Tuesday, August 13, 2013

God's Handiwork

My Massage School Textbooks 

 A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

My Massage School textbooks arrived recently. I spent some time flipping through them and reading bits here and there. I am excited to be getting to study in greater depth God's amazing handiwork. The human body is so complex. 

I've been reading a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. She takes a look at how primitive cultures ate and how it affected their healthy. They can tell a lot by looking at the bones of ancient people. She has some pretty convincing arguments that we have been pitched a lot of information regarding health and wellness that benefits big business and the drug companies far more than it benefits you and I. In looking at primitive cultures she points out that most ate mostly meats, seasonal vegetables nuts seeds and berries. Even when they became more agricultural the grains that they ate would have been sprouted grains and they would have added fermenting  as a way of preserving dairy, vegetables and fruits, which actually increase the nutrients available to the body.  The ate no processed flours, sugars, oils. They ate real foods that they generally collected, harvested and preserved with in their family structure. 

I'm not saying we all need to move to the farm or to the woods and live in a hut. Just as I am looking at things it seems we have gotten a long way from Gods original designs. My dad posed an interesting questions recently. He said look around your house at all the things you have. How many of those things could you make yourself. I cold maybe get a piece of wood and make a poor copy of a wooden spoon. We have become so industrialized that we are separated from how things are made. Most children think that milk comes from the grocery store not from cows. How many have even seen a cow or a goat up close or seen how milk can be turned into butter or cheese. Even most of our food often comes from cans or boxes. 

I've been spending a lot of time this summer learning how to make and preserve more things starting with fresh foods. So far I have learned how to make kefir and yogurt from milk. (I live in the city so having my own cow, goats or chickens is not an option.)  From the yogurt and kefir I can make soft cheese. I can make butter from the heavy whipping cream and I've been told you can make it from kefir too. I have been learning about laco fermenting foods and have been pretty successful with a number of vegetables. Pretty much my family is eating fresh or fermented foods and are enjoying what we've been serving. They were already used to low carb cooking and we have simply added wonderfully fermented foods to the lower carb way of cooking and eating we were already doing.

Anyway I have been thinking about God's creation of mankind and the world He has given us to live in and how far we have gone from Eden. Jesus restores us spiritually to a right relationship with the Father. He does not just zap us out of here at the moment of salvation He leaves us here. He begins a process of transforming us and he has prepared in advance good things for us to do. 
He has given us work and things to attend to in this life. Our spiritual life is not separate from the rest of our life. Our life is meant to be lived in Him. We are meant to be led and instructed by the Word and the Holy Spirit. There has been a prevalent idea in the Church life is somehow sinful and we should focus on the spiritual and disregard the body and the things of life. Jesus hung out with the tax collectors and sinners he did not spend his time locked up in the temple. He was out with ordinary folks involved in the things commonly known to man. Every day he demonstrated the principles of Kingdom life. 

I like this quote from the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon "There is a great deal to be learned from their dietary habits, but the fact is that we are not fundamentally cave men but beings with a divine component to our being. The desire to abstain from animal products, found so often in those of a spiritual nature, may reflect a longing to return to a former, more perfect state of consciousness that was ours before our souls took embodiment in physical bodies on the material plane. This longing attracts many to the belief that our bodies and souls can be purified, or that we can achieve spiritual enlightenment, through a meatless diet. Saintly individuals are often drawn to strict vegetarian habits, and some have been able to sustain themselves on a diet free of animal products for fairly long periods of time. (Some have even lived on no food at all; for many years St. Therese Neumann of Bavaria consumed only the consecrated host. Similar well documented examples are found in the lives of Catholic and Hindu saints.) Even so, it is a mistake to think that meat-eaters lack spirituality—many
highly spiritual people eat meat regularly. Perhaps they instinctively realize that when we eat animal products we are accepting, reverently and humbly, the requirements of the earthly body temple in which the soul is temporarily housed, even as we look forward to the day when we have completed our earthly assignment and our souls will be free to return to a higher condition, one in which we will no longer be dependent on foods provided by the animal kingdom. Seen in this light, strict vegetarianism can be likened to a kind of spiritual pride that seeks to "take heaven by
force," and to shirk the earthly duties for which the physical body was created."

It is not just the big things that we do for God but the everyday ordinary things that are also to be acts of worship. The kindness I show my family and others.  Even the food that I prepare should show His love to them. The environment of my home should reflect His peace, joy and be a place of refuge and refreshing for all who enter its doors. When you go to work at a job you also have daily opportunities to be a living bible. You are the only bible that many people will ever read. Your life is an act of worship and your on going continual prayers and communication rise before the Lord like a pleasing incense.  

John 17:14-15 (NIV)
14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 

We are all works in progress for me I am seeing more and more how life in the spirit is not separated from life in the body. God desire is to restore us to wholeness in Him. 

Prayer: I pray that the Lord will meet you and help you to see His good plans and purposes for your life. That you will look at yourself and see with renewed wonder His marvelous creation. That you would find joy and fulfillment in the good works that He has prepared in advance for you. 

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