I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.  I have a big weekend coming up, and I am trying not to get anxious over it, but eager anticipation coupled with a level of preparation that does not measure one hundred percent translates to a little anxiety.  I trust that God will provide and that, wherever I go, He will be there before me.

 

From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“For an honest, balanced view of myself, I take a few moments in which I free my mind of everything except God’s love for me.”      – For Today, p. 153

I have learned that my diseased mind, infected by the dark forces of this world, lies to me about my value.  When I listen to those lies, I feel worthless; and when I feel worthless, I do not act like I am worth the trouble it takes to maintain myself in a healthy way.  To prevent this, I have a routine in the mornings, which usually follows prayer time including, at a minimum, the Step Three and Step Seven Prayers.  While at the bathroom mirror, accountable to my reflection and to God, I recite out loud a few statements declaring and affirming my identity, and recommitting my responsibility to God.  To help me recall these statements throughout the day, I apply three pieces of jewelry: two rings and a neck chain with a crucifix pendant.  “I am the bride of Christ; the husband of (Mrs. TL); and warrior and priest of God Almighty in the name of Jesus Christ, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  With those declarations, I begin my day, not as one defeated, trudging through the best he can from day to day, but like a newly dubbed knight with a mission and purpose, properly fueled by the provision of God and motivated by this charge to serve others and reflect God’s love to as many as I may meet.

I have known God loves me since before I could utter the words, but connecting to that love in a real and palpable way has come when I made seeking Him and His a routine.  It is not just “religious” motions I’m going through.  It is a daily celebration of His grace for me, a search for His will for me, and an application of His power to carry that out.

From Proverbs Chapter 2:

9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.”

The “then” statements always have a corresponding “if.”  This one is worth searching out.  Righteousness, justice, and fairness – all the good paths are worth whatever it takes to find them.  They sound like attributes of a superhero, especially now that the “American Way” has proven to be somewhat self-serving, fluid, and ambiguous.  These three descriptors are more than just values, they are treasures for which I am happy to hunt.  As a faithful follower, it is my duty to continually examine my steps and ensure that they are firmly on God’s path for me.  Faith extinguishes the destroyer’s fiery arrows, “why?” and “what if?”   Understanding empties his quiver and breaks his bow.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Chronicles 15:

This chapter appears to be a prequel to the preceding one, because it tells of “Asa’s reform” and the peace Judah enjoyed before the attacks described in Chapter 14.  Asa was visited by a prophet, who dutifully warned the King, “2 The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”  Asa chose wisely, and rid the kingdom of idols, deposed his idolatrous mother, and reinstituted the holy practices, encouraged by the words of God, spoken by the prophet Azariah, “7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”  There is a strong plea here not to give up, weaken, slow the pursuit for Him, or forsake Him.  I have to keep this in mind, especially because my default condition is complacent.  Getting and staying fired up takes the fuel, spark and air of prayer and meditation, that continual search for Him and His will.

12 They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul.”  There was a great assembly of the nation to sacrifice to the Lord.  When I think of the smallness of what I am in comparison to some of the great sacrifices laid on the altar of Judah (and previously, Israel) I am actually relieved that all of me is all I have to give.  A presentation of all my heart and soul seems appropriate, especially given my history of extremes.  I indulged in extremes in my worthlessness to my detriment.    Now that I have found a Power greater than myself Who supplies me with usefulness and purpose, why wouldn’t I apply my whole self toward His service?

Labels?  I’m not ashamed of labels!  I wasn’t so proud that I resisted when the group at work used to call me “the Round Man.”  I even dressed up like Santa Claus in the winter just to fill the bill.  I recently heard someone share that it was okay to be thought of as a “health-nut” because at least people had added “health” to the description.   I’m okay with being a “Jesus-freak.”  I can think of no better cause, purpose, person, or institution to be fanatical.  I spent my life as just a “freak,” so having a justifiable prefix is a positive change.  I know my fanaticism has no place in making my approaches to amends (See AA, p.77), but the fire that fuels the machine needs to be well stoked and blazing hot.  Otherwise, all the positive thinking in the world couldn’t keep me going on this uphill track called life.

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 49:

We, who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion. We have learned that whatever the human frailties of various faiths may be, those faiths have given purpose and direction to millions. People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about. Actually, we used to have no reasonable conception whatever. We used to amuse ourselves by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices when we might have observed that many spiritually-minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness and usefulness which we should have sought ourselves.

 

OD@aT    “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” – 3 John 2

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