This blog is about two friends, miles apart, striving to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. Here you will find our daily journeys, whether serious, funny, practical, or inventive. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll stop by often!

~Lauren & Page

Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine Cake Pops

How adorable are these cake pops!? Seriously, what a yummy bouquet of sweet goodness! I'm sure many of you have heard of these infamous "cake pops" as they've become quite the rage, but just in case you haven't - we wanted to share a quick "how to" on our blog! The great thing about these cute lil' treats is that you can be as creative as you'd like and decorate them to your heart's desire. Kids and adults alike will fall in LOVE with them!

What you will need: 1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake) 1 can frosting (16 oz.) Wax paper Chocolate of your choice for dipping -white, dark, etc. Lollipop sticks *Sprinkles, hearts, etc.
  1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (I use the back of a large spoon, but it may be easier to use fingers to mix together. But, be warned, it will get messy. Also, you may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to.)
  3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50)
  4. Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
  5. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
  6. Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
  7. Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.

So what will it be? Double chocolate, Strawberry Vanilla, Red Velvet, German Chocolate, Lemon, Carrot Cake - the possibilities are endless!! Mmmm, can't you just taste them now!!
**These would make a great gift - for a teacher, students, party favors, centerpiece, etc.

Stay tuned for more Valentine's Day ideas!!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Granola!!

I'm not sure how many of you enjoy granola, but I sure do! I love to make homemade yogurt parfaits, layering yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. Mmmmm!
However, it can be so difficult to find a healthy, inexpensive granola. Have you had that problem as well? It's either incredibly expensive, or it has all kinda of extra ingredients that I really don't want in my granola.
My sister just started a food blog. You really should check it out. She's an amazing cook and aspiring chef, lots of great meal ideas! You can visit her blog here. :-) On this blog she has the following recipe for "Honey Nut Granola". I'm going to share it with you here, if you promise to go visit her blog. Ok, well I'll share it anyway. ;-D


3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
½ cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tea cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup craisins
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine honey, peanut butter, oil, cinnamon and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans.

Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and crasins/cranberries and mix until evenly distributed. Serve with your favorite yogurt and fruit!

I recently made this recipe while I had company and I must say, it was quite a hit with them! Not to mention, it makes your entire house smell SO good! My guests chose to just snack on it as is and loved it!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can tweak it to match your taste! If you're allergic to peanut butter, simply omit it. If you'd rather omit the nuts for extra fruit- do it! Like coconut? Add it to the recipe! There are so many ways to make a satisfying homemade granola - be creative! Save money and enjoy this delicious recipe with the peace of mind knowing exactly what's in it.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

**Picture above is a baby at 13wks in the womb.

Psalm 139: 13-14 "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."

Our baby is 13 wks and yesterday my husband and I had the privilege of listening to his tiny heartbeat. What a special moment it was for us both! I couldn't help but think about how this tiny precious life was formed by God himself, and we were listening to the heartbeat of our little miracle.We even were able to record it!!! Click below to listen to our sweet baby's heartbeat!!

Jeremiah 1:5a "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; "

People try to say that a baby in the womb is simply a "fetus" but the Bible is clear that life in the womb begins at conception. As I experience all the joys of pregnancy, I realize all the more how from very early on, our baby is cognitive of things around him. At 13 weeks, our baby already has fingerprints, can curl his toes, make sucking movements, and if I push on my belly, he can even squirm in response (though I can't feel it yet). The verses above prove that each one of us are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. What an amazing thought!

This "Thankful Thursday" I'm praising the Lord for how He cares enough about each one of us to form us in His image. He didn't just carelessly form us, but rather fearfully and wonderfully He designed us. I'm also praising Him for this little one I'm carrying, and so thankful to have heard our baby's heartbeat. I don't take that for granted.


Monday, January 17, 2011

MM:"Prayer, Our Time Saver"

Ephesians 5:15-16 "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."

I heard a great message yesterday that I thought I would share as this weeks Monday Meditation.

