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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Daily Recovery Readings – August 12

 

Just For Today
August 12
Enough!

“Something inside cries out, ‘Enough, enough, I’ve had enough; and then they are ready to take that first and often most difficult step toward dealing with their disease.”
Basic Text, p.203

Have we really had enough? This is the crucial question we must ask ourselves as we prepare to work the First Step in Narcotics Anonymous. It doesn’t matter whether or not we arrived in NA with our families intact, our careers still working for us, and all the outward appearances of wholeness. All that matters is that we have reached an emotional and spiritual bottom that precludes our return to active addiction. If we have, we will be truly ready to go to any lengths to quit using.

When we inventory our powerlessness, we ask ourselves some simple questions. Can I control my use of drugs in any form? What incidents have occurred as a result of my drug use that I didn’t want to happen? How is my life unmanageable? Do I believe in my heart that I am an addict?

If the answers to these questions lead us to the doors of Narcotics Anonymous, then we are ready to move on to the next step toward a life free from active addiction. If we have truly had enough, then we will be willing to go to any lengths to find recovery.

Just for today: I admit that I have had enough. I am ready to work my First Step.

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Daily Reflections
August 12
A LOOK BACKWARD

First, we take a look backward and try to discover where we have been at fault; next we make a vigorous attempt to repair the damage we have done; . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

As a traveler on a fresh and exciting A.A. journey of recovery, I experienced a newfound peace of mind and the horizon appeared clear and bright, rather than obscure and dim. Reviewing my life to discover where I had been at fault seemed to be such an arduous and dangerous task. It was painful to pause and look backward. I was afraid I might stumble! Couldn’t I put the past out of my mind and just live in my new golden present? I realized that those in the past whom I had harmed stood between me and my desire to continue my movement toward serenity. I had to ask for courage to face those persons from my life who still lived in my conscience, to recognize and deal with the guilt that their presence produced in me. I had to look at the damage I had done, and become willing to make amends. Only then could my journey of the spirit resume.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 12
A.A. Thought For The Day

“There was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet by Alcoholics Anonymous. By doing so, we have a spiritual experience which revolutionizes our whole attitude toward life, toward others, and toward God’s universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives there in a way that is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us that we could never do for ourselves.” Have I let God come into my life?

Meditation For The Day

The moment a thing seems wrong to you or a person’s actions to be not what you think they should be, at that moment begins your obligation and responsibility to pray for those wrongs to be righted or that person to be changed. What is wrong in your surroundings or in the people you know? Think about these things and make these matters your responsibility. Not to interfere or be a busybody, but to pray that a change may come through your influence. You may see lives altered and evils banished in time. You can become a force for good wherever you are.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be a co-worker with God. I pray that I may help people by my example.

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As Bill Sees It August 12

Leadership In

A.A., p. 224

No society can function well without able leadership at all its levels, and A.A. can be no exception. But we A.A.’s sometimes cherish the thought that we can do without much personal leadership at all. We are apt to warp the traditional idea of “principles before personalities” around to such a point that there would be no “personality” in a leadership whatever. This would imply rather faceless robots trying to please everybody.

A leader in A.A. service is a man (woman) who can personally put principles, plans, and policies into such dedicated and effective action that the rest of us naturally want to back him up and help him with his job. When a leader power-drives us badly, we rebel; but when he too meekly becomes an order-taker and he exercises no judgment of his own–well, he really isn’t a leader at all.

Twelve Concepts, pp. 38-39

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Walk In Dry Places  August 12

Things I can’t fix Acceptance.

One of the sad realities of life is that we’re awash in disorder that we can’t fix. All around us, the world seethes and festers with aliments and injustices that are beyond our control.

We can react by becoming angry or by making quixotic efforts to solve some of these problems. Our best course, however, is to apply our 12 Step program to life in this world. The Serenity Prayer suggests we accept what we can’t change. A slogan reminds us to set priorities (“First things First.”) The Eleventh Step remind us to always seek God’s will.

This will enable me to live effectively while doing my best to serve others. In time, I may even discover that I can fix a few of the seemingly insoluble problems around me.

I’ll realize today that I have the ability only to do certain things within my sphere of experience. I’ll see to it, however, that I do these things well.

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Keep It Simple August 12

Fairness is what justice really is. —The last Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart

Some of us get hung up on what’s fair. We might feel, because we’ve worked hard to stay sober, we should be rewarded. We might keep score of what we get and what others get. And we complain if it’s “not fair.”

Maybe we should be glad life isn’t fair. Why? Most of us caused a lot of trouble we’ve never had to pay for. And we’ve hurt a lot of people who haven’t gotten even. Would we really want life to be fair?

Our Higher Power isn’t fair either. That is, our Higher Power doesn’t keep score. Our Higher Power doesn’t try to get even. Our Higher Power is loving and forgiving, no matter what. Our Higher Power has the same love and help for everyone.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, give me the wisdom to stop keeping score. Help me want the best for everyone.

Action for the Day: I’ll list five times I’ve been unfair to others. Do I need to make amends?

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Each Day a New Beginning August 12

When a woman has love, she is no longer at the mercy of forces greater than herself, for she, herself, becomes the powerful force. –Veronica

Casey The need for love is universal. Each of us longs for the affirmation that assures us we are needed, appreciated, desired. We are strengthened by the strokes others give us, and when no strokes are forthcoming, we sometimes falter. With emotional and spiritual maturity comes the understanding that we are loved, unconditionally, by God. And the awareness of that love, the realization of its abiding presence, will buoy us up when no other love signals to us. Most of us still lose our connection to the omnipresent God, however. Thus, our buoyancy is tentative. Until that time when we are certain about our value, about the presence of God’s love, we’ll need to practice self-affirmation. But learning how to nurture ourselves, how to be gentle and caressing to the woman within, may be painstaking. Patience will ease the process. Unconditionally loving ourselves will become natural in time. In fact, we’ll sense our inner person growing, changing. Our wholeness will become apparent to others as well as to ourselves. Love breeds love. I will shower it upon others and myself and relish the growing sense of self that emerges.

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Alcoholics Anonymous

GUTTER BRAVADO

– Alone and unemployable, he was given two options by the court, get help or go to jail, and his journey toward teachability began.
Growing up, my big brother and I went to church on Sundays and attended parochial schools. We had plenty to eat and more than just the basic necessities of life. I was a smart but mischievous kid, and at some point I decided it was easier to lie than to suffer the consequences of my pranks. Dad was big on law and order but especially didn’t like liars. We often had conflicts. Other than this, my early childhood was a relatively happy one.

p. 501

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Such a radical change in our outlook will take time, maybe a lot of time. Not many people can truthfully assert that they love everybody. Most of us must admit that we have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent to the many so long as none of them gave us trouble; and as for the remainder–well, we have really disliked or hated them. Although these attitudes are common enough, we A.A.’s find we need something much better in order to keep our balance. We can’t stand it if we hate deeply. The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody, has to be abandoned, if only a little at a time.
pp. 92-93

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Xtra Thoughts August 12

I have been given a new day to live, to grow, to give love and to feel love. –Ruth Fishel
Love is living in the spiritual heart. –John-Roger

Today I choose to forgive instead of holding on to resentments. Today I choose to let go of all feelings that block me from feeling love. Today I choose to see everyone through the eyes of love. –Ruth Fishel

“We must keep in mind that where the road is crooked, God makes it straight, and where our hearts are wounded, God makes us whole. As we open our hearts in purity and simplicity, admitting to God that we are completely powerless in the area of our problem, His illumination redeems us.” –Marianne Williamson

Today I know I’m just wasting my energy to try to change people, places and things. By looking within I can really discover what needs to be changed and then turn it over to my Higher Power to be released. –Ruth Fishel

“The expression of praise as thanksgiving, gratitude, and joy is among the most powerful forms of affirmation.” –Catherine Ponder
Far too many people spend their lives reading the menu instead of enjoying the banquet. –unknown

You can pray for a good crop, but don’t forget your hoe! –unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation August 12
LIFE

“The tragedy of life is what dies in man while he lives.” — Albert Schweitzer

Addiction progressively takes away the vitality of life. It robs life of meaning. Addiction isolates; it kills by atrophy. People, places and things lose meaning; everything becomes a chore and God is lost. We say to compensate that we are having “fun” — we say this a lot and at times we believe it, but in the silence of the night we know it to be a lie.
We lie to others and to ourselves. Sometimes we believe the lie! At this point we begin to die unless we take courage and confront “the lie” in order to live. Today I live because I confronted my lie. I have discovered the spiritual power that was buried deep beneath the progressive addiction. And I am finding it easier and less painful to live.
May I continue to breathe a daily “yes” in my life so that I might live.

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Bible Scriptures August 12

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:12-13

The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:17

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13

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Daily Inspiration August 12

If you are over committed, things begin to fall apart. Lord, help me be reasonable in the expectations I place on myself so that I can efficiently use my time and still have enough time to relax and enjoy the day.

Choose to be worthy to yourself and never confuse self worth with behavior. Lord, help me to be less critical of my past and see that this moment right now is all that I can do anything about.

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A Day At A Time August 12

Reflection For The Day

“Quiet minds can not be perplexed or frightened,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, “but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.”

In The Program, we hear many warnings against harboring resentments, and rare is the person who doesn’t occasionally yield to resentment when he feels wronged.  We must remember that we have no room for resentment in our new way of life.  Rather than exhausting myself by fighting resentment with grim determination, I can reason it out of existence by uncovering its cause with a quiet mind. Will I try to believe that the best antidote for resentment is the continual expression of gratitude?

Today I Pray

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Praise God for our human sensitivity which, although it can feel the smallest, pin-prick hurts, can also feel the warmth of a smile, Praise God for our human insight which can peel the wraps from our resentments and expose them for what they are.

Today I Will Remember

I am grateful for feelings.

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One More Day August 12

Life is so full of miseries, minor and major….. –  Agnes Repplier

Occasionally a person who has chronic pain spends far too much time on a quest to cure or solve the pain.  Support groups become much more than an extension of helpful purpose;  they can become our total purpose.  All the day can be filled with seeking the “right” people to solve our problems.  All semblance of a well-balanced life gets pushed away.

There’s no reason to make our days miserable with unrealistic goals.  Learning to live the best we can with the pain and inconvenience of illness is the only way to make minor miseries out of major ones.

I can keep myself emotionally whole by seeking balance in my life.

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One Day At A Time August 12

~ SAFETY NET ~

Leap, and the net will appear. –Julia Cameron

I’m an analyzer. Given the opportunity, I can analyze something to the point the original context has been lost. This was exactly what I did when I was first introduced to the Twelve Step recovery program. With each Step, I tried to discover a hidden meaning, an excuse not to work it. I spent more energy not doing the program than I ever would have following it.

When I finally made the leap into that first Step, my life began changing direction from the downward trend it was in. It was a leap of faith, and the net of my Higher Power caught me. This net will not break, nor will it fall. As I discover truths about myself that enable me to move forward in life and become a better person, I need the safety of that net of faith.

One Day at a Time . . . I will take a leap of faith towards my recovery, knowing I’ll be safe, and the miracle will happen.

~ Trish ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 12

“With one mind we address our acknowlegement, respect, and gratefulness to the sacred Cycle of Life. We, as humans, must remember to be humble and acknowledge the gifts we use so freely in our daily lives.” –Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The Sacred Cycle of life – the baby, the youth, the adult, the Elder. Let us respect all directions, the four directions of the Grandfathers;  let us respect their power.  Let us remember we belong to the earth, the earth does not belong to us.  Help us to be respectful to all the gifts You have given us.

Oh Great Spirit, help me this day to be humble. Let me not attack anything in deed or in my thoughts. Let my thoughts focus on the beauty You have created in all things.

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Journey To The Heart –  August 12

Practice Forgiveness

He was an old man, sitting on the bench. “I don’t know why we just keep on forgiving our brothers and sisters,” he said, looking at the people walking by. “I suppose it’s because when we do, we really forgive ourselves.”

Is there someone we’re judging, censuring? If we look more closely we’ll see that when we blame others, we’re chastising ourselves as well. If we’re honest, really honest, we can see that often what upsets us is something similar to what we ourselves do. Other people can be mirrors of our own behavior.

Yes, there are times when another person does something absolutely outrageous. And we can stand there, hands on hips, saying, I’ve been wronged. I can’t understand how anyone could behave that way. But often, if we’re honest, we really can understand– we have behaved that way,too.

Practice forgiveness. Judgement without forgiveness causes us to feel isolated, separate, and apart, causes us to judge ourselves in the same way. Discover how much better you feel when you forgive others. Find out how much better you feel when you forgive yourself.

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Today’s Gift
August 12

I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.
—Anne Frank

We don’t find the rewards of today by searching through our misfortunes. Pausing to seek out something good for everything we find bad is a step in the right direction. We may find the good outweighs the bad.

But how much more chance we will have of living a happy day if we skip over our setbacks and concentrate as much as we can on what is going well. It is smarter to look for diamonds in a diamond mine than in a garbage dump.

Let us discard our failures, using only what we have learned from them to achieve success. Looking back at missed opportunities will make it impossible for us to recognize new chances to enjoy life to the fullest. Looking only for beauty is a beautiful thing in itself.

What beauty can I see around me right now?

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The Language of Letting Go
August 12
Directness

Direct people are a joy to be around.

We never have to guess what they’re really thinking or feeling, because they’re honest about their thoughts and openly express their feelings.

We never have to wonder if they’re with us because they want to be, or if they’re there out of guilt and obligation.

When they do something for us, we don’t have to worry whether they’ll end up resenting us because direct people generally do things that please themselves.

We don’t have to fuss about the status of our relationship because if we ask, they’ll tell us.

We don’t have to worry if they’re angry because they deal openly with their anger and resolve it quickly.

We don’t have to ponder whether they are talking about us behind our backs because if they have something to say, it will be said to us directly.

We don’t have to wonder if we can rely on them because direct people are trustworthy.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all direct?

Today, I will let go of my notions that it is somehow good or desirable to be indirect. Instead, I will strive for honesty, directness, and clarity in my communication. I will let directness in my relationships begin with me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 12
Be grateful for where you’ve been

Earlier in this book, I suggested that you write your memoirs. Even if you don’t sit down to do that, I’m going to suggest that you review your life.

Reading my mother’s memoir was a profound experience, one that touched my heart and brought compassion into it in a way I hadn’t been able to experience from all my family-of-origin work. As a child, I’d shut down when my mother would talk about her experiences. I’d turn off my listening device. It sounded like grumbling and complaining to me. I didn’t want to hear about her pain.

But when I read about her life in story form, I experienced a different response. I was able to read it objectively, not as her daughter or a person feeling guilty because I wished she hadn’t had all the pain she did. I saw how directly her experiences had created and shaped who she was. I saw the desires of her heart. I saw her tragedies, her broken dreams. I saw her heroism,too.

My snippy little reactions– the irritating mother-daughter stuff– vanished in this new light. She was no longer a mother who had issues. She was a human being nobly living her life. Like the rest of us, she had her frailties, her vulnerable areas, and her strong points.

The point here isn’t for you to read about my mother. It was similar to what happened when I read my mother’s account of her life. I began to see myself and what I’d been through differently, in a new, more compassionate light.

Each experience, each decade, each chapter in the book taught me something valuable. From each experience I’d been through, I reclaimed or discovered new insight and power. Maybe much of what I had preferred to forget or turn my back on wasn’t the wasted life I thought it was.

What a beautiful story each one of us has. Whether your experiences ever make it into a book, It’s still your book of life. Are you grateful for each chapter you’ve lived? Are you grateful for each experience you’ve had? Are you grateful for the story you’re living now?

The good news is, the story of our lives hasn’t ended yet.

There’s still more to come.

Touch the experience of being human in all of its sorrow and joy.

Be grateful for the story you’re living now.

God, help me to laugh, cry, love, be aware, and be thankful with all my heart for every moment and each experience that I’ve been given. Thank you for my life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 12

It is a terrible, an inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own: in the face of one’s victim, one sees oneself.
—James Baldwin

Acting totally in our self-interest is shortsighted and foolishly simple. Attacking another person or another nation reflects upon us like a mirror. When any person is undermined, the human race is diminished in some measure. And humanity is our family.

Sometimes we see a reflection of ourselves in someone else and fail to recognize it. What we hate most in another may well be what we hate in ourselves. Knowing this can be useful. Perhaps our teeth are set on edge when we think about an ex-wife, or father, or former friend, or a religious or racial group. How are we like that person or group? What do they cause us to face within ourselves? When we stop diminishing the other person we may still not like him or her, but we can come to terms with ourselves. We learn to live and let live.

God, help me engage in the brotherhood of my own family and with all people – and to see my own face, even in my enemy.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 12

“With one mind we address our acknowlegement, respect, and gratefulness to the sacred Cycle of Life. We, as humans, must remember to be humble and acknowledge the gifts we use so freely in our daily lives.”
–Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The Sacred Cycle of life – the baby, the youth, the adult, the Elder. Let us respect all directions,
the four directions of the Grandfathers;
let us respect their power.
Let us remember we belong to the earth,
the earth does not belong to us.
Help us to be respectful to all the gifts You have given us.

Oh Great Spirit, help me this day to be humble. Let me not attack anything in deed or in my thoughts. Let my thoughts focus on the beauty You have created in all things.

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Daily TA0
August 12
Indifference

For a true master,
Sitting on a throne
Is no different than
Sitting on dirt.

A true master is indifferent to the ways of society. Ambition, knowledge, and religion are equally uninteresting. Why? Because all these things are in the realm of human definition.
The holy person transcends all identity. Therefore, wealth or poverty, good or bad, violence or peace makes no difference. Dichotomies are no longer valid to such a person.
Do you find this hard to believe? The degree you find this difficult to accept indicates the degree to which you are shackled by dualism. True enlightenment comes from understanding the oneness of all reality. Such a realization leads to a perception that all things are truly equal. A master sees nutrition and disease as the same, life and death as the same, morality and immorality as the same. If you give the masters something to eat, they will eat. If they have nothing to eat, they forget there was ever such an activity. There is no polarity in their lives.
We ordinary people cannot do this. We make distinctions, defend ourselves and our territories. We feel safe only inside declared boundaries. This is the way we define ourselves, but our identities are also our prisons. Only a master knows the meaning of liberation and has complete freedom.

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Food For Thought
August 12
The Beacon

There are times when we get tired and depressed or elated and confused. We are mentally uncomfortable, knowing that something is wrong but unable to pinpoint the trouble. Our first thought may be to reach for food, but we know that way leads to disaster.

We compulsive overeaters have a beacon light for our dark and confused moments. It is our commitment to abstinence. No matter how confused we may be, we can remember that abstinence is the most important thing in our life without exception. Whatever happens, we will not be lost if we hold fast to our abstinence. From the commitment, everything else follows. As long as we do not overeat, we will be able to find our way out of a difficult situation.

Our Higher Power gives us the beacon light of abstinence, and with it He gives guidance out of our perplexities. Patiently waiting until we clearly see His will keeps us from getting lost in the darkness of self-will.

Thank You for the beacon light of abstinence.

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Daily Zen
August 12

Every thought is Buddha mind;
Buddha mind dwells on Buddha.
If you wish to accomplish this soon,
Be vigilant and disciplined
If you wish to seek Buddhahood,
Don’t stain a single thing.
Though the nature of mind is empty,
Greed and hatred are real.

– Master Fu (497-569)

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Faith’s Check Book
August 12
Light in Darkness

For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. (2 Samuel 22:29)

Am I in the light? Then Thou, O Lord, art my lamp. Take Thee away and my joy would be gone; but as long as Thou art with me, I can do without the torches of time and the candles of created comfort. What a light the presence of God casts on all things! We heard of a lighthouse which could be seen for twenty miles, but our Jehovah is not only a God at hand, but far off is He seen, even in the enemy’s country. O Lord, I am as happy as an angel when Thy love fills my heart. Thou art all my desire.

Am I in the dark? Then thou, O Lord, wilt lighten my darkness. Before long things will change. Affairs may grow more and more dreary and cloud may be piled upon cloud; but if it grow so dark that I cannot see my own hand, still I shall see the hand of the Lord. When I cannot find a light within me, or among my friends, or in the whole world, the Lord, who said, “Let there be light,” and there was light, can say the same again. He will speak me into the sunshine yet. I shall not die but live. The day is already breaking. This sweet text shines like a morning star. I shall clap my hands for joy ere many hours are passed.

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This Morning’s Readings
August 12

“The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.”

—Psalm 97:1.

CAUSES for disquietude there are none so long as this blessed sentence is true. On earth the Lord’s power as readily controls the rage of the wicked as the rage of the sea; His love as easily refreshes the poor with mercy as the earth with showers. Majesty gleams in flashes of fire amid the tempest’s horrors, and the glory of the Lord is seen in its grandeur in the fall of empires, and the crash of thrones. In all our conflicts and tribulations, we may behold the hand of the divine King.

“God is God; He sees and hears
All our troubles, all our tears.
Soul, forget not, ‘mid thy pains,
God o’er all for ever reigns.”

In hell, evil spirits own, with misery, His undoubted supremacy. When permitted to roam abroad, it is with a chain at their heel; the bit is in the mouth of behemoth, and the hook in the jaws of leviathan. Death’s darts are under the Lord’s lock, and the grave’s prisons have divine power as their warder. The terrible vengeance of the Judge of all the earth makes fiends cower down and tremble, even as dogs in the kennel fear the hunter’s whip.

“Fear not death, nor Satan’s thrusts,
God defends who in Him trusts;
Soul, remember, in thy pains,
God o’er all for ever reigns.”

In heaven none doubt the sovereignty of the King Eternal, but all fall on their faces to do Him homage. Angels are His courtiers, the redeemed His favourites, and all delight to serve Him day and night. May we soon reach the city of the great King!

“For this life’s long night of sadness
He will give us peace and gladness.
Soul, remember, in thy pains,
God o’er all for ever reigns.”

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This Evening’s Readings
August 12

“The bow shall be seen in the cloud.”
—Genesis 9:14.

THE rainbow, the symbol of the covenant with Noah, is typical of our Lord Jesus, who is the Lord’s witness to the people. When may we expect to see the token of the covenant? The rainbow is only to be seen painted upon a cloud. When the sinner’s conscience is dark with clouds, when he remembers his past sin, and mourneth and lamenteth before God, Jesus Christ is revealed to him as the covenant Rainbow, displaying all the glorious hues of the divine character and betokening peace. To the believer, when his trials and temptations surround him, it is sweet to behold the person of our Lord Jesus Christ—to see Him bleeding, living, rising, and pleading for us. God’s rainbow is hung over the cloud of our sins, our sorrows, and our woes, to prophesy deliverance. Nor does a cloud alone give a rainbow, there must be the crystal drops to reflect the light of the sun. So, our sorrows must not only threaten, but they must really fall upon us. There had been no Christ for us if the vengeance of God had been merely a threatening cloud: punishment must fall in terrible drops upon the Surety. Until there is a real anguish in the sinner’s conscience, there is no Christ for him; until the chastisement which he feels becomes grievous, he cannot see Jesus. But there must also be a sun; for clouds and drops of rain make not rainbows unless the sun shineth. Beloved, our God, who is as the sun to us, always shines, but we do not always see Him—clouds hide His face; but no matter what drops may be falling, or what clouds may be threatening, if He does but shine there will be a rainbow at once. It is said that when we see the rainbow the shower is over. Certain it is, that when Christ comes, our troubles remove; when we behold Jesus, our sins vanish, and our doubts and fears subside. When Jesus walks the waters of the sea, how profound the calm!

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