Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2019 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.    ​I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
 

Good news and bad news friends! The bad news first: My PSA level did not drop to ZERO, as I had desired! But the good news is that it did drop a fair amount, enough for the medics to decide I don’t have to do any more radiation therapy at this time! Wow! Praise His holy Name my people! We will just monitor it and see how it goes over the next few months. 

And in keeping with that fear that so many of us have today, about cancer or whatever else it is that threatens us, in this evil and ungodly world, I have some wonderful news and ideas for us to stay fear free. We’ll begin with this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, appropriately titled ‘Fear Not.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear Not.” Surely you would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would you command it so explicitly If you could not keep me from fearing. God, You have given me a Fear not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. 

Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. Lord, when David cried to You You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than you were to David.’  

And no my people, if you cry out to Him, He will not be less kind to you than He was to Bruh David! The important thing is to take it all to Him, cast all your care and fear upon Him, for He cares for you! As you can see He’s already provided all the ‘Fear Nots.’ Now it’s we who must make the next move and come to Him in heartfelt sincerity and truth, so that He can bless and restore us. 

And to add to all that, let’s listen to Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional as he talks about ‘Courage from Faith.’  He says: ‘The Bible is filled with commands to be courageous. Someone counted the “fear nots” in the Bible and discovered that there are 365 verses with this divine command – one for every day of the year! 

Verses such as: ‘Fear not…When you pass through the waters…they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned…For I am the Lord you God. I will be with you.’ (Is.45:1-3) ‘Be strong and of a good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ (Josh.1:9) 

‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of LOVE and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’ (Matt.17:20) …Observe now how faith is the force that sets you free to succeed.’ 

Yeh friends, FAITH is the great mover and shaker in a believer’s life! As the Good Book so wisely informs us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

Yeh mih people, it’s all about FAITH! And faith only comes through first believing, then surrendering one’s life to God, then trusting Him to take us through all the rough times we face successfully. Until we totally give up our lives to God, we’ll never be able to have much faith. He wants ALL of us, not bits and pieces that we choose to surrender. He can’t paint a proper picture, or build a perfect structure if we only give Him some of us. 

And even more importantly my people, faith is only built by going through hard times, when we have to buckle down and truly believe His words, ‘DO NOT FEAR!’ And like everything else we do in life, the more we do that, the better we become at it, and the stronger our faith grows! Glory Hallelujah! 

Now hear how Bruh David said it in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the Righteous. ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear (reverence) him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him.’ (Ps.34:4-9) 

Mama Mia! What encouraging words! And remember friends, when Bruh David talks, he doesn’t talk from hearsay, but personal experience. So there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t believe his word and do as he says and did! And now that we’ve conquered our fears, (smile) by completely surrendering our lives to Almighty God, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

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

So having said it, let’s go out now and do it nuh my precious saints of Christ! Much LOVE!

…fear is Satan’s tool…while faith is Christ’s…and that’s undoubtedly the stronger one…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2019 Psalm 55:22.

Psalm 55:22.    ​Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be shaken (moved).
 

And so we move on to Tuesday…  Brother, what a day that turned out to be! Up bright and early, in time to get out and catch the nine o’clock hotel shuttle to the waterfront, although our hotel is right on the waterfront. (smile) But it’s a convoluted trip to get where we wanted to go, to the docks for the ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent some 18 of his 27 years in prison, having been sentenced to life, for treason by the white apartheid government. 

We bought our tickets at the Mandela Waterfront Museum, then had breakfast at a small café nearby. At ten thirty we boarded the small ferry, Sea Princess for the trip across the Cape Town Bay (Atlantic Ocean) to the Island. By the way, the ferry was full. That’s one thing about South Africa; they’re certainly mining the tourism aspects of their first Black President in a big way. That includes the Apartheid Museum in Joburg, which seemed to me to be more of a shrine to Mandela than a history of the fight against apartheid. 

Anyway the ferry trip took approximately thirty minutes to the island. Once there, we boarded a bus for an excursion around the small island, can’t remember the exact size the guide on the bus told us, but definitely not more than about 5 square miles. Apparently the island had been first a leper colony before being turned into a prison. 

Then after the bus tour, we were dropped off at the prison gates, where an ex-prisoner took us on a guided tour of the prison, showing us the old prison enclosures that were supposed to hold thirty something prisoners on double bunks, but often held fifty. That still holds true in many of today’s prisons, where overcrowding is still a serious problem. 

Then we were shown the small cells where Mandela and some of the leaders of his organization spent most of their prison time; a concrete enclosure, possibly six by six, overlooking a courtyard, containing a bunk and a red bucket for waste material. 

It seems that the ex-convict’s return to work as a guide at the prison was very cathartic, purging and cleansing for him. He recalls that on his first day on the job, he didn’t know what to say, but as the people began asking questions, he finally found his voice, until now, his unsettling experience as a prisoner there, doesn’t bother him like it once did. After that we walked back to the dock and boarded the ferry Madiba 1, (Mandela’s Xhosa clan name) and returned to the mainland. 

We got back around minutes to three, and little did we know then that the fun was just about to begin, (smile) because our next stop was supposed to be Table Mountain; that big, awe inspiring block of stone standing at the back of Cape Town, whose top seems absolutely flat when looked at from below. We got a taxi from the docks that drove us up the steep winding road to where the activities actually began. 

That meant joining a long line to purchase tickets, then joining another long one to get into an elevator to get to the cable car station. Once there, you then had to wait for one of the two cars to come back down from the brow of the mountain, because there seems to be only room for one at a time at the top. From down there though, against the great expanse of stone, the cars looked like playthings moving up and down on bits of small string. 

But they were actually big and solid, the bottom parts painted red, while the top was made of solid glass, holding at least twenty people, riding on solid cables of some strong substance. And as you went up or came down, the flooring slowly spun around, allowing a good overall look at the breathtaking landscape. And the top of Table Mountain is not flat at all! (smile) It’s hilly and rocky! 

But they have trails around which you can walk and see Cape Town and its environs down at the bottom, or the conjunction of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on the other side. And the ole fella, with an extraordinary burst of energy, climbed all over and around it. (smile)  Any, which way you take it though, the sight is indeed breathtaking! And the South Africans not making joke with their tourism nuh, for as you walk around, there are several small glass enclosures at the top telling you about the history of the mountain and it’s colourful flora and fauna. 

The sad part though is that we had to wait some forty minutes, join another long line, to catch the cable car back down. By then it was after six, possibly closer to seven. Our taxi dropped us back at the waterfront, where there’s this big mall. Obviously the duchess wanted to go and look around, but I stopped in at Musica, a music shop, where a wonderful lady called Mary began playing me some wonderful South African Music. 

As I told her, I couldn’t come to South Africa and not get some South African music, especially after berating my young daughter for not bringing any for me on her trips to the Motherland. So there I was standing with earphones on my head, listening as the lady played. And each one she played, I told her to put that aside, and the pile slowly grew. 

Some one hour later, I looked around and saw the duchess standing next to me. Obviously she wasn’t thrilled because she had been waiting for me down the mall. But she knows that the music always comes first! Eventually though I bought a whole pile of C.D’s, won’t say how much, or at what price, so some people won’t get on my case, (smile) but I’ve got plenty of good listening ahead of me. 

Then we went down to the other end of the mall, ate some Thai food, then got the 9.15 shuttle back to the hotel and bed. Oh one other beautiful sight I forgot to mention: on looking out of my room, the harbour looks like a necklace of jewels with all the bright lights shining around it, and the marina right at the foot of the hotel. 

Oh friends, that was indeed one of the best, the busiest and most interesting days of my life. And I know some of you who know me personally, and know that I’ve been frail and sickly the last three years, must be wondering how I did all of that without falling down. Well it’s best said first by the words of Bruh David in Psalm 55: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be shaken (moved).’ 

And secondly from the oh so appropriate words of the poem ‘Footprints’ by Margaret Fishback Powers: ‘He whispered. “My precious child, I LOVE you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings When you saw only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you.’ And all I can say to that is a loud and proud ‘Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, for when I look back at that day, I’m sure that only one set of footprints was visible on the path that I trod, because the Lord physically carried me! Wow! He’s ever so good to those who LOVE and trust Him! 

Now let’s go home acknowledging who and whose we are through our Tuesday mantra: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And now, if we’re sincere, we’ll go out and do just that! Much LOVE!

…by sincerely trusting our heavenly Father…we can do so much more…more than we can ever ask or imagine…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2019 Isaiah 40:11.

Isaiah 40:11.    ​He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Good news people! Today’s Tuesday! Wow! That means the frustrating and oftimes emotionally negative day called Monday is past and gone, now confined to the dustbin of history, and we can therefore move on without any fear or anxiety about it…at least for another week! (smile) Yeh, a brand new day on God’s great earth has blossomed, for which we ought to be eternally grateful. 

Now here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that highlights some of our problems, but then shows us the answer to them all. It is appropriately titled: ‘I Keep Running Back to You.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You know how it is with me, Lord: So often I mess up my days. I judge harshly I am critical and obstinate I waste time and energy I blame others for my failure. There are people I try to avoid And tasks I try to evade And when I can’t have my own way I sulk in my own little corner. Lord, I even turn my back on You To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

Then finally I get fed up with myself. The intolerable loneliness frightens me And I can no longer endure my shame. It always happens, Lord – I keep running back to You! Where else can I go? Who else understands me so well Or forgives me so totally? Who else can save me from foolish pride? No one, Lord, but You. So thank You for accepting me For LOVING me For always welcoming me. I just can’t help it, Lord I keep running back to You!’ 

And my fellow believers that’s just wisdom at it’s highest level! For there’s NO ONE like our great, merciful and LOVING God, who is willing to accept us just as we are! And He’s even happier than us when we come running back to Him, because remember His ultimate desire is that He loses not a SINGLE ONE of His most precious creation to the evil and satanic realm! 

That’s why Isaiah proclaimed in his writings these wonderful words of hope and encouragement: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ Mama Mia! How can you not want to be a child of Almighty God with such awesome promises being made eh? 

And furthermore, we know that the Lord never breaks any of His promises, He keeps every single one, which means that offer of shepherd-like care and LOVE are not just empty words, but a most generous enticement and welcome to His wonderful fold! And there are so many scriptures that portray our great God as a wonderful and caring shepherd that today I just want to share a few of them. 

And we all know the most popular one; those remarkable words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) Oh friends, those few, simple but endearing and enduring words say it all! With God being our shepherd we’ll never want for any good thing! 

And Jeremiah joyfully declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (ends, lands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.’ (Jer.31:10-11) 

Ah mih people, although the Lord punished Israel for their abominable sins, His LOVE for them was so great, He promised to gather the remnant and bring them back to their homeland and treat them like a caring shepherd. What other supposed God is so magnanimous eh? NONE but ours! 

Meanwhile Ezekiel confirms: ‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep). And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek.34:22-24) 

And lest you think that that’s all Old Testament stuff, hear the realization of all those promises from the One and Only, Jesus Christ Himself, as He rightly and righteously proclaims: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And so He did my brethren! And so He selflessly and sacrificially did! 

And as He further declares: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:14-16) 

Yes friends, that’s us, Gentiles, non-Jews, that Jesus is referring to there! Please note He didn’t forget about us, but very much included us in His all-encompassing flock!  One flock, and One shepherd! That’s all that’s needed when our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is so great and wonderful! Are you hearing His voice today people? Are you heeding His shepherd’s call? I certainly hope so, since your eternal destiny depends totally on it! End of sermon! (smile) 

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

And if we’re truly sincere, then let’s go out and share that awesome and amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others who don’t know it nuh. That’s our bounden duty and Great Commission! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a sheep…then you need a shepherd…and the best there is…His name is Jesus…

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

And then it was Tuesday – the day after the ever-difficult day of Monday! (smile) Hope that all is well this morning and that we have less difficulty going out today than we did yesterday. But the problem is that difficulties have a way of helping us to grow, for when we just enjoy the good life we don’t grow in Christ at all. 

And this morning I have a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional that reminds us of the sublime purpose of difficulties in our lives. He calls it ‘To Face Difficulties.’

 Please pray with me. ‘Truly, Father, all things work together for good to those who LOVE You. Thank you for the difficulties that produce divine dividends. I know that pain is only a phase of the growing process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it ruptures into new life. I know that I build hard muscles in my heart, mind, and body only when I lift heavy loads. 

I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that could be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. 

I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life. I thank you for heartbreak which caused me to bury the hatchet and speak to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen!’ 

And yes friends, only when we can thank the Lord for those difficult times that build our faith and strength and trust in Him can we truthfully say that we’re growing in Christ! That’s Christianity 101! 

That leads me to think of all those believers out in the eastern parts of the world who are currently and constantly suffering persecution for simply believing in Christ, and are steadfastly refusing to renounce His precious name, standing strong through their difficulties, and thus growing in their faith. 

And that’s as opposed to us out here in the free western world where we can worship Christ in peace and freedom, we bitch and complain about every li’l problem and difficulty that crops up in our spoiled, lazy and complacent lives. Chuh! I’m tired hearing supposed Christians complain! And it’s even possible that we complain more than the unbelievers too. We live better than 90 percent of the world, but we also complain more than them. Life is just too nice and easy with us. 

And many believers feel that because they believe in Christ life should be just one, long, sweet, easy walk down the path of righteousness. But friends I have some unfortunate news for us; the path of righteousness  has NEVER, and will NEVER be a sweet, easy walk! Just check out what Jesus had to go through nuh. And though we won’t go through as rough a time as He did, it certainly won’t be all wine, women and song! 

Because it’s only when we face rough and tough times that we can grow, through having to actually exercise our faith and trust in Christ Jesus, our supposed Lord and Saviour! The same way we build physical muscles by lifting heavy weights, the same way we need to face difficulties to build our Christian faith! But unfortunately, too many of us are so weak and wimpy that it makes Jesus shake His head in disappointment. 

Please remember Jesus’ serious words to the disciples: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Yeh friends, in Jesus’ own inimitable style, He tells us the bad news along with the good, in one verse of scripture. Life will be rough, but settle down, look up, and be at peace, because I have already given you the victory. But so many of us are so spineless that we whimper and cry at the first sign of difficulty. 

But hear how Bruh Paul told it to Timothy: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:12) And Bruh Paul was an excellent example of those words. We wouldn’t have the wonderful news of Christ’s gospel today if he had simply refused to go through the numerous difficulties he faced in spreading it. 

And long before Bruh Paul, Bruh David said it thus: ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.’ (Ps.34:19-20) And Bruh David also knew what it was to face stormy times, but such was his trust and faith in the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he never wavered from it, even when his life was on the line. 

So my fellow believers, it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong and steadfast when difficulties come along, because we know that the Lord will never leave nor forsake us in the midst of them, but better still, He will help us to go through the fire and the flood and come out even stronger and more faithful than when we entered the time of storm! Now that’s a convoluted sentence of which Bruh Paul would be proud! (smile) 

But hear his famous words on the subject to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:37) And indeed we are! Glory be mih breddren! Rejoice and shout for joy because our Jesus has given us the victory! Now let’s go home declaring (yo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 mih people, let’s do our bounden duty by going out and cheerfully sharing the awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others nuh, as he so desperately desires of us! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Christ…will show their joy and cheerfulness…during times of adversity…because of their overwhelming faith in Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2019 John 13:15.

John 13:15.    ​For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.
 

Oh my people, it’s a perfect beginning to what seems like a perfect day! The sun’s shining ever so brightly although it’s just eight o’clock in the morning, merrily reflecting off every possible surface. I was quite surprised at how bright it looked when I went outside a short while ago. And the temperature is nice and comfortable, so let’s hope it will continue like that all day. 

But the most important thing is that we’re alive to enjoy it! Yeahhh! Through God’s LOVING grace, mercy and forgiveness, we’re still around to enjoy another memorable day! Wow! Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow saints in Christ for being so wonderful to us when we don’t deserve any of it. 

But most of all, we have to give Him thanks for His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made right with the Father! Glory to God! That’s why the Daily Bread Devotionals could tell us: ‘In a world filled with heartache, we can model the compassion of Jesus.’ And furthermore: ‘We serve Christ when we serve people!’ 

Words of gospel truth my brethren! Jesus is the most worthwhile example of all that we should aspire to be! Yes, we can never be truly like Him, be perfect in every way, because of our inherent sinful nature and His accompanying deity, but we can certainly try to get as close as possible to perfection in our humanity. And serving others while having a heartfelt compassion for mankind are possibly the two most important ways we can model Him. 

Oh, we won’t forget spreading His gospel, but people are more receptive to that good news when we first assuage their physical wants. Meaning, if someone’s hungry, before we begin preaching, we should first feed them. And likewise, if they are naked, clothe them first before trying to shove the gospel down their throats. 

And unfortunately that’s a mistake we often make. We reach out to the impoverished, both in body and spirit, but we put the gospel first. But as Sparrow once said in a calypso, ‘Yuh can’t make LOVE on an empty belly!’ (smile) And that goes for almost every other situation. You’re not receptive to much of anything if you’re cold and hungry. So please, in our own li’l worlds or spheres of influence, let’s try and satisfy the physical needs of others before we begin preaching to them nuh. 

And sadly, there are so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in these supposedly prosperous times who are suffering severe and serious want, especially with all the natural disasters, like flood and famine and sickness, plus rampant greed and strife that’s occurring all over our world in these last troubled and trying days. 

And I just came upon a most interesting and ever so applicable statement of Bruh Paul’s to the Philippians, when he promised to send Timothy to help them in their faith walk. ‘For all seek their own, not the things which are Christ’s.’ (Phil.2:21)  Yes friends, in this age of me, mine and my own, everyone is more concerned about seeking their own needs and wants than those of Christ. 

But remember He said that if we seek first His kingdom and the things that are important to Him, we would be granted all the other ancillary stuff. (Matt.6:33) Sadly though, very few of us really pay attention to those words and instead run off to do what we think is best for us. But I’m straying from the original topic; servanthood amongst the followers of Jesus. 

Friends, we ought not to be too proud to do whatever job is necessary, even if it’s the most menial of jobs, like sweeping the floors or cleaning the toilets. And again in Jesus, we have the best example possible, when He washed the feet of His disciples. That was possibly one of the most menial jobs in Israel in those days, reserved for slaves, since they wore sandals and their feet were always dusty and dirty. 

But Jesus stripped Himself at the Last Supper, the Feast of the Passover, took a basin of water and washed every disciple’s feet. Why? Listen to His reasoning. ‘Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master (Teacher) and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 

If I then, your Lord and Master (Teacher), have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord (master); neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’ (John 13:12-17) 

Ah friends, as always, Jesus gives us some dynomite examples to follow! And is that one about doing menial jobs ever so applicable in these days, where we all are so proud and hoighty-toighty and only want to do the jobs that the world thinks are so uplifting and convey what it calls success. 

But please remember that though the C.E.O might make the most money and have the biggest say about how to do things, it’s the lowly factory workers who actually do the jobs, make whatever they sell. Without them, he wouldn’t be in His glorified position. Likewise we should never forget the poor and unfortunate around us and not be too big and proud to help them in whatever way they need it, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ was all about. 

And if we want to truly follow His example, then we have to do what He did! And having washed away some of our foolish pride, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole wide world, in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

All together now in strong and sincere 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!’ 

And if we believe it, then let’s follow Jesus’ example and go out and share His amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship! Much LOVE!

…no job…should ever be too menial…for a true believer in Christ…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 July 2019 James 1:19.

James 1:19.    ​Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
 

And then it was Tuesday…Whatever happened to Monday eh – the day that we thought would kill us, that we’d never get through? Ah mih people, like all those other Mondays, which we thought would be so destructive to our psyche and body, it has gone the way of the dodo, spinning uselessly into the annals of History, no more to be seen again! 

Wow! What philosophical enlightenment! (smile) But here is something that we seemingly cannot, or just will not put into practice: ‘A Quiet Tongue!’ This from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I just could not pass it up because it’s so apropos to our loud and oh so talkative times! I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those reminders that we need to hear again and again. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, a revealing fact Began to surface today: I talk more than I listen. I seem to be thoroughly convinced That my ideas My inspiring experiences My bits of wisdom Are exactly what all my friends need. Too often I break into conversations Confident that my enlightened insight Will solve the predicament – Whatever it is. Obviously I feel more comfortable When I’m expounding. 

But this morning at a Bible Study I cringed when I read Your command In the first chapter of James: “Don’t ever forget That it is best to listen much Speak little, and not become angry.” At first I wanted to run. But as the words kept battering away At my guilty heart I finally circled them with red ink. Now, Lord, please help me to obey them. Remind me daily, hourly That listening is a discipline and a discipline always costs. I know I must pay a price. The price for me Is a listening ear And a quiet tongue.’ 

Mama Mia! How true is that of so many of us, believers included! And the sad part is that the sudden surge in communication technology has made it even worse. It’s like a free for all out there now with the advent of social media and all its octopus-like tentacles, reaching into every aspect of modern day society and creating such a loud, ear–hurting noise that many of us have to run from it. Or we’d be wise to run from it. 

We talk so much that half the time we don’t even know or understand what we’re saying. But you can’t say that to anybody, because we all feel we’re so knowledgeable about whatever situation we choose to expound on. The truth is though, that most of us don’t know a blooming important thing about most of the things we choose to expound on! (smile) 

And we’d be so much better off if we’d just shut up for a while and listen, that’s listen attentively, rather than talk, than break into conversations that we know li’l if anything about. What a quiet and wonderful place our world would be if only Christians did that eh! And it’s not like that the Good Book has not commanded us to do so. But who listens to the Good Book nowadays eh, unless it’s something that’s convenient for us eh? 

And the Bible verse for our poem and our Bit for today is that of James’ awesome warning. ‘Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) And is that ever so true friends! 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars on those two verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ That’s stuff we’d do well to read and put into practice! ‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ 

You can’t dispute that friends. But who listens nowadays eh? Not too many of us, since we all want to be the focus of everybody else’s attention! But hear these wise words from Cousin Sol nuh: ‘In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.’ (Prov.10:19) Gospel truth that! The more we talk the more chance we have of committing sin. 

And then there’s this: ‘He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent (calm) spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace (keeps silent) is counted (considered) wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.’ (Prov.17:27-28) 

Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, what wonderful words of wisdom and advice from the supposedly wisest man that ever lived; Cousin Sol! Please, please, let’s wake up and take it nuh, because we’re talking ourselves into more and more difficulties and disasters every day. Just listen to the explosive rhetoric that’s being passed back and forth by our world leaders today nuh; it’s nothing but ammunition for anger, strife and war, of which we already have more than enough in this troubled world. 

So I implore us to not heighten the ammunition level, but rather lower it, by talking less and listening more. And now that we’ve taken all of that o heart, written it indelibly in our souls, bodies and minds, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups, wrong again!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

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

And now it’s time for us to go out and share that unconditional, undying LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, as He so greatly desires of us! Much LOVE!

…set a watch (guard), O Lord…before my mouth…keep (watch over) the door of my lips… (Ps.141:3)

 

 

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