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In Loving Memory of Vic

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

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Daily Recovery Readings – September 6

Just For Today
September 6
Regular Meeting Attendance

“We have learned from our group experience that those who keep coming to our meetings regularly stay clean.”
Basic Text p.9

The NA program gives us a new pattern of living. One of the basic elements of that new pattern is regular meeting attendance. For the newcomer, living clean is a brand new experience. All that once was familiar is changed. The old people, places, and things that served as props on the stage of our lives are gone. New stresses appear, no longer masked or deadened by drugs. That’s why we often suggest that newcomers attend a meeting every day. No matter what comes up, no matter how crazy the day gets, we know that our daily meeting awaits us. There, we can renew contact with other recovering addicts, people who know what we’re going through because they’ve been through it themselves. No day needs to go by without the relief we get only from such fellowship.

As we mature in recovery, we get the same kinds of benefits from regular meeting attendance. Regardless of how long we’ve been clean, we never stop being addicts. True, we probably won’t immediately start using mass quantities of drugs if we miss our meetings for a few days. But the more regularly we attend NA meetings, the more we reinforce our identity as recovering addicts. And each meeting helps put us that much further from becoming using addicts again.

Just for today: I will make a commitment to include regular meeting attendance as a part of my new pattern of living.

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Daily Reflections
September 6
REMOVING THREATS TO SOBRIETY

. . . . except when to do so would injure them or others. . . .
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS , p. 59

Step Nine restores in me a feeling of belonging, not only to the human race but also to the everyday world. First, the Step makes me leave the safety of A.A., so that I may deal with non-A.A. people “out there,” on their terms. It is a frightening but necessary action if I am to get back into life. Second, Step Nine allows me to remove threats to my sobriety by healing past relationships. Step Nine points the way to a more serene sobriety by letting me clear away past wreckage, lest it bring me down.

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

Another of the mottoes of A.A. is “Live and Let Live.” This, of course, means tolerance of people who think differently than we do, whether they are in A.A. or outside of A.A. We cannot afford the luxury of being intolerant or critical of other people. We do not try to impose our wills on those who differ from us. We are not “holier than thou.” We do not have all the answers. We are not better than other good people. We live the best way we can and we allow others to do likewise. Am I willing to live and let live?

Meditation For The Day

“And this is life eternal, that we may know Thee, the only true God.” Learning to know God as best you can draws the eternal life nearer to you. Freed from some of the limitations of humanity, you can grow in the things that are eternal. You can strive for what is real and of eternal value. The more you try to live in the consciousness of the unseen world, the gentler will be your passing into it when the time comes for you to go. This life on earth should be largely a preparation for the eternal life to come.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may live each day as though it were my last. I pray that I may live my life as though it were everlasting.

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As Bill Sees It
September 6
We Need Outside Help, p.248

It was evident that a solitary self-appraisal, and the admission of our defects based upon that alone, wouldn’t be nearly enough.  We’d have to have outside help if we were surely to know and admit the truth about ourselves–the help of God and of another human being.

Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

If we are fooling ourselves, a competent adviser can see this quickly.  And, as he skillfully guides us away from our fantasies, we are surprised to find that we have few of the usual urges to defend ourselves against unpleasant truths. In no other way can fear, pride, and ignorance be so readily melted. After a time, we realize that we are standing firm on a brand-new foundation for integrity, and we gratefully credit our sponsors, whose advice pointed the way.

1. 12 & 12, p.59
2. Grapevine, August 1961

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Walk In Dry Places
September 6
Change is sometimes necessary
Improvement.

Despite the fact that many of us live turbulent, chaotic lives, we may find in sobriety that we don’t like change. This causes us to seek our security in familiar places, rather than reach out for the unknown that lies ahead.

This may not be real security, however, because familiar places and situations also change. Our resistance to change may simply be the fear of trying something new.

If we find that fear of change is causing us to put up with a situation that’s become unsatisfactory, we need to adjust our attitude toward it.

While we view change as risky, it may be the necessary route for improvement. Let’s start by simply accepting the idea that change is sometimes necessary. After that, we can expect our Higher Power to guide us to the new situations that are right for us.

Today I may find myself fearing change. I’ll remind myself that nothing ever stays the same, and that only change can bring the true good I’m always seeking.

