Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2009 1 Corinthians 6:19‏

1 Corinthians 6:19    What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
 
Ah my Friends, another beautiful spring day is in the offing! The birds will soon begin their Hallelujah Chorus outside my bedroom window, giving our Creator thanks and praise for allowing them to see another day and experience His many blessings. And so should we. We have an even greater duty to praise His Holy Name, cause He lives in, guides and directs us. I like how Bruh Paul puts it; an expression of surprise, possibly disappointment too, at the Corinthians lack of such important information. ‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God…’ Now that’s one of the first things a believer must know and understand. God has His temple in the physical church building, the crowd of believers, collectively known as the Church, and also in each individual believer. His presence is in all three places. The first thing that happens when we become believers is that the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Ghost comes to dwell in us, to aid us in living our new lives for Jesus. So the logic is simple: If the Holy Spirit doesn’t dwell in you, then you can’t be a true believer. However, when that glowing Spirit is alive and awash in your soul, then you’ve become an ambassador for the Lord. Your thoughts, words, deeds and actions are no longer yours to do as you please, but must then be coloured by the Word and the actions of Jesus. Just like a political ambassador from one country goes to another to look after it’s people and interests there, we’re likewise expected to take care of God’s business here on earth. It’s so important to clarify this my Friends that I’m going straight to the fountainhead. Listen to Jesus as He explains the situation to His disciples. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth in you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) There my people, Jesus promised His disciples and whoever LOVED Him and kept His commandments, to come and dwell in them, after His ascension, through the Holy Spirit. Then He further explains: ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ (John 14:26) So there we have it my Friends; right from Jesus’ mouth. That means, once the Spirit dwells in us, we no longer belong to ourselves, ‘and ye are not your own.’ We then belong to God. ‘For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods.’ (1 Cor.6:20) Yes my brethren, Christ bought us with His innocent blood when He died on the cross to cleanse our sinful souls. So it’s profoundly important we realize, that from the moment we claim to be born again, through the Holy Spirit of Jesus, then we no longer act on our own behalf, but as Christ’s eyes, ears and mouth on earth. That’s why we have to keep our bodies and souls as pure and clean as possible. We can’t defile the individual temple of God, else the whole collective, termed the Church will be tainted, since it’s individuals who make up the collective temple. Consequently, we have to be careful of what we do, think and say, because all eyes are focused constantly on us, to see if we’re walking our talk, just waiting for an opportunity to deride our faith and therefore our God: An unthinkable thought! So it’s no surprise when Bruh Paul asks in 2 Corinthians; ‘And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ (2 Cor.16:6) And all God’s people sang a glorious ‘Amen!’ Oh my people, I know it’s not an easy life that we have chosen as a believers in Christ, but it sure is a worthwhile one. And though we may not get the rewards here on earth for trying to walk in righteousness like Christ, we will surely receive them when our Saviour comes again. So let’s forget earth’s baubles, and try to store up the real treasure in heaven nuh. Till next time: Much LOVE!…as He is Holy…let us try also to be Holy…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 April 2009 Psalm 65:9‏

Psalm 65:9    Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.
 
