A safe place for those either in recovery or seeking recovery to seek help and support from alcohol and drug addictions.
Updated: 2 years 28 weeks ago
AA 'Big Book' - Quote
It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that is it fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die. - Pg. 66 - How It Works
Hour To Hour - Book - Quote
Because our body chemistry is so damaged by our disease of addiction, it is important to pay attention to our body's nourishment needs. Are you eating regular balanced meals? It's often more important then we realize and we should never allow ourselves to be hungry or nutrient starved.
Give me the foresight to feed my body the nourishment that my disease robbed it of in the past.
Today I will be honest with myself and with others where appropriate. At least, I will no hide from the truth of my own life and inner being. I have the strength to live with the truth and the wisdom to know that the truth can set me free. Keeping secrets is a foolish attempt to stay safe from the truth. We tell ourselves we are sparing another person or protecting ourselves, but all too often the secrets that we keep actually keep us. What people need from me in order to make sense of me is the truth. When I withhold that truth, I withhold myself. I am creating distance that no one can cross because the way across the divide is the way of honesty. I can not make something better by lying, and I cannot be fully understood if I won 't give the benefit of the truth. I can live my life in a web of lies without ever uttering a falsehood. The web of lies is composed of not just what I say, but the vast amount of honesty that I withhold. There is a difference between considerate honesty and aggressive frankness. Honesty recognizes the personhood of both people and is an act of trust; but too much frankness can border on mean.
- Tian Dayton PhD
Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote
Your life works FOR you. It hones you, teaches you, and makes you a better person. Nothing in your life happens to you, but for you.
This isn't happening to me, but for me.
"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book
God does not hurry.
Time for Joy - Book - Quote
Today I know I am worthy of having success in my life.
I am listening to what I tell myself with gentleness and love, putting a stop to any self-talk that does not make me feel good about myself.
Alkiespeak - Book - Quote
Take heart; it came to pass, it didn't come to stay. - Unknown origin.
I was able to accept the fact that I had done all that I could do to make amends and that I was not responsible for her accepting it or not. I have walked through the guilt and fears. Now life is better than I ever could have imagined.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Consider, decide, and do
Consider, decide, and do. Think about whats most important to you, and then put those thoughts into action.
Take notice of the doubts and fears, learn what they have to teach, and then let them go. Make the commitment to move forward no matter what, and honor that commitment each day.
Achievement is challenging but not particularly complicated. Its a matter of consistently putting your values, goals, desires and dreams into action.
Its up to you to make your life the way you want it to be. Every day is filled with opportunities for you to make meaningful progress.
Dont settle for being overcome with regret, wondering what might have been. Use this day, this month, this year to create the best of what you know can be.
Consider what truly matters, decide with passion and commitment to go for it, and do what you must do to make it happen. Today is your time to live with purpose, so go ahead and make it count.
Read more at http://greatday.com/#otFvQyk8vd75O1rI.99
The world we have created is a product of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
The world I created before finding the Twelve Steps of recovery was a world in which I had no responsibility. Everything bad in my life was someone elses fault: my parents, my husbands, societys, and, when there was no one else to blame, it was Gods fault.
As I worked Step 4, I learned that I had been a part of all of these things for which I blamed others. I learned that I had defects of character that kept me from taking part in my life. As I recognized these defects, I asked my Higher Power to remove them, and that gradually happened.
One of the things I had tried to do for many years was bury my feelings of grief and pain. I seemed to have managed that fairly well, but in doing so, I had also buried all the other emotion. I no longer took enjoyment in anything. My childs smile evoked no feeling and I felt no pride in anything I did. I felt none of the love that others gave to me. As I started dealing with the painful feelings, the positive emotions emerged as well.
The promise the Big Book speaks of became true for me: I no longer regretted the past nor wished to shut the door on it. I was able to feel my hurt and grief. Now I am also able to feel love and happiness. I have learned how to change my thinking through the process of working these wonderful Steps.
One Day at a Time . . .
I do a daily 10th, 11th and 12th Step and am reminded that it is my responsibility to listen to my Higher Power and do my part in creating the world around me.
WILLINGNESS TO GROW
If more gifts are to be received, our awakening has to go on.
As Bill Sees It, p.8
Sobriety fills the painful "hole in the soul" that my alcoholism
created. Often I feel so physically well that I believe my work is
done. However, joy is not just the absence of pain; it is the gift of
continued spiritual awakening. Joy comes from ongoing and active
study, as well as application of the principles of recovery in my
everyday life, and from sharing that experience with others. My
Higher Power presents many opportunities for deeper spiritual
awakening. I need only to bring into my recovery the willingness to
grow. Today I am ready to grow.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
Be careful not to brand new prospects as alcoholics. Let them draw
their own conclusion. But talk to them about the hopelessness of
alcoholism. Tell them exactly what happened to you and how you
recovered. Stress the spiritual feature freely. If they are agnostics
or atheists, make it emphatic that they do not have to agree with
your concept of God. They can choose any concept they like,
provided it makes sense to them. The main thing is that they be
willing to believe in a power greater than themselves and that they
live by spiritual principles." Do I hold back too much in speaking
of the spiritual principles of the program?
Meditation For The Day
"I will never leave or forsake thee." Down through the centuries,
thousands have believed in God's constancy, untiringness, and
unfailing love. God has love. Then forever you are sure of His
love. God has power. Then forever you are sure, in every
difficulty and temptation, of His strength. God has patience. Then
always there is One who can never tire. God has understanding.
Then always you will understand and be understood. Unless you want
Him to go, God will never leave you. He is always ready with
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may feel that God's love will never fail. I pray that I
may have confidence in His unfailing power.
As Bill Sees It
Morning Thoughts, p.243
On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead.
We ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be
divorced from self-pity and from dishonest or self-seeking
motives. Free of these, we can employ our mental faculties with
assurance, for God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be
on a higher plane when our thinking begins to be cleared of wrong
If we have determined which of two courses to take, we ask God for
inspiration, an intuitive thought, or a decision. Then we relax and
take it easy, and we are often surprised how the right answers come
after we have tried this for a while.
We usually conclude our meditation with a prayer that we be shown
all through the day what our next step is to be, asking especially
for freedom from damaging self-will.
Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 86-87
Walk In Dry Places
Are we victimizing ourselves?
Finding the New Happiness
Some believe that people create their own trouble by attracting the wrong
conditions and people in their lives. This may not be entirely
true, but we can find that some element of it was at work with us.
Time and time again during our drinking, we set ourselves up for abuse
and rejection, though our motives seemed right.
Why did we do this? Supposedly to punish ourselves, the theory has it.
If this is true, then we should now call a halt to the process
immediately. If we've emerged from the terrors of alcoholism, we've had
all the punishment anybody needs.
We can change our bad patterns by looking carefully at the people and situations
we seem to attract. Without resentment or condemnation, we
can part company with any problems these have been bringing us. We can
start building new relationships and attracting better conditions that
will be immensely successful in terms of happiness and well-being.<br>
I'll remember today that in the new life I'm seeking, there's no need
for punishment. I will not go out of my way to attract people or
conditions that create problems in my life.
Keep It Simple
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible . . . ---First half of Step Nine
In our illness, we harmed people. In Step Nine, we are to make amends. Making amends is about asking people we have harmed what we need to do to set things right. But making amends is more than saying, I'm sorry. If you ran a store and someone had stolen five dollars, you wouldn't want them to just say, I'm sorry. You'd want the person to pay back the money. The same is true with amends.
Many people we've harmed ask only that we don't repeat our mistakes. Respect their wishes. Step Nine has healed many wounds. Step Nine allows us to grow up. Step Nine help us regain faith in ourselves. Remember, the best amend we make to all is to stay sober.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, give me courage. Help me face the trouble caused by my disease. Make me ready to help other heals from the harm I've caused.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll pray that those I've harmed will heal. I will be responsible for my actions.
Each Day a New Beginning
Success can only be measured in terms of distance traveled. --Mavis Gallant
We are forever moving from one experience to another, one challenge to another, and one relationship to another. Our ability to handle confidently all encounters is a gift of the program, and one that accompanies us throughout every day, providing we humbly express gratitude for it. Success is ours when we are grateful.
We are not standing still. No matter how uneventful our lives may seem, we are traveling toward our destiny, and all the thrills and tears, joys and sorrows, are contributing to the success of our trip. Every day, every step, we are succeeding.
We can reflect on yesterday, better yet, on last week or even last year. What were our problems? It's doubtful we can even remember them. We have put distance between them and us. They were handled in some manner. We have succeeded in getting free of them. We have succeeded in moving beyond them.
How far we have come! And we will keep right on traveling forward. As long as we rely on the program, we are assured of success.
I can do whatever I need to do, today, with success, when I humbly accept the program's gifts.
Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition
Doctor Bob's Nightmare
A co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. The birth of our Society dates from his first day of permanent sobriety, June 10, 1935.
To 1950, the year of his death, he carried the A.A. message to more than 5,000 alcoholics men and women, and to all these he gave his medical services without thought of charge.
In this prodigy of service, he was well assisted by Sister Ignatia at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, one of the greatest friends our Fellowship will ever know.
About this time a lady called up my wife one Saturday afternoon, saying she wanted me to come over that evening to meet a friend of hers who might help me. It was the day before Mother's Day and I had come home plastered, carrying a big potted plant which I set down on the table and forthwith went upstairs and passed out. The next day she called again. Wishing to be polite, though I felt very badly, I said, "Let's make the call," and extracted from my wife a promise that we would not stay over fifteen minutes.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
Step Eight - "Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all."
Having carefully surveyed this whole area of human relations, and having decided exactly what personality traits in us injured and disturbed others, we can now commence to ransack memory for the people to whom we have given offense. To put a finger on the nearby and most deeply damaged ones shouldn't be hard to do. Then, as year by year we walk back through our lives as far as memory will reach, we shall be bound to construct a long list of people who have, to some extent or other, been affected. We should, of course, ponder and weigh each instance carefully. We shall want to hold ourselves to the course of admitting the things we have done, meanwhile forgiving the wrongs done us, real or fancied. We should avoid extreme judgments, both of ourselves and of others involved. We must not exaggerate our defects or theirs. A quiet, objective view will be our steadfast aim.
pp. 81- 82
God brings peace to me, all I need do is ask.
The peace that I feel in my life is growing richer every day. As I
continue to walk on my spiritual path to recovery, I let myself be
guided by truth and love. Conflict is leaving, making more and more
room for charity, serenity and usefulness.
Treat every person with kindness and respect, even those who are
rude to you. Remember that you show compassion to others not
because of who they are, but because of who you are.
--Andrew T. Somers
Today I know my Higher Power is guiding me through the changes I
choose to make in my life. I have all the energy I need today
to make these changes as easily and effortless as I wish.
Today, I will stop forcing things to happen. Instead, I will allow things
to happen naturally. If I catch myself trying to force events or control
people, I will stop and figure out a way to detach.
Father Leo's Daily Meditation
"Optimism is a kind of heart
stimulant -- the digitalis of
-- Elbert Hubbard
Today I am an optimist. I believe in life, and more importantly, I
believe in me. I know that God cares and this brings me hope.
But when I was drinking I had a negative and destructive attitude in all
areas of life; nothing pleased me, people were not to be trusted,
everybody had a price, God seemed to be "out for lunch" and life had
lost its meaning. I was a sad man. I was a lonely man. I was an angry
When I was told to put down the drink and follow some new directions,
I halfheartedly agreed. I met people who laughed, shared their pain
and lived in the realistic "now". I began to listen. Slowly I changed.
Peace was within my grasp.
Today I wonder at my halfhearted risk that started it all -- and thank
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be
shaken but endures forever.
Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your
heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!"
"Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever
state I am, to be content."
Get outside of yourself and be outgoing for others. Lord, help me to act in a heartwarming manner so that Your presence in me lights an entire room.
Are you too busy wishing away your day to get what you really want? Lord, help me set goals and find the means to achieve what is important to me.
A.A. Authorities, Directors, Managers, Conference or Board Leaders Give You an Order or Tell You What You Cant Do, Say, Discuss, or Read
Some Words of Comfort for Those Who Receive Such Messages
By Dick B.
© 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved
[AAs seldom appear at meetings or offices looking for a scrap! Many are attending meetings not only to overcome their drinking problems, but also to escape the miserable consequences of their own excessive drinking. Even better, theys like a new life. They want a way out. They dont want a way into the boxing ring. Yet scarcely a week goes by that we dont receive heart-wringing emails, letters, visits, or phone calls from some fellowship member who has encountered a purported authority or bleeding deacon at an A.A. office, group, or meeting who has just told them what they can or cant read. What they can or cant say. What they cant bring to a meeting. What they cant name their group or meeting. Or that or they will be denied an A.A. listing because some office manager, secretary, or clerk asserts authority that supposedly says it violates some Tradition or is not Conference-approved. Of course you can always vote with your feet and attend some other meeting, group, or office. You may also get a coffee pot, take it and your resentment out the door, and form your own meeting. Ive been at meetings where police were called, fist-fights occurred, insults were hurled, and shouting had become the norm. There has even been A.A. backed-litigation instituted.
But dont you really want peace, freedom, friendship, help, and victory over the ravages of alcoholism? We have yet to see an armored vehicle, a machine gun, or tear gas. But the consequences of riotous behavior may be getting drunk, getting disgusted, getting mauled, or getting as far from A.A. as your feet will carry you.
However, overcoming alcoholism and its consequences may be your objective, or if fear and shame and anger are ruling your life, or if you havent yet learned to cease drinking, trust God, clean house, and turn your attention to helping someone still suffering, your time has come.] And here are some thoughts from A.A. literature that may help:
This Is Life for Us; You Cant Keep Us Out.
Tradition Nine states: A.A., as such, ought never to be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. . . .
. . .
What we really mean, of course, is that A.A. can never have an organized direction or government. . . .
. . . It [Alcoholics Anonymous] does not at any point conform to the pattern of a government. Neither its General Service Conference, its General Service Board, nor the humblest group committee can issue a single directive to an A.A. member and make it stick, let alone hand out any punishment. . . . Groups have tried to expel members, but the banished have come back to sit in the meeting place, saying, This is life for us; you cant keep us out. . . . An A.A. may take advice or suggestions from more experienced members, but he surely will not take orders. . . .
One would think that A.A.s Headquarters and General Service Conference would be exceptions. Sure the people there would have to have some authority. But long ago Trustees and staff members alike found they could do no more that make suggestions, and very mild ones at that. . . . We recognize that we cannot dictate to fellow members, individually or collectively.
. . . Great suffering and great love are A.A.s disciplinarians; we have no others.
[Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age
(New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1957), 118-20]
Your Suggestions as to Effective Christian Recovery Help
By Dick B.
Please contact me if you can suggest a Christian Recovery Residential Facility, a Christian Treatment Facility, or a Christian Recovery Fellowship
Day in and day out, we receive phone calls, emails, or personal conversations with alcoholics, drug addicts, and codependents who may or may not be involved in A.A., N.A., or a Twelve-step fellowship.
Or who may or may not be looking for solid, well planned, effective Christian recovery help: Help In a residential facility, a treatment facility, or a recovery fellowship that believes God can help those who still suffer. That believes competent preferably recovered==Christian personnel can aid the process whether clergy, recovery pastors, program directors, counselors, interventionists, therapists or recovered Christian Twelve-Steppers who may offer help for you or yours. That believes help can or should include Bible study, prayer, quiet time, personal counseling, Christian fellowship with like-minded believers, and tolerance of the expressed needs of others who have exhausted their own resources, found no help elsewhere, and have a genuine desire to work in a First Century Christian fellowship atmosphere much like that in the old school A.A. founded by Akron A.A.s Christian Fellowship in 1935.
Over the past few years, weve seen the need, talked to those who want help, visited facilities or people who have had successful experience as recovered Christians who care and serve.
You need not judge the entity or person suggested. And we wont. But your suggestions should include a name, a location and contact, a phone and email, and a URL along with illustrative literature.
Weve seen enough inadequate, albeit well-intentioned, efforts; those that are too expensive; and those that lack leaders and staff equipped to minister, teach Bible, conduct prayer sessions, counsel, and give the afflicted a real shot at in depth reliance on God, His Son, and the Bible.
Please contact Dick B. at 808 874 4876 or firstname.lastname@example.org
; and look at our websites such as www.dickb.com
. Make your suggestion. Make your comments. And stay in touch with us if you see the kind of help that might meet your need.
A Challenging New Recovery Fellowship, Recovery Program, and Explanatory Guide Book
By Dick B.
© 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved
Arizonas Enthusiastic Recovered Christian 12-Steppers Working to Harmonize Todays Big Book A.A. Foundation with Akron A.A.s Old School Bible Principles and Practices
We believe the recent vigorous organizational efforts of this Arizona Fellowship represent a new achievement and challenge for those who study and practice todays 12-Step recovery ideas, but also believe the basic ideas for the Twelve Stepswhich came from the teaching, effort, and studies of Akrons Old School Christian Fellowship--can and should be harmonized and applied together. And this work of Arch Builders by a vigorous recovery-oriented 12-Step Fellowship offers a new challenge for those who cherish all that A.A. has done and can do for the alcoholic who still suffers and yet hunger for a meaningful understanding of the vital role played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible as the Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship developed its successful program that so much resembled the techniques and practices of First Century Christians. See The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks, pages 11-16. Compare with www.ArchBuilders.org
Arch Builders does not merely tack on to each step a Bible verse thought to be of value to those seeking Gods help. Nor does it bury the Steps in huge Bibles that sprinkle the Steps throughout the Bible even though early AAs never employed such a technique. This, then, will be an exploration of the daunting task of Christian 12-Step recovery at a time when secular ideas are more and more dominating the talk and practices of those embracing higher powers, unbelief, spirituality, half the A.A. story, and a minimum of historical helps almost ignored today.
The Focused Agenda of Dick B. and Ken B.
It is widely known today that my son Ken and I have devoted 25 years of travel, research, interviews, visits to libraries and archives, and speaking at Alcoholics Anonymous and International Christian Recovery Coalition conferences, groups of Christian recovery leaders, radio programs, and seminars. Also publishing 46 titles and over 1,700 articles on recovery from alcoholism and Christian recovery. See www.DickB.com
, and www.AAHistoryChristianRecovery.com
Our work has always been, and still is, dedicated primarily to hands-on efforts and research that have helped and will directly help the alcoholic, drug addict, and codependent who still suffers. This work has also emerged as a catalyst for a swift and presently growing Christian recovery movement and many recovered Christian speakers and conferences, as well as published books, articles, and blogs.
It did not take me long, after achieving continuing sobriety starting on April 21, 1986, to recognize the sickness and troubles of those alcoholics and drug addicts seeking or needing help. That includes me, your author. But, at about three years of sobriety and after continuous active A.A. participation and sponsoring, I was led to search for the role that the Bible had played in A.A. Initially, my answer was found in A.A.s title, DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. Then it came to my attention that this publication reported only the tip of an iceberg which had largely been submerged since A.A. was founded in 1935. And that most of the A.A. story and rootsthe rest of the storywhich had somehow crossed my path in my recovery, had also been submerged.
About May 2009, my son and I began seeing the importance of disseminating widely the long obscured role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in recovery for those who wanted Gods help. And also, the role they could play today. The key was getting the application of the almost buried old school A.A. into the hands of Christian recovery pastors, Christian fellowship leaders, heads of Christian treatment programs and residential facilities, physicians, psychologists, clergy, chaplains, counselors, 12 Step speakers, sponsors, and the public. And that is when we began meeting personally with the leaders and learning how they were bringing Gods healing into the hands of suffering newcomers just as the earliest A.A. and its precursor entities and people had done in the 1930s and long before A.A.
The Tangled Web of Varying, Conflicting, and Often Ignored Recovery Programs and Recovery History Despite the Passing of About 75 Years of A.A. Fellowship Activity
Before we discuss the task Arch Builders encountered when we came to know it, we need to outline briefly the options that were floating around recovery circles by 2009. For the sick folks were surrounded by a bewildering variety of words, phrases, ideas, programs, and opinions that they could scarcely define or learn the heart of recovery by reliance on God. The following are the floating choices
First, there is the long history of Christian efforts and successes helping drunks long before A.A.; and these many Christian programs and their leaders substantially influenced our cofounders. There was an historical foundation for effective Christian help by huge Christian organizations for alcoholics and addicts long before A.A. was founded. Earliest A.A., when founded in 1935, had been preceded by many, large, effective Christian entities and people who had begun in the 1850s to turn their attention to the down and out drunk and derelict.
Their programs could be found in the Young Mens Christian Association, Gospel Rescue Missions, the Salvation Army, revivals of the great evangelists like Dwight Moody and F.B. Meyer, Congregationalism, and the Young Peoples Society of Christian Endeavor. Later, even some of the life-changing ideas of the Oxford Group.
For the most part, their exemplary approaches to healing the sick involved abstinence, turning to God for help, growing in understanding of and obedience to God through Bible study, prayer, quiet time, and Christian literature, and helping the drunkard find his way out with the tools and then help others in the same way. This data is part of the rest of the storythe part virtually unknown or unmentioned. And yet, it was a major inspiration for recovery from alcoholism and addiction by relying on God.
The documentation of this early work can be found in the following literature: J. Wilbur Chapman, S.H. Hadley of Water Street; Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont (http://www.dickb.com/drbobofaa.shtml);
Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.: More on the Creators Role in Early A.A. (http://www.dickb.com/theconversionofbillw.shtml);
and Dick B. and Ken B., Stick with the Winners! How to Conduct More Effective 12-Step Recovery Meetings Using Conference-Approved Literature: A Dick B. Guide for Christian Leaders and Workers in the Recovery Arena (http://mcaf.ee/h0mwp
In other words, for those who wanted to learn why Divine Aid ministered by Christians played such a prominent part of alcoholism treatment before A.A. began, there was ample proof that recovery workers could rely on God for healing alcoholics. See Alcohol, Science and Society: Twenty-nine Lectures with Discussions as given at the Yale Summer School of Alcohol Studies, 1945, pages 414-15, 417, 456-57.
Second, before the first A.A. Christian fellowship group was founded in Akron on July 4, 1935, the first three AAs had each gotten sober for life by prayer and reliance on God, based also on the answers they found in the Bible and their church lives.
The first successes in early A.A. were accomplished by Bill W., Dr. Bob, and the attorney Bill D. before Akron Group Number One was founded. The reliance of the first three AAs was on quitting liquor for good, entrusting their lives to Gods care and direction, and then helping others. Dr. Bob summarized the situation in his last major talk to AAs. At that point, there were no Steps, no Traditions, no Big Books, no war stories, and no meetings as we know them today.
Dr. Bob said:
In early A.A. days, . . .
. . . our stories didnt amount to anything to speak of. When we started in on Bill D. [A.A. Number Three], we had no Twelve Steps, either; we had no Traditions. [And there was no Big Book, and there were no war stories or meetings as we know them today].
But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. To some of us older ones, the parts we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of James.
We used to have daily meetings at a friends house.
[The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks, page 13].
In plain words, Dr. Bob explained that the first three AAs looked almost exclusively to the Bible and particularly to Jesuss Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James for their answers from God about how to conquer the alcoholism illness. The Bible was the acknowledged main Source Book of all, as Dr. Bobs wife phrased it in the journal she shared with early AAs each morning. See Dick B., Anne Smiths Journal 1933-1939, pages 53-56, 60, 115
Third, beginning about June 10, 1935, the early AAs began developing the first Christian program of recovery. It was summarized in seven points. [DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 131]. And our research soon established about 16 practices that implemented the seven points and that much resembled those of First Century Christians and are summarized in Dick B. and Ken B., Stick with the Winners!, pages 27-37.
In November 1937, Bill W. and Dr. Bob counted noses and found that about 40 alcoholics had maintained continuous sobriety during the preceding two-year period. And they concluded that God had shown them how to pass the message along.
Fourth, with that news, Bill sought and received authorization to write a book about the program. Bill set about writing it, having the help of his friend Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. Bill had previously gone to Calvary Mission and handed his life over to God by accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the altar. Then, in a short while, Billstill drinkinghad gone to Towns Hospital; he had cried out to God for help; and he had a vital religious experience in which his room blazed with an indescribably white light. Bill believed he had been freed of his alcoholism and thought, This is the God of the Scriptures. And Bill was cured of his alcoholism and never drank again. [The Language of the Heart, pages 281-86. See also Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., page 191.]
In Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, Bill explained that he had begun to write the Big Book. He was greatly pleased with what he had written; and he read two friends the new version of the program, now the Twelve Steps, [Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, pages 161-62]. Bill also explained what he believed were the three sources of the Big Book basic ideas. In The Language of the Heart, beginning at page 296, Bill credited the ideas in Step One to Dr. William D. Silkworths explanation that alcoholism was a grievous and often fatal malady of the mind and bodyan obsession that condemns the alcoholic to drink joined to a physical allergy that condemns the alcoholic to madness or death. Thus producing the seeming hopelessness of the illness embodied in the Step One admission.
Next, Bill credited the ideas in Step Twelve to Professor William Jamess book, The Varieties of Religious Experience, in which James propounded that frequently the remedy for the sickness of body, mind, and soul involved a religious experience that would not only expel the alcohol obsession, but which also made effective and truly real the practice of spiritual principles in all our affairs.
Finally, Bill credited all the rest of the StepsSteps Two through Eleven(the spiritual substance of our remaining Steps) as having come straight from Dr. Bobs and my own [his own] earlier association with the Oxford Group as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker. See The Language of the Heart, page 298. On page 298, Bill also introduced his discussion of Steps Two through Eleven with the following questions pertaining to the Shoemaker role:
Where did the early AA find the material for the remaining ten steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it?
Just before the Big Book was being readied for the final discussion and submission to the printer, Bill wrote in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, page 166:
Just before the manuscript was finished an event of great significance for our future took place. At that time it looked like just another battle over the book. The scene was Henrys office in Newark, where most of the writing had been done. Present were Fitz, Henry, our grand little secretary Ruth, and myself. We were still arguing about the Twelve Steps.
Note carefully what Bill then said about God and the steps. At page 166-67 of Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, Bill wrote:
All this time I had refused to budge on these steps. I would not change a word of the original draft, in which, you will remember, I had consistently used the word God, and in one place the expression on our knees was used. Praying to God on ones knees was still a big affront to Henry. He argued, he begged, he threatened. . . . He was positive we would scare off alcoholics by the thousands when they read those Twelve Steps.
And so the new version of the programthe Twelve Stepswas plainly talking about Almighty God, the Creator, and His role in recovery as explained in the Steps first written!
Finally a dramatic change, a revised program approach, an unusual compromise, and a shift from God to any God or no God took place in the Newark office when the little committee of fourFitz M., Hank P., secretary Ruth, and Billdid a complete, surprising about-face. And Bill describes it on page 167 of Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age as follows:
Little by little both Fitz and Ruth came to see merit in his [Hank P.s] contentions. Though at first I would have none of it, we finally began to talk about the possibility of compromise. Who first suggested the actual compromise words I do not know, but they are words well known throughout the length and breadth of A.A. today:
In Step Two we decided to describe God as a Power greater than ourselves. In Steps Three and Eleven we inserted the words God as we understood Him. From Step Seven we deleted the expression on our knees.
And, as a lead-in sentence to all the steps we wrote these words: Here are the steps we took which are suggested as a Program of Recovery. A.A.s Twelve Steps were to be suggestions only.
Such were the final concessions to those of little or no faith; this was the great contribution of our atheists and agnostics. They had widened our gateway so that all who suffer might pass through, regardless of their belief or lack of belief.
God was certainly there in our Steps, but He was now expressed in terms that anybodyanybody at allcould accept and try.
And, before we leave this compromise of the word God, this supposed contribution of our atheists and agnostics, and this invitation to all . . . regardless of their belief or lack of belief, we would point to some contested, misunderstood, and predominant compromise theoriescertainly not to be found in the Bible or even in most of the Big Book today. These compromise ideaseven todayleave believers, unbelievers, Christians, atheists, and those seeking Gods help with a major dilemma. The compromise ideas had meant that the old-school A.A., the Bible-based practices and prayers, and the centuries-old defined beliefs about the Creator had not been based on practical recovery experiences, known success, or even the ideas of the founders of A.A.
An example of how far todays compromised A.A. god has strayed from old-school A.A may be seen in the A.A. General Service Conference-approved pamphlet titled A Newcomer Asks . . . (Item # P-24; published in 1980). It states:
The majority of A.A. members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the A.A. group, still others dont believe in it at all. There is room in A.A. for people of all shades of belief and nonbelief.
Compare with this case for a higher power that can be a group or nothing at all, the solution, as originally set forth in the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, at page 35-36:
There is a solution. . . . The great fact is just this, and nothing less: that we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences, which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows, and toward Gods universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves. If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution.
These two totally conflicting assertions leave a task that is worthy of the effort of some group like Arch Builders to untangle. Today, some people are calling their higher power a rock or a tree. Some are criticizing those who mention God, Jesus Christ, or the Bible. Some are talking about spiritual experiences and spiritual awakenings. And many many members just dont know or experience the solution that Bill Wilson tendered in 1939.
Some of the confusing and lingering questions are: To whom am I to pray? Upon whom do I rely or to whom do I surrender my life? Wherewithout the Bible as the guidecan we find definitions or explanations of mere compromise suggestions not even resting on any Steps at allSteps just written, Steps never practiced (though purporting to exist) , and Steps that had never been taken? From where did the idea of some higher power suddenly rise to general use? If one has a lack of belief, in what phase of the Big Book or the Steps is he to begin, if at all, relying for recovery on something other than self?
There is a Challenge for Those Who Wish Gods Help, Who EndeavorWithin the Ranks of Todays A.A.to Form Fellowships, Groups, and Meetings that Exercise the Freedom of Choice to Learn, Apply, Teach, and Rely Upon the Help of God is to Act within the very Boundaries of A.A.s Assurance that their Steps are Suggestive Only. To tolerate and Understand, that Believers and Unbelievers, Christians, Atheists, and Those Seeking a gods Help may Utilize, Apply, Disregard, or Modify the Compromise Program Suggested by the Committee of Four when the Big Book was Being Printed in 1939. Or to stand on the Countless Pages of A.A. Material that Today States Things like this:
Bill W. is quoted on page 30 of The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous as follows: For example, a fellow came to Dr. Bob and said, Im an alcoholic; here is my history. But I also have this other complication. Can I join A.A.? Finally, there was some kind of hearing on it among the self-appointed elders. I remember how perfectly Bob put it to them. He reminded us that most of us were practicing Christians. Then he asked, What would the Master have thought? Would He have kept this man away? He had them cold! The man came in, was a prodigious worker, and was one of our most respected people.
Dr. Bob is quoted on page 19 of The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous as follows: Another thing which most of us are not too blessed is the feeling of humility. . . Im talking about the attitude of each and every one of us toward our Heavenly Father. Christ said, Of Myself, I am nothingMy strength cometh from My Father in heaven. If He had to say that, how about you and me? . . . . We had no humility, no sense of having received anything through the grace of our Heavenly Father.
In DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, Bill W. and Dr. Bobs daughter Sue were quoted as follows on page 71: For the next three months, I lived with these two wonderful people, Bill said, I shall always believe they gave me more than I ever brought them. Each morning there was a devotion. . . After a long silence, in which they awaited inspiration and guidance, Anne would read from the Bible. James was our favorite. . . . Reading from her chair in the corner, she would softly conclude, Faith without works is dead. This was a favorite quotation of Annes, much as the Book of James was a favorite of early A.A.sso much so that The James Club was favored by some as a name for the fellowship. . . . Sue also remembered the quiet time in the morningshow they sat around reading from the Bible.
On page 191 of the 4th edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W. is quoted as follows: Bill looked across at my wife and said to her, Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.
On page 181 of the 4th edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr. Bob is quoted as follows: Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!
To summarize the challenging tasks for groups today: 1) if they refer to God, to Jesus Christ, to the Holy Spirit, or to the Bible, they are often denied listing as an A.A. group. 2) if they apply the compromise Steps and rely upon God as someone understands Him, or nothing at all, they lose their own choice of divine help and are forced to use and perhaps try to believe idolatrous words not acceptable to them or under the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. 3) if they stick solely to someones interpretation of what is or is not Conference-approved or permissible under the Traditions, they may be compelled to limit discussion, literature, and format to non-Conference approved, irreligious, or even atheistic viewpoints which do not and cannot govern what members do, say, read, believe, or discuss.
Some groups today are compelled to use group names that are not indicative of the beliefs or approaches of members even though such membership is commonly accepted by A.A. offices and servants even when adopted and submitted naming a group atheist or agnostic or Buddhist or gay and lesbian. Some groups therefore compromise their own beliefs to conform by calling their higher power Jesus or God or a chair or a rock. Some groups hide their purpose by using such names as easy does it or batteries included. Some groups begin their meetings by reading each of the Twelve Steps and adding to each Step a Bible verse which often was not ever studied in early A.A. or is just a private interpretation of some group leader as to what might or might not be agreed upon, acceptable, or in conformity with either the Big Books rendition of a Steps language or the Bibles verses that arewithout either religious or 12-step definitions.
Arch Builders has a new, useful approach to the Big Book and its arch building thesis, the Twelve Steps, and the Biblea plan that offers Christian and believing 12-Steppers a fresh approach to A.A.
Arch Builders has formed its group, to the best of its ability, in conformity with A.A. Traditions and with frequent use of Conference-approved words and phrases. And that is how it has met the challenge outlined in this article.
We therefore briefly tell you what Arch Builders seems to hold out as its name, principles, practices, and literature used by members.
Arch Builders in Arizona was one of the first new fellowships which both worked within the A.A. system, featured study of the Big Book and 12 Steps, pointed up spots where they believed the Steps could be related to the Bible, and provided Christian recovery help to those who still suffer in Arizona and also as widely as their service was sought.
Arch Builders, a Host of Christian Leaders, and the Rest of the Story
On our Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B. show (www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com
) and on trips to which we were invited in Florida, Delaware, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Alaska, Arizona, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and many other areas, we met leaders who did not know a great portion of A.A.s roots, its pre-A.A. Christian influences, the contribution of A.A. precursors like the Salvation Army, Rescue Missions, the Young Mens Christian Association, Congregationalism, the great evangelists, and Christian Endeavor. And the leaders were not only hungry to learn more but to apply the valid and studied biblical principles in their recovery work that had so much characterized A.A. of Akrons Christian fellowship, and the immense success (93%), and growth in Cleveland.
Having interviewed a number of leaders on our radio show, spoken to them on the telephone or in person, and spoken at their facilities, we began to see emerging in a variety of ways Christian outreach in the form of churches, recovery pastors, counselors, professors, physicians, Christian treatment and residential treatment, as well as fellowships of AAs who had learned the importance of the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early A.A. and wanted to hear the rest of the story and enhance their programs with the information.
We do not attempt to control or program what Christian Coalition participants do in their programs with the Big Book, the Steps, the Bible, or Jesus Christ We do urge participants to pursue their own beliefs in a tolerant way and without need for condemning present-day 12-Step language and ideas. Our aim is to encourage those in the Christian recovery movement if and when they are Christians endeavoring to define and disseminate the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible have played in their 12-Step Fellowship.
And Arch Builders fills that bill.
We saw heavy traces of old-school A.A. being applied now (today)often out of sync with 12-Step programs, or programs that spurned A.A., or Christians who were determined to undermine any traces of Christians, Christian churches, and Christian recovery history and denounce A.A. and its ideas and its followers as heretical, hell-bound, and dangerous. Fortunately, through the International Christian Recovery Coalition, we have seen Christian recovery grow rapidly in the United States and other countries. But the question remained: Which leaders, entities, programs, counselors, and fellowships were merely flying a Christian flag, but offering little of the intense faith and First Century Christianity that had been seen and applied in early Akron A.A.
And so, on Christian Recovery Radio and in these articles, we endeavor to point out those Christian efforts and those Christian groups or recovery programs which seem to us to have a great deal of the power, love, forgiveness, fellowship, healings, Bible knowledge, prayer, and conversions that can mean so much to a suffering soul who desperately wants Gods help and is willing to do what it takes to get it. The issues are not over fellowship errors or mistakes. They are those examples of what is being done willingly today to foster knowledge and understanding of the power and love of God.
