GOD HAS 2 DWELLINGS, ONE IN HEAVEN AND THE OTHER AT CAMROSE

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It is often said that If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. Risk, that word that creates fear in people is probably the one word that defeats many a great start up before they even begin .What is life without taking chances? There are 3 types of people. 1. Spectators with Neutral Attitudes– They watch life happen and observe others. They play it safe and try to avoid risks. They are afraid of change. They often are tired or detached. and their defining word is: Maybe. They coast through life and live in a world of  I doubt it, I might, I don’t know and I’m hesitant.

2. Critics with Negative Attitudes – They comment on life and complain. They critique after the fact, imposing their “expertise” and finding fault in others. They don’t like  change.and appear frustrated or pessimistic. Their defining word is: No! Their prevailing action: Stop! Their world is full of negatives – I can’t, I won’t, No way and You made me.

3. Players with positive Attitudes– Players actively participate in life and embrace opportunities. They take risks and are willing to make mistakes. They enjoy learning and change. They usually are confident and optimistic. Their defining word is: Yes! Their prevailing action: Go!  Their world is full of  I can, I will, I’m sure and I choose to. We have met people in each category and what you do with them is your funeral but when you stick with the players in category 3 – then you know your life can only go upwards to experience ultimate possibilities that life offers. I want to share with you this possibility that I speak about , the ultimate possibility of experiencing heaven on earth.

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There is an unusual place hidden in  the hills of Camrose St. James Jamaica called Ahhh, Ras Natango Garden and Gallery. Unusual it is as the owners Tamika & Ian Williams  bought a cliff of land laden with rocks and boulder and for 20 odd years along with their son and the local community, created soil by soil, branch by branch, stone by stone a piece of paradise. The picture above is your daily view; you step out on the verandah , you take a deep breath and you exhale…. Ahhh.…that’s how the place got its name. You don’t wait to exhale. You just do.  There is no stench of worries, fear, bitterness , back stabbing and all the other human vices at this place. You just breath and marvel at the heavenly creations in front of your eyes. Over 50 species of ferns, exotic flowers from Jamaica and other places like Japan and Hawaii and if you are lucky you will see at least 18 of Jamaica’s endemic species of birds. C.S .Lewis the arthur of the Chronicles of Narnia probably visited this place because what he described in his book is not a fantasy, it’s real . Narnia exists at Camrose St James.

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To say it is a garden only is furthest from the truth. Ian is a self taught artist. As a youngster from humble beginnings he did not listen to the voice within him that said ‘you cannot paint’, because he did and by all means he painted, and that voice  was silenced. Tamika, his wife also happens to be a gifted artist and creator and the blessings flowed to their son. The stars were aligned in their favor. From art made with Egg Shell as pictured above to fascinating arts-capes of life in Jamaica, the unbelievable shell craft ,hand painted fabric and exotic beaded jewelry  I tried hard to find something that said “Made In China or Indonesia” just to challenge them , and I came up blank. It is in this gift of employing everything they have at their fingertips to their craft that a large part of the genius of the place consists. The place is an art lovers paradise and the purist that seeks true hand craft this is their karma.

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Lost time is never found again. I arrived at 11am and when it was time to leave it was 3:45pm. Where did the time go? I don’t know and I didn’t care. Time stood still.  The place transforms time and you change. You walk through the gardens on your guided tour , you enjoy a delicious fruit juice, all your senses are employed . You see , you smell , you touch, you taste and you hear the chirps of the birds, experience the quick flutter of the hummingbird’s wings, the aroma of the roses and dandelions, the awesome beauty of the japanese orchid, the hide and seek of the local turtles, the soft touch of the nectar from the cedar tree that hardens and turns to the precious stone Amber, you are set  in motion as the place unveils its face inspiring you with bewilderment and exhilaration. Time is not money. Time is beauty inspired by Natures surroundings.

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It started to rain while I visited and for 15 minutes Mother  Nature bathe her creation with unpolluted water from the heavens. The panoramic view was suddenly covered with grey. As if by unseen stage hands the scene was changed and the valley was covered with a thick mist. It floated away and revealed a new page of Ahhh…the entire scene seemed to have a fresh coat of nature’s paint , and the hills and valleys became alive.

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It was time to go and I was thankful for the day I had experienced. I took my bag turned around and suddenly in the skies a rainbow appeared leaping with flames of many colors over me. God did not choose a decorator for the rainbow. He did it himself. Ahhh was the canvas to which he painted his masterpiece. It was at that point I wept inside.

There are a lot of people who want to die and go to heaven. Sometimes you wonder if anybody will ever go to heaven.But this experience makes you believe that Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. You experience Heaven. Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven should be waiting for us in our graves – or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth? The answer you seek is at Camrose St. James at this little place called Ahhh Ras Natango. Let God be the judge of who goes to heaven and hell. But while you wait I invite you to experience what I experienced and when you do you will see that God has 2 dwellings, one in Heaven and the other at Ahhh, Ras Natango Garden and Gallery.

ImageCall. Its a free shuttle to and from the gardens.

THE ANARCHY OF GOVERNMENT

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I just wanted to say a few words on the Govt. shutdown in the USA. The charade of the politicians is nothing but that – a charade. I am sure they all have valid points on the ACA law- heck no law is perfect – but lets be adults and discuss and listen and consider the greater good.

The ACA was a GOP idea at first. Great minds discuss ideas, VERY SMALL minds discuss anarchy and chaos. The test of a first rate society is its ability to have opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. Frankly the US government has let down not only their people but the entire world – the world that sees the US as a voice of hope, opportunity, reason and common ground. A country whose government they would like to see their own country pattern and learn from. But increasingly it seems like the US government is the best government money can buy, a system we already have in every country.

So it begs to ask – what gives the US the right to chastise and start or finance a war as the world’s conscience?  Every government degenerates. It is still a marvel to see how  as men and women we tolerate the burdens and hardships put out by a few on so many. Paul Harvey said ‘If ‘pro’ is the opposite of ‘con’ what is the opposite of ‘progress?”.  Suppose you were and idiot and suppose you were a member of Government; but I repeat myself. Put any government in charge of the Sahara dessert and it would run out of sand. 

“Good” governments were elected to govern on behalf of the people.  It was elected to make the lives of the people they govern easier and maintain order and protect its people from aggression internally and externally. Government is not here at the expense of its people. This simple understanding is what eludes even the greatest of minds. 

VIOLENCE- THE CANCER WE NEED TO CURE

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Physician Gary Slutkin spent a decade fighting tuberculosis, cholera and AIDS epidemics in Africa. When he returned to the United States, he thought he’d escape brutal epidemic deaths. But then he began to look more carefully at gun violence, noting that its spread followed the patterns of infectious diseases. A mind-flipping look at a problem that too many communities have accepted as a given. We’ve reversed the impact of so many diseases, says Slutkin, and we can do the same with violence.

Could our culture have misdiagnosed violence? As the director of the initiative Cure Violence, Gary Slutkin approaches gunfire on neighborhood streets as a contagious disease, looking to science and public health for strategies to stop it.

Dr Slutkin emphasized the need to take a new scientific look at violence and use a modern approach to fighting this disease. He has tried the formula and it has shown it is working. Its a new and modern approach to the disease that has plagued mankind from Cain and Abel. In this 15 minute TED talk Dr Slutkin gives us hope making us believe there is light at the end of the tunnel and all is not lost but rather it is just a matter of changing the approach to the disease, an approach worth taking as every remedy currently employed , seems not to be working.

20 COMMON GRAMMAR MISTAKES THAT (Almost) EVERYONE MAKES

by Joe Gingerish:

I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery.

As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. But experience has also taught me that readers, for better or worse, will approach your work with a jaundiced eye and an itch to judge. While your grammar shouldn’t be a reflection of your creative powers or writing abilities, let’s face it — it usually is.

Below are 20 common grammar mistakes I see routinely, not only in editorial queries and submissions, but in print: in HR manuals, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and even best selling novels. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve made each of these mistakes a hundred times, and I know some of the best authors in history have lived to see these very toadstools appear in print. Let’s hope you can learn from some of their more famous mistakes.

Who and Whom

This one opens a big can of worms. “Who” is a subjective — or nominative — pronoun, along with “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” and “they.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a clause. “Whom” is an objective pronoun, along with “him,” “her,” “it”, “us,” and “them.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the object of a clause. Using “who” or “whom” depends on whether you’re referring to the subject or object of a sentence. When in doubt, substitute “who” with the subjective pronouns “he” or “she,” e.g., Who loves you? cf., He loves me.Similarly, you can also substitute “whom” with the objective pronouns “him” or “her.” e.g.I consulted an attorney whom I met in New York. cf., I consulted him.

Which and That

This is one of the most common mistakes out there, and understandably so. “That” is a restrictive pronoun. It’s vital to the noun to which it’s referring.  e.g., I don’t trust fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic. Here, I’m referring to all non-organic fruits or vegetables. In other words, I only trust fruits and vegetables that are organic. “Which” introduces a relative clause. It allows qualifiers that may not be essential. e.g., I recommend you eat only organic fruits and vegetables, which are available in area grocery stores. In this case, you don’t have to go to a specific grocery store to obtain organic fruits and vegetables. “Which” qualifies, “that” restricts. “Which” is more ambiguous however, and by virtue of its meaning is flexible enough to be used in many restrictive clauses. e.g., The house, which is burning, is mine. e.g., The house that is burning is mine.

Lay and Lie

This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. “Lay” is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects. Its present tense is “lay” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table) and its past tense is “laid” (e.g.,Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table). “Lie” is an intransitive verb. It needs no object. Its present tense is “lie” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina) and its past tense is “lay” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance). The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie” (e.g., I lay on the bed).

Moot

Contrary to common misuse, “moot” doesn’t imply something is superfluous. It means a subject is disputable or open to discussion. e.g., The idea that commercial zoning should be allowed in the residential neighborhood was a moot point for the council.

Continual and Continuous

They’re similar, but there’s a difference. “Continual” means something that’s always occurring, with obvious lapses in time. “Continuous” means something continues without any stops or gaps in between. e.g., The continual music next door made it the worst night of studying ever. e.g., Her continuous talking prevented him from concentrating.

Envy and Jealousy

The word “envy” implies a longing for someone else’s good fortunes. “Jealousy” is far more nefarious. It’s a fear of rivalry, often present in sexual situations. “Envy” is when you covet your friend’s good looks. “Jealousy” is what happens when your significant other swoons over your good-looking friend.

Nor

“Nor” expresses a negative condition. It literally means “and not.” You’re obligated to use the “nor” form if your sentence expresses a negative and follows it with another negative condition. “Neither the men nor the women were drunk” is a correct sentence because “nor” expresses that the women held the same negative condition as the men. The old rule is that “nor” typically follows “neither,” and “or” follows “either.” However, if neither “either” nor “neither” is used in a sentence, you should use “nor” to express a second negative, as long as the second negative is a verb. If the second negative is a noun, adjective, or adverb, you would use “or,” because the initial negative transfers to all conditions. e.g., He won’t eat broccoli or asparagus. The negative condition expressing the first noun (broccoli) is also used for the second (asparagus).

May and Might

“May” implies a possibility. “Might” implies far more uncertainty. “You may get drunk if you have two shots in ten minutes” implies a real possibility of drunkenness. “You might get a ticket if you operate a tug boat while drunk” implies a possibility that is far more remote. Someone who says “I may have more wine” could mean he/she doesn’t want more wine right now, or that he/she “might” not want any at all. Given the speaker’s indecision on the matter, “might” would be correct.

Whether and If 

Many writers seem to assume that “whether” is interchangeable with “if.” It isn’t. “Whether” expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives. “If” expresses a condition where there are no alternatives. e.g., I don’t know whether I’ll get drunk tonight. e.g., I can get drunk tonight if I have money for booze.

Fewer and Less

“Less” is reserved for hypothetical quantities. “Few” and “fewer” are for things you can quantify. e.g., The firm has fewer than ten employees. e.g., The firm is less successful now that we have only ten employees.

Farther and Further

The word “farther” implies a measurable distance. “Further” should be reserved for abstract lengths you can’t always measure. e.g., I threw the ball ten feet farther than Bill. e.g., The financial crisis caused further implications.

Since and Because

“Since” refers to time. “Because” refers to causation. e.g., Since I quit drinking I’ve married and had two children. e.g., Because I quit drinking I no longer wake up in my own vomit.

Disinterested and Uninterested

Contrary to popular usage, these words aren’t synonymous. A “disinterested” person is someone who’s impartial. For example, a hedge fund manager might take interest in a headline regarding the performance of a popular stock, even if he’s never invested in it. He’s “disinterested,” i.e., he doesn’t seek to gain financially from the transaction he’s witnessed. Judges and referees are supposed to be “disinterested.” If the sentence you’re using implies someone who couldn’t care less, chances are you’ll want to use “uninterested.”

Anxious

Unless you’re frightened of them, you shouldn’t say you’re “anxious to see your friends.” You’re actually “eager,” or “excited.” To be “anxious” implies a looming fear, dread or anxiety. It doesn’t mean you’re looking forward to something.

Different Than and Different From

This is a tough one. Words like “rather” and “faster” are comparative adjectives, and are used to show comparison with the preposition “than,” (e.g., greater than, less than, faster than, rather than). The adjective “different” is used to draw distinction. So, when “different” is followed by a  preposition, it should be “from,” similar to “separate from,” “distinct from,” or “away from.” e.g., My living situation in New York was different from home. There are rare cases where “different than” is appropriate, if “than” operates as a conjunction. e.g.,Development is different in New York than in Los Angeles. When in doubt, use “different from.”

Bring and Take

In order to employ proper usage of “bring” or “take,” the writer must know whether the object is being moved toward or away from the subject. If it is toward, use “bring.” If it is away, use “take.” Your spouse may tell you to “take your clothes to the cleaners.” The owner of the dry cleaners would say “bring your clothes to the cleaners.”

Impactful

It isn’t a word. “Impact” can be used as a noun (e.g., The impact of the crash was severe) or a transitive verb (e.g., The crash impacted my ability to walk or hold a job). “Impactful” is a made-up buzzword, colligated by the modern marketing industry in their endless attempts to decode the innumerable nuances of human behavior into a string of mindless metrics. Seriously, stop saying this.

Affect and Effect

Here’s a trick to help you remember: “Affect” is almost always a verb (e.g., Facebook affects people’s attention spans), and “effect” is almost always a noun (e.g., Facebook’s effects can also be positive). “Affect” means to influence or produce an impression — to cause hence, an effect. “Effect” is the thing produced by the affecting agent; it describes the result or outcome. There are some exceptions. “Effect” may be used as a transitive verb, which means to bring about or make happen. e.g., My new computer effected a much-needed transition from magazines to Web porn. There are similarly rare examples where “affect” can be a noun. e.g., His lack of affect made him seem like a shallow person.

Irony and Coincidence

Too many people claim something is the former when they actually mean the latter. For example, it’s not “ironic” that “Barbara moved from California to New York, where she ended up meeting and falling in love with a fellow Californian.” The fact that they’re both from California is a “coincidence.” “Irony” is the incongruity in a series of events between the expected results and the actual results. “Coincidence” is a series of events that appear planned when they’re actually accidental. So, it would be “ironic” if “Barbara moved from California to New York to escape California men, but the first man she ended up meeting and falling in love with was a fellow Californian.”

Nauseous

Undoubtedly the most common mistake I encounter. Contrary to almost ubiquitous misuse, to be “nauseous” doesn’t mean you’ve been sickened: it actually means you possess the ability to produce nausea in others. e.g., That week-old hot dog is nauseous. When you find yourself disgusted or made ill by a nauseating agent, you are actually “nauseated.” e.g., I was nauseated after falling into that dumpster behind the Planned Parenthood. Stop embarrassing yourself.

 

About the Arthur:

Jon Gingerich is editor of O’Dwyer’s magazine in New York. His fiction has been published in literary journals such as The Oyez Review, Pleiades, Helix Magazine, as well as The New York Press, London’s Litro magazine, and many others. He currently writes about politics and media trends at www.odwyerpr.com. Jon holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School. Some of his published fiction can be found atwww.jongingerich.com.