For me, gratitude is an acquired taste. For many years, my negative thinking blocked my feelings of gratitude; it actually took me years to pay attention to gratitude and its benefits. Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on the journey to the benefits that can result from greater gratitude.
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A mutual friend, Shelley, frequently refers to Doris as the “sage of Cumberland.” She holds Doris in the highest esteem for the same reason I do. We both met Doris in a Twelve Step meeting and she became a sponsor or guide for each of us in working the Twelve Steps. With Doris, we both felt like we had won the lottery. We couldn’t imagine someone more kind, loving and wise.
The founding moment for Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) happened on June 10, 1935. Recovering alcoholics and their families from all around the world are celebrating the unique and powerful personal and family transformations that are the result of this simple Twelve Step program. The power of A.A. and the Twelve Steps is now frequently applied to many other addictions. And the number of people grateful to Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith for a chance meeting in Akron in June of 1935 continues to grow.
You may not know who Lois Wilson is but you should. She lived 97 years. Fifty-three of those years she was the wife of Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. She lived 17 years after Bill died. March 4 is Lois' birthday – she would be 129. Who is she?...
The posts for the past several months have focused on the many ways that faith is experienced and guides lives. Focusing on faith has led me to revisit some of my own beliefs and to look more deeply at others’ beliefs.
A few recent experiences reinforced my restlessness about how all of us face the destructive power of addiction in our lives and communities. I’d like to connect this topic to the current series exploring different ways faith develops in different lives and communities.
Bedtime, any night in 1957. My brother and I are on our knees next to Mom who is praying for the missionaries in a far-off country. Meanwhile, a few blocks away there is extreme poverty and people in need of help. Such is life on an open Native American Reservation in the 1950s. The lesson being taught was that prayer “counted” with God.
Last week my wife and I took our 13-year-old grandson to Disney World in Florida as a birthday treat. We joined thousands of other people at Epcot one day and at Animal Kingdom the next. Given the 90 plus heat and the crowds, I approached this trip with mixed feelings – anticipation of my joy of being with him and his joy of being there. Yet I feared the heat and crowds. In Disney speak, they call my experience “the magic.” In my faith, we would call it a miracle.
Our local movie theatre reopened recently with a showing of
Nomadland. What a wonderful way for the theater and the people who attended to come out of Covid-time. The movie is a sweet story of a woman whose husband dies and loses her job to a factory closing. Then she loses her community due to the loss of a major employer. She takes to the road with her losses, her pain and her inkling of residual hope.
The “Higher Power” (who I grew up calling G-d) was punitive and finger-pointing. I grew up in a secular Jewish home, and religion was not discussed, except when it was punitive. For example, the idea of “sinning” and “punishment” were often described. I was angry a lot at Him because I felt cheated; cheated of a “loving family,” a “fun childhood” and “life without compulsive overeating.”