Five-Fold Today - In Defence of the Disinherited - The Sons of Zadok In This Hour - Reflecting His Glory - Chief Shepherd - Prepare For an Epic Battle - Extend My Blessing - The Meeting Place - A Bond of Compassion

August 18, 2004

In Defence of the Disinherited

John Maxwell

There is a rape in progress next door. We know; we saw the rapist enter the house, we heard the shouts of alarm, the calls for help, the screams of the tormented victim echo through the neighbourhood.

Our neighbours go about their business as usual. What do they care if, like Kitty Genovese so many years ago, the victim is slaughtered in full sight and sound of her neighbours. It is not our business, they say. We don´t want to get involved.

And we are closing our  windows and drawing the curtains, because the rapist´s brother is coming to tea with us.  We don´t want him to be unduly discountenanced, to be upset although he is one of those who set up the attack.

At this moment eight million Haitians are languishing under the rule of killers, torturers and ‘face-choppers´. Many are in hiding, as was the Prime Minister, Yvon Neptun, who last Sunday [July] gave himself up rather than be murdered as a “fleeing felon´.  Some are in exile, as are the President of Haiti, his wife and children, with their human and political rights torn from them by gangsters and terrorists.

And we, Caribbean people, are preparing to entertain Gerard La Tortue, an absentee businessman/bureaucrat, who now claims to be the Prime Minister of Haiti.

This is the 200th anniversary year of Haitian independence and once again, the Haitians are voiceless, bereft of their rights , disinherited of their history and their dignity and abandoned by their neighbours, their soi disant friends – some of the very people they  help rescue from miserable bondage.

As UNESCO says: ‘'The uprising in Saint-Domingue… which began on the night of August 22 to 23, 1791, played a decisive role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. August 23 is celebrated each year as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.´

A Gothic Obscenity

This year  is the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery, declared so by the United Nations on January 10, 2004. Haiti´s  slaves abolished slavery in 1793, the only slaves ever to achieve that distinction. In this international year commemorating the struggle against slavery, the fact that Haiti is in a cage should put all Earth in a rage.

It is an obscenity.

The  so-called civilised world, like the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan, is about to delicately draw up its skirts and pass by on the other side, leaving 8 million human beings to languish and die, all because their ancestors 200 years ago decided to make concrete the idea that every human being should have the same rights as every other.  

The Haitian revolution was the only one of the three great revolutions of the eighteenth century which implemented all of The Rights of Man. They have been paying the price ever since. As the cynics say – No good deed ever goes unpunished.

It is our duty to come to the aid of Haiti.

As the Cubans have said:  "We Cannot Abandon Haiti !"

Haiti has suffered for 200 years from the lies, obfuscation and deliberate misrepresentation of people, organisations and states motivated by an atavistic racism, by  a deep-seated fear of real human freedom and a profound inability to appreciate the  real genius of a people driven by the urge to bring freedom to all.

The Haitians have managed to survive in the face of the most long-lasting and purposeful genocidal campaign in history. They suffered because they helped Bolivar, because they were bold enough to offer soldiers to help Lincoln free the American slaves, because they understood the indivisibility of freedom and liberty.

They suffer because they defeated and repudiated slavery. Had they been Europeans, their valour and nobility would be celebrated in song and story, in legend and myth.

One of my email correspondents recently described Haiti as an international crime scene, and he is correct.

The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan and the UN Security Council  are attempting to licence the latest attempt to return Haiti to  unfreedom. We, who claim to be democrats, to love freedom and liberty, will be accomplices in this latest crime if we do not do everything in our power to set Haiti free once and for all.

Is Freedom really Indivisible ?

If Haiti is not free, none of us is free.

When Haiti helped Bolivar – alone and friendless – she gave him all the arms, money and support  that she could. She asked only one thing of him – that in freeing Latin  America he should also free its slaves.

I suggest that this gesture bequeaths to us an inescapable duty – to free Haiti from its bondage, to allow Haitians to decide their future for themselves  to give Haiti back its freedom.

WE have no arms and we do not need arms.

What we have is more potent than arms.

We have the power to move the conscience of the world, of humanity.

We have the power to make a big difference to the lives of the

Haitian people and of the oppressed all over the world.

What we need to do is to bring to bear the pressure of world public opinion, to relight the fire that the Jamaican  Bouckman lit in 1793, to make it impossible for Haiti to be subjugated once again by stealth, by deceit and double dealing and treachery in the service of racism and greed.

We don't have to do anything spectacular. All we need to do is to try to keep the attention of our neighbours focused, on the reality of Haiti. And we need to keep on doing it.

We can start  by circulating factual information on Haiti, to our friends, to people of influence in whatever society we live, to journalists, commentators, columnists and editors, most of them prating grandly about democracy and freedom but doing nothing either to advance or defend them.

I have long been stirred  by the history of the Haitians, particularly since I read C. L. R. James'  Black Jacobins  nearly half a century ago. Since then, I have had many Haitian friends, most of them refugees from the persecutions of the Duvaliers. I went to Haiti in 1964 in an unsuccessful attempt to interview Papa Doc. I returned in 1996 when CARIMAC –the Caribbean Institute for Media and Communication – and the PANOS Institute began a programme for training journalists after the first restoration of President Aristide.

I have met President Aristide twice and I have read two of his books – his autobiography and "In the Parish of the Poor". I have a tremendous respect for this man and for his country and the movement which he leads, all  unmercifully libelled by the so-called Free Press of the Free World.

The Sons of Zadok In This Hour

by Bill Burns

I am the Lord God, and indeed there is no other. I am bringing forth the anointing that will birth the sons of Zadok in this hour, for it must be so. You have read and understood the pattern that those who are called the sons of Zadok are those who have been faithful to Me and served Me with all of their hearts, minds and souls. They are those who desire to see My kingdom coming in glory. I am calling to you now. Lay aside your diappointments and your hopelessness. Come with expectation and faith, for surely you know that it is My anointing that breaks the yoke of bondage. That which the enemy has put upon you shall be broken if you will only believe, says the Lord, for I shall set you free and bring forth My Church without spot or wrinkle in the land as a witness to all of the earth. Surely I come quickly.

Reflecting His Glory
~by Os Hillman

They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of Your might, so that all men may know of Your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom. ~ Psalm 145:11-12

How do you measure your effectiveness in God, or should you even be thinking like this? The early Church turned the world upside down in that first century. What made them so effective? Was it their theology? Was it great preaching? Was it due to one man's influence apart from Jesus?

The Scriptures are clear as to what made the early Church effective. It is at the core of God's heart, and it is quite simple. God desires to reflect His nature and power through every individual. When this happens, the world is automatically changed because those who reflect His glory affect the world.

We serve a jealous God. He is a God who will not share His glory with anyone. God sets up situations in order to demonstrate His power through them. He has done this since the day He created man. His desire is to reflect His glory through you and me, so that all men may know of His mighty acts and the glorious splendor of His Kingdom.

The apostle Paul understood this principle: "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power" (1 Cor. 2:4-5).

If you do not see His glory being reflected through your life, then you need to ask why. He has promised to do so if we will walk in obedience to His commands.

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Chief Shepherd

Sammy Tippet

      And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (1 Peter 5:4 NIV)

      Before my wife and I were married, I told her, "I can't promise you that we will ever be rich, but I do promise you this - life won't be boring!" And it's certainly not been boring. Following Jesus has been one great adventure after another. I would never have dreamed that I would see the things that I've seen or do the things that I've done. It's been an amazing journey.

      One of the most interesting parts of this journey has been to observe how good and faithful God has been in His leadership in my life. He's brought me to countries oppressed by atheism and communism; nations riddled with war; and peoples under the dark cloud of hate-filled religion. He's enabled me to stand in some of the largest stadiums in the world to proclaim the message of Christ as well as share the love of God with individuals in need of a Savior. It's been exciting - to say the least.

      But He's led all the way. I didn't set out with some great strategy to go to these countries and people groups. I didn't sit down and map out a five or ten-year plan to accomplish these things. I simply went daily to the throne of God and surrendered myself to God and sought His leadership. He produced a strategy. He led me in the way of His victory. He opened the doors I could have never opened. He acted as a Shepherd to me.

      In fact, one of the names that the Bible attributes to God is that of "Shepherd." The Psalmist said, "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want" (Psalms 23:1). Jesus is called the "Good Shepherd" and the "Chief Shepherd." The "Shepherd" is a name that describes the attributes of God's love, care and protection. Sheep are naturally dumb animals. They have a tendency to stray and can easily hurt themselves. Their needs are enormous. They need daily leadership. They need water daily. They need protection. They need guidance.

      We're the sheep, and Jesus is the Chief Shepherd. He will lead us into green pastures. His plan for our lives is good. He will provide for us. He will gently move us back onto the right path when we stray. He will take us to streams of "Living Waters" and quench the thirst of our hearts. He will protect us from all of the attacks of our archenemy - Satan.

      It's so good to know that Jesus is the "Chief Shepherd." We can have absolute confidence in His leadership in our lives. I must be honest with you. Sometimes I feel so stupid. Sometimes I don't know what I should do in certain situations. I don't always have the wisdom and understanding in many of life's situations.

      But I do have a Shepherd. He's not only a "Good Shepherd," but He's the "Chief Shepherd." He's the one who leads me by still waters - the places of peace. He's the one that guides me into paths of righteousness for His name's sake. He's the one who gives me wisdom when I have none. He's the one who protects me from the attacks of my enemies. Every morning in that time alone with Him, I'm able to hear His voice and follow His lead. It's so good to simply be a dumb sheep and have such a wonderful Shepherd.

      If you want victory in your life, just allow Jesus to be the "Chief Shepherd" of your heart. He always leads into triumph.

Prepare For an Epic Battle

by Marsha Burns

I heard the Lord say, "Prepare for an epic battle." And, I saw in a vision the army of the Lord in extreme disarray. There were individuals who were sexually immoral and in great deception, a man cheating on his wife, business partners defrauding one another, a woman with a spirit of infirmity who had settled into her sickness to gain attention and escape responsibility. I saw a couple of women, who had once made a decision to serve God, getting drunk and laughing; one said to the other, "If my pastor could see me now!" There were people who were angry and offended, barely able to speak to one another, seeped in unforgiveness and bitterness. I saw hypocrites who pretended one thing while doing the opposite, insincere and unholy in their attitudes and motivations.

Although I observed only a few individuals in this vast army, I knew it was riddled with all manner of debauchery. Many of the people were wearing only pieces of their armor, and some were asleep. And, I thought to myself, "How are we going to fight this battle at all, let alone win?"

Then, the Commander in Chief called us to attention and asked us to prepare for the greatest battle of humanity. He talked to us about renewing our minds to understand the seriousness of the times and to renew our hope of salvation and be reminded of the price that has already been paid for our redemption. He called us to rise up in faith, to put off all unrighteousness, and to be cleansed and sanctified for this holy battle. He admonished us to be done with all deceit and to walk in absolute truth. He told us to rise up and proclaim His Word and to prophesy and proclaim victory over the land. He said, "Do these things in preparation, and you will win the battle without a fight!"

Extend My Blessing

Ras Robinson

Turn your heart to that needy person today. Blessing upon blessing I have placed in your life. Now it is time to share and give of what you have received. Do not let greed or hoarding have a place in your heart. If you will keep your eyes and ear alert today, I will bring into your path an opportunity to extend My blessing and give some away. The poor will always be present. Your job is not to eliminate all the poor but rather to have your heart be tender to give when I am prompting you. Let your obedience be instant. Turn your heart to that needy person today.

Mark 14:7 "For the poor you always have with you, and whenever you wish, you can do them good; but you do not always have Me."

The Meeting Place

Carolyn Spears

Sound the trumpet! Sound it loud and clear for I am calling you to the meeting place.  Are you willing to meet me there? Are you willing to search it out? For I have called you out to meet with Me in the secret place, the meeting place that you and I can commune together.  

You ask where is this meeting place, but I would tell you search your hearts, search My Word, pray and seek My face -- for I will not easily reveal this to you. I would have you know that this is not a place easily accessed; it is for those who are willing to search it out. Do you want to meet with Me here?  Are you willing to take the time, the effort? For I tell you that I will not make this easy.

I want those who truly want Me and what I desire, for I have a purpose and a destiny for you that requires commitment and passion. My children, meet Me.  Meet Me and I will breathe into you a passion for the things I have destined and purposed, but it will require that you meet Me at the meeting place.

There have been those who have gone before you that have willingly met Me there. Search your hearts, search My Word, seek My face with the passionate effort of a woman on the verge of birthing out the child she has carried, envisioning the destiny and fruition of that child. Sound the trumpet loudly and clearly, for I have called you to meet Me at the meeting place.

A Bond of Compassion

A. T. Tozer

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. --Psalm 126:5-6

The testimony of the true follower of Christ might well be something like this: The world's pleasures and the world's treasures henceforth have no appeal for me. I reckon myself crucified to the world and the world crucified to me. But the multitudes that were so dear to Christ shall not be less dear to me. If I cannot prevent their moral suicide, I shall at least baptize them with my human tears. I want no blessing that I cannot share. I seek no spirituality that I must win at the cost of forgetting that men and women are lost and without hope. If in spite of all I can do they will sin against light and bring upon themselves the displeasure of a holy God, then I must not let them go their sad way unwept. I scorn a happiness that I must purchase with ignorance. I reject a heaven that I must enter by shutting my eyes to the sufferings of my fellow men. I choose a broken heart rather than any happiness that ignores the tragedy of human life and human death. Though I, through the grace of God in Christ, no longer lie under Adam's sin, I would still feel a bond of compassion for all of Adam's tragic race, and I am determined that I shall go down to the grave or up into God's heaven mourning for the lost and the perishing.

And thus and thus will I do as God enables me. Amen.

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