25 years of Sobriety

Today, is the day that I have been working towards for 25 years. I’ve learned so much about myself, God and others. Basically, the AA program is not just about staying sober but what it really did for me is to raise my emotional intelligence. I have had so many beliefs to modify. I have learned how to cope with all of my feelings, and have learned how to be my real self with others.

The first lesson that I had was ACCEPTANCE. I had to learn that acceptance doesn’t mean approval. Before sobriety, I thought that I had to get approval on stuff which was very difficult. Acceptance was the key to real change for me. Just the other day, I came to acceptance about something that I’ve been fighting for too long. Even with 25 years, I can still be a slow learner at times.

The other principle I had to deal with at the start was EXPECTATIONS. I learned that expectations can lead to resentments and those can lead back to drinking, if left unchecked. I am still dealing with this issue as well today. If I am not in God’s will, then I get off course.

For me, staying in recovery so long means that I need to keep an open mind, keep my expectations in check, stay open to learning and relearning and never forget that I am only one drink away from total disaster again. I think it is time for another meeting. God bless you.

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Men have Value too!

Lately, it seems like that there is a lot of man bashing going on. Well, lately I have been observing (what I like to do) the value of men in romantic relationships.

Men pretty much hold the same value they have always held. They need to be the strong and brave one who keeps his family safe from life’s many storms. Men are still breadwinners, even though they don’t have to be the sole money maker of the family anymore. That should reduce their stress, but it doesn’t because that means there’s more to do at home.

And home is where the kids are and that should be the man’s first priority. Making sure his kids are well taken care of in all areas of their lives. Some men think food, clothing and shelter is enough but it’s not. It is just a start. This is usually where the woman comes in to provide for the kids’ emotional and mental needs. But, a man can also provide these needs if they know how do it.

Men provide confidence to their partners. Confidence they can succeed in whatever endeavor they so choose to pursue. They also model practicing faith in God. When men allow God to provide the plan for their families, they are on the best possible footing they can be on.

I admire actress Emma Watson’s (of Harry Potter fame)passionate work to bring equal rights to the sexes. Men and women should receive equal pay for the same work. Duh…

But what I would like to see is more women appreciate what men bring to a relationship and vise versa. When each other is showing appreciation and respect for its partner, this will go a long way in committed relationships staying together and being more healthy than ever before.

And more importantly, each person in the relationship needs to UNDERSTAND each others’ strengths and limitations, so the other can pick up the slack when needed but at the same value each other’s strengths more.

In closing, we are all imperfect human beings trying to do the best we can under our circumstances. However, our journeys can be much more fulfilling and productive if we look at our male or female counterparts through positive, loving and caring lenses.

God Bless…





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To Covet or Not to Covet?

I’ve come to realize that coveting is a trigger to depression for me. I think I’ve always rationalized my coveting as a good trait;  wanting more or better or the best. As a result,
I would push myself to achieve more which only led to wanting more. Never satisfied.
Always disappointed. So join me in this brief study of coveting, to see both sides of it.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife . . .” (Exodus 20:17)

“Whereas several of the commandments prohibit certain actions, such as murder and theft, this is one of the commandments that address the inner person, his heart and mind. As James 1:15 tells us, the inner person is where sin originates, and in this case, covetousness is the forerunner of all manner of sin, among them theft, burglary, and embezzlement.”

“At its root, coveting is the result of envy, a sin which, once it takes root in the heart, leads to worse sins. Jesus reiterated this very thought in the Sermon on the Mount when he said that lust in the heart is every bit as sinful as committing adultery (Matthew 5:28). Envy goes beyond casting a longing glance at the neighbor’s new car. Once dwelled upon, envy of the neighbor’s possessions can turn to feelings of resentment and hatred for the neighbor himself. That can turn into resentment against God and questioning him: “Why can’t I have what he has, Lord? Don’t you love me enough to give me what I want?”

“God’s reasons for condemning covetousness are good ones. At its very core, envy is love of self. Envious, selfish citizens are unhappy and discontented citizens. A society built of such people is a weak one because envious malcontents, as stated before, will be more likely to commit crimes against one another, further weakening the societal structure.

Furthermore, the New Testament identifies covetousness as a form of idolatry, a sin which God detests (Colossians 3:5).

In the end, envy and covetousness are Satan’s tools to distract us from pursuing the only thing that will ever make us happy and content—God Himself. God’s Word tells us that “godliness with contentment is great gain” and that we should be content with the basic necessities of life (1 Timothy 6:6-8), because true happiness is not attained by things, but by a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. By this alone do we gain that which is worthy, true, solid, satisfying, and durable—the unsearchable riches of God’s grace.”

Source: Gotquestions.org


Suggested for further study: The Law of Perfect Freedom: Relating to God and Others through the Ten Commandments by Michael Horton
















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Who or What is your Master…

Today, I celebrate another year of sober living from my old master, alcohol. I only lived a short time (10 years) under alcohol’s command. Most of its followers will be in its chains for much longer, even to the edge of death or into death. However, for me, my new master became my Christian God, 21 years ago.

I say “Christian God” because there are a lot of other “gods” out there. But for me, there is only one true God. The God who comes alive in the Christian Bible in both the old and new testaments.

I have been so fortunate for about a year now that HE (my God) led me to Dr. Charles Stanley’s online ministry at: intouch.org. On the site, I have been able to listen to daily teachings from Dr. Stanley, a very wise and loyal follower of God and his son, Jesus Christ. From these enriching teachings, I’ve been able to learn more about my God and what he expects from me as one of his children.

I learned early on in A.A. that I can’t pass it on, if I don’t have it to pass on. Basically, I needed to learn and practice the 12 steps of A.A. before trying to pass on the message of the program to others. The same goes for God. I was unable to pass on his message of salvation and forgiveness, if I hadn’t learned and studied God’s word with the help of Dr. Stanley.

Ultimately, the most important tenent of A.A. is to form meaningful connections with others in and out of the program. With these connections, one is able to share and practice the “new” values like service to others. As with God, the most vital tenent is to learn and then develop a stronger, more intimate connection with Him. By doing so, I will want to please him by working with the power of the Holy Spirit to live more like Jesus did during his ministry on earth.

I am still so very grateful and humbled that God gave me the gift of sobriety. I am so happy to follow Him wherever he wants me to go rather than my old master. Whether your master is alcohol, your job, money, your family, your hobby, your significant other, etc.; you too can change masters if you are open and willing to do so. God says that I can only have one master and I choose him. Who or what are you going to choose as your master>

God bless you and Take care of yourself…


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To Settle or Not to Settle…

Respect, Appreciation, and Understanding———-

I recently experienced again the importance of those 3 principles, what I like to call the “Big 3”. Another romantic entanglement is over and the end came as the result of the other person not “respecting”, let alone practicing the “Big 3”.

Instead, this person demonstrated only the opposite but probably not intentionally. She behaved like she has been behaving for a very long time. She wants what she wants, no matter who she harms along the way. And then she wonders why her life is a wreck and so unmanageable.

Now I am no saint by any means, but since I “uncovered” the Big 3, I really try to follow them. Not saying it is easy, but at least I have some boundaries I am trying to keep and keep for good reason.

I am a fan of Taylor Swift and she has made millions off singing about her romantic dealings, even at her young age. She said that writing about her experiences is therapeutic for her. She learns from each person and moves on. She doesn’t let herself stay entangled with someone who isn’t right for her.

I have learned that it can be so easy to “settle” for someone who isn’t right for me, but for the moment, it is ok. The problem with the “settle approach” is that moment turns into months and years and now I am stuck in a place with a person I should not be with for one or many reasons.

It’s interesting as I look back over my “love life” to see all of the mistakes and missteps I took “to be with someone”. For me, looking back at it now, it wasn’t about LOVE, it was about not being by myself. Look around, everybody has someone, don’t they?

When I put the “Big 3” into use on a consistent basis in any relationship, I am more caring, concerned and loyal to the other in the relationship. I am not saying it’s love, it’s more about caring about the other person and wanting to be there for him or her. But if that other person doesn’t reciprocate that “care”, then I get mad.

I was mad up until this morning, when I told the other person I was done with their lies and deception. I believe it is my anger that saves me every time. If I didn’t get mad, I would just put up with the crap and continue to be unhappy. As the anger subsides, I feel relief for making another decision to end another entanglement before I was burned even more.

I feel hurt by the person and how she treated me. But is my responsibility to put an end to the mistreatment. No one else can do that for me.

Thank u God for keeping me safe and giving me the wisdom I need to make better decisions in my life.

