As a Plan for the Fullness of Time: Leanne Vogel, Part 1
For what shall we be known? After we are gone, what will survive? Everything decomposes and deteriorates eventually, unless it is tirelessly preserved and cared-for. Sure, nothing really ever leaves the internet once posted, but when the batteries die and the servers are destroyed, what evidence will there be that I’ve been maintaining this blog for three years, or that I’ve written thousands of words on computers?
The longest-lasting evidence of our existence will be in what’s been passed down through people. The Iliad and The Odyssey are the oldest known stories because they were valued and reprinted generation after generation. The original written copies don’t exist because the stories were maintained through being told and retold.
What I’m getting at: our legacies will live on not because we produce great work, but because we affect lives.
The apostle Paul is undoubtedly the most prolific of the New Testament writers. Having written thirteen of the 27 books of the second part of the Bible, and possibly one more, his story before his conversion is not intimately written. For sure he was well-known in his circles, an educated man and member of the Pharisees. He states that he has “confidence in the flesh” of doing the religion thing right. He lists the qualifications for righteousness which he has attained.(Philippians 3:4-6 “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.”) Later in his writings he refers to his past. (Galatians 1:13 “For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.”) A lot can be inferred from his writings, but there is no first-hand account or biography of Paul. The truth is that who he was before his conversion really isn’t necessary enough to have been recorded in the Bible. His ministry was only to share the magnificence and power of Jesus Christ, making little of himself and much of Christ.
I wonder what it was like though for the Apostle Paul, “one untimely born” (1 Corinthians 5:8) as he may have reflected on his conversion. How might he have described his experience to his brother or best friend? How did his parents respond to their son who one day was persecuting followers of Christ, and the next being put in jail for following and preaching Christ? As a writer and memoirist, my mind wanders to Paul’s personal journals or conversations with friends as he processed the unique experience of being presented with Christ, blinded on the road to Damascus, and later healed.
One can never know. It’s easy to think that experiences such as Paul’s no longer occur. It’s even easy to think miracles as Jesus performed and were documented in the Bible are tales long gone by. But I would argue that God is still in the business of miracles and spontaneous conversions. (A “spontaneous conversion” being that which is not the result of a long period of a believer witnessing to an unbeliever, but rather Jesus speaking directly to an unbeliever and that person knowing and receiving salvation.)
These stories of the miracles and salvations happening among us are worthy to tell. It shows that the Bible isn’t some outdated text, but rather the story of a “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) God who is intimately involved in all that is going on in our world. The Apostle Paul’s story of salvation and ministry, and the documents which speak of them, persist because his ministry affected lives through the power of the gospel!
Leanne Vogel Kraft is an internationally-known author and speaker. She has written three best-selling books on the topic of healing one’s body with food and several recipe collections. You may read more about them here. She primarily works within the ketogenic diet and her advice is generally specific to women.
As I have been navigating my recovery from an undiagnosed eating disorder, revealed to me during my Clothed in Dignity challenge, I have had many ups and downs. Things were going well and then covid happened, somersaulting everything. I’ve tried to stick to a keto philosophy, but I was struggling recently. Is this even possible as I additionally battle disordered thoughts about food? I was stuck. Are these two things mutually exclusive?
Several months ago, I googled “keto eating disorder” hoping to find some resources, and a podcast by Leanne Vogel at Healthful Pursuit showed up on YouTube. It was called The Keto Diet Podcast and the episode was “Eating Disorder Recovery: The Keto Diet Podcast Ep 053 with Jennifer Schmid.” I listened to the whole thing and loved what I was hearing. It felt like a balm, and answered a lot of the questions and concerns I’d been having. Yes, for some people keto works to repair their bodies and minds after struggling with an eating disorder. She flat out said, “Don’t try intermittent fasting if you have a history of disordered eating,” and “Your body needs to heal before it can lose weight.” These are all things I’ve been personally observing and struggling to understand. With a history of an eating disorder herself, Leanne speaks with hope that real recovery is possible.
Leanne’s videos were very interesting, so I started to search around for similar content. On her YouTube channel however, there were many videos marked “private” and it was really strange. Then I came across one titled, “My Testimony.” It was unlike her other videos, edited differently and definitely not about keto. I watched, listened, and was astounded at her story. The way God has worked just wowed me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I started following her on Instagram and Facebook, keenly watching. Then, an idea came and I sent her a message asking if I could interview her for The Good Logger and tell her story. I fully expected to be ignored, as someone with a 300,000-person following surely wouldn’t have the time to talk with someone like me. To my surprise, she replied saying yes!
Her story is important. Jesus met her in a miraculous way just like the Apostle Paul and is using her to share and celebrate the grace of Jesus Christ. I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together.
Even in a personal way, finding Leanne’s work has been a reminder that God cares even about the smallest things. He knew I felt lost in navigating this world post-eating disorder. He told me to reach out and ask if I could hear more of her story, and He knew she would say yes. In hearing her story, I’ve gained a sister in Christ I didn’t know about a month before! He is good in all things!
With which biblical character can you identify? Paul? Or maybe Peter? Mary? Or Martha, who was too busy for Jesus?The Bible is living and active even today, and it’s here for our benefit, to understand more of God.
Verses for meditation: Philippians 3:4-6, Galatians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 5:8