Divinity in All

All thought is prayer.
The Christ within me
Is the same Christ within you.
We are the same in this way.
The difference
Lies in the way we were put together.

Choosing Love over Fear isn’t hard,
But the right four chords will make you cry;
And it seems the world is always
Playing that one album you hate.

You speak, and you move,
Exactly how He wants you to.
But that seems to mean nothing to you,
If it’s not what he likes.
The people of this world
Seem to only focus on the
Differences between us,
Forgetting that we are all Divine.

Zander Foster

A Daily Prayer

Heavenly Father, give me that something new in worship talked about by Jesus: worship in spirit and in truth. Worship that is pleasing to you. May my soul be a dwelling place for Your personality and consciousness. Help me to be linked with You and Your will, and not linked to the body and the desires of the flesh. May I quietly surrender to the Holy Spirit.

Blackouts, Repression and Euphoric Recall

A blackout can be defined as chemically induced amnesia. This is not the same thing as passing out (drinking to the point of loosing consciousness). Blackouts destroy the alcoholic’s ability to accurately remember what has happened during the effected drinking occasion.

During a blackout, an alcoholic may go on functioning as if he is aware of everything that’s going on. He thinks he will be able to remember what is happening. Actually, he remembers none of it ever again. These are real periods of amnesia. Blackouts, when they have become regular episodes in an alcoholic’s life, undeniably indicate that he has lost the ability to drink safely.

While blackouts are chemically induced periods of amnesia, equally troublesome are periods of forgetfulness caused by repression. Repression is psychologically induced. All people have this defense mechanism. It’s what, to some degree, keeps us sane. Normal and sane people exist and function because they do not have to relive tons of shameful or painful acts. A significant portion of such incidents are turned off or tuned out. Otherwise, the burden would be too great.

It is quite another matter, however, when shameful or painful acts are repeated again and again, growing worse with the passage of time, as often occurs with the alcoholic. When an alcoholic does remember, his past typically usually haunts him and causes tremendous depression. What he cannot recall keeps him deluded about his drinking problem.

It is obvious how disrupting and damaging blackouts and repression can be. They progressively cut the alcoholic off from the reality of his behavior. However, there is a third condition that distorts the alcoholic’s memory. It is euphoric recall. This is the greatest factor contributing to self-delusion.

Euphoric recall allows the alcoholic to remember his drinking episodes euphorically or happily with gross distortion. He believes he can remember everything in vivid detail, and that all is well. Of course, this will only serve to bury his antisocial or disruptive behavior. Perception is distorted. There is no ability to see and appreciate reality. No recognition or acceptance that he is in a downward spiral.

The alcoholic has two factors progressively working together to draw him out of touch with reality: his defense mechanisms and his distortion of memory. Either of these alone will seriously impair judgment. The time inevitably comes when it’s plain that the alcoholic cannot see that he is sick.

People who are chemically dependent on alcohol chase rainbows of euphoria, seemingly unaware of the rising costs to self and to others. He is eternally hopeful that the next time will be different. In the end, all resources are spent, such as health, finances, relationships, employment and self-worth. This is what is commonly referred to as hitting bottom. Unfortunately, the alcoholic will not reach out for help until there is absolutely nowhere else to go but down.

A Daily Prayer

Lord God, thank you that the Holy Spirit is to me the bearer of the fullness of Jesus. Make me full. Let the Holy Spirit take and keep possession of my deepest, innermost life.  Let Your Spirit fill my spirit. Let the fountain flow through all my soul’s affections. Let if flow through my lips, speaking Your praise and love. Let my body be Your temple, full of the divine life. Lord God, I believe You have given me that life. I accept it as mine. Grant that throughout Your church the fullness of the Spirit may be sought and found, may be known and proved. Lord, let Your church be full of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

An Incredible Way to Look at God

The following was forwarded to my email by a friend, and I just had to share it with my blog followers.

An incredible way to look at GOD

When GOD solves our problems, we have faith in HIS abilities.  When GOD doesn’t solve our problems HE has faith in our abilities.  God’s accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs. Those of the canary hatch in 14 days. Those of the barnyard hen in 21 days. Eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days. Those of the mallard hatch 35 days. The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days. (Notice, they are all divisible by seven, the number of days in a week!)

God’s wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first. A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first. How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind. Each orange has an even number of segments. Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.  Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains. Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of  bananas, and  each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number. Amazing.

The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in  all kinds of weather. All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks. God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day. Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed.

The lives of each of us may be ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way for His glory, if we will only entrust Him with our life. If we try to regulate our own life, it will only be a mess and a failure. Only God, who made our brain and heart, can successfully guide them to a profitable end. I pray God blesses you in ways you never even dreamed.  I didn’t think twice about forwarding this one.

When you carry the Bible, Satan has a headache; when you open it, he collapses; When he sees you reading it, he loses his strength; and when you stand on the Word of God, Satan can’t hurt you! And did you also know that when you are about to forward this email to others, the devil will probably try to discourage you, but do it anyway.

Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point.

Betrayal

Last time I looked in the mirror,
I mean really looked (this was months ago),
I saw a hollow man,
A mere outline of a human being,
Wearing the countenance of a guilty fellow.

I could not keep watching for fear
I might believe the image in the glass
To be a true reflection of me,
And who would want that?

So I broke the connection with my likeness.
I think, for a mere moment, I saw what others saw
And was displeased, to say the least, that
I was less than who I intended to be
When I grew up.

I was certain, actually, that I had not grown up;
Rather, I was stunted, somehow underdeveloped;
A half-baked imbecile whose only legacy
Was betrayal.

Storm Warnings

The glass has been falling all the afternoon,
And knowing better than the instrument
What winds are walking overhead, what zone
Of gray unrest is moving across the land,
I leave the book upon a pillowed chair
And walk from window to closed window, watching
Boughs strain against the sky

And think again, as often when the air
Moves inward toward a silent core of waiting,
How with a single purpose time has traveled
By secret currents of the undiscerned
Into this polar realm. Weather abroad
And weather in the heart alike come on
Regardless of prediction.

Between foreseeing and averting change
Lies all the mastery of elements
Which clocks and weatherglasses cannot alter.
Time in the hand is not control of time,
Nor shattered fragments of an instrument
A proof against the wind; the wind will rise,
We can only close the shutters.

I draw the curtains as the sky goes black
And set a match to candles sheathed in glass
Against the keyhole draught, the insistent whine
Of weather through the unsealed aperture.
This is our sole defense against the season;
These are the things that we have learned to do
Who live in troubled regions.

Adrienne Rich

Distorted Seduction

While I looked for the peeler to skin potatoes,
peering at me from the drawer
a faceless glare of a knife
taunts me with a sinister laugh
of enticing intentions.

I lift the stainless steel away
from its silver company
my fingers tremble as I grip the knife’s body.

I hold my wrist over the sink and feel
the wetness trickle down my arm.
Pain slices thru my dull emotions
slowly cuts the drumbeat of despondency.

The blood comes-blade in, blade out.
I am always startled
how easily flesh slices.
The urge of fight or flight
but there is no escape
from your own ragged skin.

Drips of blood trump the logic
so I always press in deep
in search of what I need
to cut persistent agitations.

It is the sting that soothes
the bitter waters that flow in my mind.
Elation courses thru my body
as the river of blood subsides
now dividing flesh from pain and numb realities.

A year later, I prepare dinner
and stare at the crimson road atlas on my wrist.
These delicate thin lines of blade art
guide my thoughts with travels of release.

I now rely on this artistic reminder
to navigate the distance
between agony and relief.

It’s nice to explore
what lies under my flesh
when I entertain the pleasant
distraction of my thoughts.

I watch the sink splatter
when I wash all the scarlet stains away.
I always wipe the blade clean
after each peeling of emotions.

The scars now map storylines of traveling thoughts.
I look away from the seductive knife,
and wonder when I prepare my next meal
if I will convince myself
that I am the one in control.

Nov. 25, 2015
Mary Schmidt

Drop The Rock!

Seems there was this group of recovering alcoholics taking a boat ride to an island called Serenity, and it was truly a happy bunch of people. As the boat pulled away from the dock, a few on board noticed Mary running down the street trying to catch up with the boat. One member said, “Darn, she’s missed the boat.” Another said, “Maybe not. Come on, Mary! Jump in the water. Swim! Swim! You can make it. You can catch up with us.”

So Mary jumped into the water and started to swim for all she was worth. She swam for quite a while and then started to sink. The people on board, now all aware that Mary was struggling, shouted, “Come on, Mary! Don’t give up! Drop the rock!” With that encouragement, Mary started swimming again, only to start sinking shortly afterward. She was going under when she heard all those voices shouting to her, “Mary, drop the rock! Let go and drop the rock!”

Mary was vaguely aware of something around her neck, but she couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Once more, she gathered her strength and started swimming. She was doing quite well, even gaining a little on the boat, but then she felt this heaviness pulling her under again. She saw all those people on the boat holding out their hands and hollering for her to keep swimming and shouting, “Don’t be an idiot, Mary. Drop the rock.”

Then she understood when she was going down for the third time: This thing around her neck, this was why she kept sinking when she really wanted to catch the boat. This thing was the “rock” they were all shouting about: resentments, fear, dishonesty, self-pity, intolerance, and anger were just some of the things her “rock” was made of. “God help me get rid of the rock,” she prayed. “Now! Get rid of it!”

Mary managed to stay afloat long enough to untangle a few of the strings holding that rock around her neck, realizing as she did that her load was easing up. Then, with another burst of energy, she let go. She tore the other strings off and dropped the rock.

Once free of the rock, she was amazed how easy it was to swim, and she soon caught up with the boat. Those on board were cheering for her and applauding and telling her how great she was, and how it was so good having her with them again, and how now they could get on with the boat ride and have a nice time.

Mary felt great and was just about to indulge in a little rest and relaxation when she glanced back to shore. There, a ways back, she thought she saw something bobbing in the water, so she pointed it out to some others. Sure enough, someone was trying to catch the boat, swimming for dear life, but not making much headway. In fact, it looked like the person was going under.

Mary looked around and saw the concern on the faces of the others. She was the first to lean over the rail and shout, “Hey, friend! Drop the rock!”

( Excerpt from the Introduction to Drop The Rock, a Hazelden publication on Steps Six and Seven of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Removing Character Defects.)

A Daily Prayer

Blessed Father, I have heard the command of Jesus to wait for the promise. I thank You for what has already been fulfilled in me. But my soul longs for the full possession, the fullness of the blessings of Christ. Teach me to wait on You. Teach me, each day, as I draw near to You, to wait for the Spirit. In the sacrifice of my own wisdom and my own will, may I learn to lie humbly before You so that Your Spirit may work with power. Teach me that as my life of self is laid before You day by day, the holy life will rise in power, and my worship will be in spirit and in truth. Amen.