Welcome my Friends to another day of God’s tender mercies and numerous blessings! It’s springtime! That joyous period when life as it were, returns to the northern climes, and today I want us to celebrate the Lord’s awesome power in nature; the beautiful sights and sounds He’s graced us with, and also the bountiful provision which flows from His generous blessing upon the land. Bruh David says it so well: ‘Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it.’  Oh Friends, it’s like the Promised Land that Moses described to the Israelites; God pays attention to it like a good husbandman: ‘it is a land of hills and valley, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it; from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.’ (Deut.11:11-12) We are indeed blessed with the beauty and richness of our land, for ‘thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water:’ Yes my people, that’s why we should ‘sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:’ For it is He ‘who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.’ (Ps.147:7-8) Sadly, many of us just take Mother Nature for granted, but the green grass, the beautiful flowers and the birds singing songs of LOVE in the leafy branches of the tall trees don’t just happen by chance, they’re provided for us by a LOVING God, for our visual and aural pleasure. The food that grows from the seeds we plant is another miracle of nature for which we should be extremely thankful. How else can you classify a dry, dead-looking seed being put deep into the dark, clogged earth and sometime later blossoming into a wholesome plant that gives us sustenance for our bodies and beauty for our eyes. It has to be a miracle! But how much of it do we really appreciate eh? Back in the days of the agrarian society, the people depended on the land for everything. But today, with our modern technology and all the other confusion, the land is hardly appreciated. Note how much farmland is constantly being taken out of production to erect ‘concrete jungles.’ There’s a certain road in my area that I drive down every so often, and every time I just shake my head in disappointment, cause I see another housing development being built. Just two years ago I could drive down this road and see big swatches of beautiful undulating, grassy farmland dotted with tall trees. Today, there isn’t an ounce of farmland left. It’s all covered in concrete. They call it progress. But what happens when all the land is used up for concrete structures? As we already know, this new generation has no inclination to farm. It’s hard, backbreaking work even with the modern machinery, which is quite expensive, and then the returns seldom make it feasible. The farmers don’t get a lot for their produce, but the price of food in the grocery stores is astronomical, and going up more every day. So who’s making the money? The big combines are now doing most of the agriculture. The small man is being forced out, either subtly by the big boys, or through poor small-scale economics. So what’s the answer Friends? All over the world people are moving from the land to the cities. Less food is being produced in the rural areas, but more is needed in the big centres. We’re building ourselves a dilemma, where everybody wants abundant fresh food, but few are willing to put out the necessary labour or money. Then when the big combines make drastic changes to the genetic structure of the crops, we complain about the quality and the evils of genetic engineering. It’s the same with all our food today; it’s all scientifically enhanced to either grow bigger or last longer. Just look at the ingredients on any food label, it’ll make you cringe. You’ve never heard about most of the stuff added to it. And what passes for organic, the new term for fresh, non-invasive food, is either too expensive or still suspect. Ah my Friends, whatever happened to those good ole days when the land was looked upon as our very lifeblood, the source from which all our needs flowed and were met? When the people could say of their God; ‘thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provideth for it.’ It seems that we’ve stopped looking to God to provide us with suitable food, just like we’ve stopped looking to Him for many other things, then we wonder why our lives are such a mess. It’s simple; today we look to too many man made solutions, which are actually doing us more harm than good. Just check out the smog in the air we breathe, the pesticides and the acid rain in the earth, the chemical pollutants we still pour into our rivers and lakes, that fish no longer can survive there, not forgetting the steroids and whatever else we use to enhance the growth rate or meat of our animals. No wonder diseases like cancer are flourishing, since the human body wasn’t made to handle the amount of carcinogens we ingest today. Oh my people, I know we can’t go back to the days when everybody lived off the land. But the road we’re on is fraught with much danger, since proper testing is not done before these products are rushed to market. All we can do is pay closer attention to what we eat, try to find food that’s not too genetically engineered or have too many additives. And, as with everything else we do, ask for help and guidance in from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!…enjoy the beauty of nature…stop and smell the flowers…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2009 James 4:6‏

James 4:6    But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
 
Oh my Friends, I don’t know why, but it seems the Lord wants us to consider pride and humility again today, for after much searching and checking, this is where I was eventually led. Yesterday we looked at Augur’s words about foolishly exalting ourselves and devising evil within our hearts, also the appropriate way to counter that negative action, which is first to stop doing it. Now today, in Chap.4, talking about worldliness and pride, James condemns our inherently sinful nature that creates strife amongst us, which stems from our unsatisfied, selfish desires. ‘From whence comes wars and fightings amongst you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members.’  (James 4:1) He then questions that ‘the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do you think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?’ (vs.4-5) That’s all the living truth my Friends, for the ways of the world are directly opposed to those of God, and all who bow to the world are indeed enemies of the Most High. It’s also true that our spirit naturally leans to envy and jealousy. ‘And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.’ (Gen.6:5) Oh my Friends, that grieved God so much that He decided to destroy everything He’d so proudly made. What a waste eh! We all know that feeling of deep disappointment in creating, whether it be children, animals or inanimate objects with high hopes for their activity and actions that sadly never pan out. That’s how our Creator felt way back then. But luckily, ‘Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.’ (Gen.6:8)And we all know about the Ark and the flood and the severe destruction the Lord wrought. Unfortunately though, in our second incarnation, mankind became even more wicked and sinful. That’s why James could make those statements about out lustful nature. But God always has our best interest at heart. When one door closes, another opens. And so, though we are vain, prideful, envious, jealous, spiteful and ‘gravalicious,’ the Lord in His merciful wisdom has provided a way out for us. ‘But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ That refers to Sol’s wisdom: ‘Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.’ (Prov. 3:34) Yes my people, the Lord dislikes the proud, the arrogant and the know it all, because they believe they have no need for Him. But how foolish is it to think that we have no need for our Creator, when He’s still the One who provides for and looks after us? I’d say very foolish. However, our God is always willing, in fact, overjoyed and ecstatic when we reject the world and turn to Him. And James gives us the prescription for accomplishing that wise and most worthwhile venture. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’ (vs.9) It’s true. I’ve noticed it, and I’m sure many of you have too. The more you say no to the enemy, the less he harasses you. It doesn’t mean he’ll go away and not bother you, but when he realizes he’s not making any headway with you, he backs off, and instead of constant bombardment, chooses his situations more carefully, puts on his sly, fox like veil. So ‘Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.’ (vs.8) Another statement of fact my brethren. When the Lord sees your desire to get close to Him… Oh my people, His heart just bubbles with joy and he rushes out to meet you! (See 2 Chron.15:2) But first we need to ‘Cleanse your hands, ye sinners.’ (vs.8) Isaiah says: ‘Wash you and make you clean: put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil.’ (Isa.1:16) Then, ‘purify your hearts ye doubleminded.’ (vs.8) Peter puts it thus: ‘Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned LOVE of the brethren, see that ye LOVE one another with a pure heart.’ (1 Pet.1:22) The important word there my Friends, is ‘unfeigned,’ meaning real and true, not false and hypocritical. ‘Be afflicted and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning; and your joy to heaviness.’ (vs.9) When times are sad; lament, weep, grieve, cry. It’s a normal response to misfortune, for tears and sadness cleanse the soul. Jesus said in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.’ (Mat.5:4) And finally my people; ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (vs.10) Oh Friends, that’s gospel! And it doesn’t mean grovelling or being a ‘poor me one,’ but not constantly blowing your own horn, especially if you can’t blow properly; generally having a down to earth attitude and preferring others to yourself; walking like Jesus did, who though He was God, didn’t give Himself a setta airs and graces. If we deserve to be exalted, then the Lord will do it in His time. Job says; ‘When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.’ (Job 22:29) My Friends, the saying pride goes before a fall is so true, and sometimes it takes that fall to smarten us up. The smart ones will learn from it, but the smarter ones will learn from seeing it happen to others. Please, let’s be numbered amongst the smarter ones. Much LOVE!…oh, how have the mighty fallen…mostly through foolish pride…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2009 Proverbs 30:32‏

