Belief, Faith and Practice …

tumblr_llnyzo9gSn1qark8so1_500 eeedwfff

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.

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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 …

Misusing religious freedom as a weapon of mass discrimination

tumblr_ld9721OgLN1qzhiyso1_500 canada kidCourtesy: Canada Kid – Joel Canadian Photography

Lifted from: An Inch at a time – Susan Russell – All Saints Church Pasadena

Religious discrimination is a real thing.

History — both modern and ancient — is tragically full of examples of times and places where religious discrimination has been the source of persecution, death and destruction. The perversion of religion into a weapon of mass destruction is antithetical to the core beliefs of all the world’s great religions. And yet none of those religions have escaped the sad reality that human beings — given the power to do so — will use God as an excuse to inflict pain and suffering on other human beings.

Our forefathers knew that. And they brought that knowledge — that wisdom — into our Bill of Rights with a First Amendment that begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

The First Amendment both prevents the government of the United States from privileging one religion over another and protects each and every one of us — as American citizens — to believe whatever we choose — or choose not — to believe about what God thinks, approves of or blesses.

It is what protects our democracy from becoming a theocracy. And, as we watch with sadness and horror the nightly news stories of religious wars and sectarian violence, this guarantee of religious freedom is something Americans of all religions — and no religion — should rejoice and be glad in.

What that guarantee of religious freedom is not is something to be distorted and exploited to further a homophobic agenda of legislated discrimination against LGBT people. But that’s exactly what happened today when Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the so-called “religious freedom” bill into law during a private ceremony in his Statehouse office.

Officially entitled the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” this bill will allow individuals and businesses in the state to deny services to LGBT people on “religious liberty” grounds – doing nothing to restore freedom and everything to bolster bigotry. It is the first of many proposed measures pending in statehouses around the country – all with the intent of allowing business owners and individuals to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds.

It is a dangerous and detrimental piece of legislation — not only for the LGBT Americans who are its direct target. It opens the door for discrimination, inequality and prejudice to nearly every citizen of every state, undermining the foundational American value of equal protection. It nothing less than an orchestrated backlash against equal protection for LGBT citizens and the flagrant distortion of the ideal of religious freedom into a vehicle for religion based bigotry.

Bottom line: The First Amendment protects your right as an American to the free exercise of your religion. It does not protect your right to use your religion as an excuse to discriminate against other Americans.

And watching the tragic consequences of genuine religious discrimination on the nightly news makes it all the more urgent that we stand together and speak against this and other pending legislation – and challenge those who are supporting it.

Because religious discrimination is a real thing. And this blatant effort to exploit it in order to attack LGBT citizens is a reprehensible thing.

Let the boycotts begin.

Sunday Sundries … Shuttered

tumblr_lx332xnuMf1qajbwho1_500 justathoughtfulmindCourtesy: Justathoughtfulmind

We are sitting at a Zero degrees this evening. A bit cool. Slowly, ever so slowly, the snow is melting and bits a pieces of grass have been uncovered in the neighborhood.

On my way out, I passed through the mall, and it is with great sadness that I report tonight that our little Target that couldn’t has been shuttered. What was once a store brimming with possibility, is now an empty shell of its former self. Gone too soon.

Now Target Canada has to make something of all of the branded items that are now useless, like scooters, bags, and shopping carts that bear the Target name. Destroying them is useless, they will have to go back to the U.S. in its closure settlement.

All the Target stores are set to be fully shuttered over the next two weeks. The mall proper will now remove all the signage that hangs inside/outside the mall.

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It is the last Sunday of the month, we sat a fair crowd tonight. And we read Tradition Three:

“The Only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

The story I am about to repeat, I have never heard come from another human being I know, who is in the room today.

“We were resolved to admit nobody to A.A. but that hypothetical class of people we termed ‘pure alcoholics.’ Except for their guzzling, and unfortunate results thereof, they could have no other complications. So beggars, tramps, asylum inmates, prisoners,queers, plain crackpots, and fallen women were definitely out.

Yes sir, we’d cater only to pure and respectable alcoholics.”

Twelve and Twelve pg. 140

The first time I got sober, was in the fall of 1994. I then relocated from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. I was two years sober at the time of this story taking place. I was attending meetings at a Club Room called “The Coral Room,” in South Miami. A club room hosts meetings all day and night seven days a week.

I was attending an evening meeting, that counted a few hundred in attendance at that particular meeting. Around my two year anniversary, the chair asked me to speak at that meeting. I accepted the invitation. Mind you, I had a lot going on during this period of time.

