Abstinent Today:

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

Thanks for enduring my pet bird story yesterday.  Captain Morgan the parrot is now back at home, wing-clipped and microchipped!

My studies about integrating alternative and conventional medicine have come none too soon.  Thanks to the declining level of “care” in “healthcare” my new HMO no longer covers a sinus medication my allergist prescribed, and it is too expensive for me to afford on my own.  I have recently read that people with chronic sinus problems would do well to cut out dairy.  So, although it will not go on my abstinence list, I will be removing all dairy from my regular plan of eating, including Kefir, which is on my list of superfoods.  Losing another superfood so soon after giving up caffeine in such sources as coffee and green tea is difficult, but I am willing to find a way.

Another new thing I am beginning today is yoga.  I’m making no commitments, but even trying something like this is a stretch for me. (I know, bad pun!)  Yoga has a bad reputation in some Christian circles.  The uninformed tend to think stretching and breathing to incorporate the mind with the body can somehow erupt into Buddhism or some form of Eastern Mystic boogeyman syndrome.  To help me overcome this I plan to attend a yoga class sponsored by my church.  It is affectionately named “Yo-God!”  I am told I will not be the only man in the class, but it was difficult finding a yoga mat without flowers on it!

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Acting on faith means standing without my defenses to protect me and assuming that my Higher Power will do the right thing for me, will give me what I need if not what I want. Acting on faith means believing my Higher Power will always listen and encourage me when I am in a situation in which I have to take risks. My Higher Power will walk with me through the scary situations and will be with me to the end when the trials are over. That’s acting on faith.”

I much prefer the phrase “acting on faith” to “acting as if.”  One suggests aligning actions with beliefs while the other has a hint of falsehood to it that always set me on edge, like I was supposed to fake something until it became real to me.  I resist that.  …partly because faking it is one of the things that caused me such mental turmoil in the past, and it is the primary defect of every hypocrite I know.  Living a lie will set me back, not forward; and the end result will be the same self-hate that turns into abuse of self and others.  We can’t have that again!  I choose to use these phrases interchangeably, but “acting on faith” better describes what I mean when I say either one.

 

 

From Proverbs 9:

Leave your simple ways and you will live;
walk in the way of understanding.”

God’s instruction repeatedly tells me that to resist change is to resist growth.  If I am set in my ways, then I might as well be set in stone for all the good it will do me.  Letting go of old prejudices and the impression my butt makes in the sofa cushions will get me out of my old ways and into ways that may invigorate new life, new understanding, new health, and maybe bring me closer to my goal of INTEGRITY.

God, as I continue to look for new ways to get out of the rut of my self-will, please help me to stay true to Your will.  May Your will be done, not mine!

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Matthew 17:

The Transfiguration (Standard Publishing) courtesy GoodSalt.com (click for source)Jesus took a few of His closest friends and allowed them to see Him in His true spiritual form, as the Father visibly transformed Him and endorsed Him with an audible voice from Heaven, in an event that would be referred to as “The Transfiguration.”

There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’”

This exchange between spiritual and physical seems to have been an opening between two realms of existence, when the eyes of men observed the realities of the spirit, when Christ was endowed with the palpable, perceptible raiment of the glory and authority He was about to exercise in confronting death and sin on behalf of man for all eternity.

The same God that transfigured Jesus in the presence of Peter, James and John, can transform humans from a dark existence to abundant life in the Light of Love.  What is required is to believe that He is, turn to Him, and follow faithfully.

Later, Jesus expressed disappointment with His disciples when, because of their lack of faith, they were unable to heal a demon-possessed boy (vs. 17, 20).  The standard lesson on faith of this passage comes from Christ’s use of a mustard seed as a metaphor (v. 20), but I caught something else in this reading.   Jesus’ disappointment in His disciples indicates an expectation that they would have healed the boy.  He wants His disciples to be healthy and share healing, to be clean and to make others clean, to exercise their authority over the spiritual powers of darkness bestowed on them by His authority.  The NIV footnote to verse 21 indicates that, while nothing is impossible to the one with even a tiny seed of faith, there are some problems (here, demons) that cannot be routed out without prayer and fasting (or self-denial).  So Christ’s formula for healing, according to this passage, is faith, prayer, self-denial, and action; for action must accompany faith, or it is only a belief.  That is, a disciple who believed in healing, but neglected to administer it to the boy, would still have left the boy in his suffering.  Put another way, “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26, also AA p.14)

I believe in the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Jesus Christ.  I have two hands to serve God.  I will deny myself, join with God in prayer, and begin to accomplish His will here on earth, one day at a time, one opportunity at a time!  Healing of spirit, mind and body are accomplished by the One who made them all.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 57:

“God had restored his sanity. What is this but a miracle of healing? Yet its elements are simple. Circumstances made him willing to believe. He humbly offered himself to his Maker—then he knew. Even so has God restored us all to our right minds. To this man, the revelation was sudden. Some of us grow into it more slowly. But He has come to all who have honestly sought Him. When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!”

 

 

 

 

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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