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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – August 8, 2014

Just For Today
August 8, 2014
Responsible Recovery

“We accept responsibility for our problems and see that we’re equally responsible for our solutions.”
Basic Text, p.94

Some of us, well accustomed to leaving our personal responsibilities to others, may attempt the same behavior in recovery. We quickly find out it doesn’t work.

For instance, we are considering making a change in our lives, so we call our sponsor and ask what we should do. Under the guise of seeking direction, we are actually asking our sponsor to assume responsibility for making decisions about our life. Or maybe we’ve been short with someone at a meeting, so we ask that person’s best friend to make our apologies for us. Perhaps we’ve imposed on a friend several times in the last month to cover our service commitment. Could it be that we’ve asked a friend to analyze our behavior and identify our shortcomings, rather than taking our own personal inventory?

Recovery is something that has to be worked for. It isn’t going to be handed to us on a silver platter, nor can we expect our friends or our sponsor to be responsible for the work we must do ourselves. We recover by making our own decisions, doing our own service, and working our own steps. By doing it for ourselves, we receive the rewards.

Just for today: I accept responsibility for my life and my recovery.

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Daily Reflections
August 8, 2014
“MADE A LIST. . . . “

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, . . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS , p. 77

When I approached the Eighth Step, I wondered how I could list all the things that I have done to other people since there were so many people, and some of them weren’t alive anymore. Some of the hurts I inflicted weren’t bad, but they really bothered me. The main thing to see in this Step was to become willing to do whatever I had to do to make these amends to the best of my ability at that particular time. Where there is a will, there’s a way, so if I want to feel better, I need to unload the guilt feeling I have. A peaceful mind has no room for feeling of guilt. With the help of my Higher Power, if I am honest with myself, I can cleanse my mind of these feelings.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 8, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

For awhile, we are going back to the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, and pick out passages here and there, so that they may become fixed in our minds, a little at a time, day by day, as we go along. There is no substitute for reading the Big Book. It is our “bible.” We should study it thoroughly and make it a part of ourselves. We should not try to change any of it. Within its covers is the full exposition of the A.A. program. There is no substitute for it. We should study it often. Have I studied the Big Book faithfully?

Meditation For The Day

All of life is a fluctuation between effort and rest. You need both every day. But effort is not truly effective until first you have had the proper preparation for it, by resting in a time of quiet meditation. This daily time of rest and meditation gives you the power necessary to make your best effort. There are days when you are called on for much effort and then comes a time when you need much rest. It is not good to rest too long and it is not good to carry on great effort too long without rest. The successful life is a proper balance between the two.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be ready to make the proper effort. I pray that I may also recognize the need for relaxation.

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As Bill Sees It
August 8, 2014
In Partnership, p. 220

As we made spiritual progress, it became clear that, if we ever were to feel emotionally secure, we would have to put our lives on a give-and-take basis; we would have to develop the sense of being in partnership or brotherhood with all those around us. We saw that we would need to give constantly of ourselves without demand for repayment. When we persistently did this, we gradually found that people were attracted to us as never before. And even if they failed us, we could be understanding and not too seriously affected.

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

The unity, the effectiveness, and even the survival of A.A. will always depend upon our continued willingness to give up some of our personal ambitions and desires for the common safety and welfare. Just as sacrifice means survival for the individual alcoholic, so does sacrifice mean unity and survival for the group and for A.A.’s entire Fellowship.

1. 12 & 12, pp. 115-116
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, pp. 287-288

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Walk In Dry Places
August 8, 2014
No self-deception
Honesty

Most of the time, other people don’t really deceive us. We deceive ourselves by refusing to face life realistically. We often believe false information simply because we want to believe it.

Living on a 12 Step basis should enable us to face reality without becoming cynical or pessimistic. If a friend appears to be lying to us, for example, we can accept this as a single lie, not as a complete betrayal. In addition, we learn not to lie to ourselves. This helps us avoid shaky business schemes and unrealistic hopes.

At the same time, we can still retain our capacity for believing in wonders and miracles. We have experienced enough miracles to prove that they really happen.

I’ll use my head as much as possible today to help keep my heart from getting me into trouble, but I’ll remember that it’s what’s in my heart that counts.

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Keep It Simple
August 8, 2014

Adventure is not outside a man; it is within.
—David Grayson

Sobriety. It’s an exciting adventure. It’s a spiritual adventure. We look inward. We find where our Higher Power lives: within us. We then reach outward. We share our joy with others. Not with words and preaching, but by trying to help others. Sobriety is faith turned into action.

Sobriety. It’s an adventure in coming to know one’s self. At times, we’ll have to face our fears. But we’ll also find just how much love we have for life.

Sobriety. It’s as if we’re on a trip. Our Higher Power holds the map. Our job is to listen. And we go in the direction we’re told.

Prayer for the Day: I pray to be an adventurer. Higher Power, I pray to follow Your direction.

Action for the Day: I’ll ask some friends to tell me about an adventure their Higher Power has taken them on.

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Each Day a New Beginning
August 8, 2014

I’m a most lucky and thankful woman. Lucky and thankful for each morning I wake up. For three wonderful daughters and one son. For an understanding and very loving husband with whom I’ve shared 52 blessed years, all in good health.
—Thelma Elliott

Gratitude for what’s been offered us in our lives softens the harsh attitudes we occasionally harbor. Life presents us with an assortment of blessings; some bring us immediate joy, some invite tears, others foster fear. What we need help in understanding is that all experiences are meant for our good, all bless us in some manner. If we are able to see the big picture, we’d greet all situations, large and small, with a thankful heart.

It’s so very easy to wish away our lives, never finding satisfaction with our families, our jobs, and our friends. The more we find fault with life, the more fault we are guaranteed to find. Negative attitudes attract negative experiences; while positive attitudes lighten whatever burden we may be learning from.

The years pass so quickly. Our chances to enjoy life pass quickly too. We can grab what comes our way and be grateful. We are never certain that this experience offered now might not be our last.

Each morning I awake is blessing number one.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
August 8, 2014
Jim’s Story

This physician, one of the earliest members of A.A.’s first black group, tells of how freedom came as he worked among his people.

I haven’t mentioned it, but Charlie, my sponsor, was white, and when we got our group started, we got help from other white groups in Washington. They came, many of them, and stuck by us and told us how to hold meetings. They taught us a great deal about Twelfth Step work too. Indeed, without their aid we couldn’t possibly have gone on. They saved us endless time and lost motion. And, not only that, but they gave us financial help. Even when we were paying that two dollars a night, they often paid it for us because our collection was so small.

p. 244

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
August 8, 2014

Step Twelve – “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

After we come into A.A., if we go on growing, our attitudes and actions toward security–emotional security and financial security–commence to change profoundly. Our demand for emotional security, for our own way, had constantly thrown us into unworkable relations with other people. Though we were sometimes quite unconscious of this, the result always had been the same. Either we had tried to play God and dominate those about us, or we had insisted on being overdependent upon them. Where people had temporarily let us run their lives as though they were still children, we had felt very happy and secure ourselves. But when they finally resisted or ran away, we were bitterly hurt and disappointed. We blamed them, being quite unable to see that our unreasonable demands had been the cause.

p. 115

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Xtra Thoughts
August 8, 2014

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.
–D. H. Lawrence

There is more time than life.
–Mexican Proverb

If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.
–unknown

I don’t want people who want to dance, I want people who ‘have’ to dance.
–George Balanchine

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
–Robert Louis Stevenson

“You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.”
–Anthony Robbins

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 8, 2014
MONEY

“Money often costs too much.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Money can be a curse. It can destroy people. Money in itself has no value. It needs to be “used” or “put to work”. The problem is that many people think it can work miracles, i.e., “make me happy”, “give me self-esteem”, “bring love into my life”, “remove my loneliness”, “cure my insecurities and remove my alcohol or drug problems!” The historical list of wealthy casualties indicates that this is not the case.  We cannot “buy” ourselves out of a disease! In this sense, money costs too much.

Because I have a compulsive nature, I need to be aware of my desire for money and the responsible way I need to use it. Spirituality involves the use of money. I need to be positive in my attitude towards money but also creative about how to use it.

I need always to remember that true wealth is found in my discovery of the God within and not in the clothes I wear.

O God, let me make money serve me; may I never be foolish enough to serve it.

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Bible Scriptures
August 8, 2014

“Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes; And I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.”
Psalm 119:33-35

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5

“He answered: ” `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Luke 10:27

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2b

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Daily Inspiration
August 8, 2014

There is never a moment that we cease being a child of God. Lord, Your love fills me with the ability to love all of Your children. Help me to set aside any hurts or reservations that I have and treat all as You would.

Often times that which we find difficult is that which teaches. Lord, may I always be able to see the good that comes from even my trials.

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A Day At A Time
August 8, 2014

Reflection For The Day

As a recovering alcoholic, I have to remind myself that no0 amount of social acceptance of resentments will take the poison out of them.  In a way, the problem of resentments is very much like the drinking problem.  Alcohol is never safe for me;  no matter who is offering it.  I’ve attended cocktail receptions for worthy causes, often in a convivial atmosphere that makes drinking seem almost harmless.  Just as I politely but adamanity decline alcohol under any conditions, will I also refuse to accept resentments — no matter who is serving them?

Today I Pray

When anger, hurt, fear or guilt — to be socially acceptable — put on their polite, pary manners, dress up as resentment and come in the side door, may I not hobnob with them.  These emotions, disguised as they are, can be a full of trickery as the chemicals themselves.

Today I Will Remember

Keep an eye on the side door.

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One More Day
August 8, 2014

Man can do much for himself as respects his own improvement, unless self-love so blinds him that he cannot see his own imperfections and weaknesses.
–  Martha Wilson

Remember Hide and Seek?  Oleeey oleeey in free?  What wonderful times they were when we were so certain we could hide from others.  Now we are adults, and one would think we are no longer hiding.  That’s not, unfortunately, always true.  Many of us hide within negative behaviors which become habits.

Looking at our own weaknesses is a difficult task.  We understand we have character defects, but we’re afraid to change our familiar patterns.  If we can admit there is a problem, we’ve taken the first step.  Wanting to change comes next.  Finally, we won’t be hiding anymore.

Self-improvement is within my reach if I admit my negative behavior.

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One Day At A Time
August 8, 2014
~ HAPPINESS ~

Happiness is never something you get from other people. The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you are able to give.
–Oprah Winfrey

I learned a great lesson while grieving the loss of my three-year-old son. It was Christmas time. I had three other children who were looking forward to a wonderful day with all the trimmings, but my heart was despairing. I came to the realization that I could take the experience one moment at a time. Some of those moments would be very sad, but some of those little periods of time would be joyful. I found out that happiness is moments, not a state of being. We can take those joyful moments and treasure them until they accumulate into happiness. We have the choice to treasure them or to allow them to disappear in our lack of gratitude and appreciation.

Every day there is joy that we miss because we aren’t looking for it. When I look back at the end of the day and add up the good moments, I often realize there is so much joy in my life. I learn to appreciate the little things.

That Christmas is remembered more for those little moments of joy. The love in my heart for the other children helped me to rise above the despair and reach out to give them a gift of happiness on that treasured holiday.

One day at a time…
I strive to see the good in each moment.

~ Dottie ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day August 8

“The Creator told everyone of us in our tribal beginnings to look after our ceremonies, and each other.”
–Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

Our ceremonies are important and each has a purpose. They teach us about the Creator and about each other. The ceremonies teach us to be humble and teach us to pray. They teach us to look inside ourselves.

We should remember to pray each morning. Ask the Creator to guide our thinking. Think only good thoughts. Think good thoughts about our relatives and about our brothers and sisters. Pray for our children in ceremony. Give thanks to the Great Mystery of life. All life is sacred. Pray in a sacred way.

Oh Great Spirit, I come to You this morning in ceremony. I come to this sacred place to talk to You. I thank You for Your guidance and protection. Give me Your eyes today so I may see the beauty in all things.

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Journey To The Heart
August 8, 2014
Touch the Timeless Rhythms of Life

Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, touched me deeply, profoundly. It sang to my soul. I walked through the canyon viewing the remnants of the Anasazi culture, touching, seeing, experiencing what was left of their sophisticated society, a civilization over two thousand years old. I felt reverence and humility as I touched the stones of a culture that no longer existed. I could almost see the people who lived there, busy with their work, their relationships, their goals, their fears and hopes. Just like us, I wondered if they knew that someday their society would be extinct, gone, vanished. I wondered if they knew how important they were, how each of us plays a tiny part in the eternal dance of the universe.

It’s so easy to become consumed by the details of our lives, to be impressed with the technology of our own society, to get lost in the business and busyness of our ways. But it’s important to remember ancient culture, other civilizations, other lives lived long ago– the lessons of our planet, the timeless lessons of love and life. I wept with wonder, awe, and joy at how important yet humble each of our lives is. My soul vibrated with the awareness of eternity with the infinite rhythms of life.

I lingered at Chaco Canyon, not wanting to leave. A still voice whispered to my soul, reminding me that I could return as often as needed and wanted, because this place was now part of me, part of my heart.

Allow your soul to awaken. Allow it to soar. Touch the timeless rhythms and cycles of life.

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Today’s Gift
August 8, 2014

The important thing is not to conquer but to have fought at all.
—Olympic motto

People come from all over the world to participate in the Olympics, and they come with a wide range of talent. A lot of them know they will not win a medal, yet they have trained hard for their event. They meet people from all corners of the earth who love the same activity.

There is a contagious joy and excitement the athletes share in their time together. It is a sense that the sharing of worldwide joy and peace is indeed possible.

Whether we succeed or fail in what we do is not the essential thing. What is important is the heart with which we live our lives.

If I could share something with the world, what would it be?

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The Language of Letting Go
August 8, 2014
Saying Yes

Yesterday we talked about learning to say no. Today, let’s discuss another important word: Yes.

We can learn to say yes to things that feel good, to what we want – for others and ourselves.

We can learn to say yes to fun. Yes to meetings, to calling a friend, asking for help.

We can learn to say yes to healthy relationships, to people and activities that are good for us.

We can learn to say yes to ourselves, what we want and need, our instincts, and the leading of our Higher Power.

We can learn to say yes when it feels right to help someone. We can learn to say yes to our feelings. We can learn to identify when we need to take a walk, take a nap, have our back rubbed, or buy ourselves flowers.

We can learn to say yes to work that is right for us.

We can learn to say yes to all that will nurture and nourish us. We can learn to say yes to the best life and love has to offer.

Today, I will say yes to all that feels good and right.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 8, 2014
You’re being protected

It’s easy to be thankful for answered prayers, easy to be joyfully grateful when the universe gives us exactly what we want. What’s not easy is to remember to be grateful when we don’t get what we want.

John wanted an executive position in the company he worked for. He worked hard for the promotion. He prayed daily for his promotion, while giving a hundred percent of his energy and dedication to the position that he was in. But when the time came, he was passed over for his dream job. He left the company shortly after that. Today, he runs his own company with more responsibility, success, and joy than he could have ever hoped for at his old firm.

Susan, a recovering addict, wanted to date Sam more than anything. They got along great those times they ran into each other at work. He was charming, handsome, and sober, she thought. For months she tried to arrange a date with him, prayed that God would bring him into her life. But things never seemed to work out. She didn’t know why. He seemed so interested in her. She was positive that the relationship was divinely ordained. She was stunned when she arrived at work one morning to find that Sam had died the night before of a drug overdose. He had been using drugs and lying about it the whole time.

Sometimes we get what we ask for. Sometimes we don’t. God says, “No.” Be grateful– force gratitude, fake it if you must– when God answers your furtive prayers by saying no.

Take the rejections with a smile. Let God’s “no’s” move you happily down the road. Maybe you’re not being punished, after all. Maybe God is protecting you from yourself.

God, thank you for not always giving me what I think is best.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 8, 2014

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to ‘shred oranges and scrub the floor.
—D. H. Lawrence

Focusing on pain or having difficulties can put us in a rut, and we neglect the other things in our lives. A simple task like making marmalade can be a brief vacation. We change our thought patterns when we change activities. The simple action of doing something pleasant might inject a new feeling into our outlook. Sharing a problem with a friend may be all we need to see it more clearly or let it go. Moving from busy physical activity to a few moments of quiet contemplation creates an inner balance. A problem that seems overwhelming at night may be met with new insight and new energy after a night’s rest.

We don’t have to continue feeling like victims of circumstance or remain stuck with a nagging problem. Just like changing the subject of a conversation, we can change the subject of our attention for a time. When we do, we regain our sense of hope and change our responses.

Today, I will give myself a break when I become caught or obsessed with a problem.

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Daily TAO
August 8, 2014
Threshold

      Why mourn for a cocoon
      After the butterfly has flown?

Death is one of the few givens in life, and yet we fear it. We immaturely deny its presence or refuse to take it into account. In life, where so few things are stable enough to serve as true reference points, death is one of our few assurances.

Death is not an ending. It is a transformation. What dies is only our sense of identity, which was false to begin with. Death is the threshold of this life. Beyond it is something else, some mystery. We can only be sure it is unlike this life.

Let us be unabashed in admitting no one knows death definitively. The closest we may come is a supposed near-death experience, which by definition, cannot be death itself. Alternately, we can examine other people who have died. We can look at a corpse. When we do we see that whoever or whatever it was that animated that body is no longer in force. Is that body our dead friend? No. Whatever it was that was the person we knew is gone. What use is there to mourn over a lifeless shell in a casket?

Death defines the limits of life. Within those limits, there is structure upon which to base one’s decisions. Whenever one deems that one’s life has been fulfilled, one can utilize death as the portal away from this existence.

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In God’s Care
August 8, 2014

The first step toward inner peace is to decide to give love, not receive it.
~~Bernie S. Siegel

“This is a selfish program.” How many time have we heard this? It is true, of course. Whenever we make a Twelfth Step call we are doing it essentially for ourselves. We always benefit. God has given us this direct accesss to happiness, It is a lovely paradox that when we give we also receive. We are always helped by trying to help another.

Our decision to give love, then, can be a calculated one – we already know the results. This shouldn’t be our motive though. Wondering what we are getting out of giving to others can be a hindrance to our peace of mind because we’re missing God’s point. If we concentrate on the giving, the receiving will take care of itself.

    Today I will try to give unselfishly.

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Day By Day
August 8, 2014
    Recovering love

Our Higher Power has always loved us and always will. Our problem is learning to accept and believe that. While using mood-altering chemicals, we were unable to accept this love. Later, we could not even believe in this love. And for many of us, the same problems are true in our other relatioships.

By getting free of mood-altering chemicals, by getting into recovery and going to Twelve Step meetings, we will see love in action. We will see that it is real and can be trusted. We will feel its power to heal and make whole.

Am I experiencing love again?

   Higher Power, help me to absorb the love that flows in the fellowship.

    Today I will be especially loving toward…

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Food For Thought
August 8, 2014
Reflecting Light

We are made to reflect the goodness and light of our Higher Power. In order to do this, we need to be as free as possible of the negative emotions and self-will which block out God’s light. The light is always here. It is our job to keep ourselves free from the entanglements and hang-ups, which cloud our vision.

Our primary means of staying in the light is to abstain from compulsive overeating. Without clean abstinence, we become muddled in our thinking and in our emotions. God’s light and love can shine through our lives if we are physically ready to receive and reflect.

Working the Steps frees us from the negative emotions, which block out the light. At first we may have wondered how the Twelve Steps were related to our problems. As we progress in the program, we see that without the spiritual growth, which they facilitate, we cannot be fully open to the light from our Higher Power.

Prepare me to reflect Your light.

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Daily Zen
August 8, 2014

Evening meditation, enfolded in mountains,
All thoughts of the world dissolve.
Quietly sitting on my cattail cushion
Alone, I face the empty window.
Incense burns away, as the dark night deepens,
And my robe is a single fold, as white dew thickens
Rising from deep meditation, I stroll in the garden,
And the moon is already above the highest peak.

– Ryokan

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Faith’s Check Book
August 8, 2014
Confidence Not Misplaced

The Lord God will help me.
(Isaiah 50:7)

These are in prophecy the words of Messiah in the day of His obedience unto death, when He gave His back to the smiters and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. He was confident in divine support and trusted in Jehovah.

O my soul, thy sorrows are as the small dust of the balance compared with thy Lord’s! Canst thou not believe that the Lord God will help thee? Thy Lord was in a peculiar position; for as the representative of sinful men—their substitute and sacrifice—it was needful that the Father should leave Him and cause Him to come under desertion of soul. No such necessity is laid upon thee: thou art not bound to cry, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” Did thy Savior even in such a case still rely upon God, and canst not thou? He died for thee and thus made it impossible that thou shouldst be left alone; wherefore, be of good cheer.

In this day’s labors or trials say, “The Lord God will help me.” Go forth boldly. Set your face like a flint and resolve that no faintness or shamefacedness shall come near you. If God helps, who can hinder? If you are sure of omnipotent aid, what can be too heavy for you? Begin the day joyously, and let no shade of doubt come between thee and the eternal sunshine.

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This Morning’s Readings
August 8, 2014

“They weave the spider’s web.”
—Isaiah 59:5.

EE the spider’s web, and behold in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite’s religion. It is meant to catch his prey: the spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward. Foolish persons are easily entrapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more judicious cannot always escape. Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose guileful declaration of faith was so soon exploded by the stern rebuke of Peter. Custom, reputation, praise, advancement, and other flies, are the small game which hypocrites take in their nets. A spider’s web is a marvel of skill: look at it and admire the cunning hunter’s wiles. Is not a deceiver’s religion equally wonderful? How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth? How can he make his tinsel answer so well the purpose of gold? A spider’s web comes all from the creature’s own bowels. The bee gathers her wax from flowers, the spider sucks no flowers, and yet she spins out her material to any length. Even so hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged on their own anvil, and their cable twisted by their own hands. They lay their own foundation, and hew out the pillars of their own house, disdaining to be debtors to the sovereign grace of God. But a spider’s web is very frail. It is curiously wrought, but not enduringly manufactured. It is no match for the servant’s broom, or the traveller’s staff. The hypocrite needs no battery of Armstrongs to blow his hope to pieces, a mere puff of wind will do it. Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the besom of destruction begins its purifying work. Which reminds us of one more thought, viz., that such cobwebs are not to be endured in the Lord’s house: He will see to it that they and those who spin them shall be destroyed for ever. O my soul, be thou resting on something better than a spider’s web. Be the Lord Jesus thine eternal hiding-place.

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This Evening’s Readings
August 8, 2014

“All things are possible to him that believeth.”
—Mark 9:23.

ANY professed Christians are always doubting and fearing, and they forlornly think that this is the necessary state of believers. This is a mistake, for “all things are possible to him that believeth”; and it is possible for us to mount into a state in which a doubt or a fear shall be but as a bird of passage flitting across the soul, but never lingering there. When you read of the high and sweet communions enjoyed by favoured saints, you sigh and murmur in the chamber of your heart, “Alas! these are not for me.” O climber, if thou hast but faith, thou shalt yet stand upon the sunny pinnacle of the temple, for “all things are possible to him that believeth.” You hear of exploits which holy men have done for Jesus; what they have enjoyed of Him; how much they have been like Him; how they have been able to endure great persecutions for His sake; and you say, “Ah! as for me, I am but a worm; I can never attain to this.” But there is nothing which one saint was, that you may not be. There is no elevation of grace, no attainment of spirituality, no clearness of assurance, no post of duty, which is not open to you if you have but the power to believe. Lay aside your sackcloth and ashes, and rise to the dignity of your true position; you are little in Israel because you will be so, not because there is any necessity for it. It is not meet that thou shouldst grovel in the dust, O child of a King. Ascend! The golden throne of assurance is waiting for you! The crown of communion with Jesus is ready to bedeck your brow. Wrap yourself in scarlet and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day; for if thou believest, thou mayst eat the fat of kidneys of wheat; thy land shall flow with milk and honey, and thy soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. Gather golden sheaves of grace, for they await thee in the fields of faith. “All things are possible to him that believeth.”

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