Monday, December 25, 2023

You Don't Have to Know. The Christmas Shopping Season. Animal Protein Intake and IGF-1 Production.


You Don't Have to Know

a surface of gray stones slightly covered with water“Anyone can choose to humbly ask God for ways to serve when they see someone who may be struggling.

Aaron Burden/Unsplash

Encourage an open and healing connection with others so they may feel understood and supported.

Have you ever seen a situation in which you wanted to do something but were afraid you might say or do something wrong or unhelpful? I have.

Admittedly, there can be situations that may not be our business. If that is the case, realize it quickly and leave it alone, an issue for another time. But there may be times you encounter a situation where your heart is moved to help, but you are not sure how.

I had four brothers, one of whom was born with Down Syndrome and a number of even more challenging conditions. I was his legal guardian for the last 35 years of his life. It was difficult for my parents and later for me to deal with countless situations that involved difficult, binding decisions. When I see people in similar situations, I cannot turn away. I recall that Proverbs instructs: “Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don’t excuse yourself by saying, ‘Look, we didn’t know.’ For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve” (Proverbs 24:11-12, New Living Translation). This reminds us how important it is to be aware of serious situations of which we may be able to help, versus living in denial of the fact that I could do something to make the situation better.

I have been blessed to meet families in Church at Feast of Tabernacles sites etc., that, like me, faced similar challenging situations. Each time I was moved to action by considering the difficult times they faced as their lot in life. As I reached out to them, I experienced some feelings of nervousness but was able to overcome the apprehension by focusing on their needs and offering to serve.

It may seem easier to approach these situations with understanding and sensitivity when you’ve already had a similar experience. But, the fact is, anyone can choose to humbly ask God for ways to serve when they see someone who may be struggling.

I suggest your perspective should be: “I don't have to know or have the answers, just ask.” You could say something like, “How are you, really? But, if you’d rather not share, that’s fine.” Or you could say, “You appear to be distressed.” This may open a door and lead to meaningful conversation and additional ways to help and serve.

At the Feast of Tabernacles one year, I was saddened to hear one family tell me that they were rarely asked by brethren how they were getting along. It struck me how important it is to reach out and show true care and concern for others.

When faced with these circumstances, start by giving your ears and your heart, right then and there. Ask God to help you serve if you can (Proverbs 3:27-28). Don’t minimize or judge them, but encourage an open and healing connection so they may feel understood and supported (Proverbs 18:13). You can also make it a point not to ignore other family members who may feel neglected because of the necessary care and attention given to one family member. For me, reaching out resulted in that family feeling encouraged and comfortable enough to talk for a number of hours, sharing their situation.

People, in and out of Church struggle with many isolating and lonely battles. If you prove to someone that you are a “safe place” to trust and to share with, and you sense it is the appropriate time, you could use Fred Rogers’ simple but powerful question, “What’s the matter?” There may be potential here for fulfilling Galatians 6:2 to, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

A good way to learn how some of your brothers and sisters are working through serious difficulties is to visit the Breaking Free blog at They have much to share that may help in breaking the silence that typically surrounds issues of overcoming.

We await the return of Jesus Christ, the Mighty God and Counselor (Isaiah 9:6), who will begin to create a safe place when He returns to earth. As His helpers and “princes” (Isaiah 32:1), we will become hiding places and “shelters” (Isaiah 32:2), for those who live through the Great Tribulation. So, as we look forward to that time ahead, let’s be present for others today by choosing to “just ask.” From:


Matthew 2:11

(11) And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

“When it comes to the "most important" part of all in this Christmas observance—the Christmas shopping season—the buying and exchanging of gifts—many will exclaim triumphantly, "Well, at least the Bible tells us to do that! Didn't the wise men give gifts, when Christ was born?"

Again, we are due for some surprises, when we learn the plain truth. First, let us look at the historic origin of trading gifts back and forth, then see exactly what the Bible does say about it.

From the Bibliotheca Sacra, volume 12, pages 153-155, we quote, "The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the Pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows."

The fact is, this custom fastened upon people of exchanging gifts with friends and relatives at the Christmas season has not a single trace of Christianity about it, strange though that may seem! This does not celebrate Christ's birthday or honor it or Him! Suppose someone you love has a birthday. You want to honor that person on his or her birthday. Would you lavishly buy gifts for everyone else, trading gifts back and forth with all your other friends and loved ones, but ignore completely any gift for the one whose birthday you are honoring? Rather absurd, when viewed in that light, is it not?

Yet this is exactly what people the world over are doing! They honor a day that is not Christ's birthday by spending every dime they can scrape together—even spending what they cannot afford—in buying presents to trade back and forth among friends and relatives.

Now consider what the Bible says about giving gifts when Christ was born. It is in Matthew 2:1-11. "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?' . . . And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto HIM gifts; gold and frankincense, and myrrh."

Notice, they inquired for the child Jesus, who was born King of the Jews! Now why did they present gifts to Him? Because it was His birthday? Not at all, because they came several days or weeks after the date of His birth! Was it to set an example for us, today, to trade gifts back and forth among ourselves? No, notice carefully! They did not exchange gifts among themselves, but "they presented unto Him gifts." They gave their gifts to Christ, not to their friends, relatives, or one another!

Why? Let me quote from the Adam Clarke Commentary, volume 5, page 46: "Verse 11. (They presented unto him gifts.) The people of the East never approach the presence of kings and great personages, without a present in their hands. The custom is often noticed in the Old Testament, and still prevails in the East, and in some of the newly discovered South Sea Islands."

There it is! They were not instituting a new Christian custom of exchanging gifts with friends to honor Christ's birthday. They were following an old and ancient eastern custom of presenting gifts to a king when they come into his presence. They were approaching Him, born King of the Jews, in person. Therefore custom required they present gifts—even as the Queen of Sheba brought gifts to Solomon—even as many people today take a gift along when they visit the White House for an appointment with the President.

No, the custom of trading gifts back and forth does not stem from this scriptural incident at all, but rather, as quoted from history above, it is the continuance of an ancient pagan custom.”

To learn more, see:
The Plain Truth About Christmas 

Related Topics:
Christ's Birth
Christ's Birth Not In December
Christ's Birth Not In Winter
Christmas, Pagan Origins of 



Protein Intake and IGF-1 Production

Transcript of video at:

“Animal protein consumption triggers the release of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1.

What is the mechanism by which our diet can affect our levels of this cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1? Imagine you’re a kid with some Tinkertoys. Then, Christmas comes early, and you get one of those huge sets dumped down in front of you. All excited with this new load of building raw materials, you may really start scaling up. And basically, it’s the same thing with your liver and Insulin-like Growth Factor 1.

When you dump a load of protein on your body, your liver’s like whoa, look at all this. What are we going to do with all? We can’t just waste it; we’ve got to do something with it. Let’s just start growing stuff; add a few new additions, maybe a new wing. So your liver decides to start pumping out IGF-1 to tell all the cells in the body, it’s growin’ time! Be fruitful and multiply. Spare no expense, go crazy—look how much excess protein we got to work with!

The problem, of course, is that some of the new additions may be tumors. When you’re a fully grown adult, cell growth is something we want to slow down—not accelerate. So one might imagine the goal would be to maintain adequate, but non-excessive, overall protein intake—but wait a second.

Studies have found no association between total protein intake and IGF-1 levels. Doesn’t that just go against everything I just said? Ah, but these studies didn’t take into account animal versus plant protein.

In this study of meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans, they found no significant difference in IGF levels between people eating lots of protein, compared to people eating less protein. But before ditching the theory that excessive protein intake boosts the levels of IGF-1, they decided to break it down into animal protein versus plant protein.

Higher IGF-1 levels were just associated with animal protein intake. In fact, the plant protein seemed to decrease IGF-1 levels. So, no wonder there was no net effect of total protein intake. Animal protein appears to send a much different signal to our livers than most plant proteins. So even those vegans eating the same amount of protein as meat-eaters still had lower levels of the cancer-promoting hormone, IGF-1.

So, it’s apparently not about excessive protein in general, but animal protein in particular.” From:

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.


Sunday, December 17, 2023

Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas? 50 Years Without Christmas. Seeing Red No. 3: Coloring to Dye For.


Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas?

Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas?“People around the world celebrate Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25. However, this date held no particular significance to Jesus Himself. But other days did.

For millions of Christians around the world, the only time of the year they go to church is Christmas and Easter. These are sometimes called CEOs (Christmas and Easter Only attendees).

According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, only 20 percent of American Christians actually attend church on a weekly basis. (The number is even lower in Europe.) Many churches report that their attendance nearly doubles on Christmas, and there is a significant spike in Google searches for “church” in late December.

Why do people who normally don’t go to church show up on Christmas?

Well, only those people can really answer that, but it’s likely because they see it as a special celebration of Christ’s birth, so they want to do what they believe honors Him.

But consider this question: Does Christmas hold the same significance to Jesus Himself?

Missing from the Bible

To answer any question about Jesus Christ, our first (and really only) logical source is the Bible—particularly the four Gospels and the later writings of His contemporaries. When you study those documents, it’s striking that the most prominent celebration associated with Christianity is totally absent. Nobody—not Jesus, not Peter, not John, not Paul—gives any hint that he had ever celebrated Jesus’ birth in December (or any month).

Some people believe it is okay to celebrate holidays originally rooted in paganism because they have now been Christianized. But is God okay with this? That is not to say that the Bible doesn’t talk about Jesus’ birth, but it actually gives very few details about it. It is only covered in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Mark and John never discuss it). But if you read Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2 closely, you discover there are only a few verses that directly discuss the actual day of His birth (Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7-16). The rest of these sections describe events that surrounded His birth, but did not actually occur on the same day.

What is typically called “the Christmas story” inaccurately squeezes almost all the events described in Matthew 2 and Luke 2 into one single day in late December.

For instance, the common perception is that three wise men visited the infant Jesus on the night of His birth. But the wise men actually didn’t arrive until much later, when the family was living in a house and Jesus was no longer a newborn (Matthew 2:11). And the Bible doesn’t say there were three wise men (verse 1). To learn more about the myths surrounding His birth, read “The Birth of Jesus: Myths and Misperceptions.”

What did Jesus celebrate?

But if Jesus didn’t celebrate the most popular religious holidays of today, did He celebrate anything? Yes. In fact, the New Testament provides a lot of details about the religious days He observed.

Throughout His life, Jesus faithfully observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week. It was such a regular part of His life that Luke described it as “His custom” (Luke 4:16). No matter where He was, from Jerusalem to Galilee, He always rested and would attend the synagogue to hear and read the Scriptures and sometimes teach (verses 17-21).

Jesus grew up in a family that faithfully observed the biblical holy days rooted in the Old Testament scriptures (Leviticus 23). For example, Luke records that His family “went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover” (Luke 2:41).

Every year!

This wasn’t just to keep the feast known as the Passover. It included the two holy days that fall in a week’s time—the first and seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (verse 43; see also Leviticus 23:4-8). He also observed the other festivals taught in Leviticus 23. John 7, for example, provides an account of the last Feast of Tabernacles Jesus kept as a human being.

The early Church continued to follow His example by observing these special days. Our online article “Christian Festivals” highlights many scriptures that show the early Christians observed the same days Jesus did.

Follow Christ

One of Discern’s primary purposes is to help our readers discover Bible truths that are not widely understood or practiced. That’s why we write about the biblical holy days so often. These days were established by God and were a major part of Jesus’ life when He walked the earth. Yet most mainstream Christians ignore these biblically sanctioned days and instead keep unbiblical holidays like Christmas—which are man-made and based on ancient pagan worship. Consider that Christmas was first mentioned in A.D. 336—more than 300 years after Christ’s lifetime!

Some people believe it is okay to celebrate holidays originally rooted in paganism because they have now been Christianized. But is God okay with this? The truth is, God has never given people permission to appropriate paganism and redefine it as worshipping Him. In fact, He commanded in no uncertain terms that they never do that (Deuteronomy 12:29-31; Jeremiah 10:1-5; 2 Corinthians 6:17).

One of the apostle Paul’s most succinct and memorable lines is found in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

In this short sentence, Paul captures the essence of what real Christianity is. When it comes to how you worship God, will you imitate the example of Jesus by observing the biblical festivals He observed? Or will you celebrate holidays invented by men?

To learn more about the problems with Christmas, read a past Christ vs. Christianity article “Jesus Christ vs. Christmas.”

Sidebar: Is Christmas Christian? Four Questions to Consider

Does it matter which holidays you celebrate? Most assume Christmas is a Christian holiday, even though it has been secularized and is celebrated by millions of non-Christians. Here are four questions to consider about Christmas. The answers may lead you to reconsider giving this holiday a “Christian” label.

  1. Is it Christian to celebrate Christ’s birth on the birthday of an ancient sun god?
  2. Is it Christian to keep ancient pagan worship practices alive by calling them Christian?
  3. Is it Christian to lie to children about a mythical figure’s existence?
  4. Is it Christian to ignore the festivals sanctioned in the Bible and instead keep holidays taught nowhere in the Bible?

These questions are addressed in our InSights blog post “Four Reasons Christmas Is Not Christian.”  From:


50 Years Without Christmas

“Two years ago was a special Christmas for me.

It was the 50th consecutive year that I’ve been without it. Yes, a golden anniversary of not having something!

I remember it well. When you are 11 years old, it’s no small thing if your parents make the life-changing decision that it is intellectually dishonest, scripturally untruthful and spiritually hypocritical to celebrate Christmas.

