Just Today

smell flowers

Somebody’s Doggo Taking the Time to Smell a Flower

So, I managed to make it through all of October as a vegetarian. I tried for vegan, but I just wasn’t militant enough. So, some cheese appeared in some of my foods and I just ate it and I had some milk. Overall, the changes were a benefit to my digestion. And my blood glucose numbers look better. Exercise has proven to be very helpful in bringing those numbers down immediately. My body responds well and responds quickly to the exercise now. For example, last night I ate a few Thanksgiving cookies and a cup of milk after supper, checked the numbers and then went for a walk at Smother’s Park with my son. It was late and we had a fun time. When I got home, I checked again and the numbers had dropped by 100mg/dl and I was back in the safe range for after a meal.

In November, I have incorporated some meat back into my diet, but grains are now on the chopping block and I have to be very careful with fruit. It is a bit of a learning/discipline curve for me to cook as normally as possible but avoid refined grains, sugar and even good natural fruits and sweeteners. Just today, the scale says this Thanksgiving week alone I gained back 4 of the 8 pounds I lost. I will check again Monday, but I’m going to have to keep reducing the amount of carbs in my diet. Even if I eliminated refined sugar and grains completely and never cheated,  fruit, potatoes, beans and milk are all items that make my blood sugar rise too high. If you are or have ever been on a low-carb diet, Paleo, Keto, Atkins, etc. You know that it works well for weight loss, but it can be difficult to maintain in our carb-laden world.

I remember when the Atkins diet made a big comeback about 15 years ago in my neighborhood and the local stores in our small town sold out of eggs, bacon and cream like bread and milk on the eve of a big storm! It seems to be back again, and rather than calling it Atkins or low-carb, people are using the term “Keto”, short for Ketogenic diet or drinks and supplements of therapeutic ketones. The Ketogenic diet first came to my attention in association with epilepsy and the diet’s success in seizure reduction. My husband and I had gone to see the movie Lorenzo’s Oil and as this was prior to internet access, I did some library research on the topic. Here is a good article that explains in more detail:

https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes-ketogenic-diet#Otherdiets8

Today though, in thinking back over the last 2 months and doing some research, I am going to keep going toward God and away from thinking about food and drink. I thought about what Jesus was teaching in Matthew 6, saying not to worry about tomorrow, or what we would eat or drink and to put our full trust in God. If I’m thinking and plotting and planning every day what I’m going to be eating and drinking, then I’m spending too much time on this. So, I’m going to spend *less* time on it. That is not the same as spending no time on it. I just don’t want my God to be my stomach. Gluttony and excess in the new testament scripture seems to be our problem over and above the actual food and drink. But don’t take my assertion here and apply it immediately to yourself and be self-conscious. This is just for me right now.

Today is what I have. Tomorrow can take care of itself.

 

 

 

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Blogtober 14th: Don’t Talk to Police?

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This year I served on the grand jury. It was an educational experience. I came away very proud of our local law enforcement, especially after all of the negative press in recent years of other law enforcement issues around the country. And as much as I wanted to see crime prosecuted and ultimately reduced, I was repeatedly surprised and dismayed at the things people blab to the police when they are pulled over or being questioned or arrested. I considered my own behavior when driving a vehicle and how I should do things differently. I thought about my young son and how he should conduct himself when he is out with friends or out driving in the future. The following video was very enlightening:

 

The first half of this video is a defense attorney discussing the 5th amendment and the 2nd half of the video is a police detective explaining what he does and how talking to the police when being questioned about a crime is always a mistake. Both explain the reasons why we should not talk to the police and the steps we should take if we are asked questions or escorted to an interview. I’ll need to investigate this some more. I may even want to talk to a police officer.

c

Blogtober 13th: Ok, No.

Friday the 13th

When I was about 11 or 12, I took an interest in the occult. Thankfully it was a mild interest that I didn’t pursue. However, around that same time I started reading novels with negative psychological and supernatural themes. Stephen King would become my favorite author as a teenager. I liked Peter Straub, and was very excited when his novel Ghost Story was made into a movie. I read the Flowers in the Attic series more than once. After I came to know Christ, my fiction reading tapered off. I now almost exclusively prefer non-fiction, but I haven’t forgotten the stories that at one time were very important to me. Recently, Stephen King’s novel IT was made into a movie again. In 1987, I was in the middle of reading that book for a second time when my husband (then, my fiance) challenged me for the sake of my relationship with the Lord, to put it down and walk away. He said he didn’t think I could do it, but I did. Maybe he used reverse psychology on me! I guess it worked.

Over the last 30 years though, I have picked up and put down many things that caused problems for me spiritually. Some are fairly obvious, others are deceivingly covert. This has to be between the individual and the Lord. I am probably impervious to some things that others are very sensitive to. That is ok. I have found when trying to explain this issue to people, they always want me to confess to what things cause problems for me, so they can debunk the very idea of items that cause spiritual problems. I have been heckled with many mean-spirited remarks for trying to get something out of my life that bothers me. It is very convicting to others when someone begins to clean house. So, let me be very clear that I am not being “judgy”. I’m not disobeying Jesus’ command to “…judge not, lest ye be judged”. I’m not an overzealous, cult-type bigot. If you don’t have any problems whatsoever with a story about a clown that lives in the sewer and lures children down there to torture and kill them, well then you are amazingly stout. Plenty of people with no particular religious beliefs have a lot of problems with it.

Recently, I ran across a youtube channel with some interesting videos made by a young man who used to be New Age guru of sorts. He came to Christ last year and has some excellent testimony about books and objects that cause people to experience negative spiritual issues:

“I noticed that there was dark spiritual activity in my house after I got saved, and it was because my house with filled with New Age books and idols that I had not thrown out yet from when I was involved in the occult.” – Steven Bancarz

If what I have said here interests you, disturbs you or makes you angry,  please read the article linked below and watch the video. Then take some time to think and pray about this and read your bible. Whoever you are reading this blog post, I’m praying for you.

http://reasonsforjesus.com/occult-objects-can-give-demons-legal-ground/

 

 

Blogtober 12th: Shedding Pounds of Stuff

All this will be yoursAnytime I embark on personal changes, I take a look at our cluttered closets, garage and basement. We certainly don’t *need* all of this stuff. Why do we keep it? Cluttery habits spill over into everything. Recently we visited family members who moved from an old senior building to a brand new one. They had applied last year to make the move happen this year and their application was accepted. The new building is absolutely beautiful and in good repair. I asked how many of their friends applied and moved to the new building. They said ‘none’. I couldn’t believe it! ‘Why not?’ I asked. ‘Because they didn’t want to go to the trouble of moving all of their stuff.’ Oh. That made me feel sad. I don’t want that to be me.

Blogtober 11th: What Now?

So, exercise, means more control when addressing blood glucose levels. The weather has cooled off a lot, and walking in the cool air feels very refreshing. As for meals, at home I continue with the beans & salsa and the fruit/kale smoothies and then when eating out, Chic-fil-A has become our best friend. I order a Market Salad base with no chicken, a Superfood Side and Unsweet Tea. I use Chic-fil-a sauce for the dressing. We went out of town to visit family recently and went out to dinner to Jameson’s Char House. I skipped the steak, but while ordering my salad, I almost asked for Chic-fil-A sauce! I had oil and vinegar instead. I’ve had no problem at all avoiding meat, but while out of town, I had pasta one night and veggie pizza another. These were not good choices for me and I had to walk a lot. As this month progresses, I realize I will need to make some modifications for November. I will have to completely avoid grains for awhile.

