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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.

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Daily Recovery Readings – July 26, 2014

Just For Today
July 26, 2014
Unconditional Surrender

“Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat. This can be frightening, but it is the foundation on which we have built our lives.”
Basic Text, p.22

Most of us have tried everything we can think of, exerted every ounce of force possible, to fill the spiritual hole inside us. Nothing – not drugs, not control and management, not sex, money, property, power, or prestige – has filled it. We are powerless; our lives are unmanageable, at least by ourselves alone. Our denial will not change that fact.

So we surrender; we ask a Higher Power to care for our will and our lives. Sometimes in surrendering, we don’t know that a Power greater than ourselves exists which can restore us to wholeness. Sometimes we’re not sure that the God of our understanding will care for our unmanageable lives. Our lack of certainty, though, does not affect the essential truth: We are powerless. Our lives are unmanageable. We must surrender. Only by doing so can we open ourselves wide – wide enough for our old ideas and past wreckage to be cleared, wide enough for a Higher Power to enter.

Just for today: I will surrender unconditionally. I can make it as easy or as hard as I choose. Either way, I will do it.

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Daily Reflections
July 26, 2014
THE “WORTH” OF SOBRIETY

Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
TWELVE AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 160

When I go shopping I look at the prices and if I need what I see, I buy it and pay. Now that I am supposed to be in rehabilitation, I have to straighten out my life. When I go to a meeting, I take a coffee with sugar and milk, sometimes more than one. But at the collection time, I am either too bust to take money out of my purse, or I do not have enough, but I am there because I need this meeting. I heard someone suggest dropping the price of a beer into the basket, and I thought, that’s too much! I almost never give one dollar. Like many others, I rely on the more generous members to finance the Fellowship. I forget that it takes money to rent the meeting room, buy my milk, sugar and cups. I will pay, without hesitation, ninety cents for a cup of coffee at a restaurant after the meeting; I always have money for that. So, how much is my sobriety and my inner peace worth?

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 26, 2012
A.A. Thought For The Day

When we come to the end of our lives on earth, we will take no material thing with us. We will not take one cent in our cold, dead hands. The only things that we may take are the things we have given away. If we have helped others, we may take that with us; if we have given our time and money for the good of A.A., we may take that with us. Looking back over our lives, what are we proud of? Not what have we gained for ourselves, but what few good deeds we have done.  Those are the things that really matter in the long run. What will I take with me when I go?

Meditation For The Day

“Hallowed be Thy Name.” What does that mean to us? Here “name” is used in the sense of “spirit.” The words mean praise to God for His spirit in the world, making us better. We should be especially grateful for God’s spirit, which gives us the strength to overcome all that is base in our lives. His spirit is powerful. It can help us to live a conquering, abundant life. So we praise and thank Him for His spirit in our lives and in the lives of others.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be grateful for God’s spirit in me. I pray that I may try to live in accordance with it.

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As Bill Sees It
July 26, 2014
The Fellowship’s Future, p.207

“It seems proved that A.A. can stand on its own feet anywhere and under any conditions. It has outgrown any dependence it might once have had upon the personalities or efforts of a few of the older members like me. New, able, and vigorous people keep coming to the surface, turning up where they are needed. Besides, A.A. has reached enough spiritual maturity to know that its final dependence is upon God.”

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Clearly, our first duty to A.A.’s future is to maintain in full strength what we have now. Only the most vigilant caretaking can assure this.  Never should we be lulled into complacent self-satisfaction by the wide acclaim and success that are everywhere ours. This is the subtle temptation which could render us stagnant today, perchance disintegrate us tomorrow. We have always rallied to meet and transcend failure and crisis. Problems have been our stimulants. How well, though, shall we be able to meet the problems of success?

1. Letter, 1940
2. A.A. Today, p. 106

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Keep It Simple
July 26, 2014

I was never less alone when by myself.
—Edward Gibson

To stay in this program, we need to accept that we have an illness. We need to accept that we were out of control. And we need to accept that we need others and they need us. At times, we won’t want to accept these facts. We will want to deny we have an illness and our lives were out of control.

Many of us get into trouble when we don’t accept that we need others. This is why helping others is so important. It teaches us that we need others, and others need us. By helping others, we learn about the give-and-take of human relationships. There is no give-an-take in addiction. There is just take. Now, finally, we can give too!

