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Month: February 2015

Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock of ‘Star Trek’, passes away at 83

Leonard Nimoy, the Star Trek actor who played the role of Mr. Spock, who made famous the Vulcan salute and the phrase, “live long and prosper,” has died at the age of 83. According to his wife, the cause of death was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nimoy was a cultural icon. Aside from his popular Star Trek role, he had parts in many movies, sadly, most of which were before my time. But he’ll be remembered most as Spock and he had a tremendous effect on many lives.

Love is developed through bond, not blood

It’s a horrifying thought, one that passes through the mind but often isn’t given much credence. What if the baby you are given at the hospital isn’t really your own because of some kind of mixup?

As difficult as that is to comprehend, it has happened before and could happen again. But even if a colossal mistake like that happened, that baby would still get the love and attention it deserved, wouldn’t it?

According to a story in the New York Times, a baby in France was mistakenly given to the wrong mother, only to be discovered more than a decade later to be the wrong child. But that did not stop or alter the mother’s love for “her” child, and the mother-daughter pair reportedly still share that sacred bond.

It’s a terrible thought, to think that you could be separated from your biological child at the hospital on the day of his or her birth. But one concept I feel this story demonstrates is that love is a feeling that develops through bonding more than blood.

As a pastor once preached from the stage in front of me, love develops over time due to the interactions you have with others. The bonding. If you were placed into a house with a stranger and a sibling whom you’ve never met before, it’s conceivable that you could grow to love the stranger more than the sibling.

Sadly, even though you could grow to love a child you were mistakenly given at the hospital, the mixup is a colossal mistake that robs you of time with your biological, God-given offspring.

But family is more than biology, and I was pleased to hear that the bond between the mother and her non-biological child still runs strong.

Could you leave behind everything you know — forever — to go to Mars?

If you had the opportunity to do so, would you leave behind everything you know for a chance to live on another planet? And not just for a short period of time tantamount to a vacation. But forever.

You could make history as one of the first — and few — to live on a planet other than Earth. You could get the thrill of blasting off in a rocket ship and propel through outer space, experiencing all that astronauts get to experience and seeing God’s magnificent creation from afar.

But the catch is that you will never again see your friends and family. You’ll never again get to experience anything you currently do. You’ll never again set foot on Earth.

Mars One is a not-for-profit organization in the Netherlands that seeks to put a colony of people on Mars. The mission plans were announced back in May 2012 and the organization let it be known in 2013 that they were accepting applications from citizens around the world for a one-way trip to the red planet. That list of applicants was recently narrowed to 100 finalists.

I honestly would have no interest whatsoever in leaving behind everything I’ve ever known. And while I think it must be a majestic sight to see Earth from outer space, I belong here and I love all the people in my life too much to leave them behind for the advancement of science.

Man sees wife for first time in two decades with ‘bionic eye’

Imagine not being able to see the love of your life for two decades. The heartache of being with your beloved and spending time together through a lot of life’s events, but never being able to gaze into her or his eyes is unimaginable.

Now imagine you’re given the gift of sight once more and are able to look upon God’s greatest creation in your mind. What a joyous occasion that would be.

As CBS News reports, Allen Zdred, a 68-year-old man with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease, has been married for 45 years but he had been unable to gaze upon his wife for two decades. But through the aid of a “bionic eye,” Zdred was able to once again catch a glimpse of his wife.

Teenager shows kindness and love for neighbor; helps elderly man shovel driveway

Does the snow have you down? Are you tired of shoveling it in the bitterly cold until your face is beet red and your fingers are sufficiently numb?

Try doing it while advanced in age and getting around with a walker. Suddenly, your situation doesn’t seem so bad, does it? You could probably get by with a little help from a friend, huh?

Tommy Adams, a Nottoway High School senior, was driving home with his mom when he noticed an elderly man — yep, with a walker — attempting to clear snow from his driveway. This Good Samaritan young man asked his mother to stop the car so he could get out and finish the job for the old man.

“He was relieved; he looked tired,” Tommy told WTVR CBS 6 News. “I told him to get back into his car because it was cold. Other people who saw him in the snow should have had the decency to stop.”

Yes, Tommy, we could all learn a lesson from your gracious act.

Love your neighbor.

Only by faith in Jesus Christ and by the grace of God can we be saved

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

This happens to be one of the most important Bible verses when it comes to understanding what it means to be a Christian. As Romans 6:23 tells us, the wages of sin is death, and in order to have eternal life and not perish, a death needs to be paid for our salvation.

But how do we achieve our salvation? By having faith, of course. It is not an achievement we can earn by our good deeds, nor something that can be bought. It is Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that paid the penalty for our sins, once for all. As this verse points out, if we were able to earn our salvation through our deeds, mankind could boast about what they’ve done. Instead, it’s by God’s good grace through our faith in His son that lead us to everlasting life in His kingdom.

Jack Frost’s winter wonderland has frozen Niagara Falls

How cold is too cold?

Tolerances vary from person to person. For some, it’s too cold if they can see their breath. For others, anything below freezing where precipitation comes in the form of a beautiful white snowfall is too cold. And for the truly brave out there, nothing short of the polar vortex is considered too cold.

But what about when it gets so cold that it can freeze running water? That’s exactly what happened to the majestic Niagara Falls. According to weather.com, a massive cold front has hit the Great Lakes region and the waterfalls between Canada and New York have become frozen.

Water still flows underneath the ice, so it’s not as if “hell has frozen over,” but it’s an awesome sight to be sure.

Ash Wednesday a good day to be thankful and regain focus

Ash Wednesday is the official beginning of Lent, the 40-day period of dedication, reflection, prayer and fasting in preparation for Easter.

For me personally, I like to take this opportunity to sort of regain focus whenever my mind may stray from the Lord. I have much to be thankful for, and I want to thank Him for making all things possible.

To think of the sacrifices — emphasis on the plurality — that Jesus made for us is both humbling and emotionally uplifting. There are great days that lie ahead and we owe it all to Him.

One more time, you can ‘Be Like Mike’

In honor of their 50th anniversary, Gatorade will be bringing back their iconic “Be Like Mike” commercial during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend.

Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, signed an endorsement deal with Gatorade and started a revolutionary movement throughout the 1990s. This catchy commercial and jingle became the rallying cry for children all throughout the country, who sang the lyrics in their driveways and neighborhood playgrounds, with the hopes that they could fly as high as “His Airness”, hit game-winning jump shots, and “Be Like Mike.”

I get goosebumps every time I hear the song or see the commercial. It’s very nostalgic for me.