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Saturday 18th December 2010 8:00 AM
Native Dishes: Chicken Souse, Sheep Tongue Souse, Stew Conch, Boil Fish & Stew Fish American Dishes: Omelets, Egg Platters, Pancake Platters, Sandwiches, Breakfast Burritos & New York Strip with Eggs Free Wi-Fi
The Bahamas Department of Meteorology has just issued a severe thunderstorm watch update; from 1:55 p.m. until 4:00pm Friday 25th, may 2012.
A severe thunderstorm watch is now in effect for Andros, New Providence, Berry Islands, South Abaco, Middle and Upper Exuma Cays, Eleuthera, Northern Cat Island and their adjacent waters.
At 1:50 p.m. radar and satellite data indicated lines and clusters of thunderstorms pushing east and northeastward from central Cuba and the Great Bahama Bank, across the tongue of the ocean toward the watched areas.
Some of these thunderstorms are heavy to occasionally severe at times causing strong gusty winds, dangerous lightning, heavy downpours, flooding in low-lying areas, and possible waterspout or tornadic activity.
Boaters in the warning areas should seek safe harbour and residents in the warning areas should stay indoors and away from windows until conditions improve.
All boaters in the watched areas should remain alert and residents in the watched areas should try to remain in doors.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -- St. Matthew 6:33.
Our lesson text today is a very familiar verse of scripture that can be quoted by many. While being able to roll it off the tongue, how many have taken it to be the benchmark of success? How many have used it as the basic tenet of faith in training up their children in the way they should go? As a matter of fact, how many really believe this to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
The violent happenings in our land, especially among the youth is a loud call of national distress. No amount of foreign investment can offset the tragic loss of male life. When the quality of life is diminished among young men, the hope of the future is bleak.
Barely do I get written responses from my weekly messages, but does that mean I should not continue with the witness and the message? Indeed not! If the message is despised and the messenger rejected, then the consequences of not receiving will allow sorrow to roll like billowing seas.
Thinking of the consequences of judgment and punishment at the last day, of losing heaven and going to hell: nor even of the sorrow and loss we may perhaps bring in some future time upon others by our past misdoing, is not sufficient. That kind of observation will not bring the kingdom to us or to others. Here is the cure.
We must return to our Father at once and tell Him of our sorrow and ask for His gracious face to look upon us again, and for His help and guidance to put the wrong right, and to let us be His faithful servants again and the children of His love. And this He will certainly allow. For when we call Him our Father we mean that which is true. He really is our Father and what He desires is just for us to come back to Him. He will not keep us waiting for His forgiveness, but is already ready to welcome us.
But why is it that we find or make it difficult to trust Him so simply. Our Lord Jesus came and lived and taught and died for us just that we might know Him and trust Him when our hearts fail. Come to me He said. Come with me and I will bring you to our Father, your Father and mine. That is why we end our prayers with "Through Jesus Christ our Lord" or "For Jesus Christ's sake" -- He is our mediator.
Can we find the kingdom of God via Google, or through treasure hunts, a voyage around the world, archeological discovery, even by having national primaries and elections? Indeed not. The Bible says that the Kingdom of God is within you or among you.
Trying to play upon words whether it is within or among, matters little. What matters is that the kingdom is already here in our midst only to be recognized within our hearts, in the quiet loving thoughts which no disturbance outside can destroy. Sometimes our minds within us are themselves disturbed, as mine was a few days ago. It is at this time we can best find the kingdom -- by looking at others, at God's mercies operating around us. At the good examples others afford us. At the unexpected undiscovered kindnesses shown us by others, or even by the richness of a Sunday morning church service.
Our business is not to take the measure of our own progress. We are sent here to stick to the precept and to do right, not to plan our course and other peoples but to do good. A good conscience is a conscience open toward God, not an easily satisfied conscience. A broken contrite heart is the sacrifice. Those who are most conscious of wrong within, who confess most frequently to failure, are asking the most honest search for the kingdom -- the kingdom in which we build and are built by God's righteousness not our own.
Today, make a sincere effort to seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. The treasure of such a divine search would be all that your heart should desire.
oE-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 19725 SS, Nassau, Bahamas, with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!
Emile Hunt is the latest emerging Bahamian writer to take his work to the top and represent The Bahamas on a global scale - this July, a short story he penned will appear in the prestigious Transition Magazine, published by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University.
Guided by a suggestion and then encouragement by his fellow writer and friend Keisha Ellis, who looked over the short story, he took a chance and submitted the work to the magazine despite being intimidated by the Harvard name.
Four months later, he was elated not only to find out that the story had been accepted, but that the chief editor of Transition Magazine personally relayed her positive remarks to his work.
"I wanted to shout in joy but I didn't, I just said a quick prayer and said thanks because I am really grateful for this talent God has given me," said Hunt.
"I'm grateful for this opportunity to have my work in the magazine and at the fingertips of so many readers. A Bahamian work getting out there, a Bahamian voice getting out there in this form of academia - I'm just thankful for that."
The short story, "Names of the Dead", said Hunt, examines the life of wayward pastor Mario Major struggling under the weight of the legacy of his forefathers. In a magical realist twist, he begins hearing voices of marginalized and troubled individuals in the world of the dead and begins feeling their effects on his physical and emotional health.
"Not until he comes to some realization of the people he should represent just like his forefathers - this disenfranchised - and helps them, not until he comes to accept the names of the dead, will he come to his true self and his identity," explains Hunt.
The story is just one of many in an impending short story collection by the promising young fiction writer. After completing his English language and literature studies at The College of The Bahamas, he went on to pursue an MFA in creative writing at the University of West Indies in 2008, beginning his collection of short stories then. Though he's completing his MFA this year, he's already looking at PhD programs in creative writing.
Some of his work has already been published in Poui, tongues of the ocean, and Small Axe, yet he hopes to begin finding a publisher for the complete finished collection this year. No doubt the latest acceptance of his work is the vote of confidence he needs to put the finishing touches on the work, complete the MFA and simultaneously find a publisher.
"The reason my collection took so long is because I couldn't complete them in Trinidad," said Hunt. "They were Bahamian stories and I was detached from my setting. I couldn't put the finishing touches on them until I got home and immersed myself in the people and the culture."
Indeed his work, like "Names of the Dead", examines masculinity through male relationships in The Bahamas - whether father and son or friend-to-friend or even lover to lover. Such a decision, said Hunt, serves to highlight the importance of positive male roles models in society.
Hunt himself is doing his part - he's currently teaching English language and literature at C. V. Bethel. Besides keeping his writing practice sharp by keeping him in touch with the basics, teaching an especially underperformed subject across the board in Bahamian schools allows him to encourage a respect and love for reading and writing in Bahamian youth.
"Spiritually, I believe men have an obligation not only to their families but to younger men, to teach them how to carry themselves in society," he said. "They can look at me with my rough exterior and see that it's ok for a man to express his feelings, to write about the experiences of others, to involve yourself in the depth of a character."
"It's important to change the path that most of our young men are on," he continued. "In my classes, the young men have come to realize what we call reading and education are not 'sissy' or 'light' or the easy way out, it's a way to express yourself."
Yet a love and appreciation for that craft also begins at a young age - something, which as a teacher, he encourages parents to develop in children the ways his parents did.
"I think it's important for parents to encourage reading. I remember my parents reading to me at a really young age," he said.
"I was rapt and from then on I was obsessed with characters and stories. Everything I could get my hands on, I read. My parents encouraged that, they poured that into me. I think it's important for parents to take note of what they pour into their kids."
Hunt is also grateful to his own mentors - Sis. Annie Thompson, Arlene Nash Ferguson, Fr. Sebastian Campbell and Dr. Ian Strachan, to name a few - who he believes have also helped him get to this milestone as a writer.
Next up, he and Keisha Ellis will attend the Cropper Writer's Workshop in Trinidad, a by-application only prestigious workshop that is held every two years for Caribbean writers. With this new accomplishment under his belt, he is ready more than ever to take Bahamian writing to the world and make a great impression on the globe.
"We're excited to go there and show them what Bahamian literature is all about," he said. "We're going to show that we have powerful stories also, we have tales we can share."
"I think this generation right now, this group of writers moving forward, this movement is going to be something great," he continued. "I think it's going to shock the world. There are more avenues being opened up to us in a globalized world with readerships, so it's going to draw eyes down here to see what we're doing in The Bahamas and that's going to be beneficial for all of us."n
The Local Designer Profile question and answer series is designed to
give you an intimate glimpse into the background and artistic process of
young movers and shakers in the local fashion industry in The Bahamas.
local designer David Rolle, the talent behind the line House of
Raphelita is making waves in the local fashion industry. The
twenty-something designer recently snagged The Culture and Fashion Award
at the Islands of the World Fashion Showcase (IWFS) held locally in May
and kept tongues wagging as the designer of choice, dressing the First
Lady Mrs. Bernadette Christie at the official Opening...
The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. - Psalm 104:12
Dusk falls very quickly and I was washing the dishes and through the lace curtains I was enjoying the view of the trees. Beyond the wall is a "woman's tongue" tree. She has weathered many a storm and apart from being toppled in one of them, she stands tall and majestic. Trees are so beautiful and sometimes if they were art, the abstract would be beautiful and profound.
While I was enjoying the beauty of nature, my attention was suddenly drawn away by the sound of what seemed to be a flock of birds in a raucous situation. Chirping, squawking, wings fluttering and a harmonious sound, as if one group was asking and answering and another group trying to get a word in. In the midst of all of this, I heard the dog bark and opened the door to see birds I had not seen for the year. Perhaps they had just arrived in town and were in and out of my breadfruit tree so happy to be out of the cold, and so it's party time! Others were on the roof performing air shows and buzzing the dog's tail. When he turned around to snap at them, they attacked him from the front with others taking a corner shot. I had a good laugh while they played catch me if you can.
Today in our lesson, the Psalmist David in this beautiful 104th Psalm is declaring that the Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth and all that dwells therein, is able to make the birds sing again in our lives. He is able to water the dry streams and out of any darkness, bring light, joy, peace and reconciliation.
There is no situation that God is not aware of. He makes grass grow for the cattle and plants for man to cultivate so that the earth brings forth fruit. "He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. He makes springs pour water into the ravines, it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field, donkeys quench their thirst. How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures."
God provides for his creatures. When he withholds his breath they return to dust; yet his spirit can create new life. Every living thing and person is dependent on God for he is the author of life, so we should always be filled with gratitude for all the gifts of life, mind, soul and body.
All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful; the Lord God makes them all. Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings; he made their glowing colors, he made their tiny wings.
o E-amil email@example.com; write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!
Friday 10th December 2010 8:00 AM
Native Dishes: Chicken Souse, Sheep Tongue Souse, Stew Conch, Boil Fish & Stew Fish American Dishes: Omelets, Egg Platters, Pancake Platters, Sandwiches, Breakfast Burritos & New York Strip with Eggs Free Wi-Fi
The book of Acts is coming alive at Jesus Christ Centered Ministries International's 2012 Holy Spirit and Power Conference, which is in its last night tonight at New Life Christian Center on Prince Charles Drive.
The gospel is being put on demonstration by American pastor Dave Roberson, who pastors The Family Prayer Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He ministers powerfully in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and teaches people the way to have the power of God come alive in their own everyday lives.
Bishop Sheldon Newton, who is hosting the conference along with his wife, Pastor Jennifer Newton said that God is moving in an awesome way and people are being blessed.
"Wonderful miracles are happening, people's arms and legs have grown out, Pastor Roberson has been ministering by the Word of knowledge and 'calling out' certain diseases and people have been coming up and being ministered to and being healed," he said. "In addition, many are being filled with the Holy Spirit [with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues]."
The conference has been supported by ministers from different churches who have attended meetings.
"[On Tuesday] the ministers received an anointing of the Holy Ghost as Pastor Roberson laid hands on and ministered to pastors and ministers.
"The Word of the Lord is also coming forth in tremendous fashion," said Bishop Newton. "The people have been feeding from the table of the Lord."
Going into its final night, Bishop Newton said the conference has exceeded his expectations as people have been able to see first hand the power of God in demonstration.
"To watch people actually be healed in front of your eyes and to see hands and legs grow out right in front of you, it's an awesome sight and I think it has birthed a hunger in people for more of the supernatural power of God."
He said that miracles and healings began in the first service and that people were shouting with excitement as they watched God perform miracles right in front of their faces.
"Our members were actually up by the pulpit looking and watching as they saw things happen and we just glorify God for what He has done. These are things that Jesus is doing through His servant and these are things that are available to every Christian.
"Jesus said that [believers] shall lay hands on the sick and that they shall be healed and what we are seeing is a demonstration of what the Word of God already said believers are supposed to be doing."
Bishop Newton said Pastor Roberson is teaching a lot on the love of God, being filled with the Holy Spirit and the importance of spending time speaking with other tongues.
"Pastor Roberson is emphasizing the importance of having a spirit-filled and spirit-led life and a love walk, which allows the power of God to flow through you. If you want to walk in the gifts of the Spirit and real power, you have to learn to love people and really care about people. God has opened up a measure of divine love to [Pastor Roberson] and he is walking in a great measure of that divine love -- that's what's causing the power of God to operate through him."
Tonight's final session begins at 7:30 p.m.
Pastor Roberson is known in Christendom for his powerful teachings on fasting and prayer.
After an undeniable supernatural encounter with God in 1973 Pastor Roberson left his job in an Oregon saw mill to answer God's call to the ministry. Since then, he has preached the gospel with signs following in nations around the world through church meetings, city-wide crusades and pastor seminars. In 1990 Pastor Roberson began pastoring The Family Prayer Center.
Whether home or abroad, Pastor Roberson's ministry has always been marked by a free flow of the spiritual gifts, outstanding creative miracles and physical and emotional healings as he teaches others to hunger after a more deeper and more vital walk with God.
Beijing Construction America is considering an equity position in the $200 million World Mart, pointing out that Baha Mar is made up of essentially the same "ingredients".
Zac Henson, the president of Beijing Construction America, drew strong parallels between himself and Tiger Wu, the vice president of China Construction America and a top executive behind Baha Mar.
The latter is now full steam ahead on the $2.6 billion resort rising on Cable Beach.
"It is undetermined whether we would take an equity position, but as with many projects, we build and finance," he explained. "We are a state-owned enterprise, we are owned by the government; the banks are owned by the government. Baha Mar is run by China State Construction, which is one of our counterpart companies. We essentially do the same thing, we have the same ingredients and we're owned by the same people as they are."
Henson and other top executives of Beijing Construction America were in Freeport last week finalizing some of the particulars behind the 1.1 million square-foot facility.
He was joined by influential Chinese investors and Bahamian executives.
World Mart is designed to provide merchants from China and around the world with an international platform to promote, sell and distribute mass quantities of goods to corporations throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.
While Beijing Construction is under a similar umbrella to its counterpart at Baha Mar, Henson told Guardian Business there are a few significant differences.
Unlike China State Construction, which tends to import labor, Beijing Construction will employ up to 1,200 Bahamians for the high-profile project.
World Mart executives hope to start construction by early next year.
"As you can see, our counterparts at China State deploy Chinese workers onto the island. We don't do that," he said. "At Beijing, we sub-contract work. And so, the workers and the work community will come from the sub-contract community. Where they get their works is up to them."
The statement could indeed mean a new beginning for Grand Bahama and provide a remarkable solution to the island's 21 percent unemployment rate.
Challenges, however, remain before shovels can be stuck in the ground.
Henson said Beijing Construction America is looking forward to hearing more details from the government and other local officials on exactly what international merchants can expect if they set up shop in World Mart.
The deal is beyond "dollars and cents", and foreign investors will want to perfectly understand the value of investing in The Bahamas.
"The biggest resource they have here is 'Freeport'," he added. "Those words. Free port. Free trade. Exchange. Business. Culture. You can wordsmith it any way you want, but that is the core that should be on the tip of everyone's tongue. You have something to do with trade? Come give me a hug."
Fundamental to making the World Mart concept work, however, is being sensitive to the guest experience. He told Guardian Business that the business traveler is quite different than the typical tourist, particularly a client that is coming from 9,000 miles away. He called it a challenge, but also an opportunity.
Air travel to The Bahamas is another challenge to overcome and consider.
While Nassau has gained all of the attention, Henson felt Freeport would need to generate more direct flights and attract greater attention to make the ease of travel, and business, easier.
Comprising 1,600 stalls for merchants, World Mart, as the name suggests, would not simply be populated by Chinese. In fact, executives revealed a "household name" from Korea has already made a commitment to the project.
Securing key investors in different corners of the world is considered essential for the concept to snowball.
World Mart will be divided into five districts geared towards specific areas of trade and distribution: Fashion Boulevard, Technology Way, Home Goods Avenue, Manufacturing Place and Season Street.
It is expected to include a hotel, restaurants and other amenities, and ultimately employ up to 3,000 Bahamians.
Measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria - Genea Barry ensured that her children had all of their required immunizations as infants, be she never thought about having her pre-teen daughters vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another through direct skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), the HPV infection is most common in people in their late teens and early 20s. And there are about 40 types of the virus that can infect the genital areas of men and women. The CDC site reports that most HPV types cause no symptoms and can go away on their own, but some types can cause cervical cancer in women, and other less common cancers - like cancers of the anus, penis, vagina and vulva (external genital area of the female) and oropharynx (back of throat, including base of tongue and tonsils). Other types of HPV can cause warts in the genital areas of men and women. Genital warts are not a life-threatening disease, but they can cause emotional stress and their treatment can be very uncomfortable.
Who will get HPV
Most sexually active people will get HPV at some time in their lives, though most will never even know it. Annually in the United States, 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,000 women die from the disease.
The CDC recommends that girls as young as 11 be vaccinated against the virus and that the vaccine can also be given to girls beginning at age nine years.
"I still don't know how I feel about my daughters being vaccinated against HPV. I mean they shouldn't be having sex in the first place which is how it is contracted, but from the information I am hearing now I see that having the vaccine should be a good precaution from developing cervical cancer. I take regular pap smears and I know checking myself out is good in order to prevent developing this cancer so I would be a hypocrite not to want my daughters to have the best opportunities as well," said Barry.
Any female who is sexually active is subject to acquiring HPV and should get an annual checkup from the time she becomes active, according to Dr. Mildred Hall-Watson, gynecologist and obstetrician at the Health Care Center for Women.
She said contracting HPV does not have to be life-threatening if women take precautions, and are diligent about their health. Once detected, the disease can be carefully monitored and successfully treated so that more serious illnesses like cervical cancer don't develop later on.
"HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, but due to research we have been able to define this illness a bit more. Within diagnosing HPV there are several sub types which vary from low to high association with cervical cancer. This means that not all types of HPV can develop into cancer if unchecked. In fact, some strains can be virtually harmless while others can cause venereal warts which can develop on the outer lips, inside the vagina or on the cervix itself. But once appropriately treated, there are usually no long term negative side affects," she said.
Reduce the risk
To reduce the risk of getting HPV, it is suggested that couples be monogamous in their sexual relationships and use condoms, especially if they aren't. Even if one is not sexually active it is still recommended that young ladies start their pap smears at the age of 21 since cervical cancer can still develop as a result of other factors.
The Princess Margaret Hospital opened its first HPV laboratory recently, and with the help of the PMH Foundation and Rotary Club International, the necessary equipment and reagents were able to be purchased to set up the lab.
"HPV screening is now much easier for local physicians due to the latest addition to the Princess Margaret Hospital, the HPV lab which was donated by many corporate, charity and individual sponsors in particular the Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas. This means that there will be more testing opportunities available. Prior to this time we didn't have certain equipment, space and reagents to properly prepare test slides, so while it's a really great step for HPV testing in our country, I do hope more people will be encouraged to get tested so that cervical cancer can be reduced and eventually not exist at all in our country," said the doctor.
Sixty-nine-year-old Sylvita Carey, said she wouldn't think twice about ensuring her granddaughters get vaccinated against such a preventable STD.
"As a parent I would want to think that my underage grandchildren are not out there sexually [but] I can't bury my head in the dirt and pretend, so I definitely would get my girls vaccinated," she said.
Dr. Hall-Watson said much like other cancers, cervical cancer can take years to develop, but with routine checkups and pap smears, changes in the cells of the cervix can be detected earlier and result in more effective treatment.
"Many women are afraid to get a pap smear or avoid it entirely, but this should not be. Recent statistics in the country about the numbers of women doing their annual pap smear has decreased and in some islands there are no reports of women doing their annual cervical checkup at all. This is by no means a reflection of a lack of availability or resources as efforts and equipment have been provided to do these things. So it is more so a lack of interest or education on the importance of doing this exam that is a major component in these exams not being done in my view. So we are really pushing for more women to be aware that cervical cancer is very real and very painful and also very preventable," she said.
A pap smear (a procedure in which a physician swabs a woman's cervix during a routine gynecological checkup in order to collect samples of the cervical cells) can be uncomfortable but virtually painless. It takes less than a minute to conduct, and can cost between $30 to over a $100 depending on the type or specificity of the test required, according to Dr. Hall-Watson. But she said the small price to do this annual test is far less expensive and time consuming than avoiding it, and then possibly having to go through the stresses of developing cancer then having to do a surgery which is around $40,000 and undergoing the physical and emotional stresses of chemotherapy treatments. She said it can also eliminate potential familial strains that can often result from long term cancer treatment.
Due to technological advances in medicine there are several options when it comes to treatment. Some doctors will do an office-based procedure called the colposcopy where they look at the cervix through a microscope and determine where abnormal cells are and biopsy them. This will allow the doctor to see if things are as expected, better or worse than expected. Once there has been a determination, the actual treatment options include getting a cryosurgery which is basically the freezing of the affected part of the cervix in order to destroy the pre-cancerous tissue.
Another option is the loop excision, which uses a hot medical knife to cauterize pre-cancerous lesions. A cone biopsy, a procedure in which a cone-shaped area of the cervix is removed is another common option.
Hall-Watson said if a female is still in her child-bearing years the least invasive or damaging procedure is usually suggested.
There are two follow-up colposcopy centers for persons needing to keep on top of their health after getting positive results from their pap smears - the oncology center at the Princess Margaret Hospital and the other is located at the South Beach clinic.