Diamond Editorial

Dry bones ain't got a chance

What do you do when faced with dead or dying situations in your life? Ezekiel has some answers. Upstream's editor Natasha Coker-Jones says she knows a thing or two about dry places.

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Diamond Features

'An Insatiable Desire to Live'

UWI graduate Kwesi Aguillera is a fighter. His rare condition baffled doctors for years. Successfully diagnosed, he can finally seek out the life-saving surgery he needs. See how ordinary people are pitching in and what you can do to make it happen.

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Diamond Features

I've Got a Future

He's young and single with a promising Gospel music career that was about to take off. Then the secret broke. He had been leading a double life. Worship leader Keron Ramsey had fallen--big time. And that's where the story might have ended. But God...

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Diamond Features

Jason Bishop - Transformed by Truth

It wasn't an accident, sickness or any kind of 'near death' experience that caused Jason Bishop to give up the perks of being a guitarist in one of T&T's top soca bands. But his story is no less intriguing.

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Diamond Features

Watch What You Watch!

Once upon a time it was said that 'real' Christians don't go to the cinema. That was light years ago. Today, movies are 'in' and many believers have no qualms about watching their favourite flick, be it the R-rated 'Sex in the City' or the horror 'Drag Me To Hell.' The big question is: Have we gone too far?

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Sweet 'Change'

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by Natasha Coker-Jones

Let’s face it. In the land of buzzwords, ‘change’ is the undisputed premier.

Worship Leader Mikhail Shah. Photos by Klenworth Jones.  

The good news is that the title of the Trinidad-based First Church of the Open Bible’s first major worship DVD project is the only (gulp) unoriginal thing that those who purchase the DVD would have to lovingly overlook. Seriously, once you get beyond the hackneyed title (sorry OB folks) listeners and viewers are in for a refreshing treat.

Thanks to caller ID, when Joanne Noel, the Church’s PRO called about two weeks prior to the launch I had a few precious seconds to perfect my ‘just-coming-out-of-anesthesia’ voice.

“No I’m not sick Joanne I just feel really guilty about missing the live recording,” I replied honestly.  “Oh you do? Good. Well you have a chance to make it up to me, the launch is coming up and we want Upstream to cover it. Ok hon?”

Don’t you just love kingdom women who know how to work it?

So with hubby/photographer in tow, I dressed up nice and Christmassy, splashed on my favourite smelling nice and journeyed down to the National Academy of the Performing Arts (NAPA) which I must add, after all the hullabaloo, is a really nice joint for such events. This was on Saturday December 18th  and truth be told it was only my third visit to NAPA since it opened (Ok so I’m not quite the socialite people make me out to be). Nice choice by the way OB and I’m really pleased that you got to use it.

I’d be fibbing if I told you that I toc toced onto NAPA’s glossy tiled floors knowing fully well what to expect from the private showing of the DVD that the media was invited to preview before the concert. As much as I’ve noted First Church’s proclivity toward quality musical offerings (after all these are the folks that gave us Broadway Boys International. Hello!), it was still a church production and those of us who have been around long enough know that you’re never quite sure what to expect with church-based outputs. Let’s be honest: sometimes it’s extremely good and you’re left on a celestial high. But there are those times that things start out mediocre, shift gear to ‘bad’, and then capitulate to the point that you just sit there squeezing your eyes shut and people think you are deep in the blessed zone when in fact you are secretly praying for the rapture to come NOW and whisk you away so you won’t have to suffer through to the bitter end.

This event, praise His name, was not of the latter ilk.

In fact it was so good and because it’s that special time of year I’ve decided to deviate from my usual safe third person style and enter the high-risk world of the first person.

Someone, can’t remember who right now, announced that we had a number of artists in the room designated for interviews. I scooted across to one end of the comfy cocoa brown sofa and began licking my chops. Yum yum interviews!

Here I am with worship leader Justin Zephyrin and Nyame Davis

Justin Zephyrine and Nyame Davis were my first interviewees. Right away I noticed these guys were pretty young: 26 and 21 respectively as it turned out. The next thing that hit me was the scarves draped oh so skillfully around their necks but in the true spirit of the season I behaved myself and didn’t say boo. We are, after all, in the throws of winter here in this Twin Island Republic and NAPA is nippier than usual this time of year.

Justin is a worship leader and back up singer at OB, he helps coordinate worship services and is involved in vocal training and the youth choir. He was the first to explain about the title ‘Change’.

“The word was declared on the church for change, this is why the DVD is called Change,” Zephyrine explained to me.

“ Uh huh,” I mumbled scribbling fervidly  while silently entreating the Father to forgive me for even thinking the title was less than perfect.

This (the DVD) is the word coming to reality,” Zephyrine continued.

Davis, backup singer on the Change DVD , choir member and member of the First Church-based Sin Surrender, talked about how tough it was preparing for the live recording on August 29th 2010.


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Truly impressed by the sound and professionalism of this team. This is how you do something for the Lord!

really great album. I am blown away and blessed everytime I listen to the songs. Each with its own deep message to strengthen, encourage and rejoice. Excellent. Look forward to continuing the change that has begun.

I love what God is doing at the FCOB.. Great work everyone..
John Alexander

Good resulte for a first.

We were both there at the album launch and we must admit that once again the FCOB blew our expectations. Great Job guys.

Excellent article! I was there at the event and was blown away by the talent and spirit of excellence of all those involved! The CD is now on my ipod...and that DVD...WOW! Amazing!

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