Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 August 2020 John 17:16.

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

 

Raise a glass friends! Raise a toast to the most accommodating day of the week – Saturday! That’s the only day that welcomes you to do exactly as you please; work, laze, party, clean, shop, etc. etc. So let’s all declare: (yeahhh!) ‘Welcome Saturday! Welcome in the best way possible! And we gratefully thank the Lord Jehovah for you!’ Yes, we can’t forget to thank the Lord for all that we have, for it’s through His generosity, mercy, grace and forgiveness that we have all we have. (smile) 

And having said all of that, deep down, I don’t know if I’m all that thankful for Saturdays nuh, (smile) since the next task at hand is for me to interpret the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Sometimes they are simple and straightforward, but at other times I have a heck of a time figuring out what the quoter really meant. Take for instance this first one today. ‘Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good.’ 

Now I’m not sure whether the last word in that first sentence is really ‘down,’ or he meant ‘done.’ That’s my first dilemma. (smile) But I’m going to take it that he meant ‘Get it done.’ Because that makes more sense to me. In this life, we certainly need to step out and take chances, especially when we’re in the employ of Jesus Christ, for that’s the only way we’ll ever know or do anything, be it bad or good. We need to get things DONE! Especially in this social media society where there’s way more talk than action. But it’s really action that changes things and situations! 

And that segues nicely into this next quote: ‘Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.’ Yeh friends, the daydreamer, not the night dreamer, is the one who usually effects the most change in our society. They consciously dream during the day (smile) for things that might be, things that they might be able to bring to fruition and benefit our world. That’s how many of our inventions have come about. Some thoughtful person ruminating on how to fix a stubborn problem, or simply ruminating period, then coming up with a bright idea and changing everything, hopefully for the better. That’s not to put down might dreamers, for they too have a useful purpose… just don’t ask me what. (smile) 

And then we come to this interesting quote: ‘Look for the thing you notice, but no one else notices.’ Now that’s ever so important in all walks of life, especially business and commerce, for it’s the person who has the uncommon or unnoticeable idea who has the best chance of benefiting from it. Don’t know if I put that in a very understandable manner, (smile) but a lot of stuff;  inventions and things like drive-ins and drive thru restaurants and motels did not always exist, but came from day-dreamers and those who noticed things that others didn’t. Now they are all the rage in our society. That’s the benefit of noticing, of paying close attention to your surroundings and the people around you. 

So what’s next you ask? Well the next quote gives us the answer in spades: ‘Just do your best and to hell with the rest.’ Ah mih people, that’s about all we can ever do; our best. And once we’ve sincerely done that, we ought not to worry about anybody or anything else, that’s because we can’t ever do better than our best. And as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Do what you can, and the Lord will do the rest. But He won’t ever do what you can do.’ Certainly words of wisdom my fellow saints in Christ! 

And yuh know that our Lord and Saviour expects nothing but the best from each of His followers! That means we have to be full of salt and shine as brightly as possible in this dark, sinful. evil and salt-less world! But unfortunately too many of us are not doing our best, being that effervescent salt and light Jesus desires in His followers. Remember we said above that we need to do things, and that it’s those who get things done that make the major difference in our society. 

So obviously, if we were getting the supposedly Christian things done in our society, the world would definitely not be as ungodly, sinful and evil as it is, and be so desirous of kicking God out of our midst, rather than being wise and welcoming Him with open arms. The question we then need to ask, is why the saints of Christ are not truly behaving like the saints of Christ? And I think this last quote has quite a lot to do with it. ‘The fears we don’t face become our limits.’ 

Yes friends, too many believers are too afraid to stand up and witness for Christ. That’s the long and short of the story! If all Christians were witnessing as we ought to, our world would never be so ungodly and evil! That’s a definite fact! And whoever refuses to admit that is… I won’t write what I think, because we’re a family blog. (smile) And the said part is we don’t have to go out on the street corners or shout it from the rooftops, but just live a life that’s pleasing and worthwhile to God, cut out the compromising and the complaining about what we don’t have, and be grateful for all that we have! 

We’re living better than 90 something percent of the world! So why the hell are we so complacent but yet so complaining eh? Ah Lord eh! I get so upset when I see so many supposed believers behaving worse than the world, because they are afraid to behave like true believers. That’s why the heathen mock and blaspheme holy God and laugh at us and call us hypocrites! And as the quote above says, the fears we don’t face become our limit. 

Yes that’s as far as we will ever go, until believers learn to face their fears of this evil world, and don’t just spout scripture like we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us, but actually put the scriptures into action. That’s why they were given to us; because there’s power in the Word of God and right now we desperately need to use that power contained therein! Oh friends, I got a li’l worked up there, was pounding the keyboard real hard, so I hope what I’ve written makes sense. (smile) 

But truthfully, we seem to have forgotten that Jesus desires us to be in the world, but not of the world. Remember how He put it in John 17, when He laid it all before the Father, in what is the real ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ or what some call the ‘High Priestly Prayer of Christ.’ ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them (His followers) out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil (the evil one). They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.’ (John 17:15-16) 

Let’s remember that nuh friends, remember that this earth is not our home, we’re only pilgrims passing through on the way to our real home, heaven on high. Now let’s go out and behave appropriately nuh. In Jesus name. Amen! Much LOVE!

…of the world…or in the world…that is the question… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2020 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.     ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

Saturday, oh Saturday! Thou lazy, lumbering but oh so beautiful day! How I do LOVE thee! And I won’t stop to count the ways, because there would be just too many! (smile) Yeh friends, Saturday is one of our favourite days because it invokes the spirit of laziness and do nothing, but also of partying… that is when we could party. I guess we can do it some now with the stage 3 ease in the current Covid-19 lockdown. Let’s hope that we don’t overdo it and spoil the good thing we have going. You know that’s one of our favourite tendencies in this age of overdoing. 

But be that as it may, today is Saturday, so let’s check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And this first one is a doozy. (smile) ‘Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.’ Now isn’t that what our generation has done in spades! We’ve made life so easy for our children that they believe they are entitled to an easy life, and are the biggest whiners on the planet! They have no belly or backbone because they have not gone through any real hard times, and it’s only difficulties that build resilience and stick-to-itiveness! 

We’ve made them so soft, given them what they want, or what the advertising agencies said they needed and thus spoiled them rotten. Oh, I can understand our desire to not make their lives as difficult as many of ours were, but that difficulty is what made us strong and determined, and by removing most of the difficulty in their lives we’ve done them a great injustice, because now, when they face difficulties, many of them can’t cope. That’s why so many of them are seeing shrinks and are on psych meds at an early age and contend so much with suicidal thoughts, especially when confronted with the evil that’s found in social media. 

And the next quote wisely proclaims: ‘The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.’ Now there’s an awesome lot of truth in that saying! When we confront big problems, or that mighty mountain we desire to move, it’s advisable to begin with the small tasks, which are always present, and work our way up to the big ones. That makes our lives easier and our problems less difficult to solve. It makes no sense to try and remove the entire mountain all at once. (smile) You’d notice that even with the great earth removing equipment we have nowadays, they still remove the big mountains one shovel full, or one relatively small piece at a time, never the whole thing at once. 

Then there’s this: ‘He who is untrue to his own cause cannot command the respect of others.’ Now that ought to be pure common sense! How can you espouse a cause then not be true to it and expect others to respect you eh? But unfortunately that happens a lot in these modern times. I don’t know if the causes are never truly espoused and just being used as facades for other stuff. But there are so many varied causes being espoused nowadays, that it’s become very difficult to know whom to trust, and often wise not to trust any of them. It’s so sad that so many people are not who they say they are, or what they are about. 

Consequently there’s so much disrespect and distrust and lack of faith in our society that we have to be ever so careful of whom we deal with. That leads us to this quote. ‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).’ Now I’m not sure what that the author really means by that statement. For if you consider our way of life that we term democracy, basically meaning that the majority wins, then it doesn’t make sense. 

On the other hand, I guess one can consider it to mean that being in the majority is not a good thing. In some way it belittles or demeans you, because only the minority knows what’s best, are capable of ruling. I guess that’s why so many li’l cliques are ruling so many things in our world. (smile) But seriously though, I don’t know if there’s ever a bad time to reform or pause and reflect, because none of us are perfect, which means we all have room for improvement in all kinds of areas of our lives. 

And the last quote says: ‘Nothing is forever. Everything goes to 0 eventually.’ Technically speaking that’s not quite true, because eternity lasts forever. (smile) However, in the affairs of men, nothing really lasts forever; be they relationships, businesses, buildings, possessions, even societies come and go. Just look at all the great societies that have populated the planet over time. All of them eventually fell into decay and many disappeared completely, as will our current powerful one that’s now in sad decline and decay. I guess you can call it the nature of the beast. 

And that’s why Jesus gave us this all-important warning. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ (Matt. 6:19) Oh friends, what great wisdom is contained in those words! The treasures of earth are those that will not last forever, they will either get stolen or naturally rust and decay, because that’s just the nature of earthly things. Even the earth won’t last forever and is in a state of constant change with things like earthquakes and volcanoes and other natural disasters constantly changing and destroying it. 

No wonder Cousin Sol also advised: ‘Labour not to be rich (do not overwork): cease from thine own wisdom.’ (Prov. 23:4) For it’s all vanity, useless in the long run. Then Jesus gives us the real truth of the matter. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through nor steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) Yes mih people, the one place that will not see any destruction and last forever is heaven! Glory be! That’s why Jesus pointed us in that direction. ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:21) And that’s the living truth. Wherever our treasure is stored, that’s where our focus will be. 

As the scholars explain: ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term ‘treasures’ implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Oh friends, treasures can indeed be useful and valuable, but the sad fact of the matter is that the earthly ones don’t last or get us very far, they all leave us, or we leave them when the grim reaper comes a-calling. So we can enjoy them for a while, but should not set our hearts desires on them, but rather be more concerned with the treasures, the rewards that we can accumulate in heaven for faithful service in Jesus’ name, because those are the only real treasures that exist, that are worth working towards and the only ones which will last forever. Much LOVE!

…where’s our heart looking eh…to earth or heaven… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2020 2 Corinthians 10:12.

2 Corinthians 10:12.     ​For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise.
 

Welcome friends, neighbours and Scrip-Bit family to a glorious Saturday, one filled with so many promises that we couldn’t enjoy or accept them all, even if we tried! Wow! But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to accept and enjoy as many as we can, because that’s why our great and wonderful God showered us with them on this glorious summer morn! So let’s make a special effort to do it nuh, especially on a lazy Saturday like this one, let’s action our wonderful acclamation: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL be glad and rejoice in it!’ 

And the first order of business is to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Oh brother, we have a full slate of some interesting quotes and I don’t know how to arrange them so we can get the best benefit. Like Anselm trying to tax mih ole brain. Oh chuh! Let’s fly the seat of our pants. (smile) 

We going to start with this one: ‘If you don’t have time to do it right you must have time to do it over.’ Ah mih people, I don’t know how many times my mother directly told me or intimated that it was in my best interest to do it right the first time, because I’d only have to do it over again, and you often don’t have the time to do it over again. And our quote suggests that when we don’t do it right the first time it’s because we have time to do it over again. But I think that’s just a tongue in cheek statement, (smile) because it’s ever so important to try and do it right the first time. 

Let’s pay serious attention to our doings nuh, else we’ll end up like this next quote describes: ‘We are too busy mopping the floor to turn off the faucet.’ Yeh, so often we try to fix the result of the problem, rather than the problem itself. That’s not wisdom, and it’s happening more and more everyday in our confused and busy world. Too many of us don’t take the time to think through stuff before we rush out to fix it. 

But here’s this wonderful quote that explains it all. ‘The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.’ 

Oh, isn’t that beautiful and ever so wise my brethren! And that last sentence is key. As Jesus proclaimed: ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete withal (use) it shall be measured to you again.’ (Luke 6:38) Yeh friends, however we give, generously or grudgingly, it shall be given back to us, like a boomerang. In other words, like Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says: ‘whatever we sow, we shall reap, more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ Just had to throw that in there. (smile) 

And that brings us to this interesting quote that we all know: ‘Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.’ And that’s for certain sure, because the Lord seems to like using sinners, broken people to accomplish His biggest deeds. Just look at people like Bruh David, Moses and Bruh Paul and the father of nations, Abraham. All of them had speckles on their lily-white skin. That’s just for comparison purposes, to heighten it. (smile) But they all did great things for the Lord, and I guess that’s a point He LOVES to make: use broken people to do big deeds in His name. 

Like the story of the two pots a woman used to carry water every day; one was perfect, the other cracked and thus leaked out half the water by the time they got home. Two years into situation, the cracked one complained about its failure to do its job properly, but the lady pointed to the beautiful flowers on the side of the road of the cracked pot. She knew of the pot’s flaw and had planted flower seeds on his side which he watered as they went along. 

And as the Bible.org website so wisely reasons: ‘Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. So as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to tasks He has appointed for you, don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in His pathway. Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength, and that “In Him every one of God’s promises is a Yes.” 

