Killed by gunmen : Rejected by His people. Madness!

Two things haunted my soul this week. 

One from the news: the egregious sin of the murder of a two year child. An infant, not far removed from sucking on the breast, coldly and callously and deliberately shot to death by a wicked gunman! A child left behind by a loving father, according to the reports, only because he himself had been shot in a murderous rampage by evil men in one of Kingston’s inner cities this week, and ran for his life.

And our nation ‘moved on’, very quickly. No marching in the streets. No mass and thunderous condemnation of this evil act. No promises of never again! Maybe I missed it all! Just an eerie acceptance of this ‘ new normal’ in our society. Just like how the world ‘moved’ on quickly after the news from Aleppo about the children who were dying there surfaced this week.
The other, from the Word of God, a ‘terrible’ revelation of the ‘sin’ of Israel, and the ‘sin’ of Jamaica, and the reaction of a Loving Father God. And which Word explains why we in Jamaica, find ourselves, deeply immersed in a quagmire of murder and immorality. All because, like Israel, we have, ‘committed two sins…departed from the stream of living water…and created ‘other gods’, that can ‘ hold no water’….worthless things…the worship of which, leads to worthlessness. 

And the critical point is that ‘pride’ has entered our hearts, and so we think that we can do a better job of organizing our society, that ‘ The Lord who brought us ‘out of the land of Egypt’, and said open your mouth wide and I will fill it”.One of the most profound and instructive words I have ever read in the Bible.  And on which I have been meditating this week. For in it lies ‘ the divine witness’ against our nation. A nation like Israel, rescued from slavery by the Word of God, passed on to Sam Sharpe and George William Gordon and Paul Bogle, all National Heroes ( do we really think Usain Bolt belongs in such exalted company). A nation whose culture and mores were shaped, not just by Christian values ( a reminder that you cant’ have Christian Values and Attitudes, without Christianity) but by the very Word of God. A people previously, renown for ‘loving our neighbor’, but which on account of the sin of pride, ‘departed from the streams of living water’, and now is famous for ‘ killing our neighbor ‘; at the rate of 45/100,000 persons, according to a Daily Gleaner Editorial this week.

The passages of Scripture below do not need much explanation as the Word is ‘crystal clear’. The greater significance, is that all of them form part of the readings in my Church for this week. Readings which are known in advance of our worship service. And therefore the Word of God, in response to the ‘madness’ which took place downtown Kingston, was not something I had to go and search for. It was right there in front of me! And got into my very soul.

Especially….” Open your mouth wide and I will fill it”. For the eternal message from a good God, is that He alone can satisfy us with good things. All other gods, that we have fashioned, are ‘ thieves and robbers’. And one of the ‘keys’, if not the only one, to understanding the entire Bible, is to be found in 2 Corinthians 1:20:
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the ” Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. I pray God that as we read His Word and this message, which He woke me up at 4:45 am to write, we will not just ‘move on’, but that this Word, will ‘ haunt our very souls’ and lead us to repent, humble ourselves before a Loving and merciful God, ” with a broken and contrite heart”. And turn back to the One, who in Christ, promised that, ” if we open our mouths wide, He will fill it”. For He alone, can exalt this nation once again to peace and ‘loving our neighbor’. 

THE WORD OF GOD
Jeremiah 2:4-13

Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel.

 Thus says the Lord:

What wrong did your ancestors find in me

that they went far from me, 

and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves?

They did not say, “Where is the Lord

who brought us up from the land of Egypt, 

who led us in the wilderness,

in a land of deserts and pits, 

in a land of drought and deep darkness,

in a land that no one passes through,

where no one lives?” 
I brought you into a plentiful land

to eat its fruits and its good things.

But when you entered you defiled my land,

and made my heritage an abomination. 
The priests did not say, “Where is the Lord?”

Those who handle the law did not know me; 

the rulers transgressed against me;

the prophets prophesied by Baal, 

and went after things that do not profit. 
Therefore once more I accuse you, says the Lord,

and I accuse your children’s children. 

Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look,

send to Kedar and examine with care;

see if there has ever been such a thing. 

Has a nation changed its gods,

even though they are no gods? 

But my people have changed their glory

for something that does not profit. 

Be appalled, O heavens, at this,

be shocked, be utterly desolate,

says the Lord, 
for my people have committed two evils:

they have forsaken me, 

the fountain of living water,

and dug out cisterns for themselves, 

cracked cisterns

that can hold no water.
Psalm 81:1, 10-16
Exultate Deo

1 Sing with joy to God our strength *

and raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob.

10 I am the Lord your God,

who brought you out of the land of Egypt and said, *

“Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”

11 And yet my people did not hear my voice, *

and Israel would not obey me.

12 So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their hearts, *

to follow their own devices.

13 Oh, that my people would listen to me! *

that Israel would walk in my ways!

14 I should soon subdue their enemies *

and turn my hand against their foes.

15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, *

and their punishment would last for ever.

16 But Israel would I feed with the finest wheat *

and satisfy him with honey from the rock.
Sirach 10:12-18

The beginning of human pride is to forsake the Lord;

the heart has withdrawn from its Maker. 

For the beginning of pride is sin,

and the one who clings to it pours out abominations……

Pride was not created for human beings,

or violent anger for those born of women.

“….. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Part of the Gospel Luke 14:1, & 7-14 NRSV 

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Bolt, Elaine and Omar in #Rio2016: Murder in Jamaica 

​GN: #GoldRush in #Rio2016: Murder most foul at home.

Elaine Thompson just, ‘ mash up de ting’,  and won the W200 final at #Rio2016. So once again we are celebrating #GoldRush in Jamaica. But then again something is not right, as:

Another tourist murdered in Negril.  😦

A Tweet I just read.
Which is the reason why I began writing this message from this morning!

This is how it started: 
I suspect that a virus called ‘ Boltmania’ has infected the mind of the person who wrote the Gleaner Editorial yesterday. If you have not read it have a look:
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20160816/editorial-bolt-among-gods-athletics
‘….we imbue them with transcendence’…… Seriously! 
‘ Bolt’s throne is secure in the place where the gods of athletics reside ‘
Seriously! Where is that?  For me that kind of language evokes memories of the Greek civilization, which like the Roman civilization, eventually perished. For these were a people steeped in pagan  mythology, and Zeus and other gods reigned supreme in their culture. I really thought given our Christian heritage we had moved on. But clearly not! 
But why am I disturbed if people in their excitement and joy, inspired by the grand performances of our athletes in #Rio2016 wish to celebrate and outdo each other in ‘ a rush of superlatives’?

Two reasons! 
One a Tweet – which triggered a ‘ conversation from my Twitter friend, (after the brilliant Gold Medal performances by Omar McLeod in the Men’s 110M Hurdles) an Atheist who I’ve never met face to face, but we ‘talk’  a lot. And she is even sometimes gracious enough to retweet my religious messages, although she claims she has no clue what Redemption is all about.
Tweets
“Meanwhile 3 killed in broad daylight on Lincoln Road… What a sudden drop in the mood…
@Petchary I was just saying the same thing…..Makes me afraid to watch the news after these brilliant performances.
@Eqlektik  I wish I hadn’t.  I came down with a bump!  😦 ”
Sadly,  the reality is that while we are labeling Bolt as being ‘ transcendent’, a term which,  at least in my mind, I reserve for the Supernatural, not just the extraordinary, Satan is still very active in our land.
And while some,  if not most,  would wish that we place all our focus on the  really scintillating and heart warming ‘ lick pot cover’, performances of Bolt, Elaine, Shelly Omar and others, with more to come,  we cannot ignore the other  reality.
 That for far too long we have become an extremely violent and undisciplined society. A land where life is cheap! And where Shakespeare’s ‘ widows howl ‘ in the mornings far too often;  on our roads on account of crashes,  and in our communities because of the  sheer wickedness of murderous and ‘dog hearted’ gunmen.
Which brings me to the second reason. The Word of God!  And perhaps I’m taking liberty with the text, but because of how my thoughts developed, I doubt it.
Read for yourself the Gospel Reading appointed for the worldwide Anglican Church this Sunday. And which reading contributed to the decision to write.
http://bible.com/111/luk.13.10-17.niv On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”  Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.   Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”   The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?  Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”    When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
So, can we be accused of ‘ raining on Bolt’s parade ‘, or being ‘ partypoopers ‘ or worse,  losing focus, if we point out that while #Jaminate is ‘ happening ‘…..if haven’t met the term you need to open a Twitter account and ‘ get with it’….so too is Satan ‘ keeping our people in bondage to the wickedness and chains of murder’.
Are we therefore going to claim that it is  ” Sabbath”, a special time to focus on Bolt and other athletic gods, and leave the ‘ healing of our nation until #Jaminate  finishes on the weekend. Until the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics?
How long before we decide as a nation that this madness cannot continue anymore. And ‘ draw a line in the sand’, coming together as one, as we are doing now on Twitter and Facebook, determined to root out this scourge of Crime and Violence in our land.
What special things, what ‘ Sabbath ‘ will we have to put aside in pursuit of Justice and Righteousness in our country!  Is it the violent and plain ‘out of order’, if  not demonic type dancehall and Soca lyrics,  which have infected the minds of our young and old, in the inner cities and uptown areas. Thus contributing to the slackness and violence which has become so pervasive in our society!
Is it the push for the ‘ almighty dollar ‘ and super profits, ‘ untouchables’ in the mind of the capitalist economy, which has contributed to the widening gulf between the rich and the poor in Jamaica?  And which gap has contributed to the cries of injustice in our land and fueled social discontent and crime.
Is the Police Force, reputedly populated with many corrupt cops, whose links with organized crime is the ‘ talk of the town, despite the presence of many brave and dedicated men and women, too powerful, too much of a ‘ special institution, to be completely reorganized as some have proposed?

Even though these corrupt cops, in the minds of many Jamaicans are part of the reason why Satan has been able to keep a nation in chains for so long!
Is the political system and those who hold power in garrison constituencies where gunmen live a protected and charmed life, too ‘ hot to handle’? Have we ‘ worshiped ‘ our politicians and our parties for far too long, despite the reality of the ungodly nexus between Dons and politics! Whether now or in the past. And whether or not such associations are ‘ active ‘ or ‘ used to be’…..#TalktheTruth.
And where ‘ have all the fathers gone’? When will they begin to ‘ sacrifice egoes, sacrifice sexual desires, and ambitions,’ in order that Satan may not take hold of their fatherless and therefore unprotected offspring. Many left to be drawn into a life of crime by the local Dons. Many end up on death row.
But the biggest problem by far, is the Church; as unredeemed people can hardly be expected to successfully fight against the wiles and power of the evil one – Satan.
Therefore when will the Church decide to put aside what they may consider ‘ sacred ‘, their equivalent of the Old Testament Sabbath, and lead the charge to rid Jamaica of the terrible scourge of Crime and Violence. To the Glory and honor of God.
Are we too focused on Church growth and paying little attention to rampant injustice in the society? Is the important Bible study session unrelated to the suffering of ‘ the least of these my children ?
Is the agenda for the annual Conventions and Synods, very important decision making institutions,  too parochial and too inward looking? 
Are the public prayers of the Church more focused on denominational and local church issues,  rather than, or in addition to,  the cries from Franz Fanon’s ‘ Wretched of the Earth’, in Aleppo ( Syria)  and in Denham Town in Kingston Jamaica?
Finally when will the Redeemed people of God, learn from the teachings of Holy Scriptures which inspired a hymn to which I was led this morning:
Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,

pilgrim through this barren land;

I am weak but thou art mighty;

hold me with thy powerful hand:

bread of heaven,

feed me now and evermore.

For the Gospel Truth is that we cannot manage by ourselves to free our people from Satan’s grip on them; leading to dead locals and dead tourists. As we are weak!

But God is mighty and awesome and very present with us in times of trouble.
The writer for the editorial in the Gleaner,  should listen more keenly to the actions and words of our athletes in Rio. As almost all have expressed their faith in the Almighty God. Especially #RealShellyAnn. Therefore we ought  not to try to elevate them to the level of gods. For in their minds they are blessed and not exceptional – leave that claim to the Americans.

They are special but not transcendent.
We should learn from them as we celebrate #GoldRush in #Rio2016;  and as we mourn the death of innocence and kindness and graciousness and love for neighbor in far too many areas of national life.
For like Usain Bolt who looks to heavens before each race, so too should we :
Lift up my eyes to ” The maker of heaven and earth from Whom all our help cometh”.
And then who knows, maybe the Lord will have mercy on our Crime infested land and grant us peace. Because we trust in Him and not our weak and helpless people.
Peace 

Brazilian and Caribbean and American people have ‘ lost their minds ‘….lick them head

​GM: BOLT AND PELE; CHRIST AND THE WORLD 
If what was  reported yesterday morning in one of our daily newspapers is correct, then the Brazilians have gone mad. And can  justifiably be  accused of having committed sporting ‘ blasphemy ‘. This was the headline:
” A Brazilian journalist says that Usain   Bolt is more popular in Brazil than Pele”!  Seriously!

 

Makes me wonder if they are talking about  Edson   Arantes do Nascimento; the  Portuguese name for the greatest player ever to play #TheBeautifulGame 
For me, a former Track Captain for my High School at ‘ Champs ‘, the greatest schoolboy and girls competition in the entire world, and one who played on a winning Manning Cup Team – championship high school competition in Jamaica – and a  lover of  Brazillian Football ( even after the 7:1 drubbing) such a comparison ought  not to be   even close if a poll were taken.
Though I was not there, I can still recall the 17 year  old football genius, playing against Sweden in 1958, controlling the ball on his chest, then on to his thigh,  then pivoting majestically  and  lashing the ball into the very well protected Swedish goal, to help Brazil win 5:2 in the finals.
The over 1000 goals scored, the jinking runs, the feints, the control at high speeds,  the header which brought out the best in the English goalkeeper Banks – arguably one of the finest goal keepers –  during the world cup held in Britain; considered one of the great all time saves.
The joy and emotional satisfaction that this superb athlete almost guaranteed anyone who watched him play week after week for Santos in Brazil, and then on the world stage every four years.
For me the crowning moment was when,  together with thousands of Jamaican- Brazilians we watched the demolition of Italy,  in a pulsating samba style World Cup Finals at The National Arena in 1970 – back in the day.  When Pele, having already scored,  delivered the final ‘killer’ pass to his captain, who fittingly,  scored the final goal in their famous 4:1 victory in the massive Estadio Azteca in Mexico 
Now don’t get me wrong, like all Jamaicans I have joined the  #GoneCrazyOverBolt club. And will jump and shout and #FeelAlright when he wins again in #Rio2016 on the weekend.  There is no question that this superb Jamaica superstar is the greatest sprinter in history. Even when his achievements are compared,  very respectfully, with  the likes of Jesse Owens et al. 
But winning and bringing joy to a Nation every four years at the Olympics and two years at The World Games and participating occasionally in the Diamond League, in my mind cannot compare with a Pele who brought joy to so many in Brazil, with his exploits week after week. And won three world cup medals in one of the most gruelling and hotly contested competitions in the world.
 No folks, I love Usain,  and will knock ‘ pot cover’  for he and Shellyann and others, but methinks Brazillians ought to  love Pele more. Much more than Bolt! 
So what does this have to do with Christ and Him Crucified? Everything! For like the Brazilians,  who appear to have ‘ forgotten all that Pele did for them’ …..’ lick them head’, as we say in Jamaica, so too like the Children of Israel ‘ a whole generation of Jamaicans, and Americans, have grown up not knowing or have forgotten ‘ lick them head’, what The Lord had done for us! 
And so as the Prophet Hosea warned then, and which warning is still a propos for us here at this time:
http://bible.com/111/hos.4.1-3.niv Hear the word of the Lord , you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: 
“There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.   There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.  
 Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away.
So my friends, there is divine connection between Crime and Violence, including Murder,  in Jamaica and in America and disobedience to the Word of God. A connection which was prophesied centuries ago. And which Prophetic Word was fulfilled in the time of the children of Israel and now in our time.
All because of disobedience, ‘ lick we head’!  And it is not just a  matter of forgetting how God in His Mercy rescued us from Slavery and Colonial Rule, in the USA and the Caribbean. But more, much more! 
The kind of mercy which is best expressed by the words of the hymn writer,  which played a seminal role in the genesis of this long standing Internet Ministry.
” My God I love thee; not because 

I hope for heaven thereby,

nor yet because who love thee not

are lost eternally.
Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst me

upon the Cross embrace;

for me didst bear the nails and spear,

and manifold disgrace,
and griefs and torments numberless,

and sweat of agony;

yea, death itself – and all for me

who was thine enemy.
Then why, O blessed Jesu Christ,

should I not love thee well…..  
Unless of course we either did not know or understand this great act of mercy. Or, a ‘ whole generation ‘ of Jamaicans and Americans have grown not knowing what Jesus has done for us. Or just ‘ lick them head’ when they consider Politicians more important than God. Or Family. Or our sporting heroes. Or money, the job or entertainment or pleasures of this life …..’ a body to die for…..I will follow Bustamante….or Manley…..or Trump……til I die
No doubt that’s why I was so struck by the Gospel reading in my Church for this Sunday.
http://bible.com/111/luk.12.49-53.niv “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!  Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? 
No, I tell you, but division. 

 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.  

They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
The point here is that, if you think that discussions and arguments about our sporting icons will cause divisions in our nations, those will be of no consequence compared with the Cosmic Divisions caused by 

 those who accept Christ as Savior and those who ignore this offer of Grace from The Almighty God.
An act of mercy which spawned this popular sanke:
At the cross at the cross where I first saw the light

And the burden of my heart rolled away

It was there by faith I received my sight

And now I am happy all the day
And from which reality many of us have turned away, ‘ lick them head’ and put their trust in gods – like ‘Dudus’ and Kartel, and dancehall and Soca music…..I was once a good girl, …but now I loose…..and Lotto…..the list goes on…… that our forefathers and fathers did not know.

Therefore Jamaica mourns and so  does America – where Netflix and Google are now gods. And Sin is now a human right……with growing influence on the Caribbean #BelizeVerdict.
I close with a quote in a very profound message sent to me last night by one of the newest members of this Ministry
”  He’s God and He’s good at it so trust Him ‘.
And this good and gracious God is still calling:
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling. Calling for you and for me.

Why should you linger when Jesus is calling, 

calling O sinner come home.

Come home, come home

All ye who are weary come home…..
Especially for those who ‘ lick them head’. For Jesus famously came not for the ‘ righteous’ ( woe unto you who believe that righteousness comes from good works) but to call sinners ( those who know they can’t manage without Him) to repentance. And that reality constitutes the greatest division on earth!  For on the Day of Judgement some will be with Him, while others will be left behind.

Peace 

An Independence Message: Fight for your country in God’s Strength 

​GM: AN INDEPENDENCE MESSAGE ; Great your strength ( in Christ) if great your need. 
Believe it or not, with all the excitement going on in #Rio2016, and that fabulous opening ceremony last night, today is Jamaica’s Independence Day. And celebrate we will in spite  of the ‘distractions’ in Rio.
But what’s the background to our Independence? The context, the actors  and the drama! 
A very useful treatment of this great national event was printed in the Gleaner this week by noted historian Arnold ‘ Scree’ Bertram. In which he documented the role of the Christian Church, and at least one of our National Heroes, Sam Sharpe, in rescuing an enslaved people, from the shackles of British Colonialism.

And how that inspired community continued, and continues to, shape Brand Jamaica post Emancipation.
His thrust, however, was the rise in Muslim faith,  and how the changing demographics, is threatening the very existence of Christianity. At least in Europe!
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20160804/arnold-bertram-christians-awake
So here we have the first bit of evidence in this message,  and this journey where the Lord showed me that Christianity is a ‘ fighting religion ‘.
A journey which began when I was led to read in my vacation Rev. Timothy Keller’s new book: Encounters with Jesus. And in a chapter entitled The Great Enemy, this particular passage touched my soul. The background to which is Jesus’ Baptism,  followed immediately by His Temptations by Satan in the wilderness.
“Now I have to ask you: if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did not presume to face the forces of evil in the world without a profound knowledge of the Bible in mind and heart, how could we try to face Life in any other way.
It’s true that this takes a great deal of time and effort. Worship, daily readings, meditation and memorization, singing, listening to teaching ( reading long WhatsApp messages…smile) all of these are necessary to become acquainted with the Scriptures as we must be. 
And when we are under attack – tempted to Sin, or to be discouraged, or to just give up altogether – it is then that we must wrestle with the words and promises of the Bible into the very center of our being, to ” let the message of Christ dwelling among you richly ‘. ( Colossians 3:16). It will feel very much like a fight indeed, J.C. Ryle, wrote:
True Christianity is a fight…..There is a vast quantity of religion current in the world which is not true, genuine Christianity. It passes muster; it satisfies sleepy consciences; it is not good money… .

There are thousands of men and women who go to churches every Sunday…..but you never see any ‘ fight’  about their religion! Of spiritual strife, and exertion, and conflict, and self-denial, and watching, and warring they know literally nothing at all”
Wow! I could stop right there. But there is more to come on this journey.
Of how the Lord,  in one of my bedtime readings this week, taught me, very dramatically, that He is a God who ‘ fights for us’. 

And the point is that, as the song which was in my heart this morning as I awoke, tells us:
” What a mighty God we serve……angels go before us…”
how can we not fight, with an assurance of God’s very Presence with us, and therefore we confidence,  for our Blessed Nation as we celebrate our Independence and Emancipation from the Evil of slavery.

At a time when the Evil of Crime and Violence threatens our very existence!
 THE WORD OF GOD 
http://bible.com/111/jos.10.8-11.niv The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”   After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
A story which evokes the memory of  GOD fighting for the Israelites as Pharoah approached them on the banks of the Red Sea. And how Moses told them not to be afraid as the Lord would fight for them. All they need to do was to ‘ Be Still ‘ ( and know).
I close with two short final experience as we celebrate Independence in a different way this morning, with the assurance that the God of Jacob is with us, and will fight for us. If only we would believe on Christ and Him Crucified ( spell check is learning well….just typed in Christ and the rest followed).

One is from the Gospel reading for tomorrow in my Anglican Church.

From Luke12:32-40. And a single command touched my soul.

” Be dressed for action….”.
In other words, be prepared for battle. To fight for Justice and Righteousness. To defend the widow, care for the orphan and protect the alien…..the immigrant….and not build walls to keep them out. And to fight against Evil… of oppression anywhere. And to fight against a ‘ sleepy conscience’. For you know not the hour when the Master shall return.
Finally the first verse,  in particular,  of a very instructive hymn to which I was drawn this morning and shared with another, ‘ a child of woe’

Words which remind us that in this battle we are called not only to follow a victorious Savior,  but also suffer with a Suffering Servant of God. To the Glory of God and the rescuing of a suffering nation as we celebrate Independence 2016.

Lest the sin of triumphalism enter our souls,  and we forget that it is the Lord who fights for us, and not our own strength! 

Peace and Happy Independence to all the Jamaican readers, who by God’s grace and mercy are part of this ministry.

1 Oft in danger, oft in woe,

onward, Christians, onward go;

bear the toil, maintain the strife,

strengthened with the bread of life.
2 Onward, Christians, onward go,

join the war, and face the foe;

will ye flee in danger’s hour?

Know ye not your Captain’s power?
3 Let not sorrow dim your eye;

soon shall every tear be dry:

let not fears your course impede;

great your strength, if great your need.
4 Let your drooping hearts be glad;

march in heavenly armour clad;

fight, nor think the battle long:

soon shall victory wake your song.
5 Onward then in battle move;

more than conquerors ye shall prove:

though opposed by many a foe,

Christian soldiers, onward go.