Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2020 Proverbs 13:17.

Proverbs 13:17.     ​A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health.
 

And then it was Friday and everybody…well most everybody was shouting with glee: ‘The weekend, the weekend, the long weekend at last!’ Yeh friends this is the Civic Holiday weekend, the first Monday in August. And it’s also what should have been Caribana weekend in Toronto with all the carnival stuff happening. But like most everything else the Covid-19 pandemic has put paid to that for this year. What a bam bam of a year this 2020 has been eh! (smile) But what to do eh? We need to know that the Lord God Jehovah is still on His throne and still controlling things and that with the right attitude towards Him and His Word, this too shall pass! 

But enough of me, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say nuh. And as always, he exclaims: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And thank God for this long weekend too! Just hope it not too hot and miserable though. And finally the rest of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is being released into the Stage 3 lockdown mode. More places opening and inside service in restaurants and stuff. That sounds good, but ah wondering how safe or sensible it is for them to make this decision on this long weekend eh, knowing how people behaving irresponsibly all over the place? 

Just think about that house party last week up in Brampton nuh, with some two hundred people and cars parked all over the grass and wherever. Steups! Can yuh imagine how some of them going to behave with the freedom granted them over this long weekend? But who am I to question it eh? The government seem to think they know what they doing…ah certainly hope so yes, for all of our sakes. But me and mine not going to do anything much different, to what we been doing – barbequing and going for walks and playing games together. 

I need to get some rest too, as well as cut down on the drinking and smoking. Ah finally realizing that I’m not as young as I used to be, and can’t burn the candle at both ends like I used to, and get away with it. Hn, Hn! Let us hope though, that the release in this lockdown don’t drive people crazy and they end up doing nonsense to cause the virus to start spreading again nuh, and we have to go back into another lockdown. Brother! Would that ever be a horror show!’ 

And isn’t that the God-awful truth people! Having the society locked down again will definitely cause much more panic and disobedience than the original seclusion did! So let’s pray that people will be sensible, serious and responsible nuh, and we won’t be forced back into a lockdown situation again, but keep reopening li’l by li’l, glory by glory. 

As one voice, with sincere hearts, let’s declare (steups!) our Friday Chant.  ‘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!’ 

Ah friends, so much of this recovery from our current sickness and strife depends on how we, followers of Christ, Christians behave. We need to show the world Christ though not only our talk, but more importantly through our actions and behaviour. Things like LOVE, compassion, care, forgiveness and mercy have to be prominently displayed by us in these dark, angry and dangerous times. This is when we truly have to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, showing forth our faithfulness in spades. 

This is more a time for action rather than talk, and even though some of us are still in lockdown mode we can still do a lot to help those less fortunate than us. We now have so many tools at our convenience that it would be a lie, and a sin, to say we can’t help others. Yes my fellow saints in Christ, this is a time when the cream, we believers in Christ need to rise to the top, be true and good ambassadors of our Lord and Saviour. Bruh Paul said it quite plainly to the Corinthians. ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.’ (2 Cor. 5:20) 

Oh friends, we who have been reconciled to God, become righteous and justified, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, now need to go out and do what He wants us to do. He is our leader, and followers ought to do what leaders desire of them. Just like political ambassadors represent their countries in foreign lands, we too need to represent Christ wherever we go. And like Cousin Sol so wisely declares (yeahhh!) in Proverbs: ‘A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health.’ (Prov. 13:17) 

Oh my people, please, I implore us to be faithful ambassadors of Christ in these dangerous and uncertain times, and thus bring health to our society. Much LOVE!

…truly working for Jesus…means diligence and excellence… from a compassionate heart…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2019 Luke 19:10.

Luke 19:10.    ​For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
 

And now that the Caribana party done, is time to get back to work mih people! But you wouldn’t like to see the way some of us dragging as we attempt to reach the slave master’s place of slavery! Hn, hn! Too much partying over the last few days. But that’s the nature of the beast.

Now we going to drag we foot in the people work, just dying for Friday to come around. And the few times we lucid, we going to boast about the good time we had over the weekend. Ah don’t know if much work going to get done this week nuh, or if whatever is done will be up to scratch. But hear is a li’l something from a Jewish Proverb that might help us. 

