to accompany and give back hope

Parish Nursing Health Tips



Your Parish Nursing Health Tips are prepared by
Margaret Black, RN EdD, PN



Parish Nursing Health Tip

posted for the week of March 26, 2023

Courtesy of Rita Hiorth

About Honey

Did you know that one of the first coins in the world had a bee symbol on them? Did you know that there are live enzymes in honey? Did you know that in contact with metal spoon these enzymes die? The best way to eat honey is with wooden spoon, if you can't find one, use plastic.

Did you know that honey contains a substance that helps your brain work better? Did you know that honey is one of the rare foods on earth that alone can sustain human life? Did you know that bees saved people in Africa from starvation? One spoon of honey is enough to sustain human life for 24 hours?

Did you know that propolis that bees produce is one of the most powerful natural ANTIBIOTICS? Did you know that honey has no expiration date?Did you know that the bodies of the great emperors of the world were buried in golden coffins and then covered with honey to prevent putrefaction? Did you know that the term "HONEY MOON" comes from the fact that newlyweds consumed honey for fertility after the wedding?

Did you know that a bee lives less than 40 days, visits at least 1000 flowers and produces less than a teaspoon of honey, but for her it is a lifetime. Thank you, BEES!

Make sure to share this post. I am sure many people will love to know this information. SAVE HONEY BEES.

I have not verified this information but found it very interesting. I hope you do too.

Margaret Black
Parish Nurse


Parish Nursing Health Tip

posted for the week of January 29, 2023

Abandoned by God?  NEVER

When I saw Rev. Paulís email this morning stating that he and his family have COVID, this question struck me. Two churches with no minister! A different situation but it helped me to empathize more with St. Cyprianís people.

Also for Iona folks this particular situation brings terrible memories. We have already lost one beloved minister to COVID. Please, Lord, donít let it happen again. On this point I am sure it wonít. Rev. Robert Reid had no vaccinations, as well as other health conditions which made him vulnerable. Rev. Paul is younger, healthier, and completely vaccinated, so I have no doubt he will be back with us soon.

In the meantime we will be blessed to have Antonio Siracusa, a former nurse now a minister and hospital chaplain, preaching for us this weekend. We have had him once before and appreciated his message. All that being considered, might there be a message from God for us in this situation? I think so.

Stretched by God - YES

Why, Lord, do we need ongoing struggles and changes in our lives and situations both as individuals and as Your people? My ďto doĒ list is already too long. It feels like I will never get to the end of it. Iím surely not the only one who feels this way. Many of us are older and in relatively comfortable routines. Why do we need to be ďstretchedĒ?

Because we live in a time of unprecedented unrest, violence, social upheaval. Children are killing people they donít even know. Thousands of homeless people wander the streets of Toronto seeking shelter, food, help with their lives. Many people struggle with mental health problems, feel ostracized and unable to cope. In short we are living in a world which no longer knows You.

As Your disciples, Jesusí hands and feet in the world, we need to do our best to help others come to know and worship You as we do - our loving heavenly Father who gives us rules to live by but always loves and forgives us no matter how we go astray.

Just reading this list is enough to make me feel discouraged. Lord, there is NO way we can make all the changes that need to be made in our society. Of course not, and that is not what You expect of us.

What we can do is reach out to the people in our neighborhood and help them learn that there is a loving community at Tri-Church which will welcome them and be here to support them in any ways that we can. And we can only do this with Your help, not on our own. The important thing now is to accept Your need for us in our situation and do whatever we can with Your help and guidance.

Thank you, Lord, for seeing that we still have potential to serve You and others in important ways, thus giving meaning and purpose to our lives.

All praise to You forever!

Margaret Black
Parish Nurse


Parish Nursing Health Tip 

posted for the week of December 11, 2022

What Do We See With?

This woman says she is a nurse and she doesnít know that we see with our eyes???

I can hear you thinking that and yes we see with our eyes but thatís not all. Our eyes receive the signals from whatever we are looking at but then these impulses are transmitted to the back of our brains (Occipital lobe) where the brain interprets them and presents us with the picture we see. Why do we need to know this? Because the interpretation may not be an exact replica of what the eyes are looking at. If we already have an idea of what we are looking at, our brains can leave out things that donít fit with our preconceived notions.

Last night I was at a long, tiring music rehearsal. Most of the time I was standing up.. When we were dismissed we had to leave quickly, so gathered our things as fast as we could. My coat and bag were in different places and my music folder was in my hand. I quickly picked up things and got home at 10 pm after 3 !/4 hours.

As I entered the house, I was distracted by my young dog-walking friend who was currently watching the Raptors game. I quickly dumped my bag and purse in an unusual place. After taking him home, I got my music folder out but left the other things. Later I panicked, thinking I had left my purse and water bottle at the church where we were rehearsing. I found the purse but couldnít find the water bottle anywhere. Finally I was so exhausted that I decided just to buy a new bottle. This morning, to my complete surprise the missing water bottle was on a small desk in my front hall where I had left it last night when searching for the other items. How could I have been so blind? My overtaxed brain ignored it when interpreting the information from my eyes.

This led me to a different, much more important question: Where do we see Jesus?

Although we may not see Him now, we know that He is always with us. Where would we have found him 2000 years ago when He walked the earth? With the homeless, the poor, the grieving, the sick, the troubled. While our eyes canít see Him now, I believe He still walks with us and cares about all of us, especially the needy. So, when we see people needing help, guidance, prayer and encouragement we should remember that we are now Jesusí body on earth.

Our minds can easily make us blind to the needs of those around us, especially those who are different from us. Lord, please open our eyes, minds and hearts that we might see You and do whatever You would do. A friendly phone call to a lonely person, a loaf of bread for someone with no food, a prayer for each person we see, can make a big difference for people who are hurting in so many ways.

Help us to walk with Jesus and do as He would have us do.

Margaret Black
Parish Nurse


Parish Nursing Health Tip

posted for the week of October 2, 2022

This morning I woke up feeling wonderful, having had the best sleep in several nights. On my morning walk I was thanking God for all the amazing blessings in my life - good health, wonderful family, my wonderful church family, plus all the things I need (shelter, food, etc.) that I take so much for granted. I was enjoying the fresh autumn air and sunshine and the beautiful trees just starting to turn colour. An hour later I was screaming at my dog for a few misdemeanours. Where did that come from?  My Dark Side had suddenly appeared and I was appalled.

I tend to think of myself as a sunny person, usually seeing the best in my life and trying to show Godís love to the world around me so this was a big surprise. But we all have a Dark Side. It took some time for me to really understand what had triggered it. In this case, a challenge with technology. I had scanned the area on the municipal election voting card to learn more about the candidates running in my riding for various positions. It got complicated and very frustrating, especially as Queen was nudging me, wanting breakfast and play time. They didnít go well together and suddenly I was overtaken by my Dark Side and Queen bore the brunt. True, sheís a dog but she is also a sentient being with feelings like mine and I reacted very inappropriately.

I try to use every negative experience as a learning opportunity. This one gave me a lot to reflect on and I learned a lot about myself in the process.

I am goal-driven, setting goals for myself every day and rewarding myself for those I accomplish while criticizing myself for those left undone. This can be a useful trait but only if the goals are realistic and manageable in the time period available. August and September have been hectic for me, wonderful in some ways, challenging in others including a one month visit from my daughter who lives in Alberta, and a bathroom renovation during the time she was home. Toss in there my church responsibilities and it is apparent that I had allowed myself to become quite stressed. Although I recognized that, I didnít allow myself time to relax, continuing to expect all the usual things from myself which led to a predictable explosion. When things go wrong I need to deal with them, but appropriately, not just as a vent for stored up stress. From now on I will work on being more realistic in my goals and schedules and take time to relax when I start to feel pressured. God has given us a wonderful place to live and wonderful people to share our lives with. I need to make the most of each day and forgive myself for unfinished business.

We all need time to relax and enjoy ourselves and to thank God daily for all His gifts. Wishing you the very best as we move into the future together.

Blessings ...

Margaret Black
Parish Nurse


Parish Nursing Health Tip