Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Alcohol and Cancer

A sobering Statement has been released by the American Society of Clinical Oncology on “Alcohol and Cancer.” 

Excerpts from that article: 

“The importance of alcohol drinking as a contributing factor to the overall cancer burden is often underappreciated. In fact, alcohol drinking is an established risk factor for several malignancies.” 

“Alcohol is causally associated with oropharyngeal and larynx cancer, esophageal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Even modest use of alcohol may increase cancer risk, but the greatest risks are observed with heavy, long-term use.”

“Beyond oncology [medical study of cancer], alcohol use and abuse together pose a significant public health problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 88,000 deaths were attributed to excessive alcohol use in the United States between 2006 and 2010. Approximately 3.3 million deaths worldwide result from the harmful use of alcohol each year. Population surveys demonstrate that 12% to 14% of adults have a current alcohol use disorder and that 29% have had such a disorder at some point in their lifetime.”

“Alcohol use during childhood and adolescence is a predictor of increased risk of alcohol use disorder as an adult. College-age and younger people who drink are prone to develop an alcohol use disorder later in life.”

People who do not currently drink alcohol should not start for any reason.

“In a thorough systematic review of the world’s evidence that adhered to prespecified criteria for drawing inferences, a World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) report judged the evidence to be convincing that drinking alcohol was a cause of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, breast, and colorectum (in men). Also, alcohol was judged to be a probable cause of increased risk of liver cancer and colorectal cancer (in women). An updated review of the evidence for liver cancer upgraded the conclusion for an association between alcohol drinking and liver cancer to convincing.” 

“…The associations between alcohol drinking and cancer risk have been observed consistently regardless of the specific type of alcoholic beverage.”

“…The index of suspicion is high that alcohol drinking leads to excess risk of pancreatic cancer and gastric cancer.

“As evidence continues to accumulate, the list of alcohol-associated cancers is likely to grow.”

“…For cancer prevention, it’s best not to drink alcohol.

“The results of meta-analyses and pooled analyses that have focused directly on this question for upper aerodigestive tract cancers indicate that risk of these cancers declines in those who quit drinking alcohol compared with those who remain alcohol drinkers.”

“As such, the benefit of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular health likely has been overstated. As reviewed in the Magnitude of the Association section, the risk of cancer is increased even with low levels of alcohol consumption, so the net effect of alcohol is harmful. Thus, alcohol consumption should not be recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality.

Low physician knowledge of alcohol use and cancer risk is another barrier to addressing alcohol use with patients.”

“…Alcohol use among physicians may make them less likely to counsel patients about the risks of alcohol use.”

“Worldwide, alcohol-related cancers are estimated to be 5.5% of all cancers treated annually…”

-Alcohol and Cancer: A Statement of the American Society of Clinical Oncology; November, 2017.  (Bold print is mine.  -DRB)
For entire Alcohol and Cancer Statement and footnotes see: 
Fox News article:

The bad news is, we are all eventually going to die of something (Hebrews 9:27).  The good news is we can significantly reduce our chance of death from cancer and other causes by not drinking alcohol.  As many have observed, what is the worst that can happen from not drinking? 

While all these quotes are significant, some I especially noticed because of contrary pro-drinking arguments.  I’ve, of course, added some of my own thoughts. 

While not outright saying you should not drink alcohol, the study did say if you don’t drink, do not start.  And frankly, if you drink, you encourage others to drink. 

Many have argued drinking is good for your health.  This study says just the opposite.  Alcohol should not be recommended for heart health, or over-all health. 

Even modest use of alcohol can increase your risk of cancer and other problems.  Alcohol is a poison; its use is abuse. 

Your medical doctor is not necessarily an authority on beverage alcohol.  My dad used to joke since he was overweight, he tried to find a doctor who was overweight, so the MD would not get on to him about dieting.  Apparently, the same is true when it comes to alcohol.  Any supposed medical benefits from alcohol can come from safer sources such as grape juice (unfermented wine), grapes, other fruit, and vegetables.  Sadly, many MDs have caused people to begin drinking; don’t be one of them. 

“For cancer prevention, it’s best not to drink alcohol.”  Not drinking alcohol, or taking other recreational, mind-altering drugs (marijuana, opioids, etc.), will prevent a host of other problems as well. 

Hope you all have a drug-free Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

For a detailed study on biblical teaching on alcohol, see: 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 28, AD 2017. 


Other Articles in lower right margin.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Children and Salvation by L. R. Scarborough

How to Deal with Children
Excerpts from the book, “With Christ After the Lost,” by L. R. Scarborough. 

Proverbs 8:17 (KJV)
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

Matthew 19:13-14
Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Total Depravity
“Total depravity does not mean that a person is born guilty.  It means that he is born with his tendency to choose evil stronger than his tendency to choose the good and that apart from the power of Christ he will continue to grow worse and worse in disobedience to God.”

Death of a Child
“If a child dies before he comes to the time of accountability to God, what becomes of his soul?  He is covered by the atoning work of Christ and, not being responsible for any conscious act of sin, is saved by Christ’s death.”

Age of Accountability
“When does a child become accountable to God for his soul?  There is no certain age – some are younger than others.  When the child voluntarily chooses sin and is conscious of his wrong, then he becomes an active transgressor and comes under God’s law…Most children have a sense of sin between seven and ten years of age.”

Both a Life and a Soul
“The saving of a child’s soul offers a double opportunity to the worker in that there is also a chance to train and utilize the child’s talents and powers for the service of God.  A life is saved as well as a soul.  Some of our most important and useful leaders and Christian workers come from those saved in youth.” 

Cautious, yet Zealous
“Parents and teachers should be very cautious, and yet zealous, in dealing with children.  They can discourage them for life or they can over persuade them and get them into the church unsaved, without an understanding of the way of life.  Teach them; make the way plain; pray for them; give them favorable opportunity to find Christ.  Do not over persuade, but at the same time give them every opportunity to respond to the pleadings of the Saviour.” 

Difference in Salvation & Church Membership
“Children must not be led to join the church in the hope that it will help them to find Christ.  Regeneration is a necessary prerequisite to church membership.  The church will not save, help save, or keep saved – it is the place for the saved to serve in helping to save others.  Children should be taught and encouraged to join the church when they give evidence that they have fully and understandingly trusted Christ as their Saviour and Lord.” 

Home is Best Place to Win Children to the Lord
“The best place to win children is in their homes, where the parents can teach the Word of God.  Show them Christ by word and life.  Pray with and for them.  The mother should not be alone in this heavenly task.  God says: ‘The father to the children shall make known thy truth’ (Isaiah 38:19).  He should reinforce the mother every step of the way.” 

Sunday School Should be Place of Soul-Winning
“The next most fruitful place of soul-winning among children is in the Sunday School, where teacher, superintendent, and pastor can give them a winning gospel and urge them individually and by classes to accept Christ.  The teacher may have to do some of the work by visits and prayers in the home in conjunction with the parents’ efforts.  Every teacher ought to be a soul-winner…”

ABC’s of Salvation
“The following is a simple but effective method which has proved its value in children’s evangelistic services many times.  Call it ‘The ABC’s of Salvation…’
A         ‘All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).
B         ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). 
C         ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool’ (Isaiah1:18).” 

Object Lesson
“A good object lesson to illustrate will be helpful.  Let a piece of red paper represent the soul that is ‘red like crimson.’  Let a piece of red glass represent the blood of the Lamb slain to cover our sins.  Look through the red glass at the red paper; the paper will look white.  Thus it is with our souls.  God cannot see our sin when He looks through the blood of Christ.  We can have our sins covered by His blood if we will trust Him.” 

-L. R. Scarborough, excerpts from “With Christ After the Lost,” Broadman Press; 1952 (I think originally published in 1919).  A great, classic, evangelism book to have in the pastor’s, and church, libraries. 
Lee Rutland Scarborough (AD 1870-1945) was the first evangelism professor at, and second president of, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. 
With Christ After the Lost” was reprinted by SWBTS as part of their Centennial Classics in 2008. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 17, AD 2017. 

Other articles in lower right margin.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dehumidifiers, Hurricanes, Floods, and Ministry

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  -James 2:15-16

A dehumidifier is a wonderful thing.  Through an amazing process, it extracts water from the air in a room.  Put a dehumidifier in a room, and you will be amazed at how much moisture was in the air.  You will also be amazed at how quickly things begin to dry out. 

In Southeast Texas we get roughly 50 inches of rain a year.  Sometimes we get a good portion of that at one time.  For those recovering from a hurricane, flood, or leaking water, a dehumidifier is of great value. 

Dehumidifiers are easy to use.  You don’t have to figure it out.  Just plug it in, turn on the power button, and let it run (of course, never place it in standing water, and use standard cautions).  In several hours, it will fill with water and automatically turn off.  You don’t have to worry about the water running over.  Then, just pull out the tray, empty the water, and start it again.  You can run it once a week, once a month, or 24 hours a day. 

Much of Texas is now recovering from flood waters.  A dehumidifier costs about $200 to $250, and is worth every penny. 

Right now, many churches are working in disaster relief.  I’ve previously recommended giving and volunteering with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Samaritans Purse.  Disaster Relief is one of the most effective of Christian ministries. 

Along these lines, a simple church ministry can be a dehumidifier.  A church can buy one or two, and use them in the church buildings as needed.  Write your church name and address on them.  Then when flooding occurs, they can be loaned or given to those in need.  $250 is not a lot to some; it is more than others can afford.  To some who’ve been flooded, it could be a tremendous blessing. 

Another consideration is sometimes when they are most needed, dehumidifiers are difficult to find.  If you purchase them now, you will have them when needed.  They can usually be found at building supply stores. 

So, whether an individual or a church, consider starting a Dehumidifier Ministry.  And, do it all with a smile and a gospel witness. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, September 11, AD 2017. 

Other Articles in lower right margin. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Is Hurricane Harvey God's Judgement?

I don’t say this hurricane is a judgement on Texas
Neither do I say Hurricane Harvey is not a judgement from God. 

Wouldn’t it be sad if God sent judgement on a people, and their pastors were busy declaring it was not God’s judgement?  

It may be just as wrong to falsely declare this is not a judgement from God, as to falsely declare this is a judgement from God.  
If you don’t know for sure, then say you don’t know for sure.  

I do not count out the possibility that God may at times give certain preachers special discernment in these matters.  
And, Lord knows there is plenty for God to judge in Texas and most every other state.  
Whether this is simply a natural disaster, or a judgement from God, we all need to get closer to Almighty God and pray that God might send revival to our land.  

Scripture to ponder:

For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.  -Jeremiah 8:11

That is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace, says the Lord God.  -Ezekiel 13:16

 “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.  -Jeremiah 23:28

 For a fuller consideration of this subject, see: 

 -David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 31, AD 2017. 

 Other articles in lower right margin.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

Volunteering for Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey has devastated the Texas Coast.  Unprecedented rain has flooded multitudes. 

Two evangelical organizations that will be helping out tremendously, are listed below. 

Some of you may want to give to them individually, or through your church. 
Some of you may also want to volunteer to help in the cleanup. 

SBC Disaster Relief

Samaritan’s Purse

May God bless those who give, and those who volunteer.
Please continue to pray for those affected by the hurricane. 

You may also want to remember these disaster relief organizations (and, they do much more than disaster relief, including presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ) when future disasters occur. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 28, AD 2017. 
Other Articles in lower right margin.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tips on the Next Solar Eclipse

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  -Genesis 1:1

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  -John 1:3

Yesterday the great Solar Eclipse of August 21, AD 2017 took place across America.  If you were unprepared, here are some tips for the next Solar Eclipse. 

1.  Whether or not you are in the path of totality (total eclipse of the sun by the moon), any partial eclipse can be interesting.  So, be prepared.  In the Houston, Texas area we had 67% totality.  It was pretty dramatic if you knew what to look for.  The bright sunlight dimmed and if you had proper lens, you could clearly see the eclipse cut out a large portion of the sun. 

2.  Never look at the sun without proper protection for your eyes.  Proper protection does not include squinting, holding your hand above your eyes, looking between your fingers, or wearing a cap.  Neither does it include a pair of sunglasses, or even two or three pairs of sunglasses.  You can do serious damage to your eyes by looking at the sun. 

3.  Proper eye protection to look at the eclipse include those one-dollar eyeglasses especially made for the purpose.  But, get them early; they invariably run out. 

4.  An alternative most do not know is to use a welding lens or filter plate.  You can get them at a welding supply store, and sometimes at a hardware store.  A man at a welding supply said to look at the sun you need a shade 12 or 13.  It was reported by local news that NASA recommends a shade 13 or 14. 
If they do not have the right shade, you can put two together to equal the right level.  For example, a shade 8 and a shade 5. 
A welding lens only costs about four dollars.
Even these welding lenses should be purchased early; they very likely will be sold out before an eclipse.   
Do not use welding lenses that are scratched or cracked.  

5.  Make you own solar eclipse viewer. 
Get a welding lens, shade 13. 
Get a piece of cardboard about the size of a sheet of paper. 
Lay the lens in the middle of the cardboard and trace around it. 
Cut out a rectangle slightly smaller than the lens. 
Place lens over the cut out, and tape it to the cardboard with electrical tape. 
Before covering the print on the lens edge, you might want to copy that information on the cardboard, especially the shade number. 
Also include the date of the eclipse. 
You now have a viewer for the solar eclipse. 

6.  You can also make a box with aluminum foil, a pin hole, and white sheet of paper.  The sun shines through the pin hole and you can see the eclipse on the sheet of paper.  You can find more detailed directions on the internet.
These (#5 and #6) could also make good projects for Sunday School, school, or home school kids.  

7.  A solar eclipse reminds us of our Heavenly Father who created the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1).  Christians should never worship the creation, but we do worship the Creator.  The eclipse shows us the precision in which God hung the stars, planets, sun, moon, in space.  It should also remind us of how God created and placed us in the perfect environment to live, thrive, and serve Him. 

8.  Churches can prepare and advertise a Solar Eclipse Party. 
Place it in the paper and on your church sign. 
Print a handout with fast facts about the Solar Eclipse and our Creator.  Include your church name, address, service times.  
It gives you the opportunity for a community event, to help some who would not be able to see the eclipse, and gives a chance for witness. 
Provide snacks and drinks.  

9.  Professionals can take pictures of the eclipse.  But anyone can take pictures of those viewing the eclipse. They make interesting photos.  

“Eclipses are demonstrations of God's glory” and serve as “yet another example of creation pointing back to our Creator.”  
-California Baptist University astronomer Kyle Stewart; bpnews.net.  

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 22, AD 2017.  

Other articles in lower right margin.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Confederate Statues, History, and Racism

Some of my thoughts on Confederate Statues, history, and racism. 

Racism is wrong and sinful.  Period. 

Racism on any side or from any racial group is wrong and sinful. 

Falsely charging someone with racism is also a serious wrong. 

The violence, injuries, and murder in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend is unjustified, wrong, and should be punished. 
The Confederate Statues and Memorials should stay and be protected.  They are part of our history and heritage.  They teach multiple lessons.  We should not cleanse and whitewash our own history.  

Those who are offended by Confederate Memorials - maybe that is part of the price you need pay for multi-culturalism.  Allowing these Statues helped in bringing a divided country together again.  Tolerance should work both ways.  

Confederate Statues should even be allowed to be established today. 

Get rid of other people’s Statues and Memorials, and you should not be surprised when one day others get rid of your Statues and Memorials.  How about being respectful and tolerant to both sides? 

On the other hand, Union Statues (Civil War era), Black Leaders Statues (liberal and conservative Black Leaders), other Ethnic Statues and Memorials should also be freely allowed (and are).  After all, we are a diverse, free society. 

A few ideas for statues of Black leaders:
Frederick Douglass
Booker T. Washington
Harriet Tubman
Ida B. Wells
George Washington Carver
John Jasper
Martin Luther King
S. M. Lockridge
Clarence Thomas
Thomas Sowell
Walter Williams 
Condoleezza Rice

The recent controversy at Charlottesville, Virginia was marred by hate and violence on both sides.  The murder by a White Supremacist should be punished to the full extent of the law. 
 The media needs to more fairly cover all sides.  

Vandalism of statues and memorials, no matter which side, should be condemned and prosecuted. 
Law Officers should vigorously uphold the law and arrest criminals, whether they be on the left or on the right; especially in riot situations.  

A couple of quotes I find interesting: 

“The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right.  I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalist being led out of the park.” 
-Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, on the demonstrations in Charlottesville, VA.  

 “What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? How about the city politicians who issued the permit for the lawful demonstration to defend the statue? And why didn't the mayor or the governor see that a powder keg was about to explode and stop it before it got started?”

“I denounce bigotry and racism of every form, be it black, white or any other. My prayer is that our nation will come together. We are stronger together, and our answers lie in turning to God.”
 -Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse, on Charlottesville, VA.  

Christians need to love, be an example to, and witness to racists and extremists on all sides. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 15, AD 2017.

Other articles in lower right margin.