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Mark S

When Bad Things Happen

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I have come to accept that when bad things happen, they have no meaning while they are happening. I believe it is my job to give them meaning, sometimes to make a decision to impose that meaning.

I want to stop asking the question, “Why did this happen?”. But rather I want to move toward the question, “Now that this has happened, what am I going to do about it?”
So now I know I want to make something good out of this terrible situation. I feel called to tell the story and find healing, but this can’t be the end, healing of myself, I feel that the story should be one of hope so that healing can extend outside of myself. 

So my story will be one of life, new birth, reconciliation, and not one of death and dispair; a place that is easily fallen into. That is why I need recovery people, so that when the burden is to much, you can help with the load.

Answered Prayer

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So, why do we pray? Is it to beg for the things I need or want? And if I don’t receive those gifts I prayed for, does that mean that God didn’t listen or doesn’t care? What does it mean when something bad happens, and a whole community gathers and prays fervently for a miracle that doesn’t happen? The miracle doesn’t occur even though constant prayer vigils are made at the bedside….death still has the last word. Where was God? Did he not care? Why was he so passive.

Passive, hardly, he was busy bringing people together to show support to let the afflicted know that they do not suffer alone. God was busy at the bedside to walk alongside so that entry into the next world is done with support and not alone.

Thoughts From The North

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I wanted to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for the success of the 12 hour podcast. What started out a a vague idea turned into a project with real tangeble outcomes. Through your generous contributions, we will be able assist at least 6 clients through the detox process at Dawn Farm’s Spera Program. Anna and I will be taking some much needed rest from the emotional roller coaster of the celebration of Andrew’s 27th birthday. We are retreating to a one bedroom cottage located on a large lake in the norther part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. The plan is to do……,nothing. So, my thoughts in the aftermath of the 12 hour podcast? God has answered all our prayers, he did not prevent Andrew’s death but he has given us the tools to cope, mainly you. You thoughts, concerns, words of encouragement, and donations have given is the ability to carry on, just for today. I don’t know about tomorrow, so I’ll continue to pray and to honor Andrew in everything we do at Tecovered.

Hour 2 of 12 Hour Podcast – Recovered 416

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This is the second hour of the 12 Hour Podcast.  Mark gives his open talk he gave for his Home Group’s 3rd Year Anniversary.  You still have time to make a donation to Dawn Farm in the name of my late son, Andrew. Go to  

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Hour 1 of 12 Hour Podcast Mark

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Thia first hour featured Mark in a solo effort to kick off this fundraiser.

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12 Hour Podcast Starts at 8:00 am EDT or GMT -4

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Everything is set, so join us for the 12-hour podcast for support of Dawn Farm, a local recovery center. We are doing this fundraising event in honor of our late son Andrew on this weekend which would have been his 27th birthday.

Listen live to the show on your computer!  Just go on over to Listen Live and listen to our show in honor of Andrew and his memory.  We will have guests, interviews, open talks, and so much more.

Call in at 734-288-7510 or email at to leave comments or questions. We will also be giving away fabulous prizes for those who make a donation today at

Seventh Step Prayer – Recovered 414

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On page 76, the big book gives us a prayer of humility.  A prayer acknowledging that we need help in overcoming our character defects.

Russ.. Please read

Initial thoughts?

This prayer makes it clear that AA is not a self help program, clearly we need God and each other.  Can this program work alone with a book?  

We place ourselves in a position to receive God’s help by making a decision to abandon our old idea that self will will make us happy.  What does surrender to win mean to you?

God should have all of me, the good and the bad.  So, we make available to God our strengths and weaknesses, what does this mean?  

How has God used your weakness for your good?  When I share with someone my weaknesses, it makes us more approachable by the other person.

How has a perceived strength let you down?


How do you access your higher power?

What techniques have worked for you in your spiritual life?

working with others

doing this podcast

praying with my wife

journalling and keeping track of God’s involvement in my life

simple prayers

progression of the same prayer, praying the same prayer of blessing first for self then outward to neutral people to loved ones to not so loved ones then eventually to enermies.

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12 Hour Podcast This Weekend!

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Jason from Dawn Farm

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This is the interview we conducted with Jason Schwartz with Dawn Farm, acting director.  Don’t forget the 12 Hour Podcast this Saturday starting at 8:00 am and ending at 8:00 pm.  Listen live at

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Can You Be an Atheist in AA – Recovered 412

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Can you be an atheist in 12 Step Fellowships?

we received this email from an alanon listener

Last night, I went with my wife to an open AA big book study meeting. The meeting format starts with a reading from the big book, with interpretation and elaboration by one person. Then they break for 10 minutes and people can put questions into the “ask it basket”. The second part of the meeting consists of the leader pulling questions from the basket and reading them, with anyone in the meeting giving their answer or understanding. It’s a 90 minute meeting, total.

Last night, they read steps 6 and 7 (3 paragraphs). The first question was “If I’m an atheist, who removes my character defects?” As you might imagine, this sparked a lot of sharing. A couple of statements really bothered me. I’d like to hear y’all’s reactions. I understand that each person’s experience and view is their own, but these statements were said so forcefully and confidently that if I had been a newcomer, it might have driven me away.

One person stated, flat out, “If you can’t believe in God, then you’re not a real alcoholic and you don’t belong here.” Another person made a similar statement, “You can’t be an atheist and be in AA.” I will note that there were a couple of people who said “I am an atheist, and this program works for me.” But there was a definite undercurrent of “if you can’t believe, get out.”Later, someone said “if you don’t believe in God, then please don’t sponsor *real alcoholics*”. My thought was “what the F*** is a ‘real alcoholic’?” (That phrase was used by more than one person.)

The answer of course is yes, so how do we help the atheist in recovery, inside the walls of 12 Step Fellowships?

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