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Our email address is editor @realization.org.

Copyright 2002 Realization.org.



This is an old editor's page. The current one is here.

October 30, 2001

The man in the picture is hanging from a cluster of ordinary toy balloons. Here is what the Daily Telegraph said about him yesterday:

"Ian Ashpole, 46, filled 600 toy balloons with helium and sailed gracefully to a new world record of 11,000 feet. As he reached 11,000 feet and the balloons started popping, he cut himself free with a knife and parachuted to the ground. Ashpole broke his own previous record of 10,000 feet, which he set five years ago. He set the new record on Sunday, Oct. 28, near the town of Chatteris in Cambridgeshire, England.

"'It's a childhood dream,' Ashpole told the Daily Telegraph. 'I saw a film called The Red Balloon, in which a boy floats off on balloons, when I was a child and ever since I've wanted to do it.' Ashpole had supporters working for 10 hours filling the balloons with helium. As he approached 11,000 feet, he began to spin 'quite dramatically.' 'It got to a point where a lot of balloons were starting to burst, it was like machine guns, and I cut myself free without any problem,' he told the Telegraph. He landed about 10 miles away. As well as ballooning, Ashpole holds records for tightrope walking between balloons, bungee jumping and rappelling."

October 29, 2001    

Have you heard of intercessory prayer? That's what happens, for example, when your friend Fatimah is trying to become pregnant and you ask God to help her. Your prayer is called intercessory because you are interceding, which is a polite term for meddling.

Several scientific studies have been done to investigate whether this kind of prayer helps the people who are prayed for. A new one was recently brought to the attention of the Realization.org mail group by Gary Schoubourg. As reported by the New York Times:

"Researchers at Columbia University, expressing surprise at their own findings, are reporting that women at an in vitro fertilization clinic in Korea had a higher pregnancy rate when, unknown to the patients, total strangers were asked to pray for their success."

The doctors found a big effect: prayers nearly doubled a woman's chance of getting pregnant from 26 percent to 50 percent.

According to the New York Times, the doctors were reluctant to publish their findings because they found them difficult to believe.

"The lead author of the report, Dr. Rogerio A. Lobo, Columbia's chairman of obstetrics and gynecology, said he and his colleagues had thought long and hard about whether to publish their findings, since they seemed so improbable. In the end, the differing pregnancy rates between the two groups of women proved too significant to ignore."

What is the next step? Perhaps the doctors should do the study again, but with pregnant women who wish they would miscarry. The prayer groups would ask God to carry out what doctors call a spontaneous abortion.

The theological implications of such an experiment, if the results were positive, would be quite interesting.

(For more on intercessory prayer, click here.)



December 1999

March 2000
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September 11–26, 2001
September 27–30, 2001
October 1–28, 2001

This page was published on December 9, 1999 and
last revised on October 30, 2001.

Copyright 2002 Realization.org