"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Sixteen Things

My brother has a blog. (Infactorium.blogspot.com) It's about his recovery from alcoholism, but it's also about many random and funny things that float through my brother's fertile and active mind. He recently posted "Sixteen things which I haven't been keeping secret but which you probably don't know about me" and invited his readers to post their own sixteen things. Here are mine. Mine today, anyway. Tomorrow they'd be different. Some of them.

1. I am incapable of returning a book, so don't lend me one. I don't have a library card for this reason; I owe them $14,283 from before I learned this lesson.  
2. Not really $14,283. More like $42.  
3. I need my alone time too, but this makes me feel guiltier than it makes my bro feel, because I am a mother of two small children (and one big one).  
4. A lot of the time, I am a barely adequate mother. While my children are telling me important things I go "mmm-hmm" way more than the recommended amount. And that's not the half of it.  
5. I quit smoking two and a half years ago. Before that I smoked a lot.  
6. I quit biting my nails about a year ago. Before that, I just didn't have fingernails. I had little bloody stumps for as long as I can remember.  
7. I have no idea why or how I quit those two things; I just mysteriously stopped.  
8. I used to have lots of vivid dreams, but now I seldom remember my dreams. I miss my dreams.  
9. I like to paint nudes.  
10. All my best girlfriends moved away within the last two years. I'm really lonely for female company.  
11. I rely on my sister way too much for female company.  
12. Having accomplished my lifelong dream of moving to the country and getting goats and chickens and ponies, I'm just not sure what to do next.  
13. I often feel that I haven't yet done anything of "importance" - that is, anything that matters to anyone who doesn't live in my house. Although I have no shortage of useful skills, I just haven't been able to turn them into a worthwhile enterprise on behalf of society at large. I am afraid that until I manage that (really pretty awesome) task, I will feel restless, unfulfilled, and angry at myself.  
14. My painting and my poetry both might have been able to be part of that task, but I've been too chicken and/or lazy to make them public instead of private.  
15. I am the best non-native Spanish speaker I've ever met.  
16. There are so many things I want to do that I know I will never be able to do even a tenth of them, and that drives me crazy. All I can do is try to decide what I want to do NEXT. NEXT I want to make goat cheese cheddar.

17 comments:

AnyEdge said...

Hey Sis, thanks for the cross-blog buzz. Here are the sixteen from my post:

1. I need my alone time, but I hate it when people need alone time from me.

2. I'm incredibly vain about my education and experience.

3. #2 is true because I am incredibly insecure.

4. My doctoral dissertation was terrible. Just terrible. It should never have been accepted as is.

5. I act like I always know the right thing to do, but I'm terrified of being wrong. Which is weird, because when I am wrong, I have no problem admitting it.

6. I love travelling for work, and I'm super lazy on those trips.

7. I blog at work a lot and shouldn't. I am not nearly as diligent as I think most people are.

8. I still get all my work done on time. It makes me wonder how much I could do if I actually worked all the time I'm supposed to. Lots more than I do, that's for sure.

9. I used to cut myself. I miss that more than I miss drinking. I still nurse little accidental cuts so that they bleed for a long time.

10. I have four tattoos and I love them all. I want one more.

11. I have a tiny parrot who is far more trouble than he's worth. I think he's mentally ill from being in the cage so much.

12. My concept of God's love is constantly evolving. I'm understanding what my place is in the world better and better. Sometimes that's comforting. Sometimes it's scary.

13. I eat a nice healthy salad every day at work: mixed greens, carrots, mushrooms, kalamata olives and croutons, with half regular ranch and half fat free ranch. I love salads.

14. I kind of pity celebrities. But I still want to be known and respected in my field.

15. I love to write, and I've started a lot of projects of prose and poetry, but I never finish them.

16. My greatest failures are ones of diligence, not ability.

Penelope said...

1. I'm really bad with money and have no idea why because I have nothing to show for it nor any drug problems.
2. I really detest my chickens, they've made me stop eating eggs almost entirely.
3. I've recently rediscovered a long lost creative energy and it makes me really happy
4. I'm not really particularly great at anything.
5. I really am nicer than most people think I am, which is already pretty nice, which makes me feel better about how much more attractive my husband is than me, cuz I know he's still lucky to have me (not that he's not nice, he is)
6. I haven't bought a new outfit or pair of shoes for over a year. (I really don't know where my money goes)
7. I have baby goats living in my kitchen
8. I have to have my husband cut my chicken for me because if I see any gristle, skin or veins or gross stuff like that then I can't eat
9. I've been known to take my dog's Xanax, but only if I really need it (less than once a month)
10. I'm way too proud of my garden, a garden that most people wouldn't bother being proud of.
11. I'm not particularly self aware and couldn't list 16 things about myself unless I started listing freckles.

