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 24

Just For Today
July 24
The Masks Have To Go

“… we covered low self-esteem by hiding behind phony images that we hoped would fool people. The masks have to go”
Basic Text, p.32

Over-sensitivity, insecurity, and lack of identity are often associated with active addiction. Many of us carry these with us into recovery; our fears of inadequacy, rejection, and lack of direction do not disappear overnight. Many of us have images, false personalities we have constructed either to protect ourselves or please others. Some of us use masks because we’re not sure who we really are. Sometimes we think that these images, built to protect us while using, might also protect us in recovery.

We use false fronts to hide our true personality, to disguise our lack of self-esteem. These masks hide us from others and also from our own true selves. By living a lie, we are saying that we cannot live with the truth about ourselves. The more we hide our real selves, the more we damage our self-esteem.

One of the miracles of recovery is the recognition of ourselves, complete with assets and liabilities. Self esteem begins with this recognition. Despite our fear of becoming vulnerable, we need to be willing to let go of our disguises. We need to be free of our masks and free to trust ourselves.

Just for today: I will let go of my masks and allow my self esteem to grow.


Daily Reflections
July 24

“Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.

Self-centeredness was my problem. All my life people had been doing things for me and I not only expected it, but I was ungrateful and resentful they didn’t do more. Why should I help others, when they were supposed to help me? If others had troubles, didn’t they deserve them? I was filled with self-pity, anger and resentment. Then I learned that by helping others, with no thought of return, I could overcome this obsession with selfishness, and if I understood humility, I would know peace and serenity. No longer do I need to drink.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

A.A. is like a dike, holding back the ocean of liquor. If we take one glass of liquor, it is like making a small hole in the dike and once such a hole has been made, the whole ocean of alcohol may rush in upon us. By practicing the A.A. principles we keep the dike strong and in repair. We spot any weakness or crack in that dike and make the necessary repairs before any damage is done. Outside the dike is the whole ocean of alcohol, waiting to engulf us again in despair. Am I keeping the dike strong?

Meditation For The Day

Keep as close as you can to the Higher Power. Try to think, act, live as though you were always in God’s presence. Keeping close to a Power greater than yourself is the solution to most of the earth’s problems. Try to practice the presence of God in the things you think and do. That is the secret of personal power. It is the thing that influences the lives of others for good. Abide in the Lord and rejoice in His love. Keep close to the Divine Spirit in the universe. Keep God close behind your thoughts.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep close to the Mind of God. I pray that I may live with Him in my heart and mind.


As Bill Sees It
July 24
Virtue and Self-Deception, p. 205

I used to take comfort from an exaggerated belief in my own honesty.  My New England kinfolk had taught me the sanctity of all business commitments and contracts, saying, “A man’s word is his bond.” After this rigorous conditioning, business honesty always came easy; I never flim-flammed anyone.

However, this small fragment of readily won virtue did produce some interesting liabilities. I never failed to whip up a fine contempt for those of my fellow Wall Streeters who were prone to shortchange their customers. This was arrogant enough, but the ensuring self-deception proved even worse.

My prized business honesty was presently converted into a comfortable cloak under which I could hide the many serious flaws that beset other departments of my life. Being certain of this one virtue, it was easy to conclude that I had them all. For years on end, this prevented me from taking a good look at myself.

Grapevine, August 1961


Walk In Dry Places
July 24
Overcoming A Bad Disposition

People with bad dispositions, like people with drinking problems, do not recognize how difficult they are. They accept their bad disposition as normal. Some people even declare proudly that they’re in a bad mood until they’ve been awake several hours or had three cups of coffee.

We do not have to put up with a BAD DISPOSITION. If we find ourselves touchy or grumpy at times, we should immediately release this to our Higher Power. There is a better pattern of thought and feeling to replace anything that comes across to others as a bad disposition.

