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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 21

Just For Today
July 21
Surrender Is For Everyone

“If, after a period of time, we find ourselves in trouble with our recovery, we have probably stopped doing one or more of the things that helped us in the earlier stages of our recovery.”
Basic Text, p.92

Surrender is just for newcomers, right? Wrong!

After we’ve been around awhile, some of us succumb to a condition particular to old-timers. We think we know something about recovery, about God, about NA, about ourselves-and we do. The problem is, we think we know enough, and we think that merely knowing is enough. But it’s what we learn and what we do after we think we know it all that really makes the difference.

Conceit and complacency can land us in deep trouble. When we find that “applying the principles” on our own power just isn’t working, we can practice what worked for us in the beginning: surrender. When we find we are still powerless, our lives again unmanageable, we need to seek the care of a Power greater than ourselves. And when we discover that self-therapy isn’t so therapeutic after all, we need to take advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another.”

Just for today: I need guidance, support, and a Power beyond my own. I will go to a meeting, reach out to a newcomer, call my sponsor, pray to my Higher Power-I will do something that says, “I surrender.”

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Daily Reflections
July 21
A PRICELESS GIFT

By this time in all probability we have gained some measure of release from our more devastating handicaps. We enjoy moments in which there is something like real peace of mind. To those of us who have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety–in other words, to all of us–this newfound peace is a priceless gift.
12 & 12, p. 74

I am learning to let go and let God, to have a mind that is open and a heart that is willing to receive God’s grace in all my affairs; in this way I can experience the peace and freedom that come as a result of surrender. It has been proven that an act of surrender, originating in desperation and defeat, can grow into an ongoing act of faith, and that faith means freedom and victory.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 21
A.A. Thought For The Day

If we feel the need of saying something to put another member on the right track, we should try to say it with understanding and sympathy, not with a critical attitude. We should keep everything out in the open and aboveboard. The A.A. program is wonderful, but we must really follow it. We must all pull together or we’ll all be sunk. We enjoy the privilege of being associated with A.A. and we are entitled to all its benefits. But gossip and criticism are not tolerance, and tolerance is an A.A. principle that is absolutely necessary to group unity. Am I truly tolerant of all my group’s members?

Meditation For The Day

“Faith can move mountains.” That expression means that faith can change any situation in the field of personal relationships. If you trust Him, God shows you the way to “move mountains.” If you are humble enough to know that you can really do little by yourself to change a situation, if you have enough faith to ask God to give you the power you need, and if you are grateful enough for the grace He gives you, you can “move mountains.” Situations will be changed for the better by your presence.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have enough faith to make me really effective. I pray that I may learn to depend less on myself and more on God.

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As Bill Sees It
July 21
The Hour of Decision, p. 202

“Not all large decisions can be well made by simply listing the pros and cons of a given situation, helpful and necessary as this process is. We cannot always depend on what seems to us to be logical. When there is doubt about our logic, we wait upon God and listen for the voice of intuition. If, in meditation, that voice is persistent enough, we may well gain sufficient confidence to act upon that, rather than upon logic.

“If, after an exercise of these two disciplines, we are still uncertain, then we should ask for further guidance, and, when possible, defer important decisions for a time. By then, with more knowledge of our situation, logic and intuition may well agree upon a right course.

“But if the decision must be now, let us not evade it through fear.  Right or wrong, we can always profit from the experience.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places
July 21
Creating good impressions
Attitude

There’s a saying that we have only one chance to make a good first impression. That’s true, but we always have the opportunity to make good lasting impressions.

The secret of making good impressions is contained in one word: ATTITUDE. Whatever we really feel will be expressed to others as our true character and the impression we give will be authentically us.

The way to control the impressions we are making is simply to continue cultivating an attitude that’s consistent with humility, acceptance, and graciousness. We should have others’ best interests at heart without being meddlesome. We should be genuinely helpful.

This attitude will create any good impressions we need to make.

Working to make sure I’m thinking the right way. I’ll forget about the impressions I’m making. If my attitude is right, the impression will take care of itself.

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Keep It Simple
July 21

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.
—Gore Vidal

Many of us used a “know it all” act to keep people away. We kept everyone around us on edge. They were afraid of our judgments, just we were secretly afraid of theirs. Why were we so busy with everyone else’s life? So we didn’t have to look at our own! We were afraid of what was happening to us. But we didn’t want to see how sick we were becoming. Now we’re not afraid. We don’t need to keep people away. We don’t need to run their lives. We have our life to live. And we’re enjoying it.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You are the expert, not me. Teach me. I am Your student.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list the ways I chased away those who cared about me.. I’ll work on the Steps on these items for the next week.

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 21

I wake each morning with the thrill of expectation and the joy of being truly alive. And I’m thankful for this day.
—Angela L. Wozniak

Being open to the day’s offering, all of it, and looking for the positive experiences therein, becomes habit only after a firm commitment and dedicated practice. Today is special for each of us.

These next twenty-four hours will be unlike all others. And we are not the persons we were, even as recently as yesterday. Looking forward to all of the day’s events, with the knowledge that we are in the care of our higher power, in every detail, frees us to make the most of everything that happens.

We have been given the gift of life. We are survivors. The odds against survival in our past make clear we have yet a job to do and are being given the help to do it. Confidence wavers in all of us, but the strength we need will be given to each of us.

In this day that stands before me, I can be certain that I’ll have many chances for growth, for kindness to others, for developing confidence in myself. I will be thoughtful in my actions today. They are special and will be repeated no more.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 21
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.

This was around 1935, and it was about this time that I actually started drinking. During the years 1930 to 1935, due to the Depression and its aftermath, business went from bad to worse. I then had my own medical practice in Washington, but the practice slackened and the mail-order business started to fall off. Dad, due to having spent most of his time in a small Virginia town, didn’t have too much money, and the money he had saved and the property he had acquired were in Washington. He was in his late fifties, and all that he had undertaken fell upon my shoulders at this death in 1928. For the first couple of years it wasn’t too bad because the momentum kept things going. But when things became crucial, everything started going haywire and I started going haywire with them. At this point I believe I had only been intoxicated on maybe three or four occasions, and certainly whiskey was no problem to me.

pp. 235-236

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 21

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.”

The joy of living is the theme of A.A.’s Twelfth Step, and action is its key word. Here we turn outward toward our fellow alcoholics who are still in distress. Here we experience the kind of giving that asks no rewards. Here we begin to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily lives so that we and those about us may find emotional sobriety. When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it.

p. 106

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Xtra Thoughts
July 21

Ability is what you’re capable of doing… Motivation determines what you do… Attitude determines how well you do it.
–unknown

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.
–Buddha

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
–Fredrick Koeing

Instead of being aggressive toward a difficulty, be quiet before it, and notice the new feeling.
–Vernon Howard

P R O G R A M = People Relying On God Relay A Message.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 21
IGNORANCE

“Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

How little I understood when I was living as an alcoholic. How little I wanted to know. Ignorance was bliss in my addiction. And the real tragedy was that I was ignorant of the extent of my ignorance!  I had no idea how serious my alcoholism was, how pervasive in all areas of my life it had developed, how destructive and negative I had become until I was made to “see” reality in treatment. Reluctantly I opened my eyes to see my ignorance and I knew I needed to change my attitude if I was to recover.

The enemy of the spiritual life is ignorance because it stops us from realizing that the strength and healing power of has spirituality been given by God — all we need do is discover it and appreciate it.

I pray that I and others will have the courage to confront the ignorance in my life.

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Bible Scriptures
July 21

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
2 Corinthians 3:17

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.  The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.
Lamentations 3:24-25

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light. No one will come before My Father except through me.”
John 14:6

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Daily Inspiration
July 21

Forgiveness is a wonderful way to lift yourself up and it is the best way to encourage yourself and others to do better. Lord, grant me greater understanding and wisdom so that I can move past my problems into a new day.

Keep your feet firmly planted in your faith and your eyes raised to the heavens. Lord, You are my strength, my encouragement and my source of all that is good.

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A Day At A Time
July 21

Reflection For The Day

When we’re faced with some condition or situation not to our liking, how can we have faith that all things are working together for good?  Perhaps we have to ask ourselves just what is faith.  Faith has its foundation in truth and love.  We can have faith, if we so choose, no matter what the situation.  And, if we so choose, we can expect ultimate good to come forth.  Have I made my choice?

Today I Pray

May I be grateful for my God-given ability to make a choice.  Out of this gratitud3e and my sense of the nearness of God, I have chosen faith.  May the faith, as my chosen way, become strong enough to move mountains, strong enough to keep me free of my compulsion, mighty enough to hold back the tide of temptations which threaten me, optimistic enough to look past my present pain to ultimate good.

Today I Will Remember

With faith, nothing is impossible.

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One More Day
July 21

An hour of pain is a long as a day of pleasure.
–  Proverb

When we look back at our lives, do the painful experiences come through first?  We may remember the difficult times that led to the end of a relationship or losing a job.  Life seemed at a standstill during those times, as we wondered whether we’d ever get close to another person, find another job, or feel confident again.

