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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 – September 22

 NA Just For Today
September 22
Keeping The Gift

“Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift.”
Basic Text, p.102

Neglecting our recovery is like neglecting any other gift we’ve been given. Suppose someone gave you a new car. Would you let it sit in the driveway until the tires rotted? Would you just drive it, ignoring routine maintenance, until it expired on the road? Of course not! You would go to great lengths to maintain the condition of such a valuable gift.

Recovery is also a gift, and we have to care for it if we want to keep it. While our recovery doesn’t come with an extended warranty, there is a routine maintenance schedule. This maintenance includes regular meeting attendance and various forms of service. We’ll have to do some daily cleaning – our Tenth Step – and, once in a while, a major Fourth Step overhaul will be required. But if we maintain the gift of recovery, thanking the Giver each day, it will continue.

The gift of recovery is one that grows with the giving. Unless we give it away, we can’t keep it. But in sharing our recovery with others, we come to value it all the more.

Just for today: My recovery is a gift, and I want to keep it. I’ll do the required maintenance, and I’ll share my recovery with others.

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Daily Reflections
September 22
A “LIMITLESS LODE”

Like a gaunt prospector, belt drawn in over the last ounce of food, our pick struck gold. Joy at our release from a lifetime of frustration knew no bounds.  Father feels he has struck something better than gold.  For a time he may try to hug the new treasure to himself.  He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mine it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 128-29

When I talk with a newcomer to A.A., my past looks me straight in the face. I see the pain in those hopeful eyes, I extend my hand, and then the miracle happens: I become healed. My problems vanish as I reach out to his trembling soul.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
September 22
A.A. Thought For The Day

Step Eight is, “Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” Step Nine is, “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible,  except when to do so would injure them or others.” Making restitution for the wrongs we have done is often very difficult. It hurts our pride. But the rewards are great.  When we go to a person and say we are sorry, the reaction we get is almost invariably good. It takes courage to make the plunge, but the results more than justify it. A load is off your chest and often an enemy has been turned into a friend. Have I done my best to make all the restitution possible?

Meditation For The Day

There should be joy in living the spiritual life. A faith without joy is not entirely genuine. If you are not happier as a result of your faith, there is probably something wrong with it. Faith in God should bring you a deep feeling of happiness and security, no matter what happens on the surface of your life. Each new day is another opportunity to serve God and improve your relationships with other people. This should bring joy. Life should be abundant and outreaching. It should be glowing and outgoing, in ever widening circles.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my horizons may grow ever wider.  I pray that I may keep reaching out for more service and companionship.

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As Bill Sees It
September 22
The Step That Keeps Us growing, p.264

Sometimes, when friends tell us how well we are doing, we know better inside. We know we aren’t doing well enough. We still can’t handle life, as life is. There must be a serious flaw somewhere in our spiritual practice and development.

What, then, is it?

The chances are better than even that we shall locate our trouble in our misunderstanding or neglect of A.A.’s Step Eleven–prayer, meditation, and the guidance of God.

The other Steps can keep most of us sober and somehow functioning.  But Step Eleven can keep us growing, if we try hard and work at it continually.

Grapevine, June 1958

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Walk In Dry Places
September 22
Making tough decisions
Decision Making

An AA member in a supervisor’s position was faced with the need to terminate an unsatisfactory employee. Procrastinating about this unpleasant matter, she found herself wishing that the employee would suddenly find another job, thus making the termination ordeal unnecessary.

But further reflection showed that the procrastination was related to the same problems that had dogged her in her drinking years. She was a people=pleaser; she felt guilty about inflicting pain on others.

She was finally able to make the tough decision and call the employee in for termination. In the process, she discovered that a brief prayer time for preparation and a gentle manner removed some of the pain for her and the employee being terminated. She learned that the principles of the program could help her become more decisive without being brutal.

I’ll look over any tough decisions I;ve been putting off and determination why I’m behaving that way. Am I prolonging tough decisions just as I did when drinking?

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Keep It Simple
September 22

One Day at a Time.
Program slogan

This slogan means we are to take with us only the joys and problems of the present day.

We don’t carry with us the mistakes of the days gone by. We have no room for them. We are to work at loving others today. Just today.

It’s crazy for us to think we can handle more than one day at a time. During our illness, we lived everywhere but in the here and now. We looked to the future or punished ourselves with our past. One Day at a Time teaches us to go easy. It teaches us to focus on what really means anything to us: the here and now.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me turn the slogans of my programs into a way of life. Help me to live life moment by moment, One Day at a Time.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll practice living in the present. When I find myself living in the past or in the future, I’ll bring myself back to today.

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Each Day a New Beginning
September 22

Anger conquers when unresolved.
—Anonymous

Emotions need recognition. But not only attention; they also need acceptance as powerful dimensions of who we are. Their influence over who we are capable of becoming is mighty.

Respectful attention and willing acceptance of our emotions, whether fear or anger or hateful jealousy, takes away their sting. We can prevent them from growing larger than they are. Like a child who screams and misbehaves more and more fiercely until attention is won, our emotions grow larger and more intense the longer we deny their existence.

Our emotions bless us, in reality. They enrich our experiences. They serve as guideposts on the road we’re traveling. How we “feel” at any single moment flags the level of our security, how close we are to our higher power, the level of our commitment to the program. They serve us well when acknowledged. On the other hand, when ignored or denied, they can immobilize us, even defeat us.

My feelings frequent my being, always. They steer my behavior. They reflect my attitudes. They hint at my closeness to God.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
September 22
He Sold Himself Short

But he found there was a Higher Power that had more faith in him than he had to himself. Thus, A.A. was born in Chicago.

I was terribly impressed by this meeting and the quality of happiness these men displayed, despite their lack of material means. In this small group, during the Depression, there was no one who was not hard up.

p. 262

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 22

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

This Tradition is packed with meaning. For A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker, “You are an A.A. member if you say so. You can declare yourself in; nobody can keep you out. No matter who you are, no matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications – even your crimes – we still can’t deny you A.A. We don’t want to keep you out. We aren’t a bit afraid you’ll harm us, never mind how twisted or violent you may be. We just want to be sure that you get the same great chance for sobriety that we’ve had. So you’re an A.A. member the minute you declare yourself.”

p. 139

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Xtra Thoughts
September 22

Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no future.”

“A quiet hour is worth more to you than anything you can do in it.”
–Sara One Jewess

“If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else”
–Chinese Proverb

A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up.

He who divides and shares is left with the best share.
–Mexican Proverb

“Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.”
–Mother Theresa

If your eyes are blinded with your worries, you cannot see the beauty of the sunset.
–Krishnamurti

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 22
HEAVEN

“If you’re not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.”
– Martin Luther

When I was a practicing alcoholic, I imagined heaven to be a dull formal place, rather like a never-ending cathedral. Beautiful, but serious. My pain and guilt were so great that I rarely laughed, and when I did it was usually inappropriate and violent: I laughed at others!

Today heaven is associated with recovery. It is a place of joy, acceptance and forgiveness. A place where people can be themselves and where variety abounds. Christians play with people from other religions — and the atheists make the music! The laughter of “peace” abounds. I am “at one” with my Father and all my brothers and sisters.  I am home!

God of Love, when I hear the sound of laughter here on earth, I think what joy awaits me in heaven.

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Bible Scriptures
September 22

“Happy are the people to whom such blessing fall; happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”
Psalm 144:15

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”
Matthew 16:24-25

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Daily Inspiration
September 22

Envision the joy of victory when you are faced with troubles and you will clearly see what direction you must take. Lord, with You my storm will pass and I will grow stronger as I grow closer to You.

Take heart in the beauty of your life because God loves, helps, fights and wins. Lord, I will never fear because nothing can triumph over Your Will.

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A Day At A Time
September 22

Reflection For The Day

For a considerable period of time after I reached The Program, I let things I couldn’t do keep me from doing the things I could.  If I was bothered by what a speaker or other people said, I retreated, sulking, into my shell.  Now, instead of being annoyed or defensive when someone strikes a raw nerve, I try to welcome it — because it allows me to work on my attitudes and perceptions of God, self, other people, and my life situation.  We may no longer have active addiction, but we all certainly have an active thinking problem.  Am I willing to grow — and grow up?

Today I Pray

May God give me courage to test my new wings — even a feather at a time.  May I not wait to be entirely whole before I re-enter the world of everyday opportunity, for recovery is ongoing and growth comes through challenges.  May I no longer make desperate stabs at perfection, but keep my aims in sight and develop as I live — a day at a time.

Today I Will Remember

Things I can’t do should not get in the way of things I can.

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One More Day
September 22

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One Day At A Time
September 22
ACCEPTANCE

“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.  I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”
–The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Dissatisfaction has been part of my disease and it played a significant role in bringing me to recovery. It is the human condition to dislike where we are. Like many of us, I used to think that only some mystical, non-existent person, place, thing or situation would make me happy. If only my spouse loved me as I want to be loved; if only the boss would see and appreciate my contributions; or if only my house and children were perfect. I sat year after year speculating and fantasizing my life away.

The Serenity Prayer tells me to ask God for the wisdom to know His will for me. I lived in darkness and despair until I learned that my Higher Power is here. He is in charge. I must, through prayer and meditation, seek God’s will and do the next right thing. I need to cooperate with my Higher Power to change my attitude. To that end, I do the footwork just for today.

One day at a time…
I will seek and accept God’s will for my life.

~ Danny

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 22

“I think the spiritual values come first and everything else follows.”
–Leonard George, Chief Councilor

To properly develop, the human being needs to learn the guiding principles. It is from these principles that we make our decisions. Spiritual values are the guiding principles given to us by the Great Spirit. He says if we live by these spiritual values, the results we experience will be good. These spiritual values will develop and guide the human being by helping us to think right. Right thinking will improve our choices and decisions. Doing this will bring good consequences.

Great Spirit, teach me values first.

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Today’s Gift
September 22

Kindness and intelligence don’t always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps.
—Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Being human means we’ll have hard times along with pleasant ones. Whether with friends, at school, or at home, we’ll find reasons for sadness or anger as easily as for laughter. In every part of our lives, we’re offered just what we need for growth.

Being the best we know how to be doesn’t mean we’ll escape confusion or pain. Through the troubling times we learn to trust in a Higher Power; we learn patience; we learn to let go and let God decide outcomes. The troubling times offer us growth and serenity, our keys to happiness.

What hidden gifts will I find in today’s troubles?

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The Language of Letting Go
September 22
Trusting Ourselves

Many of us believed that heeding the words of God or our Higher Power meant following rigid rules, an instruction booklet for life.

Many of us now believe differently. The rigid rules, the endless instructions, the exhortation to perfection, are not the words our Higher Power whispers.

The words of God are often those still, small words we call intuition or instinct, leading and guiding us forward.

We are free to be whom we are, to listen to and trust ourselves. We are free to listen to the gentle, loving words of a Higher Power, words whispered to and through each of us.

Today, help me, God; to let go of shame based rigid rules. I will choose the freedom of loving, listening, and trusting.

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More Language Of Letting Go
September 22
Be uniquely you

We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other peoples’ models, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channels to open.
–Shakti Gawain

We have much in common with each other. And recovery, growth, and change are strengthened by honoring these similarities. But each of us is unique. We each have our own strengths, weaknesses, gifts, vulnerabilities– our own personalities.

The purpose of spiritual growth is not to eliminate the personality. It is to refine and enhance it, and allow each of us to express ourselves creatively.

We are not meant to be just like anyone else. Comparison will leave us uncomfortable, either on the side of pride or of inadequacy.

You are you. The wonder of life comes in finding your own rhythm to the dance, your own way of seeing the world, your own brush stroke, phrase, or special combination.

There is an old story about a writer who goes to his teacher and says, “Teacher, all the stories have already been told. There is no need for me to write. Everything that needs to be said has already been written.”

“It’s true that there are no new stories,” the teacher said. “The universal lessons have been taking place for a long, long time. And the same themes have influenced humanity since time began. But no one sees that story through your eyes. And no one else in the world will tell that story exactly the way you will. Now return to your desk, pick up your pen, and tell the world what you see.”

The beauty of the world lies both in our differences and in our similarities. Allow the beauty that is channeled through you to be flavored with your own special perspective on the world.

There’s a difference between ego and personality. Drop the ego. Let your personality, in all its glories and foibles and eccentricities, come shining through.

Respect how much you have in common with other people.

Then be uniquely you.

God, thank you for making me unique.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 22

Time never challenged the Indian or worked against him. Time was for silently marking the passing of the seasons. It was a thing to be enjoyed.
—Tim Giago

We have a choice as to how we view the passage of time. We can look at it as a gift to be enjoyed, marking the transitions and cycles of life. Or we can think of time as a long, thin string of pressures and frustrations – specific minutes and hours that we try to speed up or slow down. Our relationship to time is a very important part of our recovery.

We are learning to live in the present, one day at a time. We are letting go of the past. The future we place in trust to our Higher Power. Time doesn’t work against us or challenge us – it just flows. This day need not be painless or close to paradise for us to live in the present moment. Being aware of our lives without struggling against time makes the day rich and full of meaning.

Today, rather than wrestling with time, I will be aware of my experiences and let time flow.

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Journey To The Heart
September 22
Embrace Change

You don’t have to fear change. What you need to fear, a friend once told me, is things remaining the same. When that happens, life has stopped.

Life is an evolution. Your life is constantly, quietly evolving each moment into something new, something different, something that adds gracefully, beautifully, and perfectly to what was. You can trust that process with all its insights, clarity, confusion, and emotions. You can trust that process with its peace, joy, laughter, and its side trips.

Learn to honor and love the process of continual evolution and transformation. It’s how things grow. It’s how you grow. It’s how life is.

Learn to embrace change.

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Daily TAO
September 22
INNOCENCE

Black and orange butterfly –
Flying joyously.
Wings like a nun’s hands:
First folder in prayer,
Then open in offering.

The world moves toward war. Leaders increase their rhetoric. Armies mass along the border. The world, it seems, never tires of conflict.

We should remember the innocent in life. The delicate, the gossamer, the beautiful. A butterfly lives for a day. It comes into the world with very little reason except to fly and mate. It does not question its destiny. It does not engage in any alchemy to extend its lifespan or to change its lot. It goes about its brief life happily.

A butterfly is always attracted to the beautiful. Whether it is the sun on a blade of grass or the edge of a deep ruby rose, the butterfly spends its brief time dwelling on loveliness.

Even the angry and insane leave the butterfly alone. Why can we not learn to honor the innocence in one another? Maybe we spend too much time dwelling on the ugly. In the name of practicality and realism, we think about strategy, defense, territory, gain, and advantage. We are too late to be like the butterfly. But at least we can honor it, and move as closely as possible to its simple existence.

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Food For Thought
September 22
Scales

During our dieting days, we probably spent much time getting on and off the scales. In OA, we are advised not to weigh more than once a month. Though we want to get rid of excess weight, we do not want to be obsessed with pounds and ounces. This program involves much more than weight control, and to make the scales our ultimate judge is to miss the mark.

If we are honestly abstaining from compulsive overeating and working our program, we will lose weight. The rate of loss will vary from person to person and from week to week. Even, and especially, when the scale registers what we want it to register, we continue to honestly abstain and work the OA program.

In OA, we are more concerned with the progress we make in controlling our disease than we are with our specific weight on any particular day. If our illness is under control, weight control will follow. Scales are useful for measuring physical progress, but they are not a god.

May I use the scales wisely?

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Daily Zen
September 22 Passions grow from the will
The will grows from thought and imagination:
When both are calmed,
There is neither sensualism nor transmigration.- Sutra of Forty Two Chapters*********************************************************************

Faiths Checkbook
September 22
Broad Rivers Without Galleys

But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. (Isaiah 33:21)

The Lord will be to us the greatest good without any of the drawbacks which seem necessarily to attend the best earthly things. If a city is favored with broad rivers, it is liable to be attacked by galleys with oars and other ships of war. But when the Lord represents the abundance of His bounty under this figure, He takes care expressly to shut out the fear which the metaphor might suggest. Blessed be His perfect love!

Lord, if Thou send me wealth like broad rivers, do not let the galley with oars come up in the shape of worldliness or pride. If Thou grant me abundant health and happy spirits, do not let “the gallant ship” of carnal ease come sailing up the flowing flood. If I have success in holy service, broad as the German Rhine, yet let me never find the galley of self-conceit and self-confidence floating on the waves of my usefulness. Should I be so supremely happy as to enjoy the light of Thy countenance year after year, yet let me never despise Thy feeble saints, nor allow the vain notion of my own perfection to sail up the broad rivers of my full assurance. Lord, give me that blessing which maketh rich and neither addeth sorrow nor aideth sin.

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This Mornings Reading
September 22

    “Let Israel rejoice in him.”—Psalm 149:2.

BE glad of heart, O believer, but take care that thy gladness has its spring in the Lord. Thou hast much cause for gladness in thy God, for thou canst sing with David, “God, my exceeding joy.” Be glad that the Lord reigneth, that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that He sits upon the throne, and ruleth all things! Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness. That He is wise should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness. That He is mighty, should cause us to rejoice who tremble at our weakness. That he is everlasting, should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither as the grass. That He is unchanging, should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour. That He is full of grace, that He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us; that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory—all this should tend to make us glad in Him. This gladness in God is as a deep river; we have only as yet touched its brink, we know a little of its clear sweet, heavenly streams, but onward the depth is greater, and the current more impetuous in its joy. The Christian feels that he may delight himself not only in what God is, but also in all that God has done in the past. The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were wont to think much of God’s actions, and to have a song concerning each of them. So let God’s people now rehearse the deeds of the Lord! Let them tell of His mighty acts, and “sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously.” Nor let them ever cease to sing, for as new mercies flow to them day by day, so should their gladness in the Lord’s loving acts in providence and in grace show itself in continued thanksgiving. Be glad ye children of Zion and rejoice in the Lord your God.

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This Evenings Reading
September 22

    “When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”—Psalm 61:2.

OST of us know what it is to be overwhelmed in heart; emptied as when a man wipeth a dish and turneth it upside down; submerged and thrown on our beam ends like a vessel mastered by the storm. Discoveries of inward corruption will do this, if the Lord permits the great deep of our depravity to become troubled and cast up mire and dirt. Disappointments and heart-breaks will do this when billow after billow rolls over us, and we are like a broken shell hurled to and fro by the surf. Blessed be God, at such seasons we are not without an all-sufficient solace, our God is the harbour of weather-beaten sails, the hospice of forlorn pilgrims. Higher than we are is He, His mercy higher than our sins, His love higher than our thoughts. It is pitiful to see men putting their trust in something lower than themselves; but our confidence is fixed upon an exceeding high and glorious Lord. A Rock He is since He changes not, and a high Rock, because the tempests which overwhelm us roll far beneath at His feet; He is not disturbed by them, but rules them at His will. If we get under the shelter of this lofty Rock we may defy the hurricane; all is calm under the lee of that towering cliff. Alas! such is the confusion in which the troubled mind is often cast, that we need piloting to this divine shelter. Hence the prayer of the text. O Lord, our God, by Thy Holy Spirit, teach us the way of faith, lead us into Thy rest. The wind blows us out to sea, the helm answers not to our puny hand; Thou, Thou alone canst steer us over the bar between yon sunken rocks, safe into the fair haven. How dependent we are upon Thee—we need Thee to bring us to Thee. To be wisely directed and steered into safety and peace is Thy gift, and Thine alone. This night be pleased to deal well with Thy servants.

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