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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 20, 2014

Just For Today
June 20, 2014
Meditation For Beginners

“For some, prayer is asking for God’s help; meditation is listening for God’s answer. Quieting the mind through meditation brings an inner peace that brings us into contact with the God within us.”
Basic Text, pp.44-45

“Be patient when you’re learning to meditate,” many of us were told. “It takes practice to know what to ‘listen’ for.”

We’re glad someone told us that, or many of us would have quit after a week or two of meditating. For the first few weeks, we may have sat each morning, stilled our thoughts, and “listened”, just as the Basic Text said-but “heard” nothing. It may have taken a few more weeks before anything really happened. Even then, what happened was often barely noticeable. We were rising from our morning meditations feeling just a little better about our lives, a little more empathy for those we encountered during the day, and a little more in touch with our Higher Power.

For most of us, there was nothing dramatic in that awareness – no bolts of lightning or claps of thunder. Instead, it was something quietly powerful. We were taking time to get our egos and our ideas out of the way. In that clear space, we were improving our conscious contact with the source of our daily recovery, the God of our understanding. Meditation was new, and it took time and practice. But, like all the steps, it worked – when we worked it.

Just for today: I will practice “listening” for knowledge of God’s will for me, even if I don’t know what to “listen” for yet.

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Daily Reflections
June 20, 2014
RELEASE FROM FEAR

The problem of resolving fear has two aspects. We shall have to try for all the freedom from fear that is possible for us to attain. Then we shall need to find both the courage and grace to deal constructively with whatever fears remain.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 61

Most of my decisions were based on fear. Alcohol made life easier to face, but the time came when alcohol was no longer an alternative to fear. One of the greatest gifts in A.A. for me has been the courage to take action, which I can do with God’s help. After five years of sobriety I had to deal with a heavy dose of fear. God put the people in my life to help me do that and, through my working the Twelve Steps, I am becoming the whole person I wish to be and, for that, I am deeply grateful.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 20, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

You should be ready and willing to carry the A.A. message when called upon to do so. Live for some purpose greater than yourself. Each day you will have something to work for.  You have received so much from this program that you should have a vision that gives your life a direction and a purpose that gives meaning to each new day. Let us not slide along through life. Let us have a purpose for each day and let us make that purpose for something greater than just ourselves. What is my purpose for today?

Meditation For The Day

To see God with eyes of faith is to cause God’s power to manifest itself in the material world. God cannot do His work because of unbelief. In response to your belief, God can work a miracle in your personality. All miracles happen in the realm of personality and all are caused by and based on belief in God’s never-failing power. But God’s power cannot manifest itself in personalities unless those personalities make His power available by their faith.  We can only see God with the eyes of faith, but this kind of seeing produces a great change in our way of living.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may see God with the eyes of faith. I pray that this seeing will produce a change in my personality.

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As Bill Sees It
June 20, 2014
Dividends and Mysteries, p. 171

“The A.A. preoccupation with sobriety is sometimes misunderstood. To some, this single virtue appears to be the sole dividend of our Fellowship. We are thought to be dried-up drunks who otherwise have changed little, or not at all, for the better. Such a surmise widely misses the truth. We know that permanent sobriety can be attained only by a most revolutionary change in the life and outlook of the individual–by a spiritual awakening that can banish the desire to drink.”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

“You are asking yourself, as all of us must: ‘Who am I?’ . . . ‘Where am I?’ . . . ‘Whence do I go?’ The process of enlightenment is usually slow. But, in the end, our seeking always brings a finding. These great mysteries are, after all, enshrined in complete simplicity. The willingness to grow is the essence of all spiritual development.”

1. Letter, 1966
2. Letter, 1955

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Keep It Simple
June 20, 2014

Order is heaven’s first law.
—Alexander Pope

We need order in our lives. It makes life simpler for us. Life without order would be like driving in a large city without traffic signals. Our lives as addicts were like this. We lived with no plan, no order.

Now that we’re sober, we can put some order in our lives. We can get up every morning. We can make our beds and be on time for work. These things make life so much easier and nicer. we need this order. It allows us to depend on ourselves.

We now look at the Twelve Steps to bring order to our lives. The Steps follow each other as summer follows spring. Do I allow myself to follow the natural order or do I fight it?

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You’ve put order in this world. Please put order in my life. Let me flow within this order instead of being on my own.

Action for the Day: The Twelve Steps have a natural order. Today I’ll take time to read each Step and think about the order found in them.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 20, 2014

There were deep secrets, hidden in my heart, never said for fear others would scoff or sneer. At last I can reveal my sufferings, for the strength I once felt in silence has lost all its power.
—Deidra Sarault

There is magic in sharing ourselves with someone else. We learn from Steps Four and Five that what we thought were heinous acts are not unusual. Our shameful acts are not unique, and this discovery is our gift when we risk exposure.

Realizing how much we are like others gives us strength, and the program paves the way for us to capture that strength whenever and wherever we sense our need. Secrets block us from others and thus from God too. The messages we need to hear, the guidance offered by God, can’t be received when we close ourselves off from the caring persons in our lives. They are the carriers of God’s message.

How freeing to know we share the same fears, the same worries. Offering our story to someone else may be the very encouragement she needs at this time. Each of us profits from the sharing of a story. We need to recognize and celebrate our “sameness.” When we share ourselves, we are bonded. Bonding combines our strength.

Silence divides us. It diminishes our strength. Yet all the strength we need awaits us. I will let someone else know me today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 20, 2014
The Vicious Cycle

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

I seriously doubt I ever would have asked for help, but Fitz, an old school friend of mine, had persuaded Jackie to call on me. Had he come two or three days later I think I would have thrown him out, but he hit when I was open for anything.
Jackie arrived about seven in the evening and talked until three a.m. I don’t remember much of what he said, but I did realize that here was another guy exactly like me; he had been in the same laughing academies and the same jails, known the same loss of jobs; same frustrations, same boredom and the same loneliness. If anything, he had known all of them better and more often than I. Yet he was happy, relaxed, confident and laughing. That night for the first time in my life I really let down my hair and admitted my general loneliness. Jackie told me about a group of fellows in New York, of whom my old friend Fitz was one, who had the same problem I had, and who by working together to help each other were not now drinking and were happy like himself. He said something about God or a Higher Power, but I brushed that off–that was for the birds, not for me. Little more of our talk stayed in my memory, but I do know I slept the rest of the night while before I had never known what a real night’s sleep was.

pp. 219-220

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 20, 2014

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

Our first objective will be the development of self restraint. This carries a top priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot. One unkind tirade or one willful snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person for a whole day, or maybe a whole year. Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument. The same goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.

p. 91

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Xtra Thoughts
June 20, 2014

Let me tell thee, time is a very precious gift of God; so precious that it’s only given to us moment by moment.
–Amelia Barr

“Having a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.”
–unknown

Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind.
–Anonymous

The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.
– Ethel Percy Andrus

A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
–Jonathan Swift

“You can’t fly a kite unless you go against the wind and have a weight to keep it from turning somersaults. The same with man. No man will succeed unless he is ready to face and overcome difficulties and is prepared to assume responsibilities.”
–William J. H. Boetcker

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 20, 2014
THOUGHT

“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought are commonly the most valuable.”
–Francis Bacon

My mind sometimes races with ideas: What should I do? What should I write? Where should I go? Phrases that could prove useful in an article. People I need to get in contact with, etc., etc. Many of these ideas come late at night and so today I have a note pad and a pencil at the side of my bed so that I can write down the thought and then go back to sleep.

I am not God. I know that if I say I will remember the thought tomorrow, it would be unrealistic. As an imperfect human being I take any help I can get. The pad at the side of the bed is invaluable!

