Tuesday, March 14, 2023

God's Pharmacy: Psalm 91 For Depression. Is It True?

One definition given for the Bible after performing a google search is: a book made up of the writings accepted by Christians as coming from God.


The Bible has become one of the most controversial and talked about books in the 21st century. Allegations of scribbling on aged paper, walls and stones are linked to the Bible instead of other books. People who do not own a copy of the Bible will impressively quote or recite parts of it during a conversation. It’s a fact that the public has a peculiar way of receiving information about things, beings, places and situations. Hence, the contents of the Bible are no different. And now that we are living in an age of advanced technology, information has become even more accessible. The touch of a button can lead to reports of shocking revelation, false and true information, and new knowledge. 

The Bible is one of the first books

The Bible is one of the first books from which I learnt verses by rote. And had read and heard many stories to frighten and intimidate me into fearing God. I have stored, in my head, multiple lessons on how to be humble and kind. It’s a book which mentions about serpent, forbidden fruit, disobedience, sexual immorality, love, peace, war, envy, enemy, famine, hope, disguise, adultery, pride, theft, murder, angel, deception, birth, marriage, death, taxes, offerings, dreams, parables, proverbs, Satan, and a host of other things. The Bible contains words and names of people and places that are extremely difficult to pronounce. Maybe the people who are good at saying them are sanctified. Or, perhaps it requires the knowledge of several tongues to master saying those words and names. And for those of us who mispronounce the names and words, don’t be embarrassed. Be of good courage and heart. We are heaven sent for the people who are in dire need of giggles and laughter. Therefore let’s rejoice, carry on and be exceedingly glad.

Favorite Bible chapters and verses

Most followers of the Christian faith have favorite chapters and verses from the various books of the Bible. The book of Psalms is the most popular. Those who indulge will read the chapters for wellness, wealth, protection and the destruction of others. Some people will read a special chapter prior to going on a job interview or an important appointment. Others read it to cast away fears or the presence of evil spirits.. Some people pray a Psalm before indulging in medical procedures, games of chance, travel, and planting crops . Interestingly, the Bible is referred to as a sword. And it’s not strange when someone threatens another with a Psalm during an altercation. Some people have also expressed that one should be careful how they read and use the Psalms. Because the power and might in the words are enough to cause one to lose their mind if they are not grounded in God. 

God’s pharmacy and depression

I am not the brightest spark when it comes to the dynamics of the Bible or Religious Knowledge. On the other hand, I am able to hit bullseye when parts of the Bible become topics. I recall a particular social media platform carried a post about depression. From God's pharmacy, the author of the post prescribed Psalm 91 for depression. According to the author, those who were depressed, all they had to do was acknowledge the Psalm and then type Amen in the comments section. It was Amen after Amen as I scrolled through the comments. Suddenly my eyes rested on the name and profile picture of one of my relatives. I was in disbelief. I didn’t expect him to comment on such a post because he was too pretentious. Perhaps God’s word and status was a big deal to him over any other post. Or, he could be honestly depressed and believed that Psalm 91 and an Amen would heal him instead of taking the appropriate step to seek medical attention.

Bible information on Social Media 

Bible information on social media platforms is popular. There are people who use parts of the Bible to match or solidify information they share. In some instances it is my opinion that a fraction of the scriptural posts are with a hidden agenda. Some are baits. We are living in uncertain times and the authors of posts are aware that the majority of people seeking comfort or solace will respond or connect quicker to a Bible chapter or verse, than an ordinary statement or even science. An individual with health issues, who has a strong conviction in Jesus Christ, will choose to forgo a medical doctor’s appointment in lieu of a Bible passage or verse. 

Translation and interpretation of the Bible

There is no limit as to how the Bible is used and more so because all of its contents are up to translation and interpretation. People are of different understandings. They view things literally and figuratively. Some people are of the belief that Jesus walked upon the ocean and there are others who believe that he didn’t. Some believe that Jesus parted the sea and there are others who believe that it was a scientific event. Some people believe Jesus performed miracles whereas some don’t. Some people believe Jesus is three in one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit whereas others don’t.  And if one should ask me if he turned water into wine, I would say yes…with a fermented fruit juice explanation.

Pretentious people

People function on social media in the same manner as the real world. We are among the happy, sad, mischievous, comical and pretentious. The pretentious people are the most noticed on social media just like in the real world. They avoid acknowledging the post of an unrighteous friend, relative or acquaintance so as to impress and please their pastors and church going friends. In the meantime the pastor will be on all social media platforms linking with the heathens; telling them that God is good, and explaining about planting seeds and about giving tithes. The pretentious is concerned that an interaction with unrighteous people could ruin their reputation and affect their employment. To also have the notion that the Human Resource Department at any place of employment will punish employees for having a voice on social media is preposterous. I believe that a successful workplace is based on the strength of the opinions and constructive criticisms shared by their employees. Maybe the Psalm 91 social media post was a bait to expose the pretentious people. And also, could have been a blessing in disguise for those who were too proud to admit that they are depressed. 

Silent followers on social media

Are the silent followers on social media private people? Whether they are private or not they give me the creeps.  They remind me of a fly sitting on a wall making use of its most prized attribute, the compound eye. They watch everyone’s moves without uttering a word. The silent followers are calculating. They will use WhatsApp, text message or messenger to engage someone on a subject, topic, situation or thing which is a full blown discussion on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Personally, they intrude on my valuable time going private to share their opinions when they could have joined the public discussion. 

Commonsense and privacy

Inasmuch as I am a novice, when it comes to technology, commonsense tells me that if someone is seeking to have a private conversation or discussion, WhatsApp, text message and messenger are not the most private and secure mediums. Like our email accounts they can be hacked. Intruders know how to get to what they want. Privacy in an era of advanced technology is a longing. Piped dream. If a post is public, I will comment publicly. It would be hypocritical of me to discuss it behind closed doors. Why is it so difficult to be honest with ourselves? A day will perhaps come when someone will design a social media swatter for the silent followers. Or, in the future when we blink our eyes, it would hide pages and posts from those who refuse to comment or even acknowledge a post publicly. 

Choices and trust

We also live in a world where choices are available. Social media is a prime marketplace for choices. People can choose friends, like posts, remain silent or express themselves. Given that it still doesn’t eliminate the fact that some people have double standards. I recall dining at a restaurant where I overheard one lady telling another that she has two Facebook pages: One for her secular friends and the other for her church going friends. Some people are truly bogus. It is no wonder trust is no longer embraced by many people in our society. We can’t trust the slightest shadow. Not even our own.

Discernment and fine prints

At the end of the day it’s imperative to understand that a person of the Christian faith is aware that Satan roams social media platforms in the same manner as the real world. Satan is a busybody. A hacker. A scammer. A liar. A pervert. A pedophile. A con artist. Satan will even appear as a religious individual. God’s messenger. Having said that, some of us need discernment, sixth sense or third eye to sift through information on the various social media platforms. Know what’s true, false, right and wrong. People with ulterior motives are excellent at baiting others, especially the vulnerable. It’s always helpful to safeguard the self. Be on the lookout for certain words, inspirational quotes, Bible verses and chapters. Be careful of what you agree to. Use your Amen wisely. Read the posts as if they are the fine prints in a contract. They hold the terms and conditions and the details. Remember one can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. 


Tah-tah!  Impress yourself, not others.

Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2023

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Live, Learn, Earn A Wealth Of Black History

Celebrations come and celebrations go. The venue is the United States of America.

It’s 2023. Another year. Another February. Another full month of Black History. Stories retold. Some are sad. Some joyful. We learn. We unlearn. We sigh. We laugh. We swear. We cuss. We argue. We are humans. We were pissed. We ponder and wonder.  The light bulb the carbon the filament. From Edison to Latimer to others.  Pray tell.  Enlightening.  February ends. What’s next?  The plan is: Continue with Black History. It happens every day all year.

Tah-tah! Do not entertain a closed mind. Learn all you can.

Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2023

Thursday, December 29, 2022

The Bug In The Hair Glue

The word bug has a few definitions. 1) A bug is defined as an unexpected defect, fault, flaw, or imperfection. 2) An insect is also referred to as a bug. 3) Bug also means to annoy someone. 4) Stomach virus is also referred to as a bug.


Bug by all its definitions has always lived up to its reputation. It’s bothersome, it destroys, harms and obstructs. The damages are not easily dismissed. Yet there are people who will see the bug as a friend rather than a foe. Someone with a mischievous streak finds it easy to walk into a crowded room and shout “BUG”. The utterance is expected to send people fleeing in fear in all directions as if it were the day of reckoning. 

In the world of creepy crawlies, the sighting of a bug automatically forces some people into silence and freeze mode. It’s also imperative that the eyes adjust to a steady gaze because in that moment of gripping fear the bug is viewed as an enemy. Its intention is to bite or sting and make a quick escape. 

In November 2022, little did I know that as I relaxed at home, I would face the arduous task of eliminating a strange bug lurking in one of the rooms. I had never seen such a creature before and wondered if it was a Noah’s ark moment. It was, black, ill-shaped and had fine legs. Looking down at the object against the tiled floor, I had to make a quick decision. I didn’t want it to escape my view to a hasty retreat in any crevice or corner of the room and then return when I least expect it. I had to defend myself from the creature inasmuch as its face was pointed to the north, not aiming at me. 

The position the object settled in gave me the advantage of having my way with it. There was no time to spare to look for tools to carry out the act, so I raised my left leg and then dropped it forcefully on top of the object, twisting my foot with the hope of pulverizing it. A few seconds later I lifted my foot to see the damage done and to my surprise the object was still intact. Not crushed nor bruised. Enveloped with concern, I reached for a piece of white paper towel, picked it up and looked at it. Its legs and body were healthy. I then asked myself, what kind of creature that small had the ability to survive the crushing weight of my leg and the many twists with my foot. It must be an alien from Mars, I smiled. 

Still holding the object in the piece of paper towel, I took it to my daughter to determine the identity. I opened up the napkin, showed her the contents and asked, “Is this a bug?” 

“Mom”, she said, “are you going blind? It’s hair glue with bits of hair”.  

“No way,” I said and laughed out loud when I remembered how hard I had stomped and twisted the object against the floor. In my recourse to quell the mistaken identity, I told my daughter that God wanted me to exercise my leg and foot.

Tah-tah! Mistaken identity has ruined the lives of many.

Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2022

Friday, November 4, 2022

From Photo Album To Locker Room

A google search defines the word photo: a representation of a person or scene in the form of a print or transparent slide; recorded by a camera on light-sensitive material.


Some of life's best moments are still captured in still. There are videos of events; personal and public but none as captivating as holding a photograph or many photographs of the events. Sometimes we stare long and hard at the photos: amazed, bewildered, shocked, joyful and even pinpoint identity and loosely critique which in some cases cause tense moments and animosity.

Photos are treasures when it comes to research and keeping track of history. While some people will find photos as a showoff or mantel it goes far beyond that. They are very important prints at family gatherings. They tell the story of our forefathers, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents, and parents. The photos hold the clue of where family members get their looks, nose, mouth, teeth, lips, fingers, toes, eyes, ears, hair, height, size, facial structure, crooked grin, smile and hairy skin. Photos in the past were unofficial DNA and gene results. People used them to determine the identity of a child. Can you imagine how many children became statistics of a lame or poor camera shot because of that layman process? Today, given the fact that technology can accurately give an account of a person’s identity; still there are some people who believe in matching physical appearance, behavior, limbs and looks to determine family and parents.

Photos, the precious and priceless prints are usually stored in boxes and photo albums for safe keeping. Yet, there are people who will find a way to steal photos. I have had many photos of my family and self stolen or snatched by friends and relatives. And they are usually caught when one turns up at their house unexpectedly. Or, even when they are notified about someone’s visit, they sometimes forget to hide the photos. Thank goodness for modern times and technology and more so a digital world where everyone is free to use their phones to take photographs of things, people and places. 

Before digital became commonplace people in an intimate relationship were top on the list to receive photos of their lover. It was the correct thing to do. Lovers on receiving such a photo would put it in safe keeping. A few would take it out at night time and before going to bed place it under the pillow, closing their eyes with the hope of having sweet dreams as they slept. Some usually place the special photo in the photo section of wallets and purses whereas some courageously and proudly leave it on display on a table in the living room. Or hanging on a wall. I recall I once dated a gentleman and he got to choose the photo that he wanted of me. It was a beautiful photo of me on a beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica, dressed in a two-piece bathing suit. That photo had remained a permanent fixture at his house in his photo album. I felt like a million dollars, a queen, whenever I visited and saw my picture in the same spot. And not defaced or tarnished: eyes, nose and mouth were still intact. That hinted to me that I was indeed a Queen, also his Queen, his one and only love.

Although I was so cocksure of the great relationship between the gentleman and I, it’s possible that I was his number one lady. I wasn’t around him 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week to see his operations. No one is perfect. I am from the old school of principles where I was told that in life always leave room for disappointment. And to solidify the teaching, when the relationship ended between us it wasn’t difficult. We remained civil and cordial. Eventually, one day he called to say that he met someone and he had to remove my picture from his photo album and place it in his locker at work. I gasped and said, “How dare you! Please return my photo!” He swiftly responded with a no. 

Tah-tah! Crown the self with uplifting titles.

Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2022

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Diet: The Word On Menu In A Silly Piece

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art”. - Francois de la Rochefoucauld 


Believe it or not, words are also a part of our daily diet. Words have the ability to cast sickness, worry, fear, joy, comfort, confidence and laughter. Knowing the words that alter our moods are as imperative as the foods we eat for our wellbeing. Our integrity is guarded by the words we use. We pick and choose words to give a good impression of ourselves when we seek favor or employment. And just like a poor diet, there are words that can destroy us. But interestingly, the same words that are set to destroy can be used for good because it depends on how we prepare them. How we say them and the tone in which we speak. Words are seasonings. They dispel flavor and aroma. 

NEW WORDS: To embrace new words is just as exciting and mind boggling as dining at a restaurant where the cuisine is culturally different. It is with hope that as the server takes the order, the chef will prepare the meal right. Not too bland, neither too much salt or pepper. No seeds. No nuts. No MSG! And no to the sparkling powder seasonings in fancy bottles and cans. The elders from the past would have labeled them glistening glass. Toxic like some words that leave our mouths each day. Adding to that, there are times when the natural spices and seasonings interfere with the digestive system, causing all kinds of  uncomfortable feelings and complications. Hence, one can only imagine the damage the altered seasonings and spices are capable of doing when foods are prepared with them. 

Overall, a dining experience should be a good one, whether at home or abroad. Likewise, are the words we embrace; from the tiniest to the biggest. Choose and speak wisely. And when words are difficult to pronounce, say them slowly. Be careful not to let them get stuck in your throat because you are afraid that someone will laugh and ridicule you because of mispronunciation. Having said that, get your silly streak together and look at the menu below from Choose-Words Restaurant©. 

Choose-Words Restaurant

Open 24 Hours Sunday - Saturday 

Welcome to the Choose-Words Restaurant where the words are diverse. Our skilled and qualified staff are excited to serve you the words of your choice. We are aware of the fact that there are people with dietary restrictions and allergies. We will do everything in our power to listen as you place your orders. Our duty is to serve and satisfy our customers. We hope that your dining experience will be good and an exemplary one. Thanks for your patronage! Please come again! 


Serving Sizes: Full (F), Half (H), Double (D)




4.Spirit Tek…F (Jamaican special.)



7.Hate…Not available

8.Anger…Not available


10.War…Not available

11.Freedom of speech…D

12.Politicians…Recall on fib (highly contagious ingredient). 

13.Sex…Out of season






19.Prayer…D (fresh caught) 





24.Blood Claat…Ingredients from Jamaica are still in limbo at customs.

25.Suk yuh maddah…Not available (Jamaican Acid reflux builder). 

26.Rass… All serving sizes are available: F, H, D. (Famous Jamaican sweet and sour)

Tah-tah! A proper diet breeds a healthy mind

Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2022

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Old Practices In An Era Of Update

One of the definitions found on Google for the word update is: “make (something) more modern or up to date”.


Every culture has old practices. Jamaica, the sun of a beach and an island in the Caribbean, boasts numerous old practices which are unique, complex and with purpose. They are deeply rooted but how well are they holding up in modern times? Are they still relevant? Many of those old practices, dead or alive, teach us to embrace good discipline, proper hygiene, trust, honesty, righteousness, and cooperate in the various aspects of community life towards amelioration. The one thing that is certain about old practices is that there isn’t a fence built around them to protect them from updating or an attempt to do so.

Technology, the angelic tyrant of modern times, is here to torment, confuse, replace and update. It’s a cleverness that isn’t readily accepted by a Baby Boomer like me. However, in my Jamaican dialect voice it’s fair to say, wi get leff, whenever we refuse to acknowledge the practices of modern times. In other words, there will be little to no progress in goals or day to day activities because we lack the newer skills, tools and information. A few people will see updates as neither here or there with them.The only thing that matters to them is to remain undisturbed in their old ways and practices. They really don’t care if Sunday falls on a Monday. Or, if pigs will one day ride on a donkey to the moon. And for argument's sake, stopping by Orion’s Belt to check out Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka; the three bright stars. Adding to that, never try to update the old practice of eating rice and peas on a Sunday. Because that would warrant a sturdy telling-off from a certain culture. I know my Jamaican people and this old practice that is dear to our hearts. Any update about cooking and eating rice and peas on a Sunday should remain a personal decision.  

Personal decisions are as necessary as the gadgets, mobile phones, tablets and laptops that have become commonplace among us. Personal decisions are viable more than the various social media platforms set in place to fortify and at times manipulate. And most alarming is the rapid growth of technology which doesn’t allow me enough time to breathe or relax. I am inundated by the constant flow of new features and updates and non edible cookies. Perhaps the updates are manufacturers' ploy to relieve us of the little cash that some of us have. I am sure the manufacturers are aware that we are intrigued by the antics of intricate machines. Especially their traits which are likened to humans; and the audacity of the engineers to associate the operations and functions of the machines with the medical terminologies and descriptions of humans. The flip side to all of this, is that modern times has allowed us to improve our sex lives with touchy-feely gadgets, shared screens and video chats. We went from imagination, phone sex, and magazines with pictures to viewing live performances. And quite admirable is the ability to perform invasive and non-invasive medical procedures to repair failing body parts.

Alexa, the queen of gadgets, could do well with some old practices; she sometimes joins conversations without being asked to do so. Not to be overlooked is the fact that some of us in the name of update have champagne tastes and beer pockets. We are with low finances yet have interests in high priced goods and electronics. We will readily hang our baskets higher than we can reach them to impress and please. And to top everything: the various updates come without sympathy and excuses. They compel conformity. And if we don’t, rest assured that someone will tell us that we are not marketable. It’s frightening to be caught between the devil and the deep blue sea because complacency can be the comfort zone for most of us.

After all is said and done, modern times in all its shining glory is intrusive and needling. It diminishes good old practices, and culture. Its many loopholes attract greed and selfishness. Modern times is responsible for the eradication of sound, fair, and sane politicians. Modern times help us to do things with much ease. Voice command, clapping of hands, automatic and touch of a button are highly embraced. They will however inadvertently encourage laziness. And if we are not careful our health could be in jeopardy because of the lack of exercise and the ability to think for ourselves. Unfortunately, to have a discussion against updates is an advertisement to attract ridicule and to be labeled ‘old fashion”. As modern times and updates continue to pose their sometimes rootless pitch, what could be more frightening, interesting, controversial, important and filled with mixed reactions than the decision taken in the year 2022 by the Supreme Court of the United States of America (SCOTUS) to overturn Roe v. Wade. Sealed lips.

Tah-tah! Move along with the flow on updating. By the same token don’t be too quick to abandon the old. Balance is required in all we do.

Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2022

Tuesday, May 31, 2022


Op-ed by Zanne Barr. 

MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH! Today is May 31st and I would like to end on this note:


Not everyone is going to “get you” and not everyone WANTS  to “get you.” Some people just don’t like you, for whatever reason, and will do/say things to harm you, so accept that, stop wasting time/energy to convince these people of your innocence or good intentions.

It took me TOO long to learn this! I wasted much time through the years explaining myself to “deaf” ears. But I did that due to my Christian values and not wanting Christianity to be looked down on because of any misunderstanding about me but this RARELY works! And I hope you can learn faster than I did. So, honestly beloved, it’s okay to be misunderstood. Allow me to use a Bible story to illustrate.

Many of us remember the story of king David’s best friend Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, from Lo-Debar, right? After Johnathan and Saul were killed his nanny was fleeing with him in her arms to save his life but he fell somehow and his leg was permanently disabled.

We know how David took him back to the palace when he found out about him, by this time he was an adult, and he sat at David’s table for his meals and David was very kind to him. Well, after sometime Absalom, David’s own son, rebelled against David, due to rising resentment against his father for doing nothing when his sister Tamar was raped by her half brother (David’s son) Amnon! So the anger/rage in Absalom festered like a sore and spilled out years later in open rebellion against his father and a desire to take over the kingdom from David, who had to flee the palace and the city to escape Absalom his son!

After David fled to safety, he also sent word for EVERYONE in the palace to flee also because he believed Absalom would kill them. Mephibosheth asked his servant Ziba to saddle a donkey for him as he was not able to flee on foot due to his disability. Ziba then said to his master, you stay here and hide here and  I will flee to the king and tell him that you cannot travel to be with him but you sent me in your place so that I can represent you in the king’s cause. Mephibosheth heard him out and agreed with the plan.

When Ziba got to the camp of David, he told David a different story! He told him that Mephibosheth had turned against him and joined forces with Absalom in a total act of betrayal/treason! You can just imagine how this hurt David and the king was so disgusted with Mephibosheth that he gave ALL the wealth he had to Ziba and left Mephibosheth with nothing!

Once Absalom was killed and David returned to his rightful place as king, Mephibosheth went to Jerusalem and hobbled into his presence. When David saw him he immediately asked him about the great betrayal he was told about. Mephibosheth told the king the truth. David listened and realized he was told a lie, but in an act very strange for a king, he didn’t punish Ziba for preying on a crippled man and for lying to him, instead he said to Mephibosheth, “you and Ziba divide the land.” (2 Samuel 19: 25-30). Mephibosheth however told David to let Ziba have it all! He understood how dangerous it is to continue associating oneself with those who choose to be evil against us without a cause. He May have been crippled but he VALUED HIS PEACE OF MIND MORE THAN EVEN WEALTH!

I heard this story first from a Rabbi because I had not noticed it in the Bible before! The Rabbi explained David’s action saying that once you allow gossip about another person in your system you will never be completely free of that poison. That person can only RARELY fully redeem themself against the character slaughter someone else chose to heap upon them,

So, as this month of May comes to a close, I suggest you become okay with being misunderstood. Value your peace, the love of family and good friends, more than you value getting people to understand you. I know we all want to be valued and understood but sometimes it will take too much effort on their part to admit they were duped and  they were wrong about you, so they rather leave the wrong as right, and some even find reasons to justify why you were treated so unjustly. Listen, David was a very godly man, yet he didn’t make much effort to correct the evil done to someone who was innocent, so what chances do you and I have amongst so many who are ungodly? 

If you can get away from those involved and go somewhere else to cultivate your peace, do that, but if it’s a situation you’re stuck in, cultivate your peace by practicing mindfulness, listening to music, journaling, going for nature walks/ocean walks, etc. Do not sit there feeling sorry for yourself! Continue to be the best version of you wherever you are planted because as God is my witness, your Redeemer lives and He is your righteous Judge.

It’s Okay To Be Misunderstood.

*Zanne Barr is family member and a Medical Doctor who will engage you on topics of interest. She will debate you until you scream, listen or run. Haha!

Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2022