#RevPresident in Charleston vs POTUS and SCOTUS: Justice in America vs Sin in the Bible

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

As I write tonight, never before, has the importance of reading what men ought to do, .from the Bible, before reading about what men are doing, been so profound. For, as a child of God, only one news item dominated the news this week. The decision by the Supreme Court of the USA, by a vote of 5:4 to mandate that all States should allow same sex couples to marry.
This majority decision by #SCOTUS has set off a firestorm of controversy and debate around the world, not just in the USA.

Yes the ‘madness’ in Tunisia, where 38 people died at the hands of ISIS inspired man, with at least 30 of them being British citizens, was extremely disturbing.


Yes over 1000 Pakistanis died in a heat wave, and maybe more will perish if the scorching heat continues. And we are all saddened by such a tragedy

But in terms of the potential effect on norms and values, and societal stability, across the world, the decision by #SCOTUS was monumental. Well known Christian writer and Pastor John Piper in a link send to me from a friend in the USA, says it well,

…for the first time we have witnessed the ‘institutionalization of Sin’.

http://www.desiringgod.org/ articles/so-called-same-sex- marriage
So in the midst of the madness happening all over the world, what Word, or inspired word did the Lord send this week. if we ‘listen’ carefully we can see how the Lord has been preparing us for this news. From the opening message of an inspired word triggered by the ‘raising from the dead’ of Jairus’ daughter, and an appeal for us to believe and not be afraid, to the closing message featuring words of wisdom flowing from the acronym F.E.A.R. the central word is that ‘things are not always what they seem to be”. So do not be alarmed by what can do. But, rather be assured of what the God, who ‘raises the dead’ can do.
THE FIRST MESSAGE – all sent out on WhatsApp. One of the challenging realities that we have to come to terms with, whether we like or not, or whether we accept it or not, is that the ‘ prosperity gospel’ has many faces. And one of them is the current attempt to elevate man’s understanding of Justice over God’s revelation of what constitutes Sin. For this presumptuousness goes to the heart of the campaign to promote gay rights and freedom. It is no different from the presumptuousness, that once we serve God faithfully, we expect to receive ‘material blessings”. For this kind of thinking presumes to know more than what God has revealed in His Word. And in fact, though perhaps minority, there are some ‘Christians’ in the movement who clearly would like to see ‘ the back of God’ and His ‘ intolerable and unjust restrictions’. In that context then this message, for me, as I read it again, is an ‘eye opener’.
GM: Early this morning in the depth of sleep ‘ my song in the night ‘ was: He made Him who had no sin….. A familiar Word, so I went searching for it and ended up in the book of Hebrews and found a very challenging Word. 

Recall that yesterday’s message was about the importance of believing. Today’s Word goes a step further and warns us not to be like the children of Israel who, when tested in the desert, turned away from the Living God, and therefore did not ‘ enter into God’s rest’ viz….did not receive the Peace that God offers to those who persevere in times of testing and in and through Christ Jesus.

Many of us are under severe temptation to ‘ do our own thing’ when ‘ tested by God’, as it is too hard. From buying Lotto, at one level, to ‘ getting married ‘ in order to get a American or Canadian resident status at another level. And in between we are tempted to do all kinds of things which we know is against the will of God, because we cannot ‘ stand the pressure’. And some of us even have the presumptuousness to say, without any semblance of repentance, ‘ God will understand’. And indeed, He will forgive us, if we are indeed truly sorry, but we need to read the Word of God carefully. As individuals and as a nation. For the essence of the Gospel is that Jesus, and Him Crucified, is sufficient for all our needs. Anything else, including the ‘ ‘prosperity gospel’, is from the devil. And everyday, including this day, whenever we hear from the Lord through His Word is “Today”.

That’s why the hymn writer penned the words of one of my favourite hymns:
O Jesus I have promised 

to serve thee to the end;

be thou for ever near me,

my master and my friend;

I shall not fear the battle

if thou art by my side,

nor wonder from the pathway

if thou wilt be my guide ….verse 1.
If you don’t know it, Google it. Your soul will soar, and be blessed as it is challenged and comforted at the same time. Verse two continues…
O let me feel thee near me:

the world is ever near;

I see the sights that dazzle,

the tempting sounds I hear;

my foes are ever near me,

around me and within:

but, Jesus, draw thou nearer,

and shield my soul from sin….
I pray for myself first, and for all of us, that Jesus may indeed be in our ‘ boat in the midst of the storm’, and shield our souls from unbelief and disobedience – Sin. Amen.

http://bible.com/111/heb.3.7-19.niv So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

http://bible.com/111/heb.4.1-3.niv Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world.

THE SECOND MESSAGE – again on WhatsApp precedes my listening, and responding to President Obama and his reflections on the grace of God. And it is clearly in this context, prescient. In the sense that, here we have the Lord speaking to us about a profoundly important aspect of the Christian faith, all triggered by man’s sinful nature inherited from Adam, only to have #RevPresident redefine this Grace at best in political and social terms, and at worse ignore the central role of Sin, and the need for repentance, in a famous speech a few days later. Have mercy!
GM: This morning as I began my devotions;

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 – the second of three prayers I use in the mornings entitled, ‘ On Waking’: ‘ On Rising’: ‘ On Going to Work’…..struck me very forcible. And I spent some time praying about it.

Then I recalled Word in Bible Study last night which triggered a lot of discussion. Can we sing with conviction Amazing Grace….saved a wretch like me. Or do we believe that we were never wretches, as we lived a fairly decent live before accepting Christ as Savior. And perhaps that is the stumbling block for those who have not yet fully committed their lives to Christ – they believe that are living a fairly good life, not doing any wrong to anyone and obeying the ‘ traffic lights’ of life.

http://bible.com/111/rom.7.21-25.niv So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

After which session before retiring to bed, Oswald Chambers’ Devotional ‘ My Utmost for His Highest’ had these words in the June 23rd meditation:

…… At the beginning of our lives we do not bring ourselves to the point of dealing with the reality of sin. We look at life through the eyes of reason and say that if a person will control his instincts, and educate himself, he can produce a life that will slowly evolve into the life of God. But as we continue on through life, we find the presence of something which we have not yet taken into account, namely, sin- and it upsets all of our thinking and our plans. Sin has made the foundation of our thinking unpredictable, uncontrollable, and irrational.

We have to recognize that sin is a fact of life, not just a shortcoming. Sin is blatant mutiny against God, and either sin or God must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue- if sin rules in me, God’s life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is nothing more fundamental than that. The culmination of sin was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and what was true in the history of God on earth will also be true in your history and in mine- that is, sin will kill the life of God in us. We must mentally bring ourselves to terms with this fact of sin. It is the only explanation why Jesus Christ came to earth, and it is the explanation of the grief and sorrow of life.

Finally and appropriately, the third verse of the hymn I highlighted yesterday, placed a bookend on my thoughts and the message for today. For as we ask God to ‘ Rule over us’ each day’, we need to listen carefully to His Word. I pray God that this message inspired by God’s Word will touch all our hearts this morning. For as another version of Chambers’ Word last night says:

“Sin is a fact, not a defect.”
O let me hear thee speaking

in accents clear and still,

above the storms of passion,

the murmurs of self-will;

O speak to reassure me,

to hasten or control;

O speak, and make me listen,

thou guardian of my soul.

THE THIRD MESSAGE – again on WhatsApp takes us briefly out of the news and hustle and bustle of life. And places us squarely in front of God lamenting about how we have treated Him and His Son. Again repentance is the response needed. Not seeking to justify our actions.
GM: I was looking for a passage of Scripture this morning in my devotions when this meditation ‘arrested me’. And no need to wonder why! For I believe that the greatest obstruction to true faith, in this ( prosperity gospel) generation, and perhaps ever since James and John wanted to be ‘ first in the kingdom of God’, is a desire to ‘ get something from Jesus’, and not just pure love for Jesus and Him Crucified. We are all guilty! 

The mercy of God is that He will test us time and time again until, ” there is only Jesus in our desires “. And accept that He and His grace are sufficient for all our needs. The question is, do we believe that truth, or are we intent on asking for ‘ Divine Intervention’, only that Jamaica may be rescued from #QuadrupleMurder; or only that our personal situation may be ‘ fixed’ ; or only that our ‘ enemies may be routed’.

It’s a thin line between the two, for God knows that we need Divine Intervention in this country, in Charleston SC, in ISIS controlled Syria, in The Middle East as Israel and the Palestinians continue their age old battles, but A.B. Simpson ( 1844-1919 the founder of Christian and Missionary Alliance and the author of 70 books and numerous poems) challenges us to aim higher in a profoundly moving meditation on Matthew 17:8

” When they looked up, they saw no one but Jesus”.

A.B. Simpson

Verse: Matthew 17:8

Once it was his blessing, now it is the Lord,

Once it was the feeling, now it is his word;

Once his gift I wanted, now the Giver own,

Once I sought for healing, now himself alone.

Once ’twas painful trying, now ’tis perfect trust;

Once half a salvation, now the uttermost;

Once ’twas ceaseless holding, now he holds me fast;

Once ’twas constant drifting, now my anchor is cast.

Once ’twas busy planning, now ’tis trustful prayer;

Once ’twas anxious caring, now he has the care;

Once ’twas what I wanted, now what Jesus says;

Once ’twas constant asking, now ’tis ceaseless praise.

Once I hoped in Jesus, now I know he is mine;

Once my lamps were dying, now they brightly shine;

Once for death I waited, now his coming hail;

And all my hopes are anchored safe within the veil.
All in all forever,

Only Christ I’ll sing:

Ev’rything is in Christ,

And Christ in ev’rything.
And the fourth verse of the hymn from yesterday, and the day before, reminds us, that such a following of Christ, as Simpson and God’s Word invites us to undertake, can only be done by grace.
O Jesus, thou hast promised

to all who follow thee,

that where thou art in glory

there shall thy servant be;

and, Jesus, I have promised

to serve thee to the end;

O give me grace to follow

my master and my friend.
I close by sharing with you, especially those who have graciously agreed to come on board this ministry in recent times, one of my all time favorite gospel videos. Jesus is ( More than) Enough, by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.


THE PENULTIMATE MESSAGE – again on WhatsApp does not need much comment. Only that this response to #RevPresident is perhaps, in some respects, the most important one I wrote all week. Hopefully we will all read it carefully, as it contains several important messages in one. it also in my view explain why ‘good and decent men like Obama and Bishop Tutu’ could be led to support the Institutionalization of Sin.
GN: I am moved to express the view that these are dangerous times. Very dangerous times indeed.

Why? This evening on my way home, and for few minutes in my garbage, I sat transfixed as “Rev. President” Obama delivered the eulogy at the funeral service of the slain Pastor and the other eight persons in Charleston SC.

It was #WhatagwaanJamaica Obama at his eloquent, articulate, and oratorical best. Among other things, – –inter alia – he spoke about the amazing act of forgiveness offered to the killer instead of violence and recrimination. Of God’s grace. That it is unmerited. That it is undeserved. But that God gave us his free and benevolent love anyway. He spoke about church being the center of the lives of black America. And of the role that the church had played in seeking Justice for every American, among other things. Spoke about salvation for sinners as a manifestation of God’s grace. And that all of us ought to accept God’s grace. Then at the end he sang Amazing Grace. And through out the eulogy sang God’s praises.

They cheered. The entire congregation, and the pastors did. They rose to their feet repeatedly, in full support of what ‘ Rev. President” had to say. Tears came to my eyes as I reflected on the pain that racism has inflicted on African Americans in the USA.

Listen to the speech yourself.

But then, I thought, how did this ‘ performance’ fit in with a President whose eloquent, articulate and brilliant oratory on the Gay and Lesbian lifestyle may well have influenced the land mark decision made by the US Supreme Court today – to legalize same sex marriages in all states. How is God honored in that decision? Is that too, in #RevPresident mind, a manifestation of God’s grace?
So being conflicted with reconciling. Obama the ,”Pastor”, with Obama The President, I went searching for a Word from the Lord. And found this:
http://bible.com/111/2co.5.14-21.niv For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Then I understood why there was no acknowledgement of the need for repentance in order to receive God’s grace. No explicit mention of the saving Blood of the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus.

For the good and decent man that Obama is, and as so many people who are in support of Gay Marriages are, they mainly see God’s grace in the promotion of ” justice for all “. And which understanding is a legitimate part of the Gospel of Christ. But that is not the root of the problem why Christ died; and manifested the full extent of God’s Amazing Grace and Mercy. The root of the problem is Sin. Not injustice.

That’s why Scripture reveals that ‘ one died, and therefore all died. …..and we should therefore not live for ourselves, but for him who died for us, and was raised again.
So the question is not only about the injustices which have been meted out to Gay folks. Yes, every such action ought to be put right, morally and socially, and if necessary legally. But the Sin of same sex unions, explicitly so described in the Bible, cannot, and will never be ‘ sanctified’. Whether by #RevPresident or the #SupremeCourt.
And that viewpoint is not about hating anyone – some folks in this ministry are Gay, and who knows, maybe some who are unknown to me. And they know the respect and love I have for them. But they also know about my understanding of what the Scriptures reveal about homosexuality. And equally so about what the same Scriptures warn about judging anyone. As we are all sinners in need of God’s grace and mercy. 

So the most I can say is that President Obama has an incomplete understanding of grace. And of Sin. And which shortcoming, and not a deliberate intention to promote Sin, has apparently led him to equate the promotion justice for all people, with the grace and mercy of God as manifested in the death of Christ on Calvary. But the New Testament clearly teaches us that the road to that Amazing Grace begins with an acceptance of our sinful status……,” Lord have mercy on me a sinner…..and repentance of Sin. In all its forms!
So let us continue to pray for #POTUS.

And all of us who make up the church. That we may at all times, fix our eyes on Jesus and Him Crucified, the author and perfecter of our faith. 

THE FINAL MESSAGE – brings us back to Rev. John Piper’s message in the link posted earlier on in the News of the Day, viz. that we must not be afraid or even surprised by all of these things, but accept that The News of the day, is not the last word on any situation. Whether by SCOTUS in the USA , ISIS in Tunisia or Nature in Pakistan. For out of these ‘crises’ can emerge, if we believe in a God who can ‘raise the dead’, a more mature and disciplined Christian set of people who can in turn ‘bear much fruit for the Lord’. In very mysterious ways; for His ways, are not our ways.

GM: Long ago in Angola, when that nation was at war, struggling for freedom, the declaration at the end of the day was in Portuguese, ” A luta continua’ . Which translates in English to, ” The struggle continues”.
And so this morning, after last night’s emotionally charged ( I have a great deal of respect for President Obama) message, “The conversation (with God….O Jesus I have promised….) continues”.

Yesterday I was led to read and reflect on, a meditation inspired by Jesus walking on water. A story recounted in John 6. With verse 20, providing the trigger: ” It is I; don’t be afraid “.

And on the opposite page of Chris Tiegreen’s Daily Devotional is another perspective on the same story; this time featuring the version in Matthew 14. 
What struck me more than anything else however was a powerful message contained in an Acronym whose author is unknown.

F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real. I cannot begin to explain how helpful, on a personal note, and assuring that message has been. To the extent where it featured in my early morning thoughts, following an anxiety filled dream. False Evidence Appearing Real indeed.

In this context then, as our conversation with God continues, at a national level, the question arises, ‘ what is Truth, Who comforts and Reassures: and what is False evidence’, which makes us worry and fret. 
If you recall, as I did this morning, as I was led to write, Pilate’s encounter with The Truth. ” What is truth “? he asked, inquiringly, as he looked at The Truth, Christ Jesus ; and had no idea in whose Presence he was.

So my friends, the eternal message from the Cross of Calvary is that the only Truth in this land of Sin and death, of suffering and pain, of injustice and unrighteousness, is Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. 

And therefore we who have The Truth living in and through us, by a mystery that we cannot begin to understand, need to remember well these words:

” It is I; don’t be afraid”.
So when False Evidence Appearing Real strikes fear in our souls, and makes us wonder why is God allowing factions in the USA to institutionalize Sin, remember that such action is not of God, and therefore will not last. So fear not about what will happen to America, and the souls of our children and grandchildren and other family members who live there. Just remember the same one who declared with Power the Truth, ” It is I; don’t be afraid”, is alive and very able to protect the faithful from all evil.

