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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 – June 16

Just For Today
June 16
Accepting Life

“Some things we must accept, others we can change. The wisdom to know the difference comes with growth in our spiritual program.”
Basic Text, p.92

It’s relatively easy to accept the things we like-it’s the things we don’t like that are hard to accept. But remaking the world and everyone in it to suit our tastes would solve nothing. After all, the idea that the world was to blame for all our problems was the attitude that kept us using-and that attitude nearly killed us.

In the course of working the steps, we begin to ask ourselves hard questions about the roles we ourselves have played in creating the unacceptable lives we’ve lived. In most cases, we’ve found that what needed changing was our own attitude and our own actions, not the people, places, and things around us.

In recovery, we pray for wisdom to know the difference between what can and can’t be changed. Then, once we see the truth of our situation, we pray for the willingness to change ourselves.

Just for today: Higher Power, grant me the wisdom to know the difference between what can be changed and what I must accept. Please help me gratefully accept the life I’ve been given.

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Daily Reflections
June 16
OPEN-MINDEDNESS

We have found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the realm of spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive, never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 7

Open-mindedness to concepts of a Higher Power can open doors to the spirit. Often I find the human spirit in various dogmas and faiths. I can be spiritual in the sharing of myself. The sharing of self joins me to the human race and brings me closer to God, as I understand Him.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 16
A.A. Thought For The Day

But even faith is not the whole story. There must be service.  We must give this thing away if we want to keep it. The Dead Sea has no outlet and it is stagnant and full of salt. The Sea of Galilee is clear and clean and blue, as the Jordan River carries it out to irrigate the desert. To be of service to other people makes our lives worth living. Does service to others give me a real purpose in life?

Meditation For The Day

Seek God early in the day, before He gets crowded out by life’s problems, difficulties, or pleasures. In that early quiet time gain a calm, strong confidence in the goodness and purpose in the universe. Do not seek God only when the world’s struggles prove too much and too many for you to bear or face alone.  Seek God early, when you can have a consciousness of God’s spirit in the world. People often only seek God when their difficulties are too great to be surmounted in any other way, forgetting that if they sought God’s companionship before they need it, many of their difficulties would never arise.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not let God be crowded out by the hurly-burly of life. I pray that I may seek God early and often.

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As Bill Sees It
June 16
Progress Rather than Perfection, p. 167

On studying the Twelve Steps, many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints.

The point is that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

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“We recovered alcoholics are not so much brothers in virtue as we are brothers in our defects, and in our common strivings to overcome them.”

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 60
2. Letter, 1946

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Keep It Simple
June 16

AA states that resentments is the “number one offender” among our members, that it puts more alcoholics in the graves than any other thing.
—Stools and Bottles

We can get high on anger. That’s why it’s dangerous. We get a false sense of power from being angry. Our anger turns into resentments. Resentments turn into hate. Hate eats at our spiritual core.

We can get rid of resentments and hate through prayer and helping others. That’s why we we’re to pray for those who have wronged us, so our hearts don’t fill with hate. This why, we use our energy in a healthy way. And our serenity will grow as we see that anger no longer has so much power over our actions.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me stop using anger, resentments and hate for control over other people and advents I don’t like.

Action for the Day: I’ll list all the people I’m angry at. I’ll say a simple prayer for each of them.

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Walk In Dry Places
June 16
Solving our common problem
Recovery

Twelve Step programs bring together people who admit certain behaviors that society often views with pity or contempt. Some of these behaviors, such as alcoholism and gambling, are heavily stigmatized.

Though we often talk about “our common problem”, the thing we have most in common with each other is that we’re human beings who share the human condition. No one is really immune from the similar problems that beset us.

That’s why somebody once remarked, only in half-jest, that “alcoholics are like normal people, only more so.” We have to remember that the people around us are no different from us in that they are subject to such feelings as pride, resentment, self-pity, and discouragement.

Our common problem is really that we’re human beings who need a spiritual life in order to become our true selves. This can turn a problem into a new life if we accept the program.

Today I’ll look upon all people with understanding and acceptance. Everyone shares the same feelings that drive me, and everyone deserves my warmth and understanding.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 16

The pain of love is the pain of being alive. It’s a perpetual wound.
—Maureen Duffy

We live in one another’s company. We grow to yearn for one another’s company at a deeper level. The yearning reciprocated, opens the way to a love relationship, a relationship both blessed and torn by intimacies.

It’s human to long for love, to want to shower it and receive it. But the pain of waiting for it doesn’t match the pain that accompanies its arrival. Love heightens our sensitivities. Any separations, any discrepancies, physical or emotional, wound the partners in love. The pain that accompanies never having something is less than the pain of projected loss after its arrival.

Love should bring only happiness, we mistakenly think. But love, giving it and receiving it, beckons us to bare our souls, to expose our hidden selves. The fear of rejection, the anxiety that we’ll be rejected “when they know the real me” is large and looms over our shoulders.

How lucky we are to have this program, these Steps, which if practiced in all our affairs will prepare us for love and loving. They will help us to live with the pain of love, knowing that it increases our humanity – that it deepens our awareness’s and thus, heightens our appreciation of all of life.

The pain of love increases my rapture.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 16
Our Southern Friend

Pioneer A.A., minister’s son, and southern farmer, he asked, “Who am I to say there is no God?”

I am blue again. I want to sell the place and move away. I want to get where I can find some alcoholics to to help and where I can have some fellowship. Will I take a young fellow who has been drinking for two weeks to live with me? Soon I have others who are alcoholics and some who have other problems.

I begin to play God. I feel that I can fix them all. I do not fix anyone, but I am getting part of a tremendous education and I have made some new friends.

Nothing is right. Finances are in bad shape. I must find a way to make some money. The family seems to think of nothing but spending. People annoy me. I try to read. I try to pray. Gloom surrounds me. Why has God left me? I mope around the house. I will not go out and I will not enter into anything. What is the matter? I cannot understand. I will not be that way.

p. 217

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 16

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Before we ask what a spot-check inventory is, let’s look at the kind of setting in which such an inventory can do its work.
It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.
If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about “justifiable” anger? If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad? Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.

p. 90

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Xtra Thoughts
June 16

“The secret of self-confidence and courage hinges on the kind of thoughts you think. In the long run, your subconscious will send up to you what you send down to it. Take charge of your mind and begin to fill it with healthy thoughts.”
–Norman Vincent Peale

Act on God’s will, and you will be led to better things.
–SweetyZee

Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he
learned in school.
–Albert Einstein

“Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do–do it and let it speak for itself.”
–Martin Vanbee

Thank God For What You Have,
TRUST GOD For What You Need.

If every man would sweep before his own doors, the city would soon be clean.
– Italian Proverb

Those who dance are thought to be quite insane by those who cannot hear music.
– Maggie Erotokritou

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 16
LEARNING

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
–Henry Ford

My life is exciting today because I am learning and creating so much in recovery. Even things that I thought I understood have a new “ring”.  Words, ideas, relationships and the awareness of God are forever changing – usually for the better.

Sobriety is not boring. It is not stuffy, rigid or restrictive – and discussions (not arguments) within the fellowship of recovering people produces fresh insights. Today I am involved in the life of God. I am creating, healing and forever learning more about the mystery of love.

O Teacher of the Universe, let me seek beyond that which I understand.

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Bible Scriptures
June 16

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48

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Daily Inspiration
June 16

Nothing is more important than your own peace of mind and ability to be happy. Lord, help me to remember that I must take care of myself because only then can I care for others.

Confront your problems so they don’t gather like weights upon your back. Lord, help me to handle my concerns of today and lay them to rest.

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A Day At A Time
June 16

Reflection For The Day

The Ninth Step of The Program is:  “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”  To make restitution for the wrongs we’ve done can be extremely difficult, to say the least;  if nothing else, it deflates our egos and batters our pride.  Yet that in itself is a reward, and such restitution can bring still greater rewards.  When we go to a person and say we’re sorry, the reaction is almost invariably positive.  Courage is required, to be sure, but the results more than justify the action.  Have I done my best to make all the restitution possible?

Today I Pray

May I count on my Higher Power to stop me if I start to crawl out from under my Ninth Step responsibility.  May I feel that blessed, liberating wash of relief that goes with saying out loud, to someone I have harmed, “I was wrong.  I made mistakes.  I am honestly sorry.”  May I not worry about cracking the brittle, cover-up crust of my ego, because the inside will be more mature.

Today I Will Remember

Restitution is blessed.

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One More Day
June 16

We do not live an equal life, but one of contrasts and patchwork;  now a little joy, then a sorrow, now a sin, then a generous or brave action.
–  Ralph Waldo Emerson

As our life experience unfolds, we live some days to the fullest and others in a very minimal way.  If we focus too much on the less productive days or if we use them only as substandard comparisons to our best days, we may lose sight of the real value and meaning of the time we’ve been given.

A wholesome life, a productive life, a good life — whatever we call it — is not a shimmering length of perfectly woven cloth.  It’s more like a patchwork quilt set together by resourceful hands.  We cannot choose to discard a bad experience or a poor decision;  instead, we piece it into the total colorful work that is life.

Today, I will be more aware of how the contrasts of my life create a unique and beautiful pattern.

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One Day At A Time
June 16
MIRROR, MIRROR

“Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.”
–Kahlil Gibran

As a child, I often looked in the mirror and wished I were a boy. I thought I was ugly, had a deep voice, and was a disappointment as a girl. Even as a young woman I could never enjoy my appearance. I never saw the truth in the mirror. I would always focus on my “problem areas” and feel devastated that this had happened to my body. I felt totally helpless and wanted to cry; but I didn’t cry ~ I ate instead. Compulsive overeating stripped me of my true self. It made me incapable of seeing the truth, feeling the truth, and perceiving the truth.

Since coming to OA the scales have fallen from my eyes. By reading the Big Book, going to meetings, interacting with my sponsor, and working the steps, I have been able to see things as they are. Now I see my true self in the mirror and I can deal with life as it is. I can feel my feelings and know that they are neither right nor wrong and they will pass and change with the wind. This healing has cleared space in my mind and spirit for me to connect with my Higher Power. It has made room for me to grow, to love and care for myself, and to appreciate the body God gave me. When I doubt my perceptions, my feelings, or what I’m seeing in the mirror, I just surrender and remind myself that God has given me new eyes and new tools for living my life. The 12 Steps of OA shine a light into my soul and show me the truth in all areas of my life and recovery.

One day at a time…
I will look at myself ~ in all areas of my recovery ~ and know that what I am seeing is the truth because the light of OA and the 12 steps are guiding my life today.

~ Karen

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 16

“For me, the essence of a medicine man’s life is to be humble, to have great patience, to be close to the Earth, to live as simply as possible, and to never stop learning.”
–Archie Fir Lame Deer, LAKOTA

The Medicine people focus on their Being, not their doing. After all, we are human beings not human doings. The Medicine people are very patient and consciously trying to live a life of humility. Medicine people are servant leaders. Their main purpose is to serve the needs of others. By this service attitude, they become the leaders people listen to and the leaders the people want to follow. The Medicine people say everyone is their teacher. Maybe we should try to live this way ourselves; humble, patient, honoring the Earth and listening to our teachers.

Grandfather, today, let me know all people are my teachers and I am the student.

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Journey To The Heart
June 16
Seek Freedom and Equality in Love

Are you deferring to someone in your life? When we relinquish control of our lives to someone else, we also relinquish responsibility for our happiness, our well-being, our joy, our growth, and our choices.

It’s healthy and normal to want to be nurtured. A partner can make our lives easier, take some of the load off. We are sent helpers, friends, and lovers. The Divine arm of love reaches out through people, through our loved ones, to bring us the support we need. Opening to and receiving that support are essential to well-being, to joy, to happiness. But there’s a difference between receiving help and support and being controlled. There’s a difference between surrendering to love and surrendering to control.

Relinquishing control can happen subtly, but its effects are powerful. We begin to believe we’ve lost our freedom. We begin to believe that someone has taken it away. We feel stifled, repressed.

Don’t make other people responsible for delineating your boundaries. It’s your job to take responsibility for your choices, your comings, your goings, your well-being, your path. If you feel you’ve relinquished your power, your freedom, take it back. Take responsibility for yourself. You don’t have to defer to anyone. The times of being controlled are past. You can accept nurturing without being manipulated. You can accept love without being controlled.

Set yourself free. Love exists only where freedom exists. Create relationships that are equal. There you will find love.

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Today’s Gift
June 16

Being alive is being creative. You need do nothing but affirm your aliveness.
—Gay Bonner

What does it mean to be alive? Does it mean merely breathing, eating, and moving around, or is there more to it? Being alive can mean different things to different people. To some, it’s sewing a baby quilt for a new life about to be born. To others, it’s singing, or walking, or running. Still others find it in the exhilaration of skiing, or the tropical splendor they find when scuba diving.

Each of us has our own favorite activity that lets us feel our creativity and vitality, that lets us feel a part of the larger world. Two gifts these activities leave us with are joy and energy. Joy is one of the most creative forces we can call on, and energy gives us the power to do it well.

What will my creative activity be today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 16
Feeling Good

Having boundaries doesn’t complicate life; boundaries simplify life.
—Beyond Codependency

There is a positive aspect to boundary setting. We learn to listen to ourselves and identify what hurt us and what we don’t like. But we also learn to identify what feels good.

When we are willing to take some risks and begin actively doing so, we will enhance the quality of our life.

What do we like? What feels good? What brings us pleasure? Whose company do we enjoy? What helps us to feel good in the morning? What’s a real treat in our life? What are the small, daily activities that make us feel nurtured and cared for?

What appeals to our emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical self? What actually feels good to us?

We have deprived ourselves too long. There is no need to do that anymore, no need. If it feels good, and the consequences are self-loving and not self-defeating, do it!

Today, I will do for myself those little things that make life more pleasurable. I will not deny myself healthy treats.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 16
Deal with manipulation

A few years ago I was in Jordan on an excursion through the Middle East. I wanted to go to Pakistan, but when I got to the Pakistani embassy in Jordan, an official ordered me to go to the American embassy, miles away, saying, “You have to get a piece of paper from your government vouching for you. That’s the only way the government of Pakistan will even consider your request.”

I went to the American embassy in Jordan and stood in line there all day. Finally, when it was my turn, I told the gentleman why I was there. “That’s ridiculous,” he said. “There’s no such thing as an international voucher for people in the United States. That’s what a passport does. It says the American government is vouching for you, declaring you worthy and reliable to travel abroad.”

He began to speak more quietly. “He’s just messing with you,” he said, of the government official at the other agency. “Sometimes they like to play games with people, show them how much power they really have.”

I went back to the Pakistani embassy. When I returned, there was an elderly Muslim man sitting in the waiting room. He wore a turban. His head was bowed. He was reciting the Koran and rubbing his string of prayer beads.

He helped set the tone and reminded me of what I needed to do: calm down, be peaceful, stop resisting, and harmonize with the situation. It didn’t matter if the visa man was wrong and I was right. he had the power. I needed to go to him. I sat quietly waiting for my turn. When I went up to the counter, I deliberately acknowledged his point of view. Then I gently explained that I didn’t get the piece of paper he asked for from the American embassy, because that paper didn’t exist. I explained it was probably the only time in my life. I’d be in this area of the world. I pointed to the poster on the wall. “The Himalayas are so beautiful there,” I said. “If I don’t go now, I don’t know that I ever will. You have the power to say yes or no. And I have no choice but to go along with whatever you say. It’s in your hands.”

He told me to go sit down. I did. Five minutes later, he called me back to the stand. “Here,” he said, handing me my passport. “Enjoy your visit in Pakistan.”

We have a right to get as mad as we want, but sometimes harmonizing can achieve so much more than yelling in indignation or even fighting back. Next time you find yourself in a situation where you’re being manipulated, let go of your resistance and practice harmony instead.

God, teach me the power of moving gently, with humility and respect, through the world.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
June 16

It’s not hard. When I’m not hittin’, I don’t hit nobody. But when I’m hittin’, I hit anybody!
—Willie Mays

It seems like some days everything goes our way. Everything falls together in a way that makes life easier for us. Other days are just the opposite; on a bad day we seem to be all thumbs. In our spiritual practice we know we don’t control all that goes on around us.

We all are vulnerable to accidents, random misfortune, and illness. Yet, when we don’t fight against the events of our lives, somehow things go better for us. We can remember that as difficult as a day may be, we are never alone because nothing can separate us from our Higher Power. When we accept the bad things that come, even though they are unfair, we give them less power in our lives. Then we are free to go forward and leave more room for the good things.

Today, I’ll accept the problems I must confront and leave room for the good things.

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In God’s Care
June 16

Once you accept the existence of God – however you define Him, however you explain your relationship to Him – then you are caught forever with His presence in the center of all things.~~Moris West
Having our Higher Power is an integral part of how we experience all the hours of a day (whether they hold burdens or blessings) heightens our awareness of the fullness of our life. Believing that God exists for us and in us profoundly changes how we see every aspect of our day. The day and our place in the drama that unfolds take on new meaning and purpose.

A number of us didn’t believe in God when we joined a Twelve Step program. Or if we did, many of us believed in a demanding or punishing God who had no relevance to our daily life. What a difference it makes to let a loving God take charge of our thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and plans for the future. Nothing can stir much fear in us when we remember that God is right here, now, always.

Today God will be the center of all my activities.

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Day By Day
June 16
Taking off the masks

We’re not much different from other people (except that we couldn’t stop abusing mood-altering chemicals). Like other people, we, too, wear masks. We’re afraid that others will find out who we really are, especially since we no longer hide behind chemicals.

But if we work the program, we will get stronger, If we work the program, we won’t need our masks because we will accept ourselves (and others) more.

Can I stop wearing my masks?

Higher Power, help me work the Steps and to accept myself and my recovery.

Today I will practice treating myself well.  I will practice being myself with…

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Food for Thought
June 16
Satisfaction Comes from Inside

Why do we continually expect to be satisfied by taking in and possessing things from the outside? Amassing material goods and possessions more often than not stimulates rather than satisfies our appetite. What we do and contribute satisfies us more than what we have and consume.

When we are at peace within ourselves and in contact with our Higher Power, we make fewer demands on the outside world. When we are able to use our abilities in productive work and can give of our emotional and spiritual strength to other people, we feel replete.

Nothing from the outside can bring us happiness if we are at war with ourselves. Chronic dissatisfaction indicates that we have not turned our will and our lives over to God’s care, but are still trying to run the show egotistically. Complete surrender opens the way to satisfaction.

I want to surrender to the inner needs of my spirit.

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Daily Zen
June 16

The nature of the one Reality must be known by one’s own clear spiritual perception; it cannot be known through a learned person. Similarly, the form of the moon can only be known through one’s own eyes. How can it be known through others?

– Shankara

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Faiths Check Book
June 16
Possess, Not Only Profess

“For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance”
(Matthew 13:12).

When the LORD has given to a man much grace, He will give him more. A little faith is a nest egg; more faith will come to it. But then it must not be seeming faith, but real and true. What a necessity is laid upon us to make sure work in religion and not to profess much, and possess nothing! For one of these days the very profession will be taken from us, if that be all we have. The threatening is as true as the promise.

Blessed be the LORD, it is His way when He has once made a beginning to go on bestowing the graces of His Spirit, till He who had but little, and yet truly had that little, is made to have abundance. Oh, for that abundance! Abundance of grace is a thing to be coveted, It would be well to know much but better to love much. It would be delightful to have abundance of skill to serve God but better still to have abundance of faith to trust in the LORD for skill and everything.

LORD, since Thou hast given me a sense of sin, deepen my hatred of evil. Since Thou hast caused me to trust Jesus, raise my faith to full assurance. Since Thou hast made me to love Thee, cause me to be carried away with vehement affection for Thee!

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