Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Gonorrhea Doomsday Is Nigh. By Alexander Abad-Santos

(The Atlantic Wire) Gonorrhea, one of the the smartest of all the bacterial STDs, is on the rise. From Wyoming to Utah to Minnesota, there are reports of cases increasing, some by 74 percent—all on the heels of the first incurable strain hitting North American genitalia back earlier this year. And now, British doctors who devote their careers to studying The Clap are warning that the disease could be completely untreatable sooner than the U.S. elects a new president. "[T]here is a possibility that if we don't do something then it could become untreatable by 2015," professor Cathy Ison, head of the National Reference Laboratory for Gonorrhea in the U.K., told the BBC Wednesday.

"Untreatable," as Dr. Ison sees it, would be a nightmare scenario not only for patients bound to suffer complications like infertility and ectopic pregnancies, but also for doctors who could no longer break transmission, becoming unprepared to deal with more complex infections. And though Ison's warning of a gonorrhea doomsday is a hypothetical worst-case scenario, the troubling signs of growing cases and incurable strains are already here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Answers to Why People Become Terrorists. By Bruce Hoffman

(The Daily Beast│NewsweekFrom the bombers of 9/11 to the Tsarnaev brothers, everyone asks the question: why? Why would these men kill? Why would these men aim for such destruction? We know there is no one path to radicalization. The reasons why someone picks up a gun or blows themselves up are ineluctably personal, born variously of grievance and frustration; religious piety or the desire for systemic socio-economic change; irredentist conviction or commitment to revolution. And yet, though there is no universal terrorist personality, nor has a single, broadly applicable profile ever been produced, there are things we do know. Terrorists are generally motivated by a profound sense of (albeit, misguided) altruism; deep feelings of self-defense; and, if they are religiously observant or devout, an abiding, even unswerving, commitment to their faith and the conviction that their violence is not only theologically justified, but divinely commanded.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Benefits of Church. By T. M. Luhrmann

(NY Times) ONE of the most striking scientific discoveries about religion in recent years is that going to church weekly is good for you. Religious attendance — at least, religiosity — boosts the immune system and decreases blood pressure. It may add as much as two to three years to your life. The reason for this is not entirely clear.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

How churches can respond to mental illness. By Ed Stetzer

(CNN) - The first time I dealt with mental illness in church was with a man named Jim. I was young and idealistic - a new pastor serving in upstate New York. Jim was a godsend to us. He wanted to help, and his energy was immeasurable. He'd visit with me, sing spontaneously, pray regularly and was always ready to help.

Until he was gone.

For days and sometimes weeks at a time, he would struggle with darkness and depression. During this time, he would withdraw from societal interaction and do practically nothing but read Psalms and pray for hours on end. I later learned that this behavior is symptomatic of what is often called bipolar disorder or, in years before, manic depression

I prayed with Jim. We talked often about the need for him to take his medicine, but he kept asking God to fix him. Eventually, at his lowest point and filled with despair, he took his own life.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

All Hyped Up│The fears and facts of Energy Drinks. By Lindsay Beyerstein

(New Republic) The modern market for energy drinks is less than 20 years old, but the products are already firmly rooted in the dubious tradition of American patent medicine. We’ve always had a weakness for elixirs and potions that promise health and vitality, but nowadays, we get our nostrums from the convenience store rather than the travelling medicine show. If you wanted to sum up energy drinks, you could put it this way: A middling amount of caffeine combined with mega-doses of marketing and pseudoscience. But while the market has experienced incredible growth over the past two decades, an accumulation of deaths ostensibly caused by energy drinks, an FDA investigation, and the general tenor of public alarm suggests that the honeymoon phase is over. But should we really be worrying?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tragedy in Waco: 20 Years after

Twenty years ago, federal agents clashed with David Koresh's Branch Davidian community near Waco, Texas. The standoff ended with a raid and fire that killed some 80 people. It's remembered as one of the darkest chapters in American law enforcement history.

Two decades later, some of the Branch Davidians who survived the raid are still believers, while a new church group has moved onto the land.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lifeline to “climate refugees”?

The idea that millions of people might be forced to relocate because of extreme natural events has caused concern in developed countries

(IRIN • UN) The international community has steadfastly dodged the issue of recognition and protection for “climate refugees” - people forced to relocate to another country as a result of the risks and hazards of a changing climate. Now, the first global initiative to address humanitarian options is underway, with discussions focusing on the Pacific Ocean states to take place soon.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

'You are not a sketch.' Say no to anorexia

Powerful anti-anorexia ad campaign tells women 'you are not a sketch' using models with fashion illustration proportions

Say no to anorexia: Star Models, a modeling agency based in Brazil, has released a graphic new anti-anorexia ad campaign, using Photoshop to turn models into life-size fashion illustrations

(Daily Mail) Star Models, a modeling agency based in Brazil, has released a graphic new anti-anorexia ad campaign, using Photoshop to turn models into life-size fashion illustrations.

The ads, which run with the tag line 'Say no to anorexia,' show a fashion illustration with typically exaggerated proportions next to a model wearing the same outfit - and the same measurements.

While the models have been airbrushed to mimic the unrealistic illustrations, the ad pleads to young women: 'You are not a sketch.'

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

U.S. court gives green light for Adventist’s workplace discrimination trial

(ANN) A Seventh-day Adventist school bus driver in the U.S. state of Louisiana has won the right from a federal appeals court to proceed with a workplace discrimination case over his observance of Sabbath.

Robert Antoine last week was granted a unanimous decision from a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans against his former employer First Student Inc., the largest school bus company in North America.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Holy and Just God│Joel│Lesson 3, April 13-19

Memory Text: “The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?” (Joel 2:11, NIV). 

Key Thought: God can use crises to make His people sensitive to both their dependence on Him and their need for spiritual renewal and reformation.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nine lessons for living longer from the people who've lived the longest. By Mike Bundrant

What if you could add 10 years - 10 good years - to your life?

Longevity Icons: Marge Jetton and Dr. Wareham from Loma Linda, CA. 

To locate the first known seekers of longevity we'd have to travel to ancient Ethiopia, where the Greek historian Herodotus informs us existed a very special kind of water that could prolong life. Even Alexander the Great was said to have journeyed there in search of perpetual youth.

As provocative legends tend to do, this one made it around the world, pausing for a time to inform Middle Eastern fables before moving on to Europe during the Age of Exploration. Finally, it ended up in none other than Florida, where the 16th century Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon is said to have ventured in search of healing waters.

Today, the Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, Florida celebrates Spanish heritage and even allows tourists to drink from a fountain on the grounds. So far no one has gotten any younger, but tourists love the gimmick.

And the search goes on as if it were our greatest religion, the quest for longer life.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Food, Inc.│documentary film

Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner. The film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees ...

For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Love and Judgment: God’s Dilemma│Hosea│Lesson 2, April 6-12

Read for This Week’s Study: Hos. 7:11, 12; 10:11–13Matt. 11:28–30; Rom. 5:8; 1 Pet. 2:24; Hosea 14.

Memory Text: “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always” (Hosea 12:6, NIV).

Key Thought: Hosea reveals more of God’s love for His wayward people.

Ben Carson handles spotlight ‘prayerfully, humbly’

In an interview, Dr. Ben Carson said he chooses to believe in a literal, six-day creation, and would willingly debate those who believe otherwise. Here he speaks at the Celebration of Creation outreach event on December 2 at the Adventist Church world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States│ANN

When Dr. Ben Carson spoke at February’s National Prayer Breakfast in front of United States President Barack Obama, his critical views on national healthcare legislation and the country’s increasing debt set the media abuzz.

His comments have since led to appearances and features in top news agencies, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and Fox News.

Carson, 61, has served as director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, since he was 33 years old. A lifelong Seventh-day Adventist, he is a member of the Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Spencerville, Maryland.

He is the author of four books. His first, “Gifted Hands,” tells the story of his rise from a single-parent home in the inner city to a renowned medical career. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. portrayed Carson in an HBO movie of the same title.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Americans love the Bible but don’t read it much

More than half of Americans think the Bible has too little influence on a culture they see in moral decline, yet only one in five Americans read the Bible on a regular basis, according to a new survey.

More than three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) think the nation’s morality is headed downhill, according to a new survey from American Bible Society.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Armageddon: Is It About to Happen? By Marvin Moore

Many Christians today are convinced that Armageddon—Revelation’s name for earth’s last battle—is due to break out in the very near future. Armageddon is presumed to refer to the valley of Megiddo in Israel (though the word itself means “Mount Megiddo”), and all the conflict that’s gone on in that region of the world the last few years makes it attractive to suppose that Armageddon is, indeed, about to happen. Consider:
  • Terrorism, emanating from the Middle East, is a global threat.
  • The Israelis and the Palestinians seem to be in a life-and-death struggle.
  • Afghanistan is embroiled in conflict.
  • Iraq has become the scene of an intractable war with no apparent end in sight.