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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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+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – April 27

Just For Today
April 27
Recognizing And Releasing Resentments

“We want to look our past in the face, see it for what it really was, and release it so we can live today.”
Basic Text p. 28

Many of us had trouble identifying our resentments when we were new in recovery. There we sat with our Fourth Step in front of us, thinking and thinking, finally deciding that we just didn’t have any resentments. Perhaps we talked ourselves into believing that we weren’t so sick after all.

Such unwitting denial of our resentments stems from the conditioning of our addiction. Most of our feelings were buried, and buried deep. After some time in recovery, a new sense of understanding develops. Our most deeply buried feelings begin to surface, and those resentments we thought we didn’t have suddenly emerge.

As we examine these resentments, we may feel tempted to hold onto some of them, especially if we think they are “justified.” But what we need to remember is that “justified” resentments are just as burdensome as any other resentment.

As our awareness of our liabilities grows, so does our responsibility to let go. We no longer need to hang on to our resentments. We want to rid ourselves of what’s undesirable and set ourselves free to recover.

Just for today: When I discover a resentment, I’ll see it for what it is and let it go.

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Daily Reflections
April 27
JOYFUL DISCOVERIES

We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.
–ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164

Sobriety is a journey of joyful discovery. Each day brings new experience, awareness, greater hope, deeper faith, broader tolerance. I must maintain these attributes or I will have nothing to pass on.

Great events for this recovering alcoholic are the normal everyday joys found in being able to live another day in God’s grace.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 27
A.A. Thought For The Day

By submitting to God, we’re released from the power of liquor.  It has no more hold on us. We’re also released from the things that were holding us down: pride, selfishness, and fear. And we’re free to grow into a new life, which is so much better than the old life that there’s no comparison. This release gives us serenity and peace with the world. Have I been released from the power of alcohol?

Meditation For The Day

We know God by spiritual vision. We feel that He is beside us.  We feel His presence. Contact with God is not made by the senses. Spirit-consciousness replaces sight. Since we cannot see God, we have to perceive Him by spiritual perception. God has to span the physical and the spiritual with the gift to us of spiritual vision. Many persons, though they cannot see God, have had a clear spiritual consciousness of Him. We are inside a box of space and time, but we know there must be something outside of that box, limitless space, eternity of time, and God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have a consciousness of God’s presence. I pray that God will give me spiritual vision.

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As Bill Sees It
April 27
Prelude to the Program, p. 118

Few people will sincerely try to practice the A.A. program unless they have “hit bottom,” for practicing A.A.’s Steps means the adoption of attitudes and actions that almost no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking. The average alcoholic, self-centered in the extreme, doesn’t care for this prospect–unless he has to do these things in order to stay alive himself.

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

We know that the newcomer has to “hit bottom”; otherwise, not much can happen. Because we are drunks who understand him, we can use at depth the nutcracker of the-obsession-plus-the-allergy as a tool of such power that it can shatter his ego. Only thus can he be convinced that on his own unaided resources he has little or no chance.

1. 12 & 12, p. 24
2. A.A. Today, p. 8

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Walk in Dry Places
April 27
Happy People are likable.
Personal relations.

Who are the people we really like, and to be with? Most of the time, they are happy people, people who like themselves and others.

Being happy is almost the entire secret of being likable. Though no person can expect to be liked by everybody, likable people have the inside track most of the time.

How do we become happy and thus likable? We’re continuously told that happiness cannot be found in property, power, and prestige. It is rooted instead in self-acceptance. In feeling loved and wanted, and in giving genuine service, maybe just in the form of very useful work.

Twelve Step programs are structured to make us happy if we persevere long enough in working the individual steps. While it may seem contradictory, even people with heavy burdens and personal sorrows can find underlying happiness in the program. A great deal of this also hinges on our belief in a Higher Power and a confidence that we have a place in the universal system.

I can be happy today in spite of things that others would consider burdensome and depressing. Happiness really comes from God, and it also serves to attract friends into my life.

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Keep It Simple
April 27

I noticed my hopelessness was because I had lost my freedom of choice.
–AA member

By doing a Fourth Step, we start to see ourselves more clearly. We see how we’ve acted against ourselves. Soon, we hear a little voice inside telling us to stop before we act. “Are you sure you want to say or do that?” the little voice asks. Then we make a choice: we do something the same old way, or we try a new way. One part of us will always want to do things the old, sick way. This is natural. But we’re getting stronger every day. Our spirit wants to learn new ways so we can be honest and loving. Sometimes we don’t know how. But we still have a choice. We can ask for help.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me listen to the little voice inside that helps me see that I have choices.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll make a choice between old ways and new ways of acting. I will call my sponsor this evening to talk about my choices.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 27

So much to say. And so much not to say! Some things are better left unsaid. But so many unsaid things can become a burden.
–Virginia Mae Axline

The occasions are many when we’d like to share a feeling, an observation, perhaps even a criticism with someone. The risk is great, however. She might be hurt, or he might walk away, leaving us alone.

Many times, we need not share our words directly. Weighing and measuring the probable outcome and asking for some inner guidance will help us decide when to speak up and when to leave things unsaid. But if our thoughts are seriously interfering with our relationships, we can’t ignore them for long.

Clearing the air is necessary sometimes, and it freshens all relationships. When to take the risk creates consternation. But within our quiet spaces, we always know when we must speak up. And the direction will come. The right moment will present itself. And within those quiet spaces the right words can be found.

If I am uncomfortable with certain people, and the feelings don’t leave, I will consider what might need to be said. I will open myself to the way and ask to be shown the steps to take. Then, I will be patient.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 27
LISTENING TO THE WIND

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

One thing led to another, and we wound up married. The most powerful motive I had was getting out of the streets and being provided for. I had begun to think I did not have much longer to live. The faces of my doctors were looking more and more grim every time I went into the hospital to dry out.

p. 464

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 27

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

So when A.A. suggests a fearless moral inventory, it must seem to every newcomer that more is being asked of him than he can do. Both his pride and his fear beat him back every time he tries to look within himself. Pride says, “You need not pass this way,” and Fear says, “You dare not look!” But the testimony of A.A.’s who have really tried a moral inventory is that pride and fear of this sort turn out to be bogeymen, nothing else. Once we have a complete willingness to take inventory, and exert ourselves to do the job thoroughly, a wonderful light falls upon this foggy scene. As we persist, a brand-new kind of confidence is born, and the sense of relief at finally facing ourselves is indescribable. These are the first fruits of Step Four.

pp. 49-50

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Xtra Thoughts
April 27

Never give up ten minutes before the miracle.
–Anonymous

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
–Henry Ford

God is a never ending source of all we need.
–SweetyZee

Just as we experience joy in caring for others, they experience joy in caring for us.
–Linda Nocks Shah

“Invest the first hour of the day, the ‘Golden Hour,’ in yourself.”
–Brian Tracy

“Pray not for lighter burdens but for stronger backs.”
–Theodore Roosevelt

“The easiest way to save face is to keep the lower half shut.”
–Anon

“A good laugh is sunshine in a house.”
–William Makepeace Thackeray

“If you keep doing things like you’ve always done them, what you’ll get is what you’ve already got.”
–Anon

“Action conquers fear.”
–Peter N. Zarlenga

“The best way out of a difficulty is through it”
–Anon

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 27
RELIGION

“All religions must be tolerated . . . for . . . every man must get to heaven his own way.”
–Frederick the Great

There are many ways to God and I believe that Christianity is one way.  However, I am convinced that there are other ways with or without religion. My experience of the church has been good, and I have been encouraged to question and doubt, search for new areas of faith within my agnosticism, explore other religions. My experience of Christianity has been supportive of openness and compassion.

God is not a prisoner of any religion and we can all learn from each other’s experiences – but we need to listen. To dismiss arrogantly the value that a religion can bring is, to my way of thinking, as negative and sick as to accept what a religion says without question.

Let me find in the religions of the world the ONENESS of Your truth.

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Bible Scriptures
April 27

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn; shining brighter till the full light of day.
–Proverbs 4 :18

We love Him, because He first loved us.
–1 John 4:19

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Daily Inspiration
April 27

Rely on the strength and understanding that you possess. Each of us has more of it in us that we can imagine possible. Lord, through faith in You I can face any difficulty and conquer it.

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 27

Reflection For The Day

Am I so sure I’m doing everything possible to make my new life a success? Am I using my capabilities well? Do I recognize and appreciate all I have to be grateful for? The Program and its Twelve Steps teach me that I am not the possessor of unlimited resources. The more I do with them, the more they will grow — to overshadow and cancel out the difficult and painful feelings that now get so much of my attention. Am I less sensitive today than when I first came to The Program?

Today I Pray

May I make the most of myself in all ways. May I begin to look outward to people and opportunities and wonderful resources around me. As I become less ingrown and understand myself better in relation to others, may I be less touchy and thin-skinned.l May I shrug off my old “the world-is-out-to-get-me” feeling and see that same world as my treasure-house, God-given and boundless.

Today I Will Remember

My resources are unlimited.

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One More Day
April 27

Solitude:  A good place to visit, but a poor place to stay.
–  Joan Billings

We probably recognize our need for solitude in our lives — private time when we can sit and think, or listen to music, or simply enjoy the quiet.  When solitude becomes a way of life, however, it can lead to loneliness, and loneliness can lead to self-pity.  This is a dangerous position.

We tread a real tightrope with our need for solitude.  We need to be alone, but not isolated.  In our solitude, we can find serenity through meditation and prayer.  Once we are re energized, it will be easier for us to balance our lives by inviting a friend into our home or reaching out to another who is in pain.  Solitude encourages us to turn our backs on loneliness and to reach out to others once again.

I will not impose a sentence of solitary confinement upon myself.  I am still a valuable member of society.

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One Day At A Time
April 27
~ RELATIONSHIPS ~

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of Spirit.
–Kahlil Gibran

My initial experience of relationships in recovery was one of wonder and relief. I was so amazed to find that there actually were other people who understood life as I lived it! Until I walked into the rooms of recovery, I felt so alone and different from other people. Finding people who had also lived the nightmare of compulsive eating, helped my isolation fade away. Seeing that they had found a new way of living gave me hope!!

As I began to share more deeply with my sponsor and other people in recovery, I discovered a deeper gift of friendship in recovery. I received unconditional love and focused guidance toward the steps of recovery which would transform me completely. This was the greatest gift of relationship that I had ever known. This was the beginning of the transformation that invited me to share the Spirit of recovery with others.

As I carry the principles of recovery into all aspects of my life, I find my relationships with all people are transformed. My character defects no longer stand in the way of my honesty, and fear no longer holds me prisoner. The Spirit of recovery which has been so generously shared with me, continues to be shared joyously through me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will be carried by the Spirit of recovery into all of my relationships.

~ Cate ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 27

“The law is that all life is equal in the Great Creation, and we, the Human Beings, are charged with the responsibility, each in our generation, to work for the continuation of life.”
–Traditional Circle of Elders

Every generation is accountable to leave the environment in healthy order for the next generation. Every generation is accountable to teach the next generation how to live in harmony and to understand the Laws. We need to ask ourselves, “What are we teaching the next generation?” Each individual is directly accountable.

My Creator, teach me inter-generational responsibility.

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Journey To The Heart
April 27
Love Sets Others Free

One of love’s most challenging lessons is freedom.

Much of my life I thought love meant restraint. I couldn’t do this if I loved you. You wouldn’t do that if you loved me. Certainly there are times when love asks us to make choices. But love doesn’t limit, it doesn’t confine, as I once believed.

Love brings with it the gift of freedom. Love teaches us to allow the person we love to do as he or she chooses. It teaches us to encourage the people we love to freely make their own choices, to seek their own path, to learn their lessons their way in their own time.

Love that restrains isn’t love. It’s insecurity. We may tell others how we feel about something they do or don’t do. We may make decisions as a reaction to others choices. That is our right and our responsibility. But to restrain another in the name of love doesn’t create love, it creates restraint.

Love means each person is free to follow his or her own heart, seek his or her own path. If we truly love, our choices will naturally and freely serve that love well. When we give freedom to another, we really give freedom to ourselves.

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Today’s Gift
April 27

Crying only a little bit is no use. You must cry until your pillow is soaked. Then you can get up and laugh . . .
—Galway Kinnell

Many of us were raised to deny our feelings; that is, we might have been allowed to describe them politely, but we were not allowed to express feelings on the spot by wailing, jumping for joy, or dancing. This is often considered rude. In a proper home, we often hear, if people have feelings, they have them quietly. But many of us have suffered living this way.

We need a full and thorough expression of a feeling in order to know it, experience it, and move beyond it. This is the way we let go of sadness, for instance.

Feelings come and go. If we are not afraid to let them have their moment, we will not be afraid to express them.

What am I feeling right now?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 27
Letting Go of the Need to Control

The rewards from detachment are great: serenity; a deep sense of peace; the ability to give and receive love in self-enhancing, energizing ways, and the freedom to find real solutions to our problems.
–Codependent No More

Letting go of our need to control can set others and us free. It can set our Higher Power free to send the best to us.

If we weren’t trying to control someone or something, what would we be doing differently?

What would we do that we’re not letting ourselves do now? Where would we go? What would we say?

What decisions would we make?

What would we ask for? What boundaries would be set? When would we say no or yes?

If we weren’t trying to control whether a person liked us or his or her reaction to us, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control the course of a relationship, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control another person’s behavior, how would we think, feel, speak, and behave differently than we do now?

What haven’t we been letting ourselves do while hoping that self-denial would influence a particular situation or person? Are there some things we’ve been doing that we’d stop?

How would we treat ourselves differently?

Would we let ourselves enjoy life more and feel better right now? Would we stop feeling so bad? Would we treat ourselves better?

If we weren’t trying to control, what would we do differently? Make a list, and then do it.

Today, I will ask myself what I would be doing differently if I weren’t trying to control. When I hear the answer, I will do it. God, help me let go of my need to control. Help me set others and myself free.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 27
Stop reading between the lines

Chelsea dated Tom for five years. During the course of those years, Tom told Chelsea that he didn’t want a serious relationship, and she shouldn’t get serious about him. Chelsea didn’t like what she heard. She thought Tom must care about her, because their times together were so good and because he kept coming back to see her.

Whether Tom was being manipulative isn’t the issue. Whether he was keeping a door open for himself isn’t the issue. The issue is, Chelsea wasn’t believing what Tom said– until he left her for someone else.

Yes, sometimes people are coy. Yes, sometimes people are reluctant to get involved. But if people tell you they feel a certain way, don’t read between the lines. Take them at face value. Correct your behavior to match the reality of the situation, not the fantasies in your mind.

Take people at face value. Say what you mean in your dealings with others, so they can take you at face value,too.

God, help me make a practice out of facing, dealing with, and accepting the truth.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 27

Fine friendship requires duration rather than fitful intensity.
—Aristotle

Once we have embarked upon this program, we find spiritual recovery through relationships more than any other single factor. We find it through relationships with other people, with ourselves, and with our Higher Power. But most men in recovery need to learn how to be in a relationship. We have to give up ideas that a friendship is an intense connection or a conflict-free blending of like minds.

A meaningful friendship is a long-term dialogue. If there is conflict or if we make a mistake or fail to do what our friend wants of us, we don’t end the friendship. We simply have the next exchange to resolve the differences. Our dialogue continues over time, and time – along with many amends – builds the bond. With it develops a deepening sense of reliability and trusting one another. When we have lived with our friend through many experiences – or with our Higher Power – we gain a feeling that we really know him or her in a way we could never have in a brief intense connection.

Today, I will do what I need to do to be reliable in my friendships.

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Daily TAO
April 27
ATTRACTION

Peacock iridescence in veridical shadows,
Violet blooms spread to noonday sun.
The world’s beauty is a swirl of color,
But in the flower’s center is bright stillness.

This world is movement. Its nature is constant change, infinite variation. Without infinite variation, there would be stasis, for we would reach limits. But all limits are actually arbitrary. Life is one endless equation of darkness, brilliance, color, sound, fragrance, and sensation.

The peacock attracts his mate through his plumage; the flower attracts the bee with its color and fragrance. Beauty is moved to madness, is urged toward more beauty, is lost in the dance of seduction.  We hover around the petals of the flower, drunk in the thrill of color.  Enthralled with the fragrance of some haunting perfume, we are moved to act, to touch, to fill our shallow vessels with the fullness of promised joy.

Yet in the center of the flower, all is stillness. When the dance of beauty is finished, culmination is at hand. In life, attractions are endless. We should do no more than we need to satisfy ourselves. To plunge further is foolhardy. We must remember to withdraw and look within. Lingering on the outside of our souls, there is shimmering beauty and fantastic movement. It is only when we go to the center of our souls that we are in the eye of the storm, the still-point of existence. Then all is brightness, energy condensed, unbearably strong and powerful, yet absorbed in supreme quietude.

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DailyZen
April 27

Too much knowledge leads to overactivity;
Better to calm the mind.
The more you consider, the greater the loss;
Better to unify the mind.

Water dripping ceaselessly
Will fill the four seas.
Specks of dust not wiped away
Will become the five mountains.

– Wang Ming (6th c)

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Food for Thought
April 27
Food Is No Cure all

In spite of what we compulsive overeaters may have believed, food does not solve our emotional or spiritual problems. Food cannot fill our hearts with love, no matter how much we eat. Rather than erasing our difficulties with family, friends, and self, overeating multiplies them.

If our problem were that of not having enough to eat, food would be the solution. It is possible for us to be overweight and undernourished at the same time, if we are eating the wrong foods. For most of us, though, the difficulty is simply that we like to eat too much. The only cure all for that problem is eating less!

The good news for compulsive overeaters is that a life of abstinence and control is possible. We do not have to be destroyed by our disease. When we recognize that we have been using food to do what only our Higher Power can do, we are on the way to recovery. Instead of turning to food to ease our aches and satisfy our cravings, we turn to God.

Thank You for being there for me.

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In God’s Care
April 27

The presence of faith is no guarantee of deliverance from times of distress and vicissitude but there can be a certainty that nothing will be encountered that is overwhelming.
~~William Barr Oglesby Jr.

We’ve all experienced times so seriously troubling that we feared for our sanity: the loss of a job, divorce, or the death of a loved one. And in each instance we learned that the more we relied on our Higher Power’s support, the less we stumbled and the more we could allow ourselves our grief and get on with our life, perhaps even stronger and wiser than before.

Facing our addictions and working our program won’t guarantee that our future will be free of struggles. Everyone has to live through difficult times, some of us more than others it seems. But we needn’t sacrifice our serenity and security through these times as long as we let God share them with us. It’s such a relief knowing that nothing has to overwhelm us as long as we remember to let God shoulder the burden we’re carrying.

Whatever happens today will trouble me less if I let God handle it.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 27
God Finished His Work

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.
(Psalm 138:8)

He who has begun will carry on the work which is being wrought within my soul. The Lord is concerned about everything that concerns me. All that is now good, but not perfect, the Lord will watch over, preserve, and carry out to completion. This is a great comfort. I could not perfect the work of grace myself. Of that I am quite sure, for I fail every day and have only held on so long as I have because the Lord has helped me. If the Lord were to leave me, all my past experience would go for nothing, and I should perish from the way. But the Lord will continue to bless me. He will perfect my faith, my love, my character, my lifework. He will do this because He has begun a work in me. He gave me the concern I feel, and, in a measure, He has fulfilled my gracious aspirations, He never leaves a work unfinished; this would not be for His glory, nor would it be like Him. He knows how to accomplish His gracious design, and though my own evil nature and the world and the devil all conspire to hinder Him, I do not doubt His promise. He will perfect that which concerneth me, and I will praise Him forever. Lord, let Thy gracious work make some advance this day!

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 27

“God, even our own God.”
—Psalm 67:6.

IT is strange how little use we make of the spiritual blessings which God gives us, but it is stranger still how little use we make of God Himself. Though He is “our own God,” we apply ourselves but little to Him, and ask but little of Him. How seldom do we ask counsel at the hands of the Lord! How often do we go about our business, without seeking His guidance! In our troubles how constantly do we strive to bear our burdens ourselves, instead of casting them upon the Lord, that He may sustain us! This is not because we may not, for the Lord seems to say, “I am thine, soul, come and make use of me as thou wilt; thou mayst freely come to my store, and the oftener the more welcome.” It is our own fault if we make not free with the riches of our God. Then, since thou hast such a friend, and He invites thee, draw from Him daily. Never want whilst thou hast a God to go to; never fear or faint whilst thou hast God to help thee; go to thy treasure and take whatever thou needest—there is all that thou canst want. Learn the divine skill of making God all things to thee. He can supply thee with all, or, better still, He can be to thee instead of all. Let me urge thee, then, to make use of thy God. Make use of Him in prayer. Go to Him often, because He is thy God. O, wilt thou fail to use so great a privilege? Fly to Him, tell Him all thy wants. Use Him constantly by faith at all times. If some dark providence has beclouded thee, use thy God as a “sun;” if some strong enemy has beset thee, find in Jehovah a “shield,” for He is a sun and shield to His people. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes of life, use Him as a “guide,” for He will direct thee. Whatever thou art, and wherever thou art, remember God is just what thou wantest, and just where thou wantest, and that He can do all thou wantest.

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