AA meeting sign

AA meeting sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 willing 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 fine 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.
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

1) We admitted we were powerless over alcohol…that our lives had become unmanageable.

2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5) Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6) Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7) Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8) Made a list of all the people we ad harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9) Made Direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
Admitted it.

11) Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him; Praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12)Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.                                                                                                                                                          .

“Does God promise to not give us more than we can handle?”

"αθεοι" (atheoi), Greek for "th...

“αθεοι” (atheoi), Greek for “those without god”, as it appears in the Epistle to the Ephesians on the third-century papyrus known as “Papyrus 46” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In seven days I will have major surgery on my back. I have been operated on many times so this shouldn’t be anything new; yet I have been filled with fear. Toughness has been my moniker for most of these seventy-one years. I’ve endured many injuries, some from serving my country, others incurred as a result of alcoholism and a few from blatant stupidity. I’ve been sober for thirty-five years and born again in 2004. Therefore you would think the approaching operation would be a cake-walk. But, such is not the case. The following words of scripture, given to me by the best wife a man could ever have has injected courage in a man who has prided himself with guts and daring. Why my courage did seemingly disappear? I believe I now know why; I gave up. Mentally beat up by life’s rocky shores I lost sight of the one thing that was always there, the singular wand of power; humor. I began to dim. Like a light gradually losing its brightness, barely noticeable. Perhaps this is akin to aging, I do not know, however change is in the offing. The Native American Chief Seattle said “Take only memories leave nothing but footprints. “ The footprints I leave today will be followed by many. I’m not a martyr nor a victim…You know, the people who say things like “don’t bother; I’ll just sit here in the dark”. I am a realist blessed with tenacity and the following brought me to my senses:

Answer: First Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” This Scripture teaches us a powerful principle. If we belong to Him, God will not allow any difficulty to come into our lives that we are not capable of bearing.

So, anything that comes our way, anything that tempts us, any tragedy that befalls us—we are capable of overcoming it and achieving spiritual victory. That does not mean life will always be easy. On the contrary—the fact that we may need a “way of escape” indicates that God sometimes allows difficult trials to come into our lives. We may not believe that we can overcome them, we may doubt our own strength to prevail, and we may even fail in the test. That does not mean, though, that we are not capable of overcoming that particular temptation. Whatever the temptation is, God promises that we will be able to overcome it.

But what does it mean to “overcome” trials? It means the trials do not overcome our faith or our position as children of God, and we come through the trials intact. Our eternal destiny is not in danger because we are kept by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us as a down payment on our salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14). No trial can overcome our salvation, because our salvation is of God. Therefore, the child of God will stand firm through the trials, kept by God’s hand. This is proof that our salvation is real and our reward in heaven awaits us. James 1:12 assures us, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those “Does God promise to not give us more than we can handle?”

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)