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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 4

Just For Today
April 4
Guarding Our Recovery

“Remember that we… are ultimately responsible for our recovery and our decisions.”
Basic Text p. 99

Most of us will face choices that challenge our recovery. If we find ourselves in extreme physical pain, for example, we will have to decide whether or not we will take medication. We will have to be very honest with ourselves about the severity of our pain, honest with our doctor about our addiction and our recovery, and honest with our sponsor In the end, however, the decision is ours, for we are the ones who must live with the consequences.

Another common challenge is the choice of attending a party where alcohol will be served. Again, we should consider our own spiritual state. If someone who supports our recovery can attend the event with us, so much the better. However, if we don’t feel up to such a challenge, we should probably decline the invitation. Today, we know that preserving our recovery is more important than saving face.

All such decisions are tough ones, requiring not only our careful consideration but the guidance of our sponsor and complete surrender to a Higher Power Using all of these resources, we make the best decision we can. Ultimately, however, the decision is ours. Today, we are responsible for our own recovery.

Just for today: When faced with a decision that may challenge my recovery I will consult all the resources at my disposal before I make my choice.

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Daily Reflections
April 4
CRYING FOR THE MOON

“This very real feeling of inferiority is magnified by his childish sensitivity and it is this state of affairs which generates in him that insatiable, abnormal craving for self-approval and success in the eyes of the world. Still a child, he cries for the moon. And the moon, it seems, won’t have him!”
–LANGUAGE OF THE HEART, p. 102

While drinking I seemed to vacillate between feeling totally invisible and believing I was the center of the universe. Searching for that elusive balance between the two has become a major part of my recovery. The moon I constantly cried for is, in sobriety, rarely full; it shows me instead its many other phases, and there are lessons in them all. True learning has often followed an eclipse, a time of darkness, but with each cycle of my recovery, the light grows stronger and my vision is clearer.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 4
A.A. Thought For The Day

When I came into A.A., I found men and women who had been through the same things I had been through. But now they were thinking more about how they could help others than they were about themselves.  They were a lot more unselfish than I ever was. By coming to meetings and associating with them, I began to think a little less about myself and a little more about other people. I also learned that I didn’t have to depend on myself alone to get out of the mess I was in. I could get a greater strength than my own. Am I now depending less on myself and more on God?

Meditation For The Day

You cannot help others unless you understand the person you are trying to help. To understand the problems and temptations of others, you must have been through them yourself. You must do all you can to understand others. You must study their backgrounds, their likes and dislikes, their reactions and their prejudices. When you see their weaknesses, do not confront the person with them. Share your own weaknesses, sins, and temptations and let other people find their own convictions.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may serve as a channel for God’s power to come into the lives of others. I pray that I may try to understand them.

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As Bill Sees It
April 4

“. . .In All Our Affairs, p. 94

“The chief purpose of A.A. is sobriety. We all realize that without sobriety we have nothing.

“However, it is possible to expand this simple aim into a great deal of nonsense, so far as the individual member is concerned. Sometimes we hear him say, in effect, “Sobriety is my sole responsibility. After all, I’m a pretty fine chap, except for my drinking. Give me sobriety, and I’ve got it made!’

“As long as our friend clings to this comfortable alibi, he will make so little progress with his real life problems and responsibilities that he stands in a fair way to get drunk again. This is why A.A.’s Twelfth Steps urges that ‘we practice these principles in all our affairs.’ We are not living just to be sober; we are living to learn, to serve, and to love.

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places
April 4
You are not alone
Fellowship

If you feel isolated and lonely, tape the letters ~~ YANA~~ to the dash in your car. “You Are Never Alone” can help bring a surge of confidence when you most need it.

We are not alone because we have thousands of friends who have shared our experience and who understand our feelings. We also are not alone because we have a Higher Power who presides over the affairs of all humankind. We can never be separated from this Power except in our own minds.

We must remember that we will always need other people. Virtually everything that benefits us is supplied by the skills and knowledge of others.We can believe that we are completely independent, but the truth is that no person survives completely alone.

The typical problem for many of us is in failing to seek help from others. If extreme loneliness is closing in on us, the best prescription is a meeting and the company of other members.

I’ll not be too proud to ask for help today or to explain to others that I need them and appreciate them. I should also freely admit that help from others led me to sobriety—and helps maintain it today.

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Keep It Simple
April 4

Pray without resentment in your heart.
–The Little Red Book

Resentment is anger that we don’t want to turn over to our Higher Power.

Sometimes we want to keep our anger. Maybe we want to “get even.” it’s hard to be spiritual and full of anger at the same time. When we hold on to anger, it turns into self-will. We get angry from time to time. This is normal. But we now have a program to help us let go of anger. We also know that stored-up anger can drive us back to alcohol and other drugs. Instead of trying to “get even,” let’s work at keeping anger out of our hearts.

Prayer for the Day: I pray without anger in my heart. Higher Power, I give You my anger. Have me work for justice, instead of acting like a judge.

Action For the Day: I’ll list any resentments I now have. I’ll talk about them at my next meeting. This is the best way to turn resentments over to my Higher Power.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 4

All we are asked to bear we can bear. That is a law of the spiritual life. The only hindrance to the working of this law, as of all benign laws, is fear.
–Elizabeth Goudge

There is no problem too difficult to handle with all the help available to us. Let’s not be overwhelmed. The program tells us to “Let go and let God,” to turn it over. And that’s where the solution lies.

Our challenges, the stumbling blocks in our way, beckon us toward the spiritual working-out of the problem which moves us closer toward being the women we are meant to be. Our fear comes from not trusting in the power greater than ourselves to provide the direction we need, to make known the solution.

Every day we will have challenges. We have lessons to learn which mean growing pains. If we could but remember that our challenges are gifts to grow on and that within every problem lies the solution.

I will not be given more than I and my higher power can handle today, or any day.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 4
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.

I’ve had one “God-thing” after another happen to me since submitting myself to the principles of A.A. The trial officials who convicted me and the victims of my crime have all decided to support my early release from prison. Confidence? I think now. I’ve received letters from former employers who have heard of my sobriety and have offered me employment again in the radio industry. These are just samples of God doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

p. 457

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 4

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

It is when we try to make our will conform with God’s that we begin to use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation. Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us. To make this increasingly possible is the purpose of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, and Step Three opens the door.

p. 40

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Xtra Thoughts
April 4

“In forgiving ourselves, we make the journey from guilt for what we have done (or not done) to celebration of what we have become.”
–Joan Borysenko

Pitying yourself will get you nowhere. Things aren’t always going to go the way you want them to, but still you must set the rules regarding how you respond to them.
–Unknown

There is incredible beauty, in the gentle and quiet spirit, precious in God’s direction.
–SweetyZee

“He who cannot rest, cannot work; He who cannot let go, cannot hold on; He who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.”
–Harry Emerson Fosdick

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
–Benjamin Franklin

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

Voices we prefer to ignore may speak words we need to hear.
–Don Deal

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 4
BEAUTY

“Beauty is not caused. It is.”
–Emily Dickinson

So many people think that beauty is what you do to yourself; what you wear, makeup, clothes, hairstyles or expensive jewelry. Again it is so easy to get caught up in “things”. Reality is not about what we wear but who we are.

The beauty that God has created comes from within. The twinkle in the eyes that says “hello”. The hug that says “I love you”. The gentle embrace and smile that says “I forgive you”. The tear that cries “I understand”.

When God said to the world, “It is good”, Beauty was born. Drugs and crazy relationships only get in the way of us being what we were intended to be: beautiful for God.

Today I seek to put God’s beauty in my actions, words and attitudes.

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Bible Scriptures
April 4

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 31:24

For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Proverbs 3:26

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Daily Inspiration
April 4

Today is an opportunity to love, to work and to play. Lord, may I recognize the opportunities that come today and participate in them as much as I can.

In life it is those that persevere that will succeed. Lord, every day is a fresh beginning. With You, I will come closer to my goals each day if only I don’t give up and quit.

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A Day At A Time
April 4

Reflection For The Day

Another common denominator among those who slip is failure to use the tools of The Program — the Twelve Steps. The comments heard most often are, “i never got past the First Step,’ “I worked The Steps too slow,” or “too fast” or “too soon.” What it boils down to, is that these considered the Steps, but didn’t conscientiously and sincerely apply the Steps to their lives. Am I learning how to protect myself and help others?

Today I Pray

May I be a doer of the Steps and not a hearer only. May I see some of the common mid-Steps which lead to a fall: Being too proud to admit Step One; Being too tied to everyday earth to feel the presence of a Higher Power; Being over-whelmed by the thought of preparing Step Four, a complete moral inventory; Being too reticent to share that inventory. Please, God, guide me as I work the Twelve Steps.

Today I Will Remember

To watch my Steps.

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One More Day
April 4

The mind leaps, and leaps perhaps with a sort of elation.
–  Joseph Wood Krutch

A chronic medical problem can be incorporated into our total picture of life.  If we allow problems, medical or otherwise, to overwhelm and exclude everything else, we are defeated before we begin.  We don’t have to be defeatist.

Everyday dawns fresh with opportunities to change, to find happiness, and to live our lives well.  By searching deeply within, we can redefine our faith in ourselves and in our Higher Power.  A joy, and elation, can be ours when we allow ourselves to express our natural human curiosity through growth, learning, and a willingness to try new things.  We can hold our heads up high and be proud.

Regardless of my physical condition, I have dignity and worth.

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One Day At A Time
April 4
~ Commitment ~

Shallow men believe in luck ~ Strong men believe in cause and effect.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Abstinence did not happen for me until I made a commitment to it. I realized that I would have abstinence until something was a bit too uncomfortable for me to face or feel. Then I would have a slip. So it became a game for me. Was this event or circumstance enough to justify another slip? Sure, why not? That’s the nature of the disease. Everything and anything was an excuse to eat.

It wasn’t until I made a commitment to abstinence that I was forced to find my solutions in the Twelve Steps and really let go of my addiction. I’m grateful to my Higher Power that I hit the bottom I did. By accepting the truth about myself and my food addiction, I am now free to live in the solution.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will renew my commitment by receiving the gift of abstinence and practicing my program to the best of my ability.

~ Christine S. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 4

“You can pray for whatever you want, but it is always best to pray for others, not for yourself.”
–John Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA

When you are selfish and you pray, you are requesting things to flow only to you. When you are selfless, you are praying for things to flow to others. The old ones say this is the highest form of prayer. Praying this way is according to the Natural Laws.

Great Spirit, today, let my thoughts be about others.

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Journey To The Heart
April 4
Wait for Timely Action

Watch the surfer as he works his way out to sea. See him watching the waves, waiting for the right movement, the right timing, the right swell. Sometimes the wave comes quickly. Sometimes he has to tread water patiently for a long time, waiting and watching before he can ride the wave.

Learn to ride the waves of energy in your life. Learn to wait for the right time to take action. Learn to wait until your senses, your emotions, your body, and the universe give you the signal you need. Yes, you have a list of things you want to do. But as soon as you have made that list, visualized what you want, you’ve already begun a powerful force. You’ve already begun to engage the universe in helping bring you want you want. There are moments that are more perfect than others to initiate action, to make that phone call, to finish that task.

Untimely action will not get the job done any sooner. It will simply waste your energy and send you back to sea, waiting for the right wave. Focus on your goal, muster all your forces, and head out to sea. Then wait patiently for the right time, for the right energy, for the right wave.

The right wave will come. When it does, grab your board, jump on, and ride it for all its worth.

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Today’s Gift
April 4

One day at a time – this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone.
—Ida Scott Taylor

It’s not always easy to understand that the day stretching before us is all that counts. Daydreaming about the party last week, or getting upset all over again about a fight we had yesterday with a friend doesn’t help us right now. When our minds are on the past, we miss out on the conversation or the activity that is going on around us.

Every moment of the day is special and guaranteed to help us grow and understand life. All of us have been taught to pay attention in school, or to pay attention when others talk to us. But we should also pay attention to the birds, the sky, even the grass. And we can learn a lot by paying attention to the conversations going on around us, and to the small voice inside us that helps us know right from wrong.

What’s going on today is enough to pay attention to.

Am I ready to pay attention to what is around me today?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 4
Negotiating Conflicts

Recovery is about more than walking away. Sometimes it means learning to stay and deal. It’s about building and maintaining relationships that work.
–Beyond Codependency

Problems and conflicts are part of life and relationships – with friends, family, loved ones, and at work — problem-solving and conflict negotiation are skills we can acquire and improve with time.

Not being willing to tackle and solve problems in relationships leads to unresolved feelings of anger and victimization, terminated relationships, unresolved problems, and power plays that intensify the problem and waste time and energy.

Not being willing to face and solve problems means we may run into that problem again.

Some problems with people cannot be worked out in mutually satisfactory ways. Sometimes the problem is a boundary issue we have, and there is not room to negotiate. In that case, we need to clearly understand what we want and need and what our bottom line is.

Some problems with people, though, can be worked out, worked through, and satisfactorily negotiated. Often, there are workable options for solving problems that we will not even see until we become open to the concept of working through problems in relationships, rather than running from the problems.

To negotiate problems, we must be willing to identify the problem, let go of blame and shame, and focus on possible creative solutions. To successfully negotiate and solve problems in relationships, we must have a sense of our bottom line and our boundary issues, so we don’t waste time trying to negotiate non-negotiable issues.

We need to learn to identify what both people really want and need and the different possibilities for working that out. We can learn to be flexible without being too flexible. Committed, intimate relationships mean two people are learning to work together through their problems and conflicts in ways that work in both people’s best interest.

Today, I will be open to negotiating conflicts I have with people. I will strive for balance without being too submissive or too demanding. I will strive for appropriate flexibility in my problem-solving efforts.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 4
Ask for guidance

Sometimes things seem like good ideas and aren’t, really.
–Piglet

Ask for guidance first.

Self-will is a tricky thing. So are impulse behaviors.

We’ve heard of impulse buying– making a purchase quickly and without thought, based on monetary impulse. It’s easy to get caught up living our lives that way,too. So often, we run off in the heat of the moment.

Spontaneity is good. Saying yes to life is good,too. But impulse living can get us into trouble. We can overreact to a problem, then sit in a heap of regrets. Sometimes, the next step presents itself clearly, in a flash of inspiration. Sometimes, we’re meant to go forward and not let our fears and negative thoughts hold us back. Sometimes, we’re acting on impulse and may end up sabotaging ourselves.

Ask for guidance first. It takes only a second to check the map and see if the turn we’re thinking of making is where we really want go.

God, show me what your will is for me. Show me if the decision I’m about to make is in my best interest or if there is a better path for me to explore.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 4

What is obvious to me is that we did not create ourselves… life is something inside of you. You did not create it. Once you understand that, you are in a spiritual realm.
—Virginia Satir

We do not belong to ourselves, but to the universe. No man planned to come into existence; he just happened to find himself here. We are the expressions of a life force whose beginnings are in the forgotten past. What does this mean on a practical level for how we will live today? For one thing, maybe we don’t need to take ourselves so seriously. And we certainly are not to judge our existence. We have a right to be here, just as everyone does.

We can live this day fully and not hold ourselves back. We may work hard, play, and enjoy it. We need not rein in or attempt to control this force, which so far exceeds our individual powers. Rather, today we can learn to flow with the current.

Today, may I remember my Higher Power is within every cell of my being, whether I notice it or not.

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Daily TAO
April 4
PRACTICE

Spiritual success is gained by daily cultivation.
If you practiced for the day, then you have won.
If you were lazy for the day, then you have lost.

Self-cultivation is the heart of spiritual attainment. Gaining insight and ability is not a matter of grand statements, dramatic initiations, or sporadic moments of enlightenment. Those things are only highlights in a life of consistent activity.

Whatever system of spirituality you practice, do it every day. If it is prayer, then pray every day. If it is meditation, then meditate every day. If it is exercise, then exercise every day. Only then will you be able to say that you are truly practicing spirituality.

This methodical approach is reassuring in several ways. First, it provides you with a process and a means to maintain progress even if that particular day is not inspiring or significant. Just to practice is already good. Secondly, it gives you a certain faith. If you practice every day, it is inevitable that you will gain from it. Thirdly, constant practice gives you a certain satisfaction. How can you say to yourself that you have truly entered a spiritual path unless you can look back on years of daily practice and take comfort in the momentum that it has given you?

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DailyZen
April 4

Pear blossoms pale white,
Willows deep green
When willow fluff scatters,
Falling blossoms will fill the town.
Snowy boughs by the eastern palisade
Set me pondering
In a lifetime how many springs do we see?

– Su Tung-p’o (1077)

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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 4

The hand that gives gathers.
~~English proverb

Maybe we grew up believing somehow that to give is to lose. We were taught to believe, or came to the conclusion on our own, that when we give away something, we have to do without it; to give meant to experience loss.

Now, our spiritual friends show us a love that demands nothing in return, and we have a different attitude. We discover that when we give in a spirit of generosity, we lose nothing at all. When we share a material possession we feel rich. The opposite is true, too, of course. When we withhold love, we feel unloved, and when we don’t share what we have, we feel the loss of something.

There is a spiritual maxim at work here. We can give of ourselves and have everything, or we can withhold ourselves and experience spiritual poverty.

I give of what I have. It is the way to be truly happy.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 04
God’s Hornets

And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.
–(Exodus 23:28)

What the hornets were we need not consider. They were God’s own army which He sent before His people to sting their enemies and render Israel’s conquest easy. Our God by His own chosen means will fight for His people and gall their foes before they come into the actual battle. Often He confounds the adversaries of truth by methods in which reformers themselves have no hand. The air is full of mysterious influences which harass Israel’s foes. We read in the Apocalypse that “the earth helped the woman.”

Let us never fear. The stars in their courses fight against the enemies of our souls. Oftentimes when we march to the conflict we find no host to contend with. “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” God’s hornets can do more than our weapons. We could never dream of the victory being won by such means as Jehovah will use. We must obey our marching orders and go forth to the conquest of the nations for Jesus, and we shall find that the Lord has gone before us and prepared the way; so that in the end we will joyfully confess, “His own right hand and his holy arm, have gotten him the victory.”

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 04

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
-—2 Corinthians 5:21.

MOURNING Christian! why weepest thou? Art thou mourning over thine own corruptions? Look to thy perfect Lord, and remember, thou art complete in Him; thou art in God’s sight as perfect as if thou hadst never sinned; nay, more than that, the Lord our Righteousness hath put a divine garment upon thee, so that thou hast more than the righteousness of man—thou hast the righteousness of God. O Thou who art mourning by reason of inbred sin and depravity, remember, none of thy sins can condemn thee. Thou hast learned to hate sin; but thou hast learned also to know that sin is not thine—it was laid upon Christ’s head. Thy standing is not in thyself—it is in Christ; thine acceptance is not in thyself, but in thy Lord; thou art as much accepted of God to-day, with all thy sinfulness, as thou wilt be when thou standest before His throne, free from all corruption. O, I beseech thee, lay hold on this precious thought, perfection in Christ! For thou art “complete in Him.” With thy Saviour’s garment on, thou art holy as the Holy one. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Christian, let thy heart rejoice, for thou art “accepted in the beloved”—what hast thou to fear? Let thy face ever wear a smile; live near thy Master; live in the suburbs of the Celestial City; for soon, when thy time has come, thou shalt rise up where thy Jesus sits, and reign at His right hand; and all this because the divine Lord “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

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