BODY FOR GOD
Foodology – 1
January 20, 2002
Have you ever fantasized about what it would be like to drive the ultimate sports car for about a day? I wondered about that myself. What would it be like to drive an ultimate sports car for about twenty-four hours? What would it be like? What would it be like? What would it be like?
(Video of Porsche drive – Bobby Rodriguez)
What kind of fuel are we pumping into our Porsches, these one of a kind engineering marvels? Let’s see as we meet the typical Metroplex husband and wife. Let’s just see what we are eating.
I am going to start with dear old Dad. Let’s start with Dad. This is going to be pretty interesting. I hold in my hand, fat. That is just lard. I am talking about cholesterol clogging, mess you up, lard. Okay, Dad, for breakfast, you wake up and your lovely wife fixes you pancakes. You have three. You have just consumed nine teaspoons of fat.
You go to the office and someone around your office has brought the ultimate snack. I’m talking about the snack of all snacks, KK, Krispy Kreme. I call it KK because Krispy Kreme is kind of like a cuss word to anyone who is trying to watch their diet. I love Krispy Kreme donuts. Let’s say you saw a couple of Krispy Kreme donuts with chocolate on top. You have just consumed five teaspoons of fat.
For lunch, you go out with the guys and say, “Hey, let’s have a Chili’s lunch.” I love Chili’s, don’t you? Everybody raise your hand if you like Chili’s. All of these restaurants I am going to talk about, I am not saying that they are all unhealthy. Many of these restaurants have healthy choices. I’m not sure about Krispy Kreme, but the other ones do. But it’s good to go to Krispy Kreme now and then, okay? Don’t freak out about it. Let’s say you had the Mushroom Jack Fajitas at Chili’s. How many of you have ever had the Mushroom Jack Fajitas at Chili’s? Lift your hands. Twelve teaspoons of fat. That’s all. Pretty healthy.
At night, you come home. You are tired and you say, “Gotta be, gotta be, Domino’s.” I didn’t mean to spit on you. I’m sorry about that. If you sit on the first couple of rows, you are in the spit zone, because I have a lot of saliva in my mouth. So you might want to wear glasses. Let’s say you have four pieces of pepperoni pizza. Have you tried that thin crust Domino’s stuff? The stuff is deadly. I love it. I don’t eat it very much, but I love it. Eighteen teaspoons. I am going to get tired of doing this.
Then, finally, at night, you decide to go on a date night. I encourage all couples to go on date nights here at Fellowship Church. If you are married, go on date nights. Don’t stop dating your spouse when you walk down the wedding runner. That is when the romance should begin. If you are not dating your spouse at least twice a month, you are sinning before God. You are going to end up having a poor marriage. I will stop there. Let’s say after you go to a movie, you stop by one of my favorite places, Starbucks. You just kind of slurp down a Grande Caramel Frappuccino. Do you know what is so funny? It’s to hear someone walk up to the counter in Starbucks and say, “Yes, I’d like a grandy frappuccino.” That’s grande, not grandy. That’s a pet peeve of mine. That is three grams. Look at that fat. You wonder why we have hardening of the arteries. You wonder why heart attacks are rampant. You wonder why we have cancer everywhere. Could it be this inferior fuel that we are pumping into our Porsches? I think so.
Let’s talk about caffeine for a second. I use to drink a lot of coffee. A while back, I stopped drinking most caffeinated beverages. I read this past week that the average American consumes one gallon of soft drinks per week. I read also that there are 110,000,000 coffee drinkers in our country and coffee drinkers guzzle about 3 ½ cups of coffee a day. I have cut way back on it. I have one cup of coffee a day that is half decaf and half caf. The rest of the time I drink decaf. So that is a little bit of stuff about caffeine.
