I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.   My plans yesterday were interrupted by the evolving circumstances of the day.  A few centered around a service opportunity for which I struggle to be grateful, still others had to do with household management crises that demanded my immediate attention.  These distractions consumed my day and preempted my preparations for my work week, which starts today.  As a result of those interruptions – or “opportunit(ies) to demonstrate His omnipotence,”* I was not able to get to the gym, and certain chores that would have been done yesterday will have to be done today, keeping me from making my home group meeting.  Still, I am grateful for life, abstinence, and the opportunity to sacrifice self in preference for others.  In so doing, I continue to fulfill my purpose.

(* from Alcoholics Anonymous, page 133)



From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana as quoted in For Today, p. 331

The contributor went on to tell a dramatic story of recovery from morbidity to vitality and added, “Today I don’t forget the past. I now focus on being abstinent and alive.”  Our trouble is that most of us can remember the past very well, we just can’t do it without it robbing us of our sanity.  It sweeps over our present and puts ghosts of itself in our future, teasing us and giggling as it watches us cower in fear that whatever pain we have experienced might be waiting for us again.  That is how pain turns to hiding and hiding into false comfort which gives our emotional isolation the physical manifestation of fat.

The wisdom of Santayana’s statement is in the understood but unspoken word “constructively.”  Those who cannot constructively remember the past, developing understanding and applying discernment to their lives, will most certainly keep living the past that enslaves them.  Conversely, one who refuses to remember the past, who denies the past ever happened, or who dwells in the pains of that past at the expense of the present, will by his very fears, construct the reality of those fears in his today, and ultimately his tomorrow.

I choose to live today, to declare independence from my past, but to learn from it and from my responses to it.  I choose to pause and pray when faced with conflict, rather than to despair and self-soothe with substances or harmful activity.  I choose to direct my life today in the heading of perfection, fully accepting that I will not achieve it as long as I live on this earth, completely content to be making progress in that direction, by the grace of God.

From Proverbs Chapter 11:

27 He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it.

Here is further evidence that we get what we look for.  The faith or fear in a man’s soul has a physical manifestation.  This whole chapter is a teeter-totter of dark versus light, of wickedness weighed against righteousness.  The first verse even mentions the balance scales in which God delights are the ones that are true and accurate, reminding me not to be of two minds about good and evil.  “3 The unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Precious Papa, help me to live my life with one mind – Yours.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Chronicles 24:

Here is a story of a really great foster-father and a duplicitous king.  As long as Jehoiada the priest was alive, Joash king of Judah was diligent about tending to the Temple and the service of God.  In fact, there is a great illustration of cheerful self-sacrifice and of making preparation for an undertaking in the first half of the chapter.  When Jehoiada died he, though merely a priest, was buried with the kings because of all the good he had done, from helping to raise the boy king to his service in reconstructing the Temple.  It was in the wake of his death however that something turned Joash to rebellion.  One might assume the pain of bereavement could be so great as to precipitate such a downfall, but there is no mention in the text of such an emotional factor. A clue might be in verse 17, where Scripture says he “listened to” the politicians who assembled to mourn. In such a weakened state, we do tend to compromise our integrity to anything that promises comfort.  “18 They abandoned the temple of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God’s anger came upon Judah and Jerusalem.”  God’s Spirit came upon Jehoiada’s son, Zechariah, who prophesied a warning to turn from this rebellion.  “22 King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son…”  God’s wrath brought an overwhelming battle with the Arameans which wounded the king.  As he lay in his bed, he was killed by his officials in retaliation for the murder of Zechariah.

God delivered Joash, as a baby, from the murderous rampage of a wicked queen, put him in the care of a God-fearing couple who raised him in the temple, and gave him the throne of Judah and Jerusalem.  At the “timber” cry of a mournful loss, and the comforting whispers of the deceiver, Joash gave his life over to the darkness of idolatry.  Even when the Holy Spirit came to him in the person of the son of his foster-father the honored priest, instead of listening to the message, “turn back,” he murdered the son in the Temple courtyard.  This is a pattern that has been repeated in type as example of, and allusion to, another Son who would come with the same plea, “turn back.”

Thank You, my Redeemer and Deliverer, for my freedom!  May I honor You with that freedom with every breath and all the energy of my life.

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 76:

“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.”


3 John 2, “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.” – OD@aT