RESOLUTION ON ISIS CO-SPONSORED BY JAMAICA—10/11/14
Jamaica is the co-sponsor of a United Nations resolution condemning the extremism and violence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, otherwise known as ISIS. The resolution also promotes blocking travel support that could permit foreign terrorists returning to their home countries after being involved with the commission of terrorist acts overseas. The Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) supports the vote of the UN Security Council on the resolution.
EBOLA PREPARATIONS ENHANCED IN JAMAICA—10/12/14
Authorities in Jamaica are increasing efforts toward preventing Ebola and enhancing effective management of the virus if it spreads to the island, said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. The Prime Minister also stated that Jamaica’s Ministry of Health is acting as the lead agency for contingency planning and the nation’s emergency response to the disease.
FOUR WORKERS KILLED, $2 MILLION STOLEN BY GUNMEN ON HIGHWAY 2000—10/13/14
Four men who were transporting a $2 million payroll for employees on the Linstead-to-Moneague portion of the North/South link of Highway 2000 were murdered during a daylight robbery in Bowers Wood in St. Catherin. The men were reported as working on the project and were traveling with cash to pay other workers when they encountered an ambush by gunmen with high-powered weapons.
PNP MARKS PASSING OF SYRINGA MARSHALL-BURNETT—10/14/14
The People’s National Party (PNP) has expressed its sadness at the passing of form senate president Syringa Marshall-Burnett. A nurse by profession, Marshall-Burnett was a pioneer in nursing education and in health care delivery systems. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller called her a “true Jamaican daughter” and “a champion of people’s cause.”
SIMPSON MILLER CALLS FOR BATTLE AGAINST CHIKUNGUNYA—10/15/14
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is calling for additional measures to fight the chikungunya virus, which is carried by mosquitoes. She called the disease a “national emergency” and said fighting against its spread is not a job for government alone. Everyone has a role to play in combating the disease, she said, noting that a major clean-up campaign will begin in the areas most affected to destroy mosquito-breeding locations.
FIRE AT SANGSTER AIRPORT, NO INJURIES REPORTED—10/16/14
Officials report that a fire caused a brief evacuation of Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The fire started in an electrical room and was responsible for delaying some departing flights. Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire, the second at Sangster in 2014. While some departing flights were delayed, the airport remained open, with incoming flights not impacted by the fire.
MONEY LAUNDERING TO BE TACKLED BY NEW REAL ESTATE INSPECTORATE—10/17/14
The Real Estate Board (REB) in Jamaica will create an inspectorate designed to make sure that those engaging in real estate transactions are not also engaged in money laundering or acting to facilitate it. Jamaica has signed on to anti-money-laundering treaties. These treaties identify real estate dealers, lawyers, accountants, financial institutions, and gambling facilities as entities to watch for money laundering activity. Real estate dealers are charged with the responsibility to report suspicious activities, and the inspectorate will monitor the actions of dealers and salesmen to stop the crime in the industry.
ABU BAKR DENIED ENTRY TO JAMAICA—10/17/14
Yasin Abu Bakr, a Muslim leader from Trinidad, was denied entry into Jamaica and is back in his home country. He had traveled to Jamaica to pay a visit to his daughter, a student at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and because he was an invited guest at the marking of the Million Man March with Louis Farrakhan, National of Islam leader. Jamaican authorities denied him entry because of his history as a radical Muslim.
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Mustard Seed Faith
In Mark 11:22-24 Jesus said to His disciples, “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” That seems relatively easy to do, yet for countless Christians the exercise of faith is quite the struggle.
How much faith does it take to believe that God will do for us the things He has promised in His Word? It is not unusual to hear people talk about not having enough faith, neither is it unusual to hear others praying for increased faith. In the case of the latter, I have often wondered: if they can activate their faith to believe for increased faith, why not use the faith they already have to believe that the things they have asked for they will receive? In Luke 17:5 we see the disciples having the same problem. As Jesus taught them about forgiveness they said unto Him, “Increase our faith,” to which Jesus replied, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, ‘Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea;’ and it should obey you” (v.6). Eugene Peterson paraphrases the verse this way, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it” (The Message).
Commentator Albert Barnes tells us, “The seeds of this tree were remarkably small, so that they, with the great size of the plant, were an apt illustration of the … nature of faith.” As the large sycamine tree came from the small mustard seed, so the exercise of our faith, though it seems small, can accomplish great things. The good news is that every believer has a deposit of faith on the inside. Paul reminds us that “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3), and as we note Jesus’ response to the disciples request for more faith, we realize that all we need to do is to exercise the amount we already have.
We can rest assured that we do not need a trailer load of faith to believe God will do as He promises. It is true that the more we exercise faith the “easier” it becomes to believe, but we have to start somewhere. What better place to start than with what we have been given? Remember, no matter how big the challenges in front of you, ALL things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23). I really like the “all things” part; how about you?
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