Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#75 Hospice Workers

If you wanted to know what happens when you die, who would you talk to? Who are the experts? How about a chemist, or a biologist, or a psychology professor? Would you seek out a theologian or a minister? Let me recommend that you talk to a hospice worker. These people belong to a relatively new branch of nursing and have a special calling in life.

Hospice came to America from England, opening the first facility in 1971 in Connecticut. Hospice focuses on pain management, emotional, and spiritual support for the terminally ill. They provide counseling for both the patient who is dying and their loved ones who will be left behind.

Hospice workers see it all. Every day they take care of the dying individual and also their loved ones. They care for all ages, from very young children to teenagers, adults, and of course the elderly who are terminally ill.

Maggie Callanan, a hospice nurse for 27 years, has witnessed more than 2,000 deaths. She is an author and speaker on death and dying. She co-authored the book Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying which is all about the striking similarities of what people experience as they pass from this life. She said:

"Wouldn't you like to learn what dying is like, since you're going to do it? Our patients are talking while it's happening. It's like you're standing there watching a preview of coming attractions." [1]

In 2014 there were more than 8 new books published (see on Hospice workers experiences. Now’s the time in history that the world is destined to learn about life after death from those workers who intimately experience it every day. Watch for it and you will see more and more stories being told publicly.

Trudy Harris wrote a book in 2008, Glimpses of Heaven, True Stories of Hope & Peace at the End of Life’s Journey, about her experiences with 44 patients who died.

“In the beginning when my patients were explaining these experiences to me, I was very skeptical. I began to hear the same stories over and over and over again…. After twenty plus years of caring for hundreds and hundreds of patients and hearing the same scene played out over and over and over again, the skepticism went away.” [2]

Elissa Al-Chokhachy, author and speaker, wrote Miraculous Moments: True Stories Affirming Life Goes On. This book contains 88 stories she has collected from medical professionals and educators. She writes about the experiences of doctors and family members after a person dies. 

After a death, their loved one comes to them through sight, sound, touch, smell or a sign.

“Originally, I thought it was really rare that people had these experiences of loved ones after they die…. I can now say it's quite common, but very few people talk about it. They don't want people to think they're crazy, and they're not even sure it's real or not.”

“The more I work with the dying, the more I believe in life after death, I know there is life after death because there are so many affirmations.” [3]

Here is more from a news article:

“However, for workers who specialize in aiding dying patients, known as hospice caretakers, the afterlife is a far more solid place than a religious ideal or comforting dream for the dying. Visions of deceased relatives and angels are frequently debunked as the product of a dying brain. Yet, the sheer volume of reports of otherworldly experiences from the dying and the common ground they all share despite religious, cultural, and geographic differences raises questions and suggests these waking dreams are valid experiences, not mere hallucinations.” [4]

In Death-Bed Visions: The Psychical Experiences of the Dying, William Barrett says: “If these otherworldly visions were simply hallucinations, how could countless patient stories match? In fact, there have been several sightings of angels by dying children who were surprised to find their holy guides arrived without wings.” Hospice workers and doctors' reports of their dying patients' visions from Europe, Asia, and the United States were found to have eerie similarities. Aside from minor religious differences, the deathbed visions of these patients were consistent.

Here are some more words from Trudy Harris:

“I began to see a pattern in my work. The closer my patients came to dying, the more their eyes and spirits seemed to open to a reality I only glimpsed dimly. One after another, patients recounted not just visits from absent loved ones but an extraordinary awareness of God’s presence.

Sins they’d agonized over for years suddenly felt forgiven. Grievances they’d spent a lifetime nurturing vanished in a rush of reconciliation. Even unbelievers unaccountably yearned for God, questioning or arguing with me about my faith, until all at once they began praying.

Slowly it dawned on me that death is an ending only for those of us still wrapped up in the story of our own earthly lives. From the perspective of the dying, death is a strange and wonderful beginning, a threshold to some new and more beautiful world.” [5]

If there is life after death and all indicators say that there is, then there must be God.

[1] Barbara Brotman, Chicago Tribune, "Striking similarity of dying words, Longtime hospice nurse believes patients are glimpsing the afterlife",

[2] Trudy Harris, Glimpses of Heaven, True Stories of Hope & Peace at the End of Life’s Journey, Revell, 2008

[3] Jody Feinberg, The Patriot Ledger, "Hospice nurse comforts the dying and bereaved through her work and new book",

[5] Trudy Harris, Guideposts, “Evidence of Life After Death, Is there proof of life after death? This hospice nurse has faith that her patients move on to heaven.”

Monday, December 15, 2014

#74 Proteins

Most people are familiar with proteins, as in “be sure you eat enough proteins.” However, proteins are far, far more significant than that. In fact, if you took all of the water out of your body, what would be left would be 75% proteins. [1]

Proteins are especially troublesome for the God-deniers. This is because thousands of proteins are necessary for even a single cell to exist. However, there is no known process for producing proteins without the DNA from an already living cell. It’s a real “Catch-22”. Without proteins there is no life, but without life there are no proteins.

The total number of different proteins that are estimated to exist in the human body is around 50,000. “The common bacteria, E-coli, is predicted to have a total of 5,000 organic compounds of which 3,000 are proteins.” [2] The sum of proteins in biological organisms exceeds 10 million, but nobody has a clear picture of this. [3]

Proteins are very complicated molecules. If a simple bacteria requires 3,000 in order to live, then it’s impossible that a simple bacteria occurred by accident because you cannot get even one protein by accident, let alone 3,000.

It is estimated that the human body has the ability to generate 2 million different types of proteins. However, the Human Genome Project concluded that there are only 20,000-25,000 genes, i.e. sections of DNA, used to make proteins. How is this possible? The human body clearly is not using 1 to 1 coding to make the proteins from genes. Some process way more complex and intelligently designed must be at work.

Proteins are made up of amino acids, the building blocks, linked together. There are about twenty different amino acids commonly found in plants and animals. A typical protein contains 300 or more amino acids. Especially important to note is that each protein has its own specific number and sequence of amino acids. One mistake in the sequence and it doesn't work, or even worse causes disease.

Yeast proteins are on average 466 amino acids long. The largest known proteins are a component of the muscle fibers with a total length of almost 27,000 amino acids. Do you really think that the thousands of proteins that exist could have accidentally formed with the correct number and configuration of amino acids? Even the simple yeast protein has exactly the right 466 amino acids (of a possible 20) in exactly the right place in the sequence.

Proteins are long chains of molecules, but they are “folded” around on themselves many times making specific, unique 3-dimensional shapes that allow them to do the work they do.

Once a protein is formed, it only exists for a certain period of time and then is degraded and recycled by the cell's machinery. They can exist for minutes or years, having an average lifespan of 1–2 days in mammalian cells. Abnormal and or incorrectly folded proteins are degraded more rapidly.

Proteins are essential elements for growth and repair, good functioning and structure of all living cells. Hormones, such as insulin, control blood sugar levels. Enzymes are a type of protein crucial for digestion of foods. Antibodies, another type of protein, help us fight infections. Muscle proteins allow for contraction or muscles would not work. Hemoglobin, an iron containing protein, transports oxygen via the bloodstream.

From the National Institutes of Health [4] 
Here is another list of protein functionalities from a science website:

Protein has a range of essential functions in the body, including the following:
- Required for building and repair of body tissues (including muscle)
- Enzymes, hormones, and many immune molecules are proteins
- Essential body processes such as water balancing, nutrient transport, and muscle contractions require protein to function.
- Protein is a source of energy.
- Protein helps keep skin, hair, and nails healthy.
- Protein, like most other essential nutrients, is absolutely crucial for overall good health. [5]

Every one of the above processes is almost a miracle of design in itself. For example, every single cell needs nutrition to exist, but the cell membrane is impermeable to food particles. How does a cell eat? The cell membrane has thousands of proteins actually embedded right in the wall. These types of proteins are called “receptor proteins” because they have an exact shape that fits a particle of nutrition that comes along. When that particle fits into the protein, the protein becomes something different and absorbs that particular nutritional element into the inside of the cell. It’s awesome! Clearly it acts more like a designed machine than a random accident.

Here is another additional and more gigantic problem for the God-deniers. “A cell needs over 75 ‘helper molecules,’ all working together in harmony, to make one protein as instructed by one DNA base series. A few of these molecules are RNA (messenger, transfer, and ribosomal RNA); most are highly specific proteins.” [6]

Think about that. Just to make a protein in the first place, you have to have 75 other proteins and specialized molecules already there in place and available to play their role. Try to get that to happen accidentally. Any type of evolution is impossible.

All those 75 "helper molecules" must be present in the right places at the right times in the right amounts and with the right structures or else cells cannot make proteins by using the DNA’s base series coding. If all those requirements are met, then the cell can line up the amino acids at the rate of about two per second. It takes a living cell only about four minutes to “crank out” an average protein (500 amino acids) according to the DNA coded specifications. Wow.

Now I’ll give you one more last insurmountable problem for the God-deniers concerning proteins. For over 50 years, even aided by the super-computers of today, researchers have what is called the "protein folding problem". They are able to determine easily what is the amino acid sequence inside a long chain protein, but every protein is a folded up three-dimensional shape and they have failed to find where are the instructions for the folding. They can't crack the coding. It does not seem to exist in the physical, material realm. [7]

There are all kinds of issues associated with protein folding. Why does the protein fold the way it does? Where are the instructions, i.e. the code? What is the mechanism for the folding process? How can they fold so fast? Is there any way to predict how they will fold? The ongoing research is getting better at describing what is going on in the mechanism and the orderly arrangement of the molecules, but the big secret that they are not talking about is that this totally exhibits characteristics that had to be designed. It’s impossible to have occurred without an intelligent guiding force.

One parting shot. You may have heard about Stanley Miller and his experiments in a spark chamber creating what the media called “building blocks of life” or “life in a test tube.” Many school textbooks even proclaim his experiments. Please read up on the latest truth as explained by Prof. Gary Parker in his article “The Origin of Life.” Here’s the summation of what scientists now know about Miller’s experiments. "He had the wrong starting materials, used the wrong conditions, and got the wrong results." [8].

There must be God.


[a] a. "Protein in the body", Iowa State University, Human Sciences Dept.,

[2] “How many Proteins exist in human body?”,

[3] Dr. Gary Parker, The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein,

[4] What are proteins and what do they do?, National Institutes of Health,

[5] Emma Lloyd, An Introduction to Protein Molecules: The Building Blocks of Life,

[6] Dr. Gary Parker, The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein,

[7] Ken A. Dill and Justin L. MacCallum, The Protein-Folding Problem, 50 Years On,

[8] Dr. Gary Parker, The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein,