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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 – August 1, 2014

Just For Today
August 1, 2014
Freedom From Guilt

“Our addiction enslaved us. We were prisoners of our own mind and were condemned by our own guilt.”
Basic Text, p.7

Guilt is one of the most commonly encountered stumbling blocks in recovery. One of the more notorious forms of guilt is the self-loathing that results when we try to forgive ourselves but don’t feel forgiven.

How can we forgive ourselves so we feel it? First, we remember that guilt and failure are not links in an unbreakable chain. Honestly sharing with a sponsor and with other addicts shows this to be true. Often the result of such sharing is a more sensible awareness of the part we ourselves have played in our affairs. Sometimes we realize that our expectations have been too high. We increase our willingness to participate in the solutions rather than dwelling on the problems.

Somewhere along the way, we discover who we really are. We usually find that we are neither the totally perfect nor the totally imperfect beings we have imagined ourselves to be. We need not live up to or down to our illusions; we need only live in reality.

Just for today: I am grateful for my assets and accept my liabilities. Through willingness and humility, I am freed to progress in my recovery and achieve freedom from guilt.

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Daily Reflections
August 1, 2014
LIVING IT

The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.
ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS , p. 83

When new in the program, I couldn’t comprehend living the spiritual aspect of the program, but now that I’m sober, I can’t comprehend living without it. Spirituality was what I had been seeking. God, as I understand Him, has given me answers to the whys that kept me drinking for twenty years. By living a spiritual life, by asking God for help, I have learned to love, care for and feel compassion for all my fellow men, and to feel joy in a world where, before, I felt only fear.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 1, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

The Alcoholics Anonymous program has borrowed from medicine, psychiatry, and religion. It has taken from these what it wanted and combined them into the program which it considers best suited to the alcoholic mind and which will best help the alcoholic to recover. The results have been very satisfactory. We do not try to improve on the A.A. program. Its value has been proved by the success it has had in helping thousands of alcoholics to recover. It has everything we alcoholics need to arrest our illness. Do I try to follow the A.A. program just as it is?

Meditation For The Day

You should strive for a union between your purposes in life and the purposes of the Divine Principle directing the universe. There is no bond of union on earth to compare with the union between a human soul and God. Priceless beyond all earth’s rewards is that union. In merging your heart and mind with the heart and mind of the Higher Power, a oneness of purpose results, which only those who experience it can even dimly realize. That oneness of purpose puts you in harmony with God and with all others who are trying to do His will.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may become attuned to the will of God. I pray that I may be in harmony with the music of the spheres.

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As Bill Sees It
August 1, 2014
Complete the Housecleaning, p. 213

Time after time, newcomers have tried to keep to themselves shoddy facts about their lives. Trying to avoid the humbling experience of the Fifth Step, they have turned to easier methods.  Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell.

We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning.  They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness, and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else their entire life story.

Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 72-73

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Walk In Dry Places
August 1, 2014
Who is sincere?
Sincerity.

We sometimes dismiss others people’s relapses with the explanation that they didn’t really want to stay sober or that they lacked sincerity of purpose.

We have no way of gauging just how sincere anybody really is. Even in trying to understand ourselves, we may detect traces of double-mindedness that got us into trouble. Even if we’ve been sober for years, the old desire to drink can be lurking somewhere in the back of our minds. It’s wise to assume that this is so even when there’s no conscious desire to drink. If hidden desires to drink still persist even after years of sobriety, it points to the persistence of the disease…. Not to one’s insincerity.

It may even be that sincerity, like sobriety, has to be sought on a daily basis. Perhaps we are capable of being sincere today, and then lapse into insincerity tomorrow. To accept this is a sign of prudence and maturity, and perhaps even a measure of humility.

I’ll seek to be sincere today about the things that really count. If I know I’m insincere in certain areas, I’ll seek more understanding about it.

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Keep It Simple
August 1, 2014

Made a list of all persons we had harmed . . .
—First half of Step Eight

By the time we get to Step Eight, we’re ready to work on our relationships.
We start by making a list of all persons we’ve harmed. We look at where we have been at fault. We own our behavior.

Now we’re healing, and we must help others to heal too. Our list must be as complete as we can make it. As our recovery goes on we’ll remember others we have hurt. We add them to our list. By doing this, we heal even more.  Remember, this Step is for us. It is to help us stay sober.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me make a complete list. Help me keep it open-ended.  Allow me and those I’ve harmed to be healed.

Action for the Day: Even if I’ve made a list before, I’ll make another one today. I will list all those I have harmed.

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Each Day a New Beginning
August 1, 2014

The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit, till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.
—Annie Dillard

Our progress today, and certainly our serenity, is enhanced by our willingness to accept all that we are blessed with today. Not only to accept, but to celebrate, trusting that these events are moving us toward our special destiny.

Flowing with the twists and turns in our lives, rather than resisting them, guarantees smooth sailing, helps us to maximize our opportunities, increases our serenity. Accepting our powerlessness over all but our own attitude is the first step we need to take toward finding serenity.

Resistance, whether it is against a person or a situation in our lives, will compound the problem, as we perceive it. We can believe in the advantages for growth that all experiences offer. We can sail with our experiences. We can be open to them so they can carry us to our destination. We can trust, simply trust, that all is well and in our favor, every moment.

My serenity is in my control today. I will look to this day with trust and thanksgiving. And my Spirit will soar.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
August 1, 2014
Jim’s Story

This physician, one of the earliest members of A.A.’s first black group, tells of how freedom came as he worked among his people.

The nest morning I went up for arraignment. Vi was very kind and explained to the jury that I was basically a fine fellow and a good husband but that I drank too much and that she thought I had lost my mind and should be committed to an asylum. The judge said that if she felt that way, he would confine me for thirty days’ examination and observation. There was no observation. There might have been some investigation. The closest I came to a psychiatrist during that time was an intern who came to take blood tests. After the trial, I got big-hearted again and felt that I should do something in payment for Vi’s kindness to me; so I left Washington and went to Seattle to work. I was there about three weeks, and then I got restless and started to tramp across the country, here and there, until I finally wound up in Pennsylvania, in a steel mill.

p. 241

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
August 1, 2014

Step Twelve – “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness, loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity? Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter, more glittering achievements are denied us?

The A.A. answer to these questions about living is “Yes, all of these things are possible.” We know this because we see monotony, pain, and even calamity turned to good use by those who keep on trying to practice A.A.’s Twelve Steps. And if these are facts of life for the many alcoholics who have recovered in A.A., they can become the facts of life for many more.

p. 112

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Xtra Thoughts
August 1, 2014

Lost time is never found again.
–Thelonious Monk

Time is a created thing. To say, “I don’t have time” is like saying “I don’t want to…”
–Lao-Tzu

There are really only 2 choices: worry or trust God.
–unknown

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside.  Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
–Og Mandino

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.
–Native American Proverb

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
–Japanese Proverb

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we
fall.”
–Confucius

If you put everything off till you’re sure of it, you’ll get nothing done.
–Norman Vincent Peale

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 1, 2014
SELF-RELIANCE

“The way to greatness is the path of self-reliance, independence and steadfastness in times of trial and stress.”
– Herbert Hoover

Today I take responsibility for my life. Today I take responsibility for my disease. Today I take responsibility for my recovery. I know I am not perfect and I have many pains and problems yet to face, but I take hope in my daily conquests. Nothing is too great for me to overcome so long as I have confidence in myself. It is my “yes” or “no” that makes the difference. In the power of my choice rests my freedom.

God, I thank You for my daily trials that ensure my victories.

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Bible Scriptures
August 1, 2014

“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.
Psalm 27:4

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Acts 20:35

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1

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Daily Inspiration
August 1, 2014

The more blessings you thank God for, the more blessings you begin to realize that you have been given. Lord, thank you for Your constant Love and unending blessings.

Keep your heart clean by constant spring cleaning. Then there will be a place for beauty and peace. Lord, help me to remove carelessness and disrespect from my heart and in all things may I celebrate Your love for me.

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A Day At A Time
August 1, 2014

Reflection For The Day

Self-pity is one of the most miserable and consuming defects I know.  Because of its interminable demands for attention and sympathy. my self-pity cuts off my communication with others, especially communication with my Higher Power.  When I look at it that way, I realize that self-pity limits my spiritual progress.  It’s also a very real form of martyrdom, which is a luxury I simply can’t afford.  The remedy, I’ve been taught, is to have a hard look at myself and a still harder one at The Program’s Twelve Steps to recovery.  Do I ask my Higher Power to relieve me of the bondage of self-pity?

Today I Pray

May I know from observation that self-pitiers get almost no pity from anyone else.  Nobody — not even God — can fill their outsized demands for sympathy.  May I recognize my own unsavory feeling of self-pity when it creeps in to rob me of my serenity.  May God keep me wary of it’s sneakiness.

Today I Will Remember

My captor is my self.

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One More Day
August 1, 2014

Oft when the white still dawn
Lifted the skies
and pushed the hills apart
I have felt it like glory in my heart.
–  Edwin Markham

The world is one, a while, and we are a part of it.  But sometimes, we are so enmeshed in ourselves — in the details of our lives, in the unfair limitations placed upon us — that we become closed and forget the rest of the world.  We see nothing else.  We hear nothing else.

But if we reenter the world, the natural balance there gives us peace and comfort.  The beauty — splashes of color, fragrance of flowers, trees swaying in a breeze — is also our beauty.  We inhale the breath of spring amid the sounds of life.  All seems right with the world, and we are one with all life.

Today, I will find joy and meaning in being alive within a living world.

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One Day At A Time
August 1, 2014
THE PAST

“Our past is a story existing only in our minds.  Look, analyze, understand, and forgive.  Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it.”
–Marianne Williamson

Before I came into program I had the tendency to beat myself up over the things I’d done while in the throes of my disease. I would relive everything I’d done — especially my misdeeds. Guilt ruled my life.

Then I found Twelve Steps that set me on the road to recovery. And I found promises … promises that told me that if I were to rigorously and honestly work the program, I would find a new freedom and a new happiness. I was told that I would not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it, (as found on page 83 of the Big Book).

For me, the Big Book reminds me of where I came from and that I never want to go back. The Williamson quote (above) tells me that I don’t need to wallow in the guilt of yesterday.

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember my past, release it and move on.

~ jar

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 1

“Everyone has to find the right path. You can’t see it so it’s hard to find. No one can show you. Each person has to find the path by himself.”
–Charlie Knight, UTE

There are certain times in our lives when a voice whispers to us. The voice doesn’t always talk. Usually we hear it best when we are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Inside every person is the knowledge that a Supreme Being exists. Sometimes a restlessness occurs and it makes me feel I need to be doing something or I need to be going somewhere or maybe I start wondering who am I?

Often when this happens, I feel lost. Inside of everyone is the natural, built-in desire to be walking the Red Road, or to be seeking a relationship with the Creator. No one can force us to make this journey. We must make this journey because we want to. This journey is not on the outside. The path is inside of ourselves. It is inside that we must begin our search.

Oh Great Spirit, help me this day to look within myself. If trouble arises, let me realize that it’s not what is going on but how I am looking at what is going on. Give me Your power this day to conduct myself according to Your way of life.

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Journey To The Heart
August 1, 2014
You Have It All

I was sitting at a camp in Washington’s Olympic Forest, talking to a young woman. We were both enjoying the day.

“People forget that life and death are both part of life,” she said. “They forget that young and old are both part of life. We live in a society that has everything separated. We live in a society that’s forgotten the whole in holistic.”

the whole. All of it. Male and female. Young and old. Life and death. Tears and joy. All part of the same. Parts of the whole. I want to have it all… We may have heard those words many times. We may have said them ourselves many times. I want to have it all…

Connect the parts. You do have it all. You’ve had it all, all along.

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Today’s Gift
August 1, 2014

Flying is largely a matter of having the right attitude–plus, of course, good wing feathers.
—E. B. White

The swan flies with majesty, confidence, and grace. It is made to fly, of course, but it learns as much about flying from its parents as it knows by instinct. It is not born with the ability to fly, but with the potential.

Each of us is born with the potential to fly in many skies. We may sing or dance or write or run, fix machines, teach children, speak, listen, sympathize. And we can do all things well, as only humans can. It is not the ability to do these things that makes us human; it’s what we do with that ability.

Knowing how to prepare ourselves before we spread our wings is part of discovering what we can do. When we learn to ride a bike, we know we can do it; our parent’s hand on the seat helps us know it.

Wanting to soar is the first part of the flight; it is studying, practicing, and asking for help that allows us to get off the ground.

What steps can I take today toward reaching my potential?

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The Language of Letting Go
August 1, 2014
Gratitude

We learn the magical lesson that making the most of what we have turns it into more.
–Codependent No More

Say thank you, until we mean it.

