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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Daily Recovery Readings - April 1

Just For Today
April 1
Love And Addiction

“Some of us first saw the effects of addiction on the people closest to us. We were very dependent on them to carry us through life. We felt angry, disappointed, and hurt when they found other interests, friends, and loved ones.”
Basic Text p. 7

Addiction affected every area of our lives. Just as we sought the drug that would make everything alright, so we sought people to fix us. We made impossible demands, driving away those who had anything of worth to offer us. Often, the only people left were those who were themselves too needy to be capable of denying our unrealistic expectations. It’s no wonder that we were unable to establish and maintain healthy intimate relationships in our addiction.

Today, in recovery, we’ve stopped expecting drugs to fix us. If we still expect people to fix us, perhaps it’s time to extend our recovery program to our relationships. We begin by admitting we have a problem—that we don’t know the first thing about how to have healthy intimate relationships. We seek out members who’ve had similar problems and have found relief. We talk with them and listen to what they share about this aspect of their recovery. We apply the program to all our affairs, seeking the same kind of freedom in our relationships that we find throughout our recovery.

Just for today: Loving relationships are within my reach. Today, I will examine the effects of addiction on my relationships so that I can begin seeking recovery.

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Daily Reflections
April 1
LOOKING WITHIN

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 42

Step Four is the vigorous and painstaking effort to discover what the liabilities in each of us have been, and are. I want to find exactly how, when, and where my natural desires have warped me. I wish to look squarely at the unhappiness this has caused others and myself. By discovering what my emotional deformities are, I can move toward their correction. Without a willing and persistent effort to do this, there can be little sobriety or contentment for me.

To resolve ambivalent feelings, I need to feel a strong and helpful sense of myself. Such an awareness doesn’t happen overnight, and no one’s self-awareness is permanent. Everyone has the capacity for growth, and for self-awareness, through an honest encounter with reality.

When I don’t avoid issues but meet them directly, always trying to resolve them, they become fewer and fewer.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 1
A.A. Thought For The Day

Since I’ve been in A.A., have I made a start toward becoming more honest? Do I no longer have to lie to my loved ones? Do I try to have meals on time, and do I try to earn what I make at work? Am I trying to be honest? Have I faced myself as I really am and have I admitted to myself that I’m no good by myself, but have to rely on God to help me do the right thing? Am I beginning to find out what it means to be alive and to face the world honestly and without fear?

Meditation For The Day

God is all around us. His spirit pervades the universe. And yet we often do not let His spirit in. We try to get along without His help and we make a mess of our lives. We can do nothing of any value without God’s help. All our human relationships depend on this. When we let God’s spirit rule our lives, we learn how to get along with others and how to help them.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may let God run my life. I pray that I will never again make a mess of my life through trying to run it myself.

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As Bill Sees It
April 1
Courage and Prudence, p. 91

When fear persisted, we knew it for what it was, and we became able to handle it. We began to see each adversity as a God-given opportunity to develop the kind of courage which is born of humility, rather than of bravado.

<< << << >> >> >>

Prudence is a workable middle ground, a channel of clear sailing between the obstacles of fear on the one side and of recklessness on the other. Prudence in practice creates a definite climate, the only climate in which harmony, effectiveness, and consistent spiritual progress can be achieved.

<< << << >> >> >>

“Prudence is rational concern without worry.”

1. Grapevine, January 1962
2. Twelve Concepts, p. 62
3. Talk, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places
April 1
There are no coincidences
Guidance

Here’s an exercise that can strengthen your belief in a Higher Power: Review your life for seemingly insignificant things that were actually major turning points. A chance meeting, for example, may have resulted in an astonishing career opportunity for lifelong romance. Such surprises come to everybody, and people often wonder what their lives would have been like without these “coincidences.”

The founding of AA also seemed to be a series of coincidences and chance happenings. The message reached Bill W. by a circular route, and then an unexpected business opportunity took him to Akron, Ohio, where he finally met Dr. Bob. The unusual aspect was that Akron just “Happened” to have stalwart members of the Oxford Group, the same fellowship that had helped Bill W.

People with strong spiritual foundations in AA have come to see these happenings not as coincidences but as the guidance of a Higher power. This Higher Power was…and is… continuously working through inspired people.

We’ll find similar chance happenings for good in our own lives. We don’t control them except by keeping our own house in order. This assures us that the outcome of any ” coincidence” will be favorable.

I’ll carry on my activities today without trying to second-guess what my Higher Power has in mind for me. At the same time, I’ll know that a superior intelligence is directing my affairs in wonderful ways.

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Keep It Simple
April 1

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
— Step Four of Alcoholics Anonymous.

We avoid the Fourth Step. We put it off. We’re scared of what we will find inside of us. We may find out we’re mean, angry, selfish, afraid. We might see how badly we’ve acted to others, to ourselves. We have all these things inside us. We also have love, trust, faith, and hope. We love art, music, nature, or sports. We have power to heal, and we have used it too. The Fourth Step helps us to know our inner power. As we learn about our own power, we can use it carefully, on purpose, to do good.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me use my power to do Your will. Let your power work through me too.

Action for the Day: Today Ill watch my own actions and words. I’ll see how my power affects others. I’ll talk about this with my sponsor.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 1

To be wildly enthusiastic, or deadly serious–both are wrong. Both pass. One must keep ever present a sense of humor.
–Katherine Mansfield

How familiar wild enthusiasm and deadly seriousness are to most of us. We experience life within the extremes. The thrill of wild enthusiasm we try to trap, to control. We are exhilarated and feel good. Our serious side traps us, controls us, lowers a pall on all our activities. Both expressions keep us stuck. Neither expression allows the freedom of spontaneity so necessary to a full, healthy life.

Through our addiction–the liquor, the upper, the person, the food–we were searching for a feeling we didn’t feel. We were searching for an unnatural state of happiness, even perhaps wild enthusiasm, because we had so little of any enthusiasm for life. Our search failed. Again and again we’d “catch it,” only to have it elude us.

We may not have given up the search. But we will come to accept both states of mind as temporary and search instead for the middle ground. A sense of humor will make all of life’s loads easier to bear. A sense of humor will offer us the balance that has been missing for so many years.

Today will offer me a chance to be wildly enthusiastic and a chance to be deadly serious. I’ll try to focus on the middle ground and cultivate my sense of humor.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 1
SAFE HAVEN

– This A.A. found that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn’t want to be.

It was a beautiful September weekend just before Labor Day. I made the decision to buy a case of beer and a bottle of wine. Later in the evening I drank whiskey on top of the beer and wine, blacked out, committed a drunken crime, was arrested, and within ten days was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in prison. I guess an alcoholic death can come in much the same way: I drink, I black out, I die. At least with prison I would have another chance at life somewhere down the line.

pp. 455-456

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 1

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

So how, exactly, can the willing person continue to turn his will and his life over to the Higher Power? He made a beginning, we have seen, when he commenced to rely upon A.A. for the solution of his alcohol problem. By now, though, the chances are that he has become convinced that he has more problems than alcohol, and that some of these refuse to be solved by all the sheer personal determination and courage he can muster. They simply will not budge; they make him desperately unhappy and threaten his newfound sobriety. Our friend is still victimized by remorse and guilt when he thinks of yesterday. Bitterness still overpowers him when he broods upon those he still envies or hates. His financial insecurity worries him sick, and panic takes over when he thinks of all the bridges to safety that alcohol burned behind him. And how shall he ever straighten out that awful jam that cost him the affection of his family and separated him from them? His lone courage and unaided will cannot do it. Surely he must now de end upon Somebody or Something else.

p. 39

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Xtra Thoughts
April 1

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
–Kahlil Gibran

God, help me own my power to love and appreciate myself. Help me give myself validity instead of looking to others to do that.
–Melody Beattie

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in Gods hands, that I still possess.”
–Unknown

Fear is everywhere, and many fears lie within us, whether screaming loudly or sitting dormant. We must cast away fear, as we would the plague.
–SweetyZee

To help each other, is to help ourselves.
–Unknown

C A R E = Comforting And Reassuring Each other.
–Unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 1
TIME

“I would I could stand on a busy corner, hat in hand, and beg people throw me their wasted hours.”
–Bernard Berenson

I enjoy my sobriety so much that I hate to waste my time. Part of my spiritual program involves a correct use of time. I will not spend time with negative or destructive people. I will not spend time in useless gossip or doing things I do not enjoy to please other people.

I am enjoying life so much I do not wish to waste any of it. Spirituality involves a creative stewardship of time.

As an alcoholic I wasted so much time. For most of my life I was “out to lunch”! Today I spend time enjoying my life – and I spend quality time alone with “self”. I enjoy my little conversations with self – the thoughts I have and need to ponder upon. I need time to rest in the peace of my life. Time is a precious gift from God that should not be wasted.

Lord, let me live each day as if it were my last.

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Bible Scriptures
April 1

“May you be blessed by the Lord.”
Psalm 115:15

Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness–righteous, holy, and true. So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other. And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live.  Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:21-32

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Daily Inspiration
April 1
It is the little bits of kindness and love that make this world happy. Lord, may I do my part to make today happy for someone.

Have the courage to forgive. Lord, may I bring myself to a place of peace by never holding a grudge.

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A Day At A Time
April 1

Reflection For The Day

If we don’t want to slip, we’ll avoid slippery places. For the alcoholic, that means avoiding old drinking haunts; for the overeater, that means by-passing a once-favorite pastry shop; for the gambler, that means shunning poker parties and race tracks. For me, certain emotional situations can also be slippery places; so can indulgence of old ideas such as a well pronourished resentment that is allowed to build to explosive proportions. Do I carry the principles of The Program with me wherever I go?

Today I Pray

May I learn not to test myself too harshly by “asking for it,” by stopping in at the bar or the bakery or the track. Such “testing” can be dangerous, especially if I am egged on, not only by a thirst or an appetite or a craving for the old addiction, but by others still caught in it whose moral responsibility has been reduced to zero.

Today I Will Remember

Avoid slippery places.

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One More Day
April 1

Spring is a happiness so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected, that I don’t know what to do with my heart.
–  Emily Dickinson

Remember the sheer joy of spring during childhood?  How we would race around the backyard, checking out the wonderful sights and smells.  Spring in those days meant no more snow pants and boots.  It meant being able to dash out with just a light sweater and no admonishments from Mom.  And most importantly, the new season heralded a few short months until summer vacation.

We can recapture our youthful openness, for that child is still within us.  We can smell the same scents, experience the same joy, but when the depth of understanding we have gained as adults.  Regardless of our level of independence, regardless of whether we can plant the garden or just enjoy its flowers, spring can still delight us.

My heart sill delights in spring.  I am grateful to be here to absorb it all.

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One Day At A Time
April 1
HAPPINESS

Happiness is an achievement brought about by inner productiveness.  People succeed at being happy by building a liking for themselves.
–Erich Fromm

It has been said that if one of us ever treated another human being the way we treated ourselves, we would be liable for criminal charges. I did not treat myself as a friend, someone I loved; I constantly fed into my unhappiness.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill W. was asked, shortly before he died, to sum up the program in the lowest common denominator. He replied, “Get right with yourself, with God, then with your neighbor.” Therefore, it stands to reason that I must start making friends with myself. I must treat myself with love and dignity, and the result will be happiness. To be happy, joyous, and free is the by-product of obedience to the program.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I going to try being happy?  Am I going to make friends with myself?  If not today, when?

~ Jeremiah ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 1

“People think other things are more important than prayer, but they are mistaken.”
–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

An Elder once said the most important thing you can do in the course of a day is to pray.

If we get up late or oversleep, which is more important? Rush to work without praying or pray first and then go to work?

The Elders say it’s more important to pray. If we get angry, should we act on our anger or should we pray first?

The Elders say it’s more important to pray first. If, during the day, we face indecision, what should we do? PRAY.

If, during the day, we become irritated or we experience fear, what should we do first? PRAY.

The Warrior who prays first will lead a different life from those who pray last.

Great Spirit, teach me to pray first!

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Journey To The Heart
April 1
Learn to Clear Your Path

I met a woman at the mineral springs in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico. She had a gentle, open way. She talked to me about rituals, about miracles, about change. “My husband and I badly wanted a child, but I couldn’t get pregnant,” she said. “One night, I decided to go to a mikvah, a Jewish ritual bath. My decision felt powerful. But every obstacle you could imagine happened when I tried to get there. I could barely get out of my house. Then when I did, I got lost and had to go back home for directions. When I finally got to the bath, it was just beginning, but I knew I needed to be there. The night was electric. The air felt as if it were charged with lightning. It was a full moon. I went through the ritual and returned home. That night, my daughter was conceived. She’s now seven years old.

There are often obstacles on our path. Roadblocks, barricades, detours. Things to go over, around, or under. Sometimes, the roadblocks are telling us no, this door isn’t opening. Find another way. Other times the roadblocks are telling us that the road we have chosen is very special. If we want to go down it, we will have to try. We will have to focus. We will have to muster our energy and show the world how badly we want it. We will have to overcome each and every obstacle, one by one, as they appear.

What do you want badly? Are you willing to go through an obstacle course, if need be, to achieve it? Are you willing to be tested by the universe? Are you willing to focus, push forward, go the distance?

Sometimes, the road ahead is blocked, but clearing the way becomes part of our journey. Learn to tell when it’s time to let go, to surrender, to search for another road, a different path, another dream. But also learn to tell when it’s time to move forward, through obstacles if need be, because the dream is electric, charged by Divine energy and love.

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Today’s Gift
April 1

Then Bacchus. . .gave him the choice of making a wish come true. . . . So Midas said, “Make everything I touch turn gold.”
—Ovid

Poor King Midas, already rich as a king, was made poorer by his poor wish. Everything he touched–small shoots, wet clay, a ripe head of wheat, apples from a tree – all suddenly went bad, turned into gold, pure gold. And how could he eat when bread and fruits, even fresh running water, suddenly shined at him, yellow, hard, and cold? He could have wished for a wiser, smaller success. He could have had all familiar things turn kind at his touch, or loving and good. Then imagine how he would have touched everyone he came near.

If some wishes are too good to be true, are others too bad?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 1
Going Easy

Go easy. You may have to push forward, but you don’t have to push so hard. Go in gentleness – go in peace.

Do not be in so much of a hurry. At no day, no hour, no time are you required to do more than you can do in peace.

Frantic behaviors and urgency are not the foundation for our new way of life.

Do not be in too much of a hurry to begin. Begin, but do not force the beginning if it is not time. Beginnings will arrive soon enough.

Enjoy and relish middles, the heart of the matter.

Do not be in too much of a hurry to finish. You may be almost done, but enjoy the final moments. Give yourself fully to those moments so that you may give and get all there is.

Let the pace flow naturally. Move forward. Start. Keep moving forward. Do it gently, though. Do it in peace. Cherish each moment.

Today, God, help me focus on a peaceful pace rather than a harried one. I will keep moving forward gently, not frantically. Help me let go of my need to be anxious, upset, and harried. Help me replace it with a need to be a peace and in harmony.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 1
Learn to say what

It was one of those luxurious mornings. The surf was pounding– just loud enough to be heard. We stood on the balcony, watching the rising tide.

“It’s rhythms vary so much,” I said. “Sometimes you can’t walk on the beach in the morning. Other times it’s way up in the late afternoon.” Then I pointed out a spot about a hundred feet away.” And sometimes it’s way out there.”

“We really need to get a tide chart to help us understand what’s going on. A lot of businesses hand them out free.”

Then, that thought and those words were gone.

“Let’s go get some breakfast,” he said.

“I have an idea,” I said. “Let’s go to the seafood place.”

The traffic was gentle and easy that morning. We didn’t need reservations. We immedately got a place to sit. Twenty minutes later, we were picking away at a huge plate of crab legs and Key lime pie. It wasn’t on the breakfast menu, but it was what we wanted, we said.

