“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
In step three of AA you are making a decision: it’s that simple. You make decisions all day everyday, right? Making a decision to turn your will over to God or a “Higher Power” can be just like putting on a new pair of glasses and seeing everything more clearly.
STEP THREE OF AA: TURN IT OVER
When we’ve taken steps one and two we have learned and accepted that our lives are unmanageable, we are alcoholics and a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.
What if we were to surrender the manageability part? We can surrender a lifetime of self-will run amok by making the decision to turn it all over to a Higher Power and allow someone and something to care for us. We can stop wearing ourselves out trying to make and force everything to happen as if we were in charge of everything in the world.
Recovery is a spiritual process and step three is when the doors of hope, faith and trust are opened allowing us to once again take a deep breath and feel the serenity: a gift of sobriety. The essence of step three is turning over your will, getting out of the way, and being restored to reality, honesty, balance and peace of mind.
STEP THREE OF AA: SEEKING KNOWLEDGE
When working on step three we take a look at how acting on self-will means behaving with the exclusion of any consideration for others, focusing only on what we want and ignoring the needs and feelings of others. While we were busy pursuing these impulses, we mostly left a path of destruction behind us, and we definitely lost touch with our conscience and a Higher Power.
However, while working the third step we begin to focus our attention on seeking knowledge of a Higher Power’s will for us. Making a decision to turn our lives and will over can’t do anything unless we take the actions necessary to turn it over. Simply making a decision without following it up with action is meaningless. For example, you can make a decision to go to a meeting, but if you don’t leave your home for the rest of the day, it won’t happen, will it?
In AA there are many helpful recovery tools that have worked many times over at maintaining sobriety and a connection with a Higher Power. There’s actually a very effective and simple prayer adapted from a prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr and known as the “Serenity Prayer,” which can help you as you are seeking knowledge and make your decision to turn it over on a daily basis:
“God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
With the “Serenity Prayer” you can learn to accept with serenity the current reality of your condition and that although you cannot control the choices and actions of others, you can decide how you will act in each situation. You may not be able to change some things in your life, but you can make a decision to change your willingness to surrender, trust and seek knowledge.
THE SCARY THREE-LETTER WORD: GOD
For some people a three-letter word can be even worse than a four-letter word.
Time and time again, the word “God” being used in AA literature and meetings will freak out newcomers. Upon closer inspection however, and much to all of our relief, you don’t have to consider anyone else’s conception of “God” but instead can rely on and create your own idea of who God is for yourself.
In fact, about half the original members of AA considered themselves atheists or agnostics before they began the Twelve Step program of AA. In AA we have the freedom to choose our own concept, lay aside any prejudice and have the willingness to seek a “Power greater than ourselves.” You can call that Higher Power God, Creative Force, a Oneness in the Universe, whatever you want.
There’s even an acronym that some like to use to remind themselves that a room full of other recovering addicts is their Higher Power:
G: Group O: Of D: Drunks
When practicing the third step we discover the spaciousness for a variety of positive and useful beliefs about a Higher Power. We make a decision to admit the possible existence of an underlying force behind the totality of things, and that the realm of the spirit is pretty darn big, roomy and all-inclusive.
STEP THREE OF AA QUESTIONS
As part of your recovery process it’s helpful to take the time to ask and then answer important questions pertaining to step three. Here is a starting point for some review questions:
How has acting on my own self-will affected my life? How has it affected others?
How can I take action to turn it over?
What is the difference between my will and God’s will?
How is my Higher Power working in my life?
Is my current concept of a Higher Power working my need to change?
What does “to the care of“ mean to me?
How might my life be changed if I make the decision to “turn it over?”
Am I unwilling to do things in my recovery that are being suggested? If so, why?
How does surrender in the first step relate to or help the third step?
THE THIRD STEP PRAYER
Taking the positive action of working the steps has clearly changed the course of our lives. Hope springs from the knowledge that our life is full of possibilities, while faith propels us forward into action doing the work that others are telling us is necessary if we are to achieve sobriety. This is a great point in your recovery to say to yourself: “I can’t. God can. So I’ll let God.”
(From the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous)
“God, I offer myself to Thee- To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!”
“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."
"The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking."
"To insure effective leadership, we should endow each element of A.A. - the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations, staffs, committees, and executives - with a traditional "Right of Decision".
* Live email links embedded as permitted by NOCCO Service Board members
These articles appeared in the main Cleveland newspaper, the Plain Dealer, just five months after the first A.A. group was formed in Cleveland. The articles resulted in hundreds of calls for help from suffering alcoholics who reached out for the hope that the fledgling Alcoholics Anonymous offered.
The thirteen reliable members of the Cleveland group handled as many as 500 calls in the first month following the appearance of Davis’ articles. The following year Cleveland could boast 20 to 30 groups with hundreds of members.
A Noted Devine Reviews "Alcoholics Anonymous" by ELRICK B. DAVIS November 2, 1939 Cleveland Plain Dealer
In a recent series, Mr. Davis told of Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization of former drinkers banded together to beat the liquor habit. This is the first of two final articles on the subject.
The Book When 100 members of Alcoholics Anonymous, the extraordinary fellowship of men and women who have cured themselves of “incurable” alcoholism by curing each other and adopting a “spiritual way of life,” had established their cures to the satisfaction of their physicians, families, employers and psychotherapists, they published a book.
