Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, 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’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2019 Luke 24:49.

Luke 24:49.    And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
 
Well it’s Christmas Saturday…Thank the Lord! We down to four days now before the Big Day! And plenty people still shopping and baking and cooking and preparing the treats for the festivities, not the ole fella though. (smile) Yes, I’m just taking it easy, going along my normal slow, practical way. Oh I might lend a hand here or there, but the frustrations and busyness of the season won’t affect your humble servant. Thankfully, I’ve left all of that behind. What did Bruh Paul say about not looking back at the past, but looking forward to the future where we don’t have all the hustle and bustle! Yeh friends, that’s become my style now. I don’t get involved in all the confusion. I just relax and try to enjoy Christ in His season. (smile) 

But since it’s Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’ And that’s oh so true friends! We don’t necessarily need to see the ending of a thing, just the beginning. And there’s the inherent physical problem that if you don’t start out, you will never get to the end. Like the Chinese Proverb says: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ 

Yeh. You do have to step out, hopefully in faith to make any journey, be it long or short. And if you’re a true and faithful believer, then you have the wonderful promise that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Phil. 4:13) Mama Yo! How can you ever beat being a true believer with promises such as those eh? That’s why Christians ought to be the happiest and most effective people in the universe! We don’t have to be afraid of the future, but can embrace it with joy, because of all that our Lord and Saviour Jesus has done for us, beginning with His awesome incarnate birth at this Christmas season! 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.’ And that should be the motto of ALL believers: be true to oneself and to one’s faith! We can certainly notice the ridicule and disdain that the world holds many of us believers in, simply because we believe and profess a lifestyle different to theirs. But if you truly believe, then you ought to stand up for your beliefs. But sadly too many of us supposed believers are scared and afraid to stand up to the world bullies for their faith in Jesus. 

That’s obviously not right my brethren, because all that does is tarnish Jesus’ name even more than it’s already tarnished. The world already considers Christians to be compromising and cowardly. It’s time we stand up strong for Jesus, and there’s no better time to do it than right now in this time of celebration, when His name is on the tongue of so many people, and they might be most receptive to Him. Remember friends, if you don’t stand strong for something, you can fall oh so easily for anything! 

Then there’s this: ‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’ Now I don’t agree with the semantics of that statement, because God has destined all of us to be some kind of body, but that’s not necessarily the person we become, since so many of us don’t follow God’s will. But generally speaking, we become the person we decide to become. And if it’s within God’s will, then so much the better. But if it is outside His will,  then your life won’t ever be right. 

And I can use my own life as a testimony. Now writing the Bit never appeared in even my wildest dreams. But obviously it featured in God’s. (smile) And if I had utterly refused to do His bidding and write it, then I’m sure my life would never have been as blessed as it is now. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the dreams He’s placed in my heart. No, absolutely not! I still hold on to them and sincerely believe that He will bring them to pass…just in His own time and fashion. (smile) Otherwise, what’s the point in having dreams at all eh? 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘Some people have power but are powerless.’ And that is so true, especially of supposed believers in Jesus Christ! Friends, we have so much power through Christ that it’s astounding, to say the least. We can do so much because of our faith and trust in Him, but yet we remain powerless and allow the foolish Beelzebub to steal our power. Remember the quote we heard Jesus say yesterday? ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt. 28:18) Those were the words He spoke to the disciples just before He gave them the Great Commission to go out and proselytize the world, then He ascended back into heaven. 

And Mark wrote it down thus: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).’ (Mark 16:15-16) And I’ll pause here to interject the scholars’ note. ‘16:16. Only faith, not baptism, is essential for salvation, as the omission of baptism from the last clause above.’ And sadly, that is indeed a rather contentious point amongst believers today, and one that unfortunately keeps the church from truly being one body in Christ. Different denominations hold different views, and it seems that never the two shall meet. But that’s a discussion for another day, just thought I’d point it out. (smile) 

Mark continues: ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils (demons); they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not (never) hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16:17-18) Oh friends, we have so much power in us that we don’t use! Hear Jesus: ‘And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ 

And the scholars’ importantly note: ‘24:49. Here is the source of strength for effective evangelism. The promise of my Father stresses that the Spirit’s coming is not an afterthought, but an integral part of God’s eternal will. Endued conveys the picture of one being clothed with God’s enablement. Waiting is part of the necessary preparation for reception of God’s guidance and sanction.’ Yes my people, that’s all so true! And it all began when the Holy Ghost came at the time of Pentecost and filled all believers with the Spirit of Christ! (Acts 2) And that all leads to the facts that there is power in the Word of God, there is power in the name and blood of Christ! 

Oh precious people of Christ, we have so much inherent power, that we ought to be walking and talking and believing powerhouses! And it all stems from Jesus! And the Good Book is filled with scriptures about power and healing and all the other stuff we’ve been granted in Jesus’ name. However, we don’t have time or space to get into them. But please, let’s spend sometime this Christmas season checking them out for ourselves nuh, so that we can use that abundant God-given power to do God’s will powerfully and abundantly in the coming year. That’s our homework for this week! (smile) Much LOVE!

…sing it out…oh there is power in the blood…power in the word…power in the name of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

Well it looks like it’s going to be a wet and woolly Saturday in my part of paradise, with the distinct possibility of ice pellets later on! (smile) But the sad fact of the matter is that all over the world, the weather is in a state of flux; fluctuating like we’ve never seen or experienced it before. We’re either not getting what we’re supposed to get at this time of the year, or too much or too little of it, and that’s creating a lot of havoc in our lives. Now the reason for this state of affairs, or who’s fault it is, that’s another story, (smile) which we won’t get into this morning. 

Instead, we’ll check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And speaking of Anselm, miraculously, just this morning I received an e-mail from one of our Scrip-Bit friends saying that her curiosity had been piqued by Anselm and his quotes. Consequently, she wanted to know if he was a real person and where he gets his quotes from. My answer was yes, he is a real person, but I don’t know where he gets his quotes from. And for those of you whose curiosity has also been piqued by our friend Anselm’s identity and otherwise, please remember the ole people’s saying that curiosity killed the cat, so be careful it doesn’t kill you too. (smile) 

Ah friends, it’s good to have a li’l fun sometimes, life is too short to be serious all the time. And here is Anselm’s first quote: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ And isn’t that the living truth! So many things we need or try to do seem so hard that they teeter towards the impossible side of the ledger. But having completed the seemingly impossible task, it then seems as though it was a piece of cake, and we wonder why we thought it was impossible in the first place. But that’s just the way life is friends; tasks always seem more difficult than they really are, before we tackle them. And since we know that nothing is impossible with Jesus as the Master of our lives, let’s think in terms of possibilities rather than impossibilities nuh, our lives will improve ever so much. 

And the next quote tells us that, ‘An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.’ Now that’s surely an interesting way to put it. And the optimistic attitude is obviously the better way, since it makes us look forward to better times in the coming year than we’ve had in the one just past. Chuh! Can you imagine if I had not been optimistic in the past three years when I was so sick, even unto death, as some people thought, but definitely not me, (smile) I certainly would not be around today! 

That does say something for optimism, for looking on the bright side, even when there seems to be no reason whatsoever for doing so. That leads us to this next interesting quote: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ More optimism, more faith and hope and belief in the good and faithful promises of Jesus my people! That’s the only way to live this life with a modicum of success; optimistic, and strong and steadfast in our Christian faith; the only faith that has all the magnificent benefits like mercy and grace, salvation and forgiveness, and that’s only a few, where we don’t get what we deserve, but the good things we don’t deserve. 

Ah my people, I can’t begin to tell us how good and great and merciful and gracious is the God that we serve nuh! The Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Creator and omnipotent ruler of this magnificent universe! So here ‘s the last quote. (smile) And we keep the best for last. ‘I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.’ And do I ever, for as far as I’m concerned my best days are still ahead of me! Glory be my brethren! And so should ALL believers think and believe, because with Jesus running our lives we’re on the gravy train. (smile) 

Remember He said, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means He doesn’t desire us to be living struggling lives all the time, but enjoying the kingdom of heaven down here on earth too. And the talk about the gravy train was a bit facetious, because life will not always be wine, song and laughter, but as Jesus also warned us: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

What a marvellous and encouraging verse of scripture that is friends, from our Lord and Saviour Himself! But until we truly believe and live them, our lives will not improve. And in strong support of Christ’s words, here are a couple of scriptures from Bruh Paul. The first one, written to Timothy, after outlining his own suffering, he confirms our earthly ‘sufferation’ ‘Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra: what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly for Christ shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim. 3:11-12) 

So though trials and persecutions may – no, will come, if we hang in there, the Lord will eventually deliver us from them all. And as Bruh Paul defiantly proclaimed to the church at Rome: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:35 & 37) Glory Hallelujah my brethren! What words of positive and encouraging faith! 

That means, as true believers, there is a lot of good stuff for us to look forward to, including heaven and eternity with Jesus eventually. There’s nothing better than that available friends, so please, let’s keep a good attitude and believe that even better times than these are in our future. Much LOVE!

…what’s the point of faith eh…if it doesn’t give one true hope…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2019 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 

Yes mih people…we’ve been granted one more day of God’s tender mercies and inexhaustible compassions! And though we may not know why, we can be assured that there’s an important reason, because the Lord does have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates and leaves breathing here on earth. 

So let’s accept His largesse with a good attitude nuh, and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) And that is wisdom personified, for as the ole people would say, you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and we all know that our God would never grant us bad stuff. So let’s get out there and enjoy the day, be it rain, sun, sleet, or shine! 

And you’ll also notice that although it’s Saturday, the ole fella is up rather early. Chuh! I went to bed late but got up a couple hours later and could not go back to sleep, so after turning and tossing for about forty-five minutes, I decided to just get up and begin enjoying the day. (smile) And a part of that is reviewing the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better and brighter tomorrow. 

Listen to this first one: ‘Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.’ Now I accept the first part without reservations, but not the second, because like many of us, I’ve learned from personal experience, that if you leave life to do its own thing, then it will more often take you downhill than up. And that’s because life in this fallen world is basically a negative implication rather than a positive one. Simply notice how hard you have to try and formulate and keep positive thoughts and actions, whereas the negative aspects come in droves, completely unbidden. And if the evil and negative Satan is the prince of this world, then that’s to be expected! 

But hear this: ‘Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.’ Now that I have to chuckle at, because I’ve found that happiness more often sneaks out of the door you’ve left open than it sneaks in. In the first place, happiness is such an ephemeral and intangible thing that it’s here today and gone tomorrow. And when you’re happy, you tend to leave doors open, rather than close them, because life is so wonderful…and that’s when happiness escapes, like a thief in the night! 

And that leads us to this quote: ‘Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.’ Now that’s more like the truth! You certainly can’t leave happiness to the whim of chance, or it will have you up and down like a yo-yo! You have to grab happiness by the horns and keep it under heavy manners, because as soon as you’re not looking, it’s liable to slip away unnoticed. So happiness is a state of mind you consciously acknowledge that you will embrace. 

And this next one tells us: ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ And is that ever true my faithful brethren! That’s because, as we said at the beginning, God has a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, and usually that doesn’t mesh with the one we desire to have. And I can personally testify to that. 

Yuh think the Bit you’re reading now is my idea? Definitely not! I never envisioned myself as a writer of scriptural stuff, but apparently that was the Lord’s plan, and though I fought it, He eventually won the battle. And here’s a li’l secret; He’ll always win, if He really desires to. 

So please, don’t do like I did. When He comes to you with some idea that you don’t like, don’t laugh because you consider it implausible, or fight it too hard, because He won’t give up, but will make life so miserable and unbearable that you will eventually give in. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He’s faithful to a fault. Anything He asks you to do, He WILL enable you to do it. Just look at my example; when I began writing the Bit, I didn’t know anything, now I know too much. (smile) 

And I always try to leave the best for last. ‘Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s also how it ought to be with followers of Christ? And there’s no more beautiful promise in the scripture than that found in these wonderful words of Jesus. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Jesus was there comforting His disciples, assuring them that all He said would come to pass, and He would be back to take them with Him some day to a beautiful place, an eternal home, He called heaven. Now hear the scholars’ thoughts on that marvellous place: ‘14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities in heaven include singing (Rev.15:3), worship (Rev.5:9), serving (Rev.2:17), ruling (2 Tim.2:12; Rev.22:5), fellowship with others (Matt.17:3), and eating (Rev.2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev.22:4), a life of rest (Rev.14:13), a life of service (Rev.22:3), a life of growth (Rev.22:2), and a life of worship (Rev.19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Rev.21:1-5; cf. Matt.24:33.)’ 

Oh friends, in light of all that wonderful info, please, let’s make a serious and solemn pact, that we’ll all meet in heaven one day to celebrate with, praise and worship our great and Triune God. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…heaven…or hell…you choose…by whom you believe in…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2019 Proverbs 31:26.

Proverbs 31:26.    ​She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness.

 

So we’ve finally come to Saturday! Wow! Can’t believe that a week’s already passed since I’ve been in J.A; a busy week to boot! But as they say, time waits on no one, especially in these fast and furious times, when life is often just a blur, unless you take the time to really step back and consider what’s happening in your own life. Well yesterday evening we had what they called the gala event…but it wasn’t a real gala as the word usually implies, I think tonight’s formal dinner might more suit that bill. 

But anyhow, at around seven thirty, about fifty something of us got together in the Mona Visitors Lodge, a nice venue on the campus for holding special occasions. After mixing and mingling for a while, we watched a video compilation of graduates, showing then and now pictures. That obviously brought forth hoots of laughter and comments as we saw the serious contrasts between the baby-faced students we were then, and the harder, older looks of the current times. Then there was a roll call of all those who had graduated in 1969, including the dear departed, and those who were at the function got up and acknowledged themselves. 

After that we went up to the back of the building to what they call the ruins; the ruins of some old stone building, never knew it was there, and had finger food and refreshing beverages, (smile) and mingled some more, all the while being feted by the beautiful strains of a steelband. I guess a lot of reminiscing, as well as catching up went on. But it was certainly good to see people you hadn’t seen for at least fifty years and talk about things that happened way back then and persons you wouldn’t see for even longer. All in all, it was an interesting evening, but today is the real party…Bring it on! 

And not forgetting that today is Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.’ Yeh friends, curiosity is an interesting thing and does lead to all kinds of further interesting stuff, so it is of some importance to ask questions, if you want to get answers, though they say that ‘curiosity killed the cat.’ (smile) Yes, we can’t belabour the questioning just for questioning sake! And furthermore, in this day and age, where deceit and fraudulence are rampant, it is of exceeding importance to ask questions if you don’t want to be taken advantage of. 

And this next quote says: ‘Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.’ There can be no doubt of the truth in that statement, for it’s only when we step out some from our comfort zone that we make what’s call progress. The problem however is how much deviation do we want, or how much is sufficient to not upturn the whole applecart? 

That means to have a fairly stable society, progress ought to be orderly and sort of linear, moving from one point to another in an orderly fashion, otherwise all hell can break loose. Look at what happens in revolutions, be they armed and physical, or like what’s happening right now in our communication and technological sectors. The supposed progress is happening so quickly and disorderly that it’s throwing everything out of sync, and there’s no real control taking place, it’s become more like a free for all. 

Then there’s this: ‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’ Another truism, you might say! We can all find happiness in the most trying times if we turn on the real and true light…His name is Jesus Christ! John said that he was sent to bear witness of ‘the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ (John 1:8-9) So friends, with Jesus as the mainstay of our lives, happiness is indeed possibly in any kind of situation. Please never forget that! 

Now hear this: ‘Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.’ That makes me chuckle, for as far as I’m concerned our sense of morals should naturally make us do right. I guess it’s all in the interpretation, for when we talk about having morals we usually mean the good aspect, not the immoral part. So here it seems the whole morality landscape is being considered. But sadly morality seems to be a forgotten word today, just like God and godliness are being turfed out of our society. 

Anyway, this last quote should help to fix all of that. ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’ And is that last part ever true my brethren. These are indeed some rough and difficult days and we can’t truly handle them without some kindness on the part of everybody. Unfortunately though, kindness seems to be a word that is fast disappearing from our society, as we just said, in the wake of our strenuous endeavours to push God and godliness out. But friends, the truth of the matter is that kindness is next to godliness.

Hear how Proverbs puts it, when talking about a virtuous woman. ‘She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness.’ You can’t ever beat that my people…and it doesn’t apply to virtuous women alone, but to all God’s children! Yuh see how Ruth, born into idolatry, a Gentile, became a descendant of Jesus, Bruh David’s great grandmother, because of her steadfast support and kindness to her mother-in -law Naomi. Simply read all of Ruth. It’s a short book. (smile) 

And there’s no better passage of scripture to end today’s Bit than this one from Ephesians. Hear Bruh Paul: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:29-32) 

Ah mih people, what wonderful words for us believers to live by! Please, let’s do our sincere best to put them into action nuh, for they will indeed be healing balm to all our sorrows! Much LOVE!

…and to godliness…(add) brotherly kindness…and to brotherly kindness…LOVE… (1Pet.1:7)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2019 Isaiah 1:3.

Isaiah 1:3.    ​The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.

 

Oh yeah, the sun finally won the battle of the weather titans yesterday! It came out shining brightly in the afternoon, but without any real strength, so there was a resultant chill in the air. And some premonition tells me that this is the time for the big chill to finally begin! (smile) 

There will now be very few warmish days, as autumn gets into full swing. The leaves on the trees are already losing their green colour and turning a rustic brown, yellow and gold. Despite the cold winter months it heralds, autumn is still the most beautiful of all the seasons, colourful like a Carnival Tuesday in T&T! Remember, God invented colour! (smile) 

And the last time I looked, the sun was valiantly trying to peek out of the large cloud cover that hid it from sight. But regardless of what happens, today, or any other day, the Good Book assures us that we can do anything and everything through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who strengthens us. (Phil, 4:13) 

And that’s gospel truth my Christian brethren! Through the LOVE and grace and mercy of Christ, NOTHING is impossible to us, we can handle any situation or circumstance that comes against us with true assurance and courage…if we believe! Now let’s turn to our Saturday programme, looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I had a good chuckle at this first one: ‘It’s better to sit in a bar and think about God, than to sit in a church thinking about beer.’ Now that might sound like blasphemy or some such thing, but it’s really the truth! Wherever you are, it’s always better to think about God, than what your situation might naturally induce you to think about, simply because when we think about God, we’re led to do godly things, even in a house of sin. (smile) 

Listen to this next one: ‘Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.’ Yes that’s what we all need to do. God promises us the best, but in this evil world, the worst is also possible, that means we have to be prepared for anything that comes against us. And we’ve already said that we can handle it with Christ’s help, so there’s no need to worry there, especially since we also are assured that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Is.54:17) Glory to God my faithful brethren!  

That brings us to this similar quote: ‘When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.’ Ah mih people, in this evil and ungodly world we’re sure of one thing, obstacles! Whatever we do, especially if it’s for God, the enemy will always try to put obstacles and impediments in our way, so that we don’t reach our goals. But then we don’t need to give up or change our goals, but merely change the direction in which we originally planned to meet them. And does it ever feel good when we thwart the enemy, with God’s help of course! 

And the necessary ingredients for doing that are found in this next quote. ‘You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let them have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.’ Yes friends, if we try to do anything in this world, some failure is inevitable. As the saying goes, you can’t succeed until you fail. 

But please remember too that failure is not permanent, unless you allow it to be. Most of the successful people in this world have failed on numerous occasions, but they got back up, hopefully with God’s help, and kept pressing on until they were successful. And we all have to do the same thing; don’t let one or two, or even three failures cause us to give up on our godly dreams, but learn from each failure, for each one has lessons to teach us, then get up and keep on fighting the good fight. That’s the only way to really succeed. 

And this last quote is really interesting, something that most of us never really consider. ‘A person can LOVE you and still cheat, just like we LOVE God and still sin.’ Think on that for a moment nuh! So many of us claim to LOVE God, but yet we engage in a lot of sin and think nothing much of it. But let someone who claims to LOVE us go astray, or step out of line slightly, yuh see the big noise we make, the way we carry on as though the world is falling down on us! 

But have we ever considered how God feels when we betray Him? We obviously don’t class our sinful behaviour towards God in the same light as someone’s wrong toward us. We behave as though the latter is ever so important, while we sort of overlook the former, saying or thinking that God will forgive us. But what about us forgiving those who do us wrong eh? That brings us to an interesting and oh so appropriate scripture from Isaiah, where the Lord complains. 

‘Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.’ And as it was true of God’s chosen people, Israel, way back then, so is it also true of us in these sinful and ungodly times; we have rebelled against Him after enjoying His goodness and grace and mercy, becoming proud and arrogant, behaving as if we gave ourselves all the good things we have. 

And as the Lord continues: ‘Ah sinful nation, a people laden (weighed down) with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone (turned) away backward.’ (Is. 1:4) And if we are truthful, we will admit that our society, like that of ancient Israel, has become oh so evil and turned away from God so much, even trying to force Him out, that He must be seething with anger. 

And don’t tell me that God doesn’t get angry; it says so throughout the Good Book. He’s just long-suffering; holds in His anger for a long time, but when it finally erupts, as it has done, and will again some day if we keep on the way we’re going; it’s deadly! The scholars explain it thus: ‘1:2-4. Children…rebelled: Isaiah pictures the southern kingdom of Judah as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents. These verses serve as a “great arraignment” of the chosen people who have become corrupt and backslidden. The prophet calls them back to obedience to God.’ 

Likewise friends, the Lord is calling us back to obedience, to repentance and the godliness our society once knew. And if we don’t obey, but continue down the ungodly path we’re now treading, then someday, sooner or later, He’s going to lose His patience with us, and we’ll end up like the Israelites did, when they did not heed His warnings; devastated, hounded by calamity! Now that’s not a very good legacy to bequeath to our descendants, so please let’s seriously try and change it now nuh! That’s about all I can say. Much LOVE!

…continued rebellion against God…will always bring disastrous consequences…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2019 Proverbs 6:6.

Proverbs 6:6.    ​​Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
 

On Safari…On Safari mih people! Yes friends, the ole fella is not lost, but is on safari in the northern part of South Africa! Ah Lord eh! What an experience! But a rather interesting one! And the reason you have not heard from me in the last two days is because the River Lodge where I’m staying, in the back of nowhere, has lost its Wi-Fi and thus I could not connect to the internet. In fact, as I write this on Sunday afternoon, sitting out on my porch, overlooking a li’l slowly moving stream and listening to some bird call to its mate, I still cannot connect to the internet, but I can’t wait any longer to do my do, else I might just forget what happened.

 Now this is Saturday’s Bit, and since I have no Wi-Fi, I can’t get to our friend Anselm’s quotes to include them. So everything will just have to be about what happened on Saturday. Well it began about nine thirty on Saturday morning. After signing out of the hotel, the duchess, my young daughter and I headed for the Madikwe Game Reserve eve in a chartered van. And was it ever a long drive, but on good highways and secondary roads…that is except for the last 25 kilometers or so, when we encountered mostly unpaved roads. 

And was the ride ever bumpy…and did the van ever make a racket on those roads. But we persevered. (smile) And it’s a good thing that our driver was an old pro at getting us to our destination, because it was some five and a half hours after leaving Joburg, after many twists and turns, that we arrived at the River Lodge on the Madikwe Reserve. 

However, soon after we entered the reserve we were greeted by some animals: a couple of wildebeests standing under a shade tree down to the left, then closer to us, a group of elephants, their grey skin looking tough like leather, and also some zebras emblazoned with their beautiful black stripes, drinking at what looked like a man made waterhole. But they did not pay us much attention as they are quite accustomed to seeing vehicles going by. Along the way, we also saw some giraffe with their long necks and legs, munching leaves off the highest part of the trees. They look rather ungainly, but they can move just a quickly as you please! 

Oh I forgot to mention that it was a hot day, with temps getting up into the low 30’s. But the cool breeze that wafted from the mountains made it bearable. And since South Africa is just coming out of their dry winter, the landscape is dry and desert-like, with not as much greenery as one would expect. The first highlight of the day though happened before we even got to the lodge. A little further on from where we spotted the first group of elephants, we saw another group, this time apparently playing in a natural mud hole. 

We stopped for a few moments to take them in, and just then this big old fella decided to leave the group and walk towards us, not menacingly, but nonetheless in our direction. Just before he got to the foot of a small incline that led up to the road, he stopped, raised his head and looked at us. Our driver Ian, a thirty-something white, male South African took this as a signal that he wanted to cross the road. So we just stood there. And when he realized that it was all coasts clear, he slowly ambled up the incline and casually crossed the road at his own slow speed and went about his business. It certainly would not have been wise to provoke the old gentleman, because he could have easily turned us over with a swipe of his trunk, or even worse if he caused the herd to stampede. 

By the time we arrived at the lodge it was minutes to three and were warmly greeted by the staff. Then we hustled off to our chalets, basically a small all in one rustic abode, but nonetheless quite comfortable with all the amenities of home. We were instructed to hustle back for lunch, and after lunch, we were told about coming back for high tea at four, and then we’d be on our first safari run at 4.30. Obviously none of us made it back for high tea, and just in time to get on the open Toyota Land Cruiser with a couple of other white males, in what turned out to be the more than capable hands of Fortune, a big, but cheerful black gentleman. 

And yuh should see the ole fella sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, next to the driver, with his most appropriate safari hat on, with its chin strap and everything! (smile) I don’t like hats, but it was necessary since the sun was out in full force and there was only a slight overhang from the roof of the passenger compartment to the back where the others sat, high above us. Now there are some man made dirt tracks in the area, but other than that you have to make your way through the bush, the thickets of thorn bushes and otherwise. I don’t remember what animals we saw early on in our trek, but the second highlight of the day was when we came upon a dead impala in a thicket of bushes…Oh yeah, we saw some of those too! (smile) 

Fortune said it was a female, and that it’s killer was a cheetah, lying right close to it. But I just could not see it, until he moved the cruiser, because a small shrub hid it from me. And there he, or she, was in all their black and white spotted glory, lying quietly, gazing at the mouth-watering prey, that had already been tasted as the gaping bloody hole in the impala’s stomach indicated. After a few minutes, the cheetah quietly returned to its prey and continued feeding from it’s entrails, raising up its head and looking around every couple of bites to make sure no other predators were coming to deprive him or her of their meal. 

And all of this was happening while three land cruisers, two from other lodges and us, just sat there quietly and watched. That’s because, as I mentioned earlier, the animals are accustomed seeing the vehicles and know that they are not a threat. That’s also why you are advised not to stand up in the vehicles around the animals, or make any sort of provoking noises or actions. Oh, and I just remembered my favourite sight, the ant or termite hills. Brother, some of them are so large, three to four feet in height, and they seem to just take over the shrubs around which they set up shop. And according to Fortune, the above ground section is four times smaller than what’s below ground! And in our youth, we taught our li’l ant’s nest was so wonderful! (smile) 

And that’s why Cousin Sol chose the ant as an example of focused action and productivity. In his warning against idleness and falsehood, he wisely advises: ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide (leader), overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat (food) in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.’ (Prov.6:6-8) Now that is not totally true, because there apparently is a king and queen of each nest, but their respective jobs are just to reproduce, while the workers work; building and harvesting, and the soldiers protect the nest. 

However, what Cousin Sol is really trying to say, is found in the scholar’s explanation. ‘6:6-11. The sluggard is the habitually lazy person. He is admonished to learn two important lessons from the ant: (1) the ant has no guide, overseer or ruler (v.7), meaning that the ant does not have to have a taskmaster standing over it to make it work; it is a self-starter. (2) The ant is wise enough to prepare for predictable circumstances (v.8).’ Oh my friends, how I wish that was truer of us, especially we believers! Because we can too often be a lazy, self-centred lot, not willing, able and active enough in spreading God’s Word and living a life that will attract others to him. 

Please, let’s try and do better nuh, it’s not only in Christ’s best interest, but also in ours, for, come that fateful day, when He asks us why we wasted our time and didn’t use the talents He so generously gave us, what’s going to be our answer eh? There’ll be no time for excuses nuh, so let’s be like the ant and do better nuh. But turning back to our safari, when the night fell, a beautiful full moon came out and graced the area. Fortune also took out a hand-held spotlight and shone it from side to side, while driving in and out of the thickets with one hand. I don’t remember what we saw then, if anything, but we did not get back to the Lodge until minutes to eight. 

Oh, one time we stopped in the bush for about fifteen minutes, had some drinks, dried fruit and biltong (like beef jerky). And the last highlight of the day was during dinner, which was served soon after we got back. The whole group of employees, about ten, came into the dining room dancing and stomping, while singing and chanting the ‘Happy Birthday Song’ in an African tongue. That was in honour of a one year old baby belonging to the other guests, and also to my young daughter. They put on quite show of singing and dancing…and we also had birthday cake for the birthday people. 

It’s after that I got the bad news that the Wi-Fi wasn’t working so I could not write the Bit. I just had come home and fall into bed, and was I ever glad deep down, because I was, as they say, ‘tired like hell!’ And I had to get up and be ready for five thirty to go out on safari again! And that’s how my Saturday was spent! (smile) Much LOVE!

…there is joy and adventure in life…but one has to diligently work at life…not be a sluggard…to reap those enjoyable benefits…  

P.S. Yeah, it long, and late, but it sweet nuh! (smile) And I still don’t know when I’m going to get it to you. Much LOVE!

 

Previous Older Entries