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In Loving Memory of Vic

Find A Meeting

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 15

Just For Today
March 15
Feeling A “Part Of”

“The get-togethers after our meetings are good opportunities to share things that we didn’t get to discuss during the meeting.”
Basic Text p. 29

Active addiction set us apart from society, isolating us. Fear was at the core of that alienation. We believed that if we let others get to know us, they would only find out how terribly flawed we were. Rejection would be only a short step away. When we come to our first NA meeting, we are usually impressed by the familiarity and friendliness we see other recovering addicts share. We, too, can quickly become a part of this fellowship, if we allow ourselves to. One way to start is by tagging along to the local coffee shop after the meeting.

At these gatherings, we can let down the walls that separate us from others and discover things about ourselves and other NA members. One on one, we can sometimes disclose things that we may be reluctant to share at the group level. We learn to make small talk at many of these late-night gatherings and forge deep, strong friendships as well.

With our newfound friends in NA, we no longer have to live lives of isolation. We can become a part of the greater whole, the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.

Just for today: I will break free of isolation. I will strive to feel a part of the NA Fellowship.

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Daily Reflections
March 15
THE GOD IDEA

When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work.  But the God idea did.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 52

Like a blind man gradually being restored to sight, I slowly groped my way to the Third Step. Having realized that only a Power greater than myself could rescue me from the hopeless abyss I was in, I knew that this was a Power that I had to grasp, and that it would be my anchor in the midst of a sea of woes. Even though my faith at that time was minuscule, it was big enough to make me see that it was time for me to discard my reliance on my prideful ego and replace it with the steadying strength that could only come from a Power far greater than myself.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 15
A.A. Thought For The Day

We alcoholics were on a merry-go-round, going round and round, and we couldn’t get off. That merry-go-round is a kind of hell on earth. In A.A. I got off that merry-go-round by learning to stay sober. I pray to that Higher Power every morning to help me to keep sober. And I get the strength from that Power to do what I could never do with my own strength. I do not doubt the existence of that Power. We’re not speaking into a vacuum when we pray. That Power is there, if we will use it. Am I off the merry-go-round of drinking for good?

Meditation For The Day

I must remember that in spiritual matters I am only an instrument. It is not mine to decide how or when I am to act. God plans all spiritual matters. It is up to me to make myself fit to do God’s work. All that hinders my spiritual activity must be eliminated. I can depend on God for all the strength I need to overcome those faults which are blocks. I must keep myself fit, so that God can use me as a channel for His spirit.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my selfishness may not hinder my progress in spiritual matters. I pray that I may be a good instrument for God to work with.

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As Bill Sees It
March 15
Two-Way Tolerance, p. 73

“Your point of view was once mine. Fortunately, A.A. is constructed so that we need not debate the existence of God; but for best results, most of us must depend upon a Higher Power, and no right-minded A.A. would challenge your privilege to believe precisely that way.  We should all be glad that good recoveries can be made even on this limited basis.

“But turnabout is fair play. If you would expect tolerance for your point of view, I am sure you would be willing to reciprocate. I try to remember that, down through the centuries, lots of brighter people than I have been found on both sides of this debate about belief. For myself, of late years, I am finding it much easier to believe that God made man, than that man made God.”

Letter, 1966

As Bill Sees It

Breach The Walls Of Ego, p. 74

People who are driven by pride of self unconsciously blind themselves to their liabilities. Newcomers of this sort scarcely need comforting.  The problem is to help them discover a chink in the walls their ego has built, through which the light of reason can shine.

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

The attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each A.A.’s Twelve Steps. For without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all.

Nearly all A.A.’s have found, too, that unless they develop much more of this precious quality than may be required just for sobriety, they still haven’t much chance of becoming truly happy. Without it, they cannot live to much useful purpose, or, in adversity, be able to summon the faith that can meet any emergency.

12 & 12
1. p. 46
2. p. 70

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Walk in Dry Places
March 15
The Secret of Detachment
Dealing with others.

“Detaching with love” is what those close to alcoholics do when they realize they can’t change them. The same principle should apply to any distressing situation, but how does it work? How can I detach from people who really bother me____ especially fellow workers, or perhaps a boss or customer?

The secret of detachment is expressed in the biblical charge, “Resist not evil.” We don’t fight or resist the other person, or even try to change their behavior. We stop believing that the other person’s behavior can really control us in the future. We become impersonal about something that was once highly charged with resentment and bitterness. At no point, however, do we say that the others’ wrong behavior is all right, nor do we lie to ourselves about what the other is doing.

