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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 15, 2014

Just For Today
August 15, 2014
Over Time, Not Overnight

“We found that we do not recover physically, mentally, or spiritually overnight.”
Basic Text, p.27

Have you ever approached a recovery celebration with the feeling that you should be further along in your recovery than you are? Maybe you have listened to newcomers sharing in meetings, members with much less clean time, and thought, “But I’m just barely beginning to understand what they’re talking about!”

It’s odd that we should come into recovery thinking that we will feel wonderful right away or no longer have any difficulty handling life’s twists and turns. We expect our physical problems to correct themselves, our thinking to become rational, and a fully developed spiritual life to manifest itself overnight. We forget that we spent years abusing our bodies, numbing our minds, and suppressing our awareness of a Higher Power. We cannot undo the damage in a day. We can, however, apply the next step, go to the next meeting, help the next newcomer. We heal and recover bit by bit-not overnight, but over time.

Just for today: My body will heal a little, my mind will become a little clearer, and my relationship with my Higher Power will strengthen.

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Daily Reflections
August 15, 2014
DIDN’T WE HURT ANYBODY?

Some of us, though, tripped over a very different snag. We clung to the claim that when drinking we never hurt anybody but ourselves.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS , p. 79

This Step seemed so simple. I identified several people whom I had harmed, but they were no longer available. Still, I was uneasy about the Step and avoided conversations dealing with it. In time I learned to investigate those Steps and areas of my life which made me uncomfortable. My search revealed my parents, who had been deeply hurt by my isolation from them; my employer, who worried about my absences, my memory lapses, my temper; and the friends I had shunned, without explanation. As I faced the reality of the harm I had done, Step Eight took on a new meaning. I am no longer uncomfortable and I feel clean and light.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 15, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

“Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever. If we have admitted we are alcoholics, we must have no reservations of any kind, nor any lurking notion that some day we will be immune to alcohol. What sort of thinking dominates an alcoholic who repeats time after time the desperate experiment of the first drink? Parallel with sound reasoning, there inevitably runs some insanely trivial excuse for taking the first drink. There is little thought of what the terrific consequences may be.” Have I given up all excuses for taking a drink?

Meditation For The Day

“Where two or three are banded together, I will be there in the midst of them.” When God finds two or three people in union, who only want His will to be done, who want only to serve Him, He has a plan that can be revealed to them. The grace of God can come to people who are together in one place with one accord. A union like this is miracle-working. God is able to use such people. Only good can come through such consecrated people, brought together in unified groups for a single purpose and of a single mind.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be part of a unified group. I pray that I may contribute my share to its consecrated purpose.

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As Bill Sees It
August 15, 2011
Is Sobriety Enough? p.227

The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil.

We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough.  He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, “Don’t see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain’t it grand the wind stop blowin’?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

We ask ourselves what we mean when we say that we have “harmed” other people. What kind of “harm” do people do one another, anyway? To define the word “harm” in a practical way, we might call it the result of instincts in collision, which cause physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual damage to those about us.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p.82
2. 12 & 12, p. 80

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Walk In Dry Places
August 15, 2011
Do We Have A Larger Purpose?
Peace

The Twelve Step program came out of a movement that was attempting to save the world by establishing universal peace. Our purpose is scaled down to helping the person who still suffers.

We don’t really know the route to world peace, but we have learned that we must be at peace with ourselves and others in order to live happily. This means releasing the old resentments, distrust, and other faults that plague so many of us.

Living the Twelve Step way might have been our first experience in getting along with others. We found it totally different from the hate and suspicion that once poisoned our lives and kept us in bondage.

At some point, we may also find that we’re playing a part in the larger purpose of finding peace. We have , at least, removed ourselves from the raging conflicts that cause so much trouble in the world.

I’ll be at peace with everyone I meet today. I’ve forgiven others and myself, and I’ll do nothing today that gets me embroiled in conflict with others.

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Keep It Simple
August 15, 2014

We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
—Shakespeare

We are addicts. We suffer from an illness. We go to Twelve Step meetings because we know who we are. We have a sponsor because we know who we are. We ask friends for support because we know who we are. We know why we need our Higher Power to guide us. Recovery is a spiritual journey. In this journey, we are followers, not guides. It’s a journey that change us. We don’t know how recovery will change us, but we know it will. Is my faith strong enough for my journey? Part of how we get strong for our journey is by knowing who we truly are: addicts.

Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember who I am, so I’ll learn to respect the power of my illness.

Action for the Day: I’ll take time to remember my past, both good and bad. I’ll also take time to think about who I am now. How far have I come?

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Alcoholics Anonymous
August 15, 2014
The Man Who Mastered Fear

He spent eighteen years in running away, and then found he didn’t have to run. So he started A.A. in Detroit.

All this changed when I was thirty years old. My parents died, both in the same year, leaving me, a sheltered and somewhat immature man, on my own. I moved into a “bachelor hall.” These men all drank on Saturday nights and enjoyed themselves. My pattern of drinking became very different from theirs. I had bad, nervous headaches, particularly at the base of my neck. Liquor relieved these. At last I discovered alcohol as a cure-all. I joined their Saturday night parties and enjoyed myself too. But I also stayed up weeknights after they had retired and drank myself into bed. My thinking about drinking had undergone a great change. Liquor had become a crutch on the one hand and a means of retreat from life on the other.

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
August 15, 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.”

Compatibility, of course, can be so impossibly damaged that a separation may be necessary. But those cases are the unusual ones. The alcoholic, realizing what his wife has endured, and now fully understanding how much he himself did to damage her and his children, nearly always takes up his marriage responsibilities with a willingness to repair what he can and to accept what he can’t. He persistently tries all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps in his home, often with fine results. At this point he firmly but lovingly commences to behave like a partner instead of like a bad boy. And above all he is finally convinced that reckless romancing is not a way of life for him.

p. 119

p. 248

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Xtra Thoughts
August 15, 2014

Never think that God’s delays are God’s denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.
–George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

The greatest power is often simple patience.
–E. Joseph Cossman

I look at the world with gratitude, down to the smallest thing, as it is all a gift from God.
–Shelley

Life is everything YOU put into it.
–unknown

Kindness from your heart can only bring you blessings.
–unknown

“Something must die in order to grow – your old habits, your old self image, your old thinking, your old life – must be weeded out for the seeds of success to grow.”
–Doug Firebaugh

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 15, 2014
PROPERTY

“Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; it is a positive good.”
– Abraham Lincoln

God is to be found in the physical. He is to be found in my body, my sexuality, the mountains and streams — and also in houses and real-estate. The luxury of comfort and good living is not incompatible with the spiritual life — indeed, the use of our property can be an opportunity for gratitude and sharing.

I know many people who use their comfortable homes for opportunities to develop sincere friendships. Luxury homes can be used for retreats and spiritual seminars involving music, dance and silence. Property is part of God’s landscape into his world. His love, joy and hope for mankind can be experienced by our creative use of property.

Let me use my property creatively.

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Bible Scriptures
August 15, 2014

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
Colossians 3:23

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 8:12

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
James 5:16

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Daily Inspiration
August 15, 2014

Others can not make you angry or upset unless you give them this power. Lord, strengthen my ability to know that how I feel is my choice and help me respond in ways that make me a happier person.

Use your talents. The world would be silent if only the birds that sing the best would sing. Lord, I will use Your gifts because You chose them especially for me.

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One More Day
August 15, 2014

As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities.
–  J.A. Froud

Remember the lofty goals we had when we were young?  Goals that included being the best, saving all the children, having a lot of money.  We could be president, put out fires, or be on stage.  We could accomplish anything when we were young.  The older we got, the more realistic we became.  We began to be aware of what we couldn’t do, of the fact that not every family system worked, that not every person was happy.

We found new goals then, goals that we could live with for that time in our lives.  Even now, as we read, we are learning about ourselves.  We know that we may not reach our childhood goals.  We have learned our limits and are living our lives in a realistic fashion.

Awareness of my own limits has helped me set realistic goals.  I am successful.

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A Day At A Time
August 15, 2014

Reflection For The Day

It’s often said that you can’t tell a book by its cover.  For many of us, our “covers” or surface records haven’t looked all that bad;  it seemed at first, that making an inventory would be a breeze.”  As we proceeded, we were dismayed to discover that our “covers” were relatively blemish-free only because we’d deeply buried our defects beneath layers of self-deception.  For that reason, self-searching can be a long-term process;   it must go on for as long as we remain blind to the flaws that ambushed us into addiction and misery.  Will I try to face myself as I am, correcting whatever is keeping me from growing into the person I want to be?

Today I Pray

May God aid me in my soul-searching, because I have hidden my faults neatly from friends, family and especially myself.  If I feel more “sinned against, than sinning,” may I take it as a clue that I need to dig deeper for the real me.

Today I Will Remember

Taking stock of myself is buying stock in my future.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 15

“There are many people who could claim and learn from their Indian ancestry, but because of the fear their parents and grandparents knew, because of past and present prejudice against Indian people, that part of their heritage is clouded or denied.”
–Joseph Bruchac, ABENAKI

There were many injustices done to Native people. Sometimes I wonder; why am I connected to the past injustices done to Indian people? Why am I so angry about the past? The Elders say our ancestors are alive within each of us. Therefore, I may experience anger and resentment inside of me because of the injustice done to them. The way I get rid of these past feelings is to forgive. It may be necessary to even learn to forgive the unforgivable.

Great Spirit, teach me the path of forgiveness; teach me the courage to forgive; teach me to let go. Give to me a forgiving heart.

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Journey To The Heart
August 15, 2014
Spinning Our Wheels Is Part of Getting Unstuck

When our car gets stuck in the mud or snow, we immediately try to get out. Sometimes we have to spin our wheels to get a rocking motion going. Sometimes we have to try harder, then try again before we can get out. Sometimes, spinning our wheels digs us in more deeply. Then in frustration, we let go,relax. Soon we find ourselves doing what we need to get unstuck. We ask for help or figure out another approach.

That’s how it is on our journey. We may find ourselves in a situation we don’t know how to handle. So we start spinning our wheels in frustration, confusion, or fear. What we know is we want out. Sometimes we need to get through that time of spinning our wheels in order to get to the next place, the place where we slow down and figure out what to do next. Sometimes our frustration helps generate energy to get momentum going in the general direction of solving the problem. Putting forth that energy gets steam built up, tells us and the universe we’re ready to free ourselves.

If you find yourself spinning your wheels, be gentle with yourself. Slow down, get a nice rocking motion going, one that’s rhythmic yet powerful enough to free you, then put the car in gear, step on the gas, and gently drive out of the muck.

Sometimes we need to spin our wheels. It helps us get unstuck

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One Day At A Time
August 15, 2014
LOVE

“Love conquers all things.  Let us, too, surrender to love.”
–Virgil

Learning to love myself has been one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn. I had to discover my capacity for self-care. I had to listen to the way I talked to myself and to learn to speak in more affirming ways. Learning to smile — and then laugh — when I made a mistake helped me to be less self-centered and more able to just have fun.

Life is a great experience when I surrender myself to the love around me. Expressing my love to others increases its quantity and quality inside of me. We all need to know that someone loves us and that we are lovable. Everyone needs to know that they are sufficient. I’ve discovered that as I give love to others, it is returned to me many times over.

One day at a time…
I will work at expressing unconditional love.

~ YAL

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Today’s Gift
August 15, 2014

Roots nourish, give us life and bind us safely to earth. Plant them well.
—Anonymous

All trees have different root systems. The pine grows quickly, with shallow roots that spread in every direction. A maple is a slow-growing tree, whose roots run deeper, seeking out moisture far into the earth. Both root systems give life, but when the weather turns stormy and the wind howls through the branches, the maple, with its deeper roots, will hold fast. Though the pine grows faster and needs only surface moisture, it cannot withstand the storm as well.

We often want things immediately. We want to play the piano, but only if we can learn it fast. We want others to love us right away, or we’ll give up on them. If something we’re doing doesn’t go just so right from the start, we give up.

But the permanent things in life take time to develop. If we want our relationships, our skills, our accomplishments, to resist the storms we all encounter, we must allow time for them to grow and deepen within us, and marvel, in the meantime, at how much we can learn from the world around us.

What deep roots am I setting down right now?

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The Language of Letting Go
August 15, 2014
Leaving Room for Feelings

We need to allow enough room for others and ourselves to have and work through our feelings.

We are people, not robots. An important part of us – who we are, how we grow, how we live – is connected to our emotional center. We have feelings, sometimes – difficult ones, sometimes disruptive ones, and sometimes explosive ones that need to be worked through.

By facing and working through these feelings we and others grow. In relationships, whether it is a love relationship, a friendship, a family relationship, or a close business relationship, people need room to have and work through their feelings.

Some call it “going through the process.”

It is unreasonable to expect ourselves or others to not need time and room to work through feelings. We will be setting ourselves and our relationships up for failure if we do not allow this time and room in our life.

We need time to work through feelings. We need the space and permission to work through these feelings in the awkward, uncomfortable, sometimes messy way that people work through feelings.

This is life. This is growth. This is okay.

We can allow room for feelings. We can let people have time and permission to go through their feelings. We do not have to keep others or ourselves under such a tight rein. While we work through our feelings we do not have to expend unnecessary energy reacting to each feeling others or we have. We don’t have to take all our feelings, and others’ feelings, so seriously while others or we are in the process of working through them.

Let the feelings flow and trust where the flow is taking you.

I can set reasonable boundaries for behavior, and still leave room for a range of emotions.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 15, 2014
Make a gratitude box

One day, years after I discovered the power of gratitude, I was feeling stuck, stymied, and ungrateful. Again. After a few minutes of this, I knew what to do. I understood clearly what the remedy for my situation was.

I went to a shop in town and picked out the most beautiful little box I could find. It was silver, with engraving on it. About four inches tall and six inches wide. Then I went home and took out a pad of paper. I tore it into tiny strips. On each piece of paper, I wrote one thing that was bothering or troubling me– from finances, to work, to love.

When I had finished writing out my troubles list, I started on another one. Now, on each slip of paper, I wrote down the names of people I wanted to pray for, the people I loved, the people I wanted to ask God to bless.

When I finished, I put each little strip of paper in the box.

Then, I held the box in my hands and thanked God for everything inside.

I still have my gratitude box. I keep it in plain view. People think it’s just a pretty decoration, but it means a lot more than that to me. From time to time when I feel down, I open the box. I take out one slip of paper, and I practice gratitude for whatever slip I happen to pull out. Sometimes, I pull out a name of someone I want God to bless. For that day my mission is to surround that person with my prayers.

Most of the troubles I put in that box have long since been resolved. But the box is still around to remind me of the power of gratitude.

Do you have some problems in your life today, areas that you can’t seem to resolve? If you don’t already have one, consider making a gratitude box. Remember, there’s a difference between knowing about the power of gratitude and actually applying gratitude in our lives.

God, help me do the things I know will help me to feel better.

Activity: Take the time to make a gratitude box. Put one slip of paper in it for every problem or trouble you’re currently experiencing, one slip of paper for everything and everyone you’re worried about, and one slip of paper for people you’d like God to bless. The blessings include your loved ones and those whom you resent. Then spend two to five minutes each day either thanking God for everything and everyone in the box, or take out one slip of paper at a time, and thank God for that. Leave the box in plain view as a daily reminder that practicing the power of gratitude will change your life.

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Daily TA0
August 15, 2014
Consistency

Without too much trouble,
One can keep to the main road.
But people love to be distracted,
And perspective is difficult.

People constantly declare they want to walk the road of Tao. They say all they want is to reach realization. But this is not true. If it were, they would simply walk their road and attain enlightenment right away.

Instant realization doesn’t happen very often because people become distracted. It is not given to every person to pursue Tao with the utmost consistency. Not every one even wants immediate realization. When enlightenment comes, the world becomes completely insignificant. Some of us still want to explore, be involved, amuse ourselves. That is all right, as long as you know you are making up games and intrigues. In the final analysis, it is all right to be sidetracked a little bit, but one must always be cautious and come back to the main road without losing too much time or ground.

That is why a strong perspective is at the root of wisdom. One who follows Tao may appear to be going away from the goal, but such a person knows exactly when to pull back.

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In God’s Care
August 15, 2014

A consciousness of God releases the greatest power of all.
~Science of Mind, magazine

Just thinking of God as we go into situations we’re uncomfortable with or perhaps even fearful of will relieve our troubled mind and lessen our anxiety.

Carrying God in our thoughts means we don’t have to, for that moment or hour or day, feel alone. Quite miraculously, we’ll know that God can help us handle what we could not handle alone.

Most of us dwell more on negative thoughts than on thoughts of God. And our life is far more confused and complicated than it needs to be as a result. To replace one thought with another is really quite simple. A quiet reminder to stop negative thinking and remember God is all that’s necessary. We may have to repeat the process many, many times, but patience brings the result we want.

    God will strengthen us and take away our fears if we remember to remember.

    I will keep God in my mind today. I will concentrate on remembering.

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Day By Day
August 15, 2014
Sharing our burdens

We were disappointed in ourselves when we could not rise above situations that enveloped us. We were discouraged with friends who seemed indifferent to our suffering.

But coming to the program, we find that we need not fear the burdens of life. Our Higher Power has given us examples, promises, and friends to share all our burdens. For example, with understanding people we find that we we need never be alone again. Do I share all my crosses with my fellows and with my Creator?

    Higher Power, help me to realize that there are others on my path and to believe that they can help.

    The burden I will share today is…

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 Food For Thought
August 15, 2014
Inner Tigers

What we fear facing and dealing with is often inside. We may transfer our fear and irritation to external circumstances and the people around us, when what we need to do is look inside. Usually, we are our own worst enemy.

Our fears go back to a time when we were very young and relatively helpless. We may still be afraid of rejection, of being inferior, of being hurt with no one to take care of us. We may have an irrational fear of economic insecurity, which comes from a time when we were aware of financial problems but were too young to understand them.

Whether our inner tigers are real or made out of paper, we need to face them instead of eating to appease them. As we recover from compulsive overeating, many of the fears, which we had tried to bury with food, come to consciousness. With the Power greater than ourselves, we are able to tame the inner tigers.

Secure in Your care, may I not fear self-discovery.

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Daily Zen
August 15, 2014

Simultaneously practice stillness
And illumination.
Carefully observe,
But see no dharmas,
See no body and see no mind.
The mind is nameless,
And the body is empty;
The dharmas are a dream.
There is nothing to be attained,
No enlightenment to experience.
This is called liberation.

– Seng Ts’an (d. 606)

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Faith’s Check Book
August 15, 2014
A Name Guarantee

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son,
(John 14:13)

It is not every believer who has yet learned to pray in Christ’s name. To ask not only for His sake, but in His name, as authorized by Him, is a high order of prayer. We would not dare to ask for some things in that blessed name, for it would be a wretched profanation of it; but when the petition is so clearly right that we dare set the name of Jesus to it, then it must be granted.

Prayer is all the more sure to succeed because it is for the Father’s glory through the Son. It glorifies His truth, His faithfulness, His power, His grace, The granting of prayer, when offered in the name of Jesus, reveals the Father’s love to Him, and the honor which He has put upon Him. The glory of Jesus and of the Father are so wrapped up together that the grace which magnifies the one magnifies the other. The channel is made famous through the fullness of the fountain, and the fountain is honored through the channel by which it flows. If the answering of our prayers would dishonor our Lord, we would not pray; but since in this thing He is glorified, we will pray without ceasing in that dear name in which God and His people have a fellowship of delight.

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This Morning’s Readings
August 15, 2014

“Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide.”
—Genesis 24:63.

VERY admirable was his occupation. If those who spend so many hours in idle company, light reading, and useless pastimes, could learn wisdom, they would find more profitable society and more interesting engagements in meditation than in the vanities which now have such charms for them. We should all know more, live nearer to God, and grow in grace, if we were more alone. Meditation chews the cud and extracts the real nutriment from the mental food gathered elsewhere. When Jesus is the theme, meditation is sweet indeed. Isaac found Rebecca while engaged in private musings; many others have found their best beloved there.

Very admirable was the choice of place. In the field we have a study hung round with texts for thought. From the cedar to the hyssop, from the soaring eagle down to the chirping grasshopper, from the blue expanse of heaven to a drop of dew, all things are full of teaching, and when the eye is divinely opened, that teaching flashes upon the mind far more vividly than from written books. Our little rooms are neither so healthy, so suggestive, so agreeable, or so inspiring as the fields. Let us count nothing common or unclean, but feel that all created things point to their Maker, and the field will at once be hallowed.

Very admirable was the season. The season of sunset as it draws a veil over the day, befits that repose of the soul when earthborn cares yield to the joys of heavenly communion. The glory of the setting sun excites our wonder, and the solemnity of approaching night awakens our awe. If the business of this day will permit it, it will be well, dear reader, if you can spare an hour to walk in the field at eventide, but if not, the Lord is in the town too, and will meet with thee in thy chamber or in the crowded street. Let thy heart go forth to meet Him.

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This Evening’s Readings
August 15, 2014

“And I will give you an heart of flesh.”
—Ezekiel 36:26.

A heart of flesh is known by its tenderness concerning sin. To have indulged a foul imagination, or to have allowed a wild desire to tarry even for a moment, is quite enough to make a heart of flesh grieve before the Lord. The heart of stone calls a great iniquity nothing, but not so the heart of flesh.

“If to the right or left I stray,
That moment, Lord, reprove;
And let me weep my life away,
For having grieved thy love”

The heart of flesh is tender of God’s will. My Lord Will-be-will is a great blusterer, and it is hard to subject him to God’s will; but when the heart of flesh is given, the will quivers like an aspen leaf in every breath of heaven, and bows like an osier in every breeze of God’s Spirit. The natural will is cold, hard iron, which is not to be hammered into form, but the renewed will, like molten metal, is soon moulded by the hand of grace. In the fleshy heart there is a tenderness of the affections. The hard heart does not love the Redeemer, but the renewed heart burns with affection towards Him. The hard heart is selfish and coldly demands, “Why should I weep for sin? Why should I love the Lord?” But the heart of flesh says; “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee; help me to love Thee more!” Many are the privileges of this renewed heart; “‘Tis here the Spirit dwells, ’tis here that Jesus rests.” It is fitted to receive every spiritual blessing, and every blessing comes to it. It is prepared to yield every heavenly fruit to the honour and praise of God, and therefore the Lord delights in it. A tender heart is the best defence against sin, and the best preparation for heaven. A renewed heart stands on its watchtower looking for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Have you this heart of flesh?

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