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Keep It Simple
September 6

Addiction is answering the spiritual calling inside us by going to the wrong address.
—Chris Ringer

Where can we go to feel better, to feel spiritually alive? Not to alcohol or other drugs. Not to compulsive spending, gambling, or sex. Not to overeating or overworking. When we turn to these things to feel better, we’re trading one addiction for another, we’re going to the “wrong address.”

What is the right address? Our inner needs. Our Higher Power. Our recovery program. Our friends. Soon, we become part of a network of “safe addresses.”

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, keep me on the right path. I don’t want to go to the wrong address anymore.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll make sure I have at least three “right address” in my wallet or purse. I’ll list names and day and evening phone numbers of people who will love and help.

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Each Day a New Beginning
September 6

We can build upon foundations anywhere if they are well and firmly laid.
—Ivy Compton-Burnett

Recovery is a process, one that rebuilds our lives. And the Twelve Steps provide the foundation to support our growth as healthy, productive women. But each Step must be carefully and honestly worked, or the whole foundation will be weakened.

How lucky we are to have found this program and the structure it offers. We looked for structure in our past. We searched, maybe for years, running from one panacea to another, hoping to find ourselves. Booze – pills – food – lovers – causes; none gave us the security we longed for. We couldn’t find ourselves because we hadn’t defined ourselves. At last we’ve come home. Self-definition is the program’s guarantee. Not only can we discover who we are, now, but also we can change, nurture those traits that we favor, diminish those that attract trouble.

My actions today are the key. They tell who I am at this moment. Who I become is up to me. I will pick a Step and reflect before I move ahead. The strength of my foundation depends on it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
September 6
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 grew up in a small town outside Akron, Ohio, where the life was typical of any average small town. I was very much interested in athletics, and because of this and parental influence, I didn’t drink or smoke in either grade or high school.

p. 258

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 6

Tradition One – “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity.”

To many minds all this liberty for the individual spells sheer anarchy. Every newcomer, every friend who looks at A.A. for the first time is greatly puzzled. They see liberty verging on license, yet they recognize at once that A.A. has an irresistible strength of purpose and action. “How,” they ask, “can such a crowd of anarchists function at all? How can they possible place their common welfare first? What in Heaven’s name holds them together?”

pp. 129-130

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Xtra Thoughts
September 6

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
–Carl Jung

During his lifetime, an individual should devote his efforts to creating happiness and enjoy it.
–Ch’enTu-hsiu

“It takes less time to do things right than to explain why you did it wrong.”
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.”
–Madeline Bridges

Understanding a person does not mean condoning; it only means that one does not accuse him as if one were God or a judge placed above him.
–Erich Fromm

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 6
FEAR

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Fear is a killer. It is a killer because it drains us of life, energy and creativity. Fear petrifies the human spirit.

I spent a lot of yesterdays afraid. Afraid of people finding out. Afraid of the telephone. Afraid of where it would all end. Afraid of me! I did not realize that I was feeding the fear with my behavior. I drank myself into fear. The day I stopped drinking alcohol was the day I stopped giving energy to my fear.

Today I live my life without abnormal or unrealistic fears. Today I enjoy my life. I work through my problems. I am not afraid of my shadow. Today I love me.

Lord may I always connect my unrealistic fears with my behavior — and begin the change.

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Bible Scriptures
September 6

“I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.”
Jeremiah 31:13

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

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Daily Inspiration
September 6

In everything imitate God and you will come to know Him better and better. Lord, I ask Your help to come close to You in my thoughts and bring Your love to this earth.

If you are prepared to die, you will also be prepared to live. Lord, You have given me life and made ready the Kingdom of Heaven. I dedicate myself to You.

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A Day At A Time
September 6

Reflection For The Day

“During acute depression,” wrote A.A. co-founder Bill W., “avoid trying to set your whole life in order at once.  If you take on assignments so heavy that you are sure to fail in them at the moment, then you are allowing yourself to be tricked by your unconscious.  Thus you will continue to make sure of yo8ur failure, and when it comes you will have another alibi for still more retreat into depression.  In short, the ‘all or nothing’ attitude is a most destructive one.  It is best to begin with whatever the irreducible minimums of activity are.  Then work for an enlargement of these — day by day”.  When I’m discouraged by setbacks, am I willing to start over?