Detachment does not mean that the outcome will be recovery or change for the other person. That sometimes happens, and we’re grateful when it does. If we detach in the right way, however, the outcome will always be better than anything we could bring about by fighting the situation. We have to count an outcome favorable if we stay sober and under control in the midst of an insane situation.

I will detach myself from conflicts with others if they arise today. I am not going to fight anything or anybody, and I know this will bring me closer to the ideal of living at peace with everybody.

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Keep It Simple
March 15

I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
–Mae West

This sums up how we used to live. We were in love with ourselves. We had to be on center stage.

Our self-will ran riot. Recovery pulls us out of that world. We learn to focus on others. We learn to reach out to them with love. This is the best way to love ourselves. This doesn’t mean that we live our lives through others. It means we invite others into our lives. It also means we ask to be invited into their lives. Recovery breaks down our self-will. It makes room for others in our lives.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I give You my self-will. I know You’ll do better with it than me.

Action for the Day: I’ll list three ways my self-will has messed up my life. How am I doing at turning over these things to my Higher Power?

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 15

Flattery is so necessary to all of us that we flatter one another just to be flattered in return.
–Marjorie Bowen

We are all deserving of unconditional love and acceptance. And all the people in our lives, past and present, deserve our unconditional love and acceptance, too. However, it’s doubtful that we either feel it all of the time from others or give it away.

It’s human of us to find fault–to have expectations that are too high. But for this we pay a price. Instead of experiencing our lives serenely, contentedly, flowing with what is, we often criticize, judge, and feel generally disgruntled throughout the day. What a waste! We do have another choice, fortunately. We can let go and let God, and live and let live. Also we can recall, today and every day, that we are all special individuals in this world who are loved, fully, by our Creator.

The greatest contribution we can make to the lives of others is to be affirming. We can let our spouse, children, and friends know we care about them. That we love and accept them. The love that we also long for will come back to us. We thrill at being affirmed. And we will thrill at affirming.

It feels good to help another feel appreciated. Love and acceptance is my lifeline, from God around us all.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 15
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.'”

I genuinely believed that I was different until much later, when I had what I now know to be my first spiritual awakening: that I was an alcoholic and I didn’t have to drink! I also learned that alcoholism, as an equal opportunity illness, does not discriminate–is not restricted to race, creed, or geography. At last I was released from the bondage of my uniqueness.

p. 450

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 15

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

“When we encountered A.A., the fallacy of our defiance was revealed. At no time had we asked what God’s will was for us; instead we had been telling Him what it ought to be. No man, we saw, could believe in God and defy Him, too. Belief meant reliance, not; defiance. In A.A., we saw the fruits of this belief: men and women spared from alcohol’s final catastrophe. We saw them meet and transcend their other pains and trials. We saw them calmly accept impossible situations, seeking neither to run nor to recriminate. This was not only faith; it was faith that worked under all conditions. We soon concluded that whatever price in humility we must pay, we would pay.”

p. 31

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Xtra Thoughts
March 15

Joy isn’t the absence of pain – it’s the presence of God.
–Unknown

I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.
–Walter Anderson

“Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says ‘Go!’ – a leader says ‘Let’s go!'”
–E.M. Kelly

God backs me up, there is no greater power. I am safe.
–SweetyZee

If you listen carefully to what a child is saying to you, you’ll see that he has a point to make. So I listen. And I answer them just as seriously as possible. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll tell them I don’t know.
–Bill Cosby

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 15
THOUGHT

“By thought I embrace the universal.”
— Blaise Pascal

My ability to think and communicate enables me not only to live in this world, but also to understand this world. Relationships are dependent upon me understanding my responsibilities — and when I do not think, I am usually very irresponsible.

Alcohol stopped me from thinking and behaving responsibly and created dishonesty in my life. Instead of feeling I belonged, I felt I was on the outside; instead of enjoying relationships, I was forever fighting and involved in bitter disputes; instead of enjoying the peace that comes from being a “child of God”, I felt like an abandoned creature.  My problem was alcohol, and I needed to do something about it.

I did — I stopped taking the first drink. Today I am alive in my life, alive in God’s world and enjoying this universe.

When I think clearly, I know I belong.

