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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 – March 10

Just For Today
March 10
Our Own Recovery

“The steps are our solution. They are our survival kit. They are our defense against addiction, a deadly disease. Our steps are the principles that make our recovery possible.”
—Basic Text, p. 19

There’s lots to like in Narcotics Anonymous. The meetings, for one, are great. We get to see our friends, hear some inspiring stories, share some practical experience, maybe even hook up with our sponsor. The campouts, the conventions, the dances are all wonderful, clean fun in the company of other recovering addicts. But the heart of our recovery program is the Twelve Steps—in fact, they are the program!

We’ve heard it said that we can’t stay clean by osmosis—in other words, we can’t just attend meetings, no matter how many, and expect to breathe recovery in through the pores of our skin. Recovery, as another saying goes, is an inside job. And the tools we use in working that “inside job” are the Twelve Steps. Hearing endlessly about acceptance is one thing; working the First Step for ourselves is something very different. Stories about making amends may be inspiring, yet nothing will give us the freedom from remorse that taking the Ninth Step ourselves will give. The same applies to all twelve steps.

There’s much to appreciate about NA, but to get the most from our recovery we must work the Twelve Steps for ourselves.

Just for today: I want everything my personal program has to offer. I will work the steps for myself.

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Daily Reflections
March 10
TODAY, IT’S MY CHOICE

” … we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self, which later placed us in a position to be hurt.”
—ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p.62

With the realization and acceptance that I had played a part in the way my life had turned out came a dramatic change in my outlook. It was at this point that the A.A. program began to work for me. In the past, I had always blamed others, either God or other people, for my circumstances. I never felt that I had a choice in altering my life. My decisions had been based on fear, pride, or ego. As a result, those decisions led me down a path of self-destruction. Today I try to allow my God to guide me on the road to sanity. I am responsible for my action—or inaction—whatever the consequences may be.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 10
A.A. Thought For The Day

We also strengthen our faith by working with other alcoholics and finding that we can do nothing ourselves to help them, except to tell them our own story of how we found the way out. If the person is helped, it’s by the grace of God and not by what we do or say. Our own faith is strengthened when we see another alcoholic find sobriety by turning to God. And, finally, we strengthen our faith by having quiet times every morning. Do I ask God in this quiet time for the strength to stay sober this day?

Meditation For The Day

My five senses are my means of communication with the material world. They are the links between my physical life and the material manifestations around me. But I must sever all connections with the material world when I wish to hold communion with the Great Spirit of the universe. I have to hush my mind and bid all my senses be still, before I can become attuned to receive the music of the heavenly spheres.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may get my spirit in tune with the Spirit of the universe. I pray that through faith and communion with Him I may receive the strength I need.

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As Bill Sees It
March 10
Giving Without Demand, p. 69

Watch any A.A. of six months working with a Twelfth Step prospect. If the newcomer says, “To the devil with you,” the twelfth-stepper only smiles and finds another alcoholic to help. He doesn’t feel frustrated or rejected. If his next drunk responds, and in turn starts to give love and attention to other sufferers, yet gives none back to him, the sponsor is happy about it anyway. He still doesn’t feel rejected; instead he rejoices that his former prospect is sober and happy.

And he well knows that his own life has been made richer, as an extra dividend of giving to another without any demand for a return.

Grapevine, January 1958

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Walk in Dry Places
March 10
Ousting the Green Demon
Victory over Jealousy.

We hear of successful people who drop their old friends after moving up the ladder. Maybe, however, it wasn’t their choice. Maybe they were driven to do so because their friend’s jealousy made the friendship unworkable. We have little trouble accepting a stranger’s good fortune; it’s a different feeling, however, when friends and coworkers move ahead of us.

If the green demon of jealousy strikes during the day, we can come to terms with it in several ways. First, accept no guilt that it happens, because jealousy is part of the human condition. Next, depersonalize it by remembering that good fortune comes to all people in various ways. Then check your own gratitude level to make sure that it hasn’t been sinking. This serves as a reminder that there’s no shortage of the things that really make for happiness and personal well-being in life.

We can easily tell when we’ve been able to oust the green demon. We’ll be able to be relaxed and gracious while extending congratulations for another person’s good fortune. And months down the road, we’ll be genuinely sympathetic … Not vindictive … if the other person’s luck turns sour.

While I don’t expect to feel jealousy today, I accept the fact that it can happen. Should it appear, I’ll work calmly to deal with it.

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Keep It Simple
March 10

“Little things affect little minds.”
—Benjamin Disraeli

Before recovery, we liked things our way. We thought every new thing we tried should go right the first time. Little problems could really upset us. We let little things spoil our day. We let little things affect big things—our entire lives. And our bad moods affected people around us. Funny how we have fewer of those problems now. The program is teaching us to let go. What a relief when we know we don’t have to control every little thing. How nice when things get done without our “expert advice!” We are starting to see what’s really important, and what’s not. One promise of the program is coming true: we know how to handle situations better.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see what is really important for me today. Help me to stop worrying about what’s not.

Action for the Day: When I’m upset, I’ll ask myself, “Is this problem really so bad?” If I can’t change it. I’ll let go.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 10

“It is healthier to see the good points of others than to analyze our own bad ones.”
—Francoise Sagan

Looking for the good in others is good for one’s soul. Self-respect, self-love grows each time we openly acknowledge another’s admirable qualities. Comparisons we make of ourselves with others, focusing on how we fail to measure up (another woman is prettier, thinner, more intelligent, has a better sense of humor, attracts people, and on and on) is a common experience. And we come away from the comparison feeling generally inadequate and unloving toward the other woman.

It is a spiritual truth that our love for and praise of others will improve our own self-image. It will rub off on us, so to speak. An improved self-image diminishes whatever bad qualities one has imagined.

Praise softens. Criticism hardens. We can become all that we want to become. We can draw the love of others to us as we more willingly offer love and praise. We have an opportunity to help one another as we help ourselves grow in the self-love that is so necessary to the successful living of each day.

I will see the good points in others today. And I will give praise.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 10
HE LIVED ONLY TO DRINK

“I had been preached to, analyzed, cursed, and counseled, but no one had ever said, ‘I identify with what’s going on with you. It happened to me and this is what I did about it.'”

After that first job there were many more that I lost, all because of my drinking. I taught in many schools and in different states. I was no longer the moral young man who had seen his destiny in helping people live better. I was loud and arrogant, angry, abusive, always blaming and confronting others. I was getting arrested and beaten up. I had developed a foul mouth and was frequently drunk in classes and in total dishonor. My family could not understand what was happening to me; to others I had become a joke. I wanted to die. Now alcohol had become the only friend I had.

p. 448

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 10

Step Two — “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Any number of A.A.’s can say to the drifter, “Yes, we were diverted from our childhood faith, too. The overconfidence of youth was too much for us. Of course, we were glad that good home and religious training had given us certain values. We were still sure that we ought to be fairly honest, tolerant, and just, that we ought to be ambitious and hardworking. We became convinced that such simple rules of fair play and decency would be enough.

pp. 28-29

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Xtra Thoughts
March 10

“We are prisoners of our own resentments.  Forgiveness unlocks the door and sets us free.”
—Unknown

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”
—Will Rogers

“H E A R T = Healing, Enjoying, And Recovering, Together.”
—Unknown

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
—Sydney J. Harris

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

“A smile is your most magnetic and attractive characteristic. Wear one today and see how many people it draws to you.”
—Unknown

“My doubts and fears, will drive me back into the wilderness.  I must trust God.”
—Unknown

“When God calls, God makes a way.”
—Lynn Sloan Barnes

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 10
SCIENCE

“We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.”
—William James

To change is to be imperfect and to be imperfect is to be wrong—at times! As an alcoholic, I have a problem with ego; always wanting to be right, hating to say, “I am sorry,” not wishing to appear out of control. In sobriety, I must wrestle with my ego on a daily basis.

