Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2017 Ephesians 6:4.

Ephesians 6:4.    And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!

Grace and peace be unto all you fathers out there on this Father’s Day Sunday! May the Lord look down upon us with fatherly mercies and blessings that we can share with our families. 

Ah my fellow fathers, this is the day that our society has chosen to honour us, please let us enjoy the day, and let it raise our level of fatherhood as we go through these trying times in our world. True fatherhood has never been more necessary than it is right now, as we are supposed to be the leaders and basic guides of our households. 

So please let’s step up to the plate and do our best so that those who follow us will have superb examples to emulate. That’s the best gift we can ever give; that of being a good role model. Remember, we’ll never be perfect, but we can all be the best we can be. 

Now let’s offer up some thanks and praise to our Mighty Father in heaven, shower Him with the adoration that He so rightly deserves. Let’s acknowledge that even in the deepest and darkest and most tumultuous times of storm, His strong anchor holds us together. So let’s sing one of my favourite Gospel Songs, ‘The Anchor Holds,’ with strong voice and true sacrificial praise. 

‘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. (Refrain: The anchor holds, though the ship’s been battered. The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. But 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. (Refrain) I have been young but I’m 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 for me. (Refrain) I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. But the anchor holds in spite of the storm.’ 

Yes friends and fathers, in spite of everything the world throws at us, if we are sheltered under the mighty hand of God, our anchor WILL ALWAYS HOLD! That’s His faithful promise! And we know that our God doesn’t take His promises lightly like we tend to do. 

That brings us to our Bit; most worthy advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesian fathers way back when, and even more so for these undisciplined and uncontrolled times. ‘And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ 

Ah fathers, we have already allowed this current generation to grow without proper fatherly advice, so that now they are ungodly, lack discipline and figure the world owes them a living. We obviously have not lived up to our wonderful billing, else our youth would not be as disorganized, disenfranchised and disturbed as they are. 

We have done this primarily by our absence from the family home, and even when there, through our neglecting to teach the children what we are supposed to teach them. And it’s not that we didn’t know, because most of us were taught it when we were growing up.  And it’s all based simply on the Lord’s words to His angels about Abraham, before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 

‘For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement (righteousness and justice); that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of to him. (Gen.18:19) 

Yeh fathers, it’s all about serving the Lord and executing righteousness and justice, as Moses further instructed the Israelites. ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:6-7) 

Oh fathers, how many of us teach our children about God or talk about the Lord or any kind of godly stuff in our houses these days eh? Not too many. But we teach and talk about all sorts of worldly stuff in our homes and schools, while God is considered a subject of taboo. That’s not right or wise fathers, for in the long run it will bring the wrath of God down on all of us for disobeying His command. 

Now hear these words of Asaph the psalmist. ‘For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which commanded our fathers, that they should make known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. 

That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep the commandments. And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart (did not prepare its heart) aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.’ (Ps.78:5-8) 

Unfortunately fathers, that is the kind of generation we have raised. Now what will they teach the next generation about the Lord eh, if they don’t know anything about Him, and thus don’t care about Him? Not a whole lot. And that is exactly why the Lord wants us to teach our children about Him; so that the word can be passed down from generation to generation. How do you think it go to us eh? Because each previous generation taught the one after them. 

And we’ll close with one immortal verse from Cousin Sol. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6) Yes fathers, once we instill the Lord in the hearts of our children from an early age, even if they stray some, they will always have something solid to fall back on. 

Now, though we have not done our best so far, it’s definitely not too late for us to try and right some of our wrongs. So let’s sincerely ask the Lord to help us do our fatherly duties properly from this time onward. That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…fathers should be people their children can proudly look up to…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2017 Luke 2:19.

Luke 2:19.    But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Well a Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there! And this comes to you, regardless of whether you are a good, bad or indifferent mother. Just the fact that you went through all the rigors of motherhood; the nine months of bearing another child of the Creator’s in your womb and then suffering the excruciating pain, and pangs of birth, we celebrate you this fateful day. 

Motherhood is possibly the highest calling in God’s great earth, for you are following in God’s awesome footsteps; giving birth to a new creation, and then in most cases following that up with care and nurture for the rest of your life. 

And even if you didn’t personally go through the bodily discomfort of motherhood and felt those pains of giving birth, but you nourished and cared for one of God’s little ones, you are still considered a Mother! And as they say, once a mother, always a mother! There’s no getting away from it. 

And on this Mother’s Day Sunday, I went searching for an appropriate hymn to open our praise and worship session, and this one, ‘Where can I turn for Peace?’ seems to be a fan favourite. Apparently it was written by Emma Lou Thayne (1924-1973), a Mormon Poet and English teacher at the University of Utah, as she watched her daughter go through the agonizing throes of anorexia. 

Just like a mother eh! So let’s sincerely offer up these words of heartache, of solace and praise through sacrificial lips as we gather in holy fellowship this fateful Sunday morning. 

In full voice now: ‘Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace When other sources cease to make me whole? When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice, I draw myself apart, Searching my soul? Where, when my aching grows, Where, when I languish, Where, in my need to know, where can I run? 

Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish? Who, who can understand? He, only One. He answers privately, Reaches my reaching In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend. Gentle the peace He finds for my beseeching. Constant He is and kind, LOVE without end.’ 

Oh friends, what a touching cry of anguish and grief, but one which ends as it should; with the faithful LOVE of Jesus producing solace and comfort in our time of need. As the song so rightfully says, He is the ONLY ONE; the ONLY ONE who hears our piercing cries and answers them, in private to boot! 

No doubt our terrible anguish of soul reminds Him of His own anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He beseeched the Father for mercy, so He can sympathize, and also empathize with our pain. 

Oh my brethren, do we realize that Jesus is like a mother to us? He cares for, cleanses, heals, nurtures, comforts, befriends, and saves us; all the things our earthly mothers do. So in other words, a godly mother is a true reflection of Jesus! 

That reminds me of my biological mother, Molly, and also my five adopted mothers, yes friends, I had six mothers, Glory to God! Unfortunately all of them have gone to be with the Lord now, but their memories will forever be a part of me, because their LOVING-kindness, in my times of need, made me the man I am today. 

The Lord worked His wonders through those strong, beautiful women to bring me to where I needed to be. And believe me, none of them took any nonsense from me; they told me what I needed to hear or do, regardless of what I thought, and Molls, bless her soul, did put the strap to me when she thought it necessary. 

So I wasn’t spoiled or mollycoddled because it was all TOUGH LOVE! Oh how I wish there was more tough LOVE in our world today! We wouldn’t have so many wayward and ungodly children. But I guess we’re just reaping what we’ve sown in the last generation. 

That finally brings us to our Bit: ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’  It tells us about the foremost mother of our world, Mary, the Mother of Jesus. 

Can we ever imagine the life she experienced? I don’t think so. Her first child being miraculously conceived, being the Son of God, with so many people saying so many extraordinary things about Him. First of all, the angels telling the shepherds about His birth, His Messianic destiny, and they checking out the story and finding Him in the manger, then going and spread the news. Leaving poor Mary, possibly still a teenager, to sit and ponder all that was happening. 

Then shortly thereafter, when they took Jesus to the synagogue to be presented, and heard the praises and marvellous things said about Him by Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38) Can you imagine how speechless and bewildered Mary must have been?  

And then that time when Jesus was about twelve and they took Him to Jerusalem and lost Him on the journey back home to Nazareth, then three days later they found Him in serious conversation with the learned men in the temple. But when they questioned Him as to why He had abandoned them, ‘And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not (don’t you know) that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49) 

Hn! Yuh think I could have told my mother and father that around twelve years of age? Absolutely not! Most of us would have been checking our teeth to see if they were still all there. (smile) 

‘And they understood not the saying which he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.’ (Luke 2:50-51) 

Ah friends, Mary’s motherhood wasn’t easy, but she stood up strong under it, knowing that the God who had chosen her to be the mother of His Son, was ever-faithful and would not fail her. 

Likewise, all you mothers out there today, who might be finding motherhood somewhat difficult, please allow Mary to be you example, and believe too, that the Lord who had entrusted your children to you, will not leave you in the lurch, because His faithfulness is exemplary. Much LOVE!

