Dick B. interviews Steve, a recovered Christian in the military, on the April 23, 2013, episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show
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The Pursuit of Excellence
[I have been a visitor to Maui, as well as other Islands, with family and friends since 1967. And I have been a resident of Maui since 1990. And now is the time to make and important point. I am about to write up today’s unusual radio interview of a young, bursting with zest, recovered Christian alcoholic who has had a miraculous cure of his alcoholism and addiction while in the arena of the Navy Seals with whom he is serving and is about to deploy. When my son Ken and I began working with alcoholics and addicts here in Maui, the entire Island chain was rife with “ice” and the consequences of drug and alcohol excesses. We had approached several in the Salvation Army (where we met with much cooperation and favor.) But we also met several church leaders who—until an unusual event this very day—showed little initiative or enthusiasm for melding the work of God and His Son Jesus Christ with the present-day needs and plight of those in Alcoholics Anonymous, and other 12-Step programs. We persistently prayed for God’s guidance and help. And underlying our senses knowledge perception, we kept thinking in terms of the pursuit of excellence by the young (and any) alcoholics and addicts who just seem to get swept into revolving door jails, treatments, arrests, accidents, courts, and “meetings.” These suffering souls make no evident progress in permanently overcoming their maladies and establishing new lives that serve and glorify God and His Son and point them toward useful, purposeful, happy, and productive relationships with God, their families, their jobs, their education and training, their charitable endeavors, their service to other, and their own growth in self-esteem and community life. In so doing, my son Ken was—among other subjects–gorging himself on autobiographies of U.S. Navy Seals and other members of special operations forces around the world. I had a correlative mission in mind. Among the many newcomers with whom I have worked in the last 27 years, I noticed the devotion they had to sports, to physical fitness, and to the state of their mind and body. In short, there appeared forward marching recovery among those who not only “did not drink and went to meetings” as well as “worked the program,” but who had grasped what they could do with their lives by turning to God, focusing on what they could do for others, educating and training themselves, and adopting the disciplines so evident among those who are constructively competitive, determined, and thankful for what they can do with their minds and bodies to the end of excellence. And today, we interviewed Steve. We also today received a call from the pastor of an up-country church who seems a prospect really ready for such an approach. And now back to the very relative and illustrative interview.]
Introduction to Steve’s Talk
My son Ken and I just received a wonderful surprise. Steve, a thoroughly-trained, physically fit, very intelligent, eager young Christian sailor, let us know the other day he was vacationing here in Maui with his wife prior to a deployment. Several years ago, we met him at a Bible study class for Christians in recovery held by the dynamic Rock Church in San Diego. Having seen his willingness to serve, we invited him to Maui to be part of our Christian work with suffering alcoholics and drug addicts. But we learned he was headed out for military service. He later got married. And yesterday he called us to say he and his wife were on Maui. At lunch, we were struck with his fitness, motivation, discipline, and devotion to God. We hope he’ll share today his: (1) discipline; (2) patent intelligence; (3) commendable four years of sobriety; (4) teaming up with a Christian Navy man; (5) work with addicted newcomers; (6) Bible study classes among service people; (7) highly demanding training over the past two years; and (8) fidelity to sobriety in A.A. His determination was similar to Dr. Bob’s in that he attained some remarkable education while doing “graduate work” in alcoholism and addiction. Thus, despite progressing drinking and drugging, he graduated from college and received his degree in a demanding field. Recently, he received a master’s degree in a technical field that will serve him well during and after his military service. He and his wife of two years are happily married. And he has a serviceman’s patriotic fervor for serving and defending his country. He, also appears to have placed his life under the care and direction of our Creator and His Son Jesus Christ, and respects the Bible’s major role in that endeavor. He’s an inspiration. Here’s his story. And take it away, Steve.
Synopsis of Interview
Near and dear to the hearts of many alcoholics is Akron, Ohio—the home of A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob, and the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous. And Steve was born and raised there. His mother was a nurse. His father was a teacher and an alcoholic. He said he was dragged by one parent to Roman Catholic Mass and by the other to a Methodist Church. He has little interest in either. But, at age nine, Steven became an adept swimmer and good at sports. At the 8th or 9th year, he found two bottles and three beers, guzzled them, and then blacked out. And he fell in love with that alcoholic experience. At the same time, he suffered from lack of self-confidence; he believed he didn’t fit; and he had a hole in his heart and simply ducked his feelings.
Drinking or not, swimming became his achievement of excellence. His high school swim team became national champions. He was the captain. His record item was the butterfly. He could and did push himself there and developed a remarkable discipline.. In his senior year, the y had a weekend dance. He drank heavily, threw up, couldn’t walk, and wound up in the principal’s office. Though captain of the swim team, he was suspended for three days. However, he entertained that his progressive alcoholism really had no effect on his personal life. He graduated and did a geographic from Ohio to Arizona State. There he received a scholarship.
He had trouble with alcohol. He was doing well with his grades. But he fell in with drinking pals. He was soon captain of the swim team. But there were three days of the week when there was no practice. And he utilized them well for heavy drinking. Drink took over. He was cast as a “bad role model” though he had broken no rules; and he blamed the status on his friends. He had a desire to be in the military and chose to be one of the “best of the best”—the Navy Seals. But cocaine, pot, and mushrooms entered the competition also. He graduated from Arizona State.
He went through boot training in the seals. And the Seals are hard warriors. He went through the arduous BUDS. He couldn’t drink for three weeks. He went through Hell Week and concluded it with 15 shots. On a motorcycle, he crashed into a wall and received a DUI. He was placed in a treatment program. And there he was asked to tell his story as a speaker. And he alternated between sweat and relief. He heard God tell him: “You never have to drink again.” He knew he had a choice—Jesus Christ or A.A. And a miracle of recovery occurred. His saw his obsession miraculously removed. It was November 16th, and he has attained more than four years of continuous sobriety. He graduated. Became an Honor seal. He was voted the best in the Bud crowed. He married his wife Christina, whom he had known since high school.
Steve really saw the “Promises” of A.A. come through – fear, fear, and fear were gone. He had to deal with his legal problems, the DUI, the lost friends, the sense of isolation. But he was firm that the change in his life was real. Said he: “I know Jesus Christ.” In A.A. he learned that the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous consisted of all of the book’s pages. He acquainted himself with the personal stories. And there he saw that the first three AAs were all Christians, had all given up liquor permanently, had all turned to God for help, and had all openly explained the source of their deliverance.
On page 191 of the Big Book, Bill Wilson wrote: “Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me curing me of this terrible disease that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.”
On page 181 of the Big Book, Dr. Bob Smith wrote: “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!”
And then again on page 191, Bill D. (A.A. Number Three) said that Wilson’s statement that the Lord had been so wonderful to him, curing him of his terrible disease became for him and for others in the fellowship “the golden text of A.A.”
Steve closed the interview with this succinct observations: “Christians who went to God received complete relief.” And they did. They do!
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