Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2018 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2,    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.

 

Awright my faithful brethren, let’s walk one more time, one more time to the Lord’s sanctuary! It’s Sunday and our presence is required in the house of our great God, to worship and give Him awesome praise, exalt His holy name with other believers, hear His Word and receive His confidence and assurance that He will always be with us, never leave nor forsake us. 

No other Deity has ever made the promises our God has, because they’re not really interested in their followers, and in any case they don’t have the omnipotence to keep such promises. But our heavenly Father sincerely cares about and LOVES us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us. Glory to God! And all He expects from us in return is obeisance and obedience. 

And as always, to soften up our hard hearts, we’ll begin with a song of praise. Today’s song is one written by Don Moen, once the music director for the Hour of Power television ministry, but now retired. I believe the story behind this song is one late night in the mid 1980’s Don was awakened by the incessant ringing of the phone. On answering it, he was shocked to hear the news that His brother in-law and his sister had met in an accident with their four children, and one of the boys had died. 

In his grief and sorrow, Don cried out to God for help, and these are the words he found solace in, as he put them to music in the song, ‘God will make a way.’ So let’s raise our voices in all sincerity and truth, declaring the words of Don’s song with heartfelt thanks. 

In soulful unison now: (‘God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me. He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With LOVE and strength for each new day He will make a way, He will make a way.) (Repeat) 

By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me And rivers in the desert will I see Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will remain And He will do something new today. Oh, God will make a way where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my brethren as all of us sincere believers can testify, because at some stage in our walk with Almighty God, He has made a way for each of us, when there absolutely seemed to be no way! Praise his holy name my people! Give Him enormous thanks for being the wonderful Deity He is! 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to this mind boggling promise of our Bit nuh. ‘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.’ 

And there are instances where He kept all those promises: When the Israelites fled bondage in Egypt and came to the Red Sea, with Pharaoh and his army hot on their heels, it seemed like they were destined to either drown or be slaughtered by their enemy. But their omnipotent God made a way for them by simply parting the Red Sea and giving them dry land to cross over upon. And it was the mighty Egyptians who drowned that day. (Ex.14:21-31) 

Likewise, when they crossed the Jordan River to go into the Promised Land, the Lord parted the river for them to walk across on dry land once more. (Josh. 4) And if yuh think His talk about the fire scene was just idle talk, then read Daniel 3: 8-30, where the story of the three Hebrew young men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is told. 

 They refused to bow to a golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and were thrown into a furnace of fire heated seven times hotter than normal. Hn! It consumed the men who threw them in, but those faithful young men came out without a scorch, not even smelling of smoke! 

Wow mih breddren! As I rave every day: what a wonderful and powerful God we serve and worship! Give Him the praise and thanks He so rightfully deserves nuh! And the hordes of foolish people, believing Lucifer’s lies that we ought to get rid of God from our society? Deh mad yes! We ought to be begging Him to come back, not go away! 

And if yuh think all of that was in the now irrelevant Old Testament, then listen to Bruh Paul writing to the church at Corinth. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Yes friends, even when the tempter comes with His best shot, our ever-faithful God will find a way for us to escape the temptation entirely, or walk through it with us, helping us to endure it. But He will NEVER allow us to handle more than we can bear! That’s His promise! 

And even more compelling are these words of assurance from Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28)

Oh my people, our wonderful God is working out ALL things for good, but we who LOVE Him appreciate that fact more than others because we LOVE Him no matter what! Like Shadrach and them told King Neb, we know the Lord can save us from the fire, but whether He chooses to save us or not, we not bowing to yuh foolish lifeless golden idol! And that is that! You could do whatever yuh want now! 

Oh my fellow followers of Jesus, that is the kind of salt and belly and backbone that we need to have in these oh so evil and ungodly times!  For Jesus’ sake, let’s get our act together and be solid nuh. We way too wishy-washy and compromising with the world! Much LOVE!

…remember…we must be in the world…but showing Jesus’ glowing colours…not be of the world…in the dark and evil likeness of Beelzebub…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 March 2018 John 14:16.

