Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);

Ah Lord eh people! Steups! The ole people was right yes: in this life, when is not one thing, is a blooming other yes! Chuh man! The devil get mih early this morning. I was coming downstairs a while ago, early to boot, (smile) to start writing the Bit when I had an unfortunate accident. Steups! So I had to waste valuable time, spend over half an hour cleaning up the spill and myself. Obviously I was annoyed, especially when I had argued in a lost cause for staying longer in bed. I guess the Lord really wanted to wake me up in a big way. (smile) 

And I had such a grand opening planned for today: And then it was Saturday; a day unlike the other days! One that does not follow the rules and regulations like the others. It’s a law unto itself; of the lazy, laidback, do it if and when you want it breed. No stuffy rules and regulations for Saturday. And I should have taken advantage of that lazy, laidback nature and stayed in bed! (smile) 

But we know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows to come our way, I just don’t know, or can’t see His purpose for allowing that accident this morning. But like the good believer I am, I’m just going to grin and bear it, and keep on keeping on. Someday I might know the reason…or I might just never. But that’s okay too, for the Lord is a good God and whatever He allows is always for my benefit, in my best interest. Sermon done! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one, which is ever so appropriate for our world today. ‘Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique.’ And that’s the awesome truth. You can never work too hard on your life skills. But the most significant sign of a declining person and a society is its level of complacency, the level of its overall standards. When we stop building and just decide to relax on our fat fannies, dwell on our laurels or past achievements, that’s when our standards and everything else begin to fall. 

Life is a constant cycle; it’s always moving, and if you’re not moving along with it, to a reasonable extent, you’ll get left in its dust. And that’s why our society is now in freefall mode; our complacency is dragging us down; our standards are falling lower and lower every day. And that’s not me speaking, that’s history. Just look at all the old, great societies. Once they got fat and prosperous, they laid down and became complacent, and it was only a matter of time before they died. 

That’s why the next quote is important. ‘I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.’ Yes friends, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of our lives, our standards. Now that doesn’t mean just running after material things and wealth of this world, but more about enjoying everyday life, having it more abundantly like what Jesus promised. (John 10:10) Please note one universal truth: if you run behind the material things of life, without judicial and godly wisdom, without common sense, then you’ll certainly pile them up, but you won’t be able to enjoy them, since you will always be too busy trying to attain more. 

So what’s the point of piling them up if you can’t enjoy them eh? None whatsoever! No wonder Bruh Paul advised us to use moderation in all things. (Phil. 4:5) The scholars’ term it ‘graciousness’ or ‘sweet reasonableness.’ I term it simple common sense! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do a lot better.’ Now that can either be a bane or a blessing in our lives. We can either overdo it, by never being satisfied with what we’ve done, or we can be satisfied when we know we’ve done our best. 

Oh, we must always try to be excellent in whatever we do, for that’s what Christ expects of His followers, but at the same time He doesn’t want us to go overboard and be overly fussy. None of us is perfect, and some are just better at certain things because of the divine gifts they’ve been given. So please don’t compare yourself with others, that’s the surest way to bring unnecessary sorrow to your life. Just do your best and be satisfied. The Lord knows and sees your heart. 

Now there’s also the other side to that story, as this quote explains. ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ And that’s the living truth. Fear, or the devil’s work is too big a part in too many of our lives. So much so that we can’t get around to working on our dreams. Remember some of Jesus’ favourite words were:‘FEAR NOT!’ 

And that pertains to both the physical fear of danger and the spiritual and emotional fear of not being able to work on the dreams and desires of our hearts that the Lord bestowed on us. Again, that invokes godly wisdom and common sense, which can only be truly found when we put out trust in Jesus, read His Word and believe His promises. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. And as they say, when fear knocks on your door, the best response is to send faith to answer that knock. 

So finally, we come to this last quote, which sort of encapsulates them all. ‘Pause and remember – Every single event in your life, especially the difficult lessons, have made you smarter, stronger, and wiser than you were yesterday. Be thankful!’ And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes, I’m being a li’l facetious there, because most of us don’t want to experience difficult times. But the truth is they do make us wiser and stronger than before we experienced them. 

For as James so wisely says, when talking about Christian living, faith and humility.‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith, worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing,’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘1:2-3.In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing…’ 

Yes, I know it sounds somewhat harsh and unreasonable, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t grow unless we go through adversity. It’s only in the rough times that we grow and mature, both spiritually and emotionally, so if we want to grow, we have to learn to face adversity mano a- mano. And the scholars wisely add: ‘1:4.The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

And that’s the honest truth! So if you really want to grow in godliness, you just have to bite the bullet and find joy in your trials. Remember though, that the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that He’ll work everything out for our good. That means He will ALWAYS be beside us in whatever trial we’re going through, holding our hands to bring us out safely and stronger on the other side. But in those trying times, like now, we have to remember the immortal words of Jesus; ‘FEAR NOT!’ Just relax in His awesome presence and allow Him to lead the way! That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be overcome…through trust and faith in Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2019 Matthew 13:57.

Matthew 13:57.    ​A prophet is not without honour, save (except) in his own country, and in his own house.
 

Oh my people, you’ll notice that the Bit is rather early today. (smile) That’s because I went to bed fairly early last night, slept through the night and got up early this morning! Brother! No fun in that at all. (smile) Neither was there any fun in what was supposed to be my last radiation treatment yesterday…

Steups! What a fiasco! Especially since I had a whole entourage (smile) (3 people) there to witness and record the end circumstances for posterity. Chuh man! But I guess it just wasn’t in the Lord’s plan for me yesterday, possibly because I was too vociferous and boastful early on in the Bit. Who knows? 

But everything that could go wrong went wrong; with both bowels and bladder, so we had to cancel the last treatment until Monday. But what yuh going to do eh? If that’s the Lord’s will, then you just have to grin and bear it. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Don’t find the fault, find the remedy.’ Now I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here (smile) by asking, if there’s no fault, then how can there be a remedy eh? But most likely he means that so many of us like to complain and find fault, that instead of always focusing on the problem, we should more often focus on the solution to the problem. 

And that’s the gospel truth, especially in this feeble and fragile world of today that’s littered with more complaints than anything else. We complain about everything, find fault with everything, and are never satisfied, even when we get what we asked for. But that’s just the world eh friends, not we believers in Christ…Hn! I wish! 

Now the next one is similar to the first: ‘The goal of an effective leader is to recondition your team, to be solution focused and not problem focused.’ The same thing applies here, except to leaders. They must be focused on finding solutions, not dwelling on problems, because as they go, so will their followers. So if a leader is always harping on the problems, more likely than not the followers will be doing the same, and no organization can grow and thrive unless they are all looking to the positive side of the ledger. 

And the third quote tells us: ‘To handle yourself, use you head; to handle others, use your heart.’ I’m not sure I understand what he means there, but I’m supposing that in looking after your own interests, you should use your head, head knowledge and wisdom, but in dealing with others, it should all come from your heart, in a godly and generous manner. 

Now if that’s what he means, then there is a fair amount of truth in it, but please friends, in this greedy, deceitful and fraudulent world, we can’t always let out godly hearts and intentions run away with us, since people are liable to take serious advantage of the goodness of our nature. 

The world’s not as trustworthy as it once was, and contracts and agreements nowadays are meant to be broken. There is always some fine writing that you never look at that let’s them off the hook. So please make sure that your head is looking out for your heart. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘Great things never came from comfort zones.’ And that’s the living truth! No one who’s ever done great things has ever done it comfortably sitting in their living rooms. They always had to go out on a limb, take a risk, face disappointment and seeming failure, as well as condemnation from friends and families. 

Just read the stories of people like Thomas Edison, who gave us the light bulb; Walt Disney, who was touted as failure in his early years, but look at what he created. And look at Henry Ford. Yuh think he had it easy building his cars. Not on your life. But the greatest example of them all is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Just look at how he moved from being the God and creator of this world to being a humble, lowly man, born in a manger, not even a palace, but a smelly animal barn. Then grew up as a carpenter, and no, he didn’t have all the power tools that we have today, so it was hard, physical labour all the way. 

Then when He began His ministry, it was as an itinerant preacher, as He told the scribe who wanted to follow Him. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.’ (Matt.8:20) Not only didn’t He have a permanent place of residence, but He was also mocked and scorned by those around Him, the very ones he had come to save. Even His family didn’t believe in Him. 

And yuh see how they treated Him in His own hometown of Nazareth after He read the scripture from Isaiah and intimated that it related to Him. They all got hot and bothered thinking that the carpenter’s son, whom they all knew growing up was getting a bit uppity, taking such airs and graces upon Himself and tried to throw him off a cliff. ‘But He passing through the midst of them went on his way.’ (Luke 4:16-30) 

And it was in His own hometown of Nazareth that Jesus mouthed these words of immortal truth. ‘A prophet is not without honour, save (except) in his own country, and in his own house.’ How true that is my fellow saints in Christ. Many a great person has been looked on with disfavour by those close to them. And strangely enough, Nazareth was one of the very few places that Jesus did no miracles or mighty works, simply because of their unbelief. 

And we don’t have time to talk about all the unfair, and unjust ‘sufferation’ that Jesus endured so that He could build the greatest body, the most powerful organization the world has ever seen, the Christian church, which has lasted for over two thousand years, and is set down to last until eternity. 

So friends, if we want to do great things, we can’t only sit down and talk about them, we have to get up off of our comfortable fannies and put in the blood, sweat and tears required of every great and or lasting achievement; just like Christ did! And please note, He did it all on our behalf. 

He didn’t have to, but the Father asked, and being the obedient Son that He was, He got up off His comfortable rear end in heaven and came down to the hellhole we call earth and selflessly and sacrificially suffered to atone for our abominable sins and bring us into reconciliation with the Father. Now that is indeed the greatest deed ever done on this earth! Please acknowledge and respect it like you ought to. Much LOVE!

…doing great and worthwhile stuff…requires…great and worthwhile effort…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2018 Psalm 37:3.

Psalm 37:3.   Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).

Well friends, the ole fella’s been up and about early. I even went out to my favourite store, Walmart and bought a new lamp, an LED one to boot. It seems to be working fairly well so far. 

And everything outside surely looked and felt fresh and clean because we got some good rain yesterday evening, in fact a real torrential downpour, and later in the night it drizzled for quite some time. And after my after dinner nap, I just lay in bed enjoying the soothing sound of the rain and eventually fell asleep again. Hn! What a life! 

But it’s a new day, for which we’re thankful, and will behave in the appropriate manner. And since it’s also Saturday, we’ll look at some quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Be gentle with yourself, you are doing the best you can.’ 

And most of us are doing our best, but unfortunately we’re not being gentle with ourselves. However, it’s something a lot of us need to learn how to do. We are kind and compassionate to others, but we beat up ourselves over the slightest mistake. 

That’s not right friends. Just like the Lord forgives us, and we forgive others, we also need to forgive our selves. We’re only imperfect human beings, and consequently will make mistakes even though we have the best intentions and interests at heart. So please, let’s stop beating up ourselves unnecessarily. 

And this next quote tells us that: ‘It might take a year, it might take a day, but what’s meant to be will always find its way.’ And I want to look at that in the context of the Christian life. The Lord has a plan for each and every person that He breathes life into. 

That means we all have a destiny and the only person who can stop you from reaching it is you. Once you are walking in God’s plan, your destiny will come true, but believe me, it will certainly take more than a day or a year. (smile) 

That leads us to this next quote:  ‘Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.’ And it ties in with the last one, where in the Christian context, we don’t believe in chance or coincidence. We believe that everything is worked out through the Master’s will. Therefore, if you’re walking in His will, then your life will change according to the definitive plan that He has for it. 

Now listen to this: ‘Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have an offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth my brethren! But it just so happens that in this prosperous, permissive and greedy society, we’re never satisfied with what we have. We always want more, even when we don’t have the time to use or enjoy what we already have. 

And talking about troubles, most of the troubles we complain about are petty, immaterial things. Ninety percent of the world would be overjoyed to have our problems. That’s why we should be ever so thankful and joyful for the fairly trouble free lives we live. 

And the last quote declares: ‘You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.’ And if you’re a Christian, then that will always be the case, because our God doesn’t explain everything to us, but He does expect us to move forward, daily growing in faith, because of His Word and all His faithful promises contained therein. That’s the lot of the believer. 

Ah friends, it all depends on one word, ‘TRUST!’ Yeh, when we truly surrender our lives to God and put all our trust in Him, then we’re truly on our way. Listen to these words of Bruh David, a man who lived that trust throughout his life and was well rewarded by the Lord.‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).’ 

That’s just pure common sense mih breddren! If you’re walking hand in hand with the faithful Creator and Controller of the universe, your life must be on the up side! Look at all Bruh David went through before he became king, but in those trying times he kept on trusting the God of his fathers to look after him…and He did! So much so that Bruh David became Israel’s greatest king and ruler. 

And the Lord will certainly do the same with us friends, if we entrust our very souls to Him. Life will not always be a bowl of cherries, but we will come out of the trying times stronger, more mature, more Christ-like, and filled with more faith. That’s just the way it works in the Lord’s economy. 

And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to his son, Cousin Sol, whom the Lord made the wisest and richest man in the world because he asked not for riches and long life but for wisdom to rule God’s people. 

‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov.3:5-8) 

Oh friends, there we have the recipe for success from two of the most successful men that ever passed through this world, and the foundation is exactly the same: sincere TRUST in Almighty God! Now why would we not use the same foolproof recipe eh? Could it be because we’re just stubborn and prideful and feel we know best…? Much LOVE!

…if you don’t trust your Leader…why are you in His organization…