…a mother’s work is never done…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2016 Ephesians 6:4

Ephesians 6:4. And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY !

Aye mih fellow fathers, welcome to another Father’s Day! I hope it is a pleasant and happy one for all of us, but knowing the complexities of life, undoubtedly some of us will not enjoy the day. For one reason or another, things will not go the way we want them to, but like so many other unfortunate things in this life, we will just have to ban’ our jaw and accept them. 

Anyway fathers, a lot of what is happening in these sad, trying and difficult times is either directly or indirectly our fault. We have to do a much better job than we’re currently doing. 

There are too many fine women and children out there bearing our genes, who are suffering real ‘sufferation’ because of our foolish, casual, doh care, irresponsible attitudes and behaviour.  We are certainly not fulfilling our mandate to provide for and look after the many children we sire. 

Tell me nuh, how do you think the women and children that we’ve used and abused will get the necessities of life eh – food, shelter, clothing and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, if we don’t help them to do so eh? 

Now there are many good and excellent fathers in the world, but on the other hand, there are way too many bad ones, who are out to simply have a good time and consequently shirk their responsibility that proceeds from that good time. Remember friends that the father is the titular, the spiritual head of the household and as such he is responsible for setting godly parameters and living up to them by his example.  

That’s why our Bit so staunchly declares: ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ 

Yes friends, the father is supposed to be the guiding light of the household! But if he isn’t around, or around and not doing his duty, then the rest of the family suffers. We have way too many single mothers, whether divorced or never married who are having to raise children by themselves, both as sole parent and provider when there is a father available to help. 

Now listen to how the scholars break down our Bit. ‘6:4. Fathers can provoke their children to wrath by injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse or abuse of authority. Nurture basically means “training,” here denoting spiritual education. 

Admonition is instruction that points out one’s responsibilities and duties. Of the Lord is in Greek a subjective genitive. This indicates that behind the parents’ rearing and instruction of their children stands the Lord as the chief teacher in child education. Parents do not raise children alone.’ 

So you see my people, the great demands placed on a father. It’s not an easy job, but with the Lord’s help we can accomplish it. I haven’t been the best father at times, and haven’t always led by example, but my children never wanted for the basic necessities of life, and I tried to instill in them LOVE for the Lord and a sense of responsibility. 

The problem though today, is that sense of responsibility is fading from the entire world, which includes fathers. Now I was raised by a single mother, who worked two jobs from the time I was old enough to know what was happening, so I know the trials and tribulations of those situations. However, although my father and I didn’t see eye to eye, he at least helped with some financial support.  

Many fathers today who can afford it don’t even do that small part of their duty, and the poor women have to take them to court for child support, and even then they don’t pay it.  But when the child or children happen to turn out good and successful, they are the first ones to talk and boast about ‘my children!’ 

Steups! When left to them alone, the children would be eating ‘wind pie and nothing chops.’ Friends, I’ve seen it happen too often, and it sickens me. 

Now here is a li’l something from Cousin Sol re the situation. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6)  

And the scholars give us some good info here. ’22:6. Train up a child refers to the total process of moulding a child’s life. The word ‘train’ (chanak) comes from the root word meaning to “put into the mouth” and implies the idea of conditioning the palate. Thus parental training should help children develop a taste for the things of God. The biblical pattern of effective parental training emphasizes a balance of instruction and discipline (cf. Eph.6:1-4). 

The ideal parent is to be neither overly authoritarian nor overly permissive. Rather, he must balance LOVE and discipline so as not to “provoke” his child to rebellion. When he is old means simply, “when he is grown up,” or a mature adult. It does not refer to his elderly years. The verse stresses the simple principle that education in the home forms the man throughout his lifetime.’  

And isn’t that the living truth my people! The home is where our formative years are spent, and there is where we learn the things that make us who we basically are. 

And we’ll close with these words from Psalm 78, where the psalmist Asaph is reminding Israel of God’s goodness. ‘For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 

That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.’ (Ps.78:5-7) 

Unfortunately fathers, we have not done that very well, consequently our children are not setting their hope in God, but rather in the things of the world, and are totally lost where the commandments are concerned. 

