Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday Morning Fellowship

Just got home from the Sunday Morning meeting of my home group. My friend Merle celebrated 28 years of sobriety. It was a wonderful meeting for me. It is so reassuring to see my old friends. Guys in their 50s who I have known since they were in their late 20s. Makes it feel like I have known them a lot longer than 22 years, but 22 years is a chunk of someone's life. Beyond the gray hair and wrinkles are many lifetimes of experience of people who just keep coming back, doing the next right thing, and no matter what - we don't pick up a drink in between meetings.

This morning before I left for the meeting, I tucked my old engagement ring into the front pocket of my jeans. It is the engagement ring I got when I was 23 and about to marry the father of my children. I loved that ring, but lost the diamond out of it - oh, about 26 years ago. I intended to replace the diamond, but never did. After we were divorced, I intended to get a colored stone in the place of the diamond, but never did. I have been talking to my friend the Jeweller about this since he got sober in 1990. This morning, I actually handed him the ring and asked him what he thought would look nice in it. He thinks a sapphire would be wonderful and I asked him to do it. Sheepishly asking "how much?" He said he would give it to me because he hasn't done anything nice for anyone for a while. Holy cow! How cool is that! I will pick it up on Thursday night after work.

We all went out for breakfast afterwards. I refrained from indulging in my usual - fried bologna, eggs, and green chile. I am sure anyone can imagine why a person would chose not to eat this - it has something to do with gastric distress.

Do I have a point today? Yes, I do. My friend John was talking about when he celebrated 90 days and Merle had told him that he "envied his journey". John could not believe that this guy with 20+ years of sobriety could ENVY someone living at the Salvation Army with only the clothes on his back, etc. But he said today that he understands. How every step of the journey is beautiful and memorable and wonderful. And such a huge part of the beauty is the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I know we are pains in the ass much of the time, but we have the most incredible quality of fellowship.

"For, to these people, I am truly related. First, through mutual pain and despair, and later through mutual objectives and new-found faith and hope. And, as the years go by, working together, sharing our experiences with one another, and also sharing a mutual trust, understanding and love-without strings, without obligation-we acquire relationships that are unique and priceless." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 312"


Sober Chick said...

"we don't pick up a drink in between meetings."

Meanwhile we live in between meetings applying what we learn in the rooms of AA. What beauty.

How powerful to see the every ounce of joy in all parts of sobriety, from the beginning stages to the the middle and so forth. This just shows how important everyone is walking in this path, we all help one another whether coming back, having 1 day, 90 days, 21 years and thensome! Such gratitude you have, thank you for being a part of my gratitude.

Big Hugs MC!

Anonymous said...

AA is religious,but its not christian.

There is an increasing number of churches embracing this cult with the belief that it has christian roots-its roots are deeply embeded in the occult. I dont know how many people I have heard say,they have stoped drinking and that all that it really.?? If someone involved in the occult stopped drinking as a result of their paganism....does that make it okay.NO. The truth of the matter is AA doctrines do not line up with scripture. AA encourages the follower to be completely self absorbed,only giving of themselves when recruting new members. In the big book,the section devoted to the wives...which was a joke unto itself .I shook my head in disbelief at the caca being shoveled.The alcoholic is told that they may have to go so far as to sacrifice their own family to follow AA doctrine. Family members are encouraged to join ALANON if they refuse they are treated as outsiders who are not supporting the alcoholic and his life long recovery,which again is not biblical.AA is not family friendly if you too do not join the cult. After all the family of an alcoholic must also be sick and diseased as well.GAG!For a christian to attend AA it is spiritual compromise at its finest.When one filters through the God bashing on the"orange papers" site one has an awakening alright,its like shining a light on cockroaches.You see AA for the cult it is.

AA ~ The Broad Road of AA
"To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive, or forbidding...." Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 46.

Bible ~ The Narrow Road of Christ
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt 7:13-14).

AA ~ Contempt for Sound Doctrine
"Any number of alcoholics are bedeviled by the dire conviction that if they ever go near AA, they will be pressured to conform to some brand of faith or theology." As Bill Sees It, p. 201.So alcoholics are encouraged to pick a deity of their choice.

Bible ~ Sound Doctrine
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…" (2 Tim 4:3-4).

