Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.   Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

And then it was Saturday, that long awaited day of sleeping in! ‘Yeah!’ come the joyful shouts. But others claim a big ‘Nay!’ Why?  Because they are the ones who have a lot of household chores and other stuff to do around the house that they don’t have time to do during the week. No couch surfing for them today. 

But that’s the way of life in our progressive and forward-looking society! (smile) If you want to live in what’s a supposedly first world society, then you just have to do those things that are required in it to prosper and be successful. Oh, I hope you realize that the ole fella is being a li’l sarcastic and facetious. (smile) 

Anyhow, it’s Saturday, so let’s look at some of the quotes our wonderful friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.’ 

Now that’s some thing we all strive for, but can’t always achieve, because in this fallen, mish-mash world, often are the times we have to do stuff that doesn’t make us happy. We hope that on average though, that we will have to do more happy stuff than unhappy ones. Although I recently heard that something like seventy percent of people don’t like or are unhappy in their jobs. Now that doesn’t seem to have much happiness potential. 

That brings us to the second quote: ‘The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.’ Likewise, it’s usually best to do what makes one happy, but we can’t always have it our way, sometimes it just has to be the highway. (smile)  

Then there is this: ‘Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.’ And generally speaking that’s no lie, for positive people just have this aura, like a ray of sunshine around them, that draws others to them, like bees to honey. 

However, it’s not always the good and positive kind who gather round, notice the amount of hangers ons around most celebrities today. That’s because some negative people will be smart enough to jump on the bandwagon of the positive, knowing that good things will eventually come from a positive source. Now it’s certainly better to be positive, but one has to be on the look out for the smart negative ones. 

And then we have this quote: ‘What consumes your mind controls your life.’ Another fact of life friends. Yes, the battle all takes place in our minds, and thus the things we constantly think about are what control us. So if we want to be positive, then we need to think about positive things, and if we want to be happy, then we have to think happy thoughts. 

That brings us to our last quote: ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ And that’s gospel truth! We can’t depend on others or things to make us happy, because it’s an internal feeling, controlled by us. So regardless of the circumstances, if we want to be happy, we can make ourselves so. 

Notice how a lot of people have all the toys, wealth and excellent circumstances that the world has to offer, but they are still not happy. Meanwhile, many other folks have next to nothing but they are satisfied within themselves. That’s the secret of being happy friends; being satisfied, being comfortable with yourself in any circumstance. 

Hence the words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians in our Bit: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Wow! What a statement! The exact opposite of what the world teaches. 

Ah mih people, if we could only learn that principle and apply it to our lives…oh how much better our lives would be. We wouldn’t always be happy, but we’d be contented, satisfied, not whining and complaining about petty things like so many of us, Christians included, do nowadays. 

Listen to Bruh Paul as he explains. ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And how has he come by that remarkable ability? Because, as he proudly declares in the next verse: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that verse and spout it often, but it obviously does not ring true in our hearts, otherwise we would not be still tripping all over ourselves to get hold of the world’s wealth and other insignificant things it has to offer. 

If we truly follow Christ, who has promised to meet all our needs, we won’t be so consumed with the things of the world. And an important part of all that, is like the scholars say: ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Yeh friends, contentment will not come overnight, but like life, it’s a process we have to go through, but if we sincerely stick with Jesus, He will eventually show us the way. Remember, He IS the WAY! Much LOVE!

…to be contented in this evil, greedy world…one must know Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Well a Happy St.Patrick’s Day to you my brethren! I do hope that you all enjoy the luck of the Irish in all that you do today, with your green clothes and green food and drink! (smile) 

And you know what? St. Paddy’s day could not have fallen on a better day than a Friday for the working populace because it gives them even more reason to sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! St. Paddy’s day to boot! Going to wear me green clothes and drink up me green beer and have a real good time this St. Paddy’s weekend! 

No slave driver to tell me what to do! Just me and mih shamrocks, and mih li’l leprechauns partying all weekend long! Who say we shouldn’t thank God for Fridays and weekends eh?’ 

Ah mih people, can you imagine the raucous behaviour today all over the world, and not only by the Irish diaspora, in celebration of St. Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland? 

What I mostly remember about St.Patrick’s Day growing up in T&T is that it was the one day during Lent we heard calypsos on the radio and you could eat and drink and party hearty. Otherwise, Lent was drink dry and calypso non-existent on the radio. 

I guess to a certain extent that’s why the binge drinking of alcohol is so popular on St. Paddy’s Day. Anyhow friends, regardless of what day it is, binge drinking is never a good idea. So let’s chant our Friday Chant and show them the kind of behaviour that’s most appropriate for the weekend nuh. 

As one 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.’ 

Yes mih people, the best way to handle the weekend is with ‘a modicum of circumspection,’ as Jeeves the Butler in the P.G. Wodehouse books would say. 

It’s obvious we can’t take the licentious behaviour to the limit every weekend or else we’d soon waste away and be good for nothing at all. 

But as true believers, we are expected to do God’s work here on earth, which means we cannot let our bodies and minds go to waste by carnal and lustful behaviour. 

That brings us to our Bit, Jesus’ words of everlasting wisdom from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

But sadly friends, despite that serious warning of Jesus, a lot, too many of us, including Christians, still fall for the lure of worldly wealth and oftimes kill ourselves trying to accumulate it. 

That’s definitely not a wise path to follow my people, for it only leads to death and destruction. Yes my brethren, the purposeful accumulation of worldly wealth can sometimes lead to physical death, but it ALWAYS causes spiritual death, since we can’t serve God and mammon at the same time. 

Listen to these wise words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘Labour not (do not overwork) to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.’ (Prov.23:4-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s much easier to accumulate earthly wealth than to keep it. 

Now let’s look at the interaction between Jesus and a young, rich ruler. He came to Jesus and asked: ‘Good Master (Teacher) what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he (Jesus) said unto him, why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments.’ (Matt.19:16-17) 

The fellow asked Jesus which one? Then Jesus listed the Ten Commandments. ‘The young man saith unto him, all these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-21) 

Oh friends, don’t look down scornfully on the young man, because most of us would have behaved the same way. Just look at how much material wealth there is in our world today, but yet the great amount of need and poverty. 

If the rich would just give up a little of their wealth for the benefit of others, there’d be little or no poverty in our world. But the mantra of this world is ‘me, myself and I.’ Steups! It’s all first person singular! 

Anyway, that’s the sermon for today. (smile) But please, let’s ponder on all that we’ve discussed, then ask God for help to come up a little higher each day nuh. That’s the only way to improve our spiritual maturity. Much LOVE!

…be careful…earthly wealth can ruin your heavenly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.   Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Ah friends, it’s Saturday, which spells sleeping in and rest for some, while for the unlucky others, household chores will take up most of their day. But not to worry it’s all good. (smile) 

Yeh, tell that to the mothers who are up and busy while the fathers lay about in bed or slouch on the living room couch in front of the t.v watching some sporting event like the Olympics.  Hn! To each his own; the important thing is that you’re well-rested, bright and fresh to go back out on Monday morning and do the work thing all over again. 

In the meantime let’s check out some quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. Now this week it was kind of hard to pick just two, so I chose the easy way out and picked three. (smile) They are short anyway, so they won’t take up much space. 

The first one says: ‘Life is raw material. We are artisans. We can sculpt our existence into something beautiful, or debase it into ugliness. It’s in our hands.’ 

And that’s very true, for we basically hold the canvas of our lives in our own hands and to a great extent can make of it whatever we desire. We have the ability to paint a beautiful picture with our lives or just make it dark and ugly. Oh there will be problems and roadblocks, whatever path we choose, but technically speaking, our lives are ours to build as we see fit. 

And the second of Anselm’s quotes tells us: ‘One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.’ 

Now that’s definitely gospel truth my people! Life is not easy and there are many pitfalls, etc. that can get us down and discouraged, but that’s never the wise or smart way to go, especially if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. Now optimism doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will work out the way you want, but at least you’ll be able to handle the negative situations in a positive manner; staying encouraged, not giving up, leaning on and looking to Jesus for His faithful promise of help in rough times.  

And last but not least, Anselm declares: ‘If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.’ That also rings out with truth my brethren because our words have power, awesome power, and whatever we keep saying, be it positive or negative, usually comes to pass. And somehow or other, the negatives in our speech seem to come to pass more than the positives. So it’s extremely important that we stick to positive speech. 

That brings us to our Bit, some positive speech from Bruh Paul the Philippians. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Yes friends, that is a very necessary lesson for every Christian to learn. 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to make one of the immortal statements in the Bible. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) And that’s the basis on which he is able to be contented in whatever situation he finds himself. 

Hear the scholars: ‘4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason that he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’ 

And nobody went through as many harrowing and dangerous experiences as Bruh Paul. Oh my fellow believers, the same thing applies to all of us! God sets us where He wants us and then gives us the wherewithal to stand; to stand strong and steadfast regardless of the circumstances. That’s why we Christians are able to bear up under pressure that non-believers can’t handle: our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ enables us to handle it through the help of His Helper, the Holy Spirit. 

