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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 7

Just For Today
July 7
God In Each Other

“One aspect of our spiritual awakening comes through the new understanding of our Higher Power that we develop by sharing another addict’s recovery.”
Basic Text, p.51

We’ve heard it said that we often see God most clearly in one another. We see the truth of this when we practice our Twelfth Step. When we carry the recovery message to another addict, we sense the presence of a Power greater than ourselves. And as we watch the message take hold, we realize something else.

It’s the message that brings recovery, not the messenger. A Higher Power, not our own power, is the source of the change that begins when we carry the message to a still-suffering addict. As the message does its work, transforming the life of another addict, we see a Higher Power in action. We watch as acceptance and hope replace denial and despair. Before our very eyes, the first traces of honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness begin to appear. Something’s happening inside this person, something bigger and more powerful than either of us. We’re watching the God we’ve come to understand at work in someone’s life. We see the Higher Power in them. And we know with greater certainty than ever that this Higher Power is in us, too, as the force driving our recovery.

Just for today: As I carry the message of recovery to other addicts, I will try to pay attention to the Power behind the message. Today, as I watch other addicts recover, I will try to recognize the God in them so I can better recognize the God in myself.

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Daily Reflections
July 7
. . . AND LETTING GO OF IT

. . . primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing these demands. The difference between a demand and a simple request is plain to anyone.
12 & 12, p.76

Peace is possible for me only when I let go of expectations. When I’m trapped in thoughts about what I want and what should be coming to me, I’m in a state of fear or anxious anticipation and this is not conducive to emotional sobriety. I must surrender–over and over–to the reality of my dependence on God, for then I find peace, gratitude and spiritual security.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 7
A.A. Thought For The Day

We had become hopelessly sick people; spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The power that controlled us was greater than ourselves–it was John Barleycorn. Many drinkers have said: “I hadn’t gone that far; I hadn’t lost my job on account of drink; I still had my family; I managed to keep out of jail. True, I took too much sometimes and I guess I managed to make quite an a$$ of myself when I did, but I still thought I could control my drinking. I didn’t really believe that I was an alcoholic.” If I was one of these, have I fully changed my mind?

Meditation For The Day

Painful as the present time may be; you will one day see the reason for it. You will see that it was not only testing, but also a preparation for the life-work which you are to do. Have faith that your prayers and aspirations will someday be answered.  Answered in a way that perhaps seems painful to you but is the only right way. Selfishness and pride often make us want things that are not good for us. They need to be burned out of our natures.  We must be rid of the blocks which are holding us back, before we can expect our prayers to be answered.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be willing to go through a time of testing. I pray that I may trust God for the outcome.

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As Bill Sees It
July 7
To Survive Trials, p. 188

In our belief, any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes wholly to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he may succeed for a time, but he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed.  Release from alcohol, and not flight from it, is our answer.

<< << << >> >> >>

“Faith without works is dead.” How appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic fails to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he cannot survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he does not work, he will surely drink again, and if he drinks, he will surely die. Then faith will be dead indeed.

Alcoholics Anonymous
1. p. 101
2. pp. 14-15

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Walk In Dry Places
July 7
What should I have said or done?
Second thoughts

After an intense discussion, we might rehash what we said and wish we’d said something else. Perhaps some brilliant remark occurs to us long after the conversation has ended.

We can say only what comes to us at the time of the discussion. Our best preparation for any such discussion…. however important…. is to place the matter in God’s hands, seeking the highest good for everyone involved.

It may be that the brilliant thoughts coming to us later would have actually been inappropriate. After all, important discussions also involve exchanges of strong feelings that influence the meeting. If our feelings are in line with the high principles of the program, the discussion should go well. In such cases, we will probably say what we’re supposed to say.

I’ll do my best today without trying to second-guess every word or action.

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Keep It Simple
July 7

Be brave enough to accept the help of others

Often is the past, we acted like we didn’t need anyone. It takes courage to let others help us.

As we get better, our courage grows. We invite people into our lives. We help others, and we let others help us.

We will learn to let others help us if we work our program. Why? Because we need others to stay sober. When we have a problem, we talk about it in our group. When we need a shoulder to cry on, we call a friend or our sponsor. Over time, our relationships become one of the biggest rewards of recovery.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see my need for others as a test—a test to see if I’ll be brave enough and wise enough to ask for help when I need it.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list four times in my life when I needed help but didn’t ask for it. I’ll tell a friend about how these times would have been different if I had asked for help.

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 7

. . . that is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.
—Doris Lessing

As we are changed by our experiences, that which we know also changes. Our experiences foster growth and enlightenment, and all awarenesses give way to new understandings. We are forever students of life blessed with particular lessons designed only for us. There is joy in knowing that learning has no end and that each day offers us a chance to move closer to becoming the persons we are meant to be.

To understand something more deeply requires that we be open to the ideas of others, willing to part with our present opinions. The program offers us many opportunities to trade in the understandings we’ve outgrown. Throughout our recovery we have discovered new interpretations of old ideas. And we will continue to expand our understanding.

Every situation, every person, every feeling, every idea has a slightly different hue each time we encounter it. The wonder of this is that life is forever enriched, forever fresh.

Each moment offers me a chance to know better who I am and to understand more fully the real contribution that is mine to make in this life. I will let the anticipation of my changing ideas excite me.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 7
The Vicious Cycle

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

Peddling off my polish samples for expenses, I crawled back to New York a few days later in a very chastened frame of mind. When the others saw my altered attitude they took me back in, but for me they had to make it tough; if they hadn’t I don’t think I ever would have stuck it out. Once again, there was the challenge of a tough job, but this time I was determined to follow through. For a long time the only Higher Power I could concede was the power of the group, but this was far more than I had ever recognized before, and it was at least a beginning. It was also an ending, for never since June 16th, 1938, have I had to walk alone.

p. 229

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 7

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.”

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow. Most certainly we shall need bracing air and an abundance of food. But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun. How, then, shall we meditate?

p. 98

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Xtra Thoughts
July 7

The way in which we think of ourselves has everything to do with how our world sees us.
–Arlene Raven

Don’t believe everything you think.
–unknown

“Put love first. Entertain thoughts that give life. And when a thought or resentment, or hurt, or fear comes your way, have another thought that is more powerful — a thought that is love.”
–Mary Manin Morrissey

“Keep your face to the sunshine of His love and the shadows will fall behind you.”
–unknown

Take a walk with God. He will meet you at the Steps.
–unknown

It’s easier to tear a hole than to mend one.
–Russian Proverb

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 7
RELIGION

“Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.”
–Paul Tillich

That part of me that does not know is vibrant in spirituality.  Problems are part of what it is to be human and an element of doubt is essential. With the doubt comes the growth. However, as a younger man I was told that it was a sin to doubt; God demanded a steadfast faith and doubt could have no part of faith! I remember going to confession and feeling guilty and ashamed about my doubts — but I did doubt and doubt has always played a part in my life. In some ways I think that my religious doubts have been the most creative part of me — certainly they have enabled me to grow and build a bridge of understanding with others.

Master, hear, through the doubts, my love of You.

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Bible Scriptures
July 7

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret it only causes harm.
Psalm 37:7-8

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.
Psalm 81:1-2

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.
James 4:10

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58

Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors.
Proverbs 8:34

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Daily Inspiration
July 7

Talking about how busy you are only adds stress to the stress you already feel. Lord, help me complete the tasks of my day and avoid taking on more than I can handle.

Rejoice and be happy for others when they are blessed. Lord, bless me with the ability to be free of envy so that I can truly share the joy of my neighbors.

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A Day At A Time
July 7

Reflection For The Day

What wonderful things could happen in my life if I could get rid of my natural impulse to justify my actions.  Is honesty so deeply repr4essed under layers of guilt that I can’t release it to understand my motives?  Being honest with ourselves isn’t easy.  It’s difficult to search out why I had this or that impulse and, more importantly, why I acted upon it.  Nothing makes us feel so vulnerable as to give up the crutch of The Alibi, yet my willingness to be vulnerable will go a long way toward helping me grow in The Program.  Am I becoming more aware that self-deception multiplies my problems?

Today I Pray

May God remove my urge to make excuses.  Help me to face up to the realities that surface when I am honest with myself.  Help me to know, as certainly as day follows sunrise, that my difficulties will be lessened if I can only trust His Will.

Today I Will Remember

I will be willing to do His Will.

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One More Day
July 7

Smiles form the channels of a future tear.
–  Lord Byron

We have often watched smiles turn to laughter and laughter back to tears.  At a family reunion, we hear the joyous sounds of people chattering away, trying to catch up in five minutes for twenty lost years.

People who have Parkinson’s disease sometimes complain that their faces don’t match the emotions they want to express.  The mask of the illness slows down normal movement of facial muscles.  Even more tragic is the person who doesn’t feel emotion.  No laughter and no tears.

We are fortunate to be able to express our emotions, to show contentment and unhappiness.  So what if today’s laughter becomes tomorrow’s tears?  We know we’ll laugh again — and cry again.  Our past experiences give meaning to the present.

I will accept all my emotions as an affirmation of my life.  Changing emotions are a part of normal living.

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One Day At A Time
July 7
FEAR

“Few persons live up to the faith which they really have.  Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud practiced upon the evolving mortal soul.”
–The Urantia Book

“Unreasoned fear” was my main problem for most of my life. I lived with a myriad of fears which seemed to be too awesome and terrible to face. I love the fact that since finding this recovery program, I no longer have to live in fear. What wondrous freedom I found in the realization that unreasoned fear is “intellectual fraud!”

One slogan I recall about fear says: “Future Events Appear Real.” That is the first one that really helped me to realize that most of my fears were not based on what was real. By working the Steps of this program I have managed to stop attempting to live in a future filled with fear. When I focus on just being here now — living in this moment only — I don’t have to run from fear.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will stay in this moment. I will look at the people and things that are here right now and enjoy what my Higher Power has given me.

~ Steph

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – July 7

“I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.”
–Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE

We are as sick as our secrets. Our ego takes over control of our lives and when that happens our minds get very sick. Then we hurt people and our minds will always justify our actions.

Our minds will give us rationalization and excuses that we are justified in doing what we are doing.

My Creator, Let me live today with an open heart. Let me realize to be vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness. Let me realize the power of an open heart. Let me be available to truth.

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Journey To The Heart
July 7
Recognize the Signs

Sometimes, the universe gives us warnings.

I was driving down a local highway in New Mexico, a safe distance behind the car in front of me. Suddenly, the driver slammed on his brakes to avoid a huge puddle, a flood of water in front of him. I stopped short, but the car behind me was following too closely and rammed into the rear of my Jeep.

I got out and inspected the damage. My car was fine. The woman who rammed me had dented her bumper. No one was harmed. I got back in my Jeep, thinking it was over. But as I drove off, I began to wonder. Something about the incident still nagged at me.

Several weeks later, I was driving down a fast-moving two-lane highway. Behind me was a large truck loaded with cars. In front of me were several cars. In front of the cars was a school bus. The traffic was moving at at least fifty-five miles an hour.

Suddenly, I saw the brake lights from the cars ahead. The school bus had stopped to let a child disembark. I pulled to a stop behind the car in front of me. Then I remembered the lesson from the accident a couple of weeks ago: sometimes I can stop safely, but the driver behind me can’t.

I looked out my rearview mirror. The truck loaded with cars was frantically trying to stop. I pulled my car off the road onto the shoulder, giving him an extra car length. He screeched to a stop, right behind the car ahead of me. Had I not noticed, not pulled out, we’d all have been piled up. And the children in the bus…

Sometimes accidents happen without warning, but sometimes the universe gives us a nudge, a little sign. We don’t have to become paranoid, we don’t have to think every event means something, but we can trust ourselves to recognize a sign when we see one.

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Today’s Gift
July 7

I found words to every thought I ever had, but one. . . .
—Emily Dickinson

What kinds of thoughts can’t be put into words? We feel lost in space, mind-boggled by how small and big the stars are. We are sure and unsure about death, its blank and steady stare. Or we have done something that makes us feel both good and bad. Sometimes we hate someone we love, but we aren’t sure what hate is, or love. We are scared of crowds and afraid of being abandoned, always alone. Sometimes we just want to laugh and cry, and when words fail we expect someone to know what our silences mean.

