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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Worth the Climb

Each day is a day of progress, steady progress forward, if you make it so. You may not see it, but God does. God does not judge by outward appearance. He judges by the heart. Let Him see in your heart a simple desire always to do His will. Though you may feel that your work has been spoiled or tarnished, God sees it as an offering for Him. When climbing a steep hill, a person is often more conscious of the weakness of his stumbling feet than of the view, the grandeur, or even of the upward progress.

Had a decent day at work. Been spending some good quality time with someone very special lately.

My bro and I used to climb Stone Mt. in Georgia almost every day. It was so steep in the last stretch that all I could do was watch the next step in front of me, gasp for air, and wonder if I was going to make it to the top. Once up, it was an effort to even breathe. After sitting for a couple of minutes, I looked around and enjoyed the view. This really was worth the work.

When treading a challenging path, I like to be mindful of the next step in front of me. I also like to enjoy the process of getting to the top of that mountain.

Goodnight, peeps!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Love and Showing It

Before I met A.A., I was very unloving. From the time I went away to school, I paid very little attention to my mother and father. I was on my own and didn't even bother to keep in touch with them. After I got married, I was very unappreciative of my spouse. Many a time I would go out all by myself to have a good time. I paid too little attention to our children and didn't try to understand them or show them affection. My few friends were only drinking companions, not real friends. Have I gotten over loving nobody but myself?

This describes how I was most of the time. Did I only love myself? Of course not. I had a real problem showing it to others, though. I was unnappreciative... I was distant... defensive... arrogant. I spent much more of my time looking out for me and my instant gratification than building relationships and taking care of my loved ones.

Did I really love others? Of course I did... and do. I prefer to think that I wasn't some kind of monster before AA. I did, however, need alot of help learning to let go of myself and actually show some love.

Got a late night at work so I thought I'd go ahead and write early. Hope you're having a wonderful day!

Business and Acceptance

I really enjoyed my homegroup's business meeting this evening. Folks are getting to know me better, I'm getting more comfortable, and getting more active.

After that we had our regular meeting. The moderator's topic was acceptance. I shared that acceptance for me was realizing things like I can never drink again, that I'm an alcoholic, knowing I'd have to make some serious life changes... and being ok with all of that. The very first of the 12 steps is all about acceptance. Accepting and admitting the fact that we're powerless.

It's been a lovely, full day and I'm grateful. Here's today's meditation.

Be calm, be true, be quiet. Do not get emotionally upset by anything that happens around you. Feel a deep, inner security in the goodness and purpose in the universe. Be true to your highest ideals. Do not let yourself slip back into the old ways of reacting. Stick to your spiritual guns. Be calm always. Do not talk back or defend yourself too much against accusation, whether false or true. Accept abuse as well as you accept praise. Only God can judge the real you.

Words to live by! I absolutely love it. Have a great night and God Bless!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

As Good as the Next Person

Before I met A.A., I was very dishonest. I lied to my spouse constantly about where I had been and what I'd been doing. I took time off from my work and pretended I'd been sick or gave some other dishonest excuse. I was dishonest with myself, as well as with other people. I would never face myself as I really was or admit when I was wrong. I pretended to myself that I was as good as the next person, although I suspected I wasn't. Am I now really honest?

I totally agree with everything that I read in today's thought... Except for one item.

I had myself fooled into thinking that I was as good as the next person? Sure. I did some really crappy things to a lot of people. Folks who by no means deserved that behavior. Was I a bad human being? No.

Even in the height of my addiction, I'd still have given another the shirt off my back. I was never some evil kind of monster...

I was very selfish in my actions. I didn't give a lot of thought to consequences. And yes... I called in to work often. Those behaviors began to away when I first started my steps and reconnected with God.

I'm very grateful! Have a good night...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


One of my favorite vids from one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite groups of all time.


...Back when they were beautiful. Without all the botox and plastic surgery. Perhaps The B-52's and I are getting old together. Athens, GA peeps will know what I'm talkin' about when I say that I hope REM didn't go the same way...

Still love ya Fred, Kate, Cindy, Keith... and of course Ricky. You guys rock the casbah!

Pain Removes the Veil

Thought I'd write a bit about what I heard in the Cornerstone sermon last night. At the very hub of the message, I was reminded of a lot about myself.

How I never grew up from the "Look at me!" mentality that is perfectly reasonable for a kid, but not for an adult.

How, for all of my life, I lived on the idea that this was my world. you just live in it.

And most importantly, in my addiction, how I never dropped the self-will that kept me in the same painful cycle. The sermon's title is My Glory to His Glory. That means something. I'm not god anymore. I turn all of the insanity and pride over to my Higher Power. I recognize that it's not about what people can do for me... It's about what I can do for people in his name.

Ego builds a cardboard fortress that humility must everyday tear down.

Very telling about how fragile even the largest egos are. That was a quote that Rusty found. Another was from CS Lewis... "Pain removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul."

For those who didn't catch the YouTube link last night, here's a link to the audio sermon...

Hope the day is going great for you! May post something fun a bit later....

Monday, March 26, 2012

All Things New, Pt. 5: My Glory to His Glory (Cornerstone Sermon Podcast 03-25-12)

In the process of listening to the latest sermon from my favorite church. Thought I'd go ahead and post the link. :)

It's been a very busy day. Going to have to go to bed early. I hope everyone has a great night and God Bless! Here's the daily thought from Hazelden...

Strength comes also from working with other alcoholics. When you are trying to help a new prospect with the program, you are building up your own strength at the same time. You see the other person in the condition you might be in yourself and it makes your resolve to stay sober stronger than ever. Often, you help yourself more than the other person, but if you do succeed in helping the prospect to get sober, you are stronger from the experience of having helped another person. Am I receiving strength from working with others?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Prayers for the Family

It's been a very long weekend for our family. My Uncle Donald passed away this morning at about 3:45.

Prayers go out to my family back in Alabama. I'm very grateful that I got to see him one more time at the reunion last year. Paul and Ada raised some wonderful kids... And their kids raised some wonderful kids.

Prayers go out to Uncle Ronnie too. He's in the hospital after what I can only imagine was a pretty traumatizing ordeal.

Have a good night and a blessed day.

Your Higher Power and A Prayer for the Dying

Strength comes from coming to believe in a Higher Power that can help you. You can't define this Higher Power, but you can see how it helps other alcoholics. You hear them talk about it and you begin to get the idea yourself. You try praying in a quiet time each morning and you begin to feel stronger, as though your prayers were heard. So you gradually come to believe there must be a Power in the world outside yourself, which is stronger than you and to which you can turn for help. Am I receiving strength from my faith in a Higher Power?

I was having an interesting conversation earlier. It became a debate. Pride told this person that he could define God. I maintained my position that God was indefinable. That great of a cosmic presence is well beyond our human comprehension. But He's there. Of that I have no doubt.

I pray and have immovable faith that my Higher Power has got my back. I see his work everyday in my life.

On a separate note (possibly very relevant), I have two uncles in distress. One is going to join my grandparents... most likely within the next 24 hours. The other is going to experience a very serious life change soon. It's been a long day, and I'm very tired.

Time for bed. Pray for those people who are lying in a hospital. Pray for the people who really know that they may not be here tomorrow.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Confession Through Sharing

Strength comes from honestly telling your own experiences with drinking. In religion, they call it confession. We call it witnessing or sharing. You give a personal witness, you share your past experiences, the troubles you got into, the hospitals, the jails, the break up of your home, the money wasted, the debts, and all the foolish things you did when you were drinking. This personal witness lets out the things you had kept hidden, brings them out into the open, and you find release and strength. Am I receiving strength from my personal witnessing?

That's why I share at every meeting that I can. Even if I'm telling the same story over again, it helps me. That is one of the reasons they call it a selfish program.

I was talking to someone earlier about the 5th Step. That's when you tell your life story to a second party. It could be God, it could be a priest, or it could be your sponsor. Heck. It could be a stranger on the street. I chose my sponsor... and for good reason. God already knows my life story. Your sponsor is someone that your Higher Power put here to guide you. The more they know about you (and your skeletons) the better. The more effectively they can serve you.

After the steps, sponsorship is a vital service to newcomers. That's why I don't take it lightly. That's why I didn't stampede right into sponsorship when I finished those steps. People's lives are at stake.

Well. It's very late, and I need to go to bed. Have a great night and keep the faith!

Friday, March 23, 2012

These Hallowed Halls

Strength comes from the fellowship you find when you come into A.A. Just being with men and women who have found the way out gives you a feeling of security. You listen to the speakers, you talk with other members, and you absorb the atmosphere of confidence and hope that you find in the place. Am I receiving strength from the fellowship with other A.A. members?

I find the most wonderful fellowship in the group, but my real church is the world. Just to name some examples... Hatcher Pass is one of the most glorious halls I've ever been in. The streets of Masan, South Korea have brought me some of the most fulfilling fellowship.

God gave us a great big planet. His glory isn't just found in a chapel. It's literally everywhere. You just have to occasionally look up and say thanks. Especially when you find some little thing that inspires your soul.

Sitting on a porch tonight, watching the rain come down, and talking with my friends inspired me beyond words. Don't waste your life looking for beauty. It will find you. If you open your heart. Trust me. ;)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What I Do Today

In A.A. we forget about the future. We know from experience that as time goes on, the future takes care of itself. Everything works out well, as long as we stay sober. All we need to think about is today. When we get up in the morning and see the sun shining in the window, we thank God that He has given us another day to enjoy because we're sober, a day in which we may have a chance to help somebody. Do I know that this day is all I have and that with God's help I can stay sober today?

Some may think it a bit irresponsible to not worry about the future. That the future will take care of itself. The operative word here, however, is worry. I have plenty of goals that I hope to see come to fruition. Some are for today... Some may be a little down the road. I just know that I can't stress out about something that hasn't happened yet. Whatever the future holds, the things I do now will ensure that it's great. All insecurity and worry will do is slow me down. Perhaps even bring some old behaviors back to the surface.

It's only natural to experience anxiety in the face of the unknown, but there are healthy ways of dealing with it. Through God and working the steps I have learned how to better let go of tomorrow and concentrate on shaping it by what I do today.

And today was a good day. Work went well. Had a couple of thunderstorms blow through. I like thunderstorms. The boss bought the staff Popeye's chicken, which one day I will learn may only be a good idea while you're eating it. Still appreciated it, though. Good stuff, just very greasy.

Anyhow. Early day tomorrow so I'll be going to bed soon.

Have a great night, world!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

All Things New, Pt. 4: Temporal to Eternal (Cornerstone Sermon Podcast 03-18-12)

Just passing through. Quite a bit on the agenda for today, but I did take some time to listen to the latest sermon from one of my favorite churches.

Josh Agerton delivered a wonderful message. Folks who know me well will know why the title caught my attention...

Hope you are having a great day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Dangers of Social Networking

God's spirit is all about you all day long. You have no thoughts, no plans, no impulses and no emotions that He does not know about. You can hide nothing from Him. Do not make your conduct conform only to that of the world and do not depend on the approval or disapproval of others. God sees in secret, but He rewards openly. If you are in harmony with the Divine Spirit, doing your best to live the way you believe God wants you to live, you will be at peace.

This thought sort of addresses something I posted late last night. I was feeling angry and perhaps bitter about some of the profiles I saw by "friends" on Facebook. That's the danger of social networking. It's so easy to take things personally. It can rob you of your serenity.

Sure. Not many of these NOLA people are real friends. I can't blame them for living their lives though. Even if it's without me. I can always meet new, more emotionally well-adjusted folks. Hell. I already have.

I took that post down because I don't want to express myself through anger.

On a positive note... I got to talk to one of my mentors in recovery today. I'll see ya in June, JW!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

6 Months Old

Wow. Doesn't feel like it's been that long. How did I do it? Well... The thought for the day just about sums it up.

When we alcoholics first come into A.A. and we face the fact that we must spend the rest of our life without liquor, it often seems like an impossibility to us. So A.A. tells us to forget about the future and take it one day at a time. All we really have is now. We have no past time and no future time. As the saying goes: "Yesterday is gone, forget it; tomorrow never comes, don't worry; today is here, get busy." All we have is the present. The past is gone forever and the future never comes. When tomorrow gets here, it will be today. Am I living one day at a time?

We can't live our lives stressed about the future or a possible outcome that may never be. We can't live our lives haunted by a past we can't change. We can only learn from it.

I have today. With God's help I know I wont drink. I know that I can maintain my serenity and complete the tasks at hand. I know that I'm a more effective, more productive person.

