Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2021 Hebrews 12:6.

Hebrews 12:6.     ​For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Oh mih people, is J’ouvert morning! So we sing: ‘Mas, mas! Play mas! Mas in yuh mas! Play mas! Ole mas!’ Yes it’s Carnival Monday in T&T, time for plenty fete, much wining and drinking, plenty pretty costume and half-naked women too as Carnival rolls around for 2021. But yuh know what? Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 virus, there’ll be no official carnival this year. Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? And the Police are adamant that they will have no nonsense in the streets, no fetes and liming or any such gatherings. 

According to the newspapers, one high ranking Police official said there must be no paint, powder or mud on the streets… What? So how yuh going to play ole mas eh? (smile) No drunken sailor awash in baby powder; no jab-jab, no red-devil all painted up, blowing His whistle ‘pay the devil;’ no pan on the avenue either? The police officer also claimed that some foolish people are planning to come out for J’ouvert, but those who intend to “test the waters”, they will “drown”. 

Tough words from Babylon. I certainly wouldn’t want to test them, but it is a given fact that some brave, or foolish Trinidadian (take yuh pick) going to ‘test them waters.’ Some die hard fanatic going to claim: ‘No mas! Deh crazy?’ And then come out to prove their point. Make no doubt about it, the police will be busy, because Trinbagonians won’t take their lack of mas very easy and polite. When coming to their carnival, T&T has never been known to be the quiet, obedient type, so my bet is that they going to give Babylon a run for their money. (smile) 

And I searched for a while to find a scripture that could be used in this scenario. Finally, the Lord led me to this one about His discipline. From the author of Hebrews, who quotes Cousin Sol from Proverbs 3:11-12. ‘Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.’ (Heb. 12:4-6) 

Yes precious people, the Lord is a disciplinarian, and there’s nothing wrong with that, as the scholars explain. ‘12:6. Whom the Lord LOVETH, he chasteneth: God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in agreement or harmony) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)” (Prov. 13:24; cf.22:15, 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous (incompatible); they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Ah friends, all of that is oh so true! But unfortunately, our world has gotten so soft and fearful that many of us refused to discipline our children, consequently we have ended up with a lot of undisciplined, entitled, rowdy, selfish, unmannerly children in this generation. And please remember that chastening doesn’t mean abuse, or even necessarily corporal punishment, but it certainly means holding children accountable and finding some useful punishment in cases of gross disobedience. 

Hear how the author of Hebrews continues. ‘If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards (illegitimate) and not sons.’ (Heb. 12:7-8) Oh, we have certainly bastardized a lot of our children by not chastening them for whatever mistaken reasons. 

‘Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not much rather be into subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (what seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.’ (Heb. 12:9-10) 

Yes my brethren, we respected those earthly fathers who disciplined us according to their timetable, so why won’t we accept God’s discipline eh, which is meant for our betterment, so that we can be partakers of his holiness? That’s a very good question? And the answer might just be that we are naturally rebellious and don’t like to be disciplined. But hear this last verse which sets the table right. ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb. 12:11) 

And that does bring the matter to a head: chastening never seems good when it happens, but it’s always useful in the future. In hindsight, many of us parents would now admit that the chastening we received in our youth was indeed beneficial in our older years, so why did we spare the rod and spoil our own children eh? And why are we also disobedient to God eh when He only has good things planned for us? I don’t have answers to those questions, but I do know that the first requirement to fix any of them is going to God in prayer and baring our souls before Him. 

So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit 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 come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, 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 we just have to wait and see the Lord’s response, while being obedient and patient. Much LOVE!

…disobedience…ALWAYS has…negative consequences… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2016 Philippians 2:5

Philippians 2:5.  Let  this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.
 

Well mih people, it’s Monday; Carnival Monday, and the craziness has begun!

 
J’ouvert (the opening) must have been something else, but I did not go to the stuff down at Crown Point here in Tobago, or watch that in Trinidad on the tube. The duchess didn’t want to go and I was somewhat concerned about my left knee, which isn’t as bad as it was a few days ago, but still not as good as it should be.
 
And to tell the truth, what I saw down at Crown Point last year didn’t thrill me; it was just noise and people walking about. The mas wasn’t impressive at all. So I don’t believe I’ve missed anything at all. Hopefully though, by tomorrow my knee will be feeling good enough for me to go into Scarborough and watch some of the Tuesday mas. Obviously it’s not as good or as big as that in Trinidad, but it will do. (smile)
 
Yesterday after writing the Bit, I went up to the Hotel Magdalena for Brunch. They serve a good West Indian brunch on a Sunday. The food was good, but like all the stuff I’ve been eating since I’m here it did not thrill me. For some unknown reason, although they taste good, the victuals just haven’t been turning me on. Most of the time I’m just eating
for eat sake.
Anyway, after that I came back home, bloated and tired, (smile) rested, then watched the 50th Super Bowl. As usual it was more hype than substance. A real ugly game too; too many penalties, turn overs and simply a defensive match up. It might have been good to some, but I like to see offense.
 
Then I watched some under 19 World Cup Cricket, where the West Indies were playing Pakistan in Bangladesh. Now that was more interesting, because the West Indies have a couple of fast bowlers who do look promising for the future. Let’s hope they do live up to that promise, as the West Indies have been at the bottom of the table for far too long.
 
I don’t know how it ended because after falling asleep on myself a couple times, (smile) I went to bed, but the West Indies were in a superior position at the time, so I hope they prevailed and got into the semi-finals.
 
However my people, I know that not all of us have the blessing of no work today, so let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much gusto. And those of you who don’t have to go to work, please lend a healthy enthusiasm to the singing, so that our brothers and sisters who have to go and labour will be truly encouraged.
 
All together 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 have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  
 
That was good my people. Our choirmaster, Jesus, wasn’t thrilled, but satisfied. So those of you who have to work, please go with the Lord and do his bidding with strength and wisdom.
 
Meanwhile, those of us who intend to party, please do so with a modicum of circumspection, heeding Granny’s wise and timely advice: ‘Drunk or sober, please mind your business,’ because this is a time when the ole scoundrel Lucifer is in his element, for he knows that come carnival time, we’re not as careful as we usually are and are more liable to do things we shouldn’t do, and open up a spot for him to invade our souls.
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit which will help us with all those things. ‘Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’
 
And what does that mean. Listen to the scholars: ‘2:5. Let this mind be in you means literally “keep thinking this,” that is, constantly maintain this attitude within yourselves. The “mind” or attitude the Philippians are to maintain is spelled out in verses 2c-4, which constitutes harmonious living. Paul informs his readers that the same attitude of verses 2c-4, which they are to retain within themselves, was also in Christ Jesus.’
 
Ah my brethren, this chapter deals with the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, so before we get to the particular attitude Bruh Paul is asking us to have, let’s put it all in context, so we can better understand it. He begins the chapter thus. ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies.
 
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Phil.2:1-4)
 
Yes friends, those are the basic things Bruh Paul’s talking about when he writes our Bit: Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’ And it is also expected that we will do likewise.
 
Now I don’t want to make the Bit too long, knowing your penchant for sound bites, (smile) so we’ll stop there for today. Tomorrow we’ll get into the meanings of the various words and phrases, so we can better understand what it’s all about. Till then, please walk safely with God, and enjoy your day to the full. Much LOVE!
 
…to become Christ-like…we first have to think like Christ thinks…it all begins in the mind…
 

 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2015 Deuteronomy 16:17‏‏‏‏

Deuteronomy 16:17.  Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee.

Well Friends, it’s Monday once again, but a Monday unlike any other, because while most of you around the world have to get up and go out and labour, in places like Rio, New Orleans and T&T, where I am, it’s supreme party time; Carnival, with all its attendant street parades filled with costumed bands, pounding, blasting music and revellers everlasting!

Yes Friends, in T&T it was J’ouvert morning, or the opening ceremonies for the party on the road. I got up about 3 a.m. having slept through most of the night, and after having a cup of caffeine, went down to the j’ouvert parade with the duchess.

The main road was blocked off by the police so we had to go through the back road. We found a decent spot on the grass shoulder to park, right down Crown Point, next to Store Bay, then went walking along the road back towards the Main Road.

This was about four o’clock and still dark, but the place was already hopping with people, ordinary revellers as well as those playing mas, with music blasting out from business places and trucks ramped to the gills with big speakers.

Brother! I had to get out of range of most of them, for when they passed you, or you passed them, you could feel your soul tremble from the loudness! (smile) Is a wonder I don’t have tinnitus, the music was so loud on my ear drums.

But the duchess seemed to be enjoying herself, taking pictures and grooving to the music, while I was somewhat sour because the music was so loud and nothing was happening to get the parade underway. I thought it was supposed to start at four, but it didn’t get underway till five.

And then there weren’t too many bands; most of them small, with a couple of them between fifty and a hundred participants, one of those being the white people’s band. And don’t fool yuh fat, the white people, both local and foreign, enjoy their mas. Numerous white tourists were also mixed in with the crowd.

Anyway to cut to the chase, when the bands began moving we went back towards where the car was parked since that was where the judging of the bands was taking place. We finally sat down in a bus shelter, just getting up to see the bands when they entered the park. And would you believe it, the ole fella’s body was aching all over from the little exertion.

All told we hadn’t walked more than a quarter of a mile, and I hadn’t been doing any jumping, yet my thighs, my knees and my back were aching, while the duchess was standing strong and partying, especially when she heard her favourite song, ‘Doing it like a boss’ by Machel Montano. That probably will win the Road March title for the tune most played on the road during the two days of carnival.

Anyway, by seven o’clock everything seemed quiet, so we left and came home. As we were leaving, we spoke to a policeman about the situation, and he said that mas in Tobago, in particular Scarborough and Crown Point had seriously deteriorated over the years, and if I wanted to see any of the older stuff, I had to go to Roxborough, where the real mas apparently now takes place.  

Anyway I came home, had breakfast then went back to bed and woke up a few hours later, aching all over. I guess the Lord’s sending me a message that I’m not as strong as I think. That means I have to go to the beach later to get some more therapeutic treatment. (smile)

But enough about my aches and pains, let’s sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much enthusiasm and verve as we can manage. 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 have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’

Ah mih people, that wasn’t such a hot rendition nuh, but it at least got our adrenalin going, and I’m sure the Lord will understand, for He is very good that way. So there’s no excuse for not doing as we just sang, especially when we add our Bit to the sentiments. ‘Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee.’

Oh my people, if we are truly children of Jehovah God, then we should be living to give, to give generously and of a free will, for that’s what is expected of us. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Cousin Sol from Proverbs.

‘There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet (right), but it tendeth (leads) to poverty. The liberal (generous) soul shall be made fat (rich, prosperous): and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.’ (Prov.11:24-26)

And the scholars give an excellent, succinct explanation to all of that. ‘11:24. Scattereth means to be generous in your giving. It can lead to prosperity, but miserliness can lead to poverty.’

And that my brethren is nothing but gospel truth! So therefore I once again encourage us to be generous, share whatever we have with others less fortunate. And regardless of how little we have, there’s always somebody with less than us, so we can’t use the excuse that we only have a li’l bit.

Anyway Friends, that’s it for today. Blessings and God’s LOVE from Paradise, where it’s about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with the sun truly blazing down. But I guess most of you in the North Country would trade your extremely cold weather for this extremely hot one any time. And I wouldn’t blame you. It’s hot like hell, but a cool breeze is always blowing here on God’s Little Acre which minimizes the heat! (smile) Much LOVE!

…to give generously is godly…but to be greedy and miserly is to be Lucifer’s bondservant…