Category Archives: Reflection

Keeping the Gift

Keeping the Gift

Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift. Page 276.

Gift
Gift

Basic Text, p.107. Neglecting our recovery is like neglecting any other gift we are given. Suppose someone gave you a new car. Would you let it sit in the driveway until the tires rotted? Would you just drive it, ignoring routine maintenance, until it expired on the road? Of course not! You would go to great lengths to maintain the condition of such a valuable gift.

Recovery is also a gift, and we have to care for it if we want to keep it. While our recovery doesn’t come with an extended warranty, there is a routine maintenance schedule. This maintenance includes regular meeting attendance and various forms of service. We have to do some daily cleaning-our Tenth Step-and, once in a while, a major Fourth Step overhaul will be required. But if we maintain the gift of recovery, thanking the Giver each day, it will continue.

The gift of recovery is one that grows with the giving. Unless we give it away, we can not keep it. But in sharing our recovery with others, we come to value it all the more.

Just for Today: My recovery is a gift, and I want to keep it. I will do the required maintenance, and I will share my recovery with others. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.

Step Four.

Step Ten.
We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Give it away
George Strait
https://youtu.be/KpZiGsvETKk

She was storming through the house that day
And I could tell she was leaving
And I thought, aw, she’ll be back
Till she turned around and pointed at the wall an said

That picture from our honeymoon
That night in Frisco Bay
Just give it away
She said, give it away
And that big four-poster king-size bed
Where so much love was made
Just give it away
She said, just give it away.

Healthy Braised Chicken with Autumn Garden Vegetables

Healthy Braised Chicken with Autumn Garden Vegetables

Pastor Cathy Hanus
Holistic Health Coach

Opening Prayer:
Thankful Hearts

We thank You Lord, for all you give; the food we eat, the lives we live; and to our loved ones far away, please send your blessings, Lord we pray. Help us all to live our days with thankful hearts and loving ways. Amen.

Thankful Hearts
Thankful Hearts

Cultivating a thankful heart is a necessity. Without gratitude we would not be a world that goes round and round. Reciting prayer before meals is a great way we can continue to build our thankful hearts and cultivate authenticity. Remembering the Lord and everything that goes into every meal is extremely important. Whether it is the person preparing the meal, the farmer growing the food or even the dear friend that orchestrated the time to be together having a thankful heart created by prayer. – Beliefnet.

Presentation
Meditation
Mindful eating
Harvest season
Squash
Pumpkin
Spaghetti
Green zucchini
Yellow
Gourds

Healthy Braised Chicken with Autumn Garden Vegetables
Healthy Braised Chicken with Autumn Garden Vegetables

Meal
Healthy Braised Chicken with Autumn Garden Vegetables
Basmati rice – high in fiber, slower to digest.
Tomatoes – good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper; and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese.
Pumpkin – fiber
Carrots – betakerotine
Onion – Onions are rich in powerful sulfuric compounds, responsible for their pungent odor. Studies suggest onions may lower high blood pressure, reduce heart attack risk, and even help protect against cancer. WebMD.
Black radish – important function of black radish extract encourages the liver to produce fat- and protein-digesting bile
Kale – crucifer vegetable, one cup of raw kale, about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces contains:
Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
Manganese: 26% of the DV
Calcium: 9% of the DV
Copper: 10% of the DV
Potassium: 9% of the DV
Magnesium: 6% of the DV
It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus
This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.
Chicken – protein, prepared with coconut oil and spices.

Dessert
Garden Watermelon

– Pastor Cathy Hanus, Holistic Health Coach. Spirit of Peace.

Memorial Prayer

Safely Home
I am home in heaven, dear ones;
oh, so happy and so bright!
There is a perfect joy and
beauty in the everlasting light.
All the pain and grief is over,
every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
safely home in heaven at last.
There is work still waiting for you,
so you must not idly stand,
do it now, while life remains
you shall rest in God’s own land.
When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you home;
oh, the rapture of that meeting
oh, the joy to see you come!

God Needed an Angel in Heaven
God needed an angel in heaven
to stand at the Savior’s feet;
His choice must be the rarest
a lily pure and sweet.
He gazed upon the mighty throng
then stopped and picked the best,
our loved one (child) was His chosen one
with Jesus she [he] is now at rest.

– Pastor Michael Hanus. Spirit of Peace.

Strength for Your Journey

Strength for Your Journey

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19

God Loves You
God Loves You

We can trust the Lord to be our strength in tough times. 

Habakkuk 3:16–19. Psalms 137–139. 1 Corinthians 13. 

Hinds Feet on High Places, a classic allegory of the Christian life, is based on Habakkuk 3:19. The story follows the character Much-Afraid as she goes on a journey with the Shepherd. But Much-Afraid is scared so she asks the Shepherd to carry her.

The Shepherd kindly replies, “I could carry you all the way up to the High Places myself, instead of leaving you to climb there. But if I did, you would never be able to develop hinds’ feet, and become my companion and go where I go.”

Much-Afraid echoes the questions of the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk; and if I am honest, my questions too: “Why must I experience suffering?” “Why is my journey difficult?”

Habakkuk lived in Judah in the late seventh century BC before the Israelites were taken into exile. The prophet found himself in a society that overlooked social injustice and was immobilized by the fear of imminent invasion by the Babylonians. Habakkuk 1:2–11. Habakkuk asked the Lord to intervene and remove suffering. Habakkuk 1:13. God replied that He would act justly but in His timing. Habakkuk 2:3. 

In faith, Habakkuk chose to trust the Lord. Even if the suffering did not end, the prophet believed that God would continue to be his strength.

We too can take comfort that the Lord is our strength to help us endure suffering and will also use the most challenging of life’s journeys to deepen our fellowship with Christ. – Lisa Samra. Daily Bread. 

God, sometimes my suffering seems too much to bear. Help me to trust You and continue to walk with You on this journey.

God Loves You 

God Will NEVER Abandon You 

Amen. 

Pastors Michael and Cathy Hanus 

Spirit of Peace Church 

Belonging

Belonging 

The Lord who made you and helps you says: “Do not be afraid, my chosen one.” Isaiah 44:2. 

Isaiah 44:1–5; Esther 9–10; Acts 7:1–21

I had been out late the night before, just as I was every Saturday night. Just twenty years old, I was running from God as fast as I could. But suddenly, strangely, I felt compelled to attend the church my dad pastored. I put on my faded jeans, well-worn T-shirt, and unlaced high-tops and drove across town.

I do not recall the sermon Dad preached that day, but I can not forget how delighted he was to see me. With his arm over my shoulder, he introduced me to everyone he saw. “This is my son!” he proudly declared. His joy became a picture of God’s love that has stuck with me all these decades.

You Belong Here
You Belong Here

The imagery of God as loving Father occurs throughout the Bible. In Isaiah 44, the prophet interrupts a series of warnings to proclaim God’s message of family love. “Dear Israel, my chosen one,” he said. “I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children” (vv. 2–3 nlt). Isaiah noted how the response of those descendants would demonstrate family pride. “Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord,’” he wrote. “Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands” (v. 5 nlt).

Wayward Israel belonged to God, just as I belonged to my adoptive father. Nothing I could do would ever make him lose his love for me. He gave me a glimpse of our heavenly Father’s love for us. – Tim Gustafson. Daily Bread. 

Heavenly Father, we all come from families that are broken in one way or another. Thank You for loving us in that brokenness and for showing us what real love looks like.

God’s love for us offers us the sense of belonging and identity we all crave.

We Belong 

David Lowen 

Pat Benatar 

We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder 

We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under 

Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better 

We belong, we belong, we belong together…

Perfect Father

Perfect Father 

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Psalm 27:10

I Love You, Dad
I Love You, Dad

God, the Perfect Father, will never let us down, leave us, or stop loving us. Psalm 27. 2 Chronicles 32–33. John 18:19–40. 

Standing in the crowded store aisle, I struggled to find the perfect Father’s Day card. Although we had reconciled after years of a strained connection, I never did feel close to my dad. 

The woman next to me groaned and shoved the card she was reading back into the display. “Why can’t they make cards for people who do not have good relationships with their fathers, but are trying to do the right thing?”

She stormed off before I could respond, so I prayed for her. Thanking God for affirming only He could be a perfect Father, I asked Him to strengthen my relationship with my dad.

I long for deeper intimacy with my heavenly Father too. I want David’s confidence in God’s constant presence, power, and protection. Psalm 27:1–6. 

When David cried out for help, he expected God’s answers. Ps. 27:7–9. Though earthly parents could reject, abandon, or neglect their children, David declared God’s unconditional acceptance. Ps. 27:10. He lived with assurance in the Lord’s goodness. Ps. 27:11–13. Like most of us, David sometimes struggled, but the Holy Spirit helped him persevere in trust and dependence on the Lord. Ps. 27:14. 

We will encounter difficult relationships on this side of eternity. But even when people fall short, fail us, or hurt us, we are still completely loved and protected by the only Perfect Father. – Xochitl Dixon. Daily Bread. 

Lord, thank You for being a Father we can always count on. 

Good Good Father 

Chris Tomlin 

You’re a good good father

It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are

And I’m loved by you

It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am … 

Forming True Partnerships

Forming True Partnerships 

But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 53. 

True Partnership
True Partnership

Can these words apply to me, am I still unable to form a true partnership with another human being? What a terrible handicap that would be for me to carry into my sober life! In my sobriety I will meditate and pray to discover how I may be a trusted friend and companion. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. 

Step Four. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 

Before honestly engaging this humbling step, one AA veteran needed to write out the following and meditate on them. 

 

Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments

Ten Commandments 

A set of 10 rules given to Moses on tablets that were passed down to keep people on the straight and narrow. 

1. You shall have no other Gods but me. 

2. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor worship it. 

3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. 

4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy. 

5. Respect your father and mother. 

6. You must not kill. 

7. You must not commit adultery. 

8. You must not steal. 

9. You must not give false evidence against your neighbour. 

10. You must not be envious of your neighbour’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour. 

Seven Deadly Sins
Seven Deadly Sins

Seven Deadly Sins 

Seven things that are considered the worst things to do. 

1. Greed – Wanting too much of something. 

2. Gluttony – Similar to greed, but gluttony is the action of taking too much of something in. 

3. Lust – The need to fulfill unspiritual desires (not just sexual desires, but this is usually what lust is associated with.) 

4. Envy – Jealousy; wanting to have what someone has. 

5. Sloth – Being too slow or lazy at doing something. 

6. Wrath – Vindictive anger; angry revenge. 

7. Pride – Being too self-satisfied 

In forming a true partnership with a loved one or an accountability partner we create a relationship of caring and love that finds its basis in Spirituality. 

Dear Father God, Please bring respite from anxiety and pain to this believer in recovery, success and all the precious fruits of the Spirit. In your trust we commend our faith and our futures. Amen. 

Pastors Michael and Cathy Hanus 

Spirit Recovery 

Pancho and Lefty 

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard 

Open to Change

Open to Change 

Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help, we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life, the one that did not work, for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever. – AS BILL SEES IT, pp. 10, 8. 

I have been given a daily reprieve contingent upon my spiritual condition, provided I seek progress, not perfection. To become ready for change, I practice willingness, opening myself to possibilities of change. If I realize there are defects that hinder my usefulness in A.A. and toward others, I become ready by meditating and receiving direction. “Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58). To let go and let God, I need only surrender my old ways to Him; I no longer fight nor do I try to control, but simply believe that, with God’s help, I am changed and affirming this belief makes me ready. I empty myself to be full of awareness, light, and love, and I am ready to face each day with hope. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. 

Changes 

David Bowie 

I still don’t know what I was waiting for

And my time was running wild

A million dead-end streets

Every time I thought I’d got it made

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

So I turned myself to face me

But I’ve never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I’m much too fast to take that test. 

Believe

Believe in Me
Just for today, I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery. Page 165.

believe
I Believe I Can

Basic Text, p. 100. Not all of us arrive in NA and automatically stay clean. But if we keep coming back, we find in Narcotics Anonymous the support we need for our recovery. Staying clean is easier when we have someone who believes in us even when we do not believe in ourselves.

Even the most frequent relapser in NA usually has one staunch supporter who is always there, no matter what. It is imperative that we find that one person or group of people who believes in us. When we ask them if we will ever get clean, they will always replay, “Yes, you can and you will. Just keep coming back!”

We all need someone who believes in us, especially when we can not believe in ourselves. When we relapse, we undermine our already shattered self-confidence, sometimes so badly that we begin to feel utterly hopeless. At such times, we need the support of our loyal NA friends. They tell us that this can be our last relapse. They know from experience that if we keep coming to meetings, we will eventually get clean and stay clean.

It is hard for many of us to believe in ourselves. But when someone loves us unconditionally, offering support no matter how many times we’ve relapsed, recovery in NA becomes a little more real for us.

Just for Today: I will find someone who believes in me. I will believe in them. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.

Belief. Acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists; Trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.

Believe
Shawn Mendez

Hope

Hope
Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it is not strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 65.
hope
hope
This is where long-term hope is born and perspective is gained, both of the nature of my illness and the path of my recovery. The beauty of A.A. lies in knowing that my life, with God’s help, will improve. The A.A. journey becomes richer, the understanding becomes truth, the dreams become realities and today becomes forever.
As I step into the A.A. light, my heart fills with the presence of God. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
 
Hope. Feeling of Trust or Expectation and Desire for a certain thing to happen.
 
Song of Hope
Canto Esperanza
https://youtu.be/Cus53eeR3bA
 
May the God of hope go with us every day,
Filling all our lives with love and joy and peace.
May the God of justice speed us on our way,
Bringing light and hope to every land and race.

Prayer

Honest Prayer

Although honesty is difficult to practice, it is most rewarding. Page 163.

honest
honest

Basic Text, p. 96. How difficult we find it to be honest! Many of us come to NA as confused about what really happened in our lives that it sometimes takes months and years to sort it all out. The truth of our history is not always as we have told it. How can we begin to be more truthful?

Many of us find it the easiest to be honest in prayer. With our fellow addicts, we sometimes find that we have a hard time telling the whole truth. We feel certain that we will not be accepted if we let others know us as we really are. It is hard to live up to the “terminally hip and fatally cool” image so many of us portrayed! In prayer, we find an acceptance from our Higher Power that allows us to open our hearts with honesty.

As we practice this honesty with the God of our understanding, we often find that it has a ripple effect in our communications with others. We get in the habit of being honest. We begin to practice honesty when we share at meetings and work with others. In return, we find our lives enriched by deepening friendships. We even find that we can be more honest with ourselves, the most important person to be truthful with!

Honesty is a quality that is developed through practice. It isn’t always easy to be totally truthful, but when we begin with our Higher Power, we find it easier to extend our honesty to others.

Just for Today: I will be honest with God, myself, and others. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.

Honesty
Billy Joel