I've done alot in these 6 months. Made my quality of life much better, did 12 life-changing steps, and have mended some relationships that I had neglected before.

I thank God and the folks who stood behind me for making it possible.

Have a great night, world!

Much love. -Jay

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jay's St. Patrick's Day That Was

It... was... a... never... ending... procession... of drunk people. I didn't find it a threat to my sobriety. Just the opposite. If I acted like some of the people I had to deal with today, I'd be red with shame. I'm not judging folks who drink responsibly and have a good time. It's the hundreds of people who trash the workplace, pee in the alleyway outside, flirt relentlessly, and challenge you when they are told something they don't want to hear. It went on for 8 HOURS STRAIGHT. Dealing with 30 and 40 year olds who act like they are in kindergarten.

Thank God I had someone to talk with that kept me in a decent frame of serenity. That's an awesome thing in recovery when you know that you have someone you can go to. Thanks Teresa and Karl!

It took today for me to further realize that after a certain age it's time to grow up. In my experience, the most successful people are the most boring people. I'd rather be boring with a family than stuck in some kind of sad Peter Pan syndrome.

Some may find me judgmental. Perhaps that's true on some level. I will, however, risk sounding like that by saying that I have a unique perspective on smart and irresponsible drinking.

I don't rant often on these pages. After all. I was one of those drunk people at one point in my life. I'm under no kind of illusion.

On the positive side, today is over for me. I later spent some time with some emotionally healthy people. Had some great food. And now I'm going to watch the rest of SNL.

It could have been a seriously fun day. I took some pics on my phone. Unfortunately I had no one to share the parade with. And I had to work a crappy job.

That's stuff I have within my power to change. Trust me. I will. I'm tired of being the mouse.

Don't worry. I'm feelin' good about things. Good night and God Bless!

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's and Serenity

Man what a long day! And tomorrow is going to be an insane asylum. St. Patrick's Day in New Orleans.... I work right on the parade route too. As I was telling someone earlier, I'll be bringing my Serenity Prayer with me. ;) It'll be stressful, but it will go by quick.

I must have a singleness of purpose to do my part in God's work. I must not let material distractions interfere with my job of improving personal relation ships. It is easy to become distracted by material affairs, so that I lose my singleness of purpose. I do not have time to be concerned about the multifarious concerns of the world. I must concentrate and specialize on what I can do best.

I love the meditation for the day. There was a time when I used material and trivial things as an escape. Those things seriously got in the way of my growth and my relationships. These days if I see something in my life that's holding me back or that I may be getting unhealthily pre-occupied with, I make a conscious effort to either cut back on it or cut it out completely. Facebook is a good example.

Anyways... I have to get some rest. I can feel my eyes getting heavy as I'm writing this.

Have a great night and a blessed tomorrow!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Merry Go-Round

We alcoholics were on a merry go-round, going round and round, and we couldn't get off. That merry go round is a kind of hell on earth. In A.A. I got off that merry go-round by learning to stay sober. I pray to my Higher Power every morning to help me to keep sober. And I get the strength from that Power to do what I could never do with my own strength. I do not doubt the existence of that Power. We're not speaking into a vacuum when we pray. That Power is there, if we will use it. Am I off the merry go round of drinking for good?

There's not much that was "merry" on my alcoholic cycle. Just despair. Even in my sobriety I feel lonely and hopeless sometimes. Perhaps it's because I have so much work ahead of me.

I have, however, made alot of progress. My credit is better than it has ever been. Job longevity is good. The possibilities are opening up. I just have to stay plugged in.

The future is glorious... If I continue to work it.

Goodnight and God bless.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Little Lightheartedness Goes a Long Way

For the nerd in all of us! Enjoy....

And if you ever wanted to see Hugh Grant or Rowan Atkinson do WHO... Here ya go!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Ugly Duckling

"I never dreamed of so much happiness when I was the ugly duckling."
—Hans Christian Andersen

The ugly duckling was not really ugly at all, he was just different. The other ducks teased and pecked and even bit him until the ugly duckling flew away. He wandered around for a year, and was treated as an outcast everywhere. In the spring, he saw a group of swans on a lake, and wanted very much to join them. As he swam out toward them, he was astounded to notice his reflection in the water--he was a swan! The other swans welcomed him warmly, and found him to be beautiful.

