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In Loving Memory of Vic

Find A Meeting

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

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

Daily Recovery Readings – July 29

Just For Today
July 29
Expectations

“As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving.”
Basic Text, p.38

Our behavior toward other people in our life is a mirror of our behavior toward ourselves. When we demand perfection of ourselves, we come to demand it from others around us, too. As we strive to repair and heal our lives in recovery, we may also expect others to work just as hard and to recover at the same pace as we do. And just as we are often unforgiving of our own mistakes, we may shut out friends and family members when they don’t meet our expectations.

Working the steps helps us understand our own limitations and our humanity. We come to see our failures as human mistakes. We realize that we will never be perfect, that we will, at times, disappoint ourselves and others. We hope for forgiveness.

As we learn to gently accept ourselves, we can start to view others with the same accepting and tolerant heart. These people, too, are only human, trying to do their best and sometimes falling short.

Just for today: I will treat others with the tolerance and forgiveness I seek for myself.

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Daily Reflections
July 29
ANONYMOUS GIFTS OF KINDNESS

As active alcoholics we were always looking for a handout in one way or another.
“THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ILLUSTRATED,” p. 14

The challenge of the Seventh Tradition is a personal challenge, reminding me to share and give of myself. Before sobriety the only thing I ever supported was my habit of drinking. Now my efforts are a smile, a kind word, and kindness.  I saw that I had to start carrying my own weight and to allow my new friends to walk with me because, through the practice of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I’ve never had it so good.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 29
A.A. Thought For The Day

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days that should be kept from fear and apprehension. One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday.  We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone beyond recall. Do I still worry about what happened yesterday?

Meditation For The Day

“God will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation He will also find a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” If you have enough faith and trust in God, He will give you all the strength you need to face every temptation and to overcome it. Nothing will prove too hard for you to bear. You can face any situation. “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” You can overcome any temptation with God’s help. So fear nothing.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may face every situation without fear. I pray that nothing will prove too hard for me to bear.

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As Bill Sees It
July 29
Out of Bondage, p.210

At Step Three, many of us said to our Maker, as we understand Him: “God, I offer myself to Thee–to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that my transcendence over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power, Thy love, and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always!”

We thought well before taking this Step, making sure we were ready. Then we could commence to abandon ourselves utterly to Him.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

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Walk In Dry Places
July 29
Flattery or Praise?
Human relations

Flattery and praise are social lubricants that serve human purposes. But flattery is merely manipulative, while genuine praise is beneficial to everybody.

Many of us with troubled back grounds also have trouble giving and accepting praise.Sometimes we mistake flattery for praise and use it either to manipulate otehs or allow ourselves to bemanipulated. Perhaps we’re either too proud or too self-conscious to deal with real praise.

Another mistake is in believing that praise should be given out only sparingly, only after outstanding achievement. Not so, we need to give and receive praise continuously in order to reach higher levels of achievement. Knowing it’s importance, we’ll alsolearn howto avoid flattery.

I’ll offer both verbal and silent praise today in my dealing with others. We’ll all benefit from it.

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Keep It Simple
July 29

They have rights who dare defend them.
—Roger Baldwin

In recovery, we regain our right to have choices, our right to have honest relationships. Do we claim these rights, or do we let them go by?

Sometimes, standing up for our rights will mean going against the crowd. It will mean turning down that drink when everyone else has one. It will mean telling your honest opinion when it’s different from the others think. Being sober will mean, at times being different. Lots of times, we find being different hard. We want to fit in. This is normal.

But we don’t stand alone. We have friends who will stand with us during hard times. We have a Higher Power who will guide and comfort us. We are people with rights. Let’s work hard so nothing takes away our rights.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, please help me keep and defend my dignity and human rights.

Action for the Day: I’ll take time out to list the rights I’ve gotten back due to my recovery.

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 29

Harmony exists in difference no less than in likeness, if only the same keynote governs both parts.
—Margaret Fuller

Harmony exists everywhere, as an entity of itself. Our personal attitudes bring the disharmony to a situation. An attitude of love can bless all situations and all people.

The converse is likewise true. We all desire harmony in our relationships. And we will find it, every time we bring an attitude of honest gratitude into a situation.

How we feel, today, about this person or that situation, reflects the strength of our relationship with God. When we experience life in the company of our higher power, we will let life flow. We will observe harmony, then, even in the midst of difference.

All of life’s elements are moving toward a state of total and perfect harmony. We need not fear. We can trust the company of our higher power and know that every situation, no matter how adverse its appearance, is contributing to a harmonious outcome if we’d but lend a trusting attitude.

Harmony is everywhere. I will celebrate it. I will trust the present. I will trust the future.

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Alcoholics Anonymous 
July 29
Jim’s Story

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

My wife received me graciously, although she was living in a one-room-with-kitchen affair. She’d been reduced to that. I promised that I was going to do the right thing. We were now both working in the same agency. I continued to drink. I got drunk one night in October, went to sleep in the rain, and woke with pneumonia. We continued together, and I continued to drink, but I guess, deep down within our hearts, we both knew I couldn’t stop drinking. Vi thought I didn’t want to stop. We had several fights, and on one or tow occasions I struck her with my fist. She decided that she didn’t want any more of that. So she went to court and talked it over with the judge. They cooked up a plan whereby she didn’t have to be molested by me if she didn’t want to be.

pp. 239-240

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 29

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.”

Nor is this the only kind of Twelfth Step work. We sit in A.A. meetings and listen, not only to receive something ourselves, but to give the reassurance and support which our presence can bring. If our turn comes to speak at a meeting, we again try to carry A.A.’s message. Whether our audience is one or many, it is still Twelfth Step work. There are many opportunities even for those of us who feel unable to speak at meetings or who are so situated that we cannot do much face-to-face Twelfth Step work. We can be the ones who take on the unspectacular but important tasks that make good Twelfth Step work possible, perhaps arranging for the coffee and cake after the meetings, where so many skeptical, suspicious newcomers have found confidence and comfort in the laughter and talk. This is Twelfth Step work in the very best sense of the word. “Freely ye have received; freely give…” is the core of this part of Step Twelve.

p. 110

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Xtra Thoughts
July 29

Today, I will remember that God has not abandoned me. I can trust that God is leading, guiding, directing, and planning in love each detail of my life.
–Melody Beattie

God, help me become fluent with my emotions. Help me learn to feel whatever I feel, then regularly restore myself to that centered, balanced place.
–Melody Beattie

Today I will be open to growing in my understanding of my Higher Power. I will be open to letting go of old, limiting, negative beliefs about God. No matter how I understand God, I will be grateful that God understands me.
–Melody Beattie

A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return.
–Jewish Proverb

Enjoy life, that’s what God intended.
–unknown

Live life to the fullest and make the best of what today has to offer without worry and fear of what tomorrow might bring.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 29
GOD-PLAYING

“I determine who is a Jew.”
–Herman Goring

Playing God. How well I remember this attitude in my drinking days when, because I had said it, it must be so! Arrogance and pride kept me lonely and isolated.

Today my spiritual program teaches me to “play” God in a different way. It requires that I seek to discover the values I associate with God and live them out in my own life.  Because I believe that God is loving and accepting, I seek to reveal these qualities in my daily associations.  It makes no sense to worship a God of truth if I continue the life of “the liar”. Belief must determine change.

As a recovering alcoholic I seek to “play” God in the joy, acceptance and love I show to myself and other people. However, I know (oh how I know!) that I am not God!

Let my statements always be open to the “pure light” of change.

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Bible Scriptures
July 29

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence. The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings them trouble.
Proverbs 15:1-6

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Daily Inspiration
July 29

Every decision that you make opens the door to many new opportunities and experiences. Lord, help me make the most of my opportunities because it is through them that I am able to grow.

A blessing is an explosion of joy from God that ripples through your heart and fills your mind with God’s light and hope. Lord, help me speak the words of blessing when they are needed by someone who is lonely, or who is dying or who is depressed.

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A Day At A Time
July 29

Reflection For The Day

The feeling of self-pity, which we’ve all suffered at one time or another, is one of the ugliest emotions we can experience.  We don’t even relish the thought of admitting to others that we’re awash in self-pity.  We hate being told that it shows; we quickly argue that we’re feeling another emotion instead;  we go so far as to “cleverly” hide from ourselves the fact that we’re going through a siege of “poor-meism.”  By the same token, in a split-second we can easily find feeling sorry for ourselves.  Do I sometimes enjoy rubbing salt into my own wounds?

