Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2020 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.     Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
 

Friday, Friday Friday! Welcome! We welcome you Friday with open arms and thankful hearts, as you are the harbinger of the end of the work week! Only wish we would greet Monday so enthusiastically, instead of the constant dislike and resentment we display for it. But them’s the breaks, and however we make up our bed, that’s how we have to lie down on it. (smile) That’s just pure ole time wisdom, which, like our great God, never changes. 

So what’s new today eh? Nothing really. Our world is still in a crazy uproar with sickness and racial protests, and the sickness lockdown is being increasingly opened, and people are not being responsible enough, so we should possibly expect another rise in the Covid-19 situation. Ah Lord eh… Mankind is really something else yes! The only creation of God, that has no innate respect for itself, and kills itself willy-nilly, ofttimes just for the fun of it. But enough of my philosophizing, the workingman’s opinion will be much more interesting than that. (smile) 

And as always, he opens with the declaration: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Mama Yo! The weekend is upon we! No more slave labour for two whole, big days! Glory be! But unfortunately we have to mellow down that enthusiasm because of all the crazy stuff that’s currently happening in our world. The pandemic sickness and the pandemic unrest is just too much to bear for this long oui, and if something good, something positive don’t happen soon, the whole thing just going to blow up in we face yes! The whole thing is just so confusing…and yuh can’t find no truth, or what seems like truth anyway, no consistency in either situation. 

Steups! Everybody spouting some different story which only leading to more panic and dissatisfaction! The leaders and them either not telling we the truth about either situation, or just spinning it for their advantage. But I guess that’s what leaders do to protect their turf. This is one time though, I think that if leaders doh come out with a unified message, plenty ah dem soon won’t have no turf to protect. But what I know eh – a poor, lowly, workingman, still slaving for a living, still trying to make two ends meet in his middle age eh? All I can say is thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, when I can rest mih spirit and mih soul!’ 

Oh friends, the ordinary workingman might not be the brightest bulb in the room, but he certainly does have common sense, something that’s seems to be exceedingly rare these days, if not totally extinct! But these monumental and awesome and truthful words of Cousin Sol, found in the Good Book are right now staring me in the face. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’ (Prov. 4:7) 

Now why should we do that eh? Cousin Sol gives us these reasons. ‘Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov. 7:8-9) Oh friends, who doesn’t want promotion and honour and grace and a crown of glory eh? All of us do! But the only way to get them and have them last is by seeking and finding wisdom! 

And furthermore, Cousin Sol tells us: ‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding: for the merchandise (gain) of it is better than the merchandise (profit) of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her (holds her fast).’ (Prov. 3:13-8) 

And now, blessedly, many of us are dying to find wisdom because of all the good things it brings, and are clamouring about where to find it? (smile) Don’t worry friends, listen to James, Jesus’ brother. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.’ (James 1:5) Yes friends true wisdom comes from Almighty God and nowhere else! But as James also says, we must ask in faith, not wavering, not doubtful and wishy-washy, for God doesn’t give it to that kind of people. ‘For a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:6-8) 

And just to show how important wisdom and understanding are, let us go back to Cousin Sol, as he declares (steups!) this awesome truth: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) So you see friends that wisdom and understanding are ever so important that God Himself used them to create the world, and still uses them to keep it together! 

That brings us to our Friday Chant, our prayer for mercy and grace, wisdom and understanding.  As one loud and sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, we now need to show that we are indeed true believers! That’s the long and short of the story! Much LOVE!

…sincerely seek God…and you’ll find…wisdom and understanding…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2019 Mark 7:9.

Mark 7:9.    ​Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
 

Oh friends, looks like it’s going to be another cold, dreary, sunless, cloudy day in my neighbourhood! But the good news is that the harbinger of the weekend, Friday, is here! Glory be! And we do have Jesus Christ dwelling within us, so that makes it doubly good! (smile) Yes, whatever the weather might be, we can, and we will handle it with great aplomb. That’s because, with Christ in us, and we in Him, we have the self assurance and confidence to handle whatever comes against us. He’s faithfully promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, which means we have no need to worry or be overly anxious about anything! And all God’s children gave a grateful and sincere shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!’ 

Now that’s something believers should always do. Anyway, since it’s Friday, we know the workingman is just dying to sing his song, so let’s listen to him nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend has come around just in time, cause the foolish winter weather’s been getting me down. Wasn’t prepared for the snow and ice and bundling up in plenty warm clothes just yet. Oh, I know it was coming, but thought I had more time to get acclimatized. But with temperature change and all the other idiosyncrasies happening in the world today, one never knows where one stands, or what’s going to happen. 

It’s certainly not like long time when everything was lined up properly and you didn’t have as many surprises as nowadays. But the long and short of the story is that this is the weekend, and if I let the weather, or anybody spoil it, then that’s my problem. So I’m just going to eat up and drink up and have a good time… Hn, hn, hn! Not like Thanksgiving weekend though, because I still remember that tragic feeling of dying from excessive partying. And the weather can do whatever it wants, just as long as it settles down on Monday, so I can go back to the slave master work without any hassles. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh mih people, too much of anything is no good! I’m glad to hear though that the workingman has learned his lesson. (smile) Yuh know, we never learn from the mistakes of others as quickly as we do from our own mistakes. And he would have kept on overdoing it until one day he actually dropped down from excessive partying. Now that’s why our Leader, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries in our lives. He doesn’t want us to go out to the thin end of the branch and have it break with us. 

Then we tumble down like Humpty Dumpty and they can’t put us back together again. It’s not to spoil our fun, like so many of us think, but merely a precaution to save us from the devil’s deceitful enticements. Remember the old but oh so true adage: ‘prevention better than cure.’ Now let’s sing our Friday Chant, which shows that we don’t need to go overboard to have fun. 

In full voice…let’s chant. ‘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!’ 

Oh precious people, all that is for our benefit, so that enemy doesn’t get a foothold in our lives and thus be able to run roughshod over them. But as I said earlier on, too many of us think that Jesus’ rules are just another way to clip our wings and prevent us from having fun. But why would He do that when He explicitly came to save us from our sinful deeds and lives eh? It’s the extra-curricular activities that afflict us. (smile) 

That’s why Christ rebuked the Pharisees an’ them by saying: ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.’ They were putting their traditions before God’s commandments, just like we’re doing today. So many of our traditions run counter to God’s commands, but yet we follow them without blinking an eye. 

And Jesus pointed out one particular case: ‘For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and Whoso curseth Father or mother, let him die the death (be put to death): But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift (dedicated to the temple), by whatsoever thou mightiest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer (allow) him no more to do aught (anything) for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none (no) effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered (handed down): and many such like things ye do.’ (Mark 7:10-13) 

And the scholars explain: ‘7:11-12. Jews could evade responsibility to parents by declaring (steups!) their substance Corban, “devoted to God.” Religious leaders evidently condoned this clear circumvention of both the letter and intent of the Old Testament.’ How sad and evil was that friends! But don’t go quickly condemning the religious leaders of old, because we today are doing the same blooming thing! How many parents are left nowadays in the lurch by their children…for whatever they consider good reason…too many! It’s just more convenient for us to ignore them; economically, physically and emotionally. But yet we expect to reap God’s promises of long life. 

Ah mih people, paying for them in a nursing home but not going to visit them is not honouring them in God’s eyes. As the scholars explain verse 13; ‘Jesus quarrel was not with God’s word, but with human misuse of it.’ And there are many examples today where we do the very same thing; misuse God’s Word to serve our selfish purposes. But as they say, you can only lead a horse to water – like I’m trying to do here – but you can’t make it drink. Let’s hope the Word of God will do that. Much LOVE!

…unless you sow…what’s in God’s Word…you won’t reap His promises…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2018 Psalm 105:4.

Psalm 105:4.    Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

Welcome to the new workweek friends, and its harbinger of good tidings, Monday! (smile) Yeh, Monday is a blessed day; we get to go out and work and make some money and also share the word and LOVE of Jesus. Now what could be more important and blessed than that eh? Nothing really! We’re killing two birds with one stone… 

And I hear some of you grumbling that you don’t want to hear no nonsense about Monday being blessed, etc. etc. cause you’re having a hard enough time getting up. Oh I know that it’s not always easy to roll out of bed on a Monday morning, and that all of us suffer the Monday Blues at some time or other, and that’s why we have  our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; a most effective antidote for just such occasions. 

So let’s raise our voices in song, with as much enthusiasm and verve that we can muster, and simultaneously allow it to raise our spirits. ‘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!’ 

Now doesn’t that make you feel better? I’m sure it does! Now you do feel more energized and alive, not only ready, but also willing and able to go out and face the cruel and evil world in which we dwell and give them heck, in Jesus name! That’s why we are constantly advised in the Good Book to look to Jehovah God for whatever we need. 

Hear this example from Psalm 105 – God‘s wondrous works in behalf of Israel which includes our Bit. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. 

Glory ye in his holy name, let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgements of his mouth.’ (Ps.105:1-5) 

Ah friends, what great advice! And that’s exactly what we’ve done this morning; we’ve cried out to Him in song, noting His power and LOVING-kindness, and placing our supplications before Him, asking for mercy, LOVE and guidance to do His will and His work diligently and sincerely in the tough situations that we face as we encounter the evil enemy. 

And you’ll notice how after singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn our spirits were lifted. That’s the Lord answering our pleas. It’s therefore necessary to keep regular communication with our heavenly Father, if we want to enjoy the fruits of the relationship. 

And also of the utmost important my fellow believers, is that last verse we quoted above: ‘Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgements of his mouth.’ (Ps.105:5)  By so doing friends, we not only exalt and glorify the Lord, but we also remind ourselves of His might and power and all the good stuff He’s done earlier on in our lives and His promises to keep on blessing and looking after us. 

We need to remember that if He’s done it once before, there’s no reason He won’t do it again, and that builds our faith, keeps us strong, gives us confidence to come before Him with humility, but also eager expectation.  As the psalmist Asaph declares in Psalm 77 – Who is so great a God as our God? 

‘I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of all thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?’( Ps.77:11-13) And the emphatic answer to that my people is simply ‘NOBODY!’ 

And we’ll close with these wise words of Bruh David from Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. ‘When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps. 27:8) Yeh friends, that’s wisdom at its highest, for unless we seek the Lord’s face, all our other plans and efforts will be futile. Much LOVE!

…and ye shall seek me…and find me…when ye shall search for me…with all your heart… (Jer.29:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

And then it was Friday – that joyful harbinger of the weekend! Yeh friends, the weekend’s here at last, and I know many of us have been dying to see it because we’ve gone through this short work week in a tired state after all the Columbus and Thanksgiving Days celebrations. So make sure you rest up now. (smile) 

And despite it being Friday the 13th, the workingman is positive and upbeat, not paying attention to any of the folktales of impending evil that’s supposed to lurk around and befall us on those days. And neither should we. 

He has already broadcast his intentions for the weekend. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and our time will soon be ours. We don’t have to bow and scrape to no slave master to earn a measly pittance so we can go on living this substandard life! Chuh man! Is time that done now yes! 

That’s why we going to jump and shout and sing for joy, and eat and drink and party to the fullest, for who knows when the grim reaper will come eh? Thank God for Fridays and the weekends!’ 

Oh friends, as always, the workingman has some good points, especially the one about substandard living. With all the wealth in our world, it’s high time the lower echelon of society be afforded the opportunity to live better lives through higher wages. 

The immense poverty in the lower ranks of our society are ungodly, to say the least. And the horrible inequity is growing as the wicked rich try to accumulate more than they already have by taking what little the poor man has. 

Ah Lord eh! No wonder the Good Book promises the eventual destruction of the wicked and the ascendancy of the righteous, for in the Lord’s kingdom, justice will always prevail. 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant to keep us on the right course for the weekend. ‘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!’ 

And again we notice that our Bit is ever so truthful, because the wicked are having their way right now, but soon they will be cut down like grass and we won’t remember them anymore. That’s why we must learn to ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ 

Yeh mih people, our God’s faithful and true, but it’s all about His timing. He is the one who sets’ the overall plan and thus knows when things are supposed to happen so that those plans can come to fruition. Our trying to help Him, or rush them along usually just ends up in disappointment. 

And here is an interesting testimony on the subject of patience from Father Bob Colaresi, Director of the Carmelite body of Catholic priests. Writing in the publication, ‘Between Friends,’ the booklet of the Friends of St. Therese of Lisieux Society, he states. 

“I remember when I was recovering form spinal surgery. I was so impatient with the slow recovery – impatient suffering isolates and hardens hearts. Prayer seemed impossible because I felt abandoned. In desperation, I finally asked St. Therese how she got through her darkness and suffering. 

Hoping for some uplifting answer, I was disheartened when I heard her whisper: “Trust God!” That honestly angered me, as I screamed at her: “Look where you are and I’m here in bed unable to walk!” I froze her out with silent rage for weeks. 

Finally, tired of being depressed, impatient, and helpless, I again asked her. Again the same gentle whisper: “Trust God!” “Don’t you have anything else to say?” I cried out in surrender. 

It was a long process for me to physically heal, but even longer to learn the primary healing lesson that I was not the messiah who thought he could run the whole world. I had to reconcile with the fact that the world was moving on without me. 

Do you know how heavy is the burden of thinking you have to keep the world running? It was humbling and freeing – a real healing of my identity and soul. But only patience allowed me to learn that lesson of LOVE, freedom and truth.’ 

There you have it friends, testimony from a man of Christ, a leader of Christians for many years, honestly acknowledging that his patience was not as great as it ought to have been, and he had to learn the lesson the hard way, literally on his back. 

For all you know, the Lord might have allowed his spinal problems for that exact reason. He works in such mysterious and underhanded ways. Let us therefore not beat ourselves up, if our patience level is less than it should be. 

Instead, let’s cry out to the Lord for help to elevate it, so that we can wait on his timing without getting all flustered and panic stricken. It’s not easy friends, but with our omnipotent and merciful God on our side, always there to help, we can do any and everything. Please remember that. 

And today, let’s spend some time pondering our patience level nuh, and figure out how we can improve it. It will be to our great advantage. Much LOVE!

…Patience is a surrender to the truth…that God is in charge…and that God’s Providence is good…  (St. Therese of Lisieux)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2016 Luke 1:76.

Luke 1:76.   And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. 

Oh friends, it’s Christmas Eve, the day before the big one – Christmas Day, when we joyfully celebrate the birth of our most wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory to God in the highest for selflessly blessing us with Jesus Christ! 

But yuh know what, is not everybody that celebrating this Christmas time nuh. I heard today that another of my U.W.I (University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica) classmates, Dwight Venner died yesterday. Ah Lord eh! He is at least the sixth one that I know about, who has died this year. Steups! 

And all of them were around my age yes. That certainly brings your own mortality to mind. But you can’t do anything about it nuh, just keep on doing what the Lord has called you to do and hope for the best. The only thing we’re really sure of in this life is that someday the Grim Reaper will come a calling and we’ll go whether we want to or not. 

So I’m asking us on this Christmas Eve day to pray for the Venner family in their time of grief. I believe he was from St. Lucia, and just ask the Lord to comfort them in their mourning when they should be celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s not easy to lose anybody at all, much less at a time like this. 

Let’s also remember to pray for Keith, our Scrip-Bit family member, who is slowly recovering from his stroke, and comfort him too while he mourns the loss of his departed brother. 

Remember, as James says: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’(James 5:16) Yeh friends, prayer is the greatest power we have down here on God’s great earth, so please let’s use it often and wisely nuh. 

Now I have so much scripture to share that I only have space for one of our friend Anselm’s quotes today. And I had a hard time choosing one, because they were all interesting, they all can inspire us for a better tomorrow.  And this is the one that finally won out: ‘Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren, all those qualities are very important parts and qualities of our Christian life! Now since John the Baptist was Christ’s cousin as well as His forerunner and harbinger, I thought this Christmas Eve would be a good time to check out John’s early story, as we will do tomorrow for Christ. 

This brings us to our Bit: ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.’ Those were the prophetic words of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, at his circumcision. Now our God is such a dramatist that sometimes I have to shake my head in wonder at His doings. 

Remember how he made Zechariah dumb because he didn’t believe that his barren wife Elisabeth would eventually bear him a child. (Luke 1:5-25) And also how He brought Mary and Elisabeth together and caused John to jump for joy in his mother’s womb when he heard Mary’s voice, and the three months the women spent bonding together. 

Let the Good Book tell us the story: ‘Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins (relatives) heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her, and they rejoiced with her. (Her barrenness was no longer a cause for reproach). 

And it came to pass, that on the eight day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zechariah, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. 

And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings (things) were noised abroad (discussed) throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all they that heard them laid (kept) them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.’ (Luke 1:57-66) 

Oh my people, there’s no better dramatist than our God! And to add to that drama, the scholars tell us: ‘1:65. Fear came: The working of God produced a unique sensation among a people where not even a prophet had spoken for centuries.’  

And after that, Zechariah just went mad prophesying, making up for all those months that he’d been dumb. Filled with the Holy Ghost, he prophetically declared. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (A Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all them that hate us;’ (Luke 1:68-71) 

I have to leave out four verses here because of lack of space. But then Zechariah continued with our Bit. ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us. 

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing (manifestation) unto Israel.’ (Luke 1:76-80) 

Ah friends, yuh see the amazing power and dramatic expertise of our wonderful God! And that was child’s play to how He brought Jesus on the scene. (smile) We’ll talk about that tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then, may he bless and keep us all safe and sound and cause us to enjoy the celebrations of the birth of His only Son, Jesus! Much LOVE!

…who is greater than our God eh…NOBODY…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2015 1 John 1:9‏

1 John 1:9.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Well Friends, it’s a Saturday morning at the end of March and that encouraging and uplifting season of spring has been touted as being in the air. Technically it’s now spring, being that for over a week now. But the reality of the situation is entirely different. It’s minus plenty outside right now, and the high for later on is only about a big fat ZERO, with the wind chill factor of the strong and cold March winds making it even worse.

Oh for the warm, tranquil, scenic and idyllic climes of Tobago! (smile) But I do believe that the weather is taking a negative toll on the populace. It’s been a pretty bad winter and it just keeps dragging on with no seeming end in sight.

And then the time change hasn’t helped matters either. However my people, our world wasn’t designed and set up haphazardly. Our God put plenty thought into it, and just like night follows day, and vice versa, spring always follows winter, this one is just taking its own sweet time. (smile)

And you can guess that the word for today is ‘PATIENCE!’ It’s a word though that’s fast fading from our vocabulary. But like the Roman dramatist, Plautus (254-184 B.C) is reputed to have said, way back then: ‘Patience is the best remedy for every trouble.’

And he does have a point, especially in this rat-race society of ours, where we’re accustomed to the quick- fix, the now for now stuff; like fast food drive ins, credit cards to spend cash we don’t have, etc. etc. We even expect to be healed quickly of all and any sickness that befalls us. But that unfortunately is not always the case. More often than not we need to execute patience and allow the passing of time to fix our brokenness.

It would do our society a whole lot of good if we would learn to wait. There’d be less stress, and thus less heart attacks in relatively young people, less debt, and less of a whole lot of other negative things. And unfortunately many of us Christians are being pulled into the crazy vortex of the world’s lunatic rush for everything.

Remember, we are supposed to be in the world, but not of it. (Rom.12:2)  James also tells us that friendship with this world means enmity with God. (James (4:4) And John in his first epistle clearly tells us not to LOVE this world nor the things in it, for if we do, then the LOVE of the Father is not in us.’ (1 John 2:15)

So Friends, please let us cut down on the haste and the inability to wait, for it will only cause us bigger problems in the long run. And Bruh Paul reminds us, that as Christians, if we hope for something that we can’t see, then we ought to wait with patience, perseverance and eager expectation for it, it will come, all in God’s good time.  (Rom.8:25)

That brings us to our Bit. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

Oh Friends, that’s one of the most important verses in the entire Bible, that’s why we’re spending so much time on it. Sin, as we know, has been man’s Achilles heel ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Now sin is very obnoxious to our holy and just God, and that is why He sent Jesus down from heaven to save us from them. And the Good Book has a lot to say about it, from the earliest days right down to the last ones.

So let’s look at a couple of scriptures that deal with sin nuh. We’ll begin with a most appropriate passage, one that nicely describes what we were just talking about.  It comes from John, when he was baptizing in the Jordan. ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29)  

And Friends, if anybody should know about that, it was John, for he was sent as the harbinger to proclaim Jesus’ coming and His message of salvation!

Now listen to this passage from Psalm 103; Bruh David’s song of Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).

He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgression from us. Like a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps.103:6-14)

Again my people, if anybody ought to know about sins and their forgiveness, it is Bruh David, for he passed through his fair share of sinfulness, but the Lord forgave him whenever he cried out in confession and begged for mercy. And yuh see what he says, ‘as far as the east is from the west,’ the Lord has removed our sins from us.

Oh what a mighty and merciful God we serve my people! No other deity does anything like that. So I don’t see why it’s so difficult for us to come to the Lord and confess our sins, when we re guaranteed forgiveness and LOVING –kindness!

Friends, we’re allowing the wicked world in which we live to brainwash us with its fleshly lusts and bright, shiny but unworthy stuff, and that’s not wise. So please let’s wake up from our foolishness, and attain unto wisdom nuh; let’s confess our sins to Almighty God and be forgiven. Now that is heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…confession is always good for the soul…especially when it brings forgiveness and mercy…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 November 2014 Psalm 27:14

Psalm 27:14.  Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage; and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’

‘Thursday, oh Thursday; harbinger of Friday!’ Yes Friends, I know that many of us are just dying to see Friday, so that we can get the two days off from work.
 
But that’s not the attitude we should have. We need to live and find joy in each new day as our Lord provides new mercies and blessings for each one. Let’s learn to focus on the present, the here and now, for some of us might not live to see tomorrow.
 
And as Jesus so wisely reminds us in these memorable words. ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34)
 
Yes my people, there will be enough trouble for us to handle today, and on each today thereafter, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s indeed do some planning for tomorrow, but let’s live in today.
 
Consequently, let’s renew this acclamation from Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) which boldly proclaims, ‘TODAY IS MY DAY!’ And of course it is!
 
Please acclaim with me: ‘God has destined me to be a barrier breaker! He created me to be uncontainable. I have talent and potential given to me by the Creator of the universe. There are seeds of greatness inside of me. Today, I choose to break free from a limited mindset and enlarge my vision.
 
Today, God is taking me places that I’ve never even dreamed of before. Today, God is fulfilling His purpose and destiny in my life. Today, I will experience His favour like never before in every area of my life.’
 
Now let’s just keep that at the forefront of our hearts and minds today my people, as we ‘seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,’ and as a direct result, are divinely provided with all we need for our daily walk. We can’t ask for a better promise than that my brethren!
 
And here’s another timely reminder that our task is to take hold of God’s grace, to endure our afflictions with patience, without growing weary, knowing that in His own time, God will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle us. We must wait on the Lord and be of good courage.
 
And my fellow believers, if there’s one thing we desperately need in this evil and troubled world, it is courage! Courage to stand strong and face the naysayers, the doomsayers, and all those who are desperately trying to eliminate Jehovah God from our society.
 
And in the words of our Bit, Bruh David says it so wisely: ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage; and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ Truer words were never spoken my fellow believers!
 
And Moses, in his latter days, encouraged the Israelites with these words, which still hold true today. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) Oh what marvellous words of encouragement my people!
 
And yuh better believe Friends, that even Bruh Paul, with all his faith and bravado, could not endure all that he did without encouragement from other believers. As he is on his way to Rome, as a prisoner, bound in chains, to plead his case before the emperor, the Good Book tells us:
 
‘And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appi Forum, and the three Taverns (Inns): whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.’ (Acts 28:15)
 
So my people, let’s not believe that we’re alone in needing courage, for we’ve all sinned and come short of God’s glory, which means we all need help on this earthly journey, which can best come from Almighty God.
 
And we’ll end with some appropriate verses from Isaiah 25 – The song of praise by the redeemed. ‘And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things (choice pieces), a feast of wines on the lees (wines matured on the sediment), of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
 
And he will destroy (swallow up) in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death (forever) in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.
 
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.25:6-9)
 
Oh Friends, with all these encouraging scriptures percolating in our hearts, minds and bodies, let’s go forth today unafraid, full of vim and vigour, with righteousness exuding mercy and forgiveness, and valiantly conquer this evil world, in Jesus’ name!
 
And all God’s people declared a joyful and courageous: ‘Amen! So let it be!’
 
Much, much LOVE, my brethren!
 
…if you need strength…if you need courage…whatever you need…sincerely turn to Jesus…and He will provide it…that’s His faithful promise…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
And then Friends, it was Sunday, the first day of the week!
 
That means it is supposed to be a restful kind of day, including a trip to the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship with other believers, give God His praise and thanks that’s so well deserved, and get encouragement and strengthened faith from the gathering to keep on keeping on in Jesus’ name.
 
It also should encompass some quality family and/or friend time; all the while keeping our souls open to Jesus. As I keep reminding us, the way we spend the first day of the week, is usually a harbinger of how the rest of the week will unfold.
 
So if we have a busy, stressful /Sunday, then Monday will no doubt open with stress and fatigue, complaining and whining, as we have to get up and go out to labour, and the week will probably go all downhill from there.
 
However, if we spend Sunday in prayerful peace, we at least wake up rested and renewed on Monday. Then, at least we’re starting from the top and going downhill, which is always easier than starting from the bottom and having to trudge up hill.
 
And with those words of wisdom (smile) – hope you adopt them – let’s get to our Bit, the same as yesterday. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
And again, I will remind us, that not as servants, but as valued Friends, Jesus then went out and died for us on Calvary’s cross!
 
I therefore can’t emphasize enough, how important it is that we recognize and truly appreciate His selfless sacrifice at Calvary, for it was indeed the beginning of all our good fortune, which stemmed exclusively from the great LOVE of our heavenly Father, who desperately wanted us to be brought back in to right standing with Him.
 
It’s just like we bend over backwards sometimes with our wayward children whom we LOVE dearly and want to see get back to the right path and right standing with us.
 
Now today we’ll deal with some scriptures that highlight friendship; what it is supposed to be, and as time permits, also look at some friendships, both good and bad, from the Good Book.
 
And first off is the wisdom of Cousin Sol, telling us from Proverbs, what a friend, and friendship ought to be. Listen up closely my brethren. (smile) ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born of adversity.’ (Prov.17:17)
 
And that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be my people! As the scholars declare: ’17:17. A true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’
 
But today, unfortunately, as we all know, that kind of true friendship doesn’t exist as much as it used to. Now friends are only friends when times are good. When they are rough and you need support, you’ll usually find yourself alone, because all you really had were good times friends.
 
However my people, let’s look at what a true friendship ought to be like. It begins with Jehovah God’s covenant with Abraham in chapter 17 of Genesis, where He establishes Abraham as the father of His Chosen People.
 
And we all know the story of Abraham’s tumultuous but interesting pilgrimage throughout the land, and how throughout it all, he stayed faithful and true to God, and God also remained faithful and true to him.
 
It was such a great friendship that centuries later, king Jehoshaphat of Judah, when besieged by foreign armies, could cry out to God: ‘Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?’ (2 Chr.20:7)
 
Then Isaiah, in talking of the final restoration of Israel, declares: ‘But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend.’ (Is.41:8)
 
And later on, James, the half-brother of Jesus, who only believed at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, in talking about faith without works, boldly proclaims: ‘But wilt thou know (but do you want to know), O vain (foolish) man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works (was working), and by works was faith made perfect (complete)? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed (accounted) unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.’ (James 2:20-23)
 
Yes my brethren, that is what a true friendship ought to be like. Abraham is so revered, that even when we speak of God, and we qualify it by saying, the God of Abraham, everyone knows whom we’re talking about.
 
So today my people, as we fellowship and worship, peacefully rest in prayerful meditation, let’s consider the words ‘friend and friendship.’ Let’s ponder what they mean to us, then on that basis, ponder who our true friends might be in this earthly life, as well as who we might be true friends to.
 
And lastly, let’s ask the Lord for his help, so that at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, our faith and works will be of such excellence and integrity, that we too will be called the Friend of God! That’s the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…oh…to be considered…a Friend of the Lord…and a Man after His own heart…that is my greatest desire…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2014 Psalm 67:1

Psalm 67:1.      God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us;   Selah.

Aye Friends, do you realize that we’re already in the middle of September…and it was just last week we celebrated Labour Day? (smile) Ah brother! The days they surely seem to be passing rather quickly. I don’t know if time is actually speeding up, or it’s simply our perception that it’s going by faster; just our imagination playing tricks on us. (smile)

If I were to guess though, I’d say that it’s our imagination playing tricks on us. Our days have become so busy with work and looking after home and family and the myriad of things those tasks entail, including the presence of worry and anxiety, that the time just speeds away on us before we even realize what’s really happening.

Even a generation ago, our lives weren’t so busy. What’s happened eh? Unlike what we were led to expect and believe, in spite of all the technological innovations and modern conveniences, we seem to have lees spare time, less down time where we can just sit and relax. It seems like we’re always on the go.

Now there’s no separation between work, home and play, they all seem to have morphed into one seamless continuum. With our wonderful technological devices we now work everywhere; at home, at work and at play. We’re now constantly at the beck and call of the technology monster and its feeding frenzy. If we’re not constantly in touch with the social happenings then we feel lost and behind the times, not in the swing of things. 

And sadly, that feeling is perpetrated by the greedy business people who are just out to grab whatever they can from us, without caring even one iota about our situations. It’s all about the money. That’s a big part of the reason for the unnecessary tension, frustration, resentment, anger, selfishness and rudeness in our current society.

Our standards, including morals, work ethic, dress, education and otherwise have fallen so low, that now we glorify as superior, of superstar status, what was once considered mediocre, and even of no account.  And yet we expect to flourish.

How foolish of us Friends, for societies only flourish when truly high standards are the norm, not the exception. As standards fall, so do the societies themselves. And if you don’t believe me, just check out man’s history that’s littered with so many examples.

And before we go any further my people, let me remind us that there’s ONLY ONE SUPERSTAR in this evil, ungodly world – that’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And don’t you forget it! Stop buying into the nonsense that the world is selling us; putting people on pedestals who can’t even run their lives properly.

Anyway, that’s enough pontification from me for today. (smile) Let’s see what our Bit has to say: ‘God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us;   Selah.’

And yuh better believe my brethren that we desperately need such godly attention today, right now, if we’re ever going to turn this wicked and ungodly society around. As the psalmist so wisely and truthfully continues: ‘That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health (salvation) among all nations.’ (Ps.67:2)

But for that to happen, the psalmist tells us: ‘Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.   Selah.

Let all the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase (give her produce); and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.’ (Ps.67:3-7)

Yes Friends, without God’s blessings, we’re doomed, and we won’t get God’s blessings unless and until we praise and worship Him in faithful obedience and trust.

And according to the scholars: ‘Psalm 67. This national psalm of thanksgiving expresses the gratefulness of the people to their God and their confidence in His continued blessings. The point of the psalm seems to be that God’s blessing on Israel is only a harbinger of divine blessings for the entire world.

This universal outlook is revealed not only by the explicit statement of the final verse, but by the exclusive preference of the general word for God, Elohim, to the complete exclusion of the personal name of Israel’s God, Yahweh.’  

So you can see Friends, from early on, God planned to have the entire world, His entire creation, bowing at His feet, praising and worshipping Him, while He showers them with untold blessings and mercies. Unfortunately though, that plan has gone somewhat awry, because of our rebellious and disobedient nature.

But  He’s such a LOVING, generous and patient Father, that He gave us a second chance by sending Jesus to die on the old rugged cross at Calvary, so that we could be reconciled to Him. What a marvellous Deity!

That means  the ball is now in our court, my people. It’s now up to us to embrace the lifeline that He’s thrown out to us through His son Jesus. Please, let’s show heavenly wisdom and grab hold of the wonderful opportunity that has been presented to us.

And now, may the Lord bless and keep us and cause His face to shine upon us as we praise and worship Him in all truth and sincerity. Much LOVE!

…as the praise and worship of Almighty God increases…so will the blessings and mercies that are showered down upon earth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 February 2014 Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, our God is a great and most wonderful Deity! Please give Him praise and thanks, oodles and oodles of it, for He is most deserving of our thanks and praise!

And I say that, because as I walk down memory lane today, I note where in the past two weeks He’s unexpectedly brought so many people from my past into my present orbit. Thank You Lord! And from the very depths of my soul, again I say, Thank You!
 
It has certainly been interesting and overwhelming to say the least, for like every day, someone else just unexpectedly comes out of the woodwork. And that shouldn’t be so surprising since our God majors in the unexpected.
 
And talking about the unexpected, yesterday afternoon while hanging out at the Duchess’ friend’s bar with my Uncle Foster, who had earlier come from Trinidad to visit me, my cell phone rang.
 
When I answered it, I discovered that it was another old friend from school days, who was also in town. He now resides in New York, and I had seen him at Caribana in Toronto a few years ago, so the time span between contact wasn’t as great as with so many others. 
 
But while talking to him, I learned that since I last saw him, he had gone through several surgeries for some internal problems. And that was after having been through many more  before that. It’s good to see that he has that fighting, never say die, never give up attitude.
 
And it’s also nice to know that he gives the Bit some credit for helping him make it through some of the rough times, both in the hospital and at home. He says it helps him keep his faith strong, and not give in to self-pity and the desire to give up this painful earthly life.
 
I went to visit him this morning after church, and he does look strong, but he has to go back to Trinidad for some tests and other medical procedures tomorrow. Let’s pray that the Lord will bless him and cause everything to go all right. His name is Anthony Massiah, so please remember him in your prayers.
 
And that was about all the out of the ordinary memories I made yesterday, because after dropping my Uncle Foster home, we just came home and relaxed, watched the Leafs beat Ottawa in a high-spirited ice-hockey game, then went to bed, got up this morning and went to church.
 
On the church matter though my fellow believers, I was greatly disappointed to see the small number of people in the congregation. If you were to put everybody together, it might have taken up possibly one quarter of the church.
 
Now that certainly doesn’t speak well of the church’s health. But I’m not privy to their problems, so I can’t offer any positive critique and /or advice. I just know that the three times I’ve been there recently, the crowds were noticeably smaller than the two occasions on my last trip to Tobago, some fifteen months ago.
 
Ah Friends and fellow believers, we need to pray for the state of Christ’s church all over the world, because in many cases, for one reason or another, the numbers are sadly dwindling, and we definitely can’t allow that negative trend to continue. Through heartfelt prayer and seriously addressing the problems causing this fall away, we need to actively participate in the renewal of Christ’s earthly body, for it’s a godly trust given to us, to strengthen and grow it.
 
Unfortunately though, for whatever reasons, we’re falling down on the job. And how can we allow that to happen after reading our Bit eh? ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’
 
Yesterday we saw how many things, faithful blessings and benefits, those few words of Bruh Paul contained. And continuing on, we note even more blessings and benefits.
 
‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in LOVE: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children (as sons) by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.’ (Eph.1:4-5)
 
Yes Friends, the Lord chose us to be His adopted children through Jesus, long before He even laid the foundations of the world! That means, even before time began He was totally interested in us, LOVING us, through His own will, not through anything we would or could do. He had set us apart, sanctified us, to be holy and blameless before Him, walking in LOVE.
 
Now here are a few interesting notes from the scholars. ‘1:4. The connecting thought linking verses 3 and 4 is this: Just as (According as) God has blessed believers with every spiritual blessing “in Christ” (v.3), so in like manner it was in (or by) him that he hath chosen us. God never intended to bless man apart from Christ. All God does for man, He does through His Son.’
 
And they continue: ‘1:4-5. The last two words of verse 4 (in LOVE) may well belong to verse 5; the link between verb forms in these two verses is expressed in this rendering: “He chose us…in that He LOVINGLY predestined us.” So the divine choice of verse 4 is further defined by the divine predestination of verse 5.
 
Predestinated means “marked out in advance,” “determined or appointed beforehand.” Prior to creation God appointed those who would believe unto (or, for) the adoption of children; that is, He appointed them to be His sons. This divine appointment was according to (because of) the good pleasure of his will; it was due not to anything good in ourselves, but due solely to His kindness. 
 
These verses stress the divine sovereignty in salvation. Verses 12 and 13, which mention our trust and belief in Christ, emphasize the human responsibility in the process.’ 
 
Yes my people, the Lord put a whole lot of thought and LOVE into His plan of creation, putting us believers first in it. We therefore owe Him a large debt of gratitude and thanks for all those wonderful benefits and blessings He’s currently showering down on us, and also has stored up in heavenly places, marked with our names.
 
So please, let’s endeavor to do a better job of living and working for Him than we’re presently doing nuh. Yuh know all He asks of us is just to try and follow in the footsteps of His Son, become more like our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. That’s not too much to ask, after all He’s done for us. Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know, Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him… 
 
P.S. Oh Friends, the wife just called me outside on the balcony to see a beautiful rainbow, after a light shower of rain. Mama Mia! It seems like I only see rainbows in Tobago. (smile) The last one I saw was coming over in the plane from Trinidad on my last visit. I’ll take it as the harbinger of good tidings. Much LOVE!  

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