Most of us go through times when we feel different from those around us. These are painful and lonely times, but it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with us. Like the ugly duckling, we will come into a time when we will be loved. All the pain and loneliness we have felt will help us fully appreciate the acceptance when we find it.

How can I treasure the ways I am different from others today?

Growing up in Alexander City, Al. I always knew I was different. Different isn't really accepted there. When I was younger, the more different I felt, the more I tried to fit in. There finally came a day when I decided that if I was going to be an outsider... I was really going to be an outsider.

I considered my behavior eccentric. Most considered it erratic. That mode of thinking diminished a bit when I started working for a camp run by Easter Seals. Not only did I work with people from all over the country, but from all over the world. I found that I got on better with people from other states and with the internationals. I'd found some level of acceptance.

So I was happier with my life. Why did I become an alcoholic? Well. The behaviors that I developed over many years had already put me on a straight track for that. Alcoholism would rear its ugly head soon enough.

When my friend Cheese and my brother pulled a U-Haul up into my dad's yard getting ready to move to Atlanta, they asked if I wanted to come with them. That was my "Now or Never" moment. Of course I said, "Hell yeah!"

I got there, found a job, was married not too long after that. Moved to Nashville. Got a divorce. Moved to Anchorage. Found my niche as a true party-boy. Using Alaska as a home base, I traveled quite a bit. Solidified my role as a true addict. Moved to Maui and became a beach bum for about seven months. Fun, but not necessarily proud of it. Then here to New Orleans where I decided I would finally try and settle down. It's been a serious, rough transition, and I failed quite a few times.

I rode alot of coattails to do what I did. But not always. I have, however, taken advantage of A LOT OF PEOPLE in my life for my own selfish pursuits.

So there ya go. I was an ugly duckling in a mud puddle. It took me crossing the street to find the lake. It's been a long, hard, glorious road. I'd be lying (even in my sobriety) if I said I regretted all of it.

My thought, tonight, is that I hope you are feeling like the swan. No matter what you had to go through to get there.

Sleep well and have a blessed day tomorrow.

This guy is actually pretty cute!

Monday, March 12, 2012

All Things New, Pt. 3: Working to Grace (Cornerstone Sermon Podcast 03-11-12)

Just listened to the new podcast from Cornerstone Church in Auburn, Al. They are on YouTube as well, which is exciting. Now I can watch the sermons. The audio is a bit off in this vid, so I'm going to post a link to the podcast too.

One of the things Rusty talks about in his message is that work and good deeds, while wonderful, are still incomplete without God's grace. Another thing that really touched me was being reminded of all the grace and forgiveness that I've been shown... not only from God, but from the people who love me. Even when I didn't deserve it. It's truly humbling.

And below is a link to the podcast....

I've been cleaning and doing laundry today, and now it's time to cook. The weather is a bit harsh out, so I think it'll be a night in. I like a good thunderstorm, though. ;)

Have a great evening!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Best Medicine

If taking vitamins doesn't keep you healthy enough, try more laughter: The most wasted of all days is that on which one has not laughed.

-Nicolas-Sebastien Chamfort

Busy, crazy day at work. Got home and some of the guy's invited me up to eat some crawfish. That was a pleasant surprise. We sat on the porch and talked for quite some time about where to get a good breakfast in New Orleans. My suggestions were Trolley Stop and Slim Goodies, but I learned about some new places that I'd like to try.

Was thinking earlier today about a good topic for a post. It dawned on me that I had been rerunning a bit from last night's Saturday Night Live in my head... occasionally chuckling to myself. Every once in a while a character named Stefon pops up on the Weekend Update segment. Every time he's on there, I laugh til it hurts. I find him hilarious, but I am sure the humor isn't for everyone.

Anyway... My point is that I remembered how good it felt to laugh. It enriches the soul. It literally does heal (well... maybe not things like kidney stones or gunshot wounds, but who knows...). It can instantly put me in a better frame of mind. Whether from humor or joy, I realize that I need to laugh more. And I mean genuine laughter. Not the obligatory "heh heh" when someone at work says something mildly amusing.

Ya know what. I also realize that I laugh more and laugh harder when I have someone there sharing the laughter with me.

Food for thought. Have you laughed today?

Here's a vid of Stefon on SNL's Weekend Update. Like I said before. The humor isn't really offensive. Still may not be for everyone though. I love it when Bill Hader cracks up in character. Goodnight!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Faith and Strength

We strengthen our faith by working with other alcoholics and finding that we can do nothing ourselves to help them, except to tell them our own story of how we found the way out. If the other person is helped, it's by the grace of God and not by what we do or say. Our own faith is strengthened when we see another alcoholic find sobriety by turning to God. And finally we strengthen our faith by having quiet times every morning. Do I ask God in this quiet time for the strength to stay sober this day?

That's what I love about H&I. We go into hospitals and institutions and talk to the clients. We don't preach or throw around advice. Instead we tell our stories. We talk about the program, what it means to us, and where we are now. Afterward we answer questions to the best of our ability and offer support. We express our gratitude to our Higher Power and explain how recovery would be impossible without him.

And faith? My faith is strengthened whenever I see a newcomer introduce themselves at the beginning of a meeting or an old-timer pick up a 30 year chip.

My quiet times are right before I go to sleep and first thing in the morning before getting up. I pray for strength and guidance. I ask God for help because I know that without him, there's no telling where I would be.

Speaking of sleep... I'm headed that way soon. May try and watch Saturday Night Live first. Enjoy your evening and have a great day tomorrow!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... Because There Will Always Be Small Stuff

My own variation on a popular book title. Here's todays meditation from the Narcotics Anonymous book Just For Today.

Small Things

"In the past, we made simple situations into problems; we made mountains out of molehills."

Basic Text, p. 87
Making mountains out of molehills seems to be our specialty. Have you heard it said that to an addict, a flat tire is a traumatic event? Or how about those of us who forget all pretense of principle when confronted with a bad driver? And what about that can opener that won't work—you know, the one you just threw out the second story window? We can relate when we hear others share, "God, grant me patience right now!"

No, it's not the major setbacks that drive us to distraction. The big things—divorce, death, serious illness, the loss of a job—will throw us, but we survive them. We've learned from experience that we must reach out to our Higher Power and others to make it through life's major crises. It's the small things, the constant day-to-day challenges of living life without the use of drugs, that seem to affect most addicts most strongly in recovery.

When the little things get to us, the Serenity Prayer can help us regain our perspective. We can all remember that "turning over" these small matters to the care of our Higher Power results in peace of mind and a refreshed perspective on life.

Just for today: I will work on patience. I will try to keep from blowing things out of proportion, and walk with my Higher Power through my day.

Today was a day of small stuff. My shoes were soggy all day from going to work in the rain. Time seemed to poke along. Boxes were falling apart in the stock room. Had to move some 300 lb. fixtures...

Like I said last night, though. Exhausted but fulfilled. Just got back from my sponsor's step study. It was kind of unexpected, but I went when he called me. Going to bed now. Goodnight, dear reader. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

We Do What We Must

Today's Thought

We must go to A.A. meetings regularly. We must learn to think differently. We must change from alcoholic thinking to sober thinking. We must reeducate our minds. We must try to help other alcoholics. We must cooperate with God by spending at least as much time and energy on the A.A. program as we did on drinking. We must follow the A.A. program to the best of our ability. Have I turned my alcoholic problem over to God and am I cooperating with Him?

I've been running non-stop since 6am. Pretty exhausted, but fulfilled. It's been an excellent day. Had a good meeting at my homegroup to top it all off. Meetings are but one of my "musts" to stay successful in recovery. Without the re-enforcement and fellowship I'd be in real danger of slipping back into my old ways of thinking.

Surrender is a must too. From the first step, I had to put my self-will and ego aside and say, "Ya know what God. I can't do this alone. I need your help." Since then, I've felt him actively working in my life.

Well. I have to go to bed soon, so I'm going to grab a shower and prepare to settle in. It'll be another 6am wake up call in the morning.

Have a wonderful night and a blessed day tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My First H&I

Well. I did my first H&I meeting tonight. I think I did ok. Kinda scary at first because my speakers were 10 minutes late. They went to the New Orleans Mission by mistake. That was a long 10 minutes. I had to go ahead and start on time while thinking to myself, "What am I going to talk about if these guys don't show?" My mind is racing for a topic to use as a plan B. Being an introductory meeting for AA, I decided to start a discussion about the steps. I'm sitting there doing the best I can, but still nervously rambling about some of the hurdles I hit in my amends. Thank God the speakers walked in when they did.

