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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 25, 2014

Just For Today
August 25, 2014
The Ninth Step – Reclaiming Life

“We are achieving freedom from the wreckage of our past.”
Basic Text p. 45

When we start the Ninth Step, we’ve reached an exciting stage in our recovery. The damage done in our lives is what led many of us to seek help in the first place. Now, we have a chance to clean up that wreckage, amend our past, and reclaim our lives.

We’ve spent a long time and much effort preparing for this step. When we came to NA, facing the debris of our past was probably the last thing we wanted to do. We started doing it privately with a personal inventory. Then, we opened our past up to the scrutiny of a select, trusted few: ourselves, our Higher Power, and one other person. We took a look at our shortcomings, the source of much of the chaos in our lives, and asked that all those defects of character be removed. Finally, we listed the amends needed to set our wrongs right – all of them – and became willing to make them.

Now, we have the opportunity to make amends-to acquire freedom from the wreckage of our past. Everything we’ve done so far in NA has led us here. At this point in the process of our recovery, the Ninth Step is exactly what we want to do. With the Twelve Steps and the help of a Higher Power, we are clearing away the rubble that for so long has stood in the way of our progress; we are gaining the freedom to live.

Just for today: I will take advantage of the opportunity to reclaim my life. I will experience freedom from the wreckage of my past.

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Daily Reflections
August 25, 2014
THE GIFT OF BONDING

Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , p. 63

Many times in my alcoholic state, I drank to establish a bond between myself and others, but I succeeded only in establishing the bondage of alcoholic loneliness. Through the A.A. way of life, I have received the gift of bonding – with those who were there before me, with those who are there now, and with those yet to come. For this gracious gift from God, I am forever grateful.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 25, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

“Unless we discuss our defects with another person, we do not acquire enough humility, fearlessness, and honesty to really get the program.  We must be entirely honest with somebody, if we expect to live happily in this world. We must be hard on ourselves, but always considerate of others. We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character and every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we can look the world in the eyes.” Have I discussed all my defects with another person?

Meditation For The Day

Never yield to weariness of the spirit. At times, the world’s cares and distractions will intrude and the spirit will become weak. At times like this, carry on and soon the spirit will become strong again. God’s spirit is always with you, to replenish and renew. None ever sincerely sought God’s help in vain. Physical weariness and exhaustion make a time of rest and communion with God more necessary. When you are overcome by temporary conditions that you cannot control, keep quiet and wait for the power of the spirit to flow back.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not speak or act in the midst of emotional upheaval.  I pray that I may wait until the tempest is past.

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As Bill Sees It
August 25, 2014
Perfection–Only The Objective, p. 236

There can be no absolute humility for us humans. At best, we can merely glimpse the meaning and splendor of such a perfect ideal.  Only God himself can manifest in the absolute; we human beings must needs live and grow in the domain of the relative.

So we seek progress in humility today.

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

Few of us can quickly or easily become ready even to look at spiritual and moral perfection; we want to settle for only as much development as may get us by in life, according, of course, to our various and sundry ideas of what will get us by. Mistakenly, we strive for a self-determined objective, rather than for the perfect objective which is of God.

1. Grapevine, June 1961
2. 12 & 12, p. 68

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Walk In Dry Places
August 25, 2014
What should We accept?
Acceptance

Alcoholics usually have trouble accepting ordinary setbacks and limitations that other people live with all the time. Sometimes it seems much easier to just get drunk than to accept boredom and frustration.

The irony of such behavior is that we then have to accept much more failure as a result of problems created by drinking. Our drinking brings far more pain than it removes.

Learning acceptance in sobriety is part of the growing-up process.  Along with learning to accept things we cannot change, however, we learn there are some things we don’t have to accept. Living sober gives us the power and confidence to make such changes.

I’ll repeat the Serenity Prayer today if I begin to feel disturbed or threatened. I will face life realistically while knowing I have many opportunities for growth and change.

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Keep It Simple
August 25, 2014

In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.
—Friedrick Nietzsche

All of us have a child inside. We may see that child as a friend or as a enemy.

Many of us were taught that growing up meant doing away with our inner child. It was as if being a child was bad and being an adult was good. If we try to be only an adult, the child cries, ”Let me run free and show you the beauty of the world.” If we try to be only a child, we find the adult in using us saying, “It’s time to grow up.”

Let’s find a balance. Remember, the adult needs the wonder found in the eyes of the child. Remember, the child needs the loving care of the adult. The child lives where we find our spirit. Our Higher Power is the prefect balance of the two.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me be both the child and the adult. I need both.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll make time to be a child and to be an adult.

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Each Day a New Beginning
August 25, 2014

In soloing–as in other activities–it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.
—Amelia Earhart

Procrastination plagues us all, at one time or another. But any activity that is worthy of our effort should be tackled by bits and pieces, one day at a time. We are too easily overwhelmed when we set our sights only on the accomplished goal. We need to focus, instead, on the individual elements and then on just one element at a time. A book is written word-by-word. A house is built timber-by-timber. A college degree is attained course-by-course.

By the time we got to this program, most of us had accumulated a checkered past, much of which we wanted to deny or forget. And the weight of our past can stand in the way of the many possibilities in the present.

Our past need not determine what we set out to do today. However, we must be realistic: We can’t change a behavior pattern overnight. But we can begin the process. We can decide on a reasonable, manageable objective for this 24-hour period. Enough days committed to the completion of enough small objectives will bring us to the attainment of any goal, large or small.

I can finish any task I set my sights on, when I take it one day at a time. Today is before me. I can move forward in a small way.

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Xtra Thoughts
August 25, 2014

You are the creator of your own Serenity. It lives and breathes within your desire for Recovery. It is no mystery. It is a conscious choice.  Serenity is born and flourishes, with the help of your Higher Power, through your own efforts to maintain order, stability and self-discipline within your everyday life.  Serenity is a daily gift you give to yourself. Be generous!
–Lumpy Karma

The routines of good rest, exercise, regular meal times, prayer, and meetings are the skeleton on which the body of our recovery program can grow. Each of these activities is a reward in itself, and serves to remind us of what our new lives have to offer.
–unknown

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
–John Wesley

“Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first time or the last time.  Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”
–Betty Smith

“Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.”
–Anonymous

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
–Thoreau

We would have much peace if we would not busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others.
–Thomas À Kempis

Many do not know that we are here in this world to live in harmony.
–Buddha

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 25, 2014
TEMPER

“Your temper is the only thing that doesn’t get better with age.”
– Anonymous

I lost my temper when I was in the wrong and wanted to protect myself. My temper was closely associated with my ego and pride; I hated to admit I was in the wrong.

Today I know that I am not God. I make mistakes and apologize. I don’t have to have an answer. It is okay to be imperfect and human. And you know what I am finding? I don’t lose my temper so much!

I pray that I may express my anger and discomfort without having a selfish temper tantrum.

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Bible Scriptures
August 25, 2014

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God;  For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
I Timothy 2:2

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Daily Inspiration
August 25, 2014

Many more things go right in a day than go wrong, but you will never notice if that one trying moment becomes your focus. Lord, help me make a conscious effort to see the richness of my life and live with gratitude for all of its wonders.

If you have more than you need, but still feel it isn’t enough, then you are poor. Lord, may I take time to recognize and enjoy my blessings.

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One Day At A Time
August 25, 2014
~ Patience ~

There is no fruit which is not bitter before it is ripe.
–Publilius Syrus

There are some things in life you simply cannot rush. In the early stages of my disease, I went through life like a steam roller … impatiently starting one project after another. If there was something in my life that depended on the actions of another for resolution, it was excruciating while waiting on the decision. As a result, sometimes decisions were forced. I have made many bad decisions because of lack of patience.

I have learned that sometimes we have to turn decisions over to others … we have to let go and let others take control. We must wait it out and hope that our decision to let go was a good one. Many times it is. Sometimes it isn’t.

I have become a very patient person … and sometimes that is to my detriment. It can be hard to find a middle ground in the decision making process. Snap decisions aren’t good. Neither are those we sit on forever.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will patiently wait on my Higher Power to direct me … to guide me … and to help me with the decisions I must make.

~ Mari ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 25

“God is making use of you – you should be grateful He’s found a use for you.”
–Mathew King, LAKOTA

The Creator can only create through human beings. Each human being has a purpose given to us by the Creator. We are on this earth to fulfill this purpose. Our only work is to make ourselves ready, to become a channel, to perform for the Creator. We prepare ourselves by prayer. We prepare ourselves by becoming unselfish. We prepare ourselves by seeking and choosing to walk on a spiritual path. Each morning we look to the east and we say an honor prayer to the Creator. We offer our gifts: tobacco and corn. We ask him to help us do His will for today. In this simple way, we still fulfill our purpose. It should be an honor to serve the Creator.

Great Spirit, today I am ready to serve You.

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Journey To The Heart
August 25, 2014
Where Do You Get Your Energy?

Think about your energy. Examine and learn what revitalizes you, refreshes you, renews you. Pumps you up. Makes you feel charged.

How do you recharge your battery? Do you wait until your battery is drained, almost dead, before you recharge? Are there people or things in your life that drain you, deplete you? Do you want to let them do that?

Where do you go to get recharged? Who are the people who enhance your life force, invigorate you? Who does it feel good to be around? What activities make you feel better? What forms of nature speak to your soul? What opens your heart, helps you feel alive, breathes life into your spirit?

Experiment. Spend some time watching, noticing the impact people, activities, and objects have on you. Know that as you change, the impact of your environment, what is around you, may change,too.

Tune into your energy field and the energy of the world around you. Learn to be sensitive. Open up to how things feel for you.

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One Day At A Time
August 25, 2014
~ Patience ~

There is no fruit which is not bitter before it is ripe.
–Publilius Syrus

There are some things in life you simply cannot rush. In the early stages of my disease, I went through life like a steam roller … impatiently starting one project after another. If there was something in my life that depended on the actions of another for resolution, it was excruciating while waiting on the decision. As a result, sometimes decisions were forced. I have made many bad decisions because of lack of patience.

I have learned that sometimes we have to turn decisions over to others … we have to let go and let others take control. We must wait it out and hope that our decision to let go was a good one. Many times it is. Sometimes it isn’t.

I have become a very patient person … and sometimes that is to my detriment. It can be hard to find a middle ground in the decision making process. Snap decisions aren’t good. Neither are those we sit on forever.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will patiently wait on my Higher Power to direct me … to guide me … and to help me with the decisions I must make.

~ Mari ~

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Today’s Gift
August 25, 2014

… self-love is an unequivocal acceptance of the validity of getting what one wants–of respecting one’s needs.
—Marion Weinstein

Once there was a woman who loved her husband and children so much that she did everything for them and nothing for herself. She thought taking care of herself was selfish. She never considered taking a vacation when she needed it. She stayed to take care of her family no matter what it cost her personally. Then she realized how much she resented them because she wasn’t taking care of herself. So she began to ask for what she needed. At first, her family didn’t like it. Little by little they began to notice that when she was relaxed, their lives were more serene, too. It wasn’t always easy for her to love herself enough to ask for what she needed, but she learned that when she said no to demands she couldn’t meet, she felt calm and centered. Best of all, she no longer resented them for asking. When she said yes, she did what they asked with real pleasure.

Do I sometimes resent doing things I could have chosen not to do?

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The Language of Letting Go
August 25, 2014
Willing to Make Amends

The Eighth Step is talking about a change of heart, a healing change.

This attitude can begin a great chain of repair and healing in our relationships with others and ourselves. It means we become willing to let go of our hard heartedness – one of the greatest blocks to our ability to give and receive love.

In the Eighth Step, we make a list of all people we have harmed, and we allow ourselves to experience a healing attitude toward them. It is an attitude of love.

We do not, in this Step, dash madly about and begin yelling, “Sorry!” We make our list, not to feel guilty, but to facilitate healing. Before we actually make amends or begin to consider appropriate amends, we allow ourselves to change our attitude. That is where healing begins – within us.

It can change the energy. It can change the dynamics. It can begin the process, before we ever open our mouths and say sorry.

It opens the door to love. It opens the door to the energy of love and healing. It enables us to release negative feelings and energy, and opens the door to positive feelings and energy.

That energy can be felt around the world, and it starts inside us.

How often have we, after we have been hurt, wished that the person would simply recognize our pain and say, “I’m sorry?” How often have we wished that the person would simply see us, hear us, and turn the energy of love our way? How often have we longed for at least a change of heart, a small dose of reconciliation, in relationships tainted by unfinished business and bad feelings? Often.

Others do too. It is no secret. The energy of healing begins with us. Our willingness to make amends may or may not benefit the other person; he or she may or may not be willing to put matters to rest.

But we become healed. We become capable of love.

Today, I will work on a change of heart if hard heartedness, defensiveness, guilt, or bitterness are present. I will become willing to let go of those feelings and have them replaced by the healing energy of love.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 25, 2014
Show your gratitude

Why wait? Show your gratitude today.

If someone has been kind, thank him or her today. Yes, we can wait and buy that person dinner next week. But how about writing an e-mail this afternoon or leaving a message on a telephone answering machine telling how much you appreciate the kind words or deeds?

We cannot show gratitude without sharing it with someone. When we show our gratitude, it’s a way of sharing our joy with that person. Even when we do something as simple as burning a candle to show gratitude to God, it shares our joy with everyone who sees the flame of the candle. It strengthens their faith and reminds then to show their gratitude,too.

Make showing and sharing your gratitude a part of your life. If someone does something nice for you, share your happiness with that person. Send a card or make a phone call. If you believe that a prayer has been answered by God, share your gratitude with God. Tell someone, or thank God publicly at your worship service. If you have had a victory in your recovery, show your gratitude by sharing it with others in your group. Then share your gratitude with them for the help they’ve given,too.

Demonstrate gratitude in your actions every day. Gratitude is more than just a thought process and more than just a Sunday-morning church activity. Demonstrate your gratitude through your compassion, and your tolerance. Gratitude strengthens and supports our relationships with God and with other people. Make a commitment to show your gratitude by sharing it with others whenever you have the opportunity.

We can show our gratitude for life in even our smallest actions. Find a way to demonstrate your gratitude to the universe. Feed the birds! Action gives life to ideas. When we start to look for ways to show our gratitude, we will find more and more to be grateful for.

Gratitude is a form of self-expression that must be shared. We cannot have an attitude of gratitude without having an object of that gratitude.

Why wait? Show your gratitude today by sharing how grateful you are.

God, today I will show you how grateful I am.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 25, 2014

To know oneself, one should assert oneself.
—Albert Camus

We learn about ourselves by bumping up against something solid. By throwing ourselves into a project, meeting an obstacle we can’t overcome, perhaps making some mistakes, we learn what we are capable of and what we are not. We are not here to live a comfortable and placid life. Our task is to grow and learn, to make a contribution, and to have some tranquility while we do. The only way we can achieve those goals is to assert ourselves, find out where the solid limits are, and assert our right to make mistakes in the process.

When we first learn to drive a car, we over steer and hit the brakes too hard or too softly. In the process we learn how to feel what is just right. When we are learning to ask for what we need and to make a place for ourselves, we may ask too demandingly at times. That is not bad. It is how we will learn to do it well.

Today, I will have opportunities to assert myself. I will take the risks required to learn.

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Daily TAO
August 25, 2014
Body

 

I am not this fragile body.

We are not our bodies. This may seem an odd assertion. After all, there is no other object on this earth we know more intimately. Why should we not identify with it?

What is there about our bodies that is tangible? Of course it has substance, but how do we account for volition? A corpse is just as tangible as a living being, and yet no one would mistake the two. Something mysterious accounts for the differences between a live and a dead body. Something animates us.

It is the mind that directs the energy. But what of the mind can we call definite? It is like a flickering flame: At no point can we determine its exact contours. The more closely we examine ourselves, the more subtle distinctions become. Everything becomes quite indistinct. We cling stubbornly but futilely to the impression we could find something in the reduction of things.

It’s all quite confusing. But one thing is certain: I am not this fragile body.

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Food For Thought
August 25, 2014
Being Available

In our search for security, we turned to food in times of stress. Now we are growing in reliance on our Higher Power instead of food. We do not, however, “use” the Higher Power the way we tried to use food. We do not use God; He uses us.

What we do is make ourselves available to the Higher Power, and open to light and guidance. We pray each day that we may do His will, not ours. Often this means a more flexible schedule than we may have had in the past. Since the Higher Power is ever creative and new, we cannot cling to our old routines and habits. To insist on our time, our way, our plan is to block out God’s guidance.

Sometimes we may be called on to perform a service, which means giving up our plan for the day. When the prompting comes from deep within, following it will further our growth in the program.

Today I will be available for Your use.

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Daily Zen
August 25, 2014

In spring, the flowers are in full bloom
In the mountains.
In autumn the moon is bright
And the wind is cool.
I sing a song of no birth,
But who will ever listen to my song?

– Kyong Ho (1849-1912)

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Faith’s Check Book
August 25, 2014
Food and Rest

I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.
(Ezekiel 34:15)

Under the divine shepherdry saints are fed to the full. Theirs is not a windy, unsatisfying mess of mere human “thought,” but the Lord feeds them upon the solid, substantial truth of divine revelation. There is real nutriment for the soul in Scripture brought home to the heart by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself is the true life-sustaining Food of believers. Here our Great Shepherd promises that such sacred nourishment shall be given us by His own self. If, on the Lord’s Day, our earthly shepherd is empty-handed, the Lord is not.

When filled with holy truth the mind rests. Those whom Jehovah feeds are at peace. No dog shall worry them, no wolf shall devour them, no restless propensities shall disturb them. They shall lie down and digest the food which they have enjoyed. The doctrines of grace are not only sustaining but consoling: in them we have the means for building up and lying down. If preachers do not give us rest, let us look to the Lord for it.

This day may the Lord cause us to feed in the pastures of the Word and make us to lie down in them. May no folly and no worry but meditation and peace mark this day.

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This Morning’s Readings
August 25, 2014

“His fruit was sweet to my taste.”
—Song of Solomon 2:3.

FAITH, in the Scripture, is spoken of under the emblem of all the senses. It is sight: “Look unto me and be ye saved.” It is hearing: “Hear, and your soul shall live.” Faith is smelling: “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia”; “thy name is as ointment poured forth.” Faith is spiritual touch. By this faith the woman came behind and touched the hem of Christ’s garment, and by this we handle the things of the good word of life. Faith is equally the spirit’s taste. “How sweet are Thy words to my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my lips.” “Except a man eat my flesh,” saith Christ, “and drink my blood, there is no life in him.”

This “taste” is faith in one of its highest operations. One of the first performances of faith is hearing. We hear the voice of God, not with the outward ear alone, but with the inward ear; we hear it as God’s Word, and we believe it to be so; that is the “hearing” of faith. Then our mind looketh upon the truth as it is presented to us; that is to say, we understand it, we perceive its meaning; that is the “seeing” of faith. Next we discover its preciousness; we begin to admire it, and find how fragrant it is; that is faith in its “smell.” Then we appropriate the mercies which are prepared for us in Christ; that is faith in its “touch.” Hence follow the enjoyments, peace, delight, communion; which are faith in its “taste.” Any one of these acts of faith is saving. To hear Christ’s voice as the sure voice of God in the soul will save us; but that which gives true enjoyment is the aspect of faith wherein Christ, by holy taste, is received into us, and made, by inward and spiritual apprehension of His sweetness and preciousness, to be the food of our souls. It is then we sit “under His shadow with great delight,” and find His fruit sweet to our taste.

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This Evening’s Readings
August 25, 2014

“If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.”
—Acts 8:37.

THESE words may answer your scruples, devout reader, concerning the ordinances. Perhaps you say, “I should be afraid to be baptized; it is such a solemn thing to avow myself to be dead with Christ, and buried with Him. should not feel at liberty to come to the Master’s table; I should be afraid of eating and drinking damnation unto myself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” Ah! poor trembler, Jesus has given you liberty, be not afraid. If a stranger came to your house, he would stand at the door, or wait in the hall; he would not dream of intruding unbidden into your parlour—he is not at home: but your child makes himself very free about the house; and so is it with the child of God. A stranger may not intrude where a child may venture. When the Holy Ghost has given you to feel the spirit of adoption, you may come to Christian ordinances without fear. The same rule holds good of the Christian’s inward privileges. You think, poor seeker, that you are not allowed to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; if you are permitted to get inside Christ’s door, or sit at the bottom of His table, you will be well content. Ah! but you shall not have less privileges than the very greatest. God makes no difference in His love to His children. A child is a child to Him; He will not make him a hired servant; but he shall feast upon the fatted calf, and shall have the music and the dancing as much as if he had never gone astray. When Jesus comes into the heart, He issues a general licence to be glad in the Lord. No chains are worn in the court of King Jesus. Our admission into full privileges may be gradual, but it is sure. Perhaps our reader is saying, “I wish I could enjoy the promises, and walk at liberty in my Lord’s commands.” “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” Loose the chains of thy neck, O captive daughter, for Jesus makes thee free.

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