However, although I find it difficult to accept that I am imperfect, I know that I am! I know that I need to make amends. I know that I produce most of the pain in my life. Today’s facts are stepping stones to tomorrow’s falsehoods—and I grow with this knowledge.

Spirituality is growing in the knowledge that I do not have all the answers.

Let me experience joy and growth in the dilemmas of life.

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Bible Scriptures
March 10

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.”
—Psalm 37:4-5

“Accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”
—Romans 15:7

“For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.”
—Proverbs 2 : 10

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.”
—Ephesians 4:11

“Commit your way to the Lord; trusting Him, and He will act.”
—Psalm 37:5

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Daily Inspiration
March 10

Home is a place where we can have a bit of heaven on earth. Lord, bless our home and help make it a place of love and kindness.

It is you, not where you are or what you have, that makes the difference. Lord, may I always blossom where I am planted.

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A Day At A Time
March 10

Reflection For The Day

In a letter to a friend, AA’s co-founder Bill W. once wrote, “Nothing can be more demoralizing than a clinging and abject dependence upon another human being.  This often amounts to the demand for a degree of protection and love that no one could possibly satisfy.  So our hoped-for protectors finally flee, and once more we are left alone—either to grow up or to disintegrate.”  We discover, in The Program, that the best possible source of emotional stability is our Higher Power.  We find that dependence upon His Perfect justice, forgiveness and love is healthy, and that it works where nothing else will.  Do I depend on my Higher Power?

Today I Pray

May I realize that I am a dependent person.  I have depended upon chemicals to alter my moods and attitudes.  I have also developed parasitic attachments for others.  May I stop making unrealistic emotional demands on others, which only serve to choke off mature human relationships and to leave me bewildered and let down.  Only God can provide the kind of whole-hearted love which I, as a dependent person, seem to need.  May I depend first upon God.

Today I Will Remember

God offers perfect love.

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One More Day
March 10

“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it within Himself.”
—Galileo

We can’t avoid the crises, large or small, that are a normal part of living. Automobile accidents, spending more money that we can afford, stubbed toes, rain on vacations—these things happen to everyone. No one is exempt. But we can learn from our negative experiences. We learn to be more careful, to hold our tongues, to be more responsible.

No one can teach us how to live. We have to learn by ourselves. And eventually we’re better able to handle our own problems, sometimes even with grace and finesse. We can share what we have learned with others, we can help pave the way for them, but invariably they too will have to do it for themselves.

Life hands me situations. I have the ability to make them into positive experiences.

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One Day At A Time
March 10

THE WHOLE PICTURE

“It should be pointed out that physical treatment is but a small part of the picture.”
—Big Book Alcoholics of Anonymous; Page 143

Looking around a gallery recently my friend and I were looking at a mosaic picture. We pondered on what we thought of it, and each of us had our own ideas. Then as we chatted a thought popped into my head. Now this doesn’t happen often, so make the most of it.

The mosaic, of course, is made up of lots of tiny tiles, each one seemingly insignificant on it’s own. In fact if you found one in the street, you probably wouldn’t look at it twice, never mind pick it up. Yet together, with all the other tiny tiles, pieced together it forms an unusual and beautiful work of art. I don’t expect that all of the tiles are perfect, but together they are whole. Together they appear to be as one in unison with each other.

Then came the second thought (yes, two in one day). Some days for me are pretty awful. I feel sick, or saddened. I turn on the TV and the news is all depressing stuff, and I think, where is HP while all this is happening? A few years ago, I lost my baby and nearly my own life. Where was my HP then? Losing my nephew at age 8 a few years later, I really doubted that any God of anyone’s understanding could help me with a weight problem.

But today I see the wonderful days, the glowing wonderful comforting days that make life worthwhile. Who am I to say that this life I’m living is good or bad? Only HP has the ‘whole mosaic’ picture of Life. Not just my life, but my life touching another life. The events happening in the world–again, only HP sees the whole picture. He has the lid of the jigsaw puzzle with the main picture on it; we only have one piece, just like the tile.

After I lost the baby, HP helped the surgeons to heal me. I certainly didn’t feel worthy; in fact I felt at the time that I wasn’t even good enough to die. Yet HP has stuck by me and has given me so much. I doubt I’ll ever know whose life or lives I may have touched as a result of me being saved, but it doesn’t matter. HP knows. HP cares.

One Day at a Time …
I must remember that you and I are one in the eyes of our Creator. Not one of us is less than, or more than each other. Together we are one. Together we watch HP work miracles in our lives. Together, we are perfect as long as we are under HP’s direction. Mind boggling isn’t it?

~ Marlene

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 10

“I know Grandpa told me that to smoke is wakan (holy). The smoke you inhale represents the spirits of everything you put into the pipe. When you breathe in the smoke, you are asking to become one with everything or to become whole.”
—Dr. A.C. Ross (Enhanamani), LAKOTA

The smoke allows us to go from the Seen World to the Spirit World. It is in the Spirit World where we are all connected. In this way, we can become one with all things. Our pipe is sacred. We need to be respectful of our medicine. When we smoke the pipe, we need to have good thoughts because these thoughts are shared with the Spirit World. The pipe, the smoke, the spirits, our thoughts—these things are Wakan.

Great Spirit, today, let my thoughts be Wakan.

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Journey to the Heart
March 10
Beware of Gossip

Gossip is a seductive pastime that can be harmful to others, harmful to ourselves. Some gossip is innocent.We chatter about the experiences of others lightly, joyfully, in a way that doesn’t hurt. Other gossip isn’t so innocent. It’s rooted in anger, jealousy, betrayal, and sometimes hatred. We feel deprived and cheated—hurt—so we want to hurt another.

Would you stand and throw darts at someone? Would you pick up a knife and stab that person in the back? I think not. Yet, when we gossip, we do the same thing. Words, especially those coated with emotion, carry energy, sometimes potentially damaging energy. When we hurt another, we hurt ourselves. Both are injured. We need to deal with our feelings of anger, hurt, betrayal, or jealousy before they wound through gossip.

While walking this journey, you must learn of the dangers. Gossip is one of them. Heal the feelings underneath so you can speak lightly with words of love.

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Today’s Gift
March 10

“The older you get the more you realize that kindness is synonymous with happiness.”
—Lionel Barrymore

Once in a while, we forget about the kind things people have done for us. Do we remember the next-door neighbor who helped us get our kite out of a tree, or the brother who helped us finish a project for school? If we think about these kindnesses, we will remember how happy we were to receive them.

These people and others may need a kindness we can give. Our next-door neighbor may get sick and need us to go to the store, a brother or sister may need to borrow a radio, or the elderly person down the street may need the lawn mowed. Whenever we take the time to give a kindness, we will find that like the boomerang, it returns to us in the form of happiness.

Will I be alert to my chances to give kindness today?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 10
Living with Families

“I was forty-six years old before I finally admitted to myself and someone else that my grandfather always managed to make me feel guilty, angry, and controlled.”
—Anonymous

We may love and care about our family very much. Family members may love and care about us. But interacting with some members may be a real trigger to our codependency—sometimes to a deep abyss of shame, rage, anger, guilt, and helplessness.

It can be difficult to achieve detachment, or an emotional level, with certain family members. It can be difficult to separate their issues from ours. It can be difficult to own our power.

Difficult, but not impossible.

The first step is awareness and acceptance—simple acknowledgment, without guilt, of our feelings and thoughts. We do not have to blame our family members. We do not have to blame or shame ourselves. Acceptance is the goal—acceptance and freedom to choose what we want and need to do to take care of ourselves with that person. We can become free of the patterns of the past. We are recovering. Progress is the goal.

