John 11:1-7

Arlin Sorensen's Thoughts on Scripture

In John 11:1-7 Jesus hears about a dear friend that is ill.  “A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the same Mary who massaged the Lord’s feet with aromatic oils and then wiped them with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick”.  The relationship goes back a ways.  Jesus had a close relationship with this family, and it was expected that if He miraculously met the needs of so many others, He would meet their need also.  Only makes sense that if He is healing others and doing miracles for them, He would do the same for a family that has been dear to Him.

The two sisters were concerned about their brother, “So the sisters sent word to Jesus, Master, the one you love so very much is sick.” They do not…

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In Oyo State, Nigeria the traditional ruler of Ibadan, Olubadan And Traditional Chiefs disagree over Masquerade performances

The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji and members of the Olubadan -In- Council, turned obas have disagreed on the order of the Olubadan barring the masquerades from dancing in any of the High Chiefs residences in this years Egungun festival.The Olubadan, in a statement, suspended the visit of egungun to any of the High Chiefs, citing security reasons for his action.

But, in a counter move, the concerned high chiefs-turned beaded kings had kicked against the Olubadan instruction, describing it as arbitrary use of power and an attempt to fight tradition.

In a statement signed by the Otun Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Lekan Balogun, on behalf of others after their meeting on Monday, the kings insisted that they would resist the order and host masqueraders in their various homes. They also described security reason given by the monarch as a phantom.

The statement said, “Our attention has been drawn to the directive by our referred father, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adetunji, that the usual annual masquerade dance in our residences would not hold this year due to a phantom security threat, a directive we reject in its entirety.

“As far as we are concerned, the directive was the arbitrary use of power and authority, we won’t take it. Our father (Olubadan) wants to distort and destroy the tradition and wants to use us to fight tradition, but, we won’t succumb to his antics. The same Olubadan solicited for the hosting of the Egungun authority from the late Oba Odugade Odulana when he was about five steps away from his present position and his request was granted.

“We, therefore, tend to ask him that of what benefits would his outrageous order be to him? Except for extraneous reason as we just pointed out, how can one explain that security would be threatened only when the masqueraders come to dance in our residences and not when they went to his palace?

“As the members of Olubadan-in-Council, we were not part of the decision and we won’t take it and the Egungun authority will not likely take it. It was our resolve that the Olubadan is trying to use everything to fight the government because the government has among its responsibilities the protection of the people’s tradition, but, we will not allow ourselves to be used to either fight the government or the tradition.”

How Turmeric Can Save the Aging Brain From Dementia and Premature Death (A long piece worth reading)

How Turmeric Can Save the Aging Brain From Dementia and Premature Death

Presently, there are no pharmaceutical interventions that effectively slow, and certainly not reverse, age-related cerebrovascular pathologies linked to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. A new study on turmeric extract, however, indicates that a natural curative agent already exists and is close to the everyday consumer as their spice rack. 

A promising study published in Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry titled, “Dietary Curcumin Ameliorates Aging-Related Cerebrovascular Dysfunction through the AMPK/Uncoupling Protein 2 Pathway,”[i]reveals the primary polyphenol in turmeric known as curcumin (which gives it its golden hue) may provide what the study authors describe as an “effective therapeutic strategy to reverse age-related cerebrovascular dysfunction.”

Age-related cerebrovascular dysfunction is occurring on an epidemic scale in Western countries and includes, “stroke, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.”  Presently, very few if any conventional medical interventions are capable of providing effective solutions, and none have been found to reverse underlying pathologies in conditions whose trajectories are generally characterized as ‘incurable.’ All the more reason why the new study holds so much promise in providing an evidence-based natural solution that is safe, effective, affordable and easily accessible as a familiar food ingredient.

The study was conducted using a rat model. 24-month old male rodents were given dietary curcumin (.2%), with young control rodents 6-months of age.  After one month of curcumin treatment, the researchers observed a ‘remarkable restoration’ of the impaired cerebrovascular endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation (i.e. the ability of the blood vessels to naturally relax) in the aging rats. They observed three distinct ‘molecular’ ameliorative effects:

  • Curcumin promoted eNOS and AMPK phosphylation: Increasing nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability enables the inner lining of the blood vessels (endothelium) to fully dilate, reducing cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and associated damage to the arteries. Increased 5′-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity is also associated with an improved age-related endothelial function.
  • Curcumin upregulated mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2): UCP2 plays an important role in mitochondrial homeostasis and its optimal functioning has been associated with increased lifespan.
  • Curcumin reduced Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production: ROS reduction is associated with decreased oxidative stress and related cellular damage.

The authors summarized their findings as follows:

 “In summary, our findings provide the first evidence that chronic pharmacological AMPK/UCP2 pathway activation by curcumin treatment may be an effective therapeutic strategy to reverse age-related cerebrovascular dysfunction. Curcumin administration may represent a promising lifestyle intervention for preventing age-related cerebrovascular disturbances.”

