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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 25

Just For Today
March 25
I Can’t, But We Can

“From the isolation of our addiction, we find a fellowship of people with a common bond… Our faith, strength, and hope come from people sharing their recovery…”
Basic Text, pg.94-95

Admit no weakness, conceal all shortcomings, deny every failure, go it alone-that was the creed many of us followed. We denied that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable, despite all evidence to the contrary. Many of us took our First Step only when we had evidence that addicts could recover in Narcotics Anonymous.

In NA, we find others who’ve been in the same predicament, with the same needs, who’ve found tools that work for them. These addicts are willing to share those tools with us and gibe us the emotional support we need as we learn to use them. Recovering addicts know how important the help of others can be because they’ve been given that help themselves. When we become a part of Narcotics Anonymous, we join a society of addicts like ourselves, a group of people who know that we help one another recover.

Just for today: I will join in the bond of recovery. I will find the experience, strength, and hope I need in the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.

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Daily Reflections
March 25
A FULL AND THANKFUL HEART

I try hard to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain certain conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know.
–AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37

I believe that we in Alcoholics Anonymous are fortunate in that we are constantly reminded of the need to be grateful and of how important gratitude is in our sobriety. I am truly grateful for the sobriety God has given me through the A.A. program and am glad I can give back what was given to me freely. I am grateful not only for sobriety, but for the quality of life my sobriety has brought. God has been gracious enough to give me sober days and a life blessed with peace and contentment, as well as the ability to give and receive love, and the opportunity to serve others — in our Fellowship, my family and community. For all of this, I have “a full and thankful heart.”

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 25
A.A. Thought For The Day

Strength comes from coming to believe in a Higher Power that can help you. You can’t define this Higher Power, but you can see how it helps other alcoholics. You hear them talk about it and you begin to get the idea yourself. You try praying in a quiet time each morning and you begin to feel stronger, as though your prayers were heard. So you gradually come to believe there must be a Power in the world outside of yourself, which is stronger than you and which you can turn to for help. Am I receiving strength from my faith in a Higher Power?

Meditation For The Day

Spiritual development is achieved by daily persistence in living the way you believe God wants you to live. Like the wearing away of a stone by steady drops of water, so will your daily persistence wear away all the difficulties and gain spiritual success for you. Never falter in this daily, steady persistence. Go forward boldly and unafraid. God will help and strengthen you, as long as you are trying to do His will.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may persist day by day in gaining spiritual experience. I pray that I may make this a lifetime work.

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As Bill Sees It
March 25
Benefits of Responsibility, p. 84

“Happily, A.A.’s per capita expenses are very low. For us to fail to meet them would be to evade a responsibility beneficial for us.

“Most alcoholics have said they had no troubles that money would not cure. We are a group that, when drinking, always held out a hand for funds. So when we commence to pay our own service bills, this is a healthy change.”

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

“Because of drinking, my friend Henry had lost a high-salaried job.  There remained a fine house–with a budget three times his reduced earnings.

“He could have rented the house for enough to carry it. But no!  Henry said he knew that God wanted him to live there, and He would see that the costs were paid. So Henry went on running up bills and glowing with faith. Not surprisingly, his creditors finally took over the place.

“Henry can laugh about it now, having learned that God more often helps those who are willing to help themselves.”

1. Letter, 1960
2. Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places
March 25
Expect Miracles
Belief

Some have claimed that there have been no miracles since the fourteenth century. This is a smug way of saying that miracles do not happen.

Emmet Fox conceded that miracles don’t happen in the sense of violating the perfect, universal system of law and order. But there is such a thing as appealing to a higher law, and this too is part of the constitution of the universe. Prayer is a means of doing this, and enough prayer will get you out of any difficulty, Fox insisted.

People who have found sobriety in AA are actually modern miracles. They expect more miracles to continue happening” otherwise, there would be no point in continuing to work with newcomers. And while we’re expecting miracles, let’s remember that countless other human problems will yield to a spiritual approach. Life itself is miraculous when we study it: why shouldn’t there be more miracles ahead?

I’ll keep an open mind on the subject of miracles. Since we still can glipmse only a fragment of the universe, it should follow that there’s also much more to learn about the spiritual processes that rescued us from alcoholism.

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Keep It Simple
March 25

The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.
–Eugene Delacroix

Trying to be prefect puts distance between us and our Higher Power.

Trying to be perfect shows we’re ashamed of being human. In recovery, we accept that we’re human. We try to be the best human we can be. We used to get high to feel powerful and god-like. But God is not just power. God is also gentleness. Gentleness and love are the power we look for on recovery. We work to be human. We work to know the loving, gentle side of ourselves and our Higher Power. Remember, if we try to be god, we’ll fail. If we try to be human, we’ll win.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me give up trying to be perfect. Help me always keep in mind that I’m human—which means, I’m not perfect.

Action for the Day: Part of being human is making mistakes. Today, I’ll see my mistakes as chances to learn.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 25

When I slow down long enough to smell the roses, I usually see the beauty and all else that is ours to share.
–Morgan Jennings

We overlook so many joys, so many hidden treasures, when we hurry from place to place, person to person, experience to experience, with little attention anywhere. All that matters passes before us now, at this moment. And assuredly, we will not pass this way again.

It has been said the greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention; additionally, living life fully attentive to the breezes, the colors, the sorrows and the thrills as well, is the most prayerful response any of us can make in this life. Nothing more is asked of us. Nothing less is expected.

We have just this one life to live, and each day is a blessing. Even the trials we shall understand as blessings in the months, the years ahead, as we can see now how the painful moments of the past played their part. Our attitude toward the lessons life has offered makes all the difference in the world.

I will look closely at everything in my path today. The women and children, the trees and squirrels, the silent neighbors. I will never see them again as I see them today. I will be at attention.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 25
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.

The following day a newspaper honored our station with a nice article about the professional job we did on weather coverage. But what no one new was that all of those “professional” storm reports were called in from the safety of my back patio as I ad-libbed a little better with each fresh glass of bourbon and cola.

p. 454

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 25

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Maybe this all sounds mysterious and remote, something like Einstein’s theory of relativity or a proposition in nuclear physics. It isn’t at all. Let’s look at how practical it actually is. Every man and woman who has joined A.A. and intends to stick has, without realizing it, made a beginning on Step Three. Isn’t it true that in all matters touching upon alcohol, each of them has decided to turn his or her life over to the care, protection, and guidance of Alcoholics Anonymous? Already a willingness has been achieved to cast out one’s own will and one’s own ideas about the alcohol problem in favor of those suggested by A.A. Any willing newcomer feels sure A.A. is the only safe harbor for the foundering vessel he has become. Now if this is not turning one’s will and life over to a newfound Providence, then what is it?

p. 35

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Xtra Thoughts
March 25

Nine requisites for contented living:
Health enough to make work a pleasure.
Wealth enough to support your needs.
Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.
Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.
Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.
Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.
Faith enough to make real the things of God.
Hope enough to remove all the anxious fears concerning the future.
–Johann von Goethe

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
–Chinese proverb

“All fortune belongs to him who has a contented mind.”
–The Panchatantra

“If we lead good lives, the times are also good. As we are, such are the times.”
–St. Augustine

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.”
–Sir Arthur Helps

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 25
PERSEVERANCE

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Life is exciting to me when I am creating, when I am pursuing a dream, when I am making miracles in my life.

I suppose “perseverance” stems from a belief that things get better when we roll-up our sleeves and do something. Sobriety is about comprehending that in our lives we reflect the message.

God has created man with the ability to make the dream come true; this is not to say it is easy . . . but it is harder not to dream!

Teach us to wonder at the stars with a spade in our hands.

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Bible Scriptures
March 25

Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore.
Psalm 105:1-4

My peace I give you … Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

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Daily Inspiration
March 25

Things are not always what they seem, so take time to think before you react. Lord, grant me patience and resolve when I have the urge to assume the worst or jump to false conclusions.

Knowing about God and knowing God are very different things. Lord, may I recognize Your workings in my life so that I may really know You.

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A Day At A Time
March 25

Reflection For The Day

If a chemically-dependent person wants to live successfully in society, he or she must replace the power of chemicals over his/her life with the power of something else — preferably  positive, at least neutral, but not negative.  That is why we say to the agnostic newcomer:  If you can’t believe in God, find a positive power that is as great as the power of your addiction, and give it the power and dependence you gave to your addiction.  In The Program, the agnostic is left free to find his or her Higher Power, and can use the principles of The Program and the therapy of the meetings to aid in rebuilding his/her life.  Do I go out of my way to work with newcomers?

Today I Pray

May the Power of The Program work its miracles equally for those who believe in a personal God or in a Universal Spirit or in  the strength of the group itself, or for those who define  their Higher Power in their own terms, religious or not.  If newcomers are disturbed by the religiosity of The Program, may I welcome them on their own spiritual terms  May I recognize that we are all spiritual beings.

Today I Will Remember

To each his own spirituality.

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One More Day
March 25

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
—  Arthur Schopenhauer

It’s not easy to get used to the idea of a “forever” kind of illness.  When we first learned about it, we may have allowed it to overtake our lies.  Perhaps we lost the pleasure of taking a walk, playing a card game with friends, or spending time helping others.  We were obsessed with the memory of how life used to be.

We can learn to put illness into its correct position.  We have the chronic condition; it doesn’t own us.  We will know we have reached true acceptance when the medical issue doesn’t dominate our days.

Of course  a chronic illness affects us, but now we an see it properly as only one facet of our lives.  We  can choose to once again have full and meaningful days.

I — not my illness — can choose how well and how fully I will live my life.

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One Day At A Time
March 25
Present Moment

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate on the present moment.”
–Buddha

Staying focused, serene and receptive requires that we keep our attention placed in the present moment. If we allow our minds to be overly focused in the future (ie on outcomes such as “what if’s” or “if only’s”) or in the past (ie past resentments, past embarrassments, or “would’ve beens, “could’ve beens”) we allow ourselves to be subject to the psychological and emotional roller coaster ride that can go with these states. These meanderings into the past or present, colour our judgement and play a major role in contributing to our eating disorder. Therefore, it is imperative that we practise staying in the moment in order to maintain a healthy recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will choose to live in the serenity of the present moment.

~ Rob R.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 25

“Come forward and join hands with us in this great work for the Creator.”
–Traditional Circle of Elders, NORTHERN CHEYENNE

The Elders have spent years learning to pray and communicate with the Great Spirit. Their job is to pass this knowledge to the younger people. The Elders have told us we are now in a great time of Healing. The Creator is guiding the younger people to help them figure this out. We must get involved and participate. We should pray and see what it is the Great Spirit wants us to do. We need to sacrifice our time and do what is our mission ? to help the people and be of maximum use to the Creator. Every person is needed to accomplish this great Healing.

Creator, whisper what you want me to do.

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Journey to the Heart
March 25
Break Through Your Blocks

I was walking at a good clip down sandy Colony Beach when it happened. Without warning, I began running. I ran the longest distance I had ever before run. Instead of collapsing in a panting heap, I kept running. Another stretch. Then another. By the time I tired, I had run a mile. The furthest I had ever before run in my life was about a quarter block.

I didn’t intend to make this breakthrough. I was so blocked in this area I didn’t think I could. Running wasn’t even a goal. I had simply incorporated regular walks into my lifestyle as a way of exercising my body. This event surprised me because I’m not a physical fitness buff. I hadn’t been allowed to participate in any physical education or sports activities as a child or teenager because of chronic health ailments. I spent many years neglecting my body. Lately, I had put some effort into connecting with my body and working out in an amateurish fashion. But running? Not me. Or so I used to think.

The next time I went walking, I felt timid, almost afraid to even try running. I wondered if what I had experienced was a fluke. It wasn’t. I ran again and again. Now, running is a regular part of my physical activity, one I truly enjoy.

Sometimes, we’re so blocked in a particular area we don’t even consider a breakthrough a possibility. We’re so blocked we don’t even see our blocks. Stay open. Don’t limit yourself. Something that yesterday seemed entirely unfeasable and forever beyond your grasp may tomorrow, next month, next year– or today– become something you can do naturally, something that’s available to you. It can come as a total surprise, in an area you hadn’t considered. Your breakthrough may happen in an area you’ve been struggling with and working on.

Life is more than setbacks, and it’s not static. Appreciate and respect where you are now. But let yourself move to the next level when it’s time. Celebrate your breakthroughs when they come. Listen to that quiet voice, that fleeting thought that says, Why don’t you…? even if it’s something you’ve never done before.

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Today’s Gift
March 25

My most irrational fear is that I’ve forgotten how to cook.
—Pam Sherman

Once there was a teacher who was having nightmares about doing a good job. In one dream, he couldn’t find his classroom and he had to run from building to building. In another dream, he started teaching the lesson in the middle of the woods and didn’t notice he was in the wrong place!

Then one Sunday morning, he read an article about a wonderful baker. She baked every day, started bakeries, and fixed food for her friends, yet when the reporter asked her about her fears, she said, “My most irrational fear is that I’ve forgotten how to cook.”

Suddenly the man felt better. He realized someone else had the same kinds of fears. In a miraculous way, our fears become less powerful when we discover that we share them with other people.

What fear can I share with someone right now?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 25
Letting Go of Worry

What if we knew for certain that everything we’re worried about today will work out fine?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that the problem bothering us would be worked out in the most perfect way, and at the best possible time? Furthermore, what if we knew that three years from now we’d be grateful for that problem, and its solution?

What if . . . we knew that even our worst fear would work out for the best?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that everything that’s happening, and has happened, in our life was meant to be, planned just for us, and in our best interest?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that the people we love are experiencing exactly what they need in order to become who they’re intended to become? Further, what if we had a guarantee that others can be responsible for themselves, and we don’t have to control or take responsibility for them?

What if . . . we knew the future was going to be good, and we would have an abundance of resources and guidance to handle whatever comes our way?

What if . . . we knew everything was okay, and we didn’t have to worry about a thing? What would we do then?

We’d be free to let go and enjoy life.

Today, I will know that I don’t have to worry about anything. If I do worry, I will do it with the understanding that I am choosing to worry, and it is not necessary.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 25
Let go of resentments

Resentments are sneaky, tricky little things. They can convince us they’re justified. They can dry up our hearts. They can sabotage our happiness. They can sabotage love.

Most of us have been at the receiving end of an injustice at some time in our lives. Most of us know someone who’s complained of an injustice we’ve done to him or her. Life can be a breeding ground for resentments, if we let it.

“Yes, but this time I really was wronged,” we complain.

Maybe you were. But harboring a resentment isn’t the solution. If it was, our resentment list would resemble the Los Angeles telephone directory. Deal with your feelings. Learn whatever lesson is at hand. Then let the feelings go.

Resentments are a coping behavior, a tool of someone settling for survival in life. They’re a form of revenge. The problem is, no matter who we’re resenting, the anger is ultimately directed against ourselves.

Take a moment. Search your heart. Have you tricked yourself into harboring a resentment? If you have, take another moment and let that resentment go.

God, grant me the serenity that acceptance brings.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 25

I don’t want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.
—Henry James

Many of us have learned to control the responses of others by always being pleasing and charming. Maybe we feel it’s better to have others like us than to take a stand. Maybe we only feel okay about ourselves if others approve. Some of us have certainly learned we have a sense of power and control over people when they like us. Many of us have carried our people-pleasing behavior so far that we have really sold our souls for the applause of others.

Are there problems or tensions in our lives from trying to please someone? Is fear of criticism preventing us from taking an action that would be good for us? Have we neglected our inner voice by listening so hard to others? As we get stronger, healthier, more fully into our manhood, not everyone will like us. Some people will be angry; others, not interested. Once we have faced our own life crises, we are not so dependent on having everyone’s approval.

I pray for God’s blessing upon the man I’m becoming. I will let go of this need to please everyone.

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DailyTAO
March 25
INTELLECT

Scholars, drunk on words and obscure meanings,
Weave a tangled web of concordances.
Simple practice never occurs to them.
Give up education, and the world will be better.

There are many who seek Tao through the intellect. They revel in thousands of concordances, seek similarities in all the world’s religions, conduct learned discourses for enthralled audiences. But they would reach the truth faster if they tied their thoughts to experience.

The intellect is inherently dualistic. It makes distinctions and creates new connections between concepts and calls that “meaning.” This type of analytical thinking is extremely limited in the face of Tao, which is not fully rational, not fully quantitative, not fully describable. Though most followers of Tao are learned, they also realize that the intellect is but one aspect in what must be a multifaceted approach to Tao.

It is said one must give up on education, not because we should be dumb, but because we must seek a level of consciousness beyond the intellect. We must study, but not to the point that emphasis on experience and meditation is lost. If we can combine the intellect and direct experience with our meditative mind, then there will be no barrier to the wordless perception of reality.

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DailyZen
March 25

Long ago, the monk Good Star was able to recite the entire Canon. But he didn’t escape the Wheel because he didn’t see his nature. If this was the case for Good Star, then people nowadays who recite a few sutras or shastras and think it’s the Dharma are fools. Unless you see your mind, reciting so much prose is useless.

– Bodhidharma (d. 533)

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Food for Thought
March 25
Living Day by Day

“Life by the mile is a trial; by the inch it’s a cinch.” In the past, we got into trouble when we thought we had to have our lives mapped out forever. That just did not work.

We need only deal with the problems and joys of today. If we try to see too far ahead, we lose touch with the reality of the here and now. The Lord lets us know what we need to know when we need to know it.

What seems impossible when looked at in total –writing a book, putting the children through college, abstaining for the rest of our lives — becomes manageable when worked at step-by-step, day-by-day.

So many of the things we worry about never happen. How much better it is to concentrate our energies on the real demands and challenges of today, insignificant as they may seem. When we turn our lives over to our Higher Power, we trust Him to manage the master plan and to direct us in the small details of living each day.

Show me, Lord, how to best live each day. I leave the years to You.

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Faith’s Check Book
March 25
Refreshing Sleep

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
–(Proverbs 3:24)

Is the reader likely to be confined for a while to the bed by sickness! Let him go upstairs without distress with this promise upon his heart “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid.”

When we go to bed at night, let this word smooth our pillow. We cannot guard ourselves in sleep, but the Lord will keep us through the night. Those who lie down under the protection of the Lord are as secure as kings and queens in their palaces, and a great deal more so. If with our lying down there is a laying down of all cares and ambitions, we shall get refreshment out of our beds such as the anxious and covetous never find in theirs. Ill dreams shall be banished, or even if they come, we shall wipe out the impression of them, knowing that they are only dreams.

If we sleep thus we shall do well. How sweetly Peter slept when even the angel’s light did not wake him, and he needed a hard jog in the side to wake him up. And yet he was sentenced to die on the morrow. Thus have martyrs slept before their burning. “So he giveth his beloved sleep.” To have sweet sleep we must have sweet lives, sweet tempers, sweet meditations, and sweet love.

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 25

“Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?”—Luke 22:48.

THE kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Let me be on my guard when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible, betray me as it did my Master, with a kiss. Whenever a man is about to stab religion, he usually professes very great reverence for it. Let me beware of the sleek-faced hypocrisy which is armour-bearer to heresy and infidelity. Knowing the deceivableness of unrighteousness, let me be wise as a serpent to detect and avoid the designs of the enemy. The young man, void of understanding, was led astray by the kiss of the strange woman: may my soul be so graciously instructed all this day, that “the much fair speech” of the world may have no effect upon me. Holy Spirit, let me not, a poor frail son of man, be betrayed with a kiss!

But what if I should be guilty of the same accursed sin as Judas, that son of perdition? I have been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus; I am a member of His visible Church; I sit at the communion table: all these are so many kisses of my lips. Am I sincere in them? If not, I am a base traitor. Do I live in the world as carelessly as others do, and yet make a profession of being a follower of Jesus? Then I must expose religion to ridicule, and lead men to speak evil of the holy name by which I am called. Surely if I act thus inconsistently I am a Judas, and it were better for me that I had never been born. Dare I hope that I am clear in this matter? Then, O Lord, keep me so. O Lord, make me sincere and true. Preserve me from every false way. Never let me betray my Saviour. I do love Thee, Jesus, and though I often grieve Thee, yet I would desire to abide faithful even unto death. O God, forbid that I should be a high-soaring professor, and then fall at last into the lake of fire, because I betrayed my Master with a kiss.

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