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
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+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – September 15

Just For Today
September 15
Filling The Emptiness

“..we think that if we can just get enough food, enough sex, or enough money, we’ll be satisfied and everything will be alright.”
Basic Text p.77

In our addiction, we could never get enough drugs, or money, or sex, or anything else. Even too much was never enough! There was a spiritual emptiness inside us. Though we tried as hard as we could to fill that emptiness ourselves, we never succeeded. In the end, we realized that we lacked the power to fill it; it would take a Power greater than ourselves to do that.

So we stopped using, and we stopped trying to fill the emptiness in our gut with things. We turned to our Higher Power, asking for its care, strength, and direction. We surrendered and made way for that Power to begin the process of filling our inner void. We stopped grabbing things and started receiving the free gift of love our Higher Power had for us. Slowly, our inner emptiness was being filled.

Now that we’ve been given our Higher Power’s gift of love, what do we do with it? If we clasp that gift tightly to ourselves, we will smother it. We must remember that love grows only when it is shared. We can only keep this gift by freely giving it away. The world of addiction is a world of taking and being taken; the world of recovery is a world of giving and being given. In which world do we choose to live?

Just for today: I choose to live in the fullness of recovery. I will celebrate my conscious contact with the God of my understanding by freely sharing with others that which has been freely shared with me.


Daily Reflections
September 15

Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that.  It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous . . . .  Life will mean something at last.

Life is better without alcohol. A.A. and the presence of a Higher Power keeps me sober, but the grace of God does even better; it brings service into my life. Contact with the A.A. program teaches me a new and greater understanding of what Alcoholics Anonymous is and what it does, but most importantly, it helps to show me who I am: an alcoholic who needs the constant experience of the Alcoholics Anonymous program so that I may live a life given to me by my Higher Power.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
September 15
A.A. Thought For The Day

“We all realize that we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to all of us. Ask Him in your morning meditations what you can do today for the person who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. See to it that your relationship with God is right and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. Give freely of what you find in A.A. But, obviously, you cannot transmit something which you haven’t got. So make a life-study of A.A.” Am I always looking for ways of presenting the A.A. Program?

Meditation For The Day

“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.:  Confidence means to have faith in something. We could not live without confidence in others. When you have confidence in God’s grace, you can face whatever comes.  When you have confidence in God’s love, you can be serene and at peace. You can rest in the faith that God will take care of you. Try to rest in God’s presence until His life-power flows through you. Be still and in that stillness the still, small Voice will come. It speaks in quietness to the human mind that is attuned to its influence.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may find strength today in quietness.  I pray that I may be content today that God will take care of me.


As Bill Sees It
September 15
Key to Sobriety, p.257

The unique ability of each A.A. to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, his eloquence, or any special individual skills. The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety.


In my first conversation with Dr. Bob, I bore down heavily on the medical hopelessness of his case, freely using Dr. Silkworth’s words of describing the alcoholic’s dilemma, the “obsession plus allergy” theme. Though Bob was a doctor, this was news to him, bad news. And the fact that I was an alcoholic and knew what I was talking about from personal experience made the blow a shattering one.

You see, our talk was a completely mutual thing. I had quit preaching.  I knew that I needed this alcoholic as much as he needed me.

1. 12 & 12, pp. 150-151
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, pp. 69-70


Walk In Dry Places
September 15
Seeking Our Own

Our feelings will often serve as good guides in determining what course of action we ought to follow. If there is a persistent feeling of discomfort about any situation, we should ask ourselves why we are feeling this way. Perhaps it’s because we are involved with people or activities that are not right for us.

In the same way, we will feel drawn to certain people and activities. This is undoubtedly because we’re in tune with these people or activities. In such circumstances, we can say that we are “seeking our own.” With our unique temperaments and abilities, we fit better in certain places and with certain groups of people than others.

We are indeed fortunate if we find that recovery in a Twelve Step program is a case of seeking and finding our own. This must certainly strengthen and enhance our program.

I’ll seek out only the people and activities that seem to belong in my life. If I do not belong in one situation, this merely means that a better one is available somewhere.


Keep It Simple
September 15

Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.
—Vittorio Alfiert

What brave people we are! We have chosen life. Okay, maybe we had a little push, maybe a big push from our family, police, or the pain of our disease. But still, we’ve chosen recovery. We choose daily to let our Higher Power run our lives. What trust! What faith! What courage!

We work hard at recovery. We do our meditate. We look for ways to serve others. Each one of us is building a miracle. We can be proud of this.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I’ll have the courage to love myself. High Power, teach me to pat myself on the back when I deserve it.

Action for the Day: I will list three ways I am brave in recovery and share them with my group.


Each Day a New Beginning
September 15

When our myths, dreams, and ideals are shattered, our world topples.
……………Kathleen Casey Thiesen

The act of “becoming” topples our world, and rightly so.  We outgrow yesterday’s ideals, and we have begun realizing, in our unfolding, the dreams of last year. Now new dreams call us. Recovery has toppled our world. Hallelujah!

In our abstinence, each day offers us fresh opportunities to “create” new realities to replace the outworn, outgrown myths of the using days. But letting go of the old takes patience, persistence, and strength. The old comforted us, when there was little else.

Perhaps we need reminding that were it not for the shattered myths of last year or last week, we’d not be progressing, unfolding, as the bigger picture calls us. We have a part to play in this life, as do our sisters, our friends, our children. Old dreams served us yesterday, and the past is gone. They can’t direct our present.

I will look with excitement at my toppling world. It signifies growth-intellectual, emotional and spiritual.  Old ideals will bind me-I will dare to dream new dreams and go where they lead with confidence.


Alcoholics Anonymous
September 15
He Sold Himself Short

But he found there was a Higher Power that had more faith in him than he had to himself. Thus, A.A. was born in Chicago.

I can still remember very distinctly getting into Akron at eleven p. m. and routing this same Howard out of bed to do something about me. He spent two hours with me that night telling me his story. He said he had finally learned that drinking was a fatal illness made up of an allergy plus an obsession, and once the drinking had passed from habit to obsession, we were completely hopeless and could look forward only to spending the balance of our lives in mental institutions—or to death.

p. 261


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 15

Tradition Two – “For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”

Now comes the election. If the founder and his friends have served well, they may – to their surprise – be reinstated for a time. If, however, they have heavily resisted the rising tide of democracy, they may be summarily beached. In either case, the group now has a so-called rotating committee, very sharply limited in its authority. In no sense whatever can its members govern or direct the group. They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores. Headed by the chairman, they look after public relations and arrange meetings. Their treasurer, strictly accountable, takes money from the hat that is passed, banks it, pays the rent and other bills, and makes a regular report at business meetings. The secretary sees that literature is on the table, looks after the phone-answering service, answers the mail, and sends out notices of meetings. Such are the simple services that enable the group to function. the committee gives no spiritual advice, judges no one’s conduct, issues no orders. Every one of them may be promptly eliminated at the next election if they try this. And so they make the belated discovery that they are really servants, not senators. These are universal experiences. Thus throughout A.A. does the group conscience decree the terms upon which its leaders shall serve.

p. 134


Xtra Thoughts
September 15

“When your life is filled with the desire to see the holiness in everyday life, something magical happens: ordinary life becomes extraordinary, and the very process of life begins to nourish your soul!”
–Rabbi Harold Kushner

“He who laughs, lasts.”
–Mary Pettibone Poole

If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.
–William Penn

A L C O H O L I C S = A Life Consisting Of Helping Others Live Is Called Sobriety.

I have learned that my actions are far more important than my thoughts.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
–Melody Beattie

“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.”
–Zig Ziglar


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 15

“We find it hard to believe that other people’s thoughts are as silly as our own, but they probably are.”
– James Harvey Robinson

Today I am able to laugh at myself. I even “think” funny things. I sit at airports and look at the faces, postures and mannerisms of the people passing by and I smile, giggle and laugh in my handkerchief.  Then I think about what a funny man I am — so ridiculously proud, so pompous about the silliest things, so preoccupied about my own importance — and it is funny.

Yes, today I am able to laugh at myself. I know that people are funny because I know I am. At meetings I hear people laughing about the day’s insanities and I can always identify. Even my relationships are humorous. I try so hard to make a good impression while at the same time offering the effect of detachment — trying to be “cool”.

God must have a sense of humor because He made you and me!

Thank You for the gift of humor — it allows true humility to develop.


Bible Scriptures
September 15

“What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
Luke 18:27

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
James 1:19-20

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
Philippians 2:12-16


Daily Inspiration
September 15

Every day renew your purpose because without purpose your life will be empty. Lord, grant that I am able to truly see the worth and value of my existence and know that my presence does make a difference.

The value of each gift God gives us is doubled when we share it with someone else. Lord, may I freely give without expectation of something in return even though I know Your constant generosity.


A Day At A Time
September 15

Reflection For The Day

No one welcomes pain with open arms, but it does have its uses.  Just as physical pain serves as a warning that we may be suffering a bodily illness, so can emotional pain be a useful sign that something is wrong — as well as a warning that we need to make a change.  When we can meet pain with the cause of the hurt, rather than running away as we did when we were actively addicted.  Can I bear some emotional discomfort?  Am I less fragile than I once had believed?

Today I Pray

I pray I may be better able to face hurt or pain, now that I am getting to know reality — good and bad.  I sincerely pray that the super-sensitivity of my addictive days will disappear, that people will not feel they must treat me like blown glass, which could shatter at a puff of criticism.

Today I Will Remember

Throw away my stamp:  “Fragile Handle With Care.”


One More Day
September 15

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
–  Winston Churchill

Nearly everyone who has ever under gone a time of high stress has an intense need to talk about it.  A person who has lost someone close may talk almost constantly about it.  People who are admitting that they must deal with chronic pain often feel the same need.

We can and should expect our friends to allow us the comfort of talking about our feelings and experiences.  As people who are suffering from pain and who are often driven to recount an illness’ history, we need to realize there is a point at which people no longer want to listen — they may want to leave instead.  We must work — harder than we ever have before — to build a well-balanced life that has some happy or humorous stories to share.

I will leave room in my conversations for stories that make me and my friends feel good.


One Day At A Time
September 15

The Spiritual lift, the nearness to our Creator that is experienced from humble invocation of His help, and our willingness to be freed from old willfull thoughts and habits are essential to successful attainment of these steps.
–The Little Red Book

I am a compulsive overeater. I eat three moderate meals each day without exception. In between, I have nothing except sugar-free gum, water, diet soda, and black coffee. Today I am working hard to allow my Higher Power to remove my imperfections. The focus is on the removal of blame, resentment, fear, and self-pity. I want to blame. I do resent. I have a lot of fear, but with surrender it is not paralyzing. I easily feel sorry for myself and cry about it. All of this threatens my abstinence, which is about sanity. The weight loss is an extra reward. The ability to approach responsibilities and feelings is the life force which I cannot take for granted.

When food was my higher power it was hell. I take my disease and recovery seriously. It’s choosing life over slow, torturous death. All my problems are the same, yet somehow they are livable. Continually asking for removal of my defects results in a decrease of anxiety. I believe fully that my Higher Power will remove my problems in a time and way which I have no control over, as long as I remain willing. Today I am completely willing. I am grateful to have been chosen for recovery.

One day at a time…
I can eat three weighed, measured and committed meals without exception. I enjoy my meals and feel satisfied by them.

~ Ellen ~


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 15

“Knowledge is a beautiful thing, but the using of knowledge in a good way is what makes for wisdom. Learning how to use knowledge in a sacred manner, that’s wisdom to me. And to me, that’s what a true Elder is.”

