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In Loving Memory of Vic

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

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

Daily Recovery Readings – July 6

Just For Today
July 6
“I’m Sorry”

“The main thing the Eighth Step does for us is to help build awareness that, little by little, we are gaining new attitudes about ourselves and how we deal with other people.”
Basic Text, p.38

To say “I’m sorry” probably isn’t such a foreign idea to most of us. In our active addiction, it may have been a very familiar phrase. We were always telling people how sorry we were, and were probably deeply surprised when someone, tired of our meaningless apologies, responded with, “You sure are. In fact, you’re the sorriest excuse for?” That may have been our first clue that an “I’m sorry” didn’t really make any difference to those we harmed, especially when we both knew that we’d just do the same thing again.

Many of us thought that making amends would be another “I’m sorry.” However, the action we take in those steps is entirely different. Making amends means to make changes and, above all, to make the situation right. If we stole money, we don’t just say “I’m sorry. I’ll never do it again now that I’m clean.” We pay the money back. If we neglected or abused our families, we don’t just apologize. We begin to treat them with respect.

Amending our behavior and the way we treat ourselves and others is the whole purpose of working the steps. We’re no longer just “sorry”; we’re responsible.

Just for today: I accept responsibility for myself and my recovery. Today, I will amend some particular thing I’m sorry for.

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Daily Reflections
July 6
IDENTIFYING FEAR . . . .

The chief activator of our defects has been self – centered fear. . . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 76

When I feel uncomfortable, irritated, or depressed, I look for fear. This “evil and corroding thread” is the root of my distress: Fear of failure; fear of other’s opinions; fear of harm, and many other fears. I have found a Higher Power who does not want me to live in fear and, as a result, the experience of A.A. in my life is freedom and joy. I am no longer willing to live with the multitude of character defects that characterized my life while I was drinking. Step Seven is my vehicle to freedom from these defects. I pray for help in identifying the fear underneath the defect, and then I ask God to relieve me of that fear. This method works for me without fail and is one of the great miracles of my life in Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 6
A.A. Thought For The Day

We tried to study our alcoholic problem, wondering what was the cause of our strange obsession. Many of us took special treatments, hospitalization, even confinement in institutions. In every case, the relief was only temporary.  We tried through crazy excuses to convince ourselves that we knew why we drank, but we went on regardless. Finally drinking had gone far beyond even a habit. We had become alcoholics, men and women who had been destroying themselves against their own will. Am I completely free from my alcoholic obsession?

Meditation For The Day

“Ask and ye shall receive.” Never let yourself think you cannot do something useful or that you never will be able to accomplish a useful task. The fact is that you can do practically anything in the field of human relationships, if you are willing to call on God’s supply of strength. The supply may not be immediately available, because you may not be entirely ready to receive it. But it will surely come when you are properly prepared for it. As you grow spiritually, a feeling of being plentifully supplied by God’s strength will possess you and you will be able to accomplish many useful things.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may claim God’s supply of strength by my faith in Him. I pray that it shall be given to me according to my faith.

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As Bill Sees It
July 6
Talk or Action?, p. 187

In making amends, it is seldom wise to approach an individual who still smarts from our injustice to him, and announce that we have gone religious. This might be called leading with the chin. Why lay ourselves open to being branded fanatics or religious bores? If we do this, we may kill a future opportunity to carry a beneficial message.

But the man who hears our amends is sure to be impressed with our sincere desire to set right a wrong. He is going to be more interested in a demonstration of good will than in talk of spiritual discoveries.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 77

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Walk In Dry Places
July 6
Should we Intervene?
Recovery

The method of conducting interventions is considered an effective way of confronting alcoholics and drug addicts. Interventions are done with the hope that this confrontation will “raise the bottom,” and that the addict will face the condition before there’s further anguish.

However effective interventions may be, they’re not part of the 12 Step program. Our work is based on attraction, not the admitted coercion that’s part of intervention.

If we take part in interventions, this separation should be clearly understood. The person who still suffers should know that the 12 Step program depends on attraction, not any of the other methods that might be available.

It’s important to make this point clear, because the intervention may fail. Whether it does or not, the individual must not be left with the idea that intervention is a 12 Step activity. At any stage, the fellowship is always available to him or her.

