Monday, February 27, 2012

A list of Dick B. Newsletter Subjects Over the Past 3 Months

Date Sent Email Name Sent

2/26/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message A Big Book Seminar 1535

2/26/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message A First Century Christian Fellowship 1535

2/23/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message “Old
School” A.A., the Book of Acts, and Recovery Today 1538

2/23/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message D. J. Defoe, “I Saw Religion Remake a Drunkard,” 1539

2/19/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message Old
School 12Step Recovery Meetings 1539

2/16/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message A Christian Recovery Package That All Can Use 1539

2/12/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message Newsletter ICRC First 2012 North American Conference 1540

2/8/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message Newsletter A.A.’s Green Mountain State Academy Boys 1538

2/6/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message New Video Series! 1535

2/5/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message Three Exciting Announcements 1538

1/19/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message A Great Close to Our Southern California Meetings 1530

1/13/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message Several Great Highlights from Our Southern California Trip 1531

1/3/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message Awakening to the Real Spiritual Experience 1521

1/2/2012 Dick B.'s FYI Message Help for Today’s Pastor, Minister, or Priest Who 1521

12/26/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Alcoholics Anonymous Origins and Early History Pt2 1519

12/25/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Alcoholics Anonymous Origins and Early History 1521

12/19/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message The International Christian Recovery Coalition Conferences 1523

12/19/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Dick B. and Ken B. Are Coming Back to California 1524

12/18/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message The Christian Upbringings of Bill W. and Dr. Bob 1524

12/17/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Alcoholics Anonymous History and a Relationship with God 1524

12/11/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Tremendous 12 Step Origins NA Conference on Jan 9 1523

12/11/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Some Devoted, Experienced, Laboring Christian Twelfth
step 1523

12/9/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Emerging Godly Awakening among Recved Christian Leaders 1523

12/5/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages The Salvation Army Influence on, and Relevance to, A.A. 1524

12/4/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages Research on Calvary Mission in New York 1525

12/3/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages Non
Christian Recovery Community Outreach 1526

12/2/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages Dick B. and Ken B.'s Next Trip to California 1526

12/2/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages 2011
2012 Winter Features 1526

11/28/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages A New Group 1530

11/23/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages A Christmas Gift that Keeps on Giving 1531

11/20/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages Alcoholics Anonymous and Sin 1551

11/18/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages Alcoholics Anonymous History: Our Latest Project 1554

11/12/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Messages Is It Worthwhile to Help an A.A. Newcomer? 1559

11/8/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Alcoholics Anonymous History 1562

11/4/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Counting the Noses of Our Recoveries" in November 1937 " 1564

11/1/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks A Contemp 1565

10/26/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Linking and Applying in A.A. Today 1567

10/26/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Christian Recovery Resource Centers and Persons – Worldwid 1570

10/17/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Dr. William D. Silkworth, His Advice 1559

10/17/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message A.A. History The Importance of Dr. Bob’s Remarks 1559

10/17/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message A.A. History: A.A. and First Century Christianity 1559

10/15/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 4th Edition 1559

10/7/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Let Us Write (or Rewrite or Help You Edit) Your Intro 1554

10/7/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Collaborative Christian Recovery Ideas and Plans Pt3 Rev 1556

10/6/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Collaborative Christian Recovery Ideas and Plans Pt2 1557

10/6/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Collaborative Christian Recovery Ideas and Plans Pt3 1557

10/6/2011 Dick B.'s FYI Message Collaborative Christian Recovery Ideas and Plans Pt1

A Big Book Seminar: What It Did and What It Still Can Do

A Big Book Seminar

What It Did and What It Still Can Do

Dick B.

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

My Joe and Charlie Sacramento Beginning

There was a guy named Tony who showed  up at all the Beginner’s Meetings on Friday in Larkspur. He was one of the first to hand me his card and phone number when I came in. He sponsored a number of my newcomer friends, and he always had them sitting in the front row with Big Books open throughout the meeting. They were serious. They were sober. And they stayed sober and began sponsoring others. One of those great examples I had at the beginning.

But then there was the matter of the Big Book:

Tony always had his sponsees come to his home on Sunday and read the Big Book with him. Neither my sponsor nor his sponsor ever even offered to do that. Tony knew how to take people through the Twelve Steps, and you could tell it from the relevant points they shared. My sponsor and his sponsor never explained to me once how to take the Steps. And I went to Big Book study after Big Book study meeting, and Step meeting after Step meeting, and—with my fuzzy brain and confused thinking, I was a poor example of how the learn and apply the solution of A.A.

One evening, Tony came to the Beginner’s Meeting. He announced that there was a Big Book Seminar in Sacramento; and he said this seminar was a “must” for those who wanted to learn the program of recovery. I went. I sat in front. My book was open. I heard Frank Mauser, archivist from General Services in New York give an hour talk on A.A. history. And then I followed Joe McQuany and Charlie Parmley line by line through the Big Book. And the light went on.

In fact, as the years rolled on, I insisted that each of my sponsees go to Sacramento in September and attend the Big Book Seminar. Usually there were about 800 in attendance. As I did with every function involving my sponsees and meetings, I was always there, and they were staying in a motel with me throughout the sessions. The same was true for Tony and his ever-flowing tide of eager newcomers.

What Came of It?

I learned what to look for in the “problem,” in the “solution,” and in the “practical program of action” that in all made up the program of recovery through the Steps. So did the men I sponsored. And they passed on to their newcomers the same information. I might add that neither my own sponsor nor his sponsor ever attended these events.

I became a good friend of the GSO archivist Frank Mauser. He introduced me to Joe and Charlie. I became good friends with all three and actually met with Joe in Little Rock twice and at Founders Day once where we discussed the history, the Big Book, the Steps, God, the Bible, prayer, and recovery. Later, Frank said he could no longer do the history segment and suggested that I take over his slot at the seminars—something that never happened because the “voice” of the Seminar” decided he wanted the task. However, I was hot on the history trail by then. Frank invited me to stay in his apartment while I was meeting Nell Wing, researching at World Services headquarters, and going up to Bedford Hills to research at Stepping Stones. Frank facilitated it all. Nell Wing was very helpful. And Frank even put me in touch with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, with whom I met. And he suggested T. Willard Hunter as a speaker and as a friend of A.A. thoroughly knowledgeable of A.A.’s Oxford Group roots.

What’s The Important Lesson?

At this point, my four friends are dead. I believe Frank died first. Then Nell. Then Joe. And finally Charlie. But in my own life, all four had sown the seeds that produced a deep conviction that there were at least three deep holes in A.A. as I inherited its benefactions on April 23, 1986.

The first hole was the need for those who were not merely serious about permanent sobriety, but also realized that the Big Book suggested much more: (a) The need to “find” God. (b) The need to establish a relationship with God. (c) The need to see what Bill and Bob saw in the book they authorized in 1939—the need for a “spiritual experience” that would enable permanent cure and a live of service to God and those about us. This could not be done without a good teacher or teachers with clear minds who—like Joe and Charlie—had thoroughly studied the Big Book, achieved long term sobriety, and had the clarity of mind to teach others with laughter, sincerity, and effectiveness.

The second hole was one that both Joe and Charlie—as well as Frank Mauser and Nell Wing—urged me to pursue and encouraged me by their help and suggestions. That hole was the huge gap in the history of A.A. and the sources and application of its biblical roots.

The third hole was the greatest and most overlooked. Nobody seemed to have spent any significant time finding out where the biblical and other Christian ideas so prominent in early A.A. had come from. They never talked about: (1) The great Christian evangelists like Moody, Meyer, Sankey, and Billy Sunday. (2) The important conversions and revivals conducted by lay brethren of the Young Men’s Christian Association. (3) The key elements of the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by those derelicts and drunks – like Ebby Thacher and Bill Wilson—who had gone to the altar and been born again. (4) The unique exemplary techniques of the early Salvation Army workers in the slums of London and then America. (5) The program of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor—whose principles and practices became those of the early Akron A.A. program. Nor had anyone devoted time to seeing how the foregoing Christian organizations and people—plus the Christian churches, Sunday schools, parental influences, prayer meetings, Bible studies, daily chapel, and the  Young Men’s Christian Association as well as the revivals had impacted on the Christian upbringing of Dr. Bob. Finally nobody seemed to pick up on the fact that the first three AAs—Wilson, Smith, and Bill Dotson—all believed in God, had accepted Christ, had studied the Bible, had turned to God for help, had immediately learned to get busy helping others, and who never, ever drank again. All this before there was a Big Book. Before there were Twelve Steps or Twelve Traditions, Before there were drunkalogs. And before there were meetings of the kind that exist today.

What’s the Future for the Big Book, the History, and the Bible in Recovery?

It is fair to say that every alcoholic or addict (and Bill W. and Dr. Bob were both alcoholics and addicts) needs permanently to quit pursuing and trying to control alcohol and drug use. Forever! With a sane mind restored, why would they want them or the disasters they bring. They don’t need them. They don’t need the misery created for themselves and others through the excessive use of them. And their lives, entrusted to and guided by the power, love, forgiveness and deliverance of God and His Son Jesus Christ, hold promise of an abundant life and an everlasting life. That’s the starting point – going to any lengths to overcome the alcoholism and addiction.

The Big Book is filled with biblical references that most AAs would never recognize. It is filled with language that encourages reliance on God, prayer, study, and helping others. To stand on sound ground, the oldtimers need to learn and teach that language. And the newcomers need to hear it repeated, learn it, and act on it. Without that foundation, the retreat to “acceptance,” “spirituality,” nonsense gods, and even not-god-ness. They just don’t know their own Big Book.

The history? Few realize what a devilish battering ram has been propelled at alcoholics. It is pushed by a wide and diverse group of enemies. Christians who think that A.A. is not of the Lord. Who think you will go to hell if you enter an A.A. meeting. And who condemn any Christian who dares set foot in a room peopled with atheists, unbelievers, those with other religious or no religious beliefs. No matter that this diverse group of suffering people need help and, at the beginning, gladly receive it whether tendered by Christians or former derelicts.

The anti-AA hostility is pushed by those who try to paint the fellowship as ungodly, unchristian, and unworthy because of the sins of its cofounders and others. The anti—AA hostility today is motivated by men and women of science, of proponents of First Amendment prohibitions, of psychiatric and pharmaceutical approaches, and by “rational” recovery—recovery without God.

Then there are the AAs themselves who cry out against the mention of God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and of some denominational belief.

The Bible? People just don’t know the biblical practices that have helped suffering people for centuries, that were employed by Christians in the 1800’s, and that were commonplace in the early A.A. fellowship

The Future and The Hope Can Be Embellished by Big Book Seminars

As stated, Joe and Charlie were teachers. Frank Mauser, the archivist, was both historian and teacher. Joe and Charlie insisted on line by line study. They salted it with humor and sagacity.

They had done their homework and preparation. They had long-term sobriety. And they loved A.A. and its program of recovery. Their talk exuded confidence in the subject matter.

Today, there are a host of Big Book studies, groups, and seminars. I receive their literature, their email notices, and their website materials with great frequency.

Are they valuable?

They, of course, are no better than the wisdom, teaching ability, experience, and attention to detail of those who conduct them. Like A.A. itself, they are becoming more and more available.

And, even if badly organized, presented, or taught, they at least get newcomer and oldtimer alike to put his eyes on the Big Book, use his growing return of mental capacity, and distinguish between the sluggard and the grey beard. If it’s bad, he can vote with his feet. If it’s fair, he can improve it. If it’s good, he can foster attendance at it.

Is there a future? Yes. I needed help in the 1980’s, and I sure got it at the Big Book Seminars conducted by the two drunks from the State of Arkansas. God Bless them. And God bless those who try to emulate their achievements, perhaps even improve on them, today.

Gloria Deo

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What Dr. Bob said about God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, prayer, and cure

A.A., Religion, "Your Faith" 1939 Interview of Dr. Bob

[This is the "Faith" article which A.A. literature had said was lost. AAs speculated that Dr. Bob wrote the article. He didn't. He was interviewed by Defoe in September 1939 for "Your Faith" Magazine. And the interview disappeared from view for years and years as far as AAs were concerned. Yet in the interview, Dr. Bob told how he read the Bible with patients. He told how they came to trust God. He told how he had been cured by prayer. He spoke about the healings of Jesus Christ. And he was talking about the many drunkards whom he had been able to help once he himself prayed, turned to God for help, and was cured--a priceless article free of the editing and revision of others who might have doubted!]

I Saw Religion Remake A Drunkard
by D.J. Defoe
September 1939 "Your Faith" Magazine, page 84

Through Liquor, this physician had lost his practice, his reputation and his self-respect. Then one night in a gathering in a private home, he found the way of escape.

WHEN a doctor starts drinking, he's usually on the skids for keeps. His profession gives him so much privacy, so great exposure to temptation both from liquor and from drugs, and his need of a stimulant to lift him from depression becomes so extreme, that many a good doctor has dropped into oblivion for no cause other than his own thirst for drink.

I could tell you about more than one doctor who came to no good end through liquor. Their stories are alike in their early furtiveness, then a brazen attitude of liquor - might -do-things-to some-men - but - I'm-different, then a broken desperation to try to keep up appearances and pretend nothing has happened, and finally exposure—and failure—and disgrace. One brilliant ex-surgeon a suicide; another exile from home; two others forgotten by their friends; so runs the history.
But Dr. X handled his liquor problem differently. He came close enough to degradation to see how the jaws of hell reaching out for him. But then something interfered and saved him.

Today Dr. X—and I dare not give his name, or even the name of the city, for reasons you will soon discover—is alive and happy and is probably a better and more popular doctor than ever before. What saved his life and reputation? What force made him into a new man?

It was simply religion, brought home to him in a way he could use it. Simply the new habit of living his religion, and the discovery that he could utilize the power of prayer.

We used to see Dr. X around a lot. He was cheery, straightforward, friendly, and successful. His field was a particularly intricate form of surgery and he did well at it.

Then for quite a while we missed him. I saw his wife now and then, and noticed—even a man can things like that—that she seemed a little shabby and not especially happy.

We began to hear ugly rumors. That's bad for any doctor. We heard he was losing his practice. When a doctor begins drinking, not many people are willing to trust their own lives to his skill with a knife.

Last year I met Dr. X for the first time in several years. He was a new Dr. X. Straight as an Indian. Clean eyes. An honest I-can-lick-the-world look in his face. He gripped my hand in a vise and said hello in a way that gave you something to tie to.

We were at a party. Someone offered Dr. X a drink. Then I remembered what had happened to him and wondered what he would do.

"I don't drink," he said evenly. "Some men can take a drink, or two drinks, and stop. I can't. I had that ability once, but not now. If I'd take as much as a swallow of alcohol now, I'd disappear—and you wouldn't see me for three weeks."

From him and from others I got his whole story, a bit here, a bit there. Here it is.

He had been drinking for longer than anyone but his wife suspected. For a while he was able to keep the matter a secret. But he missed a couple of appointments and got into some trouble. First his competitors knew it. Then his friends around the hospital got wise. Finally even his oldest patients began to leave him.

He had always been dignified and aloof, and when he was straight you hesitated to go up to him and tell him he was drinking too much. Usually he drank alone, silently, hungrily, in a sodden fashion of one who wants to forget. Just a deadly, steady sopping up of the poison. It was ghastly. In his saner moments he must have known the way he was headed. But a stubborn pride—and pride of that sort in a wayward person is a terrible thing—held him from seeking help.

Finally a friend he trusted got him to attend a little meeting in a living room one evening. It was a simple affair. Not dress-up at all. Here was a factory foreman who looked happier than almost anybody in town. When the time came to talk he told how he had been cured of drunkenness by prayer. His wife told how unbelievably happy their life was now. They didn't have much money—you could see that—but they had something that money alone had never brought them. They had love, and self-respect, and they had each other.

Dr. X was surprised to find that everyone in this little group had some sort of a fight to make, and had won. He began to look at these people in a new way. They had been weak and now they were strong. Unconsciously he began to envy them.

He surprised himself by starting to say something. He admitted he had a tremendous hunger for liquor, and sometimes it got him down. He found that just merely talking about his trouble seemed to bring relief. As long as you conceal your difficulties, no one can help you. But once you bring your trouble out in the open, you can invite help and encouragement from friends. And you can benefit by the strengthening power of prayer.

Merely getting on his knees and asking for help wasn't the whole story of Dr. X's reformation. Many a drunk knows there's a wide difference between promising to go straight and sticking to it!

What enabled him to hold fast to his resolution was the discovery that he, who had just started to climb back to sobriety and respectability, had the ability to help other desperate and disheartened drunks to live decent lives too.

In fact, that's a big part of the cure. When Dr. X gets an inebriate started on a new life of decency, he sees to it that the man gets on his feet now and then and talks to other people in the same predicament. Telling yourself and the world that you're going to go straight helps you to remind your subconscious mind that you are going straight.

There have been a lot of ex-drunks that have come within Dr. X's influence since that fateful night he was turned back from a drunkard's grave. Forty-three of them, no less, owe their new lives to him. He'll leave a party or a dinner, almost leave an operation, to go and sit up all night with some drunk he probably never saw before but who he knows needs help.

He has worked out a little system. Usually he puts the drunk to bed in a hospital, where he can sleep off his liquor quietly but can't get any more. There the sick man—for a drunk really is a sick man—receives regular care, and hot meals, and also some measure of discipline and restraint. There he has privacy, and time to think.

"But you can't do much for a man until he hits bottom and bounces back up, can you?" I asked.
"A man doesn't necessarily have to hit bottom, but he has to come close enough to it to see where he's going if he doesn't stop drinking," replied Dr. X quietly. "And he's got to want to be helped before we can do much with him or for him"

When a drunk in the hospital starts to sober up, Dr. X closes the door and starts to talk to him.
"I know where you hide your bottles," he'll say. "I know every sneaky little thing you do to get liquor

when you're not supposed to have any. I've been there myself. And I want to tell you, my fine young friend, it's getting you nowhere. You're rotten. You're ashamed of yourself. Now let's do something about it."

So there in that white, silent hospital room they read the Bible together. Then they pray. Very simply. First the Doctor, then, falteringly, the man himself. He finds his voice gains in confidence. He finds it is easy to talk to God, and talk out loud. He finds a huge load is lifted off his chest. He begins to feel he could hold his head up again. He gets a fresh look at the man he might be. The whole idea becomes real and feasible to him. He becomes enthusiastic and eager about going straight. He promises to read the Bible, and Dr. X leaves him.

Then, like as not, the sick man slips up, and badly. Success is not that easy. Those nerves that have been accustomed to bossing the mind and the body can't be straightened out without a last tough fight. The patient begs for just one more last little drink, and when the nurse refuses, he is angry at Dr. X and may storm about and threaten to go home. Fortunately, the foresighted Dr. X had carefully removed the patient's pants and shoes and locked them up in his own locker in the surgeons' room of the hospital.

And then, because he knows the fight the sick man is going through, Dr. X comes back in time to bring new comfort and new cheer and to again call forth the searching and ever-available help of prayer. And in a couple of weeks the man, rested and refreshed and with the eyes alight as a result of decent living, goes home to his friends and his family that had almost given him up for dead.
"No, I don't dare let you tell about this," Dr. X said to me when I asked him for a signed interview.

"We can't publicize these cures. These men are outside the realm of every day medicine. They have tried everything and been given up as hopeless. We don't succeed every time ourselves. We can't brag. Every case is a new battle."

"But if word got out that we can do anything at all for a drunk, then derelicts would come into this town by the TRAINLOAD. We couldn't handle them. We couldn't handle a dozen. Two is a lot. One at a time is plenty. I can't talk to one of these fellows for more than an hour or two without feeling spent and tired, unless I talk like a parrot, and talking like a parrot wouldn't do them any good".
"Do you remember when Christ turned around in the crowd and asked, 'Who touched me?' and some woman confessed she had touched his robe because she wanted to be cured? Christ felt some of his power pass out from him at that touch. It's the same way with helping people. You're giving something. It tires you.

"We fellows who are doing this sort of thing feel we have hold of something, but we don't dare use our names in connection with it. Look up the new book, Alcoholics, Anonymous which we helped write. We studied around for a long while to find how we could tell our story without using our names. That book was the answer. It tells some actual stories—my own among them—but no names are given. Even the publisher doesn't know our names."

"But Dr. X," I insisted, "Why not let these drunks pay you something for what you do for them? After all, they have been a burden to their friends. You put them back where they can earn a living again and live a decent life. You deserve any kind of fee you want to charge."

"No, we can't commercialize the idea," the doctor said firmly but kindly. "That would spoil everything. We've got to keep our work as a gift to anyone we are able to help.

"Moreover, I'm not sure we could set up a sanitarium and cure people effectively in any wholesale manner. I'm convinced this idea has to grow, one cure at a time."

I tried to argue still further. "But Christ was willing to let folks invite him in for supper and the night," I suggested. "You and your wife have food to buy, and rent to pay, and overhead expenses in the way of taxes and insurance and shoes for your daughter. It's your own fault if you don't let these reformed drunks help pay their own way."

"I'm satisfied," he said with a quiet smile that permitted no debate. "My wife and I are happier than we have ever been in our lives. We can keep going very nicely as long as I get a few operations from time to time, as I am doing. I'm doing a good job of living, and am happy," he ended.

Then he handed me this final thought. "I have found that no one can be permanently happy unless he lives in harmony with the rules set down in the Good Book," he said. "Try it some time! You don't need to wait till you're down and out before you ask for help. There's help waiting for you right now, if you just ask God to help you."
† † †
The gifts of friendship have only the value that
friendship gives them.—The Advance.

Forthcoming Old School Visits, Our Download, and Our offers

Some immediate, substantial training and workshop opportunties with Dick and Ken
on "A First Century Christian Fellowship" -- Model for Recovery Today Among the Many Who Want God's Help and all the other support they can get and then pass on to others!

Dick B., Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

On behalf of the International Christian Recovery Coalition, Ken and I begin immediately working with others, at their pace and at their place, to encourage and train those who want to establish Old School Early A.A. groups, meetings, and classes in their areas today.

We hope you will all take advantage of our prepublication offer at only $9.95, use the paypal donation button on the front center column of our main website, and download your copy of the new 80 + page Guidebook on How to Conduct the new12 Step Recovery Meeting that are mushrooming in growth and attention. So that you can let us know how we can help you.

Starting this coming week,

1. On the Island of Maui, we will be speaking at an A.A. meeting on the Second Step and on what is available for a regular early A.A. weekly study meeting on Old School A.A. right here in Kihei, Maui Hawaii. They are hot to trot.

2. Shortly we expect a visit from a Utah supporter who wants to help us get this rolling.

3. Right after that, we will be on the Island of Oahu, meeting with a highly successful study group leader in Honolulu who has worked on old school A.A. outreach to men using conference-approved literature, the Bible, the 12 Steps, our literature, and meeting weekly with his group for a period of two years for each group.

4. We also expect to meet with a recovered believer who is enthused over starting a similar program on the Island of Kauai.

5. In the last few days, we have been in touch with: (a) The president and founder of CityTeam International who is enlarging CityTeam International's program "Discovery Recovery " available world wide in a ministry  to the lost at the many places where they have also been doing successful "church planting" in West Africa and now organizing a new program in Nicaragua.  (b) A pastor on Oahu who is doing similar outreach in China, Japan, and the Pacific Rim. (c) A pastor who is commencing similar work in Germany and several other ministry outreach places.

6. Beginning about March 27, we will be doing workshop training sessions with the leaders of several different types of Christian recovery, AA friendly, old school A.A. in (a) Oroville, California, (b) Foster City, California, (c) Brentwood, California, (d) Livermore, California, (e) San Jose, California and any other groups who want to meet for a few hours and get such groups rolling in the SF Bay Area.

7. From May 14-22, we will be in Orange County doing workshop training with: (a) A leader in Escondido, California, (b) A leader in Irvine, California, (c) A leader in Orange, California, (d) A leaders in Costa Mesa, California, (e) leaders in Westminster, California, (f) leaders in Huntington Beach, California, and (g) A couple of roving ambassadors for Christ in the Orange County area.

Repeating the message: And urging you to download for $9.95 the class as described on the main page of our website

Urging you to plan a visit with us on Oahu during the period March 22-25.

Urging you to attend one of the workshops in the SF Bay Area during the period March 28-April 1.

Urging you to get together with us in the week we will be in Orange County for individual and group sessions and also for the conference at His Place Church, Westminster, March 18-19.

To make arrangements, please contact, as soon as possible:

Dick B., PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837

Dick B., 808 874 4876

Dick B.,

Ken B., 808 276 4945 - the quickest way to reach us.

Gloria Deo

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A First Century Christian Fellowship and Recovery Today

A First Century Christian Fellowship

Major Sources for Observing Early A.A.’s Apostolic Principles, Practices, and Resemblance to First Century Christianity at Work

Dick B.

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

A Common Observation About Old School Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous History: A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob called the Akron A.A. Group Number One – founded on July 4, 1935 – a Christian Fellowship (DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers,

Of the five Rockefeller people—including John D. Rockefeller, Jr—who met the early AAs, listened to Dr. William Silkworth, and read the report that Frank Amos had given to them, all said something to the effect, “Why this is First Century Christianity at work. What can we do to help?” And they did help.

But long before that. Evangelists were telling New Englanders and the world how the Apostles not only found salvation, but taught and lived Christianity—healing drunks, addicts, and derelicts along the way.

And then there were the early Oxford Group and its earlier period American sparkplug Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr. Bill Wilson called Shoemaker a cofounder of A.A. Bill discussed the proposed Big Book and Step contents with Shoemaker. He even asked Sam to write the 12 Steps, and Sam humbly declined. But the very language of the 12 Steps paralleled Sam’s teachings—teaching founded on the very basic ideas in the Bible that Dr. Bob said were the foundations for the Steps.

Shoemaker and many early Oxford Group people called their life-changing group and groups “A First Century Christian Fellowship” and defined what that phrase meant to them and their groups.

“A First Century Christian Fellowship”

Here are some of the ways early A.A.’s associated predecessor Group described their personal work with others,

In his popular book, Life Changers, Harold Begbie (who had written Twice Born Men and much more about General William Booth and the Salvation Army) described the Group this way:

Above all, the Group was a Fellowship—a first-Century Christian Fellowship controlled by the Holy Spirit. (Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 31)

We discuss and cite precise sources for the following statements:

. . . Frank Buchman’s formation of what he and his friends called “A First Century Christian Fellowship.” Buchman had said, “It is an attempt to get back to the beliefs and methods of the Apostles.” He said, “We not only accept their beliefs, but also decided to practice their methods” (The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 286)

In Life Changers, author Begbie also wrote:

            Harold Begbie, Life Changers

Chapter title: “Beau Ideal”

Page 121:

Since those words were written he [who?] has paid a visit to the United States in company with F. B., . . .

Page 122:

In his last letter written from America he tells me that he is entering with others into “A First Century Christian Fellowship,” explaining that they wish to get back to the type of Christianity which was maintained by the apostles“We not only accept their beliefs, but are also decided to practice their methods.”


He announces in detail the elemental beliefs of a First Century Christianity. He believes in:

The possibility of immediate and continued fellowship with the Holy Spiritguidance.

                The proclamation of a redemptive gospelpersonal, social, and national salvation.

The possession of fullness of liferebirth, and an ever-increasing power and wisdom.

The propagation of their life by individuals to individualspersonal religion.

                Out of these beliefs proceeds the method of propagation:

Love for the sinner.

Hatred of the sin.

Fearless dealing with sin.

The presentation of Christ as the cure for sin.

The sharing and giving of self, with and for others.

“We are more concerned,” he writes, “with testifying to real experiences, explicable only on the hypothesis that God’s power has brought them to

Page 123:

Pass, through Christ, than with teaching an abstract ethical doctrine.”

Rev. Samuel Shoemaker spoke of the Group as A First Century Christian Fellowship as follows:

The Spirit can communicate His truth to a spiritual fellowship of believers in ways He cannot communicate to individuals: it is another phase of Christ’s meaning when He said that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. He is wherever a believer is; but His present in heightened reality in the fellowship (The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous, 293)

In his first significant book, Realizing Religion, Shoemaker had the following to say about the days “when the Church had martyrs in it” Shoemaker wrote at page 67:

I believe that originally this was the spiritual impulse, entirely apart from considerations of ecclesiastical order or the founding of a brotherhood by Jesus, which welded Christians together in the days when the Church had martyrs in it. The value of united prayer and worship, of inspiring and instructing a group bent on one object, the constant impact of the words and the interpretation of Jesus, has often been dwelt upon. . .

The Acts of the Apostles

In chapters 1 to 6 of the Book of Acts, there a number of descriptions of what the First Century Christians did, what they had received, and how they fellowshipped together. Here we will just quote two segments.

The first from Acts 2:38-43, 46-47:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. . . .

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.

Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

 The second segment from Acts 4:29-32:

And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.

By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul. . . . And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

The Keys to Applying First Century Christianity in Recovery Programs Today

Our latest title is How to Conduct “Old School” 12-Step Recovery Meetings Using Conference-Approved Literature: A Dick B. Guide for Christian Leaders and Workers in the Recovery Arena.

In a brief number of pages--very succinct and very specific--this new book covers the ground above and then shows how the successful Christian Fellowship practices of the First Century and of the early A.A. Group in Akron can be applied today and fully supported by Conference-approved literature published by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. And how those who join together in Christian fellowship can attain healing and a whole life in the same way the Apostles did and that the old school AAs did.

