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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 19

Just For Today
March 19
Something Valuable To Share

“A simple, honest message of recovery from addiction rings true.”
Basic Text p. 50

You’re in a meeting. The sharing has been going on for some time. One or two members have described their spiritual experiences in an especially meaningful way. Another has had us all rolling in the aisles with entertaining stories. And then the leader calls on you.., gulp. You shyly introduce yourself, apologetically stammer out a few lines, thank everyone for listening, and sit out the rest of the meeting in embarrassed silence. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone.

We’ve all had times when we’ve felt that what we had to share wasn’t spiritual enough, wasn’t entertaining enough, wasn’t something enough. But sharing is not a competitive sport. The meat of our meetings is identification and experience, something all of us have in abundance. When we share from our hearts the truth of our experience, other addicts feel they can trust us because they know we’re just like them. When we simply share what’s been effective in our lives, we can be sure that our message will be helpful to others.

Our sharing doesn’t have to be either fancy or funny to ring true. Every addict working an honest program that brings meaningful recovery has something of immense value to share, something no one else can give: his or her own experience.

Just for today: I have something valuable to share. I will attend a meeting today and share my experience in recovery from addiction.

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Daily Reflections
March 19
PRAYER: IT WORKS

It has been well said that “almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.”
–TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 97

Having grown up in an agnostic household, I felt somewhat foolish when I first tried praying. I knew there was a Higher Power working in my life — how else was I staying sober? — but I certainly wasn’t convinced he/she/it wanted to hear my prayers. People who had what I wanted said prayer was an important part of practicing the program, so I persevered. With a commitment to daily prayer, I was amazed to find myself becoming more serene and comfortable with my place in the world. In other words, life became easier and less of a struggle. I’m still not sure who, or what, listens to my prayers, but I’d never stop saying them for the simple reason that they work.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 19
A.A. Thought For The Day

When we were drinking, we used to be ashamed of the past. Remorse is terrible mental punishment: ashamed of ourselves for the things we’ve said and done, afraid to face people because of what they might think of us, afraid of the consequences of what we did when we were drunk. In A.A. we forget about the past. Do I believe that God has forgiven me for everything I’ve done in the past, no matter how black it was, provided I’m honestly trying to do the right thing today?

Meditation For The Day

God’s spirit is all about you all day long. You have no thoughts, no plans, no impulses, no emotions, that He does not know about. You can hide nothing from Him. Do not make your conduct conform only to that of the world and do not depend on the approval or disapproval of others. God sees in secret, but He rewards openly. If you are in harmony with the Divine Spirit, doing your best to live the way you believe God wants you to live, you will be at peace.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may always feel God’s presence. I pray that I may realize this Presence constantly all through the day.

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As Bill Sees It
March 19
Clearing A Channel, p. 78

During the day, we can pause where situations must be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request “Thy will, not mine, be done.”

If at these points our emotional disturbances happens to be great, we will more surely keep our balance provided we remember, and repeat to ourselves, a particular prayer or phrase that has appealed to us in our reading or meditation. Just saying it over and over will often enable us to clear a channel choked up with anger, fear, frustration, or misunderstanding, and permit us to return to the surest help of all–our search for God’s will, not our own, in the moment of stress.

12 & 12, pp. 102-103

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Walk in Dry Places
March 19
Where is God?
Guidance.

AA members have always had a difficult time explaining the “God business”. We didn’t want to be considered religious, but at the same time we’ve always believed some contact with a Higher Power is necessary for real personal growth.

There’s nothing wrong… for our purposes… in simply visualizing God as a Higher Power that has always been within us and around us. “Before they call, I will answer,” goes an old saying, and that was true even in our darkest days. Many of us also believe that a higher power helped bring AA into being and move it along to become a worldwide force for good.

But God works in ways that can seem to come from change or coincidence. Quite often, we’ll find that little events had far-reaching results in our lives. When we review how such things happened, we should not conclude that this happens only to certain “special” people. All human beings are part of God’s creation and can avail themselves of guidance and direction. The more serious problem is that guidance and direction are sometimes ignored or rejected.

I’ll go about my affairs today with the knowledge that my Higher Power is making the important decisions in my life. I’ll come out about where God wants me to be.

