September 15 - 21, 2008


Here's an archive column from 2005. Enjoy!

Fresh, tasty and good for you

At a farm stand not far from my house a family sells produce plucked from fields right next to the roadside tables on which they are displayed. Squash, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet corn, peas, cukes, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupes -- they're true joys of summer.

Even if you buy groceries in the supermarket, fresh produce is a real treat -- and one you can indulge in without guilt. Fresh vegetables and fruit have lots of nutrients, low fat and not too many calories. That's a welcome change for our culture, where collectively we have an awful diet that makes us heavy and unhealthy.

Americans are officially the fattest people on the planet, with 65 percent of our adults overweight, and 30 percent so overweight they are obese -- up dramatically from 46 percent and 15 percent, respectively, 25 years ago, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Experts point to lots of reasons, but the basic one is this: We eat too much.

We are eating too much, and too much of what we are eating is fast food -- both served in restaurants and bought at the market ready for the microwave. These heavily processed foods generally are high in fat, sugar and carbohydrates and low in nutrients, and the serving sizes just keep going up. For instance, Hardee's Monster Thickburger contains 1,420 calories. By comparison, McDonald's Big Mac has "just" 570 calories, and Burger King's Whopper with cheese has 800 calories.

Along with or expanding waistlines is a big rise in type 2 diabetes, hypertension, joint trouble, heart disease, gall bladder ailments, and on and on. We pay a cost in bodily health, but also in monetary terms -- additional tens of billions every year, the CDC says.

Being Christian stewards means taking care of all our God-given gifts, and that includes our bodies as a matter of priority. If we're unhealthy, how can we take care of anything else? Clearly we have a lot of work to do, and eating a balanced, healthy diet and maintaining a normal weight goes a long way toward that goal.

So next time you drive past the farm stand or the produce aisle at the supermarket, indulge in one of the joys of summer. It's good for you, and it's good stewardship!
-Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster
Reprint right gladly given to congregations for nonprofit, local use. Just include the following note: "Copyright (c) 2008 The Rev. Robert Blezard, Used by permission."

New This Week:

Vision for Success
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What Does the Bible Say About Creation Care?
EENRooted in the Word of God, Christians should be aware of Scripture’s mandate to care for the environment. This article provides a good roundup and summary. Click here for “What Does the Bible Say about Creation Care?” from the Evangelical Environmental Network.


Living Simply ≠ Simply Living
Sharron LucasNow nine months into the experiment of buying nothing new, our columnist has learned many important lessons about justice, equality and human nature. “I’m finding that a lifestyle of careful stewardship is a much more complex and perplexing proposition than the standard consumer culture opt-in.” Click here for “Living ≠ Simply Living,” from SOLI columnist Sharron Riessinger Lucas. Click here to read her archived columns.


Care for Clergy Living With ‘Un-Holy’ Stress
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Stewardship from the Lectionary
Your ChurchLooking for a way to put more stewardship into your preaching? Here is a great help -- a weekly commentary that highlights stewardship aspects in the weekly lectionary texts. Click here for "Stewardship from the Lectionary," from ELCA Stewardship Resources.


Joke of the week!Joke of the Week!