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…

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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…

 

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2015 1 Corinthians 13:1

1 Corinthians 13:1.  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal.

 HAPPY  VALENTINE’S  DAY!

Well Friends, it’s Carnival Saturday and the excitement is ramping up with the finals in most of the competitions scheduled for some time this weekend; three kings of song, kings and queens of mas bands and Panorama Steelband finals. But if the ole fella takes in any, it will be most likely over the boob tube. I don’t need the rush and push and expensive, long sitting down for those shows.

Oh, I forgot to wish all my Scrip-Bit readers a Happy Valentine’s Day! You can imagine the confusion down here with Valentine’s Day and Carnival weekend falling the same time.

Hn, Hn! Lots of ads for Valentine’s Day celebrations, but I believe the duchess and I won’t be doing much, possibly going up in the city later on to check out the happenings, get some roses from my sister-in-law’s flower shop, for her, but no real plans. Now children please don’t go telling her that and spoil the surprise.

Besides, the duchess is cooking a wicked pigeon peas soup, with Much LOVE, and I don’t think anything in any restaurant is going to taste as good as that. (smile) And per adventures, I didn’t have any yesterday, just went up by an old school friend, visited for a couple hours, then came home watched some cricket and went to bed.

But Chuh! It was possibly the worse night I‘ve spent since I’ve been here. I kept waking up every couple hours to go to the bathroom, then couldn’t get back to sleep because both my shoulders were aching and I couldn’t find a comfortable position. Finally on the after six waking up, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I just got up and stayed up.

Then around 8.30 I left to go and get some breadfruit from a friend, for the duchess to put in the soup. But lo and behold, I took a back road and got lost along the way. Then when I found my way again, I decided to go a little further to look for some fish, but there was no fish.

Then I went up the road to a bakery to get some bread, but there was no bread ready. So I bought some bake and salftfish for breakfast. I didn’t get to my friend’s place till almost nine thirty, then he kept me in some old talk, so I didn’t get home until ten. By then I was tired from all the running around, so I just had breakfast then rested. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile)

Now re our Bit, I decided to take a break from giving and move to LOVE for today, because today is supposed to be the biggest day of LOVE all over the world, even though it’s very commercialized and tends more to the romantic kind.

But Friends, LOVE is LOVE in whatever form you find it, and if commerce causes us to be more LOVING to each other, then I certainly won’t complain, because LOVE is of God, and it’s the quality, the emotion we need most desperately in today’s evil and ungodly world.

And having read this rather appropriate passage in the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin this morning, I couldn’t pass it up. Listen to these words titled ‘Morning Tribute.’

‘In all the years of my childhood, I doubt that we ever lived in a house where the sweet fragrance of roses didn’t permeate the air. I’ve never forgotten the summer ritual that made every breakfast a special event. Every morning my father would come in from the backyard with a freshly plucked rosebud – his token of LOVE for my mother.

Usually I’d be setting the table when Dad made the presentation…. “Here it is, sweetheart – your morning tribute.”  One morning while sunbeams played leapfrog on our kitchen wall my mother stopped stirring oatmeal. She dropped her wooden spoon and threw her arms around my father. I’ll never forget her words. “There are ten thousand ways of LOVING and you know them all!”

LOVE knows no limit to endurance; no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.’

Wow mih people! What beautiful words and sentiments of LOVE on this Valentine’s Day! And they are all true! How nice it would be if we could resort to that kind of LOVE every day of the year eh, not just on Valentine’s Day. It would just warm the cockles of God’s heart and make our world such a much better place to live.

Remember these memorable words of John from his first epistle? ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE!’ (1 John 4:7-8)

That’s why Bruh Paul was quite correct when he wrote our Bit to the Corinthians. ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal.’

Yes Friends, we could be the greatest thing since sliced bread, with all the attributes, powers and honours that the world can bestow, if we don’t have charity, if we don’t have LOVE, then we’re NOTHING! And if you don’t believe me, then go and read the rest of 1 Cor.13, The way of LOVE, and let Bruh Paul convince you.

I was just thinking that that LOVE chapter should be mandatory reading for all of us, at least on Valentine’s Day. (smile) It would certainly put us in remembrance of what true LOVE is all about!

And mih people, as I sit here writing this, the peas soup is smelling mouthwatering good from the kitchen! Mama Mia! Can’t wait to get into it!

And I have one more interesting and appropriate quote on LOVE for us, from Jacques Maritain ((1882-1973), a prominent French philosopher and thinker. Jacques reminds us today that ‘We don’t LOVE qualities, we LOVE persons…’

And that’s how it ought to be my people. We shouldn’t LOVE others because of their qualities, but because they are people, like us, fallible and fickle, but God’s wonderful creation!

Now hear some more appropriate words from my One More Day Devotional, Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. It tells us: ‘We don’t look for perfection in our LOVED ones, and we’re freed of the notion that we must earn another’s LOVE. LOVE balances our lives; it helps us keep sight of our values and priorities.’

Words of indisputable truth my people. And we’ll end with these immortal words from the LOVE Chapter. ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor.13:13)

Words to live by my people. So please have a Happy Valentine’s Day. And remember, the word for today is LOVE! So please spread it far and wide. That’s what our LOVING God expects of us. Much LOVE!

…I will remember today…that I LOVE people for themselves…not for their potential…The LOVE I receive is given just as freely…’