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Archive for August, 2016

Top Pod Casts You Should be Listening To

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Technology is an interesting companion. Having an I Phone that does many things, has changed the way I live my life. It keeps us connected to one another, feeds our addiction to Social Media, and allows Blogging by mobile apps, but the most important function my phone does is Pod Casting.

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Here is my list of Top Podcasts that I listen to daily, weekly, and so on.

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The Art of Charm with A.J. and Jordan Harbinger
Learn how to Crush it in Business, Life and Love
Jordan and his guests are Must Listens.

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Next … We Turn to Talk, News, Politics and Life
The Ezra Klein Show @ Vox.com
If you are familiar with MSNBC you should know Ezra Klein
Ezra talks to many important and influential news makers and writers

One of Ezra’s BEST interview was with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah
A Must Listen…

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Need a little mystery in your life, a voice in the desert, Cecil Baldwin, Fellow and Narrator
of this little Mystery Podcast
Welcome to Night Vale

And Associated Podcasts:

Within the Wires and Alice Isn’t Dead

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I was listening to Jordan and A.J. on The Art of Charm the other day and they spoke very highly of our next offering …
Lore Podcast.com

Winner of the iTunes “Best of 2015” Award

Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. Each episode examines a new dark tale from history, and presents it in a style that’s been compared to a campfire experience. With over 3,600 5-star reviews and 2.5 million monthly listens, that’s clearly a good thing.

New episodes are released every two weeks, on Mondays.

Our fears have roots. Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares.

Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.

Aaron Mahnke

Aaron is the writer, host, and producer of Lore, as well as the author of a number of supernatural thrillers. Aaron has a deep love of the mysterious and frightening that began with Unsolved Mysteries and The X-Files — a love that continues to this day. Basically, he’s a nerd for anything unexplainable or supernatural.

Aaron lives with his family in the historic Boston area, in the very heart of Lovecraft Country and the epicenter of the Salem witch trials. You can follow him here on Twitter, and learn more about him on his website.

Guest #1- Patrick Ruffini- Republican Political Strategist
Guest #2- Jonathan Alter- Senior Editor, Newsweek
Guest #3- Dr. Cornel West- Princeton University
In Studio Guest #1- Phillippe Cousteau, Jr.- CEO, EarthEcho International
In Studio Guest #2- Scot

I have been a fan of HBO since I was a kid and since we don’t get HBO here on our cable system, you can find Bill Maher’s Podcast on your mobile browser.

Real Time with Bill Maher

Politics, Round Table Discussions, Guests, News Makers, Politicians

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For the Harry Potter Aficionado there is something to offer you too…
Muggle Cast – The Harry Potter Pod Cast

For Everything Harry Potter and the Cursed Child News, Trivia and Discussion on
All things “Potter.”

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For those who enjoy Space
Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Star Talk Radio

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And Finally, for all you Footballer’s Out there, who Love Soccer and can’t get enough
I am a huge fan of Mario Gotze and now he’s back at BVB
Borussia Dortmund – Germany
So it only make sense to listen to the BVB Podcast
The Yellow Wall Pod Cast


The Final Turning Over …

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Hi brother,
Your email overwhelms my heart. I’ve been sitting with it for days now, just holding it and you there in my heart, and before God.
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Your life journey is epic in size. There has been great cost to you, and much brokenness. Caring and nurturing parents have not been a part of your journey it seems.
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Yes, you know the joy of the little ones calling your name, and so you also know some of the pain of missing their little hugs. Its such a bitter sweet thing. Their love and the distance that separates your heart from theirs. Life and its distances seem to be such a challenge these days.
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Even distances of the heart.
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Your heart distance with your parents is a longing that, as you are seeing, may never be crossed over. I’ve seen aged men long for and crave the love of their moms and dads and it never comes. Never ever comes. And how is the aged man supposed to live with that love gap in their lives?
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Maybe it’s connected with your love for this little girl, Lu Lu.  Perhaps it stirs your own questioning of your parents and how they could so easily reject their little boy?
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The pain you are experiencing, the desire to be heard, the desire for justice, that is all legitimate and real.
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But you may never feel heard this side of heaven.
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How are you to live then with this glaring injustice in your life?
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There is an emotional need in you, in all of us, to be respected. To be loved and cared for, supported and listened to. We crave emotional connections, or intimacy with significant humans in our lives. Our parents, our spouses, our friends.
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And when it is slow in coming, we end up getting our self worth our intimacy our value and love from other places. Maybe from our jobs, maybe from our financial worth. Whatever, but we crave it, we want it.
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For Leah, she just wanted the love of her husband, Jacob
Remember, Jacob thought that Leah’s younger sister Rachel was beautiful. Jacob had been tricked into marrying Leah when he wanted Rachel.
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Genesis 29:14-35
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”
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33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.
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34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.
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35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
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 For Leah, she was not loved, something which she craved. So she did what women of that time were to do, have babies, male babies. And she did it really well.  She thought that if she had God plus her husbands love, she would have all she needed.
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 And so she kept trying to gain his love, by producing male babies.
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 “Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”
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“She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.”
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“Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.”
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Each new baby you see her heart torn out that maybe now Jacob would love her. But he never did.
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All these sons she was producing, and the reason was to gain the love and respect of her husband. She craved his love and affirmation just like many of us do today. She was willing to try the best that she could to gain his love. But it didn’t work.
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We think if only we could have the love of someone close to us, then it all would be ok, and life would be good or better or we would feel heard.  But that equation never worked for poor Leah.  And it really doesn’t work for us either.
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And then we see with her last son, a shift in her heart.
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35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
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This last time her focus was not on her husbands love, but on her God. Her heart changed and she decided to focus her needs her value, on God who was worthy of praise.
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And when she did that shift, Judah was born. When she stopped trying to gain value and love from her husband, and just from God, life came.  The line that Jesus would be born into, came through that line of Judah. Life came then and there.
And interestingly enough, Rachel would die in childbirth and Jacob was buried with Leah.
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God took notice on the unloved Leah (and he took notice on the “unloved” Jeremy too). When she stopped trying to gain Jacobs love, she was free. When she decided to gain her value and self worth from God, who was worthy of praise, she was free.
There is something there for you too Jeremy. It is a grief you go through realizing that you will never be heard and received by your parents. That’s real pain. But as you are able to shift your sense of value or self worth or even just being loved, from your parents to God, you gain freedom.
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And there are prayer things you can do to unhook the barbs from your parents that are still hooked into you. Things that I can explain later. But shifting your measure for happiness from the love of your parents to the love of God, is a real start.
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This letter has been a few days in the writing, because its included prayer and some levels of discernment. I believe God is here too, and I’m asking you to prayerfully consider what God may be inviting you to consider. I assure you of my own prayer for you these days.
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It seems like things in your heart are opening up in these love areas these days.
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This letter from my spiritual director came the other night. I have been engaging in this discussion with him for some time. When we reach Step Three, in The Work, The Book, we pray to turn it over to God, to trust that He has our backs to relieve us of the bondage of self.
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I’ve not been completely “Willing” to let go my need for self will, when it comes to “waiting” for people, who will never affirm, love, nor dignify me, to be who I want them to be.
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I know, for the whole of my life, that God has been doing for me what I could not do for myself. And that is just plain fact. I am here, because of God’s grace and His intervention, by placing the right people, in my life, at the moment of most need, and so here I am.
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 I knew this, all along.
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 Secretly, in my heart of hearts, I’ve been “Waiting to exhale” waiting for the moment when God was going to say YES, to a desire, that clearly was a NO. I admit that the NO was in my rear view mirror. I knew NO, but was unwilling to let go, that part of me that desires love, respect, dignity and validation.
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 That is never going to come, from people I need it to, because of WHO they are and not because of who I am. Never…
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I am so plum stock, lock and barrel tired of holding my delusion of self will any longer.
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I just want to be Free of It. Finally, once and for all.
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I was waiting for permission, in a sort of way from God, to let this go and be ok with it, knowing I exhausted myself totally, and that it was ok, to let it go and walk away, without the guilt, remorse and shame, for not being able to change them.
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I just cannot do this any more.
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In the back of my mind, I feel guilt for leaving people in a bad situation when I left and did not look back. I feel sorry for the way that their humanity was destroyed by trauma, drama and alcoholism. I feel remorse for not being able to change THEM, because what alcoholic, does not want to change others, instead of ourselves? Always trying to run the show and have all the actors hit their cues just right, so the show is a hit, because of OUR control.
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 I cannot save anyone. I am not Jesus Christ.
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The lesson of approval, that is —> over there in the PAGES, is appropriate right about now, and I knew that lesson, because I learned it long ago, yet I was unwilling to allow God the rest of my heart, because of a desire I HAD, that was never going to come to fruition.
I’m tired of waiting to exhale.
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I just need to breathe.

Sunday Sundries – How Free Do You Want to Be ?

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Hello peoples, how the hell are you ? It’s been a while. I’ve spent the better part of these many days unpacking and thinking about life in general.

I’ve been sitting in a place of gratitude and respect and pride that I have for where I am, how I got here, and just what it means to really savor, Citizenship. My experience sitting on Parliament Hill with my best friend, listening to Oh Canada being sung, meant a great deal to me personally and spiritually.

I’ve been trying to understand what it meant to attend a Pride Event, after so many years, NOT attending pride at all. Pride twenty five years ago, is not Pride in 2016. Everything changes. The mission of Pride, every year, is a gathering of people, who want to be seen, want to be heard, want to be respected and want to be legitimized.

I expected to see, people like me. Men and Women from my time period, who came, survived, and are still alive to celebrate life. That did not happen. I did not see many men from my specific range of experience. I did not see any mention of People living with HIV, however, we collected package after package of specially wrapped condoms.

What I did see is many young people. Boys, Girls, Gays, Lesbians, Trans, Bisexuals. What struck us odd was the militant lesbians, especially one very outspoken black militant lesbian at the Dyke March Protest.

The trans bathroom issue was front and center. The black-white divide is alive and well. The pushing out of privileged white men, opting of course for the more politically correct minority groups, within the LGBT community.

What I think they lack in realization is that the LGBT community began as a minority group, marching for acceptance, inclusion and respect. And we have passed through those times as the LGBT community grew in number and visibility over the last two decades.

