Apr 23, 2010

What Would Jesus Eat?

What Would Jesus Eat?  To answer this question we must look to the Bible.  Jesus is only recorded eating a few times, but we know that being Jewish and perfect he would have followed the dietary laws of the Old Testament.  Jesus did not follow all of the rules that the pharisees had tacked on to the laws, but rather he followed the law with a desire to honor God.  Let me be clear before I begin, by saying that we are not compelled to follow these laws.  These laws were to set the jewish nation apart from the world.  Their very diet helped identify them as the people of God.  We can however learn from seeing God's protective shepherding of his people in this area.

Were these just random rules set by God, or were they healthy eating concepts that were way ahead of their time?  I believe they were the latter.  Jesus would have eaten whole grains at nearly every meal and since olives were native to Israel they would have plenty of healthy fats.  Fish were the most readily available meat source in Jesus' time and he is recorded fishing, cooking, eating and giving fish to others.  

Red meat was seldom eaten and Jesus may have had it once or twice a month.  It could also hardly be called red meat because they would only prepare it well done (no blood).  This is backwards to most people in our culture.  We eat red meat daily and fish once or twice a month.  Whole grains are seldom eaten in favor of white bread, white rice, and flour.  This poison was not even available in Jesus' time nor would it have been allowed.  Pork was off limits completely.  

The fish eaten by the Jewish people did not include catfish, shellfish, or mollusks such as crabs and lobster.  It was pretty much a given that if an animal were a bottom feeder (catfish), water filter (shellfish), or a scavenger (mollusks) they were forbidden.  It is amazing how true to science the Hebrew laws were.

All fruits and vegetables were permitted by God except grape products prepared by non Jews.  This was probably because the alcohol content would have been higher.  Let us also remember that wine today is different than Biblical wine.  Wine was permissible, but had only a mild amount of alcohol in it.   "Strong drink" (which was forbidden) in Biblical times was 3-11% alcohol.  Today, distillation increases alcohol content.  This method was not discovered until A.D. 1500. Modern wine has 9-11% alcohol.  In Jesus' time no Jewish person was drinking this amount of alcohol.  

What about snacks and drinks?  Jesus would have had fruits, grains or other healthy snacks.  We know this because he is recorded in Mark 11 as being hungry and going to a fig tree in search of a snack.  Another time his disciples chow down on grain in a field.  Jesus also enjoyed a honeycomb.  These were rare treats in those days but still more natural than the refined processed sugars of today.  It may be interesting to note that the only time he is recorded eating honeycomb is in his glorified body, but I think he probably had some before.  When it comes to drinks he is recorded as having wine and telling others to give water to people in need.  Jesus may have also had milk, but this was considered more of a luxury like honey.

How does this diet match up with the latest food pyramid based on scientific research?  Well, there are two variations.  Harvard has done one that has exercise as its base.  This is right up Jesus' alley since he did manual labor (carpenter), and walked everywhere.  The other more widely accepted pyramid begins with whole grains.  This just happens to be the most regularly eaten food of Jesus' time.  Produce, vegetable oils, and fish and poultry are the next steps of the pyramid.  The top contains sugary foods and red meat because we should only have them every now and then, and pork, shellfish, and mollusks don't even make the list.  

The food pyramid continually changes from decade to decade.  The newest one is based on our cunning 21st century scientific knowhow.  It is strikingly similar to how Jesus ate 2,000 years ago and God's people for 1,500 years before that.  All we had to do was read the Bible.  This timeless book continues to speak truth even in these postmodern times.  Jesus' diet may not be required for today, but it sure could not hurt.  Let's not forget Jesus' most important lesson on food--"It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"  There is always a need for healthy eating, but only God can make us truly whole.

If you enjoyed this post you might like this:
Confessions of a Sodaholic
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Apr 15, 2010

Obama Canceling the Day of Prayer is a Hoax!

I have seen a lot of postings about
the National Day of Prayer that are
simply not true.  Most of them are
saying that President Obama has
canceled it to appease atheists.
Please research actual news
before posting or forwarding this

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb
of Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional on
Thursday.  President Obama's administration had two things to say.
First they disagreed, stating that the statute simply acknowledges the
role of religion in the United States.  Secondly, a spokesman for the
President named Matt Lehrich e-mailed The Associated Press saying,
"As he did last year, President Obama intends to recognize a National
Day of Prayer."  
Once again I will remind my readers that we must PRAY for our
President and not be so quick to judge.  It took me less than 1 minute
to find the truth after reading a "repost".  I highly recommend Google
News as opposed to just plain Google.

