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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 3

Just For Today
April 3
For You Alone

“The idea of a spiritual awakening takes many different forms in the different personalities that we find in the fellowship.”
Basic Text p. 48

Though we all work the same steps, each of us experiences the spiritual awakening resulting from them in our own way. The shape that spiritual awakening takes in our lives will vary, depending on who we are.

For some of us, the spiritual awakening promised in the Twelfth Step will result in a renewed interest in religion or mysticism. Others will awaken to an understanding of the lives of those around them, experiencing empathy perhaps for the first time. Still others will realize that the steps have awakened them to their own moral or ethical principles. Most of us experience our spiritual awakening as a combination of these things, each combination as unique as the individual who’s been awakened.

If there are so many different varieties of spiritual awakenings, how do we know if we’ve truly had one? The Twelfth Step provides us with two signs: We’ve found principles capable of guiding us well, the kind of principles we want to practice in all our affairs. And we’ve begun to care enough about other addicts to freely share with them the experience we’ve had. No matter what the details of our awakenings are like, we all are given the guidance and the love we need to live fulfilling, spiritually oriented lives.

Just for today: Regardless of its particular shape, my spiritual awakening has helped me fill my place in the world with love and life. For that, I am grateful.

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Daily Reflections
April 3
ACCEPTING OUR HUMANNESS

We finally saw that the inventory should be ours, not the other man’s. So we admitted our wrongs honestly and became willing to set these matters straight.
–AS BILL SEES IT, p. 222

Why is it that the alcoholic is so unwilling to accept responsibility? I used to drink because of the things that other people did to me. Once I came to A.A. I was told to look at where I had been wrong. What did I have to do with all these different matters? When I simply accepted that I had a part in them, I was able to put it on paper and see it for what it was – humanness. I am not expected to be perfect! I have made errors before and I will make them again. To be honest about them allows me to accept them – and myself – and those with whom I had the differences; from there, recovery is just a short distance ahead.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 3
A.A. Thought For The Day

When I was drinking, I was absolutely selfish, I thought of myself first, last, and always. The universe revolved around me at the center. When I woke up in the morning with a hangover, my only thought was how terrible I felt and about what I could do to make myself feel better. And the only thing I could think of was more liquor. To quit was impossible. I couldn’t see beyond myself and my own need for another drink. Can I now look out and beyond my own selfishness?

Meditation For The Day

Remember that the first quality of greatness is service.
In a way, God is the greatest servant of all, because He is always waiting for us to call on Him to help us in all good endeavors. His strength is always available to us, but we must ask it of Him through our own free will. It is a free gift, but we must sincerely seek for it. A life of service is the finest life we can live. We are here on earth to serve others. That is the beginning and the end of our real worth.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may cooperate with God in all good things.  I pray that I may serve God and others and so lead a useful and happy life.

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As Bill Sees It
April 3
Atmosphere Of Grace, p. 93

Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support.

As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the light of God’s reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His grace.  To an amazing extent the facts of A.A. life confirm this ageless truth.

12 & 12, pp. 97-98

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Walk in Dry Places
April 3
More will be revealed
Spiritual Growth

There’s an old saying, “To him that hath, more shall be given.” That saying applies to our growth in AA. If we dedicate ourselves to the program, new information and understanding will continue to flow in our direction.

This is not because God is singling us out for special favors. It’s simply a law of life. When we are interested in a subject, we find more knowledge coming to us almost “Out of the blue” as we continue to seek it. It’s almost as if hidden forces were gathering up ideas and pushing them in our direction.

What’s happened is that we have put ourselves in line for such growth. We have our antennae out, and we become conditioned to recognize useful ideas as they come to us. We are Open-Minded to our good.

This same process has also led to more general knowledge about alcoholism. When the early AA’s attained sobriety, most of the information about alcoholism was summed up in a handful of books. Now there are hundreds of books, symposia, and speeches dealing with the subject. More was revealed, and we can hope that even more will be revealed as we continue to focus on recovery.

I can expect useful information to come to me from a number of sources. My interest in my recovery and self-improvement helps attract the information and understanding I need.

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Keep It Simple
April 3

Rest is the guardian of health.
–Melba Colgrave

Now that we are sober, we’re feeling better than we have in years. We’re busy too. We attend meetings and visit friends. We have work, school, families, and homes to keep up with.

It’s easy to forget to rest. We forgot that our bodies and minds need time off. We need plenty of sleep each night. And we need a lazy weekend now and than to let our bodies recover from to go, go, go of daily life.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me listen to my body. Remind me to slow down and rest now and then.