Thank God, life, and the universe for everyone and everything sent your way.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Gratitude makes things right.

Gratitude turns negative energy into positive energy. There is no situation or circumstance so small or large that it is not susceptible to gratitude’s power. We can start with whom we are and what we have today, apply gratitude, then let it work its magic.

Say thank you, until you mean it. if you say it long enough, you will believe it.

Today, I will shine the transforming light of gratitude on all the circumstances of my life.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 1, 2014
Learn to say thanks

This is my favorite story of letting go. Although some of you may already be familiar with it (I told it in Codependent No More), I’m going to tell it again.

Many years ago, when I was married to the father of my children, we bought our first house. We had looked at many houses with nice yards, family rooms, inviting kitchens. The house we actually bought wasn’t any of those. It was a rundown three-story that had been built at the turn of the century and used for rental property for the past twenty years.

The yard was a sandlot where there should have been grass. There were huge holes in the house that went clear through to the outside. The plumbing was inadequate. The kitchen was grotesque. The carpeting was an old orange shag that was dirty, stained, and worn out. The basement was a nightmare of concrete, mildew, and spiders. It wasn’t a dream house. It was more like a house you’d see in a horror show.

About a week after we moved in, a friend came to visit. He looked around. “You’re really lucky to have your own house,” he said. I didn’t feel lucky. This was the most depressing place I had ever lived in.

We didn’t have money to buy furniture. We didn’t have the moeny or the skills to fix up the house. For now, that rundown barn of a house needed to stay just like it was. My daughter, Nichole, was almost two, and we had another baby on the way.

One day, right before Thanksgiving, I vowed I would take some action to fix up the house. I got a ladder and some white paint and tried painting the dining room walls. The paint wouldn’t stay on. There were so many layers of old peeling paper that the paint just bubbled up, and the paper– at least the three layers of it– came loose from the walls.

I gave up, and put the ladder and the paint away.

I had heard then about practicing gratitude. But I didn’t feel grateful. So I didn’t know how gratitude in this situation could possibly apply to me. I tried to have a good attitude, but I was miserable. Every evening after I put my daughter to bed, I went downstairs into the living room, then I sat on the floor and looked around. All I could do was feel bad about everything I saw. I didn’t see one thing I could possibly be grateful for.

Then I ran into a little paperback book that espoused the powers of praise. I read it, and I got an idea. I would put this gratitude thing to a deliberate test. I would take all the energy I had been using complaining, seeing the negative, and feeling bad and I’d turn that energy around. I’d will, force, and if necessary fake, gratitude instead.

Every time I felt bad, I thanked God for how I felt. Every time I noticed how awful this house looked, I thanked God for the house exactly as it was. I thanked God for the current state of my finances. I thanked God for my lack of skills to repair and remodel the house. I deliberately forced gratitude for each detail of my life– those areas that really bothered me, those things I couldn’t do anything about. Every evening, after I put my daughter to bed, I went down and sat in the same spot in the living room. But instead of complaining and crying, I just kept saying and chanting, Thank you God, for everything in my life, just as it is.

Something began to happen so subtly and invisibly, I didn’t notice when it first began to change. First, I began keeping the house cleaner and neater, even though it was truly a wreck. then people, supplies, and skills began coming to me. First, my mother offered to teach me how to repair a house. She said we could do it for almost no money. And she’d be willing to help.

I learned how to strip walls, repair holes in walls, paint, texture, plaster, hammer, and repair. I tore up the carpeting. There were real wood floors underneath. I found good wallpaper for only a dollar a roll. Whatever I needed just began coming to me, whether it was skills, money, or supplies.

Then I began looking around. I found furniture that other people had thrown away. By now, I was on a roll. I learned to paint furniture, refinish it, or cover it up with a pretty doily or blanket. Within six months, the house I lived in became the most beautiful home on the block. My son, Shane, was born while I lived there. I look back on it now as one of the happiest times in my life. My mother and I had fun together, and I learned how to fix up a house.

What I really learned from that situation was the power of gratitude.

When people suggest being grateful, it’s easy to think that means counting our blessings and just saying thank you for what’s good. When we’re learning to speak the language of letting go, however, we learn to say thanks for everything in our lives, whether we feel grateful or not.

That’s how we turn things around.

