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God

Sunday Sundries … The Baby, The Pope, GOD and Me … Not Necessarily in that Order !

pope-francis-do-not-disturb cropPope Francis, as we speak, is in Cuba. Having Celebrated Mass in Revolution Square this morning, has met with Raul Castro and today, his brother Fidel. It was an informal but cordial meeting between the two men.

The Pope wants “Change.” Change in a good way, Change in an internal attitude way. Of leaving our safe homes and safe lives to go out in the streets and serve “the least of these” in the best way we can, from our hearts, not our minds.

He wants to unite the world in the ways of God. Francis sees God in a very particular way. He invites us to share in the divinity of God through Jesus, and come into that special spiritual awareness that comes with the resurrected Christ on Easter morning.

I admire Pope Francis a great deal, because he asks simply to serve God in each other. Because we are all formed in the image of God, and we are also, star stuff. Which means that “Divinity” exists in each of us, as we are, warts and all.

If we stopped and took a serious look at our fellows, our neighbors and our friends, we too would see that divinity.

It comes to us to “change” to be able to see it.

We are called to serve. Not for our own good, but for the good of others. For the good of God, yes, “church” would be mentioned here as well, Francis has been stripping away the trappings of “Church” for a simpler way of life. We don’t need finery or gems and gold.

Jesus once commanded his disciples to go out into the world carrying only what they had on their backs, and to do the work they were commanded.

Just the same, Francis calls us to go out and do good works.

Because it is in those works that we exemplify the spirit of God.

I am slowly working my way through The Great Reformer, Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, written by Austen Ivereigh.

I have read a few other books about Francis. When he was elected Pope several tomes were released. Pope Francis has not escaped the past because he plays a much hated man, a much loved man, and a man who was once a very tight Jesuit priest with his own ideas and ways of life, until the time came, when God struck him and Francis had his spiritual awakening.

People have many opinions about Francis, and the role he played during the Dirty War. Was he complicit, was he flying under the radar, or was he a victim of the times as they played out before him?

Every writer I have read has painted a picture of Francis.

I do not stand in judgment of his past.

I do stand in awe of the man he became and the words he speaks and the challenges he puts before us as the leader of Holy Mother Church. Even there, he turned the Curia and the papal household on its ear, by living in Casa Santa Marta, and sharing his days working in the church, then at night, he changes into his spiritual superman suit and goes out and visits with the least of these, inviting them to dine with him and attend his morning masses at the Vatican.

There is a kernel of Holy Mother Church in me, I won’t deny that. I loved the church that educated me, the church that served me, and the church that went above and beyond to save me when I needed to be saved and looked after.

I am eternally grateful to those men who took time out of their lives to sit with me, to break bread with me, to minister to my spiritual needs, and to give me Hope and Faith, in a time when Hope and Faith were in little supply.

Churches … Many of them, Across the board, were not kind to the gays, especially us gays who had AIDS, because it was said that we got what was coming to us from God himself as punishment for our sinful lives.

I can say this with total confidence … I have NEVER met a man of God who EVER pointed a damning finger at me and said that God was punishing me for any reason whatsoever.

That is a thing …

We’ve talked of God these past few days again. God has been in high rotation for a while now, and I really did not have anything substantive to write, but it was coming.

We read “An Artists Conception” tonight. It opens with this quote from Appendix II in the back of the Big Book, in regards to Spiritual experience.

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance –

That principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

Herbert Spencer

Our man has a serious problem. And he knows what the problem is, Alcoholism. He has investigated the issue backwards and forwards, but he lacks one thing; the spiritual approach, because like many of us, religion is a nasty word, because of the taste it left in our mouths.

But he meets one man, who shows him the way, humbly and quietly. And our man GETS IT. Then he meets twenty other men who also have gotten it. And the desire to drink becomes pointless against all of his other problems. But he never picks up a drink again.

He says that it wasn’t the words they used, or the book they were reading, but there was an invisible force that he recognized. He saw it. And in some miraculous way, he finds that power greater than himself.

Many of our folks are still trying to figure it out for themselves. God as an intellectual pursuit is a rather hard task. But if you stick around long enough, you will find it, sure enough.

Did I tell you the time I met God ???

Yes, I have. Over and Over again. It is the best story I have in my bank.

After listening to my friend vacillate and try to figure out who God is for them, I had twenty minutes to state my case. And I tell them of the horrors I was living in the nineties. And how my life came to a crashing end when I was diagnosed with AIDS, and was told to go home, kiss my ass goodbye and wait to die.

I made one phone call that changed my life.

I had actually made several other calls that did not pan out.

So that one call I made was to Provincetown.

Todd and Roy returned from their holidays early because I needed help.

When Todd stepped up, it was because he loved me. He chose me to save, in the way he chose to do that. He concentrated everything he had into me in those first two years that saved my life.

Meanwhile, at the bar, all of my friends were approaching death in exactly the way they chose. living fast and leaving a good looking corpse. Well, how good of a corpse is it when it is riddled with K.S. stricken with disease, plowed with exotic drugs and tanked on the best liquor a bar tender could pour ?

I had no other choice. Well, I did have a choice.

I could have taken that route myself. Todd had other plans for me.

He began to teach me how to live, with the reminder that BOB was in the cemetery right across the street from the bar. And if I was not willing to try to live, that I would end up there myself.

When I needed God, He came. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that I know what God looks like, I know His voice and I know for sure that He was with me in my hours of need.

And I looked at my friends after telling this story, (with more words used to get the point across) that if they need proof that God does exist, they need not look any further than myself.

I lived. I did not die. Because God saved me.

But like any mortal man, addiction knows no bounds. I forgot …

But when I returned, I said a single prayer to God for help.

And let me tell you, I prayed a specific prayer for specific needs in a specific order.

  1. I prayed for the desire to drink to leave me
  2. I needed an alcoholic to come to me, and
  3. I needed to get to a meeting.

Nothing is too difficult for God when we really need help. Because He moved heaven and earth and provided me that prayer in the order it went out, as if to say,

“Hey there, I got your back!”

Not a day goes by that I do not remember where I came from. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Todd. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for something. However, I admit, freely, that gratitude is not something I think about constantly.

It is an action.

I’ve chosen to live out my gratitude in my “Presence” to my friends. Like Francis calls us to do, I go out and I serve the “least of these” and those who need the love and faith I have.

Which leads nicely into the next portion of tonight’s read … The Baby

I work every day to be a man of honor, courage and strength. I work every day to make the right decisions, and to be of maximum service to my fellows. And let me tell you, that does not come easily.  Creating family is difficult. Maintaining family is challenging. Taking care of a baby is the most rewarding experience I can share in today.

Today, I got an entire afternoon with the baby, we had some lunch. She would not eat her food, by herself, so she did eat when I offered food to her. hen we played for a while with her blocks, but that did not last very long.

So we dressed her and popped her into her stroller and went to the park. This was our first park outing together. And we passed a few of my friends on the way, and it was said to me that “we probably started tongues wagging …” but you only live once.

We did some swings. We did some slides, and some playground rides. We played in the sand and got dirty. It was just me and the baby. It was the most wonderful feeling. There were screaming kids all over the playground, and their parents watching closely, and for a while, I was one of those parents, playing with his child.

It was immense …

I want to close with some thought’s by Pope Francis.

“Archbishop Quarracino invited Bergoglio in January and April 1990 to give retreats to dozens of his clergy in La Plata. In the first, “Our flesh in Prayer,” Bergoglio reflected powerfully on Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the story of the foreigner who comes to the aid of a traveler beaten by brigands. He showed that those who passed on the other side – symbolized in Jesus’s telling by the priest and the Levite – used a series of distancing techniques, which were all temptations: either they intellectualized the suffering they saw, or evaded the responsibility for it by reassuring themselves that this is how life was.

The Samaritan, on the other hand, got on his hands and knees to get close to the victim, opened his heart to him and bound his wounds, shouldered him and spent his money on him. “That is what we will be judged on,” Bergoglio told the priests, adding that this proximity was at the heart of the Incarnation. Jesus, far from “passing on the other side,” paid the ultimate price in sacrificing his own flesh for those who suffer; and God’s closeness to humanity is the reason why “Prayer touches our flesh in its very nucleus, it touches our heart.”

Prayer, he told the priests, meant enduring the possibility of change; it meant a willingness to suffer. When a person ceases praying and starts complaining, “he ceases to serve the Gospel and becomes a victim. He canonizes himself.” Making oneself the victim, rather than Christ, was blasphemy; and a flesh that is used to blasphemy, which does not know how to ask for help for its own wound and sin, is a flesh incapable of helping the wounds of others.”

Even if he dedicates his life to God he will only ever be able to come close to himself.: It is the asepsis of the Pharisee,” Bergoglio warned: “neither virus or vitamin.”

There is a God, and I am not He.

More to come, stay tuned …


Friday … God – Ikea … Discuss

fifteen years ago aug212000Fifteen years ago TODAY the world was introduced to Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Where were you when The Philosopher’s Stone was released?

The week came to an end on the best day of the week, and the best night of the week. The weather has softened a great deal from what it had been for the last week or so. We hit a number of thirty degree days, with humidexes running from the mid thirties into the forties.

It was so hot and miserable that our little air conditioner that could was having a hard time trying to cool down the apartment. The last few nights, at midnight, the apartment was still stifling hot and my sweat was sweating …

I am reminded that if I complain about the heat, to remember what minus twenty with three feet of snow on the ground feels like ! I, like some of my friends, would rather it be cold outside, rather than steaming humid heat.

The nightly lows are dropping into the mid teens. I am banking on some TENS soon !

Ten is that magic number that we can crate the a.c. and open the windows for a few weeks, while it is still manageable, before it gets too cold, and we then have to shut the apartment down for another winter season.

We sat a full house and split the group up for discussion. Once again, the read was about that ever popular topic among our folks – God. The read speaks towards the clergy and how many an alcoholic turned their noses up at the mere thought of religion, when trying to get sober.

And how it really came down to one alcoholic talking to another, and showing the way.

We find this historical story about Bill.

Bill knew that he could not stay sober by himself. While in Towns Hospital, we’ve spoken about this location before, Bill had had a spiritual experience. And in his mind, it was apparent that he had to share this message with others, the only problem with that message was, that it was about God and his spiritual experience.

Nobody wanted to hear about God, so they rebuffed him.

Bill then heads to Akron to talk with Doctor Silkworth. Dr. Silkworth tells him that he needs to change up his game, and not talk so much about God, but of his own experience, strength and hope.

Enter Doctor Bob … and the Fellowship of A.A. began.

It has been a long time for our young folks to come around, and find that power greater than themselves. The stories vary as much as they are united in the same thought. Most of our men and women come, and at first, won’t hear about God, nor will they admit anything to Him either.

Many almost go insane … as DRY unbelievers until they hit the misery point of no return, and possibly concede that there might be something for them to connect to. One way or another, numbers of our folks have found that power. What they call it varies as the number of people sitting in the room on any given Friday night.

ikea3Every so often we get a visitor from another part of the world. And invariably, what that visitor has to say is compelling to say the least. Tonight, we heard a man from Northern Ireland, and the topic speaks about God, Clergy, and the Church. Our man, grew up amid “The Troubles” that fatal conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants in Northern Ireland.

It seemed that the room went still and everybody listened to him speak.

He shared his experiences in his life as it pertained to the reading.

He went on the share this:

He had heard, on CBC radio one day, an interview of a Jewish man who wrote about his God of his understanding. He likened that God to an Ikea store. Everybody knows what IKEA is, and the fact that most of the world is built by Ikea, one way or another.

It is said, that if you are married or sober and walk into an Ikea and buy something complicated, bring that piece home and build it, if you survive that task and you are still married and or sober, you have succeeded.

He likens God to an Ikea Pack. We go to the store and we buy the item. Then we bring it home and in essence, we have to build whatever that piece is. Inside that mammoth store, there are lots of things to buy, in assorted styles, colors and shapes.

God is like all those colors, shapes and styles. One style usually does not fit all people.

Most people are cookie cutters or they are cafeteria style folks. One opting to copy the last in belief and practice, the other, tends to pick and choose just what they will take or not take over time, and they built what they can handle or stomach, until they either find something bigger or better, or remain where they are, until either growth or implosion takes place.

It went something like that. I would need to investigate further who this guy was talking about and what book he was referring to.

It was the God – Ikea reference that piqued my interest.

It was a great night. My Mount Royal buddy is in Brazil until October, so he is not here to sit with on weekend, nor walk home together. The weather was just right, so I decided to walk from the church all the way to the Mount Royal Metro station which is a walk from the meeting.

While the weather is still good, I enjoy the walk.

Everybody is good. It seems everyone is in a good place, which is the Good News.

More to come, stay tuned…


Thursday … Thou Shalt NOT …

title_ten_commandments_blu-rayThe Seventh Commandment – Thou shalt not commit adultery
The Tenth Commandment – Thou shalt not covet your neighbors wife

I must ask the question, “Where is the sanctity of marriage?”  And perish the little children in today’s world. The Christians stand up for the sanctity of marriage and they spend their time disparaging the LGBT community saying that we are going to upset the fine balance of sanctity and all that is good by getting married ourselves.

Then there are those who deny gay couples marriage licenses because of their beliefs, and add to that some providers who won’t serve a gay couple, once again because of beliefs.

I believe that if you need to go outside your marriage for anything, then you do not deserve to be in that marriage to begin with. But we know, across the board on both sides of the argument for adultery, or going “outside” ones marriage, are the some key non negotiables …

Sex, Self Esteem and Money or the lack of one or more of these.

These are those non negotiables that would push anyone to cross the line.

Cheating websites are a dime a dozen. And hookup sites are just as plentiful.

In today’s social media world the Gays and the Straights can have it all, just at the swipe of your phone.

You say your marriage is lacking, well, we’ll give you something else to play around with.

Cheat on your spouse. All in secret, nobody will ever find out …

Well, They got that one WRONG didn’t they?

What’s with these sanctimonious Christians who have problems in the bedroom, with their spouses, or the lack of enough of them, because for some Christian men, one woman isn’t enough and they need to have more …

Is this Odd or is this God ?

What do we know about the disease of MORE ???

One night, when I was in date mode, with hubby, there was a night that shit happened, and I saw a look on his face, that I knew, then and there, it would be the first and last time I saw it, because I then knew that if I ever caused that look to happen again, I would be in big trouble.

Over the years, I realized that I loved my husband. And that I would never want to be the one who broke his heart, in any way, shape of form.

The day we spoke our vows, we meant them. We spoke them in front of family and friends and before God. To this day, I’ve never needed anyone else, or anything else.

It is a sad statement looking at the number of star couples who have recently “called it quits.” Then there are those star couples who kept their private lives out of the media and they prospered, and some of them have new children.

I think the heterosexual community really needs to take a look at what they define as the Sanctity of Marriage. Because, right now, the sanctity of marriage is in the toilet. And all those secretly cheating husbands are all over the web.

The secret is out guys, you are all fucked !

Secondly, a little fame, a little money and a lot of secrets, what does that get you ???

An hour of Power, a little Ego, and maybe a Sense of Control and Invulnerability.

Eat a particular sandwich and it will change your life. It will change your life so much and make you so much money that you won’t know what to do with all that money. Well, now we know what eating a particular sandwich does to some (read: ONE man/men). They get thin, they get rich, they get married and have children, then add insult to injury,

One man becomes a lock, stock, and barrel pedophile.

They not only cheat on their wives, they fuck around with children (read:Minors)

Oh, its a sickness. A moment of stupid. Because I’ve admitted I have a problem, I can seek help and with that admission, get absolution for my crimes at the same time.

This is where I draw the line on tolerance for those with different struggles.

Um, NO !

Oh, we the public feel so sorry for you because you have a problem with not only sexual behavior, but also because you fuck young people while you are married with children.

Um, NO !

You’ve admitted to a problem. Good for you. You’re a DOUCHE BAG all the same.

You give all of us men a bad name. And you leave a great big taste of shit in our mouths.

There is no excuse NO EXCUSE as a man, that you should commit these crimes on those who cannot defend themselves. Just throw a little hush money at them and they will keep quiet, right?

We live above the Northern Border, and a lot of this shit is N.I.M.B.Y.

Discrimination, whatever that discrimination, affects us all, no matter where we live. We are all interconnected. And if you fuck over one of us, you fuck over all of us.

You treat us with disdain, you mock us and you belittle us, and say to us that you know better and that you have the definitive answers, and that you are sanctified by God and we are not.

Well, Straight folks, who has egg on their faces tonight ?

I think we all know what many men think about the sanctity of marriage. And the value of another human life.

We also know how fame and fortune can fuck over a human life and cause him to do unspeakable evil to another human being.

I’m sick to my stomach. Some men are seriously pathetic excuses for human beings and we should not have to share air with many of them.

And God Wept …


Friday – Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

tumblr_lrr3ngz2KM1qcpwebo1_500 p3n1sAnother challenging week is in the books. Working with others IS a full time job. Summer is coming to a close, and we have begun the transition for some of my folks. We will be bringing some people back to Montreal in the next couple of weeks, and next week others will be departing overseas for their next life project.

Working with others, is a full time job. And accountability is high on the radar. There are things that happen in life that we are powerless to change, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be the change we need to have in the moment.

When I first got sober, I needed many things. And as it happened, my friends in the meetings took very good care of me in many ways, and made it possible for me to succeed where failure was a real probability.

Today, I am in a place where I can pay it forward, all those things that were given to me, and to make sure my friends, and their children, are cared for. A food bank is a necessary place here in Montreal. And many families rely on them to feed their families and their children.

Many people do not have stable work that will provide all that they need, and it is difficult for many to make ends meet. Our food banks do wonderful work for our city and the people who populate it.

And I would not be the first to step up and say to my friends, that you won’t need to rely on that food bank, not on my watch. If there is something that I can do for my friends, I will gladly do it, because that is what we do here. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Needless to say, it is never a dull day in my neighborhood.

The Friday night meeting took place and we talked about prayer and meditation. The reading goes on to talk about the “connectedness” we feel, once we have made that connection to whatever higher power we see in our lives.

For a long time, I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop in my life.

This specific thought was mentioned by one of our women tonight, and I wanted to say something, but decided against it, opting just to listen to my friends instead.

Owning my dual diseases, I can’t change my alcoholism, the only thing I can change is how I live my life. And that goes just as well, with AIDS. That is entirely another beast in itself. I will never be cured and I will always rely on medication to keep me alive.

But for a good number of years, I lived with the fear that that definite shoe would eventually drop and I would be dealt a heavy price. Having one foot on solid ground and the other on that proverbial banana peel. Waiting for the big slip to happen.

But I have been on a very long upswing. I don’t know what to attribute that to? It could be one of many things that I do, like take my pills religiously, have faith that I believe in my heart of hearts, is the main key to my longevity. I have my patrons and my beliefs. And I have the utmost belief that my prayers do indeed go somewhere and that they are heard and are useful.

I have my rituals, and my daily practice. And I place a heavy amount of reliance on those rituals and beliefs. I do put many of my eggs in one basket. Because I happen to believe that God and my saints and my family and friends on the other side are moving heaven and earth for me.

A pill is only as useful as the energy you put behind it.

You can just “take a pill” and hope that it works. OR you can take that same pill, and EXPECT it to work. To WILL IT to work. The more positive energy you can put behind any treatment regimen, the better that regimen will work for you too.

It has taken me a life time of study to get the practice down and to have utter faith that it works. And the way I know it works, is simply, I am still alive twenty one years later.

We are all living life on life’s terms today. And for now, it seems to be going alright.

Everyone is well and accounted for. Good things are happening.

More to come, stay tuned …


July 31st, 2015… A life Well Lived … Love is the Answer

bookA new Website for Writers is coming: Write Hear

Fellow Celebrants today: My friends son, Noah (15), Harry Potter (32), J.K. Rowling (50),
Myself (48).

Today was my birthday. And Like a Good Alcoholic I sent two Guerrilla texts that were ignored. I half thought that I might get a response, that was not the best way to start my day.

As I was sitting here at my computer, I got a call from our Member of Parliament, who represents our riding in Ottawa. He called to wish me Happy Birthday, on behalf of Justin Trudeau. I thought that was very kind of him to do that, seeing there are millions of people on his list, that he took time out of his morning to call me specifically.

I got my restart.

Later in the afternoon, I had lunch with a long time friend for many years. We don’t often see each other, because he travels for work and school. So time together is always well spent, read: time well spent, eating together.

The most important place to meet and be present is around a dinner table.

We walked home together and I did some sundry shopping for things we needed for the house.

The evening was still up in the air, but by five o’clock, we had a plan. My friend Rafa was on his way back from St. Anne’s while he made his transit home, I was making my transit to his house.

It has been steamy and hot the past few days, we did not linger long, but set out immediately for more food. We hit a Venezuelan diner and had dinner together. Then we walked up to the meeting. Everything in Montreal is within walking distance. Every neighborhood has its eateries and restos, and places to gather. Rafa lives on the Plateau which is central to everything up there. We spend a good amount of time walking to and from meetings, instead of taking the bus.
Tomorrow we are meeting to go over my outline, which I added a few items to when I got home after the discussion we had at the meeting earlier.

Once again, We talked about God.

It seems that God, as I have said before, is a topic that Bill W, never tires of, because he writes about it often. Every time he mentions the word, it is couched within literature, or a Grapevine letter, or his personal reflections. And every time the word God comes up in any reading, our folks grind their teeth and roll their eyes, and say …

“Oh, God, not this again, can we please move on?”

We listened to everyone speak, and then we talked on the walk home. Since God is a theme I am writing about in my book, I spent the hour reflecting on my outline stories and a little more clarity and understanding comes. I had my first chapter, but I was unsure of how to end it, tonight, I got the much needed insight I needed for coherent thought and process.

We walked through the park on the way home and the moon was bright and dazzling.

I spent the day with all those people who matter to me, and bring me joy and love.

Birthdays aren’t about getting things, but about sharing meals and friendship.

A good day was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …

More to come, stay tuned …


Walking In the Rain …

indian thought

They said it would rain. And it did. Just pissing rain. Enough to get wet, but not wet enough to carry an open umbrella, so we walked home in the rain tonight. However, the weather still has been stellar for a number of days.

Oh My God … I am so POOOOOOOPED !!!

Let’s back up a little bit and tell you about the week that was. Tuesday we talked about liquor and the fact that alcoholism is an incurable disease. Nuff Said about that !

Wednesday is my off night, which has become cook dinner for Baby Mama and Ms. LuLu. I started this little tradition when she first got here, one, to familiarize myself and the baby, and two, to cook her a meal that would last, which usually is a crock pot or casserole dish. But lately it has turned into “chicken” and doesn’t everything work out when it gets to chicken ???

We are still working to fill the apartment. We are still missing a sofa, for one reason only, there are no folks with trucks in the rooms it seems. We have all these resources but no truck owners. We got a quote for a mover who wanted to charge us $300.00 and mama was like fuck that !

So there is a single rocking chair in the living room.

Tomorrow, Saturday, I am installing an air conditioner for the baby’s room.

There are shitty things called by-laws that dictate just how you can install, where you can install using specific REQUIRED tools and wood and plexiglass shit ! UGH, they have to make this so damned complicated, I have an easy peasy, 10 minute hook up that I do here at home, but NOOOO that was just too easy and unacceptible to the apartment management.

God give me strength …

Well, you all know what happened last night.

The shit storm hack event of the century.

Today, Friday I worked my ass off.

There is no better work to do than be of service to someone that you can be present for.

A few hours of work changed two lives in the end.

Who needs Jiffy Maid, when you got me instead!

I came home for a couple of hours and headed off for the best night of the week.

Tonight’s topic … BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD …

Well, that was just one sentence of the reading, which came from a very early letter from Bill W.

it spoke about Bill’s consternation, early on that he could not convert the alcoholic to sobriety. In fact he failed several times over, trying to get men sober, and failed miserably, before going to talk to Doctor Silkworth, who told Bill that NO, Bill, you cannot convert the alcoholic. All you can do is share what you know, your experience, and that’s it.

You are not the center of the universe and You are not God. Hence,

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

Still, to this day, our young people balked when the words Christ and God came within this reading. But they have come a long way in being open to discussions about God, over and over again.

Bill speaks a great deal about GOD in As Bill Sees It.

Continuously !!! Over and Over again …

I got the message I needed to hear.

It was a frenetic, exhilarating day. I worked my ass off with one of my guys. We had lunch and we hung out together all day long while we worked.

At the end of the day the only thing I wanted to know was, if for a few minutes tonight, sitting with his girlfriend that he felt, just a little bit, better about himself. And he did.

All I want is to be a vessel. All I want is for everybody to be well. We all want to be of maximum service to as many people as we can. And we do this in spades.

I am really grateful to have the friends I do.

I would not be the man I am without them.

Another week in the books.

We are all safe, sober, alive.

The computer is encrypted. I will eventually get all my money back.

It’s all good.

Be Still and Know that I am God…

More to come, stay tuned …


Sunday Sundries, Episode #2 … Honor thy Father and Mother

title_ten_commandments_blu-ray

Exodus 20:11

יא  כַּבֵּד אֶת-אָבִיךָ, וְאֶת-אִמֶּךָ–לְמַעַן, יַאֲרִכוּן יָמֶיךָ

עַל הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ.  {ס}

Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

The day passed without feeling or anger. And it would have gone untouched, had not a good friend of mine called me tonight, inquiring if I was “ok.” I knew what he meant, and I answered that I was. But after ruminating over this, I owe this letter to posterity.

In a months time I will be 48 years old. I have lived well past my expiration date, as doctors told me several times that I was going to die. God, it seemed, has other plans for me, because I am still breathing.

God spoke to Moses, and these words are inscribed on the stone tablets Moses brought down from the mountain. This is one commandment that I cannot abide with. And it doesn’t abide with me either.

How could one honor thy father and mother, when they could not honor their first born son. How could they create progeny, abuse them throughout their lives and turn on them with hatred and condemnation, and ask a child to “just die already” and expect to be honored themselves?

My father’s two phrases he used to toss around like the scripture he quoted from a bible that he never opened were:

  • Blood is thicker than water
  • Be careful the words you speak, because once you speak them, you can never take them back.

When I was a young boy, I listened well to everything that was spoken by both my parents. I knew I was Gay, before I knew what Gay was. But by the time I had learned what it was, and that I was Gay myself, remaining under my father’s roof was not something I could do and survive, because he tried several times as a child to kill me, chasing me around the house with a bat, only to be thwarted by vigilant grandmothers who protected me from him.

I moved away, but alcoholism followed me where ever I went.

I was a problematic alcoholic, what I did not know created rifts with my parents.
To this day, I don’t think they ever forgot nor forgave me.

I always lived apart from my family, mainly because I knew they would not approve of my lifestyle, and they did not. They made that perfectly clear well before I left the nest. When I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994, I turned to my family. I called them together to tell them and to ask for help and support.

How do you think that turned out? It didn’t …

Along with my then boyfriend, all of my friends, and my fucking family, everybody walked away. My mother worked in home health care, and knew AIDS patients in her line of work. She knew fairly well, what was going to happen to me, in the end.

Do you think that gave her compassion or love? It did no such thing.
No she just wanted the faggots to “just die already !!!”

That Christmas, 1994, I went home for the holiday, against my better judgment. I knew what was coming. I was locked in at night. I could not use the phone, nor could I visit anyone while I was there. On Christmas day my father set a card table in the living room with a plastic chair. He set me a plastic plate, and plastic cutlery and a plastic cup.

The rest of the guests sat at the dining room table and ate in front of me, while I was separate from the group itself. My father humiliated me in front of friends and guests. The son of one of the guests left the main table and came and sat with me so I would not be eating alone. The next day they invited me out on their boat and they asked me for forgiveness for what was done to me, and how horrified they were to see my parents do that to me in front of others.

I NEVER went home again.

I got sober the first time. And a few years in, my father granted me visits with him when he would travel to Miami from Sarasota. But every time he visited he would belittle me and ponder my death right in my face.

One night, on the way home from dinner, (while on the highway) he started in on me. I asked him to stop the car (on the highway) where I got out of the car (on the highway) and walked miles home by myself. I told him never to come back and see me.

The first time I got sober, I was not of right mind in many ways. I was not very sober. As I am sober today. And I made several decisions based on self that were less than charitable.

My sponsor agrees that certain decisions were not self centered but were made out of self preservation.

I pissed my brother and his then fiance off, which afterwards, they would never communicate with me ever again. And that has been their story for more than twenty years.

