Abstinent 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:

“I need to be willing to give up that which attracts me in the first place.” — For Today, p. 132

This is closely related to the point I made yesterday concerning foods eaten for the purpose of enjoyment.  Being attractive to me does not make something bad, but it does make it a red flag for the judges in my head to make a ruling.  I have to prayerfully consider whether I am partaking in a food or activity just to indulge myself, or whether it is for the good of the body, mind, or spirit of me or someone else.  Just like the Big Book recommends for deciding if one is an alcoholic, I need to honestly assess whether I could go without a thing without spiritual disruption, “the experiment of quitting.”  If there is any physical thing in this world I would not be willing to let go, I need to ask myself if I have let this thing come between me and God.  If it has, and I wouldn’t, then I have to learn to be willing to let go.

The things that do not separate me from God may be His blessing to me, like relationships.  Those things God may not take away, but willingness to let go will never hurt us.  At God’s request Abraham proved he was willing to give up his only heir, his beloved son, but God stayed his hand from the sacrifice and provided a ram instead. (Genesis 22)   It might be that the willingness to let go will be all that is required.  Love of this world and the things that are in it are what separate me from perfect union with my Creator.  (1 John 2:15-17)  When I realize that I am too attached to something, I need to give it up if for no other reason than to demonstrate that I can.




From Proverbs 27:

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.”

The fragrant aroma of genuine concern has wafted my way on several occasions in the past few days, and I am grateful for good friends I can trust to bring me the truth in love.  I am blessed to be made better by such a fellowship!




From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 46, 47, and 48:

I did not mean to start a study of the end-times, but this reading left too many breadcrumbs not to follow in my own, uneducated way.  What follows is not authority, but my own observations.  Chapter 46 seemed pretty straightforward on its surface.  Jeremiah prophesied God’s wrath against Egypt and all but a remnant of Jerusalem.  There are pieces, however, that hint that the Babylonian invasion was not all that was being foretold.  For instance, verse 10 reads more like an apocalyptic reference than just the raising of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, an invasion which history would prove far less destructive than this text predicts. It also makes sense of another verse that puzzles me on the 16th of every month when I read it.  Proverbs 16:4 hides a hint of things to come in its declaration that everything happens for a reason, “The LORD works out everything for his own ends— even the wicked for a day of disaster.”  In Revelation 19, there is a description of a congregation of all the armies of earth and their complete annihilation by the sword that comes from the mouth of the “Faithful and True,” the Rider on the white horse, presumed by most to be the Word of God, described elsewhere as a “double-edged sword.”  The reference to “the Daughter of Egypt” in verse 24 hints that this might not be as much about that present day Egypt, but a future one.  Verses 27 and 28 address “Jacob” without any restraint on time or generation.

10 But that day belongs to the Lord, the Lord Almighty—
a day of vengeance, for vengeance on his foes.
The sword will devour till it is satisfied,
till it has quenched its thirst with blood.
For the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will offer sacrifice
in the land of the north by the River Euphrates.”

The “Philistines” of Chapter 47 are among the cursed of God, and their description is eerily inclusive. In this chapter too, is a reference to the Sword of the Lord.

“‘Ah, sword of the Lord,’ you cry,
‘how long till you rest?
Return to your scabbard;
cease and be still.’
But how can it rest
when the Lord has commanded it…”

Moab’s curse, in Chapter 48 is similarly mysterious.  In it, the defiant are cursed, but there is a promise of redemption for those who are left once the skulls of the prideful are charred by the fire.

42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation
because she defied the Lord.
43 Terror and pit and snare await you,
O people of Moab,”
declares the Lord.”

Whether these texts predict the literal invasions that foreshadow events to come or include prophetic glimpses of the final “Day of the Lord,” one thing is certain: the defiant are marked for destruction and precious few will be left to inherit whatever blessing remains.  The reference from Proverbs says even the disaster of the wicked will be to serve God’s purpose.  It makes me wonder if God has not bought the souls of all mankind with the blood of Christ, but perhaps with it brokered a deal of redemption for the few.  The consequences of sin and the promise of redemption make it worth being rightly aligned!

Mighty God, show me Your mercy, and help me to represent it well to draw others to Your side.




From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 131132:

“Alcoholics who have derided religious people will be helped by such contacts. Being possessed of a spiritual experience, the alcoholic will find he has much in common with these people, though he may differ with them on many matters. If he does not argue about religion, he will make new friends and is sure to find new avenues of usefulness and pleasure. He and his family can be a bright spot in such congregations. He may bring new hope and new courage to many a priest, minister, or rabbi, who gives his all to minister to our troubled world. We intend the foregoing as a helpful suggestion only. So far as we are concerned, there is nothing obligatory about it. As non-denominational people, we cannot make up others’ minds for them. Each individual should consult his own conscience.”


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