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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Daily Recovery Readings – July 4

Just For Today
July 4
Conflict

“We learn that conflicts are a part of reality, and we learn new ways to resolve them instead of running from them.”
Basic Text, p.87

From time to time, we all experience conflicts. It may be that we just can’t get along with that new co-worker. Maybe our friends are driving us crazy. Or perhaps our partner isn’t living up to our expectations. Dealing with any conflict is difficult for recovering addicts.

When tempers rise, it is often a good idea to back away from the situation until cooler minds prevail. We can always return for further discussion when we have calmed down. We can’t avoid troubling situations, but we can use time and distance to find perspective.

Conflict is a part of life. We can’t go through our entire recovery without encountering disagreements and differences of opinion. Sometimes we can back away from these situations, taking time to reflect on them, but there always comes a time when conflict must be resolved. When that time comes, we take a deep breath, say a prayer, and apply the principles our program has given us: honesty, openness, responsibility, forgiveness, trust, and all the rest. We didn’t get clean to keep running from life-and in recovery, we don’t have to run anymore.

Just For Today: The principles my program has given me are sufficient to guide me through any situation. I will strive to confront conflict in a healthy way.

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Daily Reflections
July 4
A NATURAL FAITH

. . . 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. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 55

I have seen the workings of the unseen God in A.A. rooms around the country. Miracles of recovery are everywhere in evidence. I now believe that God is in these rooms and in my heart. Today faith is as natural to me, a former agnostic, as breathing, eating and sleeping.  The Twelve Steps have helped to change my life in many ways, but none is more effective than the acquisition of a Higher Power.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 4
A.A. Thought For The Day

In Alcoholics Anonymous there is no thought of individual profit. No greed or gain. No membership fees, no dues. Only voluntary contributions of our money and ourselves. All that we hope for is sobriety and regeneration, so that we can live normal, respectable lives and can be recognized by others as men and women willing to do unto others as we would be done by. These things we accomplish by the help of each other, by following the twelve steps and by the grace of God. Am I willing to work for A.A. without material gain to myself?

Meditation For The Day

What is sometimes called by religion as conversion is often only the discovery of God as a friend in need. What is sometimes called religion is often only the experiencing of the help and strength of God’s power in our lives. What is sometimes called holiness is often only the invitation of God to be our Friend. As God becomes your friend, you become a friend to others. We experience true human friendship and from this experience we can imagine what kind of Great Friend God can be. We believe Him to be a tireless, selfless, all conquering, miracle-working Friend. We can reach out to the Great Friend and figuratively take His hand in ours.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may think of God as a Great Friend in need. I pray that I may go along with Him.

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As Bill Sees It
July 4
Boomerang, p. 185

When I was ten, I was tall and gawky, and smaller kids could push me around in quarrels.  I remember being very depressed for a year or more, and then I began to develop fierce resolve to win.

One day, my grandfather came along with a book about Australia and told me, “This books says that nobody but an Australian bushman knows how to make and throw a boomerang.”

“Here’s my chance,” I thought. “I will be the first man in America to make and throw a boomerang.” Well, any kid could have a notion like that. It might have lasted two days or two weeks. But mine was a power drive that kept on for six months, till I made a boomerang that swung around the church yard in front of the house and almost hit my grandfather in the head when it came back.

Emotionally, I had begun the fashioning of another sort of boomerang, one that almost killed me later on.

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Walk In Dry Places
July 4
Our common knowledge
Progress

One guiding factor in 12 Step groups is the sharing of experience and knowledge. The fact that a few people seem especially gifted as speakers and workers doesn’t relieve us of the need for every person’s participation.

Such group efforts are important to all human progress. For every outstanding person, there are hundreds who contribute to the success of any venture.

What we bring to the group is our experience as well as a strong commitment to the group’s purpose. This makes our meetings warm, interesting, and helpful. The group can always be such a center if its members really are part of it.

I’ll remind myself today that I can draw strength from the group and also make it stronger with my participation.

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Keep It Simple
July 4

I have a dream.
—Martin Luther King Jr.

During our addiction, maybe we dreamed of joy and laughter with our family—only to find tears and anger. Maybe we dreamed of respect at our job—only to be fired. Our dreams began to feel like burdens. We had lost hope.

With recovery, the hope starts to return. We start to trust ourselves again. We start to trust others again. We start to trust in our Higher Power. Over time, we even dare to dream again. In our dreams, we are loving people. We have something to offer others. We are not scared. This is a sign that hope is returning. We fall in love again with the world, our Higher Power, and ourselves.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank-you for giving back my future. Thank-you for giving back my dreams.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll tell my dreams to a friend. Do my future dreams include improving myself through the program?

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 4

One doesn’t recognize in one’s life the really important moments–not until it’s too late.
–Agatha Christie

Every moment is special and offers us an opportunity–to let an experience change us in an important way, to invite another person into our life, to nurture the growing, changing woman within. Life’s events move so rapidly we seldom relish the moments individually, but each day teems with tiny gifts divinely designed for our well-being. The woman smiled at in the grocery store yesterday or the man acknowledged on the bus last week felt special. And we were softened, too, by our expression.

We change, and we change our world when we acknowledge one another’s presence in it. The wonderful reality is that we are in another’s world because of the special qualities we each have and are able to share with one another.

For many of us, in times past, no moment felt important. The days were simply long and painful. But now, we can relish even the past pain for what it taught us. We know now that we can look to this day before us with expectation. We can be conscious of every moment, thankful for every experience and every person we encounter.

In this inner game of life, I share the court, and I will have my turn to serve. To really live, I must participate fully.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 4
ON THE MOVE

– Working the A.A. program showed this alcoholic how to get from geographics to gratitude.

I began the process of speeding up the day when life would end. My doctor has six or seven suicide attempts on my medical records. Most were pitiful efforts to reach out for help, although I didn’t see it at the time. My last such attempt was very public and demonstrated that I had lost touch with reality and with any sense of what my actions could do to others.

p. 488

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 4

Step Seven – “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

As we approach the actual taking of Step Seven, it might be well if we A.A.’s inquire once more just what our deeper objectives are. Each of us would like to live at peace with himself and with his fellows. We would like to be assured that the grace of God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We have seen that character defects based upon shortsighted or unworthy desires are the obstacles that block our path toward these objectives. We now clearly see that we have been making unreasonable demands upon ourselves, upon others, and upon God.

p. 76

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Xtra Thoughts
July 4

Faith isn’t faith until it’s all you’re holding on to.
–unknown

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
–John Cotton Dana

I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am most certain of the first time.
–Josh Billings

A lot of growing up takes place between “It fell” and “I dropped it.”
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.
–Robert C. Dodds

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
–unknown

LIVE and let live
EASY does it
BUT for the grace of God
THINK think think
FIRST things first When put in this order five of our sayings produce a sixth saying by taking the first word of each one to make the sixth: LIVE EASY BUT THINK FIRST.
–unknown

An old timer had shared in the meeting about praying for something,
and that God had answered her request. Someone asked her, “How
do you know it was God who granted your request?”
She replied… “I didn’t ask anyone else.”
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 4
FREEDOM

“Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.”
–Albert Camus

Human beings are not puppets. Sometimes when you hear people talk about God and prayer, they imply that we have no choice and that all actions in life are determined by God alone: a moment’s reflection should make us hesitate from such a viewpoint. Murder, rape, child molestation and prejudice do not stem from God but are the results of God’s gift of freedom to mankind.

Addicts and alcoholics need to comprehend on a daily basis that prayers that are not accompanied by actions are mere words. God’s love for man does not obliterate man’s need to love himself through choice and decision. Sobriety and serenity should be experienced in our lives when divinity is revealed in our choice.

God, help me to appreciate my involvement in my desire to be a winner.

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Bible Scriptures
July 4

…”but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
Philippians 3:12

Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.
Psalm 119:18

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Daily Inspiration
July 4

To make no decision can be worse than making a wrong decision. Lord, help me to be an active part of my life and to realize that no decision is so firm that it can’t be modified, corrected or improved on as time passes.

Worry about nothing, pray for everything, and thank God for His answers. Lord, I ask You to handle my problems with me and care for my needs.

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A Day At A Time
July 4

Reflection For The Day

It’s time for me to start being responsible for my own actions.  It’s time for me to be willing to take some chances.  If my new life in The Program is valid and right, as I truly believe, then surely it can stand the test of exposure to real-life situations and problems.  So I won’t be afraid to be human and, if necessary, to sometimes fall on my face in the process of living.  Living is what The Program is all about.  And living entails sharing, accepting, giving — interacting with other people.  Now is the time for me to put my faith into action.  Have I begun to practice what I preach by putting my new thoughts and ideas into action?

Today I Pray

May The Program, with God’s help, give me a chance to live a steady, creative, outreaching life, so that I may share with others what has been given to me.  May I realize on this Declaration of Independence Day that I, too, have a celebration of freedom — freedom from my addiction.

Today I Will Remember

To celebrate my personal freedom.

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One More Day
July 4

Judge a tree from its fruit;  not from the leaves.
–  Duripides

Sometimes we have a tendency to judge too quickly.  Unfortunately, this is particularly true when we see people who are obviously physically impaired.  We may form opinions of them based only on the fact that they walk differently or perhaps because they use a wheelchair.

We can judge people as individuals — not because of a medical condition.  We can understand that people make their own individual marks on the world, not so much because of their physical abilities, but because of their mental and spiritual presence.

I will look beyond the external features of people and find the unique qualities within.

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One Day At A Time
July 4
YES AND NO

“Let your ‘no’ be ‘no’ and your ‘yes’ be ‘yes.’”
–The Bible, Book of James

The disease of compulsive eating really warps a person’s life. Many compulsive overeaters become people-pleasers and do not know how to set boundaries. We end up not being able to say “No.” However, we also end up saying “Yes” to our disease. In the depths of our disease we lose complete control in our lives.

This program of recovery helps us to set our lives back in order. When we give our disease over to our Higher Power, work the Twelve Steps and practice the principles of our program, we see that our lives can be turned around ~ and daily we have victory over our disease.

One day at a time…
I will say “No” to my disease and “Yes” to recovery by working the Twelve Steps, surrendering to my Higher Power, and living the principles of my program.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 4

“That is not our way, to set yourself apart and talk about who you are and what you’ve done. You let your life speak for you. With the Mohawk people, wisdom is how you live and how you interpret what your mother and father, what your grandmothers and grandfathers have told you about this world – and then how you interpret that into the fact of living every day.”
–Tom Porter, MOHAWK

It is said, how you live your life makes so much noise that people can’t hear what you are saying anyway. It is so easy to see people who do not walk the talk.

Creator, I ask you today to help me be humble. Let me spend the day listening. Help me to not brag or gossip. Help me today not to do those things that seek attention or approval from others.

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Journey To The Heart
July 4
Learn to Relax

We need to learn how to relax, how to unwind.

Find something that’s relaxing, healing, soothing, and available to you. Sit in the sun. Take a trip to a nearby hot spring or mineral bath in your state. Perch atop a mountain or hill, taking in the view from above.

Let yourself sit and soak it in for a long as you can. Let yourself be still for as long as you can. Move around a bit if you need to. Then go back and try again.

Don’t just do it once. Try it often. Allow yourself to relax. Give yourself opportunities to unwind. Soon you’ll learn how.

Pay attention to what you think and feel when you try to relax. Watch, as a neutral observer, without judgement or reproach. What thoughts come to mind? How do you feel? What do you feel?

Go as deeply into your thoughts and feelings as you are able. Sit quietly for as long as you can. When your body is done, it will tell you.

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Today’s Gift
July 4

In Micronesian, there’s a word, kukaro, which has no corresponding word in English. When people say they are going to kukaro, they mean they are going to relax, sit around, and hang out. They are being, not doing.
—Eli and Beth Halpern

As children, our best times are often trips to an amusement park, fishing at the lake, camping, or just sitting idly under a tree. These make the best memories, and times sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows or having a root beer after a family outing seem to bring out the love we share.

We don’t seem to be accomplishing anything at these times. No chores are getting done around the house, no schoolwork, no repairs, and no moneymaking.

But these times of peace, relaxation, and a sense of endless time of being, not doing, may be essential to our ability to get other things done later. Certainly we are most receptive to our feelings, new ideas, and unplanned adventures at these moments. Maybe we should add kukaro to our vocabulary.

What timeless thing can I do today?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 4
Celebrate

Take time to celebrate.

Celebrate your successes, your growth, and your accomplishments. Celebrate you and who you are.

For too long you have been too hard on yourself. Others have spilled their negative energy – their attitudes, beliefs, and pain – on you. It had nothing to do with you! All along, you have been a gift to yourself and to the Universe.

You are a child of God. Beautiful, a delight, a joy. You do not have to try harder, be better, be perfect, or be anything you are not. Your beauty is in you, just as you are each moment.

Celebrate that.

When you have a success, when you accomplish something, enjoy it. Pause, reflect, and rejoice. Too long you have listened to admonitions not to feel good about what you have done, lest you travel the downward road to arrogance.

Celebration is a high form of praise, of gratitude to the Creator for the beauty of God’s creation. To enjoy and celebrate the good does not mean that it will be taken from you. To celebrate is to delight in the gift, to show gratitude.

Celebrate your relationships! Celebrate the lessons from the past and the love and warmth that are there today. Enjoy the beauty of others and their connection to you.

Celebrate all that is in your life. Celebrate all that is good. Celebrate you!

Today, I will indulge in the joy of celebrating.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 4
Celebrate your freedom

Today in the United States, we celebrate our nation’s independence. Why not take a moment to celebrate your independence as well? Whether you’ve found freedom from an addiction or from codependency, or you’ve discovered the freedom to live your life as fully as possible, take a moment to honor and acknowledge how much that freeom means to you.

It’s good to identify our problems. Through the awareness of what’s wrong and what’s broken, we learn what to repair and fix. It’s good to focus on the health and the goodness in our lives,too. Becoming aware of what’s right and what’s working is how we discover joy.

Look back along the winding road of the path of your life. See how far you’ve come? It looks good to me. How does it look to you?

Hurray! We’re finally free.

God, thank you for setting me free.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 4

Freedom means the right to be different, the right to be oneself.
—Ira Eisenstein

Each of us is a unique creature and has special gifts to contribute to the world. We were not free in the past because we were slaves to addictions and codependency. We know that freedom is precious. Compulsions and pressures for conformity stifle our creativity and erode our dignity. As we grow in our relationship to our Higher Power, we get stronger and more balanced in our unique qualities. Some of us have a talent for empathizing with others, some for writing and art, others for sports and physical activities.

There is no recipe that prescribes exactly what kind of men we should be. Because we’re free, it is our creative task to discover what it means to be honest, masculine, contributing men within our particular circumstances. We don’t get a list of directions for each day, only guidelines for progress. Through groups and friendships, we develop in our own ways and learn to respect each other’s freedom.

I am grateful for the freedom to be uniquely and fully myself.

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Daily TAO
July 4
Flame

Enter the cavern with its
Walls of tangled strands.
Find the living flame
That burns on blood.

The brain is a physical object that generates mental energy. It is a tangle of strands, an unknowable, dense web. It is a mass of emotions, memories, instincts, reactions, and thoughts. Whatever comes into its scope of awareness is channeled through its dark core. Energy sparks through at speeds faster than lightning, but still there are many areas that lie dormant, unused, nearly petrified with age.

With the proper methods, we can enter into the center of the brain. Metaphorically speaking, this area is like a cavern with a subterranean river running through it. That river can be kindled with a spiritual spark, and the whole river can be set aflame. This illumination is spiritual energy. It can be used to rejuvenate the brain and to supplement the limitations of our normal mental abilities.

Methods that deal with the mind only as a brain will always be limited. Coping with life only through physical faculties will always fall short of the ultimate answers. Only through lighting a living fire within ourselves can we dance quickly and spontaneously enough to meet the rhythm of life.

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Food for Thought
July 4
Holidays

Holidays come and holidays go. Our choice remains the same: to abstain or to overeat.

Most holidays are associated with an overabundance of special food. Those who are not compulsive overeaters may be able to indulge for a day. We cannot. For us, one day’s indulgence is usually the start of a downward skid into loss of control and the despair, which follows. What kind of a celebration is it if we end up back in the trap of compulsive overeating?

Every day we may celebrate our freedom by abstaining. When holidays come, we enjoy them more by abstaining than we ever did by indulging. We are free from guilt and remorse and the terrible panic that seizes us when we lose control. We are free to think about the deeper significance of the holiday-whatever the celebration, it is more than a reason to eat and drink.

When abstinence remains the most important part of our life, no matter what day it is, then every day is a celebration and holidays are blessings instead of disasters.

Lord, may I celebrate this day and every day by abstaining.

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Daily Zen
July 4

Not leaving your Zen practice behind
In the dreams of the Heavenly Palace
All by yourself,
You realize the elegance
Beyond elegance.
Your old staff tinkling
In the chilling dew and frost
Pierces heaven.
In the Temple of the Forest of Wisdom
The fruit is ripe
Now is the time.

– Muso Soseki (1275-1351)

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Faith’s Check Book
July 4
The Word, Necessary Food

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
(Matthew 4:4)

If God so willed it we could live without bread, even as Jesus did for forty days; but we could not live without His Word. By that Word we were created, and by it alone can we be kept in being, for he sustaineth all things by the Word of His power. Bread is a second cause; the Lord Himself is the first source of our sustenance. He can work without the second cause as well as with it; and we must not tie Him down to one mode of operation. Let us not be too eager after the visible, but let us look to the invisible God. We have heard believers say that in deep poverty, when bread ran short, their appetites became short, too; and to others, when common supplies failed, the Lord has sent in unexpected help.

But we must have the Word of the Lord. With this alone we can withstand the devil. Take this from us, and our enemy will have us in his power, for we shall soon faint. Our souls need food, and there is none for them outside of the Word of the Lord. All the books and all the preachers in the world cannot furnish us a single meal: it is only the Word from the mouth of God that can fill the mouth of a believer. Lord, evermore give us this bread. We prize it above royal dainties.

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 04

“Sanctify them through Thy truth.”
—John 17:17.

SANCTIFICATION begins in regeneration. The Spirit of God infuses into man that new living principle by which he becomes “a new creature” in Christ Jesus. This work, which begins in the new birth, is carried on in two ways—mortification, whereby the lusts of the flesh are subdued and kept under; and vivification, by which the life which God has put within us is made to be a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. This is carried on every day in what is called “perseverance,” by which the Christian is preserved and continued in a gracious state, and is made to abound in good works unto the praise and glory of God; and it culminates or comes to perfection, in “glory,” when the soul, being thoroughly purged, is caught up to dwell with holy beings at the right hand of the Majesty on high. But while the Spirit of God is thus the author of sanctification, yet there is a visible agency employed which must not be forgotten. “Sanctify them,” said Jesus, “through thy truth: thy word is truth.” The passages of Scripture which prove that the instrument of our sanctification is the Word of God are very many. The Spirit of God brings to our minds the precepts and doctrines of truth, and applies them with power. These are heard in the ear, and being received in the heart, they work in us to will and to do of God’s good pleasure. The truth is the sanctifier, and if we do not hear or read the truth, we shall not grow in sanctification. We only progress in sound living as we progress in sound understanding. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Do not say of any error, “It is a mere matter of opinion.” No man indulges an error of judgment, without sooner or later tolerating an error in practice. Hold fast the truth, for by so holding the truth shall you be sanctified by the Spirit of God.

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