SOBER PATRIOTS

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Clean and serene living is a blessing which is undeserved and unmerited grace from the one we call God.  Whether you call your Higher Power God or any other name designated by various faiths, we accept that this indescribable, undefinable, incomprehensible power is the sole reason for our sobriety.

This way of life is a gift, but, there are payments due.  It is not free.  An attitude of gratitude is universally accepted as a prerequisite for “enjoyable” sobriety.  Staying sober becomes a life of drudgery when we do not appreciate and give thanks for the sanity which has been restored to us.  Responsibility begins with the willingness to share in the work of the fellowship.

Just the willingness to be that helping hand indicates our commitment to sober living.  But there is more to living alcohol free than not drinking.  The purpose of dedicated sobriety is to integrate us back into the communities from which we isolated ourselves.  This means abandoning our attachments to self and ego in lieu of our children’s school activities, our local service organizations, churches, and, for some of us, politics.

When we begin to comprehend the vastness of God’s gift of sobriety, we also begin to appreciate the greatness of the society in which we live.  Americans have an extraordinary heritage and tradition of liberty, freedom of choices, guaranteed personal rights, inclusiveness, and civil rights.  We cannot take these ‘unalienable’ rights for granted.  They were won for us by the blood and courage of our forefathers.

Today, some of us believe this heritage is in jeopardy.  We believe there are forces coming into power which intend to  deprive and annihilate the ethics and values which have defined us as the world’s bastion of egalitarianism.  Some of us stand ready to use our intelligence, our gifts, our wits, and our power of sober-living to wage battle, as our forefathers did, to protect our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  We intend to ring out joyously the sentiments of the Declaration of Independence.  This is our duty as citizens and patriots.  But, we must take action in humility and temperance; anger and name-calling will gain us nothing.

As experienced drunks we learned to pick our battles carefully, to weigh the odds and strike effectively.  As sober patriots we need to do the same.  Ranting over the results of an election, becoming immobilized with anger, and rattling off insults and profanity will not protect the America we cherish and love.  As recovering alcoholics we know how dangerous and unproductive anger can be.  It serves no purpose in our lives.

America’s challenges are daunting just as our personal challenges were in our addictions.  But, with the God of our understanding in charge we can be victorious in any battles we face.  Intelligent direction of effort, dedication to purpose, and, as President Obama stated in his farewell address, the “Yes we can” attitude will prevail.

It’s inevitable.  The God of our understanding did not create a humanity where one race, one creed, one lifestyle is favored over others.  The darkness of bigotry, intolerance, and injustice cannot survive in the light of our God’s mercy and love.  But, it’s up to us to carry that light, to live in that light in all our affairs.

Onward!  We have a country to protect.

TIME TO HEAL

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8New Living Translation (NLT)

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

 

Memorial Day 2016 by larrypaulbrown
Lord, we remember today the killing times,
the loss of life, of innocence.
Our young men of valor and courage,
sacrificed for America’s corrupt,
the wealthy and influential.

We stand yet today on the frontlines watching
the suffering, the pain and weeping.
Our sons barely men, so innocent,
dying for their honor and duty,
while greed watches in complacency.

Lord, we witnessed in 1968,
Chicago, in chaos, as dissenters battled.
Fighting the same war on the streets,
wanting to end that evil in a far off land,
they were draft dodgers, card burners, patriots.

You see, Lord, they also loved America,
wanting only to preserve freedom.
Two battlefields, American brothers,
set asunder by corrupt powers,
wealth and influence intent on plunder.

We must ask who won that war in the jungles,
who has won in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Certainly, some became rich and powerful,
enjoying the booty from their ventures,
it’s that way with all wars.

Those of us who died, have we won?
Those of us who fought in Chicago, have we won?
Because, even though our battlefields were different,
we were brothers fighting for an America we loved,
one not corrupted by greed, power, and cowardice.

Every generation has its war and its spoils,
wealth hidden in corporate boardrooms.
And every generation has its heroes,
the fallen ones and the ones spared,
to give us hope and teach us peace.

There is a time for everything;
to love and hate,
to go to war and make peace,
to cry and laugh,
to speak and be quiet.

But, Lord, what we need more than ever,
now, is a time of healing.
We shall never forget the sacrifices, not ever;
but, O God, bless us today with healing for
the nation, the people, the weary warriors.