December 1st: World AIDS Day 2017

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It IS December 1st, in Montreal, at this hour.

On July 8th, 1994, at 12:00 noon exactly, a doctor entered my exam room, sat down, and said these words to me …

“No Better time than the present. Jeremy, You have AIDS, you are going to die. Go Home, Get your affairs in order, time is of the essence.” I thanked him for the information, he gave me five minutes to collect myself, and leave the office.

I went outside, because my friend Ken, the clinic nurse, was nowhere to be found inside. As I looked down at the car, he was sitting on the hood of my car waiting for me. He, in fact, knew, what the doctor knew.

I approached him tentatively and he opened his arms and folded me into them, as HE wept for me. He was the nurse, who cared for all the sick, in the bar we worked at, after hours, for FREE. We saw hundreds to their deaths over those two years.

Now I was one of those men who were going to die.

I’ve shared this entire story with you back in July, as it happened in real-time.

I called my folks, after my boyfriend left me, my friends all bolted for the doors, and could not run away fast enough. I called Todd and his hubby in Provincetown to come home immediately. They did come home, immediately.

I remember meeting Todd at the bar, a couple of days later. We were sitting alone together on the stage, on the main dance floor. I told him that I was sick, and that I was going to die.

Todd Wept…

He took on, taking care of me, because in the end, everyone else had fled. It was too much to bear for any of my fellows AND my family. I had lost everybody.

Todd crafted a plan of action. He chose to save me, when he could have easily walked away, but he did no such thing. Everybody working in the bar was sick, in one way or another.

It was me he chose to focus on.

Hindsight does show me that, in Spiritual terms, Heavenly Father had stepped out of His heaven and walked with me, in real-time, for the whole of Todd’s and my relationship.

Todd saved my life.

Bob was buried in the cemetery across the street from the bar, directly. Todd had lost already, and he knew the drill. After attempting to kill myself a few week later, Todd was at the COPA with my friend Danny and the paramedics, as they revived me from an alcoholic stupor and alcohol poisoning.

Danny took me home and stayed in my apartment for a week, on suicide watch, on Todd’s orders. The following week, I went back to work. I had also gone to my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Todd told me that I would get sober, if it killed me, and it almost did, seeing that many of the men in that sober room, were not very sober. As they bet on me like a race horse, waiting for me to go back out and drink again.

Thankfully, Todd’s lover, Roy, was a year sober then, worked at the bar, had a Big Book on his cash register, that we read together. Because for the year prior, while that Big Book was on that register, I asked him, what that Big Book said, because it said BIG BOOK on the front.

His response was always the same:

When you need to know what it says, I will tell you. That took a year to get there.

I did stay sober that first year, despite the assholes who hounded me for a year. I stayed sober another year, and then a third year. At the end of year two, Todd moved to San Francisco, with the entire bar staff.

I was too young to go. Too sick to travel. And in my sick, and deluded fantasies, of my father dying and my eventual moving to be with my mother for the rest of my life, never happened.

I lost my Mother and my Father.

To this very day they still believe, and have said repeatedly that:

I was a MISTAKE and should never have been born.

On July 31st, 2017 – I turned FIFTY years old. I am still alive.

Because of God’s good grace and Todd’s intervention.

When all else failed, ONE human being walked into my life and affected change that changed my life in ways I could never repay. I cannot tell you the price Todd paid in caring for me, personally, and what my illness did to him, because he never batted an eye for one day or even one night.

His love never wavered. His Words were Gospel. His cup overflowed every day that I remained alive, under his watch.

YOU never know when YOU may save a life, in being there for another human being.

AIDS is still a disease that kills. Not like it killed indiscriminately, back in the day, because there were no drugs to come by, or speak of. No doctors to take care of us. Only a woefully prepared group of physicians in MOON SUITS, who did not know their asses from a hole in the ground.

It was total MAYHEM and FEAR, unlike any fear I had ever seen.

My friends suffered terribly. Doctors treated them indignantly and in death they all died alone, save myself, Ken and a few others who sat death watch for over 100 men who died on our watches.

I skated by, by the grace of God, and Marie Wansiki, who ran the local 411 Drug Farm, Health Link, they collected drugs from dead men’s medicine cabinets. Repackaged them and gave them to us for free. That was the beginning.

In year two, was when I met my first real AIDS doctor, who set out to continue to save my life. And get me drugs that did the job quite well.

In 2002, Eight years later, I landed in Montreal, and found the doctor I have today. He treated patent ZERO. He maintains my care to this day. For all the years that followed, my agreement with my doctor is this: He gives me new drugs that our medical GROUP test among ourselves, if they work, they go to the government for national and international dissemination world-wide.

I am still alive – At fifty years of age. And almost Twenty Five years from Diagnosis.

I did DRINK and USE again, in year FOUR the first time around. I returned to Alcoholics Anonymous on December 9th, 2001.

In just a little while from now, on December 9th 2017, by the Grace of Heavenly Father, I will reach SIXTEEN YEARS Clean and Sober.

Today we stop to remember. So many died. Horribly. Undignified. Alone. Family less, friend-less, lover-less.

I will never forget the debts that I owe Todd and Ken.

I will forever be grateful for my life, because without Todd, read GOD, I would certainly have died a very long time ago.

Remember them.

Wednesday: Thoughts and Things

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It is pouring down rain at this very moment in Montreal.

The time has come to make some changes again. The writing has been on the wall, and Heavenly Father is gently pushing me in new directions. I can trace back, not so long ago, what this looked like, when the Elders came to me and ministered to me. Elder Spencer is still a part of my life today.

General Conference took place last weekend. I participated via stream. Lots of good things shared and spoken.

I guess I want to talk about gifts and movements.

I thought about this the other day, and I’ve been ruminating on it ever since.

Am I the only drunk who goes to meetings and pays attention ? It seems that not many people pay the amount of attention to what they hear, like I do. You hear that Anonymity Statement, we have a few in the rooms here. Each of them different.

But the one I go with is this …
You can carry the message outside this room, but names and personal details stay here. We use this one on Friday Night at the A.B.S.I. meeting.

I go to several meetings, or have been. I’ve since cut my meetings by one.

In talking to my friend Sean the other night, he’s got time, like I have time. He is sober as long as I am sober now. He has a family, kids, (plural) and he does business in Asia a lot of the time. Seeing him often, is hit and miss. But we spoke.

Getting back to Heavenly Father and the prompts…

You know it’s time to go when these things begin to happen.

  • When your ideas on certain subjects begin to lose traction, and people begin moving away from you or avoiding you, it’s time to go.
  • When what you are hearing from your friends, push you to realize that, between us, we are on totally different pages, in sobriety, it is time to go.
  • When you realize that some people just do not like you. When you realize that some people do not respect you, and treat you differently, among your peers, it is time to go.
  • When you begin to regret walking into a particular meeting because of the people you share that room with, and the purpose of that meeting, becomes inconsequential to the people in the room, it is time to go.
  • And finally … When sober people you either know, for a long time, or men and women you work with, find out you are human and not Vulcan, and they turn on you and walk away, IT IS TIME TO GO !

I’ve been going to meetings for the whole of my sobriety. This blog is a testament and a record of most of the meetings I have attended over the past 16 years.

In those sixteen years, I have had to shut down, export, import and re-Domain this blog three times. Each reason is different. And usually has to happen when flamers and hackers and Evangelical Christians come knocking on my front door.

I opened this domain and blog in response to an alcoholic who thought I had broken his anonymity by telling a story about him on my former blog. He never bitched about what I wrote about until I started talking about him specifically. Yes, he lives here, and goes to the same meetings I do, but he has no respect for me, nor my presence, nor my life.

Anyways … I was thinking, Am I the only drunk who pays attention at meetings, pays attention so hard, that I come home after a meeting, I transcribe what I heard for you here and for me as well ?

I mean, how the fuck do we learn how to get sober, if we don’t study our friends behaviors, choices and actions over time ?

That’s how I got sober. By watching my friends do STUPID things over sixteen years.

Watching other people ACT is the best way we learn how NOT to BE.
Which is how WE Become US.

I am done with going to places where people don’t respect me. I am done going to meetings where people ignore me around other people, and treat me disrespectfully.

Sean, told me to go to meetings where I am a trusted custodian. Those would be the Monday Central Meeting and the Friday North End English Meeting.

Newcomers.
Simple Service.
Respect.

We all have gifts. Heavenly Gifts. Before we got here, Heavenly Father, or the powers that be, handed us a script. A job, so to speak.

Past Lifers would say that if we got here again, then, there was something we missed or screwed up, on our last visit. And now we get to work it out all over again, hoping we hit the mark this time, and not have to do this all over again …

Re-incarnators talk about how we get to reincarnate with people we knew in the past life we just left, or several lives before that. The proviso is that, we come back with a contract, which is unlike the former contract we were on. This time around we may be together for the whole journey, or maybe part of it.

There are reasons God put us here. Mainly, to learn Love, Dignity and Respect. To help our fellows and our friends. To learn how to GIVE, and not take.

The world need to learn how to LOVE … AGAPE LOVE …

Gifts … We all have them. We may not know what they are, it is our job to figure that out while we are down here, in the ways we relate to others, the work we do, and the service we give to our friends, family, peers and fellows, men and women alike. The love we share, the respect we give, the dignity we attribute and give to others.

Do you know what your gifts are ? Are you aware of them ? I am of Mine.

And to a greater degree now.

I’ve listened to my friends for a LONG TIME.

I hear them, they make stupid decisions, do stupid things, they hurt, they drink, they use, some get back, many don’t.

I seriously pay attention to every human being who talks in front of me. I KNOW all of my friends intimately. They probably don’t know that, until I walk up to them and say such things like …

  • Been there, done that.
  • Maybe you should try something else.
  • I can help you through this portion of your journey.
  • I see you did this, and paid dearly for it, now I am giving you a tool to make sure you don’t make that same mistake again …

And you know what they do ?

  • They take a step backwards,
  • They look at me with those eyes like
  • Are You Fucking with Me ?
  • You can’t be serious ?
  • Fuck your advice, even if you are sober sixteen years and haven’t drank or used in all that time.
  • Even if you have experience,
  • I don’t want YOURS !!!

Fuck me for trying …

When these things happen, IT’S TIME TO GO  !!!

I have ears to hear, and eyes to see. I mean that’s what God gave them to us for right ? I use those gifts to help my fellows, and I know today, none of that matters to a majority of them.

Which is why I need to move on to better pastures where the grass is green and the sober time is low, and people who want my message may be receptive to it. Because a few people with little time, and a lot of people with A LOT of time, have no need for me or want me around.

Thanksgiving is Sunday, here in Canada.

And I joked with a friend who works up the block that, within days of Halloween Night’s end, Christmas decorations will go up. Every year it is a contest to see who is gonna jump the gun this year and play Christmas music in their stores, and put up decorations in their shopping malls or stores.

Friday: Emotional Bottom …

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“In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim and utterly hopeless cases. But then we began to have success with milder alcoholics and even some potential alcoholics. Younger folks appeared. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs, homes, health, and even good social standing.

Of course, it was necessary for these newcomers to hit bottom emotionally. But they did not have to hit every possible bottom in order to admit that they were licked.

A.A. Comes of Age, p. 199

My fist is un-clenched and my hand is open to Heavenly Father.

I have traveled a long way over the past year. It will have been a year on June 12th. The day, a year ago, when a crazed gunman walked into a nightclub, in Orlando, and killed 50 young people, and injured many more.

I look back at this event as the most catastrophic event in my sobriety, this time around.

In the program, I know many men and women over the last fifteen years. Everybody looks good, smiles good, and speaks a good game. Everybody is so stoic and un-moving. Nobody would ever admit that they had hit a tragic emotional bottom during their sober time, however long that sober time was.

And God forbid, ever fell apart in public. Like I had.

I was one serious scary man, in the midst of falling to pieces in public.

I know of sober people, women especially, who seriously suffered in sobriety. Not so much the men. Many people, when they hit something catastrophic like that, went back out and drank a bit and maybe used along with it, some made it back, others, did not.

It is a serious blessing that I never contemplated a drink over the last year. I did not ever actually think to myself, “I should go drink…” It never crossed my mind.

That was a Blessing. Divine, Absolutely.

And I thought to myself as I spoke tonight that, a long time ago, I made a promise to Heavenly Father, that I was willing to give Him all of me. That is a running theme in my life, for probably, a good portion of it.

There was always something in the way.

I came to Montreal, seeking God. it was God who brought me here, and settled me in the life I have right now. It is all God. All of it. Every single day, sober …

I did everything I was told to do. I was pounding the pavement doing everything I could do to serve my fellows, without complaint. I was working myself sick.

I remember the night I sat here and cursed God and threw in my spiritual towel, so to speak. The sober men and women who witnessed my emotional breakdown, accused me of self centered-ness, and needing to be treated special by everyone else.

June turned into July, August and September. The screws were being tightened. Until the final peg was hammered into place, Heavenly Father had removed certain people from my life over the Summer, and the extraction continued into September.

I was still in the process of emotionally cracking.

And all of a sudden, Elder Christensen walked into my life on a Metro Platform, after a doctor’s visit one afternoon. Spencer is an angel. Sent to me, by Heavenly Father.

I am sure of that now.

God always comes when I need Him most. And Heavenly Father incarnated, in the form of Elder Spencer Christensen. That young man loved me, 100%. He still does to this day.

I see it now, all these months later.

The theme of Heavenly Father removing impediments from me, in order for me to be open and ready to serve Him, is ongoing. This has been going on for the whole of my life.

Many sober people, LONG sober and not so Long Sober walked away in fear.

Nobody knew what to do with me, instead of trying to help me understand what it was I was going through, they condemned me, walked away from me, and left me to my own devices. I had to figure out what to do by myself.

ALONE.

It was a good thing My Elder was with me, the rest of the way.

I changed up my meetings. I hung with people I trusted. Who did not necessarily have words for me, but they did have WORK for me to do. And I did that, without question.

Over the months Spencer and I would talk, and we would pray and we would wait.

There are no coincidences, but they came, one after and another, as Elder Christensen tells the story. He had never met a man like me, when I had come along. I welcomed him into my life and into my faith. And he returned the favor by sharing The Book with me.

I now know, how many people, and in what ways, citizens in my own city, spurned him, spit on him, insulted him, and chased him away with a meat cleaver.

I am so ashamed of my fellows here.

He took me as far as the Church would allow me, when it was time for him to go home, I asked him to remain my friend, and He did that gladly and willingly.

Where the church failed, Elder Christensen excelled …

I am a child of God. And Heavenly Father has seen me through the darkest time in my sobriety. I did not go back out. I did not drink, and I did not use. I survived this emotional challenge, not in the most sober of ways, because I am not perfect, but I did my best.

I went to a new meeting, with new men and women. We are reading the Big Book. I settled in and I was safe and protected. I met my new sponsor. We clicked on very personal terms, with tragically serious commonalities.

Along with Elder Christensen. And Heavenly Father. My sponsor has kept me grounded.

My sponsor said not long ago, that I was a little too tightly wound. And that I needed to back off and open my hand to God. All the While, My Elder has been ministering to my spirit. He showed me love, respect and dignity.

One never knows when they are entertaining and Angel.

Or Heavenly Father, for that matter …

There is no guidebook giving directions on how to survive an emotional bottom in sobriety. The Only Book, is the Big Book. On page 112, it says:

READ THIS BOOK.

An old-timer, last week, spoke those words to me. He had asked me if I remembered what page 112 said, I did not. Read This Book, it says.

The Book of Mormon is True, there is a God, Heavenly Father, and Elder Christensen is his angel in my life.

I’m here, sober. I did not drink today…

But for the Grace of God.

Thursday A.M. – Special Essay #2 – Change

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Taking care of those who need you to be present is a huge responsibility. The Story that keeps me ever present to Heavenly Father, and the work I do in community, comes from Margaret Craven, in her finest work, “I heard the Owl Call my Name.”

It is the story of Mark Bryan. A 26 year old young Anglican priest who is sent by his bishop to the Up Coast of Vancouver British Columbia. To serve in a native village.

The story begins with a conversation between a doctor and the bishop, as the doctor informs the bishop that young Mark is very sick and is going to die. The bishop, in his wisdom, sends him to Kingcome to serve the native community there in that small village.

Mark does not know the particulars, just that the bishop has asked him to go there, because the bishop thought that, if he had a second opportunity, that that is where HE would go.

Mark has to learn the native language before he can teach them his, and that is no easy prospect. But he persists. And over time, the spiritual experiences come to him, through the interactions with the many natives he will call family. He learns about them in order to learn how to love and serve them. And they too, do the same.

The story does not have a happy ending. Suffice to say, that in Mark’s heroic death, the little village honors him with a resting place in their great ceremonial burial ground just off the village.

If I need to know why I am still on this earth is that it is the OWL who calls the man or woman who is to die. Until that owl calls me, I’m not going anywhere…

Segue into Change …

Not long ago, a shift had begun to come into my life. I am hypersensitive to my feelings, and my emotional and mental well being, and my all around looks about town. I’ve gone back to color and my stylist keeps me groomed. I’ve changed up my wardrobe considerably, due to the fact that weight is falling off me on these new meds I am on.

I want to look good, and feel good and look good doing it too. Feeling good has everything to do with looking good… And damned what all my naysayers are saying. This is my life, and life is too precious and short to surround myself with elbows and assholes.

Not Going To Do It …

My friends are of two minds on this topic.

My straight friends look at me and say kind words of encouragement and love. They see who I am and they all know my story, everybody does, who knows me.

50 is a HUGE landmark. Because I am still alive, and will cross that bridge still breathing. I never thought I would get this far. And so I’ve hit another mental and emotional shift.

The first one began when I crossed the 40 mark. Every day, change, and emotion, was documented in the thousands of posts and pages on the this blog.

My gay friends, on the other hand, are not so generous with words. Many of my gay friends, well, almost all of them, are older than me by ten and twenty years.

They are Old. Miserable.

FRUMPY …

I will not go down to Old, Miserable and FRUMPY.

No way Jose …

My critical gay friends do not spare me insults in the rooms, because they love to pick me apart in front of the other members in the room, purposely.

It saddens me that this is happening. And I don’t need to explain my decisions to them because none of them have anything to do with my personal presentation in public.

I know, I am a bit emotional. My spiritual Director is very ill and I am doing everything I can to lift him up and support him, in this very personal journey he is on.

I’ve walked this road myself.

My Elder friend reminds me always that Heavenly Father is right there with us all the way, and that the sacrifice of the cross has brought us the Atonement.

Easter is coming and our Pope Francis encourages us to go out into community and participate and love deeply and serve totally. Because Christ shows us his face, in every single person we know, love and serve.

The coming months are going to be challenging. I just needed to document this shift as it is coming to me right now.

50 is the new 30 I’ve heard.

So I will look 30, when I reach 50, I am already on that path.

Wednesday: Part 2, Covenant – All In

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Tonight’s discussion revolved around Mercy, Grace, and Covenant.

Each of the terms Mercy and Grace has an independent meaning, but the two words are often used interchangeably. Mercy refers both to an attribute of deity and to a universal law that allows a specially qualified third party to pay the penalty of justice on behalf of one who is subject to such a penalty.

Grace, on the other hand, is the means by which mercy enacts many of its miraculous effects, particularly the blessing of the atonement. Grace is a “divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ” and is “Made possible by his atoning sacrifice.”

In my life, as sobriety goes, from the very beginning, I know this is true; I would hear a topic, I would listen to a share, I would get to talk about it in discussions, then, God would say, (as if He spoke this) now go home and put this topic or concept into practical use. As in, see how this applies to your life, an figure out how it works for you.

That has been the way it has always gone for me, all these years later. And from the very start, I made covenants to people, and in a way God, because, God as we understand Him, speaks to us in our group conscience.

But let me backtrack first before I explain further.

I have had a handful of “All In” moments in my life. Where I had to make a decision, to throw everything I had at God, my life, my will, and my fears and my pains.

When I entered Seminary at age 19, I believed that a life serving the church, (read:God) was what I was called to do, and so did the men who got me into that seminary. At that young age, I knew that I was ALL IN. Sadly, a man made institution was not ALL IN with me.

Life went on. I would not enter another covenant for many years to come.

When we make a promise, or we speak a vow, or we find ourselves in a situation where, we must rely on another human being for our survival, (read: God) we make a covenant.

For me there are specific instances where I see, in Hindsight, that I made a covenant with someone greater than me, for my survival.

That someone would have been Todd (read: God).

The days prior, when everybody ran from the fire, when sickness came, Todd, in his wisdom ran right into that fire. The only person that walked into that fire, and said that He would care for me. The caveat was, that I would throw everything I had at him, throw my sickness up in the air, and trust that Todd, had my back, which he did.

I believe in my heart of hearts, that on that day, and the days, weeks, months and years that followed, I had made a covenant with God, that I would give Him all I had, and in return He would give me all He had to give me.

I was ALL IN.

I know what that felt like. Practical experience with Mercy, Grace, and Covenant.

God had Mercy on me, I received God’s Grace, through the vehicle of the covenant. I made a solemn declaration to Todd (read:God) that I would trust to my death, everything that I was asked to do, without fail. Neither abandoned me in my time of need.

That was the most important covenant I had ever made with Him.

I survived. I am still alive. By Heavenly Father’s Grace, Love, and Forgiveness

I also know what happened when I broke that covenant with Heavenly Father.

I made a decision, based on greed, the desires of the flesh, and what I felt was my own good. I stepped off the beam. And into the pit of hell. I was there, I know what happened.

I was unrepentant, until the day, Heavenly Father stepped back into my life, not of my own choosing, but because I needed Him, and that decision was made for me, because I did not know any better.

I began my long journey back to Heavenly Father. And it took a LONG time. I don’t know that I had begun to atone for my sins, but that was coming.

When I got to that pivotal day, that I uttered the name of God, and I got on my knees and Prayed for the first time in a long time, that covenant was renewed.

I asked Heavenly Father for help. I threw all of me on the table. I gave it all up to Him. And I swore an oath to Heavenly Father, that I would do whatever He told me to do, and to go where ever He wanted me to go.

Once again, I was ALL IN.

When that covenant was renewed, Heavenly Father opened doors for me that I never knew existed. He put people in my life who led me here. And in thanks, the first thing I did when I got here, was to go to Notre Dame Cathedral in Old Montreal and say Thank You.

When I met my then boyfriend, we knew, we were both ALL IN. Even before we hit that church on the 20th of November 2004, Heavenly Father tested us both to see how ALL IN we really were. We got married and have been ALL IN from the very first moment we spoke.

Fifteen years later, I am on my way, to making the biggest covenants with Heavenly Father I will ever make. Last week, I was given that list. And I came home with that list. And over the last week, Heavenly Father is whittling away everything I need to get rid of in preparation for when those covenants must be made, which will lead me to the day when I reach the Waters.

I told my Missionaries tonight that I was All In. I’ve been all in. And they, in turn, have said that of all the men, in my specific situation, that they have had discussions with, I have come the farthest, in the shortest amount of time.

I know Heavenly Father, (read: GOD) I have heard his voice. And I know that He exists.

I am told, after conversing about Sunday’s observations, people who have been in the church for so long, tend to forget, why they go to church on Sunday and to keep the Sabbath Holy.

They tend to forget about Mercy, Grace and their commitment to covenant.

Getting sober is an act of penitence. It is an act of rehabilitation. It is an act of, in time, of letting go and letting God.In the process of the Steps, we begin to atone for the wrongs we have done, and they people we have hurt.

Twenty two years ago, I made that first covenant that saved my life, I wasn’t so connected to healthy sober people, and I failed in that attempt.

But Heavenly Father was there, I just turned my eyes away from Him.

I began the slow journey back to health. I began to restore my spirit. I began The Work that has continued into my fifteenth year of sobriety. I wanted and prayed for a new experience.

Becoming a Latter Day Saint IS a new experience for sure.

It was Elder Sorenson, who approached me on that platform, he had thrown it all in, and struck up a conversation, which led to Elder Christianson, which led to discussions, which led to tonight.

Joseph Smith had this revelation:

“Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be they constant companion.”

Doctrines and Covenants 121:45-46

I read this scripture to Elder Christianson. He laughed. He told me a story about himself, and said that my reading this to him was a sign from God. That it was his favorite Scripture.

How does an Elder know that Heavenly Father is at work ?

There are no coincidences. But since we first met, there have been many.

So they are taking their time guiding me to the waters. Sadly Elder Christainson, will leave Montreal on the 22nd of this month. We only have one more discussion together, before a new companion enters the stage.

We are ALL IN.

When you give it all to Heavenly Father, and you do all that you can, Heavenly Father will give you all that He has in return. Mercy comes, Grace is provided, and covenants are blessed, as long as we keep up our end of the deal.

A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things …. It is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God.

When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make his sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not, seek his face in vain…

 

 

Tuesday: Part 2, You Can Take a Break

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It is a new day. And it is the most important day of the year in the United States. I cast my vote by absentee ballot a few weeks ago. My ballot is sitting in the hopper in Miami, to be counted this evening. I am told that the Democrats Abroad organization has a very large number of ballots in play, and hopefully, where they are needed, may swing the vote in our favor.

Let Us Pray …

I met with my spiritual God Mother this morning to talk about life. I told her the story and told her about my spiritual journey. And she, like me, has faced adversity. Just a few weeks ago, she was recovering from quadruple bypass heart surgery.

Them are some big words … Quadruple Bypass Surgery.

She survived. Because, like me, God isn’t finished with her yet. And I am truly grateful that she survived that surgery and that she is still in my life today.

We talked program. And we are both on our respective journeys to find God,and in a way, she gave me permission to “Take a Break.” The rooms are there to help us find our Power Greater Than Ourselves. And provides a Bridge to the outside world.

If you do it right, spiritually, and you do The Work, the good way, in time, it may come to pass that one desires to move outwards into the world. Which we have both begun to do ourselves.

She told me that “If this is where I need to be right now so be it. You don’t know how long you are going to be here, and if you have the time to devote to God, then devote time to God. Pay attention, and go where God leads you.”

I know where I am going.

 

Tuesday: Part 1, Keep My Commandments

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In every life, whether we know it or not, for every choice, there will be consequences, either good or bad. To begin to Honor God, in all things, one must make the sacrificial decision to step away from all things earthly, to step away from sin, and to turn one’s faith, trust and hope to Heavenly Father.

It has been made clear to me what SACRIFICE means to me.

In this Life Pivot, I trusted that Heavenly Father would point the way to wholeness and righteousness. Trusting in the words and guidance of my Elders, and the many other Elders and Sisters who know me today, I want what they have.

Wanting what they have, is a common litany phrase used in the rooms. Because we come in broken and shattered, and we learn to love, because others showed up just that day, to love US into Existence.

There is a particular Elder who has joined our group of intrepid Latter Day Saints. In fact, there are a few Elders, who minister to the Chinese community, but they join us on Monday night’s for teaching and fellowship. I have come to love them as I love my Elders who came for me.

I am impressed with each and every young man and woman who is part of our little gang of faithful. They have talents I wish I had, they have lives, I wish I could live, and youth that I wish I still had. So every moment spent with them is blessed.

This may be the last chapter of my story. And I want that story to be Grand.

Tonight, I offered the final sacrifice I know I had to make to Heavenly Father. In order to appreciate the sweet, one must have the bitter. I know what bitter tastes like. I may not always make the right choices, but tonight, I did what I had to do to make good on Heavenly Father’s command to “Keep My Commandments.”

If you cannot sacrifice all for Heavenly Father, and turn all of you over to divinity and sacred living, then you will never inherit Eternal Life.

Whatever holds you to your former life, that which tethers you to earth, that which is of the flesh and the body, you must cut it out. Cleanly. You cannot be honest with God and keep secrets in the shadows, because You know, and Heavenly Father knows.

One cannot believe that cheating on the way to Holiness will work. You cannot half ass your way to spiritual living. Because, day by day, YOU know what choices you made, and what sins you have committed. If you approach God with sin in your heart and on your lips, what does that do for your forgiveness and redemption ?

As Nephi writes … “You did not do all you could do.”

I cannot live with the shadow of wrong choices and sin on my shoulders. Because I kn0w better, I cannot claim, ignorance. With that said …

When I get up tomorrow morning, all will be done.

A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things …. It is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God.

When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make his sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not, seek his face in vain…

How It Works says …

IF YOU WANT WHAT WE HAVE AND ARE WILLING TO GO TO ANY LENGTH TO GET IT, THEN, YOU RE 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 YOU TO BE FEARLESS AND THOROUGH FROM THE VERY START. SOME OF TRIED TO HOLD ON TO OUR OLD IDEAS AND THE RESULT WAS NIL UNTIL WE LET GO ABSOLUTELY…

Wow … I’ve come full circle. Right now, both these reading ring so very true to this journey of faith.

I’m ready to take certain steps. I’ve taken one very huge step tonight.

Later today, I am having lunch with one of my favorite people on the earth.