What are some ways I try to express my feelings without using words?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 7
Getting It All Out

Let yourself have a good gripe session.
From: ” Woman, Sex, and Addiction”
—Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D.

Get it out. Go ahead. Get it all out. Once we begin recovery, we may feel like it’s not okay to gripe and complain. We may tell ourselves that if we were really working a good program, we wouldn’t need to complain.

What does that mean? We won’t have feelings? We won’t feel overwhelmed? We won’t need to blow off steam or work through some not so pleasant, not so perfect, and not so pretty parts of life?

We can let ourselves get our feelings out, take risks, and be vulnerable with others. We don’t have to be all put together, all the time. That sounds more like codependency than recovery.

Getting it all out doesn’t mean we need to be victims. It doesn’t mean we need to revel in our misery, finding status in our martyrdom. It doesn’t mean we won’t go on to set boundaries. It doesn’t mean we won’t take care of ourselves.

Sometimes, getting it all out is an essential part of taking care of ourselves. We reach a point of surrender so we can move forward.

Self-disclosure does not mean only quietly reporting our feelings. It means we occasionally take the risk to share our human side-the side with fears, sadness, hurt, rage, unreasonable anger, weariness, or lack of faith.

We can let our humanity show. In the process, we give others permission to be human too. “Together” people have their not so together moments. Sometimes, falling apart – getting it all out – is how we get put back together.

Today, I will let it all out if I need a release.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 7
It will get better

Sometimes things need to feel worse before they get better. Feelings are one of those things.

When a feeling comes to the surface, it presents itself boldly. Usually the feelings being stirred up are ones we label unpleasant– fear, hurt, rage, guilt, shame or deep sorrow and grief. They will feel intense, for a while. Some feelings take a moment to come to the surface and clear. Other feelings take more time.

Feeling the emotion that intensely means it’s finally clearing out of your system. Even though it may feel like it, it’s not really getting worse. It’s healing, it’s getting better. You’re cleaning out that old wound. To do that, you have to reopen it, but just for a little while. But finally, after you do that, it will truly heal.

What do you need to do with feelings? Acknowledge them. Feel them. Give each one its due. They like to be honored that way. Once you identify and feel them, then they’ll go away. And each time you do this, the pond becomes clearer and cleaner, until finally the water is pure.

Notice how you react to yourself when a feeling comes up that needs attention and care. Do you spend as much time resisting the feeling as you actually do feeling the emotion? Do you expend more energy than necessary worrying that the feeling won’t leave, that you won’t be able to handle it, or that the feeling will take over your life? Consciously and deliberately relinquish your resistance to your emotional world. In March we learned to say whatever as part of speaking the language of letting go. Now practice saying whatever in love to your feelings.

God, give me the courage to face what I feel now, and what I felt before and didn’t have the resources to feel. Help me trust that this process will help me feel better than I did before.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 7

Those who are mentally and emotionally healthy are those who have learned when to say yes, when to say no, and when to say whoopee!
—Willard S. Krabill

We men have fallen into many difficulties because of poorly defined personal boundaries. Some of us never learned to say no to our mothers and felt invaded or ruled by them. Or we never truly said no to our fathers – never went through a teenage rebellion to establish ourselves as adults. Others have gotten stuck saying no and have never learned to yield and say yes.

Boundary problems have been part of the difficulty in many areas of our lives. We’ve told ourselves we have no right to our yes or no, or we’ve said we’re strong enough to sacrifice for someone else, or we’ve welcomed the escape from ourselves in discarding our choice. Not saying no when we needed to or not saying yes when we wanted to has led many of us into doctors’ offices, courts, jails, lost jobs, divorces, and bad marriages. Now the inner voice of our Higher Power is showing us our limits and encouraging us to stand up for them.

I am learning to know myself by defining my boundaries and choosing when and when not to cross them.

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Daily TAO
July 7
Caring

Don’t go out looking for good deeds to do,
But if one comes your way, do not refuse.
If you meet someone who is suffering,
You must help them.

What good is self-cultivation and wisdom if you just keep it for yourself? Knowledge is meant to be used, and if you can use it on behalf of others, you should.

There was once a man who prayed daily to a particular god among many in the temple. Eventually, he noticed the incense he lit drifted all over – other gods were getting the benefit of his efforts! He built a paper cone over the incense burner so all the smoke would be directed Right at the nose of his god. Unfortunately, this turned the face of his god black with soot.

Those who follow Tao believe in using sixteen attributes on behalf of others: mercy, gentleness, patience, non-attachment, control, skill, joy, spiritual love, humility, reflection, restfulness, seriousness, effort, controlled emotion, magnanimity, and concentration. Whenever help is needed by another, draw upon these qualities. Notice self-sacrifice is not included in the list. It is not necessary to destroy oneself to help another. The overall obligation is to complete a personal journey. As long as solace can be offered to another along that path, you have done the best you can do.

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Food for Thought
July 7

Life Is Opportunity

Each morning when we wake up, we thank our Higher Power for another day of abstaining. Each hour that is given to us is a chance to grow and learn and serve. We can believe that God has a plan for every day that he gives us and that He will reveal the plan step by step as we listen for His guidance.

If we are too intent on carrying out our personal ideas and projects, we may miss the directions that come from God. We need to remain open and flexible so that He may use us as He chooses.

Considering the time and tasks that we have as opportunities to serve saves us from self-centered worry and anxiety. We do not have to be compulsive about our work and activities. God knows our capabilities and will not give us more than we can handle. He is always ready to direct our efforts when we turn to Him.

Thank You for the opportunity to live and serve today.

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DailyZen
July 7

When the blind is raised at the clear window
One is facing the East Mountains
The magnificent landscape stretches
Away from the edge of the table
Everyone feels the silk veil
Drawn back from before his face
Illusions carried through many lives

– Muso Soseki (1275-1351)

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Faith’s Check Book
July 7
A Mountain Choir

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
(Isaiah 49:13)

So sweet are the comforts of the Lord, that not only the saints themselves may sing of them, but even the heavens and the earth may take up the song. It takes something to make a mountain sing; and yet the prophet summons quite a choir of them. Lebanon, and Sirion, and the high hills of Bashan and Moab, He would set them all singing because of Jehovah’s grace to His own Zion. May we not also make mountains of difficulty, and trial, and mystery, and labor become occasions for praise unto our God? “Break forth into singing, O mountains!”

This word of promise, that our God will have mercy upon His afflicted, has a whole peal of bells connected with it. Hear their music—”Sing!” “Be joyful!” “Break forth into singing.” The Lord would have His people happy because of His unfailing love. He would not have us sad and doubtful; He claims from us the worship of believing hearts. He cannot fail us: why should we sigh or sulk as if He would do so? Oh, for a well-tuned harp! Oh, for voices like those of the cherubim before the throne!

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 7

“Brethren, pray for us.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:25.

HIS one morning in the year we reserved to refresh the reader’s memory upon the subject of prayer for ministers, and we do most earnestly implore every Christian household to grant the fervent request of the text first uttered by an apostle and now repeated by us. Brethren, our work is Solemnly momentous, involving weal or woe to thousands; we treat with souls for God on eternal business, and our word is either a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death. A very heavy responsibility rests upon us, and it will be no small mercy if at the last we be found clear of the blood of all men. As officers in Christ’s army, we are the especial mark of the enmity of men and devils; they watch for our halting, and labour to take us by the heels. Our sacred calling involves us in temptations from which you are exempt, above all it too often draws us away from our personal enjoyment of truth into a ministerial and official consideration of it. We meet with many knotty cases, and our wits are at a non plus; we observe very sad backslidings, and our hearts are wounded; we see millions perishing, and our spirits sink. We wish to profit you by our preaching; we desire to be blest to your children; we long to be useful both to saints and sinners; therefore, dear friends, intercede for us with our God. Miserable men are we if we miss the aid of your prayers, but happy are we if we live in your supplications. You do not look to us but to our Master for spiritual blessings, and yet how many times has He given those blessings through His ministers; ask then, again and again, that we may be the earthen vessels into which the Lord may put the treasure of the gospel. We, the whole company of missionaries, ministers, city missionaries, and students, do in the name of Jesus beseech you

“BRETHREN, PRAY FOR US.”

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