Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2019 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.   And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
 
Home…Home…Home at last! But home sick! Steups! Ah friends, it’s great to be home, but when you come home from vacation sick with an annoying cold it doesn’t help matters at all. You’re already tired from all the vacationing, (smile) and you just want to rest, to put sickness on top of it isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. 

After the long flight and the hassle to get through the airport, I got home around eleven and expected to have a good night’s rest…Hn! What a pipe dream! I was up several times during the night bringing up stuff, my throat was raw, still is, making swallowing a tad difficult. But if one has to be sick, I guess the best place for that to happen is home. 

Home where the heart is! Home where you’re most comfortable and relaxed, be it a humble hovel or a majestic mansion! Something about home just gives one a li’l more assurance in times of trouble or illness. But enough about my woes, (smile) it’s Friday and the workingman is waiting to sing his song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Good Friday…that means the long Easter weekend! Mama Yo! Party fuh so! And the weather should be good! Good thing that Easter fall so late this year yes, so it happen in springtime and not in winter! So many things to do, and places to go, and people to see! Chuh! Don’t know where to start nuh! But as they say, the best place to start is at the beginning! So ah guess we going to start with some eating and drinking and carousing! 

Brother! Who knows whether we going to be alive come next week Tuesday when we have to go back to the slave master slave labour? One thing ah know though; when we go back, we not killing we self over the work nuh. Leh him fire we, see how long his business going last nuh! But forget he now yes! Is time for me to do my own thing! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is a party animal if nothing else! But unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t afford to let our hair down like he can for fear of allowing the evil enemy to invade our righteous souls. But as I keep saying, that doesn’t preclude us from having a good time, we just don’t go to the extremes that the ordinary workingman does. 

And we have our own Friday Chant, which chronicles our thankfulness and wishes. So please, let’s chant it now nuh, in true sincerity and mucho enthusiasm. ‘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!’ 

Now, to the unbeliever, that might not sound like much, but to us believers, it’s short, sweet and to the point! (smile) And today, Good Friday, our hearts are heavy, filled with sadness as we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And some will ask why call it Good Friday when such a heinous, illegal crime was committed against an innocent person? 

That’s a good question my brethren. But the long and short of the story is that if Jesus had not died in place of us, our sins would not have been paid for, and we would not have been forgiven, redeemed, made clean and washed white as snow! Yes, it was a rough, unjust situation, but from the beginning of time the Father had decreed it to be the Son’s job to die for the abominable sins of His disobedient and rebellious creation called mankind. 

And yuh better believe it was no easy job that! The pain and agony, the ‘sufferation’ He had to endure was immense, seemingly unbearable, but He withstood it, all for our sakes, at the behest of the Father, who LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to lose even one of us to the evil enemy, Satan. 

That’s the most beautiful and compelling picture of LOVE that exists; sacrificing your only Son for a bunch of ingrates! Some people will call it crazy or stupid, but our heavenly Father called it LOVE! And since He’s the eternal Creator, He should know what He’s talking about. 

But I don’t know how Jesus handled all that unjust ‘sufferation’ nuh, without much complaining too. I guess He knew His role, and could not even consider disobedience to the Father’s wishes. As He told Peter on the night of His arrest, after Peter had cut off the high priest’s right ear. ‘Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?’ (John 18:11) Yes friends, I wonder how many of us put such a high priority on being obedient to the Father’s wishes eh? 

And what I greatly admire about Jesus are some statements He made from His painful and agonizing perch on the cross. The first one is ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) Even on the cross, His modus operandi was LOVE and forgiveness! 

Note His words to the criminal crucified with Him, who saw the light and sincerely pleaded: ‘Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:42-43) 

But the most touching and heart-rending words of Jesus on the cross are contained in this verse. ‘And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 

Yes friends, what seemed to hurt Jesus the most was not the physical pain inflicted on His body, but the spiritual separation from His Father, the first time that had ever happened. And it had to be so since He was then the sin-bearer of the world, and the Father could not associate with sin. As the scholars explain: ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer (cf. 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ 

And finally, the Good Book tells us: ‘And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost (breathed his last).’ (Luke 23:46) And the scholars explain: ‘He cried with a loud voice, as a shout of triumph, and yielded up His Spirit. In other words, having borne the wrath of God’s judgement against sin, He knew He had triumphed over Satan and the curse of sin.’ 

Oh what a blessed day that was for us my people, as Jesus gave us such a wonderful example to follow, showing LOVE and compassion and obedience even in His last agonizing moments on that old wooden cross on Calvary! Please, please, I implore us to do a better job, to improve in our own showing of LOVE, compassion and obedience, because that’s all He asks of us! Much LOVE!

…Good Friday…the darkest hour…just before the breathtaking dawn…of Easter Sunday…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2019 Proverbs 16:9.

Proverbs 16:9.   A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
 

Well at long last it’s Friday, the day we’ve been waiting all week for! Consequently, many spirits are on the rise, just thinking about all the free time and fun time that’s on the horizon. And as I sit writing here at the desk in the Hyatt Regency hotel room, I have a varied set of images to engage my eyes. 

Right out in front of me is a lovely view of the Port of Spain seascape. Up close, the harbour is dotted with what looks like old. cargo ships. But then the expanse of sea extends right to the horizon, revealing different shades of blue under the somewhat cloudy early morning sky. Meanwhile to my left, is the port itself, with a jumble of different types, colours and shapes of ships, and the early morning buildup of the busy Port of Spain traffic down the Wrightson Road artery. 

And the fancy high rise building on my immediate left is the Parliament Building, where our leaders gather to supposedly discuss high matters of state, but too often end up behaving like a bunch of rowdies on the street corner! If that’s the example the supposed leaders set, what else can they expect from their constituents but the same unruly, disorderly behaviour eh? Unfortunately, that seems to be the modus operandi of most elected bodies all over the world! 

Anyway, I don’t have any set plans for the day, so we’ll just play it all by ear. I’m in T&T, so any number can play! (smile) And since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the workingman has to say in his song nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Another week of back breaking work done, and I have a li’l time to mihself now! And believe me, I’m going to use it well; to eat drink, sleep and party, and make some plans for next weekend, which is Easter weekend! 

Might even go to Tobago, if I could get a ticket, and enjoy the many activities that happen over there at Easter time. Things like goat and crab race, boat races, and parties all over the place. Tobago is the place to go for Easter in these parts. But that is next weekend, still have to enjoy this weekend first…and believe me I’m going to do it, in style and fashion too. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, don’t know how I would survive otherwise nuh!’ 

Ah friends, we all would like to let it all hang out like the workingman, but as true believers in Jesus Christ, we have to toe a li’l tighter line, so that the enemy doesn’t have a chance to get inside our souls and work his evil, ungodly business. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and enjoy ourselves too, just not as leggo beast as the workingman. So let’s chant our Friday Chant to show our thanks for Friday nuh. With strong voice and true sincerity: 

‘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!’ 

Yeh, it’s not as boisterous as the workingman’s song, because we have to play it a li’l closer to the vest, but it’s still thankful and joyful and give us lots of leeway. (smile) Oh, the duchess is ready to go out for breakfast, so I’ll have to stop here for a while. Soon come! 

Well I’m back finally after some hearty local breakfast at the Breakfast Shed, just up the sidewalk from the hotel. It’s a group of about ten small businesses under one broad enclosure serving local food. And the food good, so they doing good business. And most importantly, the duchess enjoyed it, so I’m happy. (smile) 

And today I’ve been led once again to the wise words of Cousin Sol for our Bit. ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ And is that ever so true my people. As the old people would say, ‘man plan, but God laugh!’ That’s because He knows who is the real guide of our footsteps – He himself! 

As the scholar’s explain: ‘16:9. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ No doubt about that friends: the Creator of man is sovereign over him and can disrupt our best laid plans with a simple nod. And Cousin Sol says it this way later on: ‘There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.’ (Prov.19:21) 

And I know that many of us can attest to that, for over the years we’ve made so many plans of our own only to see them sadly jettisoned by the Lord. Now hear how Jeremiah puts it. ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.’ (Jer.10:23) 

And if all of that is true, then we have to come back to Cousin Sol’s words and ruefully ask: ‘Man’s goings (steps) are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?’ (Prov.20:24) He obviously can’t because the Lord is controlling it all, and His ways and thoughts and plans are so much higher than ours. 

But let it be known that our great God never leaves us in a lurch, in a place where we are without hope, thus this great promise of His through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you and expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

How can you beat that promise eh friends? Only possibly with this one from Bruh Paul: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) So friends, please don’t despair when our plans are thwarted by God, for He usually has something better in mind for us, and it will ALWAYS be for our good! Much LOVE!

…God’s promises are never idle…but are meant to lift our spirits…give us hope…and strengthen our faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2017 Psalm 84:11.

Psalm 84:11.   For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

 HAPPY  ARMISTICE,  REMEMBRANCE,  VETERAN’S  DAY!

Yeh friends, it’s the 99th anniversary of the Great War; the First World War; the war that was supposed to end ALL WAR! Hn! But they didn’t count on the Second World War less than 30 years later. 

And I seriously doubt that war will ever disappear from man’s agenda until our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ returns in all His splendiferous glory and takes control, for mankind from his fall, has been an angry, war-like animal. Peace and LOVE are only overlays, cover ups for his naturally aggressive and warmongering nature. 

In the United Kingdom they call it Armistice Day, in Canada Remembrance Day and in the U. S of A, Veteran’s Day. And we honour our fallen dead by wearing poppies on our clothes during this sad time of remembrance and awful waste of human life. 

And all over the world, this most famous war memorial poem, In Flanders’ Fields, is read on this day. It was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in May 1915, on the battlefields of Belgium, after the death and burial of one of his friends, Alexis Helmer by a German shell. 

Please remember with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED: and now we lie In Flanders fields! 

Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Ah mih people, sadly, there are even more quarrels and foes than when this poem was written. Man has not learned anything from the ravages of war. But we won’t linger on the topic of war, instead we’ll turn to a more uplifting subject, quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Here is the first one: ‘I Am Thankful For All Of Those Who Said, “No” To Me. It’s Because Of Them I’m Doing It Myself.’ And in some respects I can attest to that, because some of the things I am doing for myself now are because others didn’t want to do them for me. Refusal often leads to your getting up and doing stuff yourself. 

But in saying that, we have to realize that ‘Success Does Not Consist In Never Making Mistakes, But In Never Making The Same One A Second Time.’ We all make mistakes, but when we keep making the same one(s) over and over, then something’s definitely wrong with our modus operandi. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘Your Life Only Gets Better When You Get Better.’ Truth in a nutshell people! Then there is this one: ‘Think Big And Don’t Listen To People Who Tell You It Can’t Be Done. Life’s Too Short To Think Small.’ 

Now there is much to be said for that, but to a certain extent we also have to recognize our limitations, although with our awesome and omnipotent God, anything at all is possible. Glory to God! 

And I like this last quote: ‘Trust is like an eraser, it gets smaller and smaller after every mistake.’ Now isn’t that the gospel truth! Every time we abuse the trust others have in us, the supply gets lower, until it just plain runs out, and they don’t trust us anymore, regardless of what we say or do. 

In fact, we’re lucky to get more than one chance at that state of trust. The only place where second, third, fourth and even fifth chances are possible without condemnation and disgrace is with the Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven, earth and all therein. 

As our Bit tells us: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ 

But even then, in general, He expects us to walk in His will, not in disobedience all of the time. But you do have chances to repent and confess and be forgiven. And though His trust in you won’t diminish, you will feel the consequences of disobedience, you will be chastened in some form and fashion. 

But He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you! You have His ever-faithful promise on that.  As Bruh David so rightly declares in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. 

‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:8-10) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler than that. So today, as we remember the fallen, and ponder the unfortunate ravages of war, let’s be wise nuh, try and walk uprightly, and reach out to our God with penitent and contrite hearts; seek Him in all honesty, so that He can bless and forgive and restore our fallen world. That is heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…seek…knock…ask…and you will be answered…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2016 Psalm 46:1

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

Oh friends, it’s such a wonderful feeling when you look through the obits and don’t see your name or your picture, especially on a beautiful and restful Saturday morning like this one! 

Hn! It just makes you want to jump and shout for joy: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Glory to God! Praise His Holy Name! Long may He reign! Yes my people, it is a delight to be alive, despite all the negative and ungodly things happening in our world. 

But remember though, that if the Lord saw fit to give us His breath of life for another day, that means He has work for us to attend to in His name. 

And talking about that, here are two interesting and appropriate quotes from our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote wisely advises: ‘Stop thinking. Start doing.  To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.’ And that’s no lie friends! Ofttimes we think about something for so long that we end up not doing it, or doing it haphazardly. 

And the second bit of wisdom from Anselm is: ‘Don’t blow a task out of proportion.  If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.’ Now that too is no lie! And I can testify to it, because every day I have stuff to do that seems somewhat difficult, and I keep opting to do the easier stuff first, till eventually the harder stuff just keeps lying by the wayside. 

And believe me too, when I do get around to the supposed difficult stuff, it’s never really as difficult as I thought. So please let’s get a move on with the stuff that the Lord has planned for us to do.  What’s that old saying; I believe its procrastination is the thief of time, and none of us knows how much time we do have down here on God’s great earth, so we can’t afford to waste any of it. 

And we have more wise words of advice to share on the subject, this time from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, something he titles ‘Not a Problem – an Opportunity.’ 

It says: ‘God is going to give you a problem that will be your opportunity. He will give you challenges. That will be your mountain. That is God’s greatest gift to you. Face your mountains instead of cutting out or coasting. You’ll experience the greatest joy of life: the joy of self-esteem that comes when you know you did what you had to do.   Every time one door closes, another door opens.’ 

Ah my people, that is indeed God’s modus operandi; He gives us challenges, which if we accept them fairly promptly, without fear, and having the bountiful faith that He won’t give us more than we can bear, and will also help us, then we will face those mountains with equanimity, mental calmness and true composure. 

Yes fellow believers, that’s how the Lord builds courage, faith, strength and maturity in our lives. We cannot become Christ-like if we don’t have potholes and problems strewn along our earthly journey.  And you will indeed notice that along life’s journey, when one door closes, another one eventually opens. 

That’s our God moving in His mysterious and miraculous way in our lives. At the moment our world is being turned upside down, we don’t always see or appreciate His movements, but with hindsight, we definitely see His awesome hand moving in our affairs.  

And why not eh, since our Bit so strenuously proclaims: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.’ And that’s the awesome truth my fellow believers! So if we worship the omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present Creator of the universe and all therein, then there’s nothing to fear, and everything to look forward to! 

As Bruh Paul told the Philippians: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) And that’s an indisputable fact friends! Whatever we need to do in the Lord’s name, He WILL enable us to do it. 

The problem though is that sometimes the challenge or the problem looks so big and our faith isn’t as big, so we get somewhat anxious and fearful. But please remember that our merciful and ever-LOVING God will never allow us to carry burdens or do stuff that He knows we cannot do. So please believe that anything He throws our way, with His help, we can and will be able to accomplish it. 

Now let’s turn to some scripture that verifies or supports our Bit. Listen to the prophet Jeremiah as he talks about confession of sin. ‘Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God. Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains; truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.’ (Jer.3:22-23)  

Yes friends, salvation is ONLY possible through our Lord Jesus Christ!  So all who are looking for it elsewhere are looking in vain. Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 28 – A prayer for God’s help. 

‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7) Oh friends, that’s the awesome truth; if you trust in the Lord, He will help you and you will rejoice. 

And we’ll end with these most appropriate words from Psalm 46 from which our Bit is taken. ‘Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:10-12) 

And if we believe that friends, then the Lord will bless and keep us and pour our His mercy and LOVING-kindness upon us, we shall want for nothing. Much LOVE!

…be strong and faithful all who hope in the Lord…for He will eventually reward you…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2015 Mark 6:34‏‏‏

Mark 6:34.   And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people (a great multitude), and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Aye mih Friends, is Friday, the Friday before Carnival Friday…! And you know the standard response to that:

‘Oh TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Work soon finish for this week, then is party time on the weekend! Mama Yo! Next weekend is Carnival, so we playing mas from now till then! Thank God for Fridays yes!’

And you better believe that statement of playing mas from now to next week, because that’s what many people are going to do; party every night from now till Last Lap, when Carnival finishes, two Tuesdays from now. That’s the standard modus operandi from way back when. And I can tell you from personal experience that it’s a very interesting situation. Hn, Hn!

Anyway, we all know that’s not the godly way to carry on, so let’s chant our simple Friday Chant which gives us a better perspective. All together now: ‘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.’

Now that’s the approach we ought to use towards the weekend! So please let’s rein in our ungodly lustful appetites and have some circumspection re our behaviour, for that’s what the Lord desires of us.

And as per the lateness of today’s Bit, I really can’t be blamed, that lies at the duchess’ door. Just as I was about to start writing it this morning she woke up and asked if I was ready to go to the market. Now I had promised to take her, but didn’t really expect her to get up so early, so when she surprised me, I had no choice but to keep my promise. (smile)

Would you believe that we’ve been here for over a week and this is the first time we were going into town? Hn! We left home around 9 o’clock to go into the bustling capital city of Scarborough. And believe me, it was truly bustling today, it being Friday and a big tourist ship had recently docked in the port.

We encountered a traffic jam just outside of town, which slowly wended its way down to Wilson Road where I turned to go into the market. Now to me that’s the new market, although it’s been there for many years.

When I talk about the market, I mean the old one up town. Obviously there was no parking anywhere close by and I drove around until I found a spot behind the Library, to me the new Library, because my Library was uptown too, near to the old market. (smile)

Anyway, we walked around the market, looking for my half-brother Hamer, who sells in there, and whom we had been unsuccessful in contacting, but apparently he wasn’t there today. So we just continued walking around buying stuff, half of which we had never intended to buy, but once we saw it, decided we needed it.

An hour or so later, after having a coconut water, we finally exited the market, loaded down with several bags. It was now a bit of a jam to get out of the city, but we stopped at the Esplanade to check out my sister’s-in- law flower shop.

Thankfully, we found her there, and there was much joy in the reunion, though it was somewhat reduced when we learned that my brother was in the U.S preparing to undergo surgery for some vein problems in his legs. May the Good Lord be with him, and cause the surgery to be successful.

We visited for a while, then when we were leaving, we asked her about a good place to eat, and she pointed to a place, Jattan’s, just over the street. We walked over there and stuffed our faces, then left for home, where we arrived around one o’clock, and obviously the ole fella had to rest from such exhausting activity. (smile)

I even managed to talk the duchess into lying down, which she usually doesn’t do during the day. Next thing yuh know, we’re both fast asleep, and I’m getting up after three, and the duchess just woke at four. And that’s why the Bit is so late.

‘And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people (a great multitude), and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.’ And like Jesus did, I’m expecting you all, in your Christian belief, to have compassion on me. (smile)

Ah Friends, as we’ve been saying for the last few days, compassion is one of the biggest things, if not the biggest thing, that we’re lacking in this cruel, evil, ungodly world. We don’t seem to care a whole lot about people again. Just look at the hunger, poverty and homelessness that surrounds us, in a world where there is more than enough for everyone! Steups!

But as the old adage goes, the rich are indeed getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer. And unfortunately, the rich don’t seem to give a damn about the poor! Just look at how they are throwing people out of work every day, to improve their bottom line, their profits.

No one’s thinking about increasing productivity to increase profits, just cutting costs, which means cutting employees. Ah Lord eh! But they still expect those people to exist, to eke out some low level of subsistence and to buy their products.

Chuh! The cruel governments are also making it harder for unemployed people to receive Unemployment Insurance by increasing the time line for qualifying for it. What evil jerks!

That’s why Friends, as a society, we have to very seriously think about turning back to our godly roots, finding Jesus and putting Him back at the forefront of our lives where He belongs. For He is the only one who seems to have compassion for the lost and floundering.

Listen to this heart-moving scripture nuh. ‘But when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’ (Matt.9:36) And isn’t that the gospel truth my Friends! We’re all running around like chickens with our heads cut off, like dumb sheep without a guiding, caring and compassionate shepherd. And the best shepherd there is, is none other than Jesus!

Hear the scripture continue: ‘Then saith he (Jesus) unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into the harvest.’ (Matt.9:37-38)

Oh my brethren, Jesus is talking about the great amount of unwashed, unsaved, ungodly in our society, and we, His true and faithful followers, are the ones expected to go in and help reap the harvest of souls that’s there ready for harvesting. So please let’s do what’s expected of us nuh. And the first thing we have to do in reaping the harvest is show care and compassion to the unfortunate and needy ones.

So again, I plead with us to get up off our fat, complacent fannies and do some serious reaping of the harvest as is expected of us by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. That’s what it means to be a true follower of Christ, a true Christian.

So let’s throw off the bushels, the shades from our lights, so that they can shine brightly in a darkened world, and increase the salt in our souls so that we can successfully accomplish the work that Jesus has called us to do. That’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…Jesus died to save us…now we need to tell others about His saving grace…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 September 2014 James 1:5

James 1:5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.

Aye Friends, I don’t know if this early going to bed thing is going to work nuh. Chuh! I tried going to bed even earlier last night, but all to no avail. I just tossed and turned, kept waking up every hour or so, and still got up late …tired too, because it’s only in the late hours of the morning that I fell into a half decent sleep pattern.
 
So don’t say I didn’t try. (smile) At least when I go to bed late, I get a solid few hours of sleep, and not the tossing and turning kind I got last night.
 
And my people you’ll be proud of the ole fella and happy to know that yesterday, at long last, I paid my mother Molly her yearly visit at her last resting place here on earth. The duchess and I braved the cloudy skies and travelled to the northeastern part of the Greater Toronto Area to where she’s buried.
 
It was also a good excuse to get out of the house since they were doing some belated maintenance work on the water mains in my area, and thus there was no water between 9 a.m and 5 p.m.
 
We had a good, though short visit, about half an hour, because of the overcast skies. She obviously forgave her wonderful son for not coming to visit her before. But what else did you expect eh? (smile) In death she was just as generous and forgiving as in life.
 
Luckily the weather held until we got back home. But around 5 o’clock the rain began, then the wind started huffing and puffing too. And they both carried on all night long. The rain seems to have eased off now, but the wind is still out there harassing the poor trees.
 
Consequently, in my late night commune on my porch, it definitely wasn’t a calm and peaceful Mother Nature. You couldn’t even hear the insects singing their praise, if they were even singing, and not taking shelter from the stormy weather. But we communed anyway. (smile)
 
In light of all that, I decided that we needed to remember and recite the Serenity Prayer. So please pray with me. ‘Oh gracious God, please grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, in these very trying, confusing and evil times, it is of the utmost importance to have the wisdom to know good from bad, as well as what you can change and what you cannot change, because a lot of us waste precious time trying to change stuff and people that we simply cannot change.
 
That wisdom will certainly enhance our choices and improve our lifestyle. But the only place that kind of wisdom is available is from Almighty God. For as James so wisely says in our Bit: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.’
 
Yes my people, true wisdom is only obtained through communication with our heavenly Father!
 
The scholars though point out: ‘1:5. This verse is not a blanket promise of wisdom for any situation. In the context of life’s trials, it probably speaks of a believer being granted (1) wisdom as to the reason for his trials and (2) wisdom to endure them.’
 
In any case, whenever, and for whatever reason we need true wisdom, it can ONLY be obtained from Almighty God!
 
However, there are some stipulations for obtaining it, as James continues: ‘But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:6-8)
 
Now that is where our faith truly comes in my brethren! We need to have a strong, secure and constant faith and trust in God, not a wish-washy, sometimes on, sometimes off kind of faith, like so many of us have today. One minute we’re driven by lust for the things of the world, then we turn to God, then we turn back to the things of the world, and keep on vacillating without any real or strong anchor.
 
That is not the kind of faith that God answers my Friends! But that, unfortunately, is the state of our world today! We don’t stick with anything for long. As soon as some new fad or toy comes along, we jump on the bandwagon, quickly forgetting what and who had brought us to the party.
 
And sadly my brethren, that’s a big part of the reason why Christianity is so weak and colourless today; we’ve lost our focus and stick-to-itiveness qualities. Nothing is sacred anymore, not even Jehovah God. But my fellow believers, we cannot operate successfully in an already fallen world without proper standards and values, those gleaned from the Word of God.
 
Now let’s look at our Bit. The first part says: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…’
 
And we have the perfect example of that in Cousin Sol’s response to God’s offer of what he desired. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?’ (1 Kin.3:9)
 
Yes Friends, Cousin Sol realized that he needed lots of wisdom to rule such a populous and stubborn, stiff-necked people as Israel. And God was so pleased with his request, that He gave him the wisdom that he’d asked for, as well as wealth and power and majesty like no man before or after him!
 
Wow! That’s the magnanimous kind of God we serve and worship my people! When we come to him in humble confidence, He will grant our wishes, in His own time and manner, provided that they fall into line with His overall plan for our lives. For remember that it is His WILL that must be done, both in heaven and on earth! 
 
And we’ll close today with that very important thought uppermost in our minds, for the rest of stuff I wanted to say will definitely make the Bit too long. (smile)
 
So my people, let’s go forth today with the blessings of God surrounding us, His wisdom and peace permeating our hearts, minds, souls and bodies, and His wonderful, never-ending LOVE shining through us like a beacon on a hill, lighting up our dark and dreary world, as He so eagerly desires. Much LOVE!
 
…let’s truly LOVE our God…sincerely LIVE our Faith…and diligently SPREAD His Word…   
 
P.S. Oh Friends, in our prayers today, let’s remember those who were sacrificed for us in the horrible attack on the World Trade Centre on this day, thirteen years ago. Unfortunately, indiscriminate and senseless killing has now become the modus operandi of the evil powers on the earth. Oh, when will it all end eh? Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2014 Psalm 42:1

Psalm 42:1.   As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.

And then it was Thursday – the day before Friday, the harbinger of the weekend! And this is Toronto’s big weekend in the sun, its weekend to shine brightly as the Caribana celebrations ramp up to the finale, the big parade on Saturday, moving from the Exhibition Stadium grounds out on to and down Lakeshore Boulevard.
 
Oh sorry Friends, officially the celebration is no longer Caribana, but something like Scotia Bank Caribbean Carnival. That’s because in the last few years the original Caribana Committee took the current runners of the festivities to court claiming copyright for the name Caribana, and they won.
 
However, despite all the legal wrangling, it will be forever known as Caribana, to the millions who’ve been involved in it. As they say, what’s in a name eh? A rose by any other name is just as sweet. I guess the same goes for the T.O. festivities. And would you believe that after all the bad blood between the two sides, there is now talk about them joining together. Ah Lord eh!
 
Anyway my brethren, I want to share with you a few words from one of my favourite pastors, Dr. Robert H. Schuller, and this from his Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t think I’ve shared this before, but even if I have, it’s worthwhile hearing it again.
 
He says that we ought to be extraordinary. ‘Choose the best, shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my people! And electing the best becomes even more important when you are a follower of Jesus Christ, because Jesus requires excellence in all those who choose to come to Him. Without overall excellence in our lives Friends, we’ll never reach the pinnacle, the heights that the Lord has planned for us.
 
And we cannot achieve excellence either without a helping hand from Almighty God. That’s why it’s so important to have that need, that intense longing for Jesus, as our Bit so astutely declares: ‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.’
 
And that, my people, should be the modus operandi, the wish of all true believers! We ought to hunger and thirst after righteousness, as Jesus says in the Beatitudes, (Matt.5:6) so that He can fill us with His LOVE and mercy and guidance, without which we’d be totally lost in this evil, oppressive world.
 
And I just noticed an interesting scholars’ explanation for that Beatitude. ‘5:6. These future possessors of the earth are its presently installed rightful heirs, and even now they hunger and thirst after righteousness. They experience a deep desire for personal righteousness, which in itself is proof of their spiritual rebirth.
 
Those who are poor and empty in their own spiritual poverty recognize the depth of their need, and they hunger and thirst for that which only God can give them. They shall be filled (Gr. chortazo) refers to a complete satisfaction. The psalmist proclaimed: ‘He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (Ps.107:9)
 
Ah Friends, why in heavens name would we not be hungering and thirsting for Jesus and His righteousness if we claim to believe in Him eh? But the sad fact of the matter is that many of us are doing just that, claiming to believe, but not intensely longing for His righteousness, even though we are spiritually poor.
 
Unwisely, we try to fill up the empty space in us with the things of the world; its false glitz and glamour and earthly riches. But my brethren none of that can ever fully replace, or be better than the riches and the righteousness of heaven. And though some of us know that deep down in our hearts, yet we insist on pushing Jesus aside to embrace the things of the world.
 
Now hear these words from Psalm 84, the rejoicing of a pilgrim to the temple in Jerusalem. ‘How amiable are thy tabernacles (lovely are thy dwellings) O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.
 
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will still be praising thee.   Selah…. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper (stand at the threshold) in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
 
For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:1-4, 11-12)
 
Oh Friends, those are the sentiments of an earthly traveller hungering for God’s presence, and until we can all truthfully echo those same sentiments, we are not doing our best, we are not longing for Jesus as intensely as we should, and therefore we will not be as excellent as we ought to be.
 
Again my people, I ask us today to ponder, to consider the condition of our souls, and if there be any lack, any emptiness therein, please turn to Jesus and ask Him to LOVINGLY  fill those empty spaces with His grace, LOVE and mercy, so that we can go out and do excellent things in His holy name. For that is the wisdom that comes from heaven on high! Much LOVE!
 
…I stretch forth my hands unto thee…my soul thirsteth after thee…as a thirsty land…Selah… (Ps.143:6)

 

 

 
 

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