Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2020 John 8:12.

John 8:12.     ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Another wet and dreary day seems to be in the offing. But yuh know, unlike what the Carpenters said in their hit song way back in 1971, it’s not only rainy days and Mondays that get me down, but rainy days period. (smile) It’s just that rainy days seem to have this inherent touch of melancholia in them; just like sunshiny days have a built-in sense of upliftment. You see the sun and spirits automatically lift despite your circumstances. Likewise, you experience the wet and dreary looking weather and your spirits tend to fall somewhat, the attitude of relaxation and laziness also seem to pop up. (smile) You have to actively lift them up again. 

And so it is with this Tuesday morning, after a rather melancholy Monday. But yuh know friends, when you have Jesus as your Guiding Light, the kind of physical day doesn’t really matter, because He Himself is such a wonderful ray of sunshine that just thinking of Him and talking to him automatically lifts you up! Glory to God my people! Jesus Himself revealed His awesome Light. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

But unfortunately, the Pharisees disputed His authority because He witnessed to Himself, which to them, invalidated His claim. That however did not change anything, all it meant was that the Pharisees would remain on the outside looking in; stubborn, like the head-butting goats they were. (smile) As Jesus’ reply indicated. ‘Though I bear record (witness) of myself, yet my record (witness) is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.’ (John 8:14) 

Now here is an interesting explanation on Jesus being the light of the world from the www.biblestudytools.com website. ‘Jesus saying He is the Light of the world is the outer recognition of His Father’s creation and presence, and the inward dwelling of the Holy Spirit, by which we know our Father and walk with Jesus. Jesus is the Light of the world, our world, and in the world. Like God is omnipresent, so Jesus is Light.’ Ah friends, what a wonderful depiction of Jesus; His light just shining everywhere, being the ever-present reality, our invaluable and unbreakable connection to the Father! 

And it’s obvious that the Pharisees, supposedly the most learned scriptural group back then, didn’t know or understand the true meaning of the scriptures, or were simply being egotistical and guarding their earthly power, for Isaiah said it loud and clear. ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) 

The prophet Malachi also told us about the bright Light that would come. ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the SUN of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).’ (Mal. 4:2) 

Now if the Pharisees were so wise or knowledgeable of the scriptures, they would have put two and two together and come up with four and not three, especially since Jesus was healing people like crazy, something they’d never seen before. Or, possibly, as I said earlier, they did come up with four, but were wary of losing their upper crust position if they acknowledged Jesus for whom He really was. 

One stumbling block for the whole Jewish society though, seemed to be the thinking that the Messiah would be this great warrior king who would come and through war-like means, free them from the Roman atrocities, not a gentle, meek, peaceful Rabbi with LOVE as the basis of His testimony. And no doubt we have also been influenced by what or whom we believe Jesus to be in our lives, not what He truly is, and thus have erred in our direction, belief and behaviour, just like the Pharisees did. 

That can clearly be seen in all the different religions and denominations, doctrines, beliefs and behaviour held under the same great umbrella called Christianity. Thus the great disunity amongst Christ’s supposed followers. And thus, the lack of substantial testimony from us on Jesus declaration. ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ 

Yes friends, when Jesus returned to heaven, He designated us as His replacement for light in this ungodly world. But have we done that? Not to the extent that we should have, for there are still too many unbelievers out there, who have never heard about Jesus, or heard about Him and refused to believe because of our dark, unlit testimony. 

So my people, this dark and cloudy morning, please let’s remember Jesus words and do our best to put them into action nuh. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:14-15) 

Those are words of awesome truth people, and if our light was shining as bright and as far reaching as possible, our hold on life worldwide right now would certainly not be as intimidating and tenuous. That means we have to raise our level of shining. In the immortal words of Jesus: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) 

And that’s all Jesus really expects of us yes friends; that we give good testimony of Him through our beliefs and behaviour, so that the Father can be glorified, which is what the Father sent him to do. And in these dangerous and uncertain times, it behooves us Christians to come up higher than we ever have, so the world around us can take some courage and assurance in Christ’s guiding light that shines forth through us. So let’ step up to the plate and do better nuh mih people. 

And now, as we go home, let’s boldly and confidently proclaim to the world, who and whose we are by declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra. ‘In God’s eyes, 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 we’re sincere, we’ll now go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others who, in these desperate times, so desperately need to know and come to LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…light will always overcome darkness…but only when it’s shone there… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2020 Isaiah 55:6.

Isaiah 55:6.     ​Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.

And the days pass, one after the other, just like they were programmed to do since the beginning of time. Likewise, the days of man, with God fulfilling them as He promised. (Ex. 23:26) And from the day that our forefathers fell for the deception of the enemy, and were kicked out of Paradise, the Garden of Eden, there has been sin, death, evil, violence and every ungodly thing that the devil and fallen man could devise corrupting the world. And I guess it will remain like that until Christ comes back and lays down the law; sets up His eternal kingdom, because mankind doesn’t seem to truly want, desire or like the things of God, like LOVE, joy, peace and togetherness. 

So it’s no wonder our world has been in continual turmoil down through the ages, and right now is experiencing one of the most tumultuous times ever. And just to show that we’re not as brilliant or wise as we believe, we can’t seem to get a handle on any of the problems we’re currently facing, because we can’t even agree that there’s a problem. And those who do agree that we have problems, can’t agree on how best to fix them either. Thus, it looks like we’ll just roll along with the tumbling tumbleweed, wherever the unseen wind blows us, until we implode, or Christ comes back and bashes some sense in our heads. 

But thankfully, on this Monday morning, as the universe unfurls like it ought to, I am here, on Jesus’ behalf, to try and put a li’l sense in our heads, so that we at least don’t get any worse than we currently are. We’ll bring a li’l light to the darkness that’s covering way too much of our wonderful world. And we’ll try to do that by expounding the Word of God, through His prophet Isaiah, as He generously offers free mercy to all and sundry. ‘Whomsoever will may come.’ That’s it in a nutshell. 

Now hear the words the Lord put in Isaiah’s mouth, way back then, words that are still applicable to us today, since our world has not changed, possibly gotten worse, if anything. ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is. 55:6) Now isn’t that marvellous advice my brethren, especially in these rough and tough times? It surely is, especially since we can’t seem to solve our many problems in our own strength. And common sense dictates that if you can’t solve a problem, then you go to a higher power for help. 

And the highest power we can ever go to is Almighty God. And He spells it out for us in no uncertain terms. ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) Now if that isn’t putting us in our place then I don’t know what it is nuh! (smile) And the scholars tell us that ‘While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes.’ 

Yeh friends, though our God is close to us, our minds are too puny to even contemplate His true greatness. And despite His awesomeness, He’s most magnanimous and merciful. Hear how Isaiah puts it. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Is. 55:7) 

Oh mih people, what a wonderful promise from our Creator! And we all know that He faithfully keeps all His promises, so why are we so reluctant to turn back to Him and receive forgiveness and mercy, grace andLOVE, reconciliation, righteousness, justification and sanctification, all earned on the strength of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary eh? It just doesn’t make sense. As I keep saying, when the Israelites messed up and suffered for it, they were quick to run back to God and receive forgiveness. 

Why won’t we eh? Why are we so stubborn and hardhearted, revelling in our disobedience, as we pay an exorbitant price for it? I really don’t know nuh. I guess my mind is just not big and wise enough to fathom such mighty things. (smile) Anyhow, for those of us who are willing to stand by the promise of God, let’s seek His face right now nuh, let’s call upon Him through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, so that we can find Him and receive forgiveness and all the other wonderful things He has to offer. 

As one now, in confident humility: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

The next move is for us to action those words, and begin showing sincere repentance in our hearts, for that’s where the Lord is looking for confirmation of our sincerity.Much LOVE!

…the fool says in his heart…there is no God…how foolish… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 October 2020 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.     For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope.)

Let’s come together this Sunday morning my fellow believers to give our wonderful God much thanks and praise nuh! Yes, let’s come together on this Day of our Lord, whether it’s in a sparsely populated sanctuary with those few souls physically distanced, or by virtual technological means, for coming together is a must one day a week in keeping with the Lord’s command. ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) And by hook or by crook, we going to do just that. (smile) That’s the awesome power we believers have when we join up with our great God: nothing – no pandemic, or nobody – no government, can keep us from worshipping Him if we choose to do so. 

