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No Free Lunches

 

My parents’ marriage didn’t work out – my mother and father divorced when I was around ten years old. I am now aware as an adult that my mother was advised, by persons in the church community, to stay in the marriage relationship despite the fact that it was abusive on many different levels. Today, I am thankful that she didn’t as the storyline of my life would have been very different.

This preamble of my blog is crucial information to the content of this piece. You see, at that time (and it still happens today) divorcees and their children were treated as lepers and outcasts: kept on the outskirts of the community, given what some may consider non-important ministry during service and treated as “less than saints”.

Allow me to share with you one of the most devastating memories I have of our life at that time. It was one of the few occasions that we as children were allowed to see my mother’s pain, allowed to see her wounded. Things were always tight financially and around that time our roof badly needed repairs. My mother approached the church, for some sheets of roofing that were lying around unoccupied on the church compound to assist with repairs to our home. The person responsible for the roofing sheets said to my mother “There are no free lunches in life.” Needless to say, we did not receive the sheets.

As I peruse the scripture, I notice that God was very much concerned about social justice and those who were disenfranchised by the circumstances of life. Some of these are Malachi 3:5, Deuteronomy 15 and James 1:27, just to list a few.

The Israelites were commanded to seek after the welfare of each member of their society. This was not an option. Deuteronomy 15:7 and 8 says”…do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your poor brother. Rather be open-handed and freely lend him whatever he needs.” There was a concern for every member of the community. The statement that the fellow church member made to my mother years aback has to some degree haunted me since then as it is in direct contradiction to the statues God has given. The sense of community and collective responsibility to the less fortunate is crucial to the growth and prosperity of the church community (James 1:27, Micah 6:8). We can sing songs of deliverance, claim and decree and declare in our worship but if we are not obedient to God’s word, how can the church experience genuine, godly success and blessing? (1 Cor 13)

I thank God that my mother was a fighter; she was resilient, determined and faithful to God. Things may have turned out very different for us as a family if she wasn’t. My sisters and I have not, by the grace of God, followed the script written for us by society as children of a broken home with a single-parent divorced mother. As a family we strive to be intentional in our support and encouragement of each other as we celebrate our successes and failures in the different stages and milestones of life. We love tangibly.

It is my earnest prayer that we the church do some introspection and with the Spirit’s enablement, intentionally and lovingly meet the needs of those around us and become the community that God intended.

Andre Jack, the Gospel of Romance Project

One of my favorite people to work with. One of my aims, when I started this project, was to use as many Trinidad and Tobago nationals as possible. Andre was and is a pick any given day. Always an honor to have him on my team.

Gospel of Romance Photoshoot

This was a photo shoot to remember. I had an amazing team working with me. The amazing Keziah Lendor, Melvern Isaac who has a killer eye, Jerome “Jboogy” Birch capturing the behind the scenes footage and the main man pulling all the strings Ron Charles.  Stay tuned for more behind the scenes and the release of the EP in 2019.

Studio Day (Band)

Hey family, thanks for following the story so far. We got in early on this day set up go a bite and then we recorded. We did two track that night. Let enter and see what it’s like while the guys set up. Stay locked for more information as the EP comes in 2019.

Studio Day “Band Session”

It was another day in the kitchen cooking up a fine dinner. I think we left the studio around midnight. Was so much fun tracking Whoo Hoo “So Beautiful”. What was even more fun was watching Tamba track the percussion. Stay locked for more clips of the process. Gospel of Romance EP due 2019.

Studio Day (Band Session 2)

What’s up family? Here we are again working on the EP. We are at Heaven Sent Production Studio with Jonathon Hensley on Drums, my Haitian bro James Jessey Joseph on Guitar, Charles Ryan on Bass and Shurlon “Silks” Patrick on Keys. Stay tuned for more EP is due 2019.

Christmas Single Out Now…

I had the pleasure to re-record my Christmas classic Because of Love with my friends and Contemporary Jazz Saxophonist Elan Trotman and also featuring is Pannist Mikhail Salcedo. The track produced by Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung of Elan Parle. Do check it out on your favorite digital platforms and help spread the Christmas cheer by requesting on your favorite radio stations.

Studio Day “Band Session”

Hey, family another day at the studio with the crew. Here we are setting up with percussionist extraordinaire Tamba Gwindi. Stay locked for more clips and news about the EP coming in 2019.

Belly Full

Burpp!!

Excuse me as I wipe my mouth, I just eat ah food. My sweet “blue” food notes and curried “grays” have satisfied my hunger…till…my appetite growls again. Until I allow the acid to burn the lining called my conscience.

 

Then I eat a food again. This time a little heavier, left-hand dumplings with some “greens” and some sliced “reds” on the side please, and to wash it down how about a tall beastly cold “50”.

 

But how long before the acid burns all my conscience away, then, the ulcers one by one appear. Slowly, I cringe at first, bending over in pain. Maybe it was the dumplings, maybe the curried “grays” or the sweet “blues”. I’m… not cer..tain but it pains.

 

I’ve lost it my birthright, my good name, my character, my conscience eaten away by the food. Food that should have strengthen me, developed my muscles, food has become my poison.

 

Must I eat ah food? oh yes! but not all food must be eaten.

Copyright 2013

Five Sense Living

I shook my purse, dug deep in my pocket

One, two, three, four, five, sense.

Is that making any sense?

How can I live on five sense? Is that even possible?

I’ve done it all my life, but, thinking about it, five sense isn’t much.

 

I went shopping with my five sense,

I saw my favorite fruit

But I could only watch, five sense can’t buy squat.

Seeing is no fun when you can’t buy.

A five sense budget is, a crime!

 

The aroma tickles my nose, while passing the bakery mmmmm,

The sign said $10 a loaf,

I smell melting butter, I smell melting cheese

But my nose deceives me

Five sense can’t buy these!

 

I feel like a captive

Five sense living keeps me bound

Can’t get ahead in living,

Even with opportunities around

 

Is there another sense to acquire?

A sixth, without seeing death?

Currency, purchasing power, bargaining with confidence

I need a sixth sense

 

A seventh sense! An eighth sense!

A ninth sense! A tenth sense!

Getting me closer to a dollar, Got me some power!

More than my pocket can hold.

 

Can’t live on five sense

On my knees…I get my sixth sense

I stand tall, brave, bold…

 

Written by Stephen John

© 2018

Published S2J2 Publishings

 

 

 

 

 

 

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