I’ll probably see lots of people today who need help in facing their addiction. I’ll know that their recovery comes in God’s good time.

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Keep It Simple
July 6

When fate hands us a lemon, let’s try to make lemonade.
—Dale Carnegie

Our illness is one big lemon, but our recovery is lemonade. None of us signed up to be drunks or druggies, but we all signed up for recovery. That’s when the happiness began. Yes, there will be pain, but the joy will far outweigh the pain. The sweet joy of recovery becomes our drink—our lemonade. And, do we drink!

We have new friends. We love ourselves, our Higher Power, our family, and much more. We are creative when we give joy, love and help to others and to ourselves. If your lemonade isn’t sweet enough, add more of your program.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, it’s easy to forget how much You’ve given me. Thank you for all the joy and love You have given me.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll write down what part of recovery I really enjoy. I will then share this list with my group or friend.

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 6

Peace, she supposed, was contingent upon a certain disposition of the soul, a disposition to receive the gift that only detachment from self made possible.
—Elizabeth Goudge

Self-centeredness, egocentrism, and selfishness are familiar to most of us. We have judged our world and all the situations and people in it in terms of how their existence affects our own. We have become tied to him or to her or to a situation just as surely as an anchor to a boat. Most of us learned in very early childhood to read others’ behaviors. And we determined our own worth accordingly.

As adult women we still struggle, trying to read another’s actions, hoping to find acceptance. Which means we are always vulnerable, exposing our “self” to the whims of other, equally vulnerable “selves.” What we search for is peace and security. We think if others love and accept us, we’ll be at peace. We’ll know serenity. A most important lesson for us to learn in this life is that peace is assured when we anchor ourselves to our God. Peace, well-being, serene joy will accompany our every step when we expose our vulnerable selves to God’s care and only God’s care. We’ll no longer need to worry about the self we try to protect. It will be handled with care.

Peace awaits me today. I will look to God, and only God, to know that all is well, that I am all that I need to be.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 6
The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

I had completely forgotten the January 8 when I found the Fellowship, and I spent the next four days wandering around New England half drunk, by which I mean I couldn’t get drunk and I couldn’t get sober. I tried to contact the boys in New York, but telegrams bounced right back, and when I finally got Hank on the telephone he fired me right then. This was when I really took my first good look at myself. My loneliness was worse than it had ever been before, for now even my own kind had turned against me. This time it really hurt, more than any hangover ever had. My brilliant agnosticism vanished, and I saw for the first time that those who really believed, or at least honestly tried to find a Power greater than themselves, were much more composed and contented than I had ever been, and they seemed to have a degree of happiness I had never known.

pp. 228-229

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 6

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

As we have seen, self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. It is a step in the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help. Yet it is only a step. We will want to go further.

p. 98

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Xtra Thoughts
July 6

Love yourself and all your emotions.
Be as honest with yourself as you can be.
Say how you really feel.
–Melody Beattie

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Though we travel the world to find the beautiful, we must carry it within us or we will find it not.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

God, help me to lower my defenses today, to be open to the good in the people around me and to the good that I have to offer them.
–Melody Beattie

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
–John Wooden

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 6
POWER

“The measure of man is what he does with power.”
–Pittacus

With my recovery has come a certain success, and with the success comes power. Power comes with the spiritual program, but it must be exercised responsibly. Just as the disease used alcohol to destroy my life, so it can use power to destroy me in sobriety. Power is a doubled-edged sword that has led many back to drinking. Certainly an abuse of power is not consistent with sobriety.

Today I am respectful of power because I know it can lead to an inflated ego or an arrogant personality that continues to destroy the quality of life. Today I surround myself with friends who will remind me of my roots.

Teach me not to use my White Anglo-Saxon Protestant heritage to belittle or patronize those from minority groups.

Teach me to exercise power responsibly.

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Bible Scriptures
July 6

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. I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Phillipians 4:8-13

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Daily Inspiration
July 6

Make few promises and keep the ones you make. Lord, grant me the strength to keep my commitments, especially the ones that I make to myself.

