Tag Archives: whofirst.com

Losing hope: Suicide deaths hit record levels

Losing hope: There is a remedy that works

For the third year in a row, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, American life expectancy dropped.

The last time this happened was a century ago, in the years 1915-1918, years marked by our entry into World War I and the outbreak of the “Spanish Flu” pandemic, which killed 675,000 Americans.

This time, neither war nor pestilence is behind the drop in life expectancy. The threats are not external, but internal.

The biggest factors behind the drop in life expectancy among Americans over the last three years are drug overdoses and suicides.  In 2017, more than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, and approximately 45,000 people intentionally took their own lives.

These deaths, along with alcohol-related deaths, have been dubbed “deaths of despair” by researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton.  The “despair” referred to by Case and Deaton is largely economic, resulting from diminished job prospects and other personal disappointments.  As Case put it, “Your family life has fallen apart, you don’t know your kids anymore, all the things you expected when you started out your life just haven’t happened at all.”

As a result, people turn to alcohol and drugs to ease their pain. An increasing number take their own lives.

Certainly, Case and Deaton’s explanation is partially true. But it doesn’t explain the 30-percent rise in suicide rates among 15-to-24 year-olds, who haven’t experienced these kinds of disappointments. Nor does material deprivation explain why the suicide rate among African Americans and Hispanics is only about a third that of white Americans despite being, on average, poorer.

Something else is going on. And it’s related to the word “despair.”

Some people would call despair a sin.  If you define “despair” as extreme sorrow or grief, then calling it a sin seems cruel and unfeeling.  But that’s not really what despair is.

In the Christian view, despair is the opposite of hope. Thomas Aquinas wrote that despair “is due to a man’s failure to hope that he will share in the goodness of God.” For Aquinas, despair was more dangerous than even unbelief or hatred of God because “by hope we are called back from evils and induced to strive for what is good, and if hope is lost, men fall headlong into vices, and are taken away from good works.”

For Aquinas, “nothing is more execrable than despair. For he who despairs loses his constancy in the daily labors of this life, and what is worse, loses his constancy in the endeavor of faith.” As the sixth-century theologian Isidore of Seville put it, “to commit a crime is death to the soul; but to despair is to descend into hell.”

If there’s a better word than “Hell” to describe the despair we are seeing in so many American communities, it would be hard to find it.

Still the question does remain, “What is the source of this despair?” The answer lies in Aquinas’ words “share in the goodness of God.” Put simply, Americans can easily place their hope in the wrong thing.

This refers not only to those who kill themselves, whether deliberately or indirectly. They’re merely the most vulnerable victims of a worldview that has us, in Isaiah’s words, spending money on that which is not bread, and working for what doesn’t satisfy.

Their disappointment is more keenly felt than ours, but make no mistake, the expectations our culture imposes on us will ultimately end in death. If not physical death, spiritual death. We’re told to seek satisfaction from things that cannot ultimately satisfy us, such as sex, stuff, and self.

Unfortunately social media has the ability to compound the issue by often making people feel like they don’t have enough or can’t “keep up with the Joneses” on a daily basis as we see into the lives of others.

The results are what Aquinas would have predicted: a headlong fall into vice and away from seeking to do good. The most vulnerable among us wind up paying the ultimate price.

But to know Jesus and His resurrection is to know hope.  May we never hide that in a culture that needs it so desperately.

Do you trust people you don’t know?  Most of us would answer by saying “Of course not!”  (And sometimes it’s even difficult to trust people we DO know!)  But you CAN trust Jesus, because you CAN get to know Him.  Intimately.  All you need to do is spend a small amount of time, first, asking Him to bring you into His family, and second, reading all about Him in the Bible.  (Start with the gospel of John.)  Visit WHOFIRST.COM to learn more.

 

[From an article published by PROPHECY NEWS WATCH]

 

………………………………………………………….

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Are you a determined, persistent person? Here’s how to find out.

In the spring of 1927 a young Russian woman named Lillian Alling, who was living in New York City, became very homesick and decided to return to her family in Russia. After two unhappy years among the teeming population of New York, this peasant girl knew life in the noisy city was not for her. Lillian was unable to save enough to afford passage across the Atlantic by boat, but all she could think about was going home. So, this young slip of a woman about 25 years old chose to walk the 12,000 miles to Russia!

Very timid, Lillian refused to accept rides from strangers.  Supplied with hand-drawn maps, an iron rod for protection, and just a few dollars she began her epic journey on foot. Averaging 30 to 40 miles a day, the frail girl passed through Chicago and on to Winnipeg. Keep in mind, back in 1927 there were no roads in the Northwest, and, except for the odd isolated trading post or telegraph station, there was nothing but an unbroken stretch of the world’s toughest terrain and wilderness.

