JAMAICAN INVESTIGATORS HINDERED IN THEIR WORK, SAYS RIGHTS ACTIVIST—11/22/14
Mary Francis, a human rights activist in St. Lucia, says that investigators from Jamaica who were looking into a number of fatal police shootings in Vieux Fort in 2011 were hampered in their efforts due to problems obtaining evidence. Francis said their inability to access required evidence had an impact on the effectiveness of their investigations.
FRAZER-BINNS WANTS CHANGES TO NOISE ABATEMENT ACT—11/23/14
Sophia Frazer-Binns, Jamaican government senator, believes the provisions of the Noise Abatement Act impose limits on the growth potential of the nocturnal economy, since Jamaicans generally do not go to parties until after midnight. The government should eliminate the curfew on night entertainment, says Frazer-Binns, and permit music events to last beyond the current 2:00 AM limit to enhance the night-time economy in Jamaica.
NEW IDENTITY CARD SYSTEM PROPOSED BY CASSERLY—11/24/14
Patrick Casserly, businessman and member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Jamaica Labor Party, is urging the government to eliminate the multi-card identification system and replace it with a one-time unique identifying number. This number would be assigned to individuals from their birth to their death. Casserly believes this would eliminate the existing system, which requires individuals to keep track of multiple ID cards and ID numbers.
FOUR MEMBERS ADDED TO NHT BOARD—11/25/14
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has announced the appointment of an additional four members to the board of the National Housing Trust (NHT). The additions are meant to make the board stronger. They include Deputy Chair Daisy Coke, retired actuary; Sergeant Raymond Wilson, Chairman of the Police Federation; Clayton Hall, former president of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association; and Pastor Michael Harvey, vice-president of Northern Caribbean University
DEBATE ON JOINING CARIBBEAN COURT BEGINS IN JAMAICAN PARLIAMENT—11/26/14
Final debate has started in Jamaica’s Parliament on whether to end its relationship with the British Privy Council and utilize the Caribbean Court of Justice as the nation’s final court of appeal. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller believes that resort to the Privy Council is the basic missing link in independence. She believes that cutting ties with the Privy Council will save Jamaica’s identity and sovereignty and protect the civil rights of Jamaicans.
MOST JAMAICANS NOT FAMILIAR WITH TWITTER, SAYS PICKERSGILL—11/27/14
Robert Pickersgill, Jamaican government minister and chairman of the People’s National Party (PNP), believes only an “articulate minority” of Jamaicans use the social media network Twitter. He said that “ordinary Jamaicans” do not use the technology. He said that Jamaicans who expressed displeasure about the Outameni issue via Twitter are “irrelevant” and do not represent the real Jamaican population.
CARETAKER IN NORTH WEST ST. ANN CANNOT BE REMOVED BY JLP—11/28/14
A Supreme Court judge has barred the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) from removing Othneil Lawrence from his post as caretaker in North West St. Ann. An injunction of 14 days was imposed on the parties by the judge. Lawrence has accused JLP head Andrew Holness and Horace Change, General Secretary, of violating the organization’s constitution by trying to remove him without a vote by members.
CONFLICT AT JAMAICA HOUSE AS MINISTER DEFENDS NHT DECISION—11/28/14
Sandrea Falconer, the Jamaican Minister with the responsibility for information, provided a defense of the Cabinet’s decision concerning the board of the National Housing Trust (NHT). Falconer faced tough questions from journalists about the Outameni controversy.
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God’s Word, Our Response (Part 1)
There were twelve of them, each representing their respective tribe and their mission was well defined. As instructed by the LORD, through Moses, they were to “search the land of Canaan, which I [the LORD] give unto the children of Israel” (Numbers 13:2, KJV). They did as instructed, returning after forty days with a report that contained both good and bad news. The land flowed with milk and honey, and it yielded much fruit, but it was occupied with giants and the cities had walls around them (vv.28-29). The narrative tells us, “And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (vv. 32b-33). They had assessed the situation based on what they had seen and had forgotten what the LORD had told them. Does that sound familiar? Can you relate?
Among the twelve, however, were two who had not forgotten. As the people became restless at the report, “Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.’ But the men that went up with him said, ‘We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we'” (vv. 30-31). A reading of Numbers 14 shows us that the negative report won the day, so much so that the LORD sentenced them to forty years of wilderness wandering, during which time all the doubters would perish and so forfeit entering the Promised Land. All because of unbelief.
Some important truths from the story: 1) The majority is not always right; 2) The LORD is not pleased when we doubt Him; and 3) What the situation looks like on the outside is no hindrance to the fulfilling of what the LORD has ordained. When a truth has been quickened in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, it is important we understand that whatever God declares *will* come to pass (Isaiah 55:11). Paul reminds us, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b), so we need not worry about what we see, think, feel, or what others may say. Instead, we can stand firmly on and walk boldly in the things that are in keeping with His will, trusting that He will take care of the obstacles Himself or make ways so we can get through them.
Our God can be trusted. On this occasion, the people doubted and the consequences were severe. As you read the Word and realize what He has promised for your life, how do you respond? Do you believe? Do your actions matchup with your belief?