An important fact from recent discoveries in archeology
This is not a counseling-related issue, but some of you may find it interesting. What was the trade of Jesus’ father, Joseph? If you answered “carpenter” you are probably wrong. Also, if you have a manger diorama that pictures the stable and the manger where Jesus was laid as made from wood, that is probably incorrect.
Recently archeologists discovered what they believe was the actual home where Joseph and Mary lived and where Jesus grew up. I wondered about this because any wooden house would probably not have survived for 2,000 years.
So why do we have these beliefs so incorrect? The answer is related to hermeneutics. When the King James translators were translating the Bible, they were unsure of how to translate the word “technon,” the word for Joseph’s occupation. Looking out their windows in Great Britain they saw lots of trees, so they decided to translate “technon” as carpenter. But in ancient Israel trees were not abundant, and so most things were carved from stone, and Joseph (and probably the early Jesus) were stonemasons rather than carpenters. That is why the house where Joseph and Mary lived was probably constructed from stone and has survived all these millenia. For those of you who have watched the Chosen series, you will see they have accurately portrayed most buildings as having been made of stone.
This piece of data will not change anything about the way you do counseling, but I thought you might find it interesting.
In Defense of Stigma
There is a new campaign going around that emphasizes the genetic predispositions that sometimes play a role in mental disorders, but the campaign appears to downplay any role that personal choices and the people we choose to hang around with may play. I think this Breakpoint column strikes a better balance. Click here to access full article.
Jordan Peterson: 'The Bible is more than just true,' it's the bedrock of civilization
Here’s an interesting interview with Jordan Peterson shortly after he toured the Museum of the Bible. Apparently I was incorrect in a statement I made about Peterson a few weeks ago. Here is a quote from the present article. “Peterson’s latest appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” comes about a year after he began to speak openly about his faith journey. Peterson grew up Protestant and had spent much of his time as a public figure as a religious skeptic but appears to have embraced his faith following health problems.”
Apparently his daughter Michaila has also embraced God. Click here to access full article.
Article about Michaila: Click here to read full article.
‘Physiology Fights Back’ When People Are Trying to Lose Weight
When we (or our clients) try to lose weight it sometimes is depressing, because it seems like our metabolism slows down, and we don’t lose weight even though we’ve cut calories. This study helps us understand why. Apparently our metabolism does slow down, especially for those who must lose a lot of weight. However, the good news is that our metabolism bounces back after we’ve finished our diets, so that we don’t inevitably regain the weight when we go back to more normal eating. See article for details. Click here to access full article.
The best brain foods you’re not eating
Probably most of us turn to “comfort foods” when we’re not feeling well. This article tells us that most “comfort foods” don’t improve our mood (but they taste so good!). This article does tell us about foods that probably are good brain foods. Click here to access full article.
My Wife Had Our Baby Girl in NYC Traffic -- And I Delivered Her
In case you need a reason to thank God for just having a normal day, this real-life scenario might help.
The husband was stuck in a traffic jam in the Lincoln Tunnel when his wife let him know that the baby was coming. This story helps us know that there are still some really kind people in New York City. Some of his language is not PBA-approved, but maybe we can forgive him for that. The story should remind us to be thankful if we’re just having a normal day. Click here to access full article.
7 Common Causes of Forgetfulness
As we get older and experience forgetfulness, we sometimes wonder if we’re having early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This article from the Amen Clinic tells us that more commonly our forgetfulness is due to something other than Alzheimer’s disease, and tells us what 7 of those other causes are. Click here to access full article.
How Do I Make Phone Sessions Effective? Five Clinicians Weigh In
Here are five clinicians who give succinct suggestions about what they do in phone sessions (as compared to virtual sessions) to try to make them more effective. If you read the article (from Psychotherapy Networker) you’ll probably find a few new ideas to try. Click here to access full article.
Ketamine vs ECT for Depression: First Head-to-Head Results
Psychiatrists are now talking about whether ketamine could be a good treatment for major depression. This was a study of whether ketamine versus ECT was more effective in treating severe major depression. The subjects were 186 patients from 18 to 85 with unipolar depression: about 15% had psychotic depression. They were given three treatments per week of either ECT or ketamine. It took a median of six sessions to bring remission. About 63% of those treated with ECT recovered versus 46% of those treated with ketamine. The side effects were different for the two treatments but were those that were expected for each treatment. During a 12-month follow up the rate of relapse back into depression was similar (64% of those treated with ECT and 70% of those treated with ketamine). The recommendation from the study authors was to let the patients decide which treatment they would rather receive. Click here to access full article.
Longer Screen Time in Boys at Age 1 Linked to Autism Diagnosis
It has been recommended for some time that infants less than one year old not have any screen time. This research study, which included about 84,000 mothers and children, found that boys exposed to one hour or more of screen time per day during the first year of life had a significantly increased chance of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder by age three. For some reason the same correlation did not show up in girls. We do not know the reason for this correlation in boys, but one possible reason is that it is important that infants to learn about the world through actual exploration, and time spent watching a screen takes away from this time. Click here to access full article.
Couch Potato Nation: A quarter of US adults are physically inactive: CDC report
Please, if you’re a couch potato (and the counseling vocation can easily lead to that), start at least a little exercise each day. You can add a few minutes each week. There are serious consequences to not exercising that are outlined in this article. But another article that I read the same day in a medical journal is that 20% of fifty-year-old’s have the amyloid tangles associated with Alzheimer’s even though they show no cognitive symptoms. But those who exercise often continue to function normally cognitively into old age, even when they develop the amyloid tangles that are normally associated with Alzheimer’s. So please start some exercise program: your brain and your loved ones will thank you. Click here to access full article.
Johns Hopkins report: Lockdowns did not work
A study by highly respected John Hopkins University concluded that COVID lockdowns in Europe and the United States only decreased mortality by .2% and thus did more damage to businesses and education than good. This is not being widely reported in the news since it goes against the lockdown strategy promoted by some politicians, but several European countries are completely ending their lockdowns. Click here to access full article.
146 Research Studies Affirm Naturally Acquired Immunity to COVID-19
Another finding is that natural immunity that develops from contracting COVID is more effective than vaccine-produced immunity, so some doctors are asserting that those with natural immunity who were fired because they refused to get vaccinated should be rehired, since they are the employees least likely to spread COVID to other employees or customers. Click here to access full article.
Religious populations growing faster than atheists worldwide; 2 Christian denominations stand out
This research study by Lifeway supports the book I reviewed a few weeks ago called “Is Atheism Dead?” In case you haven’t read that book yet, I highly recommend it. But if you don’t have the time for a book right now, this short article about what research says is a good alternative. Click here to access full article.
3 Studies Showing God Designed Us for Generosity
Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (i.e., it produces more happiness when we give than when we receive). Elizabeth Dunn is known for her research on generosity. Here are three examples of research studies that validate the truth of Christ’s sayings. Click here to access full article.
16 Penn swimmers say Lia Thomas should be barred from competition
The NCAA has recently changed its position on allowing transgender persons to participate in athletic competitions, saying that each sport could decide whether transgender athletes have an unfair advantage over natal athletes. The University of Pennsylvania was going to challenge this policy change in court, but now 16 Penn swimmers have written a letter to the University encouraging them not to challenge this policy change. If you read the letter I think you’ll see that it shows respect for Lia Thomas while at the same time agreeing with the NCAA that in some cases allowing transgender athletes to compete against natal athletes allows them to have an unfair advantage. Click here to access full article.
Noem signs bill banning transgender participation in girls' sports
Going even further, South Dakota’s legislature passed and Governor Kristi Noem signed a bill banning transgender participation in girls’ sport. Here’s a quote from the news story: “This bill's about fairness," the Republican said during a news conference Thursday after signing Senate Bill 46, which will prohibit transgender athletes from competing in girls' sports. "It's about allowing biological females… to compete fairly on a level playing field that gives them opportunities for success." Click here to access full article.
5 Science-Backed Ways to Overcome Performance Anxiety
Reportedly about ¾ of people suffer from performance anxiety or fear of public speaking. Here are five succinct suggestions from the Amen Clinic for how to conquer it. Click here to access full article.
Lots of good articles this week. Hope you enjoyed them!