Strong Cup of Tea (Gresham’s Law)

Strong Cup of Tea (Gresham’s Law)

The Guy in the Glass

by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,

And the world makes you King for a day,

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,

Who judgment upon you must pass.

The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,

For he’s with you clear up to the end,

And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,

And think you’re a wonderful guy,

But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum

If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

The One Thing

A Manifesto by Armen Z. Listen to the Russell S. steps from 2006 to hear the references presented.

    • AA is, and always has been, about God and all the ways we get to Him and deepen our relationship with Him – THE ONE THING!
  • Expose, not impose
    • Our job is to “expose, but not impose” the gifts and paths that God has given us.
  • Pots and Pans, the Clamor of the World
    • Life’s distractions – clamors of the world – that keep me from focusing on THE ONE THING are the “Pots and Pans”. Am I Martha or Mary?
  • Adopt the heart of the 10th leper
    • Don’t walk away with only God’s gift of healing, like the other 9 did. Instead, be like the 10th and “be made whole” by praising Him and giving Him all the glory for lifting me up out of my “leprosy” and into a NEW life with Him.
  • Have Men Ahead of You That You Are Looking To and That You Want to Emulate, men that are seeking THE ONE THING.
  • Be of Good Cheer When You Are Going Through Tribulation
    • “Tests and trials cause much pain and agony but there is joy to be had in the midst of even the deepest suffering” (James 1:2)
    • “Our confidence is always rooted in the goodness of God and His promise to bring about good in all things that happen to the Christian” (James 1:3)
    • “Victory is ours, not when the problem is removed or even when the test is finally over, but as the test is endured by faith” (James 1:4)
    • “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2, NKJV)
  • Adopt the Al Kennedy attitude
    • If I am fixated on my own issues, remember that God has moved my heart to aspire to be more like “Al Kennedy”.
  • Why does that bother me?
    • If I am experiencing life’s pains and challenges that distract my focus from THE ONE THING, I must simply remember two key statements: “What if that didn’t bother you?” or “It doesn’t bother me like it bothers you…” – reminder that if I am focusing on THE ONE THING, the other issues will pale.
  • Rocket Ride to the 4th Dimension
    • My own will and desire will not be sufficient to achieve the things I want to achieve and be the man I want to be. But I know that if I continue to turn my will and heart to Him, He will lead me to a seat on the Rocket Ride to the 4th Dimension.
  • Watered Down Chemotherapy Drugs
    • Over the years, I have cheated myself and a lot of other guys by “softening up” AA’s message to gain approval or not “rock the boat” – in essence, giving out “watered down” versions of the original AA message. Those times that I have stepped out with my integrity on this issue, I have been rebuked and chastised and my fear has sent me cowering back into my hole – away from the rocket ride and back into the mainstream of settling for watered down AA. This is not at all a tragedy because I know that this was part of my growth toward spiritual maturity. But, knowing what I know today, I can’t go back there again. God does not want me there anymore.
  • Doctor Bob’s Nightmare
    • Page 181 – If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what is in this book, I feel sorry for you. If you still think you are strong enough to beat the game alone, that is your affair. But if you really and truly want to quit drinking liquor for good and all, and sincerely feel that you must have some help, we know that we have an answer for you. It never fails if you go about it with one half the zeal you have been in the habit of showing when getting another drink. Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!
  • Alcoholic #3 – Bill Dotson, on how Bill Wilson & Bob Smith 12th stepped him
    • Page 186 – They said to me, “Do you want to quit drinking? It’s none of our business about your drinking. We’re not up here trying to take any of your rights or privileges away from you, but we have a program whereby we think we can stay sober. Part of that program is that we take it to someone else, that needs it and wants it. Now, if you don’t want it, we’ll not take up your time, and we’ll be going and looking for someone else.”The next thing they wanted to know was if I thought I could quit of my own accord, without any help, if I could just walk out of the hospital and never take another drink. If I could that was wonderful, that was just fine, and they would very much appreciate a person who had that kind of power, but they were looking for a man that knew he had a problem, and knew that he couldn’t handle it himself and needed outside help.

      The next question, they wanted to know was if I believed in a Higher Power. I had no trouble there because I had never actually ceased to believe in God, and had tried lots of times to get help but hadn’t succeeded. The next thing they wanted to know was would I be willing to go to this Higher Power and ask for help, calmly and without any reservations.

  • And so it stands that AA is not here to conform to my needs or anyone else’s needs. Conversely, it is our JOB to fall in line with the original AA program and way of life, as illustrated in the Big Book, also known as THE ONE THING – Find God, Trust God, Clean House, Help Others.

The Old Violin

‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer,
Thought it scarcely worth his while,
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks?” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar, now two, only two,
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three…” but no,
From the room far back, a grey haired man,
Came forward and picked up the bow.
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
and tightening up all the strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As sweet as an angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand, and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once, and three thousand twice,
And going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth?” The man replied,
“The touch of the Master’s hand.”
And many a man with his life out of tune,
And battered and torn with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game, and he travels on;
He’s going once, and going twice,
He’s going, and almost gone.
But the master comes, and the foolish crowd,
Never can quite understand,
The worth of the soul, and the change that’s wrought…
…By the touch of the Master’s hand.

The Eight Points Of The Oxford Group

The Eight Points Of The Oxford Group by C. Irving Benson (published 1938) From Page 5 (pg. 31 of the .pdf):

“The initial step and the indispensable step in the quest is: ABSOLUTE SURRENDER OF OUR LIVES TO GOD. Surrender is ‘life under new management.’

Surrender is not something to be done once and for all at the start, but a process to be sustained, alike in mood and in action, all the way through. Indeed, it must be more than sustained; it must be continuously deepened and informed. Every new day must be surrendered to God. The only surrender that has value is the surrender of life in its totality. Anything conciously kept back mars everything. All that is in self, good, bad, and indifferent, must be handed over to God. He will then give back whatever is fit for us to use.”

Eight Points of the Oxford Group

This is a .pdf file you need Adobe Reader to view it.

Synonyms for “God” in the Big Book – By Dick B.

Lots of misunderstanding about the words “higher power” could be cleared up for believers if they do a quick study on a good Concordance like the Poe Concordance and check out the following usages in the Big Book: “Creator,” “Maker,” “Father,” “Spirit,” “God” [over 400 times counting the capitalized pronouns and the foregoing descriptions taken from the Good Book], “Heavenly Father,” and the statement that it means, of course, that we are going to talk about “God.” Today, though the strange phrase “higher power” is used only twice in the basic text, unbelievers and others have converted it into “light bulb,” “radiator,” “something,” “somebody,” “it,” “his,” “her,” “radiator,” “Santa Claus,” and on and on. Yet when Bill Wilson and Bill Dotson both said on page 191 that the “Lord” had cured them of their terrible disease, and when Dr. Bob said on page 181 that “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down,” they were simply referring to Yahweh, the Creator, who was available to cure them. And when later, Bill wrote to Father John C. Ford, S.J., and said that he didn’t much care what the Buddhists did with the Twelve Steps, he was expressing in the 1950’s the openness which he had declared when he said that even the A.A. “group” could be your higher power. In the Big Book, both uses of the phrase “higher power” were in the context of “God” and no other. Stay tuned for “as you understand Him” which came from Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. For me, being “rocketed” requires the jet propulsion and power of Almighty God and not some idolatrous and lesser “god” which matter is discussed in Psalm 115. That doesn’t make A.A. “Christian.” It simply covers what the founders meant when they were stating “Who” had cured them, and “Who” produced the documented 75% to 93% success rates in Akron and Cleveland among the seemingly hopeless “medically incurable” real alcoholics who numbered 40 and who had gone to any lengths to abstain and rely on the Creator for the power, guidance, and healing. May this help those who believe to understand exactly what our founders believed when they made their statements.

God Bless, Dick B.