When asked where she was heading her firm reply was, “I am going home to Russia. Please do not stop me.” When she reached Vancouver, her ragged condition and lack of provisions caused great concern among the locals. To prevent her from continuing on in her poor condition, she was arrested for vagrancy and put in jail to give her a chance to grow strong again.

When spring arrived, Lillian resumed her daunting quest. Across the Yukon and Alaska, telegraph station operators kept track of her progress. Lillian arrived in Nome in July 1929 wearing a different type of men’s shoe on each foot. Soon after leaving Nome, Lillian was last seen rowing a boat from Cape Prince of Wales across the 36 miles of the Bering Strait to Siberia. Unbelievably, there is one report of a man who claimed he saw a woman on the Siberian coast in the fall of 1930 who was explaining to an astonished policeman that she had walked all the way from New York.

We marvel at Lillian Alling’s incredible determination to get to her home in Russia, yet multitudes of people are completely indifferent and unconcerned about reaching the ultimate home prepared for them in heaven.  CLICK HERE to learn about a man whose every thought for the past fifty years has been for those indifferent multitudes.

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  May this true story and the additional true story of Arthur Blessitt give you a new sense of purpose and determination as we enter the new year ahead!

 

………………………………………………………

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

From our “Amazing Facts” file…

After a forest fire in Yellowstone Park, a National Geographic photographer joined some forest rangers on their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. As they hiked through the burnt forest, the photographer found a scorched bird literally petrified in ashes, perched in statuesque fashion on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat curious at the eerie sight, he gently touched the bird with his boot. When he did, three tiny chicks scurried out from under their dead mother’s wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of the disaster her little family was in, had led her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her chicks. When the blaze arrived and the extreme heat scorched her small body, the mother remained steadfast. Because she was willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

The mother bird’s instinct to protect her young at the cost of her own life describes a quality not frequently found among humans. During the shootings in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater not long ago, some people ran for their lives, leaving their own children behind. But others threw themselves over their family at the cost of their own lives. It reminds us of the Bible verse, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

Jesus did not hesitate to give His life for a world soon to be enveloped in an unquenchable forest fire. Christ wept out the words, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37). Our Savior stretched out His arms over us to shield us from the penalty of sin. Jesus died in order that we might live.

The picture of a mother hen quietly sitting over her cute brood of little peeping chicks will usually make us smile. But the true picture of Calvary is more like the mama bird dying in the fire at Yellowstone, staying in place with outstretched wings and standing faithful in the face of certain death.

 

[From an article published by our friends at AMAZING FACTS.org]

 

…………………………………………………….

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Attacks on religious liberty in USA now proven to be increasing

Attacks on American Christians are increasing

The First Liberty Institute’s recently released annual Survey of Hostility to Religion in America report shows there has been a 15-percent increase in the number of cases across the U.S. just since its 2016 report.

The organization’s founder, Kelly Shackelford, writes the time for denial is past:

To deny that religious freedom is in crisis in America is to deny the obvious. And yet there are deniers. Ironically, they include those who launch the very attacks that have caused the crisis itself. The American people, however, deserve the truth …

After years of providing this research—widely cited in the media—we are now seeing confirmation from a growing number of sources and directions.

International Christian Concern (ICC), a respected global watchdog that monitors persecution, listed the United States for the first time in its annual “Hall of Shame” report in January 2017, noting America’s alarming rise in hostility toward Christians. Their report stated, “While there is no comparison between the life of a Christian in the U.S. with persecuted believers overseas, ICC sees these worrying trends as an alarming indication of a decline in religious liberty in the United States.”

The ICC report dovetails with findings published by noted sociologist Dr. George Yancey. He and his team did extensive and careful research into the roots of American hostility to religion. He found what he called widespread “irrational” animus toward traditional Christian beliefs among those with higher educational degrees and privileged positions in society.

In fact, Dr. Yancey found that those with the highest degree of animosity toward traditional religion were those with the most money, education, and power to turn that irrational animus into action in the legal arena.

In 2011, the first year for which First Liberty Institute reported on the subject, there were 600 documented cases of religious persecution in the U.S. The new report, which covers 2016, documents 1,400 cases—an increase of 133 percent in just five years.

