PICKERSGILL SAYS JAMAICANS STILL HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE PNP—09/20/14
Robert Pickersgill, chairman of the People’s National Party (PNP) in Jamaica, said that the party believes it retains the confidence of the nation’s citizens now that it has reached the midpoint of its five-year term. According to Pickersgill, the next half of the PNP’s tenure will be critical in terms of meeting its goals and achieving desired performance levels.
ALPHA BOYS’ SCHOOL GETS NEW NAME—09/21/14
The Alpha Boys’ School, a residential facility that has expanded to house 150 students aged 15 to 18, will operate under a new name: Alpha Institute. The school offers an innovative vocational and music program, and with its adoption of the Career Advancement Program (CAP), the Institute is registered with Jamaica’s Education Ministry as offering training in a variety of disciplines, including horticulture, music, woodworking, social entrepreneurship, printing, and bookbinding.
TAYLOR WARNS AGAINST “FALSE SENSE” OF SECURITY AFTER RECENT RAINS—09/22/14
Rain has returned to Jamaica, relieving some of the drought conditions experienced over the summer, but Dr. Michael Taylor, a physicist and the director of the Climate Studies Group Mona, is warning against succumbing to a “false sense” of security about water supplies on the island. Jamaicans should be aware of the weather phenomenon El Niño that is expected to bring a return to dry conditions at the end of 2014 and into 2015.
PATTERSON, FORMER JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER, WANTSTO END TIES WITH UK—09/23/14
P.J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, is calling for the current Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, to go ahead with efforts to cut all ties with the United Kingdom’s Privy Council and the Queen as head of state. Patterson made his remarks at the 76th annual conference of the People’s National Party (PNP). Patterson was Prime Minister of Jamaica in the 1990s and created a commission to review ways to reform the nation’s Constitution and to transform Jamaica into a republic.
NATIONAL REPARATIONS COMMISSION SAYS ISLAND DUE J$416.3 TRILLION—09/24/14
According to Jamaica’s National Commission on Reparations (NCR), Jamaica would be due about J$416.3 trillion in slavery reparations from any paid by Britain to the Caribbean region. The funds could be used to pay off the country’s national debt, which totals $2 trillion, as well as place the nation on a better economic path. The amount is based on the 30.64 percent of the £7.5 trillion calculated by Dr. Robert Beckford, academic theologian in Britain, as being Jamaica’s share of what is owed to the former British colonies in the region.
GOVERNMENT REVIEWS BAN ON E-CIGARETTES—09/25/14
Jamaica’s government plans to review its ban on the importation of e-cigarettes. According to Fenton Ferguson, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, the review represents a response to the criticism of the ban from various social sectors and requests for some kind of concessions to be made. E-cigarettes are vaporizers powered by batteries that simulate tobacco smoking and produce an aerosol resembling smoke. Proponents of the device say it has fewer health risks than tobacco and presents an alternative for smokers who want to reduce nicotine intake. Critics say e-cigarettes cause nicotine dependence and create heart and respiratory problems.
SUPREME COURT BUILDING FUMIGATED DUE TO CHIKUNGUNYA FEARS—09/26/14
Justice Gloria Smith of Jamaica’s Supreme Court is calling for the court building to be fumigated due to fears of spreading the chikungunya virus. The Justice believes that the virus could cause serious damage to the court’s operations if it were to take hold in the building. She noted that there are many mosquitoes in the Supreme Court building in downtown Kingston. The virus is spread by mosquitoes. The Justice said that two jurors had exhibited chikungunya-type symptoms this week.
ENTREPRENEURS TO ADOPT PRUDENT BUSINESS PRACTICES—09/26/14
Because of changes in the loan market, Patrick Hylton, CEO of the National Commercial Bank (NCR) is advising entrepreneurs to be prudent in their business practices. He said the market changes include the introduction of credit bureaus, a credit rating system, and the Security Interest in Personal Property (SIPP), which allows individuals to use intellectual property as loan collateral.
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“Search Me, O God”
One of the buzz words in relationships is transparency. We want the people in our lives to “open up” and share their innermost thoughts and feelings; we want to know their heart. Most of us are afraid of this transparency because we feel extremely vulnerable, and for the most part, uncomfortable. We are told to “not tell everything,” “don’t say anything that could come back to haunt you,” among other things, and so even though we can sometimes comfortably connect with others on an intimate level, being transparent is another matter.
The irony is that genuinely intimate relationships require transparency in order to be fully effective. There cannot be any areas of our lives that is considered “off limits”because, in a number of ways, transparency speaks to our integrity and character; the very core of who were are individuals. In the natural, the absence of transparency breeds hurt, insecurity, uncertainty, confusion, to name a few.
In the spiritual realm, it is mandatory to have transparency with the Almighty if we desire fellowship with Him. The psalmist David writes, “Behold, thou desirest in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom” (Psalm 51:6), and answered his own question, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?” with “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (24:3-5). Jesus Himself told the woman at the well, “…the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23). Genuine worship involves purity of heart and mind; a state that can only be attained when we lay ourselves open to the will and workings of the Holy Spirit.
That is why I love David’s prayer in Psalm 139:2, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” to which we could add, “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin … Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (51:2, 10). For the expressed purpose of enjoying a healthy relationship with God, he laid himself bare, he made himself transparent before Him who knew him better than he knew himself.
How far are you willing to go in your relationship with the Father? How transparent are you willing to become? Remember, if He is not Lord of all areas of our lives, He is not Lord at all.