AIDS has come and gone. And is not the hot button issue it was just a mere two decades ago. What do these young people know of AIDS ? Not One Idea. Most of the kids we saw at Pride in Ottawa are young enough to have been born in recent years, never having to see or participate in the real fight for life.

So while in Ottawa, the Big Wide LGBT community is right back where it started for this new age. Pockets and small communities of young people marching for their own causes, which are today’s Hot Button Issues.

The politics and issues of the past, are no more. Our community has evolved, as the binary male/female, gay/straight, simple issues of sexuality has blossomed into what we see today and the FLUIDITY of Sexual orientation. This notion of Fluidity has broadened the spectrum of people and personalities. We’ve moved from a few voices of change, to an entire spectrum of voices fighting to be heard and legitimized.

Very complicated. And I am not the person to illuminate these topics. But a few of my friends, today, are much more well versed on this discussion. I cannot speak for what I don’t understand or fully comprehend the minutiae of the sexes.

Suffice to say, Pride … There is a difference.

How free Do You Want To Be ?

It has been a few weeks, working a new round of steps with my new sponsor. I, along, with one of my lady friends, sit on Sunday evenings before the meeting, and we do step work together.

The last few months have been trans formative. I know now, how free I want to be. Because I understand, with certain hindsight and perspective now, where I want to go because I am willing now to go to any length for spiritual freedom.

When you have new eyes on the book, and The Work, after so many years, reading and reading and re-reading, over and over again, one of my friends, tonight, said that this round of steps is teaching us to be efficient in learning How It Works, to be able to Give it Away to our sponsees.

Within our group of intrepid steppers, we all agree, in one way or another, that we are just tired of ourselves, and the things we cling to, not because we are blind to them, but because we have been made aware of just how insidious alcoholism is, and what it does to us emotionally, mentally, bodily and spiritually.

Today, I am prepared to walk away from the area of my life that has been fruitless for the whole of my life. Rafa and I spent weeks and months talking together about life, family and my book manuscript that is sitting on my dining room table right now.

I get it. We are all human. And the whole journey through my forties has been a journey of wisdom and understanding. I know, where I come from, and what makes people tick. I know the roles we all played in making this life what it became.

I am the only one, who is clean and sober today.

I can’t save anyone.

I am not Jesus Christ.

In a sort of way, I feel an amount of guilt for leaving people in a bad situation, when I decided to leave and not look back. I am guilty of hoping and denying God’s truth from reality. I know, that for the whole of my life, God has been with me, and has given me what I needed, when I needed it, in certain truth order.

But I was holding on to my will, in this one area, denying God’s will and hoping for my own will to manifest. It is time to let it go. Turn my will over to God in ALL areas of life, and not just some.

You cannot be ” Just a little Pregnant …”

So that is a thing.

Our young people are back from their summer vacations and jobs. And in the coming days, we will be sorting out meetings, jobs and money. It’s time to hand over responsibility to someone else for a while.

Fall is on its way. Cooler night temps are coming little by slowly.

THERE ARE ONLY 118 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS …


Sunday Sundries – PRIDE Ottawa Weekend

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Photo: The Parliament of Canada, with projected laser and photo story.

I am back at home tonight, after a whirlwind trip to our Nations Capitol, Ottawa. It was Pride Ottawa this weekend. Saturday was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and humidity. Today (Sunday) was not so nice.

We stood in the rain with thousands of people to watch the Annual Pride Parade in the Nations Capitol. Rafa lives in the heart of the Village, so we had ringside seats for the parade this afternoon. We got lots of beads, water bottles, assorted condoms in pretty packaging, and other assorted items that were handed out by the marchers in the parade.

I have over fifty images from the weekend, that I will upload this week.

Ottawa is a really great city. It was the first time that I was on the ground exploring the area Rafa lives in. We had dinner at King Eddie’s Saturday night, and then we walked around the Parliament Hill neighborhood, ending up on The Lawn of Parliament Hill, for the Grand Fireworks display and the nightly, Northern Lights, Laser Light Show, that is a bilingual presentation, displayed ON the Parliament Building itself. This show runs nightly through September.

It is a genius presentation with lasers, lights and imagery covering the history of Canada.

There were thousands of people on the lawn. We had arrived a little over an hour prior to the show, so we had front row seats on the lawn, directly in front of Center Block.

Many years ago, when I got my citizenship, there was no party, no singing, no national anthem to be sung. Just my certificate and a welcome greeting by our NOW mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre.

We visited Parliament Hill, on our Second Christmas together, Hubby and I, but it was Christmas so we did not see anyone from the government.

Last night, Saturday, We sat on the lawn, watching this fantastic presentation, and at the end, they played the Canadian National Anthem. As the song began we were sitting, midway through, I was seeing people, get up and stand.

I got up and stood … I got very emotional, and stood there and sobbed.

Every time I hear the anthem played, especially at an Olympic Games, my heart swells with Pride for my country. Last night, I had a Spiritual Experience, during the anthem.

It sealed the deal for me, as a Citizen of our great country.

I got my Anthem, On the Hill, With my Best friend, who became a citizen, himself, last year.

To be on Parliament Hill, to celebrate our history with thousands of residents and thousands more tourists, I could not have been more proud to be a Canadian today.

And today, Sunday, we spent the day together at Pride.

I have lots of observations about people, places and things, to write about concerning Pride and the politics we saw in action. There was definitely a political agenda going on.

The whole fluidity issue, the racial divide and the struggle within the whole LGBTQ community, was apparent. There were many more girls and women at the parade, but not so many white men. Lots of families, tourists, and folks with serious axes to grind with the political establishment, other factions of the gay community, and the lengths our young people, on all sides, want to be heard and legitimized.

More on that later this week, once I’ve had time to think it all through.

 


Battle for Aleppo: Photo of shocked and bloodied Syrian five-year-old sparks outrage

Omran Daqneesh

Images of the boy sitting in an ambulance were released by activists and have since been shared widely on social media.

He was identified as five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, who was treated for head wounds on Wednesday, doctors said.

His parents and three siblings are believed to have survived the attack

The pro-opposition Aleppo Media Centre said the pictures of Omran had been taken in the rebel-held Qaterji district late on Wednesday, reportedly following Russian air strikes that killed at least three people and injured 12 others.

The video shows the boy being carried out of a damaged building by a medic and then placed on a seat in the back of an ambulance, covered in dust and with a blood-covered face.

Omran is then left sitting quietly, appearing stunned by the ordeal. He runs his hand over his face and looks at the blood before wiping it on the seat.

Omran’s picture has already led to comparisons with another disturbing image, that of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi whose body was washed up on a Turkish beach after his family attempted to cross to Greece.

The Plight of Syrian Children. Above you see what happens when they stay, below is what happens if they try to leave …

 

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Sunday Sundries – Pride Montreal Edition

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Pride in Montreal came to and end tonight with a massive T- Dance that ends in just an hours time. This afternoon, the 10 anniversary edition of the Montreal Pride Parade Stepped off, just around the block from home.

I watched the parade go from my balcony. My Pride event will come next weekend, when I attend Pride Ottawa in the Nations Capitol. Our Honorable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was here today and marched in our parade, as he has been marching in all the Pride Parades in Canada so far. Next weekend he will march in Ottawa. And I will be there with Rafa. I have my outfit all picked out and ready to go.

I noticed just now, looking at the weather, that this week, all week, we will see mid teens overnight, and day time temps in the mid twenties. It is gradually cooling off here. Canada’s East has been in dire need of rain. Yesterday, and well into last night, it rained, not just rained, but poured down cats, dogs and little fishes rain. I got soaked at the meeting last night.

Our young people are on their ways back to Montreal. One friend is in Calgary right now, having left Vancouver last night around 11 pst. I had called her around 2 am our time last night as she was boarding her first bus leg.

By the end of next week, we will have all of our folks back from their summer jobs around Canada.

Our little Big Book Group met today for the last reading for Step One, next week everybody is away, which means we crank through How It Works in two weeks time.

I’ve extended The Work to one of our men in the other fellowship last night, so he is cranking through the preliminary reading material.

Tonight, at the meeting we read through page 94 – 96, and working with others. It was good discussion. I spent some time with an old friend after the meeting, trying to forge connections within my circle of friends. My circle of friends all know each other.

Funny, that whenever I talk to Rafa, he asks about another friend of ours, and when I speak to that other friend, he asks me about Rafa. I feel like a push me – pull me. So I suggested to both tonight, that maybe they should start talking together again, between themselves, since Rafa moved away, his friends here don’t call as much as they should.

The wisdom on “Connection” is a thread I am trying to weave for my friends. We have had a good start with that here among the guys here, now I need them to reach out to their friends in other places on a more regular basis.

A good night was had by all.

One more week of work then I am off to Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.

Happy Pride …

 


Friday – Accepting God’s Gifts

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Though many theologians hold that sudden spiritual experiences amount to a special distinction, if not a divine appointment of some sort, I question this view.

Every human being, no matter what his or her attributes for good or evil, is a part of the divine spiritual economy. Therefore, each of us has their place, and I cannot see that God intends to exalt one over the another.

So it is necessary for all of us to accept whatever positive gifts we receive with a deep humility, always bearing in mind that our negative attitudes were first necessary as a means of reducing us to such a state that we would be ready for a gift of the positive ones via the conversion experience.

Your own alcoholism and the immense deflation that finally resulted are indeed the foundation upon which your spiritual experience rests.

Bill W. Letter, 1964

The time has come in our circle of intrepid young men for much needed change. This summer has not been kind to our small fellowship. And retreading the same mundane literature in one fellowship, is not the same as retreading old literature in another.

The main corpus of the Big Book has not changed since the day those words were printed in the 1930’s. But the wisdom of its writers was genius. Reading from the first 164 pages gives a wealth of wisdom. And over the past four years, a growing number of folks in the Montreal A.A. fellowship have been introduced to people from other places, who see ideas and words and the writing of the Big Book, in ways, we, here, do or have not, in the past.

When I met Bob in 2012, He introduced me to The Work. At that same event, over 300 people were introduced to the Same Work. Maybe a handful of folks went home and did as we were shown. I did, at least.

Now this Summer, I met another man from New York, who is working with a primary small group of people, reading the book, and doing The Work, anew.

The Big Book is written in a way that, beginning with The Book, at large, can be drawn down to chapters, and further into pages, then further into paragraphs, and finally into sentences. The book is written in a certain fashion, with certain reason and process.

When you add further “in depth” homework, questions to ask ones self, working along side a sponsor who is IN the primary small group, doing the work themselves, miracles happen.

In our other fellowship, Life With Hope, is just a book, that has the twelve steps and traditions and a number of stories, akin to the Big Book format. There is no retreading Life With Hope. It lacks the wisdom writing and the function of the book, to be gleaned for new wisdom, as the Big Book offers.

Some of our men, have realized that “If nothing changes, Nothing Changes.” And I’m about at the end of my journey, as mentor with the most time banked.

The problem with the fellowship(s) is this … In today’s day and age, addiction crosses many boundaries. The oldsters, who have remained, in A.A., most of them have singular problems, and they came and rooted in the “rooms.”

Over the last fifteen years, I have seen dual addictions come into A.A. and years ago, speaking of dual addiction, or uttering the word DRUGS, in ones share, was met with anger, resentment, and the person who uttered that dirty word, was shown the door.

Usually, they never came back.

Today, in certain meetings, speaking about dual addiction has become more commonplace. Peoples sensibilities have softened. Because, we must meet the times with equal concern and try to be accepting and welcoming.

Some do, but Some DO NOT.

Before other (A) meetings opened, A.A. was the only route to recovery. That is IF you found your way to our rooms. And there are, today, many routes to recovery. The fellowship is not the only way to find freedom from addiction.

Tonight, I talked with some of my friends at the regular Friday Night meeting, because we really need some additional man/woman power, for our floundering M.A.meetings. What I got in return was … addicts, who cross many addiction lines, stick to certain groups, for certain reasons. That is a logical answer, because they have found some solidarity with others in the same boat.

Men and women who were equal opportunity users of many drugs, pick the strongest affinity with the most commonality. That is N.A./ C.A. or M.A. so forth and so on.

Even if they cross several boundaries, they do not cross meeting lines into the lesser of their evils. Many just don’t see the need to add just One More Meeting. Even if I asked them to participate, none of my friends are inclined to do so.

That has been a long standing problem. When the needs of one group cannot be met, by bringing in fresh folks to share experience, strength and hope, the wealth of existing  experience only goes so far, before we hit the bottom of the wisdom and experience bank.

You can only tell the same story so many times, without fresh wisdom, and if you do that your story becomes boring and useless, and those around you go looking for something different, because you are retreading the same material and not adding to it.

That is where our little fellowship is right now.

Our barrels are empty. And not all of my guys, hit other meetings, other than the ones we provide three times a week, even if the topic changes along with the type of meeting.

We are tired and burned out. We need to replenish our banks with fresh knowledge, wisdom and sober education. So it goes, I have told my guys that if they want to remain clean and sober, sitting in a stagnant room, is not going to get them anywhere. They need to hit other meetings, IF and ONLY IF, they have commonality with another fellowship.

Most drug users, have crossed several boundaries. Alcohol, other drugs, pills, and other mind and mood altering substances. Some pot heads, drink, still. Some have come to the realization that clean and sober, means, just that: Clean and Sober.

So it goes.

“Obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.”

I’ve given all I’ve got at this point. When our young people, who have been away all Summer return in the next week or so, those of us, on the front lines, will step back and go fill our banks, while they step up and take the reins, so to speak.

Tonight, we talked about Gifts. And God. And Sobriety.

Bill believes that God would not exalt one over another. We are all equal in the eyes of God. And with what God gives us, each in our own ways, should accept, and have some humility in the grand scheme of things.

A friend of mine spoke about a conversation he had with one of his friends the other day. He asked his friend if he had heard from God that day, and the answer came back,

When I am listening for Him.

Life is one Big Spiritual Experience, if you want to see it that way. Some do, Some don’t.

Another friend talked about alcoholics and addicts being The Chosen Ones. That pushes the envelope into arrogance. Once you cross that line into ego and arrogance, you’ve lost your humility and grace.

That kind of shit is the first thing that many people recognize right off the bat.

I can ponder my story, now, with the eyes and experience I have, and see where God had stepped into my life and did for me what I could not do for myself. And that means that in all cases, it was another human being who was at the right place at the right time, to get me through certain periods of time in my life.

I’ve seen my fair share of tragedy, death and suffering to last me ten lifetimes.

I know, for me, that when I got sick and was going to die, that had Todd not stepped up and did what he did for me, I would have died like all my other friends who did.

Out of all those people, Todd chose to help me. And Saved my Life.

I can say, without a doubt, that that was a Certain God divined decision.

For my entire life, well back in my teens, I was searching for God. I went to church, I prayed, I attended Seminary, and failed.

When I put down the drugs and the drink for the last time, when I was beaten and broken, and had no where else to turn, I prayed once again. Because up until that point, I had not uttered a prayer, once.

I knew it was the end for me, if I did not STOP.

I prayed for an alcoholic, and that alcoholic appeared. Another God ordained decision.

Today I serve my God to the best of my ability. I do what I can, every day to help my friends and fellows. Even if I don’t want to, I know, that if I just Do the Next Right Thing, God will provide.

Edit Addition:

We hear, many times from both men and women, that when they come in, bashed and broken, many feel unworthy of anything like freedom or happiness or life. Then they hear the Promises, and they come back for more, waiting for them to come true for them as well. I heard a particular woman tonight say that early on, she felt as if she deserved nothing and was hurting inside. Those feelings of unworthiness are common among many folk, men and women alike. And I’ve heard the slogan that people have repeated to me countless times since I first got sober…

Stick around until the miracle happens.

When I first got sober, a woman who worked at the associated rehab, where I was getting sober, would tell me that every day. The miracle was coming rather quickly. Todd was on the case, and every day that he gave me a reason to hang on and to choose life over death, the miracle was happening. That miracle is still ongoing, because I am still alive. twenty two years later.

Come, Sit, Stay …

You will find that power greater than yourself.

The obsession will leave you, I promise.

And You Too will see how HP, or God, as I call Him, will work miracles in your life as well.

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God never fails us.

It is we who fail God.

For many years God had been trying to get my attention. And I wasn’t aware that I really needed HIM when I was off the beam. Because when I was in SELF, I did not need God. But God waited, and through trial and error, several times He got my attention when needed. It took me until this time around to really consider, living by God’s will and not my own. I never knew that turning my life over, to the degree I did, TOTALLY, that life would be like this. I never imagined it that way, way back then.

I thought that I would find my way “OUT THERE” in the Other World. That included drugs, alcohol and warped thinking. When I moved here, to Montreal, I said to God that I would do this, if HE would take care of me. I really had no idea what I was going to do, when I got here. When I walked into St. Leon’s Parish hall, I settled in for the long haul and i waited upon God. I was steadfast and obeyed every word that was given to me. And here I am, almost fifteen years later.

God did not disappoint.

The rooms provide. I have not had to go outside the room for ANYTHING in all my years of sobriety. You can take that to the bank.

Be careful for what you pray for, because if God thinks you are ready for it, it is going to come, and usually in spades.

But on the flip side, if you get up and want a SHIT DAY, you will get your shit day, because that is where you go in your head.

It is our choice, what we choose to connect with on a daily basis.

Because we all know, and the book says,

All we have is a daily reprieve based on the maintenance of our Spiritual Condition.

If I don’t hear from God directly, that just means I need to hit a meeting and go listen to my friends. Because one way or another, the words will come, I just have to be attuned to listen for them.

That is, to this day, a work in progress.

One day at a time.

 

 

 


Lionel Messi: Argentina striker reverses decision to retire from national team

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Lionel Messi has announced he wants to return to Argentina’s national team, less than two months after retiring from international football.

Messi, 29, quit after Argentina’s Copa America final defeat by Chile in June.

But in a statement reported by media in Argentina, the Barcelona striker said he wanted to play to “to help from within.”

New coach Edgardo Bauza will announce his squad for September’s two World Cup qualifiers at 22:00 BST.

Messi missed in the penalty shootout defeat by Chile, as Argentina lost a fourth major final in nine years.

“A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great,” Argentina’s all-time record goalscorer is reported as saying.

“We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside.”

Argentina face 2018 World Cup qualifiers at home to Uruguay and away to Venezuela in the first week of September.


Wednesday Over Night – Welcome to Night Vale Part 2

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Earlier I shared with you what I am listening to via Pod Cast. And I highly recommend that if you like good listening, those Pod Casts are the real deal.

This morning I had an early start, having to run many errands, well into the day, I made a cursory trip into the Village, as it is PRIDE right now, traffic is higher than normal, coming from the West end of town, Eastwards into the Village.

I had placed an order in my favorite shop in the Village last week, and had heard nothing, so this morning I went out to see what was up. Nothing …

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The Village is a ride from home.

I was told that my order would be completed by 2 p.m. and could I come back then?

Certainly.

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I was headed to my favorite book sellers, to see if I could get a copy of “Welcome to Night Vale.”

 

I rode the Metro Westward and When I got to McGill Metro, a few stops West of the Village, I was half on my way (all the way) home, and in an instant, I stepped off the train and walked through the station to Place Montreal Trust … There are several shopping malls all interconnected underground, at the McGill Stop.

  • Le Cours Mont-real (Peel Metro)
  • Place Montreal Trust
  • The Eaton Centre
  • Complex Les Ailes
  • Place Cathedral
  • The Hudson’s Bay Company

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I was headed to my favorite book sellers, to see if I could get a copy of “Welcome to Night Vale.” I logged onto the stores computer kiosk and found several copies on the shelf. That was a very pleasant purchase, saving me cash and delivery on an online purchase.

I had some lunch, and headed home.

I stopped off and did my groceries and pharmacy pick up and finally made it home. I had two hours to kill. I did my laundry and after folding, I got dressed again, and headed back East into the Village once again. And I was totally satisfied with the design I had put together, and the craft work that my artist did for my piece. And he charged me little to nothing for it too !

We chatted about the PRIDE celebrations taking place, and they asked me to definitely participate with the shop this weekend.

I am headed to Ottawa on the 20th to visit Rafa and attend PRIDE in the Nations Capitol Ottawa – Pride Parade that Sunday. Our Esteemed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been marching in every PRIDE Parade across Canada.

He would be the FIRST sitting Prime Minister to do so in our Nation’s History.

So that is a thing.

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The other Fantastic Purchase from Overseas, was probably the FIRST printed Jersey for Mario Gotze, Number 10 – newly re-joined his old club Borussia Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund, is a direct competitor of his Former club, Bayern Munich.

A little over two years ago, Mario was a star player, along with his sidekick, Marco Reus. Marco stayed with the club, and Mario sought greener pastures at Bayern.

German players have a problem. They play on a first tier team for a while. They make a name for themselves, they play some good football, then it goes to their heads.

We have seen this happen with several players in the League.

Mario left Borussia for Bayern Munich. And for a short while it was a good move. Until that move proved fatal to Mario’s career. He went from Bayern, to the World Cup, he had several titles to his name. He shot that Winning Goal at the World Cup and that cemented him into the pantheon of Top Tier Players.

That did not last very long.

Mario’s fortunes began to fall. He went from serious pitch time, to almost NO pitch time. And in the end, NO pitch time, that certainly killed his career at Bayern. Not to mention assorted injuries that sidelined him at Bayern.

So they exercised a transfer window – Mario Leaves Bayern and returns to his former Club, Borussia Dortmund, and hopefully, Mario will see his star rise once again. Mario and Marco really made a good team together. They will once again.

A good chunk of money passed between teams to get Mario from Bayern and back into Borussia Dortmund.

 

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Bastian Schweinsteiger, was another Bayern Shining Star. He had great numbers, a career next to none, and was a leading player at Bayern. But Bastian suffered the same issue, with wanting greener pastures in another league.

He left Bayern for the English League, Manchester United. Another Hallowed Football team. Bastian, I think, thought he would make bigger money and have a better career in England.

Sadly, not too long ago, Manchester United, showed Bastian the door. He was cut from the first team. Bastian has been plagued with injury after injury stemming from his time at Bayern and those injuries followed him to England.

And those injuries killed his future with Manchester United.

He was shown the door, and an invitation to play with the junior team, instead. But was told he was not welcome at Manchester United any longer.

Bastian has no return clause to even consider going back to Munich. And Bayern has said that they see no future for Bastian with the Bayern Club again.

Bastian lost BIG. With no where to go and no where to play, he will either retire, as a major player or (he was recently married) could probably start a family and live comfortably. But if his eyes are still on the pitch, finding Bastian a new home needs to happen quickly.

And there are not too many choices on the table right now for him, so it looks bleak.

The Football World is eagerly awaiting Mario’s re-introduction at Borussia Dortmund.

Germans are very proud people, and they might not easily forget, or forgive, Mario’s faux pas and his defection to Bayern, that two years later, now, he returns to his former team.

Mario has said he will work hard to gain respect and trust once again. Hopefully, the Borussia fans will welcome him.

Provided he produces results in the end. So I bought the Borussia Jersey with Mario on the back. He is not listed on the roster yet at the British Printing Company I buy from, but you can order your own jersey, and for some coin, get it personalized.

Now I have 2 jerseys that are collectors items.

Mario’s Bayern Jersey and his World Cup Jersey for the German National Team.

A good day was had by all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wednesday – Welcome To Night Vale

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Oh My Goodness … I missed my Sunday Blog. That’s ok, I really did not have anything to write about anyways.

I have to say that, our brand new bed, is VERY dangerous. Once you get in, there is no getting out. Suffice to say, I’ve been in bed a majority of the hours that I have nothing better to do. I also cannot be bothered to watch television, (read: News) programming.

I’ve found my way into NIGHT VALE

The Pod Cast, is the best new thing since sliced bread. Having an I Phone brought with it all kinds of new experiences. The Pod Cast is one of them.

What am I listening to:

A while back, one of my “reads” who lives in Adelaide, Australia spoke about this strange pod cast he was listening to. I did not have my I Phone yet, then, so Pod Casting on my Android was non-existent.

A few weeks ago, I pointed my pod cast to Night Vale, and subscribed. Let’s just say that, every waking hour or odd hour off I have, I am listening to Night Vale. I have a few years of catching up to do, because season five began on August first.

I rolled back to January of 2015, and I am listening forward.

There are four years in the bank that you can listen to, in addition to a few other story lines, and assorted meditation type casts.

The Art Of Charm – Jordan Harbinger

If you really want to learn how to “CRUSH IT” in Business, Life and Love, you must go, right now, stop here and click the link, NOW, RIGHT NOW, and subscribe to Jordan’s link at: The Art of Charm. Jordan Harbinger and his trusty sidekick will take you on a journey, where you get to hear smart people, talk about relevant subjects, to help you learn how to CRUSH IT in business, life and love.

Stop listening to the television and all that political crap, and turn your attention to really great listening that will help you enrich your life.

Welcome to Night Vale, is a scripted somewhere around 30 minutes a show, pod cast, set in a desert place, called Night Vale. There are characters that you will instantly fall in love with, (Read: Cecil and Carlos) yes, they are an item.

When Carlos says …On the Voice Mail Episode …

“I don’t know, but I am trying to find out, Ok! Ok.  I love you Cecil, talk later…

My heart just melted.

What else is going on, folks are returning to the city this week. So our M.A. numbers will get a solid boost and I can let our returning folks step up and take some jobs, that I have been doing by myself all summer long.

All else is well. I just wanted to throw these pod casts out to you and hopefully, you will get to Night Vale, and maybe get a hit of Bill Maher, travel to Hogwarts on Muggle Cast, and finally, CRUSH IT, with Jordan on the Art of Charm.

 

 

 

 


Thursday -When A Bad Day Lasts for Months

 

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My weekly meeting schedule took a huge hit over the last few months. I spend the bulk of my meeting time in M.A. these days. So my sober meetings are exclusively Sunday’s and Friday nights.

I have not written a whole deal about sobriety since my melt down in June. It has just been a very tense time, and I needed to return to basics, until I felt the emotional shift back into equilibrium.

I’ve stuck very close to my friends, who saw me through this period of time. I stayed away from most old timers, opting to only seek the counsel of two, my temporary sponsor, and another friend, I have yet to sit with. We haven’t been able to connect, since the “incident” but that meeting is in the works.

I learned early on, this time around, what needs to be done, when your world gets turned upside down in sobriety. The totally bad news about sobriety is this …

The time will come, and IT WILL COME, that something happens, either to you, or someone you love, or someone you know, or people you know, or a community you identify with, and you will feel. Let me say that again … YOU WILL FEEL.

Now, not every alcoholic or addict is going to respond well to this truth, because, when the chips fall, if you don’t have a sturdy plan of saving action, YOU WILL DRINK or USE AGAIN.

Now that I am on the other side of a serious sober meltdown, we talked about the “Bad Day” tonight. Sadly, I am the only long time member in the M.A. fellowship, at the moment. All of my friends are inside of five years, and some inside their first year, so I listen to them talk with close attention.

When all else fails, and the chips fall, you can do one of two things:

  1. You can go back out and self destruct OR
  2. You find the path through the fire and you live.

I know what to do, for me, when times get tough. I get out of the house/ I go to meetings/ I call my friends/ I talk to people/ I open/ I close/ I make coffee/ I set chairs/ I serve others.

I know this works, because I have used this method without fail for almost fifteen years now, and it has never failed me.

Now that I am on the other side, this experience I had was specific. I kind of went “off line.” I was showing up to meetings, but I was only halfway there, mentally and emotionally. I had conversations with friends, that in hindsight, were half conversations, and I did speak with those friends as it happened, and they remained with me, and they sat with me and they understood me, and they let me be me, even when I was only half there.

Those are real friends.

We need to know what to do, when things get really rough in sobriety, and the only thing we can do is wait for it to happen to us, then walk through that experience, learn from that experience, “in real time” then share it openly.

Traversing tragedy and Trauma differs from person to person. Because we all deal with adversity in our own ways. I don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on formal therapy, because, in the rooms, I get it for free.

Professional help, when needed, is needed, and should ALWAYS be an option, when necessary. Never go it alone, if you can’t go it alone. Sometimes we need that professional point of view to make sense of life at times.

My circle of friends are battle tested men and women, whom I trust with my life.

I knew, that I was not alone, at any point during this period.

I guess I had to find the end of this pain and emotion. And I guess that began when some guy pulled me aside after a Friday meeting, and said that he was tired of listening to me talk about it over and over.

I was like, “thank you for sharing …

” I hope you never find yourself in the shitter and need a safe place to fall, until you yourself can get back up …”

I just kept doing what I was taught to do, to insure that I would not drink or use again. And I did it naturally. I have a “Good Habit” routine now.

I’ve watched too many of my friends go back out and drink / use again. I watched a handful of my friends die, because they crashed and burned, and did not do what we were all taught to do, by those who knew what to do, instead taking life on, by themselves, taking back control, and killing themselves in the process.

Sometimes the adage: DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I DO, applies
Other times the adage : IF YOU DO AS I SAY, YOU MAY STAY CLEAN AND SOBER.

The only way the second adage work is IF you have the experience to impart.

If you don’t, then shut up …

There are some folks, I’ve known, all along, through the years, were people I knew were sick people. Those who I stayed away from. Then there were those I gravitated towards because it was an opportunity.

Sadly, a major opportunity turned into a MASSIVE CRASH AND BURN.

The wisdom of the old timer is this …

YOU MAY HAVE THE TIME, BUT YOU MIGHT NOT NECESSARILY BE SOBER.

A friend of mine, a few months sober, was working with a friend, and they handed him the chair of the Friday night meeting. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Monday he went out and drank, and drank all week, and called me at 5:30 this evening to tell me that.

I asked him why he didn’t call his sponsor before he took that first drink, his answer was this … He does not connect with him, ergo, does not trust him, ergo, he drank again.

But when he finished, he thought to call ME instead of his sponsor.

Hopefully, he will be sober tomorrow night.

We give folks our numbers to make sure they are connected, Whenever they need it.

Sadly, most folks call a few times, then stop. Some never call at all, and they never come back to meetings.

If someone is SURE AS SHIT going to drink or use, they sure as shit aren’t going to call before they do it. Some, do call, when they get to the end.

What they do with our advice now matters.

They either want to stop or they don’t.

Thank God my bad day came to an end.

As it eventually would.