Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2018 1 Peter 1:7.

1 Peter 1:7.    That the (genine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.
 

Ah friends, life can be so unfair at times eh! Chuh! For the past two weeks I was waking up to bright sunshine, blue skies, aquamarine surf rolling up on the shores, and tall coconut tress swaying gently in the cool North East Trade Winds, with refreshing island talk drifting up to my room. 

But all of a sudden, I got up this morning and looking out my bedroom window, somewhat cloudy skies, multihued trees and a set of dead brown leaves on the cold looking grass shockingly greeted my sleepy eyes. It certainly brought my system to a standstill. (smile) 

But there was one redeeming feature; my neighbour has a tall tree in his backyard, don’t ask me what kind, and it is covered in golden yellow leaves from head to foot! It looks real beautiful, could be a wonderful poster tree for the colourful fall season. 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella is back home, dressed in his old red spring jacket, sitting in his old chair before his aged desktop, and writing much more comfortably than I did for the last two weeks on my laptop in J.A. But that vacation has been enshrined in the top ones that the duchess and I have taken. 

It definitely is not number one. That place of honour permanently resides in one we took some fifteen to twenty years ago, in the same Jamaica, but we stayed in a town house somewhere down in the Parish of Trelawney. And brother, the things we did; climbing Dunns River falls, rafting down the White River and numerous other tours. 

But I guess the highlight was boating up some river in the night with flambeaus, flaming torches all around, and drums beating in the distance, going to a night time barbecue somewhere along the river bank. Sorry, don’t ask me any more, because it seems I was totally wasted that night. (smile) The things we do when we are young eh! 

But in my maturity and brokenness, I was still able to do one amazing feat; walk up the winding, dangerous nature trail to the Blue Hole Waterfall, and then walk back down in my flip-flops. And I would indeed be foolish to take all the credit, or rather any of it, because it was the Lord who carried me back and forth on His strong, massive, magnificent shoulders. 

If I had known what it was like before attempting it, I doubt I would have done so. So please give the Lord all the glory, because in my weakness, His grace and strength were more than enough to see me through. Glory to the wonderful Deity we serve! 

And on that note of thanksgiving, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that certainly describes my life in the past couple of years. It’s titled ‘Don’t Stop Lord.’ Please pray with me. ‘Lord In asking You to make me whole I certainly didn’t know What I was in for. You have ransacked me Until I sometimes feel There is nothing left. But don’t stop Lord Please don’t stop! I’m trusting that the product Will be worth the process.’ 

Yes mih breddren, when I asked the Lord for healing, I surely didn’t know the paces He would put me through. And if I had known, I can’t say for sure that I would have asked for it. But since we’ve come so far, it’s too late to turn back now. And even if I don’t feel like crying out to Him to continue, the wise and sensible thing to do is let Him finish the renovations and refurbishment, because as Bruh Paul confidently told the Philippians: 

‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) Yes my brethren, once the Lord begins working in us, He never stops until the job is done, even if it takes till Jesus’ Second Coming. So please don’t ever give up on Him! 

And the Bible Promise for the poem above is also our Bit. ‘That the (genuine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.’ 

Oh friends, the Lord puts us through some tough trials to simply test our faith, to see how committed we truly are to Him. But He only does it for a ‘season,’ a short time. And if we stand strong and steadfast, He will bring us out of the testing fire, stronger, purer and more mature, like when gold and silver are burnished. 

As James says: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.’ (James 1:2-3) And patience, re perseverance, is something ALL believers need to acquire, and sadly, it cannot be acquired without going through tough times. 

So please friends, let’s all try and bear up under whatever adversity comes against us, knowing that our ever-faithful God will not give us more than we can handle, and in any case will help us through the fire and the flood. And it’s going home time, so let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose, proudly letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In unison now: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

And to be true to our word, let’s go out now and share the wonderful LOVE and compassion of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus is not easy…but praise the Lord…it is certainly very rewarding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2018 Joshua 1:9.

Joshua 1:9.    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 whithersoever thou goest.

Ah mih people, instead of getting later, the Bits seem to be getting earlier! (smile) And today’s reason is not a bout of insomnia, but because I have to catch and early bus to Kingston. Oh yes, I am going back to the big city! I discovered a big sister from another branch of the family and we’re going to hold another gathering! Wow! Don’t I just LOVE the family gatherings, although this one will be mostly of old friends whom I have not seen since I left the university almost fifty years ago. 

Yes, I know, when you start bandying around terms like a half century, you must be getting on in age. But chuh! Age is simply how you feel, and believe me the ole fella is young. Hn! After the work out they put me through yesterday, I must be a young pup! Brother! They took me out of here about ten thirty in the morning and didn’t bring me back until seven in the evening…but it was an exceedingly good time. 

Hn, hn! I can say that now, but when I was hiking through the nature trail, through brush and bramble, across a fast-flowing stream on rocks, or makeshift boardwalks, holding on to a rope, climbing the high hills, on narrow, rough tracks, swimming in the cold, deep pools, feeling the hips and back resisting the inconvenience, I didn’t think it was so great. And at one time we just kept going up higher and higher, ostensibly towards the waterfall, and I kept asking ‘when are we going to reach it eh?’ 

But we had two wonderful young men as guides, who looked after us admirably. One looked after me in particular because all the others (three women) were more mobile than me, and he kept telling me that my safety was his only concern, and if anything happened to me, he would put me on his back and carry me back. But being a stubborn ole coot, I tried resisting his help in some difficult places. Thanks Mikey! Your professionalism and encouragement played and enormous part in me making it all the way up. 

However, I did not climb the waterfall, I know my limitations. (smile) I just stopped and swam in the pool at the bottom and watched other younger and more mobile specimens clamber up its rocky walls. Twenty years ago, that would be a no brainer, as I did at Dunns’ River Falls. But age does take its toll on the body. 

And after reaching the top, and being promised and easier path back, we discovered that they were repairing that path, so we had to come back the same way we went. But as always, the trip back never seems as laborious as the trip out and we made some good time back. Had a coconut water along the way, as well as being offered some samples of herb, which I refused, but it did smell rich and mouthwatering! (smile) What a way times have changed eh! (smile). 

And if yuh think that once we got back down things were easy, think again! We then had to climb some fifty something concrete steps to get back to the car and the main road. And yuh know what? The duchess took it all in stride, looking out for her husband’s safety all the way. ‘Be careful here dear, Watch your step, it’s steep here. Hold on to this railing, Yuh okay? Yuh think you can make it. Yuh not tired’ and on and on. But though I pretended umbrage, I appreciated the concern. 

 Oh they even bought me a ‘Blue Hole’ T-Shirt. That’s the name of the place, located on the northern outskirts of the tourist mecca of Ocho Rios. It was advertised as a warm mineral spring, but it turned out to be a cold river bath. But not to worry, a fine time was had by all, The Lord carried me on His strong, massive shoulders most of the way, so I was definitely in good hands, better than All State! (smile) 

And as we began our journey back, I began asking for mannish water. After asking a couple of people, we finally found a restaurant that had cow-foot soup. Praise the Lord! And brother, was it ever good! I couldn’t even finish the bowl, had to carry back some. Hope I can have it for breakfast this morning. As I keep saying, I’m here to recuperate, to get stronger, and those kinds of foods are what I need to strengthen the innards. (smile) 

Then the traffic back was disgusting, especially in Mo Bay, where we had to go down to the Bus Depot and pay the fare so we could get a decent discount. And would you believe it, the lady at the Bus Depot didn’t believe that the duchess and I were seniors, had to see our I.D. to believe it. 

And most important of all my people, is that I’m not feeling any real repercussions from the extreme exertion. As they, what doesn’t kill you, will strengthen you. It hasn’t killed me, so let’s hope it will do the latter. And what better scripture to be our Bit today, than the Lord’s eternal words of assurance 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 whithersoever thou goest.’ 

With such powerful assurance friends, how could I be anything but strong and courageous yesterday eh? And as always, our great and faithful God kept His promise and looked after me…admirably too. So let’s go home now loudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings, being truly thankful for them as we ought to. 

Altogether now. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we’re faithful followers, we’ll now go out and share those amazing and awesome blessings with others, as Jesus so greatly desires. Much LOVE!

…true trust and faith in Jesus…can truly lead one to leap over one’s mountains…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2016 Philippians 2:5‏‏

Philippians 2:5.      Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.

Ah Friends, laziness is a hell of a thing yes! How many of you noticed yesterday that the top heading had one date and the bottom one another eh? Computers make it too easy for us sometimes. This copy and paste thing can do serious damage if we’re not careful. My sincere apologies to those of you who noticed. I aced it this morning though, got them both right! (smile)

So the bacchanal done now mih people; Carnival over and we now into the godly season of Lent. Let’s hope that we extinguished all our energy and frustrations during the Carnival period and are now ready to settle down to a serious time of consideration and ‘ponderation’ on God and all that He stands for, because this is the season for it.

Now, as per activities, yesterday, after finishing my buss-up shirt, I went down to Scarborough to see some local mas. Hn! We got down there about two o’clock, only to find the streets empty, not a mas in sight.

We walked up to where they were supposed to be judging the bands, but could not get a seat out of the sun because they had private tents, or tents with no seats, so we walked back to a closed up café or chicken joint, that had an awning over the front, the same place we were last year.

This time there were no chairs in front, apparently the owners got smart after last year, but there were a few benches by the side, we put one under the awning and limed there until we left around five thirty.

At two thirty, no mas had appeared, so I told the duchess if none appears by three o’clock we would leave. Luckily, about ten to three a sailor band with about a dozen people, of whom I knew about four, came down the road, passed the judging stand and eventually ended up liming right by us.

As the afternoon progressed about five bands eventually passed up in front of us, and I saw a few other people I knew, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. As usual though I could not see a pan side on the road to jump with. Ah Lord eh, what has mas come to eh, when there’s no pan on the road? Steups!

One friend there kept telling me how the pans usually come out after six o’clock, but who knows if what he said was true, and I definitely wasn’t hanging around to find out. So the duchess and I walked back to the car, not too far really, but it was a bit difficult, and the Lord ended up carrying me.

I definitely couldn’t make it on my own strength, even with my cane. And who says our God isn’t a great and caring God eh! I certainly won’t because there are many days without His help, I wouldn’t make it through. Anyway, enough about me and mas.

Today is Ash Wednesday. Hope those of you so interested went to church and got your ashes. I was too tired to get up, and the service in my area was too early, six a.m. But I think there is one at six p.m. tonight. I might check that out. And since it’s Wednesday, then we need to declare our Wednesday Wail with much gusto and sincerity.

As one now, let’s wail: ‘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, it’s so good to be alive on this Ash Wednesday, and alive in sweet Tobago too, that I can die from the happiness! (smile) But then we need to put our noses to the grindstone and focus our every thought on Jesus, keep looking ahead to the wonderful future He has planned for us, not at the past as so many of us unfortunately do.

Ah my fellow believers, what is past has gone, and believe me, our best days are still ahead, out in front of us, if we keep hanging sincerely with Jesus. But as our Bit tells us, we can’t be like Jesus unless we first think like Him. ‘Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’

And today I want to share some explanations from the scholars on the 2nd to 4th verses of the chapter. ‘Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind.’ (Phil.2:2) Then he continues talking about the need for no strife and pride, selfishness and being our brother’s keeper.

The scholars offer these explanations: ‘2:2-4. Fulfill ye my joy (or, “Make my joy complete”). Paul rejoiced over the Philippians (1:3), but his happiness was incomplete, owing to some disunity and lack of total harmony among them. The Greek equates what, to Paul, constitutes “complete joy” with the readers being likeminded. This means “living in harmony” with one another. That is, the Philippians can “fulfill” the writer’s “joy” by living in harmony among themselves.

But what does such harmonious living entail? Beginning in verse 2 and continuing through verse 4, six participles spell out and clearly define what it means to “live in harmony:” (1) having the same LOVE toward one believer as shown toward another, without partiality; (2) being of one accord; that is, they are to be united in spirit; (3) of one mind; that is, the whole church is to have the same values and goals;

(4) let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, for selfish ambition or conceit; (5) let each esteem other better than themselves, that is, each is  to regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself; and (6) look…every man also on the things of others; that is, each is to be just as concerned for the needs and problems of his brother as he is for his own affairs.’

Oh friends, oh friends, that’s exactly what Christianity is all about, living in LOVE and harmony with and for each other! It’s what Jesus taught, and how He lived! But are we doing that today? Hn! Definitely not as much as we should, else our world and our Christian fellowship would not be in the bad shape they are in.

So today, on this Ash Wednesday of 2016, please, let’s sit down and consider, ponder the way we live, and try, with God’s help obviously, to bring it more in line with the Christian principles outlined above nuh. For that my brethren, is the indisputable wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…oh how good and precious it is…when brethren live together in true harmony…