Archive for November, 2013

16
Nov
13

I Need Your Peace

As the holidays are nearly here I have been thinking allot about our families inability to enjoy the festivities being broke as church mice. I find myself worrying about not being able to purchase material goodies for my children and my wife. Sound familiar?

If we could be a fly on the wall in many homes today I believe we would find people that have little to nothing in the way of finances to afford them the opportunity to give at least once a year something regardless how small to the ones they love.

Most people won’t share their needs for fear of judgment or pride, and that just doesn’t seem right to me. Why can’t we be open and transparent when we are hurting financially, so much so that some can’t even pay the most basic of living expenses? Why when others ask us how we’re doing do we so often times respond by saying I’m doing great, or just fine thank you. When all the while we go to bed in tears wondering where our next meal is coming from.

I’m addressing this issue this week because I know how difficult it is to ask for help. I have experienced the self-revealing pain of transparency more times than I care to admit. So I’m not speaking to those who have much, instead I am speaking to those of you who have little and are for whatever reason your living in the fear of asking for help.

Perhaps you have asked for help and have been judged or criticized, or even had people turn their backs on you. Perhaps you feel like every time you turn around your in that financial pickle once again and you think people are going to say under their breath, Her comes the smith family again, They never seem to be able to get it together.

If this is you, I would like to offer up a suggestion. I know someone who will never turn His back on you. He will never condemn you for your lack of money or refuse His helping hand when you’re in need.
He’s your Heavenly Father and He knows how hard you struggle. He sees your need and he feels your pain. He wants to bless you with His serenity regardless of your financial position.

I know what some of you are saying right now. “Monty I have been praying for years for things to turn around for our family and God just doesn’t seem to be there”

Well, I have felt that way many times myself and I’m not sure why He works the way his does but what I do know is that He will never leave you or forsake you.

I’m not going to suggest that if you tithe 10% of your income God will bless you financially. I’m not even going to suggest that God will solve your financial issues if you just believe or pray harder, but what I am going to proclaim is that if you will draw near to Him He will walk with you through anything. He will be there when you can’t even afford to buy your child a new tooth brush.

He is the one person that you never have to hold back when it comes to being honest about your struggle. And though you may never see your financial needs met to the degree that you would like, your spiritual needs don’t have to go unnourished. God will fill you to overflowing with his peace in the midst of the storm. I know, I experience it every day. It’s something you don’t want to miss. Because my friend, the storm is always going to be around us. We need shelter from the storm and that can only be found in the arms of a power greater than ourselves.

08
Nov
13

Recovered or Recovering?

I have been asked on several occasions if I believe myself to be a recovering alcoholic or a recovered alcoholic.
Before I explain my personal position on this issue let me just say that I believe that there are simply way to many people getting upset over semantics these days. Many times we are on the same page but because of our tendency to want everyone to think, say, look and act as we do, we spend way to much time arguing about what many times is simply semantics. In my opinion what you refer to yourself as weather it be recovery or recovered I just hope your staying sober, growing in your daily walk and are enjoying your relationship with your creator as much as I am.

Having said that, personally, I like to go by what the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous teaches. The literature is very clear on this issue. The following statement is from anonpress.org and reflects my personal view on the matter.

AA, as a fellowship, is seemingly of two minds on this issue.
Many hold the view that we are never recovered – that we only have a “daily reprieve.” From page 85:
It states: We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
Meanwhile the subtitle of the Big Book uses “recovered” – the full title of the Big Book is: Alcoholics Anonymous The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism
Other quotes from the book in the “Recovered” vein include:
Page 17: Nearly all have recovered.
Page 20: …we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body.
Page 29: Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered.
Page 90: If he says yes, then his attention should be drawn to you as a person who has recovered.
Page 113: He knows that thousands of men, much like himself, have recovered.
Page 132: We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.
Page 133: We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health.
Whether or not “recovered” is an apt description of our sober condition is a debate as old as AA itself.

Well, there it is in black and white.
And one can certainly disagree with what the Big Book states, but we would be hard pressed to say that the literature teaches we are always recovering.

I look at it this way. If I am allergic to strawberries and eat the strawberries I will break out in an annoying rash. But once I have removed the strawberries from my diet and the rash is gone, I have recovered from my illness.

Of course one could argue that alcoholism is much more than just drinking and to discontinue the drinking doesn’t mean you have recovered, and I would have to agree, but for me I refer to myself as a recovered alcoholic because I have not only removed the substance I am allergic to from my body but I have had a spiritual awakening as a result of applying and implementing the spiritual principles found in the 12 steps into my daily life. I have turned my will and my life over to the care of a power that does for me what I cannot do for myself. And in doing that I have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

So however you refer to yourself as, remember the slogan “To thin own self be true”
For me to spend time debating the issue of recovered or recovering would be for me to be majoring on the minors. Personally I have better things to do with my life today. I hope you do too.

Oh and by the way, though I recovered from the rash brought on by my allergic reaction to strawberries, I’m still allergic to strawberries. Recovered and cured are two very different things.

Until next time this is the Monty’man wishing God’s perfect Serenity for You!

03
Nov
13

People From My Past

When I think of all the people that must have been affected by all my years of carousing, and carrying on, I realize that I can’t count that high. The numbers are staggering.
I started abusing alcohol back in Jr High and I just turned 58 on October first of this year. I haven’t had a drink for over 16 years but that still leaves a great deal of time I was under the influence of John Barleycorn.

So what do I do with these memories? I have gone through the 12 Step process several times, did my very best to make the appropriate amends to the people I had harmed and have had a spiritual awakening as a result of applying and implementing all 12 Steps, but sometimes I still find myself reflecting on folks from my past.

I wonder, are they ok, are they happy, do they have families, are they even alive.
Yes some of these folks were passing acquaintances but many were close family and friends.

There was a time in my life when I considered this a form of morbid reflection, but lately I have come to realize that the memories of those I have come in contact with over the years can be an incredible scrap book of the mind and soul.

We can choose to look back with regret or we can ponder the times we spent with others both good and bad and smile as we realize, these people are a part of us, they help to make up who we are today.

Because I am an extremely nostalgic person I think of my past relationships often, and today I can reflect with gratitude for the powerful part so many have played in my life.
Today I can say “Thank you” to each and every one of them.

So to those of my past I pray God’s grace and provision over your lives. For those currently in my life, thank you for putting up with me, and for those I have yet to meet, look out; I just may become part of who you become.

Until my next Meditorial, this is the Monty’man wishing God’s perfect serenity for you.




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