Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2020 Deuteronomy 32:4.

Deuteronomy 32:4.    ​He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 

And so the confusion, the lies, disinformation, false news and whatever continues! I just saw a trailer video of a film supposedly released in 2003, 17 years ago, that talks about all the things that have happened and are happening today: the Coronavirus, lock down, quarantine, chloroquine, etc. etc. And rather astutely, the brown-skinned guy, dressed in a priest’s collar, does not say a word about it, except it was made in 2003 not today. He leaves you to draw your own conclusions. 

So what is one to make of that eh? Is it a man-made plan, an accident, or who knows what? And that is what’s driving the pandemonium in the pandemic – the absence of real truth, too much supposition and theories! But that shouldn’t surprise us when there are supposedly so many different kinds of truth around in these troubled times. I thought there was only one kind of truth; the truth, and there couldn’t be more than one kind, else one would be false, not the truth. If you follow my logic. (smile) 

As the old Oxford dictionary describes it: ‘Quality, state, of being true or accurate or honest or sincere or loyal or accurately shaped or adjusted… in accordance with fact or reality, not fake or erroneous.’ So, apparently, with all the varying info on the same subjects, one can theoretically have several different kinds of truth nowadays. But friends, I’m here to tell us that there is ONLY ONE PLACE one can find TRUTH; real and unvarnished TRUTH! That’s in the Good Book; the Lord’s Law, that was written ages ago and never changes. The Lord God of Israel is the embodiment of TRUTH! 

Moses said it in His song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children (they are not his children because of their blemish): they are a perverse and crooked generation.’ (Deut. 32:3-5) 

And believe me, with all the current havoc and confusion, it’s only in the God of Israel, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that real truth can now be found, through the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He said it as plain as day: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Yes friends, no one comes to the Father, the One real, true and living God, but through the Son, Jesus Christ! 

And that’s where our truth begins! Anything else that doesn’t correlate with that is a lie! And it’s strange how down through the years many of the writers of the Bible spoke about truth, or even more about the lack of it. Cousin Sol in Proverbs advised us to: ‘Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.’ (Prov. 23:23) That’s how important those things are in our lives. We’ve got to get them and not lose them because they are the things that lead to a rich and fulfilling life. But our world, since way back when, has always seemed to resist truth. 

Hear Isaiah as he talks about national corruption and consequent suffering. ‘None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble or evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:4) Oh my people, my people, is it possible that Isaiah is alive and well today? One could be led to think so since all those things he talks of in olden Israel are also rampant today. Injustice, corruption, lies, evil doing, as well as empty words and promises describe our world to a T! 

But please remember what Isaiah was talking about; national corruption, and consequent suffering. And if you don’t think the consequential suffering has begun with this pandemic thing affecting the whole corrupt world, then good for you. And if you don’t believe Isaiah, then perchance you might belief Jeremiah, as he declares (yeahh!) that disobedience brings God’s judgement… 

Ah Lord eh friends! The computer might be a God-send, but it’s also a tool of the enemy. Some forty five minutes ago, I was going along quite well and was typing Jeremiah’s opening statement when something made me look up. And lo and behold I saw just four inverted commas on the page and nothing I had typed about Jeremiah. Then I couldn’t delete them or type anything else. I called my young daughter for help, but she couldn’t help me either. She suggested shutting it down, but that didn’t work. And when I shut it down a second time I could not even type in the password to get on. Steups! 

So finally, I had to come up and resort to my lonely and hardly used laptop, so I could continue. Satan truly knows how to get under one’s skin yes. But thankfully I didn’t lose my cool. Yes, I was annoyed, but with God’s help, kept my peace, cause the devil’s purpose was obviously to steal my joy since I was talking about so much truth. (smile) So let’s hear, finally, what Jeremiah has to say nuh: ‘Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 

And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord. Take ye heed every one of his neighbour (friend), and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour (friend) will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.’ (Jer. 9:2-5) 

And it is indeed sad that all that stuff is still happening in our world. Consequently, we have to be ever so careful of whom we associate with, what we watch and listen to. It’s a full time job just to winnow the chaff from the grain nowadays. Instead friends, we must do like the psalmist did in Psalm 119, cry out to God for help. 

‘My soul melteth (weeps) for heaviness (grief): strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgements have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.’ (Ps. 119:28-32) And friends, if we’re sincere in all we say and do, then the Lord will help us, not put us to shame and enlarge our hearts! 

So let’s go home this Wednesday morning declaring (yeahh!) our Wednesday Wail nuh, letting all the doubters and unbelievers know of our safe, secure and truthful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong voice 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 we know with indisputable truth, that if we persist and endure to the end, those words will indeed come true! Much LOVE!

…it cannot be truth…if it doesn’t agree with the Good Book…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2020 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.    ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.
 
Come Easter Saturday morning, me and my friends, will be heart-broken, thinking of Jesus, His beaten and battered body buried in the tomb, but whose awesome spirit is fighting the devil in hell, so that He can return triumphant on Easter Sunday! Oh glory to God my faithful brethren! He’s such a wonderful God, and LOVES us much that He gave His only Son to die to atone for our sins on that horrible but blessed day called Good Friday! 

And it is always worth noting, that though we’re sorrowful for the abuse, injustice and terrible ‘sufferation’ Jesus experienced on our behalf yesterday, without Good Friday, we would never be able to have the joyous resurrection of Easter Sunday, and thus the amazing promise of eternal life! And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful cheer of ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy and LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s turn now to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says it in spades: ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ And is that ever so true my fellow believers! The seeds of our today doing will be the ones we reap henceforth. As we all know, we reap whatever we sow, and as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ 

And ain’t that the gospel truth! Have you ever noticed how much harvest we receive even though we only sow a few seed? Well that’s exactly what will happen to us, with whatever we sow today, good or evil, LOVE or hate. It will be multiplied and measured back to us several fold. So please, lets pay close attention to what we sow today, for it will certainly boomerang on us tomorrow. 

And here’s another nugget of truth: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.’ That’s for certain sure! We like to give it a fancy name like procrastination, but it’s usually an act of laziness, or fear, as we just don’t want to face the problems that have come against us. I can testify to the laziness aspect. (smile) And the truth is, if we just ramp up our efforts and deal with the problems in a timely and effective manner, most of them will quickly go away, for most problems are never as insurmountable as they seem when we shy away from them. 

Therefore, this next quote is rather timely. ‘Don’t brood. Get on with living and LOVING. You don’t have forever.’ And isn’t that what many of us are finally finding out with the Covid-19 pandemic that’s clutching tenaciously at our throats? We can’t allow life to pass us by without making significant efforts to throttle it and keep it in line. We must LIVE and LOVE as though there was no tomorrow! And who knows if there will be eh? 

But still so many of us refuse to do what is necessary to survive, or at least have a reasonable chance of surviving. There is still too much doubt, denial, confusion and totally different messages prevailing amongst the top echelons in our society, so what can we expect from the lower rungs eh, but the same negative behaviour. 

Then there’s this: ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to LOVE yourself to get anything done in this world.’ I don’t know how much truth there is that statement nuh, although I suspect there is some. The long and short of the story though is that Jesus said: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yuh see friends, LOVE for God ought ALWAYS to be first place! And you’ll notice that LOVE for self runs a distant third, because we need to LOVE our neighbours after we LOVE the Lord. The only mention of LOVE for self there is in the context of LOVING our neighbours.  How much we LOVE others, will be in direct proportion to how much we LOVE ourselves! The truth being that we can’t LOVE anyone, or can only LOVE them as much as there is LOVE in our own hearts. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say on the subject: ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! If you don’t have LOVE in your heart, you obviously can’t give it away! That brings us to this amazing quote: ‘Keep LOVE in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’ And don’t I ever know that! Oh friends, LOVE is the most important thing in the world, as Jesus reminded us above. LOVE for God, our neighbours and ourselves! For LOVE is truly what makes the world go around! 

As John so clearly tells us in his epistle. ‘BELOVED, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But the scholars clarify that by stating: ‘In context, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is somehow a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor. 13).’  

Thus the LOVE we’re talking about here is that which is securely entwined with true belief in Jesus Christ. And thus John could continue: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘AMEN!’ 

And we’ll close with this reminder from the scholars, re that verse. ‘John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’ 

And that’s why sin had to be justly paid for, before forgiveness could be bestowed. Much LOVE!

…but the greatest of God’s attributes is…LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2020 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 
Well it’s Wednesday; the middle of the work week, the hump day, where we feel like we’ve finally gotten hold of, gotten over that invisible hump, where work takes up most of our time. But work certainly takes up most of our time in this life yes! Most of us work five days a week for an average of forty years, then we retire, thankful that there’s no work on the horizon, the early mornings and late nights are finally done! 

But yuh know what? After doing something for forty years it’s hard to get accustomed to not doing anything, to not have to get up and go to work every day, although we complained most days about having to get up and go to work! Hn! And if we just loll about in retirement and don’t keep busy, then our bodies give up and we head back to the dust from which we’ve come, sooner than expected. We’re creatures of habit. That’s the contrariness of the human animal! (smile) 

And I finally finished watching the second half of the movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it is indeed an epic story. But if the truth be told, nothing has really changed in our world since then nuh; that civil  war didn’t solve a whole lot, possibly besides the end of slavery, because there have been several bigger and more brutal wars since then, there’s still too much racism, overt and covert, still too much avarice and greed and jealously and strife, too much poverty and sickness and advantage, too much injustice and discrimination, be it by race, colour, class or creed, despite all the supposed advances we’ve made! 

Yes friends, our world is still a hotbed of dissension and disagreement! And yuh know what? It’s getting worse! Just look around at all the discontent between friends and families, between neighbours and nations…we’ve come closer together in terms of distance and communication, but we’ve gotten further apart in terms of true fellowship. There are more lonely people around now even with the advent of cell phones and social media, because that communication is basically impersonal; half the time you don’t even know who you’re really dealing with. 

Oh my people, the ONLY true solution to what ails our world is JESUS! He is the ONLY ONE who can truly bring us all together and give us the peace, LOVE and joy that we all seem to clamour for, but are far from experiencing! But strangely enough, Jesus is also one of the biggest factors of contention in our world; you either LOVE Him or hate Him with a passion! 

But let me ask you a few questions? Who is the ONLY ONE that came down from heaven, was made man, made in our image and lived amongst us like us eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died on a cross to take away our sins, to give us another option besides hellfire and damnation with Satan eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died and rose from the grave and ascended back into heaven with the promise to come back for us when we have made disciples of all the nations so that nobody will be lost to Beelzebub eh? JESUS CHRIST! 

Oh precious people, who said these momentous words with this awesome promise? ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh friends, Jesus had no cause to lie. They saw Him do numerous miracles. They saw Him crucified on the cross at Calvary, then rise up again. Yuh think if the early believers didn’t see Christ after He rose from the dead, they would have believed him and done what He asked and waited for Him? No way Jose! 

Hear the scholars: ‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.’ And a great shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’ echoes far and wide across the land in anticipation of that most wonderful promise! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who desires to build a group of people, His church, on the basis of LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness and temperance (self-control). And if you didn’t recognize them, they are the fruit of the Spirit, seeds of which are planted in our own spirit when we do the wise thing and receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour. It’s then left up to us to water and nurture them and let them grow in and through us, by reading His Word and sincerely living it. 

That’s why Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them,’ speaking of false prophets and evil deceivers. (Matt.7:20) A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. And we need to also remember these famous words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13). 

Yes brothers and sisters, LOVE is indeed the greatest, because God is LOVE, and LOVE does no harm, but covers a multitude of sins, neither is there any fear in LOVE! And if  God first LOVED us, then we should also LOVE Him, and LOVE one another too: those are His two greatest desires! And now that all of that is indelibly written in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, let’s go home celebrating our position in Christ by declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail. 

Altogether now, in strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘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 in light of all Jesus has promised, friends, it will certainly be a glorious future indeed! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the answer to EVERYTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2020 Psalm 71:23.​

Psalm 71:23.    My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
 
And another Sunday has dawned; wet and icy and dark in the Greater Toronto Area! We did get that rain storm that was promised, and sincerely hope that it soon peters out to dry weather, because it has caused some damage in several areas. Unfortunately, I know that the inclement weather is going to be used as a convenient excuse not to attend the Lord’s sanctuary today and fellowship with other believers. 

But friends, we’re only doing ourselves a serious injustice when we stay away from church, unless it’s for a very good reason. That’s because we miss the camaraderie, the encouragement, the praise and thanksgiving, and the hearing of the Lord’s uplifting and guiding Word that such fellowship entails, and which allows us to leave the proceedings filled with trust and confidence in our omnipotent God! But to each his own. And as always, we’ll get the celebrations going with a song of praise. 

And today’s song is a wonderful one, officially titled ‘Hymn of Joy,’ but which most of us know as ‘Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,’ from its first line. Apparently it was a poem written by minister Henry van Dyke in 1907, inspired by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, with the intention of musically setting it to the famous “Ode to Joy” melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s final symphony, Symphony No. 9. 

Van Dyke explained the hymn thus: ‘These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ And therefore rather appropriate for today’s gathering! So let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony to heaven, with joy, hope, trust and overwhelming sacrifices of praise in our mouths and our hearts. 

As one awesome choir now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, Lift us to the joy divine. Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life. You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore Thee, Lord of mercy and of grace…We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy…’ 

And does our great and wonderful God ever bring us joy by the bucketful my faithful brethren! You also see the amazing sentiments we can glean from merely admiring God’s handwork in nature, making the hymn one of the most joyful in our English language hymnal! Oh, friends, our God is indeed exceptional; exuding trust, LOVE, hope and faithfulness in miraculous and enormous quantities! There is none other like Him in this universe precious people! 

That’s why the psalmist who penned Psalm 71 – A prayer for help in old age – could confidently declare: ‘I will praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they (mine enemies) are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps. 71: 22-24) 

Yeh friends, the old man had seen enough of God’s goodness and mercy in his younger days that he had ho hesitation in placing his utmost trust in Him during the winter of his days! Can we say the same thing? I certainly hope so! And just to stir us up some more, (smile) listen to Bruh David as he offers thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 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.103:1-5) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler and more straightforward than that! God’s goodness to the children of men is so wonderful, and the truth is, we don’t deserve any of it. But that’s the kind of magnanimous God He is! So please, I implore us, today, let’s spend some time pondering on His individual goodness and mercy and grace and forgiveness etc. etc. to us nuh, so that our spirits will be refreshed and our trust renewed, and thus give us the courage and confidence to go out and work diligently and excellently for Christ in this upcoming week. Much LOVE!

…remembering God’s goodness in our lives…raises our trust and faith in Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2019 John 13:34-35.

John 13:34-35.    ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.
 

Oh friends, please forgive me for the lateness of the Bit, but the last two days have been pretty hectic, and I’m no longer a spring chicken…not yet old though. (smile) I’ve been trying to burn the candle at both ends, going to bed late, getting up early to write the Bit, then getting out and about for the whole day. Well it’s finally caught up to me. 

Thursday was a cricket match in the neighbouring city of Brampton, and then yesterday, Friday, was a funeral in the eastern city of Ajax, on the other side of Toronto. The turnout was so overwhelming that the big chapel was packed to overflowing and we had to sit in a holding area downstairs and watch the proceedings on close circuit t.v. 

The overlong glowing tributes of our friend made him sound like the perfect man. (smile) But I guess that’s how it is when we bid our friends a final adieu. We don’t recall their faults, just their strong points, like the Lord does in His wonderful forgiveness, casting away our wrongs as far as the east is from the west. 

After the hour and half ceremony we spent another hour in the cemetery, this time in the hot sun. Then we went south to another part of the city for the repast. That was a wonderful time, with good Jamaican fare; curry goat, rice and peas and jerk chicken. But the best part was the renewal of several friendships, with people whom we haven’t seen in ages. 

We were all a part of the young, well-educated West Indian Diaspora who migrated to Canada in the early seventies and changed the face of Toronto, adding vibrancy and colour, both literally and figuratively to a staid, old white town. (smile) People with whom we worked and partied in those long ago, cold, long winter days, but with whom we’d lost touch as the area expanded and we all became immersed in our building our new lives. That’s just the way it is with the big city. 

Unfortunately though, the duchess and I had to eat and run, because there were people back in our town waiting for us to come and pick them up to go to the Pan Competition in the heart of Toronto. So we left there around four, got on the toll road and hustled back home, changed, then hit the road again. Luckily though, for some unknown reason, on a Caribana Friday evening, the traffic into T.O. wasn’t bad, and we made it in time for the seven o’clock start of the pan event. 

That was good too, and better organized than in earlier years, though I don’t understand why they allowed some bands to play two songs and others only one. But the music was excellent. However, it finished around midnight and the duchess and my friends were tired, so we didn’t stick around to hear the results, which I’m sure, caused much dissent, as it usually does. 

But that’s the nature of pan competitions, everybody rooting for their own side, though knowing deep down that they weren’t good enough to win. The long and short of the story though, is that by the time I dropped everybody home, I didn’t get home till after one. And it was close to two before I finally went to bed. So it’s obvious I was late getting up. So that’s my story…and I’m sticking to it. (smile) 

Now let’s see if we can get in some quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.’ That’s certainly interesting and true, because the day you were born and the day you died, don’t really matter. What matters most is what you did in the time period between those two days. And I guess a good example of that are the glowing tributes my friend Linton had at his last celebration yesterday. 

Now listen to this one: ‘Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’ That should be a no- brainer my people, because it’s exactly what Jesus came to help us do; right wrongs, stamp out inequality and injustice, help the weak and fight the strong. So as a believer those things are expected of us. 

Then this quote speaks for itself: ‘When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.’ Ah mih people, I won’t call not giving thanks for all that we have, the good life we’re living, a fault nuh, but utter stupidity! You didn’t give yourself the ability to rise and see a new day, or the breath that’s still flowing through you. 

Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) And to the Thessalonians: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) Yes friends, even though our circumstances may be difficult or unpleasant, it’s our bounden duty to give thanks at ALL times! 

And this last quote says it all: ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in LOVE.’ Oh mih people, LOVE is the transcendent power of the universe! John said it thus: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we also ought to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)  

And Jesus not only gave us a living example of our quote, but also clearly made it known that He expects the same of His followers. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ 

Oh friends, it couldn’t get any clearer or plainer than that! And I’ll leave it there; just let those words speak to our hearts, and let the Holy Spirit convict us as it will, in regards to our LOVE Walk! That’s what it’s there for! Much LOVE!

…hatred stirreth up strifes…but LOVE covereth ALL sins… (Prov.10:12)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

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

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘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 everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

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