Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 November 2021 Proverbs 13:20.

Proverbs 13:20.     He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Okay friends, it’s Saturday morning, and like the last few days, we can’t tell whether it’s going to be cloudy or sunshiny because it keeps changing from one to the other. You’d wake up and look outside, like I did this morning, and see bright sunshine and give thanks for a sunshiny day, but a little while later when you again look out, it’s become cloudy. 

Chuh! The day can’t seem to make up its mind, but we don’t have any trouble doing that with Jesus in our lives. So let’s give thanks for our first blessing of the day nuh; that is, we woke up this morning. Praise the Lord! Our heavenly Father was graceful and merciful enough to allow His breath of life to keep flowing through our bodies, and for that we ought to be ever thankful, because from that flows everything else. Without breath we can’t do anything. Consequently, let’s say thank you Lord for waking me this morning, and ask that you stay with me throughout the entire day since I can’t get through it successfully without your help. Thank You Lord! Amen! 

And now that we’ve given sincere thanks, (smile) let’s turn to the ordinary matters of the day, like checking out the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one declares: ‘It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.’ That’s the indisputable truth! It’s the people around you that make you and your life successful and worthwhile, or not. 

You can have all the wealth and possessions in the world and still be unhappy because you don’t have true and decent people around you. But then, with the right people around you and not a penny in your pocket, you can have a joyful life. Possessions don’t make the man, it’s the people around him. 

That’s why this next quote strongly advises: ‘Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” And do we ever need that kind of companion in these turbulent and deceitful times my brethren. For as Cousin Sol warns in Proverbs: ‘He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.’ (Prov. 13:20) That’s because both wisdom and folly can be transferred by association, so you need to associate with those who are higher up the ladder than you, who can teach you something worthwhile and lift you up to their level, not people who will drag you down to theirs. 

And therein is the reason Bruh Paul warned in his first epistle to the church at Corinth: ‘Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt (bad company corrupts) good manners (habits).’ (1 Cor. 13:33) Or as one translation puts it: ‘Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”  And Cousin Sol tells us on that subject; ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly (or may come to ruin): and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov. 18:24) In other words a man with a lot of unreliable friends usually comes to ruin, while a few worthy friends are ofttimes worth more than a brother. 

We see that writ larger than life in all the hangers ons found in the entourages of today’s celebrities. When they are on top of the world, they have numerous people hanging around them calling themselves friends, but as soon as their sun wanes, the so-called friends, drift away, because there’s no more free life left to be had. And in all of that is the implied advice that you need Christian people around you, people who pray, who have the same basic objectives and beliefs like you. 

No wonder Bruh Paul advised the Thessalonians: ‘Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are already doing). (1 Thess. 5:11) So in plain today language, he’s saying: ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing right now.’ And we also see the results of prayer in friendships, for after Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)

 Meanwhile, the next quote says: ‘Friendship is when people know all about you but like you anyway.’ More awesome truth there my fellow saints! That’s the backbone of true friendship, liking each other despite our faults and foibles. We all have weaknesses and idiosyncrasies, so if we turn away as soon as we espy some difference, something we don’t particularly like in another, then we won’t have any friends or friendships at all. That’s why it’s ever so important to limit the number of your friends, and also to know them as intimately as possible, and make sure you all are on the same basic page. 

Cousin Sol, in his inimitable, unique manner, describes friendship thus: ‘Ointment and perfume rejoice (delight) the heart; so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel (counsel of the soul).’ (Prov. 27:9) Or as one translation puts it: ‘Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.’ Or more succinctly, ‘A sweet friendship refreshes the soul’ And there’s no doubting the awesome truth of those words, because that’s the whole basis of friendship, to help, encourage and look out for each other. 

And the following quote shows up that contention in spades. ‘You find out who your real friends are when you’re involved in a scandal.’ Now that one takes the cake…because it’s oh so true! We see it blown up in the media every day in the lives of the politicians, the celebrities, the wealthy and the powerful. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t also happen in the lives of the lesser known individuals, it just doesn’t get as much exposure. Right now that kind of stuff is what’s driving the news and social media platforms. 

Those who were supposedly friends before the scandal broke, are now dishing dirt on their earlier relationships, either to extricate themselves from any fallout, or for their own aggrandizement. There’s absolutely no solidarity or having each other’s back in our crazy, angry, deceitful, selfish and totally misled world. And we see that in the exchanges between Job and his supposed friends. They lay grief on him, without knowing the truth of the situation, but he replies. ‘To him that is afflicted (in despair) pity (kindness) should be showed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.’ (Job. 6:14) Or, “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” 

If you can’t be kind to a friend, then whom will you be kind to eh? That brings us to this last quote. ‘In the cookie of life, friends are the chocolate chips.’ And you better had believe it! Please note, how a cookie isn’t chocked full of chocolate chips, but only a handful, and the few that it contains are spread around, so that you can taste one with each bite. That’s the way friends and friendships are; few and far between, but sturdy and close enough to make a difference in a time of need. 

So, please my fellow saints, let’s concentrate on making a few, good, close, sturdy, long lasting friendships that will uplift our lives and the lives of those around us, with Jesus as the basic foundation of them all. Much LOVE!

…friendship is like the ice cream on a cone…or like the icing on a cake…they complement each other so well… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2020 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.     ​…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well it’s a bright Saturday morning in my area, and there seems to be nothing new under the sun, (smile) as Cousin Sol said so long ago. (Eccl. 1:9). The vote counting and ridiculous claims and incitement to unruly behaviour is still happening down south in the U.S. What a ridiculous example is being set by a once proud and mighty nation eh! But I guess as the ole people would say, ‘after one time is two.’ 

And as it happens with men and nations, when we get too big for our britches, we generally end up falling to our knees in misery and discord. Anyway, we’re still waiting to see how the drama, that rodeo down there plays out. But however it does play out, one thing is for sure, the results and ongoing sentiments won’t be nice and sweet and friendly. (smile) 

Enough on that topic now. It’s Saturday, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. We only got three quotes this week, so that should make my life easier. (smile) And he is still prefacing them with ‘Positive affirmation: you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are.’ So I won’t repeat it the preface, but please be careful to remember that we are only awesome in and with Jesus in our lives. (smile) 

And the first quote is ‘I don’t need someone else to feel happiness.’ And that’s oh so true. Too often though we depend on others to do or say things to make us happy. But please note that happiness is a feeling, a feeling which can be turned on and off at a whim, or change of circumstance. It’s a frail and fickle state or emotion, ofttimes with no suitable or strong foundation to keep it flowing. However, we are quite capable of raising that feeling of ebullience on our own. 

It’s become a habit though, to claim that so and so has made me unhappy, or happy. But the truth is that no one can really make us happy or unhappy but ourselves. We hold the key to either situation, by allowing others to influence us one way or another. Now joy is a different thing. That comes from a strong state of inward satisfaction, a solid foundation, which doesn’t change with every change of direction of the wind or life, and which even in tough situations, like we’re now facing, keeps us strong and steadfast. 

And it’s under those conditions that we can claim the next quote: ‘I’m calm, happy, and content. My imperfections make me unique.’ Now let’s deal with the last part of that quote first. Our imperfections don’t need to make us unique nuh, because our Creator has already done that. He made us in His own image, (Gen. 1:26) He blew His breath of life into our nostrils, (Gen. 2:7) That means each and every one of God’s creation is a unique being! There are no two people exactly alike. 

As Bruh David so famously said in Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ (Ps. 139:14) Yes my people, we are all magnificent and unique creatures, but unfortunately not enough of us can lay true claim to the first part of the quote, because too many of us are not calm, happy and contented. Yes, the current situation of a pandemic and all sorts of strife is stressful and can tend to erode our calm and contented situation. 

However, if one’s foundation is built on Jesus, then friends, you can withstand anything, any kind of stress or strain or evil circumstance that tries to steal your joy and calm and contentment! For Jesus is our rock, our solid foundation! As Nehemiah said way back when, ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

Mama Mia! What a marvellous acclamation and truthful proclamation eh! (smile) That’s why joy and happiness are different. For true joy comes from having Jesus in our hearts, but happiness is from man, that’s why it’s ephemeral; short-lived, flaky, vapour-like, with no solid foundation. And years later, Bruh Paul put it bluntly to the church at Corinth: ‘For no other foundation can no man lay than that that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.’ Yes my people, Jesus Christ is the ONE and ONLY true foundation of this world. He built it, and if and when necessary, He will destroy it. No man can do it unless He allows it. 

As the psalmist so avidly proclaimed long ago. ‘The stone which the builders refused (rejected) is become the headstone of the corner (chief headstone). This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.’ (Ps.118:22-23) Ah my fellow saints, Jesus came to earth to build His kingdom, but oh so many rejected and abused Him, and He even quoted that scripture in His relating of the parable of the wicked husbandmen. (Matt. 21:42) 

But thankfully, down through the ages, mankind has slowly woken up to the reality that Jesus is the only real Saviour available to ease hurts and pains and bring joy and gladness to the soul, and we have begun accepting Him as the foundation of our lives, though certainly not on a wide enough scale, so no wonder the minions of the evil one now have the world in grip, in a strangle hold, and causing endless strife and negative commotion. 

But my brethren, if Jesus is in our lives, then we will be okay, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and to work everything out for our good eventually. And He’s awesomely faithful in keeping His promises! So if things are rough right now and we are hurting and wounded and seeing no avenue for healing, don’t worry, come to Jesus, just as you are, and He will gladly accept and heal you. 

And that brings us to the last quote: ‘I’m allowed to take the time to heal.’ Oh hurting ones, fear not, Jesus is the original Healer, and He will take His take His time with ALL those who come to Him for succour in sincerity and truth! Hear His Great Invitation nuh: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

And that’s the gospel truth people! Only in Jesus can a body find true joy and rest and healing and salvation! So please accept him today nuh. He’s knocking at the door to the hearts of ALL men. For your benefit, open up your heart and let Him in nuh. It will be the wisest decision you’ve ever made! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the only place for ONE STOP shopping…He satisfies ALL your needs and wants…