Proverbs 30:32    If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.  (The Words of Augur)
 
Ah my Friends, the Good Lord has blessed us with another bright, sun-shiny day, full of new mercies and forgiveness that we should gladly take hold of, for they are meant to improve our lives and raise our level of Christian awareness and maturity. Augur’s wise words will also help us do that. The scholars don’t know anything about Augur, and assume he was an international sage in Solomon’s time. His words though, certainly contain wisdom that’s very applicable to our times. ‘If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself…’ That’s the first challenge my Friends. Have we foolishly exalted ourselves? Our modern day society encourages and thrives on the egocentric. The enemy falsely leads us to worship at the altar of the ego; of self-aggrandizement; of boosting ourselves above our true capabilities, so that we can look good to others. We’re encouraged to prevaricate, and even outright lie about out accomplishments, re education, etc. Just read any resume, and you’ll understand; everybody’s an expert, has the world of experience. And with the advent of ‘computer-everything,’ fake Degrees and Diplomas can now be bought fairly cheaply. Some even look better than the real thing. I was certainly disappointed with the real one my young daughter recently got from U of T. It looked so cheap, even the paper seemed rather thin, nothing as solid and uplifting as the one I got from that venerable West Indian Institution, U.W.I. some thirty odd years ago. At least that had a regal, official look to it. Sorry mih D, but that U.of T one didn’t thrill me at all. Even cross dressers nowadays look better than the real thing, and you have to be oh so careful about whom you pick up, for what you see is not always what you get. (smile) Sadly, being real, being true to ourselves doesn’t cut it anymore in this super hyped world. Look at the ads that constantly bombard us. If everything was as wonderful and worked the way they say, we’d never need new stuff. Hn, hn! Talking about that, most of us know the ad about the Maytag repair-man, bored with nothing to do because the products never break down. Well, wonder of wonders! Today a Maytag technician is going to come and check out my fridge, because some aspect of the machinery is liable to start fires, and there’s been a wide recall. So much for that image of superiority. But please my people, please remember that sin of pride, especially when laced with falsehood, which our God intensely dislikes, but gives us plenty room to hang ourselves. And if we don’t smarten up within that time, then he kicks the chair out from under us; much to our chagrin. Please take note of all the things and people pretending to be what they’re not and their eventual fall from grace. We have so many glaring examples in our current economic dilemma. The fact that things were not what they appeared to be is what caused it in the first place. We should be intent on exalting the Most High God Jehovah and not ourselves. Any personal exaltation will come through His workings. Turning to the other part of Augur’s statement; ‘or if thou hast thought evil…’ Now that’s just compounding the problem my brethren. Have we devised wicked plans; thought or considered evil in our hearts; stuff that doesn’t jive with God’s Word? If so, we’re just leaving ourselves open to severe recrimination, both from God and those we’ve devised evil against. For the sowing of one thing only reaps the same thing. You can’t plant peas and expect to reap corn. So if we’re sowing the seeds of evil, then that’s what we’ll get back. And I’m sure we don’t want to be beset by evil. Finally, the last part of the Bit; ‘lay thine hand upon thy mouth.’ What wonderful advice my Friends! If you’ve been foolish enough to exalt yourself and get involved in evil, then just shut up now. Be silent. Don’t take it any further. As Job told his friends; ‘Mark me and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth.’ (Job 21:5) As he also said when the Lord called him to account and humbled him: ‘Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.’ (Job 40:4) And there are many instances of those words, or words that convey that meaning through out the Good Book. What Augur is advising my brethren is if in our sinful, foolish human nature we’ve done or thought wrong, then we should just shut up and keep quiet now, because trying to force the issue will only cause strife. Or as he puts it: ‘ Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.’ (Prov. 30:33) Those are true words my Friends, and strife is definitely something we don’t want to cause, since it just opens up a whole new can of angry, divisive worms that eventually lead to destruction. As followers of Jesus, we’re entrusted with building, not destroying, so let’s concentrate on that nuh. How? By studying the Word and focusing on Jesus and all the good things He stands for. Much LOVE!…look ahead to Jesus…not back towards the enemy…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2009 Psalm 26:1‏

Psalm 26:1    Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.
 
