Devotional


When I decided to write for this page I doubted whether anyone needed another daily devotional to add to the thousands that are available and in use today. I heard that still small voice, and am directed to add to the devotional listings. Along with daily golf tips, we also need direction for our souls. To ponder and meditate on things spiritual, will heal us and point us in the direction of spirit.


The difference will be that this is not a “daily” writing, I have found through my years of working these steps that working on one thing for a week rather than something different everyday, helped me understand and internalize the message, and this in turn produced better results. We have enough clutter distracting us, and if I read something today and go my merry way, the prayer and the meditation is only good for a day. We must be fed for a life time, and that comes from practicing a principle and in turn learning that principle.


We seek peace of mind in all our affairs not just on the golf course. I stated that the 12 Steps is the road map to a happier and more joyous way of life, golf is the vehicle. We are dealing with more than just golf, and I do not want to limit anyone who is not a golfer to be dissuaded from pursuing this 12 Step program, for it is a way of life for everyone. I am hoping that the non-golfer will also be inclined to pursue these steps and integrate them into their life and find the promises for themselves.


These prayers and meditations will be from my own journals or from someone‘s question during any given week. We have discussed the importance of journalizing and hopefully many of you are now writing.


I hope that my take on recovery and healing will help in the pursuit of any self help program one may find themselves in. To see things differently and shed some light on what others may be saying.






WEEK EIGHT:

“of course fortune has its part in human affairs, but conduct is really much more important”…Jeanne Detourbey

I can recall my mother’s requests for me behave. I never wanted to disappoint my parents and lose their respect or even worse not have them trust me.

It was always important to not disgrace “the family name”. I think that was a good idea and should still be observed today.

There seems to be confusion over what behaviors we value and those we accept. There is much too much unacceptable behavior being tolerated. The old “I’m OK, you’re OK” of the “60’s seems to tolerate everything and accept evil as just a mistake from some misunderstood adult child who needs a “hug”.

We are creating some very uncivilized societies. We see on U-tube some of the most horrific sights. Girls participating in the most abhorrent conduct. We hear of employees , who are supposed to be helping the learning disabled, conducting a “fight club” among the patients.

We may not always choose to conduct ourselves with our best behavior, but my God does anyone understand the difference today what right is from wrong?

Having “good” behavior, having enough respect for myself to treat others well, seems so un-cool and old fashioned today. We were hip and we were cool, yet we still had manners and were polite. We didn’t have to display our ignorance through uncontrolled behaviors that hurt others. We could conduct ourselves with civility.

PRAYER:

Lord:

I am here to learn. As I meet my fellow travelers along the path today, I will look for those little victories that will come accompany responsible action in my behavior.




WEEK SEVEN:

"I have to realize that all my trouble with living has come from fear and smallness within me"…….Angela L. Wozniak

When I think I need to be more than who I am I run into trouble and begin to make mistakes. This thinking leads me to be less than who I am.

As I take my stance and address the ball, I try to tell myself to golf fearlessly. I make the decision to strike the ball not wanting to care where it lands, nor see where it lands. There is always someone there to see it’s landing, so why should I watch it also?

Fear only inhibits us and prevents us from full involvement in life and golf. When we pull back for fear of failure we usually fail. As I move more fearlessly through life, each experience allows me to learn more and to grow. I want to keep moving forward.

PRAYER:

Lord:

If there be trouble today I will not withdraw. I will become fearless. I will handle all things that come to me. I am grateful today because I have a choice, either to grow or to go backwards. I shall practice these principles in all my affairs.




WEEK SIX:

"If I am to be remembered, I hope it is for the honest. I try to demonstrate the patience I try to live by, and the compassion I feel for others."……..Jo Ann Reed

I would like to leave a lasting positive impression on others. To have others speak well of me is good for maintaining a way from character defects. It makes me want to become a better person, because I am responsible for the impression I leave with others.

My behavior will influence what others may experience from our encounter. Others will take away the sincerity of my new determination or see the lack of sincerity if my defects are not removed for there is a transparency that has become real.

PRAYER:

Lord:

I control my actions toward others for you have disciplined me through the revelation of the 4th step. I want to stop and think and then act. How I interact with others will be determined on my dedication to have those defects removed.




Week Five

"Everything has its wonders , even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content"……………Helen Keller

To find wonder and contentment is the simplicity of life can be challenging. After years of living for the excitement of the bright lights and action, being still and to enjoy may seem foreign and unattainable.

To become present to the now and know this is where I belong sometimes doesn’t make sense. The art of being busy makes some feel important, makes them have a sense of belonging and purpose.

To become present to the now and know this is where I belong sometimes doesn’t make sense. The art of being busy makes some feel important, makes them have a sense of belonging and purpose.

To have relinquished a life to the cell phone or the I-pod or anything else that can distract from having to see oneself for who they are is scary.

Must I always be running away from myself? I do not want to find that when I am 85 how much I have missed by being consumed with avoidance of knowing myself.

I can find myself by being still and to listen. Listen to the me who begs to be free from the madness of the fear of surrendering to the higher self, who truly needs to be free.

Prayer:

Lord:

Today I will be still. I will turn off the cell phone and become alone in the world without escaping into the world of doing. I shall practice living in the present moment.




Week Four

"Deep inside all of us a potential beckons, waiting to open us to the joy, genius, freedom and love within"…..Brandon Bays

I work the 4th and 10th steps to discover those defects of character that keep stopping me from fully experiencing living as a free agent devoid of the dysfunction of my past.

I must thoroughly accept the totality of myself. I want to live totally alive not enslaved by those character flaws that have dictated my life.

My responsibility is to be honest and admit to the truth that I have been self seeking and selfish and in knowing I have gone to any lengths to preserve my imaginary importance.

I seek healing for a broken soul. I have used others to make myself significant.

This week will stretch me to discover more of who I am.

There are so many who have drifted so deeply into self deception and it is through the inventory steps that awareness will happen. All too often the games that have been played to influence others so we can get our way have become a way of life, to become exposed will take courage. The need to fulfill the ego centrism that has denied the true self to emerge has been terrifying. We shall diligently seek our true natural selves this week and dig deeper into the inventory phase of our development.

Prayer:

Lord:

I deeply pray that I can discover that I can cast off anything that might be holding me from evry level and can begin living my life from special place at the seat of my soul.




Week Three:

"I go through life as a transient on my way to eternity, made in the image of God but this that image debased, needing to be taught how to meditate, to worship, to think".....Donald Coggan

Today I am bombarded with so many different methods to understand God and what my relationship is "supposed" to look like, feel like and sound like.

God is love, but what is this love of God everyone would like me to believe in? I love my friends, my golf, my family, my God, and I love peach pie. What I use as a definition of love is how something makes me feel. I was not made in God’s image to make God "feel" a certain way. Too many times, if not always, I create God into my own self interested image. What I want this God to be like is so often my quest. I find it difficultto accept God as God. I define God as love because I want to feel good.

The misuse of the word love has and still does lead many astray. The current God is love concept uses guilt to have people give in to people places and things that are not of God. This "New Age" defining of the love of God only concerns itself with how can I feel good about myself and I need "self" esteem rather than esteeming God. There is the misuse of the love of God to get the outcomes they insist is the way to practice God's Love. They choose to crucify those who do not measure up to their standards, contrary to how they preach in these new doctrines. Jesus Christ died for everyone's sins, it is not right that the new doctrine to preach that we must do the same. There is no one among us who should nor be compelled to believe that they should be placed on that cross to redeem others from their sins.

God's love doesn't always "feel" like love. It is my choice to develop this relationship with God and no one can beat it into me nor can they deprive of it.

Chaos, guilt and shame are not of God. These diabolical methods are used by the evilness of others.

I must accept God for God's sake. I must not use God against others, I cannot twist and spin God’s ways to demand the outcomes I believe are better and greater than free will.

It isn't too much to ask me to live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This keeps it simple and solves all the issues that separates me from others. I don't have to be confused nor be subjected to any one's finger pointing. As I treat others as I would want to be treated I discover there is no need for sacrifice nor is there a need to have my hands out either.

Dignity and integrity would be the norm and freedom and liberty would once again be understood.

Prayer:

Lord:

Grant me the courage and the strength to live by the Golden Rule and do unto others and I would have them do unto me. I am but a small cog in this wheel of life and I will try to live with the respect toward my fellow travelers as I would want them to have to me. Let me not use others to fulfill my lack, let me not need others to make me feel good. I pray that I may not presume to have all the answers for everyone, but only share my experience strength and hope to help others.




Week Two:


"You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universal to unfold. That is how important you are.".....Eckhart Tolle.


Does happiness really and truly come from within and is happiness just an illusion?

How many times have we heard that happiness comes from within? We are asked to find this "happiness" deep in our soul, generating it from nothingness. Happiness is an emotion based on our likes and dislikes, generating from an experience. If I have ordered steak because that will bring me happiness, am I still supposed to be happy when they bring me chicken? Yes I am grateful for the food but am I really happy?

The etymology of happiness is "hap" which is middle English for chance or luck, an unforeseen happening. To occur by chance is an event in which we find gladness.

Something does need to "happen" to arouse the emotion of happiness. We may become happy from seeing the smile of a child, the beauty of a sunset can bring tears to one’s eyes. What "makes" me happy? Happiness is contingent on our spiritual condition-contingencies.

Happiness is relevant to the circumstances around me. This is contrary to all the self professed self help gurus and mentors. We have preached the "happiness from within" sermon for our patients for too many years, not really knowing what we meant-but it sure sounded good.

We have confused happiness with a capacity to experience happiness. Happiness is a momentary feeling of gladness. It is not the essence of being. It is fleeting and the capacity to experience happiness is what we need to explain. Throwing guilt trips on those who can't muster up "being happy from within" 24/7 is not good work but a superiority of those who are trying to "help" others. How do we respond to the circumstances, we find ourselves in? What is the reaction for the actions around us?

We must first cast off the misconception that happiness is a state of being. I can be happy or I can be sad, but what is it inside me that generates the resilience to continue my pursuit of happiness, why do I look for those experiences that I enjoy? Why should my hitting a golf ball 200 yards straight down the fairway make me feel happy? Shouldn’t I be happy regardless of how far I hit it, if happiness comes from within?

So what are we trying to help our fellow travelers understand? Those who have had the pleasure of hearing and reading Joseph Campbell are aware of his discussions about "following our bliss". Bliss is an innate desire to follow our purpose, or as I like to call it "living on purpose". Bliss is not an emotion it is a "thing" that lives inside each and everyone of us.


"to identify that pursuit which you are truly passionate about and attempting to give yourself absolutely to it and in doing so, you will find your fullest potential and serve your community to the greatest possible extent".....Joseph Campbell


"happiness is that state of consciousness, which proceeds from the achievement of one's values".....Ayn Rand



Dr. Scott Peck's first line in The Road Less Traveled, tells us "life is difficult", and so it is. Anyone making light of this fact is being disingenuous. "Oh but remember wherever you go there you will be". Yes we do have to learn to live with ourselves, but if it were to "make" you happy, if for only a short time-why not-you may also find what it is you are supposed to be doing to fulfill your bliss. "We may never pass this way again".

Prayer:

Lord:

We have complicated and confused ourselves with our options and inability to define our purpose, to know what our bliss is and to follow it. We have decided to do those things that are contrary to our nature for the sake of fulfilling societal definitions of worth. This week I want to seriously set before me those goals and aspirations that would put me in control of following my bliss. I want to pursue the reason I am here the cause of my existence.





Week One:

"Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they find repose in Thee."……….St Augustine

That feeling of separation and alienation is a true and honest expression of the state of our beings and our souls. It is funny that plants and animals never worry about their place or purpose. Buy a new pet and see how they are just grateful to have someone to love and we can truly experience that unconditional love we all seek.

The search for reason and purpose haunts us. We see it play out in societal demands. The must be and must have dictates our actions in every situation we encounter. We want resolution to our being here and we try to achieve the answer in the form of becoming "somebody". This can take form in anyone's life regardless of their "station" or "class" in any given culture, there is that pecking order we all have been familiarized with.

Each family is a microcosm of the dysfuntionary world we reside in, and it just progresses upward from there. We seek to be made whole and connected to something, this runs through the veins.

This hole in our hearts is real and everyone tries to fill it with something. This chasm filling takes its form in addiction, from shopping to golf from career to wanting to have perfection in all endeavors. There is none who escape this need for fulfillment. Many live vicariously through others, while many want others to worship at their feet.

We worship the most unusual idols and accept that as normal. These addictions vary from money, fame, intellect, physical prowess. We worship the environment not the Creator of that environment. We seek to be idols to be worshiped. This is not unique to today's societal issues, this has plagued the human soul since it's beginnings.

When we read the Genesis story of the Garden of Eden we see an explanation for the feelings of our emotions of separation. It describes why we feel separation. We long to become whole with the Creator.This is not limited to the Judea-Christian faith, the state of feeling separated pre-dates the Eden story and is found in all past cultures.

Even atheists sense, if not more so, that separation. They will dismiss it and blame religion for the problem and in their elitist fashion seek to have everyone conform to their methods of "fitting in".

The desire to go "home" to find our "Eden" is the cause of our dissatisfaction. When we discover this truth we can begin to enjoy the things we do as just "things we do". We spend our time here whether long or short just doing stuff. "These things will all be forgotten and all things will pass away."

Prayer:

Lord:

I seek to be made whole and want your love to fill me with the joy and happiness I long for. To know alone I am nothing, I want you to be with me in all my endeavors, knowing you are pleased with me.




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