Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2020 Psalm 37:4.

Psalm 37:4.    ​Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
 
And at long last it does look and feel like spring! Wow! It’s such a beautiful, sun shiny day out there, clean and bright, with most of the trees now dressed in their greenery of spring, instead of the bare, dead-like branches they’ve had for way too long! And since it’s the beginning of the long Victoria Day weekend, you know that despite the pandemic and restrictions and what not, many of us are going to be gearing up for weekend celebrations. But friends, I implore us to be careful. 

In the first place, please remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Haven’t heard that for a long time eh? (smile) And the next thing is to remember that this Covid-19 sickness doesn’t take a holiday; it’s always on the lookout for somebody to infect. It’s like the devil, always on the prowl looking for someone to tempt and lead into deadly sin. So have some fun, more than we’ve probably had in a few months, but please, please, be careful, follow all the golden rules of this pandemic so that we can stay alive and enjoy the good and abundant life that Christ died for us to have! 

And since today is Saturday, we’ll mosey along and see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Aw shucks! He sent us only one quote all week! Wonder what’s up with him? I hope he’s not sick, haven’t caught this virus business. And we pray that whatever the reason, the Lord will rectify it, and that he’ll be back in business this coming week. But even the one quote he sent us is an interesting one: ‘LOVE yourself enough to work harder.’ 

I don’t know about you all nuh, but I could certainly take that as my motto right now in these lazy, dreary, dispassionate days I’m now experiencing. Ah friends, what better motive can we get to work harder and better than a sincere desire to improve ourselves eh? Ofttimes we tend to work harder to please others rather than to please ourselves, but it’s ever so important for us to work towards the dreams and desires the Lord’s placed in our hearts. Otherwise what’s our purpose on planet earth eh? What good are those God-given desires if we don’t fulfill them eh? 

Bruh David puts it thus: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:3-4) Yeh friends, to truly achieve the desires of our hearts, we must first delight ourselves in the Lord our God, for He is the One who makes those desires come true! And as Bruh David said earlier from Psalm 21 – Praise for victory. ‘The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not witholden (withheld) the request of his lips.   Selah. 

For thou preventest (meeteth) him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad (joyful) with thy countenance (presence). For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 21:1-7) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord planted desires in our hearts when He made us, and consequently only He can grant those desires, make them come true. And we turn once more to Bruh David’s writings (smile). ‘The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. 

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145:15-21) 

Ah precious people, everything in this world boils right down to LOVE: to achieve our desires and do God’s will, there must be true LOVE in our hearts for God, for ourselves and our fellow man. Remember Jesus’ words when asked which was the greatest commandment. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Therefore my fellow believers, in these tremulous and rather turbulent times, it is of the utmost importance that we understand that LOVE must be the NUMBER ONE THING, the overwhelming factor in our lives, if we’re to successfully navigate and circumvent the calamity and exceedingly tough times that lay ahead of us. We can’t simply talk it, we need to show it in spades, for LOVE is an action word! 

And we’ll end today with these most fitting words of John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) It can’t be put any plainer and clearer than that friends! Much LOVE!

…true LOVE can only inflame our hearts and souls…if God is truly ensconced therein…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2020 1 Corinthians 3:7.

1 Corinthians 3:7.    ​So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
 
Well the days pass by as quickly as ever, although they seem to be taking their own sweet time, what with the huge amount of inactivity so many are undergoing through the Covid-19 fallout. But friends, if we want to make it through this disastrous situation successfully, we have to try and stay as active as possible within the narrow means that are currently available to us. That’s exercise body, mind and spirit! And you can’t use that age old excuse that you’re busy and have no time, (smile) for if it’s one thing most of us have right now is lots of idle time on our hands. 

That means we also have the magnificent opportunity to get into the Good Book and voraciously devour the Word of the Lord! Glory be mih people! Yes, getting into the marvellous Word of our great God, should be our number one priority in these idle times, so that when our world returns to whatever the new normal will be, we will all be much better versed in it, and thus better able to live it! Wow! 

Friends, most of us will never have a better opportunity to learn the Word than right now, so please, let’s not waste it, since our lack of knowing, and thus implementing the Word is probably what has brought us to our current situation. Read that as stubborn, hard-hearted rebellion and an abundance of sinful disobedience against the Lord of the universe! 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s get into those quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he did have some very interesting ones this week, focussing on what we term progress. But listen to this first one – I just LOVE it. ‘Little by little becomes a lot.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! As my Jamaican people would say; ‘one one cocoa full basket.’ 

Yes friends, simple consistency and satisfaction with a small amount is rather important in our lives. Or as we’d say further down south: ‘Take a li’l and live long!’ And that’s a major problem with our society these days; a lack of patience and overarching greed, wanting whatever we want right now in profusion. That’s also why we have to start saving from early, always putting aside a little for the rainy day that’s bound to come! 

And this one, I can certainly testify to it’s truth: ‘Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.’ Oh isn’t that the awesome truth my people! I’ve experienced it some in my own life. When you’re riding high, everyone wants to be your friend, but when the chips all fall down, there’s never anyone around to help you look for them. Those are what we call ‘fair-weather friends.’ 

And for some reason, when that talk comes up, I always  remember MC Hammer (Rick Stanley Burrell) the American rap artiste and dancer. He spoke to that situation. When he was popular and riding high, there were numerous so-called friends around to enjoy his largesse, but by the time he hit bankruptcy, none of those bodies could be found. So friends, please take note; look for those people who are willing to ride the bus with you, when the limo breaks down, or you can no longer afford it. 

Now hear this: ‘Progress is not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.’ And there is some truth in that, for enhancing what we have is not always the best way to go. We need to keep our eyes steadfastly fixed on where we want to go, where it would be most beneficial for us to go, and work towards that. Just doing better in the area we’re currently in is not necessarily progress, especially if the Lord has a better and/or different plan for our lives. And that, my brethren, needs to be our number one consideration; the Lord’s plan for our earthly lives, for from that, all else ought to flow. 

And that thought segues ever so smoothly into this one: ‘You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining.’ That’s the gospel truth! But if it wasn’t…then our world would be ever so progressive since this generation has made whimpering and complaining a lifestyle of the first order! Steups! Nobody wants to put up with a li’l discomfort, or do a li’l bit of hard work, but everybody wants to live the high life; that associated with the rich and famous. 

But friends, here’s a li’l secret that we all ought to know; the initial rich and famous didn’t get rich and famous by whimpering and complaining, but by working their tails off, be it for good or evil! Yes, some of their descendants might have come into their fame and fortune rather easily because of their forefathers, but here’s another li’l gem, none of them will keep it if somebody doesn’t put some blood sweat and tears into doing so! And consequently, this quote is also rather true and wise. ‘Don’t compare your progress to that of others. We need our own time to travel our own distance.’ 

Yeh mih bredrin, just like the Lord has different plans for different people, the time we need to accomplish them also differ. And the worst thing we can ever do is compare our plan and what it entails with that of someone else, because all that does is breed frustration, jealousy, envy, dissatisfaction and resentment in our hearts, especially if the other somebody seems to be more progressive and successful than we are. Listen to Bruh Paul as he warned the church at Rome and us: 

‘For I say, through the grace given unto me. To every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office (function): So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one (individually) members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching…’ (Rom. 12:3-6) 

Yes my fellow believers, we all have different gifts to do different things in the Lord’s cause, but they don’t all have the same result, or take the same time, but we are all members of one body, Christ, so we must not be contentious and jealous, think of ourselves too highly or lowly, just know that we will be well rewarded for whatever Christ has us to do if we do it selflessly and sacrificially,. 

Bruh Paul also touched on the subject in his first letter to the Corinthians: ‘For ye are yet carnal (fleshly, worldly): for whereas there is among you envying and strife , and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal, and walk as men (according to man)? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.’ (1 Cor. 3:3-7) 

So my faithful brethren, please, please, let’s stop complaining and whining and comparing ourselves to each other nuh, for if we truly believe that our God is wise, then all the parts He’s made will fit nicely and smoothly together in one plan, if we sincerely follow His blueprint; His Word. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s blueprint for earthly living is perfect…we just need to follow it sincerely…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2020 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.    ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.
 
Come Easter Saturday morning, me and my friends, will be heart-broken, thinking of Jesus, His beaten and battered body buried in the tomb, but whose awesome spirit is fighting the devil in hell, so that He can return triumphant on Easter Sunday! Oh glory to God my faithful brethren! He’s such a wonderful God, and LOVES us much that He gave His only Son to die to atone for our sins on that horrible but blessed day called Good Friday! 

And it is always worth noting, that though we’re sorrowful for the abuse, injustice and terrible ‘sufferation’ Jesus experienced on our behalf yesterday, without Good Friday, we would never be able to have the joyous resurrection of Easter Sunday, and thus the amazing promise of eternal life! And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful cheer of ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy and LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s turn now to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says it in spades: ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ And is that ever so true my fellow believers! The seeds of our today doing will be the ones we reap henceforth. As we all know, we reap whatever we sow, and as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ 

And ain’t that the gospel truth! Have you ever noticed how much harvest we receive even though we only sow a few seed? Well that’s exactly what will happen to us, with whatever we sow today, good or evil, LOVE or hate. It will be multiplied and measured back to us several fold. So please, lets pay close attention to what we sow today, for it will certainly boomerang on us tomorrow. 

And here’s another nugget of truth: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.’ That’s for certain sure! We like to give it a fancy name like procrastination, but it’s usually an act of laziness, or fear, as we just don’t want to face the problems that have come against us. I can testify to the laziness aspect. (smile) And the truth is, if we just ramp up our efforts and deal with the problems in a timely and effective manner, most of them will quickly go away, for most problems are never as insurmountable as they seem when we shy away from them. 

Therefore, this next quote is rather timely. ‘Don’t brood. Get on with living and LOVING. You don’t have forever.’ And isn’t that what many of us are finally finding out with the Covid-19 pandemic that’s clutching tenaciously at our throats? We can’t allow life to pass us by without making significant efforts to throttle it and keep it in line. We must LIVE and LOVE as though there was no tomorrow! And who knows if there will be eh? 

But still so many of us refuse to do what is necessary to survive, or at least have a reasonable chance of surviving. There is still too much doubt, denial, confusion and totally different messages prevailing amongst the top echelons in our society, so what can we expect from the lower rungs eh, but the same negative behaviour. 

Then there’s this: ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to LOVE yourself to get anything done in this world.’ I don’t know how much truth there is that statement nuh, although I suspect there is some. The long and short of the story though is that Jesus said: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yuh see friends, LOVE for God ought ALWAYS to be first place! And you’ll notice that LOVE for self runs a distant third, because we need to LOVE our neighbours after we LOVE the Lord. The only mention of LOVE for self there is in the context of LOVING our neighbours.  How much we LOVE others, will be in direct proportion to how much we LOVE ourselves! The truth being that we can’t LOVE anyone, or can only LOVE them as much as there is LOVE in our own hearts. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say on the subject: ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! If you don’t have LOVE in your heart, you obviously can’t give it away! That brings us to this amazing quote: ‘Keep LOVE in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’ And don’t I ever know that! Oh friends, LOVE is the most important thing in the world, as Jesus reminded us above. LOVE for God, our neighbours and ourselves! For LOVE is truly what makes the world go around! 

As John so clearly tells us in his epistle. ‘BELOVED, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But the scholars clarify that by stating: ‘In context, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is somehow a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor. 13).’  

Thus the LOVE we’re talking about here is that which is securely entwined with true belief in Jesus Christ. And thus John could continue: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘AMEN!’ 

And we’ll close with this reminder from the scholars, re that verse. ‘John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’ 

And that’s why sin had to be justly paid for, before forgiveness could be bestowed. Much LOVE!

…but the greatest of God’s attributes is…LOVE…

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 1 February 2020 Matthew 8:27.

Matthew 8:27.    But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’
 
And on this first day of February, in the leap year of 2020, some snow did fall in my area, not a whole lot, but enough that we can say snow fell. (smile) Yeh, it looks bad if you’re in winter and there’s not even a touch of the white stuff on the ground. Hn, hn! And I didn’t even know that this was going to be a leap year until recently when I checked out the February calendar and saw 29 days. I had to look again to make sure that I was seeing right. 

Times surely have changed yes! Once upon a time a leap year was a big thing, all sorts of stuff was supposed to happen in one, you’d hear that news all over the place. But now, no one seems to pay much attention to it; nobody’s even mentioned it to me in passing. Don’t even know if the young people nowadays know what’s a leap year, or how it comes about. We have so much bloody information now that it’s hard to choose what to read or listen to, and more importantly, what to believe (yeah!). 

But anyhow it’s Saturday, so let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week in his sincere effort of aspiring to inspire us. And this first quote is ever so appropriate because it’s exactly what Anselm is trying to do with us. ‘The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.’ Yeh friends, the Christian’s bounden duty is to try and lift up, encourage, and inspire those around us to come up higher in anything they choose to do. 

Remember the motto of Jesus’ people is ‘diligence and excellence.’ We have to work sincerely at stuff, and do it in an excellent manner, not wishy-washy, like is so common nowadays. Our jobs and lives might be difficult, even unfair, but Jesus still desires a solid and sincere effort from us. For in His dominion, ‘Failure is impossible.’ And that’s an indisputable fact. Jesus doesn’t hold with failure at all. There’s absolutely no giving up in His kingdom! 

As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity).’ (Prov.24:16) And according to the scholars: ‘24:16. The righteous man always recovers, but the wicked man faces permanent destruction.’ Yes friends, if you check out Jesus’ dictionary you won’t find the words ‘failure’ or ‘give up’ in it. Because He’s the Master of Everything; the possible as well as the impossible! 

And if you are a part of His dominion then you need to think like Him and behave like Him, and remember that through Him we can do ALL things, because He strengthens us! Then there’s this next quote; a dandy: ‘A good thing to remember is somebody’s got it a lot worse than you do.’ And is that ever gospel truth my people! We might think we have it rough, but believe me, a lot of other people are usually having it rougher, much rougher than us. 

I remember complaining to my mother when things were rough with us, and she’d tell me, yes, times were tough, but they were a lot of people even worse off than us. In my youthful naivety I couldn’t believe that was possible, but as I went around the neighbourhood with a greater awareness, I was surprised to see many families living  worse off than we were. And now, when you think of the rampant poverty, homelessness and sickness in our Western Society, we complain about how bad it is, but just check out the numerous societies and cultures on the other side of the globe who have it much worse than us, and tell me in which one you’d rather be. 

At least in ours there seems to be some smidgen of hope for better times and conditions, but in many of those others there’s not even a smidgen of hope for anything better. Many were born into abject poverty, sickness and homelessness and will live and die the same way. So when you think you’re having such a bad day, and times are so rough, just think about those other more unfortunate people, and gratefully say, ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

And this last quote succinctly informs us: ‘Anyone can take the wheel of the ship in calm water but it’s not so easy when it’s not calm water. You can’t just enjoy the good times, you have to be resilient in the tough times.’ And that word ‘resilient’ seems to have faded from our vocabulary and lifestyle in these modern days, for the words backbone and belly which make us resilient are non-existent. 

There’s never been as much complaining and whining in our world as there is now, even in the midst of great prosperity! Partly because we have allowed the young generation to grow up in an easy and non-sacrificial manner, no chores before or after school, always getting what they want, so now when real life hits them, they can’t cope with it. They think they are owed an easy life, have an inalienable right to it, because we the parents didn’t raise them right, and God is usually the furthest thing from their minds. 

But friends, it’s only in and through Jesus that we can acquire the parts to stand strong when life comes against us. And one of the best examples of that occurs when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee and a violent storm arose. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:24-27) 

Friends, Jesus is the man who made the winds and the seas, that’s why they obey Him! He is also the man who made us in His own image, that’s why we ought also to obey Him! Despite the free will He gave us, it behooves us, it’s the epitome of wisdom to believe and obey Him, because He is the ONLY one who can right the ship, or better yet calm the storms, the raging seas and gusting winds that inevitably confound our lives in this fallen world! Much LOVE!

…I’ll say it again…Jesus is the answer…to EVERYTHING…

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!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2019 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.    I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 
And so we come to Saturday; the first one after Christmas Day! The Christmas season is waning, slowly morphing into the New Year season, where gifts and giving and Christ will soon be turned into thoughts of parties and resolutions and all things New Year! Ah Lord eh! The fickle nature of man! We give Christ just a few days in the forefront of our minds, then it’s right back to bacchanalia for the new year! (smile) And there’s nothing wrong with partying, Jesus partied in His day, but we just have to be careful how we party, not to let our hair down too much and thus allow the always lurking enemy a chance to obtain a toehold in our lives. 

Remember, he doesn’t need a big opening to sinfully infiltrate our godly souls. That’s why it’s good to hear Granny’s warning over and over again, in the midst of this party season. (smile) ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And I don’t care if you get tired of hearing it, it is my job to keep reminding you to keep your wits about you, even when you party and want to let go with gay abandon. (smile) But we said it was Saturday, that means we need to take a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. 

And the first one tells us: ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’ And that’s basically true my people. If we don’t have some difficulty in whatever we do or aspire to achieve, we won’t ever grow into it, because it’s only in times of struggle do we ever grow and mature. And that holds true for whatever situation in which we find ourselves. And that’s why the Lord sometimes test us with difficulties, to prove our faith, and to grow it. That leads us to this next quote that’s similar and just as true. ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ 

And for all you power seekers, you better believe that yes, because power is a very demanding master! Just look at all the politicians and leaders around the world; some of them might truly want to be decent and upstanding citizens, (smile) but the power structure in which they are caught up might demand a different set of actions. Not all of them want to be corrupt and disgusting, all the time, but ofttimes they find themselves in situations that are very ticklish, to say the least. (smile) 

For example when the big donor to your campaign begins to call in his marks for illegal and corrupt stuff, what do you do? In the back of your mind is the thought of the next election, and if you don’t do what they desire, you won’t get the same support next time. So you sell your soul to the devil for a li’l bit of power and prestige. But is it really worth it friends? I don’t think so. But unfortunately a whole lot of us do, that’s why there’s so much corruption and illegal actions in the halls of power and government these days, and there are not enough people with enough parts available to try and change it. 

Oh, there will always be corruption in man’s affairs, but it doesn’t have to be so blatant and overwhelming as it is currently. And so we come to this gem of a quote. ‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ Oh friends, if we don’t know where we’ve come from, we wont’ be able to chart a good voyage to where we’re going. If we don’t know our groundings, we’re just like chaff in the wind; blowing hither, thither and yon, wherever the wind might lead. 

And we see that sadly being proven in the lives of today’s generation. They have very little idea of their history, since they haven’t been taught it, or had it made a veritable presence in their lives, thus they are wandering aimlessly in the desert of life like the Israelites did back in the day. As the Rasta breddren who taught me History back in High School ofttimes declared: Chuh man! What is it with me and this word declared and it’s variations eh? Would you believe I spelled it wrong there too? Steups! 

Anyway, with his feet covered with big brogues up on the table, he’d lean back in the chair, stroke his scraggly beard, and haughtily ask: ‘What is History?’ Then He’d answer: ‘History is a record of the past.’ ‘And why do we learn History?’ would be the next question. ‘So we can understand the present.’ There you have it friends, if you don’t know your history you can’t understand what happened back then and thus won’t be able to understand what’s happening in the present and why. Neither will you be able to fashion a proper future for the generations to come. 

And the last quote, though very endearing, also comes with a price; we have to work at it. ‘Love yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Yes my people, that situation doesn’t just happen, we have to put some elbow grease into it. Remember Jesus said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ But the abundant life doesn’t just fall in our laps, we have to do our part to get it. 

First we have to LOVE God, ourselves and our neighbours, as Jesus pointed out in the two Great Commandments. (Matt.22:37-40) Then we have to stay happy, or even better yet, joyful. And how do we do that? Just like Jesus said: ‘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.’ 

Mama Mia! That says it all friends! This world is full of trials and tribulations, but when we have Jesus truly living in our hearts, we can focus on His sincere promises of a good life down here on earth and one in heaven later on. Remember, that’s what He came to give us: LIFE! Life Eternal! To save us from our sins and eternal death or separation from Almighty God. 

He’s already done His part; we now have to do ours if we want that abundant life. And how do we get it, by totally embracing Him and getting Him involved in ALL aspects of our lives! It’s not always easy to do, but with His ever-available help, we can all successfully do it. So let’s get to it right now nuh. Much LOVE!

…what does Jesus have to offer…peace, LOVE, joy…and eternal VICTORY…Glory Be…!

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