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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 8

Just For Today
September 8
Rebellion

“We need not lose faith when we become rebellious.”
Basic Text p.34

Many of us have lived our entire lives in revolt. Our initial response to any type of direction is often negative. Automatic rejection of authority seems to be a troubling character defect for many addicts.

A thorough self-examination can show us how we react to the world around us. We can ask ourselves if our rebellion against people, places, and institutions is justified. If we keep writing long enough, we can usually get past what others did and uncover our own part in our affairs. We find that what others did to us was not as important as how we responded to the situations we found ourselves in.

Regular inventory allows us to examine the patterns in our reactions to life and see if we are prone to chronic rebelliousness. Sometimes we will find that, while we may usually go along with what is suggested to us rather than risk rejection, we secretly harbor resentments against authority. If left to themselves, these resentments can lead us away from our program of recovery.

The inventory process allows us to uncover, evaluate, and alter our rebellious patterns. We can’t change the world by taking an inventory, but we can change the way we react to it.

Just for today: I want freedom from the turmoil of rebelliousness. Before I act, I will inventory myself and think about my true values.

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Daily Reflections
September 8
“WE ASKED HIS PROTECTION”

We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 59

I could not manage life alone. I had tried that road and failed. My “ultimate sin” dragged me down to the lowest level I have ever reached and, unable even to function, I accepted the fact that I desperately needed help. I stopped fighting and surrendered entirely to God. Only then did I start growing! God forgave me. A Higher Power had to have saved me, because the doctors doubted that I would survive. I have forgiven myself now and I enjoy a freedom I have never before experienced. I’ve opened my heart and mind to Him. The more I learn, the less I know – a humbling fact – but I sincerely want to keep growing. I enjoy serenity, but only when I entrust my life totally to God. As long as I am honest with myself and ask for His help, I can maintain this rewarding existence. Just for today, I strive to live His will for me – soberly. I thank God that today I can choose not to drink. Today, life is beautiful!

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
September 8
A.A. Thought For The Day

Another of the mottoes of A.A. is “But for the Grace of God.” Once we have fully accepted the program we become humble about our achievement. We do not take too much credit for our sobriety.  When we see another suffering alcoholic in the throes of alcoholism, we say to ourselves: “But for the Grace of God, there go I.” We do not forget the kind of people we were. We remember those we left behind us. And we are very grateful to the grace of God which has given us another chance. Am I truly grateful for the grace of God?

Meditation For The Day

A consciousness of God’s presence, as One who loves you makes all life different. The consciousness of God’s love promotes the opening of your whole being to God. It brings wonderful relief from the cares and worries of our daily lives. Relief brings peace and peace brings contentment. Try to walk in God’s love. You will have that peace which passes all understanding and a contentment that no one can take from you. Feel sure of God’s unfailing love and care for you and for all His children. There is freedom and serenity in those who walk in God’s love, held safe in His loving care.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may walk in God’s love, I pray that, as I go, I may feel the caring of God’s power in my steps and the joy of His love in my heart.

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As Bill Sees It
September 8
Prayer Under Pressure, p.250

Whenever I find myself under acute tensions, I lengthen my daily walks and slowly repeat our Serenity Prayer in rhythm to my
steps and breathing.

If I feel that my pain has in part been occasioned by others, I try to repeat, “God grant me the serenity to love their best, and never fear their worst.” This benign healing process of repetition, sometimes necessary to persist with for days, has seldom failed to restore me to at least a workable emotional balance and perspective.

Grapevine, March 1962

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Each Day a New Beginning
September 8

It’s astonishing in this world how things don’t turn out at all the way you expect them to!
—Agatha Christie

Probably every day of our lives, a plan goes awry. Often we have counted heavily on a particular outcome. We generally assume we have all things under control and know exactly what’s best for us, and everyone else as well. But such is not the case. There is a bigger picture than the one we see. The outcome of that picture is out of our hands.

Our vision is limited, and again divinely so. However, we are able to see all that we need to see, today. And more important, if we can trust our inner guidance regarding the events of today, we’ll begin to see how each day fills in a shade more of the bigger picture of our lives. In retrospect we can see how all events have contributed, in important ways, to the women we are becoming. Where today’s events are leading we can’t know, for certain, but we can trust the divine plan.

I will anticipate with faith what lies ahead today. All experiences carry me forward to fulfill my goal in life. I will be alert for the nudge.

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Walk In Dry Places
September 8
Admitting a Wrong
Inventory.

It is all but impossible for some people to make the simple admission, I was wrong. We might have a problem with such admissions because we tend to believe that they place us at a disadvantage.

The reality is that the sooner we can admit a wrong, the more rapidly it can be corrected and put behind us. The refusal to admit a wrong, the more rapidly it can be corrected and put behind us. The refusal to admit a wrong means making more of the same mistakes, thus bringing further harm to ourselves and others.

We may have trouble admitting a wrong because we once faced excessive punishments when we were found wrong. We can find our true course by realizing that admission of our wrongs is the route to well-being and improvement.

I’ll continue to take every opportunity to learn when I might be wrong, thus helping to avoid such mistakes in the future.

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Keep It Simple
September 8

I have an intense desire to return to the womb—Anybody’s !
—Woody Allen

Some days the world just doesn’t seem safe. Maybe a friend died and your are hurting.

Maybe you argued with a loved one. You just want somebody to take care of you. You want to feel safe and warm.

Turn to the spiritual part of the program. Let your Higher Power hold you with warm, loving care. Pray. Pray to feel the programs will find you. Why? Because you’ve opened your heart to recovery. To be loved, you have to open up to love.

Prayer for the Day: I pray for an open heart. I pray that love of the program will find me and comfort me. Higher Power, I need Your love as a child needs the love of parents.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list three times the world has felt unsafe. I’ll meditate on how things would have been different if I had turned to my Higher Power for comfort.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
September 8
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.

All of this changed when I went to college. I had to adapt to new associations and associates, and it seemed to be the smart thing to drink and smoke. I confined drinking to weekends, and drank normally in college and for several years thereafter.

p. 258

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 8

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

So at the outset, how best to live and work together as groups became the prime question. In the world about us we saw personalities destroying whole peoples. The struggle for wealth, power, and prestige was tearing humanity apart as never before. If strong people were stalemated in the search for peace and harmony, what was to become of our erratic band of alcoholics? As we had once struggled and prayed for individual recovery, just so earnestly did we commence to quest for the principles through which A.A. itself might survive. on anvils of experience, the structure of our Society was hammered out.

pp. 130-131

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Xtra Thoughts
September 8

The world has a way of giving what is demanded of it. If you are frightened and look for failure and poverty, you will get them, no matter how hard you may try to succeed. Lack of faith in yourself, in what life will do for you, cuts you off from the good things of the world. Expect victory and you make victory.
–Preston Bradley

Today is a day of opportunities. I am open and ready to find them all, knowing that I am receiving all the guidance I need to be forward and be happy.
–Ruth Fishel

“By giving unconditional love … we become more loving, and by sharing spiritual growth we become more spiritual.”
–Just For Today, p. 99

Today, I will remind myself as often as necessary that I am not a victim, and I do not need to be victimized by whatever comes my way.  I will work hard to remove myself as a victim, whether that means setting and enforcing a boundary, walking away, dealing with my feelings, or giving myself what I need. God, help me let go of my need to feel victimized.
–Melody Beattie

“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”
–H. Jackson Brown Jr.

None of us has the power to make someone else love us.  But we all have the power to give away love, to love other people.  And if we do so, we change the kind of person we are, and we change the kind of world we live in.
–Rabbi Harold Kushner, in Handbook for the Heart

Wisdom cannot be taught. It can only be learned.
–Source Unknown

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.
–Wayne Dyer

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 8
LIES

“A liar needs a good memory.”
– Quintilian

I lied to impress. I lied to hide my guilt and shame. I lied to cover my mistakes. I lied to bridge the silence. I lied to fantasize. I lied to hurt and destroy. I lied to hide the real me. Then I lied to cover the lies.  Then I lied to cover the lies I told to cover the original lies! So it went on. Endless. Exhausting. Meaningless. A part of me always loathed the lies I told. Then I grew to hate myself.

Today, because I understand spirituality to be based on truth, I try not to tell lies. When I do lie, I make an effort to correct myself and apologize. Today lying is painful for me. Today I try to use my mind, imagination and memory for better things.

O God, who gave mankind the miracle of language and communication, let me not abuse Your gift with destructive deceit.

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Bible Scriptures
September 8

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9

Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Psalm 94:17-19

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Phillipians 3:20-21

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Daily Inspiration
September 8

Those that meet you will most likely not forget you, but how you are remembered is your choice. Lord, may I live with kindness, mercy, and love in my heart.

Our body is the temple of God and our soul is His image. It is the devil’s work to make us forget that and feel useless, incapable and worthless. Lord, I will not deny Your existence in me. I am strong and capable because You live and work through me.

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A Day At A Time
September 8

Reflection For The Day

We are told in The Program that no situation is hopeless.  At first, of course, we find this hard to believe.  The opposites — hope and despair — are human emotional attitudes.  It is we who are hopeless, not the condition of our lives.  When we give up hope and become depressed, it’s because we’re unable, for now, to believe in the possibility of a change for the better.  Can I accept this:  “not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced…”?

Today I Pray

May I remember that, because I am human and can make choices, I am never “hopeless.”   Only the situation I find myself in may seem hopeless, which may reduce me to a state of helpless depression as I see my  choices being blocked off.  May I remember, too, that even when I see no solution, I can choose to ask God’s help.

Today I Will Remember

I can choose not to be hopeless.

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Found The Book :)

One More Day
September 8

Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.
–  Pearl S. Buck

We’ve all made decisions we’ve regretted.  Regret doesn’t change things, but we can learn to make better decisions in the future.  Often there are moments in our decision-making process — especially in relationships — when we can still change our minds.  At those times, we can reconsider what we want to say or do.  is it important enough to jeopardize a friendship?  Sometimes it is, and that can’t be helped.

But usually we discover we do want to preserve the relationship.  We owe it to ourselves and our friends to look again, to think again, about what is being discussed or argued or decided.  Sometimes, winning or being right isn’t as important as the relationship.

I will take time to decide what is important and what isn’t.

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One Day At A Time
September 8
DREAMS

“You’ve got to have a dream in order to make a dream come true.”
Oscar Hammerstein II

Since first hearing this saying many years ago, I have come to believe in it. I have always had the dream of being happy, healthy, helpful and whole, but it wasn’t until I found this program (or it found me) that I am learning I can have all of these things. Through the program I am being shown a way to achieve them.

When I first joined the program, I just wanted to lose weight. But as I continue to understand and learn about the program, my dream is slowly coming true. It’s a slow path for me right now, but as long as I keep the dream alive in my mind, heart and soul, I know I’ll be able to accomplish it one day at a time!

One day at a time…
I ask my Higher Power to keep me on the right path toward my dream of being happy, healthy, helpful and whole. And right now, in this moment, I am grateful for my dream and for the opportunity to fulfill it.

~ Lorraine ~

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Journey To The Heart
September 8
Get Out from Under the Gun

How often in life, in the busy world around us, we begin to feel as though we’re “under the gun.” Daily pressures can mount until our body feels as though someone is actually pointing a gun at us saying. Hurry. Finish. Do this or else. That feeling is not conducive to joy, creativity, or doing our best. That attitude creates stress, sometimes unbearable stress.

Some of us have lived under the gun so long we’re not even aware of it. But our bodies are. We feel tense, stressed, frightened, on edge. Many of us have felt that way so long we’ve gotten used to it. That’s just how it is, we say with resignation.

But that’s not how it needs to be. Gently take the gun away from whoever is pointing it at you. Lay it on the table. Tell that person the task will get done, the situation will come about much better, much more creatively, much more timely without the gun. Most importantly, tell yourself that,too.

Acknowledge commitments. Acknowledge the necessity of timely accomplishments of tasks. Then acknowledge the way and wisdom of the heart with joy. It will see you through to get everything done, and you won’t have to be under the gun.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 8

“Keep your life simple because the more you get, the more complicated it becomes.”
–Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE

The old ones say, lead a simple life.  The society we live in is all about getting more houses, cars, luxury and credit cards.  The law of worry says, the more you have, the more you need to worry. You get a house, then you need insurance, then you need to take care of the yard and the list goes on. Next, you may want a bigger house with a bigger yard which costs more in insurance. Along with the accumulation of materialism, are other “gifts.” Soon you become a slave and the materialism owns you.  Lead a simple life and have peace of mind.  Lead a simple life and be spiritual.

Creator, let my foundation be spiritual and simple.

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Today’s Gift
September 8

One must lose one’s life in order to find it.
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

We are often so busy trying to control the outcome of the happenings in our daily lives, so intent on projecting our tomorrows that we let life slip by. Life is today. This is all we have for sure – the moments in our lives we cannot hold. Sometimes it feels as if those moments are beyond time and place, gifts from God to receive and give up at the same time. Like a dragonfly that lights on our hand and will either be crushed or will fly away if we try to close our fingers over it.

Life is a series of things to let go of – our friends and loved ones, our children as they grow, our dreams, or our youth. Only we ourselves, our inner selves, are a constant to be found and learned about every day, in the present moment.

How well can I enjoy each moment today?

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The Language Of Letting Go
September 8
Stopping Our Pain

Some of my feelings have been stored so long they have freezer burn.
–Beyond Codependency

There are many sources of pain in our life. Those of us recovering from adult children and codependency issues frequently have a cesspool of unresolved pain from the past. We have feelings, sometimes from early childhood to the present, that either hurt too much to feel or that we had no support and permission to deal with.

There are other inevitable sources of pain in our life too. There is the sadness and grief that comes when we experience change, even good change, as we let go of one part of our life, and begin our journey into the new.

There is pain in recovery, as we begin allowing ourselves to feel while dropping our protective shield of denial.

There is the pain that leads and guides us into better choices for our future.

We have many choices about how to stop this pain. We may have experimented with different options. Compulsive and addictive behaviors stop pain – temporarily. We may have used alcohol, other drugs, relationships, or sex to stop our pain.

We may talk compulsively or compulsively focus on other people and their needs as a way to avoid or stop our pain.

We may use religion to avoid our feelings.

We may resort to denial of how we are feeling to stop our pain.

We may stay so busy that we don’t have time to feel. We may use money, exercise, or food to stop our pain.

We have many choices. To survive, we may have used some of these options, only to find that these were Band Aids – temporary pain relievers that did not solve the problem. They did not really stop our pain; they postponed it.

In recovery, there is a better choice about how we may stop pain. We can face it and feel it. When we are ready, with our Higher Power’s help, we can summon the courage to feel the pain, let it go, and let the pain move forward – into a new decision, a better life.

We can stop the behaviors we are doing that cause pain, if that’s appropriate. We can make a decision to remove ourselves from situations that cause repeated, similar pain. We can learn the lesson our pain is trying to teach us.

If we are being pelted by pain, there is a lesson. Trust that idea. Something is being worked out in us. The answer will not come from addictive or other compulsive behaviors; we will receive the answer when we feel our feelings.

It takes courage to be willing to stand still and feel what we must feel. Sometimes, we have what seems like endless layers of pain inside us. Pain hurts. Grief hurts. Sadness hurts. It does not feel good. But neither does denying what is already there; neither does living a lifetime with old and new pockets of pain packed, stored, and stacked within.

It will only hurt for a while, no longer than necessary, to heal us. We can trust that if we must feel pain, it is part of healing, and it is good. We can become willing to surrender to and accept the inevitable painful feelings that are a good part of recovery.

Go with the flow, even when the flow takes us through uncomfortable feelings. Release, freedom, healing, and good feelings are on the other side.

Today, I am open and willing to feel what I need to feel. I am willing to stop my compulsive behaviors. I am willing to let go of my denial. I am willing to feel what I need to feel to be healed, healthy, and whole.

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More Language Of Letting Go
September 8
Appreciate who you are

Scott was sixty-nine when he took up skydiving for the second time in his life. He had jumped in the British military in World War 11. When the opportunity arose to make a demonstration jump into one of the old military bases, he came to California to learn how to skydive.

His body was old and stiff. But his heart was full of youth and fun. As he worked his way slowly through the levels, repeating many of the jumps until he got the skills dialed in, each jump took a little more out of his body. Despite his resolve, the training was more than he could handle and he had to stop short of his goal. As he left, he vowed to begin strength-training exercises and to return later to complete his training. “I’ll be there, it’ll just take longer than I thought,” he said.

At the same time Scott started training, Tim started his skydiving training,too. Tim had never jumped before, though he had been skiing, mountain biking, and sailing. Tim was terrified. He was fearful that he would fail, afraid that he wouldn’t respond well in an emergency, afraid that he would forget how to land, afraid to get out of a plane nearly two miles above the earth.

Scott talked to Tim. Scott laughed at him and laughed with him. And Tim kept getting back on the plane and passing his levels. He graduated. “I would have quit after the first jump,” Tim said. “But if Scott can do it, so can I. I’m glad he was here. He gave me the faith to do something I believed was impossible.”

We are each to walk our own path regardless of the fears and desires of those around us. Maybe you are like Scott, trying something new, something that may be a little beyond you. Great! Maybe you’ll succeed; maybe you’ll fail. Only you can decide what you’ll do with the results. Scott could have taken his setbacks bitterly and dragged Tim down with him. Instead he built Tim up, enabling him to achieve something that he might not have done on his own.

Maybe you’re like Tim, wanting to grow, but afraid of what you might lose in the trying. Follow your heart, and if you can find a mentor to help you on your way, thank that person for lifting you up.

Keep walking the path.

Some paths may lead to fame and recognition, others to quiet support of our fellow travelers. Walk your own path. Learn your own lessons.

God, thank you for my life.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 8

It’s hard for me to keep my emotions inside. I want to express them now. That’s what a team is all about.
—Earvin “Magic” Johnson

We become part of a team in this program. That’s why all the Steps are written with the word we rather than I. We cannot fully surrender to renewal simply by reading about it, hearing about it, or thinking about it. We become participants, members, and peers. We go to meetings and express the details of our lives, and we learn from the stories of others. In our relationships we learn to let our emotions out.

When we say, “He’s hard to get to know,” we are talking about someone who doesn’t show feelings. Team members express their feelings to build a bond between themselves and gain a familiarity with each other. A man may say, “I’m the sort of guy who doesn’t do well in groups,” or “I’m not the type to express my feelings.” But for the sake of recovery, we must endure the awkwardness of learning new things. On this recovery team it is all right to come just the way we are, awkwardness and all.

Today, I will not hold back my emotions. I will let people know me.

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Daily TAO
September 8
VITALITY

Snail, tiny spiral in calcified membrane;
Inchworm, a hairpin dragon;
Bumblebee, blob of velvet black and yellow;
White butterfly, syncopated burst of gladness;
Naked bulbs, white pubic tentacles in crumbling soil;
Pears, children of earth and sun.

If you ever doubt life, you need only spend a little time tending a garden. You will see great diversity. Everywhere that you look there will be some dynamic event in progress. Perhaps it’s the way a lotus sprouts up from the rot and mud, or the way that an earthworm dances a writhing passage through the dirt. The smell of moist earth is strangely stirring, the sight of growing trees wonderfully appealing.

No matter how well tended a garden is, there is constant entropy and disorder. That is fine. That is the way it is supposed to be. Our schemes and our aesthetics are imperfect. Our minds cannot comprehend the diversity of nature. Let nature take its variegated course. Variety is vitality.

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Daily Zen
September 8

From a memorial stone 828

Someone asked Pomil, “What is the intention of the Patriarchs?” Pomil answered, “It has not been lost for six generations.” Someone else asked, “What is it that a novice should strive for?” Pomil replied, “You should not follow the steps of the Buddha, nor should you try to enlighten yourself by the dint of man.”

Although we know that a frozen pond is entirely water, the sun’s heat is necessary to melt it. Although we awaken to the fact that an ordinary person is Buddha, the power of dharma is necessary to make it permeate our cultivation. When that pond has melted, the water flows freely and can be used for irrigation and cleaning. When falsity is extinguished, the mind will be numinous and dynamic and then its function of penetrating brightness will manifest.

– Chinul

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Food For Thought
September 8
Amends to Ourselves

By our compulsive overeating, we ourselves have usually been hurt more than anyone else. Because we could not trust ourselves, we had little self-respect or self-confidence. In many cases, we actually hated ourselves for what we thought was weakness and now know to be a disease.

By ourselves, we cannot control the illness, but through OA and our Higher Power, we are able to recover. With recovery comes a new attitude toward self. We see that we find happiness by abstaining from compulsive overeating and seeking every day to do God’s will. New power and order enter into our daily activities, and we begin to approve of ourselves.

The best way that we can make amends to ourselves for self-hate and failure to develop our abilities is by maintaining our abstinence each day. We then gain the confidence to say no to those things which are not in our best interest. Instead of destroying ourselves with too much food and the wrong kind of activities, we are building a new life fed with the nourishment from our Higher Power.

Thank You for new opportunities to grow.

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Faiths Checkbook
September 8
Broken and Smoking

A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench.
(Isaiah 42:3)

Then I may reckon upon tender treatment from my Lord. Indeed, I feel myself to be at best as weak, as pliant, as worthless as a reed. Someone said, “I don’t care a rush for you”; and the speech, though unkind, was not untrue. Alas! I am worse than a reed when it grows by the river, for that at least can hold up its head. I am bruised—sorely, sadly bruised. There is no music in me now; there is a rift which lets out all the melody. Ah, me! Yet Jesus will not break me; and if He will not, then I mind little what others try to do. O sweet and compassionate Lord, I nestle down beneath Thy protection and forget my bruises!

Truly I am also fit to be likened to “the smoking flax,” whose light is gone, and only its smoke remains. I fear I am rather a nuisance than a benefit. My fears tell me that the devil has blown out my light and left me an obnoxious smoke, and that my Lord will soon put an extinguisher upon one. Yet I perceive that though there were snuffers under the law, there were no extinguishers, and Jesus will not quench me; therefore, I am hopeful. Lord, kindle me anew and cause me to shine forth to Thy glory and to the extolling of Thy tenderness.

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This Mornings Reading
September 8

“From Me is thy fruit found.”
—Hosea 14:8.

OUR fruit is found from our God as to union. The fruit of the branch is directly traceable to the root. Sever the connection, the branch dies, and no fruit is produced. By virtue of our union with Christ we bring forth fruit. Every bunch of grapes have been first in the root, it has passed through the stem, and flowed through the sap vessels, and fashioned itself externally into fruit, but it was first in the stem; so also every good work was first in Christ, and then is brought forth in us. O Christian, prize this precious union to Christ; for it must be the source of all the fruitfulness which thou canst hope to know. If thou wert not joined to Jesus Christ, thou wouldst be a barren bough indeed.

Our fruit comes from God as to spiritual providence. When the dew-drops fall from heaven, when the cloud looks down from on high, and is about to distil its liquid treasure, when the bright sun swells the berries of the cluster, each heavenly boon may whisper to the tree and say, “From me is thy fruit found.” The fruit owes much to the root—that is essential to fruitfulness—but it owes very much also to external influences. How much we owe to God’s grace-providence! in which He provides us constantly with quickening, teaching, consolation, strength, or whatever else we want. To this we owe our all of usefulness or virtue.

Our fruit comes from God as to wise husbandry. The gardener’s sharp-edged knife promotes the fruitfulness of the tree, by thinning the clusters, and by cutting off superfluous shoots. So is it, Christian, with that pruning which the Lord gives to thee. “My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Since our God is the author of our spiritual graces, let us give to Him all the glory of our salvation.

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This Evenings Reading
September 8

“The exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead.”
—Ephesians 1:19, 20.

IN the resurrection of Christ, as in our salvation, there was put forth nothing short of a divine power. What shall we say of those who think that conversion is wrought by the free will of man, and is due to his own betterness of disposition? When we shall see the dead rise from the grave by their own power, then may we expect to see ungodly sinners of their own free will turning to Christ. It is not the word preached, nor the word read in itself; all quickening power proceeds from the Holy Ghost. This power was irresistible. All the soldiers and the high priests could not keep the body of Christ in the tomb; Death himself could not hold Jesus in his bonds: even thus irresistible is the power put forth in the believer when he is raised to newness of life. No sin, no corruption, no devils in hell nor sinners upon earth, can stay the hand of God’s grace when it intends to convert a man. If God omnipotently says, “Thou shalt,” man shall not say, “I will not.” Observe that the power which raised Christ from the dead was glorious. It reflected honour upon God and wrought dismay in the hosts of evil. So there is great glory to God in the conversion of every sinner. It was everlasting power. “Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.” So we, being raised from the dead, go not back to our dead works nor to our old corruptions, but we live unto God. “Because He lives we live also.” “For we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God.” “Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Lastly, in the text mark the union of the new life to Jesus. The same power which raised the Head works life in the members. What a blessing to be quickened together with Christ!

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