“Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of Him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from our heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:18, The Message
Do you prefer sucrose or sucralose in your coffee? Sucrose is the chemical name for common table sugar and sucralose, a.k.a. Splenda, is one of several synthetic sugar substitutes that help diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels, keeps our teeth healthier, and helps us maintain our beach bodies. Over 80% of Americans ingest these artificial sweeteners every day.
Did you know that the most successful sugar substitutes were discovered by accident? Saccharin (1,1-dioxo-1,2-benzothiazol-3-one), the first artificial sweetener and one of the active ingredients of Sweet’N Low, was discovered in 1879 by Ira Remsen and Constantin Fahlberg, two Johns Hopkins University chemists who were experimenting with toluene (a coal-tar derivative) and then ate their lunch without washing their hands. Saccharin became popular during the World War I sugar shortage. It is used to sweeten drinks, candy, medicines and toothpaste.
Aspartame (aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester) was discovered by accident in 1965 at the G.D. Searle & Company. James M. Schlatter, a medicinal chemist who was searching for drugs to treat gastric ulcers, discovered its sweetness when he defied GLP’s (Good Lab Practices) and licked his aspartame-contaminated finger. This sweetener is now an ingredient in NutraSweet, and can be found in breakfast cereals, soft drinks, desserts, candy and chewing gum.
Sucralose (2R,3R,4R,5R,6R)-2-[(2R,3S,4S,5S)-2,5-bis(chloromethyl)-3,4-dihydroxyoxolan-2-yl]oxy-5-chloro-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxane-3,4-diol) was discovered in 1976 when Shashikant Phadnis, a foreign graduate student at King’s College London, thought that he was supposed to “taste” his compounds when he had actually been told to “test” them. This sweetener is used in baked goods because unlike most of the other sugar substitutes, it is stable at both low and high temperatures. Sucralose is made from natural sucrose by a complex chemical process involving chlorine and phosgene gas.
About 9 years ago Charles Zuker, a neuroscientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, discovered that all sweeteners are detected by single taste receptor on our tongue. Sweeteners with a higher affinity for this receptor have a sweeter taste (they stick to the receptor better). Saccharin is 300X sweeter than sugar, aspartame is 200X sweeter than sugar, sucralose is 600X sweeter than sugar, and a sweetener called neotame is 8,000-13,000X sweeter than sugar!
As I was thinking about these interesting facts it made me think about the Holy Spirit. Living the Christian life under the influence of the Holy Spirit is so much sweeter than trying to slug it out alone isn’t it? The Apostle Paul wrote to the saints in Ephesus, and told them that it is much better to be “drunk” with the Holy Spirit than with wine. How much influence is the Holy Spirit having on my life? Do people “smell” the Holy Spirit on my breath? Would I blow higher than 0.08 on a Holy Spirit breathalyzer?
Dear Holy Spirit please fill me and take control of my life. I know that apart from you my life is sour. I also know that under your influence my life can be sweeter than any artificial sweetener that man can devise.