Next we drove down to the cove, a hidden inlet down the coast. We had to walk and walk to get there. And once we did, we still had to walk down a hundred stairs. So we slid and clambered down the hill instead. We wandered around the tiny bay, getting our feet wet and dirty in the sand. We climbed on rocks and stared at each of the beautiful things we saw, things that God made.

“What’s this?” I said, barely touching a round ball of prickly things.

“A sea anemone,” he said.

I didn’t want to touch it completely, so I picked up a piece of a shell and touched the anemone with that.

The prickly, fuzzy ball of stuff just opened up and sucked that crab shell in. Crunch. Crunch. I giggled. I wanted to see it do it again.

We strolled around the bay. Starfish, rocks, and pretty shells lined the way. “No Nude Bathing,” a weathered sign commanded. A patrol helicopter flew by, just to make certain we compled. We climbed back up to the street. We didn’t use the stairs this time either.

When we got back in the car, we drove to town again. The surf shop was open, so we ambled on in. We looked at sunglasses, wet suits, kayaks, and shorts. We didn’t want to buy anything, so we said thanks and headed out the door. As we were leaving the store, a man suddenly burst out after us, shouting and waving something in his hand.

“Don’t forget your tide chart,” he said, giving the little booklet to us.

We looked at each other, then laughed out loud. Even though we had forgotten what we said we wanted, the universe remembered and insisted on giving it to us.

There’s a lot of things we have to let go of. Probably everything, in fact. But it’s important to say what we want first– before we let go– because sometimes when we let go, what we want comes back to us.

An important part of speaking the language of letting go means learning to identify and say what we want.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 1

Any idea, person or object can be a Medicine Wheel, a mirror for man. The tiniest flower can be such a mirror, as can a wolf, a story, a touch, a religion, or a mountaintop.
—Hyemeyohsts Storm

The ancient spiritual teachings of the Cheyenne Indians tell us that we meet ourselves in almost everything we confront. A group of men spending a night on a mountaintop will each have a different experience. One may be overcome with a sense of awe, another may spend every moment gripped by fear, and another may sleep the night away. While the mountain is the same, each has brought himself to it and has a different experience. When we meet an animal, feel a touch, or take a hike down the street, we see a reflection of ourselves and of humanity.

This day is a Medicine Wheel for each of us. Our response to today’s circumstances will tell us more about ourselves. We need not waste energy judging ourselves harshly, but learn from our feelings and reactions. Our reflections point the way for further growth.

Today, I will look for my own reflection in what I meet and for the reflection of all humanity.

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Daily TAO
April 1
FUNERAL

Hearse of weathered black enamel,
Undertakers fingering cigarettes.
Family, some crying, some bored,
Some only thinking of themselves.
Hired marching band out of tune.
Even in death we find no accord.

If you look closely at a dead person, can you truly see a soul? Is there anything left of the person that you knew? No. There is only a corpse, one that doesn’t even look familiar; whatever animates people is gone. Have they flown to heaven? Have they gone into some cycle of transmigration? I don’t know. Theories about what happens after death can only be conjecture.

A funeral is for those left behind. It is a ritual for us to come to grips with what has happened. Sometimes, one wonders if the weeping is more out of fear for ourselves than it is sympathy for the deceased.

All our lives, we seek union. We try to please our parents, we try to do well for our teachers and society, we try to make love and get married, we try to touch the universal through art, music, and meditation. Yet all our lives, our every attempt is flawed. Accord and harmony are transitory states. Their duration and quality come only from our determination. Once our mind gives way, we can no longer hold the connections that we want.

Don’t wait for death to solve your difficulties. Do what you must while you are alive.

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DailyZen
April 1

Rain has washed the Eastern Slope,
The moon shines clear;
Where townsmen walked earlier,
Farmers pass.
Why mind jagged stones
On the hillside path?
I like the ringing sound my staff
Makes when it strikes

– Su Tung-p’o (1073)

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Food for Thought
April 1
Came to Believe

Perhaps we have believed in a Higher Power all our lives, or perhaps we have been agnostic. In either case we have been unable to apply faith and belief to our greatest problem – compulsive overeating.

OA asks only that we be willing to believe and that we keep an open mind. As we hear the stories of members who have come to believe through the program, our own faith grows. As we experience God’s grace, our belief increases.

Steps One, Two, and Three work together. Only by admitting that the problem has us defeated, that we are powerless – only then do we become open to a Higher Power. If there is no way that we can stop eating compulsively by our own strength, then we require a strength greater than our own. Others have found this strength in God, as He is understood by each individual. When we turn our will and our lives over to our Higher Power and practice the Twelve Steps every day, we apply our belief and faith. The belief may be very small and weak in the beginning, but like the mustard seed, it grows. Gradually, we become convinced of what we had known all along, but were afraid to believe.

Strengthen my belief, I pray.

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In God’s Care
April 1

The manner in which one endures what must be endured is more important than the thing that must be endured.
~~Dean Acheson

Nearly every day most of us experience a few small, though troubling, inconveniences. Some days we suffer through a major setback and, on occasion, even a personal tragedy. When we trust that God is in our life, and we look for comfort and guidance every moment of every day, we are prepared for any upset, whether minor or grave.

Practicing the presence of God provides us with a refuge, even in the throes of turmoil. In time, as we make this a daily routine, we’ll seldom doubt God’s closeness or feel forsaken, even when all about us is dark. The darkness will give way to the light of hope in the mere moment it takes to remember God’s presence.

We can endure whatever lesson today offers with confidence and hope and the security of knowing that God is both teacher and protector.

I will go through this day confidently in the presence of my Higher Power.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 01
The King’s Highway

The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. (Isaiah 35:8)

The way of holiness is so straight and plain that the simplest minds cannot go astray if they constantly follow it. The worldly wise have many twists and turns, and yet they make terrible blunders and generally miss their end. Worldly policy is a poor, shortsighted thing, and when men choose it as their road, it leads them over dark mountains. Gracious minds know no better than to do as the Lord bids them; but this keeps them in the King’s highway and under royal protection.

Let the reader never for a moment attempt to help himself out of a difficulty by a falsehood or by a questionable act; but let him keep in the middle of the high road of truth and integrity, and he will be following the best possible course. In our lives we must never practice circular sailing nor dream of shuffling. Be just and fear not, Follow Jesus and heed no evil consequences. If the worst of ills could be avoided by wrongdoing, we should, in the very attempt, have fallen into an evil worse than any other ill could be. God’s way must be the very best way. Follow it though men think you a fool, and you will be truly wise.

Lord, lead Thy servants in a plain path because of their enemies.

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 01

“Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth.
–Song of Solomon 1:2.

FOR several days we have been dwelling upon the Saviour’s passion, and for some little time to come we shall linger there. In beginning a new month, let us seek the same desires after our Lord as those which glowed in the heart of the elect spouse. See how she leaps at once to Him; there are no prefatory words; she does not even mention His name; she is in the heart of her theme at once, for she speaks of Him who was the only Him in the world to her. How bold is her love! it was much condescension which permitted the weeping penitent to anoint His feet with spikenard—it was rich love which allowed the gentle Mary to sit at His feet and learn of Him—but here, love, strong, fervent love, aspires to higher tokens of regard, and closer signs of fellowship. Esther trembled in the presence of Ahasuerus, but the spouse in joyful liberty of perfect love knows no fear. If we have received the same free spirit, we also may ask the like. By kisses we suppose to be intended those varied manifestations of affection by which the believer is made to enjoy the love of Jesus. The kiss of reconciliation we enjoyed at our conversion, and it was sweet as honey dropping from the comb. The kiss of acceptance is still warm on our brow, as we know that He hath accepted our persons and our works through rich grace. The kiss of daily, present communion, is that which we pant after to be repeated day after day, till it is changed into the kiss of reception, which removes the soul from earth, and the kiss of consummation which fills it with the joy of heaven. Faith is our walk, but fellowship sensibly felt is our rest. Faith is the road, but communion with Jesus is the well from which the pilgrim drinks. O lover of our souls, be not strange to us; let the lips of Thy blessing meet the lips of our asking; let the lips of Thy fulness touch the lips of our need, and straightway the kiss will be effected.

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