Actual AP News Report: The Truth

Apr 7, 2010

President Obama on the Resurrection of Jesus

I have no formal opinion about the transcript from the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast.  It speaks for itself.  I cannot judge one's heart, but I hope that these words are felt deeply, and not crafted by a speech writer. 

One of our roles in government is to pray for our leaders.  I recently bought the bobble head doll pictured above.  It is my hope that this doll be a reminder to me of my obligation to pray for our president.  I can only hope that the words spoken by our President at the prayer breakfast are fueled by the prayers of you and I.  If you are not praying for President Obama then now is the time to start.

I have left off the beginning greeting as it does not pertain to his Easter address. 

This is the speech verbatim:

One of my hopes upon taking this office was to make the White House a place where all people would feel welcome. To that end, we held a Seder here to mark the first Passover. We held an Iftar here with Muslim Americans to break the daily fast during Ramadan. And today, I’m particularly blessed to welcome you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, for this Easter breakfast.

With us are Christian leaders from all across America, men and women who lead small-town churches and big-city congregations, and major organizations in service of others; folks whose sermons are heard and whose examples are followed by millions all across the country. So I wanted to join you for a brief moment today to continue the Easter celebration of our risen Savior, and to reflect on the work to which His promise calls all of us.

I can’t tell any of you anything about Easter that you don’t already know. (Laughter.) I can’t shed light on centuries of scriptural interpretation or bring any new understandings to those of you who reflect on Easter’s meaning each and every year and each and every day. But what I can do is tell you what draws me to this holy day and what lesson I take from Christ’s sacrifice and what inspires me about the story of the resurrection.

For even after the passage of 2,000 years, we can still picture the moment in our mind’s eye. The young man from Nazareth marched through Jerusalem; object of scorn and derision and abuse and torture by an empire. The agony of crucifixion amid the cries of thieves. The discovery, just three days later, that would forever alter our world -- that the Son of Man was not to be found in His tomb and that Jesus Christ had risen.

We are awed by the grace He showed even to those who would have killed Him. We are thankful for the sacrifice He gave for the sins of humanity. And we glory in the promise of redemption in the resurrection.

And such a promise is one of life’s great blessings, because, as I am continually learning, we are, each of us, imperfect. Each of us errs -- by accident or by design. Each of us falls short of how we ought to live. And selfishness and pride are vices that afflict us all.

It’s not easy to purge these afflictions, to achieve redemption. But as Christians, we believe that redemption can be delivered -- by faith in Jesus Christ. And the possibility of redemption can make straight the crookedness of a character; make whole the incompleteness of a soul. Redemption makes life, however fleeting here on Earth, resound with eternal hope.

Of all the stories passed down through the gospels, this one in particular speaks to me during this season. And I think of hanging -- watching Christ hang from the cross, enduring the final seconds of His passion. He summoned what remained of His strength to utter a few last words before He breathed His last breath.

“Father,” He said, “into your hands I commit my spirit.” Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. These words were spoken by our Lord and Savior, but they can just as truly be spoken by every one of us here today. Their meaning can just as truly be lived out by all of God’s children.
So, on this day, let us commit our spirit to the pursuit of a life that is true, to act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord. And when we falter, as we will, let redemption -- through commitment and through perseverance and through faith -- be our abiding hope and fervent prayer.

Many of you are living out that commitment every day.

The full speech is available at: Easter Prayer Breakfast

Apr 6, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon--Review with No Spoilers!

I saw How to Train Your Dragon today with some teens from my youth group.  We all agreed that it was the best movie that DreamWorks has put out.  Dragon is definitely on par with anything that Pixar has done except maybe Toy Story.  I have seen a whole lot of "fluff" animated movies recently.  I even enjoyed some of them (i.e. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Astro Boy, and Monsters Versus Aliens).  These movies are entertaining but will never be classics.

Dragon appeals to the "boy and his dog" that makes any pet story popular.  The only difference is that this is a comedy, action, and coming of age masterpiece.  I am being careful not to spoil the story, because everyone should see this family friendly fun ride.  The 3D is worth the price, but I am sure that 2D would be fine because the movie is driven by the story and not the effects.  This is more than I can say for the last 3D movie I saw.  Clash of the Titans was a special effects circus gone wrong with a weak story, acting, and 3D that seemed more like 2&1/2D.  Well, enough about Titans, Dragon is a must see!  It is the best animated picture since Up and the best movie of 2010 so far period.

Apr 5, 2010

Is Reese's Taking Over The Chocolate Market?

Reese's is owned by Hershey's Chocolate, but it is pretty apparent that they are slowly offering a peanut butter alternative to every major chocolate candy on the market.  They already have an actual brand of peanut butter, a cereal, and Ice cream toppings, but lets examine the actual candy.

The following are the chocolate based candies with their Reese's alternatives:

Mallo Cup--Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
M&Ms-- Reese's Pieces
Twix--Reese's Sticks (Which oddly rhymes)
ButterFinger--Reese's Crispy Crunchy
Snickers--Reese's Nutrageous  
Milky Way--Reese's Fastbreak
3 Musketeers--Reese's Whipps

There is even a Pringles adaption--Reese's Swoops

See what I mean?  All of the candy bars that they are copying are from other companies such as Mars.  Am I angry?  No.  I actually love Reese's Cups and Reese's Pieces, but the other ones fall short in comparison (and I have tried them all).  They are still good but not as good as the "cups" and "pieces".  My absolute favorite Reese's product is not even listed on their website.  Reese's Snack Barz is like a Rice Crispy Treat topped with peanut butter and a bottom layer of chocolate.  It is extremely satisfying and only sold at a few convenience stores in my town.  It is not even found at Walmart.  You should definitely try a Snack Barz.  So, what do you think?  Are you a Reese's fan?  What candy bar should they hijack next?

Apr 3, 2010

Unsolved Mysteries of Easter

Well, Easter is tomorrow and I for one am excited.  I am anxious to see my children's faces as they rummage through their basket of goodies.  I'm looking forward to playing Lego Indiana Jones for the Wii with my son Luke.  (Is it really fair that I secretly hide a gift for myself in his basket even if it was on sale for $10?)  However, I am most excited to be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and the salvation he brought to an undeserving populace that includes myself.

I was reading the final week of Christ this week in the Gospel of Mark and I noticed a couple of characters that I usually overlook.  People that I would love to interview in a church setting, newsroom, or my front porch (I'm not picky).  The first are the casual observers of the grand theft donkey that the disciples pull off without a scratch.  Get this, Jesus tells them where a donkey will be hitched.  Then he tells them to take it.  If anyone tries to stop them they are to say that the master needs it and will bring it back shortly.  Wow!  They are going to treat someone's animal like a library book.

So, the first thing I notice is that the donkey is not in a stable.  Why is this important?  Well, if it hitched out front someone is still using it.  When the disciples untie the animal there is a group of people who ask them what they are doing.  They respond with the answer Jesus said to give and they actually go for it.  Now I know God is omniscient and knew that this answer would suffice, but why?  What reason do these people have for letting this happen?  I want to know!  That would be a fun interview.

Then a couple of chapters later the disciples are to walk through town until they see a man carrying a water pot.  They are told to follow him to whatever house he goes to and ask for the owner.  That specific guy would have an upper room furnished and ready for a passover feast.  They were to tell him that the teacher wants it for him and his disciples.  He was fine with that.

First off why was the feast prepared?  Did Jesus know that somewhere a party had canceled and it would be open.  Why did this man let them come for free?  They did not even say that the teacher was Jesus.  It is also a good thing that they saw the right man with a water pot (although not many men carried water pots as it was looked on as a woman's job).  Well, God is sovereign.  I know he knew what the people of both situations would say.  All I am wondering is why they would say it?

You have either never thought about this, noticed it before, or lose sleep each night in a deep quandary of thoughts and questions.  All I'm saying is that the final week of Jesus' life holds a lot to be explored.  Have a blessed Easter!  I hope you grow closer to Christ or discover him for the first time during this season.  Regrettably, I do not have time to write about why the Cadbury Bunny lays eggs.