Tag Archives: Keep It Simple

Following Our Higher Power’s Voice

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, November 28, 2015

Higher Power - coin

Following Our Higher Power’s Voice

“Happiness is not an accident. It comes from following the spiritual voice found in each of us. This isn’t always easy.” [1]

Many people familiar with the Twelve Steps and the practices of Recovery know about “Do the Next Right Thing.” When clean and sober people are not exactly sure of what to do, this slogan serves as a help and assistance.

I can do that one better. My friend Bill (now, sadly, in that Big Meeting in the sky) had something he would regularly say. “Do the Next Loving Thing.” This always made a great deal of sense to me. God as I understand God (that is, the Christian understanding) had quite a bit to say about loving others.

In fact, God mentions in the Bible that the most important command given in all of the Biblical Law Code is a two-part law: love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Loving in the vertical plane, and loving in the horizontal plane, too.

So, following the spiritual voice, following God as I understand God, is staying in ‘conscious contact’ with God. Following Step Eleven, too.

Today is the last day that I will be considering our daily meditation book, Keep It Simple. Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent in the Liturgical Year. I’ll be switching gears, and taking a look at what Father Henri Nouwen has to say about our Advent and Christmas journey through the month of December. Oh, and the last two days of November, too.

But for now, I am still listening and meditating on Keep It Simple. I will close with the Action for the Day: “Today, I’ll meditate and listen to my Higher Power’s gentle voice.” [2]

Dear God, help me do the Next Loving Thing. So help me, God.

@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 29 reading.

[2] Ibid.

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.

Thank God for Freedom

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, November 24, 2015

gift - greatest gift is recovery

Thank God for Freedom

I thank God for freedom. Freedom from unmanageability. Freedom from negativity. Freedom from stress, drama and trauma.ne

I thank God for the freedom to be truly me. Freedom to experience hope, healing and gratitude.

Many addicts and alcoholics in recovery have been given a new life. A new chance, a new opportunity to live life to the full. The Higher Power helps those in recovery gain a spiritual perspective on living. God as I understand God helps me realize that each new day is a gift from that same God.

How do I know what to do, spiritually speaking as well as in real life? How do I receive these good gifts? I know! I could try one day at a time. That works for good things as well as for those not-so-good things. As the meditation for today from Keep It Simple mentions, “each day we keep learning, we keep growing.” [1]

Here is another quote from the Prayer for the Day: “Higher Power, You set me free. Now teach me to stay free. Guide me, for keeping my freedom is a big task.” [2]

Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@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 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 24 reading.

[2] Ibid.

Listening to My Higher Power

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 23, 2015

prayer to God as I understand God

Listening to My Higher Power

I used to be a people-pleaser. I would do my best to be everything or make myself into whatever people wanted or needed. I would run, do, speak, or not speak. Almost always at half my acquaintances’ beck and call. When I was a teen and in my twenties and thirties, my poor sense of self-esteem kept me going overtime. (And then some.)

I gradually learned how to navigate my way through the awkward conversations, extra-long telephone calls, home visits and play dates. (Fearful of running afoul of the modern-day Pharisees, though.)

As my reading today from Keep It Simple tells me, trying to be a people-pleaser will get me exactly nowhere. Nowhere except hurt or angry, and feeling taken advantage of.

How on earth am I to stay centered and focused? Ah, ha! My reading gives me two good ways: by listening to my internal voice (“To Thine Own Self Be True”), and listening for my Higher Power’s voice. I do have wisdom inside of me. I have dreams and aspirations. I am worthwhile. What’s more, I also have God as I understand God. My Higher Power has my back. My Higher Power will never leave me nor forsake me.

So, I thank God that I no longer am a people-pleaser. (Well, hardly ever, that is.)

Let’s pray, using the prayer for today from the reading. “I pray that I’ll listen to that gentle, loving voice inside me. Higher Power, help me make my ‘conscious contact’ with You better.” [1]

@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 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 23 reading.

Help Me Build a New Way of Life, God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, November 19, 2015

cleaning up the past

Help Me Build a New Way of Life, God

“Just as it takes time to build a home, it takes time to build a new way of life.” [1]

Ah. So right. I need to slow down for all sorts of things. Just as I slow down when I build anything, large or small, or be careful when I play a musical instrument or drive a car. Or, just as I consider the honestly, all-important topic for me to be open and aware. Especially when considering anything as important as building a new way of life.

The above words from the daily meditation book Keep It Simple ring true.

Yes, encouraging others to be free from drugs and alcohol is a wonderful step. A huge step. I want to give each person who is staying clean and sober, one day at a time, a huge compliment. And now, after each one strives to remain clean and sober, we move on to the next step. Building a new way of life.

Can I do this, one day at a time? With God’s help. Can I encourage people, one day at a time, to seek a more spiritual way of life? Think about it.

Here is the Action for the Day: “I’ll take time to think over where I’m at … I’ll talk about it with a friend.” (Great words to consider, for any age!)

@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 19 reading.

Help Me to Have Fun, Lord!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 18, 2015

FUN at least one of them is having fun

Help Me to Have Fun, Lord!

Have you ever met someone who was boring? Dull? I mean, no fun at all? I have, and I did not want to spend much time with this person. It was a few years ago, but I felt sorry for the person. Sad. Terribly sad.

What about when people enter a sober life? When they are choosing not to get drunk, or choosing not to take drugs?

Some people think it is fun, even glamorous, to drink and drug. It isn’t. Using substances is often a necessity, especially for addicts and alcoholics who are established in their using and drinking behavior.

I hope to encourage people to find their own Higher Power, and to contact the curtain that separates people who drink and use from the people who do not use, either.

What can we do to replace the idea of “fun?” I mean, a completely different kind of fun?

As our daily reading book Keep It Simple says, “… live it up! Try new things. Meet new friends. Try new foods. Taking risks and having adventures are a basic human need. So go for it! Sobriety is fun!” [1]

Dear Lord, gracious God, teach us all to play. Teach us all great ways to stay safe, too. All that is human, that is.

Lord, in Your mercy and grace, hear our prayers.

@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 18 reading.

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.