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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 25

Just For Today
April 25
Embracing Reality

“Recovery is a reality for us today”
Basic Text, p. 97

Pain and misery were realities in our using lives. We were unwilling either to accept our living situation or to change what was unacceptable in our lives. We attempted to escape life’s pain by taking drugs, but using only compounded our troubles. Our altered sense of reality became a nightmare.

Through living the program of Narcotics Anonymous, we learn that our dreams can replace our nightmares. We grow and change. We acquire the freedom of choice. We are able to give and receive love. We can share honestly about ourselves, no longer magnifying or minimizing the truth. We accept the challenges real life offers us, facing them in a mature, responsible way.

Although recovery does not give us immunity from the realities of life, in the NA Fellowship we can find the support, genuine care, and concern we need to face those realities. We need never hide from reality by using drugs again, for our unity with other recovering addicts gives us strength. Today the support, the care, and the empathy of recovery give us a clean, clear window through which to view, experience, and appreciate reality as it is.

Just for today: A gift of my recovery is living and enjoying life as it truly is. Today, I will embrace reality.

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Daily Reflections
April 25
ENTERING A NEW DIMENSION

In the late stages of our drinking, the will to resist has fled. Yet when we admit complete defeat and when we become entirely ready to try A.A. principles, our obsession leaves us and we enter a new dimension – freedom under God as we understand Him.
–AS BILL SEES IT, p. 283

I am fortunate to be among the ones who have had this awesome transformation in my life. When I entered the doors of A.A., alone and desperate, I had been beaten into willingness to believe anything I heard. One of the things I heard was, “This could be your last hangover, or you can keep going round and round.” The man who said this obviously was a whole lot better off than I. I liked the idea of admitting defeat and I have been free ever since! My heart heard what my mind never could: “Being powerless over alcohol is no big deal.” I’m free and I’m grateful!

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 25
A.A. Thought For The Day

I don’t believe that A.A. works because I read it in a book or because I hear people say so. I believe it because I see people getting sober and staying sober. An actual demonstration is what convinces me. When I see the change in people, I can’t help believing that A.A. works. We could listen to talk about A.A. all day and still not believe it, but when we see it work, we have to believe it. Seeing is believing. Do I see A.A. work every day?

Meditation For The Day

Try saying “God bless her (or him)” of anyone who is in disharmony with you. Also say it of those who are in trouble through their own fault. Say it, willing that showers of blessings may fall upon them. Let God do the blessing. Leave to God the necessary correcting or disciplining. You should only desire blessing for them. Leave God’s work to God. Occupy yourself with the task that He gives you to do. God’s blessing will also break down all your own difficulties and build up all your successes.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may use God’s goodness so that it will be a blessing to others. I pray that I may accept God’s blessing so that I will have harmony, beauty, joy, and happiness.

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As Bill Sees It
April 25
Each Man’s Vision, p. 116

“Beyond a Higher Power, as each of us may vision Him, A.A. must never, as a society, enter the field of dogma or theology. We can never become a religion in that sense, lest we kill our usefulness by getting bogged down in the theological contention.”

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

“The really amazing fact about A.A. is that all religions see in our program a resemblance to themselves. For example, Catholic theologians declare our Twelve Steps to be in exact accord with their Ignatian Exercises for Retreat, and, though our book reeks of sin, sickness, and death, the Christian Science Monitor has often praised it editorially.

“Now, looking through Quaker eyes, you, too, see us favorably.  What happy circumstances, these!”

1. Letter, 1954

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Walk in Dry Places
April 25
Fixing needs
Inventory.

AA pioneers once thought of their work as “fixing” drunks. That was dropped in AA, but “getting a fix” survives in the drug culture

The truth is, we can’t fix anybody, nor can we fix any problem with a destructive, mood altering drug. What we’re really seeking … what every compulsive person really seeks…. Is to fix the conflicting needs that tear us apart at the seams.

We can fix many of those needs over time if we practice Twelve step principles. “That searching and fearless moral inventory”, humbling though it may be, will expose the fierce drives that are consuming us. Sharing the truth about ourselves with others helps us understand both what is right and what is wrong in our lives. The power to change ourselves, when we desire it, comes from a Higher Power… God as we understand Him.

Somebody has summed this process up this way: “Need a fix? Fix the need!” We can use that idea to fix our needs today by following the Twelve step program. At times, we may not even by completely aware of our real needs. This too will be revealed to us as we continue in this program.

I’ll start my day by affirming that there’s no need that can cause me to do anything destructive. As any problem arises, I learn how to fix my needs in healthy ways.

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Keep It Simple
April 25

You’re never too old to grow up.
–Shirley Conran

Some of us have spent many years trying not to grow up. As children, we watched the adults around us. They may not have seemed happy. “Is life all hard work for grown-ups?” we wondered. No, it’s not hard work. There are lots of good things about growing up. We can take charge of our life. We can learn to take care of ourselves. We can learn to share feelings with good friends. We can make our world safe enough for us to express feelings again. We learn how to love others. We do have choices.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me grow up into a happy, grateful adult.

Action for the Day: There are happy grown-ups. I’ll find one to be my sponsor.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 25

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
–Helen Keller

There is wonder in the moment, if we but look for it, let it touch us, believe in it. And with the recognition and celebration of the wonder comes the joy we desire and await.

Being wholly in tune with the present moment is how we’ll come to know the spiritual essence that connects all of life. We search for peace, happiness, and contentment outside of ourselves. We need instead to discover it within us, now and always, in whatever we are experiencing.

We can let our experiences wash over us. Longing for a different time, a distant place, a new situation breeds discontent. It prevents us from the thrill, the gifts offered in this present moment. But they are there.

We can practice feeling joyful in the present, be thrilled with the realization that right now, all is well. All is always well. Life is full of mystery and wonder and each moment of our awareness adds to the wonder.

I am moving forward; we all are. I am on target. I am participating in a glorious, wonderful drama. Let me jump for joy. I have been specially blessed.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 25
LISTENING TO THE WIND

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

In an effort to prove I was getting better, I started hitting the streets again in order to make more money. I told my parents that I was going down the mountain to visit friends. I received my third arrest for drunk driving on one of the trips back, after working all weekend. The night in jail seemed a long time to go without a drink.

pp. 463-464

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 25

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

To avoid falling into confusion over the names these defects should be called, let’s take a universally recognized list of major human failings–the Seven Deadly Sins of pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. It is not by accident that pride heads the procession. For pride, leading to self-justification, and always spurred by conscious or unconscious fears, is the basic breeder of most human difficulties, the chief block to true progress. Pride lures us into making demands upon ourselves or upon others which cannot be met without perverting or misusing our God-given instincts. When the satisfaction of our instincts for sex, security, and society becomes the sole object of our lives, then pride steps in to justify our excesses.

pp. 48-49

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Xtra Thoughts
April 25

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.
–Melody Beattie

Every moment is an opportunity for Love.

Where there is hatred, may we bring Love.

Where there is prejudice and injustice, may we bring Love.

Where there is insecurity and small-mindedness, may we bring Love.

Where there is fear in any form, may we bring the illuminating Light of Love.

We do not open our hearts ‘when’; we open them ‘in spite of.’  God grants us the opportunity and power to transform every negativity into everlasting love.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Faith is like electricity. You can’t see it, but you can see the light.”
–Anonymous

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 25
IMPERFECTION

“In the country of the blind the one eyed king can still goof up.”
–Anonymous

For years I tried to control everything and everybody. Things had their place; there was a correct code of behavior for doing things; everything had to have its place. I felt responsible for the universe and everybody in it.

Today I can laugh at my mistakes and the mistakes of others. When I catch myself organizing the world, I remember where the “perfect” yesterdays got me – and I laugh. God made me with a navel and flat feet; I would have preferred something different but there is a loving message within my imperfections. It is okay to goof up!

Today I relax in the humor of being human. Thank You for making me an angel in the dirt.

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Bible Scriptures
April 25

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
–Philippians 3:13-14

“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”
Matthew 25:34

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Daily Inspiration
April 25

To allow past problems into your present moments can make you feel depressed, worried and overwhelmed. Lord, help me to let go of that which I can do nothing about so that I can take care of that which I can.

Take care of yourself so that you may give care to others. Lord, may I never totally ignore myself and my feelings for the sake of others and fit in time daily to refresh my spirit.

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A Day At A Time
April 25

Reflection For The Day

I have much more to be grateful for than I realize. Too often, I don’t remember to give thought to all the things in my life that I could enjoy and appreciate. Perhaps I don’t take time for this important meditation because I’m too preoccupied with my own so-called woes. I allow my mind to overflow with grievances; the more I think about them, the more monumental they seem. Instead of surrendering to God and His goodness, I let myself be controlled by the negative thinking into which my thoughts are apt to stray unless I guide them firmly into brighter paths. Do I try to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude?”

Today I Pray

May god lead me away from my pile-up of negative thoughts, which make for detours in my path of personal growth. May I break the old poor-me habits of remembering the worst and expecting the most dire. May I turn my thoughts ahead to a whole new world out there. May I allow myself to envision the glory of God.

Today I Will Remember

Keep an attitude of gratitude.

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One More Day
April 25, 2011

Every tub must stand on its own bottom.
–  Thomas Fuller

As we accomplish each goal in our lives, we feel a tremendous sense of pride.  Whether from success at the job, in school, or in a volunteer capacity, achieving a goal is personally gratifying.

The challenge that chronic illness presents is to reorganize our goals so they are still practical and attainable.  If we spend our time complaining rather than changing, we may never fear to live successfully with the illness.  It’s not going to go away.  Things will never be the same as before.  Accepting this fact is a colossal challenge.

My faith in myself has waned with the onset of my illness.  I am just realizing that I can still depend upon myself.

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One Day At A Time
April 25
~ Understanding ~

Understanding is the wellspring of life.
–The Bible, Book of Proverbs

Early on in my recovery I became aware that understanding myself and my disease was going to be a tool of success. For many years I lived day after day in my addiction, bemoaning it, suffering in it, struggling against it, and adopting the world view of my condition. I came to believe that losing weight was the answer to all my problems … if I could stick to a diet. Because I couldn’t, the thoughts of worthlessness, ignorance, shame and guilt were repeatedly reinforced.

In working the Steps, the idea of recovery through understanding myself was born. Through knowledge of my Higher Power, and by His guidance, the understanding of my past and my present have given me keys to freedom from compulsive overeating. I welcome working the Steps because they have opened doors of my heart to mend the past and receive hope for the future. Understanding who I am and why I’m like I am, allows me to be abstinent and to develop new ways of coping with the stresses of life. Understanding the disease frees me from guilt and shame and releases self-acceptance.

One Day at a Time . . .
I continue to seek knowledge and understanding as a way to recovery.

~ Diane ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 25

“In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything, Nephew. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you.”
–Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

In order to experience this, we must be aware of how limited our senses are—eyes, ears touch, smell, taste. These senses help us to function in the Seen World. What we see is interpreted by our minds and put inside our belief system, and this can become our reality. But there also exists an Unseen World.
In this world we experience connectedness; we experience the mystery; and we experience another whole point of view. If we pay attention to both the Unseen World and the Seen World, our belief systems will print in our mind a new and wonderful reality. We will see and know we are a part of everything.

Great Spirit, today, give me the knowledge to know this mystery.

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Journey To The Heart
April 25
Connect with Peace

Om ah hum varja guru padma siddi hum. Om mani padme hum.
–A Buddhist Chant

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary. Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
— A Catholic Petition

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
–A Non denominational Prayer

People have many ways of seeking and finding peace. Mantras– chants and prayers that align the mind with peaceful thoughts, with the river of peace that runs through our universe– are one way of returning to our center. Do you have a favorite prayer, a religious chant, or a saying that helps you? That puts you back on track? That takes you mind to that place of peace within your soul?

Value the mantras that touch and heal your mind, the sounds and thoughts that align you with peace. Find and value the words and prayers of your religion, the thoughts that work for you, that connect you to your center. These will help you discover your connection with the universe, the flow of life, the certainty that all is well. You and your life are on track. Know you’ll be given all the guidance and grace you need.

Find rituals that help you believe that peace is yours, rituals that connect you to the Divine in the universe. Ask for peace. Ask in a way that works for you.

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Today’s Gift
April 25

Unused capacities atrophy, cease to be.
—Tillie Olsen

Those of us who have suffered a broken bone and had to put up with a cast for several weeks know how hard it is to use muscles that have been inactive for so long. They have gotten weak from lack of use, and we have to begin to develop our strength all over again.

The same thing happens if we don’t use our other capacities. If we don’t constantly use our minds to think and learn, we become dull people, almost incapable of new thoughts and insights. If we don’t use our hearts to love, we become uncaring and insensitive – much like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. If we don’t use our creative talents – to draw or write or sew, or whatever it is we’re into – we lose the ability to do those things.

On the other hand, like our muscles, our other capacities can be strengthened and developed by daily use. We exercise our hearts by being kind and loving, our minds by thinking, our imaginations by being creative. In this way, we become spiritually powerful, a force for good in the world.

How can I exercise my assets today?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 25
Finding Our Own Truth

We must each discover our own truth.

It does not help us if those we love find their truth. They cannot give it to us. It does not help if someone we love knows a particular truth in our life. We must discover our truth for ourselves.

We must each discover and stand in our own light.

We often need to struggle, fail, and be confused and frustrated. That’s how we break through our struggle; that’s how we learn what is true and right for ourselves.

We can share information with others. Others can tell us what may predictably happen if we pursue a particular course. But it will not mean anything until we integrate the message and it becomes our truth, our discovery, and our knowledge.

There is no easy way to break through and find our truth.

But we can and will, if we want to.

We may want to make it easier. We may nervously run to friends, asking them to give us their truth or make our discovery easier. They cannot. Light will shed itself in its own time.

Each of us has our own share of truth, waiting to reveal itself to us. Each of us has our own share of the light, waiting for us to stand in it, to claim it as ours.

Encouragement helps. Support helps. A firm belief that each person has truth available – appropriate to each situation – is what will help.

Each experience, each frustration, each situation, has its own truth waiting to be revealed. Don’t give up until you find it – for yourself.

We shall be guided into truth, if we are seeking it. We are not alone.

Today, I will search for my own truth, and I will allow others to do the same. I will place value on my vision and the vision of others. We are each on the journey, making our own discoveries – the ones that are right for us today.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 25
Be as clear as possible

Marcia doesn’t like to hurt other people’s feelings. So when she doesn’t want to date or see someone anymore, she doesn’t tell them that. She lies. But she calls it “being nice.” She either sets up some dramatic scene that justifies her getting mad and breaking up, or she gives them an excuse that leaves them hanging.

Let go of the drama. Tie up loose ends. If you know where you’re at with someone, you can be diplomatic, but be as clear as you can be.

Be clear with yourself,too. Watch the behavior of other people. Are they making excuses to you why they can’t be with you? Are you making excuses about why they don’t call? Some of us wait a long time for someone who’s not even thinking about us.

Stop telling others what they want to hear, when that’s not the truth. Stop telling yourself what you want to hear, when what you’re telling yourself isn’t true, either. Don’t leave other people hanging. Don’t put yourself on hold.

Be as clear as you can be, with other people and with yourself.

It’s ths compassionate thing to do.

God, help me know that I don’t have to create dramas to get what I want. Help me live my life from a place of centered, diplomatic honesty, even when that means I need to tell people something they’d rather not hear.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 25

The natural world is a spiritual house…. Man walks there through forests of physical things that are also spiritual things that watch him with affectionate looks.
—Charles Baudelaire

As we live this program, we learn to see the spiritual in physical things. Whatever we see or hear, whatever happens in our lives may carry a spiritual message. Some of us will say, “God is telling me something.” Others, whose understanding of God takes another form, will say, “There is a spiritual message in this if I can read it.”

But many men, having had relationships that were abusive and painful, find it hard to imagine the spirit of things watching them with affection, and not hostility. Many of us have been used, and we have used others. We don’t expect affectionate relationships, but could it be that the spiritual world loves us and we don’t know it? Perhaps if we think about this for a while, we also will become more loving.

The generosity of God is expressed in all kinds of physical things. I will remember that the spiritual is affectionate toward me.

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Daily TAO
April 25
DOMINANCE

Sun shines in the center of the sky.
All things turn their faces toward the light.

All things in this life depend on direction. In our world, all is oriented toward the sun: The planets revolve around it, the seasons depend upon it, and our very concept of night and day is tied to the sun’s rising and setting. The sun is the dominant element in our lives.

In all other areas of our actions, we cannot avoid making arrangements that have a center or orientation. Our lives require composition, just as the solar system has a relationship and structure.  Yet all structure and orientation is essentially arbitrary. We take the sun as the center of our world because of our vantage point. To someone standing in another galaxy, our sun is nothing more than another point in limitless space. There is no absolute standard by which to truly call something the center. Therefore, all arrangements and all compositions, all determinations of a dominant element are relative, subjective, and provisional.

There is no center except for that in our own consciousness. When we look at the sun and the arrangement of the planets, we must also include ourselves as observers. How else is there the determination of what is being seen? Consciousness is part of the phenomenon. We are the center, and there is no absolute measure.

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DailyZen
April 25

Blossoms bring the Spring.
Spring doesn’t take them with it
When it goes.
Clouds flow upon the stream.
The stream cannot hold them.
I’d ask why that is,
But no one’s here, but
This tall tree,
Beneath which I will idle
Pondering:
The place:
The Spring,
Clouds passing.

– Yuan Mei (1716-1798)

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Food for Thought
April 25, 2012
Forgetting Food

Abstinence enables us to stop being preoccupied with food. We decide that we will have three meals a day with nothing in between, and we have a definite plan for those meals. Whenever cravings or thoughts of food begin to distract us, we put them out of our mind. We remember that food has proved to be a false friend, and we no longer permit it to control our life.

Through OA, we have found new interests and activities. We have friends to call when we are lonely or upset. When we are feeling shaky, we can go to a meeting. Perhaps our new energies have led to involvement in community activities, new jobs, hobbies and projects.

Each of us faces a certain amount of sluggishness and inertia when we decide to get involved in something new. It is easier to stay in the same old rut, since we often fear what is untried and unknown. Let us not permit apathy or anxiety to weaken our resolution. Escape into food and overeating is no longer an option.

Keep my thoughts on the new possibilities, which You have opened for me.

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In God’s Care
April 25

When we spiritually awaken, our whole life changes from being hard and painful to becoming easier and happier, more pleasant and pain-free.
~~Jerry Hirshfield

Most of us awaken spiritually very slowly. Looking back on our more dangerous times and our miraculous survival helps us to believe that at least something like a guardian angel must have never been far away. And yet, much of the time many of us still struggle with the day-to-day turmoil of our recovery, trying to manage outcomes that are not ours to manage.

We complicate most events by our need to control what is clearly up to God to control. When we let go the outcome is generally to our satisfaction. Always, in time, we see that the outcome benefits us generously. We can’t do what belongs to God to do. Our job is simply to move aside.

The pain of forcing open a door or pushing through a decision can be relinquished forever if we simply trust God.

Life is often only as hard and painful as we in our self-centeredness make it.

I will not try to do God’s work today.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 25
What to Leave Children

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. (Proverbs 20:7)

Anxiety about our family is natural, but we shall be wise if we turn it into care about our own character. If we walk before the Lord in integrity, we shall do more to bless our descendants than if we bequeathed them large estates. A father’s holy life is a rich legacy for his sons.

The upright man leaves his heirs his example, and this in itself will be a mine of true wealth, How many men may trace their success in life to the example of their parents!

He leaves them also his repute. Men think better of us as the sons of a man who could be trusted, the successors of a tradesman of excellent repute, Oh, that all young men were anxious to keep up the family name!

Above all, he leaves his children his prayers and the blessing of a prayer-hearing God, and these make our offspring to be favored among the sons of men. God will save them even after we are dead. Oh, that they might be saved at once!

Our integrity may be God’s means of saving our sons and daughters. If they see the truth of our religion proved by our lives, it may be that they will believe in Jesus for themselves. Lord, fulfill this word to my household!

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 25

“Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.”—Song of Solomon 2:10.

LO, I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! Fair weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and He would not have me spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking from her winter’s rest. He bids me “Rise up,” and well He may, for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness. He is risen, I am risen in Him, why then should I cleave unto the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I would rise towards Him. He calls me by the sweet title of “My love,” and counts me fair; this is a good argument for my rising. If He has thus exalted me, and thinks me thus comely, how can I linger in the tents of Kedar and find congenial associates among the sons of men? He bids me “Come away.” Further and further from everything selfish, grovelling, worldly, sinful, He calls me; yea, from the outwardly religious world which knows Him not, and has no sympathy with the mystery of the higher life, He calls me. “Come away” has no harsh sound in it to my ear, for what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin? O my Lord, would that I could come away, but I am taken among the thorns, and cannot escape from them as I would. I would, if it were possible, have neither eyes, nor ears, nor heart for sin. Thou callest me to Thyself by saying “Come away,” and this is a melodious call indeed. To come to Thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labour, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes. But Lord, how can a stone rise, how can a lump of clay come away from the horrible pit? O raise me, draw me. Thy grace can do it. Send forth Thy Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart, and I will continue to rise until I leave life and time behind me, and indeed come away.

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