Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2019 Psalm 95:2.

Psalm 95:2.    ​Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs).
 

Let me open this dry but windy Thursday morning with sincere Thanksgiving wishes for our Scrip-Bit friends and family in the U.S. of A! Yes, today is their Thanksgiving Holiday, one of their biggest and most celebrated days! And so it should be, for a land that the Lord has blessed so plentifully, although now He’s definitely withdrawing some of that blessing because of their abundant and willful sinfulness. But it’s never a bad idea to give thanks, even when we don’t have a lot to give thanks for. 

Unfortunately though, the weather is not cooperating with the idea of Thanksgiving, for much of the nation is under severe warnings of snow, ice and rain, and many flights have already been cancelled and roads made impassable. So please be careful all of you who have to travel any distance to celebrate the occasion. And for those of you who have already hunkered down, please remember Granny’s warning; ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ And this is the ‘rightest’ time for that warning, because it’s the day all Americans celebrate, and there’s more eating and drinking and general partying than at any other holiday. 

So please don’t allow Beelzebub to get any deeper into your souls than he already is. If possible, use this occasion to try and flush him out. (smile) And what better time is there to get into some thanksgiving scripture than on the day of Thanksgiving eh? (smile) So let’s begin with these most appropriate words of Psalm 95, as the psalmist takes us through words of praise to our great God. ‘O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.’ (Ps. 95:1-3) 

And is that ever so true my people! Our God is the greatest of all supposed gods. In fact, He is the ONE and ONLY true God there is! And how do we know that? Listen to the psalmist again: ‘In his hand (his possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills (the heights) is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps. 95:4-5) Wow mih breddren! Our God must be the greatest if He did all of that! Consequently, it is only natural for us to do as the psalmist continues: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under his care).’ (Ps.95:6-7a) 

And right there we have our very reason for being, our reason for thanksgiving precious people of God! The One and Only true God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is our Maker and Caretaker, so for that very reason, it is of the utmost importance that we offer up praise and thanksgiving and glorify His holy name! And a further consequence of all that is as the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the revocation (rebellion), and as in the day of temptation (trial, testing) in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted (tried) me, and saw my work.’ (Ps. 95:7a-9) 

Yes friends, if the Lord should call to us today, please don’t harden our hearts and rebel like the Israelites did way back when, and thus experienced forty long years of ‘sufferation,’ of wandering aimlessly in the wilderness. Our God is indeed a most LOVING and compassionate Deity, but by the same token, He doesn’t take kindly to the rebellion of those whom He blesses abundantly. As a result of that foolish rebellion by the Israelites, only two people, Joshua and Caleb, of all who left bondage in Egypt, ever entered the Promised Land. Not even Moses laid foot thereon, but Lord was nice enough to show it to him from a hill on the other side. (smile) 

So this current widespread attitude we now have of trying to get rid of God from our society is pure and total foolishness…no stupidity! And here is the perfect scripture to address that stupidity, this thanksgiving day. Hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of God is. And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:17-21) 

Oh my people, there couldn’t be wiser advice for us this Thanksgiving Day of 2019! So let’s take it nuh, and recognize the will of God for our lives, go easy on the imbibing, and fill our souls and bodies with the Holy Spirit and not alcohol, simultaneously making melody in our hearts to the Father through Christ Jesus, as we follow the ‘royal law,’ LOVING our neighbours as ourselves.’ 

Mama Yo! Is there ever rejoicing in heaven when we give thanks! And no, I haven’t forgotten our Thursday Blessings, (smile) with which the Lord has so generously blessed us. So let’s declare them right now, in strong voice and sincere belief: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

However my people, please don’t forget those wonderful blessings were not giving for us to hoard, but to share just as generously with the unfortunate ones around us. Much LOVE!

…in everything…GIVE THANKS…for this is the will of God…in Christ Jesus…concerning you… (1 Thess. 5:18)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2019 Luke 17:17.

Luke 17:17.    ​And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
Well it’s Sunday once again, but this time we coming to you from the hot and hazy capital of Jamaica, Kingston. Now the ole fella is a li’l bit in doubt here, for it’s shortly after five in the evening, and I can’t make up my mind whether we should have church or not, because there’s a lot of stuff to share with you re my recent activities in this wonderful land. In any case, whatever I decide, I will have to leave you shortly, until whenever I come back from dinner with one of my sisters. 
Oh yes, I have plenty sisters here in J.A; not the biological kind, but the even more important, actual caring and LOVING kind, who enriched my stay in J.A fifty something years ago! And those kinds of people are ever so important in our lives, whether you see them constantly, or once in a blue moon; just knowing that they are there, and they care, adds a whole lot of satisfaction and glow to our souls. Sorry, got to go now, sis is here. (smile) See you soon. 
Back now mih people, shortly after nine my time, but ten, for many of you. Tried mih best to get back sooner, but just couldn’t make it happen, couldn’t do mih sister a Spanish; eat and run. (smile) Then when I walked into the hotel lobby a group of medical people from the same graduating year were sitting there and they coerced me into joining them for about half an hour. And ah sorry, but the way it looks like we not having no church today. But don’t worry, the ole fella went to church this morning, up in the chapel on the university campus. 
To tell the truth, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been in there. I knew about it, but in those days I suspect that I was not as God conscious as I am now. However the service was good, though somewhat long, with plenty praise and worship. The young lady who led us in that was truly excited about leading worship and I believe her enthusiasm flowed over into many of us. The University Chorale sang for us; a truly fine group of singers. 
The service was a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the U.W.I Graduating Class of 1969 and the U.W.I Mona Library Open Week 2019, and the theme of the whole thing was ‘A HEART OF GRATITUDE!’ And as our preacher, Rev. Dr. Henroy Samuels so rightly said in his sermon, the graduates of that class who walked the campus some fifty years ago, looked good and were still healthy because of their heart of gratitude, exemplified by our return to celebrate and give thanks. Those were certainly true words. 
And the scripture was taken from Luke 17, where Jesus healed the ten lepers. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he (Jesus) entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ (Luke 17:11-13) They had to stay afar off because their illness was contagious. 
And as always, Jesus did show them mercy. ‘And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.’ (Luke 17:14) Back in those days, lepers were total outcasts and could only be integrated back into society, if they happened to get cleansed, by showing themselves to the priests and getting their permission. Thus Jesus’ directive for them to go to the priests. Now that’s the good part of the story, but what happens next is the kind of thing we’ve been talking about – a heart of gratitude. 
Hear the Good Book: ‘And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.’ (Luke 17:15-16) Right there we see a major problem. Ten men were healed, apparently nine were Jews and one a Samaritan, the bitter enemies of the Jews. But as life would have it, only the Samaritan returned to give thanks to Jesus and the Father. 
As the minister said this morning, who knows, the Jews who didn’t return and give thanks might have believed that because they were the Chosen People, they were entitled to it. and that’s a major problem in our society today! Too many of us believe we’re entitled to too much, and are not grateful and thankful for what we have. We complain so much about what we don’t have, instead of giving thanks for what we do have. But hear the end of the story: ‘And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’ (Luke 17:17-18) That was a stinging rebuke to His Jewish people. 
According to the scholars: ‘17:18. Stranger literally means “of another race of people”; it therefore refers to a Gentile. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. This non-Jew, Jesus points out is more spiritually minded than the nine leprous Jews. Yet “strangers” (to cite a use of the word from outside of the Scripture) were forbidden to enter the temple’s inner confines by prominent signs in the temple precincts.’ I guess that might have made it somewhat difficult for the Samaritan to show himself to the priests. (smile) But anyway, good manners and a grateful heart dictated that the other nine should have returned to Jesus and gave Him thanks. 
They were brave and bold enough to beg Him for mercy, but when He showed them that mercy, they couldn’t even come and say a simple ‘Thank You Jesus!’ Unfortunately, that’s the way too many of us also behave today, even supposed believers. Too many of us are not grateful for all the Lord has done, is doing, and has promised to do on our behalf! And that is totally wrong my brethren. Now hear how Jesus ends it. ‘And he said unto to him, (the Samaritan), Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.’ (Luke 17:19) 
And as the scholars say: ‘17:19. All were healed, but only one gives Jesus thanks. His salvation is complete.’ Ah friends, yuh see the great difference some thanks and gratitude made: The Samaritan was granted salvation, while the Jews were still adrift in their ungratefulness. Please, don’t allow that to happen to us nuh. It doesn’t take a whole lot to say, thank you and be grateful. It could certainly make a big difference in our lives, both here on earth, and in heaven too. Much LOVE!
 
…it is our bounden duty…to give thanks and be grateful…for all the Lord’s blessings…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2019 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.    ​Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

 

Awright my people, let’s do our Monday morning thing nuh: arise, give thanks for seeing another wonderful day and being imbued with the grace and mercy to face it, then get ourselves together and get out into the war-like world and battle valiantly for Jesus! Oh what a joy and a privilege it is to fight under Jesus ‘banner! Especially since there is no doubt whom the victorious conqueror will be…Jesus Christ Himself! In fact, He’s already won the battle, having defeated the toothless lion Satan and taken away the keys of hell, death and the grave through His own sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension! All praise and glory be to our Lord and Saviour my brethren! 

However, since we’re only frail humans, it’s obvious that not all of us will be bright and beautiful and enthused so early in the morning, that’s why we have this antidote for what ever ails you on a Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it’s specially programmed to get us in to the swing of things. (smile) So let’s declare it like we truly mean it nuh. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Gotcha mih breddren! The Holy Spirit is working miracles in you right now…I can see it! Your attitude has improved, you’re smiling and anxious to get into the fray now, singing psalms and hymns as you get ready, and promising to do your best, be diligent and excellent in Jesus’ name! And that’s the way it ought to be friends…Jesus’ people being ready, willing and able to do battle on His behalf at the beginning of each and every day, but more so on a Monday morning, the first day of the workweek, for generally speaking, how you begin is how you finish! 

That’s why it’s oh so important to believe and action what the scriptures tell us: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ What wonderful words of wisdom precious people of God! And yuh know what, to make it even better, we have the best example possible when coming to running the ofttimes difficult and always contrary race of life in our Lord and Saviour. 

As the author of Hebrews continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) Yes my fellow saints, Jesus didn’t have it easy; He was shamed, ridiculed, despised, humiliated, flogged, suffering all the negative aspects of rejection, but He never gave up, He simply focused on running the race His heavenly Father had mapped out for Him…and so too should we. 

Jesus knew there would be rewards for His obedience…and so will we. Yes, it wasn’t easy for Jesus, and it won’t be easy for us either, but that’s why we were given the Helper and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to assist us in doing it. The problem though is we have to buckle down and follow the Spirit’s leading and guidance, if we want to be successful in this earthly race. 

Now here are a couple of encouraging words from Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize so run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate (has self-control) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body (discipline it), and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (be disqualified).’ (1 Cor,9:24-27) 

Yeh my people, if we don’t want to be disqualified from Christian ministry and lose our heavenly rewards for that service, then we need to discipline both our bodies and our spirits. That’s the ONLY way we can run a successful earthly race, and thus be able to say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh friends, I can’t say much more than that, except to implore us to go out today and fight a good fight, run a good race in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…pray, believe and stay steadfast…so that you don’t get weary…in running your earthly race…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2019 Colossians 3:17.

Colossians 3:17.    ​And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 

So we come to Thursday…another strange and confusing day in the life! The plane from Joburg landed in Paris around minutes to six. When I finally got off, the fellow pushed me straight through to the Security Section…and brother were they something else; the most invasive security check I’ve ever been through, worse than even the U.S. And that says something! After taking off your belt and shoes and emptying your pockets, plus all your electronic equipment, which was then passed through the scanner, they still did a random check of your stuff, opening them and swabbing them. This necessitated waiting for the swab result, and with only one person doing the random check most of the time, there was always a line up at both ends. 

I got my bag without any problems, but the tray with my other stuff had to wait in line to be randomly checked and swabbed. We eventually got through there and the fellow pushing me headed for the gate area where I would be boarding the flight to Toronto at 1.50 p.m. I had heard about some day use rooms at the airport, but no one we asked knew anything about them. We finally asked one fellow who said that they were at a hotel outside of the airport, but that would mean having to go through security again. Well no way was I doing that, so the wheelchair fellow left me at gate 43 sometime shortly after 7 a.m. 

Obviously I was not a happy camper, but I had no other options available right then, so I just calmed myself, walked down the corridor, bought something to eat, then came back and began to write the Bit where I ran out of battery charge, when the Lord directed me to a Nigerian brother sitting there who had a plug that fitted the French stuff and I finished writing the Bit. After that I chatted with the Nigerian fellow and his friend for a bit, I read from my I-pad, played some games on it, bought some more food, slept sitting up, all to kill time until the plane was ready. 

In between there I spoke to some of the attendants about getting a wheelchair to take me down the ramp to the plane, but they said I was not listed for one. Ah Lord eh, the same old nonsense! Finally I just decided to walk down the two flights of somewhat steep ramps when the disabled were boarding. However, when I got to my seat at the back of the plane, and went to take out my I-pad and pointer to use during the flight, there was no I-pad or red and white plastic bag with the pointer and some pencils. So see me hurrying back up the two flights of ramps in my ‘limpy’ style. I looked all around the area, but no I-pad was to be found. One attendant even went and checked with the Lost and Found, but they had not received anything either. 

So I simply limped back down the ramp, somewhat disappointed, but unable to do anything about it. And during the first couple hours of the flight, I moped some about the loss of the I-Pad, even considered if the Nigerian fellow or his friend had picked it up. But better thoughts soon came and said that they wouldn’t have. Eventually though, some where in the back end of the flight, one of the stewards asked me if I had heard about my lost I-pad. I said no. Then he told me that it had been found and handed in at the Lost and Found at the airport. I was overjoyed, but then had to face the problem of getting it back. Now I understand that I have to file some Lost and Found report online with the airline, but I haven’t gotten around to doing that as yet; too busy and tired. (smile) 

And if you think my rear end hurting was bad on the flight from Joburg to Paris, the one from Paris to Toronto was even worse, what with all the sitting down on fairly hard chairs all morning in the airport. And sometimes I wanted to get up, but couldn’t because we were flying through turbulence and everyone had to stay seated with their seat belts fastened. It was a real nightmare. But the Lord, in His wonderful way brought me through it. Some seven hours after leaving Paris, we landed at Toronto Pearson Airport. And another set of horrors began; this time with the wheelchair people. 

For your info, Toronto has the WORST wheelchair service in the world! Even T&T and Jamaica have better service. They never have enough people or chairs to handle the situation. This time seven of us, all over 70, were left waiting in a corner in some God forsaken part of the airport, three of us standing, for about half an hour, without anyone coming to help us or tell us anything, and anyone who passed by in their golf cart didn’t know anything because they didn’t work in the wheelchair department. Hn!  

An older man finally decided to sit on the ground. And would you believe that right in front of us was a whole setta wheelchairs parked up. I got mad then and went and pulled out two, one for a lady and myself, as the man on the floor said he was comfortable there. But then he got fed up with waiting and decided to walk with his daughter. Finally, one fellow came and took down a couple of people, then a lady showed up and took another two of us down. After that it was easy sailing. I got my baggage, found my booked limo, thanks for the indulgence my young D, (smile) and made my way home. 

Oh, was it ever nice to be back home! So thus ended my whirlwind trip to Europe and Mother Africa. It was somewhat rough and tiring, but oh so enjoyable. And the duchess, who had arrived a couple of hours before me, with her generous though tired self, had brought bread and made soup. She didn’t even know when I got in, but I wolfed down some of the grub, then joined her in bed, never so pleased to be back in mih own yard and mih own bed! 

Consequently the obvious Bit for today would be one involved with the giving of thanks to the One who took me and brought me safely back. As Bruh Paul said the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ That means, as the scholars explain: ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (v.s.16), but it is also to control all areas of a Christian’s life. 

So friends, since this is Thursday, let’s give thanks for our many Blessings nuh. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now let us go out and share those blessings with others, as Christ intends for us to do nuh. Much LOVE!

…in everything…give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus…concerning you… (1 Thess.5:18)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2019 Psalm 4:7.

Psalm 4:7.    ​Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain)and their wine increased.
 

Well my people, it’s a rather wet and windy day in my neighbourhood, and most likely in some of yours too. But yuh know what? Through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit which indwells us, we can both enjoy and make good use of the somewhat negative circumstances! Wow! Give our Lord and Saviour much thanks and praise for the enjoyment of life that’s been made ours through His magnanimous sacrifice at Calvary’s cross nuh, for He is fully deserving of it! 

To tell the truth, because of our limited and finite minds, we can’t even come up with a truly ‘gratitudinous’ (smile) answer to His sacrifice, so great is the price He paid for our spiritual freedom! But nonetheless, we’ll muddle along with our limited vocabulary because all He really desires is simple praise and thanks and obedience. 

And just to show how great a relationship is possible with our wonderful God, check out this marvelous poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Beautiful Things Happen!’ And indeed they do when we partner with Jesus! 

Please pray with me: ‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet You day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed by changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. 

My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To Your whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Glory to our great and most wonderful God my faithful brethren, because that is the gospel truth! Our Lord does more for us in one day, than we could ever do for ourselves in a whole lifetime! That’s why we ought to treasure and exalt and praise and be obedient to Him! But my favourite line in the poem is ‘I learn how deeply I am treasured by You.’ 

Ah mih people, the Lord certainly treasures us yes, because when we were still sinners, God showed His awesome and unconditional LOVE for us by sending His only Son Jesus Christ to die for us so that we could renew a right relationship with Him! (Rom.5:8) How touching and heartwarming is that eh? Very! Only a truly caring personality would make such a sacrifice! And our God is caring, if nothing else! 

And that’s surely borne out by Jesus’ comments: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And also in His parables about the lost, sheep, coin and son: ‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons, which need no repentance.’ (Luke:15:7) 

Oh friends, that just goes to show how much our Godhead treasures even the lost, in fact they don’t want to lose even a single soul to the evil one. And now we come to the scripture passage on which the above poem is based, and which is also our Bit for today. 

From the ever-encouraging words of Bruh David in his evening prayer of trust in God. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:7-8) 

Oh precious people, that’s the living truth! When we surrender our souls to the perfect trust of God, such joy and gladness permeates our souls, more than even in the time of harvest when we reap the benefits of our labour. And thus we can lie down and sleep in peace, without any worries about what’s’ happening in the world and our individual lives, since our great God, in His awesome trustworthiness keeps us safely under His broad wings, like a mother hen does her chicks! 

Thus the psalmist concludes in Psalm 97, re the Lord is far above all gods. ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance (for the memory) of his holiness (His holy name).’ (Ps.97:10-12) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, that is wisdom of enormous proportions! So please let’s be wise and do it nuh. And we can begin right now by declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong, sincere voice now: 

‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

So let’s go out and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE and friendship with others, as He’s asked us to do nuh. Much LOVE!

…if you’re a believer…and there’s no joy in your heart…then something’s seriously wrong…talk to the Lord about it… 

P.S. It’s short and sweet today! Give the Lord thanks for that! (smile) 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2019 John 13:34-35.

John 13:34-35.    ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.
 

Oh friends, please forgive me for the lateness of the Bit, but the last two days have been pretty hectic, and I’m no longer a spring chicken…not yet old though. (smile) I’ve been trying to burn the candle at both ends, going to bed late, getting up early to write the Bit, then getting out and about for the whole day. Well it’s finally caught up to me. 

Thursday was a cricket match in the neighbouring city of Brampton, and then yesterday, Friday, was a funeral in the eastern city of Ajax, on the other side of Toronto. The turnout was so overwhelming that the big chapel was packed to overflowing and we had to sit in a holding area downstairs and watch the proceedings on close circuit t.v. 

The overlong glowing tributes of our friend made him sound like the perfect man. (smile) But I guess that’s how it is when we bid our friends a final adieu. We don’t recall their faults, just their strong points, like the Lord does in His wonderful forgiveness, casting away our wrongs as far as the east is from the west. 

After the hour and half ceremony we spent another hour in the cemetery, this time in the hot sun. Then we went south to another part of the city for the repast. That was a wonderful time, with good Jamaican fare; curry goat, rice and peas and jerk chicken. But the best part was the renewal of several friendships, with people whom we haven’t seen in ages. 

We were all a part of the young, well-educated West Indian Diaspora who migrated to Canada in the early seventies and changed the face of Toronto, adding vibrancy and colour, both literally and figuratively to a staid, old white town. (smile) People with whom we worked and partied in those long ago, cold, long winter days, but with whom we’d lost touch as the area expanded and we all became immersed in our building our new lives. That’s just the way it is with the big city. 

Unfortunately though, the duchess and I had to eat and run, because there were people back in our town waiting for us to come and pick them up to go to the Pan Competition in the heart of Toronto. So we left there around four, got on the toll road and hustled back home, changed, then hit the road again. Luckily though, for some unknown reason, on a Caribana Friday evening, the traffic into T.O. wasn’t bad, and we made it in time for the seven o’clock start of the pan event. 

That was good too, and better organized than in earlier years, though I don’t understand why they allowed some bands to play two songs and others only one. But the music was excellent. However, it finished around midnight and the duchess and my friends were tired, so we didn’t stick around to hear the results, which I’m sure, caused much dissent, as it usually does. 

But that’s the nature of pan competitions, everybody rooting for their own side, though knowing deep down that they weren’t good enough to win. The long and short of the story though, is that by the time I dropped everybody home, I didn’t get home till after one. And it was close to two before I finally went to bed. So it’s obvious I was late getting up. So that’s my story…and I’m sticking to it. (smile) 

Now let’s see if we can get in some quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.’ That’s certainly interesting and true, because the day you were born and the day you died, don’t really matter. What matters most is what you did in the time period between those two days. And I guess a good example of that are the glowing tributes my friend Linton had at his last celebration yesterday. 

Now listen to this one: ‘Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’ That should be a no- brainer my people, because it’s exactly what Jesus came to help us do; right wrongs, stamp out inequality and injustice, help the weak and fight the strong. So as a believer those things are expected of us. 

Then this quote speaks for itself: ‘When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.’ Ah mih people, I won’t call not giving thanks for all that we have, the good life we’re living, a fault nuh, but utter stupidity! You didn’t give yourself the ability to rise and see a new day, or the breath that’s still flowing through you. 

Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) And to the Thessalonians: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) Yes friends, even though our circumstances may be difficult or unpleasant, it’s our bounden duty to give thanks at ALL times! 

And this last quote says it all: ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in LOVE.’ Oh mih people, LOVE is the transcendent power of the universe! John said it thus: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we also ought to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)  

And Jesus not only gave us a living example of our quote, but also clearly made it known that He expects the same of His followers. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ 

Oh friends, it couldn’t get any clearer or plainer than that! And I’ll leave it there; just let those words speak to our hearts, and let the Holy Spirit convict us as it will, in regards to our LOVE Walk! That’s what it’s there for! Much LOVE!

…hatred stirreth up strifes…but LOVE covereth ALL sins… (Prov.10:12)

 

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