Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2019 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.    ​Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.
 

Well we didn’t get it for Christmas day, but it looks like we getting it for New Year’s! We talking about that beautiful looking but ever dangerous thing called snow. (smile) Yes, outside is covered in white, not deep, but still covered, and who knows we might get some more before the day is done. And it is indeed one of the biggest days in our social calendar: New Year’s Eve, or as we call it down south, Old Year’s Night! Yeh, the partying will be over the top, but please my fellow believers, let’s keep Granny’s warning in the back of our minds nuh. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, ah begging yuh, please mind yuh business!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, if we ever need that warning, it’s certainly on this New Year’s Eve night, when even those without hair let it down, (smile) when the waters flow like a river in flood, yeh, the alkie abuse is tremendous and the bacchanal stupendous! It’s a night that the ole fool Satan just has a continual grin on his ugly face and licks his chops ever so sweetly, because there’s so much fodder out there for his evil deeds. But remember, we going to party, party hearty too, but not give him any opportunity whatsoever to get into our business. 

And, as seems to have recently become the norm, the duchess and I will be partying right here in we yard! What a way life changes eh! As the ole people would say, after one time is certainly two yes! I remember the days when every New Year’s Eve night we’d be on the road, come rain or snow, going to some rollicking party. But over the last few years we’ve come to feel like homebodies; the parties too far away…and there’s too much snow to drive in…and yuh have to pay so much close attention to how much yuh drink, because Babylon always on the lookout for impaired drivers. 

The bother has become too much. So we just stay at home and have our own private party! (smile) Don’t have to worry about any of those outside influences. And as for resolutions… Chuh! I don’t know why we even bother to make them nuh, because in a week or two, we’re right back to our old selves. Ah friends, there’s only ONE New Year’s resolution that we really need to make yes; that of following Christ more closely in the upcoming year of 2020! And once we do that, everything else will be taken care of. The Lord in His infinite wisdom will, as we say but don’t truly believe, work everything out for the good of those who LOVE Him and want to do His will. (Rom. 8:28) 

Yes, if your heart and soul are set on Jesus, then you will exercise and eat properly and thus lose the weight you need to lose. Your financial arrangements and other glaring needs will be looked after because God has promised to satisfy all our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus! (Phil. 4:19) And let’s remember to follow these few, but ever so important guidelines for Christian living nuh, as penned by Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians: ‘See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves (believers), and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thess. 5:15-18). 

Oh my people, those are not difficult things to do, if Christ truly dwells within us. But so many of us follow the dictates of the world so much, that when we hear those things they seem to be oh so difficult and life changing. Yes, they are life-changing, but not difficult, if you truly believe. So for this upcoming year of 2020, let’s promise ourselves…and Jesus too, to follow Him much more closely than we’ve done this past year of 2019. And let’s put some sincere effort into it nuh, not just a lot of talk, for the world is looking towards us to be its salt and light in the pervasive darkness and tastelessness that currently has it in grip. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s end the year on a most uplifting and appropriate note with some refreshing and energizing words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). These are his last thoughts and words for the end of the year, from his Hour of Power Devotional, which he’s titled: ‘To Feel the Presence of God.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘As a great wave rises from the deep to wash away the scratches on the sand, come, O God, to dissolve forever in your sea of peace my cares, my fears, my worries, and my anxieties. As the blessed blackness of a quiet night comes to blanket from my sight the cluttered collection of billboards, buildings and power poles until my eyes see only bright stars, so come, O God, and blot out this day’s dreary and weary accumulation of daily irritations, hurts. dents, and disappointments until I see only your goodness shining in the shadows. 

As an explosion of happy sunshine brings a joyful glow to dark corners, so come, O God, and explode your bright joy into the gloomy corners of my mind. As a great victorious general awakens his battalions with a trumpet blast, and rallies his retreating army with renewing power, so come, O Lord, and awaken me to “rise up, be done with lesser things, to give heart, soul, mind, and strength to serve the King of Kings.” As the spring rain gently, patiently, irresistibly falls to soften the hard crust of frozen ground until it can receive fruit-producing seed, so, O God, may showers of your LOVE soak in to soften the cold corners of my heart, allowing creative new life to break forth. 

As a happy fountain leaps jubilantly and tumbles joyfully, come, O Holy Spirit, to transform my melancholy mood until my heart erupts in joy and happiness. O Father, make my life a melody like that of a great wave, a calm night, a morning sun, a spring rain, a happy fountain! Amen.’ 

Yes friends, let’s see if we can’t end this year and begin the next one on those melodious notes nuh, evermore believing and applying our Tuesday Mantra to the articles of our faith. ‘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!’ Now let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…let’s allow our victorious General…Jesus…to awaken us this coming year…with a great trumpet blast…of His eternal LOVE… 

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long and late, but ever so uplifting and true! (smile) Much LOVE!

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…!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2019 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 

It’s a beautiful though cold morning, the sun’s shining, and the air is filled with all of God’s LOVE, mercies, compassions and His many other attributes! Glory be! And contrary to folklore and witch’s tales, no evil is in the ascendance today, just because it happens to be Friday the 13th! In fact I’m feeling more spiritually alive than I’ve been in a while, and am seriously rejoicing, because like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen to me…and furthermore…something good is going to happen through me today!’ All praise and glory to our great and wonderful, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God my faithful and believing brethren! 

And yes, there seems to be a somewhat higher level of joy in the ole fella’s spirit this morning. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know the reason for it, but coming down the stairs a short while ago, carrying my cup of java, a sudden spurt of joy just entered my soul. And it’s only the Lord to be thanked for that! Bless His holy name! And believe me, when the Lord suddenly cranks up the joy in your spirit…oh…it’s such a wonderful thing that words cannot truly convey. (smile) But enough about me, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say this ‘Black Friday’ morning nuh. 

‘Well TGIF! Thank God is Friday at long last! I do need a break from the slave master’s work! But then we have this foolishness about Black Friday again, because is Friday the 13th! Chuh! How much Black Fridays we going to have eh? We have one to thief we money after Thanksgiving, and another one to frighten we whenever the 13th of the month falls on a Friday. The powers of evil really trying to trap we into falling for their nonsense yes. But I have more sense than that…though I’m not going to walk under a ladder on purpose today, or just stand up and let a black cat cross mih path…Hn, hn hn! That’s because prevention better than cure! 

But seriously though, I just hope this weekend is sunny and bright, so that I can get out and do some things I want to do. Doh need no snow further fouling up the works, when it done cold already. But thank God for Fridays and weekends oui! Don’t know how I’d mange without them.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, what would we do without Fridays and weekends eh? So let’s be truly thankful and sincerely declare our Friday Chant, which gives our Christian take on the situation. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my people, even though we have the weekend to relax and be refreshed, we can’t afford to drop our guards because the enemy is always lurking around trying to catch us napping, so he can slip into our souls and create confusion. And yuh know what, that’ s always easiest to do in times of great celebration like this Christmas season, because we naturally let our hair and our guards down when we celebrate. And it certainly won’t do for us to be caught up in the devil’s net while we’re celebrating the oh so important and momentous birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

That’s why we have to be very cognizant of both Granny’s and Peter’s warnings this Christmas time. And the first one, we all know and LOVE: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Peter’s though is scarier and more religious in tone. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ Now that can strike fear into some of our hearts, but please remember that the devil cannot do us any real harm unless we allow him to. He’s been broken and relegated to the trash heap by Jesus’ wonderful victory over his dominion; hell, death and the grave, though he still likes to think he’s a hot number. 

And please don’t be fooled by his lies and deceptions, for he’s still the master of those, but he can’t truly hurt us unless WE give him the power to do so, like our forefathers, Adam and Eve did back in the Garden of Eden when they listened to his deception that the Lord wouldn’t really kill them if they ate of the forbidden fruit, but it would open their eyes and they would become like God. (Gen.3:1-24) And yes, it did open their eyes, but to the knowledge of sin, from which came the ‘sufferation’ that’s enveloped our world since that foolish and fateful day. 

And yes, they didn’t die suddenly, but suffered an even worse faith: separation from God’s goodness, spiritually cast out into eternal darkness to live with Satan for all time. And that’s the curse we’ve all borne until Jesus came and sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary to set us free! Glory to His wonderful name! The problem though, is that unless we turn to Jesus and receive Him as our Lord and Saviour, we’re still headed for Hades and eternal darkness with its master. That’s why we need to pay serious attention to Peter’s warning, as he continues: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet. 5:9) 

Yes, I know the fact that all the brethren are suffering affliction and temptation doesn’t help some of us, but it does show that we’re not alone in our problems. However, if we do stand steadfast against the enemy, we can be assured of this most important fact. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (establish), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

Ah my people, it is unfortunate that we can’t go through this sin-filled world trouble free, but we do have God’s faithful promise, that in His time, He will strengthen, settle and establish us. And when we take sincere hold of that promise, then we can truthfully declare: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet. 5:11) So let’s be on our p’s and q’s this Christmas season nuh. Much LOVE!

…sin can seem joyful for a season…but the grace of God lasts till eternity…

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 14 October 2019 Psalm 119:116.

Psalm 119:116.   Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

 

And yes friends, we’ve been granted life and breath to see another day on God’s great earth! What a joy and a pleasure, that’s why we ought to give great thanks and enjoy it! And we’re doing just that today in Canada on our official Thanksgiving Day; giving lots of thanks for the numerous blessings we enjoy up there in that wonderful country and enjoying the fruits of our labour as the Lord would have us do. Sorry I’m not up there to share it with you my Canadian Scrip-Bit family, but I’m down in J.A. giving plenty thanks too, especially for the sunshine and warm weather, (smile) although some rain fell earlier this morning.

Oh, yes, today is also Monday, that means the start of a new work week for most people, except we Canadians, (smile) who mostly have the day off to give thanks and praise and celebrate. But just remember Granny’s warning: drunk or sober mind yuh business, and don’t give the devil an opportunity to get into yuh business, because yuh know how he destructive and deceitful, and just wants to muck up our lives and get us off the path of righteousness as set by Jesus.

Now I believe it’s just a holiday in Canada, which means lots of others still have to go to work, and many might just be jealous of us having the day off, so their spirits are low, (smile) but we’re here to assure them of our encouragement with that wonder-working prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which is designed to get us up and moving. So let’s declare it together now nuh, let’s call upon our mighty and magnanimous God for His awesome help, wonderful grace and mercy, which enable us to do His work.

All together 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!’ 

Oh mih people, don’t you just LOVE how those sincere words of prayer automatically raises our spirits and strengthens our entrails, causing us to get the gumption to go out and do Jesus’ work! That’s the endearing work of the Holy Spirit that indwells us for that very purpose! Give our wonderful God some thanks for the way He looks after us, how He has provided for our every need! 

And that’s what some of us, the Graduating Class of 1969, have been doing for the last few days; giving thanks and praise, reminiscing, fellowshipping, partying, and making new memories to add to the old ones we made some fifty years ago on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, that august institution that spawned so many leaders in so many fields all around the world! 

Sadly, that good time is now over, it ended yesterday with a church service and a brunch in Mary Seacole Hall of Residence for some of us, but some of the medical fraternity continued it up in the hills above Kingston by one of their colleagues. The Saturday night events were good too. It reminded the Economic Students especially, of the wonderful days in the Students Union where the parties happened back then. And the old tunes brought back vivid memories of those fun-filled times. And I LOVED the D.J because whatever old tune you asked for, he just dialled it up, and the music never stopped…

Oh by the way, we had the famed Jamaican musician Boris Gardiner with us that evening, and he crooned a few of his old hits, which we also  danced to – especially the rent-a tile ones. (smile) And I’m reaping the consequences of so much partying because my ole hip is aching like crazy. (smile) But it was worth it! All in all it was a most entertaining and worthwhile time; the camaraderie and togetherness were exceptional…just hope we can do it another fifty years from now. (smile) 

That brings us to today’s scripture taken from the great Psalm 119. ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps.119:116-117) Ah friends, without the Lord’s mighty hands holding us up and looking after us, we’d be lost, adrift in this evil and ungodly world, merely playthings for the evil one! 

No wonder Bruh David, in Psalm 25, his prayer for guidance and protection, sincerely cried out: ‘O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies’ triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait (in faith) on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.’ (Ps.25:3-5) 

Oh people, with sincere words like those reaching up to heaven, yuh think the Lord would ever turn them down? NEVER! Because that’s how He wants us to be; ever trusting and faithful to Him and His Word! And furthermore, no one who believes in the Most High God shall be ashamed of or disappointed in that trust and belief and hope. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:5-6) Oh friends, what more can we ask or expect eh? Nothing really, because everything has already been provided for us by our wonderful heavenly Father! Give Him much thanks and praise for His grace and mercy to the ungrateful children of men! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing in this world…as satisfying…as gratifying…as giving thanks and praise to our Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2019 Hebrews 12:14.

Hebrews 12:14.    ​Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

 

Welcome to another hot and hazy day in Kingston, Jamaica my dear people! I don’t know if it’s just cloud cover, dust from factory outputs, or a combination of both, but the haze they generate keep preventing me from seeing the nearby harbour and the distant mountains properly! But yuh know what? I’ll take it over the cold weather every time! (smile) And I hear that you all might be having snow, lots of it, for Thanksgiving next week. Hn! Just make sure it’s all gone by the time I get back oui! (smile) 

But it’s Friday all over the world, and what happens on a Friday? Working people sing their weekend song of short freedom. So let’s hear what the workingman has to say today nuh. And as always, he’s quite vocal: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend! Mama Yo! Is party fuh so! From tonight, right back to Monday night! Might’n be even able to go to the slave driver work on Tuesday nuh, cause ah all partied out… 

And so it should be, because is Thanksgiving weekend, so we have to give plenty thanks for all we have…and giving plenty thanks involves having plenty parties. So we can all shout: ‘Party! Party! Party!’ Yeh it’s going to be a hot time in the land this weekend, what with all the gobble gobble (turkey) on the table, the pumpkin pie and what have you! And the drinks going to flow like water too! Yuh better believe that! Brother, the Lord surely not going to be able to say we not thankful nuh! Give Him thanks for Fridays and weekends that we have a li’l freedom to do we own thing!’ 

Yeh friends, it’s all meet and right to celebrate and give thanks for our many blessings, but as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t be like the ordinary workingman and go way out on the limb, we have to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, ah beg yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ And yuh better believe if we don’t mind our p’s and q’s the devil going to mind them for us, getting into our business and screwing them up even more than we already doing. That’s why our Friday Chant is not as ebullient and effusive as the workingman’s song. We take a somewhat more serious look at the situation. 

So please chant with me now nuh in all sincerity: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ Yeh friends, let us enjoy ourselves, but with a modicum of circumspection, as butler Jeeves would say. 

And following on from that, we come to where we left off in the scriptures yesterday, re Hebrews warning against disobedience. The author wisely tells us: ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail (fall short) of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane (godless) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat (food) sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited (wanted to inherit) the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.’ (Heb.12:14-17) 

And what does all of that mean? Hear the scholars: ‘12:15. Root of bitterness accurately portrays the nature of bitterness. First it is hidden, but when it is discovered its noxious roots have spread and it springs up as something much bigger and more destructive (cf. Deut.29:18).’ That’s gospel truth friends; the roots of bitterness spread far and wide and fast like a cancer! ‘12:16-17.Profane person: This profanity (Gr. bebelos) involves far more than one’s speech; it is a quality of one’s life. The author sees this quality exemplified in Esau, even though Esau was not a vile man. In fact, he was less of a crook than his brother Jacob. 

The author accurately focuses on the one area that revealed Esau as profane – the selling of his birthright. To “profane” is to regard something as unhallowed, to treat something sacred as common. Being totally concerned with his temporary and material needs, Esau gave them priority over his rights as the firstborn son and his responsibilities as the heir to the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant. (Gen.25:29-34). The result in Esau’s life was that afterward, when he wanted the blessing, he was rejected. He repented with tears, but the situation was irrevocable.’ 

Ah mih people, many of us like to take the easy way out, then regret it, and try to turn it around, but unsuccessfully. It’s like burning a bridge behind you, then wanting to go back the same way you came. That’s ofttimes impossible. So please let’s think before we act nuh, and thus not get ourselves in those untenable and often irreversible situations. 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘Be not wise in your own conceits (estimation). Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:16c-18, 21) 

And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul, then listen to Bruh David from way back when: ‘What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.’ (Ps.34:12-15) 

What more can I say eh mih people? Not a whole lot. Bruh David and Bruh Paul said it, so who am I to say them nay eh? So let’s be wise and sensible and godly and do like they advise us nuh, because anything else will just bring disaster. Much LOVE!

…blessed are the peacemakers…for they shall be called…the children of God… 

P.S. The first of the big parties, the Gala, is tonight. So as the man said…Party fuh so! But with Granny’s warning in mind. (smile) Much LOVE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know our awesome position in Christ. All together now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

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

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

 

 

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