Greetings my Friends and fellow believers! May the Good Lord look down upon us all with mercy, LOVING kindness and forgiveness, and at the sound of the last trumpet, bring us to salvation and eternal life with Him and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  And all God’s people sang, ‘Hallelujah! Amen!’ (smile) Ah my Friends, it’s so good to be alive, to enjoy the rich fruits of friendship and fellowship, but as Job said, this is a balanced world, and you have to learn to take the good with the bad, for the Lord both gives and takes. It seems that Bruh David was wrongly accused, so he’s rightfully crying out to the Most High for vindication. ‘Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in mine integrity.’ Oh Friends, all of us have at some time been falsely accused, and we know how it hurts when nobody believes us, so we can appreciate Bruh David’s predicament. It’s also reminiscent of King Hezekiah’s situation when he was sick and Isaiah came to inform him: ‘Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die. and not live.’ A distraught Hezekiah then ‘turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord saying, I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is perfect in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.’ (2 Kings 20:1-3) Oh people, it’s bad enough when we’re falsely accused, and nobody believes our innocence, but it hurts even more when our heart was right, and like Hezekiah and Bruh David, we’d walked in our integrity. That’s the part that hurts most; when we weren’t even contemplating doing wrong. But please my brethren, note what both men, men of great faith did; in the time of their injustice they appealed to the Lord. They didn’t take matters into their own hands and seek vengeance against their detractors, but put their cases before the Most Mighty and Merciful Judge Himself. And sadly, it seems like Bruh David was always surrounded by enemies. So this was not the first or the last time he called on the Lord for vindication. ‘The Lord shall judge the people: judge me O Lord, according to thy righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.’  (Ps.7:8) And note too, despite the injustice, he faithfully reaffirmed; ‘I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.’ Oh my Friends, even in sorrow, he declared his trust in the Lord and his intention not to backslide. And it was not a matter of pride, but the sincere denial of an innocent man crying out for justice. He was also not afraid to take his case to God, since he believed in his own innocence and God’s justice. ‘But I have trusted in thy mercy, my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’ (Ps.13:5-6) Now having said all of that my people, the million dollar question is can we truthfully make those claims like Hezekiah and Bruh David? Can we cry out for judgement and honestly claim that we have been steadfast, upright and faithful? As true believers, we should be able to stand before the Lord and boldly declare; ‘Examine me, O Lord, and prove me, try my reins and my heart. For thy LOVING kindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.’ (Ps.26:2-3) Oh my brethren, that’s not an easy claim to stake, especially in these very troubled times, but it’s one we should all aspire to. And a word of warning; don’t make that declaration unless you’re absolutely sure of it, for you know the Lord hears our words, but He listens to the truth of our hearts. That’s why I’m continually imploring us to cultivate a right heart; one filled with genuine LOVE and compassion, forgiveness and mercy on our human level. Remember Jesus said the heavenly Father will only show us as much of those things as we show others. And so Friends, though the ole fella might have rambled some, which anyway is a privilege of age, (smile) the message I want to drive home to us, is that we all endeavour to live right, walk in integrity, trust in the Lord, and when we’re wronged, cry out to Him for justice, don’t take it in our hands, because He’s stated that vengeance is His. He will repay any injustice done to us. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes either, because if we make none, it means we’re doing nothing, and our God, who created us, knows that we’re not perfect, but once our hearts and minds are constantly tuned to His wavelength in truth and righteousness, then He is merciful enough to forgive. As Sol wisely declared: ‘The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.’ (Prov.20:7) So my Friends, let’s do it nuh, if not for ourselves, then surely for our children. Much LOVE!  …trust and faith are built on…a right heart, a right spirit, and a right mind…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2009 Ecclesiastes 12:9‏

Ecclesiastes 12:9    And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out and set in order many proverbs.
 
