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

October 4, 2018

Bill Wilson was an alcoholic stock broker whose drinking landed him in Towns Hospital in New York City in 1935, where he was treated for alcoholism. During his hospitalization he had a spiritual awakening in which God revealed himself [sic] to Bill and illuminated his path to recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was co-founded in May, 1935 by Bill Wilson, commonly referred to as Bill W. in accordance with the “anonymous” in the title of the fellowship, and by Dr. Robert... Read more

September 26, 2018

Although they lived over 2,000 years apart; there are uncanny similarities between the lives, spiritual paths, and impacts of the Biblical character, Saul, and AA co-founder Bill Wilson. This week, we will look at the transformation of the man known as Saul into the man we now refer to as the Apostle Paul ~ the man who took Christianity “on the road” and into many parts of the world. Next week we will look at the transformation of the man... Read more

September 13, 2018

Whether you attend a church service upstairs or a step meeting downstairs; whether you are most comfortable with the language of religion or the language of recovery; whether your basic text is the Big Book or the Bible; the 10 Commandments or the 12 Steps; whether you have a God or a Higher Power; and whether you seek sobriety or salvation; if you are diligent in your spiritual journey and thorough in seeking spiritual growth ~ whether through the church... Read more

August 30, 2018

Being helped by those you once helped and being ministered to by those to whom you once ministered ~ is a humbling and, often, extremely powerful and beautiful paradox. But not always. There is often shame, defeat and stigma associated with hard times and troubles. Who wants to openly admit to their church, for example, that their child is suffering from a substance use disorder? I entered my first church at 34 years old, looking for a deeper spiritual connection... Read more

August 22, 2018

I attended the funeral of an addict. His name was Kevin. He was our custodian. I had expected him to be at our Ash Wednesday evening church service. An hour before it was to start, I learned of his death and did not mention it to those in attendance because it had not yet been confirmed and I did not want to spread unfounded, sordid rumors. Kevin’s death lay heavy upon me, especially as we read the words, “ashes to... Read more

August 15, 2018

Jesus hung around with all sorts of street artists, tax collectors, lepers, persons with mental illness, healers, sex trade workers, followers, detractors, religious elites, thieves and even an occasional rich person. Undoubtedly, Jesus hung around with a few drunks and other drug addicts as well.   I mean, after all, the wedding guests at Cana wiped-out the wine bar before the ceremony even began; causing his mother to plead with him to turn the water into wine! Elsewhere, there is... Read more

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