And today we going to open our worship with a wonderful song of praise, though some might consider it somewhat contentious, or if it’s even appropriate to sing in church, not because of the song itself, but because of the artist who sings it. The name of the song is ‘Buried Alive,’and it’s done by the Jamaican Reggae artist, Buju Banton taken from his Upside Down 2020 album. And yes, the same Buju Banton who was released from prison last year, and for the record is now more popular than ever. 

Now I know some of us are already turning up our noses and feeling mightily disturbed by the idea, but please remember who wrote the song ‘Amazing Grace’ that we consider such a splendid song and very worthy of being sung in church. It was the notorious slave trader John Newton, who transported our forefathers from freedom in Africa to slavery in the Western Hemisphere. It’s only after he got religion that he wrote that song. So for all we know Buju might have also gotten religion, and deserves a second chance, just like John Newton, who even became a minister after his slave trading days were done. 

So let’s not judge Buju, remembering Jesus’ words: ‘Judge not (do not condemn), that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam (plank) that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold a beam (plank) is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.’ (Matt. 7:1-5) 

And now that we’ve cleared up that li’l matter, (smile) let’s get on with the singing nuh. It’s a nice, simple, rocking reggae tune. I sent it to some of you by what’s app yesterday, so you should know it, but you can also look it up on you tube. So with voices strong, in perfect harmony, let’s sing these words of second chance, of forgiveness and thanks, with sincere hearts. 

‘Oh Lord, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing. I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart‘s still beating. Buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating. 

Now all this time… I’ve been blind… only running against the wind. Friends of mine …pass with time… After living a life of sin. Now many give up, many give in. It’s my determination to win. I survived, the worst of times, I survived. Yeah, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart‘s still beating. 

Oh, they made a ditch for one, but there would be two, In their attempt to out my life, The wicked things they do. But Jah made I brave, and I can’t care the grave, Oh no, The Lord is my salvation, Of whom shall I fear? Yeah, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. 

Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating… (One more time) Yes, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating…my heart’s still beating…my heart’s still beating…my heart’s still beating…’ 

Oh mih people, those words are so true of all of us! Every day we wake up alive, we must be thankful, because there’s a reason for it, or else the Lord would just take us home during the night hours. That brings to mind Jeremiah’s words on the Lord’s behalf. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope.)’ (Jer. 29:11) That means the Lord has a good plan for our lives if He leaves us alive here on planet earth, and it’s our bounden duty to find it, through prayer and reading His Word, and then live it to the best of our ability. 

Like the song says, we’ve been given another day, a second chance, so there must be a reason for it, and though we don’t know what today or tomorrow may bring, we have to take hold of the reins and stay with Jesus, stand strong with Him, have that determination to win! For as they say, once there’s life, there’s hope. And if we have hope, then anything’s possible. 

And that’s exactly how we have to look at the current state of affairs of our world; we’re alive, God is still on His throne, in control of things, and He has a special plan for our lives, not calamity, which seems to be pressing in around us right now, but a future and a hope and we’ll survive the worst of times. So please let’s remember that awesome word ‘HOPE,’ which if held long and strong enough morphs into this other word ‘FAITH,’ with which we can move mountains in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…I can do all things…through Christ who strengthens me… (Phil. 4:13) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 October 2020 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.      …​for without me ye can do nothing.

Well a good Saturday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, wherever you are! I know that by the time some of you get this it will already be afternoon, but we hope that you’ve had a fine morning and will be having and even better afternoon. (smile) Yes, we wish nothing but peace, LOVE, joy and prosperity for us all this beautiful fall morning, when all the multi-coloured leaves are bathing in the glorious sunshine of our Creator, and thus exhibiting a cornucopia, an abundance of beautiful eye-pleasing, heart-warming colour. (smile) 

Anyway it’s Saturday, so let’s get on with our Saturday task; that of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here’s the first one: ‘Positive affirmation: you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I am smart enough to make my own decisions.’ Now that’s certainly a situation that can only lead to confusion, especially if you’re a true believer in Christ Jesus. 

Yes, we ought always to positively affirm our worth and wisdom, but in Christ Jesus, not in ourselves. For remember His immortal words re our earthly abilities. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

Yuh see that last phrase friends: ‘for without me ye can do nothing.’ Well that’s the living, daylight truth! Without Jesus we can do very little, but with Him in us, and we in him, we can move mountains, anything’s possible, that’s when we become truly awesome! 

