with Keiran & Eraina Mckenzie
Following on from yesterdays experience at the water-park when the car wouldn’t start, we had a few hiccups today too.
Originally, I had left England with the idea in my head that we are on a ‘break’. That’s a break from work, break from Uni, break from Church, ministry etc. And so automatically, the ratio of my devoted-time with God decreased and replaced with vanity. I guess from God’s perspective it would look like a ‘break from God’. I didn’t realise this, no not at first. I love God for this, because the way He breaks things to us is so nice. His gentle approach is so powerful at converting us because we end up pitying Him rather than feeling told off by Him. [thank you God for your patience, care and wisdom].
My choice of music, food, clothes, and even my type of conversation with Eraina had become just a little bit less spiritual. Only slightly, but God sees ahead. Even in the hot weather, I remember being surprised that Eraina chose to wear pretty modest clothes over ‘convenience’, and I remember her being glad because the the Hotel manager/owner was asking her about her faith etc, when if she had worn something else, it would have given a different impression. We asked the owner where the best place to eat in town is? and asked to sample some Portuguese food. She said it is mainly fish, and so I got in my head that I will no longer be a vegetarian here in Portugal, and eat some fish. Every justification to eat fish was in my mind. I was like “Jesus ate fish” (although there were far less toxins and mercury in the water back then), I told myself that the fish would be “a good source of protein” (even though we had loads of nuts and seeds back at the apartment), and still I told myself “the water is fresher and cleaner out here in Portugal” – (I later learn that this is not true, in fact, the so called ‘healthy fish’ tend to feed off the sewage outlets where it is easier to find food).
Now just before I proceed, for those who may not know already, one of the reasons I hadn’t eaten much fish in previous years is because of the fact that “the times is coming when the fish meat is contaminated”. See the following quote from Ellen White to H. Kellog.
‘…disease in cattle is making meat eating a dangerous matter. The Lord’s curse is upon the earth, upon man, upon beast, upon the fish in the sea, and as transgression becomes almost universal the curse will be permitted to become as broad and as deep as the transgression. Disease is contracted by the use of meat. . . .There is no safety in eating of the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cows will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment-keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation. . . .We cannot now do as we have ventured to do in the past in regard to meat-eating. . . . The disease upon animals is becoming more and more common, and our only safety is in leaving meat entirely alone.’ (A letter to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, [Letter 59] 26th July 1898.)
Now every now and then I (along with others) would question “when is this time”. Is it now, perhaps not. (its not useful being on the fence). Nevertheless, determined to try some tasty Portuguese-fish meal, we visited the Portuguese restaurant, and whilst the grilled fish that we picked ourself (with fins and Scales) tasted nice, Eraina noticed some thinking strange looking in the belly of one of her fish. It was pinky in colour and she thought it was a shrimp but I couldn’t tell. She said “ignorance is bliss” and I just laughed. It put her off but I continued. I requested we take the two remaining grilled fish home (cos it was a lot of food they gave us x6 fishes) and and it turned out, one of the fishes belly was loaded with what looked like discarded bits of dead bait meat (i.e discardable off-cuts of pork, and prawns).
It was absolutely gross. Interestingly, while we were reading what ellen white prophesied concerning flesh and fish eating we read that,
‘In many localities even fish is unwholesome, and ought not be used. This is especially so where fish come in contact with sewerage of large cities. . . . These fish that partake of the filthy sewerage of the drains may pass into waters far distant from the sewerage, and be caught in localities where the water is pure and fresh; but because of the unwholesome drainage in which they have been feeding, they are not safe to eat.’ (A letter to A. O. Tait, [Letter 76] 6th June 1895)
Now the healthy fish (fins and scales) are not meant to be eating these foods, but like other meat food industries, the corruption of the farmer and fishermen a like has meant that what the animals feed on now is distorted. Healthy animals like cows fish and chicken are just as prone to getting diseases as carnivorous animals as they are now feeding on flesh. For the fisher men, the dead-bait excites the shoals of fish and they move into the nets quicker and in greater quantity. As for me, whilst I felt gutted to find this undercooked filth in my fish, I was glad to God, that the restaurant hadn’t gutted the fish. Where as I had been asking the question, “When? When is the time, that we should move away from flesh foods?” now I had my answer, plain and Simple.
One of the greater points was actually the advantages of a plant based diet, in that it better enables the mind to think and comprehend scripture and its spiritual application. We can see this from the first chapter in the book of Daniel.
This evening me and Eraina felt impressed to readdress the areas of our life where we ought to improve spiritually. As we sat on the beach we both reflected for a while at just one area that we could confess and receive each others prayers for. It turned out, the ‘one’ area became many, and God showed we need to be serious again for Him. I covenanted to God to use the time away, to focus on connecting more with Him personally again. In actual fact, when I got up from that beach, I felt much closer to God already. Over the next few days, I would go on to read Ephesians. Glory to God for our revival.