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

Daily Recovery Readings – July 25

Just For Today
July 25
Twelfth Step “Failure”?

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

There is no such thing as a “failed” Twelfth Step call. Even if our prospect doesn’t get clean, we have accomplished two purposes. We have planted the seed of recovery in the mind of the addict with whom we have shared our experience, strength, and hope. And we ourselves have stayed clean another day. Rarely does a recovering addict leave a Twelve Step call with anything but a deep dose of gratitude.

Sometimes we are practicing the Twelfth Step without realizing it. When our co-workers or other acquaintances know some of our history and see what kind of person we are today, they know where to go when they have a friend or loved one in need of our help. We are often the best attraction that NA has to offer.

For many addicts, the Twelfth Step is the cornerstone of recovery. We truly believe that “we can only keep what we have by giving it away” The paradox of the Twelfth Step is evident, for in giving, we receive.

Just for today: I will remember that I am a living example of the Twelfth Step. I cannot “fail” when I try to carry the message to another addict.


Daily Reflections
July 25

For us, if we neglect those who are still sick, there is unremitting danger to our own lives and sanity.

I know the torment of drinking compulsively to quiet my nerves and my fears. I also know the pain of white-knuckled sobriety. Today, I do not forget the unknown person who suffers quietly, withdrawn and hiding in the desperate relief of drinking. I ask my Higher Power to give me His guidance and the courage to be willing to be His instrument to carry within me compassion and unselfish actions. Let the group continue to give me the strength to do with others what I cannot do alone.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 25

A.A. Thought For The Day

We are living on borrowed time. We are living today because of A.A. and the grace of God. And what there is left of our lives we owe to A.A. and to God. We should make the best use we can of our borrowed time and in some small measure pay back for that part of our lives which we wasted before we came into A.A. Our lives from now on are not our own. We hold them in trust for God and A.A. And we must do all we can to forward the great movement that has given us a new lease on life. Am I holding my life in trust for A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

You should hold your life in trust for God. Think deeply on what that means. Is anything too much to expect from such a life? Do you begin to see how dedicated a life in trust for God can be? In such a life miracles can happen. If you are faithful, you can believe that God has many good things in store for you. God can be Lord of your life, controller of your days, of your present and your future. Try to act as God guides and leave all results to Him. Do not hold back, but go all out for God and the better life. Make good your trust.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may hold my life in trust for God. I pray that I may no longer consider my life as all my own.


As Bill Sees It
July 25
Praying For Others, p. 206

While praying sincerely, we still may fall into temptation. We form ideas as to what we think God’s will is for other people. We say to ourselves, “This one ought to be cured of his fatal malady” or “That one ought to be relieved of his emotional pain,” and we pray for these specific things.

Such prayers, of course, are fundamentally good acts, but often they are based upon a supposition that we know God’s will for the person for whom we pray. This means that side by side with an earnest prayer there can be a certain amount of presumption and conceit in us.

It is A.A.’s experience that partially in these cases we ought to pray that God’s will, whatever it is, be done for others as well as for ourselves.

12 & 12, p. 104


Keep It Simple
July 25

If the spirit within us withers (dies), so to will all the world we build around us.
—Theodore Roszab

This is what happened during our illness—our spirits were dying. Our relationships were dying. this is because addiction is death.

And recovery is life! The Steps breathe like into us. Our groups breathe life into us. We start to heal because we once again feel hope. We’re less afraid of what tomorrow may bring. As our hope grows, others feel it too.

We’re starting to slowly rebuild our world. We’re building our world on the Twelve Steps and their message of hope.

Prayer for the Day: I give myself to life. Higher Power, work with me as I rebuild my world.

Action for the Day: I’ll talk with a friend about hope. I’ll see my hope as a sign of how close I am to my program.


Each Day a New Beginning
July 25

I have a clear choice between life and death, between reality and fantasy, between health and sickness. I have to become responsible – responsible for mistakes as well as accomplishments.
—Eileen Mayhew

Choosing to participate actively in our own lives ushers in joy and sometimes fear. We are energized by our conscious involvement; making thoughtful choices regarding our development heightens our sense of well-being. But occasionally we may fear potential failure. About as frequently, we may fear probable success.

Not every day do we want the responsibility for our lives; but we have it. On occasion we only want the loving arms of a caretaker. The beauty of our lives at this time is that we do have a caretaker at our beck and call, a caretaker who has demonstrated repeatedly a concern for our safety, a caretaker who will help us shoulder every responsibility we face.

Clearly, our coming to this program shows that we have chosen to act responsibly. And just as clearly, every day that we ask for the guidance to live to the best of our abilities, we will be helped to accomplish the tasks right for us in this stage of our lives.

All I have to do is make the right choices. I will always know which they are, when I ask for guidance.


Alcoholics Anonymous
July 25
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.

A peculiar thing happened in 1940. That year, on a Friday night, a man whom I had known for years come to my office. My father had treated him many years prior to this. This man’s wife had been suffering for a couple of months, and when he came in he owed me a little bill. I filled a prescription for him. The following day, Saturday, he came back and said, “Jim, I owe you for the prescription last night. I didn’t pay you.” I thought, “I know you didn’t pay me, because you didn’t get a prescription.” He said, “Yes. You know the prescription that you gave me for my wife last night.” Fear gripped me then, because I could remember nothing about it. It was the first blackout I had to recognize as a blackout. The next morning I carried another prescription to this man’s house and exchanged it for the bottle his wife had. Then I said to my wife, “Something has to be done.” I took that bottle of medicine and gave it to a very good friend of mine who was a pharmacist and had it analyzed, and the bottle was perfectly all right. But I knew at that point that I couldn’t stop, and I knew that I was a danger to myself and to others.

pp. 237-238


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 25

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.”

In Step Eight, we continued our housecleaning, for we saw that we were not only in conflict with ourselves, but also with people and situations in the world in which we lived. We had to begin to make our peace, and so we listed the people we had harmed and became willing to set things right. We followed this up in Step Nine by making direct amends to those concerned, except when it would injure them or other people. By this time, at Step Ten, we had begun to get a basis for daily living, and we keenly realized that we would need to continue taking personal inventory, and that when we were in the wrong we ought to admit it promptly. In Step Eleven we saw that if a Higher Power had restored us to sanity and had enabled us to live with some peace of mind in a sorely troubled world, then such a Higher Power was worth knowing better, by as direct contact as possible. The persistent use of meditation and prayer, we found, did open the channel so that where there had been a trickle, there now was a river which led to sure power and safe guidance from God as we were increasingly better able to understand Him.

pp. 108-109


Xtra Thoughts
July 25

You can get off the elevator anytime, but if you get back on it’s only going down.

Happy memories never wear out. Relive them as often as you want.

Our pasts are perfect in a way our minds can never fully understand.  We would not have the opportunities for awakening and experiencing that are ours today, without exactly what happened. Now, it’s what we do with our pasts that provides the opportunity for growth. Today,- spend some time thinking about the gifts in your past that you may have overlooked.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

Live your life and forget your age.
–Norman Vincent Peale

In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage, so long are you young. When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, and then only, are you grown old.
–General Douglas MacArthur

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”
–Yiddish Proverb

“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.”
–Vince Lombardi


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 25

“Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.”
–Michel de Montaigne

Nothing lasts forever. At times I feel sad, angry, resentful and ashamed — but it passes. In my recovery I have learned to live in “my day” and accept the consequences of that day. I can only deal with life as I experience it. Tomorrow is a new day with new experiences. And some of the experiences are painful. Reality teaches me this. At times I wish I could go through life without pain or rejection but I know that is fantasy. Sobriety does not mean that everything will be perfect — only better!

Nothing is so bad that I need to drink or use over it. Today I know that alcohol increases my pain; it is never a solution. God, who has given me today, will also give me a tomorrow — and time eases the pain if I work my program. Misfortunes are not worth drinking over. Nothing lasts forever.

Thank You for the gift of a tomorrow.


Bible Scriptures
July 25

My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Jesus says,” Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
John 15:4

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”
Psalm 54:4

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Acts 20:35


Daily Inspiration
July 25

God wants us happy right now and continually points us in that direction even when we look the other way. Lord, grant that nothing will turn me away from doing Your will.

They are wise who depend on God. Lord, Your perfect law revives my soul. Keeping Your law makes me rich.


A Day At A Time
July 25

Reflection For The Day

The slogans of The Program are seemngly clear adn simple.  Yet they may still have different meanings for different people, according to their own experience and reaction to the words and ideas.  Take, for example, the slogan Let Go and Let God.  For some people, it may suggest that all we have to do is sidestep teh challenges that confront us and , somehow, God will do all the work.  We must remember that God gives us free will, intelligence and good senses — it is clearly His intention that we use these gifts.  If I’m receptive, God will make His will known to me step by step, but I must carry it out.  Do I sometimes act as if surrender to God’s will is a passport to inertia?

Today I Pray

May my “passport” be stamped with “action.”  May my travels be motivated by challenges I can readily recognize as things to do, not things to watch.  I pray that I may make the most of my gifts from God, of talents that I am aware of and some I have yet to discover.  May I not “let go” and give up but keep on learning, growing, doing, serving, praying, carrying out the will of God as I understand It.

Today I Will Remember

God meant me to make the most of myself.


One More Day
July 25

He who knows others is learned, he who knows himself is wise.
–  Lao Tsze

We sometimes let how we think we should act keep us from showing our deepest feelings.  We may behave the way others expect us to act, while burying within ourselves the pain and fears associated with our changing health.

Acting upon our own thoughts and feelings can be difficult; acting according to what others think is frustrating — and impossible.  Gradually we find more stability and confidence within ourselves.  This self-trust allows us to show our emotions and to express our ideas and feelings.  We might be short-tempered sometimes, or impatient, or angry.  None of us is perfect.  We accept that truth, and are freed of the burden of pleasing others; we discover the joy of acting on our inner messages of growth and honesty.

I am most free to grow when I am acting honestly on my own values and feelings.


One Day At A Time
July 25

“Resolve to be thyself:  And know that he who finds himself loses his misery.”
–Matthew Arnold

Life before recovery was a theatrical production in which I played all parts to all audiences. I gave a performance which aimed to satisfy everyone’s requirements but my own. I proffered whatever I felt others wanted, giving no thought to my own needs. Some may say that’s a worthy attitude, but it was influenced by a desire to be accepted — not for who I am — but for whom I thought everyone wanted me to be. I used my performance to control situations and to avoid any nasty surprises. I furnished more than I could afford, often lavishing what wasn’t mine to give. Frequently I didn’t feel that I had gained the acceptance I so fervently sought, and this yielded feelings of incompetence.

To be everything to all people took time and sapped considerable quantities of energy physically, spiritually and emotionally. Often I found I couldn’t keep up with this self-inflicted regimen of people-pleasing. I began to resent the performance and gained no satisfaction from the results.

Through my recovery I realized that I had never been happy with the results of my role-playing. It had been a compulsion to seek the approval from others because I couldn’t grant myself the authorization to be me. The only person I can be is me. The only person I have a right to be is me.

One day at a time …
I give myself permission to be who I truly am: ME!

~ Sue G.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 25

“People need to wake up. They can’t hear Creator’s voice if they’re asleep.”
– Vernon Cooper, LUMBEE

Black Elk, a Sioux, talks about the hoop of many hoops. He says that above the people is a hoop, a conscience, the total belief of the people. If the hoop is sick, meaning dysfunctional, co-dependent, a lot of alcoholism, family abuse, violence, racism and sexual abuse, the people can get used to this and think this is normal. In other words, the people are asleep. If we have left the spiritual way of life, the people are asleep. If we are giving our power to another entity, the people are asleep. In most tribes, there are Coyote Clans. The job of the Coyote Clan people is to wake the people up. They need to become a nuisance and irritate the people. We must return to the spiritual walk.

Oh Great Spirit, keep me awake today. Let me hear the voices of our ancestors…let me hear the voices of the Grandfathers. Because everybody is doing it doesn’t make things right. Let me hear the truth today and become a coyote for the people. Give me the courage to be willing to be different. Let me walk straight on the Red Road.


Journey To The Heart
July 25
Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself

I pulled out the map. I’ll go here, I thought, and there. I’ll visit this place, then that one. My mind raced with excitement at all the places left to see. I felt overwhelmed, wondering if I could get to all the places I wanted to visit. For a moment I forgot to look around and appreciate where I was– in the forest at the foot of Mount Olympus in Olympic State Park.

Don’t get ahead of yourself. There are many wonderful places left to visit, many experiences to have, many people to meet and enjoy. But you aren’t there yet. There will be some trials,too. More lessons along the path. But you aren’t there yet,either.

Stay in this moment. It contains the experience you need to have. This moment contains your happiness. Living this moment, being fully present for it, is the way to get to the next experience, the next person, the next emotion, the next adventure. Cherish the moment. Feel all there is to feel. See all there is to see.

Learn the lessons of today, and you will be prepared for the adventures and joys of tomorrow.

Be here now. This is the only place you need to be. And from this place, all things are possible.


Today’s Gift
July 25

He wanted to hold onto his fury, to guard it like a treasure. He would not let it be stolen from him . . .. But already, he felt it slipping, softened by Ben’s compassionate touch.
—Joe Johnston and Nilo Rodis-Jamero

The glassblower is an artist who takes broken glass and melts it in a very hot furnace. Then the glassblower blows through a long tube and creates objects such as cups and plates and pieces of art.