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48 Years

I find myself today, two days removed from my 48th bday sitting outside on a cool, calm morning in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

As u can tell from some of my past posts, I like to reflect on my life from time to time. I believe it is a good practice to have. Look at the good and not so good. Appreciate it, learn from it and keep moving forward.

The person who I appreciate the most in the first 48 years of my life is my Mom. She really is my best friend today. Since I left an unhealthy entanglement, almost 3 years ago, I have spent a lot of time with Mom. We have laughed, yelled and cried together. When no one else seemed to be there, she was there. And I hope I have been there for her as well.

Friends really have come and gone over my lifetime. I started out with 3 good friends way back in Minnesota, made some new ones in Dixon, IL, made new ones again in Rockford, IL but I really haven’t made too many mates (for my Australian audience) since living in Oklahoma, for some reason.

I am starting to think friends are only meant to be in our lives on a temporary basis. They are there at the “time” we need them, but then they are gone when it is time to move forward. I think friends come along to shape us and test us. Sometimes, our friends shape us in the wrong way and then we end up paying the consequences. However, we can then learn from them and make “better” decisions.

When I didn’t have the above insight about friends’ place in my life, I held onto resentment (Why don’t they like me anymore? I guess I was never really important to them after all). When it comes down to it, family really is the glue that holds us together. We have all tried to rebel against our family on some level. We have all hurt our family in some way. But after all of that, they still forgive us and welcome us back into the fold.

As the sun begins its ascension in the sky and its brilliance will start to heat things up again, I need to finish my reflections.

Recently, actually this week, my younger brother asked me if I had seen a certain horror movie. I replied no, I don’t care for horror flicks because there is already enough “real” horror in everyday life. Which is so true…but there is also “real” beauty in everyday life as well. And I believe, that beauty seems to be able to trump the horror on a regular basis unless we don’t see it and feel it. What is the beauty in your life today?

In closing, I have a good start to my life but I need to do more to help others. There is so much need out there. I want to know, when I take my last breaths, that I did the best I could do on a daily basis. What about u?

God Bless!








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The Ripple Effect

Dang! It has been way too long since my last post…but I did start a new job, after a long, long drought in the UE line. It’s good to be among the working again!

So I have been mulling over this post in my head since a certain someone DIED. I just don’t care for the phrase, “PASSED AWAY.” Hey, dying is part of the human experience, so why sugar coat it?

Anyways, u know me, if u have been reading my stuff…I get distracted as I write and sometimes I share those distractions with u.

So, the Ripple Effect, it reminds me of skipping rocks on the surface of a calm, serene body of water. Sometimes the rock doesn’t get too far and other times, the rock just goes and goes. I describe those splashes the rock makes as ‘ripples’.

In the last few months, an individual DIED and I have witnessed the ripples in the wake of his death. I will keep his name anonymous, but I will use the name, Fred in the place of the man’s name who died.

Fred owned and ran a small restaurant where the locals loved to gather. The waitresses were familiar, not like those fast food places where the help turn over like a burger patty being flipped. Fred’s place was a safe, comfortable space to hang for awhile and catch up with family and friends.

Fred’s eatery was also located in a rural area, where there wasn’t much else in the way of good eating places. So the local folks didn’t have to drive far to enjoy what Fred had to offer whether it be a cheese omelet or the lunch buffet.

But then Fred DIED and everything, I mean everything changed. Not only had Fred’s children lost their caring, supportive Dad, he left behind the restaurant’s staff without work. You see without Fred, his special place closed (for good).

But like the ripples created by the rock that skips across the water for longer than most, Fred’s ripples included his long-time customers. Customers who had come to depend on the comfort and familiarity of Fred’s eatery.

The small community has also been impacted by Fred’s death. Really, his restaurant, that operated for decades was the center of it. Now, what will be the center? Maybe nothing. So sad…

I am one of the many affected by Fred’s ripples. I really didn’t know how attached to the place I was until Fred and it was gone. Once again, taking for granted something or someone, thinking they or it would always be there. But not so…

From Fred’s death, I finally understand the importance of leaving a lasting legacy. Fred’s legacy was his fine food and the comfort he provided (probably without even knowing it). His legacy won’t be forgotten by the thousands who shared the small space with noisy kids and loud laughter.

It is truly mind boggling how one person’s time on this earth can have so much more impact than another person who really has little or no impact on others. What is your current ripple effect on others? Are you satisfied in the ripples you would leave behind when you die? I challenge you to make your life mean something, not only to yourself but to others in your community. I will take that same challenge. How far will your rock skip?




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What if u knew when u would die?

Morbid or thought provoking consideration? Or both…

From all of the “news” that bombards me everyday, there was one story that really caught my attention. It’s a story that I believe should catch everyone’s attention…

It is a non-fiction tale about something that is dying as I write this…yeah Darron, but everything and everyone will eventually die so what’s the big deal?

The big deal, u ask…well, this something is one of the most vital “bodies” that sustains lives and lives and more lives. IT is all around us…most of us take it for granted, thinking it is too BIG to die. Well, is it? According to top scientists, it will die in the year of our Lord, 2048 if we don’t prevent it from dying right before our eyes.

One of the first signs or symptoms if u will, is the emergence of millions if not billions of jellyfish in our oceans. I won’t get into all of the science, but jellyfish is the cancer of our great bodies of water. I visited my brother, way back in 88′, while he was living in L.A. He took me down to the Santa Monica beach and as soon as I stepped a few feet into the inviting water, I was stung by a jellyfish. Ouch.

I didn’t think much of it (the jellyfish) because I was distracted by the swelling and the painful sensations I was feeling from its attack. That was the end to my relaxing dip in the sea which I was not too happy. I had planned to frolic in the Pacific for at least 15 minutes.

2048…if I live to that year, I will be 82 which is not out of the question since my maternal grandpa is currently 94. But with the oceans gone, U and I will be gone too.

So back to my “headline” proposition…if u knew when u would die, what would u do to stop it (your death date)? Would u think, I have to die sometime, so just let it happen…just like we are currently treating the impending doom of the seas. OR would u take an active role to change the course of your time?

U see, we have to take an active role in preventing the oceans from dying. Did you know, right now there is over 700 tons of plastic floating around in the seas? So…well, as the fish ingest the plastic, it kills them. And when the fish die, then the bigger fish don’t have the food to survive and so and so on. Just as the jellyfish are eating up the green stuff, leaving less for the little fishes to eat on. Ellen should focus less on filming “Finding Nemo” part 2 and her payout from it and use her spotlight to help save the water that Nemo and his friends must live in.

But, of course, it is not just Ellen’s job, we have do our part too, whatever that might be…Please, do your part.


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Children Learn What They Live


I came across these powerful ‘lesson plans’ for parents to teach their children recently by Dorothy Law Holte (paraphrased):


Show approval and he will like himself.

Give security and he will have faith.

Show fairness and he will want justice.

Give praise and he will show appreciation.

Give encouragement and he will have more confidence.

Show tolerance and he will be more patient.

Shame him and he will feel guilty.

Ridicule him and he will shy away.

Show hostility and he will want to fight.

Be over critical and he will condemn.



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7 Billion

Did u know that the planet Earth only has resources for 2 Billion humans? The USA population uses 40% of the world’s resources.

To me this statistic is very scary. The world hit 2 Billion residents at the beginning of the 20th century. Do a little math (that I can handle), and the world’s population has grown 5 times since 1901.

So how does the world go on, despite its resources that should have been depleted over 100 years ago? Well, the biggest reason is that nitrogen fertilizer was developed in the 1930’s. With this magic fertilizer we were able to increase our food supply. Without it, it would be game over for billions of people.

So what are we doing about this overpopulation challenge along with the dwindling vital resources of this planet? As you know, the two most populated countries, China and India have limited the # of kids in a family to 2. I believe that the rest of the families on earth should practice the same # of 2 kids per family as well. I know that sounds extreme, but we have to use extreme measures to deal with this challenge.

With less mouths to feed, we will be addressing the limited resources issue. California is going through a severe drought at present. As a result, the water supply is running out fast.

Environmentalists are some of the guardians of the Earth’s resources, however, they are not addressing the overpopulation challenge. Implementing a more “green” USA through more solar power, wind farms, less dependency on oil and coal, recycling, more energy efficient transportation and etc is not enough. The environmentalists are doing great work, but overpopulation in the world isn’t being addressed adequately by this group.

I challenge you and your locality to do more recycling, better use of basic resources like water, buy less material items (it is possible to live without all of the “toys”). Plant a garden and use the food grow from it. In our town, we have a community garden that many can benefit from. Do better planning for your short and long trips to help reduce our carbon footprints.

We as the Earth’s users must do our part and work with others to do more to save our planet. What will we do if we continue to grow our world population and continue to deplete our resources? We won’t make it.

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