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In Loving Memory of Vic

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

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

Daily Recovery Readings – June 24

Just For Today
June 24
Tolerance

Quote: “…ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
Tradition Twelve

Sometimes it’s hard to accept others’ character defects. As we recover together, we not only listen to others talk in meetings, we also watch how they walk through their recovery. The more we get to know other members, the more we become aware of how they live their lives. We may form opinions about how they “work their program.” We may find that certain members upset us, or we may even hear ourselves say, “If I worked their program, I would surely use.”

We have found tolerance to be a principle that not only strengthens our own recovery but also our relationships with individuals who are a source of irritation to us. It becomes easier to accept other members’ frailties when we remember that we ourselves rarely turn over our own character defects until we become painfully aware of them.

Just for today: I will strive to accept others as they are. I will try not to judge others. I will focus on the principles of love and acceptance.

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Daily Reflections
June 24
A SPIRITUAL KINDERGARTEN

Quote: We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are enabled to get over drinking and find the grace to go on living to better effect.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 95

When I came to A. A., I was run down by the bottle and wanted to lose the obsession to drink, but I didn’t really know how to do that. I decided to stick around long enough to find out from the ones who went before me. All of a sudden I was thinking about God! I was told to get a Higher Power and I had no idea what one looked like. I found out there are many Higher Powers. I was told to find God, as I understand Him, that there was no doctrine of the Godhead in A.A. I found what worked for me and then asked that Power to restore me to sanity. The obsession to drink was removed and–one day at a time–my life went on, and I learned how to live sober.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcohol is our weakness. We suffer from mental conflicts from which we look for escape by drowning our problems in drink. We try through drink to push away from the realities of life. But alcohol does not feed, alcohol does not build, it only borrows from the future and it ultimately destroys. We try to drown our feelings in order to escape life’s realities, little realizing or caring that in continued drinking we are only multiplying our problems. Have I got control over my unstable emotions?

Meditation For The Day

When I let personal piques and resentments interfere with what I know to be my proper conduct, I am on the wrong track and I am undoing all I have built up by doing the right thing. I must never let personal piques interfere with living the way I know God wants me to live. When I have no clear guidance from God, I must go forward quietly along the path of duty. The attitude of quiet faith will receive its reward as surely as acting upon God’s direct guidance. I must not weaken my spiritual power by letting personal piques upset me.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not let myself become too upset. I pray that I may go quietly along the path I have chosen.

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As Bill Sees It
June 24
Aspects of Tolerance, p. 175

All kinds of people have found their way into A.A. Not too long ago, I sat talking in my office with a member who bears the title of Countess. That same night, I went to an A.A. meeting. It was winter, and there was a mild-looking little gent taking the coats. I said, “Who’s that?”

And somebody answered, “Oh, he’s been around for a long time. Everybody likes him. He used to be one of Al Capone’s mob.” That’s how universal A.A. is today.

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

We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired. All of us, whatever our race, creed, or color, are the children of a living Creator, with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 102
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 28

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Walk In Dry Places
June 24
Expressing gratitude
Self Improvement

How can we express gratitude when we feel it? We can begin by simply using the proper forms of courtesy at all times; this reminds us that we can’t live without other people.

The best way to express gratitude, however, is to “ass on” the good that has come to us. This is more effective when we share ideas and experiences that have helped us on the way to self-improvement.

It’s also a good idea to dismiss thoughts and statements that are forms of prideful boasting. Even telling people how hard we’ve worked for the 12 Step program can detract from our gratitude. And never, under any circumstances, should we put others under obligation to us.

I’ll discover ways to express my gratitude today. I’ll know that my best way of doing it is to pass on good ideas to others.

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Keep It Simple
June 24

Quote: Beauty is gift of God.
—Aristotle

In our addiction, we often went after what was ugly in life. Maybe we hung out in bad places.

Maybe we saw people’s defects instead of their beauty. Addiction is ugly, painful disease. The worst part of addiction is how it doesn’t let us see beauty in the world.

There is much beauty in each of us. Recovery is beautiful. Our stories are beautiful. The way we help each other is beautiful. The way we become loving family members is beautiful. But sometimes, we may still see the world as ugly. At these times, we need to turn to our program.

Maybe we need to help someone by working Step Twelve. Maybe we need ask to give the Step at our meeting. Maybe we just need to read the Big Book. Whatever we do, one thing is sure— if we turn to our program, we’ll see how beautiful the world is.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see beautiful today. Help me be beautiful today.

Action for the Day: Today I’ll let myself feel beautiful. I’ll see recovery as beautiful.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 24

Quote:If you attach yourself to one person, you ultimately end up having an unhealthy relationship.
—Shirley MacLaine

Needing people in our lives is healthy, human and natural. Needing a single person to love at a very deep level, is also soothing to the soul’s well-being. Love and attachment are not synonymous, however. They are close to being opposites. If we “attach” ourselves to others, our movements as separate individuals are hampered. Attachment means dependency; it means letting our movements be controlled by the one we are “hooked” to.

Dependency on mood-altering chemicals, on food, on people, means unmanageability in our individual lives. Many of us in this recovery program, though abstinent, still struggle with our dependency on a certain person or a certain friend.

The tools we are learning apply in all cases of dependency. It is healthy independence we are striving for-taking responsibility for our own lives-making choices appropriate for our personal selves. Loving others means letting them make their own choices unhampered by our “attachment.”

Are my relationships attachments or are they based on love? I will take an inventory of them today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous – Fourth Edition
June 24
The Vicious Cycle

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

However, here I probably took my first step toward my coming alcoholism by developing a terrific aversion to all churches and established religions. At this school we had Bible readings before each meal, and church services four times on Sunday, and I became so rebellious at this time that I swore i would never join or go to any church, except for weddings or for funerals.

pp. 221-222

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 24

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

Such a radical change in our outlook will take time, maybe a lot of time. Not many people can truthfully assert that they love everybody. Most of us must admit that we have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent to the many so long as none of them gave us trouble; and as for the remainder–well, we have really disliked or hated them. Although these attitudes are common enough, we A.A.’s find we need something much better in order to keep our balance. We can’t stand it if we hate deeply. The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody, has to be abandoned, if only a little at a time.

pp. 92-93

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Xtra Thoughts
June 24

God, today I give you all of the guilt from my past. Take it from me, and allow me to begin fresh right now. Help me make the amends I need to make, then let my guilt go.
–Melody Beattie

“Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares forgive an injury.”
– E. H. Chapin

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs.
–Vance Havner

Trust, faith, love of God, makes light all my burdens.
–SweetyZee

“It’s not the load that breaks you down…it’s the way you carry it.”
–unknown

Worry about tomorrow saps today of its strength.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 24
PERFECTION

Quote: “I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”
–Leonardo da Vinci

How I used to beat myself up! I was not good enough. I was not attractive enough. I could not speak properly. I was too small. My family was not prestigious enough. I was boring. My breath smelled, etc., etc. I never saw my value in life. I could never see beyond my failings into my God-given virtues. Sin was all too evident in my life!

Today I catch an egotism in my past criticism of self and others! Who was I to think I should be perfect? I could find fault with the Archangel Gabriel if he came to be my neighbor. My compulsive disease extended beyond drugs to negative attitudes about life.

Today I see my value. Sobriety has restored my dignity. Today I am in touch with that part of me that is noble. Today in my sobriety I am a spiritual somebody, not a nobody.

Let my desire for “perfection” be tempered by reality.

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Bible Scriptures
June 24

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, `I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:5-10

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.
Jeremiah 31:3-4

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Daily Inspiration
June 24

You will have an easier time keeping your thoughts positive if you look for good in every situation. Lord, help me change my focus and develop an awareness that situations often have more good in them than bad.

If you live in the light of God, He will bless the work of your hands and you will see your efforts flourish. Lord, I am your servant. I do my daily work for You and I am filled with peace.

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A Day At A Time
June 24

Reflection For The Day

The primary purpose of The Program is freedom from addiction; without that freedom we have nothing. But that doesn’t mean I can say, for example, “Sobriety is my only concern. Except for my drinking, I’m really a sure person, so give me sobriety, and I’ve got it made.” If I delude myself with such specious nonsense, I’ll make so little progress with my real life problems and responsibilities that I’ll likely return to my addiction. That’s why The Program’s Twelve Step urges us to “practice these principles in all our affairs.” Am I living just to be free of chemical dependence, or also to learn to serve, and to love?

Today I Pray

May I relish and be grateful for my sobriety, which is where all good things begin. But let me not stop at that and give up trying to understand myself, the nature of God and of humanity. Freedom from dependency is the first freedom. May I be certain that there are more to come — freedom from tight-mindedness, from the unrest of bottled-up feelings, from over-dependence on others, from a Godless existence. May The Program which answered my acute needs also answer my chronic ones.

Today I Will Remember

Sobriety is just a beginning.

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One More Day
June 24

Quote: There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first.
– Paramahansa Yogananda

Friendships develop slowly and are based on mutual interests and understanding. They are tested by time, by changes in life circumstances, and even by health. To be a real friend means being there when the chips are down, even when no one else is. It means giving and not receiving, but trusting that our friends are prepared to do the same.

Real friends take risks for one another — especially emotional risks — and still don’t leave. A cherished friendship is not questioned, for we know, deep in our hearts, that we will always be there to help our close friends. We know they will always be there to help us.

I have strong and rewarding relationships. I cherish my friendships.

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One Day At A Time
June 24
ACCEPTANCE

Quote: “Because you’re not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who in truth, you are.”
–Madeleine L’Engle

The Big Book of AA says, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems.” I am finding this to be true for me. Living in a household with several family members, I need to not focus on others’ faults. I can choose to practice acceptance by looking past what others do that I think they shouldn’t do, and instead I can love them for who they are.

In order to show unconditional love I must look past their shortcomings. I need to stop dwelling on the fact that they sometimes don’t do things the way I want them to. If I don’t do that, anger and resentments follow and I find myself trying to control things and play God. We all know that doesn’t work. It just causes misery and takes away my joy, peace and serenity.

As I work my program of recovery, I am better off to “let go and let God” and just accept others as they are. Putting others in God’s hands and resisting the temptation to try to make things turn out the way I want them to is the definition of acceptance for me. When I love others unconditionally I experience peace and serenity beyond my wildest dreams.

One day at a time …
I will practice the miracle of acceptance and unconditional love.

~ Bluerose

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – June 24

Quote: “Believing people can soar beyond ordinary life.”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

We are created by God to be vision people. First we set the goal and then we see. If we create within ourselves a picture or vision and we hold that picture or vision in our mind, whatever we picture will show up in our reality. If we can see ourselves being educated, then schools and teachers will show up in our lives. If we picture in our mind a positive, spiritual person to be in our lives, we will attract this type of person in our relationships. How big can our dreams be?

Great Spirit, let my visions today be Your vision. Put within me a vision of the being you would have me be. Then help me to keep the vision in my mind.

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Journey To The Heart
June 24
Restore Your Natural Balance

Seek healing, a refilling of energy and spirit, as soon as you see that you need it. You don’t have to push yourself to give, do, or perform when what your body, mind, soul, and emotions need is to heal.

Seek and support your natural balance. Listen to your body, listen to your soul, and both will tell you what they need and when. If you aren’t certain what you need,ask. Ask your body what you need. Ask your heart what to do next. Ask God and the universe to help.

Find the balance that’s right for you. Become sensitive to your needs. When you become stressed, depleted, out of sync, in need of healing, seek help immediately. Nurture and care for yourself until you’re in balance again.

Inhale, receive. Exhale, give back. Your natural balance is as necessary as breathing. The inhaling is the breathing in of life’s energy. The exhaling is the sharing of your resources. You wouldn’t expect to exhale if you hadn’t inhaled. So it goes with healing, with our life force, with our energy. You cannot give it out if you don’t take it in.

Find the balance of receiving and giving, of the taking in of energy and the giving out of energy, that works for you.

Let the balance become natural. See how much more you do and are. See how much better you feel when you keep your life force vital.

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Today’s Gift
June 24

Quote:Self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment.
—Maxwell Maltz

The way we think about ourselves determines how we behave and who we become. If Eileen believes she is good at baseball, she will swing the bat more confidently and catch fly balls more easily. And her extra effort will generally pay off. At math, Steve thinks he’s a whiz and it makes him proud. He studies so he’ll continue to be a whiz.

The image we have of ourselves is like the blueprint the contractor follows when building a house. When we see ourselves sad or angry, our behavior and personality will match it. When we see ourselves withdrawn and afraid, we seem to avoid activities that involve others. How wonderful that we can change our behavior and thus ourselves by changing the picture we carry in our minds.

Do I have a good picture of myself today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 24
Detachment

Detachment doesn’t come naturally for many of us. But once we realize the value of this recovery principle, we understand how vital detachment is. The following story illustrates how a woman came to understand detachment.

“The first time I practiced detachment was when I let go of my alcoholic husband. He had been drinking for seven years -since I had married him. For that long, I had been denying his alcoholism and trying to make him stop drinking.

“I did outrageous things to make him stop drinking, to make him see the light, to make him realize how much he was hurting me. I really thought I was doing things right by trying to control him.

“One night, I saw things clearly. I realized that my attempts to control him would never solve the problem. I also saw that my life was unmanageable. I couldn’t make him do anything he didn’t want to do. His alcoholism was controlling me, even though I wasn’t drinking.

“I set him free, to do as he chose. The truth is, he did as he pleased anyway. Things changed the night I detached. He could feel it, and so could I. When I set him free, I set myself free to live my own life.

“I’ve had to practice the principle of detachment many times since then. I’ve had to detach from unhealthy people and healthy people. It’s never failed. Detachment works.”

Detachment is a gift. It will be given to us when we’re ready for it. When we set the other person free, we are set free.

Today, wherever possible, I will detach in love.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 24
Find ways to relax

Recovering alcoholics– and many people who choose not to drink or use drugs– need to find ways to relax that don’t involve alcohol, drugs, or medications.

Many of us remember daily that we are choosing not to drink or use drugs. But we may forget that it’s important to learn ways to relax our bodies and our minds. Maybe it’s time to assertively pursue options for helping us to unwind.

I can tell you things that help me: Hot water– whether it’s taking a long shower, sitting in a hot tub, or resting in a bathtub, meditation and visualization being near a large body of water and if that’s not possible, looking at a good picture of the ocean or a beautiful sea; drinking hot herbal tea; massage; music; meditation tapes; a good movie; laughter, deep, conscious breathing; playing the piano; and being outside in the sun.

We each have our own needs, our own methods of calming ourselves down. Do you have a list of what works for you? If you don’t, today is a good day to make one.

Today and each day do at least one thing deliberately that relaxes you. Begin allowing your body to memorize how it feels when it’s relaxed; then consciously duplicate that feeling throughout the day whenever you feel yourself become tense.

God, show me ways to relax.

Activity: Begin making a list of the things that help you relax. This is an important part of your self-care. If it’s a long one, great. If it’s a short one, pursue other methods of relaxing that are available to you, and add them to this list. Whenever you feel yourself becoming tense, take out your list and actually do one of the things on it– the one that most appeals to you at that moment. Part of getting to know yourself better means becoming acquainted with things that help your body relax.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
June 24

Quote:The only intrinsic evil is lack of love.
—John Robinson

When we have feelings of guilt or self-hate, we have spiritual problems. It is a time to turn to our program for help. In the early stages of recovery we may, at times, feel more shameful than we ever did before, simply because we are becoming honest about how we feel. We may even become ashamed of our guilty feelings, and then the problem escalates.

Lack of love for ourselves is at the heart of our problem. We cannot become self-loving by force of will, but we can stop being so willful by simply yielding to the care of a loving God. At those moments we do not feel deserving of love, but we can stop fending it off. Perhaps God’s love is coming to us in the concern of a friend or partner. Maybe it comes in the warm sunshine or in the smile of a child. As we yield to it, we take a spiritual leap into a world we don’t control and we didn’t create, but we can be healed by it.

Today, I will surrender to the love, which comes from the world around me and let it teach me how to love myself.

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Daily TAO
June 24
Diversity

Gods have many faces,
But true divinity has no face.

There are so many gods in the world. Taoists have their pantheon. The Buddhists, Hindus, and other religions have theirs. The Islamic and Judeo-Christian schools may be monotheistic, but their sects differ vastly from one another. Those who follow Tao assert that each of us sees the divine in our own way. Is there one god, or many?

Among those who follow Tao, there are those who say if there are gods, then everyone is a god. You are god. There is nothing in the sky, and no one lives your life but you. Whatever one believes in terms of deities is fine. It’s all individual preference, and it ultimately means self-awareness. But there is something beyond the diversity of gods, and that is the absolute.

That which is absolute is formless. Thus Tao is nameless and faceless. We cannot consider Tao our god. That would be to give it form and therefore bring it back into the world where the myriad things have names. We use the word Tao for convenience only, but in fact, we are referring to a deep mystery. As long as we live in the world of diversity, whether it is the frantic pace of our professional lives or the involvement with all the gods of the world, we will not be with Tao. It is only when we leave the diversity of existence and find the formless absolute that we reach Tao.

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In God’s Care
June 24

Discipline is the basis of a satisfying life.
~~Katharine Hepburn

When trying to reach a goal, we may tire of the constant effort that is required of us, or we may rebel against the structure that’s necessary to keep us focused. We often long for what we remember as a freer, more spontaneous time in the past.

It’s helpful to remember that our goals come from our desire for change. We can see each yearning as God’s invitation for us to move in a new direction. And we can be sure that we have God as our helpmate throughout the journey wherever our destination may be.

Goals that inspire us to act bring meaning to our life. We make progress in moving toward them, and our feeling of satisfaction and renewed sense of purpose will motivate us to persevere to their completion.

The comfort of regular conscious contact with our Higher Power, as we seek always to align our goals with God’s will for us, will carry us to the fulfillment of our goals.

    I will seek direction and strength from God while moving toward my goals today.

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Day By Day
June 24
    Getting honest

There is an intuitive understanding between recovering addicts and newcomers. Old-timers know well the games that newcomers play at first. Newcomers are not asked what they’re thinking, they’re told what they’re thinking! They don’t need to be trapped into lies; old-timers tell them the lies they were about to tell.

Thus, in the beginning, we start to get honest because we hardly have a choice. We give up on playing games because there are no tricks left in the bag. Being confronted by others, we have to get honest – honest enough to save our lives.

Have I stopped playing games? Am I getting more honest?

Higher Power, let me be grateful for the intuition and quick tongue of my fellow members:
They can help me get honest.

    I will practice honesty today by…

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Daily Zen
June 24

Alone in mountain fastness,
Dozing by the window.
No mere talk uncovers Truth:
The fragrance of those garden plums!

– Bankei (1622�1693)

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Food for Thought
June 24
A Program for Living

The OA program does much more than promote our recovery from compulsive overeating, essential as that is. It gives us a structure for our daily lives. Before OA, we chased illusions and despaired when they let us down. Now we have a concrete plan of action for living richer, fuller lives.

We have found like-minded friends who help and encourage us. Instead of isolating ourselves and consuming, we are experiencing the fellowship of sharing. We find that the more we contribute to OA, the more we get out of it.

Practicing the Twelve Steps involves every aspect of our lives. We cannot be honest in our efforts to work this program without being honest in all our affairs. What we learn about ourselves through OA can be applied to our other activities as well. We were eating compulsively because we did not know how to cope with the rest of life. As we become better equipped for living through the guidance of our Higher Power, we recover from our disease.

Bless our program, we pray.

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Faith’s Check Book
June 24
The Lord’s “Much More”

And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this. (2 Chronicles 25:9)

If you have made a mistake, bear the loss of it; but do not act contrary to the will of the Lord. The Lord can give you much more than you are likely to lose; and if He does not, will you begin bargaining and chaffering with God. The king of Judah had hired an army from idolatrous Israel, and he was commanded to send home the fighting men because the Lord was not with them. He was willing to send away the host, only he grudged paying the hundred talents for nothing. Oh, for shame! If the Lord will give the victory without the hirelings, surely it was a good bargain to pay their wages and to be rid of them.

Be willing to lose money for conscience’ sake, for peace’s sake, for Christ’s sake. Rest assured that losses for the Lord are not losses. Even in this life they are more than recompensed: in some cases the Lord prevents any loss from happening. As to our immortal life, what we lose for Jesus is invested in heaven. Fret not at apparent disaster but listen to the whisper, “The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.”

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This Morning’s Meditation
June 24

“A certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto Him, Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But He said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”
—Luke 11:27, 28.

IT is fondly imagined by some that it must have involved very special privileges to have been the mother of our Lord, because they supposed that she had the benefit of looking into His very heart in a way in which we cannot hope to do. There may be an appearance of plausibility in the supposition, but not much. We do not know that Mary knew more than others; what she did know she did well to lay up in her heart; but she does not appear from anything we read in the Evangelists to have been a better-instructed believer than any other of Christ’s disciples. All that she knew we also may discover. Do you wonder that we should say so? Here is a text to prove it: “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” Remember the Master’s words—”Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” So blessedly does this Divine Revealer of secrets tell us His heart, that He keepeth back nothing which is profitable to us; His own assurance is, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” Doth He not this day manifest Himself unto us as He doth not unto the world? It is even so; and therefore we will not ignorantly cry out, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee,” but we will intelligently bless God that, having heard the Word and kept it, we have first of all as true a communion with the Saviour as the Virgin had, and in the second place as true an acquaintance with the secrets of His heart as she can be supposed to have obtained. Happy soul to be thus privileged!

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