It says: ‘From happiness to suffering is a step; from suffering to happiness is an eternity.’ And isn’t that the awesome gospel truth! We jump from happiness to suffering like right off the bat. But it takes an eternity to move from suffering to happiness. The suffering doesn’t ever seem to want to finish, while the happiness is like over since yesterday. 

And that’s the lesson for we partygoers this week: You partied hearty for a few days, now you going to suffer long before you recover! (smile) But don’t worry friends, if you’re a believer, Jesus will take care of you, even though you didn’t pay proper attention to Granny’s warning and partied as if there was no tomorrow. That’s because He specifically came to save people like you and me; the lost, the suffering, the sick, the downtrodden, those shunned by society. 

Listen to how often Jesus tried to tell His listeners that nuh. The Jewish big wigs criticized Him for having lunch with Zaccheus, one of the rich and hated tax collectors, even though Zaccheus repented. But Jesus’ reply was simple. ‘This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

Yeh friends, Jesus’ enemies saw it as a blight on His record, but Jesus saw it as a win, because He had saved one house from eternal damnation, and that was His avowed purpose here on the earth. Likewise, when the disciples wanted to call down brimstone and fire on a Samaritan village that refused to welcome Jesus, He rebuked them, saying: ‘Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ (Luke 9:55-56) 

And we all know, what is possibly the mightiest saying of Jesus: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17)  

Ah mih people, our heavenly Father’s deepest hope and most sincere wish is that not even a single one of His human creations will end up in Hades with the foolish and fallen Lucifer. 

Hear Jesus in conversation with the Jewish elite again nuh. ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 

And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6:37-40) 

Yuh see how important we were, and still are to the Father my people! All He wants is that we be saved from eternal separation from Him! And Jesus referred again to saving the lost, when He prayed that after His ascension, the Father would keep the disciples in perfect peace in the world, but not of it. 

‘While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest, me I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (destruction) (Judas); that the scripture might be fulfilled.’ (John 17:12) 

So precious people of God, there’s nothing to be afraid of or be anxious and worried about when the Holy Spirit convicts us of any wrongdoing, because it’s all a part of the Father’s overall plan to save our souls from hellfire and damnation. We should in fact be glad and appreciate any warnings from the Holy Spirit because it’s all for our good. 

Remember as believers in Christ, we’re not condemned, just convicted, and then it’s up to us to confess and repent and do better. The Lord, in His awesome wisdom and LOVING-kindness, has made whatever we need to come to Him readily available. So please, let’s be wise and use those tools for our benefit nuh. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know our awesome position in Christ. All together now: ‘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!’ 

And if we sincerely meant it, let’s now go out and share that monumental LOVE and friendship of Jesus with the rest of the world, as He so greatly desires of us! Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus…the most rewarding work in this whole wide world…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2019 Acts 1:5.

Acts 1:5.    ​For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
 

And the Caribana celebration is still going strong this Monday morning, though many have gone back home or are in the process of doing so. In fact, today’s the day when a lot of the big parties will be held, but unfortunately, or otherwise, (smile) the ole fella will not be a part of any of those celebrations. I’m just going to spend a quiet day of rest and relaxation at home with the duchess. Yes, we getting old, and we value our quiet time at home now, much more than we ever did. (smile) 

However, some of us do have to go to work, and when we read about the partying and the rest and relaxation, only to realize that we’re not a part of either one of those preferable situations, understandably, we liable to get somewhat jealous and irritable. But fear not working friends, we have the antidote for whatever’s ailing you this Caribana Monday morning. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; a mighty prayer of praise, of asking, of seeking and knocking on heaven’s door. 

So as time is of the essence, let’s get right to it nuh. All together now, in strong voice, sincerely believing, for though Jesus said ask and you shall receive, (Matt.7:7) He also specified: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) So yuh see friends, the asking part is important, but the believing part is even more so. Therefore, let’s ask and believe and receive nuh. 

‘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!’ 

And as always, you can tell those who not going to work today, because their voices were the loudest and hoarsest; residual effects from a lot of partying. But I’m sure that for those of us who sincerely prayed and believed, our attitude and perspective has now changed. Our batteries are suddenly fully charged, and our energy level is much higher than before, and we just dying to get out into the evil world and give the enemy heck in Jesus’ name! (smile) 

Oh my people, it’s so good when our spirits are raised and we are in full Jesus mode, because our lives run so much better and smoother. We’re not as short-tempered and irritable. Kindness and forgiveness come to us more readily and easily, and we’re not ashamed or afraid to share the gospel and LOVE of Jesus with others. And it all comes when we follow the leading and wise advice of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. 

Consequently, Jesus warned the disciples to remain in Jerusalem after His ascension: ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ And when, in their impatience, they asked: ‘Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?’ He calmly replied: ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power (authority). But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:6-7) 

Yeh friends, Jesus just reiterated what we know as the Great Commission. (Matt.28:19-20) Our raison d’etre is to spread Jesus gospel to all parts of the world and the Holy Ghost is our lead and guide for doing that. And we all know how Jesus’ words came to pass on Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Ghost invaded the souls of the believers in the upper room, appearing like cloven (divided) tongues of fire and sitting on each of them, giving them such supernatural power that they were able to speak in other languages of which they previously had no knowledge. (Acts.2:3-4) 

And after that the Holy Spirit began indwelling EVERY believer, so that they could have the intimate and personal power of Jesus living with them. It couldn’t get any more personal or intimate than that my people! That’s the kind of hands on, always right there with you kind of person that our Jesus is! So how can we not do His bidding eh? 

We not playing fair if we don’t put out our best on His behalf because He gave His ALL; His very life; sacrificed it for us, so His blood could pay our sin debt in full. And now, so many of us want what He offers, but refuse to do what He asks. That just doesn’t compute my people. So sometime today, let’s take a moment or two and ponder our situation nuh, our relationship to Christ and see whether we are doing the best we can for His kingdom. Remember, there will be rewards for good work with good motives! Much LOVE!

…after all Jesus has done for us…how can we not LOVE Him eh…and strive to do our best for Him…

 

  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Oh my brethren, the Caribana holiday weekend is in full swing with lots of festivities happening all around the province, especially in and around Toronto. But that’s no excuse to stay away from church today. 

Most of you won’t remember the days when nothing of any relevance happened in the city on a Sunday until after lunch. That gave people a time to visit the Lord’s sanctuary and fellowship with others in worship, praise and thanksgiving, while receiving His blessings and confidence for the upcoming week. 

And though those times are long past, as true believers, we are now expected to make that decision for ourselves. So let’s make sure we give God some of our time today nuh. There’ll be lots left over afterwards for us to play and have fun and enjoy our lives. That’s exactly what He wants us to do, but only after we’ve spent some valuable time with Him. 

So as always, let’s begin with a song of praise, to both give God some glory and soften up our hearts to hear and receive His awesome Word. And today we will sing a hymn penned long ago by an interesting lady, Charlotte Elliot (1789- 1871) 

‘The first 32 years of her life were spent mostly at Clapham. In 1823 she removed to Brighton, and died there Sept. 22, 1871. To her acquaintance with Dr. C. Malan, of Geneva, is attributed much of the deep spiritual-mindedness which is so prominent in her hymns. Though weak and feeble in body, she possessed a strong imagination, and a well-cultured and intellectual mind. 

Her love of poetry and music was great, and is reflected in her verse. Her hymns number about 150, a large percentage of which are in common use. The finest and most widely known of these are, “Just as I am” and “My God, my Father, while I stray.” Her verse is characterized by tenderness of feeling, plaintive simplicity, deep devotion, and perfect rhythm. For those in sickness and sorrow she has sung as few others have done.’ 

So let’s sing with that heartfelt and plaintive simplicity that her most popular hymn calls forth: ‘Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.’ 

Ah friends, that’s the beauty of finding and coming to Jesus: You can do so just as you are! You don’t have to clean up yourself or anything like that, cause He will do all the cleansing and whatever else you might need, when you come to Him. Isn’t that great? It surely is! 

Any other deity wants you to come clean and polished, but Jesus, our humble servant and friend is willing and able to do the dirty work Himself, just like He washed His disciples feet when He was here on earth. (John 13:1-20) Yeh friends, Jesus welcomes with open arms, anyone who sincerely comes to Him. As He says in our Bit: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ It’s as simple as that! 

Once you’ve come to the end of yourself and realize you can’t get any further ahead on your own strength, all you have to do is turn to Jesus in prayer. Ask Him to come into your heart…and He will. Seek Him with all your heart, mind, body and soul…and you will find Him. And when He comes and knocks on the door of your heart… gladly and humbly open it and let Him in and say a joyful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

People believe that becoming a child of God is difficult, but on the contrary, it’s one of the easiest families to become a member of. However, living according to His rules and regulations and doing what He expects of us after we become His brother or sister, that could become somewhat difficult, because the Father seeks excellence and wants us to conform as much as possible to our Big Brother’s image, especially in terms of obedience. 

Oh, He knows that it’s impossible for us to be Jesus’ perfect clone, because He made us imperfect, but we still need to come as close as humanly possible, and He does help us. So if you’re down and dirty, sick and suffering, downtrodden and abused, and you just can’t take it anymore…please turn to Jesus, He will accept you JUST AS YOU ARE, and care and comfort you like no one else can. It only takes a simple, but faithful prayer request. 

Here’s how Jesus put it: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Yes friends, Jesus is the answer to ALL our problems…but we have to go to Him with a sincere and humble heart. Much LOVE!

…there is no other invitation in the universe like Jesus’…which asks so little…but delivers so much…that’s why it’s called…the Great Invitation…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

And so we come to Saturday – Caribana Saturday in Toronto…and again I’m up before I planned to because of the many aches and pains coursing through the ole bod. But I don’t think they are as bad as yesterday morning. And in any case, though they might slow us down some, we’re not going to let them stop us. Glory to Christ Jesus who strengthens us and allows us to do all things in His name! 

So some people are getting ready to go out and party, some are sleeping in, and some are working, like me here, asking the Lord to show me what He wants me to write about today. But before we get to that, let’s look at some quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And we have a full slate of them this week. 

The first one tells us: ‘Learn to let go.’ Now that is indeed some wise advice, because we often hold on to things and people we ought to let go, because their season in our lives is over. And holding on to stuff and people who’s best by date has expired, does us no good whatsoever, just causes more problems than we need. 

And that segues very nicely into this next quote: ‘One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.’ Yeh friends, letting go brings a kind of exhilaration and relief to our spirits, as we say ‘Yes!’ and raise our clenched fists in victory. 

And then there is this: ‘Fall in LOVE with yourself before anything else.’ Now there is some truth to that statement, but we have to be very careful with it, especially in these selfish and narcissistic times. LOVE for ourselves should be one about self-worth and self esteem, in conjunction with Jesus command to LOVE others as ourselves. 

Now there’s no way we can LOVE anybody else if we don’t first LOVE ourselves. So please pay close attention to how you think about yourself. Do appreciate and value yourself, but don’t put yourself up on any high pedestal, and think you’re so much better than others, for you’ll eventually come tumbling down. 

And the next quote poses a very interesting question. ‘Ask yourself if what you’re doing today will get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow?’ Now that’s a question a lot of us need to ask ourselves! So many of us are doing stuff we don’t like, and are spread very thinly amongst so many things that we can’t focus on the thing or things we truly want to focus on. 

And in these days of multitasking and people having to work at several jobs just to make ends meet, steadily focusing on, and getting ahead in the area you particularly desire is difficult. But you can do it, if you know what you want, and are ready to make the sacrifices involved, and above all, with God’s awesome help. Remember NOTHING is impossible to Him! 

And last quote gives us: ‘Three life rules: 1. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. 2. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. 3. If you don’t step forward, you will always be in the same place.’ And they are all quite true. We just have to put them in the context of living for Christ and what He said concerning those things. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s only when we venture forth, we step out in faith that things truly begin to happen for us. As Jesus continues: ‘For every one that asketh receiveth; and that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt.7:8) And here Jesus was referring in particular to prayer, but in reality before we do anything, we ought to come to the Father in prayer about it. 

The scholars offer this explanation. ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (v.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

Now that’s certainly a very interesting statement…and it’s also true. Our wonderful God has given us ALL that we need to be successful down here on Planet Earth. We just need to exercise our authority over it all! And what better way to close than with the words of our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as he concluded His talk on the above subject. 

‘Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matt.7:9-11) 

You can’t beat Jesus’ logic there my people. If we, in our sinful nature, know how to give good things to our LOVED ones, then can you imagine the generosity of the God of LOVE and Giver of ALL good things? No! Our puny minds won’t allow us to. But if we have faith, and persevere in fervent prayer, we will get some idea of how generous He is. Much LOVE!

…asking…seeking…and knocking…are the only ways…to truly find out what’s happening…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Ah friends, it’s a sad day when bodily aches and pains contrive and conspire to drive you out of your bed! But that’s what came against me this morning. I got up around 5.30 to go to the bathroom and found I could barely walk the few feet to it. And that’s after going to bed around two thirty in fairly good shape. Every joint was crying out in resistance. Then when I went back to bed I couldn’t find a comfortable position to get back to sleep. 

But with the Lord’s help I weathered it and did get some more spasmodic rest. However, the aches and pains in my back, both knees, both hips and both shoulders refused to go quietly into the sunrise, (smile) and I eventually got up somewhat earlier than I had planned. 

But brother, what an ordeal! And I’ve been taking the pain pills fairly regularly. So why this painful episode now eh? Steups! But yuh know what? The aches and pains won’t keep the ole fella down for long. He’ll rally and fight back. And with the Lord’s help we’ll win, because the Lord has promised that nothing that comes against us will conquer us. Glory be! 

And it’s Friday, Caribana Friday to boot, Toronto’s big day in the worldwide spotlight, so you know the workingman will be out and about blaring his song to all and sundry! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Caribana Friday! A long weekend…and official time to play true leggo beast! 

Yuh going to see we out on the boulevard tomorrow in we pretty costume…with the music blasting…and we doing we thing, getting down and wining, showing off we bumbulum and having a rollicking good time! Oh people, oh people, is Caribana weekend, the summer soon done, time to get out and have some fun, and thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends, especially the long ones!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, we must give thanks for our days off from labour, but we don’t need to go that far out on the limb like the workingman, where the evil one can easily get a foothold in our affairs. But like Jeeves says, a modicum of circumspection is necessary. 

And it’s strange how life changes as one gets older. At one time Caribana was a big deal for me. Now I don’t even remember that it exists. That’s because I can’t handle all the walking and jammings again, as well as it has lost its flavour. It’s not as nice and authentic as it was before. 

I’m not even enthusiastic this year to go to the Steelband Competition, the only aspect I support these days. I haven’t even heard from my buddy Bas, who usually goes with me. But who knows what will happen. It’s still early times. And don’t tell me that I’m getting old and cold, because I’m not. (smile) 

Anyway, in response to the workingman’s song, let’s chant our more sedate and less frivolous Friday Chant. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes my people, in Jesus organization, we don’t behave like the world, that’s ruled by the prince of darkness behaves. As Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘I have manifested (revealed) thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them (to) me; and they have kept thy word… I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine…

And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (Judas Iscariot); that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray NOT that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:6, 9, 11-17) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important Jesus thought we were? He spent the whole of chapter 17, 26 verses praying for us. Even for the believers who’d come down through the ages (vs.20). He asked the Father not to take us out of the world, but to keep us filled with His joy and to set us apart from the world, so we don’t get too contaminated by it. 

Now we do have to be in the world, otherwise how would we bring the lost and suffering to Him eh? But we don’t have to be a part of the world, meaning doing the things the world does, or living the way it does. We’re special friends. And we need to know it and behave accordingly! 

As we said yesterday, we’re ambassadors of Christ, therefore we have to behave in a special way, a way that glorifies and exalts His Holy Name. And we definitely can’t do that by behaving the way the world behaves. So let’s up the ante nuh, let’s raise our level of excellence in doing Jesus’ work, otherwise we won’t be His fruitful and efficient ambassadors, like we’re supposed to be. Much LOVE!

…serving Jesus in this evil world… is not easy…but it sure is worthwhile…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2017 Proverbs 3:35.

Proverbs 3:35.   The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.

So people, Labour Day Monday is here at last, and there’ll be celebrations all over the world, ostensibly in honour of the ordinary working men who fought and died for the rights that we so blessedly enjoy today. The sad part is that lots of the young folks don’t know, were never taught about the arduous struggle their forefathers had to go through to bring us to where we currently are. 

All they know is that Labour Day is a time to party, and for many others, an occasion to make mas on the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. And I can’t complain too loudly because at one time I also made the Parkway my Labour Day Monday haunt. But like most of the other carnivals around the world, back then it was much more colourful and entertaining, with real mas costumes, not a bikini bra and bottom and a headdress of feathers. 

There would also be many big music bands, not mostly D.J’s. It was an opportunity to see people you hadn’t seen in donkey’s years, (smile) and reminisce about old times. But then everything began changing; the music and the costumes weren’t as nice, I could no longer handle the physical walking, and I hardly saw anybody I knew. So I eventually stopped going to the Big Apple for Labour Day, just like I stopped going to Caribana here in Toronto for the same reasons. 

Anyway, enough of my whatever you call it, it’s Monday and some people still have to get up and go out and labour to keep our 24/7 world humming along smoothly. So let’s help those unfortunate folks get going with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘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!’  

And as always, the voices of those who are not going to work are the loudest and hoarsest from too much partying already. (smile) Oh, and before I forget, let me include Granny’s warning here. I’ve been remiss in not mentioning it so far on such a big weekend. So here goes: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

And though it sounds ‘jokified’ friends, it’s a rather serious warning, because if we don’t pay attention to our activities and behaviour, the always lurking Lucifer will undoubtedly find an open spot to infiltrate our spiritual defenses. So please take it seriously. And that segues quite nicely into our Bit. ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.’ 

Oh my brethren, what words of indisputable truth from the pen of Cousin Sol! And who should know better than him, since he was once the wealthiest and wisest man in the world, but then experienced foolishness and shame when he revoked the Lord God of his fathers for the many idols of his numerous pagan wives and concubines. But he wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last man to listen to a female and go astray….easy now ladies easy, it’s simply the truth. (smile) 

And Cousin Sol had plenty to say on wisdom. Let’s hear a couple his statements on the subject. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her (wisdom), and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.’ (Prov.4:7-8) Absolute truth friends! 

And hear Cousin Sol once more. ‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding: For the merchandise (gain) of it is better than the merchandise (profit) of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.’ (Prov.3:13-16)  

Ah mih people, yuh see the great benefits of pursuing wisdom! And you have to actively seek it, for it won’t just come to you naturally. So today, please let’s seriously start seeking wisdom nuh…that is God’s wisdom, not the world’s. Much LOVE!

…you can get everything…if you have wisdom…but everything won’t necessarily give you wisdom…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 August 2017 Proverbs 9:10.

Proverbs 9:10.   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.

Awright mih breddren, the big Caribana party done now! Is time to get back to some serious living, and concentrate on winning back this evil world for Jesus! 

As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly says: ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.’ (Eccl.3:1) Glory be, my people! 

And is it ever a glorious morning out there; both the Sun and the SON are shining in all their brilliant splendour! Wow! 

And when that happens you know for a fact that our great God, Jehovah, is still on His heavenly throne and still in control of the universe He created!  Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And all God’s children responded with a loud and grateful: ‘O heavenly Father, on this beautiful Tuesday morning we give you everlasting thanks and praise for all Your LOVING-kindness to us. 

We bless Your Holy Name, we exalt and glorify You and pray that You will continue blessing and protecting us even if we don’t deserve it. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we do serve and worship an incredibly merciful and LOVING God! And there’s NONE OTHER like Him; the ONE and ONLY true LIVING GOD! 

Let’s never forget that and keep living in His will and giving Him thanks and praise on a continual basis, for that’s why He created us. 

Now here is our Bit, the same as yesterday. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.’ 

Oh friends, that is such an important aspect of our faith that we can’t just deal with it in one day. In fact it’s the very basis of our Christian faith! Without the reverential awe of God, we simply cannot gain an understanding of what He is all about. 

That’s why Cousin Sol says the getting of true wisdom, that which comes from God, and not from man, is so important for all believers. For then and only then can we grow in the faith and worship of our heavenly Father. 

If you don’t know what He’s about, then you obviously can’t do Him and His word proper justice. And that’s why Cousin Sol wrote the Book of Proverbs: ‘To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive (understand or discern) the words of understanding: To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity: To give subtilty (prudence) to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.’ (Prov.1:2-4) 

And what does all of that mean? Let’s hear the scholar’s explanations. ‘1:2: Wisdom is the key word of the book and basically means “skill in living.” It is used in the Old Testament to refer to a physical skill such as tailoring (Ex.28:3), metalwork and woodwork (Ex.31:3-6), spinning (Ex.35:26); engraving and designing (Ex.35:35), and warfare (Is.10:13). 

Used metaphorically, as in Proverbs, it refers to the skill to live life successfully. Instruction refers to moral discipline of one’s life, not to classroom instruction. Understanding means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

So yuh see friends, wisdom is simply how to live a successful life, and the best way to acquire that knowledge is from the One who created us. 

And the scholars continue: ‘1:3: Wisdom, a different Hebrew word from that used in verse 2, means “wise behaviour,” “wise dealing,” “good sense.” Justice is the same words as righteousness and refers to conformity to God’s law. Judgement is a legal term used of a judge’s verdict and refers to right behaviour. Equity is fairness in one’s dealings with others.’ 

‘1:4:The simple are naïve young people open to any influence, among the chief addressees in the book. Knowledge means the apprehension of reality, including an experiential knowledge of God. Discretion refers to the power of formulating and carrying out the right measures.’ 

Ah mih people, it all tells us that living a successful life is not easy, even with the wisdom of God. However, one cannot live a successful life WITHOUT the wisdom of God! 

And you can only acquire that wisdom when you spend serious time with Him, read His word, and live life the way He wants. Remember He is the Creator, the BOSS, and we are mere servants. A lot of us seem to forget that crucial distinction. 

And what happens when we sincerely seek to acquire wisdom. Cousin Sol says: ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning: and a man of understanding shall attain unto (acquire) wise counsels:’ (Prov.1:5) In other words, both the ‘wise as well as the untaught can learn from this book (Proverbs).’ 

And we need to remember friends, that Cousin Sol was talking here not from mere hearsay, but he actually lived that life, even to showing how to be foolish at the end, by moving away from the God who had blessed him so much.

So please, let’s be wise and sow those seeds deep in our hearts, bodies, souls and minds, that we can live successful lives. Now, as we always do on a Tuesday, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the evil and ungodly world just who and whose we are. 

‘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!’ 

Action stations my people! Much LOVE!

…sharing the LOVE of God…is a Christian’s bounden duty…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.   Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

It’s another new morning…somewhat cloudy, chilly and windy though! (smile) But we’re alive, and God is working diligently within us to bring us up to Christ’s standards. 

All glory and thanks be to our heavenly Father who takes such a wonderful interest in each and every one of His children, made so intimately in His very image! 

Well today is the big day; the day of the Caribana, sorry, Toronto Caribbean Festival Parade. Hn! Let’s hope that they have better luck than we did yesterday with the Pan Competition. 

Ah Lord eh! Would you believe that the day was going along quite well until around four p.m, when the skies suddenly darkened, then the heavens opened, and the rained poured down steadily for over an hour! 

Chuh! I was just about to leave home to go and meet my panman friend down the street by Leila’s Roti Shop. The plan was to get a couple of Leila’s nice, big, shrimp rotis, with a couple of banana Solos (T&T pop – the best drink to wash down a roti) then head down to T.O for an evening of beautiful and intense pan. 

I left home in the downpour because I knew my friend didn’t have a cell phone and he would be waiting there expectantly for me. But lo and behold, when I got to Leila’s the rain was still pouring down and the skies looked dark like night. 

We hung around Leila’s for a while – I ate half my roti and drank half my Solo (smile) but the rain didn’t look like stopping, and I certainly didn’t feel like driving into T.O in that downpour, with all the Friday evening traffic, to go and sit on the hard concrete steps of an open-air Lamport Stadium. 

So we decided to shelve the Pan Competition idea, and go home and spend some quality time with our families, because with that kind of weather it might have to be cancelled. And so in the still pouring rain, I dropped him home, then came home myself. 

But would you believe, that when I was almost home the ‘so and so’ rain stopped falling! Steups! And after that the evening was clear and beautiful. But by then I definitely wasn’t going back out. In any case my family and I had a good evening together. So it wasn’t too bad after all. 

Don’t even know if they still held the Pan Competition. And that was how my one evening of Caribana involvement passed. (smile) But it’s Saturday, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm shared this past week. 

It seems like he was in a positive frame of mind, since all of them dealt with positivity. Here is the first one: ‘Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.’ And that’s a verified fact! 

Now this next quote builds on the first: ‘Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.’ How could it not eh? 

Then: ‘In order to carry out a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.’ That’s only logical, since you can’t have action of any kind without some kind of vision. 

And this one is the biggie: ‘Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.’ 

And is that ever so true my brethren! That’s why we’re constantly told to surround ourselves with positive people, because it rubs off, just like the negativity of negative people does. 

And the final quote: ‘Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.’ Now that’s advice of mythical proportions! (smile) Too many of us spend too much time belabouring and bewailing our problems, when we should be more focused on solving them. 

And there’s no better way to do all of that than by holding on tightly and sincerely to the encouraging and assuring words of our Bit. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Now true believers should never have cause to doubt that statement, for the promises of our ever-faithful God are infallible. And we’ll close this series of messages with a couple of interesting and important scriptures. 

The first is from Peter, re being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 

But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified.’ (1 Pet.4:12-14) 

Finally, listen to these words of absolute wisdom from Bruh Paul to the Colossians. ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation): for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col.3:23-24) 

Yeh friends, in ALL that we do, it is best to consider that we are serving Christ rather than men, since serving men can surely lead us down the path of unrighteousness. And who wants to tread that unwise path eh?  Much LOVE!

…the very word Christian…implies being strong and positive…like Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

Welcome friends to a wet Caribana Friday; at least in my neighbourhood! It didn’t seem to be much of a shower though, but more like a short drizzle, and I doubt that it will last for the day. 

And even if it does, it will not stop the workingman from being exuberant in his declarations, especially on this long Civic Holiday weekend, with the numerous festivities planned for the Greater Toronto Area. 

I can already hear him proclaiming to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank Him for this long Caribana weekend, where the partying will be enormous, in fact outa sight! Pan Competition tonight…then the big Parade tomorrow…mas in yuh mas mih breddren! 

So this Carnival weekend is pure partying – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Mama Yo! We go mash up the town this weekend! Thank God for this break from slave labour oui!’ 

And believe you me, some people are going to do just as he says; party the weekend away. But we all know my fellow believers in Christ that that is not such a wonderful idea, for it just invites the ever-lurking enemy to find a foothold in our souls and spirits. 

Nothing is wrong with partying, but with a modicum of circumspection, with certain boundaries that we make sure not to cross. That means Granny’s warning is ever so important this weekend, even though some of you don’t like to hear it. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I believe that if we keep that in mind, we will not fall victim to the enemy. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives a better, or more focused reality for the weekend. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh friends, that’s more in tune with our Christian faith. So let’s pay serious attention to it nuh, along with our Bit, the warning from the proper Azariah to King Asa and all of Judah. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Ah mih breddren, if believers would only put their hands to the plough seriously and do what’s expected of them, what a wonderful world this would be. But as I said yesterday, too many of us have gotten soft and wishy washy, have lost whatever belly and backbone we had by living in this plush and comfortable society. 

So, as a result, Christianity is steadily losing ground in the spiritual warfare in which we’re engaged. Friends, we have to pick up the slack, be strong if we want to see Jesus’ LOVE Revolution win the day! There’s no two ways about that. 

Consequently, I’m imploring us, asking us to remember our bounden duty as Christians, to be strong and work sincerely and diligently for Christ Jesus! Otherwise our faith will surely crumble and all Jesus’ sacrifices would be a waste of time. And I know you wouldn’t want that. So let’s ramp up our efforts nuh. 

And to help us do that, here are a couple of examples of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And the first, possibly the most important, comes right at the beginning of God’s word, His promise to Abram. He was still known by that name. Abram had just won a battle for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and had refused their reward. (Gen.14:1-24) 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) 

And the scholars explain: ’15:1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.” 

Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf.Ps.127:3).’ 

And what greater reward can there be than Almighty God Himself eh mih people? None whatsoever! 

And we’ll end, most appropriately, with the words of Jesus Himself, words of wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Beatitudes. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:11. Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. The persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that is still happening today, and will continue to happen until Jesus comes again. All we can do is simply grin and bear it, and think about out rewards accruing in heaven for the unfair and unjust persecution. 

But now hear this other explanation: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. 

If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Isn’t that marvellous? Nothing can stop us! So let’s get strong and retake the world for Jesus nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…believers should concentrate more on their rewards…than their problems…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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