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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 22

Just For Today
April 22
Traveling The Open Road

“This is our road to spiritual growth.”
Basic Text, p. 35

When we arrived at our first NA meeting, it looked like the end of the road to many of us. We weren’t going to be able to use anymore. We were spiritually bankrupt. Most of us were totally isolated and didn’t think we had much to live for. Little did we realize that, as we began our program of recovery, we were stepping onto a road of unlimited possibilities.

At first, just not using was tough enough. Yet, as we watched other addicts working the steps and applying those principles in their lives, we began to see that recovery was more than just not using. The lives of our NA friends had changed. They had a relationship with the God of their understanding. They were responsible members of the fellowship and of society. They had a reason to live. We began to believe these things were possible for us, too.

As we continue our recovery journey, we can get sidetracked by complacency, intolerance, or dishonesty. When we do, we need to recognize the signs quickly and get back on our path — the open road to freedom and growth.

Just for today: I am continuing to develop my spiritual, social, and general living skills by applying the principles of my program. I can travel as far as I wish on the open road of recovery.

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Daily Reflections
April 22
NEW SOIL . . . NEW ROOTS

Moments of perception can build into a lifetime of spiritual serenity, as I have excellent reason to know.  Roots of reality, supplanting the neurotic underbrush, will hold fast despite the high winds of the forces which would destroy us, or which we would use to destroy ourselves.
–AS BILL SEES IT, p. 173

I came to A.A. green–a seedling quivering with exposed taproots. It was for survival but it was a beginning. I stretched, developed, twisted, but with the help of others, my spirit eventually burst up from the roots. I was free.  I acted, withered, went inside, prayed, acted again, understood anew, as one moment of perception struck. Up from my roots, spirit-arms lengthened into strong, green shoots: high-springing servants stepping skyward.  Here on earth God unconditionally continues the legacy of higher love. My A.A. life put me “on a different footing . . . [my] roots grasped a new soil.”
(Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 12).

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 22
A.A. Thought For The Day

People believe in A.A. when they see it work. An actual demonstration is what convinces them. What they read in books, what they hear people say doesn’t always convince them. But when they see a real honest-to-goodness change take place in a person, a change from a drunkard to a sober, useful citizen, that’s something they can believe because they can see it. There’s really only one thing that proves to me that A.A. works. Have I seen the change in people who come into A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

Divine control and unquestioning obedience to God are the only conditions necessary for a spiritual life. Divine control means absolute faith and trust in God, a belief that God is the Divine Principle in the universe and that He is the intelligence and the Love that controls the universe. Unquestioning obedience to God means living each day the way you believe God wants you to live, constantly seeking the guidance of God in every situation and being willing to do the right thing at all times.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may always be under Divine Control and always practice unquestioning obedience to God. I pray that I may be always ready to serve Him.

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As Bill Sees It
April 22
To Be Fair-Minded, p. 113

Too often, I think, we have deprecated and even derided projects of our friends in the field of alcoholism just because we do not always see eye to eye with them.

We should very seriously ask ourselves how many alcoholics have gone on drinking simply because we have failed to cooperate in good spirit with these many agencies–whether they be good, bad, or indifferent.  No alcoholics should go mad or die merely because he did not come straight to A.A. at the beginning.

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

Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint. This carries a top-priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot.

1. Grapevine, July 1963
2. 12 & 12, p. 91

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Walk in Dry Places
April 22
Faking it, and then making it.
Finding the Spirit of the Thing.

We’re sometimes advised to “fake it until you make it.” But how can anything false really lead us to recovery? Aren’t we told that this is an honest program?

We’re not being dishonest by pushing ourselves to become actively involved in AA. The self-help movements have told us for years that we have to form an image of what we want to be in order to reach our goals. We are forming an image that corresponds to the sober people we want to be. We are actually rehearsing sober living and working to accept a picture of sobriety in our heart of hearts.

There’s also much to be said for “faking it” enough to attend meetings and try to benefit from association with people….. even those we don’t like. This puts us in line for the change we really need.

A lot of members say that they “white-knuckled it” during the first months or years of sobriety. If this worked to bring recovery, it had to be the right approach.

Even if there is rebellion within, today I’ll talk and act like the sober person I want to be.

