Abstinent Today:

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

When I came into program, I remember feeling robbed of birthday cake, even though my birthday was still four months away.  My sponsor said, “Is today your birthday?”  He reminded me this is a one-day-at-a-time program, and told me not to worry about it.  When my birthday did come around, I didn’t feel robbed.  Instead I felt gifted with something far better.  Today, I will accept God’s gift for me: a vital, vibrant existence.   He would never poison me and call it a treat!  That’s something only a deceiver would do.  Cake is not for me, even today!

Yesterday I found something in the “Morning and Evening” devotional by Charles Spurgeon that really struck me.  Expounding on Psalm 84:6 in his “Morning” entry for September 13th, Mr. Spurgeon wrote, “the comfort obtained by a one may often prove serviceable to another; just as wells would be used by the company who came after.”  He pointed out that, though dug by those who precede them, the wells of use by those who follow are filled, not by man, but by the One who can rain blessings on man.  It reminded me of my use of the tool of writing.  I dig into the Scriptures each day and do this journaling for me, and my prayer is that, by leaving the wells of what I dig up online for others to find, I may have left a reservoir for God’s blessing to be found by others who might be refreshed, not by me, but by God.




From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Many of us tried fasting, with and without a doctor’s supervision. Usually we lost weight, but as soon as we started eating again, the compulsive eating behavior returned, along with the weight.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 10

Fasting has gotten me into a lot of trouble in the past.  As a weight-loss strategy it never works, probably because it takes a strangle-hold on life and seeks to abuse it into submission to the will of its holder, rather than fueling one’s life with God’s good things.

Many fast for religious observations, as is proper. (Joel 2:12, 15; Luke 5:33-35; Matthew 6:16-19)  To this I add my sponsor’s advice.  He taught me to treat every lapse between meals as a spiritual fast, and every craving as a call to prayer.  I am thankful for each meal and pray that it sustains me until the next one, and I thank God that the previous meal saw me through to this one.  This practice of gratitude helps me when cravings tempt me to be anxious, and every moment-at-a-time, I find myself prayerfully connected to the God who provides all.

Fasting to get my results my way is detrimental, and is no self-denial at all. It is self-assertion turned violent against its own body. Self-denial or “abstinence” for the purposes of spiritual discipline and prayerful alignment is a good thing, but not as an end itself.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”  (Isaiah 58:6-7)

The idea is for worship to become a part of everything I do, not just of what I don’t do or eat.

Today, I will worship God in my abstinent eating and my fasting, in my exercise and in my sabbatical.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, and He will be with me whether I am going out or coming in.  I gratefully accept the vitality He gives, and I turn it back to Him to do as He pleases, and I am better for it!





From Proverbs 14:

“The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

I don’t think I have ever excerpted this verse, preferring others more directly addressed to me.  However, in light of my thoughts on destructive fasting, it seems divinely appointed.  From my limited understanding of the Creator, it seems to me that His interest is in building up, strengthening, moving mankind toward perfect relationship with Him.   One of my favorite verses in all Scripture, John 10:10, identifies the mission statements of both Christ and the enemy.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

God is, Himself, Life, and He wants to share Himself with us in ever-increasing measure.  This is a possible litmus test for His will.  If a plan I concoct has destructive consequences, chances are it is not the will of God; but if it builds, creates, and provides for God’s children (including me) then it is likely I am on the right track.  The destroyer can’t create, and the Creator (as I understand Him) takes no joy in destroying what He has made.  “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Today, I turn from my tendency to tear down my own house, the tent of flesh I live in while on this earth.  Instead, I commit to being a good steward of God’s tabernacle, and I will clean His temple, trim its lamps, polish its furnishings, and tend its altar.  My body will become a living sacrifice, not for my own reputation, but for His glory.  …In Christ Jesus’ name, Amen!  (Reference 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)





From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 42 and 43:

While the remnant of Israel was on its way to Egypt, they sought out Jeremiah and showed some pretense of submission when they thought God’s way might be along their own.

Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.”

God’s answer was an offer of passionate providence that well confirms my previously stated understanding of God’s intent.

10 ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. 12 I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’”

There is a “however” that follows, and the warning of destruction should they continue along their way to Egypt, though graphic and deadly, was not enough to sway the remnant from their course.  It reminded me of the many medical opinions that told me to stop doing what I want to do and start on a healthy plan.  My doctors’ opinions were similar to the prophetic utterance of Jeremiah:

22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.”

In Chapter 43, Johanan and the remnant accused Jeremiah of lying and went on their way to Egypt, where death and destruction was predicted to come through the fiery invasion of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians.

God, may I never mistake my way for Yours, but be ever open to Your influence, willing to submit to Your will, accepting change as a part of the restructuring process You are faithful to complete in me.  May I never reach my goal only to find Your destruction at the end of it, but seek Your plan and purpose in everything I do.




From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 63:

“Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.”



(For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.)