And this next quote leads us to delve deeper into our association with Jesus. ‘If you see that some aspect of your society is bad, and you want to improve it, there is only one way to do so: you have to improve people. And in order to improve people, you begin with only ONE thing: you can become better yourself.’ 

Ah friends, bettering oneself is what Jesus majors in! The quote itself contains much truth, to improve anyone or anything, we ought to begin with ourselves. Improvement ALWAYS begins with us! But who has the best improvement plan eh? JESUS! Yes mih people, you can’t beat Jesus’ plan for improving souls and selves, because He takes you at whatever state or level you are at and transforms you into a brand new person! 

Wow! Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth nuh: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) Yes mih bredrin, when you become a follower of Christ, your old sinful life is discarded, thrown away, and Christ offers you a brand new start which certainly improves the standard of life that you had before. 

And that’s exactly what’s wrong with our current society; not enough people have thrown away their old lifestyles and taken up the new one that Jesus offers, no wonder our world is in such ungodly turmoil, featuring abundant strife and heart-breaking calamity. That only shows us the error in our first quote, that we’re not smart enough to make our own decisions. (smile) 

But having said all of that, this next quote further defines our awesomeness in Christ. ‘Not everyone will be happy when you begin to better yourself. Those who are for you will not just celebrate your triumphs, but they will also pray with you through your tribulations.’ Oh my, oh my! What words of indisputable truth! 

Unfortunately, when we try to better ourselves, be it in Jesus or any other way, not everybody will be pleased, for one reason or another. But that’s just the way life is. Some people are never pleased to see others trying to improve. However, those who are pleased with your improvement decision will go to any lengths to help you, even standing strong with you through the trials and tribulations we all encounter when we decide to improve. 

And there again, that’s what you gain when you become a follower of Jesus; a whole cloud of witnesses to help you work through that improvement! You’re never alone when your Lord and Saviour is Jesus Christ. Even in the most difficult times, He is there with you, walking alongside, and ofttimes He also encourages a living friend to walk with you through it all too. Sorry, that should be a living human being, because the three parts of our Deity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – are ALL living beings. 

That brings us to our last quote. ‘Your past is not a reflection of your future.’ And is that ever so true, especially when you become a follower of Christ! Remember we said that you become a new creation when Christ comes into your life and all the old things are thrown away? That means your past doesn’t have to affect your future anymore, because Jesus will give you a brand new life with a brand new future! Glory be! Regardless of how evil or sinful or poor or sick your old life was, a new life with Jesus washes all of that away, cleanses you and makes you whole. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to this Great Invitation from Jesus Himself nuh. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Mama Yo! There’s no better invitation to be found in all the world my people! And though others might offer all sort of stuff, ONLY Jesus has the true power to transform, to improve lives. We can’t even do much on our own. So please don’t listen to any falsehood or false doctrines from other false teachers. If you truly want to improve your life, in some particular area, or in all areas, the ONLY ONE to turn to is JESUS, because He holds ALL the answers to ALL the questions of life, even the very breath of life itself! Much LOVE!

…the only sensible way to live this earthly life…is with Jesus as your Lord and Saviour… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 October 2020 Mark 4:40.

Mark 4:40.     ​And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is that ye have no faith?

And after yesterday’s constant drizzle and cold dreary weather, who wouldn’t be glad to see a dry morning with plenty of bright sunshine amidst clear blue skies eh? Yeh friends, it was just one of those days that shouted out: ‘Today is a rainy day, just right for lazing around. So stay inside; don’t go out unless it’s absolutely necessary!’ And that’s exactly what I did: I stayed inside and had a lazy, rainy day at home. Although the duchess might beg to differ, because that’s the kind of day she feels I usually have anyway. (smile) 

But it’s Friday, amidst an abundance of sunshine in a short work week, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. And as always, he declares (awright!) with some vim and vigour: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui and the weekend is here! But brother, I must be getting old yes, because I’m never usually so tired, especially after a short work week like this one. It’s possibly all the turkey and stuffing and hops that I had over the Thanksgiving holiday last weekend. 

Yeh, it was a quiet Thanksgiving with only the immediate family because of the ban on big and unprotected gatherings that just give the Covid-19 more steam. And although the lockdown was tightened in some places, the virus numbers still haven’t dropped appreciably, because people still not taking the bloody thing seriously. And to make matters worse, yuh know whatever goes on in the U.S. we always copy some up here. So with all the foolishness that going on down there, is obvious some of it happening up here too. 

