Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2010 2 Chronicles 6:35‏

2 Chronicles 6:35     Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
 
Oh Friends, the fallout from Summit 2010 has begun; a parade of about a thousand strong on Monday to protest police brutality; further clogging of the already clogged court system with bail hearings for the hundreds of protesters arrested over the weekend; a gaggle of mayors (smile) ‘dissing’ the whole thing and refusing to have any kind of summits in their cities; and our bright, how many thousands strong police force admitting that they were surprised at the breakaway tactics of the Black Bloc, a supposed Quebec based anarchist group, despite their infiltration of the movement. It seems the Bloc had a well-planned strategy to break away from the main body of protesters and unleash the physical destruction. And it seems to have been perfectly executed. To make matters worse, the secret search law passed by the Provincial Cabinet giving police sweeping powers and authority over searches and arrests is being challenged in the Courts as a possible violation of the Charter of Rights. The law that the govt should have passed though is that people not be allowed to take part in protests with their faces covered. That’s what the Black Bloc did; marching down T.O’s thoroughfares with their faces covered by balaclavas, hoods, handkerchiefs and other face coverings. That particular act of covering one’s face in public should be permanently outlawed. It’s already moving through the court system on another front, but no arguments should even be entertained on the subject. This is supposedly a free country and we should all be able to see the face of someone talking to us, or passing us by. In these fearsome times, that law should be a no-brainer. Meanwhile, the main thing on the minds of those devastated business owners is obviously, who’s going to pay for the damage? Now that’s an easy one to answer: the poor working stiff! He’ll pay, as he always does, either through higher insurance premiums, or through his tax dollars if the Feds do the right thing and cough up some cash. Oh Friends, I’m going to leave this Summit problem alone now, but unfortunately the fallout from it will continue for a long time. And to take our minds off that disaster, I have a nice quote to share, by one of our most esteemed English poets, John Keats. I’m sure John had no idea how immortalized his name would become from writing these eight, simple words: ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever.’ Wow! And it really is my people! Look at all those beautiful things that have brought joy to our lives over the years; whether they be people, places, books, monuments whatever, and even if they’ve died or been destroyed, they still remain with us as hard pictures or as pictures in our memories. They never truly die, but happily live on from generation to generation. Oh my brethren, that’s what should be happening in our world today; the wise, ongoing creation of beautiful things, places and people to glorify our God and bring us joy, instead of the widespread sense and state of destruction we seem hell-bent on. Oh Friends, I don’t know what else to say…yes, it does happen occasionally (smile) except to invoke Cousin Sol’s prayer on our behalf, when he long ago dedicated the temple in Jerusalem to the Lord God Jehovah. He solemnly asked that if the people abided by the Lord’s will, he referred to war, but I’m pleading for any and everything, ‘and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.’ (2 Chr.6:34-35) Oh my people, the greatest weapon in a believer’s arsenal is prayer. So let’s use it nuh, but for wise and godly purposes. The problem with too many of us is that we don’t pray until a situation becomes desperate, when we figure we can’t do anything about it. But Friends, then it’s often too late. Prayer should always be our FIRST response rather than our LAST! Do you think our God’s happy when we rush to beg Him to alleviate a situation in the last minute? Certainly not! As faithful, trusting believers in Jesus and all that He stands for, we’re expected to make heaven our FIRST port of call on all and every matter, from the very simple to the very complex. Consequently Friends, I’m asking us to do some more praying; for ourselves, our friends, families, strangers, enemies, our cities, societies, the world. Whenever we have a spare moment, sometimes we need to make that spare moment and just pray, pray for whoever or whatever is on our minds. And I’ll let us into a secret here. Recently a li’l angel whispered a zeppo to me, stating that the Father was unhappy and displeased at the small number of prayers that were being floated heavenwards. With the great number of followers He supposedly has on earth and all the problems, people and otherwise that needed praying for, the proportion of prayer requests being received was rather miniscule. (smile) Oh Friends, I’m just trying to inject a little humour here, but it’s really a serious matter, and if we were able to check, we’d truly find the prayer requests to be disproportionate. I’m sure if we interviewed every believer, the majority, if truthful, would agree that they don’t pray enough. Well let’s change that nuh mih breddren! Let’s all try and ramp up our prayer life. And note, it’s not only about the amount of time we spend talking to God that matters, but also the quality. I know the Lord would be only too pleased to communicate with us on even the smallest, nonsensical issue we can raise. That’s how much He LOVES us, and LOVES to communicate with us. He’s just like a doting earthly parent, only too willing to listen to any blabber from their children. So Friends, let’s try communicating with our heavenly Father some more nuh! It can only enrich our lives and our world. Much LOVE!…a true believer…takes EVERYTHING…FIRST…to God in prayer…
 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2010 Luke 8:10‏

Luke 8:10     And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
 
‘WAS IT WORTH IT?’ Oh Friends, that was the blaring headline in Monday’s Toronto Star newspaper. And the secondary headline of the editorial article answered it quite appropriately. ‘A brutal spectacle that failed a city and its people!’ And that’s the living truth my people! But what amazes me is the blatant hypocrisy of our leaders. Our Prime Minister had the audacity to insist that the meetings ‘that turned Toronto’s downtown into an armed fortress and sparked window smashing protests and mass arrests was all worth it’ Gimme a break! Worth it to whom? Him and his foolish henchmen? Let me quote some of his words as reported by the Star. ‘We obviously deplore the actions of a few thugs. But the reality is, unfortunately, that these summits attract this element and (that) has been a problem, as we know, around the world. That said, I think that goes a long way to explaining why we have the kind of security costs around these summits that we do.’ Chuh! Foolishness! None of the other summits had such extravagant, exorbitant costs or security barriers. And if you know that those meetings attract the anarchist element, why in God’s name do you continue having them? It certainly strikes me as being irresponsible to know that untold destruction will occur, yet still proceed with a grand show that produces no serious benefit. Surely none to match the negative incidents. It just means that you don’t care about the people, your people and their city, their welfare, their everyday life. Like hosting an unproductive spectacle to the world, which only seems to boost your ego, is more important. I’m also disappointed by the simpering platitudes of President Obama, great friend of Canada, thanking ‘our wonderful hosts.’ Then adding; ‘The success of these summits is a tribute to Canadian leadership.’ Steups! What success eh? What about the serious damage that took place, a lot of which might never be undone? I’m sure he didn’t give that inane speech in Pittsburgh last year, after the riots at the summit held there. I guess you’d call it diplomacy, politically correct hypocrisy. And then there’s Mr. Flamboyant French President Sarkozy, who, when asked about the value of our billion dollar travesty, gave the same simpleton, diplomatic answer about it’s always useful for the world leaders to meet face to face. Why? When they accomplish nothing worthwhile and only cause serious damage and destruction! I want to see his reaction next year, if he’s still in power, when the meetings are held in Paris, though I’m sure he won’t spend as much money on the security. Oh Friends, I’m finished my rant now. I know some of you won’t agree with me, but that’s what democracy and freedom of speech is all about, although those values are being watered down everyday by fear mongering and increased police and military powers. But when I see our fair city, already struggling to stay afloat with serious monetary, transportation and other problems, being unceremoniously dumped on by an egotistic leader, it brings out the anger and disappointment in me. I surely would like Mr. Harper and his cronies to tell me how the billions of dollars wasted this weekend, between security, food, accommodation, transportation, loss of business and employment income, riot damage, etc, will benefit the estimated four or five billion of earth’s six billion people who are living in dire poverty, and the large percentage of that who are also living under severely oppressive and violent conditions? And all this talk about a global economy, that’s only another ploy, an easy way for the rich capitalists to move their money to wherever they can get the best return. They’re not really interested, and I doubt if they ever were, in building the quality of life for the people in whose countries their money is invested. As soon as the standard of living begins to rise and eat into their profits, whoosh! They’re gone to some other undeveloped country they can rip off. Oh Friends, I don’t know what’s the best system for running or governing our world. There might just be none, if the leaders are all selfish, egotistical, greedy crooks. And you’d notice too that in the latest economic fiasco, the rich didn’t really get poor, they just got less rich, while the poor certainly got poorer. The rich continued living the rich, extravagant lifestyle, using the taxpayers’ money to pay for their greedy stupid mistakes, while those same taxpayers were struggling to buy bread. And now they’re talking about the recession being over? Over for whom? Possibly the rich who are recuperating what they lost. But definitely not for the poor working man on main street, who is still losing jobs, and pensions too, as more companies succumb to bankruptcy, whether real or legal ploy. Oh Friends in Christ, our world seems to be falling further apart rather than getting better. And one of the problems is that many of our leaders claim to be believers. Hn! But judging from their words and works, you’d never believe that. Why are they so blinded by the evil machinations of Lucifer and his iniquity workers eh? Is it simply a case of there’s none so blind as those who refuse to see, or does it go deeper than that? There are so many varying opinions and dissenting voices in our society that one no longer knows what’s up or down, what to choose, or whom to believe. However my people, the good thing for those of us who believe in and follow Christ is that in spite of all the varying opinions and voices, we’re graced with a solid foundation that hasn’t changed or been moved, not even slightly eroded, in eons, and will never change. That foundation is the Word of our God, wherein is found the premium way to live this earthly life. My people, we have no choice but to live in the world, but thankfully we don’t have to do everything it calls for, because we already have the Lord’s Law written both on paper and in our hearts. What a blessed day that we were given the wherewithal to know the mysteries and secrets of heaven and understand what it’s all about! Please, I beg of us, let’s not follow the world’s lustful nonsense, but rather let the Word and the Holy Spirit of Jesus that dwells in us, guide our lives. That’s the only way in which we can make some sense of the nonsense that surrounds us, and live a decent earthly life. Please, let’s allow the Law of God to guide us, for you can see all over the world, the insanity man’s law creates. I know after reading this Bit some of you might think I’m insane, (smile) I can assure you I’m not. I’m angry, disappointed, innocent, naive, many things, but not insane. The whole point of life Friends is to stick up, to stand up for what you profess to believe in and not be bullied into anything ungodly. One thing’s for sure; this too will pass, and a brighter day will shine forth on some tomorrow, because our God is a LOVING, merciful, forgiving God of second, third, and fourth chances. So let’s keep praying, keep trusting, holding steadfast to our faith, for when we stand strong and sure with our God, any and all things are possible. Much LOVE!…the only solution to the world’s problem…a LOVE Revolution…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2010 Luke 8:10‏

Luke 8:10     And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; That seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

 

Oh Friends, the good news is that it’s over at last! Yeah! The G8 and G20 Summit meetings ended here yesterday amidst rain and the confusion that comes when many people gather to protest everything under the sun, under the watchful eye of numerous law enforcement personnel. Thankfully, I don’t think there were any serious clashes between police and protesters like on Saturday, but like there were several hundred arrests. The bad news though is two fold. First, remember today is Monday, which means work and your spiritual armour for protection against Lucifer and his evil cohorts. The second is that I don’t know if, when and how the best big city in the world, Toronto the Good, will ever recover from the nonsense that took place here this weekend. Steups! Oh Friends, the physical property damage will be replaced, possibly with better stuff too, but also with higher insurance premiums if the Federal Govt. keeps its promise not to reimburse property owners for any damage or loss they innocently suffered. Many businesses, employees and condo dwellers in the cordoned off area had already suffered economic loss and inconvenience even before the meetings began, can you imagine their consternation now, if they suffered further setbacks after the confrontations? Ah Lord eh! The biggest question though is how will it reflect in the city’s bruised and battered emotional state? How will it affect its overall psyche? The whole gamut of negative reactions are involved; from anger, to disappointment to betrayal. Not to mention accusations already being thrown back and forth by police, protesters, media and governmental agencies about who did what and how the whole thing was handled. Anger and resentment will surely simmer till God alone knows when, while questions will also be asked for a long time. Could the tragedy have been prevented? Should the Summits have been organized here in the first place? Who’s to blame for what? Which heads should roll? Who’s eventually going to pay for all the damage? How will it affect both the tourism and general business sectors, since riots usually bring lots of negative press? How will we be viewed by the international community and media; as world class, or also ran? All those are questions that will rear there ugly heads. But sadly, only time will bring answers. Some of the most interesting questions though will pertain to how all of this plays out on the political scene? What effect will it have on the Toronto Mayoral elections due sometime later this year? That was already a hotbed of contention before the meetings took place. Then, will it have any bearing on the results of the next Provincial Election, due within the next year or so? That leads us to the major question; how will it affect the minority Federal Conservative govt. now in power, who masterminded the whole fiasco? Will it bring the smaller parties together and initiate the vote of no confidence they have already threatened so many times, forcing an early Federal Election? Or will our wannabe dictator, Mr Harper, come out smelling like a rose, and continue to impose his singular will, to ride roughshod over the nation? As I said earlier, Friends, only time will give us the answers to the many questions we’ve posed. Now, having posted all those negatives, are there any positives to be taken from this most unfortunate incident? The only one I can think of is ‘DON’T DO IT AGAIN!’ Every year our leaders get together with a lot of huff and puff, but nothing concrete ever comes out of it. They put out communiqués that in essence say nothing, mean nothing to poor, suffering folks, and a few promises that never fully materialize, if they ever see the light of day. All it does is provide wonderful fodder every year for people with a destructive agenda, and inconvenience those who live in the meeting areas. So it’s a lot of taxpayers’ being money spent, inevitable destruction of property, much police presence and arrests, possible death and serious injury, then further bad blood between opposing sides and no real improvement in the world’s many ills. War, poverty, hunger, violence, oppression, greed, disease and sickness still rule the roost in the most technologically advanced and wealthy civilization mankind has ever seen. Chuh! Yes Friends, by now you understand my feelings on the subject. It was a sad waste of time, effort and money; all to satisfy the vast and still growing ego of one man who seeks to write his name large on the world stage. But unfortunately, when the history is written and told, the Summit Meetings in Toronto in June 2010 will only be remembered for the rioting, the widespread security barriers and overwhelming police presence. No one will be able to tell you what good came out of it. My people, when will we ever learn that no really important, far reaching or long lasting decisions are ever made by a large number of politicians meeting over two days. It’s hard enough to reach some consensus over difficult matters between a few, powerful and diverse entities in a short period of time, how can we ever hope to have much come out when so many are involved? Oh Friends, thankfully the nightmare in Toronto is over now. I’m sure we’ll bounce back, for we always do,  just not in what form and fashion. Let’s hope we bounce back in a much better and godlier way than we were before. And it’s very important to pray that we forget the unfortunate past, sooner rather than later, and for us to work seriously at becoming the vibrant, diverse, friendly, godly, world class city we’re destined to be. We pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen. Oh Friends, as Jesus said in our Bit; only some are given the understanding to know the veiled teachings of God’s kingdom. It sure seems that those who organized this disastrous incident weren’t among those lucky few. It also shows how desperately we need the LOVE Revolution we’ve been talking about, for it’s only LOVE that can conquer the evils of the world. Let’s seriously try moving it along nuh, else we’ll only have more, and possibly worse incidents than this. Much LOVE!…it’s becoming ever more important …to LOVE our God…SPREAD His Word…and LIVE our Faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2010 Psalm 4:8‏

Psalm 4:8     I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

 

Oh Friends, unfortunately the peace of Toronto has been shattered, and its safety greatly compromised. The first serious confrontation between security and a supposed group of anarchists occurred yesterday, Saturday. There were varied reports of whether the police used tear gas or not, but storefronts were destroyed and other property damage was sustained. Cars were also set on fire, with about 150 protesters arrested. I heard a news report that Police Chief Bill Blair was disappointed with the protesters’ behaviour. Well blow me down! What did he expect eh, with all the security measures, the extremely high number of police and their very visible presence? That everything would be hunky-dory, and it would be like a Sunday afternoon stroll in the park? He is the same one that called for more police powers. It’s sad, but with all the supposed expertise and knowledge we claim to have about human behaviour, we are either fooling ourselves, or in this case we blatantly chose to disregard it. Oh mih people, any elementary psychologist knows that if you wave a red flag in front of a bull, it’s going to come at you angrily snorting. Mankind is essentially the same, an animal with animal instincts; anything you tell him strongly enough not do, he will do. So if you put up all those fortress like barricades and trot out oodles of cops, what do you expect? You’re just thumbing your nose at the people. And even without the anarchists, there will always be some basically peaceful people with that overpowering animal instinct to test the security measures, or those who will take serious umbrage at the curtailment of their rights and privileges. And once that happens, if there’s a violent response, then all fall down. Steups! Ah Friends, I know that we’ve been guided to pray for the success of this overwhelming enterprise, but somehow, deep down, from a practical standpoint, I don’t see much good coming from it. It’s too short, too big and unwieldy. A couple days for so many people of such diverse backgrounds, wants and needs are not sufficient to make any inroads into the many ills of our world. And the large numbers of the entourages aren’t justified either for just a few days. It gives the impression that everybody is just here to have a good time junket, shopping, partying and glad-handing, all at taxpayer’s expense. However Friends, despite all the negative concerns, I’m still imploring us to pray that the senseless violence and wasteful destruction will be severely limited, and the positive outcome of the gathering will greatly outweigh the negative aspects. If we’re dreaming, we might as well dream big eh! (smile) But enough on the Summits now. I chose Today’s Bit because I wanted to share a surprising personal experience. In Psalm 4, ‘An evening prayer of trust in God,’ Bruh David ends with some powerful words of faith and trust. ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ Oh my brethren, I’m here to tell us that this past week has been one of, if not the most peaceful week in my life. Don’t ask me why, but for some reason, this week I experienced a tremendous feeling of peace and calm. Nothing spectacular or untoward happened. My life’s still the same. And though the lives of a couple of my few friends have improved considerably, for which I’m very happy and thankful, that still does not explain the eerie feeling of contentment and peace that washed over me this week. But ever since last Sunday, Father’s Day, when I went on that boat ride around the Toronto harbour with my young daughter, where I saw and reconnected with several old friends, and partied heartily to David Rudder and Dr.Jay, it seems like a heavy weight’s been lifted off my shoulders and inexplicably, but happily and blessedly replaced by an aura of peace and well-being. All I can say is ‘Thank you Lord!’ For it has to be His work. Nothing at all bothered me this week, even the couple of minor setbacks that occurred. I took it all in stride, reasoning that it was the Lord’s will, and He obviously had something better in mind than what I was focused on. I guess I found myself in that peace zone that Bruh David talks about. ‘I laid me down and slept; I awakened; for the Lord sustained me.’ (Ps.3:5) Or as when Job’s friend Zophar reproves him. ‘If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him…and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles (tents, (households) …yea, thou shalt be steadfast, and shall not fear: Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away. And thine age (life) shall be clearer (brighter) than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning. And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety.’ (Job 11:13-18) Oh Friends, I don’t think the ole fella has scaled those great heights as yet, but he’s certainly on the right track. Hopefully that feeling of peace and calm will remain with me forever. I don’t know if it’s due to spiritual, mental or emotional maturity, or to all three of them, but it certainly feels good. And the moral of the story? Oh my people, it’s simply proven to me that though we’re surrounded by enemies and problems, it’s still possible to have peace and calm in the eye of the storm if we look to Jesus for help and guidance. From a practical and personal perspective, it surely corroborates all the Good Book says on the topic. So if I can achieve it, so can we all, if we focus steadfastly on the Lord and the TRUTH of His Word. Friends, it’s not rocket science, but just plain old fashioned hard work, accompanied by true faith, trust and surrender. Let’s all work seriously towards that most satisfying feeling of peace and contentment nuh! Much LOVE! …when we work through Jesus…all things are possible…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2010 Proverbs 18:24‏

Proverbs 18:24     A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

 

Oh Friends, the Summits have begun, and Fortress Toronto is in the world spotlight. So far there have been only a few minor skirmishes, no serious confrontations between protesters and the security forces, which are expected to number some 19,000 between the two venues. Wow! If that isn’t police overkill I don’t know what is. Our Provincial Govt. even passed a law secretly for the occasion, giving police the power to arrest anyone who comes within 5 metres of the perimeter and refuses to show identification. Hn! And we spout about democracy and freedom! Where is it eh? Only in our minds I guess, because since 9/11 the powers that be have used it and all the terrorism talk as an excuse to strengthen the military and police powers. Anyway Friends, the big 8, or however many they are up there, will finish in Huntsville today, and proceed to Toronto to become the big 20, or however many again. That’s when the fireworks, if any, are expected to begin. So my people, I urge, implore, plead and beg us to pray sincerely and diligently that no serious issues develop, and that our leaders make this a truly memorable occasion with lots of good stuff actually being done because of it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. Yesterday, we looked at our Bit from a positive context, today, we’ll look at it in the negative light which Cousin Sol apparently meant it. ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly:’ He was talking sort of tongue in cheek, making a positive statement but actually with a negative meaning; that those who have too many friends will very likely come to ruin. And that’s no lie! If we spread ourselves too thin with a lot of superficial relationships, improperly termed friendships, we will certainly rue the day of our birth. I don’t know how many times my mother cautioned me about particular friends and friends in general, saying that I have to be careful whom I consider friends, because it’s very easy for friends to lead you astray. And that’s the gospel truth my people! And I’m talking now from hard, personal experience, for though my mother’s warning rang in my ears, at each stage of my life I’ve been undone by so-called friends. In my youth, I felt the lash of her strap when I followed friends where I wasn’t supposed to, while later on the price was paid in money and emotional discomfort. Now it hasn’t been as bad as it sounds, but there have been some really unexpected friendship disappointments. But what hurt the most in those betrayals was not so much what they did, but more how they did it; in almost every case, behind my back with no warning whatsoever. With some we were involved in projects, quite closely in my opinion, but then they’d suddenly disappear, or stop calling, stop coming around, even stop accepting my calls. But you know what Friends? I finally realized that that was there loss, not mine, because none of them have risen to any better heights. In fact, all are doing worse. The Good Lord has looked after me through all the ups and downs. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m here to tell you the Lord indeed looks after His own. Not always the way we want, but when we look back, we’ll always discover that we’ve ended up better off than if the so-called friends had stuck around. We don’t realize it then, but the Lord’s actually weeding out the unreliable people from our lives. And I guess I have to shoulder some of the blame because I’m so open and easy going. My children might want to interject naïve and stupid too. (smile) That’s because if a stranger smiles at me and says hello today, and I meet them again tomorrow, I’ll consider them a friend. In hindsight, I can see that the Lord actually blessed me when He pared down my friends to a mere handful now. The few who remain will move hell and high-water for me, a couple have already done, and I try to reciprocate whenever I can. Remember, the definition of true friendship is standing up for and helping, both in good and bad times. We certainly don’t need people around like Job describes: ‘Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.’ (Job 6:27) We definitely don’t need people close to us undermining us, though that’s what a lot of them who call themselves friends do. And I’m sure all of you my brethren have had the unfortunate experience of being betrayed by a person in a close relationship. But yuh know what mih people, our God is a GOOD God, and He won’t let the righteous suffer for no good reason. And here’s what often happens to those who betray us. Bruh David both knew it and felt it. ‘They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.’ (Ps.57:6) Yes Friends, those who betray us, often find themselves betrayed too. Their evil, ungodly plans usually backfire on them. It’s called poetic justice, but it’s from the Lord, who repays evil doers in His own time. So what’s the answer mih people? The first thing is to be very very careful of whom we allow to get close to us, whom we allow into our inner sanctum. Hopefully I’ve learned that lesson now. (smile) Don’t be too quick to share your innermost secrets or details of your life, for with the sad state of our society it can, and will be used against you more quickly, and with harsher consequences than ever before. In other words, play your cards close to your chest, for as the ole people would say; ‘Is not all skin teeth is smile.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! Not everyone who laughs or smiles with you can be trusted. And then Friends, only cultivate a few, a handful at most, of trusted, loyal people, who will genuinely stand beside you through thick and thin. Cousin Sol hit the nail on the head when he said: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov.17:17) Yes people, no man is an island, so we all need a genuine few who’ll become as family and behave responsibly, showing LOVE at all times. I like how Beres Hammond says it in his song Giving Thanks. ‘Right here now, the friends I’m surrounded, are but few. Glad I’m not crowed. Just enough, just enough for me to concentrate.’  Ah Friends, this friendship thing is like a sticky wicket to navigate, for we even have to be careful of those who claim to be our Friends in Christ. But if we’re careful, and stay in touch with the Father, though we may face some adversity through some unfaithful friendships, in the long run, we WILL end up with a handful of real, true Friends, who will make our lives so beautiful and fulfilled that we’ll wonder how we ever got along without them. So just keep smiling and being a true Friend in Christ. He will do the rest. Much LOVE!…if we are faithful…the Lord will surround us with faithful people…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2010 Proverbs 18:24‏

Proverbs 18:24     A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh close than a brother.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday, the last day of the work week, the start of the weekend, and many of you all can’t wait to get into relaxation and party mode, but please, don’t forget the fellowship part. The Lord needs more attention than we can give Him during the week, so please MAKE TIME for Him on your days off. And remember to pray for our leaders to make good, productive decisions at their meetings here in Toronto this weekend, with no violence or destruction to mar the proceedings. Now here’s a very interesting quote that led me to our Bit. It’s attributed to Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1953) an Indian yogi and guru who introduced many in the West to meditation and spirituality. It says: ‘There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first.’ Ah Friends, how does that resonate in our consciousness eh? Do we consider it true or important? Before we do anything else, let me say that I’m dealing with our Bit today in it’s literal sense, from the positive side, though it was not meant that way. Also, let’s lay out a definition of the word ‘friend.’ The dictionary has two basic definitions: ‘One joined to another in intimacy and mutual benevolence independently of sexual or family LOVE.’ And the second is ‘to befriend or help.’ In truth, they can be linked as one, for a true friend, under the first definition, will help you, and if someone helps you, even a total stranger, they can be considered a friend. So I guess we can have equations where Friend = Help and Help = Friend. Now what draws us to others as friends, or others to us as a friend? There must be some common traits. And I’d like to suggest that our quote above includes two of them; unselfishness and thinking about others first. Another can be found in our Bit: ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.’ And is that ever so true! But what is showing ourselves friendly? In the first place our basic personality must be pleasant. We can’t go around with a sour demeanour all the time and expect people to be drawn to us, we’d get the opposite. It’s like the saying that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Our words and tone of voice must also lend themselves to encouragement and a certain amount of light heartedness. And we must always be willing to help. Hn! Yuh know what Friends, I just realized that when you put all that friend stuff together, what you come up with is a perfect description of a Christian, a follower of Christ. Isn’t that amazing? Although it shouldn’t be, because the best explanation and example of a real, true friend comes from Jesus. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:13-15) That’s why I can call you all Friends in the Bit, though I don’t know many of you, for we are all Friends in Christ! We have the same basic goals and beliefs, as well as having pleasant personalities’, unselfishness, willingness to help, and two other attributes that show up in Jesus’ speech; willingness to share and willingness to sacrifice in times of desperation and need. As Cousin Sol puts it: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov.17:17) Yes my people, a true friend possesses a LOVE that cannot be extinguished, neither is it lessened by adversity. That also sounds like the definition of a believer, doesn’t it? Unfortunately though, in our modern society that word friend and what it means has been seriously watered down. The standards of friendship are nowhere what they used to be. Any passing acquaintance is now called a friend, but the underlying responsibilities and qualities are sadly missing. Just look at all the betrayals, backbiting and gossip mongering that’s being perpetrated on supposed friends by friends. Relationships are no longer solid and long lasting as they used to be, since so many are now based on sandy foundations plus our society has moved into a first person phase, of I, me and mine, in other words unadulterated selfishness and ego boosting which aren’t, and can never be a part of true friendship. That brings us to the last part of our Bit: ‘and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ Oh my Friends in Christ that’s ever so true! I’m sure all of you know about family members that treat each other terribly, while outsiders bring a much more friendly, sharing and supportive attitude to the table. Why is that eh? I’ve seen it happen so often that it just sickens me. From day one I’ve told my children that family is the most important part of the equation, and that there shouldn’t be any of the senseless, selfish infighting that’s so common today, for if one side falls, it will take down the whole structure. Besides, that type of behaviour is definitely not Christ-like, or Christian. It’s not the way Jesus wants, or expects us to behave. So Friends, let’s see if we can’t do better than we’re doing nuh, and live like true friends. I’m sure we can because we all consider ourselves true believers … Friends. That’s what Jesus called His disciples, the ones who believed in and followed Him. And if we want to do the same, then we’ve also got to be worthy of the name. Tomorrow, God willing, we’ll touch on the negative aspect of our Bit. Much LOVE!…oh what a Friend we have in Jesus…our hopes and fears to bear…  
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2010 Psalm 91:1‏

Psalm 91:1     He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 
Oh Friends, in these most uncertain and insecure times in our society and our world; times of fear, of terror, much cruelty and violence, economic depression, of hitherto unforeseen stress and a huge increase in mental and emotional instability, the human soul and spirit are desperately seeking a safe place to inhabit, a place of refuge without as much tension and aggravation. In other words, we’re seeking security, protection and a place to hide. Fortunately my Friends, I’m here to tell us that there is indeed such a place, a place where we can escape from much of the current strife, uncertainty and unpleasantness happening in our world. And where is that wonderful hideaway you ask? Oh mih people, it’s as the author of Psalm 91 states: ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.’ Yes Friends, if we seek lodging in the secret place of our God, we shall find a safe harbour under His broad and all encompassing wings. When we’re mature enough in faith to truthfully say like the Psalmist: ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’ (Ps.91:2) Then, and only then my people, are we on the right track for finding safety and shelter from the ravages of this world. But we can only get on the right track to safety and shelter through faith, trust and complete surrender to the Most High God Jehovah, because as Creator and Caretaker of our universe, He’s the only one able to see, know and control everything that’s happening in our lives and in our world. Moreover Friends, He’s faithfully promised to safeguard all those who sincerely come to Him for help and succour. ‘He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust (take refuge): his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (small shield). Thou shalt not be afraid for (of) the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth (lays waste) at noonday.’ (Ps.91:4-6) Yes my brethren, under the everlasting wings of our God is the only safe house, the only safe harbour in this evil, ungodly world. Listen to some other assurances. From Psalm 27, The Lord is my light and my salvation, Bruh David proudly and unhesitatingly declares: ‘For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps.27:5) Wow, what assurance! Yes my people, in Bruh David’s heart, soul and mind there was no doubt whatsoever that the Lord would look after him and keep him safe from his enemies. Then we have that assurance in even greater measure in Psalm 31, where Bruh David again exalts the Lord God of his fathers and His safe refuge. ‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence (secret place) from the pride (plots) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shown me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.’ (Ps.31:19-21) Oh Friends, if there’s one thing we know about Bruh David is that during his earthly life he was in tight with the Lord God Jehovah, and many of his bold declarations were based on actual personal experience. From his youth, God referred to him as a man after his own heart, so he must have known what he was talking about. Oh my people, please realize that this earthly life is only a passing phase in our long, everlasting spiritual journey, but it’s very important because it dictates, determines where, and with whom we’ll spend those long days of forever. If we don’t make the right choices now, here on earth, in this physical body, then our spirit will be lost, damned, doomed to Hades, in the evil company of Lucifer. I don’t think anyone in his right mind would want that forever, especially when there’s a much better choice of the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, His Son Jesus, our Sacrificial Lamb and Advocate and the Holy Spirit which lives in and guides us in the ways of godliness down here on earth, then will lead us to everlasting life in a heavenly place with no more tears, pain, sorrow or death. Wow! Now only an utter fool or madman would prefer hellfire and utter desolation and torment with Lucifer than eternal life with a Holy, LOVING, Merciful, Kind, Forgiving and Generous God! Oh Friends, it logically follows then that there is only one safe place of refuge in this world, and that’s under the wide, protective umbrella of Almighty God. My people, the smart money is on the Lord, the Holy Trinity, not Lucifer. And here’s why. Isaiah boldly proclaims: ‘Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:3-4) Now Lucifer will certainly try to fool us with his worthless promises of glitz and glamour here on earth, but please remember Friends, that our earthly life is short and is only important in determining where we spend eternity, heaven or hell. So please don’t pay too much attention to it, at the risk of spoiling your spiritual existence hereafter. Oh my brethren, the only sensible and wise way to handle our earthly fears and tears is to do like Bruh David; acknowledge our human frailty and weakness and the omnipotence of the Lord God Almighty, then make sincere prayer and supplication to Him. ‘I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. Show thy marvellous LOVING-kindness, O thou that savest (delivers) by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple (pupil) of the eye; hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about (surround me).’ Ps.17:6-9) And He will my Friends, if our hearts are sincere. Yes, the Lord God of heaven and earth will surely protect us from our earthly enemies! Only believe! Much LOVE!…only believe…only believe…all things are possible…only believe…
 

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