Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.   My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Ah Lord, when is it going to stop eh? When are we going to learn eh friends? By now most of you would have heard of the deadly shooting spree at a Florida High School yesterday afternoon by a 19 year old ex-student. He mowed down 17 people and put another dozen or so in the hospital, some with life threatening injuries. So this morning the death toll might even be higher. 
 
Sadly, it’s not the first, and most likely will not be the last shooting rampage, but what amazes me is why it’s being done so often in schools, and by students too? I won’t even bother to talk about the various government agencies, both State and Federal, doing nothing to alleviate the situation. That’s because the NRA, the Gun Lobby has it all locked up tight in a barrel. Steups! 
 
Now no one is saying that a whole set of laws will stop the shooting, but in the U.S. it’s definitely too easy to acquire a firearm, and of the most dangerous varieties too. And overall, instead of gun laws becoming tighter, they are becoming looser. There are a whole lot of places where you can now walk around legally with an exposed firearm, like the days of the good ole West. 
 
Well then, it stands to logic that if firearms are as prevalent and open as in the West, then you can expect to have many shootings like they supposedly had back then. Meanwhile, the firearms manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank, because they are not only making a killing in the U.S, but they are also the world’s biggest arms dealers. So which politician is going to want to mess with them eh? 
 
Apparently the shooter bought the assault rifle legally some months ago, and furthermore, it’s been alleged that he had a social media page where he boasted about and showed off his personal armoury. And nobody complained to the police about it. Hn! What does that say about our society eh?  
 
And unfortunately it also happened when Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fell on the same day. Ash Wednesday, a day for turning to God to begin seeking spiritual cleansing, and Valentine’s Day, a day when LOVE is supposed to have a small grip on our normally hateful world. It obviously didn’t have that grip on one young man yesterday. 
 
I really don’t know what to say nuh friends, except to keep promoting LOVE, because that’s the ONLY thing that will truly bring an end to the pandemic violence that’s currently strangling our world. That’s why I turned again to our Bit of the last two days: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ 
 
What else can I do, but plead for LOVE, that wonderful attribute of our great God to be our guiding light and not the evil sentiments and actions of Beelzebub. Consequently, today I’m just going to quote some of the attributes of LOVE, from the LOVE Chapter of the Good Book, 1 Corinthians 13, in the hope that it will soften our hearts and bring us back to our true selves. 
 
Listen as Bruh Paul expounds on the way of LOVE. ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (LOVE), I am nothing. 
 
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (LOVE), it profiteth me nothing. Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not (does not brag on) itself, is not puffed up (arrogant), 
 
Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (1 Cor.13:1-7) 
 
Yeh friends and fellow believers, that’s just a brief synopsis (smile) of what LOVE is all about. And regardless of what else you have, if you don’t have LOVE, you are NOTHING! 
 
Oh, I know that some of it is very difficult to practice in real life, but as children of God, it is our bounden duty to put LOVE into action as best we can. And with God’s help, doing a good job is very possible. So let’s take a moment today and ponder all those things that LOVE embodies and embraces nuh, see where we are lacking and ask the Lord to help us in those places. It will be of such benefit to all of us. 
 
Now, for those of us who sincerely try to action LOVE, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, reminding ourselves that when we live with LOVE for God and others, He showers us with extraordinary blessings. 
 
In strong voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 
 
I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 
 
Let’s remember too that blessings are meant to be shared, so our next step is to go out and share them with the less fortunate, as Jesus so greatly desires. Much LOVE!
 
…And now abideth faith, hope and charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE)… (1 Cor.13:13)
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.   My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Oh boy, it’s another bright, sunshiny day in the neighbourhood! Thank You Lord! If we have to put up with the snow and cold, then we should at least have some sunshine to brighten up the gloom those things produce in our spirits. (smile) 

And I’m in a quandary here; don’t know what to write on; Ash Wednesday or Valentine’s Day, as both of them fall on the same day. Hn! The former begins the season of Lent for believers; a serious time of introspection, fasting and prayer. 

On the other hand, the latter is a time of joy and celebration and the time of the biggest display of LOVE in our hate-filled, angry and resentful society. And even though it smacks of a lot of insincerity and commercialism, how can you write off any kind of LOVE at all eh, when we so badly need it? 

I guess in one sense you can say that the bacchanal of Carnival is over now, and we begin the season of Lent with a fiery burst of LOVE! Oh how wonderful that would be if the LOVE went a li’l deeper and was more sincere and lasting! But beggars can’t be choosers, so if we get even a small amount of LOVE in this LOVELESS world we have to be grateful and say, ‘Thank You Lord!! 

Meanwhile, on the Lenten side of the ledger, we need to get serious about our walk with God and delve into what it truly means to be walking in sincere tandem with Him. We need to empty our spirits, as Jesus did when He was led into the wilderness to suffer forty days of temptation at the hands of the evil Lucifer. 

He spent His days in prayer and contemplation with fasting, a way of building His belly and backbone to withstand the rigours of His upcoming ministry. He knew that His ministry would not be easy, and that was the Lord’s way of strengthening Him. 

And in this season of Lent we ought to try and be strengthened in like manner my faithful and believing brethren. If we want to be like Jesus, to grow in Christ-likeness, then we have to do some of the things He did, follow in His footsteps as much as possible. And tuning out more of the world than usual, in these next forty days, is something we can do, and ought to embark on. 

I guess you can call it the yearly cleansing of our spirits. But however we do it, the important thing is to get closer to God, by putting aside some of the worldly things that usually occupy our time, and giving Him more of our time, studying His word more closely and meditating on it, so we can discover its true meaning for our lives. 

And yuh know what friends? As we spend more time in serious reflection, we will understand God better, and His most wonderful attribute, that of LOVE, will seep into our hearts and souls even more. Wow! How amazing that would be if we could get the majority of the world to reflect on God’s Word and discover His awesome and unconditional LOVE! 

And on this Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, I believe the most appropriate Bit for today, is the same one we had yesterday. ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ 

Yeh mih people, please, please, I implore us to bring out true LOVE in our daily lives, show it to our fellow man in living colour, in sincere actions, because that’s the only way we will truly make this world a better place. Not to mention that it’s only true, sincere actions of LOVE, that anyone will truly want to come to Christ. If we keep preaching that Christ is LOVE, and don’t show true LOVE, then we’re making a mockery of Christ and all that He stands for. 

As John says earlier on: ‘For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should LOVE one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew (murdered) his brother (Abel). And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.’ (1 John 3:11-12) 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last verse. ‘3:12. See Genesis 4:8. Of that wicked one refers to a child of the Devil (v.10). Cain killed Abel because their conflicting allegiances (Cain’s to Satan, Abel’s to God) were plain to see by their respective actions. 

John seems to be saying: “If even wicked Cain could see that a man’s character is revealed ultimately, not in what he says he believes, but in what he does, should not Christians be able to see this as well?” 

Of course we should my brethren! As we said yesterday, LOVE is an action word, and only through our actions can we outwardly manifest it. But sadly, so many of us lack LOVE in our souls, that we obviously can’t show it. We can’t give what we don’t have. 

However, if we’re serious about giving LOVE, then all we have to do is go to God and sincerely ask Him to fill us with it. But then that means spending time with Him, something that so many of us unfortunately shy away from. 

Anyway friends, this Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day is the right time for us to come to the trough and drink of God’s grace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness. Remember, it did not just happen by chance, but God programmed it that way, to accomplish His purpose. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our blessed position in Christ. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now that’s truth and wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if one is consistently hanging with Jesus…then one’s future can only get brighter and brighter…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.    My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Welcome friends, welcome to another great day on God’s great earth! Wow! Both the SON and the Sun are shining brightly; the latter so bright that if you’re not careful you can be blinded by its reflection off the white snow. (smile) Is it ever a joy and a pleasure to be alive to see another day! 

