Addiction and Recovery

Patrick Kennedy is a leading advocate trying to raise awareness for various forms of addiction and recovery.

How many times have you heard someone say, “I have a mental illness and take medication” at a 12 Step Recovery meeting.

Recently, I was doing my AA answering service hotline and noticed how extraordinary the www.baltimoreaa.org website is.

In fact, let me tell you a story about my…

Daylight Saving Time

Nov 1, 2015 – Daylight Saving Time Ends

DST_2015_clock

When local daylight time is about to reach
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 2:00:00 AM clocks are turned backward 1 hour to
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 1:00:00 AM local standard time instead

Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on Nov 1, 2015 than the day before. There will be more light in the morning.  Also called Fall Back and winter time. More info: USA & Canada End DST Sunday, Nov 1

Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time

DSR 1:30 AM EST/EDT meeting 7 days/ week is normally hosted by members from the United Kingdom and other countries east of Prime Meridian (Zero Longitude) which actually starts at 6:30 AM Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0) or British Summer Time (UTC+1). Thursday 2:00 PM EST/EDT is also hosted by UK normally starting 7:00 PM GMT/BST local time, currently… . In addition, Daylight Saving Time changes at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March in the U.S. when we set our clocks forward one hour ahead of Standard Time. We turn the clocks back at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November, thus returning to Standard Time. However, there is a one week, one hour time difference Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5) or Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4) depending upon the season (Spring forward, Fall back), so please adjust accordingly.

Continue reading Daylight Saving Time

Telephone Therapy

Today on the Noon phone meeting, I suggested reading the following story from Living SoberMaking use of ‘telephone therapy from chapter 10.

“At first, the thought of telephoning a new acquaintance, someone we barely knew, seemed strange, and most of us were reluctant. But the AA’s—those with more non-drinking days behind them than we had—kept suggesting it. They said they understood why we hesitated, because they had felt the same way. Nevertheless, they said, just try it, at least once.

And so, finally, thousands and thousands of us have. To our relief, it turned out to be an easy, pleasant experience. Best of all, it worked.
Maybe the quickest way to understand this, before you try it, is to put yourself mentally in the place of the person being called. It is a rewarding and gratifying thing to be trusted that much. So the person receiving the call is almost invariably nice, even charming, about it— not at all surprised, and even glad to hear from us.
There’s more. Lots of us have found that when we wanted to drink, we could telephone someone…”

“Some questions often asked by new non drinkers—and pages that offer some answers…

  1. Should I keep liquor (porn) in the house?
  2. How do I explain to people why I’m not drinking (dating/flirting) now?
  3. What about sex? (lust)
  4. What about insomnia? (nightime = devils workshop)
  5. What about drinking (wet) dreams?
  6. Should I go into bars? (strip clubs)
  7. What can I do when I get lonely? (core of our disease = relationships)
  8. Should I seek professional help? (how do I handle anxiety, anger & tolerance)

While we were drinking, a life without alcohol (lust) seemed like no life at all.  One more note: anyone can get sober. We have all done it lots of times. The trick is to stay and to live sober. That is what this ‘Living Sober’ booklet is about…”  Read more

New Lease on Life

Everything is temporary.  How we feel.  That natural high disappears, just as quickly as that powerful feeling of despair, temptation, anger, etc.

Life is too short to be ‘right’ instead of happy.

wake_up

Today, I want to recognize all the people that I know that have died in my lifetime.  This is a long list.  This includes famous people as well as people I knew personally.

Let’s start with Michael Hutchence, lead singer from Inxs.  I’m listening to him right now on three separate CDs.  His death was tragic, like most.  On the morning of 11/22/97, Hutchence, aged 37, was found dead due to suicide while depressed and under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.

Some other people I would like to talk about include Robin Williams, Phillip Symour Hoffman, both my Grandmothers, my two cousins, a guy who I temporarily sponsored in AA.

 

Candles

Every time I light a candle, I believe God enters the room.  It offers a real sense of peace and serenity for me!

Do you remember that old Police video – Wrapped Around Your Finger? Click here

candles

Why do Christians burn candles in Church?
As with many things in Christianity, lighting a candle during worship probably began not as a ritual, but from a practical reason, and as the years passed well meaning believers sought meaningful symbolism in what they did.

I will do three things in this response:
1. Offer some understanding of what Christians believe regarding candles in worship
2. Give my understanding of the historical origin
3. Offer personal opinion on the use of candles, symbolism and how we worship

Most clergy in a liturgical church will tell you that the candle represents Jesus as the Light of the world, or that the light and fire represent the presence and power of God (similar to the pillar of fire that led the children of Israel in the exodus). Some might say that each believer lights a candle prior to worship to symbolize his/her life as a offering, being burned up in service to God. All of these (and many more could be added) are nice gestures of symbolism. Christian faith is filled with symbolism, all of which is helpful to instruct us and to help us understand our faith in a way that goes beyond the intellectual level. Anything you do, like getting on your knees in prayer as an act of humility, can be very helpful and meaningful for communicating nuances of our faith beyond the intellect.

In the Orthodox Church each member is encouraged upon entering the worship place to purchase a small votive candle, light it, and place it in a small sandbox. There are various beliefs and reasons for why Orthodox believers do this – as with all symbolism, one individual might be taught an angle on a symbol that is not quite correct, yet their particular practice becomes meaningful. They then pass along their unique view to others and the process of growing symbolism continues. No church looks back in history more than the Orthodox Church for rationale and explanation of practice. They point to early references (like Eusebius, circa 360 AD) of candle usage, but even by this time traditions for symbolism had already developed. But how did the use of candles start?

I am not aware of any clear historical references, but there are some things we do know that can allow us to make some fairly good assumptions.

While it is true that Judaism and other religions in the ancient world used candles in symbolic ways, candles were used principally as a light source in ancient times. If Christians met before or after dark candles would have been used in the meeting place or home just to keep from stumbling around. When Christians met in the dark Roman catacombs candles would have been used for a light source. As people arrived they most likely would have placed all candles or wicked lamps in one place – it would not be safe for every person to carry and handle a fire source – tunics and robes could easily catch on fire. Ten or twenty candles sitting on a stand would give off significant light for an entire room.

This is probably how the practice of bringing, or lighting, a candle started – in a most natural way, not initially for symbolic reasons. The same can be said for many other Christian symbols like icons and prayer beads. Read more