I could not live up to the man they named me after upon my birth. How could a gay, HIV+ faggot live up to the honor of a man who died fighting a war in Viet Nam? I legally changed my name to be done with them. That was a direct strike across the bow of their battleship.

Years would pass. I would be sober, I would drink, and I would return to the program in due time.

On New Years Day, January 1st 2001, I was sober. I had not drunk. I had just returned from a job at a nightclub, where I had worked an all nighter. Just coming home and getting into bed, my phone rang. My mother was on the line saying that they were in Miami, and would be coming to see me on their way back.

A little while later, they rolled up and my father parked in a fire zone (read: No Parking in a fire zone) with the car idling. I said to them that we could go out for breakfast and that I would pay for parking and food. They said no.

I had twenty minutes to visit with my mother. We walked around the block where I lived. I walked her back to the car, she got in the car and they drove away. I had twenty minutes with my mother after years of no communication or visits.

I later found out that my parents has been in Miami for a week prior to them showing up on my doorstep. A week !!!

I never saw either of them again, to this day …

I got sober on December 9th 2001. I was sober a few months, when the lies my mother told us as children came up. My mother, being a Canadian citizen when I was born, lied to us, saying she was an American.

I got a letter from the Canadian Government soon after offering me a birthright certificate into the country if I met the criteria, which I did. I sent the check and the paperwork.

The way I was living in Miami was not viable. I was barely surviving, even when I got sober.

I turned my sights on Canada. I came up on Easter Ash Wednesday 2002. I stayed a week, I loved it, so I stayed another week. I found a doctor and a home. I flew back to Miami, for a few days, to pack and sent everything North.

Three day later, I left the United States for good. I never looked back.

Moving to Canada was akin to High Treason on my American Father’s honor.

For the following two years, I worked very hard at relationships with my parents. At the two year mark, my mother called and said:

“If me or your father get sick and die, nobody will call you. Nobody will tell you where we are buried.”

That was the last time we spoke.

It is now 2015. I am closing in on Fifty. I am sober. I am alive. I have a life, a home, a husband and all the things I ever wanted and more. I could not be any happier. The life I have today, would never have happened had I stayed in Miami, I would have probably died sooner.

I am an idealistic man who has dreams of grandeur.

I am a lot more sober than I was fourteen years ago, and much more sober than I was the first time, close to twenty years ago. I work very hard at living and being sober.

With the dawn of Facebook, several family member are on the site. And to this day, they refuse to communicate with me. Every year that goes by, and I am still alive, I get angrier and angrier.

All I want, before I die, is for certain human beings to acknowledge me and the life I live.

If I am to honor thy father and mother, they need to step up and honor me, if only for the fact that when they asked me to die, I lived … How can you turn your backs on your children in their hour of need? How can you live with hatred and scorn for so long?

Happy Fucking Fathers Day you hateful old man …

tumblr_m1x5tpsILv1qmi5uao1_500 alexander


Shepherds and Sheep

the_steeple_of_emanuel_african_methodist_church_charleston_scPhoto Credit: Spencer Means, Wikimedia Commons

Lifted from: Steve Wiggins – Sects and Violence in the Ancient World

The murders in Charleston this week are part of an epidemic. The members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church join, unfortunately, a growing list of victims of hate. Not only hate, but that subspecies of hatred that calls the unstable to attack in a church, or synagogue, or mosque, as if to defy the very gods with their misanthropy.

Growing up we used to be taught that any place of worship is sacred. Then we believed it was because God had made it so, but now it is clear that sacred space is made so by the intent of those who worship. We find places where we believe we’re safe from the trials of the everyday world.

A place where God will look over us. A place, dare we call it, of sanctuary. Sanctuary is a concept that has gone extinct. As children we all knew of the concept of “home” in chasing games—the place where you were free and need not worry about someone coming after you. Amnesty was granted at the cry of “olly olly oxen free.”

In the biblical world, we’re told, those in danger could flee to the temple and grasp the horns of the altar and be safe. It wasn’t that someone couldn’t be pulled off, but it was that an inherent respect attended sacred places.

No place is sacred any more. Hatred has a way of overriding what we all recognize as civilization. Well-armed youth and a culture of hatred have never led to peace. Xenophobia may be natural, but it can be disarmed through education.

Unfortunately, in this country at least, education is not valued. In fact, in the culture wars, those who have the most sympathy for those who commit hate crimes will be among the first to cut education spending. It’s a luxury we can’t live without. We need to teach the meaning of sanctuary again. We need to teach the meaning of love.

Human beings shouldn’t have to rely on sanctuary to be safe. No matter what our racial heritage or gender or orientation, we are all simply people trying to make our way in the world. As a child I knew “olly olly oxen free” meant that nobody would try to tag me if I came out from hiding. I was also taught that the word “hate” was as bad as any swear and that it should not be said.

While my mother was teaching me the virtue of love, we were sending young men to kill foreigners in Vietnam. I grew up with no doubts as to which was the superior way. One way leads to life and peace, the other to constant fear and death. The people of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church have told Dylann Roof that they have forgiven him. They are offering sanctuary to one who has done nothing to earn or claim it. They, like children, lead us.


Friday … Calm Courage

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“… Indeed, that was the essence of A.A. itself; trouble accepted, trouble squarely faced with calm courage, trouble lessened and often transcended.”

We have tweaked the blog a bit. A little bit of change, with a few new images and a new header we are featuring. This photo comes from my preacher friend Gordon in Texas. This was his worship space where he ministered to his flock for many years, before giving up his church to go into the field and find God.

We are in a rain today, sun tomorrow, rain to come, and sun to follow kid of pattern this week.

Today we were on the upswing.

I spent time with a friend, and we followed that with a meeting. Tonight, the night was still bright at nine o’clock as I walked to the bus stop on the way home.

Tonight’s topic: Trouble – Constructive or Destructive

I listened to the reading twice and I did not think that I would have anything to say, until a friend drew upon this line from the reading.

Troubles … I’ve had my fair share of troubles. God has a funny was of making his presence known, and that usually happens when I am in serious trouble. Someone up there is watching me and keeping an eye out for me as well. Because I seem to have navigated this life, well, sometimes living on the edge it might seem, at certain times.

When have we transcended our troubles ?

And at what point point does transcendence take place ?

What would you call transcendence, how would you know ?

An old timer once said to me that, in order to see wisdom, you need two things:

The benefit of time, AND the experience of hindsight.

When we find ourselves in trouble, sometimes that trouble might seem, insurmountable when we are in the middle of it. And it might seem that trouble will never end. In most cases, save certain troubles, let’s say, life and mortality, troubles come and troubles go.

It is how we manage these troubles that matters.

As a young person in my family home, there was trouble. And I surfed it to the best of my ability. When I moved away, that trouble ended, but that did not last, because where ever I went, trouble seemed to follow. I must consider my youth and naivete. Add to that, my own blindness to the one trouble I had, that I never realized was a trouble (read: Problem).

Often when we read the Big Book, Bill had a certain way of writing. He never used the same word twice. If he was trying to get a point across to you, he would use as many words, that meant the same thing, without telling you that that was what he was doing, and I did not learn this until recently, when someone pointed this out to me.

You could use the word “trouble” or you could interchange the word with “problem.”

I skated through life, until I hit my mid twenties. I thought I was getting by, when I really wasn’t. I was involved with someone who was walking trouble. When that relationship went south, one night I walked into a bar, alone, and on that night, my life changed.

God began his slow emergence into my life. He knew better than I did, that pretty soon, I was going to need his help, because the trouble that was coming, would rock my world.

I can share these stories with you, because I know for a fact that in certain cases, I squarely faced trouble, and I transcended them.

TROUBLES SQUARELY FACED …

I was at work on a Sunday afternoon, and my mother called out of the blue. She tells me that my ex boyfriends mother called HER, to find out if I had seen him, because his mother could not reach him.

A few days would pass. Eventually, the police got involved. We found him a few days too late, and by that time he was long since dead. By this time, I also had the bar job at night. And God, in his infinite wisdom was right where He needed to be.

And not a minute too soon.

Suicide is never a good thing, for the one who kills themselves, nor for the persons they leave behind. How do I describe what it felt like to have a coroner call you and ask you to come and identify remains ? How do I quantitatively explain the gravity of such a request?

Do you know what a corpse looks like 5 days in ? I do…

His mother’s last words to me, after I identified him, and signed the papers to send his body home for burial were these …

“I hope for the rest of your life, the last thing you see when you close your eyes is my son’s dead body !”

I can tell you that twenty two years later, I can still see him, as I did on that fateful day.

I was still drinking. Let me tell you, I drank A LOT of liquor in the days that followed that day and that specific conversation. God was watching. Very closely. My friends, at one point, tried to intervene in my excessive drinking. They got me into therapy. Suicide survivors therapy.

For months, it seemed, I sat in a room, with family members, who were left behind. And I listened to them recount their specific war story every time someone new showed up. I kept on drinking, and I was working at the bar.

Todd passed an edict that nobody could drink while on the job. Ok, that was cool. There was plenty of time to drink after hours. And I did that. For a calendar year.

The second big trouble hit. I get a call from a certain friend, who tells me that my ex killed himself, because he was diagnosed with AIDS. Well nobody told me that !!!

Soon after that, I got very sick. I was in the middle of two tragedies.

One, facing the loss of a life, Two, facing the end of my own life.

That is when God stepped in definitively and took control.

Mortality, that, is one of those troubles that many don’t surmount and win.
Death is a forgone conclusion…

I can tell you that in both situations, I surmounted those two troubles, and I have transcended them. I have more than twenty years experience of time and hindsight, to offer.

When people began to get sick, it was inside a flurry of live fast and die young.

