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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 6

Just For Today
March 6
Rationalizing Away Our Recovery

“As a result of the Twelve Steps, I’m not able to hold on to old ways of deceiving myself.”
Basic Text, pg. 176

We all rationalize. Sometimes we know we are rationalizing, admit we are rationalizing, yet continue to behave according to our rationalizations! Recovery can become very painful when we decide that, for one reason or another, the simple principals of the program don’t apply to us.

With the help of our sponsors and others in NA we can begin to look at the excuse we use for our behavior. Do we find that some principals just don’t apply to us? Do we believe that we know more that everyone else in Narcotics Anonymous, even those who have been clean for many years? What makes us think that we’re so special

There is no doubt, we can successfully rationalize our way through part of our recovery. But, eventually, we must squarely face the truth and start acting accordingly. The principals in the Twelve Steps guide us to a new life in recovery. There is little room for rationalization there.

Just for today: I cannot work the steps and also continue deceiving myself. I will examine my thinking for rationalizations, reveal them to my sponsor, and be rid of them.

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Daily Reflections
March 6
THE IDEA OF FAITH

Do not let any prejudice you might have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 47

The idea of faith is a very large chunk to swallow when fear, doubt and anger abound in and around me. Sometimes just the idea of doing something different, something I am not accustomed to doing, can eventually become an act of faith if I do it regularly, and do it without debating whether it’s the right thing to do. When a bad day comes along and everything is going wrong, a meeting or a talk with another drunk often distracts me just enough to persuade me that everything is not quite as impossible, as overwhelming as I had thought. In the same way, going to a meeting or talking to a fellow alcoholic are acts of faith; I believe I’m arresting my disease. These are ways I slowly move toward faith in a Higher Power.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 6
A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A., we must surrender, give up, admit that we’re helpless. We surrender our lives to God and ask Him for help. When He knows that we’re ready, He gives us by His grace the free gift of sobriety. And we can’t take any credit for having stopped drinking, because we didn’t do it by our own willpower. There’s no place for pride or boasting. We can only be grateful to God for doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. Do I believe that God has made me a free gift of the strength to stay sober?

Meditation For The Day

I must work for God, with God and through God’s help. By doing all I can to bring about a true fellowship of human beings, I am working for God. I am also working with God, because this is the way God works, and He is with me when I am doing such work. I cannot do good work, however, without God’s help. In the final analysis, it is through the grace of God that any real change in human personality takes place. I have to rely on God’s power and anything I accomplish is through His help.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may work for God and with God. I pray that I may be used to change human personalities through God’s help.

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As Bill Sees It
March 6
Growth By The Tenth Step, p. 65

In the years ahead A.A. will, of course, make mistakes. Experience has taught us that we need have no fear of doing this, providing that we always remain willing to admit our faults and to correct them promptly. Our growth as individuals has depended upon this healthy process of trial and error. So will our growth as a fellowship.

Let us always remember that any society of men and women that cannot freely correct its own faults must surely fall into decay if not into collapse. Such is the universe penalty for the failure to go on growing. Just as each A.A. must continue to take his moral inventory and act upon it, so must our whole Society if we are to survive and if we are to serve usefully and well.

A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 231

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Walk in Dry Places
March 6
Example, not exception
Helping Others.

It’s always heady stuff when others congratulate us on our victory over alcohol. Fair-minded people will have considerable admiration for what appears to be a bootstrap effort to make a comeback from despair and defeat.

We can accept this praise with grace and modesty. At some point, however, we should emphasize that our recovery was an example of spiritual principles at work and that thousands have been able to follow in the same path. Sober AA members are not exceptions; they are examples of what the program can do in people’s lives.

It is important to emphasize that we are ordinary people. The marvelous thing about the program is that it works for ordinary people like ourselves. Many people in the fellowship have great talent and ability, but those gifts have nothing to do with staying sober. The gifted person gets sober the same way anybody does….. by admitting powerlessness over alcohol and by accepting the program.

We are also helped most by people who can serve as examples in our lives. It is always inspiring to know that we can follow in their paths and find what has been given to them.

I want to provide a good example for others today. I will go through the day remembering that my sobriety is a gift that can be bestowed on anybody___it was not an exception just for me.

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Keep It Simple
March 6

When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.

Remember how we tried to make others think we were not in trouble? We walked and talked like addicts. We acted like addicts. Most everyone knew the truth but us. We were like ducks pretending to be eagles.

We see ourselves as we really are. But sometimes we can’t see ourselves that way. This is normal.

That’s why we need others to help us see what we can’t. We were addicts. We are now recovering addicts. We need friends, sponsors, and family members to tell us when we may be acting like addicts again. It may save our lives.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, give my friends and family members the strength to tell me when I’m acting like an addict.

Action for the Day: I’ll go to people whom I trust and ask them to tell me when I’m acting like an addict.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 6

Life is made up of desires that seem big and vital one minute, and little and absurd the next. I guess we get what’s best for us in the end.
–Alice Caldwell Rice

It is often said that we will be granted our heart’s “pure desires.” When we have many unmet desires, maybe we should be grateful. Wants, ultimately not for our good, can open the way to many unneeded and painful experiences.

How often we sit, wishing for a better job, a more loving relationship, a different weather forecast. How seldom we take positive advantage of what is at hand, not realizing that whatever is, right now, is the ticket to the next act in the drama of our lives.

We have before us a very limited picture. We cannot possibly know just what we need to travel the distance that’s in store for us. Our desires, when they are pure, will carry us to the right destination. They are inspired. But the desires that are motivated by our selfish egos will lead us astray. Many times in the past we did not give up those desires. And the painful memories linger.

Desiring God’s will is my most fruitful desire. It’s also what is best for me; thus, what I need. All things are working for good when I let my higher power determine my desires.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 6
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.'”

Early on, the values of morality and learning were impressed on me. I was taught that if you were well educated and morally upstanding, there was nothing that could stand in the way of your success in this life or hereafter. As a child and young man, I was evangelical–literally drunk with moral zeal and intellectual ambition. I excelled in school and dreamed of a career in teaching and help others.

pp. 446-447

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 6

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

“Then I woke up. I had to admit that A.A. showed results, prodigious results. I saw that my attitude regarding these had been anything but scientific. It wasn’t A.A. that had the closed mind, it was me. The minute I stopped arguing, I could begin to see and feel. Right there, Step Two gently and very gradually began to infiltrate my life. I can’t say upon what occasion or upon what day I came to believe in a Power greater than myself, but I certainly have that belief now. To acquire it, I had only to stop fighting and practice the rest of A.A.’s program as enthusiastically as I could.

p. 27

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Xtra Thoughts
March 6

We surrender to win.
–Unknown

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.
–Basil (329-379 A.D.)

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
–John Lubbock

“Age is a matter of feeling…not of years.”
–George William Curtis

“The future comes one day at a time.”
–Dean Acheson

Sharing love and life with someone is the one of the greatest gifts of all. Take the time to appreciate it and enjoy it.
–Unknown

“Joy is the feeling of grinning on the inside.”
–Dr. Melba Colgrove

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 6
HYPOCRISY

“Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo.”
— Ambrose Bierce

As a religious person I could be such a hypocrite. I thought that my “goodness” was dependent upon my judging others to be inferior. I was always putting other people down so that I could appear terrific.

But a part of me always knew this was wrong. I ignored the religious teaching that emphasized forgiveness and acceptance and instead focused on judgment and condemnation. It was all part of my sickness.  Inside I was hurting and feeling guilty but I hid these feelings with a mask of hypocrisy and respectability.

Today I do not need to do this. I have a religion that can accept the non-religious and rejoice in the different cultures and creeds. I do not fear those who are different, and I am slowly beginning to accept my many imperfections.

You, who have loved me through forgiveness, help me to forgive.

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Bible Scriptures
March 6

“Put away your former way of life, your old self … be renewed in the spirit of your minds … according to the likeness of God.”
Ephesians 4:22-24

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Luke 12:22-26

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Daily Inspiration
March 6

Repeatedly remind yourself what a wonderful person you are. Lord, help me to believe in myself as You believe in me and focus on my goodness.

God’s plans for you are beyond your imagination. Lord, may I not limit myself to my past experiences, but be willing to accept new opportunities and challenges into my life.

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A Day At A Time
March 6

Reflection For The Day

There is no advantage, no profit and certainly no growth when I deceive myself merely to escape the consequences of my own mistakes. When I realize this, I know I’ll be making progress. “We must be true inside, true to ourselves, before we can know a truth that is outside us,” wrote Thomas Merton in No Man Is An Island. “But we make ourselves true inside by manifesting the truth as we set it.” Am I true to myself?

Today I Pray

May I count on my Higher Power to help me carry out the truth as I see it. May I never duck a consequence again. Consequence-ducking became a parlor game for chemically addictive persons like me, until we lost all sense of relationship between action and outcome. Now that I am healing, please God, restore my balance.

Today I Will Remember

Match the Act with the consequence.

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One More Day
March 6

The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.
–Somerset Maugham

Old habits often die hard, especially bad ones.  We may need to be tactfully silent when we become irritated with the behavior or habits of our loved ones.  It may seem at times as though everyone around us is either nail biting, smoking, cussing, or overeating.  When illness enters the scene, or any other stressor for that matter, bad habits tend to resurface.  We may be less tolerant of others’ faults and even of their good health.

It’s hard to put away old habits, especially the old pattern of being critical, but we can learn to let go.  Even with extra stress in our lives we can begin to work on developing new habits.  We can learn to recognize the growth we’ve achieved and to feel proud.

I can begin today to develop strong, new habits and to hold on to my old, strong habits.

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One Day At A Time
March 6
Scars

“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.”
–Shirley MacLaine

I’ve lived most of my life filled with bitterness towards people, God and myself. My mind, soul, and body were consumed by hatred, self-pity, pain, hopelessness, and a complete sense of powerlessness. I focused my energy on reviewing my scars. I counted them, checked them, nurtured them, and flaunted them. They were proof of all the wrongs I’d endured. They were my source of energy. They were my identity. They were my badge of sorrow.

As I work my recovery, I am beginning to see everything from a new perspective. Gradually my head is lifted and my eyes are turned away from my once-beloved scars. The more I allow myself to accept that my powerlessness is not a prison of doom, the more I discover that it is my doorway to faith, surrender, and serenity.

My scars are still here. There is no magic potion to remove them. What is magical, however, is that I see them so differently. I find that I have a choice to make every day: I can cherish my scars as proof of the pain I have suffered, or I can be thankful for them as evidence of things I have survived. Scar tissue forms and creates a stronger, thicker skin in its place. I can either pick at it and make it bleed, or I can welcome the lessons and endurance it has built into my life.

One day at a time…
I will choose to see my scars as proof of the difficulties I have survived. I will choose to appreciate them as evidence that God has brought me through suffering and has used all things to strengthen my faith in Him, my hope for tomorrow, and my serenity for today.

~ Lisa

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 6

“And there are Four Corners of the Earth that we talk about, the Four Colors of people, and the Four Winds. You see the winds – they are spirits.”
–Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN

The Elders teach us about the four directions. If we learn about direction, we also learn about attention, about focus, and about power. Each direction has spiritual power. In the morning, go outside, face the east and get still; then, listen to your thoughts. After you have done this for a while, turn and face the west. Get quiet once again and listen to your thoughts. Did your thinking change when you changed direction?

Great Spirit, teach me the power of the four directions.

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Journey to the Heart
March 6
Let Your Sexuality Be Connected to Your Heart

He was a handsome man. An acotr. “Something happened to me lately,” he shared. “It’s about my sexuality. I used to be sexual when and where I felt like it. No more. And it’s not connected to fear of disease, although that’s certainly a concern. What happened to me is that my sexuality has become connected to my heart.”

Let go of sexual shame. Embrace your sexuality. Value your senses, all of them– touch, smell, taste, seeing, and hearing. Value your other senses,too– your intuition, your spirituality, your spirit’s reaction to the world that dances around you. Open up to colors, textures, scents, and sounds.

Open up to your energy, all of it, including your sexuality. Let yourself see that all expressions of your love and your being are beautiful. Let yourself learn to express and receive love in sensual ways, ways that work for you.

Be done with sexual shame. Trust your body and what it likes. We aren’t disconnected parts. Open up. Discover your sexuality. Let it be connected to your heart.

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Today’s Gift
March 6

This Mouse must give up one of the Mouse ways of seeing things in order that he may grow.
—Hyemeyohsts Storm

There is an American Indian tale of a mouse who heard a roaring in his ears and set out to discover what it was. He encountered many animals who helped him on his way. Finally, the mouse had a chance to offer help to another. He gave away his eyes to help two other animals.

Without his sight, defenseless, he waited for the end. Soon he heard the sound eagles make when they dive for their prey. The next thing the mouse knew, he was flying. He could see all the splendor around him. Then he heard a voice say, “You have a new name. You are Eagle.”

Like the mouse, we also feel something inside us we’d like to explore. That secret, like all others, has its answer hidden deep within us, yet right under our very nose. Often, we merely have to give up our eyes and see in a different way. When we do this, we are rewarded with a new kind of vision, one that lets us discover our true potential.

How can I look at things differently today?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 6
Peace

Anxiety is often our first reaction to conflict, problems, or even our own fears. In those moments, detaching and getting peaceful may seem disloyal or apathetic. We think: If I really care, I’ll worry; if this is really important to me, I must stay upset. We convince ourselves that outcomes will be positively affected by the amount of time we spend worrying.

Our best problem-solving resource is peace. Solutions arise easily and naturally out of a peaceful state. Often, fear and anxiety block solutions. Anxiety gives power to the problem, not the solution. It does not help to harbor turmoil. It does not help.

Peace is available if we choose it. In spite of chaos and unsolved problems around us, all is well. Things will work out. We can surround ourselves with the resources of the Universe: water, earth, a sunset, a walk, a prayer, a friend. We can relax and let ourselves feel peace.

Today, I will let go of my need to stay in turmoil. I will cultivate peace and trust that timely solutions and goodness will arise naturally and harmoniously out of the wellspring of peace. I will consciously let go and let God.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 6
Neutralize conflicts

Unless you want a fight or an argument, don’t give people anything to push against.

Here is a key to harmonizing with people who are upset or have a point of view different from your own. Stay so relaxed when you talk to them that you allow yourself to empathize with how they think and feel. That doesn’t mean that you give in to people’s every whim. It means, instead, that you are so clear and focused that you can genuinely let other people be who they are, too.

It’s both naive and egotistical to think that everyone thinks and feels the same as us. It’s ridiculous to beliieve that everyone will agree with our point of view. One of the true signs of a person who is growing in consciousness is that he or she recognizes that each person has individual motives, desires, and feelings.

“Instead of meeting a verbal attack with a verbal conterattack you respond first by coming around to your attacker’s point of view, seeing the situation from his or her viewpoint,” wrote George Leonard in the Way of Akido.

He was talking about using a concept called “blending” to deal with verbal confromtations in our daily lives. “The response, whether physical or verbal, is quite disarming, leaving the attacker with no target to focus on. It’s a means by which you can multiply your options in responding to any kind of attack.”

If the person espousing his or her point of view is just trying to get us to react or has no desire for reconciliation, we can still neutralize the conflict by staying relaxed, letting the other person be, and responding by saying “hmmmm.” It’s a polite way of saying whatever, when expressing your disagreement would only lead to a senseless fight. At the least, you’ll become a great conversationalist, a respectable art to be acquired. At best, you’ll bring about world peace, at least in your corner of the world.

God, help me be so clear on who I am that I can generously afford to let other people be who they are,too. Help me to set aside my defensive behavior, and teach me to blend with other people and see their point of view while not relinquishing my own.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 6

A boy must be initiated into the world of men. It doesn’t happen by itself; it doesn’t happen just because he eats Wheaties. And only men can do this work.
—Robert Bly

Many of us grew into manhood with a surface picture of what it means to be masculine. We had images of tough guys playing rough, but we weren’t emotionally close enough to another man to really know him. Many of us never knew our fathers’ strengths, passions, and weak points. It left us with a distorted picture of masculinity and not with an inner knowing. Getting close to other men is a new experience, and it may feel frightening or threatening.

We can develop close friendships with other males and let them know us as we are, rather than as this picture we try to imitate. This kind of relationship in play and work and troubled times is a central part of our spiritual recovery. Close relationships with other men teach us confidence in ourselves and give us inner security.

I will be aware today of men with whom I can develop a friendship and will take one small step toward them.

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DailyTAO
March 6
ASCENT

Chill morning, stone steps.
The path to the temple is steep.
We may stumble at times,
But we must always get up again.

Spiritual cultivation is a daily activity. No matter how much we achieve one day, we must continue the next. Progress is often so subtle that we may feel the effort futile, and it is hard to get up each morning and try again with the same enthusiasm. Yet this is precisely what we must do.

If we have the benefit of guidance, talent, and the proper circumstances, then the bulk of our attention has to be paid to such a simple day-to-day effort. No person ever leapt to heaven in one bound. Spirituality is achieved by steady climbing, like a difficult journey to a mountain temple. The number of steps is in the thousands; the way is steep. It takes a long time to get there, and we must content ourselves with the panoramas along the way and think that the view at the summit will be best of all. If we fall, we must pick ourselves up and get back on the trail again.

Success in spiritual life is measured not by spectacular events but by daily devotion. This iron will, this deep sincerity maintains our ascend.

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DailyZen
March 6

Waking me up
To the spring that’s come
Water trickles down
The valley, and long crag-bound ice
Now cracks open, slides free.

– Saigyo (1118-1190)

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Food for Thought
March 6
Living Now

When we were eating compulsively, we left the here and now. We escaped into fantasy, and we were often unaware of how much we were eating. By some strange mental quirk, we were able to forget that we should have been burning up our excess fat, not adding more.

God is now. To make contact with Him is to bring ourselves in touch with what is real. When we first came to OA, we may have had doubts, if not downright disbelief, about the reality of God, but concrete experience has convinced most of us that a Higher Power is indeed in control.

In order to be rid of the mental obsession which drives us to the insane behavior of compulsive overeating, we practice being constantly tuned in to our Higher Power. He can restore us to sanity and keep us living in the present. By giving Him our past resentments and future fears, we become free to focus on the here and now. Without resentment and fear, we can see the beauty of the present moment.

Lord, keep me living in the here and now.

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In God’s Care
March 6

Not Available if someone see’s it pass it along please!~~~

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Faith’s Check Book
March 6
Guardian of the Fatherless

In thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
(Hosea 14:3)

This is an excellent reason for casting away all other confidences and relying upon the Lord alone. When a child is left without its natural protector, our God steps in and becomes his guardian: so also when a man has lost every object of dependence, he may cast himself upon the living God and find in Him al) that he needs. Orphans are cast upon the fatherhood of God, and He provides for them. The writer of these pages knows what it is to hang on the bare arm of God, and he bears his willing witness that no trust is so well warranted by facts, or so sure to be rewarded by results, as trust in the invisible but ever-living God.

Some children who have fathers are not much the better off because of them, but the fatherless with God are rich. Better have God and no other friend than all the patrons on the earth and no God. To be bereaved of the creature is painful, but so long as the Lord remains the fountain of mercy to us, we are not truly orphaned. Let fatherless children plead the gracious word for this morning, and let all who have been bereaved of visible support do the same, Lord, let me find mercy in Thee! The more needy and helpless I am, the more confidently do I appeal to Thy loving heart.

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 6

“Ye must be born again.”
-—John 3:7.

REGENERATION is a subject which lies at the very basis of salvation, and we should be very diligent to take heed that we really are “born again,” for there are many who fancy they are, who are not. Be assured that the name of a Christian is not the nature of a Christian; and that being born in a Christian land, and being recognized as professing the Christian religion is of no avail whatever, unless there be something more added to it—the being “born again,” is a matter so mysterious, that human words cannot describe it. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Nevertheless, it is a change which is known and felt: known by works of holiness, and felt by a gracious experience. This great work is supernatural. It is not an operation which a man performs for himself: a new principle is infused, which works in the heart, renews the soul, and affects the entire man. It is not a change of my name, but a renewal of my nature, so that I am not the man I used to be, but a new man in Christ Jesus. To wash and dress a corpse is a far different thing from making it alive: man can do the one, God alone can do the other. If you have then, been “born again,” your acknowledgment will be, “O Lord Jesus, the everlasting Father, Thou art my spiritual Parent; unless Thy Spirit had breathed into me the breath of a new, holy, and spiritual life, I had been to this day ‘dead in trespasses and sins.’ My heavenly life is wholly derived from Thee, to Thee I ascribe it. ‘My life is hid with Christ in God.’ It is no longer I who live, but Christ who liveth in me.” May the Lord enable us to be well assured on this vital point, for to be unregenerate is to be unsaved, unpardoned, without God, and without hope.

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