Dr. Charles F. Stanley, a true man of God, is just an amazing preacher. I love to hear him speak. He lets God lead Him, and it is very evident.

His message this week, "Prayer, Our Time Saver", was so good. Just what I needed to hear.

If any of the following apply to you--this is a must see/read...

1) Do you feel like you never have enough time?

2) Are you making the most of your life, and fulfilling God's plans for you?

3) Why is prayer vital for a Christian?

To read the outline of this message, see here.

To see the sermon, (at least this week) see here.

Also, to see more from Dr. Charles F. Stanley, visit InTouch.org . There is tons of great information, great sermons, great Bible studies, and great resources available there.

Now, hold don to your pants--cause this is some good stuff! : D


Friday, January 14, 2011

YUMMY Spaghetti Make Over

One thing I absolutely love to do is cook and play with food! You know, healthy food doesn't just always equal cold salads and high fiber... : ) Not that there's anything wrong with salads--in the right hands anyways--but that's another post, another day... : D

But anyways, the other night I had a serious hankin' for something warm and cozy to eat... Soup? No... I don't want soup. Then what else? "Comforting foods" tend to be... well, carbolicious and calorific to say the least! So what did I come up with? Oh--you're gonna love this...

So here's what you're gonna need:

Onion, optional
Mushrooms, optional
Your fave, HEALTHY, spaghetti sauce
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

Step 1.

Beginning Note: I love pasta. But what girl doesn't? : ) Anyways--being on a GF diet (Gluten Free) changes what you think about pasta. There are lots of versions of GF pasta--all still yummy. So, give them a try! But, I was going for something a lot lighter and less calorie laden... Now, back to recipe...

Decide how to cut your squash and zucchini. Think--how do I like my pasta?

Here's a few options to choose from:

This is my personal favorite... Julienned, nice, long, and thin. Even looks like spaghetti noodles--yeah?

Step 2:

Sautee your chosen veggies.

I chose squash, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms. (I've also done this with just squash and zucchini, too. Still extremely good. Maybe next time I'll add some julienned carrots? We'll see...)

Sautee in some olive oil and salt--Just enough to get it to the right texture for you. I like mine with some bite to it--which also makes the sauté time minimal.

Step 3.

Add your HEALTHY sauce.

This can be done in the same skillet as your veggies, to save time and dishes. Or separately, so one can choose the amount of sauce they prefer.

Side note about sauces: PLEASE READ THE INGREDIENTS! They can be full of all sorts of not healthy things! My personal fave sauce is Earth Fare Organic Portabella Mushroom Pasta Sauce. Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo good--very healthy. Love!

Step 4.


Come on, now. That looks extremely delicious! You know it! ; )

Top with parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

Now, salivate all you want--then go get the ingredients to try this dish out!

Calories in 1 c. cooked yellow squash: 36
Calories in 1 c. cooked zucchini: 38
Calories in 1/2 c. of Earth Fare Sauce: 60
Calories in 1 Tbs. of Parmesan: 22
Calories in 1 Tbs. of Olive Oil: 120

And if you eat it all: 276 total.

Quick, easy, and so healthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : D Yeah!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Christmas like no other....

Yes, I know that most people have completely moved on from the Christmas season. However, I must admit that our Christmas decor is STILL up, and yes I have it up on purpose. ;-)

Partly, it's due to the fact that I haven't really had time to take it down, but also I find that the ambiance of Christmas decor helps the Winter seem more enjoyable. Here in ND, you do everything you can to make Winter more enjoyable - hence why the tree is still up. :-)

This isn't your typical "Thankful Thursday", but I think you'll understand a little more toward the end of this post.....

I LOVE ornaments, I guess you could say I somewhat collect them. Here are a few favorites from our tree....

Our lil guy Thaddeus (we still need to get one for Lola). Everyone has a good laugh when they see this one...

One from Paris, because it's such a lovely city, and one I hope to go back to....

And, because I play piano, you can't forget the "baby grand"....

And my adorable husband when he was little, holding his baby brother....SO cute!!