So though times might look dark and disturbing, you are exactly where the heavenly Father desires you to be, and if you stick to Him like glue, (smile) He will enable you to bear whatever adversity you are currently encountering. 

Now let’s check out some scriptures that jive with our Bit. Listen to Bruh Paul again, this time to Timothy in his warning against false teachers. ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therewith be content.’ (1 Tim.6:6-8) 

Hear the scholars. 8:8. This verse prevents the wrong understanding of verse 7, that material possessions have no place in the Christian’s life. By figure of speech food and raiment stand for all of life’s basic necessities. These are all the believer needs, and having these he can be content.’ 

Let’s turn to the words of Agur now in Proverbs as he talks to God ‘Two things have I required (requested of thee); deny me them not (deprive me not) before I die. Remove far from me vanity (falsehood) and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient (you prescribe) for me. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take (profane) the name of the Lord in vain.’ (Prov.30:7-9)  

And we’ll end with these interesting words from the scholars. ’30:7-9. Agur’s prayer is for a convenient and lifelong integrity, accompanied by a rejection of lies and riches. His resting in God’s provision for him (v.8) anticipates the words of our Lord. (Matt.6:11).’ 

What more can I say eh friends, except that that is a worthwhile and godly way to live. So let’s emanate him if we can nuh. Much LOVE!

…give us this day our daily bread… (Matt.6:11)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Aye mih people, another bright, sunshiny day is in the offing… And it’s Friday to boot! So you can imagine the raucous shouts worldwide of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Hurrah for the weekend! Get yourselves together to party! No more slaving for two, whole big days! Mama yo! We going to mash up the place! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, you can’t help but voice those sentiments after facing the endless traffic jams, both morning and evening, that result from everybody commuting to work these days and working in the li’l fishbowls that so many of us toil in, five days a week. 

But we have a better perspective on the usage of the weekend. It’s called our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it and raise the stakes to a higher level nuh. As one 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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is a much better way to spend the weekend. It provides some semblance of balance and circumspection, along with some godly intentions, not merely a free for all of worldly lusts and pleasures. 

Now here is an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. It says, quite straightforwardly; ‘Almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.’ 

And there is indeed a lot of truth in that statement friends! Comparing ourselves to others is one of the big problems in our current society. Keeping up with the Joneses causes more confusion, debt and jealousy than we can ever imagine. 

The world’s wrong definition of who and what we are, which depends on our material possessions, social standing and level of power, drives too many of us to levels of debt, work, lies and pretensions that we cannot safely manage. 

I thank the Lord everyday, that though I may desire some of the things and standards of living that others have, I’m not envious, neither do I try my level best to become like them. And the sad part is that oftimes we don’t know what others have sacrificed to get what they have and where they are. 

And if we knew, we wouldn’t be so quick to want to be like them, because many have sold their souls to Beelzebub for their power, social standing and material possessions. So friends, let me strongly dissuade us this Friday morning from comparing ourselves to others, because it’s just a fool’s game. 

The Lord in His absolute wisdom made us each different for a purpose. If He wanted us to be all the same, He would have done so. And trying desperately to be like others only drives a negative wedge in our lives. So please stop it! End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ 

Oh my brethren, learning that, takes so much stress and strain off of our frail human shoulders, especially in this show-off society of ours. 

Hear the scholars take on our Bit nuh. ‘4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. 

I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

And indeed so it is my people! Contentment is a learned way of life, through many trials and tribulations. Bruh Paul was here acknowledging the financial aid he’d received from the members of the Philippian church. 

‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of (concern for) me hath flourished (revived) again; wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), ye lacked opportunity.’ (Phil.4:10) They were concerned about him, but lacked the opportunity to minister to him. 

That leads Bruh Paul to continue after our Bit. ‘I both know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And we’ll end with some interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. 

To abound means to live in prosperity. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well fed.” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without. 

Paul has acquired the skill required for successful living with little and with much, the latter being harder. “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).’ 

Yeh friends, for many of us, living in prosperity is indeed harder than living in adversity. When we have plenty, we often don’t know what to do with it. However, when we only have a little, we just have to make do. 

Now please don’t get the idea that we’re supposed to live miserly or stringently, because Christ said He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, but by the same token, we also need to know how to live when we don’t have abundance, and not be greedy or envious of those who have. 

So let’s go out there today and begin learning the life lessons we need to live as we ought nuh. (smile) Much LOVE!

…contentment can only be had through the peace of Jesus…

 

  

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2016 John 3:17

John 3:17.   For God sent not his Son into world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat rough Saturday morning because when I opened my e-mail this morning I got some info re the funeral service of my old University pardner, Paul Emmanuel Lawrence. Just like I opened my e-mail a couple of weeks ago and found out about his unexpected passing.

But what to do eh friends? Not much really, we just have to move on, while enjoying the memories we made with each other. That’s what memories are for, so please be sure to make some good ones. As Johnny Bristol says in his old song; ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they’ve been good or bad. They’re never something that you had.’

And we had plenty good ones, Pablo mih brother; whether it was beating pan, going to lectures, fetes, just hanging out on the campus, or going down to your home in Montego Bay, or going to other places which I can’t mention. (smile). Anyway mih brother, you certainly had a kind and generous heart, and you’re no doubt giving free rein to it now in heaven too. Till we meet again on that great day. Much LOVE!

Yeh friends, it’s not easy when your peers are passing away, because it suddenly makes you think about your own mortality. But that’s the only thing we’re sure about in this life, for sometimes you might be able to get away from taxes, but you can never cheat the grim reaper. So let’s just live life and enjoy it under the shelter of God’s mighty arms.

And I’d now like to apologize for a typographical error on yesterday’s Bit. Hn! That’s just giving it a nice name, but it really stemmed from pure laziness on my part. I don’t know how many of you noticed that the heading of the Bit said the Bible verse was ‘Psalm 40.4’ when the actual Bit came from 1 Peter.

That’s because I simply copied the previous day’s heading and then forgot to change. And somehow I never notice these things until after I send them out. But it only goes to show the ole fella’s humanity and fallibility. (smile)

Ah mih people, life can be rough, but please remember that our God is good! Now here is how I had planned to open today’s Bit until I got those e-mails about Pablo’s funeral. It’s a song that I shared some time last year, and while partying out on my patio last night with the duchess I happened to play it, and got the zeppo that it was time to highlight it again, because the times they are a getting worse and Christ’s people need another wake up call.

So here are the words of Johnny Reid’s marvellous, motivational and inspirational song starting with the chorus ‘Today I’m going to try and change the world. Gonna take it one day at a time. I’ve made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.

I’m gonna say hello to my neighbour, going to greet him with a smile, and shake the hand of a stranger, sit and talk to him for a while. Gonna tell someone I LOVE them, from the bottom of my heart. (chorus) Today I’m gonna try and change the world….

Gonna make sure my children know right from wrong. Never turn my back on those in need, always gonna try to see myself through another’s eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world. I made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.’

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s just what Christ is calling us to do; to make a serious resolution to change the world with His help, because it desperately needs changing! So please let’s join together today to do that nuh! And all it takes is one day at a time!

Hear the wonderful sentiments nuh: say hello to our neighbour, greet him with a smile. That’s not difficult to do, and a simple hello and a smile can ofttimes mean so much to others. Then shake a stranger’s hand and exchange a few words with him or her. Wow! What a Christ-like act! And remember friends, our God has a welcoming heart for strangers as we see all through the Bible. That means we too must have a welcoming heart towards strangers.

Oh, then tell someone we LOVE them from the bottom of our hearts! Mama Mia! What can be more Christ-like and endearing than that eh my brethren? Nothing really, if our greeting is sincere! And I just LOVE this next sentiment: make sure my children know right from wrong!

Oh my people, that is the basic panacea for what ails our world! We’ve not done a very good job on that front at all, otherwise our children would not be so lost and fragile that they can fall for all the nonsense the evil world has to offer. And it’s not too late my people. Remember while there is life there is ALWAYS hope, hope in Jesus, who can do ALL things!

And hear this other strong point of Jesus nuh; never turn my back on those in need! Oh fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly what He did when He came down here from heaven to save us from the fiery halls of Hades; He offered us help in our time of need! Now it’s only appropriate that we should do the same for our fellow man.

And this last sentiment will help us to do all of them; try to see ourselves through the eyes of another person. Oh Glory to God my people!

When we can truly do that, and let it control our actions and emotions, then we are indeed being truly Christ-like! For we never truly know what others are going through and why they behave the way they do. So let’s stop being as judgmental as we now are nuh, because it’s the mark of a true Christian!

Oh friends, it’s obvious that the passion is flowing through the ole fella this morning, (smile) so please, I implore us, let’s not allow it to go to waste nuh, because it will also be a sad waste of Jesus’ sacrifice. As our Bit so wonderfully proclaims, in Jesus’ own words: ‘For God sent not his Son into world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’

Oh my people, if God sacrificed His Son to save us, why can’t we sacrifice a little of ourselves to help save our children, our neighbours, our friends, our families and our badly suffering world eh? That is just simple common sense in a heart beating for Christ! Much LOVE!

…let’s open up our eyes…and make that resolution…to try and change the world…one day at a time…TODAY…


 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2015 2 Corinthians 1:3

 2 Corinthians 1:3.  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

Oh Friends, was yesterday ever an interesting day! Not only was it interesting nuh, but also rather humbling. Would you believe that on the hottest day of the year so far, about 30 C – I had to go into the goodly city of Toronto to check out a medic re my arthritically challenged right shoulder. (smile)

But with the Pan Am Games in town, I decided to take the subway into the city instead of fighting the traffic back and forth and running around looking for parking down there. Now it’s been a few years since I last travelled the subway. I believe it was still a dollar and some cents for a one-way ride, but now it’s three dollars. Mama yo!

And the upstairs and downstairs traipsing to the trains weren’t all that easy on the ole knees, but we made it through, with the Lord’s help of course. Going down wasn’t bad because the train wasn’t crowded, but coming back, shortly after four, brother!

The platforms were full of people moving in all different directions and I had to stand up on the train because there were no seats available. And yuh know that wasn’t even the real rush hour, after five is when the real cattle car stuff really happens.

At one stage I looked up at the route map on the wall and counted fifteen stops to where I got off and sincerely hoped that I wouldn’t have to stand up all the way. But the Lord is so good to me that halfway along a seat opened up right next to me. And would you believe that there were several women around who didn’t take the seat? So, finally swallowing my manly pride, I thankfully plopped myself down on it. (smile)

But another thing, with these new trains the seats are so small you can barely fit on them, there’s much more standing room than on the older trains that I was accustomed to. The diversity of the people on the train was certainly amazing too, showing that T.O has become a real cosmopolitan town.

But the behaviour on the train was still the same; people were still serious and into themselves, possible even more now, with everybody on their little phones or whatever, intently absorbed in their own business. 

Me, I didn’t even have my cell phone, because when I turned it on before I left home, I found it dead as a door nail, though I had recently charged it. Apparently the battery isn’t holding the charge and I need to buy a new one.

Finally, to make matters worse, when I did exit the train, I came out the wrong doors and had to walk twice as much to get to my car in the parking lot. But Friends, our God is so wonderful, the ole fella tramped it all with great aplomb, standing strong and tall although the body was aching and the heat was oppressive. All glory be to Jehovah God!

I don’t know how people do it every day nuh, and twice a day to boot! After my first winter, some forty years ago, I promised myself never again to have to take the bus and streetcar and subway everyday to get to work. And it’s a promise that I’ve kept all through the years.

Now by the time I got home, shortly after six, I was so tired and sweaty, I just had to jump in the shower and allow the cold water to reinvigorate the ole aching bones. Ah Friends, we never really appreciate how good we have it until we try to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes nuh.

Believe you me, I am exceedingly thankful for not having to face the rush and the pull and push of public transit commuting everyday. No wonder people are so tired and stressed out and impatient. And yet they refuse to turn to the God of all comfort.

With my somewhat physically challenged self, I certainly could not have done what I did yesterday without a full serving of God’s grace, mercy and comfort. That’s why I implore us Friends, to do like Bruh Paul did in his afflictions, to turn to the Lord.

Our Bit states it so obviously. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’

Oh my people, what absolute and indisputable truth! And I speak here from personal experience, as many of you no doubt can also attest to. Our God is the greatest and best comforter in the entire world.

For as Bruh Paul continues after our Bit. ‘Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor.1:4)

Now here is some info from the scholars on those verses. ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God (e.g. Eph.1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise.

The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps.86:5; Dan.9:9; Mic.7:18).’ Please check out those scriptures Friends, I just did, and they are rather interesting.

So my brethren, as with every blessing that God pours upon us, He intends for us to share His comfort with others too. When He comforts us, He expects us to use that same comfort to comfort others who are undergoing tough and rough times. That’s how Christians ought to operate; spreading God’s blessings around to all in need.

However though, in this modern age of untold selfishness and greed, that is not happening as much as it ought to. We instead try to hoard, to keep all that God has given us to share, for ourselves. That’s why there is so much want and deprivation in the world today.

Those with a lot are not sharing sufficiently with those who are in need and want. And until that attitude undergoes a godly change, our world will not improve, but most likely become even worse.

That means, we believers have to fight to turn things around. We cannot afford to be simply complacent in our own blessed lives, but are duty bound as believers in Christ to help those in need. So let’s try and concentrate on that today nuh; helping those in need, for as the saying goes, there is always someone out there who is in a worse situation than us.

And please remember that Jesus came to earth so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, and He greatly desires that we share that abundance with others. Much LOVE!

…blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings…in heavenly places…in Christ…  (Eph.1:3)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 September 2014 Job 14:14

Job 14:14.    If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time (hard service) will I wait, till my change come.

Oh Friends, on this glorious though rainy Saturday morning, after one of the few truly hot and humid summer days yesterday, (smile) I want to share an interesting poem with you. I don’t know if I have ever shared it before, but even if I did, it must have been long ago, and it’s certainly worthy of sharing again.

It’s titled FOOTPRINTS by Margaret Fishback Powers. The first time I saw it was in a condensed form on a pamphlet, a tract issued by some Christian organization, and they claimed the author to be anonymous.

Then later on, I don’t remember how, I came into possession of a book called ‘Footprints: Scripture with Reflections Inspired by the Best-LOVED Poem’ put together by Ms. Powers. And since then, every day I read a few of the scriptures she has compiled, with suitable commentaries on them.

Now here is the poem. ‘Footprints: One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.

“Lord, you told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I’m aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don’t understand why, when I needed You most, You leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I LOVE you and will never leave you, never ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you.’

Ah mih people, how many of us have had some such experience eh? Countless numbers! Because every day some situation arises where we feel completely naked and forlorn, unprotected, left alone to our own insignificant and insufficient devices. But don’t believe that lie Friends, for it’s only the enemy trying to deceive us into thinking that way.

Our wonderful God has promised NEVER TO LEAVE OR FORSAKE US, AND He is EVER-FAITHFUL! So why in the time of our deepest sorrow and need, will He not be with us eh? Lucifer is just trying to play mind games with us.

Please, ALWAYS remember that the Holy Spirit of our Triune God dwells within us, and thus is ALWAYS with us! There is no need to search the sand for His footprints, for whenever we are down and out, out of our depth, then He picks us up and carries us to safety.

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my fellow believers! I don’t know how many times in a day that sentiment is brought home to me by one incident or another.

And believe you me, there’s been many a time that I have been forced to utter a humble, ‘Thank You Lord for carrying me today! Without your precious and gracious help, I couldn’t have made it through those rough spots I encountered today.’

Yeh mih people, it’s certainly not easy to live a righteous life on this ungodly earth. But if we sincerely place our trust and faith in our Creator, He will enable us to do it. That’s His promise, and He’s NEVER yet broken one!

Our faith though needs to be strong. Just look at Job, who suffered such serious setbacks for no apparent reason at all. And though he wasn’t a happy camper, and longed for death, he still did not lose that strong trust and conviction in the God of his fathers, as he recounts in our Bit.

‘If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time (hard service) will I wait, till my change come.’

That should also be our attitude my Friends. And you’ll notice in the Good Book that many of the great names mentioned there had great trials and tribulations, but they stood strong and steadfast and waited for the Lord to deliver them. Listen here, as the psalmist praises the Lord for His creation in Psalm 33.

‘Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear (reverence) him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps.33:18-22)

Yeh Friends, our souls find such peace and joy when we rest in and wait on the Lord!

Now hear Jeremiah. Though he’s suffering and heart-broken, in lamenting his situation, he still has the faith and wisdom to acknowledge: ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26)

Oh my brethren, when we are in the depths of despair, are we comforted by thoughts such as those? We ought to be, if we are true believers.

Now let’s end with some special advice form Jesus Himself, when He taught that man’s first priority should be the seeking of God’s kingdom. ‘Let your loins (waist) be girded about, and your lights (lamps) burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

Blessed are those servants , whom the lord (master) when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat (eat), and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.’ (Luke 12:35-38)

Yes Friends, Jesus warns that we must constantly be on the alert, waiting expectantly for whenever He comes. Are we ready, are we alert?

What if He comes today, right now, will He find us waiting, ready and able? For all our sakes, I surely hope so, for that will mean that we’re indeed true believers! Much LOVE!

…be ye therefore ready also…for the Son of man…cometh at an hour…when ye think not…  (Luke 12:40)

 

 
 

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