Nutrition for the Whole (Wo)man - Jessica Gerdes


Jessica Gerdes
Jessica Gerdes

I have passion for true food, and with that I receive many newsletters from environmental and health organizations to continually keep me educated on what is going on with the food industry. Even though I do not feel it is my place to picket infamous organizations such as Monsanto, I believe that the food I purchase for my family casts my vote for me.

Something that was just put into perspective recently was that I am a three part being with all parts needing nourishment. While I already have a strong focus to feed my physical vessel with nutrient dense material, avoiding non-foods, I hadn’t considered whether or not I was starving my other two parts with junk food. The Word says that a 3 strand cord is not easily broken. I wonder how my life would excel if all my parts were in perfect agreement and in health?  “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2

Just as important as nutrition is the metabolic need for exercise. Metabolism is the spark that sets off the flame inside. The more you use your muscles, the more calories you burn. I wonder if nutrition and exercise are keys to investigate for caring for my spirit and soul also. In the book “The Shack”, what brings a smile to my face is the intimate display that God, Holy Spirit, and Jesus had with one another at the kitchen table. This to me is a picture of the love I could begin to grow with my soul and spirit. God in His three parts was the image I was formed in. I think it is time to begin cultivating intimacy with the rest of me.

I do not claim to be an expert in these things but I believe that our craving for entertainment is one addictive non-food source that I have fed my spirit regularly. Unlike the complexity of learning how to feed our physical bodies with all the options available, feeding our spirit seems much simpler. It is the Word of God. Communing with God and worshiping God daily is the best health food available.

I read an article in Charisma about the intrigue of zombies in our media -“the walking dead”. The article was comparing us to frogs in a pot where the heat is turned up so hot that we are slowly being cooked in what we allow ourselves and our families to watch regularly as compared to just 40 years ago. I must confess in the really long hours I work with all my responsibilities added up, the reward I most often look forward to is being alone in my room by 8pm to decompress to a show before going to bed, even at the risk of blowing off my children to make this happen.  You know that lethargic feeling of eating too much of a sweet thing instead of stopping at just one serving? I wonder if I have been doing that to my spirit through a regular diet of entertainment to end my day, thus creating a walking dead spirit.

It says in the Word that the night seasons belong to God. I can remember about  four years ago when I would catch the wind of something God was showing me and latch on to it until I searched it out, all the depths of the mystery, with great strength and vigor. Today, God still speaks but it is all I can do to write down what He said before the next distraction comes, in hopes that I will remember at some point to go back to it and search it out. The weakness I feel is akin to when you stop working out and your muscle memory goes back to before you even began, when walking several blocks was a hard task to complete.

So there is nutrition AND there is working out our faith. There is feeding on God’s Word and walking in what He says. We all “know” God is our provider, but how many of us truly exercise this regularly? How many of us desire change but then default to human wisdom, which James says is demonic, and fail to sow for the return we desire? We have, unfortunately, trained ourselves in earthly wisdom. Which brings us to the third part, our soul -

I do not have a super clear understanding about the soul, but I believe our soul realm has to do with our thoughts. I recently watched a teaching by Mark Chironna . He is a highly educated man with several degrees, one being in psychology which is the study of the mind and behavior. He said that one of the most impactful things he was told by another popular minister is that “in heaven our thoughts are as loud as our prayers.” Just stop for a second and listen to your thoughts………

What a great exercise regime, to regularly pay attention to what we are thinking! Once we know what we have allowed entrance to, we could then practice throwing down any lofty thoughts including the thoughts that lead us to laziness, selfish ambition and lusts of the flesh. In addition to being actively on guard with our thoughts, we are to feed our mind on things above and not below, thus exercising our Godly imagination.

Sometimes it is downright tough to change habits we have developed. I have read that we are a sum of our habits. With regard to making change, one strategy for losing weight is turning up the heat of our digestion by eating small portions regularly to get that cycle burning hot. When it comes to our spirits, isn’t this the same training that created a hot flame in David and Daniel? It was their habits that set them apart. No matter what was going on, morning, noon and night both men stopped their busyness and directed their spirit toward the Lord in worship and thanksgiving.