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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – August 26, 2014

Just For Today
August 26, 2014
Tenth Step Inventory

“We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
Step Ten

A daily Tenth Step keeps us on a sound spiritual footing. While each member asks different questions, some questions have been found to be helpful to almost everyone. Two key Tenth Step questions are, “Am I honestly in touch with myself, my actions, and my motives? And have I prayed for God’s will for me and the power to carry it out?” These two questions, answered honestly, will lead us into a more thorough look at our day.

When focusing on our relationships with others, we may ask, “Have I harmed anyone today, either directly or indirectly? Do I need to make amends to anyone as a result of my actions today?” We keep it simple in our inventory if we remember to ask, “Where was I wrong? How can I do it better next time?”

NA members often find that their inventories include other important questions. “Was I good to myself today? Did I do something for someone else and expect nothing in return? Have I reaffirmed my faith in a loving Higher Power?” Step Ten is a maintenance step of the NA program. The Tenth Step helps us to continue living comfortably in recovery.

Just for today: I will remember to review my day. If I have harmed another, I will make amends. I will think about how I can act differently.

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Daily Reflections
August 26, 2014
THE GIFT OF BONDING

Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , p. 63

Many times in my alcoholic state, I drank to establish a bond between myself and others, but I succeeded only in establishing the bondage of alcoholic loneliness. Through the A.A. way of life, I have received the gift of bonding – with those who were there before me, with those who are there now, and with those yet to come. For this gracious gift from God, I am forever grateful.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 26, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

“Unless we discuss our defects with another person, we do not acquire enough humility, fearlessness, and honesty to really get the program.  We must be entirely honest with somebody, if we expect to live happily in this world. We must be hard on ourselves, but always considerate of others. We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character and every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we can look the world in the eyes.” Have I discussed all my defects with another person?

Meditation For The Day

Never yield to weariness of the spirit. At times, the world’s cares and distractions will intrude and the spirit will become weak. At times like this, carry on and soon the spirit will become strong again. God’s spirit is always with you, to replenish and renew. None ever sincerely sought God’s help in vain. Physical weariness and exhaustion make a time of rest and communion with God more necessary. When you are overcome by temporary conditions that you cannot control, keep quiet and wait for the power of the spirit to flow back.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not speak or act in the midst of emotional upheaval.  I pray that I may wait until the tempest is past.

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As Bill Sees It
August 26, 2014
Perfection–Only The Objective, p. 236

There can be no absolute humility for us humans. At best, we can merely glimpse the meaning and splendor of such a perfect ideal.  Only God himself can manifest in the absolute; we human beings must needs live and grow in the domain of the relative.

So we seek progress in humility today.

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

Few of us can quickly or easily become ready even to look at spiritual and moral perfection; we want to settle for only as much development as may get us by in life, according, of course, to our various and sundry ideas of what will get us by. Mistakenly, we strive for a self-determined objective, rather than for the perfect objective which is of God.

1. Grapevine, June 1961
2. 12 & 12, p. 68

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Keep It Simple
August 26, 2014

In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.
—Friedrick Nietzsche

All of us have a child inside. We may see that child as a friend or as a enemy.

Many of us were taught that growing up meant doing away with our inner child. It was as if being a child was bad and being an adult was good. If we try to be only an adult, the child cries, ”Let me run free and show you the beauty of the world.” If we try to be only a child, we find the adult in using us saying, “It’s time to grow up.”

Let’s find a balance. Remember, the adult needs the wonder found in the eyes of the child. Remember, the child needs the loving care of the adult. The child lives where we find our spirit. Our Higher Power is the prefect balance of the two.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me be both the child and the adult. I need both.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll make time to be a child and to be an adult.

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Walk In Dry Places
August 26, 2014
What should We accept?
Acceptance

Alcoholics usually have trouble accepting ordinary setbacks and limitations that other people live with all the time. Sometimes it seems much easier to just get drunk than to accept boredom and frustration.

The irony of such behavior is that we then have to accept much more failure as a result of problems created by drinking. Our drinking brings far more pain than it removes.

Learning acceptance in sobriety is part of the growing-up process.  Along with learning to accept things we cannot change, however, we learn there are some things we don’t have to accept. Living sober gives us the power and confidence to make such changes.

I’ll repeat the Serenity Prayer today if I begin to feel disturbed or threatened. I will face life realistically while knowing I have many opportunities for growth and change.

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Each Day a New Beginning
August 26, 2014

A woman who has no way of expressing herself and of realizing herself as a full human has nothing else to turn to but the owning of material things.
—Enriqueta Longeaux y Vasquez

Each of us struggling with these Twelve Steps is finding self-expression and self-definition. Introspection, coupled with self-revelation through sharing with others, affords us the awareness of how like others we are. How human we are. And what we receive from others who respond to our vulnerability diminishes our need for “things” to fill our lives.

The love that we receive freely from a trusting, caring friend or group fills up the empty places in our souls, the places we used to try filling up with alcohol or cookies or sex. New clothes maybe even a new home or a different job served their terms as void fillers too. Nothing succeeded for long, and then the program found us.

The program is the filler for all times. Of this we can be certain. Time will alleviate any doubts we may have. All that is asked of us is openness, honesty, and attention to others’ needs as well as our own.

I can share our likenesses and relish whatever differences may surface. The chain of friendship I’ve created makes me the proud owner of my wholeness. I am a succeeding woman who is moving forward with courage and self-awareness on this, my road of life.

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Xtra Thoughts
August 26, 2014

You are the creator of your own Serenity. It lives and breathes within your desire for Recovery. It is no mystery. It is a conscious choice.  Serenity is born and flourishes, with the help of your Higher Power, through your own efforts to maintain order, stability and self-discipline within your everyday life.  Serenity is a daily gift you give to yourself. Be generous!
–Lumpy Karma

The routines of good rest, exercise, regular meal times, prayer, and meetings are the skeleton on which the body of our recovery program can grow. Each of these activities is a reward in itself, and serves to remind us of what our new lives have to offer.
–unknown

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
–John Wesley

“Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first time or the last time.  Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”
–Betty Smith

“Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.”
–Anonymous

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;  that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
–Thoreau

We would have much peace if we would not busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others.
–Thomas À Kempis

Many do not know that we are here in this world to live in harmony.
–Buddha

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 26, 2014
TEMPER

“Your temper is the only thing that doesn’t get better with age.”
– Anonymous

I lost my temper when I was in the wrong and wanted to protect myself. My temper was closely associated with my ego and pride; I hated to admit I was in the wrong.

Today I know that I am not God. I make mistakes and apologize. I don’t have to have an answer. It is okay to be imperfect and human.  And you know what I am finding? I don’t lose my temper so much!

I pray that I may express my anger and discomfort without having a selfish temper tantrum.

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Bible Scripture
August 26, 2014

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God;  For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
I Timothy 2:2

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Daily Inspiration
August 26, 2014

Many more things go right in a day than go wrong, but you will never notice if that one trying moment becomes your focus. Lord, help me make a conscious effort to see the richness of my life and live with gratitude for all of its wonders.

If you have more than you need, but still feel it isn’t enough, then you are poor. Lord, may I take time to recognize and enjoy my blessings.

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One Day At A Time
August 26, 2014
LOVE

“When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
Kahlil Gibran

What is love? And what does it mean to love myself? I’ve found from my experience that it is easier to describe what love is not. Through many failures — and with my Higher Power’s help — I have discovered that to love myself means choosing to not hurt myself by overeating. Self-love means choosing to no longer ignore my inner-child who sometimes screams to be heard and must have a tantrum to get my attention. Self-love means not isolating or allowing the hurtful, grieving, angry, fearful thoughts to possess my mind to the degree that the disease overtakes any sanity I may have. This list could go on — focusing on the failures and the negative — but my Higher Power has given me the desire, strength and power to feel, express and give love. Our Higher Power offers the freedom and joy of self-love to each of us who are willing to receive and practice it.

The more I am able to receive the love of others, the more I am able to love myself. And conversely, the more I love myself, the more I am able to receive love from others. As I work this Twelve Step program to the best of my ability each 24 hours, I am shown love through meetings, my sponsor, meditating, journaling, spending time with my Higher Power, and sharing my experience, strength and hope with another person. Some days, “the best of my ability” may be to just get out of bed and say the Third Step prayer. Other days, “the best of my ability” will seem like I’m working the program close to perfection. Regardless of my ability on any particular day, I’ve found that love can be gleaned from each day.

As the quote above states, “I am in the heart of God.” I experience this when I am willing to surrender daily to the will of my Higher Power and to be completely and absolutely surrounded and protected by the heart of God.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will seek to see love in as many moments as possible by looking to my Higher Power and then reaching out to others.

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Journey To The Heart
August 26, 2014

Are you living with the belief that universal love isn’t there for you?

When we look at what we’ve been through, sometimes we feel sad and abandoned. We see others dancing along their path, getting blessings, special help, gifts along the way. Then we turn to our own lives and see only those times we’ve been let down and left out, the times that life, people, and the world haven’t been there for us. Universal love may be real, you say, but it’s just not real for me.

~ Ohitika
Open your eyes. Open your heart. Open yourself to the universe. Begin to see and notice all gifts you’re given– the clues, the direction, the support. Stop looking to one person or source and let life’s magic dance for you. See how you get what you need. See how naturally the guidance comes when you trust that it will be there. See the smiles, see the friendship, feel the inspiration. Feel the loving touch of a hand on your arm. Say what you need. Say it aloud. Direct your words to the universe. Treat it as if it were a loving friend, and it will treat you the same way.

Universal love is there for you. Learn to recognize its touch and rhythm, for it is the rhythm of life and love.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 26

“Those who live for one another learn that love is the bond of perfect unity.”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

To serve each other, to respect each other, to trust each other, to honor each other, to love each other, to cooperate with each other, to care for each other, to forgive one another, to focus on peoples’ good, to laugh with one another, to learn from one another, to pray for each other; these are all acts of love. These values and actions will connect us to one another in the Unseen World. Nature is a good example of how we should get along with one another. Watch nature. She is our teacher. Nature lives to give to one another. The insects give to the birds, who give to the four legged, who give to the two legged. The Creator made all things perfect.

Oh Great Spirit, let me serve the people today. Let me see that it is better to give than it is to receive. Be with me today.
Open to Universal Love

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Today’s Gift

… I cannot see
The love you offer.
—Emily Dickinson

How can we make love visible; how can we give it eyes? We can make love a present, wrap it carefully as if it were a beautiful thing. We can make love a favor nobody foresaw; we can fill a cup, prepare a meal, run an errand with our love. We can make love out of real words – in a letter, a note, a simple unrhymed poem. And we can make our love visible with our eyes by making our eyes meet those of the people we love.

When we turn a feeling like love into an act, we share it with those around us, and they are encouraged to return the favor, and in this way, the world’s storehouse of love increases.

How can I show the love I feel today?

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The Language of Letting Go
August 26, 2014
Making Amends

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
—Step Nine of Al-Anon

When we make amends we need to be clear about what we’re apologizing for and the best way to say we’re sorry. What we are really doing with our amends is taking responsibility for our behavior. We need to be sure that the process itself will not be self-defeating or hurtful.

Sometimes, we need to directly apologize for a particular thing we have done or our part in a problem.

Other times, instead of saying “I’m sorry,” what we need to do is work on changing our behavior with a person.

There are times when bringing up what we have done and apologizing for it will make matters worse.

We need to trust timing, intuition, and guidance in this process of making amends. Once we become willing, we can let go and tackle our amends in a peaceful, consistent, harmonious way. If nothing feels right or appropriate, if it feels as if what we are about to do will cause a crisis or havoc, we need to trust that feeling.

Attitude, honesty, openness, and willingness count here. In peace and harmony, we can strive to clear up our relationships.

We deserve to be at peace with others and ourselves.

Today, I will be open to making any amends I need to make with people. I will wait for Divine Guidance in the process of making any amends that are not clear to me. I will act, when led. God, help me let go of my fear about facing people and taking responsibility for my behaviors. Help me know I am not diminishing my self-esteem by doing this; I am improving it.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 26, 2014
Find the gratitude

Here’s an interesting phenomenon about gratitude: it’s difficult to feel too bad when we’re feeling grateful. Your mind has room for only one thought at a time. If you fill it with gratitude, there isn’t room for negativity.

Today, be grateful for your life. Allow that gratitude to carry over into your activities and to flavor all of your interactions. Think of one thing to be grateful about in each activity you do, with each person you interact with, and in each task that you do.

Find the gratitude in your life, and you’ll find joy standing right next to it.

God, help me look for the good in my life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 26, 2014

Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The primary requirement for our recovery is honesty. In order to grow in honesty we first needed to see how we had lied to others and to ourselves. This was not as easy as it first appeared. Our lies to ourselves kept us so fully in the dark that we did not know we were lying. We sometimes told “sincere” lies because we honestly did not distinguish the truth within ourselves. For so long we had preferred dishonest rationalizations, and we had come to believe them.

The spiritual life of this program is based upon experience. What we feel, what we see and hear, is what we know. When we simplify our lives and base the truth upon our experiences, we slowly cleanse ourselves of the lies we told ourselves. With this kind of honesty comes an inner peace with ourselves in whom we can say, “I know myself.”

Today, I will accept my experience as a simple message of truth.

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Daily TAO
August 26, 2014
Matrix

This fragile body
Is matrix
For mind and soul.

We cannot afford to neglect our bodies, even if we recognize we must not identify with them exclusively. Actually, in our search for our true selves, our physical existence is the best place to start. We can alter our lives by how we eat and exercise, and we can expedite our search by keeping ourselves healthy. If we are free of physical blockages and pain, we can identify our inner selves much better.

In the search for the mind and soul, it is wise to understand the body is not the true self, but it is also wise to maintain the body. There should be neither denial nor mortification of the flesh, but it takes a wise person to both maintain the body and look beyond it.

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Food For Thought
August 26, 2014
A Living Program

The Twelve Steps are a program for living and they are also a living program. Taking them is not something we do once and for all, but something we repeat over and over in greater depth. They are our guidelines for each day.

Our program develops as our understanding matures. When we first join OA, physical abstinence from compulsive overeating may be all we can handle. As we learn from fellow members and are increasingly exposed to the power of the group, our program comes to include more emotional and spiritual elements. The possibilities for development are limitless.

One thing leads to another. The creative force that guides OA directs our individual efforts. When we are open to the challenges and willing to give up self-will, we make progress, which gratifies and astounds us. This program not only works as we work it; it also grows as we grow.

We thank You for Your creative spirit.

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Daily Zen
August 26, 2014

Your job itself
Is “the sound of
One hand clapping”
No use using
Both hands.

– Japanese Folk Zen saying

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Faith’s Check Book
August 26, 2014
He of Tender Conscience

I will judge between cattle and cattle.
(Ezekiel 34:22)

Some are fat and flourishing, and therefore they are unkind to the feeble. This is a grievous sin and causes much sorrow. Those thrustings with side and with shoulder, those pushings of the diseased with the horn, are a sad means of offense in the assemblies of professing believers. The Lord takes note of these proud and unkind deeds, and He is greatly angered by them, for He loves the weak.

Is the reader one of the despised? Is he a mourner in Zion and a marked man because of his tender conscience? Do his brethren judge him harshly? Let him not resent their conduct; above all let him not push and thrust in return. Let him leave the matter in the Lord’s hands. He is the Judge. Why should we wish to intrude upon His office? He will decide much more righteously than we can. His time for judgment is the best, and we need not be in a hurry to hasten it on. Let the hard-hearted oppressor tremble. Even though he may ride roughshod over others with impunity for the present, all his proud speeches are noted, and for every one of them account must be given before the bar of the great Judge.

Patience, my soul! Patience! The Lord knoweth thy grief. Thy Jesus hath pity upon thee!

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This Morning’s Readings
August 26, 2014

“He hath commanded His covenant for ever.”
—Psalms 111:9.

THE Lord’s people delight in the covenant itself. It is an unfailing source of consolation to them so often as the Holy Spirit leads them into its banqueting house and waves its banner of love. They delight to contemplate the antiquity of that covenant, remembering that before the day-star knew its place, or planets ran their round, the interests of the saints were made secure in Christ Jesus. It is peculiarly pleasing to them to remember the sureness of the covenant, while meditating upon “the sure mercies of David.” They delight to celebrate it as “signed, and sealed, and ratified, in all things ordered well.” It often makes their hearts dilate with joy to think of its immutability, as a covenant which neither time nor eternity, life nor death, shall ever be able to violate—a covenant as old as eternity and as everlasting as the Rock of ages. They rejoice also to feast upon the fulness of this covenant, for they see in it all things provided for them. God is their portion, Christ their companion, the Spirit their Comforter, earth their lodge, and heaven their home. They see in it an inheritance reserved and entailed to every soul possessing an interest in its ancient and eternal deed of gift. Their eyes sparkled when they saw it as a treasure-trove in the Bible; but oh! how their souls were gladdened when they saw in the last will and testament of their divine kinsman, that it was bequeathed to them! More especially it is the pleasure of God’s people to contemplate the graciousness of this covenant. They see that the law was made void because it was a covenant of works and depended upon merit, but this they perceive to be enduring because grace is the basis, grace the condition, grace the strain, grace the bulwark, grace the foundation, grace the topstone. The covenant is a treasury of wealth, a granary of food, a fountain of life, a store-house of salvation, a charter of peace, and a haven of joy.

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This Evening’s Readings
August 26, 2014

“The people, when they beheld Him, were greatly amazed, and running to Him saluted Him.”
—Mark 9:15.

HOW great the difference between Moses and Jesus! When the prophet of Horeb had been forty days upon the mountain, he underwent a kind of transfiguration, so that his countenance shone with exceeding brightness, and he put a veil over his face, for the people could not endure to look upon his glory. Not so our Saviour. He had been transfigured with a greater glory than that of Moses, and yet, it is not written that the people were blinded by the blaze of His countenance, but rather they were amazed, and running to Him they saluted Him. The glory of the law repels, but the greater glory of Jesus attracts. Though Jesus is holy and just, yet blended with His purity there is so much of truth and grace, that sinners run to Him amazed at His goodness, fascinated by His love; they salute Him, become His disciples, and take Him to be their Lord and Master. Reader, it may be that just now you are blinded by the dazzling brightness of the law of God. You feel its claims on your conscience, but you cannot keep it in your life. Not that you find fault with the law, on the contrary, it commands your profoundest esteem, still you are in nowise drawn by it to God; you are rather hardened in heart, and are verging towards desperation. Ah, poor heart! turn thine eye from Moses, with all his repelling splendour, and look to Jesus, resplendent with milder glories. Behold His flowing wounds and thorn-crowned head! He is the Son of God, and therein He is greater than Moses, but He is the Lord of love, and therein more tender than the lawgiver. He bore the wrath of God, and in His death revealed more of God’s justice than Sinai on a blaze, but that justice is now vindicated, and henceforth it is the guardian of believers in Jesus. Look, sinner, to the bleeding Saviour, and as thou feelest the attraction of His love, fly to His arms, and thou shalt be saved.

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