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Bible Scriptures
March 15

He [God] Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”
–Hebrews 13:5

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
–I Corinthians 10:13

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
–2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
–3 John 1:4

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
–Galatians 5:22-23

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Daily Inspiration
March 15

To be rich is to have good friends, good health, and the energy to experience the many things that life offers. Lord, I rejoice in the true and most meaningful riches of my life.

God will give you strength because He gives of Himself. Lord, bless us, deliver us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

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A Day At A Time
March 15

Reflection For The Day

There have been days during my recovery when just about everything seemed bleak and even hopeless.  I allowed myself to become depressed and angry.  I see now that it doesn’t matter what I think, and it doesn’t matter how I feel.  It’s what I do that counts.  So when I become anxious or upset, I try to get into action by going to meetings, participating, and working with others in The Program.  If God seems far away, who moved?

Today I Pray

May I not be immobilized by sadness or anger to the point of despair.  May I look for the roots of despair in my tangle of emotions, sort out the tangle, pulll out there culprit feelings, acknowledge that they belong to me.  Only then can I get into gear,m take action,m begin to accomplish.  May I learn to make use of the energy generated by anger to strengthen my will and achieve my goals.

Today I Will Remember

To sort out my feelings.

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One More Day
March 15

A man without a plan for the day is lost before he starts.
–  Levis K. Bendele

Some mornings we are tempted, especially when we are having more than our usual share of pain, to resist the demands and responsibilities of the day before us.  We are enticed by the thought5 of making a cup of coffee, climbing back into bed with the newspaper, and hiding from the world.

Although emptying, this is usually not a good plan for us, and what we need is a plan that encourages us to live the day fully.  We may actually have to contrive a plan to push us into action.  Personal care, chores needing to be done, letters or phone calls to friends, a trip to the store for groceries — these emphasize our importance and the importance of the day.  Without a plan, we risk wasting twenty-four hours in loneliness and self-pity.

I and this day are important, and my plan reflects this.

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One Day At A Time
March 15
LOYALTY

“To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past.  The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust.”
–John F. Kennedy

As is often typical of a compulsive overeater, the more I struggled to be loyal in my relationships with others, God, and myself, the more I found myself to be capable of loyalty only to food, shame, hiding my secrets, and despairing of any hope for recovery.

It was my shame that drove me to ineffectual attempts at loyalty – and shame breeds loyalty only to shame.

My relationships were in chaos, my mind was my enemy, and my emotions were tumultuous. When my pain overcame my attempts to be loyal, and my addiction to shame led to broken relationships, I had to finally admit that my efforts to control my life were fruitless – and would remain fruitless – unless I sought help.

When I entered recovery I feared the honesty and transparency that loyalty to self, others, God, and the truth would require of me. Among others who struggled with the same disease, however, I found that there can be no loyalty without taking a fearless inventory of my life and making a faithful accounting of my legacy. I found that I must surrender my loyalty to my disease, and place my loyalty in the hands of my Higher Power and in the open sharing of my reality. Only then could I cultivate loyalty in my relationships.

One day at a time …
I will choose loyalty to healthy relationships with others, God, and myself – and I will resist the temptation to be loyal to my disease.

~ Lisa

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 15

“We were taught generosity to the poor and reverence for the Great Mystery. Religion was the basis of all Indian training.”
–Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX

Every Indian knows and has a feeling inside that, bottom line, our real purpose on earth is to be of service to our fellow man and to be of maximum service to the Great Spirit. The Creator designed the earth to be self supporting – everything is interconnected and all things were created to be of service to each other. The Indian way is to pray about all things. Religion is not separate from any part of our lives. Everything is spiritual and we are to view all matters in this way. Family is spiritual, work is spiritual, helping others is spiritual, our bodies are spiritual, our talk is spiritual, our thoughts are spiritual. We need to practice seeing all things as spiritual.

Great Spirit, today let me help the needy and allow me the wisdom to have respect and reverence for Your teachings.

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Journey to the Heart
March 15
Learn to Say Good-Bye

Sometimes we need to say good-bye. Some good-byes come suddenly, without warning. Others are anticipated. Sometimes they’re a relief. And sometimes they hurt deeply. We say good-bye to things, people, and places. We say good-bye to beliefs and behaviors that become outdated.

Occasionally along the journey we need to say good-bye to something else,too– our dreams.

Dreams are precious. They become embedded in our minds and our hearts. When they die, it can be painful to let go of them. But if we’re not careful, dead dreams we haven’t released can sabotage our lives and hearts. We will continue to try to place people and things in the vacant roles in our dreams. Our dead dreams will, in fact, be controlling our lives and blocking our hearts. Living with dreams that are dead closes the door to finding new visions and creating new dreams.

If you can’t see today or tomorrow clearly because of yesterday’s dreams, it may be time for a funeral. Tenderly take your dearest dreams, your highest hopes and aims– the ones from yesterday that are now never to be– and place them gently in the ground. Tell them how dear they were, and are. But tell them also, it’s time to say good-bye. Cover them up. Dry your eyes.

And open yourself to the new hopes and dreams of today.

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Today’s Gift
March 15

The difficulty in life is the choice.
—George Moore

How we choose to spend our time says much about what is important to us. If we have no goals, we may try to kill time. If we have too many goals, there may not be enough time in the day to do all we set out to do. We must make some choices based on our values. We may need to take more time for some things, and let go of others. For example, this year will we try to learn to play the guitar? Perhaps we have finally decided to drop out of that club which seems to have little purpose. Will we give more time to work, or less time? With each of these choices, we shape our lives. We can do it with the touch of an artist if we pay attention to the choices we are making.

What is truly important to me today?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 15
Removing the Victim

Don’t others see how much I’m hurting? Can’t they see I need help? Don’t they care?

The issue is not whether others see or care. The issue is whether we see and care about ourselves. Often, when we are pointing a finger at others, waiting for them to have compassion for us, its because we have not fully accepted our pain. We have not yet reached that point of caring about ourselves. We are hoping for awareness in another that we have not yet had.

It is our job to have compassion for ourselves. When we do, we have taken the first step toward removing ourselves as victims. We are on the way to self-responsibility, self-care, and change.

Today, I will not wait for others to see and care; I will take responsibility for being aware of my pain and problems, and caring about myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 15
Let go of the controls

“You have the controls,” my fllight instructor says. “No, you have the controls,” I say back. “No I don’t,” he says. “You do.”

My banter with my flight instructor can be amusing at times. It’s not so funny when we fight about issues of power and control in our lives. And usually it goes the other way. We don’t want to give the controls to someone else; we want those reins ourselves.

We want to get our way. And we get upset when things don’t work out. Sometimes, after we’ve been working on ourselves and our control issues for a while, we begin to get complacent. Because we’ve been so effectively using and directing our power, we rarely get in battles we can’t win. Things work out smoothly. We mostly get our way, because we’re not trying to control what we can’t. That’s when it’s easy to think we’re more powerful than we are.

Are you engaged in a power struggle with someone or something you can’t change? Spend a moment thinking about it. Is that really the way you want to use your energy and power, trying to do the impossible, creating rifts, and fighting battles you can’t win? When we try to control someone else or events beyond the scope of our power, we lose.

When we learn to discern the difference between what we can change and what we can’t, we usually have an easier time expressing our power in our lives. Because we’re not wasting all our energy using our power to change things we can’t, we have a lot of energy left over to live our lives.

Learn to say whatever when you don’t get what you want. Learn to let things be the way they are.

God, help me let go of my need to control and to be open to the flow of the universe.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 15

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
—Antoine de Saint Exupery

It has been said that intuition is a talent of women, but in this program we, as men, are learning to listen to our own inner feelings. This is a strength, which has nothing to do with gender. Many times we have a quiet inner knowing of something, but in the past we developed insensitivity to these messages. Our growing self-respect includes the ability to stand up for what simply feels right. We don’t have to prove anything to ourselves. If we dismiss our own private feelings, all we have left to go on is someone else’s idea of reality.

This realm of inner feeling is the realm of wisdom. It is the creative part, the mysterious part, the spiritual part. It is the foundation of honesty with ourselves. In these quiet moments, we are more able to perceive what we know in our hearts. As we grow, we respect and trust it more.

Help me respect my private messages from within.

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DailyTAO
March 15
ACCUMULATION

An opening in the storming sea,
Gold deposited on bones.
Once accumulation has begun,
Take care not to interfere.

There is a fable about a pious man whose father had just died. A geomancer instructed the son to bury his father at the mouth of a sea cave. The sea opened at this spot only once in a hundred years, and a family who utilized it would experience great fortune. Although he had misgivings about this unorthodox location, the son threw the casket into the waters at the indicated time.

For weeks the son doubted what he had done. He eventually went to a competing geomancer who, out of jealousy, advised the son the raise the casket. The son did so. When the coffin was brought up and opened, the man saw that a fine layer of pure gold had already been deposited on his father’s bones — a clear indication of the auspicious transformation that had begun. In regret, the son wanted to throw his father back in, but it was too late. There was no remedying what had been done.

Spiritual practice must be uninterrupted. We may be anxious because we see very little happening on a daily basis, but we must be patient until we can see what the accumulation of our effort yields. Self-cultivation means steady, gradual progress. To stop prematurely would be more disastrous than never having started at all.

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DailyZen
    March 15

How can we ever lose interest in life?
Spring has come again
And cherry trees bloom in the mountains.

– Ryokan (1758-1831)

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    Food for Thought
    March 15
    Keep Planning

Maintaining our abstinence means that we continue to plan our three measured meals each day. To leave them to chance is to invite trouble, since compulsive overeaters do not learn how to eat spontaneously, no matter how long they try.

Planning means that we have the food we need available when we need it. We make decisions about what we will eat when we are rested and strong, not when we are in a rush, overtired, or over hungry.

Preparing meals ahead for busy days, shopping for food after a meal rather than before, remembering to allow time for defrosting – there are many ways to make it easy to follow a food plan. When we are convinced that abstinence is the most important thing in our lives, we are able to find ways to maintain it no matter how difficult the circumstances.

    Help me to remember to plan.

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In God’s Care
March 15

You should practice humility first toward man, and only then toward God. He who despises men has no respect for God.
~~Paracelsus

It is easier for us to be humble before God than before people. When we have to admit we need help, we are swallowing a a dose of humility, but if it’s just between us and God, it’s not as hard to take.

Being humble with our fellow human beings is different. An act of humility before a visible, breathing, thinking witness may be frightening. The witness, after all, could be judgmental.

Are we afraid to be vulnerable? More importantly, can we afford not to be? When we can face fellow suffers and admit the need for help, recovery begins. Humbling ourselves in this way is our introduction to Divine power: through the compassion our brothers and sisters show for us, we come to know the love of God.

    I receive help for all my spiritual needs by being open, first to my brothers and sisters. and then to God.

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    Faith’s Check Book
    March 15
    God is a Sanctuary

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.
(Ezekiel 11:16)

Banished from the public means of grace, we are not removed from the grace of the means. The Lord who places His people where they feel as exiles will Himself be with them and be to them all that they could have had at home, in the place of their solemn assemblies. Take this to yourselves, O ye who are called to wander!

God is to His people a place of refuge. They find sanctuary with Him from every adversary, He is their place of worship, too. He is with them as with Jacob when he slept in the open field, and rising, said, “Surely God was in this place,” To them also He will be a sanctuary of quite, like the Holy of Holies, which was the noiseless abode of the Eternal. They shall be quiet from fear of evil.

God Himself, in Christ Jesus, is the sanctuary of mercy. The Ark of the Covenant is the Lord Jesus, and Aaron’s rod, the pot of manna, the tables of the law, all are in Christ our sanctuary. In God we find the shrine of holiness and of communion. What more do we need? O Lord, fulfill this promise and be ever to us as a little sanctuary!

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   This Morning’s Meditation
    March 15

“Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”—2 Timothy 2:1.

CHRIST has grace without measure in Himself, but He hath not retained it for Himself. As the reservoir empties itself into the pipes, so hath Christ emptied out His grace for His people. “Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” He seems only to have in order to dispense to us. He stands like the fountain, always flowing, but only running in order to supply the empty pitchers and the thirsty lips which draw nigh unto it. Like a tree, He bears sweet fruit, not to hang on boughs, but to be gathered by those who need. Grace, whether its work be to pardon, to cleanse, to preserve, to strengthen, to enlighten, to quicken, or to restore, is ever to be had from Him freely and without price; nor is there one form of the work of grace which He has not bestowed upon His people. As the blood of the body, though flowing from the heart, belongs equally to every member, so the influences of grace are the inheritance of every saint united to the Lamb; and herein there is a sweet communion between Christ and His Church, inasmuch as they both receive the same grace. Christ is the head upon which the oil is first poured; but the same oil runs to the very skirts of the garments, so that the meanest saint has an unction of the same costly moisture as that which fell upon the head. This is true communion when the sap of grace flows from the stem to the branch, and when it is perceived that the stem itself is sustained by the very nourishment which feeds the branch. As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from Him, we shall behold Him in communion with us, and enjoy the felicity of communion with Him. Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever repair to Him as to our own Lord in covenant, taking from Him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own purse.

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This Evenings Meditation
March 15

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