During Tim’s talk last Thursday, one of his main points was that Jesus doesn’t give up on anyone, and he used Paul as a great example of this truth. As he made this very important point, he talked about how Satan tries to make us think less of ourselves, how Satan tries to convince us that we have been given up on – by people, Jesus, ourselves, whoever. Tim summed this idea up by saying, “Satan plants seeds of unworthiness” This is so, so true. Satan absolutely loves making us think that we are unworthy of so many things and in so many ways.
I think a man named Aeneas who we meet near the end of Acts 9 understood what it was like to feel unworthy. We are told that Aeneas had been “bedridden for eight years” because he was paralyzed. This is a man who had to question his worth. He had not been paralyzed his entire life, so I would think knowing what his life was like before the paralysis made it that much more difficult for him to handle being bedridden. Add to that the common belief in his day that physical ailments were a punishment from God, and we have a powerful combination of factors that contributed to this man questioning his worth.
Then he meets Peter. We read about their brief encounter in Acts 9:34, “And Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.’ And immediately he rose.” For the first time in 8 years (for perspective, think about where you were 8 years ago), Aeneas stood up and walked.
This is a big deal. Obviously, the man is physically healed and that’s important. But there is so much more going on. First of all, Peter called Aeneas by name. Don’t miss that. He called him by name. Chances are that Aeneas didn’t hear his name called very often, and that is dehumanizing. He no doubt questioned his worth as a person. Peter gives that back to him simply by calling him by name. (This is a huge point. Advocates for people who are journeying through homelessness frequently talk about the importance of asking someone’s name when you give them some money or food. That way they’re not a cause; they’re a person. Remember Joe?)
Satan had been planting seeds of unworthiness in Aeneas’ life for at least 8 years, but in one moment Jesus through Peter weeded out anything that had grown from those seeds. He helped Aeneas see his worth.
So often our worth is tied up in our identity. This is so dangerous. If your identity is being a good student and you have a rough semester, then you begin to question your worth. If your identity is being wealthy and you lose your money, then you question your worth. So to keep this from happening to keep from questioning our worth, you have to find your identity in something that won’t leave you.
That’s Jesus, and Jesus alone. He’s not going anywhere. He loves you no matter who you are and what you’ve done. Find your identity in being someone that Jesus loves and you will never have to question your worth.
It’s amazing to me how God works things – how He puts multiple things that seem unrelated together to make a powerful point.
Part 1: Last Thursday during his message about Paul’s conversion, Tim told us that we are all called to demonstrate the love of Jesus to everyone we encounter because since Jesus no longer has a body on Earth, God uses our bodies – our hands, feet, etc.
Part 2: I read the story at the end of Acts 9 about Tabitha being raised from the dead. Tabitha was a woman “full of good works and acts of charity,” (Acts 9:36) who made tunics and other pieces of clothing for the widows in her hometown.
Part 3: My friend, Fred, writes a post on Facebook that included the following quote from Teresa of Avilla (1515 – 1582):
“Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
Part 4: As I type this I am reminded of Casey Kane’s homework assignment for the kids he teaches. It’s always the same thing: LOVE PEOPLE.
That’s our responsibility. That’s what we’re supposed to do. We are supposed to show people the love of God by loving them. In doing so, we show them Jesus.and acts of charity. Let’s be Jesus’ hands and feet. Let’s love people.
source: UGACCF Join the Movement blog
This is a great follow up with a great example from my talk at CCF 8 Oct 2015
As he introduced us to Saul/Paul last night, Tim Hudson (former lead campus minister at CCF) made the powerful point of how God made the greatest Christian leader of a generation (Paul) out of one of if not the greatest persecuted of Christians. He then elaborated on this saying with many examples saying, “the next (insert modern Christian leader here) might currently be (insert non-Christ-like description here).” Something like – the next Mother Teresa might currently be a prostitute. His point was God can and does use anybody to accomplish powerful things for His kingdom. If he can use a man that persecuted Christians the way Paul did to spread the Gospel all over the Mediterranean rim in the 1st century, then He can use you as well.
This idea was struck home to me this morning by a reading from today’s entry in a book I read…
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I found this article by Tom McKay in Mic very interesting. Any comments?
Bread-eaters, beer drinkers and eating enthusiasts alike now have something to rub in the noses of their gluten-free comrades:
There’s yet more scientific evidence that a gluten-free diet may do little for one’s health.
A recent George Institute for Global Health scientists study has found no evidence that the nutritional value of gluten-free food differs significantly from baseline food products, except they offer less dietary protein.
While those with celiac disease are certainly in their own category, the study found those otherwise eating gluten-free food for their “health benefits” may be grasping at straws.
The science: The research team, whose findings were published in the British Journal of Nutrition, compared over 3,200 foods in a variety of categories, including both staples of a healthy diet and junk food like potato chips. The results revealed gluten-free foods contained less protein, but were otherwise mostly identical in levels of sodium, sugar and other nutrients.
“Gluten-free foods are essential for patients who suffer from celiac disease,” Jason Wu, the study‘s lead author, told Mic via email. But, as almost anything labeled “gluten-free” becomes increasingly popular on grocery store shelves, Wu said these products are becoming more of a staple for people who do not necessarily need them but simply associate “products that are gluten-free as being healthier.”
However, when these products are actually examined through a careful scientific lens, any such claims of elevated health properties mostly go out the window.
“We found that many products are now labelled as gluten-free, even amongst junk foods that are typically high in sugar, salt and saturated fat,” Wu told Mic. “Our results indicate that there is in fact little difference in the overall nutrition profile between gluten-free and non-gluten-free products across both core foods (e.g. bread and pasta), or junk foods (e.g. processed meats and cakes).”
Debunking gluten-free food: Claims gluten-free food is healthier have doubtless fueled skyrocketing sales of gluten-free food, which research group Mintel says rose 63% from 2012 to 2014 to $8.8 billion.
Avoiding gluten is very important for the relatively small but growing proportion of the population with celiac disease, which causes gluten to damage the intestines.
However, some gluten-free advocates go further, claiming gluten is responsible for inflammation in the dietary tract in gluten “intolerant” individuals who do not have celiac disease, as well as say gluten-free diet has beneficial impacts on gut flora. Some doctors believe increased consumption of synthetic and processed foods has led to increased gluten sensitivity.
But David S. Seres, director of medical nutrition and associate professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center’s Institute of Human Nutrition, said these claims lack scientific validity.
“Just like a vitamin making non-claims such as ‘supports heart health,’ people have it in their heads that gluten-free food will improve gut health,” Seres told Mic via email. “I think the food industry is simply riding the tide of hype and frenzy.”
Research from Peter Gibson at Monash University in Melbourne has suggested a specific group of dietary sugars known as FODMAPS typically found in higher quantities in gluten-containing foods is the most likely culprit of many supposed cases of gluten intolerance.
The bottom line: Simply put, there is “no evidence that a gluten-free diet is best for the general health-conscious public,” Seres told Mic, except for those individuals who have been diagnosed with celiac disease by a doctor or who otherwise have a “strong reason” to suspect their symptoms are directly tied to gluten consumption.
“There are numerous people with non-specific GI symptoms who claim to feel better on the diet. For these, there are possibly people with celiac disease but with negative tests,” he said. “But for most others, it is as likely to be a placebo effect as not.”
So if you really think gluten is behind your digestive woes, get a formal medical diagnosis. Otherwise, if the food itself isn’t even any healthier, then it probably isn’t worth shelling out extra for it.
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A most remarkable article. #TheTruth anywhere is still true. This is the truth. #Christianactivism http://wapo.st/1IBMARq
Who knew the BBC had this great a sense of humor! I love this http://ow.ly/N0R4k