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In Loving Memory of Vic

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

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Daily Recovery Readings - March 17

Just For Today
March 17
True Courage

“Those who make it through these times show a courage not their own.”
—Basic Text p. 82

Before coming to NA, many of us thought we were brave simply because we had never experienced fear. We had drugged all our feelings, fear among them, until we had convinced ourselves that we were tough, courageous people who wouldn’t crack under any circumstances.

But finding our courage in drugs has nothing to do with the way we live our lives today. Clean and in recovery, we are bound to feel frightened at times. When we first realize we are feeling frightened, we may think we are cowards. We’re afraid to pick up the phone because the person on the other end might not understand. We’re afraid to ask someone to sponsor us because they might say no. We’re afraid to look for a job. We’re afraid to be honest with our friends. But all of these fears are natural, even healthy. What’s not healthy is allowing fear to paralyze us.

When we permit our fear to stop our growth, we will be defeated. True courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the willingness to walk through it.

Just for today: I will be courageous today. When I’m afraid, I’ll do what I need to do to grow in recovery.

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Daily Reflections
March 17
MYSTERIOUS WAYS

“… out of every season of grief or suffering, when the hand of God seemed heavy or even unjust, new lessons for living were learned, new resources of courage were uncovered, and that finally, inescapably, the conviction came that God does ‘move in a mysterious way: His wonders to perform.'”
—TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105

After losing my career, family and health, I remained unconvinced that my way of life needed a second look.  My drinking and other drug use were killing me, but I had never met a recovering person or an A.A. member. I thought I was destined to die alone and that I deserved it. At the peak of my despair, my infant son became critically ill with a rare disease. Doctors’ efforts to help him proved useless. I redoubled my efforts to block my feelings, but now the alcohol had stopped working. I was left staring into God’s eyes, begging for help. My introduction to A.A. came within days, through an odd series of coincidences, and I have remained sober ever since. My son lived and his disease is in remission. The entire episode convinced me of my powerlessness and the unmanageability of my life. Today my son and I thank God for his intervention.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 17
A.A. Thought For The Day

A. A. also helps us to hang onto sobriety. By having regular meetings so that we can associate with other alcoholics who have come through that same door in the wall, by encouraging us to tell the story of our own sad experiences with alcohol, and by showing us how to help other alcoholics. A.A. keeps us sober. Our attitude toward life changes from one of pride and selfishness to one of humility and gratitude. Am I going to step back through that door in the wall to my old helpless, hopeless, drunken life?

Meditation For The Day

Withdraw into the calm of communion with God. Rest in that calm and peace. When the soul finds its home of rest in God, then it is then that real life begins. Only when you are calm and serene can you do good work. Emotional upsets make you useless. The eternal life is calmness, and when a man enters into that, then he lives as an eternal being.  Calmness is based on complete trust in God. Nothing in this world can separate you from the love of God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may wear the world like a loose garment.  I pray that I may keep serene at the center of my being.

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As Bill Sees It
March 17
Only God Is Unchanging, p. 76

Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to society, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from hate to love, from childish independence to adult responsibility—all this and infinitely more represent change for the better.

Such changes are accomplished by a belief in and a practice of sound principles. Here we must needs discard bad or ineffective principles in favor of good ones that work. Even good principles can sometimes be displaced by the discovery of still better ones.

Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is.

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places
March 17
Is it Easy?
Practicing principles

There’s no “softer, easier way,” we’re told. If so, why are we also urged to embrace the slogan “Easy does it?” Which is right?

Both are right, because they express two different ideas. The softer, easier way doesn’t work because it grows out of self-deception and falls short of a thorough working of the program. “Easy does it” works because it describes an approach to action that is relaxed, confident, and careful.

The person seeking an easier, softer way usually avoids taking some of the steps that are considered necessary in maintaining sobriety. It’s a way of trying to win without doing sufficient work. The person following the “Easy does it” principle pays attention to every detail, but carries on without reasonable haste or excessive loafing.

In a spiritual sense, “Easy does it” also means letting the Higher Power carry the load. At all times, however, we must continue to make choices and bear responsibility for our actions.

I’ll be relaxed and confident while carrying on a full day’s activity. There is always time to do things the right way.

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Keep It Simple
March 17

“Skill to do comes of doing.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Often, we just want to sit and do nothing. And why not. We go to meetings, work the Twelve Steps, read, make new friends. All this takes energy and means taking risk. Haven’t we earned the right to just sit and take it a break from it all? No! In the past, we avoided life. Now we’re becoming people of action. We take risk. We’re becoming people who get involved in life. We practice caring about people and caring about ourselves. At times, we may complain, but we do what is needed to stay sober. We gain skills by doing. why? We do it to save our lives. How? By trusting. We now trust that our Higher Power and friends will be there for us. They will help us push past our fears. As we practice daily how to stay sober, our skills grow.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, Yours is a spirit of action. Allow me to become skilled at being active.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll work at being active and alive. Maybe I’ll start a new friendship or try a new meeting.

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Each Day a New Beginning.
March 17

“A woman who is loved always has success.”
—Vicki Baum

Being loved, and knowing that we are loved, assures us of our connection to the world outside of ourselves. It affirms us as participants in the bigger picture. And all of us need to know that we count—that what we say and do matters to others—that we are contributing in an important way.

Often we feel unloved, however. And we search for love. We may have begged for love and still didn’t feel it. We have probably become very self-centered in our search. Fortunately, the program helps us to give love to others; the paradox is that love is returned, tenfold.

The wonders of love are many. Love is a healing balm for wounds. And it nurtures, both the one loving and the one loved. Love is an energizer. It spurs us on to successes in work and in play. Love multiplies. If we aren’t feeling loved, we can love someone else—and love will visit us, too.

We can help the women in our lives find the successes they deserve. The confidence to tackle new situations is packaged in the gift of love. We need to help one another count.

My love of another is a contributing factor in her success. Her loving gratitude will enhance my own endeavors. I will take a moment, today, with a friend who needs my love.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 17
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.'”

More important, I came to believe that I cannot do this alone. From childhood, despite the love I experienced, I had never let people, even those closest to me, inside my life. All my life I had lived the deepest of lies, not sharing with anyone my true thoughts and feelings. I thought I had a direct line to God, and I built a wall of distrust around myself. In A.A. I faced the pervasive “we” of the Twelve Steps and gradually realized that I can separate and protect my sobriety from outside hazards only inasmuch as I rely on the sober experience of other A.A. members and share their journey through the steps to recovery.

p. 451

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 17

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 17

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”
—Marcus Aurelius

“I have learned what a heart full of gratitude feels like.”
—Unknown

“If you make yourself a doormat, you will be stepped on.”
—American Proverb

“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
—Marcel Proust

“The Way isn’t something that can be put into words.  You have to practice before you can understand.  You can’t force things, including practice.  Understanding is something that happens naturally.  It’s different for everyone.  The main thing is to reduce your desires and quiet your mind.”
—Master Hsueh

“Within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty; to which every part and every particle is equally related; the eternal One.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 17
SAINTS

“The saints are the sinners who keep on going.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson

At times I do not want to carry on; I do not want to fight anymore for truth and freedom; it seems so much easier to “give up ” and agree with everybody—but I know, deep inside myself, this is not true.

At times the disease speaks to me and tells me to “give up” and everything will be okay—perhaps have one drink, don’t rush off to so many meetings, get what you can when you can! It all sounds so tempting, but I know that it does not work.

Sobriety works! The struggle and pain to act responsibly in my life is paying off and it does get better. I am not going to give up. My life is worth more than a quick fix!

Lord, let me know that true courage is working through the pain.

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Bible Scriptures
March 17

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”
—Psalms 55:22

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.”
—Psalms 56:3

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
—James 4:10

“Jesus said, ‘Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.'”
—John 15:12-13

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Daily Inspiration
March 17

We have been given a treasure of talents which should be accepted with responsibility and gratitude. Lord, may my gifts flourish in great faith and charity so that they may also benefit others.

Love who you are, for who you are, God loves. Lord, help me to never abuse myself with self pity or excess, emotionally or physically, so that I may live my life to the fullest according to Your Will.

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A Day At A Time
March 17

Reflection For The Day

“Lead us not into temptation,” we pray, for we know with certainty that temptation lurks around the corner.  Temptation is cunning, baffling, powerful—and patient:  we never know when it will catch us with our guard down.  Temptation could come in the siren song of a four-color advertisement, the fragment of a half-remembered song or, more obviously, in the direct urgings of another person.  We must remain forever vigilant, remembering that the first drink gets us drunk, that the first obsessive bite will likely trigger an overeating orgy, that the first roll of the dice could well destroy our lives.  Am I aware of my number one priority?

Today I Pray

God, lead me out of temptation—whether it is the jolly-but-alcoholic abandon of my peers at a special-occasion celebration, the pressure from my friends to “get in the spirit” of a party, the familiar aura of an apartment where joints are passed around, the sound of rattling dice, the smell of a bakery.  May I know  the limits of my resistance and stay well within them.  May my surrender to the will of God give a whole new meaning to that old phrase, “Get in the spirit.”

Today I Will Remember

Get in the spirit.

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One More Day
March 17

“Time is lost when we have not lived a full of human life, time enriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“I’ll never make it through today!”  While we all may have had that thought from time to time, we did live through that day to rise the next morning and greet the new day.  Time can go by very slowly when we are thinking of one but ourselves.  Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by fear of an uncertain future.  We may even feel that we have been deserted by our friends and family in a time of need.

When overwhelmed with these helpless feelings, we can turn to our Higher Power for comfort and understanding.  Knowing we don’t have to work through the details of our lives alone not only comforts us, it fills our minutes and days with positive thoughts and actions.

My Higher Power lends me strength to carry me through.

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One Day At A Time
March 17
PERSPECTIVE

“Nothing is lost upon a man who is bent upon growth; nothing wasted on one who is always preparing for life.  By keeping eyes, mind, and heart open to nature, men, books, experience, and what he gathers, serves him at unexpected moments, is unforeseen.”
—Hamilton Wright Mabie

I love to walk in the woods. The silent serenity of shadowed sunlight; the soft bounce of scattered needles under my feet; and the cool, clear air breathe peace into my soul.

I’ve long been fascinated by “nurse logs”–those aged, fallen pines who serve as fertile sustenance for younger, healthy trees.

When I look back at my life I see so much death. I see wasted years of hiding, lying, pretending—years of wrapping myself in my sickness. I have held my disease close to me. At first it seemed to bring safety, but I came to find that it was actually a death shroud. I wondered how any good could ever come from my years of pain.

After entering Recovery and working the Program, I have come to see that Nothing Is Wasted. Every sorrow, every injury, and every failure have brought me to this fruitful forest of New Life. Had I never suffered, I would never have found the Serenity that comes from choosing Gratitude. Had my life been easy, I would not have the appreciation I have gained for each new day. No one values safety, peace, and growth quite so profoundly as do those who have lived without them for so very long.

As I keep my mind, heart, and perspective focused on God, growth, and life, I find that my pain has become a nurse log; rich with all that is needed to bring life where once was only death.

One day at a time …
I will remember that nothing is wasted. I will choose to appreciate the pain and wisdom of the God-given nurse log which feeds me with hope and peace.

~ Lisa V

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 17

“By listening to the inner self and following one’s instincts and intuitions, a person may be guided to safety.”
—Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

Be still and know. The Medicine Wheel teaches the four directions of inner power – not personal power, but the power of God. These four directions are emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. As our emotions get too far out of control, we simultaneously create an equivalent mental picture, our physical body fills with stress and tension, and we become spiritually confused. When we experience these uptight feelings, the best thing to do is mentally pause, slow down our thinking, breathe slowly, or pray and ask the spirits to help. Only when we approach the stillness of the mind do we get access to our spiritual guidance system. To be guided, let your mind be still.

Creator, today, let me reside in Your stillness.

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Journey to the Heart
March 17
Cherish Hope

It was a beautiful city in Idaho. The lake that ran alongside the highway was so clear and blue, I pulled the jeep to the roadside just to stop and stare. The air was clear. The city felt light, airy, buoyant. It’s name was hope.

I didn’t stay long. I didn’t need to. But I needed to drive by, drive through, pause for a moment to remember another important power to discover and cherish on our journey. Hope is airy, almost intangible, yet if we don’t have it, we know it. Hope is simple. Clear. Light. Our hearts, our souls, need a good glimpse of it every so often, just to keep us going.

Even those times we can’t have what we want, we can be open to seeing its light shining unexpectedly in another direction, like this small town that caught my eye.

Cherish hope. It adds buoyancy to the spirit, lightness to the day.

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Today’s Gift
March 17

“Love is always open arms.”
—Leo Buscaglia

There is a story about a boy who left home and dishonored his father by spending a large amount of money on fast and reckless living. When the boy’s money ran out, he was faced with the prospect of returning home to face his father, knowing the father had every reason to be disappointed in him. Filled with fear and shame he approached his home, his mind racing with words of apology. Before the boy could say a word, his father rushed to him with open arms and hugged his lost son in joy and love.

Have we done this? Have we found it in our hearts to approve whatever a loved one does, even if we would have wanted something different?

Love like this is the highest kind of love. It finds joy in others no matter what, because it recognizes the freedom of those we love, and doesn’t chain them to our own wants. It is the same kind of love God has for us.

Are my arms open today?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 17
Empowering

You can think. You can feel. You can solve your problems. You can take care of yourself.

Those words have often benefited me more than the most profound and elaborate advice.

How easy it is to fall into the trap of doubting others and ourselves.

When someone tells us about a problem, what is our reaction? Do we believe we need to solve it for the person? Do we believe that that person’s future rests on our ability to advise him or her? That’s standing on shaky ground – not the stuff of which recovery is made.

When someone is struggling through a feeling, or a morass of feelings, what is our reaction? That the person will never survive that experience? That it’s not okay for someone to feel? That he or she will never get through this intact?

When a person is faced with the task of assuming responsibility for their life and behaviors, what is our response? That the person can’t do that? I must do it myself to save him or her from dissipating into ashes? From crumbling? From failing?

What is our reaction to ourselves when we encounter a problem, a feeling, or when we face the prospect of assuming responsibility for ourselves?

Do we believe in others and ourselves? Do we give power to people—including ourselves—and their abilities? Or do we give the power to the problem, the feeling, or the irresponsibility?

We can learn to check ourselves out. We can learn to think, and consider our response, before we respond. “I’m sorry you’re having that problem. I know you can figure out a solution. Sounds like you’ve got some feelings going on. I know you’ll work through them and come out on the other side.”

Each of us is responsible for ourselves. That does not mean we don’t care. It does not mean a cold, calculated withdrawal of our support from others. It means we learn to love and support people in ways that work. It means we learn to love and support ourselves in ways that work. It means that we connect with friends who love and support us in ways that work.

To believe in people, to believe in each persons inherent ability to think, feel, solve problems, and take care of themselves is a great gift we can give and receive from others.

Today, I will strive to give and receive support that is pure and empowering. I will work at believing in myself and others – and our mutual abilities to be competent at dealing with feelings, solving problems, and taking responsibility for ourselves.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 17
Don’t avoid the void

I was sitting at dinner with a group of friends in a restaurant one evening. Everyone but one person was done eating. Feet were shuffling under the table. We were ready to go. One member of the group, an older woman, was picking at her meal. She had ordered dessert, but hadn’t eaten it yet. Instead, she slowly sipped her coffee.

“I don’t eat my dessert until I’ve finished coffee,” she said. when the waiter asked if he could take her plate.

All eyes at the table watched as she took a tiny sip, placed the cup down, and chattered, telling stories and jokes, making meaningless conversation. We watched eagerly as she started to pick her fork up to take a bite of dessert, then sighed quietly as she changed her mind, set the fork down, and began to tell another story.

She was alone, widowed, and her children lived in another state. It was obvious that she was trying to stretch dinner out with her friends as long as she could. She was trying to fill up that empty, silent place we call the void.

There’s a lot of talk in life and in this book about doing, achieving, and going for what we want. There’s much spurring on to activity that shouts, “Yes, I’m alive. And I’m fully and richly living my life the best I can.”

In all the busyness and living, there needs to be mindfulness and careful attention paid to another part of life, too. That part is the repetitive and natural cycle that some people call “the void.”

It’s an empty space in our lives.

The void can be a small space in our lives—lasting a few days or weeks. Or it can go on longer. That relationship has ended. We’re alone. We don’t know what to do next. Or that cycle in our lives has ended– maybe we’ve graduated from school or college, and we don’t know where to go next. Maybe our time as a parent has ended. Maybe someone we loved, a roommate or best friend, who was an important part of our lives has moved away.

Don’t be afraid of the void. Postpone it for a while, if you must. Linger at dinner with friends, refusing to finish your dessert. As dark, cold, and empty as it feels, the void is a friendly place. Its rhythms are slower and often more confusing than other cycles in our lives, but the rhythms of this cycle are still there.

Remember those quiet times in your life, the ones you’ve gone through before, when one cycle has ended and another has not yet begun. Remind yourself when that void comes along that you don’t have to be frightened of it. It’s not the end. It’s only a creative and necessary pause, a cycle of its own, in the cycles and rhythms of life.

God, give me the courage to step into the void in my life with dignity, faith, and a sense of humor. Help me cherish the unknown as much as I enjoy activity and clarity.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 17

“The reward of friendship is itself. The man who hopes for anything else does not understand what true friendship is.”
—Saint Ailred of Rievaulx

The comfort of a true friend in a time of trouble, the strength we sense in being with someone who truly knows us, the affirmation of life that comes with enduring friendships—no other experience is like these. Recovery, once our addictive behaviors end, is mostly through relationships. In this program we are developing a friendship with ourselves, with other men and women, and with our Higher Power.

True friendship happens when we lower our guard and let our feelings show. It happens when we listen without judgment. It accumulates over time in many little experiences with someone. There is friendship in returning to someone when we feel offended or hurt so the relationship can be repaired – and in returning to him when we have been the offender. Sometimes friendship means humility, or accepting our worthiness to be forgiven. The development and deepening of our friendships, with other men, with women, and with ourselves sustains us in recovery.

Today, I will be true in my friendships.

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DailyTAO
March 17
SANCTITY

Every soul is inviolable,
Any thought can be private.
The deepest goal is to
Find sanctity’s source.

The body may be ravaged and hacked to pieces, but the mind may never be invaded. It is only when we permit others to influence us that our minds may be entered. Evil may thrive on enslaving us physically, emotionally, or mentally, but it can do so only by deception. That is why we must remember the sanctity of our own souls. Our thoughts are private. As long as we are determined, evil cannot sway us. People think that others can read minds or that the gods watch our every movement. No master, no psychic, no god can enter our inner gate if we choose not to let them in.

By withdrawing into the sanctity of our souls, we can also know ourselves. This effort cannot be carried forth by others. It can only be accomplished through the self-effort of living and engaging in ongoing contemplation. Only we can enter the most sacred core of our beings and find the secrets of life.

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DailyZen
March 17

I expected to see only pink blossoms,
But a gentle spring snow has fallen
And the cherry trees are wearing a white coat.

—Ryokan (1758-1831)

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Food for Thought
March 17

Vulnerability

When we stop doping ourselves with unnecessary food, we become vulnerable. We have been using extra food as a defence against our feelings. Without it, fears and anxieties surface and new energies are released. Instead of retreating into the refrigerator, we can learn day by day how to live with our exposed selves.

Making an overture of friendship to someone we would like to know better involves the risk of rejection. Saying no to a family member when a request conflicts with our program may make us feel guilty. Asking for help when we need it means admitting our weakness. Exposing our needs destroys our facade of self-sufficiency.

To be vulnerable requires courage, but only as we are able to live without the defence of overeating are we able to grow emotionally and spiritually. When we stop turning to food to cover up our feelings and needs, we are able to be more open with other people. We are nourished by them and by the Higher Power who allays our fears and directs our new energies.

May I not fear being vulnerable.

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In God’s Care
March 17

“You have to have a talent for having talent.”
—Ruth Gordon

Each of us brings different gifts along on our journey. We all have a variety of talents We don’t however, always know how to use them. Some people seem to know how to put their talents to good use. Many of us botch them until we get help from God, who gave them to us.

Each of our talents has a purpose. We weren’t given them by accident. We all have talents. And, of course, combinations of talents. But we don’t live up to our potential without God’s direction.

I put my talents in God’s hands so that I can live at full capacity.

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Faith’s Check Book
March 17
Fear to Fear

Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
(Jeremiah 1:8)

Whenever fear comes in and makes us falter, we are in danger of falling into sin. Conceit is to be dreaded, but so is cowardice. “Dare to be a Daniel.” Our great Captain should be served by brave soldiers.

What a reason for bravery is here! God is with those who are with Him. God will never be away when the hour of struggle comes. Do they threaten you? Who are you that you should be afraid of a man that shall die? Will you lose your situation? Your God whom you serve will find bread and water for His servants. Can you not trust Him? Do they pour ridicule upon you? Will this break your bones or your heart? Bear it for Christ’s sake, and even rejoice because of it.

God is with the true, the just, the holy, to deliver them; and He will deliver you. Remember how Daniel came out of the lions’ den and the three holy children out of the furnace. Yours is not so desperate a case as theirs; but if it were, the Lord would bear you through and make you more than a conqueror. Fear to fear. Be afraid to be afraid. Your worst enemy is within your own bosom. Get to your knees and cry for help, and then rise up saying, “I will trust, and not be afraid.”

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 17

“Remember the poor.”
—Galatians 2:10.

WHY does God allow so many of His children to be poor? He could make them all rich if He pleased; He could lay bags of gold at their doors; He could send them a large annual income; or He could scatter round their houses abundance of provisions, as once he made the quails lie in heaps round the camp of Israel, and rained bread out of heaven to feed them. There is no necessity that they should be poor, except that He sees it to be best. “The cattle upon a thousand hills are His”—He could supply them; He could make the richest, the greatest, and the mightiest bring all their power and riches to the feet of His children, for the hearts of all men are in His control. But He does not choose to do so; He allows them to suffer want, He allows them to pine in penury and obscurity. Why is this? There are many reasons: one is, to give us, who are favoured with enough, an opportunity of showing our love to Jesus. We show our love to Christ when we sing of Him and when we pray to Him; but if there were no sons of need in the world we should lose the sweet privilege of evidencing our love, by ministering in alms-giving to His poorer brethren; He has ordained that thus we should prove that our love standeth not in word only, but in deed and in truth. If we truly love Christ, we shall care for those who are loved by Him. Those who are dear to Him will be dear to us. Let us then look upon it not as a duty but as a privilege to relieve the poor of the Lord’s flock—remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Surely this assurance is sweet enough, and this motive strong enough to lead us to help others with a willing hand and a loving heart—recollecting that all we do for His people is graciously accepted by Christ as done to Himself.
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This Evenings Meditation
March 17

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
—Matthew 5:9.

HIS is the seventh of the beatitudes: and seven was the number of perfection among the Hebrews. It may be that the Saviour placed the peacemaker the seventh upon the list because he most nearly approaches the perfect man in Christ Jesus. He who would have perfect blessedness, so far as it can be enjoyed on earth, must attain to this seventh benediction, and become a peacemaker. There is a significance also in the position of the text. The verse which precedes it speaks of the blessedness of “the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” It is well to understand that we are to be “first pure, then peaceable.” Our peaceableness is never to be a compact with sin, or toleration of evil. We must set our faces like flints against everything which is contrary to God and His holiness: purity being in our souls a settled matter, we can go on to peaceableness. Not less does the verse that follows seem to have been put there on purpose. However peaceable we may be in this world, yet we shall be misrepresented and misunderstood: and no marvel, for even the Prince of Peace, by His very peacefulness, brought fire upon the earth. He Himself, though He loved mankind, and did no ill, was “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Lest, therefore, the peaceable in heart should be surprised when they meet with enemies, it is added in the following verse, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Thus, the peacemakers are not only pronounced to be blessed, but they are compassed about with blessings. Lord, give us grace to climb to this seventh beatitude! Purify our minds that we may be “first pure, then peaceable,” and fortify our souls, that our peaceableness may not lead us into cowardice and despair, when for Thy sake we are persecuted.

 

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