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 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 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