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Archive June 14 2007

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"The Big Issue"

The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.



Twelve Step Fellowship

For anyone who would like to work the steps, these versions of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provide a platform for changing our lives and outlook to sober living one day at a time.

AA Step Change
For Human Beings

God Conscious 12 Steps Spiritual

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Good Conscience 12 Steps Spiritual

For anyone who would like to work the steps, this version of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provides slightly different wording of the six steps that make reference to God or a Higher Power. This version of the Twelve Steps seems to have originated in agnostic A.A. groups in California.

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.

[Original: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.]

3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.

[Original: Made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.]

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

[Original: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.]

6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.

[Original: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.]

7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.

[Original: Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.]

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.

[Original: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.]

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.



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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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June 2007
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June 15 2007

Let Go Again - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

Seems right on track, the let go feelings we need. We need let go what hurts and continues to give us pain. Pretending seems to be some of it for me. Stopping the pretences we sometimes have about people we know, and we wish it were different. And its not. Sometimes its just right to let go, and sometimes it feels really awkward and unhappy. We let go and we must or we are sucked down again for another bout of painful and unhelpful connections. Let go we must or we suffer.

And we look on the bright side of life as much as we can, well I do. And yet even with the best will in the world, willing things to be different just has no legs. And we realise as sobriety motors along what we saw back then in early days is not for us. We grow and develop new outlooks and new connections as time enables.

Where we find people stuck going round and round over the same old stuff, we can wonder how many more times must it happen? And the answer is sometimes we need the circular and protracted musings simply till we run out of steam and let go eventually.

Tools

This extraordinary fellowship of ordinary humans just trying to do our best. And looking to find that road, where open honest and willing leads to better days. Sometimes we fabricate our friendships at our peril, as we delude and confuse ourselves we also confuse and delude those around us. We do it to look right and sound right.

We have huge examples in our own living to how things go well or founder on hard rocks of experience.

If we heed and let go we find we open up all manner of new possibilities and we need do this as we may. As we do eventually let go we find freedom is ours.

Freedom and Feelings

Even though we still feel connected in some way to people over the years, and we reckon we understand them, we most likely don’t. In our fellowship we realise we still wish for the best of life, and when it fails to materialise as we might wish we deploy all sorts of filters and denials of reality. This one day we have to make good as we may.

A Chance meeting tonight, and bound to happen. And for me and another we can see the change has occurred, from a friendship imagined to an acquaintance in truth. The product of life and its many twists and turns. Knowing another’s insides and mettle is no sure connection for the long term. We learn what we do as we develop and go our separate ways.

But

Well there is no but for me. As life shows, we find we do move along and the nature of friendships and fellowship offer much more as we grow in our esteem, faith and courage. And we honour our friends and acquaintance as we realise our times past and love them for those cherished ephemeral moments now gone.

Step six of our fellowship is all about doing less which harms us and others. When we are fearful, when we put a brave face on things and when we still hide behind ego’s drift, we are still only half human. The other half of human is all to do with other elements of human like faith and courage and confidence.

Two halves of the same coin?

We are and more for underneath what we show the world is our desire to be loved and be held and meaningful to ourselves and those we love. And the truth is as life is a pretty hard lottery, sometimes we do strike gold and find our soul mate. And sometimes we are left with an emptiness as we have misunderstood, or been misled. It matters not as we understand the outcome, and we understand how we made our way to these moments of realisation. What matters is we accept and let go all that we might imagine and see the reality of where we are today.

Hostages and Hurts

I have mentioned it a couple of times before, hurt people can hurt more people. We learn hurt and then it just goes on and on.

Broken

When we are broken and can find nothing to love about ourselves, we can crave as much as anything the warmth of another, and we can bargain and make ourselves believe almost anything when we are so alone and desolate.

Lonely

We need never be alone in our fellowship. We all are making progress as we may. We have some principles which help us if we do the time and listen and learn. And we do well to listen as hard as we can, for the wisdom is there if only we could accept and let go.

Learning to be

We need simply learn to be. It takes us all a lifetime, its just a journey from birth to expiration. And for me I feel lucky to be in a fellowship where we all stuff up from time to time, learn again how it all works if we just keep a steady grip on one thing, that is this one day. Let go the rest, where there is torment, don’t make it worse. Where there is happiness pursue and see where it leads.

Eyes open and ears listening, we will hear truth and falsehoods and wonder at the difference sometimes. Indeed even when we feel we have the truth we most likely have formed it in some denial which abrogates our part in it. I doubt we will ever learn truth which stands the test of time, just like all matters human we find one day and lose it the next. We need let go the harsh truth as we listen for our inner voice, which tells us best what we may do. Mine informed by wisdom learned the hard way always, and maybe just a little sooner and clearer these days.

We live, we learn as we may. Let go or feel our own dark come and hold us locked in circles of ego’s drift to melancholy, completes our tortured days, until we see the truth. Truth always sets us free…





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Portuguese police search scrubland for Madeleine June 15 2007




Portuguese police search scrubland for Madeleine

James Sturcke and agencies

Portuguese police started searching an area of Algarve scrubland today, nine miles from where missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann was abducted.

Police vans, one carrying sniffer dogs, moved in at first light to the tiny village of Arão. Officers cordoned off the road as they carried out their search.

It emerged on Wednesday that Portuguese police were acting on information received in an anonymous letter alleging that Madeleine, who was seized from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, had been buried under rocks in the area.

The information was sent in a letter to a Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, claiming her body was just seven metres from the road.
Portuguese police started investigating the claim earlier this week but it has taken until today to start formal searches.

The officer leading the case, Olegário Sousa, has said he is taking the letter seriously but its contents were imprecise about the location where the body was allegedly hidden.

The village, just north of the main road through the Algarve, is surrounded by a network of hillside tracks which fan out into farmland and wooded areas.

The weather was overcast, with some showers of unseasonal rain, as police carried out their search. The police vans were accompanied by seven unmarked cars.

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Times OnLine June 15 2007


Madeleine police begin searching scrubland June 15 2007




David Brown in Odiáxere

Around 20 policemen and two van loads of search dogs today began the grim task of searching an area of scrubland for any evidence that Madeleine McCann has been buried there.

A beach towel found at the site, just nine miles from where Madeleine McCann went missing 43 days ago, has been handed to police.

A friend of Madeleine’s parents has told Portuguese police that she saw the four-year-old girl wrapped in what appeared to be a blanket as she was carried away by a man from her Algarve holiday apartment.

The towel was discovered by journalists from a Dutch newspaper as they searched an area identified by a person who is believed to have accurately predicted where police would find the bodies of two murdered of two Belgian girls.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 15 2007


A triumph for Hamas... but a tragedy for the Palestinians? June 15 2007



A war in Gaza threatening to redraw the map of the Middle East

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the "national unity government" last night and sacked its Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh after an especially savage day of internecine violence ended with Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip.

Mr Abbas's move, which Fatah hopes will underpin its dominance of the West Bank after the near-total defeat of its forces in Gaza, underlined the growing separation of the two Palestinian entities and prompted talk among some Israeli analysts of a "three state solution" ­ involving Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

Hamas Radio underlined Mr Abbas's lack of control over Gaza when it said the faction had taken control of his presidential compound, a symbolic last redoubt of Fatah power in Gaza.

Hamas's internal grip on Gaza was consolidated yesterday after it captured the headquarters of the Fatah-dominated Preventative Security force and two other security bases and took effective control in the southern border town of Rafah, in a bloody day of fighting which cost 32 Palestinian lives. Three bodies were found under the rubble of a Fatah-controlled security building in Rafah which had been overrun by Hamas.

In a decree announced by one of his senior aides, Tayeb Abdel Rahim, in Ramallah ­ and swiftly dismissed by Hamas officials in Gaza ­ Mr Abbas declared a formal state of emergency, said he was dissolving the woefully ineffective Fatah-Hamas coalition brokered by Saudi Arabia three months ago and promised to form a new government in its place.

But it had been the battle for the headquarters of Preventative Security in Gaza City which was the bloodiest as well as the most decisive in Hamas's relentless four-day campaign to take control of Gaza. This was not least, according to witnesses, because of a murderous aftermath in which several Fatah activists were dragged from the building and executed in the street.

Television pictures had earlier shown some of Hamas's Fatah captives being marched along the street with their hands in the air. The Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denied reports of executions and insisted: "Whoever was killed was killed in clashes."

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BBC OnLine News June 15 2007


Hamas takes full control of Gaza June 15 2007

An uneasy calm has returned to the Gaza Strip where Hamas is in full control following a series of attacks on key strongholds of its rival, Fatah.

Hamas militants seized the presidential compound in Gaza City overnight after a week of factional fighting, which has left more than 100 people dead.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sacked the Hamas-led government on Thursday and declared an emergency.

Mr Abbas is expected to name a caretaker administration on Friday.

However, Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, of Hamas, says his government will press on and he will impose decisive law and order.

BBC OnLine Full Story




BBC OnLine History June 15 2007


June 15 1996: Huge explosion rocks central Manchester

A massive bomb has devastated a busy shopping area in central Manchester.

Two hundred people were injured in the attack, mostly by flying glass, and seven are said to be in a serious condition. Police believe the IRA planted the device.

The bomb exploded at about 1120 BST on Corporation Street outside the Arndale shopping centre.

It is the seventh attack by the Irish Republican group since it broke its ceasefire in February and is the second largest on the British mainland.

A local television station received a telephone warning at 1000 BST - just as the city centre was filling up with Saturday shoppers.

The caller used a recognised IRA codeword.

One hour and 20 minutes after the warning, police were still clearing hundreds of people from a huge area of central Manchester.

BBC OnLine Full Story




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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.




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