I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.   I have some changes in my plans today due to a follow-up appointment regarding some business at home which demands my stewardship.  Because of it, my plans for gym exercise have been preempted, and I will be going to work late.  One thing that I could not give up was my spiritual exercise of reading, meditating and praying.  “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.1 Timothy 4:8



From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

For OA to work, I had to be willing to let go, or surrender, and take the first three Steps.

My will, wish and way was wrecking my world.  The whims of my will are infectious.  If change was going to occur, I was going to have to surrender completely, to let go of self-will.  Only one Power was great enough to put my trust in – the One who created me.  Turning back to the Manufacturer, I found the ability to do what I learned was best for me, regardless of emotional climate or circumstances.

God, continue to fill my heart as only You can, and empower me to live my life as You intended, not as I would have it.

From Proverbs Chapter 15:

15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.

There are a few verses in this chapter that look at first glance like they are talking about food, but on closer examination have more to do with spiritual nourishment.  A couple others deal with facial characteristics and the behavior of the mouth.  This verse speaks to the toggle switching effect one’s attitude plays in their emotional outcome.  When I observe the pain I am under, I give it power over me, and put myself in position to be crushed or “oppressed” by it.  Conversely, if I choose to be cheerful, God blesses me and those around me with the fruit of that decision.  The “feast” in this verse seems to refer to a general sense of well-being that surpasses satisfaction or contentment, as if any ordinary meal would not paint the appropriate picture.  “Feast” implies a heightened celebratory emotion, like its derivative, “festival.” Verse 30 says, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,” as if even faking the outward appearance of cheer might be of benefit.  A decision I can make in my mind has the ability to move to the face in a smile, and then warm and fill up my heart, plus affect those with whom I share that cheerful look.  When I choose to be cheerful, God can turn a pity party into a good-time gala!

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Chronicles 29:

I like Hezekiah!  This king came in and decisively took action to restore the Temple to its intended usefulness and purpose in a way that can only be described as “recovery.”  Here are a few key phrases from the restoration process that struck chords in my heart:

5 Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.”  They got rid of all the abominable things and carried them to a valley far away.

11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him and serve him.”  The king gave the Levites and priests motivation by reminding them that their purpose came with responsibility, but that it was divinely appointed – that they were selected by the Creator for the work they were to do.

27 As the offering began, singing to the LORD began also…”  Here is an example of the cheerful toggle switch.  The singing began by order of the king, but I imagine that more felt like singing the longer it went on.

30 So they sang praises with gladness and bowed their heads and worshiped.”  The toggle switch of cheer engaged, the assembly was empowered to glorify God.  Amazing!

35 So the service of the temple of the LORD was reestablished. 36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.”  Usefulness and purpose that matches the divine design is fulfilling!

What a great physical model of recovery!

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 133:

Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.”  (emphasis mine)

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