We probably learned much later that failures could be opportunities for growth.  As we sift through our hardest memories, we can settle back into the happy once again, knowing we have learned and grown from our pain.  And as our “hour” of pain comes to an end, we can see the large and small pleasures of today and remember those of yesterday.

I will not let pain obscure my joys and pleasures.

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One Day At A Time
July 21
GROWING OLDER

“I think, therefore I am.”
–Rene Descartes

Before beginning my recovery process with our online groups, I used to look in the mirror and want to cry. I’m not a young, lovely creature anymore. I’m showing my age. Inside I’m still a young girl, but now I have a grandma’s face.

The Twelve Steps to recovery have opened up a whole new world to me ~ and it is a world that is ageless. Its principles are timeless: honesty, hope, faith, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, love, forgiveness, self-discipline, perseverance, spiritual awareness and service. Maturing without benefit of these principles would be choosing to simply get old.

Through my program of recovery, I have been inspired to keep my body strong and well — the way my Higher Power made it. I am encouraged to stay as attractive as possible for as long as possible, out of concern for myself and for others. By the time I reached the 9th Step, the worry lines in my face began to soften … now they look like smile lines. It seems that participating in our program of recovery has reversed my age.

One day at a time…
I will grow older, but also much wiser.

~ SAG

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 21

“You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.”
–Cochise “Like Ironweed” CHIRICAHUA APACHE

Come into my heart this morning. Allow me this day to live in the now. Help me to see all the beauty You have created in all things. Let me know myself. Today, as I make mistakes, let me see them as lessons. Guide me. When I see others make mistakes, let me honor them for where they are. Let me realize that they are Your children and only You, my Grandfather, knows what is really going on. When my lips move, let the words be Your words.

Allow me to have the courage to speak Your truth.

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Journey To The Heart
July 21
Value Work

We need to value the simple tasks of life and the workwe do professionally to earn income, fulfill purpose, and bring our gifts to the world.

There are many tasks to be done in life– our personal responsibilities to others, our professional commitments, our responsibilities to ourselves. There is value and honor in work, in performing the tasks that make up our daily lives.

When we joyfully perform the tasks of life– whether we’re taking care of ourselves or fulfilling a commitment to another– we connect with the very rhythms and workings of life and the universe. Many important spiritual lessons are connected with work. It’s better not to use work as an escape, a way to avoid life. But work done with an attitude of honor, love, and joy can be a tool on our spiritual path.

Work can take us into the rhythm of life. Work can bring us back to service, back to our hearts, back to our souls. We don’t have to leave ourselves behind when we do the tasks of life. We can take all we’ve learned into our work, then learn more lessons from the tasks we do.

Remember to honor and value the work and the tasks that are yours to do– from the smallest to the grandest. Wash the dishes, fold the laundry, hold a buisness meeting, rake the yard. Each task is important.

Value work. Let it connect you to the rhythms of life.

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Today’s Gift
July 21

Dependency (on another human being) is the inability to experience wholeness or to function adequately without the certainty that one is being actively cared for by another.
—M. Scott Peck

No matter what we may think, overdependence on another can be very unloving because it drains others of any chance for personal growth. Those of us who have been dependent on other people are so busy acquiring love that we ourselves have no energy left to truly give love. It’s as if we’re starving and scrambling for every little bit of love we can find, with no thought to offering it to others. No wonder they often quickly get tired of us.

We can’t force or expect others to do things with us, talk to us, or love us. The way to be surely loved is to be worthy of it. We can work at being worthy by exercising our freedom to feel and do things without others’ permission, and to allow them the same opportunity.

What can I do on my own today?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 21
Being Is Enough

We are not always clear about what we are experiencing, or why.

In the midst of grief, transition, transformation, learning, healing, or discipline – it’s difficult to have perspective.

That’s because we have not learned the lesson yet. We are in the midst of it. The gift of clarity has not yet arrived.

Our need to control can manifest itself as a need to know exactly what’s going on. We cannot always know. Sometimes, we need to let ourselves be and trust that clarity will come later, in retrospect.

If we are confused, that is what we are supposed to be. The confusion is temporary. We shall see. The lesson, the purpose, shall reveal itself – in time, in its own time.

It will all make perfect sense – later.

Today, I will stop straining to know what I don’t know, to see what I can’t see, to understand what I don’t yet understand. I will trust that being is sufficient, and let go of my need to figure things out.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 21
Maybe it’s not supposed to feel good

Every night for months, Laurie went home from work, turned on her computer, and wrote and rewrote the same thing: I hate my job. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

For six weeks in a row, Jonathan complained daily to his friends about his roommate: I can’t stand him. He’s driving me nuts. I don’t like him.

For years, right before falling asleep at night, Mindy calculated the number of years she thought it would be until her husband died and she was free from her wedding vows: Just fifteen more years, then he’ll be gone and I can have a life.

None of these three people were going through what we call a “love-hate” relationship with their spouse, roommate, or job. All three were involved in hate-hate relationships. They all had one thing in common: they felt guilty for how they felt. Laurie kept trying to make herself like her job; Jonathan turned himself inside out trying to get along with his roommate; Mindy continued trying to be a better wife.

Be patient with yourself if you have moments and times of not liking someone or something, whether it’s your job, your roommate, your home, or your spouse. But if you’re consistently and blatantly not liking someone or someplace, maybe it’s time to move on.

Watch for patterns in your emotional responses to your life. If you’re consistently responding to something or someone in a particular way, entertain the possibility that that person, place, or thing might have outworn its usefulness in your life.

God, grant me the wisdom to discern when my feelings are urging me to move on. Help me let go of my guilt about how I’m feeling and find a path with heart.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 21

Some people regard themselves as perfect, but only because they demand little of themselves.
—Hermann Hesse

Many of us men in this program have a struggle with perfectionism. This is a central spiritual issue. Sometimes we feel ashamed or frightened by our imperfections, or we strive so hard to overcome them that we successfully close our lives down to a very narrow, controllable scale. Spiritual awakening means we have zest for life and accept our imperfections.

We know today will be shaky and insecure in some ways. We probably will make some mistakes or offenses. Our solution is not our old behavior of attempting to control whatever happens; it is to join life with a spiritual feeling. We let go of ourselves and what happens? We are part of a larger whole. We are not in control of the process of life, and whatever we do is part of an ongoing dialogue, so we will have another chance to respond, even to our own mistakes.

Today, I pray for liberation from my perfectionism so I can more fully engage in life’s adventure.

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Daily TAO
July 21
Unexpectant

Meditate with no thought of gain.
Expect no ambitions to be fulfilled;
Only then will the inner force manifest.

In the competitive world, we give expression to our ambitions, shrewdness, and aggressiveness. We must do this to survive. In the meditative world, we cannot use these attitudes. What works well on the outside will not serve us on the inside.

When we meditate, we must expect no gain. If we look for results, then those results will elude us. In contrast, if we suspend our ambitions, then the results will manifest very quickly. It may sound like absurd mysticism, but it is an undeniable, empirical truth. If you have no expectations, you will feel the divine. If you strive and have selfish desires, then you will feel only frustration.

When the mind is occupied with meditating for gain, it creates a barrier to precisely the results you want. Spirituality is a mode far beyond the machinations and imaginations of the rational mind. It is created by an aspect of the mind apart from everyday thought. In fact, the part of the mind that brings spirituality is very nearly antithetical to the common ways we think. Therefore, we can only reach this type of spirituality by suspending our everyday thinking.

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In God’s Care
July 21

The goal isn’t to do a successful inventory.  The goal is to dig to the deepest levels of self-honesty.
~~Anonymous

The Fourth Sep is the hardest one for many newcomers in the program. It is so difficult, in fact, that some of us still waiting to do it are no longer newcomers.

It’s so hard to be honest with ourselves, that some of us never accomplish it. The consequences of this are a low sef-esteem, which draws us toward failure.

Help is available, though. God, who knows all about us, is willing to help us get honest with ourselves. We only need to ask. Until we become honest with ourselves, we can’t grow spiritually.

    Today I pledge to be honest.

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Day By Day
July 21
    Judging other addicts

As addicts we tend to judge each other in a cruel way; it can help us feel better about ourselves. For example, alcoholics look down on junkies, junkies look down on speed freaks, and everyone looks down on glue-sniffers. But what’s the difference?

We’re all in this together. We’re dealing with life-and-death matters. Making value judgments about the kind or severity of another’s addiction is a childish and dangerous game.

Have I stopped judging other addicts?

    Higher Power, help me accept myself – and accept others – in all aspects of life.

    I will acknowledge someone addicted to another chemical today by…

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Food for Thought
July 21
Following the Rules

When we were eating compulsively, we thought we could make up our own rules as we went along. We thought we were entitled to eat what we wanted when we wanted it. The result was chaos. We found that living according to self-will did not work.

Commitment to the OA program involves the willingness to accept a set of rules, which we did not make. Following the abstinence guidelines is what enables us to control our disease. When we ignore the discipline, which has worked for others and insist on doing it our way, our chances for recovery diminish.

The rules of abstinence – three measured meals a day with nothing in between, no binge foods, a definite plan, etc. – are the means to freedom. To rebel against them is to delay or prevent our liberation from compulsive overeating.

I pray for the honesty to follow the rules.

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DailyZen
July 21

The rain has stopped;
On the pond there open white lotus flowers;
With the dew I come to pluck them
And put them in a bronze vase;
In the pure summer breeze I pillow
My head under the north window
From the trees at noon cicadas’ voices
Resound into my dreams.

– Betsugen Enshi (1295-1364)

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Faith’s Check Book
July 21
Shine as Many Stars

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)

Here is something to wake me up. This is worth living for. To be wise is a noble thing in itself: in this place it refers to a divine wisdom which only the Lord Himself can bestow. Oh, to know myself, my God, my Savior! May I be so divinely taught that I may carry into practice heavenly truth and live in the light of it! Is my life a wise one? Am I seeking that which I ought to seek? Am I living as I shall wish I had lived when I come to die? Only such wisdom can secure for me eternal brightness as of yonder sunlit skies.

To be a winner of souls is a glorious attainment. I had need to be wise if I am to turn even one to righteousness; much more if I am to turn many, Oh, for the knowledge of God, of men, of the Word, and of Christ, which will enable me to convert my fellowmen and to convert large numbers of them! I would give myself to this, and never rest till I accomplish it. This will be better than winning stars at court. This will make me a star, a shining star, a star shining forever and ever; yea, more, it will make roe shine as many stars. My soul, arouse thyself. Lord, quicken me!

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 21

“The daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.”
—Isaiah 37:22.

REASSURED by the Word of the Lord, the poor trembling citizens of Zion grew bold, and shook their heads at Sennacherib’s boastful threats. Strong faith enables the servants of God to look with calm contempt upon their most haughty foes. We know that our enemies are attempting impossibilities. They seek to destroy the eternal life, which cannot die while Jesus lives; to overthrow the citadel, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. They kick against the pricks to their own wounding, and rush upon the bosses of Jehovah’s buckler to their own hurt.
We know their weakness. What are they but men? And what is man but a worm? They roar and swell like waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. When the Lord ariseth, they shall fly as chaff before the wind, and be consumed as crackling thorns. Their utter powerlessness to do damage to the cause of God and His truth, may make the weakest soldiers in Zion’s ranks laugh them to scorn.
Above all, we know that the Most High is with us, and when He dresses Himself in arms, where are His enemies? If He cometh forth from His place, the potsherds of the earth will not long contend with their Maker. His rod of iron shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel, and their very remembrance shall perish from the earth. Away, then, all fears, the kingdom is safe in the King’s hands. Let us shout for joy, for the Lord reigneth, and His foes shall be as straw for the dunghill.

“As true as God’s own word is true;
Nor earth, nor hell, with all their crew,
Against us shall prevail.
A jest, and by-word, are they grown;
God is with us, we are his own,
Our victory cannot fail.”

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This Evening’s Meditation
July 21

Why go I mourning?”
—Psalm 42:9.

CANST thou answer this, believer? Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield to gloomy anticipations? Who told thee that the night would never end in day? Who told thee that the sea of circumstances would ebb out till there should be nothing left but long leagues of the mud of horrible poverty? Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow, and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair? Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter? Hope thou then! Hope thou ever! For God fails thee not. Dost thou not know that thy God loves thee in the midst of all this? Mountains, when in darkness hidden, are as real as in day, and God’s love is as true to thee now as it was in thy brightest moments. No father chastens always: thy Lord hates the rod as much as thou dost; He only cares to use it for that reason which should make thee willing to receive it, namely, that it works thy lasting good. Thou shalt yet climb Jacob’s ladder with the angels, and behold Him who sits at the top of it—thy covenant God. Thou shalt yet, amidst the splendours of eternity, forget the trials of time, or only remember them to bless the God who led thee through them, and wrought thy lasting good by them. Come, sing in the midst of tribulation. Rejoice even while passing through the furnace. Make the wilderness to blossom like the rose! Cause the desert to ring with thine exulting joys, for these light afflictions will soon be over, and then “for ever with the Lord,” thy bliss shall never wane.

“Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear;
Only believe and thou shalt see,
That Christ is all in all to thee.”

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