Category Archives: Reflection

Fearing Our Feelings

The Fourth Step – Fearing Our Feelings

We may fear that being in touch with our feelings will trigger an overwhelming chain reaction of pain and panic. Page 279.

No Fear
No Fear

Basic Text, p.30. A common complaint about the Fourth Step is that it makes us painfully conscious of our defects of character. We may be tempted to falter in our program of recovery. Through surrender and acceptance, we can find the resources we need to keep working the steps.

It is not the awareness of our defects that causes the most agony, it is the defects themselves. When we were using, all we felt was the drugs; we could ignore the suffering our defects were causing us. Now that the drugs are gone, we feel that pain. Refusing to acknowledge the source of our anguish does not make it go away; denial protects the pain and makes it stronger. The Twelve Steps help us deal with the misery caused by our defects by dealing directly with the defects themselves.

If we hurt from the pain of our defects, we can remind ourselves of the nightmare of addiction, a nightmare from which we now awaken. We can recall the hope for release the Second Step gave us. We can again turn our will and our lives over, through the Third Step, to the care of the God of our understanding. Our Higher Power cares for us by giving us the help we need to work the rest of the Twelve Steps. We do not have to fear our feelings. Just for today, we can continue in our recovery.

Just for Today: I will not be afraid of my feelings. With the help of my Higher Power, I will continue in my recovery. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.

Step Two. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step Three. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Step Four. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Fear
Blue October

All my life
Been running from a pain in me
A feeling I don’t understand
Holding me down
So rain on me
Underwater
All I am, getting harder
A heavy weight
I carry around
Today
I don’t have to fall apart
I don’t have to be afraid
I don’t have to let the damage
Consume me,
My shadow see through me.

First Things First

FIRST THINGS FIRST
Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: Job or no job, wife or no wife, we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God. – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 98.

Before coming to A.A., I always had excuses for taking a drink: “She said,” “He said,” “I got fired yesterday,” “I got a great job today.” No area of my life could be good if I drank again. In sobriety my life gets better each day. I must always remember not to drink, to trust God, and to stay active in A.A. Am I putting anything before my sobriety, God, and A.A. today? – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.

First Things First
First Things First

Read AA Big Book Chapter 7. Working with Others.
Mature life is More than just a social hour in a room.

Step Three. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Establish priorities
Habituation transformation from bad, alcohol, to good, Higher Power.
Allegiance to God as we understand Him.
Replace the AA We term with I
Dependance on God
Manage life on life’s terms

First Thing First
Neon Trees

You are never gonna get
Everything you want in this world
First things first
Get what you deserve
It began when I was twenty-one years old
And my mom and dad were begging me to go
So I left a note and we went and hit the road
Me and Chris and all the stuff I own
I went out to find my soul and left the only comfort that I’d known
It wasn’t ’bout a girl or even California bleeding
It was all about me choosing where to go.

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