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Archive for July, 2012

And they ate CAKE !!!

Today’s post is brought to you by Betty “Grasshopper” Crocker …

And Yes, this is me, get a good look, it may be the only photo of myself I post on here. This was taken earlier tonight before the meeting.

It was a grand day today. Last night I had to turn in early because I had a 9:45 am wake up to make a 10:30 hair appointment at Industry at Alexis Nihon. I sat in the chair and told Dee to “cut it all off…” I took 10 years off in a matter of minutes.

Meanwhile, just a few blocks from here Betty Crocker was mad at work pouring, mixing and dying cake the six colors of the rainbow for my birthday. It took Grasshopper all day long to bake the most fabulous cake I have ever seen.

He surely is my “Sweet Genius.”

On the way home from the hairdressers I stopped to pick up refills and sundry items and more test strips for my meter, which cost me $52.00 … WTF !!!

I ran into Zeller’s to see what kind of shirts/shorts they had on display and they were 2 for $20 so I bought two shirts, one pink and one blue. Fabulous !!!

I got home and hubby was out cavorting around the city doing sneaky things for my birthday. And we had a good afternoon farting around watching tv and I had a coupe of hours to take a beauty nap before the meeting.

I got out of the house early, so that I could get set up done early because I was expecting people at the church earlier than usual for cake and conversation before the business meeting.

Where else would you celebrate a birthday if your birthday fell on your Home Group night. One of my friends says that a home group is a non negotiable night. And so I brought the party to my home group and Grasshopper went out of his way to bake this most fabulous cake for me and it was really great sharing it with my friends. People were really pleased and surprised with the cake.

Members serenaded me, one of our members sung me a medley of birthday tunes – it was very special.

It not only is the rainbow on the outside, the cake is a 6 layer technicolor cake that our LGBT members were really gaga over. It was a good time. He did a really great job. We will be eating cake for the next week.

I got a few nice gifts from friends. Madame Bijoux gave me a monogrammed insulated coffee cup for the meetings, along with a singing card that when you open it sings “OH, Were off to see the Wizard …” Very Very GAY !!!  Madam amongst her fellows gave me an Angel in my pocket medallion.

It was a good size group tonight. The chair brought us a topic from an old Grapevine and the story “Drinking Again.” And so we all got to listen to our fellows talk about coming in, going out, coming in, and going out and coming back … SLIPS are not fun. They get progressively worse and the longer you stay out the chance of your making it back in gets slimmer.

It was a good share around the room. I’ve written about my slip ad nauseum so I don’t feel like writing it out again tonight. Been there done that and I don’t want to go back there, EVER !!!

When I got home hubby gave me a plaque with the Serenity Prayer on it. It is a very simple gift but has immense meaning to me. It isn’t about the gathering of things for me this year but sharing what I have with those I love the most.

One of my friends asked me if I felt different today? And my answer was not really. Maybe something will materialize later on, I don’t know. I don’t know what happens when you turn 45? All I know is that I am halfway to 50. And that’s my next long term goal. To live until I turn 50.

One day at a time …

A good night was had by all …

Grasshopper is a truly talented man with a heart of Gold, and he may not know how grateful I am to have him in my life, but I am. He made today a great day.

More to come, stay tuned…


July 31 in the Harry Potter World … Happy Birthday Harry Potter

July 31st In the World of Harry Potter …

Harry Would Be 32 today. And as it is my birthday as well, there will be festive cake and fun later on tomorrow evening.


Tom Daley … more more more …

You know we just can’t get enough of Tom. The hopes of all Britain are on your shoulders young man. No pressure at all …


Olympian … Tom Daley …

Courtesy: The Ministry of Pleasure

I ran across this post on a blog that I read from London. It is an important post on many levels. That bullying comes on all sides and that no one is immune, even an Olympic Athlete. Tom is a great young man who is deserving of respect and hopefully those kids who wanted to do him harm will stand up and recognize that greatness was within their midst.

The Olympics have begun now going on day three on Monday. We wish Tom well and all the Olympians that are competing. So enjoy …

*** *** *** ***

So the final countdown has started, just under 24 hours left before the XXX Olympiad, let me present you Thomas Robert “Tom” Daley, the boy wonder of British diving.

