Abstinent Today:

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

Happy Thanksgiving!  I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between gratitude and thankfulness, especially because I have many times lately heard the phrase, “I’m thankful for…” which is really an expression of gratitude, not thanksgiving.   Gratitude is an emotional attitude, while thanks is an expression of that gratitude to the source of the gift.   The condition of the person who is grateful to the point they express it in thanks is “thankful.”  The character trait that marks a person known for such expressions is “thankfulness.”  This American holiday is not to be the only occasion we return thanks to our Creator for our provision, but it is a day when we traditionally turn our hearts to Him and express our thanks, celebrating Him with family and friends.  Today, please join me in expressing thanks, rather than just sitting in muted contentment.

God, I thank You and praise You as the Maker and Provider of everything, from the dawning of Creation to the Day of Deliverance, from my conception to my graduation to Glory and beyond.  You are my going out and my coming in, You are everything, and without You I am nothing.  I thank You for the air I breathe and the lungs to draw it in.  Thank You for the fuel that builds this human machine, Your Spirit that drives it on, and the occasions and circumstances You faithfully orchestrate that give me purpose.

“All I want is to give You a life well lived to say, ‘Thank You’” (from Good To Be Alive, by Jason Gray)

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“I choose the wonder and awe when I ‘assume a posture of humility,’ give thanks for my life to my Higher Power and ask for another day of abstinence and the opportunity to do service for others.”

The quoted phrase referencing posture is from a parenthetical note nestled in the text of Step Seven in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous.  Never underestimate the power of the words in parentheses or italics!  They have often been some of the most helpful to me.  I am not particularly sure why the “non”-denomination I grew up in did not kneel or bow in prayer, but it is a practice God has used to show me how arrogant my prayer-life has been before applying this posture.

What I have found regarding the posture of prostrate prayer is consistent with the rest of what I know about the trinity of man made in God’s image.  While the body is made of flesh, it is still the spirit’s vehicle, and goes where it goes.  Likewise, the soul (mind, will, emotions) accompanies the body to the floor when the knees bend and the head lowers. The awe of the greatness of any tower, structure, or person is vastly improved in the perspective of one lowered at the foot of it, and so it is when I come to the feet of my Creator and humble myself in His presence.

 

 

 

From Proverbs 22 (NKJV):

The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.”

I will attempt to keep this slavery in mind when my daughter attempts to get me to accompany her shopping tomorrow.  Nothing is a bargain to him who must borrow to get it!

 

 

From my reading through the Bible,” currently in Hosea 8, 9, and 10:

God mourned and cursed the tribes and cities of Israel for their idolatries.  He lamented the unfaithful practices and called out their punishments.  In Chapter 9, His complaint was against those who participate in idol religious ceremonies and sacrifice themselves at the winepresses and threshing floors.  Such were the places where wine and flour were sold when their processing was done; a modern-day equivalent would be a retail market or store.  What a timely address for today!

They will not pour out wine offerings to the Lord,
nor will their sacrifices please him.
Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners;
all who eat them will be unclean.
This food will be for themselves;
it will not come into the temple of the Lord.

What will you do on the day of your appointed feasts,
on the festival days of the Lord?”

After the spanking of the previous texts, Chapter 10 contained some instruction for me.  It is even addressed to me in the latter part, where it describes my history of self-satisfaction, sinful delusion, and self-righteous rebellion.

12 Sow for yourselves righteousness,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
and showers righteousness on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness,
you have reaped evil,
you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your own strength
and on your many warriors…”

Lord of the Harvest, I repent of withholding from You my dry, crusty rebellion.  I ask Your intervention to help me plow up my unfertile soil so You can raise in me a healthy product.  Quench me with the Living Water of Your Spirit and make my life the home of the True Vine.  In Christ’s name I pray; Amen!

 

 

 

From Overeaters Anonymous (Second Edition), “Keep Coming Back: Rozanne’s Story”:

“Praying for guidance, I asked God for an eating plan I could live with the rest of my life. ‘Through health and illness, through travel and at home, through parties, bar mitzvahs, holidays and ordinary days, help me to nourish my body with the right food in the proper amounts.’”

 

 

 

 

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

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

In order to shed light on the old truths from a different angle and exercise my willingness with a little change, I switched from using the New International Version (NIV or “NIV1984”) to the New King James Version (NKJV) just for this month’s reading of Proverbs.  

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