Oh Mama Mia! What words of divine wisdom! And that’s why we badly need to adhere to this last quote: ‘Be yourself: everyone else is already taken.’ Oh so true! But in this follow fashion world, too many of us are trying to be like other people, who themselves don’t even know who they are. Just look at the nonsense that social media is causing, re shaming each other because of our size, supposed, beauty, race, colour, creed, whatever have you. People are even committing suicide because of the foolishness. 

But friends, God made us to be who we are. He knows all of our weaknesses, flaws and imperfections because that’s how He made us, and that’s what needed for the special plan and purpose He has for our individual lives. So we don’t need to be anybody else but ourselves. Remember Bruh Paul’s warning to the church at Corinth when he spoke of his spiritual authority? ‘For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise.’ (2 Cor. 10:12) 

Oh friends, it is good to follow seemingly godly, good and righteous folks, but we should not let their behaviour affect us to the detriment of the plan that God has for us. In the long run, we need to be whom He has made us to be, regardless of our flaws, if we truly desire to reach our destiny! Much LOVE!

…comparisons among men…reeks of the devil’s influence… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2020 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.     ​With men this is impossible: but with God ALL things are possible.
 

Oh mih people we finally experienced the divine power of a majestic thunderstorm yesterday evening. And was it ever a sight to behold. Around 8.30 in the evening, after supper, the duchess and I were sitting on the back deck reading, when she pointed out the sudden amassing of dark clouds on the western horizon. But knowing how the wind tends to quickly disperse the clouds nowadays, I said I’d believe it when I saw it. 

Well some fifteen minutes later, after some ominous roars of thunder, I did believe it, because I saw it. (smile) It began as a slight drizzle which caused me to come inside and head for the front porch, ostensibly to sit there and check it out. But the storm was having none of that; as I opened the front door a blaze of lightning flashed in front of me, and the wind was already blowing the rain all over the porch. Chuckling, I simply closed the door and spent the next fifteen minutes or so, just listening to God’s blessings watering His dry, parched earth. 

And we all know that there’s nothing as soothing and relaxing as being inside of an evening and hearing the rain fall outside. We obviously didn’t get as much rain or for as long a spell as Toronto did recently, but I don’t think the heavenly blessings are over as yet, because now at 8.30 in the morning, more dark clouds have so far stopped the sun from showing it’s cheery face. But since we have the cheery sunlight of Christ shining within us, we’re awright, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Manage the cause, not the result.’ And that makes sense. Many of us try to handle the results, try to manipulate them, without even knowing what caused them to turn out wrong. But you always have to first figure out the problem, then handle it properly, before you can get the desired result. Any wishy-washy managing will only give you wishy-washy results. And sadly, that is the way our world handles a lot of its problems nowadays, that’s why it’s in such a mess. We don’t take enough time to truly figure out the problem before we try to fix it. 

In this age of entitlement and now for now everything, who has the time to really look into problems eh? And consequently, this next quote hits the nail right on the head. ‘If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.’ And that’s gospel truth. Only the right questions will bring you the right answers! And if you don’t know how to ask them, then you will not get the info you desire. Oh, you might get a whole lot of stuff, but it most likely it won’t be relevant to what you’re trying to find out. 

So please friends, let’s take time to sit down and truly analyze our problems and our directions nuh, before we begin trying to fix them or rush out on some wrong path. That’s because, once we get the ball rolling in a certain direction, it’s often hard, if not impossible to change courses in mid-stream. So it behooves us to get it right from the very beginning. And the next quote continues in the same vein: ‘If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.’ 

That’s also the general truth! Sometimes we can get away with poor planning, but usually, unless you have a decent idea of how everything is going to work and fall into place, we won’t be able to do it right. Again, that seems to be a problem in our society; what with our short attention spans and our wanting everything not even right away, but like yesterday, who really lays out a serious process for what they want to achieve eh? Not too many of us, although it’s much easier to do than ever before with all the technology that’s available. 

But it’s regretful that the same technology that allows us to do so many things, also takes away our patience and desire to do them properly. Diligence and excellence are fast falling and failing in our modern-day society, as we totter down to ruin. However, this last quote gives us hope, when it says: ‘Everything can be improved.’ Yes friends, that’s true…but only if you are in true surrender and communication with Jesus Christ! 

Remember when He told the rich man to sell all his possessions and come and follow him and he would receive eternal life, but the young man balked at it because he owned so much stuff? (Matt. 19:16-22) Then Jesus told the disciples: ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible: but with God ALL things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:24-26) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my fellow believers! Whatever our problems, our wrongs, our shortcomings, our disappointments, they are all within God’s mighty realm of change and improvement, if we sincerely take them to Him in prayer. And the prophet Jeremiah said it long before Jesus did: ‘Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is NOTHING too hard (too difficult) for thee.’  (Jer. 32:17) 

And remember too when the disciples could not heal an epileptic boy, and they came to Jesus and asked why? ‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt. 17:20-21) Yuh see friends, how with only a little faith, because a mustard seed is very small, we can move mighty mountains, though sometimes it might also take prayer and fasting. 

And as the scholars explain: ‘17:15-23. …As a grain of mustard seed: This seemingly impossible obstacle or difficulty stands in the way. Since Christ alone is the glorified Saviour, the disciples’ ability to work depends totally upon His empowerment.’ 

Now the same truth still holds today my brethren, thus our declaration (steups! can’t spell that either): ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil. 4:13) It’s up to us now to believe it, and put it work for Christ’s kingdom. Much LOVE!

…how many times must I say it eh….Jesus is the answer…to EVERYTHING…Glory be…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2020 Philippians 1:10.

Philippians 1:10.     ​That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. 
 

Another glorious summer’s day has dawned in my area as we wish a Happy 4th of July to the U.S. of A! Let’s hope and pray that they will celebrate it in a safe and responsible manner and not foolishly increase the problems they are already experiencing. But as they say, a people without proper direction is doomed from the start, and furthermore, you get the kind of government you deserve. 

Nuff said. It’s Saturday, so let’s turn to those quotes of our friend Anselm which so many of you anxiously wait for all week. (smile) Let’s see what words of wisdom he has imparted this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I think this first one is boss: ‘If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.’ Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say that you have the solution, but you are definitely on the right track, for how can you solve a problem if you don’t know what it really is eh? 

And sadly, that’s where so many of us go wrong in these dangerous times; we set out to solve the problem without first considering its true aspects. Contrary to popular opinion, problems are like pains, they might seem to be coming from one spot, but are actually being caused by something in an entirely different spot. So please, let’s analyze our problems fully before we begin to solve them nuh. That’s wisdom for all the ages! 

Then there’s this: ‘Before you say you can’t do something…TRY IT.’ Now that’s also a useful behaviour. In these times of much laziness and entitlement, we’re quick to say we can’t do things without even considering them properly. And ofttimes all we need to do is apply a li’l elbow grease, or even some blood, sweat and tears. But who knows, or even cares about those nowadays eh? Not a whole lot of us! And it looks so bad on us believers when we just wave away actions because they seem difficult, especially when we like to spout about how we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! 

Hn! With Christ in the picture, everything is possible, so we ought to shy away from stuff until we at least try them! That means this next quote is also important. ‘A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often.’ I don’t know about ‘a relentless barrage,’ but we must always ask ‘why’ and ‘why not?’ Because that’s the easiest and best way to find out answers to our questions. 

The human mind must always be searching, always be reaching for higher levels, that’s how we advance our civilization. And a mind that is not constantly searching and growing, regardless of the body’s age, is one that is figuratively dead and dying, since it’s not being challenged. 

Yes, from the days of Adam and Eve, the status quo has been challenged by those small but rather powerful words, ‘why’ and ‘why not.’ That’s what Eve asked: ‘Why can’t we eat from the tree of life?’ And you know what happened after; the bottom fell out of the basket. That’s why it’s also important to consider who we ask those questions of, and seriously consider their answers, because we can easily get into a whole heap of trouble otherwise, just like Eve did. (smile) 

Now I don’t know what our friend Anselm is trying to do to me with this next quote nuh. ‘The thing is, continuity of strategic direction and continuous improvement in how you do things are absolutely consistent with each other. In fact, they’re mutually reinforcing.’ It might just be a bit too cerebral and philosophical for me. (smile) 

So let’s see. What I believe he’s saying is that one needs a strategic direction in one’s life, or whatever one is doing. That’s knowing where you’re going, or want to go, on a particular project, or over the long haul, but then as you grow and move in that strategic direction, you must also improve on how you do things. 

As we were saying above, the human mind must always be in a challenged mode for it to improve. And contrary to what some might believe, having a strategic direction and improving as you go along are not inconsistent desires, but actually complement each other. And that’s certainly true! It’s all about making good plans whether it be for a single project or for our lives, and improving them as we go along. You have to know where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there, before you embark on your journey. 

And that brings us to this last and most important quote: ‘Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.’ Oh my people, how I wish that that quote could enter the minds of our entire world today, because quality, in almost everything, has taken a marked decline down through the years. 

At one point things were built to last, but today they’re built to fall apart quickly so you need to buy a new one in a relatively short space of time. And even the more expensive stuff that’s supposed to be of better quality doesn’t always hold true to Confucius’ maxim: ‘cheap thing no good, and good thing no cheap.’ (smile) 

But friends, as true believers in Christ Jesus, that’s exactly what’s expected of us’ sincere efforts along with diligence and excellence of product, whatever it may be. Christ doesn’t do cheap and shoddy stuff! And Bruh Paul said it in so many words to the Philippian church. ‘And this I pray, that your LOVE may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil. 1:9-11) 

Yes friends, as believers we must think of things that really matter and do things in an excellent manner, for that is Jesus’ desire for His followers. And later on in his letter to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul qualified it with these awesome words. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil.4:8) 

I could not put it any better my people. So in these dangerous and uncertain times let’s get to practicing that kind of stuff nuh, it’s what is expected of us. Much LOVE!

…to follow Jesus…diligence and excellence…must be at the top of your list…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2020 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.    ​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.
 

One more time to the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yes my faithful brethren we’ve been given another day on God’s great earth to make some sort of difference, no mater how small or insignificant it might be. Please don’t only seek to do the big things which you believe will bring lots of glory, because ofttimes many small things put together bring more glory, may be more valuable than one big thing. 

And that’s the word for today; don’t disparage or underestimate small doings, for as my Jamaican people wisely say; one one cocoa full basket. (smile) And that’s the living truth! So today, let’s focus on the many small things we can do rather than search out the big thing that our lustful souls selfishly desire. Now, they tell me it’s Saturday, (smile) so that means we have to look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one hits the proverbial nail right on the head: ‘Don’t wait for opportunity, create it.’ That’s gospel friends! We can’t always wait for opportunity to come along before we get up and get going, for sometimes opportunity never comes. It’s often left up to us to create our own opportunity. Just look at many of the great inventors, they had an idea or ideas and didn’t wait for opportunity to present itself on a silver platter, but went ahead and created the opportunity they needed. I guess in these times of fancy words and phrases they might call it something like ‘self-motivation.’ 

And all we believers in Christ need to have lots of self-motivation seeing that we have lots of demanding work to do in His name. That leads to this next quote: ‘It’s going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible.’ Yeh mih people, very few worthwhile endeavours in this life come easily, so if you want to do anything worthwhile, especially for Jesus, you have to learn to bite the bullet and just keep going regardless of the problems and hardships you face. Remember Jesus’ words to the disciples re a rich man entering heaven? ‘With men this is impossible; but with God ALL things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

So if you’re working for Jesus, you don’t have to worry about impossibilities, because there are NONE! And that brings up this quote: ‘Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.’ Now isn’t that the living truth…especially if you’re in Jesus’ employ! (smile) Yes friends, our Lord tries us continually to see what we’re made of, how strong our faith is, to see if what’s in our hearts really lines up what we claim through our mouths. The Good Book mentions testing many times. 

Let’s check out a few. Look at King Hezekiah, who seems to have sincerely trusted the Almighty. The Good Book recounts: ‘Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try (test) him, that he might know all that was in his heart.’ (2 Chr. 32:31) And if you want to know more about that story please check it out in 2 Kings 20:12-19. 

And remember this promise in Zechariah, re the cleansing of Jerusalem? ‘And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try (test) them as gold is tried (tested): they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.’ (Zech. 13:9) 

But this is what we believers ought to be saying in our time of testing: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) Mama Mia! What words of awesome faith from Job even though he was going through hell here on earth! How many of us can make such a definitive statement eh? Not too many of us. But it’s what we ought to aspire to, if we truly want to be strong, faithful Christians. 

And this next quote gives us some wise direction. ‘The key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles.’ That’s for certain sure! We need to keep our minds focused on the goals we’re working towards, rather than the obstacles we encounter while working towards them. The obstacles will try to take away our focus, but we must not let them. We can’t ignore them, for sometimes they do present more and even better opportunities, but our minds ought to be stayed on our goals, assuming they are worthwhile ones. 

