Tag Archives: God as we understand God

Building Blocks for a New Way of Life.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, November 27, 2015

live one day at a time

Building Blocks for a New Way of Life.

“Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by day, in all the thousand, small, uncaring ways.” Stephen V. Benet

The Twelve Steps promises a new way of living. A departure from unmanageability, hopelessness, loneliness and despair. But, only if a person works for it. Decides to go for it.

Ah, the key of willingness. It just takes a small amount of willingness to begin the way of new life, to begin the way of Twelve Step living. Very small. But if willingness is present, all kinds of possibilities open up!

Today’s meditation from the book Keep It Simple has a remarkable insight: “The more we use a tool, the easier it is to use. The same goes for the Twelve Steps. We need to depend on the Twelve Steps, just as carpenters depend on their tools. If we only wait for the new way of life, it’ll never come.” [1]

Oh, too true! Sitting back on your hands and waiting for the Twelve Steps to start working (almost by osmosis) is pretty stupid. I have rarely heard of anyone who sat twiddling their thumbs and had the Program of the Twelve Steps work in their lives. Work well, that is.

Although, just from attending meetings, that still is worth something. But for the whole nine yards? The whole shmear? That takes some work. “If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it—then you are ready to take certain steps. … Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery.” [2]

Yes, it takes work. And yes, it is worth it. The Promises say so. God as each of us understands God says so, too.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(also published at http://www.matterofprayer.net

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 27 reading.

[2] Alcoholics Anonymous (New York City, Alcoholics Anonymous World Service, Inc.: 2001), 58-59.

Pray for Help from Our Higher Power

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 16, 2015

prayer to God as I understand God

Pray for Help from Our Higher Power

Today’s reading hit the bull’s eye. Pray. That’s it. Pray for help from God as you understand God. That’s it. [1]

Yes, as the reading today instructed, I can pray that I come to know the Twelve Steps better. And, you and I both know that I wrote a year-long blog about being helpful and being of service. (365 days of being helpful!)

I try to be a good example. I want others to know that if they need anything, they can call on me. I will do my best to get them help and assistance.

Now, there is one caveat. One presupposition, if you will.

I need to believe in a loving, caring God, a God who is intimately involved with all of the humans in the world. A God who will come alongside those who are struggling, and assist. No matter what. (It’s a good thing that I do believe in such a loving, caring God.)

A distant, neutral, even vindictive Higher Power? Sorry, but I cannot pin my faith to some old acquaintances, or in some dinky understanding of an HP. Much less to an arbitrary God who doesn’t even care whether I live or die.

I appreciate the Action for Today from today’s reading: “Today, I’ll admit my needs by praying for help from my Higher Power.” So be it. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 16 reading.

Duty? Self-Discipline? Learn to Do the Next Right Thing

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, November 14, 2015

next right thing sunset

Duty? Self-Discipline? Learn to Do the Next Right Thing

Today’s reading opens with a quote from one of my favorite authors: Mark Twain. “Make it a point to do something every day that you don’t want to do.” [1]

Mr. Twain quoted several times about duty and self-discipline. Here is the second half of this particular quote: “this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”

Often, active drunks and druggies are nothing but unreliable. Unpredictable, and irresponsible. However, once the same unreliable people come into contact with a Higher Power, what a change can occur! This change people describe as “doing the next right thing.”

But, how one earth will I know what the “next right thing” is? I’m glad you asked.

Here’s a quote from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: “In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.” [2]

Duty and self-discipline are still ideas that make many people in recovery hesitate, and even cringe. But if we give it another name? If “duty and self-discipline” get called the “next right thing,” that can make all the difference in the world.

Yes, finding the “next right thing” can be a challenge sometimes, challenging us to keep in touch with God, our Higher Power. “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.” [3]

Duty. Self-discipline. Doing the Next Right Thing. With my Higher Power’s help, I can follow, one day at a time. One Next Right Thing at a time.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 14 reading.

[2] Alcoholics Anonymous (New York City, Alcoholics Anonymous World Service, Inc.: 2001), 86.

[3] Ibid, 83.

In Which I Take Advice. Or Not.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, November 13, 2015

sunset footprints

In Which I Take Advice. Or Not.

This daily meditation and prayer book, Keep It Simple, really hits me between the eyes, sometimes. Like today, for example.

This book is written to help alcoholics and addicts in recovery. Each of the twelve months of the year has a different focus. Since November is the eleventh month, we reflect and meditate on Step Eleven from the Twelve Steps of recovery. (Step Eleven is: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.”)

Back to today’s reading. It is all about learning things the hard way.

I come from a family of extremely stubborn people. I am stubborn. I am married to a stubborn person, and his family is extremely stubborn. I have stubbornness all around me. Yet—this reading lets me know that taking advice is a good thing. Beneficial, positive.

I am also reminded of the recovery definition of insanity: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” Sure, I can be extremely stubborn. I can go my own way, not listening to anyone. Not following anyone’s advice. And, I can lose opportunities. I can lose friends. I can lose work. I can lose all kinds of things and relationships.

But the other side of advice is this: “We don’t have to use [the advice we get.] But if it comes from people who love and understand us, we can try to listen.” [1]

Dear Lord, gracious God, I am trying to listen to You, each and every day. Help me listen. Help me hear clearly. And, help me help others to listen, too.

In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 13 reading.