Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sorting Out the Truth In Regards to Healthy Wheat Consumption

Over the last couple of months I have been approached by three different people regarding concerns they had recently acquired regarding wheat consumption.  And, even though all three came to their conclusions through unique sources, it seemed their mantra was about the same..."The wheat we eat now is not as healthy as the wheat produced back in biblical times."  

Have you too heard this argument lately?  In probing more into their convictions, I found that the greatest surge of energy behind this "movement" has come from just a handful of sources, including some major network broadcasts and a New York Times best seller...and the momentum of the data produced from these few sources has had a bit of a tidal wave effect on the wheat industry and watching consumers.

Now, recently I had prayed asking God to help me be ultra discerning about what "truth" is in relation to dietary advice, because there are a lot of things published these days that are just down right lies.  And, in looking just briefly into what these individuals were telling me, for some reason I found their information not sitting well with me, so I decided to do some research of my own.   And, although I know that scientific results can be skewed and changed to show results that really don't exist, I felt led in this instance that I needed to search out some solid concrete scientific facts behind the claims these people in my life were asking me to to accept as fact. 

So, I started researching and happily one of the people I spoke of above decided to do a bit of digging too:  Here are some of the things we found while looking for concrete data to support this current wheat controversy:

 Wheat Belly - Fact or Fiction by Sue Becker at The Bread Beckers Incorporated

Wheat Improvement:  The Truth Unveiled by The National Wheat Improvement Committee 

Wheat Belly - The Toll of Hybris on Human Health by Chris Masterjohn at The Daily Lipid

Wheat Belly - An Analysis of Selected Statements and Basic Themes From the Book by Julie Jones, St. Catherine University, St Paul, MN

Wheat Belly, Busted by Pete Bronski at No Gluten, No Problem

Of course these are not all the sources I was able to find on the internet, but they were some of the most compelling arguments that I could find with concrete data as their basis for agreeing for disagreeing with the hypothesis I was pondering.  And, if you read though all of the above articles you will find they don't all agree with one another.

So, must we give up wheat to live a more happy, healthy, and pure lifestyle?  At this point I am not quite convinced that baking my own bread from home ground whole wheat flour is going to have long term devistating, or even negative, effects on my health or my family's.  But, who I am to say that anyone who comes to a different conclusion is wrong?

And thus, the bread baking will be continuing in our home and here on my site.  And in general, recipes including wheat will be a part of my daily life, unless in the future I find a greater conviction to take it out of my diet. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Resolute Stand Against Sin

Looking ahead to this new year, I found much to pray about as I read through Matthew 27 these past few weeks...particularly as to how I personally respond to Jesus, who is:  the King of the Jews, the Savior sent for mankind from the Father, and the Lord of earth and heaven.  The nagging question I felt coming back to me time and time again as I read the account of Jesus' crucifixion was, "Could it be that life leads me to make the same choices as those who turned their backs on Him over 2000 years ago?"  Sorrowfully, I have to answer yes.

Reading through this chapter, I compiled a list of actions taken against Jesus by those who knew Him while He walked on the earth:

  • betrayed
  • accused
  • judged
  • mocked
  • blasphemed
  • reviled
  • crucified

A list that unfortunately does not even encompass the great many sins committed against Jesus on a daily basis by those who even love Him most, His followers.  Sure, saying that we are a sinful people, in need of help from our natural condition, is at least a confirmation of heart that we are unable to save ourselves.  But, it seems that these verses point to an even greater road for the followers of Christ to take...one that Matthew shares with us as Jesus' parting words to His disciples at the end of chapter 28.

"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  Matthew 28: 18 - 20

Living as a disciple of Christ does not just mean that I come to Him for forgiveness, mercy, and grace because I accept that sin has its hold on my natural condition and on this world.  But in living for Jesus it also means that through my forgiven state I allow that freedom to push me upward towards a nature that I cannot explain, one that is fully controlled by the Holy Spirit, one that allows me to point others to the God I love, and to share the light of Jesus despite the darkness that dwells around me and is always vying for my attention.

I know there are a lot of resolutions made this time of the year, but as followers of Jesus we are commanded by our Lord to make one thing resolute in our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies...and that is to proclaim Him and His truth until He comes again. Will you join me in resolving to make that your number one purpose this year also?  

We don't know when Jesus will return here to earth, but in allowing His purposes and plans to lead us each day, I know it reduces the chances that I will turn my back on Him, do injustice to His name, or live for my own selfish desires.  And that is the struggle against sin we all face every day isn't it?

To live for Christ in 2014 means to shine His light, despite the encroaching darkness, and proclaim His truth wherever the road may lead...eventually leading us all home, to heaven, where the struggle against our sinful natures will finally end.

Can I get an Amen to that?

God bless!