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God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and Wisdom to know the difference.
Thy will, not mine, be done.

February 2

Daily Reflections

RESCUED BY SURRENDERING

Characteristic of the so-called typical alcoholic is a narcissistic
egocentric core, dominated by feelings of omnipotence, intent
on maintaining at all costs its inner integrity.... Inwardly the alcoholic
brooks no control from man or God. He, the alcoholic, is and must be
the master of his destiny. He will fight to the end to preserve that
position.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p.311

The great mystery is: "Why do some of us die alcoholic deaths,
fighting to preserve the 'independence' of our ego, while others seem
to sober up effortlessly in A.A.?" Help from a Higher Power, the gift of
sobriety, came to me when an otherwise unexplained desire to stop
drinking coincided with my willingness to accept the suggestions of
the men and women of A.A. I had to surrender, for only by reaching
out to God and my fellows could I be rescued.

***********************************************************

Twenty-Four Hours A Day


A.A. Thought For The Day

We got a kick out of the first few drinks, before we got stupefied by
alcohol. For a while, the world seemed to look brighter. But how
about the letdown, the terrible depression that comes the morning
after? In A.A., we get a real kick, not a false feeling of exhilaration,
but a real feeling of satisfaction with ourselves and self-respect. And
a feeling of friendliness toward the world. We got a sort of pleasure
from drinking. For a while we thought we were happy. But it's only an
illusion. The hangover the next day is the opposite of pleasure. In
A.A., am I getting real pleasure and serenity and peace?

Meditation For The Day

I will practice love, because lack of love will block the way. I will try
to see good in all people, those I like and also those who fret me and
go against the grain. They are all children of God. I will try to give
love, otherwise how can I dwell in God's spirit, whence nothing
unloving can come? I will try to get along with all people, because the
more love I give away, the more I will have.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may do all I can to love others, in spite of
their many faults. I pray that as I love, so will I be loved.

***********************************************************

As Bill Sees It

Foundation For Life, p. 33

We discover that we receive guidance for our lives to just about the
extent that we stop making demands upon God to give it to us on
order and on our terms.

<< << << >> >> >>

In praying, we ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the
best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that
we be given the grace by which we may carry it out.

<< << << >> >> >>

There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and
prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and
benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result
is an unshakable foundation for life.

12 & 12
1. p. 104
2. p. 102
3. p. 98


***********************************************************

Walk In Dry Places
 
Why do you need those meetings?  
Staying active.
Friends and relatives are often grateful when they witness an alcoholic's dramatic recovery after years of horror and pain. However, they sometimes fail to understand the importance of meetings after the alcoholic has been sober for months or years.  "Do you have to go to another meeting this week?" a spouse might say, "You're sober now. Why do you need THOSE people?"
Some AA members probably do use the meetings simply as a social outlet and attend more than they need. But no other person can really determine what you or I need to maintain sobriety. Moreover, even in sobriety, we are always dealing with alcohol, which can come back into our lives with stunning force if we ever become careless or foolish. It is much better to go to more meetings than we need than to attend too few or none at all.
There is another side as well.  The meetings need us.  By attending meetings, we are carrying the AA message and providing a haven for desperate newcomers who need our help.
However, we should be tolerant and understanding when others are critical of our zealous attendance of meetings. It is not necessary that they understand our need. It is only necessary that we understand!
I will remember today that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. I don't want to change anything----including meeting attendance----, which is necessary for my continued sobriety.


***********************************************************

Keep It Simple

We must believe the things we teach our children.-------Woodrow Wilson
It may be easy to say the words and phrases we've heard without really meaning them. Someone says something at a meeting that sounds good. Our counselor has a favorite saying. We may say these words,
but are we taking the time to ask the question. Do I believe what I'm saying?
Step Two speaks of, "Came to believe..." By really believing in the Twelve Steps, we let them become part of us. The more we believe in the Steps the more we turn our lives over to them. Hopefully, over time, the Twelve Steps will guide us more and more. We'll speak to our family with respect we've found in the Twelve Steps. Our spirit must truly believe. Then we can work the Steps.
Prayer for the Day: 
Higher Power, believing is something that lasts a lifetime. Give me the power to believe even when doubt creeps in.
Action for the Day:  My beliefs are changing. Today, in my inventory, I'll ask: Do I believe what I said today?

***********************************************************

Each Day a New Beginning

What most of us want is to be heard, to communicate.  --Dory Previn
Our personhood is denied; the self we are presenting to the word is negated each time we speak, yet go unheard. "The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention." If we want attention, we must also give it. That means letting go of all extraneous thoughts when we're in conversation with someone. We cannot expect to get from others what we are unable or unwilling to give.
Being heard and hearing another person is more than just listening. It's letting ourselves be touched, in an intimate way, by the other's words. We don't want judgment, or shame, or to be discounted when we share who we are with another. We want to know that we have been intimately heard. And when we have a chance to hear another, we listen intently for the words meant for us, words that will stretch our womanhood and bring us closer to our inner selves as well.
The beauty of hearing each other is that it helps us to hear ourselves. We know better who we are when we listen to one another. Every conversation offers us a chance to be real, to help another person be real.
Rapt attention is my greatest gift. If I want to receive it, I must give it.


***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES

Our loyalty and the desire that our husbands hold up their heads and be like other men have begotten all sorts of predicaments. We have been unselfish and self-sacrificing. We have told innumerable lies to protect our pride and our husbands’ reputations. We have prayed, we have begged, we have been patient. We have struck out viciously. We have run away. We have been hysterical. We have been terror stricken. We have sought sympathy. We have had retaliatory love affairs with other men.

p. 105


***********************************************************

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

GUTTER BRAVADO - Alone and unemployable, he was given two options by the court, get help or go to jail, and his journey toward teachability began.

In the mid-sixties I had the opportunity to visit my brother, who had a fellowship at a university in California.  These were heady times, and my experiences there left a lasting impression on me.  There was music in the air and dancing in the streets.  Little wonder that after returning to the Midwest I soon became a discipline problem.  Disillusioned with what I saw as the mundane trivialities of school, I found it harder and harder to concentrate.  I longed for the carefree life.  By the fall of 1968, after leaving three different schools, I decided I'd enough.  So I quit the books, packed my guitar, left home, and headed back to the West Coast filled with the optimism of youth and intending to make a life for myself.

p. 502

***********************************************************

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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

"So spoke the group conscience. The group was right and I was wrong; the voice on the subway was not the voice of God. Here was the true voice, welling up out of my friends. I listened, and - thank God - I obeyed."

p. 138


***********************************************************

While it isn't always easy, if I keep it simple, it works.

I hold firm to faith, so that nothing will weaken my commitment to live in God's light.  --Shelley

Regardless of what has happened or whether we understand, we can open ourselves to God's protection and grace.  --John Morton

It is in the silence of the heart that God speaks.  --Mother Teresa

He who knows the precepts by heart, but fails to practice them, Is like unto one who lights a lamp and then shuts his eyes.  --Nagarjuna

Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.  --American Indian Proverb

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

The heart is wiser than the intellect.  --Josiah Holland (1819-1881)

Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.  --Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

***********************************************************

Father Leo's Daily Meditation

WORK

"We work to become, not to
acquire."
-- Elbert Hubbard

I believe it is easier to get well than it is to stay sick --- but we must
be prepared to work for our sobriety. We need to confront the
disease and discover the "person " that God created. The road to
recovery is rewarding because we cast aside those aspects of our
character that have been destroying us and discover our strengths,
virtues and God-given spirituality.

For years I worked for money or for security or for acclaim --- today
I am working on myself for myself. I work at discovering God in His
world, and I am also finding God in my life. I realize that my creative
work coincides with God's will for the world.

Thank You for the gift of work that enables me to discover more of me.

***********************************************************

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."  James 4:10

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.  1 John 2:1-6


***********************************************************

Daily Inspiration

Enjoy God. Lord, I hand over all of my cares to You so that for this moment I am peacefully free.

God sends us His message, but we must be willing to receive it and then live it. Lord, when I yield to You, I become free and full of the richness of life
.

***********************************************************

NA Just For Today

Goodwill

" Goodwill is best exemplified in service; proper service is doing the right thing for the right reason."

Basic Text p. ix

The spiritual core of our disease is self-centeredness. In dealing with others, the only motive our addiction taught us was selfishness — we wanted what we wanted when we wanted it. Obsession with self was rooted in the very ground of our lives. In recovery, how do we root self-obsession out?

We reverse the effects of our disease by applying a few very simple spiritual principles. To counteract the self-centeredness of our addiction, we learn to apply the principle of goodwill. Rather than seeking to serve only ourselves, we begin serving others. Rather than thinking only about what we can get out of a situation, we learn to think first of the welfare of others. When faced with a moral choice, we learn to stop, recall spiritual principles, and act appropriately.

As we begin "doing the right thing for the right reason;" we can detect a change in ourselves. Where once we were ruled by self-will, now we are guided by our goodwill for others. The chronic self-centeredness of addiction is losing its hold on us. We are learning to "practice these principles in all our affairs"; we are living in our recovery, not in our disease.

Just for today: Wherever I am, whatever I do, I will seek to serve others, not just myself. When faced with a dilemma, I will try to do the right thing for the right reason.

***********************************************************

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Fear is the absence of faith. --Paul Tillich
We all experience fear. Sometimes we fear small things that only seem large at the time, like a test in school, or meeting a new boss, or going to the dentist. Sometimes we fear big things like serious illness or death, or that someone we love will come to harm. Fear is healthy, and we all feel it. It keeps us from doing foolish things sometimes, but too much fear can also keep us from doing what we need for our growth.
If we have faith in God and in ourselves, we can turn and face whatever frightens us, believing we can, with help, do what seems impossible. And we will, and the fear will vanish. The important first step in dealing with fear is to take action--either by tackling what we fear ourselves, or by asking for help. Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.
What am I most afraid of?


You are reading from the book Touchstones.
To be alive is power,
Existing in itself,
Without a further function,
Omnipotence enough.
--Emily Dickinson
Being a person, a man, in this world is an amazing gift. A spiritual awakening promised by this program is open to us. But today, not all of us feel powerful and alive. We may feel weak, inadequate to our task, perplexed, or stymied. Is this a day in which we are filled with exuberance for the gift of life? Or is this a day when we're feeling subdued by life's burdens?
Perhaps we need to evaluate our perspective. Are we trying to control something or someone? Are we acting as if the world should be as we want rather than as it is? Have our individual wills exceeded their natural bounds and spoiled the simple joy of being "without a further function"?
May I find the pleasure and exuberance today that come with being alive. The simple power to be a person is "omnipotence enough."


You are reading from the book The Language Of Letting Go.
Trusting Our Higher Power
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood him. --Step Three of Al-Anon
So much talk about a Higher Power, God, as we understand God. So much joy as we come to understand Him. Spirituality and spiritual growth are the foundations of change. Recovery from codependency is not a do it yourself task.
Is God a relentless taskmaster? A hardhearted, shaming wizard with tricks up the sleeve? Is God deaf? Uncaring? Haphazard? Unforgiving?
No.
A loving God, a caring God. That is the God of our recovery No more pain than is necessary for usefulness, healing, and cleansing. As much goodness and joy as our heart can hold, as soon as our heart is healed, open, and ready to receive God: approving, accepting, instantly forgiving.
God has planned little gifts along the way to brighten our day/and sometimes big, delightful surprises perfectly timed, perfect for us.
A Master Artist, God will weave together all our joy, sadness and experience to create a portrait of our life with depth, beauty, sensitivity, color, humor, and feeling.
God as we understand Him: A loving God. The God of our recovery.
Today, I will open myself to the care of a loving God. Then, I will let God show me love.


As I gently pull back each layer that has been blocking me from being the best of who I am, I dare look a bit further and then a bit further yet. I know that I am not alone on this path and God is guiding me every inch of the way. --Ruth Fishel

****************************************

Journey To The Heart

Cherish Today’s Lessons

“I’m brokenhearted about my divorce,” the man said. “I’ve spent four years searching for a new wife, trying to recreate my family, trying to jam the pieces of the picture back in place. All I’ve gotten from my desperate search is more pain and anguish. It’s hurt other people. It’s hurt me. I’m tired of trying to manipulate other people to meet my own needs, to postpone my own grief.

Some of us may be desperately trying to recreate the life we once had. But fear, pain, and the desperation won’t attract the answer we’re seeking. Desperation attracts desperation. Pain attracts pain. And so the downward spiral goes. Yes, loss hurts. Sometimes life hurts,too. But loss can’t be negotiated. Becoming obsessed with putting the pieces back in place is an understandable reaction, but it won’t work. Yesterday cannot be superimposed on today. We need to go one step further.

Feel the obsession, and let it go. Feel the desperation, then release that. Come back to the lessons of today. They’re different from the lessons of yesterday, but just as valuable.

We face many losses along the way. People we love disappear from our lives, we may lose a career, money, or something else we valued. We can lose our dreams,too. But looking for quick replacements as a way to avoid feeling pain about the loss won’t work. And we’ll miss the lessons. Before we can go on, we must feel our sadness about what we lost. Losses demand acceptance.

Eventually life will send you new people and new dreams. Cherish this time to grow and learn. Cherish what the universe is teaching you now.

****************************************

More Language Of Letting Go

Let go of unreasonable fears

We had planned on this day for a month. Now it had finally arrived. Mr friend and I were going kayaking in the ocean– it was going to be a first for us both.

We had the kayak and the life preservers. He showed up at the house, ready to go. The sun was shining, and the surf was pounding gently enough to be safe. He had gotten himself all ready for his event. He was wearing a hat, a Hawaiian shirt, and big floppy sandals on his feet.

We put on our life jackets. The man showed up at the door to train us in the proper way to kayak. First it was my turn. I was scared, but not too scared. I knew if we turned over, I’d just float.

I jumped in. The instructor pushed us out before the big wave came. He jumped in. We paddled like heck. When the big wave came, I yelled “ahh” and raised my oar high over my head, like the man said, to be safe. We went through three more of these waves. They looked big. I was scared each time. But soon we passed the surf, and we came to a quiet, clear place. We paddled around for a while. Then it was time to go back to shore and train my friend. I was excited. A little more training, and my friend and I would be ready to go out on the boat together.

I got out of the kayak. My instructor held the boat. My friend began to climb in, so they could push out. Just then a wave came. My friend got nervous and shaky. He screamed. The boat turned over. He fell out.

He lay there in the surf. The boat slipped over close to his head. He started screaming some more.

“It’s just a piece of plastic,” I said quietly. “All you have to do is move it away.”

“I’m drowning,” he said, gasping mouthfuls of water.

“No, your not,” I said. “You’re still on the shore. You’ve got water in your mouth from screaming. All you really need to do is sit up.”

My friend sat up. The instructor politely said the waves were getting a little high, and he didn’t think he’d be able to train my friend that day, and then he left. My friend and I quietly put the kayak away.

Sometimes, saying woohoo means working through our fears. Fear can be a good thing. It can signal danger and protect us. Sometimes our fears are bigger than life and bigger than they need be.

Many of us have panic and anxiety attacks. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. But sometimes we can calm ourselves down by reinforcing a little reality. Maybe we’re not really drowning after all. Maybe all we have to do to save our lives is just sit up.

Explain to yourself that your fears are unrealistic and you don’t need to be that afraid. Instead of screaming for help and upsetting yourself, learn to calm yourself down.

God, help me let go of my unreasonable fears, the ones that are preventing me from living my life.

****************************************

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Looking back, I realize just how much of my life has been spent in dwelling upon the faults of others. It provided much self-satisfaction, to be sure, but I see now just how subtle and actually perverse the process became. After all was said and done, the net effect of dwelling on the so-called faults of others was self-granted permission to remain comfortably unaware of my own defects. Do I still point my finger at others and thus self-deceptively overlook my own shortcomings?

Today I Pray

May I see that my preoccupation with the faults of others is really a smokescreen to keep me from taking a hard look at my own, as well as a way to bolster my own failing ego. May I check out the “why’s” of my blaming.

Today I Will Remember

Blame-saying
Is game-playing

****************************************

One More Day

Every calamity is a spur and valuable hint. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Events which felt like calamities when we were young have little importance as we get older. Experiences we have labeled “disastrous” — not having a date for the prom or failing a math test — now are unimportant or possible even amusing.

Understanding that many events have only brief importance can help us view current problems more realistically. Not having enough money at the end of the month, family disagreements, and even a flare-up or worsening of a chronic illness are all very important, and they require our attention or adjustment. But we deal with these problems better because we’re learned that few, if any, problems are really “disastrous” They’re inconvenient or even painful, but our lives can accommodate them. We go on.

I won’t see calamities in today’s problems and inconveniences.

*****************************************

One Day At A Time

~ Love ~

The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.
Victor Hugo

All of my life I felt unloved. Deep in my soul I was also convinced that I was unworthy of love. Nonetheless I craved love deeply.

In a desperate attempt to feel OK, I forsook the God of my childhood and declared that there was no God. I spiralled further and further into the depths of despair, unable to feel or give love. In my downward spiral, I turned to food to block feelings of unworthiness.

I entered Program dying of addiction as well as the deep sorrow of the loveless. I thought I was different from everyone else, that no one could possibly understand me. I had no peers, no real friends.

However, once in Program I found others just like me! I started to belong and to develop true friendships. In my desire to belong, I worked the Twelve Steps as others did and found a God of My Understanding. GOMU is a loving God. This God supports and guides me while as helping me learn to give and receive love. Love has brought me back to life.

One day at a time ...
Hand-in-hand with my Higher Power, I love and am loved.
~ Michel ~

*****************************************

AA 'Big Book' - Quote

Stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that HE DOES NOT HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOUR CONCEPTION OF GOD. He can choose any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him. THE MAIN THING IS THAT HE BE WILLING TO BELIEVE IN A POWER GREATER THAN HIMSELF AND THAT HE LIVE BY SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES. - Pg. 93 - Working With Others

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

One choice you can make in the coming days is to simply allow the loss of your addiction to be true. You will be an emotional orphan for only a short time, because you have a new and loving family in the fellowship.

I reach out to my Spiritual Source for a new understanding, as I adjust to new emotional alliances.

Little Dreams

Today I will do some small thing to make my day more beautiful and positive. I only need to do a little better. I don't need to reach for the moon or become the perfect anything. Achieving little dreams will enhance my sense of self and move me a bit forward. They will add up. They give me something positive to imagine. Little dreams are manageable, they don't overwhelm me and make me feel like I am constantly failing or running in place. They let me feel like I've achieved something real and purposeful. They give my day a positive focus. I will dream a little dream today. I will do something positive that gets me closer to a goal or makes a contribution to my world. Rather than complain about what isn't here that I want, I will take baby steps to create something.

I will take one small step

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

When do you begin helping a newcomer? When you see a newcomer. Don't sweat it; just do it.

When I work with a drunk, the drunk I'm working on is me.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Don't force solutions.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

As I gently pull back each layer that has been blocking me from being the best of who I am, I dare look a bit further and then a bit further yet. I know that I am not alone on this path and God is guiding me every inch of the way.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

I looked for God all over. And that's where I found him; All over. - Phil P.

*****************************************

AA Thought for the Day

February 2

Service
While practicing service to others, if my successes rise to grandiosity,
I must reflect on what brought me to this point.
What has been given joyfully, with love,
must be passed on without reservation and without expectation.
For as I grow, I find that no matter how much I give with love, I receive much more in spirit.
- Daily Reflections, p. 279

Thought to Ponder . . .
Service is gratitude in action.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
W E = Walls Evaporate.

~*~A.A. Thoughts For The Day~*~

Juggernaut
We who are alcoholics can consider ourselves
fortunate indeed.
Each of us has had his own near-fatal encounter
with the juggernaut of self-will,
and has suffered enough under its weight
to be willing to look for something better.
So it is by circumstance rather than by any virtue
that we have been driven to AA,
have admitted defeat,
have acquired the rudiments of faith,
and now want to make a decision
to turn our will and our lives over to a Higher Power.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 37-8

Thought to Consider . . .
If faith without works is dead,
then willingness without action is fantasy.

*~*~*AACRONYMS*~*~*
W H O = Willingness, Honesty, Openmindedness

*~*~*~*~*^Just For Today!^*~*~*~*~*

Self-concern
From "'Selfish?'"
"Some A.A. speakers say, 'A.A. is a selfish program.' The word 'selfish' ordinarily implies that one is acquisitive,
demanding, and thoughtless of the welfare of others. Of course, the A.A. way of lifedoes not at all imply such
undesirable traits.
"If we cannot or will not achieve sobriety, then we become truly lost, right in the here and now. Therefore, our own
recovery and spiritual growth have to come first -- a right and necessary kind of self-concern."
c. 1967, As Bill Sees It, page 81

*~*~*~*~*^ Grapevine Quote ^*~*~*~*~*

"It's a waste of time to take God's inventory."
November 1991
From: "Trusting the Silence"
Beginner's Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

~*~*~*~*^ Big Book & Twelve N' Twelve Quotes of the Day ^*~*~*~*~*

"The alcoholic may find it hard to re-establish friendly relations
with his children. Their young minds were impressionable while he
was drinking. Without saying so, they may cordially hate him for
what he has done to them and to their mother. The children are
sometimes dominated by a pathetic hardness and cynicism. They cannot
seem to forgive and forget. This may hang on for months, long after
their mother has accepted dad's new way of living and thinking.
In time they will see that he is a new man and in their own way they
will let him know it."
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 134~

We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness
are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.
Alcoholics Anonymous, II Spiritual Experience, p. 568

It will become more and more evident as we go forward that it is pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people
who, like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 92

Misc. AA Literature - Quote

We discover that we receive guidence for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God to
give it to us on order and on our terms.
In praying, we ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for
that day, and that we be given the grace by which we may carry it out.
There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring
much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life.

Prayer for the Day: Father, I humble myself before You, Your will not mine be done. I will mediate on your Word day and night. By the grace of God I will be an obedient doer of your Word. I renew my mind to your Word, and pray that your Word will dominate my thoughts, words and actions. I am strong in you, Lord, and in the power of your might. Today, I choose Life. Amen.

Ask and you shall receive,
Seek and ye shall find,
Knock and it shall be opened unto you.
Matthew 7:7

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