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Archive for June, 2020


 

I have just reached my twenty-eighth anniversary of sobriety, a long time for an Irishman. Especially in the early years, AA was my lifeline. Because of the 12 Steps, which insisted I take personal responsibility and accountability for my behavior, I was able to purge myself of past wrongs and deeds that were less than estimable.

 

I was directed to make a “searching and fearless moral inventory” which, being raised Roman catholic, felt very familiar. After having admitted my wrongdoing to God, my sponsor and myself, I became willing to make amends to those I had hurt along the way. I did this and have continued to do so consistently for nearly three decades. Having become my lifestyle, it’s not hard. It’s easy, so easy that I rarely have to make amends anymore. I just do the right thing.

 

As part of my recovery program, from the beginning, I also incorporated the Serenity Prayer into my life. It states:

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

This is not just a sweet aphorism. In sobriety, it is part of our foundation, providing moral clarity and direction for all of our actions.

 

Being grounded in truth, I no longer allow anyone to deceive me about any of their agendas, most of which are godless. So, when I am told that I should be ashamed for being white, which is something I cannot change, I don’t accept what is being said. If I were black or Asian, I wouldn’t be ashamed of that either, nor would I allow anyone to shame me for it. Instead, I would go back to another foundational truth, one I learned from a song as a very young child.

 

Red and yellow, black and white,

they are precious in His sight.

God loves the little children of the world.

 

This is true. God does love us—all of us.

 

Knowing I had nothing to do with slavery or segregation, nor did any of my Irish ancestors, I have the wisdom to not allow those who are ignorant of history to impose guilt upon me for an issue that doesn’t belong to me. I continue to be willing to make amends to anybody I have wronged, but I will not make amends to those I haven’t. I will not allow Leftists to shame me into taking responsibility for something that isn’t mine. Nor will I allow the contempt they are more than willing to heap upon me to rob me of my serenity. It’s not going to happen—not now, not ever.

 

—Jack Watts

 

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MY PRAYER: Father,
I know You have not given me a spirit of fear.
Your Word assures me that You haven’t,
But that doesn’t mean I’m not fearful. I am.
Sometimes, my fear is so consuming
It sends a cold chill through my body—
Through my soul—through the essence of my being.
On the outside, it doesn’t show, but on the inside,
Where my insecurities and vulnerabilities reside, I am undone.
Every fiber of my being quakes with foreboding,
Immobilizing me, consuming me with dread.
When will it end? When will my heart know peace?
When will terror of the unknown and of economic calamity
Cease to grip my soul? Apprehension tosses me about,
Robbing me of sleep, robbing me of purpose,
Robbing me of a meaningful, productive life.
You know me intimately, Lord.
You know my thoughts and my anxieties,
But I can’t find You in this dismal pit,
Which has become my daily existence.
Assure me that I will experience joy once again—
That I will regain my self-confidence—
That I will smile confidently at what is to come?
Don’t allow my fears about the future to be my portion
In life, destroying everything that has meaning and value.
Father, You know what the future holds, but I do not.
What will my destiny be? Will my disquietude abate?
Will tranquility be mine again, or just a distant memory?
The answers are not in my possession. Although I desire
To know the future, I have no control over events,
Even though I deceive myself into pretending that I do.
My fears and anxieties rob me of my faith. Without Your help,
I lack the strength to overcome this limitation.
You see me as I really am and not how I pretend to be.
I need Your help. Rescue me, Lord; rescue me quickly,
Lest my trepidations consume everything of value in me,
Amen.
Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,
My heart aches,
And I feel so unworthy
To come before You.
I feel worthless and by the
Contemptuous smirks of others,
I’m certain they are correct.
I feel so ashamed of myself,
And nobody is there to say,
“It’s okay. God loves you no matter what.”
I feel like I need to cringe and shrink away,
While never again be able to hold my head high.
I feel like I must skulk blindly in the darkness,
Rather than boldly embrace the light.
I feel like You don’t love me, Father,
And I wonder, how could You?
I know I don’t love myself.
And yet, in the depth of my self-pity,
You are always with me, always vigilant,
Always available, always telling me,
“My child, I know what you’ve done.
I know how badly you feel.
I know you believe your life has no value,
But this is not how I see you—not at all.
In spite of everything, I love you
Just the way you are.
This is why I sent My Son.
He paid the price for your shame,
Washing you whiter than snow.
Now, leave the past behind.
Hold your head high and walk
With Me confidently into the future.
I still have a plan for you—
A plan filled with hope and promise,”
Amen.
Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,
My heart aches,
And I feel so unworthy
To come before You.
I feel worthless and by the
Contemptuous smirks of others,
I’m certain they are correct.
I feel so ashamed of myself,
And nobody is there to say,
“It’s okay. God loves you no matter what.”
I feel like I need to cringe and shrink away,
While never again be able to hold my head high.
I feel like I must skulk blindly in the darkness,
Rather than boldly embrace the light.
I feel like You don’t love me, Father,
And I wonder, how could You?
I know I don’t love myself.
And yet, in the depth of my self-pity,
You are always with me, always vigilant,
Always available, always telling me,
“My child, I know what you’ve done.
I know how badly you feel.
I know you believe your life has no value,
But this is not how I see you—not at all.
In spite of everything, I love you
Just the way you are.
This is why I sent My Son.
He paid the price for your shame,
Washing you whiter than snow.
Now, leave the past behind.
Hold your head high and walk
With Me confidently into the future.
I still have a plan for you—
A plan filled with hope and promise,”
Amen.
Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,

Having been wounded at the core of my being,

I have stopped seeking You—

Stopped praying, stopped looking to You

For discernment, guidance, and wisdom.

I haven’t wanted anything to do with You.

I feel so angry, hurt, and humiliated.

In my pain, I have acted in shameful ways.

I have tried to hide my behavior

From You and from everybody else.

I didn’t want my life to be like this.

I didn’t want to become who I am.

My sins have gone over my head,

And I am unable to control them,

Which I foolishly believed I could.

They control me, and I know it.

I can no longer hide from the truth from You.

I am weary of concealing my face in shame,

Of churning my anger and my bitterness—

Of medicating my pain with dissipation.

I don’t want the wounds from my past,

Which I have foolishly nurtured with alcohol,

To control my life in the future.

I want to stop my downward cycle.

I want to change my behavior completely.

 

Father, I am in a deep pit, and I know it.

Even worse, I see no easy way to extricate myself.

I have routinely blamed others for my plight,

Choosing to embrace the role of being a victim,

Convincing myself that I have been faultless,

But I can no longer maintain such delusions.

I have to admit the truth to You and to myself.

I need Your help. Without You, my life will have

Neither meaning nor value. Help me end

My self-defeating behavior, which has dominion over me,

So that I can once again be clean in mind and in body,

For I know, only You can restore me to wholeness and sanity,

Amen.

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MY PRAYER: Father,

My soul aches, and my spirit is weak.

Heartache has consumed me,

And I am fearful of the future.

Those who know You much better than I,

Have rebuked me, chastening me

With contempt, ridicule, and shame.

In my heart, I have cowed before them,

Never questioning their motives or intent.

Slinking away in defeat and despair,

I have vowed to never return—to remain aloof

From them, from You, and from their religiosity.

I have wandered far from Your Word,

To a place where there is no joy,

No peace, no kindness, and no future.

 

Time has not been my friend.

My mistakes have brought me low.

My accusers know Your Word,

But they do not know Your forgiving Spirit.

Father, I need Your help to return home,

To come back to where I belong.

Help me become willing to nurture

A real and substantial relationship with You.

Strengthen me with power in the inner man.

Allow me to stand strong.

Allow me to be bold and confident.

Allow me to be the person You created me to be.

Don’t allow my accusers to continue

To have dominion over my wounded soul—

Lest my future be as bleak as my past,

Amen.

 

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