Yuh know the ole saying, ‘monkey see, monkey do.’ Well that is we up here in Canada. We like to say how we so different from the States, but it’s not as true as we claim nuh, because whatever they espouse down there, we seem to espouse up here too, just on a smaller scale. And things heating up down there with this election business, so expect it to heat up, up here too. 

Ah Lord eh? What is the world coming to eh? Why li’l common sense and godliness can’t prevail eh? Everybody just seem to gone crazy all at once! And yuh know what happens when the inmates ruling the asylum… Steups! All I could hope for is that me and mine stay safe in we li’l corner yes, and keep on thanking God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, these are indeed unprecedented times, and we are all searching for answers, but are we searching in the right places? Now that’s a contentious question, if there ever was one. (smile) Why you ask? Because there are too many differing opinions on our problems, people are too divided over the whys and the wherefores, and therefore no real improvement is possible. One side says this; the other says that; and the middle ground add their two cents worth. Meanwhile the negative problems keep steadily taking their toll. 

Even in the church, the bride of Christ, there is no unity on the subject, so some ignore the dire warnings and continue as normal, while others take a middle ground, and the rest shut down completely. I guess unity in the church is just wishful thinking on my part, since even in the best of times, Christ’s bride is divided and disjoined just like the outside world. But what’s supposed to set us apart from the world eh? Basic faith in Christ and His ability to handle all our problems. 

And that brings to mind the occasion when He and the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee and a great storm arose that threatened their lives. So all the disciples were scared out of their wits. But where was Jesus eh? Comfortably asleep on a pillow in the stern of the boat. And the disciples in great fear ran and woke Him up, saying, ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him.’ (Mark 4:38-41) 

Oh my brethren, we are going through terribly stormy times right now, and unfortunately, too many of us are behaving just like the disciples behaved back then. We’re scared and confused, our faith and trust in Almighty God has sunk to a rather low level because of the widespread suffering and collapse of our society. But God has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us, so we need to have faith, to stand strong against whatever storms of life come against us. That means we have to consistently read the Good Book and pray always, for we can only stand strong when the Lord’s Word is planted in our hearts and we are continually communicating with Him. 

So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant; let’s bare our hearts and souls to Him. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Saying the prayer is all well and good my people, but now we have to action it and actually behave like the faithful believers we claim to be. Otherwise, our prayers are useless. Much LOVE!

…but be ye doers of the word…not hearers only…deceiving your own selves… (James 1:23) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Greetings and salutations, with much peace and LOVE, on this wet and dreary looking Thursday autumn morn my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, that’s somewhat of a mouthful, (smile) but it comes sincerely from the heart, as we continue this most unpredictable and unexpected year of 2020. And re one of my usual musings, we’ve already reached the midpoint of October which just began the other day. (smile) 

Oh boy, although this year has been somewhat topsy-turvy, confusing and rather challenging, it has also passed rather quickly – at least in my humble opinion. That’s possibly because I’m not suffering as much as many people, who can’t find work, food nor money and are having a rather rough time of it all. Ah friends, for those of us who are having it fairly safe and comfortable, it behooves us to try and help the many who are not, who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their lives because of this seemingly unsolvable pandemic. 

This is the time when the church of Christ must step up, step forward and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour. We possibly won’t have a better opportunity than this time to show the world what Christ is really about – in action, not just in words; LOVE and caring for both friend and stranger, grace and mercy, helping each other, praying for each other, sacrificing for each other, welcoming each other, where possible, with open arms, and encouraging each other to stand strong in faith in these turbulent times that seem to have no foreseeable end in sight. 

But that’s why we’re believers, our faith in Christ Jesus assures us that there will be an eventual end, and that we will come out good, even stronger on the other side; strong and more faithful than ever! And that’s what we have to try and encourage in all those with whom we come into contact – whether it’s by snail mail, e-mail, text-messaging, telephone or in person – that this Covid -19 business and the societal upheaval in general will not last forever, but if we get back to our roots, get back to the Father and Creator of all; the One who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet strangers and sinners, then our current sorry plight will definitely improve. 

But until we do that, we’ll keep on having disastrous times. Hear this scripture from Isaiah on the topic of national corruption and consequent suffering nuh. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened. That it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (cause much bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble, evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Yeh friends, Isaiah was telling his people that the Lord’s hand was not yet beyond the reach of salvation for their abominable sins, which He laid out in more detail in the ongoing verses of the chapter. However, at the very end of that chapter He made this promise. ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.’ (Is.20-21) 

But yuh know what, even though the Almighty kept His promise, and made it so much easier for us to receive salvation through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, we have fallen into the same well of evil in which the Israelites found themselves so long ago. Yeh, without a doubt, our current society is a reflection of that bygone one, and even worse than that, since we are purposely trying to turf God out of our society, and blatantly lording our sins and sinful behaviour over Him. 

But the Lord God Jehovah is still merciful and graceful and long-suffering, and the same thing He told the Israelites way back then, is what He’s also trying to tell us now: it is not too late to turn from our evil ways, though our sins separate us from His presence. But in our proud, stubborn and know-it-all state, we refuse to listen and persist in our sinful, iniquitous ways. Remember all those times Israel departed from God and the tough circumstances they then found themselves in? Now why would it be any different with us eh? 

But the wise thing about Israel is that they eventually remembered where their bread was buttered, woke up and returned to worshipping the Lord…and He took them back with opened arms and healed their land. It’s the same offer He’s making to us today my people; return to my fold and I will forgive and heal you. But no, we seem too proud and haughty, too big for our britches to admit our failure, our wrongdoing and give up our worldly passions and desires. Therefore ‘sufferation’ will continue. 

And it’s not so much the Lord’s doing nuh, but mostly our own ignorance and pride. Take a look at the pandemic; the only things we have right now to lessen the slaughter are physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, but we refuse to adhere to those simple protocols, while we watch unnecessary deaths consequently proliferate. Is that the action of a wise society? I very much doubt it. 

Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) People of God, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us so that we can perform His blessed work down here on earth. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’  

Now let us go out, or stay in, whichever is safer and more practical, and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…following the guidance of the Holy Spirit…not the lustful, fleshly desires of the evil one… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2020 Deuteronomy 6:5.

Deuteronomy 6:5.     ​And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

And then it was Wednesday; another beautiful autumn day! So let’s be glad and rejoice in it nuh, celebrate our great God and give Him thanks for all He’s done, still doing and faithfully promised to do for us in the future! Yeh, times might be a tad rough right now, but He has also promised to see us through those tough times, and bring us out better on the other side…if we have faith and trust in Him. That means we have to show faith and trust now more than ever, since the rough times seem like they’re going to last for longer than we expected. (smile) 

As Jeremiah so wisely warned his people long ago, I am here today to warn us of the consequences of lack of faith and trust, of ungodliness and willful disobedience and sinfulness. ‘Hear ye and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. 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. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.’ (Jer. 13:15-17) 

Ah mih friends, I know that sounds like a dire proposition, but it’s a true one. Sinfulness and ungodliness, especially when laced with a major dose of pride, WILL undoubtedly bring negative consequences from Almighty God! And our society has been guilty of all those things, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if we’re suffering some major heartaches now. And the sad part is that though our efforts to quell our problems in our own strength aren’t working, we still refuse to turn to the great healer, Jehovah Rapha for help. 

Oh, we’re so stubborn, hard-headed and prideful, thinking that we know so much, when in actual fact, we don’t know a blooming thing! That’s why we can’t even cut down the numbers of the Covid-19 pandemic, for so many of us refuse to do the only things we know will ease the pain. So we not only disobedient and stubborn towards God, but also towards man. That means ‘sufferation’ will be in the cards…unless we smarten up and get back to LOVING and praising, sincerely worshipping and reverencing our Creator. It’s as simple as that. 

And yuh know, the Lord doesn’t have to bring anything negative against us nuh, because we are doing it to ourselves. We are our own worst enemies with all the hate, anger, bitterness, strife, greed, power-hungriness and inhumanity that’s currently running rampant in our society. No society can withstand the barrage of negative stuff that’s happening right now and survive, much less prosper. And I have to chuckle sadly as I turned the pages of the Good Book and these rather appropriate words shot out at me. Isaiah’s warning to Israel. ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.’ (Is. 54:13) 

Unfortunately though, we have not taught our children of the Lord, so they obviously cannot find peace. They know only one option; that put forth by the world. And I don’t blame the children, I blame us, the parents, because it’s our duty to teach them about God, and it’s obvious that we haven’t done such a good job because so many of them don’t believe, and don’t even want to hear about God. 