I was one, trying to stay sober amid still learning how to survive my AIDS diagnosis, just two years earlier. I had about reached my death date, and I was still alive, I did not die, and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do now. Nobody knew what to do when they were supposed to die, and were still living.

So that was a thing …

Imagine. a room full of people. I got up there and began my share. Partway through my share, I hit that rough patch, when I disclosed … Hindsight tells me that I should have not disclosed

One by one, men began getting up from their seats, and left the building. In the end, about 100 men had gotten up and left. I finished my share, some clapped, I don’t remember the rest. What I do remember was walking outside after the meeting and was greeted by one of the men, who seemed to want to speak for the rest of them saying:

“We do not accept people like you, we don’t respect people like you, we would like you to leave this meeting and do not come back in the future…”

What the Fuck ???

There were other meetings to go to in this room at other times. I never went to this earlier meeting ever again. But the damage was done. I did not have a sponsor. I did not touch the book, however I was going to meetings, I just wasn’t present for myself to do any good.

I no longer trusted anyone in the program from that point on. I hung on barely.

Two years would pass, and I took my leave of meetings. I went back out and drank again, much to the dismay of the people I counted as friends.

Upon my return a few years later, my friend Troy took me to my next First Meeting. It was a gay meeting at SOBE. (Sober on South Beach) Nobody noticed me, so I hung outside until the 10 p.m. meeting, where I met the people who would welcome me and help me stay sober.

I was sober four months when I moved to Montreal. I was new in the city, and new to the meetings here. One Friday night I went to a meeting on the West end of the city. There was a group of folks at this particular meeting, and they plied me with twenty questions about myself.

You know, the who, what, where and why of it all …

Upon considering my answers, the Patriarch of the meeting stepped up to me and said:

“We think that it would be better if you got sober somewhere else, don’t come back to our meeting.”

This would be the second time in sobriety that someone told me to leave a meeting and go somewhere else to get sober…

Thirteen years later, I’ve never set foot in that hall on the West end. It is a good thing that people usually stay in their general vicinity for their meetings, because I never crossed paths with some of those ignorant fucks ever again.

There are some sick people in the rooms.

When push comes to shove, we are all suffering alcoholics and addicts. Stats today confirm that the presence of dually addicted people are high across the board. Today, we turn no one away, no matter who you are, or where you come from.

We are ALL afforded the chance at recovery and a full share in the Solution that awaits every man, woman and teen ager who walks in the room on any given night.

Hearing “Go Away,” twice in recovery could have ended very badly the second time.

But I did not have a drinking history here. I never drank here and I wasn’t going to try, at any rate. I found meetings to go to where I would not be judged based on my sexual orientation, or my medical situation either. For a while I went to gay meetings and meeting where nobody judged me.

Over the last decade, the dedicated LGBT meetings have fallen apart, and LGBT people assimilated into mainstream meetings across town.

If you think you have a problem with alcohol, there IS a Solution.

Tradition Three guarantees you a seat in any meeting world wide.

It was a good meeting. Next month we begin reading Experience, Strength and Hope. Stories from the First, Second and Third editions of the Big Book.

More to come, stay tuned …

Wednesday … The Move is On … And Other Assorted News of the Day !!!

muhcThis is the Brand New, Not quite open yet, But coming soon, M.U.H.C.

The McGill University Health Center…

This build project began years ago. And is in the final stages of prep for opening next month.

It is ONE MASSIVE MONSTER of a Hospital building.

You might not know that Montreal has hospitals scattered all over the city. They serve both the French and Anglo populations. There are two concurrent builds going on, One for the French sector and one for the Anglo sector.

This project is going to consolidate the major hospitals into one location. The Children’s hospital which is located right up the street from home, is being moved as we speak. Many departments that were situated on other sites are being moved here as well.

Things did not go to plan, as some departments that I need to visit were moved to a secondary site, for 9 months, prior to coming to the Glenn site. It was good that my main HIV doctor has an office off site that I get to go to instead of having to do the trek to the Glenn.

The trek would involve either a one train solution, Orange from Home all the way to Vendome, or the two train solution, which is Green to Orange and over to Vendome. It all matters because there is a tunnel involved in the trek which I hate walking at any time of day or night.

On the way out, I jacked my card with tickets for the days travel.

I knew many months ago that the I.D.T.C. (Immuno-dificiency Clinic) was being moved. And the dentistry office was closed as well. We’ve been to the new dentist office recently. I decided to NOT go to the satellite site where the I.D.T.C. is now, rather go to see my doctor directly at his private office.

That is where I want to go for now. But all that changed this morning. After being sick for a week, I never drop labs when my system is down. I waited for the first day I was feeling normal again to go do that, which was this morning. Common sense said, “oh, go early, you’ll be in and out in twenty minutes …” WRONG !!!

I got there before 8:30 in the morning. The place was packed. I looked on the wall counter to see what number they were at, (that would have been # 8) I took my number. I was holding #40 !!!

Thank God I brought a book to read. Because I was there a long time.

After my labs, I was told to go to the Diabetes clinic, to see what their status was, because my next appointment is in May. Today they found out this morning, that they too were being moved to the Glenn site next month. A massive number of departments from the General are being moved to the Glenn site.

Over the past nine months, I have seen three doctors. Two brothers, and a Son. Each of them have given me things to do, pills to take, and other assorted information. It’s complicated.

Sometime soon, I need to take a field trip over to the Glenn to scope out the new hospital. I’ve seen it up close, but I haven’t been inside, and have no idea where to start. Which is the same deal for every other Montrealer, who didn’t get to the Sneak Peek some time ago.

So that is a thing…

I had several things I wanted to do today. And having taken my time dropping labs, that ran me up to almost lunch time. All my other stores would be open now, all I had to do was get there. I waited for a bus down the hill, and got on the train to the village.

Yes, the worlds Sexiest man was working when I got there. And yes, I bought what ever he showed me – sometimes you just can’t say no !!! We spoke about my last purchase and the refund that was given in stead. Rubber and Latex are not my friend.

I shopped and got back on the train and headed for Indigo Book Sellers for some light reading.

I am on a Kathy Reichs run as of late. Having read two books over the last couple of weeks, I needed the next two from the series, as they are listed. I had time to kill and wasn’t in a hurry to go home yet, so I browsed a bit. A friend gave me a couple of titles to look up and that was fun.

You have book shelves with books on them. Then along side those book shelves are what I like to call IMPULSE book tables. Stacks and Stacks of books just waiting to be picked up. And if it was up to me, I’d never have a bored moment ever again…

Books cost money – they do !!!

I was walking around that end of the store and I happened upon a book. It was just lying there on the table. There was only one of them. All by itself. There were no other books written by the author of said book, on said table. Someone must have just dropped it there, having pulled it off a shelf, considered it a moment or two, then just put it down where ever it landed.

It is called “EYRIE…” A novel, written by Tim Winton. “The internationally best selling and twice Booker Prize shortlisted author of Breath, The Turning, and Dirt Music.”

The blurb on the front of the book reads: “A superb novel of disillusionment and redemption, loss and beauty, the taking of responsibility and the overcoming of disappointment.” The Guardian.

That got my attention.

The turn the book over and it says: “Tackles myths of prosperity and success in a way that is not always comfortable but that stirs deep thought. It is rich in compassion and affectionate toward the unlovely. It has a strong belief that no journey ends at the halfway mark. Eyrie is a novel for which our culture has been in urgent need.” The Age …

I wondered why someone would put this book down, after reading blurbs like these?

I am a fussy reader, the book has to jump off the shelf or I was looking for a particular book.

For a moment, I considered putting the book down where I found it, but I held on to it. And now I had three books to read. I was heading for a fourth, but decided against that.

Sometimes a book says … READ ME !!! I got that feeling when I picked it up off the table.

I then headed to Micky D’s for some lunch. When was the last time I took me out to lunch?

I headed for home after eating and did some supermarket safari on the way home so that I did not have to go out this evening. I had other plans.

It was a very productive day today.

More to come, stay tuned …

Sunday Sundries … The Flu Edition

tumblr_libzh0GjqF1qeohomo1_500If a photo can speak a thousand words … Then this one needs no explanation…

Exactly how I feel right about now.

I have managed to keep myself above water, with regards to my daily/nightly schedule these past few days, while fighting a bad case of the flu. Early last week, I could actually feel it coming on, as a frontal assault on my system. It took a couple of days, but by Friday night I was down for the count.

The Friday meeting was a success. When I got home and retired, I was finished for the week. Saturday was a total write off. Besides having to eat, which we did, I slept that balance of Saturday right up until I had to get ready to go this evening.

The Mall is going through another transformation. The other day, I noticed that the vacant space on the ground floor, which has yet to be rented, is slated for an Omer de Seres art store, opening in July. They once had a store right up the block from home for a long time. That vacated building has been torn down recently, and a condo tower is going up in its place.

We had wondered if they would move back into the neighborhood, we can say yes to that question now.

It is T-Minus 5 days and counting for the Target final closing sale. I’m sure what ever is left on store shelves is going for rock bottom pricing. The store was empty the last time I was in there so I am not sure just what they are selling off now?

We don’t know yet, if anyone, will be taking over that lease space. There are rumors coming from several sources that tell us that certain sellers are lining up to buy the Target leases when they finally depart their spaces. I am sure that it will take a few months to tear down, restyle and reopen a new space.

I would not be surprised if I tell you that Target Red might become Walmart Blue in the coming months. But that would be an educated guess based on rumors to their purchase ability in Montreal.

We could use another Walmart on this end of the city. We could use any of the Big Box stores in the downtown core. With the building of several condos ongoing right now, this end of downtown is prime real estate for good anchor stores.

We could speculate for a long time, as to who is up next …

Over the last three days, temps fell more than twenty degrees from where they were to where they are tonight. It was a cold and windy day for the parade this morning. We are sitting at (-10c/-18c w.c.) at this hour.

There were two competing events this morning. One that was sanctioned by the city, the Patty’s Day Parade. The other was an Anti-Police brutality demonstration, that, in the recent past, devolved into violence and arrests. With that threat looming over the parade, several schools pulled their marchers, bands, and so did the Boys Scouts. Better to be safe than sorry was the thought.

The police did their job. The parade was a success. And there was no violence. So far as my research proved tonight. It might have been the cold, but by the time I departed for the meeting, the streets were clean. No garbage anywhere, and no vomit on the sidewalks.

We sat a good group. Our chair did not show. So I was voted in again. Our return rate of young people coming back in, rose again tonight. Over all the losses we suffered through the winter has been proving itself resilient. We spoke about the relapse rate the other night, as being high, but the return rate is high as well.

The Step Twelve read is over twenty pages long. And I did not account for that this evening. We read all the way around and then some, and almost made it around for shares. The read tells us about all those things that will come, if we practice these principles in all of our affairs …

The list is exhaustive and goes over many details that can come, if we stick to the steps and we work them diligently. The theme in the second portion of the read is “relationships.”

A long long time ago, I watched my best friend meet, connect and stay with the man he is still with today. That was over twenty years ago. I wanted that for myself. But I wasn’t really prepared for it, nor did that come to pass for me either.

God needed to strip the tree bare.

I decided that I wanted to grow up, and I did that slowly.

Eleven months in, the miracle happened. It was a do or die situation. I acted.

The rest they say, is history.

There are several scenarios for sober people. They get together, and they (1) grow together and thrive or (2) they get together and grow apart and crumble. It takes a special breed of sober people to make it work and for them to thrive. Individual programs are important. We can’t get sober, or maintain someone else’s sobriety. It just does not work that way.

One either finds the tremulous balance or they don’t.

My marriage is a direct product of more than a decade of sobriety and work.

There is a difference between people who are in it to win it, and those who are not.

Everybody is sober tonight. There is HOPE in the air.

And Hope is what is going to keep them in the nest we hope.

More to come, stay tuned …

Friday … Happiness Report

tumblr_lul7maiY1R1qb2g1po1_500 thetruemeaningoflifeCourtesy: The True Meaning of Life

Another week in the books. It is cold, and we are sitting at (-1c/-2c w.c.) with snow coming over night and into tomorrow. Sunday it will be chilly for this years St. Patty’s Day Parade, (or as some of us call it The drunken, Garbage all over the place and Vomit on the sidewalks day).

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The END of TARGET

On my way out through the mall to the Metro, I passed by our local Target outlet. On very large signs were countdown days until the store officially closes. I went in the other day, looking for a jack for the sound system. What I found was an empty store, void of any departments or displays. It was all very sad.

As of tonight, there are only SEVEN shopping days left, for what ever is left on store shelves, and Target will take its leave of Alexis Nihon Plaza.

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

We muddled through the week, hacking and sniffling. That was mitigated by flu pills that have come in very handy. I kept my commitments this week, because I had to. My guys come first, the rest is second.

It was a great day today. I connected with my lady friends who have been MIA for the last couple of months today. They all are still sober, and one of them took her year last week, which is always a good thing. The longevity advice did its job well.

Tonight’s meeting was also stellar. The one last missing sheep, has returned to the fold. So all of my friends are accounted for tonight, and all of them are sober. I have chosen to act, instead of sitting back and hoping for progress. That was a good decision.

Tomorrow will be a rest and recuperate day for both of us. I just don’t think I have another day to trudge the road of happy destiny. I am plum pooped !

Tonight we read about sacrifice.

Our young people are suffering, several of them have returned after another disastrous slip experience. And I think about it, those young people were hanging around the periphery for a while now. I’ve been watching them. But there are some who don’t take to conversation very well, and so we leave them alone. Sadly that decision was a bad one. Because all of them went back out, tonight they are back.

I had lost out a great deal during my slip. When the end came, and the cops showed up and said that I was leaving and that I could only take what I could carry, I sacrificed my entire life and all of my belongings. There was no going back.

So as my slip came to an end, I had very little. God took everything, hoping that I would get back on the proverbial horse and ride again. And I did that. I could not remain where I was for very much longer, and one by one, miracles began to happen for me.

Now I am here. Thirteen years later. It took a long time. I had to learn some serious lessons about life and growing up. It was not easy. And NO not every day was sunshine and puppy dogs.

Like everybody else, I had to trudge that road, until it became Happy Destiny for me.

I am what this program gave me. And today all I have is all I give back.

Gratefully and without Complaint.

If not me, then who?

We bring the message of hope to our friends and fellows. The iron is hot, and the time is now to get into it with as many folks as we can.

The WE got a bit bigger tonight.

Hopefully, now, they will stay. It’s all we can pray for.

More to come, stay tuned …

Thursday … Bring Hope … Stepping up the Game

tumblr_ma62hlMxSo1rdkscno1_500 rthompson80Courtesy: R Thompson 80

It has been cold. Manageable cold. We are sitting at (-6c/-11c w.c.) Someone at our local news station tweeted that tonight it would be (-20c) overnight … She was wrong again !!!

The flu is going around. People are dropping like flies. Hubby came down with it late last week, and it was only a matter of time before my body gave in. It has been a slow grind this week, trying to fight the flu, yesterday I got up early and went to the pharmacy to get some flu medication, which I have tried not using, hoping my system would prevail.

That has not been the case.

I traveled to the meeting solo tonight, as my friend I usually travel with came down with the flu himself. They have been shifting all of our buses, and they have updated the schedules for Spring which came into effect yesterday. Our local 104,and 138 buses come and go on their own schedules, so I left early to make sure I would hit a bus, on schedule. I won …

It was a good showing. We got to hear someone who is not from our grouping. I’ve not seen him at any of my meetings around town, and it was the first time I’ve seen him around. Getting to hear folks who are not from the routine grouping is a treat.

When he finally hit the wall, and conceded defeat in a rehab here in the city, the first attempts at sobriety were marred by less than stellar people who really could not help him, nor understand how far down into hell he really got. (read: they were not alcoholics or drug addicts)

I don’t know how a psychologist or therapist who is neither, can offer experience, strength and hope to someone who is looking for just that … HOPE !!!

He made it eventually. And in April will have eight years.

I heard the words …”I was looking for hope”

I hope that for my friends, and my guys, that I offer them hope.

I saw my lady friend from the Sunday meeting, and I had a chance to talk to her tonight about how she was doing and how I could help her, we discussed how she was going to Step Up Her Game.

Everybody knows what to do. Well, at least most of us do.

Taking those most important steps, on one’s own, or even with a sponsor can be daunting.

I can’t sit back and hope that the local women will step up and do their jobs. Today I employ all my faculties and I take the time to talk to my lady friends, to help them stay sober, and to offer what I can to them, as often as I can.

I’m not a woman, but I do have the time banked.

I think it is better to be able to offer experience, strength and hope and DO IT, rather than watch folks slip through the cracks, and then out the door. If I can prevent that from happening, man or woman, I will do that today.

There is another lady friend who has gone MIA for more than two months, and I don’t have her number, but tonight I was able to find where she left it. I need to call her tomorrow, and see what’s up.

We see it all the time. Folks come in, they get the cloud, they start getting things back, and life picks up for them, and then all of a sudden they DISAPPEAR …

And I warned her and several other women who were in her shoes that I was concerned for their longevity, that all this early excitement and happiness would not last and that they needed to know the facts, and how to prevent falling off the cloud and going out the door, warning.

Some listened, others did not.

If I don’t step up who will ? My friends matter. All of them. Today I know the price too many pay and I would rather step up and do something first, because I can and I am able.

I have a message.

And that message matters to me and my life.

Our Madonna tickets came in the mail today. Something long term to be excited about.

Tonight, all of my friends are sober another night. Tomorrow we will gather at the Friday meeting.

The best day / night of the week, Friday North End English.

More to come, stay tuned …