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In Loving Memory of Vic

Find A Meeting

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 – July 15

Just For Today
July 15
Relations With Others

“We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Step Eight

All human beings struggle with self-centeredness. The chronic self-centeredness that lies at the very core of addiction makes that struggle doubly difficult for people like us. Many of us have lived as if we believed we were the last people on earth, utterly blind to the effect our behavior has had on those around us.

The Eighth Step is the process our program has given us to honestly examine our past relationships. We take a look at the writing we did on our Fourth Step to identify the effects our actions had on the people in our lives. When we recognize harm done to some of those people, we become willing to take responsibility for our actions by making amends to them.

The variety of people we encounter in our day and the quality of our relations with them determines, to a great extent, the quality of our very lives. Love, humor, excitement, caring – the things that make life worth living derive much of their meaning from being shared with others. Understanding this, we want to discover the true nature of our relationships with other people and mend whatever breaks we may find in those relations. We want to work the Eighth Step.

Just for today: I want to fully enjoy the companionship of my fellows. I will examine my relationships with the people in my life. Where I find I’ve harmed others, I will seek the willingness to make amends to them.

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Daily Reflections
July 15
PRIDE

For thousands of years we have been demanding more than our share of security, prestige, and romance. When we seemed to be succeeding, we drank to dream still greater dreams. When we were frustrated, even in part, we drank for oblivion. Never was there enough of what we thought we wanted. In all these strivings, so many of them well-intentioned, our crippling handicap had been our lack of humility. We had lacked the perspective to see that character-building and spiritual values had to come first, and that material satisfactions were not the purpose of living.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 71

Time and again I approached the Seventh Step, only to fall back and regroup. Something was missing and the impact of the Step escaped me. What had I overlooked? A single word: read but ignored, the foundation of all the Steps, indeed the entire Alcoholics Anonymous program – that word is “humbly”. I understood my shortcomings: I constantly put tasks off; I angered easily; I felt too much self-pity; and thought, why me? Then I remembered, “Pride goeth before the fall,” and I eliminated pride from my life.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 15
A.A. Thought For The Day

After we had sobered up through the A.A. program, we gradually began to get a peace of mind and serenity which we never thought were possible. This peace of mind is based on a feeling that fundamentally all is well. That does not mean that all is well on the surface of things. Little things can keep going wrong and big things can keep on upsetting us. But deep down in our hearts we know that everything is eventually going to be all right, now that we are living sober lives. Have I achieved a deep down, inner calm?

Meditation For The Day

You are climbing up the ladder of life, which reaches into eternity. Would God plant your feet upon an insecure ladder? Its supports may be out of sight, hidden in secret places, but if God has asked you to step on and up firmly, then surely He has secured your ladder. Faith gives you the strength to climb steadily this ladder of life. You should leave your security to God and trust Him not to let you fall. He is there to give you all the power you need to keep on climbing.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may climb the ladder of life without fear. I pray that I may progress steadily through the rest of my life with faith and confidence.

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As Bill Sees It
July 15
Antidote For Fear, p. 196

When our failings generate fear, we then have soul-sickness. This sickness, in turn, generates still more character defects.

Unreasonable fear that our instincts will not be satisfied drives us to covet the possessions of others, to lust for sex and power, to become angry when our instinctive demands are threatened, to be envious when the ambitions of others seem to be realized while ours are not.  We eat, drink, and grab for more of everything than we need, fearing we shall never have enough. And, with genuine alarm at the prospect of work, we stay lazy. We loaf and procrastinate, or at best work grudgingly and under half steam.

These fears are the termites that ceaselessly devour the foundations of whatever sort of life we try to build.

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

As faith grows, so does inner security. The vast underlying fear of nothingness commences to subside. We of A.A. find that our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.

1. 12 & 12, p. 49
2. Grapevine, January 1962

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Walk In Dry Places
July 15
The Possible Dream
Reaching objectives.

Although we hear people ridicule the practice of daydreaming, we also hear them express admiration for people who pursued and realized their dreams. How do we know when we are pursing the right dreams?

Useful, effective dreams may seem farfetched, but they still have a possibility of fulfillment. In some ways, they’re tied to what we can do if we have the right opportunities and use our talents properly.

Fantasies, or useless dreams, can never happen. Fantasies are often based on our past and how it might have been different. It’s also useless to fantasize about feats that are completely beyond anything we could ever do. These dreams are a waste of time and energy.

What’s exciting, however, is that very person can find dreams that are possible and based on reality. It’s important to pursue these dreams and bring them into realization.

I’ll keep my realistic dreams very much alive today, knowing they’re the patterns I need for reaching my long-term objectives.

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Keep It Simple
July 15

Let there be spaces in your togetherness.
—Kahil Gilran

We all need time alone. Then we can get to know our Higher Power better too.

When we were using chemicals, we were afraid of being alone. We didn’t want to think too much.

So we got high.

Now we know we’re never totally alone. Our Higher Power is with us. We can relax. We can rest.

We can think, read, and meditate. We can our own best friend.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me use my time alone to know myself better. Help me get to know You too.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll plan to spend two hours alone to get to know myself better. I could take a long walk, or enjoy a park, or my garden. What will I do, and when?

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 15

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin into his nest again, I shall not live in vain.
—Emily Dickinson

The gift of attention to each other is “passing on” the love of God. In order to feel love, we have to give it away. We will know love when we give love.

Our attachment to the world, the sense of belonging most of us longed for the many years prior to recovery, awaits us, is showered upon us even as we reach out to someone else. We are no longer alone, scared, alienated when we let others know they are not alone. We can heal one another. The program opens the way for our healing.

Each day, each one of us can ease the pain of a friend, a co-worker, and a child. The beauty of the program, the beauty of God’s plan for us all, is that our own pain is relieved in the process of easing the pain of another. Love is the balm. Loving others makes our lives purposeful.

No day is lived in vain, if I but cherish someone else’s presence.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 15
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.

Mother was of the old school and figured that anyone I associated with should be of the proper type. Of course, in my day, times had changed; she just hadn’t changed with the times. I don’t know whether it was right or wrong, but at least I know that people weren’t thinking the same. We weren’t even permitted to play cards in our house, but Father would give us just a little toddy with whiskey and sugar and warm water now and then. We had no whiskey in the house, other than my father’s private stock. I never saw him drunk in my life, although he’d take a shot in the morning and usually one in the evening, and so did I; but for the most part he kept his whisky in his office. The only time that I ever saw my mother take anything alcoholic was around Christmas time, when she would drink some eggnog or light wine.
p. 233

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 15

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

Of course, it is reasonable and understandable that the question is often asked: “Why can’t we take a specific and troubling dilemma straight to God, and in prayer secure from Him sure and definite answers to our requests?”
This can be done, but it has hazards. We have seen A.A.’s ask with much earnestness and faith for God’s explicit guidance on matters ranging all the way from a shattering domestic or financial crisis to correcting a minor personal fault, like tardiness. Quite often, however, the thoughts that seem to come from God are not answers at all. They prove to be well-intentioned unconscious rationalizations. The A.A., or indeed any man, who tries to run his life rigidly by this kind of prayer, by this self-serving demand of God for replies, is a particularly disconcerting individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions he instantly proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in all matters great or small. He may have forgotten the possibility that his own wishful thinking and the human tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guidance. With the best of intentions, he tends to force his own will into all sorts of situations and problems with the comfortable assurance that he is acting under God’s specific direction. Under such an illusion, he can of course create great havoc without in the least intending it.

pp. 103-104

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Xtra Thoughts
July 15

If you let cloudy water settle, it will become clear. If you let your upset mind settle, your course will also become clear.
–Jack Kornfield

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
–Buddha

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
–Aristotle

Today, I will trust that God’s will is happening as it needs to in my life. I will not make myself anxious and upset by searching vigorously for God’s will, taking unnecessary actions to control the course of my destiny or wondering if God’s will has passed me by and I have missed it.
–Melody Beattie

The greatest good we can do for others is not to share our riches with them, but to reveal their own.
–Author Unknown

In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching others.
–Ibn Gabirol, poet and philosopher (ca. 1022-1058)

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 15
MUSIC

“I know that the twelve notes in each octave and the varieties of rhythm offer me opportunities that all of human genius will never exhaust.”
–Igor Stravinsky

There is so much to be gained in life. Just when you think you have exhausted all possibilities, a new insight is perceived, permutations and varieties appear in abundance. An example is sobriety. I thought it meant not drinking but today I see that it affects all areas of my life — how I walk, the hugs I freely give, my acceptance of others, my willingness to trust and risk, my optimism for a new day.

Also God is comprehensive for me today. He is alive in church, the Bible and tradition but He is also alive in literature, scripture, sexuality and music. Today I can hear beyond the symphony into the unfathomable message of God’s love for His creation. And always I hear something different and new.

Thank You, Lord, for Your messengers who love through the art of music.

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Bible Scriptures
July 15

He replied, “Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20

[God] is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.
Ephesians 3:21

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”
Matthew 19: 26

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
EX 15:2

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Daily Inspiration
July 15

Give thanks for not only all that you have, but all that you are. Lord, may I recognize the goodness within me and know that I am lovable even with my shortcomings.

To give of yourself is when you truly give. Lord, even in my busiest moments may I be able to make time when someone really needs me.

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A Day At A Time
July 15

Reflection For The Day

Faced with almost certain destruction by our addictions, we eventually had no choice but to become open-minded on spiritual matters.  In that sense, the chemicals of drugs we used were potent persuaders;  they finally whipped us into a state of reasonableness.  We came to learn that when we stubbornly close the doors on our minds, we’re locking out far more than we’re locking in.  Do I immediately reject new ideas?  Or do I patiently strive to change my old way of living?

Today I Pray

May I keep an open mind especially on spiritual matters, remembering that “spiritual” is a bigger word than “religious.”  (I was born of the Spirit, but I was taught religion.)  May I remember that a locked mind is a symptom of my addiction and an open mind is essential to my recovery.

Today I Will Remember

If I lock more out than I lock in, what am I protecting?

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One More Day
July 15

Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate.
–  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There may have been times in our lives when we have been forced, for one reason or another, to eat a bland diet.  The reasons don’t matter;  what does matter is how totally bored we became with the unvarying beige-and-white soft menu!  Before long we had lost our anticipation of eating.

We may sometimes place ourselves on a bland diet of life.  Daily routine says much the same, day after day, year after year.  From home to work to the sofa to bed, and start all over again.  Some routine is like a healthy diet that gives us stability and safety, but a sprinkling of risk is the seasoning that adds zest to our lives.  We can reach out for what is not habit.  We can continue to try when previous efforts have failed.  We can take a generous helping of life.

I can dare to change or to try new things without sacrificing all of my routine and safety.

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One Day At A Time
July 15
~ SELF-TRUTH ~

“You cannot be true to God or to anyone else until you are true to yourself.”
–Sr. Jeanne Koma, H.M.

I have spent much of my life role-playing. As spouse, parent, employee, addict, I have often lost myself. Who am I? Why am I here? If I played none of those roles, would I still exist?

It wasn’t until I took the time to discover the ‘real’ me, the person God created, that I was able to be a better spouse, parent, and employee. And it was through this discovery that the addict in me began taking a back seat to the child of God that I truly am.

I cannot do God’s will nor be supportive of others if I am dishonest about who I am.

When Moses asked God who He was, God replied, “I am who I am.” I am also who I am. I have nothing of which to be ashamed.

One Day at a Time . . .
I must be true to myself if I wish to be of service to anyone else.

~Debbie~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day July 15

“We are nothing compared to His power, and we feel and know it.”
–Black Hawk, SAUK

Inside of every man and woman is a place of knowing. In this place is the knowing that there is a Great One, the Great Mystery, the Holy One, the Great Spirit. We can deny this all we want but we know what we know. This place of knowing is at the very center of our being. It is gratifying to know that God cannot leave us. It is said we are spiritual beings trying to be human. With this power in our lives, we can accomplish much. We can do many good things for our people.

Oh Great Spirit, I know of Your power. I love the days when I can feel Your presence. Let today be one of those days. Let me walk today in Your beauty.

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Journey To The Heart
July 15
Delight in Yourself

Stop picking on yourself, worrying if you’re good enough, wondering what people will see if you let them see your heart. This is what they’ll see: that you are a lovable and delightful soul, beautiful child of God.

Be yourself and accept yourself–warts, waistline,and all. You don’t have to sit up that straight, be that proper, or fear what others may see. Let your imperfections show! Share them! Love yourself anyway! Relax, and be who you are! When you do that, your life will be fun and a joyful gift to others.

People who comfortably accept who they are– both their flaws and their good points– are healing, delightful, and fun to be around. Look at any work of nature: a canyon, a flower, a bird. A mountain or a forest trail. Where does the perfection begin and imperfecting end? It’s the combination that makes a perfect scene. So it is with you.

Relax. Lighten up. Let go of shame and fear. The whole picture is perfect, and perfectly okay.

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Today’s Gift
July 15

I was forced to live far beyond my years when just a child. Now I have reversed the order and I intend to remain young indefinitely.
—Mary Pickford

We can all learn to change our lives so the child within each of us can live in balance with the people we have become. We can learn to give the child a voice, let the child play, let the child express needs and fears and pleasures.

We might look at our old baby pictures for a valuable lesson. We will see pictures of ourselves on rocking horses, grinning and waving; pictures of ourselves with our most precious toy – a crude metal car, perhaps; pictures of ourselves rolling in the grass. The lesson we learn is that it doesn’t take much to make this child happy – even today.

We keep our own happiness safe inside us to call on whenever we need it, as long as we keep a healthy relationship with the child within. When we nourish the child, we can be assured the child will also nourish us.

What simple thing will make me happy today?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 15

I was thirty five years old the first time I spoke up to my mother and refused to buy into her games and manipulation.

I was terribly frightened and almost couldn’t believe I was doing this. I found I didn’t have to be mean. I didn’t have to start an argument. But I could say what I wanted and needed to say to take care of myself. I learned I could love and honor myself, and still care about my mother – the way I wanted to – not the way she wanted me to.
—Anonymous

Who knows better how to push our buttons than family members? Who, besides family members, do we give such power?

No matter how long we or our family members have been recovering, relationships with family members can be provocative.

One telephone conversation can put us in an emotional and psychological tailspin that lasts for hours or days.

Sometimes, it gets worse when we begin recovery because we become even more aware of our reactions and our discomfort. That’s uncomfortable, but good. It is by beginning this process of awareness and acceptance that we change, grow, and heal.

The process of detaching in love from family members can take years. So can the process of learning how to react in a more effective way. We cannot control what they do or try to do, but we can gain some sense of control over how we choose to react.

Stop trying to make them act or treat us any differently. Unhook from their system by refusing to try to change or influence them.

Their patterns, particularly their patterns with us, are their issues. How we react, or allow these patterns to influence us, is our issue. How we take care of ourselves is our issue.

We can love our family and still refuse to buy into their issues. We can love our family but refuse their efforts to manipulate, control, or produce guilt in us.

We can take care of ourselves with family members without feeling guilty. We can learn to be assertive with family members without being aggressive. We can set the boundaries we need and want to set with family members without being disloyal to the family.

We can learn to love our family without forfeiting love and respect for ourselves.

Today, help me start practicing self care with family members. Help me know that I do not have to allow their issues to control my life, my day, or my feelings. Help me know it’s okay to have all my feelings about family members, without guilt or shame.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 15
Expect grief to be a lot of grief

Your grief will take more energy than you would have ever imagined.
–Theresa A. Rondo
How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies

Grief is more than one feeling. Depending on the nature of the loss, it may become a temporary way of life. It may last eight weeks or eight years.

Let go of any judgements you have about grief and about how long you think it should take to get over that loss. Instead, practice compassion for other people and for yourself.

Keep your expectations realistic. Give anyone who’s grieving, whether it’s yourself or someone else, more latitude than you think could possibly be needed.

God, there’s a lot of broken hearts on this planet. Please heal them all, including mine.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 15

There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me – I always feel that they have not said enough.
—Mark Twain

Hearing the good words and praise of another person is harder for some of us to accept than criticism and abuse. Perhaps it is easier to receive what we are accustomed to, or maybe we feel a loss of control when someone compliments us. This is a time for us to begin accepting others’ actions. We do not need to be in control of our relationships at all times. When friends offer sincere compliments, we don’t need to push them away or brush them off.

All we need to do is allow others’ positive messages to come into us. In a good relationship we listen to the feelings of our friends, and sometimes that means truly listening as they tell us their good feelings about us.

Today, I will be open to the compliments that come my way without controlling them.

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Daily TAO
July 15
Mandala

      What did I do today?
      I exercised. I said good-bye
      To a departing friend.
      I went to market, ate my meals.
      Took a walk. Took out the garbage.
      Read a little. Meditated. Slept.
      This was my mandala.

A mandala is most commonly a diagram or painting that one uses during meditation. The painting is usually brightly colored and extremely complicated. By beginning at the outer perimeter of the picture and gradually working inward (sometimes pausing at certain parts to contemplate), the meditator becomes completely absorbed. By the time the center is reached, all normal egoistic notions should have been dissolved and the profundities of the mind should have been opened.

Other religions have various other ways: mass, chanting, sacrament, reciting holy scripture, contemplating. These too become their mandala – their objects of worship.

But it is not enough to go tho church or temple once a week, or to read a bit of a holy book every morning. Can Tao be confined to such simple rituals? No. We could fly to the very height of the cosmos, plunge to the greatest depth, swim the length and breadth of eternity, and still not come to the limits of Tao. Therefore, we should look for Tao in every day. We should ask each day how Tao manifested itself to us. Our daily activities are our mandala.

Tao reveals itself to us in our mundane doings.

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In God’s Care
July 15

Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift to himself.
~~Mother Teresa

In praying, some of us depend on the traditions of our religion, others on the instructions of spriitual leaders. Some of us just strike out on our own, not knowing what to say or what to do, yet believing that form is not as important as intent. We only know that when we do pray, something happens.

And each time we lift our thoughts to God, it is easier the next time. Then, as we keep praying, we discover that we have begun to establish a familiarity. Our heart is opening to God without our realizing it. When we are willing, God fills our heart. And even though we can leave God, and often do, God never leaves us.

    I am grateful that God is in my heart. My prayer is one of thanks.

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Day By Day
July 15
    Recognizing opportunities

Today is a day of opportunity. Any experiences that we have today – good or bad – can be seen as opportunities, opportunities to grow closer to God.

As bread is food for the body, opportunities are food for the soul.

Do I see all the opportunities in my daily life? Do I take advantage of them?

I pray that I may use my experiences as opportunities to grow closer to God.

    Today I will look for opportunities by…

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Food for Thought
July 15
Clean Abstinence

It is easy to become sloppy in our abstinence and in our program. This is where a daily inventory is an invaluable aid. When we catch ourselves cheating just a little on measurements, making excuses to skip meetings, neglecting to follow the promptings of our Higher Power, it is time for housecleaning.

If we have stopped calling in our food plan and are having trouble with abstinence, we may need to get in touch with a food sponsor. Many of us find it hard to admit that we cannot do everything alone! False pride can be our downfall. If we pretend that all is well when it is not, we cut ourselves off from the help of the group.

The time to correct small mistakes is immediately, before they get bigger and make us discouraged. Admitting the mistake to another person clears the way for correction and change.

Thank You for those who help me maintain clean abstinence.

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DailyZen
July 15

I have a great robe
Not of this world’s silk.
It can’t be dyed by any color,
being crystalline, like white floss.
No scissors were used to cut it,
No thread was used to stitch it.
I keep it always close about me,
But there’s no person who has seen it.
It shelters a Trichilial Cosmos from heat and cold,
Covering over sentient and non-sentient alike.
Should you be able to obtain this great robe,
Having donned it, you straightaway
Enter the palace of Emptiness.

– Layman P’ang (740-808)

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Faith’s Check Book
July 15
The Mourner Comforted

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
(Matthew 5:4)

By the valley of weeping we come to Zion. One would have thought mourning and being blessed were in opposition, but the infinitely wise Savior puts them together in this Beatitude. What He has joined together let no man put asunder. Mourning for sin—our own sins, and the sins of others—is the Lord’s seal set upon His faithful ones. When the Spirit of grace is poured upon the house of David, or any other house, they shall mourn. By holy mourning we receive the best of our blessings, even as the rarest commodities come to us by water. Not only shall the mourner be blessed at some future day, but Christ pronounces him blessed even now.

The Holy Spirit will surely comfort those hearts which mourn for sin. They shall be comforted by the application of the blood of Jesus and by the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost. They shall be comforted as to the abounding sin of their city and of their age by the assurance that God will glorify Himself, however much men may rebel against Him. They shall be comforted with the expectation that they shall be wholly freed from sin before long and shall soon be taken up to dwell forever in the glorious presence of their Lord.

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 15

“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”
—Leviticus 6:13.

KEEP the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow their fires here, there-fore let this burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence, and barometer, of vital and experimental religion.

Burn here the fat of your sacrifices. Let your closet seasons be, if possible, regular, frequent, and undisturbed. Effectual prayer availeth much. Have you nothing to pray for? Let us suggest the Church, the ministry, your own soul, your children, your relations, your neighbours, your country, and the cause of God and truth throughout the world. Let us examine ourselves on this important matter. Do we engage with lukewarmness in private devotion? Is the fire of devotion burning dimly in our hearts? Do the chariot wheels drag heavily? If so, let us be alarmed at this sign of decay. Let us go with weeping, and ask for the Spirit of grace and of supplications. Let us set apart special seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar, and lessen our influence both in the Church and in the world.

The text will also apply to the altar of the heart. This is a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of His people glowing towards Himself. Let us give to God our hearts, all blazing with love, and seek His grace, that the fire may never be quenched; for it will not burn if the Lord does not keep it burning. Many foes will attempt to extinguish it; but if the unseen hand behind the wall pour thereon the sacred oil, it will blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel for our heart’s fire, they are live coals; let us attend sermons, but above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.

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This Evening’s Meditation
July 15

“He appeared first to Mary Magdalene.”
—Mark 16:9.

JESUS “appeared first to Mary Magdalene,” probably not only on account of her great love and persevering seeking, but because, as the context intimates, she had been a special trophy of Christ’s delivering power. Learn from this, that the greatness of our sin before conversion should not make us imagine that we may not be specially favoured with the very highest grade of fellowship. She was one who had left all to become a constant attendant on the Saviour. He was her first, her chief object. Many who were on Christ’s side did not take up Christ’s cross; she did. She spent her substance in relieving His wants. If we would see much of Christ, let us serve Him. Tell me who they are that sit oftenest under the banner of His love, and drink deepest draughts from the cup of communion, and I am sure they will be those who give most, who serve best, and who abide closest to the bleeding heart of their dear Lord. But notice how Christ revealed Himself to this sorrowing one—by a word, “Mary.” It needed but one word in His voice, and at once she knew Him, and her heart owned allegiance by another word, her heart was too full to say more. That one word would naturally be the most fitting for the occasion. It implies obedience. She said, “Master.” There is no state of mind in which this confession of allegiance will be too cold. No, when your spirit glows most with the heavenly fire, then you will say, “I am Thy servant, Thou hast loosed my bonds.” If you can say, “Master,” if you feel that His will is your will, then you stand in a happy, holy place. He must have said, “Mary,” or else you could not have said, “Rabboni.” See, then, from all this, how Christ honours those who honour Him, how love draws our Beloved, how it needs but one word of His to turn our weeping to rejoicing, how His presence makes the heart’s sunshine.

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