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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 26

Just For Today
March 26
Trusting A Sponsor-Worth The Risk

“In seeking a sponsor, most members look for someone they feel they can learn to trust, someone who seems compassionate…”
IP No. 11, “Sponsorship, Revised”

The idea of sponsorship may be new to us. We have spent many years without direction, relying only on self-interest, suspecting everyone, trusting no one. Now that we are learning to live in recovery, we find we need help. We can’t do it alone anymore; we must take the risk of trusting another human being. Often, the first person we take that risk with is our sponsor-someone we respect, someone we identify with, someone we have reason to trust.

As we open up to our sponsor, a bond develops between us. We disclose our secrets and develop confidence in our sponsor’s discretion. We share our concerns and learn to value our sponsor’s experience. We share our pain and are met with empathy. We get to know one another, respect one another, love one another. The more we trust our sponsor, the more we trust ourselves.

Trust helps us to move away from a life of fear, confusion, suspicion, and indirection. In the beginning, it feels risky to trust another addict. But that trust is the same principle as apply in our relationship with a Higher Power-risky or not, our experience tells us we can’t do without it. And the more we take the risk of trusting our sponsor, the more open we will feel about our lives.

Just for today: I want to grow and change. I will risk trusting my sponsor and find the rewards of sharing.

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Daily Reflections
March 26
THE TEACHING IS NEVER OVER

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you — until then.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164

These words put a lump in my throat each time I read them.  In the beginning it was because I felt, “Oh no! The teaching is over. Now I’m on my own. It will never be this new again.” Today I feel deep affection for the A.A. pioneers when I read this passage, realizing that it sums up all of what I believe in, and strive for, and that — with God’s blessing — the teaching is never over, I’m never on my own, and every day is brand new.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 26
A.A. Thought For The Day

Strength comes also from working with other alcoholics.  When you are trying to help a new prospect with the program, you are building up your own strength at the same time. You see the other person in the condition you might be in yourself and it makes your resolve to stay sober stronger than ever. Often, you help yourself more than the other person, but if you do succeed in helping the prospect to get sober, you are stronger from the experience of having helped another person. Am I receiving strength from helping others?

Meditation For The Day

Faith is the bridge between you and God. It is the bridge which God had ordained. If all were seen and known, there would be no merit in doing right. Therefore God has ordained that we do not see or know directly. But we can experience the power of His spirit through our faith. It is the bridge between us and Him, which we can take or not, as we will. There could be no morality without free will. We must make the choice ourselves. We must make the venture of belief.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may choose and decide to cross the bridge of faith. I pray that by crossing this bridge I may receive the spiritual power I need.

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As Bill Sees It
March 26
Life Is Not A Dead End, p. 85

When a man or a woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone. He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being.

He has been set on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere, that life is not a dead end, not something to be endured or mastered. In a very real sense he has been transformed, because he has laid hold of a source of strength which he had hitherto denied himself.

12 & 12, pp. 106-107

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Walk in Dry Places
March 26
I can’t…. God can…. I think I’ll let God
Guidance

One of the delusions that keep alcoholics in bondage is the belief in the power of the personal will. “I still think I’m strong enough to whip it,” alcoholics have declared defiantly, just before heading out for another debacle.

Willpower has a role in recovery, but only in making a decision to turn the problem over to Higher Power. This sets in motion powerful forces that come to our assistance. We don’t know how and why this process works as it does. We do know that it has worked repeatedly for those who sincerely apply it in their lives.

What’s needed to start the process is an admission of defeat, a willingness to seek a Higher Power, and at least enough open-minded-ness to give it all a fair chance. The outcome can be very surprising.

There’s also no need to be apologetic about our Higher Power after we’ve found sobriety. Nobody had a better plan, and we can remember that other severe problems can be handled in the same way.

I’ll do my best today to solve every problem and meet every responsibility. If something is too much for me, I’ll turn it over in the same way I did my drinking problem.

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Keep It Simple
March 26

We are here to add what we can to, not to get what we can get from, Life.
–Sir William Osler

Service is a word we hear in our recovery program. Service means work we do for others. It’s the backbone of our program. The reason is simple. Service to our Higher Power and to others breaks down our wanting to be self-centered. Service brings us back into the world. We really are part of the group when we pitch in to make coffee, set up chairs, or talk in meetings. We really feel like part of the family when we run errands and help with meals and housework. We really connect with our Higher Power when we pray, “Use me today to help others.” Service breaks down the feeling of being alone that being self -centered brings.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to be of service to You and others. Show me what is needed.

Action for the Day: Today will be a service day. I’ll see how valued I am. I’ll give to others, knowing that I, too, will receive.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 26

To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives; it is the only way we can leave the future open.
–Lillian Smith

Today stands before us, ready for our involvement. And it will offer us opportunities for personal growth and occasions to help another make progress on her path to the future. Challenges are to be expected. They further our purpose. They foster our maturity.

How different it is, for many of us, to look forward today with secure anticipation, to trust in what the future holds! We can still remember, all too vividly perhaps, the darker periods in our lives, periods that seemed to hold no promise; a time when we dreaded the future, fearing it would only compound those awful times.

The fear and the dread are not gone completely. They hover about us, on occasion. They no longer need to darken all of a day, however. We can recognize their presence as parts of our whole, not all of it. How free we are, today! Our choices are many.

I can step toward today with assurance, reaching out to others along the way, trusting that my accumulated steps add stability to my future.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 26
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.

Periodically I worked as a broadcast journalist and reported many news stories on location. I regularly drank on the job and was frequently loaded when calls came in about alcohol-related automobile accidents. There I was with microphone in one hand and flask in the other as I jumped into the news van and rushed to the scene of an accident, just as drunk or more so than the one who caused it. It was inevitable that I would one day become the news, rather than just report it, by causing a serious accident as a result of my drinking.

p. 454

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 26

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

But suppose that instinct still cries out, as it certainly will, “Yes, respecting alcohol, I guess I have to be dependent upon A.A., but in all other matters I must still maintain my independence. Nothing is going to turn me into a nonentity. If I keep on turning my life and my will over to the care of Something or Somebody else, what will become of me? I’ll look like the hole in the doughnut.” This, of course, is the process by which instinct and logic always seek to bolster egotism, and so frustrate spiritual development. The trouble is that this kind of thinking takes no real account of the facts. And the facts seem to be these: The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are. Therefore dependence, as A.A. practices it, is really a means of gaining true independence of the spirit.

pp. 35-36

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Xtra Thoughts
March 26

Like a tree blowing in the wind, friendships can bend and waver, yet they will both remain standing if they have strong roots.
–Suzanne Long

To the world you’re just one person but to one person you could mean the world.
–Anon

There is light within a person of light, And it shines on the whole world.
–The gospel of Thomas

“. . . I saw people willing to compromise themselves, or change themselves, to acquire what they thought was important. I don’t judge what other people do, many choices that may be right for others are definitely not right for me.”
–Kathy Ireland

God is singing and Creation is the melody.
–David Palmer

Forgiveness restores us and our relationships.
–J. Keith Brown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 26
TEACHING

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”
— Mark Van Doren

I have a need of a “sponsor” in my life. Somebody I turn to when I have problems, when I am confused or in pain, when I simply need to talk, when I feel lonely or when I am about to make a major change in my life. Every addict needs a sponsor; somebody to bounce ideas off, especially ideas that affect the living of my life because I truly understand that the disease of alcoholism lives in my life!

My sponsor guides, suggests and gently leads me to where I need to go; he does not demand or dictate. My sponsor is a friend whom I can trust, and he makes a point of not being a “fixer” in my life. He will not allow me to escape into his life. He will not allow me to become addicted to him.

O God, let me always be free enough to discover You in my life.

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Bible Scriptures
March 26

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Phil. 4:6-7

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
I John 4:4

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
Proverbs 11:25

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.
Proverbs 3:13

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
1 John 2:17

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Daily Inspiration
March 26

Trouble comes to everyone, but feeling miserable is no reason to make others miserable. Lord, may I never destroy another’s happiness.

With our blessings come responsibilities. Much is required of those to whom much has been given. Lord, may I use my blessings to be a blessing to others.

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A Day At A Time
March 26

I will try to get this up before tomorrow sorry out of energy.

 

A Day At A Time
March 26

Reflection For The Day

I know today that getting active means trying to live the suggested Steps of The Program to the best of my ability.  It means striving for some degree of honesty, first with myself, then with others.  It means activity directed inward,m to enable me to see myself and my relationship with my Higher Power more clearly.  As I get active, outside and inside myself, so shall I grow in The Program.  Do I let others do all the work at meetings?   Do I carry my share?

Today I Pray

May I realize that “letting go and letting God” does not mean that I do not have to put any effort into The Program.  It is up to me to work the Twelve Steps, to learn what may be an entirely new thing with me — honesty.  May I differentiate between activity for activity’s sake — busy-work to keep me from thinking – – and the thoughtful activity which helps me to grow.

Today I Will Remember

“Letting God” means letting Him show us how.

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One More Day
March 26

This confrontation, with death . . . makes everything look so precious, so sacred, so beautiful, that I feel more strongly than ever the impulse to live it, to embrace it, and let myself be overwhelmed by it.
–  Abraham Maslow

When we are ill, we are forced to face our own mortality.  A close brush with death is enough to put the fear of dying into us, but with this fear a sense of spiritually may flow through our lives.  Problems, which once seemed overwhelming diminish in size.  The trees are greener, the sky is bluer.  People are kinder and more sharing than ever before.

We often don’t miss what we’ve taken for granted until it’s nearly yanked away from us.  All of a sudden, every day is a gift.  Every day is precious chance to live.

I am continuing the struggle to make each day the best one because I rejoice in the gift of life.

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One Day At A Time
March 26
VICTIMIZATION

“Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and to sickness, to riches and to poverty, to freedom and to slavery.  It is we who control these, and not another.”
–Richard Bach

I have lived most of my life believing that I was a victim of circumstance. As a “victim” I believed I had no power, no options, no choices, no hope and no control in my life. It’s so tempting to be a victim. If I’m a victim, I am not responsible for anything. Every pain, every dysfunction, every addiction, every problem was not my “fault” and there was nothing I could do to improve my life. Or so I thought.

One day a friend asked me if I actually wanted to be well and I was shocked to find that the immediate answer flooding from my heart was, “NO.” Wow! You would think that a victim would give anything in order to be well, yet I found that I was terrified of the responsibility of being well. If I were well, I would be in charge of my own choices – particularly the most primal choices of all: Life or Death, holding onto powerlessness, or reaching out to grasp hope and health.

I am still tempted to return to the false security of victim-hood. Yet I come to recovery, and keep coming back. I work the program, I learn, I fail, I fall. I rise again and begin again.

One day at a time…
I will remember that I have the power, the freedom, and the responsibility to make choices which move me towards health. I will resist the siren call of victimization.

~ Lisa V.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 26

“In our modern world today, we may seem like drowning men because of the loss of much of our spiritual tradition.”
–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Our spiritual tradition shows us the way to live in harmony, balance and respect. The tradition taught us how to behave and how to conduct ourselves. The spiritual way taught us to pray and to purify ourselves. Handed down from generation to generation were the teachings about a way of life. Our relationship to Mother Earth and to each other was very clear. The Modern World does not relate to spirituality but to materialism. If we do not allow spirituality to guide our lives, we will be lost, unhappy and without direction. We are spiritual beings trying to be human, not human beings trying to be spiritual. It is said, Know thyself.

Grandfather, lead me to spirituality.

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Journey to the Heart
March 26
Make Each Moment Count

“A picture isn’t taken in a moment,” stated the brochure for the Cottonwood Colorado hotel. “It’s taken of a moment.”

It took me a long time to learn that important truth. I spent years trying to get my life together and keep it together, as though it were a solid chunk that could be arranged in a certain place, then made to stay there. It took me a long time to learn about moments.

In many ways, our lives are like a movie reel, made up of individual frames and single moments each one leading into the next. It is a waste of energy to try and hold on to the moments of the past. By the time we begin reaching for them, they’re gone. It is just as poor timing to try to jump into moments that have not arrived yet– the future.

Stay in the present moment, the frame you’re in now. That’s the only moment where happiness, joy, and love can be found. And remember to make each moment count.

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Today’s Gift
March 26

There is a proper balance between not asking enough of oneself and asking or expecting too much.
—May Sarton

The boy’s mother baked pies that morning before he was up. She left them on the back porch to cool, their warm aroma curling up through his bedroom window. His mouth was full of the smell when he woke.

Before she left for work, she said, “You may do anything you want today, anything at all. Except for one thing – don’t step in those pies.”

All day the boy could not get the pies out of his mind; his feet itched just thinking about them.

Don’t step in those pies. He heard her voice inside his head. By late afternoon he could control it no longer. One, two, three, four, five, six–his foot fell squarely into the middle of each pie.

When we expect the worst from others, we often get just that. The same goes for our expectations of ourselves. And when we trust others, it too is returned.

Do I expect the best of others–and myself–today?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 26
Gifts, Not Burdens

Children are gifts, if we accept them.
–Kathleen Turner Crilly

Children are gifts. Our children, if we have children, are a gift to us. We, as children, were gifts to our parents.

Sadly, many of us did not receive the message from our parents that we were gifts to them and to the Universe. Maybe our parents were in pain themselves; maybe our parents were looking to us to be their caretakers; maybe we came at a difficult time in their lives; maybe they had their own issues and simply were not able to enjoy, accept, and appreciate us for the gifts we are.

Many of us have a deep, sometimes subconscious, belief that we were, and are, a burden to the world and the people around us. This belief can block our ability to enjoy life and our relationships with others. This belief can even impair our relationship with a Higher Power: we may feel we are a burden to God.

If we have that belief, it is time to let it go.

We are not a burden. We never were. If we received that message from our parents, it is time to recognize that issue as theirs to resolve.

We have a right to treat ourselves as a gift — to ourselves, to others, and to the Universe.

We are here, and we have a right to be here.

Today, I will treat myself, and any children I have, as though we are a gift. I will let go of any beliefs I have about being a burden — to my Higher Power, my friends, my family, and myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 26
Say whatever with as much love as you can

There’s an old story about compassion, detachment, and Mohammed, the prophet of Islam.

Mohammed had a neighbor who had a garbage problem. This neighbor was a cranky old man who let his garbage pile up and spill out all around his yard. The mess was unsightly, but Mohammed practiced tolerance and compassion. He didn’t say anything to the annoying neighbor, for years.

One day, the unsightly mess from the garbage disappeared.

Mohammed went over to his neighbor’s house and knocked on the door. The neighbor answered the knock.

“I got worried when I didn’t see your garbage,” Mohammed said. “I was just checking to make sure you were all right.”

We need to set boundaries, be clear, and stand up for ourselves. We need to check regularly to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves. But once in a while, we also need to check to see if we’re allowing ourselves to become irritated and upset by nonessentials and forgetting the essential of love.

Learn to say whatever, but learn to say it with as much compassion and love as you can.

God, help me learn to take care of myself and live with passion, compassion, and an open heart.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 26

As long as I am constantly concerned about what I “ought” to say, think, do, or feel, I am still the victim of my surroundings and am not liberated. … But when I can accept my identity from God and allow Him to be the center of my life, I am liberated from compulsion and can move without restraints.
—Henri J. M. Nouwen

As we get more settled in our recovery, we are more vulnerable to becoming rigidly ruled by ideas of behavior, which should serve as guidelines, not moral edicts. If we find ourselves saying we should pass the message of recovery to others, perhaps the spirit of the program is missing. If we are telling ourselves we should go to meetings but don’t feel the benefit, perhaps we have lost the spiritual path.

Our powerlessness is the source of vitality in our relationship with God. In the painful awareness that our will and our own devices get us nowhere, we can put aside the shoulds and again accept our identity from God.

Today, I will set aside my shoulds and return to trust in my Higher Power.

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DailyTAO
March 26
RETROSPECTIVE

You could labor ten years under a master
Trying to discern whether the teachings are true.
But all you might learn is this:
One must live one’s own life.

When one starts out learning a spiritual system, there are many absolute assertions that the masters make. These must be accepted with a provisional faith: Each must be tested and proved to yourself before you can believe in them. You will be exposed to all types of esoteric knowledge, but you need only be concerned with whether or not you can make them work for yourself.

There will come an intermediate, joyous point where you find that certain techniques work even better than the scriptures claim. In the wake of these discoveries, you will also find that life continues to be just as thorny and problematic as ever. Does this mean that the stud of Tao is useless? No. It only means that you have been laboring to equip yourself with skill. You must still go out and live your life to the end.

When you look back and realize that you have absorbed the teachings so thoroughly that they have become routine, it is not the time to reject the system you have learned. It is the time to utilize what you have learned. It is the time to utilize what you have learned. You must express yourself, take action in the world, create new circumstances for yourself and others. Only then does the long acquisition of skill become worthwhile.

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DailyZen
March 26

Mornings we see Wu hill horizontal,
Evenings we see it rise straight up.
Wu hill strikes many different poses,
Turning this way and that,
Showing off for us.
A man of retiring ways built this red pavilion,
Completely empty, nothing inside,
Only those thousand-pace slopes
East and west as ornaments to top its blinds.
Spring comes, but I”ve no prospect
Of returning to my homeland;
They talk of autumn sadness,
But spring’s even sadder.

– Su Tung-p’o (1072)

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Food for Thought
March 26
Cobwebs and Illusions

We compulsive overeaters react to refined sugar and starches as an alcoholic reacts to alcohol. When we were overeating, our thinking was foggy. The more we ate, the more confused we became. We often lived in a world of cobwebs and illusions and were unable to separate fact from fantasy.

This cloudy thinking caused all sorts of complications in our relationships with others and lowered our general level of efficiency. We found ourselves becoming very angry and irrational when events did not go our way. We often made life miserable for our families, taking out our anger on them. Sometimes we escaped into a world of fantasy where we would be omnipotent and where our every whim would be indulged.

When we came to OA and began to practice rigorous honesty, we discovered that in order to be honest we had to abstain from the kind of eating which confused our thinking. It is amazing how abstinence can clear away cobwebs and illusions!

Thank You, Lord, for sanity.

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Faith’s Check Book
March 26
The Care of the Poor

The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing.
–(Psalm 41:3)

Remember that this is a promise to the man who considers the poor. Are you one of these? Then take home the text.

See how in the hour of sickness the God of the poor will bless the man who cares for the poor! The everlasting arms shall stay up his soul as friendly hands and downy pillows stay up the body of the sick. How tender and sympathizing is this image; how near it brings our God to our infirmities and sicknesses! Whoever heard this of the old heathen Jove, or of the gods of India or China! This is language peculiar to the God of Israel; He it is who deigns to become nurse and attendant upon good men. If He smites with one hand, He sustains with the other. Oh, it is blessed fainting when one falls upon the Lord’s own bosom and is born thereon’ Grace is the best of restoratives; divine love is the safest stimulant for the languishing patient; it makes the soul strong as a giant, even when the bones are breaking through the skin. No physician like the Lord, no tonic like His promise, no wine like His love.

If the reader has failed in his duty to the poor, let him see what he is losing and at once become their friend and helper.

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 26

“Jesus said unto them, If ye seek Me, let these go their way.”
-—John 18:8.

MARK, my soul, the care which Jesus manifested even in His hour of trial, towards the sheep of His hand! The ruling passion is strong in death. He resigns Himself to the enemy, but He interposes a word of power to set His disciples free. As to Himself, like a sheep before her shearers He is dumb and opened not His mouth, but for His disciples’ sake He speaks with Almighty energy. Herein is love, constant, self-forgetting, faithful love. But is there not far more here than is to be found upon the surface? Have we not the very soul and spirit of the atonement in these words? The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep, and pleads that they must therefore go free. The Surety is bound, and justice demands that those for whom He stands a substitute should go their way. In the midst of Egypt’s bondage, that voice rings as a word of power, “Let these go their way.” Out of slavery of sin and Satan the redeemed must come. In every cell of the dungeons of Despair, the sound is echoed, “Let these go their way,” and forth come Despondency and Much-afraid. Satan hears the well-known voice, and lifts his foot from the neck of the fallen; and Death hears it, and the grave opens her gates to let the dead arise. Their way is one of progress, holiness, triumph, glory, and none shall dare to stay them in it. No lion shall be on their way, neither shall any ravenous beast go up thereon. “The hind of the morning” has drawn the cruel hunters upon himself, and now the most timid roes and hinds of the field may graze at perfect peace among the lilies of his loves. The thunder-cloud has burst over the Cross of Calvary, and the pilgrims of Zion shall never be smitten by the bolts of vengeance. Come, my heart, rejoice in the immunity which thy Redeemer has secured thee, and bless His name all the day, and every day.

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