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Old 08-16-2014, 12:15 AM   #1
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Location: Hamilton, ON
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Default What Early A.A. Was Like

What Early A.A. Was Really Like

You won't learn this in A.A.'s basic text today or in our meetings. But the simplicity of early A.A. will really astound you and attract! Usually there was hospitalization or at least medical help to save the newcomer's life. Only the Bible was allowed in the room. Recovered drunks visited the patient and told their success stories. The newcomer had to identify, admit that he too was licked, and that he would do whatever it took. Dr. Bob visited daily. Then, he would explain the disease as they then understood it; and on the final day, asked two questions to which there was only one answer: (1) Do you believe in God? (2) Are you willing to get down on your knees and pray? The newcomer then gave his life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Many were too sick to venture far; so they lived with the Smiths (and later others) in Akron homes. It is a myth that they recovered in an afternoon or in four easy lessons. They shook. They shivered. They fidgeted. They forgot. And they were ashamed, insecure, and guilt-ridden. But they learned what a loving God had made available. At the homes, they had daily Quiet Time (Bible study, prayer, asking guidance, reading a devotional, and discussing Anne Smith's Journal).

They shared their woes and problems with Dr. Bob, with Anne (his wife), and with Henrietta Seiberling. They had similar Quiet Times in their personal lives or at their home. They had one meeting a week. No drunkalogs. No whining. No psychobabble. Just prayer. Reading from Scripture. Quiet Time. Use of The Upper Room or similar devotionals for discussion. Then surrender upstairs for the newcomer in a prayer session resembling that in James 5:14-16.

The "elders" prayed with him that alcohol be taken out of his life and that he devote himself to living according to God's will. Following that, downstairs there were announcements about newcomers at hospitals. Socializing. And it started all over again.

There were sessions with Dr. Bob involving a moral inventory (as to adherence to the Four Absolutes), confession, prayer to have the sins removed, and plans for restitution. Did it work? You bet it did. 75% recovered in Akron. Soon, 93% were recovering in Cleveland. That's why we need to know about early A.A.! It took surrender. It took God. It took the Bible, a life-change decision with attendant action, and witnessing to others. It took fellowship. And it took time--lots of it.

Received with thanks from my friend Arlene posted on my site Star Choices

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