Where all of my friends decided to go out in a blaze of drugs and alcohol, Todd decreed that he would never let me go that way. He stepped in and kept me focused on living and surviving. He chose me, out of all those sick men to help. Probably because everyone I knew, including my family, tossed me to the gutter and I was alone.

All of my friends are dead. I am, very soon, going to cross my twenty second year, and I am still here. Those two very cathartic events in my life have come and gone. And while I was in the middle of them, it seemed that they would never end.

I can tell you squarely, my troubles came to an end.

I don’t know why I am still alive, nor why I lived and everyone else is dead.

God, is the only one who knows that answer, and He hasn’t shared that answer with me.

That means I get to tell this story as many times as I have to, to teach you all what can happen when one allows God to come step in and take control. Hopefully, these specific two stories will change a life for the better.

And maybe, just maybe, I will save a life.

I did not know what “Calm Courage” was. Todd did. I did not know if I would live or die. Todd did. I did not know life would end up this way, Todd did.

I don’t know how he knew, but he knew things that I needed to know.

I know … Now …

When I finally got to “that day” (read: the day I was supposed to die) And I was still alive, Todd helped me decide what I was going to do with myself. I was going to live.

I can tell you, that it was not the easier softer way, No, I took the long way round.

In the doors, out of the doors, back in the doors, I survived a third cathartic “trouble.”

God stepped in a third time and saved from me from imminent death.

Since I got sober the second time, my troubles seem insignificant, when I look at them against the lens of having survived suicide, my own mortality, and a near death experience.

There is no trouble I can’t face and deal with.

Unlike, many people on the earth, who walk around (some, blindly and not knowing from one moment to the next), I have someplace to go when I need help. It might cost me a loonie ($1) or a toonie ($2) at best, or it might cost me the price of a cup of coffee.

How much would you pay for someones life experience if you knew that experience would save your life? You can’t monetize life experience.

The rooms provide things for us, that normal human beings probably spend thousands or more dollars trying to find solutions to their problems.

If only everyone was an alcoholic.

They would have access to our fathomless bank of experience.

Today I have “calm courage.” I know this, because my experience has shown me where it saved my life, when I should have long since died.

I don’t often recognize it and sometimes I take it for granted.

All I need to do is stand in front of my medicine cabinet.

Instant gratitude…

More to come, stay tuned …


Saturday … Double Play

tumblr_np1kb7y0531rkbqteo1_500 whffboxCourtesy: Whffbox

Rain Rain Go Away, Come again Another day …

This week, it rained, and rained and rained some more. Kinda pissy rain, not a flat out pouring, however it might have, I was just out when it was just pissing …

Today, the skies cleared and we have sun and blue skies.

It is the big week this week. The project that we have been working on for more than a year comes to a head on Monday. Tomorrow we hit our last hurdle, getting space in a day care for Baby Mama’s daughter. The girls are taking care of that.

Monday Baby Mama flies in with assorted luggage and the baby. We will be meeting her at the airport Monday afternoon, and bringing her to her temporary home, until her apartment is ready on the 1st of July.

We’ve spent the last year working with her, finding her a place to live and sort out baby needs between St. John’s N.F. and here in Montreal.

There is a lot to write about, so much that a second post will go up after this one.

Thursday was all about friends, cake and major milestones.

I have known our speaker man ever since I got sober. And I’ve heard him share several times over the last decade or so. We only hit one speaker meeting during the week, so repeat performances are usually slim. Anyways, He tells the story, but what I took away from his share was the wisdom that has come about his story and how that relates to the present.

Time is the one constant that we have that polishes wisdom of our lives.

One of my long time friends celebrated thirty years. I can’t believe he’s been sober that long. He hasn’t aged a day in ten years. It is fact that he got sober in his twenties, which speaks to his longevity. I’ve known him as long as I’ve been sober as well.

The LGBT community came out in force to celebrate his anniversary.

Our guys are preparing to go away for work this summer. One of our men is in South Africa with his family for the summer, departure one, two of my guys leave Wednesday, departure two and next week for the other, departure three.

Friday was spent with people coming and going, friends came over for a visit, and then I was off to meet up with a friend before the Friday evening event. (it rained)

As Friday goes, it is the best night/meeting of the week. We sat a full house and then some.

The topic, “Freedom through Acceptance.”

When we come in, who wants to admit they are powerless over alcohol, and also, everything else in our lives? And who wants to turn it all over to a Power Greater than Ourselves in the second breath? But it is true, that when we do relent and let go and turn it over, things begin to turn around. For some, it takes longer than others.

In the end, “We neither ran nor fought, but accept we did. And then we began to be free.”

I learned the first time around that, in reality, there was no where else to go. And I knew nothing, and I needed serious help. And help stepped in. I loved this man more than I had ever loved anyone else up to that point.

So I gave it up. I allowed myself to be led, to be healed and to survive.

I’ve spoken about this before in great detail. Hindsight tells me that when I needed God the most, He came, incarnate and walked with me for that period of time. I am 100% percent sure of this fact. It happened, I survived, and today I am here because of it.

I know what that kind of freedom feels like.

When I got here, I again, had nothing, I knew nobody and I needed serious help. Over time, I met folks, went to meetings, and one day at a time, turned it over to people who knew better than I did, and I survived, and today I am here because of it.

I’ve had my God conversion. I know there is a God and I am not He. I can talk about God of the bible and God of the book. But I am better at talking about God, as He presents himself through my friends lives.

My friends are sober, they have had their own experiences. I just happen to be in the same room at the same time. We are here, we survived and today we are here because of that.

When I turn it over, to my friends and fellows, and I trust in God, as I understand Him, I thrive, I prosper, and I become strong, I gain strength when I let go and let God. I don’t need all that power or strength, nor do I need my ego. The simple power exchange between that which I know and that which I do not know grants freedom and power where I need it, when I need it.

At the end another friend took a year chip. We are all very proud of him. It has been a long year for him, but we were steadfast and we did what we could for him, and he stayed sober.

It was a good end to the week. Everybody is sober.

Another post will follow.


Tuesday … If You Do This Now, it will Pay Off Down the Road

tumblr_np8sopPXWW1rkbqteo1_500 whffboxCourtesy: Whffbox – Montrealer Baseball BooYah !!!

The weather has turned on us, and it rained cats, dogs and little fish today.

At first, I thought I’d get around the rain, being at the right location at the right time, but I decided against such an assumption, because when I got to my transfer point, it was pouring rain.

Even though it rained, our folks, and then some, showed up. We are one episode from the end of Joe and Charlie, today we heard the Step 11 talk.

I’ve said in the past that, the Big Book is written in a really specific way.

  • Each Chapter deals with a certain topic that
  • Leads into the next chapter
  • You can, if you wanted to, read a page,
  • Or you can drill down further and read a paragraph
  • and even closer, read a sentence
  • And down to particular words on the page.

Joe and Charlie, take us through the Twelve Steps, and at times, they stop to talk about a particular chapter/page/paragraph/word. During those talks, they often parse particular passages down to word for word explanation.

I found this method of reading very helpful, because I’d never heard this approach before, and it furthered my understanding of those certain passages. We work the Steps in the order that they are presented. And the further you get in your steps, if you read the book closely, you will find earlier steps mentioned later on in the book.

Steps four through nine, repeat themselves when reading Steps ten and eleven.

We do the steps the first time through, to the best of our ability. As we progress, and we hit a second set of inventory requests, Steps ten and eleven, (in the book) we return to earlier steps to drill down closer to those things we need to look at, first, in the morning, and then again before we go to bed at night.

I’ve spoken about the three different people you find in meetings:

  • Those with No lives
  • Those with Half lives
  • And Those with Full lives

When we come into sobriety, where ever we are in our lives, I mean in the subject of lives, wives, husbands, careers, school and work, each human being brings with them whatever they are engaged in at that time.

In time, we are told that if we put anything before our sobriety, we will usually end up loosing it. But some already have lives they are living, and at some point, decide or have it decided for them, that they need help, and they come to us.

Then the challenge is to be able to learn the discipline of sobriety, and to work that into your sober journey.

  • Some can do that,
  • some may be able to do that,
  • then there are those who cannot.

I guess I was lucky, because when I got sober this last time around, I had no life. And I was taught certain guiding principles.

If you DO THIS now, it will PAY OFF down the road.

  • Your home group is sacrosanct
  • Never miss your home group, without a really good reason
  • If you can, hit as many meetings as you are able
  • Find the balance between your life activities and you sober journey
  • Find a sponsor and work your steps

I am not a “throw a Big Book” at you your first days in. I would rather you find a chair, get used to the chair, relax into the flow and become part of. You will, eventually, find your groove, and your voice.

For a while, I would go to meetings, but I wasn’t prepared to step up. Until I was taught what I really needed to do, to be able to step up. I was sober a long time, coasting, shall we say, until a man from New York, turned on the fire for me.

Early on I had begun a certain discipline of meetings, home groups and service. I had the right men show up and sponsor me as I needed them. I did exactly what I was told, without question, because, like I said, I had no life really.

I had to build it. And in time, life happened. I HAD the discipline already set up, so as life began, I worked my life around my sober journey. And I’ve done that for almost fourteen years.

I’ve been through my steps several times. And it has only been in the last three years that I have learned how to drill down my steps and parse the words that appear on the page to a finer degree and that has changed everything for me.

Prayer and Meditation are the two topics in Step Eleven.

  • How do we do that,
  • When do we do that,
  • And how does it work?

My daily life, is really tossed into the wind. (read: I make plans and God laughs at me).

I enjoy the fact that I have this ready built in system of discipline that I get to augment as the years move forwards. It is something I learned to do in the beginning, and today, I work on perfecting that methodology and practice.

I don’t have the ability to travel to far flung places, spending days, weeks or months, praying and meditating like some “old timers” get to to. (Read: I’ve read this about some sober folks who are long time sober).

I’ve heard it said that prayer and meditation is something we should do BEFORE our feet hit the floor. What ever your morning or evening ritual is, in time, we should try to work in a period of prayer and meditation into our daily lives.

Joe and Charlie talk about the morning rituals of the normal human being. From getting up and First, hitting the bathroom, Second, the coffee pot, Thirdly, Back to the bathroom, Fourth, getting dressed (making sure everything matches), then going into our days.

We spend an awful lot of time preparing the physical and material parts of our lives. How much better we could be if we add into that ritual, some prayer and meditation, however long you can stand to begin with, (and we will see over time, how you augment that effort).

I was eleven years sober, doing my thing, when Bob asked me if I could recite prayers from the book word for word. I could not. That began months pf practicing prayer every day, and every night, until I began to show. That took about eight months.

The recitation of Three, Seven and Eleven throughout the day.

I can’t tell you how it works or why it worked the way it did, but after eight months, God presented me with opportunities, that had not occurred in the past. I was ready to Step Up. For some, they came to me, because they saw something they wanted, and in other cases, I stepped up myself and things went as they have.

  • Prayer is the act of reciting or saying prayers
  • Meditation is the act of waiting for a response to those prayers

For some, we spend a awful lot of time asking for things, just for us, in the beginning, but we learn, in time, that God does not care about what we want. In the end God cares about giving us, just what we need, on a need to have basis.

I learned that this time around. Because I went at God, those first months, with my list of

  • I need this,
  • and gimme that,
  • and if it’s possible,
  • this would be good too.

Over the weeks and months God responded with

  • NO,
  • NO,
  • Ask me later,
  • Maybe Tomorrow,
  • and in the end Definitely NOT !!!

If we pray, we sort of have to wait for an answer. I’ve learned over the years that God does speak to us, sometimes daily.

The Man/Woman – God relationship is a vertical relationship. ( UP – DOWN ).

The God – Woman/Man relationship is Horizontal ( LEFT to RIGHT )

If God is going to speak to us, that answer is going to come from someone close. On our level. From someone we know. Which is partly why I go to meetings. To listen for God to talk to me.

And if I am so inclined to pay attention to my fellows, there will come a time, when God speaks directly to me (read: Us). That Does Happen, and frequently too…

God doesn’t usually drop out of the clouds to talk, he usually uses an intermediary.

Be careful what you ask from God, because if He thinks you are ready, it is going to come or it is going to happen, and usually much greater than we had expected.

When finally, in sobriety, you are ready to Step Up, working with another human being is the greatest act of humility and character building you will ever experience.

Having walked through Joe and Charlie, as my guys work their steps, respectively, I have a little bit more insight into how to work, how to read, and then how to work our steps by parsing the pages, and not skipping through paragraphs, and missing the words, in between the words.

  • I remember, daily, that life is not all about me.
  • I am not the center of the universe.
  • That I don’t have all the answers
  • I get exactly what I need, on a need to have basis, (ALWAYS)
  • and that turning it over and helping someone else or caring for another human being,
  • is my greatest act on a daily basis.

Do you know how many years it took me to learn all these lessons, understand what they meant, and how they work in my life? More than DECADE in sobriety.

If you do this NOW, it will PAY OFF down the road.

More to come, stay tuned…


Easter Sunday … Tradition and a Story …

title_ten_commandments_blu-rayWhat is Easter, without the tradition of the most beautiful movie ever made, Cecile B. DeMille’s
The Ten Commandments.

It has been a very good weekend. The weather is a little chilly. We saw double digits the other day, but it was short lived. Then snow fell, just enough to turn to ice and slick up the sidewalks.

This week will see temps begin around (+3c) to the end of the week at (+11c). We stay in the negative at night for most of the week, right now. But I know that Environment Canada is very iffy when it comes to long term weather.

My Easter celebration, that almost wasn’t, started last Wednesday, I was in the store and turkeys were on sale, and I was perfectly willing to let it slip by. But a sale is a sale. If I can pull off a holiday dinner for less than $50.00 I say, “why not!”

It was decided.

Last night I prepped and cleaned out the fridge, (read: I tossed everything that was in Tupperware from the fridge, so that I had containers for left overs). And indeed, after feeding my family, there were leftovers to be had.

I invited my traveling buddy to dinner. He will always have a chair at my table for any holiday dinner. And there are others that do well for him as well. He is well taken care of.

We dined early this afternoon, food, conversation, fellowship.

I departed for the church promptly at four. A holiday is prime time for halls to be open, for anyone who needs them. It has always been my custom, that if I had a key to a church on a holiday, whatever that holiday is, that hall is always open.

So it went. My Sunday guy came early and it was good conversation.

Each one of them is unique, and each one of them push me to be more than I am, to be a better person. Which leads to tonight’s read. The Unbeliever, from Edition One Big Book.

Our man, again hospitalized due to his alcoholism, is in a bad way. He sees no way out, and does not know why he is the way he is. From insanity, a thread emerges about a story of a man, who had some success, the possible “solution.”

At once a man came to scoff, comes to the end and believes …

From insanity to belief in ten pages. Along the way we get this actual line from the story:

“A person never knew a lesson until he tried to pass it on to someone else. And that he found out every time he tried to pass this on it became more vivid to him.”

Every conversation is an opportunity to polish your understanding and expand your soul. In order to be able to give, you need first, to fill your soul. God cannot fill a vessel that is full (read: full of Garbage). We live in a society that on one hand embraces knowledge and the attainment of it, because that is the key to financial success, in the form of work. Then there are those who could do without education, the ones that skip the line, and get into it early, woefully unprepared.

You then find two types of people. The ones who learn and hoard their knowledge and never give back, then there are the others, the ones who come to learn, and find ways to give it back.

We are not supposed to hide our lamps under bushels baskets.

Today I learned about forward motion and giving all that you have, because God gives us so much. Some take life very seriously, and are grateful for every morsel. I know someone like this, and he shares with me his lessons, and I get to share mine with him. Together we make good on thought and conversation.

You give, with all you have, when you realize just how good you have it.

It is not about ones ego or pride. It is not about want nor desire.

Every day, we get a little, and over time that little becomes enough. That lesson did not come to me overnight. That lesson took years to unpack and understand.

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

I worked for everything that I have. And as God as my witness, I spend each day of my life giving back to the world, what I was freely given. And those I call friends, and those I work with, all turn around and give back what they have to those who need it.

Insight is very useful. Another tool that has taken years to polish. It isn’t perfect, but serves me well, when I need it. I always find that when I need words they come, and if I need something in life, I ask, and usually it comes. And if my friends ask, I give whatever I can.

We sat a fair crowd. The reading was ( … ) good.

The conversation was all about the ( … )

What is in between the ( … ) Go outside tonight and look at the stars. See the space between them. Imagine the infinite that exists in between all that we can see.

At night I go out on my balcony. And in between 8 p.m. and midnight, Orion makes his way across the sky, from East to West. I count every star. I always look for Betelgeus, the brightest star in the constellation of Orion. The one that is always on the verge of explosion.

But that star is always there. Flickering in the night sky. From that far away, I can see the flicker and the stars. There is much time and space between us, that is unfathomable.

That is a pretty big ( … )

I look at my life, and I see where the ( … ) lies. My twenties were one BIG ( … ) Then I got sick, almost died, and got sober. I began to live and learn valuable lessons. But I was not prepared to inhabit those lessons. I didn’t know how. I guess I should have, but it is what it is.

Then I took life into my hands and away from God.

I hit another ( … )

I went out, almost died, and made my way back.

Life began anew. I had lessons to draw upon to make this transition into sobriety mean something. I had no problem with God, nor turning it over. I knew how to trust, that could have been bad, but turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Today I spoke about the ( … ) something I know what it means and how to use it properly.

Tonight’s story was free flow conversation and thought, with many ( … ) in between.

Some found that jarring. But others saw the ironic insight it brought to them.

It was a beautiful day and magnificent evening, spent with my friends.

On the way home, well, on the way out as well, I stopped at the target space. The space is one big open cavern. The store has been dismantled. Everything is gone. The bad dream, that had so much promise, is over.

Only a BLUE DOOR remains in its place.

Is that a sign, an omen, of what is to come?

Stay tuned …

More to come

Goodnight.


Belief, Faith and Practice …

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When is it important to expect Belief, Faith and Practice to be unified?

I have given you some comments via other writers on the recent rash of states decisions to promote the practice of hate and exclusion, in the name of religion or the practice of ones faith, or the fear that the freedom to practice their faith and religion is being diminished because a Christian would have to serve his brother or sister, and that brother or sister being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered.

I can say, with pride, that I earned degrees in Religion and Theology.

I can also say, with pride, that I have the faith of a family and faith of my own to draw on.

When it comes to recovery and my belief, my faith and practice, are rock solid. I have no doubt, in my mind, that there is a God. And I am not He.

Today I speak with my voice to tell you that I am FED UP with governments choices when it comes to legislating hatred on a state level as well as on a governmental level. I am FED UP with Christians who speak from both sides of their mouths, when it comes to faith and practice.

When can you call out a Christian for being not – so – much – a – Christian?

For every man, woman and child on earth, there is a way to practice faith, be that faith among the lists of faiths that are claimed on the earth.

Some say they know God.
Some say they know their Bibles.
Some say they they speak for one, and believe in the other.
Then there are those who know neither.

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

I have, in the past, been called to task for my faith and my practice, when it comes to my education as a Homosexual Christian. I have, in the past, been victimized by one particular church in the United States, who seem to think that being a Homosexual and a Christian, are incompatible with God’s word. That I could not possibly be both. That I can’t be both.

That what I am, is incongruous with who I claim to be.

Today I want to call out all of those Christians, that Speak the name of God, out of one side of their mouths, and also speak and practice hatred out the other side of their mouths.

I don’t believe that God honors a human being that speaks His name so confidently and at the same time can speak and practice hatred and bigotry.

You cannot claim to speak for God and speak His name, and do the exact opposite by your actions. Your faith must abide with your practice.

God does not abide in Hate
God does not abide in Bigotry
God does not abide in Homophobia
God does not abide in Exclusion
Jesus Christ, as I live and breathe, never condoned exclusion
Jesus went out of his way to pointedly INCLUDE everyone that was excluded

We are amid Holy Week and Passover right now. The most blessed and anointed time of the liturgical year for Christians and Jews. Everything we claim to be and the faith we claim to practice, began during Holy Week.

Was everything that Jesus did and said, faith and practice, just words in a book? How can you look yourself in the mirror every day and call yourself Christians, when you cannot stand up and do and say what Jesus asked you to do and say?

What did he say?

For what ever you do to the least of these you have done to me.
Love your neighbor as yourself.

You cannot serve two Masters.
You cannot serve God and hate your fellow man or woman
Your Faith and Practice must abide
Live the Word, Breathe prayer

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

We cannot stand by and allow the Right, The Christian Right, to roll over and rip apart the fabric of the nation, that we are all a part of and the world at large. We cannot allow Christians who profess Christian faith to oppress and exclude our brothers and sisters, because of their sexual orientation.

This is NOT a just cause.

This is plain and simple. I’m really not sure what Bible these people are reading, nor where it is written that based on ones “Faith and Practice” I (read: GOD) Divine you the right to exclude your fellow man or woman, because of their sexual orientation ! Where did God ever mention exclusion of Gays and Lesbians, Bisexuals or Transgendered humans?

We’ve had this discussion. It is appropriate to mention Matthew Vines and his groundbreaking book, God and the Gay Christian. He, with his minions of believers, are changing the face of Christian faith and practice. We have discussed those seven biblical passages that the most vehement of Christians, still stand behind that allow them to hate and exclude.

When I was a child, I was introduced to God, by women I revere and honor to this day. Everything that I am, came from what they taught me about Life, God, Faith and Practice.

My parents claimed to be Christians, Catholics and Believers. They spent decades waiting for a man of God to absolve them for their choice in preventative birth control, when Holy Mother Church, kicked parishioners out of the fold, because of their choices of preventative birth control.

They eventually got that absolution. They turned around and served God to the best of their ability. And they did that work gladly and without complaint. But when it came to the fact that I was a homosexual, their faith and practice splintered.

They began to speak out of both sides of their mouths.

Well before I ever decided to come out of my self imposed closet, I knew, well and good what they actually thought about Jews, Niggers, Dark skinned Asians. and Homosexuals. I knew this was truth because I listened to them for years, pontificate their hatred and bigotry and serve God at the same time.

My father abused me terribly, because he feared me becoming a homosexual, because I was friends with adult homosexuals and that was an abomination. And he was going to beat homosexuality out of me if it was the last thing he ever did.

But they could not serve two masters. Practice went by the wayside. I cannot tell you what their faith looks like today, because I, along with my aunt Paula, have been blacklisted by the family, shut away in the darkness of radical faith and resentment, to have our voices and lives shut in the dark, never to be acknowledged.

When I got sick and came very close to death, from AIDS, I turned to my family for faith, support and practice. They in turn, turned their backs on me and denied me love, faith and family.

The last holiday I went home for Christmas, my father humiliated me in front of a table full of guests they had invited for dinner. He went on to encourage me to “die quickly!”

My mother, a Christian, a Catholic, at one time, worked in Home Healthcare for the sick. She served the least of these, albeit grudgingly. Every night after work, with colleagues in tow, would come home, pop a beer or two, and talk about the faggots with AIDS that they had to visit with medication to help keep them alive, and their only wish, in that moment, was that for them just to die already !

My parents called me things like dirty homosexual.
They called me sick.
They called me an ABOMINATION …

And they claimed they could use these kinds of words because they read it in their bibles. And believe you me, we had a bible. I never saw them open it nor read from it.

I knew what good faith and practice was. I went to church. I served God. I spent a year in a Catholic Seminary, only to be told that my faith and practice were not good enough to pass muster and they told me to leave and not return.

In my darkest night of horror, the family I trusted to stand with me did not. When I needed them the most, they were absent, by choice. Because of their faith !!!

It then fell to the man named Todd who stepped in and became God incarnate, and he saved my life, when I should have died, by the side of the road, alone and destitute.

He chose to step in. He chose to save me. From all those others in our circle, he picked me.

Because He loved me unconditionally, as God loved me unconditionally.

The family I came from, could not and would not love me unconditionally, because of their faith and practice. Because I was one, a homosexual, and two, because I had AIDS, therefore God’s judgment came down upon me and He spoke my death to them.

Sadly, families all over North America still believe, in faith and practice, that because we are Homosexuals, and some have AIDS, God has spoken his condemnation upon us for our past transgressions and for who we are as human beings.

Therefore we are owed no Love, Respect or Salvation.

It is ABOMINABLE for a Christian to speak out of both sides of their mouths. You cannot serve God and hate your neighbor. You cannot claim to Love God and hate your neighbor.

You cannot love God and Hate your neighbor.

Every day you decide to hate your neighbor, or exclude your neighbor you spit in the face of Jesus and you desecrate the faith you proclaim. You did not do as Jesus asked you to do.

Therefore, can you, Christian, still call yourself a Christian, and hate your neighbor?

That answer is NO !!!

What Would Jesus Do ???

… Jesus Wept …


Sunday Sundries … “Thy Will Not Mine Be Done”

indian thought

It is getting warmer. This week we will see positive temps all week long. We are hopeful, that we’ve seen the last of snowfall, and sub zero temps, for the season.

After last night’s adventure in building furniture, I am mentally exhausted. But we must get on with the things we need to do, because that is what we do. Last night, before I went to bed, I set the clocks forward, so in a matter of minutes, I lost an hour, and went to bed at 3 a.m.

I had obligations to my guys today, and I could not just, “take a day off.” I got to the church on time, having taken my sweet time to transit the tunnel. We sat a large group tonight. We were reading Step Eleven, and it is quite a long read, that went all the way around the room.

The St. Francis Prayer is part of this read. I had the blessed opportunity, back in October, to visit Bill’s home, and also to visit his grave, along side Lois, his wife. While we were there we shared with a group of women doing the same visit. And we closed our visit, with the St. Francis prayer, holding hands, standing on the spot where Bill W. is buried.

This prayer has a very special meaning in my heart because of where it has appeared in my sober life, and who I was with and where I was at the time. I have that prayer card, I got from one of those visiting women, in my Big Book. It is one of my most treasured possessions.

With the read completed, the same thought ran through the room, that:

Prayer, is the action of asking from God, and Meditation, is waiting for the answer.

In our busy lives, how many of us, take the time to sit still and listen? I’ve said before that I don’t hear God’s voice directly, He hasn’t stepped out of heaven and addressed me personally. But there was a time, when I walked with God, together, on this earth. I truly believe that during that period of time, God manifested Himself in a human being, for my benefit, and also for the benefit of all the men who lived and worked under that umbrella.

If God is going to speak to us, that communication is going to come from someone very close to us. It will come from a voice we recognize, and when we least expect it. We might say a prayer, and then hit a meeting, and as usually happens, an answer will come, if we are listening for it.

Hindsight is very useful, as we read this step tonight. I can see ways I employed the practice of prayer and meditation. When I got sick, I must have prayed, because God then appeared, in the guise of a man who would save my life. Was I lucky, or was I just in the right place at the right time?

The practice of coming to work, and leaving my life outside the building, and only having to think about what I had to do on any given night, was difficult at first, but I grew into it. The whole, “turning ones mind off of him/her self, to something higher” is the whole idea behind meditation.

I got to practice turning off my head. And it worked.

Today, my brain, is not a place I like to go alone. Sometimes it takes a lot of work, to shut it off. When I want to get still and quiet, that is when my brain goes on overdrive, because I have either started my day in quiet, or I end the day with quiet, and my brain says,

“Oh, undivided attention … Let’s Get It On !!!”

Prayer and meditation comes when I need it most. I have prayers scattered about my apartment that remind me that I can pray at any time during the day or night. I get on my knees during my day. I have to consciously practice gratitude, because I don’t necessarily think about it. I take it as given, which I think is the wrong attitude to have.

I talked about luck with a friend of mine.

Does God direct luck or does luck exist independently of God?

I have been in the right place at the right time, but I have also been at the wrong place at the wrong time as well. Am I lucky to be alive and sober? Was that luck, or divine intervention? Can I attribute survival and sobriety to living well, taking my pills, doing the right thing?

When my eyes are on the Prize (read: God), I am the luckiest man in my life. I don’t necessarily call this luck, I call it having a connection with the God of my understanding. It is historical fact that, when I turn my eyes away from the prize (read: God) I fall into disaster, and really bad luck. Every Time.

Living well past my due date, has been practicing mindful survival. Every day I stand in front of my medicine cabinet, as I pop my pills, I am medicating my body, nourishing my soul, and at the same time, I am asking for another day. This is an entirely silent process. And sometimes I am not even aware of the three fold action. I kind of forget gratitude, and take being alive for granted.

In that I mean, Thank you rolls off my lips at the end of every day, and not when I am in the medicine cabinet. Since learning how to pray actively, and meditate daily, part of my brain is always connected to that higher power. And sometimes, it even acts in my best interest, when I need to stop and breathe.

That happened last night, as I was assembling our coffee table.

In the moment that I wanted to hurl the screw driver across the room, I had momentary blinks of the thought that I need to take a moment, and center. and breathe, before I shot off my mouth.

it was an automatic action that came from within, my brain on auto pilot.

I don’t know what God’s will is for me or my friends. I just do what I do every day, without fail, I follow the same ritual daily. I hit the same meetings, I call my sponsor every day, I speak to my guys, every day, and I do the right thing, as often as I can.

This is conscious active work – every day – without fail.

Sometimes I think about God, and last night, I said to my friend that I seem to have God’s favor, because my life is full, I have everything that I need, and I am satisfied with having enough, I don’t always think that I am worthy of God’s favor, what ever that favor is ?

I just do my days. like I have been doing my days, for the last twenty odd years now.

And it seems to work. Why is that ?

Many of us have to take medication for one reason or another. And I firmly believe that a drug is only as good, as the positive thought you put behind that pill you take. It is akin to prayer. I will take my pills and I will (WILL) those pills to do their job, every day, with all the positive energy I can throw at them from within.

Let me tell you that that took decades to learn about.

Let me tell you that there is IMMENSE POWER in Negative thinking. Negative thinking will kill you. It almost killed me. But I was taught how to turn negative thinking and negative thoughts, into Positive Power to change my life. So add all that shitty negative thought, and turn that into powerful positive thought, you have a double whammy, Total Positive thought Bomb.

It changed my life, and it can change your life as well.

Living life is a full time job, and needs all the help it can get, because of my certain disabilities and medical issues, and add to that recovery. If I sink into the morass of self pity, doubt or any of the plethora of negative self talk I can do, I am a dead man.

I still do not know, and I have asked God this question over the years, “Why did I live, and all of my friends died?” Why did you choose me, and not them? Why did they not get a fighting chance like I did? Was I in the right place at the right time, with someone to take care of me and give me a chance as I had?

At that time, everyone was begging for one more day. My friends didn’t get them, like I did. Why? Was God there? Why am I still here and they are not? These unanswerable questions haunt me, and I think about them often. But there are no answers. All I know is that I survived.

You can’t do without prayer and meditation, just like you can’t do without air, water or food.

I’ve learned how to pray, and I know how to listen. And I take the time to sit and listen.

That is grace.

I am so grateful that I am satisfied with having enough. And not having all the answers. If I had them, I would be God, and I am surely Not God.

More to come, stay tuned …


Friday … The BIG Reno and Three Letter Words for $1000 Alex !

tumblr_lxerkgWVPI1r556eno1_500 followeedCourtesy: Followeed – Another vertigo inducing photo to end the week.

It was chilly tonight, but not as frigid as it was last night. Temps are on the way up and will peak, “hopefully” Wednesday with a Plus (6c) day. They keep changing that number.

They say, when you get sober, that the only thing you have to change is everything.

There is a rhyme and reason to the Big Book. Things are presented and come in a certain order.

Coming in, as I did then, with expectations on my lips was a bad idea, that had to be quashed.

Some think they can pick and choose which steps they are going to work, based on how they read the words on the page, which brings us to the Three Letter Word Category. But we soon learn that the steps are written in a specific order, for maximum effect.

If you don’t start with the foundation, how can you build a solid building?

We start with One and work our way through. And around Step five, the reading mentions “The Arch” we are supposed to walk through as free men and women, if we have properly completed the first five proposals.

Today’s reading mentions a gateway, through which everyone can walk through. We just need to find our way around, through, over and under, backwards and forwards, the biggest troublesome three letter word in the world …

That word is (drum roll please !!!) GOD.

I am getting a bit ahead of myself, so let’s back up.

You might be familiar with the reading of The Promises. Which are taken from the Book concerning the Ninth Step. I’ve / We’ve been listening to them for more than thirteen years now. They say that when we get sober, that eventually, the promises will begin to manifest and come true.

Hurry up and wait …

They don’t all come at once. And I have a little wisdom on the topic now. Many of the promises are long term proposals. All those things we get rid of, and all those things we get in return, if we are diligent and patient, are tantalizing.

Time gives one perspective. At least, that’s my take on them, as I speak to the old timers.

The one promise that has been outstanding and yet to manifest, after thirteen years is:

“Fear of People and of Economic Insecurity will leave us.”

This promise is the Ninth Promise of the Ninth Step Promises passage.

I don’t really have a problem of fearing people. The rest of this promise needs a back story.

I was eleven months sober, and I met my now husband. It was the holiday season, and he was going home to visit his family, he offered me to stay in our now HOME while he was away.

Actually, I never left … I am still here thirteen years later !

We had very little. The apartment was a mess. We had not begun to clean up the wreckage of hubby’s past, but that would begin in earnest very soon. We had ratty furniture, (which is the main subject of this actual post) we had a small black and white tv, with rabbit ears and foil. The walls were stark, medicinal white. And that was it.

We learned how to shop for two. We learned how to cook for two. And we began to clean up that wreckage, (read: Return all the empty beer bottles that were stacked 20 deep on the balcony).

We did not have very much money. And in the beginning, we dreaded the last week of the month, because we would have to choose what to do with regards to food and paying bills and buying much needed medicinals. We could not do all of them, at the same time, and that lasted for many years.

Money makes the world go round … It also is man’s greatest evil.

Not having enough of it, Needing more of it, relying on financial aide to get it, and having enough of it at the end of the month to buy food, pay bills and pay for an education all at the same time. Not to mention all those other things we “needed to buy” to survive. (read:Medication).

This journey of learning how to respect the almighty dollar is long and arduous.

We learned how to do it, starting with nothing and working our way up the economic ladder, one year at a time. We judged our upwards success, by our ability to get rid of all the shitty appliances we had, for new ones. That took many years.

This past Fall 2014, we jumped an entire economic bracket, for the first time since the day we met. We have risen from poor student status, to mid-range manageable status, to today’s, there is money in the bank, we can buy food all month, pay bills, buy necessities, AND have surplus money that for the first time since we met …

BE ABLE TO BUY BRAND NEW FURNITURE AND GET RID OF THE RATTY 40 YEAR OLD FURNITURE THAT IS HELD TOGETHER WITH DUCT TAPE, FURNITURE !!!

We have completed or finally achieved, the list of promises.

We have four items of old furniture. The living room, the dining table, our bed, and my desk.

Over the past thirteen years we have recycled all of our electronics. We painted the apartment, the kitchen and bathroom have been remodeled by our management.

Tomorrow we get to hit IKEA for the first time. Hubby picked out the new furniture, and I get executive veto so tomorrow we will finalize the deal and be able to afford the grand prize.

Sunday night, the ratty furniture goes on the trash heap. Monday the new duds come.

Hubby has cashed in all of our bargaining chips and saved up educational credits that come from the government, which gives us bankable cash. (read:Taxes)

We have rebuilt our home from the ground up. One item at a time.

So that is a thing … a really BIG thing !!!

Now we return to regularly scheduled programming …

“I’ll take Three Letter Words for $1000 Alex.”

We came full circle tonight, with the reading about Spiritual Kindergarten. We talked about God.

You cannot avoid it, The words is in the book.

Remember the other day when we spoke about Ebby and Bill. On that fateful day when the two friends met over drinks in the kitchen. Ebby with sober drink, Bill with his bottle. Here Bill thought that it would be frivolous and exciting, drinking with his old friend. That did not happen.

Ebby tells his story and concludes with “I’ve found religion!” (Read:The Oxford’s Religion)

Bill wasn’t having any of that religion shit. He read the first three proposals. But it did not connect with him at all, UNTIL, Ebby told him that maybe “He should find a power greater than himself of his own choosing.” (read: Squiggly writing in the book).

This is the blessed sentence in the book.

God, “As we Understood Him.”

But we come around to the contradiction in As Bill Sees It that says,

“You can find your own concept of a higher power and if that works for you fine, BUT in the end it always comes back around to God.”

When the book was written, Bill had counsel from a Jesuit priest, who spoke to him at great length, but to make God more palatable, we get the spiritual angle.

This is a tough subject for many.

When I got sick, and was waiting to die, I read every book I could get my hands on that spoke about the afterlife, God, spirits, angels, and i even consulted a medium to have a chat with my newly departed Grandmother, because I could not go to her funeral, and I needed to speak to her.

I was sober the first time – during this quest.

I got to my medium and his reply was curt and short: “She is happy where she is” and he left.

The second time I got sober, it was meant to be.

I had the God of my father, the traditions of my family, I added the intellectual university education about God and Religion, with degrees in Religion and Theology. Meanwhile I was getting sober.

i watched people get sober, because my mainstay was meetings.

If you STAY in the same meeting for YEARS at a time, you will witness people getting sober and eventually having their own spiritual experiences, IN a meeting.

That is where I saw God.

I believed in God my whole life, and I was still alive, I did not die as was told to me several times over.

There was something that was keeping me alive, I knew that.

I met God once, in human form. He made manifest to me when I most needed Him.

This time around i witnessed God move among my friends. In ways I had never imagined.

I’ve learned how to read the book. I learned how to read the book, when I read it with my guys.

We’ve all learned how to unpack the word GOD. It may take some time, and a little effort and elbow grease. Add water, and stir …

Every voice plays its appointed part.

The only thing we need to learn how to do is Learn, Serve and Love.

The book gives us direction, as one of my friends said tonight. It does not give us an end point.

That is up to us.

What ever you call that Power Greater than Yourself, is up to you.

All the voices and all the souls we encounter in the rooms, widens that arch we all walk through.

i want to live happy, joyous and free.

We might be there now.

More to come, stay tuned …