Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nutrition 101. Getting Back to Basics

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2) How has our soul prospered, my friend? If we have come to the saving knowledge of Christ, then we are rich in every way, reborn in the image of Christ and able to overcome the power of sin. That’s just a quick summary! But, the apostle John also writes in this verse that he prays for our health to prosper! Can you look at yourself and your family and feel confident that they are prospering in health?

It doesn’t take a genius to look around our society and notice the obesity problem that plagues our country. According to the World Health Organization, the in the world for obesity in males and 8th for obesity in females (as of January 2009). This is not something to be bragging about! And we have all seen the rising problem of childhood obesity making headlines, diabetes and all. No doubt we can thank the S.A.D. way we eat (Standard American Diet), the fact that we are fast food and convenience food consumers, as well as being a nation that has little knowledge, in general, about natural ways to heal, banking instead on a magic pill that the doctor can prescribe for most anything. ranks 5

So, how do we change the momentum in the lives of our families? This isn’t something that can happen by “tweaking” a few things here and there. We need a paradigm shift in our understanding, conviction that will lead to action and then tools to implement the changes we know are life-giving, even life-saving. Hosea 4:6 states that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This implies that the knowledge is there to be discovered, if we are willing to make the effort.

Enter a wonderful program that makes living healthy attainable: Nutrition 101: Choose Life! (Taken from Deuteronomy 30:19 “…now choose life that both you and your children may live.”) A bit anatomy and biology book, a bit health course, recipe book and bible study this informative volume makes renewing your mindset in these areas a breeze! The authors, Debra Raybern N.D., Sera Johnson, Laura Hopkins and Karen Hopkins have packed this 448 page book with everything you need to be able to make these longed-for changes. They are also all homeschooling mothers that have used this material in their home and know that it works.

This curriculum can be used at home, as a unit study approach, or used in a coop just as easily. Although it is designed to take a chapter a week to complete, it could be done several years in a row, choosing different enrichment activities and recipes to give it variance. There are a wide variety of suggestions, good for different ages, which will keep things fresh for everyone. Really, good habits will come from repetition so everyone would benefit from hearing this information and being reminded of it as they swim upstream in our junk food society.

I personally love the clear, vibrant photos that are used in the book. From close up, 3-D renderings of nerves to beautifully prepared meals, the book encourages study by being well put together. Each chapter ends with Discussion Questions, Activities (including Power Recipes to put into practice what you are learning), and Additional Resources to delve deeper, if so desired. I really appreciate the emphasis on natural health care, using food to synergize your body systems for optimum performance and self healing, too. The Appendix also contains a variety of worthwhile articles on topics ranging from microwaves to minerals and from mold to milk. There’s just so much good stuff in this book, I really hope that you will get your home a copy and prayerfully use and apply it.

As Christians, our standard and statistics should be much higher than the worlds in all areas of life (we are, after all, children of the Creator of all life, with a great Instruction Book to follow!). Instead, we are sadly mirroring the world in so many ways; divorce rates and loss of purity within our youth included (don’t even get me started!). I would venture a guess that we may be ahead of the game on the obesity scale since potlucks and fellowship meals can be one of the main ways we commune together as a body. Please don’t think that I have all of this down either. It is one of my biggest struggles! I love food, I love to cook and I have a serious sweet tooth. Eating right is a continual battle, but one I can take the offensive on thanks to the thoroughness of Nutrition 101: Choose Life! and by maintaining a dependence on the Lord for strength to make good, daily choices.

To obtain your own copy of this terrific program, visit their website at where you can order the hardbound book for $99.95, the CD-Rom for $79.95 or both for a discounted total of $129.95.

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At the Intersection of Creation and Evolution: A Dream

The alliterating story below is based on a dream I had several years ago. Please contact me for permission to reproduce.

Darkness devours me.

I am enveloped in emptiness.

Are my eyes open or are they closed? I strain against this shroud of night and still see nothing.

What is this place?

An image illuminates in front of me. A large, leafy tree streaks past and vanishes.

It deserts me to the darkness again.

In a moment, more images appear. A rapid succession of snapshots and thoughts clamor before my eyes and mingle in my mind.

I see seedlings. Several supple shoots have emerged before me and then swiftly stream away.

“The first trees on earth were not seedlings”, my mind observes. “They were not created as small insignificant saplings.”

That thought is rapidly replaced with a vision of a man.

He’s maybe 30; he is muscular and needs to shave.

He fades away.

In his place I see an infant.

A tiny bundle of pink skin upon a soft blanket flickers briefly in my brain.

“Man was created with age,” is the next statement I hear. “Adam did not begin his life as a baby, he began as a grown man.”

The voice seems like my own.

The thoughts do not.

Reeling before me now is a blur of rivers, forests, mountains and even layers of the earth. It is like a movie rushing rapidly before my retina.

The soundtrack of this epic is proclaiming a peculiarly plain concept:

“The earth was created with age. Creation and evolution are not in total opposition. There is a reason that science finds the earth to be quite old: it was made that way.”

Thoughts continue to tumble through my mind; pictures parade before me. I listen in amazement to what seems to be puzzlingly profound and yet rather apparent all at once.

“Adam was created as an adult. Trees and plants were made fully grown.”

I suddenly feel quite certain that, if I were to chop down some of the trees that had been spoken into existence, I would find a range of rings running through their trunks.

“The earth was brought to life with age built into it… just like Adam. He did not begin life as an infant. The earth came into being with what it would need to sustain the life that was created. It was old when it was young. The world was
made with maturity; it was also produced with purpose.”

These thoughts are thrilling. Why had I not seen this before? It seems so simple. Obtusely obvious. Had others not observed this correlation? If they had, why wasn’t it being candidly conveyed?

In the span of thirty seconds I have been ravaged by a radical revelation. I feel the weight of its worth resting on me; it is tantamount to tangible.

I am neither a theologian nor am I a scientist. I don’t claim that the ethics of evolution are completely compatible with the Bible’s account of creation. But certainly Science can come concurrent to creation and affirm our faith with facts.

Of course, the Omnipotent Originator of the Universe is exceedingly elusive to what our mind could ever envision. Above what science could ever extensively elucidate.

Accordingly, creation is confounding too. Each diverse discovery deems it more marvelous to grasp. Many scientists have reluctantly relented to the theory of Intelligent Design.

That’s why, alongside those facts, we also need faith.

Lying inexplicably at the intersection of those two essential elements is an exceptional endowment: the intermittent insight of our dreams.