Make a list of everything in your life that you’re not grateful for. You may not have to make a list; you probably have the things that bother you memorized. Then deliberately practice gratitude for everything on the list.

The power of gratitude won’t let you down.

Being grateful for whatever we have always turns what we have into more.

God, show me the power of gratitude. Help me make it a regular, working tool in my life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 1, 2014

The great artist is the simplifier.
—Henri Amiel

Just as an artist creates through simplification, so a man’s recovery process grows and deepens as he simplifies his life. This isn’t easy to do in our fast paced and high-powered world. We have often complicated a problem by our way of thinking. Sometimes we take pride in how complex we can make something seem. We look for hidden meanings when the truth is on the surface. We give long explanations for our actions when none is called for. We suspect a person’s motives when taking him at face value loses nothing. We take on a battle when we could just as well let it pass.

Most of us don’t think of ourselves as artists. Yet we are each given a profound, creative opportunity – to fashion a meaningful and worthwhile pattern in our lives. As we seek to do the will of God today, it is as if we are taking a lump of clay and creating an image from it.

As I go about today’s activities, may I find ways to make it a simple and creative expression.

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Daily TAO
August 1, 2014
Immigrant

Magic doesn’t work in this new place.
Native poetry has lost rhythm and rhyme,
Familiar food is labeled a curiosity,
And hostile stares replace familial love.
To be an immigrant
Is to be solitary in the midst of millions.

Immigrants travel from their native lands for many reasons, but in general, they all involve expectations for a better life. For this, they will risk uncertainty, exploitation, discrimination, hostility, poverty, and sometimes even separation from family. Those who survive develop an inner fortitude and determination that sees them through their suffering.

The preservation of spirituality is as much a concern as anything else. Spirituality, except in its highest stages, has a definite cultural context. (There is spirituality that takes its power from the land, culture, and time – that is why most types of magic will not work outside their native lands; there is spirituality which transcends all time and place.) Immigrants try either to maintain their native beliefs or to adopt the beliefs of their host country. The first option is difficult: They are in a culture incompatible with their native beliefs and will sustain their spirituality only if it was already strongly established. In the second case, where immigrants adopt the host country’s spirituality, they must learn an entirely new system. In either case, immigrants must cope with the problems of conflict between two cultures, until they reach a spiritual stage where cultural references become meaningless.

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In God’s Care
    August 1, 2014

Hope arouses, as nothing else can arouse, a passion for the possible.
~~William Sloan Coffin, Jr

For many of us, the past is sprinkled with endeavors that were never pursued to completion. Perhaps some pursuits were more complicated than we were equipped to handle. But it’s likely that, at times, we gave up the idea, or ran from the struggle, before we’d experienced the first major barrier. Then, unlike now, we were short on hope, vision, and confidence. Most of all, we probably lacked faith that a power greater than ourselves could guide our steps and help us make the decisions that would bring our efforts to completion.

By working our program, we gain confidence and new vision. As our faith grows, so does our connection to God. God is the source of hope, of all the strength and understanding we need for any challenge or creative endeavor.

With hope, nothing is so overwhelming that we can’t move forward, and nothing we really need will be beyond our grasp.

    I will make use of God’s gift of hope to overcome any barriers I meet today.

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Day By Day
August 1, 2014
Following the leader

Whether in the program, church, or any other organization, any mortal leader we may have is but an instrument. Should any of these leaders die, our true leader remains (as always.)

If we allow the absence of any person to turn us away from our Higher Power, we don’t know who our real leader is. If we allow the absence of any person to halt our spiritual progress or prevent us from doing what we know is right, we are not following our true leader, our Higher Power. All others are but temporary instruments.

Am I following my true leader faithfully?

    Higher Power, help me recognize and acknowledge my true leader.

    I will share my faith in my Higher Power today by..

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Food For Thought
August 1, 2014
Promptings

If we are listening, we will hear promptings from the inner voice. Often they are suggestions for small acts of kindness and love. Sometimes they are urgings to do a difficult deed in order to correct a wrong or to apologize for a mistake. Whatever the prompting, we are free to ignore it or act on it.

Often, ignoring the prompting would appear to be the easiest course. Why should we go out of our way to help someone else, particularly if that person is a stranger? Apologies are frequently embarrassing and deflate our pride. Reaching out to someone with love makes us vulnerable to rejection, and we fear exposure.

In the long run, to ignore the promptings of our inner voice is to commit spiritual suicide. These promptings are intended for our growth, and if we do not grow in love, we will atrophy and decay. Through the Twelve Steps, our Higher Power leads us to do many things, which we would prefer to avoid, but which ensure our recovery.

I pray for willingness to follow the promptings of the inner voice.

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Daily Zen
August 1, 2014

Out of the green of spring
And the yellow of autumn
All by yourself you went
Into the numberless mountains
And you have stayed there
Hidden for many years
Even the clouds shun
Those peaks.
Nothing obstructs the view.
The eternal landscape of
No season is spread before you.

– Muso Soseki (1275-1351)

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Faith’s Check Book
August 1, 2014
Covenant Reaches Children

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
(Genesis 17:7)

O Lord, Thou hast made a covenant with me, Thy servant, in Christ Jesus my Lord; and now, I beseech Thee, let my children be included in its gracious provisions. Permit me to believe this promise as made to me as well as to Abraham. I know that my children are born in sin and shapen in iniquity, even as those of other men; therefore, I ask nothing on the ground of their birth, for well I know that “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and nothing more. Lord, make them to be born under Thy covenant of grace by Thy Holy Spirit!

I pray for my descendants throughout all generations. Be Thou their God as Thou art mine. My highest honor is that Thou hast permitted me to serve Thee; may my offspring serve Thee in all years to come. O God of Abraham, be the God of his Isaac! O God of Hannah, accept her Samuel!

If, Lord, Thou hast favored me in my family, I pray Thee remember other households of Thy people which remain unblest. Be the God of all the families of Israel. Let not one of those who fear Thy name be tried with a godless and wicked household, for Thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

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This Morning’s Readings
August 1, 2014

“Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn.”
—Ruth 2:2.

DOWNCAST and troubled Christian, come and glean to-day in the broad field of promise. Here are abundance of precious promises, which exactly meet thy wants. Take this one: “He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax.” Doth not that suit thy case? A reed, helpless, insignificant, and weak, a bruised reed, out of which no music can come; weaker than weakness itself; a reed, and that reed bruised, yet, He will not break thee; but on the contrary, will restore and strengthen thee. Thou art like the smoking flax: no light, no warmth, can come from thee; but He will not quench thee; He will blow with His sweet breath of mercy till He fans thee to a flame. Wouldst thou glean another ear? “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What soft words! Thy heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore He speaketh so gently to thee. Wilt thou not obey Him, and come to Him even now? Take another ear of corn: “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, I will help thee, saith the Lord and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” How canst thou fear with such a wonderful assurance as this? Thou mayest gather ten thousand such golden ears as these! “I have blotted out thy sins like a cloud, and like a thick cloud thy transgressions.” Or this, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Or this, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.” Our Master’s field is very rich; behold the handfuls. See, there they lie before thee, poor timid believer! Gather them up, make them thine own, for Jesus bids thee take them. Be not afraid, only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation and feed on them with joy.

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This Evening’s Readings
August 1, 2014

“Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness.”
—Psalm 65:11.

ALL the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake His mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave us a legacy of darkness, but our God never ceases to shine upon His children with beams of love. Like a river, His lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fulness inexhaustible as His own nature. Like the atmosphere which constantly surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all His creatures; in it, as in their element, they live, and move, and have their being. Yet as the sun on summer days gladdens us with beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers are at certain seasons swollen by the rain, and as the atmosphere itself is sometimes fraught with more fresh, more bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with the mercy of God; it hath its golden hours; its days of overflow, when the Lord magnifieth His grace before the sons of men. Amongst the blessings of the nether springs, the joyous days of harvest are a special season of excessive favour. It is the glory of autumn that the ripe gifts of providence are then abundantly bestowed; it is the mellow season of realization, whereas all before was but hope and expectation. Great is the joy of harvest. Happy are the reapers who fill their arms with the liberality of heaven. The Psalmist tells us that the harvest is the crowning of the year. Surely these crowning mercies call for crowning thanksgiving! Let us render it by the inward emotions of gratitude. Let our hearts be warmed; let our spirits remember, meditate, and think upon this goodness of the Lord. Then let us praise Him with our lips, and laud and magnify His name from whose bounty all this goodness flows. Let us glorify God by yielding our gifts to His cause. A practical proof of our gratitude is a special thank-offering to the Lord of the harvest.

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