Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Arab Spring, Democracy, and Antichrist. By Stephen Allred

As the Arab Spring continues to unfold and degrade across the Middle East, Christians in Syria find themselves watching with a wary eye to see how their freedoms will be affected by the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Some Syrian Christians believe that Assad has been their friend, since he has provided protection to them as well as to other minority religious groups in a country with a majority Muslim population. Other Christians have sided with the Syrian opposition in the uprising.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

10 Dangerous Chemicals to Ban from Your Home. By Kelly Lerner and Alli Kingfisher

We are surrounded by human-made chemicals—more than 80,000 are in use in the United States today. Of those, only a few hundred have been tested for safety. Chemicals are so ubiquitous, they reach us before we’re even born: Researchers have found up to 300 contaminants in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies.

Experts suspect this cocktail of chemicals in our water, food, air and homes may be part of the cause of the rising rates of some cancers, autism, diabetes and obesity. Young children, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk. While it may seem overwhelming to get control of our world’s rampant, potentially harmful chemicals, cleaning up the chemicals in your life is easier if you take it step by step. You can get started by reducing the quantity of these 10 chemicals in your house and yard.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Creation and Morality│Lesson 5, January 26-February 1

Read for This Week’s Study: Gen. 2:16, 17; Gen. 1:26–28; James 3:9; Acts 17:26; Prov. 14:31; Matt. 5:44–48; Rev. 20:11–13.

Memory Text: “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die’ ” (Genesis 2:16, 17, NIV).

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Should We Sue Lance Armstrong for Inspiring Us With His Lies? By Joanna Schroeder


It’s one of the most important new words in our lexicon. In an age of overwhelming quantities of information available to anybody with Internet access, and a time in which the media is obsessed with everybody’s scandals and hard-luck stories, there arises a need to describe the ways in which we feel truth, the ways in which we desire facts—but only if they fit the narratives we’ve already constructed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Raising Girls. By Steve Biddulph

The corruption of a generation: Our daughters are facing sexualisiation from primary school age

These days, there’s a new grumble among women who ply the so-called oldest profession in the world. Their clients, they say, are finding it increasingly hard to identify them. Why? Because ordinary 17-year-old girls are dressing just like prostitutes.

The streetwalkers aren’t the only ones complaining, of course. Many middle-class parents watch with horror as their little darlings succumb to today’s hyper-sexualised culture, with its sinister diktats on how ordinary teenagers should look and behave. 

Sexualisation — the forcing of a sexual identity onto a child — was a term originally applied in cases of child sex abuse. Today, it’s a problem that’s seen in every primary school, and few girls escape it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top 10 Religion Stories of 2012

Journalists members of the Religion Newswriters Association vote for contraception fight as top 2012 U.S. religion story, pick Cardinal Dolan as top newsmaker

As the nation reeled from the Dec. 14 killing of 20 first graders and six adults in Newtown, Conn., religious leaders sought to console a stunned public and to discern religion’s role in future debates about mental health and gun control. 

The No. 1 U.S. religion story in December 2012 was, without a doubt, the school attack and the mournful search for meaning that follows. 

However, before the shooting, professional journalists who cover religion voted on the year’s other significant religious events.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Creation, a Biblical Theme│Lesson 4, January 19-25

Read for This Week’s Study: Genesis 2, Matt. 19:4-6, Psalm 8Job 38:1-21Job 42:1-6, Isa. 45:18Acts 17:22-31.

Memory Text: “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water’” (Revelation 14:6-7, NIV).

► All resources you need for the Sabbath School Bible Studies: free access to download all departments Lessons Editions, Videos, Podcasts, App and additional comments

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Story of Change. By Annie Leonard

Can shopping save the world? Put down your credit card and start exercising your citizen muscles with Annie Leonard’s new film.

I used to think the truth would set us free. Like many who care about the environment, I spent years thinking that information would lead to change. If only people realize the mess our planet is in, I thought, things will change. So I wrote reports, gave speeches, even testified before Congress. I’ve come to see that we have two parts to ourselves; it’s almost like two muscles—a consumer muscle and a citizen muscle.

Some things changed. Sadly, the big picture didn’t.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If I Were 18 Again ... By Clifford Goldstein

For centuries thinkers have speculated about “the myth of eternal return,” the idea that everything that has happened will be repeated throughout eternity. The history of the earth and every life on it plays out again and again: same nations, same natural disasters, same marriages, same wars, same people, same football scores—nothing changes.

We can thank the Lord that “the myth of the eternal return” is just that—a myth. Sin, suffering, and death are a one-time package deal only. (Once is enough, too—thank you!) I would, though, like to borrow this idea of a repeated life, but with a major caveat: unlike “eternal return,” in which everything is the same, if I were to become 18 years old again, what would I do differently? Knowing what I know now—at 57, and with 39 more years of experience behind me—how would I choose to live?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Human Rights Training Manual for European Churches

The Human Rights practitioners of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) member churches met in Serbia 20 years after the disintegration of ex-Yugoslavia to discuss current human rights issues. The participants from Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and FYROM shared their experiences related to the challenges of human rights in the Western Balkans region with the emphasis on violations of freedom of religion or belief. In total the training brought together about 40 participants and lecturers from the CEC member churches. The group also included Roman Catholic, Jewish and Muslim participants and representatives from the country.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Creation Completed│Lesson 3, January 12-18

Read for This Week’s Study: Genesis 1, Ps. 8:3, Rom. 8:19-22, Lev. 11:14-22, Gen. 2:1-3, Mark 2:28.

Memory Text: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:2, NIV).

► All resources you need for the Sabbath School Bible Studies: free access to download all departments Lessons Editions, Videos, Podcasts, App and additional comments

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How does the Bible teach 6,000 years? By Lita Cosner

The Bible’s history gives us the answer to the age of the earth

Many people write in and ask, “How do we know that the earth is 6,000 years old from the Bible?” Given that the chronogenealogies—genealogies where the age of the father at the time of the son’s birth is given in an unbroken chain—end shortly after Noah, how do we get from ~1600 AM (anno mundi = ‘year of the world’) to today, which we would argue is about 6000 AM?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Super Size Me│documentary film

• Trailer ... watch the full movie for free in Youtube or Hulu

Super Size Me is a 2004 American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker. Spurlock's film follows a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003 during which he ate only McDonald's food. 

The film documents this lifestyle's drastic effect on Spurlock's physical and psychological well-being, and explores the fast food industry's corporate influence, including how it encourages poor nutrition for its own profit.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Natural Disasters Cost the World $160 Billion in 2012

Natural disasters in 2012 cost $160 billion worth of losses worldwide, according to Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance firm.
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Munich Re Press Release: Natural catastrophe statistics for 2012 dominated by weather extremes in the USA

The USA accounted for a higher proportion of global natural catastrophe losses than usual in 2012, due to a series of severe weather-related catastrophes. Last year, natural catastrophes caused US$ 160bn in overall losses and US$ 65bn in insured losses worldwide. Some 67% of overall losses and 90% of insured losses were attributable to the USA – the respective averages are 32% and 57%. The year's highest insured loss was caused by Hurricane Sandy, with an estimated amount of around US$ 25bn.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Creation: Forming the World│Lesson 2, January 5-11

Read for This Week’s Study:  Gen. 1:1–13, Isa. 45:18, 1 John 1:5, Rev. 22:5, 2 Cor. 4:6, 2 Pet. 3:5, Job 38:4–6.

Memory Text: “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: ‘I am the Lord, and there is no other’ ” (Isaiah 45:18, NKJV).

► All resources you need for the Sabbath School Bible Studies: free access to download all departments Lessons Editions, Videos, Podcasts, App and additional comments

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bnei Menashe Move To Israel: Indian Jews From 'Lost Tribe' Arrive In Holy Land

Dozens of Jews who claim to be the descendants of a lost biblical Jewish tribe emigrated to Israel on Monday from their village in northeastern India, celebrating their arrival after a five-year struggle to get in.

The Bnei Menashe say they are descended from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in the eighth century B.C. An Israeli chief rabbi recognized them as a lost tribe in 2005, and about 1,700 moved to Israel over the next two years before the government stopped giving them visas.