Gloria Deo

The Dick B. Story in brief

At age 60, as a depressed, despairing, down-trodden sleeping pill addict since graduation from Stanford Law School in 1951, and as a later real alcoholic beginning about age 46, I came into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Like our two founders (they and AA Number Three), I believed in God, was a born again Chrisitan, and Bible student. But I was entrapped in the snares and disasters coming out of excessive use of alcohol and sleeping pills. I did not come into A.A. to "come to believe." I had long believed in Almighty God. I did not come into A.A. either because I was a Christian or to become a child of God through Jesus Christ. I had been born again since a trip to the Holy Land in 1979. I did not come into A.A. to learn about the Bible. I was already a Bible student. But like our cofounders, those attributes had long taken second place to my pursuit of liquor and sedatives. And so too with our cofounders Bill W. and Dr. Bob.
What I did do was decide to quit for good. Two days later, I entered the rooms of A.A. I was met with love, service, encouragement, and daily support. I dived into active membership--daily meetings, commitments to service, Big Book study, a sponsor, taking the 12 Steps, daily communication, staying away from slippery people and slippery places. But I immediately had three grand mal seizures with no suggestions or help from AAs. I spent a month in a rehab with no "spiritual" assistance from the  program or its counselors. I emerged to face an unbelievable amount of self-inflicted wreckage of the past--divorce, taxes, unethical behavior, criminal activities, nerve damage, brain damage, fear, anxiety, and bewilderment.
From there I went to a VA psych ward--still involved in A.A. Still helping others. Still determined to get better. But awash in a sea of fear. Fear that came from no significant reliance on the love, power, forgiveness, guidance, and healing of God. Thanks to my older son and his wife, and to the daily phone calls from an elderly gentleman in my Bible fellowship, I then turned to God--just as our first three AAs had done. The deliverance was immediate.
The fear was gone. The problems were tackled with God's guidance and help. Sobriety was maintained. A.A. enthusiasm was heightened. And I began sponsoring a host of men and also leading them into our Bible fellowship. The latter with repeated attempts by my sponsor and grandsponsor to prevent my study of the Bible and prevent my leading others to the Bible and to Jesus Christ.
None of this deterred me from AA activity, from helping others, from sponsorship, from taking others through the 12 Steps, from speaking by invitation at innumerable A.A. Meetings. Fortunately, I got rid of my sponsor and his sponsor. And through it all, at age 86, I have maintained 26 years of continuous sobriety and freedom from addiction; and been involved in the happiest years of my life. Gloria Deo

Friday, February 24, 2012

Jeff and Debra Jay = Love First Intervention Training

Those participating in International Christian Recovery Coalition and who have established Christian Recovery Resource Centers know how much we stress the initial importance of qualifying the newcomer and those who care. Also how detox should be a seriously considered option. And how intervention leading to Christian recovery treatment, fellowship, and practices can be an important option in giving the suffering people a real shot at deliverance. In that respect, we have recommended Jay and Debra Jay and their “Love First” program. And here is some news that may be helpful.

Dick B., Executive Director, International Christian Recovery Coalition, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Letter from Jeff Jay:

Thanks for all your good work. I hope to be able to attend a conference one of these days!

Your friend,

Jeff Jay

PS: Debra and I are doing a training for interventionists at Betty Ford Center. Is there any way you can help get the word out?

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Intervention Training for Clinicians

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June 3–8, 2012

• Facilitated by Jeff & Debra Jay

• Hosted by Betty Ford Center

• Experienced professionals only

• Advanced skill-building

• Custom curriculum workbooks

• Clinical field materials

• Printed, pdf and iBook formats

• Supervision of 3 interventions

• Limited to 20 participants

• Luxury accommodations

• All-inclusive pricing

The most thorough education curriculum for clinical interventionists ever developed.

Authors of Love First, Jeff and Debra Jay, are offering a truly comprehensive course for experienced therapists who wish to become clinical interventionists.

The 5-day course covers every aspect of intervention: structured family intervention, executive-style intervention, workplace intervention, invitational-style process intervention and other variations. The goal is to prepare clinicians to individualize intervention to the needs of families and the addicted person, including working with dual diagnosis and special populations.

Active learning will dominate the classroom experience. Participants will engage in problem solving, analysis, evaluation, and participate in team-based learning. The course includes case supervision of participants’ first three interventions. Certification hours are compliant with CAADAC, NAADAC, APA, BRI and more. The training is provided personally by Jeff Jay and Debra Jay. A maximum of 20 students will be accepted for the course.

Jeff and Debra Jay have developed curriculum workbooks specifically for this course. Additionally, all participants will receive clinical field materials, written by the Jays, to be used when doing actual