Path to Faith
True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 33.
My last drunk had landed me in the hospital, totally broken. It was then that I was able to see my past float in front of me. I realized that, through drinking, I had lived every nightmare I had ever had. My own self-will and obsession to drink had driven me into a dark pit of hallucinations, blackouts and despair. Finally beaten, I asked for God’s help. His presence told me to believe. My obsession for alcohol was taken away and my paranoia has since been lifted. I am no longer afraid. I know my life is healthy and sane. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services
Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Therefore, Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step. True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 33.
Humility appears to be the key character component to getting sobriety started, and to keep it progressing. Sally N.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. C.S. Lewis
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am having trouble with personal relationships. I can not control my emotional nature. I am prey to misery and depression. I can not make a living. I feel useless. I am full of fear. I am unhappy. I can not seem to be of real help to others. I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity if I am just willing to stop doubting your power. I humbly ask that you help me to understand that it is more powerful to believe than not to believe and that you are either everything or nothing. (Big Book p. 52:2, 52:3, 53:1, 53:2).
Walk the Path of Faith
Faith Gone Missing
Sometimes A.A. comes harder to those who have lost or rejected faith than to those who never had any faith at all, for they think they have tried faith and found it wanting. They have tried the way of faith and the way of no faith. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 28.
I was so sure God had failed me that I became ultimately defiant, though I knew better, and plunged into a final drinking binge. My faith turned bitter and that was no coincidence. Those who once had great faith hit bottom harder. It took time to rekindle my faith, though I came to A.A. I was grateful intellectually to have survived such a great fall, but my heart felt callous. Still, I stuck with the A.A. program; the alternatives were too bleak! I kept coming back and gradually my faith was resurrected. – Daily Reflections. © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
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
Faith without Works is Dead.
There is action and more action. “Faith without works is dead.” … To be helpful is our only aim. AA. p. 88-9.
I understand that service is a vital part of recovery but I often wonder, “What can I do?” Simply start with what I have today! I look around to see where there is a need. Are the ashtrays full? Do I have hands and feet to empty them? Suddenly I am involved! The best speaker may make the worst coffee; the member who’s best with newcomers may be unable to read; the one willing to clean up may make a mess of the bank account – yet every one of these people and jobs is essential to an active group. The miracle of service is this: when I use what I have, I find there is more available to me than I realized before. – Daily Reflections. © 1990 Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
Faith Without Works Is Dead. James 2:14-26.
So there is more going on here than helping out. Eventually we come upon our Step 12.
Step 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 our affairs.
This step prepares you to embrace all 12 steps as you continue your journey into a life of acceptance and understanding. It also encourages you to help others and to empower them as they discover the benefits of AA. – Recovery.org
Step 12 Prayer:
Dear God, Having had a spiritual experience, I must now remember that “faith without works is dead.” And Practical Experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. So, God, please help me to carry this message to other alcoholics! Provide me with the guidance and wisdom to talk with another alcoholic because I can help when no one else can. Help me secure his confidence and remember he is ill. – A.A. Big Book Page 89:1.
Faith Without Works is like a Submarine with a Screen Door
Lets Keep It Simple
A few hours later I took my leave of Dr. Bob. The wonderful, old, broad smile was on his face as he said almost jokingly, “Remember, Bill, let’s not louse this thing up. Let’s keep it simple!” I turned away, unable to say a word. That was the last time I ever saw him. – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGE, p. 214.
After years of sobriety I occasionally ask myself: “Can it be this simple?” Then, at meetings, I see former cynics and skeptics who have walked the A.A. path out of hell by packaging their lives, without alcohol, into twenty-four hour segments, during which they practice a few principles to the best of their individual abilities. And then I know again that, while it is not always easy, if I keep it simple, it works. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21.
It is no coincidence that the very first Step mentions powerlessness: An admission of personal powerlessness over alcohol is a cornerstone of the foundation of recovery. I have learned that I do not have the power and control I once thought I had. I am powerless over what people think about me. I am powerless over having just missed the bus. I am powerless over how other people work (or do not work) the Steps. But I have also learned I am not powerless over some things. I am not powerless over my attitudes. I am not powerless over negativity. I am not powerless over assuming responsibility for my own recovery. I have the power to exert a positive influence on myself, my loved ones, and the world in which I live. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 1 Recovery Prayer
I admit that I am powerless over my addiction.
I admit that my life is unmanageable when I try to control it.
Help me this day to understand
The true meaning of powerlessness.
Remove from me all denial of my addiction. Amen.
“I am so grateful the holidays are over and behind me.” Anon.
“Alcoholism is a Progressive Fatal Disease for which the Cure is to Stop Drinking.” Shirley.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen. – Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971).
The Story of twin brothers and their boxing careers.
Powerless – Rudimental
You held it all and I was by your side, powerless. I watched you fall … It’s really a sad story … .
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Rom. 7:18.
Finding Freedom from Guilt through the Blood of Christ.
Just as I Am
I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise God, just as I am.
Admitting powerlessness is absolutely essential to breaking the addiction cycle, which is made up of five points:
– Reaching out to an addictive agent, such as work, food, sex, alcohol, or dependent relationships to salve our pain
– Temporary anesthesia
– Negative consequences
– Shame and guilt, which result in more pain or low self-esteem.
Understanding the addiction cycle is important because it helps explain why the admission of powerlessness is the first step to recovery. Otherwise, we remain caught. If we rely on willpower alone, then the only thing we know to do is to escalate our addiction to get out of the pain. Step 1 calls us to do less – to yield, to surrender, to let go. – Serenity, A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery, p. 22-23.
What Are the AA Promises?
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has a set of principles to help alcoholics in recovery become productive members of society. These AA promises derive from Alcoholics Anonymous twelve steps and twelve traditions. Let’s break the AA promises out so they are easier to digest.
The AA Promises:
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
4. No matter how far down the scale we have gone
5. We will see how our experience can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. – Alcoholics Anonymous p. 83-84.
What do the AA Promises mean?
The AA Promises are meant to be a promise for recovery. The AA promises usually begin to come true after an alcoholic has worked through the steps thoroughly and begins to apply them in their life. When it says that they will be “fulfilled among us-sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly” it means that the AA Promises will happen, but the time frame in which they present themselves are different for everyone. The AA promises will always materialize if the alcoholic works for them. This means that if you are working the twelve steps to the best of your ability and are as honest as you can be while working them, you will receive a spiritual awakening or experience, which then leads to a total personality change.
– WaterShed Treatment Programs.
performed by When in Rome
If you need a friend, don’t look to a stranger,
You know in the end, I’ll always be there.
But when you’re in doubt, and when you’re in danger,
Take a look all around, and I’ll be there.
Rewards of Giving
This is indeed the kind of giving that actually demands nothing. He does not expect his brother sufferer to pay him, or even to love him. Then he discovers that by the divine paradox of this kind of giving he has found his own reward, whether his brother has yet received anything or not. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 109.
Through experience with Twelfth Step work, I came to understand the rewards of giving that demands nothing in return. At first I expected recovery in others, but I soon learned that this did not happen. Once I acquired the humility to accept the fact that every Twelfth Step call was not going to result in a success, then I was open to receive the rewards of selfless giving. – Daily Reflections © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
A.A. Step 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 our affairs.
The Benedictine Monks suggest that meditating, reflecting, and chanting will make one’s life more complete and assist with the Twelve Steps.
Let’s Learn Gregorian Chant
With or Without You
Gregorian Monks joined by Benedictine Monks
Understanding the Malady
When dealing with an alcoholic, there may be a natural annoyance that a man could be so weak, stupid and irresponsible. Even when you understand the malady better, you may feel this feeling rising. – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 139.
Having suffered from alcoholism, I should understand the illness, but sometimes I feel annoyance, even contempt, toward a person who cannot make it in A.A. When I feel that way, I am satisfying my false sense of superiority and I must remember, but for the grace of God, there go I. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
People Help the People
God knows what is hiding in those weak and drunken hearts
Guess he kissed the girls and made them cry
Those hard-faced queens of misadventure
God knows what is hiding in those weak and sunken lives
Fiery throngs of muted angels
Giving love but getting nothing back, oh.
Partners in Recovery
Nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.
Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress … Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances! – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 89, 100.
Doing the right things for the right reasons; this is my way of controlling my selfishness and selfcenteredness. I realize that my dependency on a Higher Power clears the way for peace of mind, happiness and sobriety. I pray each day that I will avoid my previous actions, so that I will be helpful to others. – Daily Reflections. © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.