Aimee said...

If my garden was as nice as yours I'd be proud. Heck, I plan on being proud of the three tomatoes and two potatoes I manage to grow this year.

Michael said...

Aimee said...
My brother has a blog. (Infactorium.blogspot.com) It's about his recovery from alcoholism...

What we find with the 12 STEP PROGRAM is a theory of man that wants to hold to the idea that alcoholism is a disease and yet claim somehow that it can be cured through spiritual means.

This idea not only contradicts Scripture, it contradicts itself.

It is either a disease (which implies a physical problem) and can be cured physically or it is a spiritual issue (a sin) and can only be cured by obedience to God.

To imply that you need spirituality to cure a sickness is quite frankly a lie.

Who has ever cured a cold, the flu, an ear infection, or any “disease” by becoming spiritual?

And that same reasoning holds true in reverse; sin will not be cured by medicine.

Man often attempts to, but instead of curing the problem the medicine only anesthetizes them from noticing the spiritual implications of their behaviour.

It may correct a symptom, but it cannot get to the root of the problem, which is sinful behaviour.

yelga said...

Drunkenness is not a disease called alcoholism.

The Bible does not make a distinction between different types of “drinkers.

We are told not to be “drunk” and anyone who does so is sinning.

Guilt, they say, is detrimental to mental health

p160 said...

Oxford Group soul surgery techniques called for augmentation of guilt leading to the conversion experience.

The alcoholics had learned, through their own conversion, a different method, augmentation of fear with an initial diminution of guilt. “It’s not your fault it’s a disease. There is nothing you can do about it. You’ll die unless you believe.”

When a person was properly convinced & reached a point of proper desperation, guilt was then applied to bring about conversion of God control.

These new groupers [Steppers] were motivated not primarily by guilt, but by fear.

The other groupers [Steppers] being god controlled through guilt would use guilt to manipulate others.

Michael said...

TWELVE STEPS AWAY FROM CHRIST:

Mr. Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and creator of the twelve-step program.

Mr. Wilson was heavily influenced by demons. Chapter sixteen (p. 275f) of 'Pass It On' The Story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world records Mr. Wilson's use of the Ouija board, participation in séances, psychic events, "spook sessions", table levitation, and how he would receive "messages" from "discarnate" spirits.

Bill Wilson was clearly in contact with demons, and this is the man who created the deceptive twelve-step program.

Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him. (Step #11.)

The last part of this statement ("as we understood Him") is enough to damn your soul!

God says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5).

This is the exact opposite of "God as we understood Him." All men, according to Romans 1:18-32, are condemned before God, because they rely upon their own understanding (Romans 1:21;

Ephesians 4:18, "having their understanding darkened", and they create (in their own darkened minds) a god of their own making (Romans 1:23).

To encourage people to turn their "lives over to the care of God as we understood Him", is to encourage people to "turn their lives over to a god of their own making" (i.e. according to their own understanding).

This promotes nothing more than spiritual death (Revelation 22:15).

In addition, these twelve steps are a deceitful attack against the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ (i.e. they are against Christ, ANTI-CHRIST, 2 John 7; Colossians 2:8-10).

The twelve steps are (as Mr. Wilson used them) given as an answer (a way) in which one can overcome sin (with Mr. Wilson's case, the sin of drunkenness).

Jesus Christ is the ONLY answer for sin. He is the only way (John 14:6).

There is only ONE "step", and that is faith in the Saviour (Ephesians 2:8/Matthew1:21/John 8:36/Romans10: 13!

The above exemplifies the "twelve steps" are what are used to "become free from addictive, compulsive" behaviour (i.e. sin) . In other words, the twelve steps are the saviour!

No doubt it is deceptive, because "Biblical principles" are interwoven throughout; but if they weren't, few (if any) would be deceived.

One good question to ask would be “Where does Scripture talk about any ‘twelve steps’? The answer? Nowhere!

These twelve steps come from Satan (via Bill Wilson), who is the master deceiver (Revelation 12:9). Remember, SATAN, used Scripture to tempt Christ (Matthew 4:6), and Balaam spoke much truth (Numbers 23-24); but he was a false prophet (2 Peter 2:15-16/Numbers 22).

In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus warned, Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it
.

Jesus likewise warned in Luke 13:24, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

mg159 said...

A.A.’s 12 Steps suggest the alcoholic deal with “shortcomings,” “moral inventory,” “defects of character,” “wrongs,” and “making amends.

Millions of unsaved people have come to believe they are right with God and man because of the Steps.

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

For more on Alcoholics Anonymous: www.mywordlikefire.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...
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Michael said...

12 Steps to Another Gospel?

http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/12steps1.html

Part One

Tyndale House Publishers advertises their Life Recovery Bible with these words: "Imagine having Abraham, King David, and the Apostle Paul in your 12-step group." The ad continues: "Like you, they found recovery by trusting in a power greater than themselves."

Besides presenting a psychological, 12-step biased "character profile" of Abraham, David, and Paul, this adulterated version of the Bible includes "fascinating 12-step notes on almost every page," "recovery themes at the beginning of each book," "12-step devotions, serenity prayer devotions, and much, much more."

The ad assures the reader that "every study help has been written by a biblical scholar who has personally experienced the 12 steps."

Michael said...

12 Steps to Another Gospel?

PART ONE: CONTINUED-

When Christians seek to combine the ways of the world with Christianity they end up with a distorted gospel at least, but more often it ends up being another gospel and another form of sanctification.

Twelve-Step programs originated with Alcoholics Anonymous. Now they are embraced and followed religiously by numerous other groups, including Al-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and Co-dependents Anonymous.

Churches have housed AA meetings for years and now many leading Christians are promoting various Twelve-Step programs.

We wonder if they have explored the history of AA’s Twelve Steps and the implications of programs centered around any unspecified higher power.

The following excerpt from our book 12 Steps to Destruction: Codependency/Recovery Heresies gives a brief background of AA in terms of its religious roots and goals.

Michael said...

12 Steps to Another Gospel?

PART ONE: CONTINUED-

Alcoholics Anonymous Religion.

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, originally written by Bill Wilson, came from his own personal experience and world view. Step One, "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable," expresses the relief he experienced when his doctor convinced him that his heavy drinking was caused by an "allergy" over which he was powerless.

Thus, when Wilson completed his drying out treatment, he thought his problem was solved. He had been relieved of guilt for moral failure and had been diagnosed as having a disease.

The cure was simple. Just don’t take another drink. Nevertheless, his confidence in his newly found sobriety did not last long. In spite of his belief that his excessive drinking was not his fault, but rather due to an "allergy," Wilson felt doomed.

During this bleak time Wilson received a phone call from an "old drinking buddy," Ebby Thatcher.

They hadn’t seen each other for five years and Thatcher seemed like a new man. When Wilson asked him why he wasn’t drinking and why he seemed so different, Thatcher replied, "I’ve got religion."

He told Wilson that when he had prayed God had released him from the desire to drink and filled him with "peace of mind and happiness of a kind he had not known for years."1

Wilson was uncomfortable with Thatcher’s testimony. Yet he desired Thatcher’s freedom from alcohol.

Wilson drank for several more days until he reached a point of great agony and hopelessness (the full intensity of Step One). He then returned to the hospital for detoxification treatment.

Michael said...

12 Steps to Another Gospel?

PART ONE: CONTINUED-

Wilson’s Conversion.

Wilson’s religious experience occurred at the hospital. He deeply desired the sobriety his friend had, but Wilson still "gagged badly on the notion of a Power greater than myself."

Up to the last moment Wilson resisted the idea of God. Nevertheless, at this extreme point of agony, alone in his room, he cried out, "If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do anything, anything!"2

Because Wilson believed he was helplessly afflicted by a dread disease, he cried out to God as a helpless victim, not as a sinner.

He had already been absolved from guilt through the doctor’s allergy theory. Thus he approached God from the helpless stance of a victim, suffering the agony of his affliction, and commanded God to show Himself. Here is Wilson’s description of his experience:

Michael said...

12 Steps to Another Gospel?

PART ONE: CONTINUED-

Suddenly, my room blazed with an indescribably white light. I was seized with an ecstasy beyond description. Every joy I had known was pale by comparison. The light, the ecstasy — I was conscious of nothing else for a time.3

He saw an internal vision of a mountain with a clean wind blowing through him. He sensed a great peace and was "acutely conscious of a Presence which seemed like a veritable sea of living spirit." He thought, "This must be the great reality. The God of the preachers."
He said:

For the first time, I felt that I really belonged. I knew that I was loved and could love in return. I thanked my God, who had given me a glimpse of His absolute self.

Even though a pilgrim upon an uncertain highway, I need be concerned no more, for I had glimpsed the great beyond.
4

The experience had a profound effect on Wilson. From that point on he believed in the existence of God and he stopped drinking alcohol.

Thus, Steps Two and Three read: "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity," and "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."5

While this experience included God as Bill Wilson understood him, there is no mention of faith in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ and salvation from sin based upon Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Rather than attempting to understand his experience in the light of the Bible, Wilson turned to William James’s book The Varieties of Religious Experience.

Philosopher-psychologist William James (1842-1910) was intrigued with mystical, existential experiences that people reported to him.

He contended that such experiences were superior to any religious doctrine.6 He did not care about the religious persuasion of mystics as long as they achieved a personal experience. James says:

In mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness.
This is the everlasting and triumphant mystical tradition, hardly altered by differences of clime or creed.

In Hinduism, in Neoplatonism, in Sufism, in Christian mysticism, in Whitmanism, we find the same recurring note, so that there is about mystical utterances an eternal unanimity. . . .
7

It is easy to see how such a description fit Bill Wilson’s experience. The mystical experiences reported by James also followed calamity, admission of defeat, and an appeal to a higher power. The official AA biography of Wilson says:

James gave Bill the material he needed to understand what had just happened to him—and gave it to him in a way that was acceptable to Bill.

Bill Wilson, the alcoholic, now had his spiritual experience ratified by a Harvard professor, called by some the father of American psychology!8.

Most people assume that the founders of Alcoholics’ Anonymous were Christians. After all, Wilson talks about God, prayer, and morality.

On the other hand, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is absent from his spiritual experience. There is no mention of Jesus Christ providing the only way of salvation through paying the price for Bill Wilson’s sin.

Wilson’s faith system was not based on Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Nor is there any mention of Jesus Christ being Lord of his life.

Michael said...

12 Steps to Another Gospel?

PART ONE: CONTINUED-

Not only is there clear evidence that Bill Wilson did not embrace Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior and as the only way to the Father, but Wilson was also heavily involved in occult activities in his search for spiritual experiences.

These are the roots of Alcoholics Anonymous rather than Christianity.

Part Two of this article discusses Wilson’s spirituality and occult practices.

Notes:
1 Pass It On: The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world. New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1984, pp. 111, 115.

2 Ernest Kurtz. Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous. Center City, MN: Hazelden Educational Services, 1979, p. 19.

3 Pass It On, op. cit., p. 121.

4 Ibid.

5 Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1952, 1953, 1981.

6 William James. The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902). New York: Viking Penguin Inc. 1982, p. xxiv.

7 Ibid., p. 419.

8 Pass It On, op. cit., p. 125.

PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries, 4137 Primavera Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110
www.psychoheresy-aware.org

Rowan said...

My sixteen things....

1.) I am incredibly lazy. Everyone tells me that I am capable of greatness, and I know it to be true, but I never push myself hard enough to get there.

2.) I am selfish. I think everyone is selfish, and I just feel guiltier about it than most.

3.) I am completely wracked with guilt all the time, even when I have nothing to feel guilty about.

4.) I absolutely love healthy food. I love veggies, fruit, and brown rice. I love to eat simply, the way my dad used to cook.

5.) ...But I always end up reaching for the junk food anyway. Why?

6.) Because I can't cook. All the women in my family are fantastic cooks. Bounteous women who feed their families wonderful food. I can barely heat up a frozen dinner.

7.) Nothing gets me more excited than farm life. I can be entertained for hours and hours researching chickens or looking at seed catalouges.

8.) I'm scared. I'm scared that my garden won't live up to my expectations.

9.) I'm scared that I won't live up to other people's expectations.

10.) When I do put my mind to something, I dream incredibly big, and I don't get dissuaded easily.

11.) My friends think of me as never getting angry, but I actually get extremely angry all the time. I'm just very good at holding back.

12.) I used to like to think of myself as special and different. Everybody told me I was, including teachers. Even in college, I've had a few teachers tell me what an amazing student and person I am. But now I like to look at the ways I'm the same as everyone else. This is despite the fact that...

13.) ...I'm the sort of person who buys a rooster on a whim and keeps him in my bathroom for three days.

14.) I am sick all the time. There's always something mildly to moderately wrong with me, and something violently wrong happens to me with way more frequency than t does to other people.

15.) I'm not shy. Not in the tiniest bit. The way I make friends is pretty much by immediately telling them my life story, and then gauging their reaction. The best friends I have are those whose reaction was to reciprocate.

16.) Overall, I believe life is good. I am incredibly lucky to be me, live where I live, and do what I do. I thank god for it every day.

Aimee said...

Love this, baby.