I was watching America’s Got Talent and this cute five-year old girl named Heavenly Joy came out. Her talent was singing. She was incredible and actually reminded you of child-star Shirley Temple (1928 – 2014) whose Hollywood film and singing career started in 1932 at the age of five. Heavenly Joy received a standing ovation for her expressive performance of “In Summer” from the movie Frozen. The judges unanimously voted her through to the next round. One of the judges, Howard Stern, turned to Heavenly Joy and said, “I think Shirley Temple is living somewhere inside of you, is that possible?” Heavenly Joy replies emphatically, “Not Shirley Temple, Jesus.” “There you go, now you are talking,” Stern replies.
[by Earl Blacklock] Throughout his life, Toyohiko Kagawa was a respected voice in Japan, representing Christian truth and witness. Born to a concubine, Kagawa was raised by his father’s wife and her mother who, in their indignation, took turns beating the boy until he was old enough to be sent away to school. There he met two missionaries who taught him that all men were created by a God of love, and that any person could accomplish good simply by devoting himself to service. Inspired by their example, he plunged into study for the ministry, only to be struck down by tuberculosis. During his recuperation, he wrote Across the Death Line, a novel that was to play an important role in his life. Impatient with endless discussions about doctrine, Kabawa moved into the slum area of Kobe, where he was to live for 15 years. There, he lived the teachings of Christ, sharing his meagre resources to buy food for his neighbours. Called a fool, he proudly called himself “Christ’s fool”. When one man demanded …
[by Dean Smith] On April 18, 2015, scientists from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangdong, China publicly announced in the online journal Protein and Cell, they had edited the genes in a non-viable human embryo using a gene editing technique called CRIS PR-Cas9. This procedure enables them to remove genes, splice new ones in and basically recode any gene strand they want. They apparently modified a gene in a number of embryos thought to cause disease. It is less than exacting because of the 28 embryos they tampered with only seven attempts were successful. This is the first time that scientists have openly admitted to modifying human genes is an effort to create “designer” humans, even though in this instance the embryos did not survive, or so they said.
Not long ago, I was conversing with a co-worker. I was telling her about a YouTube video I had seen. It portrayed how often women say “sorry” in a day. She looked at me and said, “you say sorry a lot”. I started paying attention to how often I said “sorry”. I remember looking for an item at work. I asked a co-worker, “sorry, where is the soap kept?” Simply, I didn’t know where it was, and she did. No apology was necessary. Saying “sorry” so often erodes its true meaning. It boils down to how I feel about myself, insignificant. One evening, my daughter and I were arguing. Exasperated, I ended it with the usual, “well , I’m sorry!” Realizing I just said “sorry,” quickly added, ” no, I’m not sorry!” I was at a loss . What else could I say to communicate my frustration? “Well, excuse me! ” worked. I bump into someone and “oops” is fine. “My bad,” as my daughter would say, when she drops something or is …
[by Dean Smith] In a bit of surprising move, England’s MET Office admits there is a possibility the world could be entering a mini-ice age — at this point they only believe there is 15% to 20% chance this will happen. The MET Office is Britain’s government-run national weather service. The report written by the MET and researchers from the University of Colorado and several universities in England say this prediction is based on a noticeable reduction in sun spots which indicates reduced solar activity. A prolonged reduction, called a “Maunder Minimum,” can result in significant cooling on the earth. It was named after astronomer Walter Maunder who was the first person to peg the cooling that peaked between 1645 to 1715 with reduced sun spot activity.
[by Dean Smith] This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of the English Magna Carta heralded as one of the key foundation stones of the modern liberties we enjoy in the Western world. The original charter drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, and signed by the unpopular King John on June 15, 1215 sought to bring peace between the monarch and a group of barons. England was on the verge of a civil war and the Charter was essentially a peace treaty. Referred to as The Great Charter or The Great Charter of Liberties, historians consider it the major turning point in medieval history that reduced the absolute power of the king eventually paving the way for democracy.
[by Dean Smith] You may be familiar with Chris Pratt. He is a Hollywood actor who most recently starred in Jurassic World. Released in June 2015, Jurassic World is a blockbuster setting a global record of US$511.9 million in ticket sales on its opening weekend. In the movie, Chris plays Owen Grady — a Velociraptor (a mid-sized raptor) trainer and expert. According to Variety magazine, Pratt earned $1.2 billion in 2014 making him the highest paid actor that year. He earned his big payday starring in Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie. But Pratt is also a Christian and his faith comes out in an interview with QPolitical where Pratt shares his struggles with the premature birth of his son, Jack, born in August 2012. Pratt said that he and his wife Anna Ferris prayed for weeks for their son born nine weeks premature and weighing only 3 pounds.
[by Earl Blacklock] Perhaps the first news event to capture the rapt attention of a world-wide audience was the sinking of the freighter Flying Enterprise. In December 1951, the ship left England for New York carrying 10 immigrants and a mixed cargo, including Volkswagens and pig iron. On Christmas Day, rough seas and gale force winds caused the cars and pig iron to shift, and the ship began to list to port. By the following morning, a crack had appeared in the hull and, despite valiant efforts by the crew, it was clear the ship was in trouble. On December 28, an SOS was issued, and the crew and passengers were ordered to abandon ship. They were forced to jump into the sea, where all but one were rescued. Meanwhile, the Danish ship captain, Henrik Kurt Carlsen, stayed behind to assist in salvage efforts. More than 400 newspaper and radio reporters from 12 countries rushed to cover the story. It was, indeed, a compelling one – a single man alone on a ship with a …
[by Barb Smith] A few years ago, I reached a point of desperation. Personal, unresolved issues were eroding my mental, physical and emotional well-being. With rejection issues stemming from 15 years ago still rumbling around inside, I needed guidance to focus and make choices to put me on the path to wholeness. I was told to to attend a Choices seminar. Built on Biblical principles, Choices helps you identify your hurts and provides you the tools to break free from the past and move forward. I could go and receive the help and support I needed to work through my issues.
[by Dean Smith] Rev. Dr. Mike Ovey is principal of London’s Oak Hill Theological College that trains priests for the Anglican church. He is not only a former lawyer, but as well worked for the government during the 1980s helping draft England’s anti-terrorism bill to combat IRA terrorism. In an interview with The Telegraph, Dr. Ovey is sounding alarm bells over Extremism Disruption Orders being added to England’s Counter Extremism Bill. What concerns Dr. Ovey is that these potential changes could effectively criminalize Christian beliefs.
Archaeologists working at the site of the ancient city of Khirbet Qeiyafa in Central Israel have uncovered a ceramic jug with the name ‘Eshba’al Ben Beda’ written on it in Canaanite script. The broken jar, discovered in 2012, took nearly three years to piece back together. Israel Antiquities Authority released the finding on June 16, 2015. The jar estimated to be 3,000 years old was in use during King David’s reign. Only powerful people had their names etched on pottery as writing was limited to the ruling or priestly caste. This suggests that a man of much importance in Judah used the jar to either store olive oil or wine. Archaeologist believed he probably owned significant agricultural estates. (The name ‘Eshba’al’ inscribed on an ancient jar. Israel Antiquities Authority. Photo: DailyMail)
[by Dean Smith] According to researchers at the University of California having a thankful heart can save your life. The group led by Professor Paul Mills studied the effects of thankfulness on 186 people who experienced a Grade B heart condition. People in this stage have some type of heart damage, perhaps even experienced a heart attack, and have since recovered. They need to make changes in lifestyle so they can avoid moving to Stage C where the chance of dying increases by 500%. First, the researchers ran a series of psychological tests to assess their study group. These results were then compared to the patient’s scores in other areas such as fatigue, depression, quality of sleep and “inflammatory markers” (inflammation increases heart risk). Speaking on behalf of the research team, Professor Paul Mills said:
[by Dean Smith] Shaquille Hairston, 21, works the late shift at a hotel in Euclid, Ohio. On June 3, he caught the bus home late that night, as he usually did. When Hairston got off at a stop near his home, a man who was also on the bus slipped off as well. After the bus departed, the man approached Shaquille on the dark, deserted street, pulled out a gun and demanded money. In an interview with Cleveland’s Fox News, Shaquille said when he told the man he didn’t have any cash, the robber hit him on the head with his gun.
[by Earl Blacklock] Richard Evelyn Byrd was a remarkable explorer and adventurer whose accomplishments made history. An officer in the U.S. Navy, he flew perilous journeys over Arctic regions, one of which won him the Medal of Honor. In 1927, he crossed the Atlantic with three others, and survived a crash landing at Normandy, France. And in 1929, he began a series of expeditions to Antarctica, his best known accomplishment. So what did Rear Admiral Byrd look for when choosing his crew for these quests? Before leaving on his first expedition to Antarctica, he set out the criteria he used to select his team from the thousands of applicants who wanted to serve. First, he sought men who knew what it was to face prolonged danger without fear. That ability, he felt, arose in large part from “good heart and digestion” and exercise. Those who were in good health, he observed, were often those best able to deal with extraordinary challenges.
[by Dean Smith] New figures out of England show some disturbing news on abortions. According to the country’s Department of Health in 2014 37% of women in England and Wales who had an abortion had already had at least one earlier abortion. These figures match those found in France and Sweden. In an effort to justify these numbers, abortion activists claim that birth control is not 100% resulting in unwanted pregnancies, however, some suggest that for some women abortion is their form of birth control. Perhaps the biggest lie promoted by the abortion industry is that they involve unwanted pregnancies — inconvenient, maybe, unwanted no. Couples are paying tens of thousands of dollars to adopt children overseas because there are essentially no babies available in their home country. If a woman chose to carry her child to term, there would be couples lined up willing to adopt. So don’t call the child unwanted.
[by Dean Smith] On Charisma News Christian author and minister, Becky Dvorak, shared her incredible testimony of how God healed her adopted son of autism. Today, he is a healthy, normal teenager with no symptoms. Autism is a neurological development disorder that manifests itself in several ways such as repetitive behavior, lack of communication skills, resistance to change and impaired social development. There is no known cure. Andres arrived in the Dvorak home when he was six weeks old. As a toddler, Andres started displaying autistic symptoms. He avoided eye contact and banged his head incessantly against the crib. He threw tantrums and spit at people. He experienced a food aversion common among autistic children — in his case Andres resisted eating any non-white foods and then there was the uncontrollable screaming that could go on for hours.
[by Dean Smith] A study conducted in 2003 by researchers at the University of California and reported in the Journal Science revealed rejection has the same impact on the brain as physical pain. Scientists created a computer program that simulated a ball throwing game between a live participant and two computer simulations. The 13 test subjects (four men and nine women) were hooked up to an MRI and invited to play the game. They were told the other two players (operated by the computer) were actually controlled by live people.
[by Dean Smith] An article in an English newspaper, The Guardian, is reporting scientists have found blood inside a T-Rex bone fragment. What is particularly interesting is that these tiny scraps of bone from the Dinosaur Park formation in Alberta, Canada were in poor condition. They had been kicking around for about 100 years, and few months ago the fossils were sent to the Museum of Natural History in London, England. (Photo: Zetgem/Foter/CC BY-NC) A scientist decided to take a closer look at these fossil fragments from different dinosaurs using a high-powered electron microscope. He had actually been studying human cells and decided to take a look at the dinosaur bones as well.
[by Dean Smith] England’s BBC reports a government tribunal has ruled a childcare nursery discriminated against a woman because of her Christian beliefs when it fired her in January 2014. At the heart of the issue was a Christian’s freedom to talk about homosexual issues. Sarah Mbuyi, an evangelical Christian, worked for Newpark Childcare nursery in Watford, England. According to BBC News, Mbuyi was fired three days after she answered a co-worker’s question who wondered what God thought of her lesbian relationship.
[by Dean Smith] Researchers at Pakistan’s Pir Mehr Ali Shaw Agriculture University concluded that teenage boys who regularly smoke marijuana could have their growth stunted by as much as four inches. The research team studied select hormones in two groups of boys — 217 who regularly smoked Cannabis and 220 boys who didn’t. Using blood tests, they specifically focused on hormones that affect puberty and growth. They discovered that boys who regularly used Marijuana had higher levels of testosterone and luteinising — both hormones related to puberty. Thought these hormone levels spiked, they noted that this group also had lower levels of growth hormones.
[by Earl Blacklock] The American War of Independence, from 1775 to 1783, was an extraordinary event which changed the course of history. It was waged on multiple fronts, from the eastern seaboard to Canada, and it eventually drew in France, Spain, and Holland on the side of the rebels. George Washington, later to be the first President of the United States, was the general in charge of the Continental Army, which Congress had formed in 1776. By December of that year, it was an army in retreat, having been driven out of what is modern-day New York. Washington had fewer than 2400 men at arms, compared to more than 25,000 for the British. British generals Howe and Cornwallis were preparing to sail for London to inform their government that the revolutionaries had been beaten. The British had at their disposal battle-hardened Hessian mercenaries who now occupied the New Jersey side of the Delaware River. The Americans had limited supplies, with many marching without warm clothes or even boots. It seemed, indeed, that the end was …
It was a media celebration as former US Olympian Bruce Jenner, 65, announced his transformation from a man to a woman. Now going by the name of Caitlyn, you may have seen Jenner’s photo featured on the front page of Vanity Fair. But a few weeks back, Psychiatrist Paul McHugh dumped cold water on the process of changing sexes. It may not be as life-changing as it first seems. McHugh published his thoughts in a Wallstreet Journal article. McHugh was the former Psychiatrist in Chief at Johns Hopkins University which was one of the first hospitals to tackle “sex-reassignment surgery” back in the 1960s. Because of its early entrance in this field, the university had a unique opportunity to study the results of these sex changes. It was this study in the 1970s that caused the University to stop sex-change surgeries.
[by Dean Smith] A YWAM (Youth with a Mission) worker is reporting a Middle East ISIS fighter. who apparently killed Christians. has converted to Christ. According to the Christian Post, YWAM representative Gina Fadely provided the report on the Voice of the Martyrs Radio Network. YWAM, with over 1,200 bases around the world, is one of the largest missionary organizations in the world. Initially set up in 1960 to mobilize youth for missions, it now accepts people of all ages for ministry work. According to Fadely, a YWAM worker based in the Middle East was introduced to an ISIS militant through a friend. The terrorist said he killed Christians and even admitted that he “enjoyed doing it.”
[by Dean Smith] The large Hadron Collider, located in Cern, just outside Geneva Switzerland, is 27 kms (15 miles long) and buried 100 meters underground. The machine which has been idle for two years for renovation and repair was just turned on June 2, 2015 with increased capacity. Also called a particle smasher, it now has the potential to send proton beams around its circular track with the force of 13 trillion electron volts (TEV) up from 8 (TEV) two years back. They plan to have it running at maximum power by summer or early fall. It is hoped the Collider will answer many questions about physics. Using super magnets, it sends proton beams containing billions of particles around its track at close to the speed of light with the goal of having them collide with each other. Only a handful of particles in the beams would crash together. When that happens, the physicists believe it will create the mini-energy equivalent of what took place shortly after the Big Bang.
[by Sandy McIntosh] The actress Susan Sarandon recently stated that she is open to dating any gender, “if there’s a person, I would leave open the age, the color, the gender even. I’m open. It increases your chances, doesn’t it?” This has been received with support and enthusiasm by members of the gay community. For example: “The fact that she will say she’s open to dating any gender like it’s no big deal is good for visibility, and that benefits everyone.” In another story, Scott Lyons once attended Immaculata High School in Somerville, New Jersey. He is now in his thirties and openly gay. His brother informed him that a teacher at his former high school, Patricia Jannuzzi, had posted a message on her personal Facebook page with her own belief that homosexuality is learned behavior. Immaculata is a Catholic school.
[by Dean Smith] Stunning new satellite images of the Canadian Arctic show a remarkable transformation taking place. The polar ice is coming back, with a vengeance. The image above compares the size of the Arctic ice cap on May 25, 1995 with May 25, 2015. It is a service available through the University of Illinois’s Cryosphere project that has tracked the size of the polar ice cap by satellite since 1979. You can compare the ice cap on any two dates by simply clicking here. The purple represents the ice cap. The darker the purple the thicker the ice and you can see the ice cap is not only growing, but it is getting thicker. But as you look at these two dates, you can see that the ice has almost completely returned to 1995 levels. It was just eight years ago, because of man-made global warming, that Al Gore predicted the Arctic ice cap could be completely gone by 2014. In his 2007 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Gore told the audience:
[by Earl Blacklock] Robert Todd Lincoln was a witness to some of the most momentous moments of American history. As Secretary of War under President James A. Garfield, he witnessed Garfield’s assassination at the hands of Charles Guiteau. He was Minister to the Court of St. James (U.S. Ambassador to Britain) under President Benjamin Harrison. He succeeded George Pullman as the President of the Pullman Palace Car Company in 1898 and, at the invitation of President William McKinley, he was at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo when McKinley was gunned down by Leon Czolgosz. Despite his lifetime of achievement, however, it was his record of failure which was, perhaps, his greatest contribution to history. Robert Todd Lincoln was the first son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, and the only one to reach adulthood.