Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2020 2 Corinthians 10:5.

2 Corinthians 10:5.     ​Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ.

And so, most of the excitement is over now…Chuh! I don’t know why as soon as Christmas day is over people seem to think that the Christmas season done nuh, and they stop playing Christmas music, because it isn’t. It lasts from the beginning of Advent, long before the actual day till into the New Year. Remember is a season. And nobody takes down their Christmas trees before January 7thor thereabouts. So if yuh Christmas tree still up then, that means is still the Christmas season, so you suppose to rejoice and give thanks and praise the Lord for the gift of Christ. (smile) 

Anyhow, today is Boxing Day, and the Province of Ontario lockdown tighter than ah don’t know what. For sure there’ll be none of the usual Boxing Day sales. Well if yuh can’t behave yuhself when the going is good, then you obviously going to suffer the undesirable consequences! 

And that’s exactly what’s been happening here in Ontario; people haven’t been obeying the Covid rules and the cases have been mushrooming, setting new records almost every day, so something had to give. Hope that now all the Christmas festivities sort of over, people will wake up and realize that unless we take serious precautions this virus will become increasingly virulent. But who knows what people will do eh? 

Anyway, it’s also Saturday, so let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. And the preface business still running. ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are.’ And as always, I’ll remind us to remind ourselves that we only awesome when we in Jesus, and He’s in us! 

And the first quote is this: ‘Negative thoughts only have the power I allow them.’ And that’s the gospel truth, for since Christ has conquered hell, death and the grave, NOTHING negative, even the devil, has any power over us, unless we allow it. And as per negative thoughts, Bruh Paul reminds us that we should be about ‘Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:5) 

Yes friends, we need to be careful what thoughts we allow to exist in our minds, because the mind is the battlefield of the spiritual war in which we’re engaged. And how do we keep control of our thoughts? One website puts it thus: ‘The word of Christ should dwell in you richly. This can be accomplished by regular study and meditation in the Bible, by memorizing Scriptures, by church attendance, and through committed obedience to Christ’s teachings. It also says to teach and admonish.’ 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:19-21) Those are some of the ways we can keep our thoughts and minds strong and reject the negative stuff that’s ever so quick to jump in there. 

And the next quote tells us: ‘To make small steps toward big goals is progress.’ Now that’s no lie, for life itself usually goes in small steps, and there aren’t many times when big things happen suddenly as big things, but they mostly grow from small things until they get big. As mih Jamaican people say, ‘one one cocoa full basket.’ 

And that’s the living truth. You can only put one cocoa in the basket at time, thus we ought to esteem the small things in our lives, because put together, they can grow to big things. Like the mighty oak tree that grows from a small acorn – but it takes a long time to become mighty, doing so in small steps. 

Then we come to this: ‘No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future.’ And isn’t that the indisputable truth. Yet we keep on allowing the guilt of our past to hamper our present and future and allow worry for the future to disrupt our present. That’s foolish my people! 

Once we have come to Christ and asked for forgiveness for our past wrongs, they were forgiven, so there’s no need to keep letting that guilt attack our souls and spirits. The problem there is that we find it hard to forgive ourselves, and that’s possibly a sense of pride. For if Almighty God has forgiven us, who are we not forgive ourselves eh? We’re just saying there that we don’t really believe and trust God’s forgiveness. 

And as per worrying about the future, Jesus said it loud and clear in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Ah friends, every day has its own problems, more than enough, so there’s no need to take any from one and put it on the other. We just need to try and live ONE DAY at a time and not get too far ahead of ourselves, for life takes pleasure in gumming up the works if we try to be too smart. (smile) 

And our last quote says: ‘The control center of your life is your attitude.’ Now that certainly rings true! Our attitude controls our thoughts and actions. If we have a good attitude, then invariably we have good thoughts and actions. The opposite is also true. If our attitude is bad, then most likely bad thoughts and actions will predominate. And where do we get those polar opposite attitudes from eh? From the two options available to us in this world. 

As Jesus said: ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly riches).’ (Matt. 6:24) And there’s no disputing that! You can’t serve God and the devil at the same time. You have to make a choice. And depending on that choice, you will adopt a certain attitude. 

If you choose Jesus, then your attitude will be predominantly good. But if you choose to serve Beelzebub, then your attitude will be predominantly evil! So it’s up to each of us to choose to whom we will bow, but bow to somebody, we must. Let’s hope that most, no, ALL of us choose to serve the One and Only Saviour of our fallen world; JESUS CHRIST! Then, good attitudes will predominate in our world. Much LOVE!

…oh…why is it so hard to get suffering sinners…to come to Christ’s comforting arms eh… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2018 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 
So it’s a tad wet, and cloudy and still a li’l snowy from yesterday…so what? What’s the big deal eh? It’s Friday, that’s all we’re concerned about! And Friday in the Christmas season to boot! That means plenty shopping, baking, cooking, singing Christmas songs, plenty lights on trees and all over the place, hugs and kisses a plenty, plus a whole lot of pleasant greetings like: ‘Merry Christmas!’ and ‘Happy Holidays!’ etc. etc. 

But hopefully friends, underneath all that joyfulness, let’s hope the real reason for Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ surfaces and makes a true difference, not only in outward affection, but also through sincere internal appreciation and true godliness. Amen! 

And there’s nobody singing louder and more joyfully than the ordinary workingman! He’s been on his soapbox from the beginning! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday in the Christmastime! Blow me down! Christmas is just around the corner! And I don’t care about the shopping and the gifts nuh…cause I have no money to buy any! But who want to put themselves in debt…let them go right ahead yes! 

Me, I only concerned about the food and drink, and the nice time when we playing music, singing and dancing! I might even go to church for the Christmas…if I sober enough. Hn, hn, hn! But putting all joke aside, Christmas is the best time of the year oui: yuh see all yuh friends and family who you ent see for ages…and yuh nice to even the ones and them yuh doh like! Heh, heh! 

Wish it could be Christmas all year round yes! And this year it going to have plenty holidays too, because Christmas and Boxing Day on a Tuesday and Wednesday. Mama Yo! Ah can’t wait to celebrate them two days off from the massa work nuh, where he have to pay we for not working! He face going to be sour like a lime! But thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time oui!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman does have a way with words and thoughts yes. But he does have a couple of good points, like we even nice to people we don’t like, and oh…if the atmosphere, not necessarily the festive aspect, but the peace and good tidings could be present in our awful society all year round…what a wonderful world this would be! But I guess that’s just wishful thinking. No reason though why we can’t hope for it and have faith that Jesus one day will provide it. 

 Anyway, let’s sing our weekend song nuh, our Friday Chant. It might not be as colourful and imaginative as the workingman’s but it does suit our Christ-like purposes admirably. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my Christian brethren, we need to remember that even in our joyful times not to go too far out on the limb, to stay within the borders of rationality, so that we don’t open up ourselves to attacks from the enemy; physical, spiritual and emotional, because he’s just waiting like a beast of prey to attack us on any level he can.

But enough of all of that, let’s get back to one of the most wonderful stories ever told; that of the angel Gabriel informing Mary, Jesus’ future mother, of what was going to happen. 

Remember yesterday Gabriel gave her the whole spiel about; ‘she’d found favour with God,’ she’d have a son. ‘His name would be JESUS,’ ‘called the Son of the Highest,’ ‘given the throne of his father David,’ ‘reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Now how would any of us good, strong, mature Christian folk, in these modern times, react to that information eh? Either by laughing or being scared to death. But Mary didn’t even bat an eyelid. She merely asked a simple but very practical question to all that info: Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’  

Yeh friends, a very sensible and mature answer and question from a teenage girl in a backwater town in very ancient times! How could she get pregnant and bear a child without knowing a man eh? And though her faith seemed strong, she obviously hadn’t expected to be dealing with the Creator of the universe. 

And in like fashion, the angel Gabriel gave Mary a simple and straightforward answer to her million…no billion-dollar question. That’s how expensive and controversial the situation would have been back then. 

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth (John the Baptist’s mother), she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) 

Now friends, a lot of us spout that line, but how many of us really believe it and try to action it eh? Not very many! But hear Mary’s response to the whole contrary, mixed up situation: ‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Now that’s why I LOVE Mary! After Jesus, she’s my most favourite character in the Good Book. From the get go she was mature and faithful about the very preposterous situation. She didn’t hem and haw like so many of us would have done…even those of supposedly great faith. Even knowing the horrific situation those things would cause in her life, she said bring it on without a fuss. 

Oh my people, my people, I sure hope we can use Mary as a shining example when the Lord calls us to do something that seems difficult and overwhelming. Remember He NEVER gives us more than we can bear, and ALWAYS helps us to complete the task. So there’s no need to be afraid or worried whenever He calls! Much LOVE!

…when the Lord says jump…it’s best to say…how high Lord…the very first time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2013 Isaiah 33:22

Isaiah 33:22.   For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.
 
And then it was Boxing Day! Yes Friends, most of the Christmas hoopla has died down now. Thank the Lord! The Christmas season itself is wonderful, but all the unnecessary fuss can get to be a bit much.
 
Unfortunately though, some 60-70 thousand people, primarily in the Scarborough area of the G.T.A, are still without power, and many trees and other impediments are still to be removed from the roads to provide access.
 
It’s certainly been a very rough time for those people, and though some are still complaining about the refusal to declare a state of Emergency, the Premier of the Province, Ms. Wynne, says that isn’t necessary because all the people who would have been called in province wide, are already here helping out.
 
But that’s cold comfort for those who still don’t have power. I spoke to a friend last night, she and her husband, both in their 70’s were without power for almost 72 hours over the weekend. At one point she thought she was about to lose her mind. Imagine two people in their 70’s in a cold, dark house for almost three days nuh!
 
Ah mih people, it’s truly been a harrowing Christmas for many people in the province. And sadly, on top of the ice, there’s been some snowfall over the last couple days, not a great deal, but enough to make matters worse. Please continue praying for us and helping in whatever way you can.
 
And another group that has certainly suffered is the business owners and merchants, since many of them couldn’t open because of lack of power and possibly physical damage to their properties. And even for those who were able to open, the number of shoppers must have been seriously curtailed due to the latter’s disastrous situations.
 
To spoil their Christmas even further, today, Boxing Day, usually Canada’s biggest sales and shopping day, has seen its importance steadily eroded as we try to compete with the U.S. Thanksgiving Black Friday sales pitch. So the merchants are seriously suffering, any which way you take it.
 
However my brethren, here’s something to lift us up after all that negative and depressing news. It’s a Christmas Prayer, from the Robert H. Schuller Hour of Power Devotional. I only read it after I wrote the Bit yesterday, otherwise I would have included it. But it’s still the Christmas season, so it’s still very appropriate.
 
And again I have to wonder how this prayer seems so new and unfamiliar to me, although I’ve been reading this devotional for a number of years.
 
Anyway, it inspirationally says: ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest.
 
I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree.
 
I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving; solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever: Amen.’ 
 
What inspiring and encouraging words my people! Though I had to chuckle at the end, because a lot of pines and other trees around the Province, certainly aren’t standing tall and sturdy today.
 
But the significant difference is that we believers, despite any setbacks, still have the God-given ability to stand sturdy, strong and deeply rooted in God’s amazing LOVE, becoming truly beautiful souls.
 
And we find that possible because of scriptures like our Bit. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.’
 
Yes my brethren, since Almighty God, the Creator and most omnipotent force in the universe is our guide and leader, we can stand strong in the power of His Holy Name, through the current working of His Holy Spirit, and the sacrificial work His Son, Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, did for us two thousand years ago!
 
That just goes to show how strong and powerful is our God! Two thousand years later, He’s still alive and kicking, and pushing on as strong as ever. Wow!
 
In fact He’s becoming stronger every day, as more and more people come to recognize His tremendous power, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness, and thus believe in Him, put their trust and faith in Him, for help in their earthly pilgrimage.
 
Ah Friends, it’s time to close. I had envisioned getting to the ‘lawgiver’ aspect of our Bit, but that obviously wasn’t meant to be today. However, I’ll leave us with a wonderful scripture on the ‘king and saving’ aspect that I could not include yesterday.
 
Listen to these beautiful and encouraging words from the prophet Zechariah, as he prophesies about Zion’s future king. ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just (righteous), and having salvation; lowly (humble), and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Zech. 9:9)
 
And we all know that scripture was faithfully fulfilled on Palm Sunday!
 
So fellow believers, we’ve celebrated, sorry, we’re still celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, but we indeed have the next big occasion to look forward to, Easter, when He truly did His saving work and definitely earned His exalted position as our Lord and King. Much LOVE!
 
…to whom do we owe the treasures of salvation and eternal life…JESUS CHRIST…what a wonderful SAVIOUR…!