Recall also, that, in the same way, we here in Jamaica, are locked in a debate about legalizing abortions. So, even if the ” Pro – Choice ” faction secures a parliamentary victory, it would not be the last ‘ word’ on that issue. For it is not of God, and therefore cannot be The Truth. But rather False Evidence.
Yesterday #RevPresident spoke passionately and perhaps even with great insight, about God mysteriously using #thekiller to achieve the wider good, of softening people’s heart. In order for a troubled nation to move beyond talk to dealing with the real and present reality of institutionalized racism in America. And he gave several examples. Including #BlackLivesMatter in respect of how some cops deal with black folks.

Chris Tiegreen makes the same point in Visions in the Storms.

And begins thus:
Sometimes terrifying circumstances come into our lives……

And closes in this manner:

….. …Our crises can do the same. Though our initial reaction may be panic ( what is the world coming to … my words), in reality Jesus may be coming to us with a crisis that heals, strengthens , encouraged or guides. To us, they are threatening. To God, they are often the very means to develop us as disciples. They may bear eternal fruit that our terrified eyes cannot at first see.

Comment: There is no question that Gay folks have been badly mistreated by Christians ….mea culpa….throughout the ages. In many and different ways. In what we have done and left undone. There is also no question that evil forces, with a clear intention to get rid of the Truth ( Christ Jesus) and undermine His Word, have, and continue to use ‘ people held captive by Sin’, to promote an idea that God is dead; and the Bible is irrelevant to the needs of a modern society.
Out role then, as children of the Truth which cannot be altered, even in the face of F.E.A.R, is to love, without reservation, all who are created in the image and likeness of God. And who knows in what mysterious way, a compassionate and merciful God might help us, in love, and with Power to ‘ set the captives free’ , even as we remain faithful to the Truth. Christ and Him Crucified – or the sins of the whole world. Gay and Straight! Black and White. Jamaicans and Americans.


Murder most foul in Charleston SC: Forgiveness most wonderful on Calvary

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

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


Only one big news across the world this week. The brutal, and racially motivated hate crime, carried out by a 21 year old white male in an historic black church in Charleston S.C. And when the dust had settled, nine people, including the Pastor lay dead! Since then an even bigger news worthy event took place. Forgiveness! As one by one, in a dramatic show of Christian love, in the midst of deep pain and unfathomable grief, the relatives of the slain members of the congregation, forgave the murderer. ” You have caused me great pain, but I forgive you.


Yes today is also Father’s Day. And people all over the world will treat fathers in a special way today. As has been the case in my house and at my church. We thank God for life and family for the love, but this is day and week to remember that #AllLivesLivesMatter. And at this time #BlackLivesMatter.


So in the midst of the great debate occurring in the USA, and elsewhere about race relations in the “home of the brave and the land of the free”, what Word or inspired word did the the Lord send this week. One main message will emerge from the WhatsApp messages. That, even when, and especially when, things are all wrong, with God at our side, and in our hearts, we can overcome the the difficulties. This is a message that America, flirting with evil and atheism, and becoming ever more dependent on materialism, while rejecting the ‘old time religion’, needs to learn. This is a lesson which Jamaica, ‘catching the proverbial pneumonia whenever America sneezes’, needs to learn, as we too have become guilty of rejecting the ‘old time religion’, that : ” all men are like grass…all their glory is like the flowers of the field…wither and fall…but The Word…stands forever”. For who but a loving and merciful God could move His disciples to offer love and mercy and forgiveness, at a time like this #IForgiveYou, instead of hate and violence which the world expected. For who but God can heal this great nation where the controversial flag i still flying high, and not even at half mast, respectfully. For who but God can help this powerful nation to change its attitude about gun laws? The ease of which one can purchase one of these extraordinarily dangerous weapons is unbelievable. But time will tell. As, the sad but powerful reality, is that, historically, Christians have had to suffer and die for this world to understand that in Christ alone we can find peace. Ask Martin Luther King Jnr’s family. And countless others not well known. Therefore as we read the message, let us join with the people in Charleston SC and cry out to God…..Savior, Savior….do not pass me by.

GM: “Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry”, has been in my head all day after church yesterday. And I woke up with it this morning with instructions to share aspects of the sermon by a young Anglican priest who was brave enough to make invite the congregation, to what could be described as an ‘ altar call’. And the song he sang, which helped to create a special moment in the service was the very song, words of which refrain has been ‘ in my head’.
He began with the song below. I was hearing it for the first time, but immediately loved the haunting melody and moving words.

Lord keep my day by day,
in a pure and perfect way.
I want to live, I want to live on
in a building not made by hand

Lord keep my body strong
So that I can do no wrong
Lord, give me grace just to run this Christian race
to a building not made by man

I’m just a stranger here,
traveling through this barren land.
Lord, I know that there is building somewhere
In a building not made by man

His sermon, as I reported in an e mail summarizing all which took place yesterday – another ministry by God’s grace – could be entitled ” But God”.
He used the Gospel Reading from Mark about the Mustard Seed and The Kingdom of God to teach the following lessons.
– that God has planted in us small seeds…..as small as the Mustard Seed…of love, mercy, faith and other seeds
– that this same God, when the time of Harvest comes, right here on earth, not in heaven, will bring forth huge ‘ trees’ for His glory and for the service of mankind.
– we have to learn to trust this God, so that we have a connection with Him in and through Christ Jesus.
– when, not if, the time of testing comes, if we trust God, we will remain steadfast and immovable, ‘ though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea.
– in other words if we trust God, when fear, bad news from the doctor, financial distress, family and relationship problems, all come knocking, as they will, the seeds of faith sown in us by a good and wise God will enable us to ” gain the victory over fear and doubt and visions of disaster. And even, and perhaps, especially death. That’s why a child of God can exult, ” O death where is thy victory, O death where is thy sting”, as or she goes down to the grave.
– the same assurance holds when Satan ” like a roaring lion seeking whom he will” comes also to ‘harvest’ what God had down in us. So resist him by standing firm in Christ Jesus. Resist him who would Harvest us for immorality and wickedness, lack of compassion and mercy. Resist him who would tell you to ‘ sow a seed so that God will bless you’ – the essence of the misguided ‘prosperity gospel’. As if God needs our money to bless us. No, what He asks, is that we nurture that which He has planted in us, so that at the appropriate time, we will give back to God, what He gave us in the first place. For His glory and for service to mankind
– So I was weak and about to fall, and indeed fell into temptation, But God rescued me from the pit of hell; I was struck down and came close to death, But God rescued me from illness: I was down to my last cent and about to suffer embarrassment and shame, and some have been there, But God rescued me with Power and Mercy. For in me He sowed seeds of faith, and trust and love and mercy. So that we too in turn, may have mercy on others.
I pray God, that this example of ” Sound Doctrine” will assist us in ‘ praying according to God’s will and purpose’. So that with God’s help we can move the mountains of #QuadrupleMurder and #ChildAbuse which currently tower over our blessed land. For then, and only then will we be assured of living in a ‘ building, not made by man’. And which building, ‘ neither death nor life’ nor hurricane, nor gunman, nor sickness nor hard times, nor those who persecute us for calling for repentance and righteousness, as our Blessed Lord Jesus did, can destroy.

altar call in the sense that he invited, right after the sermon, all who had been crying out to the Lord to stand and sing with him, the words of this wonderful song. I invite you too to use this song to cry out to God, without ceasing for Church, self, community and Nation

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief;
Kneeling there in deep contrition,
Help my unbelief.
Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace.
Thou the spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me;
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in heaven but Thee?

THE SECOND MESSAGE – As we contemplate #IForgiveYou and #Charleston what the USA needs now, and what Jamaica needs now as agonize over #TeenMurder, more than ever, are Ambassadors of Christ to rise up and ‘lift up the name of Jesus”. All over the land. Telling of Redemption and Forgiveness and Justice and Righteousness and Judgement. All of which messages went out out on the Cross of Calvary #OldTimeReligion

GM: Yesterday in the midst of performing my professional duties, a former classmate at high school #Fervet, returned my call. During the brief conversation, he posed the profound question. ” So Lucien how we going to fix this thing once and for all – Jamaica’s problems.” There is a history to this kind of conversation. And it has in part, not fully, to do with the difference between the pursuits of my generation and the present #Bling #Hype #Prosperitygospel generation.
He was not impressed with my answer that ‘ the problem was a complex one’, #Copout he declared, but did admit as a conscious Rastaman and celebrated Musician, that the solution had to involve an element of spirituality.
Then this morning, as I began my devotions, the words of this famous hymn presented itself. And as I reflected deeply on the message from one of history’s greatest Evangelist, Charles Wesley, the answer to Jamaica’s problems, no doubt born out of Wesley’s own experiences with testings and trials in his native country England – the kind of wickedness that existed then was unbelievable – was revealed in the words of this precious hymn.
So my friends, I beg you, ‘ assist me to proclaim….. the honors of the Name of Jesus….throughout this land. Then who knows, just maybe The Lord will have mercy on this #WrongAddress #QuadrupleMurder #ChildAbuse land and send ” showers of refreshing”, a fresh outpouring of His Holy Spirit. Peace.


Verse: Psalm 19:1

1. O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

2. My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy name.

3. Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease;
’tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’tis life, and health, and peace.

THE THIRD MESSAGE – can little Jamaica play a role in helping big America to overcome its race relations issues? Can insignificant Jamaica play a role in helping to solve the problem of Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East; and helping Africa to overcome its challenges with democracy and economic development. Can indebted Jamaica shake off it own economic malaise and join other countries growing at 5-% of GDP annually. Our National Pledge tells us that we can. Do we believe! That Jesus is sufficient for all our needs!


GM: As I journey with the Lord, one if the things I have learned, is that we should always read God’s Word with a view to sharing with others the good news about Christ and Him Crucified – for our salvation. Yes, for our own strengthening, but also for others.
So this morning as I read the New Testament lesson appointed to be read this Sunday in my church, just above the start are these profound words.

“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men”.
2. Corinthians 5:11
Then the reading begins with, vs 14:

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves alone but for him who died for them and was raised again…..”

And ends: ” We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you then on Christ’s behalf. Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Vs 20.

Comment: I would humbly, very humbly, suggest that in these few words are contained the essence of the Christian faith. And that if we understand and be obedient, as Christ’s Ambassadors, to this Word, Jamaica would change. From a #GanjaSmoking, #QuadrupleMurder #ChildAbuse #IMFdependentCountry #WrongAddress Nation, to one that not only fears God, but helps to ‘ advance the whole human race’. #NationalPledge.
Peace. So let us begin by fearing the Lord. And then who knows, that the Lord may send ‘ times of refreshing’ on our dry and thirsty land.

THE FOURTH MESSAGE – carries the essence of a sermon I preached today. That Jesus in the boat beside us, is all we need. Even in Charleston. In fact especially in Charleston; in Tel Aviv; in the WestBank and Gaza; in Lagos; and in Kingston Jamaica. For if the Creator of the Universe is with us, no ‘grave can hold us down’. Whether metaphorically in the culture associated with the Confederate Flag, or literally as occurred inside the church!

GM, again. There is such a thing called system overload. And another called disobedience. The latter is not a good thing. So I am sharing what the Lord laid on my heart this morning, as last night is gone. And there is a connection between the two messages. For The Benefit of believing prayer, is Jesus asleep and awake, beside you ‘ in the midst of the storms of life’.
Last Sunday, the young priest, one aspect of whose sermon I shared earlier, put a profound spin on a popular sanke.
The original version
“Well it is alright, it is alright, as long as I’ve got my Lord beside me it is alright”.

His version ….based on his understanding of what it means to have faith in God.
It is all wrong, all wrong, but as long as I’ve my Lord beside me it is all right.

This version came to mind this morning as in preparation for service this Sunday, I read the Gospel reading appointed for this week. Here is the relevant and familiar verses:

” A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was on the stern sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’.
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘ Quiet! Be still!.
Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, ‘ why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”.
Mark 4:37-40. NIV.
This week I had occasion to visit a patient who suddenly and violently the night before, became a widow #MurderinJamaica. I was moved to share the revised version of ” It’s all wrong, all wrong….but God …is beside you.
A popular TV ad ends by asking ‘ what’s in your wallet today ‘ (credit card). A better question in this context, is what storm, what ‘ wild Gilbert’, not threatens, but it wreaking havoc in your life today. Relationship issues; financial trials; children gone astray; church in need of renewal: a terrible disappointment; health issues; crime and violence affecting you personally and not just your neighbor: even death of a loved one leaving you empty and lonely, even then, when it is all wrong and confusing, Jesus is ‘ asleep’ right beside you. And He is, His very Presence is, sufficient for all your needs. To break every chain, and to calm every storm. For at that moment, no credit card, no flat screen TV, no talk show host, no political party, nobody else but Jesus can help. What a friend then we have in Jesus! Call His Name often today. For we have no idea when Satan or the trials of this mortal life will come. But, our Blessed Assurance is that Jesus is with us, even until the end of time. This is the essence of our faith in the God of Abraham, the God of Issac and the God of Jacob, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

FINALLY A WORD ABOUT FATHER’S DAY — which places a bookend on the ministry this week. Because, what happened in that courtroom in Charleston this week is mystery to most Americans, and indeed for people all over the world. But for the children of God, who were once ‘enemies’ of God, to forgive, as we have been forgiven, in Christ Jesus, is the essence of our faith.

GM: Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in this ministry. As we celebrate fathers on earth let remember that we have a Father in Heaven. And we know Him because He sent His Only Son Jesus Christ to reveal the full extent of His Love and Mercy and Justice and Righteousness on the Cross of Calvary.
All of which if we are honest is a grand mystery which can only be apprehended by faith.
In this context as I prepare to worship and preach at my church this morning, a quote from St. John ( 1542-1591) of the Cross, one of the early Saints of the Church, provides us with a deeper understanding of the faith we have in Our Father Who Art in Heaven.
” Faith tells us of things we have never seen, and cannot come to know by our natural senses “.
Let us humble ourselves then on this Father’s Day and trust in the God who we have never seen, and the Christ who died for us in a horrible death which our natural senses can never understand. Except, and thank God for Jesus, for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of Truth. For until a father or a mother for that matter, is filled with the wisdom and mercy of the Holy Spirit of God, ” they labour in vain “.
That’s why it is a difficult ask to teach people about proper parenting in the absence of the teaching of Christ. Our parents and grandparents, were blessed with wisdom, and love for us and other people’s children in the community, because they first loved and trusted in God. Hence the reason why Jamaica was once the ‘ pride of the Caribbean’. And now a different place all together.
So too the USA

Of Usain Bolt and The Reggae Boyz; of Poverty and Injustice and of Christ and His call for Repentance

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).


1. Sports – Basketball: rooting for #KingJames and #CavsvsGSW battle for the NBA title. Tight series so far. Curry and Lebron outstanding. Cricket: disappointment again as WI flatters against England only to deceive as they were trounced by the Aussies #stoppedwatchingcricket. Soccer – great game by the Reggae Boyz vs Uruguay without #Suarez. It’s a great thing to be able to run with the South American giants and compete #Inspiring Track and Field – watched Bolt ‘labouring’ to a win in the 200M in NY over the weekend. The big man is yet to strike his real form. But who would bet against him in any final #StayingwithBolt.


2. Police issue a reward for a man accused of being involved in another #QuadrupleMurder as Jamaica continues to battle with this huge problem #CrimeandViolence


3. Inspiring story a couple weeks ago of a young schoolgirl from Hampton, whose academic brilliance earned her a scholarship to Yale #InspirationinthemidstofPain



So what Word or words of inspiration did the Lord send this week, as we contemplated the news of the day. News of inspiration, frustration, good fortune and of a national scourge! For me the most important and challenging one, and an issue which has been on my heart for some time as I have brought is before the Lord – the living conditions of a huge swathe of the populace of Kingston and lower St. Andrew who live in inner cities ( ghettoes). Also in the mix is a wake up call for those who ‘call down judgement on others’, together with a call for repentance for what we have done and left undone.

THE FIRST MESSAGE – all sent out on a Whatsapp Ministry which the Lord has blessed with more and more persons everyday. For His own purpose and glory.
So ‘to God be the glory’ indeed. In all that we do. Otherwise we are working for self and the evil one. Neither of which ‘projects’ are sustainable, and will be revealed for what they are on the last day. It is difficult to explain to unbelievers, but the reality is that every other pursuit that does not glorify God, despite its celebration and popularity in this age, is just an illusion. And the foundations will come crumbling down like that which has been the fate of so many civilizations over the centuries.

GM: This morning, as I began my devotions using the early morning prayers which I shared some time ago, a praise hymn came to mind.
” Praise to the Lord, the Almighty the King of Creation”. Then just on the other page was another hymn, the words of which triggered this message: To God be the glory! Great things he hath done

For as we reflect on, and pray deeply about, the state of our society #TeenMurder and #ChildAbuse and #HarshEconomicTimes and #MoralConfusion as noted in the Observer headlines today ( A push back on the topic of Same sex marriage by a local pastor) we must never forget that our God is a great God. And that nothing is impossible for Him.
For, as the song writer declares, even ‘ the vilest offender’ can receive the new life which Christ offers, if he truly believes that a loving God sent His Son to die for the sins of all mankind.And was raised from the dead, with Power, so that we may have life, and life more abundantly than what Lotto offers. Or what a salary increase, as important as that is, will mean for us. Or what a break from the classroom filled with ‘ young vipers’ who have no interest in learning might mean for a young teacher who is totally ‘ fed up’ with both financial challenges and behavioral problems. Ester Tyson’s column in the Sunday Gleaner yesterday ought to be a must read on that topic.

The challenge then for children of the Resurrection, is to be of good courage, and believe that God can rescue Jamaica. With the same Power that rescued the children of Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. And with the same Power that raised Jesus from the dead. Our role is to believe the prayers that Jesus offered on His ‘ death bed’; On the night before He died, as recorded in John 17. ” And which prayers I have been reflecting at bedtime for a couple of nights.
“That we may be one with Him, as He was one with His Father. So that the world will believe that He came from the Father “. And that ” I am not praying that you take them out of the world ( where homosexuality exists, or where bad behaving pickney live, or where bills often cannot be paid, or where gunmen live) but that you protect them from the evil one”. ” “Protect them by the Name you have given me”.

I pray God, that as we pray about our personal situations – remember always that Satan does not like married people, so be warned – the workplace, our communities and nation, that we will believe and remember that the God we serve, is indeed a Great God. And greatly to be praised. And He will, if we believe, protect us from all evil. Within and without our souls where greed and pride and despair and fretting and innumerable other temptations lurk, with just as much power to destroy as the gunman.


1. To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the lifegate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

2. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

3. Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher, and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

THE SECOND MESSAGE – is a very sobering one. At two levels. Dealing with ‘hot button issues’. And dealing with our own personal failings. Both are interconnected.

GN: As we continue our journey together in this land we love, populated with people of various faiths and beliefs, and worldviews, with whom we are called to live in peace and harmony, two reflections came into my mind.
One from Oswald Chambers which touched my soul, especially within the context of the current raging debate on lifestyles. I was led to first post it on FaceBook and in my view deserves serious attention.


Never look for other people to be holy; it is a cruel thing to do, it distorts your view of yourself and of others. Could anyone have had a sterner view of sin that Jesus had, and yet had anyone had a more loving tender patience with the worst of men than Jesus had. The difference in the attitude is that Jesus never expected men to be holy ; He knew they could not, He came to make them holy. All He asks of men is that they acknowledge that they are not right, then He will do the rest – Oswald Chambers.
The other I have been led to read on several occasions; and came into my mind as I reflected on Chambers’ meditation. The one above looks outward, at other folks and demands a rethink on how we treat with other people’s sins – leave it to Christ. The one below looks inward, at our own failures, and begs for forgiveness in and through Christ Jesus. Having both reflections in mind would serve us well as we live out our Mission as Ambassadors of Christ, calling everyone we meet to be reconciled with God.



Verse: Judges 2:17

Holy God, to whose service I long ago dedicated my soul and life, I grieve and lament before thee that I am still so prone to sin and so little inclined to obedience:
So much attached to the pleasures of sense, so negligent of things spiritual.:
So prompt to gratify my body, so slow to nourish my soul:
So greedy for present delight, so indifferent to lasting blessedness:
So fond of idleness, so indisposed for labour:
So soon at play, so late at prayer:
So brisk in the service of self, so slack in the service of others:
So eager to get, so reluctant to give:
So lofty in my profession, so low in my practice:
So full of good intentions, so backward to fulfill then:
So severe with my neighbors, so indulgent with myself ( ouch):
So eager to find fault ( have mercy), so resentful at being found fault with:
So little able for great tasks, so discontented with small ones:
So weak in adversity, so swollen and self-satisfied in prosperity:
So helpless apart from thee, and yet so little willing to be bound to thee.

O merciful heart of God, grant me yet again thy forgiveness. Hear my sorrowful tale and in thy great mercy blot it out from the book of thy remembrance. Give me faith so to lay hold of thine own holiness and so to rejoice in the righteousness of Christ my Savior that, resting on his merits, rather than on my own, I may more become conformed to his likeness, my will becoming one with his in obedience to thine. All this I ask for his holy name’s sake. Amen.

THE THIRD MESSAGE – the Bible speaks about the issue of ‘sound doctrine’. And this message address the issue of what is means to pray. Because, for the Christian, prayer is life. And without a correct understanding individuals flounder, the church flounders, and a nation goes astray.

GN: Children and grandchildren on a short visit hence this delayed message.
As we continue to struggle together as a nation, buoyed by the inspiration of a young Hampton student whose academic brilliance earned her a scholarship to Yale, yet still dogged by the specter of violence in our land, for the Christian, and even those not yet Baptised, a biblical understanding of prayer is vital.
Recently I was led to read and share a perspective from a highly respected theologian. Thoughts which may disturb your understanding of prayer. However, remember that God is always ‘ doing a new thing’. So read with an open mind. Peace.


It is only when a man flounders beyond any grip of himself and cannot understand things that he really prays. It is not part of the natural life of a man to pray. By ” natural ” I mean the ordinary, sensible, healthy, worldly-minded life.
We hear it said that a man will suffer in life if he does not pray; I question it. Prayer is an interruption to personal ambition, and no man who is busy has time to pray.
What will suffer is the life of God in him, which is nourished, not by food, but by prayer. If we look at prayer as a means of developing ourselves, there is nothing in it at all, nor do we find that idea of prayer is in the bible. Prayer is other than meditation; it is that which develops the life of God in us.
When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God begins in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our Lord nourished the life of God in Him by prayer; He was continually in contact with his Father.
We generally look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves, whereas the Bible idea of prayer is that God’s holiness and God’s purpose and God’s wise order may be brought about, irrespective of who comes or who goes. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament ……..
The New Testament view of a Christian is one in whom the Son of God has been revealed, and prayer deals with the nourishment of that life. One way it is nourished is by refusing to worry over anything, for worry means there is something over which we cannot have our way, and is in fact personal irritation with God. Jesus Christ says, ” Don’t worry about your life, don’t fear them which will kill the body ; be afraid only of not doing what the Spirit of God indicates to you”.
” In everything give thanks”. Never let anything push you to your wit’s end, because you will get worried and worry makes you self-interested and disturbs the nourishment of the life of God….
It is not so true ” Prayer changes things”, as that prayer changes me, and I then change things…
The good of praying is that it gets us to know God and enables God to perform His order through us….
Comment : Wouldn’t it be a life changing, and indeed nation changing event, if we were to pray with the intention of getting to know God more and allow Him to perform His will through us, rather than focusing solely our personal needs. Regardless of how pressing and great are those needs. For such is the way that a nation will be rescued from #QuadrupleMurder and #ChildAbuse. By nourishing the life of the Son of God in all believers.

THE FINAL MESSAGE – is perhaps the most challenging one. At least for me, as I reflected on my role, individually and collectively with others, in the reasons why so many of our people have been ‘forced’ to eke out a living in subhuman conditions. The end of which, even as we ‘submit’ to the dictates of the IMF, and for our own good, does not appear to be even on the horizon much less in clear sight. Forgive us Lord for we have sinned. For though we celebrate our sports heroes and heroines and make much of our music, we have failed as a people to address the needs of the mass of our people from whose ‘belly’ have emerged many of our stars. Although I appreciate the message of Carlene Davis, the haunting sound of both Etana’s and Candi Staton messages about ‘life in the ghetto’ ring in my ears and in my heart. So thank God for Jesus, but right now the Lord is not pleased with how we have treated ‘ the least of His people’. Forgive us Lord.
GM: This morning I awoke, much earlier than usual, with this song in my heart.

1 I am weak but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

2 Thro’ this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain]

3 When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain]

Then I recalled how a verse from Psalm 93 strengthened my soul in the midst of recent trials
” Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
Mightier than breakers of the sea – the Lord on high is mighty” . PS 93:4
And as I write a verse of one the great repentance Psalms ( 32) comes into my mind.
” Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise,
they will not reach him”. vs 6 of Psalm which opens with the grand promise:
” Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered”
( with the blood of Jesus – my words)

Where is all of this leading? To a message with a difference. Watch and listen to the three videos below on YouTube. Serious music by Candi Staton – In the ghetto; Etana – Wrong address; and Carlene Davis – This island needs Jesus. Music which disturbed my soul after reading words from Jeremiah yesterday. Part of which lament I posted of FaceBook last night.
Words which were spoken prophetically to God’s ‘ chosen’ people. ( chosen not to breed a culture of entitlement, which is where Zionism went wrong, but rather chosen by God, through whom He decided to reveal Himself to the whole world, including Jamaica. So these words apply equally to us). And to all who rebel against the God of all creation. ‘Listen’ carefully then to God’s Word, and hear the call for repentance to nation which has ignored the plight of a huge mass of people and consigned them to a life of poverty and injustice. And for too many, a life of ‘ hell’ in the ghetto. Primarily because of greed and lack of compassion. Yes, there is the need to identify some personal responsibility. But that is not the primary cause of this intolerable national disgrace and an affront to human dignity. And from which situation has flowed all kinds of social moral and political evil.


” From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike all practice deceit.
They dress the wounds of my people as though it were not serious.
Peace, peace, they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all, they do not even know how to blush…….
Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn and horror grips me. Is there no Balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? Jeremiah 8: 10-12 &21-22

No doubt others may interpret this passage of Scripture in a different way. But listen to the challenging, very challenging messages in the three songs, and see if you do not find a validation of this message.
Finally ask yourself, as I have been pondering ever since the following question came into my mind as I wrote this message. Who has benefited from the huge debt that this country owes, and for which ‘ sins’ the entire country is being forced to drink ‘ bitter medicine’. The people in the ghetto! Or those who live elsewhere!Now you understand, why for this and many other reasons, this island needs Jesus. And walking close with Him means looking out for the interest of the ‘ least of these’. Peace.