 

[From an article published by TRUNEWS.COM]

 

………………………………………………………

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

UPDATE: Asteroid TX68 passed safely by us…

norm-al-160310

Asteroid 2013 TX68 safely passed by Earth on Monday morning. According to the Minor Planet Center, the space rock’s closest approach occurred on March 7 at 13:42 UTC (8:42 ET) at a distance of 2,542,960 miles (4,092,497 km) from Earth, just a bit closer than the nominal 3 million miles previously estimated. The space rock approached our planet a few hours earlier than expected. The previous estimate indicated asteroid 2013 TX68 was due to pass by Earth around March 7 at 7:06 pm ET (March 8 at 00:06 UTC).

The flyby distance was about 10.64 times the Earth-moon distance, and the next closest approach dates predictions may change again, as the asteroid’s orbit is better understood and more precisely defined using new observations.

In the days leading up to this pass by 2013 TX68, astronomers were highly uncertain as to the asteroid’s closest distance to us. They knew it would not strike Earth, but – prior to today’s pass – the most recent estimate indicated a nominal or most probable distance of 3,104,591 miles (4,996,355 km).

However, the space rock might have passed as closely as 19,000 miles (30,000 km) or as far as 10,722,990 miles (17,256,980 km).

Astronomers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the variation in possible nearest distances for this asteroid was due to the wide range of possible trajectories for this object, which was tracked for only a short time after its discovery in 2013.

In the days leading up to its closest approach to us, Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency’s NEO Coordination Centre (NEOCC/SpaceDys) in Frascati, Italy, realized that this object – which was observed only briefly in 2013 before going into a region of the sky lit by the sun’s glare – was visible on some images a few days before it was officially detected on October 6, 2013. The new images let scientists roughly refine its trajectory, but just a bit.

Asteroid 2013 TX68 is travelling at a speed of 34,279 miles per hour (55,166 km/h).

According to the orbit predictions during the past two weeks, the asteroid may pass by our planet again on September 18, 2056. However, the next closest approach dates predictions will change again, now that it has swept past us.

Why has there been so much uncertainty about this object?

It’s the scenario that astronomers have always cautioned us about … the fact that asteroid 2013 TX68 approached Earth from the sun’s direction. In late February, the space rock was still approaching Earth from this direction, although the asteroid was actually at a greater distance from us than our star.

In other words, for most of the past few weeks, it has been in the daytime sky, where astronomers could not observe it.

The uncertainty of the exact date of closest approach, as well as the precise orbit, was due to the fact that asteroid 2013 TX68 was just observed during 10 days (including the newly found pre-discovery images). That is still a short time to define an orbit precisely.

On February 11, 2016, NASA removed asteroid 2013 TX68 from a list of space rocks with possibilities of future impact with Earth over the next 100 years.

Preliminary estimates of the size of asteroid 2013 TX68 suggest the space rock has a diameter of 30 meters (98 ft), which is about twice the size of the Chelyabinsk meteor that entered over Russian skies in February, 2013.

If a space rock of this size were to enter our atmosphere, it would produce a shock wave at least twice as intense as that of the Chelyabinsk meteor, which broke windows in six Russian cities – caused more than 1,500 people to seek medical care, mostly due to cuts from flying glass – and did other damage to thousands of buildings.

Orbit of asteroid 2013 TX68. The small arrow depicts the direction of the space rock, showing the asteroid is coming approximately

Orbit of asteroid 2013 TX68. The small arrow depicts the direction of the space rock, showing the asteroid is coming approximately from the sun’s direction, as seen from the perspective of Earth. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Bottom line: Astronomers now know that asteroid 2013 TX68 safely passed by Earth on Monday morning, March 7, 2016. According to the Minor Planet Center, the space rock’s closest approach occurred on at 13:42 UTC (8:42 ET) at a distance of 2,542,960 miles (4,092,497 km) from Earth.

 

(Please visit a great site called EARTHSKY.ORG for additional info.)

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  Whew! That was a close one. Glad we all made it! Next estimated close approach by this space rock to OUR space rock is in 2056. We’re planning to see that pass-by from a whole different vantage point…assuming there’s still a big space rock here for TX-68 to miss.

 

………………………………………

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

In Mourning For America…

In Mourning For America...

I am mourning for America, because she is dying.

I am mourning for a nation that once knew such greatness but that has now fallen to depths that were once unimaginable.  I am mourning for the death and destruction that are coming, and I am mourning for a future that our children and our grandchildren will never get to see.  I am mourning for a nation that has refused to listen to the warnings and that now stands on the precipice of judgment.  I am mourning for games that will never be played, for books that will never be finished, for family vacations that will never get to happen and for memories that will never be made.  I am mourning for the economic depression that is coming, for the horror and suffering that friends and family will endure, and for the coming death of the country where I drew my first breath.

To many, these words will seem “over the top” and overly dramatic.  After all, despite the thousands of problems facing this nation, things still seem very “normal” at this moment.  Well, if you don’t “get” what I am saying right now, just bookmark this page and come back to it later.  Eventually it will make sense to you.

Last week, I was invited to be a guest on a major television show that is beamed into the homes of millions of people in the United States and Canada.  If you get a chance to view the shows that are being aired this week, you will notice that I wore all black.

I wasn’t just making a fashion statement.  I was doing it because I am in mourning for America.  Unlike so many that talk about the horrible things that are ahead for this country, I actually love the United States.  I truly wish that this nation had become everything that it could have become.  I love the part of the country where I currently live, I love the amazing people that I am constantly meeting, and I love the things that I have been able to experience just because I am an American.

Unfortunately, everything is about to change.

There are many out there that believe that America is still a great nation.  Well, great nations do not murder tens of millions of their own children.  As Dr. Chuck Missler has pointed out, the most dangerous place to be in America today is in a mother’s womb.

Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, more than 56 million babies have been purposely destroyed in this country.

What does a nation that has murdered 56 million of its own children deserve?

I believe that we have just come out of a season of time when America has been shown exactly why it is about to be judged.

It is no accident that the undercover Planned Parenthood videos were released when they were.  Now the entire world knows that we slaughter our babies, harvest their organs and sell them off to the highest bidder.

So what has the response of the American people been to the revelation of this great evil?

Yes, a small minority of Americans have gotten upset, but most people have been completely unmoved by this news.

Our government gives Planned Parenthood hundreds of millions of dollars each year, and that isn’t going to change.  Planned Parenthood is just going to keep doing what they do, and the American people are just going to go back to ignoring the unprecedented holocaust that is happening behind closed doors all over the nation.

This past summer we also witnessed what I believe is the perfect bookend for the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973.  The institution of marriage was permanently altered in all 50 states, and most of the nation greatly rejoiced.

The White House was lit up with rainbow colors to honor what the Supreme Court did.  The rainbow is a symbol of God’s covenant with Noah, and in the book of Revelation there is a rainbow around the throne of God.  They have taken this symbol that belongs to God, and they are using it as a symbol of their defiance.

Of course these things that I have just mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg.  The truth is that evil is growing in this nation in thousands of different ways.  Every year there are 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted disease in the United States, we have the highest divorce rate in the entire industrialized world, and nearly one out of every five American women say that they have been raped at some point in their lives.  In the United States today, there are 60 million people that abuse alcohol and there are 22 million people that use illegal drugs.  America produces more pornography than the rest of the world combined, and surveys have found that Christian men use it at just about the same rate as everyone else.

I will not be publishing an article tomorrow.  In a few hours, Yom Kippur will begin where I live.  It is the most solemn of all the holidays described in the Bible, and it is a time of repentance.  I will be praying for myself, my family, my community and my nation.

If America had repented as a nation and had turned from her wicked ways, we would not have to go through the things that we are about to go through.

I believe that the time of grace that the United States has been given to repent is ending.

I know that this is very different from my usual format.  Is it okay if I just share what is on my heart from time to time?  On Thursday I will get back to sharing the facts, figures and hard information that you all have come to expect from me.  But today when I woke up I just felt that I should share these things with you.

Very shortly, things are going to start changing in a major way.

America is dying, and the hardest times that any of us have ever seen are right in front of us.

 

[from the heart of Michael Snyder, writing for The Economic Collapse Blog]

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  It is our opinion that you are reading these timeless and timely words because Michael Snyder has heard from God and is being obedient in sharing what he has heard. We believe he is precisely correct in all he has written above.

 

……………………………………….

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

American universities openly engaging in anti-Christian discrimination…

Universities are engaging in anti-Christian discrimination at an alarming rate.

One state college rejected a Christian student, saying the medical “field is not the place for religion.”

In fact, when we took the case, the school doubled down saying the student’s reliance on “God” and “religious beliefs” for wanting to serve others is not a “concrete reason.”

In another of our cases, a college student was denied admission because he “brought up religion.”

This isn’t just outrageous; it’s blatantly unconstitutional.

Right now we’re in federal court in both cases. But disturbingly anti-Christian discrimination is growing nationwide.

One university student was expelled for her faith, another was told to defile the name of Jesus, and another was failed for refusing to agree that Christianity is false.

We’re in court defending the rights of Christian students, but we need to send a message to the universities.

Illegal anti-Christian discrimination must end. These students need your voice.

 

[from a letter we received from the American Center for Law and Justice]

 

………………………………………

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized