Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2020 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.     ​With men this is impossible: but with God ALL things are possible.
 

Oh mih people we finally experienced the divine power of a majestic thunderstorm yesterday evening. And was it ever a sight to behold. Around 8.30 in the evening, after supper, the duchess and I were sitting on the back deck reading, when she pointed out the sudden amassing of dark clouds on the western horizon. But knowing how the wind tends to quickly disperse the clouds nowadays, I said I’d believe it when I saw it. 

Well some fifteen minutes later, after some ominous roars of thunder, I did believe it, because I saw it. (smile) It began as a slight drizzle which caused me to come inside and head for the front porch, ostensibly to sit there and check it out. But the storm was having none of that; as I opened the front door a blaze of lightning flashed in front of me, and the wind was already blowing the rain all over the porch. Chuckling, I simply closed the door and spent the next fifteen minutes or so, just listening to God’s blessings watering His dry, parched earth. 

And we all know that there’s nothing as soothing and relaxing as being inside of an evening and hearing the rain fall outside. We obviously didn’t get as much rain or for as long a spell as Toronto did recently, but I don’t think the heavenly blessings are over as yet, because now at 8.30 in the morning, more dark clouds have so far stopped the sun from showing it’s cheery face. But since we have the cheery sunlight of Christ shining within us, we’re awright, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Manage the cause, not the result.’ And that makes sense. Many of us try to handle the results, try to manipulate them, without even knowing what caused them to turn out wrong. But you always have to first figure out the problem, then handle it properly, before you can get the desired result. Any wishy-washy managing will only give you wishy-washy results. And sadly, that is the way our world handles a lot of its problems nowadays, that’s why it’s in such a mess. We don’t take enough time to truly figure out the problem before we try to fix it. 

In this age of entitlement and now for now everything, who has the time to really look into problems eh? And consequently, this next quote hits the nail right on the head. ‘If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.’ And that’s gospel truth. Only the right questions will bring you the right answers! And if you don’t know how to ask them, then you will not get the info you desire. Oh, you might get a whole lot of stuff, but it most likely it won’t be relevant to what you’re trying to find out. 

So please friends, let’s take time to sit down and truly analyze our problems and our directions nuh, before we begin trying to fix them or rush out on some wrong path. That’s because, once we get the ball rolling in a certain direction, it’s often hard, if not impossible to change courses in mid-stream. So it behooves us to get it right from the very beginning. And the next quote continues in the same vein: ‘If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.’ 

That’s also the general truth! Sometimes we can get away with poor planning, but usually, unless you have a decent idea of how everything is going to work and fall into place, we won’t be able to do it right. Again, that seems to be a problem in our society; what with our short attention spans and our wanting everything not even right away, but like yesterday, who really lays out a serious process for what they want to achieve eh? Not too many of us, although it’s much easier to do than ever before with all the technology that’s available. 

But it’s regretful that the same technology that allows us to do so many things, also takes away our patience and desire to do them properly. Diligence and excellence are fast falling and failing in our modern-day society, as we totter down to ruin. However, this last quote gives us hope, when it says: ‘Everything can be improved.’ Yes friends, that’s true…but only if you are in true surrender and communication with Jesus Christ! 

Remember when He told the rich man to sell all his possessions and come and follow him and he would receive eternal life, but the young man balked at it because he owned so much stuff? (Matt. 19:16-22) Then Jesus told the disciples: ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible: but with God ALL things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:24-26) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my fellow believers! Whatever our problems, our wrongs, our shortcomings, our disappointments, they are all within God’s mighty realm of change and improvement, if we sincerely take them to Him in prayer. And the prophet Jeremiah said it long before Jesus did: ‘Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is NOTHING too hard (too difficult) for thee.’  (Jer. 32:17) 

And remember too when the disciples could not heal an epileptic boy, and they came to Jesus and asked why? ‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt. 17:20-21) Yuh see friends, how with only a little faith, because a mustard seed is very small, we can move mighty mountains, though sometimes it might also take prayer and fasting. 

And as the scholars explain: ‘17:15-23. …As a grain of mustard seed: This seemingly impossible obstacle or difficulty stands in the way. Since Christ alone is the glorified Saviour, the disciples’ ability to work depends totally upon His empowerment.’ 

Now the same truth still holds today my brethren, thus our declaration (steups! can’t spell that either): ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil. 4:13) It’s up to us now to believe it, and put it work for Christ’s kingdom. Much LOVE!

…how many times must I say it eh….Jesus is the answer…to EVERYTHING…Glory be…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2020 Psalm 40:5.

Psalm 40:5.    ​Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up (recounted) in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
 
Well since the physical church is closed because of the Covid-19 scare, and we can’t gather together in physical worship, it looks like our li’l service here on the Bit has become even more important. (smile) But we can’t allow the Lord’s Day to pass without some form of praise and worship and hearing of His marvellous and life-giving Word. So let’s have church, and we’ll begin with a most appropriate song of praise in these tumultuous, disastrous, scary and panicky times. 

It’s an old favourite written by Johnson Oatman Jr. (1856-1922), a New Jersey born and bred, pastor/cum businessman. The story goes that ‘his father was an excellent singer, and it always delighted the son to sit by his side and hear him sings songs of the church.’ And no doubt that was a most important factor in the young Oatman eventually writing over three thousand hymns; ‘so that no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Wow! Over three thousand hymns! And I looked at a partial list and there are a few well known ones. And that’s just another example of how important it is to get the Lord and His Word into our children at an early age if we want them to grow right. And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ (smile) But enough suspense, the name of today’s praise song is ‘Count Your Blessings!’ And oh, if many more of us would just do that, our hope, our faith and our world would be so much less wishy-washy, evil and strife-filled! 

But let’s concentrate on the singing nuh. Therefore, as one strong, harmonious, soulful and sincere voice, let’s raise our sacrifice of praise to heaven, letting them know that we are indeed grateful for ALL our blessings, those we enjoy down here on earth, and those stored in heaven. ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain] When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings, money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. [Refrain] So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. [Refrain] 2’ 

Oh my people, if we’d only stop a moment when times are rough, like they are now with the Corona virus, and count the many blessings with which we have been bestowed over the years of walking with Christ, as I said earlier, we won’t be as scared and panicked as we are. Yes, we will be concerned, but not thinking the worse! And I have some interesting words to share on the subject. First off, the basic meaning of Count Your Blessings. One dictionary puts it thus: ‘to be grateful for the good things in your life, often to stop yourself from becoming too unhappy about the bad things.’  

And is that ever so true; just like we ought to be doing right now so we can stop thinking about the bad things that are currently happening. Now hear this quote from the renowned African American Educator and Adviser, Author and Orator, Booker T Washington (1856-1915). ‘Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.’ And if you’re a true believer, then you know that’s gospel truth! Then there’s this from somebody, I’m not sure whom, (smile) but it certainly hits the nail on the head. ‘If you always find yourself numbering your troubles, you will never find time counting your blessings. There is no use becoming frustrated in your difficulties while you have all opportunities hiding in them for a turnover.’

 Oh friends, it’s time to stop counting our troubles and count our blessings instead, for within those same troubles are opportunities for us to overcome the troubles! And this last quote from the web site godtube. ‘God truly gives us so many blessings each and every single day. Some may even be so small that we might overlook them. The classic hymn ‘Count Your Blessings’ truly reminds us to stop and give thanks for all God has done in our lives. This is definitely a pause we all need to take. Amen.’ I couldn’t have put it any better my faithful brethren. 

And we find Bruh David doing it way back when in Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer, as he sincerely declares: ‘Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up (recounted) in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.’ How true my fellow believers. But sadly, we pay more attention to the problems rather than the blessings, that’s why our souls are always in so much turmoil. 

And please remember Bruh Paul’s marvellous words to the Ephesians re Spiritual blessings in Christ. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, lots of spiritual blessings have been granted to us when we became believers, but are stored up in heaven and are ‘being progressively dispersed to us on earth in accord with our need and Christian growth.’ 

And we’ll end, most appropriately with these wonderful words of warning and encouragement from Bruh David from Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…’ (Ps.103:2) Then he goes on to list a whole lot of benefits we enjoy when we walk with Jehovah God through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Oh friends, hopefully, today we’ll take these words seriously and diligently ponder them as we take account of our lives. Much LOVE!

…wisdom wisely cries out…count your blessings…not your troubles…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2020 Philippians 3:7.

Philippians 3:7.    ​But what things were gain to me, those things I counted loss for Christ.
 
Well here it is at last; the churches have been shut down! What’s next? The hospitals! Can you believe it? The scare of the Covid-19 virus, in conjunction with the Government’s directives has caused the Church Leaders to finally pull the plug on church worship. Hn! Did you ever think it possible that one day, most, if not all of the churches would be closed to public gathering? Certainly not! And though it’s not as good as actually gathering in the sanctuary,  there are enough other outlets; radio, t.v. and computer streaming for us to keep in touch with our corporate worship. 

But it’s interesting to see how one small, unknown, but apparently powerful virus has brought the world to its knees in just a couple of weeks. Personally, I think we’ve overreacted and caused unnecessary fear and panic. There’s no need to be buying out the stores and stocking up as though we’re going to war, or suffering from a nuclear fallout. But that’s the problem with too much easy and convenient communication and too many fearful and ungodly people in the world. And though it’s a serious matter I still have to chuckle. If we can’t handle a simple virus with all our modern technology and medical prowess, can you imagine the mess Egypt must have been in when the Lord brought those 8 plagues on them to force Pharaoh to set His people free.

 Can you imagine been pestered by lice and flies and blood and frogs and locusts and death and whatever? But before we move on, here’s something to ponder on, a li’l food for thought. Remember Moses’ warning to the Israelites: ‘If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ (Ex. 15:26) 

Oh my people, can this be a warning from our God? We certainly are not keeping His commandments and doing as He desires, and all throughout the Good Book, He’s warned of serious penalties for willful sin and disobedience. And since this virus has now become pandemic in nature, all over the world, who knows if it’s the hand of our mighty God moving in one of His many mysterious ways to remind and warn us of our sinful ways? And in these last tumultuous days, that is something we should surely ponder on, but I doubt too many of us will. 

Anyhow, it’s Saturday, so let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘It’s the little things you do that make the big things happen.’ And that’s a fact my people! Unless we do the small things, and do them well, the big things won’t turn out right. That’s why we’re warned to pay particular attention to the small things in our lives, since God, or no man will ever give us big things if they see we can’t take care of the small ones. And remember the Jamaican saying: ‘One one cocoa full basket.’ But unfortunately, in this brave new, but very foolish world of ours we don’t treasure the small stuff, everybody just wants to be on the big stage! 

And the second quote says: ‘He who stops being better stops being good.’ And there is a lot of truth in that also. If we don’t keep getting better but insist on sitting on our laurels, then we’ll eventually rub out, use up, whatever good we have, because we need to keep replenishing our souls and spirits every day. That leads us quite nicely into this next quote. ‘Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still.’ Whoa! Is that ever the killing of the human soul! Standing still is definitely not an option, especially if you’re a child of the Most High God Jehovah! And you can’t get truly better overnight; it all takes time. It’s like learning a craft; only with continuous practice and time spent with it will you ever learn it. And that’s what life is really, the craft of living! (smile) 

Now the next quote is like the previous two: ‘Practice the philosophy of continuous improvement. Get a little bit better every single day.’ Now that is basic logic and common sense. But sadly those two very important things are almost nonexistent in our current society, where we value the need for speed, now for now, above all else. But in the words of some wise person, let’s remember ‘that speed kills!’ It certainly does. If you do anything too fast it most likely will end up in a mess. But it’s how our society views life nowadays; we desire and want to have everything right away. The number one technological aspiration these days is how to make everything work quicker and faster. But there are undoubtedly stumbling blocks in that approach, which we’ll discover as time goes by. (smile) 

And the last quote wisely advises: ‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ Now that is gospel truth. The only perfect being in our universe is our Creator, and He did not make us to be perfect, but He does expect us to do our best in that direction, being diligent towards it, and thus ending up excellent. Yuh know the two most important things in being ambassadors of Christ is being diligent and excellent in His service. We can’t be wishy-washy, irresponsible and lazy, for that’s not the lifestyle He wants us to portray to the unbelieving world. 

And I think one of the best scriptures in that regard is Bruh Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where after listing all his earthly accomplishments, he sincerely declared. ‘But what things were gain to me, those things I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (rubbish, refuse), that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) 

Oh friends, the most excellent thing we can ever seek in this world is the knowledge of Christ! All of our earthly accomplishments, wealth and power, mean absolutely nothing until we have Jesus securely embedded in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies! That’s the only true and sure way to live this earthly life! So on this controversial Saturday, where the whole world is in an uproar, please let us, the truly faithful, place all of our cares in the Lord’s hands, and just relax our souls and spirits and minds. Incessantly worrying about Covid-19 won’t make it go away, but with God’s Spirit working in us, we can be relaxed and rest in His promise that He is indeed Jehovah Rapha…the God who heals! Much LOVE!

…what’s the purpose of faith…if you don’t use it in times of crisis eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2019 Matthew 5:14.

Matthew 5:14.    ​Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
 

Well hello there my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and family! Oh… you’re shining bright and beautiful like the morning sun outside my window! Now that’s the way our Lord and Saviour likes to see His people blooming and blossoming in this evil world! Yes, I know you’re thinking that B.S, does indeed baffle brains, but why couldn’t what I’ve just said all be true eh? That’s exactly how followers of Christ ought to be! And a lot of us are…just not enough! 

But we won’t belabour the point, I’ll just share this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, which shows exactly how believers are when Christ is in the house. And it’s titled, quite appropriately, ‘You Cannot Be Hid.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. When You are the Great First in a home There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is a commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own Word says it so vividly: “It was known that He was in the house.” 

Oh Mama Mia people! That says it all so wonderfully! When Jesus is truly in the yard, it must show! If it doesn’t, then He’s not there! And this Christmas season when we celebrate Christ’s birth, let’s make sure that others can clearly see Him in our homes and lives nuh, because that’s the biggest advertising and selling point we could ever have: the light of Jesus shining in our lives. And Jesus Himself said it in the promise for our poem: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ 

Wow! What a gospel truth, from the very mouth of our Lord and Saviour! That means, as true believers our lives ought to be exemplary, not wishy-washy and full of compromises. Oh don’t worry, Jesus knows that we’re not perfect, and never will be, but what He desires is the sincere effort on our part. As He further enables and reassures us by these reassuring words. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) What more assurance can we ask for or need eh friends? 

Please let’s not be like the Pharisees disputing His authority because He witnessed to Himself. Who else could He witness to or by eh, when he was God, the Creator, the Highest of all beings? As the Lord said so emphatically in Isaiah concerning salvation. ‘Look (turn) unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return. That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue swear (take an oath). (Is. 45:22-23) Yes my fellow believers, the Lord could not be more emphatic than that re His sovereignty and overall position in the cosmos! 

So since we are His disciples, His ambassadors in this ungodly and wicked world, our lives ought also to be bright and shining like His was. For, as He continues in Matthew after our Bit: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:15) More gospel truth that friends! We don’t light lights then hide the light, so why are we trying to hide the light of Jesus that dwells in us and wants to be set free in the darkness of this world eh? 

No, we have to do like He says: ‘Let your light shine so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) Now that’s our very raison d’etre, our very purpose for being alive my brethren; to glorify God! That’s why He created us; so that we could worship and glorify Him, praise His holy Name and live just for Him alone! 

But getting back to the heart of the matter, this Christmas season when we’re celebrating Christ’s birthday with lots of lights, please, please, let not the lights be only on the trees and ornaments and buildings, but even more importantly, sincerely shining from our hearts, radiating in our faces and blossoming forth in our LOVING actions! As I said earlier on, the sincere light that shines in our lives is the best testimony we can ever give for Christ! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings which our ever magnanimous God has showered down on us so we can do His work, be bright, shining lights in a dark world. Altogether in full voice: ‘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 it pays to remember that those blessings are for us to generously share, like the Lord generously shared them with us, not to selfishly hoard for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…as lights for Christ…we can choose no better time to shine…and shine brightly too…than at Christmas…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.
 

Well friends, it’s the first Sunday in Advent! And why is that important eh? Because in the church’s calendar, this is the time of year we begin preparing for Christ’s coming! Originally it seems like it was a time to think of Christ’s Second Coming, a cry for the Messiah to come back and take over the evil world. But apparently down through the years it got intertwined with the First Coming of the Messiah, what we call Christmas, so now we celebrate Advent by looking back nostalgically at the First Coming, while excitedly and expectantly looking forward to the Second One! Only in the Christian faith can we have such double celebrations my people! (smile) 

Anyway, as we gather today in joyful fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, to give thanks and praise and worship His Holy Name, we not going to open with an Advent hymn because I got a zeppo intimating that the Lord wanted to hear this particular tune, ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ I guess He’s feeling that believers are not being strong and steadfast enough in the faith. We’re being too fearful and wishy-washy, sitting on the fence, wavering like a leaf in the wind, and too ready to compromise so that we can go on with our comfortable lives! 

Consequently, He wants us to get our acts together, get really serious about our cause, and like true warriors come out fighting valiantly under Jesus’ banner, even to the death, if needs be! So let’s raise our voices in strong and solemn song, as we sing these most excellent sentiments, but also truly fighting words, written in 1858 by George Duffield (1818-1888) in honour of his dear departed friend and leader, Dudley Atkins Tyng (1825-1858) in a tragic farm accident. It’s reputed that Tyng’s last message to his associates was for them to, ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ and this became the theme of Duffield’s song. 

And to make it even more powerful, we going to do a scintillating, rocking Reggae version, a la Miss Carlene Davis. Wow! Rockers time mih people! (smile) So altogether now: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. (Bridge: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up.) 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally. (Extro: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up….!’ 

Aye friends, I hope we truly meant what we just sang, because our world is desperate for somebody, for serious somebodies to stand up to the evil one in Jesus name! And it’s sad that we all know the scripture that characterizes that song, but we’re not putting it into full and proper use. Hear Bruh Paul as he articulates to the Ephesians, re the whole armour of God: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ (Eph.6:10) 

As Christians we’re engaged in a spiritual battle from now until Christ’s Second Coming that we’re looking forward to this first Sunday in Advent. And there must be ‘no quarter given, no ceasefire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities.’ But to do that successfully, we have to stand strong, be strengthened in and through the Lord’s might and power. And this next verse is also of the utmost importance: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, no soldier worth his salt, goes into battle without armour, without protective gear. And since in this case our battle is not physical but spiritual, we need specialized protection: Our loins must be girded with God’s truth; the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. Our chests must be protected by a breastplate of righteousness, holy character and moral conduct, through obedience to God’s truth. And then our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must be eager and willing to take on the satanic one and his demoniac cohorts, take the fight to him, and we get that from the gospel of peace, that frees us of any anxiety and fear. 

Then we need the shield of faith so we can repulse all the fiery darts of the wicked one. That means taking God at His Word, believing His awesome promises, dispelling all doubt Satan might try to induce. And we must have a helmet; that of salvation; the hope of and assurance of salvation, the surety, that we’re saved. And you can’t fight without a sword, in this case the sword of the Spirit; the powerful and ever-conquering Word of God! 

But along with all of that protective armour friends, we still need to use the most powerful tool in the universe; prayer! Without it, the armour is useless. So let’s hope all of this has lit a fire in our bellies, reignited our passion for Christ, so that we can become better soldiers in His victorious army! Much LOVE!

…Christians…put on your spiritual armour…the time to fight is NOW…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2019 Mark 9:35.

Mark 9:35.    ​And he sat down and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
 

And then it was Saturday and the ole fella was late getting up. Late nights have a habit of doing that to you! (smile) And it’s not like I did not get up before, but I felt I wasn’t rested enough to take on the big task of writing the Bit, so I went back to bed to get better rested. And that’s why the Bit is late. However, I know that all of you will understand my sticky situation there, having also found yourselves in similar positions at some or other! (smile) 

But to tell yuh how things change, and how after one time is really two, I did not even realize that this was the long Labour Day weekend until sometime late yesterday. In times past, oh boy, I would have already been in the Big Apple (New York City), or on my way there to attend their Labour Day Carnival Parade. 

But just like the Caribana here has changed, in my opinion, become watered down, so has the New York Labour Day Parade become watered down, also with too much police control now. Steups! As soon as six o’clock comes, they rushing you off the Parkway. And when you add the setta walking …Brother! 

The last time I checked it out, believe it was 2007, mih Aunty Anne and I had to park a mile from the parade and walk like everlasting to reach it! We both said no way again Jose! I haven’t been back since then. Even mih Uncle John and them pan side stop coming out because it just wasn’t the same, didn’t have the same flavour. 

So I wish that all who go nowadays have a good time, but me ent going nowhere! Like I do with Caribana, I will just remember the good memories I have of those events, and like memories do, they won’t ever leave me! (smile) So let’s turn to the more important matters at hand now nuh; the quotes we friend Anselm sent us this past week. 

Hear this first one nuh: ‘Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.’ And that’s for certain sure friends, because it all starts in our minds! Our mind is the battlefield of our souls and bodies. That’s where all the fighting for power goes on between the evil one and the Holy Spirit! For as Cousin Sol informs us: ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.’ (Prov.23:7a). 

Yes my people, whatever we think or focus most on, that’s what we become. That’s why believers need to focus on good things, the things of God, if we want to live successful earthly lives. 

And the next quote says: ‘Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never give your power to anyone else.’ 

The problem with that statement is the word ‘happiness,’ because that does come from external circumstances. Now if yuh talking about joy, then that’s a different story, because true joy can only come from within, and it’s there regardless of our difficult outward circumstances. 

That’ why Satan tries his very best to steal our joy, because he knows that when he does that we simply become down and out. That’s because ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength!’ (Neh.8:10) And also why you can’t afford to allow others to control your situations, since they will invariably steal your joy. 

Now listen to this: ‘If you don’t behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.’ So true friends, so true! The corresponding saying is that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything and everything! And that’s certainly not a good way to live this hallowed life. So, especially as believers in Christ Jesus, we need to have strong, godly beliefs and stand strong in them, otherwise we’d just be wishy-washy, like so much of the world is today. 

And then there’s this: ‘It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.’ And we all know that to be gospel truth my people! As Jesus said, ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ (Matt.7:16a) 

And furthermore, come the judgement, all our works will be tried by fire, and we’ll only be rewarded for the ones that withstand the fire. (1 Cor.3:13-15) So we desperately need to build on the only true foundation, which is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! 

And the last quote wisely asks? ‘How might you serve someone today? How could you take the time to say “thank you” to someone who has graciously loved and served you?’ Ah friends, those are all questions that we should seriously ponder this Saturday morning, because our destinies depend on them. Remember our mighty and majestic Lord Jesus Christ came down from heaven and became a lowly servant, not the Crown Prince He was entitled to be. 

Remember what He said to the disciples when they were arguing amongst themselves who should be the greatest among them? ‘And he sat down and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.’ Oh my people, in Christ’s kingdom, being the greatest oftimes means being the least. And Christ’s desire for us down here is to serve and help those who need help and service. 

Remember too the great example Christ gave us when He washed the disciples feet, did possibly the lowliest and most hated job in those times of dusty streets and dirty feet. And then His memorable words to them: ‘For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.’ (John 13:15) 

Oh friends, that is certainly one area in which the overall body of Christ, His church, and we the people of that church are extremely weak! We don’t serve each other, or the numerous lost and hurting as much as we ought to, because we still have too much pride, and still believe like the world does, that the one who is being served is better than the one that’s serving. 

However, that’s contrary to Jesus’ principles. So please let’s check our service meters today nuh, and see how we rank in that area, and take it to the Lord in prayer, because we can ALL do better than we’re currently doing, and that’s a big reason why Christ’s church is not growing and is not as powerful as it ought to be. Much LOVE!

…Jesus came to save the lost…to help the lowly and downtrodden…and that’s what He expects of His church…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2019 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    ​Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
 

After the rain comes the sun, so since yesterday was another very ‘riney’ day, today ought to be blessed with loads of sunshine! And it does seem to have begun that way. But what’s with the rain this season eh? I think the Lord’s trying to tell us something. What? I really don’t know. Perhaps a warning of some sort. But obviously we’re not paying attention, so we keep having more rain than sunshine. 

And the workingman is totally perplexed and annoyed at the situation. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The slave master drive we hard this week and ah real tired now. Just hoping for a nice warm sunshiny weekend, to just lay out on the deck in mih hammock, catch some rays, sip a few, and just relax. But it seems like it going to be a blooming rainy weekend! What it is with this rain thing this year eh? 

Brother! We having more rainy days than sunny ones, and the weather not even getting real warm yet, the middle of June and we still have heat coming on in the house because the children cold! Steups! I don’t know what it is nuh – if the Lord trying to tell we something. But since is the weekend, and the only time I have to do my own thing, I’m going to enjoy it as best as I can – eat, drink and be merry, even if I have to do it inside! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes…even when it cold and rainy!’  

Ah mih people, that’s the beauty of the workingman; he accepts his circumstances, even though he dislikes them, and works around them to keep himself contented. But we sophisticated Christians simply gripe and complain and thus don’t enjoy what the Lord’s granted us. Remember we’re supposed to be happy and contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. But we can’t do that unless and until we actually take the bull by the horns and become contented – with God’s help of course! 

And we’ll begin doing that by chanting our Friday Chant which is different to the workingman’s song because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ desires that we have some boundaries and borders to keep us safe from enemy attacks. So let’s chant it now, like we really mean it nuh. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 fellow believers, we need to be a tad more careful about our doings, our goings and our comings, because we have a heavenly purpose to fulfill, and we can’t do that properly if we’re wishy-washy, and doh-care, else the enemy will just destroy us and our witness for Christ. And we definitely can’t allow that to happen, so let’s tighten up, and strengthen up our lives in appropriate fashion nuh. 

And one of the ways we all need to do that is by being contented with what we have at any particular time in life. Yes, I know that’s not always easy to do, especially when in our circumstances there is much less than the optimal amount of whatever we need. But the fact is that we need to cry out to and hold on to God for help to become like Bruh Paul said, in regards to the gift he received from the church at Philippi. 

‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Oh friends, is that ever something we believers need to learn and quickly too in this world that now lives by the motto of always wanting more and wanting it quicker than the last time. We’re definitely not a contented society in spite of the abundance we possess. But remember we’re supposed to be in the world, but not of it, so we’re not supposed to follow it’s selfish and greedy and discontented mores. 

And please note that contentment in whatever situation is a LEARNED behaviour. It doesn’t just come about like magic or a miracle; it’s something we have to earn and learn, not in a classroom, but by experiencing hard times as well as good times, by facing life like Portia. (smile) But unfortunately our current society is famous for wanting to be great without putting in the necessary effort that it takes to be great. 

Everybody nowadays is a superstar! That’s why our standards have fallen so low, and what used to be an ‘F’ is now a ‘C’, or even a ‘B’. But friends, please note that falling standards in a society only means one thing, that society is on its way down, and if its standards continue to fall, then it will soon become a lesser society, or even an extinct one. 

History bears out that contention. Just look at all the great societies we’ve had, how they prospered when their standards were high, they worked hard, made the necessary sacrifices to grow. But when they reached the top, they got fat and lazy and just wallowed in their prosperity until everything toppled down, and some other nation who was hungry and productive took over their crown. 

And sadly that is what seems to be happening in our current Western society; we’re on the way down because we’ve become fat and lazy and want everything now for now and for nothing, or next to nothing! But as believers my brethren, we are expected to always take the high road, have high standards within this world of low standards, and be contented with whatever we have, knowing that our great and generous, merciful and forgiving God is on our side and will not let us suffer more than we can bear. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could declare his ability to be contented in any situation. And he sums it up thus: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’  (Phil.4:13) Yes friends, we can only live contentedly if we are living for Christ, who is the enabler of the brethren. He is the one that gives us the wherewithal to be contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. Please, let us never forget that, provided we want to be successful and contented in this earthly life. Much LOVE!

…the joy of contentment…experiencing both good and bad times…with Christ always by our side…enabling us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

 

Oh friends, I’ve been led to begin today’s Bit with these immortal words of William Penn (1644-1718) devout Quaker and advocate for religious freedom, the founder of Philadelphia, and whom the State of Pennsylvania is named after. He reputedly gave us these awesome words of wisdom: ‘I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now.’ 

And that’s basically Christianity 101! That’s all that Jesus desires of us. But obviously we don’t do it enough, don’t truly live it, else our world would not be in such a sad and sorry state of evil and ungodliness! But yuh know what? We all have to live with the consequences of our actions, or lack thereof, from the rich to the poor, the weak to the strong, the godly and ungodly. 

But the problem is that we’re so deeply intertwined in society, through so many different kinds of relationships, that the actions of some will definitely affect others. And the only way to assuage the negative effects is by having many more good things happen in our world, much more kindness and LOVE being spread than evil and ungodliness. 

And I’m not telling us anything new nuh, we just like to do as we please, then complain about the negative consequences. The only way to conquer that is as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says: ‘Obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him!’ Otherwise, our unwise, ungodly actions are liable to bring serious consequences we can’t handle, that make us hold our heads and bawl! (smile) 

Anyway, enough sermonizing, let’s hear what the workingman has to say this bright and sunny Friday morning. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the weather seems to be holding up so far. At least it going to be fairly warm this weekend. Hopefully the start of a long awaited summer…and summer holidays…take a few days off from the slave master work and go out in the country with the family…provided we don’t get a wet, short and miserable summer, because that’s the way it shaping up. 

But imagine that nuh; the end of May, and the place still chilly when the night come! This climate change business eh! And people saying that it doh have nothing like that! Steups! Pure foolishness yes! The weather certainly change and become more unpredictable than ever in the last ten years or so. 

But what yuh going to do eh? The people who have the power to improve it, doh want to, so ordinary people like me and you, just have to grin and bear it. But God is good, so we going to handle it, however it come up. And we going to continue thanking God for Fridays and weekends when we could do we own thing, however we want to!’ 

Ah friends, the times they are a changing…and not seemingly for the better. But as believers in Jesus Christ, we have a much better perspective on it all. We don’t need to worry because Christ has our back, and once we walk in obedience to Him, we’ll be okay. That’s why our Friday Chant is much different from the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now with true sincerity and a strong sense of purpose nuh. 

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!’ 

Yeh mih people, we’re on a different wavelength to the unbeliever, but we are indeed charged with bringing them to the awesome wavelength of Jesus, so that they too can enjoy the grace, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life found under His leadership and guidance! 

That’s why the last thing He told the disciples was to: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo. I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Those words are what we conveniently call the Great Commission, but unfortunately not enough of us are out there teaching the world about Jesus and His wonderful attributes! We are either afraid, or just lazy and doh care. But there’s no excuse for either attitude, if we consider ourselves true believers, true disciples and ambassadors of Christ. 

Yuh know Jesus could have relaxed on His laurels in heaven and leave us down here to face the Father’s music, but no, He chose to come down to earth to suffer on our behalf and save our sinful souls. So the least we can do in return is to do the simple stuff He asks of us: tell others about Him, and live the kind of life that glorifies Him, and not be wishy-washy and ashamed of being His follower. 

Please remember His fateful promise: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) 

It couldn’t be any plainer than that friends. You can’t be a disciple of Jesus in secret. You must have the parts to shout it out from the housetops to all and sundry! Otherwise you’re not worthy of being called a Christian! So let’s ponder today, how we’re doing in that respect nuh: are we proud to be called a Christian, do we tell people about Christ, do we live the kind of life that glorifies Him? 

Oh, some of us are doing better than some, but all of us are open to improvement. So please, let’s ask the Father to help us so that we can be better witnesses for his wonderful Son nuh, in the ungodly and evil society in which we live. That’s our Christian purpose and bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…living for Christ is not easy…but it’s what we signed up for…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2019 Philippians 1:10.

Philippians 1:10. That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.

 

Blame it on the rain! Yes friends, we can blame my late arising on the rain…well partly, because I went to bed around 3 a.m and could not fall asleep for a little while. But I was up earlier on…and then I heard the soothing sounds of the rain falling outside, and entranced by it, I rolled over – mind you, just for a minute more, to enjoy its delicious flavour… And wonder of wonders, it lulled me back to sleep! Now that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

And since we’re already late, let’s get straight to our Saturday theme, looking at quotes our friend Anselm sent us during this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Well-being can only happen from within you.’ 

That’s a fact! Regardless of our outer circumstances, be they good or bad, that sense of satisfaction, of happiness, if you will, can only come from within us. Just look at all the wealthy and powerful people who lack inner contentment nuh. And then there are so many poor who have it. It’s all because of how we view our circumstances and handle them. And obviously with Jesus as your Guiding Light, you’ll do even better. 

Then there’s this: ‘Are you riding the wave of life or are you being crushed by it?’ Now that’s a very good question my people! Are we handling life like an animal trainer handles unruly animals; with confidence and strength, but also with some compassion? I assure you that if you don’t take a tight hold on the reins of life, it will take a tight hold on you, for life is advantageous, and will never miss a chance to put you down. 

So it’s our responsibility to do like Portia, and stand up strong and face life. And there I’m talking about an old radio drama from way back when, called ‘Portia Faces Life.’ And unless you’re up there in age, and possibly come from T&T, most of you won’t know it, but in the days before television down there, it was real popular, like the soaps we have nowadays, and it just became a cliché for standing up and facing life head on. 

Consequently, ‘If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.’ That’s true to a great extent. Usually your passion will push you forward if it’s in agreement with your purpose. But for many of us, our purpose and passion often don’t gel. Let’s say the Lord calls you to do one thing, but you have a passion for something else. 

And I’m a perfect example of that! My passion was never to write scriptural stuff, to write yes, but not write on the scriptures. However God seems to have made that my purpose and so I had to develop a passion for it. Now it comes almost naturally. We’ve got to get our ying and yang lined up before we can make real progress. 

And let’s not forget those memorable words attributed to Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), the 30th President of the U.S.A, serving from 1923-1929. He reputedly said: ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.’ Take from that what you will, but it’s gospel truth! (smile) 

And our final quote from our friend Anselm wisely advises us to ‘Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.’ And is that ever so true, especially in this new world, where mediocrity is seen as something so great, where you have so many superstars! We use the word super for every li’l foolishness or person doing really mediocre stuff nowadays. 

The age of celebrity attention is hard upon us, and the sad fact is that most of these supposed celebrities and supposed superstars don’t know their ‘A’ from their ‘E.’ They have no class whatsoever! Yuh see how they dress? Sloppy and dirty! But that’s style! Utter Foolishness! And they don’t know how to behave either. Just look at the sad, uninviting spectacles of so many of their lives! 

And sadly these are the very people that we have our very culpable children looking up to as heroes and mentors! Steups! And then we wonder why our children turn out so wishy washy and spineless! Ask any of them about any of the new fads on social media, or about social media itself, and they can answer you in an instant! But ask them anything about God, and they don’t have a clue! 

And who’s to blame? We the parents because we have given up our God-given responsibility to train up our children in a godly atmosphere and have allowed the world and all its evil perpetrators to bring them up instead. And then we wonder why we have so many li’l demons and devils on our hands! And if you don’t believe me, then go take a look in the mirror! (smile) 

But this sad state of affairs is very near and dear to my soul, and it just hurts my heart to see the way our society, our young people are falling lower and lower in everything. What use to be a ‘C’ mark in our days, is now and ‘A’, so how can our society be improving eh, if our standards keep falling eh? 

However, when we sincerely decide to partner with Jesus, then our behaviour, etc, etc, has to be excellent, because that’s all He deals in! Listen to what Bruh Paul told the Philippians in talking to them about thanksgiving and prayer. ‘That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil.1:10-11) 

Yeh friends, as true believers we have to pay serious attention to things that really matter, the vital and worthwhile things in Jesus’ realm, not the trivial things of the world! That means we need to have diligence and excellence as our goals, because that’s what Jesus expects of us! 

Hear how Cousin Sol puts it nuh as he calls us to wisdom. ‘O ye simple, understand wisdom (prudence): and, ye fools, be of an understanding heart. Hear; for I speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing forward (crooked) or perverse in them.’ (Prov.8: 5-8) 

Now, if the wisest man ever said that, who are we to doubt him eh? (smile) Oh my people, there is much truth in the saying that while there is life, there is always hope, so please, I implore us, let’s never give up trying to right our wrong world nuh! We’ve already made a mess of it, but we can’t afford to let it fall any further into the mire of evil and despair. So with Jesus’ help, let’s stand up strong and do some cleaning up nuh! It will benefit everybody! Much LOVE!

…it warms the cockles of Jesus’ heart…when He sees us…exhibiting diligence and excellence…in His name…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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