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: