Friday, June 30, 2023

Three Lessons From the Titan Tragedy. Was the United States of America Blessed in Its Geography? Preventing Wrinkles with Diet.


three-lessons-from-the-titan-tragedyThree Lessons From the Titan Tragedy

“The loss of the Titan submersible holds many lessons for Christians today. It is a vivid reminder of where our priorities in life need to be.

On June 18, what started as a routine exploration of the infamous Titanic shipwreck turned deadly. During its dive to the bottom of the North Atlantic, the submersible Titan lost communication and went missing.

Rescuers arrived as quickly as possible to assist in locating the submersible some 12,000 feet below the ocean’s surface.
For four days, the world held its breath and hoped for a miraculous rescue.”   Continue Reading 



Was the United States of America Blessed in Its Geography?

Was the United States of America Blessed in Its Geography?“Geography can appear a bit simplistic on the surface. But what happens when we look a little deeper? Was God involved?

On July 4, the United States of America—the world’s most dominant economic and military power—celebrates its Independence Day. This marks the historic date in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was approved by its Continental Congress.

Although U.S. leadership is being challenged on many fronts, this nation remains one of the leading countries where migrants wish to settle. It is respected as the premier land of personal freedoms and economic opportunity.

But it also evokes hatred among some for the way it has used its power. And also envy, especially from large nations, such as Russia and China, that aspire to global dominance themselves.

The largest nations according to land mass

When one considers the basic geographical features of the U.S. compared to other nations, the facts are pretty basic. In terms of size, lists the U.S. as the fourth-largest country in the world—just over half the total area of Russia, which is by far the largest country. Canada, the second-largest, and China, the third-largest, have just slightly more territory than the U.S.

If all geography were equal, the nation with the most real estate should lead the world in pretty much everything, and the other nations should fall in line according to their size. But as we will see, not all geography is equal.

The largest nations by population

Before proceeding, we should note that some might wonder if population matters when it comes to determining a nation’s prominence. lists China as the most populous nation, with a population of more than 1.4 billion, representing 18.5 percent of the world’s population. However, the United Nations predicts that this year India will pass China to become the world’s most populous nation.

Russia, which has the most land, has only the ninth-largest population.

The U.S. is the third-most-populous country, with 331 million people, a pittance in comparison to China and India, and accounts for just over 4 percent of the world’s population. Population clearly isn’t the primary driver of a nation’s prominence.

Geography, on the other hand, makes a huge difference.

Blessed with navigable waterways

To understand how geography helped America become an economic powerhouse, we need to drop back a couple of centuries to note the effect navigable waterways had on agriculture and transportation.

God did not give the people of the United States of America all these blessings so they could simply enjoy their wealth, while forgetting God and exploiting others. God will hold Americans accountable for their sins and for not being a godly example to others. Prior to the industrial age and globalization, the high cost of transportation limited trade and the growth of cities. Unless a commodity had high value, low bulk and was nonperishable, there was little incentive to move it very far. Transporting a relatively inexpensive item long distances could cost more than the product itself. Most trade was generally local, and cities were limited in size when all the food had to be procured nearby.

But costs plummeted when goods were transported via water. Transporting goods on water has been estimated to use 12 times less energy than doing so on land.

The U.S. is immensely blessed with an abundance of navigable inland waterways. Foreign affairs analyst Tim Marshall in his book Prisoners of Geography explains it like this: “The greater Mississippi basin [in the U.S.] has more miles of navigable river than the rest of the world put together. Nowhere else are there so many rivers whose source is not in highland and whose waters run smoothly all the way to the ocean across vast distances.

“The Mississippi, fed by much of the basin river system, begins near Minneapolis and ends 1,800 miles south in the Gulf of Mexico. So the rivers were the natural conduit for ever-increasing trade, leading to a great port and all using waterborne craft that was, and is, many times cheaper than road travel” (pp. 68-69).

And having a river nearby to irrigate crops is also of tremendous benefit when rain is scarce.

Blessed with abundant farmland

When it comes to raising crops, not all land is equally productive. Russia and Canada, for example, have much land in frigid climates that is not as productive as land in temperate climates. Compared to the other larger countries in the world, the U.S. has the bulk of its agricultural real estate in latitudes that are optimal for growing food.

“The United States has more high-quality, temperate-zone, arable farmland than any other country and its entire agricultural supply chain is contained within North America. This makes the United States the world’s largest agricultural producer and exporter” (The End of the World Is Just the Beginning, Peter Zeihan, p. 89).

Blessed with abundant energy

With its abundant natural resources, the U.S. is capable of energy independence. The shale revolution allowed the U.S. to become the world’s largest oil producer. It easily has the potential to supply all of its own needs and export the excess. Using fossil fuels, natural gas and coal, the U.S. has “the lowest unsubsidized electricity costs in the world” (p. 90).

The U.S. is the second-largest solar energy producer in the world. As well, “the positioning of its mountains compared to its coasts gives it more wind power potential than any other country” (p. 90).

Blessed with natural security boundaries

In regard to security, the fewer nations a country has on its borders, the easier it can be to remain at peace. Geography can be of great help as well. The U.S. has great oceans to its east and to its west that would make it difficult for hostile nations to mount a successful invasion.

