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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 18, 2014

Just For Today
July 18, 2014
The Gift Of Desperation

“Our disease always resurfaced or continued to progress until, in desperation, we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous.”
Basic Text, p. 13

When we think of being desperate, we envision an undesirable state: a poor, bedraggled soul frantically clawing at something sorely needed, a desperate look in the eyes. We think of hunted animals, hungry children, and of ourselves before we found NA.

Yet it was the desperation we felt before coming to NA that compelled us to accept the First Step. We were fresh out of ideas, and so became open to new ones. Our insanity had finally risen higher than our wall of denial, forcing us to get honest about our disease. Our best efforts at control had only worn us out; hence, we became willing to surrender. We had received the gift of desperation and, as a result, were able to accept the spiritual principles that make it possible for us to recover.

Desperation is what finally drives many of us to ask for help. Once we’ve reached this state, we can turn around and start anew. Just as the desperate, hunted animal seeks a safe haven, so do we: in Narcotics Anonymous.

Just for today: The gift of desperation has helped me become honest, open-minded, and willing. I am grateful for this gift because it has made my recovery possible.

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Daily Reflections
July 18, 2014
GRATEFUL FOR WHAT I HAVE, p.208

During this process of learning more about humility, the most profound result of all was the change in our attitude toward God.
12 & 12, p. 75

Today my prayers consist mostly of saying thank you to my Higher Power for my sobriety and for the wonder of God’s abundance, but I need also to ask for help and the power to carry out His will for me. I no longer need God each minute to rescue me from the situations I get myself into by not doing His will. Now my gratitude seems to be directly linked to humility. As long as I have the humility to be grateful for what I have, God continues to provide for me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 18, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

Two things can spoil group unity–gossip and criticism. To avoid these divisive things, we must realize that we’re all in the same boat. We’re like a group of people in a life-boat after the steamer has sunk. If we’re going to be saved, we’ve got to pull together. It’s a matter of life or death for us. Gossip and criticism are sure ways of disrupting any A.A. group. We’re all in A.A. to keep sober ourselves and to help each other to keep sober. And neither gossip nor criticism helps anyone to stay sober. Am I guilty of gossip or criticism?

Meditation For The Day

We should try to be grateful for all the blessings we have received and which we do not deserve. Gratitude to God for all His blessings will make us humble. Remember that we could do little by ourselves, and now we must rely largely on God’s grace in helping ourselves and others. People do not care much for those who are smug and self-satisfied or those who gossip and criticize. But people are impressed by true humility. So we should try to walk humbly at all times. Gratitude to God and true humility are what make us effective.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may walk humbly with God. I pray that I may rely on His grace to carry me through.

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As Bill Sees It
July 18, 2014
Arrogance and Its Opposite, p. 199

A very tough-minded prospect was taken to his first A.A. meeting, where two speakers (or maybe lecturers) themed their talks on “God as I understand Him.” Their attitude oozed arrogance. In fact, the final speaker got far overboard on his personal theological convictions.

Both were repeating my performance of years before. Implicit in everything they said was the same idea: “Folks, listen to us. We have the only true brand of A.A. — and you’d better get it!

The new prospect said he’d had it — and he had. His sponsor protested that this wasn’t real A.A. But it was too late; nobody could touch him after that.

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

I see “humility for today” as a safe and secure stance midway between violent emotional extremes. It is a quiet place where I can keep enough perspective and enough balance to take my next small step up the clearly marked road that points toward eternal values.

Grapevine
1. April, 1961
2. June, 1961

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Walk In Dry Places
July 18, 2014
What is a new freedom?
Release

We’re promised a “new freedom” in the 12 Step program. How does this differ from the “old freedom” we’ve known?

The new freedom is an inner feeling of release from the bondage of compulsion. We are no longer serving as our own jailers. We are free from useless things that have held us back. Think of the burdens we had assumed by fearing others, by holding grudges, by having needless regrets.

This new freedom has nothing to do with political or civil liberties, which we hope to enjoy as our birthright. But nobody can give us freedom if we are locked into compulsions that bind us. We must seek the new freedom within ourselves.

Throughout the day, I’ll think of myself as a completely free person. I’m free at last from the bondage I imposed upon myself.

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Keep It Simple
July 18, 2014

It takes twenty years to become an overnight success.
—Eddie Cantor

Successful people make life look easy. But it’s not. Years of hard work, trial and error, and learning probably went on into each success. The key is this: We must choose to do what we really like. If we want to be successful, we’ll have to work at it. We’ll have letdowns, and we’ll get bored at times. But we’ll be happy because we’re doing what we want, what we know is best for us. Real success has to do with our own happiness.

In our programs, we’ll meet many successful people. They’ve worked hard at recovery, and they are still learning. And they’re happy to share their success with us.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank-you for the success the program has already given me.

Action for the Day: I’ll list three ways I know I am a success today. Number one: I’m sober!

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 18, 2014

Have the courage to act instead of react.
—Darlene Larson Jenks

Taking the time to be thoughtful about our responses to the situations we encounter offers us the freedom to make choices that are right for us. Impulsive behavior can be a thing of our past, if we so choose. It seldom was the best response for our well being.

Decision-making is morale boosting. It offers us a chance to exercise our personal powers, an exercise that is mandatory for the healthy development of our egos. We need to make careful, thoughtful choices because they will further define our characters. Each action we take clearly indicates the persons we are becoming. When we have consciously and deliberately chosen that action because of its rightness for us, we are fully in command of becoming the persons we choose to be.

Our actions reveal who we are, to others and ourselves. We need never convey an inaccurate picture of ourselves. We need only take the time and risk the courage necessary to behave exactly as we choose. We will know a new freedom when we are in control.

I will exercise my power to act and feel the fullness of my being.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 18, 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.

My father had come out of the South and had suffered a great deal down there. He wanted tog ive me the very best, and he thought that nothing but being a doctor would suffice. On the other hand, I believe that I’ve always been medically inclined, though I have never been able to see medicine quite as the average person sees it. I do surgery because that’s something that you can see; it’s more tangible. But I can remember in postgraduate days, and during internship, that very often I’d go to a patient’s bed and start a process of elmination and then, very often, I’d wind up guessing. That wasn’t the way it was with my father. I think with him it possibly was a gift—intuitive diagnosis. Father, through the years, had built up a very good mail-order business because, at that time, there wasn’t too much money in medicine.
p. 234

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 18, 2014

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.”

We discover that we do receive guidance for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God to give it to us on order and on our terms. Almost any experienced A.A. will tell how his affairs have taken remarkable and unexpected turns for the better as he tried to improve his conscious contact with God. He will also report that out of every season of grief or suffering, when the hand of God seemed heavy or even unjust, new lessons for living were learned, new resources of courage were uncovered, and that finally, inescapably, the conviction came that God does “move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”

pp. 104-105

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Xtra Thoughts
July 18, 2014

Seldom will we remember next week what bothers us so much today.
–Karen Casey

Words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels.
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
–Elbert Hubbard

“The impossible is often the untried.”
–Jim Goodwin

“There is no point at which you can say, `Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.’”
–Carrie Fisher

Present-moment living, getting in touch with your “now,” is at the heart of effective living. When you think about it, there really is no other moment you can live. Now is all there is, and the future is just another present moment to live when it arrives. One thing is certain, you cannot live it until it does appear.
–Wayne Dyer

Man Plans….. God Laughs!
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 18, 2014
VOCATION

“It is well for a man to respect his own vocation, whatever it is, and to think himself bound to uphold it and to claim for it the respect it deserves.”
–Charles Dickens

Nobody else is quite like me. Nobody else can view the world, experience the world, feel the world in the way I can. I am the center of the universe. Other people can love — but it is not the same as my love. Other people can offer the hand of friendship — but it is not the same as the friendship that I can offer. Other people can utter a kind word — but the phrasing of my words belong to me. I am unique and I must remember that. Even my space in the world is special. Nobody can take up the place that I have on the earth; you cannot get into my space. We may both be looking at the same scene, but I see it from my place in the world. Today I respect my uniqueness.

Let me continue to discover something of Your unique image in my life.

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Bible Scriptures
July 18, 2014

Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you, and you will honor me.
Psalm 50:15

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in him.”
I John 4:15-16

If it seems that we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live.
2 Cor 5:13-14

You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.
Prov. 19:21

Human plans, no matter how wise or well advised, cannot stand against the LORD.
Prov. 20:31

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Daily Inspiration
July 18, 2014

Share the lighthearted moments of your life with others. Lord, may I be instrumental in relieving tensions by lifting the spirits of others with a little cheerfulness.

We are as weak as our fears and as strong as our faith. Lord, with Your help, I can do.

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A Day At A Time
July 18, 2014

Reflection For The Day

Very few of us know what we really want, and none of us knows what is best for us.   That knowledge is in the hands of God.  This is a fact I must ultimately accept, in spite of my rebelliousness and stubborn resistance.  From this day forward, I’ll limit my prayers to request for guidance, and open mind to receive it, and the strength to act upon it.  To the best of my capability, I’ll defer all decisions until my contact with my Higher Power has made is seemingly apparent that the decisions are right for me.  Do I “bargain” with my Higher Power, assuming that I know what’s best for me?

Today I Pray

May I not try to make pacts with God.  Instead, may I be a vessel, open to whatever inspiration He wishes to put into me.  I pray that I will remember that God’s decisions are better for me than my own fumbling plans, and that they w8ill come to me at the times I need them.

Today I Will Remember

I will not bargain with God.

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One More Day
July 18, 2014

Who controls the past controls the future;  who controls the present controls the past.
–  George Orwell

We planned on being healthy, on always being healthy, so our adjustment to less than optimal health can be quite difficult.  Until we get our priorities back in gear, it can seem as though the scales are just not tipping in our favor.

Life can feel overwhelming when we foresee no apparent reprieve form our pain and inconvenience.  It takes a while sometimes to learn to lviee with a health problem, but we can do it.  With time we gain insight.  Our lives are in our control once again.

We are responsible for ourselves, although sometimes we may forget that fact.  Once we get a firm hold on our emotions, on our new set of problems, we understand that we still make the decisions for ourselves.

I can make positive decisions that alter the path of my life.

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One Day At A Time
July 18, 2014
WHO AM I?

“Pleased to meet you … hope you guess my name.”
–Mick Jagger

I am a compulsive overeater. When I first returned to program after years of relapse, that was all I was. I was a tortured body filled with sugar and fat; anger and hatred. I was a compulsive overeater who was out of control, obese and unhealthy. I was a compulsive overeater dying a slow, horrible and deliberate death. I was on my way to shutting myself off from the world, my family, my husband and myself. I was a compulsive overeater who was losing her grip on the will to live.

Then I came back to program, reached out again, and said simply, “Help me.” I found support, love, acceptance and friendship from people who had never seen me or known me. But the fact that I was a stranger to them did not matter. They cared about one thing only: I was a human being reaching out for help. That was all that mattered to them.

After about a month of recovery something changed in me. I became a compulsive overeater in recovery. I was on a fantastic journey towards a new, healthy and brighter life. I was a compulsive overeater with a future, although I did not — and still do not — know what that future is. Most importantly, I was a compulsive overeater who realized it’s okay to not know what lies ahead. In fact, there is no choice in the matter; it was out of my control. I never had control in the first place. It was all an illusion. When I realized that many things are simply out of my control, I surrendered my useless struggling and accepted the help offered by my new program family and my Higher Power.

I am still a compulsive overeater in recovery and I always will be. But I am so very much more than that. I am one of those people who is reaching out to others in the hope that I can be of help to people who suffer from this disease. I am a person of faith. I am a wildlife biologist and an intern in criminalistics. I am a movie buff, a wife, and a woman trying to become a mother. I am a friend. Without this recovery program, all of those parts of me were fading away, consumed by my obsession; but with this program, I am BACK.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will celebrate the fact that I am on the journey to becoming a whole person again.

~ Claire ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 18

“Our fathers gave us many laws which they had learned from their fathers. These laws were good.”
–Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE

The Creator gives us many laws to live by. These are different than the laws of man. The laws of the Creator are designed for us to live in harmony and balance with ourselves and each other. These laws are about having freedom and happiness. Our Elders teach us these laws. Laws about how to treat each other, laws about how to treat and respect our Mother Earth, laws about the environment.

