To say that not every Jew was happy about the census and taxation which the Romans were imposing through Cyrenius would be the height of understatement: there had been other census/taxations before Cyrenius, but Mary and Joseph’s trip was Cyrenius’ first. A Pharisee named Sadduc and Judus of Gamala became zealous to lead a revolt: they both said this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty. Basically, they instructed the people to violence by passionately convincing them that God helps those who help themselves. Josephus states “the nation was infected with this doctrine to an incredible degree.” Violent war after war ensued, as well as great robberies and murders of the Jewish nation’s principle men on the pretext for the public welfare but really for personal gain.

So, by the time Mary was ready to deliver, the new Zealot sect was well in play within the Jewish nation. They were looking for a Savior– a perfect storm.

(Josephus also recorded Judas of Galilee elsewhere, but Galilee and Gamala are on opposite sides of the river Jordon.)

Josephus: The Complete Works. The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 1, verses 1 to 10.

We see the strength of Mary as she accepts the charge of bearing the truth teller, the shower of the way, and who is life-breathed by the Holy Spirit. Her strength only matured over time and she authoritatively began her son’s ministry at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12) by doing what all good mothers do—she set the stage for the action to take place: she alerted her son that the wine was all gone; he began his response in the salutation of the day, “woman,” denoting respect according to some commentaries; Mary told the servants to do whatever he told them to, thereby passing on the torch of authority onto Jesus and revealing her authority over the servants as well. Jesus responded in obedient respect to his mother.

Mary truly was a powerful helper (ezer).

How do the political tensions of today relate to burgeoning reactive sects such as the Zealot sect spoken of above? Who are the truth tellers of peace and love in our day?

It is often said that it is human to make errors but to forgive is divine.

But how do you forgive yourself, let alone forgive others?

Memories plague us with unfinished emotional business. Our emotions range from anger, guilt, and despair. We lose sleep. We self-medicate. We question the correctness of forgiveness. Resentment and self-absorption act like bullies to block this restoration process. We are closed off from others in ways we are not even aware as our self-delusion limits our personal growth and we get stuck.

The Loving Community Infoletter, Volume 1, Issue 11 is now available to help you, and those you meet, with these protracted issues. Let us make healthy communities in these troubling times. Add to Cart View Cart

Normally I simply compile information with reflections on this site. However, today, this is a blog about some news: “NHS worker who ‘bullied’ Muslim by praying for her” by David Barrett, of the Telegraph, June 28, 2014. See and

The comments on this blog site were most disturbing. First, we have devolved from a global society in which we share our spirituality with one another, to keeping “religion” out of the public or workplace discourse in order to not offend others of different backgrounds. As you read Victoria Wasteney’s comments in the above link you will see that she had a spiritual, not religious, communion with her. She was supportive, friendly, and welcoming. Her only “mistake” was to pass on the book for relatives to find it. This put the young lady in danger from her own family.  The real issue is freedom of public discourse, a matter Wasteney is attempting to address. The comments on these articles were not helpful.

Does crisis feel much like an “opportunity” to you?

Crisis just feels threatening. The Loving Community’s Growing Pains (Volume 1, Issue 5) walks you through its phases, touching varied issues of transformation, addiction, and a family scenario.

Issue 5 Growing Pains gives you straightforward thoughtful reflection suitable to read over your favorite beverage, and for talking points in conversation.

The Loving Community Information Newsletter Index

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Naturopath Dr. Natasha Turner tells us how to incorporate health boosting herbs and spices into our everyday lives.

Boost Your Health with Herbs & Spices

Balance blood sugar with a little cinnamon:

A little cinnamon in your smoothies or topping your oatmeal can go a long way towards balancing insulin levels. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care (2003) showed that cinnamon may cause muscle and liver cells to respond more readily to insulin, and therefore improve weight loss. Better response to insulin means better blood sugar balance and, therefore, less insulin in your body. Cinnamon also seems to reduce several risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including high blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. Just a 1/2 teaspoon a day for 20 days is enough to improve your insulin response and lower blood sugar by up to 20 percent.

How to Use :

Add ½ – 1 teaspoon to your smoothies or sprinkled on your oatmeal daily.

Beat inflammation with Ginger:

Ginger is another fabulous herb proven to prevent and treat nausea from motion sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy. It’s a potent antioxidant that works by blocking the potentially nauseating effects of serotonin on the gut. Like turmeric, ginger also possesses natural anti-inflammatory benefits and may improve blood flow. A study conducted at the University of Miami showed ginger extract also had a significant effect on reducing the pain of osteoarthritis. Similarly encouraging results were found in a 2006 study at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. These researchers found powdered ginger killed ovarian cancer cells just as well or better than traditional chemotherapy. Slice up gingerroot and add it to stir-frys or simply boil it and drink it as a tea a few times a day.
How to Use: Slice up gingerroot and add it to stir-frys or simply boil it and drink it as a tea a few times a day.

Add a little color with Curry:

Curry is a rich source of curcumin (also called Tumeric) which naturally reduces inflammation, pain and swelling. In one clinical trial, participants who consumed 1200mg of cucuminoids (the antioxidant pigment found in turmeric) for two weeks found reduced morning stiffness and joint swelling caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

A study from Tufts University in Boston suggest that curcumin may help with fat metabolism and weight loss. The researchers studied the effect of curcumin both in mice fed a high-fat diet over a period of 12 weeks. They found that curcumin did not affect food intake but reduced body weight gain, fat accumulation, and density of fat tissue. Curcumin also increased expression of key enzymes involved in fat oxidation. Blood cholesterol levels were also lowered by curcumin treatment.

How to Use:

For reducing inflammation take 1,200 milligrams of curcumin, divided into three doses daily, or add ½ – 1 tsp of curry while cooking, according to taste preference.

Boost immunity with Garlic:

Not just for staving off vampires, garlic is well known for its ability to fight off a cold or flu. The substance in garlic called allicin has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.

How to Use:

Add 1-2 cloves of raw garlic daily to stir fry, entrees, or take 300 mg of dried garlic powder tablet 2-3 times per day with food.

Rosemary Protects Blood Vessels

Rosemary is another one of the healthy herbs on the super list of spices that may help protect blood vessels. Like the antioxidant OPC, the protection and strengthening of blood vessels naturally helps to lower high blood pressure. When you read about herbs for high blood pressure, you’re really finding out which ones reduce the chance for blockage and constriction from inflammation. On a separate note, Rosemary is also great for vision and has been shown to help prevent cataracts.

How to Use:

Use 1 – 2 tablespoons daily, added to meat entrees, cold dishes or salads.

Oregano – the Antioxidant

Oregano has the highest antioxidant levels of the 39 various types of spices. Recently it has gained popularity as a bacterial killer and an anti-fungal agent – but remains one of the most powerful anti inflammatory herbs available.

How to Use: Add ½ tsp – 1 tsp to an entrée. If you feel a virus coming on, or are plagued with candida, you can get Wild Oil of Oregano. Take 3-5 drops in water every few hours for the first few days or until symptoms pass.

Aid Digestion with Caraway:

It is probably one of the best digestive aids. People often take it for gas, bloating, and indigestion, and you can easily make an infusion by using 1 ounce of caraway seeds to 1 pint of water. Then steep the seeds for twenty minutes. Usual dosage is 1 to 2 tablespoons every half hour until symptoms disappear.

How to Use:

As a digestive aid, you can easily make an infusion by using 1 ounce of caraway seeds to 1 pint of water. Then steep the seeds for twenty minutes. Usual dosage is 1 to 2 tablespoons every half hour until symptoms disappear or add 1 teaspoon to dishes while cooking.


Club House Canada

Guiding the Counselling Process: the ABCD Model

Pastoral care is traditionally a lay person receiving help from a trained pastoral care worker. There is a two-fold problem with this model.

Firstly, there aren’t enough people trained to counsel all the people in need. Secondly, we can learn skills from pastoral care training for self-reflection. The following uses language that sometimes addresses the therapist, and other times to the client. We have both the therapist and client within us as we learn to nurture ourselves.

The 1920s was the beginning of loss of theological perspective, the beginning of pastoral care using behavioral and social sciences, psychology, transactional analysis, Carl Rogers, and so on.  Priorities have been misplaced.

Role confusion ensued with too many roles for one clergy person to spiritually shepherd (be sheep dog for the shepherd) the followers of Jesus. Misplaced priorities where preaching, teaching, administration and so on take a back seat. Clergy/rabbis/gurus… (the sheep dogs of the sheep-people) should not be dragged into the long lengthy process of personality change in a counselling situation.

The number one role of clergy is to impart God’s message of love, facilitating confession, repentance of error, and the power from God to aid you to make revolutionary change within. We can give pastoral care to ourselves when there is no one to go to. Having recovered from crisis, we then can be better friends to others we meet.

It is not about analysing yourself. Don’t over-think your past. Rather, become aware of your weaknesses as well as strengths to continue to grow in love. As you stop to listen to your own heart, you will learn to listen to others better.

Spiritual councillors are useful for crisis; six week problem solving, six to eight weeks of marriage counselling, grief counselling, and individual, marriage, and family problems.

You are not alone, yet ultimately it is your experience.

Stresses are developmentally derive: anxiety over rule following; rituals; beliefs; values; situational issues, both normative and catastrophic.

Choices are yours. What are the factors affecting the ability to solve problems?

In crisis, the precipitating event usually has occurred within 10 to 14 days before the individual seeks help. Frequently it is something that happened the day before or the night before. It could almost be anything: threat of divorce, discovery of extramarital relations, finding out their son or daughter is on drugs, loss of boyfriend or girlfriend, loss of job or status, and unwanted pregnancy, and so forth.

The ABCD Traing Model

Follow this protocol for yourself and others:

A – Achieve an empathetic listening relationship. Ask about the crisis. Be willing to problem solve together. Affirm the person’s strength in asking for help and their ability to cope. If you have the crisis without anyone to listen to you, begin a journal and write the problem down. What does the crisis event that has happened mean to you? Is there someone you can trust? Do you have a support network? Is there a member of the family that can be trusted? The more people available to help at the start of the crisis, the better the outcome.

In the assessment phase it is imperative to ask: “Are you planning to kill yourself or someone else?” “How?” “When?” The therapist must find out and assess the seriousness of the threat: Is he merely thinking about it or does he have a method selected? Is it a lethal method – a loaded gun, a tall building or bridge picked out? Is a time to do it picked out? If so, it is time for a psychiatric evaluation.

B – Boil down the problem. Concentrate on the items that can be changed. Has anything like this ever happened before? How do you or your client abate the tension, anxiety or depression? Has the same method been tried this time? If not, why not? If it didn’t work, why didn’t it?

What would reduce the symptoms of stress? Exercise? Playing a musical instrument? Lessened stress makes it easier to think clearly.

C – Challenge the person to take constructive action, realistic small attainable goals, to foster hope. Make another appointment.

D – Develop an ongoing growth-action plan. Review progress. Develop more plans which gets easier as one builds on success. Build on a mutual support system. There is growth in constructive coping.

When helping other friends and yourself, establish verbatim reports with dialogue on the left half of the page and with the right side for comments:

1. Marital status
2. Education or Training
3. Medical History
4. Religious history
5. Major changes in life.
6. Impression of a person
7. Description of reaction/feeling
8. What you would like to do for this person
9. What would you like to accomplish
10. Goals and plans
11. Strengths and weaknesses

Keep Up the Good Work!

What motivates an employee?

Your response will expose your economic labour philosophy. For this blog, however, the approach is to delegate responsibility to laborers. Grant complainers some of the work they are concerned with.

Can the person do the job?

Provide training for skills related to the job.

Who’s available to do the job? Who can do it better?

Develop a support network for confidence boosting. Yet, through it all, take care not to punish a good performer with more work. Take care not to overwork a good performer.

Job Ownership – the 3 W’s:

Who do you delgate to? Why? Where does it fit in the big picture?

Recognition – the 3 S’s:

Sincere. Specific. Steady. Reward with personalized acknowledgements to emphasize that good performance matters. Link incentive programs to a specific work with a specific reward.

In team building, ensure the individual goals support eam goals. Get people to want to do what you need to get done.


Realistic:goals, vision statement, reward steps, celebrate accomplishments.

Empower: delegate authority, maintain some control by increasing communication to utilize strengths of everyone involved.

Synergy: sum of the parts are greater than the whole. One person’s strength helps to strengthen weak areas of the team. Be confident, not arrogant. Be open to new ways to doing things.

Understanding: communication needs feedback for verification and evaluation.

Learn: learn knowledge follows with experience knowledge. Repeat with learn knowledge followed with experience knowledge.

Time: Economize on time and energy. Not “How are you?” but “What can I do for you?” Maximize potential.

Satisfy: motivate with the end in mind. Spell it out.

Fish Philosophy

Have a huge breakthrough in your life – make work fun. You will have more energy and commitment. Have fun at work. Deal in service to the best of your ability. Play and make their [the customers’] day. Be the person in the moment. Be present in the moment. Choose your attitude. Communicate effectively.

Book When Fish Fly, Catch! A Fishmonger’s Guide to Greatness. Technology of Being

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