Friday, 31 July 2020

ON THIS DAY JULY 31st - JUST FOR FUN


1917 -  World War I: Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres) begins, goes on to cause approximately 500,000 casualties

2007-  Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end.

1959 -   Cliff Richard and the Shadows have their 1st British No. 1 single with "Living' Doll" (biggest British single of 1959)

1703Daniel Defoe sentenced to stand three times in a pillory. For writing  the anonymous pamphlet called 'The Shortest Way with the Dissenters'
All that was thrown at him were flowers.

Roger O' D - Recovery Speaker

ERNIE M. - RECOVERY SPEAKER



Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox

When you pray you must stop thinking of the trouble, whatever it is. Those who believe their prayers weren’t answered may have prayed, “Please God help me to stop drinking/smoking/overeating or getting sick,” and although the prayer is sincere its focus is on the thing that is not wanted. That prayer is still answered but it will result in more smoking, overeating, drinking and getting sick. When praying correctly all focus is on what is wanted and all focus on God and His attributes which are also ours. Stop thinking about the problem, it won’t go until you do. The object of this kind of prayer is to fill the mind so full of God that all else is crowded out. Always remember that God is light and negative beliefs are darkness and when the dawn breaks we all know the darkness flees.
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Just for today




Freedom from active addiction



“Narcotics Anonymous offers only one promise and that is freedom from active addiction, the solution that eluded us for so long.”


Basic Text, p. 106

––––=––––

NA offers no promises other than freedom from active addiction. It is true that some of our members meet with financial success in recovery. They buy nice houses, drive new cars, wear fine clothes, and form beautiful families. These outward signs of prosperity are not the lot of all of our members, however. A great many of us never achieve financial success. This does not necessarily reflect on the quality of our recovery.

When we are tempted to compare ourselves to these other, seemingly more affluent members, it is good to remember why we came to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. We came because our lives had fallen down around us. We were emotionally, physically, and spiritually defeated. Our Basic Text reminds us that “in desperation we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous.” We came because we were beaten.

For addicts, even one day clean is a miracle. When we remember why we came to Narcotics Anonymous and in what condition we arrived, we realize that material wealth pales in comparison to the spiritual riches we have gained in recovery.

––––=––––

Just for today: I have been given a spiritual gift greater than material wealth: my recovery. I will thank the God of my understanding for my freedom from active addiction. 
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Twenty Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

This leaves only one day – today. Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. it is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful eternity’s, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness for something that happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time. Am I living one day at a time?

Meditation For The Day

Give God the gift of a thankful heart. Try to see causes of thankfulness in your everyday life. When life seems hard and troubles crowd, then look for some reasons for thankfulness. There is nearly always something you can be thankful for. The offering of thanksgiving is indeed a sweet incense going up to God throughout a busy day. Seek diligently for something to be glad and thankful about. You will acquire in time the habit of being constantly grateful to God for all His blessings. Each new day some new cause for joy and gratitude will spring to your mind and you will thank God sincerely.

Prayer For The Day

I pray for a truly thankful heart. I pray that I may be constantly reminded of causes for sincere gratitude.
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As Bill Sees It


Faith and Action, p. 212


Your prospect’s religious education and training may be far superior to yours. In that case, he is going to wonder how you can add anything to what he already knows.

But he will be curious to learn why his convictions have not worked and yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.

Admit that he probably knows more about religion than you do, but remind him that, however deep his faith and knowledge, these qualities could not have served him very well, or he would not be asking your help.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Dr. Bob did not need me for his spiritual instruction. He had already had more of that than I. What he did need, when we first met, was the deflation at depth and the understanding that only one drunk can give to another. What I needed was the humility of self-forgetfulness and the kinship with another human being of my own kind.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 93
2. A.A. Today, p. 10 
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Walk In Dry Places


Group Intelligence
Getting Ideas


“All of us know more than any one of us” is the saying that applies to 12 Step groups. No matter how much experience any single individual has, it’s surpassed by the collective knowledge of the group.

That’s a good reason in itself for drawing upon these groups. And there are others as well. We need the pool of intelligence that the groups build up over time. We need the group’s strength when our own is waning.

We also learn help that comes in surprising ways. The person in the group who seems just knowledgeable may express an idea that is just what we need at the time.

The group can meet many of our needs if we give it a chance. Regular attendance at meetings will keep us in touch with the group’s ideas.
I’ll stay in touch today with ideas that come from members of my group. Joined together, we have lots of knowledge.
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Keep It Simple


Less is more.

—Mies Vander Rohe

Our program is simple. It has four equal parts: sobriety, fellowship, service, and faith.

Sobriety means we don’t use alcohol or drugs any more.

Fellowship means we let people into our lives. We work at having a life that’s rich with friends.

Service means we help when we see the need. It means knowing we have much to offer.

Faith means we believe in a loving, caring Higher Power. It means using our Higher Power as a guide in life.

Ours is a simple, easy program. Just remember sobriety, fellowship, service and faith.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I may keep my program simple. I pray for sobriety, fellowship, service, and faith.
Action for the Day: Throughout the day, I’ll remind myself that less is more. 
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

TEMPTATION


“What makes resisting temptation difficult for many people is that they don’t want to discourage it completely.”

–Franklin P. Jones


Usually I am tempted because I want to be. I allow myself to get too close to the object of my desire or I invite the problem into my life knowing that I will not resist it. Then I use my “imperfection” as an excuse! In this way I manipulate my spiritual program and become dishonest.

When I first got sober, I did not allow alcohol in my house; I did not go to bars; I did not spend time with heavy drinkers; I avoided airplanes or places that I would associate with alcohol. This disciplined approach to sobriety worked. If you don’t invite the enemy in, you won’t get beaten up. I need to continue to remember these simple rules and not get complacent in my sobriety.

Let me keep temptation out of my life by avoiding it. 
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A Day At A Time


Reflection for the Day

None of us can claim to know God in all His fullness. None of us can really claim to understand our Higher Power to any extent. But this I do know: there is a Power beyond my human will which can do wonderful, loving things for me that I can’t do for myself. I see this glorious power at work in my own being, and I see the miraculous results of this same power in the lives of thousands upon thousands of other recovering people who are my friends in The Program.

Do I need the grace of God and the loving understanding of my friends in The Program any less now than when I began my recovery?

Today I Pray

May I never forget that my spiritual needs are as great today as they were when I came into The Program. It is so easy to look at others, newer to the recovery process, and regard them as the needy ones. As I think of myself as increasingly independent, may I never overlook my dependence on my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

I will never outgrow my need for God.

Hazelden Foundation 
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One Day At A Time

NEGATIVE THINKING


“Condemn the fault and not the actor of it.”

-William Shakespeare

How many times do we beat ourselves because we have failed to attain the goals we have set? We are human and we suffer from a disease that renders us helpless and out of control. Is it any wonder that we fail in trying to conquer such an unforgiving beast?

It is not ourselves we should be angry with, but the disease and how it affects our actions and reactions. Our inability – or unwillingness — to realize that we cannot achieve recovery alone is our only true failure. We need help. Without it we are weak and defenseless. This disease would have us believe we are failures ~ but in reality, all we have done is open the doors to our enemy. These doors can be closed again. Our disease not only manifests itself in the form of uncontrollable eating, but also in our negative thoughts and actions towards ourselves and towards the people around us.

It takes no more time to think positively than it does to think negatively. Our only job is to remember that we have a disease. We can choose to forget it, we can choose to beat ourselves up when we leave the door ajar, or we can choose to forgive ourselves and begin again.

One day at a time …

I will work on forgiving myself. I am worth forgiving. You are too.
~Sue  
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day



Look behind you. See your sons and your daughters. They are your future. Look farther and see your sons’ and your daughters’ children and their children’s children even unto the Seventh Generation. That’s the way we were taught. Think about it: you yourself are a Seventh Generation.”

– Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The Creator designed us with a free will. That means we function from choices and consequences. It is important that we practice thinking about consequences before we make decisions about choices. Every choice I make is like setting up dominos one after the other that produce consequences. Not just for me but also for my children and for the children that are unborn. My choices and decision today will have consequences for seven generations. For example, if I work on my own spiritual development and I walk the Red Road, the odds are that my children will. They will marry and their children will follow the Red Road and so will my grandchildren even up to the seventh generation. This will happen because of the choices and decisions that I make today.
Great Spirit, grant that the choices and decisions that I make today will honor Your laws and values. May I live in peace today that will ripple into the seventh generation.
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Today's Gift

Sometimes it’s worse to win a fight than to lose.

—Billie Holiday

We all see things differently. It is part of the wonderful variety of the world that we all have different points of view. We’ve all seen baseball players arguing with an umpire over a close call, but, in order to play the game, they must accept the umpire’s judgment.

When we stubbornly refuse to let friends or family members speak their ideas simply because we disagree with them, we risk the loss of a friend or the understanding of a family member. It is when we allow others to disagree that we take a step forward–a step that opens our ears and our hearts to all sorts of people and ideas.
How well can I accept other’s opinions today?
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The Eye Opener


In our drinking days, we were ready to take a poke at anyone who suggested we couldn’t handle our “likker.” It was a very sore spot with us, as we all kidded ourselves into believing that our over-indulgence was a well-guarded secret when, actually, we knew it was not.

Upon our entrance in AA, we soon made a public confession of our alcoholism and, to our surprise, we lost some of the sense of stigma and we could learn to laugh at our affliction and at ourselves. Our sense of guilt was lessened by our acknowledgment of its existence.

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 212 - Form


At first, form is needed.
Then doubt and inhibition must be dispelled.
Eventually, form is celebrated with joy,
And expression becomes formless.


In all fields of endeavor, including spirituality, one must start out with certain structures, procedures, and forms. Even though one admires the seemingly effortless virtuosity of the masters, it will take some time before one can reach that level.

Take dance, for example. The novice student must drill constantly on the basics, isolating each step and movement with meticulous attention. Although the emphasis on structure may add to the beginner's inhibition, it must be done. Eventually, the dancer will learn to let go. The steps will have become a natural part of movement. Then dance can be celebrated joyously. Our now mature dancer may even dance in a way that seems so spontaneous, so magical, that it will seem formless -- or more precisely, the form will emerge with fluidity, grace, originality, and beauty.

The same is true of spirituality. At first, all the restrictions and practices seem quite constricting. Eventually, you reach a stage where meditation flows quite spontaneously. Every day is new, fresh, and full of wonderful insights. The beauty of the world then shows itself as it is, doubts fade away, and the banality of ordinary life is replaced by the awe and grandeur of the soul. This is true formlessness. 
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Daily Zen

I would have thought that I would have become one of those parents - just because it's my nature to be such a perfectionist - that anything falling short, I would have seen as a failure. But something has happened to me over the past few years - it's not Zen, believe me, I'm not at all Zen - but I'm so appreciative of even the chaos. 

Brooke Shields
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Thursday, 30 July 2020

ON THIS DAY JULY 30th - JUST FOR FUN


1869 -   The Charles, considered the world’s first "oil tanker", departs from the United States headed for Europe with a bulk capacity of 7,000 barrels of oil

1935-  1st Penguin book is published, starting the paperback revolution.

1954 -   Elvis Presley joins the Memphis Federation of Musicians, Local 71

2003-   The last 'old style Volkswagon Bettle rolls of the assembly line in Mexico.

Eric C. & Stevie V. - Recovery Speakers

Daily Reflections


A PRAYER FOR ALL SEASONS


God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change. Courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

-TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125
The power of this prayer is overwhelming in that its simple beauty parallels the A.A. Fellowship. There are times when I get stuck while reciting it, but if I examine the section which is troubling me, I find the answer to my problem. The first time this happened I was scared, but now I use it as a valuable tool. By accepting life as it is, I gain serenity. By taking action, I gain courage and I thank God for the ability to distinguish between those situations I can work on, and those I must turn over. All that I have now is a gift from God: my life, my usefulness, my contentment, and this program. The serenity enables me to continue walking forward. Alcoholics Anonymous is the easier, softer way.
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Daily Reflections

GIVING BACK


… he has struck something better than gold. He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product.

-ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 129

My part of the Seventh Tradition means so much more than just giving money to pay for the coffee. It means being accepted for myself by belonging to a group. For the first time I can be responsible, because I have a choice. I can learn the principals of working out problems in my daily life by getting involved in the “business” of A.A. By being self-supporting, I can give back to A.A. what A.A. gave to me! Giving back to A.A. not only ensures my own sobriety, but allows me to buy insurance that A.A. will be here for my grandchildren. 
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Just For Today




Regular inventory



“Continuing to take a personal inventory means that we form a habit of looking at ourselves, our actions, attitudes, and relationships on a regular basis.”


Basic Text, p. 42

––––=––––

Taking a regular inventory is a key element in our new pattern of living. In our addiction, we examined ourselves as little as possible. We weren’t happy with how we were living our lives, but we didn’t feel that we could change the way we lived. Self-examination, we felt, would have been a painful exercise in futility.

Today, all that is changing. Where we were powerless over our addiction, we’ve found a Power greater than ourselves that has helped us stop using. Where we once felt lost in life’s maze, we’ve found guidance in the experience of our fellow recovering addicts and our ever-improving contact with our Higher Power. We need not feel trapped by our old, destructive patterns. We can live differently if we choose.

By establishing a regular pattern of taking our own inventory, we give ourselves the opportunity to change anything in our lives that doesn’t work. If we’ve started doing something that causes problems, we can start changing our behavior before it gets completely out of hand. And if we’re doing something that prevents problems from occurring, we can take note of that, too, and encourage ourselves to keep doing what works.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will make a commitment to include a regular inventory in my new pattern of living. 
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Walk In Dry Places


Founders with clay feet
Sound thinking


With any organization or society, the time comes when people find fault with the founders. The faults of these pioneering leaders are examined and perhaps even used to discredit them.

Founders are only human beings, and they are likely to exhibit the human shortcomings all of us have. If these founders turn out to have clay feet, perhaps the fault is ours for idolizing them in the first place.

The real role of a founder is to lay the foundation for further building. Unless the society grows, improving over what the founder had in mind, it is not likely to survive. Its real work should be to surpass the fonder so as to be of greater service to others.

I’ll be careful not to put anyone on a pedestal and then complain about his or her clay feet.  
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Keep It Simple


Beauty may be said to be God’s trademark in creation.

—Henry Ward Beecher

Our addiction was like a veil over our heads. We saw the world as an ugly place.

We saw people as trouble. We thought our drinks and drugs were beautiful. But even they became ugly over time. Life became ugly because we had put distance between our Higher Power and ourselves.

Now we are blessed because the veil is lifted, and we are part of the healing process. We help others step into the beauty of recovery.

Our spirits are again free to seek a relationship with God and others. Through these relationships, we get our hope back. This hope help us focus on the beauty of the world. Hope is the rain that helps our souls grow.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, the world is both beautiful and ugly. For to long I only saw the ugly. Help me focus on the beauty.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll keep an eye out for the beauty recovery holds for me. Throughout the day, I’ll pray for this.
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FR. LEO DAILY MEDITATION

WORDS


“Hear the meaning within the word.”

–William Shakespeare


When I hear or see the word “sobriety”, I am made to think of relationships: my relationship with God, man and, more importantly, myself. Sobriety means humor, hope and joy. It means a silence at the center of my being that “wonders” at it all. Sobriety means a sexuality that is both noble and free — that risks rejection and criticism. Sobriety argues against prejudice and bigotry. It builds a bridge to “the different” and reflects on the creative variety of man. It allows me a God as I understand Him but also respects tradition and the ancient philosophies of the world.

Sobriety evokes a feeling that is beyond words. It echoes the spiritual life.
Let me learn to pray beyond words. Let my relationship with You grow in silence. 
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A DAY AT A TIME



Reflection For The Day


When we first come to The Program, the most common variety of self-pity begins: “Poor me! Why can’t I (fill in your own addiction) like everybody else? why me?” Such bemoaning, if allowed to persist, is a surefire invitation for a long walk off a pier — right back to the mess we were in before we came to The Program. When we stick around The Program for a while, we discover that it’s not just “me” at all; we become involved with people, from all walks of life, who are in exactly the same boat. Am I losing interest in my comfortably familiar “pity Pot?”

Today I Pray

When self-pity has me droopy and inert, may I look up, look around and perk up. Self-pity, God wills, vanishes in the light of other people’s shared troubles. may I always wish for friends honest enough to confront me if they see me digging my way back down into my old pity pit.

Today I Will Remember

Turn self-involvement into involvement. 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day



“You want to know who’s a real medicine man? He’s the one who doesn’t say ‘I’m a medicine man.’ He doesn’t ask you to come to him. You’ve got to go and ask him. And you’ll find he’s always there among his own people.

– Louis Farmer, ONONDAGA

The Medicine Man is a role model of what it is like to live in harmony and balance with the Creator. It takes a long time, a lot of sacrifice and discipline to become a Medicine Man. A Medicine Man is humble and never crass about anything. He knows he lives to do the will of the Great Spirit. He knows he is to help the people. He lives very low key – the more low key he lives, the more people seek him out – and such is life. The more one serves the people and is quiet about it, the more he is sought out. The quieter he is, the more powerful is his medicine.

Great Spirit, allow me this day to be humble. Allow me this day not to seek attention, but to live quietly and keep my focus and attention on serving You.
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Today's Gift


The hopeful man sees success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storm.

—O. S. Marden

When wise men say, “Hope springs eternal,” they are reminding us that no matter how great are the obstacles, the hope of winning out in the long run still exists. Hope is our friend when all else has failed. When we have strength of character and an energetic mind, hope always flourishes.

We discover that, at the very brink of despair, we will find courage to keep trying as long as there is hope for success. After all, what have we got to lose? Without hope, we have no chance, anyway. Our chance for glory comes when we keep trying even though all seems lost. Our hearts remain strong and brave when hope reminds us that challenges last until a game is over.

What light of hope can I keep burning within me today? 
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THe Eye Opener


No pleasures of our drinking days even compensated for those horrible nights of wakeful tossing. The interminable pacing the floor; those night sweats; the endless hours when we couldn’t sleep and at the same time dreaded falling asleep. The hours that seemed to stretch into eternity as we lay in bed with remorse as a bedfellow. Then the Hell of the goof-balls that made our nights better and our days worse.

The physical pain we might have endured for many more years, but the anguish of the heart and soul was unendurable.

Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 211 - Absolute


They say, "You are god."
But everyone is.
They say, "All is god."
Then why are there differences?
They say, "All is an illusion."
But does that include god?


Those who follow Tao declare that there is no evidence that a god created our world. They have not found any empirical proof, and they cannot accept the idea philosophically. They reason that god must be absolute and this means oneness, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Naturally, anything separate and distinct would not satisfy this criteria. If there was a god and a world that god created, then there would be two things -- and god could not then be considered absolute. If there were an absolute god, there could not be anything separate from god.

Everything is god. We are also god. However, we fail to realize this. Why? Because we look for god outside of ourselves. We make the mistake of taking ourselves as the viewer and then seek god as the object of our examinations. Unfortunately, everything we perceive is tainted by our subjectivity, and anything that we define as god "out there" cannot be god because it is not absolute. All you've found is something that exists in relation to your perceptions.

You are god. The only way to confirm this is to remove the barrier of subjectivity that prevents you from realizing your essential oneness with all things. 
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Daily Zen

When you try to stop activity to achieve quietude, your very effort fills you with activity. As long as you remain attached to one extreme or another
you will never know Oneness. Those who do not live in the Single Way
cannot be free in either activity or quietude, in assertion or denial.

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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

ON THIS DAY JULY 29th - JUST FOR FUN


1609 -  Samuel de Champlain shoots and kills two Iroquois chiefs at Ticonderoga, New York setting the stage for French-Iroquois conflicts for the next 150 years

1948-  Irish Potato Famine: Tipperary Revolt - an unsuccessful nationalist revolt against British rule put down by police.

1921 -  Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party

1973 Led Zeppelin have more than $200,000 in cash stolen from a safety-deposit box at the New York Hilton

Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - pp. 239-240


Jim’s Story
This physician, one of the earliest members of A.A.’s first black group, tells of how freedom came as he worked among his people.
My wife received me graciously, although she was living in a one-room-with-kitchen affair. She’d been reduced to that. I promised that I was going to do the right thing. We were now both working in the same agency. I continued to drink. I got drunk one night in October, went to sleep in the rain, and woke with pneumonia. We continued together, and I continued to drink, but I guess, deep down within our hearts, we both knew I couldn’t stop drinking. Vi thought I didn’t want to stop. We had several fights, and on one or tow occasions I struck her with my fist. She decided that she didn’t want any more of that. So she went to court and talked it over with the judge. They cooked up a plan whereby she didn’t have to be molested by me if she didn’t want to be.
pp. 239-240

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Tim T, - Recovery Speaker

Daily Reflections

ANONYMOUS GIFTS OF KINDNESS


As active alcoholics we were always looking for a handout in one way or another.

-THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ILLUSTRATED p. 14

The challenge of the Seventh Tradition is a personal challenge, reminding me to share and give of myself. Before sobriety the only thing I ever supported was my habit of drinking. Now my efforts are a smile, a kind word, and kindness. I saw that I had to start carrying my own weight and to allow my new friends to walk with me because, through the practice of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I’ve never had it so good.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days that should be kept from fear and apprehension. One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone beyond recall. Do I still worry about what happened yesterday?

Meditation For The Day

“God will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation He will also find a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” If you have enough faith and trust in God, He will give you all the strength you need to face every temptation and to overcome it. Nothing will prove too hard for you to bear. You can face any situation. “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” You can overcome any temptation with God’s help. So fear nothing.

Prayer For The Day


I pray that I may face every situation without fear. I pray that nothing will prove too hard for me to bear.
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As Bill Sees It

Out of Bondage, p.210

At Step Three, many of us said to our Maker, as we understand Him: “God, I offer myself to Thee–to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that my transcendence over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power, Thy love, and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always!”

We thought well before taking this Step, making sure we were ready. Then we could commence to abandon ourselves utterly to Him.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63
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Walk In Dry Places

Flattery or Praise?
Human relations


Flattery and praise are social lubricants that serve human purposes. But flattery is merely manipulative, while genuine praise is beneficial to everybody.

Many of us with troubled back grounds also have trouble giving and accepting praise.Sometimes we mistake flattery for praise and use it either to manipulate others or allow ourselves to be manipulated. Perhaps we’re either too proud or too self-conscious to deal with real praise.

Another mistake is in believing that praise should be given out only sparingly, only after outstanding achievement. Not so, we need to give and receive praise continuously in order to reach higher levels of achievement. Knowing it’s importance, we’ll also learn how to avoid flattery.

I’ll offer both verbal and silent praise today in my dealing with others. We’ll all benefit from it.
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Keep It Simple


They have rights who dare defend them.

—Roger Baldwin

In recovery, we regain our right to have choices, our right to have honest relationships. Do we claim these rights, or do we let them go by?

Sometimes, standing up for our rights will mean going against the crowd. It will mean turning down that drink when everyone else has one. It will mean telling your honest opinion when it’s different from the others think. Being sober will mean, at times being different. Lots of times, we find being different hard. We want to fit in. This is normal.

But we don’t stand alone. We have friends who will stand with us during hard times. We have a Higher Power who will guide and comfort us. We are people with rights. Let’s work hard so nothing takes away our rights.

Prayer for the Day:
Higher Power, please help me keep and defend my dignity and human rights.

Action for the Day:
I’ll take time out to list the rights I’ve gotten back due to my recovery.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation July 29

GOD-PLAYING

“I determine who is a Jew.”

–Herman Goring


Playing God. How well I remember this attitude in my drinking days when, because I had said it, it must be so! Arrogance and pride kept me lonely and isolated.

Today my spiritual program teaches me to “play” God in a different way. It requires that I seek to discover the values I associate with God and live them out in my own life. Because I believe that God is loving and accepting, I seek to reveal these qualities in my daily associations. It makes no sense to worship a God of truth if I continue the life of “the liar”. Belief must determine change.

As a recovering alcoholic I seek to “play” God in the joy, acceptance and love I show to myself and other people. However, I know (oh how I know!) that I am not God!

Let my statements always be open to the “pure light” of change.
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A Day At A Time



Reflection For The Day
The feeling of self-pity, which we’ve all suffered at one time or another, is one of the ugliest emotions we can experience. We don’t even relish the thought of admitting to others that we’re awash in self-pity. We hate being told that it shows; we quickly argue that we’re feeling another emotion instead; we go so far as to “cleverly” hide from ourselves the fact that we’re going through a siege of “poor-meism.” By the same token, in a split-second we can easily find feeling sorry for ourselves. Do I sometimes enjoy rubbing salt into my own wounds?

Today I Pray
May I recognize the emotions I am feeling for what they are. If I am unable to point them out to myself, may I count on others who know what it’s like to be a feelings-stuffer. May I stay in touch with my feelings by staying in touch with my Higher Power and with the others in my group.

Today I Will Remember
Stay in touch.
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One Day At A Time


EXAMPLES
“Preach always … use words if necessary.”

-St. Francis of Assisi
I’ve heard it said many times that the Twelve Step way of life is a way of attraction, not promotion. I can project an image of serenity and recovery by the way I conduct my life. By using the Twelve Steps to work on my inventory, by promptly making amends when needed, by striving daily to use the tools of recovery, I am assuring compulsive eaters who are living in chaos and confusion that there is a better way. When they ask my “secret,” I can then share the words of recovery.

One Day at a Time …

I will preach recovery
by the examples of serenity and peace.

~ Hopeful 
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Today's Gift


A good marriage is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude.

—Rainer Maria Rilke
Solitude is vital to our well being, but in a family it’s hard sometimes to find the space and time to be alone. The house is often crowded with laughter, voices, the radio, and the TV. There are often many things going on at the same time.

It’s true that our family is a team, and that we work together, whether we intend to or not, to create the environment we live in. If it’s noisy, that’s the way we live. Noise is life to some. The fact that others need our help or company is wonderful proof of our value. But if we can be guardians of each other’s solitude, out of love for one another, we will each come back renewed, strengthened, and recreated. We can bring new life into our days when we are alone with God and ourselves.

How can I help someone find rest and renewal today?
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Daily Tao / 210 Variation

Never jump out of the same hole twice.

We all yearn for success. Not just the success of money, prestige, or power -- the simple success of having things work. If you have a hobby like gardening, you love to see your flowers respond to your care. If you are in school, you want to master your courses. If you are a scientists, you look for results from your experiments. All of us want to be successful.

But once you hit on something that does work, it takes great courage to keep going beyond your limits. This is especially obvious in creative fields such as art, music, and writing. It is hard to reach an appreciative audience; once you find something that works, it is hard to let go of it. You keep doing the same thing, like musicians who make a career of performing the same tune. But no matter what your field of endeavor, you mustn't do that. Don't jump out of the same hole twice. You may not be as materially successful, but you will be more successful on a larger level.

Spirituality is creativity. Only with creativity can you have the power to follow Tao. Only with creativity can you remold your personality into a spiritual vehicle. Only with a great breadth of variation can you follow the constantly changing Tao. Therefore, when following Tao, don't cling to methods and dogma. Be spontaneous.
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Daily Zen

      Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.
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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

ON THIS DAY JULY 28th - JUST FOR FUN


1794 - French Revolutionary figure Maximilien Robespierre and 22 other leaders of "the Terror" guillotined to thunderous cheers in Paris

1917 Silent Parade organised by James Weldon Johnson of 10,000 African-Americans who march on 5th Ave in NYC to protest against lynching

2005 -    The Provisional Irish Republican Army call an end to their thirty year long armed campaign in Northern Ireland

1932"White Zombie" - 1st feature length zombie film directed by Victor Halperin and starring Béla Lugos is released in the US

Guiseppe D. - Recovery Speaker




Here, for instance, is a typical example: An officer of one of the largest banking institutions in America knows I no longer drink. One day he told me about an executive of the same bank who, from his description, was undoubtedly alcoholic. This seemed to me like an opportunity to be helpful, so I spent two hours talking about alcoholism, the malady, and described the symptoms and results as well as I could. His comment was, “Very interesting. But I’m sure this man is done drinking. He has just returned from a three months’ leave of absence, has taken a cure, looks fine, and to clinch the matter, the board of directors told him this was his last chance.” The only answer I could make was that if the man followed the usual pattern, he would go on a bigger bust than ever. I felt this was inevitable and wondered if the bank was doing the man an injustice. Why not bring him into contact with some of our alcoholic crowd? He might have a chance. I pointed out that I had had nothing to drink whatever for three years, and this in the face of difficulties that would have made nine out of ten men drink their heads off. Why not at least afford him an opportunity to hear my story? “Oh no,” said my friend, “this chap is either through with liquor, or he is minus a job. If he has your will power and guts, he will make the grade.” I wanted to throw up my hands in discouragement, for I saw that I had failed to help my banker friend understand. He simply could not believe that his brother-executive suffered from a serious illness. There was nothing to do but wait.

  Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - Chapter 10 - To Employers(pg 138 & top 139)

Guiseppe D. - Recovery Speaker

Daily Reflections


THOSE WHO STILL SUFFER


Let us resist the proud assumption that since God has enabled us to do well in one area we are destined to be a channel of saving grace for everybody.

-A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 232

A.A. groups exist to help alcoholics achieve sobriety. Large or small, firmly established or brand-new, speaker, discussion or study group has but one reason for being: to carry the message to the still-suffering alcoholic. The group exists so that the alcoholic can find a new way of life, a life abundant in happiness, joy, and freedom. To recover, most alcoholics need the support of a group of other alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope. Thus my sobriety, and our program’s survival, depend on my determination to put first things first.

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Just for today



Secrets and intimacy



“We feared that if we ever revealed ourselves as we were, we would surely be rejected.”

Basic Text, p. 32

––––=––––

Having relationships without barriers, ones in which we can be entirely open with our feelings, is something many of us desire. At the same time, the possibility of such intimacy causes us more fear than almost any other situation in life.

If we examine what frightens us, we’ll usually find that we are attempting to hide an aspect of our personalities that we are ashamed of, an aspect we sometimes haven’t even admitted to ourselves. We don’t want others to know of our insecurities, our pain, or our neediness, so we simply refuse to expose them. We may imagine that if no one knows about our imperfections, those imperfections will cease to exist.

This is the point where our relationships stop. Anyone who enters our lives will not get past the point at which our secrets begin. To maintain intimacy in a relationship, it is essential that we acknowledge our defects and accept them. When we do, the fortress of denial, erected to keep these things hidden, will come crashing down, enabling us to build up our relationships with others.

––––=––––

Just for today: I have opportunities to share my inner self. I will take advantage of those opportunities and draw closer to those I love.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

To continue the paraphrase of the psalm: “The judgments of the Twelve Steps are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than whiskey, yea, than much fine whiskey, sweeter also than wine. Moreover, by them are alcoholics warned and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand our alcoholism? Cleanse us from secret faults. Keep us from presumptuous resentments. Let them not have dominion over us. Then shall we be upright and free of the great transgression.” Am I resolved that liquor will never again have dominion over me?

Meditation For The Day


God can be your shield. Then no problems of the world can harm you. Between you and all scorn and indignity from others is your trust in God, like a shining shield. Nothing can then have the power to spoil your inward peace. With this shield, you can attain this inward peace quickly, in your surroundings as well as in your heart. With this inward peace, you do not need to resent the person who troubles you. Instead, you can overcome the resentment in your own mind which may have been aroused by that person.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may strive for inward peace. I pray that I may not be seriously upset, no matter what happens around me.
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As Bill Sees It


Never the Same Again, p. 209

It was discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again. Following every spree, he would have to say to himself, “Maybe those A.A.’s were right.” After a few such experiences, often before the onset of extreme difficulties, he would return to us convinced.


********************************

In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim and utterly hopeless cases. But then we began to have success with milder alcoholics and even some potential alcoholics. Younger folks appeared. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs, homes, health, and even good social standing.

Of course, it was necessary for these newcomers to hit bottom emotionally. But they did not have to hit every possible bottom in order to admit that they were licked.

1. 12 & 12, p. 23-24
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 199
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Walk In Dry Places



The True Security
Security


We can feel insecure for many reasons, but the fundamental reason is that we do not have a firm anchorage in our Higher Power. This anchorage must be our true security, and it is really the only form that can survive any attack.

Regardless of who we are, we can know and feel that our Higher Power is guiding and directing us at all times. If we find ourselves being threatened by a person or situation, we can deal with it by knowing that our Higher Power is in charge of all outcomes. If we envy somebody, we must get back to an acknowledgment of God as the source of everything.

If we feel inadequate around people who seem to be immensely self-confident and secure, we should not try to imitate their manner and behavior. Rather, we should simply put our trust in our own Higher Power, and our feeling of true security will express itself in proper ways.
All the things we view today as being secure are probably only temporary. Our ture security can come only from God.
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Keep It Simple



The best leaders are those who know how to follow.
—Anonymous

Am I a leader or a follower? The fact is, I am responsible for where I end up. If I choose to be a follower, I’d better follow leaders who know where they are going. And I had better know where they’re going.

If I choose to be leader, I’d better know that I’m responsible for getting myself on the right path. I also must be honest with my followers, so they can make good choices. I’m not responsible for my followers choices, but I must give them the truth. Being a leader doesn’t always mean that I know where I’ll end up. But it can mean that I know I’m on the right path, following the lead from my Higher Power—one step at a time.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, give me the faith and courage to choose good leaders to follow. When it is Your will, help me be a good leader.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list my leaders. They might be a Higher Power, a sponsor, or a friend. I’ll think of why I choose to follow these leaders.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


SIMILARITY


“Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this — that you are dreadfully like other people.”
–James Russell Lowell

For many years I saw the differences and not the similarities. I was always considering how I was unlike other alcoholics, rather than perceiving the striking similarities. I kept myself on the outside, not only in recovery from alcoholism but also in life.

Then I heard from another recovering alcoholic not only “my story” but also my feelings. I belonged. I was with people who knew my loneliness, isolation, confusion, guilt and despair. I had come home to live amongst my people.
Thank You for enabling me to see that I am a member of the human family and a recovering alcoholic.
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A Day At A Time



Reflection For The Day

We learn the value of mediation in The Program. As the beginning of the Eleventh Step suggest, we see through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as We understand Him. One of the great values of meditation is that it clears the mind. And as the mind becomes clearer, it becomes more capable and willing to acknowledge the truth. less pain is required to force honesty recognition of defects and their results. The real need of the whole person are revealed. Are prayer and meditation a regular part of my daily living?

Today I Pray

May God’s truth be revealed to me through meditation and these small prayers, through contact with my group which keeps me mindful of my need to clear my mind with daily meditation. For only an uncluttered mind can receive God; only a mind cleansed of self-interest can acknowledge the truth.

Today I Will Remember

Meditation is a mind-cleanser.
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One Day At A Time



FOOTWORK

“I’ve lost so much weight that I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.”

–Erma Bombeck

I have lost and gained the same weight so many times I’ve lost count. Lack of willpower was never an issue with me. I’ve whipped myself into shape many times. There was nothing I didn’t do in order to lose weight. I just couldn’t keep it off.

The tide finally turned for me when I quit relying on my own power, turned my focus away from my weight problem and toward “trusting in God and cleaning house,” as the Big Book states.

I did Step work under the guidance of my sponsor. I passed along to others the lessons I’d learned. I did service work. I kept practicing a conscious contact with the God of my understanding. I went to meetings and talked to others. I kept a journal. Then one day I looked up from the tasks at hand to discover I was abstinent. God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

One day at a time …

I will do the footwork and leave the results up to God.
~ Shirley G.
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Today’s Gift



One law for lion and ox is oppression.

—William Blake

What would the forest be like if deer, squirrel, and owl alike were required to sleep only at noon? Or the sky, if all birds were forced by law to fly in lines? Or the sea, if all fish had to stay forever in schools? We all know a lion and an ox, and we’ve all acted like a chicken, jackass, goat, or fox. Now and then we’re slow or fast, bright or dull, willing or not.

So when others go the way we know we must go, we will follow the same law. But we don’t have to be as others are, just to avoid being thought “strange.” How truly strange life would be if everyone were the same. We have our own way, our own good time, and own free laws to discover and obey.
Will I need to obey someone else’s rules if I govern myself well?
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The Eye Opener



In AA, we must of necessity make the best use of our time. The hours must be allocated to our various affairs in proportion to their importance. We now have so many responsibilities we did not have in our drinking days.

If we wisely divide our time between our duties to our families, our jobs, our community, our God and getting our own lives in order, we will find little time left for worry, fear, self-pity or envy.
Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 209 - TRAP

Age is covered with cosmetics,

Gray hidden with dye,
Confidence is sought in men,
Awareness deferred for the future.
She toils on her job,
Enduring tension and fatigue,
Subsisting on tranquilizers,
Pinning futile hopes on her children.


Many people allow themselves to be trapped into a miserable life. When we see this, we might think "How tragic," but in actuality, they did it to themselves. We should all know how our lives are going, for we need only track the decisions that confront us every day.

There are people who think that it does not matter what they do. Or they shrug that they are victims of circumstance. That does not justify an unhappy life. Illness, stress, divorce, maladjusted children, and fear of death trap us.
Those who follow Tao do not want to end up in this way. They want to be free. They do not want to be victims. Therefore, although it is a difficult path, they constantly seek to expand the parameters of their lives. They do not suffer to be exploited or enslaved, and they will eschew what is considered "normal" in order to be happy.
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Daily Zen




One who wishes to know that all dharmas are equally comprised in the dharmadhatu, and thereby to free his mind from all obstructions, should learn the paramita of wisdom.
One who wishes to extend kindness to all sentient beings without restriction and without entertaining any notion of sentient beings should learn the paramita of wisdom.

One who wishes to know right from wrong, to obtain the ten powers and the four fearlessnesses, to abide in the Buddha’s wisdom, and to acquire unimpeded eloquence should learn the paramita of wisdom.

– Perfection of Wisdom
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Monday, 27 July 2020

ON THIS DAY JULY 27th - JUST FOR FUN


1586 -  Walter Raleigh brings the 1st tobacco to England from Virginia

1940-  Bugs Bunny, Warner Bros. cartoon character created by Tex Avery, Bob Givens (Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series), first debuts in "Wild Hare".

1999 -   Tony Hawk is the first skateboarder to land a "900"

1890Vincent Van Gogh shoots himself - dies two days later.

Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book - The Man Who Mastered Fear - p. 250

He spent eighteen years in running away, and then found he didn’t have to run.

So he started A.A. in Detroit. Here, while I was in a hospital bed, men with clear eyes, happy faces, and a look of assurance and purposefulness about them came to see me and told me their stories. Some of these were hard to believe, but it did not require a giant brain to perceive that they had something I could use. How could I get it? It was simple, they said, and went on to explain to me in their own language the program of recovery and daily living that we know today as the Twelve Steps of A.A. Dr. Bob dwelt at length on how prayer had given him release, time and time again, from the nearly overpowering compulsion to take a drink. It was he who convinced me, because his own conviction was so real, that a Power greater than myself could help me in the crises of life and that the means of communicating with this Power was simple prayer. Here was a tall, rugged, highly educated Yankee talking in a matter-of-course way about God and prayer. If he and these other fellows could do it, so could I.

  Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book - The Man Who Mastered Fear - p. 250

Daily Reflections


GIVING FREELY


We will make every personal sacrifice necessary to insure the unity of Alcoholics Anonymous. We will do this because we have learned to love God and one another.

-A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 234
To be self-supporting through my own contributions was never a strong characteristic during my days as a practicing alcoholic. The giving of time or money always demanded a price tag. As a newcomer I was told “we have to give it away in order to keep it.” As I began to adopt the principals of Alcoholics Anonymous in my life, I soon found it was a privilege to give to the Fellowship as an expression of the gratitude felt in my heart. My love of God and of others became the motivating factor in my life, with no thought of return. I realize now that giving freely is God’s way of expressing Himself through me.
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Just for today





We do recover



“After coming to NA, we found ourselves among a very special group of people who have suffered like us and found recovery. In their experiences, freely shared, we found hope for ourselves. If the program worked for them, it would work for us.”

Basic Text, p. 10

––––=––––

A newcomer walks into his or her first meeting, shaking and confused. People are milling about. Refreshments and literature are set out. The meeting starts after everyone has drifted over to their chairs and settled themselves in. After taking a bewildered glance at the odd assortment of folks in the room, the newcomer asks, “Why should I bet my life on this group? After all, they’re just a bunch of addicts like me.”

Though it may be true that not many of our members had much going for us when we got here, the newcomer soon learns that the way we are living today is what counts. Our meetings are filled with addicts whose lives have turned completely around. Against all odds, we are recovering. The newcomer can relate to where we’ve been and draw hope from where we are now. Today, every one of us has the opportunity to recover.

Yes, we can safely entrust our lives to our Higher Power and to Narcotics Anonymous. So long as we work the program, the payoff is certain: freedom from active addiction and a better way of life.

––––=––––
Just for today: The recovery I’ve found in Narcotics Anonymous is a sure thing. By basing my life on it, I know I will grow.
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Twenty-Four Hours a Day


 Thought for the Day

To paraphrase the psalm: “We alcoholics declare the power of liquor and drunkenness showeth its handiwork. Day unto day uttereth hangovers and night unto night showeth suffering. The law of AA is perfect, converting the drunk. The testimony of AA is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of AA are right, rejoicing the heart. The program of AA is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the first drink is clean, enduring forever.”

Have I any doubt about the power of liquor?

Meditation for the Day

“Walk humbly with thy Lord.” Walking with God means practicing the presence of God in your daily affairs. It means asking God for strength to face each new day. It means turning to Him often during the day in prayer for yourself and for other people. It means thanking Him at night for the blessings you have received during the day. Nothing can seriously upset you if you are “walking with God.” You can believe that He is beside you in spirit, to help you and to guide you on your way.

Prayer for the Day


I pray that I may try to walk humbly with God. I pray that I may turn to Him often as to a close friend.
Hazelden Foundation
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