Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.    But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Well mih people, it’s Saturday! What’s on the agenda for today eh? Hope it includes some fun, rest, and relaxation and not too many household chores. I don’t know about you all nuh, but I wish I could be in Tobago, enjoying the early morning refreshing sea breeze, biding my time to go up Calder Hall Road and get some of the soup from those three big iron (dutch) pots. (smile) 

Oh friends, I still can’t get over the size of those iron pots nuh! Hn! I’ve never seen any as big before that, or since. But some pigeon (gungo) peas soup, or cowfoot, or even callaloo soup would certainly go down good this Saturday morning, even here in good ole Toronto. 

But I guess I’ll just have to keep on dreaming about that until hopefully with the good grace of God I go back there next year – unless the duchess, under the Lord’s urging, decides to make some gungo peas soup today. Oh glory to God! 

I know I won’t get any of the other two from her, because those are T&T specials and she is a Jamdown lady.  (smile) I’ll just keep hoping though with a strong Christian faith, for anything is possible where our God is concerned. 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, I guess we should have a look at one of our friend Anselm’s quotes. He always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week there were several good ones, but this one was definitely the winner! It’s long so we only have space for one today. It’s called: ‘Out With The Old.’ 

And it says: ‘Last Week I threw out WORRYING, It was getting old and in the way.  It kept me from being me; I couldn’t do things my way.  I threw out those inhibitions; they were just crowding me out.  Made room for my New Growth, Got rid of my old dreams and doubts.  I threw out a book on MY PAST (didn’t have time to read it anyway).  Replaced it with New Goals, Started reading it today.  

I threw out childhood toys (remember how I treasured them so)?  Got me a NEW PHILOSOPHY too, threw out the one from long ago.  Brought in some new books too, Called I CAN, I WILL, and I MUST. Threw out I might, I think and I ought. WOW, You should’ve seen the dust.  I ran across an OLD FRIEND, Haven’t seen him in a while. I believe his name is GOD, Yes, I really like His style. He helped me to do some cleaning and added some thing’s Himself. Like PRAYER, HOPE and FAITH, Yes I placed them right on the shelf.  

I picked up this special thing and placed it at the front door.  I FOUND IT – it’s called PEACE. Nothing gets me down anymore.  Yes, I’ve got my house looking nice. Looks good around the place.  For things like Worry and Trouble There just isn’t any place.  It’s good to do a little house cleaning, Get rid of the old things on the shelf.  It sure makes things brighter; maybe you should TRY IT YOURSELF.’ 

Amen, my brethren! Now doesn’t that sound like a very good idea for this Saturday morning? It surely does! A little spiritual housekeeping never hurt anyone. So let’s try it today ourselves nuh. By the way, the boldface type was my idea, not Anselm’s. 

And yuh know what too friends, it jives so nicely with our Bit, like they were just made to run one into the other. (smile) ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’  Gospel truth my people, pure, unadulterated gospel truth! 

And we do need to kick out some of the old stuff, like a lust for power, material possessions and other things of the world, like worry and trouble, when we sincerely go seeking God, because those things have no place in His realm. Now listen to our God’s conditions for restoration and blessing as spoken by Moses to the children of Israel. 

‘And it shall come to pass, when all those things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind (remember them) among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 

That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity ( bring you back from captivity), and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.’ (Deut.30:1-3) 

Oh friends, there’s no rocket science in that statement. If, or rather when the Israelites disobeyed God’s commandments and turned to worshipping idols and other pagan rites, He sent them into captivity all over the world. However, when they remembered His goodness and mercy and decided to return unto Him, He promised to welcome them with open arms. 

My fellow believers, it’s the same thing the Lord our God is saying to us today. It’s not too late. If we stop trying to remove Him from our society and instead turn to Him with sincere confession and repentance, He is more than willing to forgive us. That’s how magnanimous and magnificent is the God we serve! 

But my people it’s become a hard sell to bring others to Jesus, especially when we believers are not setting a consistent and proper example of Christian faith and behaviour. Remember, we are the only group that’s really concerned with the sinful and ungodly state of the world, and if we don’t lead by proper example, we can’t blame others for not wanting to get involved with Jesus’ LOVE Revolution. 

And we’ll end with these immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness. ‘I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.’ (Ps.33:5-7) 

So friends, it’s now left up to us to spread the good news of Jesus all around the world, but in a manner that brings Him glory and honour. Much LOVE!

…God’s word is real…many have lived to tell it…but many more have died in disbelief…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2016 Psalm 46:1

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble.

Well friends, it’s Saturday and I’m just biding my time to go up Calder Hall and get some of the revitalizing and refreshing and energizing soup of Brother Kirby. Oh mih people, I can see those three big iron (Dutch) pots sitting on the fire under the tent, just filled with delicious tasting soup. 

One containing pigeon peas, or as my Jamaican family calls it, gungo peas; then the other is bubbling with dasheen bush, and the last with a thick cow foot mixture, just guaranteed to set your palate right. Oh I know some of you will skin up your face at that last one, but truthfully, I believe that the cow foot is the most nourishing of the three kinds of soup. 

So I’m dreaming, so big deal! That’s why the Lord gave us imaginations, and through the eyes of faith I’m seeing myself slurping back some of that nourishing and tasty Tobago soup, not too far in the distant future. Mama Yo! Tobago soup!

Yeh friends, the ole fella misses Tobago; the sunshine, the saltwater, the friends, the family, early morning devotions on the patio as the sun rises and the birds chorus their songs of LOVE, the church going and Bible Study, watching the ferries go back and forth from Scarborough to Port of Spain, not to mention the peaceful calm of the sea just breaking over the reef and washing up on to the rocky shore.  

And I miss it even more, when up here, they are calling for rain and snow today and tomorrow. But what to do eh? Not much but grin and bear it, because this is where the Lord has me currently planted and that means He has work for me to do here. But one day, one day, provided the Lord is in favour, I know it will surely happen.  

Now here is an interesting quote from our friend Anselm, as always inspiring us to aspire to a better tomorrow. This quote says: ‘Somebody came into my office crying. I said, “Look, don’t cry to give up! Cry to keep going!!” Don’t cry to quit! You already in pain, You already hurt! Get a reward from it!’ 

And you know that does make a whole lot of sense my brethren. As Christians we keep talking about the Lord testing us, teaching us useful lessons, putting us on His potter’s wheel and reshaping us, then putting us in the kiln to bake for a while to toughen us up.  

Now that is all painful, but you know what? We need to always learn from our pain. And coincidentally, it’s just in the last few days I heard two preachers say the same thing. We must not waste our pain. What’s the point of bearing the pain if we don’t learn something from it, or as Anselm says: ‘Get a reward from it.’ 

Yes friends, a lot of us are hurting in some form and fashion, and none of us like to be hurting, but it’s an essential part of human life, especially the Christian faith, where we grow stronger and more Christ-like through painful situations. So since we cannot get around the hurt and pain of this mortal life, we might as well embrace it and use it for some useful purpose. 

Just don’t ask me what and how? (smile) I have some here that I don’t understand the whys nor the wherefores, but when I figure it, out I’ll let you know. 

Ah mih people, life just happens to us all, and we can only benefit by using it in a positive manner, and laughing some at our problems, otherwise we’ll go crazy in no time at all. And as Christians we have it better than anybody else, because as our Bit so truthfully and powerfully declares: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble.’ 

And that is the gospel, the indisputable and irrevocable truth my brethren! Our God is our hiding place and our tower of power! 

Consequently, the sons of Korah continue the psalm thus: ‘Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea: Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3)  

Yes my fellow believers, that’s how strong we ought to be, even with earthquakes and tidal waves surrounding us. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible or practical, but it is the pinnacle for which we ought to aim, since the Creator and Controller of the world is our heavenly Father, our refuge and our strength in time of trouble, and furthermore has promised never to leave or forsake us. What better place to put our trust and faith eh? 

Now listen to Bruh David say it in his own inimitable style. ‘My soul, (silently) wait thou only upon God: for expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.  Selah.’ (Ps.62: 5-8)  

Ah friends, there’s not much more that I can add to that. And we all know the painful but faithful life Bruh David lived. Some of his problems were of his own making, but others, like Saul hunting him down like a wild animal, was God’s way of testing him. It took him something like twenty years after he was anointed, to actually become king. 

Likewise, some of our troubles are self inflicted, while others come to try our mettle of faith. And hopefully, like Bruh David, we will have the wherewithal to stand up strong and pass most of the tests, as the Lord desires of us. 

Now let’s close with these awe inspiring words of Moses, as he exhorts the Israelites to obedience. ‘For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh (a God so near) unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?’ (Deut.4:7) 

And the truthful answer to that my brethren is a resounding ‘NO OTHER!’ 

So with all of that godly encouragement and inspiration, please let’s go out today, and every day henceforth, to LOVE and serve our Lord, and do His will with humble pleasure, as Jesus did in His earthly sojourn. It won’t be easy, but with God’s always available help, it’s doable. Much LOVE!

…with the Creator as our refuge and strength…Christians don’t need any other protectors or protection…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2016 Proverbs 11:17

Proverbs 11:17.  The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

Oh friends the time is a drawing near for the ole fella to leave paradise! I only have another week left! How am I going to handle it eh? Obviously with grace and aplomb centred in the Lord’s mercy and LOVING-kindness. 

No doubt it’s going to be somewhat rough. Chuh! Merely thinking about leaving such wonderful rejuvenating saltwater and sunshine to go to back to cold and dreary snowbound vistas upsets the body’s balance and psyche. (smile) But what to do eh? Nothing but grin and bear it. 

I always knew it would have to end, but we all know the human penchant for fooling ourselves. Anyway, as with all things, with God’s assistance, we shall handle it in a manner befitting one of His children. Amen! 

Now let me apologize for going away for a few hours to visit a home for abused children. A friend of mine has been trying to get me to see the place for a couple of weeks now. 

I’d heard about it and wanted to see if there was any way I could help, and she showed up while I was in the middle of the Bit, saying that was the only time we could get to visit. So I had to leave. 

Anyway, I was disappointed in what I saw and heard. The lady who runs the home has a prosthetic leg, and uses crutches to get along more quickly. That obviously doesn’t preclude her from running the home, but her personal appearance didn’t convey any confidence either. 

Neither did the glimpse I got of the interior of the house impress me; it looked rather untidy. And though she seems well educated and can talk a good talk, by the end of the conversation I still didn’t know how the place was run. 

It doesn’t seem as though there is any concrete funding, and handouts and the generosity of others seems to play too big a part. She also seemed to belong to too many organizations and doing too many other things to be able to properly focus on the problem youths under her care. 

But that’s just my humble opinion, and I know she says that she is doing God’s work, however, I believe that God’s work could surely do with some improvement there. For we know that Jesus wants us to do our best, to come up as high as possible. I just don’t know if she is coming up as high as she can. 

Then on the way back we stopped for some Tobago pigeon (gungo) peas soup, by my friend’s brother-in-law. Mama yo! It’s the three largest iron (dutch) pots I ever saw! Big like a baby’s bath tub! (smile) I told the duchess I had to take her there next week to check them out. 

One held the pigeon peas soup, the other some dasheen bush soup and the last some cow foot soup. And yuh better believe he was doing a brisk trade. It had people sitting down right there eating, while every minute another vehicle pulled up to get their Saturday morning repast. 

Then of course when I got home, I had to eat mine too. And did it ever go down well! Just like a good pigeon peas soup ought to. (smile) And after that I needed a nap. So that accounts for my tardiness. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, taken once more from the wisdom of Cousin Sol. ‘The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that as heavenly truth! And why? Because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spelled it out in spades in His wonderful and most memorable Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.’ (Matt,5:7) 

Plus in God’s divine reality, what we sow is what we reap. It’s His guiding dictum. (smile) So if we’re merciful, then we will receive mercy. But if we’re cruel and do not show mercy to our fellow humans, then cruelty and ‘unmercifulness’ is what we’ll receive at the hands of others. It’s as simple as that my brethren. 

Listen to how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 41 – Abuse and assurance. ‘Blessed is he that considereth the poor (helpless or powerless): the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. 

The Lord will strengthen him upon his bed of languishing (sickbed): thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness (restore him in his sickbed).’ (Ps.41:1-3) 

Oh friends, that’s how the Lord looks after those that show mercy! Now how can a believer not show mercy to others eh… unless he is downright ignorant and foolish. And if you don’t believe any of that, then listen as Jesus spells it out in black and white in the telling of the parable of the talents. 

‘And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered (hungry) and you gave me meat (food): 

I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:33-36) 

Then all those sheep, perplexed, will ask when they did all of that? ‘And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt.25:40) 

Yes my people, that’s the reward for showing mercy, for being sheep and for helping the poor and needy! 

But to the proud and cruel goats: ‘Then shall he say also unto them on his left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’ (Matt.25:41) 

Oh my brethren, all I can say in conclusion is that we all try our best to be merciful and kind and Christ-like in this earthly life, so that when the time comes, and come it will, we shall be on Jesus’ right hand. Much LOVE!

…you can’t talk Jesus talk…but walk the devil’s walk…and expect to end up in heaven…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2015 Romans 12:2‏‏

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

So Friends, it’s Saturday! What’s cooking? No I don’t mean what’s on the fire literally cooking, like pigeon or gungo peas soup, or callaloo – the T&T kind made with dasheen bush, or the Jamdown kind made with spinach, or even some rice and peas and curry goat, a roti or bread and shark… 

And what about some ackee and saltfish, some patties, or even a big cooking oil tin filled with curry crab and some big, cartwheel dumplings, or even some flying fish eh… Mama Yo!  

But that sounds like a rather good West Indian menu though. As I keep telling these northerners the best tasting, the sweetest food in the world comes from the West Indies. And you better believe that they have come to realize that I was right, because if you see them nowadays in the West Indian restaurants and food stores, buying up we food.

And just talking about it, I know that mouths are watering for a taste of one, or many, or all of those delicious meals! (smile) And why not, is excellent food!

But that’s a different story for another day. I meant what’s happening in our lives, how are we handling the situations that currently exist, be they good, bad or indifferent? Are we anxious, fretting and stressing ourselves over them, or are we calmly going to Jesus with our problems, and being prisoners of hope, waiting with expectant faith for His answers? I do hope it’s the latter scenario, because that’s the only one that befits a follower of Jesus Christ.

Yeh Friends, we all know that putting that stuff into practice in this selfish, evil, ungodly world is much easier said than done, but as Christians we are expected to do it, because it’s all a part of our faith, our pilgrim’s journey. That’s why Christ came to earth and died, so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin that this world has us locked up in.

As Jesus says, when referring to the sheep of His pasture and His role as the Good Shepherd: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)

Oh my people, that is such a mighty statement, but to have life like Jesus gives it, one must become a whole new creature by shaking of the shackles of sin that’s keeping us in total bondage. And to do that we have to start in our minds, like our Bit says. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Ah mih breddren that’s gospel truth, for we can’t make any serious or lasting changes in our lives without first processing it through our minds and then keeping the other stuff out of them. But please note that all of that can only happen with God’s help. So why don’t we start making those changes right now eh Friends?

That’s provided you truly and seriously want to be freed from the shackles of sin that now bind you. But you have to go to Jesus in faith and believe that He, His precious blood spilled on Calvary can cleanse you, and then do your part, for it’s a two way street.

As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17)  

As the scholars further explain: ‘5:17. When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom.8:1,9; Gal.6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way, making a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation, bringing new things into being.’

And Peter puts that transformation thus: ‘Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.’ (1 Pet.4:1-2)

Yes Friends, that’s how a follower of Christ is expected to live his or life; by the will of God, not by the lusts of men!

And in closing, let’s listen to Bruh Paul tell the Ephesians about living the new life in Christ. ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with malice: and be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32)

And there we have it Friends, a general guide of how Christians ought to live. Now do we live like that, or anywhere close to it? I’d say no. That’s why we have such a bad reputation amongst the heathen. We spout a whole lot of scripture, but then live a completely different life style.

But it is possible to live much closer to those ideals than we currently do. So please my people, let’s wake up and get our act together nuh, if we want to bring others to Jesus, rather than drive them away as we’re doing now. Much LOVE!

…for Christians to bring people to Christ…we have to begin living more Christ-like lives…practice more of what we preach…