This unprecedented degree of security has given the U.S. room to maneuver and even a margin for error in international relations and allowed the country to blossom economically.

Challenging weather because of geography

As a negative, the U.S. experiences some of the worst weather catastrophes in the world because of its geography. Science writer Seth Borenstein says, “Blame geography for the U.S. getting hit by stronger, costlier, more varied and frequent extreme weather than anywhere on the planet . . .

“Two oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, jutting peninsulas like Florida, clashing storm fronts and the jet stream combine to naturally brew the nastiest of weather” (“Why the U.S. Is Leading the World in Extreme Weather Catastrophes,” April 2, 2023).

God determines the boundaries of nations

Nasty weather aside, some would say the U.S. won the lottery in terms of its geography. But it wasn’t luck that gave the U.S. such choice real estate. The Bible reveals that God determines the boundaries of nations.

In addressing first-century intellectuals in Athens, Paul explained who the God of the Bible is. Among other key facts, Paul noted that God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26).

Occasionally the boundaries of nations change, but God remains the sovereign power. Changes are subject to His will and the actions of the people involved (Deuteronomy 28:1; 2 Chronicles 20:6; Daniel 4:35).

So why did God give the U.S. so many geographical blessings?

Blessings to Abraham

Those of us producing Discern magazine believe the reason the U.S. has so many blessings, including those of geography, goes back to promises God made to Abraham almost 4,000 years ago. We believe the territory of the United States was given to descendants of this ancient patriarch.

While space in this article doesn’t permit a thorough explanation, consider just a few of the things the Bible tells us about the descendants of Abraham.

  • God said Abraham’s descendants would grow into a great multitude of people (Genesis 15:5).
  • In the end time some of these peoples would become “a multitude of nations” and others a single great nation (Genesis 48:19).
  • These peoples who would become a multitude of nations and a great single nation were also promised economic prosperity and military strength (Genesis 49:22-26).
  • Moses prophesied the descendants of Joseph would be given immense agricultural blessings that would include “the precious things of heaven, with the dew, and the deep lying beneath . . . with the precious things of the earth and its fullness” (Deuteronomy 33:13, 16).
  • God expected Abraham’s descendants to be a godly example and said that He would bless them for obedience to His law and punish them for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:1, 15).
  • Eventually, God will bless all peoples and nations through these people (Genesis 12:1-3).

It’s important to note, however, that God did not give the people of the United States of America all these blessings so they could simply enjoy their wealth, while forgetting God and exploiting others. God will hold Americans accountable for their sins and for not being a godly example to others.”  From:


Preventing Wrinkles with Diet

What dietary intervention may significantly protect against wrinkles in the crow’s foot area around the eyes?

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.

“Eating healthier can produce healthier skin. But people don’t care about microscopic changes. What about overt, visible-to-the-naked-eye changes?

The extent of facial wrinkles in the crow’s foot area was determined by observation, using the Daniell scale, in 716 women. This is the scoring system they’re talking about; it’s a scale of one through six; six being the worst. So, what seemed to help the most? “In the present study, a higher intake of green and yellow vegetables was associated with decreased facial wrinkling. Those eating less than a serving of green and yellow vegetables averaged a score of three; those eating two or more servings a day, averaged a two.”

What really excited the researchers was the potential for these studies to promote a healthy diet. I mean, eating fruits and vegetables to prevent cancer and heart disease—who cares? But, wrinkles on the other hand…””  From:


Hi Folks,

I did not have time to post last week, I was very busy moving back to Conroe, TX.  Home again!!


Sunday, June 18, 2023

What My Grandfather Taught Me About Being a Father. What Do You Cherish? Can Reflux in Babies Be Treated with Diet?


What My Grandfather Taught Me About Being a Father

What My Grandfather Taught Me About Being a Father“My grandfather was a major influence in my life and impacted what kind of father I became years later. Here’s what I learned from him.

More than 30 years ago, our oldest child was born. When this precious little miracle came into our lives, frankly, I was scared to death. I had not been around many babies in my life, so I knew basically nothing about them, and the idea of being responsible for a new little life was overwhelming!

Not only was I quite nervous about holding our baby and way out of my depth when it came to changing a diaper, I was even more unprepared for the lifelong task of being a father! But life doesn’t wait until we feel ready for challenges. Eventually, more children came, and with time and experience, the job became much less daunting.

As a boy growing up, the most stable and beloved man in my life was my maternal grandfather. I spent a lot of time on his farm and even lived there for part of my childhood.

Even though he died several years before I met my wife, the strength and example of this wonderful man taught me a lot about being a dad—not just from things he said, but from how he lived his life.

I’d like to share some of those lessons in this blog post.

Lesson 1: Strength

Grandpa was physically strong. As a teen working with him shoveling corn in a granary, I was certain I could outwork my grandpa, who seemed like an old man.

The strength and example of this wonderful man taught me a lot about being a dad—not just from things he said, but from how he lived his life. So, I started shoveling faster and harder to prove my point. But it wasn’t long until I was sweating, dirty, worn-out and falling further behind! It was amazing how strong that “old” man really was!

But even more impressive than his physical strength was his strength of character. As a preteen, he had broken his back severely in an accident, but he never let it slow him down. He was mentally and emotionally tough—enduring several hard times throughout his life, including the death of a baby.

And, most importantly, he was spiritually tough—remaining faithful to God to the day he died.

Lesson 2: Patience

My grandpa consistently demonstrated untiring patience, no matter the circumstances. That trait was something he taught me when working with livestock.

There are times to yell and holler to stop the animals or herd them in a certain direction, but he also knew when patience, using slower movements and a calm voice, would work much better. 

While working on farm equipment (and on a farm something always needs to be repaired or maintained), I’d sometimes get frustrated and growl at a “stupid wrench” or “stupid bolt.” Grandpa would remind me that the wrench and bolt were neither stupid nor smart, but that I was the one who had the option to be one or the other. Then he’d calmly examine my predicament and teach me a better way to get the job done.

His approach to people was similar. He was patient and able to put people at ease. He always took the time to listen and help people if he could. 

Lesson 3: Reliability

There was never a question in my mind whether Grandpa would be there when I needed him. An example I’ll never forget was with my first car, a rather homely 11-year-old 1967 Plymouth.

Grandfather and Grandson Changing TireOne day, on my way home from work, a back tire blew on my car. Grandpa had taught me how to change a tire, so I jacked up the car and went to work. But the lug nut didn’t want to come off. I figured I would put all my strength into it, but the entire lug bolt twisted off, nut and all! Then I tried another, and got the same result. With only three left, I was in trouble! I walked to the nearest farmhouse to use the phone and called Grandpa.

To my great relief, he pulled up a short time later. He stood and looked at the car for what seemed like a solid minute, then discovered an easy solution for properly removing the remaining bolts.

He was always there for me, and I knew it!

And he wasn’t there just for me. I saw Grandpa stop whatever he was doing when a neighbor came by to ask for help. If a church member needed help, Grandpa would drive two or three hours round-trip to help them. It’s just who he was.

Lesson 4: Integrity

My grandpa was a man of his word. He was always careful about making promises, but once he promised, it was as good as done. Whether it was a promise to help a neighbor, rototill Grandma’s garden or take me fishing—if he said it, he would do it.

I remember a day Grandpa promised to take me fishing as soon as he was done working on the truck. I remember standing near him with my pole, itching to go. Finally, with a sigh, he got up, wiped the grease from his hands, and we went fishing!

As much as he needed to finish the truck, he made good on his promise.

He had integrity, and he expected it from others, too, including me. That was a powerful lesson and example that has continued to impact my life.

The characteristics I learned from my grandfather—strength, patience, reliability and integrity—are all vital for a father to be a good example to his children and grandchildren. As we come to Father’s Day this year, I hope fathers and future fathers can learn from his example—just as I did.” From:


What Do You Cherish?

Cherish is a word we don’t hear very much anymore, except perhaps in wedding ceremonies. 

Dictionaries tell us it means to hold dear, treat with tenderness, to nurture or cultivate with care and affection. 

To gain a picture of what it really means, consider two scenarios:  

A man with a very large yard begins to have problems with his old and well-used riding lawn mower. 

The mechanic determines the engine needs to be replaced, but a new engine would cost more than the mower is worth, especially considering that the transmission and all the pulleys, bearings and other moving parts are already well worn from years of use.  So the man decides not to repair the old machine, but to sell it for parts and purchase a new or newer used lawn mower. His decision makes sense.

Another man’s son has a terrible accident on his bicycle, shattering his right arm and elbow. 

The doctor determines surgery is needed to take out bone chips, install a metal rod to strengthen the shattered bone, and this will be followed by months of therapy to ensure the child will eventually regain the full use and range of motion of his arm.  Without giving more than a passing thought to the thousands of dollars this is going to cost, and the time and effort the entire family will put into helping the boy recover, the father immediately agrees to the surgery. Once again, his decision makes sense.

These two scenarios illustrate what we cherish. 

To the man with the riding lawn mower, it was just a tool that he needed to care for his large yard, and it had served well for a number of years.

However, it had reached the end of its useful life, and the man did not cherish it enough to spend all that would have been necessary to bring it to a reasonable working condition.  It was easier, faster and, in the long run, perhaps even less expensive to discard the old one and purchase a new one. 

The son, of course, was cherished deeply.  The father would work as long as needed—years perhaps—to make sure his son had the medical care he needed.  His family would tenderly nurture and encourage the boy through the surgeries and rehabilitation until he regained strength and use of his arm.  They would willingly invest whatever is necessary for the long-term welfare of the boy. 

The world around us far too often treats relationships like the lawn mower rather than the boy. 

If a relationship (marriage, family or friendship) is damaged or at a difficult place, it may seem easier to discard the old one and move on.  We know relationships can’t be fixed by simply buying and installing a new part—much as we might wish it would be that easy!  Relationships have to be healed, nurtured and cared for. And that takes a lot of time and effort. It often involves us admitting some fault as well, which is painful.  So instead, far too many people divorce, quit speaking to each other, ignore each other and seek to find someone else.

The sad reality is that some relationships can’t be repaired, and in some cases, perhaps, should not be.  And relationships are also different in that the lawn mower doesn’t put any effort into getting itself fixed.  Relationships, on the other hand, can rarely if ever be healed without everyone involved putting forth the effort.