Action for the Day: How much have I rested lately? Have I gotten enough sleep each night? What can I do in the next two days to rest my body, mind, and spirit?

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 3

Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.
–Golda Meir

We all know people who live on the fringes of life. They seem uninvolved with the activity in their midst, as though a pane of glass separated them from us. And there are times when we join the persons standing alone away from the vibrancy of life. Fears keep people apart, particularly the fear of letting go of the vulnerable self and joining in the feelings of the moment.

To fully reap the benefits of life, we have to risk full exposure to one another and to the experience of the moment. Full involvement in the ebb and flow of life will bring the weeping that accompanies both the pain and the joy of life. It will also bring the fruits of laughter.

Both laughter and weeping cleanse us. They bring closure to an experience. They make possible our letting go. And we must let go of pain, as well as joy, to ready ourselves for the next blessing life offers us.

When we keep ourselves apart, when we hold off the tears or the laughter, we cheat ourselves of the richness of life. We have to go through an experience fully in order to learn all it can teach us and then be free of it.

Past experiences never let me go until I fully grieve those that need to be grieved or laugh over those that deserve the light touch. The present is distorted when the past shadows it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 3
SAFE HAVEN

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

As I pen this story, 3 1/2 years have passed since that meeting in the chapel. I’ve moved to a larger prison unit and have remained very active in the awesome program of Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. has accomplished so many things in my life today. It has given me my sanity and an all-around sense of balance. Now willing to listen and take suggestions, I have found that the process of discovering who I really am begins with knowing who I really don’t want to be, And although the disease of alcoholism inside of me is like gravity, just waiting to pull me down, A.A. and the Twelve Steps are like the power that causes an airplane to become airborne: It only works when the pilot is doing the right things to make it work. So, as I have worked the program, I have grown emotionally and intellectually. I not only have peace with God, I have the peace of God through an active God consciousness. I have not only recovered from alcoholism, I have become whole in person–body, spirit, soul.

pp. 456-457

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 3
Step Three

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

Then it is explained that other Steps of the A.A. program can be practiced with success only when Step Three is given a determined and persistent trial. This statement may surprise newcomers who have experienced nothing but constant deflation and a growing conviction that human will is of no value whatever. They have become persuaded, and rightly so, that many problems besides alcohol will not yield to a headlong assault powered by the individual alone. But now it appears that there are certain things which only the individual can do. All by himself, and in the light of his own circumstances, he needs to develop the quality of willingness. When he acquires willingness, he is the only one who can make the decision to exert himself. Trying to do this is an act of his own will. All of the Twelve Steps require sustained and personal exertion to conform to their principles and so, we trust, to God’s will.

p. 40

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Xtra Thoughts
April 3

“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”
–Oliver Wendell Holmes

“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
–Anon.

A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice.
–Unknown

God, help me accept all the twists and turns along my path. Help me to say whatever to the good and the unfortunate incidents that come my way.
–Melody Beattie

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 3
WONDER

“Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my sobriety the world is a wonderful place. I often sit back and am amazed at the splendor of life, at the simple happenings that give such joy, at the nobility that is revealed in man, at the creative adventure and mystery of life. I meditate in wonder.

Now I see how drugs kept me blind from so much. Alcohol kept me a prisoner of mediocrity and much of the wonder of life passed me by. As a drinking alcoholic I existed in life, rather than lived life. I was a bored spectator rather than a participant. I reacted to things, rather than initiated events Alcoholism equals dullness. Recovery symbolized energy.

Today I can dream dreams and rest in the wonder of it all. God is Good.

O Lord, let me see the wonderful mystery of life even in the ordinary.

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Bible Scriptures
April 3

“Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.”
I Peter 5:7

“I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.”
Psalm 86:12

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Daily Inspiration
April 3

We are extremely precious to God and are never left alone not even for one second. Lord, Thank You for Your promise to protect and care for me always.

It is important to remember that different can be better. Lord, as I resist change and cling to the familiar, help me to remember that Your plan is perfect and will truly make me happy.

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A Day At A Time
April 3

Reflection For The Day

In almost every instance, the returned slipper says, “I stopped going to meetings,” or “I got fed up with the same old stories and the same old faces,” or “My outside commitments were such that I had to cut down on meetings,” or “I felt I’d received the optimum benefits from meetings, so I sought further help from more meaningful activities.” In short, they simply stopped going to meetings. A saying I’ve heard in The Program hits the nail on the head: “Them which stops going to meetings are not present at meetings to hear about what happen to them what stops going to meetings.” Am I going to enough meetings for me?

Today I Pray

God keep me on the track of The Program. May I never be too tired, too busy, too complacent, too bored to go to meetings. Almost always those complaints are reversed at a meeting if I will just get myself there. My weariness dissipates in serenity. My busyness is reduced to its rightful proportion. My complacency gives way to vigilance again. And how can I be bored in a place where there is so much fellowship and joy?

Today I Will Remember

Attend the meetings.

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One More Day
April 3

Excessive fear is always powerless.
–  Aeschylus

Something may be interfering with our sleep.  Eyes wide, we lie in bed night after night.  We move through the days like robots, just getting by.  Our lack of sleep may stem from worries and problems that we can’t face.

Our confrontation with illness may have suddenly made us see how powerless we are over some parts of our lives.  Where once we had felt that everything had an acceptable answer, we now have to live with an answer we don’t like and we can’t change.  We may pull that original sense of helplessness into other areas of our lives.  Gradually, we understand that life has always been unpredictable; we just refused to see it until we were forced to.  We learn to accept the things we can’t change and work toward changing the things we can.  We deal wit our problems.  Our anxiety subsides.  We’re able to rest.

Today, I’ll accept unchangeable answers.

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One Day At A Time
April 3
~ The Future ~

When I look into the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.
–Oprah Winfrey

I receive the gift of abstinence one day at a time. I am relieved from the obsession to eat one day at a time. With the help of my Higher Power, I can live life on life’s terms… one day at a time.

As my recovery builds and builds, I start to imagine all the possibilities for my life. Things I never had the confidence or emotional stability to pursue are options for me. Now that I am free from the despair and self-destruction of overeating, there is space to actualize new adventures. But before I become overwhelmed or grandiose in my thinking, the Program gently reminds me that it is STILL just one day a time.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work my program so that I have a future.

~ Christine S. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 3

“We know that in all creation/Only the human family/Has strayed from the Sacred Way.”
–OJIBWA Prayer

How have we gotten so far off track? What has happened to us? What is happening to our family? How did it happen so quickly? Every individual needs to answer these questions for themselves. What do we need to do to start living the Sacred Way again? Pray! Today I will start praying. I pray the Creator will lead all Native People to a great healing. I pray we’ll be free from alcohol and drugs. I pray we will return to the culture, to spirituality and to unity.

My Mother, help us to heal ourselves. Make us strong again.

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Journey To The Heart
April 3
Value Your Connection to Creativity

Creativity is a force– a living, real force. It’s the power of love, the power of life, a gift of the Divine. You’re connected to that force.

Open up to your creative powers– in work, in play, in love. Make creations that are beautiful to look at. Make creations you like to see, creations that are pleasing to you. Creativity comes in many forms– cooking, decorating, speaking, drawing, writing, or building a castle in sand at the beach. How you choose to create is up to you.

“I used to love taking pictures when I was a child,” one man said. “Then one day, in a rage, my father smashed my camera to the floor. He told me taking pictures was nonsense. It was twenty years before I let myself take a picture again. Now, I can’t stop.”

Who told you you weren’t creative? Stand tall, speak up, and tell them they’re wrong. Own your creative powers. Allow your creativity to heal and flourish.

Value your connections to creativity. Value the way you choose to express your creative power. It’s your expression of love.

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Today’s Gift
April 3

If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could be better changed in ourselves.
—Carl Jung

Children are smart. Remember how we used to imitate our parents’ behavior? We’d dress up like them, mimic their words, even copy their attitudes. We wanted to be just like them because we thought they were the most wonderful people in the world. We can see this happen all around us, younger ones imitating parents, older brothers and sisters, and older friends. It’s very flattering.

The problem is that children imitate not just healthy behavior and attitudes, but also sometimes the not-so-healthy. We get very uncomfortable when we look at a younger person misbehaving and see ourselves in that person. Suddenly, we aren’t flattered any more.

When we see things we don’t like in others, we must first look at ourselves to see if we need changing. This is all we can do–change ourselves. Others may follow our example or they may not, but we can be sure that, when we watch our own behavior, most of what we see of ourselves in others will be flattering.

What change can I make in myself to set a good example today?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 3
Acceptance

Surrender to the moment. Ride it out and through, for all it’s worth. Throw yourself into it.

Stop resisting.

So much of our anguish is created when we are in resistance. So much relief, release, and change are possible when we accept, simply accept.

We waste our time, expend our energy, and make things harder by resisting, repressing, and denying. Repressing our thoughts will not make them disappear. Repressing a thought already formed will not make us a better person. Think it. Let it come into reality. Then release it. A thought is not forever. If we don’t like it, we can think another one or change it. But to do that, we must accept and release the first thought.

Resistance and repression will not change a thing. They will put us at war with our thoughts.

We make life harder by resisting and repressing our feelings. No matter how dark, how uncomfortable, how unjustified, how surprising, how inappropriate we might deem our feelings, resisting and repressing them will not free us from them. Doing that will make them worse. They will swirl inside us, torment us, make us sick, and make our body ache, compel us to do compulsive things, keep us awake, or put us to sleep.

In the final analysis, all that we’re really called on to do is accept our feelings by feeling them, and saying, Yes, this is what I feel.

Feelings are for the present moment. The more quickly we can accept a feeling, the more quickly we will move on to the next.

Resisting or repressing thoughts and feelings does not change us or turn us into the person we want to be or think we should be. It puts us in resistance to reality. It makes us repressed. Eventually, it makes us depressed.

Resisting events or circumstances in our life does not change things, no matter how undesirable the events or circumstances may be.

Acceptance turns us into the person we are and want to be. Acceptance empowers the events and circumstances to turn around for the better.

What do we do if we’re in resistance, in a tug of war with some reality in our life? Accepting our resistance can help us get through that too.

Acceptance does not mean we’re giving our approval. It does not mean surrendering to the will and plans of another. It does not mean commitment. It is not forever. It is for the present moment. Acceptance does not make things harder; it makes things easier. Acceptance does not mean we accept abuse or mistreatment; it does not mean we forego boundaries, our hopes, dreams, desires, wants, or ourselves. It means we accept what is, so we know what to do to take care of ourselves and what boundaries we need to set. It means we accept what is and who we are at the moment, so we are free to change and grow.

Acceptance and surrender move us forward on this journey. Force does not work.

Acceptance and surrender – two concepts that hurt the most before we do them.

Today, I will practice accepting my present circumstances and myself. I will begin to watch and trust the magic that acceptance can bring into my life and recovery.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 3
Pray and manifest your power

The Sufis have a saying: Praise Allah, and tie your camel to a post. This brings together both parts of practice: pray, yes, but also make sure that you do what is necessary in the world.
–Jack Kornfield, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom

It’s easy to play the martyr. We spend our lives in struggle and turmoil longing for the sweet by-and-by when everything will be fine.

Today is the sweet by-and-by. Yes, right now. It’s here. If we’re to have good in our lives, it’s up to us to seek it out.

Here are two things the Bible teaches about faith. One, it says that faith is like a mustard seed. The tiniest bit of it can grow tall and in its own time will sprout. The other thing the Bible says is that faith without works is dead. If you’re not doing something, then you’re not keeping your faith alive.

Pray. Turn it over to God. But do something, too.

Stop waiting for someone to come along and rescue you.

Learn to rescue yourself.

God, help me take guided actions today to make my life a better place.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 3

If we were logical, the future would be bleak indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope, and we can work.
—Jacques Cousteau

What is faith? It is believing in possibilities. It is the ability to carry on with our plans or to be true to our work even though we feel discouraged or tired. It is staying active in relationships even when we receive little in return or when our friends aren’t able to respond.

If there were no doubt, there would be no need for faith. Faith is temporarily putting our doubts on the shelf and working toward our goals. Faith is trusting that help and support will be there for us even though they’re not in view. It is looking at a map and choosing a new destination, getting on the road to go there, and trusting the marks on the map symbolize a real place that we will find.

I will leave room for my doubts and discouragement, but I will not indulge them. I will choose to go with hope. I will give my energy to the better possibilities.

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Daily TAO
April 3
CONFIDENCE

Truth perceived gives assurance.
Skill yields self-reliance.
With courage, we can defy danger.
To increase power, increase humility.

Through constant contemplation, we can arrive at the truth. The more experienced we are, the more thorough our understanding, and thus the more we can come to rely on our knowledge. When we exercise what we know, it not only extends our understanding of the truth but helps us take action in meaningful ways. The more we do, the more self-reliant we are.

Every achievement brings a wonderful dividend of confidence. We try greater and greater ventures, until we are brave enough to accomplish undertakings far beyond what the average person imagines. When we reach that level of consummate skill, it is a time of both celebration and extreme caution. We are justified to rejoice, for this is the level of ability that we have been striving so long and hard to attain. It is also the time for caution because the foolish will eventually try something too great for them to handle. Pride and passion will lead to their downfall.

Therefore, the more accomplished one becomes, the more circumspect one should be. The higher one’s skills, the more precarious one’s road.  The most powerful followers of Tao are also among the most humble. By veiling their light until the proper moments, they escape the greatest danger of all: hubris.

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DailyZen
April 3

What is sitting meditation?
To remove ourselves from
all external distractions and
quiet the mind is called “sitting.”
To observe the inner nature
in perfect calmness is called “meditation.”

– Hui-neng

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Food for Thought
April 3
Trusting God

Most of us have spent a great amount of time and energy trying to order and arrange our own lives. We have searched frantically for something to hang on to which would solve our problems – a new diet, a new job, a new lover. Nothing has worked permanently. The harder we have tried to straighten ourselves out the more our problems have defeated us.

When we came into the OA program, we were advised to “let go and let God.” At first, this may have seemed to us to be a huge cop out. The idea of passively waiting for a Higher Power to do for us what we could not do for ourselves was an insult to our pride and our illusions of self-sufficiency. We were afraid to let go.

Our Higher Power requires that we be willing to trust Him with our lives in order to receive His strength and direction. From our vantage point of limited knowledge, there is a risk involved in letting go. If we are willing to take this risk and if we have the courage to face our fear, we will eventually receive the peace and support which we so desperately need. Besides, what do we have to lose except our own weakness?

Grant me courage to trust You completely.

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In God’s Care
April 3

This instant is the only time there is.
~~Gerald Jampolsky

How many precious moments of sunshine, birds’ song, or friends’ laughter we never lay claim to because we’re lost in our thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow. God has given us these moments we’re experiencing right now, and in each one is a gift – intended for each of us.

The smile we get from a loved one or a stranger is precious and worthy of cherishing; but to cherish it, we must notice it When our mind is not quietly and intently immersed in the present, we fail to garner the strength God is offering us every moment.

Our higher Power is evident wherever we look, but we must see; our Higher Power is evident in every voice, but we must hear. Our Higher Power is evident within, but we must be quiet and know.

I will quiet my mind so I can see and hear and know that God is present, now.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 03
Sensitive to Warning

Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord.
–(2 Kings 22:19)

Many despise warning and perish. Happy is he who trembles at the Word of God. Josiah did so, and he was spared the sight of the evil which the Lord determined to send upon Judah because of her great sins. Have you this tenderness? Do you practice this self-humiliation? Then you also shall be spared in the evil day. God sets a mark upon the men that sigh and cry because of the sin of the times. The destroying angel is commanded to keep his sword in its sheath till the elect of God are sheltered: these are best known by their godly fear and their trembling at the Word of the Lord. Are the times threatening? Does infidelity advance with great strides, and do you dread national chastisement upon this polluted nation? Well you may. Yet rest in this promise: “Thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace: and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place.” Better still, the Lord Himself may come, and then the days of our mourning shall be ended.

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This Mornings Meditation
April 03

“They took Jesus, and led Him away.”
-—John 19:16.

HE had been all night in agony, He had spent the early morning at the hall of Caiaphas, He had been hurried from Caiaphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate; He had, therefore, but little strength left, and yet neither refreshment nor rest were permitted Him. They were eager for His blood, and therefore led Him out to die, loaded with the cross. O dolorous procession! Well may Salem’s daughters weep. My soul, do thou weep also.

What learn we here as we see our blessed Lord led forth? Do we not perceive that truth which was set forth in shadow by the scapegoat? Did not the high-priest bring the scapegoat, and put both his hands upon its head, confessing the sins of the people, that thus those sins might be laid upon the goat, and cease from the people? Then the goat was led away by a fit man into the wilderness, and it carried away the sins of the people, so that if they were sought for they could not be found. Now we see Jesus brought before the priests and rulers, who pronounce Him guilty; God Himself imputes our sins to Him, “the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all;” “He was made sin for us;” and, as the substitute for our guilt, bearing our sin upon His shoulders, represented by the cross; we see the great Scapegoat led away by the appointed officers of justice. Beloved, can you feel assured that He carried your sin? As you look at the cross upon His shoulders, does it represent your sin? There is one way by which you can tell whether He carried your sin or not. Have you laid your hand upon His head, confessed your sin, and trusted in Him? Then your sin lies not on you; it has all been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and He bears it on His shoulder as a load heavier than the cross.

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