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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2016 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.

Oh friends, what a great day it is to be alive! If you’ve read the obits and haven’t seen your name and/or your picture there, then you are one of the blessed ones! (smile) 

And everyday we open our eyes and greet a new day, we ought to be immensely thankful to the Father of all grace and mercy for enabling us to partake, to participate in whatever activities He has planned for us. 

And believe you me, He does have activities planned for us, that’s why we’re alive and kicking today. So please let’s do whatever we’re called to do today with a true sense of purpose and of responsibility. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let me share a wonderful quote with you – I’m pretty sure I’ve shared it sometime aback, but it is truly worthy of sharing again in the restless and troubling times we’re currently undergoing. It’s taken from my One More Day Devotional – Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. 

It’s the last stanza of a poem written by Amy Michelle Pitzele. And it says: ‘So never let a cloudy day ruin your sunshine, for even if you can’t see it, the sunshine is still there, inside of you, ready to shine when you will let it.’ 

Words of great truth my brethren. But can you believe that Amy was only nine years old when she wrote the poem? No wonder Jesus quoted Bruh David in Psalm 8:2: ‘Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings (infants) thou hast perfected praise?’ (Matt.21:16) 

Yes friends, wisdom is not allotted only to the mature and elderly, but also to the young. As the Devotional says: ‘Life seen through the eyes of a child can be serenely simplistic. Where does a child get that kind of wisdom and that depth of understanding?’ From our heavenly Father of course! 

Remember too what Jesus said to His disciples when they were turning away children from coming to Him. ‘Suffer (allow the) little children; and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 19:14). It just goes to show that childlike faith and innocence and trust are major aspects of our Christian life. 

And the Devotional also tells us: ‘We can struggle to keep the child in us alive. We, too, can recognize that even when the cloudy days come, the sunshine – our smiles, our hopes, our dreams – is still there, ready to beam at a moment’s notice.’ 

So friends, regardless of the weather, let’s make sure that the personal sunshine that’s within us, shines today nuh, as we go about doing the work of Jesus. And all God’s children said ‘Praise the Lord!’  

Now let’s further ramp up our faith by declaring our Wednesday Wail with plenty enthusiasm and sincerity. ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, what a joy it is to feel God’s breath of life flowing through us as we work for Jesus and focus on the wonderful future He has in store for us! It can’t get any better than that my brethren! 

However my fellow believers with all of that comes the responsibility and life changing words of our Bit. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

That means that whatever we say will have repercussions, and according to the words we speak, those repercussions will either be good or bad, and we’ll have to answer for them come the judgement day. As Cousin Sol so wisely informs us: ‘Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles.’ (Prov.21:23) 

Meanwhile, James declares; ‘For in many things we offend all (all stumble). If any man offend not (does not stumble) in word, the same is a perfect man, and also able to bridle the whole body.’ (James 3:2) Unfortunately though friends, none of us is perfect, which means we all stumble and offend to some degree with our words. 

But that doesn’t mean we necessarily have to shut up and say nothing, or only utter a few words. It means though that we have to do more listening, and then think carefully before we speak. That’s the only way for us to eat good fruit from our words and not bad ones. 

And we’ll close off this topic with more of Cousin Sol’s wisdom. ‘He that keepeth (guards) his mouth keepeth (guards) his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.’ (Prov.13:3) And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! 

As the scholars explain: ’13:3. The reward of cautious speech is fuller life and the avoidance of unnecessary trouble.’ 

Oh friends, I couldn’t put it any better! Now let’s go out today and earn rewards through our cautious speech nuh, for that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…words are so powerful…that they are what the Lord used…to create the universe and all therein…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2016 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.

Ah mih people, on this ‘loverly’ Tuesday morn, as the summer season of 2016 winds down, it is only right and our bounden duty to give thanks to Almighty God for allowing us to see another blessed day on planet Earth! 

So, as the psalmist did, let’s declare with enthusiasm and sincerity: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) And that’s for certain sure my faithful, believing brethren! We’d be extremely foolish if we did not celebrate our life and rejoice in these trying times. 

And we’re only able to do that because Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour has already defeated hell, death and the grave and given us heaven and everlasting life to look forward to! 

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord!’  

Now let’s bombard heaven with even more prayer; this from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuler) Hour of Power Devotional, titled ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ Most likely I’ve shared it before, but that’s immaterial, since prayer never gets stale, is always fresh and welcomed in heaven. 

So please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make right decisions! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all the problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Yes friends, all of us could do with an increase of faith in these last days. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with joy and thanksgiving. 

‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Oh glory to God my precious people! There’s no better designation than being the beloved of God and the friend of Jesus! Wow! Right there we’ve captured the best of all worlds! However, let’s remember that those wonderful rights, also bear significant responsibilities, like LOVING others, like sharing Jesus’ LOVE with the entire world! 

And unlike the current trend of irresponsibility in our present world, Christians are expected to be totally responsible in all aspects of their lives. So let’s not forget to do as we should, otherwise we’d be failing Jesus, and that’s one thing we surely don’t want to do. 

And to help us do that (smile) let’s invoke the awesome words of our Bit. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

Oh my brethren, when I consider the awesome power of the little tongue, I’m totally amazed. It can spread LOVE, as well as kill it. It can inflame negative things like hate, anger and resentment, and by the same token douse them like water on fire. How does James put it in his spiel on the tongue? 

‘For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude (likeness) of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.’ (James 3:7-10) 

And that’s gospel truth friends! We ought not to praise God and curse people with the same tongue. But unfortunately we do it, and eventually will pay a hefty price for so doing. Now hear some explanations from the scholars. 

‘3:7. The word tamed (Gr. damazo) occurs in only one other New Testament passage (Mark 5:4), about the maniac of Gadara, which helps us to establish the proper meaning of the word in James. The “taming” has nothing to do with domesticating animals or training them to perform. The meaning is control or dominion. Mankind can control every lesser creature, but no one can control his own tongue.’ 

And is that ever so true!  But unfortunately we do it, though to our detriment. 

‘3:9. James explains that man is made in God’s image (cf. Gen.1:26-27; 5:1), so to curse people and yet bless God is inconsistent. Though the fall of mankind has marred that image or likeness, James teaches that it still exists (as do Gen. 9:6 and 1 Cor. 11:7).’ Please read those scriptures, my friends. 

Now let’s end with further words of James on the plight of the tongue. ‘Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.’ (James 3:11-12)  

And the scholars further explain. ‘3:12. The last clause of verse 12 differs from those that precede it: The former are questions that attempt to illustrate; this one is a statement to teach. As salt water cannot make sweet water, so the person who curses others cannot bless God. The cursing of people truly indicates what lies within a person.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I won’t touch that one (smile) except to say let’s take time to day to ponder how we’re doing individually on that particular problem of cursing people and blessing God. And then, ask God for His ever-available help on the situation, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…if God wanted us to be double mouthed…He would have given us two mouths…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2016 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.

And then it was Monday…with all the wake up devices going off around the world, and millions of people rolling over, muttering curses, steups’, chuhs, etc. in disgruntlement and frustration at the signal to get up and get ready for work! 

What a sad state of affairs it is for the majority of the world’s population on a Monday morning; thinking about how lousy they feel, the traffic jams they will undoubtedly encounter, the nasty weather out there, the bosses and co-workers they have to put up with for another week, etc. etc.  

Meanwhile, a handful of smart, peaceful, relaxed and refreshed individuals roll over, are excited to greet the new day, and simply declare: ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday! Time to return to work and do my thing! Thank God for Mondays!’ 

For whatever reason that group doesn’t allow the many negatives to disturb them. Oh, I would like to say that they are a bunch of Christians, but I know that’s taking it a bit too far. (smile) But friends, until and unless we change our work systems, or utilize the weekends properly, preparing wisely for Monday, there’ll always be a lot of angst, anger, frustration and other negative reactions to getting up and going to work. 

And the strange part is that the rest of the week doesn’t bring about such a rash of anger and disgruntlement as does Monday. Anyway, we working on it, and will eventually bring it down to a minority, but until then, let’s continue to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to raise our spirits and encourage us to be up and about the Lord’s business. So let’s belt it out with as much enthusiasm as we can muster, remembering that our choirmaster, Jesus, expects us to put on a good show. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

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

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

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

Ah mih people, that wasn’t too bad, but just barely average. Jesus wasn’t thrilled, but neither was He terribly displeased, in His wonderful way of understanding our foibles and frailties. Now let’s keep that adrenaline fuelling our motors as we go out to meet the enemy in battle, paying close attention to the very important words of our Bit. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

Oh my brethren, my brethren, those are words of such importance in a Christian’s life that we ignore them at our very peril! Remember what Jesus said yesterday? That we will all have to account for our words come the judgement day, and that we’ll either be justified or condemned by them. (Matt.12:36-37)  

So please, I implore us to be very careful with our words. Let’s stop and think before we speak. James puts it thus: ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) So true my friends. 

And the scholars expand on those two verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ 

‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ And not listening to God is something we surely don’t want to be guilty of as believers! 

Now let’s listen to Cousin Sol from his contrasts of the wise and the foolish. ‘He that speaketh truth showeth forth (declares) righteousness: but a false witness deceit. There is that (one who) speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is (promotes) health’ (Prov.12:17-18) More words of absolute truth friends! 

And the scholars tell us. ‘12:18. Words have the power to penetrate where no sword can touch; for good or for evil. A wise man uses his tongue for constructive purposes.’  

Now the first sentence of the scholars’ explanation is ever so true! Words can hurt and cut us to pieces more than any sword can. However, the last sentence is unfortunately not true of our current society, for nowadays we don’t use words constructively; we don’t care what we say or to whom we say them, we wield them more like a sword, intentionally out to hurt others. 

We don’t seem to consider the feelings of others in this age of technology and mass communication. And I believe those supposed areas of progress bear a lot of the blame for that negative behaviour, since we didn’t talk as much or at such length before they allowed us to do so. 

And we’ll end there for today. But please, please my people, let’s take time to stop and think before we talk, because the words we speak here on earth, will definitely play a big part come the judgement day in heaven. Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise is sufficient…and Christians are supposed to be wise…