John 14:16.   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.

Ah friends, what’s happening in the U.S. eh? Another school shooting, this time in Maryland, though not as bad as the others. A man suspected of sending bombs in Austin Texas, blows himself up when police corners him. And last but not least, another terrible winter storm is expected to lay waste the North East today, the fourth one in as many weeks. 

Brother! And those are only the more glaring items of news. All I can say is we need to offer whatever help we can, in prayer and spiritual compassion, for we never know when we will need help with our own problems. 

And here is a li’l tidbit from the Daily Bread Devotionals to help us stand strong: ‘Faith-testing times can be faith-strengthening times.’ And that’s for sure friends, for it’s only when our faith is tested in adversity and calamity that we truly grow stronger and mature in Jesus. 

That’s why it’s of the utmost necessity for us as believers to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says: through ‘The power of the Holy Spirit – God’s divine energy and authority are released in the life of the believer, for the purpose of godly living and fruitful service.’ 

Yeh friends, ONLY when we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and we are listening to His lead and guidance, can we live successful godly and fruitful lives in and for Jesus. Please note the utmost importance of those words, ‘we are listening to His lead and guidance.’  

That’s because though He dwells in us, we don’t necessarily listen to or follow Him. And if we don’t, the cares and pressures of this world will surely drive us wacko. (smile) Oh my brethren the Holy Spirit was given to us when we first believed as the go to person in our lives. 

As Jesus says in our Bit when He promises His disciples the Holy Spirit after He ascends back to heaven. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall send you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.’ (John 14:15-16) 

And that promise still holds even till today my people. LOVE the Lord and obey His commandments and He shall send His Holy Spirit to comfort and guide you. It’s what today we might associate with comfort food. (smile) 

Now listen to this explanation from the scholars. 14:16. The Greek word parakletos literally means “one called alongside to help,” hence the idea of a comforter. The Holy Spirit is called another comforter because this is also one of Christ’s titles (1 John 2:1. translated “advocate”). 

Illustration: The Father is also known as the God of All Comfort (2 Cor.1:3). Though those in the early church often endured persecutions, they found their comfort in the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:32). Application: Today, Christians can find comfort in the Holy Spirit when trials come. (First Ref. John 7:37 –39, Primary Ref. John 14:16-18; cf. John 7:39). 

Yes precious people of God, it is to the Holy Spirit of God that indwells us we should be turning to in times of trouble and distress, because that’s why the Lord sent Him to dwell in us. So why aren’t we doing it more than we are eh? I really don’t know nuh, perhaps we just don’t truly believe, our faith isn’t strong enough, or something else. 

But the Holy Spirit is certainly not going forth in our lives the way it ought to, otherwise our lives would be on a much more even keel.

And listen to how Jesus further describes the Holy Spirit after our Bit. ‘Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’ (John 14:17) 

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was given to particular people to perform particular works, but in the New Testament, with the coming of Pentecost, it was given to every believer. Wow! And that wasn’t a new promise from Jesus, because the prophet Ezekiel had spoken it centuries before. 

The Lord spoke through him: ‘And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances (judgements), and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.’ (Ezek.11:19-20) 

And so said, so done! For the Lord is faithful to ALL of His promises! Now it’s up to us to make full, or better use of that Spirit, that Comforter, that Guide, that Advocate, if we want to live successful Christian lives. So let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our position in Christ. 

In full voice and true sense of purpose: ‘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 we can’t begin to imagine how glorious that future will be nuh my faithful brethren! Much LOVE!

…Holy Spirit…third person of the Holy Trinity…His job…to work in the lives of men…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2016 Matthew 18:3

Matthew 18:3.    And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 Oh friends, it’s a glorious Saturday morning on God’s wonderful earth! So like children, let’s take some time out to play nuh. Playing is a wholesome, healthy and hearty retreat from the pressures of this world. 

Remember what Jesus said when the disciples refused to let the children come to Him? ‘Suffer (allow the) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt.19:14)  

Yeh friends, heaven is made up of simple, trusting, innocent people with child-like faith. So to keep our minds and bodies in a healthy state, sometimes, especially on beautiful days like these, we just need to let all our cares, worries and anxieties go and just play like innocent children. 

You’d be surprised how refreshed and renewed our souls, minds and bodies would be with a little mindless, free spirited playing. Believe me people, we all need to have some regular playtime in our lives. This evil, stressful, dangerous and angry world calls for it. 

Otherwise, it wouldn’t be long before we go stark raving bonkers, holding all the stress and tension that this world generates inside of us. Our bodies were not made to bear a whole lot of negative emotions, but positive ones. You see how quickly they deteriorate when they are consumed by too much negativity. 

So please, let’s lighten up some, and don’t try to take on all the worries of the world on our frail and mortal shoulders. Our Creator doesn’t seem overly worried, so why should we be, especially if we sincerely believe that He is in control of the universe He created?  

Now here is a little tidbit from our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us to reach for a better tomorrow. He says that ‘Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! It’s simple, straightforward logic. You will accomplish more if you control what you can, instead of selfishly trying to control what you can’t. But that’s a regular pattern of life with many of us, as the crazy, selfish world we live in sets us that example.  

Just look at how our world is populated with control freaks; those who want to control everything and everyone, and fighting tooth and nail to do so. Meanwhile, if they would just concentrate on those things they do have power over, their lives would be so much happier and longer. 

That brings us to our Bit, where Jesus explains greatness to the disciples by calling a child to Him and setting him in the middle of the crowd: ‘And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ 

There we have Jesus again referring to the importance of a child-like nature. And He continues: ‘Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones (cause them to sin) which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses (enticements to sin)! For it needs be that offenses come; but woe to the man by whom the offense cometh.’  (Matt.18:4-7) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘18:1-7. The dispute over who is the greatest was settled by Jesus’ emphasis that it was the one who was willing to forgive the most! 

Be converted means a “turning” of one’s whole life and person toward God. This is the true biblical picture of conversion. It is far more than mental acknowledgement of the truth or intellectual assent to certain ideas. 

To become as little children means to be born again (converted) as a newborn spiritual child, characterized by faith and humility. The little child represents a new convert or young believer. To receive such a fellow believer is to welcome Christ Himself. Therefore the basis of true Christian fellowship is established in Christ Himself. 

Offenses are viewed as a reality that must be accepted in the present world, but woe (the prophetic condemnation to death) to the one who is the source of the offense. A millstone is literally an “ass-stone,” or a large grindstone turned by an ass.’  

So you see my people, to enter heaven we must humble ourselves and have faith like a young child. And beware, if we cause one of these young children, the new spiritual converts to sin, then we’re surely in for a rough time; ‘woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’  It would be like dissing and demeaning Jesus Himself. 

And Jesus ends that section with this warning. ‘Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.18:10)  

And the scholars tell us: ‘Just as temptation arises from within, so does offending others and being offended. The reference to their angels (v.10) supports the idea of individual guardian angels for believers (see Heb.1:14). Salvation is not just a privilege to be enjoyed by a select few, but it is also to be shared with the lost, so that they too can be saved.’ 

Now friends, today as we play and pray, let us ponder how all that we’ve said pertains to us nuh. Are we causing others of less faith to sin, are we hogging salvation and not sharing it with others, are we being humble and faithful? Those are multi-million dollar questions my brethren, but questions only the individual can answer, before a just but kind and merciful God. 

It’s therefore imperative that we take stock of ourselves now and make whatever amends are necessary, so that that “ass-stone’ is not hung around our necks and we be deposited in the deep. Wisdom is desperately calling for that my people! Much LOVE!

…the open door to heaven calls for…innocent, child-like surrender, trust, faith and humility…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2015 Psalm 55:22

Psalm 55:22.  Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).

Aye mih fellow breddren in Christ, the workweek is moving along as it’s been planned! Would you believe it’s already Thursday, the penultimate day? Yes it is, so please, let’s hang in there, keep giving of our best, and with the faithful help of Jehovah God we WILL make it through, possibly tired, but unscathed. For that’s the promise of our great God, and He never makes idle promises. 

And I just could not ignore this most appropriate passage from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s called ‘I asked for a sign.’ Listen up carefully people. 

‘Even as I answer your letter, you are perhaps still waiting while God sends only silence. There is no sudden hailstorm, no writing in the sky. The crisis is real, and you don’t want to be presumptuous. Like Gideon in Judges 6, you want to feel the wet fleece. Or the dry fleece – you don’t care which one. You just want to know! You don’t stand alone! 

All of us who walk with God face conflicts that involve urgent decisions. God is not a God of confusion. We can know his will. When our faith is very new, He may send a sign to fortify us. However, I am convinced that God’s highest intention is to free us from unnecessary “props.” He wants to buttress us, not baby us. Above all, He wants us to trust His Word, not the wool. 

When He encourages us to hope in a promise, that hope may be our only evidence. At this moment you can’t see ahead. However, you can still be incorrigibly hopeful! You can anticipate as you wait, knowing that God will never disappoint the hope He Himself implants. He is never too late. Remember: Not the wool but His Word!’ 

Yes Friends, in our times of crisis and confusion, we all look for a sure and certain sign from God, and sometimes He does send them. But at other times He doesn’t, because as the above passage declares, He wants to buttress, shore us up, not baby us. 

He wants us to be strong and sure in the power of His promises, and that will never happen if we keep crying out every minute, and He sends signs all the time. As the passage also says, it’s not about the fleece that Gideon got a sign on, but about the Word of God, which we need to have enough faith to stand on, without receiving a sign. 

Now signs are all very well and good, but please remember it’s all about building our faith, about maturing in the Word of Almighty God. And the promise for that passage is our Bit for today. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ 

Now that is what our wonderful, ever-loving, ever-caring, and ever-faithful God wants us to do! Just cast all our cares and burdens upon Him without any fear or anxiety, because He has promised to sustain us and never let those who walk in His will be shaken. 

Jesus specifically made that promise in Matthew 6 when He spoke about trusting one master, and seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all that we need would be given to us by our heavenly Father. (Matt.6:24-34) 

So Friends, it’s ever so important that we seek first the face of God, before we begin seeking the things of the world. I know that in these turbulent and violent times that’s not always easy, but if we truly have the faith of His promises in His Word, then we will be able to do it. 

That’s why the building of our faith in God’s Word is so important in the life of every believer. For without it, we’re just lost and adrift on a rough and lonely sea. And in Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked – we have the encouraging, uplifting and edifying words of Bruh David to help foster and boost our faith. 

‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness).  

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise (way) to do evil (it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:1-9) 

Oh Friends, I don’t think it can be put any clearer or simpler than that nuh! Once we put on the ‘new man in Christ,’ we need to build up our faith, and that only comes through experience in daily living. We need to read the Word, study it, meditate on it, then put it into practice in our lives, which often means waiting patiently with no signs, for that’s the measure of faith. 

So today, please let’s show our wisdom and trust in God’s promises found in His Word, and live in true faith by casting all our cares, all our burdens, all our fears and anxieties upon our omnipotent God, for that’s what He desires of us, and He is well able to carry them on our behalf. Much LOVE!

…have faith…trust sincerely in God…for His timing is perfect…sometimes He might leave it to the last minute…but He is NEVER late…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2015 Psalm 55:22‏‏

Psalm 55:22.  Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).

Awright Friends, most fortunately, Monday has rolled around once again! (smile) And hopefully, we have also rolled out of bed at a decent hour, so we don’t have to rush to get ready. And most importantly, we have also rolled out of bed with a prayer to Almighty God on our lips and in our hearts; a fervent prayer of thanksgiving for seeing another day, and one for wisdom, guidance and protection as we go out to work in a hostile world.

And yuh know mih people, since we don’t have much choice, we might as well enjoy it for what it is; an opportunity to make a living that will benefit us. So please put aside all the miserableness, the complaining and whining – which you shouldn’t be doing anyway, if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ – and just get on with the programme.

We do offer some help though, (smile) in the form of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, so let’s blast it out with mucho passion. As one harmonious choir under the leadership of our awesome choirmaster Jesus, let’s sing:

‘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!’

Oh mih breddren that was wonderful! Jesus was proud of us. Yuh see what can happen when we put our hearts and minds sincerely into something! Now let’s go out and show this ungodly world the power, the humility, the grace and LOVE that runs through our souls as sincere followers of Jesus.

And we’ll certainly be able to do so if we follow the wise advice of our Bit. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’

What soul-lifting words of gospel truth my people! Our God has promised to be always with us, to never leave us, and we can definitely rely on His promises, for the Good Book says: ‘for he is faithful that promised.’ (Heb.10:23b)

Now let’s hear what a couple of great men of faith have to say about casting our burdens on the Lord. Listen to Bruh David declare his faith and trust in the God of his fathers in Psalm 3 – A prayer of confidence in God. ‘I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill (mountain). I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.5:4-6)

What a bold proclamation of faith my Friends! Now how many of us can make such an unwavering statement of trust in the Most High God Jehovah eh? Not as many as should. But my brethren, until we get to that stage, we’ll be missing out on a lot of the Lord’s LOVING-kindness, for the greater our trust and faith, the more benefits and blessings we see.

And we’ll end with these powerful words from Isaiah; words that we know, but don’t allow to truly reverberate in our lives. Listen up: ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-31)

Oh mih people, mih people, what beautiful words of hope and encouragement! But unfortunately most of Jesus’ supposed followers don’t seem to truly believe and appreciate them, else there wouldn’t be so much doubt, fear, distrust and anxiety amongst card carrying Christians.  

And I’ll reiterate here, that until we put that faith and trust we claim to have into serious action; by truly surrendering our all to Christ, casting our every care on Him, and waiting patiently and expectantly for Him to lead and guide us, we’ll only be shortchanging ourselves, doing ourselves a great injustice. And that my Friends, is no kind of wisdom at all!

So this Monday morning in early May, please, let’s cast aside the foolish worldly lusts that seem to be driving us away from God, and instead drop all our burdens and cares and anxieties in His lap, for that is what He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…come unto me…all ye that labour…and are heavy laden…and I will give you rest…for my yoke is easy…and my burden is light…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2014 Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  

Well… ‘The party’s over my Friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ 

Chuhhh! How sad, that I will no longer be writing to you from the balcony of my little bungalow in the Sugar Mill Suites of Lowlands, overlooking the lush greenery, and the well kept golf course on God’s Little Acre.
 
Yes my people, the ole fella’s rather short sojourn in Paradise will end today. Steups! Ah Lord eh! The next time you hear from me, God willing, will most likely be from the cold, snowy North Country. And I just heard that there’s been a big, beautiful snowfall, just in time for my return. All praise and glory be to God Almighty! Well what else can a good Christian person say eh? (smile) 
 
But Friends, please note that my absence from Paradise will only be for a short period of time, obviously providing it’s the Lord’s will. And since we all know that where there’s life, there’s always hope, and since I still have some life left in me, I won’t give up, I won’t stop hoping and praying that I can return to sweet Tobago some time soon.
 
And if this just happens to be my swansong, then it was a great one. Mama Mia!
 
And as regards memories… Oh my people, I made a couple of dandy ones yesterday! Around lunch time, I visited one of my mother’s oldest and dearest friends living in Scarborough, Diana Plante.  And was I ever surprised to see how frail and weak she has become, for unfortunately she’s now sick with spinal problems and can’t get around much on her own.
 
She’s now a shadow of the tall, beautiful, buxom woman I once knew, who along with Mols, my mother, at one stage, were the hottest numbers in Scarborough. But as they so rightly say; after one time is certainly two. Now Mols has gone over to the other side, to the great palace in the sky, leaving Di here to suffer the painful afflictions of human existence. 
 
But thankfully, despite the physical ailments, Di’s mind, spirit and faith are all still strong, and that’s a wonderful thing! But nonetheless Friends, please, let’s remember her in our prayers. Let’s pray for her to be comforted in her time of need, for we never truly know what others are going through just from their outward demeanour and behaviour.
 
And there’s absolutely nothing in this world as powerful as prayer power!
 
I made one other good and significant memory yesterday; in the late afternoon, meeting, for the first time ever, one of my nieces, a doctor here on the island. And though we had a long and excellent visit, I was appalled by some of the negative things she recounted about the Health System in T&T in general, and in Tobago, in particular. Although Health Care is basically free, it seems that the level of service and professionalism is sadly lacking.
 
Ah mih people, what to say eh? Not much, because it’s a world-wide phenomenon; the standards in ALL areas of life have fallen to such low levels that it boggles the imagination. And the sad fact is that they are continuing to fall. Hopefully though, we staunch, strong and steadfast believers in Jesus Christ will soon wake up and begin correcting it, for no one else will do it.
 
And those are the most memorable memories I made yesterday… Oh, oh, I almost forgot. I also had my last constitutional at Store Bay, which, despite its total commercialism, is still my favourite beach! Amen!
 
And now, here’s our Bit. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’
 
Oh my brethren, have you noticed how, over the last few days, the Lord has adroitly manoeuvred me to this most appropriate Bit, one dealing with blessings? I guess He’s just making sure that I am fully cognisant of the many blessings He’s showered down on me over the last three weeks. It truly wasn’t necessary though, for the blessings have been so plentiful, that even an atheist would have been forced to say ‘Thanks!’ (smile)
 
And I’m saying that now Lord: ‘Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!’ I know it’s insufficient, but that’s the very best our inferior mortal vocabulary allows.
 
And now Friends and fellow believers, let’s continue with Bruh Paul’s explanation to the Ephesians, re the spiritual blessings received through Christ, from verse 13.
 
‘In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of (down payment or deposit on) our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.’ (Eph.1:13-14)
 
Oh Friends, what beautiful, sweet sounding terms – trust, truth, gospel, salvation, believed, sealed, holy spirit, promise – all in one sentence! Wow! Then you have down payment, deposit, inheritance, redemption, purchase, praise and glory in the next. How priceless!
 
Now let’s hear the scholars’ take on those scriptures. ‘1:13. In whom ye also (or, “by whom also you”): The first person plural (we, us) in verses 3-12 refers to Jewish Christians. The second person plural (you) refers to Gentile Christians. This seems evident from 2:11-12 where the second person is explicitly applied to non-Jews. “Ye being in time past Gentiles… ye were… aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” Compare 3:1, where Paul calls his readers, “you Gentiles.”
 
The apostle’s point in this “we-you” distinction is that all those spiritual blessings God has bestowed upon “us” Jewish Christians, He has also granted “you” Gentile brethren. There is no difference.
 
In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise may be read, “By whom also, when you believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” The Christian receives the Spirit, not “after,” but when He believes in Christ as Saviour. The sealer is Jesus; the seal is the Holy Spirit. In biblical times a seal denoted both identification and ownership and protection provided by the owner.’ 
 
And re ‘1:14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance means “who is the guarantee of our salvation.” The Holy Spirit is here called “the earnest of our inheritance.” The word ‘earnest’ means “down payment”; as such the gift of the Spirit is viewed as an installment or as part of our salvation. God therefore assures the Christian that the realization of the rest of His salvation is forthcoming.
 
How long is the believer assured of his salvation? Until the redemption of the purchased possession may be read, “until God glorifies and perfects the believer (the purchased possession) whom He has bought by Christ’s blood.”
 
And that’s it for today, and for that message! Please Friends let’s, as always, ponder the words we’ve read, then let them stimulate our hearts, minds and souls as we go out today to do Christ’s work.
 
And now I’m going out on to my balcony and watch the sun rise up above the Eastern horizon for the last time. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
…oh what a friend…and saviour…we have in Jesus…our hopes and cares to bear…