Monthly Archives: April 2007

Other A.A Info

SEVEN DEADLY SINS

These considerations were taken from pages 48, 49, 66 & 67 of the Twelve and Twelve. The bold type presents definitions from Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.

PRIDE: An over high opinion of oneself; exaggerated self-esteem; conceit, arrogance, vanity, self-satisfaction.

Have I been so proud that I’ve been scorned (disrespected) as a braggart (bragger)?
Have I acted prideful, consciously or unconsciously out of fear?
Have I used pride to justify my excesses in my sex conduct?
Do I like to feel and act superior to others?

GREED:
Excessive desire for acquiring or having; desire for more than one needs or deserves.

Have I been so greedy that I’ve been or could be labeled a thief?
Do I long for the possessions of others out of fear of not getting enough?
Do I let greed masquerade as ambition?

LUST:
To feel an intense desire, especially sexual desire; to long: after or for.

Have I been lustful enough to rape, if not physically what about in my mind?
Do I fear I will never have the sex relations I need?
Do I have sex excursions that have been dressed up in dreams or delusions of romance?

ANGER:
A strong feeling excited by a real or supposed injury; often accompanied by a desire to take vengeance, or to obtain satisfaction from the offending party; resentment; wrath.

Have I been angry enough to murder?
Do I get angry out of fear when my instinctive demands are threatened?
Have I enjoyed self-righteous anger in the fact that many people annoy me and that makes me superior to them?
Have I enjoyed gossiping as a polite form of murder by character assassination?

GLUTTONY:
One who eats too much. One with a great capacity for something; as, a glutton for work.

Have I been gluttonous enough to ruin my health?
Do I grab for everything I can, fearing I’ll never have enough?
Do I bury myself in my work, hobbies or activities?

ENVY:
To resent another for excellence or superiority in any way, and to be desirous of acquiring it.

Do I agonized over the chronic (persistent or recurring) pain of envy?
Does seeing the ambitions of others materialize make me fear that mine haven’t?
Do I suffer from never being satisfied with what I have?
Have I spent more time wishing for what others have than working towards them?

SLOTH:
Disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; habitual indolence; laziness, idleness; slowness; delay.

Have I been paralyzed by sloth?
Do I get alarmed with fear at the prospect of work?
Do I work hard with no better motive than to be secure and slothful later on?
Do I loaf and procrastinate?
Do I work grudgingly and under half steam?

Recovery Testimonials

Sober Since Seventeen
By: Jan P., Little Rock, Arkansas
 


When people find out that I got sober at 17 and have been continuously sober for 15 years, they can hardly believe it. Some people even wonder how a 17-year-old girl could possibly have the kind of alcohol or drug problem that would require sobriety. Well, let me tell you…lots do.
I got high for the first time when I was 13. It was innocent enough; a friend came by the house with a joint and some beer, and we did it. For me, it was instant love. I had never felt that good in my life. After that, I got high whenever I had the chance. It was as simple as that. By the time I was 17, getting high was the most important thing in my life.

The funny thing is, I had a pretty good life. My parents were divorced, and I seldom saw my father, but I had a decent relationship with my mother. I had just about everything I wanted–a car, nice clothes, spending money, etc. I even had a boyfriend. So I don’t think I was hiding from anything; I just loved the feeling of being high.

During my junior year in high school, I smoked pot on the way to school every morning and during lunch every day. I smoked pot and drank alcohol–at least a little bit–almost every night. Every once in a while, I scored coke, speed, or ecstasy.

One night, a guy had some coke, and he said he would share it with me if I would get naked with him. I said, “Why not?” After we did the coke, we had sex. It was so easy, and I didn’t feel guilty or remorseful or anything. Before I knew it, I was sleeping with guys for drugs and money. I did not feel like a whore. I just thought of it as the barter system.

I turned up pregnant about a month into my senior year. I planned to get an abortion, but I kept putting it off until it was too late. I talked to a counselor at an adoption agency. She convinced me to quit using alcohol and drugs until the baby was born. She didn’t put any pressure on me to do anything else.

I told my mom about my situation when I was five months pregnant. To my surprise, she didn’t freak. In fact, once she quit crying and blaming herself for being a bad mother, she said that she would support me in whatever decision I made. That was the first time that the idea of keeping and raising the baby crossed my mind. At eight months, I decided to do that.

I gave birth to Nikki on August 11, 1985. She was beautiful and healthy. My mom and my friends rallied around me. They all came to the hospital to see me and the baby. I felt happy. And one of the reasons I felt happy was because I knew that I could start getting high again. I decided not to breast feed for that reason. When we got home from the hospital, though, I put off getting high for a few days, even though pot and alcohol were both available. I remember thinking that we needed to get settled before I started using again. At first, I gave myself a couple of days. Then it stretched into a week. Then two.

I ventured out on my own for the first time when Nikki was 18 days old. I went over to visit a friend who I knew beyond any doubt would have some good smoke. Sure enough, after just a few minutes of chit chat, she rolled one and fired it up. I hesitated for a moment, but it was only a moment. I think I got stoned on the first hit. As before, I loved it. We spent the rest of the afternoon laughing and talking over beer and weed. I was flying high. I almost forgot about Nikki.

I got home about 10:00 PM. My mom was furious, and she let me have it. For the first time in my life, I cursed at her and told her to shut up. I stormed off to my room, and when I slammed the door Nikki woke up and started crying. I picked her up and tried to comfort her, but it didn’t feel right. It’s like, I couldn’t hold her right. I couldn’t connect with her like I normally could. I didn’t have that warm, sweet feeling for her that I had grown to love. I don’t know how to explain it other than to say that it just didn’t feel right.

At first I felt angry and impatient. Then I started crying. I called my mom. She came in and took Nikki, and as soon as she did, Nikki quit fussing and went back to sleep.

Mom sat down beside me on my bed and put her arms around me. That’s when I really cried. Then we talked. We talked for three solid hours. It was the first time we had ever talked like that or connected in that way. I was surprised to learn that she knew a lot more about me than I ever would have guessed. She knew about my drinking and pot smoking, though not to its full extent. She said that she had never confronted me about it because she lacked the strength and confidence in herself to do that. She had, however, studied up on teenage drinking and drug use, and she knew a lot about it.

I asked her what she thought I should do. She said that she thought I should do one of two things: Either give Nikki up for adoption and play out my wild streak, or keep her and become a responsible parent. And the latter choice had no place for alcohol and drugs. I knew immediately that she was right, and to my surprise, it was an easy choice. I chose Nikki. I thank God for that decision.

I reluctantly agreed to check out AA. I attended a few meetings, and although I did not like it, I remained willing to go if that was the only way to stay sober. Then I talked to an assistant pastor at my mom’s church. He knew about AA, and we talked about AA’s spirituality compared to the church’s religion. He suggested that I give the church a whirl, either in addition to AA or in place of it. I chose the latter. And it turned out to be a good choice for me.

I didn’t immerse myself in the church, but I did get involved. I joined a couple of groups–one for young adults and another for mothers, and I did some volunteer work. My faith in God grew stronger. I met some terrific people, both young and older, none of whom used drugs, and only a few of whom drank alcohol. I started dating again. I got a part-time job. I studied for and passed the high school equivalency exam. Then I attended trade school, got a real job, and saved some money. My faith in God continued to grow.

Just after Nikki turned four, she and I moved out of Mom’s house and into our own apartment. I was 22 years old. I was a responsible parent. I was a good mother.

Through all of these life changes, I relied on God and the church for guidance and support. When I got scared, I prayed and talked to trustworthy people. When I thought about getting high, I prayed and talked to the assistant pastor who had brought me into the church. When I felt depressed or lonely, I increased my involvement in volunteer work.

About a year after Nikki and I struck out on our own, I met a wonderful man on a church retreat. He was 27 and had been sober in AA for two years. We married one year later. He showed me AA in a different light than I had seen it at age 18. I gradually became “a member” of AA. I took my first AA sobriety chip on August 30, 1989, the fifth anniversary of the day that I made the decision, sitting on the edge of my bed with my mom, to be a responsible parent instead of a teenage alcoholic and drug addict.

So now I’m 32. Nikki is 14. She has grown up with two sober parents who love her dearly. To my knowledge, she does not use alcohol or drugs. My husband and I still attend AA. All three of us are very involved in the church. I truly love my life. I thank God every day for my exceedingly good fortune, which I call faith.

For me, AA and the church combine beautifully to give me the support I need for sobriety and for spiritual growth and change. I have heard other sober people say that they find the church incompatible with and unsupportive of AA. I have found just the opposite. A friend of mine summed it up nicely just the other day when he smiled and said, “Well, I guess Truth is Truth, regardless of where you hear it.”

Jan P.

Other Prayers

The Power of Prayers

Power Of Prayer – How powerful is it?

The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16-18 declares, “…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” God most definitely listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers.

Jesus taught, “…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” The Bible urges us, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Power Of Prayer – How do I tap into it?

The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” No matter the person praying, the passion behind the prayer, or the purpose of the prayer – God answers prayers that are in agreement with His will. His answers are not always yes, but are always in our best interest. When our desires line up with His will, we will come to understand that in time. When we pray passionately and purposefully, according to God’s will, God responds powerfully!

We cannot access powerful prayer by using “magic formulas.” Our prayers being answered is not based on the eloquence of our prayers. We don’t have to use certain words or phrases to get God to answer our prayers. In fact, Jesus rebukes those who pray using repetitions, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8). Prayer is communicating with God. All you have to do is ask God for His help. Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” There is power in prayer!

Power Of Prayer – For what kind of things should I pray?

God’s help through the power of prayer is available for all kinds of requests and issues. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” If you need an example of a prayer, read Matthew 6:9-13. These verses are known as the Lord’s prayer. The Lord’s prayer is not a prayer we are supposed to memorize and simply recite to God. It is only an example of how to pray and the things that should go into a prayer – worship, trust in God, requests, confession, protection, etc. Pray for these kinds of things, but speak to God using your own words.

The Word of God is full of accounts describing the power of prayer in various situations. The power of prayer has overcome enemies (Psalm 6:9-10), conquered death (2 Kings 4:3-36), brought healing (James 5:14-15), and defeated demons (Mark 9:29). God, through prayer, opens eyes, changes hearts, heals wounds, and grants wisdom (James 1:5). The power of prayer should never be underestimated because it draws on the glory and might of the infinitely powerful God of the universe! Daniel 4:35 proclaims, “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?'”

Other Prayers

Prayer for Employment

God, our Father, I turn to you seeking your divine help and guidance as I look for suitable employment. I need your wisdom to guide my footsteps along the right path, and to lead me to find the proper things to say and do in this quest.

I wish to sue the gifts and talents you have given me, but I need the opportunity to do so with gainful employment. Do not abandon me, dear Father, in this search, but rather grant me this favor I seek so that I may return to you with praise and thanksgiving for your gracious assistance.

Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Other Prayers

The Prayer Of St Francis of Assisi.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
 
 

St. Francis was born at Assisi in 1182. After a care free youth, he turned his back on inherited wealth and committed himself to God. Like many early saints, he lived a very simple life of poverty, and in so doing, gained a reputation of being the friend of animals.  He established the rule of St Francis, which exists today as the Order of St. Francis, or the Franciscans. He died in 1226, aged 44.

The prayer has many of the biblical truths of what it means to be a Christian – to seek to give, and in so doing, receive blessings; that the Lord’s Prayer asks God to forgive us as we forgive, and that the goal of eternal life can only result from us putting to death our old sinful lives.

Other Prayers

A Prayer Of Protection

This powerful prayer is fairly common in Unity churches. It calls upon at least three of the Five Core Beliefs of Unity — the omnipotence of God, the Law of Mind Action, and prayer/meditation. This prayer is useful to give courage, bolster spirit, celebrate, or bless a gathering. In fact, it is a very handy, all-purpose prayer. So, without further ado….

The light of God surrounds us

The love of God enfolds us

The power of God protects us

And the presence of God watches over us

Whereever we are, God is!

Note: The pronouns “us” and “we” are often replaced with whatever pronouns are appropriate for the given context. For example, use “me” when you praying for yourself, “you” when you are praying for someone in your presence, “him” or “her” for someone not in your presence, etc. This is a prayer of protection for anyone and everyone. I often use this prayer when I pray for other people (Intercess) You may use this prayer as nessary.

Other A.A Info

This little article was sent to me by a fellow member of my home group. I thought I would publish it as there is some very cool little sayings in here. I especially like #15. Share and enjoy.

1} God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
2) Dear God, I have a problem, it’s me
3) Growing old is inevitable, growing UP is optional.
4) There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. ‘
5) Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
6) Do the math count your blessings.
7) Faith is the ability to not panic.
8) Laugh every day it’s like inner jogging.
9) If you worry, don’t pray. If you pray…don’t worry
10) As a child of God, prayer is kinda like calling home everyday.
11) Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape
12) The most important things in your home are the people.
13 When we get tangled Up in our problems, be still, God wants us to
be still so He can untangle the knot.
14) A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
15} He who dies with the most toys is still dead.
16) We do not remember days, but moments. Life is moving too fast
So enjoy our precious moments.
17) Talking is sharing. Listening is caring.
18) Nothing is real to you until you experience it, otherwise it’s just
hearsay.
19) It’s all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again.
Just be sure to flush when you are done.

20) Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you’re seeking  require courage and risk taking.

21) Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks out
it’s neck.