Intentionality

The talk, recently, is about God.

I like to talk about God, because He is an integral part of my existence. God has been the thread that has woven into my life from the very beginning. And I can relate all those stories over and over. Just thinking about all the close passes of God, in my life, only reinforces the fact that, I am intimately connected to God.

For a long time, I was not sure I could live up to that standard, or if that kind of God conscious life, was even tenable. I was not sure, I could safely abide in God, in all things, or if I had to try and make it, out there, in the “real world.”

I am the kind of person, who would rather, cede control to someone or something, other than myself, because I know, deep down, left to my own devices, I really do not do very well, because of my monkey brain.

With Todd:read:God, I was able to turn it all over, all of it, and trust that He had my back, and I did not ever have to second guess him, “outwardly” that is. That took some time, but once I let go, all was well.

For a very long time, I did not trust myself to make right decisions. For a long time, I did not trust my own thoughts, or my own words. I always second guessed myself, when it came to what I know, and how I know it. And I sat on my hands.

Yes, I would talk, but it was always superficial talk.

If I needed to do something, learn something, or make a decision, for years, and years, I would always have a number of people, that I would run my choices by, people I trusted, whom I believed, would direct me to the right choices.

Once piece of advice I got was this:

At one point, I did not know where I was going. early on, after I moved here. One foot below the border and the other above it. I was unsure of my moves, early on.

The advice goes thus: If you don’t know where you are or where you are going, then st down, where you are. Take out your map, study the map, and study your surroundings. Get a lay of the land, and everything in it.

When you have done all that, being fully informed as you are able, make your next choice, roll up your map and start walking.

You can always sit down and consult your map.

The map usually has one point on it, with a red dot, that says: You are Right Here. The map does not extend very far into the future, for it only tells you where you are, and gives you a little headway, but not too much to overwhelm you.

It’s only been in recent months that I’ve begin to trust what I know and how I know it, based on the fact that there aren’t very many people, critiquing what I say in public. The chatter in my head is less than it used to be, but it is still there.

I talk about prayer this way.

If you sit, and you pray, are you moving your hands and arms outwards, away from you, or are you moving your hands and arms, towards you? Are you praying intentionally, or selfishly. Outwards:Intentional, Inwards:Selfishly.

When I talk about prayer, and I move my arms away from myself, I get a flutter in my chest, a feeling of right. That I offer my prayers in an outwards fashion. I don’t usually pray for myself specifically. But I, for the most part, converse with God.

Like I need to tell Him shit … That He already knows about.

But prayer is humility. It is a humbling to say to my God that I don’t know, and I would like to know, as I need to know it. I don’t have all the answers, but I know they will come, in due time.

To talk to God, like I would talk to Todd. I know how to do that.

I much more, trust the process, because I know, that I am in God Grace.

For a long time, I thought, that I would have to live in the world “out there.” And I did not like the world out there. I did not like it at all. As long as I was in Todd’s world I was fine.Inside a very finite circle of love and care. When Todd moved away, and I had to make it in the world “out there” my life became a disaster.

When I moved into the world here, in Montreal, I found another circle of care and love. I found good people, with good intentions, who did for me what I could not do for myself, until I learned how to do for myself.

I live inside that circle today.

I don’t have to go outside my circle for anything. For the last eighteen years, the circle has provided for me, in many ways.

God is in the center of that circle. I know that, intimately.

When we pray, we should always pray “Thy will be done. Or, If it is Thy will.”

What ever I ask for, I speak the words, If It Is They Will, and Not Mine.

Because I know how off my human will is. Left to my own will, my life becomes a disaster.

When I was safely inside God’s will, over the years, life got good. I see the differences in how my life went along, when I was running the show. it was not good at all.

Last night I wrote about the whispers, the two by four, and the brick wall.

God is pretty specific with me. He cuts me no slack, because He knows that if you give me an inch, I will take a mile. If I can get away with selfish, I will take it.

That has been the ongoing lesson lately. Selfishness.

God has been pruning my tree as of late. And He’s been pretty specific about it too. He isn’t joking around. This is big business. Getting rid of selfishness.

My Elder spiritual adviser tells me that I have been through the furnace. And I have reached the next frontier with God.He wrote the other day:

“I have read every word of what you wrote. And I am proud of you. Proud that you can speak these words to yourself. Proud that you have the courage to speak them to others. Proud that that you are here, proud that you have walked this road and made such astounding progress since the lowest of the low had you in its grasp.

You have arrived at the final frontier, the last great sacrifice that God demands of his sons when they truly seek him. That sacrifice is consecration, a complete turning of body, mind and spirit towards Gods purposes. Consecration, like sobriety, like conversion is not an event, but a process, and you are on the path. Consecration takes the mundane and makes it holy…

You have been where your children are. You have walked their path, you have carried their sorrows. Now you stand a few steps above them, you have matured, you have mastered, you have received a measure of light above them. Now turn, and stretch out the hand that was stretched out to you. Speak the words that your Father spoke to you, and the same words that one day your children will speak to their sons and daughters. 

Adopt them. Love them. Cherish them. Raise them to do good. Teach them that there is a God in heaven who loves them enough to save them. Be patient with their shortcomings. Catch them when they fall. Admonish them when they act against what they know.

Reach down and strengthen them when their knees are shaking and they are learning to walk. Be the father that you needed at their age in the process. One day they will write their stories, and when they write your name, a tear will come to their eyes, and a lump will come to their throats, as they write your name.

Jeremy:read:God.

These are Godly words.

I need not say anything further. Except to say: Grateful.

Selfish Motives

There are times, when I think only about myself. There are times, when my heart is pounding out of my chest, and I know this feeling well, it is the feeling I get when I decide to act on selfish thoughts, and I act, entirely in self mode.

Several times, in the past few days, I’ve had that chest pounding feeling, that always precedes a selfish motive of selfish action.

Tonight, prior to the meeting starting, i was sitting in my chair, friends in the room were having conversations, that did not include me, because I was sitting across the room from them, and I sat there, and entertained the chatter in my head.

For about twenty minutes I sat there, uncomfortable, and in my head. That feeling of my heart pounding out of my chest was present. Like I said, I know this feeling. Whenever I sit and ponder selfish motives or selfish action, I feel it.

We were talking about feeling things, rather than thinking them, on the way home.

I made a decision. And now I have to live with that decision. I should know that if I made a decision, based on Godly counsel, that I really should stick to that plan. Because I also know what happens when I say to myself, I know better than God. It is then, when I become God, in my head, and in my motives.

And I know that I am Not God.

I am in Locktober. So even if I wanted to act selfishly, I cannot.

That does not assuage the feelings, I sometimes have, that my body says, fuck that noise, just take matters into your own hands, and Act, On, Self.

You know what happens when you take your will back right ?
We Do Stupid Things.

And I know, God is watching me. He knows, everything, even before I think it.

We spoke about God tonight. Bill, in As Bill Sees It, talks about God an awful lot.

And I told my friend, on the way home tonight, that we haven’t seen any really militant anti God folks come through the room as of late. They’ve all Come and Gone. None of them have returned.

And I spoke my story about God to the room.

I know my Higher Power, Whom I choose to call God.

I relate this story….

When God wants your attention, he whispers, once.
If you miss that first whisper, He whispers again.

If you miss the whisper for the second time,
He hits you over the head with a two by four.

If you miss the third hit, of that two by four,
He drops a brick wall on top of you.

The two whispers came, and I did nothing, to intimate that I heard them.

A few weeks ago, I was in bed, and the third hit came, a very vivid technicolor dream.
I knew this was the third pass. And I knew that if I did not heed the suggestion, that was Divine, that I would definitely pay the price.

I know what it feels like to have the brick wall fall on top of me.

It has happened in the past. And I have avoided that happening because I usually listen to Divine inspiration.

I remember sitting in Westmout Square sobbing as a huddled mess. I knew, very well, that on that night, God dropped the wall on me because I did not listen nor pay attention.

I know God well enough to know when He means business.

Because I have that kind of relationship with my God. He does not play games with me, because in the past, I played games with Him. He cuts me no slack.

If I want to fuck off on God, I know, I will definitely pay the price for that Fuck Off.

Sometimes I just want to act on selfish motives.

And I know I cannot. For a couple of damn good reasons.

God either IS or He ISN’T. God is either Everything or he is Nothing.

God Is, and God is Everything.

These things I know are True.

Spiritual Direction

Jeremy,

I have read every word of what you wrote. And I am proud of you. Proud that you can speak these words to yourself. Proud that you have the courage to speak them to others. Proud that that you are here, proud that you have walked this road and made such astounding progress since the lowest of the low had you in its grasp.

You have arrived at the final frontier, the last great sacrifice that God demands of his sons when they truly seek him. That sacrifice is consecration, a complete turning of body, mind and spirit towards Gods purposes. Consecration, like sobriety, like conversion is not an event, but a process, and you are on the path. Consecration takes the mundane and makes it holy.

It takes that which is low, and base, even evil in us, and puts in its place new motivations that drive us to serve God and serve our fellow men, not because we want to receive in return, but because we are now designed to give. The will to bestow eclipses the will to receive, and we become like stars, always radiating, always bestowing, always shining a light that gives brightness where there is darkness and life where there was death. We begin to reflect God. This is the meaning of a saint.

A saint is a consecrated person. 

Saints are saints not because they are perfect, but because they are trying. The foundation of all spiritual progress, the source of all health, is the ability to bridle the passions and the impulses of our mortal nature. Importantly, bridling the passions is not the same thing as stamping them out. Absence of desire is not the goal. The goal is to elevate our mortal appetites to the fulfilling of immortal purposes.

Eating is a necessity, but eating without control makes us fat and dead. This is gluttony. Sleeping is essential, but sleeping without control makes us lazy, weak, and unaccomplished. This is sloth. Pleasure and comfort should be joys in life, but without control pleasure becomes addiction. This is pride.

Sex is the desire to seek unity with others and with the divine, the deeply ingrained impulse of creation. Without control, sex becomes a whirling tornado that does the exact opposite, wrecking relationships and making us anything but divine. This is lust.

When God begins to rewrite your story, these passions take on a new level. Again, they cannot and should not be stamped out, but they begin to march to the tune of a higher law. You learn to embrace hunger and control your appetite, withholding with the power of your will the ability to eat without real intent, and you begin to eat towards God.

You are the master, because you have utter and complete control over your appetite. Because you are comfortable spending time with hunger, when you eat your taste buds pick up every detail, and your food becomes delicious again. This is temperance. 
You go to bed early and you get up early.

You embrace the discomfort of having to leave a warm bed and face the difficulties of the day. You work hard and you labor until your days allotment of breath from God has been spent building up his kingdom in your life. Then, when your head hits the pillow at night, you are not being compelled by exhaustion, you are choosing with real intent to embrace sleep as a true pleasure. When your eyes close at night, you are filled with the satisfaction of knowing you have earned your rest. This is diligence. 

When you reject the opportunities to drink, to drug, to dull the senses with entertainment that can occupy but never satisfy, you learn to be. You learn to embrace what your life is presenting to you in that very moment. Perhaps it is the discomfort of boredom. Perhaps it is the pain of difficulties in life, in relationships. Perhaps it is the simple stress of daily living. But rather than cover them, you embrace this discomfort. You embody it, you live it, even love it.

You do this because when you have taken the time to truly experience discomfort, when you turn at the right time to a simple pleasure, as simple as a walk in the park or the sight of a sunset, you feel that moment with every fiber of your being, and you are truly satisfied. This is freedom. 

When you feel the urge to express sex, rather than crushing the urge by acting upon it or by trying to suppress it, you let it fill you up. You let that energy fill your whole soul, because that is the voice of God telling you to create, to connect, to help him bring to pass his purpose of filling and expanding creation. Sex is not a single part of the plan in Gods eyes, it is the very driving force.

The work and the glory of God is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. He does that by sending his children to earth, to fall completely ans sin darkly so that they might experience true and everlasting happiness and righteousness when they are brought back to him. His children get to earth through sex, but this isn’t just about reproduction.

Sex drives us to build nests to welcome new souls to this earth. It drives us to build up communities where the children of God can grow and be nourished. An exalted sex drive leads us to fatherhood, and fatherhood is more than having biological children. It means being a watchful guide, a disciplined leader, and a tender caretaker over those that God gives you to be your spiritual children. 

You channel that infinite power into creating, presiding, directing, providing, and being a wise and generous father. This is Chastity. 

You write about Todd with extreme reverence. He was God for you. Now you have matured to the level that he stood at when he reached out his hand and snatched you from the abyss. 

Of all the titles God has, and he has many, he has asked us to refer to him by a name that means more to him and should mean more to us than any other. He is our Father. 
Todd was God for you in that moment. God reached through his hands and spoke through his mouth to put you back on the path to happiness. Now it is time for you to let God do the same through you.

You have been where your children are. You have walked their path, you have carried their sorrows. Now you stand a few steps above them, you have matured, you have mastered, you have received a measure of light above them. Now turn, and stretch out the hand that was stretched out to you. Speak the words that your Father spoke to you, and the same words that one day your children will speak to their sons and daughters. 

Adopt them. Love them. Cherish them. Raise them to do good. Teach them that there is a God in heaven who loves them enough to save them. Be patient with their shortcomings. Catch them when they fall. Admonish them when they act against what they know.

Reach down and strengthen them when their knees are shaking and they are learning to walk. Be the father that you needed at their age in the process. One day they will write their stories, and when they write your name, a tear will come to their eyes, and a lump will come to their throats, as they write your name.

Jeremy:read:God.

I love you.

This I Know is True

There is a God, and I am NOT God.

I am pondering God, this morning, because in a few hours time, I will kneel with a woman and pray the Third Step with her, formally, for her first run.

And as for prayer, and God, I know, that I Know God. Intimately. If you have been following along for a while, you know the story of Todd:read:God. God has been a presence in my life, for all of my life.

Many times, along the continuum I walked with God, intimately.

Then there were times, when I turned my back on God, because of my selfishness and self centered-ness. And paid for those character defects terribly.

Eighteen years on, in a few months, I have renewed my spirit. I’ve been sober all this time, and I have learned a great deal about myself, and those I care about. A handful of honest men, tell me the truth, and I respect them greatly for their honesty.

When Todd walked into my life, as a thunderous God, he turned my life upside down, from the very first moment I set eyes on him. He did not disappoint. When he took me in when I got sick, and asked me to simply trust him, with everything I had, I knew he was true.

Every night, for two years, on my knees we knelt together while I sobbed in his arms, because I was so sick, and was destined to die, miserably, like so many others.

His promise to me was simple, as long as I was on his watch, he would do everything he could to keep me alive. Twenty Five Years Later, I still tell this story because he was true.

Todd is true; God is True;. He saved me from imminent death.

Every night, I turned my will and my life over to the care of Todd:read:God. I was getting sober at that time, but sobriety took a back seat to staying alive, in the middle of the maelstrom of AIDS. I did stay sober, despite the toxic AA community I was associated with, and it did not get better, but worse. In the end, I walked out the door, to almost die in selfish pursuits.

Another God shot saved me. Because one angel knew where I was a got me out of dodge and saved my life.

I know, intimately, what the Third Step is, and what it means.

I am now ready to serve God in any capacity He sees fit to give me.

I’ve turned my entire life over to Him, there is not a single part of me that is not standing in the light right now. I made a commitment to my God, a commitment that took me six months to finally get. Six months of inner battling with my darkest demon, ended.

I made the final commitment of chastity to my God.The final piece of my darkest puzzle is now in the light. there is nothing left to hide, nothing to keep secret.

I turned my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him, fully, without reservation or regret. I know where I am going, and what voice I am listening to, in my innermost heart of hearts.

There is true faith. When you get sober, you learn what kind of spirituality you want, because it is your free choice to make that decision. God, as you understand Him. God can be many things to many people. For as many people there are in our community, there is a belief in something that is aiding in keeping us all sane and sober.

It must be miraculous, because I know a lot of down and outers, who are sane, sober and are good people, both men and women.

So I listen to my heart, and I speak to God in whispers. And I wait for what He is going to show me or ask me to do, and I will do whatever He commands of me, whenever need be.

As a teen ager, I made a commitment, to Jesus, to follow Him, and be a soldier for God. That was untenable. The climate was too toxic for a teen ager to carry through with that commitment. Now more than 37 years later, I follow through with that commitment, because I was reminded of a time when I was young, clean, happy, and really, a different human being. Music is salvation.

Lying in my bed, my inner music player, started playing an old tune I remembered. So I came to my I tunes and downloaded two records, which are on my phone now, that I listen to constantly. Reminders of Christianity as a young person, and I was reminded of my promise to Jesus, God, to serve them.

I made that promise to God a few weeks earlier, when I made my final chastity covenant with God. And He followed through with Grace.

Now I am clean. Totally, without reservation. I have no regrets.

There is a choice to be made when we approach the Third Step:

God either IS or He Isn’t. God is Everything or He is Nothing !

What was our choice to be ? It comes right out of the book. It actually speaks these words to us at the end of We Agnostics.

I know God is true. God IS and He is Everything.

I walk in the light as I had as a young man. Faith is my salvation. God is my redeemer. And the maker of my life, and has for my whole life, but most importantly these past twenty five years, when I know God was on my side, because I live, and can tell the story about how I survived imminent death, when everybody else that was around me is long dead.

Only two of us survived that maelstrom. Mark, my friend who lives in Florida, who worked with me, in Todd’s bar, all those years ago, and myself.

He had his path to salvation and I had mine. I had the ace up my sleeve, Todd:read:God.

Had there been no Todd, there would not have been any God. And I would be long dead now. Thankfully, God became incarnate and walked with me, spoke to me, and gave me a life I surely did not imagine even possible, because if you told me then, how good my life would be today, I would have laughed you off the planet.

God Is Good, God is True.

This I know is True.

I Testify …

” when we became alcoholics, crushed by a self imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade,we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is,or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?

God Is … And God is everything …

Last night, I let go of the last vestige of who I was. Today, I took the last action, to turn all of myself over to my God. Over the past few days, I have been reflecting on my past. The other day I re-acquainted myself with music that really meant more to me, than any other music I had ever heard.

When I was a boy, and I told this story the other night, I was introduced to God. And His son, Jesus Christ. We, all of us, young people, on a particular Saturday night, in Lake Placid Florida, on retreat, were invited to commit our lives to Jesus.

That was a tall order as a teen-ager. What did that look at and what kind of life could we live, given the times we were living in, with all kinds of people, criticizing us, and mocking us openly, in front of our classmates. It was just untenable.

And my family, alcoholics they were, and abusive, were no role models, to speak about.

And I mused on this event today, while reading my Big Book with a woman I am reading with now. And for the first time in almost 18 years now, my Big Book exploded in my hands as I read the chapter – We Agnostics. Chapter 4.

Ag – Gnostic ( Ag – Without) (Gnostic – Knowledge) We are without knowledge.

For the first time reading this book, having read it over and over, in as many years, I became enlightened. I had words I never had before. I had insight I never had before. And I testified my faith to a woman who trusts me to guide her through the Book.

It was, simply, a Spiritual Experience. I had God on my mind. I prayed, and meditated on my way there. I know what I should do now. And for a little while, God was there, on that balcony as we read the book, because I’ve never read the book, in the way I was reading it today.

It was such an exciting day today. I think about the altar call, and thinking about turning my will and my life over to Jesus, and become “Born Again” with friends, whom I loved more than any other friends I have ever had. I cannot tell you how tight I was with all of my friends. The best years of my life, were spent in Youth Group with this group of young people. I’ve never again, in all my life, have had that kind of relationship with anyone.

And I think today, about getting sober. And both experiences are very similar. Because in order to get Sober – You must find a spiritual path. A spiritual experience, is the only thing that is going to save you. God is part of that experience.

Alcoholics will find any excuse, if you allow them, to wiggle out of the word and being of God. I’ve watch a multitude of people see that word, and are repulsed by it, surely, because, like the book says, we’ve had a bad experience, and God left a bad taste in our mouths, and really, why do I wanna go back there an be reminded of something that totally turned us off.

God is so much more than just a word.

I knew this chapter was in the book, but I’ve never really felt enlightened enough to relate what it says appropriately. Today, God gave me the words to do that. I started talking and the words were coming faster than I could think them.

We call that “Inspiration.”

We are told that when we are empty and we don’t have the words to use, God Puts Into Our Spirits, the Words we Need.

I so know that I am on the right track. For the first time in a long time. I feel so full tonight, that I am about to burst. Because I know, when I pray, that God listens. And my relationship with God, is particular, because God has always been on my side, WHEN I particularly listen to Him. And I know what happens when I ignore Him.

Life goes sideways.

Knowing Todd: Read:God … Was the most blessed time in my life, because for that little while, God was incarnate in my life. I lived. I survived. And I am still here. And the only way I can explain it was this … Every night, before work, I turned my will and my life over to the care of Todd:Read:God as I understood Him.

Todd spoke my language. And he still speaks my language, as if he were standing here with me. Because I hear him in my heart of hearts, and I know what he said to me was true. he never once, ever lied to me, or conflated the truth or the reality that I just might die, before this was all over with. He knew that was a possibility. But on his watch, he swore he would do what he could to make sure I survived.

Well, I survived.

God saved me. And it is God I turn my will and my life over to tonight, like the night I stood with my friends at that altar call, and we committed ourselves to Jesus.

I know today, being sober, what being Born Again, really means.

I know the truth. And they say the truth will set me free.

God Is everything. And that is true.

If you don’t know what to do, get on your knees and pray. Because Bob told me, to my face, that every time we pray we ratchet up our spiritual lives. So if you are not praying, then why not ?

Prayer changes everything.

I love my God and the life I have and the people I know.

Tonight I met a young man 2 weeks in before the meeting. I gave him my number and a Living Sober, and he is supposed to call me tomorrow.

Let Us Pray …

Blow Up … There IS a Solution

I Lost My Cookies Tonight, It Was Not Pretty At All … Rigorous Honesty Post

Almost eighteen years ago, I came in for the second time, SO, I’ve had my slip experience. The first time I got sober, nobody spoke of steps, and I did not have a sponsor, I had Todd, who was teaching me how to survive AIDS. The meeting hall I was attending was very toxic and made getting sober, harder than anything I have ever seen since.

You don’t bet on newcomers to see when they will drink again, you just do not do that.

When I came into Montreal, in month 4, when I moved here, I walked into the room that I homed in for over twelve years. I was going to MANY meetings at that time, as I had no other activity going on before I got my Canadian Papers.

In those eighteen years, the way I got and stayed sober, was by watching what everyone else was doing, what they were saying, what decisions they were making. Along with working my own program, with men who really helped me seal my sobriety. I took the good, and I left the bad. Whatever worked for you, I thought that it would work for me, but obviously, if you drank again, I did NOT … And that’s the way I stayed sober.

It has not been all a cake walk. And I have had my share of trouble in sobriety, BUT, I did not drink, at any point during the hard times. I returned to that original Home Group many months ago.

And like I’ve said, Sobriety in 2019, is not the same as Sobriety in 2002. It just isn’t. For many reasons. In the rooms, over the years, I have stuck with winners. With people, Old and Young, who are enthusiastic about the Book and the Steps. I work my steps every year. I hit several meeting a week, all of them different. I have a solid sponsor, and solid friends in the program.

Recently, I sit in beginners meetings, and all I hear from our kids is sorrow, and pain, and for the life of me, I try to help those who will listen to anything I have to tell them about staying sober, and NOT drinking again.

It has become obvious that many of those folks, did not/and do not, listen to anything I have said to them, and tonight I heard them say, in the open, that they are hurt that I would be so rigorously honest, IN a meeting.

How dare I speak as if I am better than they are.
I am not better than anyone. And those people who know me intimately know this.

But I listen. And I watch. Over the last few months, many folks sit in meetings, they don’t take anything home with them, they don’t call anyone, they don’t do anything to stave off that next drink AND: THEY DRINK AGAIN. And More Than Once.

One of our kids said she took twenty five beginners chips. She’s been stuck in that revolving door for YEARS. I watched her. She never listened to anything I said, in both fellowships we both attend, that I don’t any more.

But I said and I quote:

I am tired of going of beginners meetings. it is painful to watch people come in, be miserable, and know there is a solution, but because I am who I am, nothing I have is very attractive to ANYONE. So Fuck me for trying. I’ve been sitting in this hall for the whole of my sobriety, and I can tell you, by name, how many people drank again, and again, and again. I know everyone who did. Because if I saw you go out, I knew that something that you were doing, was not working for you, so I knew not to make that mistake myself.

I stayed sober, while many people did not.

There are only three men, sitting in this room right now, who were here when I came in, and all three of us are still sober. Obviously, we did something right. Obviously, we found the solution NOT to drink again, and that entails WORK.

When people ask me for help and I tell them what I did that worked, that work entails WORK, not just sitting in a chair, and reading the book, now and then. You actually have to work to stay sober, you just don’t get sober by OSMOSIS.

I know how many of you are suffering and I know the women are no doing well by the rate of how many of you have drank, several times over the last month, but because we are men, you won’t ask for help, when the women aren’t helping you stay sober, it is obvious those women are doing something wrong if what they are telling you, does not work AND you drank again.

I pound the God Damned pavement. I seek answers, I work the Book, BY the Book. I seek information in the most enthusiastic in the rooms. And I know what they know, so whatever I have to give, comes directly from someone, who gave that knowledge to me.

By the time I had finished, my friends were sitting a bit higher in their chairs, and All I heard after I shared was indignation by everyone else who shared after me.

All because I said something Rigorously Honest.

We read How It Works tonight. And we all know what that reading says:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Many of us exclaimed “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholics and could not manage our own lives;

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism;

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

This is IN the Book, we hear it at every meeting. And really, many people do not pay attention to the words. And I know from reading “Our Great Responsibility,” that Bill took great care with crafting the Steps based on the Oxford Group Six steps. He augmented the steps to make sure there was no wiggle room. Hence Twelve Steps.

Many early alcoholics who saw the first few chapters of the book, as it had been written in the 1930’s, were angry that Bill included so much God and so much Honesty.

I was rigorously honest tonight, and I am sure I made many enemies tonight, because I called out half measures, as the reading also speaks about. And I told the truth. I spoke about THE Solution. And that there is one.

And I closed with, we come here to learn how to STOP. How many people have I watched over the past few years, read the Big Book, cover to cover, and get to the LAST Chapter, and it tells us how to STAY STOPPED and that we NEVER have to drink again …

And I watched a number of those men and women DRINK AGAIN…

That just BLOWS my Fucking mind.

I mean really, people are afraid of honesty better yet, Rigorous Honesty. I say I can help you, but that will take some work on your part, and what does everybody say to that:

OH I DON”T WORK, I DON’T PRAY, AND I DON’T DO GOD !!!

Ok, then how the fuck are you going to stay sober when you’ve negated everything you must do, there are TWO MUSTS in the book, things we must do to stay sober, what are you going to do when the drink is in your hand and you chose to drink it rather that put that drink down and call someone who can help you?

We need to drop the walls between men and women, gay and straight, Non-Binary and Trans. We need to be able to ask ANYONE who has something to offer, has something like part of or all of the solution, ready for anyone who will listen, help you NOT take that next drink !

God give me strength …

I’m so tired of going to meeting where all people want to do is piss and moan about how miserable they are, knowing some of us sitting in that same room, are sober multiple years, decades even, who know what to do, but you won’t come up and ask, because we might ask you to do something, like Work, or Pray, or Step Work, and we know you won’t ask, because you don’t do WORK.

FUCK ME !!!

Memory – One on One

And Now for something Entirely Off Topic …

I started High School in 1982. That’s 37 years ago. That first week, we would walk off campus to the Catholic Church that was just a block up the street from our school. There I met a lot of people and the leader of a rag tag bunch of youth workers, who ran one of the best youth groups, the Miami Catholic Diocese had ever seen.

I would soon join this church. My parents were still excommunicated from the church for my mother choosing birth control after my brother was born in 1970, in Connecticut, because she was RH Positive and the doctors told her she could not have any more children, so she had a Tubiligation.

It was a really good thing my parents stopped at two, because I imagine what kind of abuse they would have suffered like I had in my life.

The church was not pleased at all. In my later years of High School, they would meet with the Pastor or this church and he would absolve them of their sins and welcome them back into the church fully.

But I digress …

Some of my BEST friends came from that Youth group. All of them have moved on in the world, I’ve only contacted one of them, and the others have no digital footprints. So I don’t know where they all are, but I wonder. Some of the best times I’ve had in my life were there, and I still have a handful of friends off Face Book that I keep in touch with on Messenger

This music reminds me of them from so many years ago.

Yesterday I was napping and my mental stereo was on and I was singing an old hymn that we used to sing on the world famous retreats that we used to go on, as part of this rag tag youth group.

I got up, and loaded my I-tunes. And I searched “The Imperials – and Petra” both of these bands are contemporary Christian artist of the mid eighties and early nineties. The other one was Children of the Light, “Come on in the Water’s Fine.” This song, would play as the dining hall was readying for diners who were waiting outside the doors.

This song would start as the serving team were standing on chairs clapping their hands to the beat, welcoming diners into the dining hall, it was ritualistic and the most amazing event I’ve ever attended.

For all those years we listened to a lot of Christian music. We went to concerts together with other parishes and other denominational churches like Old Cutler Presbyterian Church which was not far from home.

I was listening to my music I had loaded on my phone this morning while grocery shopping, and there are a handful of Imperials tunes that are sacred and special to me, and 37 years later, I am listening to the song and I am singing the words, as if it was yesterday …

I remembered every single word of every song I listened to.

That first year on retreat, we were introduced to Christianity, and turning our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him. I did not know that concept in tenth grade, but I do today, because I am sober.

Imagine a rag tag bunch of kids have just spent a weekend at a camp talking about Jesus, and on the ultimate Saturday night, there was an Altar Call and we all committed our lives to Jesus. We had gone to the mountain and met God, for the first time in our lives.

Then we had to come home …

Sunday night at church, I spoke to the congregation, I was sobbing uncontrollably because I’d never felt such love in my life as I had that weekend. And I had to carry that feeling into the world with me on Monday morning when I went to school, a New Christian Soldier.

What do you tell a rag tag bunch of kids who proudly carry their bibles into battle for the souls of your friends, and everyone is looking at you like we were all crazy. What did I know about proselytizing ?

My Satanic friends who believed in the Devil came out of the woodwork and the even threatened my math teacher and his family, that was not good at all. It was not pretty at all.

But we had to carry Jesus around with us for all eternity. It did not go as planned. Because I would love Jesus and Hate him in the span of just a few years when I would enter seminary and Love Jesus, and then by years end, when asked to leave said seminary, I hated Jesus more than I loved Him.

Now sober almost eighteen years, I know God. As I understand Him. I met and had a relationship with God through the human visage of Todd. He was the most sainted representation of God I will ever know. That man saved my life, and also, God spared me from death and suffering.

Why ? I have no idea, what made me so special to save?

You’d have to ask Todd that question.

Be Still my Soul and Know that He is God…

I remember how I stood and sobbed as I said the prayer that brought me into life with Jesus as a Kid. And now, when I say my Third Step Prayer daily, I say that prayer all over again, in different words, but the thoughts and actions are the same.

Every Day I commit my life to God in Sobriety, because He is in control of my life and my sobriety. And If I help one person in this life in the ways that Todd taught me to do, then I have done my job.

I have done that, and continue to do that daily, as I am able.