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Keep It Simple
March 19

Speak when you’re angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.
–Lawrence J. Peter

When we used alcohol or other drugs, most of us were hotheads. We thought we were right. If we were proven wrong, we may have made life hell for everyone. People knew enough to stay away from us. In recovery, things will still go badly at times. We’ll get hurt. And we’ll get angry. But now, we turn our anger to our Higher Power. In our groups, we talk about what makes us angry. Then we leave the anger behind when the meeting is over. We find that being at peace is now more important than getting even.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, when I’m angry, help me slow down, Help me remember it’s okay to be angry, but its not okay to abuse people.

Action for the Day: I will remember a time when I turned anger, into rage and hurt someone. I will also remember a time I was angry in a respectful way.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 19

I realized a long time ago that a belief which does not spring from a conviction in the emotions is no belief at all.
–Evelyn Scott

From pillar to post we bounced, most of us not knowing what we actually believed about nearly any situation before getting to this program. Perhaps we believed what was most convenient at the time because of the people we were with. And maybe we jumped the fence quickly when in a new setting. Values were sometimes talked about but not defined, and certainly not adhered to.

It’s difficult to develop a strong sense of self, to have a very secure self-image when the parameters offered by a value system are lacking. Our values define who we are. They offer us direction when making choices. They quietly demand that we behave responsibly. Living in concert with our values brings peace to our souls.

Gone are the days when we rode first one fence and then another, never knowing what side of any issue we honestly believed in. The program has offered us a plan for living, a plan that erases the many uncertainties, the inner turmoil of past years.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 19
SAFE HAVEN

– This A.A. found that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn’t want to be.

Prison. What a wonderful life it is. Here I am, sitting in a cell waiting for my hotpot to heat up so I can have a cup of instant coffee and reminisce. As I ponder my current circumstance, I reflect of the undeniable fact that I am well into my fourth year of incarceration. I still wake up some mornings wishing it were all a bad dream.

p. 452

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 19

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

To clergymen, doctors, friends, and families, the alcoholic who means well and tries hard is a heartbreaking riddle. To most A.A.’s, he is not. There are too many of us who have been just like him, and have found the riddle’s answer. This answer has to do with the quality of faith rather than its quantity. This has been our blind spot. We supposed we had humility when really we hadn’t. We supposed we had been serious about religious practices when, upon honest appraisal, we found we had been only superficial. Or, going to the other extreme, we had wallowed in emotionalism and had mistaken it for true religious feeling. In both cases, we had been asking something for nothing. The fact was we really hadn’t cleaned house so that the grace of God could enter us and expel the obsession. In no deep or meaningful sense had we ever taken stock of ourselves, made amends to those we had harmed, or freely given to any other human being without any demand for reward. We had not even prayed rightly. We had always said, “Grant me my wishes” instead of “Thy will be done.” The love of God and man we understood not at all. Therefore we remained self-deceived, and so incapable of receiving enough grace to restore us to sanity.

p. 32

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Xtra Thoughts
March 19

“All of us, at certain moments of our lives, need to take advice and to receive help from other people.”
-Alexis Carrel, Reflections on Life

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
–Helen Keller

“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself.”
–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“A closed mouth gathers no feet.”
–Anon.

We cannot think our way into sober living. We live our way into sober thinking.
–Unknown

We in AA don’t carry the alcoholic; we carry the message.
–Unknown

Listening feeds the spirit.
–Unknown

When I am too busy to pray – I am just too busy.
–Unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 19
MADNESS

“Sanity is madness put to good use.”
— George Santayana

I heard the phrase “make the disease work for you”. It made a great deal of sense to me and still does. I am a recovering alcoholic. My alcoholism is still within me and every day I take the necessary steps to stay sober. My disease is that “mad” part of me that wants to destroy my life, relationships and understanding of God. What I need to do is accept my “madness” and turn it around so that it works for me.  My suffering is the key to my spiritual growth. My anger and manipulation helps me to understand the imperfections of others. My powerlessness over alcohol give me an understanding of humility that is based on reality.  The acceptance of my “madness” keeps me sane!

O God, give me the sanity to accept my imperfections so that I can grow into the “best” that I can be.

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Bible Scriptures
March 19

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalms 61:2

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalms 141:3

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:1

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Daily Inspiration
March 19

When you meet God in prayer, everything becomes new. Lord, may I be humbly joyful in my faith.

Take less for granted and you will become very busy enjoying all that you have. Lord, thank you for my blessings and for all those that I am able to share them with.

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A Day At A Time
March 19

Reflection For The Day

I know today that “stopping in fo9r a drink” will never again be — for me — simply killing a few minutes and leaving a luck on the air.  In exchange for the first drink, what I’d plunk down now would be my bank account, my family, our home, or car, my job, my sanity, and probably my life.  It’s too big a price, and too great a risk.  Do you remember your last drunk?

Today I Pray

May I be strong in the knowledge that God’s spirit is with me at all times.  May I learn to feel His presence.  May I know that nothing is hidden from Him.  Unlike the world which approves or disapproves of my outward behavior, God sees all that I do, think or feel.  If I seek to do His will, I can always count on His reward for me — peace of mind.

Today I Will Remember

God Knows all.

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One More Day
March 19

Faith is a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.
–  Eric Hoffer

Busy! Busy! Busy! We might feel as though we’re living our lives on a treadmill — always on the go, helping, and giving our time to people and causes.

Service and volunteerism can be wonderful ways to help, but only if they augment an already full life. We truly are living on a treadmill if our involvement is an escape from facing our inner-most thought and fears. We are getting nowhere if our outside activities are all we have to wake up for each morning.

We begin to change when we honestly face our greatest fears. We can search our personalities to find our vulnerable points and then strive to correct what defects we can. It is then that we regain faith in ourselves and in our abilities.

Once I regain faith in myself I can open my heart to help others.

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One Day At A Time
March 19
~ Commitment ~

Shallow men believe in luck ~ Strong men believe in cause and effect.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Abstinence did not happen for me until I made a commitment to it. I realized that I would have abstinence until something was a bit too uncomfortable for me to face or feel. Then I would have a slip. So it became a game for me. Was this event or circumstance enough to justify another slip? Sure, why not? That’s the nature of the disease. Everything and anything was an excuse to eat.

It wasn’t until I made a commitment to abstinence that I was forced to find my solutions in the Twelve Steps and really let go of my addiction. I’m grateful to my Higher Power that I hit the bottom I did. By accepting the truth about myself and my food addiction, I am now free to live in the solution.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will renew my commitment by receiving the gift of abstinence and practicing my program to the best of my ability.

~ Christine S. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 19

“There’s a deep wound in people – that they have been so cut off from the source of their being, their mother, their Earth Mother.”
–Francis Story Talbott II (Medicine Story), WAMPANOAG

When we are connected to the Earth Mother, or when we are clear on our purpose, we will feel connected and safe. We will feel love. When we are disconnected from the Earth Mother, or we don’t know who we are or why we are, we will feel pain. It will be similar to a little child who has lost its Mother. We will hurt insid – we will be wounded within. If this happens to the whole community, the people will be very sad and lost. It will seem like there is death in the air. When this happens, it is time for ceremony and reconnection to God and Mother Earth. This is the time of prayer.

Great Mystery, today, help me to stay connected to the Earth and to You, my Creator.

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Journey to the Heart
March 19
 Learn to Heal Yourself

Sometimes we trick ourselves. If we feel unhappy, troubled, or scared, we race toward what we think will make us feel better. In desperation, in fear, we grasp for something, anything to stop our pain. Finding that job. Making more money. Getting married. Having a relationship. If I get that one thing I need, then I’ll be happy. Then my pain will stop.

Sometimes it’s true that finding the solution to a problem improves the quality of our lives. Having enough money enables us to fix the furnace when it breaks. Having people in our lives we love and who love us can be an important part of our happiness. Having work to do that we enjoy and that we feel is worthwhile helps us feel good about ourselves.

But when we’re in pain– no matter what’s causing it– the way to heal that pain doesn’t come from outside of ourselves. External circumstances don’t make internal emotions disappear. Even if we get what we think we want, the painful emotion we haven’t had the strength or courage to face will still be there.

The way to heal pain, the only way, is to feel and release it. Your pain is your pain. Your fear, desperation, and resentments are yours, too. All these emotions belong to you. Feel them, learn from them, and let them go.

Walk courageously each step of the path on the journey to the heart. Emjoy when the universe sends you its gifts– a lover, some money, a good job. But know the ultimate key to happiness lies not in external things, but within you. Feel all your feelings. Learn to heal yourself.