Researching the facts was the easy part—history has never hidden the pagan origins of Christmas and how its customs became integrated into the church by powerful people who called themselves Christians but whose practices bore little resemblance to those of the Christians of the Bible.

The “Christ vs. Christianity” column on pages 28-30 gives a great summary of what the Bible clearly does say, and does not say, about God’s view of such behavior. The bottom line is that the pro-Christmas argument can never revolve around the historical or biblical facts; its only defense is human rationalizing and justifying.

It wasn’t hard to see the truth

Even as a child, I didn’t find it hard to clearly see the truth of the matter. Maybe I was more primed to accept it, since the memories of having been lied to about Santa Claus were still fairly fresh in my young head.

At any rate, it really wasn’t all that hard for me to stop celebrating Christmas. That we weren’t going to keep Christmas anymore was much more difficult for others than it was for us! I saw my grandparents all the time throughout the year, but one would have thought their world was coming apart when we announced that we were quietly bowing out of the Christmas scene!

Despite some of those challenges, from year one I never missed Christmas.

Those closest to us, though, adjusted after a while when they realized that we hadn’t turned into religious nuts. They found that we still loved Jesus, that we still loved them, and that, because we loved them, we would continue to give and receive gifts at other times of the year … just not at Christmas.

Others were less charitable

Other folks were sometimes less charitable. Through abandoning Christmas, I learned one of my early lessons about “freedom of religion”—it’s a nice notion, but in reality it usually comes with a price, such as having to deal with the hurts of other people ridiculing and badgering you.

It’s funny how the least tolerant were the most religious. Maybe they felt our decision tacitly challenged them to defend their own beliefs. Some people, when they cannot defend the biblically indefensible, resort to personal attacks. But through it all you learn other lessons you will need later in life, such as standing by the courage of your convictions.

Never missed it

Despite some of those challenges, from year one I never missed Christmas. Maybe it was the way my parents engaged me in the discovery process. I don’t remember the exact conversations we had about it, but I do remember coming to comprehend the core issue that I mentioned earlier: Mixing Christianity and Christmas just isn’t being honest with the truth. 

And isn’t honesty, sincerity and truth supposed to be a cornerstone of our relationship with God? Isn’t that one of the most important gifts we can give to our children?”    Clyde Kilough, Editor.  From:


Seeing Red No. 3: Coloring to Dye For

(Lot of red going around at this time of year!!)

Transcript of video at:

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“The artificial food coloring Red No. 3 has yet to be banned—despite its purported role in causing thousands of cases of thyroid cancer.

Fifteen million pounds of food dyes are sold every year in the U.S. Why? “Foods are artificially colored to make unattractive mixtures of basic ingredients and food additives acceptable to consumers.” See, food colorings are added to countless processed food products to “conceal the absence of fruits, vegetables, or other ingredients, and make the food ‘appear better or of greater value than it [actually] is.’” Otherwise, cherry popsicles might actually look like they have no cherries in them!

I’ve talked about the role of food dyes in causing ADH symptoms in kids. But, what about their role in cancer?

Due to cancer concerns, Red dye #1 was banned in 1961. Red #2 was banned in 1976, and then Red #4 was banned. What about Red #3, used today in everything from sausage to maraschino cherries? It was recently found to cause DNA damage in human liver cells in vitro, comparable to the damage caused by a chemotherapy drug whose whole purpose is to break down DNA.

But, Red #3 was found to influence children’s behavior more than thirty years ago, and interfere with thyroid function over forty years ago. Why is it still legal?

This is an article from the New York Times about Red #3 published way back in 1985. Already by then, the FDA had postponed action on banning the dye 26 times, even with the Acting Commissioner of the FDA saying Red #3 was “of greatest public health concern,” imploring his agency to “not knowingly allow continued exposure” (at high levels in the case of Red #3) of the public to…color additive[s] that [have] clearly been shown to induce cancer… The credibility of the [Department of Health and Human Services] would suffer if decisions are not made soon on each of these color additives.” That was written thirty years ago.

At the end of the day, industry pressure won out. “FDA scientists and FDA commissioners…have recommended that the additives be banned… But there has been tremendous pressure…to delay the recommendations from being implemented.”

In 1990, concerned about cancer risk, the FDA banned the use of Red #3 in anything going on our skin, but it remained legal to continue to put it in anything going into our mouths. Now, the FDA said at the time that they planned on stopping that too, and ending all “remaining uses” of Red #3, lamenting that “The cherries in 21st-century fruit cocktail could well be light brown.” That was 1990.

Over 20 years later, it’s still in our food supply. After all, the agency estimated that “the lifetime risk of thyroid tumors in humans [from Red #3 in food] was at most 1 in 100,000.”

“Based on today’s population, that would indicate that Red #3 is causing cancer in about 3000 people.” From:

Still not banned by Oct. 1923!!


Monday, December 11, 2023

When Was Jesus Born? Part 1, 2 & 3. Why You Should Never Eat Pork.


When Was Jesus Born? Part 1

Luke 1:5

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

“The Bible does not tell us exactly when Jesus Christ was born. The closest hint, found in this verse, seems to point to Christ’s birth in the fall of the year.

What’s the connection? Verse 36 shows that Jesus Christ was born about six months after John the Baptist was born. And John the Baptist would have been conceived nine months earlier (15 months before Christ’s birth), shortly after his father Zacharias had received a message from an angel while serving at the temple.

When did Zacharias serve at the temple? One source says he probably served one-week stints around mid-May and mid-November. (E.W. Bullinger uses the dates June 13-19.) King David had divided the priests into 24 courses, of which the division of Abijah was the eighth (1 Chronicles 24:10). These divisions each served a week at a time, so that each division served two weeks at the temple each year according to the sacred calendar, in addition to the festivals.

A number of commentators lean toward a May or June date for Zacharias’ meeting with Gabriel. Adding 15 months to that would put Jesus Christ’s birth in perhaps August or September. (If Zacharias met Gabriel around November or December, Christ’s birth would have been in perhaps February or March.)

Either way would not support a Dec. 25 birth date.”



When Was Jesus Born? Part 2

Luke 2:1 

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

“The vast Roman Empire was a structured and expensive government, and this census was “organized to facilitate the collection of taxes” (NKJV Study Bible). In an agrarian society, both tithes and taxes were collected shortly after the fall harvest when the farmer would have sold his crop. Collecting taxes in the winter or any other time is not very effective.

Also, since such a census required people like Joseph to travel back to their ancestral home, it is unlikely the census would have been conducted in the winter time when travel was difficult. This is but one more hint in the text that Jesus Christ’s birth did not occur on Dec. 25. Though the Bible does not give an exact date for His birth, it seems clear that it could not have been in the winter.”



When Was Jesus Born? Part 3

Luke 2:8 

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

“One commentary states, “As these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, note on Luke 2:8).

