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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Gluttony - a real sin!
In April of this year, my doctor suggested that I lose some weight.

Can you imagine? Sure, my BMI was into the "obese" range, but frankly I am of a larger frame than most - even if I am somewhat diminutive in stature (5' 8") . As a member of our church leadership team, and as a deacon in the church - not to mention the father of three, and otherwise active member of both the church and my own family - I could not fathom the idea that I would have the time to exercise. Was it my fault that my job (a computer programmer) was a sedentary one?

Well, the sad reality is that I wasn't obese because my job was sedentary, nor was I obese because I was a good father or deacon. I was obese because I ate too much - in biblical terms, I was a glutton.

We don't like to use that word these days. Surely in the world of fattening foods and growing commitments, one can hardly blame a sedentary person for their portly posture? But I considered my own heart the moment I thought about losing weight. Never once did the idea of restricting my food intake enter into my head - that particular scenario was off limits. I had a right to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it.

So like most people in denial about their gluttony, I harbored a genuine concern for my health with regards to the weight that I was carrying around - and so rather than restrict my eating habits, I looked into exercising. I decided to get a bike and ride it to work each day, five days a week (About 19 miles a day or so) - this would surely cause me to begin dropping pounds like crazy.

However, after the first week of effort, I was quite exhausted, and had lost hardly one pound of weight. It was at this point that I actually looked into how much work one had to do in order to both lose and gain a pound. The numbers work out like this: In order to gain a pound of fat, one needs to consume 3500 more calories than the body needs. In my case, consulting height and weight tables, I knew that I could safely consume about 2000 calories a day without putting on any additional weight. That worked out to like, a small breakfast, a tasteless lunch, and perhaps a child's portion of a half decent supper. If I were to say, drop into McDonalds at sometime during that day and order say, two big Macs, a large fries, and a large shake - (a total of around 3400 calories) - I could put on a pound of fat in just one day!

Losing a pound of fat however was something different altogether. For my weight and height, I would have to jog for eight and a half hours to lose one pound of fat.

I considered that carefully. One McMeal = 8.5 hours of physical punishment...

That was when I realized that I was never, ever going to lose weight through exercise alone, and it was at this point that I understood how much of a glutton I had been in the past.

You see, as I alluded to earlier, I didn't even consider reducing the amount of food I ate - not for a minute. Yet when I looked at the numbers I knew that I could not lose weight any other way.

At first I tried to get around the facts - you know, I could diet and lose a bunch of weight (Or better yet, have a "holy", yet ever so convenient fast....), but the more I considered it, the more I began to see that I was avoiding the real problem - that I simply and consistently was eating too much.

Scripture says that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. I don't think that Jesus was referring specifically to me in this instance, but something happened when I admitted to God that I was a glutton - I mean, I had done it many times before, but never in repentance - it had always been lip service. But this time I understood that I was a real glutton, and that I needed to repent of it just as one repents of any sin.

So I did.

It has only been nine weeks now, but I have lost 26 pounds in that time. I stayed away from all the fad diets and simply began to eat less of what I normally eat (and even started eating some healthy things) and began to exercise daily. The weight started coming off immediately!

Now, being a programmer, I am a numbers kind of a fellow, so I examined the weight I was losing - was it water? Real fat? ..Gulp... muscle? I had read enough to understand that many people starve themselves and in doing so lose some weight - but the weight that they lose isn't just fat - but a lot of it is muscle. In the end they end up being just as unhealthy as they were before they started - only now they have much less muscle. So I kept a close eye on what kind of weight I was losing. Apparently you need to keep your protein up - this helps you to maintain the muscle you do have, while losing the fat.

I like to talk about the numbers, so forgive my boring tangent there - but the bottom line is that we in North America have overlooked gluttony as a sin. Even in our pulpits I see plus-size pastors everywhere (except in those churches where image is so important that a person would for vanity's sake do whatever it cost to look their best).

If we as teachers and pastors overlook our own gluttony, we do this church a disservice. I for one have been delivered out of it, and by God's grace, assuming I remain humble, I will continue to overcome this sin. My encouragement for those who are overweight and in the faith - repent.
posted by Daniel @ 1:07 PM  
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