IT WORKSIt works—it really does.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 88When I got sober I initially had faith only in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Desperation and fear kept me sober (and maybe a caring and/or tough sponsor helped!). Faith in a Higher Power came much later. This faith came slowly at first, after I began listening to others share at meetings about their experiences—experiences that I had never faced sober, but that they were facing with strength from a Higher Power. Out of their sharing came hope that I too would—and could—”get” a Higher Power. In time, I learned that a Higher Power—a faith that works under all conditions—is possible. Today this faith, plus the honesty, open-mindedness and willingness to work the Steps of the program, gives me the serenity that I seek. It works—it really does.
Central California Fellowship Meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (CCFAA)
February 18, 2023
The following highlights were shared at the Saturday Delegates Meeting. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or comments.
- The CCFAA Bookstore, located at 9960 Business Park Drive #110, Rancho Cordova, is now open Saturday’s from 10:00AM – 2:00PM.
- New and custom Chips are now available in the bookstore.
- The Hospitals and Institutions (H & I) Liaison Report noted that Area 42 is always in need of volunteers to take meetings into the facilities in our area. If you would like to be of service through H & I please attend the monthly business meeting the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:00PM at the Sacramento Denny’s at 7900 College Town Drive, Howe Avenue at Highway 50, Sacramento, CA 95826.
- The H & I conference 2023 will be held May 19-20 at the Wyndham Hotel in Sacramento. The planning committee is asking for help putting this conference together. If you would like to help plan this conference please attend the planning committee zoom meetings March 3rd and 17th. Meeting ID: 860 5049 1106 Passcode: 372616
- The next Teleservice Workshop is Saturday, March 4, 2023, at 1:30PM at High Flyers at 3077 Alhambra Drive, Cameron Park, 95682.
- A Special Audit Committee is in place to audit the accounts of the Treasurer. The audit report findings will be presented to the Delegates for approval at the May meeting.
This concludes my report. If you have items that you would like me to take to the Delegates, please let me know.
March Birthdays… IF They Make It!
March 10th… Brad W. celebrates 3 years
March 14th… Paul T. celebrates 7 years
March 17th… Tim C. celebrates 15 years
March 18th… Sean L. celebrates 20 years
March 28th… Larry G. celebrates 2 years
March 29th… Mark C. celebrates 4 years
If your birthday has been missed…. fill out the birthday form.
We really want to celebrate your AA anniversary because your birthday made ours possible!
Thanks everybody and apologies to you if you were missed or incorrectly noted.
Three’s an Odd Number
Step Three talks about turning our will over to the power of God as we understand him.
I went to Catholic schools and was intrigued by history and consequently have thought, if I understood the concept of God I might not have taken all those drugs or even started drinking. You know I was an alter boy for a lot of masses during school. This guy and I often would knock down a half a chalice full sherry before going back to class. Those priests, wine my ass. But before I digress…
I held a Hollywood concept of God for many years. I was fairly sure God had manifested himself in Charlton Heston. That would be the guy I would have to face inside of those gates. Staff in hand, burning bush close by, directing entrants to the right or left. Lot of people going left .
As I got older, I was told that God was forgiving and kind, and willing to look past the discrepancies and review more of the total of one’s game. More like a review of a basketball player. His defense was suspect but sometimes good, reasonably good and straight shooter when not taking dumb shots, showed a willingness to pass off. Send him to the G League and we’ll see. G League, like purgatory.
Then one night I had this dream. In this version, God had to battle time just like us. And in fact, God wasn’t a single entity, God was an acronym for General Order Department. An office building! Floors and floors of men and women in eye shades and no one in charge. It looked like the Department of Motor Vehicles. You entered, got a number on a small piece of paper, and waited. On the one hand, it seemed safe. Nothing bad was happening to me. On the other hand, other than power going off or desk igniting into arguments or fires here and there, nothing was happening. A new purgatory.
Given all that, one could imagine my misgivings upon reading Step Three for the first time. Turning over my will? To these guys? That’s not too different than the board of directors going off in my brain now. Could be worse .
I had to delve back into the books I got in rehab. I had to refer to the conversations I had in meetings with guys with a lot of sobriety. I had to have a lot of self-reflection, usually when trying to meditate. In the end, I came out with the following conclusion. Do the right thing.
Even if that means giving up something held dear. Doing the inconvenient. The embarrassing helping hand, something so simple but we don’t want the attention of getting praised and attracting more asking of favors.
With that self-reflection I have discovered something. When I do the right thing, when I step up and contribute time and effort. When I stay straight – no drugs or alcohol. Good things happen to me. They may not be related to the time and effort of doing the right thing at all. But good things happen.
So I can say, “hangin in there”.
That’s another column though. (See how I did that there……that’s called a hook…)
Contributed by John M.
February 22, 2023
|Beginning Balance (November 4, 2022)||$3,334|
|Rent: (Tim C. Jan. Feb. Mar.)||$450|
|AA Central Office||$500|
|Saint Francis Church||$300|
|Total Expenses to Date:||$1,250|
|Collections (Since 11/4/2022)||$679|
|Current Balance (2/22/2023)||$2,763|
From a Friend
I’m going to try and capture the first three steps of our program in this letter.
Something came to mind today for some reason. Perhaps buried things in my head that I don’t want to remember.
I was out with my wife, and she was shopping. So I figured that the best thing for me to do was to go to the bar and have JUST ONE drink. I had been drinking at home before we left, so I was already halfway gone. My one drink in the bar soon turned out to be a few more than planned. After my few drinks I headed to the men’s room. As you might guess half way there I pissed my pants. I’m sure that there are many more stories like this that I have erased from my memories. After this story it’s safe to say that I was powerless over alcohol, and my life was unmanageable. I think it’s also safe to say that I needed a power greater than myself to restore me to sanity. I indeed was insane.
Most of all I needed to turn my will, and my life over to the care of GOD, as I understood him. I was in desperate need of a Higher Power of some sort to arrest my wayward life.
I’m hoping that someone gets a message out of my letter.
“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
The One Thing I Need To Know About Step 3:
Real Action Starts With a Decision
Decisions are wonderful. Decision is defined as “making up one’s own mind.” Decisions resolve conflicts. For many, the conflict over drinking and not wanting to drink made a third step decision relatively simple. We were happy to turn over our drinking problem to God as we understood God. However, for many of us, we were not so willing to turn over other areas of our lives so readily.
This step helps shift our mindset from thinking directly into action. It opens the door to conforming our will to that of our Higher Power’s. Step 3 is the first step that requires real and continuous action. The first two steps focus on reflection and introspection. In Step 2, we learned to believe in a Power greater than ourselves (some call that faith). Step 3 allows us the place to solidify and act on our newfound faith in ways we never knew possible before coming to the rooms – some call that trust.
Have you ever wondered WHY (in the Third Step Prayer) we “offer ourselves to Thee?” Answer: So our Higher Power can “build with us and do with us as it will.” Have you ever wondered WHY we ask HP to “relieve us of the bondage of self?” Answer: So that “we may better do HP’s will.” Have you ever wondered WHY we ask HP to “take away our difficulties?” Answer: So that we fully understand that “victory over them may bear witness to those we would help of HP’s power, love and way of life.”
I heard someone share in a meeting once about Step 3 that it’s like when you take your car to a mechanic to have them fix or service it. You trust that they will be able to get it all tuned up and ready to give back to you. They don’t want to KEEP your car, they just want to get it in good working order so you can move on down the road. Making the decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God (trusting God) is much the same thing.
As we’ve learned in our basic text, the spiritual life is not a theory – we must live it. This means we need to begin putting in practice those things that will ultimately be the foundation to the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism (once again proving that alcohol is not now, nor has it ever been the problem). It has been said that “We thought faith said, “I’ll take away the pain and discomfort,” but what it ended up really saying was, “I’ll sit with you in it. I’m here with you and we can walk through this together.”
Myths About This Step
If you depend on a higher power, you will lose your individuality. On the contrary, turning our will over to a Higher Power leads to true independence of the spirit. As we practice being conscious of a Higher Power, it will gradually turn from a hunch or occasional inspiration to an active, working part of our mind.
From an idea by George T.
My First Meeting
Please be “of service.” If you’ve never contributed a “My First Meeting”, please help to keep this column going…we need you! What do you remember most of your first meeting? It can be one sentence; it can be up to two paragraphs. Could be funny, poignant or strictly “clinical”. Write what you want…you might have enjoy writing it!
Our Trusted Servants Continue to Be:
The current Step 2 Men’s Group meeting schedule is Monday, Wednesday & Friday at Tim’s (3809 J St), Tuesday & Thursday online, Saturday in the park is “Daily Reflections” and Sunday is our Rogue meeting in the park. Each gathering is one hour. Great job men!
- Monday: Tim C.
- Tuesday: Mark W.
- Wednesday: John M.
- Thursday: Brad W.
- Friday: Jon B.
- Saturday: David K.
- Sunday: Mark C.
Want to add your name to the “Back-up-Help-Substitute Secretary List”? Just contact Group GS, John M., Treasurer Mark W. or any of our other Secretaries and let them know!
Step 2 Men’s Group Believes…
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
We’d never presume that the 12 Steps are not clear. Nor would we imply that they need ‘improvement’. However…for purposes of assisting to keep the meeting pointed in an important direction each day, the ‘Step 2 Men’s Group Statement’ is read as follows:
Step 2 Men’s Group is founded on the belief that spirituality is essential to our sobriety. Our group is non-religious, but we do not oppose anyone’s religious beliefs. We believe that respect for others and their beliefs is essential to our spiritual development. Accordingly we ask that avoid criticism of others or of their religion or lack of religion, their race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical appearance, trade or profession, length of sobriety, or personal beliefs. Our goal is to further our spirituality, our sobriety and our personal development, not to confront or belittle others. Always remember to be kind to others.
Extra Special Thanks Dept:
Thanks to our General Secretary John M. for Three’s an Odd Number”, Mark Q for the CCFFAA Update, Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner” and our Treasurer Mark W. for all your contributions. We’re still waiting for YOU gentle reader…Why don’t YOU contribute a short “something?” Any length, most any AA related topic. Reply now and it will get included next month!