It is a 400-page volume of which half is a history of the movement and a description of its methods, and the other half a collection of 30 case histories designed to show what a wide variety of persons the fellowship has cured. It is called “Alcoholics Anonymous,” and may be bought for $3.50 from the Works Publishing Co., Box 657, Church Street Annex Postoffice, New York.
The name of the publisher is that adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous for its only publishing venture. The address is “blind” because the name “Alcoholics Anonymous” means exactly what it says. The price of the book is “cost,” 50 cents a volume less than one of the country’s soundest old-line book publishers would have charged if the fellowship had accepted that house’s offer to publish the book and pay the society 40 cents a copy royalty on sales.
Does your home group have a voice? Each individual AA group is entitled to representation in the Intergroup Association, yet of the 681 meetings in North Orange County, less than 40 have an InterGroup rep. Every AA group in North Orange County is automatically a member of this Association.
What are my duties as an InterGroup rep? Attend one monthly meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of each month for an hour. The InterGroup meeting is currently HYBRID on Zoom and/or in person at the NOCCO office in Fullerton. Vote on behalf of your group's conscience on issues presented in North Orange County. Bring any issues to the meeting that may affect AA as a whole or specific issues that need attention in our community. Vote in the election of the NOCCO officers, join a committee and report back to your group all the information and happenings with your local Central Office.
We are available 24/7. All calls are confidential. Phones answered by sober volunteers.
March 2022 Price
$10.00 plus tax
From the practical to the profound, Into Action: How AA Members Practice the Program in Their Daily Lives includes some of the most inspiring contributions to Grapevine magazine. Though Alcoholics Anonymous is known, honored, and emulated throughout the world as a Twelve-Step program, the Steps are only one part of well-rounded method of recovery from alcoholism or addiction.
The stories and letters in this book bring the Fellowship to life with intimate reflections from men and women who’ve acknowledged the value of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of AA in their own healing and recognize the importance of taking action.
Read about moments of day-to-day personal sobriety from mothers and fathers, soldiers and sponsors, newcomers and old-timers as they face difficult situations, stay connected through reading life-changing literature, volunteer in the service of others, and find the possibility of a spiritual awakening at AA meetings.
Each of these stories illustrates the truth that, no matter what our backgrounds, or locations, our ages, our gender identities, our politics, or our financial status, lasting sobriety can be achieved by getting into action.
It Works If You Work It, One Day At A Time.
Jeffrey W - 03/01/2015
Frank M. - 03/01/2016
Michelle - 03/02/2016
Frank L. - 03/06/2016
Tyler P. - 03/08/2016
Max B. - 03/11/2015
Scott - 03/11/2018
Armida G - 03/15/1983
Christine N. - 03/17/2013
Maritza P. - 03/20/2016
Eric S. - 03/22/1992
Jill D. - 0l3/22/2001
Leticia - 03/24/2011
Jeff - 03/24/2019
Larry K.- 03/26/2018
Kevin S. - 03/28/2018
Craig - 03/28/2019
Art B. - 03/29/1987
Lansing - 03/29/2018
We want to start acknowledge yearly milestones in sobriety each month. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your month and date and we will add your annual birthday to our list.
Thank you for your monthly contributions of $5 to NOCCO. To join the Faithful Fivers club, go online to https://www.aanoc.org/7th-tradition. Every time you buy NOCCO a $5 cup of coffee, an angel gets her wings! - (or something like that).
To help support local essential services, the General Service Conference suggests that individual groups, through an informed group conscience, adopt a specific contribution plan. Click below to see all of the Group Contributions from previous periods.
Each month, NOCCO provides accounting detail of income and expenses to indicate net profit or loss over the last month. This information is available to any group or member. Click below to see the financial detail from last month.
Even though meetings, 12-step services and operations have shifted to a hybrid environment, expenses continue as we navigate the re-opening of meetings, which underscores the importance of practicing the Seventh Tradition. We still stock literature, handle 12-step calls around the clock, and assist those with a desire to stop drinking. Your generous support is critical and appreciated.
72nd General Service Conference Final List of Agenda Items
The list of Agenda items were released on February 3, 2022. The background material on each topic will be released on February 15th in English, and March 1st in Spanish. The list contains agenda items for CPC, Corrections, Finance, Grapevine/LaVina, Literature, Policy & Admissions, Public Information, Treatment and Accessibilities, Archives and more. To preview the complete list, click here.
New GSO P.O. Box for Contributions Only
Post Office Box 2407
James A Farley Station
New York, NY 10116-2401
Prospective Applicants – A.A. G.S.O. Staff
Applications are once again being sought for a G.S.O. Staff Member. G.S.O. Staff are members of Alcoholics Anonymous who rotate through the various assignments such as Corrections, Public Information, Cooperation with the Professional Community, Literature, Conference, etc. They also correspond with A.A.s on all aspects of recovery and service. Additionally, they represent the General Service Office at A.A. functions throughout the U.S. and Canada and provide the primary staff support for the General Service Board and the annual General Service Conference. All qualified candidates eligible to work in the United States are encouraged to apply by clicking here.. We will welcome applications up to April 30, 2022.
The Grapevine Half-Hour Variety Hour
Each week Don and Sam will interview a different member about their experience, strength and hope, in a casual "meeting after the meeting" manner. Special features will enhance each episode.
A new podcast episode will be available in English every Monday