But from day one, Moses instructed Israel and all those who accept the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob thus: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 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. 6:4-7) 

And have we done those things? Hardly…or not to the extent that we should have. Our parents taught us about God and the way we ought to go, so we knew the two options available, but for some reason we have not done the same for our children, thus putting them at a disadvantage in this sinful world. Why? I don’t know. Possibly because we got too full of ourselves with the knowledge revolution that was going on in our time. 

But hear what the Lord Himself told Joshua nuh. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Now have we spoken of the book of the law, or meditated on it continually? Obviously not! 

And yes, some of us have had what the world terms success, but it’s not the good kind, the lasting kind. We’ve sold our souls to the devil to acquire worldly things, but be it known that that gentleman – hn! – will eventually come calling to collect his rightful dues. And what then eh? Hellfire and damnation…? Most likely. 

But when we adhere to God’s Word and Will, the result is heaven… and rewards.. a peaceful and prosperous eternity with Jesus as the Light and King of our lives. I don’t know about you, but I think I much prefer to live for Jesus than Satan. It might be harder, but it’s much more rewarding in the long run. In any case, it’s an individual choice we all must make, hopefully we ALL will make the right one…Jesus! 

And for those of us who have already made that right and most wonderful choice, let’s go home now telling all and sundry our wonderful position in Christ Jesus, through our Wednesday Wail. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as Jesus has so faithfully promised, if we endure until the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…that’s true wisdom… (Dr. Charles Stanley) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2020 Ephesians 3:20.

Ephesians 3:20.     ​Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Aloha mih bredrin! Welcome to a bright, fresh, sunshiny Tuesday morning, washed clean by some blessings of water during the early morning hours! And yes, Thanksgiving Day finish now, but not the giving of thanks! The giving of thanks must be a continual thing, for without the continual giving of thanks, eventually, there will be nothing to give thanks for! Wow! What words of wisdom! 

But seriously though, there is nothing like giving thanks to the Lord our God since there’s nothing that pleases Him more than His most important creation being grateful for life and all that He has provided for them. He also hopes that that gratefulness will consequently lead them to want to know Him better. And how do we do that you wonder? 

Well here are the basics in black and white, taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This poem is appropriately titled ‘ Knowing God Intimately.’ And that’s how we ALL ought to know Him – through the auspices of His Son Jesus Christ! That’s His greatest desire! 

So please read with me. ‘How do we learn to know God so intimately that all of life takes on a new freshness? We acknowledge that God is the instigator. We would not be wanting Him if He did not first want us. Even a glimmer of spiritual desire is HIS desire planted in us. We resign from our self-appointed office as president of the “Me First Club,” which gives God the privilege of saying. “Good! Now I’ll promote you.” 

We focus on Jesus Christ, God’s Son. It is never a matter of how conspicuous we are. It only matters that He is conspicuous in us. We make no promise of perfection. All the perfection we’ll ever have is the perfection of Jesus living in us. We let God’s Word saturate our hearts. Five or ten minutes a day is far more helpful than three hours once a week. We trust God to do within us what we cannot do, knowing that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us.’ 

Yeahhhh friends! That’s how we get intimate with God! And it’s not a one time, one and done thing either, but is just like the giving of thanks, a continual, continuous life-long thing, that over time turns into a wonderful personal relationship between Creator and created. Mama Mia! There’s no relation more important or more beneficial that that one my people! For when you have such a close and intimate relationship with your heavenly Father, your august Creator, then the whole world is your oyster! 

The devil will come against you in various guises, but he won’t be able to harm you, because you’ll be protected by the Most High God Jehovah and His majestic army of angels; your everlasting fortress and place of refuge. You will be able to say with supreme confidence, like Bruh David did: ‘I laid me down and slept: I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set them themselves against me round about.’ (Ps. 3:5-6) That’s the kind of faith and belief that wells up in our souls and spirits when we know our Lord and Saviour on an intimate basis. 

And by the way, that’s why He sacrificed His sinless self on the cross at Calvary…not to just have a religion called Christianity, but for each one within that awesome group to get to know Him intimately and personally. In other words, being a Christian means having a personally intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. And is that ever a whole lot of personal and intimate relationships! It surely is. 