The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary agrees: “These humble pastoral folk are out in the field at night with their flock—a feature of the story which would argue against the birth (of Christ) occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted it” (1971, note on Luke 2:4-7).

For more about why Jesus Christ’s birth could not have been Dec. 25 and how it came to be celebrated that day, see our article “Christmas: Should Christians Celebrate It?”” From:


Why You Should Never Eat Pork

Why you should never eat pork9 reasons why you shouldn’t eat pork

“Sausages, bacon, and ham are all popular pork products. And with good reason: they’re delicious! There’s nothing quite like starting your day with a juicy bacon sandwich or enjoying a delicious plate of ham and eggs.

But as with most things that taste great, there’s a downside to eating pork. Pork is, in fact, one of the unhealthiest meats you can eat. In this article, we’re going to discuss why you should seriously consider cutting pork out of your diet altogether.

1. Pork contains parasites

One of the main reasons why you shouldn’t eat pork is because it contains parasites. These parasites can cause disease and even death in humans.

Some of the most common parasites found in pork include roundworms, tapeworms, and trichinosis. Trichinosis is a worm infection that can be passed on to humans from pigs. This infection can cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle pain. In severe cases, it can also lead to death.

While cooking pork may kill some of the parasites, it won’t remove all of them.

2. Pork may cause cancer

Another reason to avoid eating pork is that it may contribute to cancer. Pork products contain heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

These are both carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds that have been linked to an increased risk of various types of cancer, including stomach, colon, and pancreatic cancer.

3. Eating pork can lead to allergies

Some people are allergic to the protein found in pigs. These proteins include pork insulin and pork trypsinogen.

Pork insulin is similar to human insulin and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Pork trypsinogen is a protein that helps the pig digest its food. This protein has also been known to cause allergic reactions in humans.

4. Pig farming is harmful to the environment

Pig farming is one of the most damaging types of farming to the environment. Pigs produce large amounts of manure, which contains nitrogen and phosphorus.

These substances can pollute the air, water, and soil. In addition, pig farms often use large amounts of antibiotics, which can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These antibiotics tend to leach into the environment and can contaminate water sources and the earth.

5. Pigs are generally left in unsanitary conditions

Pigs are intelligent animals that can feel pain and suffering. Unfortunately, they’re often kept in unsanitary conditions on factory farms.

These farms confine pigs to small metal cages or pens. The floors of these pens are often slatted, so the waste falls through into a pit below. The pigs are cramped and have no room to move around or exercise.

The conditions on these farms are so bad that pigs often develop sores and ulcers. They also, believe it or not, suffer from anxiety, boredom, and depression.

6. Pigs eat other animals

There’s a somewhat unspoken rule that humans should avoid eating animals that eat other animals. Pigs are one of the few exceptions to this rule.

Pigs are omnivores, which means they’ll eat just about anything. This includes dead animals, feces, and even their own young. As a result, pigs can harbor all sorts of diseases and parasites.

Thus, whatever they eat, you end up eating too.”        From:


Just like the saying:      You are what you eat, AND WHAT IT ATE!!


What diseases do pigs carry?

“The diseases associated with swine include ringworm, erysipelas, leptospirosis, streptococcosis, campylobacterosis, salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, balantidiasis, influenza, infection with pathogenic E. coli, and brucellosis.

Do pigs poop out of their hooves?

In addition to adapted digestive systems that support opportunistic scavenging, pigs can excrete excess toxins through their hooves. So, in the event that they do eat too much garbage, their bodies still have a back-up plan to rid the poison.

Can pig poop make you sick?

It is important to thoroughly wash hands after contact with pigs or their fecal material to avoid infection with diseases that can be spread via fecal-oral contact. Campylobacteriosis is an infection of the intestines caused by a bacterium called Campylobacter.

What happens if a pig bites you?

Pig bites are often severe with a high incidence of infection that is often polymicrobial with organisms including Staphylococcus and Streptococcus spp. (including Streptococcus suis), Haemophilus influenzae, Pasteurella, Actinobacillus and Flavobacterium species.

Why do pigs eat faeces?

Coprophagia is the term for an animal eating excrement—both their own and that of others. Most of them eat feces because it contains some undigested food—and thus vital nutrients—that would otherwise go to waste.  (Rabbits do this, too, that is why they are also an “unclean” meat.)

Do pigs have STDS?

They are responsible for a broad range of diseases in animals and humans. In pigs, Chlamydia suis, Chlamydia abortus, Chlamydia pecorum and Chlamydia psittaci have been isolated.”  From:


Sunday, December 3, 2023

The 5 Rs of Healing Relationships. Avoiding Vain Repetitions in Prayer. Best Way to Cook Vegetables.


The 5 Rs of Healing Relationships

The 5 Rs of Healing Relationships“Getting along with people can be hard. A variety of factors can contribute to the breakdown of relationships. What can we do to help restore broken relationships?

Over 25 years ago, in the midst of rioting, Rodney King voiced these memorable words: “Can we all get along?” All these years later, the words still resonate. Rodney King, a man who was severely beaten on camera by Los Angeles police after being apprehended following a car chase, was trying to quell the violence that had started as a result.

Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

In fact, if we go back almost 2,000 years to the first century, we read a similar sentiment by the apostle Paul: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

The point is that relationships are hard. They have always been hard. Humanity has been having a difficult time getting along all the way back to when Cain killed his brother Abel in Genesis 4. Some of the many consequences of broken relationships are violence, estrangement, gossip, feelings of self-superiority, insults or belittling. The list could go on and on.

In our polarized world, people are often at odds with people they haven’t even met, based on their political persuasion, ethnicity, religion, etc. For instance, just quoting the three men above could already bias people for or against us just based on their feelings about Mr. King, Mr. Roosevelt or the Bible.

Can we change this?

Those who believe the Bible have the opportunity to be shining examples of how to heal relationships and love others—because the Bible has so much to say on the topic. Christians can demonstrate that even when mistakes are made—and even though it may be extremely challenging—it is possible to restore and heal a relationship that has been damaged or broken.

It is possible to restore and heal a relationship that has been damaged or broken. But we have to work at it. Strong relationships are perhaps the most difficult things to achieve, but also the most rewarding. None of us do it perfectly, but there are ways we can do it better. This blog post will begin a series of five posts on healing broken relationships.

[NOTE: There is one caveat, however. If physical, mental or emotional abuse is occurring, we should first leave the situation and not focus on reconciliation. If reconciliation is to be achieved in an abusive relationship, it should be done through a professional counselor.]

The five healing Rs

This blog series will cover five keys to healing broken relationships, whether with coworkers and other acquaintances or with our families and close friends.

Here is a preview of what we will be covering. We should:

  • Recognize that our own thinking, speech or behavior has damaged our relationship with someone. The first step to healing any relationship is recognizing our part in damaging it.
  • Repent to God for every way our thoughts, speech or behavior has done damage to a relationship.  
  • Replace hurtful thoughts, speech and behavior with positive and peacemaking ways.
  • Reconcile to make things right with the other person, even if that means things don’t go the way we expect or prefer. 
  • Retry the relationship by starting fresh, putting the past in the past and getting a new perspective.

No relationship is perfect, and we all have flaws to deal with. But healing broken relationships is worth the effort because strong relationships provide great happiness and help us live better lives.”  From:


Private Prayers

Matthew 6:5-6

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

“In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ laid out the foundations of Christianity; and in this section He addresses the wrong and right ways to pray.

Prayer is not for show or to impress other people. It is designed to help us build a personal relationship with our Creator. The core of our prayer life is one-on-one, alone with God. When we pray in private, we can express our deepest emotions and be open with God in a way we could not be in public.

The example of the New Testament Church shows that this does not mean that there is no place for public prayer, as there are many examples of the Church of God praying together (Acts 1:14; 4:24-31; etc.). But we must always be on guard against the attitude of hypocrisy that Jesus warned about. Read more in our article “Private Worship Toward God.”

For more about what the Bible teaches about prayer, see our article “How to Talk to God.” From:


Avoiding Vain Repetitions in Prayer

Matthew 6:7

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

“God does not give us prayers to memorize and repeat mindlessly as a ritual. He is not interested in babble and hearing certain syllables intoned repetitiously, as it seems the pagans believed their “gods” did. He wants His followers to “avoid meaningless, repetitive prayers offered under the misconception that mere length will make prayers efficacious” (Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:7-8).

God is interested in us having an actual conversation with Him, listening to what He says in the Bible and sharing our thoughts, requests, cares and praise with Him in a focused and meaningful way. Repeating someone else’s words over and over again can’t help but become rote and ritual rather than building the relationship God desires.

See more about the communication God desires in our articles “How to Avoid Repetitious Prayer” and “How to Pray.”  From:


Best Way to Cook Vegetables

Transcript of video at:

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Boiling, steaming, microwaving, air frying, and sous vide cooking are put to the test for nutrient retention.

I’ve made videos on how not to die from heart disease, how not to die from cancer, how not to die from other deadly diseases like diabetes, but some of the most popular videos on the site are like …“the best way to cook sweet potatoes.”

All right, then. What’s the best way to cook bell peppers? Here’s the antioxidant power of raw green peppers and red peppers, and microwaving or stir-frying doesn’t seem to do much, though with boiling, there’s a drop. But then, if you measure the antioxidant activity of the leftover boiling water, the antioxidants weren’t destroyed, but just leached out into the cooking water. So, the researcher’s conclusion is that it’s “vital to consume the water used for boiling, in addition to the peppers, as bioactive compounds will be [left over] in the water.” But that’s not the take-away I get from this study. Drink the water or not, red peppers have nearly twice the antioxidant power of green, no matter what you do. So, while both peppers are, by definition, green-light foods, the red peppers, ironically, are even greener.

What about mushrooms? Probably best not to eat them raw, but what’s the best way to cook them? “Since cooking techniques clearly influence the nutritional attributes of mushrooms, the proper selection of [cooking method may be a] key factor to prevent or reduce nutritional losses. And…”microwaving and grilling were established as the best processes to maintain the nutritional profile of mushrooms.” For example, a significant decrease was detected in the antioxidant activity of mushrooms, especially after boiling and frying, while grilled and microwaved mushrooms reached in some cases higher antioxidant activity.

Boiling had a similar negative impact on the antioxidant power of cauliflower, which serves as just kind of a rough proxy for how many phytonutrients of potential benefit we might be losing. Blanching was better, where the cauliflower here was dunked into boiling water for three minutes and then run under cold water to stop it from cooking. I had never heard of steam blanching, but same idea. Steam for three minutes, then cool off, which appears to be better, since you’re not immersing it in water. Though, note there’s not much difference between steaming for six minutes and steaming for three, and then running under cold water. Too bad they didn’t look at roasting—that’s how you make cauliflower taste good. In fact, I’ve got two recipes on roasted cauliflower in my How Not to Die Cookbook (for which all my proceeds go to charity, of course).

There are certain antioxidants we’re especially interested in, though. Like the eyesight and brain-protecting green vegetable compound lutein. Here’s the back of the eyeball. What lutein does is protect those sensitive light-sensing nerves by blocking the high-energy blue light rays, which helps us see better, and may help us think better too. So, researchers looked at the effects of four different cooking methods on lutein concentrations. The first thing you’ll notice is that broccoli has like 50 times more than cauliflower—not a surprise, since lutein is a plant pigment, and cauliflower is too white. Here is it graphically, so you can appreciate the difference.

Then they compared boiling, steaming, microwaving, and sous vide cooking, which is like a fancy name for boiling in a plastic bag. And, boiling actually made lutein levels go up! How is that possible? Heat can actually disrupt the cell walls, and all the little subcellular compartments that can enhance the release of antioxidant compounds. Sous vide was similar; microwaving detrimental, at least for the broccoli, and… steaming the superstar, nearly doubling lutein levels.

Heat isn’t the only way to liberate lutein from greens. If you finely chop spinach, you can double the amount of lutein released during digestion in this experimental model. And make a green smoothie, or pesto, or some kind of puréed spinach dish, and you may triple the bioavailability. But you have to watch the heat. Steaming or boiling is one thing, but super high heat, like stir-frying, can reduce lutein levels to nearly nothing.

Frying is also bad for the purple pigments in blue potatoes—even air-frying; they just seem sensitive to extremely high heat. These special antioxidant plant pigments appear to be sensitive to really high temperatures; so, we should try to avoid frying, especially deep frying. That was one of the conclusions of an expert panel on cooking methods: avoid deep frying foods. Not only the nutrient losses, but all the added oil—not to mention the production of some toxic compounds at those temperatures. So, that continues to be a challenge to the food industry. What’s their solution? Forget deep-fat frying, let’s try frying in pure molten sugar. It’s like the SnackWell cookie phenomenon taken to its logical conclusion. Oh, you want low-fat? We’ll fry in sugar.”  From:


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Does Jerusalem Belong to Israelis or Palestinians? The Human Potential. Avoiding Cholesterol is a No-Brainer.


Does Jerusalem Belong to Israelis or Palestinians?

“The status of Jerusalem continues to be a controversial issue dividing the world. Does it belong to Israelis or Palestinians? Or to Someone else?

A group of Palestinians pray outside Jerusalem’s Old City while Israeli forces stand guard on Oct. 20, 2023 (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean).

On Oct. 7, 2023, the terror group Hamas launched what they termed, “Operation Al-Aqsa Deluge.” Their goal was to rid Palestine and Jerusalem of Jews, who, they believe, occupy the territory illegally. Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al called for the Islamic community to join the holy war in the battle for the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

To understand this, we must understand the importance of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Islamic faith. Muhammad founded Islam in the seventh century, setting up Mecca and Medina as the two holiest sites in Islam. Both cities are located in modern-day Saudi Arabia.

According to Muslims, Muhammad was miraculously transported from Mecca to Jerusalem, the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which means the “farthest mosque,” where we are told he met Jesus and the prophets and led them in prayer before being taken up to heaven from the site of the Dome of the Rock. 

After Muhammad’s death in 632, his second successor, Omar bin al-Khattab, conquered Jerusalem and built a mosque on the Temple Mount.

He claimed this Jerusalem mosque to be at the location of Muhammad’s night journey. Hence, it became known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Because of this, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount in particular, became the third holiest site in Islam, behind the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. However, readers should understand that the city of Jerusalem is not mentioned by name in the Koran.

The Jewish claim to Jerusalem

The Jews claim Jerusalem as their capital and the Temple Mount as their most holy place of worship, because it was the location where the first and second temples stood.

Due to the nation’s disobedience, God’s presence left the first temple, and the building was destroyed by the Babylonians (Jeremiah 52:12-13; Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4, 18-19; 11:22-23).

The second temple was constructed under the leadership of Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah and Zerubbabel. However, the Romans destroyed the second temple in A.D. 70.

Today, some Jews seek to build a third temple, which the Palestinians and many Muslims believe will be at the expense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Some hardline Jewish Orthodox groups do believe the Al-Aqsa Mosque must be destroyed for the third temple to take its place. In many ways, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the center of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

(To learn of this conflict’s ancient roots, read “What’s Behind the War Between Israel and Hamas?”)

The Christian claim to Jerusalem

For Christians, Jerusalem is holy because it was the birthplace of Christianity. During the Dark Ages, it was the center of many battles between Muslims and Christians.

Prophecy shows that European forces will once again capture Jerusalem, setting off a series of events leading to Christ’s return. Jerusalem was first captured by Christians in the First Crusade (1099) under the leadership of Pope Urban II. But Christian control was soon lost to Muslim forces led by Saladin in 1187.

There were nine crusades, but the Christian forces were largely unsuccessful in their fight the Islamic armies to regain control of Jerusalem.

Though Europe today is largely secular, Bible prophecy shows that European forces fighting under a Christian banner will once again capture Jerusalem, setting off a series of events leading to Christ’s return. Christ warned, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20).

To learn more, read “What Is the Abomination of Desolation?

A city of war

With three faiths claiming Jerusalem, it is the most contested city in the world. In recent history, there have been several wars over the city.

At the inception of the modern nation of Israel in 1948, the Arab nations of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt attacked the fledgling nation, intending to utterly destroy it.

Temple Mount in Jerusalem

This image shows the three religious sites that are a source of conflict at the Temple Mount: the Dome of the Rock (left), the Western Wall (center) and the Al Aqsa Mosque (right).

The result was a victory for Israel, but Jerusalem remained divided—with West Jerusalem under Israel’s control and East Jerusalem under Jordan’s control.

On June 7, 1967, Israeli forces took control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount during the Six-Day War.

They declared Jerusalem “the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish State,” but to ease conflict over the Temple Mount, they appointed the Jordanian Ministry of Religious Endowments (“Waqf”) as the custodians of the holy site, which continues to this day. The Waqf does not allow non-Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, a status that Jews try to contest.

On Oct. 6, 1973, Egypt and Syria launched the Yom Kippur War, a surprise attack on the solemn Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). They aimed to regain the territory they lost during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Now, 50 years later, almost to the day (Oct. 7, 2023), on the festival of the Eighth Day (Shemini Atzeret), Hamas launched “Operation Al-Aqsa Deluge” to expel Jews from Israel and Jerusalem.

Contention over the Temple Mount

The Temple Mount is constantly a place of tension. Consider the following headlines:

The Bible calls the city a “very heavy stone for all peoples,” meaning it will be a burdensome problem for all nations that entangle their affairs with the city (Zechariah 12:3). The question remains: Who has the right to call Jerusalem their capital?

To learn more, read “Temple Mount: Its History and Future.”

The rightful owner of Jerusalem

The most popular solution for Jerusalem is known as the two-state solution. A common form of this proposes that Jerusalem be divided and returned to its pre-1967 borders, with West Jerusalem given to Israelis and East Jerusalem given to Palestinians.

Who Does Jerusalem Really Belong To?

Prophecy shows that before Jesus Christ’s return, the nations will be gathered against Jerusalem and the city divided

Bible prophecy shows that before Jesus Christ’s return, the nations will be gathered against Jerusalem and the city divided (Luke 21:20). But it will not be a solution, nor will it be peaceful. Half the city and inhabitants will be “taken” violently (Zechariah 14:2).

Then Christ will return to earth and punish the nations responsible for this (Joel 3:2).

But what happens after that will be a remarkable transformation. Jesus Christ will establish His world capital at Jerusalem! This shows that the holy city does not belong to any one nation or religion—but belongs to God Himself.

In Zechariah 2:12 God says He “shall choose Jerusalem again” (King James Version). Notice the following prophecies that show what He has planned for the city:

The Bible instructs us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). That means the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth. Only then will it fulfill the meaning of its name:   The City of Peace.””  From:


The Human Potential

Psalm 8:6-8

“You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen—even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.

At creation God gave humanity dominion—rulership—over the earth and the other creatures on it (Genesis 1:26-28). God intended for us to learn proper stewardship of what He gave us, and in the process of tending and keeping it, to grow in godly character. But our first parents chose the way of selfishness and shortsightedness, and humanity ever since has misused its dominion and befouled our planet.

The author of Hebrews shows that God’s intention goes beyond even the earth and its creatures. “For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:8).

God truly meant all things—the whole universe! Jesus Christ came and died that we might be forgiven and offered that wonderful potential as the glorified children of God ( Hebrews 2:9-10 ).”

For more about this awesome potential, see our article on the “Purpose of Life.”  From:


Avoiding Cholesterol is a No-Brainer

“Eggs and brains are the two most concentrated sources of cholesterol in the diet.  

Transcript of video at:

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“The egg industry would rather blame the bacon or hash browns, railing against this myth that eggs are the most concentrated source of dietary cholesterol. And it’s true, they’re right. It is a myth. According to the official USDA nutrient database, in a list of the most concentrated cholesterol sources, eggs are not #1; they’re #2. Brains are #1. Veal brains, cow brains, pig brains, lamb brains, raw pig brains, more veal brains, and then eggs. Then more brains, eggs, brains, brains, eggs, brains, eggs, and eggs. The take-home message? If you’re going to do veal brains? Pan-fried, definitely; not braised.

What about omega-3-rich eggs? “The new type of eggs containing omega-3 fatty acids are still loaded with cholesterol,” the Director of the Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre notes. “The answer is not to feed flax seed to the chickens, but rather to put it on the cereal and leave the chicken out of the meal!”

The devastating new review published last year implicating egg consumption did not go over easy with the egg industry. They countered that the overly restrictive 200mg upper safety limit for cholesterol intake, that wouldn’t even allow a single egg, is only for people at risk for heart disease—to which the lead researcher replied, “[Most everyone is] at risk of vascular disease—the only ones who could eat [an] egg yolk regularly with impunity would be those who expect to die prematurely from nonvascular causes…” In other words, his famous “The only [people] who should eat eggs regularly are those [dying of] a terminal illness”—because at that point, who cares? You’re going to drop dead anyway.”

In their landmark review, they conclude that waiting until your first stroke, heart attack, or diabetes diagnosis to avoid eggs is too late. They conclude: “Stopping egg consumption after a [heart attack] or stroke would be like quitting smoking after [a diagnosis of] lung cancer: a necessary action, but late.” From:

But…….. also see infographic and article all about eggs at:


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Should Every Day Be a Day of Thanksgiving?


Should Every Day Be a Day of Thanksgiving?

“The Thanksgiving holiday is widely publicized and celebrated by millions of Americans. But shouldn’t we be thankful every day?

I plan to eat very well this Thanksgiving, as I do every Thanksgiving. I will indulge myself in mashed potatoes and gravy, savor the sweet potato casserole, and eat a week’s worth of protein in turkey. Don’t even get me started on the pies.

Calories don’t count on Thanksgiving, right?

There are many things people do on Thanksgiving besides just eating. Some spend extra time with family members they don’t normally get to see, go around the table listing things each person is thankful for, and (hopefully) begin the meal with a prayer thanking God for His many blessings.

Those are all good things, right?

Is Thanksgiving more than food and football?

But there are also other things people do on this day that aren’t always so positive: extreme overeating (bordering on gluttony), watching football on TV more than speaking to one another, or rushing out to beat others to the best shopping deals.

For many, Thanksgiving is just about food and entertainment. It’s even commonly called “Turkey Day,” as if it’s a day to celebrate an avian life-form. It’s become more about enjoying blessings than giving thanks for them.

Admittedly, it may be unfair to try to stuff (pun intended) an enormous ongoing personal responsibility into just one day out of the year. Is there more to thankfulness than just this one day of the year?

What thanksgiving actually is

The Bible has a lot to say about thanksgiving—that is, the act and mind-set of thankfulness. From God’s perspective, thanksgiving isn’t the fourth Thursday in November; it is a constant way of thinking that God wants us to practice every day.

By giving thanks to God in prayer, we show Him that we acknowledge that all the good things we have in life did not just randomly show up on our doorstep—but are from Him In addition, modern science has shown that being a thankful person is connected to better mental and physical health.

That’s why we should be practicing thanksgiving 365 days a year (and, yes, that also includes the fourth Thursday of November).

One of the primary ways to practice thanksgiving daily is to give thanks to God for what He has given us every day in our prayers.

Studying the Psalms (many of which are actual prayers recorded for us to learn from) can teach us many ways we can integrate thanksgiving into our prayers. (For example, see Psalm 26:7; 50:14; 69:30; 95:2; 100:4; 107:22; 116:17; 147:7; and so many more.)

By giving thanks to God in prayer, we show Him that we acknowledge that all the good things we have in life did not just randomly show up on our doorstep—but are from Him.

Here are some things we can give thanks to God for regularly:

Practical tips on being thankful

So what are some practical ways we can expand thanksgiving from a one-day-a-year thing to an ongoing practice in our life?

  1. Every day in prayer, give thanks to God for blessings we have. Don’t let a single prayer go by without giving God thanks for something He has done (or provided) for us. 
  2. Every day in our conversations, thank someone for something he or she did (or said) that brought something positive into our life or the lives of others. People positively impact us every day, but we don’t always acknowledge it. Start acknowledging it!
  3. Consider blessings we have that we don’t think about often. We can put our stress and difficulties in perspective by actively thinking about all the blessings we have received. Some people find it helpful to write those blessings down in a list. When we look at our list, we will probably find blessings that millions (maybe billions!) of people on the planet do not have. That shouldn’t make us feel better about ourselves. Quite to the contrary, it should help us realize that thanksgiving is designed to lead us to be merciful and giving to others.
  • Are you thankful for consistent electricity? Remember, more than a billion people can’t say the same.
  • Are you thankful for having two loving parents alive? Remember how many billions of people can’t say this, and how many desperately would want this to be true.
  • Are you thankful for a big Thanksgiving dinner in November? Remember how many billions of people in the world will never eat a meal like that in their lives.

Each of us probably has unlimited things to be thankful for!

The benefits of being thankful

Thanksgiving is a way of thinking and a constant action God is looking for in all of us. It helps us to realize God’s power and working in our lives, and it should remind us to be merciful, kind and generous to others. It actually improves our mental and physical well-being. 

Thanksgiving is not just a day in November; it is a way of life. Let’s live it.”  From:


Sunday, November 19, 2023

What Does the Bible Say About Loneliness? Vain Worship. Nutrition Facts Missing from the Label. Alzheimer's.


What Does the Bible Say About Loneliness?

Illustration of a lone figure to represent the article What Does the Bible Say About Loneliness?“The Bible has stories about people facing loneliness and solutions to loneliness. God understands and cares and doesn’t want us to suffer alone.

Jesus Christ understands what it is like to be alone.

He spent 40 days alone in the wilderness, fasting and preparing to face Satan’s terrible temptations.

And beyond that, during His crucifixion He also endured the utter loneliness that led Him to cry out, “‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” (Matthew 27:46).

After an eternity of close contact with God the Father, He suddenly experienced the crushing loneliness of carrying the weight of the world’s sins.

Jesus understands our suffering

But even before that, our Savior was no stranger to rejection and abandonment.

Isaiah 53 expresses the deep isolation and loneliness the Messiah would suffer in addition to the physical torment:

“He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him” (verse 3).

Jesus knew that even the many people who “believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did” (John 2:23) were not really with Him. He “did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man” (verses 24-25). Such scriptures hint at deep feelings of isolation.

“From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’” (John 6:66-67).

But the Bible shows He had a different and deeper source of companionship: “The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:29).

Jesus told His disciples, “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” (John 16:32).

Jesus faced isolation and rejection, and He is empathetic and compassionate to those facing loneliness. He can “sympathize with our weaknesses” and so we are invited to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).

We don’t need to be completely alone, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

“It is not good that man should be alone”

From the beginning, God created us to be social creatures. In the creation account, companionship can seem like an afterthought, but it was not. God wants us to know what He knew all along: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:18).

Putting us in families was always God’s intent. He created us to be like Him. Our families are intended to reflect His family. In fact, the overarching story of the Bible is that God the Father and Jesus, the Son of God, want us to become children of God.

God doesn’t intend for us to be alone. On the night before He was crucified, Jesus said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).

And God the Father tells us, “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:18).

Our relationship with God is the ultimate and most important solution to the problem of loneliness. But that does not minimize the pain of human isolation and loneliness. The Bible tells the story of people of God who experienced the pangs of loneliness.

Elijah felt alone

One of the most poignant examples was the prophet Elijah.

After the adrenaline rush of his contest with the prophets of Baal came the vicious threats of evil Queen Jezebel. Elijah “ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:3). Discouraged and weary, he even begged God to take his life rather than let him suffer what Jezebel had planned for him (verse 4).

But God had other plans. After Elijah came to Mount Horeb and witnessed God’s power, God asked him gently, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (verse 13).

Elijah’s answer showed how alone he felt: “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life” (verse 10).

God encourages and is pleased by Christian brotherhood and fellowship. God’s response included a list of assignments God had for Elijah. Having a purpose and work to throw himself into would also help Elijah overcome his discouragement.

Included in this work was the opportunity to mentor his successor, Elisha. This close relationship, and the fact that 7,000 people had not bowed to Baal, helped Elijah realize he was not truly alone.

We can ask God to help us to connect with others who serve Him and to work together in accomplishing God’s work.

The author of Psalm 102 felt afflicted and alone

Psalm 102 carries this inscription: “A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the LORD.”

Though the author is not named, his lament is one that many of us can relate to. His comparisons to lonely birds have touched many hearts:

“I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. I lie awake, and am like a sparrow alone on the housetop” (verses 6-7).

The psalmist felt the reproach of enemies, but even more troubling was feeling cut off from God because of guilt.

Yet Psalm 102 continues with acknowledgment of God’s mercy and praise for His concern for the afflicted and His willingness to strengthen those in need.

We can pray that God will forgive and help us as well.

Other biblical examples of loneliness

The Bible has many other stories of people who experienced loneliness, whether they were alone or in a crowd.

Hagar and Ishmael wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba (Genesis 21:14). After incurring the wrath of his brother, Jacob set off alone on the long journey to Laban’s home (Genesis 28). After being sold into slavery by his angry brothers, Joseph spent many years far from family and apart from any other believers in God (Genesis 39).

Moses, a prince in Egypt, fled to the desolate wilderness (Exodus 2:15). David had to flee for his life, even ending up in enemy cities. He cried out, “I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalm 25:16, New International Version).

Paul, after being converted, was no longer accepted by his former friends and was feared by his new brethren (Acts 9:26).

And the Bible tells of many who lost husbands, wives, parents or children. God cares deeply about the loneliness and suffering of widows, widowers, orphans and those bereaved of their children.

He’s “a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Psalm 68:5).

Biblical solutions to loneliness

After recounting the misfortune of “one alone, without companion” (Ecclesiastes 4:8), Solomon wrote:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (verses 9-12).

This describes “the obvious benefits of companionship. The intimacy and sharing of life brings relief for the problem of isolation and loneliness” (NKJV Study Bible notes).

Who does the Bible encourage to provide this companionship?

  • Family:

The apostle Paul encouraged families to care for the needs of their own family members across generations.

“But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God” (1 Timothy 5:4).

While this passage may be specifically about providing for financial needs, the principle of honoring and caring for family members includes seeking to meet emotional needs as well. Being part of a family should mean having loving support and companionship.

  • Fellow Christians:

All of us should care for those in need:

  • “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
  • “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
  • “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10).
  • Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality” (verse 13).
  • “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (verse 15).

God encourages and is pleased by Christian brotherhood and fellowship. The book of Malachi gives a behind-the-scenes look at God’s response:

“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name” (Malachi 3:16).

Of course, God does not intend for us to just wait for others to reach out to us. We can reach out to others. If you are lonely, you can understand how much other lonely people need friendship. Be that friend, and you can enjoy the benefits as well. Practice the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31).

  • God:

We can ask God for help in building our human relationships. The Bible tells us: “God sets the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6). This applies to physical families, church families and, ultimately, His family. See “Building Strong Families,” “Christian Fellowship” and related articles.

And we can go to God to develop the most meaningful relationship of all. See more in our articles “Your Best Friend,” “Relationship With God,” “Knowing God as a Loving Father” and “Children of God.”

For more about overcoming loneliness, see “The Loneliness Epidemic” and “How to Make Friends.”  From:


Vain Worship

Matthew 15:8-9

“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

“God warns us not to try to worship Him according to our own ideas or according to nonbiblical practices. He tells us clearly how He wants to be worshipped in His revealed Word, the Holy Bible.

The commandments of men include the human reasoning of the religious leaders seeking to get around God’s clear commands (see verses 3-6 ). But by extension this concept also covers any humanly devised teachings not based on the Bible.”

Seek to worship God according to His 10 Commandments. See “The 10 Commandments for Today.” From:


Phytochemicals: The Nutrition Facts Missing from the Label

Transcript of video at: 

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.

“There are thousands of flavonoid phytonutrients in fruits, vegetables, and other whole plant foods missing from the nutrition labels that may play a role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s one thing to show Alzheimer’s benefits in a petri dish. It’s quite another to show benefit in a human population. That came two years later. About 1,800 people were followed for about eight years. At the beginning of the study, they asked how often everybody drank any kind of juice, and then sat back and watched to see who would get Alzheimer’s. By the end of the study, it appeared that those who drank fruit and vegetable juices had a 76% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. They conclude that “fruit and vegetable juices may play an important role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.”

What could it be? Here’s the nutrition facts label for purple grape juice, on the left. According to the labels, there’s basically nothing in it. Not even any vitamin C. And indeed, that’s what the study found, even after controlling for antioxidant vitamin intake—vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene; still, a quarter the risk of Alzheimers. Based on the nutrition label, you’d think it was just sugar water, practically indistinguishable from Coca Cola. In fact, it’s got even more sugar—nine spoonfuls per cup compared to seven in Coke. But it just looks like sugar water, because the labels don’t list phytonutrients. If they did, the Coke label would remain the same, but the grape juice label would spill down, and roll along the floor like Santa’s list. And this would be like the first page of the list. There are thousands of phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables, missing in junk foods and animals foods, yet never listed on the labels.

The leading candidate class of compounds responsible for the protection against Alzheimer’s are the phenolics, like flavones, and flavonones, and flavonols, which in many cases can rapidly cross the blood-brain barrier. There are more than 5,000 different types of flavonoids in the plants we eat. Research suggests that within minutes of biting into an apple, for example, these phytonutrients are already starting to light up our brain.”  From: