Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2020 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) your mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for them thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Welcome to a bright and sunny Saturday morning friends! It’s somewhat on the chilly side though, and the banks are full of snow. But that’s to be expected since it’s winter in the northern climes. And I guess a lot of us are sleeping in this morning after a tiring week of labour…and some of us might say not of labour but of navigating the daily traffic problems, especially with the snowfall we’ve had this past week. 

Yes, there are just too many cars on the roads especially during the morning and afternoon commutes. But you wouldn’t like to see the amount of cars that are parked in the train station lots; several thousands. When I travel on the train and see them sitting in the parking lots, I can just imagine the chaos and traffic problems we’d have if they all hit the road morning and evening too. 

Phew! But today is Saturday, we don’t have to contend with work and traffic, so instead, let’s focus on the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I like this first one: ‘Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.’ And is that ever so true! Possibly because of our high level of intelligence, we seem to think that unless something is complicated it’s no good. Thus we introduce stuff into stuff that’s not necessary. 

Think about all the rules and regulations we have in life…I’m sure we could do without half of them if we were only better neighbours and friends, and could be depended upon to do the right thing at least 8 out of 10 times. But because we aren’t, provision has to be made for our ‘unneighbourly’ and unfriendly attitudes. (smile) So for each rule we introduce, there must be several provisos to explain and counteract it. Steups! 

This next quote is also of mucho importance: ‘What we really are matters more than what other people think of us.’  Now that’s gospel truth! But sadly too many of us don’t understand or believe it, and thus allow what others think of us to control and ofttimes spoil our lives. We give it names like social pressure or social stigma, doing what the supposedly higher ups, or our social betters want or expect us to do. Chuh! 

Oh friends, please have faith in yourselves and your God! He made you to be who you are, in His image, with His plan for your life, not for another human’s! And the usual corollary to situations like those is that the ones who are so critical of others, are worse than those they criticize, do worse than them in the same circumstances. In other words they are just a bunch of blooming hypocrites! 

Thank the Lord I learned that at a tender age from watching people criticize my mother, then discovering they were a whole lot worse than her! Friends, please don’t live your lives because of what others say or do. The Lord has a plan for you, find out what it is, and then live accordingly. 

Then there’s this interesting quote: ‘The topic of leadership is a touchy one. A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord. Throughout my years, I haven’t had that fear.’ Good for our friend Anselm if he’s referring to himself! (smile) But that’s basically true because leaders are the ones who take us usually where we’ve never gone before, and to do that they must have a special something, call it bravery, common sense, wisdom, a dream, a vision, or all of them. 

Now it could even include stupidity or mental incompetence, which means leading their followers astray. Think about all the sects that have populated our world because of such leaders. But what makes a leader -good or bad –  is that belief in themselves, that feeling of infallibility, which causes others to even give their lives in their service. And this next quote doesn’t only pertain to leaders but to all of us. ‘If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.’ 

Yes my people, the active ingredient in our mind and spirit is the one we usually bring forth. So if fear is the dominant attitude, then most likely we will bring forth failure. That’s not to say that we won’t or can’t fail if we think success. The difference though is the amount of energy and faith we put into our projects when we think positively and of success, as compared to the negative side of failure. 

And this last quote says it all: ‘Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.’ Glory be mih people! You won’t ever be successful unless you make the necessary preparations for it! That’s because success doesn’t come without certain preparations, like thinking positively about it and putting in the necessary hard work it calls for. And I guess the best advice I can give on the subject is found in the words of the Lord God Himself to his servant Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) your mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for them thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh my fellow believers it couldn’t get any more straightforward and plain than that! Meditating on the Lord’s Word and following it, is what brings true, real and lasting success. Supposed success gained by any other method is ephemeral and not lasting. And our God is such a wonderful Leader and encourager, I just LOVE His next words to Joshua. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

Yes friends, those same words of the Lord echo down to us today as we face the difficulties and calamities of this troubled world. That was the third time in four verses that He was reminding Joshua to be strong and courageous because his omnipotent, merciful, LOVING and gracious God would go with him wherever he went. Let’s accept that most encouraging and reassuring message to day like Joshua did back then nuh my brethren, and go out and do the work the Lord’s prescribed for us, the same way Joshua went forward with bravery and courage and did his duty. Much LOVE!

…the Word of the Lord…it’s the guidebook to….successful earthly living…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2013 Matthew 8:26

Matthew 8:26.   And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Saturday, the day of the big Caribana Parade! Or to give it its right name, the Scotia Bank Caribbean Carnival Parade. And I chuckle to see how the parade no longer matters to me.
 
And if you knew me earlier on, you would chuckle too, because once upon a time, the parade was the ONLY thing that mattered to me. I couldn’t care less about the other activities. My only concern was to meet up with my buddies in the city and behave like ‘leggo-beast,’ make a fool of myself. I do that normally now. (smile)
 
The duchess would complain, because those days she never went to the parade and I would come home dog tired and otherwise, just wanting to rest and recuperate, while she then wanted to go out and party. Now she’s the one that goes to the parade with her friends and comes home late and tired. Life certainly has a way of turning around, when we least expect it yes.
 
But this will be the third or fourth parade that I’m missing, and it doesn’t rankle my soul that much, because I know my knees can’t handle the strain any longer, and I did do a lot of walking and prancing in my time. Not to mention in the last few years I stopped seeing the people I used to party with, and the parade itself, the tenor of the celebrations, plus the quality of the mas no longer appealed to me.
 
But I did check out the Pan Alive competition last night, the only aspect that I pay any attention to now. And I almost didn’t go, because shortly after five, as I was about to get ready, a wicked thunderstorm lashed my area. And it didn’t clear up until after seven, so I was there hemming and hawing about going.
 
But fortunately, the Spirit moved me to go. So I got myself together and went. Thankfully, by then the traffic had eased off, so I got down there about 8.30, only missing the first three bands. And since there were fourteen scheduled to perform, I didn’t miss much. 
 
Only thirteen actually performed though, because one pan side dropped out, due to the death of one of their members. How sad eh. Let’s pray that they find faith and strength in Jesus to hold up under their time of sorrow. The rain behaved quite well too, for we only had a couple of drizzles, then it held off after about ten o’clock.
 
And the pan was nice, mih Uncle John! The sound system was nice and clean, and the pannists – no longer pan men – were excellent themselves. And as usual, it warmed the cockles of my heart to see the many young people, of different colours, creeds and races, beating pan. For as you would know better than most, pan has certainly come a long way. I told one young lady there about the lowly beginnings of pan and its social stigma, and she was most surprised to hear it.
 
But Friends, our God is a great and wonderful God, operating in ways we can’t even pretend to understand. Just as He allowed His Son Jesus to be born in a lowly and humble environment, a lot of His blessed undertakings start in lowly turmoil and eventually graduate to great things. Pan is definitely one of those undertakings. 
 
Anyway, the competition didn’t finish until after midnight, and by the time the winners were announced, it was minutes to one. Pan Fantasy repeated as winners of the competition, with Afro Pan coming second, and a tie for third place, but I don’t remember the names of those bands.
 
And obviously there was controversy over the results. But that’s nothing new, for I believe that there’s no other competition that causes as much controversy, regardless of who wins, as in Pan competitions.
 
So my brethren, with that time frame in mind, I didn’t get home until minutes to two this morning, and I had to grab some shut-eye, thus the lateness of the Bit. And I guess that wraps up my Caribana ‘particpaction!’
 
Hn, hn! The old people were right as usual, when they said that after one time is usually too yes. But the good thing is that it doesn’t rankle my soul now, though it did a little in the first couple of years. I’ve come to terms with it. Thank you Lord.
 
And let’s pray that there are no serious, untoward events at the parade, because you know how the powers that be can carry on over any incident, large or small, quick to threaten to ban it. But you can’t have almost a million people congregating in an area less than a mile long, and have no problems whatsoever. That’s very unrealistic.
 
Now turning to our Bit: ‘And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.’
 
Oh my brethren, those rebuking words of Jesus apply to us even more today than they did to the disciples of Jesus’ time. That’s because we’re even more scared and concerned about our lives and the way our society is plummeting down to the depths of sinfulness and evil.
 
The disciples had been with Jesus for a while, had seen Him do several miracles, but deep down they didn’t believe, were still unconvinced that He was the Son of God, the Messiah. And thus they only considered the situation in human terms.
 
With the wind and sea so wild and frightful, and the boat doing such a crazy dance on the water, any normal man would have awakened and checked out the scene. But in the heat of their excitement and fear, they forgot that Jesus wasn’t a normal man. I guess there was some disappointment on Jesus’ part, since by then He no doubt expected them to have more faith in Him.
 
However, we can’t look down on the disciples, for their fear and lack of faith, because today we are doing the same thing. We have also seen and experienced many signs and wonders of Jesus’ LOVE and faithfulness, but when the forces of the world, of evil and darkness come against us, we still tend to cringe and get overly scared.
 
But please remember Friends, that our God created the universe and all therein, and still controls ALL that happens in it. So if He tells us: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,’ (John 16:33b) then why should we doubt and not believe eh?
 
That’s where our level of faith, trust and surrender to God comes in. Now there’s nothing wrong with being afraid at times, but with all God’s promises, plus Jesus’ death, resurrection and the promise of salvation and eternal life they bring, and all the other good things that believers enjoy, we should not become so scared that we panic and thus make wrong or unwise decisions.
 
The level of our faith will dictate the level of our fear. That’s why we all need to raise the levels of our faith my people! For it is that sense of trust in our heavenly Father that keeps us truly grounded and able to not only survive, but also prosper in these ungodly and wicked times. 
 
And I won’t quote you any set of scriptures, but today I want us to read Hebrews Chapter 11, often called the Faith Chapter, where we’ll find a long list of people who found and applied faith to their lives and were renowned for it.
 
Now please don’t think you’re doing me a favour by reading it, because you’re not. I’m going to read it and hopefully build my level of faith. You’re reading it for your own good, to develop your trust and faith.
 
For remember, regardless of how much you listen to the Word, you’ll never truly understand it until YOU read, mark, meditate on and inwardly digest it. If you don’t, then you’ll be easily fooled and made afraid by what any, Tom, Dick and Harry tells you.
 
So we’ll end here and let you go and read Hebrews 11, for that’s today’s wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…no one can build our faith but us…and to do that…personally knowing the Word is a must…