Saturday, December 31, 2016

An Old Year’s Night Prayer

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Heavenly Father, as we close another year
We give you thanks and praise
For the fact that you have brought us thus far
We are absolutely amazed.

Through many dangers we have come
And by your mercies we have not been consumed
We thank you for the moments spent with you
And for the times that we communed.

We thank you for the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit
Even when unfaithful we had been
We thank you for your calm assurance
When we encountered the unforeseen.

We praise you Almighty Father
For your blessings that kept us through this year
We give you praise and glory
For demonstrating how much you cared.

For our families biological and spiritual
We thank you Lord for every one
And for the legacy of those no longer with us
Who have gone on to the ‘great beyond’.

We give you thanks for Barbados
For your favour on this land
For the church and other communities
That acknowledged the guidance from your hand.

And loving Father as we come to end of this year
We thank you for the blessed Trinity
The Father, the Son and Holy Spirit
Who indwell us and fits us for eternity.


Stewart Russell © 2016

Into the Unknown

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Watching out Old Year’s night
Into the dawning of the New
Another year has flown so quickly
It just flitted past our view.

Notwithstanding the plans we made
And the conditions that prevailed
We have made it yet another time
Before the grim reaper could assail.

Some that started out with us
Are no longer in this life’s fray
Having gone the way of all flesh
In spite of our plea for them to stay.

We take this moment to reflect
On their life and legacy
And pray that we who have remained
Would preserve their memory.

The New Year beckons with its challenges
Challenges of varying assortment
Some of which we are aware
But others in the unknown department.

Some to which we know the answers
Others we have failed to resolve,
Whatever the level of difficulty
Each of us somehow will be involved.

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None of us can hope to escape
The ravages of the coming year
For as a global community
We all experience the common fear.

The fear regarding life’s quality
And what the future holds,
The fear and angst of the unpredictable
That confronts the timid and the bold.

The fear of death and what it entails
And of destinies whether this or that,
The fear of life beyond the grave
Whether or not such is a fact.

These and so many other thoughts
Vie for our attention one way or another,
It doesn’t matter whether we’re rich or poor
For most, these issues are a bother.

Nothing is quite so disconcerting
As peering into the unknown
With its large and looming uncertainty
And its characterized, ominous tone.

The unknown is all around us
So near that we can almost touch
But yet we ne’er can decipher the next event
To put plans in place for such.

Like a little vessel in the ocean huge
We are carried along on its whim,
Helpless almost to do anything
And our chances hopelessly slim.

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Into the inevitable, unknown reality
We chart a course for the year
Knowing full well that by February
That course will have disappeared.

The compass of life by which we sail
Depends upon what we see
The North Star is fixed but where in life
Do we have such a desired facility?

We sail through life by guess at best
Premised on a number of assumptions
But the fickleness of the human mind
Often finds us short of truth and reason.

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The question on every mind should be:
Where can I find a guiding star,
A star not shaken by circumstance
Like that guiding wise men from afar?

For given our position in the belly of the ship
Amidst the boisterous waves
There must be one with an overarching view
That has the ability to save.
There is such a one that knows the unknown
That from Him nothing is hid;
He created the universe and you and me
And now for our life He bids.

God’s Son by whom He made all things
Was the bid He made for us,
His life’s blood was spilt on Calvary’s cross
Yes, God’s Son’s name is Jesus

God the Father looked down from high
And saw vessels without helm or rudder,
The captains thereof knew not what to do
And the mighty winds made them shudder.

With a wooden cross he stayed their ships
And gave them a chance to cope
All they needed to do was simply apply
Through Jesus our ever conquering hope

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The New Year need not take us unawares
Because the future we do not know,
The Holy Spirit is more reliable than any star
From the Bible we learn that this is so.

With him in our vessel we can smile
Yes, we can smile at the storm,
He has weathered many a tempest
Tempests of all kinds and form.

Let not the New Year find you on the rocks
Battered and broken from the year before,
Accept the bid God has made for you
There is so much for you in store.

A captain with whom you can sail any sea
However the winds and waves may churn
With simple trust and faith in Him
There is much that you can learn.

A reducing fear regarding the unknown,
Less fear of death or what’s beyond
For God who guides, knows everything
About every New Year from Creation’s dawn.

Stewart Russell © 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016


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Christmas was coming
There were no geese to get fat
And I didn’t have a penny
To waste on anyone’s hat.

But I was looking forward
To Christmas morning service
When lo and behold
I encounter THIS.

What is THIS?
I know you would ask
Getting rid of THIS
Is a mammoth task.

What are you talking about?
Another good question
THIS is a health challenge
My recent imposition.

Some strange things have happened
All across the world
THIS is one of them
By now you would have heard.

Trump was elected
It was not what I expected
Somehow THIS was detected
And now I am infected.

What are you talking about?
Cool it, have a little patience
THIS will be around for a bit
You will need some resilience.

Thursday before Christmas
I was shopping, not much
Felt this tickle in the throat
Just a little tickle as such.

Friday morning would you believe?
The tickle was a lump
When ever I swallowed
My saliva climbed a hump.

THIS could not be ignored
My attention was required
And by mid-morning
My throat was on fire.

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It was like my Adam’s apple
Was turned outside in
Narrowing the passage
And hindering swallowing.

THIS was not nice
As you could well imagine
Just like in the Bible
I wondered, “Who did sin?”

Well a friend called me up
And asked how I was doing
“Not too well,” I said,
“Looks like the flu came in.”

He said, “Definitely for sure
For I had it too
And it real, real bad
That is so true.”

