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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.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – March 7

Just For Today
March 7
Priorities

“The good times can also be a trap; the danger is that we may forget that our first priority is to stay clean.”
Basic Text, p. 42

Things can get really good in our recovery. Perhaps we’ve found our “soul mate” built a rewarding career, started a family. Maybe our relationships with our family members have healed. Things are going so well, we barely have time to attend meetings. Perhaps we begin to reintegrate into society so successfully that we forget that we don’t always react to situations like others do.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ve put some priorities ahead of themselves. Is meeting attendance still a priority with us? Do we still sponsor? Do we phone our sponsor? What step are we working? Are we still willing to drag ourselves out of bed at some ungodly hour for a Twelfth Step call? Do we remember to practice principles in all our affairs? If others in NA reach out to us, are we available? Do we remember where we came from, or have the “good times” allowed us to forget?

To stay clean, we must remember that we are only one drug away from our past. We stay grateful for the good times, but we don’t let them divert us from our continuing recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.

Just for today: I’m grateful for the good times, but I’ve not forgotten from where I’ve come. Today, my first priority is staying clean and growing in my recovery.

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Daily Reflections
March 7
THE KEY IS WILLINGNESS

Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 35

The willingness to give up my pride and self-will to a Power greater than myself has proved to be the only ingredient absolutely necessary to solve all of my problems today. Even the smallest amount of willingness, if sincere, is sufficient to allow God to enter and take control over my problem, pain, or obsession. My level of comfort is in direct relation to the degree of willingness I possess at any given moment to give up my self-will, and allow God’s will to be manifested in my life. With the key of willingness, my worries and fears are powerfully transformed into serenity.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 7
A.A. Thought For The Day

There are two important things we have to do if we want to get sober and stay sober. First, having admitted that we are helpless before alcohol, we have to turn our alcoholic problem over to God and trust Him to take care of it for us. This means asking Him every morning for the strength to stay sober for that day and thanking Him every night. It means really leaving the problem in God’s hands and not reaching out and getting the problem back to ourselves. Second, having given our drink problem to God, we must cooperate with Him by doing something about it ourselves. Am I doing these two things?

Meditation For The Day

I must prepare myself by doing each day what I can to develop spiritually and to help others to do so. God tests me and trains me and bends me to His will. If I am not properly trained, I cannot meet the test when it comes. I must want God’s will for me above all else. I must expect to have what I am not prepared for. This preparation consists of quiet communion with God every day and gradually gaining the strength I need.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may really try to do God’s will in all my affairs. I pray that I may do all I can to help others find God’s will for them.

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As Bill Sees It
March 7
For Emergencies Only?, p. 66

Whether we had been believers or unbelievers, we began to get over the idea that the Higher Power was a sort of bush-league pinch hitter, to be called upon only in an emergency.

The notion that we would still live our own lives, God helping a little now and then, began to evaporate. Many of us who had thought ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help.

But now the words “Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works” began to carry bright promise and meaning.

12 & 12, p. 75

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Walk in Dry Places
March 7
First things First
Order

The struggle to bring order into our lives starts with lots of little things. One recovering person discovered that it was a good exercise simply to put the cap back on the toothpaste tube in the morning. This was a reminder that things should be put in their proper place, and the discipline helped later in organizing larger matters.

It is very easy to overlook orderly procedures in the haste to get things done, or to avoid anything that seems unpleasant or demanding. But such oversight always carries a heavy price later on. When we don’t return things to their proper place, for example, we lose them or waste hours looking for them. We may bungle a job simply because we were too lazy to look up the right information or to read directions.

That’s why “First things First” is much more than just a slogan. It’s actually a principle for living, a guide that tells us there is an orderly approach to everything. If we can find that order without becoming slavishly compulsive about it, we’ll find that it simplifies lots of things later on.

I’ll try to do things in an orderly manner today. When I find myself taking short cuts or becoming too hurried, I’ll regain control by remembering to establish priorities.

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Keep It Simple
March 7

To make the world a friendly place One must show it a friendly face.
—James Whitcomb Riley

We are beginning to learn that we get what we expect. Why? If we believe that people are out to get us, we’ll not treat them well. We will think it’s okay to “get them” before they “get us.” Then, they’ll be angry and want to get even. And on it goes. It’s great when we can meet the world with a balance. We are honest people. We can expect others to be fair with us. We get the faith, strength, and courage to do this because of our trust in our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I put my life in Your care. Use me to spread Your love to others.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll spread friendliness. I will greet people with a smile.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 7

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.
–Anne Frank

We must take responsibility for ourselves, for who we become, for how we live each day. The temptation to blame others may be ever present. And much of our past adds up to wasted days or years perhaps, because we did blame someone else for the unhappiness in our lives.

We may have blamed our own parents for not loving us enough. We may have labeled our husbands the villains. Other people did affect us. That’s true. However, we chose, you and I, to let them control us, overwhelm us, shame us. We always had other options, but we didn’t choose them.

Today is a new day. Recovery has opened up our options. We are learning who we are and how we want to live our lives. How exhilarating to know that you and I can take today and put our own special flavor in it. We can meet our personal needs. We can, with anticipation, chart our course. The days of passivity are over, if we choose to move ahead with this day.

I will look to this day. Every day is a new beginning.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 7
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.'”

It was not until I was an adult, away from the family and doing graduate work at a prestigious East Coast University, that I had my first real drink of alcohol. I had tasted beer and a little wine before that and long since decided that fruit juice tasted better. I had never been inside a bar until one evening some fellow students persuaded me to go with them to a local cocktail lounge. I was fascinated. I still remember the lazy, smoky atmosphere, the hushed voices, the tinkle of ice in the glasses. It was pure sophistication. But most of all I remember that first sensation of the warm whiskey radiating through my body.

p. 447

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 7

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

“This is only one man’s opinion based on his own experience, of course. I must quickly assure you that A.A.’s tread innumerable paths in their quest for faith. If you don’t care for the one I’ve suggested, you’ll be sure to discover one that suits if only you look and listen. Many a man like you has begun to solve the problem by the method of substitution. You can, if you wish, make A.A., itself your `higher power.’ Here’s a very large group of people who have solved their alcohol problem. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you, who have not even come close to a solution. Surely you can have faith in them. Even this minimum of faith will be enough. You will find many members who have crossed the threshold just this way. All of them will tell you that, once across, their faith broadened and deepened. Relieved of the alcohol obsession, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power, and most of them began to talk of God.”

pp. 27-28

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Xtra Thoughts
March 7

“I used to say, ‘I sure hope things will change.’ Then I learned that the only way things are going to change for me is when I change.”
–Jim Rohn

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.
–Henry Ward Beecher

Expecting the world to be fair to you because you are a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.
–Unknown

Today I will do something I should have done yesterday.
–Nelle Bruner Weddington

It’s so important to treat others like you would expect to be treated.  It’s a universal law that the hurt and pain you have caused on others will come back and affect you, but the love and joy you have inspired in others, will also inspire you.
–Unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 7
IDEALS

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.”
— H.L. Mencken

The spiritual program teaches me to be an idealist with my feet on the ground. People will continue to hurt, get angry and tell lies; wrestling with imperfections is not just my problem. I need to accept that I live in an imperfect world and recovery involves reality, not illusion.

My responsibility in recovery is for my life. I cannot change other people, events or relationships — I can only change me. I am not God. Each time I forget this fact, I risk another hurt.

Help me to aspire for ideals that are within my grasp.

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Bible Scriptures
March 7

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalms 46:1

For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:6

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezek 36:26

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
Hebrews 12:1

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Daily Inspiration
March 7

It is not in the good times, but rather in the times of stress and misfortune, that our faith is tested. Lord, remove my doubts as they creep in and help me turn my times of turmoil into times of spiritual growth.

No matter what you must confront today, know that God is with you. Lord, today is part of Your plan for me. I do not doubt You and therefore I will not doubt You within me.

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A Day At A Time
March 7

Reflection For The Day

It’s time for me to realize that my attitude — toward the life I’m living and the people in it — can have a tangible, measurable and profound effect on what happens to me day by day.  If I expect good, then good will surely come to me. And If I try each day to base my attitude and point of view on a sound spiritual foundation, I know it will change all the circumstances of my life for the better, too.  Do I accept the fact that I have been given only a daily reprieve that is contingent on my spiritual condition?

Today I Pray

since my illness was spiritual — as well as physical and emotional — may I mend spiritually through daily communion with God. May I find a corner of quiet within me where I can spend a few moments with Him.  May He make His will known to me.  May I worship Him from that inner temple that is in myself.

Today I will Remember

To spend a quiet moment with God.

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One More Day
March 7

Life if you will, is a work of art, and if we have paid loving attention to its details, we will be able to take pride in the finished product.
—  Harold Kushner

Without even realizing it, we often do things that are good for us and make us happy.  We do something that creates well-being, and we have a successful day.  When we pay attention to actions that create well-being we can have a successful week.  Taking good care of our homes makes us feel proud and so does helping a fellow human being in need.  Making volunteer work a part of how we live, showing kindness to others and ourselves, reaching out — all these choices enhance our well-being.

When we pay attention to those around us, a transformation occurs within our spiritual selves.  Then we shall have given ourselves the gift of a meaningful life.

I will pay loving attention to the details of my day.

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One Day At A Time
March 7
Perseverance

To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil on it.
–Mother Teresa

As a child I can still remember being terribly stubborn, and would even have a temper tantrum if I didn’t want to do something. As I grew up, the trait of stubbornness remained, and it would be hard to get me to budge if I had decided I didn’t want to do something. After coming into the program, I realised that stubbornness is actually a character defect of mine, and whilst I am praying to be relieved of it in its negative form, I also know that that same character defect in its positive form has helped me tremendously in the program, especially seeing my journey has been one which has been characterised with many slips along the way. But one of the things that I’ve never stopped doing is coming back, and I know that it is this very character defect of stubborness, turned into perseverance, that has made me keep working at the program, even when it would be easier to just give up. So I have kept coming to meetings, and working the steps and the tools even when I was struggling, because I know that it is only when I do that, I have a chance of recovery.

It has been said that this is a program of action, and so I repeat on a daily basis the actions that have brought recovery to thousands. Some days it is harder than others, especially when the willingness is not there, and on those days my old pattern of wanting to block out the feelings with food resurfaces. But I also know that when I use the tools and work the steps, I can deal with the feelings without resorting to food, because my Higher Power will help me to get through the daily struggles when I turn them over to Him. So what I need to do on a daily basis is to ask for help from my Higher Power with my unmanageble life, instead of turning to food, and even on days where I’m struggling, I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and persevering with working the program.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will persevere with working the program, so that I can recover from this disease of compulsive overeating and be restored to sanity on a daily basis.

~ Sharon ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 7

“We are responsible for the condition of the Earth. We are the ones who are responsible and we can change that. If we wake up, it is possible to change the energy. It is possible to change everything.”
–Hunbatz Men, MAYAN

The environment we want outside will be created by the mental pictures we have inside our heads. We must have the right environmental picture as well as the right values. These values will give the mental picture its true meaning. If we respected Mother Earth, we would not throw garbage on Her, nor would we put poison in Her. We would not misuse Her in any way. Mother Earth is like She is today because of the mental pictures of previous generations as well as the mental pictures of our own generation. If we want the environment to change, each individual must change their mental picture. “As within, so without.”

Great Spirit, today, let me be alert to Your guiding voice.

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Journey to the Heart
March 7
Redefine Service

Service is a key, an important one. It’s a key to joy, to love. And a gold key to the journey.

How long we thought service meant doing everything for everyone. How long we thought service had to be hard, taxing, boring– that it meant doing something we didn’t want to do to help someone who didn’t want to be helped.

Now, we’re defining service differently. Service is joyful. It’s an attitude, a belief, a way of looking at ourselves and our lives. Our very life is service. Our being is service. Service arises and springs naturally out of self-love. It arises from being who we are and from doing the things we want to do and are led to do. The things that bring us the most joy will bring the most service to the world. Doing things we don’t want to do will leave us and the world around us cold, untouched, unmoved.

Service is love and joy. Service is being who you are. Bask in self-love. Service will flow naturally from that. It will be freely given and freely received. And now what you do will really help.

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Today’s Gift
March 7

He who distributes the milk of human kindness cannot help but spill a little on himself.
—James Barrie

We like ourselves best when we like those around us. When we smile at them, they smile back; when we ask them, they tell us about themselves. When we scowl at people, they’ll frown back; when we ignore them, they’ll walk away.

It’s true that we get back what we put into things, whether it’s work, play, love, or gardening. We decide by the extent of our commitment how valuable or enjoyable or depressing an experience can be for us.

Our actions toward others come right back to us. When we smile at people, they smile back, and we feel good. Sometimes feeling good about ourselves depends on feeling good about others. When we send out that smile of ours, those who get it pass it on, and we have added power to the happiness of the world.

What can I do to show my fondness for others today?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 7
Fulfillment

Everything I need shall be provided today. Everything. Say it, until you believe it. Say it at the beginning of the day. Say it throughout the day.

Sometimes, it helps to know what we want and need. But if we don’t, we can trust that God does.

When we ask, trust, and believe that our needs will be met, our needs will be met. Sometimes God cares about the silliest little things, if we do.

Today, I will affirm that my needs will be met. I will affirm that God cares and is the Source of my supply. Then I will let go and see that what I have risked to believe is the truth.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 7
Recognize manipulations

Herein lies an irony: the person who is trying to manipulate you views you as having greater strength or power than he or she does.
–George H. Green and Carolyn Cotter

Stop Being Manipulated

George Green and Carolyn Cotter describe manipulation as an encounter in which someone else attempts to control how you feel, behave, or think– without your permission– and it causes you discomfort as a result.

Most of us use manipulation, from time to time, to get what we want. Sometimes our manipulations are harmless’ even cute. Both people know a low-grade manipulation is at hand. Both people basically want what the manipulator is working so hard to get– dinner out, a movie, a walk through the park. It’s not a big deal.

Other times, the stakes are higher and the people involved don’t agree. That’s when manipulations can be harmful. When we don’t know what we want, when we’re not clear with others and ourselves about how we feel, a manipulation is in the air.

Sometimes manipulationx are conscious and deliberate. Other times they’re unconscious, foggy attempts to get what we want.

“Let’s simplify our definition of manipulation,” suggest Green and Cotter. “If an encounter leaves you feeling crummy, it probably involves manipulation of some sort.”

Isn’t it ironic that sometimes the very feeling we’re trying to deny is exactly what we need to be feeling to take care of ourselves?

Next time you’re faced with a situation that leaves you feeling crummy, take a moment to see if a manipulation was involved. Remember that whenever others try to manipulate you, they perceive you as having something they want and as being more powerful than they are. If you’re powerful enough to be a target for a manipulation, you’re powerful enough to take care of yourself.

God, help me let go of my belief that I need to manipulate other people to get what I want. Help me stop letting others manipulate me.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 7

A controller doesn’t trust his/her ability to live through the pain and chaos of life. There is no life without pain just as there is no art without submitting to chaos.
—Rita Mae Brown

It is very hard for most of us to see how controlling we are. We may feel uptight or careful, but we haven’t seen it as controlling ourselves or controlling how people respond to us. We may be worried about a loved one’s behavior or safety, but not realize our hovering over that person is a controlling activity. We may be keenly aware of other people’s controlling behavior with us, but unaware we have equaled their control by monitoring them and trying to change their behavior.

What a moment of spiritual adventure it is to risk living through the pain! When we do not seek an escape or a quick fix but have patience with the process, new possibilities often do develop. We can only let go of our control – or turn it over to our Higher Power. And we will do it and forget, taking control back within minutes or within an hour. Then we let go again.

Today, I will submit to the insecurity of a changing universe and have faith that I can live through the process and grow.

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DailyTAO
March 7
CYCLES

Dawn is a shimmering of the horizon.
Dusk is a settling of the sky.

Dawn and dusk together represent the measure of a day. When the sun rises, the moon sets. When the moon rises, the sun sets. This represents the cycle of existence, for without such alternation, the power of the universe could not be generated. When the sun reaches its zenith, it will inevitably begin its descent toward its nadir. All events — including our own plans and activities — follow the same pattern.

It is wisdom to know the cycles of life and where any particular circumstance that we are involved in stands on the curve. If we want to perpetuate something, we should join it to new growth to compound our progress. If we want to destroy something, we need only lead it to its extreme, for all things decline after their zenith.

All too often, people express uncertainty about where they stand in life. It’s important to examine both the short-range and the long-range. If you want to go far in a decade, you have to go far each year. If you want to go far each year, you have to make sure that you do something significant each day. Use the cycles of life to establish a measure to your life, and then arrange your plans according to the units that you have chosen. Then there will be no fear of not knowing your own progress.

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    DailyZen
    March 7

Events of a cold night

Wind disorders the cold forest,
Bright under frost moon;
A guest comes:
Lofty talk past the Middle Watch.
Chopsticks laid on the hearth rim
And roasting yams forgotten:
Though the stillness I hear on the windows
The raintaps of falling leaves.

– Jakushitsu Genko (1290-1367)

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Food for Thought
    March 7
Accepting Abstinence

Abstinence is not so much something we achieve as it is a gift from our Higher Power. It is given to us constantly, from the time we wake up in the morning through every minute of the day.

If we think of abstinence as something we have to acquire through great effort, we will be afraid that we will fail. We will think of weeks and months and years stretching ahead of us and say, “I’ll never make it.”

Abstinence is given to us now, each day, and all we need to do is accept it. It is not something we do only in order to lose a certain number of pounds. By abstaining, we will lose the pounds, but when we are at our desired weight we continue to maintain abstinence. Abstinence is our freedom from compulsive overeating and the gift of new life.

Thank you, Lord, for abstinence.

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In God’s Care
March 7

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Faith’s Check Book
March 7
From Fetters Free

The Lord looseth the prisoner.
(Psalm 146:7)

He has done it. Remember Joseph, Israel in Egypt, Manasseh, Jeremiah, Peter, and many others. He can do it still. He breaks the bars of brass with a word and snaps the fetters of iron with a look. He is doing it. In a thousand places troubled ones are coming forth to light and enlargement. Jesus still proclaims the opening of the prison to them that are bound. At this moment doors are flying back and fetters are dropping to the ground.

He will delight to set you free, dear friend, if at this time you are mourning because of sorrow, doubt, and fear. It will be joy to Jesus to give you liberty. It will give Him as great a pleasure to loose you as it will be a pleasure to you to be loosed. No, you have not to snap the iron hand: the Lord Himself will do it. Only trust Him, and He will be your Emancipator. Believe in Him in spite of the stone walls or the manacles of iron. Satan cannot hold you, sin cannot enchain you, even despair cannot bind you if you will now believe in the Lord Jesus, in the freeness of His grace, and the fullness of His power to save.

Defy the enemy, and let the word now before you be your song of deliverance; “Jehovah looseth the prisoners.”

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This Mornings Meditations
March 7

“Have faith in God.”—Mark 11:22.

FAITH is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith. Little faith will save a man, but little faith cannot do great things for God. Poor Little-faith could not have fought “Apollyon;” it needed “Christian” to do that. Poor Little-faith could not have slain “Giant Despair;” it required “Great-heart’s” arm to knock that monster down. Little faith will go to heaven most certainly, but it often has to hide itself in a nut-shell, and it frequently loses all but its jewels. Little-faith says, “It is a rough road, beset with sharp thorns, and full of dangers; I am afraid to go;” but Great-faith remembers the promise, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days, so shall thy strength be:” and so she boldly ventures. Little-faith stands desponding, mingling her tears with the flood; but Great-faith sings, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:” and she fords the stream at once. Would you be comfortable and happy? Would you enjoy religion? Would you have the religion of cheerfulness and not that of gloom? Then “have faith in God.” If you love darkness, and are satisfied to dwell in gloom and misery, then be content with little faith; but if you love the sunshine, and would sing songs of rejoicing, covet earnestly this best gift, “great faith.”

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This Evenings Meditations
March 7

“lt is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.”—Psalm 118:8.

DOUBTLESS the reader has been tried with the temptation to rely upon the things which are seen, instead of resting alone upon the invisible God. Christians often look to man for help and counsel, and mar the noble simplicity of their reliance upon their God. Does this evening’s portion meet the eye of a child of God anxious about temporals, then would we reason with him awhile. You trust in Jesus, and only in Jesus, for your salvation, then why are you troubled? “Because of my great care.” Is it not written, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord”? “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make known your wants unto God.” Cannot you trust God for temporals? “Ah! I wish I could.” If you cannot trust God for temporals, how dare you trust Him for spirituals? Can you trust Him for your soul’s redemption, and not rely upon Him for a few lesser mercies? Is not God enough for thy need, or is His all-sufficiency too narrow for thy wants? Dost thou want another eye beside that of Him who sees every secret thing? Is His heart faint? Is His arm weary? If so, seek another God; but if He be infinite, omnipotent, faithful, true, and all-wise, why gaddest thou abroad so much to seek another confidence? Why dost thou rake the earth to find another foundation, when this is strong enough to bear all the weight which thou canst ever build thereon? Christian, mix not only thy wine with water, do not alloy thy gold of faith with the dross of human confidence. Wait thou only upon God, and let thine expectation be from Him. Covet not Jonah’s gourd, but rest in Jonah’s God. Let the sandy foundations of terrestrial trust be the choice of fools, but do thou, like one who foresees the storm, build for thyself an abiding place upon the Rock of Ages.

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