It comes down to a matter of what we cherish.

Let me combine this thought with something I read a while back: 

In many homes (including my own), the refrigerator has magnets holding up crayon drawings, a report card or a photograph.  We put them where we can see them every day because they remind us of the child/grandchild/friend who drew that picture, earned that grade or posed for that photo.  It is special because in that sense it reminds us of the one who created it. How we respond to a picture reflects how we feel about the one who drew it or posed for it. 

Bringing this back to relationships, how we treat another human being created in God’s image in many ways reflects how we feel about the Creator.  If we cherish the truth we have, the calling we’ve been given, and the God who loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die in our stead, then let’s be sure we consider how we cherish the relationships we have in our lives.  And let’s be willing to spend the time and effort required to keep them strong, or to heal them.

Here are some additional resources that can help you build stronger relationships:

Kind regards, and have a great rest of your week, Tom Clark, for Life, Hope and Truth


Can Reflux in Babies Be Treated with Diet? 

Can we treat the cause of infant reflux with maternal milk elimination?

There has been a longstanding problem among zookeepers: The gorillas were throwing up all of the time. “The practice of regurgitation has never been reported in wild Gorillas but it has unfortunately been accepted as normal by many keepers of captive animals.” What were they feeding them? Gorillas are big, strong animals, so they made sure to feed them a lot of protein—cottage cheese, meat, eggs, and milk—until a zoo in Germany got the radical idea of feeding them their natural diet of “leaves and vegetables.” And, the “change…following the alterations to the diet was astonishing.” Before the change, a silverback had been regurgitating and vomiting during most of the day. But, by the third day of eating what they were supposed to eat, he and the rest of the troop were miraculously cured.

Even just removing milk from the diets of the captive gorillas led to significant improvements. Cow’s milk was “historically considered an essential item in the captive gorilla diet,” but researchers showed that eliminating it may reduce such “undesirable behaviors…and may be a step toward better approximating the natural diet for captive gorillas.” The zookeepers were giving them animal milk after weaning—that is, giving animal milk to adults. Milk is for babies. What’s more, they were giving milk from a bovine to a primate. What were these zookeepers thinking?

I’m reminded of a landmark study I discuss in my video Treating Reflux in Babies with Diet. Eighty-one children presenting with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) were given drugs, and two-thirds got better, but 27 kids did not. So, the researchers eliminated cow’s milk from their diets. Within one month, all 27 were cured.

“Symptoms of acid regurgitation, heartburn or both occur at least once a week in 10–20% of adults belonging to the western world” and up to about 25 percent of all infants. It’s normal for babies to spit up occasionally—that’s not what we’re talking about. It can actually get quite serious. Up to a quarter of “infants present with regurgitation severe enough for parents to seek medical help,” and it may just be that they’re sensitive to cow’s milk. The symptoms of cow’s milk protein allergy “overlap with many symptoms of GERD, or may coexist or complicate GERD,” or reflux. Even if there’s no formal dairy allergy per se, there appears to be some kind of cow’s milk “hypersensitivity” among many infants and children with severe reflux.

There are all sorts of invasive tests, such as sticking pH probes down the baby’s throat, but probably the most practical test in routine pediatric practice is just a trial of a cow’s milk protein elimination diet for two to four weeks in infants with reflux.

The gold standard is what’s called an elimination and rechallenge protocol, where there is a “full resolution of symptoms via strict elimination followed by recurrence [of symptoms] on reintroduction of cow’s milk protein.” Two hundred or so infants diagnosed with reflux were put on a cow’s milk–free diet, then were given the challenge tests. Eighty-five of the 204 infants with reflux were actually suffering from a cow’s milk allergy or hypersensitivity.

So what’s happening? We think our immune system understandably considers the bovine proteins as foreign and attacks, triggering an inflammatory response, which irritates the nerves lining the digestive tract. That then results in abnormalities in the rhythmic contractions of the stomach, triggering the regurgitation. We’re not just talking about formula-fed infants either. Cow’s milk protein allergy “can occur in exclusively breastfed infants,” too, “as intact cow’s milk proteins can be secreted in breast milk.” If the mom drinks milk or eats eggs, the proteins can get into her baby. Cow’s milk protein and other foreign proteins can pass into human breastmilk. So, “breast-fed infants with regurgitation and vomiting may therefore benefit from a trial of withdrawal of cow’s milk and eggs from the maternal diet.”

Indeed, that is now the consensus recommendation of both the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Anytime you see reflux, the first thing to try is a therapeutic trial of either a cow’s milk protein–free formula or, for infants who are breastfed, a strict maternal cow’s milk protein elimination diet. Then we can potentially treat the cause without using unnecessary medications and certainly before considering anti-reflux surgery.”  From:


Sunday, June 11, 2023

Is Space the Final Frontier? Are We Alone in the Universe? The Role of Processed Foods in the Obesity Epidemic.


Is Space the Final Frontier?

Is Space the Final Frontier?“The vastness and unexplored mystery of outer space has inspired many. But is it truly the final frontier? What other vistas await the human race?

As a boy in the 1960s, I think I learned to count down from 10 almost as early as I learned to count forward. The thrill of each rocket launch in the race to the moon began to make anything seem possible.

When the original Star Trek television series launched in 1966, it seemed that space truly was “the final frontier,” as Capt. James T. Kirk declared at the start of each episode. Our collective mission was “to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

To boldly go

In the years since Star Trek’s short three seasons (1966-1969) and the brief period of human exploration of the moon (1969-1972), the excitement of space seems to have faded a little. But for many people it never lost its pull.

Now private companies have begun to take up the mission “to boldly go,” with space tourism serving as a stepping stone to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Feeling the overview effect

In October 2021, the actor who played Capt. Kirk finally got his chance to experience space in real life. William Shatner, then 90 years old, spent only three minutes in space with Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. But the effect was powerful.

The Atlantic reported that, with tears running down his cheeks, Shatner said, “What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine.”

What was it like touching the edge of his final frontier? “It’s extraordinary. Extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this.”

Shatner is not the only one who has felt powerful emotions upon looking down on our precious planet or out into the universe. The experience has even been given the name the overview effect.

  • “No one could be briefed well enough to be completely prepared for the astonishing view that I got,” wrote astronaut Alan Shepherd in 1962.
  • “If only everyone could relate to the beauty and the purposefulness of it,” said Gene Cernan, one of the 12 people who have walked on the moon. “It wouldn’t bring a utopia to this planet for people to understand it all, but it might make a difference.”

For more about this phenomena, see our blog post “The Overview Effect: Why We Need to See the Big Picture.”

Other frontiers

While outer space has gotten most of the headlines as the final frontier, others have suggested that inner space is where it’s at. Of course, this term has been defined in different ways. says the first known use of inner space was in 1958, in the sense of “space at or near the earth’s surface and especially under the sea.”

It has also been used to describe the microscopic world, as well as the inner self.

All of these frontiers, though closer to home, may be as mysterious and challenging as outer space.

The bottom of the sea

As man headed into space, undersea exploration was also taking off.

On Jan. 23, 1960, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh descended for nearly five hours to reach the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the ocean. It is 6.83 miles (10.99 kilometers) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean near Guam.

Ever since, oceanographers have made amazing discoveries in an unseen world every bit as fantastic as science fiction:

  • “In the coastal waters of Shark Bay, Australia, scientists discovered that a seagrass bed of Poseidon’s ribbon weed (Posidonia australis) is actually one plant. The massive organism covers an area of 77 square miles” (Smithsonian).
  • Off the coast of Antarctica, “scientists discovered 60 million icefish nests covering an area the size of a small city” (ibid.).
  • “From 13m-long (43ft) voracious carnivorous squid, to scuttling Yeti crabs huddling near hydrothermal vents, to tusked whales dwelling thousands of feet down to avoid predatory orcas, sizeable marine animals new to science are still being documented every year” (BBC).
  • The deep ocean seemed to be “a harsh, monotonous place of perpetual darkness, frigid temperatures, limited food and extreme pressure—conditions that should make complex forms of life impossible. But new tools . . . have demonstrated that biodiversity in the darkest depths may rival that of rain forests and tropical coral reefs” (Scientific American).

But even with all the exploration that has been done, only 5 percent of the ocean has been explored.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “Humans know more about the physical and chemical properties of outer space than about planet Earth’s deep ocean regions.”

Inner space remains an exciting frontier for future generations. “The generation of kids in middle schools right now will explore more of Earth than all previous generations combined,” said National Geographic explorer-at-large Robert Ballard.

The microscopic world

Within the earth’s biosphere, the life-forms visible to the eye are outnumbered by the microscopic ones. This invisible world could also make a claim to the title final frontier.

Consider these amazing facts:

  • “Right beneath your nose—on your face, in your gut, and everywhere in between—trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi are so abundant in your body, they outnumber your human cells” (NOVA).
  • “Microalgae in the ocean produce half of all the oxygen in our atmosphere. Fungi and bacteria convert the organic material from dead animals into new raw materials. And intestinal bacteria help you digest your food. Without any of them, life on earth wouldn’t be possible” (
  • “Microbes eat almost everything, including metals, acids, petroleum and natural gas” (ibid.).
The human mind

Lawrence Galton wrote in 1958: “Of all things known in the universe, the human brain is by far, the most complex. As a subject for scientific study it presents infinite intricacies and difficulties.”

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke said in 2023: “The brain is the most complex part of the human body. This three-pound organ is the seat of intelligence, interpreter of the senses, initiator of body movement, and controller of behavior. Lying in its bony shell and washed by protective fluid, the brain is the source of all the qualities that define our humanity. The brain is the crown jewel of the human body.”

Beyond the gray matter of the brain itself, deeper questions arise about the difference between animal brains and human minds. In this frontier we are still probing the mysteries of memory, creativity, consciousness and the subconscious. What gives us the ability to think, plan, calculate, design, enjoy, love and so many other things?

The human mind itself is a worthy frontier.

For more on this, see our article “The Miracle in the Mind.”

Our minds have allowed us to study and explore all of these frontiers. And beyond that, they have conceived of other frontiers of creativity and imagination, such as time travel, the metaverse and multiverse.  

Is there anything that all these frontiers have in common? Space, the oceans, the microscopic world, the human mind and the cyber world are all based on some combination of space, time, matter and energy.

In that sense, they are all physical.

In considering what our final frontier is, we should ask:

Is there anything beyond the physical?

Beyond space and time

While human beings enjoy imagining fictional multiple dimensions and universes, our minds can’t truly comprehend realms beyond dimensions and unlimited by time and space. 

As incredible as our imaginations are, they are shaped by what we know—matter, energy, space and time.

Yet there is a source that claims to be a message from beyond space and time. In fact, it claims to be from the Source of space and time. And it offers glimpses into that realm, translated into concepts humans can only begin to perceive.

Most amazing of all, it reveals directions that lead to a portal into that realm.

The Source—the Creator—had a reason for making us as finite beings who are always searching for new frontiers. In His unbounded love, He deeply desires for us to become like Him and to join Him in eternity!

This loving plan—this path leading to our transformation—is truly the final frontier that humanity has always sought.

A peek into eternity

The greatest library of inspirational literature ever written, which claims the Creator God as its Author, gives us tantalizing glimpses into our destiny.

God has big plans for His children, and they are never-ending plans (Isaiah 9:7). This final frontier will be an ever-increasing one, with fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). The Holy Bible reveals that from the beginning, we were actually created in the image and likeness of the Creator (Genesis 1:26). And though we are now mortal and corruptible, God plans to give us immortality and incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:53).

God is offering to share all things with us and to give us amazing glory (Hebrews 2:6-10).

What does this look like? The Bible hints that God’s plans for us are beyond what our senses can experience and beyond even our wildest dreams:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

God has given us “exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these [we] may be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). He gives us divine power through His Holy Spirit to begin our metamorphosis.

God wants us to begin the transformation process from the inside:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Those living by the perfect will of God in this world will run into obstacles and enemies, but even these are just part of the training program God has for us.

In this world of dust, challenges abound. But God’s love for us is far more powerful than anything we face. The apostle Paul penned these words of encouragement:

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

The apostle John summed up God’s awesome plan in these immortal words:

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! . . .

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).

God has big plans for His children, and they are never-ending plans (Isaiah 9:7). This final frontier will be an ever-increasing one, with fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

This is our ultimate purpose. It gives incalculable value to our lives. It provides profound meaning.

Whether this article has convinced you or not, you owe it to yourself to explore this further.

Study the inspiring human potential using our free booklet God’s Purpose for You: Discovering Why You Were Born. This booklet can enlighten and empower you to boldly go where your Creator is leading you!:  From:


Are We Alone in the Universe?

Are We Alone in the Universe“The search for life in outer space is not just the stuff of science fiction. Scientists continue to look for evidence of life out there. Will they find it?

Is there anyone out there?

Do we share the universe with other life-forms? Is there anyone out in the vastness of space?

Many in the scientific community believe the answer is yes. According to astronomers, there are 70 sextillion (7 followed by 22 zeros!) stars in the cosmos. Deeply rooted in evolutionary theory, many scientists believe there is a great probability that life has evolved on other planets with conditions favorable for life.

Exploring exoplanets

Recently NASA has reported the discovery of an additional 65 exoplanets (planets that orbit a star outside our solar system) in our Milky Way galaxy, raising the total to more than 5,000. Yet despite these amazing discoveries in the field of astronomy, the search for life on other planets still eludes searchers.

Reporting on this, Marina Koren wrote in The Atlantic: “But no one has yet discovered evidence of life in another planet’s atmosphere, nor detected radio transmissions wafting from the direction of a distant world. Astronomers can predict how many planets are out there, but they can’t say how many we’d have to find to discover another Earth or a sign of extraterrestrial life. Even with more than 5,000 other worlds in the books, it’s still just us. In fact, scientists could find 5,000 more exoplanets and we might be exactly as alone as we are now” (March 22, 2022).

Others, such as Dr. Seth Shostak, a leading scientist at SETI Institute (in Mountain View, California), believe scientists will find intelligent life in space within the next few decades. SETI stands for Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, a research group with the stated mission “to understand the origins and prevalence of life and intelligence in the universe.”  Continued at:


The Role of Processed Foods in the Obesity Epidemic

Transcript of the video at:

“The rise in the U.S. calorie supply responsible for the obesity epidemic wasn’t just about more food but a different kind of food.

The rise in the number of calories provided the U.S. food supply since the 1970s is more than sufficient to explain the entire obesity epidemic. Similar spikes in calorie surplus were noted in developed countries around the world in parallel with, and presumed primarily responsible for, the expanding waistlines of their populations. By the year 2000, the United States was producing, after taking exports into account, 3,900 calories for every man, woman, and child—nearly twice as much as many people need.

It wasn’t always this way. The number of calories in the food supply actually declined over the first half of the twentieth century, only starting its upward climb to unprecedented heights in the 1970s. The drop in the first half of the century was attributed to the reduction in hard manual labor. The population had decreased energy needs, so they ate decreased energy diets. They didn’t need all the extra calories. But then, the so-called energy balance flipping point occurred, when the “move less, stay lean” phase that existed throughout most of the century turned into the “eat more, gain weight” phase that plagues us to this day. So, what changed?

What happened in the 1970s was a revolution in the food industry. In the 1960s, most food was prepared and cooked in the home. The average “not working” wife spent hours a day cooking and cleaning up after meals. (The husband averaged nine minutes.) But then, a mixed blessing transformation took place. Technological advances in food preservation and packaging enabled manufacturers to mass-prepare and distribute food for ready consumption. The metamorphosis has been compared to what happened a century before in the industrial revolution, with the mass production and supply of manufactured goods. This time they were just mass-producing food. Using new preservatives, artificial flavors, and techniques such as deep freezing and vacuum packaging, food corporations could take advantage of economies of scale to mass produce ready-made, durable, palatable edibles that offer an enormous commercial advantage over fresh and perishable foods.

Think ye of the Twinkie. With enough time and effort, any ambitious cook could create a cream-filled cake, but now they are available around every corner for less than a dollar––or delivered straight to your door for 30 cents! If every time someone wanted a Twinkie, they had to bake it themselves, they’d probably eat a lot less Twinkies. The packaged food sector is now a multi-trillion dollar industry.

Or, consider the humble potato. We’ve long been a nation of potato-eaters, but they were largely baked or boiled. Anyone who’s made fries from scratch knows what a pain it is, with all the peeling, cutting, and splattering. But with sophisticated machinations of mechanization, french fry production became centralized, and could be shipped at -40o to any fast food deep fat fryer or frozen food section in the country to become America’s favorite vegetable. Nearly all the increase in potato consumption in recent decades has been in the form of french fries and potato chips.

Cigarette production offers a compelling parallel. Up until automated rolling machines were invented, cigarettes had to be rolled by hand. It took 50 workers to produce the number of cigarettes a machine could make in a minute. The price plunged, and production leapt into the billions. Cigarette smoking went from relatively uncommon to almost everywhere. In the 20th century, the average per capita cigarette consumption rose from 54 a year to 4,345 cigarettes a year by the time of the 1964 Surgeon General’s report. The average American went from smoking about one cigarette a week to a half-pack a day.

Tobacco itself was just as addictive before and after mass marketing. What changed was cheap, easy access. French fries have always been tasty, but they went from being rare, even in restaurants, to omnipresent access around every and each corner (likely next to the gas station where you can get your Twinkies and cigarettes).

The first Twinkie dates back to 1930, though, and Ore-Ida started selling frozen french fries in the 1950s. There has to be more to the story than just technological innovation…which we’ll explore, next.”  From:

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.


Sunday, June 4, 2023

The 10 Commandments and God’s Way of Life. Christ’s Example of Sabbath Observance. Statin Muscle Toxicity.


The 10 Commandments and God’s Way of Life

“Our Creator God knows what is good for us and what is bad for us. What does the Bible tell us God wants us to do? Why did God give the 10 Commandments?

God knows what is good and bad for us, and He has recorded this information in the Bible to save us from the heartache and suffering that the wrong choices—what the Bible calls sins—bring.

But humanity as a whole has chosen to try to discover right and wrong by trial and error. Even worse, most people choose to experiment for themselves, not even learning from the mistakes of others!

The 10 Commandments show the right way

Jesus Christ summarized the right way in two great commandments: Love for God and love for others (Matthew 22:37-40 ). This basic approach is further defined by the great law God thundered from Mount Sinai—the 10 Commandments.

The rest of the Bible further magnifies the holy, just and good law of God. It reveals a way of life that produces great benefits in this life and that Jesus said is a prerequisite to entering eternal life (Matthew 19:17 ).

How can we know how to love God except He tells us? How can we avoid the pitfalls of human relationships unless we accept the wisdom revealed in God’s law?

And how can we know what sin is unless God defines it? In 1 John 3:4 sin is defined: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” The Contemporary English Version translates this as “sin is the same as breaking God’s law.”

Importance of the 10 Commandments as guardrails

Many seem to think of the laws of the Bible as burdensome and restrictive. But the apostle John shows the opposite:

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

God’s commandments are expressions of His love for us, and obeying them allows us to show we appreciate that and love Him in return. So instead of viewing them as burdensome, we can look at the 10 Commandments as the protective guardrails that can help guide us away from going over the edge of the cliff.

God’s laws show the way to good relationships and eternal peace and joy. Breaking God’s laws does the opposite—damaging relationships and causing unhappiness, conflict, suffering and ultimately death.

God’s commandments are not complicated or convoluted, like so many of man’s laws are. But they can guide us in all areas of life and provide a structure for understanding the other complementary teachings of the Bible.

Disagreements about the 10 Commandments

Some argue that Christ’s death did away with the need to obey the 10 Commandments. But if they honestly look at each commandment, the vast majority wouldn’t say that it is okay to kill, commit adultery, steal or lie. They wouldn’t advocate for blasphemy or idolatry or covetousness. Generally, the only commandment most object to is the Sabbath command.

But did Jesus, the “Lord of the Sabbath,” who said it was made for our benefit (Mark 2:27-28), really repeal the Sabbath commandment? See more about this in our article “Lord of the Sabbath” and related articles.

Different numbering of the 10 Commandments for Jews, Catholics and Protestants

One other disagreement should be mentioned here—how they are numbered. The Bible itself doesn’t number the 10 Commandments, but it does tell us there are 10 in Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 10:4. This is also reflected in the Greek word that came into English as Decalogue.

But you may notice that different religions number those same commandments differently. We follow the numbering also used by most Protestant groups. But many Jewish resources will show Exodus 20:2 as the First Commandment, while we consider that verse a prologue since it doesn’t include a command. These resources then combine verse 3 (which we call the First Commandment) and verses 4-6 (which we call the Second Commandment). From there, the numbering matches the way we list them.

The Catholic numbering combines the ones we call the First and Second Commandments, calling the combination the First Commandment. From there, their numbering is one less than the list we use. For example, in the Catholic list, the Sabbath command is called the Third Commandment, rather than the Fourth Commandment in our list.

To come up with 10, the Catholic list breaks the law against coveting into two parts. For Catholics, the Ninth Commandment is to not covet your neighbor’s wife. The 10th Commandment is to not covet your neighbor’s goods.

Considering that coveting your neighbor’s wife does not come first in Exodus 20 (it does in Moses’ retelling of the law in Deuteronomy 5), we believe it makes more sense that the law against coveting is all one commandment.

Of course, the important point is not the numbering or how they are grouped, but making sure none of the commandments are neglected. When the 10 Commandments are only looked at in short form, such neglect is a distinct danger. See “10 Commandments List” for a look at these Jewish and Catholic lists.

Learn more about the 10 Commandments

See more about how God wants us to live—for our own benefit—in this section on “The 10 Commandments and God’s Way of Life.” Articles in this section explore God’s laws and examine the continuity of God’s law between the Old and New Testaments. Articles on each commandment examine the meaning of the 10 Commandments in simple terms and how they apply today.” From:


Christ’s Example of Sabbath Observance

Luke 4:31  Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.

“As we discussed concerning the passages in Mark 1:21 and Mark 6:2, Jesus Christ’s custom was to observe the Sabbath. The Bible teaches us to follow Christ’s example and to walk as He walked (1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6).

The apostle John explained: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). So why do so few Christians follow Christ’s example of keeping the Sabbath commandment? Why do so many neglect this gift from God?

For more about what Jesus Christ expects of His followers, see our article “How to Keep the Sabbath Holy.”       From:


Statin Muscle Toxicity

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 video at

“Video updated 3/5/2012 to reflect new FDA warning labels citing risks of confusion, memory loss, new onset diabetes, and muscle injury. Even people who don’t experience pain or weakness on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may be suffering muscle damage.”

“Last week, February 28, 2012, the FDA announced newly mandated safety labeling for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs—such as Lipitor, Mevacor, Crestor, Zocor, and Vytorin. The FDA issued new side effect warnings regarding the increased risk of brain-related side effects, such as memory loss and confusion, an increase in blood sugar levels, and risk of new onset diabetes associated with taking this class of drugs. 

One prominent cardiologist described the Faustian bargain to the Wall Street Journal. Apparently, “1 to 2 out of 100 patients at risk for a heart attack will avoid one” by taking statins. But research now suggests for every 200 people taking a statin, 1 will develop diabetes. 

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some way to lower the risk of heart attacks and diabetes at the same time?

First, let me address the third side effect newly addressed by the FDA: the risk of muscle injury. We’ve known that about 1% to 5% of patients suffer enough muscle damage to cause pain and overt weakness, but only about 1 in 6,000,000 or 7,000,000 actually suffers enough muscle damage to kill them. It’s called fatal rhabdomyolysis, where your muscles break down so rapidly your urine starts looking like this, as you literally start peeing your muscles down the toilet. Then your kidneys fail, and you die.

But that’s like winning the lottery chances. There’s a 1 in 2 chance we’ll die of heart disease—so, no surprise Lipitor is the #1 prescribed drug on the planet Earth.

But then, this study was published. Normally, if you have muscle pain on a statin, you go to a doctor, and they take blood to see if you have elevated levels of muscle breakdown products in your bloodstream. Now if you don’t, they basically say, oh, it’s all in your head—go home, keep taking your medicine.

What these researchers did, though, was they instead took these people, and got muscle biopsies, and proved that even though their blood levels were normal, they were indeed suffering muscle damage. The damage just wasn’t leaking into their bloodstream. Well, if that’s the case, if you can’t pick it up with the test, maybe everyone taking statins is suffering muscle damage—whether they’re experiencing pain or not.

And that’s exactly what they found. Clear evidence of skeletal muscle damage in statin-treated patients—all statin-treated patients. This is what a muscle is supposed to look like under a microscope. This is your muscle; this is your muscle on statin drugs.

But, the degree of overall damage was slight. Most people don’t even feel any pain with statins, so what’s the big deal?

This is the big deal. New study on statin therapy, muscle function, and falls risk. Hundreds of older men and women followed for a few years, and those who were on statins suffered greater declines in muscle strength and muscle quality, and greater increases in falls risk.

So we don’t want to be taking this drug unless we really need it. The problem is, because heart disease remains our #1 killer, most everyone does need to take a statin drug like Lipitor every day for the rest of our lives—except for one group. This is from the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology: “Only pure vegetarians for practical purposes do not need statins. Most of the rest of us do!”    So, it’s our choice.”            From: