Keep Listening

Gospel music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have memories of the very beautiful and melodic tunes, that filled the air in our tenement apartment when I was a child. As a teenagers I turned my back on Jesus, God, religion, lessons taught through the music about salvation, redemption and how Jesus will never fail, for a bag or heroin, a bottle of whiskey, beer, refer, cocaine and LSD. Also, life as a trail prisoner on Rikers Island did nothing to get my attention.

When my life spiraled out of control I lost everything; my family, my career and my health was in jeopardy. I did not have the courage to ask for help until twenty years later. I was desperate and thought the devil knew what he was talking about. I did not believe it was the power of Jesus that brought me through

When I finally got to AA, I did not believe that the steps would help me. In the beginning, I would go to meetings because I was homeless, I could get off the streets a few hours everyday, the people there did not judge me and they did not seem to care that I was there. I had no idea that I would be given the gift of recovery through the steps, especially the third step-Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

Now that I am an active member of AA, I listen to those wonderful sounds and lessons of gospel music again. Power, by the Jackson Southernaires is one of my favorite songs that helps keep me focused. I love the verse that says if we do not believe there is power in the name of Jesus, we should read Matthew 1:21, Matthew 8:28-32 and Mark 16:17. Today, I read to those verses often as a part of my spiritual program.

There are many messages of hope that can also help you believe that you are not alone on your spiritual walk. Keep searching, trusting and fill the air with the powerful messages and music about hope and redemption from your higher power as you understand him.

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Copyright 2009 by Jimmy Cathey, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Jimmy is a substance abuse counselor. He founded a substance abuse education program that helps families gain a baseline about the biopsychosocial aspects of addiction and recovery.
“I went to my first AA meeting July 14, 1988 and one day at a time with the grace of God I have been clean and sober since. I continue to learn how to trust in the voice of God and protect myself from the demons that lurk in the dark corners of my mind. I now understand that in God’s own time my change will come…not when I want it to come, or think it should come.Today life is better.”

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