Which brings me to the Arch Builders in Arizona.
We were flown down to Phoenix and Tucson to carry the message about the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early A.A.s astonishing successes. We went to see the Christian leaders and workers involved in Arch Builders.
On the plus side, we knew first hand that the Arch Builders had worked with Christians and with A.A. servants to follow the Traditions, rely heavily on A.A. Conference-approved literature, and yet assert the freedom to apply old-school A.A. today.
Much about what the Arch Builders Arizona recovered Christians do can be found on their website www.ArchBuilders.org
. They hold meetings for the addicted and the affected. They publish an illustrated guide to the building of the spiritual arch described in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. An extensive appendix The Recovery Yoke documents their view of over 50 aspects of Twelve Step Fellowships in the spirit of the Big Book quote on page 164: God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. They are putting in substantial time to educate sponsors and their sponsees in all 12 Step programs, as a transitional resource for those leaving recovery centers and entering recovery fellowships. They have developed a format for church-centered biblical based recovery groups. And they urge those who need help of that sort to visit them on www.ArchBuilders.org
for additional information.
Arch Builders Meeting Information
ArchBuilders currently has a meeting in the Tucson metropolitan area. The meeting is listed below. And you may want to attend, observe, learn, and participate.
Saturday 8:00 am
1755 S Houghton Rd
Tucson, AZ 85748
Town Hall Building Room #5
Paul R. 520-444-7997
Christian twelve step recovery discussion
Arch Builders Literature for Sale on Amazon.com
See ArchBuilders: A Biblically Based Recovery Manual by Friends of Bills Friend (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014); ISBN: 1496083954; Price: $12.99: http://mcaf.ee/62ynt
Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea
Christ-Centered Addiction Treatment
By Dick B.
© 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved
A Few Words about Our Review of Christian Recovery Facilities
My son Ken and I formed the International Christian Recovery Coalition in July of 2009 (www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com);
and that same month, we held a conference on the grounds of Hope by the Sea in San Juan Capistrano, California, at the invitation of its staff member Bobby Nicholl. The Coalition is an informal fellowship of participating Christian recovery leaders, workers, newcomers, and members of the public who see the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in the recovery movement and can play today for those afflicted alcoholics and addicts who have suffered long enough and want Gods help. The Coalition is Bible-friendly, recovery-friendly, and 12 Step-friendly; and it today has participants in all 50 states and more than 15 brother and sister countries.
But the story of healing by the power of God which played such a vital role in the origins of the recovery movement from about 1850 forward surged with Christian organizations and individuals who turned their attention to helping the down and outers recover from their misery and troubles. Those who labored the hardest and produced the most effective results included the Young Mens Christian Association; Gospel Rescue Missions; great evangelists like Dwight Moody, Ira Sankey, and F. B. Meyer; the Salvation Army; Congregationalism; and the Young Peoples Society of Christian Endeavor. Beginning in the early 1920s, A First Century Christian Fellowship (later to become known as the Oxford Group) made contributions to aspects of some recovery efforts.
Out of these efforts grew the successes of the Christian recovery people, based primarily on several simple principles: (1) Cessation of all use of liquor and abuse of drugs. (2) Belief in God and coming to Him by accepting His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (which was known in early Akron A.A. as making a full surrender). (3) Obedience to Gods will. (4) Growth in understanding and service through Bible study, prayer meetings, Quiet Times, and the reading of Christian literature. (5) Helping other suffering alcoholics and addicts find a way out by the same method.
But the scene changed. Focus began to shift more and more toward battling liquor, eliminating saloons, Prohibition, and medical-psychological remedies. Then came A.A., with its focus on God and relying on Him for cure of alcoholism, and simple principles much like those of the First Century Christians as seen in the Book of Acts, such as Christian Fellowship, Bible study, prayer, Quiet Time, restitution, and helping others.
But the scene changed again not long after A.A. was founded. Medical models, counseling, dual addiction treatment, secular theories about how to prevent relapses and how to help patients recover, the funding of recovery with insurance backing, the erecting of huge treatment institutions, and focus on evidence-based recovery rather than faith-centered recovery began to dominate the recovery scene. And reliance on God began to slip through the cracks. Hostility toward religion, promotion of atheism, efforts to suppress talk of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible appeared. And thousands upon thousands of suffering Christians were baffled by the new believe in anything or nothing attitude that was emerging.
Today, the Christian recovery movement is again charging ahead. We have spoken at many 12 Step and Christian recovery meetings; met their leaders; noted the degree of focus on the power and love of God, on Gods son Jesus Christ, and on the Bible; and found a number of fellowships, leaders, and facilities which are involved in helping Christians and potential Christians(!) seek healing and a new life through reliance on the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea is Todays Subject
Here is the description that Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea provides of its Christian treatment program:
Celebrate Hope is a Christian residential drug and alcohol treatment center located in the beautiful coastal community San Juan Capistrano, California. Our faith-focused mission is to minister the love of Jesus Christ to those who are in pain and are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Christ centered treatment is the core component of our program, along with Celebrate Recovery® which is a ministry of Saddleback Church.
[Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea pamphlet/brochure/folder--consulted 8/17/2014]
As I mentioned earlier, my son Ken and I have visited the main office of Hope by the Sea and have spoken at a conference held there. And our principal contact was and is Bobby Nicholl, Admissions and Intervention staff member of Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. His address is PO Box 1480, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693. His email address is Bobby@celebrateanewlife.com
. He has a strong Christian background and long experience in treatment industry. And he is welcoming, congenial, and articulate in his conversations with those that call him for help at 800.631.7753. Bobby freely offers answers to all kinds of recovery-related questions and recommends alternative choices for treatment. And we will let him tell you the rest if you choose to call.
Important Features of Their Program
What has struck me about a number of Christian treatment or Christian recovery residences is how much of the early A.A. focus on the Bible, salvation, prayer, quiet time, and Christian literature is not present. Sometimes there is just a weekly Bible study. Sometimes a chaplain is on call. But often there is little about the renewed mind, fellowship, witnessing, and healing.
In contrast, I believe the Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea Christian treatment program comes much closer to hitting the mark. Their pamphlet/brochure/folder I quoted earlier also states:
What We Offer: (1) Christ-centered treatment. (2) Residential treatment. (3) One on One Therapy. (4) Group Therapy. (5) Intervention Services. (6) Life Recovery Bible. (7) Boundaries Workshop. (8) Celebrate Recovery®. (9) Worship at Saddleback. (10) Daily Christian Devotionals. (11) Individual Christian Counseling.
The program is very strong, especially considering its similarities to the early A.A.s Christian fellowship program in Akron which was focused on living in the homes, breaking bread together, Bible study, group prayer, optional worship at church, and use of Christian devotionals. Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Seas individual Christian counseling--which could allow for discussion of healing, Bible, sanctification, witnessing, and fellowship with like-minded believersparticularly caught our attention.
Now that 25 years of research has been completed, the emphasis will be on teaching the actual facts--the "rest of the story", and the ignored links--in digestible bites. The basic documentation is available in 46 titles, 1700 articles, blogs, newsletters, and personal conversations. But the wide dissemination now will allow viewers, speakers, diverse training folks, and leaders to conduct their own programs in their own ways, but to have access to regular input from Dick and Ken.
How? Radio, videos, webinars, interviews, and ample, personal communications, facebook, twitter, and other media. Expensive travel to conferences will be replaced largely by specific, brief, topical segments that will help trainers, help trainees, enhance recovery, and help others.
Mindless meeting chatter, war stories, and entertaining circuit speakers can give place to groups that learn chunks of recovery facts, ask questions, receive pointers to resources, and make comments. Fellowship, Big Book study, Step study, history study, and information about the role played and that can be played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible will enable old school A.A. to supplement the experience of members in helping others with today's spiritual tools.
No change in A.A. Just enabling serious recovery facts to beef up learning at a local, personal, nationwide level.
Our Forthcoming Webinars
Bill W., Dr. Bob, and the Cure of Alcoholism: The Rest of the Story
By Dick B.
© 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved
Brief Webinar Sessions to Train the Trainers Through Local, Small, Recovery Leadership Groups that Condense 100 Years of Available, Adaptable, Old-School A.A.s Vanishing and Priceless Recovery Treasures and Victories We Need to Know
A Word or Two about How This Series Can Change Individuals, Groups, Repeated Relapses, and Sluggish Recoveries
Even before their Society was founded in 1935, suffering alcoholics and many care givers believed that alcoholism could be cured by the power of God. They believed recovery itself could also be substantially enhanced. They believed revolving door relapses could be prevented. And they believed an important relationship with God could be established to enable the afflicted to be healed, to guide them in the steps of Jesus Christ, and to achieve all that it means to become a child of the living Creator.
For more than 25 years, Dick B. (a long-sober, Christian, active in A.A.) and his son Ken B. (a Bible scholar, ordained Christian minister, and communications specialist) have traveled and spoken widely, researched, read, interviewed, and published. Theyve reported to those afflicted with and affected by alcoholism what they have been missing in recovery and healing. Many, if not most, have scarcely learned the origins, principles, and history of their fellowships. Many have wearily listened to distorted or misrepresented chatter amounting to the wisdom of the rooms. Many have never heard, met, or read the writings of dedicated Christian recovery leaders and workers. Nor realized their immense influence on early recovery successes.
Considering todays rampant recidivism and relapse histories, many an afflicted person has had more than enough misery and trouble despite continuing in a downward spiral. One which, a century ago, was arrested by experienced, compassionate, Christian leaders whose main focus then was helping the desperate down and outers, and the derelicts unable to or unsuccessful in changing their lives.
Despite the billions spent on alcoholism and addiction problems, many suffering souls have been detoured from the original A.A. path to a relationship with God. They have often neither learned much about or believed in the power of God, the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, and the road map to Gods solutions in the Bible. They have been deprived of the rest of the story of Christian recoveries. They have never learned or applied the principles and practices of the early Akron A.A. Christian fellowship membersprinciples and practices that many call old-school A.A. Principles and practices paving the way even during first century Christianity.
A gaping information hole exists today, largely because--in little more than 75 years of existence, their fellowships have often side-stepped or even obscured the original God part of recovery and opened their doors to atheists and agnostics; focused on the idolatrous idea that some nebulous, fictional, higher power can somehow perform the miraculous. They have often been side-tracked into believing that God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible, clergyman, church, and religion are just unneededeven offensive--nuisances that clutter up a divine solution and replaced it with a simplistic blind faith. A dubious conclusion that twelve, suggested, secular steps can, without the power of God, produce an understanding of, and affinity to. Gods love, power, forgiveness, healing, grace, and mercy. Yet emphasizing that todays members can be atheists, agnostics, unbelievers, or side-standers in the vital march to find a spiritual awakening that will remove their affliction.
The Rest of the Story in Small, Digestible, Webinars--Shared by Us with You-- Who Are and Very Much Want to Be Informed Trainers in the Trenches
The message that God can do for the alcoholic what he cannot do for himself no Longer Requires Expensive Conferences and Eloquent Circuit Speakers. Its about Bringing to Your Leadership Gatherings by Webinars a Piece-by-Piece Body of Facts that Talk of What God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible Enabled Early AAs to Utilize and Apply and Can Still be Harmonized for Todays Afflicted the Key Elements of Depending on God for Recovery, for Relapse Prevention, for Healing, for Fellowship, and for Spiritual Growth
Some Trial Run Plans for our brief Webinars:
Each be brief. Each will be free. Each will have only a limited number of participants. Those who want to be taught and teach accurate information. Each will be a recovered Christian group leader, Christian recovery fellowship leader, recovery pastor, recovered Christian treatment program leader, or a Christian recovery residential program leader of groups of Christians in recovery. Participants may be Christian recovery professionals who are counselors or interventionists or recovered Christians or who are speakers, or are sponsors who want to found and conduct Christian recovery groups or who already belong to a recovery fellowship. They may include a group leader, speaker, or sponsorin a gathering which relies on God for help.
Selection of Participants for the small groups.
We will contact three or four leaders who have expressed a desire to train. learn, and train others; or we will welcome such leaders as simply want to participate in the seminars. Ken B. will contact or should be contacted by those desiring to participate; and Ken may be reached at 808 275 4945 or Ken@condo.gmail.com
. We will then select and notify participants of the webinar, its topic, and its timing.
Examples of Topics that will be taught.
We will select a topic or series of topics related to a particular part of the rest of the story. An example is set forth below.
Actual Conduct of a Webinar.
First, Dick B. and Ken B. will present a brief training discussion on the particular webinar topic. They will invite comments from participants. And the webinar will conclude with suggestions from the participants or the presenters.
Documentation of the training facts presented. We have published 46 books, over 1700 articles, blogs and newsletters, and comments. And we have, as well, conducted radio shows, videos, and conferences. And all materials have been carefully described and documented in footnotes and published records. These will be mentioned and certainly made available for reference but not be part of the brief webinars
An example of a webinar topic: The Christian upbringing in Vermont of Bill W.:
Includes The East Dorset Congregational Church in Vermont; the Wilson familys contributions to, participation in, and support of the church. Grandpa Willie Wilson (the alcoholic) and his vital religious experience on Mount Aeolus where he was cured of alcoholism for the remaining eight years of his life. Bills attendance at both the church and at its Sunday school. Bills recollection of sermons, hymns, temperance meetings, revival meetings, and conversions, as well as family religious events. Bills attendance at nearby Burr and Burton Seminary in Manchester, Vermont. Bills required attendance at daily chapelsermon, reading of Scripture, hymn, prayer meeting. Bills presidency of Burr and Burton Young Mens Christian Association. Bills four year Bible study course at Burr and Burton. The required attendance by scholars at services and events of the nearby Manchester Congregational Church. Bills turning his back on God at graduation time when his girl-friend Bertha Bamford died unexpectedly in surgery.
Brevity of webinar is supplemented by the well-documented facts available on our new website (www.aahistoryChristianrecovery.com);
in our books, articles, websites, blogs, radio shows, newsletters, and many posted resources. The webinars themselves are presented to highlight the topics trainers need to hear, research, learn, and teach.
Many other topics will be put in webinar form as time permits, resources are available, requests are made, and progress is evident.
Our Forthcoming Web Suggestions for 12-Step meetings, Christian Recovery Fellowships, and Recovery Study Groups
Dick B. © 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved
Shortly we will be posting for your use a page of what you can do to establish a group for study of the Big Book, Steps, Beginner approaches, Christian fellowships, prayer discussions, Bible discussions and A.A. origins, A.A. History, Christian predecessors, Christian upbringing of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, how the first three got sober, what the principles and practices of the Akron AA Christian Fellowship were, how Bills new version of the program the Twelve Steps left these out, and how the compromise ousting God from the Steps came about in 1939 just before the Big Book went to print.
Some Starting Thoughts
(1) Select a name and purpose such as Step Study, Big Book Study, History Study, AA Roots Study, Prayer Guides, Literature Study, Sponsoring the One Who Still Suffers, Meetings for Beginners,
(2) Gather a small group AA friends, Fellow Sponsees, Step Students, Big Book Studies,
Literature Study, History Seekers, A.A. Conference-approved books and pamphlets,
(3) Pick Studious Leaders - Devoted students like Joe McQ. and Charlie P., Rev. Samuel Shoemaker, Jr., and such diligent, prepared teachers are needed to lead studies.
(4) Cover Meeting Needs Location, officers, dates, times, Format, literature to be used.
Learn and Read Applicable Traditions
Tradition Two For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authoritya loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
Tradition 3 (the Long Form) Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.
Yield to no Bullying, Attempts to Silence, or Know-it-alls
Groups meet to help themselves and other stay sober and help newcomers to get sober and stay healed. Shout-downs, discourteous claims, and suppression should open the door to another meeting where such conduct does not occur. Vote with your feet!
Frank Mauser, now deceased, was the second archivist of A.A. upon the retirement of Nell Wing. Frank became a good friend of mine, and he was a strong supporter of suggesting to AAs that they heed the saying about how a civilization or society perishes or declines because there is always one condition present. They forgot where they came from.
It's time to think through the opportunities for success and growth in A.A. that can and will come when the importance and diversity of study groups is once again recognized and organized.
Of late, we have women's groups. We have atheist groups. We have agnostic groups. We have gay and lesbian groups. We have Step Study groups, Big Book study groups, Traditions groups, and history groups.
But when it comes to the kind of study groups that emanated from the Joe and Charlie Big Book Seminars, lots of learning is shelved in favor of roundups, flings, dances, and circuit speakers. Content is not the test of value and quality; but large crowds, famed speakers, "spirituality" groups, and Buddhist groups seem to trump the kind of research, preparation, and utility that can come from learning how AA began, what it's strong points were, what has been changed, what has been eliminated, and what is sometimes barred by moderators, "conference-approved" barriers, and arguments about what Traditions permit or don't permit.
We will be inviting your comments on and suggestions concerning some often-mentioned and very important studies that more and more in the fellowship are seeking to conduct.
It's not about what's permitted. It's not about what's banned. It's not about which "evidence-based" pharmaceutical or psychological counseling has been discovered and found useful. It's not about what some office manager, secretary, "trusted servant," or delegate thinks A.A. is, should be, and should do.
What will soon be evident is that the strength, duration, and value of A.A., its roots, its literature, its Steps, and its discussions can and should be led by avid researchers who employ history, medicine, religion, community, archives, interviews, and great teachers to tell us what we did. To tell us what we have forgotten. To tell us the facts about working with drunks and addicts and helping them to be cured.. And to point us to the speakers, the literature, and the meetings that help us to grow.
What kind of meetings? Big Book, Step, Bible, History, Roots, the personal stories of the pioneers, and the recorded success rates of such groups as early Cleveland A.A. developed, polished, enhanced, and assured great success--far more than had been achieved theretofore. There can be prayer meetings, devotional meetings, guidance meetings, and a host of others whose very names have been forgotten.
Well that's what is in the burner. It's coming from those who have faith in A.A., see the shortcomings of the "wisdom of the rooms," and want to thinking and leadership of those who founded some of the great recovery ideas of yesteryear.
So Youd Like to Form a Recovery Group. . . .
This introductory snippet will be brief. And wed like to have you begin by telling us why you want to form a recovery group, what you are opposed to, what you favor, and your suggestions.
Day in and day out, we receive phone calls in Maui (808 874 4876) or emails (email@example.com) at our residence.
In which the caller says he wants to start a recovery group and asks what to do.
We have a number of books and guides that can be helpful and often send along some of these to be read by the inquirer. But this is a grass roots series of articles
We will start with several suggestions and questions: (1) What people do you want to be members of the group? AAs or NAs or believers? (2) Are you willing to ask a small group of friends, some folks from your church, some members youve met in A.A. or in treatment or in prison or in church or at school or at work? (3) Is your purpose to learn how to help those who still suffer? (4) Are you willing to acquire, read, and discuss the tools that truthfully report the factsthe newly reprinted First Edition of the A.A. Big Book, The Co-Founders of A.A. Pamphlet P-53, DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, and The Language of the Heart? (5) Are you beginning this quest because angry at a member, a sponsor, a leader, or motivated by anger with a meeting or a member or a church or at a treatment program, or the fellowship? (6) Are you willing to select as the leader of the group someone who is known for his or her knowledge of the Steps, the Big Book, the real origins of A.A. ideas, the religious ideas that produced A.A., the parts of the Bible like the Book of James, Jesuss Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 that were the heart of the basic ideas of early A.A.? (7) Will you freely read, study, and discuss non-Conference-approved literature that helps understanding of A.A., its origins, its co-founders, its original program, and the substantial changes and new version of the program adopted four years after A.A. was founded? (8) Are you willing to start with a small group?
Again! Let us hear your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions before you ask us questions or begin to form your group.
AA 'Big Book' - Quote
But life among Alcoholics Anonymous is more than attending gatherings and visiting hospitals. Cleaning up old scrapes, helping to settle family differences, explaining the disinherited son to his irate parents, lending money and securing jobs for each other, when justified - these are everyday occurrences. No one is too discredited or has sunk too low to be welcomed cordially - if he means business. Social distinctions, petty rivalries and jealousies - these are laughed out of countenance. Being wrecked in the same vessel, being restored and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned to the welfare of others, the things which matter so much to some people no longer signify much to them. How could they? - Pg. 161 - A Vision For You
Hour To Hour - Book - Quote
If you have one hand in the program and one hand in your Higher Power's, you won't have a hand to pick up with.
Take my hand God, as I understand You, and never let me let go.
Spirit at Work
I am waiting in pleasant anticipation for spirit to work its quiet magic in my day. There is nothing that I can think, feel or do, that cannot be made lighter and truer by inviting spirit into it. I rest in the joyous awareness that spirit is with me. That spirit has never left me. If I feel an absence of spirit today I will remember that it is not spirit that moves away from me, but I that move away from spirit. I am uplifted by the thought that I am not alone, nor ever was I. Today I need no proof that I am on a spiritual journey because the miracle of life surrounds me everywhere and this is proof enough. I am living the gift.
Life is the remedy
- Tian Dayton PhD
Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote
No matter how hard you attempt to control the people in your life, you will not find your fulfillment there. If they don't change, you will be frustrated; if they do change under your pressure, they will be frustrated.
If I look to others for fulfillment, I will never be fulfilled.
"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book
Don't 'keep coming back' just stay.
Time for Joy - Book - Quote
Today I choose to forgive instead of holding on to resentments. Today I choose to let go of all feelings that block me from feeling love. Today I choose to see everyone through the eyes of love.
Alkiespeak - Book - Quote
Once you become an alcoholic there's no going back - a frog never goes back to being a tadpole. (Or a pickle a cucumber etc. ) Unknown origin.
From my own personal experience, I tried controlling my drinking on lots of occasions. I went to counselors who tried cognitive therapies to reframe my "thoughts" surrounding drinking; sometimes it worked however, eventually I always got drunk. I got to a point where trying to control my drinking was exhausting and I always felt like a failure when I didn't manage my drinking.
Friday, August 1, 2014
The next step you take
The next step you take is the one that matters. You have the power to choose right now what that step will be.
Even if youve been going for weeks or for years in a negative direction, your next step can be a positive one. Even if its a small positive step, it can change your direction and establish a new momentum.
No matter where you are or what youve done or failed to do, you can now choose to move toward what you value most. The way to make that choice is with your next step.
You can wish and hope and plan and talk about where you want to go. Yet it is your next step that will actually begin to get you there.
Your next step sets the direction for your future. And you have the opportunity right now to decide what that next step will be.
Your next step is ready and waiting for you to take it. Choose to make it one that will move your whole world forward.
Read more at http://greatday.com/#zXlFcqdB1RKFdTYx.99
Our past is a story
existing only in our minds.
Look, analyze, understand, and forgive.
Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it.
Before I came into program I had the tendency to beat myself up over the things I'd done while in the throes of my disease. I would relive everything I'd done -- especially my misdeeds. Guilt ruled my life.
Then I found Twelve Steps that set me on the road to recovery. And I found promises ... promises that told me that if I were to rigorously and honestly work the program, I would find a new freedom and a new happiness. I was told that I would not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it, (as found on page 83 of the Big Book).
For me, the Big Book reminds me of where I came from and that I never want to go back. The Williamson quote (above) tells me that I don't need to wallow in the guilt of yesterday.
One Day at a Time . . .
I remember my past, release it and move on.
The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.
ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS , p. 83
When new in the program, I couldn't comprehend living the spiritual
aspect of the program, but now that I'm sober, I can't comprehend
living without it. Spirituality was what I had been seeking. God, as I
understand Him, has given me answers to the whys that kept me
drinking for twenty years. By living a spiritual life, by asking God for
help, I have learned to love, care for and feel compassion for all my
fellow men, and to feel joy in a world where, before, I felt only fear.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day
A.A. Thought For The Day
The Alcoholics Anonymous program has borrowed from medicine,
psychiatry, and religion. It has taken from these what it wanted and
combined them into the program which it considers best suited to the
alcoholic mind and which will best help the alcoholic to recover. The
results have been very satisfactory. We do not try to improve on the
A.A. program. Its value has been proved by the success it has had in
helping thousands of alcoholics to recover. It has everything we
alcoholics need to arrest our illness. Do I try to follow the A.A.
program just as it is?
Meditation For The Day
You should strive for a union between your purposes in life and the
purposes of the Divine Principle directing the universe. There is no
bond of union on earth to compare with the union between a human
soul and God. Priceless beyond all earth's rewards is that union. In
merging your heart and mind with the heart and mind of the Higher
Power, a oneness of purpose results, which only those who experience
it can even dimly realize. That oneness of purpose puts you in harmony
with God and with all others who are trying to do His will.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may become attuned to the will of God. I pray that I may
be in harmony with the music of the spheres.
As Bill Sees It
Complete the Housecleaning, p. 213
Time after time, newcomers have tried to keep to themselves
shoddy facts about their lives. Trying to avoid the humbling
experience of the Fifth Step, they have turned to easier methods.
Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest
of the program, they wondered why they fell.
We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning.
They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst
items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and
fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had
not learned enough of humility, fearlessness, and honesty, in the
sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else their
entire life story.
Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 72-73
Walk In Dry Places
Who is sincere?
We sometimes dismiss others people's relapses with the explanation that they didn't really want to stay sober or that they lacked sincerity of purpose.
We have no way of gauging just how sincere anybody really is. Even in trying to understand ourselves, we may detect traces of double-mindedness that got us into trouble. Even if we've been sober for years, the old desire to drink can be lurking somewhere in the back of our minds. It's wise to assume that this is so even when there's no conscious desire to drink. If hidden desires to drink still persist even after years of sobriety, it points to the persistence of the disease.... Not to one's insincerity.
It may even be that sincerity, like sobriety, has to be sought on a daily basis. Perhaps we are capable of being sincere today, and then lapse into insincerity tomorrow. To accept this is a sign of prudence and maturity, and perhaps even a measure of humility.
I'll seek to be sincere today about the things that really count. If I know I'm insincere in certain areas, I'll seek more understanding about it.
Keep It Simple
Made a list of all persons we had harmed . . .
---First half of Step Eight
By the time we get to Step Eight, we're ready to work on our relationships.
We start by making a list of all persons we've harmed. We look at where we
have been at fault. We own our behavior.
Now we're healing, and we must help others to heal too. Our list must be as
complete as we can make it. As our recovery goes on we'll remember others
we have hurt. We add them to our list. By doing this, we heal even more.
Remember, this Step is for us. It is to help us stay sober.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me make a complete list. Help me keep it open-ended.
Allow me and those I've harmed to be healed.
Action for the Day: Even if I've made a list before, I'll make another one today. I will list
all those I have harmed.
Each Day a New Beginning
The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit, till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff. --Annie Dillard
Our progress today, and certainly our serenity, is enhanced by our willingness to accept all that we are blessed with today. Not only to accept, but to celebrate, trusting that these events are moving us toward our special destiny.
Flowing with the twists and turns in our lives, rather than resisting them, guarantees smooth sailing, helps us to maximize our opportunities, increases our serenity. Accepting our powerlessness over all but our own attitude is the first step we need to take toward finding serenity.
Resistance, whether it is against a person or a situation in our lives, will compound the problem, as we perceive it. We can believe in the advantages for growth that all experiences offer. We can sail with our experiences. We can be open to them so they can carry us to our destination. We can trust, simply trust, that all is well and in our favor, every moment.
My serenity is in my control today. I will look to this day with trust and thanksgiving. And my Spirit will soar.
Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition
Chapter 11 - A Vision For You
But life among Alcoholics Anonymous is more than attending gatherings and visiting hospitals. Cleaning up old scrapes, helping to settle family differences, explaining the disinherited son to his irate parents, lending money and securing jobs for each other, when justifiedthese are everyday occurrences. No one is too discredited or has sunk too low to be welcomed cordiallyif he means business. Social distinctions, petty rivalries and jealousiesthese are laughed out of countenance. Being wrecked in the same vessel, being restored and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned to the welfare of others, the things which matter so much to some people no longer signify much to them. How could they?
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
Step Seven - "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."
Since this Step so specifically concerns itself with humility, we should pause here to consider what humility is and what the practice of it can mean to us.
Lost time is never found again.
Time is a created thing. To say, "I don't have time" is like saying "I
don't want to..."
There are really only 2 choices: worry or trust God.
Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort
searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside.
Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only
in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you
cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.
--Native American Proverb
"Fall seven times, stand up eight."
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we
If you put everything off till you're sure of it, you'll get nothing done.
--Norman Vincent Peale
Father Leo's Daily Meditation
"The way to greatness is the
path of self-reliance,
independence and steadfastness
in times of trial and stress."
-- Herbert Hoover
Today I take responsibility for my life. Today I take responsibility for
my disease. Today I take responsibility for my recovery. I know I am
not perfect and I have many pains and problems yet to face, but I take
hope in my daily conquests. Nothing is too great for me to overcome so
long as I have confidence in myself. It is my "yes" or "no" that
makes the difference. In the power of my choice rests my freedom.
God, I thank You for my daily trials that ensure my victories.
"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that
I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.
"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we
must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself
said: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of
The more blessings you thank God for, the more blessings you begin to realize that you have been given. Lord, thank you for Your constant Love and unending blessings.
Keep your heart clean by constant spring cleaning. Then there will be a place for beauty and peace. Lord, help me to remove carelessness and disrespect from my heart and in all things may I celebrate Your love for me.
Why the International Christian Recovery Coalition Thrives
By Dick B.
© 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved
Letters! We Get Letters!
It was probably not until our large meeting of recovered Christian leaders and workers held at Mariners Church Fellowship Hall in Irvine, California that we really awakened to the need for, and importance, of an informal fellowship of participants all over the United States and other countries. A coalition that would tell of the roles played by God, His Son, and the Bible in A.A. and recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction.
In mid-2009, we had gathered over two hundred people and twenty speakers, expecting they would tell the audience their progress in restoring old school A.A. to the recovery scene. There was music with Santos! Food for the gathered. And lots of opportunity for expressing thoughts about A.A., recovery today, and Christians in recovery. Elements that have grown since then.
But we heard a mountain of stories from those who were on the verge of leaving A.A. and very concerned about the lambasting suffering newcomers were getting if they mentioned the Bible, the Creator, Jesus Christ, and their own born again experiences. As a result, in July, 2009, the International Christian Recovery Coalition was founded: www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com
And Day After Day Since 2009, We Have Received Letters Like the Ones We Mention Here Today. And They Have Spawned Group After Group of What Can Be Called Old School A.A.
The Letters from Paul N. of Texas
[edited very slightly]
Good morning Dick!!!
My name is Paul N. . . . I am a recovering alcoholic with 2.5 years sober and very active in AA here in Dallas. And, oh my, what a miracle!! I almost died three times in 2011.
I am also a born again Christian. I surreptitiously encounter your work on AA history. I am intrigued. We have some "bleeding deacons" in our group who are sadly running off newcomers who even hint that they are Christian. It is not surprising. They can refer to Buddha or anyone else. But the name of Jesus is so offensive to them. And to the whole world for that matter.
Through my life I have studied the Bible arduously. I memorized it, taught it, sang it and yes, I danced it. Yet later in life it did not keep me sober. I know that there are many many stories of people turning to Christ and getting set free. Are you familiar with Cyrus Scofield? That is just not my story.
Several years ago I was in the middle of one of my many many attempts to get sober. I was new and was sharing at a meeting about how I was learning not to judge people. I was explaining how I do not have the power to read peoples mind and that I should assume their motives are pure. I just mentioned I Cor 13 where it says the "love believes all things". A man stood up and yelled at me. He said " you cannot mention that Bible at our meetings". As a newcomer, I had no idea what the protocol was. I was so confused and hurt that I went and got drunk and wrote off AA.
I am now at another group. That same man is has now started to attend my new group. He is doing the same thing to others.
There is another "bleeding deacon" in our group. We had a new lady whose sobriety is so fragile. She mentioned one day in sharing how much the beautiful passage in Jeremiah meant to her. She was referring to Jer 29:11-13. "God has a plan for you I love that passage!! This man was called on to share right after her. He attacked her for referring to the Bible. She also like me did know the "rules" She ran out crying never to return.
I have been blessed with an "elder statesman" as a sponsor. He too is a born again Christian. He has been able to help me tremendously in working through these resentments.
I love doing research. I was recently at Intergroup and noticed a nicely framed long version of the Serenity Prayer. I was pleasantly surprised that it was the verse that said taking as Jesus did . . . ." I had to purchase it. I did my research on which long version is accurate. My conclusion is that nobody knows for sure.
Before I go further, I need to know if you are willing to answer some questions and continue a dialogue. I have no idea if you have the time and energy.
Your brother in Christ.
And thanks for all of fine work!!!!
Thank so much for the "occurrences" attachments! I do so much enjoy my own "occurrences" research. My latest -- Bill W. was so impressed by Ebby's statement - "God has done for me what I could not do for myself". This is evidenced by his frequent use of the phrase. See
pages 25, 71, 84 (last of the 9th Step promises), 457; and in The Language of the Heart, page
25. Page 76 in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
I wonder if Ebby [Thacher] had read Ephesians 3:20--"Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us
Examples of the Growing Number of Substantial Residential and/or Long-Term Christian Recovery Homes
Often through the early years of A.A., there were comments by members, observers, clergy,
physicians, and charitable organizations that the concerns and programs which preceded and
accompanied early A.A.s Christian Fellowship in Akron, Ohio, closely resembled First Century
The ingredients of these efforts included prayer, Bible study, Quiet Time, witnessing, breaking
of bread together, worship together, enabling others to become children of God by coming to
Him through His Son Jesus Christ, converting the willing, and healing the needy.
This turn of direction came as Christian organizations and individuals like the Young Mens
Christian Association, Salvation Army, Rescue Missions, great evangelists like Dwight Moody
and F.B. Meyer, Congregationalism, and Young Peoples Society of Christian Endeavor focused
on the plight and needs of the down and outers the derelicts, alcoholics, and addicts. A.A.s
cofounders Bill W. and Dr. Bob were born and raised during this period in their upbringing in
The community approaches were not only quite simple. They enabled many suffering
unfortunates to obtain Gods help as they realized their own helplessness They approached
the suffering soul on his own miserable turf. They suggested he could get well if he
gave up his addiction, gave His live to God, studied the Bible to understand Gods promises and
power, prayed together with others, and obeyed Gods will. They insisted that he must help
those next in line to recover by the same means. They often made it possible for the afflicted to
live with others during the difficult withdrawal period.
The original Akron A.A. program differed. It did not call for money. It did call for love,
compassion, and brotherly concern. And it stressed helping others as a prime element for
maintaining the new relationship with Godthe relationship that Bill W. was later to call being
of maximum service to God and others.
But times changed. Insurance money factored into recovery. Large buildings were erected to
enable treatment. Expensive treatment programs required money and thereby limited the
duration of fellowship and experienced help for most. Reliance on God and Christian fellowship
waned as new folks left their safety nets. And candor required admission that relapse,
recidivism, and continued help for others lost much of its impact as old ideas, old relationships,
and God-sufficiency gave way to short term self-sufficiency.
A new call for change occurred in Orange County, California in mid-2009; and Christian
churches, clergy, counselors, recovery pastors, and leaders began to realize that the former
effectiveness of pioneer A.A. needed to be fostered and returned.
We will shortly be providing examples today of how the former, successful, fellowship of
Christians began to welcome recovery, provide Christian leadership, and enable Christian
servants to strengthen the original ideas just as they had done In the previous century.
The aim was not to exclude others from fellowships. It was not to force religious views on
newcomers. It was not to criticize those holding different views about God, atheism, humanism,
unbelief, and diverse religions.
It was to inform those seeking complete healing that they could do so in todays recovery arena
by turning to God for help using the same old school program ideas that characterized early
Akron A.A.s Christian Fellowship and successes.
As we will illustrate with specific examples among effective endeavors today, this focus on
renewal of Christian recovery from alcoholism and addiction whenever hands reached out for
Gods help isa growing, thriving, nationwide and worldwide effort right now.
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