But that’s how great and how LOVING and wonderful our Lord and Saviour is, that He could have so many intimate relationships at the same time and give His best to each and every one of them! Wow! Give Him some much-deserved thanks and praise my fellow believers! 

And the Bible verse associated with today’s poem is also very appropriate. Hear Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Ephesus as he talks about prayer for inner growth. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) 

Yes friends, through Christ and His church, glory must be given to God who has the amazing power to do more than our puny finite minds and imaginations can ever conceive. And just to add some biblical heft (smile) to our earlier contentions, listen to these marvellous words of Bruh David that also tell us how to achieve personal intimacy with our Creator. 

‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (you shall feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (for it only causes harm). For evil doers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37: 1-9) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t get any clearer or more basic than that! So let’s hope that we’ve all received the message – once again nuh (smile), and will keep on doing just what it dictates, so we can keep that wonderful personal relationship with the Almighty going strong and fervent. And as we go home, let’s bravely tell the world who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’  

So what we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and show that trust and share that wonderful LOVE nuh! Much LOVE!

…fret not…trust…delight…commit…rest …cease…wait…and thou shall inherit… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2020 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.     ​Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY CANADA! 

And do we ever have a lot to be thankful for in this blessed and bountiful land of Canada! Oh I know that some of you are complaining plenty about the problems we’re currently encountering on a rather large scale, and I admit they can be rather daunting, especially since we’ve never encountered anything like them before. But the truth of the matter is that even with those problems confusing and confuffling our lives, we’re still living much better in this country than most of the others around the world…and for that we should be everlastingly grateful! 

The abnormal situation we are undergoing right now is the norm for some countries. And as our Christian faith teaches us, once there is life, there is hope, and this too shall pass in God’s time. So we can’t give up, especially since giving up doesn’t exist in God’s vocabulary. Consequently, it’s time for us to have a new revelation; counting our blessings rather than our losses. And yuh know what? We’ll discover we have much more of the former than the latter, which ought to put us in a better and more thankful frame of mind. (smile) 

And to help us do that, let’s invoke a couple of Bruh Paul’s admonitions to the churches at Ephesus and Philippi re living in godly unity and thankfulness. To the Ephesians, he said: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:18-21) 

Yeh friends, as believers in Christ, we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s character and virtues, and thus control our thoughts, attitudes and actions. And we do that through encouraging and exhorting each other with psalms and hymns etc., as well as being joyful in our own hearts and giving thanks to God for everything that comes into our lives, since we know that it will eventually be used for our good by God. And last but not least, deferring to the wishes of others, if we know it’s God’s will. 

And to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul advised: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (His return is near, and He will judge us according to our treatment of others). Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Oh my people, I know those things are hard to accomplish in this evil world, but who ever said that following Christ was easy eh? (smile) But it’s those things that promote unity and LOVE amongst believers, enriching our own lives, as well as showing the unbeliever what is possible if He accepts Christ as His Lord and Saviour. Yeh friends, we must ever be prayerful and thankful, regardless of our circumstances. So even if we’re going through some really rough times now, prayer and thanksgiving are essential if we want to find that peace of God which passes all understanding. 

So what better time to start than right now eh, on this Thanksgiving Day? And we’ll do it through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which I believe captures all our fears, doubts, needs and wants. So as one strong voice, in true penitence, let’s go to God in sincere prayer nuh. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

So let’s turn from our evil ways nuh people; it’s as simple as that, because it’s basically sin that’s muddying our waters. That reminds me of a quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on sin. He says: ‘Sin is like dirt in salt. It corrupts our lives, ruins the flavour of Christianity for all who know us, and makes us useless to God.’ More truthful words were never spoken my brethren! But it’s all up to us. If we want the Lord to heal us and our land, we need to turn from our evil ways. 

Oh, and let it not be said that I was amiss in my duty on this Thanksgiving Day, this day of celebration. (smile) Friends, I plead with us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business, else somebody else going to mind it for you.’ And that’s the gospel truth people, so please let’s be careful with food and drink, don’t overdo it, remember moderation in all things, and don’t get into no crowds, remember physical distancing and masks too. That’s the recipe for a successful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day! Much LOVE!

…for the joy of the Lord is our strength…don’t let the devil steal it… 

Previous Older Entries