A Massive Body of Research On Curcumin’s Brain Protective Properties houses a database of 1597 abstracts from the National Library of Medicine on the health value of turmeric and/or curcumin in over 600 health conditions. View them all here: turmeric health benefits.  Of the 177 distinct beneficial physiological actions documented within this literature, 114 of them concern the spice’s neuroprotective properties. View them here: neuroprotective properties of turmeric.

While this latest study and most of the research on our turmeric database is preclinical, there are reports of turmeric causing significant improvements in cerebrovascular dysfunction diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In a previous article titled, “Turmeric Produces ‘Remarkable’ Rocvery iin Alzheimer’s Patients,” we reported on the ability of turmeric to produce the dramatic improvement in patients suffering from behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

As we discussed in the article, other documented Anti-Alzheimer’s disease mechanisms of turmeric include:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Curcumin has been found to play a protective role against β-amyloid protein associated inflammation.[11]
  • Anti-oxidative: Curcumin may reduce damage via antioxidant properties.[12]
  • Anti-cytotoxic: Curcumin appears to protect against the cell-damaging effects of β-amyloid proteins.[13] [14]
  • Anti-amyloidogenic: Turmeric contains a variety of compounds (curcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin) which may strike to the root pathological cause of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing β-amyloid protein formation.[15] [16] [17] [18]
  • Neurorestorative: Curcuminoids appear to rescue long-term potentiation (an indication of functional memory) impaired by an amyloid peptide, and may reverse the physiological damage by restoring distorted neurites and disrupting existing plaques. [19] [20]
  • Metal-chelating properties: Curcumin has a higher binding affinity for iron and copper rather than zinc, which may contribute to its protective effect in Alzheimer’s disease, as iron-mediated damage may play a pathological role.[21] [22]

Turmeric, of course, is not the only natural substance that has been proven to have value in neurodegenerative conditions.  For those looking for additional research on food and spice-based natural alternatives that are evidence-based, here are additional substances that may be of value:

  • Coconut Oil: This remarkable substance contains approximately 66% medium chain triglycerides by weight and is capable of improving symptoms of cognitive decline in those suffering from dementia by increasing brain-boosing ketone bodies, and perhaps more remarkably, within only one dose, and within only two hours.[23]
  • Cocoa: A 2009 study found that cocoa procyanidins may protect against lipid peroxidation associated with neuronal cell death in a manner relevant to Alzheimer’s disease.[24]
  • Sage: A 2003 study found that sage extract has therapeutic value in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[25]
  • Folic acid: While most of the positive research on this B vitamin has been performed on the semi-synthetic version, which may have unintended, adverse health effects,  the ideal source for this B vitamin is foliage, i.e. green leafy vegetables, as only foods provide folate. Also, the entire B group of vitamins, especially including the homocysteine-modulating B6 and B12,[26] may have the most value in Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.
  • Resveratrol: this compound is mainly found in the Western diet in grapes, wine, peanuts, and chocolate. There are 16 articles on our website indicating it has anti-Alzheimer’s properties.[27]
  • Gingko Biloba: is one of the few herbs proven to be at least as effective as the pharmaceutical drug Aricept in treating and improving symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.[28] [29]
  • Melissa Officinalis: this herb, also known as Lemon Balm, has been found to have a therapeutic effect in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[30]
  • Saffron: this herb compares favorably to the drug donepezil in the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[31]

Finally, it is of utmost importance to understand that turmeric contains a wide range of therapeutic biomolecules and not to get fixated on simply curcumin. There are also water and alcohol soluble components of the plant that you won’t find in extracts standardized simply to curcuminoid content. For example, a fat-soluble component known as aromatic turmerone has been found to be especially important for brain regeneration, capable as it is of stimulating the regeneration of neural stem cells and their subsequent differentiation into functional and fully differentiated neurons.

Why Human Nature is Important When Evaluating Sexual Behavior

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are acts of “grave depravity” and are “intrinsically disordered” because they contradict the natural law (CCC 2357). The natural law, which is a moral law built into the nature of man discoverable by the natural light of human reason, has always been the basis for …

Source: Why Human Nature is Important When Evaluating Sexual Behavior

56 lawmakers demand Planned Parenthood be investigated for covering-up child sex-abuse

Planned Parenthood has a decades-long history of covering up crimes against minors which has gone largely ignored.  Live Action has released its report and video series seeking to blow the lid off Planned Parenthood’s unchecked, ongoing criminal behavior victimizing young girls who are already victims of sexual assaults.

“Abuse cover-up is systemic to the abortion industry,” said Lila Rose, founder of Live Action which produced the investigative report and video series.

“What these abusers do––what sexual traffickers do––to their victims is take them or threaten to send them by force to an abortion facility, which can become a key place for that abuse to be covered up,” said Rose.  “And Planned Parenthood, instead of reporting the abuse as they’re mandated to do in virtually all fifty states by law––instead of reporting abuse, instead of being that person who can encounter a girl in a situation of extreme distress and be that moment of intervention for her––does a secret abortion, has a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell policy,’ and sends this vulnerable young girl back into the arms of sex abusers.”

“Abortion is not family planning; It is family destruction,” said Rep. Diane Black (R-TN).

“The lies that are coming from the Big Abortion Industry are just heartbreaking,” Black continued.  “Live Action’s findings show us that these same lies are used to willfully neglect to report these horrific cases of abuse, rape, and sex trafficking.

Sometimes these young teenage girls plead with Planned Parenthood staff to them help them escape their abusers, but their pleas go unheeded.

“It’s come to light that Planned Parenthood performs abortions on girls as young as 12 years old, and then sends them right back into the arms of their abusers without alerting the authorities,” noted Black.  “It is shameful.”

“Planned Parenthood’s failure to report these heinous crimes does not empower women or our children;  It empowers their abusers,” said the Congresswoman.  “The despicable cycle of these facilities, turning a blind eye to sexual abuse and exploitation of our children must end.”

“Planned Parenthood has shown gross negligence by returning these children to their abusers,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).  “I find Planned Parenthood’s complicity in sex trafficking absolutely appalling.”

It seems that Planned Parenthood … has broken the law,” said Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC).  “There should be a full investigation into whether or not Planned Parenthood willfully turned over child victims of abuse back to their abuser, and if necessary, criminal prosecution.”

“Are these lives not important to Planned Parenthood?  Or is the greater abortion industry more important than protecting these young innocent lives?” wondered Walker.

“We’re borrowing money from China to send to Planned Parenthood, how moral is that?” asked Iowa, Rep. Steve King (R).  “I don’t think any taxpayer dollars should go to any organization that either does abortions or counsels in favor of them.”

“Planned Parenthood portrays itself as a champion of women’s rights, but Live Action’s investigation exposes the abortion giant’s systematic betrayal of vulnerable women and girls,” said former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave in advance of the gathering.  Musgrave now serves as Vice President of Government Affairs for Susan B. Anthony List.

“Abortion is a gift to pimps, traffickers, and abusers,” continued Musgrave, “and Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business, has helped them cover their tracks while raking in more than half a billion dollars from taxpayers every year. We can’t put a price on the lives and dignity of unborn children and their mothers. That’s why further action is needed to disentangle taxpayers from the scandal-ridden abortion business.”

Congress Sends Letter to HHS Demanding an Investigation into Planned Parenthood

As a result of Live Action’s reporting, fifty-six members of Congress today called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to begin an investigation into Planned Parenthood.

The letter from Congress to HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar II states in part:

The report’s findings suggest that abusers feel comfortable taking their victims to Planned Parenthood. We are therefore requesting an investigation into Title X recipients, particularly Planned Parenthood, to determine how widespread this failure is and if there are other instances where Planned Parenthood failed in its duty to report suspected child abuse to local authorities and to HHS.

“Members have requested that HHS turn over records regarding all incidents of Planned Parenthood’s Title X recipients’ failures to report suspected sexual abuse of minors in their care, records of the steps taken to bring recipients into compliance with reporting laws, and documentation of any disciplinary actions,” according to a statement about the letter released by Live Action.

“Since 1999, federal regulations have made clear the expectation that organizations that receive federal Title X ‘family planning’ grants follow state laws mandating the reporting of suspected child sexual abuse and rape,” continued the statement.  “Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of Title X funding, receiving about $60 million annually through the program. It is also the nation’s largest abortion provider. In 2015, 474 of nearly 650 Planned Parenthood facilities received Title X funding.”

The Videos Exposing Planned Parenthood

The first of Live Action’s investigative report videos provides an introduction to the project and an overview of what to expect in its future installments, including documented cases, the testimony of former abortion industry insiders, two of Live Action’s own previous undercover investigations, the lies Planned Parenthood has told in response to the allegations, and what consequences the offending personnel have faced, if any.

The group has also released Part 2 in the series, “Recorded Cases.” It details how the abortion giant’s refusal to report men who brought in girls as young as age twelve for abortions enabled their abusers to continue raping them. Live Action has documented many of these cases here and here.

Live Action says that a later installment will quote former Planned Parenthood insiders such as Sue Thayer and Catherine Adair, who say the organization actively discouraged reporting of children being brought in by their apparent abusers.

Last year, a separate investigative report by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) exposed Planned Parenthood’s selling of aborted baby body parts.

“Planned Parenthood has actively participated in illegal activity, selling the body parts of aborted babies in exchange for profit,” said Abby Johnson, a former abortion advocate and Planned Parenthood director who is now a pro-life activist.  “They’ve lied to the very women they purport to fight for. I saw it first-hand when I worked for the abortion giant and yet, they still manage to obtain over half a billion dollars a year in our tax dollars.”