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 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 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 6th – Eating Out

tacoholics

I was working in Henderson and Mark came with me, so we made it into a lunch date. It was a beautiful day and I said I wanted to try one of the restaurants down by the river. The only one open that had patio seating was TacoHolics. So, I tried to order as veg of a lunch as I could while still giving their food proper try. We had chips and salsa and unsweet tea with lemon and lime.

chips and salsa

Mark ordered a steak burrito which was more than enough. It filled the whole basket. I ordered bean burritos and instead of beans and rice on the side, I ordered a salad, with guacamole. The burritos came covered in liquid cheese and there was sour cream on the salad. Hmm. No meat, but Not vegan. In the interest of science, I ate them. 😉 My blood glucose went to 213. I did not walk today. Next week I will try again and change this entree to make it fit my eating plan.

wet burritos

We really like this restaurant. The staff is friendly and helpful and the food is inexpensive.  I want to go here often. So, I’m going to try and figure out what I can eat. I could probably have eaten everything on this plate without the flour tortillas and had no jump in my blood glucose levels.

gate

Maybe next week after lunch we will go walk along the river…

Blogtober 5th – Grocery Day

image

Time to shop!

Its been a long time since I was confident enough to buy this much produce. If there are a lot of convenience foods in the house, we won’t eat much produce. If there are Hot Pockets in the freezer, the beans are ignored. We don’t make salad to go with the diGiorno pizza. Fruit smoothies don’t taste good with an Egg McMuffin.

In previous attempts to start eating plans created by someone else, and written in books, I’ve tried their techniques to be successful, like cleaning out the cabinets, complete abstinence from no-no foods or else start all over, fasting before I start, no dining out, make everything from scratch, etc. Maybe I just don’t have the temperament for these. For instance, Whole30 is the “start over” plan. So, if you get to day 29 and discover there’s glazed almonds in your salad that you ordered at a restaurant and didn’t notice until you ate some of it, you start over. There’s no Whole30 police watching you. Obviously, a sane person can ignore this directive and just move on, but it feels like cheating a game to me. I’m not playing a game. I’m trying to stay well.

So, this month, I’m striving for vegan. I’ve never done this before, but I’m finding it surprisingly easy to stay away from meat of any kind. I may be able to follow close to Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutrarian plan which treats meat like a condiment, after October is over. I want to try to make and drink more bone broth as well. The eating plans I have read about and studied and tried are all helpful in their own way and have taught me important things about nutrition, but what I am most concerned about is food that has traveled far, far away from God’s garden and was robbed of its value by the time it gets to our dinner plate. As a psychology student, I am intrigued by the evidence for psychological side effects from an overly processed diet. The physical effects are already well known.

More Media Cluelessness

graphic

“The media took this as a comment about press freedom rather than its own failure to read the zeitgeist. In fact, it largely failed to tell any story other than its own.

New Yorker editor David Remnick, as good a representative of media virtue as anybody, before he went to bed last night took a moment to throw off a thousand words or so on the death of the republic, rather than to express much interest — awe might have been in order — at the enormity and meaning of what had happened. Truly, really, a new voice had spoken — but in a pitch so high and a language so obscure that none of us in the media picked it up.” – Michael Wolff, The Hollywood Reporter

God on Our Side or We on God’s Side

The use of the bible to defend one’s views is used prolifically among those seeking to hold or retain power. It is by no means confined to modern conservatives or civil war era slave owners. As I’m sure you know, the use of the bible to fight for the ABOLITION of the slave trade was even more vocal and ultimately succeeded. The two current front-runners for president were falling all over themselves not a month ago in competition over who was the most religious. A headline just today was cheerleading the Clinton’s charitable giving over Trump’s, complete with bible verses. Not a day goes by where I don’t see a liberal scolding a conservative, quoting Leviticus this or Genesis that or loving one’s neighbor or judge not lest ye be judged. Always the same predictable passages. It is so pervasive and ridiculous, the nuances of current day discourse will probably be lost on future generations, making it difficult to tell Christians apart on either side of the political aisle. 150 years from now, when the world realizes our generation criminally obliterated millions in the womb, I can just imagine the conversations blaming ALL Christians for the words of the few that got the most media coverage:

“I refer you to the following Google searched quotes for more information on the misuse of scripture by “Christians” in the 21st century to support their backward and atrocious views:

‘Jesus Would be Pro-Choice’
‘Jesus Was a Socialist’
‘Jesus Preached Communism’
‘Jesus Was a Palestinian’
‘Jesus and His Disciples Were Gay’
‘President Prays for and Blesses Abortion Trade Giant, Planned Parenthood’
‘Presidential Candidate Says He Would Make Great Deals With God’
‘Presidential Candidate Says Unborn Have No Right to Life’
‘Legislator States God Loves Gay Marriage’
‘God Hates Fags’
‘Not God Bless America…D*amn America!’
‘God Wants Me to Live Happy and True to My Self’

I could go on, but you should get the gist by now. Just because someone claims the bible supports their views doesn’t mean the bible supports their views. And it is obvious even from a cursory view of history that there are Christians or those claiming to be Christians of every stripe and philosophy. Jesus pointed that out himself. The wheat and the tares will grow up side by side. The sheep and the goats will grow up together. God knows the difference.

It *is* human nature to have a problem with what the bible actually says and there is zero support in scripture for same-sex coupling, killing the unborn’s body in deference to the mother’s body, or believing God is a respecter of a person’s status, whether racial, gender, occupational, political etc.

What exactly are we talking about when we say “liberal” and “conservative”? What were the defining characteristics of these labels prior to the 1980’s? What are the defining characteristics today? The South during the reign of the Confederacy did away with partisan politics to unify against the North, which was a plethora of partisan politics that nonetheless unified against the South. Are you saying that the entire North was liberal and the entire south conservative, as defined by current definitions? That would definitely be incorrect and revisionist. There are no clean lines like that.

My point in my earlier post is that there are Christians, real true Christians, saved by Christ and part of the church invisible in all political camps, of all earthly philosophies. Simplified for our current day purposes and this conversation, LIberalism is a political philosophy that emphasizes individual submission to government created and imposed “values”, whereas Conservativism emphasizes individual liberty and government protection of those liberties. There are Christians on both sides of this issue. In a largely Christian culture, whether by profession or common experience, a person seeking power will appeal to the culture using biblical references, whether chapter and verse or “Golden Rule” type language, because that is the way we communicate and understand the world. Scripture verses will be used to support whatever philosophy one espouses.

From the point of view of the church, Jesus’ main goal for us is to preach the gospel to everyone. This gospel is at home everywhere, because it will always achieve its singular goal for individuals in any culture and under any ideology: That Jesus is good news to all people everywhere, that if we confess with our mouth, Jesus is Lord, and trust Him, believing He lived, died, was buried and rose again, we will be saved from sin and be adopted as heirs with Christ. I’ve had a number of same sex couples live next door or in the neighborhood and had numerous gay or lesbian friends, coworkers or fellow students at school. I’ve shared the gospel with them. I’m almost 50 yo, so this is not a foreign concept or one that has suddenly become part of my life in the last 2 years because liberals have decided to make me aware that they exist. Perhaps white liberals never noticed until 2 years ago and now suddenly feel guilty and have to shove it down everyone else’s throat. I don’t know. I’ve always gotten along just fine with my neighbors without their help. Do some people do this wrong? Of course, but getting it wrong is also human nature and non-partisan.