Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

" ...(T)his program is not for sissies for ...it takes a man to make the grade. It is not too difficult nor easy to grasp. I have had many more reasons to drink since I have been in AA than I had in all the years of my drinking. I've had more problems but, thank God, I have had the teachings of AA with which to face them. ...When I hear the more rugged stories of alcoholics who became sicker than I did with this affliction, I humbly thank God for showing me 'the handwriting on the wall.'" - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II ("They Stopped in Time"), Ch 8 ("Rum, Radio and Television"), p 367.

Todaya program that is not without work, that working it takes more courage than to keep drinking and that being sober will not shield us from the problems that non-alcoholics face but will arm us with stronger combat ammunition. I will heed the word of the experienced and not set myself up for a slip or relapse if the promises of the program don't come quickly enough to me - because I haven't worked for those promises. Nor will I dismiss the program that it doesn't work when I face the problems that everyone else has. Problems will continue to arise; how I handle them will depend on how I work the program. For as courageous and bold my decision to stop drinking, I need even more to graduate from being dry to sober. Today, I'm ready to give it my all, to "go to any lengths." And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
When we come to the end of our lives on earth, we will take no material thing with us. We will not take one cent in our cold, dead hands. The only things that we may take are the things we have given away. If we have helped others, we may take that with us; if we have given of our time and money for the good of AA, we may take that with us. Looking back over our lives, what are we proud of? Not what we have gained for ourselves, but what few good deeds we have done. Those are the things that really matter in the long run.

What will I take with me when I go?

Meditation for the Day
"Hallowed be Thy Name." What does that mean to us? Here "name" is used in the sense of "spirit." The words mean praise to God for His spirit in the world, making us better. We should be especially grateful for God's spirit, which gives us the strength to overcome all that is base in our lives. His spirit is powerful. It can help us to live a conquering, abundant life. So we praise and thank Him for His spirit in our lives and in the lives of others.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be grateful for God's spirit in me. I pray that I may try to live in accordance with it.

Hazelden Foundation

July 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Now that I avail myself of the letters H-O-W suggested by friends in The Program - Honesty, Open-Mindedness, Willingness - I see things differently. In ways that I couldn't have predicted and surely never expected, I've come to see things quite differently from the person I was before coming to The Program. I feel good most days. I seldom feel bad, and never for long. Certainly never as bad as I used to feel all of the time.

Is my worst day now infinitely better than my best day previously?

Today I Pray
May I remember today to say "thank you" to my Higher Power, to my friends in the group and to the whole, vast fellowship of recovering chemically dependent persons for making me know that things do get better. I give thanks, too, for those verbal boosters, the tags and slogans which have so often burst into my brain at exactly the moments when they were needed, redefining my purpose, restoring my patience, reminding me of my God.

Today I Will Remember
How it was.

Hazelden Foundation

July 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Patience is a virtue that few alcoholics have. We want to do everything yesterday. Even after we sober up, we seldom acquire any substantial amount of this virtue. We feel a real need to make up for all our lost years; we fret and fume over delays; we feel the world should synchronize their watches with ours.

Like Phillips Brooks, we are in a hurry, but God isn't.

Hazelden Foundation

July 26, 2017 - Good morning to a Wednesday we trust will bring renewed faith, hope and strength


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

No matter what faces us - an unhappy relationship, a serious operation or illness, a feeling of uselessness or helplessness - it is vital to realize that there is a solution.

We must not expect that the solution to our problem will bring us immediate peace of mind. Focusing our energies and emotions on the answer, not the problem, will, however, alleviate much of the futility and frustration we feel.

A medical doctor, George S. Stevenson, wrote, "The solution may not give you everything you want. Sometimes, it may give you nothing but a chance to start all over again. But whatever little it gives you is much more than you give yourself by letting your emotions tear you apart."

Today I will focus my energies and emotions on the solution, not the problem. I will allow the solution to flow through me, with the help of my Higher Power, knowing there is a satisfactory answer to my difficulty.
You are reading from the book:
The Reflecting Pond by Liane Cordes. © 1981 by Hazelden Foundation

July 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Todayself-pity comes off my dance card. Just as alcohol drove me to being sick and tired of being sick and tired, so it goes with self-pity. The reason for self-pity can never be justified. For me, self-pity ranks behind resentment as the quickest and surest way to a slip or relapse. I have to ask why I harbor pity for myself. Is it because I endured so many travails during and after my drinking days? Or maybe I lost a job or two, got a lifetime driver's license suspension, drank my way into a sea of debt, got a divorce or two, have family who still wants nothing to do with me. Or maybe there's a more "acceptable" reason like death taking too much from me. And what is the function of self-pity? Maybe my ego still requires me to be the center of attention, or maybe I have a victim complex, or maybe I'm looking for justification to start drinking again - or to keep drinking. Or maybe I simply don't know how to deal with whatever psychic pain exists. Whatever its reason or purpose, self-pity serves only to impose isolation and keeps me from feeling and living something better. Today, just as it did with drinking, the same goes for self-pity: enough's enough! And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
We are living on borrowed time. We are living today because of AA and the grace of God. And what there is left of our lives we owe to AA and to God. We should make the best use we can of our borrowed time and in some small measure pay back for that part of our lives which we wasted before we came into AA. Our lives from now on are not our own. We hold them in trust for God and AA. And we must do all we can to forward the great movement that has given us a new lease on life.

Am I holding my life in trust for AA?

Meditation for the Day
You should hold your life in trust for God. Think deeply on what that means. Is anything too much to expect from such a life? Do you begin to see how dedicated a life on trust for God can be? In such a life, miracles can happen. If you are faithful, you can believe that God has many good things in store for you. God can be Lord of your life, controller of your days, of your present and your future. Try to act as God guides and leave all results to Him. Do not hold back, but go all out for God and the better life. Make good your trust.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may hold my life in trust for God. I pray that I may no longer consider my life as all my own.

Hazelden Foundation

July 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Reflection for the Day
The slogans of The Program are seemingly clear and simple. Yet they may still have different meanings for different people, according to their own experience and reaction to the words and ideas. Take, for example, the slogan, "Let Go and Let God." For some people, it may suggest that all we have to do is sidestep the challenges that confront us and, somehow, God will do all the work. We must remember that God gives us free will, intelligence and good sense - it is clearly His intention that we use these gifts. If I'm receptive, God will make His will known to me step by step, but I must carry it out.

Do I sometimes act as if surrender to God's will is a passport to inertia?

Today I Pray
May my "passport" be stamped with "action." May my travels be motivated by challenges I can readily recognize as things to do, not things to watch. I pray that I may make the most of my gifts from God, of talents that I am aware of and some I have yet to discover. May I not "let go" and give up but keep on learning, growing, doing, serving, praying, carrying out the will of God as I understand it.

Today I Will Remember
God meant me to make the most of myself.

Hazelden Foundation

July 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Poverty will often force a man into sobriety because of the lack of funds with which to purchase more to drink. Prosperity, on the other hand, gives us the money, the leisure and inclination to celebrate that prosperity.

Far too frequently the new man climbs out of the gutter, gets a job and becomes re-established with his family and does well until a payday puts cash in his pocket again.

That bank roll which you think you want may be the very thing you least want.

Hazelden Foundation

July 25, 2017 - Good morning to a Tuesday we trust will bring renewed hope, faith and strength


Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, July 24, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
 -- Flora Whittemore
We often hear the phrase, "When one door shuts, another opens." It means everything has a beginning and an end. When our travels on one path are completed, another path lies ahead.
It's not easy to feel a door close. Relationships, friendships, careers, and lives end. Although we may not understand why a door closes, it's important to remember our Higher Power has everything to do with it. By the same token, we may not understand why certain doors open, revealing opportunities we may have longed for. Again, our Higher Power feels we are ready to pursue that new experience.
The doors that open and close today help prepare us for our experiences tonight. The doors that open and close tonight will help us grow toward tomorrow. We are not mice in a maze, randomly pursuing paths for a reward of cheese. We are children of our Higher Power, guided towards our chosen goal through the many doors we open and close along the way.
Have I learned there is a reason for everything in my life? Can I trust that my path has been prepared for me by my Higher Power?
You are reading from the book:
Night Light by Amy E. Dean. © 1986, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

July 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, July 24, 2017

Today, gratitude as attitude. Gratitude for even the smallest of gains as opposed to complaining that the gains aren't big enough, and my attitude is a reflection of the quality of my sobriety. Even in the most demanding of days when most things seem to go wrong and few of them right, I must pause before reacting in a way I will likely regret later and remember my attitude in my drinking days. Then, my attitude was based on feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, fear, anger, regret, revenge, apathy and self-centeredness. They are the character defects as confessed in my Fourth Step, and confession alone does not mean those defects are gone. They remain; my Program is to improve on them day by day until they exist no more. Today, my attitude is not to rekindle the sins of my character but to disempower them with humility, empathy, answering a call to service and remembering, always, that my attitude defines me as either sober or as a dry drunk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, July 24, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
AA is like a dike, holding back the ocean of liquor. If we take one glass of liquor, it is like making a small hole in the dike and, once such a hole has been made, the whole ocean of alcohol may rush in upon us. By practicing the AA principles, we keep the dike strong and in repair. We spot any weakness or crack in that dike and make the necessary repairs before any damage is done. Outside the dike is the whole ocean of alcohol, waiting to engulf us again in despair.

Am I keeping the dike strong?

Meditation for the Day
Keep as close as you can to the Higher Power. Try to think, act and live as though you were always in God's presence. Keeping close to a Power greater than yourself is the solution to most of the earth's problems. Try to practice the presence of God in the things you think and do. That is the secret of personal power. It is the thing which influences the lives of others for good. Abide in the Lord and rejoice in His love. Keep close to the Divine Spirit in the universe. Keep God close behind your thoughts.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep close to the Mind of God. I pray that I may live with Him in my heart and mind.

Hazelden Foundation

July 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, July 24, 2017

Reflection for the Day
How, exactly, can a person turn his own will and his own life over to the care of a Power greater than himself? All that's needed is a beginning, no matter how small. The minute we put the key of willingness in the lock, the latch springs open. Then the door itself starts to open, perhaps ever so slightly; in time, we find that we can always open it wider. Self-will may slam the door shut again, and it often does. But the door can always be re-opened, time and time again if necessary, so long as we use our key of willingness.

Have I reaffirmed my decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him?

Today I Pray
May I reaffirm my decision to turn my will and my life over to a Higher Power. May my faith be staunch enough to keep me knowing that there is, indeed, a power greater than I am. May I avail myself of that Power simply by being willing to "walk humbly with my Lord."

Today I Will Remember
Self-will minus self equals will.

Hazelden Foundation