Tag Archives: Spirit on the A’s

Stand Strong in the Face of Adversity

Stand Strong in the Face of Adversity 

Burdens into Blessings
Burdens into Blessings

Reflection Prayer 

In reading this list of five guiding principles, please reflect upon the Words of Satisfaction stated in Scripture found in Matthew 7:7; Ask, and It Will Be Given. Ask, and it will be given to you; Seek, and you will find; Knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matt. 7:7). 

As the Holy Spirit within each of us guides us through each day; If we listen we will hear, Jesus is waiting to hear our prayers asking Him for these good things that we want in life, including the strength to face adversity. – Pastor Michael Hanus, Spirit of Peace. 

Matt. 7:7.
Matt. 7:7.

Mental toughness 

Contrary to popular belief, mental toughness is not something you are born with. It is not a luck of the draw sort of thing. That means that everyone can work to improve their fortitude with a little practice and mindfulness when life starts going sideways. Research backs this up. Since the 1960’s, groups like the Beck Institute have pioneered Cognitive Therapy in the hopes of helping people stop negative “automatic thoughts” that impaired their views of themselves, the world, and the future. And the results are clear: everyone can change the way they think and develop mental toughness. 

Five tips for developing your mental toughness in a positive way. 

Set Your Expectations 

Mental toughness is not about avoiding conflict. While you can not control every aspect of your life, you can control how you will react. Act like you have everything under control, and no one will think otherwise. You might wind up even fooling yourself. Know that time is finite and there’s only so much you can do in a certain period of time. By setting realistic expectations for what you can achieve in a given amount of time, you are laying a groundwork for measurable performance and success. 

Strengthen SelfControl 

Do not let your emotions get the best of you. Whether things are going crazy at work or you feel the urge to find comfort in sweets after a trying day, take a moment to step back from the situation. By stepping out of the present, stressful moment and putting it in larger perspective, you can give every crisis its context and respond with a level-headed calmness. By delaying gratification, whether in the form of a cupcake or yelling at someone, you are helping yourself to see difficulty as a setback rather than an insurmountable problem. 

Focus on Yourself 

No matter what you do, you are never going to please everyone. Mentally tough people have mastered the art of focusing on impressing themselves. Love the ensemble you put on but maybe other people can not appreciate your sense of style? Well, those haters are going to hate. They do not matter. You should surround yourself with people who can appreciate you for who you are and the unique traits you have to offer, especially since these people are likely ones you can count on when you feel that your mental toughness is starting to get a little weak. Similarly, do not get down in the dumps by envying other people or being jealous of their success. If you see someone who is doing things with their life you want to achieve too, focus on how you can get there yourself, rather than how that other person reached their goals so easily. 

Silence the Negative Talk 

Whether it is expressing envy over someone else’s success or using negative words to describe yourself, your words have immense power to shape your worldview. Do not let that glass-half-empty viewpoint dominate your thoughts. When you make the effort to see the positive in everything, you will find it was there all along. When you find aspects of yourself or your life that you would like to change, focus on how you can do that and set measurable goals rather than sitting back and accepting your present as your life’s course. Become your biggest advocate and believe in yourself. Others will follow your lead and believe in you too! 

Taylor Swift Shake it Off

Let It Go 

Elsa in Frozen (Disney) had it right. Do not let the past bring you down or be deadweight on your path to success. Everyone has suffered failures and setbacks, but it is the people who learn from their mistakes or face adversity with a measured approach that come up on top. Do not let your past dictate what your present and future should look like. There is no point in lamenting something you can not possibly change. But the present and future is only what you choose to make of it. Make it something amazing! That commitment to the present will build mental toughness in no time.

Elsa Let It Go

Improving your mental toughness takes mindfulness and commitment. It is not easy, but the payoff and rewards are immense. Take charge of your life and withstand adversity like a pro!  – adapted from Paige Turner, theautismsite 

Peace and Joy! in Seeking the Greater Good Within You! 

Pastors Michael and Cathy Hanus, Spirit of Peace 

Sovereign Intervention

Sovereign Intervention in Our Lives

God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. Exodus 2:25. 

Barbara grew up under the care of the British government in the 1960s, but when she turned sixteen, she and her newborn son, Simon, became homeless. The state was no longer obligated to provide for her at that age. Barbara wrote to the Queen of England for help and received a response! The Queen compassionately arranged for Barbara to be given a house of her own.

The Queen of England had the right resources to help Barbara, and her compassionate assistance can be seen as a small picture of God’s help. The King of heaven knows all of our needs and sovereignly works out His plans in our lives. As He does, however, He longs for us to come to Him, sharing our needs and other concerns, as part of our loving relationship with Him.

The Israelites brought their need for deliverance to God. They were suffering under the burden of Egyptian slavery and cried out for help. He heard them and remembered His promise: “God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.” Exodus 2:25. He instructed Moses to bring liberty to His people and declared that He would once again release them “into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus 3:8. 

Our King loves it when we come to Him! He wisely provides what we need, not necessarily what we want. Let us rest in His sovereign, loving provision. – Ruth O’Reilly-Smith. Daily Bread. 

Discussion: 

Why is it important for us to bring our needs to God in prayer? 

Focus 

Connect with God 

How can you learn to rest in God’s provision, whatever that may be?

Acceptance 

Peace 

Serenity 

Serenity Prayer 

Serenity Prayer
Serenity Prayer

Reinhold Niebuhr (1934). 

God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen. 

Sovereign  Burning Lights 

Chris Tomlin (2013). 

Sovereign

Closing Prayer: 

Loving God, thank You that I can bring my needs to You. Help me to be content in whatever paths and provisions You choose. Amen. 

May Your Spiritual Connectivity with Our Sovereign Lord Bring You Serenity and Acceptance.
Peace and Joy! Pastors Michael and Cathy Hanus

Freedom Fellowship

Fellowship of Freedom 

If only men were granted absolute liberty, and were compelled to obey no one, they would then voluntarily associate themselves in the common interest. – AS BILL SEES IT, p. 50. 

When I no longer live under the dictates of another or of alcohol, I live in a new freedom. When I release the past and all the excess baggage I have carried for so very long, I come to know freedom. I have been introduced into a life and a fellowship of freedom. The Steps are a “recommended” way of finding a new life, there are no commands or dictates in A.A. I am free to serve from desire rather than decree. There is the understanding that I will benefit from the growth of other members and I take what I learn and bring it back to the group. The “common welfare” finds room to grow in the society of personal freedom. – Daily Reflection. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. 

Freedom Fellowship
Freedom Fellowship

Reflection genesis: 

Tradition Two. 

AA. Twelve Traditions. 

For our group purpose there is one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. 

Discussion: 

One Ultimate Authority 

Responsibility 

Being God 

Discuss no need to fix 

Choices v Told 

Freedom to choose 

Dominance v Subservience 

Getting along with others 

 Follow the Rules 

Dont tell me what to do 

Building character 

Good Old Days 

 AA. Big Book. 

Twelve and Twelve 

 Principles 

Quitting drinking easy compared to dealing with the  -Isms 

Alcoholism > no conscience, 

 Sobriety > find the Higher Power 

Freedom 

Pharrell Williams 

Peace and Joy!  Pastor Michael. SpiritofPeace.us 

Family obligations

Family Obligations 

A spiritual life which does not include family obligations may not be so perfect after all. – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 129. 

I can be doing great in the program, applying it at meetings, at work, and in service activities, and find that things have gone to pieces at home. I expect my loved ones to understand, but they cannot. I expect them to see and value my progress, but they do not, unless I show them. Do I neglect their needs and desires for my attention and concern? When I am around them, am I irritable or boring? Are my “amends” a mumbled “Sorry,” or do they take the form of patience and tolerance? Do I preach to them, trying to reform or “fix” them? Have I ever really cleaned house with them? “The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.” Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. 

Family Obligations
Family Obligations

Topic Discussion Worksheet 

AA. Big Book. Chapter 9. The Family Afterward. 

Experiencing freedom from guilt. 

Appears like this Reflection engages proactively working Steps Eight and Nine. 

Step Eight. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 

Step Nine. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Family. 

Dysfunction. 

Praying for a Miracle. 

Al-Anon 

Many family members of alcoholics get stuck at Step Three. 

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

We Are Family 

Sister Sledge 

How to Love Your (Dysfunctional) Family Well 

(and Every Family Is Dysfunctional). 

Be Present. 

Share Yourself. 

Welcome the Stranger. 

Engage in Dialogue, Not Debate. 

Practice Self-Care. 

 – Kale Uzzel. St. Louis Metro Baptist Assn. 

 

May the Lord Bless Your Paths in This World!

Peace and Joy! Pastor Michael Hanus. Spirit of Peace.

Suicide Prevention in the Missional Community

Spirit of Peace Supports the Community.

We see that a very important concern in the psychosocial health of the community is suicide prevention.

This evening we visited the interesting presentation about how “Talk Saves Lives.”

This is an excellent informative presentation that everyone engaging the community should be interested in

We hope to continue to make a difference in engaging our role in Suicide Prevention in the Missional Community.

Talk Ssves Lives
Talk Ssves Lives

 

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.

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.