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In Loving Memory of Vic

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

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

Daily Recovery Readings – July 22, 2014

Just For Today
July 22, 2014
Spiritual Death

“For us, to use is to die, often in more ways than one.”
Basic Text, p.78

As newcomers, many of us came to our first meeting with only a small spark of life remaining. That spark, our spirit, wants to survive. Narcotics Anonymous nurtures that spirit. The love of the fellowship quickly fans that spark into a flame. With the Twelve Steps and the love of other recovering addicts, we begin to blossom into that whole, vital human being our Higher Power intended us to be. We begin to enjoy life, finding purpose in our existence. Each day we choose to stay clean, our spirit is revitalized and our relationship with our God grows. Our spirit becomes stronger each day we choose life by staying clean.

Despite the fact that our new life in recovery is rewarding, the urge to use can sometimes be overwhelming. When everything in our lives seems to go wrong, a return to using can seem like the only way out. But we know what the consequence will be if we use – the loss of our carefully nurtured spirituality. We have traveled too far along the spiritual path to dishonor our spirit by using. Snuffing the spiritual flame we have worked so hard to restore in our recovery is too dear a price to pay for getting high.

Just for today:I am grateful that my spirit is strong and vital. Today, I will honor that spirit by staying clean.

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Daily Reflections
July 22, 2014
“THE GOOD AND THE BAD”

“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.”
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

The joy of life is in the giving. Being freed of my shortcomings, that I may more freely be of service, allows humility to grow in me. My shortcomings can be humbly placed in God’s loving care and be removed. The essence of Step Seven is humility, and what better way to seek humility than by giving all of myself–good and bad–to God, so that He may remove the bad and return to me the good.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 22, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

One of the finest things about A.A. is the diversity of its membership. We come from all walks and stations of life. All types and classes of people are represented in an A.A. group. Being different from each other in certain ways, we can each make a different contribution to the whole. Some of us are weak in one respect, but strong in another. A.A. can use the strong points of all its members and can disregard the weaknesses. A.A. is strong, not only because we all have the same problem, but also because of the diversified talents of its members. Each can contribute his part. Do I recognize the good points of all my group’s members?

Meditation For The Day

“And greater works than these shall ye do.” Each individual has the ability to do good works through the power of God’s spirit. This is the wonder of the world, the miracle of the earth, that God’s power goes out to bless the human race through the agency of so many people who are actuated by His grace. We need not be held back by doubt, despondency and fear. A wonderful future can lie before any person who depends on God’s power, a future of unlimited power to do good works.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not limit myself by doubting. I pray that I may have confidence that I can be effective for good.

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As Bill Sees It
July 22, 2014
True Tolerance, p. 203

Gradually we began to be able to accept the other fellow’s sins as well as his virtues. We coined the potent and meaningful expression “Let us always love the best in others–and never fear their worst.”

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Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong. When this happens, we approach true tolerance and we see what real love for our fellows actually means.

1. Grapevine, January 1962
2. 12 & 12, p. 92 12 & 12, p. 65

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Walk In Dry Places
July 22, 2014
The Right Place for my Type
The Right Work

“You cannot change your type, but you can make yourself a brilliant success I that type,” Wrote Emmet Fox. This is a reminder for people who are discontented with their lot in life, and this includes most people who participate in 12 Step programs.

There are many different TYPES of people, and all types are good. We only need t find where our type is required and then do our best in that place. We will have immediate advantages, because all of our energies and talents will then be applied in the right way.

We should never spend a moment envying other types of people who are brilliantly successful in their activities. Our happiness is to be found in our place, not theirs.

If I’m doing what’s right for my type, I’ll give it my very best. If I’m in the wrong place, I’ll know that my Higher Power is guiding me toward the right outlet for my talents.

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Keep It Simple
July 22, 2014

. . . for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
—Luke 17:21

We want so much to be good. Even when we used alcohol or other drugs, we wanted to believe we were good people. But we often felt we couldn’t measure up. We thought we had to live by a set of rules that we could never follow.

Now we’re finding the goodness inside us. Goodness isn’t something we do. Goodness is just being what we already are. Our Higher Power speaks to us in many ways, including through our hearts and minds. We don’t have to try so hard top be good. We just learn to relax and invite our Higher Power to be part of our lives.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You have put peace, knowledge, love and joy in my heart today. Help me to always find these things.

Action for the Day: How’s my Higher Power like a loving king or queen? How can I have a kingdom inside me? I’ll talk with my sponsor about this today.

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 22, 2014

How I relate to my inner self-influences my relationships with all others. My satisfaction with myself and my satisfaction with other people are directly proportional.
—Sue Atchley Ebaugh

Hateful attitudes toward others, resistance to someone’s suggestions, jealousy over another woman’s attractiveness or particular abilities are equally strong indications of the health of our spiritual programs. Our security rests with God. When that relationship is nurtured, the rewards will be many and satisfactions great.

Our inner selves may need pampering and praise. They have suffered the abuse of neglect for many years, no doubt. In many instances we have chided ourselves, perhaps shamed ourselves. Learning to love our inner selves, recognizing the value inherent in our very existence, takes effort, commitment, and patience – assets we may only just now be developing in this recovery program.

Our inner selves are the home of our Spirit wherein our attachment to all strength, all courage, all self-esteem, and all serenity resides. Our Spirit is one with our higher power. We must acknowledge the presence and utilize the comforts offered.

My relationships with others are as healthy and fulfilling as my communication with God.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 22, 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 purchased a restaurant, which he felt would take up some of my spare time, and that’s how I met Vi. She came in for her dinner. I’d known her five or six months. To get rid of me one evening, she decided to go to the movies. She and another friend. A very good friend of mine who owned a drugstore across the street from us came by only about two hours later and said he had seen Vi downtown. I said that she told me she was going to the movies, and I became foolishly disturbed about it, and as things snowballed, I decided to go out and drink. That’s the first time I was ever really drunk in my life. The fear of the loss of Vi and the feeling that, though she had the right to do as she pleased, she should have told me the truth about it, upset me. That was my trouble. I thought all women should be perfect.

p. 236

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 22, 2014

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

Our Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual awakening. To new A.A.’s, this often seems like a very dubious and improbable state of affairs. “What do you mean when you talk about a `spiritual awakening’?” they ask.

p. 106

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Xttra Thoughts
July 22, 2014

“Success is a journey, not a destination.”
–Ben Sweetland

A good laugh heals a lot of hurts.
–Madeleine L’Engle

Peace is the ability to wait patiently in spite of panic brought on by uncertainty.
–Stress Fractures, p.50

Worrying and fear are the opposite of love. Love yourself more than you ever have. Love yourself enough to stop worrying. Love yourself enough to give yourself the gift of peace.
–Melody Beattie

It is easy to love those who are at their best. But it is during those times we are unlovable that we may need love the most. And what a beautiful thing when we get it. And even more beautiful when we find the grace to give it.
–unknown

“May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.”
–Irish Blessing

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 22, 2014
LIVING

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”
–Marcus Aurelius

For years I did not live I simply existed. What many people take for granted I did not have: friends, vacations, job satisfaction, gratitude, family, communication and love of self. An aspect of my disease, my denial, was that I thought I was happy without having any evidence for such a feeling. Indeed, my lifestyle indicated progressive isolation. That’s illusion. A recovering alcoholic priest shared that early in recovery he saw a sunset and remarked, “How long has that been happening?” Like him, I missed so much!

Life is to be lived or endured. My spiritual recovery means that every day I reach out to life and grasp it, hold it, smell it–and smile.

God of life, let me live today. Let my “high” be the glory of the day.

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Bible Scriptures
July 22, 2014

My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me. The Father and I are one.”
Luke 10: 27-30

The LORD’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

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Daily Inspiration
July 22, 2014

When things go wrong, it is far more productive to see if you can learn something from it rather than just getting upset. Lord, help me to remain peaceful and patient enough in my trying moments so that in some way I can grow from them.

God will give you strength because He gives of Himself. Lord, bless us, deliver us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

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A Day At A Time
July 22, 2014

Reflection For The Day

The Program has taught me that the essence of all growth for me is a willingness to change for the getter.  Following that, I must have further willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails, and to courageously take every action that is required.
“I am and know and will;
I am knowing and willing;
I know myself to be and to will;
I will to be and to know.”
–  Saint Augustine3

Is willingness a key ingredient of my life and the way I work The Program?

Today I Pray

I pray for willingness to do what I can, willingness to be what I can be — and what is sometimes hardest — willingness to be what I am.  I pray, too, for energies to carry out my willingness in all that I do, so that I may grow in the ways of God and practice the principles of The Program in all my affairs.

Today I Will Remember

“I am and know and will.”

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One More Day
July 22, 2014

We must believe in the conquest of the spirit of the world by the spirit of God.  But, the miracle must happen in us, before it can happen in the world.
–  Albert Schweitzer

There is a time in the progression of life or pain or illness when we realize that no matter how extensive our resources are, no matter how deep our emotional well, we cannot depend only upon ourselves.  We all recognize that time when it’s at hand;  no one has to inform us.

Even if our faith has been shaken before, we are able, once again, to reach out to a Power greater than ourselves.   Our Higher Power offers reassurance that even as we continue to adjust, even when we have coped as well as we cna, a greater comfort and care is open to us.

I can’t control everything.  I find freedom and relief in knowing I don’t have to.

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One Day At A Time
July 22, 2014
FALSE BELIEFS

“There is only one cause of unhappiness;  the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.”
–Anthony de Mello

As a child of poverty, neglect, and a family that moved frequently, I was always an “outsider.” I was looked on as “unacceptable.” As an adult I moved away, married, and lived in the same community all the rest of my years. I’ve had the same friends and lived a very respected life. Yet internally I was still “unacceptable” ~ always feeling “less than” others. I never even told my husband or children about those aspects of my childhood. There were parts of me I never shared with anyone. I did not question the idea that I was still an “unacceptable” person, though there was lots of evidence to discount that idea.

Since joining The Recovery Group program and sharing that pain with my sponsor and others, that pain-filled inner child has been freed and has integrated with the person that I am today. This freeing process has enabled me to finally see and feel the love, the acceptance, and the respect that has always been there for me.

One day at a time…
I will reach out to others at meetings and within our Recovery Group ~ especially those who have had a childhood similar to mine. It has been a tremendous gift to be able to go back, take that neglected little girl by the hand, and bring her into my world to live with me.

~ Karen A.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 22

In this universe, all activities, events, and entities are related. Indians believe that everything in the universe has value and instructs us in some aspect of life. Everything is alive and is making choices that determine the future, so the world is constantly creating itself… With the wisdom and time for reflection that old age provides, we may discover unsuspected relationships.
—Vine Deloria, Jr, STANDING ROCK SIOUX

We are all connected. This is what the Elders have told us for a long time. If we are connected to all things, then whenever we harm anything, it causes harm to ourselves. If we destroy the air, then we will be affected by what we breathe in. If we poison the Earth, we poison ourselves. We must respect our Mother Earth and She will respect us in return. We must open our eyes and obey the spiritual laws that govern the Earth and ourselves.

Grandfather, today allow me to honor and respect the things You have made. Let me see the beauty of all things.

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Journey To The Heart
July 22, 2014
Take a Trip

I met the three women at the Ojo Caliente hot springs in New Mexico. Two were in their fifties, one was in her sixties. They splashed around in the mineral water in the steam pool. They looked happy, alive. “We only live two hours away, but twice a year we come here together.It heals us, renews us, and sends us back to our lives changed.”

Is there someplace you’d like to travel to? Do you have time off from work, time that you could use creatively? Do you have a long weekend coming up? How would you like to spend that?

Vacations and trips are important. They give us a chance to get away, see someplace new, rest, and refresh our spirits. Trips often synchronize with growth and change in our lives. They celebrate what we’ve been through or what we’re going through. A trip can correlate with a new leg on our journey in spiritual growth. Often, when we feel the urge to travel, it’s connected to a deeper urge, the urge to go somewhere new on our path.

Recognize the desire in your heart to travel and see new horizons. Then honor it, for it reveals your desire to touch new horizons in your life.

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Today’s Gift
July 22, 2014

A good laugh heals a lot of hurts.
—Madeleine L’Engle

The ability to laugh at ourselves has always been important. In old days, fools and jesters held an important place in the royal courts. Today we have clowns who make us laugh.

If we look closely at a clown’s face, we will often notice a bit of sadness around the eyes. Clowns are able to move easily from sad expressions to ones full of delight very easily. For all of us, laughter and tears come from the same deep well inside. And often, after a good cry, we find ourselves ready to laugh, easily and joyfully.

Laughter is a gift waiting for us on the other side of our sadness.

Can I begin to laugh by smiling now?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 22, 2014
Learning to Trust Again

Many of us have trust issues.

Some of us tried long and hard to trust untrustworthy people. Over and again, we believed lies and promises never to be kept. Some of us tried to trust people for the impossible; for instance, trusting a practicing alcoholic not to drink again.

Some of us trusted our Higher Power inappropriately. We trusted God to make other people do what we wanted, then felt betrayed when that didn’t work out.

Some of us were taught that life couldn’t be trusted, that we had to control and manipulate our way through.

Most of us were taught, inappropriately, that we couldn’t trust ourselves.

In recovery, we’re healing from our trust issues. We’re learning to trust again. The first lesson in trust is this: We can learn to trust ourselves. We can be trusted. If others have taught us we cannot trust ourselves, they were lying. Addictions and dysfunctional systems make people lie.

We can learn to appropriately trust our Higher Power – not to make people do what we wanted them to, but to help us take care of ourselves, and to bring about the best possible circumstances, at the best possible times, in our life.

We can trust the process – of life and recovery. We do not have to control, obsess, or become hyper vigilant. We may not always understand where we are going, or what’s being worked out in us, but we can trust that something good is happening.

When we learn to do this, we are ready to learn to trust other people. When we trust our Higher Power and when we trust ourselves, we will know who to trust and what to trust that person for.

Perhaps we always did. We just didn’t listen closely enough to ourselves or trust what we heard.

Today, I will affirm that I can learn to trust appropriately. I can trust my Higher Power, my recovery, and myself. I can learn to appropriately trust others too.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 22, 2014
Stop depriving yourself

Stop depriving yourself of what feels comfortable, right, and good to you.

Some of us grew up in environments that were emotionally deprived. Being happy and enjoying life wasn’t allowed. Emotional deprivation was the theme.

Many of us learned to continue this pattern in our adult lives. We chose relationships with people who didn’t feel good to us. We chose jobs that felt uncomfortable.

Many of us have heard stories of people who are addicted to feeling miserable. It’s easy to see when other people are fostering deprivation and misery in their lives, it’s more difficult to discern when the person is us.

We may be so used to feeling bad that we genuinely don’t know what feels right to us.

You won’t know what feels right to you until you relax and learn to identify how you feel. Let go of your attraction to misery. Walk toward what feels comfortable to your heart, mind, body, and soul.

Lighten up. Let yourself get comfortable with what feels good to you.

Do you know what feels good? Do you know what you like? One day, a friend was getting his back rubbed, “That feels good,” he said. “It’s supposed to,” the person rubbing his back said to him.

Become conscious as you go through your daily life. Go on a treasure hunt. Find out what feels good to you. You just might discover that there are more treasures and pleasures in this world than you thought.

God, help me stop depriving myself of the good things in life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 22, 2014

Suffering is a journey, which has an end.
—Matthew Fox

Pain is part of life. To live a masculine spiritual life, we need a way to understand the suffering we sometimes endure. Looking back at other difficult times can give us a better perspective of the pain we feel today. All of us can recall a loss or a sudden difficult change that we never would have chosen for ourselves. Perhaps it brought us face to face with insecurities or doubts about our survival. Now, after the suffering has ended, we see how much we grew. We changed; we were strengthened and, perhaps, were liberated by what happened to us.

Thoughts about today’s suffering may not be clear as to what good it holds for us. But we are on a journey, and it can only happen one step at a time. We know that journeys teach us great lessons and they do have endings. Our pain today affirms that we are vital and alive people. We know others suffer as we do, and we can turn to each other to give and receive comfort while we are on the journey.

My pain will teach me something I need to know, and it will have an end. I will pay attention to its lessons.

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Daily TAO
July 22, 2014
Invisibility

      Invisibility is the best advantage.
      But if forced to a confrontation,
      Come out with all your skill.

There was once a roadside vendor who sold rheumatism formulas to the passersby. He was a cheery old man who was faithfully at his spot for years. One day a young bully began to harass the vendor. The old man tried very hard to avoid the confrontation, but eventually the bully became convinced he had a coward to abuse as he pleased. When the moment of attack came, the old man defeated him with superior boxing skills. Significantly, the old man was never seen again. He had manifested his superiority at a critical moment, but once he had exposed himself, he disappeared.

In this competitive world, it is best to be invisible. Go through life without showing off, attracting attention to yourself, or making flamboyant gestures. These will only attract the hostility of others. The wise accomplish all they want without arousing the envy or scorn of others. They make achievements only for the sake of fulfilling their inner yearnings.

Yet it is inevitable you will have to prove yourself at one time or another. When that is necessary, then you must marshal all your skills and do your very best. Prove yourself when it is demanded, and when you must prove yourself, be superior. At that moment, there is no time to talk of philosophy and humility. Act. Do. Then fade back into invisibility.

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In God’s Care
July 22, 2014

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.
~~George Bernard Shaw

It’s easy to let circumstances determine how we think and behave. While it’s true that some events seem devastating, our relationship with a Higher Power can help us accept and even grow from experiences that seem impossible to cope with.

We all have known men and women who’ve handled grave upsets far more easily than we have. How did they do it? They have no magic. Rather, they may be more comfortable letting their Higher Power help them accept and understand unfortunate circumstances. Once we accept our anger or disappointment, we’re free to move on to better feelings. We begin to realize we have choices in how we look at problems.

We are never given more than we can handle. We can develop acceptance of any circumstances, but our success in doing so comes mainly through our reliance on God to show us the way.

    God will help me handle the uncontrollable events of today.  Through acceptance.  I can change my feelings at any moment – even right now.

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Day By Day
July 22, 2014
Being rational

As practicing addicts, we were impulsive. We just did what we felt like doing. We didn’t think things through. Actually, we didn’t think much at all. We often acted irrationally.

As recovering addicts, we may still have some distored ideas and may still behave irrationally at times. That’s okay. But if what we’re doing seems serious to our sponsor or a couple of recovering friends, we need to talk more about our actions.

Am I learning to use reason to test my actions?

    Higher Power, help me plant both feet on the ground and to practice sharing my thoughts.

    I will talk with my sponsor today about..

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Food for Thought
July 22, 2014
The Power of Abstaining

Abstaining from compulsive overeating fills us with new strength. When we become honest and determined in this area of our life, our resolution and clarity flow into other areas, too. The new order and discipline are reflected in all that we do.

We establish abstinence as the most important thing in our life. As mind and body are released from the dullness and apathy caused by too much food, we are more efficient and we function more effectively. Other priorities and values sort themselves out. Instead of being torn by conflicting desires, we are able to decide which projects and activities are of most value. Instead of being paralyzed by fear and depression, we have the motivation and energy to do what needs to be done.

Accepting life-long abstinence as the will of our Higher Power enables us to push food out of the center of our life.

Thank You for the power of abstaining.

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DailyZen
July 22, 2014

Those who are following the Way should behave like a piece of timber which is drifting along a stream. If the log is neither held by the banks, nor seized by people, nor obstructed by gods, nor kept in the whirlpool, nor itself goes to decay, I assure you that this log will finally reach the ocean. If monks walking on the Way are neither tempted by the passions, nor led astray by some evil influences, but steadily pursue their course for Nirvana, I assure you that these monks will finally attain enlightenment.

– Sutra of Forty Two Chapters

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Faith’s Check Book
July 22, 2014
An Eternal Pledge

And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the Lord.
(Hosea 2:19-20)

Betrothment unto the Lord! What an honor and a joy! My soul, is Jesus indeed thine by His own condescending betrothal? Then, mark it is forever. He will never break His engagement, much less sue out a divorce against a soul joined to Himself in marriage bonds.

Three times the Lord says, “I will betroth thee.” What words He heaps together to set forth the betrothal! Righteousness comes in to make the covenant legal; none can forbid these lawful bans. Judgment sanctions the alliance with its decree: none can see folly or error in the match. Lovingkindness warrants that this is a love union, for without love betrothal is bondage and not blessedness. Meanwhile, mercy smiles and even sings; yea, she multiplies herself into “mercies” because of the abounding grace of this holy union.

Faithfulness is the registrar and records the marriage, and the Holy Spirit says “Amen” to it as He promises to teach the betrothal heart all the sacred knowledge needful for its high destiny, What a promise!

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 22, 2014

“I am married unto you.”
—Jeremiah 3:14.

CHRIST Jesus is joined unto His people in marriage-union. In love He espoused His Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection He toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by His Spirit, and brought her to know and love Him, He awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Not yet hath the glorious Bridegroom presented His betrothed, perfected and complete, before the Majesty of heaven; not yet hath she actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as His wife and queen: she is as yet a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar; but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to His heart, precious in His sight, written on His hands, and united with His person. On earth He exercises towards her all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision for her wants, pays all her debts, allows her to assume His name, and to share in all His wealth. Nor will He ever act otherwise to her. The word divorce He will never mention, for “He hateth putting away.” Death must sever the conjugal tie between the most loving mortals, but it cannot divide the links of this immortal marriage. In heaven they marry not, but are as the angels of God; yet there is this one marvellous exception to the rule, for in Heaven Christ and His Church shall celebrate their joyous nuptials. This affinity as it is more lasting, so is it more near than earthly wedlock. Let the love of husband be never so pure and fervent, it is but a faint picture of the flame which burns in the heart of Jesus. Passing all human union is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left His Father, and became one flesh with her.

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This Evening’s Meditation
July 22, 2014

“Behold the Man!”
—John 19:5.

IF there be one place where our Lord Jesus most fully becomes the joy and comfort of His people, it is where He plunged deepest into the depths of woe. Come hither, gracious souls, and behold the Man in the garden of Gethsemane; behold His heart so brimming with love that He cannot hold it in—so full of sorrow that it must find a vent. Behold the bloody sweat as it distils from every pore of His body, and falls upon the ground. Behold the Man as they drive the nails into His hands and feet. Look up, repenting sinners, and see the sorrowful image of your suffering Lord. Mark Him, as the ruby drops stand on the thorn-crown, and adorn with priceless gems the diadem of the King of Misery. Behold the Man when all His bones are out of joint, and He is poured out like water and brought into the dust of death; God hath forsaken Him, and hell compasseth Him about. Behold and see, was there ever sorrow like unto His sorrow that is done unto Him? All ye that pass by draw near and look upon this spectacle of grief, unique, unparalleled, a wonder to men and angels, a prodigy unmatched. Behold the Emperor of Woe who had no equal or rival in His agonies! Gaze upon Him, ye mourners, for if there be not consolation in a crucified Christ there is no joy in earth or heaven. If in the ransom price of His blood there be not hope, ye harps of heaven, there is no joy in you, and the right hand of God shall know no pleasures for evermore. We have only to sit more continually at the cross foot to be less troubled with our doubts and woes. We have but to see His sorrows, and our sorrows we shall be ashamed to mention; we have but to gaze into His wounds and heal our own. If we would live aright it must be by the contemplation of His death; if we would rise to dignity, it must be by considering His humiliation and His sorrow.

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