Wednesday, 22 April 2015

In the Bond of Peace


This devotional is based on Ephesians 4 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
"Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph. 4: 3
Is peace the absence war? 
No, remember the Cold War. This was not war, but living under the constant threat of war - an eventuality that may hit, when least expected. This is sometimes worse than open war itself - like my having a more horrible time being scared of getting an injection, than getting the injection itself. Living in paranoia.
Is peace a settled dislike for each other; you keep out of my way, and I'll keep out of yours? 
Not according to the text. Note that Eph. 4: 3 speaks of "bond." This means coming together. It is on this basis that Jesus would have advised accordingly, " Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Matt. 5: 23, 24. The idea of a settled disassociation seems to violate the very essence of the Text.
Peace then seems to be the active harmonization of all who would be like Christ - in whom abides the Holy Spirit. It is an incredible thought that two within whom the Spirit abides would find it impossible, or even difficult to get along with each other. For to have the Spirit of Christ within is to love, and love always finds a way. Blessed day to all.

To read and/or listen to Ephesians 4 and to read other related blogs, please click here. 
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

For This Cause

This devotional is based on Ephesians 3 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The possession of requisite competencies is always critical in accomplishing tasks. But even more fundamental than knowing HOW to perform a task is knowing WHY the task is necessary. What are you actually working towards?
The story is told of a child on his way from school passed some men working on a construction site. He proceeded to ask three of them the question, "What are you doing?" The first one responded, "I'm laying bricks;" the second, "I'm feeding my family;" and the third, "I'm building a cathedral."
In speaking about our typical views of education and its purpose, Ellen White wrote in the book Education (p. 13), "Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim." What is true for our views on education is true for the broader scope of church-related activities.  At Northern Caribbean University we offer "quality, Christ-centred education" to fit "each student for committed professional service to country and to God."
Paul starts off his discourse in Ephesians 3 with the words, "For this cause." What cause? At least two targets were alluded to in Ephesians 2:
1. "for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;" (v. 15)
2. "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:" (v. 16).
Father, please open up our minds to conceive what lofty thoughts do inspire you divine biddings, so that with the heart of Christ we may go and do. This we ask in His name, amen.

To read and/or listen to Ephesians 3 and to read other related blogs, please click here.
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Monday, 20 April 2015

Do Not Lie on Your Résumé

Do not lie on your résumé

Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie SMITH
Dear career advisor,
I am applying for a job, the advertisement for which asks for experience at a level above my current job title. Is it OK to change my job title on my résumé to match what they are asking for?
Dear CMS,
It is very important that every detail on your résumé be accurate and honestly convey your abilities and achievements. Do not be tempted to embellish your qualification or experience. It is a matter of integrity. Your employer or prospective employer is at liberty to check your background before and after you are employed. People have lost their jobs in the past because it has been discovered that they were less than honest in their claims at application.
Bear in mind, too, that job titles often vary from one company to the next. However, the functions under those different job titles may very well be the same. So, instead of changing your job title, use the narrative under the employment section on your résumé to show that you have the requisite experience and accomplishments.
Good luck.
Dear career advisor,
I am very frustrated in my present job. I would like to search for a new job, but I am scared my boss will find out as she is well connected. Can I be fired for job hunting?
Dear Scared,
In Jamaica, legally, you cannot be fired for job hunting. Termination must be in accordance with local labour laws, which require that employers provide just cause for termination. Notwithstanding your legal rights, you have to bear in mind that all employment relationships are guided by what has been agreed by the parties in contract, and the code of conduct specific to that organisation.
If it is revealed that you are job hunting, your employer might form the impression that you are no longer interested in the job and further, that you are not sufficiently motivated to perform as expected. Additionally, remember it is not ethical for you to use the employer's resources (which includes computer, paper, telephone, company e-mail and time) to advance your job search.
It is worth mentioning that in most states in the USA many employment contracts are entered into under terms referred to as 'employed-at-will', which means that an employee can be fired for any reason, or for no reason. In such circumstances, you would have no legal recourse if you are fired for job hunting as the employer does not have to give a reason for the termination.
Dear career advisor,
What's the best way to contact a potential employer after you have sent in a résumé and/or application, without seeming like a pest?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

'Help! I have changed my major three times'


With Carolyn Smith

Dear career advisor,
I have changed my major three times since starting university. At first I was doing English, then I switched to education and now I'm doing mass communication. The problem is, I still don't think it's the right fit. If I change again my parents are going to have a fit. What do I do?
Dear Brave (formerly Lost):
Firstly, you need to be commended for bravery in that you do not follow slavishly a path for which you perceive might not be what is right for you. It might be, however, that you now need to re-examine strategies you employ when making the decisions regarding your major. Based on your selections so far it appears that you have a leaning towards the liberal arts.
Understandably, your parents would be concerned if it is perceived that you are making these changes without due consideration (not to mention the expense incurred). Bear in mind, however, that no learning is wasted and even where academic credits are not transferrable to another programme, knowledge gained and skills developed can be of relevance to any industry.
The selection of a major is often associated with the career you intend to pursue. As a first step, therefore, it would be prudent for you to identify your desired career pathway which would then inform your selection of a major. Deciding on a career path may require that you:
i. Assess yourself. Career tests are valuable tools for doing this. Your Career Services Centre or your Counselling Services Centre are good places to get assistance.
ii. Create a list of careers for which you have interest and narrow the list after each step below
iii. Explore the options on your career list.
iv. Conduct Informational Interviews. This can be done face-to-face or 'follow' the individual's career progress on a professional network
v. Write a career action plan.
vi. Use the information gleaned about yourself and the desired career pathways to decide on your major
A systematic approach, such as suggested above, will assist you in making your career decision.

Dear career advisor,
I have been hearing a lot about the logistics hub and the number of jobs it is supposed to create.
What possibilities do you think there are for me? I have five CXCs and I am going to resit Maths in June.
Dear BA:
Congratulations on your attainment at the CSEC level and also for deciding to re-sit Mathematics. You may want to consider enrolling in a tertiary level programme to better prepare yourself for employment. Mathematics is usually a requirement for entry in most of these programmes. Additionally, mathematical reasoning abilities enhance your employability skills.
The term logistics hub is really the central area of operation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. With the impending expansion of the Panama Canal, the industry is presently booming. It is a growing industry that ensures that goods and services are delivered to consumers on time. There are many types of jobs in this industry, which can be loosely categorised as:
+ Direct Services: managerial, skilled (egs. languages, Information Technology, sciences, environmental science, geography, mechanics) and non-skilled jobs (egs. drivers, warehousing, customer service) are included in this category
+ Indirect Services: These include positions in academia and training, production of goods, provision of services, language skills, and economics.
Undoubtedly, among the plethora of career opportunities that the proposed logistics hub will provide you would be able to find jobs for which you skills would be a great match.

Carolyn Smith director of Career & Employment Services at Northern Caribbean University. Contact her at

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Take A Healthy Bite For Longer Life

When I was a child, Grandma always warned us not to use our teeth to dig our graves. Now she is 106 years old and as strong as a lion, while some of her children and grandchildren are ailing from nutrition-related illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and obesity.
How healthy is your bite? Are you digging your own grave with your teeth?
March is National Nutrition Month and it is important for us to focus on what we are biting into. Research and personal experience - yours and mine - have shown that the foods we eat contribute either to our health or ill-health.

Why Eat Healthy?

• To improve our immune system and reduce the risk of developing certain illnesses, even the simple flu.
• Prevent unintentional weight gain and weight loss.
• Reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers such as colon, breast and
stomach cancers.
• Reduce the chances of developing heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus, and being overweight or obese.
• Control blood sugars, blood cholesterol, blood pressure and body weight.
• Better rest or sleep.
• Improve overall quality of life.

Tips For Taking A 

Healthier Bite

• Eat smaller amounts of food at meal and snack times.
• Eat and drink from smaller plates, bowls, cups, mugs.
• Eat away from the kitchen, pantry, kitchenette.
• Chew foods slowly ... at least 32 bites.
• Eat then wait about 20 minutes before going back for seconds or more food.
• Use more natural seasonings and spices instead of those that are artificially flavoured.
• Eat a handful of nuts every day.
• Eat three to five servings of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables every day. Eat more salads than cooked vegetables.
• Limit sugar, honey and molasses intake.
• Use less oil, margarine and butter in meal preparation. Bake, boil, steam and stew instead of frying.
• Use plant- or vegetable-based oils that are high in unsaturated fat such as coconut, corn, canola or olive oils.
• Eat less salt and salty foods. Limit sodium intake to one teaspoon (2,500mg) per day for a normal healthy individual. If you have diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, kidney disease, limit sodium intake to half-teaspoon or 1,500mg per day.
• Read food labels carefully ... the less ingredients in the products, the better.

• Eat less servings of carbohydrates-rich foods. It is a part of our culture to eat lots of 'tough food', rice, bread, pudding, dumpling and crackers. Choose three to five, half-cup or four-ounce servings of carbohydrates-rich foods at each meal. Persons who are more physically active should do the upper limit (five) and inactive or overweight persons the lower limit (three).
• Drink or eat about two to three servings of cow's milk or milk products per day. Adults and children need milk for protein, calcium and naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. If you are lactose intolerant, use soy milk, processed milk products or less cow's milk along with your meals. Processed milk such as yogurt and natural cheese (cheddar, mozzarella) have less lactose.
• Drink more water instead of juice, drinks or sodas. Try flavouring your water with lime, lemon, ginger, orange or your favourite fruit or vegetable.
As we celebrate Nutrition Month this March, let us make healthy food choices, chew slowly, wait 20 minutes after eating to decide if we are still hungry and want more food, eat smaller portions or less foods to prevent or control illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers and heart disease.
Let us salute the work of our registered dietitians, registered nutritionists and other nutrition advocates.
- Marsha N. Woolery, RD, is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Fairview Medical and Dental Centre, Montego Bay, and adjunct lecturer at Northern Caribbean University. Email:

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


Freedom :The breath of life ....what this word means to you?

This blog is based on Romans 6 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

"And,having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness." Rom. 6: 18

I've always seen a link between Deuteronomy 5: 15 and Romans 6 as both deal with the issue of deliverance, and that deliverance being the basis of our allegiance to God. "And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day," (Deut. 5: 15). This was the deliverance from Egypt. Romans 6: 18 deals with the real issue - deliverance from sin!

Note also that whereas Deut. 5: 15 has been used to suggest that the Sabbath is exclusively for the Jews, Romans 6 tells why that isn't so. Instead, we have an even bigger reason to give God our allegiance. Hallelujah!

Captured below is the general sense of Romans 6 that I have been impressed. Be blessed:

So we're not refused because we sin, but we're neither kept in it;
SIN MUST CEASE without and within, and before we die in it
But praise the Lord, it's not all up to us; we don't each must find our way
Why, Jesus came to deliver us and with His life our ransom He did pay
And now we're freed we'll no longer live as those once bound by sin
No, Jesus died the best gift to give, and now He lives within


To read and/or listen to Romans 6 and to read other related blogs please click here.
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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Amazing Jesus: Phenomenal Mediator

This blog is based on Romans 5 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.

The rift between contending parties can sometimes get so extreme that to broker peace between these parties is a matter of life or death for the mediator. For Jesus it was death, as He came into Satan's usurped/appointed domain hoping to woo/reconcile us back to God.
In a mysterious twist of events Jesus' death did not result in His failure, but rather ensured the success of His mission. And the result of this mission?

1. Peace with God (verse 1)
2. Access to Grace (verse 2)
3. Hope of glory (verse 2)
4. Joy in suffering that produce endurance and character (verses 3 & 4)
5. God's love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (verse 5)

Praise God for Jesus, Who is all the mediator we need. Little wonder then that Paul would say, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Tim. 2: 5.

To read and/or listen to Romans 5 and to read other related blogs, please click here.
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Monday, 2 March 2015


This blog is based on Romans 4 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

The world operates on a system of merit; earned privileges:

1. We study hard to pass exams. This in turn improves our chances of landing a good job

2. We work diligently/smartly to earn money; the harder and smarter we work, the more we expect to get. Scripture posits this position too.

3. We must have a "good" business plan or idea if we hope to attract investors.

4. We must be considered "nice/eligible" to successfully woo a mate; some folk look for those who to them are good-looking, intelligent, financially secure.

Image result for forgiveness images

There's nothing necessarily wrong with the above situation, as far as the distribution of limited resources is concerned. In making some decisions, we cannot do much better than that as we're only able to look "on the outward appearance," (1 Sam. 16: 7) to determine the most eligible. And still, even among us, there are things that are by Grace and not by merit. These include:

"Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance," (Gal. 5: 22), forgiveness (Matt. 18: 22). This is not an exhaustive list, but the idea is clear: to the extent that we have received these bounties from God in how He relates to us, we're to treat our fellow beings accordingly - "freely ye have received, freely give." Matt. 10:8.

To read and/or listen to Romans 4, and to read other related blogs, please click here.

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Friday, 27 February 2015

Caution: Know the Limitations of our Mission

This blog thought is based on Romans 1 that is read in association with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.
"Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations" Rom. 1: 5
Romans 1 is an exposition of God's authority and power to judge and to save. It is in this capacity that He offers us salvation.
We should know and understand our mission:
1. It is to highlight that God has an unapologetic and legitimate claim on all peoples of the world.
2. It is to show God as a benevolent Judge (Saviour) whose desire is to deliver a judgment of life and not of death; 
3. It is not to be executioners of His judgments, but announcers of His plan to save us 
4. It is not just what we do openly, but in what we find pleasure that we accomplish, or fail to accomplish God's will
I don't own a firearm; and I doubt I ever will - 'cause of all things I'll want to do, not one of them is to kill. Persons who've handled firearms however, have told me though that once it is in their possession, they feel a certain power and invincibility. I suppose that is why a precocious boy would have the nerve to walk into someone's home or place of business and make demands - while wielding a loaded threat in his hand. Sadly, there are "Christians" who exhibit a similar trigger happy mentality - all the time "acting on the authority of Scripture," as they intimidate people with the threat of God's impending judgment on sinners.  Well, that's not our mission. "Obedience of faith" does not come from driving fear into people; it comes from an awakening of love.
Instead of trying to "steal" people's right to choose, why not give them something worthwhile to choose instead? Let's point them to our God of love.

To read and/or listen to Romans 1 and to read other related blogs please click here.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Immunity to the Serpent's Venom

This devotional is based on Acts 28 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.

"He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm." Acts 28: 5

when the people saw paul get bit by the snake they started talking ...
What a symbolic defiance of the Serpent's most threatening weapon. I recall watching a movie some years ago. The main characters were hunting treasure in some long lost, boobie-trapped cave. These were supposed to be very scary, life-threatening traps, but as real as they appeared, they were only an illusion and were overpowered only by mental defiance. But sure enough every new scene seemed scarier than the one before, and it didn't seem so easy to resist. How true a picture of us fighting with the Devil. His power lies not in what he may be able to do to us physically, but in how he might impact our MINDS. Didn't Jesus say, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell?" Matt. 10: 28.

Although facing a sealed destiny no sooner than his rebellion began, Satan's defeat was all but finalized at Calvary, where he exposed his best hand, which wasn't good enough, because three days later Jesus would rise from the dead, snatching the "keys of hell and death," Rev. 1: 18.

The final phase of Lucifer's case in Heaven's courts is that he'll end up in the fire: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Rev. 20: 10.

So isn't it clear that - ALL THE DEVIL WOULD THROW AT US NOW (as ever was the case) IS BUT AN ILLUSION? Therefore, when he hisses, let's stand our ground, and if he bites; just shake him off, in Jesus' name.

To read and/or listen to Acts 28, and to read other related blogs, please click here.

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Prophet Ignored Becomes the Prophet Protected

This devotional is based on Acts 27 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.
What a gripping drama at sea! This is so symbolic of the course of sin; starts out innocently, but will soon develop into a life-threatening storm. Satan means us no good; his only agenda is to destroy us. Don't board that ship of adultery, revenge, political rivalry, selfish indulgence over biblical conformity and love for God and our neighbours, etc.

An interesting element of this story is how at first Paul's warnings were flatly ignored, "But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said," (Acts 27: 11). Doesn't that happen a lot in our day too? Note:
1. Paul didn't become disgusting and pestering; he spoke clearly and directly, and waited. In time God's servant's words would come to pass. All God's words will come to pass.
2. Paul did not become upbraiding, but sought to help. How easy it is at times to abandon people when they get into trouble after flatly ignoring our warnings (sometimes we want to laugh them to scorn). But until it is really too late, we should always labour for the salvation of men's souls.
3. Paul was vindicated:“Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss," (Acts 27: 21 lp). “When all this comes true - and it surely will - then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezek. 33:33). God will not hang us out to dry, what He says will happen, will happen. Let us stand a declare with confidence.
4. Even if at first we're not liked (ignored), if we remain true to the mission, and maintain a genuine interest in the well-being of those we seek to reach, we'll more often than not be respected... protected even at times: "But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan." Acts 27: 43. The prophet ignored did become the prophet protected (note that respect will not always translate to protection: Herod liked John, but still had him beheaded; Pilate liked Jesus too, but...).

To read and/or listen to Acts 27 and to read other related blogs, please click here.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Art of Convincing: Getting People to THINK

This reading is based on Acts 26 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs

“I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defence today against all the accusations of the Jews." Acts 26: 2

In this story there are at least two ways that we can get people to give sincere consideration to what we have to say: 1. Give affirmation; further empower them by seeking their help. Even if this is done with insincerity many persons have successfully used this method of getting people on their side and eventually get what they desire.

While I am certain Paul was not insincere and patronizing in expressing pleasure with the fact that King Agrippa was the one before whom his matter was to be tried, his was a time-proven method of breaking down defences and reaching the inner chambers of ones most earnest attention and consideration. Paul's sincere affirmation of King Agrippa's knowledge and understanding of Jewish customs made it virtually impossible for him not to seek to confirm Paul's words - but more than that - conviction was actually brought to his soul. For this king, Paul's work was done; his blood was on his own shoulders, not Paul's.  Satan manipulated and used this principle insincerely with Eve as he deviously implied that she would become like God - a place worthy of affirmation.

Also, we would learn well not to be dogmatic when presenting the gospel to a non-believer (and even a believer as well). Pull the persons being reached out to into the centre of the story; have their attention, then present Jesus to them. Paul's preamble in essence asked Agrippa for help and actually 'forced' him to think about the matter.

Telling people, "I need your help," is a powerful way of getting them on your side. Once you get them on your side, they then are more disposed to listen to your story in order to help you. It is then that conviction can occur - depending on how credible your story is. Jesus used this method with the woman at the well. He started out asking her for water to drink (He 'needed' her help) and - you know the rest of the story.

Let us in our interactions avoid that condescending manner, which will in effect say, "You poor ignorant one, here, let me help you." Let us instead start at each one's point of strength, then connect to Jesus.

To read and/or listen to Acts 26, and to read other related blogs, please click here.

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Monday, 16 February 2015

Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos: Inspiring Trio

This devotional is based on Acts 18 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

I was drawn to trio of Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos in this text; intrigued at how with Apollos' great potential he was taken under the wings of Aquila and Priscilla and groomed for a more fulsome ministry in the Church. Having laboured over the thought that this sort of mentorship is so needed today - not excluding aiding young ones of promise to access the benefit of our formal educational offerings - I am the more convinced that we need emulate the example of this committed couple in ministry.

The name Apollos is of Greek origin and means "destroyer, or one that destroys." It seems to be a variation of Apollo, who in Greek (and Roman) mythology is the god of prophecy, medicine, music, art, law, beauty, poetry, light and wisdom. Apollos' profile seems to more so fit this bill - contrary to what his name actually means. Context would however aid us in extracting some sense from this seeming conflict of terms.


Imagine that being filled with the Holy Spirit, competent in Scripture, and endowed with eloquence of speech (in line with the meaning of Apollo) that Apollos is equipped as terrible destroyer of Satan's kingdom as he tears down the bars and fenced walls of ignorance that have held people captive to the vices of the Devil.

As we look in our local churches today we should seek to reach individuals where they are and do our best to aid in their empowerment for ministry. Is there a vibrant education fund in your local church? How seriously do we take this matter of mentorship. Mind you, it's not just about money; it's also about modeling appropriate behaviour, befriending the young, and just simply loving everyone into the Kingdom. The existence of such a fund however is a key indicator of how seriously we take supporting the mission of the Church.

Father, thank you for the inspiration of Priscilla and Aquila who were willing to support young Apollos. Thank for the demonstration of humility of Apollos who didn't think he knew it all, but allowed himself to be helped. Today I ask that that situation be repeated many times over in our experience we pray, in Jesus' name, amen.

To read and/or listen to Acts 18 and to read other related blogs, please click here.
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