unity line silouhettesAbstinent Today:

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

I’ve got a busy day ahead.  I’m the host of a family dinner, and everyone is pretty excited to see how a healthy person eats.  I have lots of preparation to do, and may have to skip some of my routine.  I don’t normally list food here, but I’m excited about the opportunity to show people that living simply and free of added sugar is still enjoyable.  The menu I am planning is: roast beef (nothing added), steamed vegetables (nothing added), boiled rutabaga (nothing added), cranberry beans (with chicken bouillon broth), baked apples (with cinnamon).

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“When I share my experience, I often say just what I needed to hear. When I am having a difficult time in my life, the knowledge that one day I will be able to share my experience, strength, and hope with someone who is having the same difficulty makes it easier.”

God often uses the mouth closest to and right in between my ears to convey the message I need to absorb.  Often it is the only mouth my stubborn ears will hear!  The liberating promise of hope in this passage is that, if I am faithful to share what I have learned with others in the form of encouragement, pain will be transformed from a cause to fear to a motivating passion that will drive me through the next pain with faith that it too will be rolled into the purpose God has for me and my life.

From Proverbs 21:

13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor,
he too will cry out and not be answered.”

The Food for Thought meditation today was on paradoxes and here is the other half of one.  While my pain is turned to passion with the application of faithful action, my failure to act on behalf of those around me results in a state of isolated neglect, both divine and interpersonal.  God apparently turns away from those who turn away from others.  I love the way God instructs though!  His promise is never far from his correction.  So it is in this case:

21 He who pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity[Or righteousness] and honor.”

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Malachi 1 and 2:

Today begins the last chapter in the Old Testament.  As such, it is the last prophetic writing we have until the fulfillment of the prophecies came in the birth and life of Jesus Christ.  Malachi is a book my pastor has been preaching on lately, so my head and spirit are awhirl with thoughts already stirring.  I learned that Malachi is a name that means “my messenger”.  Let’s see what message this messenger of God brings.

In Chapter 1, God addresses an apathetic Israel.  They have begun to do things out of routine rather than out of love.  Their sacrifices have become second-rate and therefore offensive to God.  He makes it plainly clear that what He wants is their pure hearts and not their blemished offerings.

‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.’”

In Chapter 2, God starts in on the faithless priests, but turns the attention back to the whole nation (and by extension, the reader universal).

“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction—because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty.”

“10 ‘Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?’”

God wants relationship with us, but He also wants us to have meaningful relationships with one another.  We were created for relationships, yet the spiritual war within us attempts to get us to compromise those relationships, isolate ourselves, and steal our purpose, our joy, and our vitality.  The message is that history was on the brink of a New Covenant relationship, a new joy, and a new vitality.  In order to receive the new, one must acknowledge that the old was inadequate.

God, I admit that when I walk away from You I walk away from Truth and Life, and I end up living a powerless existence, broken and lonely, like the audience of Malachi who broke faith with You and with each other.  Keep me from forsaking the fellowship of the saints and keep me abiding in the Vine of Truth and Vitality, Jesus Christ.  Thank You for grace!

From Overeaters Anonymous (Second Edition), “Alive and Well and Living in the Real World”:

“As a very judgmental person, this tolerance is something I would like to better give myself. At the end of our OA meetings, I ask God to forgive my trespasses—my shortcomings—as I forgive those who trespass against me. I stop and reflect on how forgiving I am of others. I can hold a grudge for a long time, but I’ve come to know that resentment paves the way for me to eat compulsively again.”

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.

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