Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2020 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.     For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.

And then it was Friday, the last day of the normal workweek; a week of heightened calamity and tension, hatred and overflowing resentment around the world… all of that within the current upheaval caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Oh friends, our world is now in a state ripe for exploding, and if we don’t lessen the tension soon, it will certainly explode. At one stage the pandemic seemed to be bringing us together, but with all the divisive rhetoric spouted on it, highlighting differences of opinion on what it is and where it came from and how to cure it, the obvious and nasty casting of blame and if it’s even true, the stage is set for a lot of national and international disagreement. 

But faithful saints of Christ, please let us remember who created this universe; our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God! And let’s not forget that He is still in complete control of it and whatever goes on therein, and He is not an absentee or weak-kneed ruler, but He’s very present on His throne and has the reins of His universe well in hand. And that means He knows what is happening and why He’s allowing it. It’s all happening according to His divine plan. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours so we’ll not understand all that happens. 

Therefore we must not let fear, worry, anxiety and all the other negative emotions bury us under their heavy yoke and cause us to lose faith, for faith in Almighty God is the only thing that will successfully see us through all the current problems we’re facing. Remember that majestic and most assuring verse of scripture from Bruh Paul to Timothy and now to us: ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ 

Well NOW IS THE TIME for us to put that verse into steadfast action; to stand strong and faithful in the reverence, assurance, wisdom and LOVE of our great and faithful God! Remember, in His Word, He also says that he who survives to end will receive a crown of glory. So please let’s fight the good fight, run whatever race we have to run with diligence and excellence and the utmost faithfulness, so that we can prevail in the end. And no, I haven’t forgotten that today being Friday, many of you are looking forward to what the ordinary workingman has to say. 

And as always, he opens – though somewhat less energetically than usual – with this proclamation: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And thank God the weekend is here at last too. It’s the second week of work since some of the lockdown restrictions lifted…the first full one, since last week Monday was Queen Vic holiday. And am I ever glad to see the weekend, because after such a long time off work, the body’s gotten soft and flabby and thus the work’s become physically harder. And I still need to get back accustomed to waking up so early in the morning. 

But what a crazy world we live in eh Dr. Jack? Like they let some of us out from the zoo, the way we behaving like wild animals with no responsible physical distancing and such, although we still in the throes of the pandemic! Steups! Mankind is something else yes! That’s why they say we’re our own worst enemy…and that’s the gospel truth! No other animal quick to destroy themselves as we humans are. And sadly my views doh make any difference to anybody nuh. All I could do is my best yes…and hope and pray that people soon wake up and realize how bad the situation is oui… Otherwise crapaud certainly smoke we pipe!’ 

And there’s no doubt whatsoever about it friends, if we don’t wake up very soon, there will be pure pandemonium around our world; pandemonium like we’ve never seen before, or might ever see again! And as individuals, there’s not much we can do about the situation, but together, as the Church, as Christ’s body in this confused world, we can stand together and make our voices heard, and behave in a right and responsible manner, and hope and pray! So let’s start with the praying part right now nuh, our Friday Chant. 

As one now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

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 have to 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 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!’ 

Yes friends, we’ve fulfilled the praying part of the solution, let’s now turn our attention to the hope and responsible behaviour that must be done if we’re to be successful in defeating this virus and bringing some desperately needed stability to our world! Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…especially when action is what’s needed…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2020 Mark 6:50b.

Mark 6:50b.    Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.
 
And the world keeps turning, like the Lord planned it to: it’s pages quietly and unconcernedly rolling along from one day to the next, regardless of what happens from one day to the next! (smile) And it’s finally rolled around to this Saturday in what’s supposed to be spring time, but we haven’t seen any rain in such a long time that the old adage ‘April showers bring May flowers’ is in danger of not being true this year of the Coronavirus. But what else is new eh? Cousin Sol said long ago that there’s nothing new under the sun. Yes: ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ (Eccl. 1:9) 

And yuh know, if the wisest man ever said that, then it ought to be so. (smile) But it also shows up in our age old cliché that ‘History repeats itself.’ And that is oh so true. If we look back we can see every powerful society that ever walked the earth making the same mistake of getting too full of themselves, too big for their britches, replacing God with man made idols as they obtained some basic knowledge of life, and then getting fat and lazy off of their prosperity, which meant they stopped growing and began falling behind into eventual oblivion. 

And the same thing is happening in our current society, and our current worldwide trouble is simply a reflection of our stubbornness, hard heartedness and highly egotistical nature. It’s a wake up call from the Creator to the created, warning that we’re on the edge of a terrible precipice, and if we don’t heed the warning and repent and turn back to Him, a whole lot more damage will be done to our world. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! End of sermon! And friends I’m chuckling here, because I never came out to preach this morning, but that’s where I was led, so please take it easy on the ole fella nuh. 

But moving right along, since it’s Saturday, that lazy, late wake up day – most days are like that now though – let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow…and do we ever need one! And he seems to have been on progress kick this past week. Hear this first quote: ‘Delay is the enemy of progress.’ And so it is! Laziness and procrastination, and anything else that keeps us from doing what we have to do, is in fact delaying our progress. We can’t progress unless we get up off our fat fannies and do what we need to do! 

And the next quote also declares a great truth: ‘Comfort is the enemy of progress.’ Yes my people, as we said above, that’s why most societies eventually die. We start out by working hard and making progress, then when we reach a certain point of prosperity, we believe we can now rest on our laurels and enjoy what we have. But the sad fact of the matter is that continued prosperity depends on continued hard work, and resting comfortable on one’s laurels only eats away at said prosperity. 

It’s like your savings in the bank. The more you put in the more you will have, but when you stop putting in and only withdraw, then it will wither away li’l by li’l until it runs out. Well it’s the same way with progress and prosperity. Unless you keep building, working and saving, you will stop making progress and eventually fall. 

Now hear this one: ‘Some quit due to slow progress. Never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress.’ That’s more gospel truth my brethren! Good progress is usually a creeping thing that includes some failure in between. We don’t just begin something today, if it’s a worthwhile project, put in a li’l elbow grease and declare victory or significant progress tomorrow. No friends, progress is a time consuming thing, and ofttimes needs a lot of blood, sweat and tears before it can be significantly achieved. 

And that’s a major problem for this generation. We the parents have not taught the children sufficiently about waiting and working and being satisfied or contented with a little, that’s why they’re all going crazy, feeling entitled to everything while not wanting to work for or make a sacrifice for anything! That thing called true progress is ever so slow my people that sometimes you can’t even see it, although you know you’re making it. So let’s not quit when it looks like positive things are not happening for us nuh. It just means that the Lord is working in the background, doing the hard and dirty work that’s necessary to move us forward. 

In light of all that, it is therefore necessary for us to quickly befriend this next quote and hold on to it tightly, as our very lives may depend on it. ‘Courage means to keep making forward progress while you still feel afraid.’ And isn’t that the living truth! All of us feel afraid at some time or other in our lives, so it’s not a matter of never being afraid, or never having fear, for fear is a natural aspect of human life. But the important thing there is like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: ‘doing it afraid.’ That’s what courage is really all about; doing what we need to despite the fear or anxiety we might feel. 

And the only thing that really conquers fear is faith! That’s why the most used command or warning in the Good Book is ‘Fear not! Do not be afraid!’ Moses said it thus to the Israelites when they were leaving Egypt and the massive Egyptian army was hot on their heels: ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.’ (Ex. 14:13) And that promise did come true in spades as the entire Egyptian army was drowned in the Red Sea when the Lord closed it back up. 

And the psalmist gives us this small but everlasting treasure: ‘The Lord is on my side, I will not fear: what can man do unto me?’ (Ps.118:6) Yes friends, if the Lord is on our side, man cannot prevail over us. And Isaiah drives it home on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) And he did exactly that through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And when Jesus walked on water towards His disciples and they were afraid, His comforting words were simply: ‘Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’  Yes my people, simple, but oh so reassuring words from our Master. That’s the beauty of His philosophy and words! 

And we’ll end with this most important warning from Bruh Paul to Timothy in his tough times, which we all ought to know by now, even if we didn’t know it before Covid-19. (smile) ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Now let’s go out and use those marvellous gifts in His work nuh! Much LOVE!

…fear and courage…two sides of the same coin…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2020 Psalm 118:8-9.

Psalm 118:8-9.    ​It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
 
Prologue: Yeahhh! I got it right this time! Just want to apologize for the length and lateness of the Bit, though you all already know my penchant for late nights and many words. (smile) I want us though to take what’s written very seriously, because it could have a serious effect on the eventual status of our world. Much LOVE!

And the calamitous time continues; more contraction of the Covid-19 disease and more deaths. And it does seem that the situation will get worse before it gets better. But that’s normal in many cases of unexpected disaster. However, we will not dwell on the actions and results of the Coronavirus this morning, because talking about it too much only increases the fear, anxiety and panic associated with its disastrous run through the world. Today though we’re going to focus on more proactive stuff like courage and trust. 

And the first word comes obviously form the Good Book, Bruh Paul’s encouraging words to Timothy and also to us in these most trying times. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Right there friends is a most important bit of scripture for us to use in the fight against this dreaded and deadly virus that’s causing fear and alarm all over our world. Our first reaction must be to take courage; that’s if we believe that our great and wonderful God is still in control and will work everything out for our eventual good. 

It’s not possible to serve the Lord from a position of unmitigated fear! So let’s stand strong by putting all the courageous words and promises found on the subject in the Good Book in the forefront of our lives nuh. That’s the first requirement… And the second – it’s like the first (smile) Put out absolute trust in Almighty God, not in man nor machines. And there are so many scriptures that tell us to trust in God and not man that you could possibly spend a whole day just reading them. (smile) They are especially popular in the Psalms, like these verses from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Salvation. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’  

Now my people, that says it in black and white. And during this pandemic we’re seeing a lot of instances where we can’t put trust in normal man or even princely men, for all sorts of hypocrisy and lies and half-truths are flying around and people are not keeping their promises, especially in a time like this when trust is so necessary. And right now I’d like to share the Quote of the Week from a message that a friend sends me. And is it ever so apropos to our current situation. 

Please read with me. ‘God always requires total trust in Him alone for our victories in life. Throughout Scripture we are cautioned not to place our trust in the strength of horses, other men or our own abilities. In 1 Chronicles, David’s decision to take a census was a failure to keep his trust totally upon the Lord. David’s purpose in counting his population was to assess his military strength. David’s commander evidently recognized the grave error that his king was about to make. 

Joab was right — the census displeased the Lord. David was falling into the temptation of trusting in the size of his army rather than in the Lord. In consequence, God punished David and reduced his forces by bringing a plague that killed 70,000 men. How do you avoid placing your trust in God today? Do you trust your bank accounts, your skills and the security of your workplace? When you begin to place your faith in these things instead of in the Provider of these things you get into trouble with God. What a lesson this is for each of us. Today, let’s place our total trust in the Lord for all of our needs.’ 

I couldn’t have said it any plainer or better my fellow believers! Total trust in the Lord is the NUMBER ONE requirement in life, especially when we’re under heavy duress like now! And we can see how Bruh David seemed to get too big for his britches from the first verse of 1 Chronicles 21. ‘And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked (moved) David to number (take a census of) Israel.’ 

And the scholars put forth a very interesting explanation from 2. Samuel 24:1, which also deals with the situation. ‘24:1. Taking a census was not the wrong thing to do per se. God Himself had previously ordered Moses to make two censuses (cf. Num. 1:2-3; 26:2). However, in this case Satan (cf. 1 Chr. 21:1) seized upon the growing pride of David’s heart (vs.2-3) to incite him into taking a census, so the king might have a ground of boasting (cf. Dan. 4:30 – Nebuchadnezzar’s boast). God, the controller of all things, allowed the deed to be done so as to bring David to a place of humility and reality (vs.10). God and Satan are often involved in the same event, but for different causes (cf. Job) – God, so that the believer might be instructed and grow, but Satan, to discredit the believer and therefore, God Himself.’ 

Ah friends, the same way Nebuchadnezzar ended up going crazy and living like a beast for seven years after boasting about His might and glory, same way Bruh David received chastening before the Lord. The Good Book says: ‘And David’s heart smote him (his conscience bothered him) after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’ (2 Sam. 24:10) 

And that’s why Bruh David could be called a friend of God and a man after His own heart! He had a heart for God, and God knew that, but being a man, and thus by nature sinful, he obviously made mistakes. But once those mistakes were made known, he never hesitated to fall before the Lord in sincere prayer and repentance. That’s why the Lord, though he punished him for his mistakes, still never took away his special place from him. And I think we all should read what happened after Bruh David took the census. That’s found in 2 Samuel 24:10-25. Here’s a brief synopsis (smile). 

The Lord sent the prophet Gad to Bruh David…and wonder of wonders, He gave him the opportunity to decide his own punishment. Did He ever LOVE Bruh David! The choices were: seven years of famine, him fleeing for three months before his enemies, or three days pestilence in the land. ‘And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait (great distress): let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.’ (2 Sam 24:14)  So the Lord sent a plague into the land – just as He is doing to us right now, and some seventy thousand men died. And many have died, and many more will die, until we come to the Lord with sincere confession and repentance. 

Then, like the Lord did with Israel, He will stay His hand and the deaths will stop. (2 Sam. 24:16) Then David repented and made his peace with God. (2 Sam. 24:17-25) As the scholars say: ‘24:17. God’s chastening had achieved its desired effect. David recognizes that as the king of Israel his primary task was that of a shepherd with his sheep. He manfully and humbly repents of his sin and pleads for his beloved people. Despite his oft-besetting sins, David had a tender heart toward God and God’s people. Accordingly, David is commended as a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22).’ 

So friends, I do believe that the Lord will deal the same way with us, if we bow down and repent and turn back to Him, for there’s no denying that our world is so steeped in sin and wickedness that most of us don’t have a clue as to what’s really going on. And for those of us who recognize the seriousness of the situation and are tuned into the Saviour, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know 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!’ 

And the next action is to truly communicate and share God’s LOVE and friendship with others, any way we can, in these really tough and trying times! Much LOVE!

…trust in the Lord…and do good…regardless of the circumstances…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2019 Psalm 34:4.

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

Good news and bad news friends! The bad news first: My PSA level did not drop to ZERO, as I had desired! But the good news is that it did drop a fair amount, enough for the medics to decide I don’t have to do any more radiation therapy at this time! Wow! Praise His holy Name my people! We will just monitor it and see how it goes over the next few months. 

And in keeping with that fear that so many of us have today, about cancer or whatever else it is that threatens us, in this evil and ungodly world, I have some wonderful news and ideas for us to stay fear free. We’ll begin with this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, appropriately titled ‘Fear Not.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear Not.” Surely you would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would you command it so explicitly If you could not keep me from fearing. God, You have given me a Fear not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. 

Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. Lord, when David cried to You You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than you were to David.’  

And no my people, if you cry out to Him, He will not be less kind to you than He was to Bruh David! The important thing is to take it all to Him, cast all your care and fear upon Him, for He cares for you! As you can see He’s already provided all the ‘Fear Nots.’ Now it’s we who must make the next move and come to Him in heartfelt sincerity and truth, so that He can bless and restore us. 

And to add to all that, let’s listen to Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional as he talks about ‘Courage from Faith.’  He says: ‘The Bible is filled with commands to be courageous. Someone counted the “fear nots” in the Bible and discovered that there are 365 verses with this divine command – one for every day of the year! 

Verses such as: ‘Fear not…When you pass through the waters…they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned…For I am the Lord you God. I will be with you.’ (Is.45:1-3) ‘Be strong and of a good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ (Josh.1:9) 

‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of LOVE and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’ (Matt.17:20) …Observe now how faith is the force that sets you free to succeed.’ 

Yeh friends, FAITH is the great mover and shaker in a believer’s life! As the Good Book so wisely informs us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

Yeh mih people, it’s all about FAITH! And faith only comes through first believing, then surrendering one’s life to God, then trusting Him to take us through all the rough times we face successfully. Until we totally give up our lives to God, we’ll never be able to have much faith. He wants ALL of us, not bits and pieces that we choose to surrender. He can’t paint a proper picture, or build a perfect structure if we only give Him some of us. 

And even more importantly my people, faith is only built by going through hard times, when we have to buckle down and truly believe His words, ‘DO NOT FEAR!’ And like everything else we do in life, the more we do that, the better we become at it, and the stronger our faith grows! Glory Hallelujah! 

Now hear how Bruh David said it in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the Righteous. ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear (reverence) him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him.’ (Ps.34:4-9) 

Mama Mia! What encouraging words! And remember friends, when Bruh David talks, he doesn’t talk from hearsay, but personal experience. So there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t believe his word and do as he says and did! And now that we’ve conquered our fears, (smile) by completely surrendering our lives to Almighty God, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice and 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 having said it, let’s go out now and do it nuh my precious saints of Christ! Much LOVE!

…fear is Satan’s tool…while faith is Christ’s…and that’s undoubtedly the stronger one…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2019 Isaiah 26:3.

Isaiah 26:3.   ​Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.
 

Oh, it was a pretty good official beginning of summer yesterday! It wasn’t hot, hot, hot, (smile) but it was sunny and a decent temperature, somewhere in the low twenties. But according to the weatherman, it’s going to be warm and rainy the next week or so, even with some thunderstorms thrown in for good measure! But that’s nothing new! It’s been the norm for the last li’l while. (smile) 

So we can handle it with great aplomb, just like we handle everything else the enemy throws at us, with Jesus’ help of course, as we confidently declare. Chuh man! It looks like I can’t spell the word ‘declare’ and it’s various parts even if my life depended upon it! But I spelt it right there though! Glory be! So let’s declare then (right ho!). ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) 

Now that’s the only reason why we are able to handle life and all its complexities with great aplomb; because of the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our lives, operating as the Holy Spirit. Glory to God for his wonderful doings in the lives of the children of men! But enough suh-so suh-so, (smile) some people are waiting this glorious looking Saturday morning to hear what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response.’ Now that’s mostly true. I think though that the first line should read: ‘When you’re angry, you assume negative intent,’ because when you’re negative it doesn’t always mean that you’re angry. You can certainly be negative without being angry. But making a decision when you’re angry is the worst thing you can do. The only decision to make then is to decide to make none at all! 

Then there’s this one that fits into the same category as the last. ‘People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom.’ For sure! Our society certainly focuses too much on what’s wrong, rather than on what’s right, on what we’ve lost, rather than on what we still have! That only leads us to being perpetrators of an overall doom and gloom attitude, which just drives us further down into the mire of life. 

We need to be as positive as we can in this life, and Christians should be the most positive people on the planet because we have the best life, both here on earth and in the future going for us with Jesus Christ at the helm! But unfortunately, in too many instances, Christians turn out to be some of the most negative and feeling sorry for themselves people on the planet. 

But here is a practical circumstance that many of us fall into because of our wallowing in negative thinking. ‘Stop allowing yourself to focus on depressing life circumstances – including focusing on being depressed about your weight. All this negative focus will only lead you to feeling bummed and wanting to pig out. Instead, consciously focus on happy life circumstances you enjoy doing, and create more of them.’ 

Now this sense of weight insecurity is rampant in our society today, and granted many of us need to lose a lot of weight because there are definitely too many overweight and obese people in our society. But the right way to go about it is not to get overly worried and negative since that attitude will only make matters worse. The most important thing there is to first accept the fact that you are overweight and seriously decide to do something about it, without putting yourself down. 

Because, here’s what happens when we give into the negative circumstances in life: ‘Worry and reasoning are two of Satan’s most successful tools. He’ll get us started with one negative thought and then sit back and watch us finish ourselves off.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! Remember the battlefield for our souls is our minds, and once the enemy is able to inject one false or negative thought there, then it’s downhill all the way after that! 

And that’s why Isaiah so rightly and wisely proclaimed in his hymn of praise: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ Yeh friends, when we keep our focus on God, He keeps our minds in good, positive and godly functioning. 

That’s also why Jesus recommended to the throng during the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) The Lord knows what we need and want before we even do, and He’s sincerely and faithfully promised that if we keep Him first in our lives, make Him the Number ONE priority, then He will look after us in spades! 

Likewise, Bruh Paul told the Philippians thus: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing 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.4:6-7) And that my friends is wisdom of the utmost proportions! 

And we’ll close with these marvellous words of truth from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) Please my people, let’s use that sound mind that God has given us nuh! Much LOVE!

…for ALL anxiety…the antidote is…simply prayer with thanksgiving…

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2019 Psalm 107:25,29.

Psalm 107:25,29.   ​For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 

And it’s another Saturday in T&T! Glory be! And under a slight cloud cover, which hopefully will soon be dissipated by the bright, rising sun, the wonderful blue-green expanse of sea still lies before me, dotted with nondescript vessels in the foreground, but in the background, in its vastness, seemingly stretching out to forever over the horizon! Wow! What a mouthful! But I like it, and I do hope it conveys the beauty of the picturesque scene in front of me. (smile) 

Well we didn’t do anything of note yesterday, just hung around the hotel and rested, until in the late afternoon a couple of family members came to visit. They ended up taking us down to Petite Valley to get some roti. But imagine that nuh, nowadays yuh have to drive all the way to Petite Valley to get a decent roti. In my time, you could get a good roti on almost every street corner. But as they say times change and so do ways and people and situations. And for the record, the roti was good! (smile) 

But as we usually do on a Saturday, let’s take a gander at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘If you spend your life working, sleeping and doing the basics… Congrats! You’ve just wasted your precious life!’ 

Well…that’s somewhat of a toss-up. You need to do the basics of life, including working and sleeping, but just doing barely enough to get by, deprives you of some of the most enjoyable aspects that life can provide. So it’s always necessary to go the extra mile, take a risk, if you truly want to enjoy your life to the fullest. 

And the next quote advises: ‘The big lesson in life is never be scared of anyone or anything. Say what you want to say and do what you always wanted to do. You will never reach your goals if you are always scared of taking the next step.’ There is a fair amount of truth in that statement, and yes we shouldn’t be scared of anything or anyone in this life, because our great and wonderful God has not given us ‘a spirit of fear, but of power, of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) 

However, we can’t just go bulldozing through life to get our way. We need to be careful what we say and to whom, for our words will eventually come back to haunt us, like a boomerang comes back to the thrower. Remember, that there is much power in our words, and as true believers in Christ we have the responsibility to be accountable for our words. So don’t be scared to push ahead, but do have a modicum of circumspection! (smile) 

But we got to take a break go for brekkies now. The duchess is ready. Soon come! 

Back some three hours later after a filling breakfast over the road at the Radisson Hotel and a short nap. Must have that nap! (smile) And talking about quotes. Let’s not forget this one: ‘Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. If you hang on to things for too long, you will end up hurting yourself.’ 

Gospel truth that friends! People and things come and go in our lives for a reason or a season, but when their time is up, please don’t try to hold on to them because you will miss the next good thing that God has earmarked for you. And I’ve had to learn that from hard experience. Yeh mih breddren, when God closes a door, don’t try to push it back open, because He won’t open the new one unless you allow the last one to close. 

And the last quote says: ‘Rise above the storm, and you will find the sunshine. Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.’ That’s for certain sure friends. Above the storm clouds there is sunshine, and not all storms come to make our lives miserable and difficult, but some do come to clear the way. Remember the saying, there’s always a calm after a storm, and that’s gospel truth, as you would see if you look back at the storms you’ve had in your life. 

But friends, the only way to continually rise above the numerous storms that come against us, sometimes out of the clear blue sky, is by hooking your cart to the storm Maker and storm Calmer, Jesus Christ! No doubt about that people! Listen to what the psalmist says: ‘For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…’ And when we cry out to Him for succour: ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ (Ps.107:25, 29). 

If you believe that God created the universe and all therein and is still in control of it, then you should have no problem in believing His awesome power to create and calm storms, both literally and figuratively! Isaiah puts it thus in his song of praise by the redeemed. ‘Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:3-4) 

That’s how our awesome God deals with the figurative storms in our lives. And per the literal storms, hear Bruh David: ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

And if you want to see that in literal action, check out Matt.8:23-27 where Jesus was crossing the sea in a ship with the disciples and a raging storm arose, so much so that they began to take in water and the men were terribly afraid, but Jesus meanwhile was fast asleep in the back of the boat. When they woke Him up and made such a fuss, He berated 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.8:26-27) And so they should, because He created them and controls them! 

Ah friends, unfortunately storms are an essential part of life, and the ONLY way to handle them with suitable aplomb and patience is by having the Lord Jesus Christ as your guide and pilot in this life and the one to come. That’s wisdom and understanding of the most awesome kind! Much LOVE!

…when Christ is our pilot…storms don’t scare us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).
 

Hear me calling: ‘Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day!’ That’s a heartfelt plea my brethren, because since I’ve come back from Jamaica, it’s been a steady diet of rain and more rain…and today looks like it might be more of the same. I guess the Lord’s reasoning is if we could have two weeks of brilliant sunshine, what’s wrong with a few days of rain eh? 

And as the duchess recently informed me, in her usual frank manner: ‘Stop complaining. You’ve been here for forty years. You should be accustomed to it by now!’ (smile) But who ever gets accustomed to the cold October and November rains eh? I know one person whom it doesn’t seem to bother though, that’s the ordinary workingman, once it’s Friday he’s happy regardless of the weather. His primary focus is having two days off from work to party. 

Hear him sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And though the rain falling, and the place cold and miserable, I don’t care, because I don’t have to go to the massa work and slave mih life away for a small pittance and all the grief he want to cause me! Glory be! It’s the start of the weekend, that means is party time; time to swing and sway, eat and drink and let the good times roll! No holding back, just full steam ahead! Party, party, party! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, don’t you wish we could be as laid back and carefree as the ordinary workingman? We all surely do. However, as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t afford that luxury because then the enemy, the evil Satan will joyfully infiltrate our souls and cause serious havoc therein. That’s why we need some boundaries in our everyday lives, points beyond which we won’t go, and that’s also why our weekend song, our Friday Chant is so different to his. 

Chant it with me now nuh: ‘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 people, we need to be always on our p’s and q’s when dealing with this evil world we live in. We’re workers for Jesus and thus must show the character, qualities and attitude that’s becoming to His glorious name! And yes, it is difficult sometimes to stay on the straight and narrow path that Jesus recommends, but we do have the reassurance and wherewithal to stay the course. 

Listen to these fruitful and famous words of reassurance from Bruh Paul to Timothy when the youngster was going through a rough time in his ministry in Ephesus. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).’ 

Ah my people, each of us has been imbued with the Holy Spirit of Christ, which is supposed to lead and guide us in our daily lives; giving us that spirit of power, LOVE and a disciplined soul. However, it can only do its job if we listen to it and allow it to work its grace, mercy and forgiveness in our lives. So we do have what it takes to do Christ’s work, but most of us are not using those tools wisely. 

Remember, the Lord, through the Holy Spirit can’t work properly in our lives unless we give up ALL aspects of our lives to Him. Many of us hold back some areas and only give over those we think the Lord might be interested in. But that’s a sure fallacy friends, the Lord’s interested in EVERYTHING in our lives. He doesn’t want bits and pieces of it, He wants it ALL! 

Now listen, as Bruh Paul continues his reassurance to Timothy and to us. ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (time). 

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day. 

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.’ (2 Tim.1:8-14) 

Oh friends, just a couple of points before we close. If we truly believe, then we cannot be ashamed of the gospel as so many of us are. And remember, Christ has abolished death and given us salvation unto eternal life. And that is assured! No one can take it from us. But we have to stand strong and steadfast in faith and do whatever it takes to win souls to Jesus and keep ourselves on the straight and narrow. 

Let’s hope that these words of Bruh Paul will reassure us and remind us of all the power and LOVE and discipline that we do have through the Holy Ghost, from the work of Jesus Christ. Amen. Much LOVE!

…a true believer…should not be ashamed…of whatever he believes in…