Friday, 28 April 2017

Serenity Sam - A.A. Recovery Speaker



EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery

 Holiness Unto the Lord

This phrase is used several times in the Bible, and in our ordinary King James Version the whole phrase is always printed in capitals, indicating unusual importance. Now what do these very important words mean? Well, they contain nothing less than the master key to life.
Holiness unto the Lord means that there is nothing in existence but the self-expression of God--that and nothing more. It naturally follows from this that you yourself, and every condition in your life today, are simply part of God's manifestation or self-expression, and therefore must be perfect, beautiful and harmonious. It may not seem so to the limited human mind, but nevertheless it is the Truth of Being.
This is not a mere abstract truth, but is an extremely practical matter, because to know this and to have faith in it rapidly clears up any kind of difficulty that may be in your life. Instead of a mere academic speculation it is the most powerful healing agent in existence. It will heal the body, readjust every kind of difficulty with other people, solve all business troubles, bring you inspiration and courage, and move you into your true place if you have not already found it.
These words were written upon a golden crown which surmounted the headdress of the high priest, and a later prophecy says that in the day of triumph these words shall be upon the bells of the horses. Of course, you yourself are really a high priest, as Aaron was, when you are engaged in realizing the presence of God where a negative condition seems to be, and it is in your day of triumph (when your prayer is answered) that the words will be seen upon the bells of the horses. You know those horses--and at that time the three inferior horses will have been redeemed forever.
A bell is a proclamation; a summons. Church bells are rung to proclaim that a church service is about to be held and to summon the people. And bells used for secular purposes have the same essential significance. The bells on your horses will proclaim the power of prayer and will summon other people to Higher Thought because when they see the changes that have come over you they will hasten to obtain the same blessings.
Do not accept trouble at its face value. Realize the holiness of god where the trouble seems to be. Have faith in it, and all will be well.

Fox, Emmet (2010-09-07). Stake Your Claim: Exploring the Gold Mine Within (pp. 32-33). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


TWO “MAGNIFICENT STANDARDS”

All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words:  humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these magnificent standards.

–AS BILL SEES IT, p. 271

To acknowledge and respect the views, accomplishments and prerogatives of others and to accept being wrong shows me the way of humility. To practice the principles of A.A. in all my affairs guides me to be responsible. Honoring these precepts gives credence to Tradition Four–and to all other Traditions of the Fellowship. Alcoholics Anonymous has evolved a philosophy of life full of valid motivations, rich in highly relevant principles and ethical values, a view of life which can be extended beyond the confines of the alcoholic population.  To honor these precepts I need only to pray, and care for my fellow man as if each one were my brother. 
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery


Who Really Gets Better?

“We can also use the steps to improve our attitudes. Our best thinking got us into trouble. We recognize the need for change.”

Basic Text, p. 53

When new in recovery, most of us had at least one person we just couldn’t stand. We thought that person was the rudest, most obnoxious person in the program. We knew there was something we could do, some principle of recovery we could practice to get over the way we felt about this person—but what? We asked our sponsor for guidance. We were probably assured, with an amused smile, that if we just kept coming back, we’d see the person get better. That made sense to us. We believed that the steps of NA worked in the lives of everyone. If they could work for us, they could work for this horrible person, too.

Time passed, and at some point we noticed that the person didn’t seem as rude or obnoxious as before. In fact, he or she had become downright tolerable, maybe even likeable. We got a pleasant jolt as we realized who had really gotten better. Because we had kept coming back, because we had kept working the steps, our perception of this person had changed. The person who’d plagued us had become “tolerable” because we’d developed some tolerance; he or she had become “likeable” because we’d developed the ability to love.

So who really gets better? We do! As we practice the program, we gain a whole new outlook on those around us by gaining a new outlook on ourselves.

Just for today: As I get better, so will others. Today, I will practice tolerance and try to love those I meet. 
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought For The Day

We’re so glad to be free from liquor that we do something about it. We get into action. We come to meetings regularly. We go out and try to help other alcoholics. We pass on the good news whenever we get a chance. In a spirit of thankfulness to God, we get into action. The A.A. program is simple. Submit yourself to God, find release from liquor, and get into action. Do these things and keep doing them and you’re all set for the rest of your life. Have I got into action?

Meditation For The Day

God’s eternal quest must be the tracking down of souls. You should join Him in His quest. Through briars, through waste places, through glades, up mountain heights, down into valleys. God leads you. But ever with His leadership goes your helping hand. Glorious to follow where the Leader goes. You are seeking lost sheep. You are bringing the good news into places where it has not been known before. You may not know which soul you will help, but you can leave all results to God. just go with Him in His eternal quest for souls.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may follow God in His eternal quest for souls. I pray that I may offer God my helping hand. 
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery



Prelude to the Program, p. 118

Few people will sincerely try to practice the A.A. program unless they have “hit bottom,” for practicing A.A.’s Steps means the adoption of attitudes and actions that almost no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking. The average alcoholic, self-centered in the extreme, doesn’t care for this prospect–unless he has to do these things in order to stay alive himself.

<< << << >> >> >>

We know that the newcomer has to “hit bottom”; otherwise, not much can happen. Because we are drunks who understand him, we can use at depth the nutcracker of the-obsession-plus-the-allergy as a tool of such power that it can shatter his ego. Only thus can he be convinced that on his own unaided resources he has little or no chance.

1. 12 & 12, p. 24
2. A.A. Today, p. 8 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery



Expect Miracle-working Coincidences
Spiritual direction

Somebody said that a wonderful coincidence is when God acts but does not

choose to leave a signature. Wonderful coincidences are appearing every moment of the day. People who live the spiritual life are especially positioned to recognize and understand coincidences.

The founding of AA abounds with coincidences that boggle the mind. Almost by chance, the Oxford Group ideas found their way to Bill Wilson. A business trip took him to Akron where, coincidentally. An earnest group of Oxford Group people were trying to help Dr. Bob Smith to sobriety. With his business venture in collapse, Bill made the telephone call that put him in touch with Dr. Bob, eventually resulting in the launch of AA.

Such miraculous coincidences work for the fellowship, and they’re also at work in our individual lives. If we look closely, we’ll discover that many such coincidences helped bring about our recovery or some other blessing.

God is the guiding power behind these coincidences. What appears to be chance is really a marvelous intelligence coordinating random events for the good of all.

I’ll have confidence today that God is always bringing positive results out of a number of random events. 
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery


Unless I accept my faults I will most certainly doubt my virtues.

— Hugh Prather

Before recovery, we saw only a blurry picture of ourselves, like we were looking through an out-of-focus camera lens. We couldn’t see the good in ourselves because we wouldn’t look close enough.

Step Four helps us look more closely. We see a picture of ourselves, with our good points and our faults. We don’t like everything we see. But we can’t change until we accept ourselves as we are.

Then we can start getting ready to change.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see the good in me and love myself.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll make a list of four of my good points and four of my faults. Am I getting to have my Higher Power remove these defects of character? 
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery



PREJUDICE

“It is never too late to give up your prejudices.”
–Henry David Thoreau

Prejudice divides people and feeds upon anger, resentment and fear.  Today I can see that my prejudices stemmed from my seeing in others what I disliked in myself. I hated people who appeared “weak” because I knew that I was weak and vulnerable. I hated people who were “different” because I knew there were parts of me that were different from how I appeared. I hated the people who stood up for their principles and talked about their feelings because, as a drunk, I never really had any principles and I couldn’t get in touch with my feelings.

Today I try to talk about my prejudices and overcome them. A knowledge of those people I disliked has proven useful in slowly overcoming my prejudices.

Teach me to locate myself in my criticism of others.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection For The Day

I will resolve to observe with new interest even the commonplace things that happen today.  If I learn to see everything with a fresh eye, perhaps I’ll find I have countless reasons for contentment and gratitude.  When I find myself trapped in the quicksand of my negative thoughts I’ll turn away from them — and grab for the lifesaving strength of sharing with others in The Program.  Do I carry my weight as an all-important link in the worldwide chain of The Program?

Today I Pray

I pray that God will open my eyes to the smallest everyday wonders, that I may notice and list among my blessings things like just feeling good, being able to think clearly.  Even when I make a simple, unimportant choice, like whether to order coffee or tea or a soft drink, may I be reminded that the power of choice is a gift from God.

Today I Will Remember

I am blessed with the freedom of choice. 
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery



~ UNITY ~

Separate needs are weak and easily broken; but bound together they are strong and hard to tear apart.

–The Midrash, Judaic Text

For most of my life before coming into the program, I was a bit of a loner. I never had a lot of friends, perhaps because of my feelings of inadequacy, and was never good at sports, especially team sports. So I buried myself a lot in books, in academic achievements at which I excelled, mainly because I could do that on my own. I lived in a fantasy world where a knight in shining armor would come and rescue me, and my life would then be perfect. I had never even had a serious long-term relationship until I met my first husband, so it was hardly surprising that I made a bad choice and after having three children and much heartache, got divorced.

When I first came into program, it was the first time I had ever felt part of a big group, and most importantly they all spoke my language. Their experiences were my experiences. These wonderful people became my family. There was, and still is, for me an incredible sense of belonging in the fellowship. No longer do I have to brave it on my own as there will always be someone on the other end of the line or in a meeting who can identify and share with me what I am going through. The strength that I feel when I come into the meeting rooms or speak to a fellow member on the phone is a powerful sustaining force for me that has helped me through countless difficult situations and continues to do so.

One Day at a Time . . .
I only need to reach out and join hands with others in the fellowship to gain the strength to do things I could never do before. It is only with their help, support and love that I am fully able to recover.

~ Sharon ~ 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery


“Indians living close to nature and nature’s ruler are not living in darkness.”

–Walking Buffalo, STONEY

There are many Indian people who are living according to nature and according to ceremony and culture. They may not have a lot of material things, but that doesn’t mean they are not successful. What is success anyway? Can success be measured by material things? What is it we are really chasing anyway? The Elders say that what everyone really wants is to be happy and have a peaceful mind. Material things by themselves do not bring happiness and peace of mind. Only spiritual things bring happiness. When we live a spiritual life we will not have darkness. Instead, we will be happy.

Great Spirit, today, let me walk the Red Road 
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


I will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.

—Lillian Hellman

Every fall there seems to be something new and different to get for school – a special folder, a new style of pants, or maybe a different haircut. These things change from year to year.

Sometimes we get carried away with the current trends. We start putting too much importance on such things. We may be tempted to join our friends in teasing someone who doesn’t wear the “right” clothes, or avoid someone who doesn’t say the “right” things. This is when we need God’s help.

Perhaps we can become the leaders for the next trend – looking beyond appearances of others to the beauty inside them.

Will I see the true value in those around me today? 
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The Eye Opener #essentialsofrecovery



The span of human life is such a small part of eternity that the length of your life, whether it be 20 years or 100, is of no moment. Yet the lifespan of some men has, and will continue to have, great influence upon many succeeding generations.

If you can by one single act do something that will benefit just one person 50 years from now, you will have done more than millions who have before you. Few leave anything to posterity when they die that will outlive their tombstone.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily TAO - Guidance

Worship with your conscience,
Receive grace with humility.
Guide with awareness,
Lead with modesty.

The altar is a tool. If we kneel before it and say we have done wrong, we are really telling that to ourselves. If we give thanks for our good fortune, we are expressing our modest appreciation for good luck. There is no outside force listening to us. There is no divine retribution for our wickedness. The altar is merely symbolic. Those who follow Tao use it to focus their self-awareness.

When we step away from the altar, we should not lose self-awareness. We should not take the fact that worship is symbolic to behave in immoral ways. Instead, we still have to act with a conscience and lead others without manipulating them or taking advantage of them.

It takes maturity to grasp that there are no gods and yet still behave as if there were. It takes insight to know that you must be your own disciplinarian. Only the wisest can lay down their own “divine laws” and find guidance as if they were truly heaven’s word. 
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

There is no Dharma that can be explained, no Mind that can be spoken of: inherent reality-nature is empty. Going back to the fundamental basis, it is the Path. The real identity of the Path is empty and boundless, vast and pure. With its stillness and solitude, it obliterates the cosmos. It pervades ancient and modern, but its nature is pure. This is the pure buddha-land.

- Records of the Lanka 
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