The Bread of Life is enough bread for me!

Ok, time to fess up.  Part two of our family journey to health is actually a completely selfishly section dedicated to me.  I didn’t drag to crew into this part, because at the time, I didn’t think they needed it.  Quitting sugar in all it’s ‘evil’ forms, apart from a few treats from grandparents and the morning tea table at church, made a great difference in our lives, and I thought we’d implemented all the changes we needed to for the family as a whole.  Life could go on with “normal” food, so long as it wasn’t packed with fructose. 

(I forgot to mention last week, that while dropping sugar seemed to make a difference in the kids behaviour, that was probably something to do with the preservatives and un-pronounceable ingredients in a lot of those foods.)

So now for the selfish actions.  I’m completely ok with this by the way.  It’s perfectly alright to do something for yourself!

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. ”  John 6:35
This is a truth for which I am forever thankful.  Jesus is the bread of life everlasting.  A life which I am confident I will have.  However, the bread you find in the supermarket, well it turns out, it’s not for me!

By cutting out fructose I lost 5kgs in about 5 weeks.  Then I didn’t loose any weight for about 4 weeks.  Then I started putting weight back on.  Not. Happy. Jan!  Something else has to change.  About the same time I heard about Christine Cronau.  Her family were featured on a TV show as being on a “Butter Diet”.  Everything she said fitted well with what I’d learned from David Gillespie, but she gave me another thing to focus on.  People who’ve been on many diets over the years may have done damage to their metabolism.  This means that simply cutting fructose probably isn’t going to bring a great change in weight.  She suggested looking into lowering carbohydrate intake.  This was a bit of a bummer for me.  Chips, pasta, rice, BREAD, all the cheap things we’d been using to fill us up, were on the list of things to reduce.  But, I had to do something.  In the 6 years since getting married, I’d managed to gain 20kg.  TWENTY KILOS!!  I can’t even really blame the kids for that.  I didn’t gain a lot during pregnancy, I seemed to accumulate weight in between pregnancies.

As I didn’t see any reason to stop the rest of my family from enjoying pizza, pasta, toast, sandwiches, all the foods they enjoyed, I cut back carbs for myself.  I lost another 5 kgs in about 5 weeks, putting me about 7kgs down from my start weight, because they just wouldn’t stay off!!  And what do you think happened?  The kilos started creeping back on!  Argh!!  What gives?  Never fear, there will be a third installment to this journey, and currently I’m 16kgs under my start weight, so I think it’s working!!

Cutting back carbs, essentially all grains, starchy vegetables etc, I lost something else that I wasn’t expecting.  I lost the brain fog I’d been living in for years!  Mental clarity, complete thoughts, the desire to learn new things, all returned!  This may have also been due to the increased vegetable variety and volume I was consuming.  Depression has also been an issue for me for a number of years, but since taking this particular step, I haven’t had one bout.  I’m not claiming that diet is the answer to all depression, but it’s worth looking into.  We recently watched a DVD called Food Matters which has a lot to say on the matter, and which helped clarify for me that this completely selfish thing I was doing, was the best thing I could possibly be doing for myself, and for my family.  Please note, I don’t ascribe to all the views shared on the Food Matters DVD, but it has a lot of great info and I do recommend you check it out.

Do you have something you do just for yourself?  Families are wonderful, but everyone needs to step out and take time for themselves from time to time.

Sunday 12th August 2012 – Bread of Life 3


The Word This Week:

Thoughts on the Word:

John 6:35, 41-51

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

In today’s Gospel we continue our reading of John 6, which focuses on the idea of Jesus as the bread of life.  Jesus re-iterates his contention that he is indeed the bread of life, he brings to the attention of his Jewish audience that their ancestors ate manna in the desert (while grumbling much as the crowd before him was!) but that manna did not stop them dying.  He contrasts himself with the manna, by declaring that by eating this new bread, which comes from heaven they will not die! 

What he says next though is something that as we will see next week causes much disillusion in the crowd.  He says that the bread that he will give is his flesh.  Now the allusion to the Eucharist here is inescapable, Jesus gives of his flesh and blood for all of us, and in the Eucharist we gather to partake of that body and blood.  But more on that next week!  This week I want us to focus on the broader meaning in Jesus’ words.  Jesus in declaring he is our bread of life, is calling us to follow him, he gives us the clearest example of what living a life of dedication to God looks like.

A life dedicated to God leads to one not only declaring God’s love and forgiveness, but living it! Jesus calls us to ingest the message of his life, death and resurrection, to absorb it and use it as our energy source.  He calls us to make his life, death and resurrection a part of us.  Jesus means for us to eat of him, for all people in the world to taste his goodness, to be filled with his mercy, to believe that the Father has sent him among us, so that filled with the bread of heaven, his promise to raise us up will be our destiny*.

So with Jesus we as Christians must stand for the weak against oppression, we must confront hypocrisy, we must declare love – true love which is honest and confronting to be the force which guides our lives.  If we have truly taken Christ into our hearts, and made him our energy source (our bread of life) then we must live as he did.  By becoming one with Him we become one with the Father, and the Spirit also.

Have you eaten of the bread of life?  Is Jesus your energy source?

God bless you this week.

* I took this sentence from a sermon by Amy C. Schifrin here: