"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Does Pot make you Crazy?

At a time when there is considerable lobbying to legalize possession of pot, (indeed, it has already happened in Washington state and Uruguay is voting on it next week), significant amounts of research show a strong link between cannabis use and psychosis, ie schizophrenia, paranoia, hallucinations, etc.

From Australia
A new report from John McGrath, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Queensland, Australia, suggests young adults more vulnerable to psychosis start smoking marijuana at a younger age, an event that could trigger a non-affective psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia. - See more at:

 The Downside of High (CBC Nature of Things documentary with Dr David Suzuki)

Teenagers who start smoking marijuana before the age of sixteen are four times more likely to become schizophrenic.

For all young adults, smoking marijuana nearly doubles the risk of developing recurring psychosis, paranoia and hallucinations - the hallmarks of schizophrenia.

Today's super-potent pot may be a big part of the problem. Modern growing techniques have dramatically increased the amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana - ramping up the threat to the developing teenage brain.

Marijuana and mental illness 30 sec trailer

But there's an intriguing twist to the story: in the process of cultivating more potent strains of pot, growers have also been breeding out a little-known ingredient called cannabidiol that seems to buffer the effects of THC. So today's high-octane pot actually contains a double-whammy - more psychosis-producing THC, and less of the protective CBD or cannabidiol. See the full documentary:

Research from the UK (reported in the Telegraph)

The number of cannabis users suffering serious mental or behaviour disorders has increased by half in just four years.
In 2008, leading psychiatrists warned people who smoked super strength were 18 times more likely to suffer a psychotic episode.
“Skunk (super strength pot), which accounts for about 80 per cent of the UK market has an average THC (a psychoactive ingredient) content of 16.2 per cent and ranges up to 46 per cent.
Old fashioned 60 to 70s cannabis had around 1-2 per cent THC.

Research from the UK (reported in the Daily Mail)

Cannabis is a threat to mental health.
Cannabis use is now the biggest single cause of serious mental disorders in the UK, a leading expert warned yesterday.

Up to 80 per cent of new patients at many units have a history of smoking the drug, said consultant psychiatrist Professor Robin Murray.

The stark message comes just three weeks before the Government officially downgrades cannabis to Class C, putting it on the same level as growth hormones and prescription painkillers.

Doctors fear the change will wrongly lead young people to believe the drug is harmless and that more people will try it as they are unlikely to be prosecuted.

Professor Murray, head of psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, said the vast majority of psychotic patients - those who lose contact with reality and are unable to function in their daily lives - have used cannabis.

He added: "Since then, there have been at least four studies that show the use of cannabis, particularly in young people, can significantly increase the likelihood of the onset of psychosis."

Professor Murray himself led a study last year which showed that cannabis users are seven times more at risk of developing mental illness than the population in general.

Experts believe the figures reflect the fact that cannabis typically contains ten times as much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the crucial ingredient which induces the feeling of being "high" - today as it did in the 1960s and 1970s.

Pot and Cancer
Cannabis also causes cancer and lung disease and doctors say it could be responsible for 30,000 deaths a year in the UK.

The Netherlands (reported by BBC)
The famous cannabis-selling coffee shops of the Netherlands are facing new tighter restrictions.
The Dutch government is reclassifying high-strength cannabis to put it in the same category as hard drugs.

It says the amount of the main active chemical in the drug, THC, has gone up, making it far more potent than a generation ago.


Marijuana users sometimes report that pot enhances their desire for sex. But a new review of research on marijuana and sexual health suggests that male smokers could be courting sexual dysfunction. Rany Shamloul, a physician with appointments at the University of Ottawa and Queen's University in Canada as well as the University of Cairo, said "It's a strong message to our younger generations and younger men.”
See more at: http://www.livescience.com/12825-marijuana-men-sexual-function.html#sthash.caagytyZ.dpuf

From Brown University
A variety of physical risk factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Factors that may be present for younger men include:
Substance abuse - Chronic use of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs can cause erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual drive.

Northwoods Ministries 

Aside from erectile dysfunction, male marijuana users have a decreased capacity to father children.

Many of the statistics quoted above are likely to increase, perhaps dramatically, as super strength pot was becoming more and more popular while some of these studies were in progress.

My personal observations of people who smoke pot regularly is that they simply stop maturing. If they started smoking pot at 15 years of age and continued for 25 years, at 40 they would still act, talk and even dress like they did when they were 15. Even their taste in music would not change. And those observations were mostly made before super strength pot became popular.

This may not be true of everyone, but I have seen it frequently enough to know that it is often the case. Look at the people you know who smoke pot. Do you know anyone like that? Do you know any young people who have suddenly become psychotic? I'll bet you do.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What Does God want from Me?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Maybe you should. The Bible makes it very clear that we will all stand before God in judgment one day; wouldn’t it be good to know what He will be judging us on?

Actually, it is not God the Father that we stand before on that day, but God the Son – Jesus Christ.  “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.” John 5:22.  Not only does the Bible say that, be the Koran also says it and the Talmud too. The Talmud doesn’t recognize Jesus as the Christ, or Messiah, but that’s Who He is and that is Who we will stand before on that day. Matt 16:15-17: And He (Jesus) said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." 

What are the consequences of judgment?
Judgment is the whole point of life. The entire purpose of our existence on this planet is to prepare ourselves and others for Eternity. God put us here to decide whether we will accept His Son as Lord or not. It’s really that simple!

If we accept Jesus as Lord, we will be tested on the reality of our decision. If we pass the test, we will be accepted into the Kingdom of God for Eternity. 1 Cor 3:13 -  2 Cor 13:5 - Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test? If we refuse to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, or fail the test of truth, there is no place for us in His presence. We will be separated from Him for all Eternity.

What does that mean? That’s a murky subject. It could mean an eternity in Hell, something like Dante’s Inferno, or it could mean an existence apart from God. Literalists are emphatic that the former is true; CS Lewis, on the other hand, pours contempt on such people suggesting they shouldn’t bother trying to read grown-up’s books. Lewis proposes a futile existence apart from God in his book The Great Divorce. In it he describes an existence not unlike the Soviet Gulag, an existence with no God and very little hope or purpose.

The First Thing
So, in the process of becoming ready for judgment, Jesus, essentially, wants two things from us – the first, a relationship. Without a relationship with Jesus, we will stand in judgment on our own merits. But the Bible makes it clear that not one of us is deserving of salvation. Not one of us will be welcomed into the eternal Kingdom of God based on our goodness. The first qualification for eternal life is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

How do you know if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?
Have you realized that you are a sinner and in no way deserving of spending Eternity with God? Have you recognized the suffering and death of Christ as payment-in full for your sins? Have you turned away from sin? Has the Holy Spirit changed you? Do you see some things differently – evil as evil and good as godly? Do you have a desire to read your Bible and pray – to know Christ better? Do you love Him? Do you love your neighbor? If you answer yes to all of these you are certainly in a relationship with Jesus. If you are missing some, you may have a relationship, but it needs work before you are ready to stand before Him.

The Second Thing
The second thing God wants from us is perfection. Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt 5:48. …that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. Col 4:12b. Not perfection in the sense of never having a sinful thought or ever doing something bad, but perfection in terms of maturity or completeness. Jesus, Himself, was made perfect through His suffering, but He was never imperfect in the sense of having sinned, He was incomplete in the sense of never having experienced the temptations and trials of fallen man. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. Heb 2:10. His incarnation and crucifixion took care of that; now He can identify with our sufferings on a deeply personal level.

CS Lewis, in “Mere Christianity”, I think, paraphrased Jesus in saying: “If you let Me, I will make you perfect – no matter what it costs you, no matter what it costs Me.” Personally, I believe, with Lewis, that it is extremely important to the Lord to bring His people to full maturity, otherwise, why the great suffering of Christians that is so obvious over the past 2000 years?

Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Heb 12:14.

There is a sanctification that comes from Christ when we establish a relationship with Him, but this verse is talking about a process of sanctification that we begin when we become Christians. That process is one of separation from worldly lusts and ambition. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom 12:2.

To sanctify means to set apart for holy use. Christ sets us apart from the rest of the world for His purpose. We then need to separate ourselves by the power of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, from the power of the cares, the riches and the pleasures of life. That doesn't mean that we cannot enjoy riches and pleasures; it means that the pursuit of such should not be our motivation.

What should our motivation be?
Glorifying God! For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Cor 6:20.

And how do I do that?
Many Christians think glorifying God is standing in the congregation singing ‘glory to God’, and to a point that does glorify Him. But what He really wants is for those of us who have His nature to display it. That is to reveal the character of God to others. We do that by forgiving our enemies, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, visiting and caring for widows, the sick and elderly, and prisoners, and by interceding in prayer for our neighbors. Remember, in the 21st century, everyone is your neighbor.

Again, motivation is important here. I can imitate Jesus by doing the things above but this will simply glorify me. If Jesus is in you, you will want to do such things because it is your new nature – then you will glorify Christ. It may not be easy; displaying God’s character will usually cost us something – time, money, pride. If it costs us nothing, then it is not likely glorifying God, for love is a profound part of God’s nature. God’s love is predominantly agape love – sacrificial love – love that gives expecting nothing in return.

Are we there yet?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What God Did

The message on our shirts is to pray for a cure for PH - Pulmonary hypertension. My wife, Patricia, was diagnosed with PH last fall. Read what God did when we prayed: God Answers Prayer (below), then come back and read this update from her Facebook page:

There are no words to express how grateful I am to God for being tired. Just plain tired from doing so much. We say Pray Phor a Cure, I was blessed enough to get one. With PH ( Pulmonary Hypertension) I was exhausted to the core. Could do very little. Asked my hubby for help with laundry, shopping, dinner, tea, to drive me places, to go with me because I was afraid I would pass out if left alone. Today I am tired, because I did dishes, spent 2 hrs at McDonalds play place again yesterday with the grandkids. Shopped for a sprinkler in 90 degree heat, watched the kiddlets play in it and grilled dinner for the family. (1st time in years) I stop all day long and thank my Lord and ask Why Me? The only answer I get is that He is no respecter of persons and what he did for me he can do for others. We need a cure people, We need you to Join us and Pray for a Cure Please!

God Answers Prayer

This is a copy of a post on my other blog "Save A Child from Sexual Abuse." Thought everyone should read it.

Almost exactly one year ago, my wife, Patricia, had knee replacement surgery. After the surgery she developed pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs). Over the summer this turned into pulmonary hypertension – a significant increase in the blood pressure as it flows from the lungs to the heart. This causes damage to the left ventricle of the heart, and, if left untreated, will usually kill you in 2 to 3 years.

Pat was diagnosed in October, last year, and as fall turned into winter and winter ever-so-reluctantly into spring, the symptoms worsened. In late winter, I had to take her to emergency because of atrial fibrillation.

In early spring we were in Edmonton. We were invited to a senior’s function at the church we had attended a few years ago. Several days before the function, I felt God impress on me that we should attend and ask some of the seniors to pray for Pat.

On the day of the event Pat was having a very difficult time breathing. As we got ready to go, it was a question of whether we go to the event or to emergency. We decided to go to emergency. As we headed to the truck I was questioning God, "Didn't You want me to take her to the event so to have people pray for her? If you do, then You will have to make it happen, otherwise, we are going to emergency." Immediately, Pat announced that the fresh air seemed to help a lot. So, we went to the seniors function instead, promising to go to emerg if she has trouble breathing again.

Pat was fine through the event but as it was ending the breathing difficulty returned. I asked the remaining seniors to pray for my wife. A half dozen of us, all very good friends and very committed Christians laid hands on her and prayed fervent, heart-felt prayers. During the prayer, Pat felt something in her chest, as though she was doing an interior sit-up. Immediately, she could breathe much better.

What had God done? She suffered very little in the way of breathing problems since but still had considerable fatigue and some other symptoms. So, she went through another battery of tests with a new Respirologist here in Abbotsford. Yesterday, we got the results: Pulmonary Hypertension is completely gone! The symptoms she is still feeling are probably from the medication she is on. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

God answers prayers, sometimes in spectacular ways. Prayer should be our first resort. Your prayers can make the world a better place. Please pray.