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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Friend WAG



Image result for images of a friend

I have a great friend
WAG is his name,
When we were growing up
Mischief was his game.

He had good parents
Both now deceased
But he was rather disgusting
This is to say the least.

I watched him grow up
He is younger than me,
We attended the same primary school
But not the same secondary.

Same church I must add
In this poem I will not name it
But as he grew older
Mischief was no longer a habit.

Oh, but he had a tough life
Tougher than most of us,
At times forced to change jobs
Conflicting with his faith in Jesus.

At school he struggled with English
Seems he couldn’t make the grade
But with great persistence thereafter
A pass he finally made.

Art too he pursued
Both “O” level and “Advanced”,
At both he achieved success
This was where he got his chance.

He was good at sketching
A face upon one’s description,
This would go a long way
In assisting crime investigation.


Image result for images William Anderson Gittens

While working in the force
He became the first official police artist
And through this gift from God
He developed a lifelong practice.
  
Through his artistic expression
He has gained many a success,
Both locals and internationals
Have gazed upon his best.

Among his several accolades
Are awards of International note,
In Italy, England and Canada
He was the winner at the end of their vote.

This outstanding scout for years
Was presented to the Governor General
On the the 60th anniversary
Of scouting in Barbados.

He was presented also to the Queen
On a visit to this country,
For the 350th anniversary of Parliament
WAG shook hands with Her Majesty.

These are just a few
Of the kudos he received,
Fair exchange for the trust he showed
In the principles that he believed.

I cite his work in education
While working in that Ministry
He once served as a tutor
At the Cave Hill University.

Here’s an interesting point of interest
You would recall his challenge with English,
Well, while pursuing a degree in the Arts
He was the yearbook editor at his College.

For three years he held that post
And did a great job based on the reviews,
Not daunted by failures of the past
Took the challenge to head up College News.

While I could go on and on
How he achieved from a small beginning
I will conclude with two achievements
That would make a happy ending.

Image result for images William Anderson Gittens

First the several books he has written
His first in the year two thousand,
His sixteenth in two thousand and sixteen
Year of our fiftieth anniversary celebration. 

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Having retired from the Public Service
He now has his own enterprise,
A symbol of growth and development
By God’s grace much has been realized.

His course he navigates with determination
His life dedicated to its demand,
His destiny constantly in his focus
He works with heart and head and hands.

Like WAG we can all aspire
To be the best that God would require,
To press on even when we tire
To become workmen worthy of our hire.

Stewart Russell © 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

God’s In Control



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No prayer of mine got me in the here and now,
No beseeching, no promise, no pleading, no vow;
I had no control over my arrival on this earth
And no determination of mine decided my birth.

I didn’t pray concerning the time of my sojourn,
That was ordered long before I was even born,
My days were numbered and in fact they still are
And like me is everyone whether he is here or from afar.

A thousand years are but a day in Thy sight, O Lord,
So stated the psalmist in Psalm ninety verse four,
It was noted again in second Peter three verse eight
So whenever we go it is neither too early nor too late.

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History is already written in the annals of heaven
Concerning all who will be pardoned and who will be forgiven,
That fact is also true regarding all that will be lost
Even though they had a choice: their own way or the cross.

The Lamb’s Book of Life has already been decided,
The Triune God knows those who will and have abided,
The past, present and future are all the same to Him
For God already knows the end from the beginning.

There are those who often question God’s infallibility,
Pretending to be gods they display their own stupidity
For sooner or later they confront their own mortality
Which confirms to all that they are not God Almighty.

The Bible too is viewed with mounting suspicion
By critics and pundits and even some within Christendom;
Pulled down by atheists and promoters of evolution
Denouncing as a myth the Genesis account of creation.

The world mocks and scorns those who follow Christ
Declaring the same to be their cop-out mechanism device,
Afraid to the face up to the uncertain reality of the future
They create for themselves a godlike benevolent creature.

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The truth be told this really applies to them outside of Christ,
To them with their pantheon of gods which never suffice,
Worshipping the gods that they themselves have formed,
Their creation that they also worship could never be the norm.

Plus they regard true Christians as lacking in scholarship
Purporting them to be far behind and continuing to slip
Choosing rather to believe in fancies and fiction and lies
Hoping one day to see this God who will appear in the skies.

But consider that none of us has control over the future,
The past is just that and in a our minds a receding picture;
In the present we live but that too quickly becomes the past
And we must make adjustments since the present passes so fast.

Clearly we are not in control as we often pretend to be,
We are not on top of everything and that is plain to see,
Not in control of our days, our weeks, our months or years
And our plan for the future is oft flawed when the future appears.

This perception of control is a perception; that’s all that it is
For each day brings a new set of questions: a different quiz,
And often while grappling with the issues presented on a day
The next day arrives with its challenges much to our dismay.

And how do we respond to these constant challenging days?
Well from my obscured vantage point we do so in varied ways:
Some will throw up their hands in stark displays of disgust,
Some hands will fall limply by the side; too fatigue to even fuss. 

Some will show a determined face though inwardly weak,
Quite a few will not even bother to hide their fearful streak,
Still some will struggle on though faced by imminent defeat
While others will try to find solace in some form or just retreat.

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So which one of us is in control? Please raise your hand,
Which one of us gets what he wants simply by a demand?
Which one of us is unaffected regardless of what another does?
Just as I thought, not a hand raised; only a growing buzz.

We can’t add another heartbeat to the length of our days
Even when the best medical mind tries a myriad of ways,
It’s really a fallacy when we speak of prolonging one’s life
For all our days are numbered come peace or come strife.

Not one has ever lived to reach the one-thousandth year,
Only a few in very ancient times have even come near,
Nine hundred and sixty nine is the maximum the Scriptures recall
Along with a few ‘nine hundred plus’ before they too were stalled.

Life and death, origins and destinies are in the Master’s hand,
They were all instituted at His creative command,
He simply spoke the word and it all came to pass,
What we are now experiencing is already scripted and cast.

God is the one in control whatever our perceived reality,
Faith not sight is what He demands from all of humanity
The one who will come to Him must first believe that He exists,
‘Having not seen yet believed’ characterizes the ones He enlists.

So that control is a figment of your and my imagination,
Self-confidence is a hoax that points one to self-destruction,
Self-actualisation is one’s idea of having arrived at his destination
When in fact he has lost his way even after frantic desperation.

Only He who created time could ever keep time in control,
Our times are in His hand and He knows the end of our road,
God alone is the one who determines the ticking of life’s clock
And God alone decides when and where that ticking stops.

Still believe that you are in control and have it all down-packed?
Still exuding self-confidence and feel that you’re on track?
Well know most assuredly: delusions and illusions are never fact
And the one who fools himself has done precisely that.

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Genuine control is when our agendas align with God’s will,
He is the architect of all that’s good and reaches out to us still,
The present has been given to us to submit to his command
For the past is now a shadow and the future is in God’s hand.


Stewart Russell© 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

All of History is Present before God




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All of earth’s history lies bare before Almighty God,
Its past, its present, its future is expressed in His Holy Word,
He who was in the beginning is still the Great I AM,
He who was crucified to save us was no ordinary man.

I once use to think a man could die before his time,
I held to that and argue; this was how I opined
But then it occurred to me if this was possibly true
The Bible, God’s Word couldn’t give an exact preview.

 Image result for images of history
It records the times of man from beginning to the end
Thousands of years of history and into the future extend,
Not billions of years as misguided scientists report
But only thousands of years as the Bible clearly purports.

Let’s examine the idea that all of History is written
And that from the Great I AM not one iota is hidden;
He who was in the beginning did not then begin
But was before the beginning and only created it then.

Now for this to happen there must have been eternity
And an eternal being too to create such a possibility,
For where else could the beginning have originated
Outside an eternal God and the time that He created?

Clearly time is a segment with a beginning and an end,
It doesn’t take rocket science such a position to defend,
This is where the Bible premised its record of History
As the Eternal God created this timeline way out in eternity.

Why should it be a wonder that He knows it all in detail?
Why should we marvel as though hearing a fairy tale?
How could it all begin with no one to start its process?
Surely there must be someone to withstand time’s greatest test.

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God is that someone that stands the test of all time,
Yes, He is that someone that started time’s clock to unwind,
It has been ticking away thousands not billions of years
And the future of its history doesn’t catch Him unawares.

So then if before Almighty God all history is revealed
This means its past, present and future already is a done deal,
Having been written already how can it be rearranged?
Even Pilate confessed what he wrote could not be changed.
  
Pilate was following History even if he did not know,
Remember Jesus told the Baptist suffer it to be so,
Jesus went through Samaria; he knew the course of time,
He was in the beginning; he knew its rhythm and rhyme.

Then, how could this God create a person to be damned?
Did He not know the destiny that awaited that woman or man?
O yes he did, for He knows the destiny of everyone
For while history is unfolding to us to Him it is already gone.

How for example could God change what has already passed?
For Almighty God even such would be an impossible task,
For what is written is written and all that is known to Him
And should he change the past that would be a horrid sin.

That would impede man’s choice that God has given freely
And in a real sense too subtract from God’s sovereignty,
For within these two realities is a balance as delicate as ever
And to change the course of time one or both would be severed.

What would He do in Eden when both our fore parents sinned?
Would he reverse the event?  That would be foreign to Him.
What then would be the sequel?  Would Jesus still have come?
Would we still have had the choice to be a part of His Kingdom?

Image result for Images of all of history
And what about Hitler and the like of tyrannical attitude?
Would God expunge from our mind these unscrupulous dudes?
What about Noah’s ministry with not a single convert?
Would God change all that so that the flood he could avert?

You would notice in Isaiah that a future event was written
In the past tense, as if the Saviour already had been smitten,
He was wounded and was bruised and for us all was stricken
Yet at the time of Isaiah’s writing God’s Son had not yet been given.

The authenticity of God’s word is sealed in prophetic utterance,
What it says will come to pass in spite of men’s defiance,
For the promises of God are yea and His decrees are very sure,
Heaven and earth will pass away but His word stands forevermore,
 
All history has been written with man’s choices and his faults,
It’s more secure than an impregnable bank with its money vault,
It cannot be altered for God has no such intention,
All of history has been set from the beginning of creation.

So that we are not making History we are simply in its grip,
Every act and accomplishment forms a part of the chronicled trip.
We may feel we changed our mind and perhaps we really did
But regarding altering History’s course that’s what God forbids.

I hear you say, “This is fatalism for what will be will be
And it really doesn’t matter since I have no say in my destiny.”
That’s not entirely true, as a matter of fact, not even partly so
For in God’s word, the Bible, we’re told all we need to know.

Image result for Images of a sower went forth to sow
A sower went forth to sow and he sowed indiscriminately,
The seed was scattered near and far with random diversity,
Just like the seed from that sower the Gospel is so designed
For everyone everywhere to hear, that means all of human kind.

For the Word of God declared that the Gospel shall be preached
In Judea and Samaria and until the ends of the earth are reached
So that every man that hears will be left without excuse
Particularly so when such a man treats God’s word as refuse.

He that does not believe is already condemned
Because he believes not on him whom the Father did send,
So that it really does matter for if today you hear His voice
Harden not your heart but earnestly make Him your choice.

For choice is the God-given say that we now have in this matter
Hell or Heaven our destiny and we should choose the latter,
For while it is true that in God’s eye all of History is written
The Bible also declares he who calls on the Lord will be forgiven.

All of earth’s history lies bare before Almighty God,
Its past, its present, its future is expressed in His Holy Word,
He who was in the beginning is still the Great I AM,
He who rejects the Saviour will be eternally damned.


Stewart Russell © 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Call to ALL FATHERS



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The day on which we celebrate Fathers
Is upon us once again
Father's Day they have named it
Though for some it brings great pain.

Many are the missing fathers
From the church and from the home
And the clarion call goes out to all
Return, return to your family throne.

For no one can fill a father’s place
In the life of that precious offspring
No mother, no granny or aunt
Can fatherhood to that child bring.

God’s design has always been
For a father, a mother and their children
To form the bedrock of our society
And to raise godly seed through them.

However, if father or mother is absent
Then there will be much fall out
And this idea of a one-parent family
Is really nothing to shout about.

Today as we celebrate Father's Day
There may be much to gripe about
But Let us not castigate all fathers
There are still some who show some clout.

So consider the FACT of each father
Without him family could not be
Father is still God’s centerpiece
On which to build our society.

I do not mean to less count mothers
I really don’t intend that all
Mothers must assist the fathers
This has been and is still God’s call.

Fathers are not ANOTHER means
Whereupon mothers are the first
Fathers ought to head up their families
But God’s design has been reversed.
  
There on the block we find them
There they lime away their life
Often graduating to the prisons
Leaving their families in loads of strife.

TRUSTWORTHINESS is found in fathers
Who still command their posts
The home is still their first defense
These fathers today we toast.

Not all fathers are bad; some are good
Though people would have us think otherwise
Disabuse your mind of such a thought
That is Satan’s ominous disguise.

HOME beckons to all those fathers
Who are abandoning their seed
God is calling upon them today
To return to their family and lead.

Mothers must not be the primary leaders
Of the children and in the home
Fathers, that is our God-given role
We were meant to set the tone.

For ETERNAL things are at stake
And society’s moral fabric wears thin
There is a breach that is ever widening
The task of mending must urgently begin.

RIGHT the wrong we’ve help to make
Confessing we’ve played the greater part
For God has given us the defining role
Acknowledging this is the place to start.

START now! Now is the time to commence
In the home, the church and the village
To make a fatherly difference in every child
And stop the excessive spillage.

Kudos to Fathers who are Fathers
To do greater and better we still urge
Encouragement to fathers yet to start
All fathers are needed to rid us of the scourge.
  
The scourge that is destroying family
And wrecking the lives of our youth
The scourge that advances alternate unions
Departing from God’s established truth.

With the example of God our FATHER
And emulating His Fatherly care
Let us reach out to every single father
By starting with that father who is near.

Stewart Russell © 2016