Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 October 2021 Philippians 4:6.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING CANADA!

Philippians 4:6.     Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. 

Oh friends, is it ever good to awaken to another day, another Monday, another Thanksgiving Monday! And all God’s people said: ‘Thanks be to God, who keeps the breath of life flowing through our earthly bodies!’ And why does He do that? Because He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, which includes enjoyment of the day. That’s why we say: ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) Yes, my brethren, that’s the only way to go! 

And on this Thanksgiving Day of 2021, where life is somewhat rough, and we can’t gather as carelessly as we’d like, we ought to be thankful that we can even gather at all. Remember last year Thanksgiving Day was a most dreary time. No set of food and family and good cheer, all because of the Pandemic situation. So, there’s oodles of thanks to be given for just being able to get together more than last year. But please, please be careful. This thing is not over yet – far from it – and we still need to take as many precautions as possible to minimize further problems. 

And to show our gratitude for that improvement, let’s intone the opening verses of Psalm 105, subtitled – God’s wondrous works in behalf of Israel. ‘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 ye the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.’ (Ps. 105:1-4) 

Now I am sure if we were doing that as much as we ought to, we would not be having half as many problems as we do! I am convinced that many of our problems stem from the fact that we don’t reverence and appreciate our Creator as we should. But this Thanksgiving time is the right occasion for us to turn back to Him, remembering all that He has done for us, and has promised to do. 

In the marvellous words of Bruh David: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) And are we ever so glad that this Thanksgiving we have sufficient food to eat. But having said that, let’s not forget there are many of our fellow brethren out there who don’t have enough, possible nothing at all to eat, and it’s our bounden duty to provide for them as best we can. 

That recalls the glorious day when many of the children of Israel heard the word of the Lord for the first time as it was read to them, by Ezra and his associates. Then Nehemiah, the Governor, said unto them: ‘Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 1:8) 

And is it ever my fellow saints! That’s why the enemy does his best to steal our joy. He knows when he gets us sad and downcast, it’s much easier to have us do his evil bidding. But not today mih bredrin, for today is a day of exceeding joy, and a time to remember our biggest blessing, our greatest gift and benefit. Like Bruh David said: ‘who redeemeth thy life from destruction.’ And yes friends, God’s greatest gift, His biggest benefit is that of freedom from the bondage of sin, of salvation through His free gift of grace, earned through the finished work of Christ. 

As Jesus puts it: ‘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.’ (John 3:16) Glory be my fellow believers! If we are not thankful for anything else, we should be exceedingly thankful for that, because it’s nothing that we earned, or could ever earn, but though God’s infinite grace and mercy, it was bestowed upon us. And all we have to do is to believe in His Son! But so many of us stubbornly refuse to do it because of foolish pride and belief in the world’s evil systems. But there will be consequences for that stubbornness. 

And let’s not think that just because we call today Thanksgiving Day, that this is the only day we should give thanks. Absolutely not! Bruh Paul reminds us of that in his epistle to the church at Philippi, when he says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Oh my fellow believers, we wonder why we don’t have peace? Well, the answer is right there. We don’t take our requests to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. And there’s no better time than right now, for us to get wise and do just that. So, in sincere prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let’s make our requests known to Almighty God through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, let’s go and keep the promises we just made, if we want to see positive answers to our prayers and supplications with thanksgiving. Much LOVE!

..in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus…concerning you… (1 Thess. 5:17)                                                                                                         

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8               

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2021 Psalm 40:5.

Psalm 40:5.     ​Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward they cannot be reckoned (recounted) up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Well my people, on this Sunday morning in mid-March, when the clock has just gone forward an hour in the controversial Daylight Savings Time situation, there is some news leaning towards the good side, but whether it is sensible to enact it, that’s something else. (smile) 

And the good news is that physical in church worship has been eased, but still under the last protocol; masks, cleaning, physical distancing, no actual choir singing, etc. etc. Now it’s debatable whether all the effort need to do that for the small crowd that might come is worth it. Then we would still have to do some virtual worship for those who won’t come. That puts a great strain on the priest and the few people who usually do all the hard and dirty work. And with the many variants prevalent these days, my recommendation would be to leave it as it is; just do the virtual worship. 

But since no decision has been made on that as yet, let’s get on with our virtual worship. (smile) And today we’re opening with a marvelous semi-old song written by New Jersey born Johnson Oatman Jr. (1856-1922) And it’s such a realistic and providential song, that if we had been singing and doing what it says all along, feasting on thanksgiving and praise, we might not be ensnared in the Corona pandemic right now. So let’s open our hearts and give voice to the wonderful hymn, ‘Count Your Blessings!’Raise those voices to heaven in a sweet, scintillating, harmonious, up tempo version as the beautiful music leads us in worship! 

‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.) Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain] 

When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings, money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. [Refrain] So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. 

So Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done. (Now let’s sing that chorus again so we’ll remember it.) Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.’ 

Oh my faithful saints in Christ, that message is ever so important to all of us! Why, you ask? First of all, let’s check out what counting your blessings means. It basically means to be grateful for the good things in our lives, as well as to stop ourselves from becoming too unhappy about the bad things we must all go through at some times in this earthly life. 

And the website www.godtube gives us this interesting explanation. ‘God truly gives us so many blessings each and every single day. Some may even be so small that we might overlook them. The classic hymn ‘Count Your Blessings’ truly reminds us to stop and give thanks for all God has done in our lives. This is definitely a pause we all need to take. Amen.’ And if that isn’t the indisputable truth, I don’t know what is! 

Yes friends, in this busy world, where we’re so busy going nowhere fast, we all need to take time every so often and count the good things we have, instead of labouring on and bewailing the bad things, or the things we don’t have. That’s the only way to keep our stress, greed and envy level down. Let’s stop looking at what we don’t have and concentrate on what we do have, especially since many of us are living better than most of our fellow human beings. 

As www.godtube continues to tell us: ‘‘If you always find yourself numbering your troubles, you will never find time counting your blessings. There is no use becoming frustrated in your difficulties while you have all opportunities hiding in them for a turnover.’ That’s wisdom in spades my brethren! If you concentrate on counting your troubles, you’ll never find the time to count your blessings and the many opportunities that are hiding in those troubles. 

And Bruh David puts it ever so nicely for us in Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer. ‘Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward they cannot be reckoned (recounted) up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.’ (Ps. 40:5) 

That’s more indisputable truth my people. We can never count the many blessings that God has given to us during our lifetime…and is still giving to us every day! The problem is that we consider blessings as big, bright baubles and bangles, whereas God takes pleasure in meeting our smallest needs when we least expect it. It’s time for us to stop looking for big blessings, and check out the small stuff. We’d all be amazed at the number of small but wonderful blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us down through the years. So many, that we would be unable to count them. 

As Job said when he acknowledged God’s justice: ‘I know it’s so of a truth: but how should a man be just with God (how can a man be righteous with God)?…Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.’ (Job 9:1,10) And yes, Job and Bruh David are two men who ought to know of God’s goodness and faithfulness, because they experienced hardship but never gave up on Him. That’s why Hebrews declares: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) Now, I think that’s a very fitting note to end on. (smile) 

So let’s go forth and start counting our blessings nuh, instead of our troubles. It will make our lives so much more interesting and fulfilling. Much LOVE!

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2021 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.     Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Oh friends, it’s another bright and sunshiny morning with more springlike temps! And best of all, the Lord chose to wash the earth clean last evening with a glorious thunderstorm. So out there looks fresh and new now, and there’s a feeling of hope in the air! Yuh know how we usually feel clean and refreshed after a shower! Well that’s how the earth looks this morning! Glory be! 

And here’s some more good news. The ole fella now has a podcast on the Anchor website of WordPress, where our blog is displayed. Our God is certainly something else yes, great and mysterious. I’d been wondering about doing a podcast since it’s all the rage now, but thought it would be too complicated, however, a few days ago, when I was posting the blog, I noticed a sign that said turn your blog into a podcast. But that day I ignored it. 

The next day though, I ventured into the unknown and soon thereafter, without a whole lot of fuss our Scrip-Bits Podcast was born! Glory to God my people! So for those of you who prefer to hear me, rather than read me, (smile) you can go to this link https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8 and sign in to Spotify with whatever you choose. Now it’s just a simple podcast, so don’t look for fabulous sounds and sights, (smile) just my growly voice. 

And oh, here’s something else, I never told you about. If you want to hear my gravelly voice, well done, with music, then you can contact me at randyobrien50@hotmail.com to purchase a C.D, or rather a double C.D, titled ‘Some of My Favourite Script-Bits, Vol. 1’ which I recently put out. It’s not available on a website or streaming as yet. But you’ll get two for one: The spoken word with music behind them, and just music alone. And the music is quite eclectic, varied, so you’re sure to find several things you like. 

Believe me, producing that C.D has truly been what we call a labour of LOVE! It’s been about ten years in the making. Ah Lord, when I think about the process, I just have to shake my head and chuckle. I had the vocals all ready to go from the beginning, but couldn’t find anyone willing to write the music. Then, in the Lord’s time, He sent someone along to do it. And even then, there were roadblocks all along the way. But would you believe that’s in the height of the pandemic, He allowed me to complete it. 

Ah mih people, I keep telling us that the Lord surely moves in mysterious ways and His timing can be somewhat tough and overbearing, but when we wait on Him, He does good things when we least expect it. And today’s certainly a good news Friday, for here’s what the ordinary workingman has to say. His enthusiasm has certainly been raised a notch, as he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday…And though a whole lot hasn’t changed, there is at least a li’l light at the end of the tunnel. My boss called this week and said that we’d be able to go back to work in the next easing stage of the lockdown! Glory be! 

And since I’m one of the older employees, I’ll be amongst the first to go back. It’ll sure feel good to earn some money after such a long time! Let’s hope the next easing stage doesn’t take too long nuh, because then I’ll be so out of shape, I might not be able to do all the heavy lifting and physical stuff we need to do on the job. And with the vaccine being handed out, it’s the first sign of optimism I’ve felt in many a day. Ah Lord eh! Let’s hope that the foolish people out there don’t relax their caution either, now that there’s a vaccine and cause another corona wave to start nuh. So things looking up. Thank God oui!’ 

Oh mih bredrin, as Bruh Paul so rightly said to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) And isn’t that the indisputable truth! 

And we on a roll here friends, for when I opened the Good Book just now, to look for some scripture to back up all that we’ve said, it opened at this interesting section of Ecclesiastes, where Cousin Sol proclaims: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18) Yes friends, enjoyment is a gift of God, and we ought to be excited and motivated to do just that, as our life is so short here on planet earth. Oh we can’t get away from troubles, but in our honest toil and labour with God beside us, we can certainly find joy. 

And Cousin Sol wraps up the Book of Ecclesiastes with these awesome words. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl. 12:13-14) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Our job is to obey God and do His will, but we will all answer for our actions or lack thereof come the judgement day. 

Now let’s go to God with that awesome privilege of prayer, through our Friday Chant, and empty our hearts, pour out our hopes and dreams before His holy throne. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh 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!’ 

And if we truly want the strife and sickness in our world to be lessened, then we have to keep our vow to God; be faithful believers, and handle the situation properly with true repentance and LOVE for Him and each other! Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us life…so that we could enjoy it…within His boundaries… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2021 Proverbs 4:12.

Proverbs 4:12.     ​For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.

So how shall we begin this bleak and cloudy Wednesday morning eh? (smile) And since the Good Book opened this morning on the words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs, I think it’s a good idea to start with some of his wise advice on the treatment of neighbours, advice we can certainly use in these selfish and greedy times. So hear ye, hear ye: ‘Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do so. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by (in safety with) thee. 

Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. Envy thou not the oppressor, and chose none of his ways. For the froward (perverse person) is abomination to the Lord: but his secret (secret council) is with the righteous. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation (dwelling) of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly (humble). The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:27-35) 

Oh my people, what wisdom! Wisdom for the ages! But wisdom we have not taken, thus the sorry state of our neighbourly behaviour. And here’s how the scholars summarize those verses. ‘3:27-35. The needy neighbour is to be helped (vs. 27-28); the innocent neighbour is to be respected and left alone (vs. 29-30); and the wicked neighbour is not to be envied (vs. 31-35).’ 

But sadly, so often we do the opposite of that advice, especially in times like these when selfishness, greed and personal advancement are all the rage. We do not help the needy neighbour, neither respect the innocent one, but are quick to engender strife and ill-will towards them. And oh, how we do envy and covet the things of our prosperous but wicked neighbour…what do we call it? ‘Keeping up with the Jones’…ofttimes to our own detriment and financial ruin. 

And I saw an interesting poem in our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I think might be rather appropriate for us today. It’s titled the ‘Last Word.’ I wonder who shall have that eh? (smile) Please pray with me. ‘I read, “In everything give thanks.” I said, “Lord, I’m in deep trouble…You know I can’t thank you for this.” You said, “My word is a command And not a suggestion, dear child.” I read, “Your sins are forgiven you.” I said, Thank you for forgiving me…I repeat the same sin so often.” You said, I can deliver, as well as forgive.” I read, “Trust in the Lord at all times.” I said, “You know how earnestly I try.” You said, “My Word says Trust.” Lord, it seems to me You always have The last word.’ 

Of course! He’s the Boss, so whom do you expect to have it eh? You, or I! No way Jose! Both the first and last words belong to Almighty God, our Creator and Controller! And until we understand that deep down in our souls, we will always have problems with His Word. But we are certainly foolish to dispute or denigrate or disobey it? Why, you ask? I don’t think you really want to know nuh. (smile) 

Here’s how the Good Book describes the Lord’s Word. It’s our Bit as well as the Bible Promise for our poem above. ‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb. 4:12) 

Yes friends, that’s the mighty power that God’s Word has! It’s alive and sharp and discerns the thoughts and intents of mortal man! ‘Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in (hidden from) his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account).’ (Heb. 4:13) 

Now hear the scholars.‘4:12-13. For the word of God:The reason given for one’s careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word isquick(living). This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis. God’s Word is not old or archaic; it is alive. It is not inept or inactive; it ispowerful(active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man’s mind to discern even histhoughts and intents.Likewise, God’s eyes sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuse or pretense.’ 

And I sincerely hope that last sentence opens our foolish minds and hearts and lets us know that we can’t hide from God, as so many of us try to do. Oh friends, we claim that our great God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. That means He sees all and knows all, and NOTHING can be hidden from Him. So let’s stop trying to do that nuh, for it’s a complete waste of time. Let me tell us another li’l secret here; (smile) the Lord knows our thoughts and intentions before we are even aware of them! Hn! Put that in yuh pipe and smoke it! 

Now here is some more interesting info from the scholars as to how the author skillfully uses the human terminology to describe how God’s Word operates .‘Immaterial Part of Man. 4:12.The writer here draws an interesting parallel between the joints and the marrow, which have different functions, yet both are part of a human’s bone structure. Thoughts and intents are also two distinct activities, yet both are activities of the mind. And while the soul and spirit are distinct in function, both have an immaterial character. 

When considering the nature of humanity, we must realize a person is a two-part being, that is, with body and soul. But in activity or function the body, soul, and spirit of a person each has a different function. Paul desired that his converts “whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:2). (First Ref. Gen 2:7; Primary Ref. 1 Thess. 5:23; cf. Prov. 4:23).’ 

