The Sunday School potluck is my nemesis, and this weekend’s social proved it. I totally fell off the wagon. I’m not talking about drugs or alcohol, I’m talking junk food… And way too much of it.
I should have just pressed the brownies right onto my thighs because that’s where they’ll end up; but there’s no satisfaction in that, so I ate them! And the cookies. And the lobster spread. And the cheese potatoes…
Now I have to get back on track, after all, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away! Knowing I needed to get back on track (first thing Monday morning!), I made a batch of the best Breakfast Muffins (recipe below).
I’m just not a person to take a lot of time with breakfast, even though I know how important it is, but with these muffins, I feel like I’m starting the day on a healthy note, and that keeps me motivated to be very careful about what I eat the rest of the day.
I could just grab a bar, but we all know most of the bars available for purchase have a lot of unpronounceable things in them. Not so, my muffins. I know exactly what is in them, because I put it in! Every ingredient is healthy, all natural, and organic if possible.
We are what we eat intellectually and spiritually as well, and sometimes I’ve been known to indulge in way too much junk. I’m not saying the only thing you can read or watch or talk about has to be the Bible or spiritual things, but I am saying a diet of junk can produce a life of junk.
There are a lot of hidden additives in junk food and they can affect our health in ways we aren’t even aware. Oh, maybe not right away, but they can silently build up until we recognize something is amiss. The same with the junk we take in through our eyes and ears. Could it be that junk has been quietly accumulating and poisoning our hearts, spirits, or minds?
When that happens, we may try to find a devotional that is a shortcut back to spiritual health, a sort of high-protein-high-fiber shake that gives us a concentrated chunk of Scripture that will rev our spiritual metabolism and melt away the fat of lethargy and complacency and help us feel good for the rest of the day. We might grab a quick-fix devotional but how closely do we look at the ingredients; how intensely do we examine every word? Are there hidden additives that we don’t need?
We must know what we put into our minds. We must weigh every sermon, blog post, song, article and book against the Word of God. We must look at the ingredients of what we hear and read as closely as we scrutinize the ingredient list of what we eat.
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” — 1 John 4:1 NIV
Our digestive systems are really good at breaking down the foods we eat to transform our bodies (brownies to our thighs, proteins to our muscles); and the Holy Spirit within believers is really good at breaking down the spiritual food we ingest to transform our hearts, motives, and thoughts; and that transforms our actions.
There are no shortcuts for a healthy spiritual life. We may try to conform our lives to God’s word by hanging out with other Christians, modeling expected behavior, and trying to change bad habits, but without reading or studying the Bible that’s like trying to be healthy without eating vegetables, it just isn’t going to happen. Conformity is not what we need, we need transformation, and that occurs from the inside out. We are what we eat.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” — Romans 12:2 NIV
God transforms us as we apply the things we learn as we study the Bible. Application is when we ingest God’s Word by meditating on what we’ve read, thinking about it in the context of our lives, deciding what it should look like in our lives, and then working with God, as the Holy Spirit prompts to incorporate what we’ve learned into our daily life.
A nutritionist will look at the recipe below and immediately know if my muffins are as healthy as I think they are. Are they a good start for my day? Or am I deceiving myself?
What about you, how thoroughly do you look at what you take in? Are you reading the same devotionals everyone else is, simply because everyone else is? Or are you reading God’s Word daily?
Are you inadvertently allowing silent pollutants into your heart and mind? Are you looking carefully at the words you hear, read or sing?
Is it time to start each day eating more healthily?
(adapted from the back of Bob’s Red Mill Flax Seed Meal package)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 c flax seed meal (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 c 7-grain hot cereal (Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c. Organic pure cane sugar
1 T baking soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 T ground cinnamon
1/4 c molasses
1 c. Milk
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
2 c. Shredded carrots
2 c. Shredded apples (peeled and cored, about 3)
1 c raisins
1/2 c. Shredded coconut
1 c chopped pecans (almonds or walnuts)
Mix first 9 dry ingredient in a large mixing bowl.
Mix milk, eggs and extracts in a small bowl, then stir into dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in carrots, apples, coconut, raisins and nuts till blended.
Spoon into prepared muffin pans (lined with paper baking cups or sprayed with Pam)
Bake 350 degrees about 18-20 minutes till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Makes 24 muffins.