Spirtual Growth in AA and other 12-Step Programs

The purpose of  this site is to help individuals in recovery grow spiritually. AA defines itself as a spiritual program. Within the book of Alcoholics Anonymous we find these important statements. Read more ›

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Design demands a Designer – Part Three – The Human Habitat (Earth)

 The idea of design implies order and logic and nowhere can this be seen more than our tiny little spot in a universe that is so enormous, it is beyond our comprehension. On a smaller scale we do understand where the Earth fits into the solar system. Over the centuries we eventually figured out that our planet, like trillions of others, revolves around a sun. Today we understand that billions of other clusters of planets with their own suns make up our galaxy. And billions of galaxies like ours make up the universe. The distance between galaxies is so vast our unit of measurement has to be in light years, or the distance light travels in a year. That happens to be 5,878,499,817 miles based upon the speed of light of 186,282 miles per second. The nearest star to earth is a little over 4 light years. The nearest galaxy to our own is 25,000 light years away 0r around 147 trillion miles. It’s not likely anyone we know will go there.

Our sun is perfectly located within our galaxy and our planet is perfectly located within our solar system. We know that the earth’s distance from the sun provides the right amount of heat and light to make the planet habitable for life. Without the unique mix of chemical ingredients that makes up living things, and without liquid water on the planet’s surface, life as we know it would not exist. There is also design to the earth itself. If the earth was not tilted on the 23 degree axis, there would either be no change in seasons, or such extreme changes that no plant life could survive. If the earth was closer to the sun, mankind could not survive the temperature and exposure to the sun; if the earth was further away, we would all freeze to death.  The earth has a perfect spin, not to fast, and not to slow. It is 100% perfect for life to be sustained on it. Our wonderful world, with the perfect timing of its revolution around the sun, its axis rotation and tilt, the water evaporation and condensation cycle, the movement of the winds from the equator and back, and the ocean currents, runs like one giant piece of clockwork.

Earth is perfectly designed for life and to date we have not discovered life anywhere else in the universe. The fact is, there is no basis to even suggest that non-intelligent or random causes could create the “just-right” conditions for Earth to exist. The only rational explanation for the precise design of Earth, the cosmos as a whole, and life on Earth is an intelligent supernatural Creator. There is supernatural design in both animal and plant life. The dependence of the flowers on bees for reproduction and of the bees on flowers for food is one of the most amazing adaptations in nature, and it is difficult to imagine how it could have occurred by mere chance. This of course is only one example and there are millions of others. Scientists estimate our planet is home to 8.7 million species and each species is unique in its individual design to live in its earthly habitat. The features that God programmed into each species enable them to overcome the limitations imposed on them by the very laws of nature that some people believe are responsible for their development. These features are so finely tuned to perform their tasks that they are increasingly used as models for human inventors to follow. Some examples are:

  • Polar bears keep a tight grip on smooth ice using precisely designed footpads. Engineers have copied these exquisite designs to make useful tools including a snow tire.
  • Butterfly wings have inspired design for waterproof clothing.
  • Bee landing strategy may lead to better aircraft as bees never crash.
  • Whales have inspired new turbine design from their fin bumps that reduce drag, increase lift and are more efficient and quieter.
  • A real good example is the design in man. The human eye is more complex than the finest telescope or camera available. Man cannot make an optical instrument of any kind that is as efficient as the eye. Man’s brain and its amazing complex functions cannot be duplicated with known technology but they are trying.

The most important evidence for an intelligent creator is the discovery of DNA. For life to exist, an information system is needed to produce and regulate life functions. This information system must also be able to accurately copy itself for the next generation. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the information system for life. Information is a product of intelligence, indicating that DNA came from an intelligent source (the Creator). It stands to reason, then, that God the Creator deserves unending credit as the ultimate inventor. Perhaps we should not take lightly what scripture tells us is Isaiah 45:18: For this is what the Lord says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited – he says: ‘I am the Lord, and there is no other.

We see order (design) in the natural world; therefore, we know there has to be a supernatural intelligent cause behind it. Man is by far the most intelligent creature on this planet. It is admitted by all that man could not ever create the universe, the earth, or even plants or animals. If man, the smartest being on the planet, could not have created the universe, then that means someone more intelligent than anyone on earth had to have created everything. In our next article we will explore the complex, yet perfect design of man, the human being. Since mankind did not create the universe or the earth with all of it complex varieties of life, designed perfectly for their earthly habitat, it is simply logical and intelligent to express that the only explanation is that there is a creator God. What is important for us the recovering alcoholic to understand is that He is not only the designer of us, He is also a personal God.

God created an amazing piece of work when he created the human. It is a great design. Our physical body provides a means to relate to and live in our physical environment. It houses the brain, which allows for the functions of our soul. This is where our faculties (the will, the emotions, and everything else that make us human) tie together. The book “Eternal Sobriety” Chapter Five, Made in His Image, –  The Human Creation.

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:3)

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Design demands a Designer – Part Two – The Cosmos (Universe)

We begin our search for an intelligent designer behind our conscious reality by considering the most obvious and logical proof that exists – the cosmos. Cosmos describes our universe in total, comprised of all of time and space and its contents. It includes the planets, moons, stars, solar systems, galaxies, contents of intergalactic space, and all matter and energy everywhere including the tiniest particles that comprise matter itself. Science continually proves that the universe is a complex and orderly designed system.

The most noted argument for the existence of an intelligent designer (a creator God) of the cosmos is defined as “the cosmological argument.” The reality of the existence of God is based on facts about the universe concerning its own reality, its causation, and its complex and orderly designed system from the totality of it infinite largeness to the smallness of its finite matter. Our quest here is to put some reason and logic to whether the Bible is faithful with what logic and reason tells us about 1) the reality of an incomprehensible universe, 2) that the cause (creator) of the universe is God, and 3) the design itself is the best proof that God exists, is eternal, has intelligence, and has a purpose.

As recovering alcoholic’s it’s likely that we need not discuss the question of whether the universe exists. It would be hard to deny this point. There are those that seem to think that it is all a figment of their imagination but we needn’t go there. We are leaving fantasy behind as we grow in recovery. With sobriety, we are once again experiencing the reality of our own senses being again open to wonderment, as we did as children who at one time or another were awed by the vastness of the nighttime heavens. Hopefully, you can relate to this rediscovery of the senses. It makes us open to consider what the Bible tells us about the universe in Psalm 19:1-2: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge“. In recovery, our Intuition is quickened by a growing sense of spirituality and it becomes easier to accept the truth found in these simple words. We often wonder why so many are blinded to this reality.

And many are. In the early nineteen-eighties Carl Sagan, now deceased, was a noted astronomer and philosopher who produced a television series entitled “Cosmos”. His mantra was “the cosmos is all there is or ever was or ever will be”. He stated that “There are in fact 100 billion galaxies, each of which contains something like a 100 billion stars. Think of how many stars, and planets, and kinds of life there may be in this vast and awesome universe.” “We find that we live on an insignificant planet, of a humdrum star, lost in a galaxy, tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe, in which there are far more galaxies than people.” So his estimate of the number of stars was 100, 000,000,000 times 100,000,000,000 or 1 followed by 22 zeros. Carl Sagan was restricted by the limitations of the telescopes of that time.

The physical structure of the natural universe is so vast it is beyond comprehension. Since Sagan’s series and using more advanced telescopes (Hubble) the number of galaxies is now estimated to be 10 trillion so the total number of stars is now estimated to be a 1 followed by 24 zeroes. This is 100 times the number of stars estimated by science a few short years ago. This is a number far too large for us to understand and we still cannot prove there is an end or what may be beyond it. We can now see farther away than ever and also microscopically peer deeper into the actual finite makeup of atomic matter itself. At both extremes our visibility is still dim but complex design is prevalent in everything we do see. In stark contrast to Carl Sagan’s belief, the Bible tells us that we are not on an insignificant planet and that we certainly haven’t been forgotten. As the universe exists so does life on this planet. And everywhere we look we see logic, intelligence, and natural physical laws behind the design of the universe and life itself. The idea that there is no designer behind the creation of the universe is totally ludicrous and becomes almost a farfetched fantasy to believe otherwise. Science has its value and can help us see the reality of existence and its structural design but what it has no knowledge of, is why we don’t see life anywhere else in the known universe or what created the universe.

It is a common belief in the scientific community that the universe started with a “big bang”. Thus science states the universe is not eternal in nature and had a beginning. If that is so then Carl Sagan was wrong when he said that the universe is all there is or ever was or ever will be. Sagan’s viewpoint influenced many and instilled in them the idea that existence is limited to only that which can be seen and proven scientifically. He was of course an atheist. That viewpoint is also in opposition to the biblical account where, within its pages, God is described as an eternal deity. To repeat, science is valuable for discovery but it has its limitations. We are told that the universe is expanding and only a few years ago that it was slowing down and would eventually collapse upon itself. The viewpoint now is that it is actually speeding up, due to dark matter, adding more complex design to the theory. Science with its laws cannot tell us how the universe got here only that it is real. Since it is real, how did it come into existence? The “big bang” is a theory but if it is true it invokes the law of cause and effect and the need to consider both time and entropy (deterioration) as part of the process.

Atheists and agnostics differ by saying, “The Cosmos just is.” However, that explanation is in opposition to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which, because usable energy is running out, demonstrates that the Cosmos is finite. It must have had a cause/beginning, and of course, an end. If there is no cause that produced the first moment in time of the universe it would be a major contradiction of one of the foundational principles of science. Someone might say that some things are caused by other things, but this does not solve the problem. This is because those other things had to have causes, too, and this cannot go on forever. It is sort of the chicken and the egg dilemma. The natural world is a system based on cause and effect. The universe had a beginning; therefore, the universe had a cause. The very fundamentals of science are that something (effect) is always the result of something else (cause). Theology logically states that this cause, being outside the whole universe, is God. Therefore, there is, at the beginning at least, a first cause—one that had no beginning. This first cause is God, who by definition is eternal. A Divine, Supernatural, Infinite and eternal being is the only rational explanation for the existence of the Universe, and the intuitive knowledge that it is designed specifically for a purpose. God is the uncaused cause and it must have something to do with you and me. That’s what the bible says. That is my belief, is it yours?

[The contrast of the awesome majesty of a supernatural holy Creator and the touch of His personal love that is demonstrated in A.A. is evident. With sobriety, the feelings we once had return from deep within us, and we are once again able to appreciate our world. Trees look crisp and clear as we notice the variations of green; before, green was just green. Flowers appear to grow where they never grew before. The air that we breathe smells sweeter and as our aesthetic eyes open, we sense the awe and wonder of nature once again. Though we learn to appreciate it, it is difficult to ever comprehend with our frail human mind the scope of God’s creation.   The first book of the Bible, Genesis, and the very first passage provides the simple statement of: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The perfection of the universe with its detail, from the largest sun to the smallest particle, defies description within our comprehension. The world system attempts to explain it away with scientific jargon and guesswork, but that cannot even touch the surface. It is man’s nature to explain everything with his own knowledge and to act only in his own wisdom – a somewhat comical charade to God perhaps. Increasingly, reputable scientists are considering the biblical creation account. This is another instance of God patiently waiting for humanity to catch up.] From the book, Eternal Sobriety, Chapter Six, “This Thing Called Self”

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Romans 12:3

Hubble Goes to the eXtreme to Assemble Farthest Ever View of the Universe

 

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Design demands a Designer – Part One – Truth

Step Two in the AA program states: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

There are many powers that this can define. For example, the collective group of people in the fellowship of AA with their common recovery experience can represent a power greater than ourselves. However, when we encounter Step Three and confront the decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God, that definition or any other cannot replace the real need for a personal and loving God. Read more ›

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Taking Inventory – Resentments

In the inventory process of our 12-Step recovery program, one of the things we do is to identify our personal resentments, also called grudges. Resentments can be thought of as re-lived anger, even though the external instigating cause is no longer present. Read more ›

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Principles in AA, The will of God, and Serenity

It helps our spiritual growth in recovery to understand and apply the spiritual principles found in Alcoholics Anonymous. They were not invented by Bill Wilson or Doctor Bob but borrowed from other sources. Read more ›

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Taking Inventory – Pride

According to Bill W., pride, leading to self-justification, and always spurred by conscious or unconscious fears, is the basic breeder of most human difficulties, the chief block to true progress. (Twelve and Twelve, pp 48-49). Read more ›

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