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News Article

December 12, 2013
Let this Christmas be your acceptance of the greatest gift of all time

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16
Many would agree as we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the last month of 2013 that the days are fraught with trials, troubles and tribulations, much to our lack of faith, trust, love and non-forgiveness.
We did and said things that were far from adding to the growth of nation, family, friends and the brotherhood. But most of all, we have not been, for the most part, appreciative of the most valuable gift to humankind of all times, the son of the most high God - Jesus Christ.
Christmas is almost here, and it is all about the son. It is joy to the world and peace toward all men. A story is told about a painting called "My Son", which may bring a clearer picture of what our text is about today in what I would call the acceptance.
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his live. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art."
The young man held out this package, "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.
He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"
There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one." But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding - $100, $200?"
Another voice shouted angrily, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"
But still the auctioneer continued, "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son, "I'll give $10 for the painting."
Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. "We have $10 ... who will bid $20?"
"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters," said a voice.
The auctioneer said, "Ten dollars is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel, "Going once, twice, sold for $10!"
A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"
The auctioneer laid down his gavel, "I'm sorry, the auction is over. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"
God gave his Son, the gift at Christmas over 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. If only you would accept him, then everything belongs to you; similar to the message of the auctioneer. Whoever received the son gets everything. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
Why not let this Christmas be your acceptance of the greatest gift of all time. You have nothing to lose, only everything to gain.

o E-mail rubyanndarling@yahoo.com; write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, comments and concerns. God's Blessings!

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News Article

December 23, 2012
Give the gift of an NAGB Membership

Nassau, Bahamas - Treat someone to the gift of National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) Membership this Christmas! The gift that keeps on giving - the gift of art & culture - a NAGB yearly membership. Contact the National Art Gallery...

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News Article

December 14, 2010
This Christmas Give the Gift of Savings

This Christmas

Give the Gift of Savings at Family Guardian

Toys break and fashion fades, but

a mutual fund certificate can be the gift of a lifetime!

Give the special people in your life the gift of opportunity - for
education, travel, a worry-free retirement. Set them on the path to
savings and wise investing to secure their future.

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News Article

February 02, 2012
Give the Gift of Fashion This Valentine's Day

With Día del Amor y la Amistad just a few weeks away, it's time to
start thinking of what to gift your special sugarplum for Saint
Valentine's Day.

Forget flowers and chocolate and give the gift that will keep on giving, fashion!

Whether
you're in the market for a gift for your main man or a dainty little
number for your special lady, the recently opened Will & Ives
boutique in the Marina Village on Paradise Island has something for
everyone. Carrying Juicy Couture for the ladies and Diesel for men, it's
an ideal spot to snag a nifty new

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News Article

February 21, 2012
The gift of a healthy heart

Hadassah Greene cannot remember the details surrounding the life-saving open heart surgery that she underwent - after all, she was only seven-and-a-half months old - but she happily lives a life that reflects commitment to preserving her life and living it to the fullest.
"I grew up knowing that I had been blessed to be alive all these years," said the now 16-year-old, Kingsway Academy student. "I was born with a hole in my heart and it was through my family's faith in God, the skills of the local doctors and the Heart Foundation that paid for the procedure that resulted in me still being here today. For that I am grateful and I really take being healthy seriously because I don't want to waste this gift I was given."
It was on February 12, 1996 when Denise and Jason Greene welcomed Hadassah, their first child, into the world. The proud parents were health conscious throughout the pregnancy, and did all the required pre-natal examinations. Nothing was amiss with the pregnancy and even when their only daughter was born she still seemed healthy and normal.
"Hadassah was a beautiful baby and seemed normal too," said her mother. "My husband and I did the checkups that were routinely done as a normal baby grows. A physician at the time noted that there was a murmur in her chest. We were told that this wasn't uncommon for a baby but we should watch it. Nothing seemed amiss and we assumed the problem would go away, but when she was four months she was smaller than a regular baby and I noticed she wasn't drinking a lot of her milk. She would drink maybe two ounces and then stop. I took her back to the doctor and they said her heart murmur was still there and it could be causing her fatigue."
She was referred to a pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Jerome Lightbourne who discovered that Hadassah had a hole in the upper right atrium of her heart. The first-time parents were given the option to see if the hole would close on its own and allow Hadassah to be put on medication for the meantime. Within a month of doing that she said she realized it was best to do the surgery instead of waiting and hoping.
"My husband and I already made up our minds to do the surgery even before the doctor told us we would need to do it, since the hole wasn't closing on its own. We knew the best chance she would have to live a normal and healthy life would be to just do the surgery. As soon as we made our decision Dr. Lightbourne set up the team of doctors, anesthesiologist Mark Weech and surgeon Dr. Duane Sands. Hadassah's surgery was performed locally. The Bahamas Heart Foundation guaranteed the funds.
Everything falling into place was a blessing for the mother. To show her gratitude to the organization that paid thousands of dollars to save her daughter's life, she became a member of the Bahamas Heart Association, the educational arm of the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. She and her husband were also able to pay the foundation back for the surgery in installments. Although the foundation pays for life-saving surgeries when people are not in a position to pay, Greene says her family was happy to repay the money because another child would not be able to get urgent help if funds were depleted.
"I am happy to give back because it means another child can be helped. My family is in a position where we can give back financially and we wanted to do the right thing," she said. "Many families are not able to do so and that is why they have things like cookouts and fundraisers to assist in raising funds for the family. Some families repay in the same way, by doing fundraisers as well, and I think it is a great thing because the foundation must go on if more people are to be saved."
Hadassah spent five days in hospital before she was approved to go home. Greene took her daughter in for monthly checkups for the first year after the surgery. Like any concerned parent, Greene's major worry after surgery was whether she could allow the toddler to run up and down and participate in strenuous activities. She was told that there was nothing to worry about and to let her be as active as possible to strengthen her heart.
Since she was given the all-clear, Hadassah only has to undergo annual checkups.
"I am so thankful to the foundation and the team of doctors that saved my daughter's life. It was great that she didn't have to leave the country which made the cost easier on the foundation, and checkups were easier for her. It was so wonderful to see that we have professional, capable and competent Bahamian doctors to do this kind of surgery locally. I'm thankful to God that he spared her life. I am sure Hadassah would not have survived without the closure of the hole. I still thank those who prayed for us and who gave funds to this cause," said Greene.
She has since given birth to two sons, Jason and Christiano who are both healthy. But she says thanks to the foundation and their experience she has no fear that, should another incident occur, there would be someone to help them get through their hour of need.
Hadassah is now a ninth grade student and she is not lax in showing her appreciation for the assistance she got as a baby. She happily tells people her story if they ask. She also lives her life as freely as she can, knowing that other children like her were not so lucky and still undergo medical issues as they grow older. She said she takes care of the gift she was given by being on top of her health as much as she can.
She is always physically active and even competes athletically for her school. Her favorite events are the 200 meter dash and running relays. Even though the shorter 100 meters and the longer 400 meters are not her best events, she says she will compete in them if she's needed. Her athletic interest is spreading to volleyball, which she is learning in hopes of getting good enough at it in order to play competitively.
Hadassah and her family take their healthcare a step further by sticking to a vegetarian diet. The two women of the family eat fish at times, but she said her father is a strict vegetarian and she hopes to one day be like him.
"It is so important to monitor what you eat. It's not just about how food tastes or weight gain. It's also about what is going on inside and what the food you eat does to the body. My brothers and I have always eaten fruits and vegetables since we were children. We don't eat meat except fish at times, but we know that the way we eat is best for us. I know I have to stay healthy and take care of myself as best I can."
She is grateful that she hasn't had any problems with her heart since her childhood surgery, but Hadassah is still aware that future heart-related issues like heart disease are possible. Unlike the condition she was born with, heart disease is something that can happen due to one's lifestyle. This is why she tries to do all she can to be as healthy as possible. She hopes that other young people learn to take their health seriously as well because she said their health is the greatest gift they could ever have.

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News Article

December 21, 2012
Give the gift of an NAGB Membership

Nassau, Bahamas - Treat someone to the gift of

National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) Membership this
Christmas!

The gift that keeps on giving - the gift of art & culture
- a NAGB yearly membership.

Contact the National Art Gallery...

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News Article

November 30, 2010
This Christmas Give the Gift of Savings

This Christmas

Give the Gift of Savings at Family Guardian

Toys break and fashion fades, but

a mutual fund certificate can be the gift of a lifetime!

Give the special people in your life the gift of opportunity - for
education, travel, a worry-free retirement. Set them on the path to
savings and wise investing to secure their future.

read more »


News Article

May 24, 2011
It's a Gift

Eph.2:8.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God:
:9.
Not of works, lest any man should
boast.

This word Grace in the Greek is: Charis,
khar'-ece; and has several meanings such as (1) The divine influence
upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; (2) gratitude, (3) acceptable, (4)benefit, (5) favour, (6) gift, (7) joy, (8) liberality, (9) pleasure, (10) thanks, & (11) worthy.

So, with a little more understanding of the word grace could we read

Eph.2:8,
in this manner?

For by God's divine influence upon our heart, and it's reflection in
our lives we are saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift
of God.

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News Article

December 01, 2010
Every day is a gift

I honestly believe the wise sentiments as expressed in today's title, for each and every day is indeed a very special gift given to us by our Spiritual Father, God in which to really excel and touch the lives of others in a positive, uplifting manner. First thing in the morning upon awakening, commence by thanking God for a good night's rest, and for the 'Gift' of yet another wonderful day, filled with obvious opportunities to serve Him, by serving His children, your brothers and sisters in His ONE Universal Family. Always be grateful, in a thankful mood, firstly for the very 'Gift of Life', and for the opportunity the day has it afforded you to assist others to hav ...

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News Article

March 07, 2011
400,000 gift fuels passion and purpose for the arts

Helen Astarita and her husband, Ben, came to The Bahamas quite by accident more than 50 years ago. But her extraordinary donation of $400,000 to The College of The Bahamas’ School of Communication and Creative Arts. to support budding artists in a thriving art program, is anything but happenstance.
The largest single gift to the college specifically directed toward funding the study of Art, this recent gift is deliberate; a tangible means of helping young, brilliant artists who want to fuel their passions while earning a higher education degree in Art.
The $400,000 gift will be used to establish the Astarita Art Endowment to fund two merit-based scholarships – the Astarita Nassauvi ...

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