Lent, Tivoli gardens Enquiry, Karl Marx and The word of God – Christ Jesus

I read my Bible to see what men ought to do; and read my newspapers to see what men are doing.

Lord renew thy church beginning with me; Lord renew thy church that the church may renew the nation(s)

NEWS

1. The news coming out of the Tivoli Gardens Commission of Enquiry, that the former Minister of Justice, Dorothy Lightbourne, did not follow the news of the day, as, ‘it was too depressing’; but dutifully took an interest in ‘the foreign news’, was simply shocking. Especially when one considers how our Westminster Parliamentary Democracy places a heavy burden of collective responsibility on the members of the Cabinet. A revelation which therefore raises all kinds of questions about governance in a country where the political management of the country’s affairs plays such a vital role in whether as a nation, we ‘sink or swim. And it can be argued, that in many aspects of our national life we have been ‘drowning’ for a long time.

2. The season of Lent, and all that it represents, although not ‘hard news’, continues to occupy my thoughts and plans.

Yes, there was other news; the continued debate on the ‘mini constitutional crisis…should the bona fide Opposition Senators resign, or take their rightful place in the Senate regardless of whether or not the Leader has ‘lost confidence in them; the extremely cold weather in the USA where so many of our relatives reside; Cricket World Cup ‘down under’…a gentleman called into a cable television show tonight asking if anyone knew when the West Indian cricketers intended to peak, as he was losing sleep, staying up to watch them ‘play badly’……and ‘was there a plot to kill the leader of The Opposition”, or was there a plot, to use an alleged plot, to plot mischief……O what a tangled web we weave…..but none of those rose to the level of ‘ big news’ of the day’. At least for me!

THE WORD OF GOD

So at the beginning of Lent, and in the midst of the continued revelations coming out of one of the most keenly followed Commission of Enquiry in recent times, just like the Mannatt Affair some years ago, what Word or inspired word did the Lord send this week.

Most of the messages, that the Lord inspired me to write about this week, focused on Lent. Offering what the lawyers term, ‘more and better particulars, and challenging my readers, WhatsApp and Church, to look deeply within, as we ponder some of the issues which confront us personally and as a nation. And as I left my Anglican church, and turned my radio on to catch one of my favourite preachers, Rev. Shuttleworth of The Tarrant Batiste Church on TBC Radio- 88.5 FM, I heard a most profound story which reinforced in my mind the vital importance of responsible parenting; of the need to ‘dwell in the Word of God’; and the need to share the Word. With everybody, but especially with your children lest someone else teach them what the devil wants them to learn.

He recounted the story of a faithful Jewish dad, who, for years, took his family to the local synagogue in Germany many years ago. Then son was reportedly very proud of his dad and the way he kept his family grounded in their faith in God. Then one day the family was forced to move to another town, where there was no synagogue. But there was a church, which was the hub of the town. All the people went to that church.
So one day the father announced to his family that he was going to carry them to the church and change from being a devout Jew. Deeply disturbed the boy questioned why? Only to be told that ‘it would be good’, for the father’s business’. Over the years this boy grew more and more angry and embittered with his dad and with God. All because of his father’s ‘betrayal’.
To cut a long story short, that boy grew into a man whose Ideology, rooted in the notion, inter alia, that, ” religion was the opium of the masses’, Communism, would indeed cause profound problems for the entire world . For years! As Karl Marx, famously taught his followers that God had no place in their lives. And the effect of such a movement still bedevils many nations in this 21st century.
No doubt then, we have not even begun to understand and appreciate how Modern Human Secularism, alive and well in the USA – 30 % of Americans, from a recent poll, no longer consider themselves religious – will manifest itself in years to come.

THE FIRST MESSAGE – sent out on WhatsApp. The take home word! While others are busy watching the Oscars and The Grammy’s and all kinds of shows and movies – Fifty Shades of Grey – that are of little moment in the grand scheme of things, where the ‘devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he will’, we the people of God have to be vigilant in our sole reason for being – Christian Mission. And with The Highest Authority in the Land.

The Purpose of Life

I opened CHRIS TIEGREEN Devotional guide this morning after praying:

Master! Speak thy servant heareth,
Longing for thy gracious word:
And found this:

” Christian mission is the only reason for our being on earth “…Andrew Murray.
And this:

THE MISSION OF ” ALL AUTHORITY”.
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”
Our God is the God of the incomprehensible huge – the vastness of the universe….. Our God is also the God of the infinitesimally small – the human cell.
In the vastness of creation, we begin to glimpse the height, depth and breath of the power of God, which is the same power that is working in us to conform us to His image. It also the same power that sends us out to accomplish His agenda….to make disciples of all peoples, baptising them and teaching them(vs 19-20). The highest goal of the God of the infinite and the infinitesimal is to be worshipped everywhere. And although all creation testifies to His glory, there are places in this world where He is not even known…. What a sacred charge!
Something to think about as we go into a period of repentance and fasting and prayer – Lent.

THE SECOND MESSAGE – again sent out on What’sApp. Take home word? There is a war going on for the souls of all who we meet. And the Lord has put them in our path for their rescue. But look out, as the devil will attack you too. And make you either oblivious of the ‘news’ around you, or uncaring about what what is happening to our own ‘flesh and blood’. Whether we are high-raking politicians, parents or church workers! So my friends Lent is an ” opportunity’ not to be missed by anyone. To spend time reflecting on the state of affairs of our own hearts, and how we have contributed to the state of affairs of our country and the world. And to repent of our ‘sins’ and start all over again!

WAR AND PEACE

This Word began yesterday at work, and continued last night until almost daybreak.

Ephesians 2:1-5 NIV

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Mark 9:28-29 NIV

After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer. ”
With those two Words, the Lord powerfully impressed on my soul the following truths.
1.All our relatives. All our friends. Everybody we meet who are disobedient to the Word of God, whether in church or not, is under the influence of ‘ the spirit of the ruler of the kingdom of the air.
2. That kind of evil can only be driven out by prayer… and fasting.
3. Two of the prayers we can use came to me in a very vivid dream last night, as I held down a big dog who was intent on attacking someone about whose disobedience I had been praying.
” In the Name of Jesus”. And ” At the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow”. That means, every evil force spirit will have to flee.
4. Satan will attack you as you pray for the rescue of others. The dog was about to bite me, when the Lord woke me up….going to bed is a dangerous thing without covering prayers. And also the person for whom you are praying. Remember in the second reading, the demon threw down the boy just before Jesus cast out the demon.
5. It may take a while, but persevere in prayer. The greatest Bishop of the ancient church, Augustine of Hippo, whose writings profoundly influenced western civilization – his mother laboured in prayer for over 25 years for his ‘ salvation’.
So, let us then, as a army of God pray, without ceasing, for those who are disobedient, and stop criticizing them. Including ourselves first of all. And pray for me too. Call my name Lucien. That any thought, any ambition, any desire which is not of God may be cast out my soul, your soul, and the souls of all whom we meet. Amen

THE THIRD MESSAGE – again on WhatsApp. This one perhaps more than the others carries the ‘more and better particulars ‘ of the Lenten tradition. O my God, I pray that more and more, especially our young people could really apprehend these truths…prone to wander fromthe Lord I love……and help to change our outlook on life. Especially with regard to the burning topic: ” How to train our men to treat our women with love respect? #FiftyShadesofGrey #AbuseofWomenonCampus. And the growing movement of the secular worldview #godisdead or irrelevant or uncaring!

ALL ABOUT LENT
Words from a hymn which, ‘ appeared’, as I opened my hymnbook this morning, explain very clearly this age old Christian discipline. And if you did not know, or have forgotten, that the Christian life is about being disciplined by God, then read Hebrews chapter 12.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger
interposed his precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee,
prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
prone to leave the Lord I love;
here’s my heart, oh take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Words from the hymn ” Come thou fount of every blessing ”
So Lent is really a time to repent of our human tendency to be,’ prone to wander’ , from the God who shed His precious Blood for us on Calvary. Jesus the Christ.
Whether or not it is your tradition or not use the opportunity well. For we are well aware of the Scripture that tells us to: ” Be very careful then how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. And Lent is an opportunity to draw closer to God in prayer and fasting and sharing of oneself with those in need. But it all begins with repentance, and asking God, like the Psalmist for a ” clean heart” and to ” renew a right spirit within me.

THE FOURTH MESSAGE – sent out on WhatsApp, is really a cry for all of us to learn the fundamental truth about life. That all our help comes from the Lord. No matter how bright and brave and innovative we think we might be! Part two of which came a couple of days later.

BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED – FOR LENT AND FOR ALL TIMES

This message came in three parts. Last night. Early this morning in my sleep. And at the very end.
As I read and reflected these thoughts came into my mind.

That whatever ‘ forty days and forty nights’, each one of us is going through in our personal lives, or in that for which we bear responsibility, if we fear God, He is at work. Ultimately teaching us that ‘ our help in all circumstances comes only from He who suffered…by His stripes we are healed…. died, and was raised from the dead for our salvation. And for all those ‘ under our tent’ – our neighbors. Everywhere!
Whether it be physical trials – health issues; emotional – family issues; financial – a big problem in Jamaica; or spiritual – as we come under attack from the evil one.
Let not thy heart be troubled. Rest in the assurance that our God, is a God who does the impossible – raises the dead. So that we may learn to trust Him. And in Him alone. Not self!

LAST NIGHT
……my help cometh from the Lord. Psalm 121

EARLY THIS MORNING
“By His stripes we are healed”. Part of the theme for this year’s Healing Conference.
” We do not want you to be uninformed brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” 2 Cor.1:8-9 NIV.

AT THE END
Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey

FINAL MESSSAGE – as mentioned, really a Part Two. And closes with a great song from one of the all time great choirs of this age. A indeed, ” all of of my help comes from the Lord. In the USA, in Israel, in Russia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, in Nigeria and in Jamaica.

MY SONG IN THE NIGHT LAST NIGHT

Early this morning, again again, the message came. That the Lord’s intention is to teach us that, ” my help, all of my help cometh from the Lord”. And He will allow life’s circumstances to bring us to that point, again and again, until there is no ‘ shadow of a doubt’ in our minds. To the end that we resist Him, to that extent life becomes a trial, and not a joy.

TWO PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE WHICH CAME WITH THE MESSAGE

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. Ps. 3:5

Consider how the lilies grow. They neither labor nor spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown in the fire. How much more will he clothe you. O you of little faith! Luke 12:27-28

WORDS OF A HYMN

New every morning is the love…

A THOUGHT

The greatest’ help which cometh from the Lord’ is the gift of Salvation in Christ Jesus

AND THEN THIS GLORIOUS SONG. PRAISE GOD

Watch “My Help (Cometh from the Lord) by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir” on YouTube – My Help (Cometh from the Lord) by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir: http://youtu.be/qtZX7a44fMI

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War and Peace – ISIS and Jesus

I read my Bible to see what men ought to do; and read my newspapers to see what men are doing

Lord renew thy church beginning with me; Lord renew the church that the church may renew the nation(s).

NEWS

1. Nothing can surpass the example of ISIS, not executing…that’s too civilized a term….but rather murdering Coptic Christians than what took place in Libya recently, to demonstrate to the world, the kind of evil which the church in particular faces in this age. And which confronts humanity in general. It’s really a metaphor for the choices which mankind faces. War – without Christ, and Peace – with Christ. A situation well described, although in less stark terms, by Tolstoy’s famous novel.
Beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya shows ISIS branching out http://ti.me/1zXFEub
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Yes, the very ‘live’ and robust debate in my country about constitutional issues – should the Senate be more independent; what to do about Senators who win cases in the Courts but who have lost the confidence of the constitutional officer who recommended their appointment; and under what circumstances can a senator be removed from the Upper House – caught my attention. Yes, the very ‘live’ debate about the movie Fifty Shades of Grey – no, I will definitely not be seeing it any time soon to be able to comment accurately on it – caught my attention. But only briefly! Yes, the ongoing and outrageous attempts to terrorise people in Denmark and elsewhere, by murdering unarmed and unsuspecting citizens, caught my attention. But nothing, nothing at all comes close to the diabolic message being sent to the world by the evil that ISIS represents in the ‘live murdering’ of people who trust in The Son of God. As this is Satan operating at his worst.

THE WORD OF GOD

The messages in general all had one theme- trust in God. A fundamentally opposite message to what the wisdom of this age has to offer. All because they do not understand the cosmic nature of the war taking place worldwide. So one very naive at best, and perhaps dangerous at worse, attorney, was quoted this week in the newspapers, encouraging the government to ‘Free up the Guns”. I suppose as a means of dealing with the rampaging gun-toting criminals once and for all! Completely ignoring the fact that, superior force in and by itself, has never been shown in history to defeat evil. Otherwise, the war to end all wars would have happened a long time ago – as some believed at the end of WW1. And at the end of WW11. At after the end of the Cold War! So The Creator God reminds us all Who really is our ‘ultimate Protector’.

THE FIRST MESSAGE

FREE UP THE GUNS
This morning I got up thanking the Sovereign Lord for a peaceful night. And the Word began to flow. Then I went and picked up the newspapers and saw the headlines:
FREE UP THE GUNS…..and Jamaica’s murder rate will fall…according to a prominent lawyer
BY DAY
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet to go like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19
AT NIGHT
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, makes me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
AT ALL TIMES
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27
DECISION
In whom will you trust. The wisdom of this age or The Word of God
Choose ye this day…..But as for me and my house we will (trust) serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Amen

THE SECOND MESSAGE – sent again on WhatsApp, really reinforces the point made throughout history; that we live ( without Christ) in very evil times. And therefore we ought to ‘very careful’ how we live. Do we understand #furtylebrain that artistes who are hoping to make it big, are doing all kinds of madness, including ‘sewing on horns on their heads’……..at least in one case; and altering the pigment in their eyes. Just so that that they can ‘stand out’ in a crowded entertainment field and ‘buss’. And that this is an example of the kind of evil ‘juggernaut’, that confront our young people in this digital world. And so The Living God sends a message to all of us – to be very careful how we live. As music and other forms of entertainment #FiftyShadesofGrey will literally ‘ blow your mind’. Whether you think you are secure in your understanding of what life is all about, or just learning! For the devil is more ‘crafty’ than any other animal and specializes in destroying the confident, the ‘wise’, and those who think that they do not need God’s protection and ignore the reality that there is war going on for the souls of humankind. From the time of Adam!

A VERY IMPORTANT WORD

Usually when the Lord wakes me up at exactly 4:am, and He has not that for a while, to read His Word, then it is always something special. Especially when I was thinking that perhaps writing too often might ‘ turn off’ some folks. But then I choose to be obedient.

PASSAGES WHICH ‘CHALLENGED MY SOUL :

At beginning – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path… Proverbs 3:5-6

At the end – Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is….. Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against….. the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 5:15-17 & 6:10-12 NIV

May the God of Jacob make us wise, with His wisdom, and protect us from evil by obedience to His Word. Even Christ Jesus the Living Word. For God knows that the times are truly evil.

THE THIRD MESSAGE – Again featured on WhatsApp:

..raises the issue of, in the midst of the war, how do we in the church, treat with those who, despite our many entreaties, despite exposure to God’s Word, refuse to commit to Christ, and find The Peace for which they are, unknown to them, desperately seeking? And so a timely word from the Lord comes to all of us. And especially to those we love and care for, and who stubbornly resist the call of the Word.

THE MESSAGE

THE LOST SON…. OR DAUGHTER
I don’t know about you, but I have many good friends and close relatives who just refuse to go to church and commit themselves to Christ. #Veryfrustrating when you know how much everybody needs Jesus. And then this word comes along:

The God who waits….CHRIS TIEGREEN
The younger son got together all he had…… and squandered his wealth in wild living. Luke 15:13
…..Could there be any better description of our generation than the escapades of the Prodigal Son? Many in our society act as if independence were the highest virtue. Many are living in a distant country and loving it. For now.
Meanwhile, our Father waits. He knows the futility of His children’s independence. He knows it will bring them to ruin. But unless they see it themselves, they will not believe it. So He waits……
Many of us wonder if our failures have caused the Father to turn His back on us……..But Jesus’ illustration is very clear. We have a Father who waits.
Maybe we should be more patient with those we care for. Because God is very patient and full of compassion for all His children. His favorite word is ‘ come’ – Robert Sterner.

THE FOURTH MESSAGE – AGAIN sent out on WhatsApp.
And this message more than any other deals with the obvious and soul searching question that the relatives and all who believe in Christ, will ask of god in this moment of crisis in the church, when our brothers and sisters are being targeted by ISIS . For death! One of the existential issues we have to settle in our minds is that God is Sovereign, regardless of the situation. And His Sovereign rule is not limited by life on this earth, but extends to ‘life everlasting’. And this is the blessed hope, that we hold firm. That, the death of our people in Libya, or in Syria, is not the final chapter of the story of life. But in a real way, only the beginning of a life more abundantly in Christ – Peace. And for those who murder and kill, their eternal life will be ‘Eternal War’, and suffering.
So, for those who survive the ‘storms of life’ that will come our way, they are meant to strengthen our faith in a Sovereign God, a God who controls the Wind and the Waves. And were it not for those trials, we would never know Him as the God who is Sovereign over every situation; and therefore, in that power we have full authority to spread the gospel.

JESUS IS OUR DELIVERER

Yesterday a patient asked me why a good Christian girl like her was having do much pain, whilst backsliders were (apparently) not?
Then this morning I woke up with one of my favorite hymns in my heart.

O Jesus, I have promised to serve thee to the end;
be thou forever near me, my master and my friend:
I shall not fear the battle
if thou art by my side,
nor wander from the pathway,
if thou wilt be my guide…… Verse one

Then this:

MASTER ON THE STORMS – CHRIS TIEGREEN
” You of little faith, why are you afraid “. Matthew 8:26
….Jesus could have navigated His company around that storm. It blew up without warning, but the Lord of creation isn’t surprised by anything. He knew about the Cross ahead of time, and He knew about the storm. But if He had let the disciples avoid it, they would never have known Him as the Master of the wind and waves. They would not have asked the question: ” What kind of man is this”?….verse 27. They would not have known Jesus as their Deliverer that day …
Do you think as a member of this WhatsApp ministry that she got an answer to her question? And for all of us struggling with challenged in our lives?
O Jesus I have promised…

THE FINAL MESSAGE – on WhatsApp

This one needs very little introduction. Life is simple. War – with and without Christ. Peace – only in Christ. The only challenge, is having decided to trust in The Son of God, how do we remain in Him. The answer! It’s all by grace. And we must ask The Father to help us without ceasing – dwell in the secret place. Which is the essence of prayer. And not the requests for prosperity.

NOT JUST TRIALS BUT WAR
This morning I woke up with the words of Psalm in my hearts. Words that have been with me in my darkest hours. And have become almost like an Anthem in my soul. And I recalled that in the height of the Ebola crisis, a Bible teacher of international renown told me that in Africa this
Psalm is even more popular that Psalm 23.

Psalms 91:1 KJV

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Then as I reached the end of the Psalm ……I will be with him in trouble…. led me to Psalm 27. The words of which ‘ saved ‘ my life once when war broke out against me on the way to work one morning.

Psalms 27:1-4 KJV

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord , that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord , and to enquire in his temple.

The point here is that we have to learn, and to pray without ceasing, for grace to dwell in ‘ the secret place of The Most High’. Night and day. As we face not just trials but war. For the ‘ thief’ in John 10:10 has not come just to steal our affections away from a Loving and Compassionate God. But to ‘ kill and ultimately destroy’! Just look around you at the lives of friends and relatives and your own experience. There is a war being waged against our very souls. To separate us from God. But thank God for the Blood of Jesus in Whom and through Whom we can , ‘ dwell in the secret place of the Most High. Even in death. For in Christ nothing can separate us from the love of God

Of Whitney Houston’s offspring – Bobbi Brown, and the use of Marijuana as a Sacrament. And of God’s offspring – the entire human race and Christ’s Atonement for Sin

I read my Bible to see what men ought to do; and read my newspapers to see what men are doing.

Lord renew thy church beginning with me; Lord renew the church that the church may renew the nation(s).

THE NEWS

1. Bobbi Kristina Brown has injuries that need explanation, source says – CNN.com

News filtered out this week that ( the late ) Whitney Houston’s daughter was found ‘unresponsive’ and taken to hospital. Bobbi Kristina’s imminent demise is therefore such a tragedy. For as like mother so like daughter! Perhaps for different reasons, as so far no drugs were found in her system and questions are being asked about injuries found on Bobbi. And so, many people across the world are watching and praying with her father and the rest of her family, as an awesome decision seems inevitable, given the advice from the doctors. To ‘pull the plug’ and let her go, as apparently she is now brain dead.

image

Bobbi Kristina Brown has injuries that need explanation,…
Investigators are focusing on Bobbi Kristina Brown’s boyfriend as they try to determine why she ended up face down in a tub of water, a source says.
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2. On Bob Marley’s birthday, Friday February 6th, “the upper house’, in Jamaica, the Senate, passed a bill which will decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of ganja; and among other things, enshrine in law, the use of the drug as a sacrament for religious purposes by people belonging to the Rastafarian religion. Bob Marley’s legacy to the world, in terms of his music and social commentary, and even his philosophy, grounded in the Bible, as revealed in an excellent column by one our most celebrated journalists Ian Boyne Bob Marley as national hero – In Focus – Jamaica Gleaner – Sunday | February 8, 2015 which featured in today’s daily Gleaner, is undisputed, and was celebrated in Jamaica, and Internationally on his birthday. What is contentions is the use of a drug as a Sacrament!

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Bob Marley as national hero – In Focus – Jamaica Gleaner…
There is no superlative adequate to describe Bob Marley’s genius and artistry. There is an ineffability about his artistic greatness and prophetic appeal. A c…
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Yes, other news came to our attention…ISIS and Jordan, Nigeria and Boko Haran and the postponement of elections, the continued homicides in my country, the ruling of the high court in Jamaica against the leader of the Opposition’s decision to remove two Senators on the basis of an pre-signed but undated letter, thus provoking a mini-constitutional crisis…but the two top ones for me, were those identified above.

THE WORD OF GOD

So, in that context, what Word, or inspired word did the Lord send for our consideration this week.

The first message was all about discipline and hardship! Both of which are an integral part of the Christian journey. And a major problem in this age, is the example that we are setting for the young people who came after us. Our offspring! That is why we have to be so careful went we craft laws, and when we have the privilege to be a parent to a child. For in both instances, what one generation passes on to the next, can be a matter of life or death. Literally! Perhaps, Bobbi Kristina’s life could have been much different if she had had a better example. What example then are we offering our youth in this nation by elevating the use of a mind altering drug to that of a Sacrament – something holy. What ‘righteousness’ really can come of smoking ganja! What kind of ‘doctrine is that?

And so I tweeted later in the week, and which tweet triggered a lively discussion with a lawmaker, a journalist, and a former International Banker who belongs to my church, but has a different view on the matter
I think KD Knight correct #MedicalMarijuana instead of a Sacrament. What is a Sacrament really?

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SOUND DOCTRINE
Truly in life there are no coincidences. Last evening I was privileged to attend the 70 year birthday celebrations of the matriarch of solid Christian family. And the couple have produced four wonderful men and a lady. All of whom fear God. Only discipline mixed with love and a good example could have accomplished such a feat
And this morning as we continue to explore sound doctrine, I was led to this Word:

Hebrews 12:7-11 NIV

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

And this other Word nearby.

James 1:2-4 NIV

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

And we all know that the goal of our journey in Christ is to become mature…… and produce much fruit….remember the parable of the sower of the seed.
So endure hardship as s discipline, as the rescuing of our families, friends, communities, even and especially the church, and nation depends on our submission to God’s discipline.

THE SECOND MESSAGE

A word which reveals the two narratives that operate in this world. One that is reported on CNN, RJRFM94 and other media houses, which describes what man can see and know. Th ‘natural’ world. The other, operates in the supernatural world. And we get a glimpse of it every so often as we delve into God’s Word.
That is why Satan, masquerading as ‘the intelligentsia’ of this age, would have us believe that ‘there is no God’. But we know better. And thus can explain all the evil that takes place in the world, and send people like Whitney Houston to an early grave, and so too Bobbi Kristina, unless God intervenes. Which is why we need to be clear about sound doctrine, and not some ‘half-baked’ religious dogma, which purports to use a mind altering substance to honor the Creator God. And which substance, we know can cause so much harm.
And so I tweeted;

10 -Justice issue -preventing young men from being branded for life with a criminal offense. 0- Sacrament

This Word came in the, ‘ dead of night’, last night. I thought of Minister Bunting and murder. But this Word is for individuals, as much as it is for families, communities and for nation. For evil actions against another human being, as was the case with Cain and Abel, begin in the mind. Envy, pride, malice, greed, unbridled lust, slackness, disobedience to parents, cheating in a relationship, dishonesty, aggressiveness, a surly temper, anger issues, are all represented in the Bible passage that reveals that ; ” out of the heart of men comes all kinds if evil”.
So how do we as children of the Resurrection, wage war against the kind of evil which is destroying family life, ruining marriages, corrupting the morals of our children, corrupting our music, affecting the productivity at the workplace, undermining the effective governance of our nation, and spreading abroad murder in our land. According to the Word of God, the war begins and ends in hearts minds of each one of us, as empowered by the Holy Spirit

THE WORD OF GOD

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish
arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
So begin today, with the power of the Holy Spirit to ‘ take captive every thought which is not of God’, and make it obedient to Christ Jesus. And then let us see how God will use us to build His Kingdom of Holiness Righteousness and Justice.

THE THIRD MESSAGE

All of these messages were sent out on WhatsApp. This one is the shortest…and I imagine appreciated by all….smile. The profound message that the Christian faith sends out, everytime we consider the death of Christ on Calvary, no matter what the crime or ‘mistake in life’, we have committed, is that forgiveness is available. The mercy of God, is just a prayer of repentance away. And who knows, how on their dying bed, someone might just reach out to God, in real authentic faith, and find peace. Much better, however, is to reach out to God in Christ, when we have the time and opportunity, for who knows when the ” mighty waters shall rise”…Psalm 32.

Psalm 130:3-4 NIV
If you, O Lord , kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, therefore you are to be feared. Psalm 130: 2. NIV
Thank God for Jesus. Every minute! Every hour! Every day.

THE FOURTH MESSAGE – ON WHATSAPP

One of the realities of life, ignored by, or unknown to, those who only listen to the ‘natural sounds ‘ of this world, is that in every circumstance, God The Creator is speaking. To a family! To a nation! And He is always pursuing us as His love for humanity is fully expressed in the most popular Bible verse of all time: For God so loved the world…..John 3:16. The further reality is that, in this pursuit, He will ‘overthrow some tables’ in an individual’s life; in a families’ life, and in a nation’s life. So let us be careful how we frame laws, and let us be careful how we treat with our bodies, which for a believer, is the very temple of God. For who knows what kind of ‘trouble’ come upon this nation, if we continue to ‘fly in His face’ with all kinds of adventurous concepts of how He wishes us to honor Him.

And so I tweeted:
What is the inner truth that Ganja represents #AnancyStorycometobump

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THE MESSAGE

Yesterday I wrote in another forum about this passage of Scripture.

Do not be like the horse or mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit or bridle
or they will not come to you. Psalm 32:9.

Which is really saying that God pursues us, perhaps especially in difficult circumstances, so that we may return to Him who is our only true love and Savior. But we ought not to wait for that to happen, but repent and return Him….read the Psalm carefully.
Then this morning into my heart came:

Master speak thy servant heareth
Longing for thy gracious word….
And what did I hear.

A HOUSE OF PRAYER

BY CHRIS TIEGREEN

My house shall be called a house of prayer. Matthew 21:13
…..The new Testament application of this is not what we might think……not church buildings…. Jesus never calls a church building ” God’s House”……God’s house after the gift of the Spirit, is the heart of the believer…….
John 2:17 tells us that Jesus is consumed by His zeal for His Father’s House. Knowing that we are His Father’s house makes that verse very profound indeed. Jesus will zealously pursue communion – which is the essence of prayer – in you, even if it means overturning some tables. There are to be prayers and holy fellowship in that sacred place.
I pray God we will all think deeply on this Word from the Master.

THE FIFTH AND FINAL MESSAGE – on WhatsApp…makes an appeal to Save Our Children. By understanding how fundamentally we are God’s offspring. Every last one of us! Created and sustained by Him. And no one else. That’s the Gospel Truth! That we and our children need to hear. Otherwise disaster will continue to haunt our lives, and our nation. For the only way to honor God is to ‘believe His Son’ Christ Jesus – The Only conquering Lion of Judah. And King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Not to smoke weed! Nor to take drugs! Nor to beat upon your wife! Nor to sexually abuse your children – a story which re-surfaced again this week in my country. May God have mercy on our collective souls in this country.

Of Whitney Houston and her offspring, Bobbi Kristina Brown

GM: Recently I attended the 70th birthday party of a friend. And the end of a very moving toast by her husband, he declared that, ” I am because you are”. Lyrics, as we would say in Jamaica, right!
So last night, I dreamt about that declaration, and this morning The Holy Spirit reminded about another such declaration, way back in history.

THE WORD OF GOD

Acts 17:26-28 NIV

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

So if my friend’s husband understood his good fortune, how much we the ‘ offspring’ of The Creator God, should declare in words and with our lives, complete devotion and praise to the Holy One of Israel, and to His Son Christ Jesus, for truly in the Triune God, we live and move and find our being.
For if Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and now Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, understood this profound mystery, as revealed in Christ Jesus, how much different would have been the outcome of their lives. So for our sake, and for the sake of our children, and our children’s children, let us settle in our minds, once and for all, to Whom we owe Life. And Life abundantly? Christ Jesus. For because He died, and through the power of The Holy Spirit, who raised Him from the dead, we have Life with our Creator God. And that’s The Gospel Truth.
Everything else leads to the ‘ unplugging,’ of that which supports life; metaphorically, and literally. Which sadly, is the situation which now confronts Bobbi’s family. #SaveOurChildren.

Security fears in Jamaica and in Nigeria; the dangers of the Prosperity Gospel. And the Authority of Jesus to break every chain of evil

I read my Bible to see what men ought to do; and red my newspapers to see what men are doing

Lord renew thy church beginning with me; Lord renew the church that the church may renew the nation

NEWS

1. Murders could reach 100 by weekend, says Bunting…This week our Minister of National Security, whilst updating the Parliament on the state of crime in the island, advised the legislators that once again murder was a serious problem in our land. This compared to last year when we welcomed the news of a significant decline in the murder rate. An announcement which, as expected triggered a lot of disquiet and alarm in the country. And which ‘panic’ the Minister tried to deal with , by appealing for patience, and assuring the nation , that the fight against crime is being waged aggressively, but will take some time to show sustained results.

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Murders-could-reach-100-by-weekend–says-Bunting

2. The others news which ‘caught my eye’ was the attempts by neighboring African nations, to assist Nigeria in dealing with the Boko Haram , Jhihaddist terror being waged against people in the northern part of that country, and its neighbours.
The tweets below give us some idea of the scale of the atrocities committed by this terrorist group in Nigeria; and the response from the Chad Governtment.

Yes, Serena Williams’ fabulous reign in Women’s Tennis warmed my heart. And to a lesser extent the exploits of Djokovic…I am really a Nadal fan, with Federer somewhere up there too. Yes, the tragic death of two young children in my country by drowning was an awful event; as was the untimely, and perhaps avoidable death of a disabled man who was involved in motor vehicle crash, this week – and I have ‘something’ to do with road safety in my country.
But the security concerns of my country, and worldwide, as terror continues to haunt the lives of so many people across the globe, continues to be a huge national and International problem. Sparking fears, alarm and anxiety everywhere.

THE WORD OF GOD

So what Word or inspired word did the Lord send for my reflections this week, and for me to share with you. Essentially messages of hope in dark and dangerous times. And messages which speak to the issue of SOUND DOCTRINE. As it is in the darkest hour that we really come to truly know God. Not in times of joy and celebrations! A message that the entire world needs to hear, and especially the political directorate in my country. This was the message that Christianity brought to all people everywhere it spread- giving hope to the hopeless, and a voice to the voiceless. Rescuing, with authority, the helpless and demon possessed. Which was the thrust of a wonderful sermon preached at my church by Canon Sirano Kitson, based on the gospel message in Mark chap 1, vs 21-28…where the Scriptures revealed how Jesus cast out a demon from a man who was in the synagogue. And the people were amazed! For those who ruled them, those who only could talk and complain, those who had no compassion on them, did not compare favorably with the Son of God, who came , in love, and with power, to ‘call sinners to repentance’, and to ‘set the captives free’. Much like the ‘chattering classes of this age’, who have no power, but only spend their time complaining and spreading doom and gloom; thus causing anxiety and fear to be spread, rather than with compassion, bringing hope. Which is what the true confessing and believing church offers in Christ Jesus – to break very chain, and to cast out every demon of fear and wickedness, and to speak up against every activity which is ‘ not of God’. And it is only by paying attention to, and discerning what is Sound Doctrine, at a time when our ears are being bombarded by all kinds of strange teachings, will we in the receive the Power to speak and act with the authority that Jesus demonstrated.

THE FIRST MESSAGE – sent to WhatsApp contacts. The problem is that security issue will forever remain a problem for the human race unless it submits to God’s commandments. For wherever God is absent Satan rules. That’s a fact of life, ever since the Fall in the garden of Eden ; whether we wish to believe it or not. So unacceptable rates of murder in Jamaica, flare ups in peaceful Norway or not so peaceful France, and in populous Nigeria will continue. And if we are not careful, life will be dominated by anxieties and fears! So, in the midst of ‘the storm’ in my country, the Lord ends a word to calm our fears.

THE MESSAGE
The second of my early morning prayers from, A MORNING WATCH BY JACOB BOEHME, Rule over me this day, O God, leading me on the path of righteousness. Put your Word in my mind and your truth in my heart, that this day I neither think nor feel anything except what is good and honest…..led me to this familiar Word from Philippians.

Philippians 4:4-9 NIV

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

And nestled in between the words in my devotional Bible is this nugget of wisdom for us to consider along with the Word of God, in an age, and at time, when so many things are happening to tempt us to worry and be anxious; and thus miss the opportunity to experience God’s Peace in the midst of the storms of life

GEORGE MULLER

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith; and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.

THE SECOND MESSAGE – sent out on WhatsApp, and reinforces the sound doctrine of our ‘ helplessness’ and evil state, before we were rescued by The Blood of The Lamb. And therefore no one can ‘boast before the Lord’; and further, we all need salvation which comes only in and through Christ and Him Crucified. Otherwise, terror and anxiety will continue to reign, in our hearts and in our nation.

THE MESSAGE
GM:
There is a prayer of the faithful, firmly rooted in Scripture, which we either say or sing in my church, just before Holy Communion.

O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on my soul Repeated x2…then:
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace.

Recently, we have started singing it to a rasta beat..with a slight change in the words…..O Lamb of God, you taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy pon mi soul….. Yes in my Anglican church! Have mercy! And this prayer with the beat has ‘ gotten into my head,’.

So yesterday during my devotions, I was singing it in my mind the whole time. Then this morning as I began praying the first of ‘ A MORNING WATCH PRAYERS BY JACOB BOEHME’….Living Lord, you have watched over me, and put your hand on my head during the long dark hours of night…..thoughts of The faithfulness of God, came to my mind. And so did the words of that wonderful hymn: Great is thy faithfulness…..morning by morning, new mercies I see, all I have needed, thy hands have provided….

Then one line remained with me, to show that what I and all mankind need, desperately, is not happiness, whether in marriage or or otherwise, though we need that too; nor success in politics in fighting crime, or at the workplace earning money, though we need that too; nor to be rescued from illness or evil, though we need that too: but rather forgiveness of sin.

” Pardon for sin, and a Peace that endureth.”

In that context then, as I was led to read, Ephesians 2:1-10 ought to ‘ get into our heads’. As it explains, in graphic terms what we were Before we committed ourselves to Christ, and the reality of those who have not yet done so, no matter how ‘ good’ we think we are: and the blessings which flow into our lives After we commit fully to Christ. And receive ‘ forgiveness of our sins,’ our former wretched state before a Holy God; from The Lamb of God

The Word of God – sound doctrine.

Ephesians 2:1-8, 10 NIV

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

THE THIRD MESSAGE – again on WhatsApp, features a wonderful, wonderful song, which reassures us of God’s love and mercy. Of which grace I was well supplied with during some very ‘dangerous times’ this week. And which grace we all need, and is available, whether in Kingston Jamaica, or in Nigeria. Or for that matter in the USA, the UK, or in Europe.

Watch “Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir – So You Would Know.wmv” on YouTube – Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir – So You Would Know.wmv: http://youtu.be/2Y5knH45QJk
The Lord was with me in a special way last night. And this evening also. But more importantly on the Cross of Calvary. Just because He loves us so much. Thank God for Jesus

THE FOURTH MESSAGE – again on WhatsApp. The point here is that the single greatest threat to the church possessing and demonstrating the authority of Jesus, in our fight against ” principalities and powers’, the evil forces of this world which spawn Boko Haram ISIS, murder in Jamaica, and the gun crimes in the USA, is strange doctrine, that takes our minds off the Cross of Calvary – and which doctrine is not of God. And the “Prosperity Gospel” is very much part of the evil plan.

SOUND DOCTRINE
LAST NIGHT – TIMOTHY KELLER’S WALKING WITH GOD THROUGH PAIN AND SUFFERING :
…….The accusation of Satan was that Job did not actually live or serve God – he was loving and serving him through compliance with God’s will. And that is partly true of the best of us. But it it is because we don’t fully live God just for his own sake why we are subject to such great ups and downs depending on how things go in our lives.
So what Rev. Keller explains is that God is teaching each one of His children, allowing Satan to test us, so that we may learn to love God for His own sake; and not what we can get from Him. Whether protection from evil or prosperity in one form or another

THIS MORNING AS I WOKE UP A WORDS FROM A HYMN AND GOD’S WORD

Hark my soul! It is the Lord,
’tis thy Saviour, hear his word;
Jesus speaks, and speaks to thee,
‘ say poor sinner lovest thou me?

You can google the rest of one of my favourite all time teaching hymns.

THE WORD

Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you…..It’s in Luke….hurrying to church.
Also read Hebrews chap 12:1-13. Which reveals that all of God’s children undergo testing and discipline…. so that we may achieve holiness

I pray God these thoughts will help all of us to stay far from the ” prosperity gospel “, which is no gospel at all.