Friday, July 13, 2012

7: Week 1: Food

Welcome to week 1 of our online read-along adventure. Thanks for stopping by. Before we start our discussion on the chapter, I want to share something God showed me before I delved too far into this book. If you know me, you know that I get very excited about new things. Not new material things necessarily, but new projects, new books, new ways to look at the world and grow closer to God and get myself on track. Then, after about two weeks reality sets in, my excitement wanes, and I’m already attracted to something else new and shiny. I decided that I didn’t want this to happen with 7. It was going to stick. I would read the words of Jen Hatmaker and the Sierra household would be forever changed. Then I read my “verse of the day” that conveniently pops up on my phone and I’m pretty sure it was the Holy Spirit smacking me side the head.

                This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches you what is best for you,
    who directs you in the way you should go.   Isaiah 48:17

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you..who directs you… God needs to be the one that directs me in this journey, and I really need to make sure that I am not directing myself. (‘Cause the good Lord knows how that usually turns out.) Can he use 7 and Jen Hatmaker to speak to me and to draw me closer to Him and teach me what He wants from me? I hope so. Do I need to copy anyone else for that to happen? Nope. So I need to remind myself that how God works in my life and convicts me will probably look different than how He is working in and convicting you. Praise God that He is so interested in us on an individual level that there we can all read the same book and come away with completely different thoughts and applications, yet still all be exactly where God wants us!

Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, let the discussion begin. J  While her experiment with food is not something that I’m interested in replicating, I LOVED what her friends did – choosing seven of the most impoverished countries, learning about them and praying for them, and eating like the nation’s poorest. The plan in my household ties into something Jen said about her children:

“How can we extract our children from this filthy engine where indulgence and ignorance and ungratefulness and waste are standard protocol? Where they know they can throw perfectly good food away because there is always more in the pantry?”

Yes. Yes. Yes. We talk about how blessed we are all the time and how there are kids in other countries that are hungry, but I’m not sure that my five year old and three year old have any concept of real, actual hunger. No snack cabinet. No juice boxes. No dessert – ever. I want them to have an appreciation, a genuine thankfulness, and an awareness of how incredibly blessed and rich we are. So I’ve decided to embark upon Sundays Around the World. One Sunday a month we’ll pick a country – Haiti, Jamaica, Ethiopia – learn about it, pray for its people, and only eat what the poor eat. I’m pretty sure rice and beans are not going to go over too well with my five year old, but that’s kind of what I’m counting on. I want her to gain empathy for children whose only choice is to eat it daily or not to eat at all. I want to nurture in her a spirit of giving and sacrifice instead of one of entitlement and selfishness that seems to be so prevalent in today’s culture.

I had more in the chapter highlighted, but I don’t want this post to go on forever, and I’d like to hear what you have to say. So, without further ado, here are some discussion questions for you.

  • Just for fun, what 7 foods would you have chosen? (Water doesn’t count. Also, you don’t have to count coffee with cream and sugar. You’re welcome.)

  • What passages do you have highlighted? What did you agree with? What did you disagree with? I have a few quotes that really resonated with me, but I’ll save them for the comments section.

  • What is God teaching YOU through this chapter? Are there any foods He wants you to give up? Is He telling you that your family needs to make some changes in the food department or did He use this chapter to convict you about something else?

That’s it for chapter one. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say! And…. GO! 

P.S. I have no idea why the questions are annoyingly highlighted in white. I spent 20 minutes trying to fix it, but I have other things to do with my day. :-) 


  1. First: Alicia thank you for doing this. I love hearing/reading what other peoples thoughts are.
    Second: I like the questions highlighted. Easier to o back to :)

    My opinion: I thought Jen's journey was interesting, but I found that she seemed to be more obsessed with food because of it instead of dealing with food less. I also don't understand fasting. It may be because I have never done it, but I know when I don't eat that is all I can think about. I can't see how not eating would bring me closer to God. Maybe fasting isn't for everyone.
    I did feel that my family needed to eat purer. I liked the idea of limiting the number of ingredients in items that we buy. Hubby and I decided on 7 ingredients in staying with the 7 theme. We have been doing it for 2 weeks and have found that it does take a little more work (cleaning fruit and veggies)rather than opening a cereal bar. We feel better about how we are eating. I think this is something that we can sustain. I know we could not follow the 7 foods forever.
    So on that note our 7 food would have if we took the challenge:
    1. Chicken
    2. eggs
    3. Whole Wheat Bread
    4. zucchini
    5. rice
    6. mozzarella cheese
    7. apples

    On of the things that I highlighted is that if you make $50,000 per year you are in the top 1% in the world. It made me think about where all the money goes. I know I certainly don't feel like I am in the top 1%. We started making changes in that area, but I will save that info for when we get to the next chapter.

    I also liked the quote from Bill Bright "It is exchanging the needs of the physical body for those of the spirit." If you get the junk out of your body the spirit can fill the empty space.

    This is the beginning of a special journey for the DeVones.

  2. Here are my 7:
    1. Peanut Butter with Honey (That's how Skippy makes it, so it only counts as one.)
    2. English Muffins
    3. Greek Yogurt
    3. Zucchini
    4. Cheese (I'll go with Colby Jack. It's versatile.)
    5. Grilled Chicken
    6. Applesauce
    7. Potato

    One of the passages that I have highlighted pertains to church instead of food. She said :

    "The careful study of the Word has a goal, which is not the careful study of the Word. The objective is to discover Jesus and allow Him to change our trajectory. Meaning, a genuine study of the Word results in believers who feed poor people and open up their guest rooms; they're adopting and sharing, mentoring and intervening. Show me a Bible teacher off mission, and I'll show you someone with no concept of the gospel he is studying."

    This really resonates with me. Now I just have to learn how to make sure that I am examining myself, instead of looking at others to see where they fit on my do-you-practice-what-you-preach-o-meter. I need God to remind me that I have so far to go in my own walk with Him that I have no room (or right) to examine others.

    Other than trying to use food (or the lack of it) as a tool to teach our children to connect with and pray for the poor, I don't think there are going to be any major food changes in our house. While I don't think we eat too much junk, we certainly haven't embraced the whole foods, all organic, gluten free, dairy free, etc, etc, etc movement. I figure that we're all going to die anyway, and since God has blessed my family with pretty good health, spending a ton of money on organic groceries seems foolish. I know that there are people that would vehemently disagree with me, but it's all about balance. While I may not let my kids drink soda or eat prepackaged snack cakes with a 6 month shelf life, we love Chick-Fil-A (especially the fries) and cheeseburgers and Mr Softee. Also, if I disallowed all foods except those that were natural (like fruits, veggies, legumes and nuts) Gabbi would probably starve to death.

  3. Here are my seven foods:
    chicken, pasta, potatoes, mozzarella cheese, corn, eggs, and watermelon

    While I was reading this chapter, I was questioning if picking only 7 foods actually simplified her life or complicated it. She spent a lot of time looking up recipes and trying to only eat those foods, rather than using that time to focus on God. Since the book is about excess I understand why she picked 7 foods, but I don't think it freed up anytime. I appreciated her friends eating food that others where eating in other countries. For example, if they were eating rice, that was it...rice. There wasn't a need to spend time to think about what to eat because that was you're only choice.

    I honestly didn't get a whole lot out of this chapter. I understand eating just one food or fasting, but not obsessing over 7 foods for a month. I feel we eat pretty healthy, my son more than my husband and I because he likes the veggies and fruits and we want him to make healthy choices when he grows up. After reading the chapter I read more about fasting in the Bible and think if I made any changes it would be to fast.