Monday, May 31, 2010

Chaos Eraser

Hebrews 2:7

Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (KJV)

“How could a Supreme Being have anything to do with it all? And who could comprehend a Supreme Being anyhow? Yet, in other moments, we found ourselves thinking, when enchanted by a starlit night, ‘Who, then, made all this?’ There was a feeling of awe and wonder, but it was fleeting and soon lost.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 46)

When my life feels
that’s not what’s intended,
not what can be,
should be.
When I pause to look
at the wonder,
the majesty,
the mystery
all around, I know
without a doubt
chaos isn’t real,
isn’t natural,
isn’t what should be.
When I get out of the way
the world works
like it was designed to work,
like somebody neat erased
the chaos.

God, erase my chaos,
my doubt, my mess,
and show me your mystery
and majesty
and love.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Woe is I

Hebrews 2:5-6

Jesus, the Man

5 And furthermore, it is not angels who will control the future world we are talking about. 6 For in one place the Scriptures say,

“What are mere mortals that you should think about them,

or a son of man that you should care for him? (NLT)

“The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew fromsociety, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 151)

Woe is I,
worthless piece of
Shivering madness,
chilling self-contempt,
thickening blackness.
Mortal. Morbid.
How could anyone care for me
when I don’t care about me?
I don’t know.
I only know
the Son of Man does
care for this odious
daughter of man.
If God be for me
how can I be against me?

God, thanks for loving me
until I can love myself
and for sending other people
to model that love for me.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible,
New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,
Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Avoiding Stupid Choices

Hebrews 2:2-4

For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (KJV)

“Understanding myself now, I fared forth in high hope. For three or four months the goose hung high. I went to town regularly and even made a little money. Surely this was the answer—self knowledge.

"But it was not, for the frightful day came when I drank once more. The curve of my declining moral and bodily health fell off like a ski jump.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 7)

You can’t say I don’t know how –
I’ve watched – lived – the program working.
Divers miracles, indeed, gifts of God
wonders, signs.
Proffered, available,
here for the taking.
Who would decline?
Who would choose
the gloom?
Who would fall away
from truth, from love?
Who would choose defeat?
Cunning, baffling, insidious
it is, this pariah.
I pray I choose the gift today
and each today to come.

God, let me not neglect your grace.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Alone on the ladder

Hebrews 1:13-14 (second entry)

And God never said to any of the angels,

“Sit in the place of honor at my right hand

until I humble your enemies,

making them a footstool under your feet.”

Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation. (NLT)

Angels are servants,
only servants,
like second class,
like riffraff.

Guardian angels,
a real angel,
as sweet as an angel,
gone to be with the angels,
with the riffraff? With servants?
Perspective’s everything.
When speaking of one
higher than angels,
how high they are
fades in importance.
I’m okay. I’m fine.
Even if I’m lesser,
riffraff when contrasted
that doesn’t mean I’m
not fine, high enough
not real.

God, enough of my ladder,
folks higher, lower,
none on my rung.
I’m lonely. Enough with
knowing about, not knowing.

Scripture quotations marked NLT
are taken from the Holy Bible,

New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004.

Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,

Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Crowd of Witnesses

Hebrews 1:1-2

1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,

2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (NASB)

Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 55)

God’s out there, up there, everywhere
power beyond power
love beyond love
shouting through thunderstorms
whispering through a cricket’s chirp
speaking to us though we don’t listen
sending his essence, his doppelganger,
his son
to show us, help us hear,
get the fundamental truth
to echo the eternal song of love,
of acceptance, of peace,
of hope.
He molds the world –
he cares for me.

God, calamity, pomp, other things
distract me from
truth around me – in me – of me
the me that is
you and your

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®,
Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995
by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Superior Arrogance

by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Hebrews 1:3-4

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (NIV)

Dad may feel that for years his drinking has placed him on the wrong side of every argument, but that now he has become a superior person with God on his side. (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 129)

I’ve lived on the ladder,
isolated on my rung,
above most folks
below a few,
below God
too for up there to notice,
above the masses.
Who set my rung?
I did. After I’d done so much
become so important
Not knowing what others had done
even the miraculous,
ignorance is bliss
superior bliss
superior arrogance.

God, I need the crowd of people around me
to stop the isolation,
to let me learn what they have to teach me,
what you would teach me through them.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE,
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica.
Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Fold Like Old Clothing

Hebrews 1:10-12

He also says to the Son,

“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth
and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever.
They will wear out like old clothing. You will fold them up like a cloak
and discard them like old clothing.
But you are always the same;
you will live forever.” (NLT)

“Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 84)

Before anything,
after everything,
We have no yesterday,
we have no tomorrow,
we have only right now.
But we have always.
We have no laurels
to rest on,
no accomplishments to tout.
We have no manifest destiny.
We have today, to act in faith
or act as if,
to do the next right thing
with the promise of always.

God, let me fold up my pride,
my ambition, my fears,
my longing for the easy way out
like old clothing
and work for always.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible,
New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,
Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

What I've Got

Hebrews 1:13-14

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (KJV)

“Being possessed of a spiritual experience, the alcoholic…may bring new hope and new courage to many a priest, minister, or rabbi, who gives his all to minister to our troubled world.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 131-132)

Warts, scars, pocks and all
I’m here to help
if there’s a use,
for such as me.
Others younger, stronger,
more agile, more people persons,
make more sense
but if you can use
these assets, this old tired body,
to minister, to serve, to carry the message,
okay. I’m ready,
just point me in the right direction
and tell me your will,
give me power to carry it out.

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory of them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always.

Monday, May 3, 2010

That Contract Thing

I know I've read the April 28th entry from Voices of Recovery before. I'm sure of it! I'm also quite sure it never grabbed me like it did this morning, talking of the contract of the 3rd step. Now, contracts I know! So, let's see how this goes.

County of My County

State of Texas

Know all persons by these presents:

That we, Higher Power, hereinafter referred to as "God," being the party of the first part not because of the offer/acceptance order but because of being here way first (and also having first extended the offer formalized by this contract), and Compulsive Overeater, hereinafter referred to as "OAStepper," do hereby agree, accept, confirm, commit to this agreement, pact, covenant, arrangement, and bond.

OAStepper hereby, based on contingent promises made by God, does offer herself to God, the terms of the agreement being that God may build with her and do with her as God may choose. The terms "build with me" and "do with me" shall mean the following, which is exemplary and not a comprehensive lists of the possibilities:

o place OAStepper in positions in which her courage is nonexistent, in which she is forced to trust God to bring her through.

o demand of OAStepper a purity and freedom from substances such as sugar, frozen concoctions, confectioneries, sugar-free substitutes for any of the above, the freedom being such that her mind is clear and her ability to follow God's will be unimpaired.

o while "build with me" suggests dignity, worthiness, contribution, "do with me" allows activities in which OAStepper sees no merit and in which she may feel depreciated, disdained, or cheapened.

o OAStepper acknowledges lack of control, lack of the ability to direct the proper usefulness in the building with or doing with.

o OAStepper not only acknowledges the called-for activities may be base but also accepts the idea they could be high-profile, glorified, with hundreds/thousands/gulp-millions! of people looking at her. She acknowledges she does not have the right to turn these activities down any more than she does the ignoble ones.

o OAStepper acknowledges that she's more usable when not wasting time, that she should do the "next right thing" like she tells others to do.

o OAStepper acknowledges she has only the right to seek to know God's will for her life as it may affect the current moment or that part of the future necessary for her actions in the current moment, and she further has the right to seek God's assistance in obtaining the power to carry that out.

It is agreed that in order to fulfill the terms and conditions of this contract, God will relieve OAStepper of the bondage of self in order that OAStepper may meet the requirements for her part of this contract. This is not a right inherent in her offering herself for building/doing, and she has no right to demand the bondage be removed in any specified way which is a bother and/or hindrance to her, but she is willing for it to happen contingent on that removal of bondage facilitating the betterment of the condition-understanding-growth of other persons.

God further agrees to remove the difficulties of OAStepper, for a part of the commitment of OAStepper in this agreement is to bear witness to those she would like to help, that witness being a declaration and demonstration of God's Power, his Love and the Way of Life made possible by this contractual agreement. In circumstances where removal of such difficulties will facilitate the other persons' understanding and accepting of that Power/Love/Way of Life, God will remove them, again, not for the convenience or to meet the desires of OAStepper.

OAStepper understands this is a Suzerain/Vassal contract, not one between equals, and she hereby relinquishes all desires to demand a full partnership interest in the decision-making.

In the event of breach of this contract by OAStepper, she will immediately forfeit peace, serenity, security, love, joy, and self-esteem and will become the vassal of such edibles and commodities as once dominated her existence. She will potentially forfeit her ability ever to find her way back to the contractual relationship, having seen many others baffled by the path they once walked having disappeared to their vision or at least their ability to navigate it. She is aware that simply accepting the idea that a temporary waiver from this contract might be granted is folly and a self-fulfilling prophesy, though the temporary part of that equation may not be.

In the event of a breach of this contract by God, the world/universe/creation will immediately terminate and implode to nothingness.

Signed and entered this the 3rd day of May, 2010 by the parties herebefore named.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Remembering Heidi

I went to Heidi Rains' funeral today. She was 42. It was a medium-small church. I don't estimate crowds well, but lots of people were there. I stood, as did about a fourth of the folk there.

Something like 48 hours after she went to the emergency room, she was gone, evening of New Years Day. We don't have tomorrow, not until it's today. We live today, and what we do may affect tomorrow, but we lose today if we worry too much about tomorrow. Heidi would have been surprised by the size of the crowd. What we do today affects lots of peoples' lives. And they care.

The last time I saw Heidi was maybe Tuesday or Wednesday before Christmas. I was leaving as she was going in, and we talked briefly in the parking lot. She said she'd been meaning to tell me how much she liked Slender Steps to Sanity, how much it had meant to her. I was touched that day, honored. And I've been thinking about it ever since the call on Friday, telling me she was gone. Heidi wasn't a member of OA, never attended a meeting. She worried about her weight, but I never got any feeling she needed OA. But that conversation in the parking lot, she told me she wanted to share the book with others, asked about how to do it, and we talked about it. She was going to bring me money to send copies to people, and of course that didn't happen.

As I stood there in the church I decided to honor Heidi by sending books out for her. I'm asking for your help, not for money, but for names and addresses to whom I should send them. I had a plan, but I've learned I can't use addresses obtained from OA in any way to distribute the book, and I've given them away to many of the people around me. If you would like one or know of someone who would like one, I would ask that you email me and just tell me their name and address. I'll send copies to as many addresses as I get, and it doesn't matter when you read this. Just click this link, and send the address. I'll know what you're asking. I don't need to know if it's your address or somebody else's, and I'll not use the address for any other purpose at all. Thanks.