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 – June 27

Just For Today
June 27
Change And Growth

Quote: “When someone points out a shortcoming, our first reaction may be defensive. There will always be room for growth.”
Basic Text, p. 35

Recovery is a process that brings about change in our lives. We need that change if we are to continue our growth toward freedom. It’s important that we remain open-minded when others point out our shortcomings, for they are bringing to light opportunities for us to change and grow. Reacting defensively limits our ability to receive the help they are offering us; letting go of our defenses opens the door to change, growth, and new freedom.

Each day in the recovery process will bring an opportunity for further change and growth. The more we learn to greet change with an open mind and heart, the more we will grow and the more comfortable we will become with our recovery.

Just for today: I will greet each opportunity for growth with an open mind.


Daily Reflections
June 27

Quote: We obey A.A.’s Steps and Traditions because we really want them for ourselves. It is no longer a question of good or evil; we conform because we genuinely want to conform. Such is our process of growth in unity and function. Such is the evidence of God’s grace and love among us.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 106

It is fun to watch myself grow in A.A. I fought conformity to A.A. principles from the moment I entered, but I learned from the pain of my belligerence that, in choosing to live the A.A. way of life, I opened myself to God’s grace and love. Then I began to know the full meaning of being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 27
A.A. Thought For The Day

If you can take your troubles as they come, if you can maintain your calm and composure amid pressing duties and unending engagements, if you can rise above the distressing and disturbing circumstances in which you are set down, you have discovered a priceless secret of daily living. Even if you are forced to go through life weighed down by some unescapable misfortune or handicap and yet live each day as it comes with poise and peace of mind, you have succeeded where most people have failed. You have wrought a greater achievement than a person who rules a nation. Have I achieved poise and peace of mind?

Meditation For The Day

Take a blessing with you wherever you go. You have been blessed, so bless others. Such stores of blessings are awaiting you in the months and years that lie ahead. Pass on your blessings. Blessing can and does go around the world, passed on from one person to another. Shed a little blessing in the heart of one person. That person is cheered to pass it on, and so, God’s vitalizing, joy-giving message travels on. Be a transmitter of God’s blessings.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may pass on my blessings. I pray that they may flow into the lives of others.


As Bill Sees It
June 27
Down To Earth, p. 178

Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives.

We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 130


Walk In Dry Places
June 27
Have I ever been helped?

Sometimes we hear hard luck stories by people who claim they never “had a single helping hand.” Everybody was against them.

It’s true that certain people have had more than their share of abuse and abandonment. But it’s hard to believe that helping hands haven’t been extended… acts of kindness, often made by selfless but ordinary people.

Our problem has been in recognizing such helping hands. Lost in self-pity, we could hardly have recognized help when it was given. Nor were we capable of giving constructive assistance to others.

Furthermore, if people were against us, we may have provoked it. Our task is to change our thinking about the past and to be grateful for the people who were kind to us.

I realize that there are kind and decent people who have helped me. There are many such people in the world, and I want to be one of them.


Keep It Simple
June 27

Quote: Hell is not to love anymore.
—George Bernanos

Someone in an AA group said, “From the first day I started this program, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.” This person had walked into a room full of love. In recovery, we are spiritual people because we believe in love. We have faith in love.

Love is respect. Love is truth with kindness. Love is being willing to forgive and help others.

Love is thinking about how our Higher Power wants us to act. Love is what we do best. We have turned our will and our life over to love.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I may love all parts of life. Higher Power, help me seek out love, not material things.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think about what I love about recovery. I will share this with a couple of friends and my Higher Power.


Each Day a New Beginning
June 27

Quote:Often God shuts a door in our face, and then subsequently opens the door through which we need to go.
—Catherine Marshall

We try and try to control the events of our lives. And not seldom the events in others’ lives, too. The occasions are frequent when our will conflicts with God’s. Then for a time we feel at a loss. Our direction is uncertain. But always, always, another door opens. A better way beckons. How stubborn we are! And how simple life would be were we to daily, fully, turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. God’s help and direction in all things are always available. Turning a deaf ear is like trying to find a seat in a darkened movie theater unaided by the usher.

Every experience is softened when we face it accompanied by our higher power. Any past struggle, any present fear, is a testament to our attempts to do it alone. Too frequently we forge ahead, alone, only to have our way blocked. The detours need never be there. No door closes unless there is a better way. Divine order will prevail.

There is no need to struggle, today. I will breathe deeply and take my higher power with me, wherever I go. And the doors will be open for as far as I can see.


Alcoholics Anonymous
June 27
The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

With the war over and back in Baltimore with the folks, I had several small jobs for three years, and then I went to work soliciting as one of the first ten employees of a new national finance company. What an opportunity I shot to pieces there! This company now does a volume of over three billion dollars annually. Three years later, at twenty-five, I opened and operated their Philadelphia office and was earning more than I ever have since. I was the fair-haired boy all right, but two years later I was blacklisted as an irresponsible drunk. It doesn’t take long.

p. 223


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 27

Quote: Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

As we glance down the debit side of the day’s ledger, we should carefully examine our motives in each thought or act that appears to be wrong. In most cases our motives won’t be hard to see and understand. When prideful, angry, jealous, anxious, or fearful, we acted accordingly, and that was that. Here we need only recognize that we did act or think badly, try to visualize how we might have done better, and resolve with God’s help to carry these lessons over into tomorrow, making, of course, any amends still neglected.

p. 94


Xtra Thoughts
June 27

Set others free to achieve and experience the path that leads to their highest good and you, too, will become free to find yours.
–Melody Beattie

Learn a lesson from the redwoods. Let them teach the power of patience and calm. Life goes on. Things happen. People change. Times move along. There are stories to live and stories to tell, but we can be calm and know that, always, all is well.
–Melody Beattie

“Forgiving is not forgetting, it’s letting go of the hurt.”
–Mary McLeod Bethune

“Life holds so much–so much to be so happy about always. Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can be felt only if you don’t set conditions.”
–Artur Robinstein

Applaud others when they run. Console them when they fall. And cheer them when they recover. As water is to a flower so is praise to the heart of another.

Abundance comes from your gifts of love.


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 27

Quote: “The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.”
–William Shakespeare

This quotation reminds me that the disease of alcoholism is “cunning, baffling and powerful”. I am aware of the need to walk like I talk, to make the action fit the word, to live my program today rather than talk about it for tomorrow. Why? Because the disease can talk program! I have caught myself saying things that I do not practice in my life. I catch myself saying things to others that I do not live out in my own life. Today I am aware of my hypocrisy. Today I am aware of the disease in my life.

I need to be aware of this aspect of the disease because I am such a good talker, such a convincing talker, such a practiced manipulator! Today I know that I am not perfect, but that should never be an excuse to avoid dealing with my character defects. I must not “con” myself into staying sick!

I pray that I may strive to live the message.


Bible Scriptures
June 27

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:15-16

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8


Daily Inspiration
June 27

It is normal to make mistakes, but it is the better person who is able to grow from them. Lord, I am not perfect, but may each day bring me a little closer.

Not only must we know God’s will, but we must do God’s will to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Lord, I commit myself to obeying the will of my heavenly Father.


A Day At A Time
June 27

Reflection For The Day

Little by little, I’m getting over my tendency to procrastinate. I always used to put things off till tomorrow, and, of course, they never got done. Instead of “Do it now,” my motto was “Tomorrow’s another day.” When I was loaded, I had grandiose plans; when I came down, I was too busy getting “well” to start anything. I’ve learned in The Program that it’s far better to never do anything at all. Am I learning to do it now?

Today I Pray

May God help me cure my habitual tardiness and “get me to the church on time.” May I free myself of the self-imposed chaos of life-long procrastination; library books overdue, appointments half missed, assignments turned in late, schedules unmet, meals half-cooked. May I be sure if I , as an addict, led a disordered life, I, as a recovering addict, need order. May God give me the serenity I need to restore order and organization to my daily living.

Today I Will Remember

I will not be put off by my tendency to put off.


One More Day
June 27

Quote: The sky is not less blue because the blind man does not see it.
– Danish Proverb

Each day we make our choices anew. We can choose to believe that pain and disappointment are the bitter fruits of living, or we can trust in our ability to build harmony, enthusiasm, and gratefulness from our day’s experiences. We can hear the music of children’s voices at play or be irritated at the disruption. We can pray, or we can chew on our anger.

We choose how we will see the world. If we feel anger or despair, if we hear only noise, if we see only dark, threatening clouds — that is our reality. But our negative choices don’t change the world. Birds’ songs and childrens’s voices still fill the air. People still reach out to each other through love and caring. And the bright splash of sky is as blue as ever.

Today, my reality will be based on the positive things around me.


One Day At A Time
June 27

Quote: “In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.”
–Bill W., Letter of 1942

I have spent a lot of time cultivating perfectionism in the vain attempt to make up for being a “failure” — or what I have now come to understand is compulsive eating and an illness. I was trying to make up with efficiency for that feeling of not being good enough ~ and that feeling seems to be a hallmark of our illness.

By my past behaviors, I wanted you to notice how efficient and functional I was despite my obese body that belied I had a problem. If I could somehow convince you that I was “normal” and “ok,” I would not have to admit my powerlessness. This is the single greatest obsession of every compulsive eater: that we are “normal” eaters. But we are not!

I built a lifetime around efficiency and function trying to show you how normal I was. Thank God I was brought to my compulsive eating knees time and time again until I could finally make that admission of failure as a normal eater and admit that I was powerless. The humility brought about by that admission afforded me an open-mindedness and willingness I had hitherto not known. I became teachable.

One day at a time…
I pray to remain teachable.

~ Lanaya


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – June 27

Quote: “What could be greater than to be Wakan- Tanka’s mind, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, hands, legs, and feet here on earth?”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

In order for the Creator to do His work on this earth, He needs the human being to do it. How He guides us is through our eyes, ears, hands, nose, mouth, arms legs and feet.

We are instruments of the Creator. We are His keepers of the earth. We are the keepers of our brothers. We are to teach His children. We are to respect the things He has made. We are to take care of ourselves and treat our bodies and our minds with respect.

We are to do respectful things. We are to walk the Sacred Path. We should have good thoughts. We should do only things that we think the Creator would have us do. What an honor to be a human being. What an honor that He would talk to us and guide us to perform His wonders.

Oh Great Spirit, let me appreciate the role you have given me. Let my sense be sharp to hear Your voice. Keep my mind clean so I can do the things You would have me do.


Journey To The Heart
June 27
Learn to Be Calm

I felt strained and tense when I began the drive along the Redwood Highway in northern California. I had wanted to take another road, one quicker but less scenic, to get to my destination. At the last moment, I decided to drive through the trees.

Thousands of redwoods grew hundreds of feet into the air. Some stood tall and proud. Some seemed to have their necks craned, so they could peer down onto the highway. Some grew with roots connected, like families. Some stood alone. Mile after mile after mile, for as far as I could see in any direction, thousands of trees surrounded me. Their power and message became inescapable. It was one of calmness, patience, and growth.

For hundreds of years they have been here, patiently seeing things through. Little ruffled them. They just kept on growing for all those years– steadily, patiently, peacefully, calmly. They have been through enough, seen enough, to know not to worry. Things work out. Change happens. Life continues to evolve.

I didn’t see one tree hurrying or worrying. They have been here long enough to learn life’s lessons well.

Learn a lesson from the redwoods. Let them teach the power of patience and calm. Life goes on. Things happen. People change. Times move along. There are stories to live and stories to tell, but we can be calm and know that, always, all is well.


Today’s Gift
June 27

Quote:When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
—Helen Keller

In the game of musical chairs, everyone walks around a circle of chairs. When the music stops, they scramble for the nearest open chair. If we were playing this game and found the nearest chairs taken, wouldn’t we quickly look around for the next open one? To remain immobilized, angry that the chair we wanted was taken, would undoubtedly lose our place in the game.

Sometimes in life, we set our sights on a particular chair. Perhaps there is an award we want to win, or we want to be the high scorer on our team. Perhaps there is a promotion or a job we would like to get. When we do not get what we want, it is easy to keep looking at what we didn’t get instead of seeing all we have.

It is important to be grateful for what we have – for the open doors and empty chairs waiting and inviting our attention. Loss and disappointment are a part of life – but the music will play again and our lives can move on.

What is available to me today?


The Language of Letting Go
June 27
Achieving Harmony

When a pianist learns a new piece of music, he or she does not sit down and instantly play it perfectly. A pianist often needs to practice each hand’s work separately to learn the feel, to learn the sound. One hand picks out a part until there is a rhythm and ease in playing what is difficult. Then, the musician practices with the other hand, picking through the notes, one by one, until that hand learns its tasks. When each hand has learned its part – the sound, the feel, the rhythm, and the tones – then both hands can play together.

During the time of practice, the music may not sound like much. It may sound disconnected, not particularly beautiful. But when both hands are ready to play together, music is created – a whole piece comes together in harmony and beauty.

When we begin recovery, it may feel like we spend months, even years, practicing individual, seemingly disconnected behaviors in the separate parts of our life.

We take our new skills into our work, our career, and begin to apply them slowly, making our work relationships healthier for us. We take our skills into our relationships, sometimes one relationship at a time. We struggle through our new behaviors in our love relationships.

One part at a time, we practice our new music note by note.

We work on our relationship with our Higher Power – our spirituality. We work at loving ourselves. We work at believing we deserve the best. We work on our finances. On our recreation. Sometimes on our appearance. Sometimes on our home.

We work on feelings. On beliefs. On behaviors. Letting go of the old, acquiring the new. We work and work and work. We practice. We struggle through. We go from one extreme to the other, and sometimes back through the course again. We make a little progress, go backward, and then go forward again.

It may all seem disconnected. It may not sound like a harmonious, beautiful piece of music – just isolated notes. Then one day, something happens. We become ready to play with both hands, to put the music together.

What we have been working toward, note by note, becomes a song. That song is a whole life, a complete life, and a life in harmony.

The music will come together in our life if we keep practicing the parts.

Today, I will practice my recovery behaviors through the individual parts of my life. I trust that, one day, things will come together in a full, complete song.


Touchstones Meditation For Men
June 27

Quote:The tremor of awe is the best in man.

We have a spiritual experience in knowing and being touched by something much larger than us, something beyond what we understand, something of mysterious dimensions. It can happen as we stand on the banks of an ageless river, listen to beautiful music, read scripture, or say a prayer with a friend. When we set aside defiance, willfulness, and our demands to subdue whatever we meet, we become receptive to a larger reality. The experience of awe brings out the best in a man because it instills a spirit of respect and gratitude. It inspires humility and expands our minds into realms we can’t express in words.

The sense of awe is a kind of reverence. After we learn where our personal awe is inspired, we can return to it again and again. As we feel it more, we become more open to it in the mundane parts of our daily lives. Today we might feel the spirit in the visit of a wild bird on a branch, the spontaneous “Hi” from a small child, or the stillness before prayer at the dinner table.

Today, I will look for moments of awe in my life.


Daily TAO
June 27

No. No. No.
This ruins a child.

Children are one of the most precious aspects of life, and yet they often are mistreated and abused. If you are a parent, your most important task is to raise your child with as little trauma as possible. Firmness, consistency, and patience are essential. There will undoubtedly be times when you have to correct a child to prevent mistakes and bad habits. However, when it comes to a child’s curiosity, individuality, or initiative, there should never be any discouragement. In that sense, it is wrong to say no.

There is a legend about a thief who stole into heaven and took the peaches that gave immortality. He returned to earth and was about to eat them when he chanced upon two little boys. Taken with their intelligence, he asked them riddle after riddle about the deepest meanings of life and they answered with laughing ease. The thief decided to share his peaches with the boys, and they all became immortal.

If the boys had had their curiosity killed early in life, could they have answered well? If a thief could be kind to children, can’t the rest of us be too? And if the children never had an opportunity, could they have become immortals?


In God’s Care
June 27

Our contempt says we matter if we can look down on another person or life itself.
~~Ellen Reiss

Putting someone down might have been the only way many of us could feel important. We went along telling ourselves how bad things were and how superior we were to everyone else – our family, teachers, friends, or people of different color or culture. We had a crick in our neck from looking down on others.

But our spiritual self knows that contempt is wrong and can see what a destructive attitude it is. We are all the same in the eyes of God, all loved equally. When we put others down, we bring ourselves down too. At the same time, we are short-circuiting the connection with our Higher Power.

    Today I will try to raise, rather than lower, someone’s self-esteem.


Day By Day
June 27
    Dropping biases

Addiction is not biased, nor should we be biased in the program. Whatever our beliefs before we found this solution, it helps if we avoid letting them interfere with our Step Twelve work. There are few enough places where people are accepted regardless of status, religion, nationality, or appearance.

Each of us needs everyone else in the fellowship. Whether laborer or judge, white or black, addict or alcoholic, if she or he can carry the message of recovery, he or she can save your life. Am I letting go of all bias?

    Higher Power, help me let go of my biases so that I can better help save lives.

    Today I will take an inventory of my biases and practice letting them go by…


Food for Thought
June 27
You Can Do It

If you really want what OA has to offer; there is nothing that can stop you from succeeding with the program. The program works if we work it. OA does not pass out recovery on a platter, but the tools for recovery are available and proven effective if we are willing to use them.

Go to a meeting today. Re-read your literature. Call another member. Call several members. Get a sponsor, if you do not already have one. Write out what is troubling you. Find a way to be of service to someone else. Abstain now.

Most important, take time to listen to your Higher Power. Ask for the spiritual insight, which you need. Remember that you are now committed to following God’s will for your life, not your own way. Seek the inspiration that comes from the people and the books, which lift up your spirit and show you the way. Then follow.

Lead me, Lord.


Daily Zen
June 27

Utter emptiness has no image,
Upright independence does not
Rely on anything.
Just expand and illuminate the original truth
Unconcerned by external conditions.

– Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091?1157)


Faith’s Check Book
June 27
Thank Him; Dwell Acceptably

Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
(Psalm 140:13)

Oh, that my heart may be upright, that I may always be able to bless the name of the Lord! He is so good to those that be good, that I would fain be among them and feel myself full of thankfulness every day. Perhaps, for a moment, the righteous are staggered when their integrity results in severe trial; but assuredly the day shall come when they shall bless their God that they did not yield to evil suggestions and adopt a shifty policy. In the long run true men will thank the God of the right for leading them by a right way. Oh, that I may be among them!

What a promise is implied in this second clause, “The upright shall dwell in thy presence!” They shall stand accepted where others appear only to be condemned. They shall be the courtiers of the great King, indulged with audience whensoever they desire it. They shall be favored ones upon whom Jehovah smiles and with whom He graciously communes. Lord, I covet this high honor, this precious privilege. It will be heaven on earth to me to enjoy it. Make me in all things upright, that I may today and tomorrow and every day stand in Thy heavenly presence. Then will I give thanks unto Thy name evermore. Amen.


This Morning’s Meditation
June 27

“Only ye shall not go very far away.”
—Exodus 8:28.

HIS is a crafty word from the lip of the arch-tyrant Pharaoh. If the poor bondaged Israelites must needs go out of Egypt, then he bargains with them that it shall not be very far away; not too far for them to escape the terror of his arms, and the observation of his spies. After the same fashion, the world loves not the non-conformity of nonconformity, or the dissidence of dissent, it would have us be more charitable and not carry matters with too severe a hand. Death to the world, and burial with Christ, are experiences which carnal minds treat with ridicule, and hence the ordinance which sets them forth is almost universally neglected, and even contemned. Worldly wisdom recommends the path of compromise, and talks of “moderation.” According to this carnal policy, purity is admitted to be very desirable, but we are warned against being too precise; truth is of course to be followed, but error is not to be severely denounced. “Yes,” says the world, “be spiritually minded by all means, but do not deny yourself a little gay society, an occasional ball, and a Christmas visit to a theatre. What’s the good of crying down a thing when it is so fashionable, and everybody does it?” Multitudes of professors yield to this cunning advice, to their own eternal ruin. If we would follow the Lord wholly, we must go right away into the wilderness of separation, and leave the Egypt of the carnal world behind us. We must leave its maxims, its pleasures, and its religion too, and go far away to the place where the Lord calls His sanctified ones. When the town is on fire, our house cannot be too far from the flames. When the plague is abroad, a man cannot be too far from its haunts. The further from a viper the better, and the further from worldly conformity the better. To all true believers let the trumpet-call be sounded, “Come ye out from among them, be ye separate.”

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