Today:

I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more day at a time.

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“And that truth—our promise of recovery—is in every OA meeting when we join hands, pray together, and joyously, lovingly, encourage one another: Keep Coming Back!” — Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition p. 26

“Keep coming back!” and the stories of those suffering fellows whose decision not to led to painful relapse have built into me a healthy fear of separation from the meetings that keeps me in the rooms of recovery.  I know that groups vary the closing chant somewhat, and I am grateful that those in my area include another statement of worth and encouragement.  It goes, “Keep coming back!  It works if you work it, so work it ‘cause you’re worth it!”  There have been days when I have gone to a meeting for no more reason than to hear that affirmation.  Even now, I need to hear and rehearse that statement of value, sometimes as much as I did when my recovery was new.  This is a “program of recovery” and one of the best ways to reprogram old mental tapes is to record new affirmations over the old filth my mind used to recite.  This is one of the healthiest, and I hope that, as many times as my mind hears “Keep coming back” it might remember to do just that too.

 

From Proverbs 12:

1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid.”

This, the opening statement of Chapter 12, seems awfully harsh, especially considering how much of my life has been spent encapsulating myself to avoid criticism.  But I noticed a common thread woven through the rest of the chapter that confirms the idea that the words we hear and say become us.  The nursery rhyme contrasting sticks and stones that can do damage and words that can’t is wrong!  On the contrary, see how violent a picture is drawn concerning the weight and power of words:

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the speech of the upright rescues them.”

13 An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk,
but a righteous man escapes trouble.”

14 From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things
as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.”

15 The way of a fool seems right to him,
but a wise man listens to advice.”

18 Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

25 An anxious heart weighs a man down,
but a kind word cheers him up.”

Other verses contained herein promote truth with discretion, condemn falsehood, and warn that we follow that to which we listen.

God, use the words of my mouth today, to build and encourage others.  Forbid that I might darken the spirit of any person with reckless words or inconsiderate action.  Give me ears to hear what Your Spirit says, and close my mind to the lies of the deceiver who seeks to steal, kill and destroy.  In Jesus’ name, and for His glory, Amen!

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Isaiah 44:

What better way to continue a meditation on the power of the spoken word than with a “Thus saith the Lord”!

“This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.”

22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.”

There is much written here that amplifies the statement in verse 6.  The idols of man are described in detail, as is man’s warped thinking in devising them.  What strikes me today is more the weight of what I found in verse 22.  I have been thinking lately about the popular misconception of the word “repent.”  In the context of the red-faced, sweaty, tent-preacher, pounding on his pulpit, calling down condemnation on the sinner who fails to heed his call, there is little wonder why.  “Repent” certainly has a “turn away from” meaning, but the Spirit and the Word tell me that it is more like the desperate plea of a heartbroken Lover to His unfaithful beloved, as this verse portrays, “Return to me.”  Set in this context of idolatry, the service of the worthless whims and works of man, our separation takes on a sentiment of adulterous betrayal to the relationship for which God intended us.  His entreaty is not one of condemnation, but of acceptance and unconditional love, “Come back!  I love you!  I’ve made it all okay.”

Regardless of what you or I could possibly turn from, the Creator begs, “RETURN TO ME!”  Regardless of how many times I return, I will KEEP COMING BACK!

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 28:

“If what we have learned and felt and seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our race, creed, or color are the children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.”

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