Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

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

Well a Happy St.Patrick’s Day to you my brethren! I do hope that you all enjoy the luck of the Irish in all that you do today, with your green clothes and green food and drink! (smile) 

And you know what? St. Paddy’s day could not have fallen on a better day than a Friday for the working populace because it gives them even more reason to sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! St. Paddy’s day to boot! Going to wear me green clothes and drink up me green beer and have a real good time this St. Paddy’s weekend! 

No slave driver to tell me what to do! Just me and mih shamrocks, and mih li’l leprechauns partying all weekend long! Who say we shouldn’t thank God for Fridays and weekends eh?’ 

Ah mih people, can you imagine the raucous behaviour today all over the world, and not only by the Irish diaspora, in celebration of St. Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland? 

What I mostly remember about St.Patrick’s Day growing up in T&T is that it was the one day during Lent we heard calypsos on the radio and you could eat and drink and party hearty. Otherwise, Lent was drink dry and calypso non-existent on the radio. 

I guess to a certain extent that’s why the binge drinking of alcohol is so popular on St. Paddy’s Day. Anyhow friends, regardless of what day it is, binge drinking is never a good idea. So let’s chant our Friday Chant and show them the kind of behaviour that’s most appropriate for the weekend nuh. 

As one 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 mih people, the best way to handle the weekend is with ‘a modicum of circumspection,’ as Jeeves the Butler in the P.G. Wodehouse books would say. 

It’s obvious we can’t take the licentious behaviour to the limit every weekend or else we’d soon waste away and be good for nothing at all. 

But as true believers, we are expected to do God’s work here on earth, which means we cannot let our bodies and minds go to waste by carnal and lustful behaviour. 

That brings us to our Bit, Jesus’ words of everlasting wisdom from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

But sadly friends, despite that serious warning of Jesus, a lot, too many of us, including Christians, still fall for the lure of worldly wealth and oftimes kill ourselves trying to accumulate it. 

That’s definitely not a wise path to follow my people, for it only leads to death and destruction. Yes my brethren, the purposeful accumulation of worldly wealth can sometimes lead to physical death, but it ALWAYS causes spiritual death, since we can’t serve God and mammon at the same time. 

Listen to these wise words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘Labour not (do not overwork) to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.’ (Prov.23:4-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s much easier to accumulate earthly wealth than to keep it. 

Now let’s look at the interaction between Jesus and a young, rich ruler. He came to Jesus and asked: ‘Good Master (Teacher) what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he (Jesus) said unto him, why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments.’ (Matt.19:16-17) 

The fellow asked Jesus which one? Then Jesus listed the Ten Commandments. ‘The young man saith unto him, all these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-21) 

Oh friends, don’t look down scornfully on the young man, because most of us would have behaved the same way. Just look at how much material wealth there is in our world today, but yet the great amount of need and poverty. 

If the rich would just give up a little of their wealth for the benefit of others, there’d be little or no poverty in our world. But the mantra of this world is ‘me, myself and I.’ Steups! It’s all first person singular! 

Anyway, that’s the sermon for today. (smile) But please, let’s ponder on all that we’ve discussed, then ask God for help to come up a little higher each day nuh. That’s the only way to improve our spiritual maturity. Much LOVE!

…be careful…earthly wealth can ruin your heavenly life…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2016 Judges 5:3‏‏

Judges 5:3.   Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

HAPPY  ST. PATRICK’S  DAY !

Well a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all you fine Irish and non-Irish folks out there! It’s time to enjoy the luck o’ the Irish! (smile)  

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every year on March 17; the feast day of St. Patrick the patron Saint of Ireland. According to history though he was not Irish, but was born in Britain in 385 AD and brought to Ireland as a slave when he was sixteen. Six years later he escaped and became a priest, and per a vision, he returned to Ireland to Christianize the Irish people. 

According to legend, St Paddy used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people by showing them the three-leafed plant with one stem. And it eventually became the national flower/emblem of Ireland. 

Another part of St. Paddy’s legend claims that he drove the snakes out of Ireland, although some biologists claim there were never any snakes in Ireland. (smile) St. Patrick died on March 17 461 AD. 

And today I want to share some words of wisdom from Editor Bob from the 123 Group of Newsletters. 

The newsletter begins by saying that ‘St. Patrick’s day is here, we know besides being a day celebrating the revered patron saint of Ireland it has now become a perfect time to groove away with folks and friends wearing green jackets adorned with a shamrock and wish for our pot of gold delivered by the lucky Leprechaun.’ 

And what is a Leprechaun you ask? Well it’s a type of fairy in Irish folklore, who is usually depicted as a little bearded man, wearing a coat and a hat, with a mischief-making side to his personality. 

Now my recollection of St. Paddy’s day is just that as quoted above, because while growing up in T&T, St. Patrick’s Day was the only day you’d hear calypsos on the radio during the Lenten season. So it was basically a break in the staunch and strictly celebrated Christian time. We’d all be dying for St. Paddy’s day to come so we could drink and party with a clear conscience. (smile) 

Ah Lord eh! What began as a religious festival has turned in to a universal time of partying. But anyway, here are Editor Bob’s words of wise advice.‘Wisdom comes from the moments of leisure and reflections that you give yourself; sometimes perfection of life is not having perfection at all. 

So step down from the escalator and sit on a quiet bench, enjoy the indigo glow of the sky, invite a friend or two to spend the moment of nothingness with you and celebrate the day of abundance which is not necessarily monetary in nature. 

The festival is full of signs and symbolism. Green is the colour of growth and prosperity. Leprechaun brings a message to take life easy and have fun with it. Pot of gold is the “good fortune” you crave for on the outside but is within your reach if you just believe. Shamrock stands for trinity indicating the power that you have to attract all that is good. So friends enjoy the day to the fullest.’ 

And that is exactly what we ought to do, not simply because it’s St. Paddy’s Day, but because we are alive and kicking, being LOVINGLY looked after by a mighty, magnificent and magnanimous God. 

So why should we not follow the advice of both Editor Bob and the psalmist, who loudly declares: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Oh my people, that is the mantra we should follow each and everyday we are blessed to open our eyes to greet a new morn. It’s not always easy because of the unfortunate circumstances that beset all of us at some time or other. But if we pro-actively cultivate that mindset, life will become much easier, and we will not allow our circumstances to steal our joy in the Lord as much as we’d otherwise do. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.’ 

Yes friends, we’ll continue with scriptures of praise and thanksgiving to our great and wonderful God – even though we don’t have much time and space left. (smile) That’s because there is nothing else that brings joy to the Lord and to us than offering up praises to our Creator and heavenly Father. 

First off, listen to these words of Asaph from Psalm 50 – God is the judge. ‘Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation (conduct) aright will I show the salvation of God.’ (Ps.50:23).  

Oh my people, please let’s remember that the Creator made us to have an intense but beautiful relationship with Him. Mankind is the only one of His creatures that can do that. 

But unfortunately, over the last generation or so, we have been backsliding badly, and now need to very seriously come to Him as desperate times are overtaking our world. Only confession, repentance and mountains of praise can right our upside down, topsy-turvy world. 

The psalmist in Psalm 33 – Praise to the Lord for His creation- steadfastly and confidently declares: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 

Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (joyful shout). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.’ (Ps.33:1-4) 

And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord!’ to those words of indisputable truth. 

And we’ll close with an appropriate Irish Angel’s Blessing: ‘May the leprechauns be near you, to spread luck along your way. And may all the Irish angels, Smile upon you on St. Patrick’s Day.’ 

Yes my brethren, I wish us all a blessed St. Patrick’s Day! Much LOVE!

…blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance…  (Ps.33:12)

P.S. I’m somewaht tardy today because of my early celebrations of St. Paddy’s Day. (smile) Much LOVE!