Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good-Bye Moscow and let us rejoice in the God who is always with us

They call him "Donkey man"!  Jevon  Francis, the 18 year old  Jamaican High School  student, who, if the IAAF at the recently concluded World Championships held in Moscow, were to give a medal for " the athlete with the biggest heart", would have won 
' hands down'. As his breathtaking, almost impossible feat in running pass big men, moving  from  to second position on the final leg of the men's 4 x 400 M relay, thus earning Jamaica an entirely unexpected  silver medal, was nothing short of spectacular.

Yes " nuff respect" to the big man, Usain  ( Legend) Bolt and to 'pocket rocket' Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, two of the greatest sprinters in the history of the sport of Athletics. And we " big up" all the athletes who performed at an very high level despite not winning a medal, and even those who suffered disappointments whilst giving of their best. But that lion- hearted performance by Jevon, assisted by his three other team mates, sums up best the character of a nation which prides itself as being " little but tallawah".

So what did the Sovereign Lord, the creator of Heaven and Earth,  who knows the hearts of all who live in  Moscow, Beijing, London, Berlin,  Half-Way-Tree, New York City and all cities, say this week in the middle of the excitement?

First up, a Word sent to a group of lawyers concerning,  more , but not necessarily better particulars. Especially at a time when  an Irish scientist is attributed,  in a headlines  carried in The daily Gleaner entitled, " Good Bye God", with the prophesy that similar to what has over taken previously religious Ireland,  Jamaicans too will soon lose their trust in and belief in God. In what has to be a delicate and tight conversation  held with a newspaper man that same( and every)  morning ( worse than twitter), whilst waiting for a break in the traffic, we both concluded that " God was going on leave to Moscow" see the runnings there. And had a good laugh over the headlines.  The point here is that as children of The Living God, we have to pay close attention to the Rules of Holy Living as recorded in the Colossian passage as noted below. But all of that has to have as its foundation a life of prayer and of delving deep into the Word. So although  we highlight the fact that  Shelly-Ann  in particular,  and many other Jamaican, African, Caribbean and American  stars, always give thanks to God first, and then all others, including parents and coaches after, we must be eternally vigilant as a people to 'cover them' and ourselves with prayers, as there are people with evil intent trying to 'lead us astray".

A Word from The Lord this morning  - The First Message

Many times I have been led to Rules for Holy Living contained in Colossians 3:1-17 NIV. But this morning, my education went a step further to Further  Instructions. 4:2-6. And in the context of raging debates in the society verse 6 was particularly instructive. But as verse 16 exhorts us, " Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly....", all five verses contain powerful instructions.

" Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."


The second message brings into very sharp focus the fact that although we celebrate the performances of our athletes, which bring pride to a nation and joy to lovers of the sports across the entire world,  we are called to run a more important race. And that race which ought to  hold  lightly, and cheaply the things of this world,  and looks to the finish line of eternity, must be run with our  eyes fixed not on the pleasures of this world, but on Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith. Therein lies the danger. As sports in general and track field in particular, along with all other things that make for an enjoyable life here on earth, have the propensity to make us, " prone to wander, and prone to leave the God who we love.  The message then call  us to be eternally vigilant about " living in the secret place of the Most High", as otherwise we lose our way and our destiny and our  coveted prize - eternal life with Christ. Otherwise around every corner and beyond every street lies danger, if not disaster. The good news as recorded in the Word from Jesus,  is the power to live such a life is only a prayer away. And all we need to do is to prayer without ceasing, as God to enable us to live a life of faith and obedient each day, to a God who is very willing and able to help.  Only then will our nation, our family life, our communities and the entire world will change.


Led to read and reflect on the third verse of the hymn at the end of this message. An exercise which brings into sharp focus the exhortation of Brother Lawrence in an excerpt from his classic book, " The Practice of the Presence of God. O Lord help as we are so prone to wander. And wandering Christians will be not be able to discern and to do God's will. The pursuit of which
( God's will) ought ot be our only focus. So let us resolve to practice the presence of God; in the morning on awakening, at work, in the evening at home, and at bed time. And we will soon see the results.

All began when I reflected on:

" A man with leprosy came to him (Jesus) and begged him on his knees. if you are willing you can make me clean.
"Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man, I am willing he said. Be clean. Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured". mark 1;40-41 NIV.

Jesus is always willing. Let us ask Him to keep us close to Him all day, and soon we will grow to be like Him, in every way. And in every situation we will  be the Will of God. At home with family. At work with colleagues. In Church. Outside of Church. On line. Off line.  In season and out of season. Wherever and whenever!


Verse: Proverbs 8: 30

“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with GOD. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. It is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise; but let us do it from a principle of love, and because GOD would have us.

Were I a preacher, I should, above all other things, preach the practice of the presence of  GOD; and, were I a director, I should advise all the world to do it, so necessary do I think it, and so easy too.

Ah! knew we but the want we have of the grace and assistance of GOD, we should never lose sight of Him, no, not for a moment. Believe me; make immediately a holy and firm resolution never more willfully to forget Him, and to spend the rest of your days in His sacred presence, deprived for the love of Him, if He thinks fit, of all consolations.

Set heartily about this work, and if you do it as you ought, be assured that you will soon find the effects of it.”

Excerpt From: of the Resurrection Lawrence. “The Practice of the Presence of God the Best Rule of a Holy Life.” iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBookstore:

Come now fount of every blessing.....

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.


Sent from my iPad

Finally, The Lord led me to  to a Word which calls for a life of rejoicing, as He Himself has become " our salvation". Not Shelly -Ann, not Ambassador Usain St. Leo Bolt, not the IMF, not our Leaders whether local or in Obama
land, but the Living God Himself. So as children of " Light" who dare not place that ' flaming torch' under the bed, we are called to rejoice, every day,  in season and out of season, track meet or not track meet,  Soccer time in England or in Spain  or Brazil, or when all is quiet, we shall rejoice,  because
this is indeed the day that The Lord hath made. And we will rejoice as " The Lord is risen indeed.". And all our sins are forgiven, death has lost its sting, and we can live a Holy Life in and through the Resurrected Christ.  So this is a time of rejoicing, not for us alone but for the entire world. A world where the storms of life are battering young people, old people, entire nations, and Jesus can and will say, " Be still ". And the waves will die down completely, as they did over  two  thousand of years ago, and a group of frightened disciples heard the rebuke, " Do you still have no faith"!    I  pray God, that as He rescues us from the storms of life, during and after,  our faith in Him may grow and help us to rescue a  nation and a a world so  battered by social , moral and economic problems that it is desperately crying out for help.  But few are listening, as Bob Marley's song is becoming very prophetic. " You think you in heaven but you living in hell". We who have been so empowered and anointed, to rescue the perishing, care for the sick and the defenseless and help the poor and needy, regardless of their status,  must urgently show the same kind of courage and lion-heartedness thatJevon did, all to the glory of God.


I woke this morning and was praising The Lord for a quiet and peaceful night. One of many in recent times. And  as I started my devotions praising The Lord , " he has become my salvation ", came into my mind. So I searched for it although I had read the same  phrase  in Isaiah recently, but in my heart I knew this one came from a Psalm. Then I found it....Psalm 118

".......I was pushed back and about to  fall,
but The Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.

Shouts of joy and victory
resound the tents of the righteous:
The Lord's right hand has done mighty things!
The Lord's right hand is lifted up high;
the Lord's right hand has done mighty things!

I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what The Lord has done.
The Lord has chastened me severely
but he has not given me over to death.

Open for me  the doors of righteousness,
I will enter and give thanks to The Lord .
This is the gate of The Lord
through which the righteous may enter.
I will give thanks for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that The Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

O Lord, save us,
O Lord, grant us success.
Blessed is he who comes in the name
of The Lord.

From the house of The Lord, we bless you
The Lord is God,
and he  has made his light shine upon us.
With boughs in hand, join in he festal procession,
up to the horns of the altar.

Psalm 118:13-27 NIV

And as I read the last verse, I remembered " MIss Ivy", who I used to take to church, and who has now gone to glory, and the joy with which we would declare after Easter service, or anytime it came into  her mind, " ...up to the courts of heaven with speed".
So I searched for the hymn and found this.

The Lord is risen indeed!
Now is his work performed:
now is the mighty captive freed,
and death's strong castle stormed.

The Lord is risen indeed!
Then hell has lost his prey:
with him is risen the ransomed seed
to reign in endless day.

The Lord is risen indeed!
He lives, to die no more;
hr lives, the sinner's cause to plead,
whose curse and shame he bore.

The Lord is risen indeed!
Ascending angels hear!
Up to the courts of heaven with speed
the joyful tidings bear.

Then take your golden lyres,
and strike each cheerful chord;
join, all ye bright celestial choirs,
to sing to our risen Lord.

I am therefore being obedient and,  " proclaiming what The Lord has done",  to you who have journeyed with me. And will continue to do so, as I journey with you. There is clearly a message for me, but also as the Word continued, a message for all the faithful in Christ who trust in the 'capstone' and  who have suffered or have had their message rejected. God is at work, and His Word will not return to Him void but will surely achieve the purpose for which it has been sent, even though sometimes we cannot see the result.
So we continue to praise God, and seek to do His will and thereby, become His will. His good and perfect will.