Tag Archives: food

Modern Day Leviticus: Sacrificing our Food

Picture Source: Foodimentary
Picture Source: Foodimentary

I’ve recently started reading through the book of Leviticus from the Hebrew Scriptures. This book lists the standards and expectations of worshiping God in the sanctuary. Reading through the first several chapters was a reminder to me of how much work was involved in bringing burn offerings, grain offerings, and sin offerings to God.

I have a difficult enough time bringing a side dish to an after church potluck, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like, having to bring a bull, sheep, or a goat to the sanctuary. I’m classified as low income, so my offering would be a grain product and some olive oil. This is one of the rare occasions where living below the national poverty line is a benefit.

There are Christians who feel religiously evolved, maybe even superior because we no longer have to bring items to our contemporary place of worship as an offering to God. Weekly sermons often remind us that God wants our hearts, not our sacrifices. I wouldn’t want to return to the practice of bringing offerings to our place of worship, but I can’t help but feel as if something might have been lost when Christians decided at some point to stop the practice of animal and grain offerings; instead, replacing it with financial offerings.

Picture Source: faithgateway
Picture Source: faithgateway

What would happen if we had a modern version of offerings? What would you bring to the sanctuary and place at the altar and into the fire resulting in a “pleasing odor to the LORD” (Leviticus 3:5)? There are weeks when my schedule is filled with too many activities, fatigue sets in and my eating habits become less than ideal. My sacrifice before the LORD would consist of left-over takeout, green smoothies, and kettle popcorn. I’m not a regular meat eater, there would be no sweet fragrance of cooked meat filling the air. The alter at my church would be filled with a typical Alberta diet of steak, various cuts of beef, pork, potatoes, and a representation of every major fast food franchise in the city. I can see why church goers are content with swapping food offerings for financial offerings. Bringing a portion of our food consumption to church as a sacrifice to God could lead to competitive behaviour and unnecessary shame, but something more important and godlier could happen; we might make a lifestyle change and take better inventory of what we consume and how we spend our money.

Do you habitually spend money on unhealthy foods? Are your funds going towards takeout meals or pre-packaged foods?

I don’t want to return to the religious practice of food sacrifice because I believe it does not fit with modern living and our current culture, not to mention, it was bloody, messy, and used costly food that could have been given to those who were poor for a meal. I also don’t believe God wants a literal sacrifice of our food.

What I’ve Learned From Reading About Food Sacrifices (The Positive):

Food consumption is a form of worship.

He has given us enough food on this earth to feed every single human being; lack of food for survival should never have to happen.

Consume what your body needs and share with others.

We have much more freedom about our food choices than previous followers of God; however, let’s not let that be a reason for us to habitually consume unhealthy foods and forget to give God praise and thanksgiving for the good food we are fortunate enough to be able to eat.

QUESTION: If you were bringing a food offering to God that consisted of your meals from the past two weeks, what would your offering look like? Is thanksgiving a regular part of your eating ritual? What do you think about the past practice of animal and grain offerings?

ACTION CHALLENGE: For the next three days create your own practice of thanksgiving for all the foods and beverages you consume. Before you eat something consider what it is you’re thanking God for. (e.g. The ability to be able to purchase the food, thankfulness that you have an accessible food bank, fresh locally grown produce, being healthy enough to have an appetite, etc.)

Consider giving a modern type of food offering to God by sharing with others (e.g. Donating food to a local food bank, having people over for dinner without asking anyone to bring anything, bringing some healthy baked goods to work or a group that you attend, donating food to a local soup kitchen or shelter, etc.)

May you be blessed with a renewed feeling and experience of gratitude and worship as you consume your meals this week. Let us give thanks for all we are provided with. Peace.


Some Leviticus Humour
Some Leviticus Humour





Christians Don’t Have “Cheat Days”.

Junk Food Cheat Meal

Cheat: (as an intransitive verb)

1a :  to practice fraud or trickery

1b :  to violate rules dishonestly

2:  to be sexually unfaithful

(Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)




Cheat meal seems to be a commonly used phrase in the world of dieting and weight loss. I go out to eat and I see people saying they are having a “cheat meal” as they proceed to order something unhealthy or highly processed from the menu. For the past several months I’ve been wondering why Christians are comfortable with the term “cheat meal”; since when is it acceptable for Christians to schedule or make time for cheating. I don’t use the term “cheat meal”, instead I say “treat meal”. When you say that you are cheating during a meal or worse, having a day of cheating; who exactly are you tricking or whose rules are you violating dishonestly?

Eph 4 29
Healthy Talk








For myself, I’m not yet at the stage where I can claim something to be a treat meal. If I eat chips, cookies, or drink pop it means that somewhere during the day I had given into food temptation. People who are well disciplined with their healthy eating lifestyle are those who have actual treat meals. The occasional unhealthy meal or snack is not going to harm a person, but when these treats become a regular part of your eating plan, they are no longer treats. If unhealthy foods are a regular part of your eating plan, I would ask why you need to refer to it as a treat.

My main concern isn’t about what people are eating for cheat or treat meals; my focus is on the terms that we use when we know that we’ve given into temptation. Cheat, bad, mistake, fail, slip, etc. Words like these are terms used to describe a feeling of defeat. As believers we need to feed our minds words of strength and encouragement. Our journey of healthy living produces resiliency over time when we learn not to label ourselves with self-defeating words.

The self-hate meal
Pretty much










Everyone who struggles with eating well has at least one food item that is a problem. These are the foods where once you start eating them, you feel as if you can’t stop. Once the food item is gone you end up being more vulnerable to overindulging again. I do my best not to bring pop into the house and second on my list is cookies. For others they will have a different list of foods that they need to abstain from.


Dear fellow believers, we are not cheaters; let’s stop using that word.

My hope is that we can find a more positive term to use, one that is not self- defeating. I have become more comfortable with the following two terms: treat meal and break meal (meaning a break from your usual eating choices). Regardless of what you choose to call these times of indulgence, what you feed your body and how much of it still matters.

For further reading, linked below is a great article about cheat meals from Nia Shanks of Lift Like A Girl. http://www.niashanks.com/the-dark-side-of-cheat-days/

Here are other article about cheat meals:




God Has Zero Calories

Spiritual Void

God Has Zero Calories

You’re probably wondering about the ridiculous title, but it’s an expression that I have been repeating to myself over the past few days.

The past few weeks have been filled with anxiety, frustration, and doubt which means it’s also been filled with mostly unconscious desires to stuff my face with all things sugary, processed, and fattening.  I eventually realized that I had returned to eating foods that I have banned from my house and my mouth. The evidence was there; Oreo cookie crumbs on my desk, candy wrappers in my handbag, and a recycle bag filled with juice boxes and a couple cans of pop. There was no denying that I was trying to ease (or possibly ignore) my anxiety by consuming junk food. It was time to face whatever it was that was causing myself to be uneasy and I knew the only way for me to do this was to turn up my faith practices.

rise up do battle

Turning to God with your fears, hopes, disappointments and so forth, is not always an automatic response for us. I approached God in prayer with the following words, “Aaarrgghh, o.k. God!” Whenever I say “O.K. God!”, it is never a happy occasion. I usually only say this when I’ve attempted to do things my way and have failed. This expression comes as a result of not following my gut feelings, my intuition, and most importantly the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

My default response to having anxiety that is off the Richter is to turn to food. I have had to work hard to disable this automatic behaviour.  Turning to food is always a lose-lose situation; turning to God is always a win-win situation.

Some Benefits of Turning to God Instead of Food:

  • God has zero calories
  • His Spirit guides you towards making healthy decisions in response to whatever is worrying you
  • Experiencing growth in your faith and an increase in trusting God and yourself
  • Anxiety, fear, and worry decrease
  • Feeling a sense of calmness
  • You engage in mindfulness and meditation which has numerous benefits for the mind and body
  • Negative thoughts slowly turn into a heart and mind filled with hope
  • Not feeling alone

For others their experiences will result in a different list of benefits. I’ve written this post as a reminder for all of us that turning to food never helps us deal with life challenges. For those who turn to exercise instead of food, that might be a healthier alternative, but it is still a form of avoidance. Once you’re through exercising, undo your laces, put down the weights, lock up your bike, whatever you need to put aside; and take the time to pray to God about all that is causing you uneasiness.

Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.


QUESTION: Are there any automatic responses that you’ve developed as a reaction to continuous stress, anxiety, or worry? Do these responses help you to face the cause of your uneasiness or do they enable you to avoid looking at what is troubling you?

ACTION: When you are stressed, worried, or filled with anxiety, take all those mental and emotional burdens to the LORD. He is there waiting for you, He is with you already, you just have to acknowledge his presence.

Find bible verses that address the topic of stress and use the ones you like as a form of meditation. Meditate on these verses when you feel overwhelmed with anxiety or worry.

 May you be blessed by the peace God has given you!