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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.

January 23

Daily Reflections

HAVING FUN YET?

. . . we aren't a glum lot. If newcomers could see no
joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it. We
absolutely insist on enjoying life. We try not to
indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor
do we carry the world's troubles on our shoulders.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , p. 132

When my own house is in order, I find the different
parts of my life are more manageable. Stripped from
the guilt and remorse that clocked my drinking years,
I am free to assume my proper role in the universe,
but this condition requires maintenance. I should stop
and ask myself, Am I having fun yet? If I find
answering that question difficult or painful, perhaps
I'm taking myself too seriously - and finding it
difficult to admit that I've strayed from my practice
of working the program to keep my house in order. I
think the pain I experience is one way my Higher Power
has to get my attention, coaxing me to take stock of
my performance. The slight time and effort it takes to
work the program - a spot-check inventory, for example,
or the making of amends, whatever is appropriate - are
well worth the effort.

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

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics are people whose drinking got them into a "blind alley."
They haven't been able to learn anything from their drinking
experiences. They are always making the same mistakes and suffering
the same consequences over and over again. They refuse to admit
they're alcoholic. They still think they can handle the stuff. They won't
swallow their pride and admit that they're different from ordinary
drinkers. They won't face the fact that they must spend the rest of their
lives without liquor. They can't visualize life without ever taking a
drink. Am I out of this blind alley?

Meditation For The Day

I believe that God has all power. It is His to give and His to withhold.
But He will not withhold it from the person who dwells near Him,
because then it passes insensibly from God to that person. It is
breathed in by the person who lives in God's presence. I will learn to
live in God's presence and then I will have those things which I desire
of Him: strength, power, and joy. God's power is available to all who
need it and are willing to accept it.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may get myself out of the way, so that God's power may
flow in. I pray that I may surrender myself to that power.


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

As Bill Sees It

Worshipers All, p. 23

We found that we had indeed been worshipers. What a state of
mental goose flesh that used to bring on! Had we not variously
worshiped people, sentiment, things, money, and ourselves?

And then, with a better motive, had we not worshipfully beheld the
sunset, the sea, or a flower? Who of us had not loved something or
somebody? Were these not things the tissue out of which our lives
were constructed? Did not these feelings, after all, determine the
course of our existence?

It was impossible to say we had no capacity for faith, or love, or
worship. In one form or another, we had been living by faith and little
else.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 54


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

Walk In Dry Places
 
Thinking well of ourselves___  Raising self-esteem
Although there may have been conceit and cockiness in our past behavior, most of us suffered from feelings of low self-esteem.   We often felt alone and unworthy. Often, we had memories of parents and others who reminded us of our shortcomings or compared us unfavorably with others.
Whatever our past problems, we can raise our self-esteem in the present. We can begin by forgiving ourselves and others for past wrongs and mistakes.  We must become willing to give up any belief or practice that causes us to dislike ourselves. We can remember that our self-esteem does not depend on achievements or on winning  in competitions with others.  Despite our failings, now and in the past, we are worthy in the sight of God and are entitled to God's grace.
Growth in the program usually brings growth in self-esteem.  If we think well of ourselves, in the right sense, others will tend to think well of us, too. With proper self-esteem, we will not be crushed or dismayed when someone seems to dislike us.  Our feelings about ourselves will be much more than a mirror of others' opinions.
I will think well of myself today, I will not put myself down, even jokingly. I will know that if God is for me, no one can be against me.


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

Keep It Simple

Sex, like all else between human beings, is never prefect. --- Theodore Isaac Rubin
Addiction made our sex lives a mess. Maybe we wanted prefect sex or we wanted no sex.
We were afraid. Maybe we wanted a high from sex we just couldn't seem to get it. Some of us had lots of sex partners; some of us had none. What now?
We're doing what we need to do by being in recovery. We're getting to know ourselves. We're living by our real values. We’re being honest with ourselves and others. We're learning to love and care about others. It's open, honest caring we express with our bodies. Thus, sex can be trusting and safe.
Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, I turn over my sex life and my will to You---Just for today. I know You want me to be happy.
Action for the Day:  What do I believe about sex? How does it match with what's said in the third paragraph above?

