Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2016 Luke 9:23‏‏

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s Thursday, another bright and sunshiny day in my neck of the woods! And on top of that, it’s also supposed to be warmer than yesterday. 

Oh, all praise and glory be to our amazing God, who bestows, who showers us with new and wonderful mercies, blessings and LOVING-kindness each and every day! 

Wow! How could I not LOVE, worship, praise, revere and glorify such a magnanimous Deity eh! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud, ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

Yes my people, we do deserve to praise our heavenly Father for His unselfish care and compassion for us. Just wish that we could show Him and each other the same kind of care and concern. Anyway, since it’s Thursday, it’s time for us to confidently declare our Thursday Blessing… 

And with a thoughtful frown, the congregation asks: ‘What yuh talking about eh? Didn’t know we had a Thursday Blessing.’ 

Well the truth is my precious people, I didn’t know that either until a couple nights ago when I got this zeppo. (smile) 

And the story goes like this. As part of my devotions, I read an old devotional written by Bubba (Joel Osteen) in his early days of ministry. It had to be, because it’s old and beat up now, with some of the pages falling apart, and it was already old when I discovered it at my mothers place some years ago and we began reading it everyday, even when we couldn’t remember Bubba’s name. (smile) 

It’s called ’30 Thoughts for Victorious Living.’ I don’t know if Bubba even remembers that he wrote something like that, the amount of stuff he’s written over the last few years. But I like it; it serves my purposes, and I will continue to use it as long as I can. 

On a point of interest, most of my devotionals are old, but I prefer them to some of the new-fangled stuff that’s out there now. 

Anyway a couple days ago I was reading the devotions for the 11th of the month, which says ‘Declare Blessing’, and the prevailing scripture for that is the blessing instituted by our God long time ago for the Israelites. ‘Say to them, may the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favour and give you His peace.’ (Num.6:24) 

And the opening lines of the devotion are: ‘A blessing is not a blessing until it is declared! So today declare a blessing over yourself and others. Speak that blessing in the name of Jesus!’ And then he goes on to declare some blessings. 

Now the other day when I finished reading it, it suddenly occurred to me that it would make a good prayer for Thursdays. I thought about a couple of names, like ‘Thursday’s Temptation,’ or ‘Thursday’s Tantrum’ (smile) but eventually ended up with ‘Thursday’s Blessing’ as being more appropriate. 

And what I’ve done is basically taken Bubba’s general blessings and individualized them. So please declare with me now my brethren our Thursday Blessing, in a loud, proud, sincere and confident manner. 

‘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!’ 

Yes friends, that’s our Thursday Blessing. I like it, and I do hope you like it too. It’s basically a rework of the Lord’s blessings promised to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, some very important words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, re the terms of our discipleship. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my brethren, the number one rule in following Jesus is to deny ourselves, become selfless instead of selfish, as our world is today. That doesn’t mean we don’t look after ourselves as best we can and do stuff for ourselves, but that we are not the be all and end all of our earthly lives. 

Just as Jesus came to serve and save, we too must concentrate on serving and saving, and on a daily basis too, which isn’t always easy. But as I keep saying, with God’s help, EVERYTHING is doable! 

And we’ll end with Jesus’ words after our Bit. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:24-27) 

And there we have it friends, the self-explanatory, immortal words of Jesus on how we must approach our discipleship. Please, let’s take some time today to ponder our individual relationship with Jesus, re those terms of discipleship. And as always, with God’s help, try to improve them, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…successfully walking with Jesus…takes lots of time…lots of selflessness…lots of care and consideration for others…  

P.S. I know it’s long and late, but please be aware that the hockey playoffs have begun, which means that there’s lots of hockey every night, and thus there will be many late nights and consequently late mornings. (smile) Just bear with the ole fella nuh. He’s got to have a life too yuh know. And once he’s alive and kicking, the Bit will get there…eventually. Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2016 John 15:12

John 15:12.   This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.

HAPPY  VALENTINE’S  DAY !

Well friends and neighbours, a Happy Valentine’s Day to all! 

Let me start by apologizing for the Bit being this late, but after I came from church this morning, I had breakfast, some good tasting bake and saltfish that I bought at church, then feeling tired because I didn’t sleep too well last night and was still up early, I decided to have nap, which seems to have turned into more than just a nap. Hn, hn!  Anyway, that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. (smile) 

Now, a few days ago, while playing a CD in the car this tune suddenly came up, and I remembered sharing it sometime aback, then got this zeppo – yuh know how I get my zeppos (smile) – that it was time to share the song again because it was still relevant, possibly even more so, to the troubling times that we are currently going through. 

The song I’m talking about is one called ‘Streets of Fire,’ sung by Dobie Grey, a Black American R&B singer off the album ‘The Very Best of Dobie Grey.’ Some of you might remember him with hits like ‘Drift Away’ and ‘The In Crowd’ way back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. 

When I first shared the song, it must have been about twenty years old at least, and I just discovered that I shared it way back in October of 2008, so that adds another 7 years to the age. 

But brothers and sisters in Christ, it is still a powerful song and one that is ever so appropriate on this Valentine’s Day of 2016, when the word, and hopefully the actions we’re sharing are based on LOVE! 

Now listen to these momentous and heart-stopping words, and let them resonate with us as we hear them. 

‘Have you heard the song of silence, filling up the night? Have you watched the flames of anger burn? Something isn’t right. But you and I can stop the madness. Doesn’t matter who’s to blame. No. Together we can change, Streets of fire, to peaceful roads. Cease all the violence, let the healing waters flow. The veil of hatred can be lifted from our eyes, when the mighty gates of LOVE open wide. 

Well in the heartless feud and violence, oh the many stand to lose. We can rise above indifference, or all stand accused. Faith can move mountains, but the faithful must be strong, along the way, as we journey on, Streets of fire, to peaceful roads. Cease all the violence, let the healing waters flow. The veil of hatred, can be lifted from our eyes, when the mighty gates of LOVE open wide. 

There will always be someone, who just won’t agree. But your LOVE and my LOVE, can take us down, these Streets of fire, to peaceful roads. Why can’t we cease all the violence, and let the healing waters flow? The veil of hatred can be lifted from our eyes, O when the mighty gates of LOVE open wide…when the mighty gates of LOVE open wide. Streets of fire…to peaceful roads…Streets of fire…to peaceful roads.’ 

Yes Friends, it’s disconcerting that words written so long ago, are still so applicable and relevant today. Nothing much has changed. We’re still fighting each other, for no good reason; The veil of hatred hasn’t been lifted, we only talk peace, but never do much about bringing it to pass. 

The world is possibly more strife filled and warlike than it’s ever been, but today my fellow believers, we have the golden opportunity, through OUR LOVE, to lift that veil, to rise above all the indifference, because if we don’t, we’re all going to lose. 

We need to stop the madness, all the senseless violence, regardless of who’s right or wrong, and open those mighty gates of LOVE, so that our descendants can walk peaceful roads instead of streets of fire. 

And as the song so poignantly declares: ‘Faith can move mountains, but the faithful must be strong, along the way, as we journey on.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of our biggest problems in these trying times; the faithful are not standing up strong and steadfast as we ought to. 

That brings us to our Bit for today; more poignant and heart stopping words, this time from Jesus, our own very Lord and Saviour, as He prepares the disciples to continue His earthly ministry. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ 

How much simpler and straightforward can it get eh my people? Not much. But strangely enough, we tend to look askance at simple things and consider them unimportant, just because they are so simple. But our Lord and Saviour was a simple man, giving simple advice and as His followers it is our duty to follow it. 

Unfortunately though, we are not doing it as well as we should. Where is there more strife and turmoil than in Christ’s church eh, with all the different religions and denominations, all claiming to be the right one, etc. etc? 

And truthfully friends, I don’t know how to get us to show more LOVE to each other than by reiterating the words of Jesus Christ. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

So tell me my supposed brothers and sisters in Christ, is the world seeing and knowing that we are disciples of Christ? Only to a rather small extent, because we are not showing that high degree of LOVE to each other that we are supposed to show. And you can’t really blame the world for not wanting to come to Jesus after they see how we behave and treat each other. 

Ah friends, sometimes it seems like we’re fighting a losing battle, but the good news is that Christ has already overcome the world. However, we still have to do our part in the partnership; live and talk like we are truly Jesus’ disciples, otherwise His great sacrifice would have all been in vain. 

So my people, on this first Sunday in Lent, when Jesus went to the wilderness to fast, to prepare Himself for ministry, which also happens to be Valentine’s Day, when the world celebrates a form of LOVE, I implore us to sincerely get with the programme; that of truly living in LOVE, the way Jesus desires us to, not the way we think we should. I can’t say more than that. Much LOVE!

…it’s definitely time to let the healing waters flow…on the numerous problems that are dragging down our world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2016 John 3:17

John 3:17.   For God sent not his Son into world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat rough Saturday morning because when I opened my e-mail this morning I got some info re the funeral service of my old University pardner, Paul Emmanuel Lawrence. Just like I opened my e-mail a couple of weeks ago and found out about his unexpected passing.

But what to do eh friends? Not much really, we just have to move on, while enjoying the memories we made with each other. That’s what memories are for, so please be sure to make some good ones. As Johnny Bristol says in his old song; ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they’ve been good or bad. They’re never something that you had.’

And we had plenty good ones, Pablo mih brother; whether it was beating pan, going to lectures, fetes, just hanging out on the campus, or going down to your home in Montego Bay, or going to other places which I can’t mention. (smile). Anyway mih brother, you certainly had a kind and generous heart, and you’re no doubt giving free rein to it now in heaven too. Till we meet again on that great day. Much LOVE!

Yeh friends, it’s not easy when your peers are passing away, because it suddenly makes you think about your own mortality. But that’s the only thing we’re sure about in this life, for sometimes you might be able to get away from taxes, but you can never cheat the grim reaper. So let’s just live life and enjoy it under the shelter of God’s mighty arms.

And I’d now like to apologize for a typographical error on yesterday’s Bit. Hn! That’s just giving it a nice name, but it really stemmed from pure laziness on my part. I don’t know how many of you noticed that the heading of the Bit said the Bible verse was ‘Psalm 40.4’ when the actual Bit came from 1 Peter.

That’s because I simply copied the previous day’s heading and then forgot to change. And somehow I never notice these things until after I send them out. But it only goes to show the ole fella’s humanity and fallibility. (smile)

Ah mih people, life can be rough, but please remember that our God is good! Now here is how I had planned to open today’s Bit until I got those e-mails about Pablo’s funeral. It’s a song that I shared some time last year, and while partying out on my patio last night with the duchess I happened to play it, and got the zeppo that it was time to highlight it again, because the times they are a getting worse and Christ’s people need another wake up call.

So here are the words of Johnny Reid’s marvellous, motivational and inspirational song starting with the chorus ‘Today I’m going to try and change the world. Gonna take it one day at a time. I’ve made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.

I’m gonna say hello to my neighbour, going to greet him with a smile, and shake the hand of a stranger, sit and talk to him for a while. Gonna tell someone I LOVE them, from the bottom of my heart. (chorus) Today I’m gonna try and change the world….

Gonna make sure my children know right from wrong. Never turn my back on those in need, always gonna try to see myself through another’s eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world. I made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.’

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s just what Christ is calling us to do; to make a serious resolution to change the world with His help, because it desperately needs changing! So please let’s join together today to do that nuh! And all it takes is one day at a time!

Hear the wonderful sentiments nuh: say hello to our neighbour, greet him with a smile. That’s not difficult to do, and a simple hello and a smile can ofttimes mean so much to others. Then shake a stranger’s hand and exchange a few words with him or her. Wow! What a Christ-like act! And remember friends, our God has a welcoming heart for strangers as we see all through the Bible. That means we too must have a welcoming heart towards strangers.

Oh, then tell someone we LOVE them from the bottom of our hearts! Mama Mia! What can be more Christ-like and endearing than that eh my brethren? Nothing really, if our greeting is sincere! And I just LOVE this next sentiment: make sure my children know right from wrong!

Oh my people, that is the basic panacea for what ails our world! We’ve not done a very good job on that front at all, otherwise our children would not be so lost and fragile that they can fall for all the nonsense the evil world has to offer. And it’s not too late my people. Remember while there is life there is ALWAYS hope, hope in Jesus, who can do ALL things!

And hear this other strong point of Jesus nuh; never turn my back on those in need! Oh fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly what He did when He came down here from heaven to save us from the fiery halls of Hades; He offered us help in our time of need! Now it’s only appropriate that we should do the same for our fellow man.

And this last sentiment will help us to do all of them; try to see ourselves through the eyes of another person. Oh Glory to God my people!

When we can truly do that, and let it control our actions and emotions, then we are indeed being truly Christ-like! For we never truly know what others are going through and why they behave the way they do. So let’s stop being as judgmental as we now are nuh, because it’s the mark of a true Christian!

Oh friends, it’s obvious that the passion is flowing through the ole fella this morning, (smile) so please, I implore us, let’s not allow it to go to waste nuh, because it will also be a sad waste of Jesus’ sacrifice. As our Bit so wonderfully proclaims, in Jesus’ own words: ‘For God sent not his Son into world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’

Oh my people, if God sacrificed His Son to save us, why can’t we sacrifice a little of ourselves to help save our children, our neighbours, our friends, our families and our badly suffering world eh? That is just simple common sense in a heart beating for Christ! Much LOVE!

…let’s open up our eyes…and make that resolution…to try and change the world…one day at a time…TODAY…


 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2016 Psalm 40:4‏

Psalm 40:4.  Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Aye mih people, it’s that wondrous day in our weekly lives called Friday!

And as usual the shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday oui! The weekend has come, and so has party time, with no backbreaking work scheduled for a whole, big, two days! Thank the Lord for Fridays yes!’

But Friends, as we keep reminding us, the weekend is not only to party and carry on like leggo beast, but to get ourselves together for another eventful week. So let’s declare our Friday Chant which gives us a somewhat better perspective on the weekend.

All together 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 fellow believers, the weekend is all about restoring the energy, so that we can face another week brave and strong in Christ!

Now what did we do yesterday? Nothing really nuh. After writing the Bit I spent some time in my waterhole, enjoying the refreshing sea water. Then just as we were about to go out, a few friends and family dropped by for a short while. And after that we just lost the enthusiasm for going out, which meant I didn’t get my black pudding…Chuh! But don’t worry, I will definitely get it tonight.

And this is what I wrote last night: As we sit out on the porch listening to some rocking ole time music from my computer, overlooking the blue freshwater pool, which doesn’t thrill me at all… But how could it ever eh, when the most beautiful and therapeutic sea is just up in front of it?

Anyway, the music is rocking in the early hours of the evening and while the first song was playing, something called ‘In the Beginning,’ the Lord in His wonderful and mysterious way sent me a li’l zeppo, telling me that that’s how it was in the beginning, in the garden of Eden.

Now this is beautiful, but I believe that Eden was even more beautiful, because remember it was God’s first big project. But on the other hand, even if this was exactly like Paradise, I certainly wouldn’t do anything to forego my wonderful life here.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think our forefathers, Adam and Eve were too bright nuh. Not even God could talk me into doing something so dreadfully foolish and wrong to make me leave here and live the rough life they, and consequently we, ended up living.

And I must apologize for the roughly four-hour break here, because the duchess took me up town to the big city of Scarborough to the market. And believe me, this is the first day that we have seen and felt the real sun, and by the time I came back I was dead tired and a friend dropped in.

Then I had to have a nap, then go to the bank to change some money and the line was ever so long. However, all’s well that ends well! (smile)

So let’s continue with last night’s writing: Yes friends, this part of Paradise is calm and peaceful, with the choppy sea gurgling in the background and the breeze still whistling through the trees. I don’t know what’s causing the wind to be so strong for so long nuh, but it surely is refreshing. Across the expanse of the lagoon I can see the vague silhouette of the forest on the other side, shrouded in darkness as it is.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Canada; I’ve spent the greatest part of my life there as prescribed by the Lord’s infallible plan, but He agrees with me that I’ve reached a stage now, where I have to get away from some of the cold winter days to rejuvenate and regenerate my soul, body, mind and spirit.

We all need some serious R&R every so often. That’s why the Lord blessed us with abundant life! Now abundant life is not simply plenty money, although some of that does help. But abundant life is more about the spiritual aspects, the spiritual quality of our lives.

Obviously a roof over our heads and food on the table are important, but so are the other things like peace and LOVE, justice and equal rights. The Lord made us to live in harmony, we are the ones who choose to live in disharmony.

And friends, all of that is simply because we don’t adhere to the wisdom of our Bit. Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’

Yes my brethren, if we would only truly surrender our lives to our most magnanimous, magnificent and generous Creator, we would not be in the hot spot that we are currently in.

And as I keep saying, it’s only we true believers who can turn this troublesome and tempestuous world around. Only we can bring the world to understand and join Christ’s LOVE Revolution. And besides, that is also our bounden duty!

But how can we do it eh, when we don’t sincerely believe and surrender and trust the One who created us and gave us His breath of life? Remember we can’t only talk the talk, but even more importantly, we have to walk the walk, so that the heathen can really see the LOVING-kindness of our wonderful God in operation.

Remember Christianity is an action movement! That’s the only way they will believe. As I keep reminding us too, examples speak more loudly than words.

And we’ll close with two rather instructive verses of scripture from Psalm 2 – Why do the heathen rage? ‘Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son (perform an act of homage and submission), lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.’ (Ps.2:11-12)

Oh my people I couldn’t say it any better. Please be wise and follow it nuh, for it’s wisdom at the zenith! Much LOVE!

…trust and obey…for there’s no other way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey…

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of the Bit, but it was all out of my control. Remember a happy wife leads to a happy life…most of the time! (smile) Much LOVE!