It’s surprising to learn that we don’t have to live with a bad disposition. What’s even more surprising is that we’ll also be happier and more relaxed without it.

A bad disposition, we learn, is just so much unnecessary baggage we don’t have to carry.

I’ll be relaxed and friendly at all times today. I have neither a need nor an excuse for a bad disposition.


Keep It Simple
July 24

The work of adult life is not easy.
—Gail Sheehy

We used to look for a easier, softer way. We tried to take care of ourselves by staying clear of hard task. The result? We haven’t known what the work of adult life is.

The work of adult life is this: to become spiritually centered. And to do this, we work at getting rid of our self-will. There will be many great rewards for doing this. We will wake up spiritually. We will connect with those we love. The result? We will receive self-love to replace self-will. Our work will not be easy, but it will be rewarding.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to give all to my recovery program. Then help me to be open to the rewards this will bring.

Action for the Day: I will list the hard parts of my program. Then I’ll talk about them with my sponsor, friends, family, and Higher Power.


Each Day a New Beginning
July 24

… The idea has gained currency that women have often been handicapped not only by a fear of failure–not unknown to men either- -but by a fear of success as well.
—Sonya Rudikoff

It was our practice, before coming to this program, to eat, drink, and smoke our fears away. What we came to realize, profoundly, was that the fears couldn’t be escaped even while high. This program is helping us to understand that fears are human, normal and survivable when we let God and our friends in the program lend a helping hand.

Drugs and alcohol distorted our perceptions. Our fears, whether large or small, were distorted. And we still distort those fears, on occasion, because we move away from the spiritual reality of our lives. Remember, we are confronted with no situation too big to handle, no experience for which we are unprepared, if we but turn to that greater power that the program offers us.

We cannot fail in whatever we try today. The outcome of any task attempted is just as it should be. And however we succeed today, we will be shown the steps, at the right time, to make use of that success.

I shall not fear failure or success. I am not alone in experiencing either; both are stepping-stones on my life’s journey.


Alcoholics Anonymous
July 24
Jim’s Story

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

I got to the place where I’d look forward to the weekend’s drinking and pacify myself by saying that the weekends were mine, that it didn’t interfere with my family or my business if I drank on the weekends. But the weekends stretched on into Mondays, and the time soon came when I drank every day. My practice at that juncture was just barely getting us a living.

p. 237


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 24

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.”

A.A.’s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program. So let’s consider briefly what we have been trying to do up to this point:

Step One showed us an amazing paradox: We found that we were totally unable to be rid of the alcohol obsession until we first admitted that we were powerless over it. In Step Two we saw that since we could not restore ourselves to sanity, some Higher Power must necessarily do so if we were to survive. Consequently, in Step Three we turned our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. For the time being, we who were atheist or agnostic discovered that our own group, or A.A. as a whole, would suffice as a higher power. Beginning with Step Four, we commenced to search out the things in ourselves which had brought us to physical, moral, and spiritual bankruptcy. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory. Looking at Step Five, we decided that an inventory, taken alone, wouldn’t be enough. We knew we would have to quit the deadly business of living alone with our conflicts, and in honesty confide these to God and another human being. At Step Six, many of us balked–for the practical reason that we did not wish to have all our defects of character removed, because we still loved some of them too much. Yet we knew we had to make a settlement with the fundamental principle of Step Six. So we decided that while we still had some flaws of character that we could not yet relinquish, we ought nevertheless to quit our stubborn, rebellious hanging on to them. We said to ourselves, “This I cannot do today, perhaps, but I can stop crying out `No, never!’ ” Then, in Step Seven, we humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings such as He could or would under the conditions of the day we asked.

pp. 107-108


Xtra Thoughts
July 24

“Our ability to identify a teacher and to learn is directly related to how open-minded we are and the attitude with which we approach everyone and everything that comes our way.”
–Bonnie Friedman

“When God measures a man, he puts the tape around the heart instead of the head.”

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

“The remarkable thing we have is a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. ”
–Charles Swindoll

“Just when I found out the meaning of life, they changed it!”
–George Carlin

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.
–Laurence Couglin


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 24

“This great misfortune — to be incapable of solitude.”
–Jean de la Bruyere

Today I am able to live with my loneliness. I know the difference between being “alone” and being “lonely” — and even in sobriety I experience loneliness. But today I can live with it.

When I was drinking, I had an overwhelming feeling of being lost and isolated; today it is tolerable. I can live with it. It is part of being “imperfect”. I am not God.

The reality of spirituality demands that I do not escape into a fantasy that denies my feelings of loneliness. It is part of my journey towards God. I will never appreciate perfect happiness until I rest in God. This I accept. In sobriety I have many days of happiness and moments of joy — but I am, at times, lonely — with feelings of being lost. Today I can accept this — and talk about it.

I accept that part of me will be forever lost until I rest in God.


Bible Scriptures
July 24

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6:25

For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.
Colossians 1:13


Daily Inspiration
July 24

The things in life that mean the most have no price tag. Lord, thank you for the moments that I am able to spend with my family and friends.

If your family is a mess, you are not a success. Lord, bless me with the wisdom and strength to bring unity and peace to my family.


A Day At A Time
July 24

Reflection For The Day

How, exactly, can a p4erson turn his own will and his own life over to the care of a Power greater than himself?  All that’s needed is a beginning, no matter how small.  The minute we put the key of willingness in the lock, the latch springs open.  Then the door itself starts to open, perhaps even so slightly;  in time we find that we can always open it wider.  Self-will may slam the door shut again, and it often does.  But the door can always be reopened, time and time again if necessary, so long as we use our key of willingness.  Have I reaffirmed my decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him?

Today I Pray

May I reaffirm my decision to turn my will and my life over to a Higher Power.  May my faith be staunch enough to keep me knowing that there is, indeed, a power greater than I am.  May I avail myself of that Power simply by being willing to “walk humbly with my Lord.”

Today I Will Remember

Self-will minus self equals will.


One More Day
July 24

Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

Each of us harbors secret fears. “how will I manage?” “Can I make it through today?” “Will my family still love me if my behavior has been inappropriate?”

We learn, rather early in the game, that a defeatist attitude drives our friends away after a period of time. Therefore, it’s often up to us to deal with our own fears. We do our best to ease ourselves through each crisis — and at times we will need additional help — but by and large we can do it. It isn’t so much that we’re overly independent or angry. It’s that we need to help our loved ones learn how to cope with our illness, so we keep our fears from becoming irrational as best we can. And that often passes for courage.

I will put my fears into proper perspective because this helps me — and my loved ones.


One Day At A Time
July 24

“Destiny is not a matter of chance;  it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for;  it is a thing to be achieved.”
–William Jennings Bryan

I have often wished that my life were easier. I have resented the fact that others seemed to have been given a free ride, whereas I have had to walk the distance. I often prayed that on waking one morning, I would find that the shadow I cast the day before had been vastly reduced overnight.

Wallowing in self-pity has taken me nowhere. It has wasted time that I could have spent reaching my recovery. I could choose to waste my days wishing for something that I obviously don’t have — and will never have — unless I actively do the legwork to obtain it. I could sit back and expect the world to come to my door, but I would find that it passes me by.

Often I find myself slipping down the emotional slide into the depths of depression. In those dark times, walking through life is as easy as walking waist-deep through wet tar. It’s a place where the sun never shines, thus its warm rays don’t land on my skin.

Recovery comes only when I make the choice and do the work needed to attain it.

