Saturday, April 13, 2024

How Easter Replaced the Biblical Passover. How Did Passover Become Easter? Does Prevagen Really Work?

.

Our church will be having our Passover meal at sundown around 7.30pm on the 22nd. of April.

________

How Easter Replaced the Biblical Passover

A crown of thorns, nails, hammer and post.Why did Easter replace the Passover?

James Pauls/iStock/Thinkstock

It was easier to draw pagan worshippers into Christianity and maintain their devotion by identifying the time-honored spring resurrection feast of the pagan mystery religions with the resurrection of Christ.

Though Easter was clearly pagan in origin, Christian leaders of the first two centuries after Christ's crucifixion employed the same philosophy in establishing the new holiday that they later applied to Christmas. Believing that people are free to select their own times and customs of worship, they went about gradually replacing the biblically commanded Passover with their humanly devised celebration of Easter.

It was easier to draw pagan worshippers into Christianity and maintain their devotion by identifying the time-honored spring resurrection feast of the pagan mystery religions with the resurrection of Christ.

Anti-Jewish prejudice also seems to have been a major factor in the church leaders' decision to make such changes. According to R.K. Bishop: "The early development of the celebration of Easter and the attendant calendar disputes were largely a result of Christianity's attempt to emancipate itself from Judaism. Sunday had already replaced the Jewish sabbath early in the second century, and despite efforts in Asia Minor to maintain the Jewish passover date of 14 Nisan for Easter [or, rather, the true Passover] (hence the name Quartodecimans [meaning 'Fourteeners']), the Council of Nicaea adopted the annual Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21)" (Walter Elwell, editor, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 1984, "Easter").

Before A.D. 70, Christianity was "regarded by the Roman government and by the people at large as a branch of the Jewish religion" (Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, The Story of the Christian Church, 1954, p. 34). Christianity and Judaism shared the biblical feast days, although Christians observed them with added meanings introduced by Jesus and the apostles.

However, two Jewish revolts against the Roman Empire, in 64-70 and 132-135, led to widespread persecution of Jews and suppression of Jewish religious practices. Jews were even driven from Jerusalem and forbidden to return on pain of death. As pressure mounted, some Christians began to abandon beliefs and practices perceived as being too Jewish. Over time many abandoned their weekly Sabbath day of rest and worship in favor of worship on Sunday, the pagan day of the sun, and abandoned the Passover in favor of Easter to distance themselves from Jews.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia explains: "Originally both observances [Passover and Easter] were allowed, but gradually it was felt incongruous that Christians should celebrate Easter on a Jewish feast, and unity in celebrating the principal Christian feast was called for" (1967, Vol. 5, p. 8, "Easter Controversy").”  From: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/easter-the-rest-of-the-story/how-easter-replaced-the-biblical-passover

________

How Did Passover Become Easter?

“The early New Testament Church didn’t celebrate Easter. Why not—and what changed? Phil Sandilands discusses the shift from Passover (which God commanded) to Easter (which God NEVER commanded). Discover why Passover is still important to God—and why Easter will never be an acceptable replacement. Watch our latest Life, Hope & Truth Presents video program, “How Did Passover Become Easter?” at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/videos/series/life-hope-truth-presents/how-passover-became-easter/

________

“I Must by All Means Keep This Coming Feast”

Acts 18:21

[Paul] took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.

“As we saw in Acts 20:16, the apostle Paul planned his journeys around the biblical festivals. Here in Acts 18:21 he also explains his need to get to Jerusalem for one of the festivals.

Though it is not explicit about which festival, this passage gives more evidence of the continued importance of God’s festivals to the New Testament Church.

For more about the biblical festivals, see the second half of the free booklet From Holidays to Holy Days: God’s Plan for You.”  From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/i-must-by-all-means-keep-this-coming-feast/

_________

Does Prevagen Really Work?

“Why did the makers of Prevagen settle a class action lawsuit in 2020 with the FTC over deceptive business practices and false advertising? Is Prevagen safe?”

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.

“Over the last twenty years or so, Big Pharma has invested more than a half trillion dollars into dementia treatment research, but so far to little avail. In light of this, many have turned to supplements. An AARP commissioned survey found that 36 percent of those 74 years and older take a supplement for brain health, to the tune of billions of dollars a year. The most commonly marketed brain supplement was one I’d frankly never heard of before: Prevagen.

Prevagen contains a protein derived from a luminescent jellyfish the company claims “has been clinically shown to improve memory.” According to the company website, “A landmark double-blind and placebo controlled trial demonstrated Prevagen improved short-term memory, learning, and delayed recall over 90 days.” But when you actually pull up the study, not only did Prevagen fail to improve memory, learning, or recall over placebo, it failed to show a significant improvement in any of the nine measured cognitive tasks tested.

As an inquiry into Prevagen published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest was titled, “How Can This Memory Supplement Flunk Its One Trial and Still Be Advertised as Effective?” And not just as effective, but the #1 pharmacist recommended brand. Considering the lack of sound clinical evidence, how is that possible? Presumably, they’re just as blitzed with the same kind of advertising as everyone else.

It’s no surprise the supplement didn’t do anything, since the company’s own studies showed the jellyfish protein was rapidly digested by stomach enzymes. Of course, that didn’t stop them from raking in more than $20 million a year. Claiming the “marketers of Prevagen preyed on the fears of older consumers experiencing age-related memory loss,” the Federal Trade Commission and New York State’s Attorney General filed a consumer protection complaint charging the company with making false and unsubstantiated claims. The AARP weighed in, accusing the company of “deceiving millions of aging Americans.”

In a move straight out of the Big Pharma aducanumab playbook, the company went back and conducted more than 30 post hoc analyses of the data, and found a few positive findings on a few tasks for some subgroups. This cherry-picking of subgroups after the fact is a classic example of manipulation, sometimes called “p-hacking” or “data dredging,” that can be described as “placing a bet on a horse after watching the race.”

The makers of Prevagen settled a class action lawsuit in 2020 with the FTC over deceptive business practices and false advertising. Remarkably, though, the settlement allows them to continue to market it, with the court-approved disclaimer that claims are “based on a clinical study of subgroups of individuals …” But with the amount of slicing and dicing of data they did, the chances of finding at least one false positive was estimated at 80 percent.

Prevagen may be more than just a waste of money. The manufacturer was cited for failing to report more than a thousand adverse events related by consumers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Regulators can’t have it both ways, though. If the jellyfish protein is digested away, how can it pose a safety risk? Because dietary supplements are too often adulterated with contaminants. FDA inspectors specifically cited Prevagen’s manufacturing facilities for “objectionable conditions or practices.”

A 2019 survey by Pew found that more than half believed that the Food and Drug Administration requires supplements be tested for safety, but that isn’t true. One study of 24 supplements sold as cognitive performance boosters found that most claimed an ingredient on the label that wasn’t actually in the supplement. And worse, 38 percent contained ingredients not allowed in supplements, like prohibited drugs. Another study of a dozen so-called “brain health supplements” similarly found 8 out of 12 were misbranded (missing an ingredient promised on the label), and 10 out of 12 were deemed adulterated (containing unlisted compounds, for example caffeine in a product that explicitly highlighted all-caps ‘‘DECAFFEINATED’’ on the label). Only 1 of 12 was certified to contain what it said it did. ​​The bottom line for Prevagen—there is no acceptable evidence that it is effective, and patients should be advised not to take it.”  From: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/does-prevagen-really-work/?

________

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Did Jesus Replace the Passover? I’m A Christian, But I Don’t Keep Easter. Are Fortified Children’s Breakfast Cereals Just Candy?

.

This is Easter weekend, but Passover isn’t until the end of next month!!  Starts evening of 22nd. April 2024.

_______

Did Jesus Replace the Passover?

 

Did Jesus Replace the Passover?

“Did the God of the Old Testament do things that Jesus Christ had to clean up? For example, is the Passover outdated and no longer necessary?

Religious writers of a gnostic bent, past and present, frequently mix truth with error. One of their major themes falsely claims that the Creator God was rather “over the hill,” necessitating a youthful, vigorous Jesus to zoom in to repair the damage and rescue human souls.

In his book Primitive Christianity in Crisis, Alan Knight explains the gnostic approach: “Salvation depends on rejecting both the material world and the God that created it. … The wrathful God of the Old Testament cannot be the same as the true spiritual Father” (third edition, pp. 22, 48).

Is the big story plot of the Bible, “Jesus Christ the Savior replaces a fading Creator God”?

Did Jesus scrap the Creator’s work, or did He build on it, adding the finished structure to the foundation God had laid?

Jesus came to reveal the Father, not replace Him (Matthew 11:27; John 5:37). Could it be that Father and Son have been closely collaborating all along? They are on the same page, with the same goals and same objectives, in complete agreement.

As a case in point, consider the biblical story of the Passover, in the Old Testament and the New.

The Old Testament Passover

In Exodus 12 we read of the Passover being revealed to the Israelites. It was to be observed on the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar. For each household a lamb was slaughtered, a male without blemish. No bones of the lamb were broken. They smeared the Passover lamb’s blood around the doors of their homes as a sign.

God spared the congregation of Israel as He passed over the blood-stained doors in the night and did not send destruction on their firstborn.

The following day, the 15th of the first month, was a holy day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On that day Israel began leaving Egypt and eating unleavened bread. Israel was finally delivered from their hard bondage in slavery.

Jesus’ New Testament Passover

Some 15 centuries later the Bible records another Passover, this time in the holy city, Jerusalem. Compare this one to that first ancient drama.

  1. A key event of the New Testament is the sacrifice of a human male Passover lamb, Jesus Christ. “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7).
  2. Jesus was crucified on the exact same 14th day of the first month, the preparation day before the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a holy day. “Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away” (John 19:31).
  3. Jesus’ sacrifice delivered mankind from bondage to sin and death (Romans 8:2).
  4. Jesus was without sin, an unblemished sacrifice (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5).
  5. None of His bones were broken. “But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs” (John 19:33).
  6. Jesus spared all repentant sinners from eternal death, the consequence of our sins. We have been washed in His own blood (Revelation 1:5). Compare this to how the Israelites were saved from the death of the firstborn.
  7. Jesus’ disciples continued to keep the Passover annually to remember His sacrifice and still do even to this day, along with the Feast of Unleavened Bread. “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:8, penned some 20-plus years after Jesus ascended).
Finishing touches?

Did Jesus start a new approach with the nonbiblical holidays of Christmas and Easter? Or did He put the finishing touches on the age-old Passover festival to be observed for all time, precisely as the Father and Jesus planned in exact detail from the very beginning?

  • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
  • “I and My Father are one,” of one mind and purpose (John 10:30).
  • “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42, Jesus prayed this to the Father about His terrible trial that was to commence).

The Bible shows that the first Passover festival of the sacrifice of unblemished lambs back in ancient Egypt was a brilliantly fashioned shadowy precursor of greater things to come centuries later—the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all sins, for all mankind, for all time (Colossians 2:16-17).

For more about Passover, see “Passover: What Did Jesus Do for You?” For more about God and Jesus, check out the section about God. “  From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/blog/did-jesus-replace-the-passover/

________

I’m a Christian, but I Don’t Keep Easter

“The Bible gives us instructions on how to worship God, Easter is not commanded there, but the Passover is... which will you observe?

Transcript Of video at:  https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/im-a-christian-but-i-dont-keep-easter

[Darris McNeely]

“I'm a Christian but I don't keep Easter. I'm a Christian, and I keep Passover. Now, when I say the word Passover, you may think, "Well, that's Jewish. How can you be a Christian and keep what you consider think to be a Jewish festival Jewish holiday?" Well, very simply, very easily. I read the Scripture, and I understand what it says and I understand what the Passover of the New Testament really is. And I see instruction for me to keep that and I don't see the instruction for Easter, and a lot of other holidays that have been substituted for God's Festivals. But for a moment, let's just focus on the Passover.

As I speak here, at this time, we're just a few weeks away from keeping the Passover, a very important service for a Christian. One who has given their life to God, to Jesus Christ, accepted His sacrifice and are a disciple. In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul is writing to a Gentile church in the city of Corinth, and he's giving them instructions about their life, but then also about keeping the Festival of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And in verse 7 of 1 Corinthians 5, he tells them, "Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump since you truly are unleavened." Now, that's a reference to putting out the leaven in anticipation of the seven days of unleavened bread, another festival, and keeping that with the unleavened bread of sincerity of truth. And he says, "For indeed, Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us." Christ, our Passover.

There are many scriptures that talk about the Passover service. There's certainly Old Testament Scriptures that define what it was in the Old Testament. And there are New Testament Scriptures that define what it means in the New Testament under the New Covenant, how Christ kept it, and how the church was instructed to keep it. And this is one of those and it says that Christ is our Passover, sacrificed for us. In the New Testament Passover, we don't kill a lamb. We don't spread its blood on the doorposts as they did back in Exodus, at the time of the Exodus.

We keep the Passover with the symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, but we keep the Passover. We keep the Passover because it points us to Christ who is our Passover. It's something that you should think about if you haven't before because, from the scriptures, we find that Christ is our Passover. And that's what I keep as a Christian. And I hope it will make you think if you're not already doing it, that that's what you should be doing instead of whatever you may be doing to worship God. Doing it this way is the godly way, the biblical way.”  From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/im-a-christian-but-i-dont-keep-easter

________

Are Fortified Children’s Breakfast Cereals Just Candy? 

“The industry responds to the charge that breakfast cereals are too sugary.

In 1941, the American Medical Association’s Council on Foods and Nutrition was presented with a new product, Vi-Chocolin, a vitamin-fortified chocolate bar, “offered ostensibly as a specialty product of high nutritive value and of some use in medicine, but in reality intended for promotion to the public as a general purpose confection, a vitaminized candy.” Surely, something like that couldn’t happen today, right? Unfortunately, that’s the sugary cereal industry’s business model.

As I discuss in my video Are Fortified Kids’ Breakfast Cereals Healthy or Just Candy?, nutrients are added to breakfast cereals “as a marketing gimmick to “create an aura of healthfulness…If those nutrients were added to soft drinks or candy, would we encourage kids to consume them more often?” Would we feed our kids Coke and Snickers for breakfast? We might as well spray cotton candy with vitamins, too. As one medical journal editorial read, “Adding vitamins and minerals to sugary cereals…is worse than useless. The subtle message accompanying such products is that it is safe to eat more.”

General Mills’ “Grow up strong with Big G kids’ cereals” ad campaign featured products like Lucky Charms, Trix, and Cocoa Puffs. That’s like the dairy industry promoting ice cream as a way to get your calcium. Kids who eat presweetened breakfast cereals may get more than 20 percent of their daily calories from added sugar, as you can see below and at 1:28 in my video.

Most sugar in the American diet comes from beverages like soda, but breakfast cereals represent the third largest food source of added sugars in the diets of children and adolescents, wedged between candy and ice cream. On a per-serving basis, there is more added sugar in a cereal like Frosted Flakes than there is in frosted chocolate cake, a brownie, or even a frosted donut, as you can see below and at 1:48 in my video.

Kellogg’s and General Mills argue that breakfast cereals only contribute a “relatively small amount” of sugar to the diets of children, less than soda, for example. “This is a perfect example of the social psychology phenomenon of ‘diffusion of responsibility.’ This behavior is analogous to each restaurant in the country arguing that it should not be required to ban smoking because it alone contributes only a tiny fraction to Americans’ exposure to secondhand smoke.” In fact, “each source of added sugar…should be reduced.”

The industry argues that most of their cereals have less than 10 grams of sugar per serving, but when Consumer Reports measured how much cereal youngsters actually poured for themselves, they were found to serve themselves about 50 percent more than the suggested serving size for most of the tested cereals. The average portion of Frosted Flakes they poured for themselves contained 18 grams of sugar, which is 4½ teaspoons or 6 sugar packets’ worth. It’s been estimated that a “child eating one serving per day of a children’s cereal containing the average amount of sugar would consume nearly 1,000 teaspoons of sugar in a year.”

General Mills offers the “Mary Poppins defense,” arguing that those spoonsful of sugar can “help the medicine go down” and explaining that “if sugar is removed from bran cereal, it would have the consistency of sawdust.” As you can see below and at 3:17 in my video, a General Mills representative wrote that the company is presented “with an untenable choice between making our healthful foods unpalatable or refraining from advertising them.” If it can’t add sugar to its cereals, they would be unpalatable? If one has to add sugar to a product to make it edible, that should tell us something. That’s a characteristic of so-called ultra-processed foods, where you have to pack them full of things like sugar, salt, and flavorings “to give flavor to foods that have had their [natural] intrinsic flavors processed out of them and to mask any unpleasant flavors in the final product.”

The president of the Cereal Institute argued that without sugary cereals, kids might not eat breakfast at all. (This is similar to dairy industry arguments that removing chocolate milk from school cafeterias may lead to students “no longer purchasing school lunch.”) He also stressed we must consider the alternatives. As Kellogg’s director of nutrition once put it: “I would suggest that Fruit [sic] Loops as a snack are much better than potato chips or a sweet roll.” You know there’s a problem when the only way to make your product look good is to compare it to Pringles and Cinnabon.

Want a healthier option? Check out my video Which Is a Better Breakfast: Cereal or Oatmeal?.

For more on the effects of sugar on the body and if you like these more politically charged videos see the related posts below.

Finally, for some additional videos on cereal, see Kids’ Breakfast Cereals as Nutritional Façade and Ochratoxin in Breakfast Cereals.

Key Takeaways
  • Vi-Chocolin, a vitamin-fortified chocolate bar, was purportedly offered as a product with high nutritive value but was really just vitaminized candy. The sugary cereal industry follows a similar business model.

  • The sugary cereal industry has been criticized for adding nutrients to cereals “as a marketing gimmick,” creating an illusion of health benefits.

  • Children who consume pre-sweetened breakfast cereals may derive more than 20 percent of their daily calories from added sugar. Breakfast cereals rank as the third-largest food source of added sugars in the diets of kids and adolescents, listed between candy and ice cream. On a per-serving basis, a cereal like Frosted Flakes has more added sugar than a frosted chocolate cake, a brownie, or a frosted donut.

  • Kellogg’s and General Mills’ contention that breakfast cereals contribute only a “relatively small amount” of sugar to children’s diets is likened to the social psychology phenomenon of “diffusion of responsibility.”

  • Consumer Reports’ findings reveal that children often pour themselves 50 percent more cereal than the suggested serving size. A child eating a single daily serving of kids’ cereal with the average amount of sugar would consume almost a thousand teaspoons of sugar in one year.

  • The industry argues it has to add sugar to its cereals to make them palatable, which is a characteristic of ultra-processed foods.  From: https://nutritionfacts.org/blog/are-fortified-childrens-breakfast-cereals-just-candy/?

__________

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Why Did Jesus Stay Around For 40 Days? Christ Offered One Sacrifice for Sins Forever. Cancer-Causing NDMA in Medications and Meat.

.

  • “Q:Why did Jesus stay around for 40 days after He came back from the grave, instead of going immediately into heaven? This came up in our Bible class the other day and no one seemed to have an answer.


A: One reason Jesus stayed on earth for 40 days after His resurrection instead of ascending immediately into heaven was to demonstrate to His followers that He truly was alive.

After all, they knew the Roman authorities had put Jesus to death, and that His body had been taken down from the cross and sealed in a tomb. And when that happened, they were filled with despair and fear; many even went into hiding. They had believed Jesus was the promised Messiah—and now their hopes were shattered. They had forgotten His promise that He would return from the grave, and they felt they had no future.

But when Jesus appeared among them after the resurrection, their lives were changed. The greatest miracle in all history had just taken place: Jesus Christ was alive! During those 40 days, He appeared to various groups of disciples, proving beyond doubt to them that he had been raised from the dead by the power of God. Over two decades later, the Apostle Paul wrote that “he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living” (1 Corinthians 15:6).

Another reason, however, why Jesus stayed on earth then was to teach His disciples, and prepare them for the task of telling the world about Christ. Is your faith in the risen Christ, and are you seeking to share His message of salvation with others?”  From: https://billygraham.org/answer/why-did-jesus-stay-around-for-40-days-after-he-came-back-from-the-grave-instead-of-going-immediately-into-heaven/

Jesus left His followers with an assignment: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Wondering if that command is still relevant?

MORE STORIES

_________

Christ Offered One Sacrifice for Sins Forever

Hebrews 10:12

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.

 The book of Hebrews shows how the Old Testament sacrificial system was designed to point to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The priests of the tribe of Levi were told to regularly offer animal sacrifices. These sacrifices were to remind the people that sin requires the shedding of blood.

Sin offerings of animals, though a costly reminder of sin, did not remove the sins or the death penalty we each earn by sin. Hebrews 10:4 explains, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” The animal sacrifices were a symbol of the true sacrifice—Jesus Christ.

As the Son of God and Creator, Jesus Christ’s life is worth far more than the lives of all humans who will ever live. His one death more than paid the death penalty for all who will repent and seek forgiveness.

For more about the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ and what our response should be to it, see “What Is Repentance?

Listen to the "Verse by Verse" episode covering this scripture at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/christ-offered-one-sacrifice-for-sins-forever/?

New Call-to-action

________

Cancer-Causing NDMA in Medications (Zantac, Metformin) and Meat

Transcript of video at: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/cancer-causing-ndma-in-medications-zantac-metformin-and-meat/

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.

“Billion-dollar drugs pulled from the market for carcinogenic contamination less than that found in a single serving of grilled chicken.

In 2018, one of the bestselling blood pressure drugs, valsartan—sold as Diovan—was found to be contaminated by the “probably carcinogenic” nitrosamine known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). It’s believed that approximately 20 million people worldwide were prescribed the drug tainted with this contaminant whose cancer risk has been shown to exceed that of many known potent carcinogens, including asbestos, benzo[a]pyrene, and PCBs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimated that taking the drug for a few years could cause cancer in as many as 1 in 8,000 people, whereas the European equivalent of the FDA estimated the cancer risk could be as high as 1 in 5,000. It is unlikely, researchers wrote in this Spring 2019 paper, that drugs like valsartan are a unique case. And indeed, a few months later, the FDA announced it had found NDMA in ranitidine.

Ranitidine, the acid reflux drug sold as Zantac, is one of the most prescribed drugs on the planet, in addition to being sold over the counter. Give people a single tablet and the amount of NDMA flowing through their bodies jumps up more than a hundred-fold.

Then in 2020, some formulations of metformin, a popular diabetes drug sold as Glucophage, were found to be contaminated. The finding of NDMA in common medicines led the FDA to call for the immediate withdrawal of all Zantac from store shelves, yanking the drug from the market because their testing showed NDMA levels could in some circumstances exceed the acceptable daily intake limit of 96 nanograms per day. It was so bad that the FDA found levels of this carcinogenic contaminant NDMA in Zantac similar to the levels you would expect to be exposed to if you ate grilled or smoked meats!

Wait, what?

NDMA has not only been found in contaminating drugs. It is a known byproduct from pesticide manufacturing, leather tanning, and tire plants, and is found in multiple foods and beverages, including processed meat and beer. Now that we know NDMA can transfer through the placenta, this may explain the relationship between maternal cured meat consumption during pregnancy and the risk of childhood brain tumors. For example, hot dog consumption during pregnancy may increase childhood brain tumor risk by 33 percent or sausage consumption may increase it by 44 percent. Bacon consumption may increase childhood brain tumor odds by 60 or 70 percent. But it’s not just processed meat. Researchers have found it in poultry products as well.

A single serving of chicken contains more than 100 nanograms of NDMA. Remember how the FDA said the acceptable daily intake limit is 96 nanograms per day? Half of a chicken breast contains 110.

Now, raw poultry doesn’t have any; it’s the cooking process. In fact, the dry-heat cooking of meat, like broiling or grilling, even creates airborne NDMA, releasing this very potent carcinogenic compound into the air. So, even if you’re only getting a salad or something in a charcoal grill restaurant, just being indoors where meat is being cooked could pose a significant cancer risk.

These nitrosamines are also found in cigarette smoke, and pressure was put on the tobacco industry to try to remove them, arguing that there is simply no logical reason why a removable carcinogen should be allowed to remain in a consumer product. That’s the same reason Zantac was yanked from store shelves.

Okay, so let me get this straight.

One of the best-selling drugs in history was pulled from the market—a drug that brought in billions of dollars—because it contained a probable carcinogen that exceeded the acceptable daily limit, but there may be more of the contaminant in a single serving of chicken! So, my question is: why aren’t they pulling the poultry off the shelves as well?”  From: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/cancer-causing-ndma-in-medications-zantac-metformin-and-meat/

________

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Do You Feel Lucky Today? St. Patrick's Day. How to Keep Yourself Off the Operating Table.

.

Do You Feel Lucky Today?

Do You Feel Lucky Today?Photos.com

“Good luck, bad luck, no luck and even luck that can follow you—is this really what controls your future?

Across the globe the seemingly harmless Irish tradition of having to wear green on March 17 so the luck of the Irish will be with you has saturated our society. What's all the fuss over a man called St. Patrick that has resulted in widespread partying and celebration?

Even more widespread is the concept of luck, a seemingly supernatural force that swings the odds of circumstances in people's favor or against them. Is this acceptable from a biblical perspective? Should we be wishing others "Good luck"?

As St. Patrick's Day comes around, it's a good time to take a hard look at luck.

Irish tradition

Throughout the past 1, 500 or so years, traditions have grown, folklore has spread, and "luck" has sprouted in our everyday language. The leprechaun and icons like the color green, the shamrock and the pot o' gold have all come to be associated with the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Legend states that St. Patrick used the shamrock or three-leaved clover to explain the Trinity. Its three leaves supposedly represented the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Eventually, the custom was adopted of wearing a shamrock on his feast day. (The Trinity doctrine, however, is unbiblical—for more information, request our free booklet Is God a Trinity?)

A shamrock is different from a four-leaf clover. According to Celtic tradition, when a four-leaf clover is found, it is said to represent God's grace, with the four leaves standing for faith, hope, love and luck.

Ironically, the real Patrick would probably have frowned on the traditions associated with his feast day—as well as the holiday itself.

What's with luck?

Of course, the concept of luck or fortune is not exclusive to Irish tradition. We find it throughout human history and throughout the world today.

We now hear phrases like "good luck with the job interview," or "good luck on that test." While many deem this merely an expression of hoping for the best outcome, not really believing in luck, others take the concept of luck more seriously.

Some things associated with luck seem harmless, like wishing on a star, shooting stars, wishing wells, lucky trinkets or fairies. But there are underlying issues here that need to be raised.

Over the years luck has become like a god in society. Luck seems to decide things like your fate, car accidents, test scores, the job hunt, pay raises or even the answer you'll be given about that date you want to go on this Saturday night. People believe luck controls things and that it provides different opportunities for different people. Decisions are even based on it. Consider that many skyscrapers have no 13th floor—as 13 is considered unlucky.

No luck with the Bible

Looking to the Bible, we find that it gives no credibility to luck. In the first of the Ten Commandments, God states, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3). The intent of His command here is that nothing is to take a higher priority in our lives than Him! This first command warns us to not accept a religion or philosophy that teaches that our life and well-being originate or depend on anything other than the one true God.

As He often does, God colorfully portrays the utter foolishness of making gods of wood and stone, but the biblical nations of ancient Israel and Judah manufactured as many fake deities as the number of cities in the land of Judah (Jeremiah 2:27-28). "See if they can save you in the time of your trouble!" God taunted them and modern mankind (compare verse 28). Today our peoples still trust in worthless and inanimate things to save us—such as weapons, money and even actual idols by seeing power in crosses, religious statues and good luck charms.

God even laments over His people rejecting Him "and offering food and wine to the gods you call ‘Good Luck' and ‘Fate'" (Isaiah 65:11, Contemporary English Version). Any credit to luck is really a form of idolatry.

No luck at all

Maybe you've heard people say, "I know luck doesn't exist, but good luck anyway!" Perhaps they're conceding that there may be luck after all—or maybe they just don't know how else to wish someone well. They could simply say, "Do well" or "All the best." Or they could look to God, saying, "God be with you" or "God bless you" (yet only if He is truly sought).

After all, true power is with God, not with luck. As the Bible tells us: "Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things … by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing … The Creator of the ends of the earth neither faints nor is weary" (Isaiah 40:26-28).

Using luck in our vocabulary and lives may seem harmless. But God is jealous for His people. He truly loves you and desires the best for your future. It does not please Him when we turn to fables and smooth phrases that announce our dependence on anything but Him. Everything we are and have ultimately comes from God. The only reliable assurance that our future is secure lies in our relationship with our Creator, not some ominous luck, wishes, stars or leprechauns.

God beats luck any day

God wants us to understand that we must never direct our worship toward anything He has created, or regard it as the source of our life and blessings. Worship only the Creator—never the creation. He is the sole miracle-working God who provides blessings, hopes and a promised future of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. Rainbows, waterfalls, clovers, stars and the rest of the creation were created for us to enjoy and use as a wonderful and beautiful environment to live in. We don't bow down, pray or make requests to any aspect of the creation.

So where are you placing your trust, faith and hope? That's a vital question for each of us.

God's ultimate plan and desire for us is that we live forever in His eternal family and Kingdom: "Now we are children of God … we know that when He [Jesus Christ] is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2).

That is the purpose for which we have been created! Luck has nothing to do with it! Wishing wells, wishing on a star or making a wish when blowing out birthday candles simply skew and corrupt our relationship with our Creator.

There is one source of blessings. There is one way into the Kingdom of God. There is one sacrifice that removes the penalty of our personal sins. God alone is that true source—not luck!”  From: Do You Feel Lucky Today? | United Church of God (ucg.org)

_________

St. Patrick & St. Patrick's Day

“Who was this Patrick guy, anyway? Known as the patron saint of Ireland, he's an almost mythological figure in the Christian world, with tall tales of his legendary exploits known far and wide.

Theologian and historian James Moffatt said, “So much legend and fiction has been written about him that one is almost led to believe that there were two individuals—the real Patrick and the fictitious Patrick” ( The Church in Scotland , 1882, p. 140).

There are few hard facts about Patrick’s life, but we can draw some reasonable conclusions from what we do know.

Patrick is credited with establishing the Roman Catholic Church throughout Ireland. But does history match tradition? Moffatt commented, “He should not be placed where certain historians seem determined to assign him … He was in no way connected with the type of Christianity which developed in Italy” (ibid).

As it turns out, Patrick probably wasn’t even Catholic! His belief system was evidently quite different than that of continental Europe.

It’s probable that Patrick even honored God’s seventh day Sabbath! “It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor” (ibid).

Other historical records and Patrick’s own writings reveal him to have been closer to biblical instruction than to traditional Christianity. Part of the Bible’s teaching includes rejecting the use of pagan practices in the worship of the true God (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).

The real Patrick likely wouldn’t even have approved of observing his own namesake holiday! This holiday on March 17 was supposedly to commemorate his death, but that date was in fact the time of the Roman Bacchanalia—celebrating the god of wine and partying. It seems the pagan party goes on in another guise. Bear that in mind when March 17 comes around. Forget the leprechauns, and put God first!” Read the related article “Do You Feel Lucky Today? above.

_________

How to Keep David Letterman (and yourself) Off the Operating Table

by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD    March 1, 2011

“Last Friday night Barbara Walters television special highlighted six celebrities and their thoughts and emotions surrounding their open heart surgery.  Barbara Walters, Robin Williams, and Charlie Rose had valve surgery, while President Clinton, Regis Philbin, and David Letterman had bypass surgery for coronary artery disease.  Few would challenge that the stage of illness of these celebrities did not require surgical intervention. The real eye-opener of the show was David Letterman’s remark that he fully expected a second bypass operation in the future.  The sober resignation to an inevitable recurrence is what we must challenge vigorously.

Let’s be clear: coronary artery disease is a food borne illness and need never exist.  If the gifted surgeons identified in the television special had opened their offices in rural China, the Papua Highlands of New Guinea, Central Africa or among the Tarahumara Indians of Northern Mexico, they would need to take on second jobs.  Why all the empty waiting rooms? These cultures have a plant based nutrition no coronary artery disease, and no need for bypass surgeons or stents.

The key to our vascular health is the innermost single layer of endothelial cells which line our blood vessels. Those cells produce nitric oxide molecules, which smooth blood flow, enlarge blood vessels on demand, inhibit inflammation in the blood vessel wall, and most importantly prevent the formation of blockages or plaque.

So how does nitric oxide fail?

Every time we eat a western diet of oils, dairy, meat, fish, poultry, and caffeine in coffee we injure our endothelial cells and deplete our protective level of nitric oxide.  Autopsies of 20 year olds dying of accidents, homicides, and suicides confirm coronary artery disease is now ubiquitous (albeit still in an early stage.)  Continued nutritional insult to endothelial cells leads to plaque blockages, chest pain, heart attacks, strokes, and the need for stents and bypass surgery. Cardiologists agree these procedures are a temporary patch job and have nothing to do with the cause of the disease.

What about cholesterol?  Cholesterol is an innocent bystander in plant based populations with healthy uninjured endothelium and copious amounts of nitric oxide.  Once nitric oxide levels fall with the introduction of the western diet, the endothelial tissues become sticky allowing cholesterol to burrow into the vessel wall, creating plaque buildup and blockages, and impeding blood flow.

Lowering cholesterol is helpful, but the key is to avoid eating foods that further injure the endothelium.  That has been the focus of our counseling goal with patients since 1985.  It is also why we have been able to successfully treat this disease through dietary intervention in hundreds of patients with the technique described in my book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.   With this dietary approach the endothelium can rapidly recover its nitric oxide production, halt disease progression, and often achieve significant disease reversal.  As a result, patients rarely require stents or bypasses.

Note to David Letterman: Your fate is on your fork.

Why don’t physicians offer the plant based nutrition option to their patients?

1.    They are not taught nutrition and are unfamiliar with the efficacy of a plant based approach.
2.    They don’t have time for patient nutritional counseling.
3.    They often lack the skill set for behavioral modification.
4.    Insurance support for counseling is sparse.
5.    The status quo offers a handsome income stream.

The cure for the coronary artery disease epidemic is not a pill, a procedure, or an operation.  The cure is to empower the public with nutritional literacy and to make each individual the locus of control when it comes to protecting their health and vanquishing this food borne illness.

Since the time of Hippocrates there has been a covenant of trust between the physician and the patient. Informing patients of the causes of their disease is a crucial part of that trust. In the case of coronary artery disease, that conversation is not taking place. While stents and bypass surgery may be lifesaving in an emergency, all too often at the first sign of disease, these invasive procedures are employed, with all the associated morbidity and mortality.

We perform 1.2 million stents annually in the United States, with a mortality of 1% and procedural heart attack rate of 4%. This translates to 12,000 deaths  and 48,000 heart attacks every year.  We perform 500,000 bypass operations with a mortality rate of 3% and similar procedural stroke rate.  This totals 15,000 deaths and 15,000 strokes annually.  Over a decade these procedures result in 270,000 deaths, 480,000 heart attacks, and 150,000 strokes.

More than forty years ago brilliant pioneers set the interventional mode of cardiology treatment in motion.  Back then it was all we had.  However, today with an understanding of this disease causation we have the powerful option to halt and prevent this epidemic. This can never happen while symptomatic therapy reaps enormous financial rewards. Change would also be disruptive for powerful institutions.  The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), which subsidizes the animal food industry, constructs a food pyramid for the public every five years laden with nutrition suggestions that further promote, rather than prevent, disease.  The $5 billion stent and $25 billion statin drug industry are hardly anxious to see this epidemic go away.  Few interventional cardiologists or cardiac surgeons are seeking fewer patients.

As heart-warming as Barbara Walters’ television special on celebrity heart surgery was, just imagine a one-hour primetime special devoted to educating the public that coronary artery disease—our number one killer—need never exist and that our fate is in our hands.  Maybe David Letterman could host.”  From: https://www.dresselstyn.com/site/letterman/

________

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Three Days and Three Nights. Increased Lifespan from Beans.

.

3 Things You May Not Know About Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

3 Things You May Not Know About Maundy Thursday and Good FridayDevout Catholics participate in a Good Friday procession.

“Reflecting on Jesus’ death is sobering. Unfortunately the timing is rarely understood. Do Maundy Thursday and Good Friday fit the timing in the Bible?

Churches will soon be packed with some of their largest attendances of the year. The “CEOs” (Christmas and Easter Only attendees) will make one of their semiannual appearances for Easter, the most holy observance of the year for mainstream Christianity. Good Friday, which occurs two days before Easter Sunday, is also significant as the most solemn occasion because it recalls the crucifixion of Christ.

Most professing Christians understand that Jesus died so our sins can be forgiven. What is not common knowledge is the timing of His death, which has been hidden by the establishment of Easter and its closely related observances of Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in lieu of the biblical festivals observed by Jesus, His apostles and the first-century Church.

If you sincerely want to honor Christ at this time of year, you need to know the real story—the one that shows us the correct timing of His death and how to properly commemorate this event.

Doesn’t Christ deserve the respect to have the true, biblical history of His death told and remembered on this sobering occasion?

In that light, here are three important things to know about Maundy Thursday and Good Friday:

1. Of all the man-made holidays, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are the only ones that claim to commemorate something Jesus said to commemorate.

On the evening before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples to keep the Passover as an annual festival “in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

In teaching the Corinthians to observe this solemn service, Paul told them that through this memorial they would “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (verse 26, emphasis added throughout).

Jesus never commanded Christians to celebrate His birth or resurrection. Rather, His instruction was for us to memorialize His death—something that Maundy Thursday and Good Friday actually do attempt to do.

But does that mean you should observe Maundy Thursday and Good Friday?

2. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday aren’t the biblical names of the observance that commemorates Christ’s death.

The terms Maundy Thursday and Good Friday appear nowhere in the Bible. But the Bible does talk about another festival to honor Christ’s death: the Passover.

The New Testament Passover established by Christ Himself includes taking bread and wine. The bread represents His broken body and the wine represents His shed blood (Matthew 26:26-28).

Churches vary in how often they partake of the symbols of bread and wine. Some take these symbols daily, some monthly and some on Maundy Thursday. But the Bible instructs us to observe it only once a year on a specific day (Leviticus 23:5). When we take the Passover symbols of unleavened bread and wine, we annually “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Observing the Passover is a memorial of Christ’s death. Jesus did not die on many different days throughout the year. He died on only one day, and He observed the Passover on the prescribed evening before the day of His death.

Passover is the annual festival that reminds us of Christ’s death. To learn more about this observance, see “Passover: What Did Jesus Do for You?” and “Questions and Answers About the Passover.”

3 Things You May Not Know About Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Download "The Chronology of Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection" infographic.

This chart includes the key events during this momentous week, demonstrating how Jesus’ promise to rise after three days and three nights was fulfilled, proving He is the Messiah.

3. Jesus didn’t die on a Friday.

Today documentation is commonly recorded for births and deaths. While we don’t have these same types of records from the first century giving us the exact day of Christ’s death, the Bible does give us enough details to show that Jesus definitely didn’t die on a Friday.

Let’s begin with the best known facts about Christ’s death. The Bible clearly tells us: “Now after the Sabbath [Saturday], as the first day of the week [Sunday] began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb,” but Jesus was not there because He had risen (Matthew 28:1, 6). So Jesus had already been resurrected by very early Sunday morning.

The next biblical key to note is that Jesus said, “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). We can also note that Jesus died at about 3 p.m., the ninth hour after sunrise, and was buried that evening shortly before the beginning of a Sabbath (Matthew 27:46-50, 57, 62).

People have assumed that the Sabbath mentioned in these verses is a Saturday, leading them to the conclusion that Jesus died on a Friday—hence the name Good Friday. But there is a problem with this timeline. There simply are not three days and three nights between Friday evening and Sunday morning. There aren’t even parts of three days and three nights in this time period between Friday evening and Sunday morning (as some have tried to interpret the three days and three nights).

The biblical fact is, Jesus died on a Wednesday—not on a Friday as many believe. A careful reading of a companion scripture explains this apparent dilemma. John 19:31 tells us that the day Jesus was buried preceded a “high day”—a designation reserved for an annual Sabbath, which could fall on any day of the week and not necessarily Saturday. In fact, Jesus was buried just prior to the beginning of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—an annual Sabbath.

The weekday timeline that fits the facts we have noted is easily constructed. Jesus observed the Passover with His disciples on Tuesday evening. He was crucified and died on Wednesday, buried near sunset on Wednesday prior to the beginning of the annual Sabbath called the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and resurrected three days and three nights later near sundown on Saturday, the weekly Sabbath. When the women arrived at the tomb early Sunday morning, they discovered that He had already been resurrected.

The fact that there were two Sabbaths during the timeline of Jesus’ burial and resurrection is confirmed by several Bible translations, including the International Standard Version, which translates Matthew 28:1: “After the Sabbaths, around dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to take a look at the burial site.” The annual Sabbath occurred on Thursday that year; the weekly Sabbath, on Saturday.

The biblical fact is, Jesus died on a Wednesday—not on a Friday as many believe. Interestingly when we look at the years for God’s holy days falling on the days of the week indicated by the Scriptures, we find that Jesus died on the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar in A.D. 31."   From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/blog/3-things-you-may-not-know-about-maundy-thursday-and-good-friday/

_________

Three Days and Three Nights

Matthew 12:39-40

But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Listen to the "Verse by Verse" episode covering this scripture.

In our Fundamental Beliefs “8. Three Days and Three Nights,” we state, “Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the Father after His body lay for three days and three nights in the grave. The length of time that He was in the grave was the only sign He gave to prove He was the Messiah.”

Jesus had done many miracles, but still the Pharisees sought “how they might destroy Him” (Matthew 12:14). So Jesus didn’t offer them more miracles as a sign, only this reference to the length of time He would be in the grave.

Strangely, though, most Christians today do not believe that Christ was literally three days and three nights in the grave as He promised, since it is not possible to count three days and three nights between Good Friday afternoon and Easter Sunday morning.

For a detailed explanation of the biblical chronology of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, including a helpful chart, see “Sign of Jonah: Did Jesus Die Good Friday, Rise on Easter?” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/three-days-and-three-nights/

_________

Increased Lifespan from Beans

“The intake of legumes—beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils—may be the single most important dietary predictor of a long lifespan. But what about concerns about intestinal gas?”

Transcript of video at: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/increased-lifespan-from-beans/

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.

“Legumes may be “the most important…predictor of survival in older people” from around the globe. They looked at “five [different] cohorts in Japan, Sweden, Greece, and Australia.” And, of all the food factors they looked at, only one was associated with a longer lifespan across the board: legume intake. Whether it was the Japanese eating their soy, the Swedes eating their “brown beans and peas,” or those in the Mediterranean eating “lentils, chickpeas, and white beans,”…”[o]nly for legumes intake was the result plausible, consistent, and statistically significant from [the] data” across all the populations combined. We’re talking an “8% reduction in risk of death for every 20 grams increase in daily legumes intake.” That’s just like two tablespoons’ worth! So, if a can of beans is 250 grams, and you get 8% lower mortality for every 20 grams, maybe, if we eat a can a day, we’ll live forever? Let’s find out!

If you want to increase your lifespan, eat beans. If, however, you’re suicidal, and want to decrease your lifespan, “A bean-free diet” may increase the risk of death.

So, having arrived at the one dietary fountain of youth, what’s the #1 reason people aren’t clamoring for them? Fear of flatulence. So, is that the choice we’re left with? Breaking wind or breaking down? Passing gas or passing on? Turns out that “[p]eople’s concerns about excessive flatulence from eating beans may be exaggerated.”

Add a half-cup of beans every day to people’s diets for months, and what happens? What’s the #1 symptom? Nothing. The vast majority of people experienced no symptoms at all—though a few percent did report increased flatulence. So, it may occur in some individuals. But, “not all people are affected.” Even among those that were, “[s]eventy percent or more of the participants who experienced flatulence felt that it dissipated [no pun intended] by the second or third week of bean consumption”. So, we’ve just got to stick to it.

And, you know, a small percentage reported increased flatulence on the control diet without any beans. People have preconceived notions about beans, such that “just the expectation of flatulence from eating beans may influence their perceptions of having gas.” They didn’t actually measure farts in this study; they just asked people what their perception of the amount of gas they had was. And, we know from previous studies that you give someone a product labeled to contain something that may cause intestinal distress, and it causes more intestinal distress whether it actually contains the ingredient or not. In other words, “just thinking they were eating [it] caused digestive distress, or the perception of it, to a proportion of persons.”

So, people thinking beans are going to cause gas may just be more likely to notice the gas they normally have. Either way, it tends to go away; “after a few weeks of daily bean consumption, people perceive that flatulence occurrence returns to normal levels.”

In this other study, where they added more than a half a cup of kidney beans to people’s daily diets, the research subjects reported that the discomfort they initially felt within the first day or two of adding beans “quickly disappeared.” So, again, stick with it.

Bottom line (no pun intended!): “An increasing body of research and the [latest] Dietary Guidelines…supports the benefits of a plant-based diet, and legumes specifically, in the reduction of chronic disease risks.” In some people it “may result in more flatulence initially.” However, doctors should emphasize that it “will decrease over time” if we just keep it up.

And, “the nutritional attributes of beans in the diet outweighs the potential for transitory discomfort. The long-term health benefits of bean consumption are great.” And, indeed, eating beans in the long term may make your term—on Earth—even longer.” From: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/increased-lifespan-from-beans/

_________

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

5 Things Christ Will Undo and Redo at His Return. Should Christians Keep Mardi Gras? How does Plant-Based Eating Benefit Your Health?

.

5 Things Christ Will Undo and Redo at His Return

5 Things Christ Will Undo and Redo at His Return “Mankind has done much damage to this earth, but God has a plan to fix man’s many mistakes. What will Christ “undo” and “redo” when He returns to earth?

As a software developer, I consider “undo” to be an essential tool, and I use it often. When making changes to software, I occasionally realize I made a mistake. The easiest way to fix that mistake is to undo the changes I made and go back and do it right. I am fortunate to use an editor that remembers changes I made even after it has been closed.

Wouldn’t life be great if we could undo our past mistakes and have a redo? Though life doesn’t provide us such an option, God has a plan that will undo the damage we humans have done to this earth, to one another and to ourselves. His plan is in motion and soon will be evident to all mankind when Jesus Christ returns to earth to establish God’s Kingdom here.

Under Christ’s perfect government, mankind will learn to “redo” life, but this time following the perfect laws of God.

Let’s consider some of the major things that will be undone and redone after Christ’s return.

1. Swords and plowshares

Undo: War between nations.

Redo: Peaceful, mutually beneficial relationships between nations.

After Christ returns, He will teach the nations His law, which is based on love Just before Christ returns to the earth, there will be a period of intense worldwide warfare when people will be beating “plowshares into swords” and “pruning hooks into spears” (Joel 3:10). This is ancient language describing implements of food production (which sustains life) being turned into implements of warfare (which destroys life).

But after Christ returns, He will teach the nations His law, which is based on love (2 John 1:6). When godly love is understood and practiced on an international level, the nations will turn “swords [back] into plowshares” and “spears [back] into pruning hooks” (Micah 4:3).

2. Food shortages

Undo: Hunger and malnutrition affecting millions of people.

Redo: An abundance of food where everyone’s needs are met.

As we covered above, after Christ returns, the nations will no longer devote their economic resources to warfare and defense, but will instead redirect their economies to food production. Christ will restore an emphasis on agriculture that will allow the nations to sustain healthy populations. The prophet Amos foresaw a world where the “plowman shall overtake the reaper” (Amos 9:13).

3. Dangerous animals

Undo: The instinctual nature in many wild animals that makes them dangerous to humans and each other.

Redo: A transformed nature of wild animals that makes them docile, tame and harmless.

In the creation described in the first two chapters of Genesis, there was perfect harmony between the animals and mankind. But when Adam and Eve sinned and were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, they found many wild animals were now hostile to human beings. Christ will change the violent natures of animals so they will dwell safety with one another and with mankind (Isaiah 11:6-9).

4. Knowledge of God

Undo: Rejection of God and His laws.

Redo: Acceptance of God and His laws in every aspect of life.

In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul described the current state of humanity as being in rebellion against God (Romans 1:28). But Christ will make God’s beneficial laws undeniable. He will lead an educational system based on the ways of God. It will eventually lead to the knowledge of God covering the earth “as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). The prophet Jeremiah foresaw a time when everyone will know God (Jeremiah 31:34).

5. God’s Sabbath and festivals

Undo: Ignorance of God’s Sabbath and festivals.

Redo: Knowledge and observance of the Sabbath and festivals.

Within God’s law are holy times: the weekly Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11) and annual festivals (Leviticus 23). Not only are these days when we are to worship God, they also reveal the major stages of His plan. These days will be observed by the entire world after Christ returns (Isaiah 66:23, ZechariaThe Mystery of the Kingdom free bookleth 14:16).

This covered just a few aspects of our world that will be undone and redone after Jesus Christ returns. To learn more about this future time, download our free booklet The Mystery of the Kingdom.   From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/5-things-christ-will-undo-and-redo-at-his-return/?

________

Should Christians Keep Mardi Gras?

Transcript of video at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-dailys/should-christians-keep-mardi-gras

Mardi Gras has its roots in religious tradition. But what does the Bible say?

[Steve Myers] “Colorful costumes and masks and pageantry. That's all surrounding Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is one of those traditions where...    sometimes I'll talk about the fact that it reminds me of the three Ds. There's dancing in the streets, there's drunkenness and debauchery. That kinda categorizes Fat Tuesday. That's literally what the term Mardi Gras means. Religiously it's called Shrove Tuesday because that's the day before Lent. Lent of course being more of a Catholic kind of a tradition that's rooted in pagan holidays. And what would happen at Lent is that you would give up something for Lent. And so before you give something up, you certainly want to overindulge and fatten up and, you know, get into food and drink and all those things so that you can then put that behind you and repent for the rest of this religious season.

But when you really think about the implications of that religiously, it's really ridiculous. In modern carnival traditions and celebrations all around the world and whether it's in New Orleans or Rio or Nice, France. These are areas where they'll often celebrate for weeks, leading up to that time. When we lived in New Orleans for a while, I remember they talk about Fat Tuesday, and then instead of Ash Wednesday, they'd call it Trash Wednesday because there was so much junk leftover from these Mardi Gras celebrations. Well, is that something we should have any part in? These Catholic traditions that are not really based in the Bible at all. I mean, there's a couple of interesting aspects when you consider this. I was thinking of the passage that's found in Romans 13:13. It says the basic things. As Christians it says, "Let's walk properly in the day, not in revelry or drunkenness."

Of course on TV, they'll show the parties and the fun but they don't show all of those types of things because that would certainly take away from the tourism of all those areas of the world. Romans goes on, "don't walk in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy." And it's kind of a reminder, those are the things we should give up, but that's not good enough. This whole aspect of Mardi Gras and Lent, I think it is something that miss directs us to what the truth of God's word really is. Yes, we've got to give up lewdness and drunkenness and revelry and all those types of things that are against God's way of life. But Romans points out, it's not just about giving something up. We have to put something on and so verse 14 in Romans 13 says, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lust."

And so that's an important aspect of Christianity, true Christianity. We not only put off those things that are wrong, but we've got to take it a step farther. We've got to put on everything that's right. So when you begin to hear about Mardi Gras celebrations, and all of those types of things in this upcoming Lent season that this religious world will keep, remember, it's not rooted in the Bible. In fact, let it remind you of the fact we need to put off the ways of the world, but more importantly then, put on Jesus Christ.”  From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-dailys/should-christians-keep-mardi-gras

________

How does Plant-Based Eating Benefit Your Health?

father holding broccoli high-five daughter

Whether you’re considering eating less meat or giving it up entirely, the benefits are clear: less risk of disease and improved health and well-being. Consuming less meat decreases the risk of:

Meat is often loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat, which have starring roles in poor heart health. And processed meats, including deli meat, bacon and sausage, often have too much sodium and other additives, and should be limited. However, if you want to include meat into your eating plan, choose lean meats. Be sure to include skinless poultry, seafood, fish, beans, nuts and legumes, too, because they are healthy sources of protein.

Diets or eating styles that do not or restrict meat include:

  • Vegan — entirely plant-based, excluding meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey and any product that comes from an animal.
  • Vegetarians — a plant-based diet, but may include dairy and eggs.
  • Flexitarian — a vegetarian diet that sometimes indulges in meat or fish but mostly sticks to plant foods.
  • Plant-based — a style of cooking and eating that emphasizes plant-based foods but is not strictly limited to them. Meat may be included, but it’s usually not the main feature of the meal.

Lean protein

Not eating meat does not mean you can’t get enough protein in your diet. In fact, many people eat more than enough protein, especially from animal foods. There are plenty of other foods that can provide you with protein, such as tofu, edamame, quinoa, sorghum, lentils, chickpeas and most beans and legumes. And there are many good sources of protein from vegetables, too, including artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, corn, peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes and turnip greens. Did you know that every plant we eat has some protein in it? So, the more vegetables you eat, the more protein you’ll consume.

Not all plant-based diets are healthy

Don’t replace meats with highly processed meat substitutes or “vegan junk food.” Instead choose high-quality, nutrient-dense plant-based foods. A recent study showed that eating primarily these types of food, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes and nuts, was associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases. The researchers concluded that even if you’ve eaten a poor diet for half your life, adding more healthy plant foods as an adult can help reduce your risk.

Making the switch

Going plant-based is not as difficult as you may think. In fact, getting started can be as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Search for some vegetarian recipes that are easy to prepare and sound appealing to you and your family.
  2. Choose ingredients and flavors you know your family will enjoy.
  3. Try meatless Mondays! Experiment with a meatless meal once a week, then add more days as you get used to it.”          

Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisors. See our editorial

From: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/how-does-plant-forward-eating-benefit-your-health

_________

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

What Does Your Appearance Say About You? Slaves of Sin or Slaves of Righteousness? What You Should Know About Plant-Based Diets.

.

What Does Your Appearance Say About You?

What does your appearance say about you?“While sitting in a waiting room, waiting for an eye exam, an elderly gentleman walked in whose appearance caught my eye. He had a nice suit on with a very nice wool overcoat. His shoes where so shiny you could probably see yourself in them. I can assure you I did not try. I thought to myself, this guy is rich, probably a CEO. As I looked around the room, everyone else was dressed in their jeans and one lady even had holes in her jeans. When I looked at the other people in the room, and how they were dressed, I certainly was not left with the same impression as I with the immaculate dressed elderly gentleman.

It made me think about our appearance. We know that God looks at the heart, and that is what is most important. But, our appearance leaves a message in others peoples minds. What does our appearance say about us? What is the first impression that people see when they see you? Does appearance mean anything? Is your appearance modest? Do we strive to wear our very best for the occasion? The main question we should also ask is does our appearance represent God? We are representative of God in our behavior and in our dress. We should dress as Ambassadors for the coming Kingdom of God. We should dress to honor God.

You do not have to spend a lot of money to look well dressed. Many thrift or second hand stores have great clothing for a low budget. You can find great quality clothes at these second hand shops. I know after seeing this gentleman it made me want to try harder and dress better because I know our appearance projects an image of us and of God, especially if they know we are Christians.

We want our appearance to project a high quality person, a representative of God! So always remember when you get ready to go somewhere what does your and my appearance say to others and am I representing God as an Ambassador?” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/what-does-your-appearance-say-about-you#comments.  Yes, there are lots of comments to read about this, too!

_________

Slaves of Sin or Slaves of Righteousness?

Romans 6:15-16

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

“The apostle Paul, after describing in Romans 5 the incredible sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of our sins and make possible the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life, saw the need to explain more fully.

We can do nothing to “earn” forgiveness or eternal life, but that doesn’t mean that God wants us to continue sinning. Obviously if God hates sin so much that He requires the death penalty for sin, He does not want us to go back to doing it. Sin causes pain and suffering and death. Obeying God’s law produces right relationships and life.

Paul points out that humans must choose whom they will serve: either sin leading to death or obedience to God’s good and righteous law, which leads to being right with God. Those are the only two choices; and as God said long before, He wants us to choose obedience and “choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:16-19).

For more about sin and God’s law, see “The 10 Commandments for Today.” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/slaves-of-sin-or-slaves-of-righteousness/?

________

What You Should Know About Plant-Based Diets

eating veggies in a buddha bowl“Learn the pros, cons and safe ways to remove meat products from your diet ​

Thinking about trying out a plant-based diet and want to know more? Here, dietitians Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD, and Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, explore some details that can help you decide if it’s right for you — and if so, how to jump right in.

What is a plant-based diet?

These vegan-like diets eliminate all animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and honey. As the name suggests, everything you eat — including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds — is derived from plants.

Are plant-based diets healthy?

Research reflects that following a plant-based diet has significant health benefits as long as you do it correctly.

“No matter when you start, a diet that is focused on plant foods will help you work toward the prevention of many illnesses and feeling better overall,” Zumpano says.

If followed properly, a whole foods, plant-based diet limits the use of oils, added sugars and processed foods, leaving only whole foods to provide nutrition. This maximizes nutrient intake and virtually eliminates foods that can lead to poor health outcomes.

These diets are low in saturated fat, free of cholesterol, and rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Research also reveals that following this type of diet will lower your risks of:

  • Heart disease.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Diabetes.
  • Digestive disease.
  • Colon and breast cancers.
  • Obesity.

Studies also show that a plant-based diet can help to lower body weight and reduce your LDL cholesterol.

The cons of a plant-based diet

Following a plant-based diet means saying goodbye to all animal products — including lean meat and dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream.

“That’s easier said than done for many of us,” Patton says. “But when you have the right guidelines and wrap in changes over time, replacing animal products in your diet is possible.”

Another thing to note — if you don’t plan your plant-based diet correctly, you may not meet all your protein, vitamin and mineral needs. And you won’t feel or look your best if you develop a nutritional deficiency. But there are easy ways to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need.

How to get enough protein

You’ll want to make sure that your diet includes enough protein to maintain muscle mass, strong bones and healthy skin. The following foods are packed with protein:

  • Beans, lentils and split peas.
  • Quinoa.
  • Fermented Soy products like tempeh, tofu, soybeans and soy milk.
  • Nuts and seeds.
How to get enough vitamins and minerals

You’ll also need to get adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet to ensure healthy bones. This won’t be difficult if you:

  • Drink a milk alternative such as soy, almond, rice or hemp milk, which contain both calcium and the vitamin D needed to absorb it.
  • Eat plenty of dark green leafy lettuce and beans which contain calcium.
  • Eat mushrooms and fortified cereals which contain vitamin D. If you aren’t consuming fortified foods on a consistent basis you’ll need to take a vitamin D supplement. Sunlight is another source of vitamin D.

You’ll also need enough zinc in your diet to support a healthy immune system, enough iron to maintain energy and immunity and enough vitamin B12 to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. This means you’ll want to:

  • Eat whole grains, beans and fortified cereals for zinc and iron.
  • Eat fortified cereals and soy products to get your vitamin B12.
  • Nutritional yeast is also a great source of vitamin B12.
How to get started on a plant-based diet  …………..
Continued at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-a-plant-based-diet-right-for-you

__________