Monday, June 11, 2012
The big news in my country this week, was the maximum sentence, 23 years, that was given to Christopher " Dudus" Coke, aka " Prezi', by a Court in the USA. This news about the reputed head of the shower posse, and a known criminal of legendary fame in my country, made headlines on CNN, and also in Jamaica. Further, the Court also imposed a fine of 1.5 Million USD, with the implications that his assets in Jamaica could be seized. Predictably the people in his power base in West Kingston, Tivoli Gardens, reacted with sadness. Some even going so far as to describe him as a " good", man and also a " god fearing" man, who was, seemingly, undeserving of such a harsh sentence. Fresh in our minds also, are the graphic scenes captured on television, during the days leading up to the incursion into Tivoli which eventually led to Coke's capture and extradition to the USA for trial. Scenes of women expressing their undying love for Dudus, as " Christ died for us, and so we will die for Dudus". Unbelievable, if it weren't for the fact of the record of such a statement on public television. Amazing, if it weren't for the fact that witnesses in the lead up to the sentencing, ascribed to the same Coke, acts of murder, extortion, wickedness and criminality of the worse kind. So how did our people get there? How could they ignore the acts of wickedness and brutality, and pretend that it did not exist,solely because according to them, Coke " allowed them to put food on the table". Interestingly, just this evening on the Television, we were informed that a very powerful armour piercing huge gun, one of the few of its kind in the world, had been found in the same Tivoli gardens area. How did it get there? And for what purpose? The other big news in Jamaica, was the tragic death of five persons in a motor vehicle crash in the northern part of the island. I cannot begin to imagine the horror that these people felt in the final moments before their sudden, and entirely preventable, death. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and sorrow that came over the the family members who are left behind, as they received this terrible news. Sudden death is such an awful thing. Finally, just tonight news broke that world record holder of the men's 100M, Usain Bolt was involved in a motor vehicle crash early this morning. His second one in three years. Fortunately he seems to be ok and at home resting. Questions will be asked though. Was he drinking and driving? Was he breathalyzed? With such short time to go before the Olympics, was this good idea for him to be on the road at that " hours of morning"? In the midst of this " bad press " for my embattled country, in the midst of the stout defense put up to protect the " honor" of the Coke name and in the midst of the angst and pathos which attends sudden death, the Lord had a Word. It began in the midst of my devotions and triggered an e-mail to a number of persons Take the name of Jesus with youChild of sorrow and of woe, It will joy and comfort give you; Take it then, where'er you go. Refrain Precious Name, O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heav'n Precious Name,O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heav'n Take the Name of Jesus ever, As a shield from every snare; If temptations round you gather, Breathe that holy Name in prayer. Refrain Precious Name.....As I began my devotions praising God for protection from evil last night, this song came into my head and had to google it as there no version available in my hymn books. No doubt a response from the Holy Spirit who led me to read and send out as a text the following note;The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10. Call upon the name of Jesus often. In faith and with a desire to be obedient.LWJ A message which was followed by another one the next day on the same subject: In the mist of my devotions this morning, when my mind dwells on the maximum sentence that Dudus, Christopher Coke received and the five persons who died tragically on our roads yesterday, and our collective and individual misplaced and skewed reactions to both events, and the message I sent, the Lord led me to this additional message:" Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of our Lord our God.They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. Psalm 20:9. NIV Thank God for Jesus.LWJ------ Always we have to remember Who is our ultimate protector and Savior. As a very discerning and wise preacher told us this morning in church, we can become socialized to believe that there is nothing wrong with what, other people would readily recognize as, evil. Depending on where one grows up and under what kinds of influence. This is the great importance of having a world view which is transcendent - rooted in the supernatural and omnipresent God of Israel - in its understanding of life, otherwise, we will indeed trust in " horses and chariots" ,rather than in the word of God. And believe me it is not as difficult as we may imagine, as the influence of parents and peers on the young mind is incalculable. This is why it is vitally important to expose your child, and one's own mind to the unchanging and unchangeable word of God from day one, and on a regular basis. And the more I believe, and trust God, the more I am convinced that the only worthwhile, the only empowering thing to do in life, is to call upon the Precious name of Jesus often. In faith, and in trust that such a " brooding " on the death and resurrection of Jesus will somehow enable us to receive what he has promised, that if we obey His commands, both He and the Father will come and live in us. A revelation borne out by the Word which led to all of this reflection this week: " For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by his life". Romans 5: 9-10 NIV One of the clear indications in the Bible, that belief in the saving grace of the Blood of Christ, is a first step. And how much more is the life of any human being in whom Christ lives by the Holy Spirit. One of our leading gospel artistes,Carlene Davis is so on target. This island needs Jesus. And so does Dudus, and Usain Bolt, and so do the people of Tivoli Gardens. And so do all of us who travel on the roads daily, as you never can predict when " madness" aided and abetted by evil forces will attempt to kill you prematurely. As the Word states that "the evil one has come to steal and kill and destroy, but that Jesus has come that we may have life and have it more abundantly. So I am begging you and beseeching, as I advise myself too: " Take the Name of Jesus with you", this week, each day, each hour, as it is the only Name on which you can depend in times of trouble, and the only Name you need in times of joy. .