Today:

I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.  For details, check out my food journal.

I was being bugged by two tiny flying insects in the car this morning while running errands.  I grew frustrated as my strength, agility and intellect proved insufficient to overcome these tiny pests, which were so small they were no obstacle to my view, just my attention and eventually my pride. Finally, I opened all the windows of the car to draw them out with a cross-breeze.  Just then, in an ironic object lesson in the futility of my power, a dragonfly struck the windshield then got caught in the draft, drawn into the car, and right into my face!  I am too powerless to get frustrated with the insignificant distractions.  I need to keep focused on the road in front of me and the next right thing.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“What can I do in the next twenty-four hours to reach another sufferer? Making this program better known is partly up to me.”

I have to be careful not to consider Twelfth-Step work as something I have to put on a smiley face and a pressed shirt to “go” do.  Since OA is a recovery program of attraction not promotion, I have to live my life consistently reflecting the kind of recovery that is attractive, and then be willing to describe and educate the inquirer.  To inspire is as much a part of my life’s purpose as to serve.  What can I do in the next twenty-four hours?  I can live a spiritual life, happy, joyous and free, and hope someone notices.  I can manufacture circumstances that help promote inquiry by praying for and seeking out opportunities to extend an encouraging word, attending meetings, answering my telephone, and being engaged and available.  I can be prepared to share by having program material at my disposal, carrying my contact information to share with those who ask, and by not hiding my light under a proverbial bushel.

From Proverbs Chapter 6:

23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.”

 

“These commands” refers to parental instruction described in verse 20.  I know some have not had the benefit of consistent natural parents, but almost everyone has received encouragement and life-giving advice from someone in their lives, and it is that instruction to which I believe this verse recommends a true following.  Paternity has more to do with familial connection with the Heavenly Father than with commonality of DNA, according to Christ, who said in Matthew 12:50, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

This verse, like so many in my recent devotions, references lamplight and direction for life.  This is a reminder to me to constantly fine-tune the attitude of my life to be sure it clearly reflects the Light and Life that has been given to me.  A song that has strummed my heart’s chords recently is “We Are” by Kari Jobe.  It is based on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:14-16, that we are the “light of the world” so we are to “let (our) light shine.”  (Click HERE to listen on YouTube.)

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Nehemiah 7 and 8:

In verse one of Chapter 7, Nehemiah found it a natural progression once the work on the wall was finished to appoint gatekeepers, singers, and Levites (priestly ministers).  There are parallels for me there in the intentional provision for guardianship, celebration, and diligent service of the rebuilt structure and the life it encircles.  Considering a recently renewed commitment to living a life of integrity, I was moved also by verse 2, “I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with [or, ‘that is’] Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.”  Oh, to be thought of in such a way!  What a mark by which to be known – to reverence God more than most!

Chapter 8 is an amazing homecoming!  The people of Jerusalem, freed from captivity, now in their homeland, encircled by the wall, built their individual houses and then came together in the seventh month to hear Ezra read the Book of the Law.  I find two things really inspiring about what happened next.

On the first day, their consciences pricked by the reading of the Law, many wept and wailed, recognizing their error.  Verse 6 tells me something about the posture of repentance: “Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.”  In verse 10, Ezra gives some encouragement I will take with me for my one-day-at-a-time living, “This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Then, the next day, Ezra read about the Feast of Booths (also called “Tabernacles” or “Sukkot”), which was to be observed during the seventh month of the year, which it was at that very time.  Even though they all had newly built homes, each family ran out, gathered sticks as the Law commanded, and built a sukkah, a temporary shelter, on or outside their house, in commemoration of the forty years of being led through the wilderness after the exile from Egypt.  According to verse 17, “The whole company that had returned from exile built booths and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.”

A spiritual posture of upward praise and inward humility, a life characterized by integrity and reverence for God, an eager excitement to follow God’s example and command, and to find my strength in the joy of the Lord – these are my aim!

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 50:

Here are thousands of men and women, worldly indeed. They flatly declare that since they have come to believe in a Power greater than themselves, to take a certain attitude toward that Power, and to do certain simple things, there has been a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking. In the face of collapse and despair, in the face of the failure of their human resources, they found that a new power, peace, happiness, and sense of direction flowed into them.

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

Your feedback is welcome and appreciated.  Please leave a comment or feel free to email me.  

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