[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 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] I love castles. One of my bucket list goals is to visit England and explore at least a couple ancient fortresses. However, there is one, Bodiam Castle, that I may take a pass on. Located in Kent, it is a popular castle and because of its huge moat very photogenic. You may have already seen pictures of it. But there is something strange about this castle. It is not all that it seems. Sir Edward Dalyngrigge was given permission to build the castle in 1385. He had been a faithful servant to King Richard II fighting for the English king in the Hundred Years War. It seems back then, like a car, you had to have a license or “crenellate” as it was called then to build a castle. I guess Kings wanted to control who built castles because they could be used for you or against you.
[by Dean Smith] I am sure the Christian parents of mega-pop star Katy Perry have struggled as they watched their daughter climb the heights of stardom while seemingly walking away from her faith. Katy’s parents, Keith and Mary Hudson, are Pentecostal pastors now based in Santa Barbara, CA. They minister through the US preaching the Gospel. Katy grew up in a Christian home, attended a Christian school and for a time even sang Gospel music. But as her popularity grew, she walked away from her faith. In a 2013 interview with a woman’s magazine, Marie Claire, Katy stated she no longer “believes in an old man sitting on a throne” and certainly her lifestyle would back up that statement. But things are never as cut and dried as they seem and this applies to all children of Christian parents.
[by Dean Smith] It was not a shining moment in my life. The pressure had been building and finally I couldn’t take it anymore. Slowly, I got up from my desk and walked down the hall to a co-worker’s office. Stepping into his doorway, I asked him what he thought of the last issue of the publication I worked on. I thought I had cleverly worded the question so he wouldn’t think I was fishing for a compliment. I remember the awkward silence, the pained look on his face, and then the forced compliment.
[by Dean Smith] Biosphere 2, located in Oracle, Arizona, is a 3.14 acre (1.3 hectare) controlled environment that researchers have used for various projects. The giant enclosed glass dome, constructed between 1987 to 1991, contains a variety of environments including rain forest, savannah, desert and even oceans. For decades, it has been used for agricultural research and even for planning how domed environments could function on other planets. As these different environments were created, the researchers made an interesting discovery. When they planted various types of trees, they found in this perfect environment the trees grew much quicker than they did in the wild. However, before the trees reached their full size, many toppled over or began to lean.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV) [by Dean Smith] The Book of Proverbs gives a word of encouragement to parents about their children. The Bible tells us if we train a child in the ways of God that this faith and beliefs would continue to influence them well into old age. But notice how it says “when they are old” they won’t depart. In between, we can watch, often with concern, as our children seem to grow cold to their faith and in some ways even back away from it or even fall away. But Bible says the faith developed in their hearts as a child is still there and as they grow older it will begin to reassert itself. Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, have discovered a very interesting thing about beliefs. They found that despite what university students were saying openly about God or heaven, the beliefs of these students were very …
I want to share the healing of Adrie-Anne Gamble Saskatchewan, Canada. It is well-documented with ultrasounds. Adrie-Anne had been experiencing lower pelvic pain for several months and finally realized she needed to go to the doctor. Three months later she was in the hospital for surgery, but when the surgeon opened her up, he discovered a miracle had taken place…
When the pharisees asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, He replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27 NASV) Can anyone be commanded to love God or love anyone for that matter? Yet we are told this is the greatest commandment for a believer. How do we do it? The Apostle John provides the answer: “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NASV) The key to being able to love God is first understanding and believing that God loves you and this is our “great” struggle to obeying the “greatest” commandment. A study by Baylor University, published in the journal Sociology of Religion, concluded that understanding God loves us is even an important key to successful prayer.
Vasiliy Voytovich is President of Evangel Theological Seminary (ETS) in Kiev, Ukraine. At the 11th Annual World Christians Doctors conference held May 9-10, 2014 in Sofia, Bulgaria Vasiliy shared his testimony of how God healed his wife, Lyubov, of breast cancer. In 1955, Vasiliy and his wife were living in the town of Stebnic, in the western Ukraine, when his wife then 32 noticed a lump in her left breast after experiencing pain. She went to the doctor who diagnosed Lyubov with breast cancer and immediately started her on chemotherapy. The family was devastated. Shortly after the start of treatment, God prompted Vasiliy to pray for his wife’s complete healing. He gathered his three children together to pray. His wife was so distraught that she was unable to join them in prayer.
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.
Looking back, Angus T. Jones, 20, says he regrets the way he handled his criticism of “Two and a Half Men”. “Two and a half men” is a popular CBS TV series that features two brothers Charlie (originally played by Charlie Sheen), Alan (Jon Cryer) and Alan’s son, Jake (Angus T. Jones). Charlie is a bachelor who leads a hedonistic life. When Alan’s wife divorces him, he moves in with Charlie and Jake joins the two brothers on the weekend. In November 2012, Jones came out publicly against the show calling it “filth” and warning people off watching the program. Angus was feeling conflicted. He was in the process of renewing his faith in God and was finding it difficult reconciling this renewed interest with what was happening in the series.
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. (Psalm 56:3 NASV) A study by researchers at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, USA concluded belief in God significantly helped people with psychiatric illnesses. McLean hospital is a psychiatric affiliate with Harvard Medical School. The researchers followed 159 patients at the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Program who were there for various psychiatric illnesses including anxiety and depression.
At points throughout the Gospels, Jesus referred to people with “great faith.” One of them was a Phoenician woman. The incident recorded in Matthew 15:21-28 drips with controversy. At the outset, you certainly get the sense when Jesus spoke of her great (megas in the Greek) faith, He was speaking of a woman with huge quantities of faith. But it is no coincidence, this account is strategically situated only 18 verses after Peter’s walk on water where Jesus admonished His Apostle for his ‘little’ faith (Matthew 14:22-32). Matthew purposely contrasted the ‘little’ faith of Peter with the ‘great’ faith of a gentile woman — a humiliating exercise for any self-respecting Jewish man. And this is where it gets interesting, because you can only understand the Phoenician woman’s “great” faith in light of Peter’s “little” (in the Greek ‘oligos’) faith. In a previous article, I discussed the various meanings of “oligos.” It can refer to a small quantity (James 3:5) or brief as in time (Revelation 12:12). Since Peter actually walked on water, Jesus was not referring …
Several years ago, the wife of a couple I knew found a lump in her breast. The couple suspected it was breast cancer, but they made the purposeful decision to avoid medical treatment. Instead, they chose to believe God for her healing. They believed and prayed for about a year. The woman’s condition became worse. When the couple finally decided to go for medical help, it was too late. A few months later she was dead.
Español: Una extraña respuesta a la petición de los discípulos por más fe One day, the disciples asked Jesus to “increase their faith” (Luke 17:5). They wanted to know the tantalizing secret behind Christ’s success. The disciples had followed Jesus for a several months and saw Him do an endless array of miracles and deliverances. In comparison, they looked at their own meager exploits and concluded that Jesus was a man with great quantities of faith to perform such tremendous miracles. To the disciples it was a very simple formula: “More Faith = More Miracles.” So how did Jesus respond to this question? The Lord told the disciples if they had faith the size of a mulberry tree, they could say to this mustard seed be cast into the sea and it would obey. No, this is not a typo. True, this is not exactly what Jesus said, but this is what the disciples expected Him to say. They were anticipating some teaching on what great things they could carry out with great quantities of …
Español: Que realmente hundió al Apostol Pedro? In Mathew 14, we read the account of the Apostle Peter’s failed attempt to walk on water. After Jesus pulled Peter out of the water, the Lord said “You of little faith, why did you doubt.” Many believe Peter failed simply because he needed “more” faith. But was this actually the case? Did Peter need more faith or was there something else more sinister at work here? What does oligopistos mean? Faith was one of the important teachings of Christ. It was so important, that Jesus used an unusual word — oligopistos, commonly translated ‘little faith’ — to describe the disciples’ faith (Matt 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8 and Luke 12:28). It’s unusual because of its rarity. None of the other New Testament authors — other than attributing the word to Jesus — used oligopistos in their writings and surprisingly the word is not found in any Greek literature of this period. Oligopistos combines two Greek words, oligos and pistis. Pistis means faith and oligos is used to describe how small an …
When Hal Hart was told in 2012 his cancer was inoperable by an oncologist in Jackson, MS, Hal turned to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas — a renown specialist in cancer treatment — in one last desperate attempt for a cure. Though he never smoked, in 2008 Hal was diagnosed with Lung cancer. He immediately had surgery, but by 2011, the cancer had returned and was rapidly spreading through his body. In 2012, doctors told Hal to prepare for the worst. At this point, Hal was was diagnosed with
When June Clarke phoned the British government to cancel her disability allowance, she never expected problems. In 2000, June was severely injured after a bad fall at work resulting in damage to her lower spine, pelvis and hip. Due to the intense pain, she was unable to walk and was confined to a wheel chair. Because the injury was permanent, her doctor signed forms providing disability payments from the government for the rest of her life. But June and her husband Stuart — who serves as pastor of the Hooe Baptist church in Plymouth, England — believed for a miracle. Stuart said he prayed daily for his wife’s healing. Six years later the miracle showed up.
[by Dean Smith] In 2010, Beka and her horse Stormy competed in the “Extreme Cowboy Race,” part of the Equine Affair held annually at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. Over 100,000 people attended the four-day affair. Though dozens of riders apply to compete only 30 are accepted. The event features obstacle courses, timed and judged events. But there was something about Stormy that set him apart from every other horse in that year’s event. Stormy is completely blind. This amazing story in many ways illustrates the believers faith walk with God. But perhaps the greatest lesson we learn is the vital connection between trust and faith. When she was 8-years old, Beka thought her parents were taking her to Dairy Queen to celebrate her birthday, instead they took Beka to a farm and introduced her to Stormy, a three-year old, unbroken horse they had bought for her. Beka said she immediately fell in love with this gangly colt, and despite being bucked off on her first ride attempt, she stubbornly broke the horse and …
Charles Darwin would be turning over in his grave. (If that is where he still is.) The National Catholic Register reports Laura Keynes — great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin — is now attending the Catholic church. She has even gone a step further and joined Catholic Voices which defends the Catholic church in the media. Laura is not only a direct descendant of Darwin, but also has John Maynard Keynes (a famous economist) as a great-great uncle. Keeping with the family education tradition, Laura has a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford. However, Laura’s return to church clearly breaks with another long-established family tradition rooted
OHIO. US: When Melissa found her 37-year-old husband unresponsive at their home in West Carrollton, Ohio on August 5, 2013, she immediately called an ambulance. When the medics arrived, they found Tony Yahle with no heart beat. After several shock treatments, they restarted Tony’s heart and rushed him to the hospital. What followed would “flabbergast” Dr. Raja Nazir a cardiologist with the Kettering Medical Centre. Nazir said “In the last 20 years, I’ve never seen anybody we pronounced dead …. and then for him to come back … I’ve never seen it. I’m calling it a miracle.” After Yahle arrived at the hospital, his heart stopped