Jim began this edition of Crosstalk with news from the Centers for Disease Control indicating that suicides and drug overdoses pushed up deaths in the U.S. last year, driving a continuing decline in the life expectancy of Americans.
Overall there were 2.8 million U.S. deaths in 2017, nearly 70,000 more than in 2016. It was the most deaths in a single year since the government began counting more than a century ago.
This reflects the growing aging population but it also reflects deaths in younger age groups, particularly middle-age individuals.
The suicide death rate was the highest it’s been in at least 50 years according to U.S. government records. There were more than 47,000 suicides, up from a little under 45,000 the year before.
For decades, U.S. life expectancy was increasing, rising a few months almost every year. Now it’s trending the other way. It fell in 2015, stayed level in 2016 and declined again in 2017.
We’re in the longest period of generally declining life expectancy since the late 1910’s when WWI and the flu combined to kill nearly one million Americans.
CDC officials are not speculating about what’s behind this reduced life expectancy, but one disease prevention expert at George Washington University sees a sense of hopelessness.
This Crosstalk broadcast focused on that sense of hopelessness and what can be done to obtain victory over it. Joining Jim in the conversation was Rick Bach, manager of the VCY Bookstore.
Rick and Jim discussed the testimony of Joni Eareckson Tada, who’s written two resources that will be of great help when battling hopelessness. The first one discussed was the book titled, ‘Infinite Hope in the Midst of Struggles’ and the second is a devotional called, ‘Beside Bethesda’. Both resources are normally $14.99 each and are available now for $8.84 each.
To obtain the resources mentioned on this edition of Crosstalk, go to www.vcy.com or call 1-888-722-4829. This offer expires tomorrow, November 30th, at 6pm for phone orders but will go beyond that for vcy.com orders.