Let me employ discipline as an aid to joyful and creative living.

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Bible Scriptures
June 20, 2014

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2:22

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:5-8

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Daily Inspiration
June 20, 2014

Don’t allow yourself to live in constant anticipation because the time for your happiness is right now. Lord, help me to see that no matter what, there is no better time for me than right now.

Everywhere we turn, there is so much need and so little time. Lord, give me the desire to reach out to just one person in Your name and share my blessings.

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A Day At A Time
June 20, 2014

Reflection For The Day

When we take the Ninth Step, we must be willing to be absolutely honest.  Obviously, though, indiscriminate “absolute honesty” would blow the roof off many a house and entirely destroy some relationships.  We must hold nothing back through deceit and pride;  we may need to hold something back by discretion and consideration of others.  Just when and how we tell the truth — or keep silent — can often reveal the difference between genuine integrity and none at all.  Am I grateful for the products of truth which, through the grace of God, I have been privileged to receive?

Today I Pray

May I have the wisdom to know the fine-line difference between tact and dishonesty.  In my eagerness to make restitution, may I not be the charmer, the flatterer or the crawler who insists, “You’re so good, and I’m so bad.”  All are forms of dishonesty and hark back to the role-playing days of my active addiction.  May I recognize them.

Today I Will Remember

Tact is honest selectivity.

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One More Day
June 20, 2014

Be content to grow a little each day.  If the improvement is the sort of thing which is very slow, do not measure it too often.  Do a self-comparison every two weeks, or every six months — whatever is appropriate.
–  Lewis F. Presnall

It’s now easy to change the way our minds have been set, but sometimes we really need to sit back and tak3e stock of how we have chosen to live — in both large and small ways.  We may realize that we are racing about without so much as a moment for our own well-being.  We might even delude ourselves that we enjoy what we are doing so much that it is for our well-being.

What matters most is that we vary the pace of our days.  We need the fast times, but the slower, easier times are essential for our total health — emotional, physical, social, and spiritual.

I will slow down and spend some quiet time with myself today.

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One Day At A Time
June 20, 2014
STRUGGLE

“Our way is not soft grass, it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks.  But it goes upward, forward,toward the sun.”
–Ruth Westheimer

I’ve been in a Twelve Step program for a while now. When I look back, I sometimes think how easy the journey has been to find the peace, serenity and love I’ve been given — thanks to the program. I brought a lot of denial with me when I joined the program, and apparently I’m still in some denial. I’m so grateful to be where I am today that I have forgotten the struggles I’ve faced to get here.

No wonder some newcomers look at longtimers and think they’ll never be able to get there! When I stretch my memory, I remember running headlong into the Fourth Step and thinking it the scariest thing I’d ever faced in my life. I know that first one was traumatic–holding my pencil to do it, getting the first page down, and admitting so many things that had been shaming me for decades. I usually don’t think about that today. Now I know firsthand the cleansing of a good Fourth Step and I look forward to them as I peel the onion and find more defects.

When I look back over my journey, I can remember sitting in an emergency room using the slogan “One Day at a Time” for the first time. I changed “one day” to “five minutes” because it was all I could handle. But it got me through that day and the next two days. A few years ago I read that the slogans are the handrails to the Steps. I wish I’d known that before. For me to use that slogan when I did was an act of faith ~ and at the time my faith was shaky. After having proved to my satisfaction that there is a Higher Power out there who wants the best for me, I have faith now. Maybe this is why I look back on my journey and have a hard time finding the struggles. Maybe it’s my new attitude of gratitude that keeps me looking to the positive rather than the negative. Whatever the reason, I’d like to say that
I struggled in the program, but it was worth it.

One day at a time…
I will remember to turn to the program to help maintain my peace and serenity,especially through the bad times.

~ Rhonda

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – June 20

“But in the Indian Spirit the land is still vested; it will be until other men are able to divine and meet its rhythm. Men must be born and reborn to belong. Their bodies must be formed of the dust of their forefathers’ bones.”
–Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX

It is said when we walk on the Earth, we are walking on our ancestors and our unborn children. This is the relationship Native People have with the Earth. It is this relationship which gives insight into the Earth’s rhythm and heartbeat and creates the feeling of belonging. If you feel you belong to something, you’ll treat it with respect. If you feel you are above something, you’ll treat it with disrespect. Indian Spirituality is tied to the Earth. We belong to the Earth along with all other creatures on the Earth. We must align to this realization.

Great Spirit, today, teach me to respect the Earth Mother.

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Journey To The Heart
June 20, 2014

You Are a Perfect Balance of Yin and Yang

I trudged to the top of the mesa in Sedona. A woman I’d met had told me what to look for. There it was: a rock formation, a naturally formed statue. On the left side, the formation looked like a woman, an Egyptian goddess with necklace and breasts. On the right, it had taken the shape of a male. I found it immediately. A statue with two sides– one male, one female.

For many years, I denied the feminine part of God, of the universe, of myself. I thought my strength and my power had to come from other parts, other sides. I resented my femininity, raged about it, because I thought being feminine meant being helpless and powerless. But I’ve learned something along the way. There is power in the feminine and power in the masculine. Both parts are in us. Both parts are valuable.

Our strength, courage, protectiveness and feminine energy, the yin and the yang in yourself, the universe, the people around you. Both parts are important. Both can be trusted. Learn to let them work together in harmony.

Climb to the top of the mountain. Look around. See the perfect balance of masculine and feminine. Let that balance come alive in you.

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Today’s Gift
June 20, 2014

The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room, not to try to do or be anything whatsoever.
—May Sarton

A whole world can be seen through even the smallest window. Knowing this can help us slow down and enjoy everyday events. We can listen to the regular rhythms of letter carriers and school children, dogs and delivery trucks, city buses and song birds playing out a piece of their daily lives outside the window.

We can greet the letter carrier who comes up the walk, feed the robin who lands on the sill, wave to the kids who’ve found a shortcut through our backyards on their way home from school.

It is not necessary, today, for us to fill our lives with important meetings, gala parties, expensive treats, toys, or outings to be happy. There is a whole world to be discovered just outside the nearest window.

What worlds lie on the other side of my window today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 20, 2014
Relationship Martyrs

Many of us have gone so numb and discounted our feelings so completely that we have gotten out of touch with our needs in relationships.

We can learn to distinguish whose company we enjoy, whether we’re talking about friends, business acquaintances, dates, or spouses. We all need to interact with people we might prefer to avoid, but we don’t have to force ourselves through long-term or intimate relationships with these people.

We are free to choose friends, dates, and spouses. We are free to choose how much time we spend with those people we can’t always choose to be around, such as relatives. This is our life. This is it. We can decide how we want to spend our days and hours. We’re not enslaved. We’re not trapped. And not one of us is without options. We may not see our options clearly. Although we may have to struggle through shame and learn to own our power, we can learn to spend our valuable hours and days with the people we enjoy and choose to be with.

God, help me value my time and life. Help me place value on how I feel being around certain people. Guide me as I learn to develop healthy, intimate, sharing relationships with people. Help me give myself the freedom to experiment, explore, and learn who I am and who I can be in my relationships.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 20, 2014
Relax and face the truth

Sometimes, we have to face things we’d rather not see.

That person we’ve been dating just isn’t someone who is good for us. Our spouse isn’t just a social drinker, he or she has a serious problem with alcohol. Our child isn’t just being a cute little child anymore, making up silly stories; that child is lying and stealing from us.

Sometimes, these moments of truth are big bombs in our lives. Other times, we run from those smaller moments of truth– we’ve done something that hurt someone, no matter how defensive and innocent we pretended to be, and we need to face up to that. Maybe our children have grown up and left home and we;ve been running from that truth, pretending that we still need to center our lives around them. Or maybe the truth is, we are feeling angry, abandoned, or hurt.

We all have moments of truth in our lives.

I was talking to a friend one day. He had been complaining that his air purifier didn’t work. I was going to the repair shop, so I offered to take his machine in and get it fixed.

“It’s plugged in,” he said. “I got it to turn on, and I can’t afford to be without it.”

“You’ve got it turned on, but it’s not working right?” I asked. “You’re without it now.”

Relax. Let your illusions go. Turn and face whatever you’re running from. Not facing the truth doesn’t make the truth go away, no matter how much we hope it will.

If you’ve been running from the truth in some area of your life, gently begin to face what you’ve preferred to avoid. The power is in the truth.

God, help me let go of my illusions. Help me understand the power that comes when I take the time to see clearly and have my moments of truth.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
June 20, 2014

“Wait’ll next year!” is the favorite cry of baseball fans, football fans, hockey fans, and gardeners.
—Robert Orben

Hope was a casualty for many of us in our life of chaos and extremes. Some of us said to ourselves, “Life is just drab, I’d better get used to it.” We may have slowly changed our definition of normal to mean a hopeless existence. Others of us held onto some shred of hope that said “Better times are just around the comer,” but it only kept us from confronting how disastrous our lives had become. We are brothers in that we truly have been men on a dead-end path.

Our new lives have seen the dawning of true hope that has a solid base upon reality. We have the reality of friendships with our brothers and sisters. They provide comfort and support, which are reliable and durable. We have the reality of our clearer thinking and our amended lives. We may not have everything we could desire, but we are actually on the road and progressing in directions we wish to go. We are engaged in the adventure of increasing our conscious contact with God. Our hope is founded in what we already feel in our lives.

Today, nothing is perfect, but hope underlies everything. With the return of hope, I have my life back again.

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Daily TAO
June 20, 2014
Altar

      Each day I forge my body into steel
      And fold in bright strands of consciousness.
      Piling up ripe fruit and fragrant flowers,
      Lighting red candles and incense,
      Serving tea, rice, and wine.
      Anointing with aromatic oils,
      Offering heart and bones,
      The altar is my anvil, sun and moon the coals,
      Discipline the hammer, lungs the bellows.

Followers of Tao have private altars in their homes. The pious see an altar only for supplication; the skeptical see the altar as false and insincere. Actually, devotional effort is absolutely necessary for those beginning on the path.

True spiritual cultivation begins with the premise that you already have a pure spirit and only need to clear away obfuscations. Thus one must work on both the physical and mental levels in order to achieve the quickest results. Such varied efforts need a strong center. By focusing on the altar as the platform for all practices, you will keep yourself strongly on your path. The outward acts then pile up like offerings after offerings, and the outward votive furniture becomes your means of memorializing your efforts. Then your body itself becomes a steel altar, an unshakable monument to spiritual devotion.

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In God’s Care
June 20, 2014

The crucial task of old age is blance.
~~Florida Scott Maxdwell

Finding balance is important at any age, not just when we’re old. We need balance in our diet, between work and rest, in our emotional life – any activity is more rewarding, more life enhancing when done in moderation.,

Most of us developed a belief that if a little of something is good, then a whole lot is better. Had we been able to practice moderation, we would not be sharing this fellowship today. It’s paradoxical that our drive to live on the edge, doing everyting to extreme, has rewarded us with a program for living quite a distance from the edge.

Many a friend or sponsor has suggested Easy Does It; Let Go and Let God; One Day at a Time. These slogans are simple and yet profound reminders to find balance and quiet moderation in all our activities. We can only fully know and appreciate this moment if we’re participating in it, not racing to the next thought, hour, or day.

  Today I can enjoy moderation with the knowledge it will enhance my life.

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Day By Day
June 20, 2014
Looking for beauty

It is important that we look for beauty. There are beautiful things in the world each and every day, if we only know how to see.

In recovery, in serenity, beauty is everywhere – even in pain and suffering – if we only know how to see.

How good am I at seeing all the beauty there is to see?

Higher Power, help me to use my recovery, my new vision, to see beauty.

Today I will practice looking for beauty in…

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Food for Thought
June 20, 2014
Head Hunger

Those of us who overeat are responding to distorted signals. When we consume food that harms rather than helps our bodies, we are eating in response to some irrational demand in our head rather than because of legitimate physical hunger. The mental obsession with food is an illusion, but one to which we cling with great tenacity.

When we feel “hungry,” we need to stop and evaluate the signal. Is it coming from our stomach or from our head? Often, it is after a meal that we most strongly crave something more to eat. This is either because we ate so fast that our stomach has not had time to register satisfaction or because eating has awakened a giant, insatiable appetite for more. It is frequently our mind that wants more, even after our body has had quite enough.

Emotions such as fear, anger, and anxiety can trigger “head hunger.” We need perception and insight to know whether the hunger comes from our body or our mind.

May I learn to respond to the legitimate needs of my body.

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Daily Zen
June 20, 2014

Hermits hide from mankind
Most go to the mountains to sleep
Where green vines wind through woods
And jade gorges echo unbroken
Higher and higher enraptured
On and on simply free
Free of what stains the world
Minds pure like the white lotus

– Han-shan

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Faith’s Check Book
June 20
The Lord Our Companion

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
(Psalm 23:4)

Sweet are these words in describing a deathbed assurance. How many have repeated them in their last hours with intense delight!

But the verse is equally applicable to agonies of spirit in the midst of life. Some of us, like Paul, die daily through a tendency to gloom of soul. Bunyan puts the Valley of the Shadow of Death far earlier in the pilgrimage than the river which rolls at the foot of the celestial hills. We have some of us traversed the dark and dreadful defile of “the shadow of death” several times, and we can bear witness that the Lord alone enabled us to bear up amid its wild thought, its mysterious horrors, its terrible depressions. The Lord has sustained us and kept us above all real fear of evil, even when our spirit has been overwhelmed. We have been pressed and oppressed, but yet we have lived, for we have felt the presence of the Great Shepherd and have been confident that His crook would prevent the foe from giving us any deadly wound.

Should the present time be one darkened by the raven wings of a great sorrow, let us glorify God by a peaceful trust in Him.

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This Morning’s Meditation
June 20

“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.”
—Amos 9:9.

EVERY sifting comes by divine command and permission. Satan must ask leave before he can lay a finger upon Job. Nay, more, in some sense our siftings are directly the work of heaven, for the text says, “I will sift the house of Israel.” Satan, like a drudge, may hold the sieve, hoping to destroy the corn; but the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain by the very process which the enemy intended to be destructive. Precious, but much sifted corn of the Lord’s floor, be comforted by the blessed fact that the Lord directeth both flail and sieve to His own glory, and to thine eternal profit.

The Lord Jesus will surely use the fan which is in His hand, and will divide the precious from the vile. All are not Israel that are of Israel; the heap on the barn floor is not clean provender, and hence the winnowing process must be performed. In the sieve true weight alone has power. Husks and chaff being devoid of substance must fly before the wind, and only solid corn will remain.

Observe the complete safety of the Lord’s wheat; even the least grain has a promise of preservation. God Himself sifts, and therefore it is stern and terrible work; He sifts them in all places, “among all nations”; He sifts them in the most effectual manner, “like as corn is sifted in a sieve”; and yet for all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shrivelled grain, is permitted to fall to the ground. Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord, a shepherd would not lose one sheep, nor a jeweller one diamond, nor a mother one child, nor a man one limb of his body, nor will the Lord lose one of His redeemed people. However little we may be, if we are the Lord’s, we may rejoice that we are preserved in Christ Jesus.

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