Don’t Negate the Benefit

The other morning I read an article which said pistachio nuts can help lower triglyceride levels. Yay. I enjoy eating pistachio nuts, so this is good news.

Not too long after reading the article, I thought, now I can eat more pistachio ice cream. Yum. Maybe not. That would probably negate the benefit gained from eating pistachio nuts, don’t you think? It’s a nice thought, though.

As I considered this, I thought about how sometimes we take the good God permits, twist it to our liking, and negate the benefit we could gain from it. In 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 Paul talked about food and drink. He said everything was permissible for him, but not everything was beneficial or constructive.

He went on to say everything was permissible for him, but he would not be mastered by anything. Although Paul was talking about food and drink in these instances, he said whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble. Seek the good of many instead of our own good.

Moderation. Restraint. Anything we overindulge in can negate the benefit.

Like me thinking about eating pistachio ice cream to lower my triglycerides. Or me buying one more writing journal, when I already have a shelf full I haven’t written in yet.

Overindulgence can become an addiction regardless of what we overindulge in. It doesn’t have to be food. What about overindulging in social media or television? While neither of these are necessarily wrong, too much can be. Given the past few years we experienced, I’d say many of us have weighed in heavy on the too much end of the scale with these two.

Those who have read this blog for any length of time know I post gluten-free recipes. I don’t eat gluten-free to follow a trend. I eliminate gluten from my diet because I am allergic to wheat. It literally makes me ill. The pain gluten causes me is not worth indulging in anything that contains it.

Yeah. I miss eating a lot of things I used to take for granted I could eat, but there are so many more gluten-free foods available now than there used to be. It isn’t quite as painful.

Like the teen aged fast-food worker said when I explained why I needed my meal without the bun, if he had to be gluten-free, he would tell God, “Take me, now. Because life wouldn’t be worth living anymore.” I believe he had southern biscuits and sausage gravy on his mind when he said that. I laughed, knowing it’s kinda how I felt hearing my initial gluten allergy diagnosis.

I doubt Paul had gluten on his mind when he said everything is permissible for him, but not everything is beneficial. However, whenever we face a choice, perhaps like Paul, we can say even though Christ may not have said no, that doesn’t mean it’s beneficial for us. Why negate the benefit of what he gives us?

Pistachio ice cream is permissible, but if I eat it to excess, and claim it is healthy because it has pistachios in it, I’m twisting something good to suit my desires. I’ve allowed it to get a grip on me I can’t easily stop when I want to.

Moderation. Restraint. In all things.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren’t good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I’ll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can’t easily stop when I want to. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (TLB)

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Jesus The Bread of Life

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The Bible tells us Jesus is the Bread of Life and Living Water. We are to hunger and thirst after him. We are to fill ourselves with knowledge of who he is and what that means to us by applying it to how we live.

When first diagnosed as gluten intolerant, the thing I missed most was bread. Especially crispy thin pizza dough. Because I do not have Celiac Disease, cross contamination is not a serious problem for me, and I am able to take the toppings off a slice of pizza, leaving the crust on my plate with no problem. But eating only part of the pizza isn’t all that satisfying to my way of thinking.

Fortunately for us, there are no allergy restrictions with Jesus the Bread of Life.

Jesus is available to everyone no matter where they live, where they work, what they’ve done, the color of their skin, or their country of origin. Yet, some of us act as if we are allergic to Jesus, and pick and choose what we’ll digest and what we leave to the side of our plate.

Sure, we can choose to limit our understanding of who Jesus is, and how that applies to our life by refusing to dig deep into what the Bible tells us, but why would we? That kind of thinking won’t fill us up and leave us satisfied. It would be similar to limiting ourselves to eating only the toppings when we can have the whole pizza. Crust and all.

We are sustained and strengthened through taking the knowledge of who Jesus the Bread of Life is into the inner most recesses of our being. We aren’t meant to only scratch the surface and eat the toppings. We are meant to devour the entire pizza. Crust and all.

Speaking of pizza, what is your favorite part?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Keep Our Guard Up

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

After a two-day drive east last month, Pilot, Pie, and I had dinner with Sissy and Chief at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I’ve been to this restaurant every time I visited my mother when she lived in the nursing home near it. I knew the menu pretty much by heart, and knew there were a lot of items I could not eat, due to being gluten-intolerant.

Maybe it was my distressed emotional state at the death of Mom three days earlier. Maybe it was exhaustion from the drive. Maybe it was pain from the fibromyalgia flares. Who knows? But I did something I should not have done. I let my guard down. I stopped being vigilant. I was careless. I picked up a cute little pot of meat, potatoes, and carrots.

When I put a forkful of beef into my mouth, I discovered it had brown gravy on the underside.

Wheat. Gluten. Pain.

That one forkful was all it took. Within ten minutes the pain I used to live with daily, returned. Sharp. Like a knife plunged into my lower abdomen. I knew the pain would last one to two weeks before subsiding, and it did.

I believe there are times in our lives when we let our guard down. Don’t you?

We stop being vigilant. We’re careless regarding our relationship with Jesus, and doing his will. We pick up the cute little pot of something we have no business messing with.

We become frustrated or tired and choose the path of least resistance. Or we respond in ways we know we shouldn’t. We feel angry or mad and make foolish choices. We are lonely or sad and surround ourselves with toxic individuals.

In her book, The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst says there are four times in particular where we need to pay attention, and should be careful of decisions we make during those times.

These are times when we need to HALT. When we are Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired.

Choosing what to eat isn’t a major issue for a lot of people, but for people with food allergies, it can be.

On the other hand, choosing whether or not we follow Jesus is a major issue for everyone. It is something we need to make certain we are not careless about.

What do you do to keep from letting your guard down?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 Be self-controlled and vigilant always, for your enemy the devil is always about, prowling like a lion roaring for its prey. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and remember that the strain is the same for all your fellow-Christians in other parts of the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9 (Philips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten Intolerant? Green Beans to Avoid

This week, Pie had an early meeting at work, and needed to eat lunch before noon. So he called to see if I’d like to go to an early lunch with him. Sure!

When Pie suggested we go to Popeyes, I reminded my son I couldn’t eat anything there. Gluten Intolerant, you know. He knew, and assured me they had a chicken item on the menu that wasn’t battered and fried.

Okay. I ordered the Naked Tenders, with green beans as my side.

When the order came out, I stuck my spork into the green beans. They were covered with a watery, white liquid.

As I’ve mentioned before, when you have food allergies, you learn to be cautious.

I took the bowl of green beans to the

counter and asked the cashier if the green beans had any flour in them. I sloshed the spork around to show her the liquid. Like she hadn’t seen it before. Yeesh.

(Trust me, the beans did not look this good.)

Anyway…the cashier looked at me as if I had three heads, and six arms, or some such, before she went to the back. Another person came out. I repeated my question.

I’ve learned you don’t ask if the food has gluten in it. Whaaat?

I’ve also learned you don’t ask if it has wheat. Huuuh?

Although I am aware there are multiple types of flour: corn, rice, potato, quinoa…I still ask the question, “Is there any flour in this?”

The manager gave me a rather unfriendly look, and assured me there was no flour in the green beans. Like flour is some bad thing. It’s not. It is just something not everyone can tolerate.

I ate 2-3 small bites of green beans, being sure to shake as much of the suspect sauce off as possible. I still doubted there wasn’t any wheat in them, so I pushed them to the side.

In the middle of the night, I jolted awake with the feeling someone had stabbed me with a sharp knife in the lower left quadrant of my abdomen. It hurt!

When I looked up Popeyes gluten free nutrition information, there it was. Milk. Wheat. Soybeans. MSG. All were in the green beans. Why?

The Naked Tenders were tasty. I’d eat them again. I now know, however, that the only G/F sides Popeyes has are corn on the cob, red beans and rice, Cajun rice, applesauce, and cole slaw.

So, for all you G/F-ers out there, hope my painful experience will keep you from making the same mistake.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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