All posts tagged: Bible

Aliens? Have we been visited?

If we want to understand people in our modern world, we should know there is a persistent belief in Aliens who visited the Earth. The belief is that humans now revere those ancient visitors as gods. READ: Ancient Astronauts Advocates of these ideas refer to stories in the Bible; the God of the Bible is from some other place that we call Heaven, and that makes Jesus a visitor from another world. At the root of this belief is the knowledge that we all started somewhere, and our ancestors communicated with beings from another place. We seem to all know that. The Bible record is that we moved away from the truth: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts. Although they claimed …

Just Love

Do you recall the old Coke commercial where they used these song lyrics: “What the world needs now, is love”? The world does need love, especially now in this time of anger, fear, and division. But whose love does it need? This question and its answer relate to how we ought to solve our issues. Do we rely on social justice which is an outside approach using government programs and incentives to try and change beliefs? These programs reward certain ways of thinking or acting and punish those who are unwilling to conform to the latest standards. Programs that force compliance lead to censorship and the muting of dissension. It may create a more fair workplace or access to services but it doesn’t change the hearts and minds of people. In fact, it creates the opposite. Resentment builds and the idea that the government is showing favouritism can arise. People comply because they have to not because their heart and mind agree with it. There must be a better way. Maybe this is where love …

Is God Racist?

Does the Bible support racism? Some say it does. They might base their decision on the Old Testament story of Israel becoming a nation. Or perhaps the tower of Babel story. The story of Israel actually reflects the story of all believers in Jesus to some degree. Although this predates Jesus’s appearance as a human, the Israelis were a people trying to follow God. Christians also try to follow God. The Israelites are God’s chosen people and so were called to be holy and separate from the other nations of this world. The Old Testament is to a large degree the story of how Israel lived out this chosen relationship. This holy separation was not racism. The conflicts and wars were not based on hatred of other nations as much as a desire to follow God on the path towards holiness. Christians are called to be holy and separate from other people of this world as well. It is a decision to live for Christ by not getting caught up in the sin and the …

Spiritual Warfare #4: Who am I?

There are two sections of the Bible that many people use as keys to victory in spiritual warfare. These are the Armour of God section in Ephesians 6: 11-18 and the resist verse in James 4: 7. According to them if I put on the full of armour of God and resist the devil, I will have victory. Yet, there are times in which this does not appear to happen. So how can we have victory every single time we battle the devil? The first thing to know about any Bible verse is that the words are not just some powerful enchantment. They must be believed to be true. That is where faith comes in. We must choose to resist or put on the armor. That’s where our mind comes in. The Bible is full of advice on spiritual warfare. Every single book in the Bible mentions it in one form or the other. In fact, it is the sword of truth in Ephesians 6. A sword is a great weapon but it is only …

North Korea: Hidden news from a secret place

The news is not always the whole story. Many things are happening in the world that are not reported. Some stories might be considered uninteresting, or some information might be hidden from us by people who want to protect themselves. News from North Korea is rare. South Korea has many active Christians, and they are very concerned about the other half of their nation. The efforts to communicate with North Koreans about spiritual things, are mostly secret. The Communist government in the north is officially Atheist, and violently opposed to any spiritual message that comes across the border. READ: How are Bibles getting into North Korea?

People want to know what God is saying

Do you feel like we’re living at the end of the world, or the beginning of the end? How do know God when the world is falling apart? Sometimes the news looks like the book of Revelation. Predictions about the end of this age and the beginning of a new one seem to be happening. In a world-wide viral pandemic, people want to know what God says about history. READ: Why religious apocalyptic texts can offer us solace during the coronavirus crisis

Stretcher bearers at the Battle of Passchendaele, August, 1917, World War I Credit: Wikipedia

Major English cinema bans short film of Bible comforting World War I soldiers because it’s “too religious”

On the 100th anniversary marking the end of World War I, a short video produced by the UK Bible society that talked about the importance of Bibles to British soldiers fighting in that war was banned by a Empire Cinema as being too religious. The UK Bible Society produced the clip as part of this year’s Remembrance Day services where nearly 19 million people died. The film showed that during World War I, the British military included a Bible in the kit of every UK soldier. For many soldiers fighting in that horrific war, these Bibles were an important source of hope. During the three-minute video several people recited a passage in the Book of Revelation that spoke of a new earth, where all tears will be wiped away: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride …

Credit: Natalie Downe/Flickr/Creative Commons

The millennial challenge

We often joke with our daughter about being a “millennial” because she and her generation have a strong sense of entitlement. I realize now we are actually demeaning them and putting them in a shame position that makes it harder for them to move into adulthood. Several nights ago, I saw a young boy running with his teammates during a football practice and he couldn’t keep up. He was embarrassed. It broke my heart to see him caught in the throes of obvious comparison and failure in the eyes of his team mates. I wondered if this was what he wanted to do? Or was he playing football because that is what his parents’ wanted? On our journey through the child and teenage years, my husband and I realized that many times we were living our hopes and unmet dreams through our children. This was a harsh reality for us. It took time to undo the damage in their lives, our son in particular. We had to apologize and say “sorry” more than once. Many …

Christian NBA star Jeremy Lin Credit: Christian/Flickr/Creative Commons

If God was willing to use Samson, the Lord will use you despite your imperfections

I have thought of writing this story for a while, and when I saw an article on a Christian NBA basketball star Jeremy Lin, I was inspired to write it. For those who don’t know, Jeremy Lin, 29, plays for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. He has been an all-star basket ball player throughout much of his career and is the first NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He has always floated under the radar. He was undrafted and came out of nowhere during New York Knicks’s 2012 season. The Knicks were having a terrible year and the coach was contemplating cutting Lin who had not seen any significant playing time. But after repeated losses and injuries to players, the coach decided to play Lin who stormed off the bench and many argue single handily turned the Knicks’s 2012 season around. When Jeremy scored 38 points in a game in February 2012, in an interview with ESPN NBA star Kobe Bryant said: “Players playing that well don’t usually come out of nowhere. It …

Credit: Cindee Snider Re/Flickr/Creative Commons

Yes GQ, the Bible is Boring

Gentlemen’s Quarterly Magazine, now GQ, has decided that the Bible is a boring old book and they do not recommend it for reading. This has stirred up many Christians who are trying to defend the holy book. RELATED: GQ magazine puts Bible on list of classic books not worth reading, incurs the wrath of Christians: USA Today If you are a Christian and GQ’s criticism of the Bible offends you, note that you are being had. This is not news, this is a provocative statement invented to bother us and eventually to increase sales of the magazine. You could call it fake news. I don’t know the circulation numbers for GQ, but in general the print media is in big trouble, as we all switch to the Internet. When I go to the check-out in a supermarket I see large displays of glossy magazines, probably including GQ. What I don’t see is anyone buying a magazine. Someone must be buying those things, just not when I’m looking; that unicorn is invisible to me. We could …

Beijing, China on a smoggy day Credit: Jesse Varnier/Flickr/Creative Commons

Jesus Meets “The Great Firewall of China”

Very recently, the government of China has restricted the sale of Christian Bibles online, to its own citizens. The Communist government of China wants to control rapidly growing religions, including Christianity and Islam, although the Islamic Koran is still available online. Religion was supposed to die in China, after the Communists came to power in 1949, but recently there are signs that Chinese people are becoming more religious, and the major religions are surging in popularity. Also, China is becoming a world leader in online marketing, or e-commerce. The growth in online sales is also surging in China, and this is a very recent trend. RELATED: China’s e-commerce explosion. What can we learn? In this mix, Bible sales have suddenly been restricted. RELATED: China bans Bible sales: New York Times Bibles are still available from church book stores, but not online. Strangely, China produces millions of Bibles for export, in many languages, including Chinese. There are no restrictions on this business. So, what does the restriction of Bible sales mean for Christians? Probably not much. …

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem Credit: David Ortmann/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did God want King David to build a temple?

Español: Quería Dios que el rey David construyera un templo? In his sermon that ultimately led to his martyrdom, Stephen knew he was speaking to a hostile crowd, and just before his death he called into question the construction of the temple: 46 David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. 48 However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: (Acts 7:46-48 NASV) Stephen said the Temple was made of human hands and it was not where God dwells. Was Stephen referring to the fact, that the Temple in Jesus’s day was paid for and constructed by the reprobate King Herod? Or was Stephen talking about the fact the Ark of the Covenant on which the presence of God dwelt had disappeared centuries earlier and the Holy of Holies in Herod’s temple was empty? Or was he talking about something else? There were …

Credit: annstheciaf/Flickr/Creative Commons

Six Sigma and Jesus

If you are a Christian, are you also on the shelf? And is it comfortable? I am writing this in January, which is a good time to think about the new year we are in and about an hour ago I saw something that made me sad. I was waiting for a friend at a Tim Hortons and a young family came in; mother, father and two little boys. They were ragged and poor, but polite to everyone. Their order was a large coffee, probably for the parents to share, and a very small box of Timbits donut holes. That was their family break time. I guess they were probably Christians, and I know people come to Alberta, where I live, to find work. One nickname for this province is “tomorrow’s country” and I see struggling start-ups all the time. My parents did that. Today, I wish I had moved faster to buy cookies for the kids in that little family, but they walked away too fast into the cold and the snow, probably back …

Artists portrayal of Nero's persecution of Christians by Heinrich von Siemiradzki (1843-1902): Wikipedia

How Tacitus’ contradiction of the Biblical record actually confirms the Bible

Roman senator and orator Tacitus (55AD-118AD) is considered one of the great ancient historians. He wrote a number of books, and in his last work entitled Annals he had a couple of paragraphs about Jesus and the Christians. Though small, these two citations pack a wallop because they provide various confirmations about the Biblical account and even one contradiction that actually proves the Bible’s accuracy of events. Tacitus was providing a brief history about the Roman Emperor Nero (37AD – 67AD) and because of this felt compelled to give an explanation about Christians and Christ as they played a role in the Great Fire of Rome (July 18-23 64 AD). Many Romans believed Nero purposefully set the fire as part of his grandiose plan to rebuild Rome. To deflect the blame, Tacitus said Nero accused Christians of arson: [neither] human effort nor the emperor’s generosity nor the placating of the gods ended the scandalous belief that the fire had been ordered [by Nero]. Therefore, to put down the rumour, Nero substituted as culprits and punished …

Church in Iceland Credit: washingtonnydc/Flickr/Creative Commons

Survey shows believing the Bible the key to church growth

According to survey by researchers in Ontario, Canada, churches with Conservative, Bible-based theology are the fastest growing of Christian churches. In fact, the membership numbers for churches that have rejected a literal interpretation of the Bible are in a free fall. According to the English newspaper, The Guardian, attendance at liberal mainline churches in Canada has dropped by 50% since the 1960s and in England Sunday attendance at the largely liberal Church of England has fallen by a similar percentage since the 1980s. The research team led by David Haskell described those with a “conservative Protestant theology” as the “clear winner.” In their report entitled “Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Churches” the group surveyed 2,225 people attending churches in Ontario and conducted more in-depth interviews with 195 church attendees and 29 clergy. According to The Guardian, while studies in the past concluded that theology had no impact on church growth, this survey showed it clearly did. Haskell noted that growing churches “held more firmly to the traditional beliefs of Christianity and …

Ein Gedi Leviticus scroll. Credit: Dr. Brent Seales

Ancient Leviticus text reveals the accuracy of the Bible

Using a process called ‘virtual unwrapping,’ scientists were able to read the the text on a parchment destroyed in an ancient synagogue that burned down in 600 AD. The parchment was inside a box called the Holy Ark used by Synagogues to store Biblical scrolls. The scrolled parchment made up of five layers was found in 1970 in a synagogue discovered in the archaeological remains of a small Jewish community referred to as Ein Gedi on the coast of the Dead Sea. The whole town apparently burned down at the same time. Archaeologists stopped working on the scroll when it disintegrated at touch. It sat unstudied until University of Kentucky computer scientists scanned the charred parchment using a mico-CT scanner at the request of the Israeli Antiquity Authority. They basically used this to create digital images of the scroll and then flattened the sheets. Because the Jews used an ink with metal properties the scanners were able to easily pick out the Hebrew lettering. According to Breaking Israel News (BIN), the scroll contained text from …

Don't allow storms to rule your life. Photo credit: Bill Collison/Flickr/Creative Commons

What it means to cast your bread upon the water

Espñol: Lo que significa arrojar tu pan sobre el agua This past summer, I planned a walk with friends around a beautiful lake in the center of our city. At one point in our journey, we stopped at a quiet little spot along the edge, took our bread crumbs and threw them upon the water and watched them float away. We were symbolically fulfilling the words King Solomon wrote: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, yes, even to eight, for you know not what evil may come upon the earth.” (Ecclesiastes 11: 1–2 AMP) Commentators believe Solomon was referring to ships he sent out full of goods to trade with other nations and they would return filled with treasure. During their journey they would encounter prevailing winds, massive storms with surging waves crashing over their small wooden hulls. But they would battle through. They would be gone for days, even weeks, and when they returned home they were laden with valuable merchandise. …

The aftermath of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit California on December 22, 2003. Photo: Brian Lopez/Flickr/Creative Commons

Geologists warn mega earthquake looming

Over the past week the earth has been hit with several large earthquakes resulting in hundreds of people being killed. Two major earthquakes hit Japan. The first one occurred on Thursday, April 14. With a magnitude of 6.5, it resulted in nine deaths and 800 injuries. A similar-sized earthquake hit the Pacific island of Vanuatu that same day with no reported deaths. Then a second 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Japan two days later on Saturday, April 16 killing 34 and injuring 1,500. There is even concern that repeated earthquakes could eventually split Japan’s southern island in half. That same day an earthquake with a 7.6 magnitude rocked Ecuador, South America killing over 272 people (update: 570 dead as of April 21, 2016) and injuring 2,500. This group of earthquakes fell in the Ring of Fire, that circulates around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. About 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in this region and as well 81% of the major earthquakes, those exceeding 7.0 magnitude. Anyone with an interest in end-times events are probably …

Will the Bible soon be banned in America? Photo: Joseph Li/Flickr/Creative Commons

Bible persecution?

I was saved during the Jesus people movement that swept North America during the late 60s and early 70s. I ended up going to what can only be described as a Hippy church full of flower girls and long-haired boys. The pastor was the oldest person in our church — I think he was 25 at the time. A good friend of mine during those days was a fellow named Duncan. He stood over six-feet and had hair nearly as long. It was right down to his waist, actually even a bit further. Despite all that hair, Duncan went on to have a very distinguished, professional career. I remember a conversation he and I had back then. We discussed buying dozens of Bibles, building a waterproof box for them and then going deep into the woods and burying them. We suspected at some point it would be illegal to own a Bible in North America, but we would still have our secret stash. We had even decided on which version we would hide — the …

Three of the pottery shards from Arad Fortress revealing troop movement and costs for fort provisions. Photo credit:PNAS, Faigenbaum-Golovin et al

How words written on 16 pottery shards screwed up Liberal theories, again

Throughout the Old Testament, there are many references to people recording historical events as they were happening. Liberals of course have long disagreed with this. They believe writing was not widely in use during Biblical times and people wrote these stories long after they occurred. They then of course go the next step and insist these historical records and the people named in them were simply made up. This meant Biblical books ranging from Deuteronomy to 2 Kings were written centuries after the events cited in them took place, despite the Bible treating them as eye-witness accounts. Those Liberal views just came crashing down after researchers analyzed writing found on pottery shards discovered in a Jewish frontier fort named Arad, dated to 600 BC. Researchers from Tel Aviv University used computer programs, often employed by forensics to compare writing samples and banks to verify signatures, to find out if the same person wrote them. The research team was made up of a diverse group of people including archaeologists, physicists and mathematicians, After they scanned the …

The good news about burning Bibles

Recently, someone burned Bibles in the city of Mosul in Iraq. Christians have left the region, so their enemies burned their books. Someone wants to exterminate Christians, and that is bad news. It is easy to miss that this is also a good news story. Christians are suffering, and that is tragic, but part of this story is good. It’s a picture of disruption. “Innovative Disruption” refers to a new idea that replaces a “market and value structure.” It erodes critical mass which is the minimum amount required to maintain a venture. One good example is the smart phone that you probably have in your pocket. I remember when phones were mostly black and had dials. The system worked well, but now we all want the new thing. Cell phone vendors don’t hate dial phones, they just promote their new thing. Traditional phone companies had us all, their critical mass, and then lost us. Now they are free to sell antique designs to a few, but they need us all in order to succeed. In …

There has been a 1,800% increase in YouVersion Bible app being used in Iran Photo: Colourful Iranian restaurant My Life the Universe and/Flickr

God by the Numbers: The Bible, Finland, and the Islamic Republic of Iran

While the world argues and bickers about important things, the foundations have shifted under our feet. “Relevant Issues” are dinosaurs, and we don’t see it. A church in Oklahoma has published a Bible app YouVersion, now downloaded 200 million times. One business estimate in 2014 said it might be worth 200 million dollars. They reached 100 million downloads in 2013 and 200 million in 2015. Have you ever been to Finland? Me neither; but while the world was fascinated with old European stuff in London, Paris and Rome, some people up north in the Finland woods moved the world. And they don’t get much credit. When DOS, MS Windows and Mac OS dominated the computer business, scientists quietly continued with UNIX, an operating system that belonged to everyone. Only serious nerds cared, until Linus Torvalds in Finland made the LINUX core into a free operating system that resembled Windows. Linus UNIX is Linux and it is free. Then the big money people got involved. Apple is possibly still the wealthiest corporation in the world, and …

What is the gift of faith? Photo: Len Matthews/Flickr

God gave me a Gift of Faith for $6,895

A couple decades back, my wife and I had moved out of the city we had lived in most of our life due to a work transfer.  We were there about a year and a half, when I received a phone call from my boss asking if we wanted to return home. A lot of good things happened while we were gone, but both of us felt it was time to go back. Of course, we had bought a house and needed to sell it before we could move. As we pondered the sale, we considered the possibility of selling it ourselves instead of using a real estate agency that would charge us a few thousand dollars for their service. While in the throes of making the decision, a brother, who knew we were moving, called. The Lord impressed on him that we should consider selling the house on our own rather than using a real estate agency. The phone call confirmed what we had been feeling and we decided to try selling the house ourselves. …

Bibles pouring into Cuba for the first time since 1969

According to a report by Christian Today, in July 2015 the International Missions Board sent 83,000 copies of the Bible into Cuba. In 2014, the Cuban government, for the first time in nearly five decades, allowed the American Bible Society to bring Bibles into the country. So far it has distributed 60,000 Bibles, printed in Korea, through multiple ministry partners. The opening of the door to the Bible was due in part to negotiations leading to normalization of Cuba’s relationship with the US. The arrival of the Bible in Cuba is profound considering there is nearly a 100% literacy rate in the country. However, though they can read most people can’t afford to buy books which opens the door for free Bible distribution. Ministries are finding even those who don’t consider themselves Christians are interested in a copy of the Scriptures. Other than a brief experiment with the idea in 1969, this was the first time Bibles were legally allowed into the communist country since Fidel Castro’s revolutionary forces conquered Cuba in 1959. Castro ruled …

Why the Islamic State’s brutal amputation of a man’s hand is different from the Bible’s ‘eye for eye’

[by Dean Smith] This past week, horrific photos surfaced of the terrorist group Islāmic State (IS) amputating the hand of a suspected thief in the Iraqi city of Mosul. IS is setting up a Caliphate or Muslim state ruled by a supreme leader known as a Calif in an area covering parts of Iraq and Syria. It comes with a full implementation of Sharia law that provides for amputation of a thief’s hand for a first offense. After the second, IS starts lopping off feet. The photo documentary shows the brutal punishment from its first stage inside a crowded van as they drive to a market for the public punishment. On the trip, the man’s arm is tightly bandaged to slow blood flow. The victim is then pumped full of drugs to reduce the pain and further restrict blood loss after the hand is hacked off.

A ‘Divine wind’ or slippery slope?

[by Dean Smith] Stan Mitchell, 46, says he is being moved along by a Divine wind, others suspect the movement is coming from his proverbial slide down a slippery slope. Mitchell is pastor of GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee and though he considers himself an Evangelical others question that claim. The church recently announced that homosexuals and others “living in sin” will now be able to serve in leadership positions in the church. He added the church will also marry homosexual couples.

Greek Orthodox Church opposes Bible distribution in Greece

This summer people from around the world are gathering in Halkidiki, near Thessaloniki, in Northern Greece to distribute Greek New Testaments in that country. The 300 member group includes participants from New Zealand, Canada, UK, USA, Iceland, Australia and Romania. Led by Johnathan Macris, President of Hellenic Ministries based in Athens, Greece, the group hopes to hand out 150,000 Greek New Testaments through door-to-door distribution. Though the early church had a significant impact in Greece and many of the Apostle Paul’s letters to Greek churches are now part of the Bible — such as 1 and 2 Corinthians, Philippians, and 1 and 2 Thessalonians — very few Greeks have a copy of a Bible in their homes and if they do it is often written in older Greek that is very difficult to understand. There is also a deeply rooted view that only Priests can properly interpret Scripture. Not all Greek churches are delighted with the prospect of Bibles being handed out. In a statement published on its website on June 27, 2014, the Greek …

What the Bible says really ended the dinosaur era… and no, it wasn’t the flood

One of the beliefs of evolution is that dinosaurs evolved into birds. There is a reason evolutionists went down this road and its based on a little known fact about dinosaurs — and oddly it’s one that supports the Biblical record on what ended the dinosaur era. The paleontological record shows that dinosaurs started shrinking in size. This was the conclusion of a study by a group of scientists from Oxford University.

Can You Trust the Bible?

Scholars of the Bible are usually divided into two camps, liberals and conservatives. In the most extreme situations, these two groups despise each other. Conservative scholars generally believe that the Bible is historically accurate, and Liberals generally believe it is not. Years ago I had an English professor at a university who identified himself as a church-going Christian. When I spoke to him in his office I mentioned that my family also went to church, and he politely asked me what church we attended. When I told him, his tone changed to a sneer, and he said “Oh, so you’re a literalist.” Apparently I was a fool who believed what the Bible said. It felt like I was the target of a racial slur. That was my introduction to the mean streets of biblical historical criticism.

2013 Bible survey reveals Americans are concerned about the rapid changes taking place in society

In 2013, the American Bible Society (ABS) surveyed Americans to find out their views and usage of the Bible. The survey is conducted annually on behalf of ABS by the Barna Group, a major surveying company in the U.S. The survey showed, for example, that one in six people bought a Bible in 2013 and there is an average of 4.4 Bibles per home in America. But there was one result that did more than reveal their thoughts on the Bible, it also showed the profound concerns Americans have about the dramatic changes taking place in their society. Curiously, the survey also suggested this change is occurring at a very rapid pace. 

Do you live in the most Bible-minded city in the U.S. or the least?

The American Bible Society and the Barna Group, a national research and surveying company, joined together to measure the spiritual temperature of some of America’s largest cities. The survey conducted in August 2013 asked 46,274 adults of 100 cities questions determining how often they read the Bible and how accurate they believed the Bible was. This was the second year in a row, Barna has tried to measure the Christian spirituality of American cities. This year, Chattanooga, TN topped the list as the most Bible-minded city knocking off Knoxville, TN, who headed the list last year.

Slaying the worry monster

So how much do you worry? There are so many things to worry about — finances, kids, jobs — and because of that it is difficult to tell how much a persons worries in a day. But one of the big worries for all of us is finances. In 2010, conducted a survey to discover how much Americans worry about finances and in particular their debt. They discovered that of the 1,000 Americans (aged 18 and over) who were surveyed, 57% considered themselves in debt.

The Project of Life in 2014

At the beginning of the New Year most of us have resolutions for a better life. According to experts with the Bank of Montreal, 80% of Canadians plan for the New Year with resolutions: 51% want better health and fitness 36% want better finances 31% want personal improvement 19% want a better love life 17% want career improvements That’s the picture on January 1, and apparently we keep about 60% of our financial resolutions, which works out to about 17% of the population. Otherwise, Canadians are mostly unsuccessful in their struggle to make life better.

Regular marijuana usage causes brain abnormalities and memory loss in teens

According to research out of the U.S., teens who smoke marijuana daily can have brain abnormalities similar to people with schizophrenia. With the push towards legalization of marijuana, researchers from Illinois’ Northwest University wanted a clearer picture of the drug’s impact on a person’s brain.  The results were published in the Schizophrenia Bulletin. This is an important study as marijuana is proving a popular drug among teens. Surveys show 40% of English teens have used marijuana.  In the U.S., it is the most popular drug among young adults.

Frankincense: A Christmas gift that fights cancer?

When Jesus was born, the Bible records that magi through their study of astronomy realized something significant was happening. Using an ancient Biblical prophecy, God led them to Jesus (Mathew 2:1-8). We are not told how many magi there were or exactly when they showed up, but we do know they came bearing gifts. Though it’s highly doubtful Jesus was born on December 25, it is a good day as any to celebrate the occasion. The Bible focuses on Jesus’ birth much as it does His death and resurrection suggesting God wants Jesus’ birth remembered as well. One of the gifts the magi brought to honour Jesus’ birth was frankincense: