Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2019 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.    ​Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it, shall eat the fruit thereof.
 

Brother, it’s Saturday and I’m up early to write the Bit so that I can go to a Pentecost Prayer breakfast at my church, though I would have liked to sleep in some. But them’s the breaks. And it’s usually a good time and well attended, so no worries really. Oh, and Alyssa is home from the hospital, doing fairly well, as well as can be expected after major surgery. She sends her thanks for all the prayers you sent up to heaven on her behalf, and wouldn’t mind some more for a speedy not so painful recovery. (smile) 

And yuh better believe that the workingman was in seventh heaven yesterday afternoon when he got home and found that it was a wonderful summer’s day! I can just imagine how he quickly threw on his short shorts and tank top, then went outside and fired up the barbecue, threw on his meats, then sat quietly, or listening to some joyful music, sipping some brewskis and contemplating life, while the meat sizzled on the grill. Now is that the life or what! 

And I’m sure the same thing will be happening all around the place today, as it seems to be another nice day in the offing. Wow! Three nice days in a row! That’s what you called blessed! (smile) But enough with the small talk, because it’s Saturday and our friend Anselm sent us a whole slew of quotes this week, and some long ones too. So let’s get to them nuh, showing our appreciation for his sincere aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And here is the first one: ‘I think it’s important to get your surroundings as well as yourself into a positive state – meaning surround yourself with positive people, not the kind who are negative and jealous of everything you do.’ And I couldn’t agree more. Jesus also agrees, because negative and jealous people only drag you down, while you are trying to build yourself up. And to be a follower of Jesus, you must be a positive thinker, because He was the most positive thinking person that ever lived. He had to be, since He was the Son of God, and in God there is no negativity. 

Then there is this related quote. ‘Spending time with negative people can be the fastest way to ruin a good mood. Their pessimistic outlooks and gloomy attitude can decrease our motivation and change the way we feel. But allowing a negative person to dictate your emotions gives them too much power in your life. Make a conscious effort to choose your attitude.’ Ah friends, all of that is so true! And a successful life is based so much on our attitude toward our situations and circumstances, we can’t give others the leeway to make us become a negative person. 

And thus we have to make a conscious effort to resist negativity, because ‘It’s not the situation, but whether we react negatively or respond positively to the situation that is important.’ Yeh mih people, many of us face the same basic situations, but our responses to them vary a lot, thus our results also vary a lot. And those who have a positive outlook, with Jesus as their anchor and foundation, usually have better outcomes. No ifs and buts about that! 

Therefore, ‘Stop saying these negative things about yourself. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that’s positive and celebrate that!’ Oh friends, remember God spoke the world into existence, that means words are powerful, and what we say, usually comes to pass. As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly tells us: ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it, shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

And as Jesus also informs us: ‘For by words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.’ (Matt.12:37) So if we keep saying negative things about ourselves it’s obvious that our lives will proliferate with negative stuff. Now we don’t have to go overboard and get narcissistic with it, (smile) but a healthy dose of self-LOVE and self-confidence goes a long way towards brightening our lives. 

And instead of celebrating our faults and failures, let’s start celebrating our good points and successes, even though they may be few. Jesus didn’t die for us to lead a miserable, negative and unhappy existence, but for us to enjoy life, in abundance, with joy and laughter uppermost in our lives. So let’s do that nuh. 

And to successfully accomplish that goal, the first thing we need to do is to think right thoughts, as our last quote reminds us. ‘I realized that if my thoughts immediately affect my body, I should be careful about what I think. Now if I get angry, I ask myself why I feel that way. If I can find the source of my anger, I can turn that negative energy into something positive.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the answer to our many problems right there; our thoughts! We need to understand that the battle for supremacy over our lives begins right in our minds. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) calls it: ‘The Battlefield of the Mind!’ And count on Cousin Sol to have a word on it. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ (Prov.23:7) 

Yes friends, as we think, so are we! Whatever is uppermost in our minds, is the direction in which we will generally be led. That’s why the enemy keeps flooding our minds with all of his deceit and lies, for he knows that if we think on them, we will eventually end up going in that direction. 