Please give our wonderful God much praise and thanks for the breath we’re still drawing in these turbulent times, for without Him we’d surely be faltering in the darkness of an evil and ungodly world. 

And can you imagine the bacchanal that ‘s taking place in places like T&T and Rio right now, at the height of the carnival season? Mama Yo! Fete fuh so! Everybody’s trying to get in as much partying as possible because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday…and then all the party done! (smile) 

Enough about partying though, let’s turn our attention to something that’s much more important and oh so lacking, but ever so necessary in our world, if it’s ever to run right; we’re talking about how to ‘Practice LOVING.’ That’s the name of the poem I want to share with us today from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please pray sincerely with me. ‘It is so simple, dear Lord So pleasant and comfortable To sit in church on a Sunday morning Listening to a sermon about LOVE – Perhaps even speculating a bit On whether my LOVE surpasses the LOVE Of the person to my right Or the Person to my left. 

But to LOVE with Your LOVE To practice LOVING, dear God How uncomfortable the church pew becomes When I hear this ringing challenge When I see Your gazing eyes. Suddenly I remember the vicious remarks Of the woman who misjudged me. I remember the unscrupulous associate Who finagled my husband’s job. I remember the careless driver Who totaled our shining new car. 

So quickly, Lord, I am faced With a haunting parade Of shameful, UNLOVING attitudes. God, You know me so much better Than I know my own complex self And still You continue to LOVE me. Give me, I pray, a fresh glimpse Of Your vast, immeasurable LOVE For it is only out of gratitude for Your LOVE That I shall finally learn What it means to practice LOVING.’ 

And isn’t that the everlasting truth my brethren! Only with God’s help can we truly practice LOVE! It’s something our world desperately lacks, but so badly needs! Just look at all the strife and war, the anger, hate and resentment that’s so blatant in our current societies. How could that ever be good for us eh? 

We need to come together rather then be split apart, and ONLY LOVE, or rather the PRACTICE OF LOVE, brings people together. And yes, I know that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and everybody will be spouting LOVE, but LOVE is not, cannot be a one Day Special, if it is to have any real and lasting effect, especially if fuelled by commercialism as Valentine’s Day is in our current society. 

Hence the command from the first epistle of John in our Bit: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ And as the scholars tell us: ‘3:18. In tongue refers to mere talk.’ And over the years I’ve tried to beat it into my children’s heads that you can’t talk LOVE, because LOVE is an action word! I hope you finally got the message mih LOVELIES! (smile)

Unfortunately though, when coming to LOVE, that’s all our world is about; TALK! We talk a very good talk about LOVE, but not enough of us walk the walk of true and sincere LOVE. And it’s not an easy thing to do, when we are surrounded and bombarded by all sorts of injustices and other things which don’t normally bring out the emotion of LOVE. 

Our poem above points out some of those difficult times; vicious remarks from being misjudged, unscrupulous associates, and careless drivers. Those things certainly don’t bring out LOVE in a natural manner, but our God wants us to have that sort of response, because that’s His response to our own misdeeds. 

So LOVE is something we have to actively and consciously work at, especially since our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, Jesus Christ so plainly and purposefully commanded. 

‘But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’ (Matt.5:44-45) 

Ah friends, obviously that doesn’t sit well with our normal sinful nature, but if we’re born again and are true believers, we need to adhere to the words of our Leader. And we know that anytime we flounder, all we have to do is to cry out to Him for help, and He will help us. So nothing He asks us to do is impossible. That’s why we can go home now sincerely declaring who and who’s we are in our Tuesday Mantra. 

All together now, in strong voice: ‘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!’ 

All glory to God my people! Now let’s go out and do exactly as we just said; share Jesus’ LOVE with the world. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now…is LOVE…sweet LOVE…something we can never have enough of…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2018 Isaiah 1:18.

Isaiah 1:18.   Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Welcome, welcome, one and all to a brand new day in God’s great universe! And it’s not only a new day, but also one filled with new mercies and blessings from our heavenly Father, stuff he made specially for today. 

He threw out all the left overs from yesterday and began from scratch this morning, so those who LOVE Him and are called according to His purpose can bask in the sunshine of His everlasting goodness. 

Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve and worship my brethren! But remember YOU have to communicate with HIM, to get those goodies!  He doesn’t just hand them out willy-nilly. (smile) 

And would you also believe that today is the 1st of February? Brother! We were just singing Auld Lang Syne a few days ago, welcoming the New Year, now we’re already hot into the bacchanalian bash called Carnival, with Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day falling the same time in two weeks. Is the year flying by or what? 

Let’s hope that we all are keeping our New Year’s resolution, that of walking ever closer with Christ this year, strong and in good order, because that’s the only way we will be successful in this crazy, troubled, war-like, evil world. 

And you know friends, the ‘One thing that turns the world from an ugly place to a beautiful place is LOVE. LOVE gives the world hope!’ And is that ever so true my people. Without LOVE permeating our hearts and souls, we simply have no hope, since hate is all about destroying, but LOVE is about building; building together in close harmony. 

But sadly, if we look around our world right now, there is very little, if any building, everywhere is simply destruction, both manmade and natural. How does that augur for the future of our planet eh? It’s not very encouraging. If we keep on destroying everything in our path, the future generations will be left with nothing. 

Is that what we want for our children, and our children’s children? Even the evildoers will answer no to that question, but none of us are doing anything substantial to stop if from coming to pass. That’s why we’re crying out now, in our Bit, like the prophet Isaiah did on the Lord’s behalf, many centuries ago to the Israelites. 

‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s all about mankind sitting down and reasoning together if we want to see a better world. And the two verses after our Bit clearly spell out the consequences of not doing so. ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured by the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:19-20) 

Oh my people, we don’t have to wait for the Lord to tell us that. It’s written ever so plainly in our behaviour, where there’s so much dissension and disunity, even amongst family, much less between countries. Consequently, strife is all-pervasive, and wars are a dime a dozen. It’s easier to pick out where there is no strife than where there is strife, because there are so much fewer of the former. That’s to tell you how bad it is. 

But turning back to our Bit. Let’s get some explanations from the scholars. ‘1:18-20. The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together reveals God’s gracious invitation to all men. It literally means to be “reasonable” by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their blood guiltiness before God. 

The term ‘crimson’ also means “worm,” referring to the colourfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.’ 

Oh mih breddren, from way back then, our wonderful God was prepared to forgive sins to those who turned in repentance to Him, and today He is still in the forgiving business. All we have to do is turn to Him in true repentance. Are we willing to do that so our world and our children can enjoy a better standard of life in the future? 

I do hope so, because with all the amenities and advances in technology we now have, the most important aspect of our society, personal relations between humans is at a low ebb, and until we fix that, nothing else will make life any better. 

Now, for those of us who choose to LOVE the Lord and obey Him, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. In full voice and strong conviction: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and do our bounden duty; share those blessings with others, as Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…only by talking to each other…in good faith…will our world ever improve…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2017 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Well friends, it’s bacchanal time in several places in the Western Hemisphere today! Most noticeably, there’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. The people are supposedly letting off the last of their carnality before immersing themselves in the seriousness of Lent, which begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. 

And recently I read that in a few parts of Brazil, the church has gotten them to tone down the lewdness and carnality of the festival. All power to them, because the festivals have really gotten out of hand with the amount of nakedness and lewd behaviour being displayed. 

Usually I’d be in T&T, watching the proceedings on the tube, as well as going into the big city of Scarborough (smile) to watch some in person. But since I’ve been grounded here on account of my medical situation, I’ll just have to imagine it in my mind. But them’s the breaks. 

Hopefully by next year, I will be strong and healthy enough to not only watch, but also participate in some of the activities. (smile) While there’s life, there’s certainly hope my people! 

But there’s also stuff that we can and should do, even though we’re not in the best of health. And today I want to share a quote from Eva Rose York (b Fitch), (1858-1935) organist, editor, teacher and one of the earliest female composers in Canada. This comes from her symphony titled ‘I shall not pass this way again.’ 

And it says: ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, Remove some barrier from the road, Or lighten someone’s heavy load; a helping hand to this one lend, Then turn some other to befriend.’ 

Yes my fellow believers in Christ, those are the kinds of things we should be concentrating on in our own little areas, in our backyards; in some form and fashion, helping those who need help. 

Remember, that’s what Jesus came to earth to do; to save and to help us in our desperate time of need. Consequently, as Christians, we need to reciprocate His caring and kindness to the needy. 

And believe me, ironically, in a world that is so full of prosperity, it is also full of people in dire need and want. So let’s try and see whom and how we can help in our little way nuh. It’s all a part of our Christian Manifesto. 

And to help us do that, we also need to consider our Bit.‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s of the utmost importance that we take the Word of God seriously and let it lead and guide us on our earthly journey, because that’s exactly what it is meant to be; a guide book, a manual for earthly living, written by our Creator and Provider for our benefit. 

The Lord doesn’t need it, since He penned it, but we miserable sinners do, and if we don’t allow it to set the direction for our lives, along the straight and narrow path, then we’ll eventually get lost, confused and blinded on the broad highway that leads to destruction. 

Now we wouldn’t want such misfortune to befall us eh? No siree! So why aren’t we more into God’s Word eh mih people? Why do so many of us complain that we can’t find the time to immerse ourselves in the Good Book? 

It’s not a matter of finding the time, it’s a matter of making the time to stay in touch with our heavenly Father and His godly desires for us. It’s easy for us to make time for the foolish pleasures of the world, but making time for God is a hard task and it usually takes second place. 

But friends, that’s a very foolish way to live. God should always be in first place in our lives, no matter what the circumstances! If you put Him second, then most likely, He’ll also put you second, and I’m sure you won’t like that. 

As the old people, would say, ‘do so, ent like so.’ Meaning that you don’t like others doing to you, what you did to them. I guess that’s just human nature though. 

Now here is an interesting take on our Bit from Cousin Sol in his warning against adultery in Proverbs. ‘My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart (mind), and tie them about thy neck. 

When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is the light; and reproofs of instruction are the way to life.’ (Prov.6:20-23) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s how important God’s word and His instructions are to us living the good life. So please, let’s try and do better nuh, let’s make time for reading, studying, meditating and subsequently putting God’s word into action in our lives. It’s the wisdom of the ages. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with all sincerity and truth. In unison now: ‘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!’ 

Glory Be precious people of God! Now let’s do as we declared nuh; go out and share the LOVE of our friend Jesus with others, for there are many who desperately need it. Much LOVE!

…helping others…is a foundation rock of Christianity…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2016 Philippians 2:5‏‏

Philippians 2:5.      Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.

Ah Friends, laziness is a hell of a thing yes! How many of you noticed yesterday that the top heading had one date and the bottom one another eh? Computers make it too easy for us sometimes. This copy and paste thing can do serious damage if we’re not careful. My sincere apologies to those of you who noticed. I aced it this morning though, got them both right! (smile)

So the bacchanal done now mih people; Carnival over and we now into the godly season of Lent. Let’s hope that we extinguished all our energy and frustrations during the Carnival period and are now ready to settle down to a serious time of consideration and ‘ponderation’ on God and all that He stands for, because this is the season for it.

Now, as per activities, yesterday, after finishing my buss-up shirt, I went down to Scarborough to see some local mas. Hn! We got down there about two o’clock, only to find the streets empty, not a mas in sight.

We walked up to where they were supposed to be judging the bands, but could not get a seat out of the sun because they had private tents, or tents with no seats, so we walked back to a closed up café or chicken joint, that had an awning over the front, the same place we were last year.

This time there were no chairs in front, apparently the owners got smart after last year, but there were a few benches by the side, we put one under the awning and limed there until we left around five thirty.

At two thirty, no mas had appeared, so I told the duchess if none appears by three o’clock we would leave. Luckily, about ten to three a sailor band with about a dozen people, of whom I knew about four, came down the road, passed the judging stand and eventually ended up liming right by us.

As the afternoon progressed about five bands eventually passed up in front of us, and I saw a few other people I knew, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. As usual though I could not see a pan side on the road to jump with. Ah Lord eh, what has mas come to eh, when there’s no pan on the road? Steups!

One friend there kept telling me how the pans usually come out after six o’clock, but who knows if what he said was true, and I definitely wasn’t hanging around to find out. So the duchess and I walked back to the car, not too far really, but it was a bit difficult, and the Lord ended up carrying me.

I definitely couldn’t make it on my own strength, even with my cane. And who says our God isn’t a great and caring God eh! I certainly won’t because there are many days without His help, I wouldn’t make it through. Anyway, enough about me and mas.

Today is Ash Wednesday. Hope those of you so interested went to church and got your ashes. I was too tired to get up, and the service in my area was too early, six a.m. But I think there is one at six p.m. tonight. I might check that out. And since it’s Wednesday, then we need to declare our Wednesday Wail with much gusto and sincerity.

As one now, let’s wail: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’

Oh my people, it’s so good to be alive on this Ash Wednesday, and alive in sweet Tobago too, that I can die from the happiness! (smile) But then we need to put our noses to the grindstone and focus our every thought on Jesus, keep looking ahead to the wonderful future He has planned for us, not at the past as so many of us unfortunately do.

Ah my fellow believers, what is past has gone, and believe me, our best days are still ahead, out in front of us, if we keep hanging sincerely with Jesus. But as our Bit tells us, we can’t be like Jesus unless we first think like Him. ‘Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’

And today I want to share some explanations from the scholars on the 2nd to 4th verses of the chapter. ‘Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind.’ (Phil.2:2) Then he continues talking about the need for no strife and pride, selfishness and being our brother’s keeper.

The scholars offer these explanations: ‘2:2-4. Fulfill ye my joy (or, “Make my joy complete”). Paul rejoiced over the Philippians (1:3), but his happiness was incomplete, owing to some disunity and lack of total harmony among them. The Greek equates what, to Paul, constitutes “complete joy” with the readers being likeminded. This means “living in harmony” with one another. That is, the Philippians can “fulfill” the writer’s “joy” by living in harmony among themselves.

But what does such harmonious living entail? Beginning in verse 2 and continuing through verse 4, six participles spell out and clearly define what it means to “live in harmony:” (1) having the same LOVE toward one believer as shown toward another, without partiality; (2) being of one accord; that is, they are to be united in spirit; (3) of one mind; that is, the whole church is to have the same values and goals;

(4) let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, for selfish ambition or conceit; (5) let each esteem other better than themselves, that is, each is  to regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself; and (6) look…every man also on the things of others; that is, each is to be just as concerned for the needs and problems of his brother as he is for his own affairs.’

Oh friends, oh friends, that’s exactly what Christianity is all about, living in LOVE and harmony with and for each other! It’s what Jesus taught, and how He lived! But are we doing that today? Hn! Definitely not as much as we should, else our world and our Christian fellowship would not be in the bad shape they are in.

So today, on this Ash Wednesday of 2016, please, let’s sit down and consider, ponder the way we live, and try, with God’s help obviously, to bring it more in line with the Christian principles outlined above nuh. For that my brethren, is the indisputable wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…oh how good and precious it is…when brethren live together in true harmony…


 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 February 2016 1 Peter 5:8‏‏‏‏‏‏

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Oh friends, on this Carnival Friday, a wet and windy one, I come to you from my little cottage by the sea in Tobago with these words of encouragement and LOVE! Glory to God!

Yes my brethren, it’s the start of the weekend, and I know that many of you around the world are going to, or have already shouted ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and the weekend’s here at last! No more backbreaking labour for a few days! Thank God it’s Friday yes!’

And so it should be my people; constant work deserves a spell of rest and rejuvenation. But the first thing I want to remind us about is how we spend our weekend, not in debauchery and lustfulness, but in thanks and praise and general well-being.

So let’s chant our Friday Chant which helps us to truly understand what the weekend is all about. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

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

Yes friends, that’s the general scene we ought to hold to on a weekend, especially this Carnival one, where in places like T&T, Rio and New Orleans, where the god of pleasure and debauchery, Bacchanal himself will be ruling the roost and so many of us will be behaving like true leggo beasts.

I don’t know about the other festivals, but here in T&T many people won’t be working from today until Ash Wednesday, so that’s a five-day weekend. And you know what can happen in such a long layoff from work, especially when pleasure is the subject of the day.

At no other time is Granny’s advice more necessary than now my people. So let me spell it out right away. ‘Sonny boy…and young girl too…please, please, ah beg all yuh…this is Carnival time, so drunk or sober, please mind yuh business! For as Shadow says in his kaiso; ‘on Carnival night…when them men get tight…they doh care who they bite…’

And that’s the gospel truth my people! At Carnival time even the most peaceful and ‘geekish’ body seems to develop a penchant for doing wrong, whether it’s through drugs and alcohol, or simply the enervating spirit of Carnival.

Oh I know this is the time before the Lenten Season when we are supposed to release all our pent up energy and frustrations before settling down to a more holy and godly time. But there is a way to do that, and also a way not to do it.

And our Bit today from 1 Peter gives us admirable, wonderful advice, advice truly akin to Granny’s.  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

And the sad part is that at this particular time of feasting and merriment, the ole crook and scoundrel Lucifer doesn’t have to look far or wide, or even search hard for people to devour, because we open wide the doorway for him to come in and take up residence within our souls, with the kind of behaviour we put down during Carnival.

Now nobody’s saying we shouldn’t celebrate or party, but we ought to do it with a modicum of circumspection, as Jeeves would say. We can’t afford to give the evil one, even an inch, because you know he’ll end up taking a nail. (smile)

As for me, my days for the leggo beast kind of partying seem to be over. Hn! I can’t even walk properly, much less to jump and prance! The last couple days my left knee began acting up on me, and I’ve been limping around, just doing whatever I need to do, plus the duchess had a bout of the flu, so we’ve just been sitting around mostly, trying to get ourselves together.

I have been going to my waterhole every afternoon though. Got to get the ole arthritic bones soaking in that therapeutic sea water as much as possible. I don’t need to worry about the sunshine, because it’s been very hot the last few days, I might even have gotten sunburn. (smile)

This morning though I want to go up into the big city of Scarborough and try to get some proper channels on the t.v. Hn! Now that I have satellite t.v, the channels don’t appeal to me. Not even a good sports station, or a Christian one to boost my spirituality! Chuh! It might cost me more money, but what’s a few dollars for one’s comfort and satisfaction eh!

I’ll be in quiet Tobago for the weekend, hopefully watching some of the mas on the tube. And if my knee feels better, I might even go down to Scarborough on Tuesday afternoon to take in some Tobago mas. Oh it’s not as big and fanciful and glamorous as that in Trinidad, but it will satisfy my soul.

And besides, the overall mas scene has gone downhill as far as I am concerned; the good costumes are few and far between, with just a bikini top and bottom with a few feathers being more the norm, but still costing a lot of money.

Anyway friends, let’s end up here with the continuation of Peter’s warning after our Bit. ‘Whom (the devil) resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:9-11)

And all God’s children said a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!’

So my fellow believers in Christ, until tomorrow, the Lord in favour, please let’s walk safely and securely under His comforting umbrella, successfully thwarting the evil wiles of the enemy. Much LOVE!

…to successfully thwart Lucifer…one MUST walk with God…


  
 








 
  
 








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