MANY OF YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT THE MANY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL SITES OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS.

I PLAN TO SHARE WITH YOU PHOTOS I HAVE TAKEN OF THEM AS WELL AS PHOTOS I HAVE TAKEN OF SPECIAL MEETING LOCATIONS THAT I HAVE VISITED.





Monday, 25 December 2017

DEC 25, 17 .. HAVE A SOBER AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON

Here in the United States, we are at the peak of the Christmas and New Year Holiday Season. 

Many people find this to be an extremely challenging season to remain sober because of all of the stress of the season and the very overwhelming presence of alchol fueled holiday gatherings. 

It does appear that many, but certainly nowhere near all, business holiday gatherings are now alcohol free. It used to be somewhat of the 'norm' for employees to really 'tie one on' at office holiday parties. 

What to do? IF you absolutely need, or even just want to attend a holiday gathering involving alcohol, one strategy is to be sure to have your own transportation. This allows you to choose when to depart and perhaps attend a nearby A.A. meeting.

The bottom line finally becomes this : You have got to want to not drink. Period. This is not a gray area. It is black and white. It is yes or no.  If you want to remain sober, then you have got to be willing to go to any length to not drink. 

Be sure to attend your regular meetings. Don't isolate during the holidays. Reach out to others. Volunteer to assist, lead and to attend Alcathons in your local area. Eat healthy meals. Drink healthy liquids. Get adequate rest. 

No one said this would be easy. Many of us say that going to any length to remain sober will be well worth the efforts you put forth. 

Best wishes and may God, your Higher Power and your sober associates be with you on your journey through the holidays.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

NOV 29, 17 .. WHO IS LISTENING AND WHAT ARE THEY HEARING

I don't think that I am alone when I write : 

Whenever we share at a meeting, or wherever we share our thoughts, we have absolutely no idea whatsoever as to what our audience (be it only one person or a room full of people) will hear (i.e. understand).

Let me paint a short picture of the gentleman I am going to write about here : I would estimate him to be in his late 40's or early 50's. Very bright in appearance and could well be a university educated professional career wise. He was fit and trim and appeared to be in good physical condition. He was very likeable and friendly.

The stage is set. I was asked to give a full and formal open talk. Podium, microphone, a standard format was followed.

My talk lasted a full 45-minutes. 

Right up front, during the first few minutes of my talk, I explained that I have been spending considerable time in Mongolia carrying the message of recovery in A.A. During this introductory period I explained the challenges of working with a translator in Mongolia. That is to say, I will say something in English and my words then have to be translated into the Mongolian Language.

I then went on to give my open talk, speaking for another forty or so minutes. I was very pleased with how it went.

And now for the final curtain.

The next day I encountered the above very bright gentleman in another meeting. When he saw me, he came over to me and said :

"In your open talk last night, you spoke of being in Mongolia and of having to work with a translator who would take your words of English and repeat them in the Mongolian language. I did not believe that there exists such a thing as a Mongolian language. So I went home after your open talk and immediately did a Google search. My Google search proved that you are correct, there is indeed a Mongolian language."

I was polite BUT, I could not believe that this one issue, is there or isn't there such a thing as a Mongolian language, occupied his attention all during my talk to the point he went home and did a Google search to prove or disprove my statement.

I did not ask him what language he thought would be spoken in Mongolia.

Go figure! Who knows who is listening and what they are hearing when any of us speaks.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

OCT 26, 17 .. DOCTOR BOB'S HOME .. AKRON, OHIO

I never tire of visiting Doctor Bob's Home in Akron, Ohio.

Below are photos that I snapped during my visit this past September. When I walked up to Doctor Bob's home, I made the solemn resolve NOT to snap any photos. I have so many photos from past visits that I felt that I did not need so much as one more photo.

Then I snapped the below photo and away I went.

WELCOME HOME TO ALL OF YOU !!


 I will begin with photos of the living room.





The next photos show the dining room. The first photo below was snapped from the living room.





Below is the front bedroom, upstairs on the 2nd floor across from Doctor Bob's bedroom. Bill Wilson slept in this bedroom during his visits and stays with Doctor Bob in the mid-1930's and forward.




Something new since my last visit. In the second floor closet at the head of the stairs, shown below are two photos of a wire recording device similar to those upon which some of Bill Wilson's and Doctor Bob's talks were recorded.




Doctor Bob's bedroom on the 2nd floor.


The main bathroom on the 2nd floor.



Daughter Sue's bedroom. Many an early member, including my first Grand Sponsor, got down on their knees at this bed and accepted God and Jesus into their lives.




The photos below were snapped on the 3rd floor.






If you are interested in my previous, and much longer Post of Doctor Bob's Home, you may click onto the below link.

http://aaphotoshere.blogspot.com/2016/05/may-10-16-doctor-bobs-home-akron-ohio.html

In Service to those who gave of themselves that we all may live free and happy lives.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

SEP 23, 17 .. DO WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE NOT TO DRINK..

Today's Rhetorical Question : 

Do we have, within us, the power of choice not to drink?

Once in recovery, I never thought that I would ever seriously consider taking a drink of alcohol.

November 25th, 2016, I fell in the Dubai airport and broke my left hip.

November 28, 2016, I flew from Hong Kong, China, to Phoenix, Arizona, to seek medical assistance with my broken hip.

At the beginning of my Hong Kong to Seattle flight, I encountered an enormous crisis. I actually felt, that if I did not pick up a drink of alcohol, I would not be able to survive, with any degree of sanity, the upcoming 12-hour flight. 

I felt that I was about to go mad with the nagging pain and the enormous physical discomfort of my broken hip.

The thought occurred to me..

"No one will ever know. Just one drink will give me relief from this pain and discomfort." 

I wrote a Post about this crisis and what happened.

http://aaphotoshere.blogspot.com/2016/

Think the drink. Play the tape all the way through. Be on guard for the unguarded moment.

Back to my Rhetorical Question. 

I firmly believe that.. If we are diligently working the program of A.A., and we have a considerable amount of sober time since our last drink, we have indeed acquired the power to choose not to drink. 

We have two books, two Big Books if you will..

The Holy Bible, King James version.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the Holy Bible, in the Old Testament, in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 30, Verse 19, God tells us..

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

Biblical scholars teach that this verse tells us that God's great gift to all of mankind is that we have been given the power of choice. This, the power of choice, is indeed God's great gift to us.

I feel that A.A.'s great gift to us is the gift of having the power to choose not to take a drink.

Recently one of my closest A.A. friends and I were having dinner. I recounted the above story about my in-flight crisis and actually needing a drink.

He listened quietly and then, quoting the Big Book, page 43, he said..

"In the Big Book it states that.. The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power."

He went on to say.. "I don't think I could have done what you did. When the urge to drink would hit me, I drank without thinking it through."

Bill Wilson wrote the A.A. Big Book back in the late 1930's. At that time, no one in A.A. had the long term sobriety that some of us now have. Decades. Several decades. Many decades. 

The Big Book also states that..

We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

I feel that this recovery allows us the power of choice over alcohol.

I believe, again with the proviso that..

If we are diligently working the program of A.A., and we have a considerable amount of sober time since our last drink..

We have indeed acquired the power to choose not to drink.

I will add a final proviso.

We have several realms of reality. The physical. The mental. The spiritual.

In the physical realm we are NOT equal. I will never be able to run 100-yards in eleven seconds. At my stage of life, I can barely walk 100-yards.

The decision of whether or not to pick up a drink falls into the mental and spiritual realms.

In these realms, I believe that, IF one of us can achieve the power to choose not to drink, we all can.

If I could choose not to pick up the drink on the above airline flight, all of us can make the same decision.

If you doubt your power of choice over alcohol, let me be an example that you too can choose not to pick up a drink when, and if, that urge to drink seemingly overwhelms you.

If I can.. You can..

Thursday, 24 August 2017

AUG 24, 17 .. A VISIT TO RUSSIA AND SOME MEETINGS IN SIBERIA..

After two years of on-again, off-again efforts, with a tremendous and invaluable amount of help from a friend, I received a VISA that enabled me to travel into Ulan-Ude, in Southern Siberia, North of the border with Mongolia.

I can NOT read Russian BUT, I know their cyrillic alphabet so I can 'sound out' words. 

The top words in the road sign below say.. Ulan-Ude. This is the largest of the two cities that I visited.  



A little hard for you to see, but we have arrived in Ulan-Ude, Russian Siberia.



I stayed with a Russian friend in his apartment.



I was in Ulan-Ude two nights. I spoke at two meetings in Ulan-Ude.

I had an excellent translator. It is vital for a speaker and a translator to be able to work hand-in-glove. We two worked together for both of my Ulan-Ude talks. 

The first set of photos below show the room in which I spoke my first night in Ulan-Ude.








This second set of photos show the venue I spoke at my second night in Ulan-Ude.


As I said above, I worked with the same translator in both Ulan-Ude meetings.
  





I said I spoke in two cities..

When I die, I can think to myself.. 

"I gave an open talk in Gusinoozyorsk, Russian Siberia."




A hospital.



I ate my very first-ever meal in Russia in the below cafe here in Gusinoozorsk.



In the below photo, on the right side of the photo, you can see a cashier wearing a red top.



In this very small cafe, behind the cashier, you have a fully stocked supply of liquid refreshments to assist your local Russian Siberian to pass the long winter nights.




We decided not to partake of the above liquid refreshments and settled for good, solid, basic Russian food.




Time to Stand and Deliver in Gusinoozyorsk, Russian Siberia.





Goodbye, sweet dreams, Gusinoozorsk, Southern Russian Siberia. I will treasure my visit with you and with your people.


It was both an honor and a pleasure to visit Russian Siberia for a few days and to share freely of what has been freely given to me to pass on to others.