Slow in the Fast Lane

Health Park Gym

I haven’t blogged for 2 months. I wanted to get through the holidays and test myself to see if I could get back on track.  A couple of things inspired me to do that. Mark and I are now going to the health park together and he bought me a Fitbit watch for Christmas. This photo above is the gym at the health park where we shoot baskets together about once a week and above that is the walking track where we walk 3 times a week. I am trying to get in shape to walk/run a 5k and not be the absolute last one in the race, followed closely by the police car and race officials picking up the route cones! As of yesterday, I can walk/run a 19 minute mile. I use the term “run” very loosely. The outside lane is for runners, but when I am running in that lane, or rather when I am jogging, there are several people walking who walk right past me. There are few, if any, runners when I go. So, I stay in that lane, because there is a psychological boost for me to be in the runners lane. I am working my way through a “couch-to-5k” plan and it took me 8 weeks to make it to “day 30” out of 75, but I am on track now to finish in real time. When I started, I could barely run 2 minutes.

The fitbit Ionic has been fun to have and helpful for keeping track of my heart rate and steps per day and sleeping hours. It is not that I have to have one, but it has helped me at this time in my life to stick with a plan. For example, when I go to the gym, I set the watch to log an activity like running. It will tell me the distance I ran and my heart rate and it will encourage me to log at least one activity a day for 5 days each week. But even if I have no specific activities, it tracks my steps for the day and how many flights of stairs I walk, and times per day that my heart rate rises with regular activity, like lugging groceries from the van to the house. The watch cannot detect that I am specifically lugging groceries, though. (I don’t think!) One day, my back and neck were sore and I needed to use the hot tub. I had been reading that when pain prevents us from exercising, the hot tub is a good alternative, because it raises the heart rate and respiration as though the body was exercising. I’ve used it a couple of times and it was quite a nice alternative. It did raise my heart rate according to the Fitbit. However, I have a goal now to be ready for a 5k by springtime, so I will keep on running until I get there.

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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.

 

 

 

Blogtober 14th: Don’t Talk to Police?

yo

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 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 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

 

 

 


 

 

Blogtober 8th – Adding Exercise

skechers

Love my Skechers

It is time to add more exercise to my routine. When I walk for only 15 minutes, my blood glucose level drops between 10-70 mg/dl. Changing my diet has given me the energy and desire to walk. It has dropped my blood glucose daily average by 20 mg/dl. That is a great start, but it isn’t enough. I have to make a special effort to exercise every single day. This morning I walked a block down from the house to a small park and walked for 15 minutes. I can certainly do that every morning. I listened to the bible reading plan I’m working on, in the YouVersion app today while walking.

The walk routine I plan to use is to do this before each meal, and my meal plan needs to be more uniform. Right now it is completely meatless and eggless, but I haven’t been as strict about avoiding dairy and keeping to a schedule. We are out of the house a lot and I eat out often. Cheese, milk, cream and butter are in a lot of things. Last night we ate out for our date night and I had a salad, pasta with zucchini and a mushroom sauce, but after starting it I realized the sauce probably has butter and cream in it. I was trying to avoid the cheese. My blood glucose was elevated this morning, I’m sure because of the pasta. I didn’t eat the bread or have dessert and I had unsweet tea with a lemon and a lime wedge in it. So, next week: No pasta or flour tortillas or bread. No cheese, no milk, in addition to the no meat or eggs.

I remember when my mother-in-law was alive and she started walking a lot in her retirement years, she used to say after a heavy meal, “Well, anyone want to go with me and walk it off?” I think there is a lot of wisdom in that. Maybe if I had walked *after* supper last night, I would have had a better report this morning!

So, today:

Weigh in lbs          – Down 5 pounds since October 1st

Avg daily mg/dl     – Down 20 points since October 1st

6:00am – Blood Glucose 233 mg/dl

– Walk 15 minutes

6:21am – Blood Glucose 163 mg/dl

10:00am – Breakfast …2:00pm – Lunch…6:00pm – Supper

– Walk first for 15 minutes

– 6oz (min) raw colorful vegetables (unlimited)

– 6oz (min) cooked colorful vegetables (unlimited)

– 3oz beans (9oz max/day)

– 3oz fruit (9oz max/day)

– 3oz starchy vegetable (potato, squash – 9oz max/day)

– 3oz nuts (9oz max/day)

– Tea or water

Bible Study

  • Reading 1 Chronicles 18 – 23
    • Notables:
      • David counting the people of Israel
      • God not happy and offers 3 consequences from which to choose
        • David chooses to be delivered over to God’s hand rather than man’s
        • Thousands die by plague
        • David implores God to punish him and his house alone and not the others
      • Solomon, David’s son
        • God wants Solomon to build His temple
        • God says David spilled too much blood in His sight
        • Solomon will live in peace
        • David did all he could do before he died to help prepare Solomon for this task