Sunday, February 26, 2012

Galatians 2:9

James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. (NIV)

All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 17)

Gentile, Hebrew,
stock speculator, proctologist,
white collar, blue collar, skid row bum.
Colleagues sharing interest
in good news,
a loving god,
a supportive community
contributing, involved in
recovery for self and others, knowing
all are bundled. Each gains momentum,
power, velocity, veracity
from his fellows'.
Republican, Democrat, Libertarian,
fierce partisan positions mean nothing,
remain unspoken
in light of even-more-integral,
more essential matters.
Shared recovery,

God, thanks for essentials
that can place lesser matters
in proper perspective.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Galatians 2:7-8

On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. (NIV)

When you discover a prospect for Alcoholics Anonymous, find out all you can about him. If he does not want to stop drinking, don't waste time trying to persuade him. You may spoil a later opportunity. This advice is given for his family also. They should be patient, realizing they are dealing with a sick person. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 90)

Who cares who carries the message
so long as the carrying is done?
Well, I must admit to the lingering conviction
a message not channelled through me
must of necessity be inferior.
What if explanations lack the pertinence,
applicability, feel irrelevant?
Who will invigorate the word,
encapsulate Nirvana?
So, what makes me believe in me but my arrogance,
my ego?
It's not my message to carry.
I am a tool, available for use
in building.
My bondage to self, my difficulties 
are removed, and victory over them
may humiliate me 
be the message to be carried.

God, who cares who carries the message?
Let be true I don't.
Let me be willing
to be humbled
and used.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Galatians 2:6

As for those who were held in high esteem — whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism — they added nothing to my message. (NIV)

An alcoholic who has recovered, but holds a relatively unimportant job, can talk to a man with a better position. Being on a radically different basis of life, he will never take advantage of the situation. (Alcoholics Anonymous: the "Big Book," Kindle Locations 1861-1862, "To Employers")

Wisdom has nothing to do
with intelligence, education.
Recovery doesn't come by degrees
made up of letters and periods.
Intelligent we are in many respects
but insane – lunatics —
where addiction is involved.
certain simple things,
commence on a simpler level, 
follow a few simple rules.
Simple, not easy, achieved only
with the destruction of
Then comes wisdom,
when intelligence, education, 
experience have become tools
of simplicity.

God, please block my smarts
until I grasp simplicity.

Galatians 2:4-5

This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. (NIV)

Soon A.A. was beset by these very problems on every side and in every group. But out of this frightening and at first disrupting experience the conviction grew that A.A.’s had to hang together or die separately. We had to unify our Fellowship or pass off the scene. (Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Kindle Locations 97-99, foreword to the second edition.)

Holding on to truth, holding out for purity
staying the course
without apostasy.
Truth wields a mighty sword, impervious, 
yet truth can fall to insidious mutation,
to good intentions, to obfuscating clarification.
A good thing, a godly thing, a god thing 
we have here.
God knows how we can keep it!

God, save us from the conviction 
we can always tweak
something for the better.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Galatians 2:3

And they supported me and did not even demand that my companion Titus be circumcised, though he was a Gentile. (NLT)

He may demand that the family find God in a hurry, or exhibit amazing indifference to them and say he is above worldly considerations. He may tell mother, who has been religious all her life, that she doesn't know what it's all about, and that she had better get his brand of spirituality while there is yet time. (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 128)

Running the show,
setting the rules,
 being in charge,
taking command.
This is how recovery works,
and you better do it right.
They are suggestions, not commands.
It's how we did it,
how many have found recovery
but you may find a different
road to the same place.
This one works for me.
I love you and hope you find
a path as right for you
as I have found for me.

God, let me understand
I'm not in control.
Help me to do your will
and be open to it differing
from what I think it is.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Galatians 2:1-2

Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too. I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing. (NLT)

Nothing would please us so much as to write a book which would contain no basis for contention or argument. We shall do our utmost to achieve that ideal. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 19)

United, a common front,
of one mind.
We are a diverse group,
people who would not ordinarily mix
yet there's a friendliness,
a fellowship,
an understanding
uniting us,
divergent people
facing a common problem,
a problem so huge,
so overwhelming,
so devastating
difference makes no difference.

God, in recovery
I'm no longer different,
no longer alone,
among friends I've never met,
in the in-crowd. Thanks.