Category Archives: Christians/Christianity

Study by 32 scientists shows there’s consciousness after death

“And the Lord God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” -Genesis 2:7 

creation-of-man

Research conducted by 32 scientists in the United States, United Kingdom, and Austria discovered the astounding fact that individuals in a state of cardiac arrest, i.e., their hearts and respiration have stopped and, within seconds, cessation of all brain function, nevertheless experienced consciousness, despite clinically undetectable consciousness.

Their findings are published as an article titled “AWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study,” in the journal Resuscitation (September 2014).

The researchers discovered this a 4 year multi-center study of 2,060 cardiac arrest (CA) survivors in 15 US, UK and Austrian hospitals. The method used was a three stage quantitative and qualitative interview system, including specific tests to determine the accuracy of the survivors’s claims of visual and auditory awareness while in a state of cardiac arrest.

The researchers found that these individuals, while their hearts had stopped, nevertheless experienced a broad range of cognitive themes, with 2% exhibiting full awareness. The scientists conclude that their findings supports other recent studies that indicate consciousness may be present despite clinically undetectable consciousness.

Among 2060 CA events, 140 survivors completed stage 1 interviews. 101 of these 140 patients completed stage 2 interviews.

These were the research’s findings:

1. 46% of CA survivors had memories with 7 major cognitive themes:

  • Fear: “I felt scared”; “I was terrified. I was told I was going to die and the quickest way was to say the last short word I could remember”; “Being dragged through deep water with a big ring and I hate swimming—it was horrid”.
  • Animals/plants: “All plants, no flowers”; “Saw lions and tigers”.
  • Bright light: “The sun was shining”; “Recalled seeing a golden flash of light”.
  • Violence/persecution: “Being dragged through deep water”; “This whole event seemed full of violence and I am not a violent man, it was out of character”; “I had to go through a ceremony and … the ceremony was to get burned. There were 4 men with me, whichever lied would die…. I saw men in coffins being buried upright.”
  • Deja-vu: “…experienced a sense of De-ja vu and felt like knew what people were going to do before they did it after the arrest. This lasted about 3 days.”
  • Family: “Family talking 10 or so. Not being able to talk to them”; “My family (son, daughter, son-in-law and wife) came”.
  • Events immediately post-CA: Experienced “a tooth coming out when tube was removed from my mouth”.

2. 9% had near death experiences (NDEs):

  • One person’s NDE: “I have come back from the other side of life…God sent (me) back, it was not (my) time—(I) had many things to do…(I traveled) through a tunnel toward a very strong light, which didn’t dazzle or hurt (my) eyes…there were other people in the tunnel whom (I) did not recognize. When (I) emerged (I) described a very beautiful crystal city… there was a river that ran through the middle of the city (with) the most crystal clear waters. There were many people, without faces, who were washing in the waters…the people were very beautiful… there was the most beautiful singing…(and I was) moved to tears. (My) next recollection was looking up at a doctor doing chest compressions”.

3. 2% described awareness with explicit recall of “seeing” and “hearing” actual events related to their resuscitation:

  • “At the beginning, I think, I heard the nurse say ‘dial 444 cardiac arrest’. I felt scared. I was on the ceiling looking down. I saw a nurse that I did not know beforehand who I saw after the event. I could see my body and saw everything at once. I saw my blood pressure being taken whilst the doctor was putting something down my throat. I saw a nurse pumping on my chest…I saw blood gases and blood sugar levels being taken.”

4. One had a verifiable period of conscious awareness during which time cerebral function was not expected.

The scientists express perplexity about their findings:

there is no measurable brain function within seconds after cardiac standstill. This ‘flatlined’ isoelectric brain state which occurs with CA onset usually continues throughout CPR since insufficient cerebral blood flow (CBF) is achieved to meet cerebral metabolic requirements during conventional CPR. However it was estimated our patient maintained awareness for a number of minutes into CA. While certain deep coma states may lead to a selective absence of cortical electrical activity in the presence of deeper brain activity, this seems unlikely during CA as this condition is associated with global rather than selective cortical hypoperfusion as evidenced by the loss of brain stem function. Thus, within a model that assumes a causative relationship between cortical activity and consciousness the occurrence of mental processes and the ability to accurately describe events during CA as occurred in our verified case of VA [visual awareness] when cerebral function is ordinarily absent or at best severely impaired is perplexing. This is particularly the case as reductions in CBF [cerebral blood flow] typically lead to delirium followed by coma, rather than an accurate and lucid mental state.”

You can read the journal article for yourself here.

H/t Spirit Daily

See also:

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional: “I am the Lord, your God”

Isaiah 45:4, 5

I have called you by your name . . .
I am the Lord and there is no other,
there is no God besides me.

Holy Trinity

Psalm 96

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
Give to the Lord glory and strength.
Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns;
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved;
He shall judge the peoples righteously.”

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.

The peace and love of Jesus Christ, our Lord, be with you,

~Eowyn

Riots erupt in French showings of Hollywood demon doll movie

A fictional spectral figure named Slenderman led three teenage girls to attempted murder and mayhem. (See “The Devil is alive and well as Slenderman“)

The audience vomited during a satanic black-metal band’s performance, complete with a blood sacrifice. (See “Satanic black-metal band throws pig’s blood; audience vomit”)

Now, a Hollywood horror movie about a demonic doll, Annabelle, which was released worldwide on October 3, 2014, has been pulled from cinemas in France after movie-goers rioted.

Annabelle

Allanah Faherty reports for MoviePilot, Oct. 17, 2014, that cinemas in the cities of Marseille, Strasbourg and Montpellier in France have cancelled future screenings of Annabelle due to a security concern after huge crowds of youths packed theaters well over capacity (up to 1,000 people in a 450-seat theater) and began fighting, throwing popcorn, and ripping up seats.

The movie is based on the real story of a husband and wife who sought the help of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens eventually took the doll, Annabelle, and placed “her” in a secure case inside their Occult Museum. To prevent the demonic doll from harming anyone again, it is blessed by a priest twice a month.

To read the nearly incomprehensible movie plot, see Wikipedia.

armor of God

H/t FOTM’s christy

~Eowyn

Dwindling Evangelicals will affect 2014 (and future) elections in Southern States

Robert P. Jones writes for The Atlantic, Oct. 17, 2014:

Over the last few decades, there have been few more reliable voters for Republicans than white evangelical Protestants. This year, however, GOP candidates may be getting less help from this group—not because white evangelical Protestants are becoming less supportive or less motivated, but simply because they are declining as a proportion of the population, even in Southern states. 

White evangelical Protestants have remained a steadfast Republican constituency in both presidential and midterm congressional elections ever since the Reagan presidency, which marked what political scientists Merle and Earl Black dubbed “the great white switch.” In 2008 and 2012, roughly three-quarters of white born-again Christians supported GOP nominees John McCain (73 percent) and Mitt Romney (78 percent).  In the 2010 midterm election, similar numbers of white born-again Christians (77 percent) supported the GOP House candidate in their districts.

[...] In recent years, for example, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical denomination in the country, has reported steady declines in membership and new baptisms. Since 2007, the number of white evangelical Protestants nationwide has slipped from 22 percent in 2007 to 18 percent today.

A look at generational differences demonstrates that this is only the beginnings of a major shift away from a robust white evangelical presence and influence in the country. While white evangelical Protestants constitute roughly three in 10 (29 percent) seniors (age 65 and older), they account for only one in 10 (10 percent) members of the Millennial generation (age 18-29). In the last few national elections, however, because of high levels of voter turnout, white evangelical Protestants have managed to maintain an outsized presence at the ballot box according to national exit polls, representing roughly one-quarter of voters.

[...] there are currently five Southern states—Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and North Carolina— where polling shows that the Senate race margins are less than five percentage points indicates that 2014 may be the year that the underlying demographic trends finally exert enough force to make themselves felt. These changes are evident in analysis based on the American Values Atlas, a massive interactive online map of demographic and religious diversity in America based on 45,000 interviews conducted throughout 2013, created by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Social Science Research Solutions.

Evangelicals in 5 southern states

[...] Two forces account for the declining proportions of white evangelical and mainline Protestants: the growth of non-black ethnic minorities and, perhaps surprisingly, the growth of the religiously unaffiliated across the South. Notably, each of these growing constituencies leans decidedly toward Democratic candidates.

[...] So what does this mean for the 2014 elections? Certainly, events on the ground are still paramount; the campaign machines and peculiarities of candidates matter. And in low-turnout elections such as the midterms, the real weight of these demographic and religious shifts will not yet be fully felt at the ballot box. White evangelical Protestants have a strong turnout record, while non-black ethnic minorities and particularly the religiously unaffiliated are much less likely to vote. PRRI’s pre-election American Values Survey found that while two-thirds (65 percent) of white evangelical Protestants report that they were absolutely certain to vote in the November elections, less than half (45 percent) of the religiously unaffiliated report this kind of certainty. But the underlying trends indicate that at least one reason why there are a number of close elections across the South is the declining dominance of white evangelical Protestants, the most stalwart of GOP supporters.

Do you get the feeling that we’re losing the Culture War?  :(

~Eowyn

City of Houston subpoenas pastors’ sermons in equal rights ordinance case

first amendment

Houston Chronicle: Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance took another legal turn this week when it surfaced that city attorneys, in an unusual step, subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose the law and are tied to the conservative Christian activists that have sued the city.

Opponents of the equal rights ordinance are hoping to force a repeal referendum when they get their day in court in January, claiming City Attorney David Feldman wrongly determined they had not gathered enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

City attorneys issued subpoenas last month during the case’s discovery phase, seeking, among other communications, “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO (Houston Equal Rights Ordinance), the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

The subpoenas were issued to several high-profile pastors and religious leaders who have been vocal in opposing the ordinance. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion on behalf of the pastors seeking to quash the subpoenas.

Plaintiff Jared Woodfill said the subpoena impinges on protected religious freedoms. “This is the city trampling on the First Amendment rights of pastors in their churches,” Woodfill said. The city attorney’s office has not responded to requests for comment.

Todd Starnes at Fox has more:

“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”

ADF, a nationally-known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”  “Political and social commentary is not a crime,” Holcomb said. “It is protected by the First Amendment.”

The subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over the Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa.  The city council approved the law in June.

The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot. However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.

After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors. The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups – from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.

“City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” said ADF attorney Erik Stanley.  “This is designed to intimidate pastors.”

Mayor Parker on right.

Mayor Parker on right.

Mayor Parker will not explain why she wants to inspect the sermons. I contacted City Hall for a comment and received a terse reply from the mayor’s director of communications.“We don’t comment on litigation,” said Janice Evans.

However, ADF attorney Stanley suspects the mayor wants to publicly shame the ministers. He said he anticipates they will hold up their sermons for public scrutiny. In other words – the city is rummaging for evidence to “out” the pastors as anti-gay bigots.

Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity. The mega-church pastor was also ordered to hand over “all communications with members of your congregation” regarding the non-discrimination law.

“This is an attempt to chill pastors from speaking to the cultural issues of the day,” Riggle told me. “The mayor would like to silence our voice. She’s a bully.”

parker

Gee, you think Mayor Parker has a personal agenda?

DCG

Monday Funny: Meet Little Nellie!

You’ve all seen those Little Johnny jokes.

Now meet Little Nellie!  :D

Angry Little Asian Girl

Nellie’s teacher was talking about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though the whale is a very large mammal, its throat is very small.

Nellie raised her hand and said, “But the Bible says Jonah was swallowed by a whale.”

Visibly irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale cannot swallow a human because it’s physically impossible.

So Nellie said, “When I get to heaven, I’ll ask Jonah.”

The teacher smugly asked, “What if Jonah went to hell?!”

Nellie replied, “Then you ask him.”

LOL cat

On a more serious note, this is what Whale Facts says:

While most whales aren’t able to swallow people there is however one species of whale that may be able swallow a human under the right circumstances.

This whale is known as the sperm whale.

Unlike most species of whale sperm whales have a relatively large throat which is designed to allow it to consume large prey such as giant squid. [...]

Aside from the sperm whale the killer whale (the largest of the dolphin species) also possesses the ability to consume humans, since they have teeth that are designed for tearing apart the flesh of mammals.

For some of the Little Johnny jokes FOTM’s published, see:

~Eowyn

Which Side Of The Fence?

This was sent to me and it was attributed to Jeff Foxworthy. I’ve checked and it seems he did not write it, and the author is unknown. Still pretty funny.-

———————————————————————————————–

Which side of the fence? If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. If a Democrat is down-and-out he wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels. A Democrat demands that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh. A Democrat will delete it because he’s “offended”.

~Steve~                                  H/T  Joseph