AA ~ "God-as-you-understand-Him": Any Name "We suggest that you find a substitute for this destructive power, alcohol, and turn to a Higher Power, regardless of the name by which you may identify that power. We suggest that you turn your will and your life over to God, as you understand Him."

Bible ~ Jesus Christ: No Other Name
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

AA ~ Powerlessness
"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable" (Step 1).

Bible ~ Power in Christ
No believer can claim to be powerless: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philip 4:13).

AA ~ Spiritual Awakening
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps…" (Step 12).

Bible ~ Spiritually Dead in Sin
Man is spiritually dead, not asleep. He needs resurrection, not awakening. "Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us [made us alive] together with Christ" (Eph 2:5).

AA ~ The "Big Book": AA’s "Bible"
Portions of the "Big Book," Alcoholics Anonymous, are read "religiously" at every AA meeting, much like Scripture readings at Christian worship services.

Bible ~ Sufficient for Life & Godliness
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3).

AA ~ Leadership: "Trusted Servants"
"Our leaders are but trusted servants. They do not govern" (Tradition 2).
Bible ~ Leadership: Elders
AA’s leaders and individual sponsors usurp the role God has ordained for church elders to shepherd and "feed the flock of God which is among you" (1 Peter 5:2).

AA ~ The "Moral Inventory"
Step 4 requires a "searching and fearless moral inventory," essentially a detailed catalogue of past sins to be "confessed" to some other person to whom such confession is not biblically due.

Jesus Christ, is the Only Mediator, High Priest & Head of the Church. The interjection of anyone else between God & man has no biblical basis; and, it implies that Jesus is not fully capable of being the mediator, high priest, & head of His church.

Hebrews 4: 12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Funny there is no mention of giving account to a sponsor.Only to God.

Bible ~ No Condemnation
As Christians, our sins are fully covered by the blood of Christ. We confess our sins, as appropriate, to God and to those actually sinned against. New believers are nowhere in Scripture required to make a detailed list of all past sins. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1)
AA ~ "Birthdays"
AA members celebrate annual "birthdays" based on the date of their last drink. They practice a "secular regeneration."

Bible ~ Regeneration by the Holy Spirit
Christians celebrate their new birth in Christ.

AA ~ The Goal: Sobriety
The goal of AA is abstinence from alcoholic beverages (sobriety). Other sins, such as sexual immorality, are commonly tolerated so long as the AA member isn’t drinking.

Bible ~ The Goal: Sanctification
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Rom 8:29).

AA ~ Fellowship/Unity: A Common Sin

AA’s fellowship is built around the common sin of drunkenness. "Personal recovery depends upon AA unity" (Tradition 1).

Bible ~ Fellowship/Unity: A Common Salvation "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Eph 4:4-6).

AA ~ Carrying "the Message"
"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" (Step 12).

Bible ~ Christian Evangelism
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt 28:19-20).

AA ~ Incurable Disease

AA’s literature is permeated with the dogma, taught faithfully to newcomers, that "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic." There is no "cure" offered, only continual abstinence from all alcoholic beverages.
This is not the character of God.Gods plan for everyone is to be made whole.

Forgiven Sin
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:9-11).

John 8: 12When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Not obligated to spending the rest of your natural life attending meetings.

Are you delivered or arent you.

Psalms 103:
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Many pastors and Christian leaders have bought into the idea that these originated from a Christian foundation. That shows how broad the term Christian has become­-so broad as to include any deity "as you understand" him, her, or it and so wide as to include the occult, as well as the mentality of psychotherapeutic theories. In other words, most twelve-step programs are mixtures, rather than the pure doctrine and practice of Scripture.

Anonymous said...

oh what a nice post.
Your ring is going to be extra special now!

Thanks for sharing~

dAAve said...

I won't waste my time even starting to read the gibberish that anonymous wrote above here.

That breakfast sounds pretty good.

Sober @ Sundown said...

On a lighter note, just wanted to share this quote by Evan Esar.

"Statistician: A man who believes figures don't lie, but admits that under analysis some of them won't stand up either."

Trudging said...

What a wonderful gift long-term sobriety is! But, fried bologna?

Gwen said...

Wow, what a great post. Free jewelry and deep wisdom all rolled up into one ;)


Gwen said...

PS ~ I got the same AA is religious but its not christian post the other day ;)