The sharp edges of our anger are like pieces of broken glass. We all have things in our lives that anger us – it is only human to bump into our sharp edges. One edge might be crabby, another silent and withdrawn, and still another yelling and screaming.

The heat of love and compassion can melt our anger. This may take the form of sympathy for ourselves, or for the people we love. More often, it is the compassion of those around us that helps melt our anger. Sometimes saying I’m sorry is a good way to melt anger and find the love underneath it.

What beauty can I create with my anger today?


The Language of Letting Go
July 25
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.


More Language Of Letting Go
July 25
See how much courage you have

Everyone is in awe of the lion-tamer in a cage with half a dozen lions– everyone but a school bus driver.

You may not be a great warrior. You might not lead explorations to the North Pole or climb Mount Everest. But you still need courage.

Courage lies in the simple things as well as the grandiose. It’s fun and easy to speculate about how we would respond in our fantasy lives– climbing that mountain or leading knights into battle– but what about now?

Do you have the courage to live your life, to walk your path every day, right where you are?

Sometimes, it takes more courage to do the ordinary things in life than it does to walk to the door of the airplane and jump.

It takes courage to get sober, to stay sober, to get up every day and go to your job, support your family, pay the bills, and walk the path that you have been given to walk. We all need courage to do the thing that scares us and sometimes to do the thing that doesn’t scare us, over and over again.

God, please grant me the courage to do the right thing in my relationships, in my job, and in my spiritual growth. Please give me the courage to live my life.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 25

Everyone once, once only. Just once and no more. And we also once. Never again. But this having been once, although only once, to have been of the earth, seems irrevocable.
—Rainer Maria Rilke

In the hopelessness of addiction and codependency, and as children of addicts, some of us have considered suicide, and some of us have actually tried to kill ourselves. We have maintained the option as an escape in case life got too difficult. Now, in recovery, we have chosen life. We’ve stopped killing ourselves in the slow ways of our old behaviors, yet some of us hold on to our ace in the hole. Either consciously or unconsciously, we haven’t made that unconditional commitment to life.

It may be one firmer step into recovery – a vote for the life we have been given – to say, “I will never choose suicide. Whatever comes my way, it is not an option for me.” When we give up that one final controlling maneuver, we may find ourselves freer to live in this one irretrievable life we’ve been given.

In choosing to be totally on the side of life, I step further into the care of God. Whatever 1 must meet, God is with me.


Daily TAO
July 25

Why do you scorn others?
Can it be that you are that proud?
No matter how accomplished you are,
There are people ahead of you and behind you.
All beings on the path,
All victims of the same existence,
All with body, mind, and spirit.
No one is better than the next person.
Help others for all the times that you have been ignored.
Be kind to others, for all the times that you have been scorned.

The journey of humanity is the journey from ignorance to enlightenment.

It’s like an endless march of souls through eternity. If you are standing in an infinitely long line of souls, how can you say your position is superior to others? When there is no head and no end to the line, it doesn’t matter what place you hold. Therefore it is foolish to look down on those standing behind. They now occupy the place where you once stood. Instead of pride, you should feel compassion. If you cannot remember this, then just think of all the people ahead of you. You aspire to their place, and you should work diligently.

There is injustice in this world, yes. But there is no need to add to it. When you see someone less fortunate than you, express compassion. When you see someone more advanced than you, try to learn from them. Any other feelings are superfluous.


In God’s Care
July 25

To feel extraordinarily small and unimportant is always a wholesome feeling.
~~Robert H. Benson

There’s something spiritual about laying under the stars on a clear night. The immensity of the universe is enough to put our life into perspective. It can lift the weight of the world from our shoulders. While we may feel our burdens are heavy and our responsibilities endless, just a glimpse of that twinkling night sky helps us realize we are not quite as important as we sometimes think.

But just as each of those billions of stars has a place in the heavens, so do we have a place in God’s plan. Our influence may be small, our light may not shine far, but just as each star has a place, we too have a role in the Divine plan. Through God’s love, we can enjoy our connection to the universe.

    Today I will enjoy being too small to carry the whole world on my shoulders.


Day By Day
July 25
    Practicing the principles

Our program and its principles apply to every area of our lives. Sometimes people say that they would lose their livelihood if they applied the principles to their work. But this is probably not true and speaks of fear. If we must lie or be hypocritical in any area of our lives, then we are not applying the principles.

Once we realize that it is reassuring and rewarding – not threatening – to let God work through us all the time, we will feel genuine, we will feel integrity, we will feel at peace.

Do I practice these principles in all my affairs?

    Higher Power, help me see whether any area of my life is missing the benefit of the principles.

    The principle I will apply today in all my affairs is…


Food for Thought
July 25

The OA program is a gift to us from our Higher Power. Without it, we would still be bogged down in compulsive overeating with no solution in sight. Our fellowship gives us the hope and love we need to sort ourselves out and begin to live a new life.

Recovery through abstinence is the gift, which we are offered every day. In order to receive it, we need to be sincere and earnest in our efforts to work the program. We can count on God’s support if we are willing to go to any lengths to stop eating compulsively.

With gratitude for these gifts from our Higher Power, we are able to give back what has come to us. We share our program and give our time and abilities where we see a need that we can fill. The more we give, the more we receive. God’s abundance is inexhaustible.

We thank You for Your gifts.


July 25

Passions grow from the will
The will grows from thought and imagination:
When both are calmed,
There is neither sensualism nor transmigration.

– Sutra of Forty Two Chapters


Faith’s Check Book
July 25
Nothing to Alarm Us

But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
(Daniel 12:13)

We cannot understand all the prophecies, but yet we regard them with pleasure and not with dismay. There can be nothing in the Father’s decree which should justly alarm His child. Though the abomination of desolation be set up, yet the true believer shall not be defiled; rather shall he be purified, and made white, and tried. Though the earth be burned up, no smell of fire shall come upon the chosen. Amid the crash of matter and the wreck of worlds, the Lord Jehovah will preserve His own.

Calmly resolute in duty, brave in conflict, patient in suffering, let us go our way, keeping to our road, and neither swerving from it nor loitering in it. The end will come; let us go our way till it does.

Rest will be ours, All other things swing to and fro, but our foundation standeth sure. God rests in His love, and, therefore, we rest in it. Our peace is, and ever shall be, like a river. A lot in the heavenly Canaan is ours, and we shall stand in it, come what may. The God of Daniel will give a worthy portion to all who dare to be decided for truth and holiness as Daniel was. No den of lions shall deprive us of our sure inheritance.


This Morning’s Meditation
July 25

“He left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.”
—Genesis 39:12.

IN contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims; so the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil must haste away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes not even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instant. Who would wantonly enter the leper’s prison and sleep amid its horrible corruption? He only who desires to be leprous himself would thus court contagion. If the mariner knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious pilots have no desire to try how near the quicksand they can sail, or how often they may touch a rock without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as possible in the midst of a safe channel.

This day I may be exposed to great peril, let me have the serpent’s wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me to-day than the jaws of a lion. It is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company, but I had better leave my cloak than lose my character; it is not needful that I should be rich, but it is imperative upon me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule must turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin. The devil I am to resist and he will flee from me, but the lusts of the flesh, I must flee, or they will surely overcome me. O God of holiness preserve thy Josephs, that Madam Bubble bewitch them not with her vile suggestions. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil, never overcome us!


This Evening’s Meditation
July 25

“In their affliction they will seek Me early.”
—Hosea 5:15.

MOSSES and adversities are frequently the means which the great Shepherd uses to fetch home His wandering sheep; like fierce dogs they worry the wanderers back to the fold. There is no making lions tame if they are too well fed; they must be brought down from their great strength, and their stomachs must be lowered, and then they will submit to the tamer’s hand; and often have we seen the Christian rendered obedient to the Lord’s will by straitness of bread and hard labour. When rich and increased in goods many professors carry their heads much too loftily, and speak exceeding boastfully. Like David, they flatter themselves, “My mountain standeth fast; I shall never be moved.” When the Christian groweth wealthy, is in good repute, hath good health, and a happy family, he too often admits Mr. Carnal Security to feast at his table, and then if he be a true child of God there is a rod preparing for him. Wait awhile, and it may be you will see his substance melt away as a dream. There goes a portion of his estate—how soon the acres change hands. That debt, that dishonoured bill—how fast his losses roll in, where will they end? It is a blessed sign of divine life if when these embarrassments occur one after another he begins to be distressed about his backslidings, and betakes himself to his God. Blessed are the waves that wash the mariner upon the rock of salvation! Losses in business are often sanctified to our soul’s enriching. If the chosen soul will not come to the Lord full-handed, it shall come empty. If God, in His grace, findeth no other means of making us honour Him among men, He will cast us into the deep; if we fail to honour Him on the pinnacle of riches, He will bring us into the valley of poverty. Yet faint not, heir of sorrow, when thou art thus rebuked, rather recognize the loving hand which chastens, and say, “I will arise, and go unto my Father.”

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