Today I Pray

May I recognize the emotions I am feeling for what they are.  If I am unable to point them out to myself, may  I count on others who know what it’s like to be a feelings-stuffer.  May I stay in touch with my feelings by staying in touch with my Higher Power and with the others in my  group.

Today I Will Remember

Stay in touch.

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One More Day
July 29

Positive Attitudes — optimism, high self-esteem, and outgoing nature, joyousness, and the ability to cope with stress — when established early in life, may be the most important basis for continued good health.
–  Helen Hayes

Positive attitudes and high self-esteem are wonderful attributes, but not all of us are lucky enough to develop them early in our lives.  Because we haven’t developed strong coping strategies doesn’t mean we don’t have the opportunity now.  It’s hard to change, and we can only do it if it becomes important for us to make th effort.

When we are going through stressful times, especially to those times related to a health problem, we can develop our courage by acting “as if” we have high self-esteem, “as if” we can cope well.  Remarkable, we may find that we do.

A time of high stress has forced me to face my own character deficits.  I am working on developing positive attitudes.

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One Day At A Time
July 29
EXAMPLES

“Preach always … use words if necessary.”
St. Francis of Assisi

I’ve heard it said many times that the Twelve Step way of life is a way of attraction, not promotion. I can project an image of serenity and recovery by the way I conduct my life. By using the Twelve Steps to work on my inventory, by promptly making amends when needed, by striving daily to use the tools of recovery, I am assuring compulsive eaters who are living in chaos and confusion that there is a better way. When they ask my “secret,” I can then share the words of recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will preach recovery
by the examples of serenity and peace.

~ Hopeful

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 29

“When we want to talk to Him we burn tobacco and it takes our prayers all the way up to the Sky World.”
– Louis Farmer, ONONDAGA

Our herbs and our medicines are all here for the purpose of serving. Offering tobacco as a gift to the Creator is proper use of our medicine. In this way, we are able to communicate from the physical world to the spiritual world. Sometimes we have a hard time coming up with the right words when we pray, especially if we are really mixed up. The tobacco and the sage will take the intent to the spirit world. The meaning behind the words are more important the the words. The Creator always knows our intent. The tobacco helps us get to the Sky World.

Today, my Creator, I offer You this tobacco. I want to thank You for being in my life. I want to tell You how much I appreciate the honor of being here to serve You. Tell me this morning what I can do for You. You are the reason I live.

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Journey To The Heart
July 29
What’s Your Handicap?

“What’s your handicap?” the golfer asked his partner. “My childhood,” said his companion.

Some handicaps are physical, certain limitations placed on our bodies. Other handicaps are emotional, burdens of heartache from sad or abusive childhoods. Others may be dealing with current issues– perhaps facing a terminal illness or grieving an irreparable loss.

After losing my son, I found myself at a point where I simply could no longer stand the agony of waiting for my pain to disappear. I knew that all my life I would miss him, and I became absolutely despondent. There is no way out of this, I thought. I’m spending my life waiting for this pain to disappear so I can begin living my life again. But the pain never will disappear. And I’ll never begin living my life again. That’s when a gentle idea began to change my life.

I began to understand that I was living and working with a handicap. The loss would always be there. The pain and heartache would always be present. I could accept that, treat it as a handicap, and within that framework go ahead and live my life once more. The moment I made that decision, my attitude and perspective changed. I was able to go on, able to move forward.

Many of us are living with handicaps. Some will change over time, but others won’t. If that’s the case, stop waiting for your handicap to disappear. Instead, decide to live with it. Work around it. Treat yourself with care, with gentleness. Allow yourself to feel and experience all the limitations and emotions of your present situation. Accept them. Let them be part of you, part of your experience.

Despite living with a handicap, go ahead and treat yourself to life.

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Today’s Gift
July 29

A good marriage is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude.
—Rainer Maria Rilke

Solitude is vital to our well being, but in a family it’s hard sometimes to find the space and time to be alone. The house is often crowded with laughter, voices, the radio, and the TV. There are often many things going on at the same time.

It’s true that our family is a team, and that we work together, whether we intend to or not, to create the environment we live in. If it’s noisy, that’s the way we live. Noise is life to some. The fact that others need our help or company is wonderful proof of our value. But if we can be guardians of each other’s solitude, out of love for one another, we will each come back renewed, strengthened, and recreated. We can bring new life into our days when we are alone with God and ourselves.

How can I help someone find rest and renewal today?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 29
Have Some Fun

Have some fun. Loosen up a bit. Enjoy life!

We do not have to be so somber and serious. We do not have to be so reflective, so critical, so bound up within the rigid parameters and ourselves others, and often ourselves, have placed around us.

This is life, not a funeral service. Have some fun with it. Enter into it. Participate. Experiment. Take a risk. Be spontaneous. Do not always be so concerned about doing it right, doing the appropriate thing.

Do not always be so concerned about what others will think or say. What they think and say are their issues not ours. Do not be so afraid of making a mistake. Do not be so fearful and proper. Do not inhibit yourself so much.

God did not intend us to be so inhibited, so restricted, so controlled. These repressive parameters are what other people have imposed on us, what we have allowed to be done to us.

We were created fully human. We were given emotions, desires, hopes, dreams, and feelings. There is an alive, excited, fun loving child in us somewhere! Let it come out! Let it come alive! Let it have some fun – not just for two hours on Saturday evening. Bring it with us. Let it help us enjoy this gift of being alive, being fully human, and being who we are!

So many rules. So much shame we’ve lived with. It simply isn’t necessary. We have been brainwashed. It is time now to free ourselves, let ourselves go, and enter fully human into a full life.

Don’t worry. We will learn our lessons when necessary. We have learned discipline. We will not go awry. What will happen is that we will begin enjoying life. We will begin enjoying and experiencing our whole self. We can trust ourselves. We have boundaries now. We have our program for a foundation. We can afford to experiment and experience. We are in touch with our Higher Power and ourselves. We are being guided, but a frozen, inanimate object cannot be guided. it cannot even be moved.

Have some fun. Loosen up a bit. Break a few rules. God won’t punish us. We do not have to allow people to punish us. And we can stop punishing ourselves. As long as we’re here and alive, let’s begin to live.

Today, I will let myself have some fun with life. I will loosen up a bit, knowing I won’t crack and break. God, help me let go of my need to be so inhibited, proper, and repressed. Help me inject a big dose of life into myself by letting myself be fully alive and human.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 29
Let your intuition help guide you

Paying very close attention to your intuition is perhaps the most important rule of all.
–Lynn Hill

For many years, I used intuition or spiritual guidance only in times of deep need, crisis, or despair. It was a last resort. I didn’t know the word intuition. What I knew then was to plow forward, figure things out in my head as best as I could, then proceed. Occasionally, I would find myself backed into a corner or at a dead end. Then, and only then would I go to intuition.

And I didn’t go to it. It came to me.

Over the years, intuition has become critically important. I recently made a friend who is a highly intuitive woman. She would encourage me to learn to go with the flow and relax.

“Practice at the grocery store,” she said. “Practice using your intuition in the small details of your life, those times you don’t think it matters. If you practice using your intuition in the smaller details, you’ll begin to be able to trust your intuition in important matters,too.”

“I can’t,” I said.

“Yes, you can,” she said. “Just practice.”

Over the years, I slowly moved toward intuition, and away from solely rational thought. It was an awkward journey. I was propelled along the road after Shane died. For a long period, I was deeply into my emotions. I came to rely on my intuition, more and more.

Now, intuitive guidance is a regular part of my daily life.

But for those who feel as awkward and stymied about accessing intuition as I once did let me give you a few ideas that have helped me.

. Consciously relax. When an issue or a decision needs to be made, small or large, relax first. Do not panic or become tense. Responding with panic will block our connection to intuition.

. Ask yourself, What feels right? This answer will arise from a peaceful, nonemotional place, not a place of urgency or fear. If more than one choice or solution comes to mind, feel out each solution. Does one feel bland and lifeless? Does one feel heavy and dark? Does one solution feel lighter and right?

. If you don’t know what to do, let it go. Go do something else, occupy your busy, rational mind. Often, an intuitive thought will pop into our minds later, when we stop trying to force the answer.

As with most other areas of our lives, practicing to relax and learning to trust ourselves is the key. Often, the intuitive answer is something that feels like the natural thing to do. Sometimes our intuition tells us to do something that looks absurd at first glance.

