Friday, 29 November 2013


"Out of Egypt have I called my son.’’(Psalm 114:1)

In the hundred and fourteenth Psalm, King David celebrates the triumphs of God, joyously extoling lively strains of praise. It is fitting therefore that this Psalm made a part of the great Hallelujah, or song of praise, which the Jews sang at the close of the Passover-supper. It must never be forgotten:

1.      That they were brought out of slavery (v. 1).

2.       That God set up his tabernacle among them (v. 2).

3.       That the sea and Jordan were divided before them (v. 3, v. 5).

4.       That the earth shook at the giving of the law, when God came down on Mount Sinai (v. 4, v. 6, v. 7).

5.       That God gave them water out of the rock (v. 8).

In singing or reflecting on this psalm we must acknowledge God’s power, goodness and love in what he did for Israel. As we approach the Sabbath let us meditate on what God is doing for us- allowing His grace to manifest in our lives on a daily basis.  Let us therefore remember our redemption through Christ, and our mission to encourage ourselves and others to trust God in all circumstances.

Thursday, 28 November 2013


(This reading is based on Psalm 113 and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.)

Condescension: the Science of Salvation

Stooping and lifting a heavy object off the ground is not only a safe and effective way of lifting, but it also provides an object lesson for what Jesus did in His great act of condescension. "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" Phil. 2: 7. Verse 9 tells us, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name." And what did Jesus say about His being exalted/lifted up?  "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John 12: 32.

Human Limitation

Now it's not always about arrogance that it'll be so difficult to see, even leaders within our own church. Most times it is because they are so overwhelmed with heavy responsibilities that take up their time - even members of their immediate families sometimes suffer from their absence from home. This is just a sad fact of the limitation of humanity that we must constantly try to work around in order to maintain balance.

As if I'm the Only One

Today I rejoice that the One who scattered the stars across the sky, the One who secures the sun in its specified place, the One who made the majestic mountains, yeah the One to whom billions of angels bow in humble obedience, as my personal God, has made me to know:

1. He knows me by name - "But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." Isa. 43: 1

2. The hairs on my head are numbered - "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matt. 10: 30

3. I have constant access to Him - "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isa 65: 24. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Ps. 46: 1.

4. He has a plan for my life - "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jer. 29: 11. " Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Jer. 1: 5.


Lord, from a human perspective, to enjoy the kind of relationship that we each do with You, it is as if we are the only ones that You are concerned with.  And yet we know that we should treat everyone with every care and sensitivity that we would ascribe to our own selves, because you value all of us the same.  Thank you for being such an awesome God, in Jesus' name, amen.

To read and/or listen to Psalm 113 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Odd Lessons

(This reading is based on Psalm 112 and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.)

"His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed." Psalm 112: 2

As I read Psalm 112 I'm seeing some rather "odd lessons" regarding passing along legacies to your offspring and what the real implications of being rich are.

Legacies are Legacies

I don't recall ever hearing anyone really complaining about the "injustice" of parents leaving a fortune behind for their children. If there are complaints, it's usually not about that principle of leaving the legacy per se, but possibly of that principle not being observed, or maybe about the means by which the gains were gotten, or how it might have been shared up among the legitimate heirs. But it is generally expected that as a principle the accumulations of parents should pass on to their children. 

But has it occurred to us that if the above principle were to stand, it shouldn't really matter if the legacies are considered good or bad? So much like wealth and honour may be passed on, so too should poverty, death and dishonour - without any cries of injustice. The Apostle Paul argued along this very line when he said, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." The good thing here is that we get to choose our preferred legacy - whether that of the father of John 8: 44 (the devil), or the heavenly Father of Mathew 6: 9. I like the last part of Romans 5: 12 where it says, "for that all have sinned;" which suggests that somehow though, what we inherit is ultimately up to us.

The Real Measure of Wealth

The focus on the truly wealthy person is not so much what he/she accumulates, but rather on how much he/she disseminates among the poor and needy, "He has dispersed abroad; he has given to the poor." Psalm 112: 9. This means that you are measured more by your value (what you give) to society than your cost (what you amass) to society. The world's measurement is usually the latter. What this means is that from a biblical perspective, a person of lesser means than another may very well be deemed the wealthier of the two. So it really comes down to who has a heavenly hope, and whose actions are inspired by "grace, compassion, and righteousness," (verse 4) - indicators, or the burden of true wealth.

To read and/or listen to Psalm 112 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

I Figured It Out!

This reading is based on Psalm 111 and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments." Psalm 111: 10

It's All About Where You Start

Life is like a maze; unraveling its mystery can be unnerving and frustrating. But to solve the mystery of life is wisdom. Many times we miscalculate. So often things that start out well only end up in disaster. The search for certainty is indeed as confusing as following a path in a maze. There are versions of the game that give you multiple options of where to begin.  In those instances it all depends on where you start.


The Psalmist is here very certain where the maze should start, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," (verse 10). Fearing God involves: 1.       

Acknowledging His existence; 2. Acknowledging His power; 3. Acknowledging His creatorship; 4. Acknowledging His sovereignty and right to our worship.  But these are largely legitimate claims and don't necessarily engender love.  But what does evoke love however is that, "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion," (verse 4).  This is what He revealed to Moses (Ex. 34: 6, 7).  So John concludes, "We love Him, because He first loved us." 1 John 4: 19.

But You Must Maintain Course

Life has its unique twists and turns, and is such that even though you may have started out right, you may still go off course.  The exciting thing though is that God is there to give instructions at every crossroads - "a good understanding have all those who DO HIS COMMANDMENTS."  This too is about love.  Jesus says, "If you love Me keep My commandments." John 14: 15.

To read and/or listen to Psalm 111 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

Monday, 25 November 2013

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On the Campaign Trail

This reading is based on Psalm 110 and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.

"Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power." Psalm 110: 3

Like a Democracy, but not Quite

One of the fundamental flaws of a democracy is the very thing that is often used to confirm that it is working - that there are at least two sides and that one side will invariably lose to the other (always believing there was a good chance of winning).  Now, although being a part Christ's Kingdom is by choice ("volunteers" verse 3) and not by force, the outcome of our choices is known beforehand; followers will live and detractors will not. This is why our work of publishing the tidings of His Kingdom is so important - people need to know what their options really are.

Publish the Kingdom of Grace

During the earthly phase of His ministry Jesus proclaimed, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Matt. 4: 17. That was the announcement made by John the Baptist (Matt. 3: 2), and that was the message that Jesus gave His disciples during their training, (Matt. 10: 7). This is our work today.

The Disciples, as were the Jews, were anxious for the re-establishment of Israel as a sovereign state, "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Acts 1: 6. In His response Jesus said, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1: 7, 8.

The content of our message is about, "a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God," through whom we have access to the, "throne of Grace/(Kingdom of Grace)."

Kingdom of Glory

When the Kingdom of Glory will be established and declared it'll then be too late for us to choose; our destinies would have then been decided; battle lines would have then been drawn and the final destruction of the enemies of the State of Heaven will be destroyed. " And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.   And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses.   And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.   And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords." Rev. 19: 11-16.  And so as a final warning of impending judgement Jesus declares in Rev 22: 12, "And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."  Declaration of His coming is pretty much how He started the message of Revelation, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."

Father in Heaven, today I cast my vote on the side of Christ.  Please establish Your Kingdom in my heart and begin Your reign in my life now I ask, in Jesus' name, amen.

To read and/or listen to Psalm 110 and to read other related blogs please click here.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

We Want Justice, We Want Justice!

(This reading is based on Psalms 109, read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the the General Conference of SDA.)

"For He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those who condemn him." Psalm 109: 31

Switch Our Positions

If you have ever walked on the road while its raining, and were ever splashed by a passing car, you may have wished at one point or another, that you could switch positions with the driver - not out of covet, but just so he/she can appreciate the need to be more considerate when driving. So amidst the strong language used in this Psalm seems to be simple cry for justice. What the writer wishes would befall the "wicked" is nothing more that is the common lot of the poor. The cry is to the end that those who are apt to judge learn things from another perspective than from their arrogant, proud and privileged positions.


Jesus Assumed Our Lot

Hebrews 2 is most expansive on the subject of why Jesus took on our lot: "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted;" (verses 9, 10, 17 and 18).

Justice Served

So when at length Jesus will execute final judgement, instead of people staging a road block and be chanting, "We want justice, we want justice," they'll be saying, "just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." Rev. 15: 3.

To read and/r listen to Psalm 109 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

Monday, 18 November 2013

No Pointless Praise

(This reading is based on Psalm 103, read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day  Adventists.)

"Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name." Ps 103: 1

In the first four (4) Commandments of the ten (10) listed in Exodus 20 God is quite articulate about His desire for our worship.  In fact, He's downright jealous for it (Ex. 20: 5).  And yet He's not arrogant about it - albeit that He made us.  Bearing in mind that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God," we see Him through David in Psalm 103 providing a litany of reasons why He deserves our praise; reasons that are not just cosmic, but as personal as we could require them to be.  Here are some excellent reasons to worship, yeah "bless" the Lord:

Verse 3 -  Iniquities forgiven;  Diseases healed

Verse 4 -  Redemption from destruction; Crowned (Treated) with lovingkindness and tender mercies

Verse 5 - Satiated with good thing; sustained as an eagle


Verse 6 - Executes righteous judgement on behalf of the oppressed.

Verse 8 - Merciful, gracious, and slow to anger

Verses 10-13 - Pitied us as a forgiving father; seeking to remove our transgressions from us instead of punishing us as we deserve.

Verses 19-22 - Incidentally, He's not just a private, personal God; "His throne is prepared in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all."  He's the God of angels; powerful armies of angels!  And on a whole other level (outside of the singular fact of His creatorship), He's the God of whomever chooses to do His pleasure - to such He's able to treat with the full spectrum of His salvific virtues.


After such a recital David could only end as he started, "Bless the Lord O my soul!"

To read and/or listen to Psalm 103 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

Friday, 15 November 2013

No Favours... No Requests... Just Praise!

(This reading is based on Psalm 100, and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists.)

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands!" Psalm 100: 1

How much effort does it take to come to God with only praise on our lips; no favours asked, no requests made, just praise given?  Here's a fairly popular line (at least in essence), "We pray that you accept our worship and our praise today, because You have been an awesome God to us."  Although laced with praise, this is a request.  The truth is, requests are hard to avoid.

                         1 a spirit praises.JPG

But Psalm 100 makes it look easy.  From start to finish it is pure, unadulterated praise.  There are no complaints, no cries for justice, no protests against inequity.  All the Psalmist cares about is that, "the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations."

The chorus of one of my favourite songs, "Calvary's the Reason Why," is really a prayer that I'd like to share:
Sometimes I just want to praise You
Sometimes, just to speak Your name
Sometimes, I just want to thank You
Without asking You, for a thing
Sometimes I lift my hands to You
Sometimes all I do is cry
Everything that I have, I owe to You
Lord, and Calvary's the reason why

To read and/or listen to Psalm 100 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Callaloo: more than just iron

Marsha N. Woolery, Healthy Eating & Diet

allaloo is a dark-green leafy vegetable that is usually steamed, and is most times overcooked with salted fish, salted mackerel or with beans. In recent times, there has been a new trend, 'green juice', with callaloo as one of the main ingredients.

Callaloo has many nutrients and the nutritive value varies, depending on the state in which it is eaten, whether raw or cooked.

According to the Food Composition Tables for the Caribbean (1998 and 2000), about half cup of raw callaloo provides:
26 kilocalories
2.3 milligrams of iron
611 milligrams of potassium
215 milligrams of calcium
1 gram of fibre
20 milligrams of sodium
43 milligrams of vitamin C
2.5 grams of protein

To get half-cup of cooked callaloo, one cup of raw callaloo must be used. When heat is applied to callaloo and most leafy vegetables they shrink and lose water. When callaloo, and other fibrous vegetables, are cooked, some of the fibre is converted to starch and provides energy. Cooked callaloo provides more nutrients than raw callaloo.

Half-cup cooked callaloo provides:
45 kilocalories
3.45 milligrams of iron
537 milligrams of potassium
301 milligrams of calcium
6.5 milligrams of fibre
242 milligrams of sodium
3.6 grams of protein

Recently, at the end of a nutrition talk at a church, an elderly lady asked me, 'How do you steam vegetables at home?' Intrigued by the question, I answered:

Place sauce pan with 2-3 tablespoons of water with a pinch of salt, one clove of chopped garlic,one small onion, one sprig thyme, quarter hot pepper on medium flames and heat for 1-2 minutes (look for small bubbles)
Place 1.5-2 cups of raw chopped callaloo in seasoned water and cover
Stir contents after 1.5-2 minutes on heat.
Add tomato wedges and diced carrots and cover pot for an additional two minutes
Remove from heat to prevent overcooking and serve

The participants, with a look of approval clapped. At that point, I realised it was a trap or a test, and I smiled.

How do you cook your callaloo?

Here are some tips for cooking callaloo:

Add a small amount of water to pot, because water in the cells of the leaves and stalk is removed and helps in the cooking process. Hence the phrase, 'Callaloo spring water'
Add a small amount of table salt, processed meats or fish. Persons with high blood pressure should avoid processed meats and fish and powdered seasonings.
Avoid or limit the amount of oil, margarine or butter
Cook on low flame in a covered pot.

Callaloo, the nutrients and your health

The potassium helps to lower or maintain blood pressure and regulate heartbeat. Persons with kidney disease should not eat raw or cooked callaloo because it is a potassium-rich food.

The calcium makes strong bones and teeth and aids in the clotting of blood. After seven months of age, callaloo should be a part of the infant's diet.

The fibre in callaloo helps to form bulk in the faeces, makes a person feel less hungry after eating, slows the absorption of glucose in the cells, traps excess fat in the intestines and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol. These functions of fibre in callaloo helps to reduce the risk of obesity, controls blood-sugar levels and lowers the risk of heart disease.

Raw callaloo is an excellent source of vitamin C and should not be overcooked so that this delicate vitamin can be retained.

The protein content is higher in cooked callaloo, but is not a high quality protein. Therefore, callaloo should be added to peas, beans, fish, chicken or meat to improve the protein quality of a meal.

Cooked callaloo provides more iron than raw callaloo. However, to get the iron in the blood, callaloo should be consumed with fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, such, tomato, oranges or West Indian cherries. The vitamin C helps to pull the iron from the callaloo into the blood to prevent anaemia (weak blood). Callaloo should not be consumed with milk or dairy products because the calcium in the milk prevents the iron from getting in the blood and increases the risk of anaemia.

Does callaloo increase blood pressure?

This is a myth! Callaloo, by itself, does not increase blood pressure. It has to do with the salt, powdered seasonings, butter, oil or margarine, and the salted/smoked/cured or processed meats and fish that callaloo is usually cooked with. Eating high-fat and high-sodium foods have been found to increase blood pressure.

Callaloo is naturally high in potassium, which helps to control blood pressure.

Callaloo is no magic food, but should be a part of our diet on a regular basis.

Grow and eat ,or buy, callaloo from a safe source to boost our health and Jamaica's economy!

Marsha N. Woolery is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Fairview Medical and Dental Center, Montego Bay and adjunct lecturer at Northern Caribbean University; email:

The Sanctuary and Justice

(This reading is based on Psalm 98, read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists)
"For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity." Ps. 98: 9

Justice is Coming

It is common to our experience that whenever we're taken before a judge it is that we're in some sort of trouble. Hence the coming of "the judge" rather than making for gleeful anticipation, it rather brings trepidation. But that's with this current system where justice often eludes us. But then there's yet another "Big But;" Jesus Christ, the righteous judge is coming, and He's going to reverse every injustice ever done.

The Sanctuary

Psalm 73: 17 says, "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end." The final act on the Day of Atonement, when the High Priest exists the Most Holy place and then places his hand on the scape goat tells me that the culpable one (Satan) will be brought to book finally (Lev 16: 21).

I am not only intrigued by this promise of justice (Rev. 22: 12), but that what seemed like a twisted mode of justice will be straightened out in this act. If there were a family with a number of brothers of varying characteristics. Among the lot is a committed Christian on the one hand, but there's also another who is a seasoned criminal, on the other hand. In a case where the criminal was seen in flight from a scene where he committed a most heinous crime, the community in pursuit of jungle justice caught the Christian brother and pounded out their anger on him; he didn't survive the ordeal. Upon hearing about it you are dismayed (it was your little daughter that was raped and murdered). The Christian brother had come to visit with you and to promise full support and cooperation in securing justice, and to also bring you relief. But now he's dead and the criminal is still at large. It's not even as if you believe in mob justice, but if you're going to do it, then at least do it right. Your emotions are now compounded, and you are without a sense that justice has been served. 

                                                                     Day 69: The scale of Justice (Num. 35-36) | Adam's Odyssey

One does get a lingering sense that justice seems hardly served by Jesus (the innocent one) dying for our sins. The good news is though - His death isn't the last thing that will happen. The last thing that will happen is that Satan (the originator of sin) will be punished for every confessed sin that Christ has atoned for (Rev. 20). After his execution sin and sorrow will be no more (Rev 21: 4).

To read and/or listen to Psalm 98 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Wow... Deep!

(This reading is based on Psalm 92, read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.)

"O Lord, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep." Ps 92: 5

Daily at work Ketisha walks into my office and empties my bin into a big garbage bag she walks around with through the building as she does her daily cleaning. In addition to the garbage bag, she walks with a smile too. Her greetings are heart-warming. "Good morning!" she'll say. "Good morning," I'll respond. But as quickly as she is in, she is out. As I reflected on how pleasant she is and the joy she radiates as she goes about her work I thought one day to reassure her, "You're not measured by what you do you know." That was like he right side of my brain talking. So the 'left' side retorted, "Oh but she is."  "Huh?" The right side became puzzled, so the left expanded:

You see Ketisha is a student worker, who is in the Medical Technology programme. Her long-term goal is to become a medical doctor. What she does now are but stepping stones to a grand vision. So when I look at her I don't see poverty as I see purpose; I don't see a victim, as I see a visionary. If ever I am privileged to share anything with her it's not me giving, as it is me investing. Who knows, maybe one day I'll end up in an emergency room... and who'll be the doctor on duty... Ketisha! Is she to be measured by what she's doing (cleaning my office)? A thousand times yes!

As I read this Psalm, and especially verse five, it reminds me of the passage that says, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead."  God IS measured by what He does, because what He does is a reflection of who He is; an insight into the heart and mind of an awesome Creator, Provider, Sustainer, Redeemer, Guide and Friend.  So the Psalmist in reflecting on the works of God confidently concludes, "Your thoughts (mind) are deep.

To read and/or listen to Psalm 92 and to read other related blogs please click here.