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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 24

Just For Today
August 24
Seeking God’s Will

“We learn to be careful of praying for specific things.”
Basic Text p. 45

In our active addiction, we usually did not pray for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry it out. On the contrary, most of our prayers were for God to get us out of the mess we had made for ourselves. We expected miracles on demand. That kind of thinking and praying changes when we begin practicing the Eleventh Step. The only way out of the trouble we have made for ourselves is through surrender to a Power greater than ourselves.

In recovery, we learn acceptance. We seek knowledge in our prayers and meditation of how we are to greet the circumstances that come our way. We stop fighting, surrender our own ideas of how things should be, ask for knowledge, and listen for the answers. The answers usually won’t come in a flash of white light accompanied by a drum roll. Usually, the answers will come merely with a quiet sense of assurance that our lives are on course, that a Power greater than ourselves is guiding us on our paths.

We have a choice. We can spend all our time fighting to make things come out our way, or we can surrender to God’s will. Peace can be found in accepting the ebb and flow of life.

Just for today: I will surrender my expectations, look to my Higher Power for guidance, and accept life.

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Daily Reflections
August 24
A RIDDLE THAT WORKS

It may be possible to find explanations of spiritual experiences such as ours, but I have often tried to explain my own and have succeeded only in giving the story of it. I know the feeling it gave me and the results it has brought, but I realize I may never fully understand its deeper why and how.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 313

I had a profound spiritual experience during an open A.A. meeting, which led me to blurt out. “I’m an alcoholic!” I have not had a drink since that day. I can tell you the words I heard just prior to my admission, and how those words affected me, but as to why it happened, I do not know. I believe a power greater than myself chose me to recover, yet I do not know why. I try not to worry or wonder about what I do not yet know; instead, I trust that if I continue to work the Steps, practice the A.A. principles in my life, and share my story, I will be guided lovingly toward a deep and mature spirituality in which more will be revealed to me. For the time being, it is a gift for me to trust God, work the Steps and help others.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

“When we saw our faults, we listed them. We placed them before us in black and white. We admitted our wrongs honestly and we were willing to set these matters straight. We reviewed our fears thoroughly. We asked God to remove our fears and we commenced to outgrow fear.  Many of us needed an overhauling in regard to sex. We came to believe that sex powers were God-given and therefore good, if used properly. Sex is never to be used lightly or selfishly, nor is it to be despised or loathed. If sex is troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into helping others, and so take our minds off ourselves.” Am I facing my sex problems in the proper way?

Meditation For The Day

Cling to the belief that all things are possible with God. If this belief is truly accepted, it is the ladder upon which a human soul can climb from the lowest pit of despair to the sublime heights of peace of mind. It is possible for God to change your way of living.  When you see the change in another person through the grace of God, you cannot doubt that all things are possible in the lives of people through the strength that comes from faith in Him who rules us all.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may live expectantly. I pray that I may believe deeply that all things are possible with God.

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As Bill Sees It
August 24
Looking for Lost Faith, p. 235

Any number of A.A.’s can say, “We were diverted from our childhood faith. As material success began to come, we felt we were winning at the game of life. This was exhilarating, and it made us happy.

“Why should we be bothered with theological abstractions and religious duties, or with the state of our souls, here or hereafter? The will to win should carry us through.

“But then alcohol began to have its way with us. Finally, when all our score cards read ‘zero,’ and we saw that one more strike would put us out of the game forever, we had to look for our lost faith. It was in A.A. that we rediscovered it.”

12 & 12, pp. 28-29

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Walk In Dry Places
August 24
Is Life Unfair?
Justice

The glib remark “Life is Unfair” is sometimes used to dismiss any concern about trouble or seeming injustice. This usually implies that all such matters are part of God’s plan….. that somehow God couldn’t create life without making it unfair. But nobody really knows whether life is unfair or not, since what we see is only a small part of it.

We should know, however, that we can practice fairness ourselves. We will live better if we forget how unfair life can be and make the best of the opportunities we have.

Some of us could even argue that life treated us unfairly by giving us a susceptibility to alcoholism. In the long run, this turned out to be an opportunity to live the Twelve Step program. Some of us even consider this to be outworking of divine justice that has proved to be eminently fair. As one AA member put it, It was a case of one of the worst things becoming one of the best that ever happened to me !

I’ll not let any seeming unfairness or injustice keep me from doing my best today. My real belief is that there is an eternal justice underlying all things.

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Keep It Simple
August 24

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
Oscar Wilde

There’s a big difference between being self-centered and having self love. We’re self-centered when we think we don’t need people. We might think, “I’m more important than others.” Being self-centered ends up hurting us.

It makes us lonely. It keeps us from our Higher Power. Addiction is about being self-centered.

Recovery and the Twelve Steps are about self-love. If we love ourselves, we say, “We’re all equal and in need of each other.” Self-love includes having good relationships.

It includes trusting that they we’ll do what is best, with the help of our Higher Power. We must believe in ourselves to trust others.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me love myself as You love me. Help me take good care of myself.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list three things I like about myself. I’ll talk with a friend and share these things. I’ll ask my friend what he or she likes about me.

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Each Day a New Beginning
August 24

There were many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream – whatever that dream might be.
—Pearl S. Buck

No new door is opened without the inner urge for growth. Dreams guide us, encourage us, stretch us to new heights – and leave us momentarily empty when they are dashed.

Recovery has given us resilience and a multitude of reasons for living. We have come to understand that when one dream serves us no longer, it is making way for an even better one. Our dreams are our teachers. When the student is ready, a new one comes into focus.

Dreams in our earlier years often come to nought. They couldn’t compete for our attention as effectively as the self-pity. The direction they offered was lost. Each day that we look forward with positive anticipation, we put the wreckage of the past farther from our minds.

Our dreams are like the rest areas on a cross-country trip. They refresh us, help us to gauge the distance we’ve come, and give us a chance to consider our destination.

Today’s dreams and experiences are points on the road map of my life. I won’t let them pass, unnoticed.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
August 24
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.

The rest of my time was devoted to A.A. spadework. I wanted “ripe” prospects, and I didn’t feel that I would get very far chasing individual drunks in and out of bars. So I spent much of my time calling on the people who I felt would logically come in contact with alcoholic caes—doctors, ministers, lawyers, and the personnel men in industry. I also talked A.A. to every friend who would listen, at lunch, at dinner, on street corners. A doctor tipped me off to my first prospect. I landed him and shipped him by train to Akron, with a pint of whiskey in his pocket to keep him from wanting to get off the train in Toledo! Nothing has ever to this day equaled to the thrill of that first case.

pp. 252-253

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
August 24

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.”

But as time passed we found that with the help of A.A.’s Twelve Steps we could lose those fears, no matter what our material prospects were. We could cheerfully perform humble labor without worrying about tomorrow. If our circumstances happened to be good, we no longer dreaded a change for the worse, for we had learned that these troubles could be turned into great values. It did not matter too much what our material condition was, but it did matter what our spiritual condition was. Money gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging love and service with those about us. When, with God’s help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too. We found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want.

pp. 121-122

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Xtra Thoughts
August 24

“My father gave me these hints on speech-making: Be sincere . . . be brief . . . be seated.”
–James Roosevelt

“Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.”
–Norman Vincent Peale

You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.
–Wayne Dyer

Not what we gain, but what we give measures the worth of the life we live.
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

“Yesterday’s home run doesn’t win today’s ball game.”
–Unknown

“Some people think that hanging in there shows great strength when the truth is ‘letting go’ is the real test of character.”
–Unknown

It is not God’s will that makes me miserable. It is my resistance to God’s will that makes me miserable.
–unknown

Dear God, Please keep your arm around my shoulder, but keep your hand over my mouth!
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 24
LIMITATIONS

“Why would we kill off a good watchdog just because he could not fly?”
– Frank Mar

God has created this world with variety and we all have different gifts.  Some people make music, others write stories and many are practical at home or in industry. We need to understand what gifts and skills we have and develop them.

It is both fruitless and negative to spend our time complaining that we are not like other people — or are without their talents. Such an attitude stops us from discovering our own creative talents. We are so busy comparing ourselves with others that we miss our own uniqueness.

Today I enjoy discovering more about me and the abundant gifts that God has freely given to me. What about you?

I pray that I may be truly grateful for what I have.

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Bible Scriptures
August 24

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

I will thank you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2

When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.
Matthew 6:6

For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
Proverbs 23:7

“Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.”
Job 6:24

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Daily Inspiration
August 24

Frequently remind yourself of that which is important in your life. Lord, help me to treasure my family and friends, recognize how valuable they are and tell them often how happy that I am because they are in my life.

There is light behind every shadow. Lord, You are the light of the world. May I never forget to turn to You when my life fills with shadows.

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A Day At A Time
August 24

Reflection For The Day

Some of us, after we’ve taken the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and then the Seventh Step, sit back and simply wait for our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings.  The Program’s teachings remind us of the story of St. Francis working in a beautiful garden.  A passerby said, “You must have prayed very hard, to get such beautiful plants to grow,”  The good saint answered, “Yes, I did.  But every time I started to pray, I reached for the hoe.”  As soon as our “wait” is changed to “dig,” the promise of the Seventh Step begins to become reality.  Do I expect my Higher Power to do it all?

Today I Pray

May I not just pray and wait — for my Higher Power to do everything.  Instead may I pray as I reach for the tools The Program gives me.  May I ask now for guidance on how I can best use the precious tools.

Today I Will Remember

Pray And Act

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One More Day
August 24

Faults are thick where love is thin.
–  James Howell

We often overlook the faults of people we love.  Sometimes, in fact, our love so blinds us that we don’t have to overlook their faults, because we don’t even see them.  Yet if our love wavers or if a friendship begins to weaken, it may seem as though our friends have developed numerous flaws or maddening habits.

When this happens, we learn to reassess our relationship and ourselves.  Rather than conclude that our loved one has become less than he or she was before, we know that change has occurred within us.  Then we decide whether the friendship is important enough to try to rebuild it.Sometimes it is, and we work to recapture the trust and communication we once had.  Sometimes it isn’t, and we decide to let go of it and, in doing so, let go of resentment and fault-finding.

The decision to rebuild or to let go of friendships often rest within me.

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One Day At A Time
August 24
~ HAPPINESS ~

The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.
–William Saroyan

How many times during my life have I said that all I want is “just to be happy.” We are told early on that our legacy is “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Did you notice that our forefathers used the word “pursuit?” How very wise they were.

Happiness is not automatic. Life is difficult and it’s supposed to be that way. If we expect happiness and we expect life to be easy, at some point in time we are going to be very disappointed. I thought eating food made me happy and it did … for a short time. There were other temporary compulsions in my life that made me think I was happy ~ but again for only a short time.

As I began to work the Steps, I began to desire something other than happiness. I found myself yearning for serenity … and I found it. The way I found it was by not expecting the world and everyone in it to make me happy. I learned that life was more of an adventure than a bowl of cherries. I learned that the more I expected from people, places and things, the more disappointed I was … and the more disappointed I became, the less happy I was.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will not require happiness. But when I least expect it …. happiness will find me.

~ Mari ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 24

“The mind’s eye changes the way we judge things.”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

“What you see is what you get.”
Our head has inside it a movie projector that projects out from our foreheads and shines on a screen a picture of our true thoughts. This is our reality. We can only see what we project (our beliefs). If we believe someone is a jerk, every time we see them we reflect our beliefs about what we think about that person and that is all we can see. Even if someone tells us this person is a kind, loving, caring, intelligent individual, we wouldn’t be able to see it. If we change our belief about them, that person will change and so will our judgment about that person.

My Creator, let me realize the power of choice. Let me see the advantages of changing my beliefs. Today, if I am judging my brother, let me change my beliefs to acceptance. If my thoughts are of anger, let me change them to love. Let my eyes only see you in everything and every person.

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Journey To The Heart
August 24
Let the Lesson Reveal Itself to You

“What’s the next lesson?” I asked.

“If you knew what it was, you wouldn’t need to learn it,” he said.

Often, in the midst of a lesson or experience, we tighten our minds into knots trying to figure out what we’re learning, what’s coming next, what the lesson is really about. But if we knew what the lesson was about, we wouldn’t need to be learning it.

The learning we’re doing on our spiritual path is often not possible from our heads or books. It’s a process of discovery, it includes many twists, turns, surprises, and upsets, much confusion, wondering, and stumbling until we reach a moment of clarity. To learn the lesson, we need to go through the experience. And usually we learn best when we’re a bit vulnerable and uncertain about what we’re learning.

Trust that the lesson will reveal itself to you when it’s time. Stay present for this moment. Let your experience and guidance unfold. You’re evolving and learning and growing right now. When the transformation is complete, you’ll see what you’ve learned.

Other people may be there to help us, teach us, guide us along our path. But the lesson to be learned is always ours.

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Today’s Gift
August 24

To those of us who knew the pain
of valentines that never came
and those whose names were never called
when choosing sides for basketball.
—Janis Ian

Each of us at some time has known the feeling of not belonging; the painful emptiness of feeling left out. We’ve stood on the sidelines longing to be invited into what we think is some sort of magical circle. If only they would ask us in, we think, we’d be transformed – we’d be somebody then.

But look around. The circle is composed of people just like us: insecure at times, frightened, unsure. They have felt anxiety and feared rejection just as we have.

The pain will pass, and if we use these times to get to know and understand ourselves a bit better, we’ll be better able to understand others when they’re feeling left out and lonely. And when it’s our turn to choose a team or send a valentine, we’ll remember.

Who can I remember today?

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The Language of Letting Go
August 24
Step Eight

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
—Step Eight of Al Anon

The Eighth Step is not meant to punish us; it is meant to set us free from guilt, anxiety, and discord.

We begin by making a list of everyone we have harmed on our journey, as we have struggled to survive. We have probably done more damage to ourselves than to anyone else, so we put ourselves first on the list.

Often, our tendency is to feel guilty about everything we’ve ever done, everyone we’ve come in contract with. That is unearned guilt. Writing helps us clarify whether or not we are punishing ourselves for no reason. But we need to be open to guidance as we work this Step, getting everything out of us and on to paper, so we can be healed.

Once we have made the list, we strive to become willing to make amends to everyone on it because that is how we heal. Making amends does not mean feeling guilty and ashamed and punishing ourselves; it means swallowing our pride and defenses, and doing what we can to take care of ourselves. We become ready to improve our self-esteem by taking responsibility for our behaviors. We become willing to have our relationships with ourselves, others, and our Higher Power restored.

Today, I will open myself to an honest understanding of the people I have harmed. God, help me let go of my defenses and pride. Help me become willing to make amends to those I have harmed, so that I can improve my relationships with others and myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 24
Celebrate who you are

Today, celebrate who you are. Yes, you have much in common with other people. But you’re also uniquely you.

Grab a piece of paper and something to write with. Now write down:

1. A lesson that you have learned in life.

2. A talent that you have, no matter how quirky.

3. Your favorite meal.

4. The name of a friend who respects and likes you for who you are.

5. An activity that you enjoy.

Now, pick up the phone and call your friend. Invite him or her to a celebration with you. Do the activity that you enjoy– go for a walk, go to a ballgame, sit at home and watch videos, whatever you like to do. Then prepare your favorite meal or go to a restaurant and have them prepare it. Show your friend your talent– remember this person likes and respects you for who you are. So if you can balance a Ping-Pong ball on the tip of your nose, go ahead and do that. Show him or her how good you are. Talk to your friend about the lessons you have learned, and invite him or her to share a lesson learned from you.

Instead of fussing and worrying about how different you are, be grateful that you’re unique.

Celebrate being you.

God, thanks for me,too.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 24

There is no greater weakness than stubbornness. If you cannot yield, if you cannot learn that there must be compromise in life – you lose.
—Maxwell Maltz

Glass is very hard, but fragile. By contrast, leather is tough and resilient. A blow to a glass dish will break it, but a blow to a shoe will just be absorbed. Our program leads us to avoid the folly of being hard like glass, and we become tougher like leather. We must endure surprises, pressures, and blows from the world as a normal part of life. The more able we are to absorb the blows, the stronger and more whole we are as men.

A friend who has a different opinion from ours can be listened to and his ideas considered. There is no need to compete with him or prove that we are right. When our plan for a project at work gets set aside, we will feel the frustration but we need not come apart over it. Perhaps our Higher Power is leading us to a better plan. Frustrations with spouses or friends can be turned over to our Higher Power. We do not have a rigid recipe for life, and we must be open to more learning.

I will surrender my fragile stubbornness in exchange for the toughness I can learn in compromise.

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Daily TAO
August 24
Imprisonment

      Our subjectivity
      Is a mirrored,
      Spiked casket.

We surround ourselves with the reflections of our own identities. We think only of ourselves, not of Tao. All we care about is survival and gratification. When will we see that all we have done is to surround ourselves with our own illusions?

We do not see the world as it truly is. We ignore the dilemma of our existence. We are like preening idiots inside a mirrored casket. As we build upon our illusions, the box gets smaller. Soon it develops spikes – the spears of our own egotism – only we are so self-absorbed we do not notice the points. We are too in love with ourselves. We prance around, we fluff our hair. And still the casket gets smaller, and smaller.

Some succeed in getting out of this trap, but they are so attached they drag their casket behind them for a long time. Those who drag their illusions with them are only a step better than those who are trapped in them. Only when we realize our true nature does the casket disappear.

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Daily Zen
August 24

As I think of the world of dreams
I am even more inclined to abandon the world
And hide myself in the mountain
That is not in the mountains.

– Muso

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Food For Thought
August 24
Exercise

We are made to be physically active. When we were loaded down with food and fat, we probably moved around as little as possible. Now that we eat for health, we have the necessary energy to exercise our bodies.

Taking the stairs rather than the elevator, walking instead of riding, a few simple calisthenics when we need a break from work, a jump rope – there are many ways to begin an exercise program in easy stages. We do not need to train to become Olympic athletes, but we do need to keep our bodies in good working order.

Each day we also need mental, emotional, and spiritual exercise. Reading something worthwhile, refraining from criticism, performing a service for someone anonymously, taking time for prayer and meditation –these are actions which develop our minds, hearts, and spirits. Our growth in the program depends on overcoming resistance and inertia each day and taking concrete steps to improvement.

By Your power, may I overcome laziness.

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Faith’s Check Book
August 24
God Above Human Philosophy

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
(1 Corinthians 1:19)

This verse is a threatening so far as the worldly wise are concerned, but to the simple believer it is a promise. The professedly learned are forever trying to bring to nothing the faith of the humble believer, but they fail in their attempts. Their arguments break down, their theories fall under their own weight, their deep-laid plots discover themselves before their purpose is accomplished. The old gospel is not extinct yet, nor will it be while the Lord liveth. If it could have been exterminated, it would have perished from off the earth long ago.

We cannot destroy the wisdom of the wise, nor need we attempt it, for the work is in far better hands. The Lord Himself says, “I will,” and He never resolves in vain. Twice does He in this verse declare His purpose, and we may rest assured that He will not turn aside from it.

What clean work the Lord makes of philosophy and “modern thought” when He puts His hand to it! He brings the fine appearance down to nothing; He utterly destroys the wood, hay, and stubble. It is written that so it shall be, and so shall it be. Lord, make short work of it. Amen, and amen.

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This Morning’s Readings
August 24

“The breaker is come up before them.”
—Micah 2:13.

UNASMUCH as Jesus has gone before us, things remain not as they would have been had He never passed that way. He has conquered every foe that obstructed the way. Cheer up now thou faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ travelled the road, but He has slain thine enemies. Dost thou dread sin? He has nailed it to His cross. Dost thou fear death? He has been the death of Death. Art thou afraid of hell? He has barred it against the advent of any of His children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition. Whatever foes may be before the Christian, they are all overcome. There are lions, but their teeth are broken; there are serpents, but their fangs are extracted; there are rivers, but they are bridged or fordable; there are flames, but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire. The sword that has been forged against us is already blunted; the instruments of war which the enemy is preparing have already lost their point. God has taken away in the person of Christ all the power that anything can have to hurt us. Well then, the army may safely march on, and you may go joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand. What shall you do but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil. You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe. His head is broken; he may attempt to injure you, but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design. Your victory shall be easy, and your treasure shall be beyond all count.

“Proclaim aloud the Saviour’s fame,
Who bears the Breaker’s wond’rous name;
Sweet name; and it becomes him well,
Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell.”

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This Evening’s Readings
August 24

“If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.”
—Exodus 22:6.

BUT what restitution can he make who casts abroad the fire-brands of error, or the coals of lasciviousness, and sets men’s souls on a blaze with the fire of hell? The guilt is beyond estimate, and the result is irretrievable. If such an offender be forgiven, what grief it will cause him in the retrospect, since he cannot undo the mischief which he has done! An ill example may kindle a flame which years of amended character cannot quench. To burn the food of man is bad enough, but how much worse to destroy the soul! It may be useful to us to reflect how far we may have been guilty in the past, and to enquire whether, even in the present, there may not be evil in us which has a tendency to bring damage to the souls of our relatives, friends, or neighbours.

The fire of strife is a terrible evil when it breaks out in a Christian church. Where converts were multiplied, and God was glorified, jealousy and envy do the devil’s work most effectually. Where the golden grain was being housed, to reward the toil of the great Boaz, the fire of enmity comes in and leaves little else but smoke and a heap of blackness. Woe unto those by whom offences come. May they never come through us, for although we cannot make restitution, we shall certainly be the chief sufferers if we are the chief offenders. Those who feed the fire deserve just censure, but he who first kindles it is most to blame. Discord usually takes first hold upon the thorns; it is nurtured among the hypocrites and base professors in the church, and away it goes among the righteous, blown by the winds of hell, and no one knows where it may end. O Thou Lord and giver of peace, make us peacemakers, and never let us aid and abet the men of strife, or even unintentionally cause the least division among Thy people.

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