“The end of ministry, the purpose of ministry is to transform people into ministers.” – J. Calico

‘And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:’

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:11-13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

http://bible.com/1/eph.4.11-13.kjv

Blogtober 10th: Art and Partisan Rancor

The Guernica by Picasso

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

“Popular culture and counter-culture cannot be truly independent and diverse if weighed down with the onerous burden of having to constantly regurgitate a partisan creed. True art thrives when it can connect with people at the level of universal human archetypes; ideas, sentiments and concepts that exist beyond the realm of petty, sectarian, political squabbles.” – Paul Joseph Watson

Blogtober 9th: A Tale of Two Gospels – Poverty vs. Debt

RembrandtProdigal

Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal

 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…” Luke 4:18

The church’s primary work is spreading the gospel of Christ and making disciples.  I never stop being surprised at the widespread misunderstanding of this.  Some ministries get pretty creative in their pursuit to do this work, and naturally there are critics. One of those creative ministries states at the top of their website that they are “…an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively”.  It is a para-church ministry, (not a church) but it has come under scrutiny in recent years for how it raises and spends money. I watched the comments fly around online about it last summer, demanding that instead of using their collective $7 million budget for their own building projects, they should donate the money to help the state with the heroin addicts. This is assuming the people who gave the money don’t also give to their own church and elsewhere. $7 million is about 1/2 % of the $1.5 billion that was raised last year by candidates for the presidential election…and a failed presidential election for all the candidates but one. Did the people who gave their time, talent and treasure to the presidential election forget about the needy?

$7 million spent by Christians in creative pursuits to proclaim the gospel of Christ may seem very  frivolous, even to other Christians, but if our primary work is the proclaiming of the gospel of Christ, our first love and devotion is to Christ himself. I love this passage:

“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. 8But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 12For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 13Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” Matthew 26:6-13

My own giving will go to a church or a ministry whose primary work is preaching the gospel rather than a government recovery program or an election campaign, but if anyone else feels compassion for heroin addicts, look no further than your own hard earned dollars. Don’t give your money to a politician or a ministry you don’t feel you can support! That is our right and our freedom to give where we wish to give. Even better would be if you are a Christian, give to a Christian ministry that preaches the gospel and treats addictions or join together with like-minded people and start one yourself.

There is a fundamental reason though, that people get mixed up and think it is the church’s primary work to meet every social need society creates. It is the throwing over of the gospel of Christ in favor of the social gospel. A few years ago, a well-known, world religious leader said on more than one occasion that the core and center of the gospel is poverty. It was such a popular statement that it was even reported in the mainstream news, but why would the mainstream news care what a religious leader said about the core and center of the gospel?  They care because it was a statement about the social gospel, which makes an effective impact on people’s views and response to government policy. Regarding the gospel of Christ though, it misleads us into a deadly lie. Christ’s gospel is not about poverty, but about debt. It is about man’s sin debt to God. We cannot repay that debt, except with our own life. “For the wages of sin is death”. Are you willing to die for all of eternity, separated from God in payment for your sin? I don’t want that for you, I don’t want that for me, I don’t want that for Pope Francis or the Dalai Lama. I want to see everyone saved…but none of us can pay that debt to God with our donations, service and government policy. We each own our own debt, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

Making poverty the value at the center of the gospel obscures Christ’s gospel behind the social gospel, which is no gospel. It prevents people from hearing the gospel of Christ and responding right now for salvation. “Today is the day of salvation” The true gospel, the good news, is that Jesus paid your debt, and my debt and every religious and world leader’s debt on the cross by willingly laying down his perfectly obedient life. You can be materially poor and have no debts. Likewise, you can have material abundance and be deep in debt. Not everyone may be able to identify with what it means to be rich or poor. But everyone knows what it means to be in debt.

How is the debt paid? Every person’s most urgent need is to have their sin debt to God forgiven:

And the Lord said, “… I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” – Acts 26

You will notice there are no words here about poverty and the poor, but rather forgiveness which is a concept that means a great deal to someone who is in debt. A debtor who cannot repay is condemned:

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. ” – Jesus, In John 3

~L