And since we have a whole lot of food for thought there, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, telling all and sundry of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And what a truly glorious future it will be, if we endure unto the end! Much LOVE!

…keep thy heart with all diligence…for out of it are the issues of life… (Prov. 4:23) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2021 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.     ​Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

And after the snow comes the mild temperatures…then comes the snow again! I guess that’s how life is, how the Lord orchestrated it to happen; feast then famine, sorrow then joy, one good then bad and so on. But throughout it all He expects us to have a good attitude, to trust Him to work all things out together for our good, as His faithful promise proclaims. (Rom. 8:28) 

And yes, that good attitude is not always easy to come by, especially when the evil and trouble of the world comes against us, but if we are sincere in our trust and belief in Christ Jesus, then we will be able to do it; He will empower us to come up higher in His name. But we have to reach that level of faith where we know that we know that we know ALL His promises are faithful and leave it all in His mighty hands. 

Oh friends, we need to reach the level of faithful maturity so that we can say like Job, when his whole world suddenly came tumbling down. ‘Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (accused Him with wrong).’ (Job 1:21-22) 

Yeh mih people, all of that is much easier said than done, but as believers that’s where we need to get to in this earthly life. How many of us accuse God, even curse Him when things go wrong in our lives even while we’re trying to live right eh? Too many! We need to remember that God is the BOSS, and whatever He says goes, even though it may seem unfair to us. 

And remember too that His mind and ways are higher than ours, thus His plans and purposes we will never fully understand. And if we intend to live a fairly peaceful and productive life here on earth, we need to understand, believe and live His faithful word. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh my brethren, once we can get those promises written down deep in our hearts, minds and souls, then we can live the kind of earthly life Jesus died for us to live; one of peace and abundance, with our eyes focused on the things of heaven, not those of the earth. And if you don’t believe me, then check out how God dealt with Job nuh. After He allowed Satan to inflict wrong on Job so He could prove Job’s faithfulness, He gave Job twice as much as he had in the beginning. ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10) 

Please notice praying for his friends was also an important aspect of God restoring Job’s fortunes. And please note too that Satan had to go to God to get to Job. The Good Book says: ‘Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the Adversary) came also among them.’ (Job 1:6) 

And if we’re wondering how that was possible, hear the scholars. ‘1:6. Sons of God in this passage refers to angelic beings. Satan is considered one of them, though fallen from his original sinless state. His name means “Adversary,” and in this narrative he lives up to its meaning. The passage shows that Satan has access to God’s presence, though this does not seem to be Satan’s abode.’ 

Oh my people, nobody knows how God operates better than Satan, because he was once one of His top operatives before his pride and lofty position made him too big for his britches, and he got kicked out of heaven for trying to overthrow God. Just imagine the ‘boldfacedness’ of the created being nuh! Unfortunately though, we’re doing just like he did, trying to kick God our of our society. But a word of warning to the wise: that will NEVER happen! 

Anyhow, moving on with the story from the Good Book. ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) The scholars tell us that refers to Satan’s activity, and though he does not admit it there, his many travels are for evil purposes. (1 Pet. 5:8) 

‘The activity of Satan indicates that he has only limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (be in several places at once). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ to that. Then, I like how God boasted on Job to Satan. ‘Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?’ (Job 1:8) Oh brother, I don’t know if I want the Lord to boast so on me to the enemy nuh. (smile) 

But as the scholars explain: ‘1:8. The initiative in the conversation lies with God, but He may well have simply expressed what was on Satan’s mind. God’s view of Job is the same as the description given in 1:1.’ And Satan failed miserably in trying to get Job to curse God. 

Instead he worshipped Him. Despite all the inaccurate and hurtful things his supposed friends said against him, and the way that people despised and turned away from him, Job stood strong in the faith of his God. These word of his, say it all. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He shall also be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Mama Yo! That’s what yuh call ‘strong faith!’ And the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Now friends, it’s that kind of unquenchable faith that we need to have, especially in these very rough times that we’re currently experiencing. It’s not easy, and will never be easy, once we live here on planet earth with the prince of darkness it’s ruling force. But we know that Jesus will come again and eventually make everything right. 

And this note from the scholars on the turning around of Job’s life is important. ‘The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather, that God holds sovereign and LOVING sway over every human life. Therefore He can be trusted implicitly in all things (cf. Rom. 8:28; 1Thess. 5:18).’ And that’s what I’ve been trying to say from the very beginning friends! (smile) 

So for those of us who sincerely believe and implicitly trust, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘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 and do exactly that nuh! Much LOVE!

…the Christian motto…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2021 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     ​Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.

Another snow-filled morning…but who’s counting or bothering eh? Certainly not me, or any of those Jesus filled believers who have to trudge out and about in it! (smile) That’s because with Jesus both in us and by our side we will not fear, regardless of what the world and its evil self choses to throw against us. And all of God’s children said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness and strength to the children of men!’ And that’s for sure friends, the Lord deserves much more thanks than we give Him. 

But remember, we promised to change that for this new year of 2021. Yes, this blessed year of 2021, we going to be sincerely singing the praises of our Lord and Saviour as we diligently carry out His work! We going to rise up and be who we ought to be; powerful and authoritative people of God, but filled with peace, LOVE, thanks, grace, mercy and all the other fruits of the Spirit! 

Wow! Beware evil world, Christ’s mighty army is coming against you this year, we going to be fighting you tooth and nail, right down to the wire, until your evil carcass lies wasted, lies a rotting in Hades! What powerful sentiments and promises friends. I do hope we keep them. (smile) 

Now, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to tell us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And thank the Lord, there is no preface to deal with this week! (smile) Yes it’s somewhat different this week. And it unfurls with this greeting and word of advice: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices. Do stay safe.’ 

Ah precious people of God, our friend Anselm hit the nail on the head right there! Much talking must stop and be replaced by much action, with many sacrifices, cause that’s the example our Leader, Jesus set us. All of us want to be great, but we don’t want to expend the labour, the blood, sweat and tears it takes to do it. So we just talk up a storm, but do nothing worthwhile about it, because we just plain scared or lazy or whatever to truly confront the world in Jesus’ name. 

Remember Jesus told us not to fear so often that it ought to be seared into our minds, souls, bodies and spirits. And furthermore, He informed us that there would be trouble in the world but He had already conquered it, so we should be cheerful and just keep on doing what we ought to, because He would always be with us, right down to the very end of the age! That’s means, the world and its evil rulers can’t conquer us if we stand up strong with Jesus all around us, as He’s promised. 

So then, here’s this most interesting and very worthy advice from our friend Anselm. ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? We always seem to look for the bad parts in us, but seldom the good ones. We do have good parts yuh know, parts filled with lots of potential that God placed there for us to work on and fulfill our destiny and His purpose for our lives. Unfortunately though, we don’t pay sufficient attention to that aspect of our lives. 

And per Anselm, here are some ‘Things to think about for 2021:’ And the first bit of advice is ‘Talk less; listen more;’ Brother! Is that ever appropriate for many of us, including me. I even promised my family that I wouldn’t talk as much as I do. So there you see, I’m already on the right track. Hope I can fulfill that promise though, because it’s not an easy one to keep, but we can do it, if we cry out to God for help, like Bruh David did: ‘Set a watch (guard), O Lord, before my mouth; keep (watch over) the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties (delicacies).’ (Ps. 141:3-4) 

And if we’re sincere about it, the Lord will certainly hear our prayer and help us. Or we can also plead like Bruh David in Psalm 19: ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ (Ps. 19:14) Yes friends, we know we’re maturing when our words and the motives of our hearts are not displeasing to our heavenly Father. 

But moving right along, Anselm then tells us: ‘Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe;’ Now that’s certainly interesting because too many of us believe that we run the world; that it should run like we say or think. But for our information, that’s God’s job! We’re just a li’l speck in the great plan He has for His universe! So let’s not go messing with it nuh, as though it’s ours to set straight, for the Lord doesn’t take kindly to others trying to run His business. (smile) Let’s just concentrate on the li’l portion He gave us to look after nuh. We not even doing that properly, but we want to look after the world. (smile) 

And in the process, Anselm informs us that another useful endeavour would be to ‘Sit on your ego;’ And oh, do we ever need to do that in this ego driven, celebrity worshipping world of ours, where every li’l knuckle head – not the word I really wanted to use – (smile) thinks, believes and acts like a superstar. Steups! But fortunately, many of them flame out just as quickly as they catch fire. Oh friends, until we realize that there’s ONLY ONE SUPERSTAR in this universe, JESUS, and start worshipping Him and not our fellow weak, mortal, frail and finite man, our lives won’t be worth a whole lot! 

Now according to Anselm, we ought to also ‘Take one day at a time;’ And that’s wise advice, since Jesus told us the same thing long ago. ‘Take therefore no thought for (don’t worry about) the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) Yeh, we can make some plans, with God ‘s help, but if we don’t look after today, who says we’ll be around to see tomorrow eh? 

And while we’re doing that, it would also be wise to ‘Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it;’ Absolute words of wisdom my brethren! Brother Anselm’s been preaching to us today! (smile) I would like to add one thing to that though, if you can’t do anything about the situation, but it’s real important, then give it to God, let Him hold it for you, while He works on it. We don’t need to hold it if we can’t fix it. Just give it to the Master Fixer. 

And last but not least, possibly most important, Anselm advises us to ‘PRAY!’ Ah mih people, that is indeed the crowning glory of all we do! As Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) And that is indeed God’s will for His people! 

Then Anselm ends by wishing a ‘Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ And I wish the same for all of us my precious saints in Christ! Let’s make 2021 a banner year for the church and people of Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you truly believe…then you ought to rejoice…pray…and give plenty thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2020 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.     ​In every thing give thanks: for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

 Well the weather is behaving just as inconsistently as us! (smile) Yeh, yesterday it didn’t morph into any bright and sunshiny skies, just remained dark and dreary. Now today, after a foggy, drizzly night, the sun is out there trying to overcome the dark rain-filled clouds. Who knows which aspect will be victorious eh? Only the good Lord at this particular time, but we’ll find out eventually. 

Yeh friends, that’s the way we live a lot of our life, not sure what’s happening in our present or future, and only understanding it when it becomes our past. As Cousin Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say; ‘you live life forward, but understand it backward.’ And that’s certainly the truth…if you understand it at all. (smile) Anyhow, enough of me, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say this cloudy Friday morning, as we run through the month of a very calamitous October. 

And as usual, he opines: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and work soon done for a couple days! It’s good to see another weekend, although there still isn’t much to do in it, but stay home and stay safe, for the Covid-19 numbers not coming down appreciably even though some of us still in phase 2 of the lockdown. In fact, the average cases actually going up, and some four major hospitals have outbreaks of the virus now. Ah Lord, what is happening eh? An’ people still refuse to wear masks, wash dem hands and stay away from crowds, the only things we currently have to somewhat control the virus So what yuh expect eh? Steups! 

But as my old mother always use to tell me: ‘Son, when yuh don’t hear, yuh does feel.’ And believe me, plenty times when I didn’t hear her, I certainly felt her! (smile) And is the same thing that’s happening to us as a society now. We not listening to the medical advice, what little we have, so people still living in fear of the tiny li’l virus that yuh can’t even see with the naked eye. What a knowledgeable and revolutionary society we’ve built eh… Hn! 

The trouble is that though we society so advanced and so flashy looking, we still only full of heifer dust! And as they say, if yuh put a pig in a palace, it still going to be a pig, and still going to behave like one! But with a small man like me, all I can do is try to keep my family safe yes, and say thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah mih bredrin, when you have a preponderance of sin, foolish pride, greed, hunger for power, and a lack of godly principles in a society, there will never be peace nor stability. And those are the things which are currently running rampant in our society, so it’s no surprise that we are in such a distasteful and disastrous situation. And how do we solve our calamitous situation eh? I just came upon a couple verses of rather appropriate scripture, some prayerful words ascribed to the prophet Daniel, when Israel was suffering the consequences of one of their disobedient spells; seventy years of captivity in Babylon. 

Daniel prayed: ‘O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city (Jerusalem) which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do (listen and act); defer (delay) not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.’ (Dan. 9:18-19) 

Yeh friends, it seems that it’s only in our dark and dreary times that we remember the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And so it is in these times, many who had turned away from God, for whatever reason, are now crying out to him for help and succour as they go through unprecedented and very unfavourable times. And those of us who have remained faithful and steadfast during the exodus from God’s fold, we too need to get very prayerful. As Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-19) 

Ah mih people, those are not easy rules to follow, but if we want to be successful in this life, we ought to follow them as best we can, obviously with the Lord’s help. Hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘5:17. Pray without ceasing… the believer ought to remain in an attitude of prayer though not always praying audibly.’ That means praying at intervals throughout the day. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s not a matter of giving thanks for the adversity, although that will help us grow stronger in faith, but more for the fact that God can bring good from all our adversity. Remember the famous scripture that promises it. ‘And we all know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) So we need to be prisoners of hope and hang in there. And as per quenching God’s Spirit, we must ‘not stifle, suppress or hinder the Spirit’s workings by stopping Him from leading us to rejoice (vs. 16), to pray (vs. 17), to give thanks in adversity (vs. 18).’ 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, it’s in those times of dire need that we need to listen to the Spirit’s leading and guiding more than ever. So let’s put some of that into action right now nuh, by going to God in prayer and supplication, making our needs, wants, fears and anxieties humbly known to Him through our Friday Chant. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh 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!’  

Now if we were really sincere in that prayer, then we need to go out and behave like faithful believers, handle the situation the way Christ desires, so that others can take example from us and come to Him. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but action needs sacrifice…let’s see some works with our faith…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2020 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.     ​Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Oh friends there’s nothing better to awaken to than a clean earth that’s been well washed by divine showers of blessings during the night, and then opens as a bright and sunshiny day. Everything smells fresh and clean and there’s an added sparkle to the morning, as when silver is polished to a heightened state. (smile) Well that’s the kind of day with which we’ve been blessed in my area on this lazy, late summer Saturday. And since it’s Saturday, I guess I should turn my attention to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this first one is certainly interesting: ‘Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.’ Now that’s what you call gospel truth, because none of us ever knows if our next breath may be our last. The Grim reaper can come calling so suddenly, that we need to continually remember the vapour that life is. As James puts it: ‘Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.’ (James 4:14) And Job, when he remonstrates with God, solemnly declares (yeah!): ‘O remember that my life is wind…’ (Job 7:7) 

That just goes to show how frail and uncertain our lives can be. Consequently, this next quote can certainly help us in that regard. ‘If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.’ Ah mih people, those two words, ‘thank you,’ are possibly the best two we can ever say to God or man. Now I’m assuming that the author of that quote doesn’t mean the one single prayer you’ve ever said in your entire life, and that you’ve never said another, (smile) but that ‘thank you’ is the prayer you say continually, and nothing else. 

Under those circumstance I believe that God will be extremely pleased, because all He asks of us is to be thankful and grateful for the life and blessings He’s so generously bestowed on us, especially the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. And as Jesus says, we don’t need to prayer long prayers. ‘But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.’ (Matt. 6:7) Now that doesn’t mean that our every prayer should be only a few words, but generally speaking, babbling on like the heathen are accused of doing, doesn’t mean our prayers will be heard or answered any quicker. 

That leads to the following quote, which does a marvellous job of explaining how our lives ought to be ordered. Listen up carefully. ‘It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.’ Oh friends, oh friends, what wonderful truth is contained in those words, and if we were to ever follow it, our lives would be different like night and day! 

And it’s so sad to realize that the habits of gratefulness and thankfulness are fading fast away from our greedy, selfish, godless and immoral society. For some of us, saying thank you, or showing gratefulness is like pulling teeth without the use of anesthetic! Being grateful for all that we have, or have done, which makes us who we are, has become anathema to our society, and has been replaced by the cult of entitlement. Yes, entitlement now rules the roost my brethren! We are now entitled to everything! 

But let’s remember the immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians nuh: ‘Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18) That means, as the scholars explain: ‘5:17. A believer ought to remain in the attitude of prayer though not always praying audibly.’ ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

And to the Ephesians, re the ways of the believer, Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘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 (reverence) of God.’ (Eph. 5:20-21). Meanwhile to the Colossians, he said: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:17) How much more do we need to hear for it to sink in and take active root in our lives eh my people? 

And this last quote covers, or encapsulates all the others. ‘When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.’ And is that the living truth! My precious people of God, when we begin counting our blessings, instead of our adversity, then the whole mood, mode and tempo of our lives change for the better. Our vibes then become positive and not negative and we look forward to life each and every day, although we know that it won’t always run as smoothly as we desire. 

But that’s the Spirit of God then working in us to lighten and brighten our days. As the song ‘Count Your Blessings’ so wonderfully puts it: ‘Count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings, see what God hath done…’ Why don’t we try doing that today my fellow saints in Christ, rather than dwelling on the negatives in our lives eh? That’s wisdom to the nth degree. And we all know that wisdom is the principal thing. Much LOVE!

…nothing beats a grateful and thankful heart… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2020 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.    ​The fear (reverence, reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 
It’s like a ghost town; like a lockdown in jail! Mama! The whole country is now in a state of near immobility. There’s been directives from the Prime Minister, the Premier, the Mayor, even my City Councillor to shut it down, stay home and practice social distancing. Hn! What a bam bam! Around my house, only the birds are singing, and hopefully the garbage truck will soon pass by to pick up the garbage. Nothing or no one else seems to be moving. I don’t know if our world has ever had so many states of emergencies at the same time, even in times of serious warfare. But that’s what it seems it will take to help defeat this Coronavirus. 

And life is so strange and mankind so foolish, stubborn and full of himself, that I want to share something that if it’s true, and there’s no reason to doubt it, could have avoided a lot of this disaster. It’s a video of an apparent warning from Bill Gates, back in 2015, at a conference about the Ebola Virus; another virus that caught us flat-footed and without any protection.  His words were: ‘Today, the greatest risk of global catastrophe doesn’t look like this…’ and the video shows a huge nuclear cloud mushrooming in the atmosphere. ‘Instead, it looks like this…’ and the video shows a microscopic enlargement of a germ cell. 

‘If anything kills over ten million people over the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes. Now part of the reason for this is that we’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents, but we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic! You can have a virus where people feel well enough while they are infectious that  they get on a plane or they go to a market. The source of the virus could be a natural epidemic like Ebola or it could be bio-terrorism. And so there are things that would literally make things a thousand times worse. 

In fact, let’s look at a model of a virus spread through the air, like the Spanish flu back in 1918. So here’s what would happen: It would spread throughout the world very very quickly…’ And a graph comes up showing how quickly the virus spread back then – some 36 million in 263 days – ‘And you can see that over 30 million people died from that epidemic. So this is a serious problem. We should be concerned. But in fact we can build a really good response system. We have the benefits of all the science and technology that we’ve talked about here. 

We’ve got cell phones, to get information from the public and to get information out to them; we have satellite maps, where we can see where people are, and where they’re moving; we have advances in biology that should dramatically change the turn around time to look at a pathogen and be able to make drugs and vaccines that’s fit for that pathogen. So we can have tools, but those tools need to be put into an overall global health system…and we need preparedness. The best lessons I think on how to get prepared, are again what we do for war. 

For soldiers, we have full time – waiting to go. We have reserves that can scale us up to large numbers and NATO has a mobile unit that can deploy very rapidly. NATO does a lot of war games to check, are people well trained, that they understand about fuel and logistics and the same radio frequencies, so they are absolutely ready to go. So those are the kinds of things we need to deal with an epidemic. And what are the key pieces? Our first is, we need strong health systems in poor countries. That’s where mothers can give birth safely, where children can get all their vaccines, but also where we’ll see the outbreak very early on. 

We need a medical reserve corps; lots of people who’ve got the training and background; who are ready to go with the expertise. And then we need to pair those medical people with the military; taking advantage of the military’s ability to move fast, do logistics and secure areas. We need to do simulations; germ games, not war games, so that we see where the holes are. The last time a germ game was done in the United States was back in 2001, and it didn’t  go so well. So far the score is germs one, people zero. Finally we need lots of advance R&D in areas of vaccines and diagnostics. There are some big breakthroughs like the adeno associated virus that could work very quickly. 

Now I don’t have an exact budget for what this would cost, but I’m quite sure that it’s very modest compared to the potential harm. The world bank estimates that if we have a worldwide flu epidemic, global wealth will go down by over three trillion dollars, and we’d have millions and millions of death. These investments offer significant benefits beyond just being ready for the epidemic; the primary health care, the R&D, those things will reduce global health equity and make the world more just, as well as more safe. 

So I think this should absolutely be a priority. There’s no need to panic. We don’t have to hoard cans of spaghetti, or go down into the basement, but we need to get going, because time is not on our side. In fact, if there’s one positive thing, that can come out of the Ebola epidemic, is that it can serve as an early warning, a wake up call to get ready. If we start now, we can be ready for the next epidemic. Thank you!’ 

Ah mih people, what words of wisdom eh! But the sad part is that we never took Bill’s advice. Now if we don’t take the advice of the richest and one of the most powerful men in the world, who’s are we going to take eh? You can say all you want about him, and how he got his wealth and how he can afford to sit in his ivory tower and talk, but like a prophetic warning, his words have come through, a mere five years later. And we were not ready! And besides, the virus is not a respecter of persons, it takes both the rich and powerful as well as the poor and needy. 

So we’ll see oodles of deaths, let’s hope not millions, and the world economy has already been devastated, by more than 3 trillion, since most things and places around the world have been shut down. What’s the next step eh? We now fighting to do the R&D, and hopefully sometime develop a suitable vaccine, but all of that takes time, and until then, people will die, and the world will become more like a death camp and poverty stricken place than a thriving and prosperous hotspot. 

Oh my people, it’s the same thing with the warnings in the Good Book: tribulation and calamity will befall us if we don’t reverence, worship and obey our Creator. Cousin Sol said it in spades: ‘The fear (reverence, reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s why we find ourselves in disasters such as these. But our foolishness, and consequently our calamities, can be minimized, if we will follow true wisdom and turn to our great, forgiving and merciful God in prayer. 

Friends, it’s our ONLY hope! Even if we find an antidote for this current virus, something else will soon assault us if we don’t get ready for it with constant and sincere prayer. So please, I implore us, not only in these calamitous times, but when they pass. ‘To pray without ceasing. And in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18) Much LOVE!

…there’s lots of truth to the old saying…if you don’t hear…you’re going to feel…

P.S. Yes I know it’s long and late, but I got up late, and the warning might be a tad late for now, but if we survive this, there will be a next time. So let’s be wise and learn from it nuh! Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2020 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.    ​And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).
 
So we starting off the week in panic mode eh, because of the Corona virus… Almost everything shut down…and in many countries too. And on a point of interest, I wonder how the Corona Beer is doing in these times eh? (smile) Is it selling more or less? Are they still producing it? Strange, but I haven’t seen or heard any mention of that in any of the many news reports. 

But seriously though, what’s going to happen now eh? Who knows? Only the Most High God! And very few of us seem to be paying Him any attention at all. What a pity, because He is the One who holds everything in the palms of His hands. In times of panic we’re supposed to run to our Maker, but too many of us seem to be running elsewhere! But, as with most things, when we finally run out of our own solutions, we usually turn to Him as a last resort, instead of the First Resort! 

Anyhow, be that as it may, the situation’s so bad that some of us don’t have any jobs to go to, especially if you’re part of the gig economy and your place of employment is shut down due to government edict, and if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Hn! What a bam bam eh! Some of us with full time jobs might be blessed enough to get paid to stay home, but I believe that will most likely be the minority. And for those of us who must go out into the fray… Oh, we can’t call it that any longer, since half the world is locked up inside, (smile) many are frightened because of the possibility of contracting the virus from others we meet. 

So what’s the solution eh? That ought to be obvious. We were just talking about our First Resort in times of trouble…the Lord God Jehovah, call on Him for help, turn to Him in sincere prayer. It’s been the number one resort since our faith was born. And hear the Lord to Cousin Sol nuh, when they dedicated the first temple: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr. 7:14-15) 

And that promise still stands firm and faithful to this day. Listen to the scholars. ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’ Ah friends, what more can I say eh, especially if, as too many of us think, the Old Testament is no longer of any value to us? 

Then I’ll just have to reinforce it with verses from the New Testament! (smile) The first being from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ And Jesus didn’t only talk the talk, He also walked the walk. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) And if you still need convincing (smile), then listen to Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

And if you think that’s a bit much, then let the scholars explain. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to rejoice (vs.16), to pray (vs.17), to give thanks in adversity (vs.18), and by despising prophetic utterances (vs.20) inspired by the Spirit.’ And we won’t worry to get into Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to pray for all men, and all in power, and that men should pray everywhere (1 Tim. 2:1-8), we’ll just get into some prayer of our own. I’ve sort of rejigged our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. (smile) 

So altogether 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’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Some of us still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we know that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to your Word, but we know that you are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we humbly come to you now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as the politicians, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a masterful antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Well that’s the best I could do on short notice. (smile) But please, I beg us to remember that we’ve promised to turn from our evil ways and be more obedient to God’s Word, and if we don’t keep our promise, He’s liable to just let another plague strike the earth, cause He’s still in control of all that happens down here. And remember too that the Lord looks at our hearts, our motives before moving into action, so mere words without sincere, heartfelt motives won’t move Him. Now let’s hunker down and do our part, whatever that might be, faithfully trusting the Lord to do His. Much LOVE!

…prayer…the most powerful tool in our faith box…

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