Wednesday, 1 December 2021

DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery

THE MAGIC OF TITHING

The practice of tithing has been a lifelong habit with many. They think of their own money as amounting to 90 percent of whatever their net income happens to be and they set aside the 10 percent that belongs to God. The unfailing result is that such people are always free from financial difficulties. Though they may have other problems, they ever remain in want.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in thine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:10).

And all the tithe of the land, whether the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord (Leviticus 27:30).

Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine (Proverbs 3:9,10).

Jacob, after he had received the vision which told him that there is a mystical ladder reaching from earth to heaven—the ladder of scientific prayer and righteous activity—decided there and then to adopt the practice of tithing, realizing that God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace… (Genesis 28:20-21).

© 1931 by Emmet Fox   
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

“SUGGESTED” STEPS

Our Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual awakening. . . . A. A.’s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program.”

~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 106-07


I remember my sponsor’s answer when I told him that the Steps were “suggested.” He replied that they are “suggested” in the same way that, if you were to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, it is “suggested” that you pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was “suggested” I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life. So I try to remember daily that I have a whole program of recovery based on all Twelve of the “suggested” Steps.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc
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JUST FOR TODAY #essentialsofrecovery


Life’s Rewards


“We begin to pray only for God’s will for us. That way, we get only what we are capable of handling.”
~ Basic Text pg. 47

Imagine what might happen if God gave us everything we wanted. A fabulous new car, straight A’s, a triple salary raise – all ours without effort, just for the asking.

Now imagine the problems that come along with unearned riches, new luxury cars, and unmerited scholastic recognition. What would we do with a huge salary raise that had been granted for no reason? How would we handle our new financial responsibilities? And how would we live up to that raise? Could we ever make it appear that we deserve such pay when we know we don’t?

What about that fantastic new car? Most come with expensive insurance premiums and hefty maintenance costs. Are we prepared to care for what we’ve asked for?

Academic honors? Could we perform like A students after we’d been given high marks we hadn’t earned? What would we do if we were exposed as frauds?

When we talk to God, we need to remember that we live in the real world. We earn rewards and learn to handle them as we do. Confining our prayers to requests for knowledge of God’s will, the power to carry it out, and the ability to live with the consequences will ensure that we get no more than we can handle.

Just for today: I will pray only for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out in the real world.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services Inc
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AS BILL SEES IT #essentialsofrecovery

Getting off a “Dry Bender”

“Sometimes, we become depressed. I ought to know; I have been a champion dry-bender case myself. While the surface causes were a part of the picture — trigger-events that precipitated depression — the underlying causes, I am satisfied, ran much deeper.

“Intellectually, I could accept my situation. Emotionally, I could not.

“To these problems, there are certainly no pat answers. But part of the answer surely lies in the constant effort to practice all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps.”

~ LETTER, 1954
© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc 
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery


WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN?

Understanding Life


No one has been able to explain why pain and misfortune must be part of the human condition. Bad things can and do happen to everybody, and sometimes there’s no way to explain it.

Even in sobriety, AA members have misfortunes—times when it appears that God is hiding. We even hear members share such experiences at meetings.

Many of us have found ways to use misfortunes constructively, however, by seeing how the program helps us deal with it. In some cases—but not all—we even learn that a misfortune was a disguised blessing.

Most important, by using the program, we are eliminating the drinking that has been the cause of many misfortunes in our lives. That alone makes our immediate world a much better place for everyone.

My life today can be both easy and hard. It gives me great comfort to know that I am not making conditions worse for myself and others.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation   
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

~ Step Twelve from Alcoholics Anonymous 

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps . . .

~ First part of Step Twelve 


We are awake! Our spirits are alive. We are part of the world. Our addiction no longer clouds our vision. How? Step Twelve answers this.

The beauty of Step Twelve is that if we feel our spirits starting to go dead, we know how to awaken them. It’s simple. Turn to the Steps. After all, working the Steps has awakened our spirits. The hope and serenity we feel are gifts given to us through the Steps of our program. And the more we turn to the Steps for help, the more life we’ll feel. The Steps are what feed and heal our souls. Prayer for the Day

Higher Power:

Thank you for the Steps. If I start to believe it is I who keeps me sober, remind me of my life before the Twelve Steps.

Action for the Day:


Today, I’ll read the Twelve Steps. I’ll think of how each Step helped awaken my spirit.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation  
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FR. LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery

GOSSIP

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss wants, and small minds discuss people.”

~ Laurence J. Peter


Gossip is a form of malicious cowardice. It is blasphemy because it denigrates human beings made in God’s image.

As a practicing alcoholic, I was a gossip. I exaggerated and manipulated the truth with my gossip. I made up stories against people toward whom I held resentments. Innocent people were abused and victimized by my gossip. I also loved listening to gossip. The listener plays an important role in the life of gossip because without someone to listen, it could not be perpetuated. It takes two to gossip!

Today gossip is unacceptable behavior in my program. I regard my fellows and sisters with respect. I refrain from causing damage with my words.

Teach me to reach beyond my smallness into Your greatness.

© 2008 Leo Booth   
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection for the Day


It has truly been said that “We become what we do.” It’s emphasized to us over and over in the Program that our thoughts and actions toward others color and shape our spiritual lives. Words and acts of kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, and forgiveness serve to strengthen those qualities within us that heighten our consciousness of God’s love. In asking God to direct and guide my life, am I also asking love to take over and lead me where it will?

Today I Pray
May I make a resolute attempt at acting out the way I want to be—loving, forgiving, kind, thoughtful. May I be aware that each small, attentive act carries with it an echo of God’s all-caring. For God so loved the world…may we make His love our example.

Today I Will Remember
We become what we do.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation   
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

SPIRITUALITY

When the heart weeps for what it has lost,
the spirit laughs for what it has found.

~ Sufi proverb


Before I came into this program, I had thrown God out the window. In fact, I was plain angry at Him. Where was He when my only brother was killed in a car accident, when my only nephews were lost to me for many years as a result? Where was He when my parents died, when I went through my ugly divorce, when my step-son committed suicide, or when I had two major car accidents? I didn’t know how to deal with all the feelings around the grief, loss and pain. I was spiritually bereft, although I didn’t know it then. All I knew was that I was depressed a lot of the time, and had this great big hole in my soul that I had to keep feeding so I wouldn’t have to feel the pain or deal with anything in my life. But the truth was that no amount of food could relieve that constant ache, and all that happened was that I felt more and more fat, bloated and miserable. The food that was supposed to take away all the pain of living was really causing me more pain.

When I came into program and heard the three letter word, God, I nearly ran away. I’m a very rational, logical person so it was really hard for me to believe what these crazy people were saying, but I was desperate enough to keep coming back. I had to act as if I did believe that I could recover and that a Higher Power might help me. When the miracles started to happen, my faith began to develop, and I slowly realized that my Higher Power was always with me. I now have a far better way to fill that hole in my soul, and it is a far more satisfying and saner way than filling it with mountains of food.

One Day at a Time . . .

I pray to keep my Higher Power in my heart and in my soul, because if I do, my life will be enriched immeasurably in ways that food could never do.

~ Sharon S 
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ELDER MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery

Sometimes dreams are wiser then waking.”


~ Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa), OGLALA 

The Great Spirit has many ways of communicating with the human being. He talks to us through the five senses — sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. For example, we can observe nature and see a lesson or get an answer. These five senses function primarily in the physical world. But we also have the ability to receive communication from the Unseen World. To do this we have a sixth sense. It comes in the form of dreams, imagination, intuition, inspiration or a hunch. Along with the dream or intuitive thought there is a feeling, a knowing. We just know it’s true without the need for proof. We need to pay attention to our dreams and intuition. Don’t cast them off as being silly or useless. Be respectful to our dreams and feelings.

Creator, if you speak to me through dreams, let me know it in terms I can understand.   
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Today's Gift


There is an end to grief if we have the courage to accept our personal goodness and our ongoing right to happiness.

— Justin Langley

Making peace with our losses takes time and trust. In the past, we may have acted in ways that were heartbreaking to ourselves and others. But now we have a new choice; we can walk the road of self-forgiveness and stop punishing ourselves for past deeds, or we can decide that we don’t deserve to feel good, that clinging to our pain, guilt, and self-loathing will somehow make up for some of the damage.

Believing our wrongs are too great to be righted leaves us in a perpetual state of mourning. It’s a risk, but we can choose to believe that change is possible, not all at once but slowly, one day at a time.

Believing that God loves us and wants us to be happy gives us the courage to make amends and face our past head on. When we take the leap of faith necessary to grieve and let go of the past, we take back our best selves, and the lives we were meant to live.

Today give me the strength and the courage to grieve my losses.

From the book:



                                                Body, Mind, and Spirit by Anonymous     
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery

There will always be a difference of opinion as long as people have different interests, different prejudices and different mental capacities.

To expect people to disagree with you is only sensible and reasonable. If everybody agreed with you, everybody would be as smart as you and you wouldn’t like that for a minute. The chances are you are both wrong anyhow, or you would not be required to defend your opinions. The right can defend itself without your help.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 335 – Prowess #essentialsofrecovery


The wrestler was once more solid than a bull.
He loved to flex enormous, oiled forearms
Before he delightedly vanquished foes.
But now, brittle skin is taught over bone,
And his wheeze is a ghost of his manly bellow.



At any point in life, it is prudent to contemplate the nature of prowess. If you have it, glory in it, and use it wisely and compassionately. But you should not think that it is you yourself who are doing these things. You are borrowing this strength. It isn’t yours. It is a gift, something here for you for as long as you are lucky to have it. Once it passes, you will not have the victories, and you will be stuck with the same body and mind. When you have been humbled, what is gone? You are still here, here to feel the pain of not being able to do what you were once able to do — unless you learn how to exercise your prowess without identifying with it.

Those who fail to learn this become bitter old people. They curse life. They lose faith. That is because they placed all their self-worth in their abilities and not in who they were. That is why it is good to meditate, and to accumulate not victories but the experience of those victories. Savor them. No one can ever take that away from you.

It is the experiences that come out of prowess, not prowess itself, that are valuable.   
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Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery


Walking the spiritual path is a very subtle process; it is not something to jump into naively. There are numerous sidetracks which lead to a distorted, ego-centered version of spirituality; we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques.

-Chogyam Trungpa, "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" 
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