Apostleship - Cross-Cultural Addictions - Poems Relating To Steps To Recovery
Note: These poems appeared in the regular sequence and general index of poems. This page is a collection of links to those poems, grouped by step in the 12-step program which each relates to.
Poems Relating To Step Work/Recovery In General
- "Steps" (Sept/23/14) A Poem about breaking down any learning process into smaller steps, especially if memory is a problem.
- "The Apostle (Cultural Boundary Jumper)" (Dec/16/14) Tom Jackson and his band give a Christmas concert across Canada each year as a fundraiser. A poetic reflection on the power of songs to re-affirm the "other side" of our cultural mixes when we have a multi-cultural background, as "Third Culture Kids". My friend Brenda gave us tickets to the show...such simple actions are often a way we can help others to heal.
Poems Relating To Step One - We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- "Helping With Step One" - Dec.13/11 For those at step one themselves, as well as those affected by this event, step one is often a whirl of pain mixed with relief.
- "Step One In Al-Anon" - May/12/12 For affected people, there are subtle issues which can trip them up in doing their step one. Some of these are raised in this poem.
[Poems Relating To Step One and a Half - The Choice We Make After Diagnosis -Whine or Face It With Dignity And Courage.]
- " Step 1 1/2 - The Choice " - Mar/16/10 With every serious disease there is a little mini-step after diagnosis..."will we just sit here and whine about our condition?", or "will we face the situation with dignity and courage and get on with our lives?" In reality it is a grief resolution process relating to the things we are losing, and often takes some time to work through. Until we decide to move forward, nobody can help us. Once we do decide, the whole universe moves in to help us.
Poems Relating To Step Two - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- "The Parking Joke " (June/19/15) Until we come to believe there is a tow truck to pull us out of the ditch, it is hard to ask for a tow. And that is a dilemma for many people, for this is a deep kind of stuck.
- "Level Paths" (Hebrews 12:13 ) [Backlog - Not Posted Yet] (Nov./18/2015) The "Kingdom-layer" is one version of a place to grow and live, and is a real option to the shattered lives we have been involved in.
- "Graced Victory" - Sept/06/12 Some people speak of the feeling of being supported from below like keys dropping into one's hand, which holds the up.
Poems Relating To Step Three - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- "Day 10" [Module #266] (Matt. 20:29; ) (March/09/15) Step three is a request for a jerk out of the ditch by the tow-truck, but is requires an active assent to that happening..."are you in this with me, or am I supposed to do it all by myself? are you really wanting this or are you playing games in your mind?"
- "Dawning Light" - July/20/12It is no accident that recovery starts with a prayer...When we fall getting up usually starts with being on our knees. This poem plays with that theme.
Poems Relating To Step Four - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- "Stacy's Words " (Isaiah 40:28-31; Matt. 7:24-27) (May/17/2016)Making a fearless and searching moral inventory is tough, but such digging down to bedrock prepares us for the coming life-storms we all face.
Poems Relating To Step Five - Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Poems Relating To Step Six - Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- "From Faith To Faith" [Module#345] (Matt. 24:29-31) (April/02/15 Getting jerked out of the ditch is what step six and seven are about. The jerk out of the ditch takes place when we request it without reserve. The steps prepare us in regards to the aspect of "without reserve".
- "Now's The Time" [Module#347] (Matt. 24:34-36) (April/02/15 The invitation comes direct from others or indirectly through such things as internet or literature. But when it is heard, it is indeed winsome. It is hard to be satisfied with boiled rubber boot for dinner when we have smelled the fragrance of a great dinner cooking.
- "The Winsome Dream " - Sept/28/12The key to step six is not in the step, but rather 'under the step" as one person put it. At issue is who is center of the universe, God or me? If it is me, why am I asking God to pull me from the ditch? It it is God, why am I messing around in it still? That is, Step six and seven put that issue squarely befoe us...who is center of he universe, Me or God? Once we see that, it is impossible to do step six and seven with a sraight face and not gneuinely believe that "God of our understanding" is a power greater than ourself who both can and will help us out of he ditch. Step Seven (actually asking God to pull us from eh ditch) is therefore the heart of the 12 step program. Steps before this one have prepared the way to deal with this issue. Steps that follow it are done from the perspecive of a God-centered life.
Poems Relating To Step Seven - Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- "Drop It" (I Kings 18:14-25; 2 Sam.12:25 ) [Northern Kingdom - Time Insights Series #8 and #5 - (Jan/23/2016) In Step Three we are given opportunity to ask a jerk out of the ditch, up on the solid road. In Step seven we are asked if we really want to do life up there, and if so, to say so to God, the tow-truck operator.
- "A Calf Released" [Module#346] (Matt. 24:32-33) (April/02/15 People's response to the new freedom of being out of the ditch at last is unique to each person, but when it is for real, it is indeed very powerful.
Poems Relating To Step Eight - Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- "Don't Make A Shrine" [Reflections on Book - Right Side Up Side Down Connie Bischoff and Romeo Lemieux - re: Keepsake] (Matt.6:19-34) (Jan/30/2016) Sometimes it is good to remember in order to resolve the past and then lay it aside.
Poems Relating To Step Nine - Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- " The Half-Way Tree " - Oct/20/09 An ancient story holds that people used to live 700 years but God had to cut them back to 120 years because they were getting too experienced at being jerks, and wrecking the planet. As we make amends for our part of the mess, it is with a view to the remainder of our lives, how ever long that might be. The scientific concept of "half life" is useful perhaps. It means the amount of time it takes for something to lose one-half of its potency. This poem plays with that concept. (The Jews have two major toasts - "To life!"; and "To the one hundred and twenty!")
Poems Relating To Step Ten - Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- "Step Ten" (Feb/12/15) Continuing to take personal inventory in order not to let things pile up in our "dump trucks", enables us to deal with the challenges each day brings (whatever that might be for each one of us), while traveling with a light load.
- " Kol Nidre To Me " - Sept/30/09In the Jewish Tradition, once a year in the autumn, they take ten days to stop and take stock of their lives. One of the high points of this tradition is the singing of this song, Kol Nidre, during which each person lets go of a life of "obligations" and chooses to move instead into a deep fulfillment of life which obligations only scratch the surface of. This rendition of the song (embedded link in poem) is particularly beautiful, as a call to an ever deeper level of life in community, which obligation only hints at..
Poems Relating To Step Eleven - 11.Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- "Your Daily Bread" [Module #261] (Matt. 20:23f; Mark 10:39b; Isaiah 49:6) (March/05/15) Fuel for the journey can come from many sources, internet, face to face, literature. But food left on the plate doesn't nourish very much.
- "Though I Walk Now" (Psalm 138:7-8; John 15:1-17) (Jan/12/15) A Poem reflecting on a well known passage from Scripture speaking of God's support in difficult times. "Asking only to know God's will for us and the power to carry it out..."
- "Abundance" [Module#373] (Matt.26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6) (April/06/15) A poem reflecting on some of he aspects of our growth over our lifetime.
- "To Mentor Level Two" (Feb/02/2016) Mentoring has little to do with geography, especially with the Internet. What matters is the quality of internal geography not external geography. Don't sweat location.
- "Women At Pause (TM)" (June/17/2016)Menopause often results in a release of energy , which, combined with new freedom can be disruptive to family life, and calls for patient extended conversations.
Poems Relating To Step Twelve - Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
- "Clear, Honest, and Direct" [Module # 207] (Luke 17:6-18) (Jan/22/15) Every one of the twelve steps has its challenges. The challenge of sharing our stories and our reason for hope with others still caught in a quagmire is indeed great. This poem reflects on one such challenge...going back in to the very context we once lived in ourselves. Clear honest and direct communication is often not the way people talk there. Which brings back memories.
- "Cheer up; On Your Feet; He's Calling (for) You" [Module #265] (Matt. 20:31; Mk 10:48-49; Lk 18:39) (March/09/15) The help we will mostly give arises out of our long journey back onto our feet. But at least we can be the go-between and call out to others that there is hope for them, and point the way.
- "Take Time To Pass It On" [Module#336] (Luke 21:37) (April/01/15) Passing on to others what has been shared with us is critical to community life. For some of us that is our occupation. For others of us it is something we do in the process of living our our lives as avocations.
- "Stay Flexible" (Josh 24:14-28) [Northern Kingdom - Time Insights Series # 1 - (Jan/23/2016) Not everybody has the luxury of flexibility. If you have it, use it, on behalf of everyone else.
- "30-60-100-fold" [Reflections On Book The The Book Of Philippians (Phil. 2:19-30; Matt.Ch.13) (June/29/2016) The Mission scene has shifted to everywhere, and along with it the challenges and triumphs which in the past were confined to cross-cultural excursions. Hence there is a huge need for experienced guides at home as well as far away as local churches take up he challenge of cross-cultural work.
- "Honesty's Serenity " - Sept/25/11For many of us, we experience the freedom of honest living in little patches of a few minutes of life. Then we ask God to keep doubling those lengths of time until our lives are filled with honesty and its serenity.