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