t seen in donkey’s years, (smile) and reminisce about old times. But then everything began changing; the music and the costumes weren’t as nice, I could no longer handle the physical walking, and I hardly saw anybody I knew. So I eventually stopped going to the Big Apple for Labour Day, just like I stopped going to Caribana here in Toronto for the same reasons. 

Anyway, enough of my whatever you call it, it’s Monday and some people still have to get up and go out and labour to keep our 24/7 world humming along smoothly. So let’s help those unfortunate folks get going with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘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 as always, the voices of those who are not going to work are the loudest and hoarsest from too much partying already. (smile) Oh, and before I forget, let me include Granny’s warning here. I’ve been remiss in not mentioning it so far on such a big weekend. So here goes: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

And though it sounds ‘jokified’ friends, it’s a rather serious warning, because if we don’t pay attention to our activities and behaviour, the always lurking Lucifer will undoubtedly find an open spot to infiltrate our spiritual defenses. So please take it seriously. And that segues quite nicely into our Bit. ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.’ 

Oh my brethren, what words of indisputable truth from the pen of Cousin Sol! And who should know better than him, since he was once the wealthiest and wisest man in the world, but then experienced foolishness and shame when he revoked the Lord God of his fathers for the many idols of his numerous pagan wives and concubines. But he wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last man to listen to a female and go astray….easy now ladies easy, it’s simply the truth. (smile) 

And Cousin Sol had plenty to say on wisdom. Let’s hear a couple his statements on the subject. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her (wisdom), and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.’ (Prov.4:7-8) Absolute truth friends! 

And hear Cousin Sol once more. ‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding: For the merchandise (gain) of it is better than the merchandise (profit) of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.’ (Prov.3:13-16)  

Ah mih people, yuh see the great benefits of pursuing wisdom! And you have to actively seek it, for it won’t just come to you naturally. So today, please let’s seriously start seeking wisdom nuh…that is God’s wisdom, not the world’s. Much LOVE!

…you can get everything…if you have wisdom…but everything won’t necessarily give you wisdom…

 

 

 

Advertisements

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to you faith be it unto you.

Well friends, it’s  Tuesday. Were any of you lucky enough to see the mercurial eclipse yesterday? I wasn’t. But it seems like the most powerful man in the world thought he was powerful enough to view it without the special glasses recommended. (smile) 

But that’s what he’s all about ego and power. Enough of the tongue in cheek stuff though. Here is something to help us face the day successfully, from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Now have we been guilty of that kind of thing? I’m sure all of us have at some time or another. And what’s the first right decision we’re always supposed to make? Turning to God with the problem! 

Yeh friends, whether the problem be big or small, hard or simple, the Lord God Almighty IS ALWAYS THE FIRST ONE we should talk to about it, for He is the Master Problem Solver. Have the faith to let Him direct our steps. 

And what did Jesus say unto the two blind men who wanted him to heal them. ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt.9:28-30) 

Yes my brethren, our Bit says it all! Our power and blessedness will be defined by the maturity and strength of our faith, for Christianity is a faith-based organization. 

What does Hebrews say about the subject? ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

And there was nobody who had more faith, or gave us a better example of it, than Jesus, for though He was God in the flesh, He never took credit for anything, but always deferred to the Father. 

Even as a youth, when He strayed from His parents in Jerusalem, when they finally found Him debating with the elders in the temple, His words to them were: ‘How is it that ye sought me? wist (knew) ye not that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.’ (Luke 2:49-50) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’ 

Though He was somewhat rude to His earthly parents with that answer, Jesus clearly showed from early on that His heavenly Father’s business was NUMBER ONE! 

And when the Jews tried to tell Him He had a devil (demon spirit), He bluntly answered. ‘I have not a devil (demon spirit): but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.’ (John 8:49) 

And later on when they asked if he was greater than Abraham and the prophets, His answer was: ‘If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me…’ (John 8:54) Yuh see mih breddren, with Jesus, it was all about the Father. And so should it be with us. 

Hear Him once more: ‘For I have not spoken of myself (my own authority), but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore; even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.’ (John 12:49-50) 

And whom did Jesus turn to in His time of greatest sorrow? The Father! That memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He fell on His face and prayed: ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Even in His most fervent prayer, Jesus still acknowledged that His journey would be led by the Father’s will, not His. 

And finally, here is this episode from Mark which really shows Jesus’ strong, steady and faithful connection to His heavenly Father. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

The scholars then tell us: 1:35. Mark emphasizes that it was a great while before day. Showing that Jesus began each day of His earthly ministry with prayer is only the secondary intention of this verse. The primary aim is to show how Jesus made important decisions: by earnest, persistent prayer. 

Here Jesus stands at the crossroads of decision: His first year of public preaching (vs. 9-20) has borne little visible fruit. But His miracles of healing are drawing huge crowds (vs.31-32) and bringing Him recognition (v.28). 

So the question is whether He should continue to put the stress of His ministry on the preaching of the gospel for the healing of man’s diseased soul, or place the stress of His work on the more popular performing of miracles for the healing of man’s body. To make the proper choice, He seeks by prayer the Father’s wisdom.’  

And He certainly received the right answer: place the stress on healing our sinful souls! All praise and thanks to God for filling Him with that heavenly wisdom! Otherwise our bodies would have been healed, but our souls would still have been bound for Hades. 

Now let’s go home, safe and secure in the knowledge of our Tuesday Mantra, as we declare it loudly, proudly and sincerely. ‘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!’ 

And if you truly believe it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus made it a point to first talk to the Father…then why shouldn’t we lesser mortals do the same eh…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Well my people, we did not get the rain that we were expecting in my area yesterday, it just remained drab and cloudy, showing promise, but nothing else. However, shortly after midnight, heavenly showers came pelting down in a big way and finally the thirsty ground was watered and refreshed. Praise to God! 

Right now it’s still damp and cloudy outside, and who knows what will happen later on. But nonetheless it’s Friday, and the weekend looms large and the ordinary workingman can’t help but shout: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! It seems like the weekend would never come! And massa work so blooming hard…and the pay so li’l bit! 

But for the next couple days we don’t have to worry about massa and he work at all, at all nuh. It’s we time to do what we want… where and with whom. And believe me, come rain or shine, we going to party hearty for the next couple days! Oh Thank God for Fridays and the weekends! Party people, let the party begin!’ 

And who doesn’t like a party eh, especially after a hard week of work? But the boundaries, friends, the boundaries must be tighter than those the ordinary workingman seem to be proposing, else we’re liable to fall into too many evil, ungodly and carnal acts of the flesh, which won’t sit right with our supposed Christian character. 

Our Friday Chant contains a much better intent, so let’s declare it now 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!’ 

Oh people, I know that it seems to take all the fun out of living, out of the carnal aspect of life yes, but it reinforces our Christian values, which we need to keep firm and steadfast so that we don’t fall to the endless temptation that the evil enemy constantly throws at us. 

That brings us to our Bit, immortal words of Jesus, a part of what He gave us as a blueprint for prayer. ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ 

Yes, precious followers of Christ, we indeed need to seek the power of God to help us resist the entreaties of the evil one, who constantly comes bearing worldly, carnal, sinful gifts to entice us into foregoing our righteousness. 

We can’t do it on our own, for our sinful and lustful flesh naturally leans towards the ungodly things of the world. And it’s only through the amazing power of God, His Holy Spirit working in us, that we can resist the fleshly pleasures and beautiful looking things of the world that are constantly held up to us for participation and acceptance. 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of that verse. ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. 

The prayer closes with a doxology of praise: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11. Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s faith and hope; hungry hope and expectant faith that carries us through the dark times, as well as the good times. Let’s not forget our awesome God when things are going well with us, as we are so tempted to do. Remembering all the good things He has done for us in the past helps to strengthen our faith. 

Now let’s end with the magnificent prayer of Bruh David to which the scholars alluded, after he encouraged his people to give generously to the building of the Lord’s sanctuary. 

‘Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. 

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.’ (1 Chr.29:11-13) 

What beautiful words of praise and thanksgiving friends! Please, let’s allow them to seep into our hearts and souls today, and gently simmer there as we go about doing the work of Jesus. That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…God does not tempt…He combats temptation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2017 Psalm 49:20.

Psalm 49:20.   Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

Well a bright and blessed morn to all you my fine, upstanding, Scrip-Bit friends, families and neighbours! May Almighty God shine down on all our lives this sunny Friday in July and cause us to walk in His righteousness. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Thanks and praise to our heavenly Father who meets all our earthly wants and needs from His abundant store of grace and mercy through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we indeed have to be thankful for all that our most generous God has blessed us with, since for whatever reason, He hasn’t done so to lots of others. And this has been a short workweek for North Americans, so they will either go to the cottage to rest, or to rack up the summer partying season that’s just begun. 

And the shout all over town will be something like: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! That means the weekend, the long awaited weekend is finally here and we can get into our cups with gay abandon! Wow! What a time we going to have this early summer weekend! Thank God for summer, for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And we’re all truly grateful for the summer weather and weekends, but we just celebrate them differently. The believer has a more subdued outlook, as stated in our Friday Chant, to lessen the possibility of his getting into all sorts of wrongdoing.  

Please declare it with me. ‘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.’ 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.’ 

Yes my people, the Lord made us in His image and gave us authority over all the other living things on earth. (Gen.1:26) He also gave us the power to get wisdom and understanding. And when we don’t use that power wisely, and don’t appreciate the gifts of God, we become just like the lowest beast of the field. 

Hear how Cousin Sol puts it in his experiment in Ecclesiastes to ‘seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven.’ (Eccl.1:13) 

Now remember that Cousin Sol was rich and had the time and wherewithal to conduct such an experiment. He says: ‘And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do after the king? even that which hath been already done. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as the light excelleth darkness. 

The wise man’s eyes are in his head: but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event (death) happeneth to them all. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity (futility). 

For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.’ (Eccl.2:12-16) 

Oh friends, as the scholars tell us: ‘2:12-16. Wisdom is better than folly (vs.12-14), but both are useless when one comes to death.’ 

However friends, I would like to add an addendum to that statement. (smile) In these end times, the wisdom of following Jesus Christ, of having Him as your Lord and Saviour when one comes to death, is clearly superior to the folly of not having a wonderful, life-saving relationship with Him. 

For therein lies the path your spirit will take after death; either eternal life with Christ in heaven, or everlasting separation from Almighty God with Lucifer in Hades. And I wouldn’t wish the latter on my worst enemy. 

Then Cousin Sol continues: ‘Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity (futility) and vexation of spirit (a grasping for the wind). Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken (toiled) under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 

And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity (futility) Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took (toiled) under the sun. (Eccl.2:17-20) 

And the scholars explain: ‘2:17-20. Part of the futility of trying to find fulfillment in material accomplishment is the fact that one must leave the fruit of his work to another who may well waste the accrued benefits. I hated life (v.17) is translated correctly and should not be misunderstood as “I hate life.” It is clearly the temporary conclusion about Solomon’s historical experiment.’ 

Ah friends, it’s a tricky situation: we need to work and store up something for rainy days, but we cannot let that be the end all and be all of our existence, because we won’t have the time to enjoy our own lives, and then might leave our vast wealth to some wastrel who doesn’t appreciate it.

So the sensible thing is to find a balance between work, enjoyment and storing up, and that can only be done properly with the help and guidance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. End of story! Much LOVE!

…all work and no play…makes Jack a dull boy…but all play and no work…sends the fool to hell…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2017 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well friends, the 150th Canadian Birthday Party continues unabated. And though it was constrained a little by an afternoon thunder storm, after that, the sun came out brightly and the outside celebrations went on with much zest and enthusiasm, with brilliant fireworks filling the night air in many parts of the Greater Toronto Area. 

Now some people felt that all the hoopla was somewhat hypocritical because of the blemishes on our Canadian record, re the very poor treatment of the Aboriginal People up to this day, plus the insensitive handling of Chinese and Japanese immigrants during the Great War, not to mention the racism and sexism that are currently rearing their ugly heads. 

And all of those are serious problems for us to address, but if we only focus on our bad side, then no country would ever have cause to celebrate because every one has its own dark and evil problems and secrets. At least, hopefully, if we come together to celebrate a major anniversary, that togetherness will help to dissipate some of the current animosity found in our society. 

But even if we’re not together in our country, please, let’s show that we are together in our churches, in the Body of Christ, as we offer sacrifices of praise and worship in His sanctuary this Sunday morning. And today’s hymn is the old stalwart ‘At the Cross.’ So let’s rock God’s house my faithful brethren with powerful song. 

‘Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity!  grace unknown! And LOVE beyond degree! (Refrain)

Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away ’Tis all that I can do. (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’ 

Oh friends, the cross of Jesus is ever so significant in our Christian faith, for it’s there where Jesus sacrificed His life so that we could be reconciled with God and have the wonderful options of salvation and eternal life. Wow! It is indeed the centrepiece of our faith! It’s where everything begins and ends! Without it, we’d be nothing, still mere slaves to the evil Lucifer, facing death and eternal separation from Almighty God, our Creator. 

But thanks to Jesus, hanging in shame and utter cruelty on that tree at Calvary, we’ve been set free from every kind of bondage. Glory to God my people! And as the song says, once we’ve seen the light at the cross, all our burdens are rolled away, and we can be happy each and every day! Mama Mia! Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly puts it in our Bit: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Now that’s the awesome truth my fellow believers? Without Christ, we’d have no victory whatsoever! That’s why we have to be ever so thankful and show proper gratitude for all of God’s great mercies towards us. 

Remember, He didn’t have to do anything for us. But because we were His creation, and so dear to His heart, He couldn’t just sit by and see us all go the way of Beelzebub! And Jesus didn’t have to give of Himself so selflessly and sacrificially either, but He delighted in doing the Father’s will, even though it was outrageously painful and shameful. 

That’s why the Father highly exalted Jesus afterwards, ‘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) Oh what a mighty champion is our Lord and Saviour! 

And hear how John saw it in his vision in Revelation. As Jesus took up the Book of Life, ‘the four beasts  (living creatures) and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and vials (bowls) full of odours (incense), which are the prayers of the saints. 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (scroll), and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred (tribe), and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands and thousands: Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’ (Rev.5:8-12) 

And that’s exactly how it should be. So please my fellow believers, let’s praise and honour Jesus, and live for and LOVE Him down here on earth nuh, so that we will be able to praise and worship Him later on in heaven. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t honour Jesus on earth…you won’t praise Him in heaven…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2017 Jeremiah 13:16.

Jeremiah 13:16.   Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

Aye friends, top o’ the morn! Now yesterday’s cloudy beginning turned into a beautiful sunny spring day, let’s hope that today’s cloudy start will also turn into a majestic ending. 

But yuh know I’m beginning to dread opening my e-mail on a morning, because I’m been bombarded with too much unfortunate news. 

Yesterday I opened it and heard about my friend Jackie’s death. Today I open the e-mail and find out that she’s to be buried tomorrow at 11 a.m. exactly when I have an appointment with my heart doctor. Chuh! 

And this is not just an ordinary, routine appointment, but one to do some technical stuff to see if my heart has improved over the last few months. So you can imagine the quandary that I’m in; I don’t want to miss Jackie’s funeral, but I do want to know what’s happening with my ole ticker. 

Anyway, I’ll just leave it all in the Lord’s hands and see how He works it out. But this morning we’re going to pray a prayer that I discovered on one of my office walls last night while looking for something else. 

And I have to laugh at the Lord’s mysterious workings, because this is a prayer that I ought to see every time I enter the office and go to sit behind the desk. But I obviously don’t. 

Ah Lord eh! I believe I’ve shared it with you a long time ago, but is it ever so appropriate for these trying times in which we’re currently living! 

So please pray with me: ‘Dear God: I want to thank you for what you have already done. I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards; I am thanking You right now! I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better; I am thanking You right now! 

I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me; I am thanking You right now! I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears; I am thanking You right now! 

I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves; I am going to thank You right now! I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet; I am going to thank You right now! 

I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job; I am going to thank You right now! I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief; I am going to thank You right now! 

I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed. I am thanking You right now! I am thanking You because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I am thanking You because Father, You haven’t given up on me! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, what a beautiful prayer! Our God is just so good! And the important and amazing thing is that He’s so good, ALL THE TIME! Oh Praise His Holy Name my people! 

And if we’d give our wonderful God thanks and praise more often than we do, our lives would be so much better, but we’re just stubborn and hardheaded, and just seem to make our lives harder than necessary. 

And I like how this prayer just fits nicely with our Bit. ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ 

Now our God doesn’t want to cause darkness in our lives, but if we’re continually disobedient, we leave Him no choice. It’s just like us with our children; we don’t like to punish them, but constant disobedience does call for some harsh consequences. 

Hear how the psalmist puts in Psalm 96 – A call to praise God. ‘Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth his salvation (proclaim the good news of his salvation) from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen (nations), his wonders among all the people. 

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 

Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due his name: bring an offering and come into his courts. 

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him all the earth. Say among the heathen (nations) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps.96:2-10) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the majesty and magnificence, the power and glory of our great God! Please, let’s give him the reverence and honour that are His rightful due nuh. It’s only common sense and wisdom to do so. 

Now let’s go home with our hearts filled with joy and reverence, praise and thanksgiving, as we declare our Wednesday Wail in unison and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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!’ 

Oh friends, let’s keep looking forward to that glorious future with Jesus nuh, for He is indeed the TRUTH, the LIGHT and the WAY! Much LOVE!

…in the LIGHT of Jesus…true believers overcome darkness…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2017 Jeremiah 13:16.

Jeremiah 13:16.   Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

Oh friends, welcome to a cloudy spring day in my neck of the woods. I was planning to rev us up with all sorts of good things, like it’s not the physical aspect of the day that really counts, but what we do with the day in Jesus’ name. And to invoke that well-known verse of Psalm 118 – ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

However, when I opened my e-mail I was greeted by some sad and bad, but also in a sense good and comforting news. My priest, Father Jeff, had written to inform me that one of my friends and fellow parishioners, Jacqueline Kitson had passed away this morning. 

And she fell victim to none other than our current scourge, the death-maker called cancer. What hurts some is that she was hospitalized a few days ago and I had promised to go and see her, but everyday I was either too busy, or not feeling up to scratch myself. But I spoke to her on the phone yesterday and promised faithfully to come today. 

Ah Lord eh! The good news scenario though is that she is now home with her heavenly Father and not suffering the pain and inconvenience that she’s been enduring over the past couple of years. She might have been small in stature, but had a big and strong heart, fighting the dreaded scourge every inch of the way. 

I remember the Sunday mornings during this last winter when I would pick her up and take her to church, she was always bright and positive in spite of her illness, bravely enduring the long trips to Toronto for the chemo and other treatments. 

And for a while there during the latter part of the year she seemed to have been in a stage of remission; eating fairly well, putting on some weight and looking better than she’d done for a few months. She even got out to the church’s annual dinner and dance last fall and partied up a storm. Everybody was glad to see her dancing and enjoying herself. 

But the cancer reared its ugly head again a couple of months ago and this time she was not able to fight it off. Rest in peace Jackie my friend. You are gone but not forgotten. You will always remain in our hearts and thoughts until we meet again in the Great Beyond! 

That’s why my brethren it’s ever so important to heed the admonition of our Bit: ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ 

Yes friends, we need to pay serious attention to God’s word at all times, for we know not when our number will be called up yonder. And it would be very unfortunate and damaging to our eternal situation if the grim reaper were to appear before we’re quite ready. 

We need to be always in a state of preparedness my people, looking continually to the light that’s Jesus, and giving our magnificent and magnanimous God all the glory and honour, the praise and thanksgiving that He so rightfully deserves. 

Walking in continual darkness does not become a child of God, for children of God have seen the light and gloriously acknowledge it! 

And we have a good example of God’s judgement when the men of Ai defeated the forces of Israel, and Joshua bewailed the Lord for the defeat.  (Josh.7:1-9) 

‘And the Lord said unto Joshua, get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing (things devoted to the Lord), and have also stolen, and dissembled (deceived) also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. 

Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed (devoted to destruction): neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.’ (Josh.7:10-12) 

Yeh friends, contrary to popular opinion, our God is not a joking God, as Israel found out when they disobeyed His commands. So the long and short of the story is that Joshua searched all the people, until he came to one man named Achan. 

‘And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 

When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonian garment, and two hundred shekels of silver; and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted (desired) them, and took them; and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.’ (Josh.7:19-21) 

Yuh see friends, all of Israel suffered because of one man’s greed and covetousness. And what became of Achan and his family? ‘And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.’ (Josh.7:25b) 

It’s not easy my friends, but it’s very worthwhile to remember that disobedience to God’s commands always have consequences, very serious ones too. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, with much enthusiasm, faithfully believing what we say. 

‘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!’ 

And now it’s time to go out and put it all into action my brethren! Much LOVE!

…only the light of Jesus…can prevent us from stumbling in the darkness of this world…

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries