March 5, 2019

Few people care to take a snapshot of what they really look like. If you take a dozen selfies, eleven will be deleted because they don’t reflect what we want others to see. That makes sense. But there comes a time in every faith tradition and spiritual pursuit when taking an honest appraisal of our own self is mandated or encouraged. In the Jewish faith tradition it is called Yom Kippur. In the Christian faith tradition it is called Lent…. Read more

February 19, 2019

Someone would have to be be out of their mind to claim they have been “blessed” with addiction. Would they also feel blessed by a hurricane that destroyed everything in its path: property, home, relationships, health, hope? And yet, I have seen, through word and deed, countless people who believe they are blessed with addiction; and their experience, strength and hope can be a blessing to others. Let’s unpack this oxymoronic phrase: blessed with addiction. Many people only encounter the… Read more

February 7, 2019

“Having a Spiritual Awakening” and “A Quest for Wholeness” were the two traits of similarity between 12 Step programs and the church and other spiritual fellowships that I mentioned in the two previous entries of this series. Today I add “Hitting Bottom.” It seems universal that spiritual awakenings and the quest for wholeness frequently grow out of brokenness. The Apostle Paul and Bill W. (a co-founder of AA) ~ like many of us ~ struggle to make sense out of… Read more

January 18, 2019

PASTOR OF HISTORIC LONG ISLAND CHURCH CALLS FOR FURLOUGHED WORKERS STRIKE ON VALENTINES DAY With Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on my mind, and inspired, in part, by President Trump’s grounding of a military plane in retaliation for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s grounding of the President’s State of the Union speech in the House of Representatives ~ it is time for the grownups of our country ~ the American people ~ to end the government shutdown by grounding the… Read more

January 8, 2019

There are many things that the Apostle Paul and Bill Wilson have in common. And there are many things that AA and the church have in common as well. In this year-long series, I will look at several of them. In the previous two posts, we looked at the “spiritual awakening” of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. In the following post we looked at the apostle Paul. Today we look at a quest for wholeness. In the 1930’s, the… Read more

December 27, 2018

There are many things that the Apostle Paul and Bill Wilson ~ AA and the church ~ have in common. We will look at eight of them. In the previous post, we looked at the “spiritual awakening” of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. This week we look at the “spiritual awakening” of the apostle Paul: 1. A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING (part two) The Apostle Paul The man we call Paul was originally named Saul and was a devout Jew who… Read more

December 4, 2018

There are many things that the Apostle Paul and Bill Wilson, as well as AA and the church, have in common. In the next eight posts (12-19) of this year-long series, we will look at some of them, beginning with: 1. HAVING HAD A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING The “Apostle” Bill W. At Towns Hospital in New York City in 1935, where he was being treated for alcoholism, Bill Wilson (Bill W.) had what has been referred to as a spiritual awakening…. Read more

November 16, 2018

The last piece in this series (#10), was titled, “America’s Trump Addiction, Withdrawal & Recovery.” It illustrated how people (and even churches and other institutions) can behave like addictive family systems. Today, I pick up on where I left off before being diverted into Trumpland. I am acutely aware that not even AA has been terribly successful in saving the lives of addicts. The vast majority of people who come to AA do not stay sober for even one year…. Read more

October 30, 2018

Many people take drugs because they believe it will make them feel Great Again. At first, many people took the drug called Trump because was fun! Even for those opposed to taking it ~ it was entertaining, although sometimes crudely and rudely so. It made us laugh. It made us cry. It made us sigh. It made us high. But then, for the one out of ten people in the world who are, for whatever reasons, prone to addiction ~… Read more

October 16, 2018

Bill W. was aware that, try as they may, neither psychology (that considered alcoholics to have a mental disorder); nor religion (that considered alcoholics to have a moral problem) ~ had managed to help the alcoholic very much. The help that alcoholics needed would later be attributed to medical insights and advances, increased treatment opportunities; the basic tenets of AA; and the grace of God, “as we understood Him [sic].” Here are some of the names given to God in… Read more

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