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Keep It Simple
April 22

One meets his destiny often on the road one takes to avoid it.
–French proverb

None of us, perhaps, ever thought we’d end up in recovery. But we were working at joining recovery years before we got here! Maybe recovery was our fate from the day we first took a drink or a pill. Others around us could see the writing on the wall, but we couldn’t. We were to busy trying to avoid the pain. Alcoholism and other drug abuse have to do with us trying to find spiritual wholeness— the kind of spiritual wholeness we’re finding now. . .in recovery. So, let’s welcome recovery into our lives. We have found our spiritual home.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I got lost because I acted like I knew the way to a good life. You lead the way. Thank-you for putting me on the right track.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think about why it’s my fate to be in recovery. I will list ways that I try to avoid my fate.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 22

Our own rough edges become smooth as we help a friend smooth her edges.
–Sue Atchley Ebaugh

Focusing on a good point in every person we encounter today will benefit us in untold ways. It will smooth our relations with that person, inviting her to respond kindly also. It will increase our awareness of the goodness all around us. It will help us realize that if everyone around us has positive traits, then we must also have them. But perhaps the greatest benefit of focusing on good points is that it enhances us as women; a healthy, positive attitude must be cultivated. Many of us had little experience with feeling positive before the turning point, recovery.

Recovery is offering us a new lease on life every moment. We are learning new behaviors, and we are learning that with the help of a higher power and one another, all things that are right for us are possible. It is energizing, focusing on the good points of others, knowing that their good points don’t detract from our own.

In the past, we may have secretly hated other women’s strengths because we felt inferior. We are free from that hate now, if we choose to be. A strength we can each nurture is gratitude for being helped by, and privy to, the strengths of our friends and acquaintances.

Bad points get worse with attention. My good points will gain strength.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 22
LISTENING TO THE WIND

– It took an “angel” to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.
For the first time in my life, I tried very hard to quit drinking. After a few days of shakes and nausea, I decided that a shot of tequila wouldn’t hurt. I had managed to put on a little weight, but six months later I collapsed and was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer. I was in the hospital for four days that time. They told me that if I didn’t stop drinking, I would probably die.

p. 463

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 22

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

To see how erratic emotions victimized us often took a long time. We could perceive them quickly in others, but only slowly in ourselves. First of all, we had to admit that we had many of these defects, even though such disclosures were painful and humiliating. Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought. This required great willingness even to begin. But once over the first two or three high hurdles, the course ahead began to look easier. For we had started to get perspective on ourselves, which is another way of saying that we were gaining in humility.

pp. 47-48

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Xtra Thoughts
April 22

“Spiritual growth results from absorbing and digesting truth and putting it to practice in daily life.”
–White Eagle

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
–John Andrew Holmes

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”
–Carl Sandburg

From that place of stillness, the right action will emerge and you will find your next step. From that place of stillness, you can move into the present moment. There you will find your power, and there you will find God.
–Melody Beattie

You don’t have to wait for Christmas to give gifts of love and joy.  Give that love to others and yourself. Give it often. Give it freely.  Give it all year round.
–Melody Beattie

When we listen, God speaks and guides.
–Paul K. McAfee

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 22
MUSIC

“I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality.”
–H. A. Overstreet

A language for the world is music. It unites all peoples, cultures, religions and backgrounds; it points man beyond himself, while at the same time breathing through him God’s glory. Music makes man wonder, enables him to dream, allows him to rest in the miracle of creativity.

Drugs stopped me from appreciating the gift of music. They twisted and corrupted sounds and made them destructive and coarse. Drugs took from me so much and left me with a feeling of utter emptiness.

In my recovery I can hear again. My spiritual program incorporates music, different types of music, the inexhaustible joys of melody. I can feel in it, through it, with it – another miracle.

Thank You for the gift of music that enables me to grow in my understanding of self and my need of others.

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Bible Scriptures
April 22

“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
–Matthew 6:3

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”
–James 1:22-24

“I know, O Lord, that your judgments are right…. Let your steadfast love become my comfort…. For your law is my delight.”
–Psalm 119:75-77

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Daily Inspiration
April 22

When you feel the need to tell someone how bad your day has been, tell them how good it’s been instead. Lord, help me to highlight the parts of my day that will bring me to a peaceful and joyful place.

There is always a reason why people act as they do. Lord, help me to be more patient and understanding.

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A Day At A Time
April 22

Reflection For The Day

As I Attend meetings of The Program, my eyes open wider and wider.  Other  people’s problems make mine look small, yet they are facing them with courage and confidence.  Others are trapped in situations as bad as mine, but they bear their troubles with more fortitude.  By going to meetings, I find many reasons to be grateful.   My load has begun to lighten.  Do I expect easy solutions to my problems?  Or do I ask only to be guided to a better way?

Today I Pray

Make The Program my way of life.   Its goals are my goals.  Its members are my truest friends.   May I pass along the skills for coping I have learned there.  May my turnabout and the resulting transformation in my life inspire others, as others have inspired me.

Today I Will Remember

May I be grateful.

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One More Day
April 22

As mature people we must learn not to love ourselves excessively nor to mistrust the universe morbidly.
–  Joshua Loth Liebman

Each time we know success, large or small, we may tend to applaud ourselves.  We have all see small children clapping their hands together in glee at some small triumph.  That is the spontaneity of human nature.

Even now that we are older, we may find it difficult not to praise ourselves in front of others each time we make some kind of gain.  We learn we are applauded for those special times with which all people can identify — success on the job or when a new child or grandchild is born.  Sometimes, however, our applause must be private — treasured by no one but ourselves — for we may be the only one to realize how much we deserve it.

When I achieve success, in any aspect of my life I will glow with inner pride.

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One Day At A Time
April 22
COMPULSIONS

“Compulsive urges to overeat, gorge or purge are inadequate coping mechanisms.  Compulsion is loss of control and continuation of the behavior despite the consequences.”
–Gloria Arenson

Compulsive overeating is not a moral dilemma. It is not about “right” or “wrong.” It is not a black-and-white situation. I learned at a pre-verbal stage that compulsive overeating is a coping mechanism. When I cried to be held, I was fed. When I cried because I was wet, I was fed. When I cried because I was in pain, I was fed. When life was good, I was fed. Is it any wonder I came to reach for food when life was happening around me?

This program teaches me better ways to cope with life. Instead of reacting to life, I have learned through the Steps how to take action. I did not choose this disease, but I do choose recovery. Through the help of my Higher Power, the program, and other program members I can recover. I can live in the solution one day at a time and one meal at a time.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will have a program. I choose recovery, health, love and life.

~ Sarah H.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 22

“Each creature has a medicine, so there are many medicines. Because they are so close to the Creator, they are to communicate that medicine. Then they bring help and health.”
–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

The Elders say everything has a purpose and everything has a will. We should never interfere with purpose or the will of everything. Every plant, creature, animal, insect, human being has a purpose to be here on the Earth. Each has a special medicine to contribute for the good of all things. Each person also has good medicine, a special talent, a special gift. These medicines are to help others or to help make us healthy. What is your special medicine?

Creator, today, help me discover and use my medicine to serve a greater good.

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Journey To The Heart
April 22
On the Other Side of Fear Is Joy

Climb over the wall of fear.

Fear can be like a brick wall on our path. We may say we want to move forward– we want to feel better, do something new, live differently, go to the next place on our journey– but if we have unrecognized fears about that, we may feel like we’ve hit a wall. We don’t know we’re afraid; the fear is tucked and hidden away. All we can see is that, for some unknown reason, we can’t seem to move forward in our life. We’re in the dark.

Or we may be conscious of our fear, but be refusing to deal with it. We have talked ourselves out of honestly addressing the fear by telling ourselves to be strong and brave. While there is much to be gained from pressing forward at certain times in our lives, there simply are other times when we cannot do that because our fear holds us back. There are times in life when real power comes from being vulnerable enough to say, Yes, I am afraid.

Gently face our fears one at a time as they arise. Let each fear surface into consciousness. Tell yourself you know it’s there. Then release its energy; let it dissipate into the air. Don’t be afraid of what you’ll find; the feeling is only fear.

There’s a magic I’ve learned over the years. It happens when I feel my fear. My life changes. I become empowered to move on. Barricades I have not been able to penetrate crumble and disappear. And all I had to do was simply face and feel my fear.

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Today’s Gift
April 22

I meant to do my work today But a brown bird sang in an apple tree, And a butterfly flitted across the field, And all the leaves were calling me.
—Richard LeGallienne

The harried hen scurried about her house, trying to put it in order. Some friends she hadn’t seen for years were due to arrive later that day, and she wanted everything perfect for them. In a flurry, she made the bed, put away the dishes, and scrubbed the floor. Oh dear, she thought in dismay, I meant to wash the sheets today. Frantically, she flew back to the bedroom and tore the sheets from the made bed.

Just then, a neighbor arrived and stood at hen’s door, watching her anxiously rush about. “Dear hen,” he said in a patient loving tone, for he was quite fond of her, “You will never enjoy your visit if you continue to race about. Come. Sit and rest and tell me of these friends. Have you any snapshots?” The hen did as her neighbor had suggested, and soon her friends arrived to find her relaxed, refreshed, and warm with the memories of them.

What is my real work for the day?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 22
Coping With Stress

Inevitably, there are times of stress in our lives, no matter how long we’ve been in recovery.

Sometimes, the stress is outside or around us. We’re feeling balanced, but our circumstances are stressful. Sometimes, the stress is within; we feel out of balance.

When the stress is external and internal, we experience our most difficult times.

During stressful times, we can rely more heavily on our support systems. Our friends and groups can help us feel more balanced and peaceful in spite of our stressful conditions.

Affirming that the events taking place are a temporarily uncomfortable part of a good, solid plan can help. We can assure ourselves that we will get through. We won’t be destroyed. We won’t crumple or go under.

It helps to go back to the basics to focus on detachment, dealing with feelings, and taking life one day at a time.

Our most important focus during times of stress is taking care of ourselves. We are better able to cope with the most irregular circumstances; we are better able to be there for others, if we’re caring for ourselves. We can ask ourselves regularly: What do we need to do to take care of ourselves? What might help us feel better or more comfortable?

Self-care may not come as easily during times of stress. Self-neglect may feel more comfortable. But taking care of us always works.

Today, I will remember that there is no situation that can’t be benefited by taking care of myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 22
Solve the right problems

Are you solving the problems you want to solve, or the problems you think that you are supposed to solve?
–Thom Rutledge

Peter spent his days solving problems. He had attended the right college and found the right profession and worked for the right people. As a successful accountant, he counted other people’s money and figured out what they owed the government. Peter was good at his job, but he wanted to take pictures. Still, accounting was an important job, and people needed him to help them with their taxes. Solving other people’s money problems took up most of Peter’s time, so much time that he gradually forgot about taking pictures.

One day, he picked up a magazine on photography and started reading. He bought a camera and took some pictures. Then he took a vacation and took some more pictures. He entered them in a local showing and received second prize.

Peter didn’t stop being an accountant. But now he spends as much time solving problems of aperture and shutter speed as he does 401k’s and 1099’s.

Are you solving the problems that you want to solve? Or are you solving the same problem over and over?

Find the answers to the questions you have.

Then find more questions to ask.

God, give me the courage to follow my heart. Teach me how to experience more joy in my life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 22

The first springs of great events, like those of great rivers, are often mean and little.
—Jonathan Swift

Our lives are like streams which flow through time. Looking at the flow of our whole lives, we see the interconnections of many days that seemed minor. Each day contributes to the stream of goals and faith and relationships. As we look at the flow of a whole river, we see at its beginning a little trickle of water here, joining another trickle there, slowly gathering together a stream that develops force and direction.

We may look for intensity in our lives and ignore the quiet. Much of our lives may have been lived on a roller coaster of major crises. As terrible as it seemed, it was not dull. Today may seem rather boring. But in recovery we learn to appreciate the more subtle trickle that a good day can be. Simply continuing with the flow – of our program, of faithfulness to our values, of being emotionally present in our relationships – adds up to a rich life.

May I see the continuity of my life in the simple moments of this day.

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Daily TAO
April 22
NONANTICIPATION

Put forth your effort
With no thought of gain.

One should not pray or meditate with any thought of gain. Hold no expectations. Then the rewards will come. If one strives for power and gifts, no true results will come, and one will become lost in lust.  Praying for results brings no results — the true spirit appears only when there are no expectations to hamper it.

Books and teachings talk of the results of meditation because they prepare the aspirant for the experiences that will occur. It is important not to look on these writings as advertisements. They are merely descriptions of what you will encounter.

Sit down with no thought of results and you will go naturally and spontaneously with Tao. It is admittedly a paradox. We are to know what to expect, and yet we should allow them to appear as they will. It seems irrational and inefficient. Yet if you would know Tao, there is no faster way to enter the midstream.

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DailyZen
April 22

The temple is in the green bamboo:
Its evening bells are small and distant
Your pilgrim’s hat catches
The slanting sunbeams far off
And alone in the blue green mountains

– Liu Chang-ch’ing

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Food for Thought
April 22
Happiness

Happiness is rarely achieved by pursuing it. We compulsive overeaters used to think that food could make us happy, but we found that it could not. Many of us tried other substances, too, such as alcohol, drugs, or money. When these also failed us, we may have decided that only a perfect partner could make us happy. Alas, we soon discovered that there are no perfect individuals, only ordinary people with faults like our own.

So where does happiness fit in? At some point along the line, we abandon the frantic pursuit of an external object of happiness and begin to work on ourselves. As we go through the Twelve Steps, we become less self-centered and more focused on a Higher Power. As we are able to concentrate more on His will and less on our own, we find that periods of happiness come as a by product. Paradoxically, when happiness is no longer our goal, we have more of it.

In You, there is joy.

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In God’s Care
April 22

Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
~~George Bernard Shaw

One thing we all have going for us is the ability to change our mind. Thank God. If we were still stuck with our childhood beliefs, where would we be now? Many of us have gotten into deep trouble – physically and emotionally – by following beliefs that proved wrong. For instance, the treacherous belief that we are self-sufficient, that to depend on others is a sign of weakness. How many of us crashed and burned while holding high the banner of independence?

Disastrous circumstances have forced us to change our mind. Now we know that we cannot get along without others, nor without a Higher Power to guide us. We are still tempted daily to go it alone – old habits die hard – but we can change our mind as often as needed.

With God’s help, I can exercise the greatest force for change in my life – I can change my mind.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 22
Power to Raise

The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down.
(Psalm l46:8)

Am I bowed down? Then let me urge this word of grace before the Lord. It is His way, His custom, His promise, His delight, to raise up them that are bowed down. Is it a sense of sin and a consequent depression of spirit which distresses me? Then the work of Jesus is, in this case, made and provided to raise me up into rest. O Lord, raise me, for Thy mercy’s sake!

Is it a sad bereavement or a great fall in circumstances? Here again the Comforter has undertaken to console. What a mercy for us that one Person of the sacred Trinity should become the Comforter! This work will be well done since such a glorious One has made it His peculiar care.

Some are so bowed down that only Jesus can loose them from their infirmity, but He can, and He will, do it. He can raise us up to health, to hope, to happiness. He has often done so under former trials, and He is the same Savior and will repeat His deeds of lovingkindness. We who are today bowed down and sorrowful shalt yet be set on high, and those who now mock at us shall be greatly ashamed. What an honor to be raised up by the Lord! It is worthwhile to be bowed down that we may experience His upraising power.

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 22

“Him hath God exalted.”
-—Acts 5:31.

JESUS, our Lord, once crucified, dead and buried, now sits upon the throne of glory. The highest place that heaven affords is His by undisputed right. It is sweet to remember that the exaltation of Christ in heaven is a representative exaltation. He is exalted at the Father’s right hand, and though as Jehovah He had eminent glories, in which finite creatures cannot share, yet as the Mediator, the honours which Jesus wears in heaven are the heritage of all the saints. It is delightful to reflect how close is Christ’s union with His people. We are actually one with Him; we are members of His body; and His exaltation is our exaltation. He will give us to sit upon His throne, even as He has overcome, and is set down with His Father on His throne; He has a crown, and He gives us crowns too; He has a throne, but He is not content with having a throne to Himself, on His right hand there must be His queen, arrayed in “gold of Ophir.” He cannot be glorified without His bride. Look up, believer, to Jesus now; let the eye of your faith behold Him with many crowns upon His head; and remember that you will one day be like Him, when you shall see Him as He is; you shall not be so great as He is, you shall not be so divine, but still you shall, in a measure, share the same honours, and enjoy the same happiness and the same dignity which He possesses. Be content to live unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for He has “made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever.” Oh!, wonderful thought for the children of God! We have Christ for our glorious representative in heaven’s courts now, and soon He will come and receive us to Himself, to be with Him there, to behold His glory, and to share His joy.

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