One day at a time …
I choose to use the wisdom, strength and shelter of God; my Higher Power. I choose to follow the Twelve Steps and use the tools provided in the recovery program. I choose to be guided by the Big Book. In essence … I choose life

~ Sue G


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 24

“Life is like a path…and we all have to walk the path… As we walk… we’ll find experiences like little scraps of paper in front of us along the way. We must pick up those pieces of scrap paper and put them in our pocket… Then, one day, we will have enough scraps of papers to put together and see what they say… Read the information and take it to heart.”
–Uncle Frank Davis (quoting his mother), PAWNEE

The Creator designed us to learn by trial and error. The path of life we walk is very wide. Everything on the path is sacred – what we do right is sacred – but our mistakes are also sacred. This is the Creator’s way of teaching spiritual people. To criticize ourselves when we make mistakes is not part of the spiritual path. To criticize mistakes is not the Indian way. To learn from our mistakes is the Indian way. The definition of a spiritual person is someone who makes 30-50 mistakes each day and talks to the Creator after each one to see what to do next time. This is the way of the Warrior.

Today let me see my mistakes as a positive process. Let me learn the aha’s of life… Awaken my awareness so I can see the great learning that You, my Creator, have designed for my life.


Journey To The Heart
July 24
Joy Is the Way

The woman was in her fifties, maybe sixties. She had retired from the big city and was now working as a waitress in Mary’s Restaurant, a small cafe in a small Montana town. She looked as if she lived alone. She looked as if she had been through her share of disappointments, joys, and awakenings. She brought me a plate of bacon and eggs, set them down, and gave me a radiant smile. “It’s a beautiful day,” she said.

“Yes it is,” I said. I looked at her. “Are you happy to be here?”

She thought for a moment, then replied. “Yes,” she said with joy in her voice. “Yes, I am.”

Joy is the way. Joy in the morning. Joy throughout the day. Joy at twilight. Joy in our dreams, waking and sleeping. For so long we believed that our joy depended on specific outward circumstances, on a particular situation being a certain way, or on the presence or behavior of a particular person. While getting what we want and being with those we love can add to our joy, we have learned another kind of joy, a deeper kind of joy. A joy that abides and carries us through.

Joy doesn’t come from outside, although the energies of the universe and universal love can add to our joy and fill our wellspring. Joy comes from doing the Divine will each moment. Joy comes from living in harmony with ourselves each moment of each day. Joy is a choice that comes from accepting and living fully each moment of our lives, knowing that each day and each event is important.

Joy comes from trusting each moment. That’s the secret of joy. Receive it now, then pass it on with a smile and a kind word to all who come along your path.


Today’s Gift
July 24

I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.
—Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was a Black woman who devoted her life to helping slaves escape their bondage. In her youth, she had been hit on the head so she suffered dizzy spells for the rest of her life. In spite of this, and at great risk to her own life, she guided many slaves on the Underground Railroad to freedom.

Freedom from slavery is different today but just as necessary. It may mean freedom from being a slave to what others think of us, freedom from eating more than is healthy for us, freedom from jealousy, and freedom from trying to force others to do what we want them to do.

We are free to be the very best persons we can be. Our own freedom can be even more fulfilling when we welcome others enthusiastically into that land of freedom by allowing them the room to be themselves without fear of judgment. In this way, by freeing ourselves, we free one another.

How can I free myself today?


The Language of Letting Go
July 24

Denial is a powerful tool. Never underestimate its ability to cloud your vision.

Be aware that, for many reasons, we have become experts at using this tool to make reality more tolerable. We have learned well how to stop the pain caused by reality – not by changing our circumstances, but by pretending our circumstances are something other than what they are.

Do not be too hard on yourself. While one part of you was busy creating a fantasy reality, the other part went to work on accepting the truth.

Now, it is time to find courage. Face the truth. Let it sink gently in.

When we can do that, we will be moved forward.

God, give me the courage and strength to see clearly.


More Language Of Letting Go
July 24
Let go of fear

Sometimes, we say we want to go to the next level in our lives– in work, in play, or in love. But it feels like the door is shut. Fear can disguise itself behind many different faces: we want to do it our way; we’re not interested; or it’s just not time. What we’re coming up against isn’t a closed door, it’s the fear we’re repressing and holding inside.

If you’re confused about why you’re not moving forward naturally in some area of your life, take a closer look. See if you’ve got some hidden fears that might be holding you back. If you’re blocked and trying to move forward, remember to feel and release your fear first. Then see if that wasn’t just the key you needed to unlock and open that door.

God, help me see, feel, and release my fears about moving forward in my life.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 24

Many things are lost for want of asking.
—English proverb

It’s a principle of this program that we grow, in part, by learning to ask for what we need. Perhaps today we are struggling with a problem that could be eased if we talked to another man in the program. We could call him on the phone and just ask him if he has a few minutes to talk. Maybe we’re wondering about a physical pain. Maybe we feel strange about something we said and would like to ask someone’s opinion.

Mistaken notions about masculinity get in the way of recovery when we refuse to ask for help. We think we should know the answers and be self-sufficient. Maybe we feel stupid if we have to ask. Those notions drop by the wayside as we get healthier and learn the rewards of connecting with others to satisfy our mutual needs. No longer does false pride have to keep us isolated and struggling alone.

Today, I will notice what I need and practice asking for help.


Daily TAO
July 24

Can you see a sound?
Can you hear light?
Can you unite your senses?
Can you turn inward?

What we are all seeking is clarity. Forget about religious rationalizations. Forget about elaborate explanations. What we all want is clarity. What we abhor is ignorance. Ignorance confuses us, brings us misfortune and sorrow, and makes us miserable. If we have clarity, then we can live with equanimity.

It is a misconception that spirituality brings everlasting happiness. There is no such thing. Sadness still comes to the wise, but, unlike most people, their clarity of mind allows them to see beyond the temporal emotionalism of the moment. They are farseeing, and so happiness and sorrow become the same to them.

True clarity is more than just being smart, more than just being wise. Clarity manifests from meditation. It comes when you can unite all the faculties of the mind and unify them into a magnificent light of perception. It is hard to talk of this in anything but mystical terms. Our language is unfamiliar with the frontiers of the spirit because few have ever seen those limits, let alone described them. But let’s try.

If you unite sound with vision, then you will create light.

That light is the concentrated force of the mind.

It is by that brightness that truth is revealed.


In God’s Care
July 24

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind.
~~Helen Keller

How difficult it is still to simply enjoy the gifts of the moment and not obsessively try to control the people and circumstances in our life. Sometimes we can persuade others to go along with our wishes. Perhaps we can positively influence a tense situation by our involvement in the solution. But we can’t ultimately control anyone or anything, only the choices we make about ourselves. We can decide the attitude we will cultivate; we can decide the behavior we will exhibit; we can decide to let God participate in our life.

Our willingness to follow God’s will assures us greater peace. Work, relationships, day-to-day struggles become less stressful when we’ve let God in. By trusting guidance from a friend, reading a meditation, or perhaps just by being still, we’ll discover the peace of letting go and be enriched by the serenity that follows.

    I will let others live the way they choose.  Today I will live the way that pleases me – and God.


Day By Day
July 24
    Sharing a common goal

Since we’re going the same way, let’s go together. We may have some differences, but let’s work them out and respect each other’s opionions. Since our goal is the same, you help me and I’ll help you.

But let’s never withhold love as a weapon against one another. Since we are held together by a critical common solution, let’s not cause one another any suffering.

Am I learning to emphasize our common purpose?

    Higher Power, help me see that what we share in the fellowship is more important than what seperates us.

    Today I will strengthen our common cause by…


Food for Thought
July 24
Living Is a Privilege

When we were overeating, how often did we drag ourselves out of bed wondering how we were going to make it through the day? Many of us felt that life was treating us unfairly, and we blamed those around us for our misery. We may have thought we believed in a Power greater than ourselves, but we were unable to apply the belief so that it made a difference in the way we were living. Trying to manage our own life pushed us further and further into despair.

