Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2019 John 13:34-35.

John 13:34-35.    ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.
 

Oh friends, please forgive me for the lateness of the Bit, but the last two days have been pretty hectic, and I’m no longer a spring chicken…not yet old though. (smile) I’ve been trying to burn the candle at both ends, going to bed late, getting up early to write the Bit, then getting out and about for the whole day. Well it’s finally caught up to me. 

Thursday was a cricket match in the neighbouring city of Brampton, and then yesterday, Friday, was a funeral in the eastern city of Ajax, on the other side of Toronto. The turnout was so overwhelming that the big chapel was packed to overflowing and we had to sit in a holding area downstairs and watch the proceedings on close circuit t.v. 

The overlong glowing tributes of our friend made him sound like the perfect man. (smile) But I guess that’s how it is when we bid our friends a final adieu. We don’t recall their faults, just their strong points, like the Lord does in His wonderful forgiveness, casting away our wrongs as far as the east is from the west. 

After the hour and half ceremony we spent another hour in the cemetery, this time in the hot sun. Then we went south to another part of the city for the repast. That was a wonderful time, with good Jamaican fare; curry goat, rice and peas and jerk chicken. But the best part was the renewal of several friendships, with people whom we haven’t seen in ages. 

We were all a part of the young, well-educated West Indian Diaspora who migrated to Canada in the early seventies and changed the face of Toronto, adding vibrancy and colour, both literally and figuratively to a staid, old white town. (smile) People with whom we worked and partied in those long ago, cold, long winter days, but with whom we’d lost touch as the area expanded and we all became immersed in our building our new lives. That’s just the way it is with the big city. 

Unfortunately though, the duchess and I had to eat and run, because there were people back in our town waiting for us to come and pick them up to go to the Pan Competition in the heart of Toronto. So we left there around four, got on the toll road and hustled back home, changed, then hit the road again. Luckily though, for some unknown reason, on a Caribana Friday evening, the traffic into T.O. wasn’t bad, and we made it in time for the seven o’clock start of the pan event. 

That was good too, and better organized than in earlier years, though I don’t understand why they allowed some bands to play two songs and others only one. But the music was excellent. However, it finished around midnight and the duchess and my friends were tired, so we didn’t stick around to hear the results, which I’m sure, caused much dissent, as it usually does. 

But that’s the nature of pan competitions, everybody rooting for their own side, though knowing deep down that they weren’t good enough to win. The long and short of the story though, is that by the time I dropped everybody home, I didn’t get home till after one. And it was close to two before I finally went to bed. So it’s obvious I was late getting up. So that’s my story…and I’m sticking to it. (smile) 

Now let’s see if we can get in some quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.’ That’s certainly interesting and true, because the day you were born and the day you died, don’t really matter. What matters most is what you did in the time period between those two days. And I guess a good example of that are the glowing tributes my friend Linton had at his last celebration yesterday. 

Now listen to this one: ‘Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’ That should be a no- brainer my people, because it’s exactly what Jesus came to help us do; right wrongs, stamp out inequality and injustice, help the weak and fight the strong. So as a believer those things are expected of us. 

Then this quote speaks for itself: ‘When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.’ Ah mih people, I won’t call not giving thanks for all that we have, the good life we’re living, a fault nuh, but utter stupidity! You didn’t give yourself the ability to rise and see a new day, or the breath that’s still flowing through you. 

Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) And to the Thessalonians: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) Yes friends, even though our circumstances may be difficult or unpleasant, it’s our bounden duty to give thanks at ALL times! 

And this last quote says it all: ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in LOVE.’ Oh mih people, LOVE is the transcendent power of the universe! John said it thus: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we also ought to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)  

And Jesus not only gave us a living example of our quote, but also clearly made it known that He expects the same of His followers. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ 

Oh friends, it couldn’t get any clearer or plainer than that! And I’ll leave it there; just let those words speak to our hearts, and let the Holy Spirit convict us as it will, in regards to our LOVE Walk! That’s what it’s there for! Much LOVE!

…hatred stirreth up strifes…but LOVE covereth ALL sins… (Prov.10:12)

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2018 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26:   And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Well here we are again on a Sunday morning, hopefully getting ready to visit, or having already visited the Lord’s sanctuary to get our reassurance and strengthening for the upcoming week, through praise, worship, fellowship and hearing the Lord’s word.

And I like Bruh Paul’s reasoning in Romans 10, re those calling on the name of the Lord shall be saved, especially when he asks: ‘how can they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) That’s why we have preachers! (smile) 

But before we hear the word, let’s get into some hearty praise and worship to soften our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Lord’s dialogue. And today’s song of praise is one we all know and LOVE, titled, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand.’

According to Wikipedia, it ‘is a gospel pop song composed by Gene MacLellan and first recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray from her third studio album ‘Honey, Wheat and Laughter.’ 

Wow! I knew that our very own Canadian Songbird from down the East coast had sung it, but I never knew she was the first to record it. And since then it’s been recorded numerous times by all kinds of singers and musicians.

Today, we’re going to send up a blazing, brilliant, harmonious and magnificent rendition to our heavenly Father, showing our sincere gratitude for all that He’s done for us through His Son, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s bring tears of joy to the eyes and hearts of those in heaven as we sing: (Chorus: ‘Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea. Take a look at yourself, and you can look at others differently. Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.) 

Every time I look into the Holy Book, I wanna tremble. When I read the part where the carpenter cleared the temple See those buyers and the sellers were no different fellas Than what you and I profess to be. And it causes me shame to know that man is not what he should be. (Chorus: Put your hand in the hand…) 

Hey, my mama taught me how to pray, before I reached the age of seven When I’m down on my knees, hey, I’m close to heaven. My daddy lived his life with two kids and a wife and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do But he showed me enough of what it takes to see you through 

This is what he used to tell me… Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea Ya got’a take a good look at yourself, then you can look at others differently Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.’ 

Magnifico my brethren, Magnifico! The eyes in heaven are all filled with tears of joy! Glory be! And believe you me, that rendition was so sweet that the Father was singing along with us, not to mention that He is also grateful for the Son’s unwavering obedience in His plan to save our undeserving souls.  

Now hear the word. The story goes like this: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) 

The answer to that question is not rocket science friends, but is quite simple: the winds and the sea obey Him because He made them and still controls them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the words of the psalmist:

‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (don’t know what to do)

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

 Yes friends the seafarers know the Lord’s power, His all-around control of the wind and the sea, so they know to look to Him for succour in time of need. My brethren, we too should realize and acknowledge the Lord’s omnipotence and majesty and revere Him, surrender our lives, put our sincere trust in Him and His awesome Son, the man from Galilee, who rebuked the winds and the waves and caused them to be calm.

So let’s wise up and take His hand nuh; and hold it very tightly too, don’t ever let go!  It’s a no-brainer my people; the height of wisdom! Much LOVE!

..whose hand would you prefer to hold over Jesus’ eh…NOBODY’S…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2017 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.   How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

And yes, it’s cloudy, it might even rain, but you know that doesn’t detract in the least from the light and LOVE in our Christian hearts deposited there by our Leader, our Friend, our Brother, our Lord and Saviour, our Advocate, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ! 

Oh what a mighty man is our Jesus! He just had to be with the many hats He wears in our lives. So how could we do anything but LOVE Him eh? It would be most unworthy and ungrateful of us, especially in this Thanksgiving time. 

That brings us to our Saturday feature, Anselm’s Quotes; quotes from a brother who sincerely aspires to lead us to a better tomorrow. And the first one addresses what we were just talking about. ‘Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.’ 

Oh friends, there’s no better way of living this life than with an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving, for that’s the way God expects us to live. And doing so, just energizes our Spirits and allows more favourable things to keep happening. 

The second quote declares that ‘Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.’ And if you truly expect to win, then you had better have the optimism and winning picture in your mind’s eye, otherwise the winning might not come to pass. 