And that’s why Bruh Paul admonished the Philippians, and consequently us, thus: ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil.4:8-9) 

It couldn’t be put any clearer than that my fellow saints in Christ. As the scholars explain: ‘In order to keep God’s peace, the readers must occupy their minds with the right things (v8) and busy themselves with the right activities (v.9).’ Now it’s all up to us to integrate those attitudes into our lives. Much LOVE!

…one must make a conscious decision…to think right…and to do right…they won’t happen by osmosis…(smile)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 October 2017 Psalm 46:10.

Psalm 46:10.   Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

A hearty welcome friends and neighbours to another glorious day on God’s great earth! We are alive, that means the Lord has a plan for us to pursue and complete. That’s the reason why our names and pictures are not in today’s obits. 

So let’s get ourselves together and remember God’s goodness and His promises to not give us more than we can handle, neither to give us a task without giving us the wherewithal to perform it. 

And yes, my task right now is to write this Bit, but I don’t know what I’m going to write about just yet. However, I have no doubt that in due time the Lord will guide me to whatever He wants me to say. 

And this might just be the first clue. A friend recently sent me this interesting quote on ‘Silence,’ by Br. Geoffrey Tristam of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. 

It reads thus: ‘If God seems distant or uncommunicative these days, maybe you’re simply not listening. God doesn’t shout: God’s first language is silence. Maybe in your prayers you are doing too much talking and not enough listening.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? Too many of us go on and on, telling God what we think or want or need to do, but forget that prayer is supposed to be a two-way conversation. Then when we finish our monologue we just move on, unwisely not taking time to hear God’s answers to our list of demands. 

Now asking God for stuff is not basically wrong, though we should not go to Him only for that purpose. However, when we’re talking to our earthly friends, we listen to their responses after we’ve made our point. 

So why, when talking to our Father, our Creator and best Friend, we don’t take time to listen to Him eh? Remember, He is the ONE who can make our fondest dreams and wishes come true! 

And as Br. Geoffrey notes, God doesn’t talk in loud words or noises, but mainly in silence. So if we want to hear Him, we have to listen quietly to hear the often still, small voice He uses in our conversations. 

But yuh know what, this lack of listening doesn’t only occur when we come to God, but it’s also an unhealthy byproduct of our communications revolution. 

There is so much talk being generated in our individual societies and around the globe that there isn’t much chance to listen amid the cacophony of lies, deceit and just plain useless talk that has taken over our world. 

But here is a cautionary word from the Lord for us today in our Bit. ‘Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.’  

Yes friends, the Lord wants us to stop and contemplate that He is GOD! His power and strength are second to none, and regardless of what we do, He will be exalted throughout all the earth that He has created. So why don’t we stop for a moment, a moment of prayerful silence RIGHT NOW, and contemplate that info eh… (silence) 

Oh my fellow believers, I have no doubt that some of us heard the Lord say something to us in that moment of prayerful silence. It might not have been a world beating idea, but possibly only something as simple and very heart-warming as ‘I LOVE you. I truly do.’And those simple statements have now raised our consciousness to a higher level. 

But if we had not been silent, we would not have heard it. So there is usefulness in being silent. That reminds us of Cousin Sol’s statement in Proverbs. ‘Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace (keeps silent), is counted (considered) wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.’ (Prov.17:28) 

Now hear these words from the prophet Zechariah when he had the vision of a man with the measuring line, come to measure Jerusalem to make it bigger and better. ‘Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of (aroused from) his holy habitation.’ (zech.2:13)

Yeh friends, when God is aroused, it’s best we step back and keep silent and hear and see His awesome words and movements. 

Consequently, I implore us to remember that prayer is a continual thing, constant communication between our heavenly Father and us, therefore there is a great need for silence every so often in our busy days, so that we can hear the responses of our God, our guide and leader. That’s wisdom of the highest order! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail with sincere enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And what a future that will be my brethren, throughout all eternity! Much LOVE!

…in certain situations…silence is certainly golden…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2013 Psalm 38:1

Psalm 38:1.    O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s a chilly Sunday morning in the last week of November and there’s snow on the ground. Chuh, Steups! (smile) Granted, it’s not much snow, but snow is snow, especially when winter is not officially due for another month. But this is also Canada, and in these times of climate change anything can happen. Let’s hope that this winter season isn’t too bad.
 
And strangely enough, this morning the Lord led me to Psalm 38, the prayer of a penitent heart, written by Bruh David to remind him of his troubles, how he needs to respond to them, and where he needs to go to get help.
 
Our Bit opens the psalm with an earnest, heartfelt petition: ‘O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.’
 
Bruh David must have been in a real quandary, as he penitently continues: ‘For thine arrows stick fast in me (pierce me deeply), and thy hand presseth me sore (down). There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest (health; lit. peace) in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities have gone over my head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
 
My wounds stink (are foul and festering) and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease (inflammation): and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore (severely) broken: I have roared (groaned) by reason of the disquietness of (turmoil in) my heart.’ (Ps.38:2-8)
 
Mama Mia! Bruh David must have been in a real sad state friends. But before we continue, here are some interesting notes from the scholars.
 
‘Psalm 38. Some debate as to whether the details of verses 1-8 should be taken literally, and thus as a reference to a physical illness, or figuratively, making them a vivid picture of psychological and moral distress. The detail and length of the description, as well as its personal nature seem to point to some serious disease from which David is suffering as he writes.’
 
Yeh Friends, whether Bruh David’s words were literal or figurative, there’s no doubt that he’s certainly between a rock and a hard place, as he continues his plaintive cry. ‘Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning (sighing) is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it is also gone from me.’ (Ps.38:9-10)
 
Ah mih people, when the warrior king of Israel, that great man of God is brought to such low levels, then something must be truly wrong in his life. And we get some idea of the other ramifications in the next couple verses.
 
‘My lovers (loved ones) and my friends stand aloof from my sore (my plague); and my kinsmen (neighbours) stand afar off. They also that seek after my life lay snares for me; and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things (of destruction), and imagine deceits (plan deception) all the day long.’ (Ps.38:11-12)
 
Yeh mih breddren, desertion by friends and family, and serious threats from one’s enemies can bring us to a rather low and depressed state, especially if we already have other personal problems. However Friends, please note carefully Bruh David’s actions in these next verses.
 
‘But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs (responses).’ (Ps.38:13-14)
 
Bruh David didn’t answer his accusers, or plead with his supposed friends and family, but kept his mouth shut, so that there could be no further accusations against him. That’s one of the many times when silence is truly golden. And that’s what many of us have to learn to do when false accusers and unworthy friends and family betray us.
 
Too often though, we get all hot and bothered and angrily try to defend ourselves or retaliate, through words or actions. But usually the smartest thing is to keep quiet, since making important decisions when we’re angry or upset just make matters worse. First we need to ponder the situation, to see if there’s any truth in it, then follow Bruh David’s action, turn to God for succour.
 
‘For in thee O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear (answer), O Lord my God. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. For I am ready to halt (fall), and my sorrow is continually before me.
 
For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for (in anguish over) my sin. But mine enemies are lively (vigorous), and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.’ (Ps.38:15-20)
 
Ah my fellow believers, that is the only wise and sensible way when we’re dealing with overwhelming problems, in fact with any problems at all. We need to get ourselves quiet, then go to God, FIRST, not last as we tend to do. And then we need to unburden our very hearts and souls to him, truly confessing all that we’re aware of, for In Him, there is sure hope and comfort from all our earthly problems.
 
As Bruh David concludes: ‘Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.’ (Ps.38:21-22)
 
And Jesus made that very clear when He invited us to ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)
 
Oh my people, what a wonderful God we serve! It just boggles my mind to think how much He cares for and looks after us, despite our sinful, unfaithful nature.
 
So please, let’s be grateful for His tender mercies and give Him much thanks and praise, today and everyday that we’re alive, for that’s wisdom of the highest magnitude. Much LOVE!
 
…why do we keep turning to fallible, unreliable man for help with our problems…when we have an infallible, exceedingly reliable God to turn to eh…