Yes my Friends, Sol was indeed wise, and did a marvellous job of compiling those pearls of wisdom in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and penning such beautiful poetry in Song of Solomon. The Book of Kings says; ‘He spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.’ (1Kings 4:32, 34) Sol was certainly a prolific writer, but he had more time and opportunity than most. And though in his wide search for the true meaning of life, he finally concludes; ‘Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity;’ because of his unique wisdom, he still taught the people knowledge, came up with worthwhile ideas and sayings, very useful for everyday living. He did a lot of thinking and pondering, arranging the proverbs and ideas in an orderly fashion that had never been done before. He put together a cohesive body of work outlining the duty of man, which has since become invaluable to all mankind, not only believers, for it’s hard to argue against most of his pronouncements, cause they’re simply everyday logic on everyday life. He taught what was upright and true, despite the note of cynicism and pessimism that ran through his writings. ‘The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.’ (Eccl.12:10)  To him it was a very serious undertaking, not to be taken lightly; ‘For the words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given by one shepherd.’ (vs.11) Say ‘Amen!’ to that my people, for the preacher just made the most definitive statement there; that all the words of wisdom contained therein, is like a collection that came from one source, one shepherd; our God. He is the origin of all the wise teachings. ‘And further, by these my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.’ (vs.12) Most of us would agree with that. ‘For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.’ (Eccl.1:18) Now don’t go using that as an excuse not to study. (smile) In other words, God hasn’t given us the answer(s) to every problem of life, and we can keep on searching and writing but we’ll never answer it all, just get tired and weary. However, there is a divine purpose to everything. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (vs.13-14) Hn,hn! Sol must have written this at a young age, before he began cavorting with all those pagan women and worshipping their gods. But my Friends, that’s all we’re asked to do; reverence God and obey His dictates. And yuh know people, it’s now been scientifically proven by a neuro-scientist, Andrew Newberg, at the U. of Penn that those who believe in God, those who meditate, delve into the spiritual realm, regardless of their belief system, their brains are changed in a strong, fundamental manner. Here’s an excerpt from an interview in the T.O. Star. ‘When you look at God in a positive way, it turns on the part of the brain, (the frontal lobe) that makes us feel more compassionate, more LOVING, more forgiving to ourselves and others. People with these positive feelings about God, have lower levels of depression and anxiety.’ On the other hand, ‘People who think of God as vengeful, exclusive, angry at people who don’t believe the way they do, that activates part of the brain involved in those negative emotions. It turns up the heart rate. You’re ready for anger, you’re ready for a fight. It turns on a whole stress cascade that actually damages the brain, makes it work less efficiently.’ Now I don’t want to make it sound like only belief in God has a positive effect on the brain. ‘Ultimately, it’s faith in a positive outcome. When people have an optimistic, positive look on the world, it’s one of the best ways to maintain a healthy brain and body.’ Amen! Science is finally catching up, but God’s people knew that thousands of years ago. And now that it’s also been scientifically proven, I hope many more people are going to turn to a spiritual consciousness, preferably involving the Most High God Jehovah. In light of all that Friends, please, let’s keep looking on the bright side. Life might not be the greatest at the moment, but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is still firmly ensconced on His heavenly throne and thus in control, which means there is hope for a better tomorrow. Let’s believe that with all our hearts, minds and souls. Much LOVE!…for a healthy body and mind…ignore the enemy…focus on God…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2009 Malachi 2:10‏

Malachi 2:10    Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
 
Ah my Friends, those are certainly interesting questions. Note though, that this passage of Malachi referred to God’s unique relationship with Israel at the time. However, with the coming of Jesus, that relationship was also extended to the Gentiles, and I’m using it as God being the universal Father. The sad part is that we don’t even have to make the Lord universal to ask those questions; we can just talk about offspring from the very same womb, brothers and sisters of the same parents, who deal so deceitfully with each other, like they were total strangers and/ or enemies. Many a day I’ve thanked the Lord for making me an only child, after seeing the way siblings abuse and ill-treat one another. And for many, there isn’t even the lame excuse that they grew up poor and unloved. Most times the contention between them is pure jealously and selfishness. I’ve seen siblings inform the Immigration Dept. of other siblings being in the country illegally, over petty nonsense. And if ill-treating our siblings isn’t bad enough, take a look at how some of us, so called believers, treat our elderly parents. Some just deposit them in the nursing homes, happy to be rid of the burden of caring for the elderly, and never even go back to visit them. Others just leave them to get along as best they can in the run down, two by four apartments. And it’s not like the parents treated them terribly or anything like that, but our society has become so busy, so taken up with the challenges of earning a living, of getting ahead, so concerned about the material things, that we’ve forgotten, ignored, or become immune to the things of the heart that really matter, like sibling and parental relationships. We’ve become a cold, hard hearted, selfish, jealous, petty society, only concerned with me and I. But if you ask us, we’d all claim to be good, solid Christian citizens. Hn! Ah Friends, everyday I ask the Lord not to let me ill-treat my ole mother, for judging by some of the horror stories I’ve heard about other parents, she’s the best ever. And though I talk to her and read prayers for her every day, I still feel guilty because I don’t visit her enough. However, she still thinks that I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread. (smile) And who knows, she might just be right; now no rude comments from the penny section.  But seriously my people, ‘Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?’ Bruh Paul declared it. ‘But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.’ (1 Cor.8:6) And Job rightly asks? ‘Did not he that made me in the womb, make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?’ (Job 31:15) Yes my Friends, one Creator, created us all, in the same basic form and fashion; gestating in our mother’s wombs for a certain period before we see the light of day, and our only differences are cosmetic, the basic outward appearances, which, with modern technology, we can change to anything. Otherwise, we are all exactly alike; made of the same flesh, blood, bones and dust, to which we shall all return. So why then all this animosity, strife, anger, hatred, resentment etc, amongst siblings, amongst parents, siblings and parents, leaders and people of all sizes of groups and cities, between cities in the same nations, between nations, between religions, within religions…? In fact, why is there such great negative emotion in our entire world? And this current economic crisis is just making it worse. But still, why is there such a dearth of positivity eh? I can only conclude it’s because we all lack the true Christian feeling and fellowship that Jesus displayed. Friends, it’s the only thing that will ever bring some semblance of peace and stability to our tumultuous world. All the religions supposedly preach Peace and LOVE, but we don’t even carry that out within separate religions, for each one has different offshoots that don’t see eye to eye. This obviously limits even the working together of the whole palate of religions. Then my brethren, Christianity is the only one that teaches LOVE for neighbours as well as enemies. It’s the only one that calls its followers to LOVE unconditionally, unselfishly, to treat everyone with respect, regardless of colour, creed or race. That ‘s what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ taught, and expects us to continue teaching and spreading, cause it’s the only way we’ll ever have any hope of lasting peace and prosperity in this world. Until us hardy band of Christians not only preach, spread, and LIVE the gospel of Peace, LOVE and True Brotherhood throughout the entire world, the negative emotions and elements will remain dominant. So my people, if Christianity is the only belief system that teaches true Peace and LOVE to all, then it’s our serious and divine responsibility to teach and LIVE it to the very best of our ability, cause Jesus is depending on us to bring a much greater sense of true brotherhood to our troubled world. And remember, in the immortal words of Bruh Paul, there is only, ‘One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.’ (Eph.4:5-6) Much LOVE!…the only way to lasting peace…is through Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2009 Psalm 20:7‏