One of our Christmas traditions is purchasing an ornament that reflects something special & unique about that year.

Our 1st Christmas married....awww! 2006

The year we bought our first house...2007

The year we had our first garden.....2008

Ok, not to be skipping 2009 on purpose, but I think you get the idea, and without further ado, I'm going to introduce our very special ornament for 2010.......drum roll please......

We are excited to announce that "Baby Shaffer" will be arriving in July!! We couldn't be more thrilled!! We're looking forward to all that 2011 will hold for us, welcoming a precious new life into our family. This "Thankful Thursday", I'm praising God for the little blessing that I'm carrying in my womb. Such a tiny life, formed by God himself, given to my husband and I to raise for Him! What a huge responsibility and an overwhelming gift this little one already is to us. By God's grace, may we raise this child for our Lord and Saviour!

Psalms 127:3 "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Have a thankful week, everyone!!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So what am I gonna do now?

Foreword: I want to thank everyone for all of your kind comments and notes of support. Weight is a terribly hard thing for me to discuss. I battle daily with keeping a Godly perspective about the way I look--and forgetting past failures and looking to Him. BUT,

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Amen!! : D

Well--now that you've met me (here), and seen what the Bible says about taking care of our bodies and eating (beginning here)... I'd like to tell you about some different things that I'm doing now.

1) Eating Healthy and Correct Portions.

1 Corinthians 10:31-33 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

I have to admit that I love healthy foods. I love practically all veggies and fruits--and in this, I know I'm very fortunate. My biggest problem generally lies in the amount of food eaten. But this is not to say that loving veggies makes it easy to turn down a hot fudge brownie (or a second or third helping, anyways)...

I couldn't fit in this post all of the things that I am trying to keep in mind when it comes to what foods to eat, when to eat, portion control, etc... Yet, I'm not stressing about these things--just accepting them as a part of my daily life and standard of eating.

If you've been reading our blog for any length of time--you know that Lauren & I both think it is important to have organic things as best we can.

I take vitamins, have a daily protein shake (Spiru-tein) which I REALLY enjoy, drinks lots of water... You know the drill. : )

2) Exercise.

Now, I'll be the first to say that I am not a fan of physical activity (unless I've got a camera in hand!)--but I know it's important and healthy to exercise. So--I will. My goal is 30 min. to and hour daily--which is def. doable. No excuses.

3) Gluten Free.

This is a new one for me. I am not recommending that everyone be gluten free--but after LOTS of research and praying--I do believe that it is healthier for me to be gluten free. I will further explain this decision in an upcoming post (as this post is just about skimming the surface of what I'm doing).

4) Blogging.

I truly do enjoy blogging. And, although this is not (and will never be) a blog about "losing weight"--it does encompass what God is doing in the lives of Lauren & I--and what He impresses on us to share and write about. And a "biggie" in my life right now (pun hilariously intended--even though I didn't realize it at first!! Bwa ha ha!!)--is my weight and all that I am learning about myself.

God will work this work through me. I just have to keep the world's views out of mind--and Him FIRST AND FOREMOST!

5) LOTS AND LOTS of praying and talking to God, and Bible reading.

Maybe this should have been point #1--as this is really what is most important.

Everyday--this is where my focus starts.

If not--it's too easy to just want to "be skinny" and forget that this is all about glorifying God and not myself...

Romans 8:5-8 "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

If not--I'll be overwhelmed with desires to eat things that, if the truth be told, are nothing short of poison to my temple--versus nutritional and valuable--just for a momentary pleasure.

1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

If not--I'll be overtaken with guilt about all of the other times I have failed--and see any thing short of perfection as a reason to just give up.

Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

And so on. This point is of utmost, vital importance to me.

And this is the short of it ; ) --the skimming over the top of what my plans are. My goal for the blog part of it is to post tips, encouragements, discouragements, struggles... Just on occasion (sometimes more--sometimes less). I also plan on at least summing up how each month has gone...

And, I would also love to hear from you!!

Hebrews 10:24-25 "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Thanks so much for your love and support,


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Let's Get Organized!

Ahh, what a beautiful pantry (now don't most of us wish we had a pantry that big!!)
I detest clutter, and love organization. Unfortunately it's something I have to work on, can you relate? I'm very organized in certain areas and very scatter brained in others. { My husband is so good for me, he truly balances me out and helps me so much. Thank you, honey!! :-D }

Maybe it's the carefree designer in me, the creative side, the "go with the flow" part of me that makes me have to work on it all the more. While the other side of me really craves structure, organization and all things "type A". Can you see how difficult this is when I have 2 distinct sides of me? haha!

There's something so beautiful about neatly stacked items, organized shelves, labeled bins, color coordinated closets, things in their place, and everything else that goes along with -ORGANIZATION.

There's a calming effect that happens when your home is free of clutter. There's a euphoric feeling when you take a space and make it beautiful and functional through organization. There's even a giddy happiness when you can find exactly what you're looking for, due to everything having a place.

Anyway, as I said, it's something I have to work on and thankfully my friend told me about a wonderful blog. This blog is genius, and Jen, the creator is double genius! You must visit her blog here to see what I mean.

For one of my "New Year's Resolutions" I mentioned previously how I'm going through each room of my home and doing a lot of detailed organization to make things more functional. When you have a smaller home, it's essential! Even with a bigger home, organization is essential for functionality. I really love Jen's post on "Where to Begin" because I think it can get quite overwhelming unless you know where to start....

Here are some fabulous tips from this Organizing guru:

1. Pick a space/zone - Start Small
2. Make a list - Prioritize Projects
3. Sort belongings
4. Sell/Donate/Recycle/Toss
5. Organize - Place items where it makes the most sense
6. Pat yourself on the back, do a little dance, give a high five... feel accomplished!!

You can take the time to read the detailed post here on her blog. I highly suggest it!

In closing, I hope these tips have been inspiring!!

I'm off to ....you'll never guess....do some organizing!!!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Final Post for a New Perspective on Eating

When Eating is Obedience

August, 2005

by: Jack Hughes

  • Dieting and Eating

This is our last Calvary Review article on eating. But instead of talking about sinful eating, we want to talk about obedient eating. We have surveyed the Scriptures, learned that God’s grace is sufficient so that there is never a time when a believer “has to practice sinful eating habits.” We also looked at worldly methods of dealing with sins related to eating and learned that the world is concerned about appearance and health rather than the glory of God. Worldly solutions to eating problems do not address the spiritual issues of the heart.

Glorifying God in Our Eating

Before we begin to discuss “what to do” we must first do a very quick survey of foundational truths that must be considered when trying to overcome any sin. First, we must have a purpose for eating in a way that glorifies God. The apostle Paul in I Cor. 10:31says, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” The glory of God should be the primary motivation and goal for everything we do, including our eating.

Secondly, we need to be saved, born again, regenerated, transformed by God’s grace, a child of God. Many people call themselves Christians but are not. They are not saved, they are not born again, they have not been transformed by God’s grace because they are spiritually dead. If you are not saved, you will be a slave to your lusts, passions, and desires. You may give up one sin only to adopt another and you will never be able to give glory to God (Rom. 8:5-8).

If you are not saved, you must understand you are a sinner and that your sin has offended a holy God. You need to realize that you deserve to be judged because of the sins you have committed. You also need to know that God loves you so much He became a man in the person of Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life and voluntarily gave himself up to be crucified for your sins. You must also believe that three days after his death, Jesus was raised from the grave conquering death. If you believe these things and are willing to repent of your sin, turn from your evil way, and embrace Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will be saved, born again, transformed by God’s grace and adopted into the family of God! If you haven’t done this, your problem is not your eating habits, your problem is that hell awaits you and the wrath of God abides on you. Your first step must be to be reconciled to God (see Isa. 55:6-7; Rom. 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; 10:8-9; I Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:1-10; II Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5).

Third, you must understand how the process of sanctification works. When a person repents of his sin and places his faith in Jesus Christ, he is given resources by God so he can grow in holiness. As each individual believer is faithful to use the resources God provides, they grow spiritually. If God’s resources are neglected, then our walk with the Lord suffers.

God gives every believer the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9) and we are commanded to walk by the Spirit and be filled with the Spirit (Gal. 5:16; Eph. 5:18; I Jn. 1:9). Never forget that the Holy Spirit always works in concert with the Word of God. The Word of God is the primary means by which a Christian grows in holiness (I Thess. 2:13). God also gives spiritual gifts to every believer so that they can help others grow in the Lord (Rom. 12:1-8; Heb. 10:24-25; I Pet. 4:10). We have access to God through prayer and are able to boldly approach the throne of grace to find help in a time of need (Rom. 8:26-27;Heb. 4:16). If a Christian is diligent to keep his sins confessed, walk in the Spirit, be involved in the local church, read, study, listen to and meditate on the Word of God, he will grow spiritually. If he does not, he will not grow.

So the question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I doing these things?” Are you keeping your sins confessed and are you walking in the Spirit? Are you regularly studying, thinking about, meditating on, memorizing, listening to, and reading books that teach you the Word of God? Are you praying, not only formally, but all through the day? Do you converse with God asking Him for help, praising Him, confessing your sins? Are you involved in the local body, attending church services, involved in a Bible study, Sunday School class, discipleship group, serving, letting others serve you, singing, praying, giving, and listening to the Word being preached?

I know that everyone needs improvement in all of these areas and no one has reached perfection, but is your life characterized by using the fundamental resources God has provided for you? If not, you will never see yourself grow like God wants you to grow. You will find it difficult or impossible to get control of your sinful eating habits.

Okay! Let’s say your primary desire in life is to give glory to God. You’re saved, and you are striving to appropriate the resources God has given you to grow in holiness and sanctification. Now what? Let’s answer some common questions people have about eating and hopefully this will give you a framework to bring your eating habits under control for the glory of God.

Keep in mind that for every question that might be asked about eating, many scriptural principles need to be considered. For example, is your weight such that it might disqualify you from ministering to others? Is your weight hindering you from doing ministry? Is your weight a stumbling block to others? Does your weight show you are out of control in your eating? Is your weight causing health problems in your life? Are you prematurely destroying your body with food? Are you self-controlled in your eating? Are you disciplined in your eating? Do you have mastery over your eating? Are you violating Scripture in your eating? Questions like these must be asked for every question below. We only have time to survey some of the principles that might apply to each question. Everyone’s situation is different so it is difficult to provide a definite answer.

Is there a godly weight I should strive to be at?

This is a leading question because it presupposes that if we weigh a certain amount, we will be godly. This is false. Godliness is something that God does in us, by His grace, through the means described above. Yet, if we are obese and our weight is causing us or others to sin, or hindering us from giving glory to God, then we need to consider losing weight if that will enable us to better give glory to God.

How much can I eat and not sin?

As we have learned, we all need to eat, and there is a time for feasting and a time for fasting. Feasting on Thanksgiving day doesn’t make you a glutton. But repeated stuffing, gorging, and excessive eating does. Even if you have a high metabolism or do excessive exercise or vomit up your food after committing gluttony, so you can be a glutton but not gain weight, this does not excuse your sinful eating. In certain circumstances we may eat more, but if the pattern of our life is out of control or excessive eating or gluttony, that would be a sin.

Here is something you can do to see if you are practicing self control. Do you regularly eat less than you could or desire to eat? If you truthfully answer “Yes” to that question you are practicing self control. If, on the other hand, you typically eat all you can, and stuff yourself until you’re about ready to pop, you are most likely out of control in your eating. God wants you to be self controlled in your eating — are you?

Is dieting biblical?

This is also a leading question which presupposes that a diet is something you choose to do. In reality, everyone has a diet. Whatever you eat is “your” diet. You have been on a diet since the day you were born. What most people mean by “going on a diet” is “modifying what I eat.” There is nothing wrong with modifying your diet in order to lose weight, to practice self control, or to keep from gaining weight. But your motive needs to be God’s glory first and foremost. I would stay away from any diet that encourages you to eat as much as you can of anything. Remember that your appearance should not be the primary motive for modifying what you eat. Its okay to want to look good, but your stronger desire should be the glory of God. Health issues are a more biblical motive for changing one’s diet because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Is exercise a proper solution for obesity?

It can be part of the solution for losing weight, but keep in mind, the Bible does not say, “Thou shall not be obese” nor does the Bible tell us where obesity starts or ends. You can lose weight for God glorifying reasons through exercise, but in addition to your exercise you have to also practice self control. If you exercise enough you can be a glutton and not gain weight, but exercise does not address the sins of your heart. If, on the other hand, you address the sins of your heart and you do use self control, you can expedite weight loss by exercising. But if you have self control, you can lose weight by monitoring what you eat and how much you eat. Bodily exercise profits little, but it does profit some. Godliness is profitable in this life and the one to come (I Tim. 4:7-8).

If someone has practiced indulgence and has become obese, would true repentance require them to lose weight?

Again, with the world, how we look on the outside is everything, but God looks at the heart (I Sam. 16:7). Each situation has to be examined separately but if your weight is a stumbling block to others, hinders you from obeying God, or puts an excessive strain on your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, repentance might require you losing some weight.

If I have gained weight slowly over many years am I in sin and should I lose weight?

It is common as we grow older for our metabolisms to slow down making it much easier to gain weight. And while we might justify a few pounds, thirty, fifty or a hundred or more pounds puts us at a much higher health risk and hinders our ability to minister to others. Lets say you are fifty pounds overweight. Think of someone you know who is thin and in relatively good shape. Now how would strapping a fifty pound sack of salt on his back hinder his ability to minister? What if you put two fifty pound sacks of salt on his back, how would that hinder his ability to minister to others?

Many Christians carry around large amounts of weight which hinder them from ministering to others. Their knees hurt, their backs hurt, they have trouble going upstairs, they are too tired to do things, too out of shape to help someone move, and why? Because they have not taken care of their outer man and have slowly gained an excessive amount of weight. The consequences of their neglect is affecting their ability to minister to others. This is just one example but a very real one. All the other questions mentioned above should be considered also.

Can you be skinny and still be a glutton?

Yes! People with high metabolisms need more food to eat than others. I was once one of those people. In my twenties I could eat anything I wanted and if I didn’t eat a lot I would wilt. I was skinny as a rail but ate like a horse. But now that I am older, things have changed. I eat smaller portions and I choose to eat less of those tasty things that pack on the pounds. I do this so I can minister at full throttle, because I want to be a good example for others, because I want to take care of my outer man, and because I want to glorify God by mastering and using self control in my eating. But remember, being skinny doesn’t mean you have godly eating habits. You can be skinny and still be a glutton.

Bottom line, if you are a Christian, God has given you everything you need to have complete mastery over your fleshly desires. By using the resources God has given you, you will grow in godliness. Therefore, the best way to live your life is to practice self control and be disciplined in your eating. Your eating habits and your weight should be an example to all that you have submitted your eating habits to the Word of God so you can give God maximum glory!




Saturday, January 8, 2011

Part 5.

When Eating Becomes Sin, Part 5

July, 2005

by: Jack Hughes

  • Dieting and Eating

It just so happens we are addressing one of the sacred cows of the modern day church – eating (pun kind of intended). There is so much being said about eating, exercise, and dieting today, but very little is being said about these things from a biblical perspective. Our plan has been to first examine the wide range of Scriptures to determine the instances when eating becomes a sin.

At this point you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed if you struggle with exercising self control in your eating. And you may be thinking to yourself, What is my “godly weight?” Or “How much can I eat and not sin?” or “Is dieting biblical?” Or “Is exercise a proper solution for obesity?” Or “If someone has practiced indulgence and has become obese, would true repentance require them to lose weight?” Or “If I have gained weight slowly over many years am I in sin and should I lose weight? Or “Can you be skinny as a rail and still be a glutton?” These are just the kinds of questions that need to be asked because they force us to apply the text of Scripture to real life situations, which is what studying the Bible is all about. Let’s start off with some encouragement.

God’s grace is sufficient for you!

The Apostle Paul in Rom. 6:14, speaking about how salvation frees us from sin said, “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Salvation releases you from the grip of sin so that you do not have to obey its lusts. You now have a choice. You can say “Yes” to God and “No” to sin.

In I Cor. 10:13 Paul explains this when he says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” In the preceding context Paul lists several instances when Israel fell into sin. His point is clear, God always provides a way of escape for believers so they don’t ever have to sin.

Speaking to the Galatians, Paul said in Gal. 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Every believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling within him (Rom 8:9) and because the Holy Spirit abides in us we do not need to carry out the desires of the flesh, in other words we can say “No” to temptation through the power of the indwelling Spirit.

James reminds us that when a believer sins, it is the believer’s fault. James 1:14-16 reads, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”James reminds us that no one makes you sin, you choose to sin. Others may tempt you to sin, but whenever you do sin, its your fault. Sin always begins within your heart and when your heart lusts, it often gives birth to sinful actions. James even says, “do not be deceived” because many are quick to blame their sin on someone or something else. Our sin is always our fault.

Finally, we come to a very encouraging Scripture, II Pet. 1:3. Peter is speaking about our resources in Christ and says, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” What this means is that a believer has everything he needs to live a life of godliness and self control. Christians have the answers to living a godly life in the Word of God.

Before we start into the practical aspects of the Christian and eating, I think it would be helpful to think through some of the worldly ways people try to deal with their sinful eating habits. This will help us, by contrast, apply biblical principles to sinful eating habits.

Worldly Methods for Dealing with a Spiritual Problem

The Apostle Paul speaking to the Roman’s in Rom. 13:14 said, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Do you know why Paul gives this exhortation? Because he knew every Christian has every resource to “make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust.” Christians don’t have to accommodate their fleshly desires.

Yet there are always those who don’t recognize their sin for what it is and end up trying to address a spiritual problem by dealing with its symptom. The Colossians were being tempted to do this very thing and in Col. 2:20-23 Paul told them this, “If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, ‘Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!’ (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.” Here Paul condemns man made religion that attempts to produce holiness in the believer. Paul’s point is that man made religion does not sanctify us or make us more godly. It has no power against fleshly indulgence. Worldly solutions are at best temporary fixes of symptoms but do not touch a sinful heart. Let’s say a Christian struggles with eating too much. They are not exercising self control. They are living an undisciplined life. They are being gluttonous. They are being mastered by their fleshly desires. They are failing to take care of their body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. They are practicing fleshly indulgence. We have examined all of these sins in previous Calvary Review issues. As a consequence of their sin, they become obese. Others can tell that they are out of control in their eating.

Many Christians may not realize that their obesity is actually the symptom of various sins of the heart. They know others know they are out of control and so their primary desire is to lose weight. So you see the folly of this? Their primary desire should be to glorify God. They should desire not to look good on the outside but to glorify God in their body, exercise self control, master their fleshly desires, and be disciplined. Instead, the fear and approval of man motivates them to address their appearance rather than the spiritual problems of their heart. And the world is more than willing to distract them from glorifying God. Let’s look at how the world often distracts Christians from dealing with sins related to eating.

Some people have their stomach stapled. Is this a cure? Well it may make it so they can’t eat as much, cause them to feel the sensation of fulness sooner, and may even cause them to lose weight. And if weight loss is the primary goal, then having your stomach stapled might be an option. But if your main goal is to glorify God in your body, exercise self control, be disciplined, have mastery over your fleshly desires, then having your stomach stapled does nothing to address the problem of sin. Stomach stapling has no power over fleshly indulgence. It doesn’t sanctify you. It is like locking up a criminal in prison. The prison may confine the criminal so that he cannot do the crimes he lusts to do, but it doesn’t change his heart. The heart problem, the attitudes and lusts that give birth to sin are not dealt with. Hence stomach stapling fails to address the problem. Instead, it attempts to address an outward symptom of the problem, obesity.

Others have opted for plastic surgery techniques like lypo-suction. Fat cells are removed from the body by suction and hence are gone forever. But the suction doesn’t remove the sin of the heart. The person may even feel a new found freedom to indulge like never before because they fear knowing their fat cells are gone. Hence they might increase, rather than decrease their sinful behavior. Their weight may stay down and their appearance remain constant but lypo-suction hasn’t dealt with the sins of the heart. Plastic surgery has no power against fleshly indulgence. It is merely cosmetic.

Diet pills are another approach to curbing our fleshly appetites. This is an attempt at sanctification through pharmaceuticals. The problem is that chemicals don’t solve spiritual problems. Instead, they make them worse. Those who take drugs to deal with their sin end up relying more and more on the drug and exercising less and less self control. When the drug is removed, they go gastronomically postal and eat everything in sight. The drugs allow people to be lazy and not exercise self control. In the end, the person either becomes dependent on drugs or quits taking them and is worse off than ever before.

Others have tried hypnosis or acupuncture to curb their appetites. Hypnosis is wrong all together. God does not want us to give someone else control of our minds and bodies. This is what happens in demon possession. The Scriptures never condone letting someone else take control of our mind. Acupuncture is another technique which cannot deal with spiritual issues of the heart. Both hypnosis and acupuncture may curb the appetite and cause a loss of weight (the symptom of the sin) but they cannot change the heart. Hence they are of no use against fleshly indulgence.

Another very popular means Christians often get drawn into is going on special diets which train people to eat certain foods and to avoid others. For instance, there are low carbohydrate diets that allow you to “eat all the meat and vegetables you want.” There are the juice diets, vegetarian diets and most allow you to “eat all you want” of certain kinds of food. These kinds of diets, instead of teaching self control, self discipline and mastery over one’s fleshly desires, encourage or allow gluttony which is the very sin that needs to be dealt with. Most who try these kinds of diets end up cheating, eating what they want and also being gluttonous in “approved areas.” Even if the person sticks to the diet faithfully, when they get tired of eating a limited food group and go off the diet, they usually gain back the weight they tried so hard to lose. This leads to frustration and exasperation. The real problem is that they have not learned to be self controlled. They have tried to deal with the symptom of the sin, obesity, but have not dealt with the sin that is causing the symptom.

Others try to deal with sins related to eating by buying special foods that are sold by companies wanting to make money off of people who want to lose weight. Of course losing weight is not a bad thing, but it isn’t the problem, it is the symptom of the problem. Eating certain kinds of prepared foods might allow you to lose weight, but they are no cure against fleshly indulgence. Of course the companies that prepare those specialty diet foods and provide training which encourages you to rely on them, hope you never go off their diet. But if you do go off their diet, you will most likely gain the weight back because you haven’t learned to practiced self control. You haven’t learned to say no to the flesh and have mastery over your fleshly desires.

Excessive exercise is another path that some have taken. There is nothing wrong with exercise, in fact, it is good for us. But if you are out of control in your eating habits, exercise is not the solution to your heart problem. It may keep you from gaining weight and may make you look and feel good on the outside, but it doesn’t address the sins of your heart. It merely allows you to continue to indulge yourself, without others realizing you are out of control.

As Christians we must not get swept along in the flood of dieting and weight loss gimmicks in an attempt to deal with our sin. Losing weight is not the solution to our lack of self control and sinful indulgence. Looking good on the outside is a fine goal, but let us be clear, it doesn’t sanctify the heart.

For our next Calvary Review we will discuss how to practically deal with the sins of the heart related to sinful eating habits and the lasting consequences of learning to say no to the flesh and living a disciplined, self controlled, spirit empowered life. Until then, look at your life and consider if you’re trying to deal with the sin in your life with worldly techniques that have no power against fleshly indulgence.

Will cite series source at end of series.