Drug overdoes 2020 hit highest number ever recorded reports CNN

We have had many in “public health” presuming to lecture many of us who are church pastors about how irresponsible it is to hold worship during COVID. Turns out that there was never any serious outbreak associated with holding Christian church worship.

During all this we continue to have as at least serious heroin epidemic that has been in this country for at least years, if not this century and prior to that. Those same public health folks, don’t seem to presume to lecture those many who have been very irresponsible in this serious crisis. One public health person lectured pastors that they can’t just trust faith. Based on the outcomes of the last year, seems anything identifiable as “Christian” was pretty much untainted. Same can’t be said for much of the secular. So hey, faith? hmmmm maybe….

In the meantime, instead of a lot of the misjudgment of the past year and creating immensely more problems than solving; substance abuse increases, mental health issues increasing, suicides, depression PTSD, the enormous financial impact which mostly affected the underprivileged, there could be a lot better judgment and maybe taking a lot more responsibility for the things that you are responsible for such as bringing this heroin scourge under control. Hmmmm maybe a little more faith on your part might have some effect. It seems it may have done a lot for the church.

The following is the CNN account:

News Alert: Drug overdose deaths in 2020 hit highest number ever recorded, CDC data shows
From:CNN News Alert <CNNNewsAlert@emailalerts.cnn.com>
Date:Wed, Jul 14, 2021 10:26 am

Drug overdose deaths in 2020 hit highest number ever recorded, CDC data shows

By Maggie Fox, CNN

Updated 10:00 AM ET, Wed July 14, 2021


(CNN)Drug overdose deaths rose by close to 30% in the United States in 2020, hitting the highest number ever recorded, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2020, according to provisional data released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. That’s a 29.4% increase from the 72,151 deaths projected for 2019.”Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine also increased in 2020 compared to 2019. Cocaine deaths also increased in 2020, as did deaths from natural and semi-synthetic opioids (such as prescription pain medication),” the NCHS said in a statement.

Opioid Crisis Fast Facts“This is the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period, and the largest increase since at least 1999,” Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, said in a statement.

“These data are chilling. The COVID-19 pandemic created a devastating collision of health crises in America,” added Volkow.

As in recent years, inappropriate use of opioids was behind most of the deaths. The NCHS reported that overdose deaths from opioids rose from 50,963 in 2019 to 69,710 in 2020.Enter your email to subscribe to the Results Are In Newsletter with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.close dialog

Restarting in multi-race events.

I’ve been doing at least one triathlon a year. I started in 1986 and it has become ingrained to target at least one race per year.

Needless to say along with everything else, there were no races last year. There were “virtual” races, I did two. Talk about kissing your sister. I do have more finisher medals than I’d usually have because there were a few runs that either were kind of novel or fund raising for worthy causes. The oddest was the LL Bean “Flannel Run”. Got a unique, really good shirt and medal out of it. The two that kind of resonated the most was, first, the Michael P Murphy challenge, Navy Lt Murphy, was a Navy SEAL and awarded the first Navy Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. He was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005. The challenge is to raise funds for scholarships in Lt Murphy’s name. The other race was for police and military canines. These dogs often need to be sheltered while trying to place them after their service.

It was an odd year, certainly one to try some different things. And as pointed out in the following article, kind of a way to have a new start in the summer of 2021 which I just had a week ago.

Rocky Harris wrote in USA Tri magazine winter 2021 pg 16 wrote about his plan for his first race in almost two years: “For my first triathlon of 2021 and my first multisport event since the summer of 2019, I’m planning to enjoy the day and set only process driven goals. I want to go in with eyes wide open, just like I did my first race. I’ll savor the finish chute a little more and try to recapture the “newness” and excitement I felt when I was just getting started. Sometimes it takes something being taken away from you to realize how much you really love it.”

As I said I just did my first one for the year. The Rock Hall Triathlon, Rock Hall, Md. I did the Olympic Distance race, 1500 meter swim, 25 mile bike, 10k run, for the fifth year here. Wasn’t wonderful! The temp went up higher than expected, so kind of dragged through. It’s been kind of cool and wet here and hitting 90f was warmer than I’ve been in awhile. I made it through, got my medal, nothing noteworthy except the first after the big fright of 2020. It was fun to be back in the competition. It all came back pretty fast, but as Mr Harris pointed out, did make me “take it in” a little more than I would have thought to. I’m getting to an age where it’s “maybe this is my last”. It was my sixty-fourth triathlon since 1985, so gives you a little idea. Maybe it will be my last, or maybe another ten years.

It is God’s will, and I’m looking at a sprint distance race, .25 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run, in South Carolina. I haven’t done sprint distance in about five years. Maybe I will do a lot better, could use a little ego boost. Remind me that I can do the shortest distance to prolong my time.

Kinetic Sports puts on the race and they have done a great job for the times I’ve done their races. But I’ve only been doing the two races they run in Rock Hall for four years. I’m looking forward to doing a new race in a new state for me. This will be the furthest south I’ve gone, the furthest west is Kansas. Maybe next year Georgia.

70% of employees believe vaccines should be required before returning to office: Glassdoor

REGGIE WADEMarch 10, 2021, 6:00 AM  president of medical affairs 
 at health care provider Tia. 
Scroll back up to restore default view.

It’s no secret that people have an array of opinions when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine. According to a recent survey from online job site Glassdoor, a whopping 70% of employees believe that they should be required to get a vaccine before returning to the office.

Glassdoor found that age and gender play a role people’s opinions on the vaccine. According to survey results, those aged 18-34 are less likely (58%) than those aged 35-44 (84%) to agree that employees should be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine to return to the office. Men (74%) are more likely than women (64%) to agree that employees should be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine to return to the office.

Overall most surveyed plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Over 3 in 4 (76%) intend to get inoculated when a shot becomes available to them. Those aged 18-34 (66%) are less likely than those aged 35-44 (81%) to say they intend to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, and nearly 1 in 4 (24%) do not plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.

Glassdoor Chief People Officer Carina Cortez notes that employers are taking the health needs of their employees seriously.

“Resoundingly, employees want to know that employers are prioritizing their health, safety, and wellbeing while taking into account the latest health guidelines and recommendations,” Cortez said.

Another key finding of the report shows that most employees want an incentive from their employers for getting the COVID-19 vaccine: 68% of those surveyed said they would receive the vaccine if their employer offered a cash bonus and/or more paid time off.


When it comes to the work-from-home environment, 86% of those surveyed said they would like to continue working from home on a part-time basis even after their offices reopen. Some folks have gotten accustomed to the “new normal,” with some 23% saying they’d consider quitting their job if they were required to return to the office before all employees were vaccinated. Seventeen percent of those surveyed even said that they would consider quitting their jobs if they were required to return to the office five days per week.

“At this point, many employees have been working from home for about a year, and they’ve grown accustomed to the flexibility of working from wherever they want, as long as they have the tools necessary to do their jobs successfully,” said Cortez.

The survey showed a consistent theme: employees would prefer to work from home at least part of the time. “It’s clear that a hybrid approach to remote and in-person work will be a top trend in 2021, and employers should keep this in mind when evaluating the next phase of work for their employees. The future of work is right in front of us, and this survey data reveals that a hybrid working environment will be the wave of the future,” Cortez added.

**Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor from February 16-18, 2021, among 2,072 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,149 are employed and 571 are currently working from home due to COVID-19. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.**

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.


Stormy Seas

It has been a brutally difficult year, year plus. Personally, for the congregation, and certainly for what has been going on around us. Personally my wife had a very devastating stroke and after months is still not walking reliably. Of course the violence in our cities this past summer sparked by left-wing terror groups has raised tension enormously, especially when efforts by law enforcement are undercut by politicians who are only interested in their personal advancement. This is causing all of us feelings of insecurity whether there will be protection in case of assault, violence and destruction.

What I wanted to focus on in particular is our church. The loss just in the past year has been staggering. Six life-time members, pillars of the church went to be in the presence of the Lord. Certainly we are thankful that they are in the bliss and pain-free comfort of Christ, but it certainly impacts the church at such loss. Quick note, none of them were a victim of COVID. Those who have left: Rich Bower, Jan Kohler, Jack Fernwalt, Anna Lepter, Sam Marcus, Renee Coxon. All in their own right faithful and strong members of Christ’s church in their own right. They are missed. Whenever I preach I especially feel it for those who were so regular in attendance. Even in my short time here I remember where they sat and what they would say and do in worship.

It has been enormously difficult to minister, to even know what to do in the environment of disease. In all this it is easy to believe that the church may be in its last days. I see it more as a way to cull out a lot of “churches” that weren’t really about Jesus and more about numbers and the glorification and benefit of the pastor. Some of those churches have lost up to 75% of their membership. My hypothesis, those people saw that church as a place that simply could not step in times of difficulty. They were more about entertainment than serving in times of crisis and loss. Many have not just rejected the church, but also Christ. I would not want to be the pastor who has to answer to that responsibility at the final judgment. Churches like that set people up to fail and maybe even eternal condemnation. This is usually about pastors who are not sufficiently trained and educated and make very poor choices.

Those who are in Christ and faithful have done their best to be part of worship and fellowship in the Body of Christ, Jesus. Those are the faithful churches that will bring their people through the stormy seas.

The Christian church has, is and will go through enormously difficult times and has not just grown but thrived. Under the humanistic-secularism of the 20-21st centuries, we have seen the secular, leftist governments of the world relentlessly persecuting, torturing, murdering hundreds of millions of Christians. These are people whose only offense is to worship, live in Christ and present Him to others. Those in the humanist, which really means anyone who isn’t Christian and even some who call themselves Christian, are relentless in their mindless hatred and violence towards Christians who simply want to live their life according to God’s guidance.

The good news is that the church has survived much more difficult times and will continue to survive as God lifts up the faithful remnant who continue to serve His Church.

CFW Walther had a really great perspective using the event of Jesus being in the fishing boats during a storm (Matthew 8: 26-27). Rev Dr Walther writes this in the middle of the 19th century, as I said, very little has changed. Dr Walther suffered persecutions in his home country of Germany. He writes:

“Here we have an inexpressibly comforting picture of today’s Church. The world, with its learniing and power, it like a sea stirred up by a strong storm. It attacks the ship of the Church, whose destructin appears to be inevitable, and it seems as if Christ is asleep at the helm. The members of the Church, who are still of little faith, already cry out in despair: ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing!’ Many, full of doubts, may abandon the ship of the Church and plunge back into the sea of the world. Yet there is no cause for alarm. Christ remains aboard out ship and according to His divine omniscience, omnipotence and care. He does not sleep. When His hour comes, He will rise up, rebuke us for our little faith and say to the wind-driven sea of the world, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the world will be stilled and the ship of the Church will enter intothe harbor of heaven. For Christ has promised, ‘On this rock [He means Himself] I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18), and ‘Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matt 28:20).

So let us not lose heart, even in these last, troubled, times. Let us not forsake the ship of the Church, thinking it will soon sink. We would eternally regret our decision, for outside this ship, there is no salvation, just as there was no rescue for those who were not aboard Noah’s ark. As that ark smoothly navigated through the flood and finally cane to rest, save and sound on Mount Ararat, so too will the ship of the Church pass through the world’s stormy sea and finally rest on the eternal mountains of divine grace. Then we who have remained true n the faith will have our turn to cry out, full of amazement. ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him? And we will have all eternity to rejoice in the answer to that question.” ( translated by Gerhard P Grabenhofer “God Grant It Daily Devotions from CFW Walther pp 167-168)

I have been on the sea in very stormy weather. I would venture to guess that I have been on actual stormier seas than I would say that the world is in right now. There is definitely rough seas. We lose relatives, we lost brothers and sisters, those who were so important in our church life. We weather the events of an evil world that is much more interested in abusing each other and others than in any kind of truth or peace. The world mouths the words of “peace, love, safety”, but will have none of it, even after it has enslaved or murdered fellow citizens and stolen all the treasure there is to steal.

The Church of Jesus, the true Body of Christ, the ark of the Church has delivered its people over and over again through the storms of the world. The Ark of the Church will deliver us. If it is to be in the presence of the Lord and shortly afterwards to the eternal resurrection, where we live bodily in the world eternally to live the way God had intended us to live! Well so be it! That is our ultimate and eternal life. But until then the church will be here to provide comfort and defense against the world. We will always have safety in Christ’s church and brothers and sisters in Jesus.

Will you suffer for your wife?

I’ve been reading Jeffrey Hemmer’s book “Man Up! The quest for masculinity” Concordia Publishing House 2017 p 191.

Before you pooh-pooh and dismiss, consider what is really being said. The culture loves to talk love, love. But what does that really mean? This is a discussion when I do pre-marital counseling. Regarding Ephesians 5:24 – 26. “Now as the church submits to Christ so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ya, I know, blah-blah, horror of horrors. The culture is absolutely appalled, anyway. In this we are talking the deepest of love. Does Jesus abuse the church in anyway in submission. If the church wants to leave, so be it, but the church condemns itself. But if we are saved because of what Jesus did, that He suffered and gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, shouldn’t we honor Jesus for what He has done and submit to Him, knowing that it is for our best interests that He died.

So for the husband, in order to expect to be followed, as any good leader should do, the husband acts in the best interests of his wife, of their family. That means up to suffering and even sacrificing his life. If he fails in that he certainly can’t expect to be followed as we certainly follow Jesus.

Hemmer quotes John Chrysostom, his nickname was “golden mouthed”, he is considered if not the best, among the best preacher in the Christian church:

“Thou hast seen the measure of obedience, hear also the measure of love. Wouldest thou have thy wife obedient unto thee, as the Church is to Christ? Taken then thyself the same provident care for her, as Christ takes for the Church. Yea, even if it shall be needful for thee to give thy life for her, yea, and to be cut into pieces ten thousand times, yea, and to endure and undergo any suffering whatever, – refuse it not. Although thou shouldest undergo all this, yet wilt thou not, no, not even then, have done anything like Christ. For thou indeed art doing it for one to whom thou art already knit; but He for one who turned her back on Him and hated Him. In the same way then as He laid at His feet her who turned her back on Him, who hated, and spurned and disdained Him, not by menaces, nor by violence, nor by terror, nor by anything else of the kind, but by his unwearied affection; so also do thou behave thyself toward thy wife. Yea, though thou see her looking down upon thee, and disdaining, and scorning thee, yet by thy great thoughtfulness for her, by affection, by kindness, thou will be able to lay her at thy feet”

This all means that husband and wife are always to put the others needs first. Does that happen all the time? A lot of times? Many times? No, both sides, then we wonder why the marriage breaks down. Husbands you have to step up and really “Man up”. Wives, wouldn’t you honor that when you see your husband goes to the ultimate lengths to serve you as Christ served the church?

10 Things Genuinely Confident People Do Differently

Getty Images
Getty Images

  • Published on October 8, 2019

Dr. Travis Bradberry InfluencerAuthor The Seagull Manager, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & Cofounder of TalentSmart430 articles Following

True confidence—as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities—has a look all its own. One thing is certain: truly confident people always have the upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because they inspire others and they make things happen.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right. – Henry Ford

Ford’s notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed is seen in the results of a recent study at the University of Melbourne that showed that confident people earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than anyone else.

Indeed, confident people have a profound impact on everyone they encounter. Yet, they achieve this only because they exert so much influence inside, on themselves.

We see only their outside. We see them innovate, speak their mind, and propel themselves forward toward bigger and better things.

And, yet, we’re missing the best part.

We don’t see the habits they develop to become so confident. It’s a labor of love that they pursue behind the scenes, every single day.

And while what people are influenced by changes with the season, the unique habits of truly confident people remain constant. Their focused pursuit is driven by these habits that you can emulate and absorb:

They speak with certainty. It’s rare to hear the truly confident utter phrases such as “Um,” “I’m not sure,” and “I think.” Confident people speak assertively because they know that it’s difficult to get people to listen to you if you can’t deliver your ideas with conviction.

They seek out small victories. Confident people like to challenge themselves and compete, even when their efforts yield small victories. Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. The increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases their confidence and eagerness to tackle future challenges. When you have a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months.

They exercise. A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more competent socially, academically, and athletically. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher. Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference.

They don’t seek attention. People are turned off by those who are desperate for attention. Confident people know that being yourself is much more effective than trying to prove that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what, or how many, people you know. Confident people always seem to bring the right attitude.

Confident people are masters of attention diffusion. When they’re receiving attention for an accomplishment, they quickly shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help get them there. They don’t crave approval or praise because they draw their self-worth from within.

They don’t pass judgment. Confident people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves. Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Confident people don’t waste time sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up to everyone they meet.

They get their happiness from within. Happiness is a critical element of confidence, because in order to be confident in what you do, you have to be happy with who you are. People who brim with confidence derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction from their own accomplishments, as opposed to what other people think of their accomplishments.

They listen more than they speak. People with confidence listen more than they speak because they don’t feel as though they have anything to prove. Confident people know that by actively listening and paying attention to others, they are much more likely to learn and grow. Instead of seeing interactions as opportunities to prove themselves to others, they focus on the interaction itself, because they know that this is a far more enjoyable and productive approach to people.

They take risks. When confident people see an opportunity, they take it. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, they ask themselves, “What’s stopping me? Why can’t I do that?” and they go for it. Fear doesn’t hold them back because they know that if they never try, they will never succeed.

They aren’t afraid to be wrong. Confident people aren’t afraid to be proven wrong. They like putting their opinions out there to see if they hold up because they learn a lot from the times they are wrong and other people learn from them when they’re right. Self-assured people know what they are capable of and don’t treat being wrong as a personal slight.

They celebrate other people’s successes. Insecure people constantly doubt their relevance, and because of this, they try to steal the spotlight and criticize others in order to prove their worth. Confident people, on the other hand, aren’t worried about their relevance because they draw their self-worth from within. Instead of insecurely focusing inward, confident people focus outward, which allows them to see all the wonderful things that other people bring to the table. Praising people for their contributions is a natural result of this.

Bringing It All Together

Building confidence is a journey, not a destination. To become more confident you must be passionate in your pursuit of a greater future.

Please share your thoughts on confidence in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.


Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.