Psalm 20:7    Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
 
And isn’t that the awesome truth my Friends? We staunch and faithful band of believers shall always remember the name of our God and put our sincere and whole hearted trust in Him, not in animals and man made things. Oh praise and glorify His Holy Name! Yes mih brethren, today we have Bruh David singing and plucking away on his harp strings, as he lays down this psalm of intercession by the people, on behalf of the king, before he ventures forth into battle. The mood is soft and mellow as the scene is set: ‘The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion. Remember all thy offerings and accept thy burnt offering. Selah!’ (vs.1-3) Then the tempo slowly picks up my people: ‘Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfill all thy counsel.’ (vs.4) Now getting louder and quicker: ‘We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: The Lord fulfill all thy petitions.’ (vs.5) And hear comes the great crescendo Friends: cymbals crashing, horns blaring, the drummer man going crazy on his skins, the harps and viols just dancing sweetly in between. Now sing heartily my brethren; lustily, with power and conviction, show you really believe and mean it: ‘Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.’ (vs.6-9) Glory Hallelujah! Amen!’ Oh my people, wasn’t that heart rending and earth shattering. That’s the way we ought always to worship our God; with strength, and power, thanksgiving and true gratitude, all bundled up in an enormous LOVE, for we don’t deserve all He’s done for us, and can never repay it. And He doesn’t want repayment Friends; just our LOVE and obedience; that we spread His Word, worship, praise, glorify and give Him thanks. That’s such an insignificant thing compared to His overwhelming generosity, guidance and protection. We know better than to trust in chariots and horses cause long ago the Lord directed Moses thus: ‘When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.’ (Deut.20:1) And He did it with such awesome majesty and timing, for as He says, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but my Spirit,’ (Zech.4:6) That exodus was so amazing and awe inspiring that no army should put fear into our hearts once our God is in our corner. And just before the battle is drawn, the priest shall say to the people: ‘Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts be faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ (Deut. 20:3-4) Oh my Friends, that is an everyday occurrence! We’re in a constant battle with the enemy; the prince of darkness and his stooges, every day of our lives. But like the Good Book says, we should not be afraid or terrified of them, for the Lord has promised to stand and fight with and for us. And yuh know, once He’s on our side, nothing, or no one, can defeat us. That’s an incontestable fact we need to carve into our hearts, minds and souls, so that the enemy doesn’t infiltrate our spirit with his evil lies and innuendo. But before I get more excited and enthused and go off track, (smile) let’s hear a few passages dealing with the trust in horses, chariots and human strength, starting with Bruh David. ‘There is no king saved by a multitude of a host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.’  (Ps.33:16-17) That’s obvious my people! Now hear Sol: ‘The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.’ (Prov.21:31) And all God’s people said, ‘Hallelujah!’ And Isaiah staunchly declares that God, not Egypt, will defend Judah. ‘Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord.’ (Isa.31:1) Oh my Friends, how can I not LOVE the Lord eh, when He looks after me so well? And tonight, He was really in my corner yes, for after spending too much time playing my favourite game on the computer, be quiet children, the ole fella is entitled to some leisure and pleasure, I came to do the Bit, not having a clue, but in His LOVING kindness and mercy, He soon guided me to Bruh David’s words and enlivened my heart and spirit so that we could sing that joyful song of thanks and praise. Oh my people, our God is for us, that means no one can be against us, so please, let’s surrender our all to Him nuh, and let Him lead and guide us in His wisdom and grace. Till next time, Much LOVE!…oh what joy we gain…when in sweet surrender…we come to Him… 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2009 Acts 11:26‏

Acts 11:26    …And the Disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
 
Oh my wonderful Friends, greetings and salutations ladened with blessings of peace and prosperity from the Most High God Jehovah, our Creator and Provider! You can see the ole fella’s enthused tonight. As they say, you can’t keep a good man down. But my enthusiasm is partly due to my recent reading of a novel that provided a rather apt analogy of the ideal characteristics of a mature Christian. The book’s name is ‘The Persimmon Tree,’ by one of my favourite authors, Bryce Courtenay. Some of his better known titles are ‘Tandia,’ ‘The Power of One,’ and the truly incredible Australian Trilogy of ‘The Potato Factory,’ ‘Tommo & Hawk,’ and ‘Solomon’s Song.’ Oh Friends, that’s just an amazing, exciting, adventurous series, as are all of his books. But out of all that I’ve read, ‘Tandia’ is still # 1. Yes, ‘The Power of One’ is good, but it doesn’t come close mih young D. (smile) Anyway, ‘The Persimmon Tree is set in the Pacific area during World War II. This particular part takes place in Indonesia when the Japanese captured the islands. A Japanese Colonel takes a liking to a beautiful 17 year old young lady of Dutch and Indonesian descent. He sets out to teach her the Japanese language and culture. Listen to this: ‘Konoe Akira picked up a chopstick and balanced it in his hand. "In the heartwood of the sacred persimmon tree is ebony, the hardest, most beautiful of all woods. It is created by nature and will last longer than the katana, the layered and folded steel of the everlasting samurai sword." Aye my people! Doesn’t that sound like what we were meant to be? Tough, beautiful and created by God, not man, to last longer than man-made steel. "To the Japanese this is the symbol of life, a heartwood that will outlast everything man can make, a core within that, come what may, cannot be broken and represents our inner strength and divine spirit." Yes my Friends, that’s what a true Christian needs; a solid core, spirit, heart, or whatever within us, that represents our many divine gifts and blessings that will never be broken by anything man makes. I got all excited when I first read that, knowing it was a good parallel for our faith. But the best is yet to come. I’ll just quote the appropriate parts, cause my explanation won’t do it justice. The couple is walking in a garden on their last night together. ‘Konoe Akira stopped and pointed to a slender sapling, no more than a metre high. "This is a persimmon tree, now three years old. With luck it will live to be one hundred years. I have planted one of these wherever I have found myself. I was a small child when instructed to do so by my esteemed and venerable grandmother. "The heartwood," Anna said remembering the chopsticks and the Colonel’s description of the persimmon tree at the time…. "Your metaphor of orchestral performers and those who play jazz music was a worthy one. For me, the persimmon tree is just such a metaphor for life. It has many metaphors. The outside wood, which is very beautiful, has several characteristics. It is strong, but has the capacity to absorb shock and if it strikes a hard surface it will not splinter. This is the metaphor of resilience. Then, when its trunk is light and smooth it is young, but when it grows older it is veined with purple. This is the metaphor of youth growing into maturity with calm and dignity. In the summer, its leaves are arched and overlap to provide shade for others: animals, birds and humans who labour in the field. This is the metaphor of caring about all creatures and helping others. In the autumn, the leaves drop and the fruit ripens; they are fiery red balls the size of my fist and hang like glorious lanterns from the tree. This is the metaphor of passing on the sweet fruit of life, its joy and tenderness because, before it is eaten, the fruit must be soft beyond a softness that any other fruit can endure without corruption… I have already spoken of the metaphor of the centre, of the heartwood, more resilient than steel, the core that cannot be defeated. These are the metaphors: the core, beyond strength of will; the resilience of the outer wood that will not splinter but always keeps to its resolve; the leaves that, in providing shelter, consider the convenience of others beside themselves; finally, the ripened fulfillment, when the autumn of life comes and with it the soft fruitfulness of wisdom and LOVE to be passed on." He reached into the pocket of his military tunic and withdrew a tiny envelope. "In here are eighty seeds of the persimmon tree Second Vase. Plant one seed every year of your life. May you live to plant the last seed when you reach one hundred. In all things, may your heart be soft and sweet and generous as the fruit of the sacred persimmon tree, your body as resilient as the outer wood, and your mind as strong as the heartwood." He turned and bowed.’ Oh Friends, I don’t think we can ever give a fellow human a better blessing or words of advice. It’s an ideal to which we should all try to attain. And yuh know those first followers of Christ, at Antioch and elsewhere had all those attributes. They had to, else they would not have survived all the hardships they suffered. Note too, the name Christian was at first a derogatory term, denoting the people of Christ. The people of Antioch, where Paul and Barnabas spent a year teaching, continually hearing them talk of Christ, suitably named them Christians. But, per the scholars, the Jews would never label them thus, since it would be like saying that they were the people of the Messiah. But we are! And it’s interesting to note that the term ‘Christian’ only occurs two other times in the Good Book; Acts 26: 28, and 1 Peter 4:16. Oh my people, let’s remember the numerous trials and tribulations, the first Christians suffered, the many sacrifices they made so that the Gospel of Christ could be preached, preserved and propagated. Now it’s our turn to do likewise. The Word itself is like the persimmon tree; sturdy and true, and we should try to emulate them both. Remember all those esteemed and venerable grandmothers who tried to show us the right way, and let’s do them proud, by living righteous lives and spreading the Word. Much LOVE!…a true Christian is…soft, sweet, generous, resilient and strong…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2009 Psalm 119:116‏

Psalm 119:116    Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.
 
Oh my Friends, the ole fella’s shaking it a bit rough today; tired, both in body and mind, but more so a somewhat fallen spirit, because something I’ve long hoped for, doesn’t seem any closer to fruition than when the hope was born. But our God is a mighty good God! Let there be no doubt of that, for I can truthfully testify to it. Today was one of those days when I didn’t know what to write about, so as usual I asked Him for some guidance, and like He always does, He led me to something. And I tried every which way to fathom what the Lord wanted me to say, but believe me Friends, my brain and spirit just could not, or would not wrap around it. Finally, I had to say, Lord, yuh know the ole fella’s state right now not conducive to writing on that topic. I need something different. And being the understanding God and Father that He is, He led me to Bruh David’s words on Hope. Ah my people, our God is so amazing, amusing and works in such mysterious ways! I doubt that was just chance or coincidence. My reasoning is He saw my low spirits, the drop in my level of hope on that particular subject and figured it would be good therapy for me to write about it. For my sake I certainly hope so. And since the Lord knows how much I admire Bruh David, he’s my favourite biblical character, besides Jesus of course, it’s a logical assumption that I would find more encouragement, inspiration and hope from his words than any other mortal in the Good Book. Hn, hn, hn! I have to chuckle yes mih brethren because people claim the Lord doesn’t know what He’s doing. Well tell them I say deh wrong yes! Because, after writing those last few lines in a sad frame of mind, I just received a sudden jolt, an immediate boost to my spiritual level. Just thinking about how Bruh David encouraged himself in the Lord when times were rough, and how he fought through so much adversity, never forgetting that his bread was buttered by the God of his forefathers and no one else, my brain and spirit once more became loose and functional. I wasn’t reaching, or fighting for words again. My pen is no longer sluggish and dragging, but is now flowing quickly, like a racing, babbling brook. Now don’t take that literally. (smile) But my people, it just goes to show the ups and downs, the quirkiness of life. About an hour ago I was feeling fine, bright and bubbly, not overwhelmed by my tiredness, getting ready to write the Bit. Then, for whatever reason, I picked up this document, read it, and immediately my mind began working some negative overtime and my spirits sank. That means we have to be oh so careful when dealing with the eccentricities of life, otherwise they’re liable to drive us loco. And the sad fact is I know that what I’m hoping for will eventually come to pass, but it’s just the waiting, what I consider an overlong passage of time. But as Bruh Paul says, if you can see it and believe it, then with patience you’ll wait for it. Anyway my Friends, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being down in the dumps every so often. It’s all a part of the crazy life we live. However, it does become problematic when we get down there too often, or stay down too long. Like Bruh David, we’ve got to go to the Lord asap and plead; ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.’ Oh my Friends, it’s the only sure way to rejuvenate your crestfallen spirit quickly, without getting whatever caused it to fall. For as I keep saying, contrary to what many think, the Lord does hear our sincere cries for help, and even if we don’t notice an immediate improvement in our situation, He is always there looking out for, and over us, keeping His solemn promise never to leave or forsake us. Remember yesterday we talked about God never letting those who sincerely trust and obey Him be ashamed of anything? That’s the gospel truth! We might never reach the lofty heights of fame, faith and power that believers like our three Bruhs, Joseph, David and Pablo reached, but never forget my Friends, that the foot soldiers in any movement are very important too, cause they are the ones who do the dirty work, fighting in the trenches etc. We might not create policy, but it’s us foot soldiers who carry it out. Without us, no policy would ever get implemented. So as usual, though it’s difficult, have faith, trust, obey, stand strong, and encourage yourself if there’s no one around to do it, cause in the long run we are all accountable for our own actions. In the meanwhile, we can use Bruh David’s words and plead to the Father; ‘Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.’  (Ps.119:117) But be careful, if you make that promise and the Lord upholds you, then you’d better keep your part of the bargain and observe those statutes. Remember what the Preacher said: ‘Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:5) Oh my Friends, I certainly hope that this little negative episode of mine that the Lord caused me to share will benefit us all, and bring the Word home to us in a present day sense; showing that it’s still viable, reliable and unbeatable as it was when it was written eons ago. Much LOVE!…shaking it rough is human…but that’s the time…to wait on the Lord…and be of good courage…

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