Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2015 Romans 12:2‏‏

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

So Friends, it’s Saturday! What’s cooking? No I don’t mean what’s on the fire literally cooking, like pigeon or gungo peas soup, or callaloo – the T&T kind made with dasheen bush, or the Jamdown kind made with spinach, or even some rice and peas and curry goat, a roti or bread and shark… 

And what about some ackee and saltfish, some patties, or even a big cooking oil tin filled with curry crab and some big, cartwheel dumplings, or even some flying fish eh… Mama Yo!  

But that sounds like a rather good West Indian menu though. As I keep telling these northerners the best tasting, the sweetest food in the world comes from the West Indies. And you better believe that they have come to realize that I was right, because if you see them nowadays in the West Indian restaurants and food stores, buying up we food.

And just talking about it, I know that mouths are watering for a taste of one, or many, or all of those delicious meals! (smile) And why not, is excellent food!

But that’s a different story for another day. I meant what’s happening in our lives, how are we handling the situations that currently exist, be they good, bad or indifferent? Are we anxious, fretting and stressing ourselves over them, or are we calmly going to Jesus with our problems, and being prisoners of hope, waiting with expectant faith for His answers? I do hope it’s the latter scenario, because that’s the only one that befits a follower of Jesus Christ.

Yeh Friends, we all know that putting that stuff into practice in this selfish, evil, ungodly world is much easier said than done, but as Christians we are expected to do it, because it’s all a part of our faith, our pilgrim’s journey. That’s why Christ came to earth and died, so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin that this world has us locked up in.

As Jesus says, when referring to the sheep of His pasture and His role as the Good Shepherd: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)

Oh my people, that is such a mighty statement, but to have life like Jesus gives it, one must become a whole new creature by shaking of the shackles of sin that’s keeping us in total bondage. And to do that we have to start in our minds, like our Bit says. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Ah mih breddren that’s gospel truth, for we can’t make any serious or lasting changes in our lives without first processing it through our minds and then keeping the other stuff out of them. But please note that all of that can only happen with God’s help. So why don’t we start making those changes right now eh Friends?

That’s provided you truly and seriously want to be freed from the shackles of sin that now bind you. But you have to go to Jesus in faith and believe that He, His precious blood spilled on Calvary can cleanse you, and then do your part, for it’s a two way street.

As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17)  

As the scholars further explain: ‘5:17. When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom.8:1,9; Gal.6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way, making a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation, bringing new things into being.’

And Peter puts that transformation thus: ‘Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.’ (1 Pet.4:1-2)

Yes Friends, that’s how a follower of Christ is expected to live his or life; by the will of God, not by the lusts of men!

And in closing, let’s listen to Bruh Paul tell the Ephesians about living the new life in Christ. ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with malice: and be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32)

And there we have it Friends, a general guide of how Christians ought to live. Now do we live like that, or anywhere close to it? I’d say no. That’s why we have such a bad reputation amongst the heathen. We spout a whole lot of scripture, but then live a completely different life style.

But it is possible to live much closer to those ideals than we currently do. So please my people, let’s wake up and get our act together nuh, if we want to bring others to Jesus, rather than drive them away as we’re doing now. Much LOVE!

…for Christians to bring people to Christ…we have to begin living more Christ-like lives…practice more of what we preach…

 

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2014 Psalm 15:1

Psalm 15:1.    Lord who shall abide (sojourn) in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?  

And then Friends, it was Tuesday! Unfortunately, the vacation time is winding down. But not to worry, for there’s yet sufficient time to get in whole lot more activities and make many more memories, so that when I’m sitting in my rocking chair in the cold North Country, I can just reminisce and chuckle at the reminiscences.

And that’s what life really is all about yes people; making good memories. For when old age arrives and you physically can’t do much of anything, all you will have then are memories of the way your life was spent. Therefore it’s very important that we make as many good ones as possible.
 
For as the Johnny Bristol sings in his song of some years ago: ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they been good or bad. They’re never something that you had.’
 
Gospel truth my brethren! Memories never leave us. When all else fails, memories will still be there. So let’s try and make as many good ones as possible nuh. Now let’s see what good ones I made yesterday. (smile)
 
Oh, in the early morning hours, some wicked wind and rain lashed my little area – twice to be exact. And what amused me was that in between each episode, the sun came out in all its fiery splendour. Also, around lunch time some friends from Canada came to visit. They are only here for about three days.
 
Then in the afternoon, I went down to Store Bay for my daily constitutional. I believe the last time I mentioned that, I said testimonial, but it was really constitutional I meant. And that’s simply something good that you do for yourself on a fairly regular basis.
 
But lo and behold, as I entered the change room at Store Bay, I saw a man sitting there buckling the straps on his sandals. His face seemed familiar, but his cap was hiding the upper portion of his face. So I looked closer at him, only to realize that it was another old friend from Canada, one whom I hadn’t seen in ages, although we don’t live far from each other in the North Country.
 
But the busyness of life and the disgusting weather often keep people apart for long periods of time. You might talk to them regularly on the phone but hardly ever see them.
 
Anyway, as the Lord would have it, his wife, daughter and himself were just finished bathing and were planning to drop in on us on their way home. So we just visited right there, since they were only in Tobago for the day.
 
Nothing much happened after that. I got my dip, said some thanks to a couple of people who had been instrumental in safely securing my bag last week, stopped in the grocery and a food place, then came home and relaxed as best I could with the stupid headache still bothering me.
 
A couple pardners dropped by for a short visit later in the evening. But other than that it was quiet, had an early night because of the headache, which unfortunately is still bugging me some, almost two days later. I guess though, as the old people would say; after one time is two, since I hardly ever have headaches, especially ones of this magnitude and length. 
 
But for whatever purpose the Lord’s allowing it, I just have to get a grip and keep on doing what I have to, knowing that eventually He will make all things right. And those are the good memories I made yesterday. (smile)
 
Now let’s see what the Lord wants me to write on biblically speaking, today? And Friends it seems like He wants us to focus today on the important question of: ‘Lord who shall abide (sojourn) in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?’ 
 
Yes my fellow believers, that’s an interesting and also very important question! Who is worthy to serve in the Lord’s tabernacle, what are the qualifications necessary for that awesome job?
 
And Bruh David answers the question he just posed in the following two verses. ‘He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up (receives) a reproach against his neighbour.’ (Ps.15:2-3)
 
Oh Friends, that means that the person who serves in the tabernacle must have personal purity. But all those things also pertain to the ordinary Christian. EVERY follower of Christ needs to walk uprightly, work righteousness and speak truth from their hearts. It’s all a part of the Christian make up and character. Neither can we be spreading deceit and false rumours with our wicked, hard to control tongues, or doing evil against our neighbours.
 
As Bruh David also asks in Psalm 24, the King of glory: ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? (Ps.24:3)
 
And his answer is basically the same: ‘He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity (to an idol), nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.’ (Ps.24:4-5)
 
Unfortunately though mih breddren, those characteristics are in very short supply these days, even amongst supposed believers! That serious drop in moral standards and otherwise, are why our world is now such a troubled, evil, disaster-prone and calamitous place.
 
The attributes of good character and personal integrity have sadly lost their position of high standing and importance. They are no longer considered necessary aspects of human life. These days fraud, corruption, deceit, unfaithfulness, selfishness, pride and greed rule the roost.
 
And it’s sad that many of us believers dabble too much in such unchristian activity, instead of being the ones to uphold the Christ-like character and integrity. That brings us back to Psalm 15, where Bruh David continues his discourse on the qualifications for working in the Lord’s sanctuary. 
 
One ‘In whose eyes a vile person is contemned (despised); but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.’ (Ps.15:4-5) 
 
Yes my people, those are all qualifications that the ordinary but serious believer also needs to possess. We ought not to uphold the works of the unrighteous, but remember they are also God’s creation. And furthermore, at times we also behave unrighteous, and we surely don’t want others to despise or condemn us then.
 
We need to honour those who reverence God, and promises and vows should be taken seriously, neither should we take advantage of the already disadvantaged. But unfortunately all the negative aspects of those things are rampant in our troubled, misguided world. Like the constant and severe oppression and suppression of the poor and needy and the insatiable greed of the wealthy.
 
Oh my brethren, those things should not be happening on such a large scale. And it is our responsibility, the responsibility of the true and serious believer, first to eradicate those negative things from our own lives, set a proper example, then try and eradicate them from our immediate circle and surroundings, then keep moving up to the higher levels of our society, and finally the world.
 
That’s our bounden duty Friends, for nobody else has any real and serious interest in the overall betterment of mankind, which is what Jesus came to do, and what His followers ought to be doing!
 
Therefore, please let’s ponder our individual situations today, re the things we’ve talked about, then, with the Lord’s help obviously, try to make the necessary improvements. And even for those who are already fairly decent, there is always room for improvement.
 
Let’s make Jesus proud of us nuh, by living the kind of life He desires of His followers. That’s heavenly wisdom my people! Much LOVE!
 
…until believers improve their own performance…the unbelievers will rule…and the world will remain in shambles…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2012 Psalm 15:1

Psalm 15:1.        Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

Ah Friends, unfortunately or otherwise, yesterday has bitten the dust! But don’t worry, our God is such a wonderful Deity, that He’s sent today to replace it. Wow! And talking about today, I found this most appropriate quote in one of my devotionals. It’s attributed to U.S. writer/editor, Veronica Shoffstal, who confidently declares: ‘You learn to build your roads on today, because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my people? We know not what the future holds, or will bring. And as they say; yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, plus it never comes. That means the only sort of sure thing we have is TODAY! It’s both the present time, as well as a present, a gift from God, that’s why we have to make the most of it, use it wisely, grow today, don’t leave it for tomorrow, for who knows what will happen then. So please my brethren, let’s all seriously concentrate on making today, the best today we can, beginning of course with giving God thanks and praise, then going out and living a life worthy of Him. And how does one live a life worthy of Almighty God? Bruh David asks that question in our Bit: ‘Lord, who shall abide (sojourn) in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?’ Technically speaking, he’s asking who is qualified, what qualifications are necessary to sojourn, to work in the tabernacle, God’s house? But it certainly affects us all, for it should be the desired aim of every believer to walk worthily enough to serve in God’s holy of holies. And here’s the answer Bruh David gives: ‘He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up (receives) a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned (despised); but he honoureth them that fear the Lord, He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.’ (Ps.15:2-5) Ah mih people, Bruh David has certainly laid out a hard row there for us to hoe, for it’s not easy to live righteously and worthily when surrounded by an evil, ungodly world as we are today. But we need to remind ourselves everyday, and sometimes several times a day, that with our generous, LOVING, merciful, forgiving, omnipotent God, ALL things are possible! We just have to keep the lines of communication open to Him, and He will lead us along the path He’s planned for us. That means constantly seeking Him, my brethren, not sitting around waiting for Him to come to us. And on that note, hear these wise and encouraging words of Bruh David to Cousin Sol: ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.’ (1 Chr.28:9) That’s the unvarnished truth Friends! If we don’t seek God the Father, through Jesus the Son, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, then we’ll be lost for all eternity, forever separated from the Holy Trinity, THE ONE TRUE GOD! And as I keep saying, that’s the worst fate that can ever befall a human being. Now in Psalm 24, the king of glory, Bruh David asks almost the same question: ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place?’ (Ps.24:3) And the answer is roughly the same: ‘He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity (to an idol), nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness form the God of his salvation.’ (Ps.24:4-5) Yes Friends, the answer to our question, what it takes to walk worthily of God is basically to be humble, contrite, generous, truthful, merciful, and all the other attributes of Jehovah. When we so walk, then we will be abundantly blessed. Now we will never be perfect in all those things, and our heavenly Father knows that, He just wants to be able to give us an A+ + + for effort. As in all doings and dealings, the effort is always number one, for whatever effort we put out, that’s how much success we’ll have. Thus the more effort we put into living worthily for God, the more successful we’ll be. And as Bruh David said of his generation, so long ago: ‘This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob.    Selah.’ (Ps.24:6) Yes Friends, ponder that for a moment. And now, if we want to enjoy heavenly blessings down here on this ungodly earth, then I implore us to make those words also applicable  to our generation today, by diligently seeking the Most High God Jehovah, by continuously seeking His face, His LOVE, His grace and His mercy. Doing that is nothing but pure and simple wisdom. Much LOVE!…sow good seeds…and you shall reap abundant harvests…seek the Lord diligently…and you shall find Him speedily…those are His ever-faithful promises…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2012 Proverbs 24:28

Proverbs 24:28.    Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.
 
Oh Friends, the hot times they continue! It’s supposed to be up to something like 35 today in my area, but with showers though. Hn! Showers eh! I’ll believe them when I see them. And talking about showers, yesterday I left out the length of time that the few scattered showers fell in my area. It was less than ten minutes. However, it seems that the City of Toronto itself, as well as its eastern environs had oodles of rain in a very short time period. So much that it caused power outages and flooding in several areas, and some people even got injured by lightning strikes. Let’s pray that they are okay. So while I was belly-aching about the little rain in my area on the western side of Toronto, those folks in the centre and on the other side were complaining about too much all at once. Anyway, here’s something, or rather someone, whom we can all be thankful for. It’s from the chorus of a Caribbean Gospel song I heard on Wack 90.1 FM yesterday morning, during their Gospel Time, between 4 and 6 a.m. Monday to Friday. If you LOVE West Indian Gospel, and to me it’s the BEST – so what if I’m biased about many things West Indian eh – (smile) then tune into Wack 90.1 on your computers in the early morning hours. I guarantee that you will get a wonderful treat of beautiful West Indian Gospel. And the chorus of the song I’m talking about says: ‘Thank God for Jesus! Thank God for Jesus! Thank God for Jesus – Everyday! Thank God for Jesus! He is my Saviour! He is the Truth! He is the Light! He is the Way!’ And all God’s people raised a loud shout of ‘Hallelujah! Amen!’ to heaven. Those are truly words of wisdom and truth mih breddren! And it segues in quite nicely to our Bit: ‘Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.’ Yes Friends, as followers of Jesus, the truth should be on our lips, emanate from our mouths at all times. And not only should it come out of our mouths, but also from our hearts. In fact, if there isn’t truth in our hearts, then how will it come from our lips eh? Remember Jesus’ words to the multitude re things that defile: ‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:10-11) So my brethren, let’s work faithfully and diligently at getting truth rather than lies and evil into our souls and minds nuh, because only if we first put it in, can we later get it to come out. Then we have these fateful words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, re the new life in Christ: ‘But ye have not so learned Christ. If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; And be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.’ (Eph.4:21-25) Ah mih people, if we’re truly born again in Christ, then truth should be the only thing that comes out of us, because that’s what Christ is all about! Now listen to the Lord thy God, from way back when, speaking through the prophet Zechariah, re things that must be done when the promised restoration of Jerusalem occurs. ‘For thus saith the Lord of hosts; As I thought (determined) to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath…and I repented not (would not relent): So again have I thought (determined) in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not. These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgements of (for) truth and peace in your gates. And let none of you imagine (think) evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and LOVE no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.’ (Zech.8:14-17) Yes Friends, it’s all there, plain and simple in black and white. And by the way, that’s where Bruh Paul got his words to the Ephesians from, re speaking truth to one’s neighbour. So it’s obvious that things like outright lies, false accusations, slander and blasphemy should not be numbered amongst the traits of a true believer. And the Lord knows that it’s difficult to always stay on the straight and narrow path when such a conglomeration of evil and ungodliness surrounds us, where lies, gossip, half-truths and other erroneous messages proliferate, and can easily lead us astray. But as with everything else in our Christian walk my people, we need to make a conscious and diligent effort to remove the ungodly things from our lives, obviously with the help of the Lord. If we come to Him with transparent hearts and lay all our cards before Him, He will enable us to bear our burdens and resist the evil that’s tempting us. Oh Friends that’s the wise and ONLY way we’ll ever be able to resist and/or avoid some of the many problems that will surely invade our earthly lives! So till we meet again tomorrow, God willing, please go in Peace, Harmony and LOVE, to serve and bless our great and wonderful God! Much LOVE!…when problems bring us to our knees…run to the Lord…and with a sincere heart say…Father, help me please…