The OA program shows us how to commit our will and our life to the management of God. We stop trying to “go it alone,” and we listen for His direction. By the grace of our Higher Power, we abstain from compulsive overeating one day at a time, and we walk a new way of humility and obedience.

Little by little, we recover in mind and body, and we no longer feel crushed by an uncaring fate. We accept each day as a gift from the hand of God, and we live it to the best of our ability.

Thank You for the privilege of living and abstaining today.


July 24

The realm of the Tathagata
and the realm of a self are not two.
One who cultivates the paramita of wisdom
with this understanding does not seek bodhi.
Why? Because detachment from the
notion of bodhi is the paramita of wisdom.

– Manjushri


Faith’s Check Book
July 24
Perfect Purity

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.
(Revelation 3:5)

Warrior of the cross, fight on! Never rest till thy victory is complete, for thine eternal reward will prove worthy of a life of warfare.

See, here is perfect purity for thee! A few in Sardis kept their garments undefiled, and their recompense is to be spotless. Perfect holiness is the prize of our high calling; let us not miss it.

See, here is joy! Thou shalt wear holiday robes, such as men put on at wedding feasts; thou shalt be clothed with gladness and be made bright with rejoicing. Painful struggles shall end in peace of conscience and joy in the Lord.

See, here is victory! Thou shalt have thy triumph. Palm, and crown, and white robe shall be thy guerdon; thou shalt be treated as a conqueror and owned as such by the Lord Himself.

See, here is priestly array! Thou shalt stand before the Lord in such raiment as the sons of Aaron wore; thou shalt offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving and draw near unto the Lord with the incense of praise.

Who would not fight for a Lord who gives such large honors to the very least of His faithful servants? Who would not be clothed in a fool’s coat for Christ’s sake, seeing He will robe us with glory?


This Morning’s Meditation
July 24

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.”—Exodus 14:13.

THESE words contain God’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Master’s word to him is, “Stand still.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in His love and faithfulness. Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time. Precipitancy cries, “do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once—we must do it so we think—instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle.” But Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands. “Stand still”;—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”


This Evening’s Meditation
July 24

    “His camp is very great.”
—Joel 2:11.

CONSIDER, my soul, the mightiness of the Lord who is thy glory and defence. He is a man of war, Jehovah is His name. All the forces of heaven are at His beck, legions wait at His door, cherubim and seraphim;, watchers and holy ones, principalities and powers, are all attentive to His will. If our eyes were not blinded by the ophthalmia of the flesh, we should see horses of fire and chariots of fire round about the Lord’s beloved. The powers of nature are all subject to the absolute control of the Creator: stormy wind and tempest, lightning and rain, and snow, and hail, and the soft dews and cheering sunshine, come and go at His decree. The bands of Orion He looseth, and bindeth the sweet influences of the Pleiades. Earth, sea, and air, and the places under the earth, are the barracks for Jehovah’s great armies; space is His camping ground, light is His banner, and flame is His sword. When He goeth forth to war, famine ravages the land, pestilence smites the nations, hurricane sweeps the sea, tornado shakes the mountains, and earthquake makes the solid world to tremble. As for animate creatures, they all own His dominion, and from the great fish which swallowed the prophet, down to “all manner of flies,” which plagued the field of Zoan, all are His servants, and like the palmer-worm, the caterpillar, and the cankerworm, are squadrons of His great army, for His camp is very great. My soul, see to it that thou be at peace with this mighty King, yea, more, be sure to enlist under His banner, for to war against Him is madness, and to serve Him is glory. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, is ready to receive recruits for the army of the Lord: if I am not already enlisted let me go to Him ere I sleep, and beg to be accepted through His merits; and if I be already, as I hope I am, a soldier of the cross, let me be of good courage; for the enemy is powerless compared with my Lord, whose camp is very great.

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