Lord God my Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier; Every day I awake to the evil in the world-to acts done through sin, death, and the power of the devil. I cannot escape it, no matter how hard I try. When I see evil in the world, I get angry, and wish for revenge. But you have told us “Vengeance is Mine! I will repay!!” And so, Loving Father, I turn to you as I seek to battle evil in the world. Help me, every day, to see the good in people. By your Holy Spirit, fill my heart with goodness, that I may join in the battle to overcome evil. By Jesus’ example, teach me to pray; to engage in prayerful activity daily, to have faith that You, indeed, hear my humble prayers. Help me to go forth from this closet of prayer into the world, sharing Your goodness, one person at a time. Help me to rejoice in the goodness of others when I encounter it. Lord, those who perpetrate evil will become prisoners of their own devices. Let them be responsible for the evil they perpetrate, but let Your Holy Spirit convict them of their sin, and lead them to true repentance, that they may join the warriors of the Good as they face the forces of evil. Amen
– Bill Triebe.
Unfortunately in the ways of our world, all the way back before the time of Christ and preceding the prophets, we are temped to lose faith at times when we need it most. This is the human dilemma. It takes strength of character and faith in the Higher Power to get through every day, especially the worst of them.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28.
This transitions us to prayer:
Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
Waiting Here for You
If faith can move the mountains
Let the mountains move
We come with expectation
Waiting here for you, waiting here for you.
Come to our Gathering to hear how Faith is Never Alone, and Good Works accomplished with Love will bring Faith!
Peace and Joy! Pastor Michael Hanus
Almighty, all-merciful God,
through Christ Jesus you have taught us to love one another,
to love our neighbors as ourselves,
and even to love our enemies.
In times of violence and fear,
let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts,
so that we may not be overcome with evil
but overcome evil with good.
Help us to see each person in light of the love and grace
you have shown us in Christ.
Put away the nightmares of terror
and awaken us to the dawning of your new creation.
Establish among us a future where peace reigns,
justice is done with mercy, and all are reconciled.
We ask these things in the name
and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Prayers for Times of National and International Crisis and Tragedy.
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Isaiah 2:4.
Project Ploughshares, Ontario Canada.
Goodwill is best exemplified in service; proper service is “Doing the right thing for the right reason.” Page 34.
Basic Text, p. xv. The spiritual core of our disease is self-centeredness. In dealing with others, the only motive our addiction taught us is selfishness. We want what we want when we want it. Obsession with self is rooted in the very ground of our lives. In recovery, how do we root self-obsession out?
We reverse the effects of our disease by applying a few very simple spiritual principles. To counteract the self-centeredness of our addiction, we learn to apply the principle of goodwill. Rather than seeking to serve only ourselves, we begin serving others. Rather than thinking only about what we can get out of a situation, we learn to think first of the welfare of others. When faced with a moral choice, we learn to stop, recall spiritual principles, and act appropriately
As we begin doing the right thing for the right reason, we can detect a change in ourselves. Where once we were ruled by self-will, now we are guided by our goodwill for others. The chronic self-centeredness of addiction is losing its hold on us. We are learning to practice these principles in all our affairs; we are living in our recovery, not in our disease.
Just for Today: Wherever I am, whatever I do, I will seek to serve others, not just myself. When faced with a dilemma, I will try to do the right thing for the right reason. – (c) 2016 NA World Services
Share Your Goodwill
When you have a place to sleep at night,
when you have some food to eat,
when you have a coat to keep you warm,
and shoes upon your feet,
remember there are people
not as fortunate as you.
Remember they might need your help.
Almighty God, with whom all things are possible, hear our prayer as we come to You in trouble and distress. You are our hiding place. You are our very present help in trouble. We have no other refuge in an hour like this. Gracious Lord, You can heal. Your grace can restore to health and give us strength to carry on. We know that You are compassionate, for You have sent Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the death of the cross in order to redeem us and make us Your own. As You did not forsake Him, surely You will not abandon us in this time of great need. As You raised Him from the dead on the third day, so we ask that You would also raise us up with Him from this present danger in our lives. O Lord, we humble ourselves before You and confess our many sins. We ask for your unlimited mercy. We pray, merciful Father, for Your grace hour by hour. Forgive us and restore us, for You have made us Your own children in Christ. Remove the worries and anxious fears that would crush us. Give us grace to trust in You, whose will is wiser than our own, for we have been baptized into the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
for the Community.
Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artists
performing hymns of traditional foundation.
Everyone is Welcome!
Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after His birth to complete Mary’s purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn son, in obedience to the Torah. Mary and Joseph could not afford a lamb; so they sacrificed two young pigeons. Upon bringing Jesus into the temple, they met Simeon. The Holy Spirit told Simeon that “he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Simeon then uttered the prayer that would become known as the Nunc Dimittis or Canticle of Simeon, which prophesied the redemption of the world by Jesus.
I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. Malachi 3:1.
Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Ps. 84:4.
Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. Heb. 2:18.
Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation. Luke 2:29-30.
Prayer: God of steadfast love, you sent your Son to be the light of the world, saving people everywhere from sin and death. As Anna gave thanks for the freedom he would bring, and Simeon saw in him the dawn of redemption, complete your purpose once made known in him. Make us the vessels of his light, that all the world may glory in the splendor of your peace. Amen.
