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.
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.
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
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.
Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift. Page 276.
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.
We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
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
Pastor Cathy Hanus
Holistic Health Coach
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.
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.
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.
– Pastor Cathy Hanus, Holistic Health Coach. Spirit of Peace.
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.
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.
A long time ago, twelve young men left everything to follow a promise, placing their entire future on a foundation of hope. That foundation was Jesus. Their future was the Church. Never meant to be an institution or political entity, that naive group of young men would later grow into a worldwide expression of God’s commitment to heal, save, and deliver.
Church is NOT a building; it is People. It is where millions of People throughout the Ages have come to find Community, Rest, Peace and Remption through Jesus. ALL ARE WELCOME!
Church is NOT for the Elite. It is NOT for the Perfect. Church is for ALL of Us. Church is a Place to Find Friendship and Purpose, where We can Meet Jesus and Rally around One Another.
In today’s reading from the Gospel of Mark, Can you imagine what it is like to be tossed around while on a boat in the sea in a storm at night? This is a frightening thought! Would this be more or less disruptive than being admonished by Jesus for lacking faith while He stands and commands the sea to be still?
If you love and trust in Jesus, He will calm the torment in your soul and life. Give this a try. Do practice this at home. Let Us Gather to Ask Jesus to Calm Our Raging Storms.
Job is a classic Old Testament Faith in God tester. In a show of God-like strength, God returns Job’s volley with an appropriate series of questions putting Job in his place.
David opens Psalm 107 with a community hymn of praise; O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Then we see a pattern in the following examples of Gods goodness; distress, prayer, delivery and thanks. It appears a lot like what we experience in day to day life. Praise God for we are redeemed.
Paul speaks freely to the Corinthians and to us in this reading today. Are we able to both speak together with one another and say tough things? As your pastor, I genuinely pray that we may.
Here I am to Worship
Old Testament: Job 38:1-11.
Psalm: Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32.
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13.
Gospel: Mark 4:35-41.
Your hand is upon your people, O God, to guide and protect them through the ages. Keep in your service those you have called and anointed, that the powers of this world may not overwhelm us,
but that, secure in your love, we may carry out your will in the face of all adversity. Amen.
Redeemed : to compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something);or gain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.
Big Daddy Weave
Friends in Christ,
God invites us to hold the needs of our sisters and brothers as dear to us as our own needs. Loving our neighbors as ourselves, we offer our thanksgivings and our petitions on behalf of the church and the world.
Prayers of the People,
Hear our prayers, God of power, and through the ministry of your Son free us from the grip of the tomb, that we may desire you as the fullness of life and proclaim your saving deeds to all the world. Amen.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. (Book of Concord).
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Book of Concord).(Matthew 6:9-13).
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Handshake of Peace
The Apostle John proclaims, If we confess our sins He who is faithful and just will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.
Just As I Am
Institution of the Lord’s Supper
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.– Matthew 26:26-28(ESV).
Keeper of our lives, you know the hardness and gentleness of human hearts. You call your people to faithful living. Through the storms of life
that bring suffering and fear, joy and laughter,
teach us to turn to you for all we need, so that we may come to know your presence even in the midst of the trials that surround us. Amen.
O My Soul Arise
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26.
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.
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 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
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Psalm 27:10
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
You’re a good good father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
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.
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.
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.