Tom, 18, is an amazing teen from Plymouth who is skilled at high board diving, he’s also the second youngest British Olympian of all time. He was ranked 7th in the Men’s individual 10m platform in the Beijing 2008 Olympics and he is (one of) Team GB’s best hope for medal(s) in this year’s Olympics.
He graces the cover of magazines shirtless, makes playful music videos and commercials, has 254,000 Twitter followers and has girls screaming every place he appears. He was also mercilessly bullied as a younger teen, so bad that he had to change schools.
Tom did a big spread for the British magazine Fabulous, dressed in a torn wet, open shirt that exposed his tight diver’s body. He talks about the good (having female groupies), the bad (the death of his beloved father from cancer two years ago) and the ugly (the bullying at his former school). Said Tom about the bullying,

“It started off gradually and got worse. It got to the point where if they are taking my legs out in a rugby tackle. Well, that’s not very funny.”
“It does knock your confidence, and that’s why it’s so important to have someone to talk to. For me that was my parents. I know lots of kids go through it and I hope they have someone to speak to. Don’t be afraid to tell someone.”
Amazingly, he was bullied in 2008, months after competing in the Beijing Olympics. Being a star athlete did not make him immune to the taunts, with one bully saying to him, “How much are those legs worth? We’re going to break your legs.”

In a scenario that plays out a depressing way too many times, Tom says school administrators did nothing to stop the bullying. Things only got better when his parents moved him to another school.
“One of the things my dad taught me was not to worry about what anyone thinks. And as long as I’ve got my friends and family right behind me, then that’s all I need.”
“The friends who helped me are still my best friends today. It helped me realize who my true friends were. It made me stronger. I look back and think, ‘I came through that,’ and I think I’m a better person.”
Given the fame and attention he is receiving, Tom must feel like the bullying happened eons ago, but I doubt he will ever truly forget. He is getting the last laugh and those bullies must be green with envy when they see him rising above their taunts and thriving. Tom has a ton of pressure diving in his home country, but he will be among athletes I will be rooting for big time! GO TOM, you are sexy and you know it!

In One Ear and Out the Other …

Courtesy: Emmanuel Rosario Flickr

Over heard at a meeting …

“Oh, you know how it is with men, when they talk, it is in one ear and out the other…”

It was a warm day today but it cooled quite nicely as the sun was setting. It has been a very uneventful weekend, aside for watching the Olympics.

Talking about the Olympics … Yesterday I missed the real time broadcast of the 400 I.M. swim where Ryan Lochte won the gold medal. And the CTV website had the clip of the race. I clicked on the link and the player opened up and my modem was flashing below the desk. The video played the the halfway point and then stopped. After several failed attempts at getting the video to play completely, I was pissed.

First I thought it was my internet, and so I called my ISP and asked them to check my line because I could not get a total feed from CTV, and they tested the line and said the numbers were nominal so that was that. I uninstalled the silver light Microsoft plugin and reinstalled it, that did absolutely nothing. That damn video would not play for me, which meant I had to wait all night until the feed came back around on the after hours show and lucky they ran the clip of the race from the point that my video stopped and the conclusion of the race I was happy then.

Today I was up and out early because I had to stop at Pharmaprix to pick up some refills. Then it was on the the meeting. The setter upper had put out some chairs and I had helped her finish the set up, it was a traditions meeting, and she wasn’t expecting a massive load of guests, but I set out more chairs just in case.

It was a well attended meeting. One of the women I know from being around a few years, and she is quite the feminist. She doesn’t regard men very well, as per her quote at the top of this post. What men say, in her words isn’t important or valid…

And she came to our meeting and also on Sunday, and she said this quote this evening to an other member who remarked that that was a real putdown, and she countered, “well, you know what I mean…”

Then she looks at me and engages me in conversation about the Tuesday meeting, now I heard what she just said so I engaged the conversation talking about all the women at the group and how prosperous we are today.

So we read from the Traditions – Tradition #7 … “Every group ought to be fully self supporting declining outside contributions.”

The shares went around the room until it got to her time to share, and she says that the first meeting she came to she was totally broken and that when it came time for the seventh tradition she poured out her wallet, and then she says that the meeting itself was screwy … Every time I have heard her share (read: opens her mouth) about her first meeting she denigrates the meeting, like it wasn’t what she liked. And that all of them were screwy…

And I know what meeting she is talking about – because I was there. I don’t get these women who are so hard pressed to say anything good about men. I just find it odd that every time we meet in a meeting she retells that story, as if to shame me in some way.

One of my friends who heard her ask about my meeting on Tuesday, he responded that “Jeremy is the meeting…” Because I am the one who for more than 10 years has been doing set up because it is my time to do service and give back and she just nodded down her nose at me, I just don’t get it.

You can’t please everyone. And some people just carry the oddest shit around in their handbags and drop that shit at a meeting just because they can.

It was good, in early sobriety that I had aftercare. They taught us all how to give back and to be of service. And that’s the way I made my way into my present home group. In order to be a member you had to do manual service for a designated period of time before you were added to the membership list.

And that’s how you moved up in the ranks of service to be able to chair meetings and work your way into service positions in the group. Back then the group was dominated by women who made us work for our sobriety. And I did that gladly.

Over the last decade and a half I have always tossed something in the basket because they told us that we needed to repay some of the money we wasted while we were drinking and to keep the room open for the newcomer.

Everything that I have ever needed has come to me via the room. I’ve never had to go outside the room for anything. I gave freely of what I had and over the years people have given freely of what they had to others so it all payed out in spades.

The thought of giving to the kitty is coupled with a certain practice of random acts of kindness on our part to someone out in the world on a daily basis. And we were taught to do this but never tell anyone that we had done random acts of kindness. And I do that today.

I am thankful for the meetings and the people in them because I always get what I need and sometimes a bit more…

That’s all for tonight.


Lochte Wins Gold, Phelps 4th in 400m IM

CTVOlympics.ca

American  Ryan Lochte won the first gold swimming medal of the London 2012 Olympic Games on Saturday evening, posting a stunning time of 4:05.18 in the men’s 400m individual medley.

“For four years I’ve been training hard. This is just my first event so I’m really happy,” Lochte said.

“I’m ready to rock this Olympics.”

But the real surprise of night came from teammate Michael Phelps. The two-time reigning Olympic title holder in the event finished fourth.

“I’m a bit frustrated, I’m not feeling that great. I just want to put this race behind me and move on,” Phelps said after posting 4:09.28. Where Lochte finished nearly two seconds faster than his time at the U.S. Olympic trials in June, Phelps finished more than a second and a half slower.

Lochte said he felt for his teammate.

“He gave it all he got. I’m going to go and talk to him in the dressing room,” Lochte said.

Phelps swam in lane eight but said his position was not the reason he did not reach the podium.

“I was lucky (to get into the final.) The lane draw had nothing to do with me coming in fourth place, it was just a crappy race,” Phelps said.

Saturday marked the first time in 12 years that Phelps failed to earn a medal in an Olympic final. A 14-time Olympic champion and 16-time Olympic medalist, the last time Phelps finished off the podium was at Sydney 2000. He was 15 at the time.

Already the record-holder for most gold medals won at a single Games (eight at Beijing 2008), Phelps is aiming to become the all-time most decorated Olympian in London. Scheduled to swim in a total of seven events, he needs just two medals to tie the current record of 16.

Questions of Phelps’s work ethic arose earlier this week when teammate Tyler Clary was quoted in a California newspaper saying he saw “a lack of preparation (in Phelps).” Clary has since apologized to Phelps about the comment.

“I honestly don’t think it was a fitness issue. I thought he was in a good place mentally,” Bob Bowman said.

Lochte grabbed a stranglehold on the lead within the first 100-metres of Saturday’s final. For much of the race it looked looked as if he might catch Phelps’s world record, set at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Brazil’s Thiago Pereira finished a distant second in 4:08.86 while Kosuke Hagino, of Japan, was third in 4:08.94.

Hagino, 17, beat his own Asian and Japanese record of 4:10.26.


Popcorn …

This post is brought to you by “Popcorn.”

