Fruit that is Good and Pleasing to the Eye – Part 2

Standard

img_3260In Part 1, I touched on ministry and social media.  Here are two more fruits that are good and pleasing to the eye that can turn into the bitter fruit of disobedience.

Food:  I’m going to be blunt and just say it. We have made food a major sin problem.  Food was one of the things that God created for Adam and Eve to enjoy in the Garden of Eden. And they most likely did not need to eat the fruit since their source of life was God.  However, since sin came into the world, food is one of the necessities of life.

God gave us food not only to live but also to enjoy.  Yet if you haven’t noticed, we enjoy it a little too much.  40.4% of women, 35% of men, 29.5% of girls, and 29.7% of boys in the US are obese. (stats from World Obesity Federation 2013-14).  We don’t eat because we are hungry.  We eat because we are bored, stressed, and highly addicted to the taste.  Eating is a major part of celebrations and holidays, culture traditions, and social events. And we have all heard, “eat your plate because children are starving in Africa.”  What? Who even started that phrase?  Eat everything regardless if you are full because some child won’t get any food. It’s almost an insult when you really think about it.  Waste the food by shoving it down your own throat just so you don’t feel guilty that someone somewhere won’t have a meal tonight. C’mon.

Oh and speaking of wasting food…..do you know that we waste 50% of food grown, prepared, served?   50%. I’m guilty myself; we all are.  But I wanted to puke after hearing that and then listening to an agriculture company (which I will not name) explain why they believe genetically-modifying food is absolutely necessary: because we won’t have enough food to feed the 9.7 billion people by 2050, according to the UN.

I’m not here to give you my opinion on GMO foods. (although it is a little “trying to be God” when you watch how they extract the DNA from strawberries or change the DNA of corn so that worms won’t eat it).  My point here is that at this conference I attended, basically in the same sentence I heard how much food is wasted, there’s too many people in this world, and therefore, we need to create more food. Ok. But how about making strides to re-purpose or prevent food waste so that we can take that 50% and feed the kids who are starving in Africa.    We either over stuff our faces….or we waste it.   This is a problem.  And honestly, we can try to do everything right, but it won’t ever go away until Jesus Christ comes back and redeems this earth.

My question to you then is this: what can you personally do about this problem of stuffing or wasting? It would be an interesting challenge to calculate how much money we personally waste in food. That would include both the amount we eat more than our bodies physically need (stuffing) and and the amount thrown out that we bought but didn’t eat (wasting). Then give that estimated amount to our local homeless shelter.

Or is food a source of sin to you in another way?  I could go on and on with several other examples of how Satan uses food to destroy us instead of bring blessing.  Enjoy the wonderful and delicious food that God has given you but ask the Spirit to show you if food is an idol and/or is destroying your health because of personal choices.

img_3252


Sex: “Really, Christina?” Yep. I’m on a soap box roll, so I might as well keep going.  This topic is an awkward one and no one wants to talk about it.  I grew up in the generation where no one talked about the s-e-x word.  But it needs to be talked about because Satan has taken the shiny fruit of beautiful, God-given gift of sex and DESTROYED it.  And I know that you have noticed this apple being a major source of sin outside marriage and how God intended it to be.

I have recently been so burdened by how destructive sex has become in our world. I literally wept and wept the other week crying out to God regarding this issue.  If I could have washed Jesus’ feet with my tears, they would have been clean over and over again. I cried out for..

…my dear friends who have been sexually abused, used, raped.

….my husband who has to daily fight temptation when he goes to the store or is on his computer and an ad pops up when he is researching film equipment.

….the thousands of women and children who are forced into sex slavery all over the world, and maybe right in your neighborhood.

….my little boy who has to grow up and face his own temptations.

….my beautiful little girl who is becoming not so little anymore and is growing up to be looked upon as a sex object.

…my new friends who dance at the strip club where I minister.

Since I have a growing intense compassion for anyone a part of Satan’s destruction of sex, this past year I became involved with a local ministry at a church in Indianapolis called, Unconditional.  Once a month, we divide up into teams and head out to 7 different clubs in Indy bringing gifts to all the employees, specifically reaching the dancers.  Our mission: “to unconditionally love women in the sex industry with the love of Christ, to empower and encourage them on their journey, and equip them for a full and healthy life.”   Jesus went to the sick who needed a Savior.  Many of these girls will not step foot in a church, so we, the Church, are going to them. I have been so blessed and humbled by this ministry. God is moving in the Indianapolis strip clubs!

unconditional_logo

When I was weeping, I thought abut how sex is a gift that God gave us to enjoy only here on earth.  I mentioned this to Brett and this was his response: Everything about marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ (the Groom) and the Church (the Bride). That includes God’s gift of sex. The enjoyment that a husband and wife experience during sex is a foretaste of the heavenly bliss, the ultimate ecstasy that the Church will experience in heaven. So why wouldn’t Satan attack and seek to destroy one of the most beautiful moments that God has given us to experience?

And Satan has done exactly that.  And this is why I will fight to preserve this gift by waging war on my knees in prayer, teaching my children biblical truth over the world’s lies, showing love to a dancer, and sponsoring a child to meet his needs and rescue him from the evils of sex slavery.

Food and sex: 2 necessities of life. 2 choices. Obey God and take a bite that brings life and blessing or follow the ways of Satan and take a bite which will steal, kill, and destroy.

Is Holiday Food an Idol?

Standard

It’s that time of year!  Most people love the holiday season while others imitate Scrooge. {Insert my hubby}.   Well, he is not necessarily Scrooge, but he is against starting the Christmas traditions too early. Like decorating or listening to Christmas music right after Halloween…  And he was not too happy that it snowed here in Indianapolis last weekend!

Don’t get me wrong. Brett loves Christmas, but what bothers us the most is that we, even as Christians, have fallen into the temptation of making it all about everything else {insert ourselves} more than Jesus Christ. And no, I’m not siding with boycotting the red cup from Starbucks.  I do think it’s easy to idolize the holidays, especially all the traditions we’ve made with it. No, traditions are not bad.  However, anything good in this life becomes an idol once we’ve made it more important than Jesus.

One idol that I feel strong about is food. And around the holidays…it’s pretty much food…food…and more food. And here is what I mean: We HAVE to eat that certain recipe, we HAVE to bake 12 different kinds of cookies, we HAVE to serve only Pinterest perfect party dishes, we HAVE to stuff ourselves full on Thanksgiving…because that’s just what we do!  Hey, I’m guilty of all of these (well, except Pinterest since I avoid that site due to feelings of anxiety).

Food is a part of our culture and how we celebrate the holidays. I don’t think that’s wrong, but if we make it an idol, then it is wrong.  We can sit around the table taking turns sharing what we are thankful for, but then we go and engorge ourselves an average of 4500 calories.  Again, guilty here.

Some people even gain up to 5 pounds during the holiday season.  Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s what Jesus’ birthday is all about.  A red “Christmas” cup or displaying a decorative sign I saw in Kohl’s last week that said, “Keep Christ in Christmas,” is not how we keep Christ the center of our focus either.  When it comes to food around the holidays, I think it starts by making conscious choices that are honoring to God.  Be thankful for your food, and then show your thankfulness by taking care of your body that is His Temple and dwelling place.

For more ways to honor Christ this Christmas with your food, watch my video for tips on making healthy choices and keeping those extra pounds off:

And for the rest of the year, here is 7 EASY ways to schedule in healthy behaviors:

 

Just giving you a few things to “chew” on before taking that second piece of pie.