Today, Higher Power, help me be patient with myself as I learn how to apply recovery behaviors with family members. Help me strive today for awareness and acceptance.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 10
Let it be

“Life is a series of letting go’s—an ‘infinite’ series of letting go’s. All things in life are given us on loan. Stand face-to-face with life, learn to let go, and whatever comes our way—success or failure, joy or sorrow, support or betrayal, light or darkness—it all blesses us. Once we have learned to let go, we are prepared for whatever life gives us. And death itself is nothing to be feared.”
—Matthew Fox

For many years, I resisted the concept of letting go. I resisted mostly because I didn’t understand what people were talking about. I’d be loudly obsessing about something. “Just let go,” they’d say. “Okay,” I’d say. Then I’d walk away and wonder what they meant, and mostly how to do it. Soon, I caught on. If I didn’t want people harping on me about letting go, I needed to obsess silently. Privately. Or at least in the presence of someone who wouldn’t lecture me about letting go.

As the years wore on, I was forced into letting go. Eventually I even wrote a book called The Language of Letting Go. I thought it was the end of my need to practice letting go.

When my son died, I learned that writing the book was only a prelude, an introductory course in letting go. Over the years that followed, I gradually began to learn a new respect for this behavior called letting go.

Letting go is a behavior we can practice each day, whatever the circumstances in our lives. It’s a behavior that benefits relationships we want to work. It’s a helpful behavior in insane relationships, too. It’s a useful tool to use when we really want to bring something or someone into our lives, and in accomplishing our goals. It’s a helpful tool to use on outdated behaviors such as low self-esteem and manipulation.

Letting go takes the emotional charge, the drama, out of things and restores us to a sense of balance, peace, and spiritual power.

Letting go works well on the past and the future. It brings us into today.

Paraphrasing the mystic writer Matthew Fox, everything that comes, comes to pass. Demystify letting go. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Learning the art of letting go really means learning to calmly let things be.

God, help me learn to let go.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 10

“There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his.”
—Helen Keller

The human race is a huge mixture of dignity and degradation and every man inherits the blend. We can respect the slave in us for his endurance and suffering. And the king in us earns our respect for his leadership and justice. Are we ashamed of who we are or where we have come from? Then we may have to look deeper and ask if we are really different from any other man.

Do we believe we must conform to some mold of acceptability, some proper appearance? Are we so focused on the surface that we miss the deeper values of our humanness? Sometimes we take on a reverse smugness and become judgmental of the person who looks successful or speaks well. We think, “I can’t like him, he’s in a different class.” We all need acceptance and respect, and in this program we are equals from the first day.

God, grant me the self-esteem to accept the whole mixture that comes together in me and in the people around me.

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DailyTAO
March 10
ILLUMINATION

Fire feeding on fire.

Everyone understands that burning wood produces fire. But when fire feeds on fire, that is a rare condition that yields the greatest illumination. Two flames come together and yield light more magnificent than either could have given forth alone.

In the case of community activity, this means that when one cooperates with others, the accomplishments are greater than what the individuals can do on their own. Such a situation requires a harmony that will generate ideas, inspiration, as well as momentum for growth and action. If the combinations occur properly, the results will be like fire upon fire and will illuminate the world. Sometimes, the combination comes down to just two people. If two people join forces, neither sacrificing their individuality, but only lending their power to an endeavor, there will be a wonderful situation that will both benefit others and encourage greater growth in the two people as well.

Fire feeding on fire can also mean the swift exhaustion of all energies involved. One must be careful not to lose one’s own personality in any joining. The idea is integration, not assimilation. No matter what can be achieved in joining with others, it is wise to remember that we each walk this path independently. The ultimate truth of the journey and its final rewards are still for each of us to face alone.

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DailyZen
March 10

A Spring View

With warm winds and long days
The hundred living things revive
Alone, I’m ashamed of my fussy self
Before Spring’s radiant newness.
Water blurs into sky, both gem-green;
Blossoms hide the trees,
All garish and crimson!
Pleasure-wagons, sightseers’ horses,
Rush to be first;
Dancing swallows, wheeling warblers,
Frolic to their heart’s content.
Most charming of all,
There’s a haze-distant village
And wrapped in its smoke,
The thousandfold ranks of willows.

– Kokan Shiren (1278-1346)

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Food for Thought
March 10
Fellowship

Compulsive overeating is a lonely activity. The more we eat, the more we isolate ourselves from other people and the more alienated and different we feel. We need people, but we do not like ourselves, and we fear that others will reject us.

What a relief to find a group of other people with the same problems and feelings! We are accepted, understood, and loved. We find that we are not so different after all.

The OA fellowship exudes a sense of warmth and support. It is a safe place to put aside masks and express honest feelings. There is healing and strength. Meetings and retreats have given many of us a deeper experience of belonging than we have found anywhere else. We are all accepted as we are and where we are in our personal development.

No one tells us what to do in OA. Through the fellowship, we learn what has worked for others, and we find relief from our loneliness.

Bless our fellowship, Lord.

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In God’s Care
March 10

[To be filled in – if anyone has this text, please email admin@justfortodaymeditations.com. We would love to add this text. Thanks!]

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Faith’s Check Book
March 10
Walk in Light

“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”
—(John 12:46)

This world is dark as midnight; Jesus has come that by faith we may have light and may no longer sit in the gloom which covers all the rest of mankind.

Whosoever is a very wide term: it means you and me. If we trust in Jesus we shall no more sit in the dark shadow of death but shall enter into the warm light of a day which shall never end. Why do we not come out into the light at once?

A cloud may sometimes hover over us, but we shall not abide in darkness if we believe in Jesus. He has come to give us broad daylight. Shall He come in vain.’ If we have faith we have the privilege of sunlight: let us enjoy it. From the night of natural depravity, of ignorance, of doubt, of despair, of sin, of dread, Jesus has come to set us free; and all believers shall know that He no more comes in vain than the sun rises and fails to scatter his heat and light.

Shake off thy depression, dear brother. Abide not in the dark, but abide in the light. In Jesus is thy hope, thy joy, thy heaven, Look to Him, to Him only, and thou shalt rejoice as the birds rejoice at sunrise and as the angels rejoice before the throne.

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 10

“In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved.
—Psalm 30:6.

Moab settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel. Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy” and the natural consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, “I shall never be moved;” and we are not better than David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it. If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream “we stand;” and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy.

We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank Him for our changes; we extol His name for losses of property; for we feel that had He not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.

“Afflictions, though they seem severe,
In mercy oft are sent.”

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This Evenings Meditaiton
March 10

“Man … is of few days, and full of trouble.”
—Job 14:1.

It may be of great service to us, before we fall asleep, to remember this mournful fact, for it may lead us to set loose by earthly things. There is nothing very pleasant in the recollection that we are not above the shafts of adversity, but it may humble us and prevent our boasting like the Psalmist in our morning’s portion. “My mountain standeth firm: I shall never be moved.” It may stay us from taking too deep root in this soil from which we are so soon to be transplanted into the heavenly garden. Let us recollect the frail tenure upon which we hold our temporal mercies. If we would remember that all the trees of earth are marked for the woodman’s axe, we should not be so ready to build our nests in them. We should love, but we should love with the love which expects death, and which reckons upon separations. Our dear relations are but loaned to us, and the hour when we must return them to the lender’s hand may be even at the door. The like is certainly true of our worldly goods. Do not riches take to themselves wings and fly away? Our health is equally precarious. Frail flowers of the field, we must not reckon upon blooming for ever. There is a time appointed for weakness and sickness, when we shall have to glorify God by suffering, and not by earnest activity. There is no single point in which we can hope to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction; out of our few days there is not one secure from sorrow. Man’s life is a cask full of bitter wine; he who looks for joy in it had better seek for honey in an ocean of brine. Beloved reader, set not your affections upon things of earth: but seek those things which are above, for here the moth devoureth, and the thief breaketh through, but there all joys are perpetual and eternal. The path of trouble is the way home. Lord, make this thought a pillow for many a weary head!

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