Friday, 28 December 2012

Of Jealousy, Ego, and Godly Parents: 1 Samuel 20 (Revived by His Word)

The chapter opens up with some very loaded questions that are replete with the rhetoric of the rationale for sin... NONE.  David was innocent; God is innocent of the insinuations produced by our resistance of Him as sovereign LORD of our lives.  It was Saul's jealousy and misplaced ego, much like it was Satan’s that led him to pursue David with a malicious mind to murder.  An amazing twist to the interlocking themes of the stories of David and Saul and of Christ and Satan is that Satan seemed to have reaped greater success in his efforts in that he did actually kill Christ.  But what started out as a dream come true, became Satan's worst nightmare - he lost the keys to death and hell.  Hence, the souls of those he would have kept in the hopeless captivity of death and the grave would live again, because they accepted the risen Lord, Jesus Christ.

So the miserable end of Saul does accurately depict the certain end that awaits Satan and his affiliates.  May the LORD of Heaven help us choose our association wisely.

We should note however, that although Jonathan eventually died in battle with Saul his father, he still represents those who side with Christ.  Many of Christ's followers will suffer privation and martyrdom, but as it will be for Jonathan's son later in the story is what it will be for believers in Christ - we will sit at the banquet table of our Lord.

But not to be missed in this story is the fact that although God treats us as separate individuals and expects us to make our own choices - much like Jonathan chose not to follow his father, the choices of parents still impact the future of their children; Jonathan died in battle with Saul, but his son mephibosheth did enjoy the good fortunes of his relationship with David.

I know that I've reaped many great benefits from my mother's relationship with Christ.  Thank God for godly parents!

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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Eating healthy in the Yuletide Season

Eating healthy in the Yuletide Season - Health - Jamaica Gleaner - Wednesday | December 19, 2012

In Jamaica, Christmas is a time when many people throw caution to the wind and indulge in food and drinks and various social activities. We don't usually think about our health at this time because 'Christmas comes only once per year'. But does this mean that we cannot make healthy food choices during the Yuletide season?
Remove chicken skin
Christmas is a coming and the chickens, goats, cows, pigs are getting fat for us to feast on, but do we have to gain weight, have uncontrolled blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood cholesterol and pain in ankle, fingers and toes from gouty arthritis after indulging in the feast?
How can we make our holiday meals healthier? Remove the skin and visible fat from chicken, beef, pork, ham, goat and turkey. Bake, roast, steam, stew with no fat instead of frying. Use low-fat or skimmed milk when making the good ol' 'chocolate tea'. Skim the fat and oil from the top of soups and stews before serving. Use less butter, margarine or oil when preparing Christmas cake, pudding or other desserts. Instead, use more blended or pureed fruits as a substitute for fat.
For gravies, sauces and salad dressings, use little or no fat in recipe. Remember that consuming more fat than the body needs or uses is stored as fat and results in unnecessary weight gain, especially if physical activity is not a part of daily routine. This weight gain may result in an increased risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Limit sugar, honey
Sugar, honey, molasses and other sweeteners should be limited or if possible, avoided. This can be achieved by adding more pureed or blended fruits to cake, pudding and other dessert recipes and using less sugar or sweetener, if any at all. Sorrel, the Christmas drink, can be made healthier by using less water, adding less sugar and little or no alcohol. Adding more cloves, pimento, cinnamon sticks and ginger will enhance the flavour of this drink.
Make sorrel healthier
How about using the entire sorrel, including seeds, instead of only the calyx, or outer peels?
Anticancer properties are thought to be in the seeds. Alcohol and sugar add calories, and excess consumption may cause weight gain and increase the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. It would be wise to reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages and choose fresh, unsweetened fruit juices, lightly sweetened drinks, non-alcoholic wines, tonic and sparkling flavoured water.
Skip smoked, pickled foods
Smoked meats, salted or pickled fish, ham, sausages, processed and canned foods are high in salt and sodium. Eating these foods will increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, raise blood pressure and increase the risk of developing heart disease and chronic kidney failure. Processed and salted meats should be cut into thinner slices and smaller portions consumed. Choose fresh, unprocessed cuts of meat, fish, pork, chicken and vegetables because they have less salt and sodium. Use natural seasonings such as onion, scallion, garlic, thyme, pimento, pepper, lime/ lemon, browning and fresh vegetables instead of salt, powdered seasonings, soy sauce and ketchup. As black people, we are more likely to develop high blood pressure than our white, Chinese and Indian counterparts.
Let's not forget the snacks that usually fill up the cupboard. Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, unsalted crackers, baked chips, low-fat or non-fat milk, cheese instead of sweet biscuits, buns, candies, fried chips, sodas and drinks. Remember, snacks are not meals but fillers offered in-between meals and should provide energy, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Without good health, there won't be hope of acquiring great wealth, so let's end 2012 by continuing to make healthy food choices even in the Yuletide season.
Enjoy healthy eating this Christmas and may you have a fat-free New Year!
Marsha N. Woolery is a registered dietitian/nutritionist in private practice and adjunct lecturer at Northern Caribbean University; email:

Friday, 7 December 2012

Salvation: A romance Story – Ruth 3 (Revived by His Word)

Doubtlessly this inspiring story would have inspired Titus 3:2-5 that admonishes "The aged women... (to) teach the young women...."  In seeking answers to our prayers and to fulfilling God's will for our lives we must be aware that God has already endowed each of us with some natural and time-honed capabilities to accomplish these divine purposes.  Here therefore we see Naomi's wisdom, Ruth's charm, virtue, and beauty applied under the blessing of the Lord presenting Boaz with an irresistible offer.

You would imagine that Naomi and Ruth were great friends at this stage of the game; they would have formed a bond built by honesty, love and trust.  It wouldn't be difficult for Ruth to have responded to Naomi's suggestion accordingly, "All that you say to me I will do."  Jesus says of those who would be His friends, "You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I have commanded you." John 15:14.

I'd like to see represented in this story the following:
     Naomi representing Christ - providing the way to a better (more secure/eternal) life
     Ruth representing us - showing willing obedience to every instruction received
     Boaz representing the Father - who will find a way to secure our well-being (salvation)

There is neither deception nor dishonour here, just the pure genius of pragmatic strategy at work.  2 Timothy 3:15 talks of our being "wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."  Salvation, though a gift of God, will not be gained by those who are slight of mind; but are wise (Matt. 25: 2).
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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Eating when dengue fever strikes

Dengue fever is spread by an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. The symptoms of dengue fever include a sudden high fever of 40-40.56 Celsius (104-105 Fahrenheit); headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rash, joint and muscle pain.
As a result of fever and vomiting, dehydration may occur. Pain, nausea and fatigue may lead to a loss of appetite, weight loss and possibly death. The dengue haemorrhagic fever, if not managed or treated immediately, may result in severe anaemia and possibly death because of bleeding into organs and through various orifices of the body.
The treatment for dengue fever is to increase fluid, electrolytes and caloric intake. This can be achieved by drinking more fluids such as coconut water, and fruit and vegetable juices. Fruit and vegetable juices contain simple sugar that is able to provide energy and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium to maintain the body's fluid balance and maintain regular heart beat.
During a bout of fever, the need for calories and fluids increases because the immune system is fighting the foreign bodies that are present in the body. The brain (hypothalamus) regulates the body temperature and requests more water, which is pulled from the cells if fluid intake is not enough. Pulling of water from the cells results in dehydration, and if left untreated, it may result in death. Therefore, it is recommended that fluid intake be increased to meet or exceed demand (six to eight, eight-ounce cups per day).
Additional calories are needed in the form of small, frequent, nutrient-dense (little bit with lots of different nutrients) meals and snacks. This could include thick porridge, thick soups, fruit and cheese, pastry and cheese, and vegetable juices with powdered milk. Additional sugar or sweeteners and vegetable fat are recommended to increase calories and to maintain or achieve appropriate body weight.
When nausea is present, dry foods should be consumed that are non-greasy and low in fat, liquids should be consumed about an hour before or after meal, food should be consumed when in an upright sitting position.
For persons with dengue haemorrhagic fever, they are usually admitted to hospital and given intravenous fluids or drip and possibly given a blood transfusion. Oral fluids are given when recuperating but eventually additional iron-rich foods should be added to diet in the form of dried peas, dried beans, red meat, dark, green leafy vegetables to prevent or treat anaemia. When the iron-rich foods from plant source is being consumed, vitamin C-rich foods should be a part of the same meal. Dried peas and callaloo should be eaten with orange or guava juice or raw tomatoes to aid in the absorption of iron.
It is important that we make healthy food choices to ensure that sick time will be short and that, after dengue, poor nutrition will not be major problem.

Marsha N. Woolery is a registered dietitian/nutritionist in private practice and adjunct lecturer at Northern Caribbean University; email: