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In Loving Memory of Vic

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

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – August 28

Just For Today
August 28
The Light Of Exposure

“These defects grow in the dark and die in the light of exposure.”
Basic Text p.31

The Fifth Step asks us to share our true nature with God, with ourselves, and with another human being. It doesn’t encourage us to tell everyone every little secret about ourselves. It doesn’t ask us to disclose to the whole world every shameful or frightening thought we’ve ever had. Step Five simply suggests that our secrets cause us more harm than good when we keep them completely to ourselves.

If we give in to our reluctance to reveal our true nature to even one human being, the secret side of our lives becomes more powerful. And when the secrets are in control, they drive a wedge between ourselves, our Higher Power, and the things we value most about our recovery.

When we share our secret selves in confidence with at least one human being-our sponsor, perhaps, or a close friend-this person usually doesn’t reject us. We disclose ourselves to someone else and are rewarded with their acceptance. When this happens, we realize that honest sharing is not life-threatening; the secrets have lost their power over us.

Just for today: I can disarm the secrets in my life by sharing them with one human being.

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Daily Reflections
August 28
LIGHTENING THE BURDEN

Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. . . . the dark past is . . . the key to life and happiness for others.
Alcoholics Anonymous, p.124

Since I have been sober, I have been healed of many pains:  deceiving my partner, deserting my best friend, and spoiling my mother’s hopes for my life. In each case someone in the program told me of a similar problem, and I was able to share what happened to me. When my story was told, both of us got up with lighter hearts.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 28
A.A. Thought For The Day

“We must continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. We should grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter; it should continue for our lifetime. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We must not rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve, contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.” Am I checking my spiritual condition daily?

Meditation For The Day

Happiness cannot be sought directly; it is a byproduct of love and service. Service is a law of our being. With love in your heart, there is always some service to other people. A life of power and joy and satisfaction is built on love and service. Persons who hate or are selfish are going against the law of their own being. They are cutting themselves off from God and other people. Little acts of love and encouragement, of service and help, erase the rough places of life and help to make a path smooth. If we do these things, we cannot help having our share of happiness.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may give my share of love and service. I pray that I may not grow weary in my attempts to do the right thing.

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As Bill Sees It
August 28
When And How To Give, p.239

Men who cry for money and shelter as a condition of their sobriety are on the wrong track. Yet we sometimes do provide a new prospect with these very things–when it becomes clear that he is willing to place his recovery first.

It is not whether we shall give that is the question, but when and how to give. Whenever we put our work on a material plane, the alcoholic commences to rely upon alms rather than upon a Higher Power and the A.A. group. He continues to insist that he cannot master alcohol until his material needs are cared for.

Nonsense! Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: that, job or no job, wife or no wife, we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place material dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p.98

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Walk In Dry Places
August 28
No Prayer Goes Unanswered
Guidance.

It would be nearly impossible to do an accounting of the results of prayer. Sometimes there seems to be no answer , and at other times, an answer seems to be the result of coincidence. It’s too easy to dismiss these results as things that would have happened even if we hadn’t prayed.

Yet those of us who believe in prayer feel that it is indeed a way of communicating with our Higher Power. It takes many forms. Even thinking about God is a type of prayer.

The best answers to prayer come in the new ways we begin to feel about ourselves and others. If prayer brings us to a realization of being in tune with our Higher Power, we are working in the right way. The proper changes will come into our lives as needed. We should not try to measure results, because this tends to bring doubt into the process. Our only responsibility is to pray then let God’s work take place in our lives.

I will pray regularly to day, thinking often about God and asserting to myself and others that this Higher Power is in charge.

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Keep It Simple
August 28

The saints are the sinners who kept going.
—Robert Louis Stevenson

The saints are what our program calls the “winner.” We’re told to “stick” with the winners. Saints are just proven winners. They keep on believing in their Higher Power even when things get hard.

There will be times when we’ll want to give up. We may want to stop going to meetings. We may want to get high. We may want to stop working the Steps.

To be winners in this program, we need to follow the example of the saints. This means we live a spiritual life. We need to keep on going. One day at a time.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I’ll be a winner in this program. Higher Power, be with me in the easy times and the hard times. Help me keep going.

Action for the Day: I’ll list people who are winners in this program. I’ll ask one of the how he or she keeps going in tough times.

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Xtra Thoughts
August 28
Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. . . Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: “You are accepted.”
–Paul Tillich

“Life didn’t promise to be wonderful.”
–Teddy Pendergrass

Today I do not need to say the first thing that comes into my head, or react to what others say about me. Today I can practice restraint of tongue and pen…think before I speak…and say kind things or nothing at all.
–Ruth Fishel

One of the first things to do, is to love everybody … with love, all things are possible … and the one who has learned to love all people will find plenty of people who will return that love.
–Ernest Holmes

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
–Charles Dickens

Sit down with a pen and paper and write your thoughts down.  It frees your mind.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 28
CHARACTER

“A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another’s.”
– Johann Paul Richter

I was always so perceptive when it came to assessing the character faults of others. I could offer the best therapy and treatment to others; the best advice in the world. I was excellent at “pulling the covers” on a con-man — but always I missed me! I never really heard my insights. I never followed my advice. I always minimized my character faults.

Usually what I saw in others was reflected in my own personality.  The things I loathed in others existed in me. The anger and resentments came from a denial of self.

In sobriety I hear the advice of others. I don’t always like it but I hear it. I give criticism and today I am growing in my acceptance of criticism.

In relationships may I see clearly my own reflection.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
August 28
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.

During the first three months, I carried on all these activities without a car, depending entirely on buses and streetcars—I, who always had to have a car at my immediate command. I, who had never made a speech in my life and who would have been frightened sick at the prospect, stood up in front of Rotary groups in different parts of the city and talked about Alcoholics Anonymous. I, carried away with the desire to serve A.A., gave what was probably one of the first radio broadcasts about A.A., living through a case of mike fright and feeling like a million dollars when it was all over. I lived through a week of the fidgets because I had agreed to address a group of alcoholic inmates in one of our state mental hospitals. There it was the same—exhilaration at a mission accomplished. Do I have to tell you who gained the most out of all this?

p. 254

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
August 28

Step Seven – “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

How we alcoholics did resent that verdict! We would not believe that our adult dreams were often truly childish. And considering the rough deal life had given us, we felt it perfectly natural that we were sensitive. As to our grandiose behavior, we insisted that we had been possessed of nothing but a high and legitimate ambition to win the battle of life.

p. 123

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Bible Scriptures
August 28

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”
Colossians 3:16

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34

“The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.”
Psalms 116:6

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Daily Inspiration
August 28

If you are too easily offended and become upset too quickly, you are taking life far too seriously. Lord, help me avoid looking for things to complain about.

Never underestimate the power of your presence nor your ability to comfort and encourage. Lord, thank You for my opportunities to do Your work.

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A Day At A Time
August 28

Reflection For The Day

“Prayer does not change God,” wrote Soren Kierkegaard, “but it changes him who prays.”  Those of us in The Program who’ve learned to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we’d trun down sunshine, fresh air, or food — and for the same reason.  Just as the body can wither and fail for lack of nourishment, so can the soul.  We all need the light of God’s reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His Grace.  Do I thank God for all that He has given me, for all that He has taken away from me, and for all He has left me?

Today I Pray

Dear H.P.;  I want to thank you for spreading calm over my confusion, for making the jangled chords of my human relationships harmonize again, for putting together the shattered pieces of my Humpty Dumpty self, for giving me as a sobriety present a whole great expanded world of marvels and opportunities.  May I remain truly Yours, Yours truly.

Today I Will Remember

Prayer, however simple, nourishes the soul.

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One More Day
August 28

Pain is life — the sharper, the more evidence of life.
–  Charles Lamb

We all have pain in our lives.  This is not necessarily illness, but deeper emotional pain caused by our perception of failure or success.  Caused by a relationship ending.  Caused by loss.  Caused by giving up unrealistic goals.  We all experience pain.

We gain knowledge that pain broadens our base of experience and can make us stronger — or weaker.  And we are the ones who ultimately have to carry the burden and joy of our lives.

There’s more here than “pain in life.”  It’s how we learn to handle our pain, how we react to what has caused our pain, and how we have made others feel about our pain that matters the most.

I choose to be a survivor.  My experience can enrich my life.

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One Day At A Time
August 28
FIT SPIRITUAL CONDITION

“… the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.  We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience.  That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.”
–The Big Book, p.85

These words, read every morning during prayer time, teach me to live as I am meant to live. Sanely and peacefully. Laid back. Patient and forgiving of myself. I am no longer a part of the war of the worlds. Anger can be dealt with or walked away from. Eating over it is no longer an option. Compulsive overeating is a problem I can live without, just for today.

One day at a time…
I will remember where I came from and how I got here so long as I keep in fit spiritual condition.

~ Jo

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 28

“With prayer and good intentions, we make our lives sacred and come into balance.”
–Don Jose Matsua, HUICHOL SIERRA MADRE MEXICO

Only through prayer can we make spiritual changes that are permanent.  You have told us that all life is sacred.  Today I intend to serve you, my Creator.  Allow me to overcome temptation, and if one comes along, let me see the lessons that will give balance.  You have told us that all life is sacred. Let me see today with a sacred eye.  Let me see beauty in all things.

My Creator, let me know what You would have me be today.  Let my intentions be honest, respectful, humble, and loving.

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Journey To The Heart
August 28
Make Yourself At Home

Once you accept yourself unconditionally, you’ll be surprised at how comfortable you begin to feel, no matter where you are.

We may have tricked ourselves into thinking our security came from outside ourselves — that ew needed certain other people or places, needed certain objects or items around us, or had to live our lives in a particular way to feel secure.  But relying on things and people outside ourselves provides a false sense of security.  False security will be shown for what it is.

There’s a real security, a true safety, available to us all, no matter who we are, where we are, or what we’re doing.  That security comes from accepting ourselves.  That security comes from trusting ourselves, trusting our hearts, our wisdom, our connection to the Divine and to the universe aorund us.

Once we accept ourselves unconditionally, no matter where we are, it will feel like home.

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Today’s Gift
August 28

The route you take depends a good deal upon where you want to go.
Lewis Carroll

Day after day, the father drove to work along the same dreary highway to the same dreary job. Sometimes his daughter went to his office with him. On one of these occasions she noticed a winding road running parallel to the highway. “Oh, Daddy, let’s take that road today,” she suggested. After some grumbling and mumbling, the father agreed and turned off to take the side road.

To their delight, the road was lined with full trees and a rainbow of flowers. They came upon a quaint little village in which there was an office with a sign in the window, which said, “Clerk Wanted. Inquire Within.” The job seemed perfect and the man accepted it with excitement he hadn’t felt in many years.

Sometimes we have to risk taking a different path in order to arrive at a different place. How else can we change things in our lives that need to be changed? And how easy to do it, once we’re willing to risk something out of the ordinary.

What can I do that’s out of the ordinary today?

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The Language of Letting Go
August 28

Taking Care of Ourselves on the Job

It’s okay to take care of ourselves on the job. It is not only okay – it is necessary.

Taking care of ourselves on the job means we deal with feelings appropriately; we take responsibility for ourselves. We detach, when detachment is called for. We set boundaries, when we need to do that.

We negotiate conflicts; we try to separate our issues from the other person’s issues, and we don’t expect perfection from others or ourselves.

We let go of our need to control that which we cannot control. Instead, we strive for peace and manageability, owning our power to be who we are and to take care of ourselves.

We do not tolerate abuse, nor do we abuse or mistreat anyone else. We work at letting go of our fear and developing appropriate confidence. We try to learn from our mistakes, but we forgive ourselves when we make them.

We try to not set ourselves up by taking jobs that couldn’t possibly work out, or jobs that aren’t right for us. If we find ourselves in one of those circumstances, we address the issue responsibly.

We figure out what our responsibilities are, and we generally stick to those, unless another agreement is made. We leave room for great days, and not so great days.

We are gentle and loving with people whenever possible, but we are assertive and firm when that is called for. We accept our strengths and build on them. We accept our weaknesses and limitations, including the limitations of our power.

We strive to stop trying to control and change what is not our business to change. We focus on what is our responsibility and what we can change.

We set reasonable goals. We take ourselves into account. We strive for balance.

Sometimes, we give ourselves a good gripe session to let it all out, but we do that appropriately, in a way meant to take care of ourselves and release our feelings, not to sabotage ourselves. We strive to avoid malicious gossip and other self-defeating behaviors.

We avoid competition; strive for cooperation and a loving spirit. We understand that we may like some people we work with and dislike others, but strive to find harmony and balance with everyone. We do not deny how we feel about a certain person, but we strive to maintain good working relationships wherever possible.

When we don’t know, we say we don’t know. When we need help, we ask for it directly. When panic sets in, we address the panic as a separate issue and try not to let our work and behavior be controlled by panic.

We strive to take responsible care of ourselves by appropriately asking for what we need at work, while not neglecting ourselves.

If we are part of a team, we strive for healthy teamwork as an opportunity to learn how to work in cooperation with others.

If something gets or feels crazy, if we find ourselves working with a person who is addicted or has some kind of dysfunction that is troublesome, we do not make ourselves crazier by denying the problem. We accept it and strive in peace to figure out what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

We let go of our need to be martyrs or rescuers at work. We know we do not have to stay in situations that make us miserable. Instead of sabotaging a system or ourselves, we plan a positive solution, understanding we need to take responsibility for ourselves along the way.

We remove ourselves as victims, and we work at believing we deserve the best. We practice acceptance, gratitude, and faith.

One day at a time, we strive to enjoy what is good, solve the problems that are ours to solve, and give the gift of ourselves at work.

Today, I will pay attention to what recovery behavior I could practice that would improve my work life. I will take care of myself on the job. God, help me let go of my need to be victimized by work. Help me be open to all the good stuff that is available to me through work.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 28
Say thanks for the ordinary

Don’t overlook the wonder of the ordinary.

The extraordinary, the amazing, the phenomenon are daily glorified in the movies, the news, and on television. Our senses become bombarded. We become addicted to drama. The only things that get our attention are the big, catastrophic, knee-jerking events.

Take a closer look at your life, your everyday world, and the people and activities in it. If it were all taken from you in one moment, what would you miss? What sights, what sounds, what smells? Would you miss the view from your kitchen window? If you were never to see that scene again, would you nostalgically reminisce about it, wishing you could see it one more time, remembering how beautiful it was, and how much that familiar sight comforted you in your daily life?

What about those toys strewn about or the baby crying, because he’s hungry or wet? What about the sounds of the city you live in, as it comes to life each morning? Or how about how your child smells after her bath? Or when she comes in cold from playing in the snow?

What about the way your friend smiles, or that little thing he says all the time and it’s not funny but he thinks it is, so you laugh?

Look closely at the ordinary in your life. While you’re being grateful, don’t forget to express pure, sheer gratitude for how beautiful the ordinary really is. We can easily overlook the ordinary, take it for granted. The sun rises and sets, the seasons come and go, and we forget how beautiful and sensational the familiar really is.

God, thank you for every detail of my ordinary, everyday world.

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Daily TAO
August 28
Goal

What is an archer
Without a target?

It is not enough to have the philosophy of Tao. One must act. Actions, not words, are important. But mere movement is meaningless. One should have purpose.

Short-term goals help us determine each stage of our lives and experience it completely. Long-term goals give us perspective and continuity. Short-term goals help us understand the temporality of life and yet provide us with a way to benefit by that temporality. Long-term goals give focus to the experiences we accumulate.

Our goals should be entirely personal. No one knows us better than we know ourselves. There is only one universal goal: a gracious death with no regrets.

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Daily Zen
August 28

After a long period of work, suddenly in an instant, mind and thoughts are cut off, and Buddha’s real body will appear before you as a lofty presence. Only then will you be sure about the saying, “The one who has never moved is Buddha.”

– T’aego

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Food For Thought
August 28
Willingness

When we were overeating, we were negative and fearful. We alternated between avoiding work and feeling responsible for everybody and everything. An important part of our recovery is willingness: we become willing to change, willing to abstain, willing to learn. As we work the program, we become willing to allow our Higher Power to remove our character defects.

All of this does not happen overnight. When we get discouraged and make mistakes, we are willing to try again. We are willing to follow the lead of our Higher Power. As we see evidence of His care, we begin to trust that He will not require of us more than we are capable of doing.

To be willing is to hold ourselves ready and available for God’s direction. We do not jump into situations prematurely, and we do not close our minds in refusal to change. We are willing to grow and serve and, especially, willing to believe.

Increase my willingness.

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Faith’s Check Book
August 28
Out of Any Circumstance

As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.
(Psalm 55:16)

Yes, I must and will pray. What else can I do! What better can I do? Betrayed, forsaken, grieved, baffled, O my Lord, I will call upon Thee. My Ziklag is in ashes, and men speak of stoning me; but I encourage my heart in the Lord, who will bear me through this trial as He has borne me through so many others. Jehovah shall save me; I am sure He will, and I declare my faith.

The Lord and no one else shall save me. I desire no other helper and would not trust in an arm of flesh even if I could. I will cry to Him evening, and morning, and noon, and I will cry to no one else, for He is all sufficient.

How He will save me I cannot guess; but He will do it, I know. He will do it in the best and surest way, and He will do it in the largest, truest, and fullest sense. Out of this trouble and all future troubles the great I AM will bring me as surely as He lives; and when death comes and all the mysteries of eternity follow thereon, still will this be true: “the Lord shall save me.” This shall be my song all through this autumn day. Is it not as a ripe apple from the tree of life? I will feed upon it. How sweet it is to my taste!

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This Morning’s Readings
August 28

“Oil for the light.”
—Exodus 25:6.

MY soul, how much thou needest this, for thy lamp will not long continue to burn without it. Thy snuff will smoke and become an offence if light be gone, and gone it will be if oil be absent. Thou hast no oil well springing up in thy human nature, and therefore thou must go to them that sell and buy for thyself, or like the foolish virgins, thou wilt have to cry, “My lamp is gone out.” Even the consecrated lamps could not give light without oil; though they shone in the tabernacle they needed to be fed, though no rough winds blew upon them they required to be trimmed, and thy need is equally as great. Under the most happy circumstances thou canst not give light for another hour unless fresh oil of grace be given thee.

It was not every oil that might be used in the Lord’s service; neither the petroleum which exudes so plentifully from the earth, nor the produce of fishes, nor that extracted from nuts would be accepted; one oil only was selected, and that the best olive oil. Pretended grace from natural goodness, fancied grace from priestly hands, or imaginary grace from outward ceremonies will never serve the true saint of God; he knows that the Lord would not be pleased with rivers of such oil. He goes to the olive-press of Gethsemane, and draws his supplies from Him who was crushed therein. The oil of gospel grace is pure and free from lees and dregs, and hence the light which is fed thereon is clear and bright. Our churches are the Saviour’s golden candelabra, and if they are to be lights in this dark world, they must have much holy oil. Let us pray for ourselves, our ministers, and our churches, that they may never lack oil for the light. Truth, holiness, joy, knowledge, love, these are all beams of the sacred light, but we cannot give them forth unless in private we receive oil from God the Holy Ghost.

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This Evening’s Readings
August 28

“Sing, O barren.”
—Isaiah 54:1.

THOUGH we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, and have a joyful hope that we are “plants of His own right hand planting,” yet there are times when we feel very barren. Prayer is lifeless, love is cold, faith is weak, each grace in the garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower. In such a condition what are we to do? The text is addressed to us in just such a state. “Sing, O barren, break forth and cry aloud.” But what can I sing about? I cannot talk about the present, and even the past looks full of barrenness. Ah! I can sing of Jesus Christ. I can talk of visits which the Redeemer has aforetimes paid to me; or if not of these, I can magnify the great love wherewith He loved His people when He came from the heights of heaven for their redemption. I will go to the cross again. Come, my soul, heavy laden thou wast once, and thou didst lose thy burden there. Go to Calvary again. Perhaps that very cross which gave thee life may give thee fruitfulness. What is my barrenness? It is the platform for His fruit-creating power. What is my desolation? It is the black setting for the sapphire of His everlasting love. I will go in poverty, I will go in helplessness, I will go in all my shame and backsliding, I will tell Him that I am still His child, and in confidence in His faithful heart, even I, the barren one, will sing and cry aloud.

Sing, believer, for it will cheer thine own heart, and the hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for now that thou art really ashamed of being barren, thou wilt be fruitful soon; now that God makes thee loath to be without fruit He will soon cover thee with clusters. The experience of our barrenness is painful, but the Lord’s visitations are delightful. A sense of our own poverty drives us to Christ, and that is where we need to be, for in Him is our fruit found.

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