I’ve spent the better part of the last year getting to know some of my sober sister members. I have said in the past that what the men lack in the way of enthusiasm or action, the women make up for in spades. It’s not that the men are lacking in sobriety, but there is a difference between how the women do it and how the men do it.

Our women are strong and filled with life. They are tight and have created for themselves a sober community that thrives. Sponsors, sponsees and their sponsees, follow each other around like little chicks and hens. But these women are unique in their approach to sobriety.

There have been meetings that I was a part of in the past and those women had a distinct way of sharing their sobriety with fellow women and others in general. But I did not get the “I want what they have feeling.” Eventually I left those meetings and remained on my original sober schedule.

Every week at T.B. ‘s the women come and they, as I’ve said before, are steeped in steps, service and charm. And I find myself wanting more of what they have and I am getting a little glimpse into their sobriety.

Our speaker tonight at St. Matthias, was one of my sober sisters. I was hoping that the speaker trend would come around to that sober circle and it has. The entire gaggles of girls were on hand tonight for the meeting. Because, you gotta represent don’t you?

Our speaker has 23 years of sobriety. Being a child of the original rock era her roots are sown in Janice Joplin and Jonie Mitchell. Back in the day alcohol and exotic drugs were common where music and drinking intersected.

We did not hear war stories but we got Popcorn.

Little piles of wisdom pop up here or over there. The desire of these women to be true to themselves and therefore us is apparent. Getting out of themselves and into others is right up there on the tops of the list of things to do every day.

They read the Big Book with new eyes, together and for them the book comes alive on a daily basis. Gratitude lists and sharing on a daily basis with sponsors and sponsees is vitally important for them.

Who knew, in those pages written so long ago, is that there is a solution for our common problems of body and mind. Because when we came here it was to stop drinking, and after two decades of time in the program, we have a problem with our thinking and perception.

Looking directly into the steps and working them actively with a sponsor like they do is something that maybe I have to do again. For the women, the affect of daily working the steps is gradual grace that comes in recognizing things that we may have overlooked in the past or continue to overlook now.

It seems the theme of tonight’s share was character defects. Putting a name to them and seeing them in this new light of every day sobriety. We all have them, I have them, and when they are mentioned, I get to look at them for myself.

It was a good night all the way around. The rain stayed away. And a good night was had by all.

I hope you all had a good day yourselves.

Stay tuned, more to come.


“Inspire a Generation” London 2012 …

As you can see, I’ve done a bit of remodeling for the Olympics in London 2012. It is time to cheer for the home team and await that first gold medal where we will hear our National Anthem played for the Gold Medal Winner.

It always makes me cry when I hear it played at an Olympic Competition.

We will be going to full time Live Blogging as much Olympic coverage as I can keep up with over the span of the games. So if you aren’t sporty – you will learn to love sport as I love sport. And there is no greater pride than for ones country.

Since I hold dual citizenship, I cheer on both the Americans and the Canadians. But my heart is firmly ensconced in Canada and always will be. But in any case we will cheer on ALL the athletes just the same for the sheer fact that they worked so hard to get here and they deserve all of our pride and love.

The Opening Ceremonies begin here in Canada at 4 p.m. EST in Montreal. We will have full pictorial coverage of the ceremony courtesy of CTV the national network bringing the games home to Canada.

So stay tuned. It will be exciting.

 


Sally Ride RIP …

This is one reason D.O.M.A needs to be repealed and ended.


Moments of Clarity …

Courtesy: My Android phone

This photo was taken outside of St. Matthias after a rain squall had passed, rainbows are very few and far between over our fair city.

Yesterday, early on, the clouds were roiling and gathering steam all day long and when we went for our afternoon nap, it thundered for hours on end it seemed. Then there was a lull in the weather until dinner time when the skies opened up and it seemed Armageddon was upon us. Rain fell in buckets, thunder rolled across the sky and the lightening was just amazing.

I was a bit worried that this flash rain storm would once again cause backups and floods all over the core, thankfully, when I got to the church all was well. But points outside the island of Montreal were in the dark because of the storm.

It was still cloudy when I left for the church this afternoon, but the rain stayed away thankfully. Set up was quick and painless and by 5 o’clock it was finished and I went to sit outside on the stoop to watch the city workers play on gigantic construction machines.

Clarke is under construction up towards Sherbrooke and the work trailer is sitting on the street opposite the church so there is only one way traffic down and no parking to boot.

Across the street from where I was sitting there was a pile of dirt being added to by a huge earth mover, and the ability for the guy running this huge machine was really impressive I thought. They were moving earth from one end of the street to our end of the street.

At one point a huge dump truck appeared on the alley way between the apartment buildings. And they also brought up a back hoe to the pile of dirt from the other end of the street. And it struck me just how many massive earth moving machines does it take to move a pile of dirt from the road into the dump truck?  (Well it takes 3 machines really !!! )

You would have thought that the earth mover could just swoop in and take the pile of dirt and drop it into the dump truck lickety split? Well no …

The earth mover brought the dirt to the point and then the backhoe which I thought was completely useless came in and scoop by scoop piled the dirt in the dump truck. I was like Really? REALLY ??? 3 machines to clear up a pile of dirt?

It was fun sitting there watching these men try and decide what to do with this pile of dirt. They milked it for every minute of evening work time on the clock.

Things that make you go Hmmmmm…

*** *** *** ***

A couple of weeks ago I went to my usual Sunday night meeting, I’ve been investing in that meeting as of late. And the discussion went around the room and a newcomer shared a moment of clarity with us.

He was out there drinking and deep in the thick of alcoholism and while he was out there still, he had a sick aversion to the rooms and meetings. He just could not see himself getting sober in the rooms. No matter how hard he fought the desire to get sober.

His father flew in from Europe to see him. His father is sober. So over the week or so they visited each other the son asked his father how he got sober and naturally his father responded with “In the rooms, of course !!!”

It was at that point that our young man had a moment of clarity and he attended his first meeting and he is sober today because of that meeting and the advice given to him by his father.

On the way home that night the conversation began with a friend on the walk home about the newcomer and how good it was to hear them share. This topic nested in my brain and I sat on it until I had an opportunity to bring it to my meeting tonight.

Tonight I asked my folks to ponder “moments of clarity.” Some members see moments of clarity as “spiritual awakenings” or “God smacks” or “God moments.”

We usually read from prepared texts or grapevines, but tonight I thought it would be good to hear people put a voice to their moments of clarity, some new comers shared that they don’t know if they’ve had moments of clarity, but everyone had something to share. I really enjoy hearing our women share because they are steeped in steps and sponsorship and reading and service.

I can’t get enough of listening to them share on any topic because they feel so deeply about sobriety. What the men lack, the women make up in spades.

We got almost all the way around the room before time was up. And it was enlightening.

I was trying to pin point my moment of clarity over the last ten years. I’ve had a few. Looking back over my time I could go many places, the entire first two years I was sober the first time were years of continual moments of clarity as I was schooled by Todd and Roy under the guise of working at the bar. I had many moments of clarity under their wings. Not necessarily having anything to do with sobriety. But clarity nonetheless.

Learning how to survive death brought with it many moments of clarity.

Those lessons did not go to waste.

On my second time around, the first moment of clarity I had was at the Christmas meeting at Poinciana a few weeks into getting sober the second time sitting in that candle lit meeting and having all my sober friends welcome me after I spent a month hiding out on the beach, because I was so ashamed of myself. That night all they wanted was for me to get better and to feel ok in their eyes was a great moment of clarity. All that worry about “what would they think of me” was pointless.

About eighteen months into sobriety here in Montreal, I was going to Tuesday Beginners, I had worked my steps and I was learning to “stay in my day.” It took me 18 months to learn how to live in my day and stay in the moment.

For some reason, I thought that since I was back in the rooms that I could have expectations for God. And I had a long list of things I wanted in return because I was getting sober again …

Funny, in hindsight, the things I thought were important.

Over the days and months God whittled down that list of expectations giving me answers like

NO!

NO!

Not Today!

NO!

Maybe another time …

Until my list was dispensed with.

It was at that point that I realized that all I had was today and that was good enough for me at that time. I kept going to meetings for now more than a decade at the same room, every Tuesday for the last 10 1/2 years.

There have been many moments of clarity. Go to a meeting and stay at that meeting for any length of time and watch people get sober and have their own moments of clarity as they come to the meeting, get sober and “come to.”

Those are real blessings. To be witness to God moving in the room around you and it doesn’t happen all the time or on any real time table, but on God’s time.

Seeing the light of God come down from the church above into our meeting hall is miraculous. When God visits a meeting the moments of clarity are just amazing, for myself and the member having the spiritual awakening.

The year I turned 40 and the year that followed was a period of true spiritual awakening. Life changed in ways that I could not have imagined. I “came to” in a whole different way. I began to realize that I had wisdom in my life and lessons to teach that I really didn’t see up until that point. But I had enough years behind me in the bank that I could look back and see the wisdom in my years on this earth. I realized that I “Just Knew Things…”

I’ve had a few “awakenings” in sobriety. They come when I least expect it and from out of left field usually. You go to meetings week in and week out and you have what Oprah calls “AHA Moments!”

I’ve had Aha moments in sobriety.

So all is all it was a great night.

Next week is my birthday on Tuesday. Grasshopper is baking a cake and it will be festive. We will celebrate my birthday before the business meeting next week.

Hope you all had a good day today.

More to come, stay tuned…


Sunday Sundries …

Courtesy: Spoonsdammit

It has been a very uneventful weekend. The weather has held on but there is rain in the offing over the next couple of nights. Not much going on here as of late.

I got out for the Sunday evening meeting tonight and we read from “Experience, Strength and Hope.” A Five Time Looser Wins … From the 3rd edition.

“There are many things worse than dying, but is there any death worse than the progressive, self induced, slow suicide of the practicing alcoholic? The alcoholic suffers death many times over. Alcohol wrings the guts out of life, eats into the brain in such a way as to make the alcoholic blind to the truth.”

This reading addresses the inmate and the consequences of this disease. Our man arrives at his fifth felony conviction and bottoms out and gets sober. And instead of being an inmate becomes a friend of the prison and warden.

The above paragraph speaks to me about just what alcoholism did to me over the decades that I drank. In the end I had no life, not one that I would be proud of in any case, my brain was a washout. There were many occasions that I wound up almost hitting the proverbial jackpot, but for some strange reason, fate had other plans for me. I escaped without brushing up against the law.

I have said in the past that I was blind to my disease. I knew that I was a full tank alcoholic but I never admitted that to myself. It had me in its grips and I was powerless to stop it. And nobody told me to stop, or show me that there was another solution to the insanity of drinking. Life ran its course and I ended up where I needed to be to get another kick at the can.

Sunday meetings are important because they start off the week on a good note. I get to see friends and read a little and share as well. Which gives me a springboard into my meeting on Tuesday.

It was a good weekend.

I hope you all had a good weekend as well. More to come, stay tuned …

 

 


Who told you that you were naked? (Part 3 of 3)

Lifted from: Jeremy (Don’tEatTrash)

As Gods amazingly loving voice called to Adam and Eve, who had decided that hiding was a good idea, he was commenting on more then just the physical coverings they had decided to don.

‘Who told you?’ Is a question that God continues to ask us.

Who told you that you are ugly, stupid, unworthy, broken?
Who told you that something is wrong with you?

And God follows that up throughout the entirety of humanities history with a firm

“BECAUSE I MADE YOU, and I THINK YOU ARE DELIGHTFUL”

Our reaction to God redeeming the truth in our heads should be ‘Oh yeah’ but usually we begin a lifelong argument.

‘But I am stupid – the teacher told me in fourth grade.’
‘But I am ugly, because i don’t have blonde hair and perfect abs’

and we rationalize it quite well. We’ve been very well trained in rationalizing our insane conclusions whilst God looks us right in the eye and asks ‘BUT WHO TOLD YOU?’

And we stammer and murmur and whinge and complain and shift the blame and compare ourselves over and over again.

And God waits.

He doesn’t take away our masks, he waits.

Because if we don’t listen to his much communicated delight of us, taking away our masks and our safety blankets will reveal the very thing we are hiding from and push us further and further into hiding.

God wants us to experience real freedom.
God wants us to be real with him and allow him to speak life and love and delight deep down into our souls.

Are you listening?

What parts are you trying to hide from God?


I want to be naked all the time. Eden. (Part 2 of 3)

Lifted from: Jeremy (Don’tEatTrash)

Adam and Eve were in the garden butt naked. Fully clothed in Gods holiness. Fully secure in who God said they were. Walking with the father. Entertained by the spirit. Conversing with Jesus. No insecurities. No comparisons. No jealousy. Just good old fashioned united and beautiful love and purity.

When you step back from the story a little, it makes absolutely no sense that the two humans believed the snake. The goodness of God should’ve been apparent enough to be truth and love rolled into one. But as child-like innocents, what reason did they have to be suspicious? What reason did they have to question anything in the garden.

They had never had their hearts broken – so had no reason to wonder if this was just another sleazy guy trying to get into their pants, leaving them violated. They had never been stolen from. They had never been insulted, never encountered a sarcastic comment followed by laughter, had never been lied to. So why would it start now? Yes they didn’t check with the God they knew and loved, but at that stage they didn’t have reason to either.

Fast forward a few millennia. Standing on a hill 11km from one of Australia’s largest ports and therefore – largest importer of prostitutes and illicit drugs and paraphernalia, I exist in amidst the story of humanity rife with disappointments. I am suspicious of everything, i ask why of every person, principle, commandment. I am cynical, I am a self appointed judge of quality. And I know exactly who the devil is. I know his ways and his means to get me to believe lies. And yet – in the midst of all my questioning i still find myself often, believing death, and following after it.

In a way i am in a much more informed position then Adam and Eve. I am not naked. I am defs very insecure and fearful. BUT, I live 2000 years after Christ came to earth to complete the adoption process that was started before the beginning of earths existence. I have read the story of Jesus many times. I have lived 27 years of Jesus fueled joy and love. I have conversed with God, and in many ways i have walked with him, as i have had the privilege of sharing the good news and have seen healing in the bodies and minds of the restless. I have created with God and experienced his forgiveness time after time. And yet i still hide behind clothes of comparative thought from an un-renewed mind.

What stops me from ripping off my clothes and walking around completely naked, so that everyone can see who I really am. So that i see who I really am. So that God can get at me more through a repentant and humble heart?

We live in the garden of Eden. Christ saw to that when he crucified all of humanity on the cross and commanded us to pull heaven down to earth. And the only thing stopping us from coming out from hiding and taking off our clothes is our FAITH and TRUST in that.

If we all knew who God made us to be.
If we all trusted that God was who he says he is.
If we trusted that God made others to be them.
If we knew why we are here.
If we held to the truths of Gods power in us and through us.

We can live, fully, in the garden of Eden RIGHT NOW.

The gospel message of Jesus Christ isn’t an insurance policy of “just in case i die”.
It is not a message of an angry father that needed Christ to bleed so that God would stop hating us.
GOD NEVER HATED US. – Jesus changed US.
From being not adopted, to being adopted.
From being lost, to being found.
From being dead to being ALIVE in the family of God.
The gospel message is not one of fear, or domination, or judgement, or assimilation. For none of these things are GOOD NEWS.
The gospel message is one flooded with hospitable love and belonging.

Wake up.
See the garden around you.
And walk out of the bushes and into the life and light of our beautiful loving creator.

Its a nice place.


We Live in Eden … (Part 1 of 3)

Lifted from: Jeremy (DontEatTrash)

In a whole lot of communities new members are expected to behave, then believe, then they belong. Like a rite of passage. If you can behave just like us, then you will learn how to think like us internally and then we will allow you to belong with us, we will give you the name badge.

In the youth work we do, we have taken the opposite approach. Our crew belong. They have a place with us. We love them and want them to be involved in everything we do. We then give them that belonging space to start riffing and engaging and experimenting with Jesus. The suss out, to see if Jesus is legit. Then through the belonging and the beginning to believe, behaviour starts to change because priorities and value and understanding changes. We see this all the time. That crew have no other place that just lets them belong. So they love coming because its a special place where they can actually be who they are and still get to belong.

I was sitting and listening to this being explained to new students who have started working with us in working with youth. and it dawned on me more strongly then it has in a long time. Belong believe behave is the gospel story that echoes through history from the beginning of time till this moment i sit in a dinning room listening to Mumford and sons “that’s exactly how this grace thing works” (the exact line that was just sung)

God created us to belong with him in a pretty garden. (The aesthetics of which he created, and continues to create) The garden of belonging never left. The garden of belonging was never destroyed. But as we know the story, Adam and Eve left the garden and the people of Israel decided to not belong to God as their king, they chose their own… Multiple times. The garden of Eden was forgotten about. But God never forgot. God never forgot that he had designed us to hang out with him intimately in a pretty place. He designed us to be clothed with him, unashamed, un-comparatively belonging. But more then that, before time he had already come to the conclusion with his trinity brothers that Christ was going to come to earth and adopt us into their community.

As family.

How much closer can you belong somewhere then family adoption?

So amongst a billion other things – when Christ came to earth he returned us to the garden with God. Adopted not only into a family, a nation, a people, but also we returned to the paradise that God crafted with his own hands.

We see with his eyes, smell with his nose, feel with his hands, function with his power. We are offered clothing that rids us of shame and comparison. We are offered meadows of joyfully coloured flowers to dance and prance in abandoned to Gods love and delight.

When we enter the kingdom of God, this is what we are offered. Eden. Our seed is planted in the soil of perfection and watered by the holy spirit.

When Christ died he died for ALL. He took all of us onto the cross with him. Death has no power over us because death has no power. None at all. We walk in the garden with the father, intimately.

BUT, just like the garden of Eden – Adam and Eve chose to put on leaves to hide their bits. Adam and Eve chose to hide.

We hide. We cover our bits. We run from God. But we don’t have to. We live in the garden of Eden. When Satan tells us a half truth that God didn’t mean what he says, we can go back to God and say

“OI, BIG FELLA – that weird leathery brosef told us you lied to us. Did you?”

and every time, God will gain our trust more, until the snake can’t say anything. Until we feel fine running naked around the place, until we never compare again.

God is good. He created belonging and fights for it every day. When we cower and refuse to talk to God because of his wrath God is screaming of his love. He wants – no HE NEEDS us to know his love. Other wise he loses more of us.

Enjoy the garden.

Enjoy freedom.

Enjoy God.


Stay in the Moment …

Courtesy: CameronJohn

It is a cool beautiful night to be out and about. We are on a nightly cooling trend with temps in the teens and twenties. I was out to make the early bus out and when I got to Sherbrooke, the bus was already sitting there and I missed it. So I had to wait for the next one.

It was a full hall tonight. Lots of friends and fellowship. Our speaker came from out of town, a very humble woman with a tragic story about addiction and alcoholism. There were several points along the way that I identified with.

It begins with the moment.

The stories of abuse and how we get involved with the wrong people for the wrong reasons and how they latch onto us and follow us from one place to another. And the continual geographics to try and change a situation but those bad seeds are eventually asked along.

Over my drinking career I followed the crowd. They weren’t as bad as I heard tonight. Getting me into trouble that I couldn’t handle. As a young drunk I moved from one place to another thinking that I would strike it rich and find the one I was supposed to meet. But that didn’t happen.

Tragedy is a common theme in many stories, the path to that tragedy is what changes from person to person. That amazing crash and burn that mark a terribly low bottom when everything is lost and we find ourselves at the tipping point that usually leads to a random act of kindness that leads us to redemption.

Tonight we heard about random acts of kindness.

We also heard talk of how much care people in the program offer those chances to redeem ourselves by caring for us, making sure we get to meetings and find a sponsor and read the books and work the steps.

Our woman found redemption in the rooms and she made the most of it no matter how hard it was in the beginning years of sobriety. After suffering at the hands of abusive men in her life, she ended up marrying a member who has shown her all kinds of kindness and support and encouragement.

It was truly a story of redemption and salvation. You couldn’t buy this kind of success in a shop. It is only found in the working of the program day after day, month after month and year after year until one day you get to where she is, 23 years sober. I am not there yet, but I have hope…

Read and use the slogans.

Read and use the books.

Find and work the steps.

And one day we shall be with you as you trudge the road of happy destiny.