Picky eater or victim of Hypersensitive Taste Bud Syndrome?

vegetables.jpgThere was an article in the paper a few years back noting that picky eaters may have overly sensitive taste buds. Having been a lifelong choosy eater I quickly latched onto this new victim status.

You see, my eating habits are somewhat legendary (though not in a good way). I never met a vegetable I liked, though now I do consume spinach and carrots after they have been liquified in my Veggie Boy shakes.

But it turns out that I’m not really picky! Those of you who don’t have Hypersensitive Taste Bud Syndrome (HTBS) are eating lots of foods that taste bad, but you just don’t know it. If you want to know if something really tastes good or not, just ask.

Remember, I’m part of a protected class now, so careful with the picky eater jokes.

Just in case you thought I was making this up, here’s a related article.

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Daniel 6

This reading is Daniel 6.

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This passage is the famous story of Daniel in the lion’s den. This is one of those stories that seem to be told mostly to kids, so much so that you might start to think it is an allegory. But it was real. Read it carefully.

I couldn’t resist putting a couple lion photos in from my post-mission trip safaris in Kenya the last two summers. I think the one lion is yawning, but you can pretend he is roaring if you like. As Daniel’s friends found out in v. 24, you do not want to be in a den full of these things.

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Daniel continues to prove his excellence as a leader and administrator under King Darius. He was even asked to be over the whole kingdom. This made his peers quite jealous, so they conspire to have him killed.

Daniel had such integrity that his enemies said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

In the Medo-Persian empire, once a law was made even the king could not change it (also see Esther 8:8 for an example of this). Darius’ pride led him to approve the law the government officials proposed.

We are instructed to obey our governments, except when the law of God conflicts with the law of man. In this case, Daniel would not stop praying.

Darius regretted his decision to ban prayer but couldn’t change it. The king made every effort to save Daniel and didn’t eat or sleep that night. He knew enough about Daniel’s God to realize his power. I like Daniel 6:16:

So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

Those who tried to have Daniel killed were then killed themselves, and King Darius exalts the one true God. When we live as Christians outside the world’s system, especially when under trials or temptations, people will notice the difference.

Not everyone who stands up for God like Daniel did will prosper in this lifetime. But we can rest assured that God will judge and reward perfectly.

The next reading is Daniel 7.

Amusing interview with Ann Coulter on God, Faith and Liberals

Click here. This is an excerpt:

I cannot speak to individual cases–only God knows who is truly following Him–but claiming to be Jewish or Christian doesn’t immunize one from bad ideologies. Some slaveholders claimed to be Christians, too. Howard Dean, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry all belong to a church that believes it’s okay to stick a fork in a baby’s head. To the extent one is practicing liberalism, one is not practicing the religion of our Father.

Did Coulter go too far when she blasted the 9/11 widows? I think so. Is her rhetoric going to build many bridges? Probably not. But my question for Coulter’s harshest critics is this: Which is worse, Ann’s over the top commentary or the practice of partial birth abortion?

I just started reading her book “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.” It is quite good so far.

Hat tip: RedBlueChristian

In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.

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I think of the above saying from St. Augustine that John Wesley liked to quote whenever I am trying to decide if an issue is important enough to divide over, or if it should just be a matter of friendly debate. There are some things Christians must agree on, such as the Divinity of Jesus, the accuracy and authority of the Bible, that Jesus is the only way to salvation, etc. If we don’t agree on those then we’ve got big problems. But we should be as charitable as possible when disagreeing.

Some church leaders actually say unity is more important than doctrine, but that is counter to what the Bible teaches (see Doctrine Counts). Ironically, the fact that they hold that view is one of the reasons the church should split from them! When you review the beliefs on the essentials of the faith, the factions are so far apart that unity is impossible.

For example, some claim that the Bible is not the Word of God, and that it is merely a product of the perceptions of certain cultures at certain times. But the Bible makes literally thousands of claims to speak for God. So if someone thinks all those claims are wrong, why pick up the book at all?

But we don’t have to have unity on non-essential issues. For example, there are honest debates about how to interpret the Book of Revelation, and one can hold one of several views and still be an orthodox Christian. There are many worship preferences (music, style, etc.) that we don’t need to agree on. There is remarkably little guidance in the New Testament on how to conduct worship services, so a little flexibility should be in order. The main thing is to never alter the message of the Gospel.

When we are united on the essentials, Christianity is incredible. We all read the same book and serve the same God no matter where we are in the world. Some of my favorite worship experiences have been when I visited Singapore and Kenya, because the same Holy Spirit was present in radically different venues.

God knew we would have disputable matters, so He gave us guidance on how to handle those.

P.S. In my experience, those who favor unity over doctrine have bad doctrine.

Daniel 5

This reading is Daniel 5.

This passage addresses the son (or grandson) of Nebuchadnezzar. The king showed contempt for the Israelites by using the gold and silver goblets that had been plundered from the temple in Jerusalem. Then a most unusual thing happened:

Daniel 5:4-6 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone. Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way.

Once again Daniel is called on to interpret something. The gifts represented royalty (the purple robe), wealth (the gold chain) and power (being made the third highest ruler in the kingdom). Daniel recounts where Nebuchadnezzar went wrong and what the consequences were, then highlights Belshazzar’s offenses.

Daniel 5:22-23 “But you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways.

Belshazzar lives up to his part of the agreement and gives Daniel what he promised. Belshazzar loses the kingdom that night. Note that the fall of Babylon was also prophesied in Isaiah 47.

Trivia fact: Two famous sayings come this passage: “The writing on the wall” and “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

The next reading is Daniel 6.

A hero from the Titanic

John Harper was an English preacher who drowned when the Titanic sank. He shared the Gospel until the very end. Unfortunately, his amazing story was left out of the movie. Some excerpts:

Ironically, John Harper almost drowned several times during his life.

As the rear of the huge ship began to lurch upwards, it was reported that Harper was seen making his way up the deck yelling “Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!”

John Harper was seen swimming frantically to people in the water leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal. Mr. Harper swam up to one young Man who had climbed up on a piece of debris. Rev. Harper asked him between breaths, “Are you saved?” The young man replied that he was not. Harper then tried to lead him to Christ only to have the young man who was near shock, reply no. John Harper then took off his life jacket and threw it to the man and said “Here then, you need this more than I do…” and swam away to other people. A few minutes later Harper swam back to the young man and succeeded in leading him to salvation.

Of the 1528 people that went into the water that night, six were rescued by the lifeboats. One of them was this young man on the debris. Four years later, at a survivors meeting, this young man stood up and in tears recounted how that after John Harper had led him to Christ. Mr. Harper had tried to swim back to help other people, yet because of the intense cold, had grown too weak to swim. His last words before going under in the frigid waters were “Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”