Abstinent Today:

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

I took today off from work for a quick road trip.  I have an opportunity to take my wife to see a live performance of The Screwtape Letters at a nearby city.  I am looking forward to the day with my precious bride!

(Fair warning: potentially boring medical status details in this paragraph!)  I saw a cardiologist the other day for an array of strange symptoms.  His diagnosis: hyponatremia – a condition in which there is too little salt in the blood.  There are more detailed tests to follow, but in the meantime he instructed me to take in more sodium (at least 4 g or 4000 mg per day) and drink less water.  This is an ironic problem to have, considering my history of hypertension (high blood pressure) and one of my predominant presenting symptoms, orthostatic hypotension (postural low blood pressure).  I have spent much effort training myself to take in more water (about 120 oz. per day) and less salt, and now must learn to adapt to this new instruction.   My confidence in this new cardiologist is high.  I liked him very much, and he seemed genuinely interested in the description of my recovery and its bearing on my physical improvement. He said I have no real cause to be concerned about peripheral vascular disease, but may be experiencing some autonomic dysfunction due to the recent rapid weight loss.  As it was explained to me, my body is trying to decide how dilated my blood vessels should be and is adjusting to my new “normal.”  Among other things, I have been asked to forego my routine blood donations until my symptoms normalize, as low blood volume often accounts for some of my symptoms.  It is strange to have problems associated with my physical recovery.  It seems my teeter has tottered!

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“For an honest, balanced view of myself, I take a few moments in which I free my mind of everything except God’s love for me.” — For Today, p. 153

Largely due to my own recent medical concerns, I have begun reading Prayer, Faith and Healing, a textbook by several authors on the subjects in the title.  So far, it has been to me the filling of the gap left by a previous book I read, Spontaneous Healing, which was quite the authority on the body’s natural healing ability but left the author puzzled about the very real role of prayer and faith in healing.  The practice described in For Today is tried and true, and even as vital as it is, I still sometimes neglect to do it, and regret it later.  What I am learning is that, while I have experienced the benefit of such meditation on the healing of my spirit and mind, I have not yet given full consideration to the physical benefit.  The bottom line is: just do it!

 

 

 

From Proverbs 2:

for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.”

Here is confirmation that being faithful aligns us with the protection of God.

Oh, the blessings of living under His grace!  I am grateful, Lord.  Thank You for loving me when I could not love even love myself, and for rescuing me yet again from the bondage of self!

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Mark 12:

24 Jesus replied, ‘Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?’”

Jesus was parrying the blows of the religious bullies as they took turns trying to trick Him into impeaching His own testimony while He taught some very important principles of Christianity.  In this case, a group known for their disbelief in the resurrection, the Sadducees, interrogated Him with a fictional what-if that just made them look silly.  In the process, He gave some indication of the formula for right thinking: a knowledge of Scripture and an understanding of the power of God.  I think most of us lack one or the other if not both.  I long to know both better, if only to be a better minister to those around me.

Among the lessons Christ taught in this chapter was the parable of the tenants, in which Jesus was the last of many prophets sent by a landlord to collect his due from the renters of his vineyard (vs. 1-12).  He amazed His audience with the answer to a political trap.

17 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’”

He gave some interesting insight into Heavenly life.

25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”

He taught about the Lordship of the Christ, who had been called “the Son of David” until He pointed out that even David called Him “my Lord” (v. 36).  He demonstrated God’s value system in the offering of a poor widow who gave all she had rather than the rich who gave out of their wealth (vs. 41-44).  Perhaps the most important lesson of Christ in this text was in His identification of the most important commandment.

29 ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.’”

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 85 and 86:

“Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly. It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it.”

 

 

 

 

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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