Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2020 1 Corinthians 16:13-14.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14.     ​Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).

Sing it with me people: ‘And after the rain, yes after the rain, then comes the snow…oh yeah…after the rain, then comes the snow, alooking so white and beautiful, just like the good Lord made it to be, just like the good Lord made it to be…’ 

Oh friends, around 4 o’clock this morning, before I went to bed, I dreamed up that li’l ditty…obviously with the Lord’s help, since I could not concoct such profound statements all on my very own. (smile) But it had been raining for most of the day, and when I looked outside then, was I surprised to see the place all covered with that white virginal stuff. 

But yuh know something, once man puts foot in that virginal snow, he sullies it, sullies it good and proper, just like he sullies everything he touches. And just for your info, that white stuff is now falling again out there, coming down in a gazillion droplets, more like rain than snowflakes, but as they say, ‘one one cocoa full basket,’ so every drop that falls adds to, and heightens the level of snow on the ground. (smile) 

And another thing, it wasn’t only the snow that God made to be beautiful, but also mankind. That’s why it so cruelly breaks His soft and tender heart when we turn away from Him, and become the evil fiends our sinful nature adores. 

And remember, yesterday we were talking about the abdominal sinfulness of man, and considering if we had reached the limit yet where God would again destroy us? Well, unfortunately, I received this mind boggling, heartbreaking response from one of our Scrip-Bit family members. In her own words: ‘We have NOT reached the breaking point of sinfulness. The human capacity for evil is unending.’ Now doesn’t that just drive you crazy, to know that we can become even more sinful that we already are? 

Brother! I can’t even contemplate another level of sin for us to ascend to! I guess my mental capacity is just too small to comprehend such a big undertaking. But I prefer it so yes, because then I might just rise to a more sinful level myself. So please, please, just leave me at this level of sinfulness eh! (smile)

And the real sad part in all our sinfulness is not that it’s directed to, or against God nuh, although it works out thus in the long run, but all the evil we perpetrate is basically directed towards our fellow man and our life-giving environment. Man seems to be truly sadistic, destroying what he portends to LOVE, and in the process, his very self. 

And very unfortunately, it seems the olden but golden words of the prophet Jeremiah ring ever so true these days: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately (incurable) wicked: who can know it?’ (Jer. 17:9) Now does that mean our hearts can’t be cured of its wickedness? I certainly hope not, else there’s no hope whatsoever for us! 

The good thing though, is that our God and Creator knows the motives and will of all of our hearts. He made them so He knows how to decipher them, and that’s exactly what He does before He answers our prayers. That’s why the Lord said to Samuel, when He sent him to Jesse’s house to anoint a new king for Israel and Samuel thought the first son, Eliab, was the one: ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Oh my fellow believers, that’s why we need to often cry out to God like Bruh David did in Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing. ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) Yes precious people of God, if our hearts are so wicked, then it’s only the Lord who can cleanse us and renew a right and steadfast spirit within us, so that we can continue to do His work down here on earth, and make it be as it is in heaven. 

And to help us with all that we’re currently going through, I read an interesting exhortation from Bruh Paul last night that seems very apropos to our situation. In his first missive to the church at Corinth, he exhorts them thus: ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 16:13-14) Now that seems to be very good advice for all believers, or even better yet, ALL mankind, considering the turbulent, controversial and uncertain situation in which our world is currently entangled. 

And now just a few scriptures to reinforce that directive. First some more prayer and exhortation from Bruh Paul. To the Ephesians, he desired: ‘That he (the Lord) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.’ (Eph. 3:16) Yes friends, we do need divine enablement to help us successfully live the Christian life. 

And in exhorting the Philippians to steadfastness, he prayed. ‘Only let your conversation be as it becometh (let your conduct be worthy of) the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. And in nothing (no way) terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token (a proof) of perdition (destruction), but to you of salvation, and that of God.’ (Phil. 2:27-28) 

That means my brethren, we need to stand strong together, in one spirit, in unity, spreading the gospel of Christ in LOVE, and not being afraid of those who come against us. For if our great God is for us, who can be against us eh, especially since He’s so faithfully promised that no weapon formed against us will prosper or harm us. (Is. 54:17) 

And last, but certainly not least, these momentous words from Christ Jesus as to when divine intervention would come, be it good or bad. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come… Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24: 42, 44) And if we believe in Jesus, then we ought to adhere to His words – watch and pray…and be ready. 

So for those of us who sincerely try to do so, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

So precious saints of Christ, it now behooves us to stand strong and steadfast in unity and share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with ALL humanity! That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope, LOVE…these three… but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2020 1 Corinthians 1:25.

1 Corinthians 1:25.     ​Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
 

Grace and peace and LOVE from our heavenly Father be unto you this Friday morning my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! It’s a new day and His mercies are new! Glory be! And the message is that we must abide in Him, regardless of the uncomfortable and dangerous circumstances that surround us, we must be strong and not falter, not give up, for he who endures to the end will be richly rewarded! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, there’s no other name in the universe like that of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, to whom NOTHING is impossible and through whom we can do ANYTHING He desires of us! So let’s take courage, strength and assurance from those facts today nuh and keep on keeping on, keep on fighting the good fight for which we were created so that we can eventually win the crown of glory that we’ve been so faithfully promised! Sermon done! (smile) 

It’s time to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And best of all, the weekend is upon us! But what a hot week this has been! Oh brother, both outside and inside, especially in the blooming slave master factory that don’t have no air conditioning! Steups! 

What a cheap man! He refuse to spend the few dollars to put it in, even though they tell him it going to make the machinery last longer, not to mention his employees. We all lost a couple pounds this week, including him, slaving in the boiling heat! To tell the truth though, sometimes the AC not even good enough at home to quench the fiery heat during the nights and them. It’s what you call a real heatwave…and it looks like it going to last even longer. 

Just hope the weekend not too bad nuh so I can get some much needed rest… And then this pandemic and strife thing still going on, with no end in sight to them either…What a bam bam! Pandemic, strife and heat! What a glorious trio! And not even a drop of rain to put out the fire. Although Toronto got a good deluge this week for an hour or so that cause a whole lotta flooding and damage, but nowhere else on the outskirts had anything but a li’l drizzle. 

But what yuh going to do eh? Life’s never been easy…and nobody ever said it was ever going to be either. Yuh just have to live it as best yuh can…look yuh best and be yuh best, enjoy the fruits of yuh labour and say thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, the ordinary workingman might not have a lot of book learning, but he does have life experience that no amount of formal education can ever teach, and it would be very wise of us to pay some attention to his pronouncements, because remember the Lord uses the simple and foolish to upset the applecart of the wise and powerful. 

As Bruh Paul so nicely and wisely put it to the fractious, infighting and thus divided church at Corinth. ‘Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer (debater) of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching (the message preached) to save them that believe.’ (1 Cor. 1:20-21) 

Yeh friends, it wasn’t by wisdom that the world learned of Christ Jesus, but by the message of the cross preached by simple men and women, to those who chose to believe. As Bruh Paul continues: ‘For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’ (1 Cor. 1:22-25) 

Oh my people, even on His worst day, God’s foolishness and weakness is much wiser and much stronger than man’s best! For remember, He said quite plainly that His ways and thoughts are way above ours. (Is. 55:8-9) And logically, they would have to be for Him to do all the awesome things that He’s done. So please let’s pay serious attention to Him nuh, for though it might sound like foolishness to the world’s way of thinking, it’s actually wisdom in spades. 

Now let’s go home showing true wisdom, falling on our bended knees and offering up prayerful sentiments to Him in the form of our Friday Chant. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. 

And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And having said all of that, our only recourse now is to be faithful believers, both in word and deed! Much LOVE!

…whether times are good or bad…Christ is ALWAYS the answer…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2020 Deuteronomy 31:8.

Deuteronomy 31:8.   ​And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
 
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
 
Oh my fellow saints in Christ, these are certainly rough times we are currently experiencing yes! For the umpteenth Sunday the Lord’s sanctuaries are closed on His day. And today, on Mother’s Day, many mothers will be alone and lonely with no friends or family around them, to celebrate their special day…all because of the lockdown made necessary by the Coronavirus pandemic. Today is also a somewhat sad day for some of us due to the passing of our great friend of St. Francis Anglican Parrish, the Rev. Dennis Doloff. 

He wasn’t our Parish Priest, but he attended many of our functions and preached a few times for us when our regular priest was unavailable, all from the confines of his wheel chair. Despite his physical setbacks, he was a most encouraging, enlightening and humorous soul, quick witted and always ready with a joke. We of St. Francis wish his family our sincere condolences and grieve with them, though we’re all glad that his suffering is now over and he’s in a much better place. 

So today, as all those storms come against us, it is ever so appropriate that we sing this wonderful song: ‘Ride Out Your Storm.’ It’s good assurance and strength for all of us. We’re letting the enemy know that we’re not giving up, we’re going down fighting and celebrating because we have the Most High God as our refuge in any and all the storms of life. Isaiah said it thus: ‘For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:4) 

So with that in mind, let’s raise up our voices in sacrificial praise and thanksgiving, singing the up-tempo reggae version of this popular gospel song done by the Jamaican Artiste, George Nooks. And the band played…and the voices rose in sweet harmony… ‘Don’t give up, just ride out your storm. You’ve been in the storm and it seems like forever. And your nights of confusion have been too long. Your ship has lost anchor, and the storm’s got you drifting. Just hold on to Jesus And ride out your storm 

(Chorus: Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. You’re hurting now, but your morning is coming…Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm) Remember His promise, He said I’ll never forsake you, though the waters are troubled, they’ll do you no harm. Don’t give up the battle for your answer is coming, just hold on to Jesus, hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Ride out your storm God is still there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. I know you’re hurting now but your morning is coming, Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. 

Oh Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. Although you’re hurting now, your morning is coming, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. You know He’ll never leave you, so just hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Hold on to Jesus…and ride out your storm.’ 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! There’s no better person to hold on to than Jesus in the time of storm my people. Remember when He was crossing the sea in the ship with His disciples and a great storm arose, and it looked like the boat would capsize, and the disciples were scared to death. What was Jesus doing then eh? Snoozing quietly in the back of the ship. Hn! Hn! 

The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And the disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:25-27) Those disciples really didn’t have much faith nuh mih bredrin. Having seen Jesus do all the earlier miracles, they shouldn’t have been so scared. 

But we really can’t get on their case too much because we do the same thing nowadays too. Despite the many miracles the Lord has worked or wrought in our lives, we still get scared and doubtful and anxious when storms and life’s difficulties come our way, instead of calmly taking it all to God in prayer and trusting that He will at least walk through the storm beside us. And please don’t forget the Lord’s marvellous promise through His prophet Isaiah: ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ (Is. 43:2) 

Please remember that friends: whatever we go through, our great and faithful God is always right there beside us! And ofttimes He does even better than that. Listen to Moses on His behalf, as he gave over the Israelite leadership to Joshua. After warning him to be strong and of good courage, he continues: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ Mamacita! Our God doesn’t only walk with us through life’s storms, He goes one better, goes before us to clear the way for us. 

So friends, this Sunday morning, regardless of what is coming against us, please, I implore us, let’s be strong and of good courage, for we have all those faithful promises of our faithful God to hold on to. He never said that it would be easy, but He would bring us through it, just like He brought the three Hebrew boys out of the fire unscathed, not even smelling of smoke, the same way He brought Daniel out of the lion’s den unharmed. That means we cannot allow the heathen, the unbeliever, or even our fellow believer to look at us and derisively say, ‘O thou of little faith!’ 

And a Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women out there, for you are the backbone and major source of faith in most of our families! Without you, our faith would be even less than it is. Much LOVE!

…the best pilot in stormy waters…JESUS…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2020 Joshua 1:9.

Joshua 1:9.    ​Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed : for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
 
Come together…right now…over Covid-19! Yes friends, that’s the wise and sensible thing for us all to do – come together to fight this dreadful virus! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a believer or an unbeliever, or of any other persuasion or distinction, because the virus doesn’t play favourites in that regard. Once you’re a human being, a creation of the Most High God, you’re considered suitable, or rather excellent material to invade and proliferate within. So let’s put aside all animosity and differences nuh, and fight together, because this is truly a fight for mankind’s existence here on earth. 

And it’s not like we’ve never had a fight or fights before to stay superior here on Mother Earth, we’ve had several down through the ages, and I believe that it’s a powerful togetherness back in those dangerous times that still has us ruling this dominion. And one of the good things about our current predicament, is that it causes us to go back in history and look for similar situations and how they were handled. Now, yesterday I received a poem and picture that someone recently came across. Apparently it was written way back in time – 1869, to be exact, and reprinted during the 1919 Pandemic. 

And I’m chuckling, because I just noticed how similar those pandemic dates are; the same number of the century and year – 1919, 2020. Don’t know if it means anything. (smile) Anyway the picture is of two adult, well dressed women, with their Panama-like hats covering their heads, and large masks covering the entire lower portion of their face; everything but their eyes. And they are walking down the sidewalk arm in arm, as if coming from the grocery. Judging by the picture though, it doesn’t seem as if they were practicing social distancing back then, as we are encouraged to do now. 

Anyhow, here is the poem. And as the person truthfully writes: ‘This is Timeless… And people stayed at home And read books And listened And they rested And did exercises And made art and played And learned new ways of being And stopped and listened More deeply And someone meditated, someone prayed Someone met their shadow 

And people began to think differently And people healed And in the absence of people who Lived in ignorant ways Dangerous, meaningless and heartless, The earth also began to heal And when the danger ended and People found themselves They grieved for the dead And made new choices And dreamed of new visions And created new ways of living And completely healed the earth Just as they were healed.’ 

Oh my people, that was a hundred years ago, how reminiscent of the time we are now going through eh! But you see they did what they were supposed to do, come together, stay at home, pray, meditate, rest, do exercises, listen…then listen more deeply, stop living dangerously and ignorantly, without compassion, and follow the rules and regulations, because that’s the only way this virus is going to be stopped and hopefully eradicated. And when it’s done, we too will have to grieve for the dead, make new choices, dream new dreams, have new visions and find new ways to live this life, since a lot of things would have changed during the pandemic time. 

And what I like about that poem is that even way back then, people were concerned about the state of the earth, what we now call climate change was beginning to show forth. Yes my people, the healing of the earth was also important, not only the healing of the people. And that’s one of the things we badly need to consider during these disastrous times; how can we help the earth heal, after all the foolish and careless damage we’ve done to it? 

And the best way I know is by listening to what the Lord promised Cousin Sol when he dedicated the temple. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ (2 Chr. 7:14) And there’s absolutely no doubt friends that our land needs healing just as badly as we the people on it do! 

So let’s look at it this way nuh; if we want our children, their children, and future generations to enjoy a good life on a good Planet Earth, then it’s absolutely necessary that we pull together RIGHT NOW! We need to take this virus very seriously; stay at home as much as possible, practice social distancing, clean habits, pray, meditate, day and night as the Good Book says and encourage each other through the many means we still have available to us. 

Ah mih people, this generation has never seen anything like it, and for the few of us who’ve seen war, it’s even more dangerous and deadly than that. And there are no more telling words in the Good Book than these that the Lord spoke to Joshua way back when. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed : for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:8-9) 

Yes friends, those are possibly the two most powerful verses in the Good Book re successful earthly living. So let’s get right on it now nuh; let’s read the Word, study and meditate on it, then put it into action in our lives, while staying strong and courageous because our omnipotent God is still in control and He has NEVER, and will NEVER  let us down, because He is faithful, who promised. 

Now let’s declare our Wednesday Wail, showing the world how we’re standing strong and courageous in the Lord and thus having good success. As one strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

And if we truly believe, then we’ll know that the future with Christ will be even more glorious than our finite and puny minds can even ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…to God be the glory…to God be the praise… for His everlasting grace and mercy…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2020 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) your mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for them thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Welcome to a bright and sunny Saturday morning friends! It’s somewhat on the chilly side though, and the banks are full of snow. But that’s to be expected since it’s winter in the northern climes. And I guess a lot of us are sleeping in this morning after a tiring week of labour…and some of us might say not of labour but of navigating the daily traffic problems, especially with the snowfall we’ve had this past week. 

Yes, there are just too many cars on the roads especially during the morning and afternoon commutes. But you wouldn’t like to see the amount of cars that are parked in the train station lots; several thousands. When I travel on the train and see them sitting in the parking lots, I can just imagine the chaos and traffic problems we’d have if they all hit the road morning and evening too. 

Phew! But today is Saturday, we don’t have to contend with work and traffic, so instead, let’s focus on the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I like this first one: ‘Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.’ And is that ever so true! Possibly because of our high level of intelligence, we seem to think that unless something is complicated it’s no good. Thus we introduce stuff into stuff that’s not necessary. 

Think about all the rules and regulations we have in life…I’m sure we could do without half of them if we were only better neighbours and friends, and could be depended upon to do the right thing at least 8 out of 10 times. But because we aren’t, provision has to be made for our ‘unneighbourly’ and unfriendly attitudes. (smile) So for each rule we introduce, there must be several provisos to explain and counteract it. Steups! 

This next quote is also of mucho importance: ‘What we really are matters more than what other people think of us.’  Now that’s gospel truth! But sadly too many of us don’t understand or believe it, and thus allow what others think of us to control and ofttimes spoil our lives. We give it names like social pressure or social stigma, doing what the supposedly higher ups, or our social betters want or expect us to do. Chuh! 

Oh friends, please have faith in yourselves and your God! He made you to be who you are, in His image, with His plan for your life, not for another human’s! And the usual corollary to situations like those is that the ones who are so critical of others, are worse than those they criticize, do worse than them in the same circumstances. In other words they are just a bunch of blooming hypocrites! 

Thank the Lord I learned that at a tender age from watching people criticize my mother, then discovering they were a whole lot worse than her! Friends, please don’t live your lives because of what others say or do. The Lord has a plan for you, find out what it is, and then live accordingly. 

Then there’s this interesting quote: ‘The topic of leadership is a touchy one. A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord. Throughout my years, I haven’t had that fear.’ Good for our friend Anselm if he’s referring to himself! (smile) But that’s basically true because leaders are the ones who take us usually where we’ve never gone before, and to do that they must have a special something, call it bravery, common sense, wisdom, a dream, a vision, or all of them. 

Now it could even include stupidity or mental incompetence, which means leading their followers astray. Think about all the sects that have populated our world because of such leaders. But what makes a leader -good or bad –  is that belief in themselves, that feeling of infallibility, which causes others to even give their lives in their service. And this next quote doesn’t only pertain to leaders but to all of us. ‘If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.’ 

Yes my people, the active ingredient in our mind and spirit is the one we usually bring forth. So if fear is the dominant attitude, then most likely we will bring forth failure. That’s not to say that we won’t or can’t fail if we think success. The difference though is the amount of energy and faith we put into our projects when we think positively and of success, as compared to the negative side of failure. 

And this last quote says it all: ‘Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.’ Glory be mih people! You won’t ever be successful unless you make the necessary preparations for it! That’s because success doesn’t come without certain preparations, like thinking positively about it and putting in the necessary hard work it calls for. And I guess the best advice I can give on the subject is found in the words of the Lord God Himself to his servant Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) your mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for them thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh my fellow believers it couldn’t get any more straightforward and plain than that! Meditating on the Lord’s Word and following it, is what brings true, real and lasting success. Supposed success gained by any other method is ephemeral and not lasting. And our God is such a wonderful Leader and encourager, I just LOVE His next words to Joshua. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

Yes friends, those same words of the Lord echo down to us today as we face the difficulties and calamities of this troubled world. That was the third time in four verses that He was reminding Joshua to be strong and courageous because his omnipotent, merciful, LOVING and gracious God would go with him wherever he went. Let’s accept that most encouraging and reassuring message to day like Joshua did back then nuh my brethren, and go out and do the work the Lord’s prescribed for us, the same way Joshua went forward with bravery and courage and did his duty. Much LOVE!

…the Word of the Lord…it’s the guidebook to….successful earthly living…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2019 Deuteronomy 31:8.

Deuteronomy 31:8.    And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee; he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
 

And then it was Monday, the day so many of us despise because it rings the death knell for our short weekend time off, and thus we get up feeling weary and hard done by! But in truth, Monday ought to be our most energetic and agreeable day because we’ve just fellowshipped the day before with other believers and received encouragement from them, heard the Lord’s mighty confidence building word and should thus be at the height of our Christ induced powers, just chomping at the bit to go out and serve him with diligence and excellence. 

But instead we seem to be at our lowest on a Monday and that’s definitely not serving us well in Christ’s ministry. However, that just seems to be the nature of the beast, and we do have our antidote to combat and defeat whatever ails you on a Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we call on our omnipotent and magnanimous God for help to face the day. So please pray with us nuh, in strong voice and sincere hearts. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. 

It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, I know you feel the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in you already! That’s just how quickly our wonderful Lord answers sincere prayers that meet His holy will! Now please get yourselves together and go out and give the devil a good run for his money. Meanwhile, I’m up here in the wilds of Northern South Africa, getting ready to go out on a short game drive at six a.m., because we’re leaving the lodge today. 

Unfortunately we didn’t see any of the big five we hadn’t already seen, namely hippos and leopards, but we saw some of the others, and I said a teary farewell to my favourites, the ant hills. (smile) They’re so big and numerous and come in many different shapes, but they all seem to have what looks like a conning tower. Anyway, we came back around seven thirty, had breakfast and left at nine as planned. But you wouldn’t believe it took us until ten thirty to get off the rough, unpaved roads. Brother, was that ever an unpleasant drive, although we saw a few animals along the way. 

Some five hours after leaving the Lodge we finally pulled in to Joburg, Oliver Tambo Airport for the duchess and I to catch a domestic two-hour flight to Cape Town on the Southern coast of the country. We didn’t get to our room in the hotel until nine p.m. by then we were so tired that all we had time to do was grab a bite in the dining room the head straight to bed. We had been on the road for some fifteen hours, and since we’re not spring chickens it obviously took a toll on us. (smile) 

But when you walk with the Lord, you learn not fear, for He is always with you and has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. Listen to Moses’ words to the Israelites as they went through the wilderness. ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee; he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’

And the Lord had lived up to that promise from the time they came out of Egypt, as the Good Book says: ‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light; to go by day and night.’ (Ex.13:21) Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people, but we don’t really appreciate Him and the things He does for us, as much as we should. 

Now hear Bruh David’s words to Cousin Sol, re building the temple. ‘And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee, he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.’ (1 Chr. 28:20) 

And I can testify to that too friends, as many of you can also do. So please let’s not give up on the Lord’s work nuh. We have His faithful promise that He’ll never leave not forsake us. And Bruh Paul added his two cents worth to all of that by letting us know we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, but you still have to be careful and don’t overdo it.  Much LOVE!

…with Christ in your life…fear not…and be not dismayed…mean exactly what they say…

P.S. And I just had a real life showing of God’s mysterious movements. I’m writing this Bit in the Paris Airport but the plugs here are different To North America, so I was writing it with what ever charge was left in my lap top. Now I saw that it was running low, but I figured I had enough time to get it done and send it out, especially with what I was writing, re the Lord will never leave thee nor forsake thee. I felt sure that He would give me the time to send it out. But lo and behold, just as I was going to send it out, the so and so computer died. 

Chuh! I queried the Lord how He could do me that after all those promises, but obviously I got no direct answer. Then I saw a brother sitting on the other row and I got the bright idea to ask him if he had a plug that would work here. And lo and behold he did have one. So I’m now able to charge my computer. And if you think that was my bright idea, think again. Yuh see mih people, our God does look after us when we trust and surrender our souls to Him, even better than we ask, because now I can do all sorts of stuff, and not just send out the Bit. Give Him much thanks and praise mih people!! Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 

What a crying shame it is friends when one can’t lie abed late on a cloudy Saturday morning because the various aches and pains in your aching body won’t allow you to find a comfortable position in that place that’s supposed to be one of quiet peace and refreshing rest! Hn, hn! 

Yeh mih people, getting old is nice in many ways, but not so nice in others. The wisdom and experience one accumulates, plus the ability to say most of what you want and get away with it (smile) is marvellous, but I can’t say the same for the many debilitating effects age brings to one’s body. However, we can’t seem to have one without the other, so I’ll just say thank you for the good parts and just grin and bear the bad ones. And that’s enough complaining for this morning! (smile) 

Let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I like this first one: ‘There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.’ Now is that ever so true! 

We all know that regardless of what today brings, tomorrow will show up right on schedule, because that’s the way our great God and Creator planned it! That means we can always have hope and faith that tomorrow, the new rising of the sun, will bring a different and better outcome to our circumstances. So please hang in there…and have hope for tomorrow! 

Now hear this one: ‘Try to find pleasure in the speed that you’re not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you’re the one who must decide how you handle it.’ That’s somewhat complicated, but it does contain some truth. In this world we’re usually creatures of habit and comfort, and nothing’s wrong with that, because we can’t have excitement all the time. 

But the same old, same old routine does get boring and frustrating if we don’t occasionally add a li’l zing and zest to it. That’s why every so often we need to take a risk, do something new and/or different, get out of our comfort zone for a spell, take a different way home from work, eat at a new restaurant, so we can add a touch of spice to our humdrum, mundane lives. 

But having said that though, we have to be careful that we don’t change just for change sake, which is what so many of us are doing these days. We use words like ‘this is the twenty first century; this is 2019, the Old Testament doesn’t matter anymore, etc.’ insinuating that because we’ve reached a certain level of time and space and evolution that things must necessarily change. But please note the old saying, that the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

And that’s gospel truth friends! If you really check it out, most of the things we’re doing, and the reactions we’re showing to the various changes in our world, the same things have been going on for ages, possibly just on a different level. So please, especially in these explosive times of social media and technological revolution, don’t change just for change sake, or because others are doing it. The Good Book containing the Lord’s wise and precious Word must still be our guiding light! 

And I’d like to take the last two quotes as one, because they are closely intertwined. Hear them: ‘When you fail, that is when you get closer to success.’ ‘Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it.’ And they are both full of awesome truth since you generally don’t have success unless you have first failed, and you can only have success if you reach out for it. 

But what do we mean by success eh? Is it how the world terms it; the accumulation of power and fame and money and worldly glory, or celebrity status? Or is it how Jesus describes it; serving the lost, the poor and downtrodden, LOVING our God with all our being, and LOVING our neighbours as ourselves, overcoming evil with good and going the second mile when it’s not necessary? 

Whichever path we choose though, the results will still be the same: we won’t always succeed the first time, or even the fourth and fifth, and we’ll never succeed if we don’t try, and that means try sincerely and wholeheartedly, give our all! Anyway, here’s the best path to any kind of success at all. Obviously it comes from the Good Book, God’s direct words of wisdom and warning to His servant Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh mih people, that’s Success 101 right there! And it hasn’t changed one iota since the Lord said them to Joshua! That formula for success remains constant forever because it’s God’s Word and his Word doesn’t change! And here’s something I LOVE about our God, although I don’t always appreciate it in my dealings with Him. (smile) 

He doesn’t just tell you something and leave you floundering, He often drives it home with another suitable and well placed nail, to oftimes encourage us, like He did there with Joshua, continuing thus: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that’s after telling him basically the same thing two verses before. But He knew that Joshua would need a lot of strength and courage to lead the wayward and stubborn Israelites and that was His way of encouraging Him. And He does the same with us friends! The Lord will NEVER leave us alone and ‘unencouraged’ when He knows that we definitely need encouragement! Please remember that! All we have to do is call on Him in sincerity and truth and He will answer appropriately. 

Now let’s end with Jesus’ wise and faithful words on the matter of success. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) No truer words were ever spoken friends! And if we’re wise, we’ll take them to heart and sincerely and diligently put them into action in our lives! Much LOVE!

…following Jesus and His righteous ways…is the ONLY path to true success…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    ​This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 

Aye friends, today looks like it’s an ‘achy, breaky day!’ Yeh the ole back’s aching some, but I believe that’s just because I spent too much time in the bed last night. I went to bed fairly early, by my standards, (smile) that’s why I’m up so early. But just like the weather that seems somewhat gray and cloudy, with no sunshine yet, but will eventually morph into a beautiful day, my old bod will eventually get itself together and become the wonderful human creation that the Lord created it to be! 

Wow! What faith and belief! (smile) But what else can I declare eh and be truthful to what I preach? It’s like the man said, doctor, heal thyself! I keep talking about positivity and faith, so I have to show it, if I want anybody to believe me. Anyway, here is one of the first quotations that I ever posted on my office wall, many, many moons ago, and now hardly ever notice it. What else is new eh? (smile)  

But as I was coming down the stairs just now to begin writing, the Holy Spirit just dropped it into my mind to share today. Obviously I don’t know where I got it from, or who reputedly wrote it, I just know that it’s the awesome truth. ‘A man, or woman, who is self-reliant, positive, optimistic, and undertakes his or her work with the assurance of success, magnetizes their condition. They draw to themselves the creative powers of the universe!’ 

You can’t dispute that friends, simply because it’s true! Anytime you begin a project, you must believe that it will be successful, or most likely it won’t be. That’s not to say that when you believe its success that it will automatically happen. It’s just that God aligned the creative powers of the universe to be more attuned to positivity than negativity. So the first step to success always depends on your thinking positive, successful thoughts. And if you don’t believe me, try it. (smile) 

But when we talking about success my brethren, there is only ONE WAY to be truly assured of it! And that’s the age-old words of the Lord to his servant Joshua, when He assigned him to lead the Israelites after the death of Moses. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh my people, the Lord didn’t mince words, He spoke it out loud and clear: to have true success you must live by His Word! And that hasn’t changed one iota since then. Jesus even came and strengthened it, when He admonished: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

So you see friends, true success comes not from struggling and fighting and being overworked, like the world thinks, but from simply living faithfully to God’s law. And I guess that’s why a lot of supposed Christians are not very successful, because we only give lip-service to God’s law and instead allow the bright, fancy baubles and worthless things of the world to distract us, even though we know better. 

Remember Jesus desired us to be in the world, but not a part of it. We can live comfortably in it, with His assistance, but we don’t have to do all that the world says or does! That’s the only way we will ever bring about any successful and sustainable change in this evil and ungodly world. But unfortunately too many of us believers are behaving exactly like the world wants us to. 

And sadly, oftimes, if you check out a crowd of people that supposedly contains Christians, you’d be very challenged to tell them from the unbelievers, because too many of them will be behaving like the heathen! And that’s just the reality of the situation; we talk a good talk, but don’t walk a good walk! That’s why the world is in such a terrible state. 

Can you imagine what a wonderful world we’d have if even a minority of believers would start truly behaving like believers? We’d turn the world upside down! We’d have Jesus’ LOVE Revolution running things, rather than Satan’s evil cabal that’s now in control. 

But friends, that all depends on believers working together and living by the Good Book. And unfortunately neither of those things seems to be happening at this time. There’s more division and disunity in Christ’s church than ever before, and the evil of the world is in the ascendance right now, and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. 

But let’s not give up hope my people! We can still make a big difference if we truly want to…and with Jesus as our guide and leader, remember, anything is possible. But we have to want to do it, and get together to do it, else it won’t happen! And that brings us right back to the Lord’s words to Joshua: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

Oh friends, I just LOVE that verse, because it reminds me of God’s faithful promises, and thus builds my faith, makes me feel strong and able to do whatever He calls me to do! So today, let’s all draw strength and faith from it nuh, and promise ourselves to live a better Christian life than we’re now living. And there’s no doubt that all of us can come up higher in Christ’s playbook. So having said all of that, let’s go home now declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our wonderful 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!’ 

And will it ever be glorious…just like Jesus promised! Much LOVE!

…the Lord God Jehovah created the world…through His Word…and He…will also have the Last Word…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2019 Isaiah 41:6.

Isaiah 41:6.    ​They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong).
 

It done, it done! Yes friends and family, the radiation business finally done! Thank the Lord! I went back yesterday for the final zap and it went off as smooth as oil, none of the problems of last Friday! Let’s just hope that it accomplished what it was meant to accomplish, because I really don’t want to go back through the inconvenience and side effects again. 

So all I can say is, ‘Thank You yes Lord! Thank You for bringing me through it safely, and I’m leaving everything in your hands. But please give me a break from all the medical issues nuh. I know you are trying to lengthen my life, but by the same token, it does get a bit tiresome and discouraging. Anyway Lord, my life is in your hands, please do as you will with it. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, yuh think it easy? No, it not easy nuh! And remember that Jesus didn’t have it easy either, and He said that we’d face trials and tribulations in this evil and ungodly world, but we were to have peace and be of good cheer, because He had overcome the world. (John 16:33) 

And we all know that that is much easier said than done, especially with all the distractions and enemy attacks that we are currently facing in this degenerate world. But if we are serious and truly turn to Almighty God for help, we WILL be able to handle the world like Jesus recommended. So let’s look at some encouraging stuff nuh. 

And first off is this footnote from a Daily Bread Devotional. It tells us that ‘Encouragement is water to the soul!’ And is it ever my people! For just like our physical bodies need water to survive, so does our souls need encouragement to stay hopeful and alive! Without positive encouragement, we all will sink to undesirable depths of hopelessness, something that Jesus doesn’t want us to ever do. That’s why we need to get together and encourage each other. 

But in these days of lightning quick communication, we can also encourage each other from afar. The important thing is to keep in contact with people of the faith. Now here is this prayer of encouragement, enshrined in plastic, (smile) that I found on my desk from the Anglican Church, Diocese of Toronto. Please pray with me: ‘Sustain us, O Lord, with Your Holy Spirit. Give us an enquiring mind and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to LOVE You, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, a simple but ever so far-reaching prayer! And it asks for exactly the things we need to get us successfully through this trouble-filled world. And I do hope that it encouraged us, that it strengthened our backbone and belly some, (smile) caused us to stand up a li’l stronger and straighter, and to keep the faith in, and of Jesus, burning like a holy fire in our souls, bodies, hearts and minds! 

Wow! What a way the ole fella waxing philosophical and encouraging this Tuesday morning in the wonderful summer of 2019! (smile) But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the whole purpose of the Bit; to keep us strong and encouraged in the faith! So if I’m not encouraging you, then I’m not doing what the Lord requires of me…And no way, do I want Him to ask me, come the judgement day, why I didn’t do what He asked. So let’s keep up with the encouragement nuh. (smile) 

Brother! Is it ever a smiley kind of day! But that’s how it ought to be anyway. (smile) And it’s no mistake that within a couple of chapters of the Good Book that the Lord commanded Moses to encourage Joshua. ‘But Joshua, the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go thither (into the promised land): encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.’ (Deut.1:38) 

And the Lord commanded Moses again when He took him up the mountain to see the Promised Land from afar. ‘But charge (command) Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.’ (Deut.3:28) That shows how big our God is on encouragement, and so should we be too. 

Now hear this wonderful and encouraging scripture from Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel. ‘They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong). So the carpenter (craftsman) encouraged the goldsmith (refiner), and he that smootheth with the hammer, him that smote (struck) the anvil, saying, It is ready for sodering  (of the soldering, it is good): and he fastened it with the nails (pegs), that it should not be moved (totter).’ (Is.41:6-7) 

Ah mih people, if only the saints of Jesus would be as encouraging to each other eh! What a wonderful world this would be! But too often, those who should encourage us, discourage us instead, and then we need to take matters into our own hands, like Bruh David did when his men wanted to stone him, after the Amalekites burned down their city of Ziklag and took all their women and children captive. The Good Book tells us: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ (1 Sam.30:6b) 

Yes precious people of God, we can’t always depend on others to encourage us, but when the heifer dust hits the fan (smile) we need to also be able to encourage ourselves in Jehovah God. That’s when the true strength and maturity of our faith really shows out. So please be encouraged today…and everyday, for we serve an encouraging and faithful God! 

Now let’s show that faith by declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Wonderful friends, wonderful! Now let’s go out and fulfill that promise by encouraging others, through sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the less fortunate. That’s His ultimate desire! Much LOVE!

…encouragement…one of the believer’s most important tools…in his or her ministry…

 

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