Cross and Easter liliesAbstinent Today:

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

Happy Resurrection Day, all! I get excited about this holiday more than others because without it all other holidays would be moot, and I can (should and must) celebrate Christ’s resurrection every day of the year.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Are we afraid to express ourselves, to tell others how we feel?” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 37

I recognize that I have moved past a lot of this fear, but that I still have some to overcome. I shared only a week or so ago that, even on this anonymous web-journal, I tend to hide behind my anonymity and try to put forth what I feel will be helpful for others rather than what is really on my soul. I am repeatedly reminded that my honest expressions in my times of weakness are often the most helpful thing I can do to help other hurting souls. Having feelings is not the problem; it is in letting my feelings have me!

From Proverbs 31:

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Human need is the purpose for which we spiritual beings who remain in the body still exist on earth. Otherwise, when He cried out, “It is finished!” on the cross, there would have been no reason for any of us to remain. The truth is, though His work was complete, our work and His work in us was just beginning. Christ’s last plea was that we love one another. The rock of His church was instructed to feed, tend, and care for His flock. His closest disciples were instructed to wash the feet of the other. Paul told the church at Ephesus, “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) We have much loving to do! Not just because there are many who need loving kindness, but because we have not been perfected in our love yet, and because every time we love in the Name of Jesus, we bring glory and honor to Him.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Acts 8:

2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church

This is a great chapter full of significant history of the early Church. I found it noteworthy that the godly men mourned deeply for Stephen (v. 2). This confirms my belief about bereavement that, while it may well be an occasion for the Christian decedent to celebrate, the survivors are not in the wrong for grieving. Besides Jesus’ own example of weeping at Lazarus’ passing, we have this example of the early Church.

We have a record of Saul (later to become Saint Paul) persecuting the church, putting people in prison. This speaks to me of two realities. First, that it is possible to do harm while fully convinced of one’s good motives. (He thought he was serving God by jailing all these blasphemers.) Second, that God can turn anybody around. Of all the people to use as a missionary, God used the one who was accustomed to jailing and killing Christians. Amazing!

Two other accounts have been the seeds of much theological dissension, and I want to avoid that here. Suffice it to say that this chapter makes it appear that baptism of water and baptism of Spirit are two different things, and each is significant. The miraculous moving of the Holy Spirit in this chapter was exciting. By the Spirit, Peter and John worked miracles that amazed even a sorcerer into repentance. By the Spirit, Philip was directed to the Ethiopian Eunuch and then transported instantly away when the baptism was done. I know that what limits the Spirit from being able to do the miraculous is the faith of those affected, and often wonder if this generation had more faith what would be done here and now.

God, I know that the same Spirit who healed the crippled and leprous is within me and heals my afflictions today. Increase my faith and help me overcome my doubt, so that I am an instrument, not an obstacle, of Your will.

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

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.

‡ From “Our Invitation to You” out of Overeater’s Anonymous:  “The OA recovery program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words ‘alcohol’ and ‘alcoholic’ to ‘food’ and ‘compulsive overeater.’”

 

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