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God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and Wisdom to know the difference.
Thy will, not mine, be done.

December 5

Daily Reflections

A NEW STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p 107

Many of us in A.A. puzzle over what is a spiritual awakening. I tended to look for a
miracle, something dramatic and earth shattering. But what usually happens is that a
sense of well-being, a feeling of peace, transforms us into a new level of awareness.
That's what happened to me. My insanity and inner turmoil disappeared and I entered
into a new dimension of hope, love and peace. I think the degree to which I continue
to experience this new dimension is in direct proportion to the sincerity, depth and devotion
with which I practice the Twelve Steps of A.A.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

In spite of all we have learned in A.A., our old way of thinking comes back on us,
sometimes with overwhelming force, and occasionally some of us have slips. We forget
or refuse to call on the Higher Power for help. We seem to deliberately make our minds
a blank so far as A.A. training goes, and we take a drink. We eventually get drunk. We
are temporarily right back where we started from. Those who have had slips say
unanimously that they were no fun. They say A.A. had taken all the pleasure out of
drinking. They knew they were doing the wrong thing. The old mental conflict was back
in full force. They were disgusted with themselves. Am I convinced that I can never get
anything more out of drinking?

Meditation For The Day

Give something to those who are having trouble, to those whose thoughts are confused,
something of your sympathy, your prayers, your time, your love, your thought, your self.
Then give of your own confidence, as you have had it given to you by the grace of God.
Give of yourself and of your loving sympathy. Give your best to those who need it and
will accept it. Give according to need, never according to deserts. Remember that the
giving of advice can never take the place of giving of your self.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that as I have received, so may I give. I pray that I may have the right answer to
those who are confused.


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

As Bill Sees It

Relapses--and the Group, p. 154

An early fear was that of slips or relapses. At first nearly every
alcoholic we approached began to slip, if indeed he sobered up at all.
Others would stay dry six months or maybe a year and then take a
skid. This was always a genuine catastrophe. We would all look at
each other and say, "Who next?"

Today, though slips are a very serious difficulty, as a group we take
them in stride. Fear has evaporated. Alcohol always threatens the
individual, but we know that it cannot destroy the common welfare.

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

"It does not seem to pay to argue with 'slippers' about the proper
method of getting dry. After all, why should people who are drinking
tell people who are dry how it should be done?

"Just kid the boys along--ask them if they are having fun. If they are
too noisy or troublesome, amiably keep out of their way."

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 97
2. Letter, 1942


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
Holding hands and hugging
Sincerity
The custom of holding hands while saying the Lord's Prayer has been adopted by many AA groups.  We have also seen more hugging than in the past, even between the most unlikely members.
Are these new practices good or bad?   In accordance with AA tradition, we have to leave such questions to the group conscience.
One thought, however, is that such physical actions do not necessarily mean that any true spiritual bonding has taken place.  The old-timers who never held hands or hugged still had a great closeness in spirit and in feeling.
We must also consider that we may be violating the privacy of the person who doesn't wish to hold hands or hug. If such a person chooses to stand outside the hand=holding circle, he or she maybe cast in the role of dissenter. Would that be fair?
Hand -holding and hugging may be here to stay, but let's not make them out to be more than mere physical expressions.  The program of the heart is still first.
I'll remember today that true bonding is spiritual, not physical.

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

Keep It Simple
 
Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope. ---Alcoholics Anonymous
All over the world, recovering men and women use the same Twelve Steps to live their lives.
Our fellowship keeps growing. The bigger it gets, the faster it grows. Why? Because the program brings our spirits back to life. All over the world, many of us were dying, and now we’re full of life and love. We are bringing our world bake to life. As we share our experience, strength, and hope, we help others join us in coming back to life.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, help me stay sober today. Guide me and all others who are doing Your will today.
Action for the Day:  Today, I’ll think of three things I can do to help spread the message of AA and NA.

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Each Day a New Beginning

It is a long baptism into the seas of humankind, my daughter. Better immersion than to live untouched.  --Tillie Olsen
We have each had days when we preferred hiding under the covers, avoiding life at all costs. And in times gone by, we did just that, sometimes too frequently. What we didn't always know, and what we still forget on occasion, is that we have a ready and willing partner who will join us in every pursuit.
The more fully we commit ourselves to one another and to all our experience, the closer we will come to the very serenity we long for. Serenity accompanies our increasing understanding of life's many mysteries. It's easy to cheat ourselves out of the prizes any day offers us. Fear fosters inertia, leaving us separate, alone, even more afraid. But we have an appointment with life. And our appointment will bring us to the place of full understanding, the place where we'll be certain, forever after, that all is well. And that life is good.
Today's appointments are part of the bigger plan for my life. I will face them, enjoy them, and reap their rewards.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 6 - INTO ACTION

Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action.

p. 85


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

BUILDING A NEW LIFE - Hallucinating and restrained by sheriff's deputies and hospital staff, this once-happy family man received an unexpected gift from God--a firm foundation in sobriety that would hold up through good times and bad.

That year I went to an alcohol treatment program twice.  The first time I was in treatment, I was shaving at the mirror in the bathroom and it seemed to me that my beard was growing back in as fast as I could shave it off.  Even though I was in a hospital gown, I escaped, running down the streets and jumping up and over fences.  I was on the porch of a woman's house banging on the door for her to let me in when the police arrived.  I tried to convince them she was my life and my children were inside, but they saw the hospital bracelet on my wrist, and they took me back to the program.

p. 482

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

A.A.'s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program. So let's consider briefly what we have been trying to do up to this point:
Step One showed us an amazing paradox: We found that we were totally unable to be rid of the alcohol obsession until we first admitted that we were powerless over it. In Step Two we saw that since we could not restore ourselves to sanity, some Higher Power must necessarily do so if we were to survive. Consequently, in Step Three we turned our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. For the time being, we who were atheist or agnostic discovered that our own group, or A.A. as a whole, would suffice as a higher power. Beginning with Step Four, we commenced to search out the things in ourselves which had brought us to physical, moral, and spiritual bankruptcy. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory. Looking at Step Five, we decided that an inventory, taken alone, wouldn't be enough. We knew we would have to quit the deadly business of living alone with our conflicts, and in honesty confide these to God and another human being. At Step Six, many of us balked--for the practical reason that we did not wish to have all our defects of character removed, because we still loved some of them too much. Yet we knew we had to make a settlement with the fundamental principle of Step Six. So we decided that while we still had some flaws of character that we could not yet relinquish, we ought nevertheless to quit our stubborn, rebellious hanging on to them. We said to ourselves, "This I cannot do today, perhaps, but I can stop crying out `No, never!' " Then, in Step Seven, we humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings such as He could or would under the conditions of the day we asked.

pp. 107-108


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

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
--William James

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.
--Henry David Thoreau

If you want to accomplish the goals of your life, you have to begin with the Spirit.
--Oprah Winfrey

The steps did for me the very thing I kept hoping alcohol would do for me --- they gave me the
peace and serenity I had been looking for in a bottle.
--unknown

Today is full of miracles!
--Ruth Fishel

"The principles you live by create the world you live in; if you change the principles you
live by, you will change your world."
--Blaine Lee

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
--John Lubbock

The ultimate lesson all of us have is unconditional love, which includes not only others but
ourselves as well.
--Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

BEAUTY

"Not every woman in old
slippers can manage to look like
Cinderella."
-- Don Marquis

Beauty is not what you wear or look like; beauty is within. We begin to love ourselves
when we see the beauty that God has given to each and every one of us forever. God's
image and beauty is expressed through our attitudes and feelings, how we greet and
listen to each other and the gentle dignity we afford to another human being.

For years I saw myself as ugly, boring, useless and stupid. This message came from
parents who forever compared me with others and for years I believed their message.
I hid through my teen-age years and quietly tried to escape in food, alcohol and
drugs.

Then after a crisis I met people who had felt the same but were now feeling different.
They loved me until I could begin to love myself. Now I like me. Now I can love me.
Today I can like and love you.

Help me to see the beauty in the wrinkle; the power in the pain.

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

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the
Almighty."
Psalm 91:1

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This
then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in
his presence."
I John 3:18-19

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows
me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'"
John 8:12


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

Daily Inspiration

Imagine joy and you will find it. Lord, I thank You for the people that need me and love me, for the ability to hope and especially for the ability to love.

One of life's greatest rewards is not what we get, but what we become. Lord, give me the courage to be all that I can
.

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

NA Just For Today

Those Who Want To Recover

"We have seen the program work for any addict who honestly and sincerely wants to stop [using drugs]"
Basic Text pg. 10

How do we know when someone honestly and sincerely wants to stop using drugs? The truth is that we don't know! Because we cannot read minds or know another's motives and desires, we simply have to hope for the best. We may talk to a newcomer at a meeting and think we'll never see them again, only to find them several years later doing well in their recovery. We may be tempted to give up on someone who keeps relapsing or doesn't get clean right away, but we must not. No matter how unwilling someone may seem, a simple fact remains - the addict is at a meeting.

We may never know the results of our Twelfth Step work; it is not up to us to gauge the willingness of a newcomer. The message we carry is a part of us. We carry it everywhere and share it freely, leaving the results to a Power greater than ourselves.

Just for today: I will share my recovery with any addict, anywhere, anytime, and under any circumstances. I will leave the results to my Higher Power.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
My true god is always with me.
I am learning to trust myself. . . .
--Joan Parsons
Sometimes a book we read at a very young age stays with us our whole lives.
One girl loved Heidi more than any other book. She always thought about the grandfather's hut. It was a special place in the world--with the fresh mountain air, the spring flowers, the winter fire on the hearth. But the part she carried with her to adulthood was the part about the grandfather pouring goat's milk into a bowl and telling Heidi to drink it all up so she could grow to be healthy and happy.
Now that girl is a woman. Sometimes, when she wants to feel taken care of, she pours herself a bowl of milk. Then she sits down, picks up the bowl with two hands, and drinks out of it like Heidi. She feels comforted and connected to the universe.
The private rituals we discover in childhood can befriend us all our lives, if we let them.
What do I want when I want comfort?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
[A relationship] takes time and deeds, and this involves trust, it involves making ourselves naked, to become sitting ducks for each other. --Eldridge Cleaver
When we were lost in our excesses, we were limited in our relationships. The history of our friendships and loves may be evidence of that. Many of us had a primary relationship with a substance or an addictive behavior, and people had only second place. Many of us were so lost in our codependency that our relationships were two-dimensional. We didn't know how to be there with our whole selves. In recovery our ability to relate to others charges slowly. We learn how to love like everyone else learned - only we are learning a little later.
We have to be willing to be vulnerable. We also must be willing to be accountable - willing to say to our loved ones, "You can count on me to never leave without saying good bye." "You can count on me to be respectful of you." "You can count on me to tell you how I feel, even when it hurts." As we mature, with the help of the Steps, we also grow in our relationships with others.
Today, I will be true to my relationships.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It is a long baptism into the seas of humankind, my daughter. Better immersion than to live untouched. --Tillie Olsen
We have each had days when we preferred hiding under the covers, avoiding life at all costs. And in times gone by, we did just that, sometimes too frequently. What we didn't always know, and what we still forget on occasion, is that we have a ready and willing partner who will join us in every pursuit.
The more fully we commit ourselves to one another and to all our experience, the closer we will come to the very serenity we long for. Serenity accompanies our increasing understanding of life's many mysteries. It's easy to cheat ourselves out of the prizes any day offers us. Fear fosters inertia, leaving us separate, alone, even more afraid. But we have an appointment with life. And our appointment will bring us to the place of full understanding, the place where we'll be certain, forever after, that all is well. And that life is good.
Today's appointments are part of the bigger plan for my life. I will face them, enjoy them, and reap their rewards.


You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Difficult People
Few things can make us feel crazier than expecting something from someone who has nothing to give. Few things can frustrate us more than trying to make a person someone he or she isn't; we feel crazy when we try to pretend that person is someone he or she is not. We may have spent years negotiating with reality concerning particular people from our past and our present. We may have spent years trying to get someone to love us in a certain way, when that person cannot or will not.
It is time to let it go. It is time to let him or her go. That doesn't mean we can't love that person anymore. It means that we will feel the immense relief that comes when we stop denying reality and begin accepting. We release that person to be who he or she actually is. We stop trying to make that person be someone he or she is not. We deal with our feelings and walk away from the destructive system.
We learn to love and care differently in a way that takes reality into account.
We enter into a relationship with that person on new terms - taking our needs and ourselves into account. If a person is addicted to alcohol, other drugs, misery, or other people, we let go of his or her addiction; we take our hands off it. We give his or her life back. And we, in the process, are given our life and freedom in return.
We stop letting what we are not getting from that person control us. We take responsibility for our life. We go ahead with the process of loving and taking care of ourselves.
We decide how we want to interact with that person, taking reality and our own best interests into account. We get angry, we feel hurt, but we land in a place of forgiveness. We set him or her free, and we become set free from bondage.
This is the heart of detaching in love.
Today, I will work at detaching in love from troublesome people in my life. I will strive to accept reality in my relationships. I will give myself permission to take care of myself in my relationships, with emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual freedom for both people as my goal.


Today is full of miracles! --Ruth Fishel

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

Journey To The Heart

Life Can Be Fun

How careful and guarded we’ve been with fun, with playing, with sheer enjoyment– whether we’re working, traveling, or wandering around town on a Saturday afternoon. Sometimes, we act as though there’s a limited amount, a scarce supply of fun available. We can’t take too much, or it’ll all be gone.

That’s how I was for a long time.

One Saturday afternoon my son, Shane, asked if he could spend the night at a friend’s house to play and have a sleepover.

“Why?” I asked.

“You just did something fun last night,” I reminded him.

He thought for a moment. “Who said you can’t have fun two days in a row.?”

Have some fun– with life, with love, with work. Then go out and have some more.

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

More Language Of Letting Go

Be happy now

“Time is what keeps everything from happening at once,” the bumper sticker ahead of me read.

Maybe, I thought. I was racing back home from the computer store, busily doing my errands, trying to get things done. I noticed a restaurant and shopping center to my right, on the freeway. I’d been curious about this place for almost a year. Today, instead of driving by, I turned off the highway and pulled into the parking lot. I spent the next three hours browsing through the stores filled with antiques, trinkets, and gourmet foods. Then I enjoyed a leisurely dinner– a juicy hamburger and a chocolate malt– at the restaurant before returning home. The stores had always been there, I’d always driven past. Today I stopped, satisfied my curiosity, and enjoyed myself.

It’s easy to spend our lives working toward a goal, convinced that if we could only get there, we’d be truly happy then. Today is the only moment we have. If we wait until tomorrow to be happy, we’ll miss out on the beauty of today.

Have your plans. Set goals.

Let yourself be happy now.

God, help me be aware of the joy that’s in front of me now instead of waiting for tomorrow to bring me happiness.

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

Blue Skies
The Sky Is Blue Even on a Cloudy Day

by Madisyn Taylor

Darker days are just as much a part of life as are the days graced with sunshine.


When we refer to a “beautiful day,” we are often describing a day that is sunny, clear, and without a cloud in sight to mar a sky that is a brilliantly perfect blue. We find ourselves bouncing along, light in spirit, free from worries, and enjoying the moment. That is, until the clouds begin to form. The sky may turn grey, and a fog may roll in. Puffs of white take on whimsical, darker shades, and our beautiful day disappears along with the sunshine… or so it seems.

A clear blue sky often inspires in us good cheer, bringing on a lighter, more carefree day. We may find ourselves spending time outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, and basking in the warmth of the sun. Yet should clouds appear to wash the sky with shadows, we may let this change of weather decrease our energy and enthusiasm, pulling us into our own cloudy funk. Darker days are just as much a part of life as are the days graced with sunshine. They show us a different perspective of our world, while helping us appreciate the moments of illumination that inevitably follow. A rainy day with clouds helps to clear the air, washing away stagnation. Still, it’s hard not to feel gloomy or think that the day has been ruined when there are clouds hanging over us. Yet if you can remember that these shades of grey won’t last forever, and that hidden behind the clouds is the blue sky, you will find that the beauty of your day is merely playing a game of peek-a-boo with you. Like the mis! haps and interruptions that occasionally block the brilliance that is our own lives from shining through, clouds eventually clear away so we can open up to a brighter horizon.

The next time you wake up to a cloudy day, remember that these shades of grey in life are there just for the moment. And that no matter how hard the rain falls or how chilly the fog is, the clouds will go away, the sun will break through, and you will be able to see the sky that has always and forever been a beautiful and brilliant blue. Published with permission from Daily OM

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

“It is of low benefit to give me something. It is of high benefit to enable me to do something for myself.” Emerson

I’ve been taught in The Program that I begin to use my will properly when I try to make it conform with God’s will. In the past, most of my problems resulted from the improper use of will power. I’d always tried to use it, in sledgehammer fashion, as a way of solving my problems or changing the conditions of my life. Do I see that a primary purpose of the Twelve Steps is to help me channel my will into agreement with God’s intentions for me?

Today I Pray

May I direct my will-power into a channel where it can pick up the will of God. May I no longer use my will-power — which has not proved mighty in the past — as willfulness. May I think of my will only as an extension of God’s will, listening always for direction.

Today I Will Remember

To use my will-power as willingness, not willfulness.

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One More Day

Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.
– Dag Hammarskjold

We all may feel a measure of guilt when relationships deteriorate or friends become angry with each other. Sometimes, it’s not the people around us who are to blame; sometimes it really is our fault. We’ve misspoken or said harsh and unfeeling words to a friend.

We can’t undo our mistakes or take back our words, but we can ask for forgiveness and try to make amends. WE can forgive others when they have hurt us, knowing that forgiveness keeps our relationships whole.

I don’t have to wait for forgiveness from others; I can make my amends first.

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

One Day At A Time

PERFECTION
My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God
as my successes and my talents,
and I lay them both at His feet.
Mahatma Gandhi

I don't know why I used to think that if something wasn't done perfectly, it wasn't worth doing. I was an all-time overachiever, and to fail at something was totally unacceptable. It was hardly surprising that I couldn't like, let alone love, myself, since I set such impossibly high standards for myself. I was constantly pushing myself to excel at those things I was good at, and would beat up on myself if I failed to measure up to the high expectations I held. I was especially critical of my body and thought that if I had the perfect body, then my life would be perfect.

When I came into the program, I had to learn not to be so hard on myself. For the first time I began to realize that I was human and could still be lovable and worthy, even with all my imperfections and character defects. I am lovingly reminded by my sponsor and my friends in the fellowship to be more gentle on myself, and that I don't even have to do the program perfectly. I just need to do the best I know how for that day; then I can see progress one day at a time. I don't have to push myself to be perfect all the time in order to win approval or gain love. What a relief that is!

One day at a time . . .
I don't have to be perfect all the time. I just need to to be the best me that I can for today, and that's the way God intended me to be.
Sharon S.

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness. - Pg. 130 - The Family Afterward

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

It seems insane that we have to be brought to our knees before we seek help, but for most of us that's the way it is. Whatever crisis got us here, we will eventually see as a blessing in disguise.

Thank You Higher Power, of my understanding, for the crisis--the one that brought me to my knees, because it also bought me this hour of clean and sober time.

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Doing the next right thing in the face of a tricky situation is not a choice you can run away from. As the saying goes: Wherever you go, there you are.

I do the next right thing first, so the 'situation' doesn't last.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I went outside and leaned up against the wall. I was throwing up on my shoes. And a man came out and he brought a towel and he cleaned me up, put his arms around me and said: 'Honey this is the last drunk you'll ever have to shake out.' - Gayle W.

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

AA Thought for the Day

December 5

Courage
Before we could recognize the illness in ourselves, we had to unload this tired old myth:
It would be a sign of shameful weakness to admit we couldn't handle the sauce any more (if we ever could).
Weakness? Actually, it takes considerable courage to stare unblinkingly at the hard truth, sparing nothing,
without glossing over anything, without excuses, and without kidding ourselves.
- Living Sober, p. 72

Thought to Ponder . . .
If I have the courage to begin, I have the courage to succeed.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
O D A A T = One Day At A Time.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

A New Notion
"The idea that religion and spirituality
were not one and the same was a new notion.
My sponsor asked that I merely remain open-minded
to the possibility that there was a Power greater than myself,
one of my own understanding.
He assured me that no person was going to impose
a belief system on me, that it was a personal matter.
Reluctantly, I opened my mind to the fact that maybe,
just maybe, there was something to this spiritual lifestyle.
Slowly, but surely, I realized there was indeed
a Power greater than myself,
and I soon found myself with a full-time God in my life
and following a spiritual path that didn't conflict
with my personal religious convictions."
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 287

Thought to Consider . . .
God enters us through our wounds.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
S W A T = Surrender, Willingness, Acceptance, Trust

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Hope
>From "Window of Opportunity":
"I once knew a woman who was crying before a meeting. She was approached by a five-year-old girl who told her, 'You don't have to cry here. This is a good place. They took my daddy and they made him better.' That is exactly what A.A. did for me; it took me and it made me better. For that I am eternally grateful."
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 431

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

"Some of us take a long time to 'come to' before we can 'come to believe' that there is any hope for us."
Nanaimo, British Columbia, February 2003
"My Name Is Gary and I'm a Human Being,"
Spiritual Awakenings

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N' Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

"When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could
not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that
either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He
isn't."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 53

To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.
~Alcoholics Anonymous page 93

The power of God goes deep!
-Alcoholics Anonymous p.114

Almost any experienced A.A. will tell how his affairs have taken remarkable and unexpected turns for the better as he tried to improve his conscious contact with God.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.105

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

When I was a child, I acquired some of the traits that had a lot to do with my insatiable craving for alcohol. I was brought up in a little town in Vermont, under the shadow of Mount Aeolus. An early recollection is that of looking up at this vast and mysterious mountain, wondering what it meant and whether I could ever climb that high. But I was presently distracted by my aunt who, as a fourth-birthday present, made me a plate of fudge. For the next thirty-five years I pursued the fudge of life and quite forgot about the mountain.
When self-indulgence is less than ruinous, we have a milder word for it. We call it 'taking our comfort.

Prayer for the Day: Eleventh Step Prayer - Higher Power, as I understand You, I pray to keep my connection with You open and clear from the confusion of daily life. Through my prayers and meditation I ask especially for freedom from self-will, rationalization and wishful thinking. I pray for the guidance of correct thought and positive action. Your will, Higher Power, not mine, be done.

Ask and you shall receive,
Seek and ye shall find,
Knock and it shall be opened unto you.
Matthew 7:7

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