We grow in wisdom by developing ourselves according to the four directions of the Medicine Wheel – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Let’s say we started drinking and drugging in our teenage years. Our emotional development will stop, but we will grow older physically. We could then develop into an immature adult. As adults we might be acting like we were teenagers. Once we stop drinking or drugging, our emotional development will begin again. We need to grow and nurture ourselves in all four directions. We need to involve the Great Spirit’s guidance in our development. That’s the only way we become wise individuals and live our lives in harmony and in a sacred way.

Oh Great Spirit, guide my thinking today. Let me walk in a sacred way on the Red Road. Let me be a learner of lessons and give me Your greatest gift – wisdom!


Journey To The Heart
September 15
Heal Your Broken Heart

I lay on the cot in the bathhouse at the mineral springs. I was wrapped from head to toe in a woolen blanket. As I lay there, the blanket covering my face. I could almost feel each break line in my heart. I could feel the fractures in a way I hadn’t before. I knew then that healing my heart was one of the purposes of this journey.

Your heart may have been broken many times. Some breaks hurt more than others, but each break caused a fracture, a weakness in your ability and willingness to love, trust, and heal.

Don’t shut down. Don’t go away. Don’t tell yourself, My pain is not important. I’m stronger than that. That’s just the way life is. Those are all lies we tell ourselves, lies to hide the pain of the break. The smallest betrayal unexpressed, at least to ourselves, can cause damage to our hearts. Willingness is the key– willingness to feel all we need to feel, willingness to heal, to love again.

As you go deeper into your journey, deeper into your joy, go deeper into your heart. Mend and heal all those tiny breaks lines, all the fractures, all the cracks. As you go deeper into joy, you will go deeper into your pain, your grief, your losses. Don’t be afraid. That doesn’t mean you’ll return to despair or that you will live forever in grief and anguish.

Take the time now to mend the break lines. Go deep within your heart to help it heal. Bury the broken dreams. Release the hurts. Acknowledge the betrayals. And then lightly, gently, with love, rub a golden layer of forgiveness and love around your heart.

There comes a time in the journey to the heart when it is time to let it heal. The deeper we go into the healing, the freer we will be, the more we will know what we feel, and the more we will feel joy.


Today’s Gift
September 15

He felt frightened at being different from his brothers and sisters. It scared him to be different.
E. B. White

How ugly and wrong it makes us feel to be different: to be tall when others are short, slow when others are fast, black when others are white.

The miracle, and paradox, is that everyone is different – and that is what makes us all the same.

When we think honestly about the people we admire – friends, sports heroes, actors, musicians, parents, teachers, employers – we know that all of them, as human beings, not heroes, have felt out of place in their lives, probably many times.

Believing we are alone or different cuts us off from others. Climbing over that protective wall of “differentness” is scary, but it is guaranteed to set us free.

How can I let go of my “differentness” today?


The Language of Letting Go
September 15
Getting Through Hard Times

We are sturdy beings. But in many ways, we are fragile. We can accept change and loss, but this comes at our own pace and in our own way. And only God and we can determine the timing.
–Codependent No More

Hard times, stressful times, are not all there is to life, but they are part of life, growth, and moving forward.

What we do with hard times, or hard energy, is our choice.

We can use the energy of hard times to work out, and work through, our issues. We can use it to fine-tune our skills and our spirituality. Or we can go through these situations suffering, storing up bitterness, and refusing to grow or change.

Hard times can motivate and mold us to bring out our best. We can use these times to move forward and upward to higher levels of living, loving, and growth.

The choice is ours. Will we let ourselves feel? Will we take a spiritual approach, including gratitude, toward the event? Will we question life and our Higher Power by asking what we’re supposed to be learning and doing? Or will we use the incident to prove old, negative beliefs? Will we say, “Nothing good ever happens to me… I’m just a victim… People can’t be trusted… Life isn’t worth living”?

We do not always require hard energy, or stress, to motivate us to grow and change. We do not have to create stress, seek it, or attract it. But if it’s there, we can learn to channel it into growth and use it for achieving what’s good in life.

God, let my hard times be healing times.


More Language Of Letting Go
September 15
You are a work of art

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.
–M.C. Richards

What you do is not who you are.

You are more, much more, than that.

It’s easy to get so caught up in what we do that we’re only identifying ourselves through our daily tasks. I am a mechanic. I am a parking lot attendant. I am a doctor. I am a dishwasher. When we link ourselves too closely to our jobs, we deny ourselves the chance to ever be anything else. We limit ourselves by believing that’s all we are and all we’ll ever be.

Our concept of who we are is one of the hardest, but most rewarding, ideas we can change. If you have been brought up believing that you are clumsy, you will probably demonstrate this belief in your actions– until you identify that idea, let go of it, and let yourself be something else.

Don’t limit yourself by saying you are just what you do. Stop seeing yourself as a static being. If I am “just” a parking lot attendant, then how can I hope to ever influence someone through my words, my art, my music, my life? But if I am a vital, living, growing soul who happens to be parking people’s cars, then everything I do can become a symphony. I can have an influence for good in the lives of everyone I touch. I can learn from them, and they from me. I can learn the lessons that I am supposed to learn at this place in my life, and I can move on to other lessons.

God gave us the power to change. You’re more than what you do. You’re a vital vibrant soul that came here to experience, grow, and change. Make a masterpiece out of your life.

God, help me realize the glory of my soul. Thank you for my mortality and for the ability to learn and grow.


 Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 15

When people are loving, brave, truthful, charitable, God is present.
—Harold Kushner

For many of us, our spiritual awakening began when we first heard our Higher Power might be our group. We learned that God may exist in the connections between people in our group just as well as within each individual. As we members exchange care and help with each other, as each struggles to achieve complete honesty and wrestles bravely with old temptations, God is truly in our midst. Closeness flourishes because we felt so alone but then found friends who suffered in similar ways. It is an expression of a spirit beyond our rational control.

When we ask another member to listen to us, we contribute to the strength of this spirit. When we give someone a ride to a meeting or spread the word about this program to other suffering men and women, we make a contribution and receive its benefits. Even now, if we need a renewal of confidence in God’s presence in our lives, we can telephone another member and just talk. We will quickly sense the spirit.

Today, I am grateful to feel God’s presence in my life and within the people around me.


Daily TAO
September 15

Early autumn rain cleanses away smeared heat.
A grateful traveler takes in crystal skies and crisp air.
Distant mountains seem more vast and blue,
And the sound of the waterfall grows more loud.

Autumn is coming. The air becomes fresh and crisp. The fruits of summer are being harvested; the heat of labor is beginning to cool. There is a more relaxed feeling in the air : The fiery activity of summer is replaced by the celebrations of autumn.

In spring, we all had to struggle to make the ascendancy of the year. In summer, we reveled in the glory of fire and vigor. Now, we can begin to let things relax. Just as the pumpkins are beginning to fill out, the squash is hanging heavy and golden on the vines, and the leaves are starting to hint of warm colors, so too can we look forward to mellowness and quietness.

This is the time for harvest. But every planting and growing season also leaves behind excess and inevitable waste. The dust of summer still lingers. The stubble in the fields will have to be burned. We must harvest fully and then clean up fully. Harvest is also the time of cleansing and taking stock.


Daily Zen
September 15

I suddenly found myself upside-down
On level ground;
When I picked myself up,
I found there’s nothing to say!
If someone should ask me what this
Is all about, smiling,
I’d point to the pure breeze and
Bright moon.

– Zhenru


Food For Thought
September 15

Our mental obsession with food gave us little peace. The refined sugars and carbohydrates, which we craved, left us jangled and over stimulated. Our guilt and self-hate kept us in a state of fear and turmoil. We raced about frantically in our minds trying to think of a way out of our misery.

Abstaining from refined sugar and carbohydrates gives us physical peace. Our body is no longer in an uproar; it is functioning calmly and efficiently. The Twelve Steps of recovery free us from the mental obsession with food and bring about emotional and spiritual peace. The more control we relinquish to our Higher Power, the more peace He gives us.

The peace, which comes through working our program, is not stagnant – it is rich and creative. It is the peace, which results from an ordered life and confidence in God. Instead of going in circles, both physically and mentally, we move in measured progress along the path, which our Higher Power shows us step by step each day.

Thank You for peace.


Faiths Checkbook
September 15
The Safest Shelter

And a man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind and a covert from the tempest.
(Isaiah 32:2)

Who this Man is we all know. Who could He be but the Second Man, the Lord from heaven, the man of sorrows, the Son of Man? What a hiding place He has been to His people! He bears the full force of the wind Himself, and so He shelters those who hide themselves in Him. We have thus escaped the wrath of God, and we shall thus escape the anger of men, the cares of this life, and the dread of death. Why do we stand in the wind when we may so readily and so surely get out of it by hiding behind our Lord? Let us this day run to Him and be at peace.

Often the common wind of trouble rises in its force and becomes a tempest, sweeping everything before it. Things which looked firm and stable rock in the blast, and many and great are the falls among our carnal confidences. Our Lord Jesus, the glorious man, is a covert which is never blown down. In Him we mark the tempest sweeping by, but we ourselves rest in delightful serenity.

This day let us just stow ourselves away in our hiding place and sit and sing under the protection of our Covert. Blessed Jesus! Blessed Jesus! How we love Thee! Well we may, for Thou art to us a shelter in the time of storm.


This Mornings Reading
September 15

“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings.”
—Psalm 112:7.

CHRISTIAN, you ought not to dread the arrival of evil tidings; because if you are distressed by them, what do you more than other men? Other men have not your God to fly to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear: but you profess to be of another spirit; you have been begotten again unto a lively hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things; now, if you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace which you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature which you claim to possess?

Again, if you should be filled with alarm, as others are, you would, doubtless, be led into the sins so common to others under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by evil tidings, rebel against God; they murmur, and think that God deals hardly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do?

Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Your wisest course is to do as Moses did at the Red Sea, “Stand still and see the salvation of God.” For if you give way to fear when you hear of evil tidings, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure which nerves for duty, and sustains under adversity. How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires, but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had none to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, “let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”


This Evenings Reading
September 15

“A people near unto him.”
—Psalm 148:14.

THE dispensation of the old covenant was that of distance. When God appeared even to His servant Moses, He said, “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet”; and when He manifested Himself upon Mount Sinai, to His own chosen and separated people, one of the first commands was, “Thou shalt set bounds about the mount.” Both in the sacred worship of the tabernacle and the temple, the thought of distance was always prominent. The mass of the people did not even enter the outer court. Into the inner court none but the priests might dare to intrude; while into the innermost place, or the holy of holies, the high priest entered but once in the year. It was as if the Lord in those early ages would teach man that sin was so utterly loathsome to Him, that He must treat men as lepers put without the camp; and when He came nearest to them, He yet made them feel the width of the separation between a holy God and an impure sinner. When the gospel came, we were placed on quite another footing. The word “Go” was exchanged for “Come”; distance was made to give place to nearness, and we who aforetime were afar off, were made nigh by the blood of Jesus Christ. Incarnate Deity has no wall of fire about it. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” is the joyful proclamation of God as He appears in human flesh. Not now does He teach the leper his leprosy by setting him at a distance, but by Himself suffering the penalty of His defilement. What a state of safety and privilege is this nearness to God through Jesus! Do you know it by experience? If you know it, are you living in the power of it? Marvellous is this nearness, yet it is to be followed by a dispensation of greater nearness still, when it shall be said, “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He doth dwell among them.” Hasten it, O Lord.

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