Prayer for the Day: I pray to remember that I need other people.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll help out. I will make coffee at the next meeting or offer to do the Step next week. I will let a fellow addict know I’m glad he or she is sober.

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 26, 2014

We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.
—Jessamyn West

To live fully and creatively, to contribute what is only ours to give, requires that we be receptive, wholly, to the reverberations of each present moment. Even anticipation of what may transpire next can prejudice our minds, our level of awareness. Preconceptions cloud our senses. They prevent the actual situation from being fully realized. And it is only in the now, as sensed moment by moment, that we find our cues to proceed along the path chosen for us.

As we grow more comfortable with Step Three, daily turning our lives and wills over to the care of God, we’ll see how much more rewarding our experiences are. We’ll see, too, how much greater are our own contributions. Preconceptions of any situation, persons, anticipated experience, dulls the magic, the depth of the moment. And only when we attune ourselves to the invitation of the moment do we give of ourselves, wholly. Our partnership with God lives now, as we go forth in this moment.

I will look to each moment with childish eyes. I’ll find joy and contentment.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 26, 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.

I had a long talk with a psychiatrist, but nothing came of that, and I had also, just about that time, talked with a minister for whom I had a great deal of respect. He went into the relgious side and told me that I didn’t attend church as regularly as I should and that he felt, more or less, that this was responsible for my trouble. I rebelled against this, because just about the time that I was getting ready to leave high school, a revelation came to me about God, and it made things very complicated for me. The thought came to me that if God, as my mother said, was a vengeful God, he couldn’t be a loving God. I wasn’t able to comprehend it. I rebelled, and from that time on, I don’t think I attended church more than a dozen times.

p. 238

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 26, 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.”

So, practicing these Steps, we had a spiritual awakening about which finally there was no question. Looking at those who were only beginning and still doubted themselves, the rest of us were able to see the change setting in. From great numbers of such experiences, we could predict that the doubter who still claimed that he hadn’t got the “spiritual angle,” and who still considered his well-loved A.A. group the higher power, would presently love God and call Him by name.

p. 109

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Xtra Thoughts
July 26, 2014

The future starts today, not tomorrow.
–Pope John Paul II

Don’t live in the past…you have already been there.
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

The secret lies in how we handle today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Today…that special block of time holding the key that locks out yesterday’s nightmares and unlocks tomorrow’s dreams.
–Charles Swindoll

Let everyone try and find that as a result of daily prayer he adds something new to his life, something with which nothing can be compared.
–Mahatma Gandhi

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
–Robert Brault

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

The paradox of control is simple. The more we try to control life, the less control we have.
–Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 26, 2014
ADVERSITY

“Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.”
–Horace

Today I believe that the only way to understand God, the world, my neighbor and myself is through some degree of suffering. Pain and suffering are humbling in the truest sense; they stop you from being arrogant, selfish and “prideful”.

I know this because I was a spoiled child. My family tried to give me everything. Whatever I wanted was given to me; my way or no way! This sick love robbed me of humility and separated me from humanity: it made me feel different, selfish and place me on a pity-pot. Being spoiled stopped me experiencing the real world and stopped me from growing.

Today adversity is part of life and part of being human. Not to grow through adversity is to die. To have everything is to experience nothing. To feel in life — to have emotion — demands adversity and pain.

Teach me to be grateful for the suffering that leads to growth.

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Bible Scriptures
July 26, 2014

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Phillipians 4:4-9

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah 6:8

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Daily Inspiration
July 26, 2014

Avoid being self-conscious and you will have more time to have fun and enjoy the moment. Lord, help me take myself less seriously and place my focus on those around me.

Courage gives us the trust in God to follow our hearts no matter what obstacles seem to block our way. Lord, I love You.

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A Day At A Time
July 26, 2014

Reflection For The Day

Now that I avail myself of the letters H-O-W suggested by friends in The Program –  Honesty,  Open-Mindedness, Willingness –  I see things differently.  In ways that I couldn’t have predicted and surely never expected, I’ve come to see things quite differently from the person I was before coming to The Program.  I feel good most days.  I seldom feel bad, and never for long.  Certainly never as bad as I used to feel all of the time.  Is my worst day now infinitely better than my best day previously?

Today I Pray

May I remember today to say “thank you” to my Higher Power, to my friends in the group and to the whole, vast fellowship of recovering chemically dependent persons for making me know that things do get better.  I give thanks, too, for those verbal boosters, the tags and slogans which have so often burst into my brain at exactly the moments when they were needed, redefining my purp0ose, restoring my patience, reminding me of my God.

Today I Will Remember

How it was.

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One More Day
July 26, 2014

The future is called “perhaps,” which is the only possible thing to call the future.  and the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.
–  Tennessee Williams

“I’m going to work in the mills, like my Dad.”  “I’m going to be a teacher.”  “I want to be a soldier.”  As children, we believed in these absolute, fixed goals.  In adulthood, we learn that we can’t always get what we expect.  Sometimes we don’t even come close.  Those who manage to live happy and fulfilling lives are flexible, mature adults.

Flexibility means we can incorporate changes into our lives, ween when those changes cause indifference in the way we live.  What’s most important is to remember that we can change goals and attain them, that happiness is there if we work and plan for it.

I am not afraid to make changes that are good for me.

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One Day At A Time
July 26, 2014
~ OPPORTUNITIES ~

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
–Francis Bacon

There is a promise that more will be revealed as we trudge the road of happy destiny. We all start by building on the basics, the foundation that must be in place. In grade school I learned to read and write; in high school, how to research and train myself to acquire information. In college, I gained specific advanced information that allowed me to build upon, and advance my interests. When I applied the same principles to the program, I got similar results, but even more so. When my mind was opened to spiritual principles, I received much more than that I was seeking. My thoughts were lifted to a much higher plane of ethics.

In searching for an answer to compulsive overeating, I was exposed to additional opportunities to grow by doing. Often I tried them. These exercises sent my thoughts to other areas, which I again explored. I am amazed at what I have learned while looking for something else.

We can all learn truth if we will open our hearts and minds. We will then be without excuse not to exercise every opportunity to practice it.

One Day at a Time . . .
Am I taking advantage of every opportunity to grow?  Some opportunities?  Any opportunities?

~ Jeremiah ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 26

“These are our times and our responsibilities.  Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes. In order to do this, we must recognize the enemy – the one within us. We must begin with ourselves…”
–Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The outside is merely a reflection of our insides. My mind is designed to tell me that I’m not crazy for thinking what I am thinking. Even if I have angry thought, my mind is giving me excuses and reasons why it is OK to think what I’m thinking. I need to be knowledgeable about the laws of harmony and balance. I cannot twist the laws to serve me but I can adjust my life to serve the laws. This is the law – I am here to serve the earth. The earth is not here for me to misuse and abuse.

Oh Great Spirit, allow me the insight and knowledge of how to live in harmony and balance with my surroundings.  Grant me change from within.

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Journey To The Heart
July 26, 2014
Find Places of Repose

I was driving down a Nevada highway feeling tense and agitated when the sign appeared. “To the Nature Sanctuary.” Ignored the first entrance; then turned at the second one. In a few short feet, the road and scenery changed from barren, flat highway into a terrain of serene repose. A family of ducks bathed and swam in a small lake, surrounded by trees. Tiny wrens pecked at the gravel. A boy about thirteen sat fishing, a picnic lunch by his side. In only a few minutes, my agitation disappeared. I had found a place of peace.

Rest when you become tense, afraid, upset. Rest until peace returns. Stop what you’re doing. Take a moment, take an hour. Take the time you need to restore peace. Breathe deeply. Breathe in the quiet beauty of the world around you. Let it be a sanctuary that soothes and calms your soul.

Places of healing and repose are moments away. Find them in the world around you. Then discover those places in yourself. The universe holds the antidote for your fears and agitation. It offers all the healing you need. That healing is right around the corner.

Take a moment, take an hour. When you feel your peace interrupted, look for a place of repose.

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Today’s Gift
July 26, 2014

Isn’t it great life is open-ended!
—Brigitte Frase

Elizabeth Lawton, known as “Grandma Layton,” is an American artist who never drew a picture until she was sixty-eight years old. She spent all the years before that time trying to cope with depression. She had gone through therapy, medications, and shock treatment and continued to be severely depressed. But then she signed up for an art class and the act of drawing cured her depression. She continues to make fabulous pictures.

What does she think about the critical acclaim her artwork has received? She says she wants others to know about her art so it may give hope to those who have also “suffered from feelings.”

Many of us have suffered from feelings. We must remember that we can each turn to our creativity – at any age – as a source for our well-being. All we need to do is have faith in the potential goodness within ourselves and those we love.

What creative activity can I look to for comfort today?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 26, 2014
Owning Our Power

Don’t you see? We do not have to be so victimized by life, by people, by situations, by work, by our friends, by our love relationships, by our family, by our feelings, our thoughts, our circumstances, and ourselves.

We are not victims. We do not have to be victims. That is the whole point!

Yes, admitting and accepting powerlessness is important. But that is the first step, an introduction to this business of recovery. Later, comes owning our power. Changing what we can. This is as important as admitting and accepting powerlessness. And there is so much we can change.

We can own our power, wherever we are, wherever we go, whomever we are with. We do not have to stand there with our hands tied, groveling helplessly, submitting to whatever comes along. There are things we can do. We can speak up. Solve the problem. Use the problem to motivate ourselves to do something good for ourselves.

We can make ourselves feel good. We can walk away. We can come back on our terms. We can stand up for ourselves. We can refuse to let others control and manipulate us.

We can do what we need to do to take care of our selves. That is the beauty, the reward, the crown of victory we are given in this process called recovery. It is what it is all about!

If we can’t do anything about the circumstance, we can change our attitude. We can do the work within: courageously face our issues so we are not victimized. We have been given a miraculous key to life.

We are victims no more unless we want to be.

Freedom and joy are ours for the taking, for the feeling, for the hard work we have done.

Today, I will remind myself as often as necessary that I am not a victim, and I do not need to be victimized by whatever comes my way. I will work hard to remove myself as a victim, whether that means setting and enforcing a boundary, walking away, dealing with my feelings, or giving myself what I need. God, help me let go of my need to feel victimized.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 26, 2014
See what feels right to you

“French Valley traffic, Cessna 80809 taking active runway one-eight for left crosswind departure. French Valley.”

I turned onto eighteen, pushed the throttle in, then held my breath as the little gold-and-white plane sped down the runway, then lifted off the ground. I pulled back on the yoke, lifting her gently, but not too gently. She needed to clear the trees, houses, and towers in front of me. But if I lifted her nose too fast, too high, we’d lose speed and go into a stall.

There was a lot to think about, trying to do this right.

We began to ascend, just past five hundred feet, when the plane began hopping about in the air. It was just the wind, but it was those same hurdles of air, the lifting and the dropping and the being bounced around, that made me feel like we were going to suddenly fall out of the sky.

“You’ve got the controls,” I screamed at Rob.

“No, you’ve got the controls,” he said, placing his hands resolutely in his lap.

“Rob, I’m scared,” I said. “I feel really uncomfortable.”

“Then breathe.”

I couldn’t breathe, at least not the way he meant– consciously, breath in, breath out, calming myself down. Holding my breath was a habit, one I’d acquired early in my life. Holding my breath was how I responded to my fear.

I got the plane up to one thousand feet, then two thousand. I wasn’t comfortable, but I climbed to five thousand feet so we could do the maneuvers we had planned.

I tried to relax and breathe, but I still felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t relax.

Rob was fidgeting with something; I wasn’t sure what. I kept watching outside the plane for other traffic, then watching inside the plane at the gauges. I was about to give up trying when suddenly, Rob began sticking pieces of paper over each of the dials.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Teaching you to trust yourself,” he said. “Tell me when it feels like we’re going at sixty-five knots,” he sad.

Now, I had to relax. “About now,” I said.

He uncovered the dial. We were at sixty-five knots.

“Now, do a coordinated turn of thirty degrees– without checking the instrument panel,” he said. “Tell me when it feels right to you.”

I relaxed even more deeply, gently guiding the plane into a slow coordinated turn.

“Perfect,” he said, showing me the gauges.

“See,” he said, confidently. “You’re just scaring yourself by confusing yourself in your head, with all these dials and all you think you have to do to get it right. All you really need to do is relax and trust what feels right to you.”

Let go of fear and confusion. Stop overwhelming yourself with all you have to do, and trying to get it right. Get information. Read books. Get help. Then relax. You know more than you think.

You’ll know when you’re getting ti right.

Trust what feels right to you.

God, help me learn to let go of my fears and trust when it feels right to me.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 26, 2014

The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness.
—Erich Fromm

Many of us have felt so insecure, so poor, or so much the underdog that we made a fervent promise to ourselves that we’d come out on top later. We know how weak we felt, and that image continues to be our guiding force long after the weakness was overcome. We may have spiritual problems because we are blind to the reality of our present life. While grasping for more security, more love, more money, or trying to lose more weight or attract more friends, we fail to stop and realize the real rewards we already have today. We are driven by the memory of pain and insecurity, rather than rising above it and relating to the higher principles and people around us. Getting more control or more achievements does not solve our spiritual problems, but by making peace with the fact that life is insecure.

Today, I will let go of my grasping for more. I will let go of it again and again throughout the day so I am not ruled by this weakness.

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Daily TAO
July 26, 2014
Evolution

Organic molecules from cosmic slot’s,
Millions of years in the midst of eternity.
We sprang from the primordial;
Our spirituality came in the evolution.

There is strong evidence that human beings evolved from basic early molecules. Those molecules were formed from the gases and birth processes of the stars and planets. Those stars and planets were in turn formed by the first movement of the universe. That first moment of the universe came from nothingness. So we are on the crest of a certain wave of evolution.

Narrowing it down to the human situation from the cosmic, our minds represent the ultimate expression of who we are. Further, spirituality is the ultimate expression of the mind. One might say, therefore, that spirituality is not a belief, mental construct, or opinion. Rather, it can be considered a function or outgrowth of evolution.

If spirituality is simply a function of life, the edge of a cosmic ripple, then where is it going? We don’t know. Like the universe, it is still expanding into unknown territory. We can decide to cooperate and go with that wave, or we can ignore our spirituality and thereby ignore one of the basic meanings of being human. If we choose to engage in the full process of being human, then we will truly fulfill our part in the universe’s evolution.

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In God’s Care
July 26, 2014

It is not the image we create of God which proves God.  It is the effort we make to create this image.
~~Pierre Lecomte du Nouy

Not very many of us have the truly dramatic spiritual experience that dispells, for all time, our insecurity and our doubts about God’s existence. We may know someone who has been this fortunate, but most of us have to give frequent or daily attention to prayer, meditation, and perhaps affirmations in order to develop the faith that can come to everyone.

Our path for developing conscious contact with God makes God a familiar companion in our daily life. Our thoughts of God can remind us that God cares and is in charge. Exercising our mind in this way is not unlike exercising our body. Just as our repeated physical efforts strengthen our muscles, our belief is strengthened into faith when we make the remembrance of God’s presence a daily practice.

    I will remember God today.

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Day By Day
July 26, 2014
Avoiding pity

Coming into the fellowship, newcomers may see older members as unsympathetic, unsupportive, or even rude. Old-timers don’t mince words with newcomers who aren’t ready to stop using: “Go back out and try some more if you haven’t had enough.” Old-timers don’t pity newcomers. While they understand the fear and pain, they also know that pity will kill because pity leads to self-pity and evgentually back to using.

So if old-timers seem harsh it’s out of loving, knowing hearts – it’s out of tough love.

Have I stopped pitying myself (and others)?

Higher Power, help me avoid self-pity so I can do what I need to do to recover.

    Today I will avoid self-pity by…

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Food for Thought
July 26, 2014
Doing God’s Will

For a long time, most of us tried to achieve happiness by serving our self-will. We figured out what we wanted from life and then went about trying to attain it. When our efforts were frustrated, we turned to food and overeating.

The idea of giving our self-will to God and following His direction makes us fearful. We fear that we will lose out and be unhappy. We are reluctant to give up our illusions of autonomy and power. We wonder if there really is a Higher Power who can direct our way. We pray for guidance and then forget to listen for the response.

When we are willing to trust a Higher Power in even one small area of our lives, we begin to see results. As our faith grows, we become confident enough to relinquish more and more of the concerns, which by ourselves we are unable to manage. The more we work this program, the more sure we are that our peace and happiness lie in serving God, rather than ourselves.

I pray for courage to follow Your will.

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DailyZen
July 26, 2014

By a green jade lake,
What a wonderful sight:
An old hermit fathoming Tao.
Aren’t they the lucky ones,
Humble and still,
Quietly humming the
Melodies of heaven?

– Loy Ching-Yuen

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Faith’s Check Book
July 26, 2014
A Change of Name

And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali; for I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.
(Hosea 2:16-17)

That day has come. We view our God no more as Baal, our tyrant lord and mighty master, for we are not under law but under grace. We now think of Jehovah, our God, as our Ishi, our beloved husband, our lord in love, our next-of-kin in bonds of sacred relationship. We do not serve Him less obediently, but we serve Him for a higher and more endearing reason. We no longer tremble under His lash but rejoice in His love. The slave is changed into a child and the task into a pleasure.

Is it so with thee, dear reader? Has grace cast out slavish fear and implanted filial love? How happy are we in such an experience! Now we call the Lord’s day a delight, and worship is never a weariness. Prayer is now a privilege, and praise is a holiday. To obey is heaven; to give to the cause of God is a banquet. Thus have all things become new. Our mouth is filled with singing and our heart with music. Blessed be our heavenly Ishi forever and ever.

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 26, 2014

“Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge, etc.”
—2 Peter 1:5, 6.

IF thou wouldest enjoy the eminent grace of the full assurance of faith, under the blessed Spirit’s influence, and assistance, do what the Scripture tells thee, “Give diligence.” Take care that thy faith is of the right kind—that it is not a mere belief of doctrine, but a simple faith, depending on Christ, and on Christ alone. Give diligent heed to thy courage. Plead with God that He would give thee the face of a lion, that thou mayest, with a consciousness of right, go on boldly. Study well the Scriptures, and get knowledge; for a knowledge of doctrine will tend very much to confirm faith. Try to understand God’s Word; let it dwell in thy heart richly.

When thou hast done this, “Add to thy knowledge temperance.” Take heed to thy body: be temperate without. Take heed to thy soul: be temperate within. Get temperance of lip, life, heart, and thought. Add to this, by God’s Holy Spirit, patience; ask Him to give thee that patience which endureth affliction, which, when it is tried, shall come forth as gold. Array yourself with patience, that you may not murmur nor be depressed in your afflictions. When that grace is won look to godliness. Godliness is something more than religion. Make God’s glory your object in life; live in His sight; dwell close to Him; seek for fellowship with Him; and thou hast “godliness”; and to that add brotherly love. Have a love to all the saints: and add to that a charity, which openeth its arms to all men, and loves their souls. When you are adorned with these jewels, and just in proportion as you practise these heavenly virtues, will you come to know by clearest evidence “your calling and election.” “Give diligence,” if you would get assurance, for lukewarmness and doubting very naturally go hand in hand.

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This Evening’s Meditation
July 26, 2014

“That He may set him with princes.”
—Psalm 113:8.

UR spiritual privileges are of the highest order. “Among princes” is the place of select society. “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” Speak of select society, there is none like this! “We are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood.” “We are come unto the general assembly and church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven.” The saints have courtly audience: princes have admittance to royalty when common people must stand afar off. The child of God has free access to the inner courts of heaven. “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” “Let us come boldly,” says the apostle, “to the throne of the heavenly grace.” Among princes there is abundant wealth, but what is the abundance of princes compared with the riches of believers? for “all things are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Princes have peculiar power. A prince of heaven’s empire has great influence: he wields a sceptre in his own domain; he sits upon Jesus’ throne, for “He hath made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever.” We reign over the united kingdom of time and eternity. Princes, again, have special honour. We may look down upon all earth-born dignity from the eminence upon which grace has placed us. For what is human grandeur to this, “He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”? We share the honour of Christ, and compared with this, earthly splendours are not worth a thought. Communion with Jesus is a richer gem than ever glittered in imperial diadem. Union with the Lord is a coronet of beauty outshining all the blaze of imperial pomp.

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