Do I worship idols? I want to say of course not! But idolatry is more insidious. An idol is actually anything that I put ahead of my worship of God. God has created needs within me that can only be met with Him. If I attempt to satisfy those needs with other things, that is idolatry. When I think of it that way, then yes, I have put other things before God and I am guilty of idolatry. I have been guilty of worshiping food among other things.
One of the things that comes to mind when I think about idol worship is food. Food has definitely been elevated to an unhealthy place in my life. I have turned to food for so many reasons.
Food is my comfort.
Food provides peace.
Food gives me pleasure like a drug.
Food answers an unidentifiable need.
Food is something I feel I deserve when I have done well or when I have a rough day.
Food entertains me when I am bored.
God wants to be the answer to all those needs. He wants me to turn to Him first to be my peace, my comfort. He wants me to delight in Him. He wants me to tell him about my day and to cry out to Him when I need help. Instead, I have turned to food. Food is an empty god. It provides momentary pleasure but long-term problems.
I remember telling my husband as I took my first bite of fresh, warm pumpernickel bread at Outback Steakhouse that it was like a drug. I actually had a physical rush from eating it while we waited for our dinner. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying good food. The Bible talks a lot about food and feasts. It’s just that I need to put it in it’s proper place. I have elevated it to a place in my life that it doesn’t belong. This behavior started at a young age and I’m challenged to peel apart the layers and figure out how to use food as fuel and enjoy it in the way that God intended. Do you struggle with your relationship with food?
I was introduced to making homemade yogurt when my aunt came to visit a few months ago. I’ve been making it myself ever since. It’s a great way to control the ingredients and to reduce the sugar in my diet. The only ingredients needed are milk, dry milk and yogurt culture. I use 1 quart of milk, 1 cup dry milk and one package of yogurt culture from cheesemaking.com. I buy the cultures that make more of a Greek yogurt but you can also get a creamier yogurt or Bulgarian style yogurt cultures. The next round I am going to try each of the 3 types to see which one I like best. You can use a bit of a previous batch of yogurt instead of the purchased cultures but you will get more benefit from a higher level of cultures.
I add yogurt to my nutrition plan first of all because it’s yummy. When I have the munchies at work and I’m fighting the urge to hit up the vending machine for candy, a serving of yogurt with some nuts sprinkled in can help me get past the cravings. Yogurt also provides healthy bacteria that helps my gut function properly. Probiotics are living bacteria that are essential for good health. Yogurt is full of probiotics. Yogurt provides a good protein boost to your diet as well as a dose of calcium. Many people who are lactose intolerant can still eat yogurt, especially if the extra whey is drained off.
How do I make it?
To make the yogurt I put 1 quart of milk in a saucepan and add 1 cup of dry milk. Heat the milk to 180 degrees. I use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature while I am warming it up. Once it reaches 180 degrees, I cool the milk rapidly to 110 degrees in very cold water. Once it cools to 110 degrees I put the milk in a container and add the cultures and stir. I place the container in the oven with the oven light on. The light provides enough warmth for the yogurt process to start. I leave it in the oven overnight (6 to 12 hours are recommended) and then refrigerate it in the morning. There are also yogurt makers that you can get that will keep the yogurt at temperature, but the oven light is an inexpensive solution for me.