And this last quote says it all. ‘I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.’ It’s obviously comes from some sports figure. But he makes the very salient point all of us need to write deep in our hearts, failure is not failure until we stop trying. And in God’s economy there is no giving up, which means there’s no failure. 

We’re not going to win every round, but we MUST get back up each time we fall and continue keeping on. That’s the nature of the truly successful person in any walk of life! Get back up on your horse and ride again; that ought to be the believer’s motto. And we have this awesome promise of God to help us do all that we need to do. ‘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.’ 

Yes, my fellow saints in Christ, we can rest assured that whatever good work the Lord begins in us, He will keep on doing it, and complete it when Christ returns. So let’s hang in there and do the right things nuh. We all know what they are, but allow our sinful fleshly desires to thwart our righteous ones. Much LOVE!

…you can’t fail…if you never stop trying…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2020 Hebrews 5:8.

Hebrews 5:8.    ​Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
 
Awright mih bredrin, it’s Saturday, so let’s get busy! And I hear a hoarse groan and sad chuckle, as they ask: ‘Busy doing what eh? The same boring things we’ve been doing for the last how long?’ And I have to answer: ‘I guess so. What else yuh going to do eh? Go out the street and walk around, go to work, go to the park or the supermarket? Yes and no to all of them!’ (smile) Ah friends, it’s indeed a sad time, but also a rather important time of learning; of learning to get along with ourselves, our families and the world around us. 

This time of isolation isn’t just for helping us to stay healthy, but also for learning the Lord’s most important attribute; that of LOVE! For it’s LOVE that truly keeps us going: LOVE for ourselves, our friends and families, the world, and most importantly for God! And I believe our LOVE tank was very near empty, especially in our reverence for God, that’s why we’ve found ourselves in this untenable situation. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s proceed to consider the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one is certainly interesting: ‘If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?’ Now that’s a very good question. And I’m being the devil’s advocate here, understanding the operative words to be ‘can do.’ (smile) If you are a believer and God gives you something you can do, why not do it eh? And I guess most of us have no real, sincere, justified answer. We might have a lot of excuses, but no good reason to not do His will. It’s not like He’s given you something that seems impossible. And even then, please remember that our wise and wonderful God, NEVER gives us anything to do without the wherewithal to do it. Matter fix! 

And this next quote is tied into the first: ‘You can’t fulfill your calling in your comfort zone!’ And that’s a fact! For our calling always requires us to get up off of our fat fannies and do something that takes some effort. You can’t just lie back and expect to do what is expected without some blood, sweat and tears. Please remember these reassuring, but also galvanizing words from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Now when you add those marvellous words of our Lord and Saviour to the facts above, that God never gives us something to do without giving us the tools to do them through the awesome power of His Holy Spirit, then we should have no hesitation in getting up and doing what we’re called to do, since we have the assurance and strength of our omnipotent Triune Deity! That leads us into this next quote: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.’ That’s gospel truth my people! 

And we not talking about Jesus’ comment that what you put in you won’t defile you, but what comes out of you. (Matt. 15:17-20) But we’re referring to the dreams and desires and plans that the Lord has put in your personal portfolio. Yes, the Lord has a special and separate plan for each life He creates, and unless we fulfill that plan, we’re doomed to an unfulfilled life that could eventually include spiritual destruction and hellfire. That’s why it’s oh so important to know, and to hold on tightly to these words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh friends, if we don’t know that scripture and believe it with every fibre of our being, then we have nothing to really serve as a proper foundation and give us the hope and faith to carry on regardless of whatever happens. And in effect, our lives would have been worthless. But when we accept the Lord promises and all that he has to offer then our lives blossom and good fruit is produced for His kingdom. For as the next quote tells us: ‘I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.’ 

And that’s more awesome gospel truth my believing brethren! We can only conquer this evil world when the fire in us burns brighter and hotter and longer than that of the world! And remember Jesus said that the world is full of tribulation but in Him we can find peace since he’s overcome hell death and the grave… And all His followers declared a loud and proud: ‘Thank You Jesus!’ And John reassures us of this fact when he reminds us: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirits of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

Mama Mia! That’s why the fire inside believers burns brighter than that that’s in the world: our Lord and Saviour, through his Holy Spirit dwells within us and He’s a million times stronger and hotter than Beelzebub who rules over the world! Thus we come to this last quote: ‘Grow through what you go through.’ And that’s the motto for the true believer. You can only grow when you go through something that flexes your muscles; physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Without a testing of our strength and endurance, there is NO GROWTH! 

So for those of us who want to grow in faith and do great things for Christ without going through some rough and struggling times, forget it. Even Jesus, though he was the Son of God went through serious ‘sufferation.’ As Hebrews so plainly puts it: ‘Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb. 5:8-9) Yes my people, we can only learn obedience by going through things that challenge our sinful fleshly nature. 

And remember that Jesus though God, was also fully man, so His man side had to learn by going through tough times. And that’s why now, since He knows and has experienced the same things we experience, He is fit and capable to sit beside the Father’s throne and advocate on our behalf. Yes, living a life for Jesus is not easy, but following His obedient example and with His strength and power, we can become good and solid Christians and make this evil world a better place! Much LOVE!

…only a few of us will suffer like Jesus…but ALL of us will suffer some…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘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) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2020 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
And on this first Saturday in the new year, there is a veneer, a patina of snow on the ground. (smile) Oh, it’s not much, but we haven’t seen any for a few days now because the temperature has been around 4 or 5 since New Year’s Eve. But let’s not get too complacent, these are the northern climes in the winter season, and as such, are supposed to receive a fair amount of snow. So though climate change has somewhat disrupted the schedule, don’t worry, we will get our fair share eventually. (smile) 

And with that prognostication – what a way the ole fella using big words this morning! Just hope he’s using them right. (smile) So let’s stay prepared! Anyway, it’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he continues aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he’s certainly waxed long and wise this past week. 

Hear this first one: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ Now how can I find any fault with that eh, since it calls for sincere belief, endurance and perseverance, three of the most important aspects of a believer’s life. 

My only comment is that I hope our biggest fantasy, well not really a fantasy, but rather a goal, is to walk closer with Jesus this new year of 2020! Now if we do that, then things will be awesome, the Lord will work out everything for good, as He’s so faithfully promised! Glory Be! And following on from that, is this gospel true quote. ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Now friends, that is an eternal truth we can never escape! All of us want to be great. But too many of us don’t realize that to be a notch or two above the ordinary also takes more sacrifices than it does to be just ordinary. Take a close look at the lives of any great person, and you’ll see the abnormal amount of sacrifices he or she made to reach the level we consider great. Rising up in this life was never, and will never be easy. Look at Jesus. Our Lord and Saviour, the Son of God; His achieved His greatness at considerable sacrifice, the ultimate in sacrifice, His sinless life. 

And as followers of His, we are also called to make sacrifices. Most likely not as much, or as painful as He did, but definitely some that will indeed hurt our flesh. So, if we want to truly follow Jesus this year my brethren, we have to be prepared to make some serious sacrifices, not merely talking a good talk, because walking in His footsteps calls for exactly that! And this next quote is long but wise and very doable, and one we should all try to implement, with Jesus’ help of course. 

Listen up: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. Things to think about for 2020: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray. Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ 

And it’s rather unfortunate, but quite true, that ALL of us can take those six steps to heart this new year and implement them in our lives! But please remember that the most important step is the last one: ‘PRAY!’ Yes friends, prayer is ever so important because it means serious communication with God; the source, the fountainhead of all that we are, of our very being; the holy, immortal and omnipotent One who fashioned us in His celestial image, and breathed His awesome breath of life into our dirt based bodies! 

So having said all of that, here’s the last quote: ‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for you to get it right.’ And what do we mean by that? Well two scriptures stand out in my mind right now. The first is Jesus’ assurance to his disciples, and consequently to us His modern-day followers. ‘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 so He has my fellow believers. He has defeated hell, death and the grave, and has the keys of both heaven and hell attached to his key ring, so we don’t have to worry about anything, just  receive His awesome peace that passes all the understanding our puny and finite minds can muster, and be cheerful because of all the wonderful things He’s done on our behalf. 

But nonetheless this next scripture is the one that will really cause us to enjoy all the blessings, and endure with strong faith, all the ‘sufferation’ that’s inherent in a believer’s life. Again, the wise advice of Jesus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

Now my people, that’s our first step for this new year. Please, let’s take it, and take it very seriously, so that our greatly disturbed, badly directed, desperate world and all therein, can benefit from God’s goodness! Much LOVE!

…2020…must be the year…we sincerely talk the talk…and even more importantly…walk the walk…in Jesus’ name… Amen!

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