 

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Today’s Gift
March 19

Where is the yesterday that worried us so?
—Joan Walsh Anglund

In the fairy tale The Last Dream of the Old Oak Tree, the oak tree felt sorry for the dayfly. The dayfly only lives for one day, and the tree was already 365 years old. But the dayfly was so enjoying his one-day that the tree’s sympathy puzzled him. The dayfly said to the tree, “You may have thousands of my days, but I have thousands of moments to be pleased and happy in.”

And so the dayfly continued to dance in the sun and smell the clover and honeysuckle. His day ended as happily as he spent it, and he settled down on a blade of grass.

If all of us could approach our day the way the dayfly does, as though this were our only day, we would spend less time worrying about yesterday and tomorrow.

How can I show my gratitude for the gift of this day?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 19
Staying Out of the Middle

“I don’t want to get in the middle, but . . .” is a sign that we may have just stepped into the middle.

We do not have to get caught in the middle of other people’s issues, problems, or communication. We can let others take responsibility for themselves in their relationships. We can let them work out their issues with each other.

Being a peacemaker does not mean we get in the middle. We are bearers of peace by staying peaceful ourselves and not harboring turmoil. We are peacemakers by not causing the extra chaos created when we get in the middle of other people’s affairs and relationships.

Don’t get in the middle unless you want to be there.

Today, I will refuse to accept any invitations to jump in the middle of others’ affairs, issues, and relationships. I will trust others to work out their own affairs, including the ideas and feelings they want to communicate to each other.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 19
Lighten up

The matter at hand is serious. It’s grave. We need to get serious about the relationship. We need to get serious about the task.

Maybe what we really need to do is learn to lighten up.

Nations rise and fall, heroes are born and die, the sun rises and sets, and you want me to take seriously the notion that arriving to church wearing the right clothes is going to make any difference at all.

What matters is what’s in our hearts.

“The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly,” G.K. Chesterton once wrote. Once you stop taking yourself so seriously and let go of the gravity of all that you do, you can learn to fly,too.

God, help me lighten up.

 

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 19

There seemed not to be another living thing in all the world. There was something of bliss in this stillness, and something ominous too. It was the kind of stillness that beckons us to turn inward, toward the beginnings of our existence.
—Paul Gruchow

We cannot create profound stillness. We can allow it. We can move into it. We can receive it. Many of us have been frightened by such a stillness because we are not familiar with the spiritual moment. We felt moved, awestruck, and we may have run to escape that inward moment. Some men are endlessly busy just keeping the stillness at a comfortable distance. Many recovering men have unwittingly thrown themselves into a workaholic life because they were frightened by their emerging spirits.

We can change this pattern by allowing ourselves a little quiet at a time. At first, it may be just a few minutes alone. We may be more able to meet the stillness outdoors, or we can learn to be still in the presence of someone else. The stillness is a moment of meditation. It is contact with God.

God, give me the courage to allow spiritual experiences to be part of my life.

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DailyTAO
March 19
FEAR

Trust the gods within,
Accept given boons.
Illusion is reality’s border:
Pierce fear to go beyond.

In your meditations, you will meet gods. These gods are nothing more than the holiest aspects of your own mind; they are not other beings. Your inner gods will grant gifts of knowledge and power. Accept what comes your way without doubt and without fear. You can trust your gods. They will never betray you, for you cannot betray yourself.

Such trust dissolves fear and regret. You will find a resolution to your inner conflicts. The gods will direct you forward to the very border of reality itself. On the other side is vast profundity, the ultimate nature of existence. But the border can be crossed only if you have resolved all fear and regret.

All fear comes from our sense of self. When we stand at the border of reality, we are afraid that we will lose our identities by plunging in. We are afraid of being destroyed. but we came from Tao in the first place. We are Tao. To return to Tao is not to be negated, but to become one with the entire universe. True, we will no longer be who we are now, but we will be one with Tao. In that state, there is no need for fear.

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DailyZen
March 19

To study the Way,
whether moving or still,
is nothing more or less
than becoming quite intimate
with our own nature,
resting quite easy in our natural state.

– Anon

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Food for Thought
March 19
Strength

In the past, we relied on our own strength to get us where we thought we wanted to go. We were afraid, since deep down we knew how weak and undependable our own strength really was.

When we turn our lives over, we no longer have to go it alone. We have tapped the limitless reservoir of strength provided by our Higher Power, and when we are operating under His guidance we feel confident. What we could not do ourselves can be done when we admit our weakness and ask for help.

Through working the OA program and through closer contact with our Higher Power, we may find that we are going in a new direction. The things we thought we wanted may turn out to be unnecessary, and we may have new goals. Wherever our journey leads, we will have the strength we need, since it does not come from ourselves but from a Power greater than ourselves.

I need Your strength, Lord.

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In God’s Care
March 19

Not Available

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Faith’s Check Book
March 19
Becoming Fit for Glory

The Lord will give grace and glory.
(Psalm 84:11)

Grace is what we need just now, and it is to be had freely. What can be freer than a gift? Today we shall receive sustaining, strengthening, sanctifying, satisfying grace. He has given daily grace until now, and as for the future, that grace is still sufficient. If we have but little grace the fault must lie in ourselves; for the Lord is not straitened, neither is He slow to bestow it in abundance. We may ask for as much as we will and never fear a refusal. He giveth liberally and upbraideth not.

The Lord may not give gold, but He will give grace: He may not give gain, but He will give grace. He will certainly send us trial, but He will give grace in proportion thereto. We may be called to labor and to suffer, but with the call there will come all the grace required;

What an “end” is that in the text—”and glory!” We do not need glory yet, and we are not yet fit for it; but we shall have it in due order. After we have eaten the bread of grace, we shall drink the wine of glory. We must go through the holy, which is grace, to the holiest of all, which is glory. These words and glory are enough to make a man dance for joy. A little while—a little while, and then glory forever!

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 19

“Strong in faith.”
-—Romans 4:20.

CHRISTIAN, take good care of thy faith; for recollect faith is the only way whereby thou canst obtain blessings. If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith. Prayer cannot draw down answers, from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes. Faith is the angelic messenger between the soul and the Lord Jesus in glory. Let that angel be withdrawn, we can neither send up prayer, nor receive the answers. Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and heaven—on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we receive the promise? Am I in trouble?—I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy?—my soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith. But take faith away—in vain I call to God. There is no road betwixt my soul and heaven. In the deepest wintertime faith is a road on which the horses of prayer may travel—ay, and all the better for the biting frost; but blockade the road, and how can we communicate with the Great King? Faith links me with divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of God. Faith engages on my side the omnipotence of Jehovah. Faith ensures every attribute of God in my defence. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything of the Lord? Let not him that wavereth—who is like a wave of the Sea—expect that he will receive anything of God! O, then, Christian, watch well thy faith; for with it thou canst win all things, however poor thou art, but without it thou canst obtain nothing. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

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This Evenings Meditations
March 19

“And she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.”
—Ruth 2:14.

HENEVER we are privileged to eat of the bread which Jesus gives, we are, like Ruth, satisfied with the full and sweet repast. When Jesus is the host no guest goes empty from the table. Our head is satisfied with the precious truth which Christ reveals; our heart is content with Jesus, as the altogether lovely object of affection; our hope is satisfied, for whom have we in heaven but Jesus? and our desire is satiated, for what can we wish for more than “to know Christ and to be found in Him”? Jesus fills our conscience till it is at perfect peace; our judgment with persuasion of the certainty of His teachings; our memory with recollections of what He has done, and our imagination with the prospects of what He is yet to do. As Ruth was “sufficed, and left,” so is it with us. We have had deep draughts; we have thought that we could take in all of Christ; but when we have done our best we have had to leave a vast remainder. We have sat at the table of the Lord’s love, and said, “Nothing but the infinite can ever satisfy me; I am such a great sinner that I must have infinite merit to wash my sin away;” but we have had our sin removed, and found that there was merit to spare; we have had our hunger relieved at the feast of sacred love, and found that there was a redundance of spiritual meat remaining. There are certain sweet things in the Word of God which we have not enjoyed yet, and which we are obliged to leave for awhile; for we are like the disciples to whom Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” Yes, there are graces to which we have not attained; places of fellowship nearer to Christ which we have not reached; and heights of communion which our feet have not climbed. At every banquet of love there are many baskets of fragments left. Let us magnify the liberality of our glorious Boaz.

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