Life is what our thinking makes it. Lord, help me visualize myself richly living each day, believing, achieving, and then succeeding.

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A Day At A Time
July 6

Reflection For The Day

Some people in The Program don’t feel that they can do the things they want to do.  They doubt their own ability.  But actually, every person has untapped ability.  We’re children of God, which should give us a strong clue as to the infinite nature of our ability.  As spiritual beings, we’re unlimited.  True, we may find it easier to accept this as true of some person who shines in a particular field.  We may compare our own accomplishments with another’s and feel discouraged.  But the only comparison we need make or should make is with ourselves.  Am I a better, more productive person today?

Today I Pray

May I realize that I am a child of God.  And His loving-parent promise to give me what I need, not what I might want, is His way of teaching me to be what I am, not what I dreamed I should be.  As a spiritual being, I can truly become a productive person –  perhaps even do some of the things I once felt unable to do without the aid of props — drinks, pills, excesses of food which hulled me into false confidence.

Today I Will Remember

To compare me with the old me.

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One More Day
July 6

Yesterday is a canceled check;  tomorrow is a promissory note;  today is the only cash you have — so spend it wisely.
–  Kay Lyons

Each day is a small fragment of a lifetime.  This fact frees us to focus on the things we truly can influence.  We can never return to the past, except within our memories.  And we don’t know what the future holds in store.  The only time we can “spend” is today;  the only time we touch is right now.

The simplicity of the present allows us to let go of the past and to ignore the unknowns of the future.  Thus freed, we can set about the business of enriching our lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Unpleasant debts to the past are paid, and we’ve mortgaged nothing to the future.  We are free to invest in growth by using the “cash” we have on hand.

This day is a valuable piece of my life.  I will spend it well.

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One Day At A Time
July 6
SUFFERING

“The desire to stop suffering is not the same thing as the desire to stop the behavior we are doing which causes us to suffer.”
–Dr. James Golden

Our disease of addiction causes tremendous suffering to ourselves and to those around us. It consumes our lives and often leads to painful losses. No matter how profoundly we long to be rid of our disease, recovery is not something that falls into our laps just because we want it. We don’t magically stop being compulsive eaters just because that’s our desire. It would be great if recovery happened magically and all we’d have to do is say, “I don’t want this disease any more; I don’t want to suffer any longer.” If it were that easy, we’d immediately find ourselves in a place of complete and total recovery. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

In the depths of my disease I cried out to the God of my understanding to help me achieve abstinence and an alleviation of my suffering. What was the answer to my prayers? This wonderful Twelve Step program.

One of the first things I learned was that I could wish and hope and pray, but until I put feet to my prayers and actually started working the Steps, I wouldn’t recover from my disease. God will only do for us what He can do through us. If I’m not willing to do even a little bit of the work, I shouldn’t expect recovery. If I won’t take the first step on this journey, I can’t expect to reach my final destination. I can do some things for myself — like putting the Steps into practice — but what about the things I can’t do for myself? I’ll let God handle those.

One day at a time…
I’ll remember that it’s not enough to want to stop suffering from my disease;  I also need to do some footwork to make it happen.

~ Jeff

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 6

“Silence is the cornerstone of character.”
–Charles Alexander Eastman, OHIYESA SANTEE SIOUX

Be still and know. Anyone can verbally attack another. Anyone can be a smart aleck. Anyone can be angry and tell other people things that will hurt them.

Anyone can be sarcastic, devaluating and belittling. It takes a Warrior to be silent. Silence is so powerful. Silence can be so loving.

My Creator, if I get into a situation today that needs me to respond with silence, help me to use my silence in a good and sacred way. In my silence, let me be talking to You and You talking to me. Silence is the way of the warrior.

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Journey To The Heart
July 6
See How Each Soul Has Touched You

Often in our lives, we don’t realize the significance of a relationship until later, when the experience has passed. Then we understand how the person helped us along the way, took us to the next part of our journey, opened us up to begin learning the next lesson. And we see how we, in turn, helped shape that person.

One evening, as I was readying for sleep, I had a vision. I saw clearly before me a scenario of the dance we do with each other. I saw in my heart, understood deeply, the tangible, shaping impact each soul had on my life. Each moment, each interaction with another person, had been important– the quiet interactions, the ones I barely noticed, and the more significant relationships. Each moment– the moments that hurt, the moments that brought joy– had helped. We had touched each other. We were joined in an intricate dance, a dance in which our souls learned and grew.

And we had taken our places with each other on time, for the dance was perfectly choreographed.

I could almost see us waving gleefully to each other, happy for how we had connected, joyful that we had helped each other learn the lessons of the soul: courage, love, forgiveness, gentleness, self-love.

See how each soul touches you? See how you touch them? Ask your heart to guide you with honesty, love, and responsibility in all your encounters. Honor the sacredness of love. Honor the lessons of planet earth and the people who help you learn them.

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Today’s Gift
July 6

Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills.
—Catherine Ponder

Getting mad at someone, a friend perhaps, is normal. Everybody gets mad sometimes. But when we stay mad for very long, it ruins all the fun we’d planned on having throughout the day. Staying mad multiplies. Sometimes it seems we are mad at the dog, our mom, and another friend, even the TV.

Forgiving the people we’re mad at works like magic. We don’t even have to forgive them out loud. We can forgive them in our own minds. The result is the same. Pretty soon the whole day looks bright again. When we’re mad, we are the ones who suffer most.

Who can I forgive today, and make my day a better one?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 6
Step Seven

Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
—Step Seven of Al-Anon

In the Sixth and Seventh Steps of the program, we become willing to let go of our defects of character – issues, behaviors, old feelings, unresolved grief, and beliefs that are blocking us from the joy that is ours. Then we ask God to take them from us.

Isn’t that simple? We don’t have to contort ourselves to make ourselves change. We don’t have to force change. For once, we don’t have to “do it ourselves.” All we have to do is strive for an attitude of willingness and humility. All we have to do is ask God for what we want and need, and then trust God to do for us that which we cannot do and do not have to do for ourselves.

We do not have to watch with bated breath for how and when we shall change. This is not a self-help program. In this miraculous and effective program that has brought about recovery and change for millions, we become changed by working the Steps.

Today, God, help me surrender to recovery and to the process by which I become changed. Help me focus on the Step I need. Help me do my part, relax, and allow the rest to happen.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 6
Let the feelings go

Sometimes we get stuck on a feeling. We don’t want to acknowledge it and give it its due. So we tell ourselves we’re too intelligent or busy to feel that way. Maybe we’re scared of that feeling, afraid of what it might mean. We think if we feel that way, we’ll have to do something we don’t want to do. We’re afraid that feeling might mean we have to change. Or we think the feeling will mean we have to face a loss of something we value in our lives and don’t want to lose.

Sometimes we feel guilty about our emotions. We think it’s wrong to have that feeling; it makes us a bad person. So we tell ourselves we shouldn’t feel the way that we do.

We can become so used to a particular kind of feeling– such as anger, resentment, or fear– that it becomes a comfortable and familiar way to view our world.

We can use our feelings to control people: I feel this way when you do that, so don’t do that anymore. Some people call this using emotions to manipulate other people. It’s not a good thing to do. But some of us convince ourselves it’s the only way to get what we want.

Learn to say how it feels. Then learn to let that feeling go.

God, help me flow in the stream of my feelings.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 6

Is the inventor of the ear unable to hear? Is the creator of the eye unable to see?
—Psalms 94:9

The way we have been restored to our spiritual path is partly a mystery. Our willingness to accept mystery in our lives has taught us we are part of a larger whole. There is more at work in the world than we can know. Acceptance of the larger whole restores us to health.

We are not just separate beings with a private world. Our existence is part of a larger process. We came into being with no control and no forethought on our own part. We arise from a past that no one remembers.

It was when we didn’t see our place – as part of creation – that we were in the greatest pain and difficulty. Now each day, each hour, when we remember we are not in charge, and our will is not in control, we are restored again.

I am thankful for the mystery of recovery. I accept this mystery as part of all the mysteries beyond my control.

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Daily TAO
July 6
Artist

Facing blank paper
Is an artist’s terror.

When an artist creates, he or she is like a shaman. Inspiration comes as a gift. Those who follow Tao are the same. Their awareness of Tao is not something they have cleverly formulated, nor is it something they possess. Tao comes to them like a gift. That is why the arts and Tao are so closely allied: The act of receiving and expressing is the same.

Just as an artist dreads not being able to make art, so too does one who follows Tao dread not feeling Tao.

There are many times when we are called upon to be creative: an athlete on the field, a lecturer before an audience, a musician on stage, a cook at the stove, a parent with a child. How do we keep the channel open? Some try by maintaining tidy and regular lives, others by being constantly active. We are all different, and there is no right or wrong. The only thing that counts is feeling Tao in your own life and maintaining that feeling as much of the time as possible. If you find those special things that are latent within and learn to express them, then Tao will be known.

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  Food for Thought
July 6
Dual Personalities

It is as if we are each two people. When we are abstaining, we are calm, confident, and capable of handling the demands of every day. When we are in contact with our Higher Power, we have the right mental perspective and God’s peace and love in our hearts.

Slipping back into the old attitudes and habits of our compulsive overeating days brings back our frightened, confused, and despairing selves. We lose our ability to function efficiently. We are antagonistic to those around us. Worst of all, we are cut off from the source of strength and light.

Remembering that the negative personality will destroy us makes us more determined not to give in to it. Abstinence, day by day, is our safety. Reliance on the OA group, our Twelve Step program, and our Higher Power keeps us living the good, new life of freedom.

Deliver me from my negative personality.

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 6

“Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.”
—Proverbs 1:33.

DIVINE love is rendered conspicuous when it I shines in the midst of judgments. Fair is that lone star which smiles through the rifts of the thunder clouds; bright is the oasis which blooms in the wilderness of sand; so fair and so bright is love in the midst of wrath. When the Israelites provoked the Most High by their continued idolatry, He punished them by withholding both dew and rain, so that their land was visited by a sore famine; but while He did this, He took care that His own chosen ones should be secure. If all other brooks are dry, yet shall there be one reserved for Elijah; and when that fails, God shall still preserve for him a place of sustenance; nay, not only so, the Lord had not simply one “Elijah,” but He had a remnant according to the election of grace, who were hidden by fifties in a cave, and though the whole land was subject to famine, yet these fifties in the cave were fed, and fed from Ahab’s table too by His faithful, God-fearing steward, Obadiah. Let us from this draw the inference, that come what may, God’s people are safe. Let convulsions shake the solid earth, let the skies themselves be rent in twain, yet amid the wreck of worlds the believer shall be as secure as in the calmest hour of rest. If God cannot save His people under heaven, He will save them in heaven. If the world becomes too hot to hold them, then heaven shall be the place of their reception and their safety. Be ye then confident, when ye hear of wars, and rumours of wars. Let no agitation distress you, but be quiet from fear of evil. Whatsoever cometh upon the earth, you, beneath the broad wings of Jehovah, shall be secure. Stay yourself upon His promise; rest in His faithfulness, and bid defiance to the blackest future, for there is nothing in it direful for you. Your sole concern should be to show forth to the world the blessedness of hearkening to the voice of wisdom.

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Faith’s Check Book
July 6
His Love; His Gift; His Son

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(John 3:16)

Of all the stars in the sky, the polestar is the most useful to the mariner. This text is a polestar, for it has guided more souls to salvation than any other Scripture. It is among promises what the Great Bear is among constellations.

Several words in it shine with peculiar brilliance. Here we have God’s love with a “so” to it, which marks its measureless greatness. Then we have God’s gift in all its freeness and greatness. This also is God’s Son, that unique and priceless gift of a love which could never fully show itself till heaven’s Only-begotten had been sent to live and die for men. These three points are full of light.

Then there is the simple requirement of believing, which graciously points to a way of salvation suitable for guilty men. This is backed by a wide description—”whosoever believeth in him.” Many have found room in “whosoever” who would have felt themselves shut out by a narrower word. Then comes the great promise, that believers in Jesus shall not perish but have everlasting life. This is cheering to every man who feels that he is ready to perish and that he cannot save himself. We believe in the Lord Jesus, and we have eternal life.

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