Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 October 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.     Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Come on down my fellow believers in Christ Jesus, it’s time to get together and worship on this the Lord’s Day! And today we have a wonderful song to open our praise and thanksgiving session. It’s an old favourite titled ‘CRYING IN THE CHAPEL.’ The story goes that Artie Glenn wrote the song in 1951 for his son Darrell but left it in a drawer for two years, until Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie’s band the Rhythm Riders. After some rejection, it finally became a local hit and was then picked up by other artists. 

There have been numerous versions over the years, but my favourite has always been Elvis Presley’s, that is until yesterday when I was listening to some other versions and came upon one by the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, simply known as Sissel. Her version blew me away with its simplicity and the uniqueness of her voice, as she is supposedly one of the world’s best sopranos. 

And it seems like I’m not the only person who’s been impressed by her version, for in the comments section of the video, Cliff Glenn, Artie Glenn’s oldest grandson writes: ‘Sissel.  I have never heard this beautiful lady sing Crying in the chapel till just now. Wow! my grandfather would have loved her version. My grandfather actually wrote this song in 1951, stuck it in a drawer for 2 years, until my dad, Darrell Glenn recorded it in 1953. I’ve heard an unbelievable amount of different versions in my life, including my own. but never one soooo beautiful, “sorry dad, and Elvis. is this lady single by any chance, lol!’ 

Unfortunately, she is not Cliff. (smile) And please don’t think that Sissel is a newcomer to music, although her version was recorded sometime in the 1990’s, since then she’s sold some 10 million albums of all kinds of music. And just one more accolade before we sing, this from another admirer. ‘Angelic. The sweet siren like sound I had only previously heard from Elvis’s back-up singer- Kathy Westmorland.’ (smile) 

So now that we know Sissel is easy on the eyes and can also sing, let’s do her version. Unlike Elvis’s soulful but dark version, hers is soulful but joy-filled and bright, like a sparkling spring morning, as opposed to a dark winter evening. Therefore, without further ado, let’s fill the fall morning air with sacrifices of praise to heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind 

Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way)…yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Yes friends, it’s short but sweet and soulful, touches you right down in the very depths of your being! And that’s because it’s oh so true. We can find peace, contentment and the lightening of our burdens in God’s house, in prayer, since that’s what He invites us to do. Please note Jesus’ Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Oh my people, it could not get any better than that…but it does! (smile) Listen to Jesus again, as He offers even more incentive to accept His way of life, when He proclaims: ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35) Yes, Jesus is the bread that gives life, spiritual and eternal life. You can’t get those from anywhere or anybody else, for He also lets us know with supreme confidence: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

So what is left that Jesus can’t give, or doesn’t provide eh? And what about peace and comfort and good cheer you ask? Oh, He has all of that covered too. Hear these marvellous words of encouragement. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And if you still desire more encouragement, then listen up as our Lord and Saviour gives it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And indeed He has, by taking away the keys of hell from Satan, through His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension to heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Wow, mih bredrin! What more can you ask eh? Nothing! 

But our Saviour Jesus is ever so generous that He offers us even more than that, as He faithfully promised the disciples, and consequently us. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. The Spirit of truth… I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16-18) And that promise was fulfilled on Pentecost Day when the Comforter, the Holy Ghost fell upon, baptized all the believers in the upper room, and thereafter indwells ALL believers. (Acts 2:2-4) 

So you can see Jesus has all the bases covered. He’s left nothing to chance. It’s just for us now to accept His Invitation to come to the Father through Him, to receive salvation and eternal life. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity my people, so please, please, let’s not waste it nuh, for the only other option available is eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, and that’s the worst mistake we can ever make, for the wages of sin is death…eternal death! Much LOVE!

…and…lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt. 28:20) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 October 2021 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.     Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).

Well, after two days of almost steady rain, it’s finally eased up. But everything is still wet,  and the skies are still dark, no sign of the sun, so who knows what’s going to happen next. The good thing though is that despite what we see or feel, or what may come our way, the wise thing to do is to stay with God! He controls everything and has promised to not allow more than we can bear to come upon us. He will give us the strength to overcome. A strength that we never knew we had. That’s why Bruh Paul says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And don’t forget this most marvellous promise either from Peter: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (2 Pet. 5:6-7) Yes friends, when things get rough, or we just don’t know what do, wisdom dictates that we lose our inherent pride and arrogance, and humble ourselves before our heavenly Father, because He cares for us, even more than our earthly parents. We have life in Him, there’s hope, a bright future, and the awesome promise never to leave nor forsake us! 

Oh my people, Jesus promised it in so many words: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20) So we have no reason to fear or feel lost in the turmoil of this current world. That is, if we put our lives in God’s hands, let Him lead and guide us through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. He is always there for us, but we have to go to Him, and stay with Him, fully believing that He can and will do all that He has promised. Remember, walking with God calls for faith, for trust and surrender. 

As Hebrews so clearly puts it: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (that He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) And then you ask, what then is this faith you talk about? It’s just believing for things that you don’t see, things that God’s promised, and waiting expectantly for them. For as Hebrews wisely advises: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).’ (Heb. 10:23) 

Yes, my fellow believers, we very much need to stand strong in our faith, because life is never easy, therefore, we need someone more powerful than us to help us walk through it successfully. And who is more powerful than Jesus eh? NOBODY! He conquered hell, death and the grave through His triumphant resurrection on the Easter morning so long ago. That’s why He could make this amazing statement: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh my brethren, who else could make such a truthful statement eh? No one but Jesus, because He did exactly what He said! That means no matter what happens we can rest assured that God is working in our lives for our good. Bruh Paul told us that in his epistle to the church at Rome. ‘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) Yes my fellow saints, if we LOVE God, put our lives in His awesome hands and try our best to walk in faith with Him, then He will eventually work everything out for our good. 

So, though the rains pour down, the skies stay dark and life seems forsaken, do not believe that all is lost, for when Christ is in your life, nothing is ever lost! It might be misplaced for a while, but NEVER lost, because Jesus has faithfully promised that it won’t be. And He never makes idle promises. Why would Father God send His only Son to die on the cross that we might be forgiven, then leave us in the lurch after that eh? 

No way! Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear to the Roman church when he wrote: ‘What shall we then say to these things (that God has done for us through Jesus, like justification, sanctification and reconciliation)? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:31-32) 

That’s only common-sense friends. Why would God put Himself out for us, then just leave us to fend for ourselves afterwards eh? No reason whatsoever, since that’s not the kind of God He is. And Bruh Paul emphasizes that in his epistle to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh, how wonderful that is my fellow believers; that the Lord will continue working in us, offering us His grace, LOVE and all that we need until Christ returns! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ Glory be, mih people! The Lord’s plans for us will not be thwarted! You can’t beat that news! But that means we must also play our part in the partnership. As James advises: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw night (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye doubleminded.’ (James 4:7-8) 

So friends,  our role is basically to stay close to God, and if we do, He will work everything out for our good. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to stay attached to God, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong. As one strong, confident and sincere voice: ‘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 the upshot of that declaration (yeah!!!) is that we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…in Christ Jesus…there is relief from this sinful world…and eternal freedom in the next…                        

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2021 Mark 4:40.

Mark 4:40.     And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 

Then it was Wednesday, and the heat wave we have had for the past few days, with temps in the thirties, seems to have suddenly disappeared, with the high today expected to be in the low twenties, with rain and cloudy skies. What a contrary summer it’s turning out to be; a few hot days backed by a few cool ones. And the rain and thunderstorms seem to be even more prevalent now than in the springtime. It’s therefore no surprise that my sinus allergies are having a right ole time with the temperature vacillation. 

But that’s climate change for you! (smile) However we must learn to weather it like we do everything else. And as with everything else, the best way to weather it is with Jesus as our guide and pilot. There’s no doubt whatsoever that with Jesus leading, we can handle anything, ride out any storm, be it literal or figurative, for He is the man who calms the winds and seas, again, both literally and figuratively. 

We find this highlighted in the Good Book, where while He and the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee a terrible storm arose – ‘insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves’ – ‘and they were filled (filling) with water, and were in jeopardy.’ The first quote there is from Matt. 8:24, and the second from Luke 8:23. So they did seem to be in mortal danger. But where was Jesus during this crucial and critical time eh? Mark tells us: ‘And He was in the hinder part of the ship (the stern) asleep on a pillow:’ Mark 4:38a) 

Now imagine that nuh…the boat is being tossed to and fro, taking in water, in danger of sinking, and Jesus is comfortably asleep in the stern. That abnormal situation certainly perturbed the disciples, ‘and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38b) 

Most likely Jesus was upset that they had woken Him from a comfortable sleep, even possibly a sweet dream. ‘And he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:39-41) 

Now that’s why we are so highly recommending Jesus for the position of Lord and Saviour, Guide and Pilot of our lives! He doesn’t get all anxious and afraid in storms. And if you call out to Him, when you are immersed in them, like we all are at some time or other, He will even take the time and calm those storms for you. That’s how seriously He takes His task as your storm pilot! 

Furthermore, once you engage Him as your dedicated mentor and guide, He has promised never to leave nor forsake you, to stay always by your side and help you through everything in this life, be they good or bad! He said it directly to the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) 

Wow! How good is that for a life mentor eh? Most wonderful, I’d say! (smile) So you see friends, it’s no half-baked tale I’m spinning you, but the story of real people, and a real God-man. ‘The Son of man,’ was Jesus’ favourite terminology when referring to Himself. But coming back to the story of the storm, it shows that though the disciples had seen Jesus do several miracles their faith was still small. 

Then, as one commentator, Evelyn Oliver/Christian Disciplines says: ‘This story has a lot of importance for us today. It is incredible to see the peace that Jesus had in this situation and the complete turmoil that the disciples were in. Jesus was at peace and not worried about the storm around them. There was no reason for the disciples to be afraid…. We know that Jesus knew what was going on from the beginning because he reprimanded the disciples for their lack of faith. They did not trust in Jesus and all he could and would do. At that moment, the disciples had more fear of the storm than trust in God.’ 

And sadly my people, that same situation still exists with us today. In too many cases, we fear the storms that come upon us more than we trust our Lord and Saviour, Guide and Mentor, Jesus. And that’s a crying shame! For if, in the good and calm times, you ask anyone of us so-called believers about trust and faith in Jesus, we would certainly serenade you with a powerful version of our strong faith. But as soon as the storm approaches, when reality hits, that strong faith seems to just disappear into thin air. 

And we are seeing that show forth very clearly in this pandemic situation. Instead of doing our part, and then standing strong in faith, knowing that this too must pass eventually, we get all worked up and anxious about stuff we have absolutely no control over. And we listen to every Tom, Dick and Harry, who are spouting so much incorrect stuff, so much disinformation, and thus feeding the devil’s fear mongering machine. 

Consequently, in a time when we need to show forth the most faith – which doesn’t mean being foolish like so many of us supposed believers, and refusing to take the few measures within our ability to stop the spread of the virus – our number one     response is fear. No wonder the virus is taking much longer to go away. 

So friends, in times like these, it’s very important for us to remember the memorable words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) And God expects us to use those abilities in a sensible manner, which means faithfully turning to Him in the time of storm, with few doubts and little anxiety. Those are human traits that we cannot completely eradicate, but we surely can keep them to a minimum with strong faith in Christ Jesus. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely endeavouring to keep Jesus first place in our lives, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong voice. ‘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 just in case you don’t remember, or your faith flounders some, (smile) if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…how many times do I have to say it eh…Jesus is the answer…Jesus is the answer…Jesus is the answer to EVERYTHING…                                                                                            

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2021 2 Timothy 4:7.

2 Timothy 4:7.     I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:

And then it was Saturday; that beautiful, lazy, sleep in day! Although I don’t think a lot of people will be sleeping into day because some of the restrictions on the lockdown have apparently been lifted. Don’t ask me what they are, because I have stopped paying attention since they are always so confusing. (smile) 

But if yesterday was any reflection of that, with the crowded streets and plentiful traffic, more than we’ve seen for over a year, then today will indeed be crazy. Let’s hope though that people will still pay attention to some of the realities of the situation, because this thing is not over, far from it, and like we’ve had before, a relapse is still possible, especially with all the new variants out there. End of sermon! 

Let’s turn to our Saturday business now; that of checking out the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.’ Now that’s all well and good in theory, but in actual practice, it’s not so easy to do. Just look at how the nation of Japan rose to greatness by first cheaply copying the designs of other countries, and now China is doing the very same thing. So what does it say about originality eh? (smile) 

And remember that famous saying: ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’ Meaning that it’s a compliment to do or think like someone else. The problem is that though we should all try to be original, not all of us can, or will be. Some of us will just have to settle for making the original things better. (smile) 

And the next quote says: ‘There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.’ Now that’s no lie, for some people are just scared to take a risk, to step out on a limb, just want to always play it safe, but you can never succeed by playing it safe. And the other type is the jealous ones. Those who don’t want to see you get ahead of them, who desire you to be just as unsuccessful as they are. But it’s up to you to decide what you truly desire and don’t listen to the naysayers, regardless of the reason they have for saying nay. 

But that means you must also pay close attention to the following quote: ‘Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.’ Now that certainly has a ring of truth to it. For the only way to succeed is to move on from your failures, and though it’s difficult to always have enthusiasm after a failure, it’s important that you do have it, since that’s the only way you will ever get fully into your next attempt at success. And the next quote segues very nicely into that one: ‘Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.’ 

That first part is gospel truth: to be successful you have to do certain things that most people will not do; like getting up and trying again, and working long, tough hours, although you are not seeing any daylight on the project. Not to mention doing all sorts of menial and supposedly low-life jobs, just to forward the project. And yes, most of wish our tasks were easier, that’s the normal human attitude. But then, as they say, nothing good, or worth accomplishing is ever easy. And that’s generally true, no wonder our society today is so listless and lazy, with so many of us just satisfied to sit on our laurels and enjoy the easy life. 

But when a society gets lazy and listless and stops being creative and productive that’s when it begins to die, for a worthwhile life is only achieved through continual improvement and productivity. Consequently, this upcoming quote describes what a person or a society has to be about to not only survive but to prosper. ‘It’s not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating, they have to be about change.’ 

Yes, friends, we have to be in a continually creative frame of mind and accept that some change is necessary to move on up. But please, let’s not do like so many of us in our society are doing today, just embracing change for the sake of change, for not all change is productive, necessary or improves one’s life. And the advent of social media with its countless tentacles spread all over the world is just such one bad influence, for it gives the evil and wicked an even greater chance to spread their evil influence. 

True, it also gives the good and righteous a chance to spread their beliefs, but it so happens that because of our natural sinful nature and the broad way of the evil stuff, it is spreading more than the good stuff, which seeks the narrow path. And if we, the good and righteous want to have more influence in this world, we have to start doing much better than we currently are, and using the many tools available to us much more intently and purposefully. 

Remember some of Christ’s last words to His disciples: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) Now, as followers of Jesus, His disciples and earthly representatives, that’s our life-long mission! We refer to it as the Great Commission, and it is indeed a great commission, as it comes directly from our Lord and Saviour, and it is a big, though very worthwhile task. 

And this explanation from the scholars is excellent. ‘The closing promise, though given to the apostles, is transmitted by every generation of believers (cf. John 17:20). Christ’s promise of His presence, I am with you always, guarantees the success of the church’s mission because it is really His mission carried out by His called-out disciples. The phrase unto the end of the world means until the end of the “age.” 

Therefore Christ’s empowerment of the church to evangelize the world is available in every age, even unto the end of the church age. In comparing the Great Commission with Jesus’ promise to continually build His church (Ch. 18), we must conclude that He intended His church always to be spiritually militant and evangelistically aggressive as we take His claims of Lordship to the entire world of our generation.’ 

Now my fellow believers, the important question is, are we being spiritually militant and evangelistically aggressive in our earthly walk? Now, if we are truthful, we will admit that we are definitely not as engrossed and purposeful in Christ’s work as we ought to be. So what’s the answer? It’s simple! To retake the world, we must become more spiritually militant and evangelistically aggressive, and at least match the efforts of the evil doers, until we eventually overpower them! 

That’s it in a nutshell my fellow saints. And it’s now up to us to rise up, with a strong sense of purpose and do our job, so that at the end, like Bruh Paul, we can truthfully say: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:’ (2 Tim. 4:7) Yes friends, unless we can all truthfully say that at the end of our earthly days, then our lives would have been worthless in the cause of Christ! Much LOVE!

…it’s time for believers to rise up…to be bold and aggressive…in spreading the good news of Christ…                                                                    

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2021 Habakkuk 2:3b.

Habakkuk 2:3b.     ​though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

And then it was Holy Saturday; that suspenseful day of waiting between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the day after the tragedy, but the day before the great awakening of joy and celebration! And yes, it’s always difficult for us human beings to wait for something, even though we know it will be better than what we currently have, especially in these times of immediate gratification. 

But please wait patiently on the promise my people. For as the Good Book says: ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ (Hab. 2:3) Yes friends, Easter Sunday will surely come, so let’s just mourn quietly, but expectantly today, show our tremendous faith, for we are assured of the triumphant rising of the Holy One of Israel tomorrow! 

Now let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. Here’s the first one: ‘We can’t retract the decisions we’ve made. We can only affect the decisions we’re going to make from here.’ I don’t know if that is totally true nuh, because sometimes we can take back the decisions we’ve made, especially if they have not been yet implemented. But in the logical process of the situation, I guess you can look at the retracting as a new decision and not merely a taking back of the old one. So, in that sense, the quote is right. (smile) 

Then there’s this: ‘I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.’ Now that seems to be rather truthful. If the current situation is bad, then things will only get better if wise change occurs. Merely leaving it the same will not cause any improvement. However, I totally disagree with this next quote: ‘When in doubt, choose change.’ That means you’ll be choosing change just for the sake of change, since there might be no good or logical reason to change. 

But change, especially significant change, should not be made without some good grounds, some useful purpose or enhancement such change will provide. And just because you have doubts, doesn’t mean you should just jump into the unknown. Although that’s what a lot of us are doing in these times of great change. Oftentimes, we don’t know what we’re doing or where we’re going, but because others are changing, are doing something new or different, we think we ought to do the same, we can’t let them get ahead of us, because we absolutely need to be a part of the in-crowd. But that is pure foolishness my brethren. 

Not all change is good for us, and the follow the Jones’ lifestyle only gets us into more problems than we already have. Just take the example of the new cell phones that come out almost every year. Some of us just feel we need to have them because they are new, and have new toys in them. But they are usually more expensive too, and don’t always work as good as the older ones. And in fact, most of us won’t ever use the new toys in them. 

We don’t even use our current phone to its best level. But there’s a new one out, and we must have it, we must keep up with the throng and make the phone makers even richer! And in such situations, re our first quote, we definitely may not be able to retract our hasty and thoughtless decisions. (smile) But as they say, to each his own. 

That brings us to the next quote: ‘When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things. Define the moment, or let the moment define you.’ Now that’s gospel truth friends! When defining moments crop up, you only have two options; to let the moment define you, or you define it. And the sensible option is usually the latter. You define the moment, you come up over the problem, don’t allow it to take you where it wants to go. 

And I guess we should define what we mean by defining moments. (smile) Those are basically important times in your life, when what is in front of you has the ability to change the trajectory of your life, like a new job offer, or meeting a new lady friend, or the most important defining moment in all of our lives, finding Jesus and cheerfully latching on to Him! When those opportunities appear in our lives, we have to face them mano -a- mano, rise up above them, take the bull by the horns sort of thing, evaluate the situations, and hopefully make wise decisions, because it’s not always in our best interest to let nature take its course. 

And that segues real nicely into our last quote. ‘A wise man can learn more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting statement. I guess it goes back to a couple of other sayings: ‘Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.’ And also, ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ The last one insinuates that if you are foolish, then most likely your friends are also foolish, so there’s not a whole lot you can learn from them. 

Meanwhile, the first saying is telling us to keep a close eye on our enemies because we can learn their secrets and tactics, which will help us in our fight against them. But the whole thing boils down to having wise friends and no enemies. But if you do have enemies, as Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink. For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.’ (Prov. 25:21-22) And the scholars tell us that ‘Coals of fire does not refer to revenge or punishment but to pangs of shame that will lead to reconciliation.’ 

But Jesus goes one better than that. He says: ‘LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you.’ (Matt. 5:44) Now that’s not an easy row to hoe in this strife filled world of ours, but that’s what Jesus expects of His followers, and what we should all endeavour to do, if we bear His name, consider Him our Lord and Saviour. 

And remember, He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us, as He told the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) So there’s no need to fear, for Jesus is always with us, leading, guiding and helping us through His indwelling Holy Spirit and allowing us to do great things in His name, through His divine strength. Much LOVE!

…one more day…just one more day…before the triumphant resurrection…please wait faithfully for it… because it WILL come…

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