However, where there is life, there is always hope; hope in God. So today on this Sunday, the Lord’s Day, as well as Father’s Day, let’s try an improve the situation nuh, possibly by going to church with our children, that would be the ideal setting for the much needed godly turnaround. Much LOVE!

…fathers…provoke not your children to anger…lest they be discouraged… (Col.3:21)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 August 2012 Proverbs 22:2

Proverbs 22:2.      The rich and poor meet together (have this in common): the Lord is the maker of them all.
 
Oh Friends, I haven’t even begun writing and I’m already behind the eight ball on two counts: I’m starting late, (5.10 a.m) and then I don’t have any words of wisdom, or even any smart-aleck words to greet you all with today. (smile) So I’ll just have to resort to a tried and true intro. Let’s all stop for a moment, raise our heads, hearts, eyes and tightly clenched right fists heavenward, as we vocalize loud and true: ‘This is the day the Lord has made! Under ANY and ALL circumstances, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Oh Friends, I sure hope that brought a chuckle and/or smile to your physical being, and also lightened your overall attitude to life. Far too many of us take life too seriously and end up worried, anxious and stressed out, when there’s no real reason to be thus. Notice how Jesus was always calm and collected, even though He was being rudely and unfairly treated by His own Jewish people, and knew that the terrible rite of crucifixion awaited Him. Now we can never reach Jesus’ level of calm, but my brethren we can certainly aspire to a higher state than we’re currently experiencing. So regardless of our circumstances, we can all stay on an even keel, if we truly concentrate on the attributes of Jesus, which we all have planted in us, but need to nurture so that they will grow strong and true. For as our Bit reminds us: ‘The rich and poor meet together (have this in common): the Lord is the maker of them all.’ And that’s the living truth my people, though at times it certainly doesn’t seem so. We need to remember that before God, ALL are equal; rich, poor, talent, not talented, etc. etc. Later on in Proverbs, Cousin Sol puts it this way: ‘The poor and the deceitful man (the oppressor) meet together (have this in common): the Lord lighteneth both their eyes (gives light to the eyes of both).’ (Prov.29:13) That’s an indisputable fact, since the Lord is the Creator of all mankind! And in Job 25, when Bildad was questioning how man could be justified with God, he makes this undeniable statement: ‘Dominion and fear are with him: he maketh peace in his high places. Is there any number of his armies (can his armies be counted)? And upon whom doth not his light arise?’ (Job 25:2-3) And the answer to both questions my brethren is an unequivocal NO! Meanwhile, Jesus, in talking about having LOVE for our enemies, makes this definitive statement on our topic: ‘But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’ (Matt.5:44-45) And Friends, if Jesus says it’s so, then obviously it must be so! ALL the creatures of God’s universe have at least one thing in common; He made them ALL! Though they may look, walk, talk and think differently, they have ALL been sculpted HIS deft, agile and creative hands. As Job declares when he talks of his integrity and doing what he believed pleased God: ‘If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with (complained against) me; What then shall I do when God riseth up? And when he visiteth, (punishes), what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?’ (Job 31:13-15) That’s gospel truth my people! Try as we may, we can’t get away from the fact that God made us all, in His own image to boot! That means we’re ALL special, whether we’re rich or poor, strong or weak, righteous or unrighteous, and why He LOVES us so unconditionally. Now listen to Elihu, one of Job’s other buddies, as he declares: ‘Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked (worthless)? and to princes, Ye are ungodly (wicked)? How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes (Yet he is not partial to princes), nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? For they are all the work of his hands.’ (Job 34:18-19) So Friends, let’s stop putting ourselves down because we might not meet the world’s ungodly standards. Remember that however we are, that’s how God made us, and He had a good reason for doing so, though we might not see or think it. Yes Friends, there was method to God’s madness (smile) despite our oftimes negative opinions. Therefore, we can end today’s Bit, in the same spirit and manner in which we began. All together now, with eyes, hearts, heads and hands raised heavenward: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it, come what may!’ Now let’s go forth my brethren, rejoicing, giving thanks and praise for who we are, and more importantly, whose we are: Almighty God’s! Much LOVE!…God’s talents are so awesome…that He can make anything or anyone…for any purpose…His heart desires…