That’s because a large part of winning is mental, of seeing yourself in the winners’ circle. And what’s the point of doing something if you don’t expect to be successful at it eh? None whatsoever! 

And this last quote says it all. If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.’ Simple logic friends. (smile) Your actions and efforts can only carry you one way, hopefully in the direction you desire. 

But yuh know people, the wisest and best way to achieve any kind of success in this life is by following the gospel truth words of Bruh David in our Bit. ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ 

And why wouldn’t we do that if God is our Creator and Provider eh? Because we’re too full of ourselves, possess too much pride and arrogance, foolishly believing that our success has been wrought solely by our hands. Hogwash! Heifer dust! NOTHING is ever done without God’s help or hindrance! 

And the psalmist truthfully declares it in his opening remarks of Psalm 92 – Praises for the Lord’s goodness. ‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: To show forth (declare) thy LOVING-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, 

Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery (lute or lyre), upon the harp with a solemn (harmonious or melodic) sound. For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the work of thy hands.’ (Ps.92:1-4) 

Yeh friends, it’s ONLY through the work of God’s hands in the background that mankind can ever be successful! Please, let’s remember that and give Him the kind of praise and thanksgiving, glory and gratitude that He deserves nuh. For if He doesn’t get the exaltation He believes He deserves, He is just liable to leave us to do it all on our own, and the wise ones know that we can’t do much of anything on our own. 

And Bruh David knew that, that’s why when he was suffering in the wilderness, running from Saul and his many enemies, he could write in Psalm 63 – God satisfies the thirsting soul. ‘Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow (the best) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.’ (Ps.63: 3-7) 

Ah mih people, if a man on the run from murderous enemies in a dry and thirsty land can sing the praises of our God so loudly and marvelously, then there must be lots of truth to his words, since his situation is definitely not a joyful or pleasant one. 

So what’s it to be eh friends? Shall we follow the Lord, or shall we follow our own animal instincts? It’s an individual choice we all have to make, and make soon too, because once Christ returns, it will be too late. 

But yuh know what, as Joshua said so long ago, when he put the same question to the Israelites; ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15d) 

Yes friends, I have yet to see any good reason to do otherwise. Hope you feel the same way too, for that is wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…to sincerely follow Jehovah God…should be a no-brainer…if one believes His holy word…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2017 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.   I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s here; Friday, the great leveller! For no matter what your persuasion or position, Friday plays an important part in all our lives. 

Whether you’re rich or poor, black, white, or any shade in between, we all have this affinity for Friday because it marks the start of the weekend, and the Jewish brethren consider it the start of their Sabbath. So Fridays are special in some form or the other. 

That’s why the workingman, with a couple of days off from work, makes a big to-do about it, crying out to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! That means the weekend is here! Yes mih breddren, the weekend, the weekend! 

That is we time to party and do what we want, with no massa constantly watching over we shoulder to see if we doing his hard, dirty, menial work for li’l pay. Party time people! Party time is here at last! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend oui!’ 

And you really can’t blame the ordinary working person for feeling that way, because life is indeed getting rougher and more impersonal, but that response is definitely overdoing it. 

As believers in Christ, we can’t just let go like leggo-beast, although it’s very appealing. (smile) We must observe some sort of decorum, with definite boundaries to our behaviour. That’s why our Friday Chant is a much more fitting declaration for believers. 

Please declare it with me now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, the weekend is indeed a time for some fun and frolic, but it also means resting, renewing and refreshing ourselves, with some praise and worship included, so that we can positively handle the upcoming week. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ Ah mih people, that’s the glory and wisdom of believing in Almighty God! When we truly seek Him, He can do such wonderful and marvellous things in our lives. 

Bruh David proudly and positively proclaims in the psalm: ‘The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 

O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:7-10) 

Oh friends, how good and how pleasant it is to seek the Lord and to trust totally in Him! There is no want or lack or fear to those who sincerely reverence Him! So why aren’t more people seeking and reverencing our Creator, Controller and heavenly Father eh? 

It’s certainly mind-boggling to see us all trying to go our own way and do our own thing, following the foolish and unwise wisdom of the world and suffering defeat and rejection, sorrow and pain every time. 

That unsuccessful, do-it-yourself, or as the world does attitude and belief is very heart-breaking, especially when we have true and faithful affirmations from God’s Son, our Saviour and Redeemer, who sacrificed His life for us on the cross at Calvary. 

Listen to these true and encouraging words from the Master nuh, as He teaches about prayer. ‘And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall opened. 

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father, which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt.7:7-11) 

Ah mih people, since Jesus is incapable of lying, why don’t more people believe and live for Him eh? That’s a billion dollar question which I can’t answer, but I know that me and mine are certainly going to do so. 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. 

Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

And that’s exactly how it should be with a Deity of such power and magnitude! Yeh friends, as Jesus so powerfully reasons; if we, with our natural sinful nature can give good gifts to our children, why wouldn’t our holy and sinless and magnanimous heavenly Father give us good gifts if we genuinely seek and reverence Him eh? No reason whatsoever! 

So let’s ponder it all today nuh, and see the wisdom in Jesus’ words and put them into practice, for it is to OUR great benefit, no one else’s. Much LOVE!

…following Jesus…and sincerely seeking the Father…is a no-brainer for the wise  amongst us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

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

Well friends, cloudy days are here again, but the hearts of all believers are shining brightly with the brilliant light of the Son! Glory to God! 

Yes my believing brethren, the outside weather might be dark and dreary, but there’s absolutely no reason for our hearts to look the same since we are blessed to have the Holy Spirit of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent triumvirate God living within us, leading and guiding us to victory in Jesus! 

Wow! What a blessed honour that is my people! That’s why on this cloudy Monday morning, at least in my area, we need to get ourselves together and get out strong and work diligently on Jesus’ behalf. 

And since Mondays are not kind to many of us (smile) let’s belt out our antidote for those Monday Blues, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. With one heart and voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! 

We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh I know friends, the adrenaline is just running through us now, and we’re rearing to go out and optimize our efforts in this evil and ungodly world and right whatever wrongs we can, all in the name of Jesus our Lord and Blessed Saviour! 

And so we should, on the basis of all that He has done for us; selflessly bringing us salvation and eternal life through His woeful death on the cross at Calvary and then His triumphant Resurrection on Easter Sunday! 

Now let’s look at our Bit, probably the last day for this one, (smile) who know eh? ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ Meaningful direction from Jesus on how we should pray. 

Now yesterday we saw how He prayed sincerely to His heavenly Father for us, and it really touched my heart. Today we’ll look at why He had to pray for us, and why we still need lots of prayer. 

Listen to James. ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.’ (James 1:13) Words of absolute truth friends! 

God doesn’t tempt us, for He doesn’t want us to do wrong. But He might allow some stuff to come against us to try our faithfulness. So why then do we fall victim to temptation eh? 

James further enlightens us. ‘But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (fleshly desires), and enticed.’ (James 1:14) Yeh mih people, it’s our sinful nature that propels us to temptation. 

And what happens when we give into temptation? Hear James again. ‘Then when the lust (fleshly desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death.’ (James 1:15) 

Oh friends, here we need to remember those immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Romans: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is everlasting life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Yes precious people of God, as the scholars tell us: ‘6:23. Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’ 

However, we can only receive that unmerited free gift by believing on God’s Son, Jesus Christ. So it’s a decision each human being needs to make. Succumb to temptation and thus death; eternal separation from Almighty God, or accept Jesus and live forever with Him in heavenly places. 

And that’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned, since eternal separation from God is the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human being. 

Now let’s close with an interesting statement from Peter. ‘The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.’ (2 Pet.2:9) 

Ah mih people, hopefully that statement reverberates in our hearts today and helps to keep us away from temptation. Much LOVE!

…temptation always seems so enticing…but in reality…it holds a deathly viper’s sting…

 

 

 

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