Today I Pray

When I am immobilized by depression, may I set small, reasonable goals — as miniature perhaps as saying hello to a child, washing my own coffee cup, neatening my desk, offering a short prayer.  May I scrap my own script for failure, which sets me up for deeper depression.

Today I Will Remember

Goals set too high set me back.

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One More Day
September 6

Lie down and listen to the crabgrass grow, the faucet leak, and learn to leave them so.
–  Marya Mannes

Sometimes we are driven by a need to get everything done.  We have an inner sense of what we should be, and we work toward meeting that expectation.  But we may strive beyond those goals because of what we believe our friends, our coworkers, and even the advertising media expect of us.

Only we decide which expectations to satisfy.  But first, we must be sure that the things we strive for are really our needs and goals.  If an alphabetized spice rack or an organized workbench gives us no satisfaction, why should we alphabetize or organize?  If an imperfect lawn doesn’t bother us, we can let go of our concern and let the crabgrass grow.

Today, I will hold on only to my goals and expectations.  I will let go of those which give me no joy.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 6

“We all form self-images and much of our behavior is pretty well determined by how we feel about ourselves.”
–Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D., PENOBSCOT

There is a cycle of building beliefs called the self talk cycle.  Our self talk builds our self image and our self image determines our behavior, our actions, and our self worth – how we feel about ourselves. If we want to change the way we feel about ourselves we need to change our self talk.  We need to build ourselves up.  We need to talk to ourselves in a kind, positive, uplifting, good way.  We need to talk to ourselves about the good things that are happening and know that we are worthy and expect abundance.

Oh Great Spirit, today help me to know myself. Help me to see the joy, kindness, strength and beauty that I am.

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Journey To The Heart
September 6
Imagine All the Possibilities

Think of all the possibilities for your life– for love, for work, for growth. Think of all the possibilities for adventure, for fun, and for service. This day, this week, this month, this year abounds with possibilities. Each task you have to do, each problem you encounter and need to solve abounds with possibilities. Your life abounds with possibilities.

For a long time, we only saw some of the possibilities life held. We’d look at a situation and see the possibilities for guilt, victimization, sadness, and despair. We’d tell ourselves there was only one choice, or no choice, or that something had to be done in a particular way– the hardest and dreariest way possible. We’d neglect to envision the other option– the choices for joy, for making my event more fun, more pleasant, more enjoyable.

You don’t need to limit yourself anymore. You’ve opened your heart. Now open your mind. Look around. See all the possibilities. The universe is teaming with them. It will lead and guide you into this abundance if you ask it for help and them allow that to happen.

Open to life’s abundance. Open to all its possibilities. The more open you become, the more creative you’ll be– in work, in play, in love, in life. The more creative you are, the more possibilities you’ll see.

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Today’s Gift
September 6

I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.
—Katharine Hepburn

The first good news each day is that we wake up. We are breathing. Our heats are beating, our minds working. The adventure of living begins. What does the day hold in store? We have no way of knowing what surprises lie in wait for us today.

We may look forward, not just to the expected, but to the unexpected. Whom shall we meet? What will we see? What will we learn? How will we be entertained? What changes to help others will come our way? What chances to love and be loved?

Now that our eyes are opened to today’s beauty, let us remain alert for new sights. Let us cry when sad, smile when touched, and laugh at what is funny in a whole new lifetime before us.

What can I be thankful for today?

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The Language of Letting Go
September 6
The Good in Step Ten

Step Ten says: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” It does not suggest that we ignore what is right in our life. It says we continue to take a personal inventory and keep a focus on ourselves.

When we take an inventory, we will want to look for many things. We can search out feelings that need our attention. We can look for low self-esteem creeping back in. We can look for old ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. We can look for mistakes that need correcting.

But a critical part of our inventory can focus on what we’re doing right and on all that is good around us.

Part of our codependency is an obsessive focus on what’s wrong and what we might be doing wrong – real or imagined. In recovery we’re learning to focus on what’s right.

Look fearlessly, with a loving, positive eye. What did you do right today? Did you behave differently today than you would have a year ago? Did you reach out to someone and allow yourself to be vulnerable? You can compliment yourself for that.

Did you have a bad day but dealt effectively with it? Did you practice gratitude or acceptance? Did you take a risk, own your power, or set a boundary? Did you take responsibility for yourself in a way that you might not have before?

Did you take time for prayer or meditation? Did you trust God? Did you let someone do something for you?

Even on our worst days, we can find one thing we did right. We can find something to feel hopeful about. We can find something to look forward to. We can focus realistically on visions of what can be.

God, help me let go of my need to stay immersed in negativity. I can change the energy in my environment and myself from negative to positive. I will affirm the good until it sinks in and feels real. I will also strive to find one quality that I like about someone else who’s important to me, and I will take the risk of telling him or her that.

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More Language Of Letting Go
September 6
Love yourself for who you are

“I’m tired of working so hard to be skinny, wearing the latest clothes, and trying to get my makeup just right,” Gina, a beautiful woman, said to me one day. “I just want to be loved for me, for what’s in my heart.”

It’s healthy to look our best, but some of us substitute self-esteem for what we wear, how much money we make, and the things we possess.

One day, I met a woman who had long hair, bright eyes, and she played beautiful Irish folk music. She loved to sing and dance. Her eyes lit up when she talked about her music. I could see how passionate and alive she was. Her band performed for people, but usually for a nominal fee or for free, she explained.

“But we want to get better,” she said. “I really want to be somebody some day.”

“You are somebody now,” I said.

Pursue your dreams. Drive that car. Wear nice clothes. Have your hair done up, just right. But don’t forget to love yourself without those things.

You are somebody now.

God, help me see beyond all the exterior trappings I surround myself with. Help me see the real beauty in myself and the people in my life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 6 3

I learned to listen to my body with an inner concentration like meditation, to get guidance as to when to exercise and when to rest. I learned that healing and cure are active processes in which I myself needed to participate.
—Rollo May

In our spiritual growth, one of our movements is from passive to active, from helpless to responsive. For example, we are passive if we don’t take responsibility for our bodies and don’t care for our wellness and conditioning. Do we passively leave our health in the doctor’s hands?

Do we take responsibility for our relationships? Are we active in nurturing them? We could add our own interests and positive energy to enrich them.

Our Higher Power speaks to us in a quiet, subtle voice, which can easily be ignored until we learn to listen. It takes courage to listen to this inner voice. When we listen, we develop a relationship that is a strong force moving us into recovery. We are still powerless over many things, but we can make active choices in how we will grow and how we will respond.

I will be guided in my choices by my inner voice.

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Daily TAO
September 6
OUTLOOK

Spawned from a mountain cataract,
The long river surges to the sea.
Its torrents savage its igneous bed,
Yet one blade of rock twists it tightly.
Angry waves plow stone furrows into a maze,
And boats find it difficult to maneuver.
From this point, one man held off an entire army,
And poets found inspiration among the nests of eagles.

Along the Yangtze River is a high cliff. The space for the river narrows dramatically at this point, and the water must back up into a large bay before plunging through the difficult passage. Rocks underneath are treacherous, and even today boats find it difficult to negotiate this stretch.

At the crown of the cliff is the Temple to the White King, in honor of a man from ancient times. Numerous historical events took place here. In medieval times, a famous strategist was able to defeat an entire army with a much smaller force. Later, famous poets found inspiration from the high view of the river and mountains. In more recent times, the high cliff served as the headquarters of a warlord.

There are places in nature that can give people great power, but the character of the individuals determines whether the power is used for war or peace. It is not enough to struggle for vantage points. Position must be used with wisdom.

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Daily Zen
September 6

With the cessation of defilements,
There is no high or low place.
The pure original face cannot be assailed.
In ice, flames appear;
The bright light is all pervasive
The subtle Dharma,
Limitless as sands
Along the Ganges,
Adorns the entire world.

– Kusan Sunim (1909-1983)

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Food For Thought
September 6
The Pause that Refreshes

For strength, we are learning to lean on our Higher Power instead of food. We have undoubtedly taken many “breaks” which involved ingesting one or another addictive substance. Instead of making us stronger, those substances eventually made us weaker. Thanks to OA, we are finding a dependable source of refreshment.

Starting the day with a few minutes of contact with God enables us to draw from His strength that which we need. Throughout the day, when we become weary or perplexed or pressured, we can pause to renew that contact. It is a constant source of Power whenever we open ourselves to it.

Allowing ourselves to become too busy is asking for trouble. We can concentrate actively for only so long without a period of rest and relaxation. Frequent time out each day to consult with our Higher Power makes our work more effective and our leisure more creative.

I seek Your presence, Lord.

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Faiths Checkbook
September 6
A Strong Heart

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
(Psalm 27:14)

Wait! Wait! Let your waiting be on the Lord! He is worth waiting for. He never disappoints the waiting soul.

While waiting keep up your spirits, Expect a great deliverance, and be ready to praise God for it.

The promise which should cheer you is in the middle of the verse—”He shall strengthen thine heart.” This goes at once to the place where you need help. If the heart be sound, all the rest of the system will work well. The heart wants calming and cheering, and both of these will come if it be strengthened. A forceful heart rests and rejoices and throbs force into the whole man.

No one else can get at that secret urn of life, the heart, so as to pour strength into it. He alone who made it can make it strong. God is full of strength, and, therefore, He can impart it to those who need it. Oh, be brave; for the Lord will impart His strength to you, and you shall be calm in tempest and glad in sorrow.

He who penned these lines can write as David did—”Wait, I say, on the Lord.” I do, indeed, say it. I know by long and deep experience that it is good for me to wait upon the Lord.

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This Mornings Reading
September 6

“In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”
—Philippians 2:15.

WE use lights to make manifest. A Christian man should so shine in his life, that a person could not live with him a week without knowing the gospel. His conversation should be such that all who are about him should clearly perceive whose he is, and whom he serves; and should see the image of Jesus reflected in his daily actions. Lights are intended for guidance. We are to help those around us who are in the dark. We are to hold forth to them the Word of life. We are to point sinners to the Saviour, and the weary to a divine resting-place. Men sometimes read their Bibles, and fail to understand them; we should be ready, like Philip, to instruct the inquirer in the meaning of God’s Word, the way of salvation, and the life of godliness. Lights are also used for warning. On our rocks and shoals a light-house is sure to be erected. Christian men should know that there are many false lights shown everywhere in the world, and therefore the right light is needed. The wreckers of Satan are always abroad, tempting the ungodly to sin under the name of pleasure; they hoist the wrong light, be it ours to put up the true light upon every dangerous rock, to point out every sin, and tell what it leads to, that so we may be clear of the blood of all men, shining as lights in the world. Lights also have a very cheering influence, and so have Christians. A Christian ought to be a comforter, with kind words on his lips, and sympathy in his heart; he should carry sunshine wherever he goes, and diffuse happiness around him.

Gracious Spirit dwell with me; I myself would gracious be, And with words that help and heal Would thy life in mine reveal, And with actions bold and meek Would for Christ my Saviour speak.

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This Evenings Reading
September 6

“If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
—Galatians 5:18.

HE who looks at his own character and position from a legal point of view, will not only despair when he comes to the end of his reckoning, but if he be a wise man he will despair at the beginning; for if we are to be judged on the footing of the law, there shall no flesh living be justified. How blessed to know that we dwell in the domains of grace and not of law! When thinking of my state before God the question is not, “Am I perfect in myself before the law?” but, “Am I perfect in Christ Jesus?” That is a very different matter. We need not enquire, “Am I without sin naturally?” but, “Have I been washed in the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness?” It is not “Am I in myself well pleasing to God?” but it is “Am I accepted in the Beloved?” The Christian views his evidences from the top of Sinai, and grows alarmed concerning his salvation; it were better far if he read his title by the light of Calvary. “Why,” saith he, “my faith has unbelief in it, it is not able to save me.” Suppose he had considered the object of his faith instead of his faith, then he would have said, “There is no failure in Him, and therefore I am safe.” He sighs over his hope: “Ah! my hope is marred and dimmed by an anxious carefulness about present things; how can I be accepted?” Had he regarded the ground of his hope, he would have seen that the promise of God standeth sure, and that whatever our doubts may be, the oath and promise never fail. Ah! believer, it is safer always for you to be led of the Spirit into gospel liberty than to wear legal fetters. Judge yourself at what Christ is rather than at what you are. Satan will try to mar your peace by reminding you of your sinfulness and imperfections: you can only meet his accusations by faithfully adhering to the gospel and refusing to wear the yoke of bondage.

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