Let’s talk about sugar, Mom. I don’t want to pick on Mom, but I want to show you what you are allowing your daughter or your son to put into their bodies as far as their sugar intake. You won’t believe this one. For breakfast, Mom, you think you are in a hurry so you will let the kids have some Cocoa Puffs. “Yes, I made him pancakes early yesterday, so let’s have Cocoa Puffs.” Well, if you like Cocoa Puffs, there are six teaspoons of sugar. You wash it down with apple juice. Six teaspoons. It’s like it is snowing. It’s like we are in Aspen.
Lunch. You think, “My children love those All-Star Hotdog Lunchables.” Lunchables? You just gave them nine teaspoons of sugar. This is a fact. I lost count so that is about nine. The afternoon snack is Zingers and some good old chocolate milk. That’s 12. I feel like Julia Child.
Then for dinner you have Domino’s, and that is two teaspoons of sugar in two pieces of pepperoni pizza. Then, you give your children Coke. Take a wild guess how many teaspoons of sugar are in a Coke. You guessed it, 12. Maybe for a snack they have Twizzlers. This is a typical diet, friends. Look at this. We are talking about a sugar fest.
Many children consume 150 pounds of sugar a year. Some consume 350 pounds of sugar a year. Wow. Our bodies can digest one to two pieces of fruit per hour, yet, one candy bar has as much sugar as ten apples. Recent studies show that diets high in sugar elevate cholesterol and triglycerides, making sugar as risky as smoking and obesity. So this is pretty sobering stuff as far as what we put in our Porsches. A lot of us are pumping the wrong kind of fuel in our Porsches. Let’s thank the typical husband and wife, mother and father.
Stay Away from Eli Pie
There is a gentleman in the Bible, an Old Testament figure, named Eli. Eli took care of God’s temple, God’s house. Yet, he neglected, amazingly, his own temple. Eli was the man who helped rear Samuel. Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Hophni and Phinehas were terrorists. They were abusing the sacrificial system at the temple. They were having sexual relations with the women who worked at the temple. Yet, Eli was clueless about their behavior. Why? He was out of touch with his body. Because he was out of touch with his body and hydroplaning over health issues, he didn’t even have the energy or the octane to know what his kids were up to.
1 Samuel 4:18 tells us that, when Eli heard about the Ark of the Covenant being captured and about his sons being killed, he fell over and broke his neck because he was old and very fat. He had too much Eli pie. We have got to stay away from the Eli pie, don’t we?
It’s kind of funny to watch people walk into restaurants after church. I’ve seen this for years and years. They will sit down and order this fat-laden food, and the food shows up and is presented to them at the table. Then they have the audacity to pray this, “Dear God, bless this food unto the nourishment of our bodies.” I have often wondered what God must be thinking. Nachos, chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, soft drinks and God is going to bless that to the nourishment of their bodies? No, he is not. I have often thought these people should have prayed before they opened the menu.
They should have prayed, “God, give us the discipline to make healthy choices while we order.” Then once the healthy food, God’s food, shows up, then you can pray to the nourishment of your bodies.
I am all for praying in restaurants, but don’t ask God to bless it to the nourishment of your bodies if you are ordering junk food. Just thank him for the food.
What happens when we get too locked into Eli pie? What happens when we neglect these Porsches? What happens when we pump inferior fuel into them? I’ll tell you what happens. We have a lack of energy. Have you ever wondered why you are so tired at the end of the day? Have you ever wondered why you feel so wasted? Yes, I know you work hard, but could it be, Dad, those fajitas that are kind of resting in your blood stream. Do you ever wonder why your kids are up one minute and down the next? Do you ever wonder about their behavioral changes? You might think they have Attention Deficit Disorder or they have ADHD and all this stuff. That could be true. Or you might think that they are just rebellious. That could be true. But could it be the sugar you are pumping into their systems?
A poor diet leads also to poor self-esteem, a low self-esteem. A lot of us are running around eating poorly, we are overweight, and we are saying, “Surely, God doesn’t really love me, and I know that because people don’t really love me.” That’s not true. God loves you. Yet, God wants the best for you. He wants you to be the best in your body. He has given you the keys. It’s an engineering marvel. Don’t trash it.
If Bobby Rodriguez gave you that $135,000 Porsche, would you trash it? Would you take it off road? Would you put inferior fuel into it? Would you garage it? No. You would take care of it. You would wash it. You would make sure you park away from all the other cars. No door dings. It’s an engineering marvel. Yet, with our bodies, we are sinning before God. If you don’t think this is a Biblical issue, if you don’t think this is a spiritual issue, then you don’t know the Bible. It is. God is literally in our kitchen on this one, friends.
How about the relational conflict that occurs because of poor diet? You are up and you are down. Food can heighten and accentuate those mood swings.
How about lack of intimacy? You show me someone who has a poor self-esteem, you show me someone who is going to have a lack of intimacy in marriage. They don’t feel good about themselves. The last thing they are going to do is feel good about being intimate with their spouse.
Food is about choices. It’s about fuel. It’s about worship.
I quoted Romans 12:1. Everything we do should be an act of worship. Romans 12:1 says that we should present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God.
We should give God the best, the absolute best. Food is a gift from God. The Bible is not anti-food. Who gave you the sense of smell and taste? God wants us to enjoy it. Everything on this planet was put on it for our enjoyment. Yet, every time you have in the Bible God giving us gifts, you have the evil one giving us a counterfeit gift.
We have people who struggle with food. Some have eating disorders. Some overeat. Yet, for some, it’s kind of an emotional thing. It’s a problem area. Many use food to numb their emotions and their pain.
I want to talk to women for a second. I’m talking especially to Junior High and High School girls and also some other women here. Women, our society ambushes you with unrealistic airbrushed images. It is a joke. It is a farce, what our country is doing. All the advertising executives say if you want to be really beautiful, you have to look like Kate Moss. You have to look like Tyra Banks. You have to look like Cindy Crawford. You have to look like Jennifer Aniston. If you look like all of those, wear a size 0 or size 2, then that’s real beauty. That’s it.
That’s a joke. It’s a farce. Those are unrealistic images. Many of those women have severe eating disorders. Many of those are way underweight. You have little girls watching this stuff, and seeing Slimfast commercials and Weight Watchers. Slim is in, everything from Barbie to Baywatch.
Little girls start saying, “Wow, I had better be thin.” You have little girls obsessing over food, obsessing over exercise and obsessing over their bodies. What do you have? You have got bulimia. There are a lot of women right now hearing my voice who are struggling with bulimia. Let me tell you what bulimia is if you don’t know. Bulimia is an eating disorder in which a person regularly binge eats and then tries to prevent weight gain by self-induced vomiting, waterpills, laxatives, fasting or exercise.
Food is used to cover these emotional issues. It’s used to numb out your true feelings. Others here are struggling with anorexia. Anorexia is an eating disorder associated with a distorted body image that may be caused by a mental disorder. It consists of a preoccupation with dieting and thinness that leads to excessive weight loss.
Let me say a word to parents. Parents, we have to get our heads out of the sands of denial. We have to wake up and smell the Starbucks here. We have to check out our children and watch them. When they see these unrealistic pictures on Vogue and Cosmopolitan, (they don’t need to read any of those magazines), or Seventeen, (these magazines are jokes. Don’t read them. They are trash), you need to say, “That is not the real world. God gave you your bone structure. God gave you your muscles. God gave you your body for a reason. Do the best with it that you can, and you are beautiful.” Take your eyes off the world. Put them on God. Because the world always says, “You have to look like this. You can’t look like this. You have got to change here. You have got to tweak this.”
God says, “You are beautiful.”
Your body has got to be an act of worship. It’s been my prayer that so many women here would get a grasp on that, because these images are totally ridiculous. Parents, we have got to take charge and be into this. The problem with so many parents is, we are so into the looks stuff, Hollywood stuff and media stuff, that our children see that with us. And we are messing them up. We are causing a lot of this. If you deal with bulimia or anorexia, please tell your parents, tell your pastors, tell a counselor about it. Healing is just one confession away for many people here.
My first cousin struggled with bulimia and anorexia for many years. She has come through it and now she is doing very well. She told me a while back, “Ed, people who don’t eat right, people who suffer with bulimia and anorexia, they don’t think right. It affects you spiritually, emotionally, in every way under the sun.”
We all know the story of Karen Carpenter and many others. So, I wanted to address eating disorders in kind of a sideboard type scenario as I am going through this.
Let’s jump back to food being a gift from God. Let’s jump back to the choices that we need to make that will honor God in all that we do. Let me direct your attention to the Old Testament figure of Daniel. Daniel was a man who as a youngster was deported from Jerusalem all the way to Babylon. While he was in Babylon, he was with his friends and some other people. He was told to eat the rich food that the king served. Daniel made a deal with the leader.
He said, “Hey, if we eat healthy, and I’m talking about vegetables and water, and the other people eat all the junk food stuff, the cholesterol crowd, let’s wait for ten days. If we look better than those who were eating junk food, let’s all change to the healthy food.”
Here is what happened in Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. …. At the end of ten days (verse 15) they looked healthier (talking about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guards took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.”
Check out our boy, Daniel. He followed the Daniel Diet. He was in a foreign land, yet, he made choices that honored God. Every time we walk into a restaurant, we are in a foreign land. We are bombarded by all this fat, cholesterol, the sugar, and the additives. We, like Daniel, have got to make the correct choices in the foreign land. I am going to tell you something. When it is a lifestyle, you will have victory over it. You can cheat now and then on your diet, you can have a KK now and then, you can have a Big Mac now and then, but if you say, “I’m going to adopt this lifestyle, God, and really see my body as an act of worship and what I put into it as worship,” it will change your mood, your energy, your intimacy. It will change everything about you, because you are eating God’s food. You are eating clean.
I began to eat right for two reasons. The first reason is because I married Lisa. My wife majored in home economics education for a while and she studied food and the make up of food. More than 20 years ago, she began cooking in a healthy way.
The second thing that caused me to eat right occurred about 15 years ago. My father had a heart attack. Dad has been lean his whole life, even though he is from Mississippi and he used to have a horrible diet. He began to run when running wasn’t even cool, yet he had a heart attack.
In the hospital, his cardiologist looked at my brothers and me and said, “Hey, guys, this should be a good example to you that you should watch what you eat.”
A lot of people run around saying, “Look at me. I’m lean. I must be healthy.”
Are you kidding me? You might just be lean. Your arteries could be clogged. You might have high blood pressure. You might have a myriad of problems because of your poor diet. Just because you are lean doesn’t mean you are healthy. The goal is health. It’s not about vanity. It’s about value. So we need that Daniel discipline to make the right choices.
Daniel followed, if you will do some studying here in the book of Daniel, what is called the Levitical Diet. God, in the book of Leviticus, gave us a diet to follow. Now we don’t have to follow it today. We are not under law. We are under grace. But the Levitical Diet is pretty cool. For example, it says to stay away from shellfish. Do you know what a shrimp is? The shrimp is basically the cockroach of the ocean. That’s what it is. The Bible says in Leviticus, and it’s kind of gross, that we are to stay away from scavenger fish. We are to stay away from fish without scales. What’s a scavenger fish? A catfish. Catfish are not good for you. They taste good. I eat catfish now and then. But a steady diet of it? Just think about catfish along the bottom eating all that pond scum. Have you ever smelled catfish bait, the stuff you catch catfish with?
The book of Leviticus also says not to eat pork. Now, I love bacon. I love some sausage now and then, but pork is polluted. All the toxins in there are gross. It’s terrible. Don’t even read the ingredients about pork. Don’t even talk to anybody about what is in pork or hotdogs. It’s terrible for you. Now we are just finding out a few of thousand years later what God has said all along, “You’d better eat clean. Eat fresh vegetables.” It’s like we just thought it up. God was talking about this thousands and thousands of years ago.
It doesn’t stop with just the fuel we pump into our Porsches. There is something else.
(Second half of Porsche Video)