When to the Temple Mary Went
Guilford Cathedral Choir (Barry Rose).
Prayer: Strong and mighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus, the presentation of your Son in the temple was his first entrance into the place of sacrifice. Grant that, trusting in his offering upon the cross to forgive our sins and uphold us in the time of trial, we may sing your praises and live in the light of your salvation, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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.
We are all stewards spreading the Word of Jesus’ blessings for His people.
Picnic Fellowship Activities for the Entire Family!
Of course lively discussion and activities will be available!
Perhaps you may prefer to sit and visit!
Please Contact Us with Special Requests!
We felt different … Only after surrender are we able to overcome the alienation of addiction. Page 33.
Basic Text, p. 22. “But you do not understand!” we spluttered, trying to cover up. “I am different! I really have it rough!” We used these lines over and over in our active addiction, either trying to escape the consequences of our actions or avoid following the rules that applied to everyone else. We may have cried them at our first meeting. Perhaps we’ve even caught ourselves whining them recently.
So many of us feel different or unique. As addicts, we can use almost anything to alienate ourselves. But there’s no excuse for missing out on recovery, nothing that can make us ineligible for the program – not a life-threatening illness, not poverty, not anything. There are thousands of addicts who have found recovery despite the real hardships they have faced. Through working the program, their spiritual awareness has grown, in spite of-or perhaps in response to those hardships.
Our individual circumstances and differences are irrelevant when it comes to recovery. By letting go of our uniqueness and surrendering to this simple way of life, we are bound to find that we feel a part of something. And feeling a part of something gives us the strength to walk through life, hardships and all.
Just for Today: I will let go of my uniqueness and embrace the principles of recovery I have in common with so many others. My hardships do not exclude me from recovery; rather, they draw me into it. – (c) 2016 NA World Services.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8.
On the day our youngest daughter was flying from Munich to Barcelona, I visited my favorite flight tracking website to follow her progress. After I entered her flight number, my computer screen showed that her flight had crossed Austria and was skirting the northern part of Italy. From there the plane would fly over the Mediterranean, south of the French Riviera toward Spain, and was scheduled to arrive on time. It seemed that the only thing I didn’t know was what the flight attendants were serving for lunch!
Why did I care about my daughter’s location and circumstances? Because I love her. I care about who she is, what she’s doing, and where she is going in life.
Whatever our circumstances today, we can rely on God’s presence and care.
In Psalm 32, David celebrated the marvel of God’s forgiveness, guidance, and concern for us. Unlike a human father, God knows every detail of our lives and the deepest needs of our hearts. The Lord’s promise to us is, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Ps. 32:8.
Whatever our circumstances today, we can rely on God’s presence and care because “the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.” Ps. 32:10. – David McCasland. Daily Bread.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for watching over me in love and guiding me along Your path today.
We are never out of God’s sight and His loving care.
Psalm 32 is an interesting look into the covenant relationship the believer has with the living God. King David, the writer of this psalm, is aware of his own personal sins and the need for confession and forgiveness. This spiritual connection with the living God is not simply a positive experience but includes God’s chastisement that leads to confession and restoration. Ps. 32:4-5. Yet even within the ups and downs of our walk of faith, we have the assurance of God’s watchful care and provision.
I Am in His Care
Eva Mae LeFevre
Universal Music Group
“Just for today I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery.” Page 31.
Basic Text, p. 93. Learning to trust is a risky proposition. Our past experience as using addicts has taught us that our companions could not be trusted. Most of all, we could not trust ourselves.
Now that we are in recovery, trust is essential. We need something to hang onto, believe in, and give us hope in our recovery. For some of us, the first thing we can trust is the words of other members sharing in meetings; we feel the truth in their words.
Finding someone we can trust makes it easier to ask for help. And as we grow to trust in their recovery, we learn to trust our own.
Just for Today: I will decide to trust someone. I will act on that trust.
(c) 2016 NA World Services
We must give freely and gratefully that which has been freely and gratefully given to us. Page 30.
Basic Text, p. 49. In Recovery, we receive many gifts. Perhaps one of the greatest of these gifts is the spiritual awakening that begins when we stop using, growing stronger each day we apply the steps in our lives. The new spark of life within is a direct result of our new relationship with a Higher Power, a relationship initiated and developed by living the Twelve Steps. Slowly, as we pursue our program, the radiance of recovery dispels the darkness of our disease.
One of the ways we express our gratitude for the gifts of recovery is to help others find what we’ve found. We can do this in any number of ways: by sharing in meetings, making Twelfth Step calls, accepting a commitment to sponsorship, or volunteering for support duty. The spiritual life given to us in recovery asks for expression, for “we can only keep what we have by giving it away.”
Just for Today: The gift of recovery grows when I share it. I will find someone with whom to share it. – (c) 2016 NA World Services
If we make it to this point, we have a spiritual awakening. Though the nature of our awakening is as individual and personal as our spiritual path, the similarities in our experiences are striking. Almost without exception, our members speak of feeling free, of feeling more light-hearted more of the time, of caring more about others, and of the ever-increasing ability to step outside ourselves and participate fully in life. The way this looks to others is astonishing. People who knew us when we were in our active addiction, often appearing withdrawn and angry, tell us that we are different people. Indeed, many of us feel as if we began a second life.
Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.