Abstinent Today:

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

I found the story of a High School graduate named Katie Davis, who went to Uganda to serve as a volunteer Kindergarten teacher.  She went, planning to stay for ten months, but she was overwhelmed with love for the people, and she stayed.  She has since adopted fourteen orphans and has developed a ministry called Amazima, the Lugandan word for “truth,” which feeds, educates and disciples over six hundred kids.  What could be more inspiring?

I’ll tell you.  I was watching one of the videos on one of the pages on the ministry’s website with already tear-stained cheeks, and I heard one of the workers say that he was looking forward to the day when he could stand before Jesus and thank Him for the work He is doing to enable these children to become what they are becoming.  He looks forward to being face to face with Jesus, not in the hope that he would be thanked or welcomed or patted on the back, but so that he could personally thank Jesus for strengthening and maturing these kids!

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“We now have a new reaction when we face a problem or a decision, whether it has to do with food, with life, or with our own runaway emotions. Instead of acting on impulse, we pause long enough to learn God’s will.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 26

“Acting on life rather than reacting to it” are perhaps the most important words I have heard in recovering my sanity, my life, and my relationship with God.  Building on the pause between stimulus and action takes practice, and that practice begins with amends.  Amends is the action after the improper action.  As we take this action, we begin to realize that the right action would have taken less energy than a mending one after a damaging one.  This even appeals to the lazy tendency in me.  Eventually, the thoughts of amends develop a pause, sometimes just too late, but every once in a while just in time.  As God helps us put this pause in its proper place and take that moment to be grateful rather than hateful, we find ourselves walking in God’s will.  It’s an amazing process, one that is apparently never fully developed.

God, continue to slow my inappropriate action, but quicken my inaction, so that I am consistently walking in Your will with integrity and truth.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Revelation 20, NIV:

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.

This chapter is difficult for people and interpretations of it divide many, but the text says that there is a first resurrection of the martyred while the dead in Christ wait for another resurrection (vs. 4-5).  This might explain why Dismus, the thief crucified next to Jesus, was promised that he would accompany Jesus that day, while other Scripture describes the last day as one in which the dead in Christ will rise (1 Thessalonians 4:16).  The other point of contention is “the thousand years” and whether this account of events in in chronological order or a spiritual reference, whether a rapture is to precede the thousand years or not.  One thing remains clear: the One on the throne is the One from whom all elements flee and who will judge the living and the dead according to what they have done.  This is another proof that faith without works is dead.

If I say I believed a rope would support my weight, but I never swung from that rope or never climbed it out of my pit of isolated despair, I might have a hard time pretending that I really believed in that rope.  This is an oversimplification, but it shows the difference in belief and faith.  There will be those whose names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life and those whose evidence will show no validation of their faith.  I do not wish to leave any doubt about Whom I serve.  I am God’s and He is mine, in the name of Jesus Christ!

Lord, where will You have me climb and to what purpose would You have me swing?  I will trust You and I will follow.  Lead me this day to walk according to Your steps, and do it again tomorrow, keeping me true to Your discipleship so that I can stand before You and thank You for all You have done for me.

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 161:

He and his wife would leave elated by the thought of what they could now do for some stricken acquaintance and his family. They knew they had a host of new friends; it seemed they had known these strangers always. They had seen miracles, and one was to come to them. They had visioned the Great Reality—their loving and All Powerful Creator.

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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