Sunday, September 23, 2007

Why am I a vegetarian?

It all started 04/15/07, I decided I needed to learn to exercise self control in my life because it has never been a strength of mine. I committed to 30 days of a vegan diet, no alcohol and 10 min of exercise a day. The only thing I was partially successful with was the vegan diet.

During the 30 days I started researching online what it meant to be a vegan and reasons why people are vegetarians. Webster’s states:

Vegan: A strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather) .

consisting wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products.

During my 30 days I thought I was vegan, but then realized the veggie burgers I was eating contained eggs, in addition to eating hidden eggs, I ate honey and have a leather belt and wallet. Based on the definition of Vegan, I realized that is not what I was doing.

I am Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian ( funny huh :) ). The Ovo means I eat eggs and the Lacto is dairy. I don’t eat whole eggs anymore only “Egg Beaters” or “Better‘n Eggs” which is eggs whites in a carton. I eat real cheese sometimes but usually soy cheese and only soy milk, no more cow milk. Kind of complicated, but now it seems very normal to me.

I read more and found that there are many health benefits like lower cholesterol, less chance of getting cancer and a low fat diet. And found that I have a personal conviction for how we get the meat. I know that humans and animal are not equal. I know that there is a food chain. I know that biblically eating meat is not a sin. But the manner in which most meat that's eaten is acquired is unkind, and by abstaining from meat I feel it helps me to be more thoughtful. It takes a little more time to plan because I’ve had to learn new meals to prepare but I’m finding it exciting to try new things like avocado, asparagus, mushrooms and peas. I’ve found that I love Indian food. Potato Curry is the Bomb! Becoming a vegetarian is an adventure!

The biggest question I get is a genuine concern that I’m not eating enough protein. Most ethnic foods have an abundance of vegetarian meals. The idea of being vegetarian is pretty popular everywhere except the United States. Americans are under the assumption that the only way to get protein is to eat MEAT. This is not true! There are a lot of food that are high in protein for example Lentils, Black, Kidney and Pinto Beans, Veggie burgers and Dogs, Tofu, Almonds, Peanut Butter, Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Bread, Spinach and the list goes on.

Being a vegetarian is definitely something that our body can handle. When god created Adam and Eve they were created as vegetarians so maybe it is something that will bring me closer to God.

This is my personal choice, it’s my conviction, and it fits me! I know it’s not for everyone. I am not against people eating meat I’m just against me eating meat :)

Romans 14:6
He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God

The bottom line……Vegetarian or not do so unto the Lord.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My relationship with God

I was driving home from work today and at a stop sign, I watched a eucalyptus tree’s branches sway in the wind. There has been a change in the weather. It’s gotten a little colder and noticeably darker earlier. At that moment I got a feeling of the presence of God. In my mind I envisioned him as big as the trees standing in the middle. I felt overwhelmed and sad.

I’m not totally sure why. I know I have been sad lately or maybe emotional is a better word. I think I’m being attacked by satan because my relationship with God is more real then it has ever been, combined with the fact that I haven’t been going to God as often I should recently so I am more vulnerable.

I get very discouraged sometimes. I have a colossal self esteem issue, not even feeling worthy of God’s love. Satan knows that is my weakness and had me pinned down for a long time. I’m desperately trying to get free. I know it’s not me that will release me but God, and I have moments where I recognize that to be true because I can feel and hear the Holy Spirit. Although most of the time I am still trying to do things myself, I haven’t totally let go of my perceived control.

I did have a moment last night where I said out loud to someone else. “It doesn’t come from me, it’s comes from GOD” concerning my ability to care about people more lately. Not that I don’t care for people but it’s different. It’s almost like I feel GOD’s love flowing through me. Weird! A little hard to grasp because I had almost given up on it all, I mean really given up on it! It made me feel very proud that I could proclaim God’s presence in my life out loud.

My sister sent me a verse a couple days ago that really means a lot to me (she is very smart and I love her!). The verse is I John 4:18 and I know it was from God.

13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Wow! That’s a lot to take in. Bottom Line - To truly become fearless I must become full of God’s love. I’ve got along journey ahead of me. I need to commit to spending time daily.

I still feel overwhelmed but not as sad.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I got an email from my grandma the other day. It starts out…….

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family.
It goes on to talk about how the newcomer became the source of all information and introduced things to the family that pushed the moral limits......and so on. It ends with….

and that friend was called TV.
The final line in the email is “If I turned the TV off for one month, I wonder what I'd replace them with?”

I must be honest I don’t like forwards and I get irritated with silly email stories but I KNOW it was sent with LOVE and the best of intentions and I must admit, I did connect with it.

It has been on my mind for a couple years and more so over the past couple of months. I would love to be rid of the TV for at least a month, in my mind I envisioned a year! I have told a couple of people that I would like to do this and they all say “just don’t watch it”. Easier said then done as TV is blended into the fibers our culture and currently my life.

My inner fear is that I will miss something, that I may not get the joke or that people will think I’m the weird one. More then that is the fear that it may create strife in my relationship because it is a difference of opinion and I fear it would keep us in separate spaces.

The thing is, I have this constant nagging. Which these days I like to affectionately call the Holy Spirit that keeps bugging me about my TV watching habits, the wrong TV, too much TV, the placement of the TV etc.

I feel embarrassed to say I am a reality TV junkie and I hate it. It is a waste of my time and steals time away from God doing something with my life. How can I be an instrument of God when I am sitting in front of the TV watching the “Real World”? I feel like YUCK when I say it out loud!

I now know that God has had a plan for me. I never took the time to pay attention and reached a point that I couldn’t even hear him at all. I’m trying my best to listen and take His advice since he loves me more then anyone! And my future existence is with Him.

Why am I so easily distracted? I need to make a change!

John 12:24-26
24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Quit Smoking

This is from my journal, entry date 07/13/07

I quit smoking 07/05/07 Thursday @ 10:00am’ish, the morning after 4th of July. I woke up and had three cigarettes in my pack. I smoked one on the way to work and two during a break at 10am, while I was smoking the last cigarette I thought to myself “this will be the last cigarette you smoke”.

Lunch came 12:00pm, which is the time I would smoke my next 3 cigarettes if I had any. I didn’t smoke and felt ok about it. My afternoon break 2:00pm, I was thinking about whether or not I wanted to bum a smoke from a friend. I was just about ready to ask for a cigarette when another friend said to me “you’re not smoking?”, I said “no” and he said “are you quitting?” and I said “yeah I think so” and that was that.

That night was painful. Kevin and I were watching TV and he was talking to me about what was on TV. I don’t know what was on or what he was talking about. I could hear noise but couldn’t discern any sounds. All I could think about was having a cigarette, I was obsessed.

When I woke up Friday morning I felt happy that hadn’t smoked but I felt like I couldn’t think straight. At work a non-smoking friend came by later in the day and I told him I quit because I knew he used to smoke and had quit. I asked him if it was easy for him and he began to tell me his testimony. Part of it was about how God took away his desire to smoke when he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He congratulated me for having quit and told me he would pray for me. The strangest thing happened, I had the most peaceful weekend I have had in a long time and I didn’t smoke. I still can’t figure it out, I haven’t felt that good in over 10yrs, I just had so much peace. I didn’t feel self conscious or worried or angry and I didn’t want to smoke.

It has become more of a struggle to keep that point of view but I’ve been spending a lot of time every day repeating things and changing the way I think so I can develop new ways of dealing with situations where I feel like I have to have a cigarette. Realizing I don’t and it’s really killing me. There’s no propaganda involved in not smoking campaigns it really is bad for me and will kill me!

Why is it so important to smoke? It’s really a raw deal. I added up all the money I spent on cigarettes since I started smoking I averaged $3/pack/10yrs = $10,950. So I spent that amount of money to have my life shortened, that’s just craziness!

No more! I am tired of being weak and a slave. Tired of thinking how will smoking fit into this situation? Will I be able to smoke where ever I’m going?

I thought it was mine and I loved it but I really love being free from it.