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In Loving Memory of Vic

Find A Meeting

Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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

Daily Recovery Readings – September 19

Just For Today
September 19
Fellowship

“In NA, our joys are multiplied by sharing good days; our sorrows are lessened by sharing the bad. For the first time in our lives, we don’t have to experience anything alone.”
IP No.16, “For the Newcomer”

When we practice using the steps and the other tools of our program to work through our hardships, we become able to take pleasure in the joys of living clean. But our joys pass all too quickly if we don’t share them with others, while hardships borne alone may be long in passing. In the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, we often multiply our joys and divide our burdens by sharing them with one another.

We addicts experience pleasures in recovery that, sometimes, only another addict can appreciate. Fellow members understand when we tell them of the pride we take today in fulfilling commitments, the warmth we feel in mending damaged relationships, the relief we experience in not having to use drugs to make it through the day. When we share these experiences with recovering addicts and they respond with similar stories, our joy is multiplied. The same principle applies to the challenges we encounter as recovering addicts. By sharing our challenges and allowing other NA members to share their strength with us, our load is lightened.

The fellowship we have in Narcotics Anonymous is precious. Sharing together, we enhance the joys and diminish the burdens of life in recovery.

Just for today: I will share my joys and my burdens with other recovering addicts. I will also share in theirs. I am grateful for the strong bonds of fellowship in Narcotics Anonymous.

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Daily Reflections
September 19
ACCEPTANCE

We admitted we couldn’t lick alcohol with our own remaining resources, and so we accepted the further fact that dependence upon a Higher Power (if only our A.A. group) could do this hitherto impossible job. The moment we were able to accept these facts fully, our release from the alcohol compulsion had begun.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 109

Freedom came to me only with my acceptance that I could turn my will and my life over to the care of my Higher Power, whom I call God. Serenity seeped into the chaos of my life when I accepted that what I was going through was life, and that God would help me through my difficulties–and much more, as well. Since then He has helped me through all of my difficulties! When I accept situations as they are, not as I wish them to be, then I can begin to grow and have serenity and peace of mind.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
September 19
A.A. Thought For The Day

Let us continue with Steps Two, Three, and Eleven. We must turn to a Higher Power for help, because we are helpless ourselves. When we put our drink problem in God’s hands and leave it there, we have made the most important decision of our lives. From then on, we trust God for the strength to keep sober. This takes us off the center of the universe and allows us to transfer our problems to a Power outside ourselves. By prayer and meditation, we seek to improve our conscious contract with God. We try to live each day the way we believe God wants us to live. Am I trusting God for the strength to stay sober?

Meditation For The Day

“These things have I spoken unto you, that your joy may be full.” Even a partial realization of the spiritual life brings much joy. You feel at home in the world when you are in touch with the Divine Spirit of the universe. Spiritual experience brings a definite satisfaction. Search for the real meaning of life by following spiritual laws. God wants you to have spiritual success and He intends that you have it.  If you live your life as much as possible according to spiritual laws, you can expect your share of joy and peace, satisfaction and success.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I will find happiness in doing the right thing. I pray that I will find satisfaction in obeying spiritual laws.

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As Bill Sees It
September 19
“Fearless and Searching”, p.261

My self-analysis has frequently been faulty. Sometimes I’ve failed to share my defects with the right people; at other times, I’ve confessed their defects, rather than my own; and still other times, my confession of defects has been more in the nature of loud complaints about my circumstances and my problems.

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When A.A. suggests a fearless moral inventory, it must seem to every newcomer that more is being asked of him than he can do.  Every time he tries to look within himself, Pride says, “You need not pass this way,” and Fear says, “You dare not look!”

But pride and fear of this sort turn out to be bogymen, nothing else. Once we have a complete willingness to take inventory, and exert ourselves to do the job thoroughly, a wonderful light falls upon this foggy scene. As we persist, a brand-new kind of confidence is born, and the sense of relief at finally facing ourselves is indescribable.

1. Grapevine, June 1958
2. 12 & 12, pp.49-50

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Walk In Dry Places
September 19
Keep the common problem in view
Maintaining

It there’s been one major change in AA, one old-timer observed, it’s probably in group discussions. The focus today is far more on overcoming personal problems than in staying away form the first drink. “The early AA members were continuously concerned about the dangers of drinking,” he said. “Members today are more concerned about their feelings and personal issues, such as relationships.”

This change has probably been an improvement, but it carries the risk that members will forget why they needed the program in the first place. For alcoholics, it is dangerous to let the problem with alcohol slide out of view. It is important to keep in mind at all times the life-or-death nature of our drinking problem. Even if we are not totally successful in dealing with our feelings or establishing harmonious relationships, it’s always necessary to stay sober. Disaster is in that first drink, and let’s keep that constantly in view.

No matter how long I’ve been sober, I’ll remind myself several times this day that I’m an alcoholic. I’ll also remember that it’s only sobriety that enables me to deal with my other problems.

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Keep It Simple
September 19

When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.
—Alcoholics Anonymous

We can’t control the present by looking into the future. We can only look back at the past. The past can teach us how to get more out of the present. But the past is to be learned from, not to be judged.

As we look back, we see the troubles caused by addiction. But we also see recovery. We see how our lives are better. We see our Higher Power’s work in our lives. If we honestly look at our past, we learn.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me learn from the past. With Your help, I’ll stop judging my past, just as I wouldn’t judge those who have gone before me.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll remember my life before I got sober. Do I still hang on to attitudes or behaviors that might make me start to use alcohol and other drugs again?

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Each Day a New Beginning
September 19

…concern should drive us into action and not into depression.
—Karen Horney

The role of victim is all too familiar to many of us. Life did us injustices – we thought. And we passively waited for circumstances to change. With the bottle we waited, or maybe the little white pills. Nothing was our fault. That we were willing participants to victimization is an awareness not easily accepted, but true nonetheless.

Victims no more, we are actors, now. And since committing ourselves to this program, we have readily available a willing and very able director for our role in life. Every event invites an action, and we have opted for the responsible life.

Depression may be on the fringes of our consciousness today. But it need not become our state of mind. The antidote is and always will be action, responsible action. Every concern, every experience wants our attention, our active attention.

Today stretches before me, an unknown quantity. Concerns will crowd upon me, but guidance regarding the best action to take is always available to me.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
September 19
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.

Then and then only, after a thorough indoctrination by eight or nine individuals, was I allowed to attend my first meeting. This first meeting was held in the living room of a home and was led by Bill D., the first man that Bill W. and Dr. Bob had worked with successfully.

p. 262

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 19

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

“It was meeting night. Although none of the alcoholics we boarded seemed to get sober, some others had. With their wives they crowded into our downstairs parlor. At once I burst into the story of my opportunity. Never shall I forget their impassive faces, and the steady gaze they focused upon me. With waning enthusiasm, my tale trailed off to the end. There was a long silence.

p. 137

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Xtra Thoughts
September 19

If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today for which you can be thankful.
–Anonymous

Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.
–Josh Billings

“I have a simple philosophy. Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full.  And scratch where it itches.”
–Alice Roosevelt Longworth

In each of our lives, for whatever reason, there are times that we are faced with things that just don’t make sense to us. And the more we struggle to understand our hardships, the less any of it makes sense.  I have found that in every challenge and obstacle that we are faced with there *can* be good that can come from it! While it’s almost never easy to identify, I assure you that it is there lying dormant just waiting for us to release it! I urge everyone to spend your days looking for positives in your life.
–Josh Hinds from The Inspiration a Day! April 8, 1998

Whate’er we leave to God, God does and blesses us.
–Henry David Thoreau

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 19
SUICIDE

“Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.”
– Conte Vittorio Alfieri

There are many ways of committing suicide. The obvious way is to take your life — the ultimate escape. One can reach that point in life when there seems no hope, no purpose in living and death is attractive.  Many alcoholics and addicts reach this point of despair.

However, there is a more subtle way of “suicide”, which is to kill yourself slowly — by a sick behavior and a negative attitude. I was “dying” in a lifestyle that revolved around alcohol. All I wanted to do was drink — I didn’t want to go anywhere, be with anyone or enjoy the thousand and one pleasures that life offers. I was dying in my life. I was becoming a “walking zombie”. I was committing suicide by degrees!

Today I can see this and I am glad I had the courage to live. My act of courage began with my “no” to alcohol.

Let me continue to live in my life.

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Bible Scriptures
September 19

The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
Psalm 37:10-13

“Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Psalm 25:4-5

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:13-15

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Daily Inspiration
September 19

Are you too busy wishing away your day to get what you really want? Lord, help me set goals and find the means to achieve what is important to me.

God has given each of us many talents and abilities. To use them reflects our commitment to Him. Lord, help me find new ways to use the talents that You’ve given me.

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A Day At A Time
September 19

Reflection For The Day

It’s still not exactly a “piece of cake” for me to accept today’s occasional pain and anxiety with any great degree of serenity, but I’m increasingly able to be thankful for a certain amount of pain.  In The Program, we find the willingness to do this by going over the lessons learned from past sufferings — lessons which have led to the blessings we now enjoy.  We can remember how the agonies of addiction — and the pain of rebellion and bruised pride — have often led us to God’s grace, and thus to new freedom.  Have I thanked my Higher Power for the miracle of my life this day?

Today I Pray

When I was helpless, I asked God for help.  When I was hopeless, I reached out for hope.  When I was powerless over my addiction, I asked to share His power.  Now I can honestly thank God that I was helpless, hopeless, and powerless, because I have seen a miracle.

Today I Will Remember

From powerless highs to a Higher Power.

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One More Day
September 19

Of a truth, men are mystically united; a mystic bond of brotherhood makes all men one.
Thomas Carlyle

At our parent’s knee we listened, enraptured, as we heard tales of how life used to be.  We could hardly believe that they had lived soooo long.  As we moved into our teens, perhaps our parents became pathetically inept in our eyes, not to regain their intelligence until we were older.

Now we see that our folks were able to learn from their mistakes and move forward — just as we move forward now.  We have learned “what goes around comes around,” and history repeats itself.  Our parents imparted their greatest knowledge to us, and lovingly shared with us their mistakes so we could benefit.

I will listen with respect to the ones I love.  I learn from them.

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One Day At A Time
September 19
SERVICE

“We must give alms.  Charity wins souls and draws them to virtue.”
–Angela Merici

An important lesson in life is that in order to get something we need or want, we first have to give some of it away. If we want friends, we have to be a friend. If we want to be loved, we have to love. If we want recovery, we have to help others recover.

Then we begin to “get it.” The tingling excitement of hope is aroused in us. We discover an inner-source of power to live.

Giving service is as important to our recovery as are abstinence and working the Steps. It includes everything from organizing materials at a face-to-face meeting to hosting meetings online. It’s sharing our problems and our solutions on the loops, as well as sponsoring. Recovery is incomplete until it is shared by giving service to the program or to individuals. It’s remarkable how service brings us closer together, allows us to make friends, helps to end our isolation and gives that feeling of self-worth and confidence that we so desperately need. Simply put, service is as much a lifesaver to us as it is to those we reach out and touch.

I want to be a giver to the program so it is always available to those who will come after me seeking their freedom from this dread disease.

One Day at a Time . . .
I strive to give love, support, comfort, cheer and encouragement,
knowing it will come back to me pressed down, shaken together and running over.

~ Dottie

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 19

“I am building myself. There are many roots. I plant, I pick, I prune. I consume.”
–Wendy Rose, HOPI/MIWOK

The most sacred thing on this Mother Earth is life. My life on this earth is governed by God’s laws, principles and spiritual values. These things are my roots. Let me see Your gifts of growing and becoming a spiritual warrior. Make my strength based on values – spiritual values; on principles and laws, the laws of God that really run the universe. We need to realize the seeds we plant in the spring will be what shows up in our summer season of growth and will be the fruits that we will harvest in our fall season. We really have a lot to do with what shows up in our lives.

Great Spirit, let my seed that I plant today be based on values that will make You pleased with my selection.

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Journey To The Heart
September 19
Weather the Storm

Storms come. The lightning flashes. Thunder rolls. Sometimes the hail pounds so loudly and incessantly it becomes frightening. Sometimes storms do damage. But storms are not forever.

Just as nature plays out her storms, sometimes with violence, sometimes with gray days, sometimes with a gentle cleansing rain, we have storms in our lives, storms in our souls. Storms are part of life, part of growth, part of the journey.

Light a candle. Wrap up in warmth. Make yourself safe and secure. Then wait for the storm to pass, knowing it will.

Let peace return. Let security return. Let joy and meaning come back, the certain faith that you have purpose and your life is on track.

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Today’s Gift
September 19

Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sometimes, in our families, we try to get parents or brothers or sisters to treat us the way we want them to, to do things we want them to. When they’re upset or angry with us, we try to get them to stop, rather than allow them to be angry.

But our feelings are ours alone, and we are responsible only for how we feel. Those around us are not the cause of our feelings. We are.

This knowledge is a big responsibility, because we know we cannot blame others for our bad moods. But it is a fact. And this fact is also a wonderful freedom for us, for it means that we also have the power to make ourselves happy, no matter what goes on around us.

How can I make myself happy today?

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The Language of Letting Go
September 19
Apologies

Sometimes, we act in a manner with which we are less than comfortable. That’s human. That’s why we have the words: “I’m sorry.” They heal and bridge the gap. But we don’t have to say, “I’m sorry” if we didn’t do anything wrong. A sense of shame can keep us apologizing for everything we do, every word we say, for being alive and being who we are.

We don’t have to apologize for taking care of ourselves, dealing with feelings, seeking boundaries, having fun, or getting healthy.

We never have to change our course, if it is in our best interest, but sometimes a general apology acknowledges other feelings and can be useful when the issues of a circumstance or relationship are not clear. We might say: “I’m sorry for the fuss we had. I’m sorry if what I needed to do to take care of myself hurt you; it was not intended that way.”

Once we make an apology, we don’t have to keep repeating it. If someone wants to keep on extricating an apology from us for the same incident, that is the person’s issue, and we don’t have to get hooked.

We can learn to take our apologies seriously and not hand them out when they’re not valid. When we feel good about ourselves, we know when it’s time to say we’re sorry and when it’s not.

Today, I will try to be clear and healthy in my apologies, taking responsibility for my actions and nobody Else’s. God, help me figure out what I need to apologize for and what is not my responsibility.

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More Language Of Letting Go
September 19
What do you expect?

The key to life and power is simple. It’s knowing who we are. It’s knowing what we think, what we feel, what we believe, what we know, and even what we sense. It’s understanding where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to go. That’s often different from who we think we should be, from whom others want us to be, tell us to be, and sometimes even tell us we are.
–Melody Beattie, Stop Being Mean To Yourself

It’s get to get hooked into other people’s expectations of us. Sometimes, it’s even easier to get hooked into what we think they expect of us.

One of the biggest traps is locking ourselves into a preconceived notion of ourselves. We can keep ourselves so busy living up to an image of ourselves that we forget who we really are. It’s tough enough to break free of the expectations, spoken and unspoken, that others put on us. It’s more insidious when we start telling ourselves to be what we think other people are expecting us to be– whether they are or not.

Look in the mirror. If you see a person who has been confined with a limiting image that doesn’t fit or feel right anymore, set yourself free.

God, help me let go of ego. Help me stop living up to self-imposed caricatures of who I think I’m supposed to be.

Activity: This week, do two things you want to do that you think other people wouldn’t normally expect of you. Don’t do anything that hurts yourself or maliciously causes pain to another. You might surprise yourself with how easy and fun it is to be you.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 19

Who’s not sat tense before his own heart’s curtain?
—Rainer Maria Rilke

Meeting our Higher Power and ourselves is the universal spiritual process. Sitting before the curtain of our hearts may feel as awesome to us or as frightening as anything we will ever do. When we first admit to ourselves a deeper truth, we feel these overpowering tensions. For some of us, this is a necessary step, which leads to self-knowledge and inner peace. We feel unique, different, alone, and maybe even crazy. For the first time, we are listening to our inner truth rather than outside messages.

Let’s think for a moment about today’s tensions and strains. Are we really aware of their source? Perhaps they are created by the disturbing honesty of our hearts? We may find our spiritual growth in yielding to the truth. When we are cynical about spiritual experience or when we minimize the importance of our soft-spoken inner wisdom, we are avoiding the truth from our hearts. And we miss the possibility of becoming strong from within.

Today, I will live through the tension and fear of my honesty to reach the point of peace with myself.

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Daily TAO
September 19
LONELINESS

Loneliness need not be despair.
It could be an opportunity.

Why are people lonely? It is because they feel no contact with anyone or anything else. They need to feel that they are valued, that they are a part of something, and that their environment will respond to them. When that does not happen, they feel isolated.

One of the major strategies for combating loneliness is to have a mate and family. That is not always perfect, and the problems of a relationship and family sometimes outweigh the terror of loneliness. It is far better to be self-sufficient. Then whether one has loved ones or not, one will not suffer from loneliness.

Some people claim that self-sufficiency is a myth. A person is a social animal, they declare; people cannot successfully live outside of some community. But that is not the correct way to understand true self-sufficiency. What we are referring to is a supreme sense of connection with oneself and the cosmos around oneself. This doesn’t preclude community with others, but it does prevent the excesses and shortcomings that occur when society is one’s only source of union.

Tao surrounds us. One who is with Tao is never lonely, but is an integral part of the natural cycle. In the same way that water surrounds a fish, Tao surrounds us. If we feel lonely, then it is only because we are forgetting how we are totally immersed in Tao. That is why loneliness can be an opportunity : It reminds us that we are dwelling on our own egoistic identity rather than on the support of Tao.

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Daily Zen
September 19

The mind of the sage is
Empty and calm,
Profoundly calm,
Dealing with the world
Harmoniously
Like bellows taking in air,
Like pipes containing music.

– Chen Ting-Van

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Food For Thought
September 19
Know Yourself

The OA program fosters self-knowledge on a practical, physical level as well as on the more abstract emotional and intellectual levels. We come to know what foods we can handle comfortably, how we can arrange our day so that we do not get exhausted, and which people we need to avoid if we are to maintain our serenity.

We had so little self-confidence when we were overeating that we were inclined to accept other people’s ideas of who we were and what we should do. By trying to be and do what others expected, we may have lost sight of our inner selves. The emptiness caused by not knowing and respecting ourselves led in turn to more overeating as we tried to fill the inner void with food.

Self-knowledge requires courage and honesty. It involves admitting our weaknesses and mistakes, rather than pretending to be perfect. As we come to know ourselves – our preferences, needs, and goals – we gain strength and integrity. The Power greater than ourselves gives us the insight to know who we are physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Thank You for self-knowledge.

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Faiths Checkbook
September 19
The Reason for Singing

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17)

What a word is this! Jehovah God in the center of His people in all the majesty of His power! This presence alone suffices to inspire us with peace and hope. Treasures of boundless might are stored in our Jehovah, and He dwells in His church; therefore may His people shout for joy.

We not only have His presence, but He is engaged upon His choice work of salvation. “He will save.” He is always saving: He takes His name of Jesus from it. Let us not fear any danger, for He is mighty to save.

Nor is this all. He abides evermore the same, He saves, He finds rest in loving, He will not cease to love. His love gives Him joy. He even finds a theme for song in His beloved. This is exceedingly wonderful. When God wrought creation He did not sing but simply said, “It is very good”; but when He came to redemption, then the sacred Trinity felt a joy to be expressed in song, Think of it, and be astonished! Jehovah Jesus sings a marriage song over His chosen bride. She is to Him His love, His joy, His rest, His song. O Lord Jesus, by Thine immeasurable love to us teach us to love Thee, to rejoice in Thee, and to sing unto Thee our life-psalm.

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This Mornings Reading
September 19

“The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.”
—Galatians 5:1.

THIS “liberty” makes us free to heaven’s charter—the Bible. Here is a choice passage, believer, “When thou passest through the rivers, I will be with thee.” You are free to that. Here is another: “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee”; you are free to that. You are a welcome guest at the table of the promises. Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without let or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld. In the depths of tribulations let this freedom comfort you; amidst waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround thee let it be thy solace. This is thy Father’s love-token; thou art free to it at all times. Thou art also free to the throne of grace. It is the believer’s privilege to have access at all times to His heavenly Father. Whatever our desires, our difficulties, our wants, we are at liberty to spread all before Him. It matters not how much we may have sinned, we may ask and expect pardon. It signifies nothing how poor we are, we may plead His promise that He will provide all things needful. We have permission to approach His throne at all times—in midnight’s darkest hour, or in noontide’s most burning heat. Exercise thy right, O believer, and live up to thy privilege. Thou art free to all that is treasured up in Christ—wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It matters not what thy need is, for there is fulness of supply in Christ, and it is there for thee. O what a “freedom” is thine! freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!

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This Evenings Reading
September 19

“For this child I prayed.”
—1 Samuel 1:27.

DEVOUT souls delight to look upon those mercies which they have obtained in answer to supplication, for they can see God’s especial love in them. When we can name our blessings Samuel, that is, “asked of God,” they will be as dear to us as her child was to Hannah. Peninnah had many children, but they came as common blessings unsought in prayer: Hannah’s one heaven-given child was dearer far, because he was the fruit of earnest pleadings. How sweet was that water to Samson which he found at “the well of him that prayed!” Quassia cups turn all waters bitter, but the cup of prayer puts a sweetness into the draughts it brings. Did we pray for the conversion of our children? How doubly sweet, when they are saved, to see in them our own petitions fulfilled! Better to rejoice over them as the fruit of our pleadings than as the fruit of our bodies. Have we sought of the Lord some choice spiritual gift? When it comes to us it will be wrapped up in the gold cloth of God’s faithfulness and truth, and so be doubly precious. Have we petitioned for success in the Lord’s work? How joyful is the prosperity which comes flying upon the wings of prayer! It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way, by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations. Even when prayer speeds not, the blessings grow all the richer for the delay; the child Jesus was all the more lovely in the eyes of Mary when she found Him after having sought Him sorrowing. That which we win by prayer we should dedicate to God, as Hannah dedicated Samuel. The gift came from heaven, let it go to heaven. Prayer brought it, gratitude sang over it, let devotion consecrate it. Here will be a special occasion for saying, “Of Thine own have I given unto Thee.” Reader, is prayer your element or your weariness? Which?

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