He said, “You think you’re over it
Then, Bam! Another hit
THIS becomes like a habit
Enough to break your spirit.”

THIS is a progression
Perhaps starting with the throat
Next it would move to the head
THIS is like “Murder She Wrote”.

Like as in my case
THIS attacked my throat first
Next THIS moved to my head
The rocks almost caused it to burst.

Every time I held down
 My head felt like it had in rocks
And by the time I came back up
I could feel the aftershocks.

THIS isn’t nice at all
You would wish it on nobody
Not on your cruelest foe
Or even your worst enemy.

THIS wasn’t finished yet
After the head came the nose
So blocked up and runny for so
I could not easily doze.

I tried to get to sleep
But merely tossed and turned
And the rag to dab my nose
Would make your stomach churn.

You get a little ease
And so you drift off to sleep
But you are kind of restless
Nothing really deep.

THIS moved from nose to eyes
Eyes red like I drunk
You say it was Christmas time
That idea in your head, debunk!

I’ve never been drunk in my life
Not at Christmas or any time
THIS is not an alcoholic drink
So please do not be unkind.

From throat to head
Then nose, then eyes
THIS was not through with me yet
It seemed to target my demise.

During the day
You could almost feel it gone
But when evening comes around
THIS becomes your storm.

Four mornings on a stretch
I woke up before six
I really wished to sleep
But THIS had me in a fix.

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Eyes Stuck down with adhesive
And face in a terrible mess
I struggled to the washbasin
To rid me of THIS stress.

It took a fair bit of time
To remove the stubborn goo
If you want to stick an item
THIS can supply the glue.

THIS was not finished yet
It deposited in me some stuff
I tried to make some withdrawals
And that was very rough.

Four mornings consecutively
Either from up or down
Came some yellowish, greenish stuff
It’s all right for you to frown.

I know if THIS gets you
All the poise and frills will go
And the scorn you show me now
Will disappear when THIS shows.

THIS has not yet left me
I pray THIS would go away
But THIS is a stubborn old fellow
And for a while must have his say.

THIS had a say on Christmas morning
It’s on track for Old Year’s Night
But I want THIS to understand
I will not give in without a fight.

I am still experiencing the ills
In all the areas I’ve mentioned
Not as bad as they were at first
But I still have some apprehension.

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There are some remaining points
That THIS could still affect
However any chance that it will happen
I absolutely reject.

By now you have an idea
What THIS could really be
You may not be a doctor
But the symptoms you can see.

THIS they say is a virus
A real bad virus of the flu
Concerning where it came from
I really wish I knew.

Here in our little island
Some have given it a name
I am reluctant to repeat it
So no name, no lock up, no shame.

Because of THIS progression
It trumps up as it proceeds
Attacking one point at a time
Before it finally recedes.
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It is not uncommon to hear
When working with a friend
“I got this, don’t you worry
I’ll see it to the end.”

Next time you’d better ask
Particularly if he is alone
“What do you mean by this?”
THIS might very well be
Trump’s Harsh Influenza Syndrome.

My throat is still sore
On mornings it's worse
THIS is not playing 
It's like a curse.

This is my prayer for you
That you don't catch THIS
And that your prayer for me is
 I get to Old Year's Night service. 


I got THIS
Tired Running Up My Pressure
Forward Latest Update

Stewart Russell © 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

After Christmas What?

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Christmas day has come and gone
Now what?
You enjoyed it to the fullest starting before dawn
Now what?

You made adequate preparations for the big day
Now what?
And spent loads of money to celebrate in your way
Now what?

You drank up a stream and you ate up a storm
Now what?
And have no money left but that is the norm
So what?

You’ll see what you can scrape up for Old Year’s night
Then what?
Then enjoy yourself with unbridled delight
Then what?

Somehow life will continue in the coming year
So what?
Though December bills are still left to be paid
So what?

At what point will you think about your soul?
Say what?
And become aware Jesus came to make you whole?
How’s that?


Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season,
His coming became necessary after Adam’s treason,
Who disobeyed God when persuaded by Eve
Earning all humanity death without reprieve.

Hence Jesus came to earth to die in our place
To hang from a cross and suffer disgrace
So that Christmas is more than having a good time,
It’s a reminder that Jesus died for your sins and mine.

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Jesus is coming again; that will be Christmas too
As he splits the eastern skies and comes into view,
Again there will be angels but no shepherds or sheep
The wise men will be all who gave him their souls to keep.

So if Christmas is one day or just a season for you
And having a ring down time is all that you do,
Jesus says you are dead in your trespasses and sins
And must repent of those sins when you come to him.

So as you reflect on the Christmas that’s just passed
And think on the good time that just couldn't last
Take a little time to consider the state of your soul
And the fact that only Jesus can make you whole.

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Reach out to Jesus today and your Christmas extend
For as a believer in him Christmas will never end,
Why not penitently invite him now into your heart
So that Christ that never ending Christmas can start?

It’ll cost you nothing seeing you have nothing to spend
But it cost God His Son whom for our sake He did send,
So having paid much to enjoy Christmas for a season
Use this opportunity now to celebrate it for the right reason.

Yes Christmas day has come and gone
And with the bills you are feeling quite forlorn
But in Jesus Christ you’ll have his joy from the start
All you need do is to invite him into your heart.

His Spirit will bare witness that you are saved
And you will know this for you will differently behave
And Christmas will mean more to you each and every day
For in your heart you will see Christmas in a different way.

The dilemma of “after Christmas what” will be gone
For like so many worldwide you will have been reborn,
Jesus Christ will fill you with his peace from day one
And in this life he will give you the strength to go on.

Stewart Russell © 2016