Archive for July, 2013

31
Jul
13

To Speak or Not to Speak

In our recovery fellowships we told how important it is to develop a relationship with a Higher Power and then we are told not to mention His name. In some circles you’re not even supposed to use the word “God”.

Though this can be a source of frustration for many let me reassure you that though we should use wisdom and understanding when sharing about our relationship with our Higher Power in meetings, we should never the less be very open and honest about such issues.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells us that we should never apologize for our belief in our God or back down from our convictions.
When we hide behind the “Don’t Offend” rule we cheat others out of our experience, strength and hope. We become part of the problem and not the solution.

I share freely and openly about who my God is. His title is God. His name is Jesus. Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob and the co-founders of A.A. did also without apology. The success rate in A.A. was in the high 90% before we turned God into a generic term. Today’s decline in success rates are cause by several different issues but I have to wonder if turning God into a tree stump, light bulb or even our own intellect doesn’t have something to do with today’s less than 3% recovery rate in Alcoholics Anonymous.
All one has to do is take a look into where our country is headed to realize what happens when people take the God who is God out of the picture.

So yes, we use wisdom to guide our words. We ask God before every meeting to bridle our tongue so as not to shoot ourselves in the foot but we do not cower back from expressing what worked for us in regards to our God. If we do we are practicing yet another half measure. And we all know where half measures got us.

Serenity for You!

~The Monty’man

30
Jul
13

The Alcohol Was Never the Problem

My problem was never the alcohol or the narcotics. My problem was my separation from God and my inability to live amongst my fellow man with some kind of maturity. When God drew me into His love and I surrendered I began to form healthy relationships. Removing the booze and the dope was easy. Learning to live life on God’s terms was the key. The problem was never the substance. It was the lack of substance.

30
Jul
13

The Attitude of 12 Step Uniqueness and Exclusion

Today as I think back over my week I can’t help but be filled with gratitude.
Many years ago I attended San Jose Bible College, now William Jessup University in Sacramento, CA.
While attending this wonderful college I met a young man who has grown to be one of my closest and dearest friends. His name is Brent Cook.
Brent and I have known each other for over 37 years and in all that time he has never judged me, raised a harsh word against me or belittled me in any manner. In fact he has always encouraged me to be my very best and to live for God in an unselfish and humble manner.

Brent has seen me at my best and at my worst. And though he may not know it now, Brent has helped to save my life by turning me on to the Paleo solution. A way of living and eating that is changing my life in ways you can’t imagine. In just a few short days I am feeling better physically than I have in years. Though I am in incredible pain with back and knees issues, I have energy I thought I had lost forever. The back and knees will work themselves out in time.

Brent has traveled with me on several occasions to help assist me with my 12 Step radio broadcast when covering different recovery events, conferences and clean and sober concerts. We have been to the East Coast on several occasions and if it were not for my friend I would not have been able to make the journey.

I tell you this about Brent because I want to address an issue that is common in many recovery circles. This is what I call “The Attitude of 12 Step Uniqueness and Exclusion”.

Perhaps you have heard or seen it in action under another name. It often shows up in statements by 12 Steppers that sound something like this.

“I don’t have any friends other than those in my 12 Step fellowship”. Or ”I only associate with people in recovery”.

Here’s is one of my favorites. “Normies don’t understand me so I stay away from them”.

Funny isn’t it. If we were to isolate ourselves from the so called Normies, we would have to lock ourselves in our bedrooms and never come out again. As my good friend and recovery comedian Mark Lundholm says, “Normies make up most of the population”.

How sad to work so diligently towards a state of being recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body, to work tirelessly on the 12 Step process and to go through all one must go through to become a productive member of society just to retreat into a life only surrounded by 12 Steppers.

So where does my friend Brent Cook come into all of this?
Brent is what many would consider a “Normie”.
Brent is not powerless over alcohol, narcotics or any substance that I know of. He is an incredible successful business man with a heart for people and a plan for each day he lives.
His children are an incredible example of how he has lived his life and though Brent is not perfect his life is in many ways what most of us are trying to accomplish.

Brent has been an example of integrity, honor and steadfastness in my life. There is so much about him I admire.

Knowing this, why in the world would I not want to be associated with him?
So he’s a Normie? Who isn’t? You and I are Normies in some area of our lives.

I have friends who are in recovery from cancer. I am not. I am a Normie in that arena. Do they shun me because I cannot identify with their pain? Of course not.

I have friends who live with heart disease. I do not. I am a Normie in that arena as well and yet we are good friends.

What is it about us 12 Steppers that makes us think we are so unique from everyone else?
Out of one side of our neck we say we are not to consider ourselves unique; then out of the other side of our neck we treat the people we consider Normies like they are less than because they don’t understand us. What a bunch of self-righteous, self-centered, bologna.

So here is my encouragement to those of you who refuse to associate with people outside of your recovery circles. Stop being a monkeys butt. Start to enjoy what others outside your blessed circle of 12 Steppers have to offer. “

There are so many people and so many variations on a theme in the life of our fellow man. Don’t miss out on the beauty that is God’s creation just because they don’t fit into your little 12 Step box. To do so is only to cheat yourself out of live. Most of us have done enough of that already.

So today I give a hardy thank you to my God and my creator for allowing me the privilege to be a part of my Normie friend’s life. A life I am learning much from as I walk these 12 Steps every day.

As far as the Attitude of 12 Step Uniqueness and Exclusion goes, I simple don’t have the time nor the energy to hide from the rest of the world. I hope you don’t either.

07
Jul
13

When You Have to Walk Away

Today our family had to make one of the most painful decisions of our lives.

We had to separate ourselves from association with a body of people we have trusted with our lives for over 18 years.

Sometimes people make choices that are destructive to themselves and to others. Sometimes for the sake of our own spiritual safety we have to separate ourselves from those people. When this happens it can be extremely painful. Many times these folks have been through Hell and back with us in our recovery. Some of them may even be as close as family or closer. 

We watch as they knowingly or unknowingly drag others down into a pit of deception. Hopefully we can warn a few people and help them to avoid a very messy situation. Unfortunately many times those we love have been so deceived that they actually believe deep within their hearts that the poison they are drinking is bringing them closer to enlightenment. 

So we are careful not to cosign their behavior but also not to stop showing the love of God to them. We must hold them up in prayer and be willing to receive them into our arms without expectations. We must do so if we want others to receive us if and when we are pulled away from the truth, make mistakes and really blow it.

Compassion for the hurting is the key. Never mind how and why they fell down. Just be willing to help them back up when they are spiritually bleeding to death. Help them to heal and then, when their heads are once again clear help them work on reestablishing their healthy lifestyle.

I love what a specific Narcotics Anonymous T-Shirt said.

“We will gladly walk through Hell with you, but we will not walk through Hell for you.” 

Monty’ man’s Meditorial July 6, 2013

07
Jul
13

Keep Them In Your Heart!

“Finding out that the people you have trusted with your life are now walking down a destructive path in their own doesn’t mean you have to walk down that path with them. It also doesn’t mean you stop loving and praying for them. They may turn their back on you but you can be the bigger person and keep them in your heart.”
~Monty’man’s Meditorial




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