It turned into a very good meeting. A bit of a different animal than the ones I'm used to, though. Some of these guys are hardened criminals. Some are just at rock bottom with nowhere to go. A place I know only too well. Only through the grace of God do I no longer find myself there. And only by that grace, I will never find myself there again. Everyone was nice, however, and welcomed me right in. My next one is in April and I may be picking up more than one a month. I look forward to working with these guys. I just have to remember my limits. Still not qualified enough to go around giving all kinds of advice. This is very serious stuff.

Gotta be up super early tomorrow, so I'm going to go ahead and wind down. It's going to be a very busy day, but I'll have my homegroup to look forward to at the end of it. :)


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Mouse and The Eagle

This Mouse must give up one of the Mouse ways of seeing
things in order that he may grow.
-Hyemeyohsts Storm

There is an American Indian tale of a mouse who heard a roaring in his ears and set out to discover what it was. He encountered many animals who helped him on his way. Finally, the mouse had a chance to offer help to another. He gave away his eyes to help two other animals.

Without his sight, defenseless, he waited for the end. Soon he heard the sound eagles make when they dive for their prey. The next thing the mouse knew, he was flying. He could see all the splendor around him. Then he heard a voice say, "You have a new name. You are Eagle."

Like the mouse, we also feel something inside us we'd like to explore. That secret, like all others, has its answer hidden deep within us, yet right under our very nose. Often, we merely have to give up our eyes and see in a different way. When we do this, we are rewarded with a new kind of vision, one that lets us discover our true potential.

How can I look at things differently today?

Thought for the Day from Today's Gift

I am blessed to have the privilege of a new perspective on life. I am blessed to be in a position where I can be of service to my fellows. I am blessed with the enthusiasm of potential. Something to explore within myself. It's great having something to look forward to. :)

Been a good day. Between meetings, cleaning the apartment, and putting in a few resumes, I've just been enjoying being outside. Sat for a bit on the porch and listened to Justus play his guitar. Talked for a while with my buddy James. Now I'm winding down and watching Storage Wars: Texas.

Not the most interesting day, but I liked it.


Monday, March 5, 2012

The B-52's and The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

I've found an awesome band that reminds me so much of my infatuation with The B-52's. Same trippy lyrics and videos. Fred Schneider should be proud...

Did I mention that I named my
first car after Kate Pierson?

Probably not. My Chevy Nova's name was "Kate". Here's The Golden Age by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. I don't endorse Heineken commercials, but that's where you've heard the song.

And here's The B-52's video Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland.

Just something fun I thought I'd post before bed.

All Things New, Pt. 2 (Cornerstone Sermon Podcast 03-04-12)

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

This is by no means an escape from accountability from our own actions. I'd like to make that perfectly clear. This sermon deals with hitting rock bottom, the judgement that comes with it, and God's grace.

Sure. I've done some really bad things in my life. Made some idiotic decisions. Does that make me evil? No. It means that I have to learn from my mistakes, make amends, and do better... or I repeat the same things over again.

At this point in my recovery, I still have a lot of people casting stones. Can't blame some of them. I do, however, know who my true friends are. The people who truly love me. I've seen it and felt it. You know who you are, and I am eternally grateful.

The subject matter is slightly different, but that is what I got from the message. In addiction, you are always cheating on somebody. Most of all, your Higher Power and yourself.

Here's a link to the Cornerstone sermon...

Goodnight and God Bless...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Divine Spark

The elimination of selfishness is the key to happiness and can only be accomplished with God's help. We start out with a spark of the Divine Spirit but a large amount of selfishness. As we grow and come in contact with other people, we can take one of two paths. We can become more and more selfish and practically extinguish the Divine Spark within us, or we can become more unselfish and develop our spirituality until it becomes the most important thing in our lives.

So at what point in my life did the Divine Spark begin to diminish? It was well before my career as an alcoholic, I can promise you. The more I think about it, the more I believe that there is a good possibility that I've always been a bit of a brat. Somewhere in my young life, I developed a very unhealthy sense of entitlement.

It's a hard mentality to overcome, but rediscovering my Higher Power, working the steps, and a little growing up is helping to defeat that character flaw.

I'm grateful for today's meditation. It's given me something to reflect on.