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Each Day a New Beginning

She had trouble defining herself independently of her husband, tried to talk to him about it, but he said nonsense, he had no trouble defining her at all.  --Cynthia Propper Seton
To recover means to learn who we are, independent of friends, children, parents, or intimate partners. It means knowing how we want to spend our time, what books we like to read, what hobbies interest us, what our favorite foods are. It means understanding self-direction. It means charting a daily personal course and staying on it. It means defining our responsibilities and carrying them out.
Having an independent identity does not preclude depending on others for certain needs. Perhaps we revel in massage--both getting and giving. Maybe we share the expenses of a household or the responsibilities of raising children. Depending on others to meet their responsibilities does not negate our independent identity; it strengthens it. We choose where and when to be dependent. Healthy dependency complements healthy independence.
Recovery is giving me options. Each day gives me new opportunities.


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 7 - WORKING WITH OTHERS

Why sit with a long face in places where there is drinking, sighing about the good old days. If it is a happy occasion, try to increase the pleasure of those there; if a business occasion, go and attend to your business enthusiastically. If you are with a person who wants to eat in a bar, by all means go along. Let your friends know they are not to change their habits on your account. At a proper time and place explain to all your friends why alcohol disagrees with you. If you do this thoroughly, few people will ask you to drink. While you were drinking, you were withdrawing from life little by little. Now you are getting back into the social life of this world. Don’t start to withdraw again just because your friends drink liquor.

p. 102


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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

A VISION OF RECOVERY - A feeble prayer forged a lasting connection with a Higher Power for this Mic-Mac Indian.

One evening during a party at my home, an argument led to fighting, as usual.  One of my brothers stabbed me in the back with a knife, and I fell to the floor unconscious.  I came to in the hospital.  They told me that one lung had collapsed, and they had a drain in my lung that came out the side of my body.  The very next day some friends came to visit me, bringing a bottle of liquor.  I still had that pride.  I was still the tough guy.  I lay there in bed with tubes draining my lung and smoked cigarettes and drank liquor.  Later, in A.A., I had the nerve to question Step Two and wonder why I had to be "restored to sanity."

pp. 497-498


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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Tradition Two - "For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience."

What are these facts of A.A. life which brought us to this apparently impractical principle?
John Doe, a good A.A. moves - let us say - to Middletown, U.S.A. Alone now, he reflects that he may not be able to stay sober, or even alive, unless he passes on to other alcoholics what was so freely given him. He feels a spiritual and ethical compulsion, because hundreds may be suffering within reach of his help. Then, too, he misses his home group. He needs other alcoholics as much as they need him. He visits preachers, doctors, editors, policemen , and bartenders ... with the result that Middletown now has a group, and he is the founder.

pp. 132-133


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

I touch my feelings, knowing, I have never been so free, I have never been so happy, sobriety, has changed me.  --Shelley

There is a guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word… Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which flows into your life. Then, without effort, you are impelled to truth and perfect contentment.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Look for the beauty inside of each person.  --I. June Stephenson

The God who calls us into the unknown travels with us.  --Robert W. Rae

Spiritual vision means looking at life as God does.  --Lisa D. Wiener

Whatever our future holds for us, we will find God already there.  --Patricia Garrison

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

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

SLEEP

"Sleep that knots up the raveled
sleeve of care."
-- William Shakespeare

When I was new in my recovery from alcoholism I was told to
remember the letters H.A.L.T.: Do not get too: Hungry, Angry, Lonely
or Tired.
Sleep is something my body needs, and even if I do not always know it,
my body does. The tiredness in my body is telling me to slow down.
Sleep is part of my spiritual program because it enables me to feel
rested, invigorated and alive. Through sleep I am able to be creative
and positive in my life --- showing a practical love to my body. Sleep is
me taking care of self!
Thank You for the joy and rest that comes with sleep.

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

"But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more."  Psalm 71:14

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:3

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
Psalm 141:3,8,9,13,14,17,18,20


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Daily Inspiration

Shine a little brighter today because someone needs your light. Lord, may I reflect You like sun hitting a mirror.

If you are not happy with what you have, how will you be happy with what you want to have? Lord, may I appreciate the good things in my life and refuse to feel sorry for myself or compare myself to others
.

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

NA Just For Today

Serenity Check


" Lack of daily maintenance can show up in many ways."
Basic Text p. 91

Ever had a perfect stranger remark about how great the weather was, only to reply "It stinks"? When this happens, we are probably suffering from a lack of daily maintenance in our program.

In recovery, life can get pretty hectic. Maybe those added responsibilities at work have got you hopping. Maybe you haven't been to a meeting for awhile. Perhaps you've been too busy to meditate, or haven't been eating regularly or sleeping well. Whatever the reason, your serenity is slipping.

When this happens, it is crucial that we take action. We can't afford to let one "bad day"; complete with a bad attitude, slip into two days, four days, or a week. Our recovery depends on our daily maintenance program. No matter what is happening in our lives, we can't afford to neglect the principles that have saved our lives.

There are many ways to recover our serenity. We can go to a meeting, phone our sponsor, meet another recovering addict for lunch, or try to carry the message to a newcomer. We can pray. We can take a moment to ask ourselves what simple things we haven't been doing. When our attitudes head downhill, we can avert a crash with simple solutions.

Just for today: I will examine the maintenance of my daily program of recovery.

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

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Little girl, little girl, where have you been? --Mother Goose
She's been everywhere and nowhere in and around the house. She's been in her room crying with her doll, on the grass kicking her ball, on the floor big-eyed and blank in front of the TV. Her things are everywhere in the way, as if left there to block the path. She learns to be happiest alone in her room. There she can gather roses to give to the Queen and receive in return a diamond as big as a shoe. There she can wait for some prince, or dream of crossing the street without looking back. We are all the same way, even as adults. We live with our dreams and fantasies, and our secret lives thrive in privacy. All around us, our loved ones live out their private lives often unnoticed by us until we enter them. When we honor others' unspoken needs, when we allow others their privacy without being asked, or when we appreciate something they've done, we share the joy of living together in natural harmony.
How invisible are those in our presence every day?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at the moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well-organized routine a bit of unscheduled pleasure. --Richard Lannelli
The idea of turning our lives and our will over to the care of God is a very revolutionary thing to do. We are being told, "Let go of your excessive carefulness. Let the spirit guides you." When we are in touch with ourselves, with the people around us, with God, we are free to experiment. We don't learn from doing the same things correctly again and again. We learn from trying new things and making mistakes.
Over control is spiritually deadening. This is a program of life. Our renewal is a miraculous event. Why stop now? We can be in touch with the messages around us without trying to control the outcome. When we let God do the worrying, we find many possibilities open up,
As this adventure of life unfolds, I will not shy away from it.


You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
She had trouble defining herself independently of her husband, tried to talk to him about it, but he said nonsense, he had no trouble defining her at all. --Cynthia Propper Seton
To recover means to learn who we are, independent of friends, children, parents, or intimate partners. It means knowing how we want to spend our time, what books we like to read, what hobbies interest us, what our favorite foods are. It means understanding self-direction. It means charting a daily personal course and staying on it. It means defining our responsibilities and carrying them out.
Having an independent identity does not preclude depending on others for certain needs. Perhaps we revel in massage--both getting and giving. Maybe we share the expenses of a household or the responsibilities of raising children. Depending on others to meet their responsibilities does not negate our independent identity; it strengthens it. We choose where and when to be dependent. Healthy dependency complements healthy independence.
Recovery is giving me options. Each day gives me new opportunities.


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
New Energy Coming
Fun becomes fun, love becomes love, and life becomes worth living. And we become grateful. --Beyond Codependency
There is a new energy, a new feeling coming into our life. We cannot base our expectations about how we will feel tomorrow, or even a few hours from now, on how we feel at this moment.
There are no two moments in time alike. We are recovering. We are changing. Our life is changing. At times, things haven't worked out the way we wanted. We had lessons to learn. The future shall not be like the past.
The truly difficult times are almost over. The confusion, the most challenging learning experiences, the difficult feelings are about to pass.
Do not limit the future by the past!
Reflect on the beginning of your recovery. Haven't there been many changes that have brought you to where you are now? Reflect on one year ago. Haven't you and your circumstances changed since then?
Sometimes, problems and feelings linger for a while. These times are temporary. Times of confusion, uncertainty, times of living with a particular unsolved problem do not last forever.
We make these times doubly hard by comparing them to our past. Each situation and circumstance has had its particular influence in shaping who we are. We do not have to scare ourselves by comparing our present and future to a painful past, especially our past before we began recovering or before we learned through a particular experience.
Know that the discomfort will not be permanent. Do not try to figure out how you shall feel or when you shall feel differently. Instead, trust. Accept today, but do not be limited by it.
A new energy is coming. A new feeling is on the way. We cannot predict how it will be by looking at how it was or how it is, because it shall be entirely different. We have not worked and struggled in vain. It has been for and toward something.
Times are changing for the better. Continue on the path of trust and obedience. Be open to the new.
Today, God, help me not judge or limit my future by my past. Help me be open to all the exciting possibilities for change, both within and around me.


I let God guide me in my recovery today, knowing that all decisions that come from good and love will bring me joy. --Ruth Fishel

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Journey To The Heart

Honor the Needs of Your Body

Take time to rest and regroup as often as you need. At the beginning of the journey and along the way take time to honor your body. When you honor your body, you honor your soul.

You have been working hard on yourself, on your spiritual growth. You are moving forward, evolving at a rapid pace. Give your body time to catch up. Your body isn’t a bother; it’s an ally. Your body knows what it needs, and what your soul needs,too.

Tune in to your body. Listen. On those days when your body is adjusting, regrouping, shifting because you’re growing and healing emotionally and spiritually, let it do that. Don’t ignore it. Don’t force it. Be gentle. Recognize its nuances. Ask it what it needs. Juice? Vitamins? Rest? Exercise? Let it tell you. Then go easy. Do tasks that are easier, that seem to fit what you can handle that day.

After a spiritual growth spurt, our body works diligently to flush the toxins released when emotions are cleansed and healed. After a day, week, or month of intense spiritual growth, our body is tired from flushing through so many emotions, going through so many changes. To deny the body’s connection to our growth, to push it when it needs rest, is denying the importance and impact of the spiritual work we’re doing.

By taking time to honor the body, to honor its shifts and needs, it will be there for you in a way it has never been before. Rest and care will help it come back to center quickly. You will have the benefit of a healed spirit and a body that was allowed to adjust and adapt to that healing process. You will be honoring the oneness of body, mind, and soul. You will be honoring your newfound connection.

Taking time to honor the needs of your body is taking time to respect the needs of your soul.

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More Language Of Letting Go

Remember to let go

A friend called me into the next room. I didn’t want to move. I was head-deep in obsession, fretting about something I couldn’t change, at least not at that moment. I reluctantly walked to the window where he stood, walking in that stiff, unnatural way we jerk about when we’re obsessing.

“Look at the moonlight reflecting off the waves,” he said.

I stared at the white shimmering ripples in the ocean, like diamonds in the night.

We talked for a moment, about whether it was phosphorescence– that delightful and new phenomenon that causes the sea to glow in the dark– or whether it was simply moonlight bouncing off the waves. We decided it was light.

I walked away, a little more relaxed. Letting go isn’t something we do to manipulate the universe into giving us what we want. It’s a way of opening our hearts to receive the gifts it and God have for us.

God, help me remember that I don’t have to let go today, but I’ll be happier if I do.

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A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We must never be blinded by the futile philosophy that we are just the hapless victims of our inheritance, of our life experience, an of our surroundings — that these are the sole forces that make our decisions for us. This is not the road to freedom. We have to believe that we can really choose. As addictive persons, we lost our ability to choose whether wee would pursue our addictions. Yet we finally did make choices that brought about our recovery. Do I believe that in “becoming willing,” I have made the best of all choice?

Today I Pray

May I shed the idea that I am the world’s victim, an unfortunate creature caught in a web of circumstance, inferring that others ought to “:make it up to me” because I have been given a bad deal on this earth. We are always given choices. May God help me to choose wisely.

Today I Will Remember

God is not a puppeteer.

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One More Day

Those wrinkles are the map of my life. … They’re battle scars. – Etta Furlow

One woman calls her wrinkles a patina that glows only with age. When first we notice tiny sprinkles — crow’s feet or smile lines — we may lament our loss of youth.

Naturally, our faces change as we age. Our life experiences, both joy and pain, etch themselves on our faces as surely as they mold our minds and spirits. Our bodies may begin to change as well. Previously nimble fingers may stiffen; backaches and a slowed pace may become the norm.

Skin is but a wrapping for the inner soul, and the soul’s enjoyment of life is not diminished by its wrapping. Our spirits never grow old. Our belief in the beauty and joy of life is renewed with each season. And we remain strong.

My body will change as the years go by, but I will stay aware of my spirit and faith. This keeps me emotionally vibrant.

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One Day At A Time

~ CRITICISM ~

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Elbert Hubbard

For so many years, I thought I was the only kid who had been raised with criticism. Fear of criticism is one of the reasons I walked on eggshells at home. I learned to fear success in anything and everything. If I could only be "middle of the road," maybe no one would notice me and I wouldn't have to deal with criticism. I did what I had to do to survive.

As I grew older, I received constructive criticism by wise people, but sadly, I didn't know how to utilize such a gift. It hurt me, and I turned away from well-meaning people. I rebelled against their advice.

The program has taught me that all criticism is not bad. I never thought a day would come where I was comfortable with it. I recently took a correspondence course to help me with my work, and naturally the instructor had to critique my work. I worried about that before I took the course. In fact, I'd wanted to take that class for years, but had not been able to handle the cold fear that stabbed at me when I looked at the application. I finished the class last month. There was much criticism to help me to learn, and I didn't shrink from it. I learned from it. It's all in the attitude.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will pray to remember I have choices. I will pray to keep my attitude in a good place so that I might see all the opportunities available to me.
~ Rhonda ~

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AA 'Big Book' - Quote

...for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. - Pg. 55 - We Agnostics

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

To a practicing addict who lives wholly in the sensations of the body, the recovery state may seem like utter boredom. But as we learn to live balanced in body, mind, and soul we will wonder why we ever thought the state of addiction exciting.

May I know that it is not so much boredom as me being boring that's my problem.

I Have Faith

I rely on faith. Faith sustains me and guides me. Faith is my constant companion. It leads me through passages of terrifying darkness and blinding light. Faith allows me to weave my life into a coherent whole, to walk on a path that others have lit, to strike out on my own and cut my way through the underbrush. There is nothing in my life that faith doesn't make better. There is no day that faith doesn't give meaning and purpose to. There is no relationship that faith doesn't guide and sustain.

I need my faith to live

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

'Nothing contributes more to the peace of the soul than having no opinion at all.' -George Christopher Lichtenberg

When I have no opinion on outside issues, I cannot be drawn into controversy. (Tradition Ten)

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Few alcoholics or addicts blame themselves before exhausting all other possibilities.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

I let God guide me in my recovery today, knowing that all decisions that come from good and love will bring me joy.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

When I slide over from being 'On the Program' to 'Self Will Run Riot' it's seamless. There's no bump, no warning, I'm just there. That's why I need Step 1O. - Trip S.

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AA Thought for the Day


January 23

Persuasion
The Twelve Steps of our AA program are not crammed down anybody's throat.
They are not sustained by any human authority.  Yet we powerfully unite around them
because the truth they contain has saved our lives, has opened the door to a new world.
Our experience tells us these universal truths work.
The anarchy of the individual yields to their persuasion.
- The Language of the Heart, p. 8

Thought to Ponder . . .
A new world came into view.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
S T E P S = Solutions Through Each Positive Step,

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

Tolerance
Finally, we begin to see that all people,
including ourselves,
are to some extent emotionally ill
as well as frequently wrong,
and then we approach true tolerance
and see what real love for our fellows actually means.
It will become more and more evident as we go forward
that it is pointless to become angry,
or to get hurt by people who, like us,
are suffering from the pains of growing up.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions,  p. 92

Thought to Consider . . .
Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
P U T = Patience, Understanding, Tolerance

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

Involvement
>From "The Keys of the Kingdom":
"A complete change takes place in our approach to life. Where we used to run from responsibility, we find ourselves
accepting it with gratitude that we can successfully shoulder it. Instead of wanting to escape some perplexing problem,
we experience the thrill of challenge in the opportunity it affords for another application of A.A. techniques, and we find
ourselves tackling it with surprising vigor."
2001 AAWS, Inc., Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous, pgs. 275-76

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

"Sincerity of purpose, humility in the knowledge of our own power to help, and confidence in our understanding of our
capacities in AA are likely to help in working with others."
St. Paul, Minn., December 1945
St. Paul's Four Discussion Groups
The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA

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

"Most alcoholics owe money. We do not dodge our creditors. Telling
them what we are trying to do, we make no bones about our drinking;
they usually know it anyway, whether we think so or not. Nor are we
afraid of disclosing our alcoholism on the theory it may cause
financial harm. Approached in this way, the most ruthless creditor
will sometimes surprise us. Arranging the best deal we can we let
these people know we are sorry. Our drinking has made us slow to
pay.
We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go,
for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 78~

"Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn't be shy
on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 85

The key words 'entirely ready' underline the fact that we want to aim at the very best we know or can learn.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 65

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

We found that we had indeed been worshipers. What a state of mental goose flesh that used to bring on! Had we not
variously worshiped people, sentiment, things, money, and ourselves?
And then, with a better motive, had we not worshipfully beheld the sunset, the sea, or a flower? Who of us had not loved
something or somebody? Were not these things the tissue out of which our lives were constructed? Did not these
feelings, after all, determine the course of our existence?
It was impossible to say we had no capacity for faith, or love, or worship. In one form or another, we had been living by
faith and little else.

Prayer for the Day:  God, I pray that I may not overlook thy blessings of beauty while endeavoring to perform my duties. Guide me that I may not struggle to be where thou wouldst not have me go. Amen.

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