Honor this connection we all have to information beyond the scope of rational thought. You’ll make silly mistakes from time to time. Most of us do. And don’t discount the power of rational thought and plain common sense. But in times of indecision, let intuition be a regular, not a last resort, resource you rely upon.

God, help me relax and listen to that still, small voice. Help me remember that when I listen to my intuition, I’m listening to one of the ways that you speak to me.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 29

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.
—Herbert Otto

The rewards of our new life are apparent to us because of how we feel, and apparent to others by what they can see. Many of us had reached our bottom point, and we felt there was no risk in trying a program of recovery. Yet, we still had some distorted security in our harmful ways of relating to others or in our addictions. Letting go was an experiment. This program gives us guidelines for experimenting with our life for growth, and we continue growing everyday. Some of our benefits are increased confidence and self respect, more intimacy with our partner, better friendships, and better physical health. We feel these changes in ourselves, and we see them in the other men and women in this program.

Today, I am grateful for the rewards in my life from this experiment in recovery.

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Daily TAO
July 29
Variation

Never jump out of the same hole twice.

We all yearn for success. Not just the success of money, prestige, or power – the simple success of having things work. If you have a hobby like gardening, you love to see your flowers respond to your care. If you are in school, you want to master your courses. If you are a scientist, you look for results from your experiments. All of us want to be successful.

But once you hit on something that does work, it takes great courage to keep going beyond your limits. This is especially obvious in creative fields such as art, music, and writing. It is hard to reach an appreciative audience; once you find something that works, it is hard to let go of it. You keep doing the same thing, like musicians who make a career of performing the same tune. But no matter what your fields of endeavor, you mustn’t do that. Don’t jump out of the same hole twice. You may not be a materially successful, but you will be more successful on a larger level.

Spirituality is creativity. Only with creativity can you have the power to follow Tao. Only with creativity can you remold your personality into a spiritual vehicle. Only with a great breadth of variation can you follow the constantly changing Tao. Therefore, when following Tao, don’t cling to methods and dogma. Be spontaneous.

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In God’s Care
July 29

Know all and you will pardon all.
~~Thomas a’ Kempis

We are quick to forgive our own transgressions because we know ourselves. We know our weaknesses, motivations, and the combination of influences that go into the decisions we make.

But we don’t know everything that prompts others’ attitudes and behaviors. We have no way of knowing if they are in physical pain, or if they have just suffered some emotional blow. We criticize many people without knowing anything about their experiences. If we were to know more about them, we might be more tolerant. God does know – and forgives everything. We can ber forgiving also.

    I will remember today that everyone is deserving of my forgiveness.

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Day By Day
July 29
Looking for the answers

We are learning that the geographical cure does not guarantee staying clean and sober. As the saying has it, no mater where you go, there you are. We are learning that it’s better to look for the answers in ourselves and our program than in a different city or country.

No person, place, or thing will keep us clean and sober. Recovery is in our program, in our hearts, and in the “still small voice within.”

Do I know where to look for answers?

    Higher Power, help me see that I will find answers only in my soul and not in distant places.

    Today I will look within by…

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Food for Thought
July 29
Always Abstinence

As recovering compulsive overeaters, we have a fixed focal point of reference. Abstinence is the most important thing in our lives without exception.

What began, as weakness has become strength. Whatever happens to us, we know that by maintaining abstinence we will be able to cope. As long as abstinence controls our self-destructive inner enemy, we are able to function effectively.

This does not mean that we will be free from problems. Abstaining does not get rid of all of our difficulties. There will be times when we are depressed, anxious, afraid, angry, bored, and in pain. To be alive is to be subject to these negative emotions, as well as the positive ones, which we enjoy.

By abstaining, we are able to face reality instead of escaping into a worse predicament. No matter how difficult the day, it has been a good one for the compulsive overeater who has abstained.

I pray for abstinence always.

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DailyZen
July 29

And when That is seen in its
Immanence and transcendence
Then the ties that have bound the
Heart are loosened, the doubts
Of the mind vanish, and the law
Of karma works no more.

– Mundaka Upanishad

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Faith’s Check Book
July 29
He Routs Our Enemy

He hath cast out thine enemy.
(Zephaniah 3:15)

What a casting out was that! Satan has lost his throne in our nature even as he lost his seat in heaven. Our Lord Jesus has destroyed the enemy’s reigning power over us. He may worry us, but he cannot claim us as his own. His bonds are no longer upon our spirits: the Son has made us free, and we are free indeed.

Still is the archenemy the accuser of the brethren; but even from this position our Lord has driven him. Our Advocate silences our accuser. The Lord rebukes our enemies and pleads the causes of our soul, so that no harm comes of all the devil’s revilings.

As a tempter, the evil spirit still assails us and insinuates himself into our minds; but thence also is he cast out as to his former preeminence. He wriggles about like a serpent, but he cannot rule like a sovereign. He hurls in blasphemous thoughts when he has opportunity; but what a relief it is when he is told to be quiet and is made to slink off like a whipped cur! Lord, do this for any who are at this time worried and wearied by his barkings. Cast out their enemy, and be Thou glorious in their eyes. Thou hast cast him down; Lord, cast him out. Oh, that Thou wouldst banish him from the world!

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 29

“Nevertheless I am continually with Thee.”
—Psalm 73:23.

NEVERTHELESS,”—AS if, notwithstanding all the foolishness and ignorance which David had just been confessing to God, not one atom the less was it true and certain that David was saved and accepted, and that the blessing of being constantly in God’s presence was undoubtedly his. Fully conscious of his own lost estate, and of the deceitfulness and vileness of his nature, yet, by a glorious outburst of faith, he sings “nevertheless I am continually with Thee.” Believer, you are forced to enter into Asaph’s confession and acknowledgment, endeavour in like spirit to say “nevertheless, since I belong to Christ I am continually with God!” By this is meant continually upon His mind, He is always thinking of me for my good. Continually before His eye;—the eye of the Lord never sleepeth, but is perpetually watching over my welfare. Continually in His hand, so that none shall be able to pluck me thence. Continually on His heart, worn there as a memorial, even as the high priest bore the names of the twelve tribes upon his heart for ever. Thou always thinkest of me, O God. The bowels of Thy love continually yearn towards me. Thou art always making providence work for my good. Thou hast set me as a signet upon thine arm; thy love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench it; neither can the floods drown it. Surprising grace! Thou seest me in Christ, and though in myself abhorred, Thou beholdest me as wearing Christ’s garments, and washed in His blood, and thus I stand accepted in Thy presence. I am thus continually in Thy favour—”continually with Thee.” Here is comfort for the tried and afflicted soul; vexed with the tempest within—look at the calm without. “Nevertheless”—O say it in thy heart, and take the peace it gives. “Nevertheless I am continually with Thee.”

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This Evening’s Meditation
July 29

“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me.”
—John 6:37.

THIS declaration involves the doctrine of election: there are some whom the Father gave to Christ. It involves the doctrine of effectual calling: these who are given must and shall come; however stoutly they may set themselves against it, yet they shall be brought out of darkness into God’s marvellous light. It teaches us the indispensable necessity of faith; for even those who are given to Christ are not saved except they come to Jesus. Even they must come, for there is no other way to heaven but by the door, Christ Jesus. All that the Father gives to our Redeemer must come to Him, therefore none can come to heaven except they come to Christ.

Oh! the power and majesty which rest in the words “shall come.” He does not say they have power to come, nor they may come if they will, but they “shall come.” The Lord Jesus doth by His messengers, His word, and His Spirit, sweetly and graciously compel men to come in that they may eat of His marriage supper; and this He does, not by any violation of the free agency of man, but by the power of His grace. I may exercise power over another man’s will, and yet that other man’s will may be perfectly free, because the constraint is exercised in a manner accordant with the laws of the human mind. Jehovah Jesus knows how, by irresistible arguments addressed to the understanding, by mighty reasons appealing to the affections, and by the mysterious influence of His Holy Spirit operating upon all the powers and passions of the soul, so to subdue the whole man, that whereas he was once rebellious, he yields cheerfully to His government, subdued by sovereign love. But how shall those be known whom God hath chosen? By this result: that they do willingly and joyfully accept Christ, and come to Him with simple and unfeigned faith, resting upon Him as all their salvation and all their desire. Reader, have you thus come to Jesus?

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