All posts filed under: Studies

News snippets, updated regularly

This page will be updated regularly. Hulk Hogan tweets 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 April 8, 2020, posted by Dean Hulk Hogan tweeted out an image of 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 calling us turn to God during this trying time: This is one of the most powerful gifts to our human race,it’s as powerful as it gets here on earth,thank you God. Only love HH pic.twitter.com/nTwY5vy2tx— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) April 2, 2020 Here is the verse: 3 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NIV Ancient plague mask April 8, 2020, posted by Dean The plague mask was invented in the 1600s for doctors dealing with different types of diseases. The strange, elongated, beak-like nose, strapped around the …

Iceland study reveals that half the people with Coronavirus didn’t even know they had it

While we are being inundated daily about the number of people who are dying from the Coronavirus or COVID-19, a new study out of Iceland may throw new light on those statistics. According to World Meter, as of April 2, 2020, there have been 1,003,729 reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide (this includes 210,500 people who have recovered) and 51,522 deaths which puts a death rate for the virus worldwide at about 5%. (Note these numbers are adjusted several times during the day). However, those stats vary widely by country. For example Italy has reported 110,547 cases and 13,155 deaths which works out to a death rate of nearly 12%. Meanwhile, US and Germany are recording death rates of 2% and 1% respectively. But, if a study out of Iceland is right, the percentage death rates for COVID-19 in many of these countries may actually be lower. With a population of 346,000, Iceland has reported 1,319 cases of virus with four deaths, a percentage death rate of less than 0.4%, half of what Germany is reporting. …

Three interesting stories out of the COVID-19 pandemic

With most of the world still in lock down over the COVID-19 pandemic I decided to share three interesting stories that have merged out of this world crisis. God healed me after Mike Pence prayed for me The first involves a man from Georgia, who in an interview with CNN, claimed that prayers, and particularly the prayers of US Vice President Mike Pence, healed him of COVID-19. Clay Bentley told CNN he went to the hospital with flu-like symptoms but was sent home later that day when tests revealed no signs of the flu. That night things started getting worse for Bentley. Over the next few days, his lungs started filling with fluid making it increasingly difficult for him to breathe. When his condition worsened, Bentley returned to the hospital and was diagnosed with COVID-19. But by this time, he was in serious trouble because it was almost impossible for him to breath, which is why there is such a demand for ventilators. But suddenly and almost miraculously he started improving. He told CNN that …

Massive reduction in COVID-19 death predictions for Britain?

A study by London, England’s Imperial College, released in mid-March, stated that without significant measures COVID-19 plague could potentially kill 2.2 million people in the US and 500,000 people in Britain. These apocalyptic predictions were result of computer modeling predictions led by Neil Ferguson, who some consider the pre-eminent epidemiologist in the world. Based on these projections, countries around the world implemented Draconian measures that resulted in millions of people losing their jobs. But then the week following, there was a significant downgrade to Ferguson’s predictions. According to the website New Scientist, at a presentation this week before a parliamentary committee in London, England, Ferguson provided a small update to those numbers. Ten days after predicting 500,000 deaths, Ferguson stated that only 20,000 people would die in Britain and according to New Scientist, the number of deaths “could be much lower.” During his presentation Ferguson apparently added that because of underlying conditions and older age, over half of those would probably have died this year anyway. This new estimate compares to the approximate 29,000 people …

Shawn Bolz prophesied the ‘panic’ associated with the Coronavirus was ‘exaggerated,’ two studies suggest he might be right

When Shawn Bolz came out with his prophecy at the end of February about the Coronavirus pandemic, one thing that caught my attention was his suggestion that the fear associated with this pandemic was exaggerated. Bolz wrote: “The exaggerated fear based tactics of both the enemy and several media outlets for political reasons is coming to an end. The enemy has been trying to distract and steal from several equally important purposes and issues by dominating airwaves with conspiracy and fear.” Shawn Bolz Prophecy, Charisma News At the time he gave this word, the concerns about COVID-19 was just gaining steam and his suggestion was clearly opposite of the prevailing opinion. Now it is obvious that this virus is concerning particularly for those with pre-existing conditions and those who are older and have weakened immune systems because of their age. However, nearly a month after Bolz gave that prophecy two reports are suggesting that maybe he was right. The first involves a study conducted by Harvard University and the Hong Kong’s School of Public Health …

Putting Italy's coronavirus 'pandemic' in perspective

Italy is considered by many to be the nation the hardest hit by the Coronavirus outside of China, and the government has initiated a form of quarantine on the country’s 60 million people. According to Italy’s latest reports (as of March 18, 2020), 2,503 people have died from Coronavirus and an estimated 31,500 people have been officially diagnosed with the disease. Though this suggests a mortality rate of nearly 8%, this percentage may be suspect as a report published in the Independent revealed that at least 45% of the people with coronavirus are showing minimal symptoms, with one in ten having no symptoms at all. So undoubtedly thousands of people have had the virus but saw no need to go to the doctor and were not diagnosed. But Italian authorities also noted that for the first time, they are seeing a decline in the number of new cases being reported on a daily basis, suggesting the pandemic has peaked. Nevertheless, we need to put some perspective on what is happening in Italy. I am basing …

The great ‘falling away’ versus the great end-times revival

During a recent presentation to the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, Kristine Stache, the interim president of Wartburg Theological Seminary, warned that at its current rate of decline the Episcopal church will cease to have Sunday services in 30 years. The Episcopal Church is the American equivalent of the Anglican Church and is a member of the Anglican Communion. It came into being shortly after the American Revolution when the Anglican churches in America formed a separate denomination. In 2011, it was the fourth largest denomination in the US but has been in an attendance free fall since 2008. Stache noted that between 2008 and 2018, the denomination saw a 24.9% decline in Sunday attendance. And what is equally disturbing is that the rate of decline seems to be increasing. In 2018, the Episcopal church saw a greater drop in membership than it did in 2017. In 2017, the church reported a membership decline of 32,500 over the previous year and that decline rose to 36,000 in 2018. In an interview with Episcopal News, Stache said …

Who would Solomon choose?

When he was good, he was very good, but when he was bad, he was very bad. During his good days, King Solomon, the son of David through Bathsheba, was considered among the wisest men in the world (1 Kings 4:30). A political survey conducted in 2020 may have a startling connection to one of King Solomon’s decisions that revealed his wisdom. In early January, a group called The College Fix had the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Center for Public Opinion survey Democrats living in New Hampshire eligible to vote in the Democratic New Hampshire primary. They wanted to find out how Democrats felt about President Trump winning a second term as President in 2020. They were asked if they would prefer President Trump winning the 2020 presidential election over a meteor that would wipe out all life on the planet earth. According to the survey, 64% of the 400 Democrats surveyed would rather have a meteor “extinguishing all human life” over President Trump winning a second term as the US President. The numbers varied a …

Why would belief in God make us happier?

In early December, there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal written by a psychotherapist named Erica Komisar. In the article, Komisar basically told parents, even if they don’t believe, when their children ask them any questions about God, they should lie and tell them God is real. In fact, in her own practice she has given that very advice. Komisar then went on to explain why she does this. She says it is because faith in God helps children in real substantive ways, both emotionally and mentally. She cited a study conducted by Harvard and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that showed children who have faith in God and attend church at least once a week scored better results in several key areas including: Better mental health; Higher community involvements; Less likely to use drugs; and Less likely to have early sex. She added that the study of 5,000 youth revealed that children who attended religious service also had a deeper sense of purpose for their life and were more …

Why do people hate themselves?

England’s Daily Mail reported on a disturbing trend among young people in England uncovered by researchers from the University of Warwick. And if it is happening in England, I suspect the same trends are taking place in North America. According to a survey of 19,000 teens aged 14 years old, the research team led by Dr Dimitra Hartas discovered that over 15% had intentionally hurt themselves in 2018. Also called self harm, it refers to the secretive practice of people directly injuring themselves. This can be done by hitting, scratching, burning and arguably the most common method, cutting. Equally concerning is that girls accounted for nearly 75% of those instances of self harm. Their research also revealed there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people conducting self harm over the last 20 years. Their study, reported in the Research Papers in Education, revealed that the number of people aged 16 to 74 who intentionally hurt themselves has nearly tripled between 2000 and 2014, from 2.4% of the population to 6.4% in 2014. …

Survey reveals religious freedom is important to Americans

A survey conducted by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in September and October 2019, revealed that the vast majority of Americans support religious freedom. In the survey, people were asked to rank their support for protecting religious freedoms on a scale from zero (indicating no support) to 100 (indicating full support) on multiple issues. According to the survey of 1,000 Americans, the overall average score of 67 indicated very strong support for religious freedom in the US. In particular, the millennials (aged 24 to 36 approximately) showed the highest support for religious freedom, and they also reported the highest rates of religious discrimination of any age group. One of the areas surveyed was whether people should have the freedom to disagree with same sex marriage. On this controversial cultural topic, 74% of people believed religious groups and individuals should not face discrimination or fines if they do not support same sex-marriage. Of the several issues addressed in the survey this opinion had one of the highest levels of support. This flies in the face …

A cute study reveals an odd thing about atheists

There has been an interesting trend in recent years during times of tragedy when people typically express their thoughts and prayers. Atheists are now overtly outraged at these kind gestures, even though studies show that, many people (even those not overtly religious) actually appreciate such expressions, because we are social beings and are strengthened by the larger community’s support. A cute study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Wyoming wanted to take a closer look at this phenomenon. The study results, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, exposed a very unusual trait among atheists. The researchers studied people from North Carolina who lived through Hurricane Florence that hit in September 2018. It dropped upwards of 35 inches (0.89 meters) of rain causing massive damage largely due to flooding. They gave each of the 482 participants, who ranged from atheists to Christians, $5, who were told they could use the money to gain supportive prayers or thoughts from others after the crisis. Those …

Study suggests that women who bottle up anger have a higher risk of a stroke

According to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, feeling resentful or bottling up your anger may result in an increased risk of stroke for women. Strokes occur when plaque build up in arteries results in a reduction of blood flow to the brain as the arteries narrow. An additional contributor is Atherosclerosis that occurs when chunks of plaque break away increasing the potential of a blockage. According to the Daily Mail, that reported on the study, strokes are the third highest cause of death in America and fourth highest in England Women are also more vulnerable to strokes than men and struggle with recovery when strokes do occur. In their study, the researchers analyzed 304 non-smoking women between the ages of 40 and 60. They asked them a series of questions that included if they tended to put other people’s needs first over their own and if they were likely to express their true feelings about a situation. The researchers then did ultra sounds on the women’s arteries and discovered that women who did not …

Study says for an emotionally healthier you reduce your Facebook time

I have a confession to make. I am rarely on Facebook. We have a Facebook page for OpenTheWord, with articles automatically posted to the page. You can like the page here if you want to follow the website in that way. But in a counter-intuitive move, I am probably recommending you don’t. Because if researchers from Yale and UC San Diego are right, you may be emotionally healthier if you cut back the amount of time you spend on Facebook. In their study, the two researchers, UC’s Holly Shakya and Yale’s Nicholas Christakis, followed 5,208 people for two years who were regular Facebook users. There was one slight difference in their methodology. In the past, people studying the impact of social media have done it through self reporting. In other words, the people being studied reported how much they were on social media. However, in this study Shakya and Christakis received permission to monitor their study groups’ Facebook activity through Facebook, so they had an accurate reading of how many times the individuals were actually …

Study suggests divorce increases the risk of dementia

I find it difficult to write on divorce, because there can be legitimate reasons for a marriage breakdown and sometimes a person has no choice because one partner wants out of the marriage. But we are living in a society where marriage is increasingly devalued and looked upon as being as disposable as a paper cup. But the Bible states that God hates divorce and warns of it being a violent act as it involves separating two people who in Biblical terms were one flesh (Mark 10:8). “For the Lord God of Israel saysThat He hates divorce,For it covers one’s garment with violence,”Says the Lord of hosts.“Therefore take heed to your spirit,That you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:16 NKJV And this cutting apart has the potential to harm all involved including children (here, here and here) and the couple divorcing. Aside from the negative emotional and economic consequences of divorce, studies also reveal divorce can physically impact the health of the people involved. And this was the conclusion of yet another study that provided …

Study says optimists more likely to live longer

According to the Daily Mail, researchers from Boston University stated that optimists tend to live longer than those with a more pessimistic view of life. The researchers came to this conclusion after monitoring the attitudes and lives of 69,744 women and 1,500 men. The women (aged 58 to 86) were surveyed for ten years and the men (aged 41 to 90) tracked for 30 years. During this period, the researchers asked them a series of questions to determine if their outlook on life was negative or positive. They concluded that on average men with the most optimistic view extended their lives an additional 11% and women 15% when compared to their negative counterparts. They also found that optimists were more likely to hit 85 years of age with 70% more men and 50% more women reaching that age. Their findings were published in the journal entitled “Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.” According to the researchers, optimistic people were defined as those who believed “the future will be pleasant because one can control …

The futility of worry

A recent study by researchers from Penn State exposed the futility of worry in a very “odd” way, that seems to confirm an equally “odd” statement that Jesus made about worry. Worry is a very destructive force and if we don’t control it, worry can actually cause physical damage to our bodies, in addition to the emotional stress that can lead to such things as depression. According to an article on WebMD, unchecked worry can cause the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones are released during times of extreme stress. The release of these hormones fill the body with the extra energy required during times of acute danger. However, if there is no physical release (fight or flight), these hormones sit unused and over time can potentially damage our bodies resulting in heart and digestive problems and even affect our memory and immune system. So what did those Penn State researchers uncover? Well they studied 29 people who have a serious anxiety disorder. These were top-level worriers. For one month these people …

Barna survey show moms’ impact a child’s faith more than dads’ do

A study conducted by the Barna Group in conjunction with the Lutheran Hour Ministries concluded that mothers played a more significant role in the development of their children’s faith than the fathers. In 2018, Barna surveyed 2,347 people described as committed Christians to find out who influenced them spiritually. The survey reported: 68% said they were most influenced by their mothers, 46% attributed their fathers, 37% grandparents, 16% non relative, 14% a friend, and 59% said their faith was passed down to them from their parents. This study shows the profound impact mothers can have on their children and according to the Apostle Paul it was Timothy’s mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois) who most impacted Timothy, who went on to be a key leader in the early church. 5 For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. (2 Timothy 1:5 NASV) In fact, the lack of reference to Timothy’s dad suggests he …

Antisemitism warnings in Germany: spokesman warns against wearing a kippah in public

In an interview with the German newspaper, Funke, Germany’s antisemitism commissioner Felix Klein warned that Jewish men should not wear their kippah or skull cap in public due to the rapid increase in antisemitic attacks in recent years. There are approximately 200,000 Jews living in Germany. According to Breaking Israel News, in 2018 Berlin reported nearly a 20% increase of antisemitic offenses over the previous year with nearly 300 incidents reported in Germany’s capital. With 1,649 attacks in 2018, overall the country registered a 10% increase in hate offenses over 2017. But what is particularly disturbing is that the number of violent antisemitic attacks has nearly doubled over 2017 increasing from 37 to 62 in 2018. Though the police and mainline media report that these attacks are due to right-wing fanaticism, this is not what the Jews are reporting. They suggest that Muslim extremists and left wing fanatics are equal partners in Germany’s hate crimes. A recent survey of Jews in the EU showed that 41% indicated the most serious antisemitic offenses came from people …

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Christianity by the numbers on the world stage

When you look at the overall stats on the impact of Christianity in the world, it initially seems a bit concerning. Facts and Trends recently wrote an article on current trends in worldwide Christianity based on a report published by Gordon-Cromwell Theological Seminary’s Center for the Study of Global Christianity. With a growth rate of 1.27%, Christianity is the fourth fastest growing religion in the world behind Islam that is growing at a rate of 1.95%, Sikhs that are growing at a rate of 1.66% and Hindus at 1.30%. Despite its fourth place position, Christianity is growing faster than the world population that is increasing by 1.2% a year and with 2.5 billion Christians, it is the largest religious group in the world. The earth’s population sits at nearly 8 billion. But when you take a closer look at the stats other interesting trends start to surface. Christianity is of course divided. According to the report, in 2019 there are 45,000 church denominations in the world encompassing 5.5 million congregations. But some larger historical denominations …

English survey reveals marriage is an important key to happiness

Think money is the answer to all your problems, then think again. According to a survey by England’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), people living in England believe marriage is one of the important keys to happiness. For the past eight years, ONS has conducted a annual survey asking people what makes them happy. They are asked to rank answers to several questions on a scale of one to ten rating their sense of fulfillment, life satisfaction and whether they considered their life worthwhile on a variety of issues. For the past several years, jobs and economic security was one the strongest indicators of happiness and well-being ahead of marriage, but ONS reported a significant change in the past year that showed marriage has now pulled ahead. In the survey conducted between 2017 and 2018, marriage came in second behind a person’s health. According to the survey, married couples are expressing a 9.9% higher life satisfaction over widows and widowers and 8.8% higher satisfaction than those who are separated or divorced. So how did singles …

Be angry and sin not, but….

Español: Estar enfadado y no pecar, pero …. A study conducted by Concordia University in Montreal, Canada concluded that anger causes more serious health problems in old age than sadness or loneliness. The researchers stated that anger causes inflammation in the body, and though it can have beneficial results in the short term, long-term inflammation can lead to serious health consequences. The team studied 226 older adults broken up by age into two groups, 59 years to 79 and those 80 years and older. The researchers then asked them a series of questions daily for a week about the levels of anger and sadness they were experiencing. They then used blood tests to determine the levels of inflammation in their body and as well asked them about any chronic illnesses they were going through. From their study, the researchers concluded that for those over the age of 80, there was a link between levels of anger and poor health: Speaking on behalf of the research team, Carsten Wrosch said: “We found that experiencing anger daily was …

‘Light of life’: There is an explosion of light at the moment of conception in a human egg

Researchers at Chicago’s Northwestern University have videoed the moment of conception in a human egg and it causes a flash of light. In an earlier study, the research team noticed an explosion of light in mice eggs when they came in contact with sperm, and were uncertain if it took place in humans. Speaking on behalf of the research team, Dr. Teresa Woodruff said: “We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breath-taking. It was remarkable.” According to the researchers at the precise moment a sperm touches an egg, it causes a spontaneous release of calcium that results in zinc being released inside the egg. The light explosion occurs as the zinc binds with fluorescent molecules. The flash is so intense, it can actually be seen outside the egg. They now believe that zinc starts the process of creating a completely new genetic person. They were able to create this explosion by inserting sperm enzymes, versus …

Peer-reviewed medical study reveals that God heals even if you don’t believe in divine healing

ESPAÑOL: Revisado por especialistas, estudio médico revela que Dios sana, incluso si usted no cree en la sanidad divina A study published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, reports on the miraculous healing of a 16-year-old Christian boy. Even the title, Case Report of gastroparesis healing: 16 years of a chronic syndrome resolved after proximal intercessory prayer, reveals the key role that prayer played in this Divine healing. It is interesting to note, that though his Christian parents believed Jesus healed people in the Bible, they did not believe God still healed today. So what happened? Within a couple of weeks of his birth, the unnamed boy was diagnosed with gastroparesis. This is a condition where food is not properly moved out of the stomach and through the intestinal tract and as a results stays inside the stomach for an extended period. This can result in a number of symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating, lack of appetite because your stomach feels full after eating little food, and malnutrition. …

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New research concludes divorce rates are much lower than commonly believed

Marriage can be tough at times and most of us just presumed that the stats being thrown around that half of marriages end in divorce is basically true. Some have even suggested the divorce rate is the same in the church. Yet in my sphere, both secular and religious, there were divorces but it was nowhere near half even among those who don’t consider themselves Christian. Now recent research by Shaunti Feldhahn has come to the same conclusion. After studying the contradictory realm of research on divorce, in here book entitled The Good News About Marriage, Feldhahn concluded the actual divorce rate is closer to 20% to 25% for first time marriages.  (Note the divorce rates for those who have divorced and remarried is higher, which skewers the results but still does not push the overall average to 50%.) She did extensive research for her book and actually interviewed academics and researchers who were releasing often contradictory data. She re-examined their statistics, often with their help. For example, when she looked at the 2009 US …

Major study says divorce has a negative impact on children, particularly boys

ESPAÑOL: Mayor estudio dice que el divorcio tiene un impacto negativo en los hijos, en especial los niños According to an article in the Daily Mail, a major study conducted by University College London’s Institute of Education (UCL) has concluded that divorce can have a major negative impact on children. This research confirms many earlier studies that have revealed that divorce has the potential to harm children. Studies have shown that divorce leads to higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse among children, increased difficulties at school, greater chance of emotional and mental problems, increased difficulties with the law, higher rates of poverty and difficulties holding down a job and these problems followed the children when they became adults. Related: 1) Study reveals a major reason for child poverty: Divorce, 2) Studies reveal the negative impact of divorce on children, 3) Impact of divorce on teens,  4) The impact of divorce on adult children, 5) The long-term effects of divorce on children The study conducted by UCL was quite extensive as it looked at the impact of divorce on …

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Study: Why conservatives are happier than those on the political left

In his interesting article posted on the Daily Wire, author Jeremy Frankel cited a study in the Elsevier Journal of Research in Personality, that stated a person’s political leanings determines how happy they are. The study entitled, “Conservatives are happier than Liberals, but why? Political ideology, personality and life satisfaction,” concluded that people who lean to the political right are happier than those on the left of the political spectrum. The authors of the study, Barry Schlenker, John Chambers and Bonnie Le, said in their abstract: “Political conservatives are happier than liberals. We proposed that this happiness gap is accounted for by specific attitude and personality differences associated with positive adjustment and mental health.” They concluded that there are several reasons why Conservatives are happier. First Conservatives take personal responsibility for what is happening to them. It is not somebody else’s job to make your life better. They believe it is up to the individuals to take responsibility for what is happening to them, even if they were taken advantage by others. In contrast, those …

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More warnings about health risks associated with Marijuana usage

In the rush to appear progressive, governments around the world are legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.  The millions of dollars they collect in additional tax revenues is also proving very tempting. But the bigger issue for me is not the legalization of the drug, but rather the messaging behind why they are doing it. Politicians and activists are insisting Marijuana is a safe drug. This is happening in the face of a growing body of medical research warning people that Cannabis is not the safe drug many are proclaiming it to be. There are big concerns. Foxnews recently interviewed Dr. Marc Siegel who serves as a professor of medicine at NYU Lagone Medical Center and is also a regular Foxnews contributor. In the interview, he said: “My job is to let you know that there is no free lunch medically with marijuana or any drug. Even if a state or a society decides that it is wise economically and politically to make marijuana legal, at the same time we must be prepared for the …

Auschwitz II, Birkenau Concentration Camp in Poland. Credit: Ian Mackenzier/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: Holocaust survivors lived longer because they were resilient

According to a report in the Daily Mail, a study conducted by researchers with Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS) based in Tel Aviv, Israel came to a startling conclusion that Jews who survived the Nazi Holocaust during World War II, lived on average seven years longer than Jews who did not go through the Holocaust. MSH is an Israeli healthcare insurer with over two million members. The researchers studied 83,000 Jews, both male and female, born between 1911 and 1945 who were insured by the Maccabi. This included 38,000 European Jews now living in Israel who survived the Holocaust and 35,000 Jews also living in Israel who had not directly experienced the Nazi genocide. The study revealed that those who survived the Nazi death camps lived to an average age of 84.8 years compared to an average of 77.7 for those who did not directly experience the Nazi genocide. In effect, the mortality rate of those who suffered was 16% lower than those who didn’t. Ironically, the Jews who survived the holocaust tended to have more …

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What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol?

Several decades ago, I was part of a church that took a strong stand against drinking alcohol, but it wasn’t just alcohol, it also had an opinion on several other things like long hair on men. The list of unwritten rules and regulations was quite extensive. Looking back now I realize the church was caught up in a religious spirit which I define as making up rules for Christian living that are not required by Scripture. The church leaders were essentially adding man-made rules to Christianity. In fact, one of the respected teachers that the church connected with wrote a book trying to prove that when the Bible talked about wine, it was speaking of non-fermented grape juice. Yes, he believed when Jesus turned water into wine at the Cana wedding, the headwaiter was shocked that the bridegroom had reserved the “best grape juice” for last (John 2:1-11). Though the Bible condemns becoming drunk, it does not forbid drinking wine. In fact, the exhortation forbidding drunkenness proves that the wine people were drinking was alcoholic. …

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Does Facebook cause depression?

According to a study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, there may be a link to depression and loneliness to the amount of time a person spends on social media. In fact, Psychologist Melissa Hunt who was part of the study described the connection between depression and social media usage as “striking.” In their study, published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, the researchers studied the impact social media usage had on 143 undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania who were struggling with moderate forms of depression. They focused on three social media platforms: Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Half the group was limited to using social media just ten minutes a day (tracked by battery usage on their phones) and the other half continued on as normal. When the researchers tested the two groups at the end of three weeks, they discovered that the group with limited usage saw their levels of depression fall from moderate to mild and there was absolutely no change in the other group that continued usage. Though …

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Report: 40% of children born outside of marriage in the US

According to a report recently released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), 4o% of child births in America are outside of marriage. Though this involves a significant number of single parents, according to this study the largest percentage involved couples who have chosen to live together versus getting married. However, data released by Pew Research in 2017, stated that the majority of unwed births (53%) involved single parents and the remaining 47% involved those living in a common law relationship. Though it reported that single parents were the majority, it also revealed the increasing trend of people choosing to live common law and having children because in 1968, 90% of unwed births were in single-parent families and only 10% involved couples living together. This falls in line with the growing number of people choosing to live together, which according to the US Census has increased from 14 million in 2007 to 18 million in 2016, with nearly half involving people under the age of 35. The number of people living common law has increased …

Regular church attendance has positive impact on children in their 20s. Photo: Evergreen Church, Evergreen, Colorado, USA Credit: Kent Kanouse/Flickr/Creative Commons

Harvard Study: Church attendance as a child has positive influence on a person in their 20s

According to a study at Harvard University, children who attended church at least once a week while they were growing up reported having better lives in their 20s than those who didn’t. The study conducted by researchers from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health sampled data provided in the Growing Up Today Study that was part of the Nurses’ Health Study II. This study followed children in their early teens for upwards of 14 years. The sampling sizes were not insignificant and ranged in size between 5,700 and 7,500 people. The researchers were trying to find out if “religious involvement” as a child that included church attendance, prayer and meditation had any impact on a person’s physical, emotional and mental well-being later in life. The results published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed the positive influences that faith has on children, years later. Compared to those who didn’t, the study found that children who attended church at least once a week reported in their 20s as being: 18% happier; 30% more likely to …