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December 30th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

My Take: When the fat girl got mad at God

Editor's Note: Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and author of Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food. Lysa blogs daily at www.lysaterkeurst.com. 

By Lysa TerKeurst, Special to CNN

Three years ago I was stuck in a rut of wishful thinking and excuses with my weight loss. At the beginning of each day I would say I wanted things to be different. I would vow in my heart to make things different. I would even make a plan to stop the snacks, increase the veggies, and say no to the desserts.

But then life would happen. And the excuses were so very plentiful. So, my resolve would melt away like butter on a hot yeast roll.

Of course the next morning I would always get up and weigh myself hoping that somehow magic would have happened over night. Despite my indulgences from the day before, maybe just maybe the numbers would have gone down.

But the scale was not impressed with my wishful thinking. So you know who I’d get mad at?

God.

I’d beg God to help me one minute while scarfing down an order of fries the next. And then I’d be doubly mad He didn’t steer my car away from the drive-thru.

I deemed myself a victim of tragic genetics, overactive taste buds and a stomach that demanded large portions.  What I failed to realize for years is there was a much more significant issue going on with me.

More important than the ever increasing size of my jeans was the deception going on inside my heart. My weight was outside indication of an internal situation. There was a crucial spiritual situation that needed to be addressed.

I was relying on food to be my comfort, my ever present help, my guide, the thing that got me through the valleys and the first thing I wanted to celebrate with in the good times. Honestly, I might as well have taken Psalm 23 and replaced the Lord’s name with various food choices.

My proper little Christian self would have never expressed that out loud. But my body wouldn’t keep secrets. I had an issue. And the ever increasing size of my body demanded the REAL issue be addressed.

I don’t write to point out anyone else’s issue. There are certainly medical situations that can cause weight gain. But my issue was truly a spiritual one. And no diet would have ever been permanently successful until I got to the real root of my problem.

The root of my issue was craving food more than God. I desired and depended on the instant high of physical gratification because I hadn’t learned how to let God satisfy my deepest needs.

God wasn’t causing my weight issues as some sort of cruel consequence for my poor choices.
God was actually the very thing I needed to help overcome my issues.

Dr. Floyd Chilton who teaches at Wake Forest University of medicine wrote an article that said, "Your willpower is in constant battle with your genes and your calorie-excessive environment. Often your best efforts are no match for your genes and environment which is why so many diets fail so miserably... Will power alone is not enough to bring about this change; start by realizing that can not do this alone. If you are a person of faith, use that connection to help you change."

So, I set out to understand what the Bible says about how to consume food without food consuming me. I started in Genesis and read through the Bible with an appetite for truth rather than chocolate, chips and cheeseburgers. This was a spiritual journey that yielded great physical benefits. I lost 25 pounds in 4 months but more importantly, I have kept it off for nearly two years. That’s a first for me!

Now, I sense my weight issue was actually a gift in disguise. I never thought I’d say that. And yes, three years ago I would have rolled my eyes at someone saying that too.

But I don’t say it as a Pollyanna lollipop girl with too much air between her ears and no cellulite on her hiney.
I know this is a tough issue. I’ve walked through the tears and the feelings of failure. Remember, I was the fat girl mad at God about this whole deal. So, hear me out.

Learning to turn to God to fill my soul instead of food to overstuff my emptiness, has changed more than just my jeans size. It has changed my outlook on life. I did lose the extra weight I needed to shed and kept it off. But the real reward was what I gained with Jesus in the process. He became the best part of my journey. And I wouldn’t have missed this new found closeness I now have with Him for anything in world.

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food,” Romans 14:17-20.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Lysa TerKeurst.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Food • God • Opinion

soundoff (1,314 Responses)
  1. Dave

    If you don't believe in God, or a supreme force of nature, that's OK. It's your choice. You are in the minority.More importantly, why do you find such joy in the ridicule and rudeness that you show to others? Can't you be more respectful and allow others to make their own choice, to follow their faith?

    December 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • Ann

      Not when their beliefs have a negative impact on society. Tax exemptions for money-bloated megachurches when our budget is in desperate trouble. Tax dollars used for worthless "faith-based programs" with discriminatory hiring practices. Valuable, potentially life-saving medical research delayed or cancelled because someone's "faith" causes them to place a higher value on a microscopic embryo than on a living, breathing diabetic or Parkinson's patient.

      You bet I'll speak out about that. "Faith" like that hurts people. It hurts them in the wallet, and it hurts them physically. If all it was was you wanting to believe your little creation myth, I wouldn't care. But you impose your beliefs on others, to the cost of lives.

      January 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Well said Ann!

      January 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  2. Carolyn

    Lysa, thank you for sharing this portion of your journey. We are whole beings, created by God, our souls, spirits and bodies are most certainly connected. It is great to hear how God works. . . . as our soul and spirit grow closer to Him, it becomes easier to make the right choices in our flesh. . . .(food choices being one type) . . . just as He intended. Can't wait to read your book!

    December 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  3. Anne Peterson

    I lost 45 pounds and felt SO much better. Like Lysa, I made a turn in my life and started going to God instead of the refrigerator. I filled myself up with knowledge of him and even though I had known the Lord for years before I did this, I recognized how I was misusing food. But sadly, somewhere along the line although I kept my weight off for a while I started going back to my old thinking. You know the thinking, "go ahead, you deserve that," "have some, you'll feel better," I complied and had the weight back on.

    The people who had seen me lose it and given me praise were now seeing the pounds slip back on. I felt powerless. Probably because somewhere along the way I started thinking it WAS me who had done it. That's what everyone was saying, "Good job!"

    Going to God instead of going to food is what works. God never meant food to be my everything. He meant it to be sustenance. As soon as I started hearing about this book I got encouraged. I'm especially interested in hearing about how someone who regained the weight lost it again. I'm becoming one of those people.

    December 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
    • Bill

      "God never meant food to be my everything. He meant it to be sustenance."

      Really? You just figured that out?

      December 30, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  4. JT

    What's really making her fat are the fairies shoving twinkies down her throat every night as she's sleeping.

    December 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  5. Michael

    Satan is another imaginary friend. We have Jesus and God and Satan. All of our imaginary friends. We go in our bedrooms and play with our imaginary friends.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  6. Martin

    One little reminder – Jesus is dead. Why would you think that a 2,000 year old rotting corpse would solve all your problems?
    Keep up believing in all this garbage instead of using your brain. One day you will wake up digging trenches for the Chinese. See if they care about your imaginary friends.

    Start thinking for yourselves, people. Your life is too easy if you think fairy tales will solve everything.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      Absolutely. You hit the nail right on the head.

      December 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • Fricsaid

      You choose your path. Let me choose mine. Thank you. 🙂

      December 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  7. Heartbreaking

    I am so heartbroken at all the negative and sarcastic comments posted regarding this article. Lysa is sharing her story and hers alone. It really has opened my eyes to see how Satan has such a stronghold overe so many Americans. I Believe the Word of God (the Bible) is truth and I will pray for Lysa and her continued success to reach so many, believers and particularly the unbelievers.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  8. Pastor Mike

    People always thank Him and praise His name when things go right. It's about time He shared the blame when things don't.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • Fricsaid

      I think we have Satan to blame for when things don't go good. And let's not leave out peoples own free will. 🙂

      December 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
    • Jason

      "People always thank Him and praise His name when things go right. It's about time He shared the blame when things don't."

      Um, did you even read the article?

      January 3, 2011 at 12:03 am |
  9. Cyndi

    Lysa, thank you so much for the hope and inspiration you give to this "fat" girl. I love reading your blog and appreciate your transparency with the issues you deal with.

    Thank you CNN for giving Lysa this space to write about her struggles and how she overcame them.

    Would love to meet you in person but in case that doesn't happen... See ya in heaven Lysa!! 🙂

    December 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  10. Jennifer in VA

    Lysa, please, please, please only hear the voices of encouragement and know that your message IS valuable and very well delivered. Thank you for opening yourself up to such heated, vile, comments and know that if HE is for us, who can be against us.
    "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. " 2 Cor 4:4
    “He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their hearts,
    so they can neither see with their eyes,
    nor understand with their hearts,
    nor turn—and I would heal them.” John 12:40

    December 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Lysa does not want your encouragement; she wants your money.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • Heartbreaking

      Amen! Jennifer. Lysa I thank God for you, you encourage me every day! I pray Satan will not attack you through this!

      December 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      Guess you shouldn't pin the original sin on men:

      1 Corinthians 14:33-35
      As in all the congregations of the holy ones, 34 let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak, but let them be in subjection, even as the Law says. 35 If, then, they want to learn something, let them question their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in a congregation.

      1 Timothy 2:11-14
      11 Let a woman learn in silence with full submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach, or to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 Also, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was thoroughly deceived and came to be in transgression.

      Silence woman, or burn in hell for eternity!

      December 30, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  11. Terry W.

    This speaks volumns of how God made us and how we take the step of faith with God to overcome.
    Thanks.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  12. Mr. Sniffles

    95% of diets fail. If you do this woman's god-diet and it fails, are you going to beat yourself up for not being right with the Lord? For 19 out of 20 of you, this book will make you feel even worse about yourself than before, because now it is a failure of your spirituality. What a disservice!

    How ironic! The secular people are giving Christians in need of diet better advice than this article and the Christians posting on it. Losing weight is purely about eating less and exercising more, and keeping it up. Overweight people are fighting genetics and their body's predisposition to return to the highest weight it ever achieved, so it is very hard for them. This woman's faith-healing diet will not change those basic facts, and definitely will make a great many feel worse about themselves should they not be successful.

    Please, don't get suckered into this! Being thin has nothing to do with faith! Thin people are no beloved by God than fat ones.

    Beware of people who invoke God to get you to buy or invest in something.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • Fricsaid

      Please know that God helped me do something that I couldn't do for myself and that was to give up the drink. This wasn't thru a church or religious group. Nor did it cost me any money. All it took was some self work and faith. Today, I'm the happiest I've been in 20 years. You fail to see that some need help. Nothing worse in the world than wanting to stop killing yourself and not being able to stop.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Glad you got sober, FricSaid, but AA has the worst success rate for addiction, far worse than just quitting. God does not get any special results in alcoholism recovery or dieting, because both require you choose to quit and continue to make that choice. If you are the most religious person in the world but do not make that choice, then God will not help you. If you are the purest athiest and do make that choice, then you are sober/thin.

      Not a good place to digress into the AA stuff, but cograts for getting sober. One less drunk driver if a major benefit to society.

      December 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • Fricsaid

      My Father decided to "just quit." He's the most miserable man I know. Unhappy and bitter about everything. It breaks my heart. I don't know where you get your information, but only AA can claim success of alcohol addiction. I turned to Dr's, therapy and spent a bunch of money with no positive results. Only when I turned to God did I get the help I needed. I didn't want to be "dry" like my father. I wanted to be sober. I wanted to be happy. I have that now and I thank God every day for what he's done for me. I'm going on 8 years and I have him to thank for every day of it. I wish you and yours the best. Peace. 🙂

      December 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      The Cochran review of of the results of eight trials involving a total of 3,417 individuals conducted between 1966 and 2005 that investigated the efficacy of both AA and non-AA twelve-step program attendance, concluded that "no experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA."

      As to other methods that you claim do not exist, the Harvard Mental Health Letter noted "There is a high rate of recovery among alcoholics and addicts, treated and untreated. According to one estimate, heroin addicts break the habit in an average of 11 years. Another estimate is that at least 50% of alcoholics eventually free themselves although only 10% are ever treated. One recent study found that 80% of all alcoholics who recover for a year or more do so on their own, some after being unsuccessfully treated. When a group of these self-treated alcoholics was interviewed, 57% said they simply decided that alcohol was bad for them. Twenty-nine percent said health problems, frightening experiences, accidents, or blackouts persuaded them to quit. Others used such phrases as "Things were building up" or "I was sick and tired of it." Support from a husband or wife was important in sustaining the resolution.

      There is a lot more, of course, but this really is not the place for it.

      December 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  13. Lesi

    Lysa!! Thank you for a great message!!! Made to Crave was meant to be written!! God is real and he is great!!

    December 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  14. Mark

    @SeanNJ...

    To quote the Apostle Paul in the Holy Bible...
    Romans 1:22
    "Professing themselve to be wise, they became fool".

    Romans 14:11
    "It is written, as surely as I live says the Lord, every knee will bow before me, and every tongue will acknowledge God".

    December 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • CP

      To quote the furor Adolf Hitler in Mein Kamf:
      "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

      Being in a book doesn't make something true. Blindly accepting something because it's in said book is ignorant.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • CP

      Romans 14:11
      "It is written, as surely as I live says the Lord, every knee will bow before me, and every tongue will acknowledge God".

      God sure has a heck of an ego and need for affirmation. And I thought pride was a sin. Gee, it almost seems like some man wrote how HE would be if HE were god. Like he was making God in man's image. Isn't that crazy?

      December 30, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  15. Reality

    Once a day WARNING for new commentators:

    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

    • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

    Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

    December 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  16. Mark

    @Guapo..
    Oh, I'm sorry I didn't realize the goal of education was to rid the world of God. That's your bench mark of good education? "Well, the kids can't read, write, or add & subtract, but at least we don't have to put up with God".
    What kind of stupid argument is that? I honestly beleive that you're the only person I've ever heard say that our education is good. If this were an article about low math scores, you'd probably be the first to decry our education. I believe what you meant to say was... "How wonderful that we've tossed God out of our schools".

    The reason the churches are dying in the USA and western Europe is because the people there have gotten too "intellectual". They've gotten so "smart" that they don't need God anymore. Notice I put smart in quotes??? You hail science as the reason, like that's suppose to mean anything. I look at science as a tool that sheds more light on God's creation, you look at it as a tool to discount his existence. Same science, same evidence....different view points.

    In your opinion, anyone that holds to the belief in Christ in just a member of the ignorant, uneducated masses. That's why you discount the spreading of the gospel message in other parts of the world??? And I'm full of myself??? Yeah right...

    December 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      "In your opinion, anyone that holds to the belief in Christ in just a member of the ignorant, uneducated masses. That's why you discount the spreading of the gospel message in other parts of the world??? And I'm full of myself??? Yeah right..."

      To quote Dan Aykroyd in Tommy Boy: That's it, you've pinpointed it. Next step is washing it off.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • .Guapo.

      Care to share with us the evidence for the existence of your god that science is overlooking? By the way you cant use your special book.

      Go ahead I will wait.

      P.S. Yes the reason churches are dying is because we are smarter as a group and can see through the childish and primitive lies that make up your belief system. Good job.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
    • CP

      I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't believe that ANYONE who believes is ignorant. It's all a matter or what one believes and why. If one believes because it's what they've been told without hearing and considering alternatives or critically analyzing the realities of the postion presented, then yes, they are ignorant BY DEFINITION.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  17. Seriously?

    Just because you've yet to meet someone does not mean they do no exist.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Granted, but no one is expecting me to believe they exist until I meet them either.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
    • Fricsaid

      SeaNJ, I'm curious. Does something have to be tangible in order to believe it exist?

      December 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Fricsaid: You're not curious. You have a checklist of talking points that you're running down in an attempt to show "the logical flaws in my argument," and to ease your own cognitive dissonance. I'm also fairly certain that you've heard all of the arguments as to why your talking points don't hold water, and you've subsequently dismissed them. So why would I bother engaging in such a discussion?

      December 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • Fricsaid

      @SeaNJ.....you assume much, but thats ok. I don't argue my points because I try to convience no one. You choose you path, just please, allow me to choose mine. There was a story last week of how Atheist viewed Christmas. I didn't click on that link because I'm not an Atheist. I just ask for the respect that I deserve to believe in what I want to beleive in. Peace. 🙂

      December 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  18. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    In the next season of "The Biggest Loser", they are putting half of the contestants on their usual exercise and diet regime, and the other half are given this woman's book and a bible, and they get to go to church. Which approach will work better? Wanna place a bet on it?

    Pretty pathetic when the better wisdom comes from a reality TV show than the bible.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  19. Reality

    More on saintly Paul and how to cure the Three B Syndrome (Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Christianity) of two billion Christians to include L. TerKeurst

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    So where are the bones? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • abuzayd

      or he was never crucified as God states in the Quran:

      That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-
      Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-
      — sura 4 (An-Nisa) ayat 157-158[1]

      December 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
    • Reality

      Some history about the crucifixion of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus:

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus There is also a search engine for this book on the left side of the page. See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter
      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      December 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  20. Brian

    Whatever motivation you have that gets you to lead a healthier lifestyle, everyone should be happy about it. Whether it be God, your children, your family...stay healthy for them, lower your risk of disease/health issues, live a longer, more active life, and share more experiences with the world.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • Fricsaid

      Thanks Brian. People would get on me for not getting help about my drinking. Not once did they realize that I had to want it for myself, not them. Anyway, when I finally did get help, I was ridiculed for turning to God. It didn't matter that I had gotten sober and was happy for the first time in 20 years, the only thing that mattered to them how silly of me it was. Yes, they were miserable people as well, and seemed resentful at the fact that I was happy. If it works, don't knock it.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
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