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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.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – April 10

Just For Today
April 10
Too Busy

“We must use what we learn or we will lose it, no matter how long we have been clean.”
Basic Text, p. 82

After putting some clean time together, some of us have a tendency to forget what our most important priority is. Once a week or less we say, “I’ve gotta get to a meeting tonight. It’s been.. ” We’ve been caught up in other things, important for sure, but no more so than our continued participation in Narcotics Anonymous.

It happens gradually. We get jobs. We reunite with our families. We’re raising children, the dog is sick, or we’re going to school at night. The house needs to be cleaned. The lawn needs to be mowed. We have to work late. We’re tired. There’s a good show at the theater tonight. And all of a sudden, we notice that we haven’t called our sponsor, been to a meeting, spoken to a newcomer, or even talked to God in quite a while.

What do we do at this point? Well, we either renew our commitment to our recovery, or we continue being too busy to recover until something happens and our lives become unmanageable. Quite a choice! Our best bet is to put more of our energy into maintaining the foundation of recovery on which our lives are built. That foundation makes everything else possible, and it will surely crumble if we get too busy with everything else.

Just for today: I can’t afford to be too busy to recover. I will do something today that sustains my recovery.

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Daily Reflections
April 10
GROWING UP

The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.
–AS BILL SEES IT, p. 115

Sometimes when I’ve become willing to do what I should have been doing all along, I want praise and recognition.  I don’t realize that the more I’m willing to act differently, the more exciting my life is. The more I am willing to help others, the more rewards I receive.  That’s what practicing the principles means to me. Fun and benefits for me are in the willingness to do the actions, not to get immediate results. Being a little kinder, a little slower to anger, a little more loving makes my life better–day by day.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 10
A.A. Thought For The Day

When I came into A.A., I came into a new world. A sober world. A world of sobriety, peace, serenity, and happiness.  But I know that if I take just one drink, I’ll go right back into that old world. That alcoholic world. That world of drunkenness, conflict, and misery. That alcoholic world is not a pleasant place for an alcoholic to live in. Looking at the world through the bottom of a whiskey glass is no fun after you’ve become an alcoholic. Do I want to go back to that alcoholic world?

Meditation For The Day

Pride stands sentinel at the door of the heart and shuts out the love of God. God can only dwell with the humble and the obedient. Obedience to God’s will is the key unlocking the door to God’s kingdom. You cannot obey God to the best of your ability without in time realizing God’s love and responding to that love. The rough stone steps of obedience lead up to where the mosaic floor of love and joy is laid. Where God’s spirit is, there is your home. There is heaven for you.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God may make His home in my humble and obedient heart. I pray that I may obey His guidance to the best of my ability.

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As Bill Sees It
April 10
The Forgotten Mountain, p. 100

When I was a child, I acquired some of the traits that had a lot to do with my insatiable craving for alcohol. I was brought up in a little town in Vermont, under the shadow of Mount Aeolus. An early recollection is that of looking up at this vast and mysterious mountain, wondering what it meant and whether I could ever climb that high. But I was presently distracted by my aunt who, as a fourth-birthday present, made me a plate of fudge. For the next thirty-five years I pursued the fudge of life and quite forgot about the mountain.

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

When self-indulgence is less than ruinous, we have a milder word for it. We call it “taking our comfort.”

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, pp. 52-53
2. 12 & 12, p. 67

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Walk in Dry Places
April 10
Protecting Sobriety

Though AA members never criticize drinking customs, we do tell newcomers that it’s wise to avoid situations involving alcohol. Even this is not an absolute, because we also concede that it’s sometimes necessary to attend a cocktail reception or to lunch with a friend in a bar. So how do we distinguish between what’s safe and what’s likely to lead to trouble.  The litmus test is always to look at our own motives and spiritual guidance. A drink has no power over us unless we want to take the drink. If we are not deliberately seeking out drinking situations, our motives are probably good. If our spiritual house is in order, our Higher Power will also protect us in any situation.

Wherever we go, however, we should also make our sobriety the first priority of business. Whatever the importance of any social event, it is insignificant compared with the importance of sobriety. Keep sobriety at the top of your list, and the other decisions will follow in proper order.  We should hole the additional thought that “walking in dry places” is really thinking of our selves as always being in dry places under God’s guidance.

..Today I will focus on the sober world I want to enjoy and share. The world of drinking has nothing for me. I may encounter situations involving casual drinking today, but I will not be part of them in mind and spirit. I will think and walk in dry places.

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Keep It Simple
April 10

You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent their making their nest in your head.
–Chinese proverb

Life is full of feelings. We can be happy, sad, mad, scared. These feelings can come and go quickly. Or we may hang on to them. As recovering addicts, we used to hang on to feelings that made us feel bad. We let them make”nest” in our hair. We used our feelings as excuse to drink or use other drugs. Now we’re learning to hang on to our good feelings. We can let go of anger, hurt, and fear. We can shoo away the birds of sadness and welcome the birds of happiness.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me become a “bird watcher.” Help me learn from my feelings. And help me let go of the bad one so I can be happy.

Action For the Day: If I need to get rid of the sadness or anger that I’m hanging on to, I’ll get help from my sponsor, a counselor, or a clergy person.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 10

Even though I can’t solve your problems, I will be there as your sounding board whenever you need me.
–Sandra K. Lamberson

The prize we each have been given is our ability to offer full and interested attention to people seeking our counsel. And seldom does a day pass, that we aren’t given the opportunity to listen, to nurture, to offer hope where it’s been dashed.

We are not separate, one from another. Interdependence is our blessing; however, we fail to recognize it at our crucial crossroads. Alone we ponder. Around us, others, too, are often suffering in silence. These Steps that guide our lives push us to break the silence. The secrets we keep, keep us from the health we deserve.

Our emotional well-being is enhanced each time we share ourselves – our stories or our attentive ears. We need to be a part of someone else’s pain and growth in order to make use of the pain that we have grown beyond. Pain has its purpose in our lives. And in the lives of our friends, too. It’s our connection to one another, the bridge that closes the gap.

We dread our pain. We hate the suffering our friends must withstand. But each of us gains when we accept these challenges as our invitations for growth and closeness to others.

Secrets keep us sick. I will listen and share and be well.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 10
LISTENING TO THE WIND

– It took an “angel” to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

I started stealing and robbed a gas station and a liquor store. I made very few friends. I had learned to trust no one. One night, around eight o’clock, a car pulled up to the curb just as I had settled myself, half drunk, against the wall of a building. I figured I had met my companion for the evening. We made the appropriate conversation to confirm the deal, and I got into the car. Suddenly I felt a deafening blow to my temple. I was knocked senseless. In a desolate area across town, I was pulled from the car, pistol whipped, and left to die in the mud with rain falling softly upon me. I came to in a hospital room with bars on the windows. I spent seven weeks there, having repeated surgeries and barely recognizing my surroundings each time I woke up. Finally, when I was able to walk around a little, a policewoman came and I was taken to county jail. It was my third arrest in two months. Nearly two years on the street had taken its toll.

pp. 459-460

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 10

Step Four – “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

Nor is the quest for security always expressed in terms of money. How frequently we see a frightened human being determined to depend completely upon a stronger person for guidance and protection. This weak one, failing to meet life’s responsibilities with his own resources, never grows up. Disillusionment and helplessness are his lot. In time all his protectors either flee or die, and he is once more left alone and afraid.

p. 43

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Xtra Thoughts
April 10

May I look at my experiences, not as trouble, but as a way to use my experience to help others.
–SweetyZee

When you make a mistake, make amends immediately.
–Unknown

Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.
–Eric Hoffer

Life is like a mirror. If you frown at it, it frowns back. If you smile, it returns the greeting.
–Unknown

“One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.”
–Jim Rohn

“Develop a benevolent world view; look for the good in the people and circumstances around you.”
–Brian Tracy

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 10
TODAY

“Real generosity towards the future consists in giving all to what is present.”
–Albert Camus

Much of the gratitude that I talk about needs to be centered in what I do with today; I need to focus on the present, rather than procrastinate for the future.

As a sick alcoholic I lived either in the guilt of yesterday or the fear of tomorrow – missing the reality of the present. The present moment is all that I have and through this “moment” I live and breathe and have my existence!

My understanding of prayer is centered in the present moment because any understanding of relationship and communication, especially with God, must begin from where one is, rather than where one would like to be. Spirituality is the reality of the moment.

Master, thank You for the life that is experienced in the moment.

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Bible Scriptures
April 10

“O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.”
–Psalm 30:12

“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”
–Revelation 4:11

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
–John 20:29

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
–Matthew 18:1-4

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Daily Inspiration
April 10

Let life’s lessons grow into wisdom so that you may be the light for someone else’s darkness. Lord, help me put to good use that which today brings so that I am better prepared for tomorrow.

To know someone doesn’t mean to know every detail of that person’s life. It means to feel affection, confidence and to believe in that person. Lord, may I really know You and have it reflect in how I treat others.

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A Day At A Time
April 10

Reflection For The Day

Change is the characteristic of all growth.   From drinking to sobriety, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from childish dependence to adult responsibility — all this and infinitely more represent change for the better.  Only God is unchanging;  only He has all the truth there is.  Do  I accept the belief that lack of power was my dilemma?  Have I found a power by which I can live — a Power greater than myself

Today I Pray

I pray that The Program will be, for me, an outline for change — for changing me.  These days of transition from active addiction to sobriety, from powerlessness to power through God, may be rocky, as change can be.  May my restlessness be stilled by the  unchanging nature of God, in whom I place my trust.   Only He is whole and perfect and predictable.

Today I Will Remember

I can count on my Higher Power.

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One More Day
April 10

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere.  Before him, I may think aloud.
–  Ralph Waldo Emerson

We may wonder what has happened to old friends we have lost touch with over the years.  Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy lives we neglect our friendships.

We can rebuild or strengthened a relationship by taking the first step in reaching out to others.  Old connections can be reestablished. They were important to us at one time in our lives and can be again.  We may find they have been wondering about us as well.

Today, we can take up pen and paper and write to them about ourselves.  Now is the time to find out what has happened to our old friends and let them know they’re in our thoughts.

I will try today to establish contact with an old friend.

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One Day At A Time
April 10
~ Aging ~

Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.
–Benjamin Franklin

I used to be afraid of getting older. I was also afraid to become friends with older people, because I would come to love them and then they would die. I could not handle unpleasant feelings (other than if I overate to stop feeling them) because the feeling of unpleasantness would totally devastate me.

In working the Twelve Step program, my Higher Power has brought me great recovery in this area … I am now able to handle the grief and sorrow that come up when I allow myself to get to know and love older people and then they die. I am now free in this area! I get to enjoy the wisdom and beauty that they have to share, from all their life experiences, and from the beautiful people they are!

Another beautiful gift from my Higher Power came when I started relating to older people again. When the first one died, it really threw me, and I was very sad. But I got up the next day and had a great spiritual awakening: this person was missing and that was sad, but I looked around and saw all the other wonderful people still there in my life, with whom I got to share another day! Life suddenly became much more precious to me … to have one more day to be with and share with someone who touches my soul!

One Day at a Time . . .
I enjoy myself as I become older. I allow myself to enjoy friendships with those who are older than me. I thank my Higher Power for every day and every moment of precious life!

~ Lynne ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 10

“Together we can end the Holocaust against the environment.”
–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

We are all familiar with the Holocaust against the people. When this happens we feel bad and we vow never to let it happen again. We need to seriously examine what human beings are doing to the Earth and the environment. Many species are extinct and many more will become extinct during the next 10 years. We are methodically eliminating life that will never return again. Today, we should take time to pray real hard so we wake up before it is too late.

Great Spirit, today, I pray for us to awaken to what we are doing.

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Journey To The Heart
April 10
Be Aware of the Energy Around You

I stopped at a quaint little store in the mountain city of Solvang, California. It was filled with clocks, tick, tick, ticking away. Some sang, some chirped. Some just ticked. “If you wind them together long enough, they’ll all soon begin ticking together in harmony,” the shopkeeper told me knowingly. I listened. What she said was true.

We are energy and vibration. When we’re open, how easy it is to begin ticking to the rhythm of those around us. If we had kept ourselves locked up and put away, it would be different. But since we’ve chosen to be open, to be sensitive, to open our hearts and souls, we’ll connect with, tick to, vibrations of those around us. Our energy fields will touch and merge. We’ll begin to feel, and sometimes visibly take on, the characteristics, rhythms, and vibrations of those in our field.

Pay attention to, choose carefully, those with whom you live, eat, and play. There may be times when you can handle their energy, and times it isn’t right for you. Sometimes, when we’re feeling off balance, it may be that we’re around energy that just isn’t right for us.

Stay conscious of who you travel with on this journey. See who you’re attracted to and notice who is attracted to you. See how much better you feel when you surround yourself with the energy of love.

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Today’s Gift
April 10

But don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden.
—Beatrix Potter

Since we are members of a family, we are not free to do anything we like. We may not be able to go as far from home as we would like. We may have to get up earlier in the morning than we would like. We may have only limited use of the car. Families set up limits in order to maintain order and happiness. If each of us demanded something different for supper each night, the situation would be unmanageable.

Limits also keep us safe. When Peter Rabbit was told not to go into Mr. McGregor’s garden, it was for his own good. Limits and restrictions are a form of love and protection, and we all have them. When we bump up against one of these limits, we can be assured they serve to point us in another direction, one with freedoms of its own which we may never have explored without being forced to.

What freedom can I discover in a limitation today?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 10
Using Others to Stop Our Pain

Our happiness is not a present someone else holds in his or her hands. Our well-being is not held by another to be given or withheld at whim. If we reach out and try to force someone to give us what we believe he or she holds, we will be disappointed. We will discover that it is an illusion. The person didn’t hold it. He or she never shall. That beautifully wrapped box with the ribbon on it that we believed contained our happiness that someone was holding – it’s an illusion!

In those moments when we are trying to reach out and force someone to stop our pain and create our joy, if we can find the courage to stop flailing about and instead stand still and deal with our issues, we will find our happiness.

Yes, it is true that if someone steps on our foot, he or she is hurting us and therefore holds the power to stop our pain by removing his or her foot. But the pain is still ours. And so is the responsibility to tell someone to stop stepping on our feet.

Healing will come when we’re aware of how we attempt to use others to stop our pain and create our happiness. We will heal from the past. We will receive insights that can change the course of our relationships.

We will see that, all along, our happiness and our well-being have been in our hands. We have held that box. The contents are ours for the opening.

God, help me remember that I hold the key to my own happiness. Give me the courage to stand still and deal with my own feelings. Give me the insights I need to improve my relationships. Help me stop doing the codependent dance and start doing the dance of recovery.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 10
Make the hard calls

Sometimes we make choces with relative ease. One option feels right. We have no negative feelings about the other choice. On some occasions, we may be faced with what one man described as a “hard call.”

“I had raised my own children alone,” Jason said. “And I did a good job. I enjoyed my independence, but I relished the idea of being in a relationship at some time in my life. A few years after my two children left home, I met a woman I truly liked. We spent time together, got right up to the edge of being committed, but I had to back off.

“I liked her, but she had two children of her own. They were teenagers. They didn’t want me in their mother’s life. I didn’t want to lose this woman. But at a deeper level, I really didn’t want to be involved in the teenage years of raising someone else’s children. I knew I had to let her go,” he said. “It was a hard call.”

A hard call is when we don’t like either choice, but one option is unacceptable. Hard calls can take many shapes and forms. We may love someone who has a serious drinking problem and simply decide we can’t live with him or her– despite how we feel about the person. We may love someone who has physically abused us or displayed signs of violent behavior, while our feelings may be genuine, so is the danger. We can be faced with hard calls at work. At one point in my life, I could barely tolerate my supervisors. But I liked the work I was doing. I decided to stay; I’m still glad I did.

Hard calls are a part of life. They force us to examine our values and determine what’s genuinely important to us. They insist that we choose the path that’s in our highest good.

God, when I am faced with a tough decision, help me be gentle with myself and others as I sort out, with your help, what’s right for me.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 10

Chaos demands to be recognized and experienced before letting itself be converted into a new order.
—Hermann Hesse

The forces of chaos and forces of order are always at work in the world. While many things are being built up, many are wearing down. It is a good thing because life would be very boring in an unchanging state. But the chaos we met in our lives was often extreme and unusually destructive. We had to recognize it and feel the pain of it before we could build a new order. Looking back we can see that our First Step was just such an event.

All people have small chaotic events in their lives every day. If we take a moment and reflect on our present lives, we can certainly become aware of some ways in which things are in disarray. By simply letting ourselves know it in this moment, we get ready for the new order to begin.

I pray for courage and honesty to see the chaos, which exists today. Help me become ready for the new order to evolve.

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Daily TAO
April 10
IMAGINATION

Imagination is pale and fragile,
Dreams grip with a false reality.
Imagination can build bridges,
Dreams can deceive.

When we dream, the experience is often deeply involving.  Frightening dreams make us awake trembling and sweating. Pleasurable dreams leave us with lingering desires. Certain dreams are a form of healing, a way for our minds to recircuit and adjust themselves. No matter what, these dreams have no objective reality in our waking world.

Imagination is also a form of mental involvement. It is a way of projecting our thoughts into believable images to be contemplated and manipulated. We can play with our imagination, use it to inspire creative projects.

Both imagination and dreams are similar activities of the mind, and yet they differ in the level of conscious participation that they permit. In the case of the dream, there is a total suspension of rationality and consciousness, so there is little or no direction possible. There is no mode of control. By contrast, imagination is a tool through which we can make our lives better, different, and creative. By cooperating with it, we can achieve things that “we never dreamed possible.”

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DailyZen
April 10

In meditation we leave
The fires of defilement
For the coolness of clear samadhi.
And this feels just like the joy
Of falling into cool, clear water
After burning in the heat of the sun.

– Great Treatise on the Perfection of Wisdom

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Food for Thought
April 10
Increasing Joy

Before we found OA, many of us felt depressed much of the time. The combination of too much food and too little inspiration was lethal. We existed and we did what we had to do, but there was a lack of deep joy in our lives.

When we get the poisons out of our systems, which have been deposited by refined starches and sugars and by overeating in general, we feel one hundred percent better. As we get rid of the poisons in our minds and hearts, our joy increases.

Gradually we are relieved of the guilt of overeating. We are also relieved of envy, anger, and fear – all of the negative emotions, which have poisoned our hearts.

Deep joy can only come from the deepest part of ourselves. That is the place where we find and come to know our Higher Power.

Thank You, God, for increasing joy.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 10
Look and Live

And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shalt come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
–(Numbers 21:8)

This is a glorious gospel type. Jesus, numbered with the transgressors, hangs before us on the cross. A look to Him will heal us of the serpent-bite of sin; will heal us at once—”When he looketh upon it, he shall live.” Let the reader who is mourning his sinfulness note the words—”Everyone that looketh upon it shall live.” Every looker will find this true. I have found it so. I looked to Jesus and lived at once, I know I did. Reader, if you look to Jesus you will live, too. True, you are swelling with the venom, and you see no hope, True, also there is no hope but this one. But this is no doubtful cure—”Everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.”

The brazen serpent was not lifted up as a curiosity to be gazed upon by the healthy; but its special purpose was for those who were “bitten.” Jesus died as a real Savior for real sinners. Whether the bite has made you a drunkard, or a thief, or an unchaste or a profane person, a look at the great Savior will heal you of these diseases and make you live in holiness and communion with God. Look and live.

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 10

“The place which is called Calvary.”
-—Luke 23:33.

HE hill of comfort is the hill of Calvary; the house of consolation is built with the wood of the cross; the temple of heavenly blessing is founded upon the riven rock—riven by the spear which pierced His side. No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like Calvary’s tragedy.

“Is it not strange, the darkest hour
That ever dawned on sinful earth,
Should touch the heart with softer power,
For comfort, than an angel’s mirth?
That to the Cross the mourner’s eye should turn,
Sooner than where the stars of Bethlehem burn?”

Light springs from the midday-midnight of Golgotha, and every herb of the field blooms sweetly beneath the shadow of the once accursed tree. In that place of thirst, grace hath dug a fountain which ever gusheth with waters pure as crystal, each drop capable of alleviating the woes of mankind. You who have had your seasons of conflict, will confess that it was not at Olivet that you ever found comfort, not on the hill of Sinai, nor on Tabor; but Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha have been a means of comfort to you. The bitter herbs of Gethsemane have often taken away the bitters of your life; the scourge of Gabbatha has often scourged away your cares, and the groans of Calvary yields us comfort rare and rich. We never should have known Christ’s love in all its heights and depths if He had not died; nor could we guess the Father’s deep affection if He had not given His Son to die. The common mercies we enjoy all sing of love, just as the sea-shell, when we put it to our ears, whispers of the deep sea whence it came; but if we desire to hear the ocean itself, we must not look at every-day blessings, but at the transactions of the crucifixion. He who would know love, let him retire to Calvary and see the Man of sorrows die.

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