Oh Great Spirit, teach me the laws of the unseen world. Today I pray You open my eyes so I can better see the Red Road.

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Journey To The Heart
July 18, 2014
Find the Humor in It

I called home from me trip to talk to my friend. He was taking care of Max, my African Grey parrot, while I went on this journey. How’s Max?” I asked. “Is she doing okay?”

“Well,” he said, “she’s a little confused. I’ve got her outside on the patio. She says hi to all the sea gulls that come by and she can’t figure out why they won’t talk back to her.”

My parrot makes me smile. My friend makes me laugh. I have many friends that make me smile. Together, we laugh a lot. Learning to laugh, learning to find humor either in what we’re going through, or despite it, it is a powerful tool on this journey.

Cherish the gift of humor. Life doesn’t need to be so gloomy. Spirituality doesn’t need to be so serious and somber. Work doesn’t need to be that way either. Learn to see the humor in life. Look for it. Find it. Enjoy it. Surround yourself with people who like to laugh. Being around people who laugh can open us to the power of humor in our own lives. Laughter can become contagious. There is something magnetic, something healing about being around people who let themselves laugh often.

There is no situation in life that can’t be improved by laughter. Sometimes humor can help us get through situations we couldn’t possibly endure without it. Sometimes laughter isn’t superfluous, it’s essential.

Sometimes laughter is the next lesson we need to be learning.

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Today’s Gift
July 18, 2014

The great end of life is not knowledge but action.
—Thomas Huxley

Sometimes we have good ideas about how to make things better. We might know we need to spend more quality time with others. We might know it would be better if mealtime was not so hectic and really became a time for sharing the day’s events. Knowing what needs to happen is part of the process of change. But we have to put that knowledge into action.

All our good intentions, no matter what they may be, do not really mean anything until we move into action. A hug is better than a thought of love; a story read together is better than a wonderful vacation that did not get past the planning stage, just as a finished house is something we can live in, while the blueprint is soon forgotten. When we act on our ideas, we put ourselves into the world as a force for change.

What change can I set loose in the world today?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 18, 2014
Time to Get Angry

It’s about time you got angry – yes, that angry.

Anger can be such a potent, frightening emotion. It can also be a feeling that guides us to important decisions, sometimes decisions difficult to make. It can signal other people’s problems, our problems, or simply problems we need to address.

We deny our anger for a variety of reasons. We don’t give ourselves permission to allow it to come into our awareness – at first. Understand that it does not go away; it sits in layers under the surface, waiting for us to become ready, safe, and strong enough to deal with it.

What we may do instead of facing our anger and what it is telling us about self-care, is feel hurt, victimized, trapped, guilty, and uncertain about how to take care of ourselves. We may withdraw, deny, make excuses, and hide our heads in the sand – for a while.

We may punish, get even, whine, and wonder.

We may repeatedly forgive the other person for behaviors that hurt us. We may be afraid that someone will go away if we deal with our anger toward him or her. We may be afraid we will need to go away, if we deal with our anger.

We may simply be afraid of our anger and the potency of it. We may not know we have a right, even a responsibility – to ourselves – to allow ourselves to feel and learn from our anger.

God, help my hidden or repressed angry feelings to surface. Help me have the courage to face them. Help me understand how I need to take care of myself with the people I feel anger toward. Help me stop telling myself something is wrong with me when people victimize me and I feel angry about the victimization. I can trust my feelings to signal problems that need my attention.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 18, 2014
It’s our lesson

When you learn your lessons, the pain goes away.
–Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, The Wheel of Life

Sometimes, we wait and wait for a painful situation to end. When will he stop drinking? When will she call? When will this financial stuff get better? When will I know what to do next?

Life has its own timeline. As soon as we get the lesson, the pain neutralizes, then disappears.

And the lesson is always ours.

Examine your life. Are you waiting for someone or something outside of you to happen to make you feel better? Are you waiting for someone to learn his or her lesson for your pain to stop? If you are, try turning inward. See what the lesson really is.

God, please show me what I’m supposed to be learning right now.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 18, 2014

How should one live? Live welcoming to all.
—Mechtild of Magdeburg

Welcoming is a spiritual practice we met when we came to this program. We may recall our first meetings and how welcome we felt in this group of fellow sufferers. It gave us hope when we felt desperate and continues to provide us with a nourishing place to grow.

To be welcoming means to accept others as they are, without passing judgment on their worth. It means to encourage them when they are despairing and to accept that they have a rightful place in our world. Welcoming is being generous with our resources. We do not have to feel close to someone to be welcoming. We can welcome a stranger. As we practice this attitude toward others, regardless of their status in life, regardless of their good or bad actions, we are changed inside. We learn from the people we welcome, and we are reminded that in the sight of God we are all loved as equals.

Today, 1 will practice a welcoming attitude toward everyone I meet.

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Daily TAO
July 18, 2014
Internalizing

      People think they don’t have to learn,
      Because there is so much information available.
      But knowledge is more than possessing information.
      Only the wise move fast enough.

The amount of information available today is unprecedented. In medieval times a few volumes could form an encyclopedia of all known facts, or a despot could control his subjects simply by isolating or destroying a library. Now information is available to us in tidal proportions.

Some people take a lethargic approach to this enormity. They feel if there is so much at hand, they do not need to actually learn anything. They’ll go out and find it when they need it. But life moves too fast for us to rely on this laziness. Just as the flow of information has increased exponentially, so too has the pace of decision making accelerated. We can’t be passive; we have to internalize information and place ourselves precisely in the flow.

It has been stated the average human being utilizes 10 percent of his or her mental capacity. A genius uses only 15 percent. So we definitely have the capacity to keep up – if we unlock our potential. This requires education, experience, and determination. One should never stop learning, never stop exploring, never stop going on adventures. Be like the explorers of old. What they acquired for themselves will always surpass those who merely read about their exploits.

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In God’s Care
July 18, 2014

Imagination has always had powers of resurrection that no science can match.
~~Ingrid Bengis

Our ability to create an image of ourselves – successfully handling a conflict with a friend or stranger; growing in confidence regarding our role as parent, worker, or friend; communicating frequently with our Higher Power – is a tool that can enhance our sense of well-being throughout every moment of the twenty-four hours that lie ahead.

How lucky we are to have the ability to think what we want to think and to visualize situations that will bring us pleasure. God is in control of the outcomes of our life, but we’re in control of our contributions towad those outcomes. And one way we contribute most productively is by thinking positively and imagining ourselves fulfilled and content through our acts of love toward others.

    My Higher Power and I are in partnership in the outcomes of my life.
    
I know how to fulfill my part, and I can trust God to fulfill God’s part.

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Day By Day
July 18, 2014
    Practicing sanity

When we were getting high all the time, we were practicing insanity. It was a lot of fun. We got so good at it, however, that we couldn’t see how serious it had become. Whether we’re straight or high, insanity seemed to take over.

Now we can practice sanity daily. Practicing anything will eventually make us pretty good at it. With the grace of God, we can get pretty good at sanity too.

Am I letting go of my insane behavior?

Higher Power, help me face the fears of sane living, fears I tried to hide from with addiction.

  Today I will reflect on my unresolved problem behaviors by…

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Food for Thought
July 18, 2014
Don’t Jump

When we have achieved a significant period of abstinence from compulsive overeating, it is as though we have slowly climbed many flights of stairs all the way up to the top floor of a skyscraper. Telling ourselves that we will make a small exception and break abstinence just one time is like saying we will jump out a window on the top floor of the skyscraper and fall down only as far as the next floor.

The nature of our disease is such that one small compulsive bite inevitably leads to eventual disaster. We may be able to postpone the binge for a day or a week or even longer, but once we give up our control, we put ourselves in a pattern of downward descent.

All we need do in order to stay on the top floor of the skyscraper is to maintain our abstinence. A small price to pay for such a magnificent view!

Protect me from a fatal jump.

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DailyZen
July 18, 2014

Heaven and heart
Remain peacefully unmoved,
Yet their life breath is
Unceasing, and is seldom
Known to rest.
The sun and moon continue on
Their courses day and night,
Yet their light has not changed
Through the ages.
Late at night when others rest,
Sitting alone I look deep into my heart.
Distractions cease, truth alone becomes
Manifest as dew appears at dawn.
The mind is then free and responsive.

– Hung Ying-ming (~1596)

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Faith’s Check Book
July 18, 2014
Wilderness Communion

I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
(Hosea 2:14)

The goodness of God sees us allured by sin, and it resolves to try upon us the more powerful allurements of love. Do we not remember when the Lover of our souls first cast a spell upon us and charmed us away from the fascinations of the world! He will do this again and again whenever He sees us likely to be ensnared by evil.

He promises to draw us apart, for there He can best deal with us, and this separated place is not to be a paradise, but a wilderness, since in such a place there will be nothing to take of our attention from our God. In the deserts of affliction the presence of the Lord becomes everything to us, and we prize His company beyond any value which we set upon it when we sat under our own vine and fig tree in the society of our fellows. Solitude and affliction bring more to themselves and to their heavenly Father than any other means.

When thus allured and secluded the Lord has choice things to say to us for our comfort. He “speaks to our heart,” as the original has it. Oh, that at this we may have this promise explained in our experience! Allured by love, separated by trial, and comforted by the Spirit of truth, may we know the Lord and sing for joy!

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 18, 2014

“They shall go hindmost with their standards.”
—Numbers 2:31.

THE camp of Dan brought up the rear when the armies of Israel were on the march. The Danites occupied the hindmost place, but what mattered the position, since they were as truly part of the host as were the foremost tribes; they followed the same fiery cloudy pillar, they ate of the same manna, drank of the same spiritual rock, and journeyed to the same inheritance. Come, my heart, cheer up, though last and least; it is thy privilege to be in the army, and to fare as they fare who lead the van. Some one must be hindmost in honour and esteem, some one must do menial work for Jesus, and why should not I? In a poor village, among an ignorant peasantry; or in a back street, among degraded sinners, I will work on, and “go hindmost with my standard.”
The Danites occupied a very useful place. Stragglers have to be picked up upon the march, and lost property has to be gathered from the field. Fiery spirits may dash forward over untrodden paths to learn fresh truth, and win more souls to Jesus; but some of a more conservative spirit may be well engaged in reminding the church of her ancient faith, and restoring her fainting sons. Every position has its duties, and the slowly moving children of God will find their peculiar state one in which they may be eminently a blessing to the whole host.

The rear guard is a place of danger. There are foes behind us as well as before us. Attacks may come from any quarter. We read that Amalek fell upon Israel, and slew some of the hindmost of them. The experienced Christian will find much work for his weapons in aiding those poor doubting, desponding, wavering, souls, who are hindmost in faith, knowledge, and joy. These must not be left unaided, and therefore be it the business of well-taught saints to bear their standards among the hindmost. My soul, do thou tenderly watch to help the hindmost this day.

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This Evening’s Meditation
July 18, 2014

“Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path.”
—Joel 2:8.

LOCUSTS always keep their rank, and although their number is legion, they do not crowd upon each other, so as to throw their columns into confusion. This remarkable fact in natural history shows how thoroughly the a Lord has infused the spirit of order into His universe, since the smallest animate creatures are as much controlled by it as are the rolling spheres or the seraphic messengers. It would be wise for believers to be ruled by the same influence in all their spiritual life. In their Christian graces no one virtue should usurp the sphere of another, or eat out the vitals of the rest for its own support. Affection must not smother honesty, courage must not elbow weakness out of the field, modesty must not jostle energy, and patience must not slaughter resolution. So also with our duties, one must not interfere with another; public usefulness must not injure private piety; church work must not push family worship into a corner. It is ill to offer God one duty stained with the blood of another. Each thing is beautiful in its season, but not otherwise. It was to the Pharisee that Jesus said, “This ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other undone.” The same rule applies to our personal position, we must take care to know our place, take it, and keep to it. We must minister as the Spirit has given us ability, and not intrude upon our fellow servant’s domain. Our Lord Jesus taught us not to covet the high places, but to be willing to be the least among the brethren. Far from us be an envious, ambitious spirit, let us feel the force of the Master’s command, and do as He bids us, keeping rank with the rest of the host. To-night let us see whether we are keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, and let our prayer be that, in all the churches of the Lord Jesus, peace and order may prevail.

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