The day went well. Work was fine. Just getting ready for a busy week. I hope everyone had a great day too. Going to leave you with a vid I made back in.... October I think. It's from the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival. What a wonderful time that was! Thought I'd share something fun.


Saturday, March 3, 2012


Had a good day. Not much out of the ordinary... except for the beginning.

I'm walking up St. Charles Ave. on the way to work. I'm talking to my uncle on the phone. I look to my left and there is a guy walking down the middle of the street. There's a line of cars behind him. What I found fascinating was that not one horn was honking. Upon closer inspection, I realized that this guy had a white cane and sunglasses. Aha.

I politely excused myself from the phone conversation and ran to the edge of the sidewalk. "Sir! You may want to step about 5 feet to your right!" He comes to where I am, starts telling me about his bus ride and how rude the driver was. He then introduces himself. "I'm Jack by the way."

"I'm Jay. Nice to meet ya, Jack." He was surprisingly enthusiastic that we both had "J" names.

"So is this McDonald's?" He's on the opposite side of the road from the popular fast-food chain... and facing the old Border's Books building.

"No. I can take you there if you want. It's right across the street." It occurs to me that he must certainly know his way around if he got this close.

There's alot of traffic on St. Charles, and there are the streetcars to look out for. As we are crossing, he's telling about his life and the book he's writing about being blind in New Orleans. Fascinating stuff. Seriously. I was loving hearing about his experiences. Unfortunately, I also had to concentrate on keeping us from getting run over.

We got across successfully, got inside the fast-food restaurant, and got him in line. "Well, Jack. I have to get to work. Be careful out there. If the ground seems particularly smooth, you may be in the wrong place." To a blind person, New Orleans sidewalks are a hazard to say the least. Describing them as smooth is like describing Rush Limbaugh as tactful.

I made sure that an employee would get him safely back to the bus stop, said my farewell and departed.

I like to think that Jack is out there somewhere right now enjoying a Big Mac. I thank God that we crossed paths and will perhaps meet again.

Goodnight and have a great tomorrow!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Helplessness and Surrender

Getting pretty late, so this wont be a long one.

Work went really well. Just slooooow. I'll take slow over super busy any day, though. ;)

I really really like the thought for today...

Over a period of drinking years, we've proved to ourselves and to everybody else that we can't stop drinking by our own will power. We have been proved helpless before the power of alcohol. So the only way we could stop drinking was by turning to a Power greater than ourselves. We call that Power God. The time that you really get this program is when you get down on your knees and surrender yourself to God, as you understand Him. Surrender means putting your life into God's hands. Have I made a promise to God that I will try to live the way He wants me to live?

I talked about this a bit in my share at the Round Table meeting. About how I failed and failed until I opened up, surrendered, and admitted that I couldn't do it without God. He has given me the guidance and strength to truly recover, and for that, I am grateful.

Alright... I'm going to get ready for bed. Gotta close again tomorrow. Big fun. Have a great night, folks, and God bless!

All Things New, Pt. 1 (Cornerstone Sermon Podcast 02-26-12)

Don't have a lot of time to write about it, but I love this new series so far. All things new... Life changes, hard work, surrender, and faith. Thanks for the message, Rusty!

Gotta be at work soon, but I'll write again tonight. Until then, enjoy the sermon. Here's the link...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Humble Pie

Homegroup went really well tonight. Bit of a small crowd, though. I did get my literature for next week's H&I, and I have two speakers who volunteered. Can't wait!

I would like to talk about last night's post for a moment. Something has been weighing kinda heavily on me today. One of the paragraphs seemed a bit boastful. When I asked someone about it this morning, she agreed. The idea I was trying to convey was that traveling and living a fancy free lifestyle isn't worth sacrificing relationships with loved ones. I could have worded that much more humbly... And more truthfully. Most of my running around and partying was at the expense of others. Figuratively and literally. I never accepted any consequences for my actions, so they were left on the people who loved me. And for that I am eternally sorry. Hopefully, in some way, my new actions can make up for some of it.

I've been waiting all day to say that. And it's been a long day. Got up very early, went to work, and then to my meeting. Pretty tired, so I'll probably hit the hay soon. I still encourage anyone who sees something askew, or something I've missed in my writing to call me on it.

Well. I'm going to start winding down... Goodnight, world.