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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 30

Just For Today
April 30
God Does For Us

“Ongoing recovery is dependent on our relationship with a loving God who cares for us and will do for us what we find impossible to do for ourselves.”
Basic Text, p. 96

How often have we heard it said in meetings that “God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves?” At times we may get stuck in our recovery, unable, afraid, or unwilling to make the decisions we know we must make to move forward. Perhaps we are unable to end a relationship that just isn’t working. Maybe our job has become a source of too much conflict. Or perhaps we feel we need to find a new sponsor but are afraid to begin the search. Through the grace of our Higher Power, unexpected change may occur in precisely the area we felt unable to alter.

We sometimes allow ourselves to become stuck in the problem instead of moving forward toward the solution. At these times, we often find that our Higher Power does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Perhaps our partner decides to end our relationship. We may get fired or laid off. Or our sponsor tells us that he or she can no longer work with us, forcing us to look for a new one.

Sometimes what occurs in our lives can be frightening, as change often seems. But we also hear that “God never closes a door without opening another one.” As we move forward with faith, the strength of our Higher Power is never far from us. Our recovery is strengthened by these changes.

Just for today: I trust that the God of my understanding will do for me what I cannot do for myself.

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Daily Reflections
April 30
A GREAT PARADOX

These legacies of suffering and of recovery are easily passed among alcoholics, one to the other. This is our gift from God, and its bestowal upon others like us is the one aim that today animates A.A.’s all around the globe.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 151

The great paradox of A.A. is that I know I cannot keep the precious gift of sobriety unless I give it away.  My primary purpose is to stay sober. In A.A. I have no other goal, and the importance of this is a matter of life or death for me. If I veer from this purpose I lose. But A.A. is not only for me; it is for the alcoholic who still suffers. The legions of recovering alcoholics stay sober by sharing with fellow alcoholics. The way to my recovery is to show others in A.A. that when I share with them, we both grow in the grace of the Higher Power, and both of us are on the road to a happy destiny.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 30
A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. program is one of faith because we find that we must have faith in a Power greater than ourselves if we are going to get sober. We’re helpless before alcohol, but when we turn our drink problem over to God and have faith that He can give us all the strength we need, then we have the drink problem licked. Faith in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God is the essential part of the A.A. program. Is faith still strong in me?

Meditation For The Day

Each one of us is a child of God, and as such, we are full of the promise of spiritual growth. A young person is like the springtime of the year. The full time of the fruit is not yet, but there is promise of the blossom. There is a spark of the Divine in every one of us. Each has some of God’s spirit that can be developed by spiritual exercise. Know that your life is full of glad promise. Such blessings can be yours, such joys, such wonders, as long as you develop in the sunshine of God’s love.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may develop the divine spark within me. I pray that by so doing I may fulfill the promise of a more abundant life.

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As Bill Sees It
April 30
Word Of Mouth, p. 120

“In my view, there isn’t the slightest objection to groups who wish to remain strictly anonymous, or to people who think they would not like their membership in A.A. known at all. That is their business, and this is a very natural reaction.

“However, most people find that anonymity to this degree is not necessary, or even desirable. Once one is fairly sober, and sure of this, there seems no reason for failing to talk about A.A. membership in the right places. This has a tendency to bring in other people. Word of mouth is one of our most important communications.

“So we should criticize neither the people who wish to remain silent, nor even the people who wish to talk too much about belonging to A.A., provided they do not do so at the public level and thus compromise our whole Society.”

Letter, 1962

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Walk in Dry Places
April 30
Addicted to Crisis
Personal Relations

It’s sometimes a surprise to learn that we mismanage our affairs even in sobriety. We may even find that we seem to be addicted to problem situations. It takes a crisis, it seems, to give us the energy and purpose we need to get things done.

One common form of this strange addiction is procrastination. Some of us have a tendency to put off important tasks until the very last moment, and then work overtime to get the job done.

Is this laziness? Maybe it is, to some extent. Maybe, however, we need an impending emergency to get motivated and energized to do what needs to be done. Maybe we’re addicted to crisis.

If so, this may be another disease that can be arrested but not cured. We arrest it by slowly adopting better work habits and paying closer attention to schedules and deadlines. Working with greater efficiency, we’ll have more time and energy for the things that really matter.

Today I don’t need a crisis to take charge of my life and do what needs to be done. I’ll tackle at least one thing I’ve been putting off, and either complete the task or get a good start on it.

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Keep It Simple
April 30

When you want to be something, it means you really love it.
–Andy Warhol

At times, we turned to chemicals because we couldn’t love ourselves. Our addiction gave a promise of relief, but it gave us self-hate. We wanted to love, but couldn’t. What is it we really love ? Where should we put out energy ? In raising children ? In creating art ? In helping addicts who still suffer ? There’s much in this world that needs our love. We can be many things in our lives. Let’s be people we believe in. Let’s be people we can love.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me know myself through my inventories. My skills, talents, values, and my loves must be clear to me so I can use them to do Your will.

Action for the Day: Today I’ll think about what I’d really love to do through my work.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 30

Accustomed as we are to change, or unaccustomed, we think of a change of heart, of clothes, of life, with some uncertainty.
–Josephine Miles

Being used to a situation, even a painful one, carries with it a level of comfort. Moving away from the pain, changing the situation, be it job, home, or marriage, takes courage and support from other persons. But even more it takes faith that the change will benefit us. For most of us, the pain will need to worsen.

In retrospect, we wonder why it took us so long. We forget, from one instance to the next, that a new door cannot open until we’ve closed one behind us. The more important fact is that a new one will always open without fail. The pain of the old experience is trying to push us to new challenges, new opportunities, new growth. We can handle the change; we can handle the growth. We are never given more than we can handle, and we are always given just what we need.

Experience can’t prepare us for the ramifications of a new change. But our trust in friends, and our faith in the spiritual process of life, can and will see us through whatever comes.

If a change of any kind is facing me today, I will know that I am not alone. Whatever I am facing is right for me and necessary to my well-being. Life is growth. The next stage of my life awaits me.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 30
LISTENING TO THE WIND

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

One day I decided I’d better go to the laundromat and wash some clothes. There was a woman there with a couple of kids. She moved around quickly, folding clothes and stacking them neatly in a couple of huge baskets. Where did she get her eneergy? Suddenly I realized I had to put my clothes into the dryers. I couldn’t remember which washers I had put them. I looked into probably twenty different washers. I made up my mind how to handle the situation. I would stay there until everyone else had left. I would keep whatever clothes were left behind, as well as my own. As the other woman finsihed her tasks, she was writing something down on a small piece of paper. She loaded her baskets and kids into her car, and came back into the laundromat. She came right up to me and handed me the small blue paper. I couldn’t make out what it said. I smiled politely and slurred a friendly “Thank you.” Later I made out the telephone number and handwritten message below: “If you ever want to stop drinking, call Alcohol Anonymous, 24 hours a day.”

p. 465-466

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 30

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

Also of importance for most alcoholics are the questions they must ask about their behavior respecting financial and emotional security. In these areas fear, greed, possessiveness, and pride have too often done their worst. Surveying his business or employment record, almost any alcoholic can ask questions like these: In addition to my drinking problem, what character defects contributed to my financial instability? Did fear and inferiority about my fitness for my job destroy my confidence and fill me with conflict? Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by bluffing, cheating, lying, or evading responsibility? Or by griping that others failed to recognize my truly exceptional abilities? Did I overvalue myself and play the big shot? Did I have such unprincipled ambition that I double-crossed and undercut my associates? Was I extravagant? Did I recklessly borrow money, caring little whether it was repaid or not? Was I a pinch penny, refusing to support my family properly? Did I cut corners financially? What about the “quick money” deals, the stock market, and the races?

p. 51

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Xtra Thoughts
April 30

The only real win, is the win of tapping into the spirit.
–Oprah Winfrey

Getting sober is like learning to ride a horse, if you fall off, get back on, you can’t learn to ride on the ground.
–Patricia D

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
–Albert Einstein

“Success is living up to your potential. That’s all. Wake up with a smile and go after life … Live it, enjoy it, taste it, smell it, feel it.”
–Joe Kapp

“As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”
–Thomas A. Edison

I embrace the lightness I feel when I trust, and give all of me to God.
–SweetyZee

No matter the storm… when you’re with God there’s always a rainbow waiting. Remember, God answers knee-mail!
–Anonymous

Men trip not on mountains! They trip on molehills.
–Chinese Proverb

Wish not so much to live long, as to live well.
–Benjamin Franklin

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 30
ORIGINALITY

“Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself.”
–James Stephens

Sometimes I surprise myself with what I say, think or contemplate.  Within my being is a very strange world that I wish to share with others. Why? Because if I am truly honest about what I think and feel, it may unite me with the true identity of others. Perhaps we are all a little strange! However I will never know what people are thinking or feeling unless I take a risk and share my honest feelings. My involvement with my fellow man revolves around my honesty.

In the knowledge of Your love let me share my feelings.

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Bible Scriptures
April 30

Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23

Trust in the LORD, and do good;  Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3-4

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Daily Inspiration
April 30

Each day guide your thoughts and actions so that you may set God’s will above your own. Lord, may Your will be my will.

No matter what you must confront today, know that God is with you. Lord, today is part of Your plan for me. I do not doubt You and therefore I will not doubt You within me.

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A Day At A Time
April 30

Reflection For The Day

We’re taught in The Program that “faith without works is dead.”  How true this is for the addicted person.  For if an addicted person fails to perfect or enlarge his or her spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, s/he can’t survive the certain trials and low spots ahead.  If s/he doesn’t work, s/he’ll surely return  to his or her addiction;  and if s/he returns to addiction, s/he’ll likely die.  Then faith will be dead indeed.  Do I believe, through my faith, that I can be uniquely useful to those who still suffer?

Today I Pray

May my faith in my Higher Power and in the influence of The Program be multiplied within me as I pass it along to others who are overcoming similar addictions.  May I be certain that my helping others is not simply repaying my debts, but it is the only way I know to continue my spiritual growth and maintain my own sobriety.

Today I Will Remember

The more faith I can give, the more I will have.

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One More Day
April 30

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
–Helen Keller

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with day-to-day pain and annoyance of a chronic medical condition.  We try hard, but every now and again our perspective gets knocked off center.  We may begin to think only in terms of sickness and pain.

Sometimes it’s difficult to find a kind thought or a warm spot for ourselves.  If we shadow our lives with pain, frustration, and scorn we will not be able to relax within the quiet confines of our days.  Eachh day is new and fresh, and it’s up to us to welcome it with joy and gratitude.  It’s up to us to overcome the obstacles to our happiness.

Today, I take the responsibility for my own happiness.

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One Day At A Time
April 30
~ SPIRITUAL RECOVERY ~

There is a time to let things happen and a time to make things happen.
–Hugh Prather

One of the many facets of the disease of compulsive overeating, in my experience, has been the inability to make a positive change in my choice of foods without using the spiritual steps of recovery. Prior to coming into program, I would plan, pray, and write down what I wanted to do, but change never happened permanently. Looking back, it seems that I was really trying to make things happen, but I was trying to do it without the spiritual guidance and strength of this program through my Higher Power. I didn’t have all the spiritual pieces needed to make the almost impossible changes inside myself before the physical changes could happen.

There are many tools of the program, such as sponsorship, a food plan, food abstinence, and practicing the spiritual program through actively working the Twelve Steps. I have learned through failure that I must actively work the steps of the program. I can’t just let things happen in my recovery in regard to step work, because then the disease will win. When I daily commit to working the steps to the best of my ability, this brings me the spiritual recovery that allows physical and emotional recovery as well. I cannot make the spiritual recovery happen, since that action belongs only to my Higher Power. What I can do is to take the action by doing the step work, and from there leave the outcome in my Higher Power’s hands.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will strive to work the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability, and let things happen in my Higher Power’s time.

~ Ohitika ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 30

“Modern civilization has no understanding of sacred matters. Everything is backwards.”
–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Modern civilization says, don’t pray in school; don’t pray at work; only go to church on Sunday. If you don’t believe what I believe, you’ll go to hell. Deviancy is normal. Our role models cheat, drink and run around; these are the people in the news. The news sells bad news; no one wants to hear good news. Kids are killing kids. Victims have little protection. Violence is normal. Leaders cheat and lie. Everything is backwards. We need to pray for spiritual intervention. We need to have guidance from the Creator to help us rebuild our families, our communities and ourselves. Today, I will pray for spiritual intervention from the Great Spirit.

Grandfather, we pray for your help in a pitiful way.

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Journey To The Heart
April 30
Awaken Your Healing Powers

From the traditional to the alternative, healers and healing energy can take many forms. Masseuses. Hypnotists. Chiropractors. Medical doctors. Herbalists. Each may have a touch of healing to bring to us at just the right time and place. But the power to transmit healing energy isn’t limited to those who work in hospitals or have mastered the ancient Chinese art of acupuncture.

We each have the power to transmit healing energy to others and ourselves, regardless of our profession. We each have the ability to awaken that power and use it in the world around us through our chosen field of work. The man at the deli knows his customers’ names and the details of their lives, then greets them with a warm, sincere, and healing smile. The woman who decorates homes takes time to get to know enough about her clients so that the colors and objects in the home reflect where they are on their spiritual paths. Friends and family members heal by using their gifts of intuition and speech to gently encourage and empower, their gift of though to transmit healing messages, and their gift of touch to rub a stiff neck or sore shoulder.

There are many ways each of us can creatively figure out how to incorporate and channel our healing powers into our daily life. See your favorite healer when you need to. On your path, be open to discovering new healers and combinations of practices that work for you. But don’t limit who can bring healing into your life. Remember that you’re a healer,too.

Healing energy is the energy of love. Learn to let it flow through you.

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Today’s Gift
April 30

The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.
—John Vance Cheney

If there were no rain, fields would become parched and brittle, and many creatures would die. If we could not cry, all our emotions would eventually dry up, too, and soon we would not laugh either. Our tears cleanse us. Our tears heal. They make us whole.

Tears are as important to our growth as rain is to a flower. They help release the pressure of sadness so we can feel better. After a storm, when the sun shines again through the clouds, a brightly colored rainbow appears. After our tears, our inner sun shines, and rainbows are formed from our pain.

How well can I accept my tears as part of my happiness today?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 30
Balance

The goal is balance.

We need balance between work and play. We need balance between giving and receiving. We need balance in thought and feelings. We need balance in caring for our physical self and our spiritual self.

A balanced life has harmony between a professional life and a personal life. There may be times when we need to climb mountains at work. There may be times when we put extra energy into our relationships. But the overall picture needs to balance.

Just as a balanced nutritional diet takes into account the realm of our nutritional needs to stay healthy, a balanced life takes into account all our needs: our need for friends, work, love, family, play, private time, recovery time, and spiritual time – time with God. If we get out of balance, our inner voice will tell us. We need to listen.

Today, I will examine my life to see if the scales have swung too far in any area or not far enough in some. I will work toward achieving balance.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 30
Use a gentle touch

There’s a force out there, whether you call it destiny or use some other words, that brings people together who are meant to be together. It’s the butterfly story.

If you hold a butterfly too tightly in your hands, you take all the oil off its wings and it can’t fly. You can have the butterfly that way, but the butterfly can’t be a butterfly.

If you really love a butterfly, you won’t rub all the oil off its wings just so you can clutch it in your hands. If you really love something or someone, don’t hold on too tightly. Let that person be free. Let people be who they are.

Don’t rub the oil off the butterfly’s wings. Let it fly back to you on its own.

God, help me learn to use a gentle touch with everyone I love.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 30

A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action not reaction.
—Rita Mae Brown

All men in recovery confront their reactive habits in relationships. Whether we came to recovery as a codependent or as an addict, we soon must face how much other people’s behavior has been a cue for our own reactions. There is always a three-part process in any reaction first, the other person’s behavior; second, a moment of choosing a response; and third, our reaction. But in our spiritual slavery, we don’t notice the choice stage. It feels automatic. It may feel as though “the other person made me do it.”

No amount of changing on someone else’s part can change us. We are becoming more responsible for our own lives and for our own behavior regardless of others around us. There is liberation in noticing the choice stage. It is tough to follow through on our choices, but when we do, it is truly a sign of a grown man. Then a remarkable thing happens – our self-esteem rises.

Today, I will pause to notice the choices I have in the moment between someone’s action and my reaction.

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Daily TAO
April 30
OPENNESS

Nothing is meant to be.
There is no predestination.

In ancient texts, the idea of predestination is very strong, but the usage of the term is purely metaphorical. People in the past used the word to express feelings of affinity for a place, a time, or for others. But nothing of the future is set.

There is no cosmic puppeteer at work. We are solely responsible for our own actions. It is true that we can become mired in circumstances so strong and so far-reaching that they will continue to have ramifications far into the future. For example, if we construct circumstances right, such as starting an organization to help others, then the good will last for a long time. However, if we fall far into debt and do nothing to help ourselves, then the bad will also last a long time. Yet in both cases, our lasting situations are results of our own actions. This is not destiny. It is causality.

Causality is from the past, and nothing is acting from the future. There is no script, no pattern to walk into. Everything has to be created, and we are the artists.

Those who follow Tao endeavor to have as few restrictions placed upon them as possible. By completing each action, they minimize causality. By living fully in the present, they absorb the best of what each day has to offer. By understanding that there is no literal destiny, fate, or predestination, they keep the future as free and open as possible. That is truly the openness of life.

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Food for Thought
April 30
Waiting and Acting

Do you seem to have spent much of your life waiting for something? Waiting for Santa Claus, waiting to grow up, waiting to get married, waiting for children, a better job, etc., etc. When we join OA, we wait for the time when we will be thin, thinking that surely then everything will be as we want it to be.

It is important that we begin to live more fully now, rather than projecting our satisfaction into an indefinite future. Rather than waiting for tomorrow, let’s obey our inner voice today. Rather than reaching for another bite that we do not need, let’s enjoy the measured meal that we have in front of us. Instead of waiting to be thin, let’s become more active now, even if all we do is go for a walk around the block.

There are some things that require patient waiting. But there are other things which we need to make happen now by taking action.

Lord, grant me the wisdom to know when to wait and when to act.

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DailyZen
April 30

The voice of success and profit
May stir the vault of heaven,
But not this place.
In the rounds of the day,
You wear threadbare clothing
And eat simple fare.
When the mountain snow deepens,
Your thoughts
Are far from those of men.
Occasionally,
Immortals pass your door
And knock.

– Kuan-hsiu (832-912)

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In God’s Care
April 30

Man must cease atributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.
~~Albert Schweitzer

There’s a tendency to blame people, places, and things for our problems. After all, no one as smart as us could get into so much trouble without outside help.

We have to quit assessing blame and take responsibility for our own actions. Most of the trouble we get into is the result of ignoring the guidance of our Higher Power. Others may be ignoring their own inner guidance, but that’s their concern, not ours.

Because all people are equal in God’s eyes, when we blame others for our problems, we are really hurting ourselves. Looking for someone to blame for a problem only prolongs the solution and puts distance between us and God. Blame is a hindrance to our spiritual progress.

When things seem to be going wrong, I have no one to blame. I will make conscious cantact with God and, there, learn what to do.

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Day by Day
April 30

Changing our thinking

We have strong ideas. Sometimes, as hard as it is, we need to change our stubborn thinking. We’ve learned to accept the bad; now we must learn to accept the good without falling apart.

Our old reasons for cerain actions are no longer valid. It’s not that our beliefs and actions have changed; it’s just that our reasons have changed.

Is my thinking changing?

Higher Power, help me to simply accept – without having to understand everything – if waiting to understand keeps me from working my program today.

Today I will examine my thinking about…

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Faith’s Check Book
April 30
The Overcomer’s Reward

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Revelation 2:17)

My heart, be thou stirred up to persevere in the holy war, for the reward of victory is great. Today we eat of heavenly food which falls about our camps; the food of the wilderness, the food which comes from heaven, the food which never fails the pilgrims to Canaan. But there is reserved for us in Christ Jesus a still higher degree of spiritual life and a food for it which, as yet, is hidden from our experience. In the golden pot which was laid up in the ark there was a portion of manna hidden away, which though kept for ages never grew stale. No one ever saw it; it was hid with the Ark of the Covenant, in the Holy of Holies. Even so, the highest life of the believer is hid with Christ, in God. We shall come to it soon, Being made victorious through the grace of our Lord Jesus, we shall eat of the King’s meat and feed upon royal dainties. We shall feed upon Jesus. He is our “hidden manna,” as well as the manna of the wilderness. He is all in all to us in our highest, as well as in our lowest, estate. He helps us to fight, gives us the victory, and then is Himself our reward. Lord, help me to overcome.

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 30

“And all the children of Israel murmured.”—Numbers 14:2.

THERE are murmurers amongst Christians now, as there were in the camp of Israel of old. There are those who, when the rod falls, cry out against the afflictive dispensation. They ask, “Why am I thus afflicted? What have I done to be chastened in this manner?” A word with thee, O murmurer! Why shouldst thou murmur against the dispensations of thy heavenly Father? Can He treat thee more hardly than thou deservest? Consider what a rebel thou wast once, but He has pardoned thee! Surely, if He in His wisdom sees fit now to chasten thee, thou shouldst not complain. After all, art thou smitten as hardly as thy sins deserve? Consider the corruption which is in thy breast, and then wilt thou wonder that there needs so much of the rod to fetch it out? Weigh thyself, and discern how much dross is mingled with thy gold; and dost thou think the fire too hot to purge away so much dross as thou hast? Does not that proud rebellious spirit of thine prove that thy heart is not thoroughly sanctified? Are not those murmuring words contrary to the holy submissive nature of God’s children? Is not the correction needed? But if thou wilt murmur against the chastening, take heed, for it will go hard with murmurers. God always chastises His children twice, if they do not bear the first stroke patiently. But know one thing—”He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” All His corrections are sent in love, to purify thee, and to draw thee nearer to Himself. Surely it must